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CEPR News August 2011

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Written by Dawn Lobell   
Thursday, 01 September 2011 14:05

The following highlights CEPR's latest research, publications, events and much more.

CEPR on Haiti
CEPR’s recent paper argues that cholera treatment and prevention efforts in Haiti have fallen woefully behind, leading to thousands of preventable deaths, even though the dramatic rise in new cases this spring and summer was entirely predictable. CEPR’s paper was mentioned in this release from Partners In Health and this report by Free Speech Radio News. Mark recently accompanied CEPR Board Director Danny Glover on a trip to Haiti, where they observed firsthand the attempted eviction of people made homeless by the earthquake from their camp (see a photo here).  Mark questions where the billions of dollars in disaster aid have gone in this op-ed in The Guardian, and he argues for the withdrawal of MINUSTAH troops from Haiti in this piece in Folha de São Paulo (Brazil),  Mark also discussed these issues on WBAI 99.5FM’s “Talk Back ”. You can read more about Haiti in CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog.

The End of Loser Liberalism is Here!
Dean Baker’s new book, that is. In The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive, Dean argues that progressives hurt their cause whenever they accept conventional wisdom that conservatives are for the "free" market while progressives are for government intervention in the market economy. Dean says that this is bad policy and bad politics. He then explains how markets can be restructured to lead to greater equality rather than redistributing income to a small group of elites.

Dean published the book under a Creative Commons license and as a free electronic download.  As he argues in the book, Dean sees copyrights as a form of government intervention in markets that leads to enormous inefficiency, in addition to redistributing income upward. Distributing the book for free not only enables it to reach a wider audience, but Dean hopes to drive home one of the book's main points via his own example. (Hard copies will be available for purchase - at CEPR’s cost - in the near future.)

Instead, CEPR is asking that readers consider making a donation to CEPR help cover our expenses, if possible. All donations will be used to help CEPR fight for the progressive economic policies described in the book. So please download your free copy today, and share freely with your friends!

(Note from Dean: “In response to many readers’ questions, the Bichon on the cover is Biscuit, one of my three dogs. The others are an adorable doberman and a lab shepherd mix. All three are shelter dogs.”)

European and U.S. Governments Continue Wrecking Their Economies
This was the theme of columns by both Mark and Dean, as they examined the impact of austerity measures and deficit hawks’ proposals on both side of the Atlantic. Mark penned two columns for The Guardian, while Dean decried the policies of the European Central Bank in pieces for Aljazeera English and the International Relations and Security Network.

CEPR Schools Congress on Social Security
Congress may have taken off for summer recess, but that didn’t stop some members from making false claims about Social Security. Thankfully, Dean Baker worked hard all through the recess. As part of CEPR’s Social Security Congressional Accuracy campaign, Dean sent letters to Senators John Kerry, Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio, as well as Representatives Lou Barletta and Jeb Hensarling. Dean expanded the reach of CEPR’s campaign to include Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry after they made misleading statements about the program (including Rick Perry’s now famous statement calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme”).

CEPR’s Social Security Accuracy Campaign is having an impact: Dean’s letter to Senator Rubio was picked up by the Tampa Tribune and re-posted, and CEPR received a response. (Read the original letter here)

CEPR continues to respond to misstatements about Social Security in the press as well. Dean took particular issue with this story in the Washington Post (he doesn’t refer to the WaPo as “Fox on 15th Street" for no reason). Dean also took the New York Times to task, here.

Work Sharing Back in the Spotlight
CEPR sees work sharing as the easiest, most politically feasible route the government can take to address the unemployment crisis in the U.S. The basic point is simple: If we encourage employers to deal with reduced demand by shortening work hours rather than laying people off, we can get back to full employment relatively quickly. With the media finally starting to focus on jobs instead of deficits, Dean’s work sharing concept has received increasing media attention and growing bipartisan support. Work sharing was featured in this piece in the American Prospect, this one in the National Journal, and this one in the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” section. Dean also discussed work sharing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.

CEPR in the News and on the Road
Dean Baker made several additional TV appearances in August. Here he is on PBS’ NewsHour, MSNBC’s The Ed Show, CNBC’s Kudlow (twice) and Democracy Now!.

Mark Weisbrot discussed the S&P Downgrade and the so-called debt “crisis” on Wisconsin Public Radio, WNUR’s “This is Hell”, and other programs.

Paul Krugman wrote about Dean's ongoing critique of economist Casey Mulligan in this blog post. You can read Dean’s argument, which Krugman agreed with, here

CEPR Sr. Economist Eileen Appelbaum was featured on the August 12th edition of C-Span’s Washington Journal. Eileen weighed in on how the recession has affected working women in America. Eileen also penned this post on the employment outlook for women for the CEPR Blog, and she was quoted in this National Public Radio story on Obama’s handling of the jobs crisis.

Dean traveled to Austin, TX on August 16th to speak at the Texas Municipal Retirement System’s annual training seminar. His presentation, “Public Retirement Systems in the Current Economy” can be found on the TMRS website. Dean also participated in a discussion on how to hold Wall Street and corporations accountable as part of a larger conference sponsored by Jobs with Justice. The “Make Wall Street Pay! Taking on Corporate Power” conference took place from August 5 - 7, 2011.

And in case you missed it, here is Dean on C-Span, participating in "Debating Taboos", a series of debates organized by Ralph Nader. Dean co-moderated a debate on the need for a securities transaction tax. Also moderating the debate was Gus Sauter, chief investment officer of Vanguard Group. Robert Pollin, professor at UMass (Amherst), argued for the tax, and Jim Angel, professor at Georgetown University, argued against it.

CEPR staff members John Schmitt, Nicole Woo and Dean Baker will be attending the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) conference. The conference takes place in Milwaukee, WI from September 12-14, 2011. Dean will be a plenary speaker for several topics, and Nicole and John will be panelists. John and Dean serve on EARN’s advisory board. More information on the conference can be found here.

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