Bernie's "Jobs for Everyone" Program

Bernie Sanders has come up with a new plan for the government to hire every worker who wants a job at the rate of at least $15 an hour, plus health and retirement benefits.

Sanders's jobs guarantee would fund hundreds of projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment, education and other goals. Under the job guarantee, every American would be entitled to a job under one of these projects or receive job training to be able to do so, according to an early draft of the proposal.

... the projects would hire workers at a minimum salary of $15 an hour with paid family and medical leave, and offer the same retirement, health, and sick and annual leave benefits as other federal employees.

Can such an idea work? It makes me think of the Netflix series Lillyhammer with Steve Van Zandt, about Norway. [More...]

Van Zandt says the series tries to have "fun with the Norwegian bureaucracy," while also respecting how "complicated" the culture is.

"They're very much community-minded; they are womb-to-tomb health care and education for free for everybody. There's no homelessness and there's no real crime to speak of. And there's no poverty," he said.

In theory, it sounds great. But Sanders has not yet calculated the cost of the program. I wonder if the program is realistic, affordable and sustainable, without cuts to other important social programs.

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    Finland just ended its brief experiment. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 12:07:41 PM EST

    Finland's experiment (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by CST on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 11:46:43 AM EST
    Did not include a jobs program.

    This is not the same thing.  It's essentially an infrastructure bill.  The end result is not just money for the unemployed, it's improved infrastructure for the rest of us.

    Also, Finland's experiment happened in a country that already has a strong social safety network.  It was essentially extra money on top of the fact that people's basic needs were already cared for.  This would only get us to that first step - caring for people's basic needs.


    Yep (none / 0) (#38)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 09:58:27 AM EST

    Here is a link.

    Maybe a 30% surcharge on all taxes was too much.


    I've always thought Bernie (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by CST on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 02:20:14 PM EST
    Was a great senator, and I still do.  I also think he wasn't a great presidential candidate because he didn't appreciate that being a grumpy curmudgeon with a massive national platform has consequences, or the fact that he had been living in a bit of a cultural bubble.  That said, that's exactly the kind of attitude a socialist senator from Vermont should have.

    I do wonder about the inability to dream big in the Democratic party.  For all the bull*hit that Trump Spewed - he got that.  Build the wall!  Make America Great Again! The man could inspire even if he was inspiring the worst.

    It would be nice if we didn't immediately attack big ideas that come from the left, even if we don't appreciate all the past actions of the person it came from.

    When I was a teenager, the city of Boston had a jobs program that was a guaranteed summer job for any teenager who lived in the city.  I was a camp counselor for low-income kids.  A lot of people picked up trash.  Other people did other things that I don't even know of.  What I do know, is that the city of Boston crime rate plummeted, especially among youth.  Funding for the program was cut by then governor Mitt Romney, and to the best of my knowledge it has never fully been brought back, now all they have are some partnerships with private organizations and you have to win a lottery to get one.  Oh and simultaneously the youth crime rate shot back up - but "no one" could seem to figure out why.

    I understand that Bernie's proposal is different from this, and that maybe it was really Cory Booker's proposal first.  None of that really matters.  What matters is the overton window, and the capability of the left to propose big ideas.  This country has a need for massive structural change right now, the system is not working for current generations, and the younger you are the worse off you are financially - relative to those who came before you at your age - which makes the future look pretty f*cking grim.  Social Security was once a radical idea once.  The Interstate highway system was a radical idea.

    Maybe this isn't the radical idea that gets to the finish line, but I'm not going to ding Bernie for trying.

    Also - even mediocre infrastructure would be an improvement, IMO.

    I disagree that it doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 at 03:47:54 PM EST
    Matter if he borrows Booker's hard work coming up with actual possible policy. This is not Senator Sanders first incident of borrowing another legislator's hard work in order to get some bit news coverage either.

    Bernie Sanders has almost no history championing and writing good legislation , and then seeing it passed.

