We have turned economics into a morality play. Austerians share a visceral contempt for government deficits. They do not just think deficits are bad as a matter of policy; they think deficits are bad, period. But anyone with a cursory knowledge of economic history rejects this narrative.
A generation from now, will good grades be enough to get you a good life? Is that already a fiction? Will you merely re-live the struggles of your working or lower or middle-class family, and never, ever get ahead?
If countries are allowed to act as tax havens against a financial speculation tax or any other measure it is because the administration in Washington is content to let them act as tax havens. When it actually wants something to happen, the Obama administration, like its predecessors, is prepared to do a full Snowden.
It's time for broad bipartisan support for critically important investments in young children. And we must get this right for children: not for test makers, not for adult interests, but for children -- especially the poorest children.
The fear that deficits and mounting debt will suffocate economic recovery and impede healthy growth has been tested over the last several years, and the results are not just unimpressive -- but painful when one looks at unemployment levels.
There's an old saying: When one door closes, another opens. Whoever said that never worked in Washington.
It is bizarre that Summers would be seriously considered as the next Fed chair. Memories tend to be short in Washington, but those of us removed from elite circles know that Summers' policies played a central role in setting up the economy for the crash.
Broadly speaking, policymakers should acknowledge that our growing debt is a serious threat to the economic well-being and security of our country. It is urgent that we put in place a plan to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy and put it on a downward path.
Go ahead and drop that nuke, Harry! Start approving President Obama's nominees, as the Constitution says you are supposed to. Republicans will be Republicans no matter what you do, and you've already been suckered twice by "handshake agreements" that they won't.
The Republican Party's refusal to accept the fact that the United States is evolving socially and demographically will drive the party to irrelevance on the national political scene.
It is widely recognized that economists are not very good at economics. That is why we are looking at a decade of economic stagnation with tens of millions of people being unemployed or underemployed in Europe and the United States.
Petitioning the media to change its budget reporting might be outside the standard scope of action among progressives, but it is a well-defined action that could make a real difference. Much of our budget debate today is complete nonsense in large part because the public is so poorly informed.
Ben Bernanke has been saying that the economy's getting a bit better, so interest rates are going up. And at some point, sooner than later, he and his buds at the Federal Reserve are going to start adding a bit less juice to the punch bowl. I don't really know what to make of the markets and I suspect they're just going to be volatile for a while. But it's the real economy I'm worried about, and I used to have a friend in Bernanke when it came to that. Now, I'm not so sure. Fed policy always has costs and benefits and deep monetary stimulus is no free lunch. But as long as the broader economy remains in the residual gravitational pull of the great recession, the benefits of the Fed's aggressive actions outweigh the costs. I get that they're planning their pivot, which isn't the same as pivoting. But they're doing so too soon.
For now, our political system appears to be broken, with our elected officials rewarded for winning political, not economic, battles. It's almost as if we have decided to deliberately ignore the lessons of our own Great Depression and Europe's debt crisis.
As the government's role as economic hall monitor is debated and global markets and foreign economies adjust to their own challenges, our focus is on investing in the old-fashioned companies with strong balance sheets, increasing earnings, strong cash flow, and seasoned management teams.
These are the elephants in the American economy. All other spending is minor compared to spending on healthcare and the military. If we can get greater efficiencies in these two areas, all the other problems become much more manageable.