Monday, December 16, 2013

Where's the Democratic Agenda?

I started this blog hoping to shed light on possible ways the Democratic Party could "frame" their most important issues. Market them basically. That hasn't happened, with or without my help. But you also can't frame...nothing. Where's the platform? Here are a few ideas I've been kicking around:

1. Long Term Plans: Lacking a strong definable vision has forced Democrats waffle, compromise and just give up on highly popular polling issues. It's true that voters are drawn to vocal advocates who are unafraid to fight for their cause. Right now I can't think of one.

2. Before Tax Reform, GOP needs to Pay off their Credit Card: This is a painful truth; Republicans must bear the consequences and raise taxes to pay off their massive unfunded spending during the Bush years. When Bush came in, the debt was just under $6 trillion. Our projected surpluses at the time were earmarked to pay that down. But the insane GOP policy of returning surpluses to taxpayers eliminated that. Raising taxes for 5 to 10 years might not be popular, but blame the party that got us here. We're talking debt reduction, and not debt elimination.

3. Admit it, we're a Service Economy Now: The debate over the minimum wage is ridiculous now that we're a global economy. It's time Democrats restructure working wages to reflect the new economy. Much of our manufacturing has shifted overseas, and turned us into a "service economy." But wages in the service industry were always too low. That now has to painfully change, along with the way we think about entry level jobs. The whole idea stumps Republicans.

4. The Focus on Free Markets ignores the Labor Markets: Like any marketplace, trends and demand changes over time, and that includes the price of labor. With all the strikes and debate about the minimum wage, the "labor market" is telling us change is needed. Even China is increasing wages and benefits under the pressure of the "labor market."

5. A Generational Shift away from the Military Industrial Complex: Military spending is outrageously wasteful. If people only knew. Lean and mean should the goal. Tech changes so fast multi-year contracts are outdated in just a few years. So cities and communities around the U.S. built around military manufacturing should be phased out over 20 or 30 years, basically a generation, to soften the blow and allow newer industries to move in. It's a goal to shoot for.

6. Low cost Single Payer Health Care: Let's save money and save lives with an idea that's so good, every other industrialized country is doing it. The argument "government is too big" or "government has no business getting between a patient and their doctor" has always been a purely ideological one, that is utterly untrue and irrelevant. Shopping for actual treatment is impossible because there are so many different kinds of doctors and treatments. Who shops for an anesthesiologist, and are they in your plan? Is the clinic covered? A few problems I paid dearly for myself.

7. Subsidize emerging Green Energies: If big oil got subsidies, and still does, then solar and wind deserve that same opportunity to grow, with a review process every 5 year or so. Is there anyone who truly doesn't see this shift coming?

8. Create Regional Business Hubs around the Country: High speed rail was just one element of tying Chicago to Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee. My brother and his older son both commute from Illinois to Kenosha everyday. What a huge missed opportunity to create a regional Industrial Goliath.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yea make the price of employment much higher so no one gets hired and no one produces. Liberals love a depression. Morons...your bus already left.

Democurmudgeon said...

Really, so an employer that needs an employee won't hire them because they're making a few dollars more. You sure don't know how to run a business do you?

Business thrives on demand, and if demand requires a new employee, they get hired. "No one produces" is an odd way to fight higher wages, unless they want to give up their market share to someone who will take their place.

Anonymous said...

Actually my business has been very successful but not only have I run many successful businesses, but I've read more than a few economic books which you obviously need to do.

Hypothetically, let's say an employer needs to hire 2 new workers and wants to offer them a wage at $8/hour. All of a sudden he has to pay them $15/hour. He is only going to hire one. In fact he may actually have to let go a few more instead. Did his payroll all of a sudden double?

Now, if one employee works his butt off to hopefully get a raise or a promotion, and does all the heavy lifting, while another employee goofs off and only does the bare minimum, but they both still make the same wage, is that really fair to the first employee.

Not everybody's labor or skills are worth the same!

One last point, let's say there is no minimum wage and the employer offers the job for $4/hour. If no one wants that job, he will be forced to offer it at a higher wage.

Liberals and Democrats are so arrogant. You guys think you can control every aspect of everyone's lives.

Democurmudgeon said...

A company hires people when it has demand, and when it can afford it. Your false premise is that business will willy-nilly just hiring people without demand. You're also suggesting the business is just breaking even.

Employees are hired when a business can afford it. At $15 an hour or $8, it doesn't matter. A business cannot afford to be understaffed. You don't seem to know how business works. It's nothing like it's described by Republican politicians.

Payroll doesn't have to "double." Silly premise. You need to look at your profit margin. Will an employee increase that? That's when you hire someone.

Your good worker/bad worker comparison doesn't make any sense to me. Sounds normal and true of any business, since the beginning of time. Your point?

If you want to pay someone less who isn't outstanding at their job, go ahead. You can also hire someone else and fire the other person. You sound like you need professional advice.

Your $4 minimum wage premise is just what setting a standard/floor is all about. Without safety nets, like unemployment and food stamps, desperate workers will have no choice but to work for $4. You can call that slave labor or a race to the bottom, but I can guarantee you a loss of customers and an ugly looking society.

I had my own business wiped out thanks to free market Wall Street types who gave us the Great Recession. I know what I'm talking about.

The arrogance is coming from you, plainly visible in your comment. Since I'm a liberal, you have assumed I don't know anything. Does that make sense to you?

Simplistic bullying, arrogant, and from your examples, you sound like a lousy employer. And I've worked for a few of them. Nasty.

Anonymous said...

The free market wall street types didn't wipe out your business. The bubble created from cheap credit and low interest rates created by the Fed did.

If you knew how to run a successful business, your business would have survived.

Payroll is the highest expense for any business. It is the first to be cut when demand is shaken.

Employees are hired when demand rises and business is booming but people don't start a business to create jobs. They do it to make a profit.

The reason it doesn't make any sense to you is because you think one persons labor is worth the same as another's regardless or their skills or experience. That's simply not true. Only a free market can determine fair price for goods or services. Without it, you get distortions much like the Fed has distorted the price of everything. Bubbles form and then they pop when reality sets back in.

Read some Ludwig Von mises or at least listen to some Milton Friedman on YouTube.

Liberalism really is a mental disorder. You guys really can't form an argument so you resort to name calling.

Anonymous said...

I have no intention of debating anyone and since you already seem to have it in your head that you're right and I'm wrong there really is no point reading or commenting here any longer.

Without an open mind and the willingness to learn new information even if it conflicts with your own beliefs, I'm afraid you are in for a lot more anger in the future.

Good luck with your views. That should work out really well for you.

People don't know enough to know that they just don't know enough.

Anonymous said...

Companies will only hire workers that can bring the company a profit. If you raise the minimum wage above what someone is capable of producing then you eliminate them as a potential employee for anybody. Simply waving your hand and saying all people are worth a minimum of $10 - $15 per hour does not make it so. It only works if their production generates a profit for the company. Keep in mind you have to add the overhead expenses of payroll taxes, insurance, and other benefits when calculating the revenue a new employee has to generate to make their job profitable. Sure a company will probably go at least 3-6 months to see how someone is working out, but after that they would be dumped if they can't produce enough revenue.

Raising the minimum wage also leads to an incentive for companies to automate as many jobs as possible. If the cost of paying a person surpasses the cost of developing automated processes then those jobs will disappear.

Democurmudgeon said...

Quick responses:

People get hired when there is a need. So many comments here don't get "demand," which then results in hiring people to make more, to supply demand. Businesses don't hire people they don't need or can't afford. You supply siders have been brainwashed into thinking this voodoo economic con makes sense.