It's time to panic

Brad DeLong notes that this week’s employment figures are cause for panic. What he suggests, actually, isn’t merely panic, but “PANIC!!” But given our current employment crisis, I think a third exclamation point may be required. We’ve got 13.9 million Americans who can’t find work. That’s cause for alarm — cause for all out panic [Read More…]

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An inescapable network of mutuality

So Franklin Graham says that churches, rather than governments, are responsible for meeting the needs of the poor. Either one or the other, zero-sum, in competition, etc. This is not the view of most Christians or of most Christian churches. Nor is it an easy view to reconcile with the Christian Bible, which is full [Read More…]

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Franklin Graham goes the Full Olasky

Bruce Watson of AOL asks “What Would the Rapture Do to Real Estate Prices?” In New York City, for example, a 49% drop would reduce the city’s population to 1910 levels. In the short run, this would cause property values to plummet in the city, but the effects would quickly spread beyond mortgages and rents. [Read More…]

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Jim Wallis and Believe Out Loud, Part 2

When I worked for Evangelicals for Social Action — a progressive evangelical group in the same general orbit as Sojourners — one of our big supporters liked to tell the story of his first encounter with Ron Sider and Sider’s book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. He was furious. He read just enough [Read More…]

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Beatific economics

When we consider the rights of workers in relation to the “indirect employer”, that is to say, all the agents at the national and international level that are responsible for the whole orientation of labour policy, we must first direct our attention to a fundamental issue: the question of finding work, or, in other words, [Read More…]

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Lawnmowers and $40 nachos

For the same reason that everyone asks for their own check at the restaurant. That’s my answer to Atrios’ recent question, “Why Does Everybody Own Their Own Lawnmower?” I know there is a fairly obvious answer to this question. There’s a cost of organizing and coordination. But, yet, in the aggregate an immense amount of [Read More…]

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The 0.014 percent solution

[Edited to correct the English-major arithmetic of the original. &$@%.] So CNN/Opinion Research asked Americans how much they think the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — the nonprofit that helps fund National Public Radio and PBS television — receives in federal funding, as a percentage of the federal budget. Most people responded that they thought it [Read More…]

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Real information and actual facts

This is how newspapers are supposed to work when they’re doing their job. First, a reporter does his job, taking a look at the economic reality facing the paper’s readers and the actual effects that proposed government policies will have on that reality. Michael Symons’ article “As poverty rises in NJ, cuts target aid” did [Read More…]

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