Dean Baker

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Monday, December 22, 2008
Washington Post: The Problem is 'You', Not 'We'
Imagine a major national newspaper that never saw an $8 trillion dollar housing bubble. Suppose its most often cited expert on the housing market was the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, who also authored the 2006 bestseller: Why the Housing Boom Will Not Bust and How You Can Profit From It .
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Friday, December 12, 2008
If G.M. Was a Canadian Company It Wouldn't Be Asking for Help
The Detroit automakers have made many mistaken business decisions that have been important factors contributing to their current crisis. However, they are not responsible for some of the factors that have brought them to the brink of bankruptcy.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Obama's Medicine for The Economy
Barack Obama wants to spend several hundred billion dollars in each of the next two years building infrastructure, retrofitting public and private buildings to increase energy efficiency and aiding state and local governments in dealing with budget shortfalls. He thinks that this spending will boost the economy and reverse its steep decline.
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Paulson and Bernanke Spread the Wealth Around
During the campaign, then-Senator Obama provoked a media flurry and right-wing outrage over his comment to Joe the Plumber about "spreading the wealth around." They told us that this view was contrary to the American Way, that this was socialism.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Stopping Foreclosures With the Right to Rent: One More TIme
Politicians often prefer complex solutions to simple problems. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the long list of complicated and convoluted proposals to address the country's foreclosure crisis. Millions of people face the loss of their homes over the next few years. While the politicians in Congress have developed a wide variety of complex schemes in order to hold back this flood of foreclosures, including one passed into law last summer that provided up to $300 billion guarantees for new mortgages on homes facing foreclosure, none have had much impact thus far.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The G-20 and Biological Warfare
Imagine that the United States was researching biological weapons and it inadvertently allowed a deadly bacteria to get into the atmosphere. The bacteria quickly spread around the world, leading to sickness and death everywhere. Fortunately, US scientists have developed a drug to treat the disease, which the United States generously shares with the other wealthy countries and a select group of developing countries. Unfortunately, there are a number of developing countries with whom the United States does not choose to share the drug.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Greenspan Says, 'Who Could Have Known?'
That's right, the former Maestro told Congress last week, when asked about the meltdown of the housing bubble and the resulting financial crisis, "we're not smart enough as people. We just cannot see events that far in advance ."
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Any Pay Cuts on Wall Street Yet?
Congress assured us that there would be no more big paychecks for incompetent Wall Street bankers when they passed their bailout bill. They told us that the tough pay provisions would put an end to the multi-million dollar payouts to these folks. Last week, Secretary Paulson mailed $150 billion in checks to the big banks. From that point forward, the CEOs and all the other top executives of these banks are now our dependents. They are living off the tax dollars of school teachers in Iowa, truck drivers in Montana, and even Joe the Plumber.
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Friday, October 03, 2008
The President Who Provoked A Panic: Statement on Congressional Approval of Bailout
This is the first time in the history of the United States that the president has sought to provoke a financial panic to get legislation through Congress. While this has proven to be a successful political strategy, it marks yet another low point in American politics. It was incredibly irresponsible for President Bush to tell the American people on national television that the country could be facing another Great Depression. By contrast, when we actually were in the Great Depression, President Roosevelt said that, "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself."
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Friday, September 19, 2008
The Financial Meltdown Continues
Virtually the only certainty in the current financial situation is that there will be more problems ahead. Those who controlled the levers of economic and financial policy neglected their greatest responsibility, which was to ensure an orderly financial market and prevent exactly the sort of collapse that we are now seeing. This was a policy failure of massive proportions, not a natural disaster.
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