On walking AND chewing gum and the economy

The mantrum of the last few weeks is that Obama must focus only on the budget and, either explicitly, or implicitly drop a focus on climate change, energy independence, green jobs, just to name a few. The idea repeated through the right wing echo chamber is apparently that it is possible to do only one thing at once, that only once the most pressing thing on the list is completed is it possible to move to item number 2. And then 3. And then 4. . . .

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U.N.: It’s time for the world to ditch the dollar

by gjohnsit, posted with permission

The fact that this announcement came out just one day after the Federal Reserve committed itself to printing money by the trillions, is not a coincidence.

(Reuters) – A U.N. panel will next week recommend that the world ditch the dollar as its reserve currency in favor of a shared basket of currencies, a member of the panel said on Wednesday, adding to pressure on the dollar.

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An AIG Timeline, by GAO

The question of who is to blame for the AIG bonuses and its general performance is much in the news. We have an almost Watergatian inquiry: What did they know and when did they know it?

GAO has produced an overview of events, including a timeline, that should be helpful in understanding these complex issues.
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“Firing is the best way to get good workers”

Is it, though? The mantrum you hear every where these days is: To get good workers and good work an employer must be able to fire workers. That means just-cause employment, tenure, and union grievance procedures are on the firing line, because, they, well, stand in the way of the “firing” line.

NPR reporter Claudio Sanchez can barely report a story that advocates this position. For example, on March 18, his story starts with:
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Poverty – 2007 style

Poverty, unemployment, depression are all on our minds these days. It is almost a breath of fresh air to return to the good ol’ days of 2007 when poverty was off our national radar screen. Of course, that didn’t mean it wasn’t there. It was. In 2007, 37.3 million people, or 12.5 % of Americans, lived at or below the official poverty level. And, believe it or not, many of those people were able to be poor while also working. In fact, 7.5 million of us were in the ranks of the working poor.
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