This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Scott Santens argues
that a basic income represents the best way to ensure that the gains from technological advancement are shared by everybody. And Thom Hartmann makes the case
for a guaranteed income based on its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, while Mark Sarner sees
it mostly as a mechanism to reduce poverty.
- Meanwhile, Lane Windham highlights
the need for social benefits to be pursued through public policy rather than through employment relationships alone. And Sean McElwee writes
that increased voter turnout in the U.S. figures to bring out far more progressive citizens to have their voices heard:
To examine how boosting voting might affect policy on inequality, I asked Pew about its inequality
survey. These data also show that the nonregistered population is more liberal than the registered population. Pew asked people which would do more to reduce poverty: “Raising taxes on wealthy people and corporations in order to expand programs for the poor” or “Lowering taxes on wealthy people and corporations in order to encourage more investment and economic growth.” While majorities of both registered and nonregistered Americans say that raising taxes on the wealthy would do more to reduce poverty, nonregistered respondents were more supportive than registered ones (59 percent and 51 percent, respectively). In addition, while 69 percent of registered respondents supported raising the minimum wage, 82 percent of nonregistered Americans did. While 60 percent of registered respondents supported a one-year extension of unemployment benefits, 69 percent of those who are not registered did. These findings conform to other research suggesting nonregistered Americans favor a far stronger economic role for government.
(I)f states with the lowest class bias — New Hampshire, for instance — had the same high class bias as, say, Kentucky, the change would lead to a decrease of 17 percent in support for
the introduction of bills related to welfare and 22 percent in bills related to housing. The opposite is also true: Decreasing the class bias of the electorate would lead to more bills related to these issues. In a recent paper
, Franko finds that lower class bias leads to more spending on health care for children, higher minimum wages and more anti-predatory-lending policies.
Parties can change the composition of the electorate, but they have failed entirely to bolster voting among the poor. According to ANES data, only 37 percent of those earning less than $30,000 reported receiving contact from either party regarding the 2012 elections, compared to 47 percent of those earning more than $100,000. And this sort of outreach makes a difference. Using the ANES data set, I examined Americans earning less than $60,000 who did not vote in 2008. I found that 41.5 percent of those who were contacted by a party voted in 2012, compared with only 28.1 percent of those who were not contacted by a party. When I removed the control for those who did not vote in 2008, the effect became much stronger, with 85 percent of those earning less than $60,000 who were contacted by a political party voting in 2012, compared with only 64 percent of those who were not contacted by a party. - But then, there's plenty of room for more progressive policy even with the electorate we already have - as Mainstreet finds
that Alberta's voters are supportive of NDP platform planks including a higher minimum wage and meaningful carbon pricing even as the corporate press demands that Rachel Notley discard them.
- The Ottawa Citizen notes
that the Cons' election strategy is all smoke and mirrors at this point. And PressProgress highlights
the bleak economic reality which they're trying to deny
- Finally, Tabatha Southey's fake interview with Kory Teneycke eviscerates
the Cons' fearmongering, featuring what would strike me as a devastating conclusion for anybody with a conscience:
Me: So, will you be using more terrorist video as the campaign goes on?You: What in God’s name have I done with my life that I can legitimately be asked this question?