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

Dismal Scientists

It is curious that in American politics, "values" issues are always social issues but never economic ones. Yet how the disadvantaged among us are treated is clearly a reflection of who we are as a people. Similarly, how workers are treated on the job -- their safety, their working conditions, their remuneration -- also speaks volumes about our values as a nation. This is also true for child poverty.

After reading Is the Market Moral? by Rebecca Blank and William McGurn, a new Brookings Institution book sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, I began to consider how small a role religious, even secular, values play in discussions of economic policies and trends.

Snow Job

In the national debate about economic policy, the central element remains the role of the Bush administration's tax cuts in generating jobs and growth. The administration is suggesting that the economy has been mightily helped by the tax cuts, that the economy is doing swell, and that the future is rosy. Oh, yeah, the administration concedes, there have been some tough times, but that's only because we've been through so much: September 11, the Iraq War, corporate scandals, and the stock bubble bursting.

Office Space

Worried about outsourcing? Well, you shouldn't be, at least according to the conventional wisdom; the economy will certainly create better jobs as we climb higher up the skills ladder.

Consider, for instance, Jagdish Bhagwati, a leading free-trade advocate and Columbia University professor, who offers these comforting words: "The fact is, when jobs disappear in America, it is usually because technical change has destroyed them, not because they have gone anywhere. In the end, Americans' increasing dependence on an ever-widening array of technology will create a flood of high-paying jobs."

Job Lurch

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the February employment numbers. Once again, most economists had forecasted big gains in jobs; once again, their forecasts were way off. The report dashed expectations regarding the arrival of healthy job growth, painting a stark picture of a labor market stuck in neutral.

Growing Pains

After two and a half years of sluggish growth and persistent employment
losses, the nation's overall output of goods and services shot up in the third
quarter of 2003; unemployment, meanwhile, has ticked down to just below 6 percent.

Accordingly, some analysts have declared that the economy is "fixed" and that we have "turned the corner." Moreover, some commentators are now saying that the economy, which had been expected to drive the 2004 political debate, will not be a major
issue, implying that the election is in the bag for the president. And the Bush administration is claiming recent growth affirms that its tax cuts are working.