Surprise! Their “recovery program” fosters dependency on government
The Marshall Plan, aka the European Recovery Program, was devised as a means of rebuilding a decimated Europe after World War II. The radical left apparently recognizes, if not accepts ownership of, the decimation their policies have wreaked on America and its people because they are now proposing a “Marshall Plan for America” designed to “rebuild” the America they’ve all-but-destroyed.
John Podesta’s Center for American Progress (CAP) is the leader of this plan, signalling that the “centrist” Hillary Clinton arm of the Democratic Party has embraced the socialist-Democrat wing headed up by Bernie Sanders.
CAP is suddenly concerned with the white American working and middle classes “left behind” by the regressive left’s identity politics, income redistribution efforts, and SJW fervor. Their solution to the “forgotten man”? More central planning, slightly muted but still prevalent identity politics, and of course and always, more income redistribution.
In a multi-authored treatise entitled “Toward a Marshall Plan for America: Rebuilding Our Towns, Cities, and the Middle Class,” CAP writes:
[D]iscussions of broad inequality may mask a central truth: There is acute economic pain for those who have not gone to college, regardless of race. Amongst white voters in the U.S. election, college attainment was the central variant in vote change from the 2012 to the 2016 election. These underlying economic and social grievances, and the political forces feeding these sentiments, work against progressive policy options by reducing support for collective action that improves the well-being of all people while encouraging divisions that serve more individualistic and conservative ends.3 Reactionary forces on the far right—most notably, Donald Trump and his allies—have exploited to full effect the rising tensions between divergent groups, producing a zero-sum political climate where the gains of rising minority populations are perceived to come at the loss of shrinking white populations.
But this is a false choice. Indeed, we must not choose between addressing the economic concerns of people—of all races—who have been left behind by our economy and protecting the civil rights of people of color. We can and must do both. As progressives, we must fight for and represent the economic and social interests of all working people.
And the solution, of course, is a stronger, more powerful central government that will address these “economic and social interests of all working people.”
CAP is there, putting together a new commission that will rebuild America . . . and incidentally help Democrats regain votes among the American working and middle classes who rejected them so resoundingly last November.
After all, these (Trump) voters are “disrupting politics.” Their politics. Therefore, these deplorables from Podunk, USA must be sold on their regressive agenda and appeased, their votes won with goodies from the taxpayer-funded Democrat goodie locker.
The truth is, progressives should be as concerned about the declining fortunes of those who do not go to college as any other group. Not because they are disrupting politics—though they are—but because they are our brothers and sisters too. An economic vision that puts the challenges of the noncollege educated at the forefront of our policies will help us to carry out our progressive values and build a Bobby Kennedy-style coalition—one that can unite working people of all races behind an agenda to improve their economic security, reduce divisions between groups, and improve the standing of the nation as a whole.
Ah yes, we are “brothers and sisters” now that we’ve decimated the political representation of the regressive left’s Democrats in over a thousand seats at the local, state, and federal level.
They’ve finally understood that they can’t win without us, so now we matter. How inspiring.
Not only that, but the commission proposed by CAP will target us at every level.
The commission will be composed of national, regional, and local leaders who can provide direction and visibility to its work. It will call upon the expertise of urban and rural leaders who represent labor, business, education, health, faith, community and economic development, and racial justice to help understand the problem; lift up promising practices; and develop bold new ideas, particularly for people who did not attend college.
Amidst overall economic growth, urban centers, small towns and rural areas, and regions facing deindustrialization have suffered decades of neglect, leading to widespread frustration and disillusionment with Washington and spurring voters to either stay home or take a chance on a candidate who promised to blow up the system.
In the aftermath of an election in which rural and urban voters came to view one another with suspicion while both suffered from decades of disinvestment, the time is ripe for a policy agenda and accompanying message that underscores the common cause among struggling Americans and outlines solutions that unite them.
To curry favor with these voters, CAP’s Marshall Plan proposes a jobs guarantee that would do Stalin proud.
