- On Capitol Hill
- On Wall Street
- In the Press
- 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.
In the September/October issue of Labor and Sense, Katherine Schicchitano highlights SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci’s work on guaranteeing access to pensions.
The article, “Recent Battles in Wisconsin and San Jose Shows Why We Need Universal Pensions,” highlights the uncertain future of defined benefit pensions, or plans that guarantee payments throughout retirement, due to declining union membership. Ghilarducci’s proposal is mentioned as a strategy to assistant low- and middle-income households prepare for retirement.
On November 16, 2012, SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci was included in a list of experts asked to add commentary to Bill Moyers' “Group Think: Fiscal Cliff” blog.
In her post, “Jobs and Growth, Not Austerity”, Ghilarducci responds to the fiscal cliff problem by disputing the common argument that tax cuts for the rich create jobs. In reality, the wealthy are more likely to spend on foreign goods or to save, rather than spur domestic consumption or investment. Instead she argues that middle and working class consumers need increased buying power to increase growth, and that the government can make this possible by extending unemployment insurance and tax cuts for low and middle income households. Ghilarducci proposes four measures included in the Economics Policy Institute’s Plan to reduce the federal deficit while spurring growth:
- Extend Emergency Unemployment Insurance (EUI) for the long-term unemployed;
- Gradually phase out the temporary payroll tax cut and increase the earned income tax credit so that lower middle class people will be paid for the increase in payroll taxes;
- Allocate federal expenditures for infrastructure spending;
- Raise top tax rates to about those in the 1990s in order to pay down the debt.
On November 15, 2012, Mark Z. Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University, joined SCEPA to present the inaugural lecture of SCEPA's new Economics of Climate Change Speaker Series. His presentation was titled, "Wind, Water and Sunlight: How to Address Global Warming, Air Pollution, and Energy Security."