The following highlights CEPR’s latest research, publications, events, and much more.
CEPR on Trade and the Economy, Election 2016 Edition
CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker wrote for CNN how Trump’s economic agenda looks like more of the same Republican agenda.. He was also cited in an article for Fortune, agreeing with the headline “Trump Just Made a Huge Exaggeration About Small Businesses”. In an article in The Week, author Jeff Spross named Dean as one of eight members of a possible “economic dream team” in a Clinton administration, writing that Dean is “the antidote to the intellectual sclerosis and rigid narratives that so often bedevil mainstream economic policy thinking.” He also compared Dean and fellow economist and Jared Bernstein to another famous duo.
Meanwhile, CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot wrote that the historically important candidacy in this cycle was not Trump’s, but Bernie Sanders’, in an op-ed in The Hill. Mark also wrote a post for his “World in Transition” blog that answered the question, “Which Presidential Candidate is Worse for Latin America?” Mark did two video interviews on the US elections with Brazilian journalist Fernando Morais.
CEPR continued to focus on an issue that is front and center in the presidential campaign: trade. In this widely shared op-ed for The Hill, Mark explained how President Obama’s push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could drag down Democrats in the fall, while Dean penned a piece titled “Trade, Truth and Trump.” Dean also wrote an op-ed debunking TPP proponents’ claim that rejecting the TPP would jeopardize relations between the United States and Asia.
Dean wrote several posts about the TPP for Beat the Press, including these two posts that answer the Washington Post’s question, “if not the TPP, then what?” Dean also called out Politico, Robert Samuelson, and the New York Times, among others.
CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot is now doing regular weekly appearances on "The Big Picture" with one of the biggest voices in progressive broadcast media, Thom Hartmann! Mark appears on the program every Thursday to discuss some of the most important stories in the news. Some of the topics Mark has discussed with Thom so far include whether Obama's campaign for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will jeopardize Hillary Clinton's presidential bid; Clinton and Trump's respective economic plans and their respective foreign policy positions; the sharp differencesbetween Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, when it comes to trade policy; and the latest in Brazil's political coup and the US reaction to it. "The Big Picture" airs on RT weeknights at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and again at 10:00 p.m.; Mark is on for part of the show each Thursday.
Also this month, Mark discussed his book, “Failed: What the ‘Experts’ Got Wrong on the Global Economy” in a three-part interview with The Real News. Watch part one on the eurozone, part two on the IMF, and part three on Latin America. Mark also wrote a new piece for The Nation drawing on the IMF-related themes in the book, which in turn was cited an length in this MarketWatch op-ed, and wrote an article for the journal Challenge adapted from an excerpt of the book.
CEPR on Black Workers and Unions
CEPR released a paper that looks at trends in unionization for Black workers, focusing on unionization rates as well as the demographic composition of the Black union workforce. The paper, by CEPR Research Associate Cherrie Bucknor, also examines the impact of unionization on the wages and benefits of Black workers and uses data to show how these benefits work to reduce racial wage inequality.
Politico cited the paper in its daily email update on labor issues, and it was mentioned in this piece in The Atlantic. Cherrie discussed the paper in an interview with Chicago’s WVON radio. She was also on the Rick Smith show, listen here.
Click here to see a map that shows the five regions of the United States - south, northeast, midwest, pacific and west - and the percentage point change in Black workers in a union from 1983 to 2015.
CEPR on Rents
CEPR released two working papers by Dean that examine the impact of rents on the economy. The first analyzes the evidence for rents due to the patent and copyright systems for financing innovation and creative work. The second paper compares the compensation of highly paid professionals in the US and other countries to determine if higher wages in the US are due to protectionist measures that restrict competition.
CEPR on Brazil
CEPR continued to write about the coup underway in Brazil. Mark wrote an op-ed for The Hill that was also published in Portuguese by the Brazilian publications Viomundo and O Cafezinho. Mark noted that Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with Brazilian officials signaled support for the illegitimate government, and questioned why Kerry had yet to respond to a letter he’d received from 43 members of the US Congress expressing concern about the political impeachment of elected president Dilma Rousseff. Recently, CEPR board member Danny Glover was one of 22 international artists and intellectuals who signed a letter voicing support for Rousseff that was published widely in Brazil.
Mark’s most recent op-ed for The Hill warns that the current crisis threatens Brazil’s democracy, and that under the post-impeachment government of Michel Temer, “it could be a long time before the majority of Brazilians recover the living standards that they reached a couple of years ago.” Mark also discussed current events in Brazil (and Hillary Clinton’s role in the Honduran coup), in this episode of WPKN’s Counterpoint, and in this video interview for Brazilian journalist Fernando Morais’ Nocaute TV.
CEPR on Social Security
CEPR Research Assistant Nick Buffie wrote this blog post showing how the growing share of earnings going to the top one percent has led to an increase in the share of wage income escaping payroll taxation. CEPR released the post to highlight the 81st anniversary of Social Security on August 14th. CEPR and partners participated in a tweetstorm to raise awareness of the need to protect and preserve Social Security. Meanwhile Dean took the Washington Post to task for calling for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times cites a 2005 CEPR paper by former CEPR Economist Heather Boushey titled “”.
Dean was cited in an article in the Huffington Post on a new rule finalized by the Obama administration that will make it easier for states to enroll workers in government-sponsored retirement accounts.
CEPR on the Fed
Dean wrote this history lesson on the Fed raising interest rates for the Los Angeles Times. In this Beat the Press post, Dean highlights a good article about the Fed Up coalition in the NYT that quotes Kansas City Fed Bank President Esther George’s concern about inflation and the possibility of a rate hike. Dean points out in his post that Ester George has a history of being wrong about inflation for years. Here Dean notes that St. Louis Bank President Jim Bullard inadvertently made the case for the need for Fed reform in comments last week at the Fed’s annual retreat at Jackson Hole. Dean also wrote this post on the Fed’s two percent inflation target.
The Fed Up coalition, with whom CEPR works closely, recently sent a letter from the co-Chairs of the Congressional Full Employment Caucus to Fed Chair Janet Yellen to express gratitude for her recent efforts on diversity and full employment. They urged her to continue those efforts, including facilitating communication between Federal Reserve leadership and workers of color in Jackson Hole and/or elsewhere, as well as ensuring that the impact on workers and job-seekers of color is explicitly considered in upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decisions. Video of Fed Up meeting with the Fed in Jackson Hole can be seen here.
CEPR on Haiti
CEPR has played an instrumental role in support of efforts to hold the United Nations accountable for Haiti’s devastating cholera epidemic that was traced to the 2010 dumping of untreated waste from a UN troops’ camp. CEPR has authored numerous op-eds,statements, and blog posts ― as well as a policy paper ― on the ongoing epidemic, and has engaged the US media on the issue, including the New York Times editorial board, which has published several editorials calling for the UN to acknowledge its responsibility. CEPR has also partnered with other groups fighting on behalf of Haiti’s cholera victims ― most notably the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, which is suing the UN on behalf of over 6,000 cholera victims. On August 17, the UN Secretary General’s Office finally acknowledged “its own involvement” in causing the epidemic. CEPR applauds this announcement as a huge step forward toward holding the UN accountable, and hopes that it will further spur efforts to fully eradicate cholera in Haiti once and for all.
CEPR on Private Equity
CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum's book, Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street, was chosen by the Academy of Management as a finalist for theGeorge R. Terry Book Award - one of the four best management books for 2014 to 2016.
Beat the Press
In this post, Dean welcomes the return of the great economic expert “no one” (i.e. no one saw the housing bubble) to Robert Samuelson’s column. He also gave Samuelson an intro econ lesson. Here he takes on Charles Lane for “sleazing” Bernie Sanders, while here he says that Lane gets the story on home ownership partly right. Dean praised Steve Pearlstein for getting the robot story mostly right, while here he asked “What’s Wrong With Free Market Pricing” for prescription drugs. He also pondered what it means to have too many television shows.
CEPR Director of Domestic Policy Alan Barber wrote this post on the Affordable Care Act showing that opponents of the Act — also called “Obamacare” — were wrong when they claimed that the ACA was a job killer. (Dean also wrote an op-ed on the ACA calling on Democrats to talk about how to fix it.) In a post originally prepared for The Council for Contemporary Families, Alan and co-author Virginia Rutter of Framingham State University showed that TANF didn’t fight poverty, full employment did.
Tillie McInnis, CEPR’s domestic communications lead, wrote a blog piece about how unionization rates in the private sector are dramatically lower than the public sector. She also points out that unions don’t just provide better wages and benefits, but a place where low-income workers can have a larger say in the political system.
CEPR Research Assistant Nick Buffie wrote looking at the rise of childcare costs, we well as this one on the ride of involuntary part-time employment.
In Other CEPR News…
--CEPR released this announcement of a new project that will investigate the impact of health care restructuring on the quality of jobs and economic security of low-paid health care workers. The project, funded by the W.K, Kellogg Foundation, is headed by Eileen Appelbaum and Rosemary Batt of Cornell University.
--CEPR Program Assistant Kevin Cashman wrote an op-ed that was posted on Moyers and Company and elsewhere that argued for more public transportation, not Uber or self-driving cars. Meanwhile Dean asked “Will Uber go under?”.
--An article in The Conversation cites research by Mark and CEPR Economist David Rosnick that shows that a reduction in working hours generally correlates with marked reductions in energy consumption.
--In this op-ed that appeared in the Sacramento Bee as well as several other papers across the country, Dean writes there is nothing wrong with restricting corporations. Dean also debated the impact of the drop in home ownership for the NYT’s Room for Debate, and heappeared on KPFA’s Sunday Show Tax the Rich.
--CEPR Senior Research Associate Ha-Joon Chang discussed austerity with prominent UK journalist Owen Jones in this widely seen video for The Guardian.