Just emailed to electronic subscribers, and on press for print subscribers, LBO #132. bouncing around the income ladder: U.S. not so mobile education spending & enrollment: U.S. not so good MONEY The austerity drive intensifies MISCELLANY mythmaking about (un)employment If you don’t subscribe, well, why not? Subscribe here. If you already subscribe, why not give a gift?
This morning, New York City joined many other localities around the USA in mounting demonstrations in support of the Wisconsin workers. It was nothing like Madison, let me tell you. As I noted in one of my reports from Madison last week: A New Yorker couldn’t help but be struck by how there was no effort to keep people out of the Capitol—no metal detectors, no police lines, in fact only a handful of cops inside the building. Indeed, in New York City you can’t even get near City Hall any longer,… Read More
Stumbling recovery continues • bourgeois theories of unemployment • who gets UI? • how the StimPak helped • models for budget-cutting [The commentary also included an analysis of health lunacy, which I’ve posted separately.] stumbling along The U.S. economy continues its stumbling recovery. On Thursday, we learned that first-time applications for unemployment insurance, filed by people who’d just lost their jobs, rose slightly last week after falling decently the previous week—a fall that exactly reversed the rise of the previous week. The four-week moving average, which smoothes out the weekly volatility in… Read More
Pacifica • deficit commission • QE2 • education “reform” Before that, and before some comments on the news, a few words on the Pacifica situation. I did this show on WBAI in New York for 15 years. I was given the show by our late program director, Samori Marksman, who was a very intelligent and charismatic man with contacts all over the world. After his early death at the age of 52 in 1999—a death I’m certain was hastened by the pressures of Pacifica infighting—he was succeeded by an endless procession of… Read More
Part 2 of my interview with The Real News on The Crisis is up: THE LIMITS OF STIMULUS.
In this article from LBO #128 (yes, it’s posted quickly to the web, but that doesn’t happen often, so you really should subscribe if you don’t), I talk about the lust that some people—within Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and the world of punditry—have for getting the federal deficit down. Contrary to this I argued that this is really the wrong time to start thinking about that—we still need the short-term kick of deficit spending to help get the economy off the mat, and then over the longer term we need to… Read More
In U.S. economic news, more signs of modest recovery. Early in the week, we learned that retail sales rose an OK 0.3% in February. Weak auto sales dragged down that headline number; stripping them out, sales rose a pretty healthy 0.8% last month. Sales of electronics and appliances, sporting goods, and at restaurants and bars were pretty strong. The mix was a departure from recent retail bahvior, when spending on necessities predominated. Now we’re seeing more indulgence and frivolity in the mix. And, in another departure from recent behavior, it looks like the… Read More
Gotta keep the comments short today because it’s a packed lineup today. economic news First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 27,000 last week to 640,000. Though somewhat below the highs of a month ago, this is still quite elevated. So, continuing the theme of the last few weeks, things are still quite bad, though not getting worse at an accelerating rate. Sales of existing houses fell by 3% in March, after rising almost 5% the month before. This number has been bouncing around a depressed level since late last year. So, similar conclusion here, too:… Read More