The following highlights CEPR’s latest research, publications, events, and much more from September.
CEPR on New York Paid Sick Days
“New York City Passed Paid Sick Leave, and Guess What? It Didn’t Kill Any Jobs.” That was the headline of a recent article in Slate magazine on CEPR’s report “No Big Deal: The Impact of New York City’s Paid Sick Days Law on Employers.” The report, by CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman of CUNY, shows that the standard arguments against the City’s paid sick days law were unfounded. They found that not only was the new law a “non-event” for most employers, it also extended paid sick days to millions of workers in the City who previously lacked access to them.
President Obama was asked about Eileen’s paper in an interview, and he responded with a reference to Eileen’s previous research on Connecticut’s paid sick days law: “It’s pretty telling that only about one in 10 businesses self-reported any increased costs because of the new requirement. We’ve seen a similar trend in other places. Many businesses initially opposed the first state paid sick days law in Connecticut, yet within a few years a survey showed a similar result — that an overwhelming majority of businesses reported only small or no effects on their bottom line, and three-quarters now report being supportive of the new policy.”
The report was shared by many groups working on expanding paid leave. Eileen was interviewed on the paper by NPR’s Marketplace and Eileen and Ruth penned this op-ed for the Huffington Post, while Media Matters wrote on the study as did Next City.
CEPR on US-Funded Anticrime Programs in Central America
The Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt University published the only publicly available data-based impact assessment study of community-based violence prevention programs implemented under the US State Department’s Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). This month, CEPR released a paper by Economist David Rosnick, Senior Associate for International Policy Alexander Main, and former International Program Intern Laura Jung that examines the data collected during the LAPOP study and subjects them to a number of statistical tests. The authors find that the LAPOP study cannot support the conclusion that areas subject to treatment in the CARSI programs showed better results than areas that were not. The report was written up in In These Times and The Nation Report (which also included an audio interview with Laura).
The executive summary is available in Spanish here.
Laura recently traveled to Honduras to have a firsthand look at how funding for CARSI and the US-supported “Alliance for Prosperity Plan” is being spent and accounted for. Laura chronicled her trip for CEPR’s Americas Blog, noting “there is no data that supports the claims of State Department officials or USAID that the interventions being implemented in Honduras, or in the Northern Triangle in general, are having a positive (or any) effect.”
CEPR on the Labor Market and Jobs
A new paper by CEPR Research Assistant Nick Buffie shows that the US labor market is still weak despite the low unemployment rate. Nick’s research indicates that the economy is about two-thirds recovered from the Great Recession. Nick’s paper was cited in this piece in Bloomberg News, and Nick was quoted in several articles including this one in the Baltimore Sun and this one in Zero Hedge. Nick also discussed his findings with RK Eskow on his radio show The Zero Hour. Mark discussed the paper with Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture.
In other jobs news, Dean weighed in on the September jobs report, here.
CEPR on Brazil
Following the August 31 vote to impeach Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, CEPR Senior Associate for International Programs Alexander Main was interviewed by The Real News on the situation in Brazil. Despite growing public opposition to President Michel Temer’s coup regime, Alex noted that “we are unlikely to see [Temer] concede to public pressure.” You can watch the interview here. Alex will speak at a brownbag lunch event on the latest in Brazil on October 6 at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC (details here).
Co-Director Mark Weisbrot appeared on The Real News in a separate interview, in which he criticized media coverage of the coup against Rousseff and of the economic context behind it: “[The media] really seem to ignore that the reason they had this recession and the reason it's been so deep and the reason that Dilma got into trouble is because of the austerity.” The economic situation is likely to worsen under the even harsher austerity policies being forced through by Temer, Mark noted. Mark offered an additional perspective on what has been missing from media coverage of Brazil in this interview with FAIR’s “Counterspin.”
Mark also referenced the Brazil coup in this article for The Nation on Human Rights Watch (HRW). Mark points out that the cause of human rights is hurt when the policies of US human rights organizations like HRW become too closely aligned with US foreign policy. Mark noted that HRW didn’t condemn the coup against Rousseff; rather “the executive director of its Americas Division, José Miguel Vivanco, was quoted in the Brazilian media — on the day that the Brazilian Senate voted to permanently oust the president — saying Brazilians ‘should be proud of the example they are giving the world.’” Mark also noted: “Vivanco also appeared to endorse the political persecution of Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, while praising her replacement, the right-wing, U.S.-backed Mauricio Macri.”
