(NOTE: If you read through all these excellent articles, you may see an underlying theme.)
Plutocrats vs. Populists (New York Times) by Chrystia Freeland, author of “Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else”
Poverty in America Is Mainstream (New York Times) -- "Put simply, poverty is a mainstream event experienced by a majority of Americans. For most of us, the question is not whether we will experience poverty, but when."
Why Washington Is Cutting Safety Nets (Robert Reich) -- "Congress doesn’t know much about the bottom 90 percent. Just about all members of Congress are drawn from the same top 10 percent — as are almost all their friends and associates, and even the media who report on them."
Food Stamps by Michael O'Hare - "The insouciant cruelty of fat and happy Republicans simpering about making hungry children dependent (are there no poorhouses? Do the mills not offer employment to a deft eight-year old?) after they engineered the budget deficits they have now decided to rail about, and carried water for the “job-creators” who feathered their nests giving us the recession that’s put so many people on the street and on food stamps, is simply Dickensian. Eric Cantor is a horrible person, whipping a gang of racists and ignorant, fearful, haters into increasingly unspeakable behavior with fake moralizing and outright lies."
New EPI Economic Indicator by Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute -- This post vindicates what I've been saying for years; job growth has barely (if at all) kept up with population growth (new people entering the labor force). There are at least as many people unemployed today as there were at the height of reported unemployment in October 2009 if we counted "missing people" (e.g. discouraged workers / 99ers). The U-3 unemployment rate would be 10.1% today.
...but former White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein (a big Obama fan) argues differently about the "missing people" in his post Adjusting the Taylor Rule for the Unemployment Rate Bias -- calling it "the simulated unemployment rate".
Rise of the Machines? -- There has been an extraordinary decline in the American labor force participation rate among prime-aged males -- a surprisingly large chunk of our male population is now in the position where there is nothing that people can think of for them to do that is useful...that is a problem that human societies have never faced before."
The Wage Problem (philosophical and historical -- semi-wonkish with lots of links and studies)