Economy and Business

Roadmap to Disaster

The Republicans told us what they wanted to do in their “Pledge to America” last year: cut government, slash taxes, and shrink the national debt. But they didn’t tell us how they were going to do it. Now they have.

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MLK’s Dream in Jeopardy

The world has changed since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream on the National Mall in 1963. But this year, during Black History Month, we should remember that King’s messages remain as powerful–and necessary–today.

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Meet the New Media Monopoly

For more than a century, American law has recognized the destructive power of corporate monopolies. When one company controls an entire resource, means of production, or delivery system for products, it gets an unfair advantage over competitors. It can overcharge them out of existence or drive them into bankruptcy. Since Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency, our government has tried to ensure that monopolistic business practices don’t destroy fair pricing and consumer choice.

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A Banker who Gets It

Populist banker. Now those are two words you rarely see linked together.

But Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, truly is a rarity. Firmly rooted in small-town Iowa and Kansas, he has never aspired to be part of the Wall Street-Washington power elite, and he doesn’t hesitate to challenge their financial orthodoxy and obsequious kowtowing to the preening barons of big banking.

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A Lousy New Year for Workers

“What’s good for General Motors is good for the country,” Defense Secretary nominee–and former GM CEO–Charles Wilson famously told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1953. These weren’t his exact words, but they have resonated nonetheless.

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America’s Expendable Workers

Back in business school, they taught us that a company’s major costs were land, labor, and capital. There were strategies to minimize each, with labor the most complicated cost to control. That hasn’t changed, even though workers have increasingly become replaceable parts, the federal government has weakened labor rights, and much U.S. manufacturing takes place in other countries.

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Not Much to Celebrate with Obama’s Tax Deal

We enter 2011 with a few more dollars in our paychecks. For about 98 percent of Americans, the extension of Bush tax cuts and the new payroll tax holiday will make it easier for us to afford a gallon, rather than a quart, of milk for our families each month, and to fill our tanks almost as high as we did with lower gas prices last year.

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