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Thread: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
    Ah - now you're on to something here, with the bolded.

    I often lament the Dem party of the 60's, coming out of the JFK era. They indeed were the "big tent" party. And they got there by promoting universal values. They ran on jobs, fair wages, equal opportunity, healthcare, decent working conditions, etc. The were the champions of the working & middle class. There are universal values and desires all Americans have; and back then the Dems seemed pretty good at championing them.

    Also, back then we believed in compromising to the middle in order to move the country forward. It was considered the American thing to do; the right thing to do. JFK Dems & Rockefeller Republicans ruled the day.
    I remember that era because it was when I "grew up" politically. JFK, anti-war protests, Chicago Dem convention, free speech at UC Berkeley. There was a lot of conflict but also a lot of respect.
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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
    Actually - when I said "Medicaid for all", I just as easily could have said "Medicare for all". I was referring to a true single-payer/private-provider system.

    But why can't we have this? We already do, as a matter of fact. Nearly 40% of Americans are currently on single-payer! Medicaid, Medicare, VA, etc. And with the exception of the VA, which is a government-provider system rather than a private-provider system, it works pretty damn well!
    I think the challenge is that there is a for profit healthcare system that exists and is signficant to the economy. America you have to remember is much more Capitalist than European nations, we have only nationalized the postal service and airport security.

    I see no logistical reasons why we can't do a stepwise transition to Medicare or Medicaid for all, over a period of time. We can slowly decrease the age of entry for Medicare, or slowly increase the income ceiling for Medicaid. We can do a public option. The insurance companies can remain in it for now, as they currently do with Medicaid/Medicare, though I'd eventually like them relegated to only having supplemental, alternative, or administrative roles.
    See, that's how I view the ACA which is supposed to be perhaps a little slower of a transition to universal single payer healthcare. Understanding the legacy system in place and seeking to little by little expand care and make state market places more robust.

    The big problem of course, is how to pay for it? There's no doubt we will save money as an aggregate whole, as we substantially remove the profit component of the insurance companies. But taxes will have to be raised. Americans will see a net financial benefit, but they will see higher taxes.
    This is a huge problem, and it is largely ignored by the progressives because they embrace Modern Monetary Theory which is totally not what we have right now.

    "But the philosophy that Kelton and others are pushing — dubbed “modern monetary theory” — views it differently. Governments, it says, create money, so they don’t even need to borrow any — they can spend as much as they like. The only limitation should be the threat of inflation, not insufficient revenue."
    Source: Ocasio-Cortez boosts progressive theory that deficits aren’t so scary - POLITICO

    The progressives think it is fine to run a permanent huge deficit and that we should print money from the Fed in order to pay for programs, instead of borrowing in some cases. Right now the national debt is at $22 trillion, imagine what would happen if this idea was implemented.

    Part of the reason why I think the Progressives should lose is because I think it would be really harmful for Democrats trying to win in the future. There will be zero Republican support, and it will be huge policies which will really challenge our institutions. I don't think its a gamble we can afford, and what I know of debt crises makes me think MMT is living in fantasy land. Money isn't just made up, it communicates real information and messing with that calculus too much can break the economy via hyper inflation.

    As to the ACA, it was a disaster from the start, as should be expected for anything from the Heritage Foundation.
    Obama sought to have it be a compromise, especially in the initial stages. It wasn't what the Left wanted, and it wasn't what the Right wanted, it was somewhere in between if perhaps leaning to the Left because it is our vision to one day expand coverage and payment for everyone.

    I actually believed it would be found un-constitutional, as we're forcing every citizen to purchase a private for profit service, by virtue of their being alive. Argh! The whole idea is to get rid of the profiteering insurance companies, not force us to patronize them! Whatever the intentions were, I feel Obama (& the Dems) sold us out there. They missed an opportunity.
    The ACA is a wealth distribution scheme at its root, it taxed the wealthy and healthy more and funneled that money into savings for the young and old to expand and improve coverage for them. It was never supposed to be cheaper for everyone, and I don't think Medicare for All was feasible to even be passed by the Democrats back then, plus it would have disrupted the healthcare market and started a single payer system that pays far less than insurance companies. You can't just drop the healthcare market off of a cliff, it has to be a long transition sadly and I think the ACA is the proper vehicle to do that taking into account the legacy system of a Capitalist Healthcare market.

