Thursday , June 21 2018
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A Multitude of Lynx

Summary:
Various posts at WaPo for those interested: Trump’s creating all sorts of waves in the oceans of international trade, and that’s led some analysts to worry that the reserve status of the US dollar could be under threat (63% of global reserve holdings are in dollars). While this isn’t the path I’d take to get there, of course–I’m solidly against Trumpian chaos–at this point, the costs of printing the premier reserve currency outweigh the benefits. This one generated a fair bit of interest. It’s a local story with national implications about a head-tax on large businesses that the Seattle city council just passed to help them deal with their increasing homelessness problem. There are many levels to the story, including the basic revenue story, but also the costs engendered when large firms

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Various posts at WaPo for those interested:

Trump’s creating all sorts of waves in the oceans of international trade, and that’s led some analysts to worry that the reserve status of the US dollar could be under threat (63% of global reserve holdings are in dollars). While this isn’t the path I’d take to get there, of course–I’m solidly against Trumpian chaos–at this point, the costs of printing the premier reserve currency outweigh the benefits.

This one generated a fair bit of interest. It’s a local story with national implications about a head-tax on large businesses that the Seattle city council just passed to help them deal with their increasing homelessness problem. There are many levels to the story, including the basic revenue story, but also the costs engendered when large firms like Amazon come to town. Yes, they bring jobs, which is great, but they also raise housing prices and create more demand for city services. Yet, at least in this case, when you come to them for help, they stiff-arm you.

Dean Baker and I understand and support the motivation for a guaranteed jobs program.  But we’re wary of the public sector’s ability to create tens of millions of jobs to replace millions of lower quality jobs in the low-wage sector. That’s why Sen. Booker’s proposed 15-place pilot is a good idea to see how this works in practice before going national.

On a personal note, I’m sitting in a TV studio where my segment on the international trade fracas has been appropriately cancelled to report on the school shooting in Texas this morning. Of course, my cancellation is at should be–that’s not my issue.

According to the WaPo, this is the 16th school shooting this year. What should be shocking is how familiar this is to me and everyone else at the station. We all just go with the flow, as the anchors haul in commentators from their bench of experts in school shootings, and producers cut to whatever real time information they can glean.

The extent to which our country has normalized these horrific occurrences is the latest sign that there are ways in which the US is a failed state. I do not say that lightly, but a system that consistently fails to protect students and their teachers from death by firearms–that instead of solutions, has experts in school shootings on speed dial–cannot be called anything else but a failure.

Jared Bernstein
Jared Bernstein joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in May 2011 as a Senior Fellow. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, Executive Director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Bernstein was a senior economist and the director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute, and between 1995 and 1996, he held the post of Deputy Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.

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