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McJobs Should Pay, Too (The Atlantic)
Sarah Jaffe looks at New York's fast food chain strike and writes that while burger-flippers have always been at the bottom of the economic totem pole, the growth of low-wage service jobs (and the ever-present threat of hamburglary) demands a new approach.
The Country (and Economy) Needs a Woman to Replace Tim Geithner (Forbes)
NND Editor Bryce Covert argues that a woman Treasury Secretary would help break up the boy's club that dominates finance and expand the pool of talent. And even if she comes from Wall Street, chances are sadly pretty good that she's an outsider on the inside.
G.O.P. Balks at White House Plan on Fiscal Crisis (NYT)
Jonathan Weisman reports that the president's opening bid contains $50 billion in stimulus, a new mortgage refi program, and an end to the debt ceiling. Electronic copies will be prefaced with several "DEAL WITH IT" gifs and the opening credits of CSI:Miami.
Against the Grand Bargain (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias points out that any grand bargain on deficits is impossible to enforce in the long run, since Congress doesn't operate by "no backsies" rules. But imagine what its proponents could achieve if they devoted their attention to a problem we actually have.
Class Wars of 2012 (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that this year's presidential election was part of an ongoing class war, and the rich guys lost pretty decisively. But drawing on their many years of experience on the putting green, they're taking a mulligan with the fiscal cliff negotiations.
America's Political Recession (Project Syndicate)
Brad DeLong pegs the odds of another U.S. recession next year at 36 percent thanks to the likelihood that fiscal cliff negotiations will fall through and political polarization so extreme that President Obama can't even convince Republicans to agree with themselves.
Dropping the Ball on Financial Regulation (NYT)
Simon Johnson writes that the victory of populists like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown and a growing acceptance of the need for tougher regulation mean that we need a Treasury Secretary and an SEC that will lead the charge instead of being dragged forward.
Why Conservatives Must Surrender on 'Redistribution' (Bloomberg)
Josh Barro argues that it's possible for Republicans to offer compelling proposals to address economic inequality, but not while they continue to define "conservatism" as "not giving poor people any money" and "poverty" as "the state of being a greedy loser."
Why Raising the Medicare Eligiblity Age is the 'Single Worst Idea' for Medicare Reform (The Nation)
George Zornick writes that among the stupid entitlement cuts being considered as part of a grand bargain, the stupidest may be raising the eligibility age for Medicare, which is based on the premise that costs would be lower if beneficiaries were older and sicklier.
Study: ALEC Is Bad for the Economy (MoJo)
Erika Eichelberger highlights a study of the correlation between state-level economic growth and fealty to ALEC, the legislative equivalent of microwave dinners, that shows ALEC's policies are a blueprint for economic stagnation, fiscal ruin, and increased inequality.