Daily Digest - June 23: Weak Labor, Low Wages Feed Unstable Housing Market

Jun 23, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Housing Market Falters Amid Rising Prices, Lower-Paying Jobs (Bloomberg)

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Housing Market Falters Amid Rising Prices, Lower-Paying Jobs (Bloomberg)

Kathleen M. Howley reports on new, weaker forecasts for the housing market, and blames slow labor growth, which is primarily in low-wage jobs, and stagnant wages.

Poll: Fewer Americans Blame Poverty on the Poor (NBC News)

A new poll shows a major shift in how Americans perceive the causes of poverty since 1995, writes Seth Freed Wessler. Nearly half of respondents today blame structural causes.

The Economic Argument for Raising Women's Pay (Political Research Associates)

Mariya Strauss assesses the economic benefits of pay equity, which include increased economic growth and tax revenues, as well as a reduced need for public assistance programs.

Republicans Finally Admit Why They Really Hate Obamacare (NY Mag)

As the predictions of Obamacare skeptics are steadily debunked, Jonathan Chait says conservatives are forced to admit they just don't like transfer programs to help the poor.

The Big Lobotomy (Washington Monthly)

Paul Glastris and Haley Sweetland Edwards look at how Republicans in Congress have cut the Congressional workforce, reducing expertise and capacity as well as limiting their own effectiveness.

Why Inequality Might Make Kids Drop Out of High School (WaPo)

A new study suggests that the "economic despair" caused by increased inequality is the reason for higher dropout rates, reports Matt O'Brien.

Finally! Big Investors Declare War on Big Banks (The Fiscal Times)

David Dayen reports on a new front in the post-financial crisis legal battle:  a group of investors sues the trustee banks that assembled mortgage bonds for abandoning quality standards.

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

Jun 20, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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

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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.

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Daily Digest - June 19: Government Has the Power to End the Student Debt Crisis

Jun 19, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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College is Ruining Lives! How to Stop Student Debt’s Paralyzing Spiral (Salon)

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College is Ruining Lives! How to Stop Student Debt’s Paralyzing Spiral (Salon)

David Dayen calls for free tuition at public colleges and universities, and for the federal government to stop using private student loan servicers that put profits ahead of borrowers.

  • Roosevelt Take: Loan servicers lose money when student loans are paid off ahead of schedule, but Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal says that shouldn't concern taxpayers.

The Fed of Magical Thinking: Why is Janet Yellen Ignoring the Rest of Us? (The Guardian)

The Federal Reserve uses a measure of inflation that doesn't include food or gas, which Heidi Moore says leaves the central bank out of step with ordinary Americans' concerns.

Cutting the Poor Out of Welfare (NYT)

Thomas Edsall blames recent increases in extreme poverty on ostensibly anti-poverty policy shifts that support married and working adults over all other people living in poverty.

Obama: US Must ‘Strengthen Unions’ (The Hill)

Justin Sink reports on the President's statements on unions at a town hall meeting in Pittsburgh, where he credited organized labor with building the country's middle class.

Increasing Wages is an Effective Poverty Reduction Tool (TalkPoverty)

Elise Gould says that rising inequality is the flip side of nearly three decades of stagnant wages, and reversing this stagnation will require pro-worker labor policy.

Does Innovation Always Lead to Gentrification? (Pacific Standard)

Kyle Chayka argues that innovation districts, filled with new and growing businesses, should be built to benefit an economically diverse population instead of just young workers.

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Daily Digest - June 18: Is High CEO Pay a Reward for Failure?

Jun 18, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Study: The Higher the Pay, the Worse the CEO (Vocativ)

Daniel Edward Rosen looks at a study from the University of Utah, which shows that companies that pay CEOs more than $20 million a year have average annual losses over $1 billion.

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Study: The Higher the Pay, the Worse the CEO (Vocativ)

Daniel Edward Rosen looks at a study from the University of Utah, which shows that companies that pay CEOs more than $20 million a year have average annual losses over $1 billion.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Fellow and Director of Research Susan Holmberg and Campus Network alumna Lydia Austin look at additional ways high CEO pay distorts the economy.

