Jaime Fuller

Jaime Fuller is a former associate editor at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Budget Battle Royale

Today's Balance Sheet

This year's budget battle is on the verge of hitting fever pitch as both parties struggle to frame the issue. House Republicans are trying to cut spending by more than the amount agreed upon in last summer's $1.047 trillion spending cap; some of their recent proposals would cut food stamps, child tax credit refunds that benefit the working class, and state social service block grants. The White House responded yesterday by sending a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees bluntly announcing that Obama will not sign any new appropriations bills until the House agrees to stick to the agreed spending targets. It doesn't look like the threat will deter the House Republicans from moving forward with their measures. Democrats in the House and Senate are unsurprisingly against the House Republican's plan. “Taking a meat-ax to nutrition programs that feed millions of working families in this country in order to avoid defense cuts is not a serious way to achieve deficit...

An E-Book a Day Keeps Amazon at Bay

Today's Balance Sheet

The Economist
The Department of Justice is going after Apple and five publishing companies, suing them for colluding to raise e-book prices. Amazon, the current leader in e-book sales thanks to the Kindle and the company's early domination of the market, takes a loss on their $9.99 books in order to pull in customers. Apple took a different route with its e-book store, allowing publishers to set the price and then taking a commission, also known as agency pricing . These publishers became unwilling to offer Amazon wholesale priced e-books, and prices rose from $9.99 to $12.99 and $14.99. Three publishers have already settled with the Justice Department, and have allowed Amazon and other retailers to return to what they call the "wretched $9.99 price point." A group of 16 states filed its own suit against publishers, and came to a settlement of $51 million with two publishers is set to provide restitution to consumers who bought the higher-priced e-books. Apple and the two other publishers are set...

Mission Accomplished for Top Corporations

Today's Balance Sheet

The New York Times
Although the economy is still improving at a glacial pace, as evidenced by this month's slowing job growth, companies and CEOs have returned to their pre-recession heights, with a stock market at a four-year high to match. In 2007, S&P 500 companies created an average of $378,000 in revenue for every employee. Last year, that number was $420,000 . Top executives are doing okay too—the median income of the top 100 CEOs is $14.4 million . Leading the pack is Apple's Timothy Cook, who makes an astounding $12 per second. The average annual American salary is $45,230. These company riches haven't translated into substantial job growth yet, partly because companies are still "very, very cautious" about hiring as we emerge from the recession, and partly because when they do hire, it is not always domestically. Until companies have the confidence to spend on hiring, job numbers aren't likely to rival corporate profits in the near future. The Latest ‘Super PAC,’ Eyeing General Election,...

+120,000 Jobs for March

Today's Balance Sheet

Moneybox
The economy added 120,000 nonfarm jobs in March—far less impressive growth than February's 240,000 jobs, which were revised upward from last months estimate of 227,000. The unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 8.2 percent, according to today's Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Economists had predicted that 205,000 jobs would be added in March. The numbers released today are far lower than expectations, and the +150,000 threshold needed to keep job growth at pace with population growth. The numbers could be a sign that job growth is slowing—the Federal Reserve has noted that expectations this year should be tempered given weak demand, the still precarious situation in Europe, and gas prices—or that much of the growth of the past few months was seasonal. Manufacturing employment went up by 37,000, boosted by growth in the auto industry; health care, financial services, and professional and business services also posted considerable growth. March also marks the 24th month of...

Jobless Claims Drop to Four-Year Lows

Today's Balance Sheet

The New York Times
In the week that ended March 31, jobless claims dropped to 357,000—the lowest they have been in four years, according to new numbers from the Labor Department. Pennsylvania posted the biggest drop in claims—1,956—while Texas posted the highest jump—4,185. The steady gains that have been happening since the fall are likely due to fewer layoffs and the strengthening of the labor market, as proved once again by last month's private-sector jobs numbers. The private-sector hired 209,000 workers in March, according to the most recent report from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, adding up to about 2 million new workers in the past year. Economists predict that the government's nonfarm jobs numbers—scheduled to be released tomorrow by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (a more comprehensive jobs report than the one released today)—will show a growth of 203,000 jobs for March, and an unchanged unemployment rate of 8.3 percent. The...

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