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By Tim Price, originally posted on Next New Deal

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Citizen Coupon (Dissent)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal argues that the neoliberal and conservative push to voucherize the welfare state ensures we get the low-quality, off-brand version of public goods. Ten percent off your next doctor's visit with your purchase of a six-pack of Shasta!

How Many People Will Die if We Raise the Medicare Age to 67? (Naked Capitalism)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller notes that raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, the new hotness among grand bargainistas, could cost 1,261 uninsured seniors their lives. Does "symbolically important compromise" count as an official cause of death?

Rein in the Rich: How Higher Taxes Could Lift the Economy (TNR)

John Judis writes that when it comes to taxing the rich, fairness and deficit reduction are beside the point. In our consumer-driven economy, the poor need more money and the rich are holding on to way too much of it. You don't need to be Robin Hood to figure this out.

Why Most Walmart and Fast Food Workers Didn't Strike (The Nation)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz writes that recent labor actions represent only a fraction of the people working low-wage, dead-end jobs, who have been taught that keeping their heads down is a lot better for job security than raising their voices.

The misleading framing of 'right-to-work' (WaPo)

Ezra Klein argues that calling union-busting laws "right-to-work" is one of those rhetorical sleights of hand, like the "death tax" or "job creators." Unless it's an abbreviation for something like "right to work against your own interests," which is a bit of a mouthful.

From Bernie Madoff to Steven Cohen, Enabling Suspiciously High Returns (ProPublica)

Jesse Eisinger notes that Wall Street firms don't seem to mind investing in hedge funds involved in obviously shady and potentially criminal activities as long as they keep generating high returns, though getting caught doing it is still considered very bad form.

Not Another Wall Street Puppet (Prospect)

Timothy Canova argues that President Obama needs to choose someone to be his next Treasury Secretary who wasn't sent over from central casting for the role of "white male banker," even if Tim Geithner was more of a method actor than the real deal.

Fed's big decision is victory for liberal economics (WaPo)

Jonathan Bernstein writes that the Fed's decision to target 6.5 percent unemployment shows that elections do have consequences: namely, Obama's appointment of Fed governors who don't think a "dual mandate" is two gay couples going to see The Hobbit.

Could You Survive on $2 a Day? (MoJo)

Gabriel Thompson reports on the experience of people living in extreme poverty in Fresno, California, just some of the millions of Americans who live on less than $2 a day. Which is pretty easy, as long as you don't want to do anything. Or go anywhere. Or eat.

I Can't Stop Looking at These Terrifying Long-Term Unemployment Charts (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien notes that the data show that the unemployment experience is basically normal, if typically miserable, for the recently unemployed, but the long-termed unemployed are on the verge of becoming the forever unemployed unless we take action.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Unemployment Worsening (5+ / 0-)

    Technology is a net job destroyer which is invading every industry.  It allows for many jobs to be outsourced to cheaper labor pools.  This will continue.

    The optimists will explain how technology creates jobs and this has been true in the past.  But those days are over.

    The country needs to figure out how to sustain its population when there is plenty of work to do, but not enough jobs which can be monetized.

    Monetizing jobs is why the Republicans want to privatize things in the public domain, e.g. prisons. And oppose socializing things like health care and energy which can be done cheaper by eliminating the profits.

    The only reason unemployment continues to decline is because people stop looking for work.

    The sad, sad truth is nobody has any idea how to provide enough jobs for all of the people who need them.  And this problem will continue to get worse.

    PBO is doing a competent job, but he needs to be more liberal.

    by jimgilliamv2 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:38:31 AM PST

    •  "The sad, sad truth is nobody has any idea how to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimgilliamv2

      provide enough jobs for all of the people who need them.  And this problem will continue to get worse."

      That sums it up.

      It won't get any better until we stop relying solely on electoral politics and put an end to the class war.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:16:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Economy consists of production and distribution (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sarenth, jimgilliamv2

      Traditionally, what we call "a job" took care of both sides of the production/distribution dynamic. The worker's labor contributed to increased production, and the pay for that labor defined the share of distribution the worker was entitled to.

      Technology has made sufficient production of material goods no longer an issue. In fact, because of ecological constraints, over-production has become as great a concern as under-production. Furthermore, today technology allows greater than sufficient production to be achieved by less than the total workforce.

