Jaime Fuller

Jaime Fuller is a former associate editor at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

What Happens in the One Percent, Stays in the One Percent

Despite conservatives' denials about income inequality and the validity of the Occupy movement's mission, recent surveys show that the protest's rallying cry—"We are the 99 percent"—strikes a chord with many Americans. The economic mobility that once seemed a basic feature of American life has faded away; the U.S. now stands behind Denmark, Canada, and Britain, among others, when it comes to social mobility— 62 percent of Americans born into the top two-fifths of the income distribution stay in that bracket, a far larger sum than in Britain (30 percent). The middle class retains a far higher degree of mobility—about 36 percent of Americans raised in the middle-fifth move up as adults—but people at either end of the economic spectrum are unlikely to budge. The Latest Eurozone's Phoney War will be Short-Lived The Guardian Obama to Unveil Austere Pentagon Strategy The Washington Post Cordray Appointment Activates Full Powers of New Consumer Bureau Bloomberg Businessweek A Less Dismal...

Bernanke's Burn Book

Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has decided to release senior officials' short-term interest-rate forecasts, opening a window into the collective mind of the Federal Reserve. The forecasts will be released after the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on January 25. It will include forecasts for the "likely timing" of the first hike of the federal funds target rate and "qualitative information" on the Reserve's war chest of bonds and securities. The Fed likely hopes that by releasing this data, it can encourage much-needed economic growth by guiding investors' expectations and staving off worries about interest-rate changes. Many economists are cheering the transparency of this move, but some—including those who didn't vote for the change of policy on the board—think that publishing forecasts could confuse instead of educate the public and that the Federal Reserve's forecasts are often no more accurate than its peers'. “You run the risk of every other forecaster, and that is of...

Still in the Woods

If you look at the forecasts, Europe and the U.S. are starting 2012 off on different economic trajectories. Europe is heading for a near-inescapable second recession after manufacturing output dropped in December for the fifth straight month. The United States, on the other hand, seemed to be on the upswing in December—the job and housing markets improved, the payroll tax cut was extended (finally), and consumer spending rose. “There is a sense of decoupling,” Maury Harris, chief economist at UBS Securities, told Bloomberg Businessweek . “We can still have a decent year here in the U.S. even with the rest of the world slowing down.” However, the good news is not without qualification . Job growth has increased, but 40 percent of the new jobs have been in low-paying sectors. Growth is projected at 2 percent for the first half of the year—down from an estimated 3.6 percent in the last quarter of 2011. And consumer spending—which makes up 70 percent of the economy—is still in the...

Economists Place Their Bets for 2012

Pundits can't decide whether the future looks bright for the American economy, or the new year will bring doomsday. On the positive side, unemployment compensation claims are at their lowest levels in more than three years, housing sales are up, the stock market is making a comeback, and confidence in the economy is growing. On the negative side, there's Europe. If the continent drops into a big recession, the United States is in danger of losing the small economic gains it won in the past year. Many Americans have already taken matters into their own hands. People have started fleeing New York, New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts for cheaper-living states like Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Utah and Idaho—states which grew at twice the national pace and happen to have considerably lower taxes and housing costs, according to Bloomberg Businessweek . “If you move from New York to Houston, you just gave yourself a gigantic raise,” said Joel Kotkin, author of The...

Going Cold Turkey on Debt Reduction For the Win

Congress had debt on the brain in 2011—fights over the debt ceiling, the Supercommittee, the Bush tax cuts, and voucherizing Medicare—but it amounted to just talk. It was a weird issue to focus on in the year before a big election, since most voters find unemployment and the general economy more important problems to tackle than the federal deficit. And, it turns out that this obsession with the debt was a bad idea for more than Congress' approval rating. Bloomberg reported that there was record demand this year for U.S. government bonds, making it cheaper for the U.S. to finance its debt now than it was during the surpluses in the 90s. While Congress was mired in a battle over the deficit, the market was begging the government to borrow more. With the Bush tax cuts scheduled to expire in a year and the national debt set to reach the legal limit once again, Congress has a clear excuse to keep fighting over debt in the new year. However, unless legislators want to end 2012 with an even...

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