Daily Digest - September 30: Incarceration Keeps Growing, No Matter the Cost

Sep 30, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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The Score: Why Prisons Thrive Even When Budgets Shrink (The Nation)

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The Score: Why Prisons Thrive Even When Budgets Shrink (The Nation)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert look at the growth of incarceration even in times when presidents preach against "big government," which the prison system certainly is.

Europe’s Austerity Zombies (Project Syndicate)

Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz says that European countries' continued push for austerity, which isn't fixing their economies, is tragic in light of the people who suffer without work.

Revisiting the Lehman Brothers Bailout That Never Was (NYT)

James B. Stewart and Peter Eavis report on previously unknown analysis from the New York Federal Reserve suggesting that the Fed could bail out Lehman Brothers. The analysis never reached top officials.

It’s the Inequality, Stupid (In These Times)

Emphasizing inequality is the best chance that Democrats have of engaging working-class voters who swing elections, writes David Moberg.

New York Mayor de Blasio Plans Expansion of Living Wage (Reuters)

De Blasio plans to sign an executive order that will expand the law to cover an additional 18,000 jobs and increase the living wage to $13.13 for workers without benefits, writes Alex Dobuzinskis.

California Pension Fund Gives the Boot to Hedge Funds (AJAM)

Dean Baker praises California's public pension fund for ending investments in hedge funds, which charge high fees. He says that funds should make the contracts that lay out these fees public.

Killing the "Nuclear Option" Will Not Save the Senate. It Will Ruin Obama's Final Two Years. (TNR)

When Senate Republicans say that they want to revoke the Democrats' "nuclear option," which eliminated filibusters on presidential appointments, they're planning a blockade, writes Brian Beutler.

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Daily Digest - September 18: The Hashtag of Democracy

Sep 18, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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From #Ferguson to #OfficerFriendly (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford explains what the New York Police Department will need to do in order to make its new social media initiatives successful.

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From #Ferguson to #OfficerFriendly (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford explains what the New York Police Department will need to do in order to make its new social media initiatives successful.

Census Report Shows Rise in Full-Time Work, Undercutting Claims by Health Reform Opponents (Off the Charts)

Paul N. Van de Water says the Census Bureau report proves that the Affordable Care Act isn't leading to a large increase in part-time work. In fact, part-time work has decreased.

Fed Signals No Hurry to Raise Interest Rates (NYT)

Binyamin Appelbaum reports on the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement, which affirms the necessity of continued stimulus in the form of near-zero short-term interest rates.

What Cutting Jobless Benefits Wrought (U.S. News & World Report)

Pat Garofalo points to the cutting of federal extended unemployment benefits as one of the sources of our continually too-high poverty rate.

The Occupy Movement Takes on Student Debt (New Yorker)

Rolling Jubilee, which buys up debt and cancels it, may be among the Occupy movement's biggest successes, writes Vauhini Vara, but its real hope is for debtors to organize.

Meet the Domestic Worker Organizer Who Won the 'Genius' Grant (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Josh Eidelson profiles Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, who plans to use her MacArthur "Genius Grant" to endow an organizing fellowship for domestic workers.

Want to Live in a State with No Income Tax? Make Sure You're Super Rich First (The Guardian)

Siri Srinivas looks at a new report on state-level taxes, which shows that most Americans think fair taxes should be progressive by nature, emphasizing income and property taxes over sales tax.

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Daily Digest - August 20: Inequality Among Roots of Ferguson Unrest

Aug 20, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Ferguson's Race Injustices Have Their Roots in Economic Inequality (The Guardian)

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Ferguson's Race Injustices Have Their Roots in Economic Inequality (The Guardian)

Suzanne McGee ties the situation in Ferguson, MO to the severe economic inequality facing the Black community in the U.S., which she says limits Black access to political power as well.

Meet the Ordinary People Who Are Mobilizing Around Monetary Policy (WaPo)

Activist groups concerned with democratizing the discussion of monetary policy are sending low-wage workers to speak a Federal Reserve conference in Wyoming. Ylan Q. Mui reports.

The Tax Dodge That Has Plagued the U.S. for More Than a Decade (The Atlantic)

Joe Pinsker looks at the history of companies looking to reincorporate abroad to dodge U.S. corporate income taxes, and explains how the process has changed (and yet not) in the past decade.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz proposes a full slate of corporate income tax reforms in his latest white paper.

Lagging Demand, Not Unemployability, Is Why Long-term Unemployment Remains So High (EPI)

In a new report, Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz argue that long-term unemployment is still a component of cyclical weakness in the economy from the recession, rather than a structural shut-out.

How to Save the Net: Don’t Give In to Big ISPs (Wired)

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings calls on the Federal Communications Commission to expand its focus to regulate the relationships between companies like his and the Internet service providers.

OSHA fines company $1M for violating truckers' hours-of-service rule (The Hill)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's fine is about protecting workers and the public, reports Tim Devaney. Trucker rest rules are in the limelight after high-profile crashes.

