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Ben Bernanke rescues the US economy from the nihilism of the right (Guardian)
Robin Wells writes that after putting up with the GOP’s attempts to bully him into submission, last week’s jobs report was finally bad enough to make Ben Bernanke declare, “You’re gonna make me do this myself? Fine, QE3 indefinitely. Enjoy.”
QE3: The Fed’s New Stimulus Is a Monster, But How Will It Help the Economy? (The Atlantic)
Derek Thompson argues that the goal of Bernanke’s announcement was to end the uncertainty that comes from constantly wondering whether the central bank is about to hit the gas or pull the emergency brake. They’re going full Thelma & Louise now.
The iPhone Stimulus (NYT)
Paul Krugman notes that if we believe reports that the iPhone 5 could add a percentage point to GDP, we’re conceding that the economy needs more spending. So why not have the government do it instead of taking the “let them eat apps” approach?
Capitalism and Government Are Friends After All (Bloomberg)
Alex Marshall argues that the government’s role in the market is neither to step back and admire its natural beauty or to act as a groundskeeper pulling up troublesome weeds. The market is an artificial construct, and the government is the chief engineer.
If Labor Dies, What’s Next? (Prospect)
Harold Meyerson writes that younger, white-collar progressives who are to quick to eulogize organized labor should realize that they’re its next of kin, and unless heroic measures are taken to save its life, they’ll be left with a pretty sorry inheritance.
Occupy 2.0: Strike Debt (The Nation)
Astra Taylor reports that Occupy organizers are beginning to shift the conversation toward the debt that binds the 99%, and to the moral notion that if someone’s being sucked dry by a vampire, it’s not their fault for having such a juicy-looking neck.
The Wrong Way to Save Money on Health Care (Robert Reich)
Reich notes that while there’s been a lot of political preening over the sharp decline in growth of employer outlays for health care, workers won’t be overjoyed about how much their bosses are saving when they’re the ones who have to pay the difference.
How the government fights poverty, in one chart (WaPo)
Dylan Matthews highlights adjusted measures of the poverty rate that show that without programs like Social Security and SNAP benefits providing a safety net, there would be a lot more Americans struggling to survive their economic trapeze act.
Behind Romney’s Welfare Attacks, America’s Top Poverty Denier (MoJo)
Andy Kroll reports that Mitt Romney’s welfare attack ads are the brain child of Robert Rector, a conservative intellectual who thinks owning a microwave means you’re not poor. Throw in a toaster and you’re pretty much living on easy street.
Decades Later, a Vision Survives (NYT)
Michael Kimmelman writes that next month’s opening of Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island will complete a project that began as an idea in Louis Kahn’s head 40 years ago, took a detour into a landfill, and emerged as an oasis of history.