- On Capitol Hill
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- Policy Reform Work
Our projects are designed to empower policy makers to create positive change. With a focus on collaboration and outreach, we provide original, standards-based research on key policy issues.
SCEPA joined with the Economic Policy Institute on Capitol Hill to brief congressional staff and policy experts on tax expenditures, or incentives given through the tax code without scrutiny by Congress.
SCEPA economists are working on the prospects for a more progressive economic order to emerge from the shock of the recession. They have published papers and documents that place current events in a longer-term context as well as policy proposals to deal with short-term concerns. They are also documenting the emerging discussion of how the discipline of economics is reacting to the Great Recession and the questioning of conventional economic analysis.
Lance Taylor, a SCEPA Faculty Fellow, presents an overview of his new book, Maynard’s Revenge, in a Google Tech Talk.
The book, published this November by Harvard University Press, is a timely analysis of mainstream macroeconomics, posing the need for a more useful and realistic economic analysis that can provide a better understanding of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis.
The government spends $143 billion through tax breaks in an effort to expand pension coverage and security. Yet, over half of the American workforce does not have a pension. Retirement insecurity hurts business plans, workers’ lives and retiree well-being. Reform is needed.
SCEPA’s Guaranteeing Retirement Income Project, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with Demos and the Economic Policy Institute, has a plan to guarantee safe and secure retirement income for all Americans.
On April 21, 2015, William "Sandy" Darity presented "Does Racism Make You Sick?: Health, Wealth, and Race in America" at SCEPA's Annual Robert Heilbroner Memorial Lecture on the Future of Capitalism. Sandy Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the Director of the Duke Consortium on Social Equity at Duke University. His research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity.
Anwar Shaikh, Professor and Chair of the Economics Department at The New School for Social Research
Teresa Ghilarducci, Professor and Director of Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis
Darrick Hamilton, Associate Professor of Urban Policy at The New School for Public Engagement
This week's Worldly Philosopher, Ismael Cid-Martinez, reveals the challenges older workers face in the labor market.
Last month the unemployment rate for workers age 55 and over dropped to 3.9% from 4.3%. This fall obscures the challenges older workers continue to face in the labor market - prolonged unemployment and underemployment. This reality means that those who can find jobs often accept lower pay, poorer working conditions and reduced benefits.
Since the Great Recession, the unemployment rate of older workers has not shown a consistent recovery. Instead, it has been up and down. In December of 2007, it was 3.2%, but four years into the recovery in December of 2013 it was 5.1%. A year later, it fell below 4%, only to climb back to 4.3% by February of this year.
Not only do workers of older ages experience inconsistent employment opportunities, they are also victim to prolonged joblessness. Last month's job numbers show jobseekers between the ages of 55 to 64 spent an average of 43.7 weeks actively looking for work and those 65 years and older 42.6 weeks. In 2014, nearly half (45%) of older workers were unemployed for 27 weeks or more, making up the second largest group among the long-term unemployed.
These long periods of unemployment are eroding the bargaining power of older workers. AARP's Public Policy Institute confirmed this in a recent survey examining how unemployment affected workers between the ages of 45 and 70 over the past five years.
AARP's results show that older workers are not finding work that reflects an extension of their careers.
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
A provocative new document on global environmental challenges says that "climate change and other global ecological challenges are not the most important immediate concerns for the majority of the world's people. Nor should they be." Is this just the latest self-regarding propaganda from international agribusiness and oil companies? No, the statement comes from the new "manifesto" just released on "eco-modernism."
The ecomodernists are associated with the Breakthrough Institute, founded by activists associated with the Apollo Alliance and other thinkers who want a more dramatic move to clean energy to spur economic growth while reducing carbon release and environmental damage. Eduardo Porter has a positive piece on the manifesto in the New York Times.
The manifesto calls explicitly for more urban development and growth, arguing that is the best way to increase the standard of living for the world's population. They see the possibility of a greener, better managed way of living in a more urban-centered world.
The manifesto explicitly rejects what they view as romantic visions of rural living and subsistence agriculture. The authors argue that "The average per-capita use of land today is vastly lower than it was 5,000 years ago, despite the fact that modern people enjoy a far richer diet. Thanks to technological improvements in agriculture, during the half-century starting in the mid-1960s, the amount of land required for growing crops and animal feed for the average person declined by one-half."
So they want more intensified, productive agriculture and aquaculture, along with nuclear power, desalinization, and other technologies. I think the manifesto is very hopeful to naive about our ability to manage some of these specific technologies (especially nuclear waste). But I'm drawn to their argument that says smarter and lower carbon technologies can help raise everyone's standard of living, shifting our economy to less polluting and carbon-intensive services.
In what seems a deliberate echo of Karl Marx, this manifesto says,