A Hard Shove To The Left

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is gearing up for a new national progressive agenda based on what he’s been able to do so far in the Big Apple, and he’s expected to announce it next week.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, using his muscular perch to try to nudge the national Democratic Party to the left, next week will unveil a 13-point progressive agenda that he hopes will be the left’s answer to the Contract with America, which helped propel Newt Gingrich and the Republican revolution of 1994.

On Tuesday, de Blasio will hold a 3 p.m. news conference outside the U.S. Capitol with labor leaders, Democratic lawmakers and liberal activists to unveil his “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.”

The manifesto includes the ideas of economist Joseph Stiglitz and dozens of other leaders and thinkers consulted by the de Blasio team.

Among the planks is a universal pre-kindergarten program, DeBlasio’s signature policy since he took office on Jan. 1, 2014. Other elements are aimed at helping working people ($15 minimum wage) and working parents (paid family leave), and proposals for “tax fairness” (increasing the tax on carried interest, a huge issue for private equity).

De Blasio convened a group of a dozen national progressives at Gracie Mansion on April 2, and they discussed ideas for addressing income inequality. Among the advisers present was John Del Cecato of AKPD Message and Media, who made de Blasio’s campaign commercials, including the famous “Dante” ad.

Then the conversation extended to others — economists, elected officials and activists.

De Blasio advisers say that more than 60 big names have signed on, including Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.); Marian Wright Edelman and Howard Dean; national labor leaders; and actors Susan Sarandon and Steve Buscemi.

Rolling Stone has a preview of de Blasio’s new drive in the forthcoming May 21 issue, which has a 7½-page spread, “The Mayor’s Crusade: Bill de Blasio is trying to remake America’s biggest city — and he doesn’t plan to stop there.”

I’m actually very glad to see a concerted effort to push the Overton window to the left. Right now American politics seems to consist of “And how shall we choose to punish the poors this time around, m’lord” and a big effort to reframe the entire debate is way overdue.

The pushback on this is going to be enormous, but putting these issues into the 2016 arena is absolutely necessary.

More of this, please.  This is how we can help get both more and better Democrats elected at the state and national level.

118 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    I hope this will be an important counterpoint to the Republican Senate’s “blueprint” which was nothing more than the same old, same old.

  2. 2

    How is DiBlasio viewed in NYC lately? I know how people in my family view him, but they probably dream in CAPS LOCK, the unhinged fools.

    Just wondering how much popular support he’s got, given that our corporate news media is about to shred him.

  3. 3
    gene108 says:

    Blah, blah, blah…big words…fell asleep reading it…

    Need something catchy that a 5th grader can grok…otherwise it is not going to get people’s attention…

  4. 4
    srv says:

    As long is it includes vouchers, I’m all for it.

  5. 5
    Belafon says:

    Did you hear about Clinton’s immigration talk? Seems she went pretty far left on that as well, endorcing full citizenship for all undocumented immigrants, and promising to extend Obama’s actions.

    That was far enough that even DK had trouble finding fault with it, though a few did give it a try.

  6. 6
    Felonius Monk says:

    It will be interesting to see how Andrew Cuomo will try to undermine Mr. de Blasio’s efforts and I have every confidence that he will try.

  7. 7
    Sloegin says:

    Hopefully it’s something in the air or water; Alberta, a long bastion of Canada’s right just went hard (for us anyway) left.

  8. 8
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Felonius Monk: My wife wants to literally wring Andrew Cuomo’s neck. Charles Pierce refers to him as “most likely adopted.”

    Here is the legendary Ella Fitzgerald singing a Harry Nilsson song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLPyi0I09PQ

    It doesn’t get any better than that.

  9. 9
    Bobby B. says:

    I’ll want to see if he does anything concrete about the corporatized WOD.

  10. 10
    The Other Bob says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    “most likely adopted.”

    Sorry to go off topic, but having been adopted does not cause you to stray from your family’s values. Maybe Cuomo is just a dick.

  11. 11
    Shantanu Saha says:

    “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality” does not roll trippingly off the tongue. Nothing like the New Deal, New Frontier, or Great Society. Not even the mealy-mouthed “Contract with America” that was mainly branding for warmed-over pseudo-Reaganism. Let’s get some PR/Advertising wizards on this, ASAP.

  12. 12
    c u n d gulag says:

    GOP POV:
    “Sire, the peasant’s are revolting!!!”

    ‘Yes, they are. Send in the troops!’

    I’m glad to see someone, finally, with the cojones to give a progressive agenda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you, Mayor de Blasio!!!

  13. 13
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @The Other Bob: I was just quoting Charles Pierce. Andrew is a dick, that’s all there is to it. He is the prince of darkness (see his collaborations with Chris Christie)

  14. 14

    It will be interesting to see how the national news media treat him. My expectation is that his positions will either be scrupulously cut out of coverage, he’ll be laughed at as a joke, or both. History suggests that these positions are precisely the ones national journalists hate, and generally when Obama talked about this stuff we got cutaways to Other News.

  15. 15
    Zandar says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    It will be interesting to see how the national news media treat him.

    The use of the word “manifesto” in the third paragraph of the above Mike Allen WIN THE MORNING piece is a real big clue where they will be by, say, end of next week/Sunday shows on this.

  16. 16
    Tommy says:

    Among the planks is a universal pre-kindergarten program ….

    Amen to that. Last year my niece was in a pre-kindergarten program. There was always a lot of learning going on at home, but I swear she advanced by leaps and bounds with her reading, numbers, writing after the classes.

    That every child didn’t have what she had, those classes.

  17. 17
    Belafon says:

    So, I have a question for everyone. We all hate Cuomo and Rahm, but they all got through their primaries by beating someone more progressive than them. Without falling into the trap of “if they’d only been more progressive” how are we going to replace people like Cuomo and Rahm?

  18. 18
    Jay C says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Maybe Cuomo is just a dick.

    Yep. SATSQ.

