When looked at from an innovation economics perspective, it is clear that a worker shortage is not only not likely it’s simply impossible, since by definition the output of workers must equal their consumption. It is possible to have a worker surplus, which is what happens when the unemployment rate rises above its frictional rate as it has been for almost four years now. It is even possible to spot occupational shortages, as has been the case with some occupations like computer scientists and engineers. But the converse is not possible. There can be no such thing as a negative unemployment rate. In other words, the demand for labor can never exceed the supply of labor. This is because labor demand is determined by what people consume and that in turn is determined by the amount of goods and services the workforce produces.
Potshot at Progressive Economics Misses the Mark
In the fall Breakthrough Journal, ITIF President Rob Atkinson fires back at the Center for Economic Policy and Research's Dean Baker. In response to Baker's sharp critique of Atkinson's assault on liberal economic orthodoxy, Atkinson acknowledges that Keynesian spending can spur demand and address issues of fairness but concludes, "You can argue for or against these policies on their merits, but ultimately these policies do not grow the proverbial pie. What the United States economy needs to be competitive in the globalized 21st century economy cannot be addressed through intermittent productivity benefits that accrue as an afterthought of redistributionist policies, but the reverse: policy that holds innovation and productivity at its core."
The Trouble with Progressive Economics
In this Breakthrough Journal article, Rob Atkinson outlines the importance of embracing a much more robust innovation and competitiveness agenda, creating the incentives and support for American businesses necessary to promote sustained growth, and aggressively fighting to end foreign mercantilism, rather than reflexively supporting our own. In order to create the incentives and support for American businesses necessary progressives must develop a new economic doctrine with a coherent theory of how to drive productivity and innovation in an increasingly competitive global economy.
Economic Doctrines and Approaches to Antitrust
There is considerable disagreement on optimal antitrust policy both within the United States and between the United States and some other nations and regions. These fundamental disagreements over the right approach to competition don’t stem principally from politics, rather they stem from doctrine – the overarching view of antitrust held by regulators and other policy makers. In a new report, ITIF examines the four principle antitrust doctrines, how they influence approaches to and positions on antitrust including on particular antitrust issues (e.g., monopoly, collusion, pricing, and mergers) and how the field of antitrust can move forward to better cope with the challenges of the 21st century, innovation-based global economy.