Sunday, February 8, 2015


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
(#1 March 1, 2014)

What’s at stake: “The game is rigged,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at last week’s New Populism Conference.   “We can whine about it. We can whimper. Or we can fight back. Me? I’m fighting back.”
 “Build for Rising Seas, Obama Tells Agencies.” 
“… we will champion the key values of progressivism: civil liberties, civil rights, economic justice, peace, and a clean environment.” And “we will expose the corporate groups taking over our politics.”  In an undated letter from The Progressive, Inc. (publishing The Progressive Magazine).

Thumbnail history:  Early 20th century “populism” and “progressive” movements evolved into “liberal,” which is presently also being called “progressive.”  This second newsletter on populism, progressive, liberal focuses on economic justice, FDR’s “freedom from want.”  But in several places we are reminded of the diverse values designated by the terms.  For example, The Progressive Magazine reminds us that the oldest tradition of progressivism embraces peace, that is, anti-war, in strong contrast to the imperialism of post-WWII, Cold War liberal USA and its over forty illegal, unnecessary, and lethal invasions and interventions abroad, so well itemized by William Blum and satirized by Dr. Strangelove.  The Feb. 2015 cover of The Progressive boldly announces its commitment to “racial justice,” and inside the magazine declares:  “The Progressive tackles the forces distorting our economy, corrupting our democracy, and imperiling our planet.  Our reporting and analysis take on the modern-day robber barons, and champion peace, civil liberties, equality, and justice.”  --Dick                          

My blog:
War Department/Peace Department


See: Capitalism, Democratic Party, Liberal, Occupy, Populism, Progressive, Republic Party,

See at end for #1.

Contents of Liberal, Progressive, Affirmative Government Newsletter #2

Range of Application of “Progressive” Label
Kaye, The Fight for the Four Freedoms, on C-Span: Freedom of Expression and
     Religion, Freedom from Want and Fear
ProgressivesUnited: Pledge and Petition
Eskow:  Elizabeth Warren

Progressive/Liberal (Affirmative) Government
Sainsbury, New Political Economy (Economic and Social Justice)
Obama Orders Federal Agencies to Follow Science-Based Standards Against Rising Seas Examples of Need for Affirmative Government vs. Fear and Want
NationofChange vs Corporate Greed
     Sarich, Unregulated Corporations vs the People
     Covert, Recession = Corporate Profits and Reduced Wages
     Ecowatch, Safety from Harmful Products
     Hamby, Government Protecting Miners

Thwarted at National Level, Turn to Grassroots for Progressive Change?
Goldberg, The Progressive City, Build Progressivism from the Cities
Dick,: A Note on Local vs. Global: Goldberg’s Focus on Affirmative City Government
     and Kaye’s on Affirmative National Government

What “Progressive” Is Not and Is in Economics:  Joseph Stiglitz
     Interview by Bill Moyers
     Analysis:  Stiglitz’ Seven Proposals
What “Progressive” is Not
More on Economics:  Madrick, Seven Bad Ideas

Ralph Nader, Unstoppable, Finding Common Ground
Books Reviewed in These Two Newsletters

