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Modern Family Progressivism, Part Two: Reply to Kevin Drum

This is the second part in a series of posts. You can read the first post here. Writing in the New York Times, family sociologist Christina Cross notes that “America has a long and troubled history of viewing racial inequality primarily through the lens of family structure.” She cites her own and others’ research in concluding that “what deserves policy attention is not black families’ deviation from the two-parent family model but rather structural barriers such as housing segregation and...

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Coalition Requests Moderators Ask About Executive Branch

To: Judy Woodruff, Tim Alberta, Amna Nawaz, Yamiche Alcindor, PBS NewsHour, Politico, and the organizers of the December 19th Democratic debate We, the undersigned organizations, urgently request that you ask each Democratic presidential candidate about how they would wield powers specific to the executive branch at the next debate on December 19th. In particular, we request that you ask about what qualifications each candidate will prioritize in making key nominations and appointments to...

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Modern Family Progressivism

In a recent New York Times’ column, Thomas Edsall defends progressives against Attorney General William Barr and other social conservatives who charge them with wanton destruction of the family. Edsall is right to call out Barr and others for “marketing apocalyptic hogwash” to get Trump reelected, but his argument concedes too much to social conservatives.  According to Edsall, “liberals are as deeply disturbed by familial dysfunction as conservatives...” This isn’t saying much because...

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November Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

As we have previously highlighted, the federal government’s forty independent federal agencies receive too little attention relative to their importance to our collective safety and prosperity. The Revolving Door Project has worked through multiple channels to shed light on these overlooked agencies and the threats that they face. We hope public education will generate pressure to safeguard the independence of these agencies and ensure that they are staffed with advocates for the public...

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Committee on Ways and Means Must Investigate Opportunity Zones

Lawmakers sold opportunity zones as a solution for this country’s poorest communities but, two years into the program, that claim does not seem to be holding up. Rather than infusing poor communities with much-needed cash, it seems that many zones are padding the already bursting pockets of some of the country’s wealthiest individuals. No story has better embodied the mismatch between the program’s intent and actual outcome than ProPublica’s report, out last week, detailing how a luxury...

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Coalition Requests Moderators Ask About Executive Branch

To: Moderators Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker, Ashley Parker, MSNBC, and The Washington Post We, the undersigned organizations, urgently request that you ask each Democratic presidential candidate about how they would wield powers specific to the executive branch at the next debate on November 20th. In particular, we request that you ask about what qualifications each candidate will prioritize in making key nominations and appointments to the various departments and...

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Dems Must Confront GOP Attacks On Independent Agencies

TO: INTERESTED PARTIES FROM: Revolving Door Project & Demand Progress Education Fund RE: Dems Must Confront GOP Attacks on Dem Seats at the Independent Agencies  Date: 11/13/19   Trump & McConnell’s Stealth Nuclear Attack on Independent Agencies It is no secret that President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will abandon the basic norms that govern our democracy whenever it serves their interests. However, one important breach has gone largely...

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Freshman Democrats Seek to Make Corporate Oversight Routine Again

Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced legislation last week to require the CEOs of the country’s largest banks to testify before Congress at least once per year. While this might seem a perfectly run-of-the-mill measure from an outside vantage point, it is a marked departure from this Congress’ aversion to most oversight (especially of corporations). Indeed, most members of Congress have shown no appetite for the type of populist, corporate oversight for which we at the Revolving Door Project have...

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Inflation Inequality and the Poverty Measure

For over half a century, the United States has measured income poverty by comparing a family’s income to a standardized dollar amount (a “poverty line”) that varies by family size. For a family of four, this poverty line was initially set at $3,104 in 1963. The current official poverty line — $25,701 for a family of four in 2018 — is simply the base-1963 poverty line adjusted for nothing but inflation over the last 55 years. Today the United States is the only country in the world that...

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Declining Labor Shares of GDP: Is There Something to Be Explained?

One of the tasks that are keeping economists employed these days is explaining the drop in labor’s share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is supposed to be a major cause of concern since the vast majority of people get most or all of their income from working.  A wide variety of theories have been put forward to explain the decline. However, there is a big problem these theories; it is not clear that there has been much of a drop in the labor share.  Much of the decline in...

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