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June 10, 2024

Employment and Labor Supply Responses to the Child Tax Credit Expansion: Theory and Evidence

AbstractThe 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion increased government benefits to families, andespecially to families with the lowest incomes. Economic theory predicts that this policyintervention would have led to a reduction in labor supply among adults in those families. Ourreview of available research suggests that employment within broadly defined demographicgroups was not reduced by the…

June 10, 2024

The Economic World We’ve Lost

Populism has infected both major parties in the United States, leading to policies that previous generations of economic policymakers would immediately recognized as foolhardy and counter-productive. But whether the country can escape its self-destructive pessimism is anyone’s guess. WASHINGTON, DC – The past decade has brought a sea change in US economic policy, and not…

June 4, 2024

What Comes After Neoliberalism?

The steep tariff increases on Chinese goods that US President Joe Biden’s administration recently announced are just the latest in a long string of interventionist economic policies that fly in the face of decades of neoliberal orthodoxy. And the Biden administration is hardly alone: a growing number of governments, economists, and institutions are rethinking the…

May 13, 2024

The American Dream Is Alive and Well (and the Problem of US Inequality Greatly Exaggerated)

Don’t listen to the populist naysayers: The U.S. economy continues to deliver jobs, higher wages and upward mobility for those who need it most. What do former President Trump and Bernie Sanders have in common? Or Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Nobel Prize-winning Clinton administration economist Joseph Stiglitz and billionaire investor Ray Dalio? Among many other prominent elected officials, commentators, public…

December 18, 2023

The State of Democratic Capitalism: 2023

How to assess the health of democratic capitalism in the United States? Fundamentally, it is very strong. The marriage of democratic politics and a free-market economy continues to strengthen each, with free markets generating the employment opportunities and prosperity that lead to widespread support for our political system and the rule of law, strengthen democratic…

November 14, 2023

Forget the Economics of Grievance

Introduction Donald Trump’s ascendancy has inflicted many changes on the right, including substantially altering its posture on economic issues.1 Where this blend of economic nationalism and conservative populism has been tried, it has been found wanting—at least, if you take the goal of working-class populism to be better opportunities and outcomes for the working class. And…

September 23, 2023

Did Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Increase Unemployment? Evidence from Early State-level Expirations

Abstract During the 2021 pandemic year, the generosity of Unemployment Insurance benefits was expanded (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation [FPUC]) and eligibility for benefits was broadened (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance [PUA]). These two programs were set to expire in September 2021. In June 2021, 18 states exited both FPUC and PUA and three states exited FPUC (but…

September 15, 2023

Why Industrial Policy Fails

With Democrats and Republicans alike supporting a shift from free markets toward government planning, the United States has clearly entered a new era of economic policymaking. Yet all the reasons why such strategies generally fail to make good on politicians’ promises are as valid as ever. WASHINGTON, DC – Industrial policy is all the rage…

January 5, 2023

Defending the American Dream with Michael Strain

Our interview this week is with the American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Strain. Michael is the author of The American Dream Is Not Dead: (But Populism Could Kill It), and we talk about how real blue-collar wages in America have not been stagnant for decades, despite what you might have heard.

February 27, 2020

The American Dream Is Not Dead: A Book Event with Michael R. Strain

Event Summary On Thursday, AEI’s Michael R. Strain presented an overview of his book “The American Dream Is Not Dead: (But Populism Could Kill It)” (Templeton Press, 2020). In his opening presentation, Dr. Strain emphasized that the American dream still remains available to Americans despite populist agitations that suggest the opposite. In making his case,…