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Muda69

The Progressive Revolution: From Democratic to Liberal to Progressive to Socialist

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https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/progressive-revolution-ends-in-socialism/

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Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008 despite, not because of, his most partisan voting record in the Senate. They were once willing to look past his earlier dubious associations with abject anti-Semites such as the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, former terrorists like Bill Ayers, and unhinged characters such as Father Pfleger. They also averted their eyes from Obama’s often quite offensive commentary, in his autobiography and during the 2008 campaign (e.g., “typical white person” and “they cling to…” speech).

Instead, voters were tired of the Iraq War (which was over for all practical purposes by the time of the November 2008 election).

They were, of course, terrified by the September 2008 financial meltdown (which had been mostly stabilized four months later by the time of the inauguration) and irate at the kid-gloves treatment accorded often conniving banks and investors.

They were convinced that Obama might be healing and transformative as the first African-American president, supposedly only slightly to the left of a far steadier and more qualified Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell. And half the Democrats were already becoming sick of Hillary Clinton once they became reacquainted with her on the 2008 primary-campaign trail.

As is typical of American politics, voters in 2008 also wanted to change the party in power after it had been in the lead for eight years, and the lame-duck president fell out of favor. Voters certainly were underwhelmed by an uninspiring, herky-jerky, mostly incompetent John McCain campaign, notable for his “that’s not who we are” comments and his willingness to “lose nobly.”

Such was the naïve dream.

The reality by 2013 was that voters got an increasing hard-core liberal-progressive revolution that, after Obama’s 2012 reelection, increasingly polarized America over the reach of the federal government, immigration, and race. Scandals at the DOJ and IRS were often political in nature. By summer 2016, the Obama administration had weaponized the intelligence agencies and his own justice department to such a degree that unleashed bureaucrats and appointees actively sought to intervene in a presidential campaign to undermine the opposition candidate and to lay the foundation for sabotaging the incoming president’s transition and administration.

An overregulated economy stagnated, requiring ever more federal intervention and borrowing. Students on campuses lost constitutional protections, especially under the First and Fifth Amendments, as universities finalized their long transformation into indoctrination centers. Obama recalibrated American foreign policy in neutralist fashion, and in a way that made Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia more suspect than Iran, Turkey, or Cuba.

Culturally, diversity replaced affirmative action, on the principle that formerly documented grievances or class status no longer mattered, at least compared with skin color. The real divide was now between a non-white, far greater collective that harbored purported grievances against a reconstituted and much smaller white majority and its “privilege and “supremacy.” When feminists and gays were included in the diverse intersectional bloc of Asians, Latinos, blacks, and immigrants, a supposed new majority of “woke” Americans now would have electoral control over a culpable and soon to become irrelevant minority. The “content of our character” and all that became “inoperative.”

All this was largely the legacy of an otherwise mostly unsuccessful Obama administration whose record was one of massive debt, an ossified economy, decreased sovereignty, increased ethnic and racial tensions, and a confused foreign policy perceived abroad as apologetic and contrite, and therefore useful to rivals and enemies.

The Socialist-Progressive Takeover

Yet Obama had hit on something in his move to the hard left. After he left office, unapologetic leftists were less coy (the old smear of “socialist” was now a term of endearment) and began to extinguish what little was left of Bill Clinton’s old, occasionally moderate Democratic party.

The reelection of Obama had convinced progressives that he had discovered electoral magic: record voter registration, turnout, and block voting of “minorities” that could overcome the old Perot, Reagan Democrat, silent majority, and tea-party dinosaurs in the critical swing states. This chemistry, they thought, would be inherently transferrable even to multimillionaire white establishmentarians like Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden (but only if they were reeducated and thus made the necessary confessionals about their own white privilege and shared disdain for “deplorables” and “the dregs of society”).

Suddenly, everything seemed possible as woke activists, à la French Revolution, accelerated the possible into the already passé.

