Workers & Economic Inequality

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Critics Praise Kleinbard's We Are Better Than This

TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard's latest book, We Are Better Than This, calls for an even more aggressive tax policy on our already highly progressive system.


Highlights from Building the Bridge: Solutions to the Infrastructure Crisis

TCF policy associate Jacob Anbinder discusses memorable moments from our latest conference on infrastructure, hosted by the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative.

Tags: white house, rediscovering government, jeff madrick, infrastructure

Why Hasn’t the Economy Fully Recovered? Debt, Debt, Debt

Statistically speaking, the U.S. economy is due for its next recession (with the model that a recession occurs every 6 years). While the economy is in fact looking healthy now, the government has perhaps not taken the smartest steps to prevent this approaching recession. TCF's Dan Alpert suggests that in addition to “an oversupply of labor, productive capacity, and capital,” the U.S. largely ignored working-class and middle-class workers regain financial stability.

Sixty percent of Americans saw their real incomes fall, but they didn’t complain because the “shower” of easy money “allowed them to make up for lost income and maintain living standards — at least for a while.”

Read the full article.

Tags: unemployment, tax policy, recession, national debt, middle-class

Festival of Books: Matt Taibbi, Steve Lopez on Socio-Economic Clout

The problem of stark inequality is still a big issue in the U.S. TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard offered his take on why this inequality persists as it has, and describes it in his book, We Are Better Than This. His suggestion for improving the inequality issue? A better tax system that reflects investments in our future.

USC law professor Edward D. Kleinbard, meanwhile, described the mountains of “depressing data” he used to write "We Are Better Than That" (Oxford), a book that seeks to reframe the conversation about taxing into one about spending, about how we need a smarter government to restore our social safety net, and how all of this serves to end what he calls a “shameful inequality.”

Read the Kleinbard's commentary in the LA Times.

Tags: we are better than this, tax rates, tax policy, inequality gap

StudentsFirst Sues Teachers Unions Over Dues

In California, a court case addressing whether or not teacher union members should be able to opt out of paying dues destined for political purposes has been filed by Sacramento-based StudentsFirst, a national school-privitization organization. In an article discussing the legal battle, TCF fellow Moshe Marvit comments on similar cases involving dues disputes, discussing in particular Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that is now on appeal to the Supreme Court.

“Friedrichs is sort of attacking [Abood] head-on,” labor attorney and Century Foundation fellow Moshe Marvit told Capital & Main, “saying that it should be overturned, that the whole agency fee or fair share provision model that Abood sort of formalized in the public sector should be deemed unconstitutional. Bain is not attacking Abood in the same way. It’s saying that a fair share balance should be struck, not necessarily in favor of a right to work, but more in favor of the idea that nonmembers should get all the benefits of membership.”

Read more at Capital & Main.

Tags: unions, supreme court, labor unions

Wolf Camp Disputes Assertion of Home-Care ‘Union Ballot’

In Pennsylvania, Republicans are accusing a ballot that is being circulated to the state's independent home-care workers of being a union ballot, calling the move an "ambush." Labor experts like TCF fellow Moshe Marvit, however, have noted that the ballot is about representation of these workers and not unionization, which is a key distinction to make as the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act effectively prohibits home-care “domestic” workers from organizing.

“It’s actually a pretty important distinction,” said Moshe Z. Marvit, a labor law expert and a fellow with The Century Foundation, a liberal New York City policy group. “And it is a distinction that has been very well developed under the law in America.”

Read more on this story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Tags: unions, legislation, labor union, labor organizing, home health


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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