Dems 2019: Dem Hard With A Vengeance


#1867

Why not? Fewer and people are necessary to produce the goods and services.

As it stands, we have one of the lowest tax rates in the developed world, so it’s not like don’t have the headroom to grow our tax rates.

Alternatively, we could grow the number of employees necessary by making it expansive to work over time.

Set full time employment at 32 hours instead of 40, so that overtime kicks in at 32, benefit kick in at 28 and the like. We couple this with reduced payroll taxes and universal healthcare, so that it the cost of the individual employee is less, and perhaps a reasonable minimum wage, and we should be all set.

Sure, initially, the costs might increase for business, but automation should reduce overall costs just fine, keeping everything balanced nicely.

And with business and the rich making record profits, it seems like they can bare the cost increase.


#1868

Where else is the excess capital going to go? In the pockets of the mega wealthy?


#1869

“We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work,” she said in response. “We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem.”

“We should not be haunted by the specter of being a slave to your student loans,” she said in response. “We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem.”

“We should not be haunted by the specter of being divorced and bankrupted due to medical bills,” she said in response. “We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem.”

While I agree that the second two answers would be bizarre and useless ones, I think that shows that her response was actually a direct encapsulation of the problem we have to address with automation. Yes, she didn’t offer a multi-step plan to get us there, but her answer was a clear policy goal: not having a job shouldn’t leave you destitute, especially in a society where all the jobs have been automated. This isn’t empty rhetoric because a) not everyone agrees, and b) it isn’t the only possible solution.

I see that you think it’s impossible to achieve, but that doesn’t make it a non-answer. Her answer isn’t, “Well, this problem would go away if only the Unicorns would return!” It is a direct solution she hopes to achieve through a variety of means. It is a cultural change more than anything else.

So why don’t we just give everyone enough to live without working menial jobs? Then people who want extra money so they can buy a flashy car or the hottest new tech or w/e can work the menial jobs, people who want to achieve things with a team can work the team jobs, people who want to start Etsy businesses that only pay them $3 an hour on a good day can just go ahead and do it, etc.

US GDP was over $21 trillion last year. We could give every single person $24k / year (double the single-person poverty line) and still have about 2/3 of that GDP for the richer folks to soak up. We could probably be even more targeted and achieve more, by creating government programs to rent housing (~$2 trillion / year) (with a tax credit for those who secure their own housing), provide free public daycare (~$60 billion / year), healthcare (~$2.4 trillion), and college ($70 billion) (with no offsetting credits, so people are encouraged to use these things), and then some stipend for typical essentials (adding up one list I read through, this would cost maybe $25k / household on average, or ~$3.2 trillion). So for the low, low cost of $7.7 trillion or so, we could provide everyone in the country with a middle-class safety net and let them spend their “work” hours to do jobs they enjoy or are passionate about or to earn the money to get them ahead of the pack so they can buy the exclusive stuff. Obviously we can’t just enact that into law - it would be an absolute disaster. But we can move towards that kind of society in small steps, if we keep that goal ahead of us, rather than treating each small step as the goal.


#1870

As we’ve seen ever since the Industrial Revolution, the definition of “necessary goods and services” changes. Yes, there is wider availability of luxury goods and services, but the bottom line is that every seismic shock to “necessary goods and services” results in the next level of those, basically because they come down to one factor.

Necessary goods and services are dependent on the person(s) buying/selling those goods/services and what they will pay/accept for them/give up to produce them, and that simple, yet ever-changing equation is why, even with automation and AI, there will always be “jobs” on both sides of the market for those goods/services.


#1871

There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.

I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.


#1872

That’s not Demming hard, or with a vengeance.


#1873

She’s right though. Impeachment will increase his support. Beat him in the election and charge him with crimes afterwards.


#1874

Yea, I agree with her on an intellectual level… but I’m a creature ruled by emotion. And I also have a history of cutting off the nose to spite the face.


#1875

Absolutely this. Short of nominating Hillary again, there’s nothing the Dems could do to increase GOP turnout in 2020 as much as impeachment hearings would. There’s nothing more important in this calculus than retaking the White House.

Caveat: If evidence arises that allows for an actual chance of conviction in the Senate, then go full steam ahead. That would have to be pretty dramatic stuff.


#1876

It would also take so long that the next election would be over and done with by the time there was any sort of conclusion.

I don’t believe in ‘winning at any cost’, but launching impeachment proceedings now would seem like a startling own-goal.


