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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

How The Federal Reserve Manages Money Supply

The federal reserve is a private association of banks and financial institutions. As it's actions have significant economic implications, the federal reserve does have an appointed head by the president but all other bank governors are selected by the banks who are members of the federal reserve.

It exists primarily to prevent bank panics by requiring banks hold a percentage of their reserves in cash and be a lender of last resort to banks who face demands for cash that they don't have in their own vaults and other banks are unwilling to lend to them.

The federal reserve occasionally changes the reserve rate for banks and often changes the discount rate, the rate they charge to banks at last resort that need a loan that no private bank will give them. Changing the discount rate influences the rate banks charge on loans. In times of extreme recession, the fed will do quanative easing aka open market operations which means that they either force banks to buy government bonds so that they have more cash to loan out or force them to pay back the bonds to take money out of the market.

The rational for doing this is publicly stated by the fed. The reserve rate, discount rate, and total open market amounts are released. Internal deliberations and individual transactions with banks are kept private to avoid market speculation. While the federal reserve sounds scary and has a massive impact on the economy, it generally does a good job at moderating inflation and recessions. Obviously people can and do disagree whether more or less unemployment or inflation is better.

Trump Keeps Elephant Trophy Import Ban In Place, For Now

"Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve those species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation," the service said in a statement to NPR. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the hunting and management programs for African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia will enhance the survival of the species in the wild."

GOP Tax Cuts Expected To Push Up Nation’s Debt

"When Republicans began assembling their tax overhaul proposals they were aiming to make them revenue neutral; the tax cuts could not lead to increased deficits. Holding the line on deficits has long been the goal of Republican deficit hawks."

"But that goal is now just a memory. Both the House and Senate proposals provide overall tax cuts in the $1.5 trillion range over the next decade. But there's no plan to offset them with cuts in government spending or new revenues. So over the next 10 years, the tax cuts are likely to add about $1.5 trillion to the national debt, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office."

Change in Hourly Wages, Compared to One Year Ago (Cents)

Today the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average hourly wage has increased by 63 cents an hour compared to last year. How does that compare to recent years? It seems like wage growth remains quite healthy.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Average Hourly Earnings of All Employees: Total Private [CEU0500000003], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CEU0500000003, November 3, 2017. Comparison of this year's average hourly earning compared to one year ago in cents.

Difference between vanilla, vanillin, and ethyl vanillin

"Vanilla, vanillin, and ethyl vanillin taste similar. They’re all used to make food taste like vanilla. As well as in the making of perfumes and other scents. They also seem to popular in the e-cigarette community. But the three flavorings diverge in origins, application, and taste. What are the differences between vanilla, vanillin, and ethyl vanillin?"

The Old Debt and Entitlement Charade

"The establishment is trying to pull a big one over on the public yet again. One of the designated topics for the last presidential debate goes under the heading, "debt and entitlements." This should have people upset for several reasons.

The first is simply the use of the term "entitlements." While this has a clear meaning to policy wonks, it is likely that most viewers won't immediately know that "entitlements" means the Social Security and Medicare their parents receive. It's a lot easier for politicians to talk about cutting wasteful "entitlements" than taking away seniors' Social Security and Medicare.

The ostensible purpose of the debate is to allow voters to be better informed about the candidates' views. So if the purpose is conveying information, why not use terms that most voters will understand?"

Quarterly Change in Gross Domestic Product, 2007-2017

The economy is continuing to grow at a good clip, although still not as strong as in some quarters of 2013 and 2014, when we were accelerating out of the recession. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2017 (table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, the revised numbers show that the real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production. GDP is also equal to the sum of personal consumption expenditures, gross private domestic investment, net exports of goods and services, and government consumption expenditures and gross investment. Real values are inflation-adjusted estimates—that is, estimates that exclude the effects of price changes.

For more information about this series, please see https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2017/gdp3q17_adv.htm

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Real Gross Domestic Product [A191RL1Q225SBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A191RL1Q225SBEA, October 27, 2017.

Poultry Production from Start to Finish

Poultry production is the biggest form of agriculture in the eastern part of West Virginia, and I was curious about the industry. If you are having chicken for dinner tonight, it's mostly likely from these states. This video has a nice overview of the poultry industry in Virginia and West Virginia.