Joe Biden As Visionary: A Fairer, More Prosperous, Healthier America IS INDEED ON THE BALLOT!

Image courtesy of hsb wikimedia.org.

I’ve been saying for some time that I believe history will be kinder to our maligned President than the voters seem to be. While Biden’s poll numbers are rising, they’re nowhere near where they should be based on his accomplishments to date. And those accomplishments are just a down payment on the more equitable, firmly democratic, healthier country he envisions.

It is deeply regrettable that the worldwide inflation and looming recession—due largely to the pandemic and Putin’s war—enable the trickle-down Republicans to attack Biden on the economy, while too many voters don’t realize that the economy always does better under Democratic administrations.

And yet, in contrast to the indifference or public criticism that Biden’s been receiving, I’ve noticed some recent essays/articles pointing out how well he’s doing.

Note the titles of the pieces I quote from below.

A big part of the upheaval in our country is traceable to an economy that has become increasingly skewed toward the rich for decades. Biden’s plans are designed to reverse that trend.

Ending Child Poverty

I have written previously about the Child Tax Credit, which temporarily lifted a substantial number of children out of poverty. Temporarily, because it was not continued. But with a Democratic House and two more family-friendly Democratic Senators, it can be reinstated—bringing us into alignment with many other countries at last.

In a very upbeat article in The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo described how “Biden Has Helped the Quiet Revolution of Giving People Money.” He’s talking about the Child Tax Credit, pointing out that it’s not a new idea—originally created in 1997, when Clinton was President and the Congress was Republican—but Biden increased it, expanded eligibility, and made it “fully refundable,” meaning that even people who didn’t pay any income tax got the total amount.

The idea has been to revise what has been thought of as “welfare” by removing complicated requirements and the stigma attached. Recipients make their own decisions about how to spend the money they receive.

Assumptions that these recipients would spend the money on drugs or alcohol have simply not been borne out. These programs really work, lifting children out of poverty, motivating low-income workers to advance. And that’s not only ethically good; it also helps us all.

Manjoo writes:

“…giving people a little bit of money removed ‘material barriers’ to finding full-time work—for instance, rather than spend their time in dead-end gig work, people could complete course, internships or training programs that allowed them to land higher-paying jobs.”

That’s why 133 economists recently wrote a letter to Congress informing them that the Child Tax Credit should be reinstated because “it would help families hit by inflation, not exacerbate inflation.”

Strengthening Unions Within a Capitalist Economy

Biden at times reminds people that he is a capitalist (in contrast to the socialist or Marxist/communist labels some try to pin on him). He also stresses that he hopes to be “the most pro-union President ever.”

In fact, his policies reflect both sides of him. They are consistent and promising over the long haul.

The President frequently says that “unions built the middle class, and the middle class built America.”

These words underscore his approach to what appears to have been the successful settling of the national railroad workers strike.

Heather Cox Richardson, a historian who has repeatedly shown how much she values Biden’s work, wrote a good description of the background and complexities that led the workers to strike.

If a national rail strike had occurred, it would have had mammoth impact on our lives and economy, affecting “everything from drinking water—the chlorine to purify urban systems is shipped by train—to consumer goods, costing up to $2 billion a day and likely sparking job losses and contributing to the inflation that has only recently begun to ease.”

Knowing how high the stakes were, Biden had formed a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) in July, calling on not only the Secretary of Labor, but also the Secretaries of Transportation and Agriculture, and the Director of the National Economic Council.

And the President was very much involved: he “worked the phones and got mad that management would not loosen scheduling.”

On September 16, the unions and railroad officials accepted most of the recommendations of the PEB. The union members haven’t yet signed off, and reactions seem to have been mixed, but the agreement was an amazing accomplishment.

This governmental action was not what the Republicans, the US Chamber of Commerce, or business organizations wanted. They would have preferred that the government force the workers to accept the PEB’s original recommendations.

