SOME SOURCES OF INFORMATION FOR PREVIOUS POST

cutcaster-photo-100821309-Medieva-monk-writing-at-desk

NB The last post is repeated here, so if you have read it, you can scroll down to some lively and extensive supporting material

WE would like to thank folks who have spent time responding to this progressive blog, whether they agree with what they read or not. There seem to be two general categories of reaction: 1. people who actually read the content, respond to what is actually written, whether they agree or have differences, 2. those who just see words like “capitalism” “poor people” , social responsibility, and immediately see “Socialism” or “do-gooder taking my money or some generous rich person’s money and giving to the government.”

If you really read what we have to say, it breaks down into 3 easy to digest bullet points:

1. . So, let’s be clear: There are no simple solutions and there is not a good political party and an evil one, nor is there a contempt for wealth, getting rich, initiative, hard work. The are various groups and political forces that want to demonize government (remember: the people whom the country put in charge of freeing the slaves, educating our children –except for our wealthiest children–they of course go to private schools– clean up the messes made by Big Business and Bankers in 1929, 2008 and points in between).

A. Had Obama not pushed through the stimulus package and, necessary evil, saved the banker’s and big business like GM and AIG’s behinds following Bush’s TARP desperate attempt to undo some of the damage, we would probably have 15% unemployment today, not the modest—no, increasingly robust recovery we are experiencing.

B. Had Obama not pushed through the Affordable Care Act, 40 million Americans would not be on their way to healthcare coverage, people with preexisting medical conditions would be selling their homes and retirement pensions for coverage (a country that has people going to the emergency rooms of hospitals for healthcare (I mean 50 million of those), is and should be a laughing stock, in effect a third world country (those countries may not be able to afford the healthcare for all, this country Can). You folks with 21-25 year olds not in the workforce with their own insurance would be paying for there care out of your pockets. 

C. There are other things that would have seemed loony 40 years ago, but are accepted today, like busting teacher’s unions, demonizing school teachers, union busting, tax ceilings for the very rich (we middle class folk pay for that), lower corporate tax rates (and we wonder why the deficit is so bad– IT’S NOT JUST SPENDING, not EVEN JUST SPENDING FOR DEFENSE AT A HIGHER LEVEL THAN THE NEXT 31 COUNTRIES COMBINED)**.

D. Yes, we Do plead guilty to believing that snowballing income inequality is bleeding this country white (not to mention the 2003-12 Iraq war-on a-credit card). We do wanted to see public schools supported and more and better teachers in the classroom. We are healthy that in spite of all the Progressive-bashers, Obama-bashers, the deficit is already beginning to slow a bit and healthcare costs, rising for decades at an alarming rate, are now, already beginning to rise more slowly, this even Before the major 2014 reforms kick in.  

OK, WE SAID WE BE BRIEF HERE, SO LET’S MAKE CATEGORIES 2 AND 3 AS PROMISED!!

2. We have been clear that there are some Republicans and PLENTY of “Independents” who support some progressive ideas: healthcare reform, support for public education, an end to anti-labor policies, and we not only welcome them, they are beginning what will be a 3 decade coalition that will only get stronger.George W. Bush did not win the election of 2000 (yes he did become president, he simply did not win either the popular or–except for Supreme Court intervention– the electoral vote). He won very narrowly in 2004, then Obama trounced the Republicans in 2008 and 2012. McCain–veteran, hero, bi-partisan– was Not a weak candidate, nor was Romney. Obama and his ideas and political operation, by no means flawless, were simply better. 

We may seem like cheerleaders for some sort of Democratic Renaissance– but not quite so. We are saying that some Republicans are retrenching, the Tea-Party isn’t going anywhere–just getting smaller as a % of the national vote.1 Other Republicans are coming around to supporting some of the practical solutions outlined above. They see what the future looks like, and it does not look like Bush-Reagan-Romney.

Just the facts m’am: 1. the Hispanic vote, including Cubans, went overwhelmingly for the Democrats in 2012 (in the middle of a recession following the catastrophic polices of 2001-2008!), 2. the female vote will only be increasing, and women tend to vote more progressively, as a whole, then men, 3. the black and Asian votes, pretty robust, Not Shrinking, and Not overall conservative. Sorry, we are just the messengers and you do not have to read this blog to know which way the wind is blowing. What we HAVE DONE, that is a bit unusual for “left-progressive” analysts, is call for, at least for now, a coalition of progressives of all political parties, PROBLEM SOLVERS, to end the disgrace that is Washington today (listen up, Mr. McConnell).

No room to argue this here, but let’s throw out some red meat: we will argue that in, say 2030, if the Republican party campaigned for the White House or most of Congress, on the climate change-denying, teacher bashing, Rich over Middle Class policies they have been running on for 20 or so years, they would lose elections not by the current 5-6%/  332-206 Electoral Vote of 2012. They would lose by 15% for the White House and be very lucky to elect 40 senators or 45% of the House. Rest easy, Republicans and Conservatives: there is no chance of this. The “head on straight– for the most part– Republicans of the Bobby Jindall, Michael Bloomberg, Susan Collins, Chris Christy variety, see that survival will ultimately depend on moving to the center.

3. The WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS guy (author Thomas Frank), asked why do many working people vote against their own economic self interest puzzle is reflected in some of the responses to our outrageous call for balancing the budget by taxes as well as spending cuts, people whose kids are probably in public schools struggling to educate their kids, people who are supporting a defense budget above $700 billion (do the math on how much of your tax revenues are going for that), people who most Need healthcare (and if they don’t want it, the rest of us should not be subsidizing their visits to high priced emergencies rooms).

We will be interested in why many in the Red States– farmers, workers, low-mid income folks, really the backbone of this country and certainly the backbone of our armed forces– repeatedly defend the interests of the wealthy (Guys like Warren Buffett, who says he Should be paying more in taxes). One common theme seems to be that luck, the kind of luck not pointed in the direction of the single working mom kid referred to in our June story, plays no role in how well people do. Those who work hard prosper economically and those who prosper economically all work hard. This Tends to be true, but not nearly as true as some of our readers seem to believe. The lower middle class, working guy or woman and family, have little chance to do as well as those who get all of that expensive coaching for their SAT tests. It is a tribute to Karl Rove, FoxNews, and Rush Limbaugh, that so many people actually believe that the majority of the working poor or even the “poor poor”, are that way because they do not work their tails off. If my fellow “next paycheck” readers want to elect leaders and pay the taxes for the folks in gated communities, with lots of expensive toys, Hey that’s your privilege! But not for Me and the 52-53% of the population who elected and re-elected Obama in 2008-12.

Fear not. if you stick with us (and some of you won’t, though we get more readers every day) we will be offering lots of evidence, data, information to back up the points that we are simply asking you to listen to here. And thanks for listening and reading. Also WE NEED TO ANNOUNCE A CHANGE IN OUR READER POSTING POLICY: thoughtful readers who take their valuable time to offer arguments against our positions, Will be posted for all to see (the debates are already underway). We will Not be posting knee jerk, profanity laced, uniformed right wing stuff. There is too much good stuff coming in to give an audience to trash talk: sorry.

**Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of Federal Revenue
1955 . . . 27.3%
2010 . . . 8.9%

Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of GDP
1955 . . . 4.3%
2010 . . . 1.3%

Individual Income/Payrolls as a Percentage of Federal Revenue
1955 . . . 58.0%
2010 . . . 81.5%

Anyone who is serious about closing the US deficit should consider the changes in what corporations pay in taxes and the rise of the deficit. Source:Loophole Land: Time to Reform Corporate Taxes
Demos, APRIL 12, 2011

as cited in blog THE BIG PICTURE– http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/corporate-tax-rates-then-and-now/ —  Barry Ritholtz

SOME SOURCES

1) tea party support numbers: Just 8% Now Say They Are Tea Party Members

in Politics

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·                    Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

·                    Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 41%, Democrats 38%

·                    Tea Party, Liberal Are Still Most Negative Political Labels

·                    53% of Republicans See Tea Party As Political Plus; 32% of Democrats Say Same of Occupy

·                    Who Are The Tea Partiers Now?