    It isn't that any Democrat I know is shooting down big ideas, leadership is about more than just be surface inspiring, then you have to govern and actually successfully accomplish goals. Bernie Sanders doesn't have a history of that. And at his age he isn't anymore capable of a 180 degree change in behavior than Donald Trump.


    He stole Corey Booker's plan (4.67 / 3) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 06:05:29 AM EST
    Yesterday when this was announced they had no actual numbers worked yet (smirk), just the stolen framework of Booker's employment plan.

    On Twitter some posted that the initial goals also resemble Gillibrand's employment plan too.

    Of course Bernie, the head of the Democratic party, will be given ovations for such original thinking.

    I know Sanders has been asked about (none / 0) (#2)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 06:43:02 AM EST
    universal basic income for a number of years, and he's always indicated - in a kind of roundabout way - that he's very much in favor of people having a standard of living that guarantees them housing, education, health care, etc.  But the route he always chose to take was the $15 minimum wage - the Fight for Fifteen - choosing to focus on the states, rather than the Congress, knowing that a GOP majority Congress was never going to go that big.

    I'm not sure there's much to be gained in fighting over whose plan it is, or whose plan it looks like - that seems to me to be counterproductive to what I assume the essential goal is: lifting people out of poverty, goosing the economy, narrowing the gap between the wealthy and the rest of us.

    That being said, though, if Sanders is eating Booker's lunch to neutralize a possible primary candidate, that's pretty tacky.  There were, I think, better ways to go at this thing - ways that would have looked more united in goal and overall agenda, but Bernie didn't ask me.  His loss.

    I think what bothers me about it is that this gives the other side one more opportunity to bash a good idea because it's coming from someone who is so easily branded as a wild-eyed socialist.  Having people like Booker and Gillibrand as the faces of this kind of plan puts it into a whole other arena, where it's much harder to brand as a communist plot.

    I'd just hate to see a good idea fall victim to internecine bickering, although I'm sure the other, other side would be thrilled.


    I am not used to any Sanders subordinate (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 07:09:26 AM EST
    Being truly united with other Dem party candidates.

    All Sander's primary subordinates have revealed over and over and over again on Twitter that they give zero phucks about party unity or goals. They only work to elect Sanders.

    Traditional Democrats are told by Zogby, Turner, Konst that the real way forward is not promoting leftist goals...but to swing right and try to earn right wing votes.

    Armando exposes them all daily.


    It irks me that this whole thing may (none / 0) (#5)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 08:24:38 AM EST
    be getting way too territorial - like universal basic income and Medicare for All must always and forever be the exclusive domain of Bernie Sanders?

    How does that help advance these issues?

    I don't have any inside knowledge, I just know that constantly pulling to the right has only served to "Republicanize" and weaken a lot of positions and make people shrug their shoulders and wonder why they shouldn't just go ahead and vote Republican if what they are going to get are Republican ideas.

    There's very little about right wing ideas that actually works for the vast majority of us, so I think it's long past time for the so-called strategists to be told to either sit down and shut up, or try doing it our way for a change.


    I went to the Unity Reform Commission (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 09:05:12 AM EST
    Konst, Turner, and Zogby believe the Democratic party must go populist. And you cannot believe how childish/teenage girlish Konst, Kleeb, and Turner are when they huddle together. Even in a public forum. It's bizarre.

    You are probably much more familiar with Yvette Lewis than I am. Attending the URC was really my first memorable exposure to her. What an elegant speaker she is, she spoke right to my heart about what the Democratic party is and she knows party building. During the URC she also stayed strong in approaching Sanders supporters in good faith. I wonder what she would have to say about that now if you and I were sworn to never repeat it?

    But Zogby, Turner, Konst want nothing to do with actual Democratic party platform. They will say whatever they believe gets votes. They will say almost anything.

    But the territorial thang started a long time ago, and it continues.

