The COVID-19 pandemic initially devastated the U.S. economy. It also exposed and exacerbated existing inequities in society. But in as yet unpredictable ways, it may have accelerated profound changes in how labor works today.
Although Xi wields significant influence over Chinese domestic politics—certainly more than his most recent predecessors—he still needs support from the Party elite. And on that front, some cracks are showing.
If the United States wants to avoid a long-term worker shortage, it should look to what policy can—but has failed to—fully address. We have a long history using carrots and sticks, but this is a problem we may not be able to cajole or punish our way out of. Finding workers can be as simple as giving more people a chance to work.
When fears of inflation arise in the United States, people start paying a lot of attention to weekly unemployment-insurance claims, as an early indicator of layoffs that could augur a broader slump. But unemployment claims are a flawed gauge that may be particularly skewed by the pandemic.
This weekly recap focuses on the internet's role in stoking extremism and hate, how Russia has failed its military personnel, a research roadmap to help prevent police killings in the United States, and more.
While mandatory climate-related disclosure may improve information and decisionmaking for investors, it alone is unlikely to accelerate investment in decarbonization at the rate needed. To motivate private investment in climate mitigation, policymakers could explore additional policies.
Nuclear-war strategists' work offers a warning for Congress: The more times a game is played, the more treacherous it becomes, because when both sides believe catastrophe will always be averted in the end, each behaves more rashly. In the debt-ceiling dispute, the United States could end up defaulting precisely because each side keeps waiting for the other to blink.
The expiration of pandemic benefits points to the flaw at the heart of unemployment insurance: The constituency that pays for benefits isn't the constituency who receives them. Lasting reform to the unemployment insurance system will mean finding a way to benefit employers directly.
It would be simplistic to think that developing detailed blueprints for economic development in North Korea could on its own cut through decades of conflict and mistrust, triggering political and economic reform. But by expanding the terms of the debate it might move the needle on peace.
By shoring up all state-run Unemployment Insurance programs equally, Congress set a precedent that it will intervene to raise benefits at no cost to state trust funds. From the states' perspective, why hike taxes on businesses to maintain robust unemployment benefits if Congress will step in when the economy goes south?
The disaffection of a wide swath of the American population has been linked to the political polarization of the country, as well as its divisive tendencies. While globalization is not the only reason for this disaffection, it is an apt lens through which to view the revolt against elitism, expertise, and changing demographics.
Unemployment insurance is the most important fiscal response the United States has during a recession, because it sends timely, targeted, and temporary financial assistance to those directly affected by the downturn. What the CARES Act created—remarkably high benefits for more workers—was a short-term experiment born of necessity, but it could have a lasting influence on public policy.
Unemployment Insurance is the primary U.S. policy tool for sustaining workers during periods of high unemployment. But it has a history of being repeatedly neglected. Federal reform has been stalled for nearly 50 years.