Many individuals helped construct neoclassical economics, often with financial support from the robber barons and their successors. I will focus on two: in the United States, John Bates Clark (1847-1938), and in Europe, Vilfredo Pareto (1848 to 1923).
In Thomas Piketty’s doomsday model, slowing of growth in the twenty-first century will cause an inexorable increase in inequality. Piketty is not the first to propose a grand model of inequality and growth. To get some perspective on his model, let’s see what the “classical” economists had to say (Part I), and how the “neoclassical” economists responded (Part II).
If you give a dollar to a middle class family, that family will spend that dollar in the local economy and spur growth.
The California Constitution says the water belongs to the people. Yet the state gives water almost free to agriculture–resulting in enormous waste and dire “shortages” during droughts. If the state were to charge for water, that would end the water crisis–and solve California’s fiscal crisis too.
Back when I studied economics, we “proved” in class that a minimum wage causes unemployment. But that proof depends on assuming a perfectly competitive market. Big low-wage employers like Wal-Mart have substantial market power; they can deliberately under-staff operations to force down wages. In that case, a minimum wage increase can actually create jobs–if it can be enforced.
The new Congressional Budget Office report projects that the Affordable Care Act will lead to a decline in full-time equivalent workers of 2.5 million. This is people voluntarily deciding to work less–like mothers with small children, or workers in poor health or close to retirement. That should mean higher wages for the remaining workers.
We already have the technology necessary to attain a decent, sustainable lifestyle — technology that can create more and better jobs.
QE is supposed to stimulate the economy by encouraging investment with low interest money. That hasn’t happened, but why? Does no one want to borrow, or do banks not want to lend?
In general, sales taxes are indeed regressive; moreover, as I recently argued, sales taxes are partly “passed back” onto suppliers, hitting small businesses hardest. But wait… Imagine that we impose a sales tax on diamonds. Would we worry about the burden on middle class purchasers of one-fourth-caret engagement rings? What about the part of the […]
Detroit’s property tax base, diminished and badly-assessed, could still fund a renewal if Michigan would only read its history and find the political will.
It was the perfect “natural experiment:” in April 1992, New Jersey’s minimum-wage was scheduled to rise from $4.25 an hour to $5.05, while neighboring Pennsylvania’s minimum wage remained unchanged.
Sales taxes — of whatever stripe — fall harder on poorer than richer customers. And they squeeze smaller retailers more than big ones.