Daily Digest - May 21: What Do Consumers Get Out of Cable Mega-Mergers?

May 21, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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AT&T and DirecTV Team Up Against Customers (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford says that instead of overseeing mergers that will hurt consumers, regulators should be pushing cable companies to invest in infrastructure.

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AT&T and DirecTV Team Up Against Customers (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford says that instead of overseeing mergers that will hurt consumers, regulators should be pushing cable companies to invest in infrastructure.

To Lift the Poor, You Can’t Avoid Taxing the Rich (NYT)

The money for programs needed to help low-income Americans has to come from somewhere, writes Jared Bernstein, and simply promoting overall growth isn't a viable alternative.

A Super PAC for the Poor: How to Actually Get Something Done About Economic Suffering (Salon)

Blake Zeff argues that the best way to fight poverty is to take a page from the right's handbook and form a super PAC powerful enough to threaten lawmakers who don't support the cause.

Job Outlook for 2014 College Grads Puzzling (USA Today)

This is the sixth graduating class in a row to enter a profoundly weak labor market, writes Hadley Malcolm, and though unemployment is down, young people are leaving the work force.

No, Taking Away Unemployment Benefits Doesn’t Make People Get Jobs (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert reports on new data from Illinois, where two months after Congress allowed extended unemployment to lapse, 82 percent of those who lost benefits were still out of work.

As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price (NPR)

Joseph Shapiro reveals the impact poverty has on Americans' experiences with the legal system, as fees increase for everything from public defenders to electronic monitoring devices.

Credit Suisse's Plea is Kabuki Theatre. Big US Banks are Still Getting Off Easy (The Guardian)

The Swiss bank's guilty plea won't harm its business, writes Heidi Moore, nor is it a sign that the Justice Department will start pursuing criminal charges against U.S. banks.

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Daily Digest - May 20: In a Weak Recovery, Even the Employed Feel Stuck

May 20, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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The Recession’s Effect on Job Churn (St. Louis Fed)

David Wiczer cites Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal's writing on the decline of job-to-job transitions and agrees that workers staying put highlights a weakness in the job market.

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The Recession’s Effect on Job Churn (St. Louis Fed)

David Wiczer cites Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal's writing on the decline of job-to-job transitions and agrees that workers staying put highlights a weakness in the job market.

  • Roosevelt Take: Mike argues that the struggles employed people face in finding work can tell us as much about the economy as the struggles of the unemployed.

Eric Holder, Michelle Obama talk about racism (The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren says Holder and Obama's speeches on the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board show the need for both policy and social change to fight racism.

Americans Owe $1.2 Trillion in Student Loans, Surpassing Credit Card and Auto Loan Debt Totals (NY Daily News)

As Senate Democrats prepare a bill that will allow student loans to be refinanced, Dan Friedman speaks to young people who feel their debt prevents their next steps forward.

  • Roosevelt Take: The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network report "A New Deal for Students" lays out student-crafted policy proposals for solving the student debt crisis.

Thomas Piketty and the End of Our Peaceful Coexistence With Inequality (The Atlantic)

Moisés Naím looks at the rise of the "Piketty effect," which describes how the discussion of inequality and wealth spreads beyond academics into people's daily lives.

Here's The Painful Truth About What It Means To Be 'Working Poor' In America (HuffPo)

Nick Wing and Carly Schwartz introduce a new Huffington Post series on the working poor with quotes from many such workers that lay out the harsh realities they face.

Mortgage, Home-Equity Woes Linger (WSJ)

Underwater mortgages are still holding back the housing market, writes Conor Dougherty. When homeowners can't leave, inexpensive houses don't enter the market.

Credit Suisse Pleads Guilty in Felony Case (NYT)

Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Greenberg report that this is the first time in two decades that a bank has pled guilty on criminal charges, in this case conspiring to aid tax evasion.

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Thinking Bigger: New Fellows Expand the Scope of Roosevelt Institute's Economic Policy Work

May 19, 2014
When Franklin D. Roosevelt put his team together to craft the New Deal, he sought out thinkers and doers who could rise to the challenges of their time. As the Roosevelt Institute works to carry on that legacy and build a New Deal for the 21st century, the nation’s challenges remain daunting: a growing concentration of wealth and power, a labor force struggling against exploitative working conditions, and a compromised democracy that favors the few over the many.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt put his team together to craft the New Deal, he sought out thinkers and doers who could rise to the challenges of their time. As the Roosevelt Institute works to carry on that legacy and build a New Deal for the 21st century, the nation’s challenges remain daunting: a growing concentration of wealth and power, a labor force struggling against exploitative working conditions, and a compromised democracy that favors the few over the many. To aid in developing policy ideas that match the scale of these problems, the Institute is pleased to announce three new additions to its Four Freedoms Center think tank: Senior Fellow Damon Silvers and Fellows Susan Holmberg and J.W. Mason.
 
