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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

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The Political Underbelly of the Pensions Crisis: What Broke the System, and How Do We Fix It? (Next New Deal)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Rob Johnson explains how big money in politics can influence public pension funding decisions, and what must be done to ensure the system's future.

  • Roosevelt Event: Today, at 9am, join the Roosevelt Institute at the CUNY Graduate Center's Martin Segal Theatre for a conference marking the release of Senior Fellow Rob Johnson's new study on the role of big-money campaign financing in the pension crisis, from which his blog post is adapted.

Introducing the Comcast Tax (Bloomberg View)

Netflix is now paying for direct access to Comcast's network. Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford says Comcast's new revenue stream will just mean higher costs passed on to consumers.

Panel Seeks Greater Disclosures on Pension Health (NYT)

Mary Williams Walsh reports that a blue-ribbon panel will recommend greater transparency around the cost of pension obligations to prevent the kind of disaster that's hit Detroit.

Citizens United Takes Another Swing at Campaign Finance Rules (MoJo)

The organization's new target is the IRS, thanks to proposed rules defining the political activities that cannot make up the majority of the work of non-profit 501(c)4 groups, reports Patrick Caldwell.

A Massive Outbreak Of Callousness (Forbes)

When economists push to improve the labor force participation rate, Frances Coppola asks for caution against hurting those who can't work. She'd prefer to just push job creation instead.

This Year’s Crazy Weather is Freezing the Economy (WaPo)

Zachary Goldfarb reports on estimates from Goldman Sachs on how the weather has slowed economic growth. Fortunately, winter is temporary: estimates show that by spring, growth will have bounced back.

Obama to Propose 1 Percent Pay Raise for Federal Workers (The Hill)

This is the second year in a row with such an increase, writes Erik Wasson, following a three-year pay freeze and lost income due to furloughs.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 05:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Massive Outbreak Of Callousness article (4+ / 0-)

    From the Forbes article; ".  “You can’t praise the people who do work unless you stigmatize those who don’t,” says Charles Murray, the libertarian political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute. And he calls for policies to counter this “epidemic of idleness”."

    They feel comfortable enough now to say it without spin.

    It reflects the fact that capitalism* requires that there be not just unemployment but that the unemployed be unhappy. I say so for three reasons:

    1. Capitalism requires an excess supply of labor in order to bid down wage growth and industrial militancy. When Norman Lamont said unemployment was a “price well worth paying” to get wage inflation down, he was just blurting out the truth seen by Kalecki 50 years earlier - that “unemployment is an integral part of the 'normal' capitalist system.”

    2. Capitalism needs the unemployed to look for work - to be an effective supply of labor. This requires that they be “incentivized” to seek jobs by meager unemployment benefits and by being stigmatized. In other words, the unemployed must be made unhappy.

    3. Blaming the unemployed for their plight serves a two-fold function in legitimating capitalism. It distracts attention from the fact that unemployment is caused by structural failings in capitalism, sometimes magnified by policy error. And in promoting the cognitive bias which says that individuals are the makers of their own fate, it invites the inference that, just as the poor deserve their poverty, so the rich deserve their wealth.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:02:43 AM PST

  •  Bitcoin in the news again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    Update re Bitcoin this early A.M.

    This is a mess

    "Website of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox offline"

    By YURIKO NAGANO and STEPHEN WRIGHT...Associated Press...4 hours ago

    "TOKYO (AP) — The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency.

    The Largest Bitcoin Exchange Was Possibly the Target of a $350 Million Theft.

    The URL of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was returning a blank page. The disappearance of the site follows the resignation Sunday of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking legitimacy for the currency..."

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:45:10 AM PST

  •  Labor Department Weighs Cutting Data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    to save money.

    Let's get to the satanic heart of these kind of budget cuts.

    July 30, 1998
    hoover digest » 1998 no. 3 » asia
    The Hong Kong Experiment
    by Milton Friedman.

    Cowperthwaite was a Scotsman and very much a disciple of Adam Smith. At the time, while Britain was moving to a socialist and welfare state, Cowperthwaite insisted that Hong Kong practice laissez-faire. He refused to impose any tariffs. He insisted on keeping taxes down."
    "I met Cowperthwaite in 1963 on my next visit to Hong Kong. I remember asking him about the paucity of statistics. He answered, “If I let them compute those statistics, they’ll want to use them for planning.’’ How wise!"

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:58:56 PM PST

  •  Dumbest myth ever (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jeffrey789, Mostel26

    This idea that if costs go up it will "be passed on to customers."  If companies can charge more for their services, they do.  It isn't like any of them are going to undercharge for their stuff.  Since they're already charging the maximum price they can, they can't raise prices or they would have already.  

    That line is always a scare tactic

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