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The U.S. Economy After The Great Recession

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
March 4, 2014
The bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 plunged the U.S. economy into a serious crisis, leaving American households with a huge debt overhang and the economy with a large gap in output and employment. This report reviews the economy’s deleveraging and recovery experience more than five years after the crash. It explores the following questions:  
  • How far has the economy come in the deleveraging process? Is private sector debt now at a sustainable level or do households and the financial sector continue to need to pay down debt?  
  • To what extent has the U.S.

The German Wages Problem -- A World Problem

  • By Joerg Bibow, Skidmore College
June 14, 2013

Germany and Europe at large have suffered from chronically high unemployment for all or most of the time since the 1980s. The conventional wisdom of American economists and media commentators alike offers a clear-cut diagnosis of this long-standing malaise. Often repeated and never questioned, the verdict is that European labor markets are too rigid, the old continent’s welfare systems overly generous, and wages too high. In short, European labor is simply too expensive, and employees are pricing themselves out of work as a result.

The Next Social Contract: An American Agenda for Reform

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
June 10, 2013

The American social contract is in crisis. Even before the Great Recession exposed its inadequacy, it was clear that the existing American social contract — the system of policies and institutions designed to provide adequate incomes and economic security for all Americans — needed to be reformed to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. What is needed is not mere incremental tinkering, but rather rethinking and reconstruction. Policies that have worked should be expanded, while others that have failed should be replaced.

Public Attitudes Toward the Next Social Contract

  • By Bruce Stokes, Pew Research Center
January 15, 2013

The recent deliberations in Washington about the fiscal cliff have triggered a national debate in the United States about the nature, extent and future sustainability of key elements of the U.S. social safety net: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, support for education, the unemployed and the poor.

Economic Recovery and Social Investment

  • By Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect
November 26, 2012

Today’s prolonged economic slump is fundamentally different from an ordinary recession. In the aftermath of a severe financial collapse, an economy is at risk of succumbing to a prolonged deflationary undertow. With asset prices reduced, the financial system damaged, unemployment high, consumer demand depressed, and businesses reluctant to invest, the economy gets stuck well below its full employment potential.

Raising American Wages...by Raising American Wages

  • By Ron Unz, The American Conservative
November 15, 2012

With Americans still trapped in the fifth year of our Great Recession, and median personal income having been essentially stagnant for forty years, perhaps we should finally admit that decades of economic policies have largely failed.

The Sidebar: Media's Relationship with Tragedy and Our No-Vacation Nation.

July 27, 2012
Gabriel Sherman discusses the way media covers and hypes tragedy in the age of the 24-hour news cycle and David Gray explains why America is the only advanced nation without a vacation policy. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts. 

America’s Emerging Growth Story

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
July 19, 2012


I.  Overview
II.  The Story Begins with Oil & Gas
III.  Job Creation and Investment
IV.  The Catalyst for a Manufacturing Revival
V.  The Rise of New Industries
VI.  Shoring up America’s Fiscal Position
VII.  Infrastructure Investment is the Missing Piece of the Story
VIII.  Serious Obstacles Remain

New Study Finds Declining Rates of Entrepreneurship

July 10, 2012

Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post authored by Lina Khan, program associate with New America's Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative.

If there’s one thing Americans have faith in it’s the country’s entrepreneurial verve. Even amid high unemployment and a tepid economic recovery, we generally believe that strong entrepreneurship and upstart businesses will help steer us out of our present ditch. Media reports and sparring politicians fixate on this crucial sector of the American economy, a source of new products, new ideas, new jobs, and new wealth.

An article published today shows that America’s entrepreneurial sector is actually in deep crisis. The piece, written by Barry C. Lynn and myself in the forthcoming issue of the Washington Monthly, shows that for over a generation fewer Americans have been creating new businesses. The nation’s self-image notwithstanding, the number of new entrepreneurs – measured per capita – declined by 53 percent between 1977 and 2010. Even the share of self-employed Americans has fallen, dropping by more than 20 percent between 1991 and 2010.

Out of Business

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • Lina Khan,
  • New America Foundation
July 10, 2012

America’s entrepreneurial sector is in deep trouble. Although the mainstream media continues to promote the idea that the nation’s small and upstart businesses are either generally thriving or, at worst, recovering from the sudden blow of the Great Recession, a closer look at the data reveals the exact opposite to be true, with a long-standing decline in the numbers of independent startups per working-age American.

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