Daily Clips: May 16, 2017

Daily Clips: May 16, 2017

The tech sector is leaving the rest of the US economy in its dust Exclusive: Democrats in U.S. Senate try to slow Republican deregulation New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat, on Tuesday will introduce legislation to kill the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a law Republicans used over the span of three months this year to repeal 14 regulations enacted by former President Barack Obama, also a Democrat, according to documents seen by Reuters. McConnell’s Plea: ‘Less Drama’ From the White House Extreme Gerrymandering Complicates 2018 Congressional Map for Democrats Center for American Progress wonders what went wrong in 2016: We do not yet know the exact reasons for the drop in turnout among young people and black voters. But with President Obama not on the ticket to drive voter enthusiasm, it is quite possible that lingering job and wage pressures in more urban areas with lots of young people, and in areas with large populations of African-Americans, yielded similar, if distinct, economic anxiety in ways that may have depressed voter turnout among base progressives. The combined effect of economic anxiety may have been to drive white noncollege voters toward Trump and to drive down voter engagement and participation among base progressives.

Daily Clips: May 15, 2017

Daily Clips: May 15, 2017

Report: Michigan employers steal $429 million in pay from low-wage workers each year Pramila Jayapal highlighted and interviewed by The Nation For New York’s free-tuition plan, lessons from Tennessee Enrollment is up by a third and federal student loan debt is down in the first state to offer free tuition at its community colleges. Kansas’ economy is a cautionary tale for the rest of the country We need to challenge the myth that the rich are specially-talented wealth creators

Daily Clips: May 12, 2017

Daily Clips: May 12, 2017

To cut taxes on the rich Mitch McConnell is ok w/ Trump cover-up of Russia probe Trump lawyer: Tax returns from past 10 years show no “income of any type from Russian sources,” with few exceptions Why Trumponomics (see trickle down) won’t make America great again The economist who helped write Trump’s tax plan in five Days Quantitative easing, stock buybacks and other stuff So, while stock buybacks and QE aren’t exactly the same they are similar in the sense that their efficacy is contingent on the specific environment and the implementation. There will be times when this is a good idea and times when there’s just better ways to implement policies that try to move the private sector needle in one direction or another. Trickle Downer of the Week: The American CEO The average S&P 500 CEO pulled in $13.1 million last year, a 5.6 percent increase from 2015. Meanwhile, the average employee only made $37,362. Think about that: Your typical head honcho makes nearly as much in one day as his typical employee makes in a year.

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.  

The Case of the Missing Middle Class Wages

The Case of the Missing Middle Class Wages

Nobody reads Politico to discover something new. Campaign staff and their consultants read Politico in order to gauge how their latest spin played out in the DC Beltway. Celebrity politicians check Politico to make sure they’re mentioned. The media reads Politico to see what the dominant narrative for the day will be. Every so often, Politico will break some news, or publish an editorial that reframes a debate. But the day-to-day grind of Politico—its bread and butter—is regurgitating known knowns for the DC crowd. It’s the outlet for pushers of conventional wisdom to promote and bolster conventional wisdom for other pushers of conventional wisdom. All this brings us to a story by Danny Vinik titled “ The economy keeps improving. Why aren’t wages ?” Here’s the nut of the problem, as Vinik sees it: Wages have grown just 2.5 percent over the past year, only slightly higher than inflation. Since 2010, nominal wages have grown about 2.5 percent each year, while inflation has averaged 2 percent. Perhaps most concerning, as the labor market has tightened, wage growth hasn’t accelerated. Vinik talks to some economists who have “a few theories” about why wage growth hasn’t happened, and he boils their theories down to three main hypotheses: “The economy still isn’t at full employment” “Workers aren’t becoming more productive” “Industries are too concentrated” Let’s just say up front here: the conventional wisdom isn’t really interested in solving this problem. The conventional wisdom is interested in paying lip service to the problem while ensuring the status quo. And so of these three theories, two are completely wrong and one barely lands a glancing blow on the real problem. So let’s talk about the wrong theories first. “Full employment” is an economic term that gets pointed to a whole lot at moments like this where unemployment stats sink to a fairly low point. Basically what Vinik is arguing here is that the market should
+ Read More

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...

Shining a Spotlight on Washington State’s Dirty Little Secret

Shining a Spotlight on Washington State’s Dirty Little Secret

In so many ways, Washington state is a beacon of progressive politics to the rest of the nation. Sure, we’ve got our share of conservatives here, but for the most part we’re a pot-loving, worker-friendly, transit-happy state. We protect the environment, we encourage innovative industries, we keep our wages high, and we do our part to end gun violence. We’d be a leftie heaven on earth, except for one thing: our tax structure is an absolute mess. In this week’s episode of our podcast  The Other Washington  — be sure to  subscribe on iTunesStitcher , or  wherever you get your podcasts —Hanna Brooks Olsen, Goldy and I investigate our state’s regressive tax structure. For Washingtonians, Goldy explains, “if you earn over $500,000 a year, you live in the lowest-taxed state in the nation. But if you earn under $20,000 a year, you live in the highest.” As you might expect, this massive inequality causes some enormous problems. We talk about how a lack of revenue is screwing up basic state functions like education. We compare Washington to other states (we even suck when compared to libertarian New Hampshire) and we discuss what our awful tax structure might mean for our state’s future. Special guest Misha Werschkul from the  Washington State Budget and Policy Center  joins Hanna to talk about how we came to be the worst state in the nation on taxes, and what solutions might look like. It’s not just a matter of rolling out an income tax: Werschkul discusses a proposal to create a capital gains tax that would only affect the wealthiest Washingtonians. And it’s important to remember that it’s not just individuals who are suffering under our tax system. Werschkul says the tax is regressive for small businesses, too: “if you’re a small business in Washington state and you are frustrated by the business tax,” she says, “you probably have a reason to
+ Read More

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

The Top One Percent Is Sick of Your Bad Attitude, America

The Top One Percent Is Sick of Your Bad Attitude, America

Things are going great for American Airlines! The company’s stock price has  doubled over the last four years . Late last year, Warren Buffett’s investment group Berkshire Hathaway bet hugely on the airline industry, and they  bought more American stock  than any other company. As everyone knows, Buffett doesn’t invest for the short-term: he only puts his money behind businesses that he believes have a prosperous and sustainable future ahead of them. So naturally, American’s leadership did what any smart business would do when it’s staring down a brighter future: it invested in its people. They gave their pilots a  7 percent raise, and increased pay for flight attendants . This is good thinking; even  employers like Wal-Mart  now understand that businesses don’t succeed unless they pay their employees a decent wage. From a business standpoint, those raises make sense; employees who are paid decently are happier, they leave jobs less often, and they do better work. And from an economic standpoint, it works out, too. Those American employees will be able to spend that extra money in businesses in all the cities they travel to. Why would anybody be against this decision? What kind of short-sighted punk would argue against a sensible investment in the future? Well, uh. Meet Kevin Crissey.  The Los Angeles Times reports  on his response to American Airlines paying its employees more: “This is frustrating. Labor is being paid first again. Shareholders get leftovers,” Citi analyst Kevin Crissey wrote in a note to clients. Investors showed their displeasure by sending American Airlines Group Inc.’s stock down 5.2% to $43.98 on Thursday. The arrogance of this statement is breathtaking. Airlines, simply, wouldn’t succeed without pilots and flight attendants. The planes wouldn’t fly. The customers wouldn’t board and exit the planes. Without those employees, nobody would be able to fly American. Businesses aren’t just a series of blinking lights on a computer screen on Wall Street: they are goods and services provided by people, for people. And if
+ Read More

1 2 3