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Economics

Summary: America's Financial Crisis: Week of September 12

9 New Items including:

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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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  • Robert Scheer on The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street
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Marshall Ramsey

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The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond,  Joseph E. Stiglitz, Washington Post | DC, from Citizens for A Legitimate Government
Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs.

Right Response to Unemployment Is Smart Stimulus Spending, John Nichols, The Nation

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  • The federal government has spent a lot of money for the purposes of avoiding a Depression and easing a recession. But it has not spent that money well or wisely.
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  • The jobs emergency
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  • Class Warfare from the Top Down
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Class Warfare from the Top Down, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

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  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
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  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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Robert Scheer on The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

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  • We speak with veteran journalist and Truthdig editor, Robert Scheer, about his latest book, The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.
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  • Perp Walks Instead of Bonuses
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Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org
The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

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The Myths of Austerity, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • The next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.
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  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters.
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Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet, Reuters, in Common Dreams

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  • 'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.
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  • The Myths of Austerity
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For many, a new job comes at a cost: lower wages, Michael Luo, New York Times | NY

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  • Even as a tentative economic recovery wheezes along, data show a disproportionate growth in low-paying jobs.
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  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
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  • Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that
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Recognizing the immense contributions of America's unions, E. J. Dionne, Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times | WA
Whatever else they achieve, unions remind us of the dignity of all who toil, whatever their social position, color or educational attainments, writes columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. Unions were important co-authors of a social contract that made our country fairer, richer and more productive.

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Class Warfare from the Top Down

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  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
  • \r\n

  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV
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Class warfare is not, as John McCain would have you believe, overturning Bush's tax cuts for the rich. "Class warfare is when you have corporations sitting on $1.8 trillion," says Katrina vanden Heuvel. While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good. But what is Obama doing about it? "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."

Meanwhile, the real class war is happening in the same direction it always has—from the top down. When people like Elizabeth Warren are demonized and deficits are a point of obsession, it's not the rich who have to worry. Vanden Heuvel joins The Nation on GRITtv to explain why the Obama administration continues to defend the rich to the detriment of the rest of the country.

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Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org
The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

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Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong

The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

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Robert Reich, RobertReich.org

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President Obama reportedly will propose two big corporate tax cuts this week (Sep 5-11).

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One would expand and make permanent the research and experimentation tax credit, at a cost of about $100 billion over the next ten years. The other would allow companies to write off 100 percent of their new investments in plant and equipment between now and the end of 2011 at a cost next year of substantially more than $100 billion (but a ten-year cost of about $30 billion since those write-offs wouldn't be taken over the longer-term).

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The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

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More...

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Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet

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  • 'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.
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  • The Myths of Austerity
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Reuters, in Common Dreams

The European Union will prolong the global downturn if policymakers in the bloc's big economies insist on austerity measures to cut budget deficits, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Tuesday (September 7).

Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001, said austerity as a policy to end the global crisis was a 'disaster', adding that Europe was heading towards more economic difficulties if politicians meant what they say when they promised to cut back spending rather than just trying to calm down markets.

'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.

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The Myths of Austerity, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • The next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.
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  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters.
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Robert Scheer on The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street

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  • We speak with veteran journalist and Truthdig editor, Robert Scheer, about his latest book, The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.
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  • “Perp Walks Instead of Bonuses”
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Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

Guest: Robert Scheer, longtime journalist based in California. He is the editor of Truthdig and author of many books. His latest is The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.

Amy Goodman: As we continue our discussion on the state of the economy, we’re joined in Los Angeles by veteran journalist and Truthdig.com editor Robert Scheer. His book is out today; it’s called The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.

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“Perp Walks Instead of Bonuses”: Veteran Journalist Robert Scheer on AIG Bonuses, the “Backdoor Bailout” and Why Obama Should Fire Geithner, Summers, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Appearing on Capitol Hill, AIG CEO Edward Liddy was repeatedly questioned over why the failed insurance giant is paying out over $165 million in bonuses after it received a $170 billion taxpayer bailout. While the Obama administration is expressing outrage, more details have come to light indicating that some officials have known about the bonuses for months.

