People's Agenda/Economic Justice

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The group promoting "Kansas People's Agenda 2017" brainstormed the following Economic justice issues:

Workers Compensation reform

Minimum wage increase

Higher Ed Internship Pay

Tax policy (get rid of tax cuts for wealthy)

Payday Loan reform

Small business economic development

Graduate student pay

Get rid of sales tax on food

Many of these reforms can be justified under traditional economic theory. However, stronger justification is available from Post-Keynesian economists and proponents of "Modern Monetary Theory" (MMT). They claim that we'd have generally faster, more stable, and more broadly shared economic growth if we managed the economy for full employment and controlled inflation by ensuring there is adequate competition in all nominally-free markets. Paul Krugman claims that MMT does not include adequate controls for inflation. Stephanie Kelton claims that more traditional economist have overlooked important evidence, e.g., in failing to cite President Carter's deregulation of natural gas as an important contributor to the reductions in inflation that occurred when Paul Volker was chair of the Fed.[citation needed]

Economic justice and the media[edit | edit source]

The best research in this area is not well known and is largely overlooked in major policy discussions. A major reason for this would seem to relate to media funding and governance: The dissemination of such research would likely offend people with substantive control over the media. In the US, media funding is primarily controlled by major advertisers. Major advertisers pay taxes to fund the federal worker's compensation system in the US. Changes that would force them to pay more would make them less competitive in international markets. The same is true for minimum wage, higher ed internship pay, tax policies, and graduate student pay. Some major advertisers offer payday loans, and do not want governmental interference in that business. Major advertisers are all large businesses and therefore can be expected to oppose serious government support for small businesses that might compete with them. Regarding sales tax on food, sources sympathetic to big money interests insist that the wealthy already pay more than their fair share of taxes and could be expected to oppose any changes in the tax structure that required them to pay even more.[1]

Media executives know this and work to avoid biting the hands that feed them.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Tanner, Michael D. (September 7, 2016), "Five myths about economic inequality in America", Policy Analysis No. 797, Cato Institute, retrieved 2017-08-19