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New Reports: Changing Geography of Metropolitan Employment, Ohio Election Summit, and How to Expose Rightwing Propaganda

New reports on the failure of inadequate health insurance for families - and what needs to be done

  • When Coverage Fails: Causes and Remedies for Inadequate Health Insurance - a Community Catalyst report outlines the implications of a growing “underinsurance” problem as the number of Americans paying more for health insurance policies that cover less has increased 60 percent since 2003 and approximately 25 million Americans—one in five insured adults—are underinsured.  With the economy intensifying the problem, the report urges government leaders to act to ensure families who purchase insurance get the coverage they need.
  • Health Reform: Delivering for Those Who Deliver Health Care - This Center for American Progress report identifies the core elements of health reform as insurance coverage expansion, a focus on prevention, enhanced primary and chronic care management, and comparative measurements of effectiveness.  By integrating these approaches, health care professionals will be able to better serve their patients.

Excessive executive pay versus rental costs for many working families:

  • Executive PayWatch 2009 - This updated resources by the AFL-CIO has a special focus on CEOs benefiting from government bailouts, yet paying themselves tens of millions of dollars each even as working families suffer pay cuts and rising unemployment.
  • Out of Reach: Persistent Problems, New Challenges for Renters - This National Low-Income Housing Coalition report details the costs of rental housing, finding that in 30 states, more than two full-time minimum wage jobs are necessary for an individual to afford a two-bedroom apartment

This tax weeks highlights reforms that improve budget fairness-- and those that don't:

  • Promoting State Budget Accountability Through Tax Expenditure Reporting - For states seeking to get better control of their budgeting process, this indepth report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities outlines how tax credits, deductions and exemptions usually bypass annual budget reviews and best practices for tracking them.   By creating an annual tax expenditure report, states can better measure their costs and potential effectiveness, although most of the 42 states with such reports omit critical information such the number of households that benefit from the programs.
  • Georgia Budget Raises Taxes on Middle-Income Families to Pay for Capital Gains Tax Breaks for Wealthiest Investors - The title of this ITEP report says it all; in typical conservative fashion, the budget just approved by the Georgia General Assemlby increases taxes on the poorest 95% of the population for a tax break that overwhelmingly benefits the richest 1% of the population.

There are a number of new resources out recently on immigration.

New reports on child care and pre-K:

New reports highlight how racial inequality still drives economic suffering in black and latino communities:

  • Weathering the Storm: Black Men in the Recession - This Center for American Progress report finds that African-American men are experiencing a particularly alarming level of job loss, emphasizing why racial equity and equal opportunity needs to be at the forefront of any economic recovery and job creation plans.  Key policies needed include toughening anti-discrimination laws, modernizing unemployment insurance systems, strengthening the freedom to form unions, improving education and "green job" opportunities in low-income communities, and comprehensive re-entry services for ex-offenders.
  • Predatory Profiling - Payday lenders in California locate overwhelmingly in African-American and Latino areas, draining $247 million out of those communities, according to this Center for Responsible Lending report.  Even when controlling for income and other factors, predatory lenders are still half as likely to locate in white neighborhoods-- emphasizing why policies to restrict predatory lending rates is a racial as well as economic justice issue.

Job Sprawl Revisited: The Changing Geography of Metropolitan Employment - a new Brookings report finds that in 98 of the largest metro areas, job share continues to shift away fromt he urban core. This decentralization of employment has implications, for housing, transportation and economic development policies that the report details.

Ohio Election Summit: Framework for Reform- This Brennan Center writeup outlines a broadly endorsed approach to protecting voting rights, based on Ohio's experiences, by improving early voting procedures, strengthening statewide voter registration databases, improving poll worker recruitment and training, simplify provisional voting processes and expand post-election audits.

Facts Still Count - This Free Exchange On Campus fact-checking report rebuts a argument by rightwinger David Horowitz that university classrooms are dominated by politically-biased faculty, highlighting the typically shoddy research and cherry-picked data used by the right.   The report is a good case study on how to expose rightwing propaganda and the manipulation of facts typically used.