CEPR News April 2013
|Written by Dawn Lobell|
|Tuesday, 30 April 2013 14:45|
The following highlights CEPR's latest research, publications, events and much more.
Prior to the election, CEPR corrected media misrepresentations of the Venezuelan economy. Mark wrote an op-ed for Al Jazeera titled “Haters Gonna Hate: Rory Carroll's Venezuela on NPR” that countered the Guardian reporter’s claims that "Venezuela is a country of extremes - and extreme inequality”. Mark reiterated these views in interviews with the PBS NewsHour and Democracy Now! (where he appeared with Rory Carroll). Mark also appeared on Counterpoint radio. CEPR Senior Associate for International Policy Alexander Main, who was in Venezuela monitoring the election, was interviewed by several news oulets including Democracy Now, Al Jazeera’s Inside Story Americas, Free Speech Radio News, WBAI, Sojourner Truth Radio, Alternet Radio Hour and Houston’s KOOP.
CEPR on Reinhart and Rogoff and the Excel Error Heard ‘Round the World
John and Janelle’s 2012 paper “Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone?” was cited in this recent piece in Salon on a planned walk out by Chicago fast food and retail workers.
In addition, John was quoted in this New York Times article on part-time work: “The only remaining legal form of discrimination in the labor market is against part-time workers,” said John Schmitt, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal research organization. “You can hire part-time workers and full-time workers doing the same job, and you’re allowed to pay them different money and different benefits.”
CEPR on Haiti
CEPR's recent paper, "Breaking Open the Black Box: Increasing Aid Transparency and Accountability in Haiti" identifies significant problems with the delivery of U.S. aid in Haiti and finds an overall lack of transparency on how the billions of dollars obligated for U.S. assistance to Haiti are being used. The report, by CEPR Research Associate Jake Johnston and Senior Associate for International Policy Alexander Main, examines the effectiveness of U.S. assistance to Haiti, how it is being administered, to what extent it is adhering to the “USAID Forward” reform agenda and what steps can be taken to ensure its more effective and transparent delivery.
The paper received attention from the press, including Reuters, Inter Press Service, Global Post and this piece from the Associated Press that was picked up by ABC News and dozens of other outlets. Jake was interviewed by WPFW (Washington, D.C.) and other radio programs about the paper.
CEPR on Social Security
As Dean said in a recent statement, President Obama’s proposal to adopt a chained CPI for the calculation of Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) would amount "to a substantial cut to Social Security benefits." Dean wrote about the chained CPI in this piece for Al Jazeera. He also wrote this post for the CEPR Blog, taking down the elites’ claim that cuts to Social Security and Medicaid are necessary to “save the children”, while in this Beat the Press post he wonders why Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson aren’t calling for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to construct a full elderly index to calculate the cost of living for seniors (since they claim that they are only concerned about accuracy). Meanwhile CEPR Senior Research Associate Shawn Fremstad notes in this CEPR Blog post that switching to the chained CPI will end up hurting low income people, even with suggested exemptions.
Dean discussed Obama’s budget on the Diane Rehm Show and he particpated in a panel discussion on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry on the chained CPI. Dean also discussed Social Secutiy on To the Point, while CEPR’s Director of Domestic Policy Nicole Woo took to the radio waves with interviews for
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)’s Counterspin, Alternet Radio Hour and Fighting Bob Radio.
CEPR on Honduras
A new report from CEPR and Rights Action raises new questions regarding a May 11, 2012 DEA-related counternarcotics operation in which four Afro-indigenous civilians were killed and others were wounded in Honduras’ Moskitia region. The authors, Alexander Main and Rights Action Co-Director Annie Bird, look at how the Honduran Public Ministry's investigation of the incident was conducted and examine the report on the investigation that the Honduran Attorney General (Fiscal general in Spanish) submitted to the U.S. State Department. The authors find that both the investigation and report have serious flaws including major omissions of key testimony and forensic exams, a one-sided description and analysis of events, and "observations" (in lieu of conclusions) that aren't supported by the evidence that is cited. This brief follows an earlier paper by the same authors, “Collateral Damage of a Drug War,” that was published in August of 2012.
Human rights attorney Lauren Carasik wrote an op-ed for Truthout citing the paper, and CEPR Director of International Communications Dan Beeton wrote this post summarizing the paper for the the Americas Blog. Alex Main also discussed Honduras’ police death squads in an interview with Talk Back on WBAI FM (New York).
