March 18, 2012

Latin America Unites and the Challenge to U.S. Hegemony

12:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Pace University
Room E316
551 5th Ave
New York, N.Y. 10176

With the recent creation of yet another regional western hemispheric organization, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), alongside with the already existing Unasur and ALBA projects, Latin American integration moves forward and challenges US hegemony and imperialism. This panel, part of the larger Left Forum conference, discussed how real this challenge is to U.S. hegemony by examining the history of these challenges, its political-economic context, its relationship to social movements in the region, and the official goals of this process.

March 18, 2012

The Eurozone Crisis and Alternatives to Austerity: Debating & Debunking the Prevailing Myths

10:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Pace University
Room W615
551 5th Ave
New York, N.Y. 10176

The Eurozone crisis is being used to justify the erosion of workers' rights and the implementation of policies that would increase unemployment and have devastating ripple effects on the global economy for years to come. The conventional wisdom of key international institutions holds that European governments’ excessive spending on social safety nets created unsustainable levels of debt that ultimately brought about the crisis. But the crisis was precipitated, in large part, by the same institutional failures that caused the financial crisis in the United States, including lax regulations on reckless bankers and a housing bubble. The current failure of the European Central Bank to guarantee countries’ debts, combined with austerity policies demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, have created a downward spiral that merely exacerbates the crisis. This panel, part of the larger Left Forum conference, critically examined the assumptions made by these institutions and propose more effective policies and actions that could be taken to halt the crisis and prevent its spread to the rest of the world.

March 17, 2012

Accountability in Post Earthquake Haiti: Reconstruction Failures and the UN's Cholera Problem

5:00 p.m. - 6:40 p.m.
Pace University
Room E316
551 5th Ave
New York, N.Y. 10176

Even before the 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 Haitians, the Haitian people and their economy had been devastated by foreign intervention and neoliberal economic policies imposed by the United States and other powers. Today, half a million internally displaced persons (IDPs) still live in camps, and at least half of the rubble from destroyed buildings and infrastructure remains to be cleared. Much of the money pledged by the international community to help with reconstruction has yet to be spent, and the exclusion of Haitians from decision-making means there is little transparency and accountability around existing relief and reconstruction programs. In March 2011 the United States undermined Haitian democracy by supporting flawed elections in Haiti, and used threats to overturn the results. Meanwhile, the United Nations has refused to admit that it is responsible for a cholera outbreak that has killed over 7,000 Haitians. This panel, part of the larger Left Forum conference, discussed ongoing efforts to ensure the accountability of international actors and support the rights of Haitians to determine the future of their country.

April 4, 2012

99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It

6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Busboys & Poets
2021 14th Street NW
Washington, D.C., 20009

CEPR Board Member and IPS Fellow Chuck Collins discussed and signed his new book about "How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It." CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker moderated the event. Co-sponsors included IPS’ Inequality and the Common Good and New Economy Working Group projects, Teaching for Change bookstore, Busboys & Poets, Faith & Money Network, Empower DC, Democracy Collaborative, United for A Fair Economy, and Center for Economic and Policy Research. For more info, visit the event's website.

March 7, 2012

Kick-Off To Discussion Series On Low-Wage Work

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
The Aspen Institute
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C., 20036

The Workforce Strategies Initiative at the Aspen Institute kicked off its new discussion series "Reinventing Low-Wage Work: Ideas That Can Work for Employees, Employers and the Economy" with a conversation titled "From Fast Food to Fine Cuisine: A Discussion on Work in the Restaurant Industry." Invited speakers included Congresswoman Donna Edwards; Saru Jayaraman, executive director of Restaurant Opportunities Center United; Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys and Poets; and John Schmitt, senior economist for the Center for Economic and Policy Research. A video of the event is available below or after the jump.

March 5, 2012

How Does the Global Economy Impact WIC?

1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 430
50 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker took part in a panel discussion titled "How Does the Global Economy Impact WIC?" as part of the National WIC Association's 22nd Annual Washington Leadership Conference. Dean was joined on the panel by Robert Greenstein, director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Registration and agenda information can be found on the event's website.