Chicago Aldermen Want a $15 Minimum Wage in Their City, Too (In These Times)

Progressives in Chicago are pushing their own minimum wage increase, reports Ethan Corey, and the popular measure would be implemented much more quickly than Seattle's.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute President and CEO Felicia Wong says increasing the minimum wage is a powerful step to promote democracy.

A Small Increase in Inflation Squeezes U.S. Workers (NYT)

Neil Irwin reports that average wages have fallen 0.1 percent in the past year when inflation is taken into account, so while the economy may be improving, workers are still struggling.

The Big Freeze on Hiring (WaPo)

Companies are taking longer than ever to fill open jobs, and Catherine Rampell suspects their reluctance is due to continued uncertainty about the health of the economy.

Domestic Workers, Domestic Cargo (The Baffler)

Ned Resnikoff reviews Sheila Bapat's new book on domestic workers' rights and ties their struggle to other low-wage service jobs that are similarly disparaged as not "real jobs."

Critics Warn Starbucks Employees to Read the Fine Print of New Tuition Plan (ThinkProgress)

Alan Pyke speaks to education experts, who critique the Starbucks program for restricting tuition assistance to a single online university, with no options for in-person classes.

U.S. Reaches $968 Million Mortgage Settlement With SunTrust (WSJ)

Alan Zibel and Andrew R. Johnson report on SunTrust's settlement, the latest attempt to penalize banks for abusive mortgage practices. $500 million is reserved to help underwater homeowners.

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Daily Digest - June 17: Obama's ENDA Executive Order Sends a Message

Jun 17, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Obama Making Bold Move on ENDA Protections (MSNBC)

Steve Benen says the President's executive order protecting LBGT federal contractors could be an attempt to push Congress to act on broader anti-discrimination legislation.

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Obama Making Bold Move on ENDA Protections (MSNBC)

Steve Benen says the President's executive order protecting LBGT federal contractors could be an attempt to push Congress to act on broader anti-discrimination legislation.

The Fed’s Unemployment Conundrum (WaPo)

Ylan Q. Mui notes that the Federal Reserve's decision to tie its stimulus program to unemployment is problematic because unemployment is falling faster than the economy is growing.

In San Jose, Higher Minimum Wage Pays Benefits (USA Today)

For minimum-wage workers in San Jose, the increase from $8 to $10 per hour meant small but meaningful changes, like being able to afford dental care, writes Paul Davidson.

After Piketty, the Ownership Revolution (AJAM)

Gar Alperovitz suggests that experimenting with broad, democratized ownership of capital could help counter the trend toward inequality highlighted by Thomas Piketty's Capital.

You Can Blame Student Debt for America's Inequality and Shrinking Middle Class (HuffPo)

Sean McElwee argues that while a college education may be a gateway to the middle class, high student debt holds back low- and middle-income students.

Three Fed Governors Sworn in Just in Time for Meeting (WSJ)

Pedro Da Costa reports on the swearing in of the newest members of the Federal Reserve Board, which is expected to continue to scale back the Fed's bond-buying program this week.

Miami Sues JPMorgan Alleging Mortgage Discrimination (Reuters)

The city's suit against JPMorgan claims that the bank not only issued higher-cost loans to minorities but also discriminated when determining refinancing terms, reports Dena Aubin.

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Daily Digest - June 16: Oakland's Minimum Wage Workers Could Win in November

Jun 16, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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New Study Shows Who Wins if Oakland Hikes Minimum Wage (San Francisco Business Times)

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New Study Shows Who Wins if Oakland Hikes Minimum Wage (San Francisco Business Times)

Eric Young reports on a study coauthored by Roosevelt Institute Fellow Annette Bernhardt, which shows 48,000 workers could benefit if Oakland approves a $12.25 minimum wage.

GOP Doesn’t Waste Time Blaming Obama for Iraq (Melissa Harris-Perry)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren says Republicans are using current events in Iraq to attempt to shift responsibility for the war off of President Bush and onto Democrats.

A Civilized Critic of Savage Behavior - Robert Johnson on Reality Asserts Itself (Real News Network)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Robert Johnson explains how his critique of the financial sector developed as Wall Street's political power grew and risk was shifted onto the public.

