Economics

Op-Ed

Why Did Walmart Raise Its Wages?

Authors: Benn Steil and Dinah Walker
Forbes Online

Benn Steil’s Forbes op-ed with Dinah Walker examines why Walmart is raising its minimum starting wage. Contrary to arguments from popular commentators, there is no logical reason to suggest hidden motives related to political pressure. Walmart remains as relentless on costs as ever; wage pressures in the retail sector, we show, are wholly sufficient to explain the company’s move.

See more in United States; Labor

Op-Ed

Three Misconceptions About Inequality

Author: Peter R. Orszag
Bloomberg View

Concern about inequality in the U.S. is getting well-deserved attention. Unfortunately, though, discussions of the problem too often rest on three misconceptions: that capital is rising as a share of the economy, that most of the rise in wage inequality is explained by growing gaps within companies between higher and lower paid workers, and that workers are increasingly moving from one job to another. 

See more in United States; Financial Markets

Op-Ed

Congress Shouldn't Cut Military Research on Climate Change

Author: Varun Sivaram
The Hill

The new House budget sets a deadline of October 1 to “cut waste, eliminate redundancies and end the abuse or misuse of taxpayer dollars,” and it specifically targets the Department of Defense (DOD) for spending “part of their budget studying climate change.” Varun Sivaram highlights how the military’s broad portfolio of climate change adaptation efforts should not be considered redundant or wasteful because it bolsters American national security interests.

See more in United States; Climate Change; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Op-Ed

The Austerity Wars: Debunking Paul Krugman

Author: Benn Steil
Forbes Online

Benn Steil’s new Forbes op-ed examines Paul Krugman's data analysis purporting to document definitively that "austerity," defined by declines in real government purchases, damaged growth between 2010 and 2013. He shows that this finding collapses entirely when he excludes countries without independent monetary policies, such as those in the Eurozone. For countries with independent monetary policies, changes in real government purchases had no effect on growth.

See more in Global; Monetary Policy

Video Speakers: Robert D. Atkinson, Daniel J. Ikenson, Robert A. Blecker, Derek Scissors, and Edward Alden

Is the U.S. trade deficit a problem for the United States? If so, does it reflect competitiveness problems that are in part due to trade policies, or is it caused by factors that have nothing to do with trade policies? What are the proper policy responses?

See more in United States; Budget, Debt, and Deficits