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One step up and two steps back

Sylvia Allegretto, labor economist, Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | October 2, 2014

With the release of the (mostly) triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) from the Federal Reserve, it is once again time to look at trends in wealth. The SCF is one of the best sources for data on net worth (assets minus liabilities) in the U.S. In this post I use the newly released 2013 … Continue reading »

American Dream, twisting

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | December 18, 2013

A political solicitation from the Democrats that I just got reads, “We have to do everything we can to make sure that [the] opportunity to pursue the American dream is still possible today.” The 2012 Republican platform highlighted its program for “Restoring the American Dream.” “The American Dream” seems often under threat and just out of grasp. … Continue reading »

‘Home sweet home’ no more: The ongoing housing crisis and end of an era

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | February 28, 2012

Economic cheerleaders on Wall Street and in the White House are taking heart. The U.S. has had three straight months of faster job growth. The number of Americans each week filing new claims for unemployment benefits is down by more than 50,000 since early January. Corporate profits are healthy. The S&P 500 on Friday closed … Continue reading »

The most important economic speech of his presidency

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | December 7, 2011

The President’s speech today in Osawatomie, Kansas — where Teddy Roosevelt gave his “New Nationalism” speech in 1910 — is the most important economic speech of his presidency in terms of connecting the dots, laying out the reasons behind our economic and political crises, and asserting a willingness to take on the powerful and the privileged … Continue reading »

Cheerful Yanks?

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | October 28, 2011

In the 20th century a common stereotype of Americans was that they were a cheerful lot – perhaps too booming cheerful for Europeans who had to endure “have-a-nice-day!” tourists. An interesting article by a scholar of Bulgarian origin identifies a particular period in American history when “good cheer” first became an important value here, displacing … Continue reading »

Taxing the rich, the Obama way

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | September 19, 2011

Warren Buffett is a tough negotiator, which is one reason why he’s the second-wealthiest person in America. So when the President refers to his new initiative to raise taxes on millionaires as the “Buffett rule” we might expect he’d start the bargaining from a tough position. But this is Barack Obama, whose idea of negotiating is … Continue reading »