    Anyway, much as I admire Big Bill’s fortitude in attempting to formulate and publicize a progressive agenda – outside his immediate constituency, that is – Andrew Cuomo’s opposition (which is a near-certainty, IMO) is only going to be one of the stumbling blocks Berlin-grade walls in his way. I can foresee at least two major ones from just reading this recap:
    1) a probable freakout, and HUGE counter-campaign by Wall Street/banksters and their creatures to prevent ANY tinkering with the carried-interest tax break, and 2) a likely national media blitz designed to paint de Blasio as an American Pol Pot with a “moonbat” agenda: no doubt aided and abetted by the local press who will seize on any water-main break or bodega robbery as proof-positive of de Blasio’s “failure”.
    I wish him luck, though.

  19. 19
    Cervantes says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Not only that, his father was no angel.

  20. 20
    Cervantes says:

    @Shantanu Saha:

    “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality” does not roll trippingly off the tongue.

    I don’t like it, either. Can you think of good alternatives?

  21. 21
    Tom in WI says:

    I have found that I have had a very negative response to Bernie Sanders. I am sure I agree with him on many issues. I appreciate that he is running in the primary not doing the 3rd party torpedo. I guess I view Quixotic attempts as risky for keeping Republicans out of the White House.

    But I love DeBlasio. He presents a progressive world view with a passion. His position as NYC mayor can’t easily be ignored. He seems like the progressive politician that could influence this presidential election without being dismissed as a joke.

  22. 22
    the Conster says:

    I love that Sanders and diBlasio are grabbing the mic at the same time as the nutbars in TX are causing even staunch conservatives to ask WTF. It is an interesting juxtaposition, and puts the media under the microscope as the clown car becomes the clown bus with ever nuttier clowns. Not that the media will do anything except both sidesism, but I hope that the average person when they look up from their 3 jobs can’t help but wonder which party might offer something for them. I also want a pony.

  23. 23
    gratuitous says:

    I agree, even if the conversation is “too complicated” for the millionaires on the teevee to quite grasp every point and nuance, it’s important to bring up these subjects. Let’s have a conversation about just why we don’t think universal early childhood education is important. Let’s talk about how our system distributes the wealth generated by labor.

    There are a lot of decisions we’ve made in the last 40 years or so that got adopted without much of a discussion. When, exactly, did we decide that working until you drop dead was the one and only template for the working class? Sure, if you’re a big shot corporate greedmeister, it’s easy to work well into your 80s. The toughest decisions you have to make are whether to take the corporate jet to Davos or just fly first class, and the heaviest lifting you do is getting the cap off the viagra bottle. But for most of the rest of us, life isn’t quite such a bed of roses. Why not? Plenty of Wealth has been created by Labor in the last 40 years, but none of it has made its way into workers’ pockets. When did we decide to do that? Maybe it’s time we changed that.

  24. 24
    RSR says:

    de Blasio compeletely caved to Cuomo and Eva Moskowitz on ed reform and charter schools.

  25. 25
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Said it before and will say it again: BdB should focus on running the city he was elected to run instead of fancying himself a big-time national policy player. His dabbling in state politics has shown that on politics, he’s a complete amateur.

  26. 26
    Archon says:

    @Belafon:

    I suspect by the time she wins the nomination Clinton will be to the left of Obama on pretty much all domestic issues to get the base fired up and try to play up identity and biography to win moderate and Republican women.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @Belafon:

    Did you hear about Clinton’s immigration talk? Seems she went pretty far left on that as well, endorcing full citizenship for all undocumented immigrants, and promising to extend Obama’s actions.

    I heard a soundbite this morning. Two things I liked about it. Hillary is singing on with and continuing Obama’s legacy on this. And I liked how she made it a point to note that none of the GOP candidates agree with her position on this.

    Whether voters oppose her or back her, they will be clear on where she stands and on where the GOP stands. And this also sends a clear signal to Latino voters as to where she stands (and I also note that not all Latinos are monolithically pro-immigration).

    Also, as noted, her clarity here makes it hard for the media to muddle the message.

  28. 28
    Botsplainer says:

    According to mom, who is a total wingnut, every structural problem in the economy and in the delivery of healthcare is related to the absence of motivation of genuine economic pain for poors (and in particular, minority poors). If they simply worked harder, everything would be better for everybody.

  29. 29
    WereBear says:

    @Karen in GA: I know how people in my family view him, but they probably dream in CAPS LOCK, the unhinged fools.

    This was so brilliantly put I am still laughing.

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @Cervantes: Need to do something like the House Democrats: Their bill to require all campaign contributers to be disclosed is called the Keep Our Contributers Honest (KOCH) Act.

  31. 31
    Cervantes says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    BdB should focus on running the city he was elected to run instead of fancying himself a big-time national policy player.

    You may not recall desperate times in NYC when national policy did, or could have made, the difference; when the relationship with DC was, or could have been, crucial.

    Moreover, sometimes it’s important to be on the offensive. He may not be as good at it as we’d like, I agree.

  32. 32

    @Botsplainer:
    Yep. And thus no argument we make, no example we can present, will change their mind. ‘I’m hurting you for your own good’ is an open-ended argument. Ask the child of any alcoholic.

  33. 33
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Belafon: That is awesome.

  34. 34
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Karen in GA:

    I know how people in my family view him, but they probably dream in CAPS LOCK, the unhinged fools.

    That is a brilliant description (as WereBear already observed), and I can apply it to in-laws. I’m guessing Iggy has no truck with the unhinged fools, though he has been known to shout.

  35. 35
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Cervantes: IMO de Blasio has done more harm than good. His half-baked attempt to take over the State Senate last year failed completely, and now we have to deal with an outright Republican majority that will tell him to pound sand whenever he asks for anything. And his ‘friendship’ with Cuomo has yielded very little for the city.

    Maybe failing upward is how the right works; it shouldn’t be what we reward.

