poverty

The US Labor Market: Questions and Challenges for Public Policy

How should policy respond, adapt, keep up? How should we know whether a new or changing feature of today’s labor market is a problem that merits concern, or is just a reality to be accepted?

A good way to start is by asking the right questions. This volume asks some (though far from all) of the most important: Should we be concerned about economic mobility in the US? Is productivity the most important determinant of compensation? How can we make work pay? Would cutting corporate tax rates increase jobs in the US? Do public policies that reduce the reward to work significantly diminish labor supply? How can we build workers’ skills? Does lesser-skilled immigration hurt lesser-skilled native workers? What should we do about workers who are especially difficult to employ? Should we be concerned about inequality?

These challenges aren’t going anywhere anytime soon—the essays in this volume will be relevant for many years to come. But these essays can inform policy, helping it to move in a better direction—in a direction that will help the economy, sure. But more importantly, in a direction that will help all of us to contribute, to realize our potential, to lead lives of dignity and fulfillment.

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