TCF policy associate Mike Cassidy puts the rising inflation rate into perspective by comparing the salaries of professional sports players over a period of time. He explains how the startlingly high contract amounts of football players are deceptive and not as outrageous when broken down and inflation becomes a factor.
The key to Stanton’s contract is timing. As economics teaches us, when you get paid influences what that compensation is worth to you. A dollar today is more valuable than a dollar tomorrow. That would be the case even without inflation because people are impatient. But when the price level is rising over time, the ticking clock becomes even more of a factor: The purchasing power of that same dollar diminishes.
Check out Mike's whole piece here.
TCF fellow Harold Pollack conducts an interview with a woman whose sister-in-law suffered a severely traumatic accident leaving her mostly paralyzed. Pollack asks about her sister-in-law's difficulties dealing with the accident, treatment, and long-term care without having health insurance to support her necessary medical costs.
"They knew that my brother would continue to lack coverage, under any circumstance really. She knew that after the AIM ran out, she could enroll in [her nursing school’s student health plan]. She had already filled out the paperwork when the accident happened. She and the baby would both have insurance."
Read the full interview from the New York Times.
TCF fellow Jeff Madrick speaks with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman about the themes in his recently released book Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World. Madrick questions the accuracy and legitimacy of the conventional economic wisdom that we use to explain past, present and future economic outcomes in the U.S. and abroad.
Watch the full interview video here.
TCF fellow Mark Thoma writes about the differentiation of the short-term unemployed and the long-term unemployed that make up the labor market. He spells out the differences between the two factions, which turn out to be nearly identicaly in terms of age, gender, race, education level, and even industry.
On the basis of these observable characteristics, we find that long-term unemployed workers are not less attached to the labor market than short-term unemployed workers. If anything, the long-term unemployed group has the largest share of prime-age workers, the age group likely to have the strongest labor force attachment. We also see that long-term unemployment is an economy-wide phenomenon, spread across industries and occupations. While there may be unobservable characteristics of long-term unemployed workers that make them less attached to the labor force, when looking at their observable characteristics, it's hard to argue that they should not be considered as part of labor market slack.
Read Thoma's full article.
TCF senior fellow Patrick Radden Keefe's long-form piece about the hunt and capture of infamous Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera which was published in the New Yorker is gaining recognition from outside the journalism field. Universal Pictures director Peter Berg recently picked up the rights to Keefe's article with the intention to turn the piece into a film. Berg will partner with screenwriter Craig Borten who is on board to write the adaptation.
Guzman was the head of the Sinaloa cartel and in the early 21st century became Mexico's top cartel kingpin. The U.S. Treasury Department called him "the world's most powerful drug trafficker," Forbes placed him on its list of most powerful people for three years and he was also listed as the 10th richest man in Mexico in 2011.
Check out further details on the project here.
TCF senior fellow and education expert Rick Kahlenberg features an article in the Wall Street Journal that provides deeper analysis to the recent lawsuits brought against Harvard and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Students for Fair Admissions. He agrees that racial preference is an issue in higher education, but says that it goes beyond that to include class preference as well. His article outlines several additional strategies colleges might use for tackling these inequality issues.
Such efforts have proven effective in promoting diversity elsewhere. In a 2012 study of 10 leading universities that were banned in most cases by statewide voter referendum from employing racial preferences, for example, my colleague Halley Potter and I reported that seven of the 10 were able to meet or exceed previous levels of both African-American and Latino representation using new strategies.
The full article from the Wall Street Journal can be found here.
TCF fellow Harold Pollack comments on the recent remarks by Jonathan Gruber that were exposed to the public regarding the politics of Obamacare. He includes Ezra Klein's take on the matter as well:
"Gruber tried to make it a better bill than it is. He tried to make what was in it clearer and more known than it was. And then — and this is where all the tapes come from — he traveled the country trying to explain it to people. And Gruber, as is perfectly clear now, was not an experienced political operator who knew how to talk carefully in front of a camera. The lesson other academics will take from his humiliation is that they best stay out of big policy debates, and they had really better make sure they never say anything interesting on tape."
Read the full article from Washington Monthly here.
Mark Thoma, TCF fellow and economics expert, takes a closer look at the timeline of recovery needed after a period of economic instability such as the Great Recession. Thoma says it is normal for post-Recession growth estimates to be more aligned with actual GDP numbers than with their previous growth rates. He gives further predictions for what these fluctuations may mean for other aspects of the economy such as the employment rate.
The conclusion is that demand shocks may have a permanent impact on a country's GDP. In short, the shocks are not fully reversed over time as economists have long believed. What does that mean in practice? In the job market, it could mean that the long-term unemployed never find work.
Read the full article from CBS News.
TCF's fellow Halley Potter expresses her support for giving teachers heavy influence in school and network decisions and says that Green Dot Public Schools have done a good job executing this. Potter and TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg's recently published book A Smarter Charter highlights Green Dot as an example of a successful charter school.
As Potter and Kahlenberg point out, AMU and Green Dot have developed innovative ways to maintain clear avenues for individual teachers to participate in organizational decision-making while introducing the efficiencies necessary to run multiple campuses.
Read the full blog post .
TCF fellow Amy Dean lays out the ways in which union leaders and members should be leveraging their grass-roots organizational power to bridge racial divides in working-class America. She says the ethnic and racial diversity among labor union members was able to be transfered from equality in the workplace to civil rights in society during the three days of protest in Ferguson, MO.
Acknowledging the powerful tension that Ferguson evokes, Trumka said the United States must address its legacy of violent policing of African-Americans, poverty and racialized economic injustice. Trumka says the fight for safety and just treatment for people of color, who constitute a large proportion of AFL-CIO members, should be a priority on unions’ list of policy demands.
Check out the rest of the article featured on AlJazeera America here.
This summit will reinforce the importance of racial and socioeconomic diversity in higher education, and identify new paths to achieving these goals relative to legal constraints recently determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.