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.

The Need for a Progressive Alternative

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Robert Reich: Without bold alternatives, Americans desperate for big solutions are attracted to bold crackpot ideas like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” proposal, which would raise taxes on the poor and cut them for the rich.

Is Consumer Capitalism Outdated?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.

History and Double-Dip Recessions

obama senior staff

Iwan Morgan: If America does manage to avoid a new recession and achieve stronger growth, it will be a testimony to the underlying strength of its economy. At present its political leadership in both the executive and legislative branches does not appear to have the same reserves.

“Jobs Creators” Brand Tarnished

wall street protests

Joseph Palermo: Even hardcore capitalists are displaying a lack of faith in U.S. economic leadership, compounding the legitimacy crisis that has already engulfed millions of less exalted members of the global community.

Lamar Smith’s E-Verify Arguments Defy Logic

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Michele Waslin: Studies have shown that E-Verify is deeply flawed. Not only does it fail to detect unauthorized workers over half of the time, but it would erroneously flag millions of U.S. citizens and legal workers as not being work authorized.

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.

Jobs: A Grand Bargain

obama phoning

Brent Budowsky: Great presidents know the difference between empty public gimmicks and game-changing public policy. They demand creative ideas, not mediocrity or defeatism, from those who advise them.

Fed Policy Needs a U-Turn

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Brent Budowsky: America needs new thinking for monetary and fiscal policy. Fed policy has failed. Government policy is inadequate. Ron Paul has advanced an important debate.

Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers are Consumers.

Iranian medical delegation at the Agent Orange conference in Hanoi.

Robert Reich: Every CEO of every company that continues to squeeze payrolls (Verizon, are you listening? Ford?) needs to understand they’re shooting themselves in the feet. Where do they expect demand for their products and services to come from?

The Right to a Job

fdr's new deal

Herb Engstrom: At this time of TEA Party hysteria, Fox News mendacity, and GOP hypocrisy a government guarantee of universal employment might seem like a radical idea, although it seemed not to be so to Franklin Roosevelt.

Obama’s Bold Jobs Bill (Maybe)

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Robert Reich: A bold jobs plan is also good politics. With more than 25 million Americans looking for full-time jobs, the wages of people with jobs falling, and an economy on the verge of a double dip, the President has to come out fighting on the side of average people.

How Austerity Is Ushering in a Global Recession

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Robert Reich: Chalk up a big part of Europe’s slowdown to the politics and economics of austerity. Europe – including Britain – have turned John Maynard Keynes on his head. They’ve been cutting public spending just when they should be spending more to counteract slowing private spending.

Inflation — Fighting the Last War

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Steven Conn: For thirty years inflation has not been a serious threat to the American economy, yet politicians and pundits continually fret about it. The never-ending worry about inflation is like fighting the last war rather than the current one. What’s needed today is a war on unemployment and wage stagnation, not inflation.

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