  3. #123
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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
    I remember that era because it was when I "grew up" politically. JFK, anti-war protests, Chicago Dem convention, free speech at UC Berkeley. There was a lot of conflict but also a lot of respect.
    The bolded is exactly how I see it. Remember, we were only two decades out of WW-II then, where we had come together to save the Free World. We still had that "coming together to win" ethos in the air, despite 'Nam and the counter-culture movement.

    I will say this: We got past Civil Rights, Jim Crow, and Women's Equality - in one short decade! Damn, it felt good. A real coming together. And now? We're at each other's throats again, which disgusts me to no end.

    And I think I know what the problem is:

    1] We have no imminent existential threat (WW-II, Nuclear Cold War)

    2] In the 60/70's when we had the greatest middle class the world had seen, along with the most upward mobility the world had seen, it was easier for the middle and working classes to give a hand to those around them that weren't like them. Now with a hollowed-out middle class where we are becoming a society of the haves and have nots, too many of us are rats fighting over the crumbs at the bottom of the barrel. And when you're fighting over crumbs to stay alive, you're not so likely to feel good about the other guy going for the same crumb.


    Also, I'm glad you mentioned Berkeley; How did we go from Mario Savio's Free Speech Movement, to university safe spaces? University of Chicago recently sent a letter out to new students with their acceptance letter, and it essentially tells them:

    "There are no safe places from free speech on our campus; if you can't handle speech you don't like, our campus may not be the place for you."

    I paraphrased the above, but I commend them for taking that stand.
    Last edited by Chomsky; 03-15-19 at 09:03 PM. Reason: add italics
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  4. #124
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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
    The bolded is exactly how I see it. Remember, we were only two decades out of WW-II then, where we had come together to save the Free World. We still had that "coming together to win" ethos in the air, despite 'Nam and the counter-culture movement.

    I will say this: We got past Civil Rights, Jim Crow, and Women's Equality - in one short decade! Damn, it felt good. A real coming together. And now? We're at each other's throats again, which disgusts me to no end.

    And I think I know what the problem is:

    1] We have no imminent existential threat (WW-II, Nuclear Cold War)

    2] In the 60/70's when we had the greatest middle class the world had seen, along with the most upward mobility the world had seen, it was easier for the middle and working classes to give a hand to those around them that weren't like them. Now with a hollowed-out middle class where we are becoming a society of the haves and have nots, too many of us are rats fighting over the crumbs at the bottom of the barrel. And when you're fighting over crumbs to stay alive, you're not so likely to feel good about the other guy going for the same crumb.


    Also, I'm glad you mentioned Berkeley; How did we go from Mario Savio's Free Speech Movement, to university safe spaces? University of Chicago recently sent a letter out to new students with their acceptance letter, and it essentially tells them:

    "There are no safe places from free speech on our campus; if you can't handle speech you don't like, our campus may not be the place for you."

    I paraphrased the above, but I commend them for taking that stand.
    I agree with much of what you say. I was tangentially in touch with the Free Speech Movement - heard Savio talk a time or two. But, as I've mentioned a time or two this was when I began to realize when they chanted "power to the people" they really meant "power to me, I'll tell them what they want and need". And I noticed the ones nodding vigorously in agreement frequently assumed they'd be the ones deciding what the "ordinary people" would be getting - I think that STILL pertains to the progressive/socialist folks today: everybody assumes THEY'LL be the elite "experts" and authorities doing the given, not the lower class doing the receiving.
    Democracy fails when the people realize they can vote themselves someone else's money
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    Recipe for failure: Immolate the rich.

