A grand bargain on federal fiscal policy is an idea that is dead on arrival, says TCF fellow Andrew Fieldhouse U.S. News. A better idea: states and the federal government should reverse roles in Medicaid and education. The bargain: the federal government will pick up some of the states' share of Medicaid costs and states will in turn invest more in higher education.
To efficiently rejigger their roles, states should agree to provide more money for higher education in exchange for the federal government taking on a greater share of Medicaid financing. Rising Medicaid expenditures are consuming an increasing share of states’ revenue, which in turn crowds out other priorities, such as investment in higher education. The Great Recession greatly aggravated this dynamic.
Read the full article.
TCF fellow Moshe Marvit talks to Politico's Morning Shift about a new website from a trade group for fast food franchises. The website aims at educating franchisees about labor law requirements. Says Marvit:
Corporations have to be careful in trying to control how the individual stores treat workers … or else it further bolsters the argument that they are joint employers with the franchisees.
The new website was announced as the national Labor Relations Board considers whether or not to consider McDonald’s as a “joint employer” with its franchisees for labor law purposes.
Contrary to assertions from libertarian economists, the Federal Reserve's expansionary money policy did not exacerbate income inequality, writes TCF fellow Mark Thoma at CBS Money Watch. Thoma examines a recent paper looking at the topic. The paper finds that:
in the U.S. between 1980 and 2008, contractionary monetary policy actions tended to raise economic inequality or, equivalently, expansionary monetary policy aimed at fighting recessions lowered economic inequality. Thus, the empirical evidence indicates monetary policy actions affect inequality opposite to the manner suggested by Ron Paul and the Austrian economists.
Read the full article at CBS Money Watch.
In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.
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