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Paul Krugman is one of the nation’s best and most coherent economists and today he authored both a column and a follow-up that show why. In arguing for ACTION NOW to address our ongoing economic crisis, he says the following:

“The answer, I’d suggest, lies in the way claims that our problems are deep and structural offer an excuse for not acting, for doing nothing to alleviate the plight of the unemployed.

Of course, structuralistas say they are not making excuses. They say that their real point is that we should focus not on quick fixes but on the long run — although it’s usually far from clear what, exactly, the long-run policy is supposed to be, other than the fact that it involves inflicting pain on workers and the poor.

Anyway, John Maynard Keynes had these peoples’ number more than 80 years ago. ‘But this long run,’ he wrote, ‘is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the sea is flat again.’

I would only add that inventing reasons not to do anything about current unemployment isn’t just cruel and wasteful, it’s bad long-run policy, too. For there is growing evidence that the corrosive effects of high unemployment will cast a shadow over the economy for many years to come.

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There is a helpful website for folks converging on Charlotte this weekend to demonstrate against Bank of America — it’s called www.ncagainstcorporatepower.org.

 This is from the site:

“On May 6-9 people from across the country and world will be converging in Charlotte, NC, home of Bank of America’s Headquarters and their annual Shareholder meeting, to demand an end to their practices that are bankrupting our economy and wrecking our climate. Read More

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This morning’s comes from the Durham Herald-Sun:

“Opening eyes to poverty
 
State lawmaker George Cleveland’s statement last week on extreme poverty is stomach-churning.

“We have no one in the state of North Carolina living in extreme poverty,” he said in the course of discussion about funding for the state’s early childhood education program.. “Poverty is you’re out there living on a dollar and half a day. I don’t think we have anybody in North Carolina doing that.”

We’re not sure what world Cleveland is living in, but poverty is an all too common sight in ours.

So what qualifies as extreme poverty? Read More

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At the same time that U.S. restaurant workers attempt to get by on the obsolete base wage of $2.13/hour (see the post below), the nation’s elite caste of imperial CEO’s and silver spooners gets richer and ever-more selfish.

Happily, some good guy groups have taken to documenting the excesses of the one-percenters in highly readable fashion.

Here is one such effort worth your time from the Institute for Policy Studies – It’s called Too Much: An online of excess and inequality. Read it and weep for your country.

 

 

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Many of you have probably seen this little video from a while back from the almost always funny and provocative Bill Maher, but it seems worth promoting again this morning in the aftermath of last night’s orgy of economic success/excess. Maher’s insightful point is one that I and a lot of other progressive sports fans have made over the years.

(And, as last night’s game demonstrated, the rich (i.e. the New York Giants) can still fare extremely well — even in a collectivist enterprise like the NFL).