In just a few years, mere acceptance (rather than endorsement) of gay marriage was veritable homophobia. Assimilation and integration were seen as tantamount to cultural appropriation and imperialism. Conservation and market-based encouragement of alternative energy were the appeasement of “climate deniers” and showed a cowardly reluctance to go the full green mile and eventually ban the internal combustion engine. The Kavanaugh hearing, the Covington-kids fiasco, and the Jussie Smollett farce made clear that the Left was no longer liberal but hard-left and fact-free.

Secure borders and deportation of illegal aliens who had committed crimes were themselves humanitarian “crimes.” Building the wall went to stopping the wall to promoting the tearing down of the wall. The notions of affirmation action and disparate impact became Sixties’ relics, when “reparation” was the real goal. Prior street-theater groups such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter seemed timid anachronisms compared with Antifa and its masked hoodlums who torched and beat up anything in their path.

“Legal but rare” abortion became a sellout position, given that any woman had a right to partial-birth abortion and even infanticide if she so chose. A dream of a 50 percent income-tax rate on top incomes went to talk of 70 percent then to 90 percent and then to a wealth tax as just deserts. To enlarge the electorate, illegal aliens should vote first in local elections, but then why not everywhere? Sixteen-years olds could too, and so why not ex-felons as well? About a $1.5 trillion in student debt should be forgiven — but then tuition should be free for all (as should Medicare).

The appearance and success of the polarizing Donald Trump supercharged the ongoing progressive revolution. The rallying cries of “collusion,” “treason,” and the new “Manchurian candidate” won over any holdout Democrat and seduced the emasculated Never Trump right into becoming useful colluding idiots. The 2018 Democratic midterm victory in the House was not seen in historical context: Trump in fact had fared much better in both the House and Senate in his first midterm than had either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama at that point in their presidencies, both of whom were easily reelected, while mostly centrist candidates had given the Democrats the new House majority.

By spring 2019, we were light years beyond the revolution’s beginning in summer 2008 — and heading into hard-socialist territory and beyond.

Indeed, the once edgy community-organizing Obama himself had become a tragicomical figure. He spent a bit of his post-presidency warning against a “circular firing squad” of Democratic cannibalism but otherwise was hell-bent on becoming worth $100 million in “I built that fashion”—and was never again heard uttering another “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money” sermon.

Socialism and Beyond

Conventional wisdom would warn Democrats that their surrender to pied pipers such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Al Sharpton, Linda Sasour, and other assorted fakers, con artists, anti-Semites, and street actors would lead them all over the proverbial George McGovern and Walter Mondale cliff into the abyss. But such caution is unlikely for a variety of reasons.

One, Democratic candidates now sound a lot more like Bernie Sanders than he ever sounded like them. The new socialists believe that they have altered the nature of the electorate and the manner in which elections are conducted, and that they will continue to do so at an accelerating pace.

Preemptory charges of “voter suppression” have made required prior registration and voter IDs veritable racist crimes, as voter harvesting and fluid same-day registration and voting are the hallmarks of the future, even as open borders change the demography of the nation. Youth, not experience or tenure, is the requisite for progressive revolution, as brontosauruses like Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer struggle to sputter a few shrill socialist platitudes to maintain minimal relevance. Anti-Semitism is not called out by Democrats, because party leaders fear that Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib are not aberrations but now represent 51 percent of the new Democratic party on both Israel and American Jewry.

Two, few leftist revolutionary cycles ever halt in mid course, whether in 1789 France, 1917 Russia, 1946 China, or 1960 Cuba. The philosophy is always that today’s radical is yesterday’s sell-out to be replaced by tomorrow’s genuine far harder leftist — until the limits of reality are reached and the movement either implodes or leads to an authoritarian Napoleon, Lenin, Mao, or Fidel.

The current socialist trajectory is divorced from reality, whether reality mean the critical role of fossil fuels in maintaining civilization, or the historical record of tribalism destroying nations from Rwanda to the Balkans, or the usual story of soft socialism inevitably turning hard and ending in the mass poverty of a North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba.

 

The End Game

Socialists and hard progressives believe that they already have won about three-fifths of America, defined not by population, polls, or political office, but by cultural clout. They assume that such control will inevitably end in final victory in the Congress and presidency, the same way that that there’s no longer a Republican party to speak of in California and not a single statewide officeholder who is not a Democrat. Seven of 53 House seats are Republican in the California of Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson.