    Some of the second tier Sanders subordinates were upset about what Hillary Clinton had paid to certain Democratic party vendors for services like advertising. I heard them out during breaks. I was willing to weigh their concerns.

    After the URC was over it came out what Sanders paid his specific vendors though too and everything Hillary was accused of doing that 2nd tier Sanders subordinates in the audience thought was WRONG Bernie Sanders had also done himself. He hired very specific experts of his choosing and paid them a lot of money, and they told me that was Clinton's crime.


    I have such limited tolerance for (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 09:16:46 AM EST
    the "whatever will get votes" mindset, I'd have had to be heavily medicated to get through a conference like that...

    It would probably be a trip down the rabbit hole and an exercise in futility to figure out when we stopped being about ideas and aspirations and just grubbed in the money piles for votes based on saying whatever it took to get them.

    And that's another thing that's wrong with all this money in politics - if you don't have it, you don't have a voice.  If you do have it, your ideas that only benefit other people who have money are the ones that seem to prevail, leaving the rest of us to our own devices.

    It's no wonder so many people run from the voting booth instead of into it.


    There is going to be a lot of money (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 09:26:36 AM EST
    Involved in a Presidential race period. No matter how you slice it. I just didn't realize that the people having meltdowns in front of me were going to be billing Bernie's campaign millions if he had won the nomination instead of Jen O'Malley Dillon's firm.

    It turned out to be nothing deeper than whining butthurt. Participation trophies didn't get handed out.

    It is a Presidential race, the advertising vendors had better be the Avenattis of political ad making.


    Bernie (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 02:35:56 PM EST
    is the new Joe Lieberman as far as the press is concerned.

    This sounds like a 21st century (4.50 / 2) (#13)
    by caseyOR on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 12:41:25 PM EST
    update of the Great Depression employment program the Works Progress Administration. It is not a guaranteed income. It is a jobs program.

    Goodness knows the U.S. has a huge repair/ rebuild backlog. There is real work that needs to be done. So why not hire people to do that work, and pay them a decent wage?

    Funding (4.50 / 2) (#14)
    by Steve13209 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 01:06:14 PM EST
    Why would a guaranteed jobs program need to be funded by "cuts to other important social programs"? It could be funded by deficit spending (ala GOP tax cut), cutting military spending or a tax increase.

    I understand the negative response to Sanders, but I hope the conversation can rise above relitigating the 2016 primary as we move toward the mid-terms.

    Gillibrand is my Senator and I am very interested in her potential candidacy in 2020 and how she positions herself during the midterms.

    Of Course We Can Afford It (none / 0) (#4)
    by RickyJim on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 07:48:36 AM EST
    I'd have to learn all the details (none / 0) (#9)
    by McBain on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 09:45:18 AM EST
    right now it sounds like a way to make America mediocre again. It would be interesting to see how many unemployed people would chose to do this if they still have the option of other government assistance.

    I'm skeptical but willing to hear out the plan. Would be nice to improve infrastructure.

    Two (none / 0) (#29)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 05:24:12 PM EST
    words, boon doggle. Set aside the politics, the mechanics of the whole thing seems implausible. How many people? Millions? You would have to create a monstrous bureaucracy to just pay them, and finding actual work for them would be daunting, or IMO impossible.

    It's all fine and dandy to say infrastructure, but you can't just turn people into masons, carpenters, pipe layers, etc. You probably can't turn the government into contractors either. It just seems to me that if you wanted to create good infrastructure jobs just fund the dam things, and the jobs will be there on their own, without the need for government meddling.


    An old saying from (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 05:30:09 PM EST
    The Soviet Union

    We pretend to work and you pretend to pay us.


    Showing (none / 0) (#31)
    by FlJoe on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 05:47:53 PM EST
    up at the "Federal Job Center" to be assigned your "Guaranteed" job has a certain dystopian feel to it.  

