The real minimum wage is $0 (zero, nothing,

High minimum wages just help force a West Coast restaurant chain into bankruptcy, and it has already closed multiple locations.  This means that a growing number of the chain’s workers will not be earning the legally mandated minimum wage of $15 an hour — and many earned more — but the economically realistic $0 per hour.  In other words, nothing.  Or for the multicultural and diverse politically correct crowd…nada.  That’s Spanish for…nothing.  And many only Spanish immigrant (both legal and illegal) speakers work in the food service and restaurant industries.

And that’s only a small example of the real-life effects of increasing the minimum wage: those most financially vulnerable, such as the unskilled, the least experienced, Afro-Americans and other “people of color” (sic), the young, the minimally educated will suffer the most.  Now, thanks to the do-gooders — i.e., lefty legislators, highly paid union officials, and other self-anointed moral regressives (often erroneously called progressive, but there is nothing progressive about them), who will not suffer from their public virtue-signaling, thousands of people will be unemployed.

Apparently, the highly paid legislators and union hacks have not read the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report, “The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage,” which would have predicted this outcome.  Or maybe they did, did not like the facts that opposed their utopian — and vote getting — narrative, and so ignored it.  Or maybe they thought they could legislate economic law just as they have successfully legislated on, oh, say, climate.  And weather.  Or something.

Anyway, the CBO report states that with a mandated minimum wage increase, there is good news for many, but for those financially insecure, the low wage-earners that this law was supposed to help, there is very bad news. 

Increasing the federal minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty threshold. …


Effects of the $15 Option on Employment and Income. According to CBO’s median estimate, under the $15 option, 1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2025. (That would equal a 0.8 percent reduction in the number of employed workers.) CBO estimates that there is about a two-thirds chance that the change in employment would lie between about zero and a reduction of 3.7 million workers (see Table 1).

Oh, well — 1.3 million workers earning $0 per hour aren’t really that many, are they?  And neither are 3.7 million workers who would suddenly be thrown back into the nether world of labor non-participation.  Or something.  And it is certainly easier to deal with the sure to increase automation as in, say, self-checkout lanes and other self-service options than cashiers, further reducing opportunities, isn’t it? 


Welcome to McDonald’s…without an employee.
Photo credit: Tdorante 10.

Well, isn’t it?  And, as the saying has it, you have to break eggs to make an omelet.

But wait…there is more good news, bad news from the CBO about increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

• Boost workers’ earnings through higher wages, though some of those higher earnings would be offset by higher rates of joblessness;


 • Reduce business income and raise prices as higher labor costs were absorbed by business owners and then passed on to consumers; and 


• Reduce the nation’s output slightly through the reduction in employment and a corresponding decline in the nation’s stock of capital (such as buildings, machines, and technologies).


On the basis of those effects and CBO’s estimate of the median effect on employment, the $15 option would reduce total real (inflation-adjusted) family income in 2025 by $9 billion, or 0.1 percent.

Huh?  What did that last sentence say — increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would eventually reduce real income?  Oh.  But…but…but…isn’t that, um, against the law?  Apparently not against the laws of economics and reality — the law of unintended consequences. 

And the more legislators interfere with these latter laws, the worse off we all are.  Zero dollars per hour in any language is still nothing.  So why don’t legislators do what they do best: kiss babies to win elections and just stop legislating?  President Donald J. Trump (R) did something similar — eliminate burdensome laws once he was elected — and boom! according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

 And all those workers are making much more than $nothing per hour.

High minimum wages just help force a West Coast restaurant chain into bankruptcy, and it has already closed multiple locations.  This means that a growing number of the chain’s workers will not be earning the legally mandated minimum wage of $15 an hour — and many earned more — but the economically realistic $0 per hour.  In other words, nothing.  Or for the multicultural and diverse politically correct crowd…nada.  That’s Spanish for…nothing.  And many only Spanish immigrant (both legal and illegal) speakers work in the food service and restaurant industries.

And that’s only a small example of the real-life effects of increasing the minimum wage: those most financially vulnerable, such as the unskilled, the least experienced, Afro-Americans and other “people of color” (sic), the young, the minimally educated will suffer the most.  Now, thanks to the do-gooders — i.e., lefty legislators, highly paid union officials, and other self-anointed moral regressives (often erroneously called progressive, but there is nothing progressive about them), who will not suffer from their public virtue-signaling, thousands of people will be unemployed.

Apparently, the highly paid legislators and union hacks have not read the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report, “The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage,” which would have predicted this outcome.  Or maybe they did, did not like the facts that opposed their utopian — and vote getting — narrative, and so ignored it.  Or maybe they thought they could legislate economic law just as they have successfully legislated on, oh, say, climate.  And weather.  Or something.

Anyway, the CBO report states that with a mandated minimum wage increase, there is good news for many, but for those financially insecure, the low wage-earners that this law was supposed to help, there is very bad news. 

Increasing the federal minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty threshold. …


Effects of the $15 Option on Employment and Income. According to CBO’s median estimate, under the $15 option, 1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2025. (That would equal a 0.8 percent reduction in the number of employed workers.) CBO estimates that there is about a two-thirds chance that the change in employment would lie between about zero and a reduction of 3.7 million workers (see Table 1).

