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.
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.READ MORE
Niraj Warikoo of the Detroit Free Press uses the research from TCF's recent report Architecture of Segregation to describe the issues hitting the city of Detroit. With poverty at the extremely high rate of 40 to 60 percent in certain areas of Detroit, Warikoo says that it's critical that action be taken to curb this from worsening. He says that the trend of concentrated poverty is a major contributor to the civil unrest movements that have been springing up across the country, making it an even more severe issue as it raises civilian security concerns. The article quotes Jargowsky:
Jargowsky says that reducing concentrated poverty would require federal and state governments to control suburban development, and that new housing should reflect "the income distribution of the metropolitan area as a whole."
Read Warikoo's article on concentrated poverty in Detroit.
Unfortunately, when the Recession hit, current economic models were unable to explain, let alone solve, the damage incurred by the economic downturn. TCF fellow Mark Thoma says that this is because modern models fail to connect financial failures with real issues happening throughout the rest of the economy. He instead suggests:
"...the search for better macroeconomic models eventually turns out, we need to get beyond the tribalism and in fighting that limits inquiry and impedes the search for the truth. What macroeconomics needs most of all right now are open minds and a willingness to consider new approaches to macroeconomic problems."
Thoma's full article from FiscalTimes can be read here.
Journalist Max Willens of International Business Times has written an article that heavily cites The Century Foundation's new report on concentrated poverty and neighborhood segregation. Willens suggests that given the renewed protest civil-rights movements in America, the country needs a period of dire rebirth. He quotes Jargowsky, saying:
“It is unfortunate that well-meaning people who are reading the news and consuming the coverage of the events in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere are not getting the full picture,” Jargowsky writes. “They are seeing places like Ferguson up close, but they are not seeing the larger set of forces that created Ferguson.”
Read Willens's full article.
In a new Letter to the Editor published in the New York Times, TCF policy associate Jacob Anbinder makes the case for why Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia's name should remain on the New York City airport.
The suggestion that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey rename La Guardia Airport when it undergoes renovation is a tragic reflection of how little heed we now pay to how our most vital infrastructure was built.
Read Anbinder's full case here.
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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