McKinsey was mostly right (cont.)

When McKinsey released its survey showing that many employers were likely to drop coverage rather than comply with the mandates of Obamacare, there was a round of criticism from administration apologists saying the consultancy had gotten it all wrong. Even this august blog was hammered for credulously circulating corporate propaganda, or something like that, by reporting the study (Bye-bye employer health insurance) and declaring its findings “more right than wrong.” Paul Krugman, who is often critical of the Obama administration, nonetheless got into the act, criticizing McKinsey using some second-hand sources— thereby making it clear… Read More

Jobs follow-up: limits of monetary policy

A follow-up to the previous, inspired by another question from Corey: I should have said in there that the reason that quantitative easing hasn’t worked well is that monetary policy is ineffective when an economy is this sick. It’s the classic “pushing on a string” situation. Corps have lots of cash – they’re just not investing or hiring. The financial markets are flush. You need fiscal policy to mobilize all that festering cash. Inflation is now about 4% – all because of commodities, because “core” inflation (ex food and energy) is only… Read More

Why a jobs program is taboo

I just posted this to Facebook in response to a query by Corey Robin about the dismal “debate” on jobs hosted by  The Atlantic, and Matthew Yglesias’ side commentary on it. Corey’s question: why can’t the gov solve the unemployment problem by hiring people? My reaction: Wow, what a collection of tiny little “ideas” that “debate” gathers. It’s up there in tininess with Obama’s jones for patent law reform. Raising the inflation target implies that the Fed has been too tight, when in fact it’s been anything but. It’s been pumping like crazy since the financial crisis… Read More

Cantor: sneering our way to default

So Eric Cantor, the House majority leader who’s short Treasury bonds, is leading the way to default. Via Politico’s Morning Money email: CANTOR IS MASTER OF THE SNEER – WP’s Dana Milbank: “Eric Cantor has perfected the strategic sneer. It comes, frequently, when he answers a reporter’s question about something … Obama has said: The House majority leader’s lip curls up on the left side and a look of disgust washes over his face. … Cantor, who is establishing himself as the lead GOP negotiator with the White House as the Aug. 2… Read More