- 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 an April 9, 2012 op-ed piece in USA Today, Offer Retirement Security for all Workers, NYC Comptroller John C. Liu makes the case for Teresa Ghilarducci's opening the window proposal. The proposal takes advantage of existing state pension infrastructure to invest funds set aside by private-sector workers without access to pensions through their employers. "If we don't help people save for retirement during their working years, we will pay for it later in an increased strain on social services. We are not, nor do we want to be, a country that lets our retirees go hungry and homeless."
An April 8, 2012 Financial Times article, US Rethinks Public Sector DB Schemes, reports on the worsening retirement situation of those entering and nearing retirement. They site SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci's State GRA plan as a way to ensure private sector workers a secure retirement. "Poor retirement income coverage for private sector workers has been a chronic problem across the US since defined benefit plans started to disappear 25 years ago....The public policy consequences are very real because the people who have never saved are going to end up dependent on the social service network."
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
This morning's March unemployment report is less robust than many analysts predicted, and raises concerns about the strength of the still-fragile economic recovery. After three consecutive months where new job growth averaged 246,000 per month, employment growth slowed in March to 120,000. The unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 to 8.2 percent, but the sharp slowdown in job growth is the big - and worrisome - news. Although it does not necessarily signal a return to recession, the report does mean that we should be increasing stimulus along with further actions by the Federal Reserve.
The decline in job creation will seem more negative because analysts predicted a stronger number, based on declining claims for unemployment insurance and reports from private sector payroll data. The consensus among private forecasters was for job growth of 203,000. And, unlike in previous months, government employment did not decline, so the slowdown in aggregate jobs is entirely tied to slower private sector job growth.
Mitt Romney was quick to jump on the March report, saying the numbers are "weak and very troubling" and that President Obama's "excuses have run out." Futures for the S&P 500 fell by 1.1 percent, and initial yields on U.S. 10-year treasuries fell by 12 basis points, the largest single-day drop since January.
But (as pointed out in my blog last month) just as the previous jobs reports did not mean the economy was fully recovered, this worrisome drop in employment does not mean the economy is crashing.