Issues

By / 6.23.2017

Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, joined Alphachat to talk about his report, “The Coming Productivity Boom”, co-authored by Bret Swanson of Entropy Economics. Mandel argues that the decades-long productivity stagnation will end once companies in the “physical” industries — transportation, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, wholesale and retail trade — start investing […]

By / 6.18.2017

On June 7,  Axios  journalist Chris Matthews wrote a piece “Big Companies, Fewer Workers”  that said: The five most valuable companies in the U.S. are all technology firms that employ far fewer workers than their industrial predecessors. He echoes a common complaint. But is it really true? I decided to  compare employment at today’s most valuable […]

By / 6.15.2017

Reasonable people can disagree about former President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top initiative – his multibillion education competition among states – but it was a big idea. So, too, were President Bill Clinton’s push for school standards and accountability, President George H.W. Bush’s push for national standards and President George W. Bush’s effort to […]

In a New York Times op-ed, Jonathan Taplin argues that Google, Facebook, and Amazon have become monopolies. With such large market shares in search advertising, social media, and e-commerce respectively, Taplin says it’s time to break up these companies — or regulate them as public utilities. Is this a fair assessment? Is Big Tech really […]

By / 6.5.2017

Americans don’t agree on much these days — but everyone knows our politics isn’t working. Even the simplest of issues are no match for the spinmeisters, and policy argument has been replaced by viral meme. It’s a plague that undermines the very idea of meeting in the middle that has been fundamental to our progress. […]

By / 6.5.2017

With Trump’s proposal to gut federal food assistance by $192 billion — much of which would come out of the shopping carts of the working class — the president is once again proving his willingness to shaft those who supported him most. Contrary to the racially-tinged stereotype that Americans who rely upon the Supplemental Nutrition […]

By / 6.5.2017

To be elected president, Donald Trump rode a wave of anger and disillusionment among white non-college voters who are bitterly disappointed over their recent economic experiences and hopeless about their futures. Trump exploited their anger brilliantly, feeding them false hopes that he would restore their lost jobs in manufacturing and mining, thus resurrecting the pathways […]

By and / 6.2.2017

Donald Trump made political hay in Appalachian and industrial states by running as an ardent booster of coal. Yet what’s really powered America’s remarkable energy boom over the last decade is shale oil and natural gas, renewable solar and wind, clean-tech and energy efficiency. Energy innovation, in short, is the key to creating more good […]

By / 6.2.2017

Here we go again. You can’t find a single person at Whole Foods who thinks it’s a good idea for President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord! Substantively, they’re probably right. But on the politics? There, Trump is winning. Why? Pittsburgh, not Paris. Democrats confuse the two at […]

By / 6.1.2017

Innovation is the foundation of growth. As innovation spreads to the physical industries, the result is higher wages, lower costs, and a more dynamic economy, as we showed in our recent report, The Coming Productivity Boom. But innovation in physical industries  has proceeded slower than we might have wanted, In part, that’s because promising technologies […]