Browsing articles tagged with " fiscal policy"
Jan 13, 2018
boyce
Comments Off on Why equity-minded foundations are losing the war

Why equity-minded foundations are losing the war

In a thought-provoking analysis of the failure of equity-oriented foundations to reverse widening inequality, David Callahan of Inside Philanthropy writes:

Over the past few years, many foundations have put equity front and center in their work….

But guess what? Here in early 2018, economic stratification only seems to be getting worse in America. A new tax law just went into effect that economists say will increase inequality and likely lead to cuts in government safety net programs down the line. And around the U.S., governors and state legislatures are engaged in their own efforts to shift wealth upwards and cut social programs. Meanwhile, even as unemployment drops to near-record lows, millions of working Americans still can’t make ends meet, while the top 1 percent—which owns half of all stocks and mutual funds—grow ever richer from a historic bull market. In many gentrifying cities, boom times have made it harder for low-income households to get by, not easier, by driving up housing prices. And the only thing rising faster than housing prices, it seems, are healthcare premiums and college tuition.

In short, those funders working for equity and against inequality are getting their butts kicked. Why is that?

… here, in a nutshell, is why grantmaker efforts tend to yield so little success: Because equity-minded foundations keep failing to zero in on the all-important sphere of political economy. Inequality mainly stems from how the U.S. economy works and, critically, the range of public policies and power arrangements that govern economic life. Yet, instead of focusing laser-like on this fundamental reality, funders embrace overly diffuse, often localized strategies that yield few larger systemic gains. They win battles here and there, while losing the war.

Read more here.

Dec 7, 2017
boyce
Comments Off on Connect these dots

Connect these dots

Act 1: Let’s cut taxes!

Act 2: Look at that terrible deficit!

Act 3: Let’s cut Medicare and Social Security!

Now playing at a circus near you:

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit. “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said…

Ryan’s remarks add to the growing signs that top Republicans aim to cut government spending next year. Republicans are close to passing a tax bill nonpartisan analysts say would increase the deficit by at least $1 trillion over a decade. Trump recently called on Congress to move to cut welfare spending after the tax bill, and Senate Republicans have cited the need to reduce the national deficit while growing the economy.

“You also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said last week.

Read more here.

Nov 16, 2017
boyce
Comments Off on California working

California working

A video from the Labor Center at UC-Berkeley reports on the employment and growth results of progressive state policies in California:

Source: http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/california-is-working/

Mar 28, 2017
boyce
Comments Off on Arms race – children’s version 1.0

Arms race – children’s version 1.0

More than three decades ago, the classic American television show “Mister Rogers” explained the “logic” of arms races – and their social cost – to children. The tapes, lost for years, just resurfaced:

Last week, someone mysteriously uploaded a series of lost episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood to YouTube. The episodes, called the “conflict series,” originally aired on PBS at the height of Cold War tensions in 1983 and sought to teach children about the dangers of stockpiling weapons.

Sound timely?

Read more here. (The “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” clip begins at the 15:25 mark in the YouTube video embedded in the story.)

Check it out, kids.

Dec 4, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on No comment

No comment

Here are the 50 states, ranked from “most shortchanged” to “least shortchanged” by the U.S. government. The ranking is based on an index combining: (i) votes in the Electoral College per state resident and (ii) benefits received per tax dollars paid to the federal government.

States ranked

Source: New York Times.

Oct 20, 2016
boyce
Comments Off on This is not a typo

This is not a typo

When I first saw this, I thought it must be a typo. Incredibly, it’s not.

[T]he Defense Department’s inspector general found more than $6.5 trillion “wrongful adjustments to accounting entries” in the Army’s general fund in 2015 alone. It’s a number that’s difficult to wrap your head around. First of all, it’s much larger than the entire annual federal budget. But that sum represents not only current spending, but a lot of money from previous years that can’t be accounted for either. The sheer scope of the malfeasance is so staggering that the question that comes to mind isn’t “Why?” but “How?”

Read more here. And here. And here.

You can download the Inspector General’s report that uncovered the mess here.

Jan 27, 2016
econ4org
Comments Off on Let them drink pollution?

Let them drink pollution?

The drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is a wake-up call, writes Econ4’s James Boyce:

The tragic crisis in Flint, Michigan, where residents have been poisoned by lead contamination, is not just about drinking water. And it’s not just about Flint. It’s about race and class, and the stark contradiction between the American dream of equal rights and opportunity for all and the American nightmare of metastasizing inequality of wealth and power.

Read his post for the Institute for New Economic Thinking here.

Sep 15, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on Standard & Poor’s hits impact of inequality on state tax revenues

Standard & Poor’s hits impact of inequality on state tax revenues

S&P makes another important connection:

Extending our analysis to public finance, we find that income inequality is undermining the rate of state tax revenue growth.

For the report, see here.

For press coverage, see here.

 

Apr 12, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on You know it’s getting bad when …

You know it’s getting bad when …

… inequality makes the IMF sing a new tune:

[T]he newfound attention to income inequality isn’t just another facet of a more liberal, Keynesian economic worldview. The fund’s economists have been producing research that suggests that inequality could make the world economy less stable.

Read more here.

Mar 22, 2014
boyce
Comments Off on National Priorities Project

National Priorities Project

Demystifying the federal budget:

Source: http://nationalpriorities.org/analysis/2014/presidents-2015-budget-in-pictures/.

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