1. If Greg Mankiw wanted to inform his readers about the "Profile of OWS", he might have gone for something that was a little less focused on the profile of one individual, and instead, posted this excellent analysis of the WeAreThe99% Tumblr by Mike Konczal. Konczal's article actually gives a breakdown of the different platforms the Occupiers take and then discusses what that means for understanding the overall shape of their politics. An excellent "profiling" if we have ever seen one.
The thing is, the article in the Nation to which Mankiw linked was not even intended to be a full profile of OWS per se. The article, entitled "The Audacity of OWS", about the different types of groups which make up OWS and how they are often going against the "grain" in their respective communities in order to speak up against inequality and its adverse effects on democratic process. In the end, the article is a celebration of their tactics and resilience in the face of all sorts of outside pressures.
What was Mankiw's intention in linking to the piece in the first place? Does he find it funny that the (now unemployed) teacher, who probably decided to get a Master's degree to increase his earnings potential, ended up focusing on puppetry? While it is of course difficult to argue where precisely Mankiw stands on any particular issue when all he does is link to a post, his past behavior gives us a pretty good idea of how bad his blog "reporting" skills are and what his attempted message is. We can only infer what he really meant, but one thing is absolutely certain: his attempt to give us an overview of who the Occupiers really are ended in abysmal failure.
2. We think that this article by Barry Eichengreen, posted by Mankiw the other day, is an excellent discussion of some of the dangers facing the European economy as Greece searches for a way out of its fiscal troubles with a new Prime Minister and as Italy averts a crash itself. But one crucial issue, often skirted by mainstream media, is the impact the crisis is having on the actual people living in these countries.
How will the European "dark days" affect working people? Louka T. Katseli, writing for TripleCrisis, observes how the huge pay cuts taken by public workers across Europe are affecting perceptions of the viability of a European "social democratic" model that is increasingly favoring the financial sector. We believe that Katseli has written an excellent essay on these issues in a way that brings to light the impact of austerity measures on the government's ability to supply people with, for example, basic health care and social security checks.