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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

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The Voluntarism Fantasy (Democracy Journal)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal looks to the history of public and private social insurance in the U.S. to explain why the conservative belief that private charity could take the place of government is deeply misguided.

In City's Job Growth, Faces of the Working Poor (WNYC)

New York City now has 237,000 more jobs than it did before the recession, reports Mirela Iverac, but too many of those jobs aren't paying enough to live on.

Hunger Crisis: Charities are Strained as Nearly 1 in 5 New Yorkers Depend on Aid for Food (NY Daily News)

Over five years, the number of people relying on food aid has increased by 200,000, and Barry Paddock and Ginger Adams Otis report that charities have seen even more need since November's food stamp cuts.

Low-Wage Workers Are Finding Poverty Harder to Escape (NYT)

Steven Greenhouse reports on the lives of the working poor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where workers with many years of experience can still make only $9 per hour.

Inside Low-Wage Workers’ Plan to Sue McDonald’s — and Win (MSNBC)

Timothy Noah explains that these workers are targeting the franchise system, arguing that McDonald's as a corporation created the conditions that led to wage theft, not just the franchise owners.

New on Next New Deal

Florida Election Shows Danger and Promise in Obamacare Debate

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch says polling from the recent special election for Florida's 13th congressional district shows that standing up to "keep and fix" Obamacare is a path for Democratic success.

The Progressive Budget Reminds Us That Government Can Create Jobs

The Congressional Progressive Caucus's budget is a reminder that an aggressive approach is still needed to push job growth, writes Nell Abernathy, Program Manager for the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think volition and coercion are the (3+ / 0-)

    Democracy is a volutary system of social organization. While the Cons consider payment as coercive, a bribe, because they are temperamentally opposed to sharing or providing compensation for services received, currency is merely a token that recognizes and registers obligations to be satisfied at a later time.
    The inability to recognize obligation seems to be the Cons' inherent deficit or flaw. Perhaps it arises from an inability to perceive connection, as in the relationship between cause and effect. Perhaps some people perceive reality in terms of isolated entities which exist in a state of opposition or antagonism. That may also account for why change and transformation are a mystery to them. They simply can't conceive of things evolving and turning into something else.
    Perhaps autism is simply a severe manifestation of a perception problem that's actually quite common.

    by hannah on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:30:21 AM PDT

  •  How ironic - or maybe droll - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that Mirela Iverac reports on 237,000 new jobs having been created in NYC since the end of the recession that don't pay a living wage, while at the same time Barry Paddock and Ginger Adams Otis report that the number of people relying on food stamps during approximately the same time frame has increased by 200,000.  I'm guessing this is no coincidence.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:38:02 PM PDT

  •  My take away from primary colors (0+ / 0-)

    Is that the Republican party realizes the power of being identified with an overarching political philosophy.
    As the graph shows, they routinely vote more conservatively than their district, and I defy you to find an elected Republican who doesn't proudly wave the Conservative flag. That works for them because they realize that being part of a movement or a cause like Conservatism, is a powerful motivator for people to come out.
    That's why they routinely out perform Democrats as far as turnout.
    The Democrats have given up on being identified with progressive populism, because you can't really paint yourself as a populist while your grabbing for the corporate dollars with both fists.
    Especially since poll after poll shows that most citizens support progressive populist policies such as raising the minimum wage, and cracking down on the financial industry, I think the Democrats would do well to re-brand themselves as  progressive populist party.
    They would have to give up much of that sweet sweet corporate cash to do so however, so I doubt they ever will.

  •  But YOUR charity is a benefit to ME (0+ / 0-)

    Imagine two businessmen with equal products to sell and equal capital to invest. If one of them gives to charity, it provides an advantage to the one who does not give to charity. The latter then has more capital to invest and exploit.

    This is a major reason why conservatives LOVE the idea of OTHER PEOPLE'S charity. It both absolves them of certain social obligations and provides a personal economic advantage. It's always a wonderful thing when your competitors are disadvantaged.

    Right wingers seldom do anything but for selfish reasons.

    And just as another point, when conservative proclaim that righties give more to charity than lefties, what they are referring to almost exclusively is donations to their own churches. Charitable donations which benefit themselves, personally, as well as any recipient of their largesse. And such donations are spent in a form of quid pro quo by churches demanding conversion and worship (along with eventual cash tithes) in exchange for their charitable work. Left wingers  largely donate to organizations which do not directly benefit themselves and which do not demand a quid pro quo in exchange for charitable works.

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