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Walking the Tightrope: Variable Income and Limited Liquidity Among the US Middle Class

In this chapter, author Dan Silverman of Arizona State University describes a body of evidence showing that large fluctuations in household income are commonplace both across and within years. However, these households’ reactions to shocks reveal substantial resilience despite their lack of a financial buffer. Silverman argues these facts imply that successful policies will focus on limiting the uninsured risks that families face.

13 Aspen Economic Strategy Group Reports related to the American Jobs and Families Plans

The Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan propose over $4.1 trillion in new government spending over the next 10 years, aiming to fundamentally reshape and expand the social safety net, increase the economy’s productive potential through investments in physical and human capital, and make major public investments in green infrastructure and technology.  ...

How Minimum Zoning Mandates Can Improve Housing Markets and Expand Opportunity

State-level Minimum Zoning Mandates (MZMs) allowing landowners to build at a state-guaranteed minimum density, even in municipalities resistant to development, would be an effective means of encouraging denser housing development. These MZMs would improve housing affordability, spread economic opportunity more broadly, and limit the environmental impact of new development.

The Higher Wages Tax Credit

In this chapter, author David Neumark proposes a Higher Wages Tax Credit (HWTC) to partially offset the costs imposed by minimum wage increases on firms that employ low-skilled labor. Following a minimum wage increase, the HWTC would provide a tax credit of 50% of the difference between the prior minimum wage and the new minimum wage, for each hour of labor employed; the credit would phase out at wages higher than the minimum wage, and as wage inflation erodes the real cost of higher nominal minimum wages.

Introduction: Maintaining the Strength of American Capitalism

A national debate about the strength and fairness of American capitalism is taking place against a backdrop of vast levels of income and wealth inequality, growing pessimism about the state of economic opportunity and mobility, increased market concentration in many sectors, and a precarious fiscal situation.

Wealth Taxation: An Overview of the Issues

Viard argues that a wealth tax in the U.S. would pose administrative and constitutional challenges. As an economic matter, such a tax would decrease savings and investment, thereby lowering the capital stock, making workers less productive, and slowing wage growth. The potential revenue that would be gained is unclear.

AESG Member Statement in Support of Immediate Pandemic Relief

Amidst a resurgence in COVID-19 caseloads and continuing economic devastation from the pandemic, we urge Congress to enact legislation that focuses on the core measures necessary to provide additional fiscal relief as quickly as possible and no later than the end of this calendar year.

Securing Our Economic Future: Foreword

AESG co-chairs Hank Paulson and Erskine Bowles introduce the group's 2020 policy volume. The American economy is in the midst of a wrenching crisis, one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, intensified by the worst social unrest in a generation, and aggravated further by a series of climate-driven natural disasters.

Rebuilding the Post-Pandemic Economy

After suffering the worst economic shock since the Great Depression last year, the American economy is recovering in fits and starts. While many businesses are reopening their doors and thriving, continued uncertainty about the course of the virus, the inflation outlook, labor shortages, and many other factors are hampering a full return to normal activity. The COVID-19 pandemic also reinforced and exacerbated many of the biggest structural economic challenges in our society. It precipitated the largest economic relief and stimulus spending in US history and transformed the way that millions of Americans live and work, with automation, e-commerce, and telework all playing a bigger role. The pandemic and its aftershocks reignited not only the perennial debates about the appropriate role and size of government, but also present new and urgent questions about how the post-pandemic economy will take shape. The policy volume Rebuilding the Post Pandemic Economy examine important questions about how the post-pandemic economy will take shape. What are some initial lessons we can take away from the novel government programs that were deployed to provide economic relief and stimulus? How can we implement new infrastructure investments to maximize efficiency and equity, and best respond to the climate crisis? After a year of widespread school closures, what have we learned about the role of K-12 education in perpetuating or reducing social and economic inequities? And how should American trade policies evolve to promote economic recovery and strengthen America’s role in the global economy?