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Failure by DesignThe Story behind America's Broken Economy$
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Josh Bivens

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450150

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450150.001.0001

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The Cracked Foundation Revealed by the Great Recession

The Cracked Foundation Revealed by the Great Recession

(p.53) The Cracked Foundation Revealed by the Great Recession (p.54)
Failure by Design

Josh Bivens

Lawrence Mishel

Cornell University Press

This chapter reveals the underlying weaknesses in the physical, economic, and social infrastructure in the American economy. The past thirty years has seen a number of important trends that were the result of specific policy decisions: the consistent erosion of the minimum wage's purchasing power, a rapid decline in the power of organized labor, a rapid increase in the share of the U.S. economy that has been exposed to global competition, a dismantling of regulations that governed the financial sector, and a shift to monetary and fiscal policies that favor budget balance and low rates of inflation over the insurance of full employment. All of these shifts have, predictably, battered the bargaining power of typical American workers to the benefit of society's most privileged.

Keywords:   economic policies, minimum wage, organized labor, global competition, inflation, budget balance, working class, economic inequality, monetary policies, fiscal policies

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