Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: August 24th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 24th, 2016

Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world:  “Pro life” policies. The feudal origins of property tax:  Property tax was first instituted by William the Conqueror in 1066, and King James “made sure that this system traveled overseas with the first settlers at Jamestown, so that he could partake in the profits of exploration of the new land.” Why didn’t the Founding Fathers, who were looking to unshackle themselves from the norms of European monarchy get rid of property tax? In short, they needed the cash. Berkeley put a tiny tax on sodas. Consumption went down 21%:  How can you not be excited by these findings? Such good news. The long-term impact on obesity is still unknown, but this is a great first step. Cost of U.S. healthcare now 800% higher per person than it was in 1960, even when adjusted for inflation Tweet of the day: Reality check: This is what deporting 11 million people would actually look like. https://t.co/KfFEShVsdA pic.twitter.com/c4p4cR48lC — Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) August 24, 2016

Daily Clips: August 23rd, 2016

Daily Clips: August 23rd, 2016

Tax cuts for the rich aren’t needed in today’s economy:  If you are a believer of supply-side economics, you are probably a fan of wealth accumulating at the very top. You probably believe it is best when these “job creators” are unconstrained by the burdens of civilization and are allowed to use their wealth creatively. That economic view, however, is remarkably inept (for a variety of reasons) and borders on sinister, as Bruce Bartlett points out: When asked about the newly announced Trump tax plan and the deficit, Bartlett told us by email that all Republican tax cuts ‘are designed to lose revenue’ and ‘create deficits,’ despite any statements made to the contrary. ‘Then when deficits emerge, they must always be dealt with only by cutting spending,’ Bartlett writes. ‘If tax increases are necessary they will be in the form of sales taxes paid largely by the poor.’ David Brooks waxes lyrical about spirits or something:  Brooks’ reflex for relating any problem to a lack of spiritual or self-awareness is truly mesmerizing. In his latest column, he wonders if American leadership has failed not because of quantifiable outcomes like increased partisanship, but instead because our leaders don’t have a “sense of vocation.” What exactly does that mean? Nothing, really. He does take a swipe at Hillary Clinton though, because, you know, she’s evil. And her opponent isn’t a lunatic who needs to be lambasted. Oregon collects $25.5 million in marijuana taxes since start of the year.  Here is how some of the tax revenue will be spent: “40 percent will go to the state’s Common School Fund, 20 percent to mental health, alcoholism and drug services, 15 percent to Oregon State police, and 10 percent for city law enforcement…” US new-home sales climb to best level since late 2007:  Obamacare is continuing to decimate the American economy. Tweet of the day: What do McDonald's, Starbucks, JPMorgan and Nationwide have in common?All raised the company minimum wage. https://t.co/1UqSTFhYB2 — Eric Morath (@EricMorath) August 23, 2016

Daily Clips: August 22nd, 2016

Daily Clips: August 22nd, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton might win Georgia:  The GOP is so screwed. Western economies and their minimum wages:  This study looks at minimum wages and their relation to a country’s median wage. Predictably, one can see that the US has let the purchasing power of their minimum wage descend since 1980:   How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America:  Dylan Matthews’ latest is a brilliant piece of historical work, correctly pointing out that “over the past half-century liberals have been playing defense as an organized and well-planned movement of conservatives has limited the scope of rights trumpeted by liberals.” His analysis rings true. For the past fifty years, the American conservative movement has largely been a reactive. They gain support through saying “no” to progress. See abortion, women’s rights, voting rights, welfare reform, gay marriage, minimum wage. The list could go on. But finally progressives have an opportunity to have the SCOTUS on their side. As Matthews notes, “Scalia’s vacancy and Kennedy’s coming exit have opened the door for liberals to rethink American law in dramatic ways.” Twenty years since welfare “reform”:  Our own Hanna Brooks Olsen writes an incredibly detailed review of welfare reform. Read it.

Daily Clips: August 19th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 19th, 2016

Obamacare hits a bump: Krugman looks at the ACA since it took full effect in January of 2014. Private insurance companies, he notes, “are now finding themselves losing money, because previously uninsured Americans who are signing up turn out to have been sicker and more in need of costly care than we realized.” That intuitively makes sense. And as a result, some insurers have hiked premiums and some (like Aetna) are pulling out of the ACA. That is a problem. Especially because private insurers don’t want the government to offer a public option. Krugman asks, “But if these insurers aren’t actually interested in providing insurance, why not let the government step in?” A good question, Paul. Donald Trump is the least of the GOP’s problems:  I don’t agree with all of the author’s premises, but this point in particular I found to be compelling: Trump is desperately trying to fashion a new reactionary politics out of the bits and pieces that are now left to it: a white nationalism that draws its animating energies from its hostility to a black president, immigration, and Islam. But the evidence is increasingly clear that that kind of politics simply does not possess enough appeal to propel him or any other similar candidate to the White House. Why women are no longer catching up to men on pay:  It turns out that “wage gains have gone disproportionately to people working longer hours” and the people working longer hours are primarily men.  Tweet of the day: NEW: @realDonaldTrump 's first general election ad. Hits Clinton on "rigged system," touts Trump on immigration –> pic.twitter.com/oJrKgQIH8o — Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) August 19, 2016  

Daily Clips: August 18th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 18th, 2016

