Secrets in Plain View: Obamacare Is Working

The public has to recognize the enormous progress that has been made with the Affordable Care Act so that the huge problems that remain in our health care system can be fixed.
Dean Baker

Interest on the Debt Is Near a Post-War Low

As the media erupt in fury over Donald Trump's comments on the debt, it is worth taking the opportunity to remind people that the interest burden on the national debt is near a post-World War II low.
Dean Baker

Summing Up the Clinton-Sanders Policy Debate in One Line

Any major policy change will have losers. The goal should always be to minimize the number of losers, at least among people with low and moderate incomes, and to try to assist the hardest hit so that they end up in a decent situation.
Dean Baker

NPR Does Mind-Reading on Overtime Rule

NPR had a bizarre piece on the Labor Department's new overtime rules which seemed intended to undermine them. The bulk of the piece is devoted to the views of employers. No workers who will be affected by this rule were interviewed.
Dean Baker

Celebrating the Flash Crash with a Wall Street Sales Tax

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Flash Crash; when the stock market lost almost 9 percent of its value from its opening level, within 5 minutes. The market quick recovered, but the crash revealed its extraordinary instability.
Dean Baker

The End of the U.S. Boom

Economic analysts now say the economy isn't as strong as they thought. There never was much basis for claiming a boom in the U.S. economy and the people claiming otherwise were relying on a very selective reading of the data.
Dean Baker

The Terrible Twos: Central Bank Inflation Targets

The March job numbers came in somewhat worse than most analysts had expected. Many are warning that the economy is weaker than they thought. These warnings are in fact good news. They may slow down the Fed's rush to raise interest rates.
Dean Baker

Scott Walker Ends Freedom of Contract in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his backers could not give a damn about workers’ rights. His "right to work" bill is really about taking away workers ‘ freedom of contract in a way that will weaken their bargaining.
Dean Baker

The Federal Reserve Board’s Plan to Kill Jobs

While there is an enormous amount of political debate over various imaginary job killers, the Federal Reserve Board is openly mapping out an actual job-killing strategy and drawing almost no attention at all for it.
Dean Baker

The Federal Reserve Board and Social Security Disability

The Republican Congress, making overhauling the Social Security disability program one of its first orders of business, put in place a rule change that would make it difficult to address a projected funding shortfall.
Dean Baker

Democrats Take on Wall Street with Financial Transactions Tax

The House Democratic Party leadership made a remarkable step forward last week in putting out a proposal for a financial transactions tax. There should be no mistake; this is a really big deal for the financial industry.
Dean Baker

What Congress isn’t Seeing When the Government Spends

The House adopted a new rule requiring lawmakers to take long-term macroeconomic effects into consideration when voting on tax and spending bills. This "dynamic scoring" has little to do with the way the economy actually works.
Dean Baker

Economic Policy Myths of 2014: Dead and Enduring

With the holiday season upon us, the time for end of year lists is fast-approaching. To beat the rush, today I give my list of the top dead and enduring myths of 2014.
Dean Baker

We Don’t Need More Public Service From Wall Street Bankers

We have a very serious problem of financial regulators who serve Wall Street and not the general public. Our financial regulators have done a terrible job for everyone except the people they are supposed to be regulating.
Dean Baker

Seven Years After: Why This Recovery Is Still a Turkey

December will mark the seventh anniversary of the recession brought on by the collapse of the housing bubble. Usually an economy would be fully recovered after seven years. Unfortunately, this is not close to being the case now.
Dean Baker

Full Employment: The Recovery’s Missing Ingredient

Economists come up with complexities when a shave with Occam’s razor is all that’s needed. The bargaining power of most American workers is at a historical low point. The best way to restore it is to get the economy back to full employment.
Dean Baker

Democrats Run Away from Success of ‘Obamacare’

Stealing a page from the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl playbook from last year, the Democrats have spent the fall campaign hiding from the most successful federal government program since Medicare.
Dean Baker

Ebola Hysteria Fever: A Real Epidemic

Thus far, the Ebola virus has infected three people in the United States that we know of, however Ebola hysteria seems to have infected somewhere close to 300 million.
Dean Baker

The Damage From A High US Trade Deficit

Some economists blame upward redistribution of income, which reduces overall demand, for excessive unemployment. However, upward redistribution is only part of the explanation. The trade deficit is a much bigger part of the picture.
Dean Baker

Eric Holder: The Reason Robert Rubin Isn’t Behind Bars

Undoubtedly there are positives to Eric Holder’s tenure as attorney general, but one really big minus is his decision not to prosecute any of the Wall Street crew whose actions helped to prop up the housing bubble.
Dean Baker

The Myth that Sold the Financial Bailout

Six years ago, Wall Street's giants were falling like dominoes. Henry Paulson and Tim Geithner told Congress that failing to bail them out would lead to a second Great Depression. It was nonsense then. It's even greater nonsense now.
Dean Baker

Labor Day Victories to Celebrate

In recent decades the news for the country’s workers and the labor movement has been mostly bad. It would be easy to go on about how bad things are, but it is worth highlighting a couple of good news items against this backdrop.
Dean Baker

Public Pressure Can Influence The Federal Reserve

The structure of the Federal Reserve ensures that the banking industry's concerns get a full hearing at Fed meetings, while those of workers may not. But that doesn't mean protests against Fed policies are futile.
Dean Baker

What Does The Fed Have To Do With Social Security? Plenty.

People who are concerned about the future of Social Security should be paying a great deal of attention to what the Fed does. Raising interest rates will not only affect the economy today, but it will also affect Social Security tomorrow.
Dean Baker

Income Growth is Not Quite What Robert Samuelson Implies

Robert Samuelson is correct that income inequality in the US today is nothing like it was in the 1920s, because of the social welfare state. However his column is somewhat misleading on the income gains for middle- and low-income families.
Dean Baker

What Problem Is Privatizing Fannie and Freddie Meant to Solve?

President Obama's chief economist, Jason Furman, weighed in behind efforts to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last week. Fannie and Freddie are doing their job just fine. Why is there any need to overhaul the system?
Dean Baker

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Warnings From NAFTA

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not really about trade. The point of the deal is to put in place a structure of regulations that will be friendlier to the large corporations who are in many cases directly part of the negotiating process.
Dean Baker

Obamacare: It’s Better Than You Think

Workers who lose their job because of an illness will still be able to find affordable insurance. This will provide a huge element of security that is currently lacking. In effect, most workers will have true health insurance for the first time.
Obamacare: It’s Better Than You Think
Dean Baker

The Financial Crisis and the Second Great Depression Myth

All knowledgeable D.C. types know that the TARP and Fed bailout of Wall Street banks five years ago saved us from a second Great Depression. Like most things known by knowledgeable Washington types, this is not true.
The Financial Crisis and the Second Great Depression Myth
Dean Baker
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