Oh, well — 1.3 million workers earning $0 per hour aren’t really that many, are they?  And neither are 3.7 million workers who would suddenly be thrown back into the nether world of labor non-participation.  Or something.  And it is certainly easier to deal with the sure to increase automation as in, say, self-checkout lanes and other self-service options than cashiers, further reducing opportunities, isn’t it? 


Welcome to McDonald’s…without an employee.
Photo credit: Tdorante 10.

Well, isn’t it?  And, as the saying has it, you have to break eggs to make an omelet.

But wait…there is more good news, bad news from the CBO about increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

• Boost workers’ earnings through higher wages, though some of those higher earnings would be offset by higher rates of joblessness;


 • Reduce business income and raise prices as higher labor costs were absorbed by business owners and then passed on to consumers; and 


• Reduce the nation’s output slightly through the reduction in employment and a corresponding decline in the nation’s stock of capital (such as buildings, machines, and technologies).


On the basis of those effects and CBO’s estimate of the median effect on employment, the $15 option would reduce total real (inflation-adjusted) family income in 2025 by $9 billion, or 0.1 percent.

Huh?  What did that last sentence say — increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would eventually reduce real income?  Oh.  But…but…but…isn’t that, um, against the law?  Apparently not against the laws of economics and reality — the law of unintended consequences. 

And the more legislators interfere with these latter laws, the worse off we all are.  Zero dollars per hour in any language is still nothing.  So why don’t legislators do what they do best: kiss babies to win elections and just stop legislating?  President Donald J. Trump (R) did something similar — eliminate burdensome laws once he was elected — and boom! according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

 And all those workers are making much more than $nothing per hour.

Racial division is a hallmark of Trump’s presidency

WASHINGTON — Every few months, we get another reminder of how race has been one of the dominant storylines of Donald Trump’s political rise and his time in office.

And that’s what we got on Sunday, when the president tweeted that that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

He followed that up on Monday by saying these four progressive women of color “hate our country.”

July 16, 201902:40

To recap how Trump has stoked racial flames — or poured gasoline on them:

  • He led the “birther” crusade against Barack Obama, questioning whether the nation’s first African-American president was born in the United States.
  • He kicked off his 2016 presidential announcement talking about Mexican rapists. (“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”)
  • He said a U.S. federal judge had a conflict of interest in presiding over a case involving Trump because of the judge’s “Mexican heritage.”
  • As president, he referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole” countries.
  • He talked about “very fine people, on both sides” in response to the unrest in Charlottesville, Va.
  • He questioned LeBron James’ intelligence.
  • And he did the same to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

It’s hard to disagree with the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent: The more often Trump makes these statements — without being called out by a large segment of his party and supporters — he’s asserting “the right to engage in public racism without it being called out as such.”

And as George Conway — the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway — writes in the Washington Post, “Trump is not some random, embittered person in a parking lot — he’s the president of the United States. By virtue of his office, he speaks for the country.”

Beto’s awful 2nd quarter

In his first 18 days as a presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke raised $9.4 million, including $6.1 million in his first 24 hours.

Three months later, however, O’Rourke reports raising just $3.6 million for the second quarter — essentially half of what he raised in his first day.

On top of it all, O’Rourke had one of the highest burn rates (raised/spent) for the second quarter: 146 percent.

O’Rourke still has time to turn his campaign around. But his last three months as a candidate have been dreadful — whether it’s been in the polls, the fundraising or his first debate performance.

Tweet of the day

Breaking down the 2nd quarter numbers

Here’s everything you need to know in one place, per NBC’s Ben Kamisar and Melissa Holzberg:

Total contributions (includes only donations from individuals — not from the candidates themselves or transfers from other accounts):

  • Buttigieg: $24.9 million (was $7.1 million last quarter)
  • Biden: $22 million
  • Warren: $19.1 million (was $6 million)
  • Sanders: $18 million (was $18.2 million)
  • Harris: $11.8 million (was $12 million)
  • Booker: $4.5 million (was $5 million)
  • Klobuchar: $3.9 million (was $5 million)
  • O’Rourke: $3.6 million (was $9.4 million)
  • Inslee: $3.0 million (was $2.3 million)
  • Yang: $2.8 million (was $1.8 million)
  • Castro: $2.8 million (was $1.1 million)
  • Bennet: $2.8 million
  • Gillibrand: $2.3 million (was $3 million)
  • Bullock: $2.0 million
  • Gabbard: $1.6 million (was $2 million)
  • Williamson: $1.5 million (was $1.5 million)
  • Hickenlooper: $1.1 million (was $2 million)
  • De Blasio: $1.1 million
  • Ryan: $865,000
  • Delaney: $284,000 (doesn’t include $7.75 million transfer)

Cash on hand:

  • Sanders: $27.3 million
  • Buttigieg: $22.7 million
  • Warren: $19.8 million
  • Harris: $13.3 million
  • Biden: $10.9 million
  • Gillibrand: $8.2 million
  • Klobuchar: $6.7 million
  • O’Rourke: $5.2 million

Burn rate (total spent divided by total receipts):

  • Gillibrand: 184 percent
  • O’Rourke: 146 percent
  • Hickenlooper: 143 percent
  • Gabbard: 122 percent
  • Booker: 117 percent
  • Inslee: 107 percent
  • Klobuchar: 107 percent
  • Harris: 64 percent
  • Warren: 55 percent
  • Sanders: 55 percent
  • Biden: 51 percent

2020 Vision: Breaking down the Dem health-care battle

“On the one side is [Joe] Biden, who is making the case that Democrats should retain the core structure of the Affordable Care Act, which subsidizes private insurance and Medicaid for Americans who don’t get coverage from their employer or other government programs,” NBC’s Benjy Sarlin writes.

