economics | WAMC

economics

Book cover for The Wealth Hoarders
Polity

For decades, a secret army of tax attorneys, accountants and wealth managers has been developing into the shadowy Wealth Defense Industry. These “agents of inequality” are paid millions to hide trillions for the richest 0.01%.

In his book, "The Wealth Hoarders," inequality expert Chuck Collins interviews the leading players and gives a unique insider account of how this industry is doing everything it can to create and entrench hereditary dynasties of wealth and power.

He exposes the inner workings of these “agents of inequality,” showing how they deploy anonymous shell companies, family offices, offshore accounts, opaque trusts, and sham transactions to ensure the world’s richest pay next to no tax. He ends by outlining a robust set of policies that democratic nations can implement to shut down the Wealth Defense Industry for good.

Hugh Johnson
Jim Levulis / WAMC

After initially showing reluctance, President Trump over the weekend signed a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package that includes direct payments to Americans, extends unemployment benefits, and sends money to businesses hurt by the pandemic. For some insight into the expected impacts of the legislation, WAMC's Jim Levulis spoke with Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors in Albany.

A picture of a $20 bill, a $10 bill and a $1 bill
Jim Levulis / WAMC

While not the only factors, two of the major forces impacting the economy are the coronavirus and who will be sitting in the White House come January. With science and politics meeting, economist Hugh Johnson, the chairman and chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors in Albany, is predicting that the current V-shaped economic recovery will slow.

New York Stock Exchange
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_York_Stock_Exchange_New_York_City,_May_2014_-_048.jpg

Every so often we check in with economist Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors in Albany. With more sectors of the economy reopening from coronavirus shutdowns but cases rising in many states, Johnson has released his latest market outlook. 

The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street
Wikimedia Commons

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down or altered many aspects of the global economy. To discuss what might lie ahead, WAMC's Jim Levulis spoke with Hugh Johnson, the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors in Albany. 

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is one of the most recognizable and trusted voices on economics and policy today. Through a regular column in The New York Times, a popular blog and best-selling books, he looks to communicate the basic economics we need to understand public policy.

His new book is “Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics and the Fight for a Better Future.” Drawn mainly from his Times column, it covers a wide range of issues, organized thematically and framed in the context of a wider debate, explaining the complexities of health care, housing bubbles, tax reform and Social Security.

Paul Krugman is a recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics. He has been a columnist at The New York Times for twenty years and is also a Distinguished Professor at City University of New York.

We spoke with him on Saturday in Manchester, Vermont in an event presented by Northshire Bookstore

The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street
Wikimedia Commons

U.S. economic markets enjoyed a strong 2019. So what does 2020 have in store? Economist Hugh Johnson and Siena College's Dr. Aaron Pacitti join Vox Pop to discuss what's on the financial horizon. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at a September 18, 2019 press conference.
Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate yesterday for the second time this year while saying it's prepared to continue doing what it deems necessary to sustain economic expansion. The Fed’s move reduces its benchmark rate by a quarter-point to a range of 1.75 to 2 percent. 

On August 27, the economics profession lost a great man, Martin Weitzman, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.   The world has also lost a very important citizen.   I was at Swarthmore College with him in the early 1960s and even then, he displayed a creative brilliance.   He never became a pundit on television or in the newspapers, but in many areas of economic research he left his mark.   His most important contribution, in my opinion, was in making it crystal clear that the cost of doing nothing to drastically cut carbon emissions in order to head off global warming ---no matter how uncertain the potential damages and no matter how far in the future those damages will occur will be so high that we must make the changes that reduce those emissions now.   For that contribution, he deserved the Nobel Prize in economics.  The entire world needed his strong voice to add support for the growing chorus --- led today by the young people of the world who have the most to lose from the inaction of the politicians – demanding action.

We live in a world where twenty-six billionaires own as much wealth as half the planet's population. The extractive economy we live with now enables the financial elite to squeeze out maximum gain for themselves, heedless of damage to people or planet.

