Jun 22, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on Labor markets: why “flexibility” is not all it’s cracked up to be

Labor markets: why “flexibility” is not all it’s cracked up to be

For years lamestream economics has touted “labor market flexibility” – a euphemism for making it easier for employers to dismiss workers – as the best recipe for job creation. Guess what? It turns out that countries whose policies make labor markets more supportive for workers – including better wages, better benefits and better job security – are doing better at job creation. The evidence prompts a New York Times reporter to ask:

What if the very thing that is often viewed as one of the United States’ sources of dynamism — flexible labor markets — is the driving force behind the economy’s greatest weakness: millions of people who are neither working nor looking for a job?

Read more here.

Jun 16, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on The Unequal States of America

The Unequal States of America

A new interactive website from the Economic Policy Institute compares the one percent and everyone else in the U.S. – by state and by county:

EPI

Check out the numbers for your state here.

May 10, 2016
boyce

Funny numbers: counting unemployment

In this “Economics for the Rest of Us” podcast, Diptherio breaks down the peculiar ways “unemployment” is measured by the U.S. government. Check it out here.

Diptherio visual

Apr 22, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on Economic orthodoxy: where vision goes to die

Economic orthodoxy: where vision goes to die

Econ4’s Gerald Friedman laments the blindness of orthodox economics:

When I conducted an assessment of Senator Bernie Sanders’ economic proposals and found that they could produce robust growth, the negative reaction among powerful liberal economists was swift and vehement. How much, I wondered, did this reflect personal disappointment being rationalized into a political economy of despair? Professional economists tend to embrace an economic theory that government can do little more than fuss around the edges. From that stance, what do they have to offer ordinary people for whom the economy is not working? Not a whole lot.

Read Friedman’s full piece here.

PS: The debate on the Sanders proposals between Friedman and his critics is recapped here and here.

Apr 9, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on Funny business

Funny business

Brought to you by Citizens for Tax Justice:

Read more here.

CTJ

 

 

Mar 21, 2016
boyce

Elite disconnect

A long history of elite disconnection from the economic realities faced by most Americans helped to set the stage for the nation’s current political turmoil:

For some time now most of the people in this country have been under economic pressure. Pay is not going up very much or at all, while living costs keep rising. One recent statistic stands out – 63 percent of Americans would have difficulty raising $500 to cover an emergency, like a sudden need for car repair so they can get to work. Around them the community’s roads and schools and services are in decline.

Most of the public can see this clearly, yet so many elites can’t see at all, and see it or not, they do little or nothing to make things better. This arrogance of our blind, well-fixed elites is helping drive the Donald Trump phenomenon.

Read more here.

Mar 10, 2016
boyce

Common wealth dividends

Peter Barnes explains how protecting the environment and sharing the fruits of our economy more broadly can – and should – go hand-in-hand:

The failure to charge for common wealth — for example, letting polluters dump freely into our atmosphere — leads to what economists call “nega­tive externalities.”  The costs of pollution aren’t paid by polluters; they are shifted to pollutees, nature and future generations.  And this mar­ket failure persists because no living individuals or companies would finan­cially bene­fit from fixing it.
But imagine a system in which everyone benefits from fixing this tragic flaw.  In this system, polluters would pay and all living citizens, as joint benefi­ci­aries and trus­tees of nature’s gifts, would get dividends.  The higher the price for using the commons, the larger the dividends and the lower the externalities.  The health of nature’s gifts would be directly linked to greater income for everyone.

Read more here.

Feb 12, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on “The Greatest Economics Lesson”

“The Greatest Economics Lesson”

Econ4 is pleased to announce the Grand Prize and Most Creative Prize winner in the Econ4 Video Remix Contest:

“The Greatest Economics Lesson” created by Taylor Erickson, a nonprofit intern in Cleveland, Ohio.

Feb 11, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on “Charlie Chaplin on Greed”

“Charlie Chaplin on Greed”

Announcing the prize winner for the Most Inspiring video in the Econ4 Video Remix Contest!

“Charlie Chaplin on Greed,” produced by Korbinian Blendl and Marco Bader from Germany.

Feb 10, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on “Greed: It’s What You Need!”

“Greed: It’s What You Need!”

We are pleased to present the prize winner for the Funniest Video in the Econ4 Video Remix Contest!

“Greed: It’s What You Need!” by Evan Moore, an independent filmmaker based in Seattle.

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