The Realignment Project

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X-Posted From Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Why Poverty Still Matters

(So…it’s been a while since this blog has been updated. Largely, this is because I’ve been very busy finishing up my dissertation, which devours free time like a ravenous beast. However, as of about a week ago, I’ve defended and am quite done with all that. So I’m going to begin policy-blogging again; however, my main venue is probably going to shift...

Job Insurance – Part 7 (Public/Private)

Introduction: For earlier parts in the series, see here. One of the largest ideological barriers to establishing Job Insurance, just as was the case with Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, is that it would in a fundamental way reshape the composition and relations of the public and private sectors. This more than anything else is what terrifies...

F*ck the Laffer Curve – Individual Vs. Social Consumption

Introduction: The power of ideas to define the range of the possible and the acceptable can be seen in the fact that, despite nearly four years of budget austerity at the state level, California appears to be trying once again to cut itself out of a recession, or the fact that despite a stimulus that has appreciably worked, an incredibly modest proposal...

Living in the Age of Magical Austerity Thinking

Introduction: Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address diagnosed the essential weirdness of recessions: “our distress comes from no failure of substance,” he noted. “Plenty is at our doorstop, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply.” The reason for this? “Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of...

Beyond the American Jobs Act – Labor Demand Policy

Introduction: One of the oddest flaws in American public policy is our persistent belief that unemployment and poverty can be dealt with in the main by improving the “employ-ability” of potential workers – in other words, by improving the quality of labor supply. In the 1960s and 1970s, “manpower development” and “work training” were seen as the solution...

Who Are the X Percent?

                  Introduction: The emergence of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has, if nothing else, has led to a welcome shift in political discourse away from conflicts over what kind of austerity policy to pursue and towards important questions of inequality. Unsurprisingly, this rhetoric has revolved around demography and identity: Who are the 99%? Who...

Reining In the Bond Markets – And Knowing Is Half the Battle…

  Introduction: If the slow-motion meltdown of the Euro has taught us anything in the last few months, it’s that the idea of the bond market is the most powerful force in international political economy at the moment. The idea of the bond market has so obsessed European leaders even to the point where they seem willing to throw their economy (and possibly...

Reining in the Bond Markets – Public Policy in a Context of Ideological Capture

Introduction: In my last piece, I discussed the irrational nature of how the bond markets have reacted to the financial crisis and the recession that followed, simultaneously demanding austerity and then reacting to the recessionary crises their demands have created by demanding government intervention to provide growth (as long as it doesn’t result...

New Urbanism and Industrial Policy – Toeing the Triple Line

Introduction: In the past, I’ve written about the way in which new urbanism needs to do a better job attending to issues of class. However, I want to avoid the accusation that new urbanism is classist in the same way that others have made the argument about race. The reality is that the kind of transformations that new urbanism envisions are a lot easier...

A Wagner Act for Public Sector Unions

Introduction: The sad reality of the recent spate of right-to-work laws, collective bargaining bans, anti-picketing laws, and other state level anti-union legislation is that, despite our victories in Ohio and the recalls in Wisconsin, the labor movement will never begin to make progress as long as we are fighting a piecemeal defense of an industry...

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