·                    Just 37% Now Call Themselves Fiscal Conservatives

Bottom of Form

Monday, January 07, 2013

Views of the Tea Party movement are at their lowest point ever, with voters for the first time evenly divided when asked to match the views of the average Tea Party member against those of the average member of Congress.  Only eight percent (8%) now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24% in April 2010 just after passage of the national health care law. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 30% of Likely U.S. Voters now have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party. Half (49%) of voters have an unfavorable view of the movement. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 3-4, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

2)  Hispanic Vote


The Hispanic vote in 2012 and beyond

By Guest columnistPolitics

Hispanic Voters

Hispanics take their civic duties seriously, reliably voting at a high percentage. (Photo/ us2012)

The growing Hispanic vote played an unmistakable role in Tuesday’s election, presenting obvious challenges for conservatives moving forward. Hispanic’s national share of vote, exponentially rising eligible voters, and key-state vote differentials all lead to a clear point: Hispanics are an ever-important part of the electorate that can’t be ignored.  The scope of the challenge is broad but there is opportunity ahead for conservatives to engage Hispanics.

Please click here to see HLN’s latest infographic.

Hispanic vote growing

For years, Hispanic activists in the conservative movement have underscored the importance of engaging Hispanics. This past Tuesday more than 11 million Hispanics voted in the presidential election — 10 percent of the national electorate. Just as the white share of vote is declining each election, Hispanics’ share is growing.

Share of the Hispanic Vote

 

2012

2008

2004

National

10%

9%

8%

Sources: The New York Time and the Pew Hispanic Center/ Hispanic vote

Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the U.S., estimated to grow to 132 million-strong by 2050, making up 30 percent of the country’s population. There are currently 23.7 million Hispanics eligible to vote, a 7.6 million-person increase since just 2004, with 50,000 Hispanics turning 18 every month.

That helps explain why 1.3 million more Hispanics votedon Tuesday than in 2008 while national overall turnout declined significantly. Moreover, from 2004 to 2008, the number of Hispanics who voted increased by 21.65 percent. From 2008 to 2012 the number of Hispanics who voted increased by 11 percent.

Additionally, Hispanics take their civic duties seriously, reliably voting at a high percentage. Between 46.4 – 49.7 percent of eligible Hispanics voted in the last three elections.

Eligible Hispanic Voters

 

2012

2008

2004

Number of eligible voters

23.7 million

19.5 million

16.1 million

Number of votes cast

11 million

9.7 million

7.6 million

%Voted Increase From Previous Election

11%

21.65%

Percentage of Eligible That Voted

46.4%

49.7%

47.2%

Source: The Pew Hispanic Center/ Hispanic vote

The swing state problem
Just eight years ago President Bush received nearly half of the national Hispanic vote and 56 percent of it in Florida. Yet on Tuesday, Hispanics voted for President Obama over Gov. Romney 71 percent to 27 percent nationally, with disturbing differentials in key swing states. In Florida, Romney garnered just 38 percent of the vote, compared to McCain’s 42 percent and Bush’s 56 percent. That’s an 18-point drop over 8 years in a state he lost by just 100,000 votes this year. Similar perilous swings exist in the mountain west states of New Mexico and Nevada.

A future red state problem
Conservatives will face an even larger future problem if they don’t engage the Hispanic community, in currently non-competitive presidential states like Texas and Arizona that Romney lost Hispanics by over 40 points in. Just eight years ago, President Bush lost Arizona Hispanics by just 13 points and came within 1-point of winning Texas Hispanics, 50-49. What’s more, since 2004, Arizona’s Hispanic share of the vote has increased from 12 percent to 19 percent and Texas’ has risen from 20 percent to 26 percent since 2004, according to The Pew Hispanic Center and The New York Times. On this current trajectory, how many years until both are presidential swing states?

Breakdown of the Hispanic vote by presidential candidate

 

2012

2012

2008

2008

2004

2004

 

Obama

Romney

Obama

McCain

Kerry

Bush

National

71%

27%

67%

31%

53%

44%

Arizona

77%

22%

56%

41%

56%

43%

California

72%

27%

74%

23%

63%

32%

Colorado

74%

25%

61%

38%

68%

30%

Florida

60%

38%

57%

42%

44%

56%

Nevada

69%

24%

76%

22%

60%

39%

New Mexico

64%

29%

69%

30%

56%

44%

North Carolina

65%

34%

Texas

70%

29%

63%

35%

50%

49%

Virginia

64%

33%

65%

34%

Sources: Latino Decisions/ImpreMedia, The New York Time and the Pew Hispanic Center/ Hispanic vote chart

A Hispanic opportunity
The Hispanic community is not a monolithic group and they care about many issues. While they may have broken for Obama, there is opportunity for conservatives to engage the community if they want to win in future presidential races. For example, in a Latino Decisions/ImpreMedia poll of Hispanic voters on the eve of election night, when asked, “Thinking about the 2012 election, what are the most important issues facing the Latino/Hispanic community that our politicians should address?”

  • 53% said Economy/Jobs
  • 35% said Immigration
  • 20% said Education.

Inviting Hispanic business owners to the movement

Moreover, conservatives must leverage the Hispanic community’s entrepreneurial spirit. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2007, there are upwards of 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. – up 44 percent from 2002. As the fastest growing minority business group in the country, Hispanic business owners understand first-hand the need for less burdensome regulations and lower taxes to expand, grow, and hire more workers.

Abandoning myths

On immigration, the myth that all Hispanics want amnesty for undocumented immigrants is just that – a myth. In fact, many Hispanics support sensible immigration reform, but as Americans, they too express concerns about proposals that do not include securing the border. The movement must also ensure that more conservative Hispanics are involved in immigration reform discussions, and put forth proposals that include a guest worker program and overhauling our current visa system. Interestingly, an HLN poll showed that American voters support “allowing children of undocumented immigrants who have been here for years to obtain legal residency status after their honorable discharge from service in the U.S. military” by 83 percent while and 67 percent support “allowing children of undocumented immigrants who have been here for years to obtain legal residency if they graduate from college.”

The last mile – How do you do it?

Candidates must increase their understanding of their constituencies, as well as demographic shifts.  Increased understanding should be partnered with strong coalition building efforts at the local level, and among leading Hispanic groups nationally. The movement’s objectives must include long-term, sustainable efforts to engage the Hispanic community on issues affecting them and that concern them the most.

At the Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN), we are putting into action what we advise, by engaging Hispanics on center-right issues that will restore prosperity and opportunity to America. Through communications, grassroots, policy development and interaction with our elected officials at the local and national level, we are well on our way to building the largest network of Hispanic advocates in the country.

Hispanic Vote

Hispanic vote chart by HLN.

 

Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/hispanic-vote-2012-beyond/#ixzz2bcCDarbX

Moving Democratic

November 9, 2012 10:24 AM

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US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

Tim Kephart

Reporting Tim Kephart

Filed under

Local, News, Politics

Related tags

2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, campaign, Cuba, Cuban, Cuban Vote, Cuban-American, Cuban-American Vote, Florida, Florida Election, Obama, Politics, President Barack Obama, President Obama

Election Returns

CAMPAIGN 2012

Get Answers

1.                   how do I vote on line Iam outside tht US.

2.                  Why do people in wheel chairs get to go to the front of the line, when the rest of us needn to wait over 2 hrs ??

3.                  When will the electoral college vote

4.                  If I am in line by 6:45pm and the wait time is 1 hour, will I still be able to vote even though the polls close at 7pm?

5.                  What time will the polls be open tomorrow November 6th? I am in the City of South Miami. Precinct 606.

Ask a Question

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While Florida still hasn’t finished counting all the ballots from Tuesday’s election, the exit polling from Tuesday’s presidential election is suggesting a major shift in the voting pattern of the Hispanic vote in Florida.

Exit polls of the Cuban-American community in Florida showed a split between Cuba-Americans who were born in Cuba and those born in the United States. Historically, Cuban-American voters have heavily favored the Republican Party since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cuban-born voters broke for Mitt Romney by a 55-45 percent margin. However, among Cuban-Americans born in the United States, President Barack Obama carried the group by a 60-40 percent margin.

The Pew Hispanic Center reported Cuban-Americans favored Obama by a 49-47 percent margin. And a Latino Decisions national poll released the day before the election pegged Latino support for Obama at roughly 71 percent.

