Friday, July 24, 2015

Response to At a Minimum

(See: Just Above Sunset: "At a Minimum")

I’ll still vote for Bernie Sanders, but I think he’s off base here:
“Unchecked growth – especially when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent – is absurd,” he said. “Where we’ve got to move is not growth for the sake of growth, but we’ve got to move to a society that provides a high quality of life for all of our people.”
Two problems I have with this.

First of all — and I suppose I should really check with Paul Krugman before I say this — I think there’s a reason that just about all economists say economies need to grow, although I’m not sure what it is. I’ve always wondered if an economy really has to grow, but apparently it does.

I think part of it is that populations grow, and the economy has to keep up with that. After all, what’s an economy for if it doesn’t serve the needs of the people. Another reason may be that, like sharks, economies need to move forward in order to stay alive — and by forward here, we mean upward. The thinking would be that, when economies move, they tend to keep going in that direction, and better they spiral upward than sink into a deflationary spiral.

I don’t think the idea should be to stop growing the economy because it’s only benefitting the very rich. The idea should be to get more balance, making sure nobody in the economy is cut out of it just because some extremely rich people want too much of the pie.

But as for laws and regulations hurting growth, I don’t think they do, in spite of what Republicans think. For example, I think it has been demonstrated that regulating pollution output at power plants creates jobs for regulators and engineers, and creating jobs helps the economy with more spending, just as raising the minimum wage puts more spending money in circulation, and areas that do it show growth.

So Bernie, I intend to vote for you, but only if you stop talking like a Republican.

Paul Waldman:
Scott Walker … is hell-bent on making sure that anyone who gets food stamps in Wisconsin has to endure the humiliation of submitting to a drug test.”
Something I’d like to see more reporters ask these guys is what studies they’re basing these policies on, and in the process of asking the question, citing all those statistics showing that people on welfare use drugs at a lower rate than the general public.

Yeah, I know that arguing him only helps him with his base, but don’t forget, he’s also looking for moderates, who might not like hearing that he doesn’t do his homework, or even that he’s apparently trying to be a deliberate dick in his quest for the asshole vote.

I wonder, hypothetically, were the Supreme Court to rule that any laws along those lines violate the 14th amendment guarantee of equal treatment under the law, if Scott Walker would agree to allow everyone in the country to submit to a drug test, just to make it fair?

Or would that just cause him to say, “Okay, well, then, never mind!”

(Reposted from July 18, 2015 at 10:44 am)