Workers & Economic Inequality

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Where Fed’s critics got it wrong in GOP debate

TCF fellow Mark Thoma calls out the wrongs of Republican candidates who continuously blame the Fed for many of the country's latest economic problems. He says that the Fed did what it could to boost numbers after the Great Recession, even if that meant keeping interest rates low and maintaining its independence.

The Fed is right to be patient, and it will raise rates when the economy is ready, not when it makes politicians of either party happy.

Read Thoma's article from CBS Moneywatch.

Tags: interest rates, great recession, gop, federal reserve board, economy policy

Tech Companies Are Leading the Way on Paid Family Leave, and the Rest of the Country Should Catch Up

By Julie Kashen

TOPICS: Workers & Economic Inequality

TCF fellow Julie Kashen explains how tech companies like Netflix, Google, and Facebook are setting new standards for family-forward leave policies.

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Topeka lawyer Harry Colmery built today’s United States with his G.I. Bill

Despite having such a widespread impact on the lives of veterans, the GI Bill remains a mystery to many. Also known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the GI Bill was penned by a Topeka Lawyer by the name of Harry W. Colmery, who forever changed history. TCF's Suzanne Mettler cites the importance of educational benefits to veterans in her book, "Soldiers to Citizens," which is mentioned in the article in tribue to Colmery.

Colmery’s work with the American Legion gave him firsthand knowledge of how poorly many veterans had fared after World War I. Maimed from war, many had little help in returning to civilian life. The Great Depression only added to their struggles.
In 1932, 20,000 unemployed veterans had marched to Washington, seeking promised compensation for their service that had never materialized. President Herbert Hoover called out federal troops, led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and ran them off.

Read the original article from

Learn more about Suzanne Mettler's book Soldiers to Citizens.

Tags: military, legislation, gi bill, education benefits

Why income inequality grows as people age

Does income inequality grow as people age? TCF's Mark Thoma examines the changes an individual's salary goes through over a lifetime and looks at the factors that influence the widening gap. He says:

Here's where understanding which of these two potential causes -- ability or luck -- matters in determining the types of policy that will be most effective in reducing the growth in inequality as people age. If divergent income growth paths are mainly due to permanent traits such as the level of education and training, then policy should focus on improving programs that offer these skills, particularly for those at the lower end of the wage and salary distribution.

Check out Thoma's full article from CBS Moneywatch.

Tags: skills gap, income inequality, aging

Here’s the best part of the jobs report

TCF fellow Daniel Alpert says that despite the typical lackluster improvement of jobs and wages since the Recession, the latest jobs report brought some good news for workers. The typical trend—that what little improvements do happen go to the highest paid supervisory workers—has been reversed and nonsupervisory workers are now enjoying benefits. 

It suggests that we are, at long last, seeing a redistribution of GDP growth to the ordinary worker, not just his boss. And it suggests that, on a relative basis, we have seen some limit to the wages and salaries that can be commanded by managers. Putting spendable (or save-able) cash in the hands of the vast majority of workers is a very good thing for those workers, it is a good thing for consumption data, it is a good thing for reducing income and wealth polarization, and it is a good thing for America.

Read Alpert's full article on wages from CNBC.

Tags: jobs report, great recession, gdp

AM950’s Podcasts: The Daily Report Hour 2 — November 3, 2015

TCF President Mark Zuckerman joined AM950 today to discuss the ways that technology can be used to help modern workers organize in the workplace. Listen to the full podcast below:


Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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