Newsletter #1


Book Discussion on The Fight For the Four Freedoms.  C-Span.
Harvey Kaye talked about his book, The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great, in which he recalls President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s public acknowledgement on January 6, 1941, of “four freedoms” with which all people should be entrusted, including freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear [Eleanor referred to them as the “four equalities,”]. The author talked about the progressivism of the Roosevelt-era and argued that a reminder of the “four freedoms” could address today’s political and social issues. Harvey Kaye spoke at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Progressives United
Louise,  1-29-15
Democrats may have gotten shellacked in 2014's midterm elections, but President Obama just offered them a path to victory in 2016. They should listen -- he has a little experience winning elections.
The problem last year was that Democrats relied too heavily on old ideas and scary fundraising emails instead of lining up behind popular, progressive ideas that would have inspired more voters and more donors.
So that's exactly what the president proposed: a bold, progressive agenda to take economic equality head-on. The plan makes the country's wealthiest pay more of their fair share while providing working families with a tax break and helping pay for childcare and college.
Will Democrats take another beating in 2016? With the Koch brothers alone already planning to funnel nearly $1 billion into next year's elections, it's up to us to make sure Democrats fight back the most powerful way possible: with popular, progressive ideas.
There's no denying that the Kochs' money is scary. But Democrats aren't going to win by outspending right-wing billionaires anyway.
Their only hope is to inspire supporters with solutions that will make a real difference. And policies like the president's tax plan inspire both Democratic and Republican voters, according to the polls.
That's why, to win back House seats and unseat vulnerable Republican senators like Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Marco Rubio, we must talk about expanding opportunities for working families.
It's time to take a bold approach to economic equality, and President Obama got us off to a good start in his State of the Union. Now it is up to us to make sure Democrats across the board make taking on economic equality their #1 priority.  [i.e., significantly reduce the gap between rich and poor  --Dick]
We all feel it. The American dream is becoming harder and harder to reach for more and more Americans. Workers haven't gotten a raise in years, and expenses like childcare and tuition have gone through the roof.
No matter how hard they work, parents cannot put their kids through college, leaving a generation of students graduating under a mountain of debt.
If we are going to win, Democrats must address these needs. They must make a bold agenda to take on economic inequality the centerpiece of the 2016 campaign, not selling their souls to play a money game they can't win.
Thanks for uniting as a progressive,
Cole Leystra
Executive Director
Progressives United

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PO Box 620‌062, Middleton, WI 53‌562

8,673 grassroots progressives
Erin Wagner, 

to me  2-7-15
We need your help today so we can deliver this to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

Progressives United
Over 11,300 of your fellow progressives have signed on to send a message to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell: close foreign profits loopholes and reinvest back home.
Huge corporations like Microsoft, General Electric, and others keep over $2 trillion outside the country to avoid paying taxes. President Obama has a new plan that would close the foreign profits loopholes and invest hundreds of billions of dollars in American infrastructure projects that benefit everyone.
We will deliver our petition to Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell once a full 20,000 grassroots progressives sign on.
President Obama is committed to solving this economic problem, but we know congressional Republicans are committed to serving their own interests and the interests of corporations who fund their campaigns. They try not to listen, so we have to make them.
Thank you for uniting as a progressive,
Erin Wagner
Digital Director
Progressives United




Making The “New Populism” A Reality: Lessons From The Conference

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Op-Ed: “Democratic movements are initiated by people who have individually managed to attain a high level of personal political self-respect,” historian Lawrence Goodwyn wrote nearly four decades ago. “They are not resigned; they are not intimidated.” “The game is rigged,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at last week’s New Populism Conference, as if summoned forth from history by Goodwyn’s observation: “We can whine about it. We can whimper. Or we can fight back. Me? I’m fighting back.”

Progressive/Liberal (Affirmative) Government

A New Progressive Political Economy

David Sainsbury, Op-Ed, NationofChange, March 9, 2014: In an article in Foreign Affairs entitled “The Future of History,” Francis Fukuyama pointed out that, despite widespread anger at Wall Street bailouts, there has been no great upsurge of support for left-wing political parties. Fukuyama attributed this – rightly, I believe – to a failure of ideas. The 2008 financial crash revealed major flaws in the neoliberal view of capitalism, and an objective view of the last thirty five years shows that the neoliberal model has not performed well relative to the previous thirty years in terms of economic growth, financial stability, and social justice. But a credible progressive alternative has yet to take shape.

Juliet Eilperin, “Build for Rising Seas, Obama Tells Agencies,” The Washington Post in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (1-31-15).  President Obama ordered federal agencies “to adopt stricter building and siting standards to reflect scientific projections that flooding will be more frequent and intense because of climate change.”

