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)

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

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

Jun 10, 2014Anisha Hegde

When doctors speak out about burnout, it creates an opportunity to create a more sustainable way to practice medicine.

When doctors speak out about burnout, it creates an opportunity to create a more sustainable way to practice medicine.

This fall, I will join about 17,000 students matriculating into medical colleges across America. For all of us, gaining admission to a medical school was at least a four year long process of first discerning – through shadowing, taking rigorous science classes, and volunteering – that we want to be doctors, followed by studying for the MCAT and successfully completing the marathon-like admissions process. For most of us, gaining admission to a medical school is only the beginning of a decade of training in the practice of medicine.

A grueling work environment upon graduation from medical school apparently accompanies this daunting timeline. Domestically, there is a forecasted shortage of 130,600 doctors by 2025, which will likely be exacerbated by the millions of newly insured people under the Affordable Care Act and the increasing emphasis on preventive care. These changes are both tremendously positive for society, but create challenges in the field of medicine. With only 17,000 of the 40,000 yearly applicants matriculating into American medical schools, compared to 45,000 beginning law school and 100,000 beginning business school, reducing that shortage becomes hard to envision. The physician shortage is even more striking on a global scale, as reported by the New England Journal of Medicine.

We can also expect high burnout rates when we get to work. As I was completing secondary applications last fall, I noticed a plethora of headlines advising Millennials against careers in medicine, with multiple doctors leaving comments to express their agreement. I cannot recall reading even one article during that same time period encouraging students interested in service and science to pursue an MD. A survey by NerdWallet sums up the crux of the issues mentioned in the articles: doctors are deeply unsatisfied with their professional choices and would not choose careers in medicine if they could go back and do it all over again. 

Perhaps surprisingly, these articles never made me doubt my desire to become a doctor. Many of the doctors I have shadowed over the years have iterated the power of one positive patient encounter to carry them through the day, to recall as encouragement through the toughest moments. In these interactions between doctors and their patients, I have witnessed the privilege of serving someone in their time of need, the fulfilling skillset of helping someone stay healthy and the lifelong learning that is required in attempting to understand the human body.  These memories and observations have morphed into goals and have seen me through 2 am study sessions for organic chemistry tests and the aftermath of medical school rejection e-mails.

Though I haven't obeyed the command of the articles pushing back on medical school, they did lead to honest conversations with doctors about balancing work and family and about the weighty, taxing responsibility that accompanies a career in medicine. To address burnout, Diane Shannon highlights inexpensive yet seemingly effective measures, such as physician retreats and increased day-to-day clinical autonomy. She also points to larger overhauls and paradigm shifts, such as redirecting the reimbursement system to compensate for quality, as opposed to quantity, of care and employing third-parties to cultivate compassionate healthcare, which medical school curriculums also emphasize.

Maybe I am simply on a post-undergraduate-commencement high, but perhaps this deluge of articles from doctors who left their practices is an inception of a long-needed change in the world of medicine: elevating conversations about stress and concerns plaguing doctors onto a larger stage. This change promises to engage doctors before the final burnout and to fill doctor shortages in a sustainable way. At its core, this change is relevant to service sector fields from doctors to nurses to teachers. As a millennial entering medical school, I realize I know very little about what to expect when it comes to a career in medicine, but I am grateful to those who have spoken out. I hope that the attention they have brought to the dearth of humanity allotted to both the provider and the patient is the inception of a policy and culture-oriented journey to correct both.

Anisha Hegde is the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Senior Fellow for Health Care.

 

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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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Summer Academy Fellows Come Together for the Fight Against Inequality

May 30, 2014Etana Jacobi
The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's 2014 Summer Academy Fellows have gathered for a summer of learning and growing together to solve today's most pressing issues.
 
Inequality well may be the issue of our generation. The research, commentary, and policy debates are building across the country, from the depths of the ivory tower to the streets of Seattle.
 
The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's 2014 Summer Academy Fellows have gathered for a summer of learning and growing together to solve today's most pressing issues.
 
Inequality well may be the issue of our generation. The research, commentary, and policy debates are building across the country, from the depths of the ivory tower to the streets of Seattle.
 