Entertainment and Hollywood are mostly all left-wing and missionary in their progressive zeal. The network news, PBS, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC outnumber talk radio and Fox News.

Most of the major newspapers are progressive. Silicon Valley is harder left still and more audacious in baking ideology into its products from Twitter and Facebook, which censor conservatives, to Google, with its progressive bias in formatting and searches.

The biggest foundations that most fund activists and academics are mostly left-wing. No one believes that the campuses are balanced or even disinterested. Most academics believe that they can be legitimately biased leftward to balance the supposed prejudices of the family, community, and church — noisome cargo that too many of their naïve students bring with them on arrival, which is why they need “cleansing” and “awakening.”

Sports events and reporting are liberal and increasingly avenues to peddle political messages. Corporate America tries to emulate popular culture and thus must adopt left-wing tropes, so it’s trigger-happy in its readiness to shoot down conservatives who are deemed hostile to our shared fated progressive future.

What we are seeing in the Democratic party’s movement to the hard left is not the beginning but the end of a long march. Socialists and progressives believe that control of the Congress, the presidency, and courts is the final missing tessera from their already expansive socialist mosaic.

They believe that the future is theirs. They no longer need to apologize for pushing government-sanctioned redistribution. And with an administrative state that nearly pulled off a coup in the past two years, with 21 trillion dollars in national debt and the courts as de facto progressive legislators, and with an open 2,000-mile border, they may well be right.

Spending the USA into oblivion.  That will be the calling card of the modern progressive socialist.

 

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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/progressive-revolution-ends-in-socialism/

Spending the USA into oblivion.  That will be the calling card of the modern progressive socialist.

 

Spending the USA into oblivion certainly cannot be blamed on Democrats alone. Almost every Congress/President since Nixon has done it exponentially. With the exception of Newt and Bill.

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2 minutes ago, gonzoron said:

Spending the USA into oblivion certainly cannot be blamed on Democrats alone. Almost every Congress/President since Nixon has done it exponentially. With the exception of Newt and Bill.

"But they are doing it as well!!"   That is your only comment?   What are the current batch of uni-party Democrats, liberals, progressives, and socialists doing to stop this tide of spending the USA into oblivion?    Initiatives like the Green New Deal sure don't seem to be it.

 

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27 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

"But they are doing it as well!!"   That is your only comment?

"They" were doing it before the Democrats. What planet have you been living on? I don't agree with the spending proposals of any current political party. Out of control spending cannot be blamed on one party was my comment. Reading comprehension-it's important.

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5 hours ago, gonzoron said:

"They" were doing it before the Democrats. 

Again, so what?  The only appreciable difference between Democrats and Republicans is whose money they want to confiscate.  Uni-Party.

 

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9 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Again, so what?  The only appreciable difference between Democrats and Republicans is whose money they want to confiscate.  Uni-Party.

 

Then why start a thread calling out only Democrats? I do believe you have entered The Twilight Zone.

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10 hours ago, gonzoron said:

Then why start a thread calling out only Democrats? I do believe you have entered The Twilight Zone.

Gotta start somewhere, especially with a economically catastrophic boondoggle like the Green New Swindl.... errr Deal high on the list of progressive priorities.

Where are your threads calling out both sides of the uni-party, Gonzo?

 

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12 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Gotta start somewhere, especially with a economically catastrophic boondoggle like the Green New Swindl.... errr Deal high on the list of progressive priorities.

Where are your threads calling out both sides of the uni-party, Gonzo?

 

Do your parents enjoy living in the Obama created FEMA old people camps?

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11 hours ago, gonzoron said:

Do your parents enjoy living in the Obama created FEMA old people camps?

Last I checked my parents live in the same house they have owned for 50 years, not a FEMA old people camp.    Is that where you live?

 

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21 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Last I checked my parents live in the same house they have owned for 50 years, not a FEMA old people camp.    Is that where you live?

