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Tag Archives: CEPR Blog

Google’s Settlement With The FTC Shows A Culture Of Corruption Thriving

The FTC’s pittance of a settlement with Google over serious violations of children’s privacy laws came and went through the news cycle with little more than a shrug from the public last month. That’s understandable; folks following Silicon Valley’s relationship with Washington right now are singularly focused on the concurrent state and federal-level antitrust inquiries into the biggest four tech companies, Google included. Moreover, as I wrote in the American Prospect yesterday, Google...

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The Official Poverty Measure Has Defined Deprivation Down

Based on the decline in the unemployment rate and other recent trends, it is likely that the official poverty rate will fall from 12.3 percent in 2017 to around 12 percent in 2018. The Census Bureau will release those poverty estimates tomorrow, Tuesday, September 10. Regardless of where the 2018 rate ends up, it will vastly understate the extent of economic and social deprivation in the United States. But, with a better measure of poverty, one more consistent with most Americans’...

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Facebook Dodges Regulation With Wall Street’s Tactics — Confuse And Blame The Public

Facebook fulfilled an old promise last month in the most Facebook way possible: by sounding nice on paper and glossing over the details. Their new privacy tools are a laughably inefficient and insufficient set of measures, because fundamentally, they’re not trying to actually solve the stated problem: Facebook’s surveillance-based business model. It’s more proof that forcing individuals to protect themselves from the abuses of giant corporations is a cruel fantasy. This collective problem...

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August Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

As we have previously highlighted, the federal government’s forty 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...

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SEC Chief Accountant’s Trip(s) through the Revolving Door are Emblematic of a Broader Problem

In May, Wesley Bricker, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Chief Accountant, announced that he was stepping down. Early last month, we learned where he had landed: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the “Big Four” auditors, as Vice Chair and Assurance Leader for the US and Mexico. With this move, Bricker has completed his fourth turn through the revolving door between PwC and the SEC. Although seemingly remarkable, his career trajectory is emblematic of the nearly...

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Trump’s Contempt for Working-Class Expressed in New Expanded Public Charge Rule

  This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially published regulations that radically expand the definition of an archaic immigration law term, public charge, to include various non-cash benefits that supplement earnings and other income, but are impossible to live on in the absence of other income. The people most impacted include millions of working-class and middle-class US citizens who plan to marry or are married to foreign nationals.Read More ...

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Social Security Does Much More for Disadvantaged Children than Temporary Assistance

  With both Social Security and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) having anniversaries this month — August 14, 1935 and August 22, 1996, respectively — it’s a good time to compare and contrast what they do for children and youth. If you listen to Social Security’s critics, it’s easy to come away thinking that Social Security is a system of generational theft in which Boomer parents and grandparents steal from their children and grandchildren. At the same time, many of these...

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US-China Trade War Shifts Focus to Currency

For the moment, the US trade war with China has shifted focus from stealing US intellectual property back to the value of its currency, with the Trump administration renewing its old charge of manipulation — deliberately devaluing its currency to give its products an advantage in international trade.  Dean Baker has written several recent articles on US-China trade and why the value of China’s currency matters. This seems like a good time to revisit some important points Baker makes on...

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July Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

As we have previously highlighted, the federal government’s forty 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...

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Revolving Door Project Requests Info On Big Tech Regulators

The Revolving Door Project’s mission is to scrutinize the nexus of corporate power and the executive branch. In the United States, two agencies within the executive branch have the power to seek to break up a company: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division. That is why it is important that we research any entanglements undermining the FTC and DOJ Antitrust’s commitment to serving the public interest. For decades, these agencies have...

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