Monday, May 01, 2017

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Campos compares the U.S.' hourly wages to its GDP over the past few decades to show how workers have been left out of any economic growth. And Arindrajit Dube examines the effect of an increased minimum wage, and finds a direct impact on both income enhancement and poverty reduction for workers.

- Meanwhile, Tripp Mickle charts Apple's obscene cash hoarding facilitated by offshoring revenues. And Jared Bernstein and Ben Spielberg write that Sam Brownback's disastrous Kansas experiment represents all the response anyone should need to trickle-down economics.

- Lana Payne points out that Donald Trump's challenge to free-trade orthodoxy offers an important opportunity to rethink international trade. And Andrew Jackson has some suggestions for the ground rules we should be putting in place:
The best way to confront unilateral protectionist measures is to take multilateral action to reduce chronic trade imbalances.  This was supposed to be at the heart of the G20 agenda after the 2007 financial crisis, but there has been only limited progress.

Other countries should also respond to President Trump's call for “fair trade” by taking measures to raise wages in developing countries and thus reduce competitive pressures on workers in advanced industrial countries. While low labour costs are a legitimate source of competitive advantage,  the suppression of trade unions and denial of basic labour rights as defined by the International Labour Organization has kept wage growth artificially low in many countries in relation to rising productivity.

Strong labour rights provisions within trade and investment agreements should be combined with recognition of the need and right for government to regulate in the public interest and to deliver public services so as to maintain social standards.
- Finally, D.C. Fraser reports on the Saskatchewan Party's decision to turn phone calls from Saskatchewan jails into a source of free money for a U.S. telecom.

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