CEPR News November 2010

Print
Written by Dawn Lobell   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 14:12

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

CEPR Talks Back to the Co-Chairs of the Deficit Commission
CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker issued a statement following the recent release of the draft of the President’s Deficit Commission Co-Chairs report. Dean questioned the logic behind many of the spending cut proposals in the draft, including the lack of attention paid to long-term health care costs, the main factor behind the rise in future deficits. Dean also points out that Social Security is actually outside the mandate of the commission. He reiterated these thoughts in a piece in the New Republic.

Dean was a featured guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on November 11th, where he discussed his views on the deficit in depth. He also talked about the deficit with Charlie Rose and with Laura Flanders of Grit TV.

CEPR on the US Election…
CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot’s McClatchy News column, “Failure to Enact Bigger Stimulus Was Fatal Mistake” appeared in dozens of  U.S. newspapers. In the article, Mark points out that “the overwhelming reason for the Democrats’ losses was their failure to take the necessary measures to ensure a robust recovery from the recession.” He also discussed the implications for the 2012 election in his Guardian column as well as in an interview with The Real News.

…And on the Extension of the Bush Tax Cuts

Dean Baker was quoted in this New York Times story on the Bush Tax cuts. Dean calculated that the yearly tax increase at the lower end of that bracket, for those with earnings between $200,000 and $500,000, would amount to $700 — which “isn’t enough to hire anyone.” Dean also made that point on CNBC’s Power Lunch.

CEPR on Venezuela
CEPR’s latest paper, “The Gains From Trade: South American Economic Integration and the Resolution of Conflict", shows how important regional economic integration can be as a force for stability and resolving conflict. Mark Weisbrot discussed these and other issues related to Venezuela on PBS’ Ideas in Action With Jim Glassman. Mark appeared with Carlos Ponce, a fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy who served as the Secretary of Venezuela's National Human Rights Commission, and Roger Noriega, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, currently coordinator of the American Enterprise Institute's program on Latin America. Video is available here.

…On Ireland
Mark Weisbrot has appeared on BBC World News TV and radio several times in the past week to discuss Ireland’s debt crisis. Click here to watch a clip. Both Mark and Dean wrote about Ireland in their Guardian columns. Click here to read what Mark had to say, here to read Dean’s thoughts.

…And on The Upcoming Elections in Haiti
CEPR's Alex Main is in Haiti this week along with delegates from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, TransAfrica Forum, and other organizations to observe events surrounding the elections, including police and UN response to any protests, possible voter boycotts, voter access and participation levels, the cholera epidemic and how it is affecting people; and the status of overall relief efforts. The delegation’s members will be in close contact with an array of local and national civil society organizations during their stay. Alex will provide periodic updates, which CEPR will post to its blog, and on Sunday, CEPR will live-blog the elections using reports from Alex and other on-the-ground sources based in Haiti. Check CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog throughout Sunday for new updates. Ahead of the elections, CEPR's Dan Beeton has an op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times pointing out the double-standard between the Obama administration's rejection of Burma's elections as it provides financial and diplomatic support for Haiti's similarly flawed electoral process.

CEPR on the Road

On November 19th, Dean Baker traveled to Massachusetts to speak about rising healthcare costs at the annual meeting of MA Association of Health Insurance Plans. The day before, Dean was in Ottawa, Canada where he spoke on the US economy at an event sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Dean was all over the Canadian airwaves after his statements on the Canadian housing bubble were published.

As part of the B'nai B'rith International Policy Conference's plenary session, Dean talked about "The Fiscal Commission, Recession and Austerity: Perspectives from Here and Abroad” on November 15th.  And on November 12th, he participated in the GWU Center for Law, Economics and Finance's second annual financial regulatory reform symposium, which focused on the impact of the Dodd-Frank act.

CEPR Senior Economist John Schmidt participated in a symposium at the IMF Headquarters on November 16th. The symposium featured the release of new IMF work on “Cross-cutting Themes in Employment Experiences during the Crisis”. Schmitt joined IMF staff in discussing the labor market experiences of the following countries received detailed treatment in the paper: Germany, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and Sweden. The panel discussed the overall global unemployment crisis and what can be done to address it.

Schmitt also briefed the National Executive Council of the American Federation of Government Employees on issues of federal pay comparability, growing out of CEPR's recent work on pay and benefits of state and local workers.

CEPR on the High Cost of Incarceration

In June, CEPR released “The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration,” which showed that the U.S. currently incarcerates a higher share of its population than any other country in the world. CEPR calculated that a reduction in incarceration rates just to 1993 levels (which were already high by historical standards) would lower correctional expenditures by $16.9 billion per year, with the large majority of these savings accruing to financially squeezed state and local governments.

CEPR recently followed up with a new report that focuses on the macroeconomic and labor-market impacts of the criminal justice system. “Ex-Offenders and the Labor Market” shows how the enormous population of ex-offenders imposes a staggering cost on the functioning of the economy. This paper, written by John Schmitt and CEPR Program Assistant Kris Warner, was cited in an article in the New Haven Register.

CEPR event: “South of the Border” House Party Screenings and Webcast
On December 10, UN Human Rights Day, CEPR will join with Just Foreign Policy and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti to organize house party viewings of Oliver Stone’s documentary film, “South of the Border," about the progressive changes taking place in Latin America and the U.S. response. These screenings will educate and mobilize people to support the efforts of people in Latin America to broaden human rights and democracy, and to oppose Washington efforts to roll back these gains. Following the film, CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot, and co-writer of the film, will discuss the Obama administration’s Latin America policy via a live webcast in the evening and take questions from participants. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join Mark, and hundreds of other “South of the Border” viewers in a discussion on how to reform U.S.-Latin American policy – sign up here.

CEPR Holiday Party
Please join the CEPR masses as we celebrate the holidays with some progressive good cheer. CEPR’s party will be held on Thursday, December 9, 2010 from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at Public Citizen, 1600 20th Street NW (Dupont Circle), Washington, DC 20009.  RSVP here.

Help Shorten CEPR’s “Pledge Drive”

It’s almost time for CEPR’s year-end fundraising appeal. Several times per year, we ask our friends to make a donation to support our work. You can save yourself the hassle of receiving that annoying fundraising email by donating early! Click here to donate. From everyone here at CEPR, thanks for your support. We couldn’t do it without you.