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Dean BakerWhat’s the real deal with the American economy? Where do things stand? What’s holding us back? What about the situation in North Carolina? Please join us Wednesday, March 26, as we tackle these topics and more with one of America’s leading economists, Dean Baker.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, CNBC and NPR. He writes a weekly column for theguardian.com, The Huffington Post, Truthout and his blog, Beat the Press,, which features commentary on economic reporting. His analyses have appeared in many major publications, including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, and the Daily News (New York). He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan.

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Minimum wage 2(Cross-posted from Off the Charts - the blog of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.)

Raising the minimum wage would help the economy, CBPP Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein writes in the latest edition of the CQ Researcher.

Two well-established facts help back up this argument, Bernstein says:

The first fact is that the American economy is made up of 70 percent consumer spending.

Economists widely agree that an extra dollar earned by a wealthy person is less likely to be spent than an extra dollar earned by a low-income person….

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Bloomberg.com reports this morning that austerity policies appear to be quickly guiding Greece toward a “1930’s style depression.”  Of course, the United Kingdom is already learning about the impact of failed Hoover-style economics.

Now, when will the American political right (and much of the so-called middle) wake up to the hard truth that slashing public spending is the last thing  we need to do in the U.S. and a surefire way to stop the progress made over the past three-plus years?

 

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Can’t wait to hear what that crazy old plutocrat Jack Welch and the Fixed News squawkers  have to say about this headline:

US jobless claims fall to 339K, fewest in 4½ years.

Now, obviously, the economy remains fragile and we have a long way to go. But this news seems to jive with lots of other recent indicators that the economy is, on the whole, trending gradually upwards and that, for all of its problems, things are clearly and demonstrably better than they were when the country was confronting the very real prospect of a second Great Depression in late 2008 and early 2009.