Labor Market

The “Big Quit” Is an Opportunity to Fix Our Broken Education System Share This

Bruno Manno | Oct 27, 2021 | Education

COVID-19 sent a shock wave through an already changing U.S. job market, provoking “a great reassessment of work in America.” This broad rethinking of work and human capital development is occurring while 10.4 million jobs sit unfilled and more than 8.4 million unemployed individuals look for work. There is a clear disconnect, but the ultimate outcome is far from clear. As Bob Dylan asks in “Ballad of a Thin Man,” […]

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Woking 9 to 5 Share This

Oren Cass | Sep 24, 2021 | Business

In their adoption of “progressive” agendas, both unions and corporations have ignored entirely the preferences and interests of workers. (Whether an agenda that abandons workers can rightly be called progressive is a question for another day.) Not What They Bargained For, the American Compass survey of worker attitudes, highlights the ways that the labor movement’s […]

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Why Do Libertarians Support User Fees but Not a Family Wage? Share This

Michael Lind | Jul 08, 2021 | Economics

If there is one thing that libertarians, free-market conservatives, and even many center-left neoliberals agree on, it is the logic of paying for highways and other forms of infrastructure out of user fees rather than general taxes. This approach, they argue, is both fairer and more efficient: fair because it ensures those who use the […]

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High School and Beyond: Creating Pathways to Opportunity Share This

Bruno Manno | Jun 23, 2021 | Education

The high school movement, an early 20th century American grassroots shift in secondary education, produced “a spectacular educational transformation,” according to Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz. Between 1910 and 1940, 18-year-old enrollment grew from 19% to 71%, and graduation rates rose from 9% to more than 50%, boosting the country to the forefront […]

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The ‘Uber Economy’ Needs Guardrails Share This

Steven Hill | Jun 03, 2021 | Labor Market

Wingham Rowan wants to “remake the modern [labor] market,” while Neil Chilson wants “freedom from [labor] market frictions.” Yet neither seems to understand these markets from the perspective of the many freelancers and so-called “independent” contractors whom they purport to advocate for. Not all freelancers and contractors are the same. Depending on the occupation and […]

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Is Sweden a Free-Market Welfare State? Share This

Michael Lind | May 13, 2021 | Economics

Re: The Case for a Free-Market Welfare State

Forget American exceptionalism. Tiny social democratic Sweden is the country that embodies humanity’s future in the eyes of much of the global liberal left. A generation ago, the liberal economist Robert Heilbroner famously described his utopia as “a slightly idealized Sweden.” Now, the Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond has tried to draft Sweden for the libertarian […]

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How to Raise the Minimum Wage, If You Must Share This

Samuel Hammond | Feb 23, 2021 | Economics

Let’s peg the federal minimum wage to state median wages.

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When Does a Labor Economist Ask for a Raise? Share This

Oren Cass | Jan 28, 2021 | Labor Market

Little persuasion happens in 280-character snippets, but people willing to explain their thinking and answer each other’s questions can still accomplish a lot by clarifying their views and identifying the underlying sources of disagreement. So I was delighted yesterday when the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh took the time to walk me through his understanding of […]

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Salary Bands and the Truth about Wages Share This

Michael Lind | Dec 11, 2020 | Labor Market

How are wages set in the United States? The standard neoclassical economic model asserts that the wage reflects the marginal revenue for the firm produced by the worker. In a defense of welfare payments that compensate for low wages for workers in The Week, James Pethokoukis invokes this theory: … [E]conomics won’t be ignored. If […]

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Notes Toward a Supreme Oligarchy Share This

R. R. Reno | Oct 28, 2020 | American Tradition

Most of us are fixed on November 3. This is understandable. Elections are important, and this one seems more important than most. But I live in New York City. As I walk to work each day, my mind does not dwell on Trump or Biden. I go past closed hotels and empty office buildings. At […]

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Let Workers Enjoy the Fruits of their Productivity Gains Share This

Marshall Auerback | Oct 05, 2020 | Labor Market

Amber and David Lapp have written movingly about the current plight of America’s workers (here and here). The commodification of labor that they describe is not new by any means. Over the last 40 years, inequality has mounted, and workers in turn have seen their quality of life eroded, as their income share of GDP […]

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Refocusing Labor Policy to Unleash the American Worker Share This

Ted Budd | Sep 22, 2020 | Labor Market

American workers are the backbone of this country. In the wake of the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to remove barriers burdening the American worker. On Capitol Hill, the Republican Study Committee’s American Worker Task Force has proposed bold new solutions that would empower our nation’s workers […]

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