Daily Digest - August 28: Read This Before Your Internet Goes Out

Aug 28, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Time Warner Cable Internet Outage Affects Millions (Vanity Fair)

Kia Makarechi speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford, who says that lack of competition and oversight leads to problems like yesterday's Internet outage on the East Coast.

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Time Warner Cable Internet Outage Affects Millions (Vanity Fair)

Kia Makarechi speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford, who says that lack of competition and oversight leads to problems like yesterday's Internet outage on the East Coast.

How Obamacare Can End Bloated CEO Pay (Fortune)

A little-known provision in the Affordable Care Act closes the executive performance pay loophole, but just for insurance companies, writes Sarah Anderson.

The Sorry State of Bank Apologies (ProPublica)

Non-specific corporate apologies are becoming de rigueur in settlements with banks, but Jesse Eisinger says these apologies aren't enough to resolve the banks' bad behavior.

The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism (NYT)

Thomas Edsall defines poverty capitalism as the shifting of the costs of essential government onto the poor, as in offender-funded law enforcement systems in places like Ferguson, MO.

Court Finds FedEx Drivers are Employees, not Independent Contractors (Sacramento Business Journal)

A federal appeals court's ruling on this class-action suit may require FedEx to pay 2,300 drivers millions of dollars in back pay, uniform and truck costs, and more, writes Kathy Robertson.

40 Percent of Restaurant Workers Live in Near-Poverty (MoJo)

Tom Philpott looks at a new report from the Economic Policy Institute on poverty in the restaurant industry, which shows stagnant wages, few benefits, and limited opportunities for advancement.

Caught on Tape: What Mitch McConnell Complained About to a Roomful of Billionaires (The Nation)

In this exclusive, Lauren Windsor reports on a speech Senator McConnell made at a Koch brothers gathering, in which he stated his intent to defund, among other things, Dodd-Frank financial reform.

Share This

Daily Digest - August 25: The Mortgage Crisis, Act 2

Aug 25, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

You Thought the Mortgage Crisis Was Over? It's About to Flare Up Again (TNR)

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

You Thought the Mortgage Crisis Was Over? It's About to Flare Up Again (TNR)

With a large number of mortgage relief measures scheduled to end in the coming year, David Dayen says that many foreclosures will seem as though they were only deferred from 2008.

Why the Robots Might Not Take Our Jobs After All: They Lack Common Sense (NYT)

Neil Irwin reports on MIT labor scholar David Autor's new paper, which argues that robots can't handle common-sense decision making, so they'll only be able to replace certain kinds of jobs.

  • Roosevelt Take: Autor presented a version of this scenario in his video speculation for the Next American Economy project.

Middle Class is Excluded from America's Economic 'Recovery' (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore points out that the recovery isn't much of one for most Americans, and the economists who gathered in Jackson Hole this weekend can't do much to fix that.

Fed Chair Cautious on Timing of Rate Rises, Questions Health of Job Market (AJAM)

Janet Yellen's first speech at the Jackson Hole conference defended her approach, arguing that caution is still needed because the long-term effects of the recession aren't yet clear.

Could America Accept Another FDR? (WaPo)

Fred Hiatt wonders whether modern political discourse and journalism would permit another person like Franklin D. Roosevelt, with his illness and complicated family, to make it to the White House.

Middle Class Households' Wealth Fell 35 Percent from 2005 to 2011 (Vox)

Danielle Kurtzleben reports on new data from the Census Bureau, which shows a dramatic change in U.S. households' net worth, particularly for the bottom three quintiles.

New on Next New Deal

The Ferguson Challenge to the Libertarians

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal says the profit-motivated criminal justice system in Ferguson, heavy on court fees and fines, looks a lot like the libertarian ideal of privatization – and it isn't working.

Share This

Daily Digest - August 5: Basic Needs Shouldn't Need to Be Bought

Aug 5, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

The Real Solution to Wealth Inequality (The Nation)

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

The Real Solution to Wealth Inequality (The Nation)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert write that instead of trying to increase individuals' purchasing power, basic needs should just be taken off the market altogether.

