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Battle in Seattle: Boeing’s demands bad for U.S. economy

Harley Shaiken, director, Center for Latin American Studies, professor in education and in geography | January 14, 2014

At the heart of the recent hard-ball negotiations between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) is a troubling paradox:  A company scores record profits and demands tough concessions from its workers. Something is clearly wrong with this picture.  While earning more and paying less may fatten the bottom line next quarter, it dampens … Continue reading »

Inequality update

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 4, 2013

Inequality has become the new hot topic over the last several years – in the media and in the research community. This post briefly reports several recent studies of inequality that tell us what’s been happening, why, and to what effect. (It’s not a cheery story.) Before that, notice how rapidly public attention – if … Continue reading »

Inequality on the horizon of need

Brad DeLong, professor of economics | May 31, 2013

By any economic measure, we are living in disappointing times. In the United States, 7.2% of the normal productive labor currently stands idle, while the employment gap in Europe is rising and due to exceed that of the US by the end of the year. So it is important to step back and remind ourselves … Continue reading »

Wealth and motivations for saving

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | March 24, 2013

In a recent column in the Atlantic called “Building the Wealth of the Poor and Middle Class,” Noah Smith suggests a few ways to improve the unequal distribution of wealth in America. He notes that “one obvious thing we could do to make wealth more equal is – surprise! -redistribution…Giving the poor and middle-class more income will … Continue reading »

The Great Recession and preferences for redistribution

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | March 4, 2013

Differences in attitudes towards welfare and redistribution are an important source of political tension, especially during recessions. What factors shape people’s attitudes towards welfare and redistribution? There are two main strands of thought on this question in the literature. One strand emphasizes economic self-interest as a key determinant of attitudes toward welfare and distribution. According … Continue reading »

Pope Benedict XVI on crisis, development, and truth

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | February 11, 2013

Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign from his ministry at the end of the month, citing declining strength in his advanced age. His Papacy began in 2005 and many of his written messages reflect upon the global economic and financial crisis that characterized the world to which he ministered. Most notably, his 2009 encyclical Caritas in veritate (Charity … Continue reading »

Overheating and the Fed

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | February 7, 2013

Governor Jeremy Stein of the St. Louis Federal Reserve gave a speech on February 7 called “Overheating in Credit Markets: Origins, Measurement, and Policy Responses.” Overheating is a term he uses to describe a credit market with low interest rates, lax lending standards, and high risk-taking by investors “reaching for yield.” The problem with overheating is that … Continue reading »

Public protest, media, and economic justice

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | September 25, 2011

On September 17, a group of US citizens inspired by the successes of public protest in other countries occupied public space on Wall Street, the location in Manhattan that has come to stand for the excesses of the financial sector. Not only does Wall Street stand for the banks that fueled the ongoing “Little Depression“; … Continue reading »

The fallout from the Great Recession continues

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | September 22, 2011

Last week the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage for 2010. Data from the report represents that of the first full year into our economic recovery (which official started in June 2009). It is no surprise, given the focus of this report and the weak recovery, that … Continue reading »

Obama’s jobs plan better be big

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | September 8, 2011

Today,  President Obama unveils his jobs plan. He’ll choose either Plan A or Plan B. Plan A would be big enough to restart the economy (now barely growing) and reduce unemployment (which continues to grow). That means spending another trillion dollars over the next two years – rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, creating a new WPA … Continue reading »

Jobs outlook not pretty this Labor Day

Sylvia Allegretto, Economist, Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics | September 2, 2011

Next week President Obama will unveil his jobs plan and today’s employment report won’t make it easier for him as job growth was zilch in August. The post-Labor Day speech will introduce his strategy to promote economic growth and create jobs. The White House has been tight lipped about the details but it is expected … Continue reading »

How about protests instead of picnics this Labor Day?

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | August 25, 2011

Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade. Not only are 25 million unemployed or underemployed, but American companies continue to cut wages and benefits. The median wage is still dropping, adjusted for … Continue reading »

Attack of the dim bulbs

Dan Farber, professor of law | July 13, 2011

The country may be flirting with deadbeat status and risking another financial meltdown, but some people keep their eyes on the prize — they know what’s really important. The House of Representatives yesterday voted on the BULB Act, repealing the federal mandate to increase the energy efficiency of light bulbs. (The bill was considered so urgent … Continue reading »

The President’s jobs plan (not)

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | July 12, 2011

What did the President do in response to last week’s horrendous job report — unemployment rising to 9.2 percent in June, with only 18,000 new jobs (125,000 are needed each month just to keep up with the growth in the potential labor force)? He said the economy continues to be in a deep hole, and … Continue reading »

The need for a real jobs plan from the President

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 14, 2011

Today the President met with business leaders on his “jobs and competitiveness council,” who suggested more public-private partnerships to train workers, less government red-tape in obtaining permits, and more jobs in travel and tourism, among other things. The President then toured a manufacturing plant in North Carolina, and made an eloquent speech about the need … Continue reading »

A Supreme Ruling: more than 41,000 winners

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | June 7, 2011

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a California judge’s ruling last year on a California state policy that treats graduates of California high schools as residents for the purposes of tuition, regardless of their immigration status. The immediate beneficiaries of their order dismissing the appeal, according to the LA Times, … Continue reading »

Back toward double dip

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 3, 2011

The May jobs report is a disaster — the weakest reading since September. Non-farm payrolls grew only 54,000 last month, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private employment rose only 83,000 — the smallest growth since last June. Government payrolls dropped 29,000. The overall jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent. Together with … Continue reading »

Scientifically proven: You can’t buy happiness

Jennifer Stellar, former Ph.D. student in social psychology | May 31, 2011

Well-being has been one of the most important concerns for humans since we evolved big enough brains to contemplate more than mere survival. Researchers measure well-being as feeling satisfied with your life and experiencing more positive than negative affect, but colloquially, most of us just refer to it as happiness. We spend much of our time … Continue reading »