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A Gaffe Is When a Republican Tells the Truth (The Nation)
From “47 percent” to “legitimate rape,” the GOP has developed a terminal case of foot-in-mouth disease, but NND Editor Bryce Covert argues these memes aren’t a distraction from the issues. Their issues just happen to be disdain for the poor and women.
What About the Questions That Economics Can’t Answer? (Yahoo! Finance)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Rob Johnson writes that devotees of the dismal science need help from religion and the humanities to remind them that they can develop the most elegant mathematical models ever and still tell us absolutely nothing useful.
Nobel Winner Stiglitz Says Time Is Running Out for Europe (Bloomberg)
Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz says Europe must develop a banking union and share past debts to keep the system from falling apart, but its leaders seem less interested in new solutions than testing how badly their current ones can fail.
Spain Recoils as Its Hungry Forage Trash Bins for a Next Meal (NYT)
Speaking of austerity, how has it been working out for Spain lately? Oh, their youth unemployment rate is over 50 percent and poor people are reduced to eating garbage to avoid starvation. Well, it’s all worth it to restore confidence in the bond market, right?
The welfare state’s a worthy Ponzi scheme (FT)
John Kay writes that our social safety net depends on each generation to support those that came before it, but that’s really only a problem for the last generation born before the apocalypse, and those guys have bigger things to worry about than retirement.
Knock, Knock: Mitt Romney’s Housing Plan Is a Joke (The Atlantic)
Matthew O’Brien notes that housing policy has been one of the Obama administration’s biggest failings and most obvious vulnerabilities, and Mitt Romney has pounced on it with a bold promise to do… good things! All sorts of stuff you’ll like! Just trust him.
Housing Was at the Root of the Great Depression, Too (Bloomberg)
Evan Soltas points out that a recession fueled by a massive housing bubble isn’t unique to the aughts; we experienced a more severe version of the same problem in the 1920s. That creaking sound isn’t just the house settling; it could be the economy collapsing.
Comparing the Job Losses in Financial Crises (NYT)
Catherine Rampell writes that while the jobless recovery looks pretty miserable compared to recent U.S. recessions, it could have been worse compared to job losses from other financial crises. So put another point on the board against hypothetical us!
Republicans Champion ‘Voluntary Taxes’ (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett notes that the GOP passed a “Buffett Rule” that, instead of setting a minimum tax rate for millionaires, encourages them to pay more voluntarily. It’s staunchly pro-choice; they understand this is a decision between a rich guy and his accountant.
Being Rich: Not That Tough After All (MoJo)
Kevin Drum highlights new research that shows that while business leaders may think they’re stressed from scheduling lunch when their secretaries are out sick, they’re cool as cucumbers compared to the mail room clerks worried about paying their mortgages.