While 2012 may be an anomaly, Latino voters have been gravitating towards the Democratic Party over the past few elections and if the Democrats keep them on their side, it could begin a fundamental shift in the way campaigns try to capture the Hispanic vote

 

 

 

——————————————————————————————————————————————–

3) Defense spending numbers: although the following data is for defense spending for the top 15, not 32, countries, it is really even more dramatic than the text of the post abover, BECAUSE: it indicates that of the 1.7 trillion $ spent worldwide for defense spending (196 nations), the U.S. spend nearly 700 billion (data from world gold standard in defense statistics, SIPRI, used by Wikipedia and many others), this is almost 40% of the total global expenditures for defense.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2013 which includes a list on the world’s top 15 military spenders in 2012, based on current market exchange rates. The second list is based on the SIPRI military expenditure database for the year 2012, again based on current market exchange rates.. Contents

 [hide

SIPRI Yearbook 2013 – World’s top 15 military spenders[edit source | edit]

The world’s top 5 military spenders in 2012.
Figures sourced from the SIPRI Yearbook 2013.

 

Rank

Country

Spending ($ Bn.)[3]

% of GDP

World share (%)

Spending ($ Bn. PPP)[3]

World total

1,753

2.5

100

1562.3

1

United StatesUnited States

682.0

4.4

39

682

2

ChinaChinax

166.0

2.0

9.5

249

3

RussiaRussiax

90.7

4.4

5.2

116

4

United KingdomUnited Kingdom

60.8

2.5

3.5

57.5

5

JapanJapan

59.3

1.0

3.4

46.0

6

FranceFrance

58.9

2.3

3.4

50.7

7

Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabiay

56.7

8.9

3.2

63.9

8

IndiaIndia

46.1

2.5

2.6

119

9

GermanyGermanyx

45.8

1.4

2.6

42.8

10

ItalyItalyx

34.0

1.7

1.9

31.0

11

BrazilBrazil

33.1

1.5

1.9

34.4

12

South KoreaSouth Korea

31.7

2.7

1.8

44.2

13

AustraliaAustralia

26.2

1.7

1.5

16.3

14

CanadaCanadax

22.5

1.3

1.3

18.3

15

TurkeyTurkeyxz

18.2

2.3

1.0

25.9

^ SIPRI estimate.

^ The figures for Saudi Arabia include expenditure for public order and safety and might be slightly overestimated.

^ It is possible that the

4) 2000 election statistics (Florida gave Bush a slight technical edge in the electoral college; the recount in Florida was stopped by a 5-4 decision of the US Supreme Court. The decision was termed by the senior minority justice in the decision at the time, John Paul Stevens, graceful in the court’s history. Stevens was a moderately conservative appointee by Republican Pres. Gerald Ford. As the country moved right, he stayed center, then “left center,” as hard right justices were appointed by Republican presidents.

 

Presidential
Candidate

Vice Presidential
Candidate

Political
Party

Popular Vote

Electoral Vote

George W. Bush

Richard Cheney

Republican

50,460,110

47.87%

271

50.4%

Albert Gore Jr.

Joseph Lieberman

Democratic

51,003,926

48.38%

266

49.4%

Ralph Nader

Winona LaDuke

Green

2,883,105

2.73%

0

0.0%

Patrick Buchanan

Ezola Foster

Reform

449,225

0.43%

0

0.0%

Harry Browne

Art Olivier

Libertarian

384,516

0.36%

0

0.0%

Y

Other (+)

236,593

0.22%

0

0.0%

Seal

Map Key

 > 40%

 > 50%

 > 60%

 > 70%

 > 80%

Turnout

 

 

 

 

Quick summary of key goals and thanks to even critical blog readers!

thanks-digital-calligraphy-hiI would like to thank folks who have spent time responding to this progressive blog, whether they agree with what they read or not. There seem to be two general categories of reaction: 1. people who actually read the content, respond to what is actually written, whether they agree or have differences, 2. those who just see words like “capitalism” “poor people” , social responsibility, and immediately see “Socialism” or “do-gooder taking my money or some generous rich person’s money and giving to the government.”

If you really read what we have to say, it breaks down into 3 easy to digest bullet points:

1. . So, let’s be clear: There are no simple solutions and there is not a good political party and an evil one, nor is there a contempt for wealth, getting rich, initiative, hard work. The are various groups and political forces that want to demonize government (remember: the people whom the country put in charge of freeing the slaves, educating our children –except for our wealthiest children–they of course go to private schools– clean up the messes made by Big Business and Bankers in 1929, 2008 and points in between.

A. Had Obama not pushed through the stimulus package and, necessary evil, saved the banker’s and big business like GM and AIG’s behinds following Bush’s TARP desperate attempt to undo some of the damage, we would probably have 15% unemployment today, not the modest recovery we are experiencing.

B. Had Obama not pushed through the Affordable Care Act, 40 million Americans would not be on their way to healthcare coverage, people with preexisting medical conditions would be selling their homes and retirement pensions for coverage (a country that has people going to the emergency rooms of hospitals for healthcare (I mean 50 million of those), is and should be a laughing stock, in effect a third world country (those countries may not be able to afford the healthcare for all, this country Can). You folks with 21-25 year olds not in the workforce with their own insurance would be paying for there care out of your pockets. 

C. There are other things that would have seemed loony 40 years ago, but are accepted today, like busting teacher’s unions, demonizing school teachers, union busting, tax ceilings for the very rich (we middle class folk pay for that), lower corporate tax rates (and we wonder why the deficit is so bad– IT’S NOT JUST SPENDING, not EVEN JUST SPENDING FOR DEFENSE AT A HIGHER LEVEL THAN THE NEXT 31 COUNTRIES COMBINED)**.

D. Yes, we Do plead guilty to believing that snowballing income inequality is bleeding this country white (not to mention the 2003-12 Iraq war-on a-credit card). We do wanted to see public schools supported and more and better teachers in the classroom. We are healthy that in spite of all the Progressive-bashers, Obama-bashers, the deficit is already beginning to slow a bit and healthcare costs, rising for decades at an alarming rate, are now, already beginning to rise more slowly, this even Before the major 2014 reforms kick in.  

OK, WE SAID WE BE BRIEF HERE, SO LET’S MAKE CATEGORIES 2 AND 3 AS PROMISED!!

2. We have been clear that there are some Republicans and PLENTY of “Independents” who support some progressive ideas: healthcare reform, support for public education, an end to anti-labor policies, and we not only welcome them, they are beginning what will be a 3 decade coalition that will only get stronger. George W. Bush did not win the election of 2000 (yes he did become president, he simply did not win either the popular or–except for Supreme Court intervention– the electoral vote). He won very narrowly in 2004, then Obama trounced the Republicans in 2008 and 2012. McCain–veteran, hero, bi-partisan– was Not a weak candidate, nor was Romney. Obama and his ideas and political operation, by no means flawless, were simply better. 

We may seem like cheerleaders for some sort of Democratic Renaissance– but not quite so. We are saying that some Republicans are retrenching, the Tea-Party isn’t going anywhere–just getting smaller as a % of the national vote. Other Republicans are coming around to supporting some of the practical solutions outlined above. They see what the future looks like, and it does not look like Bush-Reagan-Romney.

Just the facts m’am: 1. the Hispanic vote, including Cubans, went overwhelmingly for the Democrats in 2012 (in the middle of a recession following the catastrophic polices of 2001-2008!), 2. the female vote will only be increasing, and women tend to vote more progressively, as a whole, then men, 3. the black and Asian votes, pretty robust, Not Shrinking, and Not overall conservative. Sorry, we are just the messengers and you do not have to read this blog to know which way the wind is blowing. What we HAVE DONE, that is a bit unusual for “left-progressive” analysts, is call for, at least for now, a coalition of progressives of all political parties, PROBLEM SOLVERS, to end the disgrace that is Washington today (listen up, Mr. McConnell).

No room to argue this here, but let’s throw out some red meat: we will argue that in, say 2030, if the Republican party campaigned for the White House or most of Congress, on the climate change-denying, teacher bashing, Rich over Middle Class policies they have been running on for 20 or so years, they would lose elections not by the current 5-6%/  332-206 Electoral Vote of 2012. They would lose by 15% for the White House and be very lucky to elect 40 senators or 45% of the House. Rest easy, Republicans and Conservatives: there is no chance of this. The “head on straight– for the most part– Republicans of the Bobby Jindall, Michael Bloomberg, Susan Collins, Chris Christy variety, see that survival will ultimately depend on moving to the center.

