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When Obama Won, So Did America’s Future by Joe Conason, truthdig.com | November 8, 2012What Barack Obama tried to tell America in the hour of his remarkable victory is that the nation’s future won on Election Day. Seeking to inspire and to heal, the reelected president offered an open hand to partisan opponents in the style that has always defined him. “Tonight,” he said, “despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future.” In the days ahead, there will be time to absorb the magnitude of this moment—achieved under the cloud of persistent unemployment and a multibillion-dollar campaign of calumny—but the president clearly knows that he returns to the White House with a renewed mandate. Against great odds, he won nearly all the same states that elected him in 2008 and won the popular vote despite an enormous, angry backlash in the old Confederacy. read more »
Obama’s Next Economy: Why He Must Take This Opportunity to Reframe the Economic Debate by Robert B. Reich, robertreich.org | November 7, 2012When the applause among Democrats and recriminations among Republicans begin to quiet down — probably within the next few days — the President will have to make some big decisions. The biggest is on the economy. His victory and the pending “fiscal cliff” give him an opportunity to recast the economic debate. Our central challenge, he should say, is not to reduce the budget deficit. It’s to create more good jobs, grow the economy, and widen the circle of prosperity. read more »
- Originally published at Capital Gains and Games. read more »
Romneyism by Robert B. Reich, robertreich.org | November 5, 2012By now, in these last remaining days before the election of 2012, we have learned enough about the beliefs of the Republican presidential candidate to see them as a worldview all its own – a kind of creed that explains Mitt Romney. Those who say he has no principles are selling him short. Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence. It is different from conservatism, because it does not intend to conserve or protect any particular institutions or values. It is also distinct from Republicanism, in that it is not rooted in traditional small-town American values, nationalism, or states’ rights. The ten guiding principles of Romneyism are. read more »
Notes for a Manifesto by Robert Kuttner, Huffington Post | November 5, 2012The enormity of last week's super-storm is just beginning to sink into political consciousness. Hurricane Sandy should transform what Americans expect from their government, and give the party of government activism new force. As soon as the election is behind us, the country faces a major struggle over what the super-storm portends and requires. But that struggle will be as much within the Democratic Party as between Democrats and the right, because of the deadweight of austerity politics. read more »
- When it comes to politics, it ain’t over ’til its’ over. And even then it may not be over. With the presidential election just days away, the contest remains close enough to ensure some jangled nerves and nail-biting among Republicans and Democrats. Still, the latest news and numbers should give President President Barack Obama a boost as he delivers his closing argument to voters. Should Obama emerge the victor when the dust settles after Tuesday, his closing argument will become the winning message. And voters convinced to reward Obama with a second term on the strength of that message will — and should — expect him to live up to its vision and promise. read more »
Jobs Report Proves the Economy Is on the Upswing by Daniel Gross, thedailybeast.com | November 2, 2012It's important not to read too much into any single data point. The October jobs report, released Friday morning, is a positive data point. The economy added 171,000 positions, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent. But it also highlights some important positive trends in the long-suffering U.S. labor market. Here are a few important takeaways. After a lull, jobs growth seems to be accelerating. Payroll jobs are becoming more plentiful in the U.S. And that's hard to ignore. The U.S. economy added 171,000 payroll jobs in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So far in 2012, the economy has added an average of 157,000 payroll positions per month; for the last four months, the economy has added over 170,000 payroll jobs per month. In other words, strength seems to be accelerating. read more »
#TalkPoverty: The Obama Campaign Responds by Greg Kaufmann, The Nation | November 2, 2012Three months ago, TheNation.com kicked off a new campaign: “#TalkPoverty: Questions for Obama and Romney.” At the outset of the #TalkPoverty effort, I promised to hound both campaigns for answers. In the end, it didn’t really require hounding as far as the Obama campaign was concerned—they agreed to respond when I first contacted them. The Romney campaign, on the other hand, initially expressed openness before sending an e-mail last Thursday: “We will not be participating. Thanks for the offer.” It seems that the Romney campaign prefers to continue its strategy of speaking about “the poor” without saying anything of substance about antipoverty policies, or speaking in a manner completely untethered from reality, or outright lying. I promised both campaigns that we would run the answers without any interpretation, simply let their responses speak for themselves. Here are the answers from the Obama campaign: read more »