Why Is the Economy Still Weak? Blame These Five Sectors (NYT)

Neil Irwin examines the possible causes for the underperformance of several economic sectors based on careful predictions of what their output ought to be in a healthier economy.

The NLRB-McDonald's Ruling Could be the Beginning of a Franchise War (LA Times)

Michael Hiltzik suggests that as the National Labor Relations Board places more responsibility on franchisors like McDonald's, those companies will try to pass costs to their franchisees.

A University President Gave up $90,000 to Give His Minimum Wage Workers a Raise (Vox)

By reducing his own salary, the interim president of Kentucky State University has ensured a raise from $7.25 an hour to $10.25 an hour for the school's lowest-paid workers.

As Congress Adjourns, GOP Declares “Omission Accomplished” (OurFuture.org)

Congress left for summer recess with the GOP having blocked almost everything from passing, but Richard Eskow also calls out the Democrats for failing to give them more progressive proposals to block.

The United States Needs Corporate 'Loyalty Oaths' (The Daily Beast)

"Non-desertion agreements" as requirements for federal contractors would help to ensure companies choose to pay U.S. corporate taxes, writes Jonathan Alter.

New on Next New Deal

Will Syracuse Become New York's Second Economic Capital?

In her video speculation for the Next American Economy project, Amy Liu, Co-Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, predicts cities will step up as drivers of innovation and investment.

Share This

Daily Digest - July 23: It's Been a Good Year for Financial Reform

Jul 23, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Ignore the Naysayers: Dodd-Frank Reforms Are Finally Paying Off (TNR)

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Ignore the Naysayers: Dodd-Frank Reforms Are Finally Paying Off (TNR)

The past year has seen important successes, like higher capital requirements, writes Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal, and the next steps for financial reform are getting clearer.

We’re Arresting Poor Mothers for Our Own Failures (The Nation)

Bryce Covert points to the policy failures of welfare reform, which requires parents to work or look for work to receive benefits but hasn't provided for child care, leading to recent high-profile arrests.

Obama to Sign Bill Improving Worker Training (Time)

In the first significant legislative reform to job training in a decade, Maya Rhodan says the Obama administration and Congress put training programs on a more forward-looking path.

SEC Is Set to Approve Money-Fund Rules (WSJ)

The new rules target institutional investors over individuals, says Andrew Ackerman, aiming to train investors to accept fluctuations and prevent panicked mass sell-offs.

TaskRabbit Redux (New Yorker)

Adrienne Raphel writes that TaskRabbit's recent relaunch makes it more clear that for all their marketing, online tools for hiring labor or transportation are about commerce, not community.

New on Next New Deal

Dr. Strangelove and the Halbig Decision

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal points out the fallacy in right-wing claims that there is a "doomsday machine" in the Affordable Care Act: doomsday machines only work if you tell people about them.

Full-Time Employment May Give Way to a Free Agent Economy

In his speculation on the future for the Next American Economy project, Carl Camden, CEO of Kelly Services, suggests that temporary employment firms like his will become the purveyors of social services.

Share This

What Will the American Economy Look Like 26 Years From Today?

Jul 21, 2014Bo Cutter

Earlier this summer, the Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Find out what they had to say.

Participants in our recent convening speculated:

Earlier this summer, the Next American Economy project brought together 30 experts from various disciplines to envision tomorrow's economic and political challenges and develop today's solutions. Find out what they had to say.

Participants in our recent convening speculated:

“The post-WWII model of full-time, permanent employment proved itself the historical aberration we predicted: in 2040, only 12 percent of the American workforce is directly employed by corporate enterprises or government departments, and the average length of time spent on any one job is under six months.”

“New platforms and services will spring up to solve the problems of the micro-gig economy using distributed, peer-to-peer models of social insurance that will be hyper-local, but not based on geography. They will be based on the micro-niche identities that we build online -- accountants for bacon. Latinos who play Dungeons & Dragons. What have you.”  

“In the late '20s, the Know Everything Party assumed their final national political victories of mandating every American household be limited to three robots, one 3D printer, and own a minimum of three guns would be enough to secede and be left alone. After 15 years of explosive growth in income and wealth inequality, unimaginable to us in 2014, it all came to a head in our second Civil War, or what historians are calling the Bloodless War.”

