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

What Do You Do When Hate Knocks on Your Door?

This is my personal story of being targeted by the alt-right. It details the events but mainly my thought processes, the information I found on mainstream media and the internet about the organization that targeted me, and how I responded. I have received a lot of positive feedback and I’m treating this as a living document. Apparently these folks engage in a lot of intimidation tactics and do this kind of thing frequently.

Read more

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.

Movie at the Ellipse: A Study in Fascist Propaganda

On January 6, Trump supporters gathered at a rally at Washington DC’s Ellipse Park, regaled by various figures from Trump world, including Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani. Directly following Giuliani’s speech, the organizers played a video. To a scholar of fascist propaganda, well-versed in the history of the National Socialist’s pioneering use of videos in political propaganda, it was clear, watching it, what dangers it portended. In it, we see themes and tactics that history warns pose a violent threat to liberal democracy. Given the aims of fascist propaganda – to incite and mobilize – the events that followed were predictable.

Read more at JustSecurity.org (it’s a chilling read)

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

House staffers urge senators to convict Trump in impeachment trial

Dozens of House staffers are banding together to urge senators to convict former President Trump in his impeachment trial, arguing he was directly responsible for inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The letter:

“On January 6th, 2021, our workplace was attacked by a violent mob trying to stop the electoral college vote count. That mob was incited by ex-president Donald J. Trump and his political allies, some of whom we pass every day in the hallways at work,” a draft of the letter states.

The letter goes on to describe how staffers “hid behind chairs and under desks or barricaded ourselves in offices” as the mob stormed the building.

“Others watched on TV and frantically tried to reach bosses and colleagues as they fled for their lives.”

The Hill