What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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Romney's All Wrong on Public Sector Employment (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that President Obama may have painted too rosy a picture of the private sector, but at least he didn't claim the root of our problem is that we have too many people fighting crime, putting out fires, and educating our kids.
America's Hidden Austerity Program (NYT)
Ben Polak and Peter Schott note that the U.S. has been giving austerity a try in the laboratory of the states, and the results have been on par with the typical mad science experiment where the monster breaks loose and starts devouring everything.
America's Economic Future Will Be Determined in America, Not Europe (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that Europe's woes have become a convenient excuse for U.S. economic weakness and Obama's potential defeat, but the truth is we have these things called "policymakers" whose job is to solve problems just like this.
How Not to Solve a Crisis (NYT)
Joe Nocera notes the contrast between America's rush to stabilize the economy and the financial sector in 2008 and European leaders' willingness to let the whole system come crashing down as long as the wreckage falls on someone they don't like.
Americans saw wealth plummet 40 percent from 2007 to 2010, Federal Reserve says (WaPo)
New data show the downturn erased 20 years of economic gains, with middle-class households paying a particularly heavy price. But now that the clock's turned back to the '90s, we can load up on Facebook stock and let that .com money start rolling in.
How to Corral Jamie Dimon (Salon)
Andrew Leonard writes that reinstating Glass-Steagall wouldn't be a magic fix for everything that's wrong with the economy, but it would restrain Wall Street's political influence and give bankers like Dimon a sad, and that alone makes it worth doing.
Viewing Financial Crimes as Economic Homicide (NYT)
Peter Henning notes that Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford may join other white-collar criminals who have received life sentences, partly because financial fraud no longer seems victimless and partly because they're not self-aware enough to be remorseful.
The Democrats' Hidden Long Game (TPM)
Brian Beutler argues that the Democrats' seemingly quixotic quest to get Republicans to sign on to higher tax revenues isn't just about the party's love of running face-first into brick walls. They also see it as their best chance for saving the social safety net.
For such an anti-business president, Obama's got a pretty pro-business record (WaPo)
Ezra Klein notes that Republicans continue to claim that the Obama administration is hostile to the private sector, but if the impact of his policies on corporate bottom lines is any indication, he must think "killing them with kindness" is a real thing.
The Second Term (New Yorker)
Ryan Lizza writes that the Obama team is already thinking about how it can avoid a second-term slump and pursue a real agenda, but it's more likely to include compromise and reform than all the flaming socialism we've come to know and love.
With additional research by Danielle Bella Ellison.