San Diego Defies Mayor, Raises Minimum Wage (CNN Money)

Katie Lobosco reports that the city council overturned the mayor's veto, approving a gradual minimum wage hike that ties the wage to inflation, as well as paid sick leave.

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Daily Digest - August 13: Working Without a Net in the Gig Economy

Aug 13, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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America's Social Safety Net is Failing Workers in the 'Gig Economy' (The Week)

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America's Social Safety Net is Failing Workers in the 'Gig Economy' (The Week)

Particularly in today's economy of short-term gigs, contract work, and other forms of precarious employment, Sarah Jaffe says the current system of unemployment benefits isn't cutting it.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Operations Director Lydia Bowers looks at some of the other labor protections missing in the gig economy.

By Any Measure, The Job Market Is Getting Better (FiveThirtyEight)

No matter how he counts the unemployed, Ben Casselman finds the same pattern: the ratio of job-seekers to available jobs has dropped significantly, almost to pre-recession levels.

Graphic: Unpaid Interns Have Few Legal Rights (Bloomberg Businessweek)

In this flowchart, Josh Eidelson lays out the scant legal protections afforded interns throughout the country, with details about relevant court cases and state-by-state variations.

Yellen Resolved to Avoid Raising Rates Too Soon, Fearing Downturn (Reuters)

Howard Schneider and Jonathan Spicer report that Federal Reserve insiders say Janet Yellen is showing extreme caution on raising interest rates, because inflation is easier to fight than recessions.

Another Argument Against the Medicaid Expansion Just Got Weaker (WaPo)

Jason Millman looks at the history of Medicaid funding, and finds that states don't really have to worry about the federal government backing out of its share of expansion funding.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Fellow Andrea Flynn ties refusal to expand Medicaid to the U.S.'s high and increasing maternal mortality rate.

The Jobs Added In Today’s Economy Pay A Quarter Less Than The Ones We Lost In The Recession (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert looks at a new report from the U.S. Council of Mayors, which shows that the jobs added since the recession pay less largely due to the sectors in which jobs were lost and regained.

Labor and Small Businesses Team up on California Franchising Law (MSNBC)

The proposed law would make it harder to terminate franchise agreements. Ned Resnikoff says labor groups hope franchisees will treat workers better with less franchisor influence and interference.

New on Next New Deal

The Inconvenient Truth About Ineqality

In his video speculation for the Next American Economy project, Lenny Mendonca says a "vested set of interests" will keep the issues raised in Piketty's Capital out of real policy debates.

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Daily Digest - July 3: America's Workforce is Still Segregated After All These Years

Jul 3, 2014Tim Price

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On the Civil Rights Act's 50th, Workplaces Remain Segregated (Colorlines)

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On the Civil Rights Act's 50th, Workplaces Remain Segregated (Colorlines)

Though the Civil Rights Act brought legal segregation to an end decades ago, people of color are still being pushed into lower-paying occupations, writes Rinku Sen.

  • Roosevelt Take: A new infographic from the Roosevelt Institute's Future of Work initiative outlines five policy proposals that would promote an inclusive workforce.

Domestic Care for Family Members Isn't Valued If Its Givers Are Exploited (Truthout)

In a book excerpt, Sheila Bapat cites research from Roosevelt Fellow Annette Bernhardt and others to show how domestic workers are shut out from standard labor protections.

We Know We Work Too Much. Now How Do We Stop It? (New Republic)

Bryce Covert looks at paid leave and vacation laws, health care reform, work-sharing programs, and other potential statutory solutions to America's oversized workweek.

Porsches, Potholes and Patriots (NYT)

The Fourth of July should prompt a celebration of America's great public investments -- and an acknowledgment that they depended on taxes, writes Nicholas Kristof.

Census: One-Quarter of Americans Now Live in "Poverty Areas" (Slate)

Data from 2010 shows that a growing number of Americans live in areas where more than 20 percent of the population is below the poverty line, notes Jordan Weissmann.

Yellen Drives Wedge Between Monetary Policy, Financial Bubbles (Reuters)

Fed chair Janet Yellen says monetary policy is the wrong tool to curb financial risk, report Michael Flaherty and Howard Schneider. She sees no need to raise rates at present. 

New on Next New Deal

Graduated and Living With Your Parents? You May Be Luckier Than You Think.

Millennials forced to move home may have their economic futures determined by where they were born, writes Roosevelt Campus Network Operations Director Lydia Bowers.

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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 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 4: Will Fifteen Be the New Floor in Wage Fights?

Jun 4, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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$15 Is the New $10.10 (U.S. News & World Report)

Paul K. Sonn argues a nationwide $15-per-hour minimum wage is both feasible and necessary in order to generate enough spending power to sustain the economy.

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$15 Is the New $10.10 (U.S. News & World Report)

Paul K. Sonn argues a nationwide $15-per-hour minimum wage is both feasible and necessary in order to generate enough spending power to sustain the economy.

