(* Recent tid-bits I found today.)
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría: "As recent revelations have demonstrated, the frayed international tax system has long allowed multinationals to plan their way around paying corporate taxes. And bank secrecy has let individuals stash money undetected, and untaxed, in hidden corners of the world. Such practices erode the integrity of our tax systems, damage the capabilities of our governments, diminish economic growth and corrode the trust of our citizens who are the vast majority of taxpayers. The way tax is levied and spent is one of the most important levers to address social inequalities, create jobs, pay for education, infrastructure and other public services and encourage investment in innovation." (More)
VOX -- High marginal tax rates on the top 1%: "Overall we find that increasing tax rates at the very top of the income distribution and thereby reducing tax burdens for the rest of the population is a suitable measure to increase social welfare. As a side effect, it reduces both income and wealth inequality within the US population."
VOX -- Globalization and the rise of the robots: "Recent advances in artificial intelligence could affect manufacturing and the labor markets in a number of ways. [This study] finds no confirmation that machines have decreased the cost of labor and brought manufacturing back to rich countries but finds machines could replace highly skilled workers rather than increase the demand for their labor. Technology and skills are thus substitutes not complements."
I just heard media pundits on CNN bashing Bloomberg for suggesting that many people should consider being a plumber rather than going to college. (The New York Daily News has an article about this, as does Fox News). To me, Bloomberg makes perfect sense, so why was CNN in such an uproar? Not everybody can really afford to go to college, and many can’t hack it and drop out. And a plumber's job can't be outsourced to China either.
Economic Policy Institute: The Number of Unemployed Exceeds the Number of Available Jobs Across All Sectors -- "The main problem in the labor market is a broad-based lack of demand for workers — not, as is often claimed, available workers lacking the skills needed for the sectors with job openings."
Zerohedge: "Contrary to the pervasive and erroneous propaganda, the collapse in the labor force has little to do with the alleged millions of retiring baby boomers (quite the contrary: as a result of ZIRP crushing their lifetime savings, baby boomers have been forced to remain in the workforce in ever greater numbers) and everything to do with the lack of employment opportunities, or perhaps an unwillingness to work, for young Americans." (Zerohedge links to Pew Research: "More and more Americans are outside the labor force entirely. Who are they?")
Economic Populist: A Global House Of Cards (by Paul Craig Roberts): "In the US QE caused inflation in stock and bond prices as most of the liquidity provided went into financial markets instead of into consumers’ pockets. There is more consumer price inflation than the official inflation measures report, as the measures are designed to under-report inflation, thereby saving money on COLA adjustments, but the main effect of QE has been unrealistic stock and bond prices."