Hey Democrats, the Problem Isn’t Jobs and Growth

It’s inequality.

By James Kwak

This American Life‘s forays into politics and economics are generally less satisfying than their ordinary storytelling fare. That’s especially true when they try to answer some specific question, like “What is wrong with the Democratic Party?”—the subject of a segment last month. The story did have some telling moments, however, most vividly when moderate Congresswoman Cheri Bustos was trying to pitch the party’s forgettable and already-forgotten “Better Deal” message (which she helped design) to a local newspaper. Here are a couple of excerpts. (The audio begins at 53:50, or you can read the transcript).

First, on jobs:

Cheri Bustos

We want to be in a position to help create 10 million good-paying, full-time jobs. There are still people hurting, and I think we need to acknowledge that and say that we want to do something about that.

Chuck Sweeney

Right. Well, Donald Trump says that, too. … He says exactly the same thing. Too many people are still out of work. You know, we need to do something about bringing back jobs.

And on Democratic support for cutting corporate taxes:

Cheri Bustos

And so as long as [the corporate tax rate is] highest in the world, we’re not going to have corporations who are going to bring that money home. So there’s got to be some incentive.

Chuck Sweeney

OK. I didn’t—see, I think, once again, I have no idea what the Democratic Party actually stands for anymore. I didn’t during the 2016 campaign, either, which is probably why it wasn’t the winning campaign.

As politics, this is laughably amateurish, and Sweeney slices it to ribbons. When it comes to the economy, the centrist Democratic message is that ordinary people are struggling and we want to create better jobs for them—which is exactly what Donald Trump says. Wait, we say, we’re better at creating jobs! But Trump and the Republicans have a clear story about how they will create jobs: cut taxes on job creators, increase incentives to work and invest, eliminate “job-killing” regulations, deport immigrants who “take away jobs,” and rewrite trade deals that hurt American workers. Our story is: “But none of that actually works: Cutting taxes doesn’t increase growth, regulation is necessary for a healthy economy, immigration actually helps Americans, trade deals help more people than they hurt, blah blah blah”—because everyone has already tuned out by now. The facts and the economics may be on our side, but that and $3 will buy you a coffee at Starbucks. As Sweeney points out, Bustos stands for the exact same thing Trump does (on economic issues). The only readily apparent difference is she thinks Democrats can deliver better than Republicans—and we know how far technocratic competence will take you in today’s political environment.

As politics, it’s inept. But as policy, it’s beside the point.

All these moderate Democrat congressional hopefuls (who keep calling me to ask for thousands of dollars without having the faintest idea what I believe in) seem to think that what the American people need is more growth and more jobs.

Growth and jobs are not the problem.

Sure, all things being equal, more growth and more jobs are better than less growth and fewer jobs. But if you look at recent history, we’ve had enough growth. The problem, as is well known to anyone (except centrist Democrats, apparently) is how that growth has been shared. Since 1980, real per capita gross domestic product — total economic output per person — has grown by 82% (1.7% per year), while real median household income has increased by only 16% (less than 0.5% per year). Over the same period, the proportion of household wealth owned by the bottom 90% has fallen from 32.9% to 22.8% (see Saez and Zucman, Appendix Table B1). In other words, if wealth inequality had not increased, ordinary American families would have 44% more stuff—more housing, more education, more health care, more retirement security—than they actually do today. That’s a lot of stuff.

But, Bustos and her clan will object, they want to provide better jobs. That was part of the slogan that—as you can tell from the audio—no one really believed in: “better jobs, better wages, and a better future.” But the only things they can think of to help people get these better jobs are infrastructure investment (which could create a burst of decent-paying construction jobs) and job retraining. The problem is much deeper.

We live in a deeply unfair and unequal world. Children born into rich families have the best educational and extracurricular opportunities that money and well-educated parents can provide. Children born into poor families, not so much. There are exceptions, of course, but few people born into the bottom quintile (by lifetime income) can realistically compete with those born into the top quintile. Few people laid off from factory jobs in their fifties are going to have second careers as Silicon Valley software developers or Wall Street traders, no matter how much money we spend on job retraining. It just isn’t going to happen.

