A friend of mine continued working-- remotely-- during the pandemic and wound up spending much less money than usual. Hee's pretty flush with cash right now. He's not getting a full $1,400 rescue check, but he's getting a partial one. He keeps annoying me by saying Biden is the greatest president in history-- because his administration has a vaccination plan, unlike President Sociopath, and because-- like everyone-- he loves free money.
This morning he sent me a note saying that a study shows that "many Americans plan to spend their stimulus checks on stocks and travel." He added that "They are all getting the free money and running out to buy Bitcoin." Something like this, comparing who was helped by Trump's plan and who is being helped by Biden's, might be too abstract for most voters to grapple with:
But you know what isn't too abstract? The $15 minimum wage that Biden (reluctantly and half-heartedly) campaigned on-- a promise not kept and glaringly not even fought for. Writing for Jacobin. Alex Press noted that even of Biden has thrown in the towel, Bernie hasn't. Press admires the Vermont Independent for "making use of his position to criticize the rich for their exploitation of the working class. It isn’t just good political theater; it’s also strategically effective. When Sanders introduced the Stop BEZOS ('Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies') Act in 2018, he was again focused on pointing out how the country’s largest employers underpay workers. Numerous commentators at the time tried to argue that the bill was unworkable, impractical. But then something remarkable happened: Amazon announced it would raise its starting wage to $15 an hour. As I wrote at the time, there was, of course, small print attached to the raise, but it was an unambiguous win for workers, one in which Sanders’s criticism had an obvious role."
Biden's $1,400 checks are a good thing. Having them delivered every month for the duration of the pandemic would have been a really good thing. Raising the minimum wage would have been too.
As Jonathan Chait noted in his New York Magazine column today "the modern filibuster inhibits rather than enables debate. So Manchin can propound on the need to allow consideration of bills, and permit Republicans to speak on them extensively, because those are not the actual goals of filibuster supporters. The real purpose of the mechanism is to impose a 60-vote requirement (one that has already been eliminated for executive-branch appointments, fiscal policy, and judges)." There will be no meaningful reform unless voters elect progressives to nullify Manchin's power in the Senate. As we said earlier, the best opportunity to do so, would be to elect Erica Smith to the open North Carolina Senate seat.