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Economy

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Budget Deficit
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Income Inequality
Living Wage
Medicare
Outsourcing Jobs Overseas
Reshoring
Retirement
Social Security
Stimulus (ARRA)
Wealth and Happiness

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  1. Business
  2. Economy Archives
  3. Investments
  4. Lessons on the Economy
  5. Politics
Game
  1. Budget Hero Game (AmericanPublicMedia.org)
      Provides a game that lets you spend the federal budget over the next 50 years and see the consequences.

Materials
  1. Cost of Living in Major Cities (Realtor.com)
      Provides average cost of living in major cities within the United States.

  2. Salaries by Profession and Location (Realtor.com)
      Provides salary range for professions by location within the United States.

Multimedia
  1. Long-Term Green Strategy for the Economy (MSNBC News)
      Tom Friedman discusses his book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, about a green technology revolution to handle global warming and boost the economy. 09-08

News
  1. -0001 The Fed Takes on the Economy (Time.com)
      "Here’s why you should care about the Federal Reserve’s latest round of bond-buying, announced Thursday by the central bank: One man has assumed the task of getting the flagging U.S. economy back on track. He says he’ll work for as long as it takes, all by himself if he has to. And he isn’t even an elected official."

      "Chairman Ben Bernanke’s decision to make $40 billion in monthly asset purchases until the jobs market recovers marks a dramatic change of course for the Fed, which in the past has limited monetary stimulus to set periods of time. The pace of new bond-buying — or quantitative easing, as it’s technically termed — will lag behind that of similar action taken in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but the commitment is completely open-ended." 09-12

  2. -001 Editorial: How a Founding Father Approached a Fiscal Cliff (New York Times)
      "The staggering deficit. The possibility of impending tax hikes and significant budget cuts by the end of the year. Has the United States ever faced such a daunting financial crisis?"

      "Yes — though not, as many might guess, during the Great Depression. Rather, it was shortly after the nation’s birth. It’s an experience worth examining, because the way the new country put its house in order under Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton holds several lessons for today."

      "The lesson is not only what Hamilton did, but also what he did not do. In a fiscal dilemma similar to ours but far worse, and with many fewer tools at the government’s disposal, he never considered austerity or big tax hikes or cuts as a solution. Only after the country was moving toward sustained prosperity did he increase taxes, including a controversial levy on whiskey."

      "What does Hamilton’s strategy mean to us today? For one thing, it recommends against obsessing over taxes, a 'fiscal cliff' and a disastrous austerity program. Instead, the answer is to increase the size of the economic pie." 11-12

  3. -001 Government Shutdown Now Very Likely (ABC News)
      "The leaders said the meeting was productive and expressed optimism that they could find middle ground, but no deal was struck, putting the government one step closer to a shutdown that now is looking unavoidable."

      "Democrats accuse Republicans of holding up a deal because they are insisting on keeping so-called "riders" -- amendments that passed in the House -- related to government funding for abortion and limiting the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions."

      "If a deal to fund the government cannot be reached, at least 800,000 federal employees are expected to be furloughed, the same as during the 1995 government shutdown. But unlike then, it's unclear whether they would receive back pay for the lost time."

      "Troops and other agency staff that are considered 'essential' and kept on duty during a shutdown will not receive paychecks until Congress makes a deal."

      "Members of Congress, however, will continue to be paid." 04-11

  4. -001 House Passes Spending Bill (MSNBC News)
      "The House, in a bipartisan vote, has passed a yearlong government funding measure cutting $38 billion from the budget and closing out sometimes quarrelsome negotiations between the Obama administration and Republicans dominating the House." 04-11

  5. -001 President Obama Presents His Budget Ideas (New York Times)
      "President Obama called for cutting the nation’s budget deficits by $4 trillion over the next 12 years on Wednesday, countering Republican budget plans with what he said was a more balanced approach that relies in part on tax increases for the wealthy as well as on spending cuts."

      "In a 43-minute speech that serves as the administration’s opening bid for negotiations over the nation’s fiscal future, Mr. Obama conceded a need to cut spending, rein in the growth of entitlement programs and close tax loopholes." 04-11

  6. -001 President Obama's Speech on the Budget (New York Times)
      Provides the text of the speech. 04-11

  7. -01-23-13 U.S. House Postpones Debt Ceiling Crisis (Times.com)
      "The House on Wednesday passed a Republican plan to suspend the U.S. borrowing limit until mid-May, postponing a fiscal standoff that could have torpedoed the U.S. economy and further damaged the GOP‘s brand." 01-13

  8. -01-26-12 Apple's Outsourcing (Time.com)
      "Although outsourcing and the consequent demise of the U.S. manufacturing sector is a perennially hot political issue, the economics of globalization suggest that U.S. jobs lost to cheaper overseas competition won’t be coming back." 01-12

  9. -01-26-12 Best and Unusual Perks (Time.com)
      "The list takes into account many factors like management credibility, camaraderie, compensation and benefits, but what may just send you running to update your résumé are the eye-popping perks that America’s most generous companies dole out to their employees. Here’s a sample of the companies who give out the best, and most unusual, employee perks found on this year’s list." 01-12

  10. -01-31-12 Housing Prices Fall in November (CNN News)
      "Home prices posted a steep, month-over-month drop in November, falling 1.3%, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city report. Prices fell in 19 of the 20 cities the index covers." 01-12

  11. -02-03-12 Unemployment Down (Time.com)
      "Some Obama opponents are struggling to find a cloud in the silver lining of January’s jobs numbers, which estimated that there was a 243,000-job boost and a big drop in the unemployment rate, from 8.5% to 8.3%, last month."

      "And when it comes to labor force estimates, the steep jump in the number of those not seeking work came entirely from the census adjustment, which added 1.25 million people to that group. If you take out the census adjustment, the labor force numbers stayed essentially the same, as reflected by the labor force participation rate of 63.7%. In other words, the spike in the number of people no longer looking for work is entirely the result of some people at the Labor Department adding numbers to their spread sheets rather than an actual observed shift anywhere in the real economy." 02-12

  12. -02-04-12 Editorial: A Short History of Taxes (RollingStone.com)
      "After taking office, Clinton immediately seized the mantle of fiscal discipline from Republicans. Rather than simply trimming the federal deficit, as his GOP predecessors had done, he set out to balance the budget and begin paying down the national debt. To do so, he hiked the top tax bracket to nearly 40 percent and boosted the corporate tax rate to 35 percent. 'It cost him both houses of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections,' says Chafee, the former GOP senator. 'But taming the deficit led to the best economy America's ever had.' Following the tax hikes of 1993, the economy grew at a brisk clip of 3.2 percent, creating more than 11 million jobs. Average wages ticked up, and stocks soared by 78 percent. By the spring of 1997, the federal budget was headed into the black." 02-12

  13. -02-04-12 New College Payment Plan Proposed (Time.com)
      "What if you could go to college for free, and all you had to do in exchange was to agree to pay back a portion of your income after you had finished your studies? That’s what an ambitious group of students at the University of California, Riverside is proposing as a way to make college more affordable." 02-12

  14. -02-26-13 Consumer Confidence Rebounds (Time.com)
      "Americans’ confidence in the economy rebounded in February, reversing three straight months of declines as shoppers began adjusting to a payroll tax hike last month." 02-13

  15. -03-09-12 More Jobs, Same Unemployment Rate (CNN News)
      "The economy added 227,000 jobs in February, but the unemployment rate didn't change at all."

      "As the labor force swelled, so did the number of new jobs necessary to drop the unemployment rate."