“On the other is [Bernie] Sanders, who has long called for guaranteeing every American coverage through a more generous version of Medicare and banning competing private plans.”

On the campaign trail

Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro and Kamala Harris speak at the AARP/Des Moines Register forum in Iowa… Joe Biden and Michael Bennet also campaign in the Hawkeye State… And Amy Klobuchar, in DC, delivers a speech on what would be her “First 100 Days” priorities.

Dispatches from NBC’s embeds

Pete Buttigieg responded to the news of South Bend’s police sergeant Ryan O’Neill, who was the officer involved in the South Bend shooting that left Eric Logan dead, resigning. NBC’s Priscilla Thompson has Buttigieg’s response: “Our efforts to strengthen trust between law enforcement and community members continue. We will await results of the independent criminal investigation, and apply any lessons learned to our work on the future of the Police Department and the community.”

Also some staff change-ups: NBC’s Thompson and Maura Barrett confirm that Cory Booker’s Iowa senior adviser is leaving his campaign.

Plus, Kamala Harris discussed her racial identity on a podcast with The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill.

NBC’s Deepa Shivaram flags this Harris line: “It cannot be, as it always ends up being, that the couple of chocolate chips on the stage have to be the ones teaching everybody else about America’s history. It’s America’s history.”

Data Download: The number of the day is … nine

Nine.

That’s the number of 2020 candidates who spent more than they raised in the second fundraising quarter.

Here are the burn rates (total spent divided by total receipts) for those candidates, per NBC’s Ben Kamisar and Melissa Holzberg.

  • Booker: 116.94 percent
  • Gabbard: 122.38 percent
  • Gillibrand: 183.91 percent
  • Hickenlooper: 143.30 percent
  • Inslee: 107.45 percent
  • Klobuchar: 107.00 percent
  • O’Rourke: 145.66 percent
  • Williamson: 100.23 percent
  • Yang: 109.24 percent

The Lid: The more things change…

Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we looked at a particular data point that just… seems… stuck.

ICYMI: News clips you shouldn’t miss

Here’s how the Trump administration is moving to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants (and how it will immediately face a legal challenge.)

Nancy Pelosi isn’t happy with the White House’s debt limit plan.

NBC’s Courtney Kube notes that – over the next eight days – there will likely be four people transitioning in and out of the top two jobs at the Pentagon.

According to Tim Alberta’s new book, Trump lashed out at “so-called Christians” after his “Two Corinthians” mistake in 2016.

Trump agenda: Trump’s Twitter army

Only about 1 in 5 adult Twitter users in the U.S. follows @realDonaldTrump, per a new study.

2020

NBC’s Marianna Sotomayor has a quick breakdown of what’s in and what’s out of Biden’s health-care plan.

The Washington Post looks at Elizabeth Warren’s work in the 1990s for Dow Corning when it faced lawsuits over faulty silicone breast implants.

The South Bend police officer who fatally shot a black man has resigned.

Kamala Harris has a new plan to combat prescription drug costs.

Bill de Blasio raised $1.1 million after his late entry into the 2020 race.

The Trump campaign is investing a lot in small donors – and it’s paying off.

There’s One Heresy That Sets Bernie Apart From All Other Dem Contenders to Unseat Trump

Let’s be clear: Bernie Sanders’s heresy, what sets him apart from every Democrat running to unseat Donald Trump, is not simply that he calls himself a socialist in a country long proudly identified as capitalist. Those two labels, socialist and capitalist, are open to too many interpretations and represent too many historical examples (everything from Norway to the United States, Stalin’s Soviet Union to Hitler’s Nazi Germany) to pin down. Rather, a more precise way to define the historic nature of Sanders’s campaign would be to focus on his promotion of social or economic rights and how they relate to the individual or political rights found in the US Constitution.

Sanders, by waging practically a one-person crusade to legitimize social rights, is striking at the core cultural belief that holds the modern conservative movement together: an individual-rights absolutism that has, today, little to do with economics or political philosophy but rather forms the essential, cultish element of right-wing identity politics.

First, some definitions: Individual or political rights are aimed at restraining government power. They presume that virtue is rooted in the individual and that the public good, or general welfare, of a society stems from allowing individuals to pursue their interests—to possess, to assemble, to believe, to speak, and so on—to the greatest degree possible. A legitimate state is a state that restrains itself, that limits its role to protecting the realm in which individuals pursue their rights. Economic or social rights presume that in a complex, industrial society, with its imbalances of power and often extreme concentrations of wealth, the state has a much more active role to play in nurturing virtue through the redistribution of wealth in the form of education, health, child care, pensions, housing, and other common needs.

