Department of Economics
Blueprint for a Progressive US: A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin
In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout, Noam Chomsky and UMass Economics Professor Robert Pollin tackle such issues as what an authentically populist, progressive agenda would look like in the Trump era; what a progressive U.S. would look like with regard to jobs, the environment, finance capital and the standard of living; and what a progressive U.S. would look like in terms of education and health care, justice and equality.
Noam Chomsky is professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT and laureate professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Arizona. Robert Pollin is distinguished professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The interview is divided into three parts as follows:
M.V. Lee Badgett Named Spotlight Scholar for Her Work Fighting for LGBT Rights, Measuring the Cost of Discrimination
“My first summer after grad school, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about how wealthy the gay market was,” says Badgett, professor in the UMass Amherst Department of Economics and former director of the university’s School of Public Policy. “That didn’t mesh with the experience I’d seen.” Badgett’s research led her to data that confirmed her hypothesis: on average, gay and bisexual men earned between 11 and 27 percent less than their heterosexual counterparts. In other words, discrimination, not privilege, was the norm.
Badgett’s research was the first to look at LGBT realities through an economic lens. As an economist, she understood that money and power were intertwined. “I thought this was a really useful perspective to study issues of social justice,” she says. “It provided the tools to see what problems exist and the tools to make those problems better.” READ MORE
Paul Krugman Delivered the Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture on Thursday, October 26 at 6:00pm at the Mullins Center
Nobel Prize-winning economist and columnist for The New York Times Paul Krugman delivered the annual Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture on Thursday, October 26 at 6:00pm at the Mullins Center. He spoke on “What’s the Matter with Economics?”
The full lecture can be viewed here:
Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as an op-ed columnist, and his column is currently published every Monday and Friday. He is also a distinguished professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, where he is a fellow at the Stone Center for the Study of Socioeconomic Inequality.
In 2008, Krugman received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade theory.
UMass Economics in the News
Robert N. Pollin, Distinguished Professor in economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, discusses why he believes investing in clean energy will produce both more jobs and a cleaner environment. He opposed moves by the Trump administration to roll back the Clean Power Plan put in place by the Obama administration. (The Real News Network, 10/13/17)
Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and columnist for The New York Times gave the annual Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture Oct. 26 at the Mullins Center to an audience of more than 1,100 people. He says people are not as rational as many economists and contemporary economic models believe. Krugman says economic models that were used in the in the past that rely less on mathematical certainty are worth using because they are more accurate. (Gazette, Republican, 10/26/17; News Office assistance and release)
Gerald C. Friedman, economics, says critics of single-payer health care for the U.S. are missing an important point about the existing system, that is, that the U.S. is falling further and further behind other countries that currently provide health insurance. He says Americans pay four times as much for care as other comparable countries and life expectancy is 31 months shorter. Friedman also says while our health care system does come up with new technologies and cures, that isn’t helpful to people who don’t have access to care. (Huffiington Post, 10/18/17)
Gerald A. Epstein, economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, is interviewed about claims that the tax cut program being promoted by President Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans will boost the economy or create jobs. He says tax cuts for the middle class could boost the economy because people will spend the extra money but what Trump and Republicans are pushing is a cut for the very top earners and not consumers or small businesses. Epstein argues there is little evidence that cutting taxes for the top 1 percent will do anything for the overall economy. (The Real News Network, 10/24/17)
A political news story about how Democrats in Congress are missing an opportunity to exploit the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle environmental regulations related to climate change notes that Robert N. Pollin, Distinguished Professor in economics and co-director for the Political Economy Research Institute, has for years been making the argument that clean energy is a potent job creator, something conservatives don’t recognize or admit. (The Intercept, 10/23/17)