Robert Reich: But before the hostilities start again and we all get lost in puerile politics and petty tactics, it’s useful to consider what’s really at stake for our economy and democracy.
Brent Budowsky: Obama needs to contemplate the possibility that his legacy will be “the jobless president.” He should fight to become “the jobs president.”
Kathleen Peine: The unemployment report came out recently, and Punxatawny Phil saw a service sector job — that means six more years of growth. Or something like that. It’s all very complicated.
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.
Robert Reich: President Obama laid out the problem correctly and effectively. He explained why jobs and growth must be the nation’s first priority now — not the federal deficit.
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.
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.
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.
Carl Bloice: If Congress does not vote over the next week and a half to re-authorize federal unemployment benefits through next year, before they expire November 30, nearly 2 million women and men and their families will face a dismal holiday season.
Robert Reich: Both Greenspan and Rubin are deficit hawks. So was Herbert Hoover and so was Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. And look what Hoover and Mellon got us into. When we least need him, Hoover is being exhumed.
Robert Reich: The biggest ongoing threats are chronic recession or even deflation, because consumers don’t have enough money to what the economy is capable of selling at full or near-full employment. Despite gains in productivity, little has trickled down to America’s middle class.