Sanders made the distinction between these two sets of rights the centerpiece of his historic June 12 speech at George Washington University, in which he defended democratic socialism as the country’s only possible redemption, not just from Trump but also from the rotten system that produced Trumpism. Calling for a 21st-century bill of economic rights, one modeled on Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 proposal for a Second Bill of Rights, Sanders said, “We are proud that our Constitution guarantees freedom,” but now “we must take the next step forward and guarantee every man, woman, and child in our country basic economic rights—the right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”

Most countries of the world—including those Scandinavian countries that Sanders often mentions—understand individual and social rights not to be in conflict but rather to be mutually sustaining. They find no functional discord between, say, running a national health service and guaranteeing due process or between providing public education and allowing freedom of speech. “Democracy, political as well as social and economic,” wrote Hernán Santa Cruz, the Chilean UN delegate who in the 1940s helped Eleanor Roosevelt draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “comprises, in my mind, an inseparable whole.” Individual rights need social rights because, as FDR liked to say, succinctly, “necessitous men are not free.”

Congresswomen hit back after Trump’s race tweets

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAyanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib responded to the attacks at a press conference on Monday

The four US congresswomen attacked by US President Donald Trump in tweets widely called racist have dismissed his remarks as a distraction.

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib urged the US people “not to take the bait” at a Monday news conference.

Mr Trump had suggested the four women – all US citizens – “can leave”.

He has defended his comments and denied allegations of racism.

The president did not explicitly name the women in his initial Twitter tirade on Sunday, but the context made a clear link to the four Democrat women, who are known as The Squad.

He sparked a furore after saying the women “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and they should go home.

Three of the women were born in the US and one, Ms Omar, was born in Somalia but came to the US as a child.

Following the outcry, the four women told reporters they wanted to re-focus attention on to the president’s policies.

“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous chaos and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down,” Ms Pressley said.

Both Ms Omar and Ms Tlaib repeated their calls for Mr Trump to be impeached.

What did the congresswomen say?

Ms Pressley dismissed the president’s efforts “to marginalise us and to silence us”.

She added: “Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world.”

All four women insisted that health care, gun violence and, in particular, detentions of migrants on the US border with Mexico should be in focus.

“The eyes of history are watching us,” said Ms Omar said, decrying the “mass deportation raids” and “human rights abuses at the border”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionIlhan Omar responds to President Trump’s racially charged tweets in a press conference

Ms Omar says Mr Trump’s “blatantly racist attack” on four women of colour was “the agenda of white nationalists”, adding that the president would like “nothing more than to divide our country”.

Ms Tlaib called it “simply a continuation of his racist, xenophobic playbook”.

“We remain focused on holding him accountable to the laws of this land,” she said.

President Trump doubled down at the White House, verbally attacking these non-white congresswomen, and he tripled down on Twitter later on.

He is using language that is well outside of the usual parameters of presidential discourse.

The fact that he is escalating the issue shows he seems to be enjoying it and, for him, it serves a political purpose. He sees it as revving up the base.

However, he risks alienating the moderate Republicans – some of whom already failed to back him in last year’s mid-term elections.

What is the row about?

On Friday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Tlaib and Ms Pressley testified to a House committee about conditions in a migrant detention centre they had visited.

Democrats have widely criticised the Trump administration’s approach to border control, saying they are holding migrants in inhumane conditions.

Mr Trump insists the border is facing a crisis and has defended the actions of his border agents. His administration announced a new rule to take effect on 16 July, which denies asylum to anyone who crosses the southern border without having applied for protection in “at least one third country” on their way to the US.

After their testimony, Mr Trump said conditions at the centre had had “great reviews”. He then posted his series of tweets about the women and Ms Omar, attacks he redoubled on Monday.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPresident Trump defends racially charged tweets

“If you are not happy, if you are complaining all the time, you can leave,” he told a heated news conference outside the White House.

As the women spoke to reporters on Monday evening, he tweeted again.

“If you are not happy here, you can leave! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America,” he wrote.

How have Democrats and Republicans responded?

Democrats have roundly condemned the president, and many were quick to say it was a racist attack.

However, top Republicans have been less outspoken. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would answer questions Tuesday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “I don’t find them racist, the president just went on and clarified his comments.” He then changed the subject.

Some, including Senator Lindsey Graham, turned the topic back on to the politics of the four women, who are seen to be progressive. He told Fox News they are communists and anti-America.

US Senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney called Mr Trump’s remarks “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying”. But when a reporter asked him if they were racist, he walked away.

Lower-ranking members of the Republican Party were, however, more direct.

Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, called the president’s words “racially offensive”. Republican Congressman Will Hurd, who is also African American, described the comments as “racist and xenophobic”.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has, meanwhile, announced a resolution in the House to condemn the attack. She has urged Republicans to back it.

Her colleague Chuck Schumer said he would introduce a similar motion in the Senate. “We’ll see how many Republicans sign on,” he tweeted.

How have world leaders reacted?

The leaders of several US allies have come out against the president.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she “completely and utterly” disagreed with Mr Trump, while Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau similarly denounced the comments.

“That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” he said at a press conference.

Both candidates for the British premiership condemned the attacks. Jeremy Hunt said he was “utterly appalled” by Mr Trump’s tweets, and Boris Johnson said “you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they came from”.

Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier said the remarks were “completely unacceptable”.

Republicans Baffled Why Trump Keeps Saying Racist Things

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In 2015, Lindsey Graham called Donald Trump “a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.” In the intervening years, Trump has done nothing to refute this characterization, yet Graham has refashioned himself as Trump’s favorite senatorial pet. In the wake of Trump’s latest racist tirade, Graham appeared on Fox & Friends to deliver a supportive pep talk to the president. “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists,” he ranted, in a performance so obsequious that a delighted Trump tweeted out quotations of it in four parts.

