The next few weeks are critical in determining whether or not the economy is on a self-sustaining path.
We all risk living in the next Detroit. A true memorial for Trayvon Martin would be a federal full employment bill with guarantees that its benefits would reach into every city and town, every racial and ethnic group, and every family and household in the nation.
Stimulus comes and goes, as it should. The fact that it creates some drag when it departs is fine, as long as we get the timing right. The problem is when you screw up the timing, and that's what it looks like we're doing -- again.
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.
As Europe reminds us, it prevents recession-battered economies from growing. The alternative is to prime the economic pump by having governments engage in fiscal and monetary stimulus.
CPAC attendees might want to read a brief Ted Cruz wrote as a private attorney in 2009 before they anoint him as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. In the brief, Cruz extolled the virtues of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the stimulus.
This country desperately needs a progressive tidal wave in November 2014, and you don't get tidal waves without first creating the headwind that drives them. It is time for that driving to begin.
Once considered one of the most conservative cities in the country, and known largely for its industrial manufacturing history, Indianapolis may seem like an unlikely leader in the movement to create more vibrant, healthy, equitable communities.
After flat markets during an abbreviated super-storm week, the Dow rallied about 250 points on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday saw stocks open lower and continue lower. The 250 point gain of the previous two days was wiped out, plus an additional 60 or so points for good measure. Why?
Our economic malaise has been consistently underestimated, and the result has been the adoption of inadequate half-measures. Swapping budget cuts at the edge of the fiscal cliff isn't a solution.
How our nation treats its children reflects our societal values. Children can't vote. They depend on us -- parents, grandparents, pediatricians, teachers, and other child health advocates and professionals, to do right by them.
While America has fallen behind and lost our game, it's still possible we can get back in the race and create the millions of well-paying jobs that come with winning. But only if Washington takes these challenges seriously and examines the global race closely.
The challenger will always try to talk down the economy. Obviously we're far from out of the woods. The GDP is growing barely at trend, unemployment is still too high, and millions of foreclosures remain in the pipeline, though filings are at the lowest level since July 2007. So it's a mixed bag, but nothing like the dark picture that Gov. Romney and his supporters have been trying to paint. We're slowly sailing out of a storm. Too slowly, in my humble opinion, due to the refusal of policy makers other than Bernanke and Co., to put some policy-induced wind in the economy's sails. But remember, when Bob Dole tried Romney's argument back in 1996, it was a huge loser for him. The timing isn't nearly as supportive for the president, but the truth is that things are slowly getting better and Romney's claims to the contrary may be drowned out by this reality.
I understand the Republicans are calling it a draw, which should tell you that Vice President Biden did very well Thursday night against Representative Paul Ryan in their first and only debate.
Is it any wonder that Republicans have become the Party of 'no'? If they had said yes, our unemployment might be in the range of 5.5 to 6.5 percent by now and the president would be kicking Mitt Romney's rear end even more thoroughly than he is already.
The "fiscal cliff" is a terrible metaphor -- it implies an all-or-nothing choice between continuing all current budget policies and running smack into the legislated trajectory for fiscal policy.