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CEPR News November 2012

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Written by Dawn Lobell   
Friday, 30 November 2012 14:05

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

CEPR on the So-called “Fiscal Cliff

CEPR weighed in on the “Fiscal Cliff” debate, reminding everyone that – as CEPR Co-director Dean Baker noted in this Guardian column – “the Fiscal cliff hysteria is manipulated by self-serving deficit hawks”. Dean also debunked the fiscal cliff scare story in this piece in Salon; this one in the Huffington Post; this op-ed in Al Jazeera; this article in Politico; thesethreeposts in the CEPR Blog and several posts, including this one and this one in his own blog, Beat the Press. Here is Dean on the Nightly Business Report debating the fiscal cliff with Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and he also set the record straight on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report…twice.

In this op-ed for the McClatchy News service that appeared in Newsday, the Providence Journal and several other newspapers across the country, CEPR Co-director Mark Weisbrot reminds everyone that employment, not deficit reduction, should be top priority for the government. CEPR Domestic Communications Director Alan Barber answered no to the question “Is Going Over the 'Fiscal Cliff' Necessarily the Worst Outcome?” for U.S. News and World Report’s Debate Club, and Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum wrote this critique of a story that appeared on NPR featuring the CEO of Ceasar’s calling for cuts to Social Security. And CEPR’s Director of Domestic Policy Nicole Woo corrected fiscal cliff notes in this segment of Let's Talk About It! 

In this CEPR blog post, Dean explains, again, that the high deficits of the last 5 years are the result of an economic collapse, not profligate spending or huge tax cuts. Dean also published a paper for the New America Foundation, titled “Debt, Deficits, and Demographics: Why We Can Afford the Social Contract,” that addresses inaccurate thinking on short terms deficits and shows that horror stories about long term debt are almost entirely a function of projected increases in health care costs.


CEPR on Haiti
CEPR was one of the first (and loudest) voices calling for the UN to take responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti, writing numerous op-eds, papers and blog posts on the issue over the course of the past several years. In light of the spike in cholera cases caused by last month’s hurricane, Mark recently wrote about the epidemic and the UN’s failure to take responsibility in this Guardian column. Mark stated: “If Haiti were any other country in this hemisphere, a human-created disaster of this proportion would be a big international scandal and everyone would know about it. Not to mention the institution responsible for inflicting this damage – in this case, the UN – would be held accountable. At the very least, they would have to get rid of the epidemic.”

CEPR Research Associate Jake Johnston and International Communications Director Dan Beeton wrote several recent posts about cholera on CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog, noting that the Boston Globe editorial board and the Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Western New England University School of Law, Lauren Carasik, have also recently called for the UN to act on its duty to end the epidemic. CEPR also closely monitors aid and reconstruction efforts, reporting in this blog post that just over one percent of the $450 million or so in USAID contracts have gone to Haitian firms.


CEPR on the U.S. Elections
Mark Weisbrot wrote a column for The Guardian on Obama's populist appeal to swing voters in the 2012 presidential election and how that contributed to his victory (which Mark notes should not have come as a surprise). In a post on The Americas Blog, Mark compares Obama’s reelection to South America and the success of populist leaders there. Dan Beeton meanwhile examined what changes in the U.S. Congress – and the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington – could portend for U.S.-Latin America policy, in another post.


CE
PR on the Economics of Marriage
Policy makers often claim that marriage is a way out of poverty for Americans striving for the middle-class. As Governor Mitt Romney said during the second presidential debate, “…to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone — that's a great idea because if there's a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically”. In “Married…Without Means,” CEPR Senior Research Associate Shawn Fremstad demonstrates that marriage alone does not ensure economic security and that most parents with below-poverty incomes who are raising children are, in fact, married.

The paper was mentioned in several publications including this piece in The Atlantic and this one in UPI.com.


CEPR on Hostess
Dean and Eileen both penned CEPR blog posts on the Hostess strike and bankruptcy. Eileen was also quoted in this piece in Salon that first appeared in Alternet

Eileen, who is writing a book on private equity at work, was recently on Al-Jazeera’s Inside Stories where she discussed the Hostess bankruptcy and other worker issues.


CEPR’s Americas Blog
CEPR’s The Americas Blog: Analysis Beyond the Echo Chamber continued to cover a wide range of topics in November, including thesetwo posts by CEPR International Communications Director Dan Beeton on the rampant political violence and the election process in Honduras; this one by Research Assistant Stephan Lefebvre and Jake Johnston on labor reform legislation in Mexico; this one on Colombian peace talks by former CEPR intern Tara Ruttenberg and this post by Jake on Jamaica and the IMF.


