Daily Digest - January 30: The Pie-Eating Contest

Jan 30, 2013Tim Price

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The Non Zero-Sum Society (Robert Reich)

Reich argues that the wealthy should realize that they're better off with a smaller piece of a bigger pie, but based on their efforts to crush unions, they seem to believe that the key to winning a pie-eating contest is starving out your competition.

Can the rising progressive tide lift all ships? (WaPo)

Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that the emerging progressive coalition that came out on top in the 2012 election is still scraping bottom economically. Their challenge is to articulate a vision that raises everyone up instead of using them as a convenient stepladder.

The Anti-Economist: Misleading American History (Truthdig)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick writes that the prevailing narrative of U.S. economic history is essentially an origin myth for the conservative movement, complete with Ronald Reagan as a minor deity. The truth is heretical, but it might just set us free.

The folly of DC's desperate deficit fearmongers (Guardian)

Dean Baker writes that the UK's looming triple-dip recession should be the last piece of evidence anyone needs that deficit hawks are full of it, but American proponents of austerity still want to nurture their wounded theory and watch it grow big and strong again.

Five things economists know about immigration (WaPo)

Dylan Matthews rounds up the evidence that more immigration is good for the immigrants as well as pretty much everyone else, despite the productivity loss from xenophobes having to lie down and weep every time they see a sign in more than one language.

Why Are Domestic Workers Ignored in Immigration Reform? (The Nation)

NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that while the bipartisan immigration reform proposal includes special recognition for agricultural workers, it overlooks those who work in our homes and care for our loved ones. They aren't just volunteering to score extra lady-points.

The Decline of Unions Is Your Problem Too (Time)

Eric Liu argues that while most Americans think the slow death of labor unions is irrelevant because they aren't part of one, they fail to realize that the "special interests" they're dismissing are their own interests, and their employers agree they're not very special.

Alt-Labor (Prospect)

Josh Eidelson looks at the rise of non-union workers' groups representing restaurant employees, domestic workers, and others -- ideal for the organizer who enjoys traditional levels of hostility and resistance but wants to explore some new tactics.

Report: States Force Jobless to Pay Needless Fees (AP)

Daniel Wagner highlights a new study that shows the unemployed are being bilked as states issue unemployment benefits through prepaid cards rather than direct deposit. First the banks helped create the jobs crisis; now they're charging for the service.

The Politics of Debt in America (TomDispatch)

Steve Fraser examines America's complicated relationship with debt throughout history, from the vilified borrowers to the lenders who have been held up as paragons. But what if those at the bottom of the food chain decide to take themselves off the menu?

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