We are economists who think that the economy should serve people, the planet and the future.
Today one in every twelve Americans is unemployed. If you include people discouraged from looking for work, and those who only have part-time jobs but want full-time work, it’s nearly one in six. This is a terrible waste of human resources, and it inflicts untold damage on human lives.
Some claim that we can solve the problem by cutting taxes for the top 1%. They believe that feeding the appetites of those who already have much will encourage them to invest more in our economy, with job creation as a by-product.
This trickle-down theory has been tried and it has failed. After 30 years of rising inequality, instead of a booming economy we have massive unemployment. Tax breaks for the 1% can no more solve our unemployment crisis than bailouts for big banks could solve our housing crisis.
Some claim that we cannot afford to sustain public spending on education, health care and public safety. They think that layoffs of teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters in the midst of a recession will help the economy.
They've got it backwards. The greatest need for public spending is precisely when unemployment is high and interest rates are low.
Real solutions need to be based on sound economics.
We call for real job creation policies that channel the nation's wealth into productive investment, not into offshore tax havens.
We call for redirection of public spending toward education and energy efficiency, to generate more jobs per dollar than expenditures that bloat the military-industrial complex or subsidies that fatten oil company profits.
We call for requiring banks to lend to small businesses in return for access to Federal Reserve Bank funds at near-zero interest rates.
We call for a new construction and conservation corps that will guarantee employment in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring damaged lands, learning from the successful policies adopted during our last episode of mass unemployment, the Great Depression of the 1930s.
We extend our support to all who are working to build an economy that provides productive jobs and living wages for everyone who wants to work.
If you’re an economist and would like to add your name to this statement, please send us an email by clicking here (email@example.com).
Gar Alperovitz / University of Maryland College Park
Nurul Aman / University of Massachusetts Boston
James K. Boyce / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Omar S. Dahi / Hampshire College
George DeMartino / University of Denver
Gerald Epstein / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Gerald Friedman / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Eban Goodstein / Bard College
Juliet Schor / Boston College
Douglas Smith / Econ4
Voxi Heinrich Amavilah / Glendale Community College of Arizona
Hannah Appel / University of California Berkeley
Michael Ash / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Lee Badgett / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ron Baiman / Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
Scott Baker / Common Ground – NYC
Erdogan Bakir / Bucknell University
Benjamin Balak / Rollins College
Radhika Balakrishnan / Rutgers University
Fabian Balardini / Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY)
Deepankar Basu / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ahmet Baytas / Montclair State University
Marc Bilodeau / Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Cyrus Bina / University of Minnesota
Peter C. Bloch / University of Wisconsin-Madison
Elissa Braunstein / Colorado State University
Antonio Callari / Franklin and Marshall College
Martha Campbell / SUNY Potsdam
Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Kimberly Christensen / Sarah Lawrence College
Jens Christiansen / Mount Holyoke College
Jennifer Cohen / Whitman College
J. Kevin Crocker / University of Massachusetts Amherst
James Crotty / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Anita Dancs / Western New England University
Susan M. Davis / Buffalo State College
Hans G. Despain / Nichols College
Carmen Diana Deere / University of Florida
Geert Dhondt / John Jay College, City University of New York
P.K. Dollar / Gem Communications
Laura Dresser / Center on Wisconsin Strategy
Amitava Krishna Dutt / University of Notre Dame
Justin A. Elardo / Portland Community College
Bilge Erten / United Nations, DESA
Joshua Farley / University of Vermont
Susan F. Feiner / University of Southern Maine
Kade Finnoff / University of Massachusetts Boston
Heidi Garrett-Peltier / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Barbara Garson / Author “Down the Up Escalator: How the 99% live in the Great Recession”
Armagan Gezici / Keene State College
David Gold / The New School
Jonathan P. Goldstein / Bowdoin College
Mark E. Haggerty / The University of Maine
Doug Henwood / Left Business Observer, “Behind the News”
Wolfgang Hoeschele / Truman State University
Julio Huato / St. Francis College
Jonathan Isham / Middlebury College
Mary C. King / Portland State University
Robert Kirsch / Virginia Tech
Mark Klinedinst / University of Southern Mississippi
Tim Koechlin / Vassar College
Kazim Konyar / California State University, San Bernardino
Philip Kozel / Rollins College
David Laibman / City University of New York
June Lapidus / Roosevelt University
Joelle J. Leclaire / Buffalo State College, SUNY
Frederic Lee / University of Missouri Kansas City
Fernando Leiva / University at Albany (SUNY)
Charles Levenstein / University of Massachusetts Lowell
Margaret Levenstein / University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Patricia J. Lindsey / Retired
Sean MacDonald / New York City College of Technology, City University of New York
Arthur MacEwan / University of Massachusetts Boston
Stephanie Martin / Allegheny College
Peter Hans Matthews / Middlebury College
Elaine McCrate / University of Vermont
H. Neal McKenzie / Retired
Michael Meeropol / John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
John D. Messier / University of Maine Farmington
Peter B. Meyer / University of Louisville, The E.P. Systems Group, Inc.
