What happened after 9/11 - and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not - was deeply shameful. [The] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons....The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
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Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We've gone from bad economic doctrine. We've even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we're talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering upon the already miserable.
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It should be possible to emphasize to students that the level of employment is a macroeconomic issue, depending in the short run on aggregate demand and depending in the long run on the natural rate of unemployment, with microeconomic policies like tariffs having little net effect. Trade policy should be debated in terms of its impact on efficiency, not in terms of phoney numbers about jobs created or lost.
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I think if you're a liberal, you believe that we all are, at least to some extent, our brothers' keepers, you really believe that we have a sumptuary responsibility to make sure that life is decent for everybody in America, that you believe that society out to be broadly shared, and you believe that you can't have a real democracy unless you have a little bit, at least, of economic democracy.
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we should reject the attempt to divert the national conversation away from soaring inequality toward the alleged moral failings of those Americans being left behind. Traditional values aren't as crucial as social conservatives would have you believe — and, in any case, the social changes taking place in America's working class are overwhelmingly the consequence of sharply rising inequality, not its cause.
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There has been plenty to criticize about President Obama's handling of the economy. Yet the overriding story of the past few years is not Mr. Obama's mistakes but the scorched-earth opposition of Republicans, who have done everything they can to get in his way - and who now, having blocked the president's policies, hope to win the White House by claiming that his policies have failed.
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Now, it's true that some of the protesters are oddly dressed or have silly-sounding slogans, which is inevitable given the open character of the events. But so what? I, at least, am a lot more offended by the sight of exquisitely tailored plutocrats, who owe their continued wealth to government guarantees, whining that President Obama has said mean things about them than I am by the sight of ragtag young people denouncing consumerism.
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Raising the minimum wage and lowering the barriers to union organization would carry a trade-off - higher unemployment. A better idea is to have the government subsidize low-wage employment. The earned-income tax credit for low-income workers - which has been the object of proposed cuts by both President Clinton and congressional Republicans - has been a positive step in this direction.
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There is no economic policy. That's really important to say. The general modus operandi of the Bushies is that they don't make policies to deal with problems. They use problems to justify things they wanted to do anyway. So there is no policy to deal with the lack of jobs. There really isn't even a policy to deal with terrorism. It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do.
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