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.
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.
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.
TCF fellow Julie Kashen wrote an article featured in Huffington Post about the absence of meaningful discussion around women's equal pay in the Republican debate--despite the name of the debate being "Your Money, Your Vote." She comments that with 40 percent of women today acting as the primary earners for their family, it's imperative that we award them the resources we would give men in the same position.
While women are taking home less, there's no "women's discount" on rent, electricity or anything else, which means it's easier to fall behind, and harder to do things like pay rent, get out of debt, and set aside money for unavoidable financial emergencies. That's why Make it Work, a national campaign I work on to amplify people's demands for policies that don't make us choose between caring for family and earning a paycheck, is raising the volume on the strong demand for equal pay.
Read Kashen's full article on the equal pay issue.
Insider trading is now effectively legal in the United States thanks to loopholes implicitly endorced by the Supreme Court, says TCF senior fellow Patrick Radden Keefe.
Bharara observed, earlier this month, that the decision by the Supreme Court to let the Second Circuit’s interpretation of insider trading stand creates “an obvious road map for unscrupulous investors.” But the hedge-fund community is celebrating... With billions of dollars to be made in betting on the market, whether or not you see cause for alarm in any of this will likely depend on just how scrupulous or unscrupulous you think the average investor is.
Check out Keefe's full article discussing this "license to cheat" in the New Yorker.
Just a few weeks after the release of TCF's report on "covert for-profit" colleges, lawmakers have called for immediate action to be taken against these somewhat fraudulent educational institutions.READ MORE
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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