Immigration: more evidence in its favor

I reviewed a lot of the studies of the economic effects of immigration in LBO several years ago: Economics of immigration. Bottom line: on balance, it’s quite good. Not popular these days, so it’s more important than ever to make the point. Just in, a new study from the San Francisco Fed. Quoting from the abstract: Statistical analysis of state-level data shows that immigrants expand the economy’s productive capacity by stimulating investment and promoting specialization. This produces efficiency gains and boosts income per worker. At the same time, evidence is scant that immigrants… Read More

More Pacifica: Marc Cooper writes…

My old friend Marc Cooper has a long post on Pacifica that concludes with some comments on my own recent rant on The state of WBAI (dire). Since it’s always nice to be noticed, I’ll overlook the rather patronizing tone of his “means well” and just respond to his conclusion that it’s all too late—the game’s over. If the game is really over, Marc, why did you devote 1,247 words to the topic before you get to that point? Me, I think the situation is, as I said, dire, but not necessarily terminal…. Read More

The Real News, part 3

The third part of The Real News interview with me is up: WAGES AND THE CRISIS.

New radio product

Back after a long fundraising break. Freshly posted to my radio archives: Paul Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes, on the sorrows of Brand Obama • Christian Parenti, author of this article, on how the gov can kickstart the adoption of green technologies by the way it buys

The Real News, part 2

Part 2 of my interview with The Real News on The Crisis is up: THE LIMITS OF STIMULUS.

Me on The Real News

I’m interviewed on The Current Crisis by Paul Jay of The Real News: AUSTERITY IN THE FACE OF WEAKNESS.

Radio commentary, August 21, 2010

[Since today’s show was unusually filled with material—a rerun of the Diane Ravitch interview that first ran last April—I kept the introductory comments short. But I did want to get this on the record, for people who think I’m something of a happy-talker.] Evidence of an economic slowdown continues to roll in. First-time claims for unemployment insurance, filed by people who’ve just lost their jobs, have been creeping up for the last few weeks after falling for most of the year. It’s quite possible that the weak job gains of the last… Read More

Robert Reich on Social Security: no problem

Going through past LBOs in order to put together a greatest hits anthology to be published to mark the newsletter’s 25th anniversary next year, I came across this, from issue #92, November 1999: Reich on crisis This newsletter has long argued that the Social Security crisis is a concoction based on preposterously low economic growth assumptions. In the course of an interview with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on a different matter, LBO was able to ask him a couple of questions on the topic. Here’s a transcript: For several years, you… Read More

Strike wave!

There are many ways to measure the death of organized labor as a social force in the U.S. Here’s what might be the most objective one: the virtual disappearance of labor’s ultimate weapon, the strike. The graph above shows the annual number of major strikes, as tallied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (The front page for all their strike/lockout stats is here: Work Stoppages Home Page.) The figure for 2010 annualizes what we’ve experienced so far this year. The little uptick, from a total of 5 in 2009 to 20 in 2010,… Read More

Happy 75th, Social Security

Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of FDR’s signing of the bill that created Social Security. Despite—or perhaps—because of the program’s popularity and success, the austerity party has its knives out for it. Keyed to the anniversary, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has published a very useful factsheet on Social Security: how it’s reduced poverty among the elderly, and how it offers quite a few services for the young. It’s been a while since I did a piece in LBO on the preposterous assumptions behind the projections of the system’s imminent… Read More

The state of WBAI (dire)

[I just sent this to Mitch Cohen, chair of the WBAI local station board, to be read at tomorrow night’s board meeting.] To Mitch Cohen and the WBAI local station board: I’ve been around WBAI for more than two decades. I started as a frequent interviewee on Samori Marksman’s show in 1987, moved on to regular commentaries on his show a few years later, and then began doing the Thursday editions of his Behind the News in 1995. I’ve watched the station go through considerable turmoil over the years, but the current… Read More