As Richardson writes:

“The deal does, though, highlight that Biden is using the power of the presidency to protect the American people while trying to be fair to labor and management, a system pioneered by Republican president Theodore Roosevelt and adopted afterward by Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Republican Dwight Eisenhower, among others. It’s a very different principle than the idea that workers should accept whatever conditions management imposes on them.”

Rebuilding the Economy “From the Middle Out”

A Politico interview with author and commentator Michael Tomasky about his new book, “The Middle Out,” bore the title: “The Unexpected Ways Joe Biden Is Ushering In a New Economic Paradigm.”

Writer Ian Ward discussed what Biden has meant, since the beginning of his campaign, when he says: “I want to change the paradigm; we start to reward work, not just wealth.”

“At its most basic, this new paradigm reflects a theory about how economies grow: not from the top down, as Ronald Reagan’s supply-side economics suggested, but from the middle out, through investments in the middle class and the institutions that support it, such as strong unions, good public schools, affordable child- and health care and a robust social safety net.

“But beyond a set of policy prescriptions, this paradigm also entails an updated — if not entirely new — way of thinking about fundamental economic questions: What motivates economic agents? What is the proper relationship between economic growth and economic inequality? How does economic policy relate to foundational American ideals like democracy and freedom?”

It seems that Biden brought a bunch of economists who support this paradigm with him into the White House. And through first the American Rescue Plan Act, then the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and most recently the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden and his team have truly made strides toward reversing the income inequality of the past forty years and forging a more equitable economy.

(Those strides will grow longer if a post-election Democratic majority passes the components of Build Back Better that were knocked out: among them universal pre-K; child care assistance; eldercare support; and free community college.)

They’re getting there,” Tomasky told the interviewer, “but I think they need to connect these economic ideas to democracy and freedom and to the big ideals that all Americans are taught to cherish.”

Tomasky echoes Biden’s fervor for strengthening the middle class as key to strengthening democracy, an idea he underscores is not radical but mainstream, stressed by Jefferson and Madison.

He thinks the Democrats have to redefine freedom so that people understand the connection.

“More public investment will give them more choices and will give them more freedom to help them fulfill their potential. That’s freedom. Nobody’s against freedom.”

In a New York Times review of Tomasky’s book, the writer says that the vision of America in which “the nation is best served when prosperity is widely shared” is a difficult message because of inflation and lingering supply chain issues.

However, it is “an argument that has worked selectively in the past. On balance, history appears to be on Tomasky’s side.”

And that’s Joe Biden’s new paradigm.

Reenvisioning Healthcare Through Technology

“We need better technologies to enable a better politics. But we need better politics to create better technologies. Maybe, just maybe, we’re on the verge of getting both.”

That’s the opening of an essay by Ezra Klein in The New York Times that bears the title “What Joe Biden Knows That No One Expected Him To.”

In the opening, Klein is referring to ARPA-H. The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health is modeled after the federal government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA. DARPA is widely regarded as a shining government success story, having birthed the Internet (sorry, Al Gore), GPS navigation, mRNA vaccines, and lots of other Big Ideas.

As Klein explains, its successes are the result of “the agency’s ability to do something unusual in Washington: Make big, risky bets.” That’s why Biden felt an equivalent approach was necessary for medical technology. While it is housed at the National Institutes of Health, ARPA-H would break through the bureaucratic morass in a way that NIH could not.

In the beginning of his presidency, Biden secured government funding for this effort from Congress. On September 12, he announced the new head of ARPA-H: Dr. Renee Wegrzyn, a biotech executive who worked at DARPA (see her impressive experience).

Biden said in announcing her appointment that Wegrzyn is “going to bring the legendary Darpa attitude and culture and boldness and risk-taking to fill a critical need.”

Klein notes that Biden doesn’t get enough credit for focusing on tech advances. “Every big bill Biden has passed has carried a theory of how better policy could lead to better technologies that could lead to a better world.”

