We Need a New New Deal-Port Authority Toll Booth Worker Edition
I touched on this in the last post in disucssing my trip to Conneticut to visit my brother.
On the trip up I did learn one thing new-turns out they’ve eliminated all the toll booths at Part Authority in NYC. I’m going to write about this more in depth later because this crystallizes one of the major reasons I’m running for Congress in the NY2 district: we have a low wage epidemic in our country and the cause is largely automation.
And this is just a perfect example of that. I had a couple of thoughts:
1. There are a number of new unemployed-or underemployed-toll both workers. I know they probably said they will all be reassainged but are all or most of them really being moved to postions with similar pay/benefits?
2. But on the driver side, it really is a big improvement. You get over the bridge much faster without having to line up in the various booths-ferverishly trying to make sure you’re in the right one and wondering if assuming you are in the right lane, once you get out your exit isn’t coming too fast on the other side of the road once you get through.
Now they just mail you the bill. So it saves a lot of time and I think pretty much reduces the stress to boot
Hope you had a good Turkey day! Watch out for info on the Mike Sax for Congress Facebook Live Q&A show coming soon. I will take your questions! https://t.co/B22rjlAGgG
— mike sax (@mikesaxny2) November 24, 2017
One of the pillars of the Mike Sax for Congress NY2 campaign is:
We have a low wage epidemic in our country and only a new New Deal can reverse and end this epidemic.
I digress, but a few other pillars are:
We have a constitutional crisis in our country and only a Democratic Congress can resolve this crisis.
Ok, one more for the road:
We have a sexual harassment epidemic in our society and for that reason the Mike Sax for Congress NY2 campaign is calling for a sexual harassment task force to clarify the extent of the problem and come up with real policy options to end it.
Our project to become a more perfect union means we must take away this barrier and threat to American woman-and others who are victims of the sexual abuse of power.
Ok, so a new New Deal. My theory is that we are in a similar place structurally in our economy to where we were in the last 19th-early 20th century. Back then there was a very painful transition when we went from a country where most Americans were in agriculture to one where most would be in manufacturing.
Now in 2016 we saw that things have truly come full circle as both Trump as well as Bernie evoked the golden age of the American economy which was the manufacturing era.
Now we look back on that era with nostalgia but the great factories were once considered the site of great social evil-refer to the writing of both Marx and Mark Twain.
So what happened? The New Deal happened. FDR along with the Democratic Congress-after many years of Progressive activism-brought in workplace protections and regulations: the eight hour day, 40 day work week, end of child labor, the minimum wage, the Wagner Acts, Social Security, etc.
Today in 2017 America we are in a very similar place. Automation brings down labor costs for business-but their gain is the loss of all the displaced workers who have to relocate to the low wage service sector. Automation as we saw in the toll both example above also brings us real benefits as consumers and social benefits as well: I would hazard to guess that not having to jockey and scurry as we all speed down the Throgs Neck bridge for our place in the correct toll both line will reduce accidents.
It certainly reduces stress.
But it also leaves many underemployed and underemployed; don’t gloss over the underemployed. If you’re making $10 an hour at a 25 hour a week job, technically you’re ’employed’ but you can’t on your salary along support yourself.
Of course, the only person who was truly on the right track was: Hillary Clinton. She had spoken of the need to bring workplace regulation to the gig economy.
The only thanks she got was the GOP smeared her as precipitating a war on Uber while progressives totally missed her point-the MSM of course just answered: But what about your emails Secretary Clinton.
In today’s labor market piece work is the reality for many workers. The idea of working a 40 hour week job for 30 years is an aspiration from a bygone era. We still dream of it but that’s gone for those who aren’t in highly specialized fields.
Many Americans are now also freelancers. It turns out that there ARE some freelancer unions which is good as there needs to be.
Here is one good one run by Sara Horowitz.
So what is needed is a new New Deal or New Deal 2.0 that brings the New Deal to this new reality. The future of American work will be a lot of piece work, working from home on a computer, etc.
These folks need to be treated like traiditonal workers are. Right now they are being ripped off in a myriad ways-not least from companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon-though Google is the WORST:
If I am so fortunate and honored to be your next Congressman, hauling Google-and the other three as well, but Google is the most flagrant offender-before Congress for public hearings will be a top priority of mine.
It is my belief that we need a lot more public hearings particularly regarding Trump Russia.
Ok, well that’s enough for now I suppose…
Here I wrote a little more in detail about what my ‘New Deal 2.0’ would look like.
The short version is that the new New Deal will have three constituent parts:
1. A job guarantee (JG)
2. A Universal Basic Income (UBI)
3. An expanded Earned Income tax credit (EITC).
Look for more in depth analysis in the coming weeks.
P.S. I’m Mike Sax, I’m running for Congress in the NY 2nd District and I’m a Hillary Clinton Democrat.
Meeting her recently was one of the biggest honors in my life to stand next to such a fine public servant and trailblazer. She seemed to like our Impeachment Train campaign t shirts too!
Think of the shirt as a one time investment in restoring legitimacy to this country.
And please donate so we can compete with Peter King’s $4 million. I know no lobbyists or millionaires like Peter King. Small donations are the engine of the Mike Sax NY2 campaign. Together we can do it. Because we must.