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The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond

Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Washington Post | DC, from Citizens for A Legitimate Government

Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration's 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war.

But today it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war's broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected.

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For many, a new job comes at a cost: lower wages

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  • Even as a tentative economic recovery wheezes along, data show a disproportionate growth in low-paying jobs.
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  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
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  • Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that.
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Michael Luo, New York Times | NY

Donna Ings took a lower-paying job as a home health aide after being out of work for over a year. Michele McDonald for the New York Times

After being out of work for more than a year, Donna Ings, 47, finally landed a job in February as a home health aide with a company in Lexington, Mass., earning about $10 an hour.

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Chelsea Nelson, 21, started two weeks ago as a waitress at a truck stop in Mountainburg, Ark., making around $7 or $8 an hour, depending on tips, ending a lengthy job search that took her young family to California and back.

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Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that, Paul Krugman, New York Times
None of them want to fix it -- so high unemployment might become a habit.
Punishing the Jobless

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Updated: U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)<>

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  • Adjusting for demographic factors, current labor market downturn steeper than '82-'83 recession.
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  • The Horror Show
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  • The jobs emergency
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Section(s): 

Summary: America's Financial Crisis: Week of August 29

6 New Items including:

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  • Can we afford endless war?
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  • This Is Not a Recovery
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Lisa Benson

This Is Not a Recovery, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters. And policy makers should be doing everything they can to change that fact.
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  • GDP Revised Down: Economy Grew At A Much Slower Pace Than Previously Thought
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  • Tax Jujitsu: Why Democrats Should Propose a “People’s Tax Cut”
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  • Jobless? Your leaders are at ease with that.
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Fiddling While the US Economy Burns, Danny Schechter, Consortium News

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  • "We know we live in hard times that are on the verge of getting harder with 500,000 new claims for unemployment last week, a recent record. The stock market may be over for now as fear and panic drives small investors out. Big corporations hoard stashes of cash rather then hire workers. The D-Word (depression) is back in play."
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  • The Forgotten Foreclosure Crisis
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  • The Horror Show
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  • America Goes Dark
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The Best Oligarchy Money can Buy, Anthony Dimaggio, ZComm, in Axis of Logic

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  • Revolving Door between Government and the Private Sector Reaches Appalling Highs
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  • “Three of every four gas and oil lobbyists [have] worked for the federal government.” --Washington Post
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Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science That Makes Life Dismal ~ Moshe Adler, Chat with Moshe Adler about his new book, hosted by Max Fraad Wolff, Progressive Reader

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  • Filled with lively examples—from food riots in Indonesia to eminent domain in Connecticut, and everyone from Adam Smith to Jeremy Bentham to Larry Summers—Economics for the Rest of Us shows how today’s dominant economic theories evolved, how they explicitly favor the rich over the poor, and why they’re not the only or best options. Written for anyone with an interest in understanding contemporary economic thinking—and why it is dead wrong
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  • Economics for the Rest of Us offers a foundation for a fundamentally more equal economic system.
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Attacking Social Security, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • Social Security’s attackers claim that they’re concerned about the program’s financial future. But their math doesn’t add up, and their hostility isn’t really about dollars and cents. Instead, it’s about ideology and posturing. And underneath it all is ignorance of or indifference to the realities of life for many Americans.
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  • Defense spending far outpaces spending on Social Security
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  • DC Politicians Beware: If You Mess with Social Security, You're Toast
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Jobs: Permanently Gone? How to Reverse the Trend? Andy Driscoll, Truth to Tell<>, KFAI-FM | MN

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  • Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen  talk about the reality behind the recession, job losses and permanent low wages, and how to even out the economy with portions of a talk by Economist Dean Baker to the annual meeting of the JobsNow Coalition and a talk with local jobs and economic policy advocates.
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  • The jobs emergency
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