“Inequality in the United States is disturbingly on the rise, and Americans are eager to pursue bold and meaningful solutions,” said Felicia Wong, President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute. “Activists, policymakers, and everyday workers are fighting for progress across the country, and these new additions to our roster of fellows will make the Roosevelt Institute an even stronger thought partner to allies.”
 
Silvers, Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO, plans to focus his work at the Roosevelt Institute on policies and practical strategies that can revive the social vision of the New Deal. Holmberg, who also serves as the Roosevelt Institute’s Director of Research, will continue her ongoing investigation of executive pay and corporate governance structures as drivers of economic inequality. Mason, an assistant professor of economics at John Jay College, CUNY, will work with Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal to examine the financialization of the economy. Supporting Konczal and Mason will be Nell Abernathy, a Program Manager at the Roosevelt Institute who also works with Senior Fellow W. Bowman Cutter on the Next American Economy Project.
 
“Each of these new fellows is working on a distinct and important part of the overall puzzle, which is the shifting relationship among capital, labor, and democracy in the U.S.,” said David Palmer, Director of the Four Freedoms Center at the Roosevelt Institute. “Alongside existing Roosevelt Institute initiatives like the Future of Work, Women and Girls Rising, and the Next American Economy, this financialization and macroeconomic policy work will help set an ambitious agenda for reform.”
 
In addition to his work with the Roosevelt Institute and the AFL-CIO, Silvers serves on a pro bono basis as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York. He is also a member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department’s Financial Research Advisory Committee, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group and Investor Advisory Group. He received his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, an M.B.A. with high honors from Harvard Business School, and is a Baker Scholar.
 
Holmberg holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the premier center for research and teaching in heterodox economics. Prior to coming to the Roosevelt Institute, she worked with Econ4 and the Center for Popular Economics, organizations that work to foster economic literacy in the civic space and reform economics education in the classroom. She has also worked at the Political Economy Research Institute and as a Research Analyst and Community Organizer at the Center for Rural Studies in Vermont.
 
Mason did his graduate work at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago. In addition to his scholarly work, he has done policy work for the New York Working Families Party, the New York City Independent Budget Office, and the AFL-CIO, and has published popular articles in The NationIn These TimesThe American ProspectThe BafflerJacobin, and The New Inquiry, among other venues. He blogs on economics and politics at slackwire.blogspot.com.
 
Abernathy previously worked as an economics journalist in emerging markets including Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, and China, and at the Clinton Global Initiative, where her focus was advanced manufacturing. She has a Master's Degree in International Finance and Economic Policy from Columbia University's School of International and Political Affairs and a B.A. from Brown University.
 
For a full list of current Roosevelt Institute Fellows, click here.
 
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Tim Price.
 

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Daily Digest - May 19: Workers Around the World Order Up Higher Pay

May 19, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Fight for Higher Wages Goes Global (Melissa Harris-Perry)

Guest host and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren discusses the evolution of the fast food workers movement as it spreads beyond American borders.

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Fight for Higher Wages Goes Global (Melissa Harris-Perry)

Guest host and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren discusses the evolution of the fast food workers movement as it spreads beyond American borders.

How to Win Millennials: Equality, Climate Change, and Gay Marriage (The Atlantic)

A new survey of Millennials shows a decidedly progressive voting bloc, says John Tierney, with broad support for government involvement on the issues that matter to them.

The Odds You’ll Join the Ranks of the Long-Term Unemployed (WaPo)

Matt O'Brien looks at data showing how closely long-term unemployment is tied to the business cycle. Losing a job at the right moment makes all the difference for finding a new one.

The Deep Roots of Skilled Labor Shortages: Anti-Union, Anti-Worker Corporations (Working Economics)

The solution to shortages of skilled construction labor in Texas isn't training, writes Ross Eisenbrey. It's paying the higher wages skilled workers deserve, and welcoming unions.

The Republican War on Workers’ Rights (NYT)

Corey Robin examines the spread of state laws that harm workers since the 2010 midterms, from banning municipal sick leave guarantees to easing child labor restrictions.

Retailers Make More by Paying Their Workers Better, Researcher Says (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Ann Besler writes about new research proving that cutting labor budgets in retail leads to lower sales. Stores then cut labor even more, creating a vicious cycle of low profits.