Guided by the belief that we are on the precipice of fundamental and lasting economic change, the Next American Economy project gathered a group of 30 academics, business leaders, organizers, and technologists, and asked them to envision the long-term economic and political future of the United States. We gave our participants free rein to be bold in their speculations – to deviate from data, the conventional wisdom, or even their own expert opinions. The goal was not to predict the future, but to debate a series of critical questions: (a) Are we at an inflection point in the nature of innovation and technological change? (b) How will the rise of cities change the geography of economic activity? (c) How will economic trends alter the nature of work and employment? (d) Is the trend of widening income inequality likely to continue or stagnate?

What followed was a series of prescient, thoughtful, and often hilarious three- to four-minute speculations on topics ranging from the gig economy to the future of finance, from imminent civil war to the transformation of Google into a car company, and many more. Each speculation on its own could foster a day of debate and a sea of responses. For this reason, we will release one video speculation a day for the next three weeks, starting with David Autor’s description of economic polarization.

Our recent meeting was a first step toward our broader goal of identifying the trends likely to shape the future in order to identify the policy interventions needed to ensure the best possible outcome. The group identified key topics for further investigation and also found some areas of broad consensus.

  • 79 percent of participants believe “technological change will persist and will be big enough to disrupt business-as-usual."

  • 42 percent believe “a new paradigm of work is emerging and will change the nature of jobs for a large percentage of the population” and an additional 29 percent believe “a new paradigm has already emerged and you East Coast intellectuals are way behind the times.”

  • A total of 74 percent believe that even if an entrepreneurship booms leads to productivity growth it will not lead to job creation.

  • Nearly half (48 percent) believe that if inequality trends continue, the political backlash will be so extreme that our current system will change drastically in the next 25 years.

You can learn more about our project and find our forthcoming research on our website.

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Bo Cutter is Director of the Next American Economy project. He was formerly a managing partner of Warburg Pincus, a major global private equity firm, and served as the leader of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transition team. He has also served in senior roles in the White Houses of two Democratic Presidents.

Share This

Daily Digest - July 15: Privatization Gets Marked 'Return to Sender'

Jul 15, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Staples, Postal Service to End Plan for Mini Post Offices in Stores (WSJ)

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Staples, Postal Service to End Plan for Mini Post Offices in Stores (WSJ)

Kris Maher, Drew Fitzgerald, and Tom Gara report on the decision to end this pilot program, which the postal workers' union and other labor groups had denounced as privatization.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch explains how the Postal Service and Staples plan was exacerbating the low-wage economy.

Another Week, Another Settlement (The Economist)

The Economist examines the controversy over Citigroup's $7 billion settlement announced yesterday, which continues the trend of placing blame on companies instead of individuals.

Equal Opportunity Employment Officials Take New Aim at Pregnancy Bias (NYT)

Due to an increase in pregnancy discrimination complaints, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new enforcement guidelines, reports Steven Greenhouse.

Restaurant CEOs Make More Money in Half a Day Than Their Employees Make in a Year (MoJo)

Jaeah Lee reports on a new analysis of top restaurant CEO pay, which shows that the CEOs take home an average of 721 times the amount that minimum wage workers are paid.

When You're Poor, Money Is Expensive (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson explains why accessing money becomes more difficult without bank accounts and credit, and says the financial tech sector could make things easier for the poor.

Labor Organizing Is a Civil Right (Blog of the Century)

The National Labor Relations Act provides only negligible penalties for firing labor organizers, so Imhotep Royster suggests extending Civil Rights Act protections to those organizers.

New on Next New Deal

In Defense of Public Service: Roosevelt Honors Commitment to Common Good

Roosevelt Institute Communications Manager Tim Price reflects on the vindication felt by the life-long public servants honored at last week's Distinguished Public Service Awards.

Share This

Daily Digest - July 14: Local Actions Hold the Line for Labor

Jul 14, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Why Volkswagen Agreed to UAW Local at Its U.S. Plant (USA Today)

G. Chambers Williams III explains the decision to create a local union at the Chattanooga VW plant despite the United Auto Workers' narrow loss in a February worker vote.