  36. 36
    Fair Economist says:

    I’m looking forward to the new Contract with America. I expect everything in it will be good policy and overwhelmingly popular. And, no matter how much the media tries to supress it, it will be front and center in the Clinton/Sanders debates. It’s going to get serious air, and that’s good.

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @WereBear: Then you should like this: Cat discovers caps lock.
    http://louisvsrick.com/post/25.....de-8-grace

  38. 38

    @Fair Economist:
    The media is very bad at telling America what to think, but very good at defining what is being talked about. They can make stupid issues the center of discussion or hide facts they don’t want you to know with great effectiveness. That’s much harder during a presidential election, so I also hope these policies get major play. Once they’re out, no amount of Tom Brokaws can convince people they’re bad. People tend to make up their own mind there.

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:

    @Cervantes:

    “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality” does not roll trippingly off the tongue.

    I don’t like it, either. Can you think of good alternatives?

    A better plan would help as much as a better name. The Republicans don’t have any good answers, but they at least keep it simple. Democrats are job killers. Republicans will keep taxes low and increase jobs.

    Progressives want to combat inequality. Whatever that means.

    Voters would respond to any plan that would bring more jobs and higher wages.

    DeBlasio’s plan to help working families and working parents don’t mean much to people who don’t have jobs, who may lose their jobs in the future, and whose wages are stagnant. And yeah, a higher minimum wage may help at the lowest levels, but then what?

    and proposals for “tax fairness” (increasing the tax on carried interest, a huge issue for private equity).

    This is important to overall tax policy, but doesn’t resonate with the average citizen.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:

    @Belafon:

    Need to do something like the House Democrats: Their bill to require all campaign contributers to be disclosed is called the Keep Our Contributers Honest (KOCH) Act.

    It’s the “Keeping Our Campaigns Honest Act of 2015” — and, clever name or not, it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving — but I agree with you that it’s funny and that de Blasio could stand to learn a thing or two about funny!

  41. 41
    Fair Economist says:

    @Archon:

    I suspect by the time she wins the nomination Clinton will be to the left of Obama on pretty much all domestic issues to get the base fired up and try to play up identity and biography to win moderate and Republican women.

    Remember: the big secret of American politics is that on the issues, the median voter is *far* left of the so-called political center and actually comes out roughly in agreement with the Progressive Caucus (and so, to the left of Obama). At present, the median voter wants big increases on taxes for the rich, cuts in “defense” spending, reduced NSA spying, restrictions on criminals buying guns, a much higher minimum wage, and much more similar policy. Hillary seems to have gotten the memo.

  42. 42

    @Brachiator:

    Voters would respond to any plan that would bring more jobs and higher wages.

    The problem is that half of America thinks that sticking it to the poor is how you do that.

  43. 43
    Botsplainer says:

    One other thing – the major problem afflicting the economy is the bubble machine located in real estate. Inevitably, instead of money chasing productivity in equities, it runs up the price of real estate, making new business and innovation difficult.

  44. 44
    Cervantes says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Good points all, thanks.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Brachiator: Hillary is singing on with and continuing Obama’s legacy on this. And I liked how she made it a point to note that none of the GOP candidates agree with her position on this.

    Putting on my amateur strategist hat, and with my sterling record of having supported John Edwards and confidently predicting that the GOP would never nominate McCain or Romney, I wish she had done a death hug on Jeb Bush, or pointed out Rubio’s flip-flopping.

    @PsiFighter37: I haven’t followed him closely, but from what you and a few other NYers have said, I do wonder if BdB wouldn’t be wiser to take a play out of the Franken playbook (and yes I know it was HRC’s line) and do the work horse not show horse thing as far as non-NYC policy goes.

  46. 46
    Fair Economist says:

    @Fair Economist: @Brachiator:

    DeBlasio’s plan to help working families and working parents don’t mean much to people who don’t have jobs, who may lose their jobs in the future, and whose wages are stagnant. And yeah, a higher minimum wage may help at the lowest levels, but then what?

    and proposals for “tax fairness” (increasing the tax on carried interest, a huge issue for private equity).

    This is important to overall tax policy, but doesn’t resonate with the average citizen.

    With a median wage of $17 per hour, a minimum wage of $15 would substantially increase pay for the median earner. Increasing the minimum wage pushes wages up even for those making a good deal more due to competition.

    Higher taxes on the very rich, especially the financial manipulators, are pretty popular, and get much more so if you explain to people exactly how unequal the US has become.

  47. 47
    Fair Economist says:

    @Botsplainer:

    One other thing – the major problem afflicting the economy is the bubble machine located in real estate. Inevitably, instead of money chasing productivity in equities, it runs up the price of real estate, making new business and innovation difficult.

    How can you say there’s not enough in equities with the current sky-high PE ratios? The problem is that too much is being saved and too little invested, because inequality is too high and economic activity too low. So money chases non-existant investments everywhere, from stocks to bonds to real estate.

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    also too, I’m a huge fan of Susan Sarandon, and Buscemi, but do celebrities actually help politics with anything but fund-raising? Seems to me Oprah’s endorsement of Obama had no real effect except to alienate her own cashmere-sweater-and-pearls viewers and create the myth that Obama called himself “The One”

  49. 49
    Botsplainer says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Yep. And thus no argument we make, no example we can present, will change their mind. ‘I’m hurting you for your own good’ is an open-ended argument. Ask the child of any alcoholic.

    The ideology is the meritorious inheritor idiot son of Calvin and Rand. It’s the glue that binds social conservatives to fiscal conservatives, and renders reason useless.

  50. 50
    p.a. says:

    Contract with on America

    Fixt

  51. 51
    Tommy says:

    @Fair Economist: Exactly. I am stunned more folks can’t seem to grasp this basic Econ 101 topic. Money has to get into the hands of people that will spend it. And the fastest way to do that is to (1) Increase lower to middle-class jobs. (2) Lower taxes on middle class to lower income people. (3) Raise wages.

    These individuals will spend that money the second it hits their bank account. And that will drive the economy far more then some 1% getting a tax break. A millionaire can only buy so many dress shirts, TVs, and cars.

