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Home / Tag Archives: Economic Crisis and Recovery

Tag Archives: Economic Crisis and Recovery

Propaganda on Government Action and Inequality from David Leonhardt

It really gets annoying how all discussions in the media of inequality in the media take the White Savior route, where we need the government to act to reduce inequality created by the natural workings of the market. David Leonhardt gave us another dose of this one today when he speculated about the state of the post-pandemic world. While much of his speculation his interesting, he hypothesizes that we will see greater corporate consolidation in the post-pandemic world. He then says that this...

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The Problem of Medical Supplies Was a Stockpile Problem, not a China Supply Chain Problem

As Donald Trump tries to whip up anti-Chinese sentiment as part of his re-election campaign, many have joined in by complaining about our Chinese supply lines. The NYT joined this effort by highlighting the extent to which the U.S. and the rest of the world relies on China for medical supplies. While it is arguable whether the reliance on China for medical supplies or anything else is a big problem, that was not the main issue when it came to shortfalls of protective gear and other medical...

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Is it Impossible to Envision a World Without Patent Monopolies?

Apparently, at the New York Times, the answer is no. Elisabeth Rosenthal, who is a very insightful writer on health care issues, had a column this morning warning that we may face very high prices for a coronavirus vaccine. She points out that this is in spite of the fact that the government is paying for much of the cost of the research. Rosenthal then argues we should adopt a system of price controls or negotiations, as is done in every other wealthy country.   While her points are all...

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Profit Shares Soared After the Great Recession: News You Can’t Get at the New York Times

Apparently Steven Rattner, a regular columnist at the New York Times, is unable to get government data on corporate profits. That is what readers must conclude from his column on the strength of the stock market in spite of a plunging economy. While Rattner rightly points to the fact that interest rates on bonds are extremely low, which makes stocks seem like an attractive alternative, he never once mentions the likely shift from wages to profits that we can expect in a weak labor market. The...

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The Dow and Government-Granted Patent Monopolies

One of the recurring items in the news that infuriates progressives and fans of economic logic everywhere is discussions of the stock market that treat it as a measure of economic well-being. Donald Trump carries this to an extreme, with seemingly no understanding that there are other important economic measures, but he is hardly alone. In fact, many economic commentators seem hard-pressed to explain the continued strength of the stock market, when most projections show the unemployment rate...

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NYT Argues Workers Should Get More, but Gets Some Important Facts Wrong

I hate to be nitpicky when the NYT writes a very strong editorial arguing that we need more money going to ordinary workers and less to the rich, but it is important to get the story right. Unfortunately, the editorial misses much of it. First and foremost, there has not been a major shift from wages to profits during the period of wage stagnation. Most of the shift from wages to profits took place in the weak labor market following the Great Recession. It was being reversed in the last five...

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The Washington Post is Worried Its Path of Structuring Globalization to Redistribute Income Upward Could be Jeopardized

The Washington Post ran a piece on how patterns of globalization may be changed due to the pandemic. It is more than a bit confused in not distinguishing short-term effects from long-term effects and its inability to distinguish between problems caused by fiscal policy and policies caused by the fallout from the pandemic. The headline for the piece on the Post’s homepage is “Covid-19 is erasing decades of economic gains achieved through globalization.” The subhead is...

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Airline Executives Have Problems with Arithmetic!

It turns out that it is not just Donald Trump and economics reporters, but airline executives also have trouble with basic arithmetic. We learn this from a Washington Post piece discussing the extent to which airlines are changing their practices to allow passengers to maintain some distance on flights. The piece discusses various airlines policies and then concludes with some wisdom from the CEO of Jet Blue: “‘You’re going to definitely have to sit next to a stranger again, I’m...

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Great Time for a Vacant Property Tax

I have long been a big fan of a vacant property tax. As the old saying goes, you tax what you want less of, and why would we want vacant properties. This is especially likely to be relevant in many high-priced cities where the demand for commercial real estate is likely to go through the floor due to an increase in telecommuting. As cities mull many types of tax increases to deal with pandemic caused budget shortfalls, a vacant property tax should stand out as a productive alternative. The...

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Black Workers’ Jobs Matter

Newsday GV Wire See article on original website The wave of protests after the police killing of George Floyd has prompted a re-examination of racism in all areas of American society. In many cases, policies that may initially seem unconnected to race are major contributors to racial disparities. Current Republican efforts to force major cuts to state and local governments fit this bill. If they succeed, they will be disproportionately cutting jobs for Black workers. Furthermore, these are...

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