Eric Harris Bernstein

As workers, as consumers, and as citizens, Americans are increasingly powerless in today’s economy. A 40-year assault on antitrust and competition policy—the laws and regulations meant to guard against the concentration of power in private hands—has tipped the economy in favor of powerful corporations and their shareholders. Under the false assumption that the unencumbered ambitions

On Tuesday night, President Trump spent a good portion of his first State of the Union address boasting about the economy. He talked about the stock market, which is on an unprecedented nine-year run; he talked about low unemployment, which sits near a historic low; and he talked about wages, which are starting to rise


This morning Amazon announced its planned purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion – a 27 percent premium over its share price at the close of business Thursday. To Americans who have made Amazon America’s most reputable company three years running, this may sound like good news, but we here at the Roosevelt Institute are

We live in an increasingly post-cash world, but cashless comes at a cost. Merchants – the stores we rely on for everything from groceries to oil changes – pay more than $50 billion in fees to the credit card companies that finance consumer purchases. As a result, merchants have a considerable incentive to persuade customers

We are gathered here today in remembrance of the Kansas state tax cuts, which expired on Wednesday, after a protracted fight between the Kansas state legislature and Republican Governor Sam Brownback. Though its life was short, the Kansas tax cuts — “the cuts,” to friends — left a strong impression and will not soon be forgotten. The cuts came roaring

Donald Trump’s budget, released today, is a lie on top of a joke. A lie because it leaves off the enormous cost of the president’s proposed tax cuts for the rich and a joke because it relies on comically exaggerated forecasts of supercharged economic growth to generate additional revenue so that Trump can claim he

Last Monday, Democratic Senate leadership expressed their concerns over the president’s recent tax cut proposal in a joint letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Office and Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Their letter correctly criticized the plan’s lopsided benefit to the top 1 percent and pointed out the threat it would pose to

On Wednesday, CEA Chair Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin unveiled their fourth attempt at a major tax reform plan, and it is really, really bad. So bad that even the conservative folks over at the Tax Foundation—generally fans of all things tax cut—think it’s a bad idea. The plan would represent a massive boon to the

Well, 4/20 came and went, and it seems we have evidence that at least one member of the Trump administration celebrated the holiday. That’s the innocent explanation, anyway. Last week, during remarks at an event hosted by the Institute of International Finance, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tacked yet another indefensible, empty promise onto the administration’s

Earlier this week I responded to a blog post by Tim Worstall, who took some belated shots at the tax paper I wrote with Marshall Steinbaum. Yesterday, I was thrilled to see his response to my response up at Forbes. I have some responses of my own, but for starters, I would like to address the following:

In a recent column at Forbes, Tim Worstall took aim at a Salon summary of a Roosevelt Institute paper that I wrote with my esteemed colleague, Marshall Steinbaum. In the piece, Worstall dismisses our points without considering them; he eschews recent evidence and careful analysis of the economic impact (or lack thereof) of corporate tax

The Trump administration and House Republicans are proposing a massive tax cut for corporations and the 1 percent. They falsely claim the Brady-Ryan tax plan will increase investment, reverse outsourcing, and create jobs, but this is just more of their failed “trickle-down” ideology. In this report, we argue that the evidence shows another corporate tax cut

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American workers are facing a lack of power that has reached crisis levels. In addition to the decades long decline of unions, the expanded use of technology and outsourcing pose challenges from which contemporary labor law offers no shelter. This situation is poised to worsen in the near future, as Trump administration appointments to the

A note from Roosevelt Institute President and CEO Felicia Wong: America needs genuine infrastructure investment now more than ever—and that means more than just filling potholes. It means building the foundation for 21st century commerce, which is a long-term strategic necessity. It includes public investments in high-speed rail, universal broadband, and a carbon-reducing power grid,

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Donald Trump has received considerable positive attention for his plan to raise taxes on investment firms by ending the much-maligned “carried interest” loophole. It’s one of the clearest things Trump himself has said about his tax plan, with statements like “I want to do something with the Wall Street guys because some of these guys

With the shocking NBA Finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers behind us, we have an opportunity to step back and consider some of the broader lessons that can be drawn from media coverage of the series’ transcendent stars, Steph Curry and LeBron James. The two have been cast as basketball opposites,

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Unless you live under a rock (and perhaps even if you do), by now you have heard a good deal about the Panama Papers, the 2.6-terabyte news leak orchestrated by nearly 400 journalists, currently being hailed as one of the largest document leaks in history. The documents detail the operations and clients of Mossack Fonseca, a

Imagine you’re at a party with a broken record playing. The same song plays over and over as the guests grow tired and unhappy. Many propose changing it—not so long ago, the music was much better—but there is a problem: One small group of revelers love the record and, to keep their anthem playing, have

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Over the last 40 years, corporate influence and trickle-down ideology have pervaded the tax code, resulting in large tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. These low rates have failed to deliver the widespread growth that was promised, and the results for the typical American have been disastrous: Wealth at the top skyrocketed with no

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How Dangerous Is Donald Trump?

On Sunday, Vox posted a video in which editor-in-chief Ezra Klein makes his case that “Donald Trump is the most dangerous presidential candidate in recent memory.” While I agree that Trump is dangerous and appreciate Ezra as a brilliant and thoughtful journalist, I disagree with his analysis. In short, I fail to see how Trump

Table of Contents 1. What are “the rules”? 2. Will fighting inequality hurt growth? 3. Isn’t government part of the problem? Won’t more government intervention stifle business growth and the free market? 4. Why tax the rich more? Why should we punish people for having success? 5. What does inequality matter if everyone has the

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It’s all fun and games until someone gets elected. When Jeb Bush’s proposed $100 billion tax cut for the top 1 percent was followed by Donald Trump’s $1 trillion dollar annual reduction, and then by Ben Carson’s call for biblical taxation, I was amused. It’s not that I take taxes lightly; it’s just that the various Republican candidates’ plans seemed too

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Jeb Bush makes the blockbuster claim that “regulations impose a $1.88 trillion silent tax on the U.S. economy each year.” That, he points out, averages out to $15,000 per family. The startling figure comes from a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which suggests that federal regulations represent a crippling impediment

New polling confirms what many of us long believed: The majority of Americans—rich and poor, men and women, Republicans and Democrats—agree that income, opportunity, and influence are unfairly concentrated at the top and that these disparities are growing. Further, Americans support government action to address this structural inequality and rewrite the rules of our economy.

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“We believe that America’s best days are still ahead. But we also recognize that restoring the shared prosperity that comes from a strong economy requires reforming the most antiquated and dysfunctional government policies, beginning with the federal tax system.” -Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee  Finally, something we can all agree on.  In their joint

On Tuesday, the New York Times‘ data-minded blog The Upshot posted an article reporting on an inequality study performed by Georgetown University’s Stephen J. Rose. The article‘s title boldly stated that “Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis.” Although the study’s analysis is mathematically correct, the study is framed and conducted in a way that makes its