  52. 52
    Gindy51 says:

    In my small SE IN town, we went from red to blue over night as a Dem mayor was elected over a 3 term Gop. I realize it is one small town but if this is what is happening in other rural areas, the GOP is in serious trouble. Even the rural folks are fed up with their BS.

  53. 53
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I do wonder if BdB wouldn’t be wiser to take a play out of the Franken playbook (and yes I know it was HRC’s line) and do the work horse not show horse thing

    Referring to American politicians, that line dates back at least to the Civil War.

    More recently, Herman Talmadge used it to describe a young Jesse Helms.

    Robert Byrd used it almost daily, or so it seemed.

    I know HRC used it last year to describe Jeanne Shaheen, but in what sense is it her line?

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The problem is that half of America thinks that sticking it to the poor is how you do that.

    This may be true, but doesn’t really affect what needs to be done to come up with a better plan.

    Your observation means that Democrats/progressives need to communicate better to voters.

    @Fair Economist:

    With a median wage of $17 per hour, a minimum wage of $15 would substantially increase pay for the median earner. Increasing the minimum wage pushes wages up even for those making a good deal more due to competition.

    This has not been true for years. With wage stagnation, wages have been stuck for decades. There is also the issue that more and more middle level jobs have been shed even as the economy become more efficient. Unions also use to be able to provide pressure to raise all wage levels.

    It is possible that increasing the minimum wage would lead to more unemployment, more workers shifted from full to part-time, and a compression of wage levels. In California and other states an increase in the minimum wage may see more employers hiring illegal immigrants and forcing more competition between poorer citizens and illegal immigrants. Note that I still support an increase in the minimum wage, but do not ignore possible negative outcomes.

    Higher taxes on the very rich, especially the financial manipulators, are pretty popular, and get much more so if you explain to people exactly how unequal the US has become.

    Most people want a job, or a better job, or more wages. They don’t want a lecture about how unequal the US has become. And higher taxes is not a guaranteed zero sum game that will put more money in a poor person’s pocket.

  55. 55
    shell says:

    And tomorrow’s the elections in Great Britain. Interesting to see how those go.

  56. 56
    catclub says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Higher taxes on the very rich, especially the financial manipulators, are pretty popular

    This. And if you say: Here is a law that benefits 25 super rich men, running hedge funds, to the tune of $2B in lost revenue to the US, they might understand pretty well.

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cervantes: that’s very interesting and adds a great deal to the conversation. Your posts are invaluable.

  58. 58
    Tommy says:

    @Gindy51: My small SW IL town is mostly Republican. But in many other parts of the country they’d have to run as a Democrat. Not Tea Party types to say the least.

    When it came out our City Manager, who is a rock star for all he has done for the town, was a raging liberal and the Mayor fired him we voted a few days later by 87% to put in a recall function.

    The message was clear, hire back the City Manager or we will recall all of you. They hired him back.

    It is funny how an IL town voted 63% for McCain, but can also get behind a liberal City Manager, who lets be clear totally runs the town, when he is good at his job.

  59. 59

    @Fair Economist:

    Remember: the big secret of American politics is that on the issues, the median voter is *far* left of the so-called political center and actually comes out roughly in agreement with the Progressive Caucus (and so, to the left of Obama).

    That’s only true if you define median voter as median registered voter. The median actual voter in presidential elections is to the right of the median registered voter, and the median voter in midterm elections is even further to the right. If we want to get anywhere, we need to make sure that the median person who actually turns out to vote is closer to the median person who’s registered.

  60. 60
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    That was far enough that even DK had trouble finding fault with it

    Unpossible.

  61. 61
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Cervantes: “Fight for Fairness.”

  62. 62
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    No more than yours, surely.

  63. 63
    Brachiator says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Putting on my amateur strategist hat, and with my sterling record of having supported John Edwards and confidently predicting that the GOP would never nominate McCain or Romney, I wish she had done a death hug on Jeb Bush, or pointed out Rubio’s flip-flopping.

    It may be too early to single out particular Republicans. It might make it seem as though Bush or Rubio is officially the GOP nominee.

    But who knows. I’m sure the official strategists have all kinds of plans ready to roll out.

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Short and to the point.

    Can’t beat it — at least not with de Blasio’s tongue-twister!

  65. 65

    @Brachiator:

    Your observation means that Democrats/progressives need to communicate better to voters.

    No. It means that the majority of the people we’re not reaching will actively spurn a better communicated plan. They want the opposite of what we want. More clear buzzwords are not only almost impossible for a party that tolerates differences of opinion, but not nearly as effective. I like good slogans and would like to see more, but don’t pretend they’re easy or more than a small help for our side.

    It is possible that increasing the minimum wage would lead to more unemployment

    Possible, but trivially unlikely. When it happens, the result has been tiny negatives that are vastly outweighed by the positives.

  66. 66

    @Botsplainer:

    One other thing – the major problem afflicting the economy is the bubble machine located in real estate.

    That’s intimately tied to inequality, though. Real estate- and the investment economy in general- is bubbly because there is too much capital competing for too few viable investments, and that’s happening because too much money is going to the investing class rather than the consuming class. If you put more money in the hands of people who are going to spend most of it on daily expenses, that will help with the glut of desired savings on both fronts: capital surplus and viable investment deficit.

  67. 67
    Punchy says:

    I am stunned more folks can’t seem to grasp this basic Econ 101 topic

    It’s the same people who cant grasp evolution, standard military training exercises, and breathing occasionally thru their nose. It’s an honest miracle they can use soap without it ending up in their mouth and eyes.

  68. 68
    WereBear says:

    @catclub: OMG. I love it.

  69. 69
    burnsbpesq says:

    @Sloegin:

    Hopefully it’s something in the air or water; Alberta, a long bastion of Canada’s right just went hard (for us anyway) left.

