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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Undismal Weekly Wrapup -- June 28-July 4, 2009

Analytical Summaries of Key Stories of the Week on Economics and Public Policy

A Setback on Jobs (New York Times)
In an analysis of unexpectedly high job losses reported for June, David Leonhardt describes the state of the economy as “stepped back from the precipice of depression” but far from being in good shape.

As U.S. Celebrates July 4th, Rest Assured that Obama is No Socialist (Chicago Tribune)
Citing opinions from economists and other experts, columnist David Greising characterizes the widespread cries of “socialism” from President Obama’s critics as intellectually lazy, arguing that the administration’s policies have been working “at all times from a capitalist frame of reference.”

In a Crisis, Rethinking Fiscal Federalism (New York Times)
Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Ed Kilgore, Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist, contend that complex fiscal crises occurring across the U.S. at the state and local levels reflect “a frayed partnership between states and the federal government.”

New White House Office to Redefine What Urban Policy Encompasses (Washington Post)
President Obama’s newly created Office of Urban Affairs seeks to “redefine the word urban and set the tone for policies not only for inner cities but for nearby suburbs as well, according to this report from Robin Shulman of the Washington Post

Taking Stock: Economy and Government on July 2, 2009 (The Atlantic)
Continuing to characterize the present crisis as a “depression,” Richard Posner cautions that, in spite of signs of “incipient recovery,” prospects for the economy remain uncertain amidst continuing fundamental problems of unemployment, underemployment, declining home prices, and reduced personal consumption.

U.S. Stimulus a Small Patch for Big Economic Hole (Reuters)
In this news analysis piece, Emily Kaiser takes stock of the impact thus far of the federal stimulus package, especially in the context of the daunting difference in magnitude between the federal program’s $787 billion scale vs. the “$12 trillion in household wealth that has been wiped out since the recession began.”

Why This Recession is Hitting Men Harder (Wall Street Journal)
Featuring commentary by experts from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Economic Policy and Research, this report from Andrea Coombes examines the factors behind and social impact of the gap in unemployment levels between men (10.5 percent in May) and women (8 percent), especially given that male dominated industries account for half of job losses since the beginning of the recession. Sphere: Related Content

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