Economy

Where are the jobs?

Since October, most of the financial news has been about Europe and the potential for a global meltdown.  The credit squeeze resulting from this crisis has become painful enough to demand serious action, which in global terms means our own MORE »

Black Friday: Did I just support a bunch of exploitative capitalist powermongers?

I didn't actually buy anything on Black Friday, unless you count a pair of drinks at the Minnesota Centennial Showboat. I did, however, write about Black Friday—and drew a lot of flack for it.

On The Tangential, a creative writing blog I'm among the proprietors of, I published a post titled "Shut the Hell Up About How Stupid Black Friday Is." 

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Graph of the Day: Which percent are you?

With all of the hullaballoo these days about the 99% and the 1% – or the 47% and the 53% if you're reading conservative propaganda – it's worth figuring out which percent (roughly) you're in. With that in mind, here's a graph to help you out.

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Moral hazard

Back in 2009, there was a lot of talk about the “moral hazard” of bailing out big financial institutions.  The concern was that, once bailed out, the banks would learn that no matter what happened the Federal Reserve and government would be there to cover all of their bad loans – and thus make more.   In short, providing insurance for default makes it more likely that it will occ

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OPINION | Minnesota gains from imported talent

Patricia Tetteh and her husband Victor Lartey provide valuable services for people in the Rochester area and for patients at the Mayo Clinic.

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Buy little, buy small

The first snow of the season fell around us in Saint Paul, a wet gloppy snow that froze into a slick shield of ice.  The city pulled in tight around itself as driving became an ordeal, knuckles tight and eyes wide and everything as white as the world itself.  A week and a season defined by rush-rush and shopping started with a moment apart from the world made for hot cocoa.

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What is the "real" poverty rate?

A single person, living alone, with earnings from employment totaling $10,000 falls below the United States poverty threshold ($10,890 for a one person household in 2011). The Census Bureau classifies that person as “in poverty.” But what if he or she receives government benefits, such as health care, with a value of $5,000 or more per year?

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Wall Street train wreck slams farmers

The fallout from the collapse of MF Global continues to reverberate around farm country. The firm’s demise is yet another painful case of how Wall Street’s recklessness is overwhelming under-resourced regulators and hurting people around the country. The response from Congress?

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Print or die

Europe has come to understand that what is at stake right now is not just the economies of a few member nations, but the future of European Union itself.  The cornerstone of that union is the Euro, the single currency that has made close cooperation even tighter.  But in order to save that currency, there is little that can be done short of the member nations drawing much closer toget

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OPINION | Support the 99%

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that have swept the world have brought important questions into focus.

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