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With 605,000 jobs lost so far this year and an unemployment rate topping 6 percent, the U.S. economy—and especially its labor market—needs another shot in the arm. The economic stimulus package passed in February gave the economy a helpful prod and staved off an economic contraction over the summer. The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve are intervening in financial markets on a massive scale to hold off a complete collapse wrought by their own and other agencies’ incompetent supervision of Wall Street business practices. But other stimulus measures are needed as well.
The various options Congress is considering should address the short-term crisis in the labor market and the eight years of stagnant incomes and weak job growth. We have a crisis but need to do more than apply a quick fix.
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