Commentary

The New Republic: His Candidacy Shaped His Rivals' Policies And Will Continue To Resonate

Edwards' biggest problem may have been that he was too compelling — so compelling that his rivals effectively adopted his agenda. From the beginning, Edwards was positioning himself as the champion of Americans struggling to get ahead financially. And rather than simply offer populist rhetoric, he backed it with a serious, comprehensive set of policies.

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Obama's clean bill of health

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Too much money flows to mutual fund managers

The abuses of the mutual fund industry nicely illustrate how self-regulation and the premise of "agency" break down on Wall Street. In theory, mutual funds could solve the problem of the atomized shareholders failing to hold corporate management accountable. In practice, mutual fund managers are doing very nicely and don't want to rock the boat.

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The reform helps a great many uninsured but compounds a crisis that Dr. Marcia Angell, former executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, calls "coverage without care." As employers and insurers contain their costs by shifting them to individuals, more people find that their insurance fails to pay many expenses when they are sick.

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THE ECONOMIC crisis now unfolding is not like other postwar recessions, which could be fixed with low interest rates and deficit spending. This crisis reflects the collapse of major parts of the financial sector.

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Underlying our economic crisis is a polarization of income and

wealth

Progressives

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As the middle and poorer classes get crushed under a mounting pile of debt, and living costs grow faster than wages, we're becoming a country of two classes: the top 1% and everyone else. Similarly, we are two economies. The national one is comprised of items like GDP (Gross Domestic Product), corporate profits, stock market performance and CNBC. Then, there's the other one in which most people live: stretching to afford health care, a mortgage, commuting costs, education, kids, parents, and the credit cards that act as temporary pain killers.

U.S. currency's continued slide produces winners and losers in Sacramento

Anyone who's been paying any attention to the news the past few years will know the dollar's had-if you'll pardon my French-the s**t kicked out of it recently by the euro, the British pound, the Canadian and Australian dollars, the Japanese yen and just about any other hard currency you can think of, with the possible exception of Monopoly money.

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In Michigan, Romney is campaigning the way he first promised to — as a competent steward, not as a die-hard social conservative — and it's working.

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Many economic forecasters are predicting an election-year recession — seemingly a windfall for the opposition party. Yet it's not at all clear that the Democrats will pin the economic distress squarely on the policies of the Republican administration or offer a politically convincing alternative to them.

Why not?

There are four main reasons.

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