 

No, because they don’t exist. Same with The Green New Deal. It’s not the law. Sky not falling yet 

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1 minute ago, gonzoron said:

No, because they don’t exist. Same with The Green New Deal. It’s not the law. Sky not falling yet 

And I never said that it was, just that it was high on the list of progressive priorities.   That is enough in IMHO to be concerned,  very concerned.

 

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Why Social Democracy is Failing Europe: https://mises.org/wire/why-social-democracy-failing-europe

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There is a certain tension in the phrase, “social democracy,” and the description of someone as a social democrat. Social in this context is socialism by the state. A democrat supports the freedom for individual electors to express and defend personal interests in regular plebiscites. The two positions are incompatible.

At this point we should note that in economic terms there is little philosophical difference between European socialism and communism. Both seek to relieve capitalists of the means of production in favor of the state, either by ownership or control. Marx himself saw socialism as a temporary phase on the way to full communism. However, we all know from experience that communism fails by impoverishing everyone except a coterie of leaders. The same problem of the state’s inability to calculate prices, other than with reference to labor costs, and to foresee what consumers require on the morrow bedevils both socialism and communism. The principal difference between the two is the speed at which economic disintegration takes place, tied to the rate at which the socializing state removes personal freedoms and destroys wealth.

Social democrats assume that moderate socialism does not lead to those outcomes, which is a mistake1. They are deceived.

With social democracy we observe committed socialists and communists using democracy as the pathway towards increasing socialism and eventual communism. But there’s a problem, which in time becomes increasingly obvious to the electorate. Electors become poorer over time, and the more progressive among them seek to escape in order to participate in more capitalistic economies. Lenin and Mao Zedong dealt with this tendency by suppressing all freedom of expression and they redefined democracy to permit only the election of communist officials. Intellectuals, always the first to express discontent, were liquidated or sent to the Soviet gulags and China’s penal labor camps. 

In Western Europe a different, more patient approach was needed for the communist revolution. And this is where the concept of the social democrat springs from.

The tactic was (and still is) to stand firm on socialism and force compromises always to be made by the democrats. For decades it was the basis of Soviet foreign policy, which employed “useful idiots” to spread communism in both universities and political circles. Their influence was what defeated Enoch Powell and still drives Ken Clarke and his fellow appeasers towards greater socialism. It is clear that social democratic politicians need not be communists, only appeasers

Social democratic political parties express a belief in social justice. But social justice is a meaningless term used by the far left to attract support for more extreme forms of socialism. In Europe, social democrats advocating social justice have held sway since the Second World War. But they are becoming victims of their success at taking down capitalism, because they are losing electoral support. 

The era of social democracy appears to be coming to an end. Germany’s SPD recently suffered its worst electoral result since the Second World War, and France’s Socialist Party came fifth in the presidential election won by Emmanuel Macron, a political outsider. Other social democratic parties to have lost ground include the Netherlands’ Labour Party, Italy’s Democratic Party and Austria’s Social Democrats. In the United States there was a rejection of the Democrats in favor of President Trump, who like Macron in France started as a political outsider. 

Brexit was the rejection by the British voter of the socializing controls imposed by a remote super-state. The British parliament initially paid lip-service to the electorate’s wishes, before rallying round its socialist credentials and is now conspiring to stop Brexit. So strong is Parliament’s collective socialist instinct that May’s appeasing government is prepared to destroy its electoral base rather than stand against the socialist tide. It comes at a time when the Labour Party has been captured by a Marxist clique which appears increasingly likely to form the next government. 

Commentators attribute the decline in social democracy to events such as the great financial crisis. This and other reasons are why traditional working-class and blue-collar workers have drifted away. The philosophical conflict between socialism and democracy is at the heart of the rebellion, if only the voters themselves knew it. Instead of rejecting socialism, they are embracing extremes, and the extremes are always socialist extremes. Notably, almost none of the disillusioned social democrats support free markets.

The point missed by most analysts is that social democracy is failing because of the contradiction between personal freedom and state control.

As a form of mild socialism, it fails for the same reason as did communism. It all plays into the hands of the communists, for whom the failure of social democracy is an opportunity. They encourage the rank and file to blame capitalism. The collapse of capitalism is inevitable, as Marx wrote. And its collapse hastens full-blooded communism. Communism is a broken philosophy, as has been clearly demonstrated. But ruthless leaders still see it as the means of obtaining power over their fellow humans.

