James Lardner

James Lardner was a staff reporter for Remapping Debate. He had previously written extensively about business, technology, the financial sector, and the role of regulation. His work had appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and The New York Review of Books, among other print and online publications.

James came to Remapping Debate from Demos, where he worked on reports and advocacy campaigns involving economic inequality, financial reform, and a variety of other subjects.

James was the co-editor (and a contributor to) “Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences.”

Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Economy, Infrastructure
It hasn’t gotten much national attention, but the early results of local initiatives around the country suggest that broadband, like highways and electrical power, may be one of those forms of infrastructure in which public investment can spark a surge of private investment, creating jobs and boosting wages and opportunity. More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Banking, Regulation
Republicans say they’re trying to stop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from doing anything to jeopardize financial safety-and-soundness. Consumer advocates say that’s code language for the fear of something new in the financial world: independent oversight. More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Energy
For nearly a decade, American leaders have been touting a “nuclear renaissance” as a crucial part of our response to global warming and the other high costs of a carbon-based economy. Yet even before the Fukushima catastrophe raised fresh questions about safety and the costs of proper construction, the renaissance was stubbornly refusing to proceed on schedule. Why? More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Health care
The health care cost-control theory says that, with more of our personal dollars at stake, we will learn to make smarter health care choices at lower net cost. While the theory is gaining more adherents in both parties, that growing support is coming in the face of research documenting deep flaws in the hypothesis. More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Environment, Role of government, Transportation
For all the talk among “pro-business” politicians about spending and tax cuts as the formula for economic recovery, many leaders of coal, oil, agribusiness, and barge and shipping companies want Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers to get serious about maintaining and upgrading the nation’s inland and coastal waterways. They believe that their ability to compete and grow requires an active and well-funded government. More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Regulation
Is America’s economic recovery being stymied by the “uncertainty” associated with new or changing federal regulation? Judging by the results of more than a dozen interviews and a similar number of phone and email inquiries, it appears that few of those asserting a link between regulatory uncertainty and diminished business investment or hiring are prepared to provide any specific evidence of such a connection. Even in conversations with business managers and owners who have publicly made this claim, it soon emerged that what truly concerns them, in most cases, is stronger regulation rather than uncertain regulation. More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Banking
The Durbin amendment was meant to prod the banks into rethinking their debit-card practices, but they’re hoping they won’t have to. A group of Senators has now set out to block an imminent reduction in the debit-card swipe fees that banks — along with Visa and MasterCard — collect from merchants. More
Original Reporting | By James Lardner | Environment, Regulation
It’s a lamentably old sport, says the agency’s two-time leader, whose memories of Washington stretch back to a time when “the Clean Air Act passed the House by 374 to 1, and the Senate by 73 to nothing,” and who occasionally dares to dream about a more constructive relationship between Congress and federal rule-makers. More