Charley James: Chairman Bernanke may well be boxed in by the Fed’s much-to-cautious ruling board of bank presidents but there’s no reason why he cannot use his very public platform to jawbone the governors into action.
John R. Moffett: Our world-spanning military, paid for by American taxpayers, serves the interests of defense contractors and the government officials that funnel the money to them but it does not serve the American taxpayer.
Robert Reich: Government should extend unemployment benefits, and not cut spending until the nation’s rate of unemployment is down to 5 percent. Then, and only then, should we move toward budget austerity.
Carl Bloice: The average period of unemployment now exceeds 26 weeks, well above the previous peak in July 1983 of just 21.2 weeks. This is critical because the longer that people of any age are out of work, the less likely they are to find another job.
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.
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?
Carole Bartolotto: The problem with concluding that GMOs are safe is that the argument for their safety rests solely on animal studies. These studies are offered as evidence that the debate over GMOs is over. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Margaret Flowers, M.D.: The refinery and export terminal may depress tourism, an important local industry. And the increase in cancer, disease and early deaths from the toxins released by the plant will place a financial burden on local families.
Joe Mathews: California, for all its wealth and advantages, looked to be in a precarious position in the second decade of the 21st century. The state’s government was broken, with its budget and tax systems unable to produce the kind of investments to make every child educated and healthy.