Coal Mining and Population Loss

My first peer-reviewed publication is out in the Journal of Appalachian Studies. I’ve posted the full paper here,  and below is a shortened and non-technical version. The Data, Methods, and Analysis section is rewritten for this blog to make it more accessible for lay readers, while the other sections are merely abridged. Coal Mining and […]

Why the narrative of personal responsibility slips so easily into racism

When it comes to explaining poverty and inequality in the U.S., there tend to be two broad categories of explanations. The first is personal responsibility. On this narrative, poverty and inequality are caused by personal failings. The second focuses on institutional factors, arguing that poverty is a result of the choices we’ve made about the […]

Democratic Presidents Are Better For The Economy

The economy has grown much more quickly under Democratic presidents. It has also grown more equally. Since World War II, working class incomes have grown eight times as fast under Democrats, and middle class incomes have grown twice as fast. Nor has this come at the cost of the wealthy, whose incomes have grown equally […]

An Unhappy Labor Day: Wages are falling across the U.S.

Perhaps the most important economic trend of the past fifty years is also one of the least discussed. Wages are falling. In the 1950s and 1960s, wages grew as the economy grew. But in the early 1970s, wages for the majority of the population became uncoupled from economic growth. First, for those unfamiliar, a quick […]

What is the economy for? – Thoughts from J.S. Mill

I know not why it should be matter of congratulation that persons who are already richer than any one needs to be, should have doubled their means of consuming things which give little or no pleasure except as representative of wealth – J.S. Mill Watching economics become untethered from its origins in political economy could […]