2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates: Do They Have Policies? What Are Their Policies? Let's Find Out!


#156

By my feeling, if it looks like Sanders’ entrance is pushing the conversation in a rightward direction from the reactions of neoliberals and centrists (which hey that makes them literally reactionaries words are fun and I am already exhausted), that says more about the absolute hellish state the American political imagination has existed in for the past half-century, and it’s not actually his entrance that’s doing it. It’s the Overton window conversation—and the only way that window moves is if people with Sanders’ platform (or, eventually, farther to the left) continue to force themselves into the political mainstream.

The Howard Schultzes of the world, so-called fiscally conservative yet socially liberal dudebros, are not going to like that, in the same way they constantly try to gang up on AOC. At the same time, their voices are louder than their actual power. According to a source I can’t link easily because it’s a podcast (the FiveThirtyEight politics podcast to be exact, whom I generally trust, in an episode they did about Schultz), they’re a surprisingly small demographic with an outsize voice in American politics.


#157

I’m already exhausted by this and I’m currently attempting to remind myself that the 2020 election is so far away that, if we chose to, my partner and I could gestate and begin to raise two (2) human children, sequentially, before it was over. This is a long time.


#158

I’m always kinda curious what a concrete plan would look like for slavery reparations. Simply handing out money would be direct but it may not be as effective to improve lives over the long term due to inflation, circumstances, etc. Grants, negotiated settlements, etc. could work better but might be open to grifters and legislative interference.


#159

Cory Booker is proposing something he’s not calling reparations, but is meant to have a similar effect. Here’s a Vox article about it.

The basic idea is every child receives $1000 when they are born that is held in a bank account until they are 18. Every year during tax season, the child receives additional money based on the family’s tax returns, up to $2000. All of this money is invested and receives an estimated 3% interest rate. This means that the estimated total for the lowest income children would be $46,215. There would be limits on what the money could be spent on and Booker hasn’t stated specifics yet, but the idea is to spend the money on college or housing.

The important thing for the conversation about reparations is that the average white child is estimated to receive $15,790 in their account at 18 while the average black child would receive $29,038. This is estimated to close the racial wealth gap from a about 15.9 to 1 white to black wealth to 1.4 to 1 white to black wealth in the 18-25 age range.

My understanding of economics is basically zero, but I like the basic idea of this plan.


#160

I think the spin is interesting too. My understanding is the policy itself is racially-neutral, but is being presented as a racial wealth gap solution. It seems to address the racial wealth gap (hard to know without seeing it in action), but it could so easily be presented as a general anti-poverty measure.

To me, it’s a sign of how things have shifted in the past few years. It’s hard to imagine a Democrat in 2012 choosing to say “this is designed to address racial inequities in American society” over “this will help less-fortunate American children” when both are equally true.


#161

I agree with you on that shift and the messaging around it being interesting, though I think an important component of it is the ability for it to be both, and marketed so-to-speak as both.

Since while the policy itself may be racially neutral, poverty is not racially neutral—and a large part of that is the ripple effect from slavery and the forms of systemic racism that followed it. So it makes sense to focus on class as an avenue to determine reparations, since the effects and benefits of those systems manifest as wealth for different people.

I honestly think it’s a pretty elegant solution, because ideally this system would take the most from those who benefited and continue to benefit most from those systems, and it seems like it would close the gap substantially without raising resentment among poor or working class people of other races (and no I do not just mean white people)


Edit: adding a longer bit here because I feel like that last bit might be misconstrued or misinterpreted.

Part of the reason I like this idea so much and that I brought up that final point is that my work background is in education, and specifically college admissions, which has one of (if not) the most publicized affirmative action systems in the US. This system has the same goals as this proposal but uses the opposite avenue—it is entirely racial, and is in a sense a reversed attempt to solve that wealth gap. And that works… a bit! It definitely makes it a more equitable system for what are considered “underrepresented minorities” (usually black and Hispanic applicants).

