Monthly Archives: October 2010

Dube: Higher minimum wage doesn’t reduce jobs

Arin Dube

Arin Dube, UMass Amherst economics professor, is interviewed by The Real News Network.  He discusses his findings from a recently completed study which examines the affect of minimum wage on employment. 

Dube’s research looks at the effects of minimum wage differentials across state boarders where the minimum wage is higher on one side of the border than the other. His research focuses on the service industry, which he said employs the majority of minimum wage workers. According to his findings, both the short and long term effects of the increased wage on unemployment were negligible.

Wolff: Why Americans are slow to mobilize

Rick Wolff

Richard Wolff, UMass Amherst economics professor emeritus, is interviewed by RT News.  He gives his view as to why the people of Europe are fighting to save their cultures from massive austerity being forced on them by private financial interests and their lackeys in government. He also discusses why Americans are not seeking the same relief as they face the same problems.  Watch the interview.

Wolff on the action taken by European workers

Richard Wolff

Richard Wolff, UMass Amherst economics professor emeritus, describes the rallies and strikes that have been taking place across Europe.  European workers are protesting the austerity measures which are being imposed as a result of the economic crisis.  According to Wolff, their chief slogan is: we are the working people who produce the profits, the goods, and the service of the capitalist economy; we are not going to pay for its crisis.  These workers believe that cutting government services and payroll, will only make the crisis worse and that instead, government should reduce their need for borrowing by taxing the wealthiest 5 percent.

 

Friedman on NHPR’s “Working It Out Live”

Gerald Friedman

Gerald Friedman, UMass Amherst economics professor, and Grant Bosse, Lead Investigator for the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, joined host, Jon Greenberg on NHPR’s “Working it Out Live.”  With the election just weeks away, voters are concerned with how changes in government may affect the one agenda item with which they are most concerned– the economy.  Listeners called in with questions and  Friedman answered from a democratic policy perspective and Bosse, republican.  Listen to the show.

Washington Post blogger supports Pollin’s “Plan B for Economic Recovery”

Robert Pollin

A recent proposal by Robert Pollin, economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, calls for having the federal government create strong incentives for both lending by banks to small business and for businesses to seek loans. He says currently the private credit markets are locked up, especially for small businesses. Pollin’s proposal uses federal loan guarantees to boost bank lending and a tax on excess reserves held by banks. (Washington Post, 9/28/10)

Three-year degree makes headlines

There is widespread news coverage of UMass Amherst’s plan to begin offering a three-year degree program as part of an effort to make college more affordable. James Staros, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, says as state financial support decreases and families and students are forced to bear more of the cost, the university is seeking ways to mitigate that financial impact. UMass Amherst is the first major university in the state to offer a formal three-year degree program. Beginning this fall, first-year students majoring in economics, music and sociology can join the three-year track. Eventually students in about one third of the 88 majors will be eligible for the program. Staros also notes that the three-year option is very focused. “It’s not for students who go to college and take a year to figure out what they want to do,” he says. (Globe, 9/27/10; MSNBC, WBZ-TV 4, WFXT-TV 25, NECN, ABC6 [Providence, R.I.], Inside Higher Ed, WFCR, WBUR, Herald, Republican [all from AP], 9/27/10; News Office assistance)

Friedman on 22News inFocus: Decision 2010

Gerald Friedman

Gerald Friedman, UMass Amherst economics professor, and Jens Christiansen, Mount Holyoke economics professor, appeared on 22News inFocus: Decision 2010.   Friedman and Christiansen discuss the current political climate, voter motivation and upcoming mid-term elections. 

Friedman notes that most people act out of hope, not out of fear.  He believes that a democratic government can work effectively, but is concerned that voters are discouraged and will give up.  This, says Friedman, may ultimately lead them to turn toward an extremist group.  

Friedman and Christiansen also discuss the likelihood that Republicans will gain control of the House and the Senate in November and provide commentary on the gaining popularity of  the Tea Party.  (22News, 9/20/10)