What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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Obama and the Economy: Crunch Time (New Yorker)
John Cassidy writes that although it's a foregone conclusion that President Obama's reelection strategy will be focused on the economy, three factors in the coming weeks will help to determine exacly what economy we're talking about.
Debt-Ceiling Deja Vu Could Sink Economy (Bloomberg)
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers argue that based on the slowdown caused by the last debt ceiling stand-off, the greatest threat to our economy may be the one that House Republicans have decided to manufacture from whole cloth.
Income Inequality Keeps Poorer Americans Away from the Polls (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert highlights the OECD's finding that inequality has a huge impact on voter turnout as the poor decide they have better things to do than take part in a contest to see which rich person the rich will choose to represent them.
Democrats Muddled on Fiscal Cliff Solutions as Lame Duck Session Nears (FDL)
David Dayen notes that the brief window after the elections could represent Democrats' last chance to stave off another recession. So what's their plan? Man, why are you asking all these questions? You know they don't handle pressure well.
Republican Keynesians (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett points out that Mitt Romney's concern about the potential effects of the fiscal cliff mark him as part of a surprisingly common breed of Republicans whom we might refer to as foul-weather Keynesians, or perhaps situational socialists.
The End of the Euro: A Survivor's Guide (Baseline Scenario)
Peter Boone and Simon Johnson predict that Greece's almost-inevitable exit from the eurozone will only be the first domino to fall and explain what to expect when you're expecting an economic and political catastrophe.
Europe Agrees: Greece Is the Laziest, Most Incompetent Nation in the EU (The Atlantic)
A new Pew study finds that one factor not helping to bring about a fair and orderly resolution to the eurocrisis is that the rest of the European Union has collectively decided that Greece sucks and Germany is seriously so awesome, you guys.
Dim Prospects for Financial Crisis Prosecutions (NYT)
With Lehman let off the hook and the mortgage task force understaffed, it's likely the financial crisis will never produce any major convictions (in case anyone thought the four-year wait was meant to give prosecutors the element of surprise).
Time to fight for a minimum wage increase (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that with inequality soaring, the federal minimum wage should provide the actual minimum that workers need to get by rather than a demonstration that politicians care about workers the minimum amount.
Mapping the Glass Ceiling (NYT)
Catherine Rampell looks at a new chart from PayScale that shows that women's earnings plateau around $60,000 at age 39, while men get 9 more years and about $35,000 more before their employers decide they are officially old and busted.
With additional research by Danielle Ellison.