Daily Clips: March 31, 2017

Immigrants are making the US economy better:

If an increase in population always made wages fall, the Baby Boom would have immiserated the American worker. When new workers come, new businesses often start to take advantage of the sudden abundance. In the U.S., it’s often the immigrants themselves who start those new businesses. If the business expansion rate keeps pace with the immigration rate, native-born wages don’t need to fall.

The robot debate is over: the jobs are gone and they aren’t coming back:

There is another important insight: these jobs losses and lower wages are likely to have a lasting and devastating effect. Author Daron Acemoglu told the New York Times that, “even if overall employment and wages recover, there will be losers in the process, and it’s going to take a very long time for these communities to recover. The market economy is not going to create the jobs by itself for these workers who are bearing the brunt of the change.”

Here’s how the U.S. got to $20 trillion in debt

Cullen Roche: Why capitalism can’t fix healthcare: Wonky read but worth it.

Tweet of the day:


Daily Clips: March 29, 2017

Seattle remains nation’s hottest home market, with biggest price growth in 3 years: Good and bad news, I suppose.

Trump administration rolls back protections for people in default on student loans: I found this article on r/economics and here is the *brilliant* top comment from u/matty_a.

Just remember kids, if you’ve gone to college to try and better yourself and things go south, you’re not entitled to the protections of bankruptcy.

If you take on a high-risk real estate deal in a floundering American city, don’t pay your subcontractors, and lose everything then you’re not only entitled to bankruptcy protections and allowed to keep the rest of the millions you inherited/earned, but you can also not pay income taxes for the decades that follow.

Wells Fargo reaches $110 million settlement on fake accounts: That’ll teach ’em.

Here are the 10 states with the highest minimum wages

Tweet of the day: Tommy Friedman spitting fire.


Daily Clips: March 27, 2017

Four lessons from the AHCA collapse: Each of the following points are fleshed out beautifully by Mike Konczal.

1. This is the GOP’s fault

2. Activism works

4. Universalism works

4. Wonks get lost in their echo chambers

Tax cuts don’t lead to economic growth, a new 65-year study finds:

Analysis of six decades of data found that top tax rates “have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth.”

Divisions threaten Trump’s hope of winning his next big battle—taxes

Baltimore mayor vetoes $15 an hour minimum wage: She promised her constituents that she would vote yes. I wonder what changed her mind?

Tweet of the day:

Daily Clips: March 24, 2017

Workers hold the key: “Despite the threat of automation and the weakness of organized labor, workers still hold the key to winning social change.”

Republicans scramble for healthcare bill votes: 

Financial markets, which have been buoyed by Trump’s plans to cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending, are watching closely. U.S. stock markets fell on Thursday as Republican leaders delayed a vote, and European stock markets opened lower on Friday, although the U.S. equity market looked set for a higher open.

Donald Trump meets 30 men to discuss future of pregnancy and maternity care under new healthcare bill

Why Democrats should push ‘Medicare for all’ now:

ObamaCare plays to precisely the opposite of America’s strengths. Instead of being a simple, straightforward program to hand out insurance coverage — the policy equivalent of a honking great axe — it’s got complex regulations, fiddly quasi-market structures, and mandates everywhere you look — the policy equivalent of the repair box from Toy Story 2. It should be no surprise that many of those regulations do not completely fix the problems they were intended to address, or are effectively ignored. We need simpler, bigger, blunter tools, and single-payer fits the bill.

Seattle-King County scores nation’s 4th-highest population gain

The next progressive health agenda:

Many people will equate an expansion of Medicare with a “single-payer” plan. But even Medicare-for-all would not be a single-payer system since about one-third of current Medicare beneficiaries use the program to buy coverage in a private Medicare plan. Medicare today is a marketplace—but a marketplace with a dominant public plan and not just a “public option,” which might turn out, if badly designed and established separately from Medicare, to be a relatively small and weak player in the market.

