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Social democracy and the 60/40 divide

Part 2 of 2

The backlash to the “New Golden Age” followed by a brush with the “Great Recession” led to the election and re-election of President Barack Obama and passage of the “Affordable Care Act” — emblematic of the 60 percent philosophical and political thinking of the framers of the U.S. Constitution and the creators of the New Deal for social democracy in America.

Social democracy and the historical 60/40 divide

Part 1 of 2

A central purpose of constitutional democratic government is, as the U.S. Constitution proclaims, “to promote the general welfare” of the American people. Some 40 percent of Americans don’t believe this and probably never did. The 60 percent believers have trouble keeping their game together, especially when economic times are good. But they are the true “originalists” in constitutional interpretation and practice.

Social democracy and the historical 60/40 divide

Part 2 of 2

The backlash to the “New Golden Age” followed by a brush with the “Great Recession” led to the election and re-election of President Barack Obama and passage of the “Affordable Care Act” — emblematic of the 60 percent philosophical and political thinking of the framers of the U.S. Constitution and the creators of the New Deal for social democracy in America.

Social democracy and the historical 60/40 divide

Part 1 of 2

A central purpose of constitutional democratic government is, as the U.S. Constitution proclaims, “to promote the general welfare” of the American people. Some 40 percent of Americans don’t believe this and probably never did. The 60 percent believers have trouble keeping their game together, especially when economic times are good. But they are the true “originalists” in constitutional interpretation and practice.

Trading on the dark side

For many ordinary middle-class Americans it has come as something of a surprise to learn from recent business news reports that close to 40 percent of all stock trades on any given day now occur outside of official public exchanges such as the NYSE and the Nasdaq.

Trading on the dark side

For many ordinary middle-class Americans it has come as something of a surprise to learn from recent business news reports that close to 40 percent of all stock trades on any given day now occur outside of official public exchanges such as the NYSE and the Nasdaq.

Right to vote is reaffirmed

It must come as something of a surprise for many American citizens to learn that U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) are preparing to introduce in Congress a “Right to Vote” amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Does this mean that in contrast to what every American schoolchild believes, and in contrast to most democracies around the world, the U.S. Constitution does not already affirm the right to vote? Why then did the framers devote so much language to voting procedures if there is no right to vote?

The right to vote is reaffirmed

It must come as something of a surprise for many American citizens to learn that U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) are preparing to introduce in Congress a “Right to Vote” amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Does this mean that in contrast to what every American schoolchild believes, and in contrast to most democracies around the world, the U.S. Constitution does not already affirm the right to vote? Why then did the framers devote so much language to voting procedures if there is no right to vote?

Social Security gets a clean bill of health

Two pervasive myths about Social Security, repeated again and again without fact check, are that: (1) Social Security faces eventual bankruptcy, and (2) Social Security somehow contributes to the national budget deficit. Neither allegation is true.

As some know and others don’t, the Social Security Trust Fund is sustained entirely by its own “Payroll Tax,” quite separate from the regular IRS “Income Tax,” and it has nothing to do with the U.S. national budget or the current budget deficit.

Financial transaction tax: Budget debt solution revisited

Thanks to Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Peter DeFazio, the idea of a U.S. federal “financial transaction tax” is being taken up again in the U.S. Congress as the obvious solution to the U.S. budget deficit problem.

The proposal is to impose a small tax on trades in stocks, bonds, derivatives and similar paper. We already pay a state “sales tax” of 6 to 7 percent on a cup of coffee. Why should paper trades be exempt? What might such a financial transaction tax contribute to U.S. revenues? Let’s do some math.