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.
Will the media ever stop the ridiculous charade of pretending that the path of globalization that we are on is somehow and natural and that it is the outcome of a "free" market?
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.
Measures in the Trans-Pacific Partnership pushed by the Obama administration's negotiators will raise the price of many items by several thousand percent above the free market price. Here's why you may have missed that discussion.
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.
The debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has taken center stage in policy circles in recent weeks. Its proponents promise a major economic bonanza from expanded trade. It's not clear that the economics supports this claim.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For years people have been running around Washington yelling that the United States was at risk of becoming Greece. There may actually be a basis for such concerns, but not for the reason usually given.
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.
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.
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.
Hardly a week goes by in Washington without some a conference on inequality. Most of the discussion assumes that inequality is something that happened. Inequality is something that was done.
The main reason the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent was that 273,000 workers reportedly left the labor force. And the widely touted November jump in wages was almost completely reversed.
The Congressional Budget Office recently released an analysis that showed a brighter picture for middle-income families than other work highlighting stagnation. But it is worth looking at these numbers more closely.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While the explanations that blame inequality on technology can get complicated, there were three items in the last week that painted the picture very clearly for the rest of us.
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.
Obamacare is making it possible for parents to spend more time with their kids. Before trashing Obamacare became a fundamental principle for Republicans, most would have said that parents spending time with their kids is a good thing.
Are you worried about the government running deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars and a debt in the TRILLIONS? If so, then you should be really angry at people calling for the Federal Reserve Board to raise interest rates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Thomas Piketty's method for preventing an ever greater concentration of wealth and income is to impose sharply progressive income taxes and stiff inheritance taxes. We actually have a much larger menu of options.
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.
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.
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.