Making the Central Government More Manageable and Effective

May 28th, 2014
in Op Ed

by Ajay Shah, AjayShahBlog

For the government to work, cabinet meetings must work well. For a meeting to work well, it can't have more than 15 persons. That gives you a real meeting, a conversation, an argument. If big groups are assembled then people just do speeches at each other and nothing is accomplished.

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Former Barroso Advisor Turns Against Austerity

May 27th, 2014
in Op Ed, syndication

by Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

Philippe Legrain has been the advisor to José Manuel Barroso from February 2011 to February 2014, according to Wikipedia. German daily 'Die Tageszeitung' or taz [The Newspaper] features an interview with him in today’s paper. In April, he gave an interview to The Independent. Here is an extract:

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Booming Retail Sales Hide A Terrible Problem – The Endgame

May 27th, 2014
in Op Ed

by Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner

Actual, nominal retail sales grew at the robust annual rate of 4.8% after posting the best April performance since 2009. But there's a problem with that.

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The Piketty Moment, the Democrats, and the Upcoming Elections

May 26th, 2014
in Op Ed

Tax Talk:  Pre-distribution or Redistribution?

by L. Randall Wray, New Economic Perspectives, with significant contribution from Lambert Strether

I’ve been blogging a series on the role of taxes. In the first piece, I argued that “taxes drive money”, in response to a silly claim that MMT argues we do not need taxes. In the second instalment I examined other uses for taxes — including to reduce excessive aggregate demand and to discourage “sin”. Most importantly, I argued that we do not need taxes to “pay for” sovereign government spending. In the third piece, I argued against the “Robin Hood” view that we need taxes to “take from the rich to give to the poor”. That should be obvious — we can spend on the poor without any tax increase, and indeed could spend on the poor while reducing everyone’s taxes.

Predictably, that third instalment riled the liberals. There’s nothing they like more than using the need to spend on the poor to justify raising taxes on the rich.

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2014: Year of the Great Wage Debate

May 26th, 2014
in Op Ed, syndication

Written by , GEI Associate

I'm sorry but you will never be able to support your family working at McDonald's... even with a substantial minimum wage increase.

Beginning late last year, fast-food employees organized by local social rights operations and the SEIU began coordinated strikes across the country demanding that the minimum wage be increased to $15/hour. The protests were based largely on employee frustration, not being able to support a family or live by themselves, they directed their rage at their employers.

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