The most revealing line in Graham’s commentary, surrounded by repeated smears of Trump’s targets, was his brief exhortation of the president to slightly alter his rhetoric. “Aim higher! We don’t need to know anything about them personally, talk about their policies,” he urged, like a dad motivating his son to go out there and be the best darn racist demagogue he can be.

Why reparations to African-Americans are necessary — and how to start now

In a 2016 poll, 58 per cent of African-Americans said they believed that the United States should pay financial reparations to African-Americans who are descendants of slaves. Only 15 per cent of whites agreed.

I am a white woman and I support reparations to African-Americans. I have published academic articles on the issue, including: “Official Apologies.” I am the author of Reparations to Africa and a co-editor of The Age of Apology.

In 2005, the United Nations issued a short document which outlined the basic guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of gross violations of human rights law. Financial compensation is one aspect of reparations mentioned in this document, but it is not the only one. Apology is important. So is commemoration and tributes to victims, and an accurate account of the violations.

Five years ago, author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a harrowing account of injustices to African-Americans in an article for The Atlantic. These injustices occurred during the period of enslavement, but also the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights era and down to the present.

In his article, Coates called upon all Americans to acknowledge their “shameful history” including injustices of enslavement, terrorism, plunder and piracy committed against African-Americans. He wants all the facts to be accurately reported.

Accurate acknowledgement would be a first step in reparations.

Apology is a second step.

Apologies

So many governments, institutions and private businesses in the United States are implicated in slavery and post-1865 injustices that it would be impossible for them all to apologize at once. But a good start would be an apology for slavery by the president of the United States, joined by the governors of every state that ever permitted enslavement.

The text of the apology would have to be carefully negotiated with African-American community leaders.

The apology would also have to be carefully surrounded by ritual, so that its sincerity and seriousness would be apparent.

This could be followed by literally thousands of apologies by lower-level municipal governments, religious institutions and businesses. Every single institution would have to investigate its history and acknowledge and apologize for every single act of enslavement and discrimination against African-Americans.

Memorials

The next step would be to memorialize all these injustices. It is not enough to tear down monuments to leaders of the Confederate army. Memorials should be put up at public expense to African-Americans who fought against enslavement and later injustices.

Memorials should also be erected at sites of plantations, sites of protest and sites of known murders of African-Americans, from those who were lynched in decades past to those unjustly killed by police. These memorials are a way to assert that Black lives matter.

Financial reparations

Finally, there is the question of financial reparations and whether descendants of enslaved people should receive them. How, if at all, can all the descendants of enslaved African Americans be identified? Even if they can be identified, should they receive individual financial reparations?

Perhaps yes, to compensate for the huge gap in (mostly inherited) wealth between white and Black Americans. Perhaps African-Americans should be given a financial “boost” to help them on the road to moderate, middle-class security. But many white and other Americans might view this as unfair to other people who don’t enjoy such prosperity.

Alternately, perhaps the federal and state governments should pay group reparations to African Americans. Whites might be more willing to accept collective reparations of this kind.

One possibility is to invest in education, from shoring up predominantly African-American elementary schools to special university scholarships. One might argue that affirmative action programs have already accomplished this, but they have been weakened over the decades and, in any case, only apply at the university level.

Another option is housing investment in predominantly African-American residential areas, especially where public housing projects are located. For decades, African-Americans have been subjected to low-quality public housing and mortgage discrimination.

Yet another option is investment in African-Americans’ health care, although one could argue that the whole country deserves this kind of investment. Nevertheless, if African-Americans suffer from some health problems at higher rates than white Americans, then reparations could include enhanced health care.

Read more: Racism impacts your health

Many white and other Americans may oppose reparations to African-Americans on the grounds that neither they nor their ancestors had anything to do with the many ways African-Americans were and are oppressed.

But as citizens – whether of the U.S. or, in my case, Canada – we have a responsibility to make amends to fellow citizens who have been harmed by the past or present policies of our governments. Acknowledgement is a first step forward. Apologies, memorials and financial reparations continue the process.

Reparations are a way of making the country whole, by partially remedying the inherited inequalities that still plague African-Americans. They are a way of saying that African-Americans are, at long last, equal citizens of the United States of America and therefore deserving of its privileges and protections.

Author: Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann – Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University The Conversation

Analysis: Will furor over Trump’s tweets be different?

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While commenting on tweets he made about the “Radical Left Congresswomen,” President Donald Trump said they’re free to leave if they want to. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – We’ve seen this movie before: A controversy rages but is overtaken by a provocative presidential tweet, sparking a new round of outrage from Democrats – which draws an unrepentant response from the White House.

Will this time end any differently?

The furor that began Sunday with President Trump’s tweets targeting four freshmen members of Congress, all of them women of color, escalated Monday when he doubled down on his attacks and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would consider a resolution condemning his comments.

The controversy instantly united congressional Democrats who had been fractured last week over efforts by the four members – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – to attack the party’s leadership as insufficiently bold on liberal causes.

Trump seemed to revel in the dispute and what it might mean for his reelection bid in 2020, including the potential benefits of tying other Democrats more tightly with four of their most liberal and outspoken representatives.

“If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out,” he wrote in a series of tweets Monday. He called them “anti-Semitic,” “anti-American” and “a bunch of Communists.”

Trump’s tweetstorm succeeded (if that was the point) in stealing the headlines from other troublesome topics, including last week’s failure to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census, the television footage of Vice President Mike Pence viewing migrants jammed behind bars at the border and the announcement of nationwide ICE raids to sweep up undocumented immigrants for deportation. 

