Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: November 1st, 2016

Daily Clips: November 1st, 2016

The pile of leaks about Donald Trump, explained:  A thorough Vox explainer of the situation. GOP won’t raise the minimum wage, so voters are about to:  Washington, Arizona, Maine, and Colorado are all bypassing their legislatures to enact higher wages. Why is the Catholic Church fighting legal pot in MA?  Protecting child molesters and stopping legal pot: impeccable priorities from the Church. John Kasich follows through on vow not to vote for Donald Trump, writes in John McCain instead : Everyone is applauding Kasich for this move, but really…is writing someone in a “brave” move? Seattle is very, very white: 66 percent of all residents are white—that makes us whiter than Wichita, Kansas and Minneapolis. Tweet of the day: When does a pattern of GOP leaders making "jokes" about shooting Hillary start being seen as something more than joking? — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 31, 2016    

Daily Clips: October 31st, 2016

Daily Clips: October 31st, 2016

Hillary Clinton should add to the national debt:  She has promised the American people that, “I am not going to add a penny to the national debt.” Politically, such a promise makes sense. But economically? Not so much. It’s particularly disappointing that Mrs. Clinton is tying her promise not to add to the debt directly to her infrastructure plan, which offers perhaps the best bang for a government-borrowed buck. That becomes even more important if the economy careens into a ditch again, which some experts think we are due for soon. The best thing she could do would be to put forward a stimulus package with significant spending on building projects — and she would need to finance it by adding plenty of pennies to the debt. Speaking on infrastructure… Can we finally think big?   Unfortunately, neither Clinton’s five-year, $275 billion plan nor Trump’s “at least double her numbers” calculation begin to address the trillions needed in leaky pipes, corroded tracks, decrepit trains, and faulty wiring, much less 21st-century smart grids, protections against sea-level rise, and innovative green investments. US consumer spending increases:  “When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rose 0.3 percent after falling 0.2 percent in August.” Gun ownership is not a human right:  Absurd that this has to be stated over and over again, but here we are. Are we fooled into believing we live in a meritocracy? ‘ Today, spin classes, artisanal food, and the college application process have replaced Sunday promenades, evening lectures, and weekly salons. But make no mistake, they serve the same purpose: transforming class privilege into individual virtue, thereby shoring up social dominance. Tweet of the day: Haven't run this in a long while: Seattle city eateries now ~4,028, up ~137 over last ~16 months, or 8+ new per month. Damn min wage. https://t.co/WIo4CCXqup — Invictus (@TBPInvictus) October 29, 2016

Daily Clips: October 28th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 28th, 2016

Must read on HRC advisor, Neera Tanden:  I interned in the Executive Office of the Center for American Progress in the summer of 2014. There, I had the opportunity to meet Neera. She is a remarkably intelligent person. These emails also show she has great political instincts. Where has “good” conservatism gone?  A David Brooks article that is actually worth reading! However, his conclusions are…optimistic to say the least: But I confess I’m insanely optimistic about a conservative rebound. That’s because of an observation the writer Yuval Levin once made: That while most of the crazy progressives are young, most of the crazy conservatives are old. Conservatism is now being led astray by its seniors, but its young people are pretty great. I guess I fall under the “crazy progressive” label. Vox has put up an excellent rebuttal to Brooks’ piece. US GDP grows by 2.9% in Q3:  Huzzah. That’s the best growth for the US in the last two years. Tweet of the day: https://twitter.com/goldengateblond/status/791879151783292928    

Daily Clips: October 27th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 27th, 2016

Gary Johnson cannot defend his tax policy:  Watch the video. Who wins in the gig economy and who loses:  Nothing groundbreaking here—especially if you’ve listened to our podcast episode on the gig economy . Nonetheless, it’s a solid overview: Similarly, the economic plight of an on-demand worker for companies like Task Rabbit or Postmates is not materially different from that of a low-wage hourly worker in a fast-food restaurant or retail store. Both workers have low wages, no benefits, and limited rights and protections. The difference is that workers who wouldn’t dream of applying for a job in a fast-food restaurant are willing to bid for work on Task Rabbit or Postmates partly because they can do so when and to the extent that they choose. The progressive tax reform you’ve never heard of: Unlike most trading partners, the U.S. system purports to tax the worldwide income of multinational companies at the statutory rate of 35 percent, granting a tax credit for taxes paid to other countries. Yet, because U.S. taxation is not triggered unless income is repatriated, multinationals can avoid residual tax by indefinitely holding income abroad. … As a result, the U.S. “worldwide” system of taxation is substantially more generous to foreign income than many alternative systems of taxation. – Professor Clausing of Reed College Cruz says GOP may block SCOTUS nominees indefinitely:  Constitutional conservatives at work. Tweet of the day: Still tremendous disparity in wage growth since 1979 https://t.co/BDkSwQBIIC @LarryMishel @economicpolicy pic.twitter.com/fWpGdoO42l — Teresa Kroeger (@teresakroeger) October 27, 2016  