At a time when competing political visions are at stake the world over, "The Making of a Democratic Economy: How to Build Prosperity for the Many, Not the Few" urges a move beyond tinkering at the margins to address the systemic crisis of our economy.

Marjorie Kelly is the executive vice president and senior fellow at the Democracy Collaborative. She is the author of "The Divine Right of Capital" and "Owning Our Future." Her co-author on the book is Ted Howard, the cofounder and the president of the Democracy Collaborative. The Collaborative works to carry out a vision of a new economic system where shared ownership and control creates more equitable and inclusive outcomes, fosters ecological sustainability, and promotes flourishing democratic and community life.

Image of boxes inside a warehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

A new economic analysis has provided a snapshot of one of the Capital Region’s growing economic sectors: warehousing and logistics.

3/1/19 Panel

Mar 1, 2019

 

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

If you were asked when America became polarized, your answer would vary depending on your age. For leading historians Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer, it all starts in 1974. In that one year, the nation was rocked by one major event after another.

In terms of politics and economics, in their cultural and social relations, Americans have recently discovered we actually share little common ground with one another. How did we get here?

In their new book, "Fault Lines," Kruse and Zelizer examine the persistent development of political, economic, racial, religious and sexual divisions in modern America, as well as the cultural and technological changes that fostered and evolved from such divisions.

After decades covering war and disaster, bestselling author and acclaimed satirist P. J. O’Rourke takes on his scariest subjects yet: business, investment, finance, and the political chicanery behind them in his new book, "None of My Business."

P.J. began writing funny things in 1960s “underground” newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world’s only trouble-spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other “Holidays in Hell” in more than 40 countries. He’s written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. And he is a regular panelist on NPR’s "Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me."

Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and Hastings Foundation Chair at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Williams’s work includes What Works for Women at Work, coauthored with Rachel Dempsey; Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It. Williams is frequently featured as an expert on social class.

Around the world, populist movements are gaining traction among the white working class. Meanwhile, members of the professional elite - journalists, managers, and establishment politicians - are on the outside looking in, left to argue over the reasons. In White Working Class, Joan C. Williams, described as having “something approaching rock star status” by the New York Times, explains why so much of the elite’s analysis of the white working class is misguided, rooted in class cluelessness.

Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, is here to tell us about his new book: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America which explores how the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California Berkeley. 

Fred R. Conrad

Paul Krugman is the Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. He was the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics.

This past Sunday, after a screening of the Academy Award winning 1976 film, All The President’s Men, Krugman joined Alan Chartock at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival for a conversation about current events and The Trump Administration. 

  Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn't attribute worth to the crucial human interactions that give our lives meaning.

Clair Brown, an economics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a practicing Buddhist, has developed a holistic model, one based on the notion that quality of life should be measured by more than national income. 

Her book is Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science.

New York Times Foreign Affairs Columnist Thomas L. Friedman will give a presentation entitled "The Big Trends Shaping the World Today: Economics, Technology, and Geopolitics" at Proctors in Schenectady, NY on February 9th at 8 p.m. The event is presented by Union College.

Friedman is renowned for his direct reporting and sophisticated analysis of complex issues facing the world. His New York Times bestseller, co-written with Michael Mandelbaum, is That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.

Friedman's The World is Flat sold over four million copies and won the inaugural Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. In 2012, Friedman updated his National Book Award-winner, From Beirut to Jerusalem, adding a fresh discussion of the Arab Awakenings and Arab/Israeli relations in a new preface and afterword. His latest book, Thank You For Being Late, was released in Fall 2016.

Liberals worldwide invoke Scandinavia as a promised land of equality, while most conservatives fear it as a hotbed of liberty-threatening socialism. But the left and right can usually agree on one thing: that the Nordic system is impossible to replicate elsewhere.  
 
