Workers & Economic Inequality

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Here’s an Economic Agenda for Hillary Clinton

As an economist, TCF fellow Mark Thoma has some ideas on what types of policies Democratic presidential candidate should pursue in her upcoming campaign. He weighs in on everything from climate change to education policy.

Changes in financial regulation implemented after the financial crisis do not go far enough. For example, we need higher capital requirements, better disclosure and transparency, better protection for consumers of financial products, better regulation of the shadow banking sector, the repo market in particular. That’s unlikely to happen, but if nothing else the next president must fight to preserve the regulation that is presently in place.

Thoma's full article can be read here.

Tags: presidential election, hillary clinton, economic policy, democratic party

A Ted Cruz Loss Would Help GOP Recover

This week, Senator Ted Cruz announced his intentions to run for president in 2016. TCF fellow Michael Cohen weighed in on Cruz's campaign launch, explaining why as a Democrat and progressive, he hopes to see Cruz become the Republican Party's presidential nominee next year.

The only hope — and it’s a faint one — of returning the GOP to normalcy is by nominating the most extreme, yet still representative, member of the party and having him suffer a monumental electoral loss.

Cohen's full commentary can be found in the Boston Globe.

Tags: ted cruz, tea party, republican party, presidential race, michael cohen, gop, boston globe

Answer Koch Money with People Power

In January, the right-wing political organization Freedom Partners unveiled a staggering $889 million budget heading into the 2016 presidential election. With billionaire donors like the Koch brothers poised to spend more money than the official Republican party itself, TCF fellow Amy B. Dean advocates for more robust grass-roots methods for fighting big money in politics, specifically in terms of unions.

Of all the grass-roots groups, unions are the best equipped to mount a counterattack on the Kochs’ ability to dominate the airwaves. Unions organize constituencies and lower barriers to political participation for their members. They allow people to come together and promote shared goals such as improved public services and middle-class jobs.

Read the rest of Dean's article in Al Jazeera.

Tags: unions, presidential race, money in politics, grassroots, campaign finance reform, campaign finance, amy dean, al jazeera america, al jazeera

The GOP’s Political Incompetence in Selma

In honor of the 50 year anniversary of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, President Obama delivered a heartfelt and patriotic speech onsite in Selma. TCF fellow Harold Pollack says that there was something disheartening about this event however, which he explains as the apparent absence of several prominent GOP members. He says this behavior is increasingly out of step with the changing society we live in today.

There is now the tawdry effort to reverse-engineer and hinder the Obama ’08 campaign’s success in turning out African-American and Latino voters. In battleground states where the GOP controls the statehouse, Republicans seem conspicuously more interested in hindering early minority voting practices than in actively engaging minority communities.

Read Pollack's full article here.

Tags: voting rights act, selma, race inequality, gop

Republican Policies Don’t Help People of Color

The approach to appropriate income and wealth distribution has always been at odds between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans seem to deny the existence of racial gaps when it comes to this distribution, whereas Democrats aim to alleviate them. TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler is cited in the Al-Jazeera America article saying that Republicans use items such as "subtle tax breaks and benefits such as marriage subsidies and the mortgage interest deduction," which are part of what she calls the "submerged state" to garner electoral support.

Black income growth stalls when a Democratic president is paired with a Republican Congress. Furthermore, the longer Democrats are in power, the stronger the economic gains for blacks. By contrast, blacks fare worse when Republicans are in office longer. There are similar racial gaps in the criminal justice system.

Read the full article from Al-Jazeera America.

Tags: submerged state, republican party, racial inequality, racial gaps, democratic party

Dems’ Scary Electoral Future: Why the Progressive Sales Pitch is Getting Harder

TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler's theory of the "submerged state" in America is used as evidence of the slight migration of the middle class to the right on the political spectrum. The Salon article cites Mettler's theory saying that government does in fact benefit the middle class under Democratic leadership, but the benefits go largely unnoticed because they com in everyday forms of healthcare and housing to the assuming middle class.

“The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits… The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last years.”

Read the rest of the Salon story here.

Tags: poverty, political polarization, middle-class, income tax


Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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