    If you mean by dystopian (none / 0) (#32)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 08:17:44 PM EST
    a project with no future in it, try 700 + military bases scattered around the planet connected to a corrupt, leviathan of a bureaucracy that has, in spite if it all, managed to spin itself in the eyes of the public as being more American than baseball, motherhood, and apple pie.

    What starry-eyed irrationalist could've ever dreamed that scenario up?


    Exactly (none / 0) (#34)
    by FlJoe on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 05:47:38 AM EST
    the US Military is a "guaranteed" jobs program run by the government(the largest of many), cut it by a third and you would have half a million jobs to replace. The money saved would be nice, but spending it on building another leviathan would be extremely counter productive.

    Say what you will about the military, it has been it has been an escape from poverty for a multitude of Americans, even if they had to sell their soul to the company store (metaphorically speaking).


    So why not (none / 0) (#63)
    by Steve13209 on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 06:08:14 PM EST
    a non-military jobs program that takes care of un and underemployed citizens?



    Well, looking at any construction (none / 0) (#35)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 08:27:11 AM EST
    company, it takes more than just the people who do the actual labor - it also takes the people who go out and get the business, who answer the phones and schedule the work, who put together bids and proposals, who order the materials and special equipment, and monitor safety and compliance with labor regulations, and draft the plans and coordinate the subcontractors and handle the payroll and do the hiring...and so on.

    So a new bridge - or any infrastructure project - is more than just building it, more than just the end result.  

    And, while these kinds of programs don't just spring fully-formed into existence, I don't know why you'd need a new bureaucratic structure when the government itself is already paying millions of government employees - presumably, with no great difficulty.

    Further, as I understand it, this wouldn't just be about infrastructure jobs - it would be about jobs in education, care-giving, the environment - AND it would also be about training.

    Kevin Drum points out, though, that there's going to be a problem giving $15/hour jobs - with health benefits! - to people who already have the same jobs, making less.  Why would you stay in a lesser-paying job when you can quit for a government job doing essentially the same work making more money?  I mean, people do this all the time in the private sector, but not on the scale that a guaranteed jobs program might create.

    And what does that do to the private sector?  I'm not sure anyone knows.

    Clearly, it needs more thought, but on some level, I can't help but think that some of the objections that are surfacing are not unlike those that are raised on the subject of single-payer/Medicare For All.

    It's an idea, it's not even close to happening, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't even be talked about.


    A new bridge. (1.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 09:54:55 AM EST
    Good luck with that. The Stillwater Minnesota lift bridge over the Saint Croix took more than a decade to replace. You can't build anything until the environmental review is done and then the suits challenging the adequacy of the environmental review are exhausted, then the discovery of endangered flora or fauna that may be impacted, etc, etc.

    Build another Hoover dam or Golden Gate Bridge?  Not gonna happen. Best case scenario is filling pot holes. Even that is problematic as it gives northern states a disproportionate share of the spending.


    You guys would (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 10:57:01 AM EST
    dam the Grand Canyon.  

    You may remember (none / 0) (#71)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 30, 2018 at 09:12:35 AM EST
    Even President Obama noted the lack of "shovel ready jobs."

    That's (none / 0) (#59)
    by FlJoe on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 03:27:19 PM EST
    kind of my point, construction companies already have the clerical and design employees. The government would have to duplicate that entire existing structure and probably end up in direct competition which will open up a whole new can of worms.

    Educators? The government at the State/County/City level already employ several million of them. We could use more of course(and paid much better than $15/hr) but it makes little sense for the Fed Govt to directly hire them.

    Care givers, should the Feds build nursing homes? On and on, there are complexities that seem daunting.

    Other issues like matching locales and abilities to available jobs, will the Feds have to hire a thousand people in Bugtussle WV, and find them suitable work?

    This is nothing like single payer, which can and should be made one size fits all. It is impossible that for the labor force.

    For my money, I would rather have a UBI and be done with it, you would have the same boost to the economy and elimination of most of the worst poverty, without all the possible waste and unforeseen blowback.