3. The What’s the Matter with Kansas (Thomas Frank), why do many working people vote against their own economic self interest puzzle is reflected in some of the responses to our outrageous call for balancing the budget by taxes as well as spending cuts, people whose kids are probably in public schools struggling to educate their kids, people who are supporting a defense budget above $700 billion (do the math on how much of your tax revenues are going for that), people who most Need healthcare (and if they don’t want it, the rest of us should not be subsidizing their visits to high priced emergencies rooms).

We will be interested in why many in the Red States– farmers, workers, low-mid income folks, really the backbone of this country and certainly the backbone of our armed forces– repeatedly defend the interests of the wealthy (Guys like Warren Buffett, who says he Should be paying more in taxes). One common theme seems to be that luck, the kind of luck not pointed in the direction of the single working mom kid referred to in our June story, plays no role in how well people do. Those who work hard prosper economically and those who prosper economically all work hard. This Tends to be true, but not nearly as true as some of our readers seem to believe. The lower middle class, working guy or woman and family, have little chance to do as well as those who get all of that expensive coaching for their SAT tests. It is a tribute to Karl Rove, FoxNews, and Rush Limbaugh, that so many people actually believe that the majority of the working poor or even the “poor poor”, are that way because they do not work their tails off. If my fellow “next paycheck” readers want to elect leaders and pay the taxes for the folks in gated communities, with lots of expensive toys, Hey that’s your privilege! But not for Me and the 52-53% of the population who elected and re-elected Obama in 2008-12.

Fear not. if you stick with us (and some of you won’t, though we get more readers every day) we will be offering lots of evidence, data, information to back up the points that we are simply asking you to listen to here. And thanks for listening and reading. Also WE NEED TO ANNOUNCE A CHANGE IN OUR READER POSTING POLICY: thoughtful readers who take their valuable time to offer arguments against our positions, Will be posted for all to see (the debates are already underway). We will Not be posting knee jerk, profanity laced, uniformed right wing stuff. There is too much good stuff coming in to give an audience to trash talk: sorry.

**Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of Federal Revenue
1955 . . . 27.3%
2010 . . . 8.9%

Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of GDP
1955 . . . 4.3%
2010 . . . 1.3%

Individual Income/Payrolls as a Percentage of Federal Revenue
1955 . . . 58.0%
2010 . . . 81.5%

Anyone who is serious about closing the US deficit should consider the changes in what corporations pay in taxes and the rise of the deficit. Source:Loophole Land: Time to Reform Corporate Taxes
Demos, APRIL 12, 2011

as cited in blog THE BIG PICTURE– http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/corporate-tax-rates-then-and-now/ —  Barry Ritholtz

Windows of Opportunity for Progressives: Includes CORPORATIONS! [draft]

bill_gates1THOMAS FRANK

One of the themes of this book is going to be: areas where what might be called Obama Clinton Democrats can pick some ripe fruit from places in the American polity and electorate thus far not fully accomplished. We offer first a draft list of both obvious and less obvious supporters whose help should be easy to get, at least at the margins, and I whose self interest backing  the progressive agenda should be clear:

 

  1. Corporations/Business– already a source of some      support for Democrats, this largest and most amorphous interest group has      traditionally been the core of Republican financial and voting support;      the GOP has been seen as the party of business, yet Business is so      diverse, ranging from Silicon Valley internet giants to huge retailers      like Wal-Mart to the main street pizza parlor owner to Big Oil, etc., that      the Democrats should always be looking for a bigger piece of the more      progressive “winnable” elements of these groups…

 

This would probably include corporations with highly educated and more socially conscious executives thinking past the bottom line and  (exclusively) shareholder concerns, to Image—like Novartis’s free pharmaceuticals for selected unable-pay-patients, useful for advertising, but also generated, very likely, by some genuine human concerns… it would be useful to scan literature on mixed motives of businesses, which stress the do-good impulses that move many of us and probe into a less mechanistic more nuanced view of corporate behavior

 

  1. The non voter– Comb the literature for      studies on why people do not vote (multiple reasons: apathy, busy-ness,      disillusionment with the system, lack of interest in politics, feeling      their single vote will not make a difference)—these voters may well yield      more progressive votes that reactionary… Obama did well with bringing the      votes of his established base, but he also reached for some adults,      perhaps especially in 2008, who did not normally go to the polls… these      voters are, again, “ripe fruit,” and changing their behavior has in all      likelihood been studied and with some conclusions
  2. Older voters– these will become more      numerous and will increasingly be made up of baby boomers and eventually      post baby boom people.. Note that the last birth year for Boomers is 1964,      and that in 2014, people born after that year will be entering their 50s,      and in 2024 their 60’s etc.  Obama’s      performance among, especially, white above-55 voters could have been      stronger, given the 1960’s-70’s influences on such voters… Right-wing      scare tactics on threats to Medicare from Obama-care may have worked      (check lit.) but in many ways, it is in the interest of these voters to      consider the advantages of progressivism: attention to the needs of the      elders in the electorate: medical care, continuing education, public      services (say libraries)  for the      large group of ‘living on a fixed, lowered budget’ Americans

 

  1. Not quite parallel, but a      central almost haunting question is why voters (sounds like Thomas Frank      here) who are middle class, seeing their standard of living stagnate or      decline or flatline, so much more numerous than the  wealthiest 1-percenters or even 5      percenters, do not come out in droves for Obama-Clinton progressives,      should be answered—maybe in this book, especially voters from more      struggling heartland states such as Frank’s Kansas, Nebraska, south      Dakota, states that are theoretically winnable, but whose gun use, church      affiliation, and rural values make them reflexively republican in most      instances: we      need to find out why Tom Harkin, George McGovern and Frank Church won      elections in such states and the potential for this type re-emerging      (probably by building a support base in Wichita, Lincoln, Boise,      university towns, and bringing home acceptable amounts of “legitimate pork      to their constituents…We now turn to a consideration of how an alliance of      progressives with some more of Business/Corporate America might work:

 

CAN A CORPORATE-PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE HAPPEN?

 

The dominant wisdom about corporate capitalism is that its lifeblood is ultimately the return on investment to the shareholders. As corporations multiplied and increased in complexity in the 20th C., it  is a commonplace that they have moved from manufacturing and transportation to finance to finance, retailing and information. It is true that manufacturing, especially in the area of transpiration  in the USA have remained strong to some extent in the aircraft and automotive industries.

 

Both major parties of received corporate largesse and money from individuals enriched by corporate leadership and investment. But the Republican party clearly stands as the corporate, private sector favoring party and has done so for decades. As Noam Chomsky noted—not far off from the Left and center, the Democrats have depended on “everybody else”, while certainly getting substantial, though less, corporate support.  Chomsky, in the same interview, November, 1988, noted that in fact the United States could be said to have only one party, The Business Party, with two wings, Republican and Democrat. Overall the Republicans are much purer in there support of and benefits from corporations, and the Democrats must compensate for lesser corporate support, but appealing to “all of the other groups.” Democrats do get reliably more support from most other groups, but Chomsky’s point is that the resources of the business sector are vaster than those of almost all of the others combined. These statements, of course, refer to gross aggregates and are hard to measure quantitatively….

 

Historically, whether one sees the party system as 2 sides of a corporate coin, or as 2 evolving discreet “brands”, there is broad agreement that about every 30-40 years, there is a national election that shifts the political geology dramatically than is normally the case. What are called critical or realigning elections occurred, moving back in time, in 1932, 1896, 1860, 1828 and 1800. A snapshot description of each of these elections would go something like this, referring only to the winner and his party: 1932, F. Roosevelt (Dem.) Great Depression; 1896, W. McKinley, Urban, industrial, Gold Standard; 1860, A. Lincoln (Rep.), Union and end of any expansion of Southern slavery; 1828,

Andrew Jackson (Dem.) , anti-elite, anti-Federal government, pro-Southern and Western interests; 1800, T. Jefferson, (Dem.-Republican) anti-Federalist agenda. The p[icture blurs after 1932 as independent voters became more numerous, and the parties became more competitive in electing presidents.