  5. #125
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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
    I agree with much of what you say. I was tangentially in touch with the Free Speech Movement - heard Savio talk a time or two. But, as I've mentioned a time or two this was when I began to realize when they chanted "power to the people" they really meant "power to me, I'll tell them what they want and need". And I noticed the ones nodding vigorously in agreement frequently assumed they'd be the ones deciding what the "ordinary people" would be getting - I think that STILL pertains to the progressive/socialist folks today: everybody assumes THEY'LL be the elite "experts" and authorities doing the given, not the lower class doing the receiving.
    Interesting. It would have been great to have been involved in the Free Speech movement. In my neck of the woods it was all about the SDS & formation of the Weatherman, and we know how that worked out! Argh! Ayers & Dohrn are still beating around today, though above ground these days.

    But yeah, I remember you mentioning your take on Salvio and the movement. I suspect this is the effect of power. No matter how altruistic the spawning of a movement may be, once power is attained it corrupts; we know how the saying goes.

    I must admit you are right, in that educated Liberalism does often have the nasty tenancy to "know what's best" for the ordinary folks, though. I saw it in my city during and just after the war. Most of my neighborhood was blue-collar working class immigrant kids, and they were the guys going over, sometimes conscripting rather than being drafted. And they went with a sense of duty and pride, to give back to the country that had saved their parents and grandparents back in the old country (Europe) two decades earlier.

    The anti-war kids were the kids from the suburbs and higher-end city neighborhoods, whose parents could afford to keep them in college and out of the war. The scene in the neighborhood bars was often hell then, as the college anti-war guys went after the blue-collar immigrant guys that were going over. They (college kids) always knew better, and yeah sooner or later one would use the ultimate fighting words - "baby killer", and then the bar would erupt into a crazy drunken free-for-all.

    I eventually got onto a campus myself, and aligned myself with the anti-war movement, and I believed in it. But my heart & soul was always in my working-class neighborhood blue-collar roots, and it broke my heart to see the way so many in the movement treated the guys that went over like pieces of ****. Enough so, that I would never allow it in my presence if I could stop it. And in those barroom confrontations, I tried the same. But once the words were spoken, the fists would fly and anyone with a freak flag became fair game for the pissed-off vets. Yeah, those were some times - alright.
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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
    Ah - now you're on to something here, with the bolded.

    I often lament the Dem party of the 60's, coming out of the JFK era. They indeed were the "big tent" party. And they got there by promoting universal values. They ran on jobs, fair wages, equal opportunity, healthcare, decent working conditions, etc. The were the champions of the working & middle class. There are universal values and desires all Americans have; and back then the Dems seemed pretty good at championing them.

    Also, back then we believed in compromising to the middle in order to move the country forward. It was considered the American thing to do; the right thing to do. JFK Dems & Rockefeller Republicans ruled the day.
    I think a lot of it is still there but these days the social issues have changed that crowd. Many working class voters are also avid hunters, outdoorsmen and are often located in the Bible belt or Catholic havens (think PA, WI etc). So when the newer dems come out and suggest gun bans and seem to go against the grain on all sorts of social issues, they are taken back. For them, time moves slowly. I mean if we think about it, its only been in the last 10-15 years that many mainstream dems came to accept gay marriage. Progressives on the contrary, often jump ahead far more quickly on all sorts of ideas. So its been happening that the working class isnt in step with many in the D party. They love Biden but can be wary of progressives. There was some who suggested the working class can "go to Trump" and dems can take the urban college educated voters instead. So its a bit convoluted by some and what we are seeing currently.

  7. #127
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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueScotsman View Post
    I think the challenge is that there is a for profit healthcare system that exists and is signficant to the economy. America you have to remember is much more Capitalist than European nations, we have only nationalized the postal service and airport security.


    See, that's how I view the ACA which is supposed to be perhaps a little slower of a transition to universal single payer healthcare. Understanding the legacy system in place and seeking to little by little expand care and make state market places more robust.


