July 11, 2009
Article of Interest: "The Case for Banning Subprime Mortgages"
Alan White, The Case for Banning Subprime Mortgages, 77 U. Cin. L. Rev. 617 (2008). The paper -- it may be an earlier draft -- is on SSRN here. The abstract is below:
July 03, 2009
Article of Interest: "Tainted Loans: The Value of a Mass Torts Approach in Subprime Mortgage Litigation"
First a somewhat related news story from last month: Vivian S. Toy, "Penetrating the Maze of Mortgage Relief," New York Times, June 12, 2009 (discussing the work of housing advocates).
Ray Brescia has posted "Tainted Loans: The Value of a Mass Torts Approach in Subprime Mortgage Litigation" (forthcoming in the Univ. of Cincinnati Law Review) to SSRN. The abstract is below:
A poison has entered the financial bloodstream. The subprime mortgage crisis and the wider financial crisis it has spawned have caused the erosion of trillions of dollars in wealth, the destruction of whole communities and the dislocation of millions of homeowners. Yet, unlike in other situations where toxic products have caused widespread harm, to date, we have not seen an avalanche of litigation, large jury awards, massive settlements compensating victims and financial ruin for the distributors of those products. Some of this is changing, however.
Litigation arising out of the present financial crisis is hitting the courts, including suits alleging discrimination in the proliferation of subprime mortgages, securities litigation, and claims under state unfair trade practices laws and common law fraud principles. Courts may soon be inundated with these cases and will need effective tools for handling them.
With some exceptions, the litigation presently underway is an incoherent collection of random cases, however. If we view the subprime mortgage crisis and the financial crisis that has followed as the result of the proliferation of toxic products, a mass tort approach to the subprime mortgage disaster would seem inevitable. Such an approach would include utilization of the following techniques: class actions; consolidation of related cases; global settlements; and aggregation of factual, liability and damages assessments. This article makes the case that subprime litigation should adopt the techniques utilized in mass torts cases to make the prosecution of such litigation more efficient, comprehensive and effective, while bringing those most responsible for the present financial crisis to justice. It is argued that these techniques are best suited to achieve what I identify as goals for a legal response to the financial crisis: reducing the number of foreclosures; correcting for past illegality in the mortgage market; uncovering and spreading information about the presence of such illegality; promoting the modification of outstanding mortgage loans; strengthening and expanding voluntary efforts to overcome past abuses in the market; preserving home values; and complementing legislative and regulatory efforts to improve oversight of financial markets. The article also concludes that a mass torts approach in the subprime litigation context is superior in terms of meeting these goals when compared to other potential legal responses:
i.e., individual litigation, individual bankruptcy, regulation, voluntary efforts and social insurance.
June 30, 2009
Article of Interest: "Can't Buy Me Love"
An interesting article came out that unfortunately seems to be available only on Lexis or Westlaw. But the article is: Aly Parker, Can't Buy Me Love: Funding Marriage Promotion Versus Listening to Real Needs in Breaking the Cycle of Poverty. 18 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Soc. Just. 493 (2009). -E.R. email@example.com
June 24, 2009
Article of Interest: "The Ethics of Poverty Tourism"
This blog has done a number of posts on poverty tourism or related activities (the debate over Slumdog Millionaire) and a new paper of interest tackles this head on: Evan Selinger & Kevin Outterson, The Ethics of Poverty Tourism (BU School of Law Working Paper No. 09-29). The abstract is below:
June 21, 2009
(My) Parody Article
Excuse the self-promoting aspect of this posting! My parody article has been published. The article is about becoming a professor but might be of interest to readers of this blog because it includes a lengthy section on class and the legal academy (the section of the paper entitled "learning to like brie"). The article is: Ezra Rosser, On Becoming "Professor": A Semi Serious Look in the Mirror, 36 Fl. St. Univ. L. Rev. 215 (2009) and can be found on SSRN.
June 18, 2009
Article of Interest: "Freedom, Want and Economic and Social Rights: Frame and Law"
Katherine Young has posted "Freedom, Want and Economic and Social Rights: Frame and Law" 24 Maryland J. of Int. L. 176 (2009) to SSRN. Abstract below:
June 13, 2009
Article of Interest: "No Way Out: An Analysis of Exit Processes for Gang Injunctions"
Lindsay Crawford, "No Way Out: An Analysis of Exit Processes for Gang Injunctions," 97 Cal. L. Rev. 161 (2009). An explanation of the gang injuctions from the article: "gang injunctions restrict the activities of named gang members in a variety ways, often by prohibiting gang members from associating with one another, wearing gangrelated clothing, or from appearing in specified places and conducting certain activities." The focus is on the need to have mechanisms to exit such injunctions.
