The Breakthrough Year?

In the State of the Union, President Obama proclaimed the good economic news. He declared 2014 a “breakthrough year for America,” noting “our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.” He also made the case for “middle-class economics,” promising a budget that would focus on “lowering the taxes of working families … Continue reading The Breakthrough Year?

The New Normal Can’t Last

Last week we received the “good news” about the economy. Unsurprisingly, I was a bit skeptical (here). While jobs are being created—321,000 in November alone—long-term unemployment and workplace participation rates remain abysmal. For those who would like to celebrate the recovery, I recommend Binyamin Appelbaum piece on “The Vanishing Male Worker” (NYT). As Appelbaum notes: … Continue reading The New Normal Can’t Last

The Economy: On the One Hand…

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its Employment Situation Summary for May and the economy added 217 thousand jobs in May. As the Washington Post reports: The strong report, which was released Friday, marks the fourth consecutive month that the country has added more than 200,000 jobs -- a key benchmark for a healthy … Continue reading The Economy: On the One Hand…

The Economy: Good News, Bad News?

This has been a mixed week for economic news. On the positive front, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 288,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate to 6.3 percent, the lowest since 2008 (see New York Times coverage here). While this would appear to provide evidence that things are, in fact, improving, … Continue reading The Economy: Good News, Bad News?

Rhetoric and Public Opinion on the Economy

I always find polls to be interesting. In my mind, one of the more fascinating things is when there is a large disjunction between individuals’ assessment of X (e.g., the environment, crime, education, the economy) as they experience it and their assessment of X as the nation experiences it. I often attribute the differences to … Continue reading Rhetoric and Public Opinion on the Economy

Left Turn (Reducing Inequality, continued)

It appears that President Obama’s address on inequality was the beginning of a larger move to the left and an embrace of economic populism. As Edward-Issac Dovere  (Politico) explains: [Obama is] connecting to progressive populism with an aggressive, spending-oriented, activist government approach to the economy personified by Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio. Obama’s already … Continue reading Left Turn (Reducing Inequality, continued)

Reducing Inequality: America’s Number One Priority?

Last week, President Obama gave a speech on economic mobility and argued that addressing economic inequality was “the defining challenge of our time.” He stated: But we know that people’s frustrations run deeper than these most recent political battles.  Their frustration is rooted in their own daily battles -- to make ends meet, to pay … Continue reading Reducing Inequality: America’s Number One Priority?