The Hunger Games Economy

In the eyes of most of the world and in our own, to be an American is to be an optimist—entrepreneurial, positive-thinking, and future-oriented. It is not surprising, then, that our politics has not come to grips with the question…

A Tough Choice For Mexico

It may barely make a blip on our political radar screen, but on July 1 Mexico is slated to elect a new president for the next six years. Plagued by out-of control violence and chronic poverty, the country is in…

Grasping At Chinese Straws

The Commerce Department released another depressing report on the U.S. trade deficit this morning, our monthly reminder of the huge gap between globalization’s economic reality and American economic policymaking. In March, we bought about $52 billion (28 percent) more from the rest…

The Myth Of The Level Playing Field

  “Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you: America will always win.”  —Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 24, 2012 The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the latest act…

A Cheaper Dollar Is Not Enough

My colleague Josh Bivens is right to call Christina Romer on her failure to note the importance of currency manipulation on the plight of U.S. manufacturing. But, he leaves us with the impression that the story ends there, and that a…

It’s Not the Ideology; It’s The Money

To hear the punditry tell it, the priority Washington has given to deficit reduction over job creation reflects an ideological revolt from the grass roots against big government.  Yet, listening to such Tea Party ravings as “Keep the Government’s hands…

America’s Trade Policy of the Absurd

For three decades, both Democratic and Republican administrations have been making trade deals with elites of other countries that favor the interests of multinational investors over the interests of American producers and workers. U.S.-based banks and corporations get access to…

The Shaky Case for Optimism

Belief in a better tomorrow is a self-defining American characteristic. However many among us may be leading lives of quiet desperation, we insist that this is the land of, as Nellie Forbush, the heroine of South Pacific, put it, “cock-eyed…

Forget Obama; Attack The Corporate Money

Whether you think Barack Obama’s problem is spinelessness, naiveté, lack of principle, chronic centrism, Rupert Murdoch – or whatever, two things are painfully obvious. One, he will never fight for the progressive changes our country needs. Two, he will be…

Trade Policy and the American Worker

“Globalization is dramatically disconnecting the relationship between American corporate employers and their employees,” says Jeff Faux, EPI founding president and distinguished fellow. Faux has written extensively about the ways so-called free trade agreements have benefitted the world’s largest corporations at…