“Let’s start with Biden’s ambition. Four major bills have passed during his presidency: The American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Every one of them, at a core level, is about creating or deploying new technologies to solve ongoing problems.

“The American Rescue Plan deployed vaccines and widespread testing and genomic surveillance to stifle the pandemic; the infrastructure bill is thick with ideas to make broadband access universal and develop next-generation energy and transportation technologies; CHIPS is an effort to break our reliance on Taiwanese and South Korean semiconductor manufacturing and keep ahead of China in fields of the future like artificial intelligence and quantum computing; and the Inflation Reduction Act uses tax breaks and loan guarantees to supercharge the wind and solar industries, build up advanced battery manufacturing, develop cost-effective carbon capture systems, and give the auto and home-heating industries reasons to go entirely electric.”

Klein isn’t giving unqualified praise. He faults the Biden administration for sometimes being too conservative in its approaches and follow-through. And he raises concerns about the way the federal government, broadly, has been functioning for years.

But here’s his conclusion:

“Last week, I wrote about how much of Biden’s agenda relied on building, and what it would take to make that much building possible, at the speed it needs to happen. But Biden’s agenda is just as reliant on inventing — and just as much needs to be done to make the government a dearer friend to invention.

“Still, this is an unexpectedly thrilling side of Biden’s presidency. A liberalism that is as ambitious about solving problems through invention as it is through redistribution would be powerful indeed.”

Fighting for Democracy—Worldwide

I can’t imagine what it’s like for Biden to try to persuade leaders of other nations to follow us when they know the Big Lie is regrettably still rampant in the US. But they certainly have embraced his leadership. I’ll turn to Heather Cox Richardson again for these observations:

“Yesterday, ABC News senior national correspondent Terry Moran pointed out that Biden and his team have ‘masterfully’ handled ‘the greatest international security crisis since 9/11,’ Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They united NATO against Moscow and held the alliance together, wrecked the Russian economy, helped Europeans find energy from new sources, kept the U.S. and NATO out of the war, helped Ukraine with intelligence and weapons, all despite those at home working against him.

“Long term, this will advance U.S. interests not only by strengthening alliances, but also by demonstrating that America can be a force for good and by showing Putin’s brand of authoritarianism ‘as a con, a cheap costume donned by the thieves and gangsters in the Kremlin.’”

I also can’t imagine how difficult it was for Biden, an institutionalist whose friendships with former fellow Senators have been tattered, to condemn the “MAGA Republicans” as “semi-fascists.”

But he’s finally acknowledged that the motivating forces behind his decision to run in 2020—the Charlottesville neo-Nazi’s march and Trump’s declaring “there are very fine people on both sides”—have essentially engulfed the opposing party.

Yet he continues to try to restore amity and unity to our riven nation.

Richardson observes:

“Today, the White House held a bipartisan summit against ‘hate-fueled violence in our country,’ promising ‘that when Americans stand united to renew civic bonds and heal divides, we can help prevent acts of hate and violence.’

“At the ‘United We Stand’ summit, Biden offered a ‘whole-of-society response to prevent, respond to, and recover from hate-fueled violence, and to foster national unity.’ Attending the summit were survivors of gun violence, religious leaders, community organizers, law enforcement officers, philanthropists, journalists, and local politicians. Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer was killed by a white supremacist at the August 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, introduced the president.

“'[T]here are core values that should bring us together as Americans,’ Biden said, ‘And one of them is standing together against hate, racism, bigotry, and violence that have long haunted and plagued our nation.’ ‘In the last few years, it’s been given much too much oxygen in our politics, in our media, and on the Internet; too much hate—all for power and profit.’”

It’s Up To Us…

Though Biden isn’t on the November 8 ballot, there are close elections in which it might help if voters had a better idea—replacing the false, even conspiracy-driven ideas that abound—of how much he has already accomplished and the humane, forward-looking agenda he’s formulated for the years ahead.