    There is no shortage of strange shit in the air and water in Alberta. Aerial photos of the oil-sands mining operations look like something out of a dystopian sic-fi movie.

  70. 70
    Fair Economist says:

    @Brachiator:

    It is possible that increasing the minimum wage would lead to more unemployment, more workers shifted from full to part-time, and a compression of wage levels. In California and other states an increase in the minimum wage may see more employers hiring illegal immigrants and forcing more competition between poorer citizens and illegal immigrants. Note that I still support an increase in the minimum wage, but do not ignore possible negative outcomes.

    There’s been lots of research, and Increases in the minimum wage definitely increases wages for people above as well as the total amount of money going to workers. It *may* decrease employment, but only slightly, and the increased wages far, far, outweigh that effect.

    Most people want a job, or a better job, or more wages. They don’t want a lecture about how unequal the US has become. And higher taxes is not a guaranteed zero sum game that will put more money in a poor person’s pocket.

    Nonetheless they’re very supportive of higher taxes on the very rich, *especially* the Wall Street very rich, and even more so when exactly *how* rich those people are is discussed.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist:

    the median voter is *far* left of the so-called political center and actually comes out roughly in agreement with the Progressive Caucus (and so, to the left of Obama). At present, the median voter wants big increases on taxes for the rich, cuts in “defense” spending, reduced NSA spying, restrictions on criminals buying guns, a much higher minimum wage, and much more similar policy.

    If this is the best the Progressive Caucus can do, it’s pretty sad. Very little of this connects with voters who want to see more jobs and an improved economy.

  72. 72
    Fair Economist says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The median actual voter in presidential elections is to the right of the median registered voter, and the median voter in midterm elections is even further to the right. If we want to get anywhere, we need to make sure that the median person who actually turns out to vote is closer to the median person who’s registered.

    Gosh, I wonder if actually pushing for the issues they support might encourage them to vote?

    Offtopic, but Hillary’s plan increasingly looks to be sharply focused on those voters. She started off saying she wanted to be people’s ‘voice’. Then she starts pushing for things that are pretty popular but get little mention in the media. There are going to be a lot of people who think “gosh, I always thought that and now she’s saying it!”

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    My favorite part of de Blasio’s tenure has been when the NYPD set out to teach him a lesson by not writing tickets…

    Then quickly discovered the citizenry wasn’t going to storm City Hall to demand they be fined more often, and quietly went back to their revenue enhancement duties.

  74. 74

    @WereBear: @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Thanks. It’s easy when you’re related to them.

  75. 75
    burnsbpesq says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Higher taxes on the very rich, especially the financial manipulators, are pretty popular,

    Carried interest is pretty easy to explain.

    “Friends, take a look at what that money is, and why they get it. There is no doubt–I repeat, NO DOUBT–that it’s compensation for services. It is NO DIFFERENT, economically, than your pay-check. Now let me ask you this my friends, is there some piece of paper that you can sign that magically, without any change in what you’re doing from nine to five every day, turns your paycheck into capital gain and knocks 19 percentage points off your tax rate?” [ Crowd: “Nooooooo!”] “Well, then, why should they get to do it?” [Loud applause]

  76. 76
    Belafon says:

    @Brachiator:

    And higher taxes is not a guaranteed zero sum game that will put more money in a poor person’s pocket.

    Higher taxes is not a zero sum game. Yes, the rich pay more in taxes, but that money circulates through the economy rather than sitting in bank accounts. Higher taxes allow the government to do more research, build more things, and they hire people to do that. The poorer people spend it immediately, meaning it grows the economy faster. And some of that money ends up back in the hands of the rich.

    It also allows the government to spend more on education, meaning that the cost of college goes down, meaning that people graduating have money to spend in the economy rather than on loans.

  77. 77
    Fair Economist says:

    Even if higher taxes is a zero sum game, it’s not a zero sum game. A given dollar is FAR more valuable to some minimum wage clerk than it is to a billionaire. Literally tens of thousands of times more so (the welfare benefit of money is proportional to its proportion of your income, roughly). Almost any distribution from the rich to ordinary people is a huge benefit to the general welfare.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    (Reuters) – Overtime pay rules for broad swaths of salaried U.S. workers would be overhauled under a proposal that moved forward on Tuesday, with President Barack Obama pushing to make overtime more widely available.
    The Labor Department said it had finished crafting updated rules and would soon seek public feedback on them.
    Labor Secretary Tom Perez said in a blog post the rules would implement a 2014 Obama order for a revamp. The rules now block many salaried workers from getting overtime pay.
    Obama last year bypassed the U.S. Congress and used executive authority to trigger a review of overtime rules. He asked the Labor Department to look at the salary threshold over which employers do not have to pay overtime to managers and supervisors. That threshold was last raised in 2004 to $455 a week.

    Some entity like the DNC could do a wonderful issue campaign around this :)

    Buy ads, interview workers who are in bogus “management” positions, contrast those folks with people like my son, who is paid hourly but right now makes a huge chunk of change in overtime, which is GOOD, because part of the point of overtime was to force employers to hire more people rather than relying on one person working 60. They pay enough overtime they’ll do that.

    We don’t have to pick and choose. deBlasio can do his thing and all this other stuff could be going on at the same time. It is both natural and desirable that there should be some jockeying for position and narrative in a Party as we come to the end of the Obama terms. That is going to happen.

  79. 79
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Belafon: run somebody serious.

  80. 80
    Kay says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Democrats are so weak at the state level I think the mayors are stepping into leading roles more than they might have. We just don’t have many good governors. We don’t have many governors, period.

    It leaves a bit of a hole that deBlasio can fill.

  81. 81
    Fair Economist says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Said it before and will say it again: BdB should focus on running the city he was elected to run instead of fancying himself a big-time national policy player.

