31 votes

Bill Raising Federal Minimum Wage To $15 Heads To U.S. House Floor

47 comments

  1. [13]
    alyaza Link
    this obviously is not going to pass the senate, but it has a good chance of making it through the house. it is a pretty good bill: it's also being called... you guessed it, socialist! since i...

    this obviously is not going to pass the senate, but it has a good chance of making it through the house. it is a pretty good bill:

    The House Committee on Education and Labor on Wednesday voted 28-20 along party lines in favor of the bill. It would raise the federal hourly minimum to $15 by 2024 and also phase out the so-called "subminimum" wages for tipped workers, young workers and workers with disabilities.

    it's also being called... you guessed it, socialist!

    But Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said the bill would result in "significant job losses for hourly workers around the country" and would "hammer" small businesses by increasing the cost of labor. She called the legislation "blatantly socialist" and said it was "at best a foolish policy proposal. At worst, it's an intentionally dishonest political stunt."

    since i guess being paid a decent wage is socialist or something? that's cool by me, i guess, since all it does is make people more sympathetic to socialism in the long run since it's apparently just all the shit people actually want instead of relatively unpopular healthcare reform and tax reform.

    oh and amazon is behind this bill, weirdly enough (which i'm guessing is mostly thanks to bernie sanders):

    The bill also now has the support of Amazon, which last year committed to paying all of its workers at least $15 and to lobby Congress for a higher federal minimum.

    14 votes
    1. [7]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      I'm all for raising the minimum wage but this is accurate: Some amount of very small businesses would necessarily go out of business as they'd no longer be able to pay the minimum wage. I'm not...

      I'm all for raising the minimum wage but this is accurate:

      would "hammer" small businesses by increasing the cost of labor

      Some amount of very small businesses would necessarily go out of business as they'd no longer be able to pay the minimum wage. I'm not suggesting that's a good enough reason not to pay a living wage across the board (and let's face it $15/hour isn't a living wage in some places even), but it's a fair criticism.

      I wonder if they've explored a provision for companies employing X or fewer workers to ramp up to the new minimum more slowly or even not at all. Not unlike how wait staff are only paid $2 something an hour (last I checked at least - and yes I know that they have to pay the minimum if enough tips aren't earned).

      Again, I'm for a gradual increase in the minimum wage. I don't know if $15 is the right amount but any specific dollar figure is going to be necessarily arbitrary.

      6 votes
      1. [4]
        alyaza Link Parent
        it's not really one worth entertaining, to be honest. even economists--who have traditionally been exceptionally skiddish on the idea of minimum wage increases--generally acknowledge at this point...

        Some amount of very small businesses would necessarily go out of business as they'd no longer be able to pay the minimum wage. I'm not suggesting that's a good enough reason not to pay a living wage across the board (and let's face it $15/hour isn't a living wage in some places even), but it's a fair criticism.

        it's not really one worth entertaining, to be honest. even economists--who have traditionally been exceptionally skiddish on the idea of minimum wage increases--generally acknowledge at this point that at worst, minimum wages lead to no increase in living standards for most people, and certainly not a decrease. seattle has shown that while some things do happen in the immediate short-term when minimum wages increase like this, businesses will adapt as necessary. layoffs generally do not occur, and pretty much everybody ends off better than they started. granted, this is seattle and not rural arkansas where small-town mom and pop stores are the main businesses, but overwhelmingly the consensus now seems to be that while things in the short term might be somewhat chaotic, as long as the increase is gradual the status quo returns pretty quickly because the overwhelming majority of businesses are able to plan for and absorb the shocks as they come.

        Again, I'm for a gradual increase in the minimum wage. I don't know if $15 is the right amount but any specific dollar figure is going to be necessarily arbitrary.

        the bill is also a pretty gradual increase. the $15/hr minimum wage doesn't take full effect until 2024 if it passes (which it won't), and in a number of states it won't be going up at all since they're already independently passing such bills.

        11 votes
        1. [3]
          Pilgrim Link Parent
          I believe you are missing my point and I apologize because I must not have explained it very well. You're talking about things at a high level - the overall benefit of society. I don't disagree...

          I believe you are missing my point and I apologize because I must not have explained it very well. You're talking about things at a high level - the overall benefit of society. I don't disagree with that.

          My point is that someone isn't going to be able to continue running their business because they're having to pay double the wage they did previously. Not every business can absorb that. Not every business has customers that are willing to pay double for the service/good. Some people will be hurt and that's perfectly fine if the net benefit for society is there, but let's not pretend that there isn't two-sides to this just because we don't like the other side.

          If there were only upsides to increasing the minimum wage then economists would be all for it, and you know they're generally not as you already stated. Sometimes a hard truth is just a hard truth and the compassionate thing to do is to ask ourselves how we can lessen the negative impact.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            alyaza Link Parent
            sure, but the other side here is, like i said, not really worth entertaining. we don't suspend things like healthcare reform because at a low level they're going to detrimentally impact insurance...

            Some people will be hurt and that's perfectly fine if the net benefit for society is there, but let's not pretend that there isn't two-sides to this just because we don't like the other side.

            sure, but the other side here is, like i said, not really worth entertaining. we don't suspend things like healthcare reform because at a low level they're going to detrimentally impact insurance agencies or whatever, even though someone statistically speaking will be negatively impacted or perhaps ruined by such reform since their livelihood is predicated on the system as it is now. those things are just an inevitability of political changes and in a case like that, the net gain of such measures is far more valuable than the net loss.

            i mean, you yourself basically say your low-level reservation there kinda doesn't matter if at the end of the day there's a net benefit for society, so it's kinda weird to make a point of it, especially on an issue like minimum wage where studies are showing that very few people are detrimentally affected at all if it is properly implemented.

            2 votes
            1. Pilgrim Link Parent
              You can't begin to get others that disagree with you to come over to your side if you don't understand and at least try to address their concerns. If we pretend those concerns are not legitimate,...

              i mean, you yourself basically say your low-level reservation there kinda doesn't matter if at the end of the day there's a net benefit for society, so it's kinda weird to make a point of it

              You can't begin to get others that disagree with you to come over to your side if you don't understand and at least try to address their concerns. If we pretend those concerns are not legitimate, and let's face it, they're very legitimate to those who might face hardship, then what reason are we giving others to continue listening to us?

              1 vote
      2. [2]
        burkaman Link Parent
        It's not that simple. A minimum wage increase affects every business in an area, which makes it much easier to raise prices without getting undermined by competition, and stay in business. Do...

        It's not that simple. A minimum wage increase affects every business in an area, which makes it much easier to raise prices without getting undermined by competition, and stay in business. Do across the board price increases mean lower demand for the whole industry? Not necessarily, because higher wages mean customers have more money to spend.

        The effects will heavily depend on what your customer base is, what portion of your expenses go to payroll, whether you have foreign competition, etc.

        3 votes
        1. Pilgrim Link Parent
          Oh sure. It's a complex topic but I don't think a solid argument can be made that some folks aren't going to be on the losing end of these sorts of changes. And if we know some people may be left...

          Oh sure. It's a complex topic but I don't think a solid argument can be made that some folks aren't going to be on the losing end of these sorts of changes. And if we know some people may be left out the in cold so to speak, it makes sense to see if we can ease that transition for them in some way.

          4 votes
    2. [3]
      archevel Link Parent
      It might be interesting to know that here in Sweden (a largely social democratic country) there is no minimum wage. Instead we have strong unions that negotiate the wages and benefit for different...

      It might be interesting to know that here in Sweden (a largely social democratic country) there is no minimum wage. Instead we have strong unions that negotiate the wages and benefit for different areas with their counterparts representing the employers. The deals (known as "kollektivavtal") between the unions and employer organisations basically sets the bar for what the employment terms and contracts should look like. Even employers and people not belonging to a union generally get similar terms. The deals are renegotiated now and then at which time the unions strive to increase the benefits for the employees and employer organisations try to do similar for their members. It's a fairly well functioning system, but it does need people to be organised in unions to work (which I think is less common in US).

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        escher Link Parent
        So... minimum wage with extra steps. (Which I am all for, don't get me wrong.)

        So... minimum wage with extra steps. (Which I am all for, don't get me wrong.)

        1 vote
        1. archevel Link Parent
          In practice, kind of. There are a few key differences. There is no government involvement in setting a minimum wage. There is no actual minimum wage - you can employ people and pay them almost...

          In practice, kind of. There are a few key differences. There is no government involvement in setting a minimum wage. There is no actual minimum wage - you can employ people and pay them almost nothing. Adjustment of the agreed minimum wage for different industries is more dynamic since it doesn't require changing the law.

          1 vote
    3. babypuncher Link Parent
      Does it include any provisions for keeping minimum wage locked in with inflation? We wouldn't be in this mess today if the original minimum wage had such a requirement.

      Does it include any provisions for keeping minimum wage locked in with inflation? We wouldn't be in this mess today if the original minimum wage had such a requirement.

      2 votes
    4. eladnarra Link Parent
      2024 seems so far in the future. I know things take time, but it makes me wonder what that actually will amount to after inflation if you compare it to $15 in 2012, when the "fight for 15"...

      It would raise the federal hourly minimum to $15 by 2024 and also phase out the so-called "subminimum" wages for tipped workers, young workers and workers with disabilities.

      2024 seems so far in the future. I know things take time, but it makes me wonder what that actually will amount to after inflation if you compare it to $15 in 2012, when the "fight for 15" movement started...

      Getting rid of the subminimum wage for disabled folks is good, though. It's nice to see that as a part of larger legislation rather than being considered a niche issue.

      1 vote
  2. Mulligan Link
    There's effects from earlier similar policies that I find fascinating. There's a $15/hour min in areas of Seattle and it's caused some serious issues for corporations in retaining mid-level and...

    There's effects from earlier similar policies that I find fascinating. There's a $15/hour min in areas of Seattle and it's caused some serious issues for corporations in retaining mid-level and skilled managers. If you're making $16/hour as a manager and you're fed up, you can just demote to bagging groceries or something like that and still bring in a comparable wage. Corporations are stubborn and slow to adapt to change and it's causing problems all over the place. Business and industry in the area hasn't caught up to the wage increase and they don't seem to have any interest in increasing salaries across the board.

    It seems that the $15/hour wage is having something of a Universal Basic Income affect where people are quitting jobs they don't like, or jobs where they feel like they aren't appropriately compensated.

    If anybody has any info on the Seattle minimum wage and can direct me to some quality articles that discuss what I outline above, I'd really appreciate it.

    8 votes
  3. 9000 Link
    A common progressive criticism of current American minimum wage laws are that they don't track inflation. Interestingly, this bill does have a mechanism to regularly increase the minimum wage...

    A common progressive criticism of current American minimum wage laws are that they don't track inflation. Interestingly, this bill does have a mechanism to regularly increase the minimum wage under section 2(h)(1-2).[1] Instead of tracking inflation overall, it tracks the median hourly wage. Does anyone more knowledgeable in economics than I am have any insight into what kind of effect this will have compared to tracking inflation? Would we expect wages overall to grow faster, slower, approximately the same as, or unrelated to inflation overall?

    I can see how we might not want the price floor for hourly labor to track the growth of the entire economy, but I'm not certain how this might look in practice.


    [1]: The house bill and the Senate bill

    7 votes
  4. [20]
    figment Link
    Arbitrary threshold, but ok

    "The result is that there is no place in America where a full-time worker who is paid the current federal minimum wage can afford a modest two-bedroom apartment."

    Arbitrary threshold, but ok

    4 votes
    1. [8]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [7]
        Pilgrim Link Parent
        It strikes me as a bit regressive to use that standard now. Maybe in the 1950s...

        a standard where a worker may need to support a spouse and a child

        It strikes me as a bit regressive to use that standard now. Maybe in the 1950s...

        1. [6]
          hungariantoast Link Parent
          What about that is regressive? Isn't it common (and desired) of at least one parent to stay at home and raise a child in the immediate aftermath of its birth? Or is there another factor here I am...

          What about that is regressive? Isn't it common (and desired) of at least one parent to stay at home and raise a child in the immediate aftermath of its birth?

          Or is there another factor here I am not considering?

          My point is, maternity leave is a big deal even still, and it doesn't seem like @Rez was being rude at all, so I'm really confused about what it is that they should change about that sentence.

          Please explain it to me.

          12 votes
          1. [2]
            Randomacts Link Parent
            I believe that @Pilgrim may be under the wrong impression that the breadwinner in this situation has to be a man. It could just as easily be a women or another dude whatever in a relationship that...

            I believe that @Pilgrim may be under the wrong impression that the breadwinner in this situation has to be a man. It could just as easily be a women or another dude whatever in a relationship that does the money making while the other stays home pursuing a passion such as art or just taking care of a kid that needs more attention than one with a full time job can give.

            It is to my understanding that giving more people free time to do what they really want is how we get amazing things in the world. Once a money isn't a fear perhaps Steve can make the next tildes in 2030 after the user base is tired of it and it is no longer what it once was.

            5 votes
            1. Pilgrim (edited ) Link Parent
              Incorrect. I was not under that impression. I replied to @hungariantoast separately but have re-posted some of that below for your convenience: EDIT: I'd like to add to that the whole concept of...

              Incorrect. I was not under that impression. I replied to @hungariantoast separately but have re-posted some of that below for your convenience:

              It's always amazing to me how much things have changed and I forget how old I'm becoming.

              The idea of two working parents was an ideal to aspire to in the 1970s and 80s. The mom-who-could-do-it-all! I think feminists of that era would consider the idea regressive and a step backward.

              It's refreshing that folks nowadays recognize the above for the trap it turned out to be - wages decreased because the labor market increased - and now we aspire to a single-worker household again. I say bravo!

              EDIT: I'd like to add to that the whole concept of giving two thoughts about the raising of children is a relatively recent one - think about the early 20th century and how children were often seen as labor. That isn't a point I'm trying to make or anything - just a tangential observation.

              1 vote
          2. [3]
            Pilgrim (edited ) Link Parent
            It's always amazing to me how much things have changed and I forget how old I'm becoming. The idea of two working parents was an ideal to aspire to in the 1970s and 80s. The...

            It's always amazing to me how much things have changed and I forget how old I'm becoming.

            The idea of two working parents was an ideal to aspire to in the 1970s and 80s. The mom-who-could-do-it-all! I think feminists of that era would consider the idea regressive and a step backward.

            It's refreshing that folks nowadays recognize the above for the trap it turned out to be - wages decreased because the labor market increased - and now we aspire to a single-worker household again. I say bravo!

            So to directly answer your questions:

            Isn't it common (and desired) of at least one parent to stay at home and raise a child in the immediate aftermath of its birth?

            It was not when I was a child and things seemed to have changed so that's great.

            My point is, maternity leave is a big deal even still, and it doesn't seem like @Rez was being rude at all, so I'm really confused about what it is that they should change about that sentence.

            I'm confused by this part as I didn't say anyone was rude and didn't suggest they change anything.

            EDIT: I want to add to that the sentiment that I see on Tildes (and maybe more largely among younger people) of a single-worker household is new to me and welcome. There was a time when saying that one partner should remain at home would have been considered a regressive view-point that was expected to be held only by conservatives. That was born out of the wide scale introduction of women to the labor force in the 1960s/70s - progressives fought hard for that and anyone advocating for a women staying at home (a man staying at home was never on the table) would have been considered an enemy of that progress. Can you imagine a time when women were expected NOT to work and were hazed and assaulted when they did try to work?

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              hungariantoast Link Parent
              I was mostly trying to reinforce that I didn't think the user was writing the things they did to uphold a regressive idea. Sorry if it came across as accusatory and thank you for your explanation.

              I'm confused by this part as I didn't say anyone was rude and didn't suggest they change anything.

              I was mostly trying to reinforce that I didn't think the user was writing the things they did to uphold a regressive idea. Sorry if it came across as accusatory and thank you for your explanation.

              2 votes
              1. Pilgrim Link Parent
                Well that's a relief. I was afraid I was coming across as being rude to OP and that wasn't my intention at all. My original comment was a bit of an off-hand remark and half in jest - I know I need...

                Well that's a relief. I was afraid I was coming across as being rude to OP and that wasn't my intention at all.

                My original comment was a bit of an off-hand remark and half in jest - I know I need to be more deliberate on Tildes but sometimes can't help myself. Thanks for being a cool person @hungariantoast.

                2 votes
    2. [10]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      Right?! This stuff really bugs me. Who is promising people a modest two-bedroom apartment on a single salary? Is cohabitation not a thing anymore? I recall renting a modest (read old) four bedroom...

      Right?! This stuff really bugs me. Who is promising people a modest two-bedroom apartment on a single salary? Is cohabitation not a thing anymore? I recall renting a modest (read old) four bedroom apartment in the midwest and splitting the rent with four people.

      The issue of raising the minimum wage is a real one and needs to be addressed but these types of facetious measures do the whole conversation a disservice.

      3 votes
      1. [6]
        Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
        Do you consider splitting a 4-bedroom apartment 4 ways a pleasant, dignified way to live long-term? Should a family require two incomes just to be able to give a child their own room? Shouldn't...

        Who is promising people a modest two-bedroom apartment on a single salary? Is cohabitation not a thing anymore? I recall renting a modest (read old) four bedroom apartment in the midwest and splitting the rent with four people.

        Do you consider splitting a 4-bedroom apartment 4 ways a pleasant, dignified way to live long-term? Should a family require two incomes just to be able to give a child their own room? Shouldn't one of the richest countries in the world be able to do better than that?

        11 votes
        1. Pilgrim (edited ) Link Parent
          Let's backup there. You're putting up a bunch of straw-men and knocking them down. I didn't make the assertions that you're questioning me about. Who's to say we're talking about a family? What...

          Let's backup there. You're putting up a bunch of straw-men and knocking them down. I didn't make the assertions that you're questioning me about.

          Who's to say we're talking about a family? What about a single person? What about a college student? Why do there need to be two-bedrooms? What's wrong with sharing space with others? Is $15 an hour even going to buy a pot to piss in San Francisco or NYC or any other major city? What's a modest apartment?

          The criticism is it's an arbitrary measure just like the dollar amount of the increase is an arbitrary measure. A better measure might be to afford housing in the area they live in but to be clear I wouldn't want "perfect to be the enemy of good" and fully support raising the minimum wage. I just wish my party would do a better job of presenting their ideas. We sort of suck at it.

          4 votes
        2. [4]
          Randomacts Link Parent
          Large shared places are never a pleasant experience that just lead to stress. Perhaps people will be friendlier to each other if it is more common to have a personal space that is just theirs and...

          Large shared places are never a pleasant experience that just lead to stress. Perhaps people will be friendlier to each other if it is more common to have a personal space that is just theirs and perhaps loved ones. I certainly think that it would help the mental health problem that we have here.

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            Pilgrim Link Parent
            I think most of Latin America who tend to live with large extended families may disagree or perhaps I'm misunderstanding the comment.

            Large shared places are never a pleasant experience that just lead to stress.

            I think most of Latin America who tend to live with large extended families may disagree or perhaps I'm misunderstanding the comment.

            1. [2]
              Randomacts Link Parent
              And isn't most of Latin America filled with crime because of that?

              And isn't most of Latin America filled with crime because of that?

              1. Pilgrim Link Parent
                Because of tendency to have large extended families instead of nuclear families? I think you're conflating living together with poverty which are not necessarily the same thing.

                Because of tendency to have large extended families instead of nuclear families? I think you're conflating living together with poverty which are not necessarily the same thing.

                2 votes
      2. [4]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [3]
          Pilgrim (edited ) Link Parent
          Of course not but you're forgetting that plenty of people were still not able to afford to own a house and support a family on a single salary throughout U.S. history. Do you think a waitress in...

          Of course not but you're forgetting that plenty of people were still not able to afford to own a house and support a family on a single salary throughout U.S. history. Do you think a waitress in 1950 made enough to own their own home and support others? A paperboy? The part-time store clerk at the soda shop?

          While wage stagnation is a real problem, hyperbolic rhetoric lessens the strength of our argument, not increases it. We can do better.

          EDIT: @Greg points out just how wrong I am. The numbers are really incredible.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            Greg Link Parent
            It's a sad reality that some people do tend to be missed in any system, but to my understanding the hypothetical 1950s waitress was a lot closer than a modern minimum wage worker to having a house...

            It's a sad reality that some people do tend to be missed in any system, but to my understanding the hypothetical 1950s waitress was a lot closer than a modern minimum wage worker to having a house and stable family life.

            Full time in 1950 (2000 hours/year) comes to $1,500 and the median home value was $7,354 - a multiple of 4.9. That's reasonable enough to get a mortgage on! Home ownership (and a mid-range home at that) was within reach of even the minimum full time income.

            Compare that to 2010 median home value of $179,900 on an annual full time minimum of $14,500 (same sources as above). It's a 12.4x multiplier; if I were to reach outside census data for something a little more recent it looks like about 15.5x (on an estimated $225,000 median home value). You'd need three working adults to match the 1950s waitress on home ownership.

            I know it doesn't cover everything, and that stable full time employment at any wage is something that isn't available to a lot of people, but the numbers suggest that you really could have managed it in the 50s in a way that's not possible today.

            9 votes
            1. Pilgrim Link Parent
              Damn you Greg with your facts and numbers! Just kidding, you're OK in my book :) In all seriousness, you opened my eyes to something today and I thank you for it.

              Damn you Greg with your facts and numbers! Just kidding, you're OK in my book :)

              In all seriousness, you opened my eyes to something today and I thank you for it.

              4 votes
    3. [2]
      9000 Link Parent
      Is there a less arbitrary threshold? I suppose whatever threshold we decide on would be based on living expenses (food, housing, etc.), and ultimately that means agreeing on a standard of living...

      Is there a less arbitrary threshold? I suppose whatever threshold we decide on would be based on living expenses (food, housing, etc.), and ultimately that means agreeing on a standard of living to base those expenses on. Perhaps a full-time worker affording a two-bedroom feels excessive, but if we are to agree on any threshold at all, it will be in some sense arbitrary.

      Additionally, this isn't built into the law as a legal threshold or anything, but is merely a litmus test that helps us contextualize the current situation.

      1 vote
      1. Pilgrim Link Parent
        Not OP but I'd say pin it to their geographic location would be my first suggestion. A two-bedroom apartment in the Midwest is a lot different than a two-bedroom apartment in L.A. or some other...

        Is there a less arbitrary threshold?

        Not OP but I'd say pin it to their geographic location would be my first suggestion. A two-bedroom apartment in the Midwest is a lot different than a two-bedroom apartment in L.A. or some other major city.

        My second suggestion is to remove the two-bedroom part for single people - that is excessive IMO. So maybe it'd be "Afford a modest studio apartment in the place they currently live" and for families it would be "Afford a modest studio apartment in the place they currently live." But the overall message could be summed up as "Afford housing in the area they currently live in."

