If we value all Americans having access to health insurance, regardless of pre-existing conditions, then mandates and subsidies need to stay. The New York Times reports,
New York is a great case study. Before Obamacare, it had the pre-existing conditions policy, but without subsidies or a mandate. When the Obamacare rules kicked in, premiums there went down by 50 percent.
A recent NY Times article reports,
Average Obamacare insurance rates really are going up by 22 percent.
McKinsey Global Institute's Gender Parity Score (1.00 = gender parity)
Research from a recent McKinsey & Co. post,
Globally, women spend thrice the amount of time as men on unpaid care work—an economic contribution conservatively worth $10 trillion, or 13 percent of global GDP, for which they are not compensated or recognized. Turning to work that is paid and measured, women generate about 37 percent of the world’s GDP, despite being about half of the world’s total population. At current rates of progress in women rising to the C-suite, it will take more than 100 years to bridge the gender gap in the upper reaches of US corporations.
Predicted counts of first-generation immigrants aged 15-64 (millions)
According to a new VOXEU article on the future of immigration in the US and EU,
Whether the US chooses to “build a wall” to immigration will become increasingly irrelevant to patterns of international migration, while the decisions the EU makes about policing its external borders will become more consequential.
According to Tyler Cowen in a new Bloomberg article,
The first principle is not to be fooled by increases in measured gross domestic product. A new Trump stimulus would probably boost GDP, but that doesn’t mean it would be working well.
George Borjas of Harvard makes several recommendations for immigration policies. Read the entire linked article for full details.
Winners and Losers. And what about legal immigration? The time has come to start talking about legal immigration more realistically. Despite what the Chamber of Commerce claims, legal immigration is not manna from heaven. As with all other social policies, legal immigration creates winners and losers, and any rational discussion of immigration policy must consider that tradeoff. The employers who gain, along with many willing co-conspirators in the media and academia, have effectively silenced debate by reframing the issue as a battle between white-hatted globalists who carry the banner of progress on the one side and the xenophobes and racists on the other. If nothing else, the widespread revolt against globalization makes it obvious that there are indeed losers, and the losers are tired of being lied to and being left behind. American workers had no voice in setting up a system that was bought and paid for by the economic interests that gain from increased immigration. It is time to change that balance of power—those who gain should bear part of the costs, and those who lose should receive some of the benefits. There are many ways of redistributing the gains—ranging from taxing those industries that most benefit from the hiring of immigrants to making employers pay tens of thousands of dollars for each H-1B visa granted. If nothing else, this would help employers internalize the cost of the policies that they have benefitted so much from, and lead to a much more rational discussion of how much and which type of immigration we should have.
Another economist voices support for infrastructure investment. Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University suggests,
We also desperately need an update to our electricity grid. We have more blackouts than any other developed nation. It is a national embarrassment when millions of US residents our thrown into the dark by grid failures.
According to a recent Boston Globe article by Jeffrey Sachs,
A builder-president could indeed restore vitality to the US economy and put millions to work in the process. All the major candidates in this campaign cycle pledged a substantial effort to build America’s infrastructure. Indeed, Trump suggested a hefty price tag of $1 trillion, which is a realistic sum and target for the coming years (roughly 1 percent of national income per year if carried out over 5 years).
According to a recent Economic Policy Institute publication,
Key findings include:
Figure 2 shows that there is no correlation between cuts in top tax rates and average annual real GDP-per-capita growth since the 1970s. For example, countries that made large cuts in top tax rates such as the United Kingdom or the United States have not grown significantly faster than countries that did not, such as Germany or Denmark. Hence, a substantial fraction of the response of pre-tax top incomes to top tax rates documented in Figure 1 may be due to increased rent-seeking at the top rather than increased productive effort.