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 Thursday, April 28, 2011
New York City Comptroller John Liu released a report, Municipal Employee Compensation in New York City, comparing the pay of NYC government workers and private sector workers that sets the record straight.
Although there has been much debate over the level of compensation, with public workers portrayed as a privileged class that enjoys an inequitable amount of pay and benefits, the report documents that New York City municipal employees are paid 17% less on average than their NYC private sector, for-profit counterparts. In addition, New York City employees are better educated, on average, than their private sector peers. Forty-nine percent of City workers have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 41% of those employed in New York's private for-profit sector.
- Published on Thursday, April 28, 2011
by Jeff Madrick, SCEPA Senior Fellow
The current public discourse over cutting the federal budget is not about economics, but politics. Nothing is so striking as the fact that those seriously disturbed by a rising budget deficit and a growing debt-to-GDP level have so little to say about raising taxes—or if they do, it is with little conviction.
To the contrary, most of the officially sanctioned plans include tax cuts as a major component. How can this be? Surely, the great advocates of reducing budget deficits, such as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, should be highly visible advocates of tax increases. If they are not—and they are not—they should justify their position.
The main exception is the refreshing budget recently released by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a truly enlightened effort to raise taxes judiciously, reform healthcare, and increase public investment.
- Published on Wednesday, April 27, 2011
by Christian Proaño, Assistant Professor of Economics, and Laura de Carvalho, SCEPA Research Assistant
It is undeniable that the U.S. sovereign debt-to-GDP ratio should be reduced from its current level of nearly 95% over the medium-run. However, an overly hasty reversal of the U.S. fiscal stance based primarily on government spending cuts could be counterproductive given the fragile situation of the U.S. economy. In short, the main priority of the Obama Administration should be the consolidation of the nascent economic recovery.
There are two main arguments for a sharp reduction in government spending to restore fiscal sustainability, private investment, and economic growth...