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Commentary :: Organizing
The First 100 Days Resistance
21 Nov 2016
Modified: 06:06:00 PM
The New York Times' First Profile of Hitler: His Anti-Semitism Is Not as "Genuine or Violent" as It Sounds (1922)
http://www.openculture.com/2016/11/the-new-york-times-first-profile-of-h
In 1922—at the dawn of Hitler's budding nationalist movement—The New York Times published its first profile, and explained his demagoguery away.
http://robertreich.org/post/153401540180

The First 100 Day Resistance Agenda
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Trump’s First 100 Day agenda includes repealing environmental regulations, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank Act, giving the rich a huge tax cut, and much worse. Here’s the First 100 Day resistance agenda [with thanks to Alan Webber]:

1. Get Democrats in the Congress and across the country to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Prolong the process of approving choices, draw out hearings, stand up as sanctuary cities and states. Take a stand. Call your senator and your representative (phone calls are always better than writing). Your senator’s number: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/. Your representative’s number: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

2. March and demonstrate—in a coordinated, well-managed way. The “1 Million Women March” is already scheduled for the Inauguration —and will be executed with real skill. See: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/11/15/counter-trump-women-are-mobi . There will be “sister” marches around the country—in LA and elsewhere. They need to be coordinated and orchestrated. And then? 1 Million Muslims? 1 Million Latinos? What would keep the momentum alive and keep the message going?

3. Boycott all Trump products, real estate, hotels, resorts, everything. And then boycott all stores (like Nordstrom) that carry merchandise from Trump family brands. See: http://www.racked.com//136239…/grabyourwallet-trump-boycott. See also: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vu0Y0HvadMgG_LN7dF8W7M66oPCcx_nm

4. Letters to Editors: A national letter-writing campaign, from people all over the country, every walk of life and every level of society, from celebrities to sports heroes to grassroots Americans. In most papers, the Letters to the Editor section is the most-read part of the paper.

5. Op-Eds: A steady flow of arguments about the fallacies and dangers of Trump’s First 100 Day policies and initiatives, from name-brand thinkers and doers to ordinary folk writing for their city’s or community’s newspaper.

6. Social media: What about a new YouTube channel devoted to video testimonials about resisting Trump’s First 100 Day Agenda? Crowd-sourced ideas, themes and memes. Who wants to start it?

7. Website containing up-to-date daily bulletins on what actions people are planning around the country, and where, so others can join in. Techies, get organized.

8. Investigative journalism: We need investigative journalists to dig into the backgrounds of all of Trump’s appointees, in the White House, the Cabinet, Ambassadors and judges.

9. Lawsuits: Our version of “Drill, baby, drill” is “Sue, baby, sue.” Throw sand in the gears. Lawyers, get organized.

10. Coordinated fund-raising: Rather than having every public-interest group appeal on their own, have a coordinated fundraising program to fill the coffers of the most endangered and effective opposition groups. Is there a way to do a televised fundraiser with celebrities raising money for the Resistance?

11. Symbolic opposition: Safety pins are already appearing. What else? What more? Make the resistance visible with bumper stickers, a label pin, a branding campaign that has great language, great logo, great wrist band (remember the Lance Armstrong “Livestrong” yellow wrist band—it sold millions!).

12. Intellectual opposition: Take Trump on where he’s weakest—with serious ideas. I’ll try to do my part. You do yours, too.

13. Serious accountability: Establish performance metrics to evaluate his delivery on his campaign promises. An updated web site of promises made and not kept. This is one especially suited to public policy students.

14. Your idea goes here. Call a meeting of family and friends this weekend. Come up with to-dos.

The First 100 Days Resistance Agenda. We’re not going away.
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The Democratic Party Lost Its Soul. It’s Time to Win it Back.
Friday, November 18, 2016

Who will become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee? This leadership contest has significant implications for the future of American politics. The choice will help determine how the Democratic party responds to its extraordinary defeats in recent years, ending with the election of Donald Trump.
You might think this overwhelming drubbing would cause the Democratic party to reorganize itself into a very different party from the one it’s become – which is essentially a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests that make up the bulk of its funding.

Don’t bet on it.

For one thing, many vested interests don’t want the Democratic party to change. Most of the money it raises ends up in the pockets of political consultants, pollsters, strategists, lawyers, advertising consultants and advertisers themselves, many of whom have become rich off the current arrangement. They naturally want to keep it.

For another, the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren’t going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich.

Most Americans who call themselves Democrats never hear from the Democratic party except when it asks for money, typically through mass mailings and recorded telephone calls in the months leading up to an election. The vast majority of Democrats don’t know the name of the chair of the Democratic National Committee or of their state committee. Almost no registered Democrats have any idea how to go about electing their state Democratic chair or vice-chair, and, hence, almost none have any influence over whom the next chair of the Democratic National Committee may be.
I have been a Democrat for 50 years – I have even served in two Democratic administrations in Washington, including a stint in the cabinet and have run for the Democratic nomination for governor in one state – yet I have never voted for the chair or vice-chair of my state Democratic party. That means I, too, have had absolutely no say over who the chair of the Democratic National Committee will be. To tell you the truth, I haven’t cared. And that’s part of the problem.

Nor, for that matter, has Barack Obama cared. He basically ignored the Democratic National Committee during his presidency, starting his own organization called Organizing for America. It was originally intended to marshal grass-roots support for the major initiatives he sought to achieve during his presidency, but morphed into a fund-raising machine of its own.

Finally, the party chairmanship has become a part-time sinecure for politicians on their way up or down, not a full-time position for a professional organizer. In 2011, Tim Kaine (who subsequently became Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 election) left the chairmanship to run, successfully, for the Senate from Virginia.

