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What the Heck is Quantitative Easing? (Prospect)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal uses his words instead of his gifs for this explainer of QE3 and why it’s designed to appease two camps: the “please take some more free money” camp and the “for the love of God, do something with it” camp.
Restoring the Legitimacy of the Fed (NYT)
Simon Johnson writes that with the right mad at the Fed for trying to make the economy better and the left mad that it didn’t act sooner, raising capital requirements on banks may be the one move it can make that would please everyone. Except the banks.
Why Monopolistic Telecoms Threaten Internet Equality (Mashable)
Meet the Roosevelt Institute’s newest Fellow, Susan Crawford, who wants to bring high-speed Internet to all Americans and bridge the gap between those with a world of information at their fingertips and those waiting for the little AOL guy to finish jogging.
U.S. Income Inequality: It’s Worse Today Than It Was in 1774 (The Atlantic)
Are we better off now than we were 240 years ago? A new study by Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson finds that America is less egalitarian now than it was under colonial slavery, though that’s mostly because we outgrew our “let’s all be poor farmers” phase.
The Right’s Nonsensical Attack on “Redistribution” (Prospect)
Jamelle Bouie notes that Mitt Romney is trying to change the conversation by highlighting an old clip of Barack Obama saying he supports redistribution. Problem is, so do Romney and most other policymakers, even if it’s only for those who need it least.
Is Obama a “Redistributionist”? Sort of. (TNR)
Tim Noah points out that while Obama may favor redistribution, he hasn’t been able to accomplish much of it amid soaring inequality. So you can call him a redistributionist like you’d call someone who graduates at the bottom of his med school class “doctor.”
Does Romney dislike America? (WaPo)
E.J. Dionne argues that Romney’s 47 percent remarks were also an insult to the other 52.999 percent of Americans who see this as a country where we use government to give each other a hand when we need it instead of shoving each other out of the way.
What Mitt Romney Doesn’t Get About Responsibility (Bloomberg)
Ezra Klein writes that Romney’s criticism of the poor for lacking personal responsibility betrays a lack of understanding about how important every decision becomes when you don’t have the option of cashing out some stock options if you screw it up.
Republicans and the 47 Percent: A Case Study (MoJo)
Kevin Drum notes that while some commentators are confused about how Republicans could suddenly turn on bipartisan anti-poverty policies like the Earned Income Tax Credit, that sneer on their faces has actually been growing for about 30 years now.
Tax Moochers: Banks (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger writes that if we’re going to talk about distortions in the tax code, we should take note of how tax breaks on corporate debt encourage banks to gather up huge balls of it like industrious, Ivy-educated dung beetles instead of favoring equity.