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Critical policy choices to keep the labor market intact

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | April 2, 2020

A bold, creative solution is required in order to keep the labor market as close to intact as possible. The government should guarantee payrolls and benefits. The unemployment insurance system simply is not prepared, nor built for such a catastrophe.

Babies don’t do social distancing

Lea J.E. Austin, co-director, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment |

During an unprecedented health crisis, Congress must bring urgency, energy and resources to support the early care and education industry.

Targeted intervention on COVID-19 must support businesses, workers

Gabriel Zucman, Assistant professor of economics | March 18, 2020

Co-authored with Emmanuel Saez, professor of economics Coronavirus threatens the world’s economic life, and current proposals from governments around the globe are failing to match the scale of the crisis. Today, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, [UK Chancellor of the Exchequer] announced £330 billion of loans and that some companies would not have to pay business … Continue reading »

What we social scientists can do for vulnerable workers

Jesse Rothstein, Professor of public policy and economics | March 14, 2020

In these very anxious times, it can be helpful to remember that the work we are all doing matters. Epidemiology is rightly at the front of everyone’s mind right now. But we should also be worried about the major effects that the Covid-19 pandemic will have beyond those directly infected. As a labor economist, I’m … Continue reading »

Why Does UC Berkeley Need $6 Billion?

John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow and Research Professor - Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education | March 12, 2020

  Berkeley’s annual Big Give launches today with the purpose of encouraging giving to Cal’s many academic schools. departments, and programs. With the increasing seriousness of the coronavirus, the presidential election, and a plunge in the stock market taking most of the bandwidth of Californians, we might hope that donors, large and small in net … Continue reading »

Lessons from Gordon C. Rausser on Leadership and Persistence

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | March 10, 2020

When I was young, I was fascinated by leaders like Churchill, Ben-Gurion, Gandhi, and even the two Roosevelts, who changed history. As I grew up, I realized that leadership occurs in business, academia, sports, and family life. When we started the BEAHRS Environmental Leadership Program, we targeted up-and-coming training leaders and needed to develop a … Continue reading »

Free college, not for all, but for those who need it

David Kirp, professor emeritus of public policy | January 16, 2020

The Democratic presidential candidates’ competing higher education plans got valuable airtime in the December debate. The fact that all of them are making affordable higher education a campaign issue is good news, but the fine print makes all the difference. Any proposal to spend federal dollars on higher education should concentrate on those who actually … Continue reading »

Fair housing and affordable housing are not the same thing

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley | January 8, 2020

On January 7, 2020, the Trump administration launched another attack on integration. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new federal rule that would significantly redefine and roll back Obama-era regulations that were intended to attack the long-standing and unaddressed problem of residential racial segregation. The rule would redefine the duty to … Continue reading »

NAFTA’s successor could hurt autoworkers on both sides of the border

Harley Shaiken, professor emeritus in education and in geography | January 2, 2020

Co-authored with Sander Levin, a former Democratic Congressman from Michigan. Despite financial gains won by the United Auto Workers in a new contract that ended a nearly six-week-long strike against General Motors, the longest in a half-century, the deal will not rectify the major problem that has hurt American autoworkers and will continue to do … Continue reading »

Instead of compensating for inequalities, liberals should reshape the markets

Steven Vogel, political science professor | November 25, 2019

For decades, liberals have called for government action to correct the excesses of the free market: progressive taxation; public health insurance; unemployment insurance; Social Security; and health, safety, and environmental regulations. The 2020 campaign — featuring proposals for higher taxes on the wealthy, Medicare-for-all, and the Green New Deal — is no exception. But some … Continue reading »

Don’t be so scared of Medicare for All

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | November 22, 2019

Republicans and even some Democrats are out to scare you about Medicare for All. They say it’s going to dismantle health care as we know it and it will cost way too much. Rubbish. The typical American family now spends $6,000 on health insurance premiums each year. Add in the co-payments and deductibles that doctors, … Continue reading »

Uber/Lyft ballot initiative guarantees drivers only $5.64/hour

Ken Jacobs, chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education | October 31, 2019

Co-authored with Michael Reich, UC Berkeley economics professor Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled their ballot initiative to undo historic worker protections enshrined in AB5, California’s new law that tightens the criteria for worker classification. The initiative claims drivers will receive a guaranteed pay equal to 120% of the minimum wage (that would be $15.60 … Continue reading »

Will Facebook’s ill-conceived Libra cryptocurrency fail to launch?

Barry Eichengreen, professor of economics and political science | October 14, 2019

Plans for Facebook’s proposed “stablecoin,” Libra, appear to be unraveling with the withdrawal of PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, eBay, and Mercado Pago as potential sponsors. This is hardly surprising, given growing awareness of Libra’s potential adverse consequences. If it offers anonymity to its users, Libra will become a platform for tax evasion, money laundering, and terrorist finance. … Continue reading »

How to make billionaires pay their fair share of taxes

Gabriel Zucman, Assistant professor of economics | October 11, 2019

Co-authored with UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez. Their new book is The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay. America’s soaring inequality has a new engine: Its regressive tax system. Over the past half century, even as their wealth rose to previously unseen heights, the richest Americans watched … Continue reading »