On the Economics of Star Trek--San Francisco Basement Tapes Discussion: The Honest Broker for the Week of August 31, 2015
Fall 2015 Brookings Panel on Economic Activity Weblogging: Doug Elmendorf on Dynamic Scoring

Must-Read: This is, of course, false: Labor economics is "having its moment" only in a first-derivative sentence--in that it is no longer totally ignored but only mostly ignored by the ugly-celebrity-worship-and-champagne-drinking chattering glasses of Washington DC who fail to understand that America's capital is not supposed to be a decadent court.

But the article is nice to see, even so.

Rob Kunzig: Labor Economics Are Having a Moment--and so Is Larry Mishel: "Americans are finally paying attention to wealth inequality...

...or, as he puts it, ‘how economic policy affects the vast majority.’ It’s been his focus for 28 years at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based liberal think thank that focuses on labor issues. ‘I’m interested in productivity,’ said Mishel, who has served as EPI’s president since 2002. ‘I’m interested in GDP. But I’m mostly interested in how those things can benefit the majority, not as matters in and of themselves.’ After what Mishel calls the Great Recession, he said Americans are feeling ‘pretty ornery’.... EPI’s work... is finding fresh relevance and application. For example: The Department of Labor’s proposed revision of overtime standards closely follows recommendations made by economists Ross Eisenbrey and Jared Bernstein in a 2013 EPI paper. By increasing the income threshold from $24,000 to $50,000, the department (and, one can reasonably say, EPI) intends to make more than 5 million salaried workers eligible for overtime....

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a hopeful for the Democratic nomination, hit up EPI for data on youth unemployment, and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton recently tweeted out an EPI chart showing the divergence of productivity and pay.... ‘Listen, it’s a great moment for the Economic Policy Institute,’ he said, brushing off attempts to credit him personally. ‘I’ve always believed in building the institution, and the institution has provided a great platform for my work, but also other peoples’ work.’... He sits in a well-loved leather armchair, and he speaks slowly, breaking down the complexities of labor economics for slow-witted reporters. When he’s thinking, he closes his eyes.

He started working at EPI in 1987, in the waning days of President Ronald Reagan and his trickle-down economics. Mishel, a product of public education (he holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin, and attended Penn State University before that), was one of five employees back then. In 1988, he co-authored the first edition of The State of Working America, EPI’s signature biannual book that ‘comprehensively documents the living standards of the vast majority, and how they’re faring,’ he said. Mishel has co-authored every edition since – 11 in total. And EPI now employs 40 staffers.... Whoever takes the Oval Office in 2016, Mishel said, they’ll have a lot of work to do. ‘We’re digging ourselves of a 40-year hole, and we’re not going to get out of it with one shovelful of dirt,’ he said. ‘But we can change it’...