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The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent (NYT)
Chrystia Freeland argues that wealthy elites are establishing an American oligarchy like the kind FDR warned about, and the problem isn’t just that they put self-interest before the common good. They don’t even seem to understand what’s good for themselves.
Romney’s magic economy plan (Salon)
Andrew Leonard writes that Mitt Romney is promising job creators will come out of hiding if they see a friendly face in the White House. But business owners are looking for consumer demand and detoxified politics, not someone who knows the secret handshake.
IMF: Austerity is much worse for the economy than we thought (WaPo)
Brad Plumer looks at a new report in which the IMF’s chief economist finds that IMF forecasts have been way too optimistic about the economic impact of austerity measures. Turns out all that belt-tightening they once advocated may just be cutting off circulation.
No More Industrial Revolutions? (NYT)
Thomas Edsall writes that Republicans foresee a future of rising inequality and an economic pie that’s not getting any bigger, so cutting taxes and slashing the safety net now is their way of stuffing their faces before anyone else starts asking for a bigger slice.
Walmart, the Most Powerful Company in the World, Admits That Protests and Strikes Lead to Wage Increases (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller writes that Walmart has become an economic goliath that won the fear and respect of policymakers while trampling on workers. But if the strikers aim their slingshots just so, they might be able to find this giant’s weak spot.
The Real Difference Between Romney and Obama on Social Security (The Atlantic)
Jordan Weissman argues that aside from the candidates’ efforts to explain their positions on Social Security in the most confusing way possible, the contrast is pretty simple: Romney would reduce benefits, while Obama would “experiment.” It’s a phase.
A Risky Lifeline for Seniors Is Costing Some Their Homes (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that, like most products featured in daytime TV ads, reverse mortgages aren’t working as advertised. Instead, lenders are promising seniors risk-free loans only to pull the rug — and the house that contains it — out from under them.
Cutting Poverty in Half in Ryan’s Wisconsin (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann notes that while Paul Ryan said poverty gives him a sad during last week’s debate, he didn’t offer a plan to do anything about it. Maybe he should put down The Fountainhead and pick up a copy of a new report issued by some hometown reformers.
Here’s Why Paul Ryan Is No Jack Kennedy (TNR)
Timothy Noah points out that Ryan’s invocation of JFK’s tax cuts was more than just a good set-up for Joe Biden. It also serves as a great illustration of why the Romney-Ryan plan wouldn’t work, starting with the fact that the rich aren’t paying a 91 percent tax rate.
Which Millionaire Are You Voting For? (NYT)
Nicholas Carnes makes the case that we need more Americans with blue-collar backgrounds to run for office so that every election isn’t a choice between conservative rich guy and rich guy who feels sort of bad about making the maid work on Saturdays.