#1877

Here’s a li’l secret:

Democratic candidates for office in 2020 really want to run against Trumpism. It’s a winning issue for them, even when they don’t explicitly bring it forward. Just having it as a foundational piece to compare your environmental policies on, your immigration reform policies on, your jobs plans on, etc. is very valuable.


#1878

I think in terms of political tactics and management of expectations, Pelosi is doing the right thing, for now.

Specifically, we do not as yet have the kind of combination of cold hard evidence and hot political nastiness that would be necessary to convince the Senate to actually vote to formally remove Trump from office. It’s possible the Mueller report will provide that although given what we know so far and given how degenerate the GOP is, including the Senate GOP, I am not optimistic. So the huge fight o an actual impeachment proceeding which will suck the O2 out of the room politically speaking is not worth it, at this moment.

Pelosi has positioned herself for two possibilities.

One, the kind of evidence that would actually overcome GOP Senatorial malfeasance never emerges, but the House is able to continue to investigate Trump vigorously, which will possibly eventually turn up stronger evidence, reign in Trump (maybe!) and arguably most importantly will continue to make the GOP pay a political price for their scumbaggery.

Two, the necessary evidence DOES emerge and Pelosi is then well positioned to say, “The future of the nation is at stake, NOW it’s worth it”.

To me, as much as I loathe Trump, he’s just a symptom of a much greater political/cultural pathology, and excising Trump while the greater disease continues to metastasize is not my preferred outcome. We need to take on the disease itself, by which I mean break the GOP stranglehold on power in the Presidency, Senate, as many states as possible, the judiciary and so on. I’m not sure how effectively we can treat the cultural part of the disease but stripping the political part of the disease of power is necessary for any kind of national civic recovery. In that context, Trump is just a polyp, albeit a malevolent one.


#1879

Oh, and Nancy Pelosi in lockstep with Mayor Pete on this issue.


#1880

Honestly, it depends on what further items are dug up. Currently, yes, with a huge “but”.

One current hypothetical - Jared and Ivanka using their questionably obtained security clearance to influence Trump business with Saudi Arabia, while under the guise of doing US business (see he his meetings w/o State) etc. - with Trump’s knowledge (purely hypothetical, for now).

There are a whole fistful of somewhat likely scenarios which would make Impeachment a priority, despite it being a political process. He is doing long term damage to US foreign policy, and if he’s doing so illegally for money and threatening National Security in the process, there will be no alternative.


#1881

BTW, those of you saying “But…”

…that’s exactly what Pelosi said in the full quote.


#1882

Trump & conservative supporters aren’t going to care, and I’m sure many leaning right supporters will see it all as fake news.

The quickest way to get him out of the White House is to win the next election.


#1883

Hopefully the 2nd Amendment crowd will vote him out. And there is no doubt about what I meant. Ask Trump.


#1884

A thought for the naive reading of impeachment. A president commits egregious breaches of the public trust, they should be impeached.


#1885

Now have fun defining what are egregious breaches of public trust, and doing so in such a way that it won’t be used by some future opposition congress to impeach a progressive president. There are absolutely specific things I think you should impeach a president for. Donald Trump may have done some of those things. If we find out he did, full speed ahead. Otherwise, beat him at the ballot box.


#1886

Abuse of power*. Obstruction of justice. Witness intimidation. Failure to uphold the oath to the Constitution.* (Asterisks since those can be broad enough without sufficient evidence to apply to any president probably.) That’s just a start.

However, I lean against impeachment. Not because it will tear the country apart, that ship has sailed with Captain Shitstain at the helm. As @Sharpe wrote, trump’s a symptom of a much more cancerous disease. Already the beltway pundits are murmuring that Democrats are overreaching with their initial investigative forays just by conducting their constitutional oversight duties. The media’s rabid bothsidism married to their zeal to frame the narrative from the right wing point of view: “Are Democrats socialists?” “Do Democrats hate Jews?” “Why do Democrats hate America?” (I might have made this last one up) will all but guarantee trump-as-the-victim.

To wit, here’s mainstream media at its finest, completely oblivious to what “investigation” even means:

According to Mr. Moran here, unless we already had evidence of conspiracy against trump, there never should have been an investigation! The Democrats shouldn’t have ordered the FBI and Rod Rosenstein to empower the SCO! (yes I know.) It’s impossible to be any more obsequious.

I think Pelosi knows the score. It sucks, but welcome to the worst timeline.