The Best Reason to Raise the Minimum Wage
March 05, 2013
It beats asking Congress to spend money.
Putting Manufacturing in Its Place(s)
May 10, 2012
American manufacturing is basically the same everywhere. It’s an albatross around the necks of places that depend on it, preventing them from attracting the “creative class,” which drives economic development today. Except in a few very high tech industries, such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturers are looking for lower costs above all else. That’s why, if they’re staying in the United States at all, they’re moving to low-wage locations. Metropolitan areas, with their higher costs, offer manufacturers no special advantages. These beliefs about the geography of manufacturing in the United States
The Case for Queasiness on the Economy
April 27, 2012
There are two fair conclusions to draw from the recent run of middling economic data, culminating with Friday’s disappointing GDP number. First, contra Mitt Romney, this is not an administration with a failed economic record, at least not as we sit here today. In almost every way—job growth, housing, GDP—Obama has presided over a vast improvement in the economic situation he inherited.
Obama’s Worst Year
February 10, 2012
Shortly after four o’clock on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 13, 2011, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner walked down the hallway near his office toward a large conference room facing the building’s interior. He was accompanied by a retinue of counselors and aides. When they arrived in the room—known around Treasury simply as “the large”—four people were seated at a long walnut table on the side near the door.
The Outsized Benefits of U.S. Manufacturing
February 06, 2012
In a New York Times op-ed, Christina Romer, the former chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, argues--contra her former boss--that there is no compelling justification for policies aimed at supporting U.S. manufacturing. She lays out and rejects a few theoretical justifications for supporting manufacturing, including the idea that there are large positive externalities--large social benefits relative to what private companies can capture--tied to the sector. Her arguments are unconvincing.
I have a bit of a weakness for insulting people's intelligence. I recognize this and try to restrain myself. When I read Stephen Moore's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, I thought that I would give restraint a try. There's simply no way to honestly analyze this piece without commenting on the author's intelligence. I suppose, to be charitable, I should refine that to mean Moore's analytic intelligence; there are many kinds of intelligence, and perhaps Moore is gifted with great social intelligence, or artistic intelligence.
Obama Considering Another Stimulus Tax Cut
June 09, 2011
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported out how Tim Geithner won internal debates within the Obama administration to focus on deficit reduction over additional fiscal stimulus. The story has real potential to strain Obama's relations with his base, whose loudest complaint is that he failed to push harder to stimulate the economy.
The Unemployment Trap
June 09, 2011
“There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery,” Barack Obama declared this month, on the day the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that unemployment had climbed back to 9.1 percent. The president acknowledged that “we still face some challenges”; but, as the sheer complacency of his remarks suggest, the administration has not been prepared to meet them. The United States is still in the throes of an economic slump that more closely resembles the Great Depression of the 1930s than it does other post-World War II recessions.
Tim Geithner: Why He’s Hurting the Economy and Obama
June 08, 2011
Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner deserves some of the blame for the administration’s political problems during its first two years and for the weakness of financial reform. In 2009, Geithner argued against the administration throwing the full weight of the law against those banks and bankers, and related institutions, that had committed fraud. Doing so would have erased or at least countered the impression that the Obama administration was a tool of Wall Street.
Obama's Best Move
March 30, 2011
Dear Mr. President, I write as a supporter who understands how full your plate is right now. Three foreign wars, a fragile recovery from the deepest recession in many decades, and stubbornly high unemployment would be enough for any president. Regrettably, some issues present themselves, unbidden and unwelcome, and refuse to go away, leaving presidents no choice but to address them. In my judgment, which is increasingly widely shared—in the U.S.