June 12, 2009
Cornell Law Review issue on Property and Obligation
Quite interesting Cornell Law Review issue:
June 07, 2009
New Issue of Pathways: Going Global: Antipoverty Lessons from Around the World
The Spring issue of Pathways, the poverty, inequality, and social policy magazine of The Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, has now been published. The issue (full PDF available here) includes:
NOTE: I am teaching in my law school's Chile Summer Program (my photos here) and for that reason have had few posts and will probably continue to for two more weeks.
May 09, 2009
Article of Interest: Keith Cunningham-Parmeter on Redefining the Rights of Undocumented Workers
Scholars have criticized these losses but have yet to formulate a coherent framework for evaluating the employment rights of unauthorized immigrants. This article does so by distilling and applying several core principles at issue when employment laws conflict with immigration laws. I begin by explaining how the text and purpose of selected immigration and employment statutes show that Congress never intended to restrict unauthorized immigrants’ employment rights. Remedial restrictions not only harm the workplace protections at issue, they fail to discourage illegal immigration. Thus, neither legislative intent nor national immigration goals justify limiting the workplace remedies available to unauthorized immigrants.
Although the future rights of unauthorized workers will turn partly on the issues of statutory purpose and immigration policy discussed in the early sections of the article, equally important are the consequences of diminished rights. Accordingly, I conclude the article by explaining why restricting workplace protections based on status harms citizens as well as immigrants. I contend that employment protections are “rights of partial inclusion” that reflect a distinctive sphere - the workplace - where unauthorized immigrants should be placed on par with citizens in pursuing collective interests. In contrast to arguments that favor limiting resources to lawful residents, partial inclusion explains how employment protections can effectively preserve national identity while simultaneously enhancing unauthorized immigrants’ incentives for social investment. In doing so, partial inclusion furthers the community’s self-definition, while providing unauthorized immigrants with a sense of belonging in a world increasingly focused on their exclusion.
May 05, 2009
Symposium Issue on "New Directions in Clinical Legal Education"
The articles connected to the symposium "New Directions in Clinical Legal Education" are available on the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy's website. Also on their site, under issue 24, is an article that I missed but that is of interest: Julie Nice, Promoting Marriage Experimentation: A Class Act? 24 Wash. Univ. J. of L. & Pol'y 31 (2007).
Lastly, for those who haven't see it (few I bet), there is a great Law Clinic blog worth checking out that follows many of the same things as this blog does: clinicians with not enough to do.
April 27, 2009
Ray Brescia on The Community Reinvestment Act and The Financial Crisis
Ray Brescia has posted "Part of the Disease or Part of the Cure: The Financial Crisis and the Community Reinvestment Act," 60 S. Car. L. Rev. 617 (2009) to SSRN. The abstract is below:
In the thirty years since the CRA’s adoption, the banking industry has been transformed. Banks are global in their reach and their outlook. Banks, in all of their forms, are no longer brick-and-mortar institutions on Main Street that take deposits from the grocer and lend to the baker. The CRA, which Congress designed to ensure that banks would meet the credit needs of the low- and moderate-income communities from which those banks take their deposits proved a weak bulwark against the subprime mortgage crisis; unsafe and unsound lending practices carried out by mortgage companies (i.e., entities not covered by the CRA because they are not depository institutions) have decimated the same communities that the CRA was supposed to protect.
The argument that the CRA is to blame for the financial crisis is hard to reconcile under any reading of the statute’s terms and after any assessment of the CRA’s true reach. As this article explains, the CRA was not too strong, but rather too weak. Designed to fight the last war, the CRA became the financial equivalent of the Maginot Line: easily circumvented, lightly defended, and quickly overrun.
An appreciation for the true causes of the financial crisis, together with the fact that the federal government has expended billions to bail out the financial industry, offer strong justifications for expanding the reach of the CRA to cover all financial institutions, not just those that take deposits. This Article begins with a brief overview of the subprime mortgage crisis and its impacts. Following this overview, it outlines the legislative history and structure of the CRA as well as the enforcement mechanisms Congress adopted to carry out the CRA’s core purpose. Next is an assessment of whether the manner in which the Act was enforced may have contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis followed by an examination of the failure of the courts to serve as a check on weak regulatory enforcement of the CRA. It concludes with the development of a series of principles to inform efforts to modernize the CRA to bring it in line with the nature of banking in the twenty-first century. While such CRA modernization might not correct the worst abuses of the subprime mortgage market from the past, it might help to avoid similar crises in the future.
-Considering how common these CRA accusations are in the press, definitely a valuable contribution. E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
April 19, 2009
Buffalo Law Review's ClassCrits Issue UPDATE
The most recent Buffalo Law Review issue (vol. 56, no. 4) focuses on class related issues, both from a theory angle and from a case-based approach. UPDATE: The articles are available here!
