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

Hillary Clinton Just Explained How She’ll Grow the Economy for Everyone, and It Was Perfect

Hillary Clinton Just Explained How She’ll Grow the Economy for Everyone, and It Was Perfect

Donald Trump made headlines at tonight’s presidential debate by refusing to say whether he would accept the results of the election on November 8th. And that should absolutely be the top media takeaway from the debate; it’s unprecedented in modern history for a presidential candidate to deny the legitimacy of an election. This puts the peaceful transfer of leadership that has been at the heart of our democracy at risk. But it’s important to remember that there were two people onstage tonight. And while Donald Trump was busy unnecessarily imperiling the future of the United States for the sake of his own tremendous (and tremendously fragile) ego, we must also remember that Hillary Clinton was turning in her single best debate performance. Clinton was poised, prepared, and downright presidential up there. Clinton didn’t just maintain her integrity in the response to the most erratic presidential candidate in generations—she articulated her case more clearly than she ever has. Specifically, she knocked it out the park when she talked about economics. More than she ever has, Clinton made a clear and concise case for why middle out economics is the only way forward for a prosperous America. “I think when the middle class thrives, America thrives,” Clinton said early in the debate. “And so my plan is based on growing the economy, giving middle class families many more opportunities.” Clinton called for a jobs program that would reinforce America’s infrastructure and our investment in clean energy. She said she wanted America to compete with “high wage countries,” which is especially important considering Trump kept calling for us to compete with China and India and other low-wage nations. Clinton correctly argued that we don’t want the kind of growth that comes with simply creating more jobs; we want more better-paying, higher-quality jobs. (If you’d
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Seattle’s Jobless Rate Drops Below Four Percent in September

Seattle’s Jobless Rate Drops Below Four Percent in September

Mike Rosenberg at the Seattle Times writes : For the first time in more than eight years, the Seattle-area unemployment rate has dipped below 4 percent, a milestone in the region’s continued economic resurgence, according to new figures released Wednesday. September’s 3.9 percent unemployment rate for the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area is down from 4.1 percent a month prior, and 4.6 percent a year ago. It is vitally important to note that we didn’t raise the minimum wage in Seattle so we could drive unemployment numbers down to nothing. Unemployment rises and falls in a dynamic economy, and Seattle’s unemployment rate will undoubtedly rise with the next recession. We raised the minimum wage because Seattle believes in inclusivity. The minimum wage was way too low, which was removing people from the economy. When everyone prospers, we all prosper more and the economy is strengthened in a positive feedback loop. But this latest dip in unemployment is important because it refutes, yet again, the position that if we were to raise the minimum wage, restaurants would close in Seattle and automation would take all our jobs away and nobody would ever open a new business here. The sky has not fallen. (And now that some time has passed, people who were on the wrong side of the minimum wage fight will try to move the goalposts, claiming that nobody threatened those sorts of things. We can’t allow them to do that.   They most certainly did  claim they’d never open new restaurants. Some argued that we’d lose a quarter of all restaurants downtown  if the wage went up.) We do not live in a restaurant-free hellhole. We are not scavenging for scraps in the empty husk of the downtown McDonald’s. The city is doing just fine, thanks. At some point, you have to apply Occam’s Razor to those threats and consider the source: maybe the restaurant owners who threaten apocalypse with every minimum wage hike are simply
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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

Daily Clips: October 18th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 18th, 2016

Small donors still aren’t as important as wealthy ones:  Contrary to popular belief, the authors argue that “the truth is that small donors aren’t as important to campaigns as they were before internet fundraising became popular.” Wal-Mart figures out that paying workers more helps retain talent:  Turns out that Wal-Mart could afford to pay their workers better. Trump: maybe Paul Ryan wants me to lose he can run in 2020:  A broken clock is right twice a day. Americans work 25% more than Europeans, study finds:  “As recently as the early 1970s, according to several studies, people in the U.S. and Western Europe worked about the same number of hours per week.” Tweet of the day: @NickHanauer successful business-guy says raising wages lets consumers patronize business, boosting profits/jobs pic.twitter.com/COgC6xzmVy — Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) October 17, 2016

Governor of Maine Claims an Increased Minimum Wage Will Kill Senior Citizens, Somehow

Governor of Maine Claims an Increased Minimum Wage Will Kill Senior Citizens, Somehow

And here I thought we’d heard it all before. Every time a community considers raising the minimum wage, business owners and conservative politicians love to toss out threats. They’ll never open new restaurants again . They’ll have to close their existing restaurants . No new businesses will want to move in . When the minimum wage is adopted, of course, those threats prove to be empty. Businesses keep opening and existing businesses keep hiring. As Civic Ventures co-founder Nick Hanauer notes , a National Employment Law Project study found that when you measure all of “the nearly two dozen federal minimum wage hikes since 1938, total year-over-year employment actually increased 68 percent of the time.” The few times when employment stayed flat or decreased? They generally unfolded during recessions, when employment always decreases or stays flat. The American people have finally figured out that these threats are baseless. Minimum wage increases are polling incredibly well around the country, because people understand that raising the minimum wage doesn’t kill business — in fact, when more people make more money, businesses have more customers. So I’ve figured for a while that conservative minimum-wage opponents were going to try to figure out a new tack; after all, they need to figure out a way that will allow their base—the top one percent—to keep their money. I just didn’t figure that new tack would be quite this crazy : [Maine] Gov. Paul LePage affirmed his statement Friday that two advocates of a state ballot question to increase the minimum wage should be jailed, saying they are guilty of the “attempted murder” of senior citizens because of the alleged impact of a wage increase. So raising the minimum wage is killing people now? LePage’s rationale is that an increased minimum wage is “attempted murder in my mind because it is pushing people to the brink of survival.” He says it will increase costs, which means senior citizens on a fixed income won’t be able to afford goods
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Daily Clips: October 17th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 17th, 2016

