Category Archives: Economy

New Realities of an Older America: Challenges, Changes and Questions

Source: Adele M. Hayutin, Miranda Dietz, Lillian Mitchell, Stanford Center on Longevity, 2010

From the abstract:
The challenges of baby boomers reaching old age, combined with a growing, more diverse population, will drive major changes, challenges and decisions in U.S. families, workplaces and communities, according to New Realities of an Older America: Challenges, Changes and Questions, a new report from the Stanford Center on Longevity.

The implications concern the entire society – young and old alike. Even though many of these changes could have been anticipated, the United States has continued to rely on social and economic policies and practices that were designed for a more youthful population. New Realities of an Older America frames the critical issues and underscores the urgency of effectively addressing the anticipated challenges with relevant public policies.

Illinois Hospitals $75 Billion Impact on our Economy

Source: Illinois Hospital Association, 2010

From the press release:
Illinois’ hospitals are a critical mainstay for the state’s economy and jobs, providing stability and even growth during times of recession. According to a new report by the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA), the state’s 200 hospitals and health systems employ more than a quarter of a million people, resulting in 426,700 direct and indirect jobs, and generate a total annual impact of $75.1 billion on the state’s economy.

Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits 101

Source: Heather Boushey, Jordan Eizenga, Center for American Progress, September 21, 2010

From the summary:
Maintaining unemployment benefits until the unemployment rate comes back down is not only necessary and the right thing to do; it’s also consistent with past practice.

UI benefits stabilize the economy by increasing the demand for goods and services, which at this point in the nascent economic recovery is crucial to saving and creating jobs and boosting earnings.

Unemployment benefits help workers and their families by putting money in their pockets while they search for a new job. During the Great Recession, these benefits have been effective in keeping families out of poverty and helping them keep up with their mortgages during this period of high unemployment.

For the past half century, Congress has always extended unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed when unemployment was high and doing so in this recession should be no different.

Solutions for America

Source: Heritage Foundation, 2010

From the press release:
The Heritage Foundation today released “Solutions for America,” a comprehensive policy agenda addressing the nation’s most pressing and ingrained problems.

Compiled by experts at Heritage, the leading conservative think tank, the guidebook outlines critical challenges on 23 policy fronts and makes 128 specific recommendations for Congress to confront and overcome these obstacles. Among them:

* Trim excessive compensation for federal employees by bringing their salaries and benefits in line with those of private-sector pay.
* Exempt those who work beyond the retirement age from paying payroll taxes.
* Establish a unified budget governing all 71 federal welfare programs; cap their year-to-year growth at the rate of inflation; expand work requirements and treat a portion of benefits as loans to be repaid, not grants from taxpayers.
* Spur investment, job creation and global competition by reducing the top corporate tax rate and allowing firms to deduct immediately all investments in new facilities and equipment.

More Transit Equals More Jobs

Source: Todd Swanstrom, Will Winter, and Laura Wiedlocher, Transportation Equity Network, 2010

From the press release:
New data released today by the Transportation Equity Network reveals that investment in public transit can create hundreds of thousands more jobs than highway projects.

More Transit Equals More Jobs examines official project lists from 20 federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and concludes that “if [they] shifted 50 percent of their highway funds to transit, they would generate an additional 184,801 jobs over a five-year period without spending any more money.”
See also:
Summary

Response of the US Labour Movement to the Economic Crisis

Source: Jason Russell,Global Labour University, Conference Paper 2010

The American labour movement has, like progressive movements across the world, attempted to mount an effective response to the economic crisis that began in 2008. American unions and their allies have tried to promote a social and economic agenda that has emphasized the role of the state in protecting domestic jobs and social programs. This includes promoting state intervention to protect the manufacturing sector, and greater regulation of the financial sector. These efforts have often been pursued through the labour movement’s traditional political alliance with the Democratic Party. Labour’s agenda has borne decidedly mixed results.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish – Why Tackling Child Poverty During the Great Recession Makes Economic Sense

Source: Harry J. Holzer, Center for American Progress, September 16, 2010

From the summary:
Children who grow up poor in America end up worse off as adults than those who do not grow up poor along a variety of dimensions, including poorer health, lower education, and lower earnings.
See also:
Download the executive summary
– Download to mobile devices and e-readers from Scribd

Middle-Class Mythology and the Houdini Disappearing Act: Health Care and Jobs Joined at the Hip

Source: Lynn Howard Ehrle and Robert W. Cleveland, International Journal of Health Services, Volume 40, Number 4, 2010
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Myths have long legs. Once they become integrated into the cultural ethos they are almost impossible to dislodge. The Middle Class Myth is a case in point. Spoken of in reverential terms, the conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. economy is driven by a vast middle class, anchoring its consumer-driven system of goods and services. But contrary to frequent statements by pundits, politicians, and many economists, the middle class has actually disappeared. Another commonly held myth–that the United States has the best health care system in the world–is perpetuated by medical leaders and the mainstream media. Despite huge worker layoffs causing 50 million to be without health insurance, and millions more who are underinsured, the myth persists. A third myth, one currently in vogue among media pundits and politicians, is that health care and jobs are two separate issues and policymakers can deal with them as unrelated to each other, when in reality they are inextricably interwoven–the connective tissue of a physically and mentally robust workforce. The authors use Census Bureau after-tax income and Federal Reserve data to demonstrate that the middle class has disappeared, leaving millions of Americans with little disposable income, meager savings, and no health care safety net.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Export Statistics: How Corporate Lobbyists Distort the Record of Flawed Trade Deals

Source: Travis McArthur and Todd Tucker, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, September 2010

From the press release:
U.S. Exports Grew More With Non-FTA Countries; New Study Also Exposes Flaws in Methodology Used in Widely Cited Corporate Reports Touting FTA Benefits

A new report from Public Citizen reveals that the growth of U.S. exports to nations with which the United States does not have Free Trade Agreements (FTA) has outpaced the growth of exports to the 17 U.S. FTA partners, with both services and goods FTA exports lagging. This comes as the corporate interests that dominate private sector representation on the President’s Export Council, which meets Thursday, have reframed their support for more NAFTA-style trade pacts as critical to promoting the president’s goal of doubling exports over the next five years to create two million new American jobs.

Debunking the Myth of the Overcompensated Public Employee

Source: Jeffrey H. Keefe, Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper #276, September 15, 2010

From the summary:
The research in this paper investigates whether state and local public employees are overpaid at the expense of taxpayers.

This research is timely. Thirty-seven states are struggling with substantial budget deficits. Several governors have identified excessive public employee compensation as a major cause of their states’ fiscal duress. The remedies they propose include public employee pay freezes, benefits reductions, privatization, major revisions to the rules of collective bargaining, and constitutional amendments to limit pay increases, each as a necessary antidote to the public employee overpayment malady.