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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
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.