The CEPR NEWS took a vacation in August, but CEPR staff did not. The following newsletter highlights CEPR's latest research, publications, events and much more.
CEPR Takes to the Airwaves (and the printed page): CEPR Talks Jobs, Housing and Stimulus
Co-Director Dean Baker talked with Diane Rehm about jobs and the state of the U.S. economy, appeared on the Kudlow Report, and discussed the possibility of a double dip recession on CNBC. Dean also talked house prices on PBS’s Nightly Business Report and MarketWatch; he talked about the housing market “meltdown” on ABC News’s Nightline, and he discussed his right to rent plan on Fox Business News. Dean was also mentioned in articles about housing that appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Independent, the last one mentioning CEPR’s recently released issue brief, The Gains of Right to Rent in 2010.
CEPR’s not only talking to the media…on September 21st, Dean Baker also participated in a briefing for Hill staff sponsored by the Housing Task Force of the House Democratic Caucus, along with Mark Zandi (the event was standing-room only). On September 22nd he traveled to Chicago to speak to a crowd of about 200 community organizers at the “Banking on a New Economy Summit,” sponsored by the National People’s Action. And on the 23rd, he participated in Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies’ Social Policy Seminar Series. Dean’s talk was on "Progressives and the Market: Why Give it to the Right?"
CEPR Economists Selected for Global Development Advisory Panel
CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot and Senior Research Associate Ha-Joon Chang have been selected to be part of the Guardian Unlimited’s (UK) Global Development Advisory Panel. The panel will “lend their support to the Guardian's global development website.” Please stay tuned…
CEPR’s Response to the Poverty Report
As expected, Census figures released on September 15th show that in 2009, one out of every three Americans had incomes that fell below the amount that various budget estimates show is needed to “make ends meet” at a basic level. The Census report shows substantial increases in the poverty rate and the rate of people without health insurance, as well as declines in median income for various demographic groups. CEPR released a Poverty Byte that provides an analysis of the poverty data that was picked up by several media sources, including MSNBC. The Director of CEPR’s Inclusive and Sustainable Economy Initiative, Shawn Fremstad, has written extensively on poverty and inequality, including this article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Dean Baker also discussed the poverty numbers (among other topics) on GritTV with Laura Flanders.
CEPR Update on the Venezuelan Economy: It’s Out of Recession
CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot and Research Associate Rebecca Ray’s paper examines recent economic data – including the most recent data released the third week of August 2010 – in an attempt to evaluate the Venezuelan economy's prospects in the foreseeable future. It finds that the Venezuelan economy, which went into recession in the first quarter of 2009 after six years of record economic growth, is now most likely in recovery, and that the 2009 recession has probably ended.
CEPR Fights Those Who Want to Cut Social Security: Déjà Vu All Over Again
CEPR has been busy for the past few past months, fighting (yet again) the deficit hawks and others who want to cut Social Security. Dean Baker took on the Co-Chair of President Obama’s Deficit Commission, Alan Simpson (after Simpson’s now-infamous comment referring to Social Security as “a milk cow with 310 million tits!"). Here is Dean responding to a similar email that he received from Simpson, and here and here Dean offers Simpson and others a quick primer on Social Security facts. Dean also issued this statement on the 75th Anniversary of Social Security in August, and he wrote several additional op-eds and columns on the issue.
CEPR's recent paper, "Patterns in Physically Demanding Labor Among Older Workers,” revealed that a large number of workers would be adversely affected by raising the normal retirement age. Forty-five percent of workers over age 58 work at jobs that are physically demanding or have difficult work conditions, and a majority of these workers are in low-wage occupations.
The paper has received a great deal of attention from the press. It was mentioned in an article that appeared on the front page of the New York Times, and the paper’s author, CEPR Research Assistant Hye Jin Rho, was interviewed for FAIR’s Counterspin radio program. CEPR Senior Economist John Schmitt presented the issues raised in the paper at a Senate briefing on September 9th. The briefing, entitled "Making the Case Against Raising the Retirement Age: The Effects of Reducing Social Security Benefits,” was covered by C-SPAN.
