Ideas on the Progressive Left: Good, Bad, and Ugly

The horde of candidates running for the Democratic Presidential nomination are throwing all sorts of lefty tropes at the wall, hoping to find some that stick.  Here is my classification of the one I find worthwhile and not.

Good: (1)Something like Medicare for America, an idea that expands health insurance to all Americans without eliminating private insurance.  This idea, in some version or other, is well tested and used in virtually every other advanced country.

(2)Making college education cheap again.  We have done it before, most other advanced countries do it, and our vast pool of educational debt is a major drag on the entrepreneurial spirit of young Americans.

(3)Subsidized child care.  Again, a well tested idea that frees more parents to work.

(4) Take dark money out of politics.  Make every dollar be accounted for.

(5)Statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.

Bad:  It seems like Kamala Harris likes every stupid idea on my list.

(1)Reparations - the two groups who legitimately deserve reparations are Native Americans and descendents of slaves.  Reparations would be divisive and unlikely to benefit the proposed recipients.  Far more beneficial to them would  be good education, health care, child care and good housing.

(2)Big pay raise for teachers:  I like teachers and I think they deserve higher pay, but Harris's one size fits all subsidy would disrupt markets and attract a lot of marginal people to education.

(3)The Green New Deal - a mishmash of unrealistic expectations and socialist nonsense unlikely to stem global warming.

Ideas whose time has not yet come:

(1)Universal Basic Income:  Sometime, when the robot apocalypse is more fully developed.  I'm still not crazy about putting everybody on welfare, but as a sort of welfare recipient myself (of income from Social Security, Pension and investments) who no longer works, it doesn't seem too bad.

(2)Gun Control: Devoutly to be wished, but only very modest steps are likely to possible in the near future.


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