But how are we preparing this generation – the group that will inherit the outcomes of the policy choices we make today? Are we equipping them with the knowledge to engage, the skills to act, and the community capable of coming together to create change?
 
Today, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network welcomes 36 students representing over 19 colleges and universities to kick off the 2014 DC and New York City Summer Academies. Curious, brilliant, and diverse in experience, this group is ready to take on the issues in their own backyards, exploring how they address both economic and democratic inequality on the ground. Over half of our new fellows are from the New York City area, while others come from geographically diverse regions of the United States: Alabama, California, and Illinois to name a few home states.
 
Over the course of the next nine weeks, Summer Academy Fellows will be placed in full-time internships with a partner organization, including city governments, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and think tanks. Concurrently, Fellows participate in a rigorous curriculum composed of workshops, a team-based challenge, field visits, and a speaker series to develop key skills necessary to generate and implement concrete policy change.
 
Together they will tackle the problems of runaway inequality in New York City and a broken political system in Washington, DC. With the challenge frame provided by the Center for Social Inclusion and Fund for the Republic, respectively, students will jump right in to the current debates supported by leading experts and thoughts leaders – and their ideas and contributions will be taken seriously by these leading organizations.
 
Why are we doing this? We believe that policy matters – from City Hall to the community center, from the White House to the social innovation hub. How people and resources come together to solve problems can determine the direction of communities and institutions. It is imperative that we develop a group of young people who capable of tackling complex problems and systems with the power of ideas-inspired action.
 
Interested in what emerges? Students will present their research and ideas at policy expos at the end of the summer in Washington, DC and New York City, as well as the Bay area and Chicago, where Summer Academies will launch in June.
 
In the context of a stagnant public dialogue and increasing disillusionment with a political system incapable of tackling our complex collective challenges, it is more important than ever to invest in a generation of leaders committed to active problem-solving and concrete change in the public sphere. As it enters its seventh year, the Summer Academy boasts 200 alumni now serving as leaders in the non-profit, public, and social innovation sectors. We are overjoyed to welcome a new class of students to this great tradition of leadership.
 
Etana Jacobi is Training Director for the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network. 

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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.

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

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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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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Collaborative Democracy in Action: The Summer of Rethinking Communities

May 8, 2014Alan Smith

Students across the country are asking how their colleges and universities shape the communities around them.

Students across the country are asking how their colleges and universities shape the communities around them.

The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network’s Rethinking Communities initiative is entering a new phase. In January, students began their research, asking difficult questions that drew on the work of the Democracy Collaborative and others. Their purpose: to examine whether their schools are acting as a good anchor institutions, defined here as institutions that are anchored to a particular location by their mission, invested capital, or relationships, and therefore have a stake in improving the welfare of their communities.

As the spring semester wraps up and the data comes in, we’re learning the scope of what we can achieve with this initiative, and we're ready to bring more schools to the table. Watch the video below for an overview of the work our students are doing to jumpstart national change at the local level, and why we think it’s so important:

Nearly 30 chapters signed up for the research phase, and many are close to completing or have already completed their research. The next step will be building a series of local projects designed to improve the economic development, civic infrastructure, and public health and environment of their communities. 

As these projects come together, we're starting to get a sense of where students can be the most effective in rethinking communities. A few early milestones:

  • The George Washington University chapter has proposed a plan to shift money from the university's cash on hand into a local community development financial institution, as a way to empower and invest in businesses that operate in and around low-income neighborhoods.
  • The Amherst College chapter has shone a light on the need for an office of sustainability at Amherst. The college is now in the process of planning for such an addition.
  • The University of Richmond chapter is working with city of Richmond and local elected officials to redesign “The Richmond Promise,” an existing agreement between the university and the city, to reflect best practices and better connect the school’s resources to the community.

The final phase of this initiative will be to take the data we’ve collected from all of these institutions to build a certification system based on a series of local economic development metrics, which will allow us to measure the impact of anchor institutions relative to their peers.

It’s an exciting time to be part of Rethinking Communities. School’s out, but the work is just getting started.