The chair then went to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida congresswoman who had co-chaired Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. This generated allegations in the 2016 race that the Democratic National Committee was siding with Clinton against Bernie Sanders – allegations substantiated by leaks of emails from the DNC.

So what we now have is a Democratic party that has been repudiated at the polls, headed by a Democratic National Committee that has become irrelevant at best, run part-time by a series of insider politicians. It has no deep or broad-based grass-roots, no capacity for mobilizing vast numbers of people to take any action other than donate money, no visibility between elections, no ongoing activism.

If it is to be relevant to the future, the Democratic party must be capable of organizing and mobilizing Americans in opposition to Donald Trump’s Republican party – turning millions of people into an activist army to peacefully resist what is about to happen by providing them with daily explanations of what is occurring in Trump’s administration, along with tasks that individuals and groups can do to stop or mitigate their harmful effects.

It must harness the energies and idealism of young people across the nation who were drawn to Bernie Sanders’s campaign because of its promise to get big money out of politics; reverse widening inequality; turn the nation’s wildly expensive and baroque healthcare complex into a single-payer system; reverse climate change; end the militarization of our police and the mass incarceration of our people and stop interminable and open-ended warfare.
And it must create a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition of working-class, middle-class, and poor white and black Americans and Latinos determined to wrest control of the economy back from an oligarchy of Wall Street moguls, corporate titans and billionaires who have used it for their own gain – starting with the president-elect.

That means helping working-class white people understand they’ve been conned by Trump into believing he’s a populist, and that their economic insecurities are due to a rigged game rather than to immigrants, black people, Latinos and Muslims.

In other words, to become a credible force that wins elections and addresses what ails America, the Democratic party must no longer represent America’s ruling class. It must be the voice of the dispossessed – now the majority of Americans.

The Democratic party will choose its new chair soon after the start of the year. So far the contestants include Howard Dean, a former DNC chair, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, Naral Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and South Carolina Democratic party chair Jaime Harrison.

Between now and then, there will be a fierce behind-the-scenes struggle among the handful of contenders. I don’t know who will win, but I do know this: the party must transform itself from a fund-raising machine into a movement. That will be difficult, but not impossible. The times demand it. If the Democratic party fails in this mission, it will be supplanted by another organization capable of doing so.
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Why We Need a New Democratic Party
Saturday, November 12, 2016

It is time for a New Democratic Party.

The old Democratic Party has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests.

It has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.

The election of 2016 has repudiated the old Democratic Party.

We need a New Democratic Party capable of organizing and mobilizing Americans in opposition to Donald Trump’s Republican party, which is about to take over all three branches of the U.S. government.

A New Democratic Party that will turn millions of people into an activist army to peacefully resist what is about to happen – providing them with daily explanations of what is occurring in Trump’s administration, along with tasks that individuals and groups can do to stop or mitigate their harmful effects.

A party that will protect vulnerable populations from harassment and exclusion – including undocumented young people, recent immigrants, people of color, and women.

A party that will recruit a new generation of progressive candidates to run at the local, state, and national levels in 2018 and beyond, including a leader to take on Trump in 2020.

A party that will do everything possible to advance the progressive agenda at state and local levels – getting big money out of politics, reversing widening inequality, expanding health care, reversing climate change, ending the militarization of our police and the mass incarceration of our people, and stopping interminable and open-ended warfare.

What happened in America on Election Day should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of the American power structure, including the old Democratic Party.

That power structure wrote off Bernie Sanders as an aberration, and, until recently, didn’t take Trump seriously.

And it doesn’t have a clue about what was happening to most Americans. A respected Democratic political insider recently told me most people were largely content with the status quo. “The economy is in good shape,” he said. “Most Americans are better off than they’ve been in years.”

Wrong. Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don’t reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience.

Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.

Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees – the old working class – have fallen furthest.

Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement – all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The Democratic Party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes.

Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22% of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12% today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy’s gains.

Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

Democrats also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated.

The power structure understandably fears that Trump’s isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn’t care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn’t wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump.

We need a New Democratic Party that will help Americans resist what is about to occur, and rebuild our future.
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Trump’s Three Biggest Enablers
Sunday, November 6, 2016

Donald Trump couldn’t have become president without three sets of enablers. They must he held accountable.

The first enabler was the Republican Party.

For years the GOP has nurtured the xenophobia, racism, fact-free allegations, and wanton disregard for democratic institutions that Trump has fed on.

Republican fear-mongering over immigrants predated Trump. It forced Marco Rubio to abandon his immigration legislation, and, in 2012, pushed Mitt Romney to ludicrously recommend “self-deportation.”

During this year’s Republican primaries, Ben Carson opined that no Muslim should be president of the United States, and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz suggested Syrian refugees be divided into Christians and Muslims, with only the former allowed entry.

Trump’s racism is nothing new, either. Republicans have long played the race card – charging Democrats with coddling black “welfare queens” and being soft on black crime (remember “Willie Horton”).

Trump’s disdain of facts is also preceded by a long Republican tradition – denying, for example, that carbon emissions cause climate change, and tax cuts increase budget deficits.

And Trump’s threats not to be bound by the outcome of the election are consistent with the GOP’s persistent threats to shut down the government over policy disagreements, and oft-repeated calls for nullification of Supreme Court decisions.

The second Trump enabler was the media.

“Trump is arguably the first bona fide media-created presidential nominee,” concluded a study by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy.

By mid-March, 2016, the New York Times reported that Trump had received almost $1.9 billion of free attention from media of all types – more than twice what Hillary Clinton received and six times that of Ted Cruz, Trump’s nearest Republican rival.

The explanation for this is easy. Trump was already a media personality, and his outrageousness generated an audience – which, in turn, created big profits for the media.

Media columnist Jim Rutenberg reported CNN president Jeff Zucker gushing over the Trump-induced ratings. “These numbers are crazy — crazy.” CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. The money’s rolling in and this is fun.”