On top of the skills problem, there is the problem of capital and labor. In the contemporary economy, an increasing share of the surplus goes to capital and a decreasing share to labor. Ordinary people haven’t lost ground simply because they lack skills. On the contrary, labor productivity has gone up by 94% since 1980 (1.9% per year). They have lost ground because the rewards have been claimed by a handful of top executives and mainly by shareholders. There are many reasons for this—most recently the Trump tax bill, which, by cutting corporate taxes, increased the value of existing stocks. The bottom line is that there are millions of people with considerable job skills who make barely enough to get by. Consider customer service representatives, for example, who have to navigate complicated software programs while dealing with frustrated and often irate customers who can often barely articulate what problems they are having. The reason they don’t make a lot of money isn’t that they are unskilled; it’s that their employers have all the market power.

Moderate Democrats think we can solve our problems with a little more economic growth, more job retraining, and a modestly higher minimum wage. This is a fantasy.

Our economy segments people into classes brutally and unfairly at birth and then distributes the vast bounty it produces in a harshly unequal manner. Higher growth and a slightly more skilled workforce are not going to change this.

We have to recognize two things.

First, for the rest of my lifetime and probably yours, there are going to be millions of people who will be left behind by the economy through no fault of their own. We have to take care of those people. We have to because we have a moral obligation as a society. And the Democratic Party has to because we have to be the party of poor and working families. (We know the Republicans aren’t.) We have to make sure they have housing, health care, and the ability to retire. Those have to be universal rights, guaranteed by the federal government and funded by taxes on the fortunate. We have to take those problems completely off the table. We have to say, “If you are part of the American community, you will have a place to live, you will have food to eat, you will have health care when you are sick, and you will be able to retire when you are old.” Only then will the extreme inequality of the market economy be at least minimally tolerable.

Second, if we ever want to build a better society, we have to address the problem of inequality at its source. We have to chip away at the pervasive unfairness of our society by doing everything we can to reduce the vast advantages of the wealthy and the fortunate: a higher minimum wage, but also paid family leave, child care subsidies, universal public preschool, better public K–12 schools, free public higher education, subsidized internship programs, and progressive taxation to pay for it all. That’s what it will take just to begin to reverse the tide of increasing inequality.

Every American has a right to a decent standard of living. And every American has a right to a better, more fair society. That should be our message.

33 thoughts on “Hey Democrats, the Problem Isn’t Jobs and Growth

  1. I agree with all you say. My question is, how do we get growth into the economy? I am all for re-distributing the wealth – but, although, (i certainly don’t know for sure), it seems that won’t make a real dent in the economy. Doesn’t steps need to be taken to be both more competitive with low wage nations laborers? —- as well, re-configuring how our society produces goods (like food), to lower costs? How about ending mono-transportation in favor of modernized mass transportation? Diminishing our addiction to wars and their heavy cost load? In short, i am not convinced that the problem of lack of growth can be explained by re-distribution of wealth alone.

  2. Very consistent with Temin’s book on the vanishing middle class – a dual economy and society – low wage section (~80%) and prosperous FTE sector – finance, tech, electronics (~20%). And much of the upper sector is oblivious about the condition of the low wage section.

  3. http://wallstreetonparade.com/2018/02/as-sec-chairs-family-grows-rich-from-corporate-secrecy-firm-u-s-named-2-facilitator-of-illicit-money/

    “….In other words, if wealth inequality had not increased, ordinary American families would have 44% more stuff—more housing, more education, more health care, more retirement security—than they actually do today. That’s a lot of stuff…..”

    Got hammered from the “illicit” side, also. Just sayin’….

  4. I am a chair for the Anderson County Democratic Party in East Tennessee. A red county which we are slowly flipping with the very message here. We use FDR’s second bill of rights from 1944 as our baseline (no pun intended) to drive our messaging & policy proposals. Keep this up- it helps us here.

  5. I think that artificial intelligence, when it really begins to accelerate its employment in our economy, will prove Mr. Kwak’s third- and second-to-the-last paragraphs to be conditions for survival of our civilization.

