Economics


  • Can you trust those government numbers? (32 comments)

    This article is by staff writer William Cowie. Ever hear someone say, "You can't trust those government statistics"? When they say inflation is 1.6 percent, do you feel they might be fudging the nu...

  • What the Fed’s monetary policy statement means for you (40 comments)

    This article is by staff writer William Cowie. Twice a year, the Federal Reserve's Chair gives what amounts to the "financial state of the union" address to Congress, and it's a good thing for ever...

  • Is this where you can cut the most the quickest? (94 comments)

    This article is by staff writer William Cowie. The post a couple of weeks ago about the whole income inequality thing brought out some good insights and raised several new questions. We love to ...

  • The new way to get rich slowly (84 comments)

    This article is by staff writer William Cowie. The face of getting rich slowly is changing right before our eyes, even as the status quo is failing. Before this year's State of the Union address, t...

  • The ‘cost’ of gun ownership (215 comments)

    As some of you might know or remember, I have been considering the purchase of a firearm for some time. Two posts ago I mentioned it while talking about being victim of a robbery, and reader Tyler Ka...

  • HDHP with HSA: friend or foe? (58 comments)

    This is a guest post from Joanna Lahey, an associate economics professor at the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Econom...

  • Health insurance options for the self-employed (42 comments)

    This is a guest post from Joanna Lahey, an associate professor of economics at the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and the National Bureau of Econo...

  • Insurance: Choosing the right plan (27 comments)

    This the second of four articles about health insurance by Joanna Lahey, an associate professor of economics at the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University...

  • Insurance: Share the risk (84 comments)

    This is a guest post from Joanna Lahey, an associate professor of economics at the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and the National Bureau of Econo...

  • Free Box Economics (88 comments)

    On my way home from selling some magazines at Powell's, I happened upon a whole street's worth of free piles. First one, then another, then another. The second one was the jackpot, though. I saw the c...

  • Dollar Coins: Or, In Other Words, a New Tax (155 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Sarah Gilbert. "You need 75 more cents!" the woman at our favorite burger joint, Little Big Burger, said brightly after I sent my 9-year-old to order another serving of...

  • Is Your Spending Normal? (112 comments)

    Over the past year, one of the most popular features here at Get Rich Slowly has been the monthly "how much do you spend on X?" question. I started these informal and unscientific surveys on a whim. I...

  • America’s Love-Hate Relationship with Wealth (187 comments)

    I was on the road for the past two months, first in Chicago, and then in Bolivia and Peru. As always happens, one of the side effects of travel is that I've been living in a media vacuum. For the past...

  • The Spectacle of Financial Difficulty (170 comments)

    This post is from new staff writer Sarah Gilbert. Both my husband and I have spent some periods of unemployment over the past decade, and we have become intimately familiar with financial humiliati...

  • Why Austerity Hurts: The Government’s Budget is Not Like Yours (276 comments)

    This post is from new staff writer Sarah Gilbert. GRS readers liked Gilbert's recent post on economics and current events, so today she's offering more of the same. Unlike "entitlements," the word ...

  • What S&P Debt Ratings Mean for the U.S. (and Its Citizen Shareholders) (98 comments)

    This post is from new staff writer Sarah Gilbert. We'd planned for her to make her debut later, but Gilbert offered to write about the current economic situation, so she's stepping up the plate a litt...

  • Ask the Readers: When Is It Not Your Fault? (256 comments)

    In popular American mythology, the rich work hard for their wealth. They've earned it. They deserve it. While this is often true, everyone can cite instances of people who have money due to fate and c...

  • All That Glitters: Why I’m Not Investing in Gold (214 comments)

    Over the past two years, I've received a lot of requests to write about investing in gold and silver. I've ignored these requests. For one, I feel unqualified to comment. For another, I'm afraid that ...

  • The Time Value of Money (or Why 25 Years of Cable TV Doesn’t Cost as Much as You Think) (31 comments)

    This guest post is from Stephen Popick, a government economist and founder of Coffeecents.org, a personal finance program for young adults. Popick is the long-time administrator of the Get Rich Slowly...

  • The Tiger Mother and You: Are We Preparing Our Kids for a Better Financial Future? (120 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new articl...