Just How Big Are CEOs’ Packages? (In These Times)

Leo Gerard says the purpose of calculating the pay ratio between CEOs and median workers isn't to shame CEOs, but to emphasize the need to pay workers better.

Fed Officials Growing Wary of Market Complacency (WSJ)

Jon Hilsenrath says the Fed is growing concerned that calm markets will increase investors' tolerance for risk too much, and lead to further problems down the road.

What Drives Credit Card Debt? (TAP)

Credit card debt has almost nothing to do with household spending habits, writes Amy Traub. Lack of health insurance, education, and assets are far stronger indicators of high consumer debt.

How Privatizing Government Hollowed Out the Middle Class (MSNBC)

A new report on government contracting shows that the massive shift to privatization in the 1990s cut costs by turning middle-class jobs into low-wage jobs, writes Timothy Noah.

Toward a Progressive Tax Policy (Bloomberg View)

Peter Orszag considers two options for taxing wealth in the U.S. that he thinks are more viable than Piketty's global wealth tax: a progressive consumption tax and an inheritance tax.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz will appear on Moyers & Company again this weekend to continue discussing his new white paper on reforming our tax code.

Republicans Are Claiming the New Climate Rules Will Wreck the Economy. They're Wrong. (MoJo)

Chris Mooney says the economic costs of new environmental rules are consistently overstated, when in fact studies show the benefits from these regulations far exceed the costs.

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Daily Digest - June 3: The City of Goodwill and Good Wages

Jun 3, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Seattle Enacts $15 Minimum Wage, a Phased In Big Dream (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Joel Connelly reports on the city council's passage of the highest minimum wage in the country, and the conflicts that arose along the way.

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Seattle Enacts $15 Minimum Wage, a Phased In Big Dream (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Joel Connelly reports on the city council's passage of the highest minimum wage in the country, and the conflicts that arose along the way.

Colleges Are Buying Stuff They Can’t Afford and Making Students Pay For It (The Nation)

A new study from the University of California, Berkeley's Debt and Society Project ties universities' increased debt from capital projects to rising student debt, writes Michelle Chen.

Low Retail Wages Disproportionately Hurt Women (MSNBC)

A new Demos report highlights this industry-wide problem, which Ned Resnikoff connects to other industries with more women and very low wages, like food service and domestic workers.

50 Shades of Fed (WaPo)

Jim Tankersley reports on a gathering of economists who discussed whether the Federal Reserve is overstepping its bounds. He notes that they didn't talk much about unemployment.

Coca Cola Demonstrates CEO Pay Has Nothing to Do with Performance (AJAM)

The bonus packages at Coca Cola are so disproportionately large compared to the company's profits that they can't truly be "performance pay," says Dean Baker.

Los Angeles Sues Big Banks for Predatory Mortgages But Unlikely to Win (The Guardian)

The city is suing banks for discriminatory practices that targeted minority communities for subprime mortgages, reports David Dayen, but it won't compensate homeowners with any winnings.

New on Next New Deal

Working Families Party Endorsement of Cuomo Shows Progressive Political Power

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch argues that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's agreement with the Working Families Party creates an opportunity for real progressive change.

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Daily Digest - May 30: Fair Wages Take Another Step Forward in Seattle

May 30, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Seattle City Council Panel OKs $15 Minimum Wage (AP)

This clears the way for the full city council to vote on the minimum wage increase next week, reports Manuel Valdes, but delays implementation by another three months.

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Seattle City Council Panel OKs $15 Minimum Wage (AP)

This clears the way for the full city council to vote on the minimum wage increase next week, reports Manuel Valdes, but delays implementation by another three months.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute President and CEO urged this step on the minimum wage when she gave the closing remarks at Seattle's Income Inequality Symposium.

Elizabeth Warren to Obama: Fed Nominees Should Crack Down On Big Banks (MoJo)

Senator Warren wants the Federal Reserve to spend more time on financial regulation, says Erika Eichelberger, and sees two open seats as an opportunity to add reformers.

The US GDP puzzle: Is This a Temporary Drop or Something More Serious? (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore examines the possible reasons for the sharp drop in GDP in the first quarter of 2014. She argues that if it's a blip, it's unclear how the economy will bounce back.

Walmart Moms’ Walkout Starts Friday (In These Times)

The "Walmart Mom" was originally conceived as a political category, but Sarah Jaffe reports that real moms who struggle to support families on Walmart wages are striking.

Companies Commit Human-Rights Abuses in America, Too (The Atlantic)

Christine Bader argues that horrors in American workplaces should be viewed through a human rights framework, which would prioritize people over profits.

Thomas Piketty Responds to Criticism of His Data (NYT)

Neil Irwin summarizes Piketty's response to the Financial Times, which argues that the FT's criticism used flawed methodology in its examination of his data.

  • Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal pointed out flaws in the Financial Times' criticism in two recent blog posts.

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