Jobless claims are up again this week in the US, marking "the ninth consecutive week that claims were above 400,000," despite the constant predictions that unemployment was going to start falling. (Magically! Care of voodoo economics!)
It's a terribly grim landscape, and the only viable solution is government intervention, fast and serious, because whooooooooooooops the market is not solving this problem.
"I'm sitting this one out."—The Invisible Hand.
Problem is that we've got President Bipartisan unwilling to do what it takes (spoiler alert: national infrastructure investment), because the Republicans might whine at him for governing like a sensible person who gives a fuck about his country.
Instead, the Obama administration is considering "seeking a temporary cut in the payroll taxes businesses pay on wages." A fucking payroll tax for corporations. You have got to be shitting me. We're in a national economic crisis, people all over the country are losing their jobs, their healthcare, their homes, their lives, and the best our president has to offer is some tepid, half-assed, pusillanimous gesture, which will starve the government of revenue it could be putting toward a real (and necessary) national reinvestment plan.
Krugman notes that the stupendously useless Tim Geithner has been a major opponent of stimulus, which he dismisses as "sugar," and advocate of austerity to achieve debt reduction. "Not what anyone should be saying in the modern world, least of all a top official in an allegedly progressive Democratic administration," says Krugman.
At this point, I can't imagine there is anyone left with illusions this administration is progressive.
Being a progressive means doing something, just for a start.