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Dean Baker
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Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.

He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting.

He received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Michigan.

He has written numerous books and articles, including The United States Since 1980, Cambridge University Press, March 2007; The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer, Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2006; Social Security: The Phony Crisis (with Mark Weisbrot), University of Chicago Press, 1999; "Asset Returns and Economic Growth," (with Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman), Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (2005); "Financing Drug Research: What Are the Issues," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2004; "Medicare Choice Plus: The Solution to the Long-Term Deficit Problem," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2004; The Benefits of Full Employment (with Jared Bernstein), Economic Policy Institute, 2004; "Professional Protectionists: The Gains From Free Trade in Highly Paid Professional Services," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2003; "The Run-Up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2002. His book Getting Prices Right: The Battle Over the Consumer Price Index (M.E. Sharpe, 1997) was a winner of a Choice Book Award as one of the outstanding academic books of the year. He was also the author of the weekly online commentary on economic reporting, the Economic Reporting Review (ERR), from 1996 - 2006.

He has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, and the OECD's Trade Union Advisory Council.

His columns have appeared in many major media outlets including the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, and the London Financial Times. He is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNBC and National Public Radio.

Entries by Dean Baker

Financial Reform: It's About Improving the Financial System, Not 2008

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 8:18 PM

As the Democratic presidential race heats up, the debate on financial reform has taken a bizarre twist. Somehow the measure of a good reform is its ability to prevent another 2008-type financial crisis.

While it is reasonable to subject a reform agenda to the 2008 test, this should be...

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If Bill Gates Turned to Philanthropy: Publicly Funded Clinical Drug Trials

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 10:44 PM

High drug prices have been big news lately. Some of this has been due to straight out price gouging by the likes of Martin Shkreli, everyone's favorite young punk hedge fund tycoon and potential convict. However the more common problem stems from the exorbitant price charged for important new drugs...

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Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Wall Street

(88) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 8:29 PM

As the Democratic presidential primary heats up, one of the major issues has been which candidate has the better approach towards regulating Wall Street. While financial regulation can get into many complex areas, there are some basic points that people should know.

First, financial regulation always leaves enormous room for...

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Wall Street Rocks!

(49) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 8:57 PM

For those who closely follow financial markets the first two weeks of 2016 have been the most fun since the financial crisis triggered by the collapse of the housing bubble. The market has lost more than 10 percent of its value since its late December peak, destroying more than $2...

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'The Big Short': A Tale of Stupidity, Greed, and Corruption

(98) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 1:26 PM

I saw the movie last night. It's a great flick. If anyone doubted that it was possible to make a humorous entertaining film about credit default swaps and collaterized debt obligations, The Big Short is the definitive answer to the question. But now let's get to the substance.

Not surprisingly,...

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December Job Numbers: Is the Great Vacation Coming to an End?

(15) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 9:14 PM

The Labor Department reported the economy created 292,000 jobs in December, prompting another round of celebrations from the Obama administration and its supporters. They have a case.

The economy has created almost 6 million jobs over the last two years, by far the strongest pace since the late 1990s. The...

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Economists Don't Know Much About the Economy, #46,523: The Story of the Robots

(25) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 9:22 PM

The public's confidence in economists was rightly shaken by the fact that almost no economists recognized the housing bubble and the damage that would be caused by its collapse. We still don't know the full cost of this failure, but the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office imply lost...

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Treating Global Warming Denialism Like a Sex Scandal

(242) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 9:14 PM

The Washington Post ran a column last week that blamed the baby boom generation for global warming. Even for the Post this was extraordinarily low. This is not an issue of defending my generation; it is a question of how bad policy persists. And the answer puts the...

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The Federal Reserve Board and the Presidential Candidates

(92) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 9:20 AM

Some of the folks watching the Republican presidential debates were struck by the fact that Donald Trump was apparently unfamiliar with the concept of the nuclear triad: that the United States maintains a nuclear force composed of land based missiles, submarine based missiles, and strategic bombers that can deliver nuclear...

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Holiday Season Giving to Jeff Bezos

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 9:50 PM

Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon, is routinely touted in the media as an entrepreneurial genius. That assessment may well be correct. After all, Amazon has made huge breakthroughs not only in Internet marketing, but also in promoting the spread of e-books, and more recently as a new...

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The Fed Competes With Robots for Taking Our Jobs

(4) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 8:02 PM

The idea that robots are going to take our jobs is all the rage among intellectual types these days. Large numbers of elite thinkers are running around terrified that we will have millions of people who have no work because the robots have eliminated the need for their labor.

...
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The Federal Reserve Board's Eight Percentage Point Hike in the Social Security Tax

(70) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 9:08 PM

In the last couple of weeks the prospect of a 0.2 percentage point increase in the payroll tax has become a major issue separating the two leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed an increase of this size to pay for system of paid family...

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Big Insurance's Health Care Scam for the Holidays

(90) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 10:14 PM

Last week United Health Care (UHC), the country's largest health insurance company, announced that it was considering leaving the health care exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It claimed that it was losing money on the plans it offers in the exchange, so it might decide to...

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President Obama's Forum: High Theater on High Drug Prices

(34) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 9:18 PM

The Obama administration is sponsoring a forum this week on the problem of high drug prices. The purpose is presumably to express concern about a rapidly growing problem for both people in the United States and around the world. It seems likely that the point is to quite literally express...

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The TPP's Children's Table: Labor Rights and Currency

(13) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 8:53 PM

The concept of the children's table has moved from Thanksgiving dinner to presidential politics with the networks having a separate debate for the low-polling candidates for the Republican nomination. But the concept of the children's table is also useful for understanding trade policy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The...

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Federal Government as Employer: High Road or Bottom Feeder?

(20) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 10:01 PM

The federal government has long been a model employer. It often has taken the lead in providing workers with benefits like on-site child care, paid family leave, and flexible work-time options in addition to more standard benefits like health care insurance and pensions. After seeing that these sorts of benefits...

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Paul Ryan Wants to Shut Down the Government, Permanently

(1095) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 9:52 PM

Everyone has seen the news stories about how Representative Paul Ryan, the likely next Speaker of the House, is a budget wonk. That should make us feel good, since we would all like to think a person in this position understands the ins and outs of the federal budget. But...

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Democrats Get a Gift from the Fed

(59) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 9:40 PM

Last week, the Democrats received an unexpected gift from the Federal Reserve Board. Lael Brainard, a member of the Fed's Board of Governors, gave a speech in which she questioned the need for the Fed to raise interest rates. Brainard pointed out the asymmetric risks in the current...

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Getting the Export-Import Bank to Pay Dividends

(8) Comments | Posted October 12, 2015 | 11:03 PM

The Export-Import Bank is one of those issues like the TARP, the 2008 bank bailout. The big money types really want it, and they are going to keep pressing Congress until it gets it right and reauthorizes the bank.

Those of us who don't think it's the best use...

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Donald Trump and the Federal Reserve Board

(26) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 10:30 PM

Last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump released his plan for changing the tax code. Trump wants big across the board tax cuts, with the largest tax cuts going to the wealthy. He claimed that his tax cut won't lead to a loss of revenue since it would lead to...

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