August 17, 2015

Bernie has unapologetically rejected sclerotic visions of what is ‘politically possible’.  And now he should add the Job Guarantee (JG) to his list of issues. Indeed, he already has the key ingredients—a bold proposal to eliminate unemployment by creating 13 million decent-paying jobs, a living wage, and a federally-funded youth job guarantee...

The Job Guarantee’s time has come.

  • It secures a basic human right

  • It tackles at least three key sources of “economic violence and injustice”—unemployment, precarious work, and poverty wages

  • It is good for families, the economy, the environment, and our communities

Here’s what you need to know about the JG.

June 25, 2015

...What seems to elude the creditors is a simple and irrefutable accounting fact. For any given economy, one sector’s surplus is equal to another sector’s deficit. And in the case of Greece, if the government budget deficit continues to fall drastically or even move into surplus, that should mean that the non-public sector surplus (the net savings of Greek households and firms) will also fall rapidly.  Simply put, the cruel irony of the IMF recommendations is that, the private sector will not be able to rebuild its nest egg. Or, worse, it must accumulate more debt...

April 13, 2015

Do the majority of Americans share in the benefits of economic recoveries? Does a rising tide, as we are often told, lift all boats? It turns out that since World War II, every expansion has delivered a smaller and smaller share of the gains in income growth to the bottom 90% of families. Even worse, in the latest expansion, while the economy has grown and average real income has recovered from its 2008 lows, all of the benefits have gone to the wealthiest 10% of families, while the income of the bottom 90% has fallen (Figure 1). We have thus reached a situation where a rising tide sinks most boats.

February 18, 2015

Most analysis of the Greek debt crisis ignores an important reality: While Greece may be the villain du jour, every eurozone nation is profoundly short of cash. That’s because of a well-acknowledged, but not fully appreciated, flaw at the heart of eurozone financial architecture that converted a historically unprecedented number of nations from issuers of their own currency to users of a common currency. 

Greece is simply the first country to experience the extreme consequences of that loss of monetary sovereignty.

February 19, 2015

The NYT article concludes that, thankfully, because of government tax and transfer policies, inequality has not been “that bad”... But there is a clear shift in trend after the 80s. During 3 out of the last 4 complete business cycles, the wealthy 10% have gotten a proportionately greater share of the growth. And in the last full business cycle (2000-2007), they got all of the growth, while incomes of the bottom 90% fell. ...We live in a casino economy driven by serial asset bubbles, where the incomes of the wealthy (and not just their capital gains) are increasingly tied to stock market performance. So when the biggest bubble in human history popped, the wealthy families lost a ton of income. At the same time middle class households fell into poverty, lost their decent jobs and pay, and got unemployment insurance or food stamps from the government. Can one really conclude from this that inequality is not “that bad”?

January 26, 2014

There is such a thing called ‘participation income’ and ‘civic minimum’ in serious scholarly work (Atkison 1995 and White 2003, respectively)—an idea that society is built on the principle of reciprocation.  Society provides you with a basic income; you reciprocate by participating in socially-productive activities. This is exactly what the JG does. No matter what Yglesias says, it is not based on the coercion principle of workfare, but rather on the principle of participation.

August 13, 2013

By the time the New Deal rolled around, the Supreme Court had changed its mind. It had begun to work with a much broader definition of “the public interest” and supported various state legislations to protect the “welfare of its citizens.” It was understood that the wellbeing of workers served an important public purpose. ...A federally mandated minimum wage was not enough to secure fairness, economic opportunity, stability, and social cohesion. The missing piece was a policy for full employment – one that guaranteed jobs for all who wished to work.

September 20, 2012

In fact, almost all Americans--regardless of income--pay payroll taxes until they retire. The rich pay very little in payroll taxes even as they take almost half of total income, while the bottom 90 percent pay 90% of the total payroll tax bill (Table 2). That is, the top 10% of earners--Romney's constituency--pays just 10% of payroll taxes in spite of their sky's-the-limit earnings. The rest of us, the bottom 90%, pay 90% of those taxes. And for most of us, the payroll tax is much more burdensome than the federal income tax. It is no surprise then that Republicans loathe payroll tax relief.

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