Not only did the media fawn over Tump but it also failed to subject his assertions, policy proposals, and biography to the scrutiny normal candidates receive.

Fox News, in particular, became Trump’s amplifier – and Fox host Sean Hannity, Trump’s daily on-air surrogate.

Trump also used his own unceasing tweets as a direct, unfiltered, unchecked route into the minds of millions of voters. The term “media” comes from “mediate” between the news and the public. Trump removed the mediators.

The third Trump enabler was the Democratic Party.

Democrats once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising big money from corporate and Wall Street executives, and getting votes from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.

While Republicans played the race card to get the working class to abandon the Democratic Party, the Democrats simultaneously abandoned the working class – clearing the way for Trump.

Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and jobs.

Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with a simple up-or-down votes.

Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22 percent of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to fewer than 12 percent today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy’s gains.

Both Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated.

The unsurprising result has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. That created an opening for demagoguery, in the form of Trump.

Donald Trump has poisoned America, but he didn’t do it alone. He had help from the GOP, the media, and the Democratic Party.

The pertinent question now is: What, if anything, have these enablers learned?
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Will Hillary Clinton Get America Back on Track?
Sunday, October 30, 2016

The parallels are striking. In the last decades of the nineteenth century – the so-called “Gilded Age”— America experienced inequality on a scale it had never before seen, combining wild opulence and searing poverty.

American industry consolidated into a few giant monopolies, or trusts, headed by “robber barons” who wielded enough power to drive out competitors. A few Wall Street titans like J.P. Morgan controlled the nation’s finances.

These men used their huge wealth to rig the system. Their lackeys literally deposited stacks of money on the desks of pliant legislators, prompting the great jurist Louis Brandeis to tell America it a choice: “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.“

We face a similar choice today.

Then, America chose democracy. President Theodore Roosevelt, railing against the “malefactors of great wealth,” broke up the trusts. And he pushed Congress to end the most blatant forms of corruption.

His fifth cousin, FDR, went further – enacting social insurance for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled; a minimum wage and forty-hour workweek; the right to unionize; compensation for workers injured on the job; and strict limits on Wall Street.

In other words, between 1870 and 1900, American capitalism got off track. Between 1901 and 1937 (the effective end of the New Deal), America put capitalism back on track.

We’re now in the Second Gilded Age, and American capitalism is again off track. It takes about three generations for Americans to forget how our system, unattended, goes wrong. And then to right it.

Inequality is now nearly at the same level it was in the late nineteenth century. Half of all families are poorer today than they were a decade-and-a-half ago, the pay of CEOs and Wall Street bankers is in the stratosphere, and child poverty is on the rise.

Meanwhile, American industry is once again consolidating – this time into oligopolies dominated by three or four major players. You can see it in pharmaceuticals, high tech, airlines, food, Internet service, communications, health insurance, and finance.

The biggest Wall Street banks, having brought the nation to the brink of destruction a few years ago, are once again exercising vast economic power. And big money has taken over American politics.

Will we put capitalism back on track, as we did before?

The vile election of 2016 doesn’t seem to offer much hope. But future historians looking back on the tumult might see the start of another era of fundamental reform.

Today’s uprising against the established order echoes the outrage average Americans felt in the late nineteenth century when they pushed Congress to enact the Sherman Antitrust Act, and when Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan fulminated against big business and finance.

One hundred twenty years later, Bernie Sanders – the unlikeliest of presidential candidates – won 22 states and 46 percent of the pledged delegates in the Democratic primaries, and pushed Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party to adopt many of his proposals.

At the same time, Donald Trump – a faux populist – has laid bare the deep discontents of America’s white working class, which both parties have long neglected. Not incidentally, Trump has also jeopardized the social fabric of America and nearly destroyed the Republican Party.

Hopefully some of America’s current elite will conclude, as it did at the turn of the last century, that they’d do better with a smaller share of a growing economy fueled by a flourishing middle class, in a society whose members feel the system is basically fair, than in one riven by social and political strife.

History has proven the early generation of reformers correct. While other nations opted for communism or fascism, Americans chose to make capitalism work for the many rather than the few.

If Donald Trump is elected next week, all bets are off.

But if Hillary Clinton assumes the presidency, could she become another Teddy or Franklin D. Roosevelt?

You may think her too much of an establishment figure, too close to the moneyed interests, too cautious. But no one expected dramatic reform when each of the Roosevelts took the reins. They were wealthy patricians, in many respects establishment figures. Yet each rose to the occasion.

Perhaps she will, too. The timing is right, and the need is surely as great as it was over a century ago.

As Mark Twain is reputed to have quipped, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”
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The Trust Destroyers
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Donald Trump’s warning that he might not accept the results of the presidential election exemplifies his approach to everything: Do whatever it takes to win, even if that means undermining the integrity of the entire system.

Trump isn’t alone. The same approach underlies Senator John McCain’s recent warning that Senate Republicans will unite against any Supreme Court nominee Hillary Clinton might put up, if she becomes president.

The Republican Party as a whole has embraced this philosophy for more than two decades. After Newt Gingrich took over as Speaker of the House in 1995, compromise was replaced by brinksmanship, and normal legislative maneuvering was supplanted by threats to close down the government – which occurred at the end of that year.

Like Trump, Gingrich did whatever it took to win, regardless of the consequences. In 1996, during the debates over welfare reform, he racially stereotyped African-Americans. In 2010 he fueled the birther movement by saying President Obama exhibited “Kenyan, anticolonial behavior.” Two years later, in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination, he called President Obama the “food stamp president.“

As political observers Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of Brookings have noted, “the forces Mr. Gingrich unleashed destroyed whatever comity existed across party lines.” Gingrich’s Republican Party became “ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

In truth, it’s not just Republicans and not just relationships between the two major parties that have suffered from the prevailing ethos. During this year’s Democratic primaries, former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her staff showed disdain for the integrity of the political process by discussing ways to derail Bernie Sanders’s campaign, according to hacked emails.