Against the Corporate Machine of Unregulated Profit: AFFIRMATIVE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE, Species, Earth--A Few Examples
For national-international-planet-size problems we need national-planet-size for-the-people government.

NationofChange vs. US Capitalism 
TUESDAY, 27 MAY 2014
Since the passing of Citizens United the Kochs, their billionaire buddies, and corporations like Monsanto are putting massive amounts of money into think tanks, propaganda, and bad science to control how the public views their capitalist crimes. NationofChange exists to help stand up to this “apparatus” via activism, mass media campaigns, and of course our daily edition of the best in independent news and views.
This week we are raising funds for our annual spring fundraiser. These funds go directly to the essential services that we require to do our job. It’s more important than ever that we continue to stand in the way of the Corporate machine on behalf of the people and the planet. Your donation is tax-deductible.

   Covert, Reduction of Middle Class Income
   Sarich, Unregulated Corporations vs. the People
   EcoWatch, Affirmative Government Protection from products that harm
          aquatic species and pollutes our water.
    Hamby, Protection of Miners


The Recession Blew a Hole in Middle-Class Jobs

Bryce Covert, News Report: The good news is that employment is returning back to pre-recession levels. The bad news is that the kinds of jobs that people can find have changed for the worse. In its latest update, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that “employment has now returned to levels seen prior to the Great Recession,” but adds that “the types of jobs created during the recovery are not the same as those that were lost during the recession.” The vast majority of jobs lost to the economic crisis were middle-skill ones in construction, elementary education, and administrative support.

How Do You Like Being Exposed to 80,000 Unregulated Chemicals Every Day?

Christina Sarich, News Report: In a new documentary by Ed Brown titled, ‘Unacceptable Levels,’ we can learn how the industrial revolution led to more than eighty thousand toxic chemicals that are unregulated and untested by independent scientific bodies, while still being given the rubber stamp of approval by agencies like the EPA. Companies are able to put these untested, carcinogenic, toxic chemicals in any product they wish without government oversight.

California Assembly Passes Historic Law to Remove Plastic Microbeads from Personal Care Products

EcoWatch, News Report: In a historic vote yesterday, the California Assembly passed the Microplastic Nuisance Prevention Law to ban the sale and manufacturing of personal care products containing tiny, synthetic plastic microbeads. Thanks to 5 Gyres Institute, the group that authored the bill sponsored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), California sets a national precedent for holding companies liable for products that harm aquatic species and pollutes our water.


Labor Department Unveils Rule to Protect Coal Miners Following Center Investigation

Chris Hamby, News Report: The U.S. Department of Labor announced Friday that it plans to issue a new rule to address recent disclosures that lawyers representing coal companies have withheld medical evidence from miners in black lung benefits cases. The announcement comes after a recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity detailed a prominent law firm’s decades-long record of keeping key evidence from sick miners, sometimes causing them to lose benefits cases. The Labor Department offered little detail about the rule but said its purpose was to “ensure that coal miners have full access to information about their health and to enhance the accuracy of entitlement determinations.” The department said it aims to release a proposal by January 2015.


Thwarted at National Level, Turn to Grassroots for Progressive Change?

The Rise of the Progressive City

With liberal hopes dashed in Washington, political energy is gathering in cities, where social change is actually possible.
   |    This article appeared in the April 21, 2014 edition of The Nation.  [With the title, “Power to the City.”  --Dick]