If enough of us vote for Democrats to provide him with even slightly larger majorities in the House and Senate, the next two years can set America on a much stronger path. If more people begin to prosper, the extremists may well find less fertile ground for their dangerous nonsense.

But if the Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives, they have promised their base that they will impeach President Biden—and others. They won’t succeed, but they’ll wreak havoc on our government’s ability to function, while accomplishing nothing but chaos. MAGA Republicans in the House and Senate plan to use the debt ceiling–and a never-before potential of government default–to force Biden and the Democrats to rescind all his policies.

Please vote early, check to ensure your vote has been counted (see vote.org), and help secure our democracy and the President’s ability to do his best for us all.

Annie

54 thoughts on “Joe Biden As Visionary: A Fairer, More Prosperous, Healthier America IS INDEED ON THE BALLOT!

      1. I like old men. I have a friend who watched the Zero’s fly over his home on their way to bomb Hickam Air Base. A fully functional 97 year old man. I think Mr Biden believed that he needed to save America. His vision was recognizing the storm but the eye is not the end just the middle. Twice now I have thrown cold water on the optimism that you so well express. I’ve been blinded by the light and lost in darkness. Enthusiasm is a tool for leaders and I have no idea where we are let alone where to go. I do enjoy the tales of you journey however.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. My opinion of Biden took a hit with his botched, precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, but since then, he’s ‘back in my good graces’ because of “how well he’s been doing.” In any case, I’d hate to think of where we’d be now if Trump were still President.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. With regard to Afghanistan and the startlingly rapid Taliban take-over, someone needs to take a close look at whether any of those classified documents Trump took contained information about the US-supported Afghan government which would have helped the Taliban defeat it — and whether any such documents might have been sold to, say, the Taliban’s allies in Pakistan before the withdrawal.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Right, Infidel; I just referred to trump’s negotiations with the Taliban. I think the Biden administration must have met all kinds of hindrances and shenanigans entering the post-trump White House.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m glad he’s back in your good graces, mm. I believe it would be very helpful if some dogged reporters explore all the problems the Biden administration had to overcome in just about every aspect of government because of trump et al’s ineptitude and contempt for the workings of government. It didn’t help that trump negotiated a deal with the Taliban—without Afghan govt officials. I think Biden was right to withdraw; the withdrawal was bad; but the subsequent airlift was extremely well done.

      And the Ukraine/NATO effort has been remarkable. Do you agree?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The airlift may have been extremely well done, but it was insufficient. It, and the planning for the withdrawal, should have been better thought out so as not to leave so many translators and other workers helping Americans behind to face the ‘tender mercies’ of the Taliban. But I do, of course, agree about the Ukraine/NATO effort.

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    3. In 2016 the US had built and occupied six major bases with military airfields. When Joe took over in 2021 there were two operating civilian airports. The bases were shut and abandoned. Besides everyone knows it is really all Obama’s fault

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  2. I agree with you about this. I don’t understand why Biden’s approval ratings have been low, unless people really are blaming him for inflation. What’s been accomplished during his term so far is remarkable, especially given the very close balance of power in the Senate.

    The strengthening of unions is especially heartening. Workers need all the independent power they can get in an economic system which has become overwhelmingly tilted against them over the last forty years.

    The Republicans are doing themselves no favors by threatening phony investigations and groundless impeachment. Voters elect politicians to solve problems, not waste time on stunts and theatrics — and they tend to punish whichever party they see focusing on the latter. Last time I checked, the generic Congressional ballot poll had the Democrats six points ahead, close to enough to offset the Republican advantage from gerrymandering and the urban concentration of Democratic voters. But nobody really knows what will happen since nobody really knows how much the abortion issue has changed the dynamic. If Democrats are smart they’ll focus on that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Infidel. People do react to inflation a lot—and they wrongly hold the President accountable for it. The Democrats have been returning to Biden, accounting for a boost in his numbers. But there’s so much lunacy out there. The wife of the Supreme Court justice was all smiles telling the Jan 6 committee that she believes Biden stole the election; she has talked about the “Biden crime family.”