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Daily Digest - May 16: American Dreamers Wake Up to Inequality

May 16, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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It’s Now the Canadian Dream (NYT)

Nicholas Kristof quotes Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz on how inequality of opportunity has diminished the American Dream.

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It’s Now the Canadian Dream (NYT)

Nicholas Kristof quotes Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz on how inequality of opportunity has diminished the American Dream.

  • Roosevelt Take: Stiglitz spoke to the Senate Budget Committee about growing inequality of income and opportunity in the U.S., and how policy can push back.

Harry Reid Backs Campaign Spending Amendment (Politico)

The Senate Majority Leader has backed a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon, writes Burgess Everett, though it's unlikely to pass.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch calls for political organizing to protect democracy in the wake of McCutcheon.

Biggest Fast Food Strike Ever Attracts Global Support (MSNBC)

Ned Resnikoff reports on the expansion of the fast food strikes that began a year and a half ago in New York City. Yesterday brought strikes in 150 U.S. cities and 33 other countries.

Fast Food, Slow Movement (TAP)

Paul Waldman says the slow growth of the fast food movement could be to its advantage when it comes to developing demands, strategies, and leadership.

Another Conservative Governor Finds a Way to Expand Medicaid (WaPo)

Expanding Medicaid without provoking GOP opposition, as Indiana's governor is attempting to do, could be key to closing the coverage gap, writes Jason Millman.

New on Next New Deal

In Georgia, Lawmakers Taking Pride in Policies That Hurt the Poor

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn explains why Georgia's active efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act are making things worse in a state with an already high poverty rate.

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Rethinking Communities

May 15, 2014

National change begins in our own back yards. Learn how the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's Rethinking Communities initiative is making it happen.

National change begins in our own back yards. Learn how the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's Rethinking Communities initiative is making it happen.

Learn more at rethinkingcommunities.com and join the conversation using hashtag #RethinkingCommunities.

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Daily Digest - May 15: The Politics of Embracing Piketty

May 15, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Why Democrats Are Paying Attention to Piketty's Book on Inequality (Real News Network)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Tom Ferguson suggests Democrats are using Capital in the 21st Century to strengthen their inequality narrative for the midterm elections.

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Why Democrats Are Paying Attention to Piketty's Book on Inequality (Real News Network)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Tom Ferguson suggests Democrats are using Capital in the 21st Century to strengthen their inequality narrative for the midterm elections.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute President and CEO Felicia Wong says that Piketty and his peers are defining today's debate and opening new opportunities to push back on inequality.

Fast-Food Protests Spread Overseas (NYT)

Steven Greenhouse reports on today's fast food strikes in 150 U.S. cities, the largest yet, and why the organizers are working to build support and influence abroad as well.

The Merits of Participatory Budgeting (AJAM)

Bringing citizens into the decision-making process for local spending empowers them, says Hollie Russon Gilman, and builds their connection to politics more generally.

Paul Ryan's Approach To Poverty Is Straight Out Of The 19th Century (HuffPo)

Arthur Delaney looks at the anti-handout models of fighting poverty from the 1800s, which don't make sense given modern data, and finds strong similarities to Rep. Ryan's views.

The Neediest Americans Are Getting The Least Government Assistance (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert looks at forthcoming research that shows that since 1975, social safety net spending has shifted away from the poorest Americans to those who are more well off.

New on Next New Deal

Places for Hope in the Fight to Protect Women's Health and Rights

To push back against the constant barrage of bad news, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn shines a light on states that are taking proactive, positive steps on women's health.

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Daily Digest - May 14: A Victory for Workers in Vermont

May 14, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Vermont to Set Highest State Minimum Wage in the U.S. (MSNBC)

Ned Resnikoff reports that the Vermont legislature has voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.50 an hour, and the governor is expected to sign the bill soon.

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Vermont to Set Highest State Minimum Wage in the U.S. (MSNBC)

Ned Resnikoff reports that the Vermont legislature has voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.50 an hour, and the governor is expected to sign the bill soon.

I Like Jane Austen's Novels, But I Certainly Don't Want to Live Like That (HuffPo)

Heather Boushey writes that Thomas Piketty's prognosis for the economy is of particular concern for women, because if success depends on inheritance, gender equity will suffer.

Fannie-Freddie Overseer Easing Loan Buybacks (Bloomberg News)

Melvin L. Watt, head of the Federal Housing Authority, has announced new rules intended to stimulate the housing market by encouraging lending, reports Clea Benson.

SEC Peeks Under Private Equity Rug, Finds 'Remarkable' Corruption (LA Times)

Corruption in private equity firms isn't just a problem for the very rich, says Michael Hiltzik, since pension funds are among private equity's big clients.

