Reports from the Economic Front

a blog by Marty Hart-Landsberg

Economic update

The economic mess is getting worse:

The state of Oregon is predicting a major revenue shortage—perhaps as much as a billion dollars—and thinking about cuts.  The Oregon Center for Public Policy says it is a revenue problem not a spending problem and suggests targeted ways to boost revenue–like deal with the ever shrinking corporate contribution to our taxes.

Unemployment is rising sharply, but we have a broken system.  For example, “just 37 percent of unemployed Americans are receiving jobless benefits today, down from 42 percent during the 1981-82 recession and 50 percent during the 1974-75 downturn. Americans today receive a maximum of 39 weeks of unemployment benefits, down from 65 weeks in the 1970s. The average weekly benefit is $293.”

And then there is deflation—imagine if prices and salaries all fall while debts remain unchanged.

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