April 18, 2009
Richard Posner on Executive Compensation
A new article of interest:
- Richard A. Posner, Are American CEOs Overpaid, And, If So, What If Anything Should Be Done About It?, 58 Duke L.J. 1013 (2009).
April 15, 2009
Symposium Publication: The School Desegregation Cases and the Uncertain Future of Racial Equality
The Ohio State Law Journal has published -E.R. email@example.com
April 12, 2009
Article of Interest: A. Mechele Dickerson on the Myth of Home Ownership
The Indian Law Journal just published: A. Mechele Dickerson, The Myth of Home Ownership and Why Home Ownership Is Not Always a Good Thing, 84 Ind. L.J. 189 (2009). The abstract is below:
March 17, 2009
CALL FOR PROPOSALS The New Anti-Poverty Advocacy: Constructs, Strategies, and Tactics
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The New Anti-Poverty Advocacy: Constructs, Strategies, and Tactics
Section on Poverty Law; Association of American Law Schools; Annual Meeting Program, January 2010; New Orleans, Louisiana
The recent pronounced shifts in American politics and economics intensify the need for sustained reflection, as we consider how to shape legal activism, scholarship, and policy-making against poverty. The re-emergence of the Democratic Party in national politics and the renewed support for government action simultaneously create openings for activists and advocates and invite caution. Similarly, the failures of the American banking system, massive government deficits, and the continued restructuring and globalization of the U.S. economy cause great misery for those at the bottom and present opportunities to press for fundamental and progressive reform. It remains unclear whether this period is one in which power will be redistributed downward and outward to poor and working people or whether the defining values and hierarchies of the political economy in the last thirty years – variously labeled neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, or free market fundamentalism – will be reinforced.
The Section on
Poverty Law seeks participants who might approach this complex and
contradictory moment from differing vantage points and using diverse methods of
analysis but with a shared sense of purpose and opportunity. Proposals may focus on new developments in
the areas of access to justice, legal advocacy, and law reform and
policy-making. Proposals may integrate
intersecting legal frames, such as corporate law, criminal law, critical race
theory, environmental law, family law, feminist theory, immigrants’ rights,
international human rights, and labor and employment law. The Section will give special attention to
proposals that include consideration of the post-Katrina experience in
of interest should be no longer than 1 page.
We will remove all references to the name and affiliation of those who
submit proposals prior to review.
Presenters will be selected on or before
Please send statements of interest as an email attachment to Bernice Cohn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions should be directed to Sameer Ashar, Chair of the Poverty Law Section, at 718-340-4180 or email@example.com.
-Thanks to Sameer Asher for all his hard work on this! E.R.
March 16, 2009
New Poll on Economic Mobility and the American Dream from the Economic Mobility Project
From the Economic Mobility Project:
In early 2009, the project commissioned a national survey and series of focus groups to provide a more accurate picture of how Americans view their own economic mobility and to better understand how their perceptions square with the reality of the project’s data. The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies, seeks to answer questions such as: What defines Americans’ experience with mobility? What do we believe are the key determinants of our, and others’, mobility? How do our perceptions and perspectives on mobility differ as we look to the near future, as well as over generations, and how has this changed?
The results, released March 12, 2009, reveal that despite the current economic crisis, a strong and uniquely American undercurrent of optimism shines through. Americans believe in the their ability --- and the ability of their children --- to get ahead. Resoundingly, Americans place greater importance on ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to improve their economic standing over reducing inequality. The report provides clear insights into how the American public views the factors, institutions, circumstances and values that may aid or impede their path to future economic success. In doing so, it offers valuable perspectives for elected officials, advocates and policymakers committed to ensuring that the fundamental economic bedrock of the American Dream remains solid for generations to come.
March 07, 2009
Article of Interest: "Laboratories of Destitution: Democratic Experimentalism and the Failure of Antipoverty Law"
New Article of Interest: David A. Super, Laboratories of Destitution: Democratic Experimentalism and the Failure of Antipoverty Law, 157 U. Penn. L. Rev. 541 (2008). Abstract below:
March 02, 2009
Article of Interest: "Americans' Social Policy Preferences in the Era of Rising Inequality"
A new paper posted of interest: Leslie McCall, "Americans' Social Policy Preferences in the Era of Rising Inequality," available here. The abstract is below:
Although inequality in the United States is high by both historical and international standards, standing in some cases at pre
Rising income inequality has been a defining trend of the past generation, yet we know little about its impact on social policy formation. We evaluate two dominant views about public opinion on rising inequality: that Americans do not care much about inequality of outcomes, and that a rise in inequality will lead to an increase in demand for government redistribution. Using time series data on views about income inequality and social policy preferences in the 1980s and 1990s from the GSS/ISSP, we find little support for these views. Instead, Americans do tend to object to inequality and to believe government should act to redress it, but not via traditional redistributive programs. We examine several alternative possibilities and provide a broad analytical framework for reinterpreting social policy preferences in the era of rising inequality. Our evidence suggests that Americans may be unsure or uninformed about how to address rising inequality and thus swayed by contemporaneous debates. However, we also find that Americans favor expanding education spending in response to their increasing concerns about inequality. This suggests that equal opportunity may be more germane than income redistribution to our understanding of the politics of inequality.