The Many Pipelines That Pump Up Our Wealth (Truth-Out)

Citing William Lazonick's new Roosevelt Institute white paper and two other studies on corporate pay practices, Sam Pizzigati sees a need for serious policy shifts to fight inequality.

  • Roosevelt Take: Lazonick's paper focuses on stock buybacks, which inflate the value of CEOs' stock-based performance pay.

Bank Account Screening Tool Is Scrutinized as Excessive (NYT)

Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery report on the New York Attorney General's efforts to ensure that a private bank database does not improperly deny banking access.

Starbucks Will Pay Full College Tuition For Thousands Of Its Workers (Business Insider)

Many Starbucks employees will be eligible for full tuition coverage for online studies at Arizona State University, writes Rob Wile. For low-wage service jobs, that's a very rare perk.

Hell on Wheels (TNR)

David Dayen looks at how current workplace conditions incentivize truckers to bend the rules and drive through fatigue while the industry lobbies against any work-hour regulation.

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Daily Digest - June 13: With Soaring Pay, CEOs Rise to the Top of the 1 Percent

Jun 13, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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CEO Pay Up by 937% Since 1978. That of the Typical Worker? 10.2% (AJAM)

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CEO Pay Up by 937% Since 1978. That of the Typical Worker? 10.2% (AJAM)

Peter Moskowitz looks at a new study from the Economic Policy Institute, which finds that CEO pay is even outstripping the earnings of other members of the top 0.1 percent.

  • Roosevelt Take: In his new white paper, William Lazonick explains how the explosive growth of CEO pay destabilizes the economy.

U.S. Struggles to Draw Young, Savvy Staff (WSJ)

Officials worry about government's ability to succeed in a digital world when the percentage of its employees younger than 30 has hit an eight-year low, writes Rachel Feintzeig.

How Justice Scalia Could Become the Savior of Public Employee Unions (LA Times)

Michael Hiltzik says the reliably conservative Supreme Court Justice's past statements on public sector unions show that he could be the key vote for unions in Harris v. Quinn.

The Damage of Poverty is Visible as Early as Kindergarten (Vox)

Danielle Kurtzleben writes about new research that shows an achievement gap between poor, near-poor, and middle-class kindergarteners, which can have lifelong consequences.

How Women Are Shaping the Labor Movement and Winning Big (The Nation)

Dani McClain speaks to Sheila Bapat about her new book on the rise of organizing among domestic workers, who are excluded from many basic labor protections.

Remember the Problems With Mortgage Defaults? They’re Coming Back With Student Loans (NYT)

Susan Dynarski draws parallels between the mortgage crisis and student debt, with particular concerns about loan servicers who have little incentive to prevent default.

New on Next New Deal

Teachers and Tutors Can't Fix All of Low-Income Students' Problems

Summer Academy Fellow Casey McQuillan explains how public policy failures that held back the students he tutored led him to the Campus Network.

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Daily Digest - June 12: Health Care Reform is Here to Stay, But Can It Be Improved?

Jun 12, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Time to Bring Back the Public Option — Medicare in All Exchanges (The Hill)

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Time to Bring Back the Public Option — Medicare in All Exchanges (The Hill)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch says that as the discussion of Obamacare shifts from repeal to reform, the first improvement should be expanding access to Medicare coverage.

Ken Burns: Go Ahead, Campaign on the Affordable Care Act (U.S. News & World Report)

Nikki Schwab reports on Ken Burns's remarks on current big policy issues at the "Inequality Begins at Birth" conference, where he screened his upcoming documentary about the Roosevelts.

Republicans Just Killed Elizabeth Warren's Plan to Ease Americans' Crushing Student Loan Debt (MoJo)

Senator Warren's bill would have allowed borrowers to refinance at lower interest rates, writes Patrick Caldwell. Republicans filibustered over the cost, but the bill would have reduced the deficit.

U.S. Economic Recovery Looks Distant as Growth Lingers (NYT)

Binyamin Appelbaum reports on the government's reduced expectations for annual growth, which are leading some economists to wonder whether the economy can ever fully rebound.

What the Foreclosure Crisis Looks Like in Urban Neighborhoods with Few Single-Family Homes (WaPo)

When foreclosure hits neighborhoods filled with small apartment buildings, it reduces cities' already limited supply of affordable rental stock, says Emily Badger.

