Better Economics for a Better Tomorrow: Four steps to rebuilding the middle class

There are four pieces of legislation that Congress could pass that would have both immediate and significant impacts on the income of well over half of families.  Today’s discussions on how to help the middle class has focused solely on raising the minimum wage and instituting some form of universal health care. And while economists are in agreement that raising the minimum wage will benefit more than 35 million workers and a Medicare-for-All plan will save the nation $2 trillion over the next ten years, there’s other structural changes that can have an equally significant impact.

Better Economics for a Better Tomorrow: For starters, Medicare for all who want it

Some form of universal health insurance is inevitable. This is not just my opinion. It’s also the opinion of the late conservative Pulitzer Prize winning author Charles Krauthammer, and freelance finance columnist Malcolm Berko. The need for universal insurance coverage of some form is made obvious from the current systems failures. Some years ago, at a Health Care conference at ASU we learned that 62 percent of all bankruptcies were linked to medical expenses, of those who filed for bankruptcy, 80 percent had health insurance. Medical costs account for 1.5 million home foreclosures yearly. These problems related to health care financing occur in no other nation.

Better Economics for a Better Tomorrow: A market solution to global warming

For politicians wanting to address global warming, mandating pollution reduction levels (their favorite approach) requires that the government know what is technically possible. The problem is that the firms will not voluntarily divulge what they are or are not capable of doing. This process typically ends up in court with industry claiming that the required reductions are impossible to meet.

So what is the “green new deal?”

The name “Green New Deal” harkens back to Franklin Roosevelt’s depression ear “New Deal.” Among the GND’s provisions are, zero greenhouse gas emissions and 100% renewable energy by 2030 along with an “Economic Bill of Rights” which includes the right to single-payer healthcare, a guaranteed job at a living wage, affordable housing and free college education.

Is part of your economic DNA socialist?

We’re all socialists to some degree even if we won’t admit it.  By definition, socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.  And while almost everyone agrees that state ownership is not desirable, the need to regulate markets has been an accepted part of our economic policies since at least the time of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Income Inequality

What do we mean when we talk about income inequality? How bad is it? What can we do about it?

Dr Gary Latanich, Professor Emeritus of Economics from ASU Jonesboro, joins Scott and Dr Dean for a discussion on the topic of income inequality.

You can reach out to each of us by email and we all welcome your comments

Scott can be emailed at scott@straighttalkarkansas.com

Dr Dean can be emailed at dean.flanagan@aim.com

Dr Latanich can be emailed at garylatanich@yahoo.com

Wages, wealth, and family welfare

A nation’s wealth is determined by its cumulative productivity. The productivity increases in 2018 determined how much wealthier we were by year’s end. How much of this extra wealth any family can claim is determined by their wage rate. If you’re forced to work for nothing, like federal workers this past month, the increase in your family’s wealth is zero. Thus it’s obvious that wealth which is crucial to retirement and the ability to sustain the family in periods of recession hinges almost exclusively wages and wage growth over time.