The NRCC’s message for the midterms is wages went up too much under Biden and they’ll keep people poorer?…
Superficially this sounds good, but have you considered that suppressing the pandemic and stimulating the economy has raised demand and wages leading to a 38 cent increase in the price of a barbacoa burrito?
I think there’s a pretty fundamental difference between a price increase in an inelastic, non-discretionary space like gas or groceries & one like takeout burritos where it’s easy to walk away.

That’s why even though the used car thing is so idiosyncratic it’s still troubling.
If you don’t make much money and you need a car to get to work and do your basic errands and then your car breaks down, an eye-popping rise in the price of the cheapest cars is a huge problem in way that fast casual chain prices just never could be.

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More from @mattyglesias

11 Jun
Not trying to be a mean-spirited dunker here but I think a false belief that Republicans are constantly winning policy fights distorts judgment about current politics.

In the winter of 2004-2005 the two biggest fights were marriage equality & social security; GOP lost both.
In the Obama years there was a fight about privatizing Medicare; Democrats won and under Trump Republicans stopped pushing for that.

Then they tried and failed to repeal the ACA. McConnell stopped pushing legislation after Doug Jones with a bigger majority than Ds have now.
Liberals, especially college grads in big cities, tend to see Trump and the Trumpified GOP as so obviously monstrous that they’re blinded to the extent that they have secured votes by ditching unpopular positions in favor of more moderate ones.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
The welfare state is a powerful tool for closing racial gaps. But it also shouldn’t be obscured that the largest group of beneficiaries from these programs are white.… ImageImage
The white population in America is just very large, so the plurality of the poor people in America are white.

A political rhetoric that ignores them seems unlikely to succeed.… Image
I think the official Race-Class Narrative texts from Demos are pretty strong on this point, but this is one of these things where the practice often deviates from the theory.… Image
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Here's a good GSS question on free speech: "Now consider a Muslim clergyman who preaches hatred of the United States. A. If such a person wanted to make a speech in your community preaching hatred of the United States, should he be allowed to speak, or not?"
What I like about it is that anti-American Islamism is genuinely super-unpopular with all major factions of American politics.

Nobody sees that cleric as an ally. So it really is just a test of people's commitment to free speech and that commitment is ... tepid.
There's no big party gap, but men are more supportive of free speech than women and more educated people are more supportive than the less educated.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
I think the best question @BCAppelbaum raises here is the quiet dispute between him and Warren Buffett about the social impact of vast wealth passing tax free into charitable foundations.
Buffett’s view is that his charitable giving supports important causes and that marginal reductions in the national debt are not important.

I am sympathetic to this argument!
But as @BCAppelbaum briefly alludes to here, there’s no IRS requirement that your charitable giving actually be effective or really even “charitable” in any kind of normal sense.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun
Today’s free Slow Boring post is all about parking — specifically the nearly ubiquitous rules that require builders of basically everything to provide more than a market amount of parking.

These rules are really bad.…
A number of cities have recently adopting parking reforms — including a notable one in Minneapolis which is big — and successfully gotten themselves cheaper, more abundant housing.…
But the biggest parking reform yet could be coming to California where a strong bipartisan majority just backed a huge statewide reform over opponents’ incoherent objections.…
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun
Something I don't really understand about the American government is sometimes congress will pass a law directing an agency to do something — update sonic boom regulations by the end of 2020, for example — and then the agency just doesn't do it.…
Or like in 2015, Congress told Amtrak to reevaluate its boarding procedures so they produced an Inspector General report conceding that there is no actual reason for these procedures but then they didn't change them.…
Oh, wait, per @alex_block the FAA did update the rule ~one week late ... on January 6, 2021 when there was some other stuff in the news.…
Read 4 tweets

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