  • When To Walk Away From A Bad Mortgage (247 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. Since the housing bubble burst, many Americans hav...

  • The Economics of Seinfeld (21 comments)

    A group of economics professors have pooled their collective brainpower to come up with a new way to teach their students — and the general public — about economic principles. They've crea...

  • Want to Make More Money? Go Back to School! (31 comments)

    Lately, I've been more vocal about the importance of looking for ways to boost your income. Cutting costs is awesome — don't stop — but if you really want to supercharge your debt reductio...

  • Reader Story: How We Became Reluctant Landlords (62 comments)

    This guest post from Jolyn is part of the "reader stories" feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — o...

  • Does Saving Stimulate the Economy More than Spending? (73 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. When the 2008-09 financial crisis hit, my husband and I were debt-free and building our savings. We were proud of what we'd accomplished, and I used...

  • Yes, You WILL Get Social Security (127 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new articl...

  • Why I Buy Local (171 comments)

    Kris and I live in a small, quiet neighborhood south of Portland. When the trolley line ran through here — between 1893 and 1959 — Oak Grove was actually thriving community, with shops and...

  • Why Are Interest Rates So Low Right Now? (and Where Should You Put Your Money?) (72 comments)

    I've been plowing through my e-mail lately in my never-ending quest to reach inbox zero. As a result, I've been answering tons of reader questions. And when I can't answer them (or when I think a coll...

  • Do Credit Cards Take from the Poor and Give to the Rich? (148 comments)

    My philosophy on credit cards has changed completely in the last five years. I've gone from anti-credit-card to pro-credit-card — but only for those who can use them responsibly. I think they're a g...

  • Reader Story: Social Capital and the Microeconomic Recovery (30 comments)

    This guest post from Kimberly is part of the Reader Stories feature here at Get Rich Slowly. Some reader stories contain general "how I did X" advice, and others are examples of how a GRS reader achie...

  • Is a Weak Euro Good for U.S. Travelers? (52 comments)

    It had to happen eventually! A GRS staff writer has finally submitted an article on a topic I was planning to cover. This post from April Dykman is stronger than the one I'd put together, though, so I...

  • What Do Ancient Spice Traders and the Modern Financial Industry Have in Common? (22 comments)

    This is a guest post from Chett Daniel, who writes about improving your life through personal fitness and personal finance at 5k5k.org. Last year, Chett shared what fourth-graders "know" about money. ...

  • Is the Economy Improving? Views from Everyday Folks (104 comments)

    On Friday night, we had some good frugal fun. Kris and I got together with a group of my old high school friends to go bowling and eat pizza. It was just like the good ol' days — but with a bunc...

  • Economica: Women and the Global Economy (13 comments)

    In his book Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty [my review], Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus argues that one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty and...

  • Warren Buffett Has No Regrets About the Past Year — Do You? (40 comments)

    This article is GRS staff writer Adam Baker. In addition to his work at Get Rich Slowly, Baker blogs over at Man Vs. Debt, where he maintains a list of every single item his family owns. It's no se...

  • The Truth About Taxes (229 comments)

    Note: Although I try to keep GRS a politics-free zone, today's topic is inherently political. I've stayed as neutral as possible in the article, but I know that there'll be some political discussion i...

  • Understanding the Federal Budget (141 comments)

    Note: Although I try to keep GRS a politics-free zone, today's topic is inherently political. I've stayed as neutral as possible in the article, but I know that there'll be some political discussion i...

  • The Spending Habits of the Average American (106 comments)

    Last week, Diane dropped a line asking for information about the spending habits of the average American. She wrote: I am trying to find sites that will provide average spending habits — such...

  • The Ascent of Money (31 comments)

    Beginning tonight, public television stations in the United States will broadcast a four-part series from economist and historian Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money. This is an expanded version of a ...

  • The Fall and Rise of Personal Savings (58 comments)

    Americans are beginning to save again, or so the media is reporting. The personal saving rate has jumped from 0.4% in 2007 to a whopping 6.9% in May. But what does that mean? Is it a good thing? And h...

  • Three Lessons from Warren Buffett (34 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Beginning today, Robert will contribute one article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. It's my hope that he'll bring a fresh perspective t...