  6. Agree with all of Kwak’s views. Unfortunately, except for the Warren/Sanders wing, the Democrats are largely uninterested if not hostile to this viewpoint. MOst of today’s Democratic Party structure and leadership is built around social issues, not economic ones. It focuses on race/gender identity and empathy, not class identity and empathy, as the party of Roosevelt did. (Interesting post from East Tennessee,BTW.). While this situation is complex, of course, it seems to me basically to stem from an alliance between economic conservatives, long present in the party, and the race-gender social issue industrial complex of consultants, fundraisers, pols, etc., that have a lot tto gain by seeing “their” issues dominate the party, and a lot to lose by sharing power with those who organize around economic issues. Remember how some Black LIves Matter demonstrators harassed Sanders’ campaign events when Sanders took off during the 2016 primaries?

    Don’t get me wrong. Race and gender equity are vital, and these issues should be central to Dem. Identity and message. BLack lives do matter. My point is that ordinary people most affected by these issues will fare better if these issues do not stand alone,but alongside real economic populism, based on class identity and empathy. There will be more race/gender progress with class consciousness, than without it.

  7. One of the primary reasons for the inequality is immigration. Those plutocrats generally vote Democrat and know exactly what they’re doing by bringing in a helot class to work for wages that Americans won’t.

  8. Jobs and growth aren’t the problem? Really now? Wages fell from 1973-1994/6 for over half the workforce according to the Economic Policy Institute. Wages rose from 1997-2003, as well as in 2007-9 due to changing labor force characteristics, and they rose from 2014-2017. The difference in wage increases was due to continued job growth and economic expansion.

    What you are saying about “moderate” Democrats is that perception matters more than policy, which I agree with, however when you say they and the Republicans are saying the same thing, that is not true, you are excusing the ignorance of voters which is ironic given you bemoan the consequences of their apathy towards policy.

    The increase in labor productivity doesn’t have much to do with the skill of labor, think of deskilling in manufacturing and Fordism, which greatly increased productivity.

    Your support for free public college is ironic since you claim more education won’t help much and it will reduce wages for college graduates through increased supply and increase corporate profits and inequality.

    Since you think inequality is a problem, what do you think of the fact that Singapore and Hong Kong have higher life expectancies than the Nordic countries, and that Singapore does better than any Nordic on most objective metrics of well being.

  9. I agree that the problem is NOT “jobs and growth”.

    The problem is – the Shamans of Technology with their “defragmentalize, deconstruct, and disrupt shenanagins that support the absolute perfection of their “deranged” math:

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    CLEARLY, whatever trickled down was just a booster scam to increase what was sucked up…

    Politics is not going to solve the “problem”.

  10. Inequality is a corruption. It is not a social mechanistic design flaw that needs to be architecturally engineered, politically administered and corporately market managed towards some equilibrium model. In fact of reality, these component sectors are competitively at odds and in counterbalance with each other. What do Koch brothers and Mercer family have in common? Inequality. And what do they want? Power over more inequality. Jobs and growth are campaign messages that can not be ignored because votes follow that promise of security. And who will voters believe? the business people that appear (vulgar empiricism) to be self evidently capable of supplying growth…hence jobs seem reasonable to follow. The fact that it never happens that way is irrelevant since the same lies work over again in the context of insecurity. So insecurity is a political virtue to Republicans, and a vice to democrats. The very people that create insecurity feed on inequality and after several decades of the same liew, the “base” was told that the “Establishment” was responsible. And the results were the same, with people herded into consensus with talking points. And what do the frustrated Democratic intellectuals repeat over and over: “Where’ our power message?” they inadvertently copy the opposition republicans in their vague attempt to find success that eludes them. So basic needs sell, but the problem is that the corporate gangs that are the Republican [party are more convincing when they promise things, and even more convincing when they blame the Democrats for not having these before, and why they don’t have things now, and how they alone will make things right in the future. So it is manipulation that sells and it is insecurity that lures, and it is inequality that gives power to the “haves” and the fuel that makes the confidence game continue over again. The system is built on escaping inequality and everything in that system assures that the insecurity trap stays vital to that escape.
    There has never been such an obvious display of this corruption than this past year in political and economic spoils at work on the public consciousness.

  11. The way everyone learned about Intel chips et al being built from the beginning to track “currency”, if you will, (control of “inequality”) was because some bad bad person (illegally??) hacked into that “deep state” data collection stream that was the guarantee for infinite inequality (math again, sigh).

