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Full Employment Is the Best Social Program (Prospect)
With unemployment below 8 percent for the first time in three years, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal looks ahead at what happens when it drops low enough that some liberal economists start preemptively using their feet for target practice.
Why are we still waiting on a jobs plan? (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel notes that we heard the candidates debate a lot of Very Serious Topics last week, but so far they’ve only discussed job creation as a vague side-effect of their other plans, like the economic equivalent of Restless Leg Syndrome.
Walmart strikes spread to more states (Salon)
Josh Eidelson reports on the growing wave of walkouts at Walmart, with Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren noting that management finds itself in a new world where letting labor activists shout themselves hoarse is no longer enough to shut them up.
Why We Should All Care About the Walmart Strikers (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that with more and more middle-class jobs being replaced by low-wage retail jobs, we need to watch for falling workers, not just falling prices — and any gains Walmart strikers make could set the standard for everyone else.
Fiscal Cliff May Be Felt Gradually, Analysts Say (NYT)
Annie Lowrey writes that even if we head over the fiscal cliff, we’ll have a Wile E. Coyote-esque delay before we look down and start to plummet. But unless Congress works out a deal, that’s not going to make the ground hurt any less when we hit bottom.
Schumer: Tax reform should cut deficits, not tax rates (WaPo)
Lori Montgomery and Suzy Khimm report that Chuck Schumer is rejecting the “lower the rates, broaden the base” approach to tax reform, arguing that if we want the rich to pay more, it’s a bit counterproductive to start by asking them to pay less.
How the Grand Bargaineers Hurt America (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that Peterson and friends’ obsession with putting a stake in the heart of the deficit and dousing the ashes with holy water leads policymakers to focus on gaming the CBO instead of addressing our real economic challenges.
Obama’s next Fed chief: Who gets the job if the president wins a second term? (WaPo)
Neil Irwin notes that when Ben Bernanke’s term ends in 2014, President Obama would have to decide whether to let him hold onto the poisoned chalice or pass it on to Geithner, Summers, or one of the four or five other people he seems to know.
A Bigger Paycheck on Wall Street (NYT)
Susanne Craig and Ben Protess report that while the financial sector has been slashing jobs in recent years, compensation for current employees is approaching record levels. Enjoy the raise, superstar; it used to be your coworkers’ salary.
The CEO Who Built Himself America’s Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama’s Elected (Gawker)
David Siegel, who owns a profitable timeshare company, has warned his workers that if Obama wins and raises his taxes, he’s going to take his ball and go home — to a 90,000 square foot mansion that’s been compared to the Palace of Versailles.