What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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The Austerity Agenda (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that once you get past the austerians' shaky metaphors comparing government and household budgets, their real justification for an agenda that destroys the social safety net is "because we really really want to."
Democrats are lousy storytellers (WaPo)
Greg Sargent notes that the GOP is skilled at convincing voters it can create jobs, while Democrats possess the narrative skills of someone who starts a story with "It was a dark and stormy night" and ends with "and it was all a dream!"
The Coming Global Recession (Slate)
Matt Yglesias points out that even if the U.S. and Europe pull off the Matrix-like moves needed to dodge the bullet of another economic crisis, a simultaneous slowdown in developing economies like China, India, and Brazil spells bad news.
Jamie Dimon and the Fall of Nations (NYT)
Simon Johnson highlights evidence that nations fall apart when elites take control of governance structures for their own benefit, like some ridiculous scenario in which Jamie Dimon gets to vote on whether his own bank should be bailed out.
Where Are Eric Schneiderman's Resources Going to Come From? (The Nation)
George Zornick writes that while the sight of Schneiderman all but passing his hat around on the subway hasn't sent positive signals about the mortgage task force, he might not have much choice unless the administration decides to chip in.
Your Tax Dollars at Work, Wall St. Edition (TNR)
Noam Scheiber notes that Morgan Stanley tried to leave taxpayers on the hook for its risky derivatives in the grand tradition of giant financial firms, but thanks to Dodd-Frank, it got the one response it never expected: No. (Or at least not yet.)
Our Nation's Biggest Money Problem of All (MoJo)
Heather Parton worries that trying to strike a "grand bargain" on tax reform will simply prove once again that we can't negotiate ways to raise and spend our money more wisely while powerful interests are spending theirs to ensure we don't.
Can unions fight Super PACs? (Salon)
Josh Eidelson reports that labor is shifting focus to its ground game rather than going head-to-head in the ad wars, but some critics still argue it should spend less time building political infrastructure and more building, you know, unions.
Obama Tells Donors Health-Care Fight May Loom After Court Rules (Bloomberg)
Hans Nichols notes that the president has been telling supporters he may have to revisit the health care reform battle in his second term if the Supreme Court strikes down some or all of the Affordable Care Act. Don't you hate summer re-runs?
The case for telling everyone what you make (Salon)
Irin Carmon writes that restrictions on discussing pay have helped companies dodge lawsuits without the hassle of not discriminating against employees, but the Paycheck Fairness Act could raise the volume of whispers at the watercooler.