At a joint news conference with the four congresswomen Monday, Pressley called his comments “simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous, chaotic and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down.” She said they were determined to “not take the bait” and focus instead on issues like health care. 

Even so, Omar and Tlaib said the exchanges had reinforced their determination to impeach the president.

The controversy was launched Sunday morning, when Trump had denounced them for criticizing the United States. “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he tweeted. That’s a trope with a history – Why don’t you go back where you came from? – that has often been hurled at African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and others who have made the USA an increasingly diverse nation.

For the record, the four congresswoman are all citizens, three of them native-born and one a Somali immigrant who is a naturalized citizen. Two are black, one is Puerto Rican and one is Palestinian American. None is a communist.

‘This is what racism looks like’: Congresswomen react to Trump’s tweetstorm

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Four congresswomen reacted to President Donald Trump seemingly suggesting they “go back” to the countries they “originally came from”. USA TODAY

“When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again,” Pelosi said in a tweet. She wrote an open letter to members of Congress, asking Republicans to join Democrats “in condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets.”

‘Way over the line’

Though GOP members of Congress typically have responded to Trump’s most controversial comments with a studied silence, a handful chastised him Monday. 

Trump should ‘aim higher’: Lindsey Graham, other Republicans respond to Trump’s ‘go back’ tweets

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only African American Republican in the Senate, said Trump used “unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language.” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine called the president’s comments “way over the line.” Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said they were “spiteful” and “absolutely unacceptable.”

“President Trump was wrong to suggest that four left-wing congresswomen should go back to where they came from,” Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said. “Three of the four were born in America, and the citizenship of all four is as valid as mine.”

In contrast, another Republican senator, Steve Daines of Montana, backed Trump all the way. “Montanans are sick and tired of listening to anti-American, anti-Semite, radical Democrats trash our country and our ideas,” he tweeted Monday afternoon. “I stand with @realDonaldTrump.” 

Trump doubles down: He says the House Democrats he insulted should apologize day after his ‘go back’ tweets

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Racial politics have reverberated in American history since the country’s founding, from the battle over slavery and the Civil War to the civil rights movement to the emerging debate over slavery reparations. That said, Trump’s tweets may be the most racially provocative public comment by any president in modern times. 

Nearly two years ago, in another comment that drew racial protests, Trump said after a violent protest by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, that there were “very fine people on both sides.”

Overwhelming support, a solid base

Speculation has faded that the backlash might mark a turning point for his presidency. Indeed, Trump continues to have overwhelming Republican support and a solid base of backers who helped elect him, a core that is mostly white. Surveys of voters taken as they left the polls in 2016 showed Trump winning the support of 58% of whites, compared with 8% of blacks.

Monday, the president seemed unconcerned about whether the new controversy might rebound against him politically — “Many people agree with me,” he told reporters — and he dismissed the charge of racism as little more than a political weapon.

“So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion,” he tweeted.

“Whenever confronted, they call their adversaries, including Nancy Pelosi, ‘RACIST,’ ” Trump said. “If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!”

Born elsewhere, serving the US: These are the 29 members of Congress born outside the USA

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Dems blind to immigration, Blacks, middle class

illegal

Listening to last month’s presidential debates, one would think that Democrats only care about protecting illegal immigrants – giving them free health care and other benefits, as well as decriminalizing illegal entry across our borders. 

Americans are not a priority of most of the 2020 presidential hopefuls. They just have to pay for the billions of dollars in “freebie” benefits Democrats want to give to illegal immigrants. 

Hypocrites all

As to illegal immigrants, the biggest losers in this Democrat agenda are Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) and naturalized American citizens. 

According to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) May 2019 Report “Lawful Permanent Resident Population in the United States: January 2015,” LPRs, also known as “green card” holders, are immigrants who have been granted lawful permanent residence in the U.S., but have not yet become citizens. They are eligible to apply for naturalization after meeting residency and other requirements, including a five-year wait for naturalization. 

The DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Naturalization Fact Sheet, updated May 5, 2017, states that during the last decade, USCIS “welcomed more than 7.4 million naturalized citizens into the fabric of our nation…” The process is lengthy and can also be expensive when various application and other costs, including attorney’s fees, are included. 

With that background, it’s disheartening to watch LPRs and naturalized citizens, who have obeyed the laws and patiently waited for years for their legal status, being slapped in the face by Democratic presidential hopefuls. Democrats are telling legal immigrants that they were fools for obeying the law.

The new Democratic agenda would have no southern border, meaning the U.S. would become a “territory” – one with no rules of entry with a “Y’all come” sign where the border once was. 

Food for thought 

There is one thing that White and Black “open borders” Democrats forget. Illegal immigrants to whom they would give drivers’ licenses and other forms of identification so they can eventually vote – will vote for people who look and sound like them. 

They’d better think about how long they will survive in public office when their districts or cities become majority Hispanic-Latino with significant illegal immigrant constituencies. They most likely would not survive a primary.

Why vote for a White or Black liberal progressive when they can get the real thing? One of their own! Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhab Abdullahi Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., maybe just the beginning! 

Leaving Blacks behind 

If forsaking legal immigrants, taking away private health insurance from millions, and throwing thousands of insurance company employees out of jobs were not bad enough, Democrats are sacrificing the interests of their most loyal constituency – Black Americans – at the altar of socialist giveaways to illegal immigrants. 