The same ethos is taking over the private sector. When they pushed employees to open new accounts, Wells Fargo CEO John Strumpf and his management team chose to win regardless of the long-term consequences of their strategy. The scheme seemed to work, at least in the short term. Strumpf and his colleagues made a bundle.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals CEO Heather Bresch didn’t worry about the larger consequences of jacking up the cost of life-saving EpiPens from $100 for a two-pack to $608, because it made her and her team lots of money.

Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turin Pharmaceuticals, didn’t worry about the consequences of price-gouging customers. Called before Congress to explain, he invoked the Fifth Amendment, then tweeted that the lawmakers who questioned his tactics were “imbeciles.”

A decade ago, Wall Street’s leading bankers didn’t worry about the consequences of their actions for the integrity of the American financial system. They encouraged predatory mortgage lending by bundling risky mortgages with other securities and then selling them to unwary investors because it made them a boatload of money, and knew they were too big to fail.

Even when some of these trust-destroyers get nailed with fines or penalties, or public rebuke, they don’t bear the larger costs of undermining public trust. So they continue racing to the bottom.

Some bankers who presided over the Wall Street debacle, such as Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, remain at the helm – and are trying to water down regulations designed to stop them from putting the economy at risk again.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, Newt Gingrich is positioning himself to be the politician best able to mobilize Trump supporters going forward.

“I don’t defend him [Trump] when he wanders off,” Gingrich recently told ABC News. But “there’s a big Trump and there’s a little Trump,” he said, explaining that the “big Trump” is the one who has created issues that make “the establishment” very uncomfortable. “The big Trump,” he said, “is a historic figure.”

By stretching the boundaries of what’s acceptable, all the people I’ve mentioned – and too many others just like them – have undermined prevailing norms and weakened the tacit rules of the game.

The net result has been a vicious cycle of public distrust. Our economic and political systems appear to be rigged, because, to an increasing extent, they are. Which makes the public ever more cynical – and, ironically, more willing to believe half-baked conspiracy theories such as Trump’s bizarre claim that the upcoming election is rigged.

Leadership of our nation’s major institutions is not just about winning. It’s also about making these institutions stronger and more trustworthy.

In recent years we have witnessed a massive failure of such leadership. Donald Trump is only the latest and most extreme example.

The cumulative damage of today’s ethos of doing whatever it takes to win, even at the cost of undermining the integrity of our system, is incalculable.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

TAKE BACK THE SENATE!

Amid all the focus on the presidential race it’s also important to keep in mind Democrats have a fighting chance to take back the Senate in November. There are at least 12 races in play. Win five, and Democrats are in control regardless of the outcome of the presidential election.

Many of of the Democrats on the ballot this year are progressives who have been fighting to raise the minimum wage, expand Social Security, provide paid sick leave and paid parental leave. Many are women and people of color who will make the Senate look more like the rest of America.

Win five of these races and we’d have a chance for a Supreme Court that would prioritize the rights and needs of average Americans rather than big corporations and overturn Citizens United!

Win five of these races and we’d put Senate oversight of the government back into the hands of people who care that government actually works.

We’d strengthen the ranks of progressives like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown, and others – who we are counting on in the fight to get big money out of politics, reduce income and wealth inequality, confront devastating climate change, and push a progressive foreign policy.

A Democratic Senate would also give us a line of defense, a countervailing power in budget showdowns, foreign policy lock downs, and threatened government shutdowns.

If Hillary Clinton becomes president, a Democratic Senate will help push her positive agenda, and hold her accountable if she veers away from it. If Donald Trump becomes president – well, let’s just say we’ll need a Democratic Senate more than ever.

So please remember what’s at stake. And Vote on November 8th!
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Hillary Clinton, Paul Ryan, and the Crisis of American Capitalism
Monday, October 17, 2016

Hillary Clinton won’t be the only winner when Donald Trump and his fellow haters are defeated on Election Day (as looks increasingly likely). Another will be Paul Ryan, who will rule the Republican roost.

Democrats may take back the Senate but they won’t take back the House. Gerrymandering has given House Republicans an impregnable fortress of safe seats.

This means that in order for President Hillary Clinton to get anything done, she’ll have to make deals with Speaker Paul Ryan.

While the Clinton-Ryan years won’t be marked by the same kind of petulant gridlock we’ve witnessed over the last eight, the ascendance of Ryan and Clinton will mark a win for big business and Wall Street over the strongest anti-establishment surge America has witnessed since Great Depression.

Clinton might be able to summon Ryan’s support on a “Buffet rule” for the highest-income taxpayers – an effective minimum tax of 30 percent on top incomes. She might also be able to wangle some additional spending on infrastructure and paid family leave.

But the price Ryan can be expected to exact will be lower corporate tax rates, along with a tax amnesty on corporate profits repatriated to the United States. And to offset the added spending and tax cuts, Ryan will probably want Clinton to trim Social Security (perhaps reviving the terrible idea of a “chained” CPI for determining cost of living increases), and slow the growth of Medicare.

None of this will do much to remedy the central economic challenge of our era – reversing the declining incomes and wealth of most Americans.

Although incomes rose in 2015, the typical household is still worse off today than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation. The assets of the typical family today are worth 14 percent less than the assets of the typical family in 1984. And the typical job is less secure than at any time since the Great Depression.

These trends are not sustainable – neither economically nor politically. They generated the fury that’s undergirded Trump’s ugly campaign, and fueled the anger that propelled Bernie Sanders’s insurgency.

