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America’s failed promise of equal opportunity (Salon)
In part two of the "99% Plan," Alex Gourevitch and Aziz Rana write that both sides rely on the invisible hand to lift everyone to their proper level in the hierarchy instead of ensuring that we can all rise independently.
Severe Conservative Syndrome (NYT)
Paul Krugman notes that when Mitt Romney describes his political beliefs the way most people would describe a debilitating illness, progressives' work is half done. The problem is that as long as the GOP's success hinges on lying, there's no known cure.
Romney’s severely conservative budget promises (WaPo)
Ezra Klein points out that Romney's plan to balance the budget makes Paul Ryan look like a socialist, combining huge tax cuts with even huger spending cuts of the kind that it's really not polite to ask him to explain in detail until after he's elected.
Greece Passes Sweeping Cuts (WSJ)
The Greek parliament adopted an extremely unpopular set of austerity measures yesterday in order to secure a bailout deal from the EU, while protesters rioted in the streets and turned the birthplace of democracy into a funeral pyre.
Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It (NYT)
As public assistance programs expand to meet the needs of a financially strapped nation, many fiscal conservatives who rely on government aid to get through tough times struggle to convince themselves they're still self-sufficient snowflakes at heart.
The Deal Is Done, but Hold the Applause (NYT)
Gretchen Morgenson argues that the success of the mortgage settlement will come down to minutiae, since putting a price tag of $2,000 per loan file on widespread fraud is nothing to write home about (if home hasn't been robo-signed away yet).
Hidden Gems in the Mortgage Deal (TAP)
Harold Meyerson agrees that the settlement deal isn't much to look at, but the narrow liability release empowers the attorneys general to go after the banks for many other abuses -- which is a nice way of saying they still get to do their jobs.
Why Manufacturing Still Matters (NYT)
Laura D’Andrea Tyson makes the case that economists have been too quick to write off the manufacturing sector as yesterday's news, unless they're prepared to put high-quality jobs, innovation, and competitive exports in the same category.
Perfect Storm Threatens Long-Term Unemployed (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann notes that the existence of 13 million unemployed at an average duration of over nine months hasn't dissuaded conservative policymakers from trying to cut off their benefits and stigmatize them as lazy, under-educated drug addicts.
Fewest Young Adults in 60 Years Have Jobs (Time)
Pew Research finds that only 54.3% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 currently have a job, while many others have opted to explore the extended track in both the world of higher education and their mom's basement.
With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.