Bill de Blasio, Kasim Reed, David Axlerod
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio center, speaks during a panel discussion about the issues facing the nation's big cities while Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed right, and former Obama advisor and moderator of the discussion David Axlerod look on in Chicago, Thursday, March, 6, 2014 (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
As the gears of federal government have ground to a halt, a new energy has been rocking the foundations of our urban centers. From Atlanta to Seattle and points in between, cities have begun seizing the initiative, transforming themselves into laboratories for progressive innovation. Cities Rising is The Nation’s chronicle of those urban experiments. 
* * *
The Bush years were grim for progressives, but they did offer one small consolation: the hope that if only a smart and decent person could ascend to the White House, our politics could be repaired. Now, after years of destructive austerity and hopeless stalemate, that faith is dead. People on the left will debate where to lay the blame, but few will disagree that our federal institutions seem utterly unequal to the challenges of a country still reeling from economic crisis.
Indeed, our national politics are so deformed that it’s hard even to imagine the steps necessary to fix things. Last year, The Boston Globe ran an award-winning series, “Broken City,” about the entropy in Washington. The final piece noted that potential remedies for the country’s problems are met with “almost complete indifference in Washington, the world’s capital of gridlock, even when alternative, perhaps better, ways are already at work, some in plain sight.”
At the city level, though, things are very different. Among those who study urban governance and those who practice it, there’s an extraordinary sense of political excitement. An outpouring of books like If Mayors Ruled the World, Triumph of the City and The Metropolitan Revolutionhymns urban dynamism. Not all the new urban optimists are on the left, but that’s where most of the energy is. With the federal government frozen, cities are seizing the initiative and becoming laboratories for progressive policy innovation. Amid widespread despair about national politics, cities have become new sources of hope.
“It’s a movement that reflects the paralyzed nature of the political system in Washington right now and the polarization of the political process,” says Neal Peirce, editor of Citiscope, an online magazine about cities that launched earlier this year. “On the local level, you can have these arguments without getting as much into partisan politics. At the same time, we’re having much more discussion about income inequality.” The result is a raft of local legislation intended to address problems that national politicians have let fester. “It’s quite a shift,” says Peirce. “It’s grown dramatically in the last year or so.”
There’s little chance, for example, that Congress will give us a living-wage law anytime soon, but the city of SeaTac in Washington State just raised its minimum wage to an unprecedented $15 an hour, and Los Angeles is considering a proposal to mandate a $15.37 minimum for workers at big hotels. San Francisco has adopted near-universal health coverage, including a program for the uninsured that functions like the “public option” left out of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The federal government has done disgracefully little about the collapse of the housing market, but Richmond, California, is pushing a bold, controversial plan to take over underwater mortgages through the use of eminent domain. Obama’s proposal for universal pre-K, first made in last year’s State of the Union address, may not go anywhere, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to bring it to the country’s largest city, and both San Antonio and Denver have approved sales tax increases to pay for their own expanded preschool programs.
With a group of new, progressive mayors in office this year, the era of big-city liberalism has just begun. In addition to de Blasio, there’s Boston’s Marty Walsh, Minneapolis’s Betsy Hodges and Seattle’s Ed Murray, who wants to bring the $15 minimum wage to his city. Cities have the opportunity, Murray said in his State of the City address in February, to lead on “disparity in pay and in housing, in urban policing, on the environment and providing universal pre-K.” Quoting Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he called for “bold, persistent experimentation…. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”   MORE

The essay by Michelle Goldberg, “Power to the City,” The Nation (April 21, 2014) supports a local focus.  She offers a progressive case for “going local,” since “our national politics are so deformed,” while throughout the nation “cities are seizing the initiative and becoming laboratories for progressive policy innovation.”  But if our talent turns to local, avoidance and neglect will surely worsen our national/international deformations, from unemployment and abusive criminal justice at home to illegal invasion and torture abroad.  Our leaders need constant pressure from the grassroots on specific international and national issues and to remind them the USA is supposed to be a democracy.    Countless histories of democratic nations show the crucial importance of public engagement in national politics, if corruption and tyranny are to be avoided, as Kaye’s account of the rise of FDR’s New Deal demonstrates.  If democracy at home and international generosity abroad are turned into plutocracy and empire, because the people abandoned the struggle and turned to cultivating their local gardens, they must share the blame.    –Dick]



Encore: Joseph E. Stiglitz Calls for Fair Taxes for All

August 21, 2014 | Moyers & Company

The Nobel Prize-winning economist explains why America’s future prosperity depends on tax reform today.