    The Shamans of Technology are the new untouchable priest class – the judges of right and wrong….its disgusting….

    Good luck with the gender schtick – that smart phone will NEVER have an “app” that will clean a dirty diaper when you wave the phone over the diaper. So woman’s future is horrific – worst priest class yet!

    Five year olds are being raised YELLING at their female voice “alexa” device at home and then acting the same way to ANY real female out in the world – so who is that kid who is used to yelling at female voice “devices” and female humans the same way going to grow up to be – a Republican or a Democrat? Which political party wants him?

    As for the activist sister-together street gangs against Trump…? Why was I NOT surprised to see that only the nasty girls – petty criminals (manipulative)and all-mouth mentally lazy social media abusers – are out there being “righteous”. Yikes. Is that all there is…?

    It is not a post truth society. It is a lawless society. Top down,

    When bearing false witness, stealing, and MURDER are not “sins” but rather procedures that We the People need to be convinced are procedures that are in our own best interest to forgive the elite if they do such things because that is how the “system” works – for OUR “security”, then are we in the realm of “politics”?!

    I’m offended that I have to go through such diplomatic contortionism instead of calling a spade a spade….CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY being the POLITICALLY protected domain of the criminally insane.

    The CHIPS were built to STEAL. And we were told that we MUST use them to “apply for a job”. Corruption? OK, but also so much more…

  12. Compulsory national service for men and women ages 18 to 20 would be good policy to help reduce inequality, by:
    * providing a leveling effect by mingling people from diverse backgrounds
    * promoting fitness through a period of physical training
    * training each citizen in an Occupational Specialty
    * remediating education for HS dropouts
    * providing workforce for national manpower initiatives
    * giving everyone “skin in the game”
    * offering work experience, income, and time before college
    * justifying medicare for all and affordable college tuition
    As a society we should not be leaving our wounded on the battlefield of life.

  13. I have been aggressively sending this around:
    One frequent and common criticism of the Democratic Party is that it does not have a solid, coherent unified platform that serves the entire country.
    James Kwak addresses that shortcoming here, with what seems to be a concise agenda for healing the country.
    https://economism.net/the-importance-of-fairness-57aaf694fea7 ;
    Jun 15, 2017
    The Baseline Scenario
    James Kwak
    The Importance of Fairness
    A New Economic Vision for the Democratic Party
    I like his Executive summary:
    here it is, in 27 words:
    All people need a few basic things:
    An education
    A job
    A place to live
    Health care
    A decent retirement
    Let’s make sure everyone has these things.
    Of course simply prescribing the Rx without inscribing the Dx is a faulty platform if the root cause and foundation is not supporting that healing process. So I add this to the mailings:
    Yascha Mounk
    March 2018 Issue
    America Is Not a Democracy
    How the United States lost the faith of its citizens—and what it can do to win them back
    [ A…] nasty suspicion has taken hold: that the levers of power are not controlled by the people.
    —————————Perhaps the real problem………………………..
    with the Democratic “Party” is that American “Democracy” (itself) is in question. Which Begs the Question: “…Is the Party Over? “

  14. I believe in exactly as you wrote it, 100%. However, what do you think the impact of Immigration may have on your proposal? Higher taxes on the wealthy, lower standards for the less fortunate?

    Personally, I don’t think ‘America’ will be around long enough to achieve even a rudimentary balanced standard for living.

  15. Dems are pigs at the trough as well. Why should they care about the little guy, the poor, the sick?

    “Better jobs” come as a result of education. You can’t just generate jobs out of thin air. People must have skills in order to be employed in high-wage positions. In order to become educated they need stable housing and food, healthcare, and real no-bs schooling. The basic needs pay themselves back with an educated workforce. The US only thinks in terms of short term profits, and its leaders (Dems too) are solely focused on getting their shot at corrupt wealth and status.

  16. “….All people need a few basic things:
    An education
    A job
    A place to live
    Health care
    A decent retirement
    Let’s make sure everyone has these things….”

    Yup – all that was the “job” of multi-generational families with millennia of experience in providing food, clothing, shelter and security.

    ….wait, Wall Street claims from on high
    “Not everyone deserves to own a home….”

