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    Richard Florida: Rethinking Blue-Collar Jobs

    Following the release of his latest tome, The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity, NEWSWEEK’S Nancy Cook asked Florida about his vision for “upgrading” the service economy. Excerpts:
  • Economy: Can the Recovery Keep on Trucking?

    Whether you are an economic pessimist or optimist, you have to consider all the data—not just the data you like. The problem is sussing out which data points to trust. Generally, measurements of actual activity are better than surveys about attitudes or behavior. What's more, many data series come out after the fact and are subject to revision, which makes them less reliable when it comes to gauging what's taking place right now.
  • Savings Rate Down as Americans Spend More

    Leading Indicator 2.7%The personal savings rate for Americans in March. The post-crash savings rate peaked at 6.4 percent in May 2009, and hasn't been below 3 percent since October 2008.
  • Will Splitting Offshore-Oil Regulator Prevent Future Accidents?

    On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cut the Minerals Management Service in half, separating its duties of regulating the offshore oil and gas industry and of collecting billions in revenue from it. The move is a tacit acknowledgment that a conflict of interest is inherent to the agency’s dual mandate, and is an indictment of the decisions the MMS made that have arguably exacerbated the Deepwater Horizon disaster. With oil still leaking into the Gulf of Mexico (BP engineers are getting desperate), the MMS faces mounting criticism for its role in the mess, first for a 2003 decision not to require remote-control shutoff switches in the gulf as a last-resort safety mechanism in the event of a blowout, and second for granting BP an exemption from providing a detailed environmental report of the Deepwater Horizon site. ...
  • Surprise! 2009 Tax Bill Lowest in Nearly 60 Years

    Democratic leaders will no doubt be glad to see this report in this morning's USA Today. The paper ran the numbers, and by their calculations, Americans haven't seen such a low bill from the tax man since 1950. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 11 years before President Obama was born. Here's the key paragraph:...
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    Jobs: Where Will You Work in the Future?

    The year 2030 sounds far off. In a way, the number itself conjures images of silver unitards and hovercrafts, just as 2010 probably did to people back in 1990. A lot’s changed since then, but more has stayed exactly the same, which is part of the problem.
  • National Debt Should Not Be Ignored

    He did not like the question very much. Last Wednesday afternoon, at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s summit on fiscal responsibility, I asked Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, whether unemployment would have to rise even further for the country to see our long-term economic challenges as a true, rather than a theoretical, crisis. Orszag winced slightly, which speaks well of him as a human being: it would be morally reprehensible to wish more people the pain of joblessness. “The unemployment rate seems pretty high to me,” he said, “and the share of the unemployed who are long-term unemployed is also quite elevated.”
  • What's Behind the Dow's Dizzying Volatility?

    What the hell is happening with the Dow? Despite Friday's positive employment numbers, in which the U.S. economy added 290,000 jobs, the stock market fell this morning—thanks to growing concerns about Greece's debt and Thursday's computer glitch that sent the market plummeting. ...
  • Measures to Save the Greek Economy May Worsen the Problem

    Thursday afternoon, the markets went on something of a joyride. Actually, it was more like a distress ride. After plummeting more than 900 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down about 3 percent. Why? It's unclear. CNBC said traders warned of a "black hole effect." A chief culprit, as Reuters pointed out, seemed to be fears of financial contagion from Greece, where residents are engaging in the ancient pastime of rioting.
  • Cosmocrats Bullish on Global Economy

    The more cosmopolitan you are, the more optimistic you are about economic prospects, or so it seems, according to a new study by HSBC. The bank surveyed more than 2,000 "global citizens" (a.k.a., people who are affluent, well educated, traveled, and often multilingual) in 10 major world cities and found that they were much more bullish on the state of their own personal finances, as well as the health of the global economy, than the average Joe....