    From Rolling Stone;

    Only 16 months into his term, de Blasio has expanded paid sick leave and won a hard-fought battle to secure free full-day universal pre-K (huge boons for working families), dialed back the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy and effectively decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana (both of which had a massively disproportionate effect on young men of color), launched the largest municipal-ID-card program in the country (allowing undocumented New Yorkers to more easily open bank accounts, rent apartments and access hospitals and schools), and announced a $41 billion plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years (eclipsing Bloomberg’s 12-year record of 165,000 new or preserved affordable-housing units).

    Um – sounds like he’s doing a pretty good job in NYC. IMO the problem isn’t that deBlasio is trying to intervene on a national scale, the problem is there aren’t more deBlasios.

  82. 82
    Kay says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    I read that deBlasio met with Sherrod Brown, which doesn’t surprise me if he’s putting together a group of liberals, but I would think Jerry Brown would be included. Maybe he wasn’t asked or declined, or it just wasn’t reported.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    it’s been a scam and a hustle.
    so, now that the scam is going to be cut off….they’re gonna stop phone calls?
    G-T-F-O-H

    ……………………

    Why American Jails May Drastically Curtail Inmate Phone Calls
    May 01 2015 10:58 AM EDT

    For decades, every time an inmate picked up a phone to dial a friend or family member, that correctional facility received a percentage of the cost of the call, typically around 50 percent. With millions of people locked up nationwide, the prison phone industry has flourished, growing to a $1.2 billion year business.

    But the jail phone industry is at a crossroads — and upcoming regulations that threaten to limit commissions might prompt sheriffs around the country to severely curtail prison phones altogether. “It’s very possible that sheriffs could elect to eliminate the calls,” Jonathan Thompson, the executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association, said in an interview this week. “They don’t have to provide a call service.”

    Regulators and prison advocates have long-claimed commissions have provided perverse incentives for jails and prisons. Commissions, they say, motivate jails to choose phone providers (like Securus and Global Tel*Link) that charge exorbitant rates — while family members of inmates are left to foot the bills.

    In 2013, the Federal Communications Commission began its first sweep of prison phone reform by capping phone rates of interstate phone calls. But a second round of regulations its on its way. Later this summer, the FCC is expected to expand its initial regulation that will attempt to make phone calls more affordable for family members. They are considering a variety of changes, including capping the rates of in-state calls, limiting ancillary “set-up” fees, and — perhaps most interestingly — eliminating the commission structure altogether.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/why-ame.....ls-1904855

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    In addition to Sherrod Brown, I’ve heard him mention Dan Malloy, Raul Grijalva, and even Van Jones, but not Jerry Brown.

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    Interesting! I love Jerry Brown but I don’t know him as a constiuent so maybe I’m off base. I like his whole approach to things. There’s this “I don’t give a shit what people think” about him that is very appealing, because it isn’t bullying. It seems to come from actually knowing things-having experience. I also like him for standing up to Arne Duncan.

  86. 86
    JPL says:

    OT.. Deflategate report released.. It’s more probable than not, that the balls were deflated, violating NFL rules.
    It’s more probable than not, that Brady knew.

  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist:

    There’s been lots of research, and Increases in the minimum wage definitely increases wages for people above as well as the total amount of money going to workers

    This does not square with the fact of decades of wage stagnation.

    Some of the research has not been looking at the right economic indices.

    Nonetheless they’re very supportive of higher taxes on the very rich, *especially* the Wall Street very rich, and even more so when exactly *how* rich those people are is discussed.

    Sorry, this is the part of “progressive politics” that is more interested in settling scores and getting even than in actually helping people. Higher taxes do not reduce inequality, nor do higher taxes by themselves create new jobs or raise wages.

    And some of the signal failures of past Democratic policy is that it does not do enough to help small business, and does nothing to abolish GOP favored practices that do not really help businesses but which distort the economy. The focus on tax rates of the rich is short-sighted.

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Possible, but trivially unlikely. When it happens, the result has been tiny negatives that are vastly outweighed by the positives.

    I’m not certain that the impact is either trivial or that you only get “tiny negatives,” but I agree that the positives outweigh the negatives.

    One of the things that I’ve always found strange is when economists (and many conservatives) talk about wages and seem unable to connect wages to real human beings who have to eat and live and raise families.

  88. 88
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    I think they’re bluffing. It’s propaganda. They’re not going to shut down their whole racket because they might lose some profits. They’d have to find some other work, something that doesn’t involve ripping off people who are literally helpless and at their mercy.

    I was on a jail call the other day that took 15 minutes to go thru and then the sound was so bad I couldn’t hear her anyway. All on her mother’s credit card. An hour of expensively purchased complete and utter frustration.

  89. 89
    catclub says:

    @Kay: This. It is right in working class populism.

  90. 90
    Brachiator says:

    @Belafon:

    Higher taxes allow the government to do more research, build more things, and they hire people to do that. The poorer people spend it immediately, meaning it grows the economy faster. And some of that money ends up back in the hands of the rich.

    I disagree with you that increased government spending on research creates a significant number of jobs, or even that increased taxes will result in increased government research. Same reservations about the government building more things. I just don’t think you connect the dots here.

    It also allows the government to spend more on education, meaning that the cost of college goes down, meaning that people graduating have money to spend in the economy rather than on loans.

    More government spending overall will not have any impact on the cost of college. People graduating from college have to have jobs, otherwise the decreased cost of their education doesn’t mean much.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @catclub:

    I think a political Party with a lot of money and not much to do between elections could do a lot with that.

    It’s so relevant right now. I see these pay stubs. These people have no idea how much money they’re losing. My son’s only 21 and he’s saving for a downpayment on a piece of property. It’s ALL overtime.

    It would be Round Two for Democrats. They had this battle in 2004. Bush was frantic, doing that mean-eyed spitting out words thing he did when he was cornered :)

    Republicans started to bolt because labor iunions said Bush’s rule would deny overtime to “police, firefighters and nurses”. Nurses! We love them! Let’s do that again.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @JPL:

    OT.. Deflategate report released.. It’s more probable than not, that the balls were deflated, violating NFL rules. It’s more probable than not, that Brady knew.

