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STAY AT HOME OR STUCK AT HOME? A LAST WORD ON ROSEN VERSUS ROMNEY. By now, every mother in America has heard of Democrat Hilary Rosen’s recent charge that Ann Romney, the wife of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and mother of five grown sons, has “never worked a day in her life.” Yes, the mommy wars are back, along with it no-win judgments about the merits of career versus family.

But treating women’s work as an issue for culture and values misses the boat in a big way. As we write in The Washington Monthly, this view is not only elitist, it denies the underlying economic realities of many women’s lives. For many women, the “choice” between career and family is illusory. It's a decision that's dictated not by values but by brutal economics--the cost of child care or the price of modern middle-class expectations. Nevertheless, by imbuing every mother's circumstances with the gloss of "choice," we miss the discussions we should be having--about the lack of affordable child care, the continuing unwillingness of employers to provide flexibility at the workplace and the long-term economic impacts of taking a break from the workforce. Read more HERE.

RECESSION HAMMERS NON-COLLEGE GRADS. Despite signs of recovery, the American economy is still 6 million jobs smaller than it was in 2007. This spells a hyper-competitive job market where college grads often settle for jobs that don't require an expensive degree. But as PPI economist Diana Carew writes, non-college grads are paying the biggest price for this downward squeeze in the labor force. Diana's analysis finds that while the college graduate (and higher) labor force has increased by 2.5 million since the recovery began, and the some college labor force increased by 0.7 million, the labor force participation of high school graduates has shrunk by 1.8 million. Read more HERE

A PRIMER ON SECOND HOMEOWNERS. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney made headlines this week floating a potential change to the mortgage interest deduction for second homeowners. Senior Fellow Jason Gold gathers up some surprisingly facts on who owns second homes and where. Read HERE.

In other housing news, PPI's monthly look at home values in 16 potential 2012 battleground states--our Battleground Home Values Index--stayed flat in February 2012. Median home prices in these states have fallen an average of 16% since the last election, or $29,525. While prices no longer seem to be falling, they haven't yet risen either. Given the state of the housing market for the past two years, no news is good news. See the chart HERE



  • April 25 — PPI joins forces with Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) and Charlie Dent (R-Penn.) and a bipartisan coalition of organizations to announce the launch of the "Golden Goose Award." Details and RSVP HERE.
  • May 1 — Join Roger Entner of Recon Analytics, Thomas Hazlett of George Mason University, and Michael Mandel of PPI discuss the economic implications of the wireless boom. Details and RSVP HERE.
  • May 2 — Join Michael Mandel, Jared Bernstein, Leo Hindery and Louis Uchitelle to discuss the critical role of manufacturing in the era of the app economy. Details and RSVP HERE.