The following highlights CEPR’s latest research, publications, events, and much more.
Dean’s New Book
CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker’s new book, Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer, is now available! His book shows that upward redistribution was not the result of globalization and the natural workings of the market. Rather, it was the result of conscious policies that were designed to put downward pressure on the wages of ordinary workers while protecting and enhancing the incomes of those at the top. Dean explains how rules on trade, patents, copyrights, corporate governance, and macroeconomic policy were rigged to make income flow upward.
Dean wrote a piece for the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)’s blog that elaborates on the central theme of the book, and the first chapter was featured in Naked Capitalism. He also wrote for PBS NewsHour how intellectual property rules help the rich and hurt the poor. Dean was interviewed on the Thom Hartman show twice, first by Alex Lawson (Social Security Works) and then by Thom himself, and Dean’s views were cited in this op-ed in the Toronto Star on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
CEPR on Trade
Dean wrote this op-ed on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and “free” trade. Dean also wrote numerous posts for his blog, "Beat the Press," on the media’s coverage of trade issues, including this one that clarifies a piece on (“the usually excellent”) NPR show This American Life on NAFTA. Dean also took The New York Times to task for pushing NAFTA and for promoting protectionism for doctors, dentists, pharma and the entertainment industry. He also analyzed an NYT piece on the trends in trade.
Many of CEPR’s analyses of the TPP and other trade deals were written in the context of the presidential race. Dean wrote an op-ed for The Hankyoreh called “Apologies for Trump” that discussed Donald Trump’s position on trade, and he was cited in this Think Progress piece that looked at Trump’s proposals. In this post for Beat the Press, Dean says that Trump is not all wrong on trade, while in this one he notes that Trump is closer to the mark than CNN.
CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot weighed in with this op-ed for The Hill that noted that the stock market’s fear of a Trump presidency could be the final nail in the candidacy’s coffin. Mark also discussed the “Trump stock market crash” on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, and later the respective economic platforms of Trump and Clinton.
In other trade news, CEPR Senior Associate for International Policy Alexander Main participated in a congressional briefing on how the TPP would fail migrant workers and fuel displacement. Alex was joined by Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO Trade and Globalization Specialist; Shannon Lederer, Director of Immigration, AFL-CIO; and Abel Núñez, Alianza Americas, CARECEN-DC. Alex participated in a press call prior to the briefing, which was covered by Inside US Trade.
CEPR Director of International Programs Deborah James wrote this op-ed for the Huffington Post on documents recently released by WikiLeaks on negotiations by the European Union over the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). The documents show that the EU demands included a lock-in of privatization of public services in developing countries, financial services deregulation, and antidevelopment provisions. Deborah discussed these revelations in this interview with The Real News, and was cited in this Common Dreams article.
CEPR on Private Equity
CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum wrote a report that looks at the impact of private equity’s leveraged buyout of a struggling non-profit hospital chain.
Both Eileen and Dean were cited in this article by David Sirota for the International Business Times on top Hillary Clinton donor and Blackstone Group president, Tony James’, retirement savings proposal. Eileen commented on that plan, which would replace individual 401Ks with individual retirement accounts managed by private financial firms, saying This proposal is about Wall Street getting more assets under management because that is where they make their money,” she said. “Why would we put more retirement savings into private hands when Social Security or the Thrift Savings Plan could do the same at almost no cost?”
CEPR on Haiti
Haiti was again in the news because of a natural disaster ― this time the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. CEPR analysts had an influence on media coverage, cautioning against mistakes that characterized much of the 2010 earthquake response. Research Associate Jake Johnston was cited in articles in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Reuters, and this op-ed from the Toronto Star on the effects of the hurricane and what lessons from the post-earthquake efforts could be applied to the hurricane relief. Both Jake and CEPR International Communications Director Dan Beeton were cited in this AlterNet article on UN and US government responsibility for Haiti’s ongoing and (in the wake of Hurricane Matthew) worsening cholera epidemic. Jake also he appeared in two episodes of Al Jazeera’s The Stream: the first examining what reforms to the international disaster response in Haiti are needed, and then in an episode focused on cholera and the (recently postponed again) elections. Other guests included Garry Pierre, founder, The Haitian Times; CEPR board member, actor, and activist Danny Glover; Stephane Vincent, chief information officer, Office of Haiti’s Prime Minister, and Ninaj Raoul, executive director, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees. Meanwhile, Mark commented on Haiti and Hurricane Matthew on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann.
Jake was also interviewed by ABC News for investigative stories on overlap between the Clinton Foundation and the Hillary Clinton-run State Department in Haiti. Jake appears in this video report, and is cited in two articles: the first looks at what Clinton emails reveal about “friends of Bill [Clinton]” who sought postquake contracts in Haiti; the other examines why the Clintons pushed development of an industrial park after the earthquake ― one where workers labor in sweatshop conditions. The reports were in turn the subject of much media commentary, including this panel discussion on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.
Jake wrote this post for CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog that analyzed where the funds the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) flash appeal were designated. Jake was in Haiti to cover the elections, which were supposed to take place on October 9, but were postponed due to the hurricane. Jake visited some of the areas most affected by the hurricane, and his latest piece for the Haiti blog describes the devastation in the context of the elections. Jake notes in the post: “Some 30 percent of voting centers remained inaccessible in the most impacted areas according to the report compiled by the Organization of American States (OAS), while of those that were visited, 70 percent were rendered inoperable. The storm-ravaged departments are home to roughly one million of Haiti’s approximately 5.9 million registered voters.”
