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

CEPR on the Road
CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker has been busy speaking about the tax deal and debating the deficit hawks. On December 1st, he was on a panel about the Fiscal Commission and alternative progressive blueprints for economic recovery with Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz at the National Press Club. On December 16th he appeared on a panel on the effects of deficit reduction on the disadvantaged at the Brookings Institution. (You can watch a video of the panel here). And the very next day he was at the Aspen Institute, debating Grover Norquist and Andrew Stern on the “Contours of US Deficit Reduction”. You can hear what Dean had to say about “shared sacrifice” here.

Dean also took to the airwaves as well, talking taxes on Bloomberg TV and about the Deficit Commission on PBS' Nightly Business Report.

CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum was at the Department of Labor last week, meeting with top officials to share the results of a study she completed with CUNY’s Ruth Milkman on the effects of California’s Paid Family Leave law, six years after its implementation. Look for the formal release of the paper in mid-January, including events in both Sacramento, CA and Washington, DC.

CEPR Director of Domestic Policy Nicole Woo was a panelist at a conference held by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) on December 10th.  She presented CEPR's research on AAPI workers and recommended improvements to the data collected about AAPIs in the Census Bureau's main data sets.

CEPR On the Elections in Haiti

CEPR Policy Analyst Alex Main was in Haiti during the last week of November with delegates from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, TransAfrica Forum and other organizations.  Together with Haitian civil society organizations, the delegation carried out independent electoral monitoring of Haiti’s November 27th presidential and legislative elections.  CEPR co-Director Mark Weisbrot and International Communications Coordinator Dan Beeton were among many who warned that the elections would not be free, fair and inclusive, and Alex’s visits to numerous voting centers on election day confirmed their misgivings.  As described in a live blog on the day of the elections and in the “Preliminary Observations” of the monitoring team, the electoral process was marred by irregularities, the inability of many voters to cast their ballots and attacks on voting centers.  On the evening of November 27th CEPR issued a widely reported press release on the “electoral sham”  that had taken place and both Alex and Mark gave numerous radio and television interviews detailing the reasons why the elections would exacerbate the country’s political crisis, rather than lead to political stability as the US administration and other international actors had promised. 

CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog provides extended coverage of the elections, as well as other news related to Haiti.

CEPR’s Take on President Obama's Tax Cut Compromise:
It leaves a lot to be desired. Although it does contain a much-needed extension of unemployment benefits, CEPR experts Eileen Appelbaum, Dean Baker, and Shawn Fremstad explain how the plan falls short in other areas. 

CEPR on Venezuelan Media and Wikileaks
CEPR released a paper on Venezuela in December. The brief, “Television in Venezuela: Who Dominates the Media?”, examines data on Venezuelan TV audiences that contradicts the widely believed -- and widely reported -- claim that the Chávez government dominates the television media.

CEPR has also been closely following the Wikileaks cables on Venezuela as well as other countries that CEPR covers. CEPR Research Associate Rebecca Ray has been monitoring the Wikileaks releases, here writing in the CEPR Blog about cables released by Wikileaks related to Venezuela’s recent cooperation agreements with Iran and Russia. CEPR has been also been analyzing the State Department documents released by Wikileaks related to Haiti and the UN mission there. These documents provide important information on US foreign policy and CEPR will provide more analysis as they continue to be made available.

CEPR on the College Conundrum

CEPR Senior Economist John Schmitt co-authored a paper with Heather Boushey, at the Center for American Progress (CAP). The paper, “The College Conundrum”, describes how for many young people, the economic case for attending college may not be as clear cut as it appears based on the experience of the average graduate.

The paper was released in connection with a conference on “The Future of American Jobs ” held at CAP on December 3, 2010.

Praise for Beat the Press

David Cay Johnston, writing in the Neiman Reports, from the Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University:

“Every morning I read “Beat the Press” on the Center for Economic and Policy Research website, which is liberal economist Dean Baker’s critique of the economic theory, policy and 'facts' he finds on the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other media outlets. Baker routinely picks apart articles that are as far from reality as a weather story that says the sun rose in the West.” You can read the rest of the article here.

LERA Conference
Eileen Appelbaum is the current President of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) and she is program chair for LERA’s 63rd annual meeting, to be held in Denver on January 6 – 9, 2011. The theme of this year’s conference is “Employment Relations of Economic Recovery and Sustained Growth”. More information on the conference can be found here.

CEPR “Hit” the Million Mark!

Hits to CEPR’s website, that is. CEPR surpassed 1,000,000 hits to our website in 2010, an impressive increase over the 450,000 in 2009. Thanks to all visitors to CEPR’s site, and to our many Facebook, Twitter and Reddit fans and supporters. We appreciate your support.