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.
- Published on Wednesday, October 12, 2011
by Jeff Madrick, SCEPA Senior Fellow
What should Europe do? As Sarkozy and Merkel say they will come to agreement, Solvakia temporarily defers. Ethnic bigotry towards Greece is playing a role here.
But the center of the European Union - the strong countries - have a profound obligation to the periphery to save it, including Greece, and make them whole in the future. Maintaining the euro zone is a high political goal, in my mind. As a friend who is involved in the Greek negotiations tells me, just consider the belligerent history of Europe before the Common Market. Do we want to return to that?
The irresponsibility of failing to come up with an adequate solution early in this crisis is one of the greater political errors of modern history. That Trichet of the ECB is now saying they should act aggressively when only a month ago he said they should not "dramatize" the situation, and even raised interest rates, is the best example of incompetent and fearful leadership. We have our teachers, Bagehot, Kindlberge, Minsky, Keynes. We all learned the lesson. To some degree, even the Bush administration with TARP learned that lesson—if the plan was ultimately flawed.
- Published on Friday, October 07, 2011
Session II features presentations by James E. Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Sciences and Artur Runge-Metzger, Director of the EU Commission's International and Climate Strategy
- Published on Friday, October 07, 2011
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
We found out the September unemployment numbers this morning, and it is just more of the same—more bad news. The unemployment rate stayed stuck at 9.1 percent, while payroll employment increased by only 103,000, and 45,000 of those jobs were Verizon telecommunications workers returning from a strike. So that leaves 58,000, in an economy with over 131 million jobs, and over 14 million officially unemployed workers.
Digging deeper into the monthly report only increases the gloom. There is clear confirmation that the economy continues to slow down, and teeter on the brink of a double dip recession. In the past six months, new monthly payroll jobs have averaged 72 thousand, while in the seven months before that period, they averaged 161,000 per month. A good deal of this decline is the continuing fall in government employment, as states continue to lay off workers and the inadequate federal stimulus runs out. Since September of 2008, local government employment has fallen by 535,000; many of those workers are teachers or other education sector employees.
Faced with this clear and continuing crisis in employment, the lack of private demand, and increasingly contractionary government fiscal policies, what headline do we find on the front page of the New York Times? "Some Unemployed Find Fault In Extension of Jobless Benefits." No, this is not The Onion or some other satirical newspaper. It is the "paper of record," with an unbalanced and foolish story, quoting an unemployed libertarian from Texas (who still collects his benefits, but feels bad about it) and another unemployed Texan who won't apply, even though his wife wants him to.
The story also features one-sided misinterpretations of Alan Kreuger's work, at a time when Kreuger can't comment in the press because he has a pending Senate confirmation hearing to be head of the Council of Economic Advisors.
Our New School colleague David Howell has done excellent work in refuting the myth that the Times enshrines on its front page. Extended unemployment benefits are about to expire, and in the face of the continuing crisis in employment, the Times feeds ammunition to Republicans who oppose their extension. So much for the "liberal media."