Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: April 24, 2017

Daily Clips: April 24, 2017

How ideologues use grade-school economics to distort the minimum wage: The United States has the lowest minimum wage, as a proportion of average wages, of any advanced economy—one reason for our wide gap between rich and poor. But according to economism, raising the minimum wage would only backfire and harm poor people. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief expects basic NAFTA deal by mid-2018 Republicans want to muzzle database of consumer complaints Want to rescue rural America? Bust monopolies It is a myth that the economic challenges that rural and small-town America face are caused by forces largely outside our control, like globalization or improvements in technology. We have the ability to help restore competition and economic vibrancy in rural America and beyond. The government has the authority to ensure markets are once again open and competitive so that communities have a chance to shape their own economic destinies. The question is whether we will recognize the error of our ways and put taking on monopolies high on the economic agenda — for rural and small-town America, and for everyone who wants to ensure our country can once again be the land of opportunity. Watch: Bill Nye rips CNN for treating climate change like theater instead of science

Daily Clips: April 21, 2017

Daily Clips: April 21, 2017

Trump tax plan to rely on future US growth to fund cuts Republicans believe major tax reform would drive annual U.S. economic growth above 3 percent. But if anticipated improvement fails to materialize, the strategy could rob the Treasury of tax revenue and saddle the economy with bigger deficits and higher debt burdens. Bill Nye Saves the World brings us an updated, unapologetically political science guy Does the government subsidize low-wage employers? America is regressing into a developing nation for most people Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposes income tax for city’s ‘high-end’ households The end of men? Not in the retail sector

Daily Clips: April 20, 2017

Daily Clips: April 20, 2017

Happy 4/20. Here’s a quote from Carl Sagan: The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world. Blacks and whites use pot at about the same rate, but blacks get arrested for pot possession a lot more A new high: 61 percent of Americans believe weed should be legalized Nobel Prize-Winning Economist: We’re Headed for Oligarchy Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study The jobless economy Why has growth been so slow? This too is a topic in itself but there are several reasons. One, popular among mainstream economists, is that very deep recessions, like the 2008–9 affair, have historically left deep scars that make recovery slow and difficult. Another, less orthodox, way of interpreting those “scars” is that a very deep recession is itself a sign of serious structural problems beyond the normal ups and downs of capitalist economies.

Daily Clips: April 19, 2017

Daily Clips: April 19, 2017

After using n-word in front of black colleagues, Fla. state senator faces calls to resign New election analysis: Yes, it really was blatant racism that gave us President Donald Trump Sean McElwee, a policy analyst for Demos  and a frequent contributor to Salon, published a statistical analysis last week , based on data collected by the American National Election Studies , that demonstrates clearly that racism, rather than economic insecurity, was the primary factor that helped push Trump over the top. Fighting child poverty with a universal child allowance It might seem naive that a universal child allowance could be adopted this year. But with support from both sides of the aisle, it is now a viable policy alternative. Cary Moon is running for Seattle mayor What Trump’s H-1B visa executive order actually does

Daily Clips: April 17, 2017

Daily Clips: April 17, 2017

Morgan Stanley’s CEO says repealing Dodd-Frank would be a mistake Are sectorial unions the way of the future? Sectoral bargaining is certainly getting more attention in legal academic and labor law policy debates,” Benjamin Sachs, a professor at Harvard law school and former practicing labor lawyer, says. ‘The way I would think about it is that there’s an existential panic about what will happen to the labor movement. That’s not new, it’s just getting worse … If we need unions for economic and political equality as I think we do, we have to do something to stop that downward spiral.’ Why don’t all jobs matter? While we can’t stop job losses from happening, however, we can limit the human damage when they do happen. We can guarantee health care and adequate retirement income for all. We can provide aid to the newly unemployed. And we can act to keep the overall economy strong — which means doing things like investing in infrastructure and education, not cutting taxes on rich people and hoping the benefits trickle down. Tax cuts don’t work the way trickle downers think: Tax cuts that go to high-income taxpayers generate less growth than…cuts for low and moderate income taxpayers. Why the 101 model doesn’t work for labor markets: Labor is a crucial input in so many markets that it really needs to be dealt with in general equilibrium – in other words, by analyzing all markets at once – rather than by treating it as a single market in isolation. That makes the basic Econ 101 partial-equilibrium model pretty useless for analyzing labor. WA passes Student Loan Transparency Act:  Starting next year, Washington college students who take out student loans will get an email or letter from their school telling them how much they owe and how much their monthly loan payments will be after graduation. Wow, what an amazing step forward. Now when students take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans they’ll know how much they’ll need to repay. I am so sick of all this winning! WA is so
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Daily Clips: April 13, 2017