February 24, 2009
Pathways Winter 2009 Issue: focus on healthcare
The newest issue of Pathways, a publication of the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, is out and focuses on healthcare. Most of the articles are about healthcare reform but there are also articles about EITC and consumer indebtedness. The PDF is available here.
February 20, 2009
Article of Interest: "Broadening the Right to Acquire Capital with the Earnings of Capital"
Robert Ashford has posted "Broadening the Right to Acquire Capital with the Earnings of Capital: The Missing Link to Sustainable Economic Recovery and Growth" to SSRN. The abstract is below:
February 13, 2009
Article of Interest: "Subprime Communities: Reverse Redlining, the Fair Housing Act and Emerging Issues in Litigation Regarding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis"
A new and timely article of interest: Ray Brescia, Subprime Communities: Reverse Redlining, the Fair Housing Act and Emerging Issues in Litigation Regarding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis, 2 Albany Gov't L. Rev. 164 (2009). The abstract is below:
As the nation struggles to find its bearings in the current financial crisis, and venerable pillars of Wall Street crumble, hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent to shore up the financial system and re-capitalize credit markets. While the eyes of Washington are directed towards Wall Street, there is much talk of the need to prop up Main Street as well, and nowhere is this more apparent than in communities and neighborhoods across the United States that have experienced the first wave of the financial crisis: home upon home of foreclosed properties, abandoned and neglected, their absent silence hard to ignore. Many of these communities are communities of color.
Municipalities across the United States are trying to develop effective responses to the fallout in their communities from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, funding housing counseling programs and foreclosure mediation, and regulating the maintenance of foreclosed and abandoned homes. Another type of intervention that may prove promising is the prosecution of affirmative civil actions, designed either to punish lenders who allegedly engaged in discriminatory subprime lending practices, or those failing to maintain their portfolio of foreclosed homes. A case of the first type has been filed in Baltimore; cases of the second type have been filed in Cleveland and Buffalo. This article is an attempt to review some of the emerging issues in discrimination law, as there is a growing body of lawsuits directed at "reverse redlining": the practice of targeting borrowers of color for loans on unfavorable terms, and an evolving jurisprudence on this issue that departs in some significant ways from more traditional approaches to discrimination in the market.
February 10, 2009
New Article: "Tenants: Innocent Victims of the Nation's Foreclosure Crisis"
A new article of interest (though unfortunately I could only find it available through Lexis or Westlaw): Vicki Been & Allegra Glashausser, Tenants: Innocent Victims of the Nation's Foreclosure Crisis, 2 Alb. Gov't L. Rev. 1 (2009). The article is part of an issue dedicated to the crisis. An earlier article with Vicki Been as one of the co-authors of interest and available through SSRN is: Jenny Schuetz, Vicki Been & Ingrid Gould Ellen, Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Mortgage Foreclosures (Working Paper July 11, 2008).
-Thanks to Parag Khandhar for the heads up! E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
February 08, 2009
Article of Interest: "Distributive Justice and Private Law"
Article of Interest:
- Aditi Bagchi, Distributive Justice and Private Law, 60 Hastings L.J. 105 (2008). Only available on Lexis or Westlaw (not public available that I could find).
January 21, 2009
Quigley: Letter to a Law Student Interested in Social Justice
Though somewhat dated (I only discovered and read it today), William P. Quigley has a brief article that should be of interest to many students, Letter to a Law Student Interested in Social Justice, 1 Depaul Journal for Social Justice 7 (2007). Reading the first section on how public interest work goes against the mainstream culture and amounts to swimming upstream relative to the downstream paths to success made me think of a recent article comparing Obama and Chief Justice Roberts' careers: Linda Greenhouse, "Two Stars, Meeting Across a Bible," New York Times, Jan. 17, 2009.
