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- 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.
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
Friday brought the sobering news that the U.S. economy is slowing even further, teetering on the brink of a double-dip recession, with virtually no job growth in June and the unemployment rate ticking upwards to 9.2 percent. And what is the headline news from Washington? That the Obama Administration and Congressional Republicans are looking to cut more from the federal budget.
Of course, further budget cuts now will only worsen the nation's economic problems, though balanced plans to reduce the debt after the recession makes perfect sense. But the Republican Party has no balanced plan. They have been seized by a blind economic ideology that refuses any step towards raising revenues, or even rebalancing and improving the tax code. These anti-tax conservatives now dominate the political landscape—they were highly motivated in the 2010 elections while liberals and moderates were not, and that allowed them to take over the House of Representatives.
Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics at The New School and a SCEPA Faculty Fellow, joins co-editors Sanjay Ruparelia (The New School), John Harriss (Simon Fraser University), and Stuart Corbridge (London School of Economics and Political Science), in announcing publication of a new book, Understanding India's New Political Economy: A Great Transformation?
The book addresses the three most important large-scale transformations that have reshaped India since 1989: the advent of liberal economic reform, the ascendance of Hindu cultural nationalism, and the empowerment of historically subordinate classes through popular democratic mobilizations. Filling a gap in the literature, it describes, explains and assesses the nexus between these central transformations in a rigorous and integrated manner.
Filling a gap in existing literature, the book goes beyond looking at the transformations in isolation, managing to:
• Explain the empirical linkages between these three phenomena
• Provide an account that integrates the insights of separate disciplinary perspectives
• Explain their distinct but possibly related causes and the likely consequences of these central transformations taken together
By seeking to explain the causal relationships between these central transformations through a coordinated conversation across different disciplines, the dynamics of India’s new political economy are captured. Chapters focus on the political, economic and social aspects of India in their current and historical context. The contributors use new empirical research to discuss how India’s multidimensional story of economic growth, social welfare and democratic deepening is likely to develop. This is an essential text for students and researchers of India's political economy and the growth economies of Asia.
Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times/Redux
Economists Paul Krugman and Robin Wells provide a conscientious, thorough review of Jeff Madrick's new book, Age of Greed, in The New York Review of Books. Titled, "The Busts Keep Getting Bigger: Why?" the review states:
"The Age of Greed is a fascinating and deeply disturbing tale of hypocrisy, corruption, and insatiable greed. But more than that, it’s a much-needed reminder of just how we got into the mess we’re in—a reminder that is greatly needed when we are still being told that greed is good.
Madrick also does an especially persuasive job of demythologizing Milton Friedman, who provided intellectual heft for the antigovernment movement. As Madrick points out, although Friedman offered some important economic insights, he often shoehorned real-life data to fit into a one-sided narrative, gaining his theories wider acceptance than was ultimately justified. And Friedman, like Reagan, preferred “overly simple assertions of free market claims,” discarding the caveats."