In 2004, the first issue of Perspectives on Work Online Companion was posted at the LERA web site. The electronic publication featured mini-forums addressing timely issues of interest to the member community. Published each spring and fall, the Online Companion provides a complement to the print version of Perspectives.
We continue striving for the continuous improvement of your member benefits. In a recent member survey, Perspectives on Work ranked as the most used, most throughly read resource LERA offers. You value the practical focus of the articles and the well-rounded point-of-view. We will build on this by focusing more expert commentary on one major target in the print magazine and supporting the in-depth print coverage with timely links to electronic supporting resources.
By the end of the year, combine the Perspectives on Work magazine, Online Companion, Twitter feeds, and LinkedIn discussions and you get the whole picture on one major labor concern.
In addition to the well-rounded, in-depth coverage of the annual issue, LERA selects impactful news stories and point-of-view articles on a wide range labor issues, as they happen.
Go beyond scanning the headlines. Let LERA deliver a network of experts to you through original articles, cutting-edge research, community discussions and select news from around the world, all as part of your LERA membership.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
LERA Executive Director
We'll also cover employment-work news, trends and issues more broadly in areas such as unions, management, retirement, workplace changes and work-family issues.
Members showcase their latest publications with reviews on Lauren Appelbaum’s (UCLA) Reconnecting to Work, reviewed by Alan Benson (MIT and Minnesota); Takashi Sakikawa’s Transforming Japanese Workplaces, reviewed by John Budd (Minnesota); and Francine Blau’s (past LERA president, Cornell) Gender, Inequality and Wages, reviewed by Monica Bielski Boris (Illinois).
We wish you a good read and good thought. Send comments, links, and ideas other LERA members may find interesting to Michael Lillich.
J. Michael Lillich
Clearly Expressed LLC
Perspectives on Work
"We Can Be Healthy and Rich" by Ezekiel J. Emanuel in a The New York Times story.
"Payments to Elders Are Harming Our Futures" an op-ed in Washinton Post by Georgetown University public policy professor and Employment Policy Research Network researcher Harry Holzer.
"Medicare drug costs to fall in 2014, but..." by Mike Miller for Reuters.
“Getting Patients to Think About Costs,” by Pauline W. Chen, M.D. for The New York Times.
Factors affecting U.S. labor force PBS Newshour asks LERA President-elect Lisa Lynch.
"Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us" The Daily Show's Jon Stewart interview of Steven Brill, author of the much-discussedTime feature.
"The Effects of Postal Service Cuts Could Ripple Through Middle Class" National Public Radio story about UPSP cuts, plus "Mail Models" a Washington Monthly piece by LERA's Moshe Marvit.
“Internships Become the New Job Requirement” a Marketplace podcast from Public Radio International.
"Tackling the Concerns of Independent Workers" a view on the new freelancers’ union by Steven Greenhouse for The New York Times. LERA Executive Board member and Rutgers' own, Janice Fine, is quoted.
“How Smaller Cities Hold onto Major Employers and Grow” from Governing magazine. Past LERA President Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, University of Illinois, is quoted.
New School for New Labor Demands, The New York Times story about new startup tech university, Cornell’s NYC Tech.
Click here for a graphic of public vs. private employment compensation for different levels of educational attainment.
Click here for Bureau of Labor Statistics’ graphic on the U.S. job market for recent college graduates.
(Photos above courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)
“The True Costs of Tax Breaks and Social Security,” an op-ed by Ellen Dannin (Penn State) first published in Truthout.org. “Making Tax Fair Would Guarantee Social Security for Future Generations.” for her second Truthout.org op-ed.
“Youth Subsidizing Parents’ Low-Wage Jobs” a research paper showing a growing trend by Randy Albelda (U. Massachusetts, Boston).
Reconnecting to Work vividly expresses the economic and psychological costs of the Great Recession, and presents an institutionalist's set of recommendations for protecting American workers in severe downturns. The book is composed as a collection of chapters, compiled from an interdisciplinary conference of the same name, held in April 2011 and bringing together labor researchers across the disciplines. <Read more>
Debates about the future of the American labor movement have gained a new urgency in recent years, but the problem of union decline has been a trend in many advanced industrial economies. In Union Voices: Tactics and Tensions in U.K. Organizing, British scholars Melanie Simms, Jane Holgate and Edmund Heery provide a solidly researched and extremely valuable contribution to understanding union responses to such challenges. <Read more>
In his essay on the effect of neo-liberalism on British unions, John McIlroy announces, “there are varieties of neo-liberalism. It is applied in distinctive contexts with different configurations of class forces. It changes to face challenges.” This point is often lost when people talk about neo-liberalism in a global context. They too often presume that neo-liberalism has a coherent philosophy and set of strategies. The International Handbook of Labour Unions: Responses to Neo-Liberalism dispels that myth. Similarly it dispels any notion that labor across countries, or within countries, followed a unified approach to neo-liberalism. <Read more>
From the Editor
Click here. Tom Kochan and John Kwaka Part of a special series by Cognoscenti and the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Northeastern University.
