Josh Bivens

Josh Bivens

Josh Bivens is the Research and Policy Director at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Articles by this author

A comprehensive policy solution would be to extend Medicare and Medicaid to all those suffering job losses during the pandemic period, with the federal government funding this expansion.(Photo: NNU/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, April 30, 2020
12.7 Million Workers Have Likely Lost Employer-Provided Health Insurance Since the Coronavirus Shock Began
Since the economic fallout of the coronavirus shock began in early March, the number of workers laid-off or furloughed—as measured by new claims for unemployment insurance (UI)—has skyrocketed. We have used data from states that track UI claims by industry to get a rough estimate of how many...
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How policymakers respond now will determine the level of pain working families experience and the speed at which the economy can get back on track after the shutdown period is over. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, April 07, 2020
What a 'Phase Four' Stimulus Package Must Provide
In the last two weeks, nearly 10 million people applied for unemployment insurance. The March jobs report revealed a loss of 701,000 jobs —the first monthly job loss in nearly 10 years and already one of the worst monthly losses on record. Further, March’s job loss numbers are just the tip of the...
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Red sign hanging at the glass door of a shop saying "Closed due to coronavirus." Views
Sunday, March 22, 2020
The Coronavirus Fiscal Response Should Be as Big as Needed
Congress is taking up a fiscal stabilization package this week to cushion the economic shock of the coronavirus. A natural question arising in this debate will be "how big should it be?" The experience of the Great Recession argues clearly that the answer to this has to be "as big as is needed."...
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Once the current crisis has passed, we will need a thorough diagnosis of just why the U.S. economy and society was so fragile to this shock. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Coronavirus Shock Will Likely Claim 3 Million Jobs By Summer
At this point, a coronavirus recession is inevitable. But the policy response can determine how deep it is, how long it lasts, and how rapidly the economy bounces back from it. If this response includes enough fiscal stimulus that is well-targeted and sustained so long as the economy remains weak,...
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Our current broken health system is far from painless for everybody, and quoting job numbers that are misleading without further context only muddies the waters in the debate surrounding M4A. (Photo: Screenshot) Views
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Even HBO’s John Oliver Didn’t Provide the full Context on "Medicare for All" and Jobs
There’s a lot of rhetoric out there right now about how providing “Medicare for All” (M4A) could destroy the economy or lead to ruinous tax increases. But one bright spot was HBO host John Oliver’s monologue on the plan that went viral last month. Oliver took a characteristically in-depth look at...
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City continues to implement precautions in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including new cleaning protocols carried out by MTA employees. Frequently used surfaces in stations, such as turnstiles, MetroCard and ticket vending machines, and handrails, will be disinfected daily. (Photo: Andrew Cashin / MTA New York City Transit / flickr / cc) Views
Monday, March 09, 2020
With Working People Most Vulnerable, It's Time to Get Serious About Economic Response to Coronavirus
With the stock market plummeting and hysteria around COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus) escalating, it is time to get serious about the economic policy response. Policymakers and the public will need help in distinguishing between smart responses and those that are just ideological...
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Fundamental health reform would benefit typical American families in all sorts of ways. (Photo: NNU/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, March 05, 2020
Fundamental Health Reform Like 'Medicare for All' Would Help the Labor Market
Fundamental health reform like “Medicare for All” would be a hugely ambitious policy undertaking with profound effects on the economy and the economic security of households in America. But despite oft-repeated claims of large-scale job losses, a national program that would guarantee health...
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We really need to start thinking of a much richer set of economic tools that can solve society’s problems in coming years.  (Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, March 03, 2020
Economic Policy and the Coronavirus: How to Mitigate Harm and Plan for the Future
The direct cost that Covid-19 inflicts on human health is obviously its most important effect on society. But this direct cost can be worsened by flawed economic and policy structures . And the indirect damage the disease causes through economic ripple effects could be large, so policymakers should...
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New York Times columnist David Brooks. (Photo: Miller Center/flickr/cc) Views
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Of Course There Is a Class War, David Brooks
New York Times columnist David Brooks, in an article sub-titled “No, Virginia, there is no class war,” recently trotted out an old argument about why wage growth has been so sluggish for so many U.S. workers for so long: they’re just not very good workers. Specifically, he argues that “wages are...
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Many Washington insiders assert forcefully that committing to PAYGO rules in the House for the next Congress is good politics. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
The Bad Economics of PAYGO Swamp Any Strategic Gain From Adopting It
The obscure Congressional budget rule known as PAYGO (“pay as you go”) has burst into the news lately . A PAYGO rule means that any tax cut or spending increase passed into law needs to be offset in the same spending cycle with tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. Incoming House...
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