They’ve fed a growing sense that the political-economic system is rigged in favor of those at the top.

And it is. Big money has corrupted our democracy, resulting in laws and rules that systematically favor big corporations, Wall Street, and the very rich over everyone else.

Consider, for example, the growing market power of leading pharmaceutical companies, private health insurers, the biggest Wall Street banks, giant cable providers, four major airlines, and five largest high-tech companies. And the decreasing market power of unions.

The resulting imbalance is transferring money out of the pockets of average Americans directly into the pockets of major shareholders and top executives.

A similar upward distribution is occurring through bankruptcy laws that allow giant corporations and billionaires to avoid paying what they owe, yet don’t allow average people overburdened with mortgage or student debt to renegotiate those obligations.

Mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts with giant corporations are forcing people to give up rights under a wide variety of consumer and employment laws. Meanwhile, workers classified as “independent contractors” are losing whatever rights they once had under the nation’s labor laws.

In all these respects, the American political economy has become radically imbalanced.

The reforms Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan are likely to agree to are miniscule compared with the scale of this imbalance.

Hopefully, the leaders of big business and Wall Street – the true winners of the 2016 election – will realize that although they avoided Trump’s authoritarian populism and Sanders’s “political revolution” this time around, they won’t for much longer.

The forces that gave rise to both will grow unless our political economy is rebalanced to work for everyone and not just for those at the top.

There is precedent. In the first decades of the twentieth century, enlightened business leaders joined with progressive reformers to rebalance American capitalism – thereby rescuing it from the savage inequalities and corruption of the Gilded Age.

If they understand what happened in the 2016 election, enlightened business leaders will do so once again.
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Why All Progressives Must Vote For Hillary
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I continue to hear from many people who call themselves progressives or liberals, but tell me they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election.

With due respect, I believe they’re wrong.

Herewith, their three major arguments and my responses.

Some claim she’s no better than Donald Trump. “He’s bad, but she’s just as bad,” they say.

I’m sorry, but anyone who equates Trump with Clinton hasn’t been paying attention.

Donald Trump is a dangerous, bigoted, misogynistic, narcissistic megalomaniac with fascist tendencies. If elected president he could wreak irreparable damage on America and the world.

Hillary isn’t perfect but she’s able and experienced. I’ve known her for almost fifty years and worked with her closely in her husband’s administration. She will make a good president.

There is simply no comparison.

Others claim that even if she’s better than Trump, she’s still corrupt, and they won’t vote for the “lesser of two evils.”

But even if you see Hillary Clinton as the “lesser of two evils,” the greater of two evils in this case is seriously evil.

It’s frequently the case in a democracy that one votes for someone who’s less than perfect when the alternative is someone who’s far worse. That’s the way our “winner-take-all” democracy is organized. It’s why we end up with two parties.

It’s also why voting for a third-party candidate typically harms the candidate closest in values or ideology to that third-party candidate (remember the election of 2000?).

Voting for someone who doesn’t meet your ideals when the alternative is someone who falls much further from those ideals doesn’t mean you’ve sold out or compromised your principles. You’re just being realistic and practical.

Realism and practicality are critically important now.

The third argument I’m getting is from people who are angry with the Democratic Party for tilting the primaries against Bernie Sanders.

They cite the superdelegates, the primaries closed to independents, and the well-documented biases of Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in favor of Hillary and against Bernie (memorialized in leaked memos).

“Why should I reward the Democratic Party for its corruption?” they ask.

I supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries and share people’s frustration with the Democratic Party. I also sympathize with their feeling that a vote for Hillary Clinton would somehow exonerate the Party for the perceived unfairness of its primaries.

But anything disgruntled Democrats may do that increases the odds of a Trump presidency – say, making a “protest” vote for a third-party candidate, or not voting at all – doesn’t just penalize the Democratic Party. It also jeopardizes our future, and that of our children and their children.

All of us must continue to work hard for a political system and an economy responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans. The movement Bernie Sanders energized must not and will not end.

But Donald Trump, were he to become president, would set back that cause for decades.

There are only a few weeks until Election Day. My request to those of you who still don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton: Please reconsider. It is no exaggeration to say the fate of the nation and the world are at stake.
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TAKE BACK THE SENATE!

Amid all the focus on the presidential race it’s also important to keep in mind Democrats have a fighting chance to take back the Senate in November. There are at least 12 races in play. Win five, and Democrats are in control regardless of the outcome of the presidential election.

Many of of the Democrats on the ballot this year are progressives who have been fighting to raise the minimum wage, expand Social Security, provide paid sick leave and paid parental leave. Many are women and people of color who will make the Senate look more like the rest of America.

Win five of these races and we’d have a chance for a Supreme Court that would prioritize the rights and needs of average Americans rather than big corporations and overturn Citizens United!

Win five of these races and we’d put Senate oversight of the government back into the hands of people who care that government actually works.

We’d strengthen the ranks of progressives like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown, and others – who we are counting on in the fight to get big money out of politics, reduce income and wealth inequality, confront devastating climate change, and push a progressive foreign policy.

A Democratic Senate would also give us a line of defense, a countervailing power in budget showdowns, foreign policy lock downs, and threatened government shutdowns.

If Hillary Clinton becomes president, a Democratic Senate will help push her positive agenda, and hold her accountable if she veers away from it. If Donald Trump becomes president – well, let’s just say we’ll need a Democratic Senate more than ever.

So please remember what’s at stake. And Vote on November 8th!

Why We’ll Need a Universal Basic Income

Imagine a little gadget called an i-Everything. You can’t get it yet, but if technology keeps moving as fast as it is now, the i-Everything will be with us before you know it.

A combination of intelligent computing, 3-D manufacturing, big data crunching, and advanced bio-technology, this little machine will be able to do everything you want and give you everything you need.

