Monday, August 29, 2016

Austerity, State Budgets, and Education

Note: California does it right !
New York Times . Editorial. 8/29The children entering kindergarten and first grade this school year were not yet born when the Great Recession ended in mid-2009. Incoming high school seniors were not yet in middle school.

But in many states and localities, the wounds to school budgets from recession-era cutbacks are still large, leaving schools with more students and less money. Recent data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that as of last year, 25 states were still spending less per student than before the recession, adjusted for inflation, and cuts in seven states exceeded 10 percent. In 31 states, local government spending per student fell between 2008 and 2014, the latest data available (adjusted for inflation). It is safe to assume some improvement in recent years, but even so, there is clearly a long way to go before overall spending catches up with enrollment and inflation.

Some states, however, don’t seem particularly interested in addressing the shortfalls, while others, notably California and Minnesota, have moved decisively to do so.

The difference has at least as much to do with political priorities as financial challenges. In part, persistent shortfalls in school budgets reflect the depth of the recession and the fitful recovery. To a lesser extent, they also reflect stagnation in federal help, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of school budgets.

Reform or Divorce in Europe by Joseph E. Stiglitz - Project Syndicate

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why is recovery taking so long—and who’s to blame?

Why is recovery taking so long—and who’s to blame?: We are enduring one of the slowest economic recoveries in recent history, and the pace can be entirely explained by the fiscal austerity imposed by Republican members of Congress and also legislators and governors at the state level.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Building a Progressive International | Portside

Building a Progressive International | Portside

What we are experiencing today is the natural repercussion of the implosion of centrist politics, owing to a crisis of global capitalism in which a financial crash led to a Great Recession and then to today’s Great Deflation. The right is simply repeating its old trick of drawing upon the righteous anger and frustrated aspirations of the victims to advance its own repugnant agenda.

Yannis Varaoufakis,

Athens, Greece  

21st Century Glass-Steagall Act

In 1999, when Congress repealed core provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act, it provided an opportunity for traditional banks to engage in an array of high-risk activities. And that is exactly what they did—growing in size and adding activities to their portfolio that threaten our country’s financial security.

A 21st century Glass–Steagall—which has been introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and has bipartisan support—would separate traditional banking activities such as savings and checking accounts from riskier financial services such as hedge fund and private equity activities, investment banking, and more.

Please stand with the EPI Policy Center and our partners in calling on Congress to pass Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 21st Century Glass–Steagall Act and begin to rein in Wall Street’s greedy and reckless behavior.