 

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Everything that has massive government regulation has increased in price...who would have thought?

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California to be first state to provide healthcare to undocumented immigrants: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48585037

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State Democrats agreed on Sunday that adults between the ages of 19 to 25 should have access to Medi-Cal, the state's low-income insurance programme.

The measure must still be approved by the full legislature and be signed by the state's Democratic governor.

The $98m (£77m) plan aims to provide coverage to 100,000 people.

To help pay for the plan, which is part of the latest state budget, lawmakers have proposed taxing people who do not have health insurance.

The penalty is similar to the so-called "individual mandate" which had been federal law after the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare, until Republicans in Congress eliminated it in 2017.

Health coverage under the budget plan will not be provided to all immigrants - and only to those that qualify under the state's version of Medicaid - the federal low income health programme that was expanded under President Obama.

"California believes that health is a fundamental right," said Los Angeles Democratic Senator Holly Mitchell, who led the budget negotiations.

...

“How can we raise money to give insurance to these people who can’t afford it?”

“How about if we tax these other people who can’t afford it?”

“THAT’S IT!”

The progressive mindset on display.  This and taxing the amorphous "rich" who will magically have enough.

 

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Bad Ideas Are Spreading Like the Plague: https://reason.com/2019/07/02/bad-ideas-are-spreading-like-the-plague/

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...

Today, the U.S. is grappling with the worst measles outbreak in a quarter-century. Some 981 cases were confirmed in 26 states between January 1 and May 31—a 26-fold increase from the total in 2004. The CDC anticipates one or two fatalities per 1,000 cases, so it looks like only a matter of time before the disease again starts claiming American lives.

The most tragic thing about the measles resurgence is how wholly unnecessary it is. Whether out of fear, out of ignorance, out of confusion, or out of religious conviction, parents choosing not to vaccinate their kids have allowed immunization rates to drop below the 95 percent threshold required to keep the virus at bay. In October, officials reported that the number of children who haven't received vaccines for preventable diseases had quadrupled since 2001.

At the very moment we succeeded in banishing a deadly affliction from our country, in other words, people began eschewing the measures that made this medical miracle possible.

* * *

Socialism, too, is having an American renaissance. As with measles, if it's allowed to spread, the result will be needless human suffering.

A generation after the fall of the Soviet Union, young Americans have forgotten, if they ever learned, what happens when a citizenry allows itself be enraptured by the promise of communal ownership of a national economy ("Socialism Is Back, and the Kids Are Loving It," page 55). Such regimes have failed whenever and wherever they've been tried, engendering misery, starvation, persecution, and wasted human potential on a massive scale. At this very moment, hyperinflation and desperate shortages of food, medicine, and power are ravaging Venezuela ("Man-Made Disaster in Venezuela," page 75), a previously rich country that had every intention of forging a better, smarter socialist future for the 21st century.

The new wave of young American socialists are quick to insist they have a different, gentler vision—as the Democratic Socialists of America's website puts it, one in which "working people" run things "democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few." But that is a hoped-for end state, not an implementable program. The concrete policies most modern socialists propose—high confiscatory taxes and aggressive wealth redistribution, free college, publicly provided universal health care (and, often, the abolition of private alternatives)—are far more likely to wreak devastation on the well-being of Americans than they are to finally achieve utopia.

Each of these policies does violence to the market-based system of free exchange and private property rights that has underpinned the greatest expansion of human flourishing in human history. Whatever its faults, that system has brought us everything from air conditioning and aspirin to cheap flights and Netflix, all while lifting billions out of abject poverty around the world.

If people cannot keep the fruits of their own labor, Pope Leo XIII wrote in 1891, "the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry." Socialist policies, by giving government rather than individuals control over an ever-larger share of life, move us toward that eventuality. And the ensuing social collapse, like the current measles outbreak, would constitute a man-made disaster—one rendered all the more infuriatingly tragic by the fact that we should know better by now.