However, in not grounding itself in class, it’s still hugely ineffective for working and lower class students in those groups, because wealth is incredibly privileging in this process (as it is in pretty much every area of life in this country). They’re still not going to be given a fair shake over wealthier students with similar backgrounds—who, because of that wealth, are fighting against less stringent barriers. At the same time, it completely passes over working class kids in other groups, who feel that wealth gap even more harshly. While this is a lot of misinformation about “overrepresented minorities” (specifically Asian-Americans) and their reactions to such proposals (many of the lawsuits against AA policies have been funded by right-wing lobbying firms and PACs), it’s hard to look at the numbers I’ve seen and feel that anything is equitable about how they’re treated in this system, especially when it’s also heavily exacerbated by class divides. There is clear resentment there, which is probably—judging by the way the winds are blowing right now—going to fully torpedo the system as it currently exists.

So that’s my thinking behind the benefits of a system that is class-based, at least in part. I would like to see other things taken into account in Booker’s proposal, but I think it would ultimately end up being more effective than the closest analog I can see to a race-based reparations system.


#162

I like this, it’s a step in the right direction.


#163

Looks like she saw your post specifically, lol


#164

What do yall think about Andrew Yang?

His 3 central policies seem to be:
Universal Basic Income

Medicare For All

Human-Centered Capitalism

The human-centered capitalism is probably the one that gets the most headturns, but as far as I can tell, it seems like just a good reframing of his economic outlook to avoid accusations of “this is socialism!” from the right and making what he’s offering easier to swallow from a political angle. To paraphrase Yang, “It’s not socialism, it’s capitalism where income doesn’t start at $0.”

I’ve been a Bernie supporter since last election, but right now I’m kinda favoring Yang for my 2020 vote. He’s bold but pragmatic, offering more detailed and tangible solutions in many cases compared to Bernie, both in terms of problem-solving and how we should pay for that solution. I think he has a shot at stealing away the votes of blue-collar workers and other moderate republicans.

At the very least I’d like to see him on the Democratic debate stage. It would be interesting and exciting to see a genuine debate between formidable left-wing candidates. He needs 65,000 donations by May 15th, 2019 in order to get on the debate stage, so I donated a dollar just so I could count toward that number. But yeah, I like him, and I don’t see a whole lot of talk about him except in select circles. He’s even appeared on FOX multiple times but no CNN coverage that I’ve seen.


#165

Eh. That “human-centered capitalism” thing is such a cowardly term that I get the vibe this guy would buckle a LOT on important issues we literally can’t afford to buckle on anymore. It screams of “gradual progress” and we all saw how that turned out.

You’re running for president when the world is now becoming truly aware of the sheer horror of climate shift and fascism is making a big racist comeback while the country is currently trying to ready up a genocide, and you try to appeal to white voters who probably still think the USSR is a thing with the term “human-centered capitalism.”

That tells me your convictions are shallow.


#166

When it come to Universal Basic Income plans, it’s important to note that they almost always involve the dissolution of welfare plans. In the interest of being more “fair”, they leave people with the greatest needs in the lurch, as the UBI stipend will be less than they are eligible for under current plans.

Also, UBI is popular in Silicon Valley circles because it’s seen as a sort of guiolltine insurance. They know people are mad, and they see anti-trust looming on the horizon. UBI is a bone they can throw the proletariat without risking their fortunes. I think we should’ve skeptical of anyone running on UBI, especially when it’s their farthest left proposal.


#167

Regarding that booker plan to set up an investment fund for babies, do you remember how much more fervent the anti-obamacare movement was in the few years between it passing and fully going into effect? Imagine if it took 18 years before anyone saw benefits instead of the 4 years it took for Obamacare to fully kick in. It would be incredibly easy for conservatives to kill this program if they ever take control in the 18 years before anyone sees a single dime from it.

I’d be more into it if the program could start giving money to people right away as if the program was started 18 years ago.


#168

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/ryanhatesthis/4chan-vs-the-yang-gang? I dunno, this article about his campaign’s outreach makes me barf everywhere.


