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Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for February 24, 2015

Screenshot 10 3 14 6 17 PMOver at Equitable Growth--The Equitablog

Plus:

Must- and Shall-Reads:

And Over Here:


  1. Nick Bunker: The Future of Retirement Savings: "Devlin-Foltz... Henriques, and... Sabelhaus focus... on... participation.... The participation rate among working-age households... was close to 80 percent between 1989 and 2007. But... has dropped to... 75 percent.... [And] younger workers’ participation rate has fallen below the level of previous generations of young workers—today’s young workers aren’t saving as much younger workers in years past... [with] the biggest decline... among workers in the bottom half..."

  2. Stephen G. Cecchetti and Kermit L. Schoenholtz: Forecasting Trend Growth: Living with Uncertainty: "We should all be wary of anyone who claims to be able to forecast trend growth accurately and reliably. Even after the fact, it takes some time to discern the underlying trend. As a result, we need to build decision frameworks--for businesses and for policymakers--that are robust to the sorts of forecast errors we have seen in the past. Consider that approach the economist’s version of Keats’ negative capability. Second, our inability to get a precise fix on the output gap presents significant challenges for monetary policy, as this is commonly used as a prime indicator of inflationary pressures in the economy. If central bankers are unsure of the size of the output gap (or even its sign), then the likelihood of policy errors rises substantially. That reinforces the view of monetary policy setting as a problem of risk management in which policymakers must balance the hazards and costs associated with potentially large errors."

  3. Lawrence Mishel: Even Better Than a Tax Cut: "The challenge is to ensure that a typical worker’s wages grow along with profits and productivity. There is no silver bullet, but the key is... to reverse decades of decisions that have undercut wage growth. We need to start with monetary policy.... The most important decisions... are those of the Federal Reserve Board.... Before raising rates, it is essential we achieve a robust recovery, with roughly 3.5 to 4 percent annual [nominal] wage growth.... Another short- to medium-term policy decision affecting wage growth is to avoid trade deals, such as the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, that would further erode Americans’ wages and send jobs overseas. And... bolster... labor standards and institutions... [by] raising the minimum wage... rais[ing] the salary threshold for overtime.... Protecting and expanding workers’ right to unionize... moderniz[ing] our New Deal-era labor standards to include earned sick leave and paid family leave... stronger laws and enforcement to deter and remedy wage theft.... Wage stagnation is... a result of a policy regime that has undercut the individual and collective bargaining power of most workers. Because wage stagnation was caused by policy, it can be reversed by policy, too.

  4. Nick Bunker: The Case for Inaction on Interest Rates: "Equitable Growth’s Ben Zipperer... [argued] average wage growth should be at least 3.5 percent a year.... Wen does wage growth cross above this threshold?... Not until the employment rate for workers ages 25 to 54 crosses 79 percent.... As of January 2015, this prime-age employment to population ratio was 77.2 percent. The ratio has been on the rise, but it still has a ways to go before it hits 79 percent. Growing at its current rate, that rate won’t hit 79 percent until 2017 at the earliest.... With inflation below its target, worries about stalled or slowing economic growth abroad, a strengthening dollar, and an incomplete labor market recovery, the Federal Open Markets Committee should consider the consequences of raising interest rates too soon. Perhaps the best move is to do nothing and simply wait..."

Should Be Aware of:

 

  1. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig: Giuliani: Obama Doesn't Love America--"He Doesn’t Love You": "For Giuliani and the Republicans who have shyly signaled agreement with him, it is America--the very idea of this state--that defines their selfhood, their emotional attachments, their moral sentiments, their love. And yet America is still just a state, among others: The fact that conservative identity is so wrapped up in the numinous notion of America suggests a strange relationship to their purported philosophy of small government. After all: states are temporary, they change, they are material organizations meant to confer certain material benefits. At least, that would be a limited view of government. Whatever Giuliani’s understanding of the American state is, it can’t honestly be called limited, no matter how low he would push taxes or how many programs he would cut, so long as it dominates so much of his soul."

  2. Scott Lemieux: The IRS Issued Tax Credits to Cover Up BENGHAZI!!!!!!!: "If the facts are on your side, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the Fox News talking points into the ground. [Brian Buetler]: 'That Cannon is defending his case by nodding like a Fox News bobblehead to an unrelated pseudo scandal is not anomalous. In both the media and in their briefs to the Supreme Court, the law’s challengers have papered over weaknesses in their historical and legal arguments with conservative bromides familiar to talk radio consumers, Fox News viewers, and recipients of anti-Obamacare talking points. This kind of conservative argumentum ad reptilis, has a successful track record with at least one conservative justice on the Supreme Court. During oral arguments in the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act three years ago, Antonin Scalia made reference sua sponte to the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’—a short-lived special deal for Nebraska in the Senate health care bill that became a metaphor on Fox News for the ACA’s corrupted legislative process, and was thus made national. But to those of us outside the conservative information bubble, it speaks to two themes that define challenge itself: that it is built on a fabricated history, and that it poses a de facto test to the cohesiveness of conservative movement infrastructure. Can a case built on an informational foundation that’s rejected everywhere outside the movement stand on the strength of the right’s intellectual and professional networks? Is the apparent internal consistency of a story and argument that only conservatives believe enough to carry the day in the Supreme Court, when the stakes are this high?' Cannon’s argument use of Pelosi’s argument that passing the bill will show that conservative descriptions of it were a lie in order to defend making up additional lies about it is my favorite example."

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Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for February 24, 2015 Noted for Your Nighttime Procrastination for February 22, 2015


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