 

Some would cite either 1968, or more often, 1980, with Nixon and Reagan coming into power with increasingly conservative coalitions as roughly “critical,” and perhaps Obama’s two victories after almost 30 years of more Republican strength in the White House as a “harbionger election. But the old models of long fairly dtable periods of one party dominance do not hold up well after 1950. If one measures presidential party years in power since Truman in 1948 and move to the present 2013, we see 25 years of Democratic presidents and 29 years of Republicans, a remarkable balance when you consider A. that Democrats were in power for 24 of the 32 years between Jackson and Lincoln, 1829-1861 and the Republicans occupied the White House for 58 of the 72 years between 1861 and 1933 (Lincoln to F. Roosevelt) and B. If you add the remaining 3 years of Obama’s 2nd term the party Balance in the White House becomes almost exactly even from 1949 to 2017.

Guest Post: Prof. Art Lerman on Collective Bargaining’s Strange Troubles

scott-walker-power-to-koch-bros-no-unions-for-you1WALTER REUTHER

The Attack on Collective Bargaining

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/09/teachers_unions_remain_confuse.html

Why the attack on collective bargaining? After all, collective bargaining is a rather rational—civilized—idea: employers and employees seeking agreement on terms and conditions of employment, while listening to each other’s needs and concerns.

Moreover, there is no legal responsibility to come to an agreement. If the bargaining does not work out, each side is free to pursue its interests outside the collective bargaining framework.

So what’s the issue—especially with state governments that have been in the forefront of attacks on collective bargaining—passing legislation eliminating the “right” of their public employee representatives to collectively bargain with their governmental employer on specific issues, or on all issues?

The anti-collective bargaining argument is that collective bargaining has led to public employees forcing governments (and, therefore, citizens) to give them much too much—creating a privileged public employee class, leaving the state government and its citizens with insufficient funds for themselves.

And  enabling this theft of state government and citizen  assets  are the public employee unions—sitting on the other side of the collective bargaining table—using their electoral power—votes and financial contributions to candidates—coercing the government and the citizens it represents to impoverish themselves for the sake of public employees’ luxurious  living.

There are a few immediate observations the above argument gives rise to:

  1. There’s an assumption that public employees are getting more than they deserve, economically putting the government and other citizens in economic peril. This, however, is a debatable assumption.
  1. If there is a problem as described, it’s not collective bargaining but the power of the unions. This power is manifested at the collective bargaining table, but it is independent of it—and would exist and be used to support the demands of the employees through other channels, if collective bargaining was eliminated.
  1. And, with or without collective bargaining, these other channels remain and are also used by employers and employees to trade ideas and press their demands.
  1. Indeed, this brings us to the crux of the matter: Collective bargaining is a positive institution—perhaps the best available venue for employers and employees to negotiate with one another —all the alternatives being less efficacious.
  1. Collective bargaining is positive because it is a direct, face-to-face discussion. Each side can directly communicate to the other side its needs, wants, arguments, and its view of its own power.
  2. All the other methods that are used to communicate—and which remain—whether or not there is collective bargaining—are less efficient means of communication. They more easily lead to misunderstandings, missed opportunities and unfounded/untested conclusions.
  1. Legislative Lobbying: For example, with or without collective bargaining, both the employers (the state government) and employees seek the support of state legislatures for their positions on employee-employer issues–sending messages, supports and sanctions to the legislators. This dynamic will always exist in a free society—but it is not as efficient in negotiating issues as experienced employer and employee representatives in discussion together at the table.
  1.      ii.          Media: And they send messages through the media—giving interviews, writing letters, sending press releases. All these are okay, but, as with communication with legislators, do not amount to the detailed exchanges needed for mutual understanding and future planning.
  1.    iii.          Electoral Campaigns: Of course there are also campaign contributions and messages to candidates—again, of value, but even more removed from specifics and likely to be more rhetorical and less prone to working out mutual understandings.
  1.    iv.          Unilateral Actions: And there are job actions on the part of employees and unilateral decisions on the part of employers—easily giving rise to resentment, misunderstanding and hardening of positions—especially since, as unilateral, the other side is less likely to feel it had the proper input.

The point is that doing away with collective bargaining does nothing to control the power of unions—for good or ill. It simply takes away an excellent institution within which unions and their employers can communicate, leaving less efficient methods to take on more responsibility than they are capable of handling well.

Good Management: And there is a larger concern about communication. Communication between employers and employees is a crucial factor in good management. How can one manage an organization well without communicating with the leadership of one’s employees?

Governors (and bosses in the private sector) who decry collective bargaining are saying that they’d prefer to be bad managers—assuming they know their employees concerns, but with no way to sit down with the employees to seek deeper understandings and further exploration.

Why would they do this? One the one hand, it’s because they think they know enough about their employees’ situations without investigation—a questionable assumption in our world of large, complex, fast-changing, diverse organizations.

Scapegoating: But, on the other hand, it seems clear from news reports, that they are not thinking about employee needs or communication—or about good management at all. They oppose collective bargaining for reasons of political posturing. Faced with fiscal challenges, and citizens always concerned about taxes, they have chosen to make public employee union power the scapegoat, loudly attacking unions, and arguing that collective bargaining is the evil Trojan horse that has led to union triumphs over the government’s and the citizens’ fiscal wellbeing.

The fact that eliminating collective bargaining will not reduce union power, that union power is not the reason for the states’ and the citizens’ fiscal challenges, that the only guaranteed result of the elimination of collective bargaining will be worse management—these conclusions argue for a different approach which, unfortunately, does not fit well with politicians who are antiunion under any fiscal circumstances and who want to eliminate crucial governmental  services—whether badly or well managed.

Income Inequality: Yes, there is a final issue. The current attacks have been on the “too generous” salaries and benefits of public employees attained through collective bargaining. . Most citizens do not have such benefits; why should public employees?

The conclusion: measurably reduce public employee salaries and benefits, or at least prevent them from increasing.

But there is another solution. If public employee salaries and benefits are so far ahead of those  of the rest of the citizenry (a questionable conclusion), is the answer to cut back on the public employee salaries and benefits or to extend these better salaries and benefits to the rest of the citizens?

After all, one of the analyses of why income inequality has so much increased in the U.S.—leaving private employees behind—is that union power and collective bargaining have been taken away from most private sector employees. If private sector employees had unions to fight for them—and represent them in collective bargaining—they might catch up to public employees in salaries and benefits—reducing income inequality in our society overall.

Just  one more thing: Let’s say a law is passed precluding collective bargaining. Yet, subsequently, an issue comes up among the employees. And then, the union leader knocks on the governor’s door —or happens to see him eating in a restaurant—or walking in the park—or maybe even playing at the golf course.  You mean the union leader can’t mention it? They can’t discuss it? Isn’t that a violation of human relations—a violation of the basic concern of for one’s fellow human being?

_________________________________________________________

Blogger’s Note- As readers may know, Professor Lerman is a political scientist with 40 years of post-Princeton grad school teaching and a specialist in conflict resolution (which includes collective bargaining). He is also the co-author in progress of our book-to-be:

OBAMA, PROGRESSIVE RESURGENCE, AND U.S. POLITICS, 1990-2040

PUBLIC SCHOOL CLOSURES HURT POOR DISPROPORTIONALLY

NOTE: This blog does not specialize in current events, but once in a while an issue surfaces that reflects larger anti-progressive trends. One of these is the large number of closures of already underfunded public schools, especially in poor areas. America seems to be able to afford a vast consumer economy, even during recessions, a military that equals the defense outlays of the next 30 countries’ defense budgets, but cannot seem to find the money to make excellent public education available to all. What follows is some reporting around (mostly) inner city school closings. The people in power (Rahm Emmanuel, Arte Duncan, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, et.al.) tend to send their children, and/or have friends who send children to private schools. And for good reason. The public schools feature large classrooms, often shoddily equipped, with underpaid overworked teachers and a system focused on testing and scores by which to judge teachers and fund schools.

This will be part of an ongoing discussion because it is so central to the issue of fairness and class mobility in the United States. Opposing or clarifying views are welcome, but the problem, below the radar for many Americans, is presented here as a matter of class discrimination. Read on:

s-CHICAGO-SCHOOL-CLOSINGS-LIST-large

Chicago School Closings: District Plans To Shutter 54 Schools

Posted: 03/21/2013 7:27 pm EDT  |  Updated: 03/22/2013 1:06 pm EDT

Chicago School Closings List

Parents protest outside the home of Chicago’s Board of Education President David Vitale’s house Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Chicago. Teachers say the city of Chicago has begun informing teachers, principals and local officials about which public schools it intends to close under a contentious plan that opponents say will disproportionately affect minority students in the nation’s third largest school district. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Citing budget concerns and falling enrollment, Chicago Public Schools officials announced Thursday they plan to close 54 schools next year and shut down 61 school buildings — the largest single wave of school closures in U.S. history.