Fix the Debt or Save the Coasts? by Robert Kuttner, prospect.org | November 2, 2012One of the casualties of Hurricane Sandy is the premise that America’s biggest economic problem is deficit reduction. That’s because the United States just became a much larger version of the Netherlands. Once we get through the election, official Washington may be willing to talk about this. President Obama’s leadership in helping flooded communities cope with the damage nicely positions him to lead an effort to prevent future super-storm damage. The new normal is here, the legacy of our denial of the reality of climate change. The federal government needs to do a comprehensive assessment of the public investment necessary to protect our coasts, which will run into the trillions of dollars. One consequences of that reality is that it blows away past assumptions about deficit reduction. The government needs to begin a multi-year public investment program. read more »
The Blackmail Caucus by Paul Krugman, The New York Times | November 2, 2012If President Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead, health coverage will shrink substantially, taxes on the wealthy will fall to levels not seen in 80 years and financial regulation will be rolled back. Given the starkness of this difference, you might have expected to see people from both sides of the political divide urging voters to cast their ballots based on the issues. Lately, however, I’ve seen a growing number of Romney supporters making a quite different argument. Vote for Mr. Romney, they say, because if he loses, Republicans will destroy the economy. O.K., they don’t quite put it that way. The argument is phrased in terms of “partisan gridlock,” as if both parties were equally extreme. But they aren’t. This is, in reality, all about appeasing the hard men of the Republican Party. read more »
Subsidized Jobs: A Faint Echo of the New Deal , stateline.org | June 18, 2010
In rural Winston County, Mississippi, Taylor Machine Works — best known for its Big Red forklifts — is the primary employer. After the recession hit in late 2008, the company shed nearly 200 of its 500 jobs and would not be rehiring anyone now if it weren’t for a subsidized employment program Mississippi launched with the help of federal stimulus money.
No Clear Path Forward After Jobs Bill Fails Again In Senate, Huffington Post | June 18, 2010
The Sagging of the Middle Class, economix.blogs.nytimes.com | June 14, 2010
The chart above captures the takeaway point of David Autor’s new report, “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market,” published by the Center for American Progress and the Hamilton Project. read more »
A Jobless Rate Still Unaffected by New Hiring, The New York Times | June 4, 2010
After hemorrhaging jobs for months, the economy is finally starting to add them. Yet the unemployment rate is not really budging because of people like Regina Myles. Ms. Myles, 51, has been out of work for three years. After a grueling job search yielded 150 interviews but no offers, she simply stopped looking last fall. read more »
U.S. Added 431,000 Jobs in May, Mostly From Census, The New York Times | June 4, 2010
Employers added 431,000 nonfarm jobs nationwide in May, the biggest increase in a single month in a decade, the Labor Department said Friday. But the bulk of the growth was in government jobs, driven by hiring for the Census, and private-sector job growth was weak. The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent nationwide, from 9.9 percent in April, the department said.
Economy Fueled By Census Hiring Adds 431K Jobs, But Few Positions Created In Private Sector, The Washington Post | June 4, 2010
Private employers dramatically cut back their rate of job creation in May, according to a government report released Friday that cast doubt on at least one aspect of the nation's economic recovery. read more »
Economic News Release, bls.gov | June 4, 2010
Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 431,000 in May, reflecting
the hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on Census 2010, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Private-sector em-
ployment changed little (+41,000). Manufacturing, temporary help ser-
vices, and mining added jobs, while construction employment declined.
The unemployment rate edged down to 9.7 percent.
Fishermen Wait On Docks As Oil Gushes, The New York Times | June 3, 2010
This time of year, Eric Authement would normally be buying about 70,000 pounds of shrimp a day from the boats that line the Grand Caillou Bayou and spread their winglike nets in the bays, marshes, coastal waters and inlets along the coast. But in the last month, the shrimp processing plant his family has run for generations has been much quieter. Some days, he has bought next to nothing.
Does Washington Care About Unemployment?, theweek.com | June 2, 2010
In 1983, Ronald Reagan's Washington regarded high unemployment as a national emergency. Today, with unemployment kissing 10 percent, Barack Obama's Washington scarcely seems perturbed. Why? read more »
Job Outlook for Teenagers Worsens, The New York Times | June 1, 2010
This year is shaping up to be even worse than last for the millions of high school and college students looking for summer jobs. read more »