There’s only one hitch. As the economy is now organized, no one will be able to buy it, because there won’t be any paying jobs left. You see, the i-Everything will do … everything.

We’re heading toward the i-Everything far quicker than most people realize. Even now, we’re producing more and more with fewer and fewer people.

Internet sales are on the way to replacing millions of retail workers. Diagnostic apps will be replacing hundreds of thousands of health-care workers. Self-driving cars and trucks will replace 5 million drivers.

Researchers estimate that almost half of all U.S. jobs are at risk of being automated in the next two decades.

This isn’t necessarily bad. The economy we’re heading toward could offer millions of people more free time to do what they want to do instead of what they have to do to earn a living.

But to make this work, we’ll have to figure out some way to recirculate the money from the handful of people who design and own i-Everythings, to the rest of us who will want to buy i-Everythings.

One answer: A universal basic income – possibly financed out of the profits going to such labor replacing innovations, or perhaps even a revenue stream off of the underlying intellectual property.

The idea of a universal basic income historically isn’t as radical as it may sound. It’s had support from people on both the left and the right. In the 1970s, President Nixon proposed a similar concept for the United States, and it even passed the House of Representatives.

The idea is getting some traction again, partly because of the speed of technological change. I keep running into executives of high-tech companies who tell me a universal basic income is inevitable, eventually.

Some conservatives believe it’s superior or other kinds of public assistance because a universal basic income doesn’t tell people what to spend the assistance on, and doesn’t stigmatize recipients because everyone qualifies.

In recent years, evidence has shown that giving people cash as a way to address poverty actually works. In study after study, people don’t stop working and they don’t drink it away.

Interest in a basic income is surging, with governments debating it from Finland to Canada to Switzerland to Namibia. The charity “Give Directly” is about to launch a basic income pilot in Kenya, providing an income for more than 10 years to some of the poorest and most vulnerable families on the planet. And then rigorously evaluate the results.

As new technologies replace work, the question for the future is how best to provide economic security for all.

A universal basic income will almost certainly be part of the answer.

Why Corporate Deserters Should Be Disowned

Apple is only the latest big global American corporation to use foreign tax shelters to avoiding paying its fair share of U.S. taxes. It’s just another form of corporate desertion.

Corporations are deserting America by hiding their profits abroad or even shifting their corporate headquarters to another nation because they want lower taxes abroad. And some politicians say the only way to stop these desertions is to reduce corporate tax rates in the U.S. so they won’t leave.

Wrong. If we start trying to match lower corporate tax rates around the world, there’s no end to it.

Instead, the President should use his executive power to end the financial incentives that encourage this type of corporate desertion. President Obama has already begun, but there is much left that could be done.

In addition, corporation that desert America by sheltering a large portion of their profits abroad or moving their headquarters to another country should no longer be entitled to the advantages of being American.

1. They shouldn’t be allowed to influence the U.S. government. They shouldn’t be allowed to contribute to U.S. political campaigns, or lobby Congress, or participate in U.S. government agency rule-making proceedings. And they no longer have the right to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for acts committed outside the United States.

2. They shouldn’t be entitled to generous government contracts. “Buy American” provisions of the law should be applied to them.

3. Their assets around the world shouldn’t any longer be protected by the U.S. government. If their factories and equipment are expropriated somewhere around the world, they shouldn’t expect the United States to negotiate or threaten sanctions, or use our armed forces to protect their investments. And if their intellectual property – patents, trademarks, trade names, copyrights – are disregarded, that’s their problem too. Don’t expect any help from us.

In fact, their interests should be of no concern to the U.S. government – in trade negotiations, climate negotiations, international treaties reconciling American law with the laws of other countries, or international disputes over access to resources.

They don’t get to be represented by the U.S. government because they’re no longer American.

It’s simple logic. If corporations want to desert America in order to pay less in taxes, that’s their business. But they should no longer have the benefits that come with being American.

THE REALITY OF FREE TRADE DEALS

Free trade is figuring prominently in the upcoming presidential election. Donald Trump is against it. Hillary Clinton has expressed qualms.

Economists still think free trade benefits most Americans, but according to polls, only 35% of voters agree.

Why this discrepancy?

Because economists support any policy that improves efficiency and they typically define a policy as efficient if the people who benefit from it could compensate those who lose from it and still come out ahead.

But this way of looking at things leaves out 3 big realities.

1. Inequality keeps growing. In a society of widening inequality, the winners are often wealthier than the losers, so even if they fully compensate the losers, as the winners gain more ground, the losers may feel even worse off.

2. Safety nets keep unraveling. As a practical matter, the winners don’t compensate the losers. Most of the losers from trade, the millions whose good jobs have been lost, don’t even have access to unemployment insurance. Trade adjustment assistance is a joke. America invests less in jobs training as a percent of our economy than almost any other advanced nation.

3. Median pay keeps dropping. Those whose paychecks have been declining because of trade don’t make up for those declines by having access to cheaper goods and services from abroad. Yes, those cheaper goods help but adjusted for inflation, the median hourly pay of production workers is still lower today than it was in 1974.

So if we want the public to support free trade, we’ve got to ensure that everyone benefits from it.

This means we need a genuine reemployment system – including not only unemployment insurance, but also income insurance. So if you lose your job and have to take one that pays less, you get a portion of the difference for up to a year.

More basically, we’ve got to ensure that the gains from trade are more widely shared.

Why a Tax on Wall Street Trades is an Even Better Idea Than You Know

One of Bernie Sanders’s most important proposals didn’t receive enough attention and should become a law even without a president Sanders. Hillary Clinton should adopt it for her campaign.

It’s a tax on financial transactions.

