How Baby Boomers Broke America

About five decades ago, the core values that make America great began to bring America down. The First Amendment became a tool for the wealthy to put a thumb on the scales of democracy. America’s rightly celebrated dedication to due process was used as an instrument to block government from enforcing job-safety rules, holding corporate criminals accountable and otherwise protecting the unprotected. Election reforms meant to enhance democracy wound up undercutting democracy. Ingenious financial and legal engineering turned our economy from an engine of long-term growth and shared prosperity into a casino with only a few big winners.

These distinctly American ideas became the often unintended instruments for splitting the country into two classes: the protected and the unprotected. The protected overmatched, overran and paralyzed the government. The unprotected were left even further behind. And in many cases, the work was done by a generation of smart, hungry strivers who benefited from one of the most American values of all: meritocracy.

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Understanding Bevin requires knowledge of conservative principles

In the early 1980s President Ronald Reagan, now a deity to American conservatives, said that “government is not the solution … government is the problem.” Mixing Hayek with Reagan, and sprinkling in generous helpings of conservative thinkers like Ayn Rand, creates the idea that there are two components to a nation’s economy: the productive part and the non-productive part.

Private enterprise is productive, and government — all government — is non-productive. Any dollar that goes to the non-productive side is a dollar taken away from the productive side.

According to this view, the people working on the productive side are benefiting the economy and enriching society. The people on the other side are draining from the economy and depleting society.

If you don’t think conservatives believe this, Google the American Enterprise Institute, a leading conservative think tank, and read one of its policy papers. Or listen to a Bevin speech.

So teachers, and their pensions, are a drain on the economy and a danger to society.

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Demographic Shifts and the Future of the Trump Coalition

These scenarios, developed by the authors, include outcomes that favor both
Republican and Democratic candidates. They are not intended as predictions but
are simulations based on assumptions about different demographic groups’ future
voting patterns. Each of the alternative scenarios assumes the same projections for
the nation’s underlying demographic structure of eligible voters (EVs) with respect
to race, age, and education attainment. As such, the scenarios provide for a more
in-depth understanding than national or state polling trends can supply about
how emerging voting patterns may interact with changes in the demography of the
nation’s electorate to affect future popular vote and Electoral College outcomes.

 

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The Teachers’ Strikes Have Exposed the GOP’s Achilles Heel

When Republican primary voters choose a demagogue who evinced indifference to “free market” pieties — and support for massive infrastructure stimulus, universal health care, price controls on pharmaceuticals, and higher taxes on the rich — as their 2016 standard-bearer, many pundits were perplexed. But they shouldn’t have been. It would be far stranger if Republican voters really did feel a deep loyalty to the Ryan budget. After all, no mass constituency in any other advanced democracy on planet Earth has ever rallied behind such a cause.

The GOP has not made support for tax cuts (no matter the economic conditions, geopolitical circumstances, or resulting consequences for social spending) the first principle of its domestic agenda because that is a popular and rational governing ideal — but because it is an excellent value proposition to offer to well-heeled reactionaries in search of a medium-risk, high-return investment opportunity.

To this point, the GOP has paid no great electoral price for the fact that there is no significant constituency for its economic agenda; over the past decade, Republicans have managed to grow more fanatically committed to fiscal policies that their voters find abhorrent — and more politically powerful.

A variety of factors have abetted this odd achievement, not least the fact that most voters pay far less attention to the details of policy than to identity-based appeals. Through “culture war” rhetoric and legislation, the GOP has established itself as the party of rural Americans, cultural traditionalists, gun enthusiasts, and the (proudly) white and native-born. The broad appeal of this reactionary brand of identity politics (combined with copious Koch network cash, the right’s vast propaganda apparatus, and a touch of voter suppression) has allowed the Republican Party to have its fringe fiscal agenda, and its electoral majorities, too.

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The Next Louisville: When Bus Routes Determine Job Prospects

The Next Louisville: When Bus Routes Determine Job Prospects

Andre Perry wakes up at 5 a.m. on workdays in his one bedroom apartment in the Shawnee neighborhood. His bus leaves 20 minutes later from a nearby stop.

The 21 carries him downtown, where he waits about half an hour for a transfer to the 71. That bus takes him across the river to the Amazon fulfillment center in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he works four days a week loading trucks. On the 71, he can sleep.

He gets to Amazon around 6:45 a.m. — an hour before his shift starts.

“Sometimes it’s difficult, sometimes it’s not, but it gets you there on time,” he said on a recent commute home. “It might depend on the weather, the bus might have broke down or something. Usually the bus is dependable.”

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As America Changes, Some Anxious Whites Feel Left Behind

Hazleton’s experience offers a glimpse into the future as white Americans confront the end of their majority status, which often has meant that their story, their traditions, their tastes, and their cultural aesthetic were seen as being quintessentially American. This is a conversation already exploding across the country as some white Americans, in online forums and protests over the removal of Confederate monuments, react anxiously and angrily to a sense that their way of life is under threat. Those are the stories that grab headlines and trigger social media showdowns.

But the shift in status—or what some are calling “the altitude adjustment”—is also playing out in much more subtle ways in classrooms, break rooms, factory floors, and shopping malls, where the future has arrived ahead of schedule. Since 2000, the minority population has grown to outnumber the population of whites who aren’t Hispanic in such counties as Suffolk in Massachusetts, Montgomery in Maryland, Mecklenburg in North Carolina, as well as counties in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas.

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