Coming in October: CEPR and the IMF and World Bank
CEPR is sponsoring several events around the upcoming meetings of the IMF and World Bank, as follows:
On Tuesday, Oct 5th, CEPR will join Jubilee USA, the Third World Network, and labor and developing country representatives to speak at a briefing in the U.S. Congress on the IMF. CEPR will share updated information on our long-term tracking of the impacts of IMF policies in developing and middle income countries, some of which have resulted in reduced budgets for health and education spending and have increased unemployment, exacerbating the economic crises.
On Thursday, Oct 7th, CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot will discuss IMF policy with John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, on "Macroeconomic policy: What are the Global Trends?" As weaknesses appear in the global economic recovery, there is increasing debate over whether governments should continue – or, in some cases, even increase – stimulus spending, or begin reducing their deficits and public debt. This session will look at this issue in the context of current policy in both developed and developing countries, taking into account the different circumstances - e.g. current levels of public debt and deficit, and the strength or weakness of the economy. This basic question will be: is macro-economic policy, worldwide, generally moving in the right direction?
On Friday, Oct 8th, Mark Weisbrot and Vicente Navarro, Professor of Public Policy, Sociology and Policy Studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Professor of Political and Social Science at Pompeii Fabra University of Spain, will discuss the current situation in Spain. Under pressure from the European authorities (the European Commission and European Central Bank) and the IMF, the country is adopting pro-cyclical macro-economic policies that are expected to reduce employment and economic growth. The panelists will discuss the economic arguments surrounding current policy, its social costs, and feasible alternatives.
Also on Friday, Oct 8th, CEPR will hold an event with Ecuadorian Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Katriuska King, at the SEIU. She will discuss the current state of the Ecuadorian economy and new developments brought about by President Correa, including renegotiation of petroleum contracts and renegotiation of Ecuador's debt, among other issues.
Please check CEPR's web site for more information on these events.
To Mark the Labor Day Holiday: No-Vacation Nation
CEPR Senior Economist John Schmitt discussed his and CEPR Research Associate Rebecca Ray’s paper, “No Vacation Nation,” in an interview on WHYY radio. The BBC News also mentioned the 2007 report, which continues to receive attention from the media and policy makers alike.
CEPR Welcomes Eileen Appelbaum, Senior Economist
Eileen Appelbaum recently joined CEPR after eight years as Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. Her previous positions include Research Director at the Economic Policy Institute and Professor of Economics at Temple University. Recent projects include an evaluation of the impact of paid family leave in California on employers and residents and an examination of the role of private equity in the competitiveness and employment relations of firms. She has published widely on wages and employment in industrialized countries, on workplace practices of firms, and on the labor market experiences of women. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Eileen has really hit the ground running, traveling to Oslo within days of joining CEPR to participate in a major International Labour Organization-International Monetary Fund conference on the "Challenges of Growth, Employment and Social Cohesion." Held on September 13th, this was the first such joint conference of the two organizations in their 60 years of existence. She was also invited to participate in the upcoming October 5th conference, "America's Fiscal Choices: Strengthening the Economy and Building for the Future." Eileen will be speaking alongside John Podesta of Center for American Progress and Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institute on “The Long-Term Challenge: Public Investment as a Foundation for Growth.”
CEPR is honored to have Dr. Appelbaum on board – welcome Eileen!
Federal Employees: Please Remember CEPR for the CFC!
CEPR is once again participating in the Combined Federal Campaign. Federal employees can contribute to CEPR through their workplace by choosing CFC #79613. (Of course, we also accept donations through our web site throughout the year.) We thank everyone who gave during our recent end-of-summer appeal. We couldn’t do it without your support – thank you from everyone here at CEPR.