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
“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.” 
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.
 Biden, progressive Democrats clash on minimum wage - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)