The argument that means-tested welfare programs reduce inequality and poverty more than non-means-tested programs is based on an accounting trick. Universal benefits are the best and cheapest way to alleviate poverty.
Matt Bruenig is the founder of People’s Policy Project.
GOP leaders say they want to raise the Social Security retirement age. That’s just a deceptive way of saying they want to cut benefits — punishing nonwealthy Americans while leaving untouched the massive government spending on tax shelters for the rich.
The New York Times released a big story this week declaring that child poverty has plummeted over the last thirty years. But their numbers are misleading: unlike social democratic countries, the US is still plagued by sky-high child poverty.
Moderates claim that Biden’s BBB failed because it simply “went too far.” The truth is that even if it had passed, it would have excluded scores of working families.
A year ago, nobody would have expected that thousands of US Starbucks workers would unionize. But they have. The pace of Starbucks workers’ victories slowed slightly last month, but the union is still rolling on.
Remember all that talk of Joe Biden being the next FDR? Going into the midterms, the most he’s going to deliver is one minor tweak to the welfare state — hardly the sweeping measures to help workers and the poor that we were promised.
Starbucks workers are unionizing at a breakneck pace. We ran the numbers and found that more than 2,000 Starbucks workers are now unionized — and that number will likely triple in the coming months.
When Matt Bruenig realized a Democratic childcare proposal had major flaws, he did what seemed sensible: he publicly pointed out the bill’s flaws. Doing so set in motion a chain of events that reveals how Democrats turn bad ideas into bad policies.
The Tennessee Valley Authority recently opted to invest in more fossil fuel generation, not less. Joe Biden can reverse the TVA’s decision, if he wants to.
The price of oil and the myriad horrors of climate change that oil exacerbates make it too important for us to leave in the free market’s hands. The oil companies should be nationalized.
You can redistribute income and power from capital to labor. But if you want to make sure that the final income distribution is sensitive to differences in household composition, there is no substitute for a universal welfare state.
The New York Times suggests that Modern Monetary Theory had a real moment in the sun after the pandemic-induced economic contraction. But monetary and fiscal stimulus is just the normal way of responding to recessions.
Some segments of the Republican Party have tried concocting a “working-class conservatism” lately. Marco Rubio’s new “Teamwork” bill offers more of the same: it’s a proposal supposedly designed to empower workers that is actually about busting their unions.
This week, Rashida Tlaib and Mondaire Jones introduced the End Child Poverty Act in Congress. It’s a watershed bill that would bring the US in line with social democratic countries that boast the world’s lowest child poverty rates.
The Right loves to point to inflation as some kind of proof that left-wing economic ideas don’t work. They’re wrong.
Meatpackers are colluding with each other to generate superprofits at the expense of everyone else. Nationalizing one of them isn’t particularly radical — it’s a commonsense policy solution.
We often hear that if you increase benefits for low-income parents, they’ll just squander it on drugs and alcohol. But the best research shows that’s elitist nonsense — giving money to poor people is exactly what we need to be doing.
Thanks to social democratic policies, the bottom 60 percent of Danes are better off than the bottom 60 percent of Americans. Even middle-class Danes benefit from a strong welfare state. The only group that doesn’t? The rich.
Democrats’ half-baked childcare proposal opened itself up to Republican attacks. There’s an easy solution: scrap the byzantine and expensive scheme Dems have concocted, and just give everyone universal childcare.
Universal benefits aren’t merely the morally just way to carry out welfare policies. They are also the smart way to carry out welfare policies.