Archive for the ‘Youth Policy’ Category

Labor Market Policy – Tackling the Pyramid

In Budget Politics, California, Democratic Governance, Economic Planning, Economics, Education Reform, European Politics, Financial Crisis, Full Employment, Health Care Reform, Higher Education, Housing, Inequality, Liberalism, Living Wage, Political Ideology, Politics, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Progressivism, Public Policy, Regulation, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Taxes, Unions, Welfare State, Youth Policy on March 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Introduction:

It’s somewhat out of vogue to talk about the quality of jobs and the shape of the labor market at a time when unemployment is so high and the obvious issue is the number of jobs being created. This wasn’t the case prior to the recession, although rather specious reasons were given to justify the rapidly increasing inequality of wages as the outcome of superior education or productivity. What can’t be denied is that even before the recession, we were sliding into a highly unequal labor market in which many low-paid, insecure workers (50% of American workers made less than $26,000 or 230% of poverty in 2010) serve a small number of ever-richer elites.

This trend has only continued since the recession, and it’s a problem that has to be solved if we are to either fully recover or protect ourselves from the next recession.

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Education Reform – the Fix is In

In Democratic Governance, Education Reform, European Politics, Higher Education, Inequality, Liberalism, Political Ideology, Political Parties, Politics, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Progressivism, Public Policy, Public Sector, Regulation, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Unions, Youth Policy on July 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Introduction:

In any other area of public policy where we see rich hedge-funders providing government agencies with private funds with strings attached, demanding control over choice of administrators and direction of public policy (such as was the case with various foundations and the D.C schools), and financing the opponents of elected officials who disagree with them (such as was the case with the 2010 city council race in New York City), we’d call it corruption by a special interest group.

Yet with education reform, prominent liberals treat it as acceptable and instead turn the traditional liberal analysis of “special interests” on teachers unions instead.

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Psychology of Public Policy – IHSS as a Model for a New Welfare State

In Budget Politics, California, Child Care, Economic Planning, Economics, Full Employment, History and Politics, Inequality, Liberalism, Living Wage, Political Ideology, Politics, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Progressivism, Public Policy, Public Sector, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Social Security, Welfare State, Youth Policy on April 27, 2011 at 4:30 am

Introduction:

(For previous parts in this series, see here)

One tricky dilemma that progressives have had to face about the welfare state has been the contradiction between our desire to provide universal protection against the great social ills (poverty, disease, lack of education, poor housing, and unemployment), which tends to be broadly supported by society, and society’s resistance to violations of the social norm of reciprocity. The easiest attack on welfare has always been to assert that other people are getting something for nothing and thus divide society between the payer and payee.

While progressives ran headlong into the brick wall of social resistance in the welfare politics of the 1970s, it’s not foreordained that all forms of social welfare have to meet the same fate. It is possible to be both right and smart – and learn to tack into the wind of public opinion.

Looking at the IHSS model gives us one possible solution for how to do just that.

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Psychology of Public Policy – Social Insurance

In Budget Politics, Democratic Governance, Economic Planning, Economics, Full Employment, History and Politics, Housing, Inequality, Liberalism, New Deal, Political Ideology, Politics, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Progressivism, Public Policy, Public Sector, Regulation, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Social Security, Taxes, Welfare State, Youth Policy on February 14, 2011 at 6:05 am

Introduction:

The current state of American public policy can best be described as a stalemate: progressives have been stalled on further stimulus efforts; at the same time, conservatives came into power pledging opposition against any cut to a single-payer government health insurance program, and there’s little public stomach for virtually all spending cuts.

As I’ve discussed before, a major reason for this stalemate is ultimately due to how people think about public policy. In reality, neither progressive or conservative ideologies are hegemonic within the American electorate. Instead, public opinion is very much a mix of contradictory and paradoxical tendencies – we want to spend more money on the poor, but are opposed to welfare; we think foreign aid should be cut to a level that’s several times larger than current spending.

In this situation, policy victory goes to finding narratives that present our policies in a way that aligns favorably with public thinking, and in designing policies that lend themselves to narratives that flow with, not against the grain of public opinion.

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New Deal for California – Part 3 (Educate and Punish)

In Budget Politics, California, Economic Planning, Economics, Education Reform, Higher Education, Inequality, Liberalism, Political Ideology, Political Parties, Politics, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Progressivism, Public Policy, Public Sector, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Taxes, Uncategorized, Unions, Welfare State, Youth Policy on July 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Introduction:

In part 1 of a New Deal for California, I discussed why any effort to rebuild the state must begin with a frontal assault on high unemployment as the only reliable means of achieving budget stability – as opposed to self-defeating quests for balance via austerity. In part 2, I studied how the quest for a more perfect democracy is inextricably linked to a renewal of democratic control over the state’s own revenues.

