Lawrence Mishel

Lawrence Mishel is president of the Economic Policy Institute, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States and around the world. EPI's mission is to inform people and empower them to seek solutions that will ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity.

Recent Articles

The Overselling of Education

We need a better-educated citizenry, but the cure for increasing inequality lies elsewhere.

(Flickr/Jeff Ozvold)

In discussing rising inequality in the United States, Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke recently said, "It's a very bad development. ... It's creating two societies. And it's based very much, I think, on educational differences."

Time to Take Action on the Recession

Reasonable people can debate the details, but first we need to agree on the principles for an anti-recession plan: create more jobs, start immediately, increase fiscal deficits in the immediate future, invest in infrastructure, and cut taxes.

The warning signs are everywhere: Unemployment is increasing, the housing market collapsing, new construction declining, retail sales disappointing, manufacturing stalling, and credit markets convulsing. Rightly enough the nation's political leaders are considering how to contain the damage from a recession many observers believe has already started.

Schools as Scapegoats

Our increasing inequality and our competitiveness problems are huge -- but they can't be laid at the door of our education system.

Education is the answer. but, what's the question? Simple: What's the cure for any adverse economic condition?

Is your pay stagnant or declining? Quick, get more education.

Are workers failing to share in economic growth? Too bad, they should have gained more skills.

Are you worried about jobs offshored to low-wage countries? Blame schools for workers' lack of creativity.

Is the nation failing to compete globally? Raise education standards across the board.

Populist Persuasion

Stephen Rose, Lawrence Mishel, and others are debating the economic politics of the middle class this week. Here is Mishel's opening salvo.

School Daze

Charter schools, as their supporters promised, can give parents and students more options. But “more” doesn't automatically mean “better.” In addition, charter schools are no more accountable than regular public schools. The research on charters, as reviewed in a book I recently co-authored, shows that they will not solve the most important problems facing public education.