March 9, 2012

The Crisis of Care Labor and Family Leave Policies

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
University of Oregon
Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics
175 Knight Law Center
1585 East 13th Avenue

Eugene, OR 97403

CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum took part in a panel discussion on "The Crisis of Care Labor and Family Leave Policies" as part of a larger conference on "Gender Equity and Capitalism." Other panelists included Victoria Lawson, professor of geography at the University of Washington; Debra Schwartz, SEIU 503 care provider division field coordinator; and Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts Amherst. More information on the conference can be found on the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics' website.

February 23, 2012

Hill Briefing on Minimum Wage

11:00 a.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 430
Washington, D.C. 20510

CEPR joined with the National Employment Law Project and the Economic Policy Institute to co-sponsor a well-attended briefing for congressional staffers on the minimum wage. John Schmitt walked congressional staffers through the extensive body of economic research that suggests that moderate increases in the minimum wage have little or no measurable impact on employment.

March 6, 2012

Transatlantic Perspectives on Current Financial and Economic Developments

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
George Mason University
School of Public Policy
Founders Hall 602
3351 Fairfax Drive

Arlington, VA, 22201

CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot took part in a roundtable discussion for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program titled "Transatlantic Perspectives on Current Financial and Economic Developments." Other panelists included Sonia Ketkar and Jeremy Mayer of George Mason University's School of Public Policy. Desmond Dinan, also of George Mason University's School of Public Policy,  moderated. The event was sponsored by George Mason University and The Streit Council.

February 24, 2012

The Impact of Social Policies and Workplace Law

11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Road Northwest
Washington, D.C.

In response to the rapid growth of low-wage work, policymakers have proposed a wide range of interventions and strategies, from traditional approaches like raising the minimum wage and unionization, to investing in primary and secondary education and job training, to intervening in the labor market with “living wage” laws and stepped-up labor law enforcement. Yet systematic empirical analysis of the efficacy of these various interventions is relatively scarce. Which policy strategies are most and least effective, and under what conditions have they succeeded or failed? How does each of them impact low-wage immigrants and African Americans in particular?

CEPR Senior Economists Eileen Appelbaum and John Schmitt took part in a panel discussion on "The Impact of Social Policies and Workplace Law" as part of a larger two-day conference titled "What Works for Workers? A Conference on Public Policies and Innovative Strategies for Low-Wage Workers." Registration for the conference, which is sponsored by Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, is $25. To RSVP, click here. Click here for a full agenda and paper abstracts.

February 15, 2012

Where the Jobs Are: Employment Trends and Analysis

10:15 a.m.
Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2123
45 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, D.C.

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held the first in its series of hearings entitled “Where the Jobs Are.” The hearing focused on “Employment Trends and Analysis." Participants giving testimony included:

  • John Abowd, Edmund Ezra Day Professor of Economics and director of the Labor Dynamics Institute at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
  • John Berlau, director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  • Harold Sirkin, managing director at Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
  • John Schmitt, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

A video of the testimony can be found below or after the jump.

February 16, 2012

Annual Steinhardt Lecture at Lewis & Clark College

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Lewis & Clark College of Arts and Sciences
Council Chamber, Templeton Center
0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road
Portland, OR, 97219

The economic debate between progressives and conservatives is routinely framed as a battle between progressives who support government intervention in the economy to promote equality and reduce poverty and conservatives who favor leaving things to the market. This “loser liberalism” framing, where the liberal agenda is about taxing the winners to help the losers, is likely to lead to bad policy outcomes and is also disastrous from a political standpoint.

CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker gave the college's annual Steinhardt Lecture, which covered some of the largely undiscussed government policies that redistribute income upwards. This list of policies includes patent and copyright protection, too big to fail insurance for large banks, and protectionist barriers that prop up the pay of doctors and other highly educated professionals. For more information, visit the event's website.

February 5, 2012

Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers

5 p.m. ET/2 p.m PT.

It’s no secret that hundreds of companies have been slashing pensions and health coverage earned by millions of retirees. Employers blame an aging workforce, stock market losses, and spiraling costs- what they call “a perfect storm” of external forces that has forced them to take drastic measures. But this so-called retirement crisis is no accident. In the new book, Retirement Heist, Ellen E. Schultz, award-winning investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, reveals how large companies and the retirement industry-benefits consultants, insurance companies, and banks-have all played a huge and hidden role in the death spiral of American pensions and benefits. CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker hosted a book salon on Firedoglake with Schultz.

