Black lives matter across any geographical border. My research and my own racial encounters confirm what I have known in my soul: our fates are inextricably linked. And they depend upon the recognition of Black humanity and dignity.
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.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has kick-started a much-needed debate about taxes. But the debate, so far, has been misplaced. It’s obvious that the affluent — who’ve seen their earnings boom since 1980 while their taxes fell — can contribute more to the public coffers. And given the revenue needs of the country, it is necessary.
But that’s not the fundamental reason higher top marginal income tax rates are desirable. Their root justification is not about collecting revenue. It is about regulating inequality and the market economy. It is also about safeguarding democracy against oligarchy.
I was part of the second class of undergraduate women at Williams College, which became co-educational in 1970 after nearly 200 years of being an all-male enclave – and for many of those years, all-white as well. I became accustomed to being one of the only women in a classroom. I didn’t have a single … Continue reading »
This is cross-posted from the Haas Institute Blog of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. This week people all across the world are pausing to acknowledge the incredible life and the tragic death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I always deliberately include the “Reverend” in his title as we … 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.
How can the Democratic Party best respond to Donald Trump’s election? The current debate rages around whether to unify around class or instead to build a coalition of identity groups, key among them racial minorities. We reject as fundamentally flawed the implicit assumption that class and race are incompatible bases for moving forward. Race is … Continue reading »
Our work together as cast, crew and designers — developing our upcoming Theater, Dance and Performance Studies production — has led us all to a deeper understanding of why The Cherry Orchard, written and set in Russia in 1904, has so often been called “timeless” and “universal.” One need only scratch the surface of the play … Continue reading »
On Friday, President Obama chose Nike headquarters in Oregon to deliver a defense of his proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. It was an odd choice of venue. Nike isn’t the solution to the problem of stagnant wages in America. Nike is the problem. It’s true that over the past two years Nike has added 2,000 good-paying professional jobs at … Continue reading »
Recent popular demonstrations such as the Occupy Wall Street movement have made it clear that the high levels of inequality in the United States remain a pressing concern for many. While protesters have primarily focused their ire on private financial institutions, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has also been one of their primary targets. The prevalence … 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 »
As part of his nationwide book tour, French economist Thomas Piketty stopped on campus and in San Francisco last week to speak to overflowing lecture halls. The lecture I attended in San Francisco quickly filled to capacity, and the enthusiasm in the audience was palpable. Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has catapulted … Continue reading »
By Annette Bernhardt and Ken Jacobs Judging by the past three months, 2014 is on track to become the year of local minimum wage laws. Campaigns are under way in Richmond, Berkeley and Oakland to join San Francisco and San Jose in setting a minimum wage higher than state law. These are echoed by similar … Continue reading »
Now that economic inequality has become a focus of attention – mentions of “income inequality” in the New York Times went up five-fold in the 2010s compared to the 2000s, 200-fold compared to the 1990s – we know a few things about it clearly. For example: American inequality is unusually great among western societies; it has been … Continue reading »
It was fifty years ago the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place. The demand for a higher minimum wage was part of a package of demands seeking economic justice for workers through government intervention in the labor market. At that time, the wage floor was $1.15 and marchers were demanding a raise … Continue reading »
The good news this Labor Day: Jobs are returning. The bad news this Labor Day: Most of them pay lousy wages and low if non-existent benefits. The trend toward lousy wages began before the Great Recession. According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, weak wage growth between 2000 and 2007, combined with … Continue reading »
One way to view Detroit’s bankruptcy — the largest bankruptcy of any American city — is as a failure of political negotiations over how financial sacrifices should be divided among the city’s creditors, city workers, and municipal retirees — requiring a court to decide instead. It could also be seen as the inevitable culmination of … Continue reading »
Suburban poverty is in the headlines again these weeks after the publication of Brookings researchers Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube’s new book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, which augments previous empirical work with fascinating case studies. But with the suburban poverty rates hovering around 11 percent, relative to 21 percent in cities, the question arises: … Continue reading »
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 »
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 »