Jeff Faux

Jeff Faux is a distinguished fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, which he founded. His latest book, The Servant Economy (Wiley), was published in June 2012.

Recent Articles

The Ultimate Bear Market

The uncouth bankers who brought down Bear Stearns make for an entertaining story. But the real responsibility for the crisis lies elsewhere.


House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William D. Cohan, Doubleday, 468 pages, $27.95

"We all fucked up," says Alan Schwartz in the final paragraph of House of Cards. "Government. Rating agencies. Wall Street. Commercial Banks. Regulators. Investors. Everybody."

What to Really Do About Immigration

Half a million Mexicans will cross the border annually for the next 15 years. Here's a plan to enable them to stay home.

Art by John Ritter

The backlash against illegal immigration -- which looks like the Republicans' only hope for a wedge issue in next November's election -- is largely aimed at Latinos, of whom the vast majority are Mexicans. In fact almost 60 percent of all undocumented workers in the United States are from Mexico, and close to 12 million of that country's nationals now live in the U.S. Fix the Mexican part of the problem and the divisive politics of illegal immigration shrink dramatically.

Trade War

Do liberals need to rethink their outlook on globalization? Two progressive economists debate.

In "Why Populists Need To Re-think Trade," James K. Galbraith calls on populists to adjust their assumptions and priorities when it comes to trade policy, and adopt a "reality-based" view. In "Breaking the Consensus (Finally)," Jeff Faux offers a different take, arguing that it's good policy as well as good politics to focus on revamping the rules of the global economy. Here, the two engage each other directly:


Jeff Faux

Breaking the Consensus (Finally)

For the first time in a long time, it may be politically achievable to make globalization work for working Americans.

The bipartisan consensus that has integrated Americans into the global economy over the last two decades is clearly in trouble. Polls show a majority of voters skeptical of free trade, and November's election shifted at least 7 Senate and 30 House seats from supporters of current trade policies to outspoken critics.

When Wall Street's Robert Rubin -- who as Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary guided the policies that exposed U.S. workers to low-wage competition in the 1990's -- met with House Democrats in December, he was greeted with a chorus of complaints about outsourced jobs, depleted local tax bases and shrinking opportunities for young people. Rubin responded that, in the interests of party unity, they ought to drop the subject. They told him he was out of touch.

Canoeing Life's River

I grew up in an urban world of concrete and asphalt. Nature was a few weeds sprouting from sidewalk cracks in August. Summer camp was for rich kids. So I spent a lot of time dreaming of living in the wilderness, fueled by images from James Fennimore Cooper -- the buckskin-clad deerslayer paddling down rivers, hunting, fishing, and fighting bad guys. Most kids saw their first car as a ticket out of the neighborhood. I dreamed of owning a canoe.

It was a long time coming. I spent my first decade as an adult fighting a war on poverty and against a war in Vietnam. Then, burned out after the 1972 defeat of George McGovern, I joined other despairing lefties to find hope in rural life. I cashed in everything and moved my family to a run-down blueberry farm in Maine.