Dick’s Notes:

President Obama, if you seriously care about THE PEOPLE of USA, appoint Stiglitz as your economic advisor, listen to his analysis and advice, and follow them.   His analysis simple, straightforward, coherent—the self-reinforcing circular movement of money and power in a plutocracy:  The corporations buy control of Congress to enable them to dodge taxes, make enormous profits, and  buy Congress.  All explained in his new pamphlet “Reforming Taxation to Promote Equity.”


Encore: How Tax Reform Can Save the Middle Class

August 28, 2014 | Moyers & Company

In part two of his interview, Joseph E. Stiglitz says corporate abuse of our tax system has helped make America unequal and undemocratic. But the Nobel Prize-winning economist has a plan to change that.

Dick’s Notes:

I.               US economic policies—especially tax policies—don’t serve the majority of the people, and the inequality is growing.

The tax code is rigged to the advantage of the 1%, who take but don’t give back fairly.  Median income is lower than qtr. Century ago; while econ soared, 90% of populace stagnated or declined.

II.             The policies are not necessary, not inevitable, but have been created by the machinations of the rich and powerful for their own interests

 by creation of laws that serve them, laws made by lawmakers controlled by the rich by campaign contributions, lobbyists, Supreme Court justices,

by control of information and myths; e.g., US the land of opportunity:  comparison with other developed nations shows US not land of opportunity; e.g., a tax code which enables the rich to pay their fair share actually serves the majority best, that is, tax evasion by the rich—by the code (numerous loopholes, special deductions, rate), by offshore tax havens-- serves democracy. 

But rich not paying their fair share.   All emphasis on rights of the rich without equal emphasis upon responsibility and accountability.  They are free to spend unlimited amounts to distort our politics in their favor, with little punishment for criminal or anti-social behavior.  Corporations pay fines as part of costs of doing business, and few corp execs and shareholders go to jail.

That is, the condition of the US today is not the result of economics but of politics, of choices dominated by the rich.  The rich today are protecting their wealth and transferring it to their children and class.  But we should and can transfer wealth to all by taxing the rich

III.             Applied to Obama and Democratic Party 2014:  But will we choose to again pull back from the brink as we did in the 1930s?  Or has our politics been so changed, money power been so concentrated into permanent plutocracy (add recent Supreme Court rulings—Citizens United, McCutcheon) that it is too late?

Read Stiglitz’ new essay, “Reforming Taxation to Promote Growth and Equity.”

[Eleanor Roosevelt referred to the Four Freedoms as the “Four Equalities.”  Kaye pp. 126 and 250.  --Dick]


