Category Archives: Economics

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress offers Progressive Ideas and Solutions to Meet the Needs of the State

In January 2016, the progressive oriented Arizona Center for Economic Progress formed under the umbrella of the Children’s Action Alliance. Located in central Phoenix, this organization, with ties to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Ford, Anne E. Casey and Arizona Foundations, has already impacted the public policy arena with Democrats (and some Republicans) like Senate Minority Leader Steve Farley and other Legislative District Candidates drawing on the progressive ideas and solutions championed by the Center’s 15 member staff.

The founding and current Director of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress is attorney, child advocate, educator (he was a founding principal for ASU Preparatory Academy), former State House Democratic Leader and State Senator David Lujan. On December 18, Mr. Lujan sat down with Blog for Arizona to discuss the purpose of the Center, its accomplishments and impact, and what projects it would like to pursue over the next two years.

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The Trump Shutdown: he’s dreaming of a white nationalist Christmas

Just in time for Christmas, our white nationalist racist-in-chief got the government shutdown over his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border that he wanted after calling for it at least 25 times.

This is the third government shutdown in two years under unified Republican control of the government. Republicans are an abject failure at governance.

Someone just give Trump a MAGA building blocks set for Christmas to occupy his infantile mind (yes, this is a real thing) and let’s get on with the serious adult business of running the federal government.

On Wednesday, Senate and House leadership believed they had an agreement with the White House on a spending bill which did not include the$5 billion Trump had demanded for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border — a vanity monument to himself. The Senate went ahead with a vote and passed it nearly unanimously by a voice vote. The House was expected to follow suit, and everyone could then head home for Christmas. Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill That Would Avert Shutdown.

But then the white nationalists of the GOP House Freedom Caucus led by Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said Mr. Trump was doing himself “major” political damage with his political base of “deplorables” by relenting in the wall fight.

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Innovation Used to Benefit Workers. Can it Again?

Machines can make jobs better, but a tiny class of bosses uses them to make jobs disappear. It doesn’t have to be this way.

[Distributed via OtherWords.org]

A few weeks ago, I cringed when I saw this headline at a popular progressive website: “See How Well the GOP Tax Scam Is Creating Jobs? Walmart Announces Plans for 360 Robot Janitors.”

It’s the same way I’ve cringed when conservative scolds taunt fast food workers that they’ll regret demanding a living wage, because it will cause their jobs to be mechanized out of existence.

On both the left and the right, Americans see innovation mainly as a threat to workers. The unfortunate thing is: They may not be wrong.

It didn’t used to be this way. Continue reading

The GOP has weaponized the courts in undermining our democratic institutions

20 GOP attorneys general hand-picked a conservative activist judge known for his political activism from the bench to conspire to overturn the Affordable Care Act. One can fairly say that the process was “rigged” to produce the desired result. Judge Reed O’Connor should be impeached, and the 20 GOP attorneys general held to account for their unethical professional misconduct.

The New York Times reports, In Weaponized Courts, Judge Who Halted Affordable Care Act Is a Conservative Favorite:

In the 11 years Judge Reed O’Connor has been on the federal bench, he has become a favorite of Republican leaders in Texas, reliably tossing out Democratic policies they have challenged.

The state’s Republican attorney general appears to strategically file key lawsuits in Judge O’Connor’s jurisdiction, the Northern District of Texas, so that he will hear them. And on Friday, the judge handed Republicans another victory by striking down the Affordable Care Act, the signature health law of the Obama era.

Judge O’Connor, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, has been at the center of some of the most contentious and partisan cases involving federal power and states’ rights, and has sided with conservative leaders in previous challenges to the health law and against efforts to expand transgender rights.

No one questions his expertise on the law. But his rulings illustrate the ways in which the federal district courts have become politically weaponized, as Republicans and Democrats alike try to handpick judges they see as ideologically friendly to their cases.

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Republicans Christmas gift to the nation: blowing up America’s health care system

I warned you about The evil GOP bastards’ scheme for a back door repeal of ‘Obamacare’ in the courts when the case was filed back in February:

A part of the GOP’s “tax cuts for corporations and plutocrats” bill back in December was the under-reported repeal of the individual mandate, which didn’t actually repeal the coverage requirement — it only repealed the tax penalty provision.

This was part of the long game the evil GOP bastards play to deny Americans access to affordable health care. By removing the tax penalty, it allowed the state Attorneys General from 20 red states, including Arizona, to file a lawsuit (.pdf) attempting a back door repeal of ‘Obamacare” through the courts, rather than through Congress.

These evil GOP bastards assert the legal sophistry that the individual mandate is now unconstitutional — after the GOP’s malicious sabotage of “Obamacare” in the tax bill – and now the rest of the ACA should fall as part of the GOP’s legal sophistry in court.

These Republican attorneys general went forum shopping to file their lawsuit in a district with a conservative activist judge with a history of  “intensely political” opinions, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas.

During the litigation, the Trump administration abandoned the defense of the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states, leading to a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general to intervene to defend the Affordable Care Act.

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