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Four Challenges

by Ramesh Ponnuru

The long and short of the economy

Whoever wins the presidential election will have political responsibility for an economy beset by four distinct problems. At the moment neither party has a compelling answer to them.

The first challenge is, of course, the weakness of the recovery. Unemployment remains high. Worse, it has been high for a long time. The longer people are out of a job, the less productive they become — and the less likely to stay in the labor force at all. Long-term unemployment thus has even longer-term consequences.

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