For months, looming closures seemed inevitable. After a teachers union strike last fall concluded with an expensive contract, observers were left without a doubt that the only way the cash-strapped district could afford it was to shut down schools and fire the teachers who worked there.

Since the September strike, Chicago hired a new CEO for its schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, a veteran of closures in cities like Detroit. The district held hearings with parents about the fates of their children. Rumors flew about how many and which schools would be axed, with some predicting as many as 129 could close.

On Thursday, news of the final closure list began to trickle out. The day had come, a week before the district’s April 1 deadline. Byrd-Bennett announced on local television that CPS would close 54 elementary schools, name six for “turnarounds” and send 11 schools to share buildings with others.

As the news dribbled in through aldermen and school officials themselves earlier Thursday, many angry Chicagoans were searching for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, who waged his mayoral campaign on promises of education reform. DNAInfo Chicago reported Emanuel was on vacation with his family.

Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis blasted Emanuel’s absence.

“Our mayor, who is away on a ski trip, drops this information a week before spring break,” Lewis said during a Thursday afternoon press conference outside Mahalia Jackson Elementary School in the city’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood. “What’s their spring break going to look like?”

Lewis went on to call the mayor’s actions “cowardly” and likened them to bullying. “He should be ashamed of himself,” she said, drawing a chorus of “amens” and whoops from students in the crowd.

In a phone interview, CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey told The Huffington Post to expect a tumultuous spring from the teachers union. “We’re going to do any and all nonviolent forms of protest we have at our disposal including legislative and legal,” to protest the school closures, he said. “Also direct actions like sit-ins to try to stop this disastrous policy.”

While districts across the country have faced waves of closures, those in Chicago hit doubly close to home for the Obama administration; in addition to the Emanuel connection, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan formerly served as CEO of the district.

“When, where, why and how to close schools are local questions that are never easy. No educator ever wakes up in the morning wanting to close a school,” Duncan said in a Thursday statement provided to HuffPost. “On the local level, real considerations about budgets, resources, and declining enrollment have to be balanced against real impacts on the community. Closing a school is a difficult but sometimes necessary decision, and districts and local leaders should strive for a transparent process that listens to community input and offers better educational options for affected families.”

Chicago district officials have argued that dwindling population in some predominantly black neighborhoods has created an “underutilization crisis” where schools are operating way below their capacity. Keeping these buildings open, they said, is waste of resources. CPS says the closures could save $500,000 to $800,000 per school.

To soften the blow for students at closing schools, the district said it is adding 13 new special science programs, five International Baccalaureate programs, air conditioning and fine arts classes in 19 of the schools where these students will be sent.

CPS parents reacted with outrage at the news, even those whose children’s schools were saved from the chopping block.

Jennie Biggs, who has three children at Mark Sheridan Math & Science Academy in Bridgeport, called the district’s decision “unbelievable.”

“School is their second home,” said Biggs, 40. “It’s where they feel most comfortable. To lose that sense of belonging and that sense of community must be a traumatic event for a child.”

Biggs attended three of the volatile community engagement meetings held by the district earlier this year, where she said parents worried students assigned to new schools will be forced to cross into unfamiliar territory.

“Parent after parent after parent talked about safety concerns,” Biggs said. “For me, that’s my number one concern: How do we keep the kids safe?”

To simulate the effects a school change would have, one parent walked from Libby Elementary to Sherman Elementary in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Biggs said, passing seven abandoned buildings along the way. The trek took 27 minutes.

“That’s what will be the daily experience for kids who are displaced,” said Biggs. She added the district will likely see a spike in truancy numbers as parents struggle to get their kids to a new school.

Related on HuffPost:

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New post on Diane Ravitch’s blog

The Color of School Closures

by dianerav

Whose schools are closing? Is there a pattern?

Take a look at this graphic.

Tweet it. Share it.

And think about it. What is going on?

dianerav | June 12, 2013 at 11:20 am | Categories: Closing p

·Leslie Sabbs-Kizer, Nkai Melton, Akaira Melton, Khaymya Smith

Leslie Sabbs-Kizer, right, walks her children Nkai Melton, 8, Akaira Melton, 7, and Khaymya Smith, 3 to Bond Elementary school in Chicago, for the first day of classes Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, 2012, after Chicago teachers voted to suspend their first strike in 25 years. Union delegates voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to suspend the walkout after discussing a proposed contract settlement with the nation’s third largest school district. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Students gather outside Benjamin E. Mays Academy , Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, 2012 in Chicago, after Chicago teachers voted to suspend their first strike in 25 years. Union delegates voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to suspend the walkout after discussing a proposed contract settlement with the nation’s third largest school district. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Two students hug, right, as they gather outside Benjamin E. Mays Academy Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, 2012, after Chicago teachers voted to suspend their first strike in 25 years. Union delegates voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to suspend the walkout after discussing a proposed contract settlement with the nation’s third largest school district. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Students walk through the gates outside Benjamin E. Mays Academy, Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, 2012, after Chicago teachers voted to suspend their first strike in 25 years. Union delegates voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to suspend the walkout after discussing a proposed contract settlement with the nation’s third largest school district. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Students gather outside Benjamin E. Mays Academy Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, 2012, after Chicago teachers voted to suspend their first strike in 25 years. Union delegates voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to suspend the walkout after discussing a proposed contract settlement with the nation’s third largest school district. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Rahm Emanuel, Jean-Claud Brizard, David Vitale

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, center, is flanked by Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claud Brizard, left, and school board president David Vitale during a news conference after the teachers union House of Delegates voted to suspend their strike Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Chicago. The city’s teachers agreed to return to the classroom after more than a week on the picket lines, ending a spiteful stalemate with Emanuel that put teacher evaluations and job security at the center of a national debate about the future of public education. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union smiles as she talks with reporters after the union’s House of Delegates voted to suspend the strike Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·Members of the Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates celebrate after the delegates voted to suspend the strike against the school district Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Chicago. The city’s teachers agreed to return to the classroom after more than a week on the picket lines, ending a spiteful stalemate with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that put teacher evaluations and job security at the center of a national debate about the future of public education. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·Tennille Evans

Tennille Evans, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates, celebrates after the delegates voted to suspend the strike against the school district Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Chicago. The city’s teachers agreed to return to the classroom after more than a week on the picket lines, ending a spiteful stalemate with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that put teacher evaluations and job security at the center of a national debate about the future of public education. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·Mary Edmonds

Mary Edmonds, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates, celebrates after the delegates voted to suspend the strike against the school district Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Chicago. The city’s teachers agreed to return to the classroom after more than a week on the picket lines, ending a spiteful stalemate with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that put teacher evaluations and job security at the center of a national debate about the future of public education. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·Teachers picket outside Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, as a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union continues into its second week. CTU members in the nation’s third-largest city will pore over the details of a contract settlement Tuesday as the clock ticks down to an afternoon meeting in which they are expected to vote on ending a seven-day strike that has kept 350,000 students out of class. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Patty Westcott

Teacher Patty Westcott pickets outside Clissold Elementary School in Chicago, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, as a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union continues into its second week. CTU members in the nation’s third-largest city will pore over the details of a contract settlement Tuesday as the clock ticks down to an afternoon meeting in which they are expected to vote on ending a seven-day strike that has kept 350,000 students out of class. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·FILE – In this Sept. 14, 2012, file photo Madison teachers hold a unity rally for striking Chicago teachers at the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin’s attorney general planned to ask a judge Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, to put on hold his decision issued last week repealing major parts of Gov. Scott Walker’s law effectively ending collective bargaining for most state workers. The request comes as school districts and local governments attempt to understand the ramifications of the decision and whether it opens the door to new negotiations previously barred with unions. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King, File)

·Chicago Teacher’s Strike Enters Second Week

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 17: Tyler Whitaker watches from a distance as teachers from the Jose De Diego Community Academy, where he is a third grade student, walk the picket line on September 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off of their jobs on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Smaller, more subdued groups of teachers picket outside Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, as a strike by Chicago Teachers Union members heads into its second week. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he will seek a court order to force the city’s teachers back into the classroom. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Chicago Teacher’s Strike Enters Second Week

