Wrote three things today
In which I point out that commitment to shrinking the size of the safety net is a matter of broad Washington consensus, not just Republican ideology. In which I talk about the shrinking of the regulatory/administrative state as well. And then there’s the private life of power, alive and well in the Chicago education system. Bonus round: Two excellent and thoughtful responses from Elias...
Wrote some stuff today
1.) Labor leaders are feeling positive about last night’s fiscal cliff deal, but they’re worried about the looming debt ceiling and sequestration battles. They’ve managed to delay—but not truly rout—Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts. 2.) Liberals should be calling for a radical expansion of the social safety net, not just trying to prevent cuts. Drawing...
Wednesday Latvia Blogging
I spent a bit of this afternoon reading up a bit on Latvian macroeconomics, as one does. It all started when the New York Times ran a piece suggesting that austerity had actually worked in the little Baltic republic. But you’ll notice that the author of the piece seems to be hiding his whole hand here. According to him, this is the recent economic history of Latvia: Global economic...
On the renewal of the FISA Amendments Act
Here. Nothing particularly new or insightful for those who are already familiar with the privacy issues, but hopefully it’s a decent primer for those who didn’t already know about the Senate’s bipartisan endorsement of warrantless wiretapping.
Life after 'right-to-work'
Nevada has been a right-to-work state since the early ’60s, but Culinary Workers Local 226 seems to have been doing alright. Another argument for the value and resilience of social movement unionism.
Furthermore, all correspondence referring to [the final solution] was subject to...– Currently reading Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem.
The year in labor
I wrote a brief recap of what happened to organized labor in 2012. The short version: It’s mostly hopeless, but not totally hopeless. Notably, the good news for labor mostly occurred within “non-traditional”* unions or campaigns. I’ve written quite a fair amount about those small but meaningful successes, so here’s a truncated list if you want to read more: ...
"...the growing role that education plays in...
The other side to this story is the campus-level resistance to growing tuition fees and debt burdens. The pushback is happening all over the world—Montreal, the UK, Latin America, California, and so on—but the most recent local example was the Cooper Union occupation in New York (which I covered for MSNBC, a few days before it fizzled out). What the New York Times article tells you,...
Endnote: Laissez-faire was planned
Needless to say, this argument doesn’t apply solely to gun control, or even solely to criminal justice issues. There’s no political concern that’s purely a “criminal justice issue,” a “social issue,” an “economic issue,” etc.—it’s all politics, it’s all society. And the not-so-hidden authoritarianism of the minimal state...
Democrats, understandably, want to keep winning more seats, and so the likeliest...– Why we shouldn’t expect Obama to think big on jobs - Lean Forward My first piece of real commentary/analysis for Lean Forward.
It’s amazing that it’s considered revolutionary to wear my hair the...– Melissa Harris-Perry and guests on ‘why black hair matters’ - Lean Forward
When Senator John McCain is the only one in the national debate bringing up...– Hastings: ‘There’s a bipartisan consensus behind this national security state’ - Lean Forward
Matthews: "It's time for the president to go big"... →
This is what I meant earlier when I said that Romney was Even More Austerity candidate.
Romney: the "message of Wisconsin" is that we... →
To be clear, Romney is not The Austerity Candidate — he’s the Even More Austerity candidate. Crucial yet dismaying difference.
Mitt Romney's new neighbours talk about marriage... →
Alter: Supreme Court decision on Obama's... →
Real market societies need the state to play an active role in managing markets,...– Just started reading Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. This is from the introduction by Fred Block.
So today was my first day writing for Lean...
I wrote a couple things, namely this and this. The first post is about a fairly standard example of beleaguered political reporters, under great pressure to produce more content faster, inventing conflict where none exists. (And of parties who find conflict to be in their interests pouncing on it.) The second post is about a conflict that does exist, but it’s not the conflict that our hero...
It is impossible to predict the eventual outcome. As mentioned before, the...– Georg Soros on the future of the EU
Normalizing Permanent Warfare
Remember this? I sure didn’t. (Thanks goes to Elias Isquith for the reminder.) When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. ”We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance,” Kerry said. ”As a former law-enforcement person, I...
Back Away From The 2 Liter
I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about the merits of Bloomberg’s soda ban, but I do think that looking at it in context helps crystallize some things about the mayor’s ideology. Where one might look at a public health crisis and see the need for, say, better access to good health care and nutrition, Bloomberg sees a need for legal prohibitions and behavior...
This rendered the Gold Standard meaningless as far as Germany was concerned,...– Richard J. Evans, The Rise of the Third Reich Late Weimar monetary policy.
yfiles: The latest jobs report is a total disaster. We got 69,000 new jobs in May which is well below already tepid expectations and is below the labor force trend growth rate. Terrible. But it gets worse! “The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +154,000 to +143,000, and the change for April was revised from +115,000 to +77,000.” In other words, we gained...
Oh, hello again.
Given that my Wordpress blog has been in hibernation for some time, and given that I’ll soon be blogging for a living elsewhere, I believe Tumblr might better suit my current needs/Internet ADHD.