CEPR on the Presidential Debate
Fact checkers have been turning to CEPR throughout this election cycle, and the coverage of the first presidential debate this month continued the pattern. Factcheck.org cited former CEPR International Intern Ming Chun Tang’s blog post from May that highlights deletions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the paperback version of Hillary Clinton’s memoir “Hard Choices.” The piece was reposted by numerous outlets, including the online version of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Meanwhile Dean weighed in on the candidates’ tax plans in an article in Inc. titled “4 Things to Expect in the First Presidential Debate of 2016.” Both Mark and Dean were featured in this NPR piece that compared the candidates’ economic plans and Dean’s tweet setting the record straight on job growth during the debate was featured in this article in Time. Mark also discussed NAFTA’s record in Mexico when Trump traveled to Mexico this month, on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann.
CEPR on Black Workers
CEPR’s August 2016 paper on black workers and unions continued to receive attention this past month. The paper’s author, CEPR Research Associate Cherrie Bucknor, and CEPR Director of Domestic Policy Alan Barber recorded this video on the paper’s main findings, and it was cited in a variety of publications including USA Today, the Huffington Post, The Hill, Think Progress, and the Daily Kos.
CEPR on EpiPens and Trade
Dean weighed in on the EpiPen scandal, noting that the life-saving drug would likely sell for between $10 and $20 per pack in a free market rather than the $600 current list price. Dean explained that this type of outrageous drug pricing would continue under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. He was quoted in this article in the Nation titled “Five Myths About the EpiPen Scandal,” and he wrote this Beat the Press post on Mylan’s, the corporation that makes EpiPens, lobbying efforts to have its product labeled as a preventive drug by the federal government.
Dean wrote several additional BTP posts on trade and the TPP, including critiques of articles in both the New York Times (twice) and the Washington Post. Dean was also cited in this article in Politico on how the Democrats lost touch on trade, while Mark discussed Obama’s views on the TPP, the IMF and other issues on RT’s The Big Picture with Thom Hartman.
CEPR on Haiti
CEPR Research Associate Jake Johnston wrote a widely read and discussed new post for the “Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch” blog examining years-old emails between then secretary of state Hillary Clinton, her staff, and staff of the Clinton Foundation. The emails demonstrate again ― as previously evidenced through our statistical analysis of ballot sheets, and through the revelations of an Organization of American States whistleblower ― that the US State Department overturned Haiti’s 2010 presidential elections. Jake notes that the emails are “perhaps the clearest evidence to date that key officials, even within the Clinton camp, viewed the US intervention in the 2010 Haitian election as decisive.” The post was reprinted in various outlets, including the international newspaper Haïti Liberté, and translated into French and published by Haiti’s leading newspaper, Le Nouvelliste.
Jake was also quoted in a Circa piece on US rebuilding efforts in Haiti, footage from which was broadcast on numerous US TV news outlets. Jake’s work on USAID and aid accountability was also cited in this investigative article in Slate.
Jake will be in Haiti for the upcoming elections on October 9. CEPR board member Danny Glover wrote this piece for the Huffington Post on the historic elections, which could lead to Haiti’s first elected woman president, and which are not being funded by the US.
Beat the Press
Dean reminded the Associated Press that Social Security is NOT the main driver of the country’s long-term budget problem and he offered a simple way to crack down on Apple’s tax games. He also took the media to task for covering up mistakes made by economists (as exemplified by a NYT piece on trade).
Nick wrote several pieces for the CEPR Blog this past month, including this post on the plight of the long-term unemployed, this one looks at household size and inequality and this one analyzes America’s culture of overwork. Nick wrote a piece asking whether the Fed’s short term inflation rate target should be greater than two percent, he noted that private sector employment has flourished more under Democrats than under Republicans (in a separate post he found that the ranks of the uninsured have declined more under Democratic Governors than under Republican ones). Nick also looked at workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance, concluding that disabled workers are not a “growing burden” on the budget as some have suggested.
CEPR Director of Domestic Policy Alan Barber, penned this post noting that the percentage of uninsured Americans has fallen under the Affordable Care Act, while Domestic Program Intern Lara Merling noted that black women are the only age group more likely to work multiple jobs now than 10 years ago. Lara also calculated the cost of a government shutdown. Eileen wrote a post that asked "PE Firms Give up Equity Stake in Caesars Entertainment to Settle Bankruptcy: Who Are the Real Losers?"
In Other CEPR News
—Here is Dean on CNBC’s Squawk Box: Trumpanomics is 'Groundhog Day' that doesn't work.
—David wrote this article for NACLA’s Report on the Americas refuting myths around the Latin American commodities “bust.”
—Mark wrote this op-ed for The Hill examining economic topics in President Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly, which Mark also discussed with Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture.
—“The WikiLeaks Files” is now available in paperback from Verso Books, featuring two chapters on Latin America and the Caribbean by CEPR’s Dan Beeton, Jake Johnston, and Alexander Main!
—Dean spoke about full employment at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference.