PROGRESSIVES-WAKE UP

Just about a year ago, if someone mentioned to you COVID, social distancing

or masks in stores, no doubt you’d have wondered what exactly any of that

meant. Fast forward a COVID riddled year, and it all seems so very familiar

after all. It’s safe to say that now that COVID has had us in its grip for the last

year, and counting, that life is never really going to be the same again. In so

many ways, that is absolutely right. Not only in how we socially interact with

another, but also how we engage economically has also changed forever.


Against that new economic back-drop and the Democrats now holding both the

Presidency and Congress, the issues of cancelling student debt and a new

federal minimum wage come even more into sharp focus. The progressive wing

of the party has long advocated that up to $50,000 of student loan per person

should be cancelled. They argue that by doing so, that will further stimulate a

pandemic-battered economy. Likewise, by increasing the federal minimum

wage to $15.00 an hour, not only does it allow for recipients to have an actual

living wage, it too further re-invigorates the economy.


Both of these progressive proposals hold up to scrutiny. First, having billions of

dollars released through cancelling that amount of student debt puts money in

people’s pockets, money that can then be spent which allows further economic

stimulation. The same cannot be said of those sums of money being hoarded by

huge corporations and businesses in off-shore tax havens, such as student loan

companies and banks. Second, having a federal minimum wage of $15.00 an

hour allows for increased consumer spending and therefore even more

economic stimulation. Think of it like a series of hundreds of millions of

stimulus checks continually being invested back into the economy. And as we

just saw, stimulus checks are a definite yes-yes.


That is why both should undoubtedly be included in the upcoming COVID-19

economic stimulus bill. However, with shoulder-sagging predictability, the

“moderate” wing of the Democratic Party, with a nudge and a wink from the

perpetual pragmatist president that is Joe Biden, has other thoughts. Just a

matter of weeks into a Democratic presidency and Congress, the fault-lines

between the two schools of thought are opening up and widening.


True progressives such as AOC, Warren and Sanders now find themselves in a

legislative tug-of-war with the likes of Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema. Both

are hiding their disdain for these two intensely popular measures by attempting

to argue that neither are directly related to COVID-19 relief and should

therefore be excluded. Sinema said of the reconciliation process (which is


Congressional speak for how the COVID-19 relief package potentially

progresses):

“The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process.

It is not a budget item,” she said. “And it shouldn’t be in there.” [1]

And so it begins, Democratic progressives up against Democratic dwellers in

the Dark Ages. We at Tipnation.NYC have said it before, will say it again, and will

continue to say it – the majority of the people in the US are tired of the same old

same old. They yearn for real progress, real change. Watching fissures open in

the Democratic party, at this early stage, is both disheartening and manna from

heaven for a GOP that is currently experiencing its own internecine strife

(which is of course warranted, but an article for another day).


The classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again,

expecting different results every time. So it is then that the Democrats are

already pointing a pistol at their feet. And that reeks of insanity. The vast

majority of students are financially knee-capped once they leave college while

tens of millions of Americans don’t earn enough from working forty hours a

week to make ends meet. That both of those are every day occurrences in

twenty-first century America, the richest country on Earth, is an abomination.

The likes of Manchin and Sinema would do well to try and live like that for a

week, let alone spout pious pontifications from the Capitol about how they

shouldn’t be in the relief package.


Democrats – wake up! The post-pandemic world will be one that has already

changed for ever. Tired, not fit for purpose economic policies and philosophies

are now only suitable for the trash-can of history. COVID has been many awful

things. However, in its wake, it actually gives us a golden opportunity to return

the country, and the world, back to a freer, fairer and economically equitable

place to live.


[1] Biden, progressive Democrats clash on minimum wage - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

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