- On Capitol Hill
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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.
Americans' panic about their retirement future is, unfortunately, warranted. Even before the financial crises of 2008, over 30% of older Americans had no retirement savings and of those that did the average account was less than $100,000, which is one seventh of what people need. A major cause of the inadequate pensions is the growth of 401(k) plans. Over the past 30 years traditional pensions have disappeared and 401(k) plans have taken their place. But coverage for private sector workers has fallen from 47% in the 1980s to just 42% in 2010.
The sad fact is that many people say they will work longer and retire later because they to make up for low retirement savings. But most people have to leave the work force younger than they planned because they lost their job, were forced out, or they didn't have the mental and physical capacity to keep working.
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) workers are more pessimistic than at any time In the last 20 years. 27 percent of workers say they are "not at all confident" about retirement, up 5 percentage points from the level measured just one year ago. Only 13 percent of workers say they are "very confident" of a comfortable retirement. Full results of the 2011 RCS are published in the March 2011 EBRI.
Issue Brief, released today and online at www.ebri.org
Americans have supported a heightened role for the government in restoring economic growth. And there has been much concern about how to stabilize and regulate financial firms. For a return to prosperity, however, Americans will have to rely on healthy non-financial corporations.
Experts from industry, academe, government and organized labor joined at The New School on April 22 and 23 to discuss the corporate role in an economic comeback. They covered companies' investment behaviors before the crisis of 2008, how they responded, and how they can contribute to the re-emergence of a prosperous economy. Topics also included the need for a new industrial policy that serves American workers, promotes socially-useful technologies and environmental sustainability, reverses "financialization," and reforms executive pay to reward innovation and job creation.
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was perceived as a failure, while the consequences of global warming continue to mount. Weather patterns are changing radically, natural disasters grow more frequent, sea levels rise, cultural and biological diversity becomes more endangered, and economic prosperity decreases. The leading nations of the world, however, hesitate to commit themselves to climate change mitigation measures.
Attempting to establish both the urgency of the issue and to help overcome the standoff in international negotiations, The New School hosted a high level international conference on the "Economics of Climate Change" on April 9 -10, 2010. The conference was organized by Willi Semmler, professor of Economics at The New School for Social Research. It was jointly sponsored by the Economics Department and the Schwartz Center of Economic Policy Analysis, and gratefully supported by the Walker Foundation, the Thyssen Foundation and the German Consulate.
The conference brought together well-known academics, influential policy advisors and policy makers of different countries. Among the most prominent participants from abroad were Damien Meadows, Head of the Unit International Carbon Markets at the European Commission; Ulrich von Weizsäcker, a former member of the German Parliament; and Hirofumi Uzawa from Japan, author of a ground breaking work on global warming. Renowned international economists Alfred Greiner of Germany and Franz Wirl of Austria also participated. The United States was represented by top policy analysts, geoscientists, and economists, including Michael Oppenheimer from Princeton, Michael Greenstone from MIT, Peter Schlosser and Geoffrey Heal from Columbia, Klaus Keller from Pennsylvania State, Ali Khan from Johns Hopkins University and Edward Nell, Willi Semmler and Lopamudra Banerjee from The New School for Social Research. The conference agenda can be viewed below.