Blog

Remembering the Purpose of Government

The meme of national elections for a generation at least—back to the mid-1970s—has been unchanged. That meme, as I think I justifiably call it, is that small government is ideal. Good economics and America’s history, however, do not support the proposition. In fact, the best economic research of the past fifteen years in particular refutes […]

It’s Demand, Stupid

A fine piece in today’s New York Times laments the end of easy money because low interest rates never led to adequate capital investment or public investment in infrastructure. The problem is that supply rarely drives investment: supply of savings and low interest rates. The missing ingredient is demand. Had we not been dominated by austerity […]

Young, Educated, and Employed: Revitalizing Youth Apprenticeships in America

  On November 19, 2015 the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative hosted the Young, Educated, and Employed: Revitalizing Youth Apprenticeships in America conference in Washington, DC.

Blue to red states? Try stagnating wages as a source of resentment

A reporter named Alec MacGillis did a fine piece in this Sunday’s New York Times on what has become a perennial question for the last generation of analysts: why have formerly blue states turned red? Why are so many Americans voting Republican when our nation’s safety net has been so important for them? MacGillis interrogates several […]

NO MINIMUM WAGE, SAY THE REPUBLICANS UNANIMOUSLY

No minimum wage increase, say the Republicans The Republican debate last night had no surprises. Almost all the candidates again adopt supply side economic theory, otherwise known as Reaganomics, long discredited. Under Reagan, wages stopped growing, inequality started to rise sharply, and the federal deficit as a proportion of GDP did not fall below 3 […]

Reagan Created No Miracles

  Reagan Created No Miracles The  whining by the Republican candidates regarding the last debate on the generally conservative CNBC has a lot to do with the fact that the moderators didn’t accept the basic assumption on taxes the candidates make.   Tax cuts will lead to rapid growth, enough to compensate for the lost revenues, […]

Did Chris Christie do that well? Marco Rubio? Almost any of last night presidential debate participants? Only if you score according to performance, not content. It’s pretty easy to give a good performance if you dissimulate. Christie and Rubio did just that, as did others. The moderators and journalists who covered the presidential debate live […]

Where was the economics discussion last night?

Call me an economics writer. But did anyone hear any discussion of economic policy in last night’s Democratic debate? I didn’t. How do we create jobs unless we have a policy that heats up this economy? And the principal way to do that is through fiscal policy. Monetary policy has basically run out of gas […]

The next president’s foremost task: raising wages

Raising Wages is the Next President’s Key Task   A new paper by the estimable economists at the Economic Policy Institute help all of us understand the sources of income inequality in America today.   Too often inequality is used to describe the poor growth in the standard of living in the U.S. But in fact, […]

Regulation, Regulation

I am truly “shocked, shocked” by the Volkswagen deceit.  Similar actions by the financial community were almost to be expected.  Certainly I expected them and if there was a surprise, it was that the financial practices were uncovered.  Financial markets are easy to manipulate. But VW’s deceit was a knockout roundhouse punch to the jaw. […]