      "So it's possible that an improving economy can actually cause the unemployment rate to remain static, or even rise, as more discouraged workers start mailing resumes." 03-12

  16. -03-14-13 After the Sequester, What? (Christian Science Monitor)
      "It happened: $85 billion in across-the-board cuts to defense (8 percent cut) and social programs (5 to 6 percent) took effect March 1. Officials from President Obama on down spent weeks warning about the dire effects of these reductions. The cuts must occur this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Here's how things look." 03-13

  17. -03-21-12 Editorial: China's Managed Economy Needs Adjustment (Time.com)
      "A big part of the bad math is created by China’s state capitalism. China has adopted a form of the Asian development model, invented by Japan and followed, to varying degrees, by many rapid-growth countries around East Asia. The model, very generally speaking, functions like this: 1) capitalize on low wages to spark growth through exports and industrialize quickly with hefty amounts of investment, 2) guide the whole process with the hand of the state, 3) employ industrial policies and state-directed finance to progress into more and more advanced sectors. This system generates fantastic levels of economic growth for a while, but then eventually, it crashes. Japan had its meltdown beginning in 1990 (and it hasn’t escaped two decades later); South Korea, the country that copied Japan’s model most closely, experienced its crisis in 1997-98."

      "What happens? The model is based on what Alice Amsden, in her study of the Korean economy, called “getting prices wrong.” To spur on the high levels of investment necessary to generate rapid growth, the model depends on state-directed subsidization to make investing in certain industries or sectors more attractive and less risky than it otherwise would be. Cheap credit is made available for industry, or the state outright orders money to be invested in certain preferred projects. The exchange rate is controlled to encourage exporters. All sorts of subsidies, for energy, exports and so on, are dished out. Banks are not commercially oriented but act to a great degree as tools of government-development policy. All of these methods funnel money, private and public, into industrialization, creating the astronomical growth rates we see again and again in Asia."

      "The problem here is that prices can’t stay wrong indefinitely. There is a good reason why classical economists are always so focused on allowing markets to find the correct price level." 03-12

  18. -04-06-11 IRS: Republican Cuts in Budget "Potentially Devastating" (CNN News)
      Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman said "the cuts would lead to drops in customer service, processing and enforcement."

      "The IRS collects most of the government's revenue, about $2.3 trillion in 2009. Shulman also said the agency's enforcement role contributes to cutting the federal deficit."

      " 'Our budget more than pays for itself and directly contributes to deficit reduction,' he said." 04-11

  19. -04-06-11 Troops Won't Be Paid If Government Shuts Down (ABC News)
      "Soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan will not receive paychecks next week if the government fails to come together on a resolution to keep the government funded and avert a shutdown, senior government officials said today."

      Editor's Note: Legislators who are trying to force a government shutdown will, however, be paid. 04-11

  20. -04-10-12 Editorial: The Two American Economies (New York Times)
      "The creative dynamism of American business is astounding and a little terrifying. Over the past five years, amid turmoil and uncertainty, American businesses have shed employees, becoming more efficient and more productive. According to The Wall Street Journal on Monday, the revenue per employee at S.&P. 500 companies increased from $378,000 in 2007 to $420,000 in 2011."

      "If Cowen’s case is right, the U.S. is not a nation in decline. We may be in the early days of an export boom that will eventually power an economic revival, including a manufacturing revival. But, as Cowen emphasizes, this does not mean nirvana is at hand."

      "His work leaves the impression that there are two interrelated American economies. On the one hand, there is the globalized tradable sector — companies that have to compete with everybody everywhere. These companies, with the sword of foreign competition hanging over them, have become relentlessly dynamic and very (sometimes brutally) efficient."

      "On the other hand, there is a large sector of the economy that does not face this global competition — health care, education and government. Leaders in this economy try to improve productivity and use new technologies, but they are not compelled by do-or-die pressure, and their pace of change is slower."

      "A rift is opening up." 04-12

  21. -04-12-11 New Evidence Presented that Zuckerberg Owes Ceglia Half of His Facebook Ownership (BusinessInsider.com)
      "The purported contract (we analyzed it here) gave Ceglia a 50% ownership in "the face book" project in exchange for funding its initial development, as well as an additional 1% ownership of the project per day for every day that the project remained uncompleted past a certain launch date."

      "And the new evidence is startling." 04-11

  22. -04-16-11 Editorial: How to Save a Trillion Dollars (Time.com)
      "Across Washington, all sorts of people are starting to ask the unthinkable questions about long-sacred military budgets. Can the U.S. really afford more than 500 bases at home and around the world? Do the Air Force, Navy and Marines really need $400 billion in new jet fighters when their fleets of F-15s, F-16s and F-18s will give them vast air superiority for years to come? Does the Navy need 50 attack submarines when America's main enemy hides in caves? Does the Army still need 80,000 troops in Europe 66 years after the defeat of Adolf Hitler?"

      "Numbers alone tell much of the story: we are now spending 50% more (even excluding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) than we did on 9/11. We are spending more on the military than we did during the Cold War, when U.S. and NATO troops stared across Germany's Fulda Gap at a real super-power foe with real tanks and thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at U.S. cities. In fact, the U.S. spends about as much on its military as the rest of the world combined." 04-11

  23. -04-19-12 Where Have the Jobs for Women Gone? (CNN News)
      "Women were generally spared the worst of the recession, accounting for only one-quarter of the jobs lost. Men, on the other hand, were hit hard by the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries."

      "But the slow pace of recovery in women's employment has surprised and concerned some experts, who say it's unclear whether there will be a rebound anytime soon."

      "While the private sector picked up nearly 2.9 million jobs over the course of the recovery, women secured only 23.5% of those positions."

      "Women gained only 12.3% of the more than 2.3 million total jobs added to the economy during the recovery -- which include both public and private positions --according to the National Women's Law Center."

      "Much of the blame lies in the steep loss of government jobs, particularly in local school districts, where women predominate. State and local governments were propped up in 2009 and 2010 by Obama's Recovery Act. But the funds largely ran out after that, prompting budgets and payrolls to be slashed." 04-12

  24. -04-25-12 Editorial: Two Views on Government Regulation of Business (Time.com)
      "In the great debate that has followed the Great Recession over how to fix the current capitalist system, there have been two main streams of thought. One is that capitalists are inherently incorrigible, forever too greedy and self-interested to ever be trusted with the greater good of society. The only way to prevent crises like the 2008 Wall Street meltdown is for some counterbalancing power — the government — to step in and control their dangerous ways. That spirit led to the heavier regulation of the Dodd-Frank bank reform. The other view is that the solution to capitalism’s problems is, ironically, more capitalism. The market has to be freed to decide winners and losers, and the self-regulating systems of capitalism have to be strengthened so capitalists can better police themselves.The shareholder uprising at Citi is proof that the latter course may be the right one." 04-12

  25. -04-26-12 Some New Cars Now Cheaper Than Used Cars (CNN News)
      "In fact, the deals on some new cars are so generous they actually make a new car less expensive than both a one-year-old used and certified pre-owned version of the same model." 04-12

  26. -05-12-11 Big Oil Targeted in Budget Fight (CNN News)
      "Senate Democrats opened debate Wednesday on legislation to cut $21 billion in tax subsidies from big oil companies and use the money to reduce the federal debt -- a move designed to put Republicans on the defensive and capitalize on public anger over rising gas prices."

