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What the staggering spike in unemployment means for the American economy

What the staggering spike in unemployment means for the American economy

Special reports:MenuSign up for our free email newslettersSign Up forOur free email newslettersOn March 26, unemployment offices around the country reported filing for jobless claims in the week ending on March 21, utterly smashing all previously weekly numbers.Then this week's numbers completely smashed that record: 6.6 million jobless claims .In total, this amounts to almost 10 million jobs lost — enough to raise unemployment , and to the 10 percent we saw at the height of the Great Recession. It took the 2008 housing collapse almost two years to throw that many Americans out of work. The...

April 2, 2020
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The dark logic of the GOP's latest coronavirus aid strategy

The dark logic of the GOP's latest coronavirus aid strategy

Special reports:MenuSign up for our free email newslettersSign Up forOur free email newslettersLess than two weeks ago, it seemed like a bipartisan deal for a second round of aid to America's coronavirus-ravaged economy . Fast forward to the last few days, and that optimism has been proven naive. A bill will be passed alright, but it will be woefully inadequate. And the cause seems to be a combination of Democratic cowardice and Republican blinkeredness — if not outright mendacity.The big headline concern here is more money for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) — a forgivable loan...

April 20, 2020
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Republicans literally want to work Americans to death

Republicans literally want to work Americans to death

Special reports:MenuSign up for our free email newslettersSign Up forOur free email newslettersThe Republican Party represents regular working stiffs, the forgotten men and women of America, who have been left behind by the country's effete liberal elites. Or at least that's the message that President Trump, GOP leadership, and the American right in general have been pushing for years. But while their words are one thing, their actions are another. And the actions of Trump and his fellow Republicans during the coronavirus pandemic suggest they see American workers as nothing but cannon...

May 1, 2020
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Shouldn't Congress be considered essential?

Shouldn't Congress be considered essential?

Special reports:MenuSign up for our free email newslettersSign Up forOur free email newslettersAcross America, essential workers are risking their lives in the midst of a pandemic to keep our society functioning. They're cooking our meals, treating our sick, caring for our elderly, delivering our supplies, stocking our groceries, hauling our trash, maintaining our infrastructure. And they're mostly doing it .But there's one group of essential workers who are basically sitting the crisis out: Members of Congress.The House of Representatives has been in recess , and the Senate since March 26....

May 2, 2020
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Can coronavirus bring economics back down to reality?

Can coronavirus bring economics back down to reality?

Special reports:MenuSign up for our free email newslettersSign Up forOur free email newslettersThe coronavirus is going to teach — or, to be more precise, reteach — some hard economic lessons. One of them is probably going to be the need for policymakers to focus on money a bit less and real resources a bit more.The most obvious example here is the sudden retreat of "how will you pay for that" rhetoric in the face of the crisis: Though the austerity hawks , Congress has dumped trillions in aid on the economy in a short time, with little debate — either internally, or in the media or the...

April 29, 2020
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