Professor Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics has come to America to tell us that many of our problems could be solved with higher taxes on wealth and an increase in the minimum wage. Sunday’s New York Times called him a Rock Star.
While not quite inducing Beatlemania, French economist Thomas Piketty’s visit this week to America has inspired the Washington analog of teenage frenzy. On Tuesday, the inequality expert spoke here in D.C. (top one percent share: 28%) at multiple events. Wednesday he was in New York (Manhattan top share
On Thursday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a cost estimate for the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, which would raise the minimum wage. According to CBO’s estimate, raising the hourly minimum wage to $10.10 would increase private sector costs by $15 billion.
A recent article by Robin Harding in the Financial Times made the dubious claim that “the millions sent to prison in the U.S., and their subsequent struggle to find work, are a crucial reason for falling labour market participation in [America].”
The House of Representatives has the opportunity to stall the economic recovery by following the Senate and passing an extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Or, the House could help the economy by just letting the bill die.
The March jobs report, released April 4, shows strong labor market growth, with an increase in the labor force participation rate, 192,000 more jobs created according to the payroll survey, and 476,000 more Americans employed according to the household survey.
On April Fools' Day the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is holding a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act, sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski, who will reportedly chair the hearing.
For the first time since 1978, the United Kingdom has a higher overall labor force participation rate than the United States. However, since 2002, labor market activity for those in their prime working years has been higher in the United Kingdom because of the declining labor force participation rate in the United States.
With the publication of a new White House report titled The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage on Women, President Obama is trying get women to support raising the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. Women should not fall for a proposal that would hurt their job opportunities.