Alan Smith is the Roosevelt Institute's Associate Director of Networked Initiatives.

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Turning Students' Vision Into Reality: Roosevelt's Campus Network at 10

May 6, 2014Tarsi Dunlop

As the nation's largest student policy organization approaches its 10th anniversary, an alumna and former staffer reflects on how it has evolved and what lies ahead.

As the nation's largest student policy organization approaches its 10th anniversary, an alumna and former staffer reflects on how it has evolved and what lies ahead.

It was September 2005, a few weeks into my first year at Middlebury College, and I was visiting tables at the student activities fair. I had already signed up for several clubs when I heard someone say something, rather loudly, about getting my ideas published and in front of policymakers. I got the pitch: it was the nation’s first ever student-run think tank, then called the Roosevelt Institution, and it was committed to getting student ideas into the policy process. I had no idea how that 10-minute conversation would shape the next 10 years of my life. The organization that would become the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network was still in its infancy; I showed up to the first general interest meeting and was promptly given a chapter leadership role. In the months to follow, I learned how to run meetings, facilitate research, and write policy recommendations. I knew I had found something bigger than myself, or even my school.

The Campus Network turns 10 years old in December 2014. This past weekend, a group of former Roosevelt students gathered for the first of many meetings in New York City to talk about the 10th anniversary celebration, which will set the stage for a longer-term effort to re-engage former members around shared aspects of our incredible story. As we sat together and learned about the more recent Campus Network initiatives, we were, frankly, proud and impressed.

The evolution of the Campus Network is evident in the ambition and scope of the work students are doing. Over the years, the Campus Network has spread to more than 125 campuses, including 13 community colleges. The Summer Academy program, which allows students to develop policy proposals while working alongside government, think tanks, and non-profits, started in Washington, D.C. in 2008; it now operates in four cities and receives a growing number of applications. We used to publish eight or nine student-generated ideas a year in the Roosevelt Review; now the organization publishes 60 a year in the 10 Ideas journal series. And though the organization has changed names and headquarters, it has remained student-run and student-driven. 

The mentality of the students has evolved along with the work. They realized their ideas had more relevance and potential when designed for and implemented in their local communities. They began to think about how to put their ideas into action themselves, in collaboration with the important stakeholders, instead of simply pitching them to elected leaders. And at the same time, they expressed a desire for a national narrative to connect their work across the country. This led to the creation of Think 2040, an initiative designed to identify students' values and how they relate to their generation's policy goals. Conversations were held and data was compiled at campuses across the country, which led to a series of documents that established a clear vision for a Millennial-driven future: the Blueprint for Millennial America, the Budget for Millennial America, and Government By and For Millennial America. The Campus Network is now taking this model to the local level through initiatives like Rethinking Communities and NextGen Illinois.

As the alumni gathered to learn about the state of the Campus Network and where the organization is heading, we were all reminded of particular moments and events that resonated with us. We all identified with different parts of the story: which publications did we write for, which Hyde Park summit did we attend, did we apply to the Summer Academy? We are still fundamentally connected to this journey and invested in this idea space, and we share certain values because we were shaped by this experience. We recognize that we all embraced the same mission and pitch: that young people and their ideas matter, that those ideas can be put to work now, and that students don’t have to wait until they’re in positions of power to make an impact.

In the coming years, the Campus Network wants to reconnect with alumni, support them in their work, and offer them a greater array of opportunities to stay up to date and engaged with the network moving forward. We want to encourage more intentional connections between alumni and current students, offer professional development for former members, recognize contributions from students and chapters over the last 10 years, create alumni profiles and features, and foster connections at the local level. Above all, we want to create a space that reflects the needs and interests of the broader Roosevelt community. In celebrating such growth and success at the organization’s 10th anniversary, we can also look ahead to its 25th. What do we want for Roosevelt then?

We are excited to reach out and build something great for all generations of Roosevelt members. Every success on every level made us what we are today. If you're interested in staying in touch, let us know! And if you’re not a current or former Campus Network member but are interested in our work, stay tuned: there’s much more to come.

Tarsi Dunlop is the former Director of Operations for the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network. She currently works at an education nonprofit in Alexandria.

