Dean Baker

Articles by this author

Man holds a sign reading 'Bailout families, not Wall Street insiders' Views
Saturday, December 01, 2018
Our Elites Refuse to Accept Responsibility for Leaving Behind the Left Behind
There have been several analyses of the 2018 election results showing that the Republican regions are disproportionately areas that lag in income and growth. In response, we are seeing a minor industry develop on what we can do to help the left behinds. The assumption in this analysis is that being...
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Monday, September 03, 2018
Unions in the 21st Century: A Potent Weapon Against Inequality
The topic of economic inequality can appear complex, with many nuanced causes and outcomes. But while the two of us actively engage in that debate, we also strongly believe that there is one overarching factor that must not be, but often is, overlooked: worker bargaining power. On Labor Day, this...
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A snarky sign seen in San Francisco. Views
Friday, August 03, 2018
The Trump Administration's Giant F**k You to Working People: Playing Games with Capital Gains Tax Rates
Okay, I'm going to plead guilty to playing lawyer without a license. The NYT reports that the Trump administration is proposing to unilaterally (as in no congressional action) change the way that capital gains are calculated for tax purposes. The plan is to allow people to index capital gains for...
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"While Lowenstein doesn't see any problem with our incredibly rich counterfeiters in the real world we have the problem that they are creating demand for goods and services with their consumption." (Photograph: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Views
Monday, July 23, 2018
The Washington Post Thinks It Is a New Idea to Tell People to Worry About Mobility and Not Inequality
Just when you thought economic commentary in the Washington Post couldn't get any more insipid, Roger Lowenstein proves otherwise. In a business section " perspective " he tells readers: "But what if inequality is the wrong metric. Herewith a modest proposition: economic inequality is not the best...
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"While that didn't surprise those of us who follow the data closely, the release did seem to catch some of the proselytizers of the gig economy by surprise." (Photo by studioEAST/Getty Images) Views
Friday, June 08, 2018
Killing the Myth of the Gig Economy
Many pundit types were thrown for a loop by the Labor Department's release of its Contingent Worker Survey yesterday. The survey, the first one since 2005, showed no increase in the percentage of workers employed as independent contractors, such as those who work for Uber and Lyft. While that didn'...
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Tuesday, June 05, 2018
No You Assholes, Obama Did Not Do It Too
Let's get this straight, Donald Trump did something unbelievably stupid when he tweeted about the jobs report last Friday morning, 69 minutes before it was public. The president gets an advance copy of the report the night before, so he and his staff know what the country will be looking at the...
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 The basis for the criticism of Trump's tariff policies is not its potential hit to the stock market, the author argues. (Photo: Iman Mosaad/flickr/cc) Views
Sunday, April 01, 2018
Roger Lowenstein, F**k Your Stock Portfolio
I realize it would be too much to ask that people who write on economics for major news outlets have any clue about how the economy works. I say that seriously; I have been commenting on economic reporting for more than two decades. Being a writer on economics is not like being a custodian or bus...
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Thursday, March 15, 2018
In Defense of Larry Kudlow (Sort of)
A lot of folks are running around making a big point of the fact that Larry Kudlow, Trump's new head of the National Economic Council, has gotten a lot of things about the economy wrong, and in particular missed the coming of the Great Recession. For example, here's Dana Milbank's column in the...
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"Remarkably, this new data have gotten almost no attention from the media."(Photo: @srbija_eu/Twitter) Views
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Doesn't Anyone Care If the Trump Tax Cuts Are Working?
The Commerce Department released data on capital goods orders for January yesterday. As I noted , this is a hugely important early measure of the success of the Trump tax cuts. The ostensible rationale for the big cut in the corporate tax rate that was at the center of the tax cut is that it will...
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As I pointed out yesterday, the projection of an investment boom was never very plausible in any case, but for it to make any sense at all, the tax cuts have to be permanent. Views
Thursday, November 02, 2017
Republican Tax Plan Goes for Temporary Cuts and Permanent Lies
The Washington Post reported that Republicans in Congress are now considering making their tax cuts temporary, so as to reduce their cost over the 10-year budget horizon. The paper neglected to mention that this change would completely undermine the basis for the claim that the tax cut will lead to...
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