Well, here we are at the start of 2015, and the unemployment rate has declined to 5.6 percent. Over the course of 58 consecutive months, the Obama economy has created 11.2 million private sector jobs.
Most of the discussion assumes that inequality is something that happened. By contrast, the more obvious story is that inequality is something that was done; it was the result of policies that had the effect of redistributing income upward.
The jobs report Friday set off cheering: a quarter million positions added in December; unemployment declining to 5.6 percent. This good news arrived amid a booming stock market and a GDP report showing the strongest growth in 11 years. It's all so very jolly, except for one looming factor: wages.
Je suis Charlie Hebdo. In fact, let's go even further: Nous sommes Charlie Hebdo. Because we are all Charlie, this week. However, most of the American media cravenly allowed the terrorists to dictate their editorial policy this week, which is truly disappointing.
Today's jobs report shows a labor market that strengthened significantly in 2014, but one that still bears scars from the Great Recession and subsequent federal budget cuts and other austerity policies that perpetuated a severe jobs slump even as the economy and business profits began to recover.
When the GOP trumpets "new jobs," it's typically a ploy to divert gullible Americans from the true Republican agenda: lining the pockets of the rich.
Unfortunately, you'll be competing with many to finally get back into the workplace. Wanting a new job -- even trying hard to secure one -- just isn't enough anymore. You need to set yourself apart from the pack of hungry applicants.
The situation is dire. By placing moral judgment on the impoverished, we do everyone a disservice. We fail to harvest the potential of so many bright and talented people in this country. And by doing so, we fail to thrive as a nation. It is imperative that we change the dialogue.
Saving money is this year's most popular financial resolution, with more than 37 percent of Americans prioritizing it over paying down debt, curbing their spending, investing and even getting a raise.
The 114th Congress has an opportunity to fundamentally shift American life. To do so, though, they must overcome cynical calculations that have become too common when it comes to young people and politics.
Democrats need to point out that they're turning over to the new Republican Congress an economy that is doing better than at any time in the past six years. They need to lay this down as a benchmark that they can later point to, no matter what happens. Republicans are already chomping at the bit to claim all that credit for themselves.
Confession time: By the time Election Day 2014 arrived, I was numb to arguments for and against raising the Illinois minimum wage.
Here are 10 ways in which we should be looking to change the structure of the market in 2015 so that all the money doesn't flow to the 1 percent. This list should provide a useful set of market-friendly policies that will lead to both more equality and more growth.
Surging stock prices will likely increase rather than decrease the costs of saving for retirement for most folks. Why? Because most people, including baby boomers who are inching closer to "retirement age", remain vastly underprepared for retirement.
The Best Idea for 2014 was requiring police to wear body cameras. This idea was so good it actually cut across the lines of the protestors and the supporters of police. Many on both sides of that divide support the idea, for what boils down to the same reason: the camera doesn't lie.
Even Obama's supporters sometimes express frustration because the president has refused to act for the sake of acting, shoot from the hip, or jump to conclusions. His approach, no matter the issue, has been measured, studied, thoughtful, cerebral and yes, lawyerly.