The 3 Pillars of the Mike Sax for NY 2 District Campaign
As we discussed yesterday in some detail the Gravis Marketing press release of my poll-hopefully you know I’m Mike Sax!-has just come out as Gravis promised. Here is the video.
For more details:
For those who are saying ‘Who the heck is Mike Sax?!’ I wrote this post.
I argue that I’m in some ways like Randy Bryce, the union ironworker challenging Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. As like Bryce, I’m a regular guy who actually has been in this labor market and know how tough it is out there. Maybe at Peter King’s country club a friend of his tells him about their kid in graduate school who discovered there are a lot of Americans today who can’t make ends meet.
By the way, if you’re interested, please donate.
In this post I want to discuss the question of-‘What is the Mike Sax campaign all about?’
Well at the outset, let’s just say that as a country we need a restraining order from the Republican for the next few years. As that angry dad said in that great townhall to a GOPer who voted for Trumpcare-You are the biggest threat to my family in the world.’
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 27, 2017
Spoiler alert: this is a money ad. Would the Mike Sax campaign consider using this as a campaign ad? Very possible. This would be the second clip in the ad-the first would be Trump and Ryan having a party on the WH lawn after passing the monstrosity in the House. Maybe also the quote from Ryan about dreaming of this since his college keg parties.
Our healthcare system certainly needs a restraining order against the GOP. Then there is the fact that they are complicit the interference in our election by a hostile foreign power.
But what specifically is the Mike Sax NY 2 campaign really all about? There are three pillars:
1. There is a constitutional crisis and only a Democratic House will get to the bottom of it. Certainly Peter King doesn’t belong on the House Intelligence Committee as his only contributions have been to defend Devin Nunes’ attempts to obstruct the investigation, while King himself leaked classified information in a hearing.
2. We need a restraining order against the Republican party. We need a restraining order against Peter King who voted for Trumpcare after his theatrical game of King Hamlet he played for a couple of months ‘Will I vote for Trumpcare or won’t I vote for Trumpcare? That is the question.’
But what the Mike Sax NY 2 campaign pledges is that once we have our restraining order we need strong and aggressive public option. One model for this could be the Americare Healthcare Act that was proposed back in 2007:
“In 2006, Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) introduced the AmeriCare Health Care Act. And it provides a much more promising path the US could take to universal coverage. It wouldn’t force employers or employees to abandon their plans overnight, and would cost a sizable but manageable amount every year. In many ways it’s truer to Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker’s Health Care for America Plan, which inspired the Affordable Care Act, than the law itself is.”
Call it the Medicare for All Who Want it Act.
3. Finally we have a low wage epidemic in this country and something must be done about it. Again Peter King if he knows anything about this, it might be based on what someone told him about what someone’s kid is studying in graduate school over at King’s country club in Port Washington.
I-like Randy Bryce-actually know how hard it is to earn a living in this labor market. It is not easy. It is not.
How to fight it is the question. There are a number of policy options that our campaign will be exploring. By the way, just yesterday we begun a conversation with what may be the first economic adviser to the campaign.
In any case here are some of the options for the law wage epidemic:
A. A job guarantee by the government (JG). This has been something that the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)-it’s a heterodox economic school have been advocating for a few years.
Honestly, I often find some of these folks a little snarky-if anyone questions any aspect they respond with snark-they seem to think of themselves as the school that has discovered that the world is really round.
But the general concept is very interesting. It seems to me it’s in the line of FDR’s old WPA-if only he’d kept it going. But FDR only believed it was appropriate for an emergency on the level of the Great Depression.
MMT conceives of the JG as playing the role of a monetary stabilizer. The wages paid to JG workers will work as an anchor on the economy. Let me be clear-I’m not a monetary expert and there is a lot to debate and chew over on that premise.
But whatever you think of JG as a monetary stabilizer, the clear virtue for us here is to deal with the issue of unemployment and underemployment.
Underemployment is a real problem-note that I say we have an epidemic of low ages rather than no jobs. You can probably get a job over a few days or a few weeks, but a decent paying job?
A debate in the various economic schools is which jobs should the government facilitate? One idea-medical billing and coding jobs.
While as noted in campaign pillar 2, we need a strong public option, another thing keeping prices high is that doctors are still using paper files. So maybe the government could facilitate the unemployed getting on as coders and billers. These could be jobs that they could actually in time make decent money from as well.
2. Another idea is a Universal Basic Income. This is an idea that seems to be getting high currency in recent years-precisely because of the low wage epidemic.
One able proponent: Andy Stern the former leader of the SEIU. Wether he’s right that the UBI is the best way to deal with this, he correctly diagnoses the problem:
“College is no longer considered as good an investment: Although policy makers still tout college as a ticket to higher wages and a middle- or upper-middle-class lifestyle, more and more parents are questioning its value, especially as the cost of tuition continues to skyrocket. (At this writing, the cost of a four-year private college had risen to a high of $63,000 per year for tuition, room and board at some elite schools, more than most families earn.) As for the return on that investment, the BLS indicates that more than 15 percent of men and 11 percent of women under the age of twenty-nine with a bachelor’s degree are unemployed. In 2012, a record 21.6 million young adults, age eighteen to thirty-one, moved back in with their parents—typically to make ends meet in a tough job market.”
The UBI would be the government deciding on a number-$10,000, $12,000, $15,000-that it would send to everyone in the country.
Like I said-this an idea whose time has come. Just this morning there are all these new pieces out about the UBI:
“Why Free Money for Everyone Is Silicon Valley’s Next Big Idea.”
“Imagine for a moment having $1,500 extra in your bank account at the end of the month—$1,500 more than you’ve actually earned. It’s not a bank error; the money is yours, no strings attached. You can travel, pay down bills, or offer it to a relative who needs a little help. You can leave it right where it is for some later day.”
“Now imagine that the $1,500 arrived every month. Would you put it toward a new car? Take a nicer-than-usual vacation? Would you go back to school, or start a business? Would you work fewer hours? Spend more time with family? Would you cease working altogether?”
Notable that this is in Fortune. What I’ve noticed is that conservatives-like Scott Sumner at Money Illusion-tend to really hate A. They think the JG idea is a bad one. They are much more open to UBI.
That doesn’t mean they’re right-I’m just noting their preference.
C. Speaking of Scott Sumner, this is his preferred solution-a large wage subsidy-ie, increasing the current Earned Income Credit (EITC) considerably.
This was Sumner on the UBI in 2014:
Again, I really want to believe the GAI can work. It’s the type of solution I like. Please convince me I am wrong. It’s easier to administer than my wage subsidy idea. But I just don’t see how the numbers add up. At best you could do a GAI that is so small that it does not eliminate poverty. Not enough to live on. That might help at the margin, but it would not end poverty.”
So he hates A, likes the idea of B but doesn’t think it will work, and goes with C.
As you can see, in this post, I’m not trying to answer which is best, just lay out the various policy options. If anything, some combination of all of the above could work. Have a modest UBI, a larger EITC, and experiment with the JG.
But one thing Sumner’s wage subsidy doesn’t speak to is how many workers today are 1099 not W2. Indeed, I now see that even I may have a union that I can join-the Sara Horowitz’s Freelancers Union.
P.S. The media release from my very surprising poll vs. Peter King NY 2 is out. It’s very surprising as I-Mike Sax-am actually leading 51-41. I know, but the numbers don’t lie.
If you believe that 25 years is enough for an imperious monarch like Peter King NY-2 who is a Republican first and an American second and is too arrogant to even speak to his own constituents please help me any way you can. If you live in the area you can volunteer-or at least tell everyone you know. And no matter where you are in the country, donations help.