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.
Over a year ago, in the midst of reading the great Ken Follett historical novel, World Without End, I was struck by some similarities between their conflicts and our own, and I wrote a post about it: [The book] got me thinking about today’s intellectual climate. Obviously, I’m being a bit hyperbolic (not to mention [...]
In work I’m doing for a paper on the relationship between inequality and growth, I was reminded about an underappreciated difference between our economy and those of other advanced economies: we consume a considerably larger share of our output than they do. I’ll get to why this matters in a moment, but the evidence is [...]
Tim Noah has a nice piece up at TNR that tackles a question I recently posed here: Why are the members of the Federal Reserve—an unelected body, mind you—the only policy makers in town aggressively targeting the unemployment rate? Tim’s answer is twofold. First, why is Congress less interested? It’s the toxic combination of wealth [...]
That’s the question I explore over at MSNBC.com…check it out.
At work on a bunch of indicators associated with the relationships between inequality, growth, income, poverty…stuff like that. And, as usual, I’m struck by how much slack there’s been in the economy over the period when inequality has really taken off. The much-cited Piketty and Saez data show inequality relatively flat from the late 1940s [...]
I’m working on a paper based on a model of an economy with high and growing levels of income and wealth inequality. I’ll say more about it later, but in coming days, time permitting, I’ll post snippets that might be of interest. For example, one prediction generated by this model is that policymakers advocate on behalf [...]
I just read two sweeping reports on the state of income inequality in the US (the second link focuses on state-level inequality) and other advanced economies. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so ensconced in fiscal cliff discussions, but I was struck by how much more alarmed policy makers are by the budget deficit than by the inequality situation. [...]
In a new analysis of the slow growth of the US economy post the Great Recession, the Congressional Budget Office produced a result that might surprise you: the underlying growth rate of the economy has significantly slowed. If you have an historical perspective on this sort of thing, you know that in past recoveries we’ve [...]
I expected this presidential race to tighten up, so why should I find that fact so dispiriting? At least two reasons come to mind. First, the stakes are high. If Romney/Ryan win and really do: –pass another massive trickle down tax cut on top of making the Bush tax cuts permanent; –repeal Obamacare, voucherize Medicare, [...]
I’m deeply interested in how change occurs, specifically change that would once again provide our system with the ability, now lacking, to accurately diagnose our problems and efficiently derive and implement solutions. How is it that Keynesianism is now rejected in favor of austerity, despite compelling evidence to the contrary? What will it take to [...]
As part of an event celebrating the National Employment Law Project, I participated in a panel moderated by Bob Herbert, former oped writer for the NYT (an extremely compelling one at that, whose themes were race, poverty, inequality, and justice) and now a senior fellow at Demos (the other panelists were Dorian Warren and Lynn [...]
Had a rousing debate at AEI last week on international trade policy with Claude Barfield and Grant Aldonas. I said I’d post my slides, so here they are. (H/t: Rob Scott, Josh Bivens, Thea Lee). I structured my talk around an unduly harsh WaPo editorial that showed up just a day or two before the [...]
I agree with Chye-Ching Huang, who agrees with the Congressional Research Service, Len Burman, and me: over the long, historical record of special tax treatment for investment incomes and tax cuts to the top marginal tax rates, one simply doesn’t find significant correlations with greater investment, savings, productivity, or income growth. Lowering the top tax rates [...]
Update: Nice WaPo editorial on this: “To tax is to redistribute. To govern is to redistribute. Benefits from government spending flow in different amounts to different individuals and different states.” Lots a words flying around about who is and isn’t a “European-style-five-year-planning-redistributionist.” Let’s look at some facts. First, from some work by my CBPP [...]
According to new Census Bureau data released today, poverty rates as officially measured did not rise as expected last year and more people were covered by health insurance. Middle class incomes fell significantly, however, and inequality increased. Basically, the message here is policy matters. Where policy addressed a market failure—rising shares of the uninsured; poor [...]
It’s Labor Day so let’s talk about work and workers. And who’s fighting for them and who isn’t. An economy like ours is an amalgam of markets, all of which aggregate into “the market.” That is, there’s a housing market, a stock market, a market for pork belly futures, the auto market, etc. And then [...]
Holding forth on this very important question over at MSNBC’s Lean Forward site. Companion piece to this.
In choosing Rep Paul Ryan for his running mate, Gov. Romney has helped to clarify a big part of what this election is about: the role of government in our lives, our economy, our future and that of our children. This is largely a day for politics and I’ll leave that to others. What I’d [...]
The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza provides a profile of Rep Paul Ryan, with a rich discussion of his vision for limited government. It’s a good read, but it left me thinking about what it is that troubles me most about Rep Ryan, an earnest guy who’s come a long way and influenced a lot of [...]