The Price of Poverty

Update 414: The Price of Poverty Before we go to Las Vegas, the site of tonight’s Democratic presidential debate, let’s have a look at what happens when wages are lost to layoffs or when luck turns and a car wreck or a diagnosis pushes a family over the economic edge. How many Americans are living …

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2020 Presidential Candidate Series — Mayor Bloomberg

Update 412 — 2020 Pres. Candidate Series;Fmr. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg is making what could be a billion dollar bet — on himself or, in the alternative, against Donald Trump.   Should Mayor Bloomberg’s own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination not prevail, Democrats could reap a munificent consolation prize. Bloomberg has …

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The Aftermath of Iowa

Update 411 — The Aftermath of Iowa:Results to Debate ahead of New Hampshire  Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised eyebrows, taking the lead in Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses thus far. Despite the data debacle bedeviling the process, the caucus is providing meaningful information on what participants care about.  Domestic economic policy weighed heavily on Iowa voters’ minds. …

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Trump’s Trillion Dollar Legacy

Update 410 — Trump’s Trillion Dollar Legacy 10-Year Cost in Interest Expense: $5.9 Trillion Whether many Americans will feel indebted to Donald Trump for his policies is TBD. Per this week’s CBO report on the nation’s fiscal future, though, all Americans will be indebted by him.  A look at the fiscal legacy of the Trump administration, …

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Domestic Economic Priorities

Update 409 — Domestic Economic Priorities:Modernizing Assistance for U.S. Households Domestic economic policy in the United States has failed to keep pace with the changing economy, the needs of workers, consumers and investors, and the reality of international competition. When political circumstances finally allow, what area of domestic economic policy is in most dire need …

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Beware the Aggregate Stat

Update 408 — Beware the Aggregate Stat:How Wage Gains Make Inequality Look Good The nation’s ten-year-plus economic recovery from the financial crisis of 2008 barely lifted wage gains above inflation much of that time. Workers treaded water until the last couple of years when gains were finally recorded. This made news.  Of course, over the …

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Unemployment 3.5%, Inflation 2.3%

Update 407:  Unemployment 3.5%, Inflation 2.3%Yet Prime Rate 1.75% — What Could Go Wrong?? What is the optimal interest rate under current economic conditions?  This question has taken on new meaning for Chair Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve. The current federal funds rate of 1.75 percent looks like an odd spot, given the nation’s …

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Trump Tariff War Casualties

Update 406: Trump Tariff War Casualties More Economic than Political; Losses Mount On Wednesday, President Trump unveiled the long-anticipated “phase one” trade policy deal with China. Whether it matters or not, no trade deal could undo the economic harm wreaked by Trump’s tariff wars to date. And this one cannot alleviate the harm done to farmers and …

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Economic Issues and the Des Moines Debate

Update 405 — The Purple, Populous Midwest:Economic Issues and the Des Moines Debate The 2020 Democratic nomination process alighted on Des Moines, IA last night as six qualifying candidates answered moderators questions for two hours. Close to a third of the debate time focused on economic issues. The fireworks at the event occurred elsewhere, with …

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