Daily Clips: October 26th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 26th, 2016

Why the good economy may be a problem for the next president: A recession — or even a decline in economic momentum — could rapidly expose the new president to criticism and change the ability of the new administration to accomplish its goals. “When the economy goes south in the first term, it’s a treacherous situation for a president hoping for reelection,” said Nicole Hemmer, a presidential historian at the University of Virginia. Newt Gingrich melts down on Fox over Trump spiral: It’s so great to see a disgusting human being show his true self. Politics is crippling the economy, Harvard study says: According to thousands of Harvard alumni, MBA students and non-Harvard responders, the country’s biggest problem is a tax code that hasn’t been updated in decades, even as the world has become more globalized, digitized, and as closed-off economies have opened for business. Hostility awaits Clinton: Arizona Republican Senator John McCain’s pledge that Republicans would unite against any Clinton Supreme Court nominee could lead to changes in the filibuster rules. Republicans’ stance could lead to the end of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, or even to the elimination of the filibuster in its entirety . More importantly, Republicans could set a damaging precedent that Supreme Court vacancies will only be filled when the president and the Senate Majority Leader are from the same party. Tweet of the day: The alcohol industry is bankrolling ads to scare you about legal pot https://t.co/FvVugb7vw0 pic.twitter.com/wNCC009lFX — ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) October 26, 2016

Daily Clips: October 25th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 25th, 2016

Obamacare’s premiums are spiking. What’s wrong with the law?  According to Caroline Pearson, “the dramatic premium increase should be a one-time correction.” North Carolina race could determine whether GOP keeps the Senate:  I haven’t read much about this race, but as it stands Sen. Richard Burr (R) is in a very close contest with Deborah Ross (D). Currently, “Ross is benefiting from a strong Democratic turnout effort and from campaign visits” from Obama, Kaine, and Clinton. AT&T’s merger could be a bad sign for the economy:  I’m reading “ Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism ” at the moment and its relevance to the AT&T merger is frightening. Our economy is full of big companies and “that trend worries a growing number of economists, who fear it suggests an economy that is becoming less dynamic and competitive over time.” Obama was right about Republican extremism all along:  Excellent article. New Elway poll shows Initiative 1491 with 67% support: Initiative 1491, which would enact extreme risk protection orders (thus preventing firearms access to those posing a danger to themselves or others), is at 67%. That is a three percent increase in support from August. Only 18% oppose it. It sure looks like Washington citizens will defeat the gun lobby for the second election in a row. Tweet of the day: Relevant to ATT/T-W merger plan: new study finds mergers increase price markup, but deliver no productivity gains. https://t.co/11ECjDutHU pic.twitter.com/Cp3GB3rJJ4 — Arindrajit Dube (@arindube) October 24, 2016

Daily Clips: October 24th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 24th, 2016

Doomsayers keep getting it wrong on the minimum wage: Barry Ritholtz over at Bloomberg points out that minimum wage opponents have failed (again) at predicting the effects of a higher minimum wage. His reasoning behind why they got it so wrong is particularly acute, in my opinion: Why did so many economists get this wrong? They looked at the micro and ignored the macro. In the basic model of supply and demand, an increase in the cost of something reduces demand. This may be true in an isolated laboratory setting. But when minimum wages went up in the real world, it affected not just the parties to that transaction, but the regional economy. By considering only the relationship between employer and employee, the dismal-science set was focusing too narrowly. The critics failed to consider the impact of lower-wage employees earning more money; these folks typically spends almost everything they earn, which means that when they’re paid more it goes right back into the local economy. Down-ballot Democrats: With a little over two weeks to go before Election Day, President Obama is releasing “150 endorsements of Democratic candidates for state legislatures all across the country.” Liberals compete for the soul of economics:  Nick Hanauer’s love of complexity economics is highlighted in this piece. Trump’s greatest service to America may be ending Paul Ryan’s career:  Thank god. Tweet of the day: Wow—Today's @nytimes features a 2-page spread of all the people, places & things Trump has insulted on Twitter since declaring his candidacy pic.twitter.com/eDzwZNIjkF — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 24, 2016  