  • The New Age of Thrift (68 comments)

    Over the past few months, the mainstream media has been filled with stories about the New Frugals and the return to thrift. People who once lived beyond their means, financing their lifestyle with deb...

  • Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (31 comments)

    We've heard a lot of rhetoric lately about how this is the worst economy since the Great Depression. Maybe that's true and maybe it isn't, but even if it were, what would it mean? I have no frame of r...

  • Economic Stimulus and the Marginal Propensity to Consume (99 comments)

    This is a guest post from Kevin, who writes about getting and staying out of debt at No-Debt Plan. Previously at GRS, Kevin wrote about the power of attentive spending. Many Americans will begin re...

  • Snake-Oil Salesmen? Debating the Role of the Financial Media (74 comments)

    Jim Cramer is the manic host of CNBC's Mad Money, a television show that offers stock recommendations and investment advice. Jon Stewart is the host of Comedy Central's satirical news program, The Dai...

  • The Credit Crisis — Visualized (36 comments)

    Over at Vimeo, Jonathan Jarvis has created a ten-minute film that offers an overview of the credit crisis. If you've been struggling to understand what went wrong with the American economy, this will ...

  • When Consumers Cut Back (49 comments)

    Over the weekend, Kim C. pointed me to an article about the dangers of thrift. There's been a glut of these pieces lately, most of which just make me tense. They seem as if they're cheerleading conspi...

  • Outside Looking In: How Others View Our Spending (80 comments)

    Last week, I went running with my friend Mac. As we ran, we talked. Mac asked me how it felt to be out of debt, to actually be saving money. Like many of my friends, he's watched my financial turnarou...

  • The National Economy Versus Your Personal Economy (52 comments)

    Yesterday I attended the mid-winter conference of the local financial planning association. I listened to various speakers talk about the economy and how it relates to personal finance. One of the ...

  • Three Legislative Proposals That Could Have Major Consequences for Your Finances (20 comments)

    J.D. is on vacation. This guest post comes from DR of The Dough Roller, a money management blog. Previously at GRS, he shared the seven habits of wealth. Amidst all the financial turmoil on Wall St...

  • American Household Debt Declines, Personal Saving Rate Increases (36 comments)

    This morning, Karl sent me a link to a CNN/Money article that is simultaneously happy and sad: In a sign that Americans' spending habits are shifting, household debt fell for the first time ever, b...

  • Black Friday — Or Not? (82 comments)

    This weekend will be important for U.S. retailers. They'll be counting their pennies carefully. With retail sales already down sharply from 2007, merchants are eager for a strong start to the holiday ...

  • Living with and Learning from Layoffs (48 comments)

    Earlier today, I shared several lists of recession-proof jobs. The experts who created these lists don't agree on much, but they do seem to think that both jobs in IT and the health-care industry are ...

  • The Best Recession-Proof Jobs (114 comments)

    In The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets (which I recently reviewed), author Peter Schiff provides a list of the best jobs to beat the economic collapse he predicts is just around the corner. ...

  • Bull Moves in Bear Markets (55 comments)

    In high school, I once dated a girl whose father believed the world was doomed to nuclear destruction. While his family lived in a trailer house (as did mine), this man spent a lot of time and mon...

  • Cat and Girl on Halloween (13 comments)

    Cat and Girl is one of my favorite webcomics. It's cynical, postmodern, and smart. I admit that not everyone finds it amusing (Kris, for example), but I do. I particularly liked yesterday's strip, and...

  • Faces of World Poverty: 20 Arresting Photographs (34 comments)

    What do we picture when we think about poverty? What stereotypes do we have about what poverty looks like? What do they mask from us? What do they keep us from seeing? While putting together my tw...

  • Learning to Give: What *I* Can Do to Fight Poverty (98 comments)

    In our recent discussion about tithing, I made a confession: I do not tithe to church or charity. I feel guilty about this. My rationale is always: “Once I take care of myself, I’ll take care o...

  • Another Frightening Show About the Economy (26 comments)

    Last spring, This American Life tackled the subprime mortgage mess in a show entitled "The Giant Pool of Money". This is a great episode, and I recommend it to anyone who wants background on the curre...

