Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Economy, Labor
Apple's lack of any sense of obligation to support American workers — indeed, the lack of any national loyalty at all — is appalling. Yet that’s not even the truly frightening part of the recent New York Times story. Most troubling is the broader, underlying narrative conveyed and ultimately encouraged by the story: there is nothing that America as a nation can or should do to alter the trajectory of events. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Alternative models, Labor
Our article on German automakers in the U.S. (lower wages, non-union) versus the same automakers in Germany (higher wages, fully unionized) generated a series of questions and criticisms, including some from readers who couldn't believe that there is an alternative to companies outdoing one another in reducing wages and benefits for workers. We do, of course, have choices. BMW workers don't earn more in Germany because the nice managers work in Germany and the mean managers work in the U.S. What has happened is that the U.S. has become remarkably anti-union and remarkably laissez faire — a real outlier among advanced democracies — at the same time that Germany has continued to allow workers to be valued. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Politics
...can keep Congress and the press from shortsightedly focusing on "balanced" budget reductions despite a stalled economy and both long-term and short-term experience with the folly of austerity. It's like one of those arguments where you may think you're making headway, but where you get to the end and you might as well have saved your breath. Can anything prevent Democrats from seeking to give up hard-won gains? More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Income inequality, Media
A perennial conceit of the mainstream press is “we don’t make the news, we only report the news.” A just-released poll, however — revealing that Americans overwhelmingly believe income and wealth should be more equally distributed — underlines how much real news got ignored this year by reporters preoccupied with centrism and compromise as all-weather solutions. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Aging, Health care, Legislation
The abandonment of the element of the Affordable Care Act that was designed to provide insurance against the staggering costs of long-term care, announced by the Obama administration last Friday, raises important questions about the wisdom of having a strategy of always going for a legislative "half a loaf," especially when doing so obliges you both to understate the real costs of dealing with problems and to oversell the promise and potential of your solutions. More
Commentary | By Lori Bikson | Politics
Not so much, it seems, if you only want to become president of the United States. Ask Chris Christie. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Budget deficit, Economy, Politics
Get ready for spending cuts beyond the debt ceiling agreement. That deal only calls for spending caps, not spending floors. The regular appropriations process must be completed by Oct. 1, or else government operations shut down. The GOP will insist that those bills impose additional cuts. Any Democratic assertion of resistance will have no credibility in face of documented pattern of surrender. Oops. Turns out that costs and benefits of giving in to debt-ceiling hostage-taking were hopelessly miscalculated. More
Commentary | By Craig Gurian | Budget deficit
You can’t go five minutes without reading press accounts that characterize the Obama-Boehner budgetary prescription as “ambitious.” One particularly bewitched commentator explained that the House Speaker had “lofty budget goals.” Is there anything less ambitious than plans to guarantee that our children and our grandchildren will live less well than we do? More