Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: May 10, 2017

Daily Clips: May 10, 2017

Today is a genuinely sad day in American history. The worst part? If you would have told me in 2012 this was how the Republican Party would end up…I would have believed you. They have become an awful group of legislators, so interested in their own power that they have sold out at nearly every key point in the last forty years. Democrats aren’t completely angelic, but the Republican Party stands alone in its utter betrayal of the American people. James Comey’s firing is the moment of truth for the GOP Calls for Independent Investigator, even from (a few) G.O.P. Michael Flynn targeted by grand jury subpoenas, sources confirm Mitch McConnell: Any new Russia investigations would derail current ones Meaning without work? In any case, the end of work will not necessarily mean the end of meaning, because meaning is generated by imagining rather than by working. Work is essential for meaning only according to some ideologies and lifestyles. Eighteenth-century English country squires, present-day ultra-orthodox Jews, and children in all cultures and eras have found a lot of interest and meaning in life even without working. Leftist critique of Kristen Gillibrand If Hillary Clinton’s closeness to Wall Street torpedoed her campaign — and more importantly, made her a poor agent of change — then Gillibrand has the same problem in spades. And the rest of her record isn’t any better. Her unyielding, at-all-costs loyalty to Israel, her expedient shape-shifting, her questionable links to certain political figures — all make Gillibrand a suspect tribune for anti-Trump resistance.  

Daily Clips: May 5, 2017

Daily Clips: May 5, 2017

Apple plans to spend $1 billion to support advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. U.S. job growth rebounds sharply, unemployment rate hits 4.4 percent Most U.S. homes are worth less than before the crash GOP can now turn their attention to taxes In ra...

Daily Clips: May 3, 2017

Daily Clips: May 3, 2017

Trump: Crazy Like a Fox, or Just Crazy? Democrats say they need a better economic message. Ohio’s Sherrod Brown thinks he has one. Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton confirmed as Trump’s SEC Chair We’re finally having the health-care debate we need The Kansas experiment Sam Brownback cut taxes dramatically in Kansas. As a Republican governor of a Republican state, he was going to enact the dream. Taxes on small businesses went down to zero. Personal income taxes went down. The tax rate on the highest income bracket went down about 25 percent. Brownback promised prosperous times for the state once government got out of the way. Reviving productivity is a moral imperative Trump, Pence lobby U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in all-out effort to pass GOP health-care plan

Daily Clips: May 2, 2017

Daily Clips: May 2, 2017

Republicans still short of votes to pass U.S. healthcare overhaul Why Republicans are still desperate to pass a health bill absurdly quickly The Trump tax plan’s devilish details: Trump advisers insist that big cuts in tax rates would pay for themselves by generating strong economic growth, a highly speculative claim, to put it gently. They also claim they’d add revenue by eliminating most tax deductions, though not the politically popular write-offs for charitable contributions and home mortgage interest. But the plan doesn’t specify which deductions would go, citing only the ones for state and local taxes paid. Economics, not identity, is key to reviving American liberalism The United States of Work: Against this bleak landscape, a growing body of scholarship aims to overturn our culture’s deepest assumptions about how work confers wealth, meaning, and care throughout society. In Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It) , Elizabeth Anderson, a professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, explores how the discipline of work has itself become a form of tyranny, documenting the expansive power that firms now wield over their employees in everything from how they dress to what they tweet. James Livingston, a historian at Rutgers, goes one step further in No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea . Instead of insisting on jobs for all or proposing that we hold employers to higher standards, Livingston argues, we should just scrap work altogether. Meet Bob Ferguson, the Washington State Attorney General who shut down Trump’s Muslim ban The absurd amount of entitlements that go to rich people Seattle soda tax will now include diet products because of equity concerns

Daily Clips: May 1, 2017

Daily Clips: May 1, 2017

American Airlines gave its workers a raise. Wall Street freaked out. Why it’s hard to pay for Trump’s tax cuts: One crucial question, though, is whether the tax breaks that Trump targets will generate enough savings to cover the cost — estimated at more than $6 trillion over 10 years — of what he wants to do, which is slash rates to 35 percent for top individual earners and 15 percent for corporations and pass-through businesses. If they don’t yield enough savings, his plan will boost budget deficits in a way that economists doubt would be offset by faster growth. Trump says he’s considering moves to break up Wall Street banks:  Top administration officials back return of Glass-Steagall Act. Master negotiator Trump wanted $1.2B cut to National Institutes of Health. Instead it got $2 Billion boost. Trump quote on the civil war: He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the civil war. He said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’ People don’t realize, you know, the civil war – if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there a civil war? Why could that one not have been worked out? Trump’s tax cuts may be more damaging than Reagan’s NYT Editorial Board nails Obama on his paid speech: He wrote in 2006: “I know that as a consequence of my fund-raising I became more like the wealthy donors I met. I spent more and more of my time above the fray, outside the world of immediate hunger, disappointment, fear, irrationality, and frequent hardship of … the people that I’d entered public life to serve.” Is it a betrayal of that sentiment for the former president to have accepted a reported $400,000 to speak to a Wall Street firm? Perhaps not, but it is disheartening that a man whose historic candidacy was premised on a moral examination of politics now joins almost every modern president in cashing in. And it shows surprising tone deafness, more likely to be expected from the billionaires the Obamas have vacationed with these past months than from a president keenly attuned to the worries and resentments of the 99
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Daily Clips: April 28, 2017

Daily Clips: April 28, 2017

Trump’s corporate tax cuts would increase deficit, and therefore are very unlike to pass The Republican tax cut myth: It’s worth remembering that the conservative Heritage Foundation made exactly the same argument about the 2001 tax cut that Secretary Mnuchin is making today. It issued a report on April 27, 2001 forecasting that by 2011, federal revenues would be higher with the tax cut than they would have been without it, due to higher economic growth, greater investment, and lower unemployment. In fact, real G.D.P. growth was half of what Heritage predicted and the unemployment rate was 50 percent higher. It predicted that federal revenues would equal $3.3 trillion in 2011 including the effect of the tax cut; revenues actually were $1 trillion less, $2.3 trillion. American Airlines announces pay raises for pilots and shareholders freak Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940 US economy has weakest quarterly performance in three years: So…is this still a part of the Obama economy? Quote of the day: Mr. Obama, who recently accepted a very lucrative speaking engagement on Wall Street, now looks like just one of the fortunate members of historically depressed minorities who mistake their own upward mobility for collective advance.

