What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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The Price of Inequality (Project Syndicate)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Joseph Stiglitz writes that as inequality soars, America can no longer be considered the land of opportunity -- unless the opportunity in question is for the rich to use everyone else as rungs in a human stepladder.
Recall Campaign Against Scott Walker Fails (The Nation)
Scott Walker survived the Wisconsin recall, but John Nichols thinks progressives learned a valuable lesson: in today's money-soaked politics, it might be better to promote misunderstood policies than attack conservatives no one likes anyway.
A Wisconsin Domino Effect? (TAP)
Harold Meyerson wonders whether Walker's victory will embolden other Republican governors across the country to let their right-wing freak flags fly and embrace their roles as middle managers for Koch Industries without fear of public backlash.
The Big-Lie Coup d'Etat (Robert Reich)
Reich argues that with shady Super PACs set to inundate President Obama in attack ads, the problem isn't just how much they're spending but that they've decided that while the truth may set you free, lies provide a much better bang for your buck.
Is it Austerity or Is It Theft? (TAP)
Jamelle Bouie writes that elites' fear-mongering about debt after years of running it up with tax cuts and wars is like someone ordering the most expensive items off the menu and then feigning outrage that no one wants to treat them to a free dinner.
Obama's Fate May Depend on Europe (NYT)
Eduardo Porter notes that with ongoing economic turmoil weakening President Obama's standing, Angela Merkel could be in a position to cast the deciding vote in this year's presidential election. And in this case, early voting is definitely encouraged.
Panic has become all too rational (FT)
Martin Wolf argues that with the fate of the eurozone and the entire global economy hinging on whether Europe can pull out of its tailspin in time to avert disaster, you now have official permission to start freaking out and reaching for the sick bags.
Study: It's not a 'fiscal ciff.' It's a 'fiscal slope.' (WaPo)
Ezra Klein highlights a piece from CBPP that argues policymakers won't ski straight down into the economic abyss if they don't avert tax hikes and spending cuts by January, though that doesn't guarantee they won't just stumble off the edge eventually.
Does Gender Discrimination Cost Women 23 Cents On the Dollar or "Only" 9? It's Both! (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias notes that while the gender pay gap does seem to get a lot smaller once you adjust for the kinds of life choices women make, that response just opens up a whole new set of questions about the gender life choice gap.
Rich Nontaxpayers (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett argues that the GOP is being just a bit hypocritical by complaining that people with no money need to start paying more of it in taxes while those with all the money are being asked to pay too much, which in many cases equals nothing.
With additional research by Danielle Bella Ellison.