The Blog of the Roosevelt Institute

Over the weekend, the Trump administration announced plans to terminate the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to force a skeptical Congress to accept his repackaged 2.0 version. This risky gambit is based on a faulty premise: The executive branch lacks constitutional authority to roll back NAFTA’s implementing legislation. While the president can formally

To address the $1.5 trillion in outstanding student debt that is held by American borrowers today, it is vital to have a full debate about the costs and benefits of potential solutions. But this debate must be grounded in a solid understanding of the problem. David Leonhardt’s recent takedown of universal student-debt cancellation flows from

One justification made by proponents of stock buybacks is that the practice is an effective way for funds to flow from companies that do not “need” the cash out to shareholders, who will then invest it in companies that are issuing new shares to finance firm activity. Does this explanation show up in the data?1

Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced the STOP Walmart Act, which prohibits large companies from engaging in stock buybacks unless they make serious investments in their workers. While the act takes aim at Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, it highlights the theme of my work: that excessive giveaways to

The Supreme Court is facing a democracy deficit, where the number of justices and the length of their terms have created a Court that does not reflect the views of the American public. This point is underscored by the fact that four out of five members of the conservative majority were nominated by presidents who

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Today’s $1.5 trillion student debt crisis is “crushing” American households, writes Noah Smith for Bloomberg. The U.S. student loan program is driven by commonplace assumptions that have cemented the idea that higher education is an essential pathway to economic security, regardless of how much it costs. Because media, economists, and borrowers themselves believe that more

In The Unsound Theory Behind the Consumer (and Total) Welfare Goal in Antitrust, a working paper for the Roosevelt Institute, University of Utah economics professor and antitrust scholar Mark Glick examines why the New Brandeisians are correct to reject the consumer welfare (CW) standard. Delving deeper—and pushing antitrust scholarship forward—he argues that the CW or total welfare standard was

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The 2016 corruption scandal at Wells Fargo, in which executives pressured employees to meet “wildly unrealistic sales targets,” created a work environment described as “relentless pressure.” Once revealed, the massive fraud committed against millions of consumers led to congressional hearings, substantial fines by state and federal regulators, and a series of announced changes by Wells

Last week, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced a sweeping, bold economic policy idea: the LIFT the Middle Class Act. The LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families) Act would essentially be a dramatic expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making it much larger and available to many more Americans. A few days later, the conservative

Recently, The New York Times published a report about women who, while working in physically demanding jobs, lost their pregnancies after requests for less-strenuous assignments were denied. The profile is a tragic example of the steep toll levied on women, and particularly women of color, who face economic and social rules that are rigged against