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 - June 2: Building a Better Tax Code

Jun 2, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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Joseph E. Stiglitz Calls for Fair Taxes for All (Moyers & Company)

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Joseph E. Stiglitz Calls for Fair Taxes for All (Moyers & Company)

Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz discusses his paper on overhauling the tax system to combat inequality and strengthen the U.S. economy.

Seven Key Takeaways From Joseph E. Stiglitz’s Tax Plan for Growth and Equality (Moyers & Company)

The Moyers team provides an overview of Stiglitz's plan for corporate tax reform, which would encourage domestic job creation, rein in the financial sector, and more.

How Local Governments Are Using Their Purchasing Power to End Sweatshop Labor (The Nation)

Michelle Chen looks at how cities can use "sweatfree" contract guidelines for purchases like police uniforms to push for fair labor standards around the world.

Stay-at-Home Parenting Is on the Rise Because Mothers Can’t Find Work (Pacific Standard)

When mothers can't find work that covers the cost of child care, they may be forced to stay at home rather than choosing for themselves, says Erin Hoekstra.

Opportunity's Knocks (WaPo)

Eli Salsow profiles Tereza Sedgwick as she studies to become a nursing aide, and looks at why the fastest-growing job in the country doesn't offer a clear route out of poverty.

New on Next New Deal

Summer Academy Fellows Come Together for the Fight Against Inequality

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Training Director Etana Jacobi explains how the Summer Academy program prepares students to engage in the biggest policy debates of the day.

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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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Daily Digest - May 29: Institutions like NYU Can Lead on Labor

May 29, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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The Ugly Foundations of NYU Abu Dhabi (All In with Chris Hayes)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren says institutions like NYU can control their supply chains and contractors and provide better labor conditions if they want to.

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The Ugly Foundations of NYU Abu Dhabi (All In with Chris Hayes)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren says institutions like NYU can control their supply chains and contractors and provide better labor conditions if they want to.

Panel Discusses Improved Relationship Between Northwestern, Evanston (Daily Northwestern)

Julian Gerez reports on a panel hosted by the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's Northwestern University chapter, which discussed the school's impact on its community.

  • Roosevelt Take: Alan Smith, Associate Director of Networked Initiatives, explains how the Network is considering this question on a broad, cross-country scale.

Thomas Piketty’s Numbers Aren’t Wrong: The Financial Times’ Big Whiff Misstates His Central Argument (Salon)

Paul Rosenberg says Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal pointed out the Financial Times' most fundamental mistake: Piketty argues that capital keeps growing, not wealth inequality.

Michigan Becomes Seventh State This Year to Raise Minimum Wage (WSJ)

Michigan is the first Republican-controlled state to approve a minimum wage increase this year, reports Eric Morath. The state's minimum wage will rise to $9.25 by 2018.

A Do-Nothing Congress? Well, Pretty Close (NYT)

The reduced number of bills proposed might be a sign of just how unpopular Congress has become, says Derek Willis, or of how difficult it is to pass anything.

Leaving Homeless Person On The Streets: $31,065. Giving Them Housing: $10,051. (ThinkProgress)

A new study in Florida shows the cost savings of housing the homeless, reports Scott Keyes. He calls allowing homelessness to continue fiscally irresponsible.

New on Next New Deal

Study: How City Fiber Networks Can Make High-Speed Internet a Community Resource

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford has co-authored a new paper that looks at community fiber networks in three cities as case studies for improving access.

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Daily Digest - May 23: How to Pop a Housing Bubble Before It Starts

May 23, 2014Rachel Goldfarb

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There will not be a new Daily Digest on Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day. The Daily Digest will return on Tuesday, May 27.

The Shared-Responsibility Mortgage Could Help Bubbleproof the Housing Market (Bloomberg Businessweek)

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There will not be a new Daily Digest on Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day. The Daily Digest will return on Tuesday, May 27.

The Shared-Responsibility Mortgage Could Help Bubbleproof the Housing Market (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Peter Coy looks at Atif Mian and Amir Sufi's bold suggestion for a new, safer mortgage structure in House of Debt, which would tie the cost of loan repayment to local housing prices.

It Wasn't Household Debt That Caused the Great Recession (The Atlantic)

Heather Boushey praises House of Debt for bringing in hard data to prove that banks targeting poorer communities for bad mortgages led to the recession, not general household debt.

Cutting Off Emergency Unemployment Benefits Hasn’t Pushed People Back to Work (Five Thirty Eight)

Most unemployed workers who no longer receive benefits are still struggling to find jobs, writes Ben Casselman, and nearly a quarter have dropped out of the labor force entirely.

McDonald's CEO Insists Fast-Food Giant Pays 'Fair Wages' as Protesters Rally (The Guardian)

Dominic Rushe reports on McDonald's chief executive Don Thompson's statement as protests against the company's pay practices continued outside its annual shareholder meeting.

Paul Ryan Now Wants to Solve Poverty with 'Love' and 'Eye to Eye' Contact. Don't Let Him. (The Week)

Elizabeth Stoker argues that Ryan's tough-love strategy of cutting aid programs won't actually help the poor, and that a truly loving approach would maintain government's obligation to all citizens.

A Progressive Alternative to Obamacare (MSNBC)

Geoffrey Cawley reports on Vermont's plan to implement single-payer health care as soon as 2017. This would be a step beyond the Affordable Care Act, though there are logistical hurdles.

Financial Crisis, Over and Already Forgotten (NYT)

Attacks on the Financial Stability Oversight Council demonstrate how quickly Washington has forgotten the source of the Great Recession, says Floyd Norris.

  • Roosevelt Take: "An Unfinished Mission," a report from the Roosevelt Institute and Americans for Financial Reform, lays out suggestions for the next phase of fixing the financial sector.

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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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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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