- 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.
SCEPA Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick joined Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz in addressing the protesters occuping Wall Street at Zuccotti Park.
"The bankers were able to take home their bonuses every year by developing risky strategies that one day had to go bad. They knew, however, they would take out their money before most of those investments went bad. Economists call this asymmetric incentives. You make money by taking risk, but nobody takes it away from you when the strategies don't work and lose lots of money. That was one of the core problems with Wall Street. Could Washington have done something about that? Yes!"
In celebration of the 80th anniversary of John Maynard Keynes' lectures at The New School, SCEPA's Robert L. Heilbroner Memorial Lecture hosted a speech by Lord John Eatwell, president of Queens' College and professor of Financial Policy at the University of Cambridge.
As Eatwell states, "Advocating sensible policies on 'pragmatic' grounds has never been enough to overcome primitive views on deficits, debt, and the role of the state."
The paralysis in policy-making that is exacerbating the economic crisis has its roots in the failure of economic theory. It fails to explain the causes of the breakdown or provide an unambiguous path of action to mitigate its consequences. Today's challenge is the same as that faced by Keynes in the 1930s: how to change the theoretical foundations of economic policy?
Click 'read more' for pictures of the event.
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Fellow
Despite the dive in stock markets and consequent severe decline in the value of 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts, 52% of Americans recently supported a polling question about allowing them to invest part of their Social Security taxes in financial markets.
The marketing efforts of the financial industry deserve credit here. If E*Trade's talking babies can fly first class, why shouldn’t people believe they can beat the market?
Unfortunately, this expectation defies reality. Most studies show that many Americans, even those with college degrees, lack the time, knowledge, and access to information to invest successfully on their own. Yet, the financial industry continues to sell the myth that individuals (who are not professionally trained) can go it alone in the market, despite enormous risk. There is a method to this madness: the creation of more customers for high-cost, high-fee transactions.
In reality, this fiction would require an individual investor to follow these six steps to beat the market: