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The Most Important Election Since 1932? (Commonweal)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick writes that after Obama’s disappointments, Romney represents change you can believe in — though with the recession, the shredded safety net, and the likely onset of war, you may wish you were dreaming.
Separate and Unequal (NYT)
Thomas Edsall writes that Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz’s new book reinforces his status as the leading challenger to the economic orthodoxy and carries a hopeful-ish message: Everything is only terrible because we make it that way.
U.S. housing policy: “Absolutely insane” (Salon)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller notes that it’s hard to tell if we’re making progress with the mortgage crisis since we still don’t have a single reliable measurement of foreclosures. Maybe officials just want it to be a surprise when they finally solve everything.
Why Washington Accepts Mass Unemployment (New York)
Jonathan Chait argues that it’s easy for policymakers to downplay the jobs crisis because for them and their socioeconomic peers, it has about as much visceral impact as that first Star Wars prequel about tense trade negotiations between alien planets.
Five myths about the middle class (WaPo)
Rediscovering Government contributor Lane Kenworthy suggests that if we’re going to have an election about the middle class, it would help if we all understood a few basic things about it, like the fact that not every single person in the country is part of it.
Police Protection, Please, for Municipal Bonds (NYT)
Gretchen Morgenson writes that with local governments’ finances in tatters thanks to the muni market, the SEC should be treating the bond underwriters like pharmacists who neglected to tell their customers that they were buying poison instead of aspirin.
Cordray Goes to Congress (TAP)
Patrick Caldwell notes that Richard Cordray’s congressional testimony about the CFPB’s new regulation on mortgage forms turned into another opportunity for Republicans to express their anger that he has a job and, worse yet, the audacity to be doing it.
Frankenstein Takes Over Wall Street (NYT)
Joe Nocera worries that last week’s Knight Capital robo-trading fiasco is more evidence that Wall Street has created a monster it can’t control, and once it’s taken vengeance on its creator, what chance do we puny humans have of standing up to it?
As Libor Fault-Finding Grows, It Is Now Every Bank for Itself (NYT)
Azam Ahmed and Ben Protess report that as regulators continue to ask tough questions about LIBOR, the banks are pointing fingers at each other for bad behavior. There may be no honor among thieves, but even they’re like “Guys, have some dignity.”
This Week in Poverty: ‘Respect the Worker’ (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann looks at a growing labor dispute in Milwaukee between Palermo’s Pizza, purveyors of frozen cheese and tomato paste, and its employees, who are making all sorts of unreasonable demands, like being able to keep all 10 of their fingers.