David L. Bahnsen is the Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group
If there is one thing that animates me it is the application of real-life economics to investing. I have always been obsessed with economics – both theory and application – but it is in more recent years that I have really found it a calling to synthesize the foundational truths of economics to financial markets.
And truth be told, that calling transcends the applications of economic theory to financial markets. I believe properly understood economics has profound implications for all aspects of human living. My extra-curricular endeavors in economics (the book I wrote last year, the class I teach at the high school I co-founded) are all extensions of this passion I have for a free and virtuous society. But yes, applying these things to financial markets is my real passion, and the inability and disinterest the financial advice community has for applying economic principles to markets is a constant source of irritation.
Today’s Dividend Cafe is about the labor market – the state of jobs in America. For 99% of the media and even economic analysts these days this is an econometric subject. In other words, it is a data point that provides an input to a spreadsheet, and from there carries some numerical relevance to another input (i.e. if wages are here or unemployment is here, then consumer spending is possibly going to be here, etc.). Worse, it is often just a mere political data point, perhaps an even more imbecilic understanding of work than even reducing it to an economic data point.
But economics is the study of human action around the allocation of scarce resources. Our understanding of what is happening and not happening in the world of work will be improved to see it through the lens of the human person. Political and econometric reductions will tell us almost nothing, and in fact, may tell us things that aren’t true at all.
Investors and actors in financial markets need a fuller understanding of current realities in American labor. To that end, we work … (see what I did there). So jump on into the Dividend Cafe.
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