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Who Exactly Are Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg’s Bundlers?

Beginning in the fall, the Revolving Door Project was one of a handful of voices drawing attention to Democratic primary candidates’ failure to release the names of their most important fundraisers. In op-eds, newsletters, and across other forums throughout the fall we repeatedly made the case that this consequential information could not stay hidden. Why were we so insistent? A candidate’s list of top fundraisers, or bundlers, provides clearer insight than perhaps any other piece of...

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Dem Prez Candidates Fundraising from Union-Busting Lawyers

The Iron Workers Union endorsed Joe Biden last week, citing his dedication to “defend rights and jobs of American workers”, and calling him “a friend to union ironworkers”. The union endorsement marks one of many that Democratic candidates are fighting for by unveiling detailed labor plans and promising to overturn “right-to work laws” that weaken unions. While they seek union endorsements, several of the candidates are also seeking direct contributions from wealthy individuals. And therein...

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Lifting Hold on Public Charge Rule Evokes Antebellum Slave Codes

In a 5-4 decision yesterday, the Supreme Court temporarily lifted a nationwide preliminary injunction that had kept the Trump administration from implementing its rule that vastly expands the reach of the public charge provision in federal immigration law. Immigration officials will now be able to deny lawful permanent resident status (“green cards”) to immigrant spouses and otherwise eligible immigrant family members of US citizens based on their prediction that the immigrant will “become a...

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Year in Review – What Changed at Independent Agencies in 2019?

As we have previously highlighted, independent federal agencies receive too little attention relative to their importance to our collective safety and prosperity. The Revolving Door Project has worked through multiple channels to shed light on these overlooked agencies and the threats that they face. We hope public education will generate pressure to safeguard the independence of these agencies and ensure that they are staffed with advocates for the public interest rather than corporate...

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Marital-Status Discrimination Reduces Fertility in China

Building on recent posts by Dean Baker in his Beat the Press Blog (responding to NYT and Washington Post here and Ross Douthat here) that debunk the idea that there is a “demographic crisis” in China, there’s also an important family justice aspect to fertility in China.  Although Douthat attributes China’s fertility rate (1.6 births per woman) to “cruel policy choices,” particularly the one-child policy, he doesn’t mention that these choices include widespread discrimination against...

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This is What Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace with Productivity

If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be close to $12 an hour today, more than 65 percent higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. While this would make a huge difference in the lives of many people earning close to the national minimum wage, it is actually a relatively unambitious target.  Until 1968, the minimum wage not only kept pace with inflation, it rose in step with productivity growth. The logic is straightforward; we expect that...

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Poverty, the Poor People’s Campaign, and the Free College Tuition Debate

During the January 14th Democratic Presidential Debate, as part of the discussion of whether tuition at public college should be free for all, Pete Buttigieg had this to say:  “There is a very real choice about what we do with every single taxpayer dollar that we raise, and we need to be using that to support everybody whether you go to college, or not, making sure that Americans can thrive....Investing in infrastructure — and something that hasn’t come up very much tonight, but...

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The Revolving Door Project and Demand Progress Call On Lawmakers to Investigate Revolving Door’s Influence on SEC’s WeCompany Review

On January 13, the Revolving Door Project and the Demand Progress Education Fund called on the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees to "open an investigation into the Securities and Exchange Commission’s review of WeCompany’s aborted Initial Public Offering (IPO) and the integrity of its investigation into potential securities fraud within that same company."  The letter highlights, "Former senior SEC officials have represented...

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Coalition Requests Moderators Ask About Executive Branch

To: CNN, The Des Moines Register, and the moderators of the January 14th Democratic debate We, the undersigned organizations, urgently request that you ask each Democratic presidential candidate about how they would wield powers specific to the executive branch at the next debate on January 14th. In particular, we request that you ask about what qualifications each candidate will prioritize in making key nominations and appointments to the various departments and independent agencies that...

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Should We Care How Many People LBJ Would Think are Poor Today?

In a new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper, Richard Burkhauser and his coauthors argue that only 2.3 percent of Americans lived in poverty in 2017, if we define poverty in the way they claim “President Johnson defined it.” By comparison, the OECD put the US poverty rate at 17.8 percent using the standard international measure of poverty, which sets the poverty line at half of median disposable income (about $34,000 a year for a family of four in 2017).   To...

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