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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Issues’

Krugman’s Bottom Line: To Create Jobs in America, Create Jobs in America… Don’t Wait for Businesses to Do It Because You Gave Them a Tax Break

April 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Earlier this week NYTimes op ed writer and Nobel economist Paul Krugman offered a positive assessment of Joe Biden’s approach to job creation and yet another disparaging assessment of trickle down economics. Dr. Krugman’s  bottom line on job creation is summarized in his last two penultimate paragraphs:

The corporate tax plan, then, looks like a really good idea. In part that’s because President Biden, unlike his predecessor, has hired people who know what they’re talking about. And it also marks a welcome break with the ideology that says that the only way we can help American workers is indirect action: cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy in the hope that they’ll somehow deliver a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

What the Biden team seems to have concluded, instead, is that the way to create jobs is to create jobs, mainly through public investment, rather than by chasing unicorns and leprechauns.To the (partial) extent that direct job creation must be paid for with new taxes, the new taxes should be imposed on those who can afford to pay.

This seems to be a very simple equation: create government jobs and pay for them with taxes raised on those who can afford it most. Why, you might ask, has this not been done of late? Because everyone who ran for President from Michael Dukakis onward based their platform on the same assertion… the Reagan credo: GOVERNMENT is the Problem. And what has four decades of giving corporations tax breaks given us? A yawning gap between the rich and poor, a class of individuals (like the former President) who inherited great wealth and used it to secure endless power, and a set of awesome jobs like those described in the Lego Movie.

Mismatch Between Open In Person Jobs and Workers Validates Teachers’ Reluctance to Return to In Person Instruction

February 15, 2021 Comments off

This NPR report describing the unwillingness of unemployed workers to consider jobs that require face-to-face contact validates the teachers’ reluctance to return to work… but I don’t expect to hear politicians from either party criticizing them the way teachers are being excoriated for wanting as safe a workplace as possible.

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Executive Orders Impact Public Education Directly and Indirectly… AND For the Better!

January 21, 2021 Comments off

Yesterday, in his first day in office, President Joe Biden issued 17 Executive orders that overturned some of the most contentious and odious actions taken by his predecessor. The NYTimes Aishvarya Kavi summarized them in an article and this post flags those that will directly or indirectly impact public education. The first section of her article described orders that will address the Pandemic:

Though it is not a national mask mandate, which would most likely fall to a legal challenge, Mr. Biden is requiring social distancing and the wearing of masks on all federal property and by all federal employees. He is also starting a “100 days masking challenge” urging all Americans to wear masks and state and local officials to implement public measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

This “masking challenge” will undoubtedly land on school board agendas across the country and could provide an incentive for schools to work with community leaders to promote the voluntary use of masks.

Three executive orders that Ms. Kavi bundled under the heading Racial and LGBTQ Equality will have a direct and immediate impact on schools:

Mr. Biden will end the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which released a report on Monday that historians said distorted the role of slavery in the United States, among other history. Mr. Biden also revoked Mr. Trump’s executive order limiting the ability of federal agencies, contractors and other institutions to hold diversity and inclusion training.

The president designated Susan E. Rice, who is the head of his Domestic Policy Council, as the leader of a “robust, interagency” effort requiring all federal agencies to make “rooting out systemic racism” central to their work. His order directs the agencies to review and report on equity in their ranks within 200 days, including a plan on how to remove barriers to opportunities in policies and programs. The order also moves to ensure that Americans of all backgrounds have equal access to federal government resources, benefits and services. It starts a data working group as well as the study of new methods to measure and assess federal equity and diversity efforts.

Another executive order reinforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require that the federal government does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a policy that reverses action by Mr. Trump’s administration.

This is hopefully the beginning of a great unwinding of the horrific policies and deregulation that occurred during the tenure of Betsy DeVos and AG Barr. These Executive Orders could be the most far reaching of all if they are fully implemented.

Two of the Presidents edicts on the Economy will indirectly impact schools:

Mr. Biden is moving to extend a federal moratorium on evictions and has asked agencies, including the Agriculture, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development Departments, to prolong a moratorium on foreclosures on federally guaranteed mortgages that was enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The extensions all run through at least the end of March.

The president is also moving to continue a pause on federal student loan interest and principal payments through the end of September, although progressive groups and some congressional Democrats have pushed Mr. Biden to go much further and cancel up to $50,000 in student debt per person.

As noted in many earlier blog posts, there is a high correlation between transience and school performance as measured by standardized tests… and a similar correlation between transience and food insecurity. If parents and their children do not have to worry about the loss of shelter it relieves some stress… but an extension to the end of March is hardly the reprieve or clarity needed to bring about peace of mind.

President Biden also issued a series of executive orders on immigration, none of which appear to have a direct impact on the governance of schools but all of which convey a message that immigrants are far more welcome in our nation and will lift any psychological burdens school children feel as a result of pressures their parents are feeling.

In all, the President and his team have done an admirable job of identifying the most egregious policies put in place by Executive Order in the Trump era and are showing a new direction.