Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Hundreds of thousands are maxing out unemployment benefits

October 1, 2020

Hundreds of thousands are maxing out unemployment benefits

As state employment benefits run out, the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program has helped COVID-idled American workers get by, but funding for it is expiring. Funding for another program aiding the self-employed, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), expires at the end of December. Congressional action is required to extend the income assistance, and that’s not happening.

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“Hundreds of thousands of Americans are about to max out their state unemployment benefits,” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.Hundreds of thousands of Americans are maxing out unemployment benefits

We’re In the Pandemic Depression

August 11, 2020

We're In the Pandemic Depression

“What’s clear is that the Pandemic Depression resembles the Great Depression of the 1930s more than it does the typical post-World War II recession. To simplify slightly: The typical postwar slump occurred when the Fed raised interest rates to reduce consumer price inflation. They lowered rates to stimulate growth.

By contrast, both the Great Recession and the Pandemic Depression had other causes. The Great Recession reflected runaway real estate and financial speculation and their adverse effects on the banking system. The Pandemic Depression occurred when infection fears and government mandates led to layoffs and an implosion of consumer spending.”

— “Let’s call it what it is. We’re in a Pandemic Depression.” Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

 

“The shared nature of this shock—the novel coronavirus does not respect national borders—has put a larger proportion of the global community in recession than at any other time since the Great Depression. As a result, the recovery will not be as robust or rapid as the downturn. And ultimately, the fiscal and monetary policies used to combat the contraction will mitigate, rather than eliminate, the economic losses, leaving an extended stretch of time before the global economy claws back to where it was at the start of 2020.”

“The Pandemic Depression: The Global Economy Will Never Be the Same,” Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart, Foreign Affairs

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Image (based on a WPA photo by John E. Allen) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mass Layoffs in the US, But Not the UK

May 15, 2020

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis. But it didn’t have to be that way. Liz Scheltens of Vox explains.

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“Pandemic shows contrasts between US, European safety nets,” David McHugh., Associated Press

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Trump Will End Coronavirus Crisis with Tax Cuts for the Rich

May 8, 2020

Trump Will End Coronavirus Crisis with Tax Cuts for the Rich

“We’ve all hoped and prayed for something to save us from this pandemic. Will it be a vaccine? A therapeutic drug? Large-scale testing and tracing? An antibodies-rich llama or pack of virus-sniffing dogs?

Nope. According to the White House, the real coronavirus cure is even more magical: tax cuts.”

— The White House’s coronavirus cure is even more magical than we could have imagined,” Catherine Rampell, Washington Post
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COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection

April 20, 2020

COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection
Last week President Trump told governors to “call the shots” on reopening their states’ economies, then called on mobs of his followers to “liberate” states with Democratic governors, specifically the battleground states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia. His rabid supporters turned out at state capitals, and some of them were armed.

A photo of the Ohio protesters banging on the statehouse windows looked familiar:

“One wears a Guy Fawkes mask. Two men wear Trump-branded baseball caps. Two women, the closest to the windows, shape their mouths into the same elongated howl as Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream.’ American flags obscure some of the protesters in the back.”

“It looked awfully familiar to Michael Satrazemis, the director of photography for ‘The Walking Dead’ and director of ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ two shows that seem a little scarier these days, since they’re about a zombie apocalypse that begins with an uncontrollable pathogen.

The visual trope is ‘classic horror,’ says Satrazemis. It plays on the common fear of claustrophobia, making the audience “\’feel the walls are closing in and the world is shrinking around you. And there’s no way out.’”

— “That Ohio protest photo looked like a zombie movie. Zombie movie directors think so, too.”Maura Judkis, Washington Post

Mr. Trump must be nostalgic for his MAGA zombie rallies, and uneasy about the likelihood that he won’t be having any rallies before November’s election.

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Trump Economic Recovery Panel: Libertarian Clown Posse

April 15, 2020

Trump Economic Recovery Panel: Libertarian Clown Posse

President Trump announced the members of his Coronavirus economic recovery panel yesterday. He calls it the Great American Economic Revival and, true to its name, it’s got an amen corner of true believers. Unfortunately for a panel on government economic interventions, they’re fundamentalist Libertarians, believers in a savage free market “red in tooth and claw,” and opposed to any government intervention in American life. The market Malthusian “though leaders” on this committee are from the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Conservative Partnership Institute. Even the name “Great American Economic Revival” was provided by a Right-Wing media group.

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COVID-19: Trump’s Easter Parade Death March

March 27, 2020

COVID-19: Trump's Easter Parade Death March

While Americans shelter at home to slow the spread of a deadly virus and the number of US infected and dead grows, all President Donald Trump can see is plunging numbers on Wall Street. Public health officials advise months of social distancing and the closure of all non-essential businesses, but Mr. Trump wants the lockdown to end by Easter.

“We’re opening up this incredible country. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter,” Trump told a Fox News virtual town hall. “I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and rarin’ to go by Easter.”

“Easter’s a very special day for me,” he told (you guessed it) Fox News. “Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full?”

Maybe the White House Easter Egg Roll can be replaced by a Toilet Paper Roll Roll.

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What’s actually in the Green New Deal?

July 9, 2019

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“What’s actually in the Green New Deal, explained with a video,” Alvin Chang and Dion Lee, Vox

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Trickle-Down Economics Is Trickling Away

October 11, 2018

Trickle-Down Economics Is Trickling Away

That old voodoo economics has the president in its spell, but where’s the magic?

Noah Smith: “If Trump’s corporate tax cuts end up having no observable effect on workers’ pay, it will be the final blow to the supply-side worldview.”

— “Trump Puts Supply-Side Economics to Its Final Test,” Noah Smith, Bloomberg

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Confidence

April 14, 2018

“Confidence,” with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933. Directed by Bill Nolan; animated by Ray Abrams,  Tex Avery, Cecil Surry, Jack Carr, and Ernest Smythe.

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