Tim Price

Deputy Editor

Recent Posts by Tim Price

  • Daily Digest - April 17: The World's Most Dangerous Spreadsheet

    Apr 17, 2013Tim Price

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    The Great Debt Delusion: How Math Keeps Proving Austerity Wrong (The Atlantic)

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    The Great Debt Delusion: How Math Keeps Proving Austerity Wrong (The Atlantic)

    When will deficit hawks learn to Konczal-proof their research? First there was the Alesina-Ardagna paper. Roosevelt Fellows Mike Konczal and Arjun Jayadev poked holes in that one. Then Reinhart-Rogoff became the new holy grail. See how well that worked out?

    How influential was the Rogoff-Reinhart study warning that high debt kills growth? (Quartz)

    Tim Fernholz notes that Reinhart-Rogoff was the little Excel error that could. Cited by everyone from Paul Ryan to Tim Geithner, it's shaped the economic debate in the U.S. and Europe. With a result that useful, who has time to worry about "data" or "methods"?

    How the IMF became the friend who wants us to work less and drink more (WaPo)

    Neil Irwin writes that while the International Monetary Fund has traditionally played the heavy when it comes to advocating "tough" fiscal measures, policy's gone so far off the rails that it's been forced to step in and suggest countries ease up on the self-flagellation.

    At Least the Big Banks Are Kickin' It... (On the Economy)

    Jared Bernstein notes that banks like Goldman Sachs are adjusting well to increased regulation, as their multibillion-dollar quarterly profits would attest. But Main Street's not getting totally left behind: weekly earnings for middle-wage workers jumped 0.1 percent!

    Big Corporations Won't Be Sweating the IRS This Year (MoJo)

    Stephanie Mencimer writes that although corporations have faced increased public scrutiny for their tax-dodging, cutbacks at the IRS mean there will be 18 percent less effort devoted to auditing them. Time to get those creative juices flowing, accounting teams.

    Taking the 'service' out of the service sector (WaPo)

    Harold Meyerson writes that the experience of companies like J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart, and McDonalds, which have tried to boost profits by cutting staff and holding down wages, suggests that miserable workers don't leave customers whistling a happy tune.

    How student debt is holding back the housing market (Think Progress)

    Bryce Covert writes that college grads who might have once dreamed of setting out and buying their own homes have been forced to scale back their ambitions to perhaps buying their own futons, decreasing demand for construction of single-family homes.

    The Hell of American Day Care (TNR)

    Jonathan Cohn looks at the state of America's formal child care system, such as it is: unsafe, unregulated, unavailable or prohibitively expensive to many, but also the only option many working parents have until policymakers notice that it's no longer 1953.

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  • Daily Digest - April 16: Taxes? None for Me, Thanks

    Apr 16, 2013Tim Price

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    A Tax System Stacked Against the 99 Percent (NYT)

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    A Tax System Stacked Against the 99 Percent (NYT)

    Lots of Americans view filing their taxes as a hassle, but as Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joe Stiglitz writes, the wealthiest Americans approach Tax Day like seasoned escape artists donning their straitjackets and stepping into the water tank.

    Can Dodd-Frank fix mortgage servicing if we don't know what went wrong? (WaPo)

    Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal writes that even as the rules for curbing mortgage abuses are being written, regulators are refusing to divulge the evidence they've gathered about those abuses. It's filed away in the warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant.

    America Doesn't Need Google Fiber Everywhere -- But We Do Need Its Buzz (Wired)

    Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford argues that as Google Fiber expands to Austin, more Americans will start to look at their own access choices and ask why telecoms are selling them candlesticks when the next town over is running on electricity.

    More Cracks Undermine the Citadel of TV Profits (NYT)

    David Carr writes that while the TV industry has thrived by bundling what its customers want with a ton of stuff they don't, there's a shift toward consumer choice -- but Susan Crawford warns providers will try to ensure you either go for the Triple Play or get benched.

    The Terrifying Reality of Long-Term Unemployment (The Atlantic)

    Matthew O'Brien notes that being out of work for more than six months has become an inescapable trap for many workers, trumping experience or job churn in the eyes of potential employers. When you get laid off, you also get stamped with an expiration date.