The Seattle Times endorses a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave:  The Editorial Board’s endorsement came as a surprise to many of us here at Civic Skunk Works. Goldy may have even shed a tear (or two). Make no mistake about it: this endorsement is a big win for the minimum wage cause in Washington State. Slowly but surely, the tide is turning. How Hillary Clinton can put health-care reform back on track:   The key to a persuasive vision that attracts broad popular support is bringing back the public option—a public plan modeled after Medicare that can serve as a backup and benchmark for private plans. Too often the public option is seen as distinct from the exchanges. Yet it’s critical to creating regulated marketplaces that work. Democrats need the Senate:  With HRC looking like she will be the next POTUS, all eyes should turn to Senate races. If HRC is to have any success in implementing her “agenda,” she will need a Democratic Senate. As this article points out, the battles to watch are in Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Missouri and Indiana. Millions of men are missing from the workplace:  Princeton economist, Alan Krueger, has a working paper that examines the increasing amount of American men who are unemployed and addicted to painkillers. Tweet of the day: Paul Ryan, a man who doesn't know how to win (including failed run four years ago), must start focusing on the budget, military, vets etc. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016  

Daily Clips: October 14th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 14th, 2016

David Brooks wax nonsense: The poet has a special responsibility as society’s seer, who grasps the eternity in the present and sings to people about their own unique divine powers within. Personally, I have issues with born-again paganism. Shapeless, it leads to laxness — whatever moral quandary you bring it, it gives back exactly the answer you’d prefer to hear. And Brooks says he’s put down the marijuana. Retail sales climbs:  September was a good month for American retail. America’s dairy farmers dump 43 million gallons of excess milk:  What a pity. Could Clinton tame Congress?  What are the implications of a Democratic majority in the Senate? If you’ve ever wondered that, this article has you covered. Woman says Trump reached under her skirt and groped her in early 1990s: Kristin Anderson was deep in conversation with acquaintances at a crowded Manhattan nightspot and did not notice the figure to her right on a red velvet couch — until, she recalls, his fingers slid under her miniskirt, moved up her inner thigh, and touched her vagina through her underwear. Tweet of the day: Here's video of Mike Pence on @10TV answering that question on an 11 year old girl and Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/4KwhBSwDZi — John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) October 14, 2016  

Daily Clips: October 13th, 2016

Daily Clips: October 13th, 2016

October 13, 2016 Nick Cassella
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Big money may not save GOP senators: In this election, Senate Republicans started out defending more than twice as many seats as Democrats, but benefited handsomely from a spending bonanza by billionaire GOP donors who shoveled big money into congressional contests instead of giving it to Trump. A full 63 percent of the $737 million spent by super PACs so far in this election has been doled out by pro-GOP groups… Can the Democrats resurrect the middle class?  A very in-depth article by Thomas Edsall which explores a variety of progressive economic agendas. The Consumer Protection Agency is unusual, but not unconstitutional US jobless claims at 43-year low:  The labor market’s strength is good news for Obama’s economic legacy. initial jobless claims are at their lowest level since 1973. pic.twitter.com/G1aPlxGvJt — Catherine Rampell (@crampell) October 13, 2016

Before the New Overtime Rule Kicks In, Walmart Gives Managers a Raise

Before the New Overtime Rule Kicks In, Walmart Gives Managers a Raise

Daniel Wiessner and Nandita Bose report for Reuters : Wal-Mart Stores Inc has raised salaries for entry-level managers before a rule change that extends mandatory overtime pay to more than 4 million U.S. workers, in an attempt to shield itself from unpredictable additional costs for salaried employees. The raise was pretty significant—$45,000 per year to $48,500. And as Wiessner and Bose note, this decision wasn’t made out of the kindness of Walmart’s heart. (For those of you who flunked out of anatomy in college, here’s a tip: Walmart doesn’t have a heart because it’s not a living organism.) Walmart was simply ensuring that their managers were paid above the $47,500 threshold adopted by President Obama’s Department of Labor. That $3,500 raise might sound like a lot, but it’s probably peanuts compared to the overtime Walmart would have to pay its workers under the revised overtime threshold. And that’s exactly how the overtime rule is supposed to work. The old threshold—an embarrassing $23,660 per year—was so pitifully low that a whole generation of Americans grew up thinking that overtime only existed for unionized employees and government workers. We need an overtime rule that ensures low-wage employers (and yes, even though Walmart pays more than the minimum wage now, I’d still count them as a low-wage employers) pay a living wage to their employees. Note, too, that once Walmart raises their employees wages above the threshold, they can expect those employees to work over 40 hours a week without additional pay. That’s how it’s supposed to happen. The government isn’t taking away an employers’ ability to expect more work out of their employers, it’s simply asking employers to pay their employees fairly for the time they work. But before we go crazy high-fiving Walmart for the good things they’ve done for their employees (fact check: Walmart is
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