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Why Volkswagen Agreed to UAW Local at Its U.S. Plant (USA Today)

G. Chambers Williams III explains the decision to create a local union at the Chattanooga VW plant despite the United Auto Workers' narrow loss in a February worker vote.

U.S. Deficit Continues to Shrink (MSNBC)

The budget deficit has reached its lowest point since 2008, reports Suzy Khimm, thanks to a recovery that has increased tax revenues and reduced demand on safety net programs.

Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart Over Deadly Crash in New Jersey (NYT)

Emma G. Fitzsimmons reports that Morgan and others injured in an accident involving an overtired Walmart truck driver are blaming the accident on the company's poor labor practices.

Here's Definitive Proof That Republicans Don't Care About the Long-Term Unemployed (TNR)

Danny Vinik asks why budget gimmicks were unacceptable for funding the Senate Democrats' extension of unemployment insurance but are fine when the House GOP uses them.

New Study: Lobbying Doesn't Help Company Profits—But It's Great For Executive Pay (MoJo)

Corporate lobbying expenditures, which measure in billions of dollars, do far more to enhance a CEO's earnings than to benefit companies as a whole, reports Alex Park.

State and Local Pensions: A Progress Report (Market Watch)

Alicia H. Munnell looks at recent shifts in local and state pensions, including both the good (increased contributions) and the worrisome (plans still hold too much of their portfolios in equities).

New on Next New Deal

Port Drivers Take on Low Wages in an Industry Built on a Lie

All Americans should support the Los Angeles port truck drivers' strike, writes Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch, because all consumers depend on their hard work.

Share This

Detroit's Revitalization Funds Could Re-Empower Residents, Too

Jul 9, 2014Dominic Russel

Through participatory budgeting, Detroit could bring its resident's hyper-local expertise to the revitalization process.

Through participatory budgeting, Detroit could bring its resident's hyper-local expertise to the revitalization process.

The city of Detroit is suffering. It has the highest unemployment rate of the nation’s largest cities at 23 percent, the highest poverty rate at 36.4 percent, and has been listed by Forbes as America’s most dangerous city for five years in a row. As a result of its shrinking population, the city needs $850 million worth of blight removal and cleanup. On top of this, Detroit had an estimated $18 billion in debt in 2013, which caused the state of Michigan to essentially force the city to declare bankruptcy in a desperate attempt to save it.

Detroit urgently needs funding for any revitalization efforts. One source that the city receives each year is in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the federal government. The grant is one part of the funding that the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) distributes to metropolitan cities. The CDBG is the portion that must go to community development projects, including the rehabilitation of residential and non-residential buildings, the construction of public facilities and improvements, and more. CDBG budgeting also must include a mechanism for citizen participation.

Detroit’s current method for allocating CDBG funds is broken, as evidenced by both their inability to completely distribute funding and the lack of citizen involvement in the process. Each year from 2010 to 2012 the city failed to spend a portion of their CDBGs, nearly causing the federal government to recapture money and diminish future grants. Again in 2014, the city is making a last-minute amendment to their CBDG plan, reallocating $12 million to avoid a recapture. This was necessary, in part, because the city allocated funds to programs that no longer exist. The main citizen participation program is the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF), in which service organizations apply for funding from the CDBG. This process, however, is limited to organizations and leaves no outlet for individual residents. In fact, individuals have only one public hearing annually for the entire HUD program. The interests of residents are not effectively being channeled into spending. All of this adds up to a system in need of reform.

Detroit has the opportunity to use CDBGs to develop a more citizen-involved allocation process. This can be achieved by creating a participatory budgeting (PB) program, which empowers citizens to allocate a portion of their own government resources and has been recognized by the United Nations as a “best practice” for local governance. A Detroit model could be based off programs in Chicago and New York City. These programs include a series of workshops where residents brainstorm ideas and elect community representatives who turn the ideas into full proposals. Residents then vote on the proposals, and the winning projects are put into action.

In Detroit, the city’s Planning and Development Department can ensure projects conform to HUD guidelines and lead outreach. The department would target traditionally underrepresented viewpoints by aiming outreach at neighborhoods with low- and moderate-income residents, using public schools for outreach to students and parents, and locating meetings and voting stations in areas that are accessible for underrepresented groups. A PB process has the potential to engage Detroit residents and better utilize their hyper-local knowledge to allocate CDBG funding.

