- 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.
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."
Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress and New School alum, presented the lecture, "Connections Between Inequality, Economic Growth & Stability" as part of the Fall seminar series presented by SCEPA and the Economics Department.
Boushey is a specialist on employment, social policy, and family economic well-being, with much of her current research focused on the recession's impact on workers and families. She co-edited The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything (Simon & Schuster eBook, 2009) and was a lead author of "Bridging the Gaps," a 10-state study about how low- and moderate-income working families are left out of work support programs. Her research has been published in academic journals and has been covered in The Washington Post, Newsweek, and a variety of other media outlets, including The New York Times, where she was called one of the "most vibrant voices in the field." She also spearheaded a successful campaign to save the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation from devastating budget cuts.