Early Afternoon – 20 March 2014

Daily Haiku

The season of growth / Begins with night and day in / Equilibrium.

Quote of the Day

“Private beneficence is totally inadequate to deal with the vast numbers of the city’s disinheritated.” –Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910)

Today we start with Mike Konczal, a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute (not associated with the Roosevelt University), and his recent piece in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas on The Volunteerism Fantasy. He defends the importance of government administered social insurance programs against the recurring conservative idea that private charities are up to the task of stabilizing the economy. The piece is tied, in some sense, into the larger debate over inequality, and there’s a lovely new chart from the Institute of New Economic Thinking that has been getting some attention. Following the inequality theme, JD Alt at the New Economic Perspectives blog out of UMKC has a whimsical post on Rescuing the 1% (from themselves).

 

Elsewhere on the web, there seems to be some small excitement over the new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and when she might decide to raise interest rates. Reuters reports that financial firms have taken a more hawkish view, adjusting the estimate for when interest rates will move up from June 2015 to April. Tim Duy notes that the language was ambiguous enough that one could find a dovish interpretation to yesterday’s news conference.

Happy Spring Equinox!

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