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)

IN THE REVIEW

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.

NYR DAILY

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.

The Cost of Child Poverty

A boy looking into the Louis H. Pink housing project, Brooklyn, New York, 2012

Among the many forces contributing to the recent epidemic of tension between police and mostly black urban communities, from Ferguson to Cleveland to Baltimore, one in particular has been all too little acknowledged: America’s child poverty crisis.

The Real Lesson of Lehman

What would have happened if the federal government had saved Lehman Brothers back in September 2008? The nation would certainly not have passed the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. Nor would there have been enormous pressure on other federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to become more vigilant.

Stuck on Inflation

Despite a near perfect record of misses, inflation hawks that help set the Fed’s interest rate policies are making influential public pronouncements again. The public, policymakers, and the media should recognize not merely how flawed their judgment has been in the past, but that their conclusions are the same almost no matter the circumstances.