Seven Key Takeaways From Joseph E. Stiglitz’s Tax Plan for Growth and Equality
May 30, 2014
·         762
Wall Street sign (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
(AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Taxes pay for roads, schools, firefighters, Coast Guard rescues and a thousand other goods and services we need for our society to function.
But taxes also shape our incentives. We tax things that we deem to be harmful — like tobacco and alcohol — and hand out tax breaks to encourage things we find beneficial, like research.
According to a new white paper by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, our labyrinthine tax system is skewing those incentives. We’re encouraging corporations to invest in creating jobs overseas, when unemployment remains doggedly high here at home. We’re giving US-based multinationals good reason t0 deprive our treasury of revenues when we should be investing in infrastructure and the American people.
The report, prepared for the Roosevelt Institute, offers seven concrete proposals for reforming our corporate tax system so it aligns with the greater good. We have excerpted these below. The full recommendations are available in Stiglitz’s report, Reforming Taxation to Promote Growth and Equity(PDF).
1. Raise Corporate Income Tax Rates While Providing Incentives for Investments and Job Creation in the US
The implicit assumptions of the advocates of lower corporate tax rates are that low rates induce more investment and that high corporate tax rates disincentivize investment. Both theory and evidence indicate that low corporate tax rates fail to induce investment, but that one can design a corporate income tax that will promote investment and employment creation in the US. Such a tax system will require higher tax rates on corporations that do not invest, accompanied by lower taxes on those that do. It is the difference in taxation between those who do and those who do not invest and create jobs that provides the incentives for investment and job creation.
2. Reduce Spending on Corporate Welfare
Welfare payments provide assistance to poor individuals in need. But in the US, we give large amounts of money to rich corporations that can hardly be viewed as needy. Such payments — mainly hidden in our corporate tax system — have come to be called corporate welfare.
Corporate welfare consists of the billions — over a decade, tens and perhaps hundreds of billions — of dollars to enrich the coffers of corporations, sometimes to protect them from adverse situations (as in the massive bailout of the banking system, sometimes directly, as in the current crisis, sometimes indirectly, through the IMF) and other times to “promote” particular industries. The net beneficiaries of corporate welfare are, by and large, wealthy Americans — and increasingly wealthy foreigners (since foreigners are large owners of American corporations) … Both for reasons of equity and efficiency, the elimination — or at least the reduction — of corporate welfare should be at the center of tax reform.
3. Tax the Financial Sector
There are good reasons why there should be a special set of taxes imposed on the financial sector. First, the recession caused by the misdeeds of the financial sector is a major cause of the current high level of national indebtedness. Secondly, there is an important role for “corrective” taxation — taxes that simultaneously raise revenue and provide incentives for firms not to, for instance, impose externalities on others. The financial sector has, in fact, imposed huge costs on the rest of the economy.
But in spite of the evidence that it has imposed large costs on the rest of the economy, the financial sector has been particularly successful in escaping taxation. We suggest a number of financial sector taxes that would, we believe, actually increase the likelihood that the financial sector more efficiently performs the key social functions that it should perform.
4. Tax on Monopolies and Other Rent-Based Enterprises
One of the advantages of taxing monopolies and other rent-based enterprise “profits” at a higher (“surtax”) level is the absence of adverse supply responses. Indeed, if the response to taxing rent seeking activities is to decrease the quantity of such activities, the efficiency of the economy may actually be enhanced. While in some cases it may be difficult to ascertain the extent to which there are monopoly profits, in some sectors (such as telecom and cable TV) the magnitudes and associated distortions are large.
5. Ensure that Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes and Have Incentives to Invest in America
In the current system, we lose not just tax revenues but also jobs. In the following two subsections, we discuss two ways by which this problem can be addressed.
·         Tax firms on their global income in a fair and comprehensive way:In spite of the recent assertions of the Supreme Court, corporations are not people. One of the ways that they differ from people is that where they reside can be nothing but a legal fiction. We can tell where an individual resides – an individual is a resident of the State of New York if she sleeps 50 percent of nights in New York. But a corporation can set up an office in the Cayman Islands, claim that as its home, even if little or none of its business is conducted there, and even if it has few if any employees there. Our leading technology companies have shown that they can be as innovative in tax avoidance as they have been in producing new products. The current system cannot work in a world of globalization.
·         Tax Intellectual Property:Corporations whose profits are strongly related to intellectual property have been particularly effective in tax avoidance, partly because it is relatively easy to claim that the intellectual property was created in, or resides in, a low tax jurisdiction. This is so even when the intellectual property depends heavily on basic research paid for by American taxpayers. As we noted earlier, technology firms, whose very existence depends on the Internet, which itself only exists as a result of government investments in research and development, have become emblematic of this kind of “corporate irresponsibility.”
6. Increase Taxes on Industries That Produce Negative Externalities
Taxes on industries that impose costs on the rest of society actually increase economic efficiency. It is better  to tax bad things (such as pollution) than good things (such as work). The market produces too much of some things (such as toxic mortgages and toxic waste) and too little of others (such as basic research).
Taxes can be particularly effective in curbing these negative externalities, and in doing so, yield double dividends. The most important category of corrective taxes are those on environmental externalities, and within this area, the most important are those associated with carbon emissions, with their impact on global climate change.
It matters less whether those generating the pollution pay a carbon tax or buy emission permits that are auctioned. Either can generate large amounts of money and simultaneously improve economic performance.
7. Make Dividend Payments Tax Deductible, But Impose a Withholding Tax
One of the distortions associated with the current tax regime is that it encourages excessive leverage, which can, in turn, contribute to excessive volatility. Firms that raise capital through debt can deduct the interest they pay, but this is not true for the dividends that firms pay to those who contribute equity. This bias would be eliminated if dividends were tax deductible. But many of the recipients of the dividends would, under the current regime, then succeed in avoiding all taxes on this income, by taking advantage of various provisions in the tax code. Hence we propose that there be a 40 percent withholding tax. Upper-income Americans who actually pay taxes on dividends received would then get a full credit for these taxes that have been withheld. There would then be no double taxation — there would be an effective integration of the individual and corporate income tax.
Download the entire report, “Reforming Taxation to Promote Growth and Equity,” which also includes Stiglitz’s plan for reforming the individual income tax.


Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World by Jeff Madrick.  Knopf, 2014.
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In his introduction to Seven Bad Ideas, Jeff Madrick (Age of Greed) says that economists could benefit from advice Henry James once gave his students: "Any point of view is interesting that is a direct impression of life. You should consider life directly and closely." Madrick's stance is that mainstream economists rely too heavily on theory that doesn't hold up in practice. To illustrate and support his position, he explains seven economic principles that have driven policy since the 1970s and offers evidence of how they have failed not only the American people but the entire world. If politicians continue to follow these damaging ideas, he warns, they could hold the United States back for decades.

Throughout the country, most colleges teach the same conservative economic notions, passing these problematic theories along to the future economists; very few include a course on the development of these theories. Madrick says, "history is rarely a cherished discipline among economists, and case studies are too often neglected." Here, he uses historical examples and data to show government's leading role in innovation, the results of deregulation, flaws in low inflation and austerity economics, and the need for community-mindedness in a successful economy.

Readers don't need to be finance specialists to understand Seven Bad Ideas. Industry jargon, when used, is clearly explained and Madrick often provides vivid analogies to make the concepts even more accessible. Dishing up more than just blunt criticism, Madrick offers alternate approaches. If there were an eighth bad idea, it would be ignoring this book. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts
Discover: An intelligent, provocative look at seven dominant economic notions that drive U.S. policy.
Knopf, 2014

This is so true of progressive orgs as a whole.
To begin with, a note on an inveterate optimist: Ralph Nader, our reigning genius of political possibility (and Seven Stories author of "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!" and Told You So, among other titles) has just released, with Public Affairs Books, Unstoppable. His political imagination on fire yet again, Ralph argues that the American people can get back into the habit of winning political battles by finding common ground between progressives and conservatives on certain issues.

We find both comprehensiveness and coherence in chronological histories of liberalism/progressivism; for example,  Harvey Kaye’s The Fight for the Four Freedoms  and Eric Alterman’s The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama.  Or by a topical approach like Patrick Garry’s earlier book, Liberalism and American Identify.

Alterman, Eric.  The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin
     Roosevelt to Barack Obama.
Garry, Patrick.  Liberalism and American Identify
Kaye, Harvey.  The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest
   Generation Truly  Great
Madrick, Jeff.  Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged
    America and the World

Contents Liberal/Progressive Newsletter #1, February 27, 2014
Two Books:
Garry, Liberalism and American Identity
Alterman and Mattson, The Cause. . .from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama

Articles Mainly on “Progressives”
Nichols, 2013 Progressive Individuals and Groups
Laura Flanders, Bill de Blasio (self-proclaimed Progressive)
Dick, The Progressive Magazine
NationofChange Online on Progressives
Free Speech TV on Progressives
Paul Krugman, Centrists
Z Magazine, Self-described Radical Magazine
Dick, Unitarian Universalist Association Values


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)