Here’s an interesting piece worth slogging through on ways in which policy changes implied by traditional economic analysis can skew power in ways that make a lot of people a lot worse off. The prose is a bit dense and opaque, but the point and the many historical examples are interesting and convincing. The authors—Acemoglu and Robinson—are [...]
Spoke to the very cool and progressive NYC chapter of NASW tonight in the big city. In fact, here’s me and the renowned musician Victor Lesser at Vinnie’s Clam Bar in Little Italy…if you can take the heat, the shrimp with spicy tomato sauce is as good as it gets. Oh, and here are the [...]
Harold Meyerson’s piece on the future of labor unions is a worthy read on an important topic (which, ftr, is pretty much always the case with Harold’s commentaries). Harold’s thesis, one that the economist Richard Freeman (dean emeritus of labor economists and one of my heroes) hypothesized about years ago in his book “America Works,” [...]
You want my advice, you should pour a tall cup-a-Joe and settle in to read this essay by Sean Reardon in this AMs NYT on education and wealth. He covers a lot of ground, but the theme that resonated most with me is one I’ve stressed often in these parts regarding the growing evidence of [...]
A critical concern of our time is not simply our high levels of income inequality and their negative impact on opportunity and mobility. It’s how inequality and immobility become entrenched in the system—how they replicate. In a nation like ours, where the flow of money into politics keeps getting stronger, one way this occurs is [...]
I just read that Goldman Sachs posted a profit of $2.2 billion in the first quarter, “…driven by strength in its investment banking business as well as its investing and lending unit.” And they’re mere pikers compared to their banking brethren: Across Wall Street, banks are showing signs of strength. Last week, JPMorgan posted a [...]
Here’s an interesting piece by my pal Lane Kenworthy on lots of stuff I go on about in these parts. Many good insights but a few parts in which I see things differently, one of which is very important to our respective views of the way out of the inequality/wage-stagnation cul-de-sac. His theory of the [...]
How do we know economists have a sense of humor? Because we keep forecasting the monthly jobs numbers. And so, without further ado and with deep humility, I submit that I expect tomorrow’s jobs report to show payrolls up about 170,000 in March, which is below the 193,000 consensus and a deceleration from February’s initial [...]
Here’s a free-ranging panel discussion I took part in on many of the hot econo-topics of the day, well managed by Jeff Greenfield. One notable point: Though the discussion was broadly focused on inequality, mobility, and growth, note how we kept going back to debt, deficits, and tax policies. This, IMHO, is a Washington disease [...]
As far as I’m concerned, people like me spend too much time on the facts and not enough time on how to build a movement that would marshal those facts on behalf of progressive change in economic and fiscal policy. As I’ve written many times, my experiences on the road and in the media often [...]
Here’s yours truly in today’s WaPo on trends that are hurting kids’ ability to realize their potential and lots of policy ideas to help them. There’s a video in there too if you want to hear the longer live version (wherein you’ll hear a plug for OTE, btw).
I was listening to the radio this weekend and heard some equity market cheerleaders going on about how the melt-up in the stock market lifts almost everybody’s fortunes. While I agree that it’s important not just for the top 1%—a lot of pension funds and 401(k)’s get a boost from the bull—the vast majority of [...]
Over at MSNBC.com.
OK—I’m afraid that title promises more than you’re about to get. But I do think the figure below underscores important relationships between the increase in inequality and diminished opportunities for less advantaged kids, and thus provides intuitive support for the President’s proposal for universal access to pre-school. The figure shows so-called “enrichment expenditures”—spending by parents [...]
There’s a plethora of analysis, criticism, praise, and commentary in this AMs papers on the big speech last night, to which I have only a little to add. As usual, start with Wonkbook but as far as I could absorb, the general consensus is that the President laid out an ambitious, progressive agenda that will [...]
Jim Tankersley has a piece in the WaPo suggesting that President Obama’s actual policy agenda doesn’t meet his aspirations when it comes to reducing inequality and poverty. I raised a similar concern here, though my focus was more on the budget constraints than the specific policies. Tankersley suggests that the President’s current econ team is [...]
Headed out to Oregon to give talks in Eugene on Monday and Portland on Tuesday. Info here in case you’re out there. And thanks in advance to the great Oregon Center for Public Policy for planning a major Northwestern wonkout. I’m planning to talk about inequality, growth, jobs, and incomes–what’s broke and how to fix [...]
As I’ve pledged, I won’t respond to the key-dangle of the latest fiscal crisis. I will not come running with a bucket of tax increases and spending cuts every time some crisis monger yells “deficit!” in a crowded theater. I will instead focus on a) the big economic issues from which these artificial crises are [...]
Even as the labor market expanded in 2012, union membership fell again, both in the private and public sectors, according to data released this morning by the BLS. –Among all workers, 11.3%, or 14.4 million were union members in 2012, compared to 11.8% (14.8 million) in 2011. –The share of union members in the public [...]
Today’s NYT features two different views on the impact of inequality on growth. In a magazine piece I wrote about earlier in the week, Adam Davidson frames the question in the traditional way: a modern economy can have faster growth or less inequality, but it can’t have both. We need to decide, he asserts: “What [...]
I posted a piece yesterday about the factors behind the growth of wage inequality. Well, today we find the BLS releasing some relevant data on the issue. The figure below shows the annual growth rates of weekly earnings of full-time workers by various wage percentiles. Two things to note: the staircase function characteristic of inequality [...]
There’s an interesting debate going on right now as to factors behind the rise in the inequality of earnings that’s been a fixture of our job market for decades (with interesting and germane variations, as you’ll see). At the center of the debate is whether technological change is the main factor driving inequality or is [...]
Ross Eisenbrey, VP of the Economic Policy Institute, came over to talk to me about the recent passage of so-called Right-To-Work legislation in Michigan. He’s a long-time expert on these issues and comes at it from a bargaining power perspective that OTEers will recognize.