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 17: Striking Chicago public school teachers attend a press conference by The Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign outside the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in City Hall on September 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Chicago Teacher’s Strike Enters Second Week

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 17: Striking Chicago public school teachers attend a press conference by The Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign outside the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in City Hall on September 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·A handful of teachers picket outside Shoop Elementary School in Chicago, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, as a strike by Chicago Teachers Union members heads into its second week. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he will seek a court order to force the city’s teachers back into the classroom. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

·Chicago Teacher’s Strike Enters Second Week

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 17: Striking Chicago public school teachers picket outside of George Westinghouse College Prep high school on September 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off of their jobs on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, left, listens to CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey speak at a press conference following a meeting of delegates Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 in Chicago. The Chicago teachers union decided Sunday to continue its weeklong strike, extending an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over teacher evaluations and job security provisions central to the debate over the future of public education across the United States. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·A young boy holds a placard in support of striking Chicago school teachers as they march after a rally Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 in west Chicago. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·Striking Chicago school teachers march after a rally Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 in Chicago. Thousands of striking Chicago public school teachers and their allies packed a city park Saturday in a boisterous show of force as union leaders and the district tried to work out the details of an agreement that could end a week-long walkout.(AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·A young girl plays a toy horn as striking Chicago teachers rally Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Chicago. Union president Karen Lewis reminded that although there is a “framework” for an end to their strike, they still are on strike. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union addresses the crowd during a rally Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Chicago. Lewis reminded that although there is a “framework” for an end to their strike, they are still on strike. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union addresses union menbers during a rally Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Chicago. Lewis reminded that although there is a “framework” for an end to their strike, they still are on strike. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago teachers union , left, and vice president Jesse Sharkey stand before a meeting of the union’s House of Delegates Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·Karen Lewis

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis arrives for a meeting of the union’s delegates Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, in Chicago. The city’s nearly weeklong teachers strike appeared headed toward a resolution Friday after negotiators emerged from marathon talks to say they had achieved a “framework” that could end the walkout in time for students to return to class Monday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

·David Vitale

Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale speaks to reporters following negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 in Chicago. After a week of public school teachers striking over issues that include pay raises, classroom conditions, job security and teacher evaluations, Vitale said the district and teachers union have agreed on a

·Public school teachers rally at Chicago’s Congress Plaza to protest against billionaire Hyatt Hotel mogul Penny Pritzker, who is also a member of the Chicago Board of Education on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Protesters said that $5.2 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds being used to build a new Hyatt hotel in Hyde Park would be better spent on meeting basic student needs. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·A large crowd of public school teachers rally at Chicago’s Congress Plaza to protest against billionaire Hyatt Hotel mogul Penny Pritzker, who is also a member of the Chicago Board of Education on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Protesters said that $5.2 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds being used to build a new Hyatt hotel in Hyde Park would be better spent on meeting basic student needs. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·Striking Chicago public school teachers and their supporters march down Michigan Avenue on September 13, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Striking Chicago public school teachers and their supporters rally following a march down Michigan Avenue on September 13, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Striking Chicago public school teachers and their supporters march down Michigan Avenue on September 13, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Teachers picket outside the Chicago Public Schools headquarters on September 13, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off of their jobs on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Striking Chicago public school teachers and their supporters march down Michigan Avenue on September 13, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Striking Chicago public school teachers and their supporters rally before a march down Michigan Avenue on September 13, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job on September 10 after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

·Thousands of public school teachers and their supporters rally outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel to protest against Penny Pritzker, whom they accuse of benefiting from being a board member of both the Chicago Board of Education and Hyatt Hotels on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·Children in strollers join thousands of public school teachers rallying outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel, protesting against Penny Pritzker, whom they accuse of benefiting from her position on the boards of both the Chicago Board of Education and Hyatt Hotels on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

·Two-year-old identical twins Colton and Lucas Jordan join thousands of public school teachers and their supporters as they march along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, protesting against Penny Pritzker, whom they accuse of benefiting from her position on the boards of both the Chicago Board of Education and Hyatt Hotels on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

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The Color of School Closures

Posted on: Tuesday April 23rd, 2013

Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today’s dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students. 

What can you do to end these discriminatory and unacceptable school closures?

·                  Share this infographic with your friends on Facebook and Twitter – start the conversation in your community!

·                  Send us your stories and data about closings in your district.

·                  Learn about alternatives that support students rather than close school doors on them.

There is no evidence to suggest that school closures work. Despite what policymakers say to justify these mass closures, reports have shown that the majority of student who are affected do not get placed in high performing schools. And though closures are often touted as a way for districts to save money in tough economic times, those savings often fail to materialize and can in reality cost taxpayers millions in hidden costs.

What is the alternative to closing schools? Evidence-based policies that provide students, schools and communities with the opportunities and resources they need to succeed, including:

·                  Wraparound academic, health and social services to help struggling students get back on track

·                  Recruiting, training and retaining high-quality teachers in every classroom

·                  Equitable school funding systems so that those who face the toughest hurdles receive the greatest resources

·                  Universal high-quality pre-K so that all students start school ready to learn

·                  Expanded learning time, including after-school and summer programming

·                  Turning schools into community hubs that provide expanded services to both students and community members

For more information, check out this report from Communities for Excellent Public Schools, “A Proposal for Sustainable School Transformation.”

Here are just a few of the many groups organizing against school closures in the cities highlighted in the infographic. If your organization is doing anti-closures work, let us know and we’ll add it!

CORPORATIONS/BUSINESS: A Powerful Engine for the Coming Progressive Partnership?

GEORGE SOROSBUFFETTCARNEGIE

Talking points:

1. There is a strong if limited tradition of corporate community giving in American history: philanthropy, community service, etc.

2. Companies give about $15 billion a year of the $240 billion in charity giving in a 15 trillion dollar economy; this is not an impressive figure relatively speaking, but $15 billion in good works is a good start, and business would rightly argue that job creation and externalities (improving roads, power grids etc.) are Absolute contributions that should never be underestimated

3. Our book advances the idea that business, big or small, in the coming years must not be seen as they enemy, as an adversary; anti-capitalist rhetoric may have validity, does have, in some circumstances, but we want to focus on “best practices” and tap the reserves (huge) of business resources for community improvement—quality of life… there are a significant minority of companies already following a variation of what might be called the “Carnegie-Starbucks model” with 2 very different approaches to social responsibility

4. Here is a short list of what might be called condensed arguments for business continuing do exactly what it is right now, and that that is plenty:

 Business bring jobs, paychecks, prosperity into US life
 Business’s obligation is to provide goods and services
 Business needs to make a profit to grow > more jobs
 Business’s obligation #1 is to its shareholders
 Business greatly helps people by generating dividends, etc.
 Business already gives substantial grants & civic projects
 Business-people are leaders in their communities
 The more progressive businesses and executives (Gates and Buffett today, for ex. and Carnegie and Rockefeller in the Gilded Age”)

5. What we are proposing to accomplish, without pointing the finger at Business for the moment follows this sequence
 Redistribution in the form of corporate and individual taxes is normally not well regarded today, it is not popular with the Republican party, it once was accepted as a fact of life (in what might be called the “Keynesian” period from the 1940s through 1970s)
 Corporate giving is being done, but taking into account the large projected deficits because of entitlement programs, so-called costs associated with Affordable Health Care legislation etc., decisions will have to be made about raising revenue while trimming expenses; the Republican party recently has signed on, Overall, to a No New Taxes policy, or very limited concessions for the highest income individuals

 There really are a limited number of solutions here: taxes can simply be raised to 1960’s levels (not likely), government spending can be made to go away by capping Social Security and Medicare, shutting down national parks, ending Saturday postal service, and such small economies (also problematic), the defense budget can be slashed X% (20,25, 30?)—variants of all of these have been proposed and, eventually, some of each may be needed; the previous mildly progressive Democrat to Obama, Clinton, managed to turn decades of deficits into surpluses; the present era (2013) is different: we now have an expensive prescription drug plan, baby boomers retiring and entering the Soc. Security and Medicare systems, and are still recovering with 7% unemployment after the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s

