Kuttner on the Economy

Robert Kuttner, an excellent writer, writes about economic populism in his column from today's Boston Globe. His sentiment is not unlike the arguments I have been making in the election postings.

He writes:

"On Election Day, ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage passed overwhelmingly in all six states where the activist group ACORN and the labor movement made them a priority. These included the bellwether states of Missouri, Montana, and Ohio, where the wage initiatives contributed to a surge in turnout and helped progressive Democrats win narrow Senate victories. Since only about 7 percent of workers are helped directly by a higher minimum wage, the vote was widely seen as a symbolic expression of distress by the broad, working middle class seeking a change in economic priorities.


The group Trade Watch reported that nearly every Democrat who picked off a Republican-held seat campaigned as a critic of trade deals like NAFTA that are less about exporting goods and more about making it easier for American business to export jobs


As for Time Magazine's umpteenth story on a new centrism, a few newly elected Democrats are indeed more centrist on divisive social issues -- but all ran as economic populists. And the cure for economic insecurity is not in a new center, but in a progressive politics far more robust than we've seen in decades -- one that challenges the bipartisan corporate dominance of key economic questions, including the rules of trade."

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