"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
Germany has the economic strengths America once boasted. 'Germany with its manufacturing base and export prowess is the U.S. of yesteryear, an economic power unlike any of its European neighbors. As the world's fourth-largest economy, it has thrived on principles America seems to have lost.' 'Germany's economy looks like that of the U.S. a generation ago. In 1975, manufacturing accounted for about 20% of the United States' economic output, or gross domestic product, about the same as in Germany today. Since then, U.S. manufacturing's share of GDP has slid to about 12%.' [more inside]
White House economic policy largely originates with The Council of Economic Advisers, CEA, who directly advise the President of the United States. CEA research and publish the annual Economic Report of the President[ .pdf ], which details the state of the nation's economic health. Today President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Princeton Economist Alan Krueger as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Krueger, who previously held the post of Assistant Treasury Secretary for Economic Policy, has written on a wide range of topics, from the economics of rock music [ .pdf ], the causes of terrorism [ .pdf ] and American's changing work / life balance. But Krueger is best known as a labor economist who has extensively researched long term unemployment. [more inside]
Suburban sweatshops. Jorge Bonilla is hospitalized with pneumonia from sleeping at the restaurant where he works, unable to afford rent on wages of thirty cents an hour. Domestic worker Yanira Juarez discovers she has labored for six months with no wages at all; her employer lied about establishing a savings account for her. In 1992, Fordham law professor Jennifer Gordon founded the Workplace Project to help immigrant workers in the underground suburban economy of Long Island, New York. She has written a book ,"Suburban Sweatshops", to describe the experiences of these immigrants. More inside.
Dollar's Decline Is Reverberating All this talk about blue state, red state. How's the state of the one thing we all think about equally in common coming along? Isn't it time for a serious, non-partisan, "morally" neutral dialogue on the state of the US economy?
Deflation Nation "This legacy of accumulated excesses lies across the American economy like a heavy wet blanket"
Drowning the government in a bathtub - "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Thus spoke Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform. "The lunatics are now in charge of the asylum", quipped the conservative UK Financial Times. Hardly, says Paul Krugman. The strategy?: "Instead of challenging popular liberal programs directly, the Republicans are creating fiscal conditions that make those programs unsustainable." [lead post, Am. Prospect]. In other words, the 400 billion dollar deficit, coupled with the Bush tax cuts, is designed to shift the obligations of the Fed onto the States and, later, to cause a fiscal train wreck after Bush is out of office.
But it was broken when I got here! New numbers indicate that the recession started before Bush came to office. Do Bush's statements succeed in making him less responsible for the recession in the eyes of the public? Do these kinds of statements restore people's faith in the economy?
Recession? What recession? "An economic research group declared Monday that the United States has been in a recession since March of this year." It's official.
Wishful Thinking Department (Economics Division) Newsweek's Wall Street editor says nation is in the midst of a "quiet economic recovery." As someone who's been out of work since June, I don't see it. What's your barometric pressure reading on the nation's economy?