Friday, October 7, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Community Groups Turn Wage Fights into Grassroots Power at Ballot Box


Julie Chinitz
Community Groups Turn Wage Fights into Grassroots Power at Ballot Box
A groundswell of support for minimum wage ballot initiatives is creating opportunities for community groups to flex their electoral muscle and expand their power to shape politics and the economy for years to come. Workers are long overdue for a raise. Recent national research by People’s Action Institute shows there aren’t enough good-paying jobs to go around, with seven job seekers for every opening that pays at least $15 an hour at last count.


Trump’s tax proposals could worsen trade deficit. WSJ: “Conventional economics predicts that the Republican presidential nominee’s deficit-financed tax cut would drive up interest rates, sucking in foreign capital and driving the dollar higher. The result would be higher imports, weaker exports and more foreign debt than otherwise…”
Free trade critics reject Trump’s trade proposals. NYT: “Trump’s trade proposals, [Robert] Reich argues, ‘assume the U.S. can’t compete and must erect trade barriers lest other countries flood America with better and cheaper products. That’s the opposite of believing in America’ … Even one of the most outspoken and effective opponents of past free trade agreements, Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, rejects Trump’s approach … Instead of trying to halt globalization, [Jared] Bernstein and Wallach call for new ‘rules of the road’ …”


The Nation endorses Clinton:“Over the course of her public career, Clinton has more than demonstrated her intelligence, tenacity, ferocious work ethic, and seriousness of purpose … she has also shown grace in the way she’s responded to the pressure that Sanders and the movements that powered his campaign created.”
Clinton eyes Ohio. Bloomberg: “[Ohio] a testing ground for a question at the heart of the Trump-Clinton race: which is more important in a close race, traditional campaign mechanics or sheer enthusiasm?”


Some Republicans worry Trump will hurt down-ballot. NYT: “…private polling by both parties shows an even more precipitous drop, especially among independent voters, moderate Republicans and women … Liesl Hickey, a Republican strategist involved in several House races in swing states, said she was dismayed by a sudden exodus of independent voters in more diverse parts of the country … In a growing list of House races, Democrats are showing ads that link Republican lawmakers directly to Mr. Trump…”
Certain Senate Republicans are outperforming Trump. Roll Call: “In five key states, Republican Senate candidates, on average, are doing better than Trump by about 5 points [though] Richard M. Burr is barely running ahead of Trump in North Carolina.”


Obama pens Economist oped on the economic path forward: “Lifting productivity and wages also depends on creating a global race to the top in rules for trade … we need to be even more aggressive in enacting measures to reverse the decades-long rise in inequality. Unions should play a critical role … segments of the shadow banking system still present vulnerabilities and the housing-finance system has not been reformed. That should be an argument for building on what we have already done … With today’s low interest rates, fiscal policy must play a bigger role in combating future downturns … sustainable economic growth requires addressing climate change…”
Obama celebrates Paris climate deal going into effect: “…at home, we led by example… the skeptics said these actions would kill jobs. And instead, we saw — even as we were bringing down these carbon levels — the longest streak of job creation in American history … the Paris Agreement alone will not solve the climate crisis. Even if we meet every target embodied in the agreement, we’ll only get to part of where we need to go. But make no mistake, this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change.”


TNR’s Sarah Jaffe profiles the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors, and the wave of “occupations”: “What was happening, [one] said, was a process of decolonization, of shaking loose from the rules and patterns and laws imposed by the colonizers, by Western capitalism, on her people … The return of encampments as a tactic is telling us something … people from disparate backgrounds have rallied to challenge the inequality that is now visible all around.”

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