Bubble prophet

Economist Dean Baker began writing about the housing bubble eight years ago. The supply and demand of the market showed a record price spike. Former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan turned a blind eye to it, as did his successor, Ben Bernanke. Baker argues in False Profits: Recovering From the Bubble Economy that both men share blame for the bubble, which triggered widespread home foreclosures, job and pension losses and public spending cuts when it burst. Baker’s populism is downplayed by the mass media while it uncritically covers the bubble enablers’ cures: billions of tax bucks to bail out big banks and insurers. Baker’s remedies for the post-bubble crisis now feature a paid-time-off tax credit to shorten working hours and create new jobs. Plus, Congress must rewrite the charter of the Fed to shift banks’ control of it to the public. How to avoid another housing boom and bust? Read Baker’s book and pass it around.