Jeff Madrick is the Director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative at the Century Foundation and Editor of Challenge Magazine. He teaches at Lang College, the New School. His book Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Damaged America and the World was published last year.

 (May 2016)


The Little-Known Ted

Ted Kennedy outside his office at the Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., March 2006

Lion of the Senate: When Ted Kennedy Rallied the Democrats in a GOP Congress

by Nick Littlefield and David Nexon
I should have suspected that Nick Littlefield had a career on Broadway before he entered politics. Littlefield was the Kennedy aide who brought me to the senator’s attention in the 2000s based on my articles in these pages and others. My task was generally to write speeches and later to …

How the Lobbyists Win in Washington

President Obama announcing his nomination of the telecom industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, May 2013

The Business of America Is Lobbying: How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate

by Lee Drutman

The Influence Machine: The US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life

by Alyssa Katz
On President Obama’s first day in office in 2009, he issued an executive order to close “the revolving door” between government and the private sector by restricting the hiring of any registered lobbyists for positions in his administration. But Obama himself eventually hired at least seventy lobbyists, many of whom …

The Rocky Road to Taking It Easy

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Washington, D.C., 2013

Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It

by Charles D. Ellis, Alicia H. Munnell, and Andrew D. Eschtruth

Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All

by Nancy J. Altman and Eric R. Kingson, forward by David Cay Johnston
Social Security may well be the most popular social program in America. Its popularity may explain why it has seemed easy to frighten the general public about Social Security’s demise with an alarmist campaign that has been underway since the 1990s and early 2000s, and continues today.


Trump: What the Market Is Really Saying

Donald Trump is pictured onscreen in front of the German share price index at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 9, 2016

There is plenty to be afraid of about Trump’s economic plans. It could well be that the new administration, backed by a Republican-controlled Congress, will start cutting needed social services to the bone. So why has the stock market been soaring since two days after the election? Investors apparently have concluded that the economy can grow faster if the deficit grows, even if it leads to higher inflation and interest rates. This is exactly the fiscal medicine many liberals had been advocating.

‘Men Without Work’: An Exchange

I am gratified that the NYR Daily chose to review Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis, and that Jeff Madrick is the reviewer since I have always enjoyed, if not always agreed with, his work. However, several oversights and errors in his depiction of my study require correction. I never argue that disability programs caused the great male flight from work. My incontestable point: they helped finance it.

America’s Lost Workers

Cleveland, 2016

While macroeconomic data show a relatively healthy US economy, overall participation in the workforce—what is known as the employment-to-population ratio—is historically low. One explanation is that many more people are in school, but that still leaves some 9.5 million fewer men at work than in 1965. There are simply too few jobs.