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Instead of finding a solution to the jobs crisis, today’s politicians are making life harder for the unemployed. The “Forgotten Man” may be most commonly associated with Amity Shlaes’s book of the same name, an alternate history in which the New Deal made the Great Depression worse. But back in the spring of 1932, while

Maximizing shareholder value through stock buybacks has become an economic religion in the U.S., and corporate executives and board members are its chief acolytes. Europeans have always been wary of the ideology that business corporations should be run to “maximize shareholder value.” In advance of a public lecture that I am giving in Madrid on

The president needs to take on the ways corporations beef up stock prices instead of employing Americans. With the unemployment rate still at over 9 percent and the U.S. economy facing a possible double-dip recession, President Obama’s jobs plan can only help. If, however, the main point of the plan is to put the employment

The U.S. does have an investment problem, but the blame lies with Big Business, not Big Government. Remember when the United States led the world in industrial technology? The peak of U.S. supremacy was back in the 1960s, when the “military-industrial complex” was in full force. Then in the mid-1970s the Japanese mounted a successful

In the latest installment of his “Breaking Through the Jobless Recovery” series, economist William Lazonick explains why pushing big corporations to transform their products is just what our economy needs. To claim that something is “perfect” is to say that it cannot be done better. With the start of another academic year, hundreds of thousands

In the latest installment of his “Breaking Through the Jobless Recovery” series, economist William Lazonick explores why American business leaders have taken a hike on the nation. By now the story is familiar. For the last decade US-based business corporations have been engaged in the massive offshoring of good jobs to high-growth, low-wage areas of

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates. Click here to receive the Daily Digest via e-mail. Financial Turmoil Evokes Comparison to 2008 Crisis (NYT) The stagnant economy and seesawing stock market are stoking fears of another financial crisis. The big difference is that the last one caught many people by surprise,

In the latest installment of his “Breaking Through the Jobless Recovery” series, economist William Lazonick explains how a company like Apple has benefited from government investment and subsidies — and what it might do to return the favor. In his State of the Union address back in January, President Barack Obama invoked the need for

In the latest installment of his series “Breaking Through the Jobless Recovery,” economist William Lazonick explains how corporations obsessed with stock buybacks and maximizing shareholder value are scamming Uncle Sam and killing our chances to compete in the 21st Century. The US economy is a mess. Over two years since the Great Recession officially ended, the unemployment rate

In the latest installment of his series “Breaking Through the Jobless Recovery,” economist William Lazonick explores how excessive executive pay weakens our economy. Focusing on shareholder return is a very bad way for companies to govern the allocation of their resources. Public shareholders simply trade outstanding stock, but taxpayers and workers make risky investments in the innovation process