* * *

But if the American left has failed to immunize its youngsters against the perils of bad ideology, the right is not faring much better. Even as America prepares to weather the coming socialist storm, a second thunderhead is forming. As Daniel McCarthy put it at First Things in March, Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, "whether consciously or not, drew upon what has been the clear policy alternative to the elite consensus in favor of global liberalism since the early 1990s: economic nationalism, and nationalism more generally."

There are many forms that nationalism can, in theory, take—some, like those now on the rise abroad ("The Terrifying Rise of Authoritarian Populism," page 67), more troubling than others. McCarthy calls for a "mild" variety. Writing in The American Conservative, W. James Antle III insists that the new nationalism "would not be illiberal in any meaningful sense of the word." Shortly after Trump's inauguration, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru and Rich Lowry proposed "a benign nationalism" mostly featuring "loyalty to one's country" and "solidarity with one's countrymen." But as their onetime colleague Jonah Goldberg quipped, benign is doing an awful lot of work in that particular formulation.

Define it vaguely enough and nationalism becomes indistinguishable from patriotism. But this new conservative critique is not focused on a mere deficiency in the rah-rah-America spirit. To count as a "new order," nationalism has to differ in tangible ways from the liberal status quo, with its staunch commitments to civil liberties and global commerce. In practice, that means tariffs ("Are Free Trade's Best Days Behind Us?," page 74), immigration restrictionism ("America's Golden Door Is Slamming Shut," page 51), and massive infusions of public money (often with government directives attached) intended to reorganize and resuscitate the American industrial sector.

In 2015, former Federal Reserve Chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke joined a dozen other prominent economists to ink an open letter to congressional leadership. "International trade," they wrote, "is fundamentally good for the U.S. economy, beneficial to American families over time, and consonant with our domestic priorities." As Harvard's Gregory Mankiw, one of the signatories, noted in a New York Times op-ed, "Economists are famous for disagreeing with one another, and indeed, seminars in economics departments are known for their vociferous debate. But economists reach near unanimity on some topics, including international trade."

The damage, in human terms, of an experiment in economic nationalism could very well be catastrophic. Yes, much of the burden would fall on foreign citizens whose livelihoods depend on exchange with the world's largest economy or whose hopes and dreams for their children's future involve starting new lives here. But higher prices first and foremost put the squeeze on working-class American consumers, and as domestic farmers and manufacturers alike have learned in the last year, trade wars—like real wars—inflict casualties on both sides.

What unites the left's flirtation with socialism and the right's move toward nationalism is the willful discarding of long-understood, dearly learned truths about how to make the world a better place. Like the death count when parents stop vaccinating their kids, the fallout from these developments may not be instantaneous. But bad ideas can be hard to contain once they get going, and the results are not likely to be pretty.

 

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib Wants a $20 Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers. That Would Likely Destroy the Restaurant Industry.: https://reason.com/2019/07/24/rep-rashida-tlaib-wants-a-20-minimum-wage-for-tipped-workers-that-would-likely-destroy-the-restaurant-industry/

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Days after the House passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D–Mich.)—a member of the much-embattled "Squad" targeted by Pres. Trump—upped the ante: "Now I think it should be $20," she said.

Tlaib was addressing an event spearheaded by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan and One Fair Wage, two organizations pushing for a higher minimum base pay for restaurant industry workers. While a $20 minimum wage would be problematic for a range of businesses, the restaurant industry, in particular, stands to lose the most from such proposals.

Employees at food and drink establishments typically work on a "tipped wage," an hourly base rate that is lower than the minimum wage. Those workers can make up the rest of the hourly minimum wage in tips; if gratuities fail to bring an employee's earnings to the equivalent of the minimum wage, employers are required to make up the difference. If employees make more than the hourly minimum wage in tips, they get to keep the extra income.

Not only does this model of pay give waitstaff the chance to accrue earnings above and beyond the minimum wage, but it also allows restaurants of every variety to stay above water. In an industry with profit margins around 6 percent, employees who make a lot of tips also help keep the doors open and the stoves running.

