Guided by the mythology of the “American dream”—the idea that, given the opportunity, the deserving will excel and rise above their peers—politicians often attribute unemployment to a mystical “skills gap.”
|By: Peterr Saturday December 14, 2013 9:00 am|
As Christmas approaches, Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Grinch are front and center in the GOP’s blocking of extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. While Scrooge and the Grinch eventually figured out that they were missing something, the modern GOP in Congress would label them as “weak” and “wishy-washy” and “backsliders.”
And FDR would have eaten them for lunch.
|By: Michelle Chen Saturday May 25, 2013 8:30 am|
A time-honored tactic of conservative lawmakers is to “starve the beast”by defunding government programs. In the case of food stamps—the quintessential whipping boy for budget hawks—they’re going a step further by trying to starve actual people.
|By: Michelle Chen Sunday May 5, 2013 7:00 am|
If you think being jobless is tough, try applying for unemployment benefits. In Florida, simply filling out the form requires considerable talent and endurance. According to a recent ruling by the federal Department of Labor, the state’s new online application process is so fraught with arbitrary obstacles that it violates federal civil rights protections.
|By: Michelle Chen Sunday January 27, 2013 1:00 pm|
How do you get a job without experience? How do you get experience without a job? And so it goes for millions of people trapped in a dismal cycle of joblessness. New York City took a step to help unemployed workers out of that spiral.
|By: Glenn W. Smith Sunday January 20, 2013 9:30 am|
I wish we could require all Americans – at least all decision-makers – to read Joseph Stiglitz’s new essay in the New York Times. Inequality is strangling us economically, politically, socially, he writes.
|By: David Dayen Monday December 17, 2012 12:45 pm|
To say that “we have a budget deficit” is no different than saying “we’re in the middle of a recession.” The correlation between deficits and economic growth is very tight. A large part of deficits are composed of reduced tax receipts from less people working, and increase in utilization of automatic stabilizers like unemployment benefits, Medicaid and food stamps, which recedes in better economic times.
|By: David Dayen Thursday October 25, 2012 7:36 am|
“Why should we bail out the loser’s mortgages,” Rick Santelli yelled in his proto-Tea Party rant. And ever since, practically everyone in Washington has taken care to say that homeowner relief should only be available for “responsible” homeowners, as if there’s a formula to decide whether someone ripped off by a predatory lender is “responsible” or not.
But there’s actually a good answer for why you want to bail out “the loser’s mortgages,” and it’s rooted in basic economics.
|By: David Dayen Saturday October 20, 2012 12:00 pm|
The EU wrapped up its summit, and the major policy announcement was an agreement for a single Eurozone bank regulator, a step on the road to common depository insurance. This is a couple years off, and leaders announced that no country would be able to get bailout funds for its banks until the regulator was in place, which could pressure Spain into tapping that bailout fund for its government operations, if they’re on the hook for rescuing their own banks in the near term. In addition, Germany and France appear divided over the next steps on fiscal integration, with Germany emphasizing budget discipline and France warning against recession.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday October 10, 2012 7:40 am|
When politicians and partisans talk about “the debt,” they are almost always talking about publicly held debt, the balance sheet of the US government. Yet overall debt includes a number of elements. You have state and local government debt, corporate debt, and individual private debt plays a role as well. Household balance sheets are just as important to an economy, if not more so, because the level of private debt can inform the level of consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy. And it turns out that the US is at a six-year low in its overall debt, which at this point presents a problem for the economy.