Putting a small tax on financial transactions would:

1. reduce incentives for high speed trading, insider deal making and short term financial betting. Buying and selling stocks and bonds in order to beat others who are buying stocks and bonds is a giant zero sum game. It wastes countless resources, uses up the talents of some of the nation’s best and brightest and subjects financial markets to unnecessary risk.

2. generate lots of revenue. Even a one tenth of 1% transaction tax would raise $185 billion over 10 years according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. It could thereby finance public investments that enlarge the economic pie rather than merely rearranging its slices. Investments like better schools and access to college.

3. it’s fair. After all, Americans pay sales taxes on all sorts of goods and services, yet Wall Street traders pay no sales tax on the stocks and bonds they buy, which helps explain why the financial industry generates about 30% of America’s corporate profits, but pays only about 18% of corporate taxes.

Wall Street’s objections are baloney.

Wall Street says even a small transaction tax on financial transactions would drive trading overseas since financial trades can easily be done elsewhere.

Baloney. The U.K. has had a tax on stock trades for decades, yet remains one of the world’s financial powerhouses. Incidentally, that tax raises about 3 billion pounds yearly. That’s the equivalent of 30 billion in an economy the size of the United States, which is a big help for Britain’s budget. At least 28 other countries also have such a tax and the European Union is well on the way to implementing one.

Wall Street also claims that the tax would burden small investors such as as retirees, business owners and average savers.

Wrong again. The tax wouldn’t be a burden if it reduces the volume and frequency of trading, which is the whole point. In fact, the tax is highly progressive. The Tax Policy Center estimates that 75% of it would be paid by the richest 5th of taxpayers and 40% by the top 1%.

So, why aren’t politicians of all stripes supporting it? Because the financial transactions tax directly threatens a major source of Wall Street’s revenue. And if you hadn’t noticed, the Street uses a portion of its vast revenues to gain political clout. Which may be one of the best reasons for enacting it.

BERNIE’S 7 LEGACIES

Bernie Sanders’s campaign is now officially over, but the movement he began is still just beginning. He’s provided it seven big legacies:

First, Bernie has helped open America’s eyes to the power of big money corrupting our democracy and thereby rigging our economy to its advantage and everyone else’s disadvantage.

Polls now show huge majorities of Americans think moneyed interests have too much sway in Washington. And thanks, in large part, to Bernie’s campaign, progressives on Capitol Hill are readying a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and bills requiring full disclosure of donors, ending gerrymandering, and providing automatic voter registration.

None of these will get anywhere in a Republican-controlled Congress, but they will give progressives a powerful theme for the upcoming election. It’s called democracy.

Second, Bernie has shown that it’s possible to win elections without depending on big money from corporations, Wall Street, and billionaires. He came close to winning the Democratic nomination on the basis of millions of small donations from average working people. No longer can a candidate pretend to believe in campaign finance reform but say they have to take big money because their opponent does.

Third, Bernie has educated millions of Americans about why we must have a single-payer health-care system and free tuition at public universities, and why we must resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act and bust up the biggest banks. These issues will be front and center in every progressive campaign from here out, at all levels of American politics.

Fourth,the Sanders campaign has brought millions of young people into politics, ignited their energy and enthusiasm and idealism.

Fifth, the movement Bernie ignited has pushed Hillary Clinton to take more progressive positions on issues ranging from the minimum wage to the Trans Pacific Partnership, the XL Pipeline, Wall Street, and Social Security.

Sixth, he’s taught Americans how undemocratic the Democratic Party’s system for picking candidates really is. Before Bernie’s candidacy, not many people were paying attention to so-called “super-delegates” or whether independents could vote, or how primary elections and caucuses were run. From now on, people will pay attention. And the Democratic National Committee will be under pressure to make fundamental changes.

Seventh is the real possibility Bernie has inspired of a third party – if the Democratic Party doesn’t respond to the necessity of getting big money out of politics and reversing widening inequality, if it doesn’t begin to advocate for a single-payer healthcare system, or push hard for higher taxes on the wealthy - including a wealth tax - to pay for better education and better opportunities for everyone else, if it doesn’t expand Social Security and lift the cap on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax, if it doesn’t bust up the biggest banks and strengthen antitrust laws, and expand voting rights.

If it doesn’t act on these critical issues. the Democratic Party will become irrelevant to the future of America, and a third party will emerge to address them.

Bernie, we thank you for your courage, your inspiration, your tireless dedication, and your vision. And we will continue the fight.

The Five Principles of Patriotism

We talk a lot about Patriotism, especially around July 4th, but we need also to take to heart its five basic principles.

First: True patriotism isn’t simply about waving the American flag. And it’s not mostly about securing our borders, putting up walls and keeping others out.

It’s about coming together for the common good.

Second: Real patriotism is not cheap. It requires taking on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going – being willing to pay taxes in full rather than seeking tax loopholes and squirreling away money abroad. Not just voting but becoming politically active, volunteering time and energy to improving this country.

Third: Patriotism is about preserving, fortifying, and protecting our democracy, not inundating it with big money and buying off politicians. It means defending the right to vote and ensuring more Americans are heard, not fewer.

Fourth: True patriots don’t hate the government of the United States. They’re proud of their country and know the government is a tool to help us solve problems together. They may not like everything it does, and they justifiably worry when special interests gain too much power over it. But true patriots work to improve our government, not destroy it.

Finally, patriots don’t pander to divisiveness. They don’t fuel racist or religious or ethnic divisions. They aren’t homophobic or sexist or racist.

To the contrary, true patriots seek to confirm and strengthen and celebrate the “we” in “we the people of the United States.”

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

8 REASONS WHY REPUBLICANS MUST DUMP TRUMP

The Republican Party still has time to change its mind. Right now it’s supporting for President of the United States a man

1. who divides us by race and ethnicity and religion.