The federal tipped minimum is currently $2.13 an hour. Tlaib's proposal, which amounts to an increase of almost 940 percent, would spell trouble for many dining establishments, particularly those of the mom and pop variety, many of which would require a miracle to comply with Tlaib's proposal and stay in business. A recent study released by two researchers from Harvard University's Business School concluded that a median-rated restaurant on Yelp (3.5 stars) was 14 percent more likely to close with each additional dollar added to the tipped wage.

Some will obviously be fortunate enough to remain open—but many of their employees may not be so fortunate. Take Manhattan, for instance, which recently hiked the city's tipped wage to $10 an hour. A corresponding survey released by the NYC Hospitality Alliance found that, in response to that increase, 75 percent of full-service establishments will cut employee hours in 2019, and 47 percent will eliminate jobs entirely.

And those jobs will likely belong to the most vulnerable economic group: those with the lowest skills, who, on paper, are supposed to benefit from minimum wage increases. A 2015 study from the University of Washington shows that restaurants subjected to tipped wage hikes do away with the more menial positions in favor of high-skilled labor.

"A server can bus their own table, but you can't ask a busboy to open a bottle of wine and talk about what it can be paired with," Susannah Koteen, who runs Lido Restaurant in Harlem, told CBS News in January.

The battle over tipped wages isn't new, with similar fights having been waged in Seattle, Washington, and Maine, among other cities and states across the country. Washington, D.C., entered the fray last summer when activists—spearheaded by the Restaurant Opportunities Center and One Fair Wage—passed Initiative 77, which, had it been implemented, would have eliminated the tipped wage entirely in the District. (The initiative passed at the ballot box, but was overturned by the D.C. Council after an outcry from service industry professionals who objected to the law.)

"There seems to be this myth going around that most tipped employees in restaurants aren't earning a livable wage; after 13 years in the industry, this baffles me completely," wrote Ryan Aston, a local bartender, in a Washington Post op-ed. "I earn roughly $45 an hour with tips included; I don't know a single server or bartender in the District whose wages have to be supplemented because they haven't earned the minimum."

Regardless, Tlaib wants a one-size-fits-all approach, one that mandates a sky-high federal wage and fails to account for specific industry needs.

"People cannot live on those kind of wages, and I can't allow people to be living off tips, you know, relying on tips for wages. It's just not enough to support our families," Tlaib said at the event, dubbed "Server for an Hour." But if a proposal like Tlaib's were to pass, the workers she's advocating for may be out of work entirely.

 

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9 hours ago, TrojanDad said:

52FD59ED-55ED-45CC-8833-16968A2963D4.jpeg

Perfect description of the Democrat agenda.

 

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5 hours ago, Howe said:

Perfect description of the Democrat agenda.

 

More fake news, huh? This is NOT Saul Alinsky’s writing. Funny that someone so critical of an investigation that just finished cannot spend the time to fact check the things he posts. 

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37 minutes ago, Irishman said:

More fake news, huh? This is NOT Saul Alinsky’s writing. Funny that someone so critical of an investigation that just finished cannot spend the time to fact check the things he posts. 

 

37 minutes ago, Irishman said:

More fake news, huh? This is NOT Saul Alinsky’s writing. Funny that someone so critical of an investigation that just finished cannot spend the time to fact check the things he posts. 

Fair comment...didn’t fact check Alinsky. But this thread and post isn’t about Alinsky. It’s about the direction of a large and growing section of the left. And those points seem to align with their emphasis toward a more social state. 

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4 hours ago, Irishman said:

More fake news, huh? This is NOT Saul Alinsky’s writing. Funny that someone so critical of an investigation that just finished cannot spend the time to fact check the things he posts. 

I did not post the Alinsky meme. 

 

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Forget Paying for Medicare for All—We Can't Pay for the Medicare We Have: https://reason.com/2019/02/22/medicare-for-all-cost-m4a-debt-bernie/

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Multiple estimates put the cost of Medicare for All, in the single-payer form envisioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), at around $32 trillion. How would a program like this, which even under rosy assumptions would require more than doubling individual and corporate income taxes, be financed?

This is an important question, but for the moment, at least, it remains a hypothetical. This question is not: How are we going to pay for the Medicare program we already have?

