In times of crisis, the kind of economic data that is ordinarily only of interest to economists and finance pros draws more attention from the rest of us as we look for signs of what is going on, and what is to come. Last week’s jobless claims number, the highest in United States history, was a sobering look at what is in store economically.
This week we’ll get another round of jobless claims numbers, along with looks at manufacturing and service jobs that will help us understand the velocity and depth of the economic crisis we are facing.
This morning the Labor Department announced 3.28 million people filed for unemployment, the largest one-week number in United States history. This is a shocking number. It beat analyst estimates by nearly one million claims. It’s four times the previous record.
Yet, the worst is certainly ahead of us.
We often hear from readers (sometimes, painfully, former readers) that they wish we covered climate change more, among other issues. And we do, too. It’s one of the most important political stories of our lifetimes.
Historically, TPM has favored news and investigations on which we can break ground where other outlets haven’t. We’ve been less likely to cover larger, slower moving, but ultimately existentially critical stories.
But last week, we devoted a significant amount of our resources to focusing on the climate story. And it was our membership model that allowed us to do it.
So please take a moment to join if you’re not already a member.
I was on vacation last week when I got the news that the TPM Union had ratified the contract we’d agreed upon. Without a doubt, the union makes TPM a better company. Now that I’m back in the office, I wanted to talk a bit about why.
Some of TPM’s longtime readers may know me but most of you will not so let me introduce myself. I’m Joe Ragazzo, executive publisher at TPM. In my previous life I was a journalist but moved over to the “business” side because it upset me how the news industry was dying and I hoped in some small way I could help improve it.
We have three simple goals at TPM. We want to do great journalism. We want to be the best media company at which to work. We want to make enough money to do the first two things.
Bruce Bartlett has spent many years in government, including service on the staffs of Representatives Ron Paul and Jack Kemp and Senator Roger Jepsen. He has been executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, and deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush administration. A New York Times best-selling author, he’s published more than 2,100 articles in major national publications.
Bruce will be in the Hive to chat about his new book, “The Truth Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks,” which focuses on the concept of “fake news” and offers solutions to combat it. Post your questions and join us on Thursday! If you’d like to participate but don’t have TPM Prime, sign up here.
Dr. Bandy Lee is a violence studies specialist. Trained as a psychiatrist at Yale and Harvard Universities, she focused on public-sector work as chief resident and on anthropological research in East Africa as a fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health. Bandy recently published “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” a book that offers insight into President Donald Trump’s mental state from herself and over two dozen other mental health experts. Based on their evaluations, their consensus is that Trump presents a clear and present danger to the country. You can read a Mother Jones interview with one of the book’s co-authors here.
Professor Jay Rosen has been on the NYU Journalism faculty since 1986, and from 1999 to 2005 he served as chair of the department. He is also the author of PressThink, a weblog about journalism and its ordeals. As a press critic and reviewer, Jay has published in The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and others. He has a Ph.D. from NYU in media studies.
Will Fischer is a nationally recognized progressive leader. A decorated Marine Corps veteran of the war in Iraq, he is the director of government affairs for VoteVets, which, with more than 500,000 members, is the largest progressive veterans organization in America (and was also blocked on Twitter by President Donald Trump in June). Prior to his work at VoteVets, Will spent nearly a decade working at the national AFL-CIO and in a variety of political, legislative, and organizing campaigns across the country.