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With Biggest Strike Against Biggest Employer, Walmart Workers Make History Again (The Nation)
Josh Eidelson reports that Walmart workers and organizers pulled off the biggest strike in U.S. history as hundreds walking off the job and a thousand protests throughout the country gave the super-store chain a black eye to go with its Black Friday sales.
What Kind of Walmart Do We Want for Our Country? (HuffPo)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Annette Bernhardt argues that the best way for America’s largest employer to silence protesters is not with intimidation but with basic decency. And the good news is there’s profit to be had, so even morality comes with a discount.
Fighting Fiscal Phantoms (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that deficit hawks’ false predictions of doom have left them with as little credibility as a guy on the street corner shouting that the end is nigh, but if you shave that guy and put him in a suit and tie, we’re expected to let him set fiscal policy.
Why rich guys want to raise the retirement age (WaPo)
Ezra Klein writes that making Americans work longer before they can qualify for Social Security benefits sounds like a sensible idea to people who don’t have to worry about enjoying their golden years because they’ve already upgraded to a platinum lifestyle.
Today’s Crazy Idea: Let’s Get Rid of Tax Brackets for the Rich! (MoJo)
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to tax you. Kevin Drum notes that one of the odder bipartisan proposals on the table is to tax all of high earners’ income at the highest level, making the tax code work like it does in right-wing chain e-mails.
Economists, Obama administration at odds over role of mortgage debt in recovery (WaPo)
Zachary Goldfarb writes that everyone seems to agree that the Obama administration erred by not doing more to address mortgage debt overhang except for Tim Geithner, whose opinion is the game-winning Golden Snitch of White House policy debates.
Mary Miller vs. Neil Barofsky for the S.E.C. (NYT)
Simon Johnson examines two potential choices to take over the S.E.C: Miller, a Geithner understudy who’s more likely to please powerful interests with not-so-benign neglect, and Barofsky, who has popular support but runs a serious risk of doing a good job.
It’s Hard to Make It in America (Foreign Affairs)
Lane Kenworthy writes that while the U.S. has made great strides toward equality of economic opportunity regardless of race or gender, our fortunes are still being determined less by the content of our character than by the content of our families’ bank accounts.
Inequality is Killing Capitalism (Project Syndicate)
Robert Skidelsky argues that instead of blaming greedy low-income borrowers for taking on too much debt to keep up with the Joneses, we should ask why the government is letting the Joneses hoard their wealth instead of forcing them to be good neighbors.
The Choice to End Poverty (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann highlights a new report from the Half in Ten campaign that shows we can reduce soaring inequality in America — we just have to be tough on poverty instead of offering up antipoverty programs in a fiscal cliff deal to show we’re tough on the poor.