How are American workers doing? Neither the middle class nor the poor have fared well in recent decades—but don’t blame tax cuts, a too-low minimum wage or the greed of the 1%. In rich countries around the world, the top half of the income distribution has been pulling away from the bottom half. Productivity growth among high-wage workers, driven by technological change, is the reason.
Has economic progress in America been shared widely or captured by only the rich? The standard story of stagnating wages takes snapshots of one set of people in the past and compares them to an entirely different set of people in the present. But when you follow the same people over time, it becomes clear that the poor and the middle class are prospering, often gaining more than the richest Americans.
It seems every day another politician is announcing a presidential bid. As in any election, the new entrants want to make a splash with bold policy proposals. Presidential candidates have been particularly active this election cycle. We have already seen proposals for single-payer health care, tuition-free higher education, and a carbon-free future.
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
This documentary looks at the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the future of work. Since the Industrial Revolution, new technology has increased wealth, freedom and life expectancy. But it has also destroyed outdated businesses and automated jobs. How can the U.S. best prepare for the challenges of this new technological disruption?
Join us for a special screening on Tuesday, May 7th at 5PM in the Hauck Auditorium at the Hoover Institution.
“There is a mysterious cycle in human events,” said Franklin Delano Roosevelt, accepting the Democratic nomination for president in Philadelphia in 1936. “To some generations much is given. Of others much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”
California lawmakers are introducing a set of bills that would require state healthcare workers to undergo “implicit bias and racism” training every two years. The reason? Maternal mortality rates among black women are about three times as high as for non-Hispanic white women, Hispanic women, and Asian women.
Over the weekend, Greg Ip at WSJ wrote a nice piece on the carbon tax. Greg addresses some common objections. This urge to stop at nothing to find an effective solution is understandable. How can you put a price tag on the future of the planet?
When I share with people that Gordon Lloyd and I have published a new book, How Public Policy Became War, they invariably nod and comment on the timeliness of the topic. Of course, they are thinking of the partisan war-like environment in Washington in which very little is done, and that is part of the story. As former Vice President Joe Biden is learning in his presidential campaign, however, the root of the problem is longer and deeper than today’s hyper-partisanship.
Monday’s Hill HarrisX poll contains banner news for former Vice President Joe Biden: a 32-point lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But it’s the second tier of Democrats that merits a closer look.
As the impacts of climate change are felt more forcefully around the globe, decision makers are asking, with increasing urgency, how they can make their communities and businesses more resilient. One obvious place to start is infrastructure. To address this, the Hoover Institution convened a yearlong collaboration with leading experts and practitioners in development banks, government agencies, universities, private firms, non-governmental organizations, and professional associations. It drew on diverse perspectives to the challenges of resilience, including physical and social science, engineering, policy, finance, and education. The resulting paper lays out seven strategies for developing more climate-resilient infrastructure.
When histories of China’s rise are written several generations down the road, the role of Beijing’s propaganda campaigns will be a central part of the story. Perhaps never before has a major power worked so effectively to prevent negative images of itself from being spread abroad. Central to China’s strategy is to co-opt the popular culture that plays an outsized role in forming the impressions of non-specialists.
California has decided sodas are the new tobacco, with five bills introduced in the legislature to limit sales. If they pass, you won’t be able to buy sodas larger than 16 ounces, you won’t find them in check-out lines, and there will be extra fees. New York introduced a bill banning large sodas and it was blocked by a judge. While it was in effect the data showed people actually bought more sodas. And there are very different interpretations of the effects of a soda tax.
My guess is that you’ve heard that famous result from a recent Federal Reserve survey of Americans: Four in 10 adults in 2017 would either borrow, sell something, or not be able pay if faced with a $400 emergency expense. That’s the exact wording of the Federal Reserve Board’s report of the results of its survey.
Coase’s paper “The Problem of Social Cost” appeared in the October 1960 volume of the Journal of Law and Economics. This brings us, for reasons that we will explain, to the television show Have Gun – Will Travel, which aired from 1957 to 1963. A particular 1958 episode, called “Bitter Wine,” is likely the most Coasean episode of television ever made. Every element of the “Problem of Social Cost” makes an appearance in the episode: the reciprocal nature of externalities, how the initial allocation of property rights matters in a world with transaction costs, and how the legal system can overcome transaction costs to allow for an efficient allocation of rights.