      Which brings us to the distribution side of the equation. We don't need everyone to work in order to ensure sufficient production, but obviously we still need everyone to receive a share of distribution.

      This is a problem we have to work on. If we can't solve it, things will get ugly.

  •  Public goods need some love! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, RJDixon74135, DRo

    Currently writing paper on proxy access as a public goods problem, and benefits to investors like pension funds.

    I sure wish politicians would use the fiscal cliff hand-wringing as a teachable moment to pound into the heads of the media stooges that:

    1.   When you whine about the fiscal cliff impact on aggregate demand, you are saying that KEYNES WAS RIGHT. and

    2.  That AUSTERITY IS STUPID.

    The "who wins" political coverage is brain dead.

  •  Woo Roosevelt! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, Words In Action, greenbird

    As a Roosevelt Campus Network chapter leader, it's great to see this on the front page

  •  I will have to read the links, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, DRo, Words In Action, DBunn

    I don't understand how what the Fed is doing (as discussed by Mr. Bernstein) is going to affect what Mr. O'Brien is writing about in The Atlantic.

    There is no way that anything done to manipulate taxes and interest rates is going to get a job for someone who is long-term unemployed, over 50, and with a crappy credit score and expired skills -- plus no money to update them on their own.

    Everyone wrings their hands and bemoans all the jobs that could be had if we would just do an infrastructure project! Nobody is going to hire older or disabled workers for infrastructure jobs. And the small businesses that might be created as a result of infrastructure jobs aren't going to hire them either -- too risky, even with the ACA implementation coming up.

    We need a new WPA that hires all comers for all kinds of jobs, or we will have a permanent underclass in the twilight zone between 50 and whenever The Powers That Be decide that we can draw on our earned benefits.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:44:50 AM PST

    •  I think the idea is trickle out ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DBunn

      That is, if you significantly lower the amount of job seekers the (... cough ... us ...) older long term unemployed are closer to the head of the line for 2nd tier jobs. That is, I won't be hired in an office full time until the kid with my IT skills is getting a better job. At that point I'm considered.

      Not to concern troll but I think there's a certain amount of denial among my fellow aged out unemployed. If someone sat on their hands while climbing a corporate ladder and then, boom, 2009 and they're fired their skills would have entirely aged out. Having always been on the outside (read: media) I learned long ago you have to pick up a new skill every 9 - 18 months as the job market is going to move on. There is a broader problem here of monopoly capitalism (which Krugman has been on about recently on his blog) and and overall devaluing of US labor (going back to NAFTA - I'm a Dem but that was on Clinton's watch - and the breaking of the unions thanks St Reagan ...).

      I saw something on PBS a year or so ago about the long term unemployed - FWIW I'm the long term semi-employed as I've not been eligible for unemployment and have been working at whatever trying to stay afloat - there was a guy in a nice house saying he'd had a 100k a year job in "marketing" and now couldn't find work. What exactly a 100k year job in marketing is was confusing given the current landscape of "shift to the internet". Had he spent his 99 weeks of unemployment learning the new technologies? Is the resume fact that he showed up everyday for 15 years enough in itself that he "deserves" 100k a year?

      I agree with a huge infrastructure project - and, baring a wave in 2014 we're not getting anything close - but we also need a rethink on how and where society provides jobs. As well as a quick top down fix from the Feds we need to redesign our economic infrastructure from the ground up - or middle out(?). And us old people are going to have to continue to adapt, everyday, and impress on future generations that post industrial capitalism is going to require a lifetime of reinvention. It's not easy, I write from a perspective of more 21st century failure than success, but there's no other real option. Even if we had the numbers for a New New Deal - and we profoundly don't see: Mitt Romney - and even if the current centrists with their slim majority had the drive and vision - they don't see: B. Obama (flamebait?) there's no easy road for the majority of us who didn't get wealthy in the 90s etc ... As I said to a peer who refused to learn her computer for a job interview: "change or die"

      If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

      by jgnyc on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:08:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  then you don't understand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, DBunn

      if we borrow money at low rates and give it to the people, it's not going to help much in the long run.

      if we borrow money and spend it on infrastructure that not only provides jobs today and tomorrow but also helps grow the economy by a few points, then that growth pushes unemployment down year after year.

      which is why tax cuts are stupid.

      we should have had a larger stimulus.  the fed can keep rates low and if republicans would let us continue to borrow, we can create growth for another generation of americans.  long term growth leads to lower unemployment, higher GDP and less debt in the long run.

