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Jared Bernstein
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Jared Bernstein is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, former economist for the Obama administration, and a CNBC and MSNBC contributor.

Entries by Jared Bernstein

'Smell Something, Say Something!' Teachers' Unions Do Not Hurt Student Outcomes.

(205) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 9:50 AM

Welcome to the first edition of a new On The Economy feature, dedicated to the parting admonition of the great Jon Stewart: when it comes to BS, "smell something, say something!"

To be clear, I'm not trying to emulate the fact checkers out there. Nor am I going to peruse...

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The Non-Madness of the Minimum Wage

(68) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 5:33 PM

The "Fight for $15" -- a nationwide movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour --has taken a lot of "incoming" from critics. Today, it's Bob Samuelson's turn, who under a column titled "minimum wage madness" argues that a substantial minimum wage increase would cause "job...

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People On Third Base Claiming They Hit a Triple, or Marginal Product Theory at Work... Not!

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2015 | 12:18 PM

One of the less defensible assumptions of microeconomics is that people get paid their "marginal product," i.e., their wage equals the value of the output they produce. Thus, according to the theory, if the last worker hired is being paid an hourly wage less than the value of the firm's...

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June Jobs Report: Continued, Solid Gains, But That 5.3 Percent Unemployment Rate Makes the Job Market Look Better Than It Is

(53) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 9:35 AM

Today's jobs report was a bit weaker than expected, and a bit weaker than it looked at first blush. While payrolls were up 223,000 in June, in line with expectations, and the unemployment rate fell to a record low in this recovery of 5.3 percent, mitigating factors include:

-- downward...

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The Supreme Court and Obamacare: Somehow, Common Sense Prevailed

(25) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 2:12 PM

At one level, today's Supreme Court decision to preserve the tax subsidies that allow low- and middle-income people to afford health insurance is a marvelous, miraculous win. I'm sure that the millions who depend on those subsidies (in states where the federal government runs the exchange) are hugely relieved that...

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Optimal Fiscal Policy

(63) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 2:48 PM

I testified in the House Budget Committee this AM and have many excellent war stories to share. But no time to do so now. Until then, please read my testimony, to which I devoted some thought.

Roughly speaking, the position of the majority Republicans is that you should...

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May Jobs Report, First Impressions: Another Solid Report, Outside of Manufacturing

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 9:38 AM

Payrolls were up 280,000 last month in a better-than-expected jobs report, with employers adding jobs across almost all of the service industries and government. Positive revisions for April and May added another 32,000 to the payroll count. Analysts had been expecting around 225K jobs, so put May's initial print in...

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April Jobs Report: First Impressions

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 10:40 AM

Payrolls rose 223,000 last month, in line with expectations, and the jobless rate ticked down to 5.4%, a seven-year low. March's already low payroll gain was revised down to only 85,000; combining that with February's revision takes payrolls down 39,000 over those months. As shown below, the March outlier takes...

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Opportunity, Inequality, Public Opinion, and Power

(50) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 5:22 PM

Here's a timely result from a new NBC/WSJ poll out today:

Which concerns you more: the income gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the country or middle and working class Americans not being able to get ahead financially?

Income gap between the wealthy and...

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Me and the TPP

(10) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 11:13 AM

I somewhat embarrassingly change my mind about three times in this (excellent and carefully balanced) piece by Danny Vinik in The New Republic on the economics, politics, and legal issues invoked by the prospect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

FWIW, I write this not because I think my...

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March Jobs Report: First Impressions

(11) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 9:30 AM

Payrolls rose only 126,000 last month in a surprisingly downbeat reading on the state of the labor market. Unemployment remained unchanged at 5.5%, but the closely watched labor force rate fell a tenth in another sign of weakness.

Contributing to the disappointing report, job gains for the prior two months...

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The Strong Dollar, Its Impact on Growth, and the TPP

(37) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 10:13 AM

When it comes to the debate over whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement should include rules against managing currency, the recent, sharp rise in the value of the dollar offers a little something for everyone.

For TPP supporters who oppose a currency chapter -- i.e., explicit actions to be...

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This Is Your Safety Net on Block Grants

(3) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 6:59 PM

Good old Ez Klein provides a highly efficient and important summary of what can happen when the federal government turns the administration of a program over to the states in the form of a block grant:

A block grant takes money the federal government is already spending on...
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David Brooks Does the Palin One-Step

(25) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 11:22 AM

David Brooks can't resist the old DC one-step. People who say "education is really important, but it's not the only determinant of wage growth" become people who disparage the importance of education. Clearly, education matters a great deal but so too does bargaining power, political power, and absence of...

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February Jobs Report: First Impressions

(20) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 9:03 AM

In yet another installment of the solid jobs reports we seen in recent months, February's payrolls were up by 295,000 and the unemployment rate ticked from 5.7% to 5.5%, the lowest it has been since mid-2008, according to this morning's job market update from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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A Currency Chapter in the TPP Will Not Diminish our Fed's Independence

(9) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 5:24 PM

Members of Congress and interested observers have advocated adding a chapter to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) that takes action against trading partners who manage their currencies to subsidize their exports to us and tax our exports to them. An often heard argument against this idea...

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Tax Cuts Are Palliatives, Not Cures

(41) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 9:02 AM

I don't think you need a crystal ball to predict that whoever runs for president in 2016 will have some sort of tax cut at the heart of their platform, probably targeted at the middle class, and I'm talking both Democrats and Republicans. It will likely be pitched as a...

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No, Negotiating a Currency Chapter in the TPP Will Not Cause a Trade War or Cost Us Jobs

(40) Comments | Posted February 16, 2015 | 4:26 PM

You really need an anthology of catch-phrases you hear in this benighted town of DC to understand the difference between what people actually say and what they mean. When someone says, "My good friends from the other side of the aisle...," they're not really good friends. And when someone says,...

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The Policy Goal Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 1:42 PM

Back in my White House daze, while helping out with an economics speech to be given by a top senior official, I suggested a sentence that had the word "distribution" in it in the context of income or tax policy or something. Not even "redistribution." Needless to say, editors went...

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The Policy Goal Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken

(9) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 9:20 AM

Back in my White House daze, while helping out with an economics speech to be given by a top senior official, I suggested a sentence that had the word "distribution" in it in the context of income or tax policy or something. Not even "redistribution." Needless to say, editors...

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