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The Ledger 04/11/14

The Ledger 04/11/14

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A weekly snapshot of news, views, and economic cues from AEI Economic Policy Team
A weekly snapshot of news, views, and economic cues from AEI Economic Policy Team

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: American Enterprise Institute on Apr 11, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Subject: Busting wage myths (AEI Economics Ledger) If you have trouble reading this message, click here to view it as a web page. 
The wage debate
The “77 cents on the dollar” myth about women's pay. 
Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs: “The 23% gap implies that women work an extra 68 days to earn the same pay as a man. Mr. Obama advocates allowing women to sue for wage discrimination, with employers bearing the burden of proving they did not discriminate. But the numbers bandied about to make the claim of widespread discrimination are fundamentally misleading and economically illogical.”
Congressional staffers face a gender wage gap. 
Stan Veuger : “According to data from Legistorm on congressional staffer salaries, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pays his male staffers a 5 percent masculinity bonus. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a woman from überprogressive San Francisco, sits in her office night after night deducting 8 percent off her male staffers’ salaries to come up with living wages for her female staffers.”
The long-lasting damage of a national minimum wage. 
 Andrew Biggs and Mark Perry: “Most economists oppose raising the minimum wage because it will price low-skilled workers out of the job market, cutting the bottom rung on the ladder of economic opportunity. But there is one important issue that both groups may have overlooked — and that's the "one-size-fits-all" nature of the minimum wage. . . . This guarantees that it won't work well at all in thousands of America's low-cost communities.”
 April 15 is around the corner
NEW RESEARCH — The need for corporate tax reform. 
 Alan Viard: “In this report, we describe the challenges facing the corporate income tax and discuss two structural reform options that could address them. One option would seek international agreement on how to allocate income of multinational corporations among countries. The other option would eliminate the corporate income tax, but would tax  American shareholders of publicly traded companies at ordinary income tax rates on their dividends and accrued capital gains.”
 Are your income taxes too high? 
Karlyn Bowman and Jennifer Marsico: “How would you answer this simple question: ‘Do you consider the amount of federal income tax you pay as too high, about right, or too low?’ Today, people divide their responses between. . . .”
The biggest challenge facing central banks
NEW RESEARCH — Preempt deflation now. 
John Makin: “Anyone taking painkillers knows that it is important to ingest the medicine before the pain intensifies. You must be preemptive. . . . The same is true with deflation. Deflation is self-reinforcing, so if you wait to offset it until prices are actually falling, you
risk losing control. . . . Central banks in the United States and around the world must end their complacency and respond preemptively to the threat by monitoring inflation rates and undertaking aggressive monetization.”
Immediate action required of the ECB. 
Desmond Lachman: “History is bound to judge harshly the European Central Bank’s current maintenance of a passive monetary policy stance in the face of markedly decelerating inflation.”
Welfare reform
10 welfare reform lessons from New York City. 
Robert Doar : “While my perspective is that of an insider, the facts speak for themselves: From 1995 until the end of 2013, New York City's cash-welfare caseload shrunk from almost 1.1 million recipients to less than 347,000 — a drop of more than 700,000 men, women, and children.”
Housing policies to combat homelessness. 
Brad Wassink: “Housing assistance for low-income  Americans is premised on a simple value that most Americans share: no citizen should go without a roof over his head. But policy has done a poor job of achieving that goal. As of January 2013, more than 610,000 Americans were homeless.”
Financial reform
Treat Fannie and Freddie exactly like a too-big-to-fail bank
Recognize them as the Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs) they indubitably are. Are Fannie and Freddie Too Big To Fail? Nothing could be more obvious. Are Fannie and Freddie systemically important? Nothing could be more obvious.”
More data needed on high-frequency trading.
 Jim Pethokoukis: “The final cost-benefit analysis of superfast, high-volume trading can’t be determined by competing claims of participants, nor in the compelling, character-centered narratives of bestselling authors. As much as anyone, Moneyball author Lewis should understand that data — and lots of it — is a surer guide for action than flashy anecdotes.”
In other news
NEW WORKING PAPER — Shops and the city. 
Stan Veuger and Daniel Shoag: “Large retailers have significant positive spillovers on nearby businesses, and both private and public mechanisms exist to attract them. . . . We find no evidence that government subsidies affect the efficiency of these large retailers’ location choice.” 
Even the president supports fracking. 
Benjamin Zycher : “The economic benefits of this technological revolution have been so large and so obvious and so popular politically that the Obama administration has found it necessary to voice support for fracking and its attendant expansion of energy supplies and employment.”
Dr. Murray’s guide to getting ahead. 
Stan Veuger : “Murray starts out with straightforward advice on how to harvest the low-hanging fruit of not setting oneself up for failure. ‘On the Presentation of Self in the Workplace’ is the title of the first of four sets of lessons, and it is both the most practical and the most curmudgeonly part of the book. Don’t use the f-word all the time, or the word “like,” avoid facial tattoos, wear pants to work, that kind of stuff.”

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