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Why the Right is Wrong About Jobs (Market Watch)
Rex Nutting argues that the structural difficulties in hiring, like cost of labor, taxes, and (according to its detractors) Obamacare, don’t explain the lack of job growth right now. The Keynesian model seems to make more sense: lack of demand, lack of new jobs.
Fix Bankrupt Student Loan Proposals (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel doesn’t understand how legislators could fail to take action to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling. While the Fed gives discounted loans to the big banks, Congress can’t seem to get around to helping students.
Fed Reports American Households Have Regained Ground Lost in the Recession (NYT)
Nelson Schwartz notes that things are looking up according to a new Fed report that shows the net worth of American households is higher than before the recession. But once those numbers are adjusted for inflation, the good news shrinks along with Americans’ bank accounts.
When Patents Attack (NPR)
Ira Glass and the “This American Life” team look into the world of patent lawsuits, where companies use the vague language permitted by our patent system to make millions. The defendants include businesses like coffee shops, because offering wifi is patented.
- Roosevelt Take: Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford tackled the question of patent trolls on Up with Chris Hayes in December 2012.
New Report Shows How Walmart Forces Its Employees to Live on the Dole (MoJo)
Thomas Stackpole reports that we finally have data backing up the claim that Walmart lets taxpayers subsidize its operating costs. Walmart’s 300 Wisconsin stores cost taxpayers $67.5 million per year in benefits to employees and their families.
Striking Workers Bring Bangladesh Safety Demand to Walmart Headquarters (The Nation)
Josh Eidelson continues his coverage of the OUR Walmart strikes leading up to the company’s shareholder meeting today. The strikers emphasize Walmart’s unwillingness to join the union-backed safety agreement in Bangladesh despite the deaths at Rana Plaza.
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek Leads the Cheapest, Happiest Company in the World (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Brad Stone says that Costco is proof that even discount retailers can be profitable while providing good jobs with fair wages and benefits. As we discuss raising the minimum wage and Walmart workers strike, Costco’s model becomes even more important.
Young, Black, Gifted and Underemployed (The Root)
Edward Wyckoff Williams reminds us that some things aren’t changing: unemployment and underemployment are dramatically higher for young people of color. Even highly educated African American young people find it disproportionately hard to find work.