Illegal immigration drives down wages in the low-skilled labor market and hurts Blacks and others who are disproportionately concentrated in that sector. 

What’s truly sad is the silence of most Black civil rights and political leaders on the negative impact of illegal immigration on their own communities, including Black Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Cory Booker, DN.J., and Kamila Harris, D-Calif.

They don’t care 

Both advocate the socialist-democratic line of open borders and free healthcare for illegals without regard to the needs of Black lower and middle-income Americans.

By trying to get “race-card” brownie points and feigning sensitivity to racial issues by attacking Joe Biden, they are demonstrating that they don’t care about and have no awareness of the negative impact of their policies on all Americans. 

As I wrote in January, in its report, “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” Project 21 – an organization of Black conservative leaders – observes that taxpayer-funded programs are “being reduced or unavailable to Black Americans in too many communities due to illegal residents taking advantage of them.” 

They haven’t seen anything yet! If these presidential “wannabees” policies come to pass, America as we know it will no longer exist.


Clarence V. McKee is a government, political and media relations consultant and president of McKee Communications, Inc., as well as a Newsmax.com contributor. This article originally appeared on Newsmax.com.

The Case for Biden’s ‘Electability’ Fades Under Scrutiny

Is Joe Biden just a “winner”? Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

It’s no secret that as the 2020 Democratic primary evolves, the possibility that Donald Trump could win reelection (at least in the Electoral College) overshadows all other considerations like Dracula’s tower loomed over its small Transylvanian village. To put it bluntly, an awful lot of Democrats can’t stay focused on which candidate has the best universal health-care proposal because they wake up screaming in the night at the thought of a second Trump inauguration. Calling these Democrats paranoid misses the point: Their fears are a tangible political asset to anyone who can harness them.

And that’s why “electability” has already become so central to the nomination contest, and could become even more important as a possible second Trump term grows nearer without impeachment, a silver-bullet scandal, or a lightning bolt from heaven pushing the incumbent far away from victory. Typically, voters are loath to admit they are so superficial as to join the pundits in valuing horse-race viability more than policy stances, experience, “values,” or sheer likability. Not this year, as Bill Galston points out:

Op-Ed: As a City, We Are Truly at a Crossroads

The future is now, Denver. The stakes are high for our city. Tomorrow, we install Mayor Michael B. Hancock as our mayor for a third and final term. The power of the incumbency, and some very deep pockets, swept him into City Hall for another four years. If the last six weeks are any indication of how the Hancock administration will attempt to wield its power to shape Denver, we have a fight on our hands.

This inauguration day clearly did not bring with it the outcome that I, and many other Denverites, had hoped. We can, however, seize this opportunity to ask for accountability, to push the Mayor to view his legacy as one of crafting a city for the people during this critical moment in its evolution, rather than continuing to focus on development and growth. At this fork in the road, which way will he take us? Only the close counsel of his broad and diverse constituency can lead to the right choice.

Michael Hancock told us on election night — June 4, 2019 — that while he relished the win, he recognized it came with requests from the voters. He recognized, he said, that he had much more work to do to truly engage community in determining Denver’s direction. He committed to utilizing the freedom that comes with a third and final term to do all the hard things for Denver’s people that he had not been able to do before.

And yet, in the last six weeks, we’ve seen evidence to the contrary. Park Hill Golf Course has been fast-tracked for development. The retail development at our airport is mired in conflict and scrutiny while the administration simultaneously asks for millions more to invest in it. A vote was held, just two weeks after the election, to widen Peña Boulevard; this is ostensibly for better airport access, but many recognize it as a conduit for the massive, so-called Aerotropolis development. And still, we have no clarity on solutions to the biggest issues that arose during the campaign: addressing growth in a strategic way, bringing affordability back to our housing stock, tackling our increasingly insufficient transportation networks, finally starting to address homelessness in a nuanced and compassionate way, easing the burden on small business, and — most important — inspiring a cohesive vision for what sort of Denver we actually care about becoming.

Going, going...gone.

Going, going…gone.

Park Hill Golf Club

Post-election, I’ve had much time to think. I’ve thought about the thousands of you who have written me, stopped me on the street, and told me you have felt at a loss as to what we do next. And on their behalf, it’s time to send a message — loud and clear — to Michael Hancock. Even though the power players and the big money brokers helped you win this election, if you give a damn about the people of this city, Mayor, we have a few requests.

Let’s start with committing to a government that is transparent, accountable, and that bends to the will of the people. We hope that you will commit to seeing the city through our eyes. That you will not retreat into City Hall. That you will engage more deeply with the communities of our great city to listen to their priorities. We ask that you change the culture of the mayor’s office to no longer be an echo chamber where the voices of the moneyed and powerful few are insulated from the voices of the many. We call on you to unlatch the front doors of city hall and return the will of the people to the centers of power.

After a brutal election, we ask that you recognize the divides that this election created and work — in partnership with myself and others — to join hands as a community and heal. You must decide that the voices and priorities of those that didn’t support you still matter under your administration. We call on you to create your own Team of Rivals, recognizing there is strength in leadership when consensus is not automatic — and that by looking at the tough issues from all angles, we can get to solutions that stick, and work.

