Policy

  • 04.17.18

    Report: A Path to Full Employment

    Despite reports of a healthy US labor market, millions of Americans remain unemployed and underemployed, or have simply given up looking for work. It is a problem that plagues our economy in good times and in bad-there are never enough jobs available for all who want to work. L. Randall Wray, Flavia Dantas, Scott F...

    Despite reports of a healthy US labor market, millions of Americans remain unemployed and underemployed, or have simply given up looking for work. It is a problem that plagues our economy in good times and in bad—there are never enough jobs available for all who want to work. L. Randall Wray, Flavia Dantas, Scott Fullwiler, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, and Stephanie A. Kelton examine the impact of a new “job guarantee” proposal that would seek to eliminate involuntary unemployment by directly creating jobs in the communities where they are needed.

  • 04.05.18

    Trump Is Right About Syria: It's Time to Leave

    President Trump recently suggested that the United States should come out of Syria "very soon." Leading voices of the foreign policy establishment - in the Pentagon, State Department, Congress, and the media - pushed back, calling for the United States to stay in Syria. Trump quickly acquiesced. Trump was right (ye...

    President Trump recently suggested that the United States should come out of Syria “very soon.” Leading voices of the foreign policy establishment — in the Pentagon, State Department, Congress, and the media — pushed back, calling for the United States to stay in Syria. Trump quickly acquiesced. Trump was right (yes, a rarity) while the security state was wrong yet again. It’s long past time for the United States to end its destructive military engagement in Syria and across the Middle East, though the security state seems unlikely to let this happen.

  • 03.18.18

    Guaranteed Jobs Through A Public Service Employment Program

    Amid a recent upsurge in support for a national job guarantee program, L. Randall Wray, Stephanie A. Kelton, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler, and Flavia Dantas outline a new proposal for a federally funded program with decentralized administration. Their Public Service Employment (PSE) program would offer a j...

    Amid a recent upsurge in support for a national job guarantee program, L. Randall Wray, Stephanie A. Kelton, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler, and Flavia Dantas outline a new proposal for a federally funded program with decentralized administration. Their Public Service Employment (PSE) program would offer a job, paying a uniform living wage with a basic benefits package—to all who are ready and willing to work. In advance of an upcoming report detailing the economic impact of the PSE, this policy note presents an overview of the goals and structure of the program in the context of current labor market trends and the prospects of poverty reduction.

  • 05.02.17

    Can “Trumponomics” Extend the Recovery?

    In this paper from the Real World Economics Review, Dr. Stephanie Kelton looks at the economic projections for the Trump administration. Kelton approaches "Trumponomics" (economic policies of the Trump administration) through this question: "can "Trumponomics" extend the recovery?" She argues that it will not. F...

    In this paper from the Real World Economics Review, Dr. Stephanie Kelton looks at the economic projections for the Trump administration. 

    Kelton approaches "Trumponomics" (economic policies of the Trump administration) through this question: "can “Trumponomics” extend the recovery?"

    She argues that it will not. First she examines the economy as a whole to establish whether there is room to grow, which she believes there is. Then she looks at the policies put forward by President Trump during the 2016 campaign and his stated economic goals since - she determines that President Trump's statements on economics do not conform with a "conventional ideological matrix." However, Kelton does mention a number of policies that are Reagan-esq that severely benefitted the top 1%:

    Trumponomics Figure 3

    "the benefits of the Reagan expansions went overwhelmingly to those at the top of the income distribution. Tax cuts for the wealthy, attacks on unions, cuts to programs aimed at helping the poor and an obsession with deregulation and “free markets” shifted the balance of power toward owners of capital and ushered in an era of increasing insecurity and growing inequality for the working class."

    Kelton then looks at whether "Trumponomics" can extend the recovery. She draws from a number of economic predictions that show less growth under Trumponomics than under current policies. However, she acknowleges that a number of economists are more positive.

  • 04.20.17

    How Much Can This Planet Stand?

    In this article Bill McKibben talks about the potentially disastrous effects of a policy approach to carbon emissions that ignores the science of climate change. "What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating." M...

    In this article Bill McKibben talks about the potentially disastrous effects of a policy approach to carbon emissions that ignores the science of climate change.

    "What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating."

    McKibben states that many of the aspects of President Trump's approach to energy policy will have longer term effects: "The effects will be felt not immediately but over decades and centuries and millenniums. More ice will melt, and that will cut the planet’s reflectivity, amplifying the warming; more permafrost will thaw, and that will push more methane into the atmosphere, trapping yet more heat. The species that go extinct as a result of the warming won’t mostly die in the next four years, but they will die. The nations that will be submerged won’t sink beneath the waves on his watch, but they will sink. No president will be able to claw back this time — crucial time, since we’re right now breaking the back of the climate system."