    This is a huge problem, and it is largely ignored by the progressives because they embrace Modern Monetary Theory which is totally not what we have right now.

    "But the philosophy that Kelton and others are pushing — dubbed “modern monetary theory” — views it differently. Governments, it says, create money, so they don’t even need to borrow any — they can spend as much as they like. The only limitation should be the threat of inflation, not insufficient revenue."
    Source: Ocasio-Cortez boosts progressive theory that deficits aren’t so scary - POLITICO

    The progressives think it is fine to run a permanent huge deficit and that we should print money from the Fed in order to pay for programs, instead of borrowing in some cases. Right now the national debt is at $22 trillion, imagine what would happen if this idea was implemented.

    Part of the reason why I think the Progressives should lose is because I think it would be really harmful for Democrats trying to win in the future. There will be zero Republican support, and it will be huge policies which will really challenge our institutions. I don't think its a gamble we can afford, and what I know of debt crises makes me think MMT is living in fantasy land. Money isn't just made up, it communicates real information and messing with that calculus too much can break the economy via hyper inflation.


    Obama sought to have it be a compromise, especially in the initial stages. It wasn't what the Left wanted, and it wasn't what the Right wanted, it was somewhere in between if perhaps leaning to the Left because it is our vision to one day expand coverage and payment for everyone.


    The ACA is a wealth distribution scheme at its root, it taxed the wealthy and healthy more and funneled that money into savings for the young and old to expand and improve coverage for them. It was never supposed to be cheaper for everyone, and I don't think Medicare for All was feasible to even be passed by the Democrats back then, plus it would have disrupted the healthcare market and started a single payer system that pays far less than insurance companies. You can't just drop the healthcare market off of a cliff, it has to be a long transition sadly and I think the ACA is the proper vehicle to do that taking into account the legacy system of a Capitalist Healthcare market.
    I wasn't around all week, but now back I felt your long & thoughtful post deserved a similar reply

    I thought the ACA was a terrible solution, but I accepted it as hopefully a start on the way to single-payer. I'm inherently skeptical of politicians and government, and still am not sure if Obama and Pelosi had to accept the GOP & Heritage Foundation plan, or if they sold us down the river to the insurance industry. But it was a half-way measure, and like many half-way measures it was doomed to failure.

    Many Americans, myself included, hated having to buy an expensive & ineffective corporate product. I very much suspect if a Medicaid or Medicare publicly funded product was provided, after enjoying the benefits many Americans would have accept having to pony-up taxes for a product that costs them very little out of pocket. I know several individuals on Medicaid that had extensive and expensive medical work done, with virtually no out of pocket expenses to speak of. And in this group I count a cancer survivor, and a heart attack survivor. Neither paid anything substantive out-of-pocket; I find that pretty amazing.
    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    Re: Where is the Democratic Party Really At?

    Quote Originally Posted by pilot16 View Post
    I think a lot of it is still there but these days the social issues have changed that crowd. Many working class voters are also avid hunters, outdoorsmen and are often located in the Bible belt or Catholic havens (think PA, WI etc). So when the newer dems come out and suggest gun bans and seem to go against the grain on all sorts of social issues, they are taken back. For them, time moves slowly. I mean if we think about it, its only been in the last 10-15 years that many mainstream dems came to accept gay marriage. Progressives on the contrary, often jump ahead far more quickly on all sorts of ideas. So its been happening that the working class isnt in step with many in the D party. They love Biden but can be wary of progressives. There was some who suggested the working class can "go to Trump" and dems can take the urban college educated voters instead. So its a bit convoluted by some and what we are seeing currently.
    Late reply here, but yeah I agree.

    That's why I'd like to see Biden at the top of the ticket, with a progressive like Harris at the bottom, with Uncle Joe swearing to one term only.
    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    The 10 Commandments of Logic - (Courtesy of Abbazorkzog Blog)

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