Browsing articles in "Articles"
Jul 11, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Killer economics

Killer economics

“Econ 101 is killing America,” write Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind:

Even though most economists know better, they present to the public, the media and politicians a simplified, vulgar version of neoclassical economics — what can be called Econ 101 — that leads policymakers astray. Economists fear that if they really expose policymakers to all the contradictions, uncertainties and complications of “Advanced Econ,” the latter will go off track — embracing protectionism, heavy-handed “industrial policy” or even socialism.

Read their take on the myths of Econ 101 here.

Jul 7, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Tax students, or polluters?

Tax students, or polluters?

From Robert Reich’s blog:

A basic economic principle is government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.

For example, if we want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should tax carbon polluters. On the other hand, if we want more students from lower-income families to be able to afford college, we shouldn’t put a tax on student loans.

Read his post here.

Jul 2, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Blame the unemployed?

Blame the unemployed?

Think about it: if labor supply exceeds labor demand – in other words, there are people who want to work but can’t find jobs – is the solution to expand labor supply? How could that help if there’s already excess labor supply?? Yet some politicians think that people aren’t working because unemployment benefits are too generous. Their solution: cut benefits, then the lazy bums will get out of their hammocks and look for work. And then we’ll get …  hmm … more people looking for work and not finding it.

Paul Krugman breaks it down in his New York Times column:

The war on the unemployed isn’t motivated solely by cruelty; rather, it’s a case of meanspiritedness converging with bad economic analysis.

 

Read his piece here.

Jun 29, 2013
econ4org
Comments Off on Grow the good, shrink the bad

Grow the good, shrink the bad

Econ4’s James Boyce writes that we need better measures of economic well-being, better public policies, and better language:

We need to move beyond the stale “pro-growth” versus “anti-growth” rhetoric of the past. It’s time to raise a new banner: Grow the good and shrink the bad.

 

Read more here.

May 31, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Just do the math

Just do the math

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes:

The means of most Americans haven’t kept up with what the economy could and should provide. The economy is twice as large as it was three decades ago, and yet the typical American is earning about the same, adjusted for inflation.

Read more here.

May 30, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Chomsky on student debt

Chomsky on student debt

From a wide-ranging interview with Noam Chomsky:

[O]ne of the main problems for students today — a huge problem — is sky-rocketing tuitions.  Why do we have tuitions that are completely out-of-line with other countries, even with our own history?  In the 1950s the United States was a much poorer country than it is today, and yet higher education was … pretty much free, or low fees or no fees for huge numbers of people.  There hasn’t been an economic change that’s made it necessary, now, to have very high tuitions, far more than when we were a poor country.

Read Chomsky’s breakdown of the rich-country-indebted-student paradox here.

May 24, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Student debt hits the fan

Student debt hits the fan

Jason Sattler writes that Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking a good question:

Why does the government give the big banks a better deal than it gives students?

It’s question so perfect that people can’t stop talking about it.

The first standalone bill from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) would not only prevent student loan rates from doubling, it would cut them down to the same rate the Fed charges banks to borrow money overnight for the next 12 months. And the idea has taken off like wildfire, with more than 400,000 people signing on to support the legislation.

Read more here.

May 21, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on The ghost in the economy’s attic

The ghost in the economy’s attic

Econ4’s Gerald Friedman writes:

Even while scholarship has exposed the fallacy of austerity economics and this news has reached wide audiences through Twitter and the Colbert Report, the United States government is embracing austerity’s policy prescriptions… The ghost of bad austerity economics continues to haunt, and even to drive, the living.

Read his piece here.

Apr 22, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Austerity fiasco

Austerity fiasco

The revelation by UMass-Amherst researchers that a key Harvard study used to support austerity economics was based on sloppy (mis)use of data has created a sensation in the media and the economics profession. Paul Krugman explains the selling power of junk economics:

The intellectual edifice of austerity economics rests largely on two academic papers that were seized on by policy makers, without ever having been properly vetted, because they said what the Very Serious People wanted to hear.

Read Krugman’s piece here.

Read a brief summary by UMass economists here.

See links to media coverage here.

Mar 28, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Redefining the problem: the corporate predator state

Redefining the problem: the corporate predator state

Katrina van den Heuvel writes in The Washington Post:

True conservatives are — or should be — offended by corporate welfare as well. Conservative economists Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales argue that it is time to “save capitalism from the capitalists,” urging conservatives to support strong measures to break up monopolies, cartels and the predatory use of political power to distort competition.

Here is where left and right meet, not in a bipartisan big-money fix, but in an odd bedfellows campaign to clean out Washington.

Read her piece here.