Located in New York City, SCEPA is at the center of a network of leaders dedicated to progressive and innovative education and ideas.
SCEPA faculty are investigating the economics of climate change, from mitigation proposals to implementation.
SCEPA focuses on the U.S. economy, with an awareness of the global context of domestic economic developments.
A research institute within The New School’s Economics Department, SCEPA is dedicated to collaboration between today’s experts and tomorrow’s leading economists.
SCEPA is working to reform a retirement system that is failing Americans.
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.
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
Well, here we are again: the start of a new month, and the release of the employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the previous month. And, once again, a weak jobs report with no progress on overall unemployment. In fact, stagnation is everywhere you look. The long-term unemployed? No real change. Black and Latino unemployment? Stuck, higher than that for whites. Job creation? Low quality, with many jobs being created in the retail trade and food service sectors.
Total employment rose by 169,000, while the unemployment rate stayed slid from 7.4 percent in July to 7.3 percent in August. And, unlike previous months, BLS reduced their estimate of total jobs created in June and July by 74,000.
The disproportionate job growth in low-wage sectors is catching the eye of several analysts. In a May research note to clients, the Royal Bank of Scotland noted that "almost half of (U.S.) job gains have come in relatively low-paying service sub-sectors." This echoes last year's findings from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), who found that low-wage jobs were 21% of the losses in the recession, but by 2012 represented 58% of the jobs in the recovery.
Faced with this ongoing stagnation and increasing number of low-wage jobs, you might hope for a more vigorous response from Washington. But Obama instead is faced with a looming deadline for yet another battle over extending the debt ceiling and America's borrowing limits, and Republicans have already said they want even deeper cuts to government spending and jobs. And some analysts say this weak jobs report will encourage the Federal Reserve to start winding down their purchases of long-term bonds and mortgage-backed securities, which have helped to keep interest rates down.
In truth, we need fiscal stimulus and job creation more than active monetary policy. But there is almost no prospect that we will get it. Austerity rules the day, condemning the economy—and American working families—to high unemployment and low-wage jobs.
On August 8, 2013, SCEPA Faculty Fellow Rick McGahey, author of our monthly analysis of the employment report, published an opinion piece on CNN.com weighing in on the deliberations for the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Rather than focusing on the candidates' policy positions, McGahey focuses on the role of the Fed Chairman to regulate the country's banks, asking if contender Larry Summers would be a tough regulator?
The title of the article, "Don't Let Larry Summers Lead the Fed," gives a clear answer on the author's stance. To support his position, McGahey gives a solid history of Summers past positions to support his argument that this candidate would be more lapdog than watchdog.
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
This morning’s release of July’s employment report shows a weak, anemic economy, stuck in low gear and incapable of generating widely shared prosperity without stronger government assistance. The unemployment rate trended down slightly, to 7.4 percent, but the job creation number is the bad news. Only 162,000 new jobs were reported, well below the consensus forecast of 183,000. At July’s job creation rate, it will take us almost 5 years to reach full employment, an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.
These weak jobs numbers are consistent with reported slow economic growth. Second quarter GDP was 1.7 percent, following a very weak 1.1 percent rate in the first quarter, meaning our average growth rate for the first half of 2013 was 1.4 percent.
Some of this weakness is due to the impact of government spending cuts—the federal “sequestration” that has gone into effect. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates these spending cuts will hold down economic growth in FY2014 by 0.7 percent of GDP, and cost us 900,000 dearly needed jobs. (They also note that long-term deficit reduction is necessary for economic stability, but the time for that program is after we restore healthy economic growth.)
Yet the sequestration spending levels, originally discussed as a one-time cut to appease House Republicans, are now becoming the new baseline for federal spending. And just last week, Republicans had to stop a vote on transportation and infrastructure spending because the cuts were too deep to accept, while the Tea Party caucus wanted even deeper cuts, a recipe for further economic decline.
President Obama recently gave a strong speech on job creation in Jacksonville, Florida, and we can only hope he will keep hammering this message (and not confuse the issue by also emphasizing deficit reduction, as he too often does). The American economy is going nowhere fast, and today’s jobs report only underscores the problem.