Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

A New Deal For California – Part 2 (Revenue and Democracy)

In Budget Politics, California, Democratic Governance, Economic Planning, Economics, Liberalism, Political Ideology, Political Parties, Politics, Politics of Policy, Progressivism, Public Policy, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Taxes on May 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm


In part 1 of “A New Deal for California,” I argued that Democrats needed to put forward a stronger message about what we wanted to do, a larger vision of what Democratic government would mean for the state, beyond the immediate issue of dealing with our structural inability to pass a budget. Both for practical and political reasons, that vision should include the aggressive pursuit of full employment for all Californians.

That’s a good start, but I don’t think a New Deal can stop there, or rest on a fragmented policy-by-policy case for Democratic rule. Rather, I agree with George Lakoff that we should frame our message around the idea that California is experiencing a crisis of democracy. However, I would push further than Lakoff to argue that democracy isn’t just about majority rule – democracy means both a government that does what the people want, and a government that has the ability to do what the people want. California’s problem right now is that we don’t have either.

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After Health Care Reform – State-Level Single-Payer

In Budget Politics, California, Economic Planning, Economics, Health Care Reform, Inequality, Liberalism, Politics, Politics of Policy, Progressivism, Public Policy, Public Sector, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Taxes, Unions, Welfare State on May 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm


In the wake of the passage of the Affordable Choices Act into law, there are a lot of questions about how we go on from here. Obviously, one line of activism focuses on ways to improve the health care reform act. To some progressives so morally outraged at the defeat of the public option that they’ve given up on the Congress as hopelessly wedded to corporate interests, obviously, this isn’t so appealing.

However, if the progressive movement can be clever and strategic for a second, and is willing to work from within rather than to cry defeat, we can actually work on the state level to move the goalposts of the health care debate in the direction of single-payer before we even get to the next round of national legislation.

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