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CEPR News, April 2010

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Thursday, 22 April 2010 08:19

Dean Baker's Prescriptions for Moving the Economy Forward: Work Share, Right to Rent, and the Financial Speculation Tax
Dean Baker's work share concept, which would which would provide an employer tax credit for paid time off as a way to quickly boost demand in the economy, continues to gain attention as well as bi-partisan support. The Los Angles Times recently printed this op-ed, co-written by Dean and the American Enterprise Institute's Kevin Hassett, and the Miami Herald also ran the piece. On April 27, 2010, Baker and Hassett are slated to discuss work share with the House Democratic Caucus.

Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced legislation on April 15, 2010 to create a "Right to Rent" for homeowners facing foreclosure. The bill allows a family to petition a judge to stay in their home as renters under a 5-year lease. Dean Baker conceived of the right to rent concept several years ago, and has been promoting the plan as a viable solution to the foreclosure crisis ever since. He recently discussed the right to rent option in his testimony before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity on the Obama administration's Homeowner Affordability Modification Program (HAMP).

Dean Baker was part of a panel that included Wall Street and economic experts, labor leaders, and consumer, development and global health advocates who called on President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to embrace this tax and on Congress to move swiftly to enact it. The groups held a press conference on April 15, 2010 to push for a Financial Speculation Tax. Baker has been vocal in calling for support of the FST, recently pointing out that it "would go a long way towards addressing future budget shortfalls and it would raise money from people who can afford it: the Wall Street crew whose financial shenanigans led to the meltdown."

Haiti
CEPR continues to monitor the situation in Haiti through the Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog. CEPR also released a paper that proposes that international donors seeking to support Haiti's agricultural sector and provide food to those in need could help Haiti become more self-sufficient by purchasing the entire Haitian rice crop over the next two years. The paper finds that buying up all of Haiti's rice should be close to the amount of food aid for rice that the international community is likely to provide this year, and would provide a tremendous boost to Haitian farmers, who currently are unable to compete with low-cost rice imports from the U.S.

CEPR VS the Wall Street Deficit Hawks

CEPR has been fighting the scare tactics of the Wall St deficit hawks for ten years now. It wasn't enough that the people who missed the housing bubble are still in power - now they want to come after Social Security. At a time when we should be focusing on job creation and stimulus to get the wrecked economy moving, the deficit hawks are trying to scare the public with untruths. As Dean Baker says here "the scary budget stories being hyped in the media and by the Wall Street crew are driven almost entirely by projections of exploding health care costs. But instead of proposing ways to fix the health care system, these deficit hawks want to attack Social Security." Dean also takes on the deficit hawks here and here.

CEPR joined forces with the Campaign for America's Future to oppose Wall St mogul Pete Peterson's program, "I.O.USA: America's Money Crisis" that aired on CNN over the weekend of April 10th. The call went out for progressives to pressure CNN to cancel this program or make it more balanced by including progressive solutions for addressing the budget deficit. Watch Dean and CAF's Roger Hickey discuss the program here.

New Releases: Capital Controls

CEPR's latest paper, "Capital Controls and Monetary Policy in Developing Countries", looks at both the theoretical and empirical literature on capital controls and finds that capital controls can play an important role in developing countries by helping to insulate them from some of the harmful effects of volatile and short-term capital flows. CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot will debate the IMF on the topic of Capital Controls on April 23 - see below for more information.

Catch CEPR Co-Directors Live and In-Person
On April 22, 2010, Mark Weisbrot will participate in a panel discussion on Special Drawing Rights for Climate Finance. The event, sponsored by Action Aid and the Nature Conservancy, will be held at the World Bank as part of the Spring Meetings Civil Society Forum. Click here for more information.

On April 23, 2010, Mark will join Reza Baqir, deputy chief in the International Monetary Fund's Strategy, Policy, and Review Department in a discussion of capital controls. The event will be held at the World Bank as part of the Spring Meetings Civil Society Forum. Click here for more details.

Later that same day, Mark will take part in a discussion with Luis Arce, the Republic of Bolivia's Minister of Finance, on the country's economic growth over the last four years. The event, titled "Bolivia's Economic Success Story: Making the Economy Work for the Bolivian People", will be held at 2:30PM at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, DC. Click here for more information.

On April 24, 2010, Dean Baker will discuss themes from his book False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy at the Chazen Art Museum Auditorium on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, WI. The event, titled "The Origins of the Economic Crisis and the Way Out", is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by The Madison Institute. Details can be found here.

On April 26th, Dean will travel to Ottowa, Canada to participate in a parliamentary roundtable discussion on the G8/G20 agendas regarding the financial crisis, organized by Canadian civil society.

And on April 29th at 5:15PM, Dean will present a talk titled "The Second Great Depression: How Dumb Can We Be?" At Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. The event is open to the public - click here for more details.

New Features on CEPR's Website!

  • Beat the Press
    After a successful run on the American Prospect's website, Dean Baker's blog on economic reporting can now be found here, on CEPR's website. You can also become a fan of Beat the Press on Facebook.
  • A Revived CEPR Blog
    CEPR economists will soon take turns blogging about the important economic issues of the day. Check out what they have to say here starting April 26th.

Stay Tuned…

For Dean Baker's newest book: Taking Economic Seriously. The book, which is scheduled to be released by the MIT Press on April 30, 2010, provides an "an alternative Econ 101."

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