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EconomicPolicyInstitute December 20, 2007

EPI President Lawrence Mishel was invited by House of Representative Democratic leaders to attend a meeting that would help shape an economic stimulus package next year that could be combined with a long-term fix for the alternative minimum tax. Mishel provided economic counsel at the December 7th meeting convened by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, offering solutions that should be part of the development of a policy response to the credit crunch and the corresponding economic slowdown that threatens to devolve into recession.

The marketing of economics history
A new EPI Issue Brief and a more-detailed Working Paper show that a couple of the numbers recently introduced into the never-ending trade debate—one on the purported measure of how much past trade agreements have added to the U.S. economy and the other on how much future agreements will add to American incomes—both derive from the same flawed study that was seemingly designed to promote the globalization status quo.

Increase in inequality is highest on record
New high-quality data from the Congressional Budget Office reveal an historical sharp increase in household income inequality over the past few years. The increase in income concentration among the rich in the 2003-05 period has been the largest on record, and has resulted in a transfer of $400 billion from households in the bottom 95% of the income scale to those in the top 5%. Read a full analysis in this EPI Issue Brief.

EPI in the blogosphere
Read EPI economist Jared Bernstein’s latest blog posting, Boy, Have We Got an Inequality Problem, by visiting EPI in the Blogosphere, the online clearinghouse for all of our researchers’ blog contributions.

Leaving behind “No Child Left Behind”
EPI education research associate Richard Rothstein writes in the latest issue of The American Prospect about how our No. 1 education program is incoherent, unworkable, and doomed. Visit EPI Viewpoints to read why Rothstein believes that the next president still can have a huge impact on improving American schooling.

EPI at ASSA/AEA conference
As always, EPI will be present at the annual Allied Social Science Association conference in New Orleans this year. EPI publications and a new 2008 catalog will be available at our booth (#236A, shared with Cornell University Press) in the exhibitors’ hall. EPI will also be hosting a cocktail reception on Saturday Jan. 5 from 6-8 pm at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in Grand Salons 7 & 10. Please drop by and say hello!

 

  • The sub-prime mortgage crisis threatens to expand as millions of adjustable-rate mortgages will reset over the next eight months.   The Associated Press quoted EPI in their coverage, reporting: “That would wipe out about 3 million jobs from the economy, according to the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.” The story was picked up in over 160 media outlets nationwide, including Business Week, Forbes, Newsday, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, and the Washington Post.
  • In a commentary that ran just last week, North Carolina’s Leland Tribune wrote: “The latest report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that the rate of employer-provided insurance continues to fall nationally and in North Carolina, where it has dropped 6.4 percent since 2000….The health care crisis is getting worse as more people lose coverage at work. And the pursuit of profit and fierce protection of it that continues to deny people access to health care makes the case for some form of universal coverage more compelling than ever.”
  • Income inequality hit new heights, according to recent data released by the Congressional Budget Office. EPI senior economist Jared Bernstein first reported this analysis of the CBO data in the blog TPM Café on December 13, and again in a detailed EPI Issue Brief. Bernstein’s analysis was included in a recent New York Times article on the topic, as well as in 20 other media outlets.
From the EPI Blog
Ross Eisenbrey
Corporations Are Stealing Your Constitutional Rights: Forced Arbitration Clauses
Lawrence Mishel
Chair Yellen Is Right: Income and Wealth Inequality Hurts Economic Mobility
Ross Eisenbrey
Businesses Agree—It’s Time To Raise the Minimum Wage
Josh Bivens
Right Thing for Wrong Reason? Why Recent Stock Declines Should Not Motivate Fed Interest Rate Moves
Robert E. Scott
Jack Lew Sees No Evil: Treasury Fails To Name China as a Currency Manipulator for the 12th Time
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