The Affordable Care Act is probably the most progressive policy Americans born after the Great Society will witness in their lifetimes. It has saved tens of thousands of Americans from premature death and has already insured more than 12 million people. It has already defined Barack Obama’s legacy and will inevitably be at the center of the 2016 election. So why do so many on the left despise it?
Barring a dramatic scandal or an unforeseen event, Hillary Clinton will be the 2016 Democratic party nominee for president. While many on the left have complained about her close ties to banks and her past unwillingness to tackle inequality, such complaints are unlikely to be solved by any challenger. Progressives should instead begin creating the infrastructure to shift American politics in a more progressive direction -- and do so while supporting Clinton in 2016.
On the advice of her doctor, Peggy Young, a driver with UPS, asked her employer to put her on light duty when she got pregnant. Though UPS provided its other workers this option when injured or disabled -- or even when they lost their driver's license because of a DUI -- the company said that pregnancy was different. Instead, Young was put on leave without pay and lost her UPS health insurance -- just when she needed it most. So she sued, saying UPS had violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
At the individual level, racial differences have been observed when it comes to accumulating wealth. A study recently published by the public policy organization Demos called “Racial Wealth Gap” found that the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites has grown since the Great Recession. Specifically, it found that White households reported to have 17 times the wealth of Black households.
Yesterday, stock and bond markets dipped on the news that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that “equity market valuations at this point generally are quite high.” She further noted, “There are potential dangers there.”
She did not go so far as to say that she saw any market bubble. That would be akin to admitting that something drastic – and well, more immediate – would be required to address said bubble. Instead, she said, “The risks to financial stability are moderate, not elevated at this time.“
As the 2016 election approaches, the debate among the intelligentsia appears like it will center around the question of inequality. While income is distributed unequally in the country, what few people know is how much more unequally wealth, financial assets and inheritances are distributed.
Albany decision-makers face all kinds of powerful opposition. Almost invariably that opposition appears in modern garb, in the form of lobbyists, political action committees, unions, corporations, trade associations. They are fueled by money, lots of it.
On rare occasion, opposition appears as a genuine popular revolt.
In the wake of the recent gutting of the Voting Rights Act, partisans were quick to jump on the opportunity to restrict unfavorable voters. Across the country, conservatives in particular have debated fiercely whether to pursue voter suppression to remain competitive in an increasingly diverse electorate.
When discussing race, the conservative argument is best expressed by the famous words of Chief Justice John Roberts: "The best way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." Translation: America has done bad things in its history, but those bad things are gone now, so we should move past those horrors and look forward.