The impending fall of the Western middle-class (part I)
Middle-class people in rich Western countries like to tell a story about globalization, which goes something like this. Globalization means that some menial jobs are off-shored or outsourced, but new jobs are created in their wake – setting us on the path to a fulfilling and high-income ‘knowledge economy’. There are some transitional costs as…
Race, Health, and Disadvantage: the Case of ADHD in Childhood
Virtually every classroom has one. The kind of kid (usually a boy) that cannot stop fidgeting, talks out of turn, and distracts others. In the old days this kid might be known as the class clown, and perhaps grudgingly tolerated until he finishes school or drops out. But since the 1990s, and particularly in the…
Raising the pension age: working longer but fairer
The chorus of pensions experts in high-income countries have long been singing the refrain, ‘state pension ages should rise’ – people are living longer, pensions are costing more, and the cost can only be brought under control by working for longer too. Understandably many people don’t like this much. But beyond the gut resentment, it…
Which generation should pay for long-term care?
In a guest post, Craig Berry of the Intergenerational Longevity Centre-UK think-tank asks, can Britain’s Dilnot Commission on long-term care funding achieve intergenerational fairness? The short answer, unfortunately, is no. But that does not mean that the Dilnot Commission is itself to blame.
Rolling Back the Submerged State
If you listened carefully to President Obama’s big policy speech on the national debt yesterday you may have heard this: “The tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, from homeownership to charitable giving, we can’t ignore the…
Budgeting in Bad Faith
There’s an honest debate that needs to happen in the United States about reducing a large and growing national debt. Instead, we have major confusion at the moment, and most of the seeds have been sown by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Ryan’s plan to cut the deficit by (what he claims to be) $5.8…
Two cheers for the Social Mobility Strategy
You can see what they’re trying to do. In the midst of the most savage cuts to public spending in several generations, the UK Coalition Government wants to have a positive, socially conscious message alongside all the bad news. And that positive message is social mobility. Nick Clegg is the visible face of this rhetoric,…
No Deal: How the Tea Party Has Helped to Stall Obama’s New Deal
Charlotte Cavaille reports on a recent Harvard panel about the politics of the Tea Party and the Obama social agenda Commentators and political scientists trying to document the Obama presidency face the following puzzle: why, despite an impressive list of achievements, is Obama facing so much disillusion among voters who voted for him in 2008…