Our post-Keynesian model: Support a populist economic agenda

Discussion of macro models at a recent event occasions a somewhat self-critical look at the model that I have worked on since about 2011 and with the help of academic colleague Tai Young-Taft since late 2014—as well as a look at what to expect as the U.S. economy approaches full employment. I will warn readers

07 May 2017

A Washington analyst on the Trump tax plan

Here I link to an interesting piece on a Bloomberg blog by Albert Hunt, who offers an analysis of the Trump tax plan, which I discussed myself in an earlier post. Watch out for his discussion of the elimination of the personal exemption, a provision that would increase the tax bill of many people with

03 May 2017

A new one-diagram critique of mainstream economics

In honor of a talk about to start at the New School for Social Research and to begin to offset all the talk here and elsewhere about policies that best address issues of economic growth and fair distribution without a reminder of other things that matter, I present at the top of this post a

01 May 2017

The real and unreal in Trump’s tax plan

Tax observations: The burden of the corporate income tax—surprise—really does fall mostly on corporations and their owners, rather than being passed along to consumers. Hence, cuts in this tax—just plain cuts—are likely to increase the after-tax income of the wealthy much more than middle class or poor people. This must be kept in mind by

01 May 2017

Post-conference post

On Friday and Saturday, an economics department held a conference in honor of  its new building. There was little unbridled praise of free markets. Many celebrants were people who had been students in the Ph.D. program in the department, which got its start as a radical department in the 1970s. The design of the new

30 Apr 2017

Money Market Mutual Funds: Holdings evolve amid revamp debate

Another chart related to my research on money market mutual funds, a type of retail investment offering great liquidity and yields that follow market rates on short-term securities.  Each series in the figure represents a type of assets held by this sector. The data are from the U.S. Financial Accounts; all I have done is

20 Apr 2017

Why not cut the deficit?–answering a noneconomist’s question

A friend sends an investment advice newsletter from a broker-economist type. The letter–a propos of the current effort to ramp up tax reform work in Congress after the health-care flop–discusses debt and the deficit in the United States. Typical of the deficit hysteria-entitlement reform camp, the article mentions amounts amounts of  government debt per U.S.

18 Apr 2017

Range and punch of anti-stagnation tools should be increased

In the New York Times’s Dealbook column, macro issue as Justin Wolfers attempts to make a case that a re-do of the policy arsenal is in order. While the employment situation is vastly improved, policymakers won’t be able to count on Fed rate cuts to rescue the economy next time, given low post-crisis “settings” of

10 Apr 2017

Major “populist” and fiscal-stimulus items offer glimmer but stay off front burner

Some progressive economists are cringing at a right-wing administration and its likely nefarious acts. On the other hand, while I count myself among this group, I see the Trump Administration as an interesting chance to get away from the standard neoliberal policies likely to be in force most of the time. For example, interventionist economic

19 Mar 2017

Prospects for fiscal- and trade-policy flexibility dim a bit

This blogger puts on a reporter’s hat once again, with some tidbits from the press on prospects for macroeconomic policy in the coming years. A report in the Financial Times suggests that the Wall Street faction in economic policy issues may be pushing aside Peter Navarro as a player with power on trade issues, at

16 Mar 2017
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