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Robert Rubin: Economic Future Is Most 'Uncertain' He's Ever Seen

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says the U.S. economic outlook is the most "uncertain" he has seen in his lifetime.

Given that he was born during the Great Depression (1938), and lived through the Cold War, the 1970s' inflation, a brutal 1980-82 recession and the recent global financial crisis, that may be saying a lot.

Rubin, who was President Clinton's Treasury secretary, is now co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. He spoke Wednesday in Washington, D.C., at a conference called "American Competitiveness: What Works," sponsored by General Electric.

Rubin said the economy is pushing ahead for now, but likely will slow because of "powerful headwinds." His list of worries includes: too much consumer debt; excess factory capacity; slow wage growth; insufficient job growth; reduced government spending; "unsustainable" levels of government debt and a still-horrible housing market.

And of course, Rubin also frets about U.S. congressional ineptitude and the European debt crisis.

He did not use the technical term "YIKES," but it was implied.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Nina McLemore's Clothes Are A 'Weapon' Of Powerful Women

Nina McLemore designs clothes for powerful women: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Janet Yellen, Elena Kagan and others. She talks about how fashion can help women stand out in political office.
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After Italy Quakes, Food World Delivers Support To Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

Amatrice was set to host the 50th celebration of pasta all'Amatriciana famously made there, but this week's earthquake devastated the town. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with food blogger Jeremy Cherfas.
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What Should We Call This Kind of Presidential Campaign, Anyway?

One can easily imagine Hillary Clinton having some affinity with the "front porch" style campaign of the late 19th century, while Donald Trump personifies the "whistle stopping" style that came next.
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Want To Play Video Games Made In D.C.? Here's Your Chance.

An event called District Arcade brings together 23 locally made video games.

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