Workers & Economic Inequality

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Uncovering the Labor Market Recovery

November 6, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: The Century Foundation TOPICS: Workers & Economic Inequality, Economic Policy

A new report from TCF policy associate Mike Cassidy argues that most labor market reporting relies on the wrong statistics.

Tags: unemployment rate, report, labor market, great recession, employment-population ratio

Discussion: Jeff Madrick, Ylan Mui, Josh Bivens, Brad DeLong

Miss the recent EPI event with TCF senior fellow Jeff Madrick, Brad DeLong, EPI's Josh Bivens, and moderator Ylan Mui? You can catch a transcript of the discussion over at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Tags: ylan mui, seven bad ideas, josh bivens, jeff madrick, epi, brad delong

An Interesting Thing About Rising Interest Rates

Contrary to what economic theory would predict, business investment in things like new plants and equipment often increases when interest rates go up. Says Thoma:

The answer lies in the "all else equal" assumption economists make when examining the relationship between two variables. If nothing else in the world changed when interest rates go up, investment would fall.

But -- as Fed policy shows -- interest rate increases often result from an improving economy, and the outlook for the future has a much larger impact on investment than interest rate changes. Thus, when the economic outlook improves, we see interest rates rising in general, but the improved outlook has a larger positive impact on business investment than any negative impact from higher rates.

Read the full article.

Tags: quantitative easing, monetary policy, interest rates, fiscal policy, federal reserve, economic policy

An American Horror Story: Seven Big Economic Lies

John Wasik reviews TCF senior fellow Jeff Madrick’s new book, Seven Bad Ideas for Forbes. Says Wasik:

When I read the book recently, I came to the conclusion that Madrick will not only make a ton of enemies among his fellow economists, he’s trashing the conventional wisdom of mainstream economics. It’s about time.

Read the full review at Forbes.

Tags: seven bad ideas, john wasik, invisible hand, forbes, economics, economic theory, economic policy

New Book Slams Economists, Their Theories and Their Forecasts

TCF senior fellow Jeff Madrick sat down with McClatchy’s Washington Bureau to discuss his new book, Seven Bad Ideas. Said Madrick:

This book is about how economics has been oversimplified and increasingly they take good ideas, the invisible hand, and oversimplify them, and make them rules of thumb.

Read the full interview.

Tags: seven bad ideas, invisible hand, fiscal policy, economics, economic policy

A Better Bargain for Higher Ed

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.

Tags: state fiscal policy, safety net, medicaid, higher education, fiscal policy, education funding


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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