      It's what many economists say is needed.  Like Krugman and even our very own Bonddad.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:20:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If I read Brooke correctly, that stimulus would (0+ / 0-)

        need to include jobs of value to the public that unemployed 50, 60 and 70 somethings can do.

        The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

        by Words In Action on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:22:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  right but doing what? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Egalitare

          that's what i was expounding upon.

          tax cuts are money to people.  jobs is money too but jobs to do what?

          digging ditches and filling them up is a myth.  we built up america during those earlier times with big projects.  

          does anybody know how many trees were planted by the programs created after the great depression.

          those trees helped end the dust bowl.  the jobs need to of lasting impact.  big infrastructure projects like energy independence and new transportation systems is one way.

          adding a few points onto GDP means trillions.  over the years those trillions make our debt problems obsolete. only thing standing in our way is republicans.

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:27:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  not true (0+ / 0-)
      There is no way that anything done to manipulate taxes and interest rates is going to get a job for someone who is long-term unemployed, over 50, and with a crappy credit score and expired skills -- plus no money to update them on their own.
      low interest rates means it is cheap to borrow money.  now if we could get the republicans to fold, then we can start investing in our future.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:42:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  New feature? I like it! (3+ / 0-)
  •  Could we make the 2014 elections come home... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, Words In Action

    ... to voters?

    The Republicans shot themselves in their foots and possibly elsewhere throughout the runup to November 2012. One unforced error after another. It's a gift that keeps giving, for they seem to be working belligerently on not getting any smarter about what the public cares about. I think we ought to help them.

    Battles based on demographics will be improved by attaching actual policy positions to those "demographics," rather than just a few faces that look like the 51% the GOP needs. So:

    - immigration reform
    - funding for women's health centers conditioned on no restrictions on medically accepted procedures (as opposed to politically acceptable ones)
    - Federal standards for fair elections, including free and easy alternative registration to drivers licenses, early voting, election officials who pledge on oath to act in a bipartisan manner and the like
    - [a good start but just the beginning of the list]

    And also:

    - cut all military/defense spending for all programs the Pentagon says it doesn't want, subject to review by top officials of other related agencies (i.e. no shifts or handing off)
    - establish a new working schedule for the Senate and House. Require a 5 1/2 day work week for Congress, with no fewer than four days on the Hill or other DC government offices for 48 weeks of the year (except for Federal holidays and four extra weeks in years that official is running for re-election). Any work day the member is not physically at work in DC must be spent in the state or district. As for trips abroad on government business, just the member and one staffer ... and prove it!

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:54:00 AM PST

  •  Another excellent digest (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Words In Action, Egalitare, greenbird

    Thanks for posting these here.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:55:45 AM PST

  •  hidden agenda (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, Words In Action, Egalitare
    How Many People Will Die if We Raise the Medicare Age to 67?
    For some right wing crazies, that is a good thing.  If not having medical insurance kills a "taker," the country will be stronger!(?)  What pisses me off most is that the same people claim to be good--very good--Christians.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:55:48 AM PST

  •  How many will die if we raise the Medicare age? (0+ / 0-)

    That's only part of the right question. The rest of the question is, how many people will die if instead of raising the Medicare age, we give a different concession to the Republicans?

    How many will die if no bargain is made, we go over the fiscal curb, and the Republicans start to take hostages over the debt ceiling?

    We shouldn't mislead ourselves by doing only a cost analysis. We have to do a cost/benefit analysis. I'm not taking any position on whether raising the Medicare age is the right choice, but we're picking the least worst option here, not an option that we like. The Republicans will demand something terrible-- we just have to get the least terrible choice.

  •  Republicans Don't Get Medicare? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Just how dumb is the Republican base.  Firstly, it is estimated that if the Medicare age is raised to 67 everyone's health insurance cost will go up $160.00 a year or more to cover the older sicker people thrown into the private pool.

    Second, they never get sick?  They are all rich?

    Dumb and dumbest!

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