1. When the bottom half of the country owns basically none of the country’s wealth, they can’t self-insure themselves against these risks. Instead, they must lead a relatively perilous life in which one misstep or mistake could wreck them and their families.
     

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  3. It’s not just Utah. Archaic booze laws around the country are stifling business and keeping you from trying some unique, tasty brews.

    Read more on this story here.

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  4. In today’s podcast Ryan Cooper argues economic redistribution is inevitable.

    Read more on this story here.

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  5. "There is no equality of opportunity in the U.S., nor anything remotely approaching it. Children’s outcomes are closely correlated with the incomes of their parents, more so in fact than almost every other similarly developed country. Year-to-year economic mobility is also very uncommon.

    Since vigorously celebrating equal opportunity that does not actually exist has not managed to soothe the masses, a new tactic has evolved: dismissing the whole inequality discussion as an unfortunate bout of envy.”

     


  6. "Despite lawsuits, the unpaid internship has come to seem like an inevitable fact of life. Some entry-level jobs, we hear, are too glamorous to pay. We learn that most young people, while eager, just aren’t prepared for the workforce. We are led to believe that the economy is still too weak to hire them; businesses want to pay, but budgets simply have no room.

    These three givens are actually myths, understandably embraced by employers, yet, more mysteriously, accepted as fact by the rest of us. So allow me to dispel them one by one.

    Phoebe Maltz Bovy, in The 3 big myths propping up unpaid internships

     


  7. If you’re lucky enough to have a job, you probably work extremely hard. Thanks to the power of technology and successive waves of downsizing, people today are doing the work that it took two or three people to perform decades ago. Employees put in frequent 10-hour days to meet their bosses’ demands, and often work remotely from home on nights and weekends. With productivity continually climbing, corporate profits have soared to all-time highs; the stock market gained more than $6 trillion in value in 2013. Yet Americans’ real disposable income went up a mere 0.7 percent the same year. What happened to the workers’ raises? Don’t ask. Remember: You’re lucky just to have a job.
    — William Falk, in The real cause of income inequality
     

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  9. A bit of moderate inflation is no big deal — the Fed has the tools to easily rein inflation back in if it rises above the central bank’s target rate. In fact, a little inflation could even help matters, by eroding household debt burdens and reducing real interest rates.

    On the other hand, mass unemployment is an ongoing economic and humanitarian catastrophe.

    It’s like if your house is on fire, and you’re worried that spraying it with a firehose might break some windows. Maybe true! Also a terrible set of priorities!

     


  10. If Congress were to pass a plan backed by President Obama to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour — a hefty 39 percent hike — it would result in a significant reduction of the poverty rate among Americans between the ages of 18 and 64, and raise about 4.6 million people out of poverty.
     

  11. Marc Ambinder highlights the 10 most important lines from the President’s State of the Union address…and what they really mean.

    "After five years of grit and determined effort, the U.S. is better positioned for the 21st century that any nation on earth."

    All the muck of the past five years has led to job growth and an improving economy, and I’m determined to be optimistic even if the country is as pessimistic as ever, because I’m not going to follow the media’s trapping narrative.

    The 10 most important lines of the SOTU explained

     

  12. Japan is only the 15th largest consumer of American whiskey and bourbon.  So why did they just buy most of the American whiskey industry?

     


  13. Though free markets, profit motives, and unrestrained accumulation of wealth have no immediate relationship with Christianity, the cross and the coin are nonetheless powerful, paired symbols of the American right wing. Catholic conservatives thus must carve a way around Francis’ difficult insistence that governments be harnessed toward the relief of poverty, not the creation of it.