Here’s some good news heading into the weekend: As of Thursday, nearly 126 million people in the U.S. had received at least one dose of the vaccine, including more than 78 million people who’ve been fully vaccinated. This is tremendous progress, Steven, getting the nation closer and closer to beating this pandemic.
But there is still plenty of work to be done to get the country back on track. Right now, one in every five miles — or 173,000 total miles — of our highways and major roads are in poor condition, as well as over 45,000 bridges.
Investing in our nation’s infrastructure will be a critical step in rebuilding our nation’s economy moving forward — which is why we must throw our support behind President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.
Read on for a closer look at the American Jobs Plan, the administration’s efforts to curb the gun violence epidemic, and more →
Rebuilding our economy: The American Jobs Plan
The American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment that will create millions of quality jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and help the U.S. compete at a global level.
Take a look at the plan’s key provisions:
As we emerge from the pandemic, the American Jobs Plan will be essential in strengthening our economic foundation and turning relief into recovery. Meet President Biden’s Jobs Cabinet and learn more about the American Jobs Plan:
Fighting gun violence
Gun violence is a public health epidemic — and recent mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder highlighted the need for urgent, meaningful action.
That’s why the Biden-Harris administration announced six initial actions to address gun violence in all forms. This includes publishing model “red flag” legislation, investing in evidence-based community violence interventions, and other common-sense reforms.
Take action: Pass the For the People Act
This year alone, over 360 pieces of legislation have been introduced in state legislatures aimed at restricting access to the ballot nationwide. Our best shot at fighting back is to make sure S. 1 — the For the People Act — passes in the U.S. Senate.
The bill aims to fight big money in politics, expand voting rights, end extreme partisan gerrymandering, and hold our elected officials accountable — but it’s going to take all of us speaking out and showing our support to make it happen. Add your name to show your support for S. 1, the For the People Act:
ADD MY NAME
New store items
There’s new, limited-edition Biden-Harris merch in the Official Democratic Store. Get yourself some gear before it’s gone — every purchase you make helps elect Democrats nationwide →
We need you, Steven
You have a lot to be proud of — from winning back the White House, to flipping the Senate, to passing the American Rescue Plan. But to build upon the progress we’ve made this year, we’ll need to continue fending off Republican attacks and electing Democrats at every level of government.
Steven: Can we ask that you make a $25 donation to the DNC today? Your contribution — of any amount — will help strengthen our party’s nationwide infrastructure and support Democrats running for office in 2021, 2022, and beyond.
If you’ve saved payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:$25 >>$50 >>$75 >>$100 >>$125 >>Other >>
Folks like you are the backbone of our party. Thank you for all you do to support Democrats — we truly mean it.
Until next time,
Joe Biden: Derivative of Adam Schultz / Biden for President. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Kamala Harris: Derivative of Adam Schultz / Biden for President Photo. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
April 13, 2021
By Paul Krugman
I’m a Baby Boomer, which means that I grew up in a society with a much flatter income distribution than, I believe, younger generations can easily imagine. It was a society in which middle managers and well-paid blue-collar workers were more or less equal in financial terms, in which C.E.O.s of major companies were paid around 20 times as much as the average worker, compared with more than 200 to 1 today. It was by no means an equal society — especially if you were female or nonwhite or both; but it was a society in which extremes of both wealth and poverty seemed to have withered away.
And we took it for granted. A more or less middle-class society, almost everyone assumed, was the state toward which an advanced economy naturally evolved.
Not so much, we learned as the boomers turned middle-aged. The future of inequality wasn’t what we expected it to be; America today has more or less returned to Gilded Age disparities in income and wealth.
But then, the past wasn’t what we thought it had been either. That middle-class society I grew up in didn’t evolve gradually and naturally. It was created by public policy over the course of just a few years in the 1940s, mainly during World War II.Continue reading the main story
I’ve read many, many economics papers over the course of my adult life. Few have changed the way I see the world as much as a 1991 paper by Claudia Goldin and Robert Margo titled “The Great Compression,” referring to an event I briefly referenced in today’s column. Goldin and Margo showed, roughly speaking, that America went to bed in 1939 in the Gilded Age and woke up in 1945 as the middle-class nation of my childhood.
