Daily Digest – June 6: Time to Stop Talking Deficit

By Rachel Goldfarb |

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Conference Calls For Bold Approaches To The Jobs Emergency (Campaign for America’s Future)

Derek Pugh reports on the Roosevelt Institute’s jobs conference on Tuesday, which pointed at unemployment rather than deficits as the real economic crisis. Panelists offered numerous possible solutions, including New Deal-style job strategies, reformed trade policies, and expansion of public transit.

U.S. Worker Productivity Increases as Hourly Compensation Drops (LA Times)

Alejandro Lazo reports that the first quarter of 2013 showed employers are getting more out of workers than last year but paying them less. Meanwhile, employers are monitoring everything from website visits to bathroom trips to figure out what else they can deduct.

Now is the Time to be an Infrastructure Hawk, not a Deficit Hawk (WaPo)

Ezra Klein thinks that we need to prioritze fixing our crumbling infrastructure and creating jobs over worrying about the deficit. Besides, the infrastructure work needs to be done eventually, so if we put it off we’re just creating another deficit for future generations.

Your Student Loan isn’t Really a Loan (Salon)

David Dayen argues that student loans are less like money borrowed at interest and closer to a form of indentured servitude. You can refinance a mortgage, or discharge it in bankruptcy, but student loans are forever.

Does a State Have the Right to Self-Destruct? (The Atlantic)

Garrett Epps questions whether a state is still a state under the federal Constitution if its government can’t tax. Colorado law prevents the legislature from raising taxes, and the state is struggling as a result.

Dodd-Frank Act: After 3 Years, a Long To-Do List (USA Today)

Kevin McCoy writes on the delayed process of writing the 398 rules of the Dodd-Frank Act. There have been 279 deadlines so far, and nearly 63 percent of those have been missed — a rate that only the law’s opponents can be happy with.

Denying a Head Start in Washington State (Bill Moyers)

Greg Kaufmann examines the effects of sequestration by looking at Head Start in Washington, which reaches only 38 percent of eligible children and now has to make cuts. Programs are using shorter school days to make their budget, or ending the school year early.