January 17, 2009
Lewis and Clark Indigenous Economic Development Symposium Articles
The Lewis and Clark Law Review just published the papers from its symposium, "Indigenous Economic Development: Sustainability, Culture, and Business":
- Gavin Clarkson, Wall Street Indians: Information Asymmetry and Barriers to Tribal Capital Market Access, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 943 (2008)
- David Haddock, To Tax Tribes or Not to Tax Tribes? That is the Question, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 971(2008)
- Richard Monette, Imposing Communism, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 991 (2008)
- Alex Tallchief Skibine, Tribal Sovereign Interests Beyond the Reservation Borders, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1003 (2008)
- Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Indian Tribal Businesses and the Off-Reservation Market, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1047 (2008)
- Judith V. Royster, Practical Sovereignty, Political Sovereignty, and the Indian Tribal Energy and Self Determination Act, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1065 (2008)
- Robert J. Miller, Inter-Tribal and International Treaties for American Indian Economic Development, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1103 (2008)
ALSO, the same issue of the law review also includes this essay of interest:
- Deborah N. Archer, Failing Students or Failing Schools?: Holding States Accountable for the High School Dropout Crisis, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1253 (2008)
January 14, 2009
New Paper: Francine Lipman on The Undocumented Immigrant Tax
"Illegals do NOT pay taxes." As a law professor researching and writing about undocumented immigrants and their tax issues I see this comment in my email inbox and hear it during outreach efforts routinely. Every time I hear or read this or a similar comment, my whole body cringes. This short statement truly embodies the exploitation of the immigration debate. While this statement is often delivered from mainstream individuals, its origin can be traced to extremist rhetoric. Anti-immigrant and anti-Latino extremists have used outright bigotry to frame the immigration debate to advance their own supremacist agenda. By positioning themselves as legitimate advocates against illegal immigration in America these groups have broadened their base and mainstreamed their message. These groups "are frequently quoted in the media, have been called to testify before Congress, and often hold meetings with lawmakers and other public figures." As a result, in many American communities immigrants live in fear and suffer a toxic environment in which hateful rhetoric targeting immigrants has become an acceptable part of daily news and discourse. This Essay is an answer to this insidious vilification and arrant racism.
This Essay will debunk the short, but maladroit statement that "illegals do NOT pay taxes." First, calling a group of people "illegals" is hateful, "racially loaded, imprecise, and pejorative." Scholars, and children, understand that language and discourse can contribute to vile acts including crime, abuse and other social problems. Historical and current atrocities including the Holocaust, Darfur and the murder of Matthew Shepard are horrific examples of this intolerable truth. The term "illegals" is patently dehumanizing and inappropriate terminology, and its persistent use by extremists, as well as mainstream media and the general population, must stop now.
Second, as a low-income taxpayer and human rights advocate, I understand that pervasive misunderstanding regarding undocumented immigrants evinces the frustration and fear that many Americans feel about the challenging state of the U.S. and global economies. Restrictionists feed this frustration and fear with inflammatory propaganda about undocumented immigrants and our tax systems. Because of overwhelming complexity and lack of transparency in this system it is easy to misrepresent and distort the facts. As a result, some Americans believe the absolutely irrational and self-delusional assertion that undocumented immigrants do not pay any taxes. This gross falsehood is counterproductive for the speaker, the subject, and the U.S. and global economies.
Finally, as a tax professor I am charged with teaching tax and these comments broadcast loudly and boldly how misinformed Americans are about our tax systems. The well documented facts evidence that undocumented immigrants have paid hundreds of billions of dollars in American taxes to date. In most cases undocumented immigrants pay more in tax each year than similarly situated U.S. citizens. This additional tax, which is first exposed and labeled here as "the undocumented immigrant tax," is the subject of this Essay. This Essay will describe the depth and breadth of undocumented immigrants as a resource for tax payments made to government coffers across the country. The depth and breadth will be evinced by describing the myriad of different federal, state and local taxes undocumented immigrants are subject to and pay. But most notably this Essay will verify that not only do undocumented immigrants pay the same taxes that U.S. citizens and documented residents pay, but in addition they are subject to and pay what I am describing as "the undocumented immigrant tax." The undocumented immigrant tax is effectively an additional tax burden, a surtax or tariff on undocumented immigrants and their families. As a result, not only do undocumented immigrants pay taxes, but they bear a greater tax burden than similarly situated U.S. citizens and documented residents.
-I am sure that anybody who has had such conversations with students or even professors unsympathetic with immigrants can understand the frustration evident in the essay. E.R. email@example.com
January 09, 2009
New Paper: Patricia Salkin on Senior Housing Needs
Patricia Salkin has posted "A Quiet Crisis in America: Meeting the Affordable Housing Needs of the Invisible Low-Income Healthy Seniors" to SSRN. The abstract is below:
December 20, 2008
New Paper: Susan Carle on Class in Torts and Employment Law
My colleague Susan Carle has posted a new essay onto SSRN: "Short Notes on Teaching About the Micro-Politics of Class, with Examples from Torts and Employment Law Casebooks," forthcoming in the Buffalo Law Review. The abstract is below:
December 19, 2008
New Paper: Spencer Rand on Clinical Teaching and Client Self-Image
Spencer Rand has posted "Creating My Client's Image: Is Case Theory Value Neutral in Public Benefits Cases?" Washington Univ. Journal of Law and Policy (2008) to SSRN. The abstract is below:
December 18, 2008
New Paper: Laura Kessler on "Getting Class"
December 05, 2008
Article of Interest: "Lifting Burdens: Proof, Social Justice, and Public Assistance Administrative Hearings"
Article of interest: Lisa Ellen Brodoff, Lifting Burdens: Proof, Social Justice, and Public Assistance Administrative Hearings, 32 NYU Rev. L. & Soc. Change 131 (2008). This SSRN link is to an earlier draft, the final version I think is only available through Lexis or Westlaw. Abstract below:
December 04, 2008
Self-Promoting Post on Remittances
My article, "Immigrant Remittances," has now been published by Connecticut Law Review and the final version is now on SSRN. The abstract is below:
The BBC has posted an 18 minute BizDaily podcast on remittances that aired on Dec. 1, 2008. The big issue involving remittances this year is the effect that the economic troubles in the U.S. will have on remittance levels. The Migration Policy Institute made this, "Remittance Patterns in Flux," the 3rd of the 10 biggest migration issues of 2008.