    I'd imagine (none / 0) (#60)
    by CST on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 03:45:17 PM EST
    It would get farmed out to state government agencies.  Like FDOT, or MassDOT, or insertstatehereDOT.

    That said, I'm sure the Army Corps would love the extra funding, no need to start from scratch.


    I (none / 0) (#61)
    by FlJoe on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 04:08:22 PM EST
    agree parse out the money into the system as it is, and the jobs will come, but that is a far cry from a guaranteed job program, the various DOT's merely farm out the work to private contractors who hire as needed, a process that is way more efficient then the government trying to shoehorn some "guaranteed" worker in. Subsidies or tax breaks with end up being a gift to the industry.

    I suppose you could expand the Army Corp of Engineers but then you would run the risk of having to compete with private industry and possibly destroy already existing good paying jobs.


    Infrastructure (none / 0) (#64)
    by CST on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 06:15:59 PM EST
    Isn't really a finite resource in the practical sense.   You build a train somewhere and you may even see an increase in private sector development as a result, with all the associated construction improvements.

    Also, there's a ton of stuff that just isn't getting done today.   Like replacing old sewer lines, and other environmental remediation.  The army corps could expand significantly before they started stepping on anyone's toes.


    I guess this means (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 10:53:23 AM EST
    He is running again?

    Ugh! I am not a Bernie fan but I am not against (none / 0) (#12)
    by vml68 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 12:19:41 PM EST
    him running again.
    Does he get to run as a democrat again after going back on his word to change his 'I' to 'D'?

    He fully intends to run (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 01:19:10 PM EST
    As a Democrat again.

    He's going (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 02:34:54 PM EST
    to have to show his tax returns this time though. he's going to have a bunch of people beating him up over his tax returns and other things.

    Never was a doubt that I could see (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 01:18:30 PM EST
    That is what the URC ended up being about for his supporters, setting the stage for his 2020 run.

    Of course he's running (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 10:59:07 AM EST
    And his supporters have already tried to foam the runway w attacks on Harris and Booker. Both POC.
    It highlights the huge conundrum that Armando is always on about. Sanders' campaign does not reach out effectively to POC. They don't get it at all.  Will the Dems sacrifice appeal to POC in order to try to win back WWC? I think it's a huge problem.

    And the background is Sanders' apparent inability to see the world through anything but a class-based prism. POC know otherwise. Race trumps class every time. Trump did not win because white people were economically anxious (though many were ). He won because white people (more men than women) are bigoted and voted that way.


    And that is another facet of how (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 12:21:28 PM EST
    He isn't viable

    I still can't believe my eyes sometimes when a Berner decides to explain to a person of color what the problem REALLY is. And they go on and on. It is disturbing and embarassing.


    Or a woman (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:43:36 PM EST
    That's another issue, the undercurrent of misogyny amongst Bros. So depressing.

    Race trumps class every time (none / 0) (#44)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:06:29 PM EST
    end-of-story is a little simplistic..

    The bigots still have to be carefully taught and continually prodded. Then the question becomes whose interests does this dogwhistling, divide-and-conquer strategy serve?

    Who's buying up all those talk radio outlets and bankrolling the big right wing foundations and think tanks and cranking out Bell Curve-type books?

    Are these people simply and finally just racists, or is it more that it serves their own perceived interests to play one group against another?


    I think a depressingly large chunk (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:32:02 PM EST
    In the 30-35% range are incorrigible racists and cannot be persuaded. It makes them impervious to facts and evidence. They would gladly vote GOP and give up their health care if it meant the black family across the street got screwed worse.

    One might even call them a Basket of Deplorables lol.

    But seriously, Bernie is fatally non-viable because he simply doesn't get the race issue. Worse - he doesn't get that he doesn't get it.

    It's going to be an enormous issue in 18 and 20.


    His remarks (none / 0) (#48)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:37:47 PM EST
    On MLK day and last August are cringe-worthy reminders of how much he still doesn't get it. (Which at this point in Trump's America is stunning.)

