Our Government is Broken: Ballot Initiatives Prove It

Ballot initiatives are useful to make a point, but they're no way to govern. Ballot initiatives can't allocate school funding, negotiate trade pacts or calibrate criminal sanctions. We need our government to do that.
Eric Lotke
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The Private Prison Industry Resistance Isnt Futile

The private prison industry is on the march. In recent months the industry moved to take over 24 state prisons in southern Florida and buy five prisons in Ohio. Now it’s making moves in Michigan. But the industry doesn’t always win. Resistance isn’t futile.
Eric Lotke
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Occupy DC Arrested Take Action [Video]

I'm a middle-aged, middle-class PTA dad who participates in Occupy DC because I want a better country for our kids. On Sunday, the National Park Service brutally tased a peaceful, young Occupy DC demonstrator. This was a prelude to their threatened crackdown of Occupy DC today at noon.
Eric Lotke
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The Dream that Drives the Occupations

I’ve been spending evenings and weekends recently with the Occupy protestors in DC. I can’t stay full time because, unlike many protestors, I have two children and a full-time job. […]
Eric Lotke
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Obama’s Infrastructure Proposal A Step Forward

On Labor Day, President Obama rediscovered his roots. He traveled to the LaborFest rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and proposed $50 billion in infrastructure spending to “create jobs” and “make our […]
Eric Lotke
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Public Employees Offer Solutions Examples

Enough with blaming public employees for all of America’s problems. Last week public employees in Oregon marched on the state Capitol with a billion dollars worth of recommendations for government […]
Eric Lotke
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Breaking Up The Banks I Did It

As the debate heats up over Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I took a step out on my own. I got a divorce. I am no […]
Eric Lotke
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Obama’s Export Goal How We Can Make it

Yesterday I attended a conference on the Renaissance of American Manufacturing in Washington DC. It included a variety of organizations with interests in trade, from the US Business and Industry […]
Eric Lotke
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New Old Unemployment Data Screaming at Deaf Ears

The August unemployment data are out. The unemployment rate was “about unchanged” at 9.6 percent,” says the BLS press release. Teenagers “showed little change” at 26.3 percent, as did African […]
Eric Lotke
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With A Compass Not A Roadmap

The complaints are starting on the new Obama administration. Some are concerned that he filled his administration with former Clinton hands, reflecting the old school (if more competent), not the […]
Eric Lotke
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New Unemployment Data: No News. Clear Conclusions.

Today’s new unemployment report contains no news, just decimal point changes. It tells us what we already know, that times are bad. The question is whether our great nation can […]
Eric Lotke
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The Progressive Movement: Out of Work and Losing Hope

The progressive movement that fueled Obama’s stunning 2008 election victory is out of work. Sure, lots of people are unemployed — but the demographic groups at the heart of the […]
Eric Lotke
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Gerrymandering: Destroying Democracy with a Hard G

It’s 2010, census year. The headcount was in April and the results will be released in December. Next spring the action begins: redistricting. If you thought the November elections mattered […]
Eric Lotke
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New Unemployment Data: Good, Just Not Good Enough

The April unemployment figures are out, and America added 290,000 new jobs. It’s good news, but still unemployment edged up to 9.9 percent. The problem has many layers. First, the […]
Eric Lotke
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China v. US Workers: China is winning

Today the Senate Banking Committee is holding a hearing to examine “the impact of China’s exchange rate practices on U.S. manufacturing” Many experts will testify. I offer some pictures that […]
Eric Lotke
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Tax Audits: IRS Gives Big Corporations a Pass

Big corporations still get away with it. A stunning new analysis by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University shows how the IRS targets smaller corporations, while larger […]
Eric Lotke
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Getting Places, Creating Jobs

Two items from my inbox: 1. The Economic Policy Institute has a new report detailing the positive impacts of transportation infrastructure spending. A $34.3 billion jobs package will create approximately […]
Eric Lotke
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Good Obama Middle Class Help. But What About Jobs?

The White House today announced its economic initiatives for middle class families, described as a preview of the State of the Union Address. They’re all good ideas and I hope […]
Eric Lotke
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It’s Official. Corporations Rule.

People have been wondering for years who runs our country. People or wealthy corporations? Today the Supreme Court settled the debate. Today’s decision, Citizens United v. FEC, tilts the balance […]
Eric Lotke
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Beyond Massachusetts. A New Coalition to Build Jobs.

Okay, there was an election in Massachusetts yesterday but I’m not writing about it. I’m writing about something nobody noticed during the election. Infrastructure. Lots of people drove to the […]
Eric Lotke
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The 2010 Elections: Bring ‘Em On!

I’m looking forward to the 2010 elections. We need them. Many dread how badly the election is shaping up. Commentators predict double-digit Democratic losses in the House and further retreat […]
Eric Lotke
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The Wrong Recovery

Things are supposed to be looking up. Today’s data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis gives a fuller picture: low wages and declining domestic production. Real average hourly earnings fell […]
Eric Lotke
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Federal Reserve: Are You Listening To Your Own Data?

The Federal Reserve today releases industrial production data with good news. Will it draw the right conclusions? First the good news. Industrial production increased 0.8 percent in November, and capacity […]
Eric Lotke
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The Problem is Jobs, Not Debt

Conservatives are using the economic crisis to push through their favorite tricks. The latest trick is a commission to cut the budget and cut the debt without the inconvenience of […]
Eric Lotke
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The President Asks for Help. From Us.

At his Brookings speech today the president outlined his economic plan. It has all the right pieces and it points in the right direction. But something is missing. Start with […]
Eric Lotke
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Obama’s Jobs Summit: Jobs Now, Deficits Later

Last week’s job’s summit focused on the fierce urgency of now. And well it should, with 18 percent unemployment and underemployment. But Obama also seemed to understand how short term […]
Eric Lotke
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Bernanke Breaks the Law. His Own.

Thursday December 3 is the date of both the President’s Jobs Summit and the reconfirmation hearing of Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke. We should seize the opportunity to examine the […]
Eric Lotke
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