December 03, 2008
Costs of Higher Education
A headline from the New York Times today tells the story, "College May Become Unaffordable for Most in U.S." (by Tamar Levin), Dec. 3, 2008. The associated graphic is here. Relatedly, on Nov. 30, Tamar Levin's article about foreign study, "Going off to College for Less (Passport Required)" was published by the NYTimes.
For postings and articles related to the rise in law school costs, see:
- William D. Henderson & Andrew P. Morriss, "What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices," National Law Journal, Apr. 16, 2008
- A Columbia Law School explanation for why law school costs so much.
- Equal Justice Works' page on educational debt/public interest path.
- George C. Leef, "Why Law School Costs So Much," Regulation Spring 2003 [2 page article on SSRN].
- N. William Hines, "Ten Major Changes in Legal Education Over the Past 25 Years," AALS website [listing and discussing cost as number 8 in a list of ten changes].
-Thanks to Leiter's Law School Reports for the heads up. E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
December 01, 2008
Native American and Rural Economic Development
For those interested in economic development of Indian tribes or of Indian reservations, a new article highlights the ways in which tribes and rural communities face similar economic development challenges and that both should do more to take advantage of existing funding streams/resources. The article is Joanna M. Wagner, Improving Native American Equal Access to Federal Funding for Economic Development Through Partnerships with Rural Communities, 32 Am. Indian L. Rev. 525 (2008). The American Indian Law Review does not have the paper available though its site, so for now Lexis and Westlaw are the only ways to get the article.
Two new Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal articles of interest
Two articles of interest:
- Jane Gravelle & Jennifer Gravelle, Taxing Poor Families: The Evolution of Treatment Under the Federal Income Tax, 7 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 35 (2008).
- Tan N. Nguyen, An Affair to Forget: Law School's Deleterious Effect on Student's Public Interest Aspirations, 7 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 95 (2008) [very short with a slight focus on Northeastern].
November 21, 2008
Workplace Flexibility and Workplace Fairness
The workplace is getting some attention these days. According to Georgetown Law's Workplace Flexibility 2010 program, the definition (from the Sloan National Initiative) is:
- The ability to have flexibility in the scheduling of hours;
- The ability to have flexibility in the number of hours worked;
- The ability to have career flexibility with multiple points for entry, exit and reentry into the workforce; and
- The ability to address unexpected and ongoing personal and family needs.
Georgetown's program (headed by Chai Feldblum and Katie Corrigan) includes a helpful webpage listing all the laws impacting workplace flexibility. They also have a page with a ton of great workplace flexibility links.
Personally, the focus on multiple points of entry and exit seems highly relevant to the poor who often needlessly suffer lasting career effects currently from early mistakes.
The American Constitution Society's "A Fresh Start for a New Administration: Reforming Law and Justice Policies," consisting of a couple of events and connected papers includes three on workplace fairness:
- Anne Marie Lofaso
- Cyrus Mehri and Ellen Eardley
- David Uhlmann
November 17, 2008
New paper on Inter-Nation Equity (through Tax)
Kim Brooks has posted "Inter-Nation Equity: The Development of an Important but Underappreciated International Tax Value" to SSRN. Having been impressed by a related presentation by Kim Brooks at the Valparaiso Law, Poverty, & Economic Inequality Conference, the paper seems of interest. The abstract is below:
November 15, 2008
American Enterprise Institute publications of interest on poverty
The American Enterprise Institute has two newer books that might be of interest, even if their stance is not that of most of the reports posted (the political perspective of the AEI can be found here):
1. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, Prices, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Americans Are Better Off Than You Think (AEI 2008). Abstract Below:
According to conventional wisdom, the economic well-being of all but the wealthiest Americans has stagnated or declined over the past twenty-five years. In Prices, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Americans Are Better Off Than You Think, Christian Broda and David E. Weinstein argue that this idea is based upon misleading measurements of wealth and poverty. The consumer price index used to compute official measures of real wages and poverty ignores two key sources of increased prosperity: the introduction of new and better products and consumers' ability to substitute between goods. Deflating nominal wages by a cost-of-living index that adjusts for these previously unconsidered factors of prosperity suggests that the real wages of the poor have actually risen by 30 percent since the late 1970s--and that the poverty rate in America has fallen dramatically over the last forty years.
