A hot lobbying battle is shaping up over government permits for natural gas exports. The energy industry, oil- and shale-patch congressmen from both parties, and most economists are pressing for a policy of unrestricted exports. Now, a group of large industrial companies, led by Dow Chemical and Nucor, are attempting to stem this legislative momentum, and for good reason. If we put aside the environmental pros and cons of shale and focus strictly on the economics, progressives have a real stake in seeing that the industry doesn’t get its way. To understand why, here is some background.READ MORE
Can progressive goals be meaningfully advanced during re-elected President Barack Obama’s second term, or will continued trench warfare over federal budget deficits subvert efforts to build on his first-term accomplishments? With Senate Democrats still well short of the 60 votes required to break a filibuster, and the House remaining in solid control of Republicans deeply hostile to government, prospects for major new federal legislation seem poor. But by concentrating his energies outside of Washington, shining the light on examples of how his first-term policies are positively affecting average Americans, Obama can further rebuild public support for government and lay the groundwork for more ambitious future initiatives.READ MORE
The equity markets this morning are selling off whatever patina of expectations that might have existed about a Romney victory and U.S. Treasury securities are rallying mightily, signaling anticipation of lower U.S. economic growth under the second Obama administration.READ MORE
The idea that infrastructure investment should have a positive effect on economic growth is intuitively appealing. Roads, electricity provision, and communications appear to be necessary for the basic functioning of an economy. It is not hard to write an economic model linking infrastructure and productivity, and indeed several such models have been written.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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