        2 votes
  5. jackson Link
    I'm just going to put this out there. If you work 40 hrs/week, every week, on the current federal minimum wage ($7.25), you will earn a whopping $15080. Before taxes. (That's below the poverty...

    I'm just going to put this out there.

    If you work 40 hrs/week, every week, on the current federal minimum wage ($7.25), you will earn a whopping $15080. Before taxes. (That's below the poverty line in alaska, btw)

    For a house of one, that falls well under the WIC eligibility line of $22,459. (For non-US, WIC is the US food stamps program). For a single parent of one, you're also below the poverty line of $16,460.

    Contrast that with the $31220 earned by a $15/hr earner under the same conditions. In many places, that's actually a livable income.

    Also to add--

    Even if someone's hours are cut to half of what they are, earning the same amount, that means they have far more time to spend with their family, work another job, or do something else. Either way, it's a win.

    1 vote
  6. [11]
    heretohelp Link
    The thing that frustrates me most is that they will pass this now. When the Democrats had the Senate and the House at the beginning of the Obama presidency, they didn't touch any progressive...

    The thing that frustrates me most is that they will pass this now. When the Democrats had the Senate and the House at the beginning of the Obama presidency, they didn't touch any progressive issues that would make a difference for the working class.

    1. [5]
      Pilgrim (edited ) Link Parent
      Wasn't that frustrating to live through? And the healthcare bill was pretty much a wish list straight from insurance companies. Democrats need to be way, way more aggressive. EDIT: @alyaza points...

      Wasn't that frustrating to live through? And the healthcare bill was pretty much a wish list straight from insurance companies. Democrats need to be way, way more aggressive.

      EDIT: @alyaza points out, correctly I think, that something more aggressive wasn't practical at that time. But darn it if I don't want Dems to go to the mat on Universal Healthcare and everything else in 2020.

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        alyaza Link Parent
        they were, but the reality is that when your plan requires sixty votes and you have exactly sixty caucus members (many of whom were either blue dogs or red-state democrats), even one defection...

        Democrats need to be way, way more aggressive.

        they were, but the reality is that when your plan requires sixty votes and you have exactly sixty caucus members (many of whom were either blue dogs or red-state democrats), even one defection kills the whole thing and you'd rather have some reform than no reform. that unfortunate little numbers game is how several of the more radical provisions (like the public option) got axed from what was eventually passed.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          Pilgrim Link Parent
          Oh I'm familiar with and generally approve of the incrementalism that Dems have used in the past when needed. But when given opportunity, like when we control both the House and Senate, we can't...

          Oh I'm familiar with and generally approve of the incrementalism that Dems have used in the past when needed. But when given opportunity, like when we control both the House and Senate, we can't seem to hold it together and cater to would-be defectors. Republicans seem to be better able to march in lock-step on issues whereas a handful of Democrats get idealistic and want to take a stand.

          1. [2]
            9000 Link Parent
            I mean, I'm not entirely sure Republicans are actually better at that. For instance, look at the Tea Party movement that shut the government down in 2013. Or how the tax bill was pretty much the...

            I mean, I'm not entirely sure Republicans are actually better at that. For instance, look at the Tea Party movement that shut the government down in 2013. Or how the tax bill was pretty much the only major Republican initiative last Congress, despite repealing the Affordable Care Act being a major goal for seven years. (Talk about a few Senators not toeing the line.)

            I would argue a lot of the Republican agenda has been pushed through by relatively few people, without large scale legislative initiatives that could be tanked. For instance: McConnell pushing through judicial candidates, Trump signing executive orders, federal cabinet appointments, Congressional committee investigations, etc. All of these tactics have also been used by the Democrats when precariously in power.

            I think part of the difference in how we feel about the parties' efficacy is that the gerrymandering circa the 2010 census has skewed a lot of the contemporary perspectives on relative party power.