CEPR in the CFC, and the CSECC
Federal employees, remember that you can help support this work through the Combined Federal Campaign, CFC # 79613. And like last year, California state employees can support CEPR through the California State Employee Charitable Campaign, CSECC # 26311.

On a related note… if you’d like to avoid receiving additional CEPR end-of-year fundraising emails, click here. That’s right, if you donate now, we promise to take you off the list. One less plea in your inbox! Thanks (in advance) for including CEPR in your holiday giving plans – we really couldn’t do all of this work without you.


CEPR Holiday Party – Save the Date
Please join Mark, Dean and CEPR staff for our annual holiday party - enjoy some drinks and hors d'oeuvres and mingle with like-minded people.
When:
Thursday, December 6, 2012.
5:30 - 7:30PM
Location:
Public Citizen
1600 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009


If you'd like to attend, please RSVP here by December 3, 2012.


CEPR New and Noteworthy
-- CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum’s paper, “Reducing Inequality and Insecurity: Rethinking Labor and Employment Policy for the 21st Century,” was published in the November 2012th edition of Work and Occupations. Eileen discusses management rules for private equity firms in this op-ed for U.S. News and World Report.

--The Upjohn Institute has just released a new edited volume by Lauren Appelbaum, "Reconnecting to Work: Policies to Mitigate Long-Term unemployment and Its Consequences." Included amongst the examination of different policies is a chapter from CEPR Senior Economist John Schmitt, “Labor Market Policy in the Great Recession: Some lessons from Denmark and Germany.”

-- An article by Jeff Madrick in the December 2012 edition of Harper’s Magazine contains several references to CEPR’s “Bad Jobs” paper. Meanwhile, Shawn Fremstad’s recent paper “More Good Jobs” (originally published as part of the Half in Ten 2012 report) shows that good jobs are a necessary condition for expanding the middle class and reducing poverty over the next decade. (Shawn also co-authored a paper on Supplemental Security Income for Children with Disabilities that first appeared on the National Academy of Social Insurance’s website).

-- CEPR Program Assistant Milla Sanes penned this CEPR Blog post looking at unemployment rates in the states after Hurricanes Katrina and what it might mean for the aftermath of Sandy. She also co-authored this post looking at part-time work and inequality with John Schmitt, while John recently published this post that compares state unemployment rates.

-- CEPR’s latest Housing Market Monitor, published on November 27, notes that all the data on the housing market continue to be positive over the last month showing rises in sales, construction and prices. Existing home sales are up by more than 10 percent against their year-ago levels, an increase that continues to be driven by the bottom tier of the market. Dean was quoted in this article in CNNMoney.

-- Dean Baker was in MN November 28, debating AEI’s Kevin Hassett on “entitlement” reforms at an event sponsored by the AARP and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School on Public Affairs. Dean was at the University of Utah on the 14th, discussing the causes of the Great Recession and why recovery has been slow. And on November 7 he was at Dickinson College, where he gave a presentation titled, “The Fiscal Cliff: New Heights of Sensationalism”.

--Today (November 30, 2012) CEPR will co-host a congressional briefing on the financial transactions tax. Co-hosts include the AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, Communications Workers of America and Public Citizen. Presenters include Jared Bernstein –  Senior Fellow at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former Chief Economist for Vice President Joe Biden; David Borris – Small business owner, Hel’s Kitchen Catering, Chicago/North Shore Illinois; Damon Silvers – Director of Policy and Special Counsel, AFL-CIO; and Wallace Turbeville – Senior Fellow at Demos, former Vice President of Goldman Sachs.

-- CEPR’s Senior Associate for International Policy Alexander Main participated in TransAfrica's Cabral/Truth Circle on November 19 to discuss the housing and cholera crises in Haiti. Alex also participated in a November 15 roundtable discussion on “The U.S. Double Standard on Elections in Latin America and the Caribbean” at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, alongside Mana Barari, Susan Scott and Joanna Cuevas Ingram, who also monitored Venezuela's recent elections; Pierre Laboissiere, co-founder of the Haiti-Action Committee; and Nicole Phillips, staff attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Alex and Nicole Phillips also discussed these themes on Berkeley’s KPFA FM.

-- Mark Weisbrot discussed recent protests in Argentina on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story Americas, and the media’s obsession with the Petraeus sex scandal on RT’s “Breaking the Set.”

Tags: Elections 2012 | employment | Fiscal Cliff | Haiti | Hostess | inequality | jobs | latin america | marriage | poverty | private equity | unemployment | unions

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