Workers & Economic Inequality

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The Price of Happiness

April 27, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Mike Cassidy TOPICS: Workers & Economic Inequality, Economic Policy

The CEO of a business has recently decided to raise all of his employees' salaries to a minimum of $70,000 per year. What he doesn't know, is that money isn't the only thing that buys happiness in today's world.

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How The Poor Want To Spend Cash

The U.S. is very skeptical when it comes to providing universal cash benefits to families with children, even though evidence from other countries has shown that these benefits are rarely abused by their recipients.

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2 groups have the most trouble with student debt

While the majority of college students struggle with paying off student loans at some point or another, research has found that there are two specific groups that particularly struggle more than others. Those groups are: older students and those from low-income areas. TCF fellow Mark Thoma explains the New York Fed's findings.

When the economy is doing poorly and jobs hard to come by, it's in our collective interest for the young to go to college instead of hopelessly searching for a position, and for older workers who have lost jobs to return to school and upgrade their skills. But people in these groups, especially those from low-income areas, aren't getting the support they need -- and they're drowning in a sea of debt.

Read Thoma's full article here.

Tags: student debt, low-income students, graduation rates, college tuition

Here’s an Economic Agenda for Hillary Clinton

As an economist, TCF fellow Mark Thoma has some ideas on what types of policies Democratic presidential candidate should pursue in her upcoming campaign. He weighs in on everything from climate change to education policy.

Changes in financial regulation implemented after the financial crisis do not go far enough. For example, we need higher capital requirements, better disclosure and transparency, better protection for consumers of financial products, better regulation of the shadow banking sector, the repo market in particular. That’s unlikely to happen, but if nothing else the next president must fight to preserve the regulation that is presently in place.

Thoma's full article can be read here.

Tags: presidential election, hillary clinton, economic policy, democratic party

Critics Praise Kleinbard's We Are Better Than This

TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard's latest book, We Are Better Than This, calls for an even more aggressive tax policy on our already highly progressive system.

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Why Hasn’t the Economy Fully Recovered? Debt, Debt, Debt

Statistically speaking, the U.S. economy is due for its next recession (with the model that a recession occurs every 6 years). While the economy is in fact looking healthy now, the government has perhaps not taken the smartest steps to prevent this approaching recession. TCF's Dan Alpert suggests that in addition to “an oversupply of labor, productive capacity, and capital,” the U.S. largely ignored working-class and middle-class workers regain financial stability.

Sixty percent of Americans saw their real incomes fall, but they didn’t complain because the “shower” of easy money “allowed them to make up for lost income and maintain living standards — at least for a while.”

Read the full article.

Tags: unemployment, tax policy, recession, national debt, middle-class

 

Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

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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