Taxing the rich is only a start, though it’s a good one

It’s become near-consensus on the social democratic left that you can fund a decent welfare state by taxing the rich and shrinking the military. Sad to say that isn’t true. Those are good things in themselves, and you could pay for some excellent things with that agenda, but it would still be well short of actual social democracy. I’m defining social democracy as a large and robust welfare state that socializes a lot of consumption through taxation and spending, compressing the income distribution, reducing poverty sharply, capping the political power of the… Read More

Fresh audio product

Just uploaded to my radio archive: January 28, 2016 Shane Bauer on his imprisonment in Iran and how Hillary Clinton made it worse (with some remarks about solitary in the U.S.) • Jennifer Mittelstadt, author of The Rise of the Military Welfare State, on that, and its privatization from Clinton onwards

Wisconsin follow-up

Follow-up to yesterday’s post on the Wisconsin recall (“Walker’s victory, un-sugar-coated”). I’ve been amazed at some of the tendentious misreadings of the piece that have made the rounds, mainly from left labor people. My favorite is that I just wasn’t aware of all the door-knocking and retail campaigning that union forces were doing over the last few months. Two points about that. One, months isn’t enough. I’m talking about years of education, organization, occupying. Face-to-face talk, direct action, all manner of things. And two, all that actually existing door-knocking was subsumed to… Read More