Click here. Lisa Lynch was among four Boston academics who provided their advice in the Sunday Boston Globe the weekend after the presidential election to the new administration on their economic prescriptions to revivify the ailing U.S. economy.
Click here. Michael Wald provides an "Inside Baseball" look at Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' and the department's plans heading into the second President Barack Obama term.
Panelists: Scott Stern (MIT), Adam Seth Litwin (Johns Hopkins), Antoinette Schoar (MIT), Elisabeth Reynolds (MIT), Barbara Dyer (Hitachi Foundation)
The March 13 panel took place in an MIT Sloan School of Management MBA class on sustainable businesses taught by Thomas A. Kochan (pictured at left with microphone) and Visiting MIT Scientist Barbara Dyer (Hitachi Foundation CEO). Kochan is George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at the Sloan School, director of the MIT Workplace Center and co-founder and principal investigator of the Employment Policy Research Network.
The Rockefeller and Russell Sage foundations provided startup funding for the EPRN research network. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation provided funds for the development of the EPRN sustainable entrepreneurship topic and for this panel.
Entrepreneurism panelist YouTube video clips:
Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Regional Clusters
Scott Stern, MIT economist
Entrepreneurship and Good Jobs
Adam Seth Litwin, LERA member and Johns Hopkins' Carey Business School assistant professor
Innovation, R&D and Advanced Manufacturing
Elisabeth Reynolds, executive director of MIT's Industrial Performance Center
Trends in Venture Capital Today
Antoinette Schoar, MIT entrepreneurial finance professor
Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Policies and Incentives
Barbara Dyer, LERA member and president and CEO Hitachi Foundation
To read the sustainable entrepreneurship panel discussion edited transcript, click here.
The Affordable Care Act and the Neoconfederate Challenge
David C. Jacobs
Reviewed by Paul Whitehead
Labor leaders have great stories to tell, but few of them write their memoirs. Thank Lynn Williams, head of the Steelworkers from 1983-1993, for a careful account of his life and times in One Day Longer: A Memoir. <Read more>
Reviewed by Ryan Hammond
Peter Cappelli’s Why Good People Can’t Find Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It casts a timely and knowledgeable eye on the apparent paradox of the oft-repeated claim that companies cannot find workers with the required skills to fill their vacancies even amid high unemployment. <Read more>
From The New York Times Sunday Book Review essay published Aug. 3, 2012, by Columbia University journalism professor Thomas B. Edsall:
"Joseph E. Stiglitz’s new book, The Price of Inequality, is the single most comprehensive counterargument to both Democratic neoliberalism and Republican laissez-faire theories. <Read more>
For Love and Money: Care Provision in the United States by Nancy Folbre (ed.) (Russell Sage Foundation). Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" Award and a weekly blogger on the New York Times Economix online blog-discussion of (mostly) practical and political economics. Folbre's blogs are posted on Monday mornings.
For Love and Money from the Russell Sage Foundation web site:
"As women moved into the formal labor force in large numbers over the last forty years, care work – traditionally provided primarily by women – has increasingly shifted from the family arena to the market. Why do women continue to do most care work, both paid and unpaid? Why does care work remain low paid when the quality of care is so highly valued? <Read more>
LERA member Carrie Leana (University of Pittsburgh) made contributions to Chapter 2 — Motivating Care, Chapter 4 — Paid Care Work and Chapter 8 — A Care Policy and Research Agenda.
Here's an interview with Folbre about For Love and Money by the Russell Sage Foundation's Rohan Mascarenhas:
Q: In For Love and Money, you and your contributors often refer to the "distinctive" qualities of care work. What sets this area apart? Why does it challenge conventional intellectual assumptions? What makes it challenging, as a social scientist, to study?
A: The word 'care' reveals its own complexity. We use this word both to convey concern for others — as in "I care about you" and to describe specific activities, as in "caring for a sick child."
Care is something we both give and take, connecting us with others. Perhaps because it is a part of our everyday vocabulary, it doesn’t always get the intellectual attention it deserves.
Care work touches on people's greatest vulnerabilities. It often involves first-name, face-to-face, hands-on interaction. Both emotion and moral obligation come into play — not in place of rational decision-making, but alongside it. People who provide care for others often become attached to them, entangled with them, violating the assumption that we are all wholly separate selves.
Mainstream economics often seems to ignore these distinctive features, treating the decision to care for someone as though it were no different from the decision to buy a Coke rather than a Pepsi. Conventional definitions of skill tend focus on physical or cognitive attainments, devaluing emotional skills such as ability to feel empathy for others. Conventional approaches to motivation focus on extrinsic rewards, ignoring the factors that can strengthen and revitalize intrinsic motivation.
We develop a more interdisciplinary and holistic approach, emphasizing the common features of unpaid and paid care work and the complementarities between them. <Read more of the interview.>