Economy

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  City for sale: The politics of privatizing infrastructure

As communities across the country struggle to make ends meet, leasing public assets to private investors is an increasingly attractive way to generate much needed cash. Need to Know correspondent Rick Karr travels to two cities that are doing just that.

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This Labor Day, we need protests

Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade, says former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

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  Jeff Madrick on the politics of protecting consumers

Jeff Madrick, senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, discusses the new consumer protections enacted as part of the Wall Street reform bill passed last year.

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  The thin green line: Investing in urban parks

Need to Know visits the High Line, a flowering oasis built atop an old train trestle on Manhattan’s west side. It has drawn millions of admiring locals and tourists. But it’s more than just a nice place to relax and take in the view — it’s an economic engine.

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On the origins of the debt-ceiling crisis

Stephen Squibb examines how the GOP successfully recast retirement and healthcare savings as “entitlements,” refused tax increases and now finds itself perched on the edge of its greatest victory.

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  Eric Cantor walks a fine line

Need to Know interviews political reporter Jeff Schapiro about Republican Congressman Eric Cantor, who has emerged as a leading opponent of the White Houses attempt to broker a deal on the debt ceiling.

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  Richard Brookhiser on divisions within the Republican party

Need to Know turns to historian and senior editor at the National Review, Richard Brookhiser, for a broader perspective on the recent political machinations in Washington, and the age-old discussion over the size of government.

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  Simon Johnson on Europe’s debt crisis

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, talks with host Alison Stewart about how debt on both sides of the Atlantic will shape our economic futures for years to come.

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  Greece’s debt crisis and the age of austerity

How has Greece’s debt created so much turmoil within Europe, and how could this crisis threaten to involve the United States and the world?

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  Rebirth of the Rustbelt: an architect’s perspective

Can cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, make a comeback? Reed Kroloff, director of Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art, thinks so.

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In Youngstown, it takes a village to shrink a city

Hear some voices from Youngstown, Ohio, which has lost more than half its population and has an ambitious plan to rebuild through shrinking.

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  Paying for war: The cost of caring for America’s wounded vets

Even as the wars wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan the financial cost of taking care of veterans continues to mount and could reach a trillion dollars in coming decades