The US can raise the minimum wage to $15 without hurting jobs

The federal minimum wage has become a focal point of the 2020 presidential race and is gaining momentum. Almost all the Democratic candidates support a $15 minimum wage. A bill in the US House of Representatives to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024 has collected more than 200 cosponsors and could come up for a vote sometime this month. And states around the nation are increasingly phasing in $15 standards. Our research suggests otherwise. The best way to keep powerful companies in check Where Trump went wrong in the US-China trade war The US-China trade war hurts American families Our research examined 51 minimum wage increases since 2004 in 45 states. We examined how high relative …

Corporate debt is rising, but it’s safer than it looks

(CNN)As US corporate debt continues to rise rapidly, numerous investors, analysts and policymakers fear that it will either help trigger or deepen the next recession. We think those fears are overblown. First, corporate leverage is lower than many analysts believe. Despite the record level relative to GDP, the debt of non-financial corporations — which includes both public and private firms, but excludes financial institutions like banks — is within the range of the past 20 years as a share of cash flow and below the peak hit in 2001 (when the dot-com crash occurred). And corporate debt has actually trended lower relative to corporate assets since the mid-90s.The lower debt-to-cash flow and debt-to-assets measures are more meaningful than debt-to-GDP, as …