      "The bill has virtually no chance of winning congressional approval. Analysts believe, however, that Democrats will try to use the issue to their political advantage in both the run-up to the 2012 elections and in the ongoing fight to increase the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow before Washington defaults on its financial obligations." 05-11

  27. -05-12-12 JPMorgan Lobbied for a Loophole to Allow Risky Trading (MSNBC News)
      "Soon after lawmakers finished work on the nation’s new financial regulatory law, a team of JPMorgan Chase lobbyists descended on Washington. Their goal was to obtain special breaks that would allow banks to make big bets in their portfolios, including some of the types of trading that led to the $2 billion loss now rocking the bank." 05-12

  28. -05-12-12 Water Is Key to Everything (Truth-Out.org)
      "In case after case around the world, water is being turned into a good for sale and for profit. Driven by a different vision and by economic necessity, a global counter-trend is growing to assure that household water be free or cheap, accessible, and safe, and that the earth’s water be kept pure and flowing." 05-12

  29. -05-12-12 Women Promoting Women in the Work Place (Time.com)
      "Soon after lawmakers finished work on the nation’s new financial regulatory law, a team of JPMorgan Chase lobbyists descended on Washington. Their goal was to obtain special breaks that would allow banks to make big bets in their portfolios, including some of the types of trading that led to the $2 billion loss now rocking the bank." 05-12

  30. -05-16-11 US Debt Limit Hit (MSNBC News)
      "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress he would start tapping into federal pension funds on Monday to free up borrowing capacity as the nation hits the $14.294 trillion legal limit on its debt." 05-11

  31. -05-24-12 Editorial: Death of the Big Box Store? (Time.com)
      "This may seem a bit counterintuitive for those of us who don’t follow the retail industry closely. After all, didn’t large big-box retailers just finish putting smaller mom-and-pops out of business with their giant selection and amazing supply chain efficiency? The answer to that question is yes, they did — but the marketplace evolves quickly these days, and the narratives that defined the 2000s will not necessarily hold in the 2010s."

      "So what’s behind a store like Best Buy’s headlong decline? One word: Amazon. Specialty big-box stores like Best Buy have made a killing the past 20 years by offering a huge selection of products at low prices. But there is no way the firm can compete with an Internet retailer like Amazon on those measures. Even worse for Best Buy is the phenomenon of 'showrooming,' whereby shoppers check out an item in a store and then buy it through an online competitor for a lower price. This is particularly frustrating for brick-and-mortar stores because it takes their one tangible advantage to online retailers — the in-store experience — and turns it into a way for their competitors to steal market share." 05-12

  32. -06-08-11 Homeowners Foreclose on Bank of America (ABC News)
      "In Florida an angry homeowner whose home was wrongfully foreclosed on by Bank of America gets revenge by foreclosing on the bank's local branch. In Georgia, in a different property dispute, a city court judge threatens to jail the local BofA branch manager for contempt of court." 06-11

  33. -07-15-12 Cities Consider Seizing "Under Water" Home Mortgages (ABC News)
      "Mortgage Resolution Partners will focus on mortgages where the borrowers are current on their payments but are 'under water,' meaning their mortgage costs more than the home is worth. After being condemned and seized, the mortgages would be rewritten based on the homes' current values. The borrowers would get to stay, but with cheaper monthly payments. The city or county would resell the loans to other private investors, so it could pay back the investors who funded the seizure and pay a flat fee to Mortgage Resolution Partners." 07-12

  34. -08-23-12 The People Most Likely to Live Paycheck to Paycheck (BusinessInsider.com)
      "According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, those between the ages of 45 to 54 are most likely to live paycheck to paycheck (43 percent), followed by those between the ages of 35 and 44 (42 percent), then those between 18 and 34 (40 percent)." 08-12

  35. -09-14-13 Editorial: Income Compared to Productivity (DailyKos.com)
      "What is particularly striking is how the relationship between productivity and most workers’ compensation changed dramatically. From 1948 until the 1970’s, hourly compensation tracked net productivity very closely. As workers became more productive, they were compensated for their increase in productivity. Starting in the late 1970s, hourly compensation began to lag net productivity and has shown very little growth compared to the growing productivity we’ve experienced." 09-13

  36. -09-14-13 Editorial: Income Compared to Productivity (DailyKos.com)
      "What is particularly striking is how the relationship between productivity and most workers’ compensation changed dramatically. From 1948 until the 1970’s, hourly compensation tracked net productivity very closely. As workers became more productive, they were compensated for their increase in productivity. Starting in the late 1970s, hourly compensation began to lag net productivity and has shown very little growth compared to the growing productivity we’ve experienced." 09-13

  37. -09-27-12 Ranking Top Start-Ups (Wall Street Journal)
      "The Wall Street Journal's third annual ranking of the top 50 venture-capital-backed companies shows a crop of contenders that overall are focused less on online consumers than in years past." 09-12

  38. -10-09-10 Teachers Buying School Supplies...and More (Time.com)
      "Welcome back to school in budget-strapped California, where pencils, paper and textbooks are indeed prized goods — and their availability in classrooms is increasingly dependent upon the resourcefulness of teachers. As a matter of financial survival, teachers share tips for donation websites, clip coupons together in staff rooms and learn how to spruce up garage-sale items (bought with their own pennies, of course)."

      "It's a dire time for public education in California. Nearly $17 billion has been cut from schools over the past two years, and a possible $2.4 billion more in cuts are expected in the next year. Teachers have been forced to take pay cuts and endure furlough weeks. And thanks to the 18,000 education-department layoffs last year, classrooms have grown in size. To keep their classrooms afloat, and to avoid even further out-of-pocket expenses (which, since two years ago, have increased from approximately a few hundred dollars to about $1,500 annually), many California teachers are scrambling to find fresh ways to thriftily educate their students and maintain their physically crumbling classrooms." 10-10

  39. -10-12-10 Wall Street Set to Give Employees Record High Pay (MSNBC News)
      "Wall Street pay is on pace to break a record high for a second consecutive year, according to a report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal."

      "Some three dozen top banks and securities firms will pay $144 billion in salary and benefits this year, the paper said. That’s a 4 percent increase from the $139 billion paid out in 2009, according to a survey conducted by the Journal. Compensation is expected to rise at 26 of the 35 firms surveyed, including banks, investment banks, hedge funds, money-management firms and securities exchanges." 10-10

  40. -10-14-10 Most College Graduates Are Moving Back Home (CNN News)
      " 'This recession has hit young adults particularly hard' according to Rich Morin, senior editor at the Pew Research Center in DC."

      "So hard that a whopping 85% of college seniors planned to move back home with their parents after graduation last May, according to a poll by Twentysomething Inc., a marketing and research firm based in Philadelphia. That rate has steadily risen from 67% in 2006." 10-10

  41. -10-14-10 Verizon to Sell iPads (CNN News)
      "Verizon Wireless will begin selling Apple's iPad at its 2,000 retail stores nationwide on Oct. 28, the companies announced Thursday." 10-10

  42. -10-18-10 Four Men Convicted in Plot to Bomb Synagogues (New York Times)
      "Prosecutors said the men, who all lived in Newburgh, N.Y., willingly cooperated with an informer working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who posed as a terrorist and supplied the men with inert bombs and Stinger missile tubes."

      "On May 20, 2009, the men were arrested in the Riverdale section of the Bronx after they planted the bombs in cars outside two synagogues." 10-10

  43. -11-07-11 The 22-Year-Old Who Led the Charge Against Bank of America (Time.com)
      "When Bank of America announced that it would charge customers a $5 monthly debit-card fee in late September, it probably did not count on a 22-year-old woman standing in its way. But for Molly Katchpole, a 2011 college graduate who works two part-time jobs in Washington, D.C., and lives paycheck to paycheck, the annual increase of $60 was just plain unacceptable." 11-11

  44. -11-14-13 CBO: Ways to Reduce the Federal Deficit (PBS News)
      "Reducing the number of major combat units in the military would cut $552 billion until 2023."