    Obviously, not everyone deserves the other stuff, either…

    You cannot “legislate” morality. But EVERYONE has the right to protect themselves against lying stealing and MURDERING, especially if that is what ism-soaked psychos embedded in “government” spend their days churning out WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS!

  17. Mr. Kwak,

    One small quibble:

    Near the end, you write, “We have to chip away at the pervasive unfairness of our society by doing everything we can to reduce the vast advantages of the wealthy and the fortunate….”

    It’s not the advantages of the fortunate, but the disadvantages of the unfortunate, that weaken our society. Everything else in your piece, including the remainder of that sentence, suggests that you agree. To some, those two might seem like the same thing. I say they are not, and a significant cause of our current situation is that too many people buy into the sort of zero-sum thinking that assumes they must be the same thing… and that’s why it matters.

    Thank you for a clear and worthwhile article.

  18. ….A place to live:
    From the American Prospect: http://prospect.org/article/needless-default
    A Needless Default
    The administration’s foreclosure relief program was designed to help bankers, not homeowners. That disgrace will haunt Democrats.
    By David Dayen
    February 8, 2015
    “Politicians, economists, and commentators are debating the causes of the rise in inequality of income and wealth. But one primary cause is beyond debate: the housing collapse, and the government’s failure to remedy the aftermath. According to economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the bottom 90 percent of Americans saw one-third of their wealth wiped out between 2007 and 2009, and there has been no recovery since. This makes sense, as a great deal of the wealth held by the middle and working classes, particularly among African Americans and Hispanics, is in home equity, much of which evaporated after the bubble popped. The effects have been most severe in poor and working-class neighborhoods, where waves of foreclosure drove down property values, even on sound, well-financed homes. Absent a change in policy, Saez and Zucman warn, “all the gains in wealth democratization achieved during the New Deal and the postwar decades could be lost.”
    David Dayen is a contributing writer to Salon.com who also writes for The Intercept, The New Republic, and The Fiscal Times. His first book, Chain of Title, about three ordinary Americans who uncover Wall Street’s foreclosure fraud, was released by The New Press on May 17, 2016.

  19. Missing from James Kwak’s Democratic Platform priorities:
    #1 Priority
    A secured “equal” vote in their Representative Government:
    Conservatives Against Democracy
    Josh Mound (https://jacobinmag.com/author/josh-mound)
    “In 2013, Republicans administered the coup de grace. The conservative Supreme Court majority it had devoted years to winning struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, opening the door to even more draconian voter suppression legislation.
    Mass Democracy and Social Democracy

    In recent years, in language often reminiscent of their right-wing forebears, conservative thinkers have seemed perhaps even more willing to drop all pretenses and express their outright contempt for democracy.

    The National Review’s Kevin Williamson, sounding much like William F. Buckley, groused in 2012, “The sacramentalization of the act of voting represents the worst of the democratic impulse and contributes to the ongoing conversion of our republican institutions into so many tribunes of the plebs.” Longtime anti-ACORN fearmonger Matthew Vadum echoed Buchanan and Reagan in a 2011 American Thinker piece titled “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American,” claiming that expanding voting was really about “helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money.”

    Taking the Right’s view of poor voters to its logical conclusion, conservatives like Ann Coulter and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, among others, have come out in favor of reinstituting literacy tests at the polls; right-libertarians like Jason Brennan have proclaimed their wholesale opposition to democracy.

    This is the anti-democratic petri dish that spawned Trump. For years, conservative media outlets, right-wing writers, and GOP politicians carefully built up the voter fraud myth in order to win support for restrictive voting measures. Their intent was to depress turnout among groups unfavorable to Republicans. But along the way, they helped push the GOP base to conspiratorial heights, contributing to Trump’s odious emergence.

    Republicans’ selective amnesia shouldn’t fool anyone.”

  20. https://shorensteincenter.org/pre-primary-news-coverage-2016-trump-clinton-sanders/#The_Democratic_Race
    Pre-Primary News Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Race: Trump’s Rise, Sanders’ Emergence, Clinton’s Struggle
    “A new report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzes news coverage of the 2016 presidential candidates in the year leading up to the primaries.”