The American Economic Association (AEA) has named Edward Lazear the Davies Family Professor of Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a recipient of its 2019 Distinguished Fellow awards.
Michael McFaul director of the Freeman Spogli Institute, recently talked about growing up in Montana, his experience living in Russia and the values that he hopes to instill in his children, as part of the Office of Religious Life’s “What Matters to Me and Why” speaker series. The series is designed to spark conversation between Stanford faculty, administrators and the larger university community on topics including values, beliefs and motivations.
Last week's column discussed Dr. Thomas Sowell's newest book "Discrimination and Disparities," which is an enlarged and revised edition of an earlier version. In this review, I am going to focus on one of his richest chapters titled "Social Visions and Human Consequences." Sowell challenges the seemingly invincible fallacy "that group outcomes in human endeavors would tend to be equal, or at least comparable or random, if there were no biased interventions, on the one hand, nor genetic deficiencies, on the other." But disparate impact statistics carries the day among academicians, lawyers and courts as evidence of discrimination.
Top economists and policy makers discussed the efficacy of different approaches to monetary policy at the Hoover Institution on May 3. More than 180 people attended the sixth annual Monetary Policy Conference – titled “Strategies for Monetary Policy: A Policy Conference” – in the David and Joan Traitel Building’s Hauck Auditorium. Hoover economist John Taylor organized the event, which included formal presentations, policy panels, and in-depth discussions by academic researchers, market participants, members of the media, and policy makers from the Federal Reserve.
America’s political leaders no longer deliberate over the best policy solutions but instead seek victory in political battles and wars, all at a great cost to the nation, says Hoover Institution research fellow David Davenport.
Hoover Tower is one of the most recognizable features of Stanford University’s Campus. Linda Bernard, Deputy Archivist at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, gave a tour of the structure, including Herbert Hoover’s office.
There’s also a great, great piece today by Victor Davis Hanson which is much too long for me on to share with you in its entirety, but it has a fascinating pull paragraph that I’m gonna share with you, and it’s about Comey and his, shall we say, “exposure” here and Mr. Hanson’s opinion that the boom needs to be lowered on Comey.
The Milken Institute Global Conference, the annual talkfest for the financial elite at a posh hotel in Beverly Hills, is usually shot through with references to lifting up the downtrodden and making capital work for the common good. This year, however — perhaps brought on by the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the increasingly leftist tenor of the 2020 Democratic presidential field — there was also a hint of panic.
From September 3, 1929, to July 8, 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by -89.2%, though certainly not in one fell-swoop. In fact, the decline known as the "1929 Crash" took the Dow down by an initial -47.9%, setting a trough on November 13, 1929. That initial decline was followed by a 48.0% recovery that peaked on April 17, 1930, leaving the Dow still -22.9% below its bull market high, because that's how compounding works. By the 1932-low, the Dow had plunged -86.0% below its April 1930 peak, and -79.3% below even the "bottom" it set in November 1929 after losing nearly half of its value.
If Wednesday’s vote in the House Judiciary Committee to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress passes, Democrats will still be several steps away from seeing the full Mueller report.
Change is always difficult, and the Federal Reserve’s attempt to find a better monetary policy framework is no exception. Based on comments by Fed officials at the Hoover Institution conference on Friday, ahead of a confab at the Chicago Fed next month, it seems there may not be a perfect framework, making it difficult to move from the current inflation targeting system.
Currently in the U.S., less than 5% of S&P 500 companies have female CEOs. To help address this leadership gap, the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, now in its fifth year, continues to build a pipeline of women leaders on the path to the C-suite. Through high-impact leadership development content, access to today’s top leaders, and year-round cohort groups, KPMG aims to equip these women to advance in their career journeys. KPMG today announced that the 66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, KPMG U.S. Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie, and Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Mia Hamm will share their career experiences as leaders at this year’s Summit on June 19.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the most vocal critics of the big tech Masters of the Universe in the U.S. Senate, delivered a speech at the Hoover Institution last weekend highlighting the dangers posed by social media business models to American society.