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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.