You can see the abruptness of the event and what followed in this figure, from a later paper by Goldin and Lawrence Katz, showing two measures of wage inequality (for white men, not because they’re the only workers who matter, but as a way of focusing the question) from the ’30s to 2005:
A sudden plunge in inequalityClaudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz
How did that happen? A lot of the compression of wages in the 1940s can be attributed to World War II, when the U.S. was largely a controlled economy, and wage increases were only allowed under rules that tended to give bigger increases in percentage terms to less well-paid workers. But why didn’t things spring back to where they had been before once wage and price controls had been lifted?Continue reading the main story
We don’t fully understand the persistence of the Great Compression. But one factor, surely, was the rise of unions — also something that happened very quickly. Here’s another figure, from a paper by Richard Freeman:
The rise and fall of unionsRichard Freeman
A strong union movement, it seems, was able to lock in the new wage norms created by the war for several decades after the war was over. And the rise of unions was clearly linked to politics: first the New Deal, then the war, created favorable environments for union organizing.Continue reading the main story
What does this tell us about the future of inequality? On one side, it’s encouraging: high inequality isn’t something unavoidable, the necessary consequence of implacable technological forces: political action can create a much less unequal society. On the other side, both the politics of the New Deal and, even more so, the policy environment of World War II, were pretty unique. Progressives are, in general, delighted with how activist the Biden administration is proving; but despite Republican cries of “socialism,” its actions are far more modest than what happened in the ’30s and ’40s.
The big question is how much of the Great Compression we can achieve through less dramatic policies, in a political environment where spending one percent of G.D.P. on infrastructure seems radical. No, I don’t know the answer.
The Biden stimulus and the Korean War.
Or maybe it will be like World War I, which boosted the economy but didn’t lead to lasting transformation.
Faltering middle-class wages.
I’m shocked — shocked — to learn that corporate lobbying organizations oppose corporate tax hikes.
If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider recommending it to friends. They can sign up here. If you want to share your thoughts on an item in this week’s newsletter or on the newsletter in general, please email me at email@example.com.
Michigan VAN Newsletter04/12/2021Hello Michigan VAN Users!
Spring is in the air; birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and VAN webinars are happening on a regular basis. Last week, we released our webinar schedule for April and wanted to highlight them for you here, alongside other available resources. As always, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org you have any questions!
Wednesday, April 13th at 7PM – Introduction to VAN
Join the MDP Data Team and learn more about what VAN is, how the democratic data ecosystem works, and how you can leverage data for successful campaigns.
Sign up here: https://www.mobilize.us/
Wednesday, April 21st at 7PM – Voter Data and List Building in VAN
Join the MDP Data Team and learn more about voter targeting and list creation in VAN. We’ll talk about different types of voter data and how to think about targeting for various types of groups, campaigns, and initiatives.
Sign up here: https://www.mobilize.us/midems/event/382131/
Tuesday, April 27th at 7PM – Voter Outreach in VAN
Join the MDP Data Team and learn more about creating phone banks and cutting canvassing turf for successful field campaigns.
Sign up here: https://www.mobilize.us/midems/event/382133/
Survey Question and Activist Code Request Form
We’ve rolled out a new form you can use to:
- Request new survey questions or activist codes
- Request changes to existing SQs and ACs
- Ask to share SQs and ACs with other VAN committees
You can find this form here
Office Hours and 1-1 VAN Support
We continue to offer VAN Office Hours weekly:
- Monday – 6-7
- Thursday 1-2
You can access all office hours at the link https://michigandems.zoom.us/j/82585847397
We also offer 1-1 VAN support in case the office hour times don’t work with your schedule. We’ve recently added new evening times to better fit more types of schedules. You can schedule a 15-min or 45-min 1-1 here.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at email@example.com