      "...the CBO's report shows that raising the statutory tax rates on all ordinary incomes by 1 percentage point would generate $694 billion from 2014 to 2023."

      "If the federal excise tax on gasoline were raised by 35 cents (to 53.4 cents per gallon) and then indexed for inflation going forward, revenues would increase by $452 billion over 10 years." 11-13

  45. -12-04-11 Editorial: $7.7 Trillion Provided to Wall Street (Truth-Out.org)
      "They were funneling $7.7 trillion to Wall Street under the table - without one constituent phone call - without worrying about one election - without having to give one explanation."

      "They were able to do that because they're members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors - a group of people who are not voted into office, but have the power to completely dictate monetary policy in America."

      "Or - to put it in today's terms - the interests of the 99 percent rarely line up with the interests of the 1 percent. That's why - back in 2008 - the technocrats at the Fed weren't interested in waiting for Congress - with all of its open debate and constituent services - to bail out the banks - they just went ahead and did it themselves. According to documents obtained by Bloomberg News - in 2009 - the Fed dished out $7.7 trillion in no-strings-attached, super-low interest loans to Wall Street's biggest players."

      "That's more than half of the total value of EVERYTHING - every single thing produced in America - that same year."

      "As the world descends into financial turmoil on fears that the Euro zone may collapse, it's the technocrats who are taking power - replacing elected officials."

      "Only when the Federal Reserve becomes an instrument of the people to calm the mood swings of the market - and not a piggy bank for transnational banking corporations - can we really protect ourselves from a technocratic takeover in the future. And the way to do it is pretty straightforward - it was Alexander Hamilton's idea back in the George Washington administration. Have the central bank owned by the US government and run by the Treasury Department, so all the profits from banking go directly into the Treasury and you and I pay less in taxes while the banksters on Wall Street can find a job at Wal-Mart." 12-11

  46. -12-19-11 Why Downgrading European Currency Matters (Time.com)
      "Rating agencies have just downgraded the economic outlook for seven European countries. Does that really matter, or is it just acknowledging problems that everyone already knows about?"

      "No matter how widely recognized a country’s problems are, bad financial news is cumulative. Perceptions about creditworthiness vary incrementally across a broad spectrum and each time a credit rating is reduced or an economic outlook is questioned, the needle moves a little bit further toward the danger zone. That makes bond buyers demand slightly higher interest rates to compensate for a slightly greater chance of losing their money."

      "In addition, potential bond buyers sometimes have to worry about legal requirements or customers’ reactions. If an international bond fund needs to keep the average risk of its portfolio at a certain level, the fund will reduce its holdings of bonds that are downgraded. Indeed, in some cases institutional investors may be required by their own internal rules to hold only bonds that have certain minimum credit ratings." 12-11

  47. 03-14-11 Forty Percent of Millionaires Do Not Feel Wealthy (ABC News)
      "The nation's millionaires have spoken, and the magic number above which they feel wealthy is $7.5 million. Four out of 10 millionaires surveyed say they do not feel wealthy, even though they reported an average of $3.5 million in investable assets." 03-11

Papers
  1. -001 "The Most Important Chart in American Politics" (Time.com)
      "The chart tracks three economic trends in the U.S. over the last two decades, between 1992 and 2009. The first two lines — productivity and per capita gross domestic product — are rising. This is the unmistakable American success story, the one reflected in record corporate profits, growing wealth accumulation and the unmatched efficiency of this country’s economy. The third line tracks median household income, as measured by the U.S. Census. It shows the story of frustration and stagnation that so many Americans long ago accepted as a reality."

      "The chart... was originally created by NDN and the New Policy Institute, and it helped Democrats change the way they talked about the frustration of the American people. Shortly after the 2010 election, Simon Rosenberg, who runs those left-leaning think tanks, showed the chart to David Axelrod and David Simas, two of Obama’s top political advisers. The point of his presentation was that the emergency of the first two years of the Obama presidency — the Great Recession, brought on by financial collapse — did not explain the economic suffering and resulting anger felt by so many voters. Instead it was a more recent manifestation of a trend that had begun nearly a decade earlier."

      " 'The reason this is happening is because of rising global competition, the defining new economic challenge of our time,' Rosenberg said in a recent interview with TIME. 'In the actual experience of the American economy, there has become an enormous gap between the upper one-third and everyone else.' " 02-13

  2. -Additional Credit Card Protections to Start (CBS News)
      "Later this month, the remaining provisions of the "Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009" go into effect. The changes are intended to protect customers." 02-10

  3. -Adversity Index (MSNBC News)
      "The Adversity Index, from msnbc.com and Moody's Economy.com, measures the economic health of 381 metro areas and all 50 states. Each area is in recession, at risk, recovering or expanding." (Click the map.) 05-09

  4. -Can Government Regulate the Largest Financial Institutions? (MSNBC news)
      "At the heart of the debate is a set of rules governing whether bankers should be allowed to use shareholders’ and depositors’ money to buy and sell complex, risky investments that were created to offset a variety of other financial economic and credit risks. Opponents of the practice argue that the use of these 'synthetic' investments only serves to promote the kind of money-losing bets JP Morgan traders made with other people's money." 05-12

  5. -Death of a Small Town Bank (Time.com)
      "CBT was the 32nd bank to fail in Georgia since the start of the financial crisis in 2008 and one of 132 to fail nationwide in 2010 so far. In many ways, it embodies what has gone wrong with America's once trusted banking system." 11-10

  6. -Does "Quantitative Easing" Work for Financial Recovery? (Time.com)
      "The Federal Reserve has finally announced what everyone expected – a giant program of quantitative easing aimed at restarting the stalled economic recovery. The idea is to push more money into the economy to encourage banks to lend and companies to borrow, invest and hire. In other words, the Fed thinks that by pumping an extra $600 billion into the economy (through purchases of Treasury bonds), it can rescue the recovery and prevent deflation."

      "But will it work? One way to answer that question is to look at Japan's experience." 11-10

  7. -Editorial: 25 People Most to Blame for Meltdown (Time.com)
      "The good intentions, bad managers and greed behind the meltdown." 04-09

  8. -Editorial: A better Bailout (TruthOut.org)
      "There are four fundamental problems with our financial system, and the Paulson proposal addresses only one. The first is that the financial institutions have all these toxic products - which they created - and since no one trusts anyone about their value, no one is willing to lend to anyone else."

      "The Scandinavian countries showed the way, almost two decades ago. By issuing preferred shares with warrants (options), one reduces the public's downside risk and insures that they participate in some of the upside potential. This approach is not only proven, it provides both incentives and wherewithal to resume lending. It furthermore avoids the hopeless task of trying to value millions of complex mortgages and even more complex products in which they are embedded, and it deals with the 'lemons' problem - the government getting stuck with the worst or most overpriced assets." 10-08

  9. -Editorial: An Answer for Why the Financial Institutions Collapsed (CBS News)
      " 'These investment banks were not only selling the securities that turned out to be terrible investments, they were selling insurance on them?' Kroft asks."

      " 'Well, it made it easier to sell the terrible investments if you could convince the buyer that not only were they gonna get the investment, but insurance,' Greenberger explains."

      "But when homeowners began defaulting on their mortgages, and Wall Street's high-risk mortgage backed securities also began to fail, the big investment houses and insurance companies who sold the credit default swaps hadn't set aside the money they needed to pay off their obligations."