      And the labels Republicans use to describe these super new programs blind people to how fair and badly needed they are.

      Hope we don’t have to find out that voters will punish the Republicans for their inevitable chaos.

      As to your last point, the Democrats I’ve heard are definitely focusing on abortion—and using it as an example of how radical the Rs’ plans are—including destroying Medicare and Soc Security. I’ve heard Biden stress these areas often. But Big Liars are abandoning their radical positions—publicly, for now—because they see the trends. We must hope voters are aware they’re being scammed.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. This is just a weird thought, but maybe surveying companies should try polling more people in Blue states rather than mostly people in Red states. It is too easy to influence survey results by choosing where polls are conducted. They can say the polls are random all they want, but I do not believe them. It doesn’t take much to cheat!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi, rawgod–
        I know polling companies are pretty antsy about getting things right this election since they’ve been largely off base for the couple of previous ones. I quoted a Democratic pollster not long ago who wrote that since we’ve never been at a time when half the population has had a Constitutional right ripped away from them, we have no precedent for figuring out what’s going to happen. He thinks upending Roe will have a profound effect. Here’s hopin’! The horror stories grow by the day.

        I’m with those who say the only poll that counts is on Election Day. I worry that focus on the polls isn’t energizing; people should be encouraged to focus on how they’re going to cast their votes, especially in areas where there are new hindrances–and on checking to make sure their votes have been counted.

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    1. The most likely basis would be a claim that Biden has been neglecting the security of the Mexican border so that too many migrants are getting in. They might also claim that he’s been illicitly profiting off of business dealings in Ukraine, or that he suffers from advanced dementia and is not capable of handling the presidency (both are popular beliefs in far-right circles). It doesn’t really matter whether the “basis” has any merit or not since impeachment would merely be a stunt — there’s no chance of getting 67 votes in the Senate to remove Biden. The purpose would be to show the wingnut base that they’ve gotten revenge for the impeachments of Trump.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. They’ll make stuff up, Joni. As I noted to Infidel, the wife of a Supreme Court justice (who’s probably guilty of fraud and more in pushing the fake electors scheme) has referred to “the Biden crime family.” After all that trump’s done, the Rs still talk about Hunter Biden’s laptop —and even Hillary’s emails.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yup; the interesting and dangerous thing about Ginni Thomas is that she wrote about escaping from a cult years ago, but has no self-awareness that she and her “best friend” Clarence are smack in the middle of one now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I remember reading that….um…..they make a strange couple, but then I remember the Anita Hill hearings and never thought he was a suitable choice for a supreme court judge.

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      3. Annie – Fareed Zakaria has a special on CNN tonight at 8pm about the Supreme Court….should be interesting. I often watch his weekly recap show GPS at 1pm on Sundays.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thx, Joni. I hope to watch. The NYT Sunday Opinion section has an editorial board piece today titled “The Supreme Court Has a Crisis of Trust” and a separate essay by a man who wrote a book about FDR and the SC urging Biden to use his bully pulpit against the court. (I skimmed it and will read it more closely later.)

        I think these are attempts to warn the majority to watch their steps in this session. They can do terrible damage, and their arrogance seems to know no bounds.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I so wish these anti-government characters would find another playground and leave the rest of us alone. But they seem to have lucrative gigs separating true believers from their money.

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  3. Thanks for the positive summary on all that the Biden administration has been accomplishing. Seeing so much on one page does lift my spirits!

    Regarding the United States working to be a world leader, we have an awful lot of work to do. For the near term, I think we need to look to other western countries and follow their lead in so many areas. In addition to the fact that our democracy is imperiled, we have fallen behind in so many areas: infrastructure, climate change, social programs, cultural awareness, …

    By the way, in part due to your persistent reminders of the importance of the upcoming election, I’m signed up to be a poll worker. Thanks for lighting the fire under my seat.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh, Carol! I’m so happy to hear about your poll watching. I hope you’ll blog about it.

