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The unemployment crisis that lies behind the US monthly jobs report (Guardian)
Heidi Moore argues that even a relatively strong jobs report like the one published last week comes with an asterisk so large it makes everything else look like a footnote: namely, that America still has 15 million people unemployed and no real idea what to do about it.
In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better… It’s Brutal (NYT)
Catherine Rampell writes that every generation has its own tale of economic woe, but none as bad as those near retirement, who have had years shaved off their lives by hardship. Meanwhile, moocher babies continue to demand diamond rings to keep them from crying.
At this pace, the U.S. won’t get back to full employment until 2022 (WaPo)
Brad Plumer notes that we still have nine years to go before we reach full employment at our current growth rate, though there are a lot of variables that could skew that number in either direction. For instance, with a little effort, Congress could bump itself up to a +0.
Weak Economy, Wrong Debate (HuffPo)
Robert Kuttner writes that despite ample evidence that cuts to government spending are hurting the recovery, deficit hawks are still obsessed with the debt-to-GDP ratio, which they have arbitrarily decided will cause the trumpets to sound and the seven seals to open.
Why the U.S. Government Never, Ever Has to Pay Back All Its Debt (The Atlantic)
Matthew O’Brien notes that the government and its debts can both exist in perpetuity, so conflating federal and household budgets doesn’t work unless you’re talking about a family of highly leveraged immortals. But they never really dealt with these issues in Twilight.
Friends of Fraud (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that by threatening to filibuster the re-appointment of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB, Senate Republicans are continuing their efforts to block the agency from acting as a consumer watchdog until it’s been safely muzzled and de-clawed.
Who Decided U.S. Megabanks Are Too Big to Jail? (Bloomberg)
Simon Johnson argues that we deserve some answers about how the Department of Justice decided that our major financial institutions had so thoroughly booby-trapped the economy that it couldn’t even exhale in their presence without a bomb squad on standby.
Banks, at Least, Had a Friend in Geithner (NYT)
With Tim Geithner’s tenure at the Treasury Department in the rear view mirror, Gretchen Morgenson explains why his claims that his work served the broad interests of the economy demand a very specific reading of “served,” “broad,” “interests,” and “economy.”
The 2012 Election’s Price Tag: $7 Billion (MoJo)
Andy Kroll notes that FEC estimates confirm the 2012 election was the most expensive political cycle in history, just like every presidential election before it. But if they try to top this in 2016, networks might have to buy time for TV shows in between the campaign ads.
This Week in Poverty: Time to Take on Concentrated Poverty and Education (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann and Elaine Weiss look at how breaking up pockets of concentrated poverty and segregation can boost achievement among low-income students. Or we could just give them more archery training to help compete against their fellow tributes.