Parents can’t return to jobs without fresh child care financing — and unlikely political bedfellows are enthused over child care vouchers. Conservatives celebrate the choice-empowering fungibility of these portable chits. Anti-poverty advocates view them as efficient cash transfers to parents, bringing additional income to close kin and caring neighbors.
The pandemic offers a teachable moment in which we can evaluate the moral underpinnings of our economy — and give more value to low-income workers who provide essential human care.
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 »
You know their names: Emma Gonzalez (age 18); David Hogg (age 18); Naomi Wadler (age 11); Yolanda Renee King (age 9). These young people, and many more, stand at podiums to eloquently, outspokenly and loudly demand tighter gun control legislation from our political leaders following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 … Continue reading »
Buying stuff can make you happy for a short time. But you will revert to needing another happiness boost by buying even more stuff. We can, however, replace the boom and bust of a consumption-driven search for satisfaction with lives that are more fulfilling and economically sustainable.
(This commentary by Paul Pierson and Jacob Hacker of Yale University was published on Dec. 7 by Vox, as part of its The Big Idea home for smart discussion of the most important issues and ideas in politics, science, and culture. Pierson and Hacker are the authors of American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led … Continue reading »
On Sept. 15, the California Legislature approved a package of 17 bills aimed at putting a dent in the state’s housing crisis. While the votes came down to the wire, in the end, the need for solutions won the day, and in the coming weeks the governor is expected to sign each piece of legislation, … Continue reading »
The surprise showing of the far-right nationalist party, Alternativ fuer Deutschland (AfD) in Sunday’s German election has struck fear in the hearts of many analysts. Is Germany’s liberal democracy and society simply a thin veneer covering the monster of virulent nationalism that has long been crouching in the dark, waiting for its chance to attack? … Continue reading »
Co-authored by Laurel Lucia, Ian Perry and Ken Jacobs; crossposted from the blog of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. Once again, Congress is considering a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make major cuts to Medicaid. Next week, the Senate may vote on this latest repeal effort, led by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham … Continue reading »
An undergraduate honors thesis written by UC Berkeley economics major Alice Wu exposes the rampant misogyny cluttering Economics Job Market Rumors, an anonymous forum.
A few days ago, Neel Kashkari – now president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, who was the senior Treasury Department official in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations helping to save the big Wall Street banks – said “I believe the biggest banks are still too big to fail and continue to … Continue reading »
Each time I go directly from Kansas City, Mo./Kan. to Portland, OR — or from Portland, Ore. to Kansas City, Kan./Mo. — I am struck by cognitive dissonance. There is a very large gulf between what I see around me and what, say, the charts people put up on the screen for relative levels of real … Continue reading »
Last year, during the holiday season the price of gasoline was at $3.57/gallon, which restricted the financial choices of everyday Americans. Actually from 2005 we consumers gradually adjusted to higher prices of oil. The adjustment wasn’t easy. Many lower-income individuals who purchased new homes far from work realized that they could not pay their mortgages, … Continue reading »
The rapid fall in oil prices seems to have taken everyone by surprise. I’ve noted before that it puts the viability of the Keystone XL project in doubt. But its other effects are worth considering. Overall, the fall in prices should have a beneficial effect on the U.S. economy. Since gasoline is cheaper, people can … Continue reading »
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 »
After years of mismanagement and looting, Ukraine faces a number of economic challenges. The situation is so critical that weak economic performance in the next few years could undermine the very independence of the country. Just yesterday, President Poroshenko signed a degree setting up the National Council for Reforms to design and coordinate reforms in … Continue reading »
Ukraine is living through most trying times: Maidan protests, snipers killing dozens of unarmed protesters, the fall of Viktor Yanukovych’s regime, near-default of the government, Russian annexation of Crimea, and Russian-sponsored separatist mutiny in Ukraine’s East. With the victory of the February revolution, the new government, and the new elected president Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine has … Continue reading »
More Americans than ever believe the economy is rigged in favor of Wall Street and big business and their enablers in Washington. We’re five years into a so-called recovery that’s been a bonanza for the rich but a bust for the middle class. “The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get … Continue reading »
What does the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision this week have to do with today’s jobs report, showing 192,000 new jobs for March? Connect the dots. More than five years after Wall Street’s near meltdown the number of full-time workers is still 4 million less than it was in December 2007, yet the working-age population of the … Continue reading »
By Andrew Healy and Gabriel Lenz In the U.S., we — the voters — elect our presidents using a potentially problematic decision rule: we largely decide who will be president based on the election-year economy (1, 2, 3). If the economy is on an upswing before the election, we usually retain the president or his … Continue reading »