Joe Manchin believes Income Inequality is not a problem
Does Joe Manchin Believe That Income Inequality Is a Problem?, Horizons, Nancy LeTourneau’s big picture looks at politics and life
Nancy was one of the regular writers at Washington Monthly. She had well – written fun reads, some of which I disagreed with in my numerical way. I am a numbers guy. The editors of Washington Monthly decided to change the format and brought in a cadre of writers who replaced Nancy, the Longmans, Atkins and others. The site is over-run with trash-commenters. Not sure why the lead editor did such as most of the good commenters left and readership has decreased.
Some of Joe’s more epic moments . . .
- Since 2010, millions of opioid tablets have been sent to two small towns in West Virginia. Has Manchin challenged this?
- Because of a mechanical application change and no competition, Mylan was able to charge as much as $600 per pair of EpiPens for a device which ranged in cost of mechanical parts of $10 to $20. The daughter of Joe Manchin, Heather Bresch probably deserves the salary increase for such a simple change. On the other hand, at what cost to the public?
- Joe Manchin is big backer of the coal and energy industry and has taken $thousand in political contributions.
Yet, Joe is worried about his constituency getting a few thousand in domestic aid.
Read Nancy’s commentary . . .
Horizons: Does Joe Manchin Believe That Income Inequality Is a Problem? (immasmartypants.blogspot.com)
On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) released a statement about his position on the infrastructure and reconciliation negotiations. There was one sentence that stood out to me.
Proposing a historic expansion of social programs while ignoring the fact we are not in a recession and that millions of jobs remain open will only feed a dysfunction that could weaken our economic recovery.
I’d love to hear him explain how the “social programs” in the reconciliation bill would “weaken our economic recovery.” For example, one of those programs is an extension of the child tax credit that was included in the Democrats’ covid relief legislation. What we learned after just one payment is that it lifted households with 3 million children out of poverty. That would be a BFD to families in West Virginia where:
• Child poverty rate: 20.1% (7th highest)
• Overall poverty rate: 16% (6th highest)
• Families with annual incomes below $10,000: 4.9% (4th highest)
West Virginia also ranks last in states for median household income.
What Manchin seems to be saying is that the economy is in the process of recovering from the recession caused by covid and the status quo (where 20% of the children in his state live in poverty) is just fine.
By way of contrast, here’s what President Biden tweeted recently: https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?
The point of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda isn’t to simply help the economy recover from a pandemic, it is to address the long-term problem of income inequality and ensure that “growth benefits everyone.” Getting back to the status quo isn’t good enough.
It is obvious that Manchin disagrees with the majority of Democrats on a lot of the details in the BBB reconciliation package. But it seems to me that this is the heart of the issue.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) doesn’t think income inequality is a problem needing to be addressed.
Re Nancy and the Washington Monthly, now that we’ve all been doing this long enough to notice, there are ebbs and flows, for lack of a better term. Examples, if you stop to think about about it, are too numerous to note. Or necessarily of note. Hierarchy rearing its 19th century head. I’m inclined to say “we” but that’s assuming, my take as a non-econ type that reads econ blogs I’ve seen it happen to a couple econ blogs. Some of the first, indeed credited as the first, bloggers have been reduced to obscure comments at an obscure* blog. At twenty years, give or take, now it may just be a part of the evolving blogging “landscape”, Blogtopia, as Skippy (RIP) coined it. Facebook won’t dominte forever.
Everyone ~ well, just about everyone ~ who moves on from WM ends up doing better work, better blogging.
*Not as obscure as mine but, that could be a blessing …
I wish that “income inequality” was not the meme of choice for the Left.
Of course they have to go with what works best for their base. But the problem is not “inequality” as such. “Leveling” has a long history…and doesn’t seem to have accomplished much. Even those rather low on the inequality scale don’t seem to be in favor of “income equality.” They can see with their own eyes that some people have more than others because they “work harder” “are smarter,” or in some way deserve what they get…at least those of them just a step up the “inequality” ladder, don’t want to share what they have with those a step down from them.
On the other hand there are perfectly good…even selfish…reasons why “we” as a society need to care for “the least of us.” Simple humanity doesn’t seem to be much of a motivator.. at least not for people afraid themselves of having not enough. But we know from history that “sharing” ends up being the best way for the survival of any individual, or family, because sharing helps assure that even the least lucky get enough, as opposed to starving while the most lucky have more than they need. Even those with less humanitarian, or family, feelings can see that having those very poor strengthens the family, tribe, society, over time.
Somehow this simple truth has gotten lost. Perhaps because we no longer live in families or tribes. And our “leaders” are members of another tribe altogether who regard us as potentially dangerous “other.” Which we help them to believe by always threatening to take away from them what they regard as rightfully theirs.
For them the idea that the poor are undeserving, and just need to work harder, or take a job at less-than-survival wages, has been a selling point that works…even among the not quite the poorest.
I don’t think it helps us to attack their meme with “demands” for equality. Inequality after a point is indeed bad…the very very rich having too much to say about the rules the economy is run by. We need to ask for, and work for, rules that limit the real predators among the rich from getting away with it, and to assure real decency of conditions among the least of us, and honest fairness for ordinary workers and citizens. Even the not quite rich could be made to see the point of that.
And of course it perplexes me that the Democrats, who seem to understand this, never seem to actually deliver.
Manchin is one of the predators. His non belief in “equality” is not the problem. But it gives us something to talk about.
Completely agreed. That said universal pre-K is still a great program idea. “Free” community college for two year degrees works for me as well. Our messaging has not been the best. Biden is actually ahead of the herd on messaging, but gets drowned out mostly. Those that get the biggest slice of the pie should take better care of the bakers and orchard growers and fruit pickers and wheat farmers and millers and so on. Let them eat pie.
Doing more for people creates more jobs which creates better workers and more spending. If the poor get richer, then so do the rich.
Yes, God forbid that the US once again have a virtuous cycle economy since a vicious cycle is so much more fun :<)
“To thy own self be true” may be a bit ambiguous. It might mean “be true to your Honor” which is pretty good advice, unless your honor requires you to murder your sister because she has been seduced. Or it might mean something like I have read in other parables and even the Majabharatta… be true to your nature, and if your nature is a snake, you bite the hand that rescues you, or mearly make war on your relatives. Or it could mean be honest with yourself, perhaps the most difficult achievement of all. Or it could mean, be sure to get your fair share.
But the modern version seems to be that since Polonius was an old bore with other faults, as they seem to us, we are entitled to dismiss the whole concept as nothing we need to bother ourselves about.
Us old bores with other faults are not so sure. Looking back, I sometimes wish I had a developed sense of honor that might have saved me from doing things I later regretted. And would give this advice to a son, if he would listen.
Yeah, I am a bit busy now too. In any case, I always took “To thine own self be true” literally; i.e., “be honest with yourself, perhaps the most difficult achievement of all”
the above was a reply to one of yours in another thread which i did not answer at first because i thought i shouldn’t. take it for what it’s worth. i’ll be out for the day trying to do what i should have done yesterday.