How can we account for the discrepancy between standard measures of economic well-being--which suggest a trend of increased poverty--and alternative measures that indicate an upswing in prosperity? As Broda and Weinstein argue, product innovation has long been a key source of prosperity for American households. New and better household appliances, cellular phones, vehicle air bags, medicines, and computers are among the many product improvements that have benefited Americans, including the poor, over the last few decades. Yet current official price statistics capture only a portion of the benefits that these improved goods provide to American households. Broda and Weinstein conclude that adjusting poverty measures to fully account for the benefits of product improvements reveals that Americans in every income group are substantially better off economically than they were a quarter century ago.
2. Nicholas Eberstadt, The Poverty of the "Poverty Rate": Measure and Mismeasure of Want in Modern America (AEI 2008). AEI is hosting a book forum, info here, discussing this book on Wednesday Nov. 19, 2008. Abstract below:
The OPR was originally intended to track an absolute level of poverty over time by comparing a family's reported pretax income against a corresponding poverty threshold. But for the past three decades, the OPR has reported trends that are jarringly inconsistent with other statistical indicators of material deprivation. What is the reason for this curious discrepancy? Eberstadt suggests that the OPR's most serious problem is its implicit assumption that poor families will spend no more than their reported annual incomes--in other words, that their income levels are an accurate proxy for their consumption levels. In the decades since the OPR was unveiled, the disparity between reported income and expenditures has progressively widened, making income an ever less reliable predictor of consumption patterns--and, consequently, living standards--for
America's poorer families.
In The Poverty of "The Poverty Rate," Eberstadt contends that the defects of the current poverty rate are not only severe but irremediable. Income-based measures cannot offer a faithful portrait of consumption patterns or material well-being in the
United States. Central though the OPR has become to antipoverty policy, this "untrustworthy yardstick" should be discarded and replaced by more accurate measures of deprivation.
November 11, 2008
Report of interest: Towards a Shared Recovery
Report: Towards Shared Recovery, by the Coalition on Human Needs and ActNow Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities, presents an economic package which would both boost the economy and help those most in need. The press release is here and the summary is below:
The report calls on Congress to quickly pass an economic stimulus package that fosters a shared economic recovery by providing targeted investment in programs and services that help low-income Americans meet basic needs and find jobs during a time of growing unemployment and economic hardship. The unemployment rate in October jumped to 6.5 percent, the highest in 14 years, according to government data released on Friday. Of the 10.1 million Americans who are jobless and looking for work, 2.2 million have been out of work for at least six months - the largest number in 25 years.
-Thanks to Josh Nelson at the Hatcher Group for the heads up. E.R. email@example.com
November 06, 2008
Two new articles of interest posted to SSRN
From SSRN Economic Inequality and Law Abstracts:
William E. Forbath, The Politics of Race, Rights and Needs -- And the Perils of a Democratic Victory in Post-Welfare America, 20 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 195 (2008). Abstract below:
Wendy A. Bach, Welfare Reform, Privatization and Power: Reconfiguring Administrative Law Structures from the Ground Up, 74 Brooklyn L. Rev. __ (2008). Abstract below:
November 05, 2008
'08 Mayors' Action Forum on Poverty Report
The United States Conference of Mayors' Sep. 2008 Report, "National Action Agenda on Poverty for the Next President of the United States" can be found here. It is very short but interesting. Thanks go to Bob Giloth, who blogged about and critiqued the report here.
