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Daily Archives: June 5, 2014

Raising America’s Pay – Why It’s Our Central Economic Policy Challenge

Economic Policy Institute – Josh Bivens, Elise Gould, Lawrence Mishel, and Heidi Shierholz | June 4, 2014

“Our country has suffered from rising income inequality and chronically slow growth in the living standards of low- and moderate-income Americans. This disappointing living-standards growth—which was in fact caused by rising income inequality—even preceded the Great Recession. Fortunately, income inequality and middle-class living standards are now squarely on the political agenda. But despite their increasing salience, these issues are too often discussed in abstract terms. This paper—and the Raising America’s Pay project that it launches—exposes the easy-to-understand root of rising income inequality, slow living-standards growth, and a host of other key economic challenges: the near stagnation of hourly wage growth for the vast majority of American workers over the past generation. It should not be surprising that trends in hourly wage growth have profound consequences for American living standards. After all, the vast majority of Americans rely on their paychecks to make ends meet. For these families, wages and employer-provided benefits comprise the bulk of income, followed by other income sources linked to labor market performance, such as wage-based tax credits, pensions, and social insurance. Even for the bottom fifth of households, wage-related income accounts for the majority of total income. Indeed, wage-related income has been a growing share of total bottom-fifth income over time, as the safety net shifts toward wage-related income supports (such as the earned income tax credit) while non-wage-related supports (such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) decline.”

Easier Commutes and Cheaper Housing are Increasing as Main Reasons for Moving

“Among the 36 million people 1 year and over who moved between 2012 and 2013, 5 percent said the most important reason for moving was to be closer to work or for an easier commute, while another 8 percent cited the desire for cheaper housing, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census… Continue Reading

E-Mail Self Defense

“Bulk surveillance violates our fundamental rights and makes free speech risky. This guide will teach you a basic surveillance self-defense skill: email encryption. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be able to send and receive emails that are coded to make sure that a surveillance agent or thief can’t intercept your email and read it. Even if you… Continue Reading

The Evolving Scholarly Record – OCLC

The Evolving Scholarly Record – Brian Lavoie, Eric Childress, Ricky Erway, Ixchel Faniel, Constance Malpas, Jennifer Schaffner & Titia van der Werf. June 2014 “This report presents a framework to help organize and drive discussions about the evolving scholarly record. The framework provides a high-level view of the categories of material the scholarly record potentially encompasses,… Continue Reading

What Americans (Don’t) Know about Student Loan Collections

What Americans (Don’t) Know about Student Loan Collections, Basit Zafar, Zachary Bleemer, Meta Brown, and Wilbert van der Klaauw. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, June 5, 2014. “U.S. student debt has more than tripled since 2004, and at over $1 trillion is now substantially greater than both credit card and auto debt balances. There are substantial… Continue Reading

Critics warned of billing abuse in Medicare Advantage health plans, but oversight is lagging

Why Medicare Advantage costs taxpayers billions more than it should – Regulators have kept problems secret, and there’s no fix in sight By Fred Schulte, David Donald, Erin Durkin, June 4, 2014. “Dominated by private insurers, Medicare Advantage now covers nearly 16 million Americans at a cost expected to top $150 billion this year. Many seniors choose the managed-care Medicare… Continue Reading

BIS Working Papers – Credit growth, Globalisation, Measuring Economic Slack, Shadow Policy Rate

New Working Papers June 4, 2014: Credit growth, monetary policy, and economic activity in a three-regime TVAR model Globalisation, pass-through and the optimal policy response to exchange rates Measuring economic slack: A forecast-based approach with applications to economies in Asia and the Pacific A shadow policy rate to calibrate US monetary policy at the zero… Continue Reading

EBA publishes final draft technical standards, guidelines on methodology and disclosure for global systemically important institutions

“The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today final draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on the methodology for identifying Global Systemically Important Institutions (G-SIIs), final draft Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) on special disclosure rules applicable to G-SIIs, and final guidelines on special disclosure rules for large institutions. The identification of G-SIIs in the EU is aligned… Continue Reading

Consumers Beware: 5 Tips to Keep you Scam-Free this Summer

“For the majority of Americans who plan to take a vacation, attend a concert, or work on their home or garden this summer, this season comes with its own unique consumer challenges. Here are the top five scams and frauds to be alert for this time of year: Don’t buy gas additives that claim to… Continue Reading

Google Video playback checklist

“Video playback checklist You may experience poor video quality — slow loading, buffering or choppy playback — due to a number of factors, such as issues with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), inconsistent Internet connection speed, browser or device issues, or problems with the video itself. While the Video Quality Report provides information on how your ISP typically performs,… Continue Reading