CEPR’s Director Watch Needs Your Help!
For those of you who haven’t heard, The Huffington Post has agreed to partner with CEPR to host a new website called Director Watch. Director Watch will bring to light the names of people serving on corporate boards who get large paychecks even as the companies they oversee are going down the tubes. We’re happy that the Huffington Post has graciously agreed to host Director Watch… just need to raise the funds to get the site up and running (we need to hire staff to research the initial entries). We’re closing in…we need only $4,600 to meet our $17,000 goal. Can you help?
We need to make our $17,000 goal in order to receive all of the funds donated so far. It’s a huge sum for us, but a drop in the bucket compared to the $96,000,000 salary that Oracle CEO Lawrence J. Ellison earned in 2012. That figure was twice as much as what he earned in 2011…yes, he received a hefty raise even though Oracle’s stock dropped 22 percent in fiscal 2012. And $17,000 is about the same amount as Erskine Bowles pulled in for an hour or two of labor as a director at Morgan Stanley (which also lost value under his and the other board members’ watchful eyes.)
As Dean recently stated: “The point of Director Watch is let everyone know that the Erskine Bowles of the world are not decent honorable types who warrant public respect, but rather key accomplices in the corruption at the top of corporate America. With Director Watch, someone will be watching.”
Please click here and support Director Watch.
News from the CEPR Blogosphere:
Dean wrote the following post outlining a CEPR success story:
“New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez signed legislation last week that overhauled the state's public pension system. This was a big deal because New Mexico had one of the largest funding gaps, relative to the size of the state's economy, of any state in the country. There was pressure from the right for big cutbacks or even the elimination of defined benefit pensions altogether.
CEPR's work in this area proved very useful. I went to New Mexico and spoke with many of the leaders in the legislature and addressed the relevant committees of the state House and Senate. They were willing to move forward with the plan because they felt comfortable that the return assumptions applied to the plans were reasonable and derived from a realistic assessment of the future prospects of the economy and the stock market.”
The Americas Blog: Analysis Beyond the Echo Chamber
Jake wrote this post on Argentina and vulture funds, following up on his and CEPR International Intern’s Arthur Phillips March blog post titled “Argentina vs. the Vultures: What You Need to Know”.
Stephan wrote that a federal district court has ruled that the Obama administration must declassify records with the names of individuals trained at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the U.S. Army School of the Americas or SOA.
And here is CEPR International Program Assistant Sara Kozameh on the Vatican, Pinochet and Chile’s coup.
In Other CEPR News...
--Dean takes down the New York Times for this article on Denmark, while in this op-ed he explains how the US could reduce unemployment by taking lessons from Germany.
--Mark discussed “What Next for the Eurozone? Macroeconomic Policy and the Recession” withPrakash Loungani — an advisor in the IMF’s Research Department, co-chair of the IMF’s Working Group on Jobs and Growth, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s council on employment issues —in a well-attended public event during the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Jo Marie Griesgraber of the New Rules for Global Finance Coalition moderated. Video of the discussion can be viewed here.
--Dean was on Bloomberg TV last night, talking about the housing market. CEPR released its Housing Market Monitor today, showing that price increases accelerated in February, driven in large part by rapid price growth in the bottom tier of the market.
--CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum wrote this op-ed for The Hill, noting that the “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013” proposed by House Republicans “rrehashes legislation Republicans passed in the House in 1997, some 16 years ago, and that they introduced again in most subsequent Congresses. Its major effect would be to hamstring workers – likely increasing overtime hours for those who don’t want them and cutting pay for those who do.”
--Nicole appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story Americas in a segment titled “
Fast Food: High Profits and Low Wages”. Nicole, who joins at 7:30, discussed the minimim wage.
--Mark was interviewed on the “Legacy of Margaret Thatcher” on Sojourner Truth (KPFK, Los Angeles) and RT’s “The Big Picture” with Thom Hartmann.
--Dean wrote a column for Al Jazeera examining proposed “free trade” deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S.-EU Free Trade Agreement. Dean notes that the trade pacts have little to do with free trade but have much to do with enshrining patent, copyright and other costly protections; that corporations are heavily involved in crafting the deals’ texts, which are meanwhile kept secret even from the U.S. Congress; and that the pacts will further redistribute income upward.