 There are signs that increased employment and production, which is now occurring, and some combination of the measures listed above will make a big dent in future deficits, but we propose one other avenue that will improve quality of life Without traditional taxation increases or along with modest increases

 These are expanded corporate philanthropy, quickly there are two ways to do this, for corporations to, say, quadruple their voluntary charitable giving programs/budgets: 1. just do more of what’s being done now by a multiple of 4, 2. working with a designated government council or board to coordinate community projects (parks, schools, roads, clinics, libraries, etc.) at the local, state or federal level (probably in that order of preference),

 Doing this would for starters, generate about $60 billion in added non-tax “revenue” per year, an indirect boost not exactly to deficit reduction but indirectly accomplishing the same thing; future columns in this blog will get more specific about how this would be done and how it can be a breakthrough bridge between business and communities and potentially between the political parties and the private/public sector…. no one says that this will be easy, we are simply saying that it is Doable and Makes Sense

5 MYTHS ABOUT THE 2012 ELECTIONS AND THE FUTURE

ROMNEYBarack Obama5 Myths About the 2012 Elections and America’s Political Future

  1. Obama and the Democrats Won Because Romney was a Weak Opponent

Romney was a relatively strong opponent whose credentials, solid business background and Republican governor of a liberal state not to be taken lightly. He was both telegenic and gaffe prone. The latter did not appear to be a problem in his: A. beating Obama soundly in the first debate, B. shadowing within 2-3 points of Obama in the polls and sometimes equaling or besting him, C. All of this in spite of being the quintessential one percenter, D. All of this and he still won 47+ % of the American electorate and the white male and female vote, in spite of caving to many very conservative positions

  1. Obama’s Victory was about his likeability, not his policies

Obama was indeed seen as more likeable and/or to have the average American’s interest more at heart, but he was also credited with Trying, if not always succeeding, to re-energize the American economy, maintain a newly respectable and thoughtful foreign policy, expand health coverage and protect programs that existed,….more (a bit for various groups: “illegals”, environmentalists, women—that minority that is the majority, veterans, not to be cynical but the latter a nice way to compensate for no war medals)

  1. The Right Wing of the Republican Party was discredited and is Moribund

Indeed the far right was a net drag on the party but events since the election show that while the party leadership is distancing itself from Tea Party excesses and hard-shell reactionary politics, the core of the right-right remains in tact, unapologetic, perhaps more localized in the south and conservative plains and RockyMt. states

  1. The Republicans will move more to the Center and halt Democratic gains

This may happen at the top of the ticket in subsequent elections (the meaning of the curve of 2008-2012 is clear enough, but the Republicans have a delicate balancing act in smoothing the rough edges of the far right and yet maintaining their most active cadres; in 2016 and beyond they may not have as polarizing (read black, smart, “elitist”) figure as Obama to rally the troops against

  1. An increasingly progressive electorate and reform at the very top are “Enough.’

No they are not. The Democratic and progressive forces must groom a new generation of governors, representatives and senators (the latter are retiring 2-1 over republicans, and the most liberal—Harkin and Rockefeller—at that, and state legislatures where gerrymandering has been deadly for the Dems)

From Whence Cometh the Republicans’ Help?

robert-dole

The New York Times lead editorial on May 31 quoted former Senator Bob Dole as saying the Republican Party should put a “Closed for Repairs’ sigh on its doors, and that Dole found the party one that he barely recognizes and, were he alive, Ronald Reagan would have the same difficulty.

 

The editorial also reported Sen. John McCain as saying the Tea Party was “absolutely out of line” and setting a bad precedent. This same Tea Party whose votes in 2008 and 2012 kept the Republican Party from being more severely embarrassed in the presidential election counts. In any case, Congressional paralysis, caused mostly, though not entirely, by far right House Republicans, many elected in 2010, are credited with ‘blocking effective action on the sequester of funds, action on economic growth and climate change, checks on gun purchases and a threat to compromise on immigration’. [slight paraphrase]

 

Much ink and many pixels have been spilled driving home point about gridlock in Congress, the abuse of the filibuster, and, earlier, Senator Mitch McConnell’s economic and unusually candid wish that above all else, the GOP must insure that Obama be a one term president. Of course this did not come to pass, and the Republicans have followed with the usual internal self-examination of a losing party. But to date, with the possible exception of immigration and the tax on the “1%” the House, and thus the Congress, and thus the law making and overseeing process has been held hostage by an intractable minority.

 

The question we open up here for discussion is not so much centered around what pragmatic Republicans would Need to do to move governance forward and to attract more voters at the national level. Solutions about a “bigger tent or umbrella,” facing demographic realities, extracting itself as “The Party of No,” have been well covered. What we are seeking and ask our readers to join the discussion about Why hard working, true believer ultra conservatives would think that any serious negotiation would be caving in and perhaps selling out their constituents.

 

They should remember that even if their re-election depends on hard line, disaffected conservative voters backing them, that they also represent districts where many voters have Disagreed with their positions and that on average barely 50% of voters will cast a Congressional ballot. So they may actually be representing supporters who may be, on the high side, 70% of 50% of district adults, or 35% of their adult constituency. Of course this could be said for less conservative Republicans and Democrats also. And it is arguable that if true believer ultra-Right congresspersons and Senators feel the progressive agenda is so wrong-headed, they may need to block it at every turn. The practical result of course is the kind of dispiriting stalled engine that is the legislative branch right now. Please give us your thoughts.

Frederick l. shiels

THE FALLACY OF UNEMPLOYMENT: Dr. Arthur Lerman

The idea of unemployment is that there is nothing that the unemployed individual can do for the society—or anyone in the society—worth paying for.

But that clearly is false. In a society with unemployment, beyond those who are simply between jobs, there are myriad needs which are not being met. (Indeed, in a society with full employment, there are still myriad needs not being met.)

Is it really better, to have people capable of teaching on an unemployment line, while classrooms are overcrowded?

Is it really better to have people capable of repairing/upgrading roads and bridges on an unemployment line, while roads and bridges remain inadequate and in disrepair?

Is it really better to have people capable of researching ways to prevent or cure cancer—or capable of being trained to do such research—on an unemployment line, when adequate prevention and cures are not yet available?

The list is endless.

(And if all such imaginable needs are met, and there really is nothing left over to do—or more realistically, less urgent things left over to do—how about dividing the work that is left among all employables—leaving everyone more time for vacations and retirement?)

So why, when there is so much need, those capable of fulfilling at least some of these needs, remain idle?

There is a concept that unemployment is necessary. Too much employment is bad for the economy. If everyone is employed, labor becomes a scarce resource. It becomes too expensive. Prices become too high, businesses and consumers suffer.

Given this idea, the unemployed are actually contributing value to the economy by not working—keeping costs and prices down. But then, they are actually doing something worth paying for, no? Unemployment is a service they are providing. So there is something they are doing for the society. So, is it not just that they be paid for it.

(Indeed, perhaps this is a strong case for unemployment insurance. It’s not a charity payment for those who cannot support themselves, but a payment for a valuable service—keeping costs and prices down. And maybe even more, for by spending the insurance payments, they are helping to stimulate the economy—creating business as customers for business products.)

Of course, this idea of “positive unemployment” does go against the idea that people paid to do nothing doesn’t seem as good as actually addressing social needs. Is it really better for the economy to pay people to do nothing than to have them working to fulfill real social needs?

Certainly not. To accept unemployment, to allow social needs to go unaddressed, is clearly a failure of the economy—or, to state this in another way, our failure to organize our economy in the most socially helpful way.

Again, there is the counter (conservative Burkean) argument. It is better to allow the economy to follow its natural course than to interfere with it. All human intervention will make things worse—with unintended consequences, some perhaps very hurtful. This is generally the attack on socialism—the example of the command economy, making unwearable shoes, cars that fall apart and farmland soil denuded of nutrients, with water tables dried up.

Yet, the counter argument is stronger—human interference in the natural working of the economy—when based on past economic experience and careful research—has a long history of correcting the “natural economy,” which, by its nature, has a tendency to run out of control—leaving devastated individuals, communities and nations. (Can refer to the New Deal, and such books as Michael Grunwald’s The New New Deal and Steven Conn’s To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government.)

So the challenge is indeed to interfere in the economy—to some way organize the economy so that needs are addressed, using all available manpower—i.e., no unemployment.