      "Editor's Note: "Credit default swaps" are fancy words for "insurance policies." 10-08

  10. -Editorial: Gold the Safest Investment? (Time.com)
      "There is no question that gold's price run up is purely speculative. Since the beginning of 2009, the number of outstanding shares in the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD), the most popular exchange-traded gold fund, has already climbed about 33%. Demand for gold has increased significantly." 03-09

  11. -Editorial: Green Jobs to Save our Future (CNN News)
      "Ending the subsidies that make dirty fuels artificially cheap can spark a shift in infrastructure development, create more jobs and allow America to become more self-sufficient.

      "The choice is clear. We can sit idly as China and Germany invest in clean energy -- a soon-to-be $8 trillion world market -- or we can step up, get Americans back in the work force and export the best clean energy vehicles and technology." 08-10

  12. -Editorial: How China Is Capitalizing on the Economic Crisis (Time.com)
      "Once shy of making major foreign investments, Beijing has gone on the prowl for resources and underpriced assets across the globe. Cash-rich Chinese companies, backed by soft loans from state banks and re-energized by lower labor costs as jobs dry up, are descending on Central Asia, Africa and even Western Europe to snap up assets." 04-09

  13. -Editorial: Is Business Paying Its Fair Share of Taxes (Time.com)
      "As the nation frets over slow growth and large budget deficits, much has been made over how much Americas are and should be paying in income tax. President Obama and Democrats have argued that the wealthiest among us are not paying their fair share. They say the spoils of the globalization and the internet revolution have gone almost exclusively to the very wealthy, and that, in times of crisis, more should be asked of those who can afford to give. Those on the right counter that the wealthy pay their fair share and, more, that the top one percent pay a huge percentage of federal income tax receipts."

      "But there is another source of federal revenues that receives less attention: corporate income taxes. According to the Wall Street Journal’s recent study of Congressional Budget Office numbers, corporations are paying an effective rate of 12.1%, the lowest in at least 40 years. So why are some of the biggest and most powerful entities in our society getting away with paying so little? The story is complicated, but the biggest factor in the recent collapse in corporate tax receipts appears to be a set of tax breaks built into recent stimulus efforts." 02-12

  14. -Editorial: The Disconnect Between Employment and Productivity (Time.com)
      "The reasons matter, because far from being cause for good cheer, they point to a disturbing new trend in the labor markets – the worker as commodity. Let me explain. In the old days (meaning before globalization really took off the in 1980s), employment and productivity (which is a large part of overall economic growth) used to rise hand in hand. There would be a pick up in hiring, and that would boost productivity, and growth (along with asset prices) would rise."

      "Somewhere on the road to globalization and technology-related job destruction, that link was broken. Feroli puts the marker down in 1984. But the bottom line is that the rise of temporary employment, the decline of unionization, and the rise of the internet made labor less of a fixed cost and stable part of the economic formula, and more of a variable factor – easy for companies to add and dispose of at will. 'It’s the worker as commodity,' says Feroli, and what it means is that while employment may rise faster than economic growth dictates (as it’s doing now, in part because flattened wages have made American labor more globally competitive), it can also go the other way. Productivity and profits can rise, and unemployment can stay flat." 03-12

  15. -Editorial: The Larger Struggle (New York Times)
      "In the democratic capitalist world we have oil companies, like Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, that make money for shareholders."

      "In the state capitalist world there are government-run enterprises like Gazprom, Petrobras, Saudi Aramco, Petronas, Petróleos de Venezuela, China National Petroleum Corporation and the National Iranian Oil Company. These companies create wealth for the political cliques, and they, in turn, have the power of the state behind them."

      "With this advantage, state energy companies have been absolutely crushing the private-sector energy companies. In America, we use the phrase Big Oil to describe Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others. But that just shows how parochial we are. In fact, none of these private companies make it on a list of the world’s top 13 energy companies. A generation ago, the biggest multinationals produced well more than half of the world’s oil and gas. But now, according to Bremmer, they produce just 10 percent of the world’s oil and gas and hold only about 3 percent of the world’s reserves."

      "We need healthy private energy companies. We also need to gradually move away from oil and gas — the products that have financed the rise of aggressive state capitalism." 06-10

  16. -Editorial: What About the Auto Workers? (MSNBC News)
      "What will a solution look like? It will almost certainly have to involve major subsidies for the new industries to locate in the worst hit regions of the country (and that will mean making sure the new employers hire ex-union workers, as many new concerns have been unwilling to do). It will hopefully involve a real effort to transform major universities like the University of Michigan into tech-industry centers; they will never be Silicon Valley, but they can be small tech centers of the kind that have developed around Boston and Los Angeles." 03-09

  17. -Editorial: Why Housing Prices Are Still Dropping (Time.com)
      "Housing affordability measures have a blind spot. They look at the cost of buying a house now versus what it has been in the past. They don't look at the affordability of buying a house versus the alternative, which is renting. And this economy has been so bad, and empty houses have been so available, that rental prices have continued to fall." 05-11

  18. -Eight Folks who Busted their Debts (CNN News)
      "From putting spare change to work to going on a spending fast, these 8 folks found creative ways to chop their debt." 10-10

  19. -How to Ask for More Money at Work (Time.com)
      "Now may not be the right time to ask for a raise. But it’s a good time to lay the groundwork." 12-11

  20. -Lessons About CEO Pay (NBC News)
      "One problem is that the definition of what constitutes a 'similar' company can be manipulated to skew pay higher by including larger companies or ones in different industries. Institutional shareholders are 'very, very suspicious' of that practice, Hodgson said."

      "Companies would do better to look within their own ranks than to cast a wider net, they said, since even a CEO who displays talent running one company usually can’t export those skills to a new corporation. They pointed to earlier research showing that, although CEOs brought in from outside often earned more, the companies they led subsequently performed on par with or worse than those that promoted from inside."

      "Even without manipulation, Elson said companies should decide how much to pay a CEO based on performance, not how much his or her counterparts earn. 'If you don’t have that internal benchmark you’ve made a mistake to begin with,' he said." 09-12

  21. -Poll: Most Americans Unaware They Got a Tax Cut (CBS News)
      "Of people who support the grassroots, 'Tea Party' movement, only 2 percent think taxes have been decreased, 46 percent say taxes are the same, and a whopping 44 percent say they believe taxes have gone up."

      "Those answers must frustrate the president who has highlighted its tax cuts for the middle class in almost every speech."

      "In his Super Bowl Sunday interview with Katie Couric, he touted the tax cuts in the stimulus package: "We put $300 billion worth of tax cuts into people's pockets so that there was demand and businesses had customers."

      "While the majority of the tax cuts, passed last February, affected 95 percent of working families, when they took affect by April of 2009, the monetary value was not too large -- most families saw about $70 more in take home pay every month. Individual workers saw about $13 more a week." 02-10

  22. -Separating Toxic Assets from Legacy Assets (Time.com)
      "When treasury secretary Tim Geithner rolled out his long-awaited plan for buying up toxic mortgage loans and securities on March 23, reaction was split."

      "One simple explanation for this divide is that the Geithner plan — which calls for Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to finance the bulk of up to $1 trillion in toxic-asset purchases by private investors — is a great deal for the investors and a big risk for the taxpayers. The math calls for the government to take on most of the downside risk while evenly sharing the rewards with hedge funds, money managers and other buyers. In the loan-buying program, private investors would put up 7% of the capital for a shot at close to 50% of the gains." 03-09

  23. -Study Surprise: Most Agree on Ideal Wealth Distribution (Time.com)
      "It’s a fairly revealing set of results. Despite all the talk about a divided America and class warfare, there is a remarkable level of consensus about the ideal wealth distribution across the political spectrum and income levels. The preferred wealth distributions of Bush and Kerry voters were only trivially different—in the direction you would expect—as were the preferences of those making less than $50,000 and those making more than $100,000. For all the alleged discord in this country, there’s an amazing amount of real agreement on what 'a better America' would look like."

