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Gene Sperling

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  • On Labor Day, what about labor's fair share?

    For Labor Day, let's talk bluntly about labor's fair share of the profits and of the productivity of the economy. The hard truth is that labor, meaning the wide middle class, is not receiving its fair share. There is no clear-cut reversal of the middle class's declining fortunes in sight and no new ideas on the big radar screen. From the end of World War II until the early '70s, productivity of the economy increased, and wages after inflation also went up. The middle class shared in the fruits of their labor and received a significant portion of the efficiencies of the entire economy. This is no longer the case. Now, there is a huge gap between the substantial increases in efficiency and productivity and the middle-class pay envelope. According to the Economic Policy Institute, productivity went up about 25 percent from 2000 to 2012. How much did compensation increase? Only about 7 percent. Economists measure labor's shares of income versus the income that the owners of capital receive for investing in the inputs � the companies, machines, products, services, innovations, and knowledge � that comprise everything that the economy produces. It should be no surprise that labor's share has been falling. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says labor's share of the total income of the economy has fallen from around 65 percent to about 58 percent recently. Other estimates are just as dire.
  • Commissioner relishes battle to revive besieged IRS

    In today's bitterly polarized environment, the Internal Revenue Service has become even more of a whipping boy for politicians as it struggles with deep budget cuts and accusations of incompetence and, some say, illegal actions. That makes the tax-...

    Departing Obama economic advisor remains optimistic about recovery

    Departing Obama economic advisor remains optimistic about recovery
    WASHINGTON -- Despite recent disappointing job growth, departing White House economic advisor Gene Sperling said Tuesday he remained hopeful the recovery is strengthening. “I still think there is reason for optimism, though there’s...

    Top economic advisor Gene Sperling to leave Obama administration

    WASHINGTON -- Gene Sperling, a feisty defender of President Obama's economic policies, is leaving the White House after more than four years as a top advisor, officials said Friday. He will be replaced as director of the president's National Economic...

    Companies pledge to aid Obama initiative for long-term unemployed

    Companies pledge to aid Obama initiative for long-term unemployed
    WASHINGTON -- Chief executives from 20 companies are slated to gather at the White House on Friday, bringing with them a pledge not to unfairly weed out the long-term unemployed when they hire. About 300 businesses -- including 20 Fortune 50 companies...