On the night Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was elected in 2013 he said, “Detroit’s turnaround will not occur until everyday Detroiters are involved in this effort.” He has the opportunity to create a clear path to this community involvement for all Detroiters by using participatory budgeting to determine how to spend a portion of the city’s federal grants. Not only would this make Duggan’s dream a reality, but it would reform an antiquated allocation process that has nearly cost the city millions of dollars.

Dominic Russel, a Michigan native, is a rising sophomore at the University of Michigan and is a Summer Academy Fellow interning at the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network as the Leadership Strategy Intern.  

Share This

Daily Digest - July 8: Will the Stock Market Boom Be a Bust for the Economy?

Jul 8, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Stiglitz: I'm 'very uncomfortable' with current stock levels (CNBC)

Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz emphasizes the difference between a strong stock market and overall economic strength, reports Antonia Matthews.

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Stiglitz: I'm 'very uncomfortable' with current stock levels (CNBC)

Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz emphasizes the difference between a strong stock market and overall economic strength, reports Antonia Matthews.

Union Wins $15 Minimum Wage for L.A. Schools' Service Workers (LA Times)

Howard Blume says the school board's unanimous approval of higher wages shows the growing power of the service workers' unions in Los Angeles, where many union members are also parents.

Why the Supreme Court’s Attack on Labor Hurts Women Most (The Nation)

Michelle Chen argues that limiting home health care workers' ability to organize will prevent many others in low-wage domestic work, primarily women, from improving working conditions.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch looks at the challenges presented by the Harris v. Quinn ruling.

Conservatives Say Cutting Unemployment Benefits Boosted the Jobs Numbers. This Chart Says Otherwise. (TNR)

Long-term unemployment is still falling at the same slow-and-steady pace as the past few years, writes Danny Vinik, indicating no link to the end of extended unemployment benefits.

Left Pushes Regulators to Lift Curtain on CEO Pay (The Hill)

Labor unions and other interest groups fear that upcoming regulations that require companies to disclose CEO-to-median-worker pay ratios will be diluted, says Megan R. Wilson.

Democrats Can Win with Populism — If They Play it Right (WaPo)

New polling data shows that many voters associate the Republican Party with big business and the wealthy, which Aaron Blakes sees as a key strategic point for Democrats in 2014.

Three Paths to Full Employment (AJAM)

Dean Baker's suggestions include increased government spending, as in the New Deal; reducing the trade deficit; and reducing the supply of labor with policies that push employers to hire more people.

Share This

Daily Digest - June 20: The Upside to Government Data Collection

Jun 20, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our Monday through Friday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Chicago Is Your Big (Friendly) Brother (Bloomberg View)

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our Monday through Friday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

Chicago Is Your Big (Friendly) Brother (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford explains Chicago's new plan to collect and make public data that could improve local quality of life, like precise pollution levels.

Does He Pass the Test? (NYRB)

Timothy Geithner frames his memoir as a success story of avoiding another Great Depression, and Paul Krugman says that ignores the question of whether things could have been better.

Massachusetts Passes The Highest State Minimum Wage In The Country (ThinkProgress)

The Massachusetts legislature has passed a law raising the minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2017, and the governor is expected to sign the bill soon, Bryce Covert reports.

Detroit Pension Fund Urges 'Yes' Vote on Bankruptcy Plan (Reuters)

Karen Pierog writes that the police and firefighters' fund is urging members to approve this grand bargain, which reduces cost-of-living increases, for fear of larger cuts.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Rob Johnson says that big money in politics encourages pension underfunding.

Awaiting the Supreme Court decision on Aereo (Marketplace)

Dan Gorenstein speaks to Susan Crawford, who says this case about TV broadcasting rights could have wide implications for cable television payment models.

Higher Taxes Do Not Kill Jobs (AJAM)

Job growth in 2013 was concentrated in places that raised taxes or already had high taxes. David Cay Johnston says this confirms that taxes aren't job killers.

New on Next New Deal

What the History of the World Wars Can Tell Us About the Deeper Struggles at Work in Iraq

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow David Woolner reflects on previous U.S. efforts to  spread democracy.

Share This

Pages