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Joe Heller | Stimulus / CagleCartoons.com

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Long-Term Economic Pain

  • Simply stated, more and more families are facing utter economic devastation: completely out of money, with their jobs, savings and retirement funds gone, and nowhere to turn for the next dollar.
  • Reich and Krugman Agree: The Government Needs to Forget About the Deficit and Fix Unemployment
  • Krugman: US "Depressed Economy" Could Last 5 Years

Bob Herbert, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

Bob Herbert

The pain coursing through American families is all too real and no one seems to know what to do about it. A rigorous new analysis for the Rockefeller Foundation shows that Americans are more economically insecure now than they have been in a quarter of a century, and the trend lines suggest that things will only get worse.

Rampant joblessness and skyrocketing medical costs are among the biggest factors tearing at the very fabric of American economic life so painstakingly put together in the early post-World War II decades.

The analysis was done by a team of researchers led by Professor Jacob Hacker of Yale University. They created an economic security index, which measures the percentage of Americans who experience a decrease in their household income of 25 percent or more in one year without having the financial resources to offset that loss. (Major medical expenses were counted as a decrease in available income.)

The team’s findings were grim. Simply stated, more and more families are facing utter economic devastation: completely out of money, with their jobs, savings and retirement funds gone, and nowhere to turn for the next dollar.

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Related:

Reich and Krugman Agree: The Government Needs to Forget About the Deficit and Fix Unemployment, Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars
Krugman says if we don't do something about this, not only will the human costs will be high but our economic growth will be depressed for a long, long time.

Krugman: US "Depressed Economy" Could Last 5 Years, Associated Press, Huffington Post
Krugman said that while economic indicators from around the world are improving, they suggest that the pace of economic decline has only slowed.

Section(s): 

Not Too Big Enough

  • How the “too-big-to-fail” banks got that way, and why the current banking reform won’t solve the problem.
  • US Financial Reform Bill Misses the Mark
  • Standing Up to the Unholy Alliance Between Washington and Wall Street

Rob Larson, Dollars & Sense

The government bailout of America’s biggest banks set off a tornado of public anger and confusion. With a price tag in the trillions of dollars, rescuing the biggest American banks has left the public resentful over the bailout of banks considered “too big to fail.” But two years later, the Senate has rejected a proposal to break up today’s “megabanks” into smaller institutions, claiming that tougher reserve requirements and higher insurance premiums will prevent future large-scale bank failures.

Dealing with the collapse of these “systemically important banks” is a difficult policy issue, but the less-discussed issue is how the banking industry got to this point. If the collapse of just one of our $100 billion megabanks, Lehman Brothers, was enough to touch off an intense contraction in the supply of essential credit, we need to know how some banks became “too big to fail” in the first place. The answer lies in certain incentives for bank growth, which after the loosening of crucial industry regulations drove the enormous waves of bank mergers in the last thirty years.

More...

Related:

US Financial Reform Bill Misses the Mark,  Billy Wharton, Examiner.com
The new regulations will do little to curb the activities of the mega-financial institutions at the center of the economic crisis that ensued in 2008.

Standing Up to the Unholy Alliance Between Washington and Wall Street, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Huffington Post

  • Dead On Arrival: Financial Reform Fails
  • Baker Says Regulatory Overhaul Won't `Change the System'


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