Archive for Economics

Economic Crisis – August 2014 Update

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Economic Crisis – July 2014 Update

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The State of New Jersey Pensions Since 2001

This report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence – The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2013-2017 – charts where the pension funds were in 2001 and where they are headed in the near-term. Look at page 11 to see the gradual diminution of three of New Jersey’s major pension funds.

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Economic Crisis – June 2014 Update

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Country Economic Appraisals – “OECD Economic Surveys”

“An Economic Survey is published every two years for each OECD member country and for some countries that are not OECD members, such as China, Russia and Brazil. There is also a separate Survey of the euro area.”(Introduction) Since the U.S. is part of the OECD, it is also reviewed every two years; the 2014 edition of the OECD Economic Survey of the United States has just been published. It is written according to a standardized structure – each survey starts off with an executive summary, followed by assessments and recommendations that are in turn followed up by thematic chapters. All of these writings are supplemented with numerous charts, tables, and data, some historical in nature. For those who do not want to read the entire U.S. report, there is a briefer overview online as well. Here is a list of the countries scrutinized; following each country’s link will bring you to overviews,  past reports, and the ability to read the latest reports online (For every country, you will see a link to “Online Bookstore.” Click on that link and you will then see a highlighted “look inside” button that will lead you to the latest report.) What recommendations/assessments does the OECD have for this country? Here they are: “The economy is recovering; structural reforms, including comprehensive tax reform, can boost long-term growth; financial reform should be rolled out fully; labour market reform can boost employment; Americans are generally happy, although working families face rising pressures; making the best of new energy resources.” (Overview 6)

 

 

 

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Economic Crisis – May 2014 Update

The Low-Wage Recovery (National Employment Law Project); Snapshot of older consumers and mortgage debt (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau); and The exit from non-conventional monetary policy: what challenges? (BIS).

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New Jersey State/Local Pension Plans Among the Worst in Nation

If you look at the statistics and figures compiled by the Urban Institute, New Jersey’s overall rating is a D. The sectors covered are: local, state, teachers, and police and firefighters. While retirement income for long-term employees is given an A for most sectors, all the other ratings are abysmal. That New Jersey has pension-funding woes is not news; for example see this March 25, 2014 NJ Spotlight report entitled Gov. Christie Retroactively Cuts State Pension Payment. Other relevant writings are: Underfunded Pension Plans in the United States (Harvard, 2012); Why the Pension Crisis in New Jersey Will Not Be Fixed (NJ State League of Municipalities, 2013); Fourth Annual State Debt Report (State Budget Solutions, 2014); The Widening Gap Update (Pew, 2012); Pension Politics: Public Employee Retirement System Reform in Four States (Brookings, 2014); 2012 Survey of Public Pensions: State and Local Data (US Census Bureau, 2014); and Pensions (National Conference of State Legislators, 2014).

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