Today, I want to discuss two areas of policy that are among the largest spending categories in the California state budget, but which also represent two faces of the state, and two approaches to developing its youth, and two sets of values – namely, education and prisons. Arnold’s recent proposal to put a floor under higher education at 10% of the state budget and a ceiling over prisons at 7% of the state budget is only the most recent example of a long trend of discussing the two in the same breath. As I discussed in the linked article, Schwarzenegger’s approach is fundamentally flawed, a mirage of egalitarianism masking a reality of utter callousness. A moral society cannot pay for the future of its most talented youth through the deliberate immiseration of its least advantaged.

However, a New Deal for California will have to grapple with the reality that California will either educate or incarcerate its young, and that the power to choose lies with us.

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Rebuilding The Public University – Against High-Aid, High-Fees Model

In Budget Politics, California, Education Reform, Political Ideology, Politics of Policy, Public Sector, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Welfare State, Youth Policy on January 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Introduction:

(Note: finding precise figures and statistics about Blue Gold is not particularly easy. If my numbers here are off, I will gladly revise the piece)

My previous post about the U.C’s policy towards post-docs and other researchers whetted my interest in the travails of the public university, especially as it deals with the universal budgetary crisis faced by higher education during the recession and the underlying process of privatization faced by many public institutions.

The result is a new mini-series of posts about how to rebuild the public university going forward. And a good place to begin will be to make an important distinction about what isn’t a viable strategy for the renewal of the public university – the much-ballyhooed Blue Gold Opportunity Program that U.C President Marc Yudof has made his calling card.

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From Cradle to Launch (Rethinking Youth Policy)

In Budget Politics, Economic Planning, Economics, Health Care Reform, History and Politics, Inequality, New Deal, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Progressivism, Public Policy, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Welfare State, Youth Policy on November 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Introduction:

In general, American society does a really poor job of protecting the young. 21% of American children live in families below the poverty line; another 22% of children live in families that make 100-200% of the poverty line, where a sudden illness or job loss or other crisis can easily send the family back into the ranks of the destitute.

In the face of this, the U.S devotes only 16% of its domestic budget to children, and this share has actually shrunk over the last 50 years.At the same time, youth policy is split between over a hundred programs, with no overarching attention paid to the different aspects of life from cradle to launch.

If we are to do better for the next generation of children, we need to adopt a comprehensive youth policy.

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What Should Be In A Jobs Bill? (A Job Insurance Supplement)

In Budget Politics, Economic Planning, Economics, Financial Crisis, Full Employment, History and Politics, Living Wage, New Deal, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Public Policy, Public Sector, Public Works, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Welfare State, WPA, Youth Policy on November 13, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Introduction:

Up until a week ago, the prospects for a second round of economic stimulus looked bleak; an ominous coalition of Senate moderates (the same folks who shrank the stimulus and cut out Pelosi’s teacher preservation program, and who’ve tried their level best to stop the health care reform effort in its tracks) threatened to force the U.S government into default unless Congress agreed to a deficit-reduction committee with authority over Social Security and Medicare, and President Obama responded by talking up deficit reduction in his next budget.

And then the October jobs report came out, showing unemployment rising over the magical 10% level that signals political disaster in a midterm election. Suddenly, President Obama began to talk up a December “jobs summit,” and Senator Reid announced that he’s pulling together a pre-election jobs bill.

This sudden momentum is welcome, but if we want to significantly reduce unemployment, and thereby protect our Democratic Congress at the same time, we need to be very careful about what goes into this jobs bill.

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Job Insurance – Part 11 (For the Young)

In Economic Planning, Economics, Financial Crisis, Full Employment, History and Politics, New Deal, Politics of Policy, Poverty, Public Policy, Public Sector, Public Works, Social Democracy, Social Policy, Welfare State, WPA, Youth Policy on November 9, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Introduction:

Peter Coy’s article, “The Lost Generation – Bright, Eager, and Unwanted” drew much-needed attention to the disastrous impact of the current recession on the young. Unemployment rates for those under 24 are nearly twice the national average, and the trajectory for youth employment is not heartening. As young people, many of whom have sunk themselves deep into debt for college educations that were sold to them as tickets into the middle class, face years of empty spaces on their resumes and lost wage income and promotions they will begin to fall further and further back from their potential and become a truly lost generation.

Something needs to be done to save a generation from a blighted economic life, and to recover untold amounts of potential labor power that will go unused in the interim. Luckily, history gives us a perfect example of how to save this generation in the youth policies of the New Deal.

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