Republicans Creating Inflation Fear: Fuhgeddaboudit

Slight increases in the rate of inflation in the United States and Europe have triggered financial-market anxieties. Has US President Joe Biden’s administration risked overheating the economy with its $1.9 trillion rescue package and plans for additional spending to invest in infrastructure, job creation, and bolstering American families?

Such concerns are premature, considering the deep uncertainty we still face. We have never before experienced a pandemic-induced downturn featuring a disproportionately steep service-sector recession, unprecedented increases in inequality, and soaring savings rates.

Joseph Stiglitz

Veterans, McDonalds, and Low Wages

This puts doubt on Republicans’ assertions that if you force people into poverty, they’ll find decent jobs:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – McDonald’s workers in West Virginia, many of whom are military veterans, are rallying today in Charleston to demand a $15 minimum wage, after the company announced it would boost wages for 3,600 hourly workers by an average of 10% over the next few months. The average McDonald’s worker currently earns around $8 an hour.

Public Service News

Republicans’ “Economic Miracle”: Tax Cuts. Don’t believe it.

I live and work in the Midwest, which remains locked in a half-century doldrum of population stagnation, locally concentrated job losses and decay. In many ways, the Rust Belt is emblematic of the lack of focus on value to residents. Indiana is the perfect example, since no state in the Rust Belt has cut taxes as aggressively as this one. A decade ago, local property tax caps were added to the Constitution, limiting local spending. Then corporate taxes were cut, and income taxes cut. All of this was done with the hopes of boosting population and economic growth. 

That didn’t happen. Indiana’s economic recovery from the Great Recession was no more than lackluster, and the clearest result of the rush to cut taxes was to make Indiana a magnet for low-wage employers. The state’s per-capita income dropped to 86% of that of the nation as a whole, down from near 90% in 2012. Half of all job growth went to adult workers without a high school diploma.  

The lesson here is that selling your state on price instead of value is likely to draw bargain shoppers. These businesses will view the workforce as a commodity. That is a poor harbinger for the future.

MarketWatch

Documented: Republicans Stirring the Insurrection Pot. Social Media Comments Documented

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren has quietly posted a nearly 2,000-page report documenting social media posts by her Republican colleagues who voted against certifying results of the presidential election on January 6.

The report chronicles the social media activity of members on public forums immediately before the November election and right after the January 6 riot.

View the report here, compiled with a state-by-state listing.

Texas Power Failure: Thank “Free Market Economics” and Hatred of Federal Government

Millions of Texans have gone days without power or heat in subfreezing temperatures brought on by snow and ice storms. Limited regulations on companies that generate power and a history of isolating Texas from federal oversight help explain the crisis, energy and policy experts told The Texas Tribune.

Policy observers blamed the power system failure on the legislators and state agencies who they say did not properly heed the warnings of previous storms or account for more extreme weather events warned of by climate scientists. Instead, Texas prioritized the free market.

Texas Tribune

Republican Attorneys General Dark Money Group Organized Protest Preceding Capitol Mob Attack

The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a 501(c)(4) arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), helped organize the protest preceding the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol that took place on January 6, 2021. 

As a 501(c)(4), RLDF is not required to reveal its donors. RLDF has received at least $175,000 from the Koch-backed Freedom Partners. Other RLDF donors include Judicial Crisis Network, the Rule of Law Project, and the Edison Electric Institute.

Documented

Texas social workers can now turn away LGBTQ, disabled clients

A state regulatory board removed the discrimination protections following a recommendation from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Texas social workers can now turn away LGBTQ clients and those with a disability.

The state Board of Social Work Examiners voted unanimously to change a section of its code of conduct last week following a recommendation from Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to remove protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

NBC News

What to Do About GOP Bad Faith After Trump

Some amount of lying, and even more hypocrisy, is inevitable in politics. The Democratic Party isn’t immune. But it would be a mistake to confuse the acts of bad faith that have saturated Republican conduct for garden-variety hypocrisy or lying. These contradictions don’t point to a lack of self-awareness or passing acts of shame-faced expediency. Republicans and professional conservatives revel in double standards because by embracing double standards they claim power over their opponents. The Republicans have become a party that celebrates rulebreaking, because they have come to see rulebreaking as a show of strength. Their moral compass, inverted by their single-minded pursuit of self-interest, now points south. 

 Crooked.com

[An excellent, if lengthy, article. Recommended reading.]