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View Diary: Walter Cronkite's Letter to the NYT: An Idea for Dems (281 comments)

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  •  Not in the reality-based community, (none)
    are you?  How are you going to pay for all that?  Item #2: need to be way more specific on steps we would take to reduce poverty (raise minimum wage, job creation incentives, etc.) I say "reduce" poverty because realistically I don't think it will ever be completely abolished.  Still, it is a goal to strive for, I guess.

    Re Item #4:  Just not gonna happen.  Businesses would never in a million years go for two years paid leave, and quite honestly I don't blame them.  Since we have zero now, maybe six months would be a more feasible goal?  And free child care---again, how will you pay for that?  Subsidized, maybe, according to ability to pay.

    Re Item #6:  I don't even think this should happen, even if we could finance it, which we can't.  It's well known that people value things more when they have an investment in them.  I would expect with free college, you'll get a lot of dilettante kids taking up space even though they are not really serious about getting an education.  More practical would be increasing grants, loans, and scholarships, and maybe some kind of tuition cap on public universities to help deserving students afford it.  Or maybe a kind of sweat equity deal, like the Habitat for Humanity concept.  If people want the education, they should be willing to work/pay for it; the trick is to make sure it is accessible to anyone who wants to put in the effort, not just to anyone whose daddy makes a big donation.

    •  Crackpot Realism (4.00)
      These comments only reveal the complete and utter poverty of vision and imagination that exists among many liberals.

      The real question isn't whether it can be paid for. The real question is whether people have the guts to really articulate a vision of a society organized in the interests of the majority rather than for the present corporate ruling elite, and then have the determination to fight for that vision.

      Lets be absolutely clear. We are already paying for all of these things in one way or another. We have the highest per capita health costs in the world, not because we have the best healthcare but to feed the profits and bureaucracy of the insurance industry. The lack of time that parents get to spend with their children early in life has all sorts of invisble costs. Lots of countries offer paid leave. Almost all the OECD countries offer between two and five months. Cuba offers a year. I don't see why the richest country in the world can't afford to offer double what Cuba offers. As a society we are already paying through the nose for childcare. The question is whether or not a greater good is served by taking the burden off parents and  socializing those costs. Similarly we are already paying to send a large number of people to college. The question is whether we get better results by making people hold down jobs while they are student and/or acquiring huge piles of debt OR again by socializing the costs. All of these things could be paid for EASILY by restoring a generation of tax cuts to the rich and significantly reducing our investment in the instruments of mass murder.

      "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral (-10.00, -9.28)

      by Christopher Day on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:02:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, who ya callin' a crackpot!!! (none)
        First of all, I'm not debating the health care issue.  I agree we're already paying for that in a number of ways, and it's gotten to the point where I think businesses will jump on board too.

        But I think you're way off base with the other comments.  There is simply no way businesses are going to offer two years paid leave to employees, period.  As just one unintended consequence, I would foresee a sudden drop in the number of women of childbearing age being hired for jobs.  Six month leaves, while long by current standards, might be sellable.  Subsidized, regulated childcare?  Sure.  But free?  Not unless you can get Grandma to do it.

        And read what I said about college (apparently you leaped to the wrong conclusion.)  I am not in favor of huge piles of debt for students.  Holding down jobs while in college?  Why not?  Part time during the school year, full time in summer.  I did it, so do many (most?) others.  Look at my suggestions, which were just off the top of my head, for tuition costs.  Maybe we could cap public university rates, make loans and grants accessible, maybe offer some kind of payback-through-work program---don't know what that is called, but it's been done for teachers and doctors, for example.  You get your tuition paid by Podunkville, then you are required to work for them for two years or four years or whatever the agreement is.

        I refute your accusation of "complete and utter poverty of vision and imagination" and raise you a "complete and utter cluelessness about real world economics," plus I'll throw in a "no clue about motivating desired behavior among individuals", you just aren't very polite.

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