Why A Civil Society Extends Unemployment Benefits

unemployment

Robert Reich: A record number of Americans is unemployed for a record length of time. This is a national tragedy. It is to the nation’s credit that many are receiving unemployment benefits. This is good not only for them and their families but also for the economy as a whole, because it allows them to spend and thereby keep others in jobs.

States Pushing Anti-Immigration Legislation Forced to Run Costly Damage Control

panic_button

Seth Hoy: As politicians continue to take a “get tough on immigration” stance in the run up to midterm elections, voters may decide that their pocketbooks trump their politics when it comes to immigration.

The Stock Market Rally Versus the World’s Economic Fundamentals

happy labor day

Robert Reich: The real economy is jobs and paychecks, what people buy and what they sell. And the real economy — even viewed from a worldwide perspective — is as precarious as ever, perhaps more so.

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.

The Economic Fallacy of ‘Zombie’ Japan

happy worker

Steven Hill: Paul Krugman and others have got Japan wrong: Americans should be so lucky as to get a Japanese-style lost decade

Pushing Working People Down

strike

Jim Fuller: Probably the most obvious example so far of how the very rich are using this economic downturn to consolidate their power is the strike by 305 hourly workers at the Mott’s apple juice plant in upstate New York.

The Duh Factor, or Biz School Brilliance

fat cat

Jim Fuller: I confess to major reservations about those who work in and for the business schools that now take up far too much otherwise valuable space on most major college and university campuses.

Capitalism Is Killing Us

china number two

David Love: While Chinese workers jump out of windows, Americans are dying as well. In the U.S., workers die on exploding oil rigs and in deathtrap coal mines because their regulation-hating employers want to maximize profits.

A Permanent Housing Collapse?

Shamus Cooke: The housing market appears to be on a never-ending downward spiral, with the much-discussed “recovery” always around the next corner.

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.

Forget Double Dip: We’re Still in One Long Big Dipper

recession

Robert Reich: It’s nonsense to think of the economy heading downward again into a double dip when most Americans never emerged from the first dip. We’re still in one long Big Dipper.

Economic “Recovery?” Not for You and Me

works progress administration

Jim Fuller: The essential hidden fact of economics in 21st century America: What we have is exactly what the tiny economic elite, the one or two percent of richest Americans, wants us to have.

The Jobs Emergency

camp foreclosure

Robert Reich: We need a response proportional to the crisis. Obama, Pelosi, and Reed should summon Congress back to Washington for action on the jobs emergency.

States Might Jump Off Arizona’s Immigration Bandwagon

immigrtion push and pull

Seth Hoy: State legislators are citing fear of costly lawsuits and a charged political environment in which restrictive immigration legislation might not pass as factors in their decision.

Why We Really Shouldn’t Keep the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy

wealthy tax cuts

Robert Reich: Restoring top earners’ marginal tax rates to what they were during the Clinton administration (36 and 39 percent) won’t inhibit their spending. That’s because they already save a large portion of what they earn, and already spend what they want to spend.

Jobless Benefits Battle Holds Millions of Americans Hostage

In this July 2, 2010 photo, Mischelle Mitchell looks online for job listings at the at the Oakland Career Center in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

David Love: A group of mostly Republican lawmakers refuses to reauthorize an extension of $33 billion in unemployment benefits. And in blocking the legislation during desperate times, they are holding 2.5 million Americans hostage, all for a political stunt. T

Why We Can’t Rely on Foreign Consumers to Rescue American Jobs

jobs

Robert Reich: Trade can’t possibly be a source of new American jobs. To the contrary, it reduces overall demand in the United States.

Undocumented Youth Pin DREAMs on Congressional Action

Michelle Waslin: Research has shown that the DREAM Act would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce. Moreover, the DREAM Act create an opportunity for many young people to get on the path to permanent legal status, improve their education, invest in themselves and their communities, and serve their country.

Misrepresenting the Left: We Are Not Liberals

leftists

Ton Jacobs: From the New York Times to FOX News, the portrayal of the US Democratic party and Barack Obama as leftist is creating a perception in the US populace that leftists are ineffective politicos who have no principles they won’t modify.

The Vanishing American Consumer and the Coming Trade War

g-20 summit

Robert Reich: We’re unlikely to see a repeat of the disastrous Smoot-Hawley tariffs that worsened and lengthened the Great Depression. But you can forget trade-opening agreements. In Toronto last week, the G-20 leaders dropped their 2009 pledge to finish the Doha round this year. In the U.S., agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Columbia are languishing.

No Jobs – The Theory of “Structural” Unemployment

factory

Carl Bloice: With high unemployment and no jobs, the actions of those in Congress who hold up the extension of benefits to the unemployed are morally repugnant. making it. The fellow who said the jobs are not coming back failed to say where they went.

Did Greedy Homeowners Cause the Big Crash?

homeowners

Steve Hochstadt: We grredy American homeowners appear as co-conspirators in many judgments about what caused the great recession. In these interpretations, many of us were greedy for wanting bigger homes than we deserved, foolish to have then bought larger houses than we could afford, and stupid for agreeing to the low-interest/low-payment scams of mortgage sellers.

SB 1070 “Gets Tough” on Arizona’s Housing Market

moving day

Seth Hoy: According to the Arizona Republic, housing experts anticipate that SB 1070 will not only drive illegal immigrants out of the state, but legal residents and potential new homebuyers with them—“departures from a state where growth is the economic foundation.”

Skewed Wealth Distribution and the Roots of the Economic Crisis

david barber

David Barber: What I do know is that while “social psychology” may have had some small role as a causal factor in the Crash of ’08, it was the actual structure of the American and world economies which brought on the crisis. And if in fact we enter a second round of this Crash, it will not stem from what Dr. Shiller calls a “weakness and vulnerability of confidence,” but will result from the same structural elements of our economy as those that brought on the “first dip.”

Blacks Prison and Unemployment

black child

Sherwood Ross: Slumlords charge exorbitant rents. “Convenience” stores charge higher prices. Military recruiters have their pick of jobless youth desperate for work. And the for-profit, private prisons increase their head count (and income) as the judicial system hands off the young drug peddlers caught in the legal web. As the Kaiser Family Foundation reported, African-Americans fill 40 percent of the nation’s prison cells. Yet they make up just 13 percent of the nation’s population.

Bush Recession Comes Home to Roost

tax chart

Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.

Report on the Benefits of Immigrant Legalization Falls Short

Photo by me and the sysop.

Immigration Impact: A wide range of economic studies—studies which consider legalization’s impact in both the long term and in context to comprehensive immigration reform—conclude that legalization does in fact benefit both native-born and immigrants alike.

Employers Take Beating Laying Off Employees

Layoffs

Sherwood Ross: As millions of Americans have been fired by employers struggling to remain profitable, we have all borne witness to Corporate America’s calloused disregard of its workers. Now, canny business economists claim the layoffs have hurt employers, too.

Immigrant Homebuyers Play Crucial Role in Housing Market Revival

latino-asian-homebuyers

Earlier this week, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released a new housing report which provides a rather grim analysis of the current housing crisis.  Real home prices continue to fall and foreclosures continue to mount despite recent federal interventions.  Because of job losses, decreased home prices, and tougher credit eligibility requirements, [...]

Obama Rescuing Capitalism: That’s a Lot of Weight for One Brother

obama_congress

Back in December, when it was obvious that the economy was in bad shape and before we knew how precarious it could get, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, wrote, “For Obama to be remembered as a great president, he has to do nothing less than rescue [...]

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