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Research Roundup

Aug 30, 2007

The Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR) & Inclusion released "Unions and Upward Mobility for Low-Wage Workers, a report which analyzed 15 of the lowest-paying occupations in the United States.

Aug 23, 2007
The California Budget Project (CBP) released a report, Hard Work and a Fair Shot, that details policies that help low-income working families make ends meet. Another CBP report intended to help guide California lawmakers as they pursue universal health care reform lays out what families can truly afford for health care when all needs that consume family resources are considered.  The report found that families with incomes below 200% of poverty will not be able to contribute anything to their health care and that even many families above 300% of poverty will need partial subsidies to afford care.
Aug 09, 2007
The benefits of pre-school programs last long into adulthood, a new report by University of Minnesota researchers finds. In one of the longest-lasting longitudinal studies, the research shows that by age 24, children involved in preschool programs were more likely to finish high school, attend college, and have health insurance, and less likely to be arrested for a felony and to suffer depression.
Aug 02, 2007
Citizens for Tax Justice highlights important reforms adopted by New Hampshire this year to modernize their corporate income tax that will help in-state "mom and pop" stores by equalizing the tax burden between such in-state stores and out-of-state retailers.  Where many states apply corporate income taxes based on "physical presence" in the state, New Hampshire has created a model program to apply the tax based on a company's "economic presence", an approach which CTJ notes has survived court challenge in other states. See an older ITEP paper on the topic for more.
Jul 26, 2007
In a chilling report casting doubt on criminal convictions across the country, a law review article by UVA Professor of Law Brandon Garrett in the Columbia Law Review highlights evidence that literally thousands of people are serving long sentences for crimes they did not commit.  In many cases, innocent people were convicted based on erroneous identification by eyewitnesses, faulty forensic evidence (far less effective than CSI would lead people to believe), false testimony by informants, and false confessions.
Jul 19, 2007
According to a new Center on Budget & Policy Priorities report, new requirements to prove citizenship to obtain Medicaid coverage are denying medical coverage to white and African American children at a far higher rate than Hispanic children.  Because low-income individuals must produce a passport or birth certificate, naturalization document, or similar documentation to prove they are U.S. citizens when they apply for Medicaid, the program meant to target undocumented immigrants is instead harming citizens.
Jul 12, 2007
In their new study Out of Balance, the Center for Responsible Lending condemns the $17.5 billion per year charged to consumers for "overdraft loans" when consumers bounce a check.  The report notes that banks use various tactics to increase the number of overdrafts, from holding deposits longer than necessary, cashing high-dollar checks first so that multiple overdrafts get generated on smaller items, and failing to warn customers of low funds even when it would be technologically easy to do so.
Jun 28, 2007
Two new studies document the progressive views of younger adults, promising a more progressive future for the country. The New Politics Institute released "The Progressive Politics of the Millennial Generation", which sketches a portrait of Americans born after 1978, as a 50-million voting block in 2008 that is civic-minded, politically-engaged and concerned about economic inequality, has a desire for a multilateral foreign policy, and holds a strong belief in government. Similarly, a New York Times/CBS/MTV poll finds young people more in favor of government-run health care, more open immigration, and legalization of gay marriage.