Blog Archives

Beyond jobs

Does capitalism, with its accompanying technological disruptions, create more jobs than it destroys? Conventional wisdom says unequivocally “yes.” Each new wave of innovation eventually brings new jobs in number and value far greater than those it displaces. Telegraph readers become

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Posted in Economics, Uncategorized

Ending the era of the “job”

When my late grandmother was a girl in rural Arkansas, no one had a job. Everyone old enough to walk and carry a pail worked from dawn to dusk. Work was endless, cruel and utterly universal, but a “job” in

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Posted in Economics, Political Theory, Uncategorized, Welfare State

Republicans inch toward a basic income

You really have to wonder what Marco Rubio could accomplish if his political party allowed him to publicly acknowledge reality. Once again, as he did in the immigration debate, Rubio is nudging the party toward an obvious solution on poverty

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Posted in Economics

The unemployment rate is overrated

This month’s unemployment report was essentially the same as the last few dozen before it. Unemployment ticked slightly downward again, but much of that decline came from people “leaving” the labor force. Labor force participation peaked in the ’90’s and

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Posted in Economics

Paul Ryan inches toward a basic income

Rep. Paul Ryan unveiled the latest stage in his personal evolution on poverty and welfare Wednesday in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. Like Sen. Marco Rubio, Ryan is part of a small Republican minority still trying to engage

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Posted in Economics, Welfare State

A closer look at The Second Machine Age

Reading the new book from Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee was like a breath of fresh air. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, elegantly summarizes the radical economic changes I’ve been trying

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Posted in Economics, The Second Machine Age

Blaming the Poor Feels Great

And the disciples asked Jesus, “Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Being confronted with the suffering of others triggers discomfort in almost any healthy person. That compassionate urge is particularly nagging when the misery

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Posted in Economics, Republican Party, Welfare State

The Chipotle Economy

Matthew Yglesias published a good piece this week explaining the economics that drive the expansion of the low-wage service sector. He used Chipotle as an example, explaining how the process of creating a burrito is hard to automate or export,

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Posted in Economics

The Cruel Myth of the ‘Gateway Job’

For conservatives, one of the central arguments against a minimum income or even a minimum wage is the notion that employment is a value in and of itself. Taking a low-paying job, no matter how menial or “dead-end” is supposed

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Posted in Economics, Ownership Society

Did Sen. Rubio just endorse a minimum income?

Florida Senator Marco Rubio today commemorated the 50th anniversary of Johnson’ War on Poverty with a speech outlining a new approach to the social safety net. What that approach actually is remains to be seen, but his vague comments hint

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Posted in Economics, Ownership Society, Welfare State
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