  • The Market Meltdown: Essential Reading (39 comments)

    Get Rich Slowly readers have sent me many stories about the ongoing U.S. economic crisis and the debate over a possible bailout. Because I don't like to talk politics here, and because economics is wa...

  • What is Money? A Basic Economics Lesson from 1947 (19 comments)

    I was pleased recently to discover another handful of short films about financial topics from the 1940s and 1950s. I'll share them over the next few months, starting with this timely piece from 1947. ...

  • Thoughts on the Financial Crisis from an Actual Economist (39 comments)

    This editorial is from Stephen Popick, a real-life government economist. He's also the administrator for the Get Rich Slowly discussion forums. Why did the current financial crisis happen?  I don'...

  • Are You Worried About Today’s Economy? (44 comments)

    I drove to the box factory earlier this week to chat with my former co-workers. While I was there, I asked my cousin Nick (the bookkeeper) for info on the company retirement plan. I still have $80,000...

  • The Economics of a POW Camp (15 comments)

    In a 1945 issue of Econimica, R. A. Radford wrote about the economic organization of a P.O.W. camp. Radford spent at least two years (the timeline isn't clear) as a prisoner in Italy and Germany d...

  • The American Way of Debt (182 comments)

    On Sunday, The New York Times published a series of articles on The Debt Trap, exploring the surge in consumer debt and the lenders who made it possible. The main article profiles a Philadelphia wo...

  • The History of Debt in America (Now in PDF!) (12 comments)

    In Wednesday's links roundup, I mentioned a long article on the history of debt in America. Rian dropped me an e-mail to say that he liked the essay, too, but found a way to make it more accessible: ...

  • The Story of Stuff (130 comments)

    Every time I write about Stuff, readers point me to The Story of Stuff, a 20-minute video about where Stuff comes from and where it goes. Until today, however, I'd never taken time to watch it. Accord...

  • Can Saving Prepare Us for the Oncoming Recession? (82 comments)

    "What will it take to make Americans save more?" wonders Michelle Singletary in her latest column at The Washington Post. Singletary points to a recent survey that reveals Americans know they're not s...

  • The Giant Pool of Money: Anatomy of the Subprime Mortgage Mess (31 comments)

    The American housing crisis isn't over yet. The fallout from the subprime mortgage mess will continue to settle for months (or years). Though the various statistical models disagree on just how much f...

  • A Glimpse at the Spending of the Average American (41 comments)

    On Saturday, The New York Times published a brilliant chart illustrating the spending of the average American: "Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers 84,000 prices in about 200 cat...

  • Round & Round: Capitalist Propaganda from 1939 (6 comments)

    Here's a short-film produced by General Motors in 1939 called "Round & Round". It's a brief look at the free market system. It feels like it was produced for first-graders: This is a factory. This ...

  • When the Going Gets Tough, Get Back to the Basics (29 comments)

    I've posted several stories about national economic woe recently. In real life, I've had conversations with a few of my friends about the mortgage mess, about recession and a possible bear market, and...

  • The Negative Saving Rate and the Age of Easy Credit (81 comments)

    "My generation doesn't know how to be thrifty," writes Eve Conant in the current issue of Newsweek. She describes how her grandfather — who fled his native Ukraine during World War II — wo...

  • Will the Subprime Mortgage Crisis Turn the Suburbs Into Slums? (44 comments)

    Is today's McMansion tomorrow's tenement home? Wrtiting in The Atlantic Monthly, Christopher B. Leinberger argues that modern suburban neighborhoods may be in decline, and not just because of the subp...

  • Economic Mobility and The American Dream (33 comments)

    In a comment on my interview with Adam Shepard, Liberal Arts Dude pointed to the Economic Mobility Project, a nonpartisan collaboration between several leading think-tanks. According to the project's ...

  • Scratch Beginnings: An Interview with Adam Shepard (152 comments)

    I just finished reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America for the third time. In this book, the author chronicles three one-month stints working as one of the Ameri...

  • Are Mortgage Rates Tied to the Federal Funds Rate? (29 comments)

    The Federal Reserve has lowered short-term interest rates twice in the past week by a total of 1.25 percentage points. (They lowered the federal funds rate, not the prime lending rate, though that fal...