Daily digest – Married to the recession
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
The Austerity Debacle (NYT)
Paul Krugman argues that the case against austerity is pretty open and shut given that we’ve had 80 years to learn from the Great Depression and today’s European policymakers have still managed to find a way to make things worse this time.
Growth Accelerates, but U.S. Has Lots of Ground to Make Up (NYT)
Catherine Rampell reports that despite 2.8% growth last quarter, the economy is still looking as sluggish as an old man after a turkey dinner thanks to rapid cuts in government spending and continued weakness in consumer demand and hiring.
Eric Schneiderman: Hero or Goat? (HuffPo)
Robert Kuttner writes that while many progressives fear Eric Schneiderman will be used like a nice throw pillow on the very ugly sofa of the foreclosure settlement, this deal could give him the resources he needs and a lot more leverage than they think.
Lanny Breuer, Task Force Leader, Doesn’t Bother Showing Up For Mortgage Fraud Press Conference (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller argues the task force’s relative lack of manpower shows the administration is taking this about as seriously as if it declared war and sent in a few dozen ground troops who were told to imitate jet noises.
Household Formation: Divorces, Births Correlated with Unemployment Across States (Rortybomb)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal notes that financial pressures are keeping marriages together but also keeping babies from being made, meaning that as things pick up, there could be a lot of “It’s not you; it’s the recovery” speeches coming.
Average Americans don’t think like economists (WaPo)
One might be tempted to offer a silent prayer of thanks for a headline like that, but Suzy Khimm highlights a new study that shows that aside from their different political opinions, economists and the general public don’t always share the same facts.
This Week in Poverty: State of the Union, State of Florida (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann writes that while the president spent plenty of time in last week’s address discussing the rich and middle class, he only touched on the 46 million below the poverty line long enough to note that somewhere, a poor child might exist.
What Debt Did for Romney (New Yorker)
James Surowiecki points out that if Republicans were serious about reducing private debt instead of just using it as a rhetorical bludgeon against Obama, they could limit tax deductions that encourage corporations to gorge on credit until they choke.
Higher Taxes Help the Richest, Too (NYT)
Robert Frank explains that raising taxes on the rich won’t really make it any harder for them to buy that second Bugatti they’ve been wanting, but it will help to ensure that there are nice, paved roads for their chauffeurs to drive them around on.
For your own sake, stop working so hard (WaPo)
Richard Schiffman argues that shortening the work week for the most productive, over-stressed generation in U.S. history would have significant economic benefits and give employees a chance to experience novelties like sleep and relaxation.
Short URL: http://aworldofprogress.com/readingroom/?p=1793