    He's not viable.
    But if he runs he will damage Dem chance significantly.
    And he will run.


    I don't know. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 06:32:17 PM EST
    There's probably going to be around 10 people running and no one is going to be nice to Bernie like Hillary was. He's going to be hammered about his honeymoon in Russia (the last thing we want is someone with that association these days), Jane's bank fraud case and a host of a lot of other things. Besides he still has not released his tax returns. He is either going to have to release them and expose himself as a millionaire or he is going to be hounded mercilessly about it. He won't last 3 months if he runs.

    Can't be pursuaded (none / 0) (#50)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:44:55 PM EST
    and incorrigable. Incapable of learning..

    Those are the kinds of things the racists say and think about POC, no?


    Sander's MLK day speech.. (none / 0) (#51)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:54:13 PM EST
    if criticizing Obama is supremacist and clueless, then this site must've been taken over by the KKK in 2008.

    Good lord get a grip (none / 0) (#52)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 02:13:00 PM EST
    Said it was clueless not supremacist.
    Making those remarks about Obama on MLK Day is clueless. In the extreme. If you don't get that, dunno what to say.

    Asking "but aren't the African Americans the ones selling all the drugs?" Is also clueless in the extreme. Even if it were true, which it is not, which he'd know - if he wasn't clueless.

    And acknowledging a portion of your audience is unlikely to be persuaded is not the same as "taken over by the KKK".

    It's pointing out a likely reality in the debate about - as we started  a couple comments ago - the conundrum the Dems face in re whether trying to persuade a very racist portion of the WWC is worthwhile, esp at the cost of alienating POC.

    Seriously, get a grip.


    No I don't get it (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 02:50:46 PM EST
    in a country that's veered dangerously away from MLK's vision of what this country should be, those most capable of effecting change are going to be called out..

    You lost me (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 02:23:12 PM EST
    You seem to be conflating Koch/Mercer/Sinclair zillionaires with WWC non-college voters.

    The former could be bigots, not sure your point.
    The latter are largely bigots and they will vote against their economic interests with depressing regularity, if they perceive they can keep their nose ahead of POC in their race to the bottom.

    The whole point of this discussion is:
    How much poking and prodding of WWC bigots do we do, if a) they are largely unpersuadable and b) if it costs us the votes of POC?


    The point is that (none / 0) (#57)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 03:09:45 PM EST
    People without a lot of information to go on and no training in thinking critically, are easy pickings for the rw noise machine, which in turn is bankrolled to a large extent by the Kochs and Mercers of the world.

    You seem almost to be suggesting racists are racist due to some mysterious genetic predisposition.


    They don't not have information (none / 0) (#58)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 03:25:59 PM EST
    They have a lot of disinformation. Disinformation that inflames their biases.
    And yes they are easy pickings for the RW noise machine, but for very intractable reasons.

    I am not suggesting they're racist because of genetics, again, get a grip.

    They've been fed propaganda for decades. Their grievances have been explicitly cultivated. And yes, there may be a deep history of racism in their culture also, say the Deep South, which makes their bigotry even more intractable.

    We have an enormous job to even begin to push back on that. Think about restoring the Fairness Doctrine, which would completely change the nature of many "news" programs esp Fox. Think about our abandonment (Dems very complicit too) of anti-trust protections - for decades - that allows propaganda networks like Sinclair to control something ridiculous like 70% of the airwaves.

    Until Dems control everything, which they may never, restoring those fundamental protections against monopolies (Apple, Google, Amazon all fall in w Sinclair too, and contribute to our shite Gig economy),  and against organized disinformation may never occur.

    Meantime, we have 30-35% extremely intractable WWC who watch Fox 7x24 and will vote GOP til they die.

    I say we should be cautious about alienating our base (women, POC) to appeal to a very, very, disinformed and largely racist WWC.


    Thanks for the repeated reminder.. (none / 0) (#62)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 04:26:56 PM EST
    I've been meaning to get one of those Grips after seeing that infomercial.

    Why are you two fighting? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 07:37:54 AM EST
    You're on the same team.....right now :)

    This is all so well said (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 07:40:21 AM EST
    There are so many facets to the existing failures occurring right now.

    King didn't get murdered... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:27:54 PM EST
    till his advocacy started to shift from equal civil rights for African Americans to economic justice for all and an end to the Vietnam War.  

    Perhaps it was just a coincidence...


    He had a somewhat populist message (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 01:27:55 PM EST
    In 2016. Proposed instant gratification solutions that he had no plan to actually accomplish, like Trump did. I don't think the country is going to be on fire for more populism in 2020.

    Bernie and his supporters aren't actually interested in Trump's crimes either. That finished him right there. He can't unsay what he's already said on our way to Constitutional breakdown. JMO


    JMO. Excellent. (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 01:31:17 PM EST
    I'm trying to check my on fire (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 02:01:52 PM EST

    You know I wasn't always like this. I used to think being vehemently Anti-Bernie was a character flaw :) And then I spent some facetime with Berners. Now I'm broken


    Intervention. Post unity. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 08:22:44 PM EST
    Digby pointed me to a Dylan Matthews (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 02:05:45 PM EST
    article in Vox, which I'm finding interesting and thought-provoking.

    It's long, but here's an excerpt:

    We fantasize about an early, dramatic end to the Trump years in part because that signals a return to normalcy and a rejection of all the dysfunctions he symbolizes. For more sophisticated observers who know that the forces that produced Trump will continue after he's gone, you see either a wallowing into dystopia -- musing about an American descent into outright tyranny, of the kind occurring in the formerly democratic Hungary and Poland right now. Or you see fantasies of utopia, as in Bernie Sanders's characterization of the anti-Trump resistance as a broader "political revolution, something long overdue" that will sweep into power "an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class."


    I understand the yearning not to muddle, for a big, climactic finish to both the Trump presidency and the American national nightmare. But if muddling through is to lead anywhere, we ought to be prepared for it, and prepared to make the most of it, rather than thinking a deus ex machina like a civil war or revolution or impeachment will blow the whole thing up in a stroke. That kind of conviction can breed complacency or disdain for good incrementalist ideas. And it can breed fatalism about what's possible in the current system by setting the standard for success impossibly high.


    The truth is the Trump years will likely end with a whimper rather than a bang -- just as the conclusion of Watergate did not lead to a cleansed and more ethical politics, and just as the financial crisis did not usher in a new era of ethical banking.

    Part of the pain of those crises came from Americans as a people expecting too much out of them, expecting a greater transformation than was actually on offer. If, as Davidson says, the Trump presidency's collapse is one such moment, we should enter it with a clearer sense of the problems that gave rise to Trump, and the discipline, the vision, and, most importantly, the patience to tackle them.

    Now, after years of commenting here, you know me: I am not big on incrementalism - but - I think the right kind of incrementalism has a place, and I completely agree with our needing to be prepared for what comes after Trump, and how to make the right kind of changes to get this country on a better path.

    My sense with Sanders is that yes, I think he helped inspire a number of people to get active in politics, especially at the local level.  A lot of change starts local (as Donald from Hawaii is wont to tell us regularly), and works its way to the national level.

    But the times, they are a-changing, and that energy that Sanders unquestionably infused into the process needs to grow into real, tangible changes.  There is only so long people can hear the "millionaires and billionaires" speeches without actual change before it devolves into so much noise and empty rhetoric.

    Anyway, this is too long already, but I thought the Vox article was worth sharing - for however others see its application to the current situation and the coming elections.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 03:16:39 PM EST
    I think the revolution got a fair hearing though. The revolution said that once Trump is elected the revolution starts, it didn't.

    2020 is politically light years away. But I believe that candor is going to make a big come back in 2020.