We ask you to remember that the key to our vitality is lifting up the small businesses, the non-profits, the community organizations and the people of Denver. From Berkeley to Southmoor Park and Bear Valley to Montbello, I met with neighbors in all of Denver’s 78 neighborhoods throughout my campaign, and what I heard over and over is that our residents want quality of life, and balance. Enough of the NIMBYs versus the YIMBYs. Enough of pitting natives against newcomers. We all love Denver because it has the opportunity to offer something special in its quality of life. Isn’t that the most important component? Aren’t we all seeking a city government that seeks first the welfare of its diverse communities and isn’t focused on protecting the interest of corporate donors?

Mayor, legacy projects, and monuments, and big corporate deals must be measured by how they improve the lives or our neighbors, and not pursued as goals unto themselves. The mayor is the chief civil servant, not the chief servant of special interests. The mayor’s office cannot be for sale.

Development should be sensitive to historic homes, and density must be adjacent to ample green space, trees and parks where people can walk their dogs or rest on a bench and watch the world go by. This isn’t about the false choice between growth everywhere or no growth at all. It’s about plotting out a city that can grow incrementally, comfortably, and it’s about ensuring that growth and development contributes positively to our landscape and gives back to our communities. Developers make money off the backs of our city; shouldn’t they be required to be part of solving growth challenges?

You must ensure that this is a city for all — young or old, starting out or building a family. There MUST be housing that fills every need and every void. No, the market left to its own devices will not just take care of us all. It must be steered by and balanced against good policy. The city can demand, for example, that if developers are given opportunity beyond their existing zoning rights, they give back to the city via affordable units, community benefit agreements or dedicated open space. Further, we can partner creatively with for-profits and non-profits and other metro communities and work together to solve the complex challenges of housing affordability together. We have to start by wanting to solve it — not throwing our hands up and saying it’s beyond our control.

Mayoral candidate Penfield Tate joined Jamie Giellis in a Team of Rivals announcement on the steps of City Hall after the May 7 election.

Mayoral candidate Penfield Tate joined Jamie Giellis in a Team of Rivals announcement on the steps of City Hall after the May 7 election.

Michael Roberts

We must stop treating our homeless people with contempt and start treating them with compassion. Homelessness is now a regional crisis. Four cities in the metro region, including Denver, have camping bans, and more are considering them. There is no coordinated approach between any of these municipalities to address the regional homeless crisis beyond moving people around to ensure they aren’t camping on our public spaces. Non-profits invested in homeless work are so busy competing for their own resources that looking at a bigger picture is a challenge. As the largest city in the region, Denver must initiate compassionate, regional solutions and create meaningful partnerships with our neighbors to implement them. You, Mayor, are the one to lead the charge. Let’s stop working in silos and start working in coordination. Those experiencing homelessness must be provided shelter, services and housing. The mental health dollars we voted for last November should be used strategically and leveraged to build facilities that can serve missing needs. Financial resources should be coordinated and delivered strategically to intervene where impact is greatest.

First- and last-mile transportation needs to come with a commitment to efficiency and affordability. The dedicated transportation department you are asking the voters to approve in November is a good step. But what is the plan to deliver transit? Our city is approaching gridlock, and we are out of time. The voters need to see urgency on your part. They need to hear how, and when, you will deliver real, affordable, intra-city transit.

Our air cannot be further polluted by congestion, fracking and refineries. It must be clean and safe to breathe for us and our kids. We have to identify the particulates in our air and create a step-by-step plan to clean them up. We must push for stronger building requirements that alleviate development impacts to the environment as we grow. We must value the limitations of our water supply and the importance of a clean South Platte River, one of our city’s greatest natural assets. And you must engage us all to lead on fighting climate change, as city leaders around the world are doing.

We need to improve our schools by implementing robust after-school programs, offering inter-generational mentorships to connect seniors and students, encouraging a restorative justice system of discipline, and paying our teachers more. Our kids and our families are critical to our city’s future, and yet little has been done to fight for their welfare from within City Hall.

Perhaps the most common sentiment I heard on the campaign trail is that we need a leader who will help rebuild and reconnect our community. Our residents need it even more so after a campaign that went extraordinarily negative. Strengthen the Registered Neighborhood Organization program, better engage the Inter Neighborhood Cooperation, and show up in our communities on a regular basis.

As Jane Jacobs, the legendary urban studies scholar wrote, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” So please, Mayor Hancock, let’s reignite the city’s conversation around building up and amplifying the voices of Denver’s communities of color. To our Latino, African American, refugee and immigrant communities who have been stifled in their own pursuit of a high quality of life by historical oppression and institutional barriers like low wages, overuse of jails and incarceration, struggling schools and lack of housing and health care: The city must stand ready to reinvest in your communities, stem the tide of displacement, and magnify the reach of your grassroots organizations. I hope the Mayor will commit to listening closely to learn more about your lived experiences, and will represent your needs not only in policy, but also in personnel. Because our leaders only succeed when they can see the city through the eyes of the people who work and play and struggle and thrive here every day.

Finally, Mayor, I hope you will commit to creating a culture where all city employees feel safe in the workplace — where ethical behavior, transparent decision-making and accountability are paramount in every corner of city government.

A new era is upon us, and it must be for the people. Mayor Michael B. Hancock, welcome to your third term as our mayor. As a city, we are truly at a crossroads. Please don’t sell our soul.

Mayoral challenger Jamie Giellis faced Michael Hancock in the June 4 runoff.

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