Robert Reich: Political elites are worried about thunder on the right and the left, but they show scant understanding of what these growing anti-establishment forces signify. Meanwhile, the nation drifts.
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: Now that we’re slouching toward a double-dip recession, the only hope is voters will tell their members of Congress to stop obsessing about future budget deficits and get to work on the real crisis of unemployment, falling wages, and no growth.
Robert Reich: The only way out of the vicious economic cycle is for government to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy — spending more in the short term in order to make up for the shortfall in consumer demand.
Robert Reich: In truth, the most important variable explaining the rise and fall of tax revenues as percent of GDP has been the business cycle, not the effective tax rate.
Robert Reich: The silence is deafening. While the rest of the nation is heading back toward a double dip, Washington continues to obsess about future budget deficits. Why?
Robert Reich: The question on everyone’s mind: Will the Fed signal it’s now more worried about inflation than recession?
Lydia Howell: Whether it’s debt-ridden college graduates working as baristas or small town youth with only fast-food and Wal-Mart as post-high school career options, high unemployment keeps a volunteer military ranks full.
Brent Budowsky: The economic and political shock wave will be momentous as budget politics will increase joblessness and reveal with brutality that Washington is out of touch with heartland America and dominated by special interests that voters deplore.
Robert Reich: Republicans haven’t come up with a single new idea in almost 60 years. Herbert Hoover was the last Republican president to introduce a new Republican theme back in 1952 at the Republican National Convention. Since then they’ve repeated the message. Of course, Herbert Hoover, you may remember, didn’t have a sterling record when it came to the economy. As president, he presided over the Great Crash of 1929 and ushered in the Great Depression.
Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.
Robert Reich: Nothing is trickling down to the Average Worker economy. Job growth is still anemic. Unemployment won’t get down to pre-recession levels for 20 years. And almost half of October’s new jobs were in temporary help.