Rebellious Economics Students Have a Point (New Yorker)

John Cassidy writes that the lack of real-world perspective in today's economics classrooms is a problem. He's particularly interested in bringing back economic history and organization.

Tim Geithner and the Paradox Behind the Government’s Crisis Response (WaPo)

In his review of the former Treasury Secretary's new book, Zachary Goldfarb considers the difficult balance between winning over public opinion and saving collapsing systems.

New on Next New Deal

Why Are Courts Allowing Redefinitions of Emergency Contraception?

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn decries the misinformation about emergency contraception that's being accepted as fact in court cases over the contraception mandate.

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Daily Digest - May 13: When Conservatism Becomes a Health Hazard

May 13, 2014

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How the Right Wing is Killing Women (Robert Reich)

Robert Reich uses Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Ellen Chelser and Fellow Andrea Flynn's paper on poverty and family planning to explain how conservative policy is increasing maternal mortality.

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How the Right Wing is Killing Women (Robert Reich)

Robert Reich uses Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Ellen Chelser and Fellow Andrea Flynn's paper on poverty and family planning to explain how conservative policy is increasing maternal mortality.

  • Roosevelt Take: Andrea Flynn also writes about The Lancet's findings on rising maternal mortality in a series for National Women's Health Week.

The SEC Has Revealed Astounding Corruption in Private Equity (TNR)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal cites the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigations into private equity firms as an example of effective public regulation.

Airport Workers Press to Join a Union (WSJ)

Laura Kusito reports that workers at New York City airports have voted, via card check, to join a union as part of their ongoing fight for better wages and benefits.

The Minimum Wage Loophole That's Screwing Over Waiters and Waitresses (MoJo)

While the law requires that employers make up the difference if servers don't earn minimum wage though tips, Dana Liebelson reports that wage theft is common.

Tenures Becoming Shorter at a Short-Handed Fed (NYT)

Binyamin Appelbaum speculates that faster turnover at the Federal Reserve is due to changing demographics and expectations, more lucrative outside opportunities, and increased burnout.

The Problem with Thomas Piketty: “Capital” Destroys Right-Wing Lies, but There’s One Solution it Forgets (Salon)

Labor organizing is key to fighting inequality, says Thomas Frank, and while it's not a perfect solution to plutocracy, it's easier to implement than a global wealth tax.

New on Next New Deal

To Stop Campus Sexual Assault, We Should Study the Men Responsible

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn and Women Rising Program Manager Nataya Friedan suggest that researching the perpetrators will provide guidance for how to reduce sexual violence.

Negotiating With Iran Should be the United States’ Foreign Policy Priority

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Senior Fellow for Defense and Diplomacy Jacqueline van de Velde argues that to maintain influence in the Middle East, the U.S. needs to open diplomatic relations with Iran.

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Daily Digest - May 12: Walmart Sets the Wrong Example for a Progressive Future

May 12, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Did Obama Make a Mistake by Touting Solar Power at Walmart? (All In with Chris Hayes)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren says this speech rewarded a company that is failing on the environment and on inequality, which makes it a confusing political choice.

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Did Obama Make a Mistake by Touting Solar Power at Walmart? (All In with Chris Hayes)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren says this speech rewarded a company that is failing on the environment and on inequality, which makes it a confusing political choice.

Thousands in Pierce County Trapped in Underwater Mortgages (Tacoma News Tribune)

Kathleen Cooper speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal, who says these mortgages slow economic growth because homeowners spend so much on debt payments.

Making Ends Meet at Walmart (NYT)

When Walmart reviewed its financials to determine performance pay for executives, it made adjustments to ensure larger bonuses despite a rough year, reports Gretchen Morgenson.

Undocumented NYC Domestic Workers Clean Up with Collective (AJAM)

Forming an environmentally friendly cleaning co-op has ensured fair wages, steady income, and safety for some undocumented workers, writes Kaelyn Forde.

Heller May Try to Attach Unemployment Extension to Tax Cut Bill (Roll Call)

Humberto Sanchez reports that an upcoming set of corporate tax breaks with bipartisan support could be key to a deal that would renew unemployment benefits.

FCC Head to Revise Broadband-Rules Plan (WSJ)

Gautham Nagesh says FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is trying to address public backlash with this latest revision of rules, which could be a good thing for net neutrality.

New on Next New Deal

For U.S. Mothers, Conservative Policies Can Be Deadly

Maternal mortality rates have increased in the U.S., and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn argues that conservative policies like refusing Medicaid expansion make things worse.

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