Daily Clips: April 13, 2017

“We live, work, shop, and travel under a system of grossly asymmetric power relationships” Alabama set to allow church to create its own police force:  The constitutionality argument with this issue is not as black and white as you might first think. The British warned us about Trump-Russia connections: Members of the British intelligence agency GCHQ knew about “suspicious” contact between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian operatives as early as 2015, the Guardian reported on Thursday, citing a source with links to British intelligence. Homeless camp cleared under Seattle’s Spokane Street Viaduct:  Pictures of the “clearing.” WA state’s student-achievement guru knows college isn’t for everyone; here’s what he proposes instead: Q: The word “college” causes some confusion — I hear lots of readers say, well, not everyone needs to go to college. And the phrase “postsecondary credential” doesn’t resonate the same way. A: I got exactly that reaction when I went around talking about this (in Connecticut). So I started using the phrase “something after high school.” I had conversations with people where they said, “Not everybody should go to college,” and I said, I agree with you, if you mean Yale, or the University of Connecticut. What I’m talking about is something after high school, and people would go, right away, “Yes, I agree with that.”

Daily Clips: April 12, 2017

Daily Clips: April 12, 2017

Doing free college correctly: That said, as we celebrate the Cuomo Administration’s commitment to New York’s students and families, New York’s plan isn’t without its warts. Naming them can get us toward a Unified Theory of Free College, and provide a model when the federal policy window on college affordability opens once again. Here are a few thoughts for what might make for a powerful, progressive, free college proposal. Two WA streams make America’s most endangered rivers list: A pair of scenic Western Washington river systems, the South Fork Skykomish near Stevens Pass and the Green and Toutle rivers near Mt. St. Helens, got flagged on an annual list called America’s Most Endangered Rivers by the environmental group American Rivers. San Bernardino reels from elementary school shooting two years after terrorist attack:  It’s just another day in America. Jacksonsonian history: Jackson likened indigenous people to “savage dogs” and boasted as a general that “I have on all occasions preserved the scalps of my killed.” The Indian Removal law would ultimately be responsible for the deaths of over four thousand Cherokees on the Trail of Tears. Embattled United CEO accepts responsibility for treatment of passenger:  Finally.

Daily Clips: April 10, 2017

Daily Clips: April 10, 2017

How California hopes to undo Trump: California is the Trump administration’s most formidable adversary, not only on matters of immigration, but on damn near everything. No other entity—not the Democratic Party, not the tech industry, surely not the civil liberties lobby—has the will, the resources, and the power California brings to the fight. Others have the will, certainly, but not California’s clout. How the fight for a $15 minimum wage in Baltimore fell apart:  Surprisingly, businesses said they’d have to move or cut jobs. Keynesian economics is hot again: Someday, when economists have a better handle on the basics of why people consume and businesses invest, macroeconomic models won’t have to be rethought every time a big recession happens. Right-wing nationalism vs. one-percent oligarchy: In the war between Bannon and Kushner, Trump agrees with both: The president shares Bannon’s idea that the country is collapsing and can only be saved with toughness, strength and power. In Jared and Ivanka, Trump sees a golden future for his progeny, building the family wealth and securing his legacy. That’s the Trump worldview, perfectly embodied in his two top advisers. The gig economy’s false promise:  “Instead of freedom, workers at companies like Uber have encountered low wages and coercion.”

Daily Clips: April 7, 2017

Daily Clips: April 7, 2017

On day’s like this, let’s listen to Orwell: “The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word “war,” therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that is exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and has been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three superstates, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed forever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This–although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense–is the inner meaning of the
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Daily Clips: April 6, 2017

Daily Clips: April 6, 2017

Andrew Sullivan talks about his expectations for the next few years:  Sullivan is a bright light in the conservative movement (which means he’s essentially a modern day Democrat). His viewpoints on Trump’s follies so far are enlightening and humbling. He has a terrible segment on LGBT and Black Lives Matter…you’ve been warned. Mark Meadows wants the AHCA to take even more from the poor:  Trickle Downer of the week. Jeff Bezos Says he is selling $1 billion a year in Amazon stock to finance race to space:  Sure would be useful if Washington had a capital gains tax. If California adopts universal health care, it will be a model for the whole country:   California may be the state to show the way forward. In February, Senate Bill 562 was introduced to create a single-payer health-care system that would cover all 38 million Californians. The program would eliminate copays and insurance deductibles, and “inpatient, outpatient, emergency care, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care” would be covered. The funding specifics have not yet been provided, but this is still a significant step forward in the fight for universal health coverage. Nordstrom brothers’ compensation doubled last year as retailer struggled:  Not an Onion headline.