New on Next New Deal

Do Taxpayers Care if Student Loans Are Paid Off Too Quickly? (On Fair Value Accounting)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal argues that while private lenders might not like it when student loans are paid off ahead of schedule, the public shouldn't worry about it.

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Daily Digest - June 11: Sprint's Big Deal Leaves Customers With Little Choice

Jun 11, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Don't Let Sprint Buy T-Mobile (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford says that allowing Sprint to buy its way to a higher share of the cell phone market won't improve service for customers.

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Don't Let Sprint Buy T-Mobile (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford says that allowing Sprint to buy its way to a higher share of the cell phone market won't improve service for customers.

Goldman Sachs CEO: “Income Inequality Is A Very Destabilizing Thing In The Country” (Buzzfeed)

Matthew Zeitlin reports on Lloyd Blankfein's CBS interview, in which he said that too much growth has gone to too few people. Zeitlin notes that Blankfein was paid $23 million in 2013.

  • Roosevelt Take: In his white paper for the Roosevelt Institute, William Lazonick looks at how high executive pay destabilizes the economy.

Markets Are Less Volatile. Should We Worry? (NYT)

Even if more stable markets are encouraging investors to take on more risk, Neil Irwin says that the Federal Reserve should stay on its slow-and-steady path.

Cities Are Passing Higher Minimum Wages – and Leaving the Suburbs Further Behind (WaPo)

Emily Badger looks at current debates about cities and suburbs with different minimum wages: how many workers will bring their higher wages home to the suburbs, and will the jobs move out?

Wall Street's Virus Has Infected Your College Debt, and Obama's Doing Zero (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore asks why the President isn't doing anything about private student debt, which has little regulation and could pose a greater threat to the economy than public loans.

The Mental-Health Consequences of Unemployment (The Atlantic)

A new Gallup poll shows that the unemployed have much higher rates of depression than those with jobs, reports Rebecca J. Rosen, and it's easy to see how depression could affect a job search.

New on Next New Deal

Healing the Medical Field: How A Push Against Careers in Medicine Could Push Back on Burnout

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Senior Fellow for Health Care Anisha Hegde writes that by speaking out about burnout in their jobs, doctors can create an opportunity for sustainable change.

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Daily Digest - June 10: Tax Reform Can Bring Corporate Profits Home

Jun 10, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

Today, the Roosevelt Institute, The Century Foundation, and the Academic Pediatric Association are hosting "Inequality Begins at Birth: Child Poverty in America," a conference discussing solutions to help the nation's most vulnerable. Senator Cory Booker will be the keynote speaker. Watch the livestream here.

Today, the Roosevelt Institute, The Century Foundation, and the Academic Pediatric Association are hosting "Inequality Begins at Birth: Child Poverty in America," a conference discussing solutions to help the nation's most vulnerable. Senator Cory Booker will be the keynote speaker. Watch the livestream here.

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

Another Voice for Formulary Apportionment (Bloomberg BNA)

Alex Parker looks at the pros and cons of Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz's proposal for taxing corporate profits based on a holistic view of companies.

Arm Girls Against Trafficking in Sex (Providence Journal)

Sarah Estrela, President of the Wheaton College chapter of the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network, argues for incorporating information about sex trafficking in sex education curricula.

  • Roosevelt Take: Sarah's idea was published in the Campus Network's 10 Ideas series in the 2014 Education journal.

Obama and Sen. Warren Talk Student Loans (The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren breaks down the numbers to explain why existing student debt is cause for serious concern, but also an opportunity for organizing.

Minimum Wage: Who Makes It? (NYT)

Jared Bernstein lays out statistics about the workers who would be affected if the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 an hour; for instance, women and minorities are overrepresented.

Most Missing Workers Are Nowhere Near Retirement Age (Working Economics)

Heidi Shierholz says that 4.4 million missing workers, who are neither employed nor seeking work, are too young to be early retirees. This shows the continued weakness in the labor market.

The Economic Recovery Would Be Stronger If Companies Like Apple Paid Their Fair Share in Taxes (TNR)

Danny Vinik says the U.S. corporate tax code shares the blame for multinationals holding profits offshore, and that corporate tax reform would give the economy a major boost.

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