What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.
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How to End This Depression (NYRB)
You know the old joke where the patient tells his doctor "It hurts when I do this," and the doctor says "So stop doing that"? Paul Krugman writes that the same advice applies to austerity, and if we keep repeating it, policymakers may actually listen.
Austerity Faces Sharper Debate After European Elections (NYT)
Socialist Francois Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in yesterday's French presidential election, pledging to renegotiate the austerity plan between France and Germany that's beginning to look more like an economic and political suicide pact.
The Stall Has Arrived (Robert Reich)
Reich writes that after two weak job reports in a row it's clear that the recovery has once again failed to reach escape velocity, and you don't need to be Stephen Hawking to recognize that the black hole of economic inequality is what's dragging it down.
In weakened economy, policymakers give in to learned helplessness (Guardian)
Robin Wells argues that by scaremongering about higher inflation, blathering about structural unemployment, and slow-walking housing relief, policymakers have shown that they'd rather let go and let God than take responsibility for making things better.
Reasons Abound for Ebb in Job Growth (NYT)
Catherine Rampell notes that economists have explanations for the underwhelming jobs report ranging from warm weather to bad math, all of which America's 13.7 million unemployed will be sure to ponder after they figure out how to pay their rent.
Public Job Losses and GOP Chutzpah (TNR)
Alec MacGillis points out that we've now achieved a net private sector job gain since the beginning of 2009, and it's pretty rich for Republicans to attack Obama for public sector losses they've instigated. But being pretty rich is what they're all about.
House GOP to Shift Defense Cuts to Poverty Programs (TPM)
Republicans had their fingers crossed when striking the bipartisan deficit deal, and they now argue it's irresponsible for the government to provide Americans with so much financial support, food, and health care when it should be protecting them.
Jobs Few, Grads Flock to Unpaid Internships (NYT)
Steven Greenhouse reports that rising unemployment among college grads has sparked a fierce competition for unpaid internships in hopes that their copy-making and coffee-fetching skills will prove so indispensible as to warrant an actual wage.
Women: Occupy the Left (The Nation)
Katha Pollitt argues that the progressive movement must stop treating support for women's reproductive rights as a nice signing bonus for liberal ladies and recognize that those rights are inextricably linked to the larger cause of economic justice.
Wall Street's Legal Magic Ends an American Right (Bloomberg)
Susan Antilla explains how the financial sector's use of mandatory arbitration clauses blazed a trail for all sorts of industries to make sure that customers and employees bring any complaints straight to them, since there's literally nowhere else to go.
With additional research by Elena Callahan.