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Money and Morals (NYT)
Paul Krugman argues that Charles Murray's new book gets cause and effect backwards: inequality isn't on the rise because liberals have undermined traditional families; rising inequality is corroding traditional families like a vat of acid.
Mean-Spirited, Bad Economics (Baseline Scenario)
Simon Johnson notes that during the 1930s we realized the value of having a social safety net, but now that the unemployed are stuck walking the tight rope for longer than anyone expected, the GOP wants to cut open the net and let them fall.
The Mortgage Deal with the Devil (TAP)
Robert Kuttner writes that the mortgage settlement might just about rise to the level of "better than nothing" if Eric Schneiderman's success in whittling down the immunity deal means prosecutors will get serious about the banks' larger crimes.
Schneiderman: Settlement deal a `small’ but `significant’ step towards real accountability (WaPo)
For his part, New York's AG predicted that this settlement will lay the groundwork for a more satisfying, comprehensive resolution and attempted to reassure those who view it not as one small step for homeowners but one giant leap for bank-kind.
Obama Advisers Offer Rosier Jobs Outlook (NYT)
The Obama administration says unemployment will drop to about 8 percent by the end of 2012, assuming the president's stimulus proposals pass and Europe and the Middle East don't melt down. And you know what happens when they assume.
Floundering Swing State Economies Could Doom Obama (Bloomberg)
Ezra Klein points out that while President Obama has a slight lead at the national level, voters in some key states like Pennsylvania and Ohio will struggle to find good answers if asked whether they're better off now than they were four years ago.
Rocky Recovery for Women (The Nation)
Laura Flanders notes that the latest jobs report contained more good news for men, whose unemployment rate now matches women's for the first time since 2007, and more of the same for women, who are barely experiencing the mancovery.
In Europe, Stagnation as a Way of Life (NYT)
Austerity is so far not having the magical growth-producing effects that Europe's fiscal hawks expected, and people are quickly growing tired of watching their leaders dote on the banks while telling them they have to grin and bear the pain.
The dark side of Germany's jobs miracle (Reuters)
Germany is often praised for its low unemployment, but with no nationwide minimum wage and some low-wage workers making as little as 55 cents an hour, those numbers are almost as sketchy as if "being unemployed" were counted as a job.
The GOP scrambles for a bogeyman (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson argues that if anyone longs for a return to the glory days of socialism, it's not Democrats and progressives, but Republicans who are having a much harder time branding opponents as ideological traitors and fifth columnists.
With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.