New CPEG Working Paper – ‘Greece and the Economic/Financial Crises in the EU’

The crises that unfolded between the new Greek government and the German dominated Euro-zone at the beginning of February is blowing hot and cold. It cooled with the acceptance on February 28 of the Greek negotiating offer by the German Parliament. It seems to have reheated in the middle of March with the Euro spokesmen accusing Syriza of foot dragging in implementing the neo-liberal restructuring of the Greek economy the EU demands.

This paper explores the context, current developments, and potential impact of an international mass democratic anti-neoliberal, anti-austerity movement in the United States.

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Restoring Chicago’s Fiscal and Economic Health: A CPEG Report on Options for the City’s Next Mayor

Chicago’s next Mayor confronts economic stagnation, unemployment, and budget and pension shortfalls. The lack of good jobs, the root of neighborhood economic and social dislocation, cannot be addressed through more or better policing, education, or additional human services, needed as they are. Overcoming 26 years of neoliberal policy under the Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emmanuel administrations requires a program to create jobs and shore up pensions, as well as the City’s budget. This effort will require new taxes and other funding measures.

A new CPEG report, Restoring Chicago’s Fiscal and Economic Health, offers a range of options for raising revenue, essential to reversing years of increasing inequality, poverty and middle class decline in Chicago and across the Midwest.

Download Restoring Chicago’s Fiscal and Economic Health (PDF)

Fantastical Finance: CPEG’s Bill Barclay Responds to Sun-Times’ Condescending Editorial

Note: This response is authored by CPEG’s Bill Barclay in response to a February 16th Editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times regarding the potential for a “LaSalle Street Tax”, a very small tax on the trading of financial assets. You can download a full Q&A on the Lasalle Street Tax here.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you…

…and then you win.

– Gandhi

The gathering momentum behind the LaSalle Street Tax (LST) is moving us through Gandhi’s stages faster than we expected. The most recent evidence that this momentum can no longer be ignored comes from the Sun Times February 16th editorial, which endorses such a tax in principle. While attacking the proposed level of the LST, the editorial says “a very small Chicago tax might make sense.”

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First Edition of Quarterly CPEG Notes

Click below to read CPEG Notes, a new series of quarterly analyses of current economic reality by the Chicago Political Economy Group. This publication, which has evolved out of CPEG’s regular Commentary on the Monthly BLS report, is directed at scholars, students, activists, journalists, policymakers and all others interested in economic trends, theory and issues confronting the world economy.


Commentary on the November 2014 BLS Jobs Report

The headlines are euphoric: “Big Job Gains and Rising Pay in Latest U.S. Data” (NYT 12/6/2014) and indeed the 321,000 payroll jobs increase, 9-cent increase in average hourly wages and 0.1 hour increase in weekly hours last month exceeded expectations and is reminiscent of the 300-400 thousand monthly job growth and rising wages of the late 90’s tech boom bubble economy glory days. These November payroll (Establishment Survey) numbers are good, the kind of monthly job growth that could eventually dig us out of the Lesser Depression hole if they consistently continue for another couple of years (eyeballing from Figure 2 below). This would get us back to the Emp/Pop ratio of 2007 assuming that major Labor Force population age cohorts (16-24, 25-54, 55 and over) were the same share of the overall population in November 2007 when the Lesser Depression started as they were in November 2014 (see Figure 2 explanation). We would still be far below post-war Emp/Pop ratios without taking demographic changes into account (Figure 1 below) but, with increased productivity and more redistribution of income among the cohorts (more wishful thinking), “sort of” where we were in Nov. 2007. Of course expansions out of every past post-war recession have led to a recovery of demographically adjusted employment losses within at most 4 years (see Figure 2) and this would require 7 years of continuous expansion with the most robust job growth in the last couple of years, but at least we would get back to where we were (on a demographically adjusted basis) 9 years after the start of the Lesser Depression.

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