CEPR on Paid Sick Days
The Department of Labor finalized a regulation to implement the President's Executive Order requiring federal contractors to provide their workers up to 56 hours of paid sick leave in a year. An op-ed in CNN Money written in support of paid sick days by Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Margot Dorfman, CEO off the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce cited CEPR Economist Eileen Appelbaum’s recent report on employers’ experiences with paid sick days in New York City.
CEPR Domestic Policy Communications Associate Tillie McInnis wrote this post for the CEPR Blog on what paid sick days mean for survivors of domestic violence.
CEPR on Venezuela
Mark wrote an op-ed titled “Can the Venezuelan Economy Be Fixed?” that appeared in several publications, including Le Monde diplomatique en español, Truthout, and Globedia. Mark discussed some of the points raised in the op-ed on Democracy Now! last week.
CEPR on the Debt
Dean was cited in The Nation on Chris Wallace’s line of questioning in the third presidential debate. The author wrote: “Noting that the Fox host’s line of questioning about debt issues extended from projections that have been proven to be “repeatedly wrong,” economist Dean Baker generously observed that “Chris Wallace is over his head.””
Dean wrote about Wallace’s comments in this Beat the Press post.
Dean elaborated on debt misconceptions in this op-ed. In this Beat the Press post he explains how Paul Volcker and Pete Peterson are wrong on the debt, while here he notes that just in time for Halloween, the annual Social Security scare story will be coming up, courtesy of Bloomberg News.
CEPR on Latin America
Mark’s op-ed for The Hill, “Honduran Opposition Leaders Being Murdered While Washington Pours in Money to Repressive Government and Military,” appeared in Spanish in several publications, including El Libertador and Criterio. Dan was cited in this NACLA article about ongoing US support for the Honduran security forces despite the recent assassinations of land rights activists, and assassination attempts on leaders of the slain Berta Cáceres’ organization, COPINH.
CEPR Economist David Rosnick has an article in the latest issue of the NACLA Report on the Americas examining whether the economic growth bounce-back of the 2000s in South America was really mostly due to a “commodities boom,” as many media reports and commentaries suggest, and in turn whether the recent fall-off in growth is due to a “commodities bust.”
Alex discussed U.S. support for the coup in Brazil on WPKN (in Bridgeport, CT) radio’s Counterpoint, while on The Big Picture, Mark questioned why Human Rights Watch would also support Dilma Rousseff’s ouster in Brazil while opposing the peace deal in Colombia.
CEPR on the Failures of Austerity
Mark was interviewed in the latest issue of La Circular, the official magazine of Spain’s progressive Podemos party, on the failures of austerity in the eurozone, what to expect from the US elections, and much more. Such neoliberal policies “have ossified economic growth paths of nations,” according to a review of Mark’s book, Failed: What the ‘Experts’ Got Wrong About the Global Economy that appeared in India’s Financial Express this month. “Failed is a strongly and passionately worded book on how blindly following the western doctrine could be harmful,” reviewer Madan Sabnavis writes.
CEPR Domestic Program Intern Lara Merling wrote several posts for the CEPR Blog this past month, including one that shows that the employment rate for women in other countries is increasing while it’s the opposite for women in the US. Lara also showed that the US trails other countries in work life balance and in this post she looked at whether government sector jobs are becoming less appealing.
CEPR Research Assistant Nick Buffie also wrote numerous posts including this one on income inequality of households and individuals and another on Mike Pence’s regressive economic policy agenda. Tillie teamed up with Nick to write this post on the unemployment rate that references Nick’s recent paper “The Case for a Weak Labor Market.” And Dean weighed in with posts on both job and GDP growth.
The World in Transition Blog
In this post, Mark notes that recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan didn’t care much for the “Masters of War”...
Beat the Press
Dean wrote several posts (here and here) on the problem of focusing on men not working (AKA the problem with the problem with men). He took on BTP fave Robert Samuelson (here and here) and called out Thomas Friedman and Robert Rubin, who he notes missed both the stock and housing bubble despite being a “genius of capital markets.”
Lara wrote this post looking at what state EPOPs reveal about full employment. Lara teamed up with Dean to pen two other posts (here and here) on the “austerity tax.” Dean also wrote several posts on the Affordable Care Act, including this one showing that more people are insured for less and this one noting that the New York Times report on the sharp slowing of insurance costs under Obamacare (just kidding). He also noted that the Washington Post’s fact check on the ACA is not exactly right.
CEPR Events, Past and Future
Alex participated in brown bag on October 6 at the Institute for Policy Studies on the recent coup in Brazil that resulted in the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. The panel discussed events leading up to the coup and what social justice movements in Brazil need moving forward. Other panelists included Azadeh Shahshahani, legal and advocacy director with Project South and a past president of the National Lawyers Guild; and Aline Cristiane Piva, a Brazilian political analyst on media relations in Brazil, and a research fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Watch the video here, or listen to the audio here.
On November 9, CEPR Director of Domestic Policy Alan Barber will participate in an election debrief on “Next Steps for the Progressive Movement” at the Institute for Policy Studies. Click here for more information.
On November 14, Mark will be a panelist in a symposium sponsored by Economists for Peace and Security titled “Challenges for the New US President.” Mark’s panel, “Global Security: Russia, China, Europe and Latin America,” will be chaired by Richard Kaufman of the Bethesda Research Institute, and includes Michael Lind of New America, Matias Vernengo of Bucknell University, and Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. More information can be found here, and you can register here.
And on November 17, Dean will be panelist at an event looking at what a genuinely comprehensive tax reform and progressive fiscal policy could look like in the next White House. Sponsored by The Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative and the Economic Policy Institute, the panel includes several prominent speakers as well as Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and House Ways and Means Ranking Democratic leader, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI). For more information click here.