Open thread June 23, 2017 Dan Crawford | June 23, 2017 2:34 am Tags: open thread Comments (6) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
How to raise US labor unions from the dead — tomorrow — practically and practicably:
In BALLOT INITIATIVE states, it typically takes only 5% of signatures of registered voters of the number who voted in the last governor’s election to put your initiative on the ballot. (OR, CA, MO, MI, OH, OK, CO, NE ND, SD, MT)
Check the numbers of who should line around the block to sign an initiative making union busting a felony:
— nationally, 45% bottom income share has dropped from 20% to 10% over two generations (while per capita income has doubled).
Does that mean the bottom 45% are back where they started in absolute terms: half of twice as much? Not across the board; incomes are on a slope. 20-25% are lower in absolute terms: which is why we have a $7.25/hr fed min wage — down from $11/hr (adjusted) in 1968.
Check the numbers who should line up around the block to sign for a higher state minimum wage:
— nationally, 45% of employees earn less than $15/hr.
We could conceivably get 5% of registered voters out there collecting signatures! :-O
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Some states like California put a winning initiative on the law books immediately. Most, allow the legislature one shot at approval. If it doesn’t approve the measure goes back to voters for final decision.
In California you write in plain language what you want your initiative to say and a state legal office will put it into proper words for a state law.
In California circulators (signature collectors) may be paid employees. This has led in recent years to initiatives becoming the play thing of billionaires — the opposite of the original intention.
If initiatives can quickly and easily take our world back, then, Fight for 15 and labor unions and others now have a new, all critical mission: register and sign up as many voters as possible.
Raising the issue of making union busting a felony to a high level of national consciousness should prompt legislatures in progressive states to finally wake up and face what they need to do — what we all need them to do. (WA, IL, MN, NY, MA, VT, CT, RI, PA, MD, VA, etc.)
You would have to come up with something more specific that “union busting.” What actions, exactly, would you prohibit?
Growth in out economy depends on investment by capitalists with a profit motive. This should make “rational expectations” a useful economic concept. But “capitalist expectations” are often not rational. In particular, capitalists have trouble doing calculus. Extrapolation is linear, or if their product is coming out, will have a positive step change.
In the aggregate capitalist expectations are asymmetric and lead to business cycles which have nothing to do with creative destruction. Every entrepreneur expects to come out above average.
The process of attempting to generate profit employs people. The feedback creates demand which means that some entrepreneurs will profit. Since they do not leave us stuck at some equilibrium state the economy will grow as the population grows. Thus underlying growth acts as feedback to maintain the systematic error in capitalist’s expectations.
That capitalist expectations is usually wrong does not mean it will not change over time. Most of U.S. history has had generations long growth opportunities. But we are no longer expanding westward, the agricultural revolution is over, and there are few people left working at home available to expand the pool of employed consumers. Expectations are now lower.
We could go a long time before irrationally exuberant capitalist expectations produce another bubble/recession cycle.
Arizona Already Tried What the GOP Wants to Do to Medicaid. It Was a Disaster. By Nisarg A. Patel
“A college volunteer [now a surgeon] at a Phoenix hospital, I stood on the sidelines watching in shock. I hoped to explore the practice of medicine, the doctor-patient relationships, and the miracles of treatment. Instead I discovered patients more frightened by dollars than disease. It was 2012.
“In 2011, following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, then–Arizona Gov. Janet Brewer cut the state’s Medicaid funding and froze enrollment. Arizona blocked new enrollment in Medicaid and only allowed existing enrollees to continue receiving benefits if their income remained below the federal poverty line and they turned in their annual renewal paperwork on time. A family that received a raise that lifted their income even slightly above the poverty line lost Medicaid coverage permanently, even if their income dropped below the line again the following year.”
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“A farmworker had his right foot amputated, lost to gangrene because he had been putting bandages on ulcers on the bottom of his feet to avoid paying for clinic visits. A truck driver with Type I diabetes was driving across the border to Mexico every other week to buy insulin, a life-or-death drug, because he could no longer afford the price in the U.S. The last patient I saw in the hospital was a landscaper who showed up with his hand shattered from a construction accident and wrapped in duct tape. He hoped his simple fix meant he wouldn’t need, or have to pay, for a cast.
“The Senate’s health care bill freezes Medicaid enrollment, preventing new poor families from signing up. We’ll know more after it receives a score from the Congressional Budget Office next week, but it is also likely to cut Medicaid funding by hundreds of billions of dollars. Like Arizona’s 2011 freeze, if a patient goes off Medicaid, she’s barred from re-enrolling in later years, regardless of her financial or medical status. In particular, the federal cap on Medicaid spending will place more financial pressure on the states to rein in costs. The end result is that, like Arizona, more states will be forced to restrict Medicaid eligibility, cap enrollment, and cut health benefits.”
Who has been the toughest on the banks? It might well be Bernie Sanders. And now he has something to do with bank fraud? Influence peddling??
That is not quite true, Denis. It only applies to those eligible for Medicaid under the expansion program. Not all States went into the expansion program, so there is no affect there whatsoever. Of course, the States are at liberty to spend whatever they want, and so can continue to pay for the those people as they see fit. (Sec 112 of https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1628/BILLS-115hr1628pcs.pdf)