February 10, 2012

Economic Mobility: What's the Problem and What to Do About It?

12:15 - 1:30 p.m.
New America Foundation

1899 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

In a recent speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, President Obama described how the prospects of upward mobility for a child born into poverty have dimmed substantially, and he identified the path to inclusive prosperity as "the defining issue of our time." But has the climb up the economic ladder really become more arduous? Have more families in the middle class fallen downward? What can and should be done to increase economic security and create opportunities for upward mobility? The New America Foundation sponsored a discussion with Scott Winship, fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution and former research manager with the Economic Mobility Project. Participants included Heather McGhee, director of the Demos Washington Office; Shawn Fremstad, a senior research associate at the Center for Economic Policy Research; and Reid Cramer, director of the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation.

A video of the event is available below or after the jump.

February 1, 2012

Rebuilding the Middle Class

9:00 - 10:30 a.m
Center for American Progress

1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

In the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama challenged Congress to pursue policies that recognize that a strong middle class is the key driver of economic growth. He stressed that the United States will not have an economy that works until it has one that works for all Americans. At an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee, talked about what he's learned from the series of HELP Committee hearings and events on the decline of the middle class, and outlined a policy agenda that puts the middle class first. Senator Harkin's remarks were followed by a panel of distinguished economists and policy analysts exploring how the middle class is a key engine of economic growth. The panelists included:

  • Heather Boushey, Senior Economist, Center for American Progress
  • Isabel Sawhill, Senior Fellow of Economic Studies, Brookings Institution
  • John Schmitt, Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research

A video of the event is available below or after the jump.

February 4, 2012

Green Night Out

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Singapore Vegetarian Kosher Chinese Restaurant

1006 Race Street, Chinatown
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

CEPR Senior Economist Eileen Appelbaum discussed "Paid Family Leave and Paid Sick Days: What Activists Need to Know and What They Can Do About It" at an event sponsored by The Green Party. The event also featured an endless supply of vegetarian kosher Chinese food for only $25 per person.

January 25, 2012

CEPR: Haiti Events on the Hill

Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C.

CEPR's Mark Weisbrot participated in a series of congressional panels on Haiti on the Hill — part of a Congressional Schedule of Events that took place Jan. 24-25.

January 24, 2012

CEPR: Haiti Events on the Hill

Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C.

CEPR's Mark Weisbrot participated in a series of congressional panels on Haiti on the Hill — part of a Congressional Schedule of Events that took place Jan. 24-25.

February 3, 2012

Empire Unplugged: A Salon with Dean Baker & Jeffrey Tucker on the Federal Reserve

8:00 p.m.
Montserrat House

2016 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Is the Federal Reserve a legitimate or illegitimate institution? What is the case for it and against it? CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker took part in a debate with Jeffrey Tucker, an Austrian economics advocate, executive editor of Laissez Faire Books and former editorial vice president of The Mises Institute.

January 19, 2012

Looking Ahead: State Leaders, National Experts Separate Fact From Fiction on Public Pensions

11:00 a.m.
The National Press Club

529 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20045

CEPR Co-Director Dean Baker took part in a briefing sponsored by the National Public Pension Coalition to address the unprecedented number of proposals in states to chip away at the foundations of America’s public pension systems. The briefing separated fact from fiction on budget and policy proposals regarding defined benefit pensions and experts explained how recent proposals to diminish retirement security will affect millions of teachers, cops, firefighters and other dedicated public servants. The event also featured a recent retiree from Rhode Island whose story underscores the danger of pension-cutting plans in the states and from those in Congress by Senator Orrin Hatch.

February 1, 2012

Debate: Progressive Economics and the Great Recession

9:30 - 11:00 a.m
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

1101 K Street (Suite 601A)
Washington, DC 20005

The Great Recession has given way to a less-than-great recovery and the pressure is on for Washington to respond. ITIF President Rob Atkinson has taken on traditional Keynesians for pushing for additional public pump priming and for what he sees as their focus on distribution of the economic pie rather than the growth of the pie. But Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, rejects Atkinson's critique. The event was moderated by American Public Media's John Dimsdale.

A video of the event can be found below or after the jump.