Just because the government has shut down doesn’t mean Congress will cease its central function of making Americans’ lives miserable. While everyone watches the legislative back-and-forth on the budget, the House may vote this week to thwart a key new Labor Department protection affecting $10.5 trillion in retirement funds. Basically, House Republicans want to allow the financial services industry to continue to steal from your 401(k) and IRA plans. And far too many Democrats want to help them.
In her new book, The XX Factor: How the Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World, British economist Alison Wolf argues that as the gap between genders has narrowed for the affluent, the gap between rich and poor women has broadened.
If you enjoy silence, a good place to camp out for the next couple weeks is the room in the Capitol Building designated for Congressional negotiations on the budget. No talks are scheduled, as House Republicans attempt a kamikaze mission designed to “defund” Obamacare as a “line in the sand” condition for keeping the government running.
The CEOs of the nation’s largest companies typically don’t have a reason to fly to Butte, Montana.
In July, the public learned that Goldman Sachs and several other large banks have morphed into giant merchants of physical goods, routinely shipping oil, running power plants, and amassing stocks of metals so large that Coca Cola accused them of hoarding. It was a disconcerting moment, as regulators realized that firms so recently known for their explosive mortgage-backed securities also deal in goods that can literally explode.
It has become glaringly obvious over the past couple months that President Obama wants to nominate Larry Summers to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve. According to CNBC’s John Harwood, Obama feels he “owes” Summers for his willingness to serve the country during the first-term response to the Great Recession.
Even liberal politicians are loath to admit that the government plays a leading role in the economy. But it absolutely does, and has done so since World War II. The propensity to deny government’s role—a legacy of America’s anti-statist revolution and frontier past—has hampered efforts to improve the way government does intervene in the economy. Quietly, however, some economic theorists and policy experts have attempted to explain government’s role and to shape the debate. Here are three worth paying attention to.
A Home for Every American Family? No!
President Obama's plan for Fannie and Freddie just repeats old mistakes.
Today marks the fourth day in the largest fast-food walkout in U.S. history. One of the strikers’ key demands is a $15 hourly wage, slightly more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Most people know that fast-food workers are on the low-end of the pay scale, but how low, exactly?
One reason so many Americans tolerate inequality is their belief that it’s not a permanent condition. Yes, you might start out life without a lot of money. But if you work hard and play by the rules, then you’ll get ahead. You might never become a millionaire, but you’ll still find your way into the middle class. And then your kids will have a shot to do even better. Experts call this income mobility. The rest of us call it "the American dream."