Economists discover people don’t behave rationally

May 30, 2016 at 1:28 pm

“Contrary to our original thinking, I’ve come to believe that people don’t behave like the economic textbooks say they should behave,” wrote Dr. Paul Wingfield, an economist at Cato University. “People don’t behave rationally.” Wingfield and his colleague, Dr. Summer Redaction, recently published an article inHigher Economics titled “Outside our corporate […]

Robert Reich’s “Saving Capitalism” or how to have better conversations about the economy

November 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm

A few weeks back, I saw Robert Reich speak at Joseph-Beth Booksellers here in Cincinnati. He is an outstanding speaker and if you ever have the chance, go see him talk. Brilliant. Funny. Experienced. Gregarious. He is just as good in person as his writing.

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He started out by joking that his new book alienated everyone. He said, half the people I spoke with said, what needs saving? And the other half said, why save it? First of all, I could tell he spoke with a lot of people on both sides because he spoke about the elephant in the room – how the conversation is so often framed. And second of all, he used this as a great segue to how to get out of this trap we so often face, that the conversation comes down to some kind of less government/more government argument. The beauty of Reich’s book isn’t necessarily economic. The beauty of it is that Reich understands how to have better conversations with people about the economy. This ability to have better conversations about the economy is important because almost every discussion relates back in some way to our views about the economy. Every one. So today, I’m going to set aside self-publishing and talk about a few of the things Reich said, because this is a conversation I have with people all the time, and his new book, Saving Capitalism.

Distribute it right to begin with

June 26, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Corporate special interest groups have hit upon a very powerful framing of the economy and government that involves something they call “redistribution”.

It has been played over and over in the media more than any annoying pop ballad I can remember. So much so in fact that I bet you could describe the framing w/o me saying a word.

It looks like this:

You earn your money. It is yours. Then the government takes it away in the form of taxes (often referred to as theft) and gives it to someone who hasn’t earned it (redistribution).

When people you know say “socialism,” it is this process of taking from the “deserving” to give to the “undeserving” they are talking about.

I state this argument as strongly as possible here because this is what we’re up against. Professional, audience-tested propaganda.

If we, when you are talking to people, fall into arguing the side that wants to “redistribute,” you will be seen as someone who wants to use government to take away and give to the “lazy” or “undeserving”.

There is an easy way to flip this framing and talk about the actual situation with people you never thought you could reach.

All you have to do is talk about distributing it right to begin with.

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10 tax cuts and who they benefit

March 24, 2015 at 10:01 pm

It’s tax season once again and I’d like to address a question that I rarely see addressed: Who do tax cuts benefit? To start, let’s make a list of the major tax categories: Sales taxes Fees, tolls, and licenses Sin taxes (alcohol, tobacco, etc.) Capital gains taxes Estate taxes Luxury […]

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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The Food Stamp Response: What Dems Said and What They Should Have Said

February 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

By now, you’ve heard the Gingrich line about Obama being the “food stamp” President.

Tuesday in Cincinnati, he repeated the claim:

That’s why I’ve said over and over again that this is the best food stamp President in American history.

Here’s how Democrats responded and here’s how they should have responded.

Letter to Steve Chabot June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011 at 8:11 am

Dear Congressman Chabot, I am curious as to why Republicans don’t seem willing to compromise on our budget. Democrats seem willing to make many of the tax cuts you want. Why not get rid of some of the tax loopholes that they are asking for? I don’t understand your position […]

President Obama: What the “It” is that You Don’t Get

November 13, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Dear President Obama, Two days after election day, Jon Stewart ran a hilarious clip about the media’s view that you don’t “get it”. No one in any of the clips seemed to be able to define what “it” was. Republicans wanted to spin “it” as you “ignoring the will of […]

Why I Don’t Believe in the Tea Party

August 15, 2010 at 11:46 am

I understand the anger and the passion behind the Tea Party movement. The economy is stagnant, lots of Americans are out of work, and there hasn’t been a lot of good news over the past year. Given the state of our economy, it makes sense that people are angry. What […]

How to Respond When Republicans Want to Cut Taxes

July 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Subtitle: The Business Case for Progressives

posed the question on a political blog recently: What would the Tea Party do to create a functioning economy? 

The answer that came back was: “Cut taxes, for starters.”