Center on Wealth & Poverty

Defeating Deflation

Deflation is upon us. Put another way, the U.S. economy is now experiencing a sustained reduction in the general level of prices. Last month, the Producer Price Index posted its biggest decline on record, 1.6%, and the Consumer Price Index fell by 0.3%. All of the major commodity price indices are down by 11% to 20% for the year. Many Read More ›

Ending Fiscal Fluster…and Anxiety

A broad coalition of representatives of many major economic policy organizations came together in late September with a common message and program for economic recovery. The political establishment now favors economic “stimulus.” Stimulus is a nice, positive sounding (in most cases) word, but it doesn’t tell us with any specificity what we should do for the economy. Those of us Read More ›

Airline Safety

If you boarded an airplane and had some concern about it being hijacked, would you be more concerned about an older woman with a sewing kit, or a young man in casual clothing with no visible carry-on items as a fellow passenger? If you answered the young man, you are being rational rather than an anti-young-man bigot. Older women are Read More ›

Economic growth options

[From the August 9, 2001 edition of The Washington Times] Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said recently that the economic slowdown might last despite the Fed rate cuts. His comments notwithstanding, there is no reason for us just to sit like toads and wait for some favorable alignment of the stars. We can revive high growth if we so choose. Read More ›

Too Taxing For Reporters?

On Fox News Sunday a few weeks ago, Senate minority leader Tom Daschle was twice asked a simple question that he refused to answer: “What do you think the maximum income tax rate should be for any American?” This question is at the core of the debate about the structure of the tax cut, yet very few reporters have asked Read More ›

To re-invigorate the economy

“It’s the economy, stupid.” This cry of the 1992 Clinton campaign now appears to be appropriate as we enter 2001. Recent data from the United States, and from the rest of the world as well, strongly indicates that global economic growth is rapidly declining. The economic situation requires quick action not only in the United States but also constructive action Read More ›

Who gave us the surplus?

“Since you get blamed for a lot of bad things you didn’t do, you might as well take credit for some of the good things you didn’t do,” is sage political advice. I do not know how much President Clinton and Al Gore were blamed for things they did not do, but their own numbers show they are taking credit Read More ›



The computer age is over. After a cataclysmic global run of thirty years, it has given birth to the age of the telecosm — the world enabled and defined by new communications technology. Chips and software will continue to make great contributions to our lives, but the action is elsewhere. To seek the key to great wealth and to understand Read More ›

Replace Inequity with Genequity

Social Security reform as a political issue was verboten just 10 years ago. No presidential hopeful in his right mind would broach that subject. Now though, the debate is not about whether to reform Social Security, but about how to reform Social Security. Makes you wonder: Just what has happened to finally make discussion of Social Security reform acceptable dinner-table Read More ›

The Bogus Marriage “Bonus”

Earlier this month, President Clinton vetoed legislation to end the marriage penalty in the federal tax code, charging that the Republican-backed bill was “poorly targeted toward delivering marriage penalty relief.” News reports filed by the Associated Press (AP) backed the President’s assertion, claiming that only some married couples in America are penalized by the current tax code. Many other couples, Read More ›