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Dr. Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Michigan.
SHARE Monday, October 14, 2019 Trump Has Been Giving Up Ground in His Much-Vaunted "Trade War"
Trump has put protecting the intellectual property of U.S. corporations front and center.
This is not a battle that most of us should want to see Trump win. Ordinary workers have no real interest in making people in China and elsewhere pay more for drugs, medical equipment, software, and other items to which US companies have intellectual property claims.
SHARE Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Trump's Trade War: a Report From the Front
The trade war doesn't look like it is going well for Donald Trump, at least by his chosen measure of success. If trade deficits mean other countries are ripping us off, then they are ripping us off considerably more under Trump than when Barack Obama was in the White House.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, September 30, 2019 There Is No Economic Justification for Drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge
There are companies that expect to profit from this degradation of the environment, but they are not the driving force here. There just is not that much money at stake. Rather, people in power are spitting in the face of people who value the environment to show they can wreak destruction for no good reason whatsoever.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 12, 2019 Progressive Policies May Hurt the Stock Market. That's Not a Bad Thing.
Last week, we saw the media terrified over a plunge in the stock market following an escalation of Donald Trump's trade war with China. There are good reasons to be concerned about Trump's ill-defined trade war and reality TV tactics, but the plunge in the stock market is not one of them.
SHARE Thursday, July 18, 2019 The Coal Industry is Not a Major Employer
It is a bit peculiar that the earlier declines in coal mining employment, which were primarily due to productivity growth (specifically, replacing underground mining with strip mining -- a policy often opposed by environmentalists), received relatively little attention in the media or from politicians.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 1, 2019 Replace Patent Monopolies With Direct Public Funding for Drug Research
In almost all cases, drugs are cheap to manufacture. It is government-granted patent monopolies or some other form of exclusivity that makes drugs expensive. In a truly free market, drugs are cheap. The restrictions on prices being proposed are simply efforts to limit the extent to which drug companies can exploit the monopolies the government has given them.
SHARE Monday, June 17, 2019 I Say No to Frac-Sand Mining Near My Home -- for Myself and the Planet
As was the case with the Keystone XL Pipeline and tar sands oil, if this mine is blocked, it will raise the cost of frac sand, which will raise the cost of fracking. Given the damage that fossil fuel burning is doing to the planet, we should all want to raise the cost of fracking as much as possible.
SHARE Monday, June 10, 2019 Donald Trump's Capricious Tariffs Open the Door to Corruption
Donald Trump has repeatedly proclaimed his love for tariffs, even dubbing himself "Tariff Man." While Trump clearly does not understand how tariffs work, some of the discussion in the media has been off target as well. It's worth trying to get the basic story straight.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Trump's Trade War With China and "Our" Intellectual Property
The origins of the trade war can be traced to campaign promises Trump made to go after China over its large trade surplus with the United States, which he attributed to "currency manipulation." The argument was that by intervening in currency markets (buying up U.S. dollars), China was propping up the value of the dollar against its own currency.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 13, 2019 The US Labor Market Is Deteriorating for Black Men
The situation for Black Americans, and especially Black men, is disturbing. While the data are erratic, we now have enough of it to indicate that the employment prospects of Black men may actually be deteriorating even as the overall labor market continues to improve.
SHARE Thursday, May 9, 2019 Krugman v. Sanders on Medicare-for-All
Last week Krugman devoted a column to dismissing the Democrats septuagenarians (Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders) as not being prepared to deal with the presidency in today's political environment. Part of his indictment of Sanders was an unwillingness to compromise, most notably on health care reform.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, April 29, 2019 What We Have Learned From the Trump Tax Cut
A tax cut targeted to the rich and corporations was a terrible way to boost demand. We should have done it by investing in infrastructure, education, child care and other productive uses. If we were going to do tax cuts, they should be targeted to the low- and moderate-income people who need it most.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 16, 2019 Medicare for All 64-Year-Olds
A switch-over from the current system to M4A will not be popular in many districts. Many people are satisfied with the insurance they have now and will be reluctant to support what they will view as a big leap into the unknown. Perhaps these people can be convinced over time that a universal Medicare-type system will be at least as good for them, but they are not there now.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, April 8, 2019 The "Independent" Fed Isn't Quite What It Is Cracked Up to Be
On the issue of the dollar rising in the wake of the financial collapse in 2008, this was actually bad news for the U.S. economy. After the plunge in demand from residential construction and consumption following the collapse of the housing bubble, net exports was one of the few sources of demand that could potentially boost the U.S. economy. The rise in the dollar severely limited growth in this component.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 6, 2019 Deflation Is Not Preventing Consumers from Buying Items in Japan
Japan borrows long-term at a negative nominal interest rate, meaning that investors pay the Japanese government to borrow money from them. The story of Japan's economy being in desperate straits is entirely a media invention, it is not based in reality.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, April 1, 2019 As U.S. Economy Weakens, Economists Struggle to Predict Next Recession
With wages growing at a respectable pace, and job growth remaining healthy, we should see enough consumption demand to keep the economy moving forward. That means slower growth, but no recession. People should not spend time worrying about the curse of the inverted yield curve, at least not unless something else bad happens to the economy.
SHARE Thursday, March 21, 2019 Trillion Dollar Wall Street Bailouts, Bernie Sanders, and the Washington Post
Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker gave Bernie Sanders two Pinocchios this week for saying that the Wall Street banks got a trillion dollar bailout. Kessler raises several points of contention. Whether the Wall Street banks actually got that much money. Or whether it can really be called a bailout since the government made a profit on the loans. And the bailout was necessary to keep the financial system running.