For the typical American, the economic rebound ended in May 2012
On the eve of the sequester, there's more bad news about the economy. Just last month, Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez reported that during the first two years of the recovery (2009-2011) average market income for the top one percent in the income distribution grew by 11.2 percent while it shrank by 0.4 percent for everyone else. Saez didn't yet have distribution data for 2012 (and likely won't for many months). READ MORE >>
The sequester wasn't some sneaky Obama ruse. It was ransom.
On March 1 (i.e., this Friday) $85 billion will be sliced, more or less indiscriminately, from the discretionary portion of the federal budget. Everybody agrees this is a bad idea, which it is. But whose bad idea is it? READ MORE >>
The current debate over gun control is one of several signs that liberalism is back, sort of. President Barack Obama gave a second inaugural speech forthrightly celebrating liberal principles (equality, environmental stewardship, collective action) and didn’t get impeached. More Americans now support gay marriage than oppose it. READ MORE >>
In fact, it put the 99 percent back in recession
President Obama's State of the Union speech will reportedly address the problems of the middle class, which has not fared well in this economy. Practically the only people who have fared well are the notorious one percent. To paraphrase the late New York City Mayor Ed Koch: How are they doin'? READ MORE >>
Yes, a bad government is worse than a bad boss. But that's not the point.
"Even Tim knows that [it's] not exactly my style," Andrew Sullivan writes, to desire "the replication of Downton Abbey in Pret-A-Manger." Correct. I never took Andrew for a Lord Grantham type. But in this instance he sure argues like one. READ MORE >>
My latest TRB column for the print magazine is about the incursion of "emotional labor" into low-wage sectors where it doesn’t belong. The piece has received some criticism from readers who don’t endorse my distinction between routine courteousness ("service with a smile"), which a boss has every right to expect, and the more fawning behavior demanded by cultish employers like Pret A Manger, which gives me the creeps. READ MORE >>
The news that the Washington Post is looking to sell its 15th Street headquarters, where it’s resided since 1950, makes me very sad, because my first job in journalism was in that newsroom. Or rather, an ersatz version of that newsroom. Perhaps I should explain. READ MORE >>
The enforced happiness of Pret A Manger
For a good long while, I let myself think that the slender platinum blonde behind the counter at Pret A Manger was in love with me. How else to explain her visible glow whenever I strolled into the shop for a sandwich or a latte? Then I realized she lit up for the next person in line, and the next. Radiance was her job. READ MORE >>
Last week I wrote that the appellate decision striking down President Barack Obama’s January 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board identified a real constitutional problem. READ MORE >>
I was all set to go into a swivet about the federal appeals court's decision against President Obama's recess appointments for the National Labor Relations Board (and, by implication, his appointment of Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). Would it be all right with the D.C. Court of Appeals if we had a functioning government? Apparently not. READ MORE >>