      Yes; we have a lot of work to do to bring our safety net up a great deal. Unfortunately, there are lots of problems everywhere. I never thought Sweden would lurch to the right; England is economically tottering; and though Italy’s neo-fascists may be unstable, they’re a sign of despair.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great piece. It’s terrific to see these accomplishments pulled together, and I agree with one of your readers that it’s a lift to the spirits. Agree, too, that he’s being blamed for too many things that have brought us down that have nothing to do with him, like Putin’s war or a flagging economy. What do you think? Does he need stronger cheerleaders out there in media land to remind people of gains?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I wish I had contact information for white, lower middle class voters throughout the U.S. so I could send them a copy of this post. Unfortunately, many lower middle class folks vote for Trump and his ilk (most likely due to racist and anti-immigrant sentiments), despite the fact that MAGA policies don’t benefit them—while unionization, wealthy people paying their fair share of taxes, improved public transportation, and other Biden policies are aimed at making this a more equitable country. Thanks, Annie, for helping to get the word out.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. With Biden being Johnie on the spot with FEMA declaration and committment to Florida (Puerta Rico) recovery from Hurrican Ian one must ask if desantis shows a shred of deceency and thanks Biden for helping his state will scotch his hopes for a thuglican presidential nomination just as Christie lost thuglican support when he thanked Obama for his response to Hurrican Sandy?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Decency? DeSantis? Don’t get me started. DeSantis is in a bind because he’s anti-federal govt, and now he desperately needs Biden. Meanwhile, he’s asking for donations TO THE STATE, and it looks like his wife is in charge of this likely grift. I feel bad for the people in Florida, and this guy sure doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Another point is that FEMA and the Feds in general must bird dog desantis et.al. to prevent Hurrican releif from being used in a racist and partisan manner.
        i.e rebuilding Fundie churches before schools, directing funds to wealthy and white thuglican neighborhoods while further neglecting poor neighborhoods of people of color.
        Ensure that desantis doesn’t give addled donnie any funds for refurbishing Mara lago etc.
        Just as Barbour used releif money to build himself a mansion and subsidize gambleing in his state, when he was gov, or Alabama directing money to a volley ball facilitie and paying Bret Favre instead of assisting those in need ( or Jacksonville water system).
        Strict oversight must be implemented.

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  7. Another isue on Hurrican releif is that any assistence to rebuilding must include provision that prevents homes, businesses, facilities from being rebuilt on flood plains or low lying areas that people know will be flooded agin.
    Clinton’s FEMA didd this after the massive midwest Mississippi/ Missouri river floods in 92 (93?) where FEMA required entire communities to relocate on to higher ground to qualify for releif.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, anynameleft. Florida’s problems are an example: they’re a fast-growing state that’s encouraged development by the water. Wealthy people build; working people are attracted by jobs but have inferior housing. As horrific as the damage has been, the economic inequality will magnify the losses of life and property.

      We need a national approach to such rebuilding that will inevitably be controversial.

