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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

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Federal Budget Deficit Falls to Smallest Level Since 2008 (NYT)

Annie Lowrey reports on the sharp decrease of the deficit, which she ties to growth in tax revenue thanks to the improving economy as well as the surprising slowdown in health care costs.

Budget Deficits Shrinking at the Expense of Economic Recovery (Blog of the Century)

Andrew Fieldhouse writes that policies focused on growth could have achieved the same reduction of the deficit with a far healthier economy, but instead, we have austerity policies.

The Mobility Myth (New Yorker)

American economic mobility has never been particularly high, says James Surowiecki, so public policy should focus on raising the standard of living of ordinary workers instead.

Governors Move to Block Farm Bill’s Food Stamp Cuts (MSNBC)

By raising heat subsidies linked to food stamp eligibility, the governors of Connecticut and New York have ensured hundreds of thousands of households will get a reprieve from cuts, writes Ned Resnikoff.

Not a Single Home Is for Sale in San Francisco That an Average Teacher Can Afford (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Karen Weise reports that a tight real estate market and dwindling pay for teachers are causing the problem, and it isn't good for the school system when teachers can't afford a place to live.

Why Ivy League Schools Are So Bad at Economic Diversity (The Atlantic)

Robin J. Hayes says that elite universities have a singular view of what a high-achieving applicant looks like on paper – and that view overvalues the opportunities provided by wealth.

Are Unions Necessary? (LA Times)

It's unions, writes Michael Hiltzik, that have secured most of the major workplace protections that help all workers, unionized or not. Who else will push for new improvements to labor law?

New on Next New Deal

Beyond Black History Month: A Roosevelt Institute Reading and Viewing Guide

As Black History Month comes to a close, the Roosevelt Institute suggests books, films, and more to continue the discussion and reflection on race in the U.S.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:07 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The big problem with the mobility myth is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, FarWestGirl, Aunt Pat

    that it can be and is used to demonize those "other" people who are preventing you from moving up. But if you say that it was a myth in the first place, then it's like you're saying Jesus is a myth and folks get all hot and bothered.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:27:46 AM PST

  •  The role of the deficit is to provide unearned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, FarWestGirl

    income to the moneyed class. Instead of having them return dollars to the Treasury as revenue, we let them lend it back at a premium. If there are more robust revenue streams, the Treasury can lower the premium to the same level people pay to get dollars from the Federal Reserve -- the cost of keeping records and accounting.
    What we need to aim for is the realization that currency is a utilitarian tool, not inherently valuable, unless put to the uses for which it was designed -- as a measure of relative value and obligation.
    After all, what is a dollar but a certified IOU? Like a marriage certificate, it says that the obligations are backed by the whole community and, if the obligated person fails to do his/her part, someone else will. For example, if a spouse dies prematurely, leaving both a spouse and off-spring in the lurch, then the community will provide support. In a sense, our public agencies are insurance. Which is why there is somewhat of a conflict between public agencies and insurance companies. If public fire suppression services are such that they keep fires from getting started, then there's no reason for people to send dollars to insurance companies.
    Insurance is a racket. Mediating between naive individuals and professional service providers (doctors and hospital administrators) is something else. Which is why it doesn't make a whole lot of difference whether these mediators are public servants or private adjusters acting in conformance with public standards.

    It was indeed the insurance industry that the ACA addressed and why there are so many pages.

    by hannah on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:55:43 AM PST

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