CEPR News July 2013
|Written by Dawn Lobell|
|Wednesday, 31 July 2013 15:15|
The following highlights CEPR's latest research, publications, events and much more.
CEPR’s March 2012 paper, “The Minimum Wage is Too Damn Low”, by John Schmitt was cited in this recent piece in the Huffington Post. Janelle was cited in this article on the minimum wage in South Dakota’s Rapid City Journal. CEPR’s research was also cited in an article on Ohio that was featured on the examiner.com website.
CEPR’s June 2013 paper “Has Education Paid Off for Black Workers” by Janelle Jones and John Schmitt also continues to receive media attention. Janelle appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the report, and was interviewed on WNUR’s This is Hell as well as
Ask Talk Listen with Polictical Jones. Janelle wrote this post on the paper for the blog Girl W/Pen, which was cross-posted on the CEPR Blog. She also wrote this piece that appeared in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.
CEPR on the Debt and Budget Reporting
Despite being thoroughly debunked, concern over high government debt-to-GDP ratios has hardly disappeared from policy debates. As such, an overlooked possibility for reducing a high debt burden is simply buying back bonds at a discount when interest rates rise, as is widely predicted. CEPR’s July issue brief, “Financial Engineering: The Simple Way to Reduce Government Debt Burdens” by Dean Baker and CEPR Domestic Intern Sheva Diagne, calculates the potential savings to the government through a hypothetical buyback of government debt in 2017.
CEPR also highlighted one of our biggest pet peeves this July: the reporting of budget numbers. As Dean has said repeatedly in Beat the Press, budget reporting that only uses numbers doesn’t tell the story. We even created this diagram so that economic reporters can better understand how it works:
CEPR’s new budget calculator makes it even easier. It places specific tax or spending numbers in the context of the total U.S. budget. It converts dollar amounts into either dollars per capita or into a percentage of total revenues, total discretionary spending, or the total budget (including nondiscretionary spending). Now, perhaps the New York Times will take Dean’s suggestion and start using CEPR’s calculator.
And speaking of the budget, Mark’s column “'Less Government' isn’t the Solution” in the Denver Post and was re-printed in over 30 newspapers across the county. Mark weighed in on whether “less government is the solution” to ongoing economic woes, and notes that the question really is “whether government or markets, which both play important roles in our economy, will be used to benefit the majority, or primarily the richest.”
CEPR on Haiti
CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog marked a sad milestone this past month: over 1000 days since the outbreak of cholera in Haiti. As the post noted, there have been almost 8,200 deaths and some 665,000 infected and still no apology from the United Nations. Another post notes that the U.N.’s own independent experts now say that U.N. troops “most likely” caused the cholera epidemic, while another remarks on a press release by lawyers from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) calling U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s dismissive response to 19 members of congress and victims of cholera “outrageous.” The Haiti blog also posted about how USAID’s lack of expertise and reliance on contractors could endanger the Caracol industrial park. CEPR has reported extensively on USAID and the lack of aid accountability in Haiti, and was recently cited in this op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times. As the article noted, CEPR has reported that “USAID spent $1.15 billion, more than half going to American firms in the D.C. area and less than 1 percent to Haitian firms and nonprofits.”
CEPR on Whether the ACA is a “Job Killer”
Opponents of Affordable Care Act (ACA) claim that employers are cutting workers’ hours to just under 30 hours a week to avoid paying penalties that are part of the bill . CEPR’s latest brief, “The Affordable Care Act: A Hidden Jobs Killer?” by Dean and Helene Jorgensen, reviews data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) on hours worked to assess the impact of the ACA on employer hiring patterns. The paper finds that only 0.6 percent of workers are working just below the 30-hour cutoff and this number was actually lower in the first four months of 2013, when it was thought the sanctions would apply, than the first four months of 2012. “There really is no evidence that the ACA has had any noticeable impact on employment growth,” said Dean.
News from the CEPR Blogosphere:
CEPR Domestic Intern Sheva Diagne’s wrote on labor’s declining share of income, while CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Applebaum weighed in on the Women’s Economic Agenda. Nicole reviewed a new Frontline documentary hosted by Bill Moyers “Two American Families”. Dean wrote several posts, including this one on the “Lost Output Clock to the Debt Clock”, this one comparing Detriot and Goldman Sachs and this one noting falling concerns over hyperinflation.
The Americas Blog: Analysis Beyond the Echo Chamber
The Americas Blog featured two guest posts this month: This post by Brian Mier on the July 11 general strike in Brazil and this one by Milford Bateman on Latin America’s often-negative experience with microcredit. Posts by CEPR staff include this one by Stephan Lefebvre exploring the motivation behind a house panel vote to limit the U.S. share of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) regular budget to 50 percent or less. Stephan also penned this critique of The Atlantic’s reposting of analysis by the congressionally-funded National Endowment for Democracy, while Dan Beeton wrote this post on Spanish newspaper ABC’s false reporting on Venezuela. Dan also posted this piece on “what the Bradley Manning verdict taught us about U.S. policy in the Americas.”
Beat the Press
Dean followed up last year’s birthday boast post with this year’s progress report. He praises Robert Samuelson, kind of, but then he returns to his regularly scheduled program, here and here. Dean continued to highlight bad budget reporting in these posts about Detroit, here and here. He also critiqued reporting on pension assumptions, housing policy, corporate taxes, the IMF and France, just to name a few.