  • 03.24.17

    Senator Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics

    In this article about a paper by Stephanie Kelton's on the current state of the economy after the 2008 recession and "recovery." The article and Kelton argue that "there may be no more room for economic recovery given the economy has reached its true employment potential, or as Kelton puts it, " output is near its...

    In this article about a paper by Stephanie Kelton's on the current state of the economy after the 2008 recession and "recovery."

    The article and Kelton argue that "there may be no more room for economic recovery given the economy has reached its true employment potential, or as Kelton puts it, ” output is near its full employment ceiling not because the economy rose to its potential but because we lowered the definition of what we believe our nation’s productive capacity to be. It’s a bit like giving up on the idea that your child is capable of achieving straight As, relaxing the goal to a 2.0 GPA, and then celebrating when he presents you with across-the-board Cs.”"

    The article is critical of some of the possible outcomes of the new administration's economic policies.

  • 03.07.17

    How Affordable Care Act Repeal And Replace Plans Might Shift Health Insurance Tax Credits

    After its release, the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed the new Republican bill, the American Health Care Act. The Kaiser Family Foundation finds that "Both the ACA and the American Health Care Act include tax credits in their approach. However, the law and the proposal calculate credit amounts differently: the ...

    After its release, the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed the new Republican bill, the American Health Care Act. 

    The Kaiser Family Foundation finds that "Both the ACA and the American Health Care Act include tax credits in their approach. However, the law and the proposal calculate credit amounts differently: the ACA takes family income, local cost of insurance, and age into account, while the replacement proposal bases tax credits only on age, with a phase out for individuals with incomes above $75,000."

    The result of this change in legislation means that in general, people who are older, lower-income, or live in high-premium areas (like Alaska and Arizona) would receive less in tax credits under the new legislation than they do currently under the Affordable Care Act. While those who are younger, higher-income, or live in low-premium areas receive larger assistance under the AHCA than they currently do. 

    The figure below taken from the article shows the differences in tax credits by age and income:

    Kaiser Figure 1

  • 03.07.17

    Trends In U.S. Corrections

    This fact sheet gives an overview into statistics in the U.S. Corrections system. It begins with a broad overview of the U.S. Federal prison population which has increased dramatically since the 70's and incarceration rates in the U.S. (670 per 100,000) compared to other countries, the country with the next highes...

    This fact sheet gives an overview into statistics in the U.S. Corrections system.

    It begins with a broad overview of the U.S. Federal prison population which has increased dramatically since the 70's and incarceration rates in the U.S. (670 per 100,000) compared to other countries, the country with the next highest incarceration rate is Russia (439 per 100,000.) "The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.2 million people currently in the nation's prisons and jails."

    The fact sheet then looks at the prison population by offense - where almost half of individuals in the federal prison population are there due to a drug related offense.  It also delves into the female prison population, racial disparities in the prison system, youths in prison, felony disenfranchisement by state, and the increase in life sentences.

    Trends in US Corrections IMAGE

  • 02.28.17

    The Solutions Project

    The Solutions Project is an organization that works to demonstrate and accelerate the United States' transition to 100% renewable energy. Their goal is to transition the United States and the world to 80% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2030 and 100% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2050. They env...

    The Solutions Project is an organization that works to demonstrate and accelerate the United States' transition to 100% renewable energy.

    Their goal is to transition the United States and the world to 80% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2030 and 100% reliance on renewable energy by the year 2050. They envision that this will primarily be through the expansion of multiple facets of solar and wind energy.Solutions World Transition

     

  • 02.27.17

    Senator Bernie Sanders And Bill Nye Discuss Climate Change

    Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill Nye sit down to discuss a number of issues around climate change, energy, and the future of science in America. Bill Nye begins his description of the current issue around climate change with a description of the consequences of doing nothing - including that sea level rise would di...

    Senator Bernie Sanders and Bill Nye sit down to discuss a number of issues around climate change, energy, and the future of science in America.

    Bill Nye begins his description of the current issue around climate change with a description of the consequences of doing nothing - including that sea level rise would displace millions of people around the globe and disproportionately affect lower income, and third world countries. He describes that "the science is settled" and skeptics are misinterpreting scientific uncertainty about minor elements of climate change to be uncertainty about the entirety of climate change. 

    They then discuss the transition to renewable energy. Bill Nye mentions his support for the "Solutions Project" that has laid out a plan that will transition the United States to 80% renewable energy in 15 years and 100% renewable energy in 30 years through converting all transportation to electric modes, and covering every roof with solar panels. Nye encourages young engineers to innovate and create a new electric grid that would collect electricity from all across the country. 

    Ultimately, Nye states that he wants to be able to find common ground on climate change and make this country the leader in renewable energy technology, space exploration, and addressing climate change.