      "To be sure, liberals and conservatives often have very different ideas about how that ideal distribution should be achieved. But much of the prattle about class warfare these days comes not from mainstream Americans, but rather from those folks who have the most to gain from pointing out differences even when they may not exist: politicians and the media who cover them." 03-12

  24. -Super-Rich Hiding $21 Trillion in Tax Havens? (BBC News)
      "A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion (£13tn) hidden in secret tax havens by the end of 2010, according to a major study."

      "The figure is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined."

      "The Price of Offshore Revisited was written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, for the Tax Justice Network."

      "Mr Henry used data from the Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and national governments." 07-12

  25. -Taxing the Wealthy (Christian Science Monitor)
      "In the history of taxation, the wealthy have always paid a higher rate. But rates have swung wildly over time. Economists studying past rate changes have had trouble identifying clear effects."

      "Perhaps the best analog to Obama's plan is the 1993 tax hike under President Clinton. Congress raised rates to the same levels Obama is proposing for Americans making at least $250,000 a year. An economic boom followed Mr. Clinton's move."

      "That doesn't mean, however, that the two were necessarily related, says Joel Slemrod, an economist at the University of Michigan and the former editor of the National Tax Journal."

      " '[Obama's] proposal is to move back to top rates [that] the country had not that long ago, and it's hard to find evidence that they had a noticeable deleterious effect on the economy,' Professor Slemrod says. 'Having those tax rates then and knowing the economy did well doesn't prove what the role of tax rates was. It could be true that performance would have been even better without them.' " 04-09

  26. 10 Things to Do While You're Unemployed (U.S. News)
      "Sure, while you're unemployed, job No. 1 is to look for another job. However, job hunting should not be the only thing you do while out of work."

      "You should also devote a bit of time and energy to doing something interesting that you can talk about at job interviews." 10-09

  27. A Theory of Affluence (New York Times)
      "For thousands of years, most people on earth lived in abject poverty, first as hunters and gatherers, then as peasants or laborers. But with the Industrial Revolution, some societies traded this ancient poverty for amazing affluence."

      "Historians and economists have long struggled to understand how this transition occurred and why it took place only in some countries. A scholar who has spent the last 20 years scanning medieval English archives has now emerged with startling answers for both questions."

  28. AIG Price Tag: $1,400 per Taxpayer Family (ABC News)
      "How much will each American family pay, on average, to bail out beleaguered insurance giant American International Group? Try more than $1,400." 03-09

  29. An Answer: Why the Financial Institutions Collapsed (CBS News)
      " 'These investment banks were not only selling the securities that turned out to be terrible investments, they were selling insurance on them?' Kroft asks."

      " 'Well, it made it easier to sell the terrible investments if you could convince the buyer that not only were they gonna get the investment, but insurance,' Greenberger explains."

      "But when homeowners began defaulting on their mortgages, and Wall Street's high-risk mortgage backed securities also began to fail, the big investment houses and insurance companies who sold the credit default swaps hadn't set aside the money they needed to pay off their obligations."

      "Editor's Note: "Credit default swaps" are fancy words for "insurance policies." 10-08

  30. Ask the Economist (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
      Provides answers to commonly asked questions about the economy.

  31. Bernanke: Job Outlook Grim (CNN News)
      " 'At the rate we're going, it could be four, five years before we are back to a more normal unemployment rate,' Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday night." 12-10

  32. Best Companies to Work for (CNN News)
      "Want to work for a multinational corporation with great perks and opportunities around the world? Here are the 25 best." 01-12

  33. Best and Worst Bailed-Out Banks (U.S. News)
      "If the 'market-to-bailout ratio, as we call it, equals 1.0, for example, that means investors driving the stock price up or down have a dim view of the bank's inherent value. 'The government injections basically amount to the common stockholders' entire value,' says economist James Barth of the nonprofit Milken Institute, which provided some of the data. To pay back the government injections, such banks would probably have to sell assets, which could worsen the situation."

      "Banks with a market-to-bailout ratio of less than 1 are in even worse shape, since investors are signaling that the banks' value is heavily dependent upon government aid."

      "The healthiest banks are those with a market-to-bailout ratio well over 2.0." 05-09

  34. CNN's Top 40 Under 40 (CNN News)
      "Meet business's hottest young rising stars. They're innovators, value creators, and agents of change." 10-09

  35. China Facing Energy Shortages (Time.com)
      "The amount of new installed capacity is due to fall by 10 million kilowatts next year, compared to this year, while demand continues to climb at double-digit rates, Hu Zhaoguang, vice president of State Grid Energy Research Institute, said in comments posted on the Energy Research Observation Net." 05-11

  36. Consumer Price Index and Other Leading Indicators (ACCRA)
      Provides the CPI and other leading indicators of the health of the economy, such as increase or decrease on Unemployment Rate, Payroll Employment, Average Hourly Earnings, PPI, ECI, Productivity, and the U.S. Import Price Index.

  37. Cost-of-Living Calculator (American Institute of Economic Research)
      Provides a map with labor statistics in each state.

  38. Currency - A History (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
      Provides a history of currency within the United States. 08-10

  39. Derivatives and Funding for the SEC (U.S. News)
      "Despite the trillion-dollar meltdown now underway, the number of SEC enforcement personnel will decline from 1,209 this year to 1,177 in 2009. In all, the SEC expects to have 3,771 employees next year. For comparison, the Smithsonian Institution budget for 2009 includes funding for 4,324 employees."

      "Those pitiful numbers lead us to the innumerable problems posed by derivatives, the same financial instruments that led to the chaos at Enron, which before it failed operated a huge—and almost completely unregulated—derivatives exchange business. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the global derivatives market is now worth some $676.5 trillion. That's $676,500,000,000,000. That's a fivefold increase over the value of derivatives that were traded in 2003. Further, that $676.5 trillion is 51 times America's current gross domestic product." 09-08

  40. Don't Try to Hide from IRS (MSNBC News)
      " 'The worst thing you can ever do with the IRS is ignore them,' said Jackie Perlman, an analyst with the Tax Institute at H&R Block. 'They don’t like to be ignored.' " 04-09

  41. Economists: Spending Cuts Ill-Timed (MSNBC)
      "The nation’s political leaders agreed on Sunday to spend and invest less money in the American economy, a step that economists said risks the reversal of a faltering recovery, in the hope of improving the nation’s long-term prosperity." 07-11

  42. Editorial by Ben Stein: Welcome to Nightmare America (CBS News)
      "Start with the obvious: This great country is in a very severe recession."

      "This mess was caused very largely by the inordinate greed, incompetence and duplicity of certain persons and firms on Wall Street."

      "Just one huge investment bank called Goldman Sachs was bailed out in many lavish ways by both the Bush and Obama administrations. Now they plan to pay themselves bonuses of roughly $20 billion for the holidays."

      "This is not a fantasy. This is really happening." 12-09

  43. Editorial: Are Big Profits for the Financial Sector Good for the Rest of Us? (Time.com)
      "The 1960s were by most measures the best decade ever for growth and widening prosperity in the U.S.; the past decade has been a bust. Yet the financial sector was relatively tiny in the 1960s and huge in the 2000s. Could this mean that good times for finance are bad for the rest of us? Philippon says it isn't that simple. The 1990s, for example, were good for both Wall Street and Main Street. His theory, which fits the historical evidence well, is that the financial sector's share of the economy should increase when there are fast-growing companies needing outside funding, like railroads in the late 19th century, manufacturers in the 1920s and tech firms in the 1990s. If financing wasn't in great demand in the booming 1960s, perhaps that was a warning sign of stagnation to come rather than evidence of the uselessness of financiers."

