Workers & Economic Inequality

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George Washington Forum presents: Debate: Public Sector Unions

On March 23, TCF senior fellow Rick Kahlenberg participated in a debate with his colleague Daniel DiSalvo of City College of New York–CUNY during which they discussed Public Sector Unions. Watch the debate here:

Read more about Kahlenberg and DiSalvo here.

Tags: workplace bias, public sector unions, labor unions

The False Hope of a Limited Government, Built on Tax Breaks

The question of big government versus small government is a significant one, with both good and bad side effects. In a New York Times article that addresses levels of government spending and social benefits, TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler argues against downsizing, saying:

" has helped cement the image of a government that most Americans wrongly consider largely irrelevant to their lives. 'I see it as a case of smoke and mirrors'".

The full article can be read here.

Tags: tax system, tax code, small government, economic inequality

Cornell Professor Explores Education, Politics and Inequality

TCF fellow and Cornell professor of politics Suzanne Mettler recently presented her research findings on the effects of higher education at a University of Massachusetts lecture series titled, "Perspectives on Inequality." Mettler shares that she discovered the high drop out rate of college students is due to the inability to pay tuition and falling grades as a result of working long hours at a job instead of studying.

“The big problem with policy maintenance is partisan politicization,” she said. This leads to stalemates around higher education policy, Mettler said. When politicians do reach across the aisle and work together in higher education policy, they are often responding to the needs of large interests like corporations, not the American people, she said.

“Today, we’re spending more than ever, but we’re not spending it in ways that mitigate inequality,” she said.

Read the review of Mettler's talk.

Tags: policy makers, income inequality, higher education, graduation rates

What’s Wrong with the Economy—and with Economics?

On March 14-15, 2015, The New York Review of Books Foundation hosted a conference, "What's Wrong with the Economyand with Economics?" TCF fellow Jeff Madrick participated in a panel entitled "The Atlantic Economies Since the Crash: Secular Stagnation?"

Watch Madrick's panel and others from the conference at the The New York Review of Books Foundation.

Tags: new york review of books, jeff madrick, economists, economics

A Ted Cruz Loss Would Help GOP Recover

This week, Senator Ted Cruz announced his intentions to run for president in 2016. TCF fellow Michael Cohen weighed in on Cruz's campaign launch, explaining why as a Democrat and progressive, he hopes to see Cruz become the Republican Party's presidential nominee next year.

The only hope — and it’s a faint one — of returning the GOP to normalcy is by nominating the most extreme, yet still representative, member of the party and having him suffer a monumental electoral loss.

Cohen's full commentary can be found in the Boston Globe.

Tags: ted cruz, tea party, republican party, presidential race, michael cohen, gop, boston globe

How Long Commutes Worsen Inequality

Although commuting to work is a daily occurrence for most workers, some have it much worse off than others who commute several hours to and from their destination. TCF fellow Mark Thoma dissects available commuting data and finds that proximity to the workplace is related to inequality gaps.

For those who do have jobs, long travel times to and from work take away from chores at home, shopping at the grocery store for healthy food and so on. Lengthy commutes make it harder for these workers to spend time with their kids on homework and extra-curricular activities, and harder to enroll their kids in charter or alternative schools that might give them a better chance at success.

Read Thoma's full article featured in CBS Moneywatch.

Tags: worker inequality, public transportation, income gap, commuting


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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