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Weekly Round Up: April 20 – 24, 2009

This week the center investigated the fall of household wealth, proposed ways to spend recovery funds for education, and showed why the United States needs to step up on energy.

couple sits at table with bills

ECONOMY

Household Wealth in Freefall

Family wealth in the United States continues to take a beating as the housing and financial markets suffer from the 16-month-and-running Bush recession. A report by Christian E. Weller and Jessica Lynch examined the fall in household wealth since the beginning of the current economic crisis and how policymakers can help. Testimony by Heather Boushey looked at how economic trends are affecting family dynamics and how work-family policies can help remedy the situation while providing short-term and long-term economic benefits.

The economic crisis also continues to produce job losses. An interactive map by Boushey and Nayla Kazzi, "Increased Job Losses in Nearly Every State," documented the continued losses and how some state governors are refusing stimulus funds aimed at helping prevent more job losses and improving state balance sheets.

 

classroom with computers
DOMESTIC POLICY

How to Use Recovery Funds to Realign School District Priorities

A report from CAP and Education Resource Strategies, "Realigning Resources for District Transformation," provided recommendations for using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to advance a strategic education reform agenda. And national service received a boost this week when President Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Shirley Sagawa wrote about the "promise of service" and how to ensure volunteers are used effectively. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also stopped by CAP to talk about his efforts to fight poverty in New York City, and CAP Action’s Karen Davenport testified in Congress on how to ensure access to employer-provided health insurance.

 

oilENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

Seize the Energy Opportunity or Slip Further Behind

Ben Furnas showed how the rest of the world is seizing the energy opportunity and the United States needs to step up, and Furnas also demonstrated that American families pay more now for home gas and electricity than ever before largely because of George W. Bush’s backward energy policy in "The Bill from Bush’s Broken Energy System."

CAP also celebrated Earth Day with two pieces: one on how the holiday is getting a boost from the Internet and another on "21 Ways Faith Groups Are Combating Global Warming."

Other energy pieces this week focused on green jobs. Bracken Hendricks, Andrew Light, and Benjamin Goldstein answered seven common questions about green jobs while Tom Kenworthy reported on the growth of green jobs and renewables in "A Tale of Two Energy Economies."

 

afghanistan interactive map

NATIONAL SECURITY

Europe’s Role in Afghanistan

The more we learn about the Bush administration’s torture regime, the worse it gets, wrote Ken Gude this week in response to the release of further disturbing details of Bush-era torture. The Obama administration also wrapped up the Summit of the Americas on Sunday, and Stephanie Miller wrote that difficult choices are still to come for key players in the region.

The administration is also ramping up the war in Afghanistan, with the help of European countries and NATO. An interactive map from Natalie Ondiak shows how many troops and how much money European countries are contributing to the war there. And Winny Chen examines the latest economic news out of China.

 

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