      You may have seen that all the Republicans in Florida voted against the continuing resolution on the budget that contains FEMA disaster funding. Now Scott and Rubio —both no votes—are requesting special funding to bail out their state. Oh, the hypocrisy!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Our friend Annie gives us an in-depth view of what the Biden administration has accomplished and plans to accomplish in the future but can only do so with a little bit of help from us – our vote! Thank you, Annie, for this well-researched and comprehensive post!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. DuhSantis will try to use any federal relief funds for his Repugh friends and voters while letting those who do not agree with his policies remain in the quagmires of destruction, IF HE IS ALLOWED TO CONTROL THOSE FUNDS! He must not be alowed to do so!
    Biden and FEMA must ensure everyone gets equal help no matter their politics.
    Regarding Biden’s numbers, early on in his presidency he did not seem to have the balls to fight Repugh bullshit, but somewhere along the line he realized he had to stand up for America. Since then he has been accomplishing far more than previously. The old Biden I could not get behind. This new energized Biden gives me hope my southern neighbours may get their heads back on straight. Good luck to you all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree that DeSantis sees this human tragedy in his state as a massive grift-a-thon, rawgod. It will be interesting to see whether he’ll meet with Biden when the President comes to Florida to survey the damage; perhaps he’ll feign a migraine because any sign of basic civility toward the man whose help he desperately needs now will be viewed by his awful base and mega-donors as a major character flaw. He sure as hell won’t hug him with relief the way Christie hugged Obama not so long ago.

      I’m glad “this new energized Biden” gives you hope for us. I’m hopeful too; your wishing us luck is a comfort as well.

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  10. Annie, I really enjoyed your thought-provoking post, though I tend to have a less generous view of POTUS than you.
    The child tax credit, as I see it, is a bandage on a broken system. I have little faith in the government to long-term lift people out of poverty in the same manner that entrepreneurship, less taxes on the lower and middle-class, and empowerment of leaders and non-profits in low income areas can. To me, it has little to do with fear of misspending of the money received, and rather fear that it strengthens an already set precedent that the government will provide in a manner it cannot, given the vast needs. However, your point about the 133 economists letter to Congress, and the notion that the tax credit would allow people more opportunities to get back on their feet, was very fascinating, and I think a strong point in favor! Well done, I had no idea.
    My libertarianism is a little challenged by that, and that’s a good thing.

    A question for you, regarding your point on unions: do you view them as necessary as they once were? With there being so many job opportunities and even digital ways to gain income, do you see them being worth it?
    As a lower level worker making just a smidge over 30k a year, I don’t see unions as a helpful option for me. I’d sooner leave a company and go get another job than go through a union and pay dues.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Ian, and welcome to annieasksyou! I’m pleased to have provided a little challenge to your libertarianism and welcome your challenging my ideas.

      My response to the scenario you offer in place of government assistance is that you say the need is too great for the government to meet. But that’s only true if we continue to allow the wealthiest Americans to receive all kinds of benefits from the govt without paying their fair share of taxes. Now the Republicans are talking about ending Medicare and Social Security, which Americans have been paying into. Doing that would drive millions of people into dire poverty and premature deaths.

      As for unions, I am biased: my grandfather was a union organizer who awakened my social conscience. Unions aren’t perfect; corruption’s been a problem (though corruption shows up in all sectors). But I agree with Biden that”the middle class built America, and unions built the middle class.”Our growing economic inequality coincides with the undermining of unions—and is a big contributor to our political instability. I don’t know enough about your situation, but I do see union strength as an important counterbalance to corporate greed and opportunism.

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      1. You make a great point! From a free market perspective, I’ve always felt that tax breaks for the most wealthy doesn’t make any sense. In my mind, that’s the government essentially rewarding businesses and the wealthy, when it should be a neutral body that applies taxation fairly. However, I certainly do not think that taxation at a rate of 90% as some more socialist leaning progressives suggest, is a fair or reasonable alternative. I realize however, that is not the majority of democrats who wish to do that. That would be the opposite, and punish the wealthiest for their wealth and success.
        A world that doesn’t necessitate social security and Medicaid sounds great but it’s a fantasy. I’d rather see people keep their money than continue to pay into a system that is in my opinion, overextended. But to relinquish something that people rely on, and many have paid into for years whether they wanted to or not, is unfair and unreasonable.
        I think we have some common ground on this, even if our perspectives of social programs may differ.

        Thanks for sharing your personal experience with your father in unions!
        I think I probably agree with that quote by Biden as well, and like the point you make that economic inequality coincides with undermining unions. Gives a lot to think about!

        Like

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