Worldwide minimum wage vs. unemployment: the chart doesn’t tell the story

Following the suggestion of a reader, I re-plotted the worldwide minimum wage vs. unemployment. Before you skip ahead to the chart below, keep in mind the lesson I learned from my last post which was that international economies are vastly different from America’s, and examining the extremes doesn’t translate easily back to American circumstances. In the …

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World wide minimum wage… and inflation

The minimum wage rate is one of the polarizing points between Democrats and Republicans. Both parties point to studies claiming that raising the minimum wage will either increase inflation, negating the benefits, or it will lead to stronger purchasing power among the poorest consumers, improving the economy. Both sides make strong points. And into this confusing fray, I throw my own …

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What the Internet map looks like

What does “the Internet” look like geographically? Recently, I wondered where the world’s IP addresses were physically located. I thought that getting the answer to this question would be a 5 minute project, but it turns out that for a network novice such as myself there was a little learning curve. By the end of …

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Stimulus vs. the Price of all Homes Bought During Bubble

For a moment, suspend fairness to honest, prudent homeowners. Forget about providing “correct” market incentives. And disregard any other emotional or political problems that accompany this particular idea. It is widely agreed that the “Great Recession of 2006” was caused by the failing of mortgage-backed securities. So it seems like a simple approach to restoring normalcy …

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Seasonal spikes in women’s rights

Playing with Google Trends led me to a mystery. If you look up search trends for “women’s rights”, “feminist” or “feminism”, the trend is downward. Down a whopping 70% since 2005 (I’m not really sure what is causing this trend, perhaps it will be the subject of a future post). But oddly enough, there are …

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Google search trend and stock price

I recently wondered if Internet searches for companies correlate with the company’s stock price. A few years ago a researcher at Google was able to track flu trends by monitoring online searches for flu symptoms. Would searches translate to stock price as well? To answer the question, I used Google’s “trends” utility and Google’s finance …

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Earthquakes vs. Time of Day

Time and tide wait for no one. Add to that: earthquakes. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, a.k.a. “earthquake country”, in a house built in the 1950s before earthquake building codes had been created. Within the next 30 years, the USGS tells us we can expect a “big one” in the East Bay …

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