Workers & Economic Inequality

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Is Donald Trump right to call NAFTA a “disaster”?

TCF fellow Mark Thoma explains the history of NAFTA and points out the specific effects that it has and has not had on the US economy. He says that historically, it has not had a very deep impact on either the US or Mexican economy, largely because of the rise of China as an economic power.

The biggest factor was the unforeseen rise of China. Much of the production and jobs that would have ended up in Mexico as a result of NAFTA went to China instead. If those jobs had gone to Mexicans, much of their new income would have been used to purchase goods produced in the U.S. thereby nullifying NAFTA's negative effects for U.S. workers.

Read Thoma's full article on the realities of NAFTA via CBS Moneywatch .

Tags: trade agreements, nafta, job growth

Donald Trump’s Tax Plan Offers Something for Everybody

On Monday night, Republican primary presidental candidate Donald Trump announced his third installment of policy plans, this time in the form of a tax plan. Time magazine journalist Rana Foroohar outlines Trump's plan to reinvigorate profits from corporate America by taxing overseas profits. Despite Trump's hope that this increased return will be used to create additional jobs, many economists say it's not so simple. TCF's Edward Kleinbard responds:

The problem is that companies can easily get around such provisions by putting foreign dollars in an account labeled “business development” or some such and then using pre-existing U.S. funds to do the buybacks. “Money is fungible, and it’s very easy for multinational companies to find ways around these rules,” says USC law professor Edward Kleinbard.

Check out the Time article and learn about Trump's plan.

Tags: tax reform, foreign profits, donald trump

BOOK REVIEW: Kleinbard’s We Are Better Than This

TCF fellow Edward Kleinbard's latest book release, We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money, has received widespread praise from reviewers. The prestigious National Tax Journal published a very positive review in its September 2015 issue, claiming that the book, "clearly makes a major contribution to public political discourse regarding inequality and the role of government." The reivew goes on to name Kleinbard's book:

"...a tour de force, lucidly explaining a broad range of fiscal, eco­nomic, and moral issues in a way that both enriches and informs public discourse. It deserves to be both widely-read and influential."

Read Daniel Shaviro's review here.

And read more about purchasing and further review of the book here.

Tags: we are better than this, tax reform, inequality, book review

Growing Up in the Architecture of Segregation

Policy associate Clio Chang takes an alternative look at TCF fellow Paul Jargowsky's research on concentrated poverty, analyzing the effects of growing up in a poor neighborhood. 


A more accurate measure of economic output

Measuring the economic success of the U.S. is no longer as simple as using the terms gross domestic product (GDP) and gross domestic income (GDI). TCF fellow Mark Thoma explains how there are two new measurements which include gross domestic output (GDO) which is the average of GDP and GDI and GDPplus which is an optimally weighted combination of GDP and GDI, with weights that are allowed to evolve over time. Thoma suggests that:

"...the best approach to characterizing how well the economy is performing at a moment in time, and how well it's likely to do in the future, is to use a measure such as GDPplus in combination with other windows into the state of the economy such as the unemployment rate, industrial production, consumption, investment and so on."

Read Thoma's full article from CBS News.

Tags: gdp, economics

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.

Tags: transit, streetcars, new orleans, hurricane katrina


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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