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Research Roundup

Jan 29, 2009
2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure - The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the nation a D average grade for its poorly maintained, often crumbling infrastructure, estimating that $2.2 trillion in investments are needed to repair and upgrade it.  They emphasize the threat to the long-term economic health from the problem and the need for long-term planning to make the investments needed.
Jan 22, 2009
The 2005 Tax Overhaul and Ohio's Economy -  In 2005, the Ohio legislature passed a massive tax cut bill which is currently removing $2 billion a year from the state budgets, forcing massive cuts in state spending.  As this report by Policy Matters Ohio documents, the result of those tax cuts were not the economic growth promised but a state economy falling further behind the rest of the nation on key indicators such as employment, output, income, and productivity. 
Jan 15, 2009
Year in Review- This report by the Drum Major Institute highlights the best and worst in public policy across the nation, including cleaning up ports in Los Angeles, community programs to prevent foreclosure, cracking down on cheating workers in New York, comprehensive health care in San Francisco, and taming toxic toys.  It also highlights national and local trends, including a "state of the cities" report on how five municipalities wrestled with major challenges in 2008.
Jan 08, 2009
How long would a job-market recovery take? - One year into the recession and the U.S. economy has already lost nearly 2 million jobs, according to this Economic Policy Institute Snapshot.  Evidence comparing the pattern of that job decline to recent recessions indicates that employment levels will likely not fully recover until mid-2010 or beyond.
Nov 21, 2008

A few good resources highlighting the need for a federal recovery program focused on aid to the states:

  • Rebuilding a Good Jobs Economy: A Blueprint for Recovery and Reform (NELP) -Aimed at the new administraiton, this agenda emphasizes policies that will help states, including strengthening the unemployment safety net, create wage and workplace standards to level the playing field nationally for law-abiding employers, and direct public resources to creating good jobs.
Oct 24, 2008

Dealing with the Economic Crisis: A few key reports this week on the financial crisis and what government should do in response:

  • The false fiscal dilemma- the Economic Policy Institute argues for another federal stimulus package, explaining why alarmists worried about government debt are ignoring the fact that debt as a percentage of gross domestic product is actually far lower than most historical standards.  An Economic Snapshot emphasizes that tax cuts for the wealthy are far less effective than expanded spending on food stamps unemployment insurance in immediately pumping money back into the economy.
Oct 17, 2008

The economic crisis is severe and getting worse, as these policy reports highlight: