Workers & Economic Inequality

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How to Fix New Orleans Transit

A decade after Katrina, TCF policy associate Jacob Anbinder discusses the current state of public transit in New Orleans and the need for its revitalization.

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Tags: transit, streetcars, new orleans, hurricane katrina

Labor Board Lets Workers Confront the Big Boys

The National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) ruling in a recent case could have major implications on the relationship between general contractors and franchisors in the coming future. In the Browning-Ferris case, the NLRB found that both contractors and franchisors hold dual responsibilities as "joint-employers," with both thus accountable for the working conditions of their employees. TCF fellow Moshe Marvit spoke to Al Jazeera America on the ruling:

“The Board has been out of whack with federal and state laws with respect to employment,” said attorney Moshe Marvit, fellow at the liberal think tank the Century Foundation. “The decision is influenced by other agency decisions, and OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), for example, will follow the Board's lead.”

Learn more about the Browning-Ferris case at Al Jazeera America.

Tags: unions, nlrb, national labor relations board, mcdonalds, franchisees, al jazeera america

The NLRB and Rulemaking

Unlike regular courts, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is not required to follow precendent, and that can lead to some highly erratic and unpredictable decisions.

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Tags: unions, supreme court, nlrb, labor unions, labor rights

As stocks lurch, Fed ponders twist of the dial

CBS's MoneyWatch is closely monitoring the interest rates set by the Fed and is eager to see what will happen at the September meeting of the Federal Reserve. TCF fellow Mark Thoma explains that if the rates are increased too soon, job market might remain below the full employment level for much longer than if rates remained low, but if raised too late, there is the fear of inflation.

"Yet with interest rates already as low as they can go, this mechanism is broken, and the consequence is a level of aggregate demand that is insufficient to support full employment. In such a situation, the last thing you want to do is raise interest rates and make the situation worse," says Thoma.

Read the rest of Thoma's interest rate predictions from CBS Moneywatch.

Tags: stocks, interest rates, inflation, federal reserve

The Politics of Income Inequality

The longtime quest to reduce income inequality is still a mystery to many politicians. The Republican ideal that hints at “you’re on your own no matter what bad luck comes your way” remains popular among the wealthy elite that don' believe they should share their income with their lower income counterparts. Despite what some believe to be the best designed fiscal policy, TCF fellow Mark Thoma says that the root of today's economic issues lies in inequality and lack of income redistribution. 

Economists must come up with a solution to the inequality problem. That doesn’t mean taking a position on whether a particular redistribution, education, or other policy to reduce inequality is good or bad. No matter what we do, there will be winners and losers, and economists can help to determine the most effective, least distortive means of accomplishing the goal of a more equal society, both in terms of opportunity and outcomes, without taking a position on which alternative to pursue.

Thoma's article can be read in the Fiscal Times.

Tags: republican party, political polarization, income inequality, economic reform

Combating the Resilience of Black Child Poverty

More black children now live in poverty than white children. TCF policy associate Clio Chang breaks down family earnings by race and discusses ways to close the gap.

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Tags: racial wealth gap, eitc, child poverty rate, child poverty, cash allowances, black americans, bernie sanders

 

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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