More Money But a Sicker Planet?

global marshmallow

Walter Moss: We tend to forget or marginalize environmental problems while putting to the forefront more immediate concerns like money or whatever stories our media tells us are most important

How Inequality Kills Growth

comic mitch

Claude Fischer: To the extent that facts matter in such a politicized debate, it is becoming increasingly clear that equality rather than inequality is a better policy for economic growth.

Founding Wisdom

jefferson mount rushmore

Nick Capo: According to Jefferson, freedom and liberty rely on the existence of an educated citizenry, one difficult to manipulate, while economic growth relies on the continued advancement of human knowledge.

The Stall Has Arrived

black unemployment

Robert Reich: @idening inequality is the underlying culprit. As long as almost all the gains from economic growth continue to go to the top, the vast middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to boost the economy on its own.

Whose Recovery?

obama boeing

Robert Reich: The reverse-Robin Hood budget plan just announced by Paul Ryan and House Republicans (and endorsed by Mitt Romney) would make the lopsidedness far worse – dramatically cutting taxes on the rich and slashing public services everyone else depends on.

One Week in Polite and Egalitarian Japan

Bonsai Tree Nature Environment

Steve Hochstadt: If the US enters a long period of stagnation, our stark social inequalities may become less tolerable, as both the rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations already show. More egalitarian Japanese society may be better placed to deal with lack of growth.

Is Consumer Capitalism Outdated?

Walter Moss: If consumer capitalism is indeed replaced by a new economic structure, many capitalist bricks may still be needed for any new construction. Whether we choose to attempt new building or just apply a little patching here or there is up to us.

Immigrant Laborers Strengthen American Workforce, Economy

workers statue

Michele Waslin: While immigration restrictionists have long tried to demonize immigrant workers and blame them for high unemployment rates and other economic woes, the facts make it clear that immigrants actually create jobs and businesses and boost the wages of native-born workers.

Why Obama Can’t Pivot to Jobs

obama-gop-brink-wide

Robert Reich: The nation and Oba,ma remain hostage to the ideology of right-wing Republicans who won’t let the government spend more money. Yet if the government can’t spend more – at least this year and next, until the pump is primed and the economy is growing again – we won’t see job growth. And without job growth, the economy will remain anemic.

The Big Lie

death panels

Robert Reich: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.

Why We Should Beware Budget-Deficit Mania

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson

Robert Reich: The first draft of the President’s deficit commission, written by its co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is a pastiche of ideas – some good, some dumb, some intriguing, some wacky. The only unifying principle behind their effort seems to be to throw enough at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong

economy

Steven Hill: So when the authorities say “a recovery is under way” or “stimulus rather than deficit reduction” or “deficit reduction instead of stimulus,” remember: These are the same experts who are unsure of how to measure, who too often substitute ideology and partisanship for broken theory, and usually have been flat wrong in their assessments.

Why Growth Is Good

double dip recession

Robert Reich: If governments keep hacking away at their budgets while consumers almost everywhere are becoming more cautious about spending, global demand will shrink to the point where a worldwide dip is inevitable.

Is Economic Growth a Delusion?

banks

Unemployment reached 8.5% in March of this year, but add in the once full-time, now part-time laborers, it may be as high as 15%. Yet my fellow rail commuters somewhere between New Haven and Grand Central Terminal think they smell recovery. As one salesman put it to me, “things will come back–even better than they [...]

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