Photos: Campus Network alumni gather in New York City for a 10th anniversary celebration; the author with Roosevelt Institute VP of Networks and Campus Network National Director Taylor Jo Isenberg.

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How Can We Grade Universities on Their Local Economic Impact?

Apr 18, 2014

Roosevelt Institute Associate Director of Networked Initiatives Alan Smith and NYU student Eugenia Kim explain the Campus Network's Rethinking Communities Initiative and how universities can promote local development. 

Roosevelt Institute Associate Director of Networked Initiatives Alan Smith and NYU student Eugenia Kim explain the Campus Network's Rethinking Communities Initiative and how universities can promote local development. 

Click here to read more about Rethinking Communities.

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Millennials Are Shifting the Public Debate with the Power of Their Ideas

Apr 16, 2014Taylor Jo Isenberg

The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's annual 10 Ideas series collects the top student policy proposals from across the country. This year's journals are now available online; read them here.

The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network's annual 10 Ideas series collects the top student policy proposals from across the country. This year's journals are now available online; read them here.

December 2014 will mark 10 years since a group of college students united behind a new model for engaging young people in the political process, a model that became the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network. Deeply grounded in the belief that young people have more to offer than just showing up on Election Day, the Campus Network has continued to evolve and grow from its visionary beginning into the nation’s largest student policy organization, with a membership capable of shifting dialogue and effecting policy at the local, state, and national levels.

We believe that in the context of a stagnant public discourse and increasing disillusionment with a political system incapable of tackling our complex collective challenges, it is more important than ever to invest in a generation of leaders committed to active problem-solving and concrete change in the public sphere. As the Campus Network expands to more than 120 chapters in 38 states, we serve as a vehicle for fresh ideas, exciting talent, and real progress.

You will find our commitment to bold experimentation on display in the 2014 edition of the Campus Network’s 10 Ideas journals, collecting our members’ best policy proposals on issues including economic development, defense and diplomacy, energy and the environment, health care, education, and equal justice. From reforming western water rights to supporting green infrastructure, students are envisioning and acting on better solutions.

The variety and scope of the ideas in these journals are indicative of our network’s larger impact. In the past year, we’ve leveraged the effectiveness of our model to work with and inform dozens of other organizations on how to engage Millennials on critical issues, ranging from campaign finance to inequality to climate change. We’ve elevated a fresh, Millennial-driven vision for government in an otherwise stale public debate, and launched an initiative that taps into our generation’s unfettered thinking and ambition to reimagine the role of citizens in shaping fairer and more equitable local economies. Our members have continued to substantively engage in local processes to shape and shift the policy outcomes that directly impact their communities, from introducing new mapping systems to improve health outcomes in low-income neighborhoods to consulting local governments on flood prevention.

These ideas are just the starting place, because ideas are only powerful when acted upon. Yet this work is occurring in a dramatically shifting political and social context. The ways citizens engage their government, participate locally, and advocate for their communities are changing every day. As a vibrant, evolving network driven by our active members nationwide, we believe there is immense potential to capture these innovations and ensure better and more progressive ideas take hold. We believe that:

  • Millennials are turning away from traditional institutions and are looking to build new ones as vehicles for social change. We believe there is an opportunity to channel this reform-mindedness into building a healthier, more inclusive system that’s responsive to citizen engagement and evidence-based solutions.  
  • To jump-start political engagement and combat disillusionment, the focus needs to be on pragmatic problem-solving and intersectional thinking across key issues. For example, we can no longer tackle economic mobility separately from climate change.
  • There is immense potential (and need) for scalable policy innovation at the local and state levels, and much of the most effective and important policy change in the coming decade will be local.
  • With the shift from top-down institutions to networked approaches and collective problem-solving, it is more important than ever before to invest in the development of informed, engaged community leaders capable of driving engagement and action on ideas.

As you engage with the ideas, ambitions, and goals in these journals, I encourage you to dig in and explore how our country’s future leaders are taking the initiative to create the change they know we desperately need. You won’t be disappointed. 

Taylor Jo Isenberg is the Roosevelt Institute's Vice President of Networks.

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