    Why This is the Worst Recovery on Record (Robert Reich)

    Reich argues that what we're seeing unfold around us is what happens when all the economic gains go to the top and the rest are left with nothing, but austerity advocates insist that it's all just swamp gas and weather balloons and there's no need to be alarmed.

    Everything We Know About What's Happened Under Sequestration (ProPublica)

    Theodoric Meyer offers a comprehensive guide to what's been cut and what's been spared so far, with vital government functions like the White House Easter Egg Hunt being preserved while frivolities like energy research or airport control towers get shut down.

    This Week in Poverty: Banks Got Nowhere to Run to, Baby (The Nation)

    Greg Kaufmann looks at a grassroots effort to make working Americans' voices heard at US Bank's shareholder meetings -- and if the bank can't escape progressive criticism in Idaho, it may need to hold its next meeting on the International Space Station.

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  • Daily Digest - April 12: Liberal vs. Liberal vs. Social Security

    Apr 12, 2013Tim Price

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    India's Patently Wise Decision (Project Syndicate)

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    India's Patently Wise Decision (Project Syndicate)

    Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joe Stiglitz and Arjun Jayadev praise the Indian Supreme Court's decision to deny Novartis a patent on its cancer drug, noting that big pharma will survive with less revenue, but without affordable medicine, lots of people might not.

    The Liberal Civil War Over Social Security Cuts (MoJo)

    Erika Eichelberger writes that the progressive movement is fracturing and turning against itself over President Obama's proposal to switch to chained CPI, though even in the pro-administration camp, the rallying cry tends to be a resounding "Ugh, okay, if we have to."

    Even With Exemptions, Chained CPI Proposal Will End Up Hurting Low-Income People (CEPR)

    Shawn Fremstad argues that even if the president's plan comes with built-in protections for the most vulnerable, already modest benefits and the value of refundable tax credits will decrease, and exemptions won't last forever once the GOP smells blood in the water.

    The Flaw in Obama's Budget Approach (NYT)

    Simon Johnson writes that the right way to make a budget is to decide what government should do and then figure out the best way to fund all of that. Instead, Obama chose a container size and then tried to figure out how much government he could pack in there.

    Elizabeth Warren Tears Into Federal Regulators For Shielding Big Banks (Think Progress)

    Igor Volsky notes that Warren was once again spitting hot fire at yesterday's Senate Banking Committee hearing, pressing regulators from the Fed and the OCC to explain why they'd settle with banks without knowing how many crimes they committed. (A: All of them.)

    Lust for Gold (NYT)

    Paul Krugman notes that conservatives who were taken in by conspiratorial rants about fiat money and the coming inflation crisis are experiencing a rude awakening now that it turns out gold isn't a fool-proof investment either. Of course not. That would be Bitcoin.

    Debunking today's carried interest tax arguments (CNNMoney)

    Two takeaways from Dan Primack's case for closing the carried interest loophole as the president proposes: First, it's not some cruel punishment to ask fund managers to pay a normal tax rate on their income. Second, the phrase "sweat equity" is kind of gross.

    A Third of Americans Like Taxes. Who Are They? (Slate)

    If you're one of the 34 percent of Americans who told Pew they enjoy doing their taxes, Abby Ohlheiser writes that chances are you're getting a refund, you're a Democrat or a minority, or you just don't mind doing math and filling out forms. Happy Tax Day, nerds.

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  • Daily Digest - April 11: Obama's Two-in-One Budget

    Apr 11, 2013Tim Price

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    A Budget Focus on Inequality (NYT)

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    A Budget Focus on Inequality (NYT)

    Annie Lowrey writes that President Obama's latest budget reflects his oft-stated desire to protect and expand the middle class with measures like raising the minimum wage and funding universal preschool, i.e. the parts that aren't pre-chewed for Republicans.

    Will Voters Forgive Obama for Cutting Social Security? (The Nation)

    William Greider expects that Social Security will make it through the budget negotiations intact, if only because there's an election coming, but that's no guarantee that the Democratic Party's reputation won't be left in tatters once the GOP brings out the knives.