The Other Washington is podcast back

The Other Washington is podcast back

April 27, 2017 Nick Cassella
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We’re excited to announce that our podcast, The Other Washington , is coming back for Season 2. In our first episode we interviewed Thomas Frank, the author of Listen, Liberal—and we have quite the conversation. We talk about the failings of the Democratic Party, both electorally and intellectually. Here’s a snippet of what Frank spoke to us about on the episode ( which you can listen to here ): …no political faction gives up its grip on power such as this. The Democrats have no state power anymore. The faction that I described in the book still has the … It has the Democratic Party by the throat. There’s no question about it. They are the dominant faction. Nobody is going to give that up on purpose or without a fight. They have to be forced. They have to be challenged the leadership, and they have to lose. That’s easier said than done. You think that a debacle like last November would help to change people’s minds. For those of you who listened to the podcast last year, you know that we delved into a range of big political ideas and examined how these policies could be practically implemented. We talked paid sick leave with WA legislators, the $15 minimum wage with a venture capitalist, and secure scheduling with Seattle city council members. The big ideas will remain, but Season 2 will be a little different in a couple of ways. First off, the frequency of episodes will be weekly as opposed to monthly — a change that will allow us to explore more subjects and react to breaking news and the latest trends in politics — both here in Seattle and Washington state, and also in that other Washington. We also want to bring in new voices, examine ideas that are new to us, and publicly debate ideas that we don’t all agree on. Our first season was a lecture series where
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Daily Clips: April 27, 2017

Daily Clips: April 27, 2017

Do sweatshops lift workers out of poverty? For poor countries to develop, we simply do not know of any alternative to industrialization. The sooner that happens, the sooner the world will end extreme poverty. As we look at our results, we are conflicted: We do not want to see workers exposed to hazardous risks, but we also worry that regulating or improving the jobs too much too quickly will keep that industrial boom from happening. Economists fear tax plan heightens a ‘mountain of debt’ House Republicans have made a move to avert government shutdown — for at least a week Texas mayor blasted after she says lack of faith in God causes poverty New Trumpcare plan ‘makes bad bill worse,’ AARP says Trump’s tax plan is trickle-down fundamentalism: Experts on the left and right agree there’s no way the White House can cover the cost of those cuts—about $2.4 trillion in lost revenue over 10 years—just by limiting deductions, closing loopholes, or even including dubious revenue raisers like House Speaker Paul Ryan’s border-adjustment tax , which Trump has now ditched. Alas, Trump and his aides are turning to the only argument that politicians can make to justify trickle-down economics: that when the wealthy and corporations pay less in taxes, economic growth surges and make up for the lost revenue.

Daily Clips: April 26, 2017

Daily Clips: April 26, 2017

Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves? Revival of Contested Theory:  “Contested” Obama’s getting paid $400k to speak for a Wall St investment bank: This made me so angry. Here’s a guy that clearly has no bloody clue about how to appeal to a nation that is mired in economic inequality. Maybe now that he’s president he doesn’t care, but if that’s the case, he’s half the man I thought. Sanders and 21 Democrats introduce bill to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour The Raise the Wage Act of 2017, which Sanders and Murray will unveil later today, would hike the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, raising it to $9.25 immediately, and inching it up to $15 by 2024, while simultaneously raising the minimum wage for tipped workers. Why regulators won’t confront big banks America’s rich get richer and the poor get replaced by robots The U.S. makes it easy for parents to get college loans—repaying them is another story

Daily Clips: April 25, 2017

Daily Clips: April 25, 2017

Ivanka Trump gets booed, hissed at during Berlin event:  There’s some sense in the world. Seattle home-price hikes lead U.S. again; even century-old homes command top dollar Washington state relies on a rotten tax system: The top 1 percent in Washington paid 2.4 percent of their income, which is less than half of the national average, 5.4 percent. There have been efforts to introduce an income tax, but in recent times they’ve never gotten far. The idea of a Seattle city income tax on high-income households is going to be an issue in this year’s race for mayor. Current Mayor Ed Murray announced in the first mayoral debate last week that he will send a tax proposal to the City Council. The grim biology of being poor: Why do so few make it out of poverty? I can tell you from experience it is not because some have more merit than others. It is because being poor is a high-risk gamble. The asymmetry of outcomes for the poor is so enormous because it is so expensive to be poor. Imagine losing a job because your phone was cut off, or blowing off an exam because you spent the day in the ER dealing with something that preventative care would have avoided completely. Something as simple as that can spark a spiral of adversity almost impossible to recover from. The reality is that when you’re poor, if you make one mistake, you’re done. Everything becomes a sudden-death gamble. Now imagine that, on top of that, your brain is wired to multiply the subjective experience of stress by 10. The result is a profound focus on short-term thinking. To those outsiders who, by fortune of birth, have never known the calculus of poverty, the poor seem to make sub-optimal decisions time and time again. But the choices made by the poor are supremely rational choices under the circumstances. Pondering optimal, long-term decisions is a liability when you have 48 hours of food left. Stress takes on a
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