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In Standoff, Latest Sign of Unions Under Siege (NYT)
Steven Greenhouse writes that the Chicago teachers strike is about more than local concerns. It’s about teachers unions holding their ground in the national school reform conflict even when their traditional Democratic allies have deserted or defected.
Dems on Labor: Warm, But Fuzzy (In These Times)
Josh Eidelson notes that while the Democrats’ 2012 platform included some commitments to defend workers’ rights from attack, it dropped most of the 2008 language that would have required them to make any actual progress in the other direction.
Angela Merkel’s Bad Medicine (Prospect)
Robert Kuttner argues that Angela Merkel’s decision to push for austerity in the rest of Europe may have provided Germany with some schadenfreude at first, but it has begun to look about as wise as an arsonist setting all his neighbors’ houses on fire.
The Campaign Trail: No Help for the Unemployed (Fiscal Times)
Mark Thoma notes that despite this election revolving around the jobs crisis, neither party talks much about what they’ll do about unemployment. The GOP uses it as a pretext for more tax cuts, while Democrats seem to have a fear of public speaking.
Mitt Romney and America’s Four Deficits (Project Syndicate)
Laura Tyson makes the case that Romney’s supposedly pro-growth fiscal policies would cut off other resources America needs to prosper, like jobs, long-term public investment, and opportunity (if you’re into the whole “pursuit of happiness” spiel).
Mitt’s economic plan: Stop Bernanke (Salon)
Andrew Leonard notes that beyond opposing government spending, the Romney-Ryan ticket has also taken a firm stand against quantitative easing, pledging to oust that wild man Ben Bernanke before he hints at maybe striking again eventually.
Erskine Bowles: An object lesson in Wall Street influence on Washington (Guardian)
Dean Baker writes that Erskine Bowles is the iconic hero of the D.C. establishment: a man with the courage to oppose popular Wall Street reforms and cut social programs and the fierce independence that comes from being paid to do those things.
Lawmakers Push to Increase White House Oversight of Financial Regulators (NYT)
Ben Protess reports that the Senate will introduce a bill that gives the president more power over regulators, but its authors say they don’t want to kill financial reform. They’re just giving the president a fluffy pillow he may or may not smother it with.
Worthless Internships (Washington Monthly)
Daniel Luzer highlights a new study that finds most interns don’t feel they’re gaining valuable work experience and don’t wind up getting jobs anyway, so their resumes reflect their ability find a nice air-conditioned place to sit for a few hours every week.
Every Job We Created and Lost in the Last 5 Years — in Two Graphs (The Atlantic)
Derek Thompson notes that while miners, engineers, and fitness trainers have done okay in the recovery, most sectors are still lagging behind where they were before the recession. But at least the guys swinging their pickaxes are buffer than ever.