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After jobs dry up, what then?

The New York Times • March 10, 2015 • Katrin Benhold

“…Laura Tyson, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, said the Nordic countries, with their flexible labor markets and generous social safety nets, could be a model. But in many countries, that would require a fundamental rethink of what and whom governments tax and of where the tax revenue is invested…”

Can Egypt do better at business?

Bloomberg View • March 9, 2015 • Peter Orszag

“On March 13, Egypt will open a big economic development conference in Sharm el-Sheikh intended to show the world that it is fixing its economy and to attract foreign investment. The conference is pitched as a “key milestone of the government’s medium term economic development plan.”

A deal worth getting right

The Financial Times • March 8, 2015 • Larry Summers

“Over the next few months, the question of U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is likely to be resolved one way or the other. It is, to put it mildly, a highly controversial issue. Proponents believe a deal is essential to both our economic and geopolitical interests; opponents fear that it will primarily benefit corporations and the wealthy at the expense of middle-class living standards…”

‘47 percent’ of U.S. jobs are at risk because of advancing technologies

The World Post • March 6, 2015 • Daniel Rivaro

"…It's a societal problem," Dr. Laura Tyson, professor of Business Administration and Economics, at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, told me.
In the U.S., she notes, most job growth is already happening towards the bottom of the pay scale, much of which is driven by people whose traditional middle income manufacturing jobs have been lost to increasingly productive robots in the factory…”

The state of the U.S. Job Market: Pre-March 2015 jobs release

Center for American Progress • March 5, 2015 • Michael Madowitz and Danielle Corley

“…As for job growth, during the economic expansion of the 1990s, the economy added at least250,000 jobs per month 47 times. During the current expansion, which has now lasted roughly half as long, we have seen only 13 months of job growth greater than 250,000, which includes abnormal hiring involved with conducting the decennial census. Meanwhile, at the average rate of job growth over the past three years, The Hamilton Project estimates that we may not reach our former level of employment, when factoring in new labor-force entrants, until as late as mid-2017.*”

Hard math in a new economy

Time • March 5, 2015 • Rana Foroohar

“…The truth is that technology has long served as an easy target for employment alarmists–in no small part because innovators tend to tout new efficiencies and cost savings foremost. But as a recent Brookings Institution [Hamilton Project] analysis put it, “Historically, technological progress has created winners and losers, but over the long run, [it] has tended to create more jobs than it has destroyed.”

Altman says Putin’s Russia a weak country, may bend santions

Bloomberg Business • March 4, 2015 • Sonali Basak, Doni Bloomfield and Jing Cao

"Roger Altman, the investment banker and former deputy U.S. Treasury secretary, said Russian President Vladimir Putin is more vulnerable than people realize to sanctions that will test his population’s patience.

“A lot of people misunderstand how profoundly weak Russia is,” Altman, the co-founder of Evercore Partners Inc., told Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu in an interview Wednesday, citing a declining population, a hobbled banking system and a currency that has lost about half its value. “Russia is on the edge.”

Robots are hurting middle class workers, and education won’t solve the problem, Larry Summers says

The Washington Post • March 3, 2015 • Jim Tankersley

"Two weeks ago, the famous economist Larry Summers sat in a chair on a stage at the National Press Club, talked with several other smart people for an hour and briefly upended a major debate in economics.

The occasion was a forum, hosted by the Brookings Institution' Hamilton Project, on technological change and its effect on American workers. Summers, the former Treasury Secretary who is arguably the most influential economist in Democratic Party circles today, joined a discussion on whether rapidly advancing technology -- like robots -- is killing jobs and hurting incomes for the middle class..."

To Fight Inequality, Tax Land

Bloomberg View • March 3, 2015 • Peter Orszag

"In the lasting debate over Thomas Piketty’s book on outsized returns on capital, a significant fact has been obscured: If you exclude land and housing, capital has not risen as a share of the U.S. economy. If you're surprised, you're not the only one. Intuition suggests this capital-output ratio should be higher today than it was in the early 1900s..." 

Signs of intelligent life in the economics profession

Aljazeera America • March 2, 2015 • Dean Baker

“The core problem is that there aren't enough jobs,” said [Larry Summers] the former Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton and top economics adviser to Barack Obama. “If you help some people, you could help them get the jobs, but then someone else won't get the jobs. Unless you're doing things that have things that are affecting the demand for jobs, you're helping people win a race to get a finite number of jobs.” He made these comments at a conference at the Brookings Institution put on by the Hamilton Project, the economics think tank funded by Summers’ predecessor at the Clinton Treasury, Robert Rubin..."
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A periodic newsletter of events, policy briefs, and working papers from The Hamilton Project.