What class are you struggling with and why?

October 10, 2014 at 5:59 pm

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Top tip for talking about the economy: Use the active voice

October 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Do you need to be an economist to talk about the economy?

Sometimes I think we think that. “We” being people and “that” being “a Ph.D. in economics is needed.”

If we cede the economic conversation to corporate special interests, however, we lose on issue after issue to the laissez-faire economic story: “Let the markets work.”

At the “Pope is Dope” messaging session this year at Netroots, the panel was asked: What is the biggest mistake people make in conversations?

Without hesitation, Anat Shenker-Osorio responded: “Overuse of the passive voice.”

“People do things,” she said, “If you don’t make it sound like it’s people caused, it is cognitively impossible for it to be people fixed.”

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The radical idea behind the scenes of the Central Parkway bike lane dispute

April 25, 2014 at 9:27 am

The subject of yesterday’s City Council Neighborhood Committee meeting was the Central Parkway protected bike lane. City council voted 9-0 to approve this during the fall and several people I know recommended attending the meeting as for some unknown reason the issue was being raised again.

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I went down to show my support for the bike lane wondering if this was going to turn into another streetcar debacle.

It didn’t. At least not yet.

But it was very interesting.

How Ohio Pulled $4 Billion+ from Communities and Redistributed It Upwards

February 27, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Monday night Ohio Governor John Kasich delivered his state of the state speech.

Governor John Kasich speaking with attendees at the 2016 First in the Nation Town Hall (photo by Gage Skidmore/CC-BY-SA-2.0) Governor John Kasich speaking with attendees at the 2016 First in the Nation Town Hall (photo by Gage Skidmore/CC-BY-SA-2.0)

He cribbed the biblical Reagan “city on a hill metaphor” to describe Ohio:

All of these things have helped Ohio move up to higher, more solid ground, and, if you look, the clouds are moving apart and the sun is beginning to shine, and we can get a glimpse of the summit ahead. We’ve got much further to go, but the success we’ve had gives us the confidence to climb higher. We’re not hopeless, we’re hopeful. We’re not wandering, we have direction. Let’s keep going.

As an Ohioan, I’d like to tell a different story.

It’s a story that appears in bits and pieces in city & school financial reports, in letters to the editor and editorials, in economic analyses, but the full story has largely hid from public sight because it’s not a single sensationalist event.

It’s not a story about a person or administration because you have to go back further than that to see the pattern.

You have to go back further than that to see how a state gets budgeted back to the stone age.

The pattern is simple but takes place over a long period of time: shift tax burden, create deficit, blame government, defund government, repeat.

And unfortunately, it’s a story that’s not just happening in Ohio, but at a national level and in many states across the nation because it’s being pushed by influential corporate groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The story begins in 2005 …

2 Years After Occupy Cincinnati, Enquirer Puts Income Inequality on Front Page

January 31, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Still think that Occupy Cincinnati didn’t have an impact?

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Now that you know 85 people own more than half the world, here’s what to do about it

January 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm

The media has done a great job covering the 85 people who own more than half the world statistic from the Oxfam report entitled: Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality. Media examples herehere, and here.

What I didn’t realize until I read the report was that it has an excellent set of recommendations on how to improve the situation.

Since they’re excellent, the mainstream media seems to have ignored them, and I don’t think Oxfam would mind, here is their series of recommendations.

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The Case for a Working Capitalism

January 8, 2014 at 4:46 pm

I stumbled on the following quote from economist Ha-Joon Chang over the holidays:

Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are—a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer, as we were told.

Chang’s quote reminds us of the initial promise of supply-side economics, that a rising tide would lift all boats, and the subsequent failure to deliver.

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It also made me think about one of the most powerful conservative frames: redistribution of wealth.

Chang turns the tables on the typical conservative argument and he gave me an idea how to take things a step further.

Justin Jeffre on Supportive Housing

December 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

As part of a recent discussion on the Green Party forum about the Alaska Project, Justin Jeffre responded with a particularly well-framed argument in favor of supportive housing.

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I thought this might be helpful if anyone is calling or writing city council (or anyone else for that matter) in support of the project. It seems particularly relevant in light of resident testimony yesterday claiming that the project would be a “haven” for drug dealers.

Because I’m tired of explaining a conservative health care law to conservatives

December 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

If you haven’t noticed yet, the conservative wedge issue for 2014 is going to be health care.

Democratic Senators like Mary Landrieu have noticed.

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They simply don’t appear to have much of a strategy to date: 1) apologize for the horrible website, 2) focus on the economy, and 3) keep explaining to conservatives why a conservative solution is not such a bad thing.

If we can’t do better, well before November, expect to lose the Senate.

NHL Gamecenter Sucks

April 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

This is a little bit off topic from the usual political fare, but NHL Gamecenter is a perfect metaphor for our current economy- a company that rather than provide a quality service, looks to sell you something which sounds good on the surface until you discover the fine print.