Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: The Real Living Wage? $17.28 An Hour – At Least

In almost every state, a worker needs more than $15 an hour to make ends meet. Add in student debt, and the minimum living wage shoots up to $18.67 an hour nationally. A family with children needs significantly more. That’s according to new research from People’s Action Institute, which calculates the national living wage at $17.28 ... In some states, the living wage is much higher. New Jersey, Maryland, and New York have a living wage greater than $20 per hour for a single adult. In Hawaii and Washington, D.C., that figure hits almost $22 per hour.


Republican candidates ditch Trump. Politico: “It’s an approach that hasn’t gone into use since 1996, when Republicans, confronting an inevitable loss in the presidential race, aired blank check ads warning of the perils of handing then-President Bill Clinton Democratic majorities in Congress.”
Clinton pushes into red territory. Politico: “…Clinton is set to visit Iowa — the toughest traditional swing state for her … In Utah … Clinton is adding staffers. In Arizona … Democrats are now raising money for Latino get-out-the-vote efforts pegged to former governor Jan Brewer’s declaration to the Boston Globe last week that Hispanics ‘don’t vote.’ … Finally, in Georgia — where Clinton’s main super PAC Priorities USA Action is commencing advertising — Rep. John Lewis marched with millennial voters across the Nelson Street Bridge to line up in front of their early voting location in Atlanta…”
Dems even eye Texas. NYT: “Democrats in the state call it a long shot, but some say they believe she has a chance; Republicans say it will be close but are confident that Mr. Trump will triumph. Political consultants who have both Republican and Democratic clients, and people who study Texas politics, say regardless of Mr. Trump’s narrow lead, he will take the state … Some Texas Republicans, dissatisfied with both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, said they would go to the polls on Election Day but not vote for anyone for president.”
The Nation profiles Zephyr Teachout’s race for Congress: ” The question on everyone’s mind since Sanders lost the Democratic nomination has been: Does that political revolution have legs? Teachout’s campaign, which is fighting to flip a red district blue in upstate New York, will be seen as a referendum on this question … right now she’s neck and neck with [Republican John] Faso in the polls…”


Left looks to Warren to influence Clinton. NYT: “…liberal Democrats are already looking past Election Day — and relying on Ms. Warren to become the thorn in chief in Mrs. Clinton’s side, scrutinizing her appointments and agenda … Democrats frequently point to Ms. Warren as a model for how to gain the public’s attention in effectively blocking appointments.”
Progressives and tech industry set to clash. Politico: “…Clinton would have to fill a raft of positions at the Justice Department and the FTC, the government’s twin cops on the competition beat. The tech industry … could easily face new scrutiny if Clinton bows to the Warren wing and appoints people with a tougher eye for enforcement … the tech industry, which has generously supported Clinton, is starting to take notice.”


US lagging behind other nations in workforce participation. Bloomberg: “In late 2007, before the recession started, the prime-age employment-to-population ratio in the U.S. was about the same as in other Group of Seven developed nations … The U.S., however, experienced a much larger decline during the recession, and remains much farther from undoing the damage … Fed officials often say that the U.S. is close to achieving [full employment]. How can that possibly be true…”
The Atlantic’s Matt Stoller looks back at how congressional Democrats in 1975 moved party away from populism: “…the recently elected Democratic congressmen were known [as] young, idealistic liberals who had been swept into office on a promise to clean up government [and] end the war in Vietnam … The story of [Rep. Wright] Patman’s ousting [as banking committee chair] is part of the larger story of how the Democratic Party helped to create today’s shockingly disillusioned and sullen public, a large chunk of whom is now marching for Donald Trump.”
America’s mayors reject Trump’s negative characterization of inner cities, in Politico survey: “75 percent feel more optimistic about the economy than six months ago … More than 70 percent cited downtown rehabilitation efforts for playing a role … the mayors betrayed an interesting split: Between incentives and investments for entrepreneurs and small firms, and more progressive-minded initiatives and wealth transfers, like minimum wage and affordable housing.”


Health care premiums expected to rise. NYT: “Premiums for midlevel health plans under the Affordable Care Act will increase by an average of 25 percent next year, while consumers in some states will find significantly fewer insurance companies offering coverage, the federal government said Monday. But the Obama administration said three-fourths of consumers would still be able to find plans for less than $100 a month with the help of federal subsidies.”
Dems scramble to address health care premium rise. The Hill: “Democrats point out that 85 percent of ObamaCare enrollees receive financial help under the law and that it cushions people by increasing along with any premium increases … But it is the other 15 percent, about 1.6 million people, who do not receive financial help, where Democrats admit there is a problem. There are also about 7 million people with individual coverage outside of the law’s marketplaces who are fully exposed to premium increases … Clinton, for example, wants to provide a new tax credit of up to $5,000 … Republicans remain firmly opposed to spending more money on the healthcare law.”

Progressive Breakfast is a daily morning email highlighting news stories of interest to activists. Progressive Breakfast and OurFuture.org are projects of People's Action. more »