    Stormy's lawyer has worked many campaigns, says he's going to make Trump tell the truth (and I believe that), also hinted that he might run for office. Didn't designate which office.

    Who knows how anything goes in 2020. I just don't think Sanders will be viable. Still hasn't even released his own tax returns.


    He will not be the darling (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 04:35:08 PM EST
    Of the new anti gun vote

    No kidding. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 04:39:12 PM EST
    His long time association with the NRA is going to kill off his candidacy in short order I would think.

    I think 2020 (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 04:15:40 PM EST
    is going to be the opposite of everything that has been going on. That is no reality star, rock star candidates. No being able to gloss over policy. You had better be able to explain what you are going to do and how you are attempting to do it. No more I wanna have a beer with X. No more Jesus in politics. Maybe even no more rallies and more townhalls.

    The country is always on fire (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 02:50:00 PM EST
    for populism. Just ask the televangeists
    with private jets..

    The populist instinct those guys appeal to is a kind of social democratic utopia in the "world to come."

    Here in the mundane realm, the fact that people gravitate to the populism we're talking about is just a gut-level acknowkedgement that what we've been doing for the last few decades isn't sustainable; practically, ecologically,or morally.


    The polar vortex is broken (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 24, 2018 at 03:17:56 PM EST
    I don't think we get to ignore facts much longer.

    Yeah he did (none / 0) (#55)
    by smott on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 02:38:00 PM EST
    But it was sorta fast-food, feel good, empty calories. Once you dug into details a lot of nbrs didn't add up....but 'Free xyz' fit on teeshirts better than HRC's detailed policies, which never got any play from the media because So Boring.

    I think it served to drag Clinton leftward which was a good thing, but I never got the sense that Sanders thought too much about the details of his proposals, whether domestic, and certainly not foreign policy . That interview w NYT was devastating.


    Doesn't Free Healthcare Take Precedence? (none / 0) (#36)
    by RickyJim on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 09:01:33 AM EST
    Bringing up guaranteed income for everybody is a silly distraction from the above issue which has far more popular support.

    Correct (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 10:45:33 AM EST
    Distraction? (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 01:31:57 PM EST
    If the only thing that might save our semi-civil and semi-stable society from the denouement of Vonnegut's "Player Piano" is a distraction...perhaps we best get distracted.

    We can do it before or after 3.5 million truck drivers file for unemployment...I say before.  


    It Has No Chance of Going Anywhere (none / 0) (#66)
    by RickyJim on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 06:36:12 PM EST
    for a long time in this country.  It would make the US ahead of the rest of the world since Finland just closed its program.  In healthcare we are behind the other first world countries; let's push free healthcare for all first.  Getting that through would require the same changes in budget priorities and tax law as would be needed for guaranteed income and would set a precedent.  

    There is (none / 0) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 06:49:16 PM EST
    no such thing as "free healthcare". It has a price attached to it.

    OTOH... (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 27, 2018 at 10:01:45 AM EST
    a guaranteed income might help alleviate one of our current healthcare problems...those that are insured but still can't afford to seek care because of ridiculous co-pays and deductibles.

    Or we could just roll the both of them together...single-payer and guaranteed income.  We can call it the "Finally Came To Our Senses Bill of 2018".


    ridiculous co-pays and deductibles (none / 0) (#72)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 30, 2018 at 09:17:32 AM EST
    As Nancy so famously said we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it.

    Chickens coming home to roost.


    This from (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 30, 2018 at 09:32:01 AM EST
    the people who had lobbyists writing a tax bill that nobody read. And secondly you need to fact check your statement. I know facts are not the strong point of conservatives but look it up. The crackheads keep lying to you.

    I love when conservatives ... (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 30, 2018 at 10:11:27 AM EST
    ... try to mislead by providing truncated "quotes".

    What Pelosi actually said - she was right.


    As opposed to the very (none / 0) (#74)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 30, 2018 at 10:07:28 AM EST
    ... reasonable co-pays and deductibles of the non-ACA plans.