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Ezra Klein: August 22, 2010 - August 28, 2010

Reconciliation

By Dylan Matthews Today, Suzy bemoaned the entire tone of the immigration debate, I interviewed Danielle Ewen on the federal policy map around early education and child care, and Justin looked at Ben Bernanke's speech in Wyoming. 1) Only letting...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 27, 2010; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Why immigration could help America

By Suzy Khimm The U.S. birth rate has hit a record low, falling for the second year since its peak in 2007, according to the National Bureau of Health Statistics. Demographers mostly blame the economy for the drop, as recession-hit...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 27, 2010; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Research Desk investigates: Do the rich spend less of new income than the poor?

By Dylan Matthews PtitSeb did not ask this exactly, but this quotation he posted from Mark Zandi raises an interesting question: Mark Zandi's op-ed in the NYT last week ... mentioned that "successful small-business owners, who power the nation’s job-creation...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 27, 2010; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Ben Bernanke owns your mortgage

Ben Bernanke's speech among the Grand Tetons this morning seems to have mollified markets for the day, although it was sadly disappointing for those of us who hoped he might come out with a new catchphrase.

By Justin Fox  |  August 27, 2010; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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A method to Lindsey Graham's birthright citizenship madness?

By Suzy Khimm Sen. Lindsey Graham helped push this summer's immigration debate to a new level of hysteria when he reignited the crusade against "birthright citizenship" -- an old hobbyhorse of the anti-immigration movement. His abrupt swerve to the right...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 27, 2010; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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'D.C. really has an opportunity to serve as a national model'

By Dylan Matthews Despite some of the difficulties with securing funding for pre-K that I've outlined this past week, some cities and states are forging ahead with new programs. Among them is D.C., which is making new "blended" pre-K programs...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 27, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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'Head Start works'

By Dylan Matthews Danielle Ewen is the director of child care and early education policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a think tank focusing on policies to support low-income people and families. A lightly edited transcript...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 27, 2010; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Should you believe the CBO when it says the stimulus reduced unemployment?

By Justin Fox On Wednesday, Dylan Matthews cited the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of how much lower the unemployment rate is than it would have been without the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the stimulus package, and...

By Justin Fox  |  August 27, 2010; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Wonkbook: Obama against environmentalists; Katrina recovery uneven; Dems pushing broader tax cuts

A new lawsuit finds the Obama administration arguing on behalf of utility companies against environmentalists trying to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, five years out from Katrina, New Orleans' white and upper-class residents received more in recovery assistance...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 27, 2010; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Reconciliation

By Dylan Matthews Today, John suggested that media figures may be responsible for Americans thinking Obama is a Muslim, Suzy explained the debate around the E-Verify employment verification system, I talked to Edward Zigler about why passing child care legislation...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 26, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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New American life, Old World name

By Suzy Khimm Immigrants to America may no longer be as eager to Anglicize their names upon arrival. So says the New York Times in a story today that explains why new arrivals and their children are more likely to...

By Jennifer Abella  |  August 26, 2010; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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New American life, Old World name

By Suzy Khimm Immigrants to America may no longer be as eager to Anglicize their names upon arrival. So says the New York Times in a story today that explains why new arrivals and their children are more likely to...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 26, 2010; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Research Desk: How accurate were CBO projections of spending and revenue for the 2000s?

By Dylan Matthews cummije5 asks: Since the CBO makes 10 year projections, I would like to see how much more spending over what was projected in 2000 happened, and how much less revenue under what was projected in 2000 happened....

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 26, 2010; 5:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Why do more people think Obama is a Muslim?

By John Sides By now, you've probably heard of the Pew Center poll that found that fewer Americans believe Obama is a Christian and more believe he is a Muslim or simply don't know what his religion is.  The question...

By John Sides  |  August 26, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Should businesses be forced to use E-Verify?

By Suzy Khimm Embroiled in the ongoing immigration debate, a growing number of states and municipalities are rushing to embrace E-Verify, a federally created system that determines whether potential employees are legally permitted to work in the U.S. About 13...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 26, 2010; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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'Those of us who work on children’s issues are very depressed'

By Dylan Matthews Edward Zigler is a Sterling Professor of Psychology, emeritus, at Yale University. He was one of the founders of Head Start, and served as head of Office of Child Development and the U.S. Children's Bureau during the...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 26, 2010; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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A soup that redeems all of Martha Stewart's sins

By Justin Fox Dylan has lamented the lack of food-related content in Ezra's absence. So, after making it for dinner last night and being reminded of its amazing late-summer goodness, I need to talk about melon soup. I learned the...