#169

BIG YANG UPDATE: HE FEELS VERY STRONGLY ABOUT MALE CIRCUMCISION AND woof that brought back some memories

Apologies if my language is gendered a bit weird, bit since most male circumcision is at birth and I don’t wanna make my writing sound unintentionally amusing (cause penis is a funny word in all forms), I’m just gonna use language used in the story.

Male circumcision always came off as the most non-issue thing imaginable to me, but there are quite a few people out there who care very deeply about it to the point they compare it to war crimes and the holocaust (I am dead serious, there was this one thread on ScrewAttack many years ago and…it was an experience). So, seeing a presidential hopeful actually take a stance on this is very, very weird, especially in a post Silent Hill 4 Wiki entry explosion world (if you wanna know more).

The non-issue part mostly comes from the fact there doesn’t seem to be any downsides to circumcision for men. In fact, you only seem to get benefits, like less chance for urinary tract infections or reduced chances at getting STDs (as the article’s ending points out). So I honestly do not get what the big deal is or why so many people seem to fixate on the issue so seriously beyond the fringes.


#170

So I think comparing it to war crimes is obviously completely wild, but fwiw I for one am against it. The relative weight of the downsides vs upsided can be debated, but ultimately I think it just comes down to what it does for any permanent surgery or body alteration performed on a baby: a baby is not capable of giving consent. I just very firmly believe that there has to be a much higher burden of necessity than looks or ease of cleaning.

That said, there are many more important and urgent fights to be having right now, and this is not something that would weigh on my decision in this primary. It’s much more in the category of, I’ll advocate against circumcision in my community, and if legislation happens to come up I’ll support it.


#171

I’m very much against baby circumcision and think it’s a worthy issue to pursue. I think it’s a no-brainer even. Yeah climate change and all that, but it’s possible to do more than one thing I’m sure.


#172

I feel its worth mentioning that Yang’s site is a shit show of hyperlinks to his stances on an endless list of issues, some important, some just head scratching.


#173

I was listening to a podcast called Sh!tpost (a podcast dedicated to tracking far-right online movements and explaining just what is going on in the bowels of the internet) that discussed his candidacy a bit. They likened his popularity on twitter to those who supported Trump in 2016, being that these were a bunch of bored dudes online that thought it was fun to try and meme a president into office. They have nothing to do until 2020, so why not try this tactic with a relatively unknown Silicon Valley guy and try and disrupt the Democratic Primary?

I thought it was an interesting take.


#174

I feel pretty strongly about circumsion. I got circumcised as a baby and I’m honestly glad I did because I feel like my penis would give me way more gender dysphoria than it already does if I had to pull down some gross skin everytime I needed to use it.

I totally understand the opposition towards doing it to babies and if you don’t wanna get your amab baby circumcised than you don’t have to, like that’s well within your rights as a parent. But it really bothers me when people get super mad about babies getting circumcised and start calling it gender mutilation, because it’s not? Gender mutilation is what gets done to intersex kids by doctors who want to “fix” them and it’s super fucked up. Getting a baby cirumcised is literally just getting rid of excess skin that they can live without and removing it won’t cause them any pain if it’s done right.

At the end of the day it’s your decision what you wanna do for your kid and I’m not gonna judge anybody who doesn’t circumcise their baby. It should always be the parents’ choice no matter what and as long as it’s like that I don’t really have a problem with it. But again I’m coming at this from the position of someone who got it done to them and I’m also a trans woman who is slowly having their soul eaten away by gender dysphoria, so your mileage may vary.


#175

Thanks for that, I’ve always been curious on how non-binary people view this topic, but I never asked since it’s pretty personal.

I also think it’s worth bringing up that Judaism practices this, and I haven’t really heard of any sort of negative side effects or issues from the practice, not even by groups that use the faith as a scapegoat for everything. I can see consent being a valid sort of issue, but then I think doesn’t the benefits of circumcision ultimately make it fall into a similar category as vaccination? I mean, circumcision leads to less chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, so isn’t that a net positive for society? Certainly not on the same level as vaccination, but wouldn’t that mean this is less an issue of personal decisions and more public health?

If that were the case, then consent shouldn’t be a factor when done at birth, especially because there are no medical drawbacks or risks known of.