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Hugh's blog

The Recession is Over! or Maybe Not

The NBER, the National Bureau for Economic Research, which is the official caller of these things, announced that the current recession ended in June 2009. I have something of a love-hate relationship with the NBER. It is only retrospective in its calls. So I found it frustrating that in the late summer of 2007 I was predicting imminent recession and it took the NBER to the end of 2008 to make the same call, putting the start of recession in December 2007. Read more about The Recession is Over! or Maybe Not

God Protect us from Idiots: The Orszag edition

I was making a final pass through the day's news when I came across this piece of rank nuttery by Peter Orszag, the Times' newly hired gasbag. Orszag makes the claim that "states tend to rob education [as in state universities] to pay for Medicaid during economic downturns." Inadequate state funding not just of higher education but of education K-12 has been a scandal for decades. Curiously, state budgets contain other items besides just higher education and Medicaid. States, for example, have underfunded their pensions for years. They have let their infrastructure deteriorate. Read more about God Protect us from Idiots: The Orszag edition

Increased Poverty is No Surprise

As lambert reported earlier today, poverty in the "richest country in the world" is up, a lot. Why? Wealth inequality is greater now than before the 1929 crash. 1% owns 1/3 of the country. The upper 10% owns 2/3 of it. I can't insist too much on how important those numbers are or their ability to explain where we are and how we got here. They did not just happen. They are the result of 30 years of sustained assault on the middle class and the basic institutions of government and society by our elites, the wealthy, and corporations. Read more about Increased Poverty is No Surprise

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