By Hal Canary, 2011-11-02 09:13:23 (link)

0) More than anything, today's biggest economic problem is high unemployment.

1) More than anything, the banking industry's risky investments during the bubble caused the crash and the current high levels of unemployment. If the government had not bailed them out, most major banks would have gone bankrupt. We don't oppose banks or bailouts, but banks should be held accountable: strong regulation to prevent these things in the future, taxes to pay for future bailouts, and smaller banks that aren't “too big to fail.”

2) Federal tax and labor policy over the past thirty years has favored the super-rich (top 0.1%) at the expense of the median household. Too much of our productivity gains over this time period has gone to make the super-rich richer, and not enough has gone to the average American. Compare to the previous thirty years, when all Americans benefited more evenly from productivity gains.

3) Monetary policy is serving the super-rich (creditors) at the expense of the average American (debtors) If we were to raise the medium-term inflation targets from a current 1–2% to a modest 4–5%, we could relieve the debt burden of the average American, stimulate investment, and reduce unemployment. This is opposed by the super-rich and those who are confused about the utility of a strong currency.

4) Austerity (cutting government spending in the face of high unemployment) hurts more than it helps, especially when our long-term intrest rates are so low. The best way to balance the budget is to return to full employment and tax capital gains like any other income. And we don't need to balance the budget until we return to full employment.