Commentary

Our nation's future demands that political leaders take seriously the economic plight of America's young.

Today's young adults are very likely to be the first generation to not surpass the living standards of their parents. Evidence of their declining economic opportunity and security abound, from widespread debt to lower earnings in today's labor market for all but those with advanced degrees.

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Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert H. Frank discusses how the debut of "Big Love," the new HBO series about a polygamous fictional family in Salt Lake City, has touched off renewed debate. Frank concludes that laws against plural marriage may function as positional arms control agreements that make life less stressful for men, and may help explain their appeal to the predominantly male legislatures that enact them.

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One way to tap our wellspring of female talent is to have a critical mass of women in decision-making positions. They bring new ideas and networks to reach the new talent; that offers the promise of no more excuses about a lack of "qualified women." When women decision-makers join the ranks of men in similar positions, the bottom-line results improve for shareholders and stakeholders.

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Shouldn't the average American have the right to question the wildly extravagant pay these CEOs received when they refuse to bear any accountability in return? And why should they be allowed to protect themselves by exercising the power they enjoyed while busily stacking the decks in their favor at the expense of all the rest of us? If Spitzer has to pay the piper, surely the CEOs should be made to dance, or at least do community service.

The disaster that is McCain's health policy

The trouble is that McCain's tax break — worth $5,000 to a family — still won't be enough for many others. In areas of the country where the cost of living is high, it would be less than half the cost of the average policy. As campaign officials freely admit, this means the plan won't come even close to universal coverage.

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Former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo had a lot to answer for in today's House hearing.

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Reading Adam Smith in Denmark

Denmark has forged a social and economic model that couples the best of the free market with the best of the welfare state, transcending tradeoffs between dynamism and security, efficiency and equality. Other countries may not be able to simply copy the Danish model of social democracy, but it nonetheless offers important lessons for governments confronting the dilemmas of globalization.

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The dueling Dems differ in key ways on health care, subprime bailouts, family leave, and social security. Here's how.

I took the time to group and compare the top 10 economic policy topics presented in Hillary Clinton's "Solutions for America: Economic Blueprint" and Barack Obama's "Keeping America's Promise: Strengthening the Middle Class."

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With the economic crisis becoming more dire by the day, Democrats will win on pocketbook issues only if they recover the imagination and nerve to offer remedies on a scale equal to the problems.

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Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert H. Frank discusses how the proposed $2-a-gallon tax on gasoline would make everyone better off, and why it is still seen as politically unthinkable by politicians.

Yet a policy that would deliver precisely the outcomes described could be enacted by Congress tomorrow — namely, a $2-a-gallon tax on gasoline whose proceeds were refunded to American families in reduced payroll taxes.

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