    First, the Mayweather/Manny fight scandal. Now this. I feel deflated knowing that the Patriots cheated. They’ve never cheated before, right?

  93. 93
    KithKanan says:

    @Tommy: Not all that surprising, given that conservatives’ empathy often seems to extend only as far as they personally know somebody affected?

    It makes sense that their taste in governance would grow more liberal once the scale (a small town) is small enough that they know more of the people involved/affected by it.

  94. 94
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    I like Jerry Brown.

    Liked his dad, too, but that’s another story.

  95. 95
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Fair Economist:
    Do you have your numbers wrong? 41 BILLION for 200 thousand housing units? Wouldn’t that make each unit cost over 2 MIL.? Either your number’s wrong or the deal really sucks.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    I read Delano about the farm workers and his father was part of the elaborate political calculations going on there, with that Chavez group. I loved the book because it didn’t sugarcoat how the organizer’s operated. They exagerated their impact which led to actual impact. They were really strategic. They’d get one local of Teamsters to back them and make this huge announcement, so a casual reader will think “wow- drivers won’t deliver the grapes?!” Really it was 200 drivers, but by the time it was clarified it didn’t matter.

    He’s really a good argument for radicalism, because the people in power had to choose- this guy or the labor unions we hate but are accustomed to? He moved the middle position Left.

  97. 97
    Nicole says:

    As an NYC’er, I’m mixed on de Blasio. I love the expanded Pre-K, and I love that he didn’t immediately kowtow to the hurt fee-fees of the NYPD.

    But his involvement with NYCLASS and their proposed carriage horse ban was, and is, just weird.

    Here’s a Crain’s article from December 2014, which is the latest I can find:
    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/a.....r-activist

    Essentially, Christine Quinn, the original front-runner to replace Bloomberg, refused to support real estate mogul Steve Nislick’s desired ban on the carriage horses (he claims it’s cruel; others claim he wants the very valuable real estate the stables are on). De Blasio agrees to support a ban, and an outside organization pours a ton of money into an anti-Quinn campaign. Other shenanigans go on, you can google “NYCLASS” and “FBI” to get more info.

    De Blasio says he’ll ban the carriage horses his first week in office, gets a ton of pushback. Carriage horse drivers invite de Blasio to visit the stables and see the horses’ living conditions for himself, de Blasio refuses to meet with them. Blah blah, Liam Neeson, blah blah $150,000 electric cars, blah blah. (You can google, it’s all an epically weird story. Full disclosure, as an owner of a former trail horse who lost his home when his riding stable closed, I support the carriage horses as it’s a good job for former trotters and Amish farm horses that would otherwise go to slaughter).

    Very popular real estate tax break is set to expire soon, and no real info is available on what’s going to replace the tax break, if anything. It ostensibly is to encourage affordable apartments, but really is a give away to the real estate industry (note: long predates de Blasio). His proposals are attacked for being giveaways to the real estate industry:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-yor.....at-hearing

    At this point, the carriage horse ban is on the back burner, thanks to huge pushback from NYCers, but de Blasio really does owe his election to Steve Nislick, who I don’t think is likely to just accept “sorry, I tried” as recompense. And it looks like there were some shenanigans about his campaign financing.

    So is he a legit progressive, is he in the real estate industry’s pocket, is it a mix of both? I dunno. As a shrieking liberal, I’m happy for anything to move the Overton leftwards, but I think de Blasio is, first and foremost a politician looking out for de Blasio.

  98. 98
    Fair Economist says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Do you have your numbers wrong? 41 BILLION for 200 thousand housing units? Wouldn’t that make each unit cost over 2 MIL.? Either your number’s wrong or the deal really sucks.

    I was just quoting from the Rolling Stone link, but that’s actually $205,000/unit, which is a pretty reasonable price for construction in NYC.

  99. 99
    Gravenstone says:

    @Brachiator:

    …otherwise the decreased cost of their education doesn’t mean much.

    Aside from the graduates no longer being saddled with onerous levels of loan debt. Thus having more of their salary available to circulate into the economy rather than padding the bottom line of whichever financial shark their loans were through.

  100. 100
    Fair Economist says:

    @Brachiator:

    There’s been lots of research, and Increases in the minimum wage definitely increases wages for people above as well as the total amount of money going to workers

    This does not square with the fact of decades of wage stagnation.

    That’s a total nonsequitur. Are you saying that during a period in which the real minimum wage adjusted for productive plummeted, wages stagnated, so increasing the minimum wage makes wage stagnation *worse*? Hello, Logic 101?

    Most of the reason wages have stagnated is de-unionization and offshoring. There’s also an effect from the increased desperation of workers in an auto-oriented society where there’s a high base cost just to be able to get to stores and work (owning and operating a car, and Warren’s “two income trap” from property prices). A higher minimum wage will *partially* compensate for these effects. It won’t fix everything, but things will be better.

  101. 101
    Kay says:

    Really interesting Huckabee stop in Oskaloosa, where he defended Social Security disability, attacked Fast Track.

    The Huckster is gonna corner the Right wing populist market :)

  102. 102
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    I read Delano about the farm workers and his father was part of the elaborate political calculations going on there, with that Chavez group. I loved the book because it didn’t sugarcoat how the organizer’s operated. They exagerated their impact which led to actual impact. They were really strategic.

    As a friend of mine used to say, power is not only what you have but what the opposition thinks you have.

  103. 103
    MDC says:

    @Shantanu Saha:

    “Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality” does not roll trippingly off the tongue.

    My thought verbatim. Thank you.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    I think there’s a temptation to make them out to be saints, some of which Chavez promoted because he needed powerful Catholics in California, but it’s a lot more fun to read about them as ordinary people frantically working every angle.

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    @WereBear: Thanks. Glad you liked it. My daughter introduced me to that website.

  106. 106
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    I know what you mean. It was, among other things, a test of intelligence and solidarity, and these things should be remembered.

