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Creating an Economics for the 21st Century (Yahoo! Finance)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Rob Johnson argues that the problem with much of modern economics is that it offers no useful guidance for society, instead treating messy human decisions and interactions as if they could all be performed on a graphing calculator.
How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled (NYRB)
Paul Krugman writes that the revelations about Reinhart-Rogoff’s research errors wouldn’t have been so embarrassing to so many proponents of austerity if they hadn’t been looking for intellectual cover like a UFO believer searching the night sky with a telescope.
U.S. Budget Deficit Shrinks Far Faster Than Expected (NYT)
Annie Lowrey notes that the CBO estimates the deficit will be $200 billion lower than projected this fiscal year and could shrink to just 2.1 percent of GDP by 2015, allowing Washington to shift focus and get serious about jobs. Just kidding; who wants a tax cut?
Why Washington scandal-mania may save Medicare and Social Security (WaPo)
Greg Sargent writes that President Obama may give up on a Grand Bargain to avoid alienating the core progressive supporters he’ll need to see him through the furor over the IRS’s Tea Party targeting, the AP’s phone records, and something something Benghazi.
Warren asks regulators to justify not taking Wall Street to trial (The Hill)
Peter Schroeder reports that Elizabeth Warren has sent a letter to the SEC, the Fed, and the Justice Department asking for any analysis they have to back up their strategy of settling out of court. Unlike the banks, they may just have to answer for their decisions.
Student Loan Debt Horror Stories, Revealed (U.S. News & World Report)
Jim Lardner notes that the 28,000 personal statements about student loan debt published by the CFPB express something about the human costs of the crisis that statistics alone can’t, though nothing’s quite as frightening as those bills waiting in the mailbox.
Mending factory conditions after Bangladesh (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson writes that American companies like Wal-Mart have been reluctant to sign onto a plan to commit to improving factory safety, partly because they’ve worked so hard to ensure that consumers can only afford to buy the most cheaply made products.
Everyday Socialism, American-Style, Is Happening Now (Truthout)
Gar Alperovitz writes that, beyond the right treating Obama as the reincarnation of Chairman Mao, the U.S. is filled with real examples of publicly owned resources, from utilities to railways to pension systems, that democratize wealth and efficiently meet public needs.