Economics @ ITT

America is no longer a land of opportunity

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 25, 2012

Markets are shaped by the rules of the game. Our political system has written rules that benefit the rich at the expense of others. Financial regulations allow predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices that transfer money from the bottom to the top. So do bankruptcy laws that provide priority for derivatives. The rules of globalisation – where capital is freely mobile but workers are not – enhance an already large asymmetry of bargaining: businesses threaten to leave the country unless workers make strong concessions.

via America is no longer a land of opportunity – FT.com.

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Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 22, 2012

In the past 20 years, the US economy has grown nearly 60 percent. This huge increase in productivity is partly due to automation, the internet, and other improvements in efficiency. But its also the result of Americans working harder—often without a big boost to their bottom lines. Oh, and meanwhile, corporate profits are up 20 percent.

via Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil | Mother Jones.

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The Best Countries for Entrepreneurs?

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 22, 2012

The best countries for entrepreneurs do not necessarily have the biggest economies. In fact, based on a new report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, four of the 10 best countries for entrepreneurship have among the smallest economies in the developed world. While it is no surprise that the United States and the United Kingdom are among the best countries for entrepreneurs, most businesses would not put Portugal or New Zealand among them.

via The best countries for entrepreneurs – Bottom Line.

How Many Minimum Wage Hours Does It Take To Afford A Two-Bedroom Apartment In Your State?

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 21, 2012

Ever wonder how people manage to get by on minimum wage? Oftentimes, they don’t…

via Share » » How Many Minimum Wage Hours Does It Take To Afford A Two-Bedroom Apartment In Your State?.

Conservatives Are Not Against Big Government

Posted in economics, Income Redistribution, Policy Issues, Regulation, Taxation by ittecon on June 19, 2012

Conservatives just want to distribute income upwards instead of downwards.

[An] example of big government that conservatives support, highly paid professionals e.g. doctors, dentists and lawyers use licensing restrictions to limit both foreign and domestic competition. While the government has been using the banner of “free trade” to drive down the wages of manufacturing workers, it has simultaneously been increasing the protection afforded doctors in order to prevent any similar downward pressure on their wages.

If doctors in the United States were paid the same as doctors in Western Europe, it would save us more than $80 billion a year. The big government subsidy to doctors alone is close to two times the money involved in Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy.

via Dean Baker: Liberals Working for the Right.

Gen X may have taken biggest hit in economic downturn

Posted in economics by ittecon on June 18, 2012

Almost everyone in America has good reason to throw a little pity party whenever they think about what the economic turmoil of recent years has done to their financial situation. A government report released Monday finds that the 35- to 44-year-old members of Generation X may have the most cause to feel sorry for themselves.

via Gen X may have taken biggest hit in economic downturn – Life Inc..

Illegal Immigrant’s Transplant, Cheaper Over Life, Isn’t Covered

Posted in economics, Policy Issues by ittecon on June 18, 2012

This is what happens when xenophobia trumps economics, humanity, and common sense. This operation would pay for itself in about a years and a quarter, but ignorant policy prevails.

[T]he government would pay for a lifetime of dialysis, costing $75,000 a year, but not for the $100,000 transplant that would make it unnecessary.

via Illegal Immigrant’s Transplant, Cheaper Over Life, Isn’t Covered – NYTimes.com.

A Big Enough Soda Tax Could Have Legs

Posted in economics, microeconomics, Regulation by ittecon on June 18, 2012

When the USDA crunched the numbers PDF on a 20 percent increase in cost of sugared beverages in 2010 study, it found that more expensive drinks could spur an average loss of 3.8 pounds a year for adults and 4.5 pounds a year for kids.

via A Big Enough Soda Tax Could Have Legs | Mother Jones.

Goods: Public of Private

Posted in economics, Policy Issues by ittecon on June 11, 2012

Should public goods continue to exist?

The government promised that the public would get parks where citizens could exercise and stay strong – shared open spaces that would be theirs forever, places that would inspire and invigorate.

But one park became a Las Vegas hotel. Another was almost turned into a beachfront McDonald’s. Another is being converted into an upscale private resort in Oklahoma.  And in New York City, the National Park Service allowed the New York Yankees, the nation’s richest baseball franchise, to build a parking garage atop public ball fields that needy kids at the local schools didn’t see replaced for six years.

via Pledges forgotten, local governments repurpose federally funded parks – Open Channel.

As unions decline, inequality rises

Posted in economics, Income Redistribution by ittecon on June 6, 2012

To a remarkable extent, inequality, which fell during the New Deal but has risen dramatically since the late 1970s, corresponds to the rise and fall of unionization in the United States.

via As unions decline, inequality rises | Economic Policy Institute.