      "Over the past decade, though, reality took a detour from Philippon's theory. Corporate America's need for outside financing fell, but the financial sector refused to shrink; it pumped out ever riskier products until the system nearly collapsed. Why the refusal? Maybe the pay was too good." 10-09

  44. Editorial: Best Cars for the Money (U.S. News)
      "Car shoppers face an uncertain economy and a shrinking ability to borrow. The key to surviving the current marketplace is to stretch your dollars as far as they'll go -- but that doesn't mean flocking to the biggest incentives. It means focusing on cars that are proven winners and offer a great value over the entire life of the car." 02-10

  45. Editorial: Financial Institutions Become Wealthier--At Taxpayer's Expense (New York Times)
      "Even as the economy continues to struggle, much of Wall Street is minting money — and looking forward again to hefty bonuses."

      "Many Americans wonder how this can possibly be."

      "With interest rates so low, banks can borrow money cheaply and put those funds to work in lucrative ways, whether using the money to make loans to companies at higher rates, or to speculate in the markets."

      "A big reason for Goldman Sachs’s blowout profits this year has been the willingness of its traders to take big risks — they have put more money on the line while other banks that suffered last year have reined in such moves." 10-09

  46. Editorial: The End of American Capitalism? (MSNBC News)
      "The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression is claiming another casualty: American-style capitalism." 10-08

  47. Editorial: The Peril of Positive Thinking (ABC News)
      "Two years into the Great Recession, it's time to face the truth: optimism feels good, really good, but it turns out to be the methamphetamine of run-amok American capitalism. Meth induces a 'Superman syndrome.' Optimism fed into what Steve Eisman, a banking analyst who foresaw the crash, calls 'hedge-fund disease,' characterized by 'megalomania, plus narcissism, plus solipsism' and the belief that 'to think something is to make it happen.' The meth-head loses his teeth and his mind; the madcap optimists of Wall Street lost something like $10 trillion worth of pension funds, life savings and retirement accounts." 11-09

  48. Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
      Describes the Federal Reserve System for college undergraduates. 9-04

  49. Financial Reform Bill's New Policies (Time.com)
      "The new Financial Stability Oversight Council should help monitor systemic risks by encouraging regulators to think beyond their narrow silos. And the new resolution authority should help the government put failed behemoths to death without endangering global finance; Republicans are calling it a bailout provision, but it's really a tool that officials can use instead of a bailout."

      "Obama's plan was full of sensible responses to the last meltdown. It cracked down on the mortgage industry, taking aim at 'liar loans' handed to borrowers with no income by lenders with no skin in the game. Most derivatives will now be traded through regulated clearinghouses, so markets can see what they're worth and who's at risk. There were new protections for investors, new restrictions for hedge funds and lots of other excellent proposals that will now be the law of the land." 07-10

  50. Five Economists Judge the U.S. Debt Deal (Time.com)
      Mohamed El-Erian said "Unlike Greece and other peripheral European economies, America does not have an immediate debt and deficit problem. Yes the budget deficit is high, but there is ample funding available to the US Treasury at extremely low interest rates."

      "At the very last minute, this self-manufactured crisis was addressed through a messy compromise that has only a limited impact on the medium-term fiscal outlook. In the process, however, politicians have put at risk America's valuable AAA rating and inflicted damage on the American and global economy."

      Simon Johnson said "The net effect of our debt ceiling debate is now clear — there will be large spending cuts, starting soon. Such an approach could make sense for some other economy or for the United States at another time. Unfortunately, the timing now could not be worse."

      Alex Taborrok said "instead of a balanced budget amendment I propose a better idea might be an unbalanced budget amendment. Like now, an unbalance budget amendment (unBBA) would allow the government to run a deficit during a recession. But unlike now, the unbalanced budget amendment would require the government to run a budget surplus in good times. So although unBBA allows for deficit spending on things like unemployment and food stamps during a recession, it would have similar effects to a balanced budget amendment over time because surpluses in good times would be spent in bad times. The surpluses, however, would come when we can most afford them, during a boom and the deficits would come when we most need them, during a recession." 08-11

  51. Governors Seek the Same Medicine for Fiscal Crises (MSNBC News)
      "The dismal fiscal situation in many states is forcing governors, despite their party affiliation, toward a consensus on what medicine is needed going forward." 01-11

  52. Green Investment to Create Jobs (AmericanProgress.org)
      "Today, the Center for American Progress releases a new report by Dr. Robert Pollin and University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute economists. This report demonstrates how a new Green Recovery program that spends $100 billion over two years would create 2 million new jobs, with a significant proportion in the struggling construction and manufacturing sectors. It is clear from this research that a strategy to invest in the greening of our economy will create more jobs, and better jobs, compared to continuing to pursue a path of inaction marked by rising dependence on energy imports alongside billowing pollution." 10-08

  53. How People Are Coping With the Recession (Time.com)
      Provides 17 stories, such as the "unemployed couple:"

      "The cell phones were canceled; so were all subscriptions and outside entertainment. We didn't go skiing this winter, and we won't be golfing over the summer. No more wine. We used our severance and some savings to pay off Kevin's 2008 Saturn and pay down the house. We debated whether to cancel the local newspaper, but in the end kept it for the Sunday coupons. We now eat every single item in the house until it's gone. If that means we have curly pasta and penne and spaghetti all mixed up, so be it." 04-09

  54. How the Falling Dollar Affects Americans (Christian Science Monitor)
      "US consumers' standard of living may drop as they pay more for foreign goods, but demand for American labor will rise, say economists." 08-10

  55. In Your 20's: See How Your Wealth Measures Up (MSN MoneyCentral)
      "Older folks who are nostalgic about their 20s often forget, or gloss over, how very, very broke many people are at this age:" 11-06

  56. Job Crafting (Time.com)
      "In contrast to business tomes that counsel managers to influence workers through incentives, job-crafting focuses on what employees themselves can do to re-envision and adjust what they do every day. Given that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it now takes the average job seeker more than six months to find a new position, it's crucial to make the most of the job you've got." 12-09

  57. Labor Statistics by State (U.S. Department of Labor)
      Provides a map with labor statistics in each state.

  58. Labor and Economic Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor) star
      Provides comprehensive information on the economy. Includes the Consumer Price Index, Inflation Calculator, Contract Escalation, Producer Price Indexes, Import and Export Price Indexes, Consumer Expenditures, Price Index Research, Wages, Earnings, and Benefits, Wages by Area and Occupation, Earnings by Industry, Employee Benefits, Employment Costs, State and County Wages, National Compensation Data, Collective Bargaining, Productivity and Costs, Multifactor Productivity, International Comparisons, Injuries and Illnesses, Fatalities, International Import and Export Price Indexes, Foreign Labor Statistics, International Technical Cooperation, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Employment Wages by Area and Occupation, Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities, Employment Projections, Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), Demographic Characteristics of the Labor Force, Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment, Consumer Expenditures, Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities, Longitudinal Studies, and more. 9-05

  59. New $50 Bill Released (MoneyFactory.com)
      Provides copies of new $50 and $20 for students and others to study. These copies were provided by the U.S. Treasury for this use. 10-04

  60. Orman: Pay off Credit Card Debt First (MSNBC News)
      "The best way to insulate yourself is to get out of credit card debt once and for all. If you pay off your balance, you don’t have to worry about the interest rate on your card. If you pay off your bal­ance, you are less likely to have your credit card limit reduced; and even if it is reduced, it will not have a negative impact on your FICO score." 01-09

  61. Pay of Top Executives (Economist.com)
      "Running a big company is a big job with a pay packet to match. But heading an American firm is far more rewarding than a leading a European business. Chief executives of America's 50 biggest companies are paid on average 75% more than their European counterparts, according to a new report by Hay Group, a consultancy." 11-08

  62. Pay of Walmart CEO Compared to Pay of Worker (ABC News)
      "A study last fall by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal Washington D.C. research group, found that CEOs in the country's S&P 500 companies make, on average, 319 times more than the average American worker."