Tweet of the day:

Daily Clips: March 23, 2017

Obama defends ACA as Republicans push to repeal it:

Obama did not mention the Republican plan to undo the law, which introduced the greatest expansion of healthcare coverage in more than a generation, but urged lawmakers to work together to “make our healthcare system better, not worse for hardworking Americans”. It was one of his most significant interventions in US politics since he left office.

AHCA stinks:

A new Quinnipiac University poll suggests that just 17 percent of the public approves of the Republican Party’s American Health Care Act, while 56 percent disapproves. When it comes to who has strong feelings, the news is even worse: Only 6 percent of respondents say they strongly approve of the law, and a whopping 43 percent strongly disapproves.

Mick Mulvaney: Trickle Downer of the Week

Responding to a question about cuts to the Meals on Wheels program that delivers food to senior citizens, Mulvaney said, “Meals on Wheels sounds great” but “we’re not going to spend [money] on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver promises that we’ve made to people.” He said that gutting domestic spending in favor of defense spending “is one of the most compassionate things we can do.”

Tweet of the day:

Daily Clips: March 22, 2017

Seattle’s gun-sale tax raises less than $200,000 in first year: The original estimate was $300,000 to $500,000.

Muslims inside FBI describe culture of suspicion and fear:

Muslims within the FBI say that their treatment is not only unfair but frays the bureau’s already shaky relationship with the US Muslim community. One recently ousted official believes his firing is a prelude to a wider “purge” of Muslims within the US national security apparatus.

How will the American Health Care Act affect the GOP’s political fortunes? A bristling conversation between three political thinkers on the future of the AHCA.

The problems with originalism:

Despite the serious problems with textualism and originalism, we can expect to hear Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee champion these theories in their attempt to send Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But Democrats should make clear that neither theory is prescribed by the Constitution or reflects a convincing picture of the founders’ intent. Nor, in the end, do they prevent the judicial activism that Justice Scalia supposedly abhorred. On the contrary, they are nothing more than thinly veiled disguises for modern political conservatism.

Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has lost faith in Donald Trump: That didn’t take long.

Tweet of the day:

Daily Clips: March 21, 2017

Health insurance woes helped Trump win, but his replacement will be worse: How did Trump voters not see this coming? I genuinely don’t understand. They completely dismissed reality.

GOP Senate about to allow bad employers to avoid reporting workplace injuries:

The GOP wants to do away with an Obama administration regulation that maintained the power of an OSHA workplace injury recordkeeping rule. House Republicans voted to eliminate the rule in early March, and the Senate will vote on it Tuesday.

Marijuana raids are more deadly than the drug itself: Lovely.

The median income at 29 is about $35,000. The average American has had more than seven jobs before she turns 29, and a third of them lasted less than six months. Americans at all levels of education held an average of more than two jobs between ages 25 and 28.

Tweet of the day:

Daily Clips: March 20, 2017

Taking a scalpel to Medicaid: One of Obamacare’s “greatest achievements was the expansion of Medicaid,” writes Gabrielle Gurley in the American Prospect. Medicaid covers about 20 percent of Americans (more than Medicare). In 2016, “nearly 74 million Americans received Medicaid coverage.”

Cory Booker’s opening speech at SXSW Conference: Get to know your 2020 Democratic candidate! (Seriously though, doesn’t it feel like he’s going to be the choice of the Democratic Party? Not saying I would like that…)

Neil Gorsuch’s “natural law” philosophy is a long way from Justice Scalia’s originalism:

It is also time to stop pretending that Supreme Court justices can decide hard cases without reference to their views about what a cohesive and defensible American moral philosophy looks like. The sooner we stop pretending, the sooner we can face up to the fact that the decisive disagreements on the Supreme Court look more like the conservative-versus-liberal disagreements between a Gorsuch and a Dworkin than they do the “neutral arbiter”-versus-“activist judge” disagreements that we are likely to hear about this week.

What if sociologists had as much influence as economists?

And trying to solve social problems is a more complex undertaking than working to improve economic outcomes. It’s relatively clear how a change in tax policy or an adjustment to interest rates can make the economy grow faster or slower. It’s less obvious what, if anything, government can do to change forces that are driven by the human psyche.

Tweet of the day: