April 6: The Masters of Bad Timing

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

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The Fable of the Century (Robert Reich)
Reich spins a far-fetched tale in which, during a time of skyrocketing inequality, a major political party nominates a wealthy private equity manager who wants to make the rich even richer. Luckily, the ending is a Choose Your Own Adventure.

Not Enough Inflation (NYT)
Paul Krugman notes that criticizing the Fed is fair game, but conservatives have a habit of telling it to do the wrong thing at the worst time, like fighting inflation that isn’t there instead of unemployment and debt overhang that most definitely is.

Fighting Over the American Home: Handcuffs versus Hope and Change (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller looks at the division between those who think housing will eventually pick up and rocking the boat for banks isn’t worth it and those who think bank execs would look better in a nice shade of prison orange.

Something for Nothing? (Baseline Scenario)
James Kwak explains that while the JOBS Act buys into the myth that less regulation is always better, it actually makes it easier for shady start-ups to fleece investors and harder for good companies to strut their stuff through required disclosure.

Main Street banks break away from Wall Street with their own SuperPAC (WaPo)
Suzy Khimm reports that smaller local banks have joined forces to create a new Super PAC and establish that they’re not like those Wall Street creeps. Except they both want to repeal hard-won financial regulations. But otherwise, totally different.

Join the conversation about the Roosevelt Institute’s new initiative, Rediscovering Government, led by Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick.

The Assault on Public Education (In These Times)
Noam Chomsky argues that despite being one of America’s greatest achievements, the public education system is being gutted under the watch of financial overlords who aren’t interested in having their worker bees corrupted by thoughts and ideas.

The Long Moral View (TAP)
Paul Waldman writes that when the U.S. eventually has universal health care, we’ll regard those who tried to delay the inevitable as fondly as those who thought having kids work an eight-hour shift on the assembly line was capitalism at its best.

Fired for Wearing the Wrong Color Shirt: The Scary Truth About Our Lack of Workplace Protections (AlterNet)
Jake Blumgart points out that while unionized workers are protected from arbitrary firing, at-will employment allows employers to dismiss you for wearing white shoes after Labor Day, freeing them to assemble the stylish team they’ve always wanted.

Finance Expert: Oil Price Increase Is Being Driven By ‘Gamblers Wearing Wall Street Suits’ (Think Progress)
Michael Greenberger argues that the source of oil price spikes is not, in fact, President Obama’s magic oil price-adjusting powers, passed down through ancient Kenyan socialist rituals, but Wall Street’s out-of-control speculation in the oil markets.

Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can? (The Nation)
E.J. Graff examines Warren’s struggle to persuade voters that she’s a real person who understands their needs rather than the typical Democrat who seems like an android sent back from the future to lecture them and concede to Republicans.