November 04, 2008
Stanford Press series on Social Inequality
Stanford University Press has a book series on "Social Inequality" of interest. The series includes among others:
- Wei-hsin Yu, Gendered Trajectories: Women, Work, and Social Change in Japan and Taiwan (March 2009)
- Creating Wealth and Poverty in Postsocialist China (Deborah S. Davis and Wang Feng eds, Dec. 2008)
- Stratification in Higher Education: A Comparative Study (Yossi Shavit, Richard Arum & Adam Gamoran eds, 2007)
- The Political Sociology of the Welfare State: Institutions, Social Cleavages, and Orientations (Stefan Svallfors ed. 2007)
- Poverty and Inequality (David Grusky & Ravi Kanbur, 2006) From the publisher:
- Mobility and Inequality: Frontiers of Research in Sociology and Economics (Stephan L. Morgan, David Grusky & Gary Fields eds, 2006)
October 19, 2008
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 2008
- Poverty Levels and Trends in Comparative Perspective, by Daniel R. Meyer and Geoffrey L. Wallace
- Economic Change and the Structure of Opportunity for Less-Skilled Workers, by Rebbeca M. Blank
- Family Structure, Childbearing, and Parental Employment: Implications for the Level and Trend in Poverty, by Maria Cancian and Deborah Reed
- Immigration and Poverty in the United States by Steven Raphael and Eugene
- Enduring Influences of Childhood Poverty, by Katherine Magnuson and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal
- Mobility in the United States in Comparative Perspective, by Markus Jantti
- Trends in Income Support, by John Karl Scholz, Robert Moffitt, and Benjamin Cowan
- The Role of Family Policies in Anti-Poverty Policy, by Jane Waldfogel
- Improving Educational Outcomes for Poor Children, by Brian A. Jacob and Jens Ludwig
- Workforce Development as an Antipoverty Strategy: What Do We Know? What Should We Do? by Harry J. Holzer
- Health Care for the Poor: For Whom, What Care, and Whose Responsibility? by Katherine Swartz
- Poverty Politics and Policy, Mary Jo Bane
- What Does It Mean to Be Poor in a Rich Society? by Robert Haveman [Also available on the IRP website are slides from the Robert J. Lampman Memorial Lecture entitled "What Does It Mean to be Poor in a Rich Society?" by Robert H. Haveman.]
-Thanks to Susan Bennett for the heads up. E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
October 17, 2008
Poverty in America & Report on Credit Impact from Wall St to Main St-- Summary from Joint Economic Committee of Congress
The Joint Economic Committee of Congress puts out occasional, brief, fact sheets and reports. Two recent ones of note that present how Congress sees these issues are:
- Poverty in America (Aug. 26, 2008)
- From Wall Street to Main Street: Understanding How the Credit Crisis Affects You (Oct. 3, 2008)
- And from a year ago: The Subprime Lending Crisis: The Economic Impact on Wealth, Poverty Values, and Tax Revenues, and How We Got There (Oct. 25, 2007)
October 15, 2008
Focus on Working Class
A quick report, Working Hard, Still Falling Short, was just released by the Working Poor Families Project. Relatedly, the upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine features the story, Matt Bai, "Working for the Working Class Vote," Oct. 15, 2008.
October 08, 2008
Article of Interest: "Lifting the Floor: Sex, Class and Education"
October 06, 2008
Property article critiquing excessive reliance on law and economics
A recent property article by Eduardo M. Peñalver entitled "Land Virtues" has been posted to SSRN. The paper's focus is property law, but I think says a lot to those with a poverty/property focus. The abstract is below:
This article has two goals. First, I explore some of the descriptive and normative shortcomings of traditional law and economics discussions of the ownership and use of land. These market-centered approaches struggle in different ways with features of land that distinguish it from other "commodities." The complexity of land - its intrinsic complexity, but even more importantly the complex ways in which human beings interact with it - undermines the notion that owners will focus on a single value, such as wealth, in making decisions about their land. Adding to the equation land's "memory," by which I mean the combined impact of the durability of land uses and the finite quantity of land, calls into question the normative assessment that owners whose behavior is guided by a unitary measure like market value are using their land wisely, or at least more wisely than other modes of decision-making might hope to accomplish. The shortcomings of traditional law and economics theories of land use point toward the benefits of a pluralist theory of property based on the Aristotelian tradition of virtue ethics. Setting forth the broad outlines of such a theory as it applies to the law of land use is the second goal of this article. Virtue theory, I will argue, is capable of incorporating the valuable insights that have made economic analysis so appealing to land use theorists without distorting our moral vision or treating economic consequences as the only considerations that ought to matter.
Personally, I think the article is
great. My own critique is a tiny one -- I think of New Institutional
Economics as accomplishing more than what is acknowledged in the paper and
worthy of more exploration, but that is only because I have a particular NIE
interest. If you download it you will see that Peñalver
has a great section on how failure to correct for inability to pay in
traditional law and economics work ends up wrongly prioritizing the desires of
the wealthy versus the poor.
October 04, 2008
Interesting Article on Post-Katrina New Orleans and the Poor
Judith Browne-Dianis & Anita Sinha, Exiling the Poor: The Clash of Redevelopment and Fair-Housing in Post-Katrina New Orleans, 51 How. L.J. 481 (2008). Unfortunately, only available on Lexis & Westlaw.
Related articles that are available online:
- Judith Browne-Dianis, "Who Exiled New Orleans' Poor?" Washington Post, May 17, 2007.
- Anita Sinha & Jill Tauber, "The Post-Katrina War on Low-Income Housing: Dreams Turned into Rubble in New Orleans," Counterpunch, Mar. 26, 2008.