He says undocumented Americans “bring drugs, crime, they’re rapists.” That the Mexican government “sends bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them.” And who says he’ll round up and deport all 11 million undocumented workers in the United States.

This is a man who equivocated on repudiating an endorsement from David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan. And when asked to repudiate the vicious anti-semitism of some of his followers said “I don’t have a message to the fans.”

A man who claimed “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the Twin Towers collapsing, when there’s no evidence at all to support that statement. And whose response to terrorism is to prevent all Muslims from coming into the United States.

A man who, in response to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, did not mourn the victims, but instead crowed “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” and repeated his call for his temporary Muslim ban – even though the shooter was an American citizen. “What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough,” he said.

A man who says black criminals are responsible for 81 percent of homicides against whites, which turns out to be a racist myth.

2. whose incendiary lies are inciting violence across this land, but he excuses them.

When he learned that some of his supporters punched, kicked and spit on protesters of color at his rallies, he said “people who are following me are very passionate.”

When a handful of white supporters punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester at another of his rallies, he said “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

3. who bullies, humiliates, and threatens those who dare cross him.

He mocks their physical characteristics, makes up lies about them, degrades them, tries to intimidate them by unleashing hostile attacks on the Internet – announcing, for example, that a family who donated money to a political opponent “better be careful, they have a lot to hide.”

He calls a federal judge who’s considering a case against Trump University a “total disgrace” and a “hater,” and alleging he’s Mexican although he was born in the United States.

4. who spreads baseless conspiracy theories.

He conjectured that President Obama was not born in the United States, and that the government hid information about the Ebola virus and a plague would start in America if flights from Ebola infected countries weren’t cancelled. He opined that Ted Cruz’s father was with Lee Harvey Oswald during the Kennedy assasination in Dallas, and that child health vaccinations cause autism.

And he suggested that the death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia might have been a part of a plot.

Such baseless conspiracy theories can do great damage, when, for example, parents don’t vaccinate their children because they fear autism.

5. whose hateful and demeaning attitudes toward women and boastful claims of sexual dominance have been filling the airwaves for years.

They’re best summed up in an interview where he said “women, you have to treat them like shit.”

6. who believes climate change is not caused by humans, contrary to all scientific proof.

And he calls for more fossil fuel drilling and fewer environmental regulations, vows to cancel the Paris agreement committing nearly every nation to curbing climate change, and to rescind Obama’s rules to curb planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants.

7. who proposes using torture against terrorists, and punishing their families, both in clear violation of international law.

And if all this weren’t enough,

8. who wants to cut taxes on the rich, giving the wealthiest one tenth of one percent an average tax cut of more than $1.3 million each every year - exploding the national debt and endangering the future of Social Security and Medicare.

This man is Donald Trump, and the Republican Party wants him to be President of the United States.

Why are there so few statesmen left in the Republican Party? Are there no principled Republicans whose loyalty to the nation is greater than their eagerness to win back the White House? No Republican leaders with the courage to stand up and say this is wrong – that this man doesn’t have the character or the temperament to be president, and his election would endanger America and everything we believe in and stand for?

If not, shame on them.

Republicans still have time to dump Trump. For the good of the country and the world, they must.
It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

This morning I heard from an old friend here in California who said “I’m for Bernie, but he doesn’t really have a chance anymore. So isn’t my vote for him in the California primary just prolonging the agony, and indirectly helping Trump?”

I told him:

1. True, the electoral numbers are daunting, and Bernie faces an uphill task, but a win Tuesday will help enormously. One out of 8 Americans lives in California.

2. Regardless of the electoral math, Bernie’s candidacy has never been mainly about Bernie. It’s been about a movement to reclaim our democracy and economy from the moneyed interests. And a win for Bernie in the California primary (and in other Tuesday primaries in Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota South Dakota, and New Mexico) will send an even clearer signal to Washington, the Democratic Party, and the establishment as a whole, that a large and growing share of Americans is determined to wrest back control.

3. The goals Bernie has enunciated in his campaign are essential to our future: getting big money out of politics and reversing widening inequality; moving toward a single-payer healthcare system and free tuition at public universities (both financed by higher taxes on the richest Americans and on Wall Street); a $15 minimum wage; decriminalization of marijuana and an end to mass incarceration; a new voting rights act; immigration reform; and a carbon tax. All will require continued mobilization at all levels of government. A win Tuesday will help continue and build on that mobilization.

4. Bernie’s successes don’t help Trump. To the contrary, they are bringing into politics millions of young voters whose values are opposite to those of Trump’s. Bernie has received majorities from voters under age 45 (as well as from independents). He’s won even larger majorities of young people under 30 – including young women and Latinos. Many have been inspired and motivated by Bernie to become political activists – the last thing Trump and the Republicans want.

INTO THE WORLD OF WORK

What do you need to know – about the new world of work, but also about yourself – as you graduate and launch yourself into the world of work? We made a short film of my last class of the semester, where I speak to graduating seniors about these questions and more. If you’re a graduating senior (or know one) we hope this is helpful.

WHY IS THE RACIAL WEALTH GAP WIDENING? AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO REVERSE IT?

Wealth inequality is even more of a problem than income inequality. That’s because you have to have enough savings from income to begin to accumulate wealth – buying a house or investing in stocks and bonds, or saving up to send a child to college.

But many Americans have almost no savings, so they have barely any wealth. Two-thirds live paycheck to paycheck.

Once you have wealth, it generates its own income as the value of that wealth increases over time, generating dividends and interest, and then even more when those assets are sold.

This is why wealth inequality is compounding faster than income inequality. The richest top 1% own 40% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 80% own just 7%.

Wealth is also transferred from generation to generation, not only in direct transfers, but also in access to the best schoo
See also:
http://www.freembtranslations.net
http://www.therealnews.com
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