The low wages and low employment rates for those without college degrees only exist because of a failure of imagination. There is no shortage of important work that needs to be done in our country. There are not nearly enough home care workers to aid the aged and disabled. Many working families with children under the age of 5 need access to affordable child care. Schools need teachers’ aides, and cities need EMTs. And there is no shortage of people who could do this work. What has been missing is policy that can mobilize people.
To solve this problem, we propose a large-scale, permanent program of public employment and infrastructure investment—similar to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression but modernized for the 21st century. It will increase employment and wages for those without a college degree while providing needed services that are currently out of reach for lower-income households and cash-strapped state and local governments. Furthermore, some individuals may be hired into paying public jobs in which their primary duty will be to complete intensive, full-time training for high-growth, in-demand occupations. These “public apprenticeships” could include rotations with public and private entities to gain on-the-ground experience and lead to guaranteed private-sector employment upon successful completion of training.
The federal government, then, will train workers (at taxpayer expense) in areas it deems necessary and then will “guarantee” private-sector employment (again, presumably, at taxpayer expense). Somehow.
CAP trumpets the merits of this jobs guarantee program, only barely attempting to conceal the fact that this “jobs guarantee” comes from the federal government. You’re not a government employee, after all, if the government is merely “guaranteeing” your “private-sector” job.
Three other aspects of this public employment program should be noted. First, by creating tighter labor markets, such a proposal would put upward pressure on wages, raising incomes for workers not directly taking a public job. Second, because it would employ people to provide services that are currently needed but unaffordable, it would not compete with existing private-sector employment. Finally, it would provide the dignity of work, the value of which is significant. When useful work is not available, there are large negative consequences, ranging from depression, to a decline in family stability, to “deaths of despair.”
To sum up, CAP’s “Marshall Plan for America” recognizes, at long last, that they too-soon alienated the white working and middle class voter, that they want to remedy this failure by jobs guarantees from the federal government, and that they hope, as this “plan” makes clear, to promise, tax and spend their way back on top in terms of political influence.
The BuzzFeed crew are thrilled by this plan. Of course.
The plan’s radicalism, CAP President Neera Tanden told me, is aimed at a jobs crisis that they’re talking about with an urgency that was absent from the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration.
“The problem is gigantic. And we can’t be indifferent to it. If we continue to be than both the economy and the democracy will unravel,” Tanden said. And the spur, she said, isn’t just the current president: “It’s Trumpism, Brexiters, National Frontism.”
Democrats’ opportunity is to deliver on the explicit and implicit promises that Trump abandoned once he was elected: expanded and improved health care and large-scale jobs programs, cost no object. And that opportunity comes as the party’s economic left — its social democratic wing, as it used to be called — finds new footing. Sanders proved Democrats could pitch unabashed government action in the economy without upsetting primary voters — or even, almost inexplicably, getting criticized for plans to raise taxes. And the new plan from CAP drew grudging praise even from thinkers who had basically given up on the established Democratic Party.
“Some Democratic leaders are beginning to realize that Trump is a symptom of a political and commercial system that they had a role in mismanaging,” said Matt Stoller, a former Sanders aide in the Senate now at the New America Foundation. “As a result they are inching their way toward rethinking their agenda.”
The solution, they insist, is not to Make America Great Again but to unmake, completely, America as we know it.
The jobs plan is the bluntest sign of this shift, but the party appears to be inching its way toward another pillar of social democracy: government-funded health care.
“What happened in the presidential campaign is that Bernie ran explicitly in support of a Medicare-for-all approach” — a simple framework for single-payer — “and what the politicians saw is that voters were fine with that,” said Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, a longtime advocate of single payer.
They’re calling it “social democracy”—not the more literal and oxymoronic “socialist democracy”—these days. And yes, it means the same anti-American usurpation of Americans’ liberty and self determination; it means totalitarian, central control of every aspect of one’s life . . . just as it’s always meant by every other name.DONATE
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