Browsing articles tagged with " economics"
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.

Jun 17, 2013
econ4org
Comments Off on Unlocking our climate wealth

Unlocking our climate wealth

Econ4’s James Boyce on how to translate good principles into good practice:

Source: http://tedxtraversecity.com/videos/

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 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 24, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Austerity’s emperors have no clothes

Austerity’s emperors have no clothes

Stephen Colbert skewers the Harvard economists whose flawed research underpins austerity politics:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425748/april-23-2013/austerity-s-spreadsheet-error

Check out Colbert’s interview with UMass-Amherst economics graduate student Thomas Herndon, who showed that austerity’s emperors have no clothes:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425749/april-23-2013/austerity-s-spreadsheet-error—thomas-herndon

Read all about it here and 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 30, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Straight talk about the next American revolution

Straight talk about the next American revolution

Advance praise for What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, April 2013), by Econ4’s Gar Alperovitz:

“Gar Alperovitz’s new book is so plain-spoken and accessible that it takes a moment to appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishment. After examining new patterns of positive change emerging in America today—including many undernoticed changes that involve democratizing the ownership of wealth—he develops a brilliant strategy for the type of transformative change that can lead America from decline to rebirth. In giving a sense of strategic direction and honest possibility to the call for a new economy, Alperovitz has made an enormous contribution exactly where it is most needed.”
James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy

“In this important new book, Gar Alperovitz is telling us there’s something happening here in corporate-driven America, be it social enterprise, community land trusts, worker-owned businesses, or employee stock ownership plans. We all know that the free-market economic system no longer works for the vast majority of citizens and Alperovitz is showing us that there is a better, equally American way, to spread the wealth and put more people to work, while making the nation a safer and healthier place to live. This is not an utopian fantasy or a call for social engineering, but a plain-spoken and easy-to-absorb analysis by one of our leading economists of what’s gone wrong and how to make it better.”
Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker

 

Jan 7, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on The austerity fallacy

The austerity fallacy

Austerity policies are founded on a fallacy of composition: the mistaken notion that if something is true of the part (in this case, households), it must be true of the whole (in this case, the nation’s economy). Paul Krugman, writing in the Times, explains the difference:

An economy is not like a household. A family can decide to spend less and try to earn more. But in the economy as a whole, spending and earning go together: my spending is your income; your spending is my income. If everyone tries to slash spending at the same time, incomes will fall — and unemployment will soar….

The crisis in Greece [from 2010] was taken, wrongly, as a sign that all governments had better slash spending and deficits right away. Austerity became the order of the day, and supposed experts who should have known better cheered the process on, while the warnings of some (but not enough) economists that austerity would derail recovery were ignored. For example, the president of the European Central Bank confidently asserted that “the idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect.”

Well, someone was incorrect, all right.

Read his piece here.

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