    Fiscal frauds (WaPo)

    In case anyone thought Chained CPI would win Obama some brownie points with the GOP, Greg Sargent notes that while Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell have all backed the idea, the NRCC is adding it to the evidence file labeled "History's Greatest Monster."

    Stiglitz Says More Fiscal Stimulus Needed in U.S. (Bloomberg)

    Appearing on "Bloomberg Surveillance," Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz reiterates that what the economy needs now is more government spending, not less, though what we're getting lately is just austerity with the serial numbers scraped off.

    Rand Paul's Revisionist History (Washington Monthly)

    Ed Kilgore notes that in a speech to Howard University, Rand Paul claimed that African Americans left the GOP because they were lured by the siren song of the New Deal, when they should have just waited for the invisible hand to anoint them as equals.

    Where Did All the Workers Go? (The Atlantic)

    Derek Thompson looks at why labor force participation has fallen to just 63 percent and posits that the rest went to school, retired, saw their factories shuttered, or decided the job market's so miserable that they'd rather spend some quality time with Netflix.

    'Obama phones' subsidy program draws new scrutiny on the Hill (WaPo)

    Karen Tumulty examines the pseudo-controversy over "Obama phones," a.k.a. Lifeline, a federal program started under Ronald Reagan that offers phone service subsidies to low-income Americans. Probably so they can call in to the secret strategy meetings.

    Bitcoin, Explained (MoJo)

    Adam Serwer and Dana Liebelson offer a beginner's guide to the wonderful world of Bitcoin, a virtual, central bank-free alternative currency that's been rapidly fluctuating in value all week. Tl;dr version: the Internet's doing something weird again. Look away.

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  • Daily Digest - April 10: A New Bank Reform Recipe Calls for Less Basel

    Apr 10, 2013Tim Price

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    Sherrod Brown and David Vitter have a new bipartisan bill to end Too Big to Fail. Here's what it does. (WaPo)

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    Sherrod Brown and David Vitter have a new bipartisan bill to end Too Big to Fail. Here's what it does. (WaPo)

    Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal breaks down the leaked Brown-Vitter bill that would significantly raise capital requirements but would throw out the barely established Basel III ground rules, potentially giving banks a reason to smile through their tears.

    The Hard Work of Achieving Results (Chronicle of Philanthropy)

    Everyone wants to be part of it, but no one's sure what it is. Phil Buchanan writes that Roosevelt Institute Fellow Georgia Levenson Keohane's book, Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, details the shape of its subject based on the footprints it's creating.

    Social Security's needed expansion (WaPo)

    Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that the only thing worse than the politics of handing the GOP their next cycle of attack ads neatly gift-wrapped in Social Security checks is the economics of cutting the program's meager benefits instead of increasing them.

    Cash Benefit Programs Are Not Really Government Spending (Policy Shop)

    Matt Bruenig argues that the go-to right-wing critiques of government spending -- that it leads to waste and corruption and that individuals can better prioritize their needs -- fall apart when applied to programs that simply send people money and wish them well.

    Foreclosure Review Finds Potentially Widespread Errors (HuffPo)

    Shahien Nasiripour reports that after a thorough review, regulators have determined that mistakes were made by mortgage companies at the height of the foreclosure crisis. And then made again, and again, until a third of all foreclosures were screwed up.

    Bank stole your house? Have 10 pitchforks' worth of compensation (Salon)

    Lots of people might have been kicked out of their homes because some bank factotum misplaced their paperwork, but at least they'll be compensated for it. Alexis Goldstein's new Tumblr offers advice on how to spend the big $300 check they have coming.

    The Gender Wage Gap Differs by Occupation (CAP)

    In honor of Equal Pay Day, Sarah Jane Glynn and Nancy Wu find that a whopping 97 percent of full-time working women have occupations that pay them less than men, while the ladies earn more in exactly seven jobs, like the booming stock clerk field.

    The Tax Police Budget Shrinks (Tax Analysts)

    David Cay Johnston notes that due to our leaders' overwhelming concern with reducing the deficit, we can expect another round of budget cuts for the Internal Revenue Service, also known as that agency responsible for collecting money to pay for stuff.

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