From The Atlantic: The Rust Belt Didn’t Have to Happen

Vice President Mike Pence’s hometown of Columbus, Indiana, thrived while other cities declined, because J. Irwin Miller, its wealthiest and most prominent industrialist, remained deeply rooted in and committed to his city. He used his clout, money, and a visionary progressive approach to build up Columbus for long-term success. A new biography of him called J. Irwin Miller: The Shaping of an American Town, by Nancy Kriplen, reveals not just the story of a city but one of a lost model of American leadership that the country badly needs to recover if many of its communities are to ever turn around.

Miller’s approach was superficially similar to many of today’s public-private partnerships. The difference is that his program invested in building up public goods and services, whereas all too many of today’s partnership’s are about enriching private parties at the public’s expense.

That moderation also helped Cummins and Columbus avoid the labor strife of other Midwest cities. When national unions attempted to organize Cummins, the employees instead elected to form their own, independent Diesel Workers Union, over the objections of the United Automobile Workers. The relationship between the Diesel Workers Union and firm was much warmer than usual, with Miller given honorary union membership. As he put it, “Unions are management’s mirror. They tell you things your own people won’t admit.”

The results speak for themselves. Cummins has remained a successful global enterprise. And Columbus has prospered, never experiencing a major period of decline. Today it’s still growing in population and adding jobs faster than the nation as a whole. It’s more educated than the country at large and boasts a GDP per capita higher than Portland, Minneapolis, and Houston.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/the-rust-belt-didnt-have-to-happen/603523/

Worth reading.

The key take away is that Columbus Indiana’s story is not one of laissez faire tax cuts and deregulation. It’s one of the private sector making use of public goods and then funding those public goods. It is one of human capital development, trade and shared prosperity.

Sadly there is no sign Pence learned anything from his home town.

Mitch McConnell is burning down the country so he can collect the insurance money.

At the time the Trump tax plan was passed, economist on both sides said pretty much the same things. It would inflate the deficit. It would lead to stock buy backs, not new investment. It would mostly go to a small group of people who are already wealthy. The GOP didn’t even bother to debate this point. They repeated talking points and shoved the bill through without debate. Without Democratic amendments. Without a second thought.

Bruce Bartlett was talking about this in 2012. It was called the “Two-Santa Theory” and it dates back to 1976 and was a core part of the Reagan years.

I want people to consider a second term for it. “Burning down the country to collect the insurance money

The idea is simple. You run up the debt. You privatize everything, transferring it to the same people who got bags of cash in the form of tax giveaways and subsidies. You then loot the nation’s insurance fund, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay for it all. You burn the country down. You then fix the damage by collecting the insurance.

“New Treasury Department analysis on Monday revealed that corporate tax cuts had a significant impact on the deficit this year. Federal revenue rose by 0.04 percent in 2018, a nearly 100 percent decrease on last year’s 1.5 percent. In fiscal year 2018, tax receipts on corporate income fell to $205 billion from $297 billion in 2017.

Still, McConnell insisted that the change had nothing to do with a lack of revenue or increased spending and instead was due to entitlement and welfare programs. The debt, he said, was very “disturbing” and driven by “the three big entitlement programs that are very popular, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.… There’s been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs. Hopefully, at some point here, we’ll get serious about this.””

Call it what it is, burning down the country to collect the insurance money.

From: newsweek.com https://www.newsweek.com/deficit-budget-tax-plan-social-security-medicaid-medicare-entitlement-1172941

Trump’s HHS embraces socialized medicine

The important thing to remember here is that Canadian drugs aren’t cheaper because they went on a medical vacation to Canada. They are cheaper because Canadian socialized medicine works.

Americans have been traveling to Canada for drugs like insulin when the cost is too high to obtain them in the U.S. This plan would ostensibly make it easier for Americans to obtain cheaper drugs without having to cross the border.

Source: HHS To Allow Imports Of Cheap Prescription Drugs From Canada

Waiting for Soybeans to Break 800

Trump’s policy of handing over buckets of cash to farmers to compensate them for the damage his trade policy is causing them is far more socialist than anything the democrats are suggesting.
This is the MAGA lined road to serfdom.

From: econbrowser.com https://econbrowser.com/archives/2019/05/for-corev-waiting-for-soybeans-to-break-800

Trump’s steel tariffs cost U.S. consumers $900,000 for every job created, experts say

“U.S. consumers and businesses are paying more than $900,000 a year for every job saved or created by Trump steel tariffs, according to calculations by experts at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The cost is more than 13 times the typical salary of a steelworker, according to Labor Department data, and it is similar to other economists’ estimates that Trump’s tariffs on washing machines are costing consumers $815,000 per job created.”

Remember Solyndra? While the government program that funded Solyndra turned a slight profit, Solyndra lost 528 million. Divide that by the 1100 Solyndra employees and you get 480,000 per job created or saved.  The Trump tariffs are nearly twice as expensive per job created as the most ungenerous metric of Solyndra.

From: washingtonpost.com

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/07/trumps-steel-tariffs-cost-us-consumers-every-job-created-experts-say/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6c24c8c4b156

Milestone: National Debt Tops $22 Trillion For The First Time In History

 

“The Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s deficit will be $897 billion — a 15.1 percent increase over last year’s imbalance of $779 billion. In the coming years, the CBO forecasts that the deficit will keep rising, top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and never drop below $1 trillion through 2029. “

From: talkingpointsmemo.com 

This is a direct result of the GOP tax scam. And they will use the debt scare they created via the tax cut to argue for gutting social security and medicare. This is exactly what everyone said while the GOP was passing the bill on a party line vote with no debate and no amendments from the democrats. 

This isn’t something new, it’s well documented and has been for two decades now.  Bruce Bartlett wrote about in the early 2000s confirming it. One link is here:  http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_12_01_01_bartlett.pdf

“Socialism” vs. “capitalism” is a false dichotomy

We need go-go capitalism to afford a generous welfare state, and people won’t support go-go capitalism without a safety net. “Socialists” and Republicans forget different parts of this lesson.

“Socialism” vs. “capitalism” is a false dichotomy

“We need go-go capitalism to afford a generous welfare state, and people won’t support go-go capitalism without a safety net. “Socialists” and Republicans forget different parts of this lesson.”

Marxists are actually opposed to social insurance systems because they _require capitalism_ to exist and to function. They are funded by taxes on wages, they provision goods and services created by wage labor. This is why actual Marxists and Anarcho-Communists are angry at Democratic Socialists and Liberals, who would keep capitalism, which the Marxists consider to be in a death spiral.

Ride-sharing causes far more city traffic than it prevents: report

Uber and Lyft have long argued that they are a complement to mass transit, and that with the growth of their pooled-ride services they are reducing individual car use, congestion and pollution in this city and others. Not so, according to a report released Wednesday.

via Ride-sharing causes far more city traffic than it prevents: report

Incentivizing drivers to go into already crowded areas creates more traffic.