Daily Clips: October 21st, 2016

Daily Clips: October 21st, 2016

David Brooks equates Trump’s lack of morality with HRC’s:  This year Trump is dismantling those restraints one by one. By savagely attacking Carly Fiorina’s looks and Ted Cruz’s wife he dismantled the codes of etiquette that prevent politics from becoming an unmodulated screaming match. By lying more or less all the time, he dismantles the fealty to truth without which conversation is impossible. By refusing to automatically respect the election results he corrodes confidence in our common institutions and risks turning public life into a never-ending dogfight. Clinton has contributed to the degradation too. As the James O’Keefe videos remind us, wherever Hillary Clinton has gone in her career, a cloud of unsavory people and unsavory behavior has traveled alongside. But she is right to emphasize that Trump is the greatest threat to moral capital in recent history and that the health of that capital is more fundamental than any particular policy position. Paul Ryan’s faith in “A Better Way”: Indeed, frantic to lift his brand above the swirl of electoral filth, Ryan has wrapped himself in the role of policy missionary, his sights firmly trained on leading the American people into a better, brighter future—no matter how uninterested they may seem. Rejection, disdain, mockery, abuse: Ryan has endured them all in his proselytizing. (“I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda,” declared Trump, during one of their passive-aggressive skirmishes.) But mostly, his efforts have been met with overwhelming indifference, which may be the most discouraging response of all for a man convinced that he holds a map to the Promised Land. Voter suppression is a much bigger problem than voter fraud:  Someone should tell Kim Wyman.

Daily Clips: October 20th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 20th, 2016

Trump’s refusal to accept election’s legitimacy is no surprise: …by insisting the election is rigged, Trump won’t have to acknowledge that he lost, something that could shatter his self-image. In the mind of Donald Trump, there’s nothing worse than being a loser. By avoiding conceding, by claiming that the election was stolen and fixed, then he won’t really be a loser after all. We’re working harder, so why is productivity plummeting?  A lot of great theories are presented in this piece, some of which I’d never considered before. Example: “some tech proponents have theorized that productivity is not being counted correctly.” Paul Ryan’s favorable rating among Republicans drops 28 points – in a week:  Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. ST3 is the transit system our region has needed for 40 years:  Yep. Vote Yes on Prop 1. Colorado poll workers trained to respond to mass shooting: Greatest country on earth. Tweet of the day: "and then he said, 'no one has more respect for women than I do'" pic.twitter.com/Q5QtJ95S7j — blake laliberte (@blakelaliberte) October 20, 2016

Daily Clips: October 19th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 19th, 2016

Would progressive economics win over Trump’s white working class voters?  Mike Konczal is one of my favorite thinkers and he delivers an excellent piece on how the Democratic Party can bring-in disenchanted Trump supporters. He says: The inability of liberals to use this opportunity to push an economic agenda that speaks to Trump’s voters is a waste, both because they are our fellow citizens and because winning them on the economics can defuse the very racism and authoritarianism that is scary about them. Poll: Clinton up 4 points over Trump in Arizona:  When pundits said Trump was going to redraw the electoral map, who knew this is what they meant?! McCain vows that political gridlock will continue: Whether this was a case of a politician revealing his true intentions , or — maybe more likely — a Republican playing to what he knew his partisan audiences wanted to hear, it’s a disaster for democracy and constitutional government. Guns at polling places worry Virginia election officials: The Prince William County electoral board, wary of the heated atmosphere of the coming Election Day, considered seeking a one-day ban on weapons at polling places located on private property but was rebuked by a gun-friendly state legislator. Late last week, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) sent a letter to the board pointing out that it has no power to ban guns from polling places except for schools and courthouses, where weapons are prohibited by state law. Tweet of the day: In 7 out of 10 acts of gun violence, another person was told about the plan. Teach your kids to #SaySomething : https://t.co/bZhcQwPgVk — Sandy Hook Promise (@sandyhook) October 19, 2016