    Speaking of which, if you have super-human endurance and want more — a lot more — oh, so much, much more! — rumination about that part of California, and that part of Mexico, and everything in between and far back into the mist, you might try Imperial, by William T. Vollmann. Here is Sam Anderson’s “capsule review”:

    Imperial is like Robert Caro’s The Power Broker with the attitude of Mike Davis’s City of Quartz, if Robert Caro had been raised in an abandoned grain silo by a band of feral raccoons, and if Mike Davis were the communications director of a heavily armed libertarian survivalist cult, and if the two of them had somehow managed to stitch John McPhee’s cortex onto the brain of a Gila monster, which they then sent to the Mexican border to conduct ten years of immersive research, and also if they wrote the entire manuscript on dried banana leaves with a toucan beak dipped in hobo blood, and then the book was line-edited during a 36-hour peyote séance by the ghosts of John Steinbeck, Jack London, and Sinclair Lewis, with 200 pages of endnotes faxed over by Henry David Thoreau’s great-great-great-great grandson from a concrete bunker under a toxic pond behind a maquiladora, and if at the last minute Herman Melville threw up all over the manuscript, rendering it illegible, so it had to be re-created from memory by a community-theater actor doing his best impression of Jack Kerouac. With photographs by Dorothea Lange. (Viking has my full blessing to use that as a blurb.)

    Tempted? Or have you read it already?

  107. 107
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    I haven’t but I will, thank you. I love McPhee. Looking for a Ship is one of my faves.

  108. 108
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    John hasn’t written a bad book yet!

  109. 109
    Doug r says:

    @Sloegin: the new premier wants a $15 minimum wage by 2018 by the way

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist: You suggested that increasing the minimum wage would increase the wages of other workers as well. Your assertion is not supported by the evidence of persistent wage stagnation. This is pretty basic stuff.

    The reasons you note for wage stagnation will continue to pull wages down despite any increase in the minimum wage. We both agree that raising the minimum wage should be done for many reasons, but it will not even partially compensate for the other issues you note, and others.

    BTW, I don’t think your assertions about the “desperation of workers in an auto-oriented society” affects anything. Do you really think people would be better off using public transportation?

    There’s still a fair amount of debate about the sources of wage stagnation, and much of it I think is insufficient.

    http://www.epi.org/publication.....tagnation/

    http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Eco.....ted-States

    http://www.economist.com/news/.....big-freeze

    But even here, unions are weak, show few signs of regaining their strength, and technology and transportation makes it easier to offshore jobs. I don’t see an easy way to return to earlier times when there were more manufacturing jobs here and stronger unions.

  111. 111
    SWMBO says:

    American Jobs Build American Dreams (Could go with Jobs Build Dreams). It could be a starting point for “Rich guys make more money sending American jobs overseas!” “Can’t build the American Dream if you don’t have a good paying job.” “Their American Dream is tax cuts for the rich, poor paying or no jobs for you.” There are many ways to get this to resonate with voters. But you can use it to attack people like Mittster sending thousands of jobs overseas to make more money for himself and hurting the ones who lost their jobs. It can be used to flesh out any attack on their policies and both-sides-do-it-ism.
    I liked Fighting for Fairness too. Something that sticks in the voter’s mind so that they associate the phrase with a person (up or down ticket). It needs to be something that will play all across the country and resonate with disparate areas of the country. It’s easy to grok and easy to remember. We’ve already used “It’s the Economy, Stupid”. It worked but we need a new rallying call.

  112. 112
    gelfling545 says:

    @The Other Bob: He just has lesser son of a great father syndrome. Think George Romney & Mitt, for example. It happens a lot. Unresolved daddy issues & a sense of entitlement (as in “Do you know who my father is?”)

  113. 113
    ruemara says:

    I like this a lot. It’s beyond time. However. I’d like it more if de Blasio was getting high marks as a mayor. Unfortunately, this may be great but proving you can be this liberal and rewarded with votes and staying power is what will push Dems to the left.

  114. 114
    Cervantes says:

    @SWMBO:

    Jobs Build Dreams

    That’s promising!

  115. 115
    john fremont says:

    @Tommy: This. J Paul Getty said exactly this in his book How To Be Rich forty some years ago. If workers are not paid enough, the products will sit on the shelves.

  116. 116
    priscianus jr says:

    @Nicole: So is he a legit progressive, is he in the real estate industry’s pocket, is it a mix of both? I dunno. As a shrieking liberal, I’m happy for anything to move the Overton leftwards, but I think de Blasio is, first and foremost a politician looking out for de Blasio.

    Gotta say, Nicole, I agree with you completely. I voted for DeBlasio, but I much preferred Jon Liu. They got him out of he way pretty fast, didn’t they?

  117. 117
    David Koch says:

    Reich Marshal Deblasio’s thugs arrested over 140 law abiding citizens for exercising their constitutional rights to protest the murder of Freddie Gray.

    It was such a fascist, Gestapo display that even Giuliani praised him:

    Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani praised the NYPD’s decision to arrest dozens of protesters who took to the city’s streets to protest alleged police brutality in Baltimore—saying it was an improvement over the more lenient handling of December demonstrations.

    “That’s the way to do it. What they did last is the textbook case in how you handle a demonstration so you don’t have a riot,”

    “I was glad to see that Mayor de Blasio and the Commissioner did that,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding, de Blasio is learning, ”as I learned as mayor, sometimes you learn as you go along.”

    Fuck deBlasio and his Republican/Nazi/Giuliani tactics.

  118. 118
    PJ says:

    @priscianus jr: DeBlasio wants to be President, not Mayor of NYC. While I agree with his more progressive policies, he is also in the pocket of the real estate industry, and has shown every willingness to override local residents’ concerns about the proliferation of luxury housing (with a few units of “affordable” housing attached) constructed with massive tax breaks and overriding zoning laws. He is also “chronic”ly late for many functions and has shown a general disregard for the civil servants who have to enact his policies. I voted for him, but I will definitely consider other Democrats in 2017.

Comments are closed.