Workers & Economic Inequality

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Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World

By Jeff Madrick

TOPICS: Workers & Economic Inequality, Economic Policy

The author of the widely praised Age of Greed now gives us a bold indictment of some of our most accepted economic theories—why they're wrong, the harm they've done, and the theories that would vastly improve on them.

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Jesus Was a Keynesian

August 14, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: Michael Cassidy TOPICS: Workers & Economic Inequality, Economic Policy

We can’t literally turn five loaves and two fishes into food for thousands. But thanks to fiscal multipliers, we can turn $100 of spending on food stamps into $180 in economic activity. TCF policy associate Mike Cassidy explains how.

Tags: stimulus act, loaves and fishes, keynesian economics, fiscal stimulus, fiscal multipliers, economic theory explainer

Why Do Macroeconomists Disagree?

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma writes about macroeconomics in article published in The Fiscal Times.

On August 9, 2007, the French Bank BNP Paribus halted redemptions to three investment funds active in US mortgage markets due to severe liquidity problems, an event that many mark as the beginning of the financial crisis. Now, just over seven years later, economists still can’t agree on what caused the crisis, why it was so severe, and why the recovery has been so slow. We can’t even agree on the extent to which modern macroeconomic models failed, or if they failed at all.

The lack of a consensus within the profession on the economics of the Great Recession, one of the most significant economic events in recent memory, provides a window into the state of macroeconomics as a science.

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Tags: recession, macroeconomics, interest rates, great recession, fiscal policy, financial crisis, economists

Weighing The Week Ahead: Will The Fed Experiment End Badly?

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma, has been quoted in a NASDAQ article about the importance of the credibility of the Federal Reserve.

Put together these ingredients: The biggest weekly market decline in two years, the winding down of earnings season, and a light week for economic data. The result? Financial TV producers will be seeking experts to explain whether we are starting a major correction. Analyzing the Fed will be a favorite theme.

Unless and until we get a bit of a rebound in stocks, I expect a focus on this question: Will it all end badly?

Read the full article.

Tags: interest rates, federal reserve

Behind the Fed’s promise about short-term rates

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma, writes about the latest statement from the Federal Reserve, in an article for CBS News.

Can promises about the future have an effect today? That's the theory behind the Federal Reserve's statement following Wednesday's monetary policy meeting.

The Fed said it "currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run."

How is this supposed to work? How can a promise about the future course of interest rates have a stimulative effect on the economy today?

Read the full article.

Tags: monetary policy, interest rates, federal reserve, economics, bonds

Why the Rich Should Call for Income Redistribution

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma writes about addressing inequality through income redistribution in an article for The Fiscal Times.

After the craze over Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty First Century, nobody should be surprised to learn that inequality has been increasing over the last several decades. The question is what to do about it.

One answer is to do nothing and hope the problem fixes itself, or to deny it is a problem at all. But that is a dangerous approach. There are no signs at all of internal mechanisms within capitalists systems that automatically move us toward an equitable income and wealth distribution, and if Piketty is correct we need to worry about the opposite – that increasing inequality is an inherent feature of capitalist systems.

Read the full article.

Tags: taxation, inequality, economics & inequality, capitalism


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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