By Justin Fox  |  August 26, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Research Desk at rest

By Dylan Matthews All good things must come to an end, and Research Desk is no exception. My last day working full time at The Post is tomorrow, and that means this will be the last Research Desk solicitation thread,...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 26, 2010; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Wonkbook: Bernanke expected to announce policy; risky bets allowed; SEC empowers shareholders

Dylan Matthews is writing Wonkbook while Ezra is on vacation. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to announce the Fed's course of action in a speech Friday. Meanwhile, despite FinReg, banks will still be allowed to make risky bets that...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 26, 2010; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Reconciliation

By Dylan Matthews Today, Suzy highlighted problems with poorly regulated private prisons, John noted that prison hurts civic engagement, I talked to James Heckman about the payoffs from investing in childcare, and Justin took apart Intel CEO Paul Otellini's comments...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 25, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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How Obama is firing immigrant workers -- but not deporting them

By Suzy Khimm While President Obama has moved away from the controversial workplace raids that characterized the Bush era of immigration enforcement, the Obama administration has ramped up audits on employers that hire illegal immigrants. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 25, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Intel CEO Paul Otellini's politico-economic critique

Intel CEO Paul Otellini's dinner remarks Monday in Aspen have been making the rounds. Not having witnessed them, I can't say for sure, but they seem to have been a mix of the same things that Intel CEOs have been saying about U.S. competitiveness for the past few decades plus a bit of the Obama-bashing currently fashionable in business circles. Naturally, it's the latter that's getting all the attention, which is somewhat unfortunate given that Otellini's take on current events was partisan and off-the-cuff, but his views on U.S. competitiveness seem well-informed (if of course self-interested) and probably right.

By Justin Fox  |  August 25, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Research Desk: Where would unemployment and GDP growth be without the stimulus?

Has anyone done a side-by-side comparison of the results (GDP growth, employment, etc,)of the Obama administration economic policies (stimulus, etc) and the policies advocated by the Republicans (spending freeze, no stimulus, etc.)?

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 25, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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'It’s just a question of using the same dollars wisely'

James Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, and shared the 2000 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. Much of his recent work has focused on the economic gains to funding early childhood education. In particular, he has studied the Perry Project, which provided preschool in Ypsilanti, Mich., for a group of 3-year-old children chosen at random from 1962 to 1967. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation, on Perry and related topics, follows.

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 25, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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How prisons make bad citizens

by John Sides It is well known that the percentage of Americans in prison or on parole has increased dramatically.  But we know far less about how incarceration -- and interaction with law enforcement generally -- affects political attitudes and...

By John Sides  |  August 25, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Are private prisons worth the cost? Ctd.

By Suzy Khimm Earlier this week, I questioned whether private prisons are actually more cost-effective and better run than public facilities, pointing to an Arizona study showing how the industry has fallen short of its promises. In response, Will Wilkinson...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 25, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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CBO says stimulus added jobs; home sales plunge; how MMS failed

Dylan Matthews is writing Wonkbook while Ezra is on vacation. The latest CBO estimate places job gains from the stimulus package at between 1.4 million and 3.3 million. Meanwhile, existing home sales dropped dramatically, raising the prospect of a double...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 25, 2010; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Reconciliation

By Dylan Matthews Today, John looked at how online political participation breaks down by class, I discussed kindergarten research with Raj Chetty, Suzy highlighted the backlog in immigration courts, and Justin argued that home prices need to fall still further...

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 24, 2010; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Australia and Canada's rightward turn on immigration

Advocates for greater immigration restrictions often compare America (unfavorably) to other Western industrialized countries that have tried to tighten up their policies for accepting newcomers. In fact, a strikingly similar immigration debate is playing out right now in Australia and Canada, which both have a profile akin to the United States as young nations built up on centuries of immigration.

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 24, 2010; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Research Desk: Where are all the high earners?

What's the geographic distribution of the top one percent of wage earners across the U.S.? What about the top .01%? I suspect that when people in, say, Nebraska hear that Democrats want to tax the top 0.1% they think of the wealthiest in their own community without realizing that the vast majority who make that kind of money are located in a few major metropolitan areas.

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 24, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Time for house prices to start falling again

By Justin Fox The big economic news of the day, and probably the week, was the big drop in existing-home sales in July reported this morning by the National Association of Realtors. This was to a certain extent expected after...