In Viking Economics, George Lakey dispels these myths. He explores the inner-workings of the Nordic economies that boast the world’s happiest, most productive workers, and explains how, if we can enact some of the changes the Scandinavians fought for surprisingly recently, we, too, can embrace equality in our economic policy.

  Charles Wheelan is the author of the best-selling Naked Statistics and Naked Economics and is a former correspondent for The Economist. He teaches public policy and economics at Dartmouth College.

Consider the $20 bill.

It has no more value, as a simple slip of paper, than Monopoly money. Yet even children recognize that tearing one into small pieces is an act of inconceivable stupidity. What makes a $20 bill actually worth twenty dollars? In Naked Money, Charles Wheelan uses this seemingly simple question to open the door to the surprisingly colorful world of money and banking.

Some of you may have been following Shankar Vedantam on NPR or the discoveries of Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winning psychologist on the Princeton faculty, and their demonstration of the irrational ways that people very naturally and ordinarily reach decisions. Indeed, for quite a long time it’s been apparent that rational decision making often demands too much of people. As Cornell’s Vicki Bogan said in a talk in Albany, the rational choice model of economics assumes that people:

Michael Meeropol: GOP Tax Plans

Nov 6, 2015

On November 2, 2015 Josh Barro wrote a column in the New York times presenting details from some Republican candidates’ tax proposals.  (See “Republicans’ Talk of Taxes Leaves Much Unsaid,” New York Times, November 2, 2015, P. A 3)   Instead of being satisfied with sound bites, Barro does readers a service by going into some of the details.  The tax plans I want to highlight are those of Dr. Ben Carson and Senator Ted Cruz.  (He also discusses the plans of Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and Governor John Kasich.)

Global markets have had a rough week and a half, offering up some stomach-churning drops and rebounds as investors follow roller coaster news of China’s economy. That said, it’s not a hopeless time for your own portfolio. Joining us today to answer your financial questions is Thomas Brockley, senior vice president, financial advisor and branch director of the Capital Region office of RBC Wealth Management in Albany.

  Natural disasters don't matter for the reasons we think they do. They generally don't kill a huge number of people. Most years more people kill themselves than are killed by Nature's tantrums. And using standard measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) it is difficult to show that disasters significantly interrupt the economy.

It's what happens after the disasters that really matters-when the media has lost interest and the last volunteer has handed out a final blanket, and people are left to repair their lives. What happens is a stark expression of how unjustly unequal our world has become. The elite make out well-whether they belong to an open market capitalist democracy or a closed authoritarian socialist state.

In The Disaster Profiteers, John Mutter argues that when no one is looking, disasters become a means by which the elite prosper at the expense of the poor.

Wikimedia Commons

Global markets rebounded today following a stomach-churning day yesterday, when the Dow plunged more than 1,000 points in early trading. The plunge followed fears that China’s economy was headed for disaster. But now that they’ve cut their central bank’s interest rate, things appear to have gone back in the green. Economist Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors in Albany joins us today to discuss the global economy.

  Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans―predictable, error-prone individuals.

His new book, Misbehaving, accounts the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.

Richard H. Thaler is a professor of behavioral science and economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and, in 2015, the president of the American Economic Association.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

A dramatic drop in the price of oil has dominated business headlines in the last two months, and it’s affecting economies around the world. The outlook in the United States remains positive, but in countries like Russia and Ukraine, it could spell collapse.

Economic inequality and minimum wage are becoming increasingly discussed topics during these turbulent economic times.

Chris Fee, professor of English at Gettysburg College, asks what constitutes a living wage?

Dr. Christopher Fee is a professor and chair of the Department of English at Gettysburg College. Fee has published numerous articles and has given conference presentations on many interdisciplinary topics. He earned his PhD in English at the University of Glasgow.

Have you ever heard of Wynne Godley?  Those who read the front page of the Business section of the NY Times on Wednesday, September 11, might have seen the picture and noted the name.  For others, he will be an unknown. 

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