Workers & Economic Inequality

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POLITICO: Morning Transportation

The Century Foundation's conference, Building the Bridge: Solutions to the Infrastructure Crisis, made it into this week's edition of POLITICO's Morning Transportation.

Blumenauer will also speak downtown during a Century Foundation conference on infrastructure improvement, along with Jason Miller, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council.

See more on the week ahead in transportation and infrastructure here.

Tags: white house, transportation, politico, infrastructure

Does the U.S. Pay Too High a Cost For Free Trade?

TCF fellow Charles Morris explains that despite the strong base of free trade that the U.S. economy is built upon, it may now be decreasing in its effectiveness due to the shifts in Chinese industries and manufacturing.

Yet, over much of the past year, low-cost Chinese steel has flooded U.S. markets, which, DiMicco says, is clear evidence of illegal “dumping.” Beijing, of course, says it complies with all fair trade rules.

But China plays by different rules. Its powerful manufacturing enterprises are largely state-owned, and blessed with a host of subsidies, including Party-determined prices for financings, land purchases, taxes and fuel.

Read the full article from Reuters here.

Tags: us economy, tax rules, manufacturing, international trade, china

Stop Letting the Rich Move to Puerto Rico as a Tax Haven

Apparently certain very wealthy American citizens have decided to take up residence, that is, spend at least 283 days, in Puerto Rico where the US cannot impose federal income tax on Puerto Rican sources and Puerto Rico cannot impose on them local Puerto Rican taxes. TCF fellow Ed Kleinbard says that these loopholes make for some unfortunate capital gains evasion.

The law here is clear, and the only risks are political (that Congress or the Puerto Rican legislature amend their respective tax laws to close down this loophole). But the costs of rolling the dice on the politics are minimal for a superaffluent taxpayer with a big potential capital gains tax bill — sell the homes in Atherton and Telluride, and buy an ocean view estate on the island.

Read Kleinbard's article from The New York Times here.

Tags: tax loopholes, tax evasion, puerto rico, capital gains

Optimistic for the Future, Obama’s Transportation Bill Has No Plan for the Present

While the Obama administration's recently submitted transportation bill should give transportation advocates hope, TCF policy associate Jacob Anbinder explains why the proposal still does not address the policy area's most pressing problem.

Tags: transportation, taxes, obama administration, obama administration, infrastructure, gas

Five Key Lessons About the Welfare State

There is much more to the welfare state than meets the eye. A recent New York Times article details the five key lessons pinpointed by scholars that can be taken from past social welfare policy. TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler is cited in the article saying that welfare can be combatted by just blocking changes to current policy, such as what might happen with today's Republican controlled Congress.

Rather than directly assaulting the welfare state, those seeking to remake the American political economy have mostly outflanked it, relying heavily on tactics of gridlock-inducing policy drift to produce major changes in taxes, industrial relations, corporate governance, and financial regulation that have been highly beneficial to the most affluent.

Here is the entire article.

Tags: welfare, state spending, social welfare, congress

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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