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September 18, 2023

No Culture Wars, Please, We’re Academics

A few years ago, Melissa S. Kearney got into a taxi cab and asked the driver about a photo of a young girl on his dashboard. The driver confirmed it was his daughter and then proudly showed her more pictures. The girl lived with her mother, he explained. Kearney, a professor of economics at the…

September 18, 2023

Biden’s Latest Student-Loan Plan Is Another Disaster

Late last month, President Biden and his Department of Education announced the launch of the “SAVE” Plan, a reform that expands existing income-driven repayment (IDR) programs to the tune of up to $550 billion. Now, it’s been reported that as many as 4 million borrowers have signed up for the plan, many of them enrolled automatically. Last week, Senator Bill…

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…

August 21, 2023

Four Shocking Truths about the American Economy! (Well, Shocking to Some.)

I recently wrote a brief essay, “Generative AI and Economic Growth,” for Exponential View, the great newsletter by Azeem Azhar. And I knew one particular passage would be sure to raise eyebrows: A lengthy and fundamentally solid expansion would allow the economic progress of the pre-pandemic period — falling inequality, rising real wages across the income…

July 18, 2023

The Great Recession, COVID-19, Interest Hikes Left a 15-Year Mark on Housing

How have the Great Recession in 2007, the COVID-19 pandemic that hit in 2020, and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes that started in 2022 affected mortgages in the region? Here’s the short answer: Each year, researchers at George Washington University use the State of the Capital Region report to do a deep dive on a policy…

January 19, 2023

Labor Unions and the “Double-Helix” of America’s Workforce Development Future

The role of labor unions in the future of American workforce development depends largely on how we conceive of the needs and demands facing workers and the economy. Traditionally, we’ve thought of workforce development in terms of formal, technical skill development and the so-called “skills gap,” the difference between the credentials and skills our training…

August 30, 2022

Biden’s Student Loan Debt Plan is Driven by Politics, Not Economics

On Wednesday, President Biden announced his long-awaited plan to cancel student loans — effectively wiping away up to $10,000 for borrowers with individual income below $125,000 (and couples with joint income below $250,000). The administration’s plan forgives up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients under the same income limits. The move, which will cost taxpayers…

June 15, 2022

Second Time’s the Charm?

Early last year, Senator Mitt Romney proposed a new approach to family policy that exposed some significant rifts among right-leaning policy wonks who care about fighting poverty and supporting family formation. This week, Romney (together with fellow Republicans Richard Burr and Steve Daines) has offered a revised version of the idea that might just have what it takes…