    “The Democratic race in 2015 received less than half the coverage of the Republican race.
    June 13, 2016, 6:00 am
    By Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press
    (Selected quoted statements of facts in the study)

    “When critics have accused journalists of fueling the Trump bandwagon, members of the media have offered two denials. One is that they were in watchdog mode, that Trump’s coverage was largely negative, that the “bad news” outpaced the “good news.” The second rebuttal is that the media’s role in Trump’s ascent was the work of the cable networks—that cable was “all Trump, all the time” whereas the traditional press held back.

    Neither of these claims is supported by the evidence.”

    “News coverage of the Democratic race was markedly different than that of the Republican race in nearly every respect, except for the core dynamic—reporting that was rooted in news values and narrated around the horserace”.

    “Whereas media coverage helped build up Trump, it helped tear down Clinton. Trump’s positive coverage was the equivalent of millions of dollars in ad-buys in his favor, whereas Clinton’s negative coverage can be equated to millions of dollars in attack ads, with her on the receiving end”
    Is it really about Journalism and the News?
    The truth is that revenue from business advertisement itself is not even mentioned in this detailed study as a primary profit driven incentive for the actual networks that carry or produce news for public consumption (That is; for sale). Corporate advertising follows market audience share. Trump provided market share. Meanwhile, Republicans generally represent big business and their loyal lobby supporters. Those same corporate interests buy advertisement and corporate media is subservient to that interest.

    Conclusion: social consciousness doesn’t sell advertisement. There was no “free” news coverage for Republicans and Trump…, it was market based to sell advertisement space with everyone locked to their media channels mentally hacked by attention grabbing headlines. Breaking news and ribbon floating footnotes ran on a steady stream of opinion and tension driven, if nauseating, “debate” that had its own illogical dissonance.
    The Democratic message simply fails competitive market profit incentives where corporate republicans dominate and practically monopolize media market priorities of attention seeking messaging. Campaign finance may well pump a great amplified amount of revenue into media, but the business of media is advertisement, and that is the capital base that drives the messaging and the narrative that follows it.

  21. I. We need more democracy.
    II. We need to advocate for a restructuring of work and life in the United States. Real democratic citizenship and equal dignity for all cannot be realized without changes in the way we live and work
    III. We need to restore the bargaining power of labor and restore work and the people who do it to a place of privilege over capital and the people who own it.
    “The ruthless Republican solution is based on permitting plutocratic capitalists to lord it over a demoralized and insecure workforce…”

    “The 21st century in America is the battlefield on which will be waged a moral and political war to determine which shall be the dominant form of social organization in our country: (i) the democratic form of organization based on the equality of all and the engaged participation of all members of a social organization in the decisions determining the future of that organization, or (ii) the corporate form of organization based on hierarchical systems of command and control. Both of these forms of organization may survive in some degree, but only one can be dominant. Democracy must win. Americans must choose decisively to embrace the best parts of its muddled but vigorous democratic tradition, and extend democratic forms of decision-making throughout the social sphere.”

    “And that doesn’t just mean we need more elections and more access to voting. We need more real, honest to goodness, full-participation, deliberative, hands-on democracy. We need more active citizen engagement in all aspects of the processes that determine our future. We need more democracy at the national, regional, state, local and sub-local level. And we also need more democracy inside organizations, including corporations. We need, in a word, an American democratic renaissance.”
    excerpted from:
    Three Pillars of Democratic Empowerment
    Posted on September 23, 2013 by Dan Kervick |

  22. …..A JOB….
    Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act
    A job guarantee (JG)
    “In the United States, the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act of 1978 allows the government to create a “reservoir of public employment” in case private enterprise does not provide sufficient jobs. These jobs are required to be in the lower ranges of skill and pay so as to not draw the workforce away from the private sector. However, the act did not establish such a reservoir (it only authorized it), and no such program has been implemented in the United States, even though the unemployment rate has generally been above the rate (3%) targeted by the act.”