This week, Medicare's actuaries released a new report projecting that over the next decade, national health spending will grow 0.8 percent faster than the economy each year, eventually reaching $5.96 trillion. As a result, health spending as a percentage of gross domestic product is set to grow from 17.9 percent last year to 19.4 percent in 2027. Health care spending will then consume nearly a fifth of America's total economy.

That figure accounts for both public and private payers, but the government-run programs are the largest drivers of the growth, with Medicare by far the biggest of the bunch. Over the next decade, Medicare spending is expected to rise by 7.4 percent each year, while spending on Medicaid, the joint federal-state health program for the poor and disabled, is set to rise by 5.5 percent annually. Spending on private health insurance is projected to rise as well—but at 4.7 percent annually, the increase won't be as fast. Increased spending on Medicare (and to a lesser extent Medicaid) is the main factor.

That increase is primarily a result of demographic change as more seniors enter the program. More enrollees means higher costs. But Medicare won't just cover more people. It will increase the average amount it spends on each person—and that increase will be larger than the commensurate increase in private health care spending. Supporters of Medicare for All sometimes argue that although the government cost would be significantly higher, total national health spending would decrease. That only holds under the improbable assumption that health care providers could absorb large reimbursement cuts without service disruption. In any case, these estimates suggest the weakness of attempting to control overall spending growth through Medicare, which is expected to substantially outpace private insurance spending growth.

There are other ways to break down the projected increase: Spending on drugs, hospital visits, and doctor services are expected to rise rapidly over the next 10 years. But Medicare, the nation's largest public payer for health care services, contributes to all of these categories. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Medicare is the dominant factor in the projected increase in overall spending.

This is not a new phenomenon. Health care spending began its rapid rise as a percentage of the economy around the time that Medicare and Medicaid were introduced. The business and practice of medicine have obviously changed dramatically in the intervening decades; as with any economic transformation, multiple factors are in play. But there has long been a case that, when it comes to rising health spending, Medicare is the primary culprit.

In addition to the program's larger effects on the economy, the program's internal finances are in increasingly dire shape. Last year, the program's trustees projected that its main trust fund (which is itself a kind of accounting fiction) would be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than previously anticipated. The program wouldn't simply stop, but revenues would only be sufficient to cover 91 percent of expenses, a percentage that would decline over the next 15 years. Over the next 75 years, the program faces $37 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Macroeconomic projections are admittedly difficult and prone to mistaken assumptions, but even if the figures aren't precisely right, that provides a sense of the scale of the problem.

Today, Medicare and Medicaid are widely acknowledged as the biggest drivers of the federal government's long-term debt. Broadly speaking, America's biggest fiscal problems are health care spending problems. And America's health care spending problems are largely problems stemming from increasing spending on Medicare.

And those are problems that approximately no one in national politics wants to deal with, or even meaningfully acknowledge. Although national political figures occasionally nod to Medicare's fiscal challenges and their various economic ripple effects, there is now no significant political movement to address them.

I am under no illusion that building such a movement would be easy or immediately popular. Medicare is generally well-liked, which is why Democrats have branded single-payer as Medicare for All. The program so well-liked, in fact, that one of the most effective criticisms of Medicare for All is that it would undermine current Medicare. But independent of whether they are easy or popular, reforms will eventually become necessary. Yet our nation's political class now seems intent on either ignoring the problem or making it worse.

They want to make it worse because they can still kick the can down the road, to our children and grandchildren.  They won't be in politics anymore when the day of reckoning finally comes.

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10 years ago, ACA promised many things, and has been lauded as a giant step forward. Yet here we are 10 years later and according to the people on the stage the last couple of nights we have a healthcare crisis. So before we buy into the all the promises this time around, ACA promised:

1. If you like your insurance you can keep it. 

2. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.

3. ACA will lower premiums for the typical American family up to $2500 a year.

4. For the 85%-90% of Americans who already have health insurance it will be made stronger with better coverage.

5. For families making less than 250K they will see no new taxes.

6. ACA will not add one dime to the deficit now or in the future.

I could go on but you get the picture. So all of these career politicians are pointing out that they government has failed, and the answer is more government.  

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