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Tag Archives: U.S. Policy

A Theory of Economic Policy Lock-in and Lock-out via Hysterisis: Rethinking Economists’ Approach to Economic Policy

This paper explores lock-in and lock-out via economic policy. It argues policy decisions may near-irrevocably change the economy’s structure, thereby changing its performance. That causes changed economic outcomes concerning distribution of wealth, income and power, which in turn induces locked-in changes in political outcomes. That is a different way of thinking about policy compared to [...]

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An Undergraduate’s Question about Economic Policy

I received an e-mail from an undergraduate economics student who was curious about economic policy in Washington, DC. His question says a lot about the current state of affairs. Here it is with my reply. From: Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Saturday, October 1, 2016 10:56 AM To: mail Subject: Question from an undergraduate Dear Dr. Palley, I am [...]

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The Federal Reserve Must Rethink How it Tightens Monetary Policy

After more than 7 years of economic recovery, the Federal Reserve is positioning itself to tighten monetary policy by raising interest rates. In light of the wobbly reaction in financial markets, an important question that must be asked is whether raising interest rates is the right tool. It could well be that the world’s leading central [...]

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Betrayed Again: TPP’s Unconvincing Economic and National Security Arguments

Voters of all stripes have recognized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as another betrayal of working people, and they have resoundingly rejected it. Despite that, President Obama continues to push it, to the extent of possibly seeking passage in a “lame duck” session of Congress. President Obama’s pushing of the TPP is recklessly irresponsible politics that [...]

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Why Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) is Ineffective and Dangerous

NIRP is quickly becoming a consensus policy within the economics establishment. This paper argues that consensus is dangerously wrong, resting on flawed theory and flawed policy assessment. Regarding theory, NIRP draws on fallacious pre-Keynesian economic logic that asserts interest rate adjustment can ensure full employment. That fallacious logic has been augmented by ZLB economics which [...]

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Self-Protectionist Moment: Paul Krugman Protects Himself and the Establishment

Paul Krugman has a new op-ed (“A Protectionist Moment?”) in which he tries to walk away from his own contribution as an elite trade economist to the damage done by globalization, while also continuing to lend his political support to Hillary Clinton and the neoliberal globalization wing of the Democratic Party. His article inadvertently spotlights [...]

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Zero Lower Bound (ZLB) Economics: The Fallacy of New Keynesian Explanations of Stagnation

This paper explores zero lower bound (ZLB) economics. The ZLB is widely invoked to explain stagnation and it fits with the long tradition that argues Keynesian economics is a special case based on nominal rigidities. The ZLB represents the newest rigidity. Contrary to ZLB economics, not only does a laissez-faire monetary economy lack a mechanism [...]

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October’s Job Numbers: Good news for Main Street viewed as bad news by Wall Street

October’s employment report was strong with regard to both jobs and wages, which is good news. But the report also reveals the contradictions in our economy. Good news for Main Street is interpreted as bad news by Wall Street. The challenge for the Federal Reserve, and the standard by which it will be judged, is [...]

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