- 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.
The United States Government Accountability Office's (GAO) new report, "Private Pensions: Some Key Features Lead to an Uneven Distribution of Benefits," finds that despite sizeable tax incentives, private pension participation has remained at about 50% of the workforce. For those in a pension plan, there is concern that these incentives accrue primarily to higher income employees and do relatively little to help lower income workers save for retirement. The financial crisis and labor-market downturn may have exacerbated these difficulties.
According to the law, the people who oversee your 401(k) plan are supposed to defray "reasonable" plan management expenses, minimize the risk of "large" losses and use the "care, skill, prudence and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims." In Ron Lieber's NY Time's piece "Why 401(k)'s Should Offer Index Funds" he goes through the reasons why this often doesn't happen, why this should be an option, and the steps you can take to get the option at your workplace.
Academic Freedom? Conservative Billionaire Charles Koch's Donation to FSU Buys Veto Over Economics Faculty Hires
An article by Kris Hundley at the St. Petersburg Times describes how conservative billionaire Charles G. Koch bought himself a veto over the faculty hired to teach at Florida State University's economics department. David W. Rasmussen, dean of the College of Social Sciences, says it would be "irresponsible" not to accept a large donation. Jennifer Washburn, author of University Inc., a book on industry's ties to academia: "This is an egregious example of a public university being willing to sell itself for next to nothing. In addition to FSU, Koch has made similar arrangements at two other state schools, Clemson University in South Carolina and West Virginia University.