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Economists Agree: Raising the Minimum Wage Reduces Poverty (WaPo)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal looks at a new paper from economist Arin Dube, which finds that regardless of other effects, a higher minimum wage would pull people out of poverty. That, Mike argues, should be enough reason to consider an increase.
Jobless Left in Cold on Benefits (Melissa Harris-Perry)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren discusses whether emergency unemployment benefits will be addressed even though they’re not on House Republicans’ agenda. He thinks that the GOP will be forced to deal with this issue whether it wants to or not.
The Gap in Medical Education (LA Times)
Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network alum Rahul Rekhi argues that medical school curricula should be changed to include health policy. Doctors who are better informed about the basics of policy, he argues, are more able to serve as advisors to patients and lawmakers.
The Group That Got Health Reform Passed is Declaring Victory and Going Home (WaPo)
Harold Pollack interviews Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch on the work of Health Care for America Now, which closed shop at the end of 2013. Richard discusses how this model of health reform came to prominence, and the political missteps that happened along the way.
- Roosevelt Take: Richard, who was National Campaign Manager for HCAN, writes his own farewell to the campaign.
US Economy Losing ‘up to a $1bn a week’ After Jobless Benefits Cut (The Guardian)
Paul Lewis reports on the assessment of Harvard economist Lawrence Katz, who based his calculation on the “multiplier effect” caused when people on unemployment insurance spend that money. Katz calls the cut “irresponsible” in the still-recovering economy.
H&M Plans to Pay Garment Workers Fair Wages. Here’s Why That’s Probably BS. (MoJo)
Dana Liebelson critiques the low-priced retailer’s announcement, pointing out some flaws in its plan for fair wages. H&M isn’t releasing any real wage numbers, and the fair-wage promise isn’t extended to subcontractors along the supply chain.
Local Labor Influence Takes Hit in Boeing Contract (ABC News)
Phuong Le reports on a union vote by the Machinists Local 751 in Seattle, which narrowly accepted a new contract with Boeing. The contract had previously been rejected for cuts to pensions, but national leadership urged a second vote when it looked like Boeing would move jobs out of Seattle.
- Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch praised the union for its initial pushback against the Boeing contract.
The Year of the Great Redistribution (Robert Reich)
Robert Reich argues that the stock market’s all-time high at the end of 2013 represents a massive redistribution of wealth from workers to the wealthiest Americans. Those profits have come, in large part, by pushing down wages, and government has permitted this instead of fighting back for labor.