  23. ………………… Health and Education……………………………
    Public capital is the aggregate body of government-owned assets that are used as a means for productivity.(including Health and Education)
    Worldwide, transformative public capital investments are taking place for social and economic improvements that serve the public and private sector alike.
    “Perhaps the largest contribution to the public works system in the U.S. came out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives particularly the creation of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935. … the WPA employed at its peak 3.35 millions unemployed heads-of-households to work in rebuilding the country. The program helped construct millions of roads, bridges, parks, schools, hospitals, and levees while also providing educational programs, childcare, job training, and medical services.”
    DEMOCRATIC PARTY. It is the height of folly for Democrats to compete with the Republicans (the party of corporate interest) over private capital. In fact, democrats are accused of being hypocrites when they are too entrenched with private finance and vested/private interests.
    The use of the moral panic over “socialism” requires some retooling.
    Democrats need to make social capitalism “cool” and make private “elite”capitalism serve society as a priority rather than the individual
    pegged to wealth;
    (a false paradise) promising everyone special status and luxury living.

  24. ……………………………….HEALTH……
    By Claire Topal
    August 11, 2014
    A product development partnership (PDP) is a 21st-century nonprofit organizational structure that enables the public, private, academic, and philanthropic sectors to aggregate funding for the development of drugs, vaccines, and other health tools as public goods. PDPs target neglected diseases whose solutions lack commercial incentives…
    less well known than the PPPs, the PDPs are a non-profit potential for the 21st Century in regards to Research and Development in all sectors. It should be adjoined under investments into Public capital including specialized advanced Education targeted to crisis and strategic needs.
    see: The Value of Product Development Partnerships

  25. ……………EDUCATION…..
    In a society based on participation, empowerment, and democracy, shouldn’t education be participatory, empowering, and democratic?
    What Does Democratic Education Look Like?
    The United States of America is founded on democracy and the democratic values of meaningful participation, personal initiative, and equality and justice for all.
    Uniting democratic values with the educational process is not a new idea. Over the last 120 years, leading thinkers from John Dewey to Marian Wright Edelman and Margaret Mead to Paulo Freire have articulated the basic hypothesis that:
    If living in democratic societies committed to human rights creates well-being,
    If people learn primarily based on the people and environment that surrounds them,
    If culture is transmitted from one generation to another,
    We need to create environments where people of all ages, especially youth, are immersed in the values, practices, and beliefs of democratic societies and human rights.

  26. ………..A decent Retirement…….
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the right to social security in articles 22, which states that:

    “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.”[2]

    And article 25, which enshrines the right to an adequate standard of living, stating that:

    “(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.”[3]

  27. Hey Democrats. what should be our message?
    In opposition to the fallacy of “Free Market Inadvisable Hands”,
    along with their invisible intentions,
    Democrats need a simple alternative.
    A FAIR MARKET SOCIETY, based on authentic freedom.
    A FAIR MARKET SOCIETY prioritizing liberty and equality.
    A FAIR MARKET SOCIETY that prioritizes DIGNITY for ALL.
    SHARE IT !

  28. There is so much data available about the “fruits” of 20th century “isms”.


    With 8 billion humans, and counting, every sovereign nation needs to establish a man to land ratio and stick to it because “human rights” will never float free of a wise and sustainable use of resources. People need to stay put in their own land – immigration in the 21st century for a better life is a lie.

    You cannot suck all the oil out of the earth’s mantle without catastrophic consequences.

    The “selfie stick” techno-economy is not a greater human achievement than what “labor” invented WITHOUT CAPITAL INCENTIVES and built for themselves during the “Industrial Revolution”. In FACT, that kind of puerile and greedy selfie-stick techno-economy is the greatest EXISTENTIAL threat, yet, to the future of earth and all of life.

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME may be the ultimate “truth” math can provide, but that is all that the “isms” of the 20th century came up with and it is as incompetent to deal with the REALITY of humanity’s situation at this point in time as are its delusional politicians.

    Bearing false witness, stealing, and murdering will FOREVER remain against the LAWS that human beings, globally, have EARNED the right to enforce amongst themselves.

  29. Three strikes, you’re OUT


    Nihilism. Hedonism. Anarchy.

    Bearing false witness, stealing, and murder. AKA “war”….

    Welcome to AI and the “algorithms”’ – the existential threat just got “real”?


    Isn’t this website about “what happened”….?

    End the Federal Reserve Board. They are cosmically insane and the “hackers” know it….

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