Submitted by inclusionist on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 09:53
- Van Jones, Opportunities For Green Growth: Myths & Realities About Green Jobs, Testimony Before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming: "I first testified before this esteemed committee in May 2007. At that time, the term “green collar job” only rarely had been heard in the halls of Congress. The term had seldom – if ever – appeared in the mainstream political press. Today the concept is everywhere. The term resonates because it speaks to a deep and abiding hunger in our society for big, practical answers to big, tough challenges. Citizens and community members everywhere are seeking smart solutions to our two biggest problems – the economic downturn and the ecological collapse."
- Barbara Ehrenreich, The Growing Clout of the Nouveau Poor: "Why do the sufferings of the poor and the downwardly mobile class matter more than the tiny deprivations of the rich? Leaving aside all the soft-hearted socialist, Christian-type, arguments, it's because poverty and the squeeze on the middle class are a big part of what got us into this mess in the first place."
- Amy Traub, Melding the Middle: "Thinking about the poor and middle class in terms of their common aspirations – rather than income categories that divide them – is the key to forming an enduring policy alliance between those who want to stay middle class during tough economic times and those still striving to join their ranks. At his best, such as when he aims to regulate a reckless mortgage lending industry that has devastated both low-income families striving for homeownership and their middle-class counterparts, [Sen.] Schumer seems to recognize this. His hoped-for alliance might be all the more enduring if he considered it explicitly.
- Half Changed World, Whose Side are You On?: "I was thrilled to read earlier this week that Tom Geoghegan is running for Congress, for the seat that Rahm Emmanuel is vacating. .... Thomas Frank called him an "unrepentant New Dealer" and that's probably fair enough. He's a lifelong labor lawyer, a supporter of single payer health insurance. But the main reason that I'm supporting him is that he wrote a book that changed my life. It's called Which Side Are You On? Trying To Be For Labor When It's Flat on Its Back."
- The Monkey Cage: Did the Great Society Produce a New Democratic Coalition: "... we are accustomed to thinking of events of this period as helping the Republican Party more than the Democratic Party. This is the traditional narrative that involves race riots, the Southern Strategy, the dissolution of the New Deal Coalition, the exit of the white working class from the Democratic Party, and so on. (How much of that narrative is true is a different question.) Klinkner and Schaller provide a counter-narrative. It’s unlikely that LBJ foresaw or could have foreseen the possible consequences, but nevertheless, the events of the 1960s may have had significant, if somewhat delayed, benefits for the Democratic Party. .... this argument has an important larger theoretical premise, which I’ll simplify thusly: policies make parties. Or at least party coalitions.
- Jed Perl, Obamalot: How the New President Can Boost High Culture: "While I would never want the federal government to be responsible for the state of the arts, people in government do need to be aware of art's power to shape our collective identity. In the century just past, the federal government from time to time took a very active, a very positive role: The WPA gave substantial support to many artists and writers, Washington became home to a half-dozen splendid national museums, the National Endowment for the Arts did a great deal of valuable work, and, since 1985, the National Medal of Arts has been given to artists of high achievement every year. But, in the past two decades--through Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II--Washington has not exactly shown much enthusiasm for the arts."
- Amy Sullivan, Obama's Other Breakthrough: A Big-City President: "What really sets Obama apart, however, is that despite his sensitivity to the problems that plague some urban neighborhoods, he does not view cities primarily as problems to be solved. "Federal policy has traditionally treated cities as victims," says Greg Nichols, mayor of Seattle. Ever since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, he explains, government has set up perverse incentives for cities by isolating funds in programs set aside for the neediest, most desperate localities. It's the urban policy equivalent of treating someone in the emergency room when they get seriously ill instead of investing in ongoing primary care and encouraging healthy behavior."
- Ezra Klien, The Number-Cruncher-in-Chief: "... over the past two years, Peter Orszag has been trying to ensure that [the Congressional Budget Office] guesses in favor of health reform, rather than against it."