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ECONOMIC POLICIES, ANALYSIS, AND RESOURCES

The Economic and Trade Policy Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with budget, taxation, and finance issues. The domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, Congress, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury.

Latest Economic and Trade Policy Posts

Should We Be Concerned About Inflation?

Brief # 117 – Economic Policy
By Rosalind Gottfried

Inflation occurs when the value of money decreases, largely due to increases in prices which are not matched by rises in income. With the vaccine rollout, people are emerging from their pandemic cocoons and demands for goods and services are surging. High demand, coupled with reduced supplies, is causing prices to rise.

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The Unemployment Disconnect in California

Brief # 120 – Economic Policy
By Patrick Dwire

As restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues begin to open up in California as the state officially re-opens with virtually no Covid restrictions, many of these employers are having trouble finding workers. Low-income workers are getting blamed for not jumping at these job openings, which seems to lead many Republican policy makers immediately to the conclusion that unemployment benefits must be too generous.

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Biden Seeks Mandatory Global Taxation Level For Multinationals

Brief # 119 – Economic Policy
By Rosalind Gottfried

Under current international tax rules, multinationals generally pay corporate income tax where production occurs rather than where consumers or, specifically for the digital sector, users are located. However, some argue that through the digital economy, businesses (implicitly) derive income from users abroad but, without a physical presence, are not subject to corporate income tax in that foreign country.

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The American Jobs Plan: A Spotlight on Airport Infrastructure

Brief # 119 – Economics Policy
By Lily Cook

After an initial review from the Oversight Board, Facebook finally announced the company’s decision on the fate of former president Donald Trump’s account. In a blog post, the Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg responded to the Oversight Board’s charge that the company’s initial decision of an indefinite punishment was ‘not appropriate’ by announcing that Trump’s ban would be in effect for 2 years starting from January 7th.

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It’s Frustrating to Negotiate with Republicans

Brief # 118 – Economic Policy
By Rosalind Gottfried

In March Biden proposed a 2.3 trillion dollar infrastructure plan which he has trimmed to 1.7 trillion.  The Republicans initially proffered a plan of 568 billion and have raised it to 928 billion, after sustained discussion with Republican Negotiator Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. 

Biden, after much negotiation with Republican leaders has rejected that offer saying that it fails to address significant needs in the transportation, climate control, and job creation. 

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A Needed Boost for Home Health Care Workers If Biden’s American Jobs Plan Passes Congress

Brief #117—Economics
By Lily Lady Cook
President Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan (AJP) will allot about $400 billion towards the caregiving workforce. In particular, funds will be allocated towards home health care workers, who provide services that run the gamut from short-term nursing care to longer-term daily visits. Many home health care workers are women, immigrants, or people of color. About 40% are on SNAP or Medicaid; their median hourly wage in 2020 was $13 with an average annual salary of $27,080.

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The April Jobs Report Contains Mixed Messages 

Brief #116—Economics
By Rosalind Gottfried
The April reports showed that unemployment was 6.1%, up from 6% the previous month.  There were 266,000 new jobs; a figure that fell short of the anticipated one million new jobs.  This was on top of revised job estimates for March, which were down to 770,000 from earlier estimate of 916,000.  The portion of the labor force teleworking went down from 21% in March to 18.3% for April. Unemployment went up among black workers; at 9.7% they were the only group to undergo an increase in unemployment.  White unemployment was at 5.3%, indicating the duality of the job market on the basis of race.  Women dropped out of the labor force, bending to the pressures of home and child care, with 165,000 leaving the workforce. 

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Is Change on the Horizon for Gig Workers?

Brief #115—Economics
By Lily Lady Cook
U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh told Reuters in an exclusive interview at the end of April that he supports reclassifying certain gig workers as employees. In 2017, approximately 34% of the workforce in the US were independent contractors, and even more supplement their income with freelance work. These types of jobs can allow for greater flexibility and independence with regards to hours and variety of work. Yet the tradeoffs can be disproportionate: there’s often less job security, no employee-provided health or retirement benefits, and more expensive taxes.

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