            1 vote
            1. Pilgrim Link Parent
              You're making good points, but I'm telling you, right here, right now, it sure doesn't feel that way!

              I mean, I'm not entirely sure Republicans are actually better at that.

              You're making good points, but I'm telling you, right here, right now, it sure doesn't feel that way!

    2. [5]
      alyaza Link Parent
      this is probably because it would have completely obliterated them, politically. they came into 2010 with a larger majority than they had in 2008 because of luck and defections, used that to pass...

      The thing that frustrates me most is that they will pass this now. When the Democrats had the Senate and the House at the beginning of the Obama presidency, they didn't touch any progressive issues that would make a difference for the working class.

      this is probably because it would have completely obliterated them, politically. they came into 2010 with a larger majority than they had in 2008 because of luck and defections, used that to pass the ACA, and then subsequently got annihilated in the worst across-ballot showing for a party in probably a century (and they nearly lost the senate in addition to the house!) as a consequence of their willingness to stick their neck out on something. i suspect that--even if we'd like to believe otherwise--passing things like minimum wage increases in 2008 would have likely had the same consequence as passing the ACA did in 2010. the political climate just was not receptive to those sorts of reforms in the way it is now.

      1. Pilgrim Link Parent
        Not the person you wrote the response to, but I have to agree with your assessment - something more aggressive probably wasn't possible then. But to see Republican's use every dirty trick in the...

        Not the person you wrote the response to, but I have to agree with your assessment - something more aggressive probably wasn't possible then. But to see Republican's use every dirty trick in the book to get what they want under Trump has opened my eyes to what might be accomplished under a significantly aggressive Democratic majority.

        2 votes
      2. [3]
        heretohelp Link Parent
        I'm late replying. But I think it is the other way. They didn't pass the progressive agenda people wanted, so the progressives didn't bother to go and vote.

        I'm late replying.

        But I think it is the other way. They didn't pass the progressive agenda people wanted, so the progressives didn't bother to go and vote.

        1. [2]
          alyaza Link Parent
          i do have to ask: how were they going to do that in the senate when (1) almost all of the seats that got them over 50 to begin with were in red states or swing states, and (2) the most progressive...

          But I think it is the other way. They didn't pass the progressive agenda people wanted, so the progressives didn't bother to go and vote.

          i do have to ask: how were they going to do that in the senate when (1) almost all of the seats that got them over 50 to begin with were in red states or swing states, and (2) the most progressive policies they could have passed all required 60 votes, which is something they only had for a few months and which in the case of the ACA wasn't even a solid 60 because of blue dogs like joe lieberman? for that matter, how would they have done it in the house, where their caucus was about as wildly overextended as it could be from 2008 to 2010? i mean, there are a lot of seats that they lost in 2010 that they had no business holding to begin with, like that one in idaho, most of the ones they lost in the south, the two dakota seats, etc.

          you're also acting like all 58-60 democrats in the senate and 256 democrats who were in congress from 2008 to 2010 would even be on board with a truly progressive agenda (which is something obama campaigned on, not something they necessarily did), much less be in a position to pass it given the fact that many of these congresspeople were in seats they were going to struggle to hold in a good year and not the utter cataclysm that was 2010 for the democrats. in any case, i don't buy the idea that progressives would have somehow made a difference even if they had voted in larger numbers: the swing between the 2008 elections and the 2010 elections was a D+10.6 to an R+6.8 popular vote. there's really not much any sort of voting block can do to reverse a swing like that.

          1. heretohelp Link Parent
            I think Trump shows us one thing. A President can lead and push an agenda. Obama didn't do that at all in a progressive direction. And with the question you ask, how did being moderate pan out for...

            I think Trump shows us one thing. A President can lead and push an agenda. Obama didn't do that at all in a progressive direction.

            And with the question you ask, how did being moderate pan out for them? We know. It was bad. So the question I wonder is how would progressive have panned out for them. I know as an Obama voter, I was completely disillusioned with him and the Democrats after those first two years.