My reax to SOTU… January 21st, 2015 at 7:32 am …over at PostEverything. A bit of political economy to start your Wednesday. Share the post "My reax to SOTU…" FacebookTwitterShare… Categories: Inequality, New Posts, Politics | 7 Comments »
I thought Obama landed some heavy body blows to the recalcitrant republicans. It’s high time democrats stopped watching the poles and started standing up for progressive principles. And if those principles aren’t for middle class America, aren’t for decent jobs through sane tax & trade policies, aren’t for trust busting the stranglehold big money has on our democracy, they might as well go home.
It was a good speech. It should, in normal times, be a unifying speech.
But each side has its doubts. I only ask that Obama does not ever dare to confirm the doubts of our side.
Keep this party in line regardless of the political ramifications. If we do this, in time things will get better.
What is Brad doing and why?
Sorry, but I’m with Bob Kuttner and William Rivers Pitt on this one.
Robert Kuttner, The Politics of Gesture – http://prospect.org/article/politics-gesture
William Rivers Pitt, Twenty Pounds of BS in a Ten-Pound Bag – http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/28649-twenty-pounds-of-bs-in-a-ten-pound-bag
4 quick observations
1) Obama didn’t promote a more progressive agenda previously because until last of the blue dog Democrats were defeated, he and the Democratic party ran as centrists, Republican light, not that I agreed with that strategy (partly a “don’t get painted a leftist that led to defeat”).
2) Free college (even if just community college) and childcare is not a Clintonesque small bore reform, but a big deal even if unenacted (as Clinton’s health care bill failed but laid the ground work, though we are left with Romneycare and no public option)
3) Tax the rich, and Keynesian infrastructure spending are still primary goals, hence points 1 and 2 of my 4 point agenda (see below)
4) It is still very objectionable to hear promotion of TPP, as well as a immigration bill designed to increase and expand exploitation of immigrant labor (more employer sponsorship/control, less free labor)
The critics do have a point in that Obama’s whole theme since 2009 which has been prosperity is just around the corner, still rings false.
I am not a bandwagon jumper, here’s a sample of previous comments left here which disproportionately (in comparison to mainstream commentary) emphasize free college and child care.
Jan 9, 2015
“A quick note on education, college should be free or offered for a nominal fee, just like many large prosperous developed nations. College is the new high school.”
Dec, 15, 2014 and Dec 10, 2014
“1. Tax the rich”
“2. Infrastructure spending, with Keynesian deficits during a recession.”
“3. Free education”
“4. Equal pay and free immigrant labor.”
“3. Free universal education. This would encompass closing gaps in preschool, after school child care, the summer recess, and college education. It would recognize increased spending is not the answer, but paying teachers less than bankers is non nonsensical, and college is the new high school. It restores what free high school and the GI Bill provided.”
“4. …give women equal pay, (partly by expanding child rearing accommodations)…”
Oct, 13, 2014
“The proposals that don’t hurt everyone’s wages are in the area of workers rights, for paid sick days, personal days, flexibility for child care, stability in scheduling. Child care especially seems to be an under-appreciated factor in solving poverty. The three gaps the state doesn’t provide for are 1-4 years old, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, July and August. The cost for individuals with children to fill in the gaps can be enormous in lost wages.
A fourth related gap would also be college, though not everyone wants or needs to go, everyone should have the option (it should be free). Apprenticeships also might help provided it doesn’t devolve into free substandard pay for child labor replacing adult workers, and children aren’t prematurely tracked as in Brave New World or present day Germany.”
Jun 28, 2014
“Post secondary education should be free for the same reason high school education became universal and free a hundred years ago. Germany and France offer interesting examples, but there, ‘universal’ is partly sacrificed for ‘free’. The original 1944 WWII GI bill offers another example.”
“Free quality child care should be available and not means tested. Again, France provides an example. But this is self defeating (frees parents to work) if limits aren’t set (only 2.1 replacement children go free?)”
Nowadays, vis-a-vis trickle-down, we can always say: What’s the matter with Kansas?