When Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker threatened the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public sector employees earlier this year, large scale protests assembled almost overnight as the eyes of the world descended on the Badger State. It was déjà vu in the Garden State last week, when the New Jersey State Senate approved a bill which would radically change the health care, pensions and bargaining rights of over 500,000 public sector employees. Just a decade ago, a move against pensions would be political suicide. So why are voters and lawmakers changing their state budget tactics now?
As home values fall, more and more homeowners are walking away from their mortgage payments and foreclosing on their properties. And some say this is the right decision.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress yesterday, saying he expects to see new jobs appearing near the end of this year or early next year. He warned, however, that it could take a while for the unemployment rate to slow down. Joining The Takeaway to discuss the long wait for work is New York Times magazine writer Roger Lowenstein, who sees the lack of job hiring as more troubling than job losses. Also joining the conversation are Fred Winner, who runs a welding company in Western Ohio and has had to lay off employees and cut hours, and Boreas Van Nouhuys, who lost his job last November as a carpenter in Kauai, and is still looking for work.