Yesterday and today, the world watches, slacked jawed at the endgame of the Greek government’s debt negotiations. The stakes are higher than many Americans understand. So far, the U.S. financial press has viewed this as isolated to the Eurozone. That is in large part because, having endured the Great Recession, there is a view that things are only bad if they threaten the “too big to fail” American banks that can create systemic risks for the U.S. financial sector. But, that view of the world that only bank stability matters is what is so incredulous.
Some observers have declared that the United States has reached a full recovery after the Great Recession because per capita GDP growth has rebounded to pre-recession levels. But in a thorough essay at the Economic Policy Institute, Josh Bivens argues that the logic is highly flawed and that we're far from a full recovery. He also provides several policy suggestions that would get us much closer to that elusive full recovery and on the path to raising wages.
In a new book, Restoring Shared Prosperity: A Policy Agenda from Leading Keynesian Economists, edited by Thomas I. Palley and Gustav A. Horn, some of the leading economists in the United States take a close look at the recent financial crisis in the United States and abroad and describe how to speed up and expand the recovery to benefit the entire country. Featuring an introduction from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and essays by a host of the brightest minds that think about the economy, including a chapter by AFL-CIO policy director Damon Silvers, the book is a comprehensive look at the facts and myths about America's economy and how to fix it.
New research produced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirms that “fiscal consolidation” (i.e., deficit reduction) policies of the sort currently applied by several European governments at the behest of the IMF and EU increase inequality and unemployment.
IMF researchers also have determined that capital account liberalization, which the IMF pressed its member countries to carry out until it changed its policy last year, has been associated with increased inequality.
In its new briefing paper, A Cautionary Tale: The True Cost of Austerity and Inequality in Europe, Oxfam compares Europe’s current austerity measures to the failed “structural adjustment” programs imposed on developing countries by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in the 1980s and 1990s. The conclusion? “Europe is facing a lost decade. An additional 15 [million] to 25 million people across Europe could face the prospect of living in poverty by 2025 if austerity measures continue,” says the report.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said on Sunday that Republicans would be open to restoring some of the funding lost in the job-killing sequester if new cuts to social safety net programs were put in place. In effect, Cantor is suggesting replacing one policy that hurts the economy and suppresses job growth with another policy that does the exact same thing.
While many Republicans and conservatives have minimized the impact of the sequester and its effects on America's working families, nearly 40% of people say it has hurt them personally. Here are 25 ways the sequester is affecting people's lives, not just right now, but more and more over time.
A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), called Corporate Pirates of the Caribbean, details how the CEOs who make up the group Fix the Debt, a group pushing for harsh austerity measures, are set to make even higher profits off of the policies they are pursuing in the name of "balancing the budget." Fix the Debt's members are pushing for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and earned social insurance benefits, while seeking to widen tax haven loopholes by creating a "territorial" tax system, which would earn them as much as $173 billion.