      "IPS associate fellow Sam Pizzigati said that in the 1970s, that ratio was 30 to 1." 07-10

  63. Professors Synchronize Days and Dates (CNN News)
      "As the people of the world prepare to hang their 2012 calendars, two professors at Johns Hopkins University are proposing one you can keep forever, as each date falls on the same day of the week as it did the year before." 12-11

  64. Real Estate Markets of the Wealthy (BusinessInsider.com)
      "The Wealth Report picked out 10 great international real estate investments." 04-11

  65. Seven Key Elements of Financial Reform (Time.com)
      "President Obama made his pitch for new Wall Street regulation in New York, but it's still unclear if the massively complex legislation would prevent another financial crisis. Here's a look at the seven crucial areas of the bills." 04-10

  66. Standard and Poor Downgrades U.S. Credit Rating (CNN News)
      "Fitch and Moody's, the other two main credit ratings agencies, maintained the AAA rating for the United States after this week's debt deal, though Moody's lowered its outlook on U.S. debt to 'negative.' "

      "John Chambers, the head of sovereign ratings at S&P, told CNN that the political brinkmanship over the debt ceiling proved to be a key issue, with 'the U.S. government getting to the last day before they had cash-management problems.' "

      " 'Congress should shoulder some of the blame, he said. 'The first thing it could have done is to have raised the debt ceiling in a timely manner so that much of this debate had been avoided to begin with, as it had done 60 or 70 times since 1960 without that much debate.' "

      "Chambers added that his agency's decision is likely to have a long-term impact. 'Once you lose your AAA, it doesn't usually bounce back,' he said."

      "He pointed to the decision by Congress about whether to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts as one crucial area. 'If you let them lapse for the high-income earners, that could give you another $950 billion,' he said."

      Editor's Note: As with a family, a lower credit rating translates into higher interest rates for loans. The Congressional debate on whether or not to continue to make timely debt payments on the U.S.'s obligations will now result in higher interest rates--and more debt--for the United States. Too many politicians believed that the vote to raise the debt ceiling was a vote to increase the amount of debt. Rather, however, the vote to raise the debt ceiling was a vote to pay EXISTING debt. The politicians who voted against raising the debt ceiling were voting for the U.S. to NOT pay all of its current debt obligations. 08-11

  67. States in Economic Crisis (MSNBC News)
      "With the economy in a slide and the housing market in crisis, states are collectively rolling up tens of billions of dollars in budget deficits in one of the worst financial crunches in the U.S. since the 1970s." 07-08

  68. Tardiness Wasts Billions (ABC News)
      "A recent survey found 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population is "consistently late," especially when it comes to work."

      "Chronic lateness isn't just annoying — it's expensive." 03-07

  69. The $55 Trillion Question (CNN News)
      "In just over a decade these privately traded derivatives contracts [of "credit default swaps" or CDS] ballooned from nothing into a $54.6 trillion market. CDS are the fastest-growing major type of financial derivatives. More important, they've played a critical role in the unfolding financial crisis. First, by ostensibly providing 'insurance' on risky mortgage bonds, they encouraged and enabled reckless behavior during the housing bubble." 10-08

  70. The 10 Largest Bankruptcies in the U.S. (Time.com)
      "It's official: Lehman Brothers filed the largest bankruptcy case in history on Monday, Sept. 15, as the storied investment bank fell prey to the credit crisis. According to Bankruptcydata.com, Lehman's assets before filing for bankruptcy were six to seven times the pre-filing assets of the second largest bankruptcy since 1980." 06-09

  71. The 25 People to Blame for the Financial Meltdown (Time.com)
      "The good intentions, bad managers and greed behind the meltdown." 04-10

  72. The 25 Top Market Movers (U.S. News)
      Provides a description of 25 "market movers" selected by U.S. News editors. 02-09

  73. The Silver-Collar Economy (Christian Science Monitor)
      "More companies are hiring people 65 and older because they believe they are reliable and productive, while the seniors themselves need – and want – to work. But is the trend squeezing out young people?" 09-12

  74. Things You're Spending Too Much For (U.S. News)
      "Here's a list of mostly not-so-obvious things you can eliminate from BillShrink.com, a money-saving tips site...." 02-09

  75. Three Trillion Dollar War (Democracy Now)
      "One week after President Bush rejected charges the war in Iraq has hurt the US economy, a new book puts a conservative estimate of the war’s cost at $3 trillion so far. In their first national broadcast interview upon their book’s publication, Nobel laureate and former chief World Bank economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and co-author Linda Bilmes of Harvard University say the Bush administration has repeatedly low-balled the cost of the war—and even kept a second set of records hidden from the American public." 03-08

  76. U.S. Infrastructure in Disrepair (CBS News)
      "America's infrastructure is full of cracks, leaks and holes and is getting worse, according to an analysis by civil engineers that gives the nation's transportation, water and energy systems an overall grade of D-plus."

      "A report by the American Society of Civil Engineers released Thursday said the condition of 12 categories of infrastructure hasn't improved in the past two years." "Schools received the worst grade — D-minus — from the engineers, who said three out of four school buildings are inadequate. They estimate it will cost more than $127 billion to build new classrooms and modernize outdated schools." 9-03

  77. Ways to Raise Your Credit Card Score (Time.com)
      "Your payment history makes up 35 percent of your score, so this is crucial." 07-11

  78. What Makes Cheaters Different? (Newsweek.com)
      "So it appears our inner moralist doesn't really want to cheat. Yet it also appears that dishonesty can be contagious—if we witness one of our own committing the public act of dishonesty. These findings point to a possible strategy for preventing a wave of unethical contagion. If cheating in general declines when cheaters are perceived as outlaws, then it should help to stigmatize public cheaters as just that—outlaws, bad apples. Of course, Bernie Madoff and the rest of Wall Street's alleged fraudsters have already done a lot of that work for us." 03-09

  79. Why Don't We Have 50 mpg Cars? (Newsweek)
      "It might seem ludicrous to you that there isn't a mass market right here and now for a 50mpg car." 04-09

  80. Women Now Give More Than Men (U.S. News)
      "Analysis of Internal Revenue Service data by Grant Thornton shows that for the first time, women gave more money than men in 2005, according to the latest publicly available tax return data. "

      "Justin Ransome, a partner in Grant Thornton's national tax office, says he's noticed a similar trend among his clients. 'Women tend to give without trying to seek a benefit in return,' he says, while most of his male clients try to give as part of their estate tax plan." 09-08

  81. World's Cheapest Car Debuts (Time.com)
      "The Nano is going on sale at Tata's 470 outlets in India; the base model does indeed carry a sticker price of Rs 100,000 [$2,000]." 03-09

Projects
  1. Ten meals for $10 or Less (CNN News)
      Provides 10 recipes. 02-09


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