John Miller / Wheaton College
Fred Moseley / Mount Holyoke College
Tracy Mott / University of Denver
Ellen Mutari / The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Léonce Ndikumana / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Julie A. Nelson / University of Massachusetts Boston
Eric Nilsson / California State University San Bernardino
Richard B. Norgaard / University of California Berkeley
Jennifer Olmsted / Drew University
Shaianne Osterreich / Ithaca College
Aaron Pacitti / Siena College
Eva Paus / Mount Holyoke College
Karl Petrick / Western New England University
Robert Pollin / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Mark A. Price / Keystone Research Center
Thomas Michael Power / University of Montana
Paddy Quick / St. Francis College
Stephen Resnick / University of Massachusetts Amherst
Meenakshi Rishi / Seattle University
Leopoldo Rodriguez / Portland State University
Frank Roosevelt / Sarah Lawrence College
Nancy E. Rose / California State University San Bernardino
Luis D. Rosero / Fitchburg State University
Blair Sandler / San Francisco
Harwood D. Schaffer / University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Helen Scharber / Hampshire College
Ted P. Schmidt / SUNY Buffalo State
Markus P. A. Schneider / University of Denver
Eric A. Schutz / Rollins College
Elliott Sclar / Columbia University
Ian J. Seda-Irizarry / Bucknell University
Barry Shelley / Brandeis University
Laurence Shute / California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Thomas Simmons / Greenfield Community College
Bryan Snyder / Bentley University
Peter Spiegler / University of Massachusetts Boston
Howard Stein / University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Masao Suzuki / Skyline College
Pavlina R. Tcherneva / Bard College
Frank Thompson / University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Renee Toback / URPE
Zdravka Todorova / Wright State University
Mariano Torras / Adelphi University
Mayo Toruño / California State University San Bernardino
A. Dale Tussing / Syracuse University
Hendrik Van den Berg / University of Nebraska Lincoln
Valerie Voorheis / University of Massachusetts Amherst and Marlboro College Graduate Center
Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji / University of Massachusetts Amherst
James Wagner / John Burrough Schools, Webster University
Scott A. Weir / Wake Technical Community College
Thomas E. Weisskopf / University of Michigan
Maggie Winslow / University of San Francisco
L. Randall Wray / University of Missouri-Kansas City
Yavuz Yaşar / University of Denver
Lyuba Zarsky / Monterey Institute of International Studies
Jeff Zink / Morningside College
Barbara Zoloth / Retired
“nearly one in six”: U-6 measure of unemployment. See U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-15: Alternative measures of labor underutilization.
“30 years of rising inequality”: U.S. Census Bureau, Selected Measures of Household Income Dispersion.
“jobs per dollar”: Pollin & Garrett-Peltier 2011.
“subsidies that inflate oil company profits”: Koplow 2010.
“successful policies initiated during our last episode of massive unemployment”: Levine 2010.