Aetna threatened to quit Obamacare…even though their market cap has tripled since 2012:  Have they no shame? The Breitbart alt-right has taken over the GOP:   Trump lives in a Breitbart fantasy world, and he’s now invited Bannon to personally decorate that world for him. The GOP establishment, too weak and cowardly to oust Trump earlier, risks displacing the true, constitutional conservatives for whom the party has been a natural political home, and now it looks prepared to ride the Trump train, next to alt-righters, all the way into the electoral ravine. The Class of 2016’s labor market:  Here are some of the key findings from EPI’s report: “Members of the Class of 2016 currently have better job prospects than the classes of 2009–2015.” “For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 5.6 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 12.6 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).” “Young male college graduates earned 8.1 percent more in 2016 than in 2000, while young female college graduates earned 6.8 percent less than in 2000.” Tweet of the day: DC cab driver Foday Conteh, 63, on why he backs Trump. Came to U.S. from Sierra Leone in '82. pic.twitter.com/HsV8IyItW2 — Robert Costa (@costareports) August 18, 2016

Daily Clips: August 17th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 17th, 2016

Crazy story of the day:  A drunken racist brutally murders a Lebanese man. And America hardly blinks. Breitbart chief now the head of Trump’s campaign I-1491 (Extreme Risk Protection Orders) has over 60% support: The WA ballot initiative is looking in very good shape as we approach Labor Day. 3rd Elway poll of week on #waelex initiatives. Support over 50% for gun-related measure, min wage & consumer fraud pic.twitter.com/cJf5g8QutU — Natalie Brand (@NatalieBrandK5) August 17, 2016 Secure scheduling gets strong support in Seattle: Workers from REI and Starbucks spoke “passionately on behalf of a “secure scheduling” proposal last night – a good sign for the proposed law which intends to protect Seattle workers “from erratic schedules.” How America grew…unequal:  Two new books look at American inequality and argue that “the engine of economic growth was not investment by the few, but consumption by the many.”

Daily Clips: August 16th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 16th, 2016

“News is a misleading way to understand the world”: So says Steven Pinker in a recent interview with Vox, which more or less paraphrases his sensational book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. In it, Pinker argues that never before has human violence been less prevalent in our society. Ryan seeks to restore GOP’s elite-focused agenda:  The speaker’s populist messaging can’t hide the true reality of his extractive, trickle-down policies. Trump may cost the GOP a generation of voters:  Oh, boo hoo. Should we be concerned about the fall in money velocity? Tweet of the day: More on GOP's possible future TX problem- Clinton leads Trump 60-35 w/ voters under 45. Massive generational divide: https://t.co/ysbEG9TISf — PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) August 16, 2016

Daily Clips: August 15th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 15th, 2016

Krugman on the economy: The NYT  economist sends a warning shot out to “growth-focused centrists”, arguing “when centrists urge us to look away from questions of distribution and fairness and focus on growth instead, all too often they’re basically running away from the real issues that divide us politically.” Clinton increases staff in Georgia:  Fun trivia—Bill Clinton was the last Democratic candidate to carry the state in 1992. Economic anxiety did not lead to Trump:   But when Trump voters say they’re upset about needing to press one for English, mad that Black Lives Matter protesters are slandering police officers, and worried that Muslim and/or Mexican immigrants are going to murder their children, it’s perverse to interpret them as secretly hankering for a refundable child care tax credit. Gays against guns: Organizers of the collective, which has more than 300 members in New York and chapters in nine other cities across the country, said they were prepared to break the law and get arrested in their fight against gun manufacturers, their shareholders, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its corporate backers. Tweet of the day: Glorious news for the WA Democrats. Bill Bryant seems to be running a completely inept campaign, devoid of any political courage. Republican Bill Bryant admits he solicited Trump Super PAC founder for money and support #waelex https://t.co/MHvvTnkmfS — WA Democrats (@washdems) August 9, 2016  

Daily Clips: August 12th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 12th, 2016

Three major indexes end at records for first time since 1999:  And yet the economy isn’t even in full gear. That suggests that either the stock market is inflated or that the markets still have room to grow. I’m thinking the former. HRC is looking good in polls:  There is almost no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency this November. A recent Vox article makes this case: In all 16 of the most recent elections, the popular vote winner was the candidate who was ahead around this point in the campaign season. Austerity has dragged down the US economy:  Not excessive regulations or tax increases, you say?! The DEA is dead wrong on marijuana: It’s 2016 and it’s embarrassing that heroin and marijuana are still in the same category. Actually, it’s even worse than an embarrassment, it’s pure evil. They know marijuana has at least some medical benefit, yet they still give the middle finger to science. TWEET OF THE DAY: Out of all the industries which need investment, are police up there? Trump wants to give trillions in tax breaks to people like himself. Instead, let’s invest in our veterans, kids, schools and police. — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 11, 2016

Daily Clips: August 11th, 2016

Daily Clips: August 11th, 2016

DEA keep marijuana in same category as heroin Clinton’s agenda probably will founder in Congress, like Obama:   I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. The US recovery finally pays off for workers:  Sensationalist headline, but the analysis provided by Bloomberg View is compelling. Hillary Clinton to deliver economic rebuttal to Donald Trump:  I’m expecting a lot of “inclusionary” messaging with talk of “good paying jobs”. Nothing revolutionary, but probably a nice response to Trump’s trickle-down nonsense. TWEET OF THE DAY: In places like France & Britain, the minimum wage is equivalent to about 50% of the median wage. In the US? 37%. pic.twitter.com/FQUULdjiTv — The Fairness Project (@ProjectFairness) August 11, 2016