By Justin Fox  |  August 24, 2010; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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A record backlog in immigration courts

By Suzy Khimm The lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law aside, Obama has devoted nearly all his efforts on immigration to ramped up enforcement, and his administration is on track to deport a record number of illegal immigrants. The Immigration...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 24, 2010; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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'Cutting funding for early childhood education in order to meet the current budget shortfall is probably not a great idea'

Raj Chetty is a professor of economics at Harvard University. His most recent paper, "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings?" (PDF), co-authored with John Friedman, Nathaniel Hilger, Emmanuel Saez, Diane Schanzenbach and Danny Yagan, examines Project STAR, a landmark education experiment conducted in the 1980s in Tennessee, which randomly assigned students to classes of different sizes and to different teachers for kindergarten through third grade. Past studies have focused on the effect of teachers and lower class size on test scores; Chetty et al stand out for focusing on adult outcomes, such as earnings. Read David Leonhardt's column on the study for more context. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 24, 2010; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Is the Internet a 'weapon of the strong'?

by John Sides The Internet provides people new ways in which to participate in politics.  But does it help new kinds of people participate in politics?  That is the question addressed in a new paper by Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney...

By John Sides  |  August 24, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Friedmanite argument for regulation

By Justin Fox University of Michigan strategy professor Anil Karnani had a piece in Monday's Wall Street Journal that began like yet another admiring riff on Milton Friedman's famous 1970 essay, "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its...

By Justin Fox  |  August 24, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Ummm, never mind about that mutual fund thing

Felix Salmon argues pretty convincingly that the data point that inspired my post yesterday on stock market cycles -- a big outflow from domestic stock mutual funds so far this year -- is bogus. When you add in exchange-traded funds...

By Justin Fox  |  August 24, 2010; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Research desk

By Dylan Matthews Usually this is where Ezra would relay some Chuck Norris-esque fact about me, but that would be unseemly. What have we got today?...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 24, 2010; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Wonkbook: Fed split on more action; new fees on mortgage lenders; school overhauls delayed

Dylan Matthews is writing Wonkbook while Ezra is on vacation. The Federal Reserve's monetary policy body was split down the middle on its latest decision. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is leaning toward financing federal support for mortgages through fees on...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 24, 2010; 8:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Reconciliation

By Dylan Matthews Today, John questioned whether Americans really want to govern themselves, Justin expressed uncertainty about the long-term future of the stock market, I talked to Sara Mead about early education policy, and Suzy criticized new fees on companies...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 23, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Blaming inequality for the financial crisis

By Justin Fox There's a whole crop of financial-crisis-related books out this summer and fall that pin at least part of the blame for what happened on income inequality. I know because I reviewed several of them for the September...

By Justin Fox  |  August 23, 2010; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Are private prisons worth the cost?

By Suzy Khimm Well before passing Arizona's controversial immigration law, Arizona lawmakers were treating the state as a laboratory of sorts for the criminal justice system. Last year, state legislators passed a bill that would have privatized almost all of...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 23, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Research Desk: Do changes to flexible spending accounts hurt middle-class families?

By Dylan Matthews ncgators asks: A discussion broke out at lunch today about flex-spending accounts. In the new healthcare bill is an item reducing FSA limits to $2500. Of course the right-wing side of the table (most of my colleagues)...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 23, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Everybody benefits, but poor kids benefit the most

By Dylan Matthews Sara Mead is a senior associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners, and specializes In early childhood education issues, especially pre-K through third grade. You can read more about her policy prescriptions for early education in her report,...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 23, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Programming note

By Dylan Matthews The best policy measures are those that address more than one major problem at once. Health-care reform expanded access to underserved patients while improving the United States' long-term fiscal picture. Cap-and-trade would reduce the risk of catastrophic...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 23, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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End of days, or just a major recession?

By Justin Fox Ezra said I'd be writing about "all things money." So I just wasted 15 minutes watching "Swingers" clips on YouTube, then thought: Maybe I should write about actual money. Such as the $33.12 billion that U.S. investors...

By Justin Fox  |  August 23, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Immigrant tech geeks and U.S. jobs

By Suzy Khimm Hello, all -- happy to be guest-blogging here again. I’m Suzy Khimm, and I cover national politics for the Washington bureau of Mother Jones. While Ezra's away this week, I’ll be mostly focusing on immigration policy issues, hoping...

By Suzy Khimm  |  August 23, 2010; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Do Americans want to govern themselves?

By John Sides Many thanks to Ezra for allowing me to guest-blog this week.  As befits the wonkishness of this blog and Ezra's attentiveness to political science research, my posts will tend to focus on political science and especially the...

By John Sides  |  August 23, 2010; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Wonkbook: Korea deal back; thaw with teachers; coal plants proliferate

Dylan Matthews is writing Wonkbook while Ezra is on vacation. Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that credit card penalty fee rules were part of the financial regulation bill; they are part of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill...

By Dylan Matthews  |  August 23, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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