163-2 Politics

Robin Hood Tax in Europe
At Democratic Left, Bill Barclay writes:

On December 8, ten nations announced an agreement on “core issues.”  Two in particular are important because, while they may seem technical in nature, they are key to an effective FTT.

First, the proposed FTT will apply on a “gross” rather than a “net” basis. That is to say, it will apply to all trades that occur, not just to those still in effect at the end of the trading day. This is a major defeat for the HFT constituency.

Second, in order to counter various tax avoidance tactics, the FTT will apply if at least one of the parties to the trade is a resident in one of the ten participating countries and/or if the asset traded is issued in one of these countries.

In addition, it looks as if the proposed FTT will apply to both the assets themselves as well as to derivatives based on the assets. This is very important, since it eliminates another way of avoiding the tax.

MORE.

What Contract Do Police Deserve?
At The Chicago Reporter, Adeshina Emmanuel begins:

In the fallout from the release of the Laquan McDonald video, Chicago’s top cop lost his job. But the police officer who shot the teenager 16 times is still employed.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is captured on police dash cam video shooting McDonald, can thank the police union.

The Fraternal Order of Police contract with the city shapes how Chicago handles police misconduct allegations, disciplines rank-and-file officers, as well as when the city pays legal costs for police officers accused of wrongdoing. While activists have long called for changes to the contract, many people in local government have not been eager to take on that fight — until now.

With cries of reform ringing louder than before and a federal investigation of the police department, aldermen are demanding changes to a union contract that breezed through the City Council in 2014.

MORE.

Praying for Godzilla
At Mayoral Tutorial, Don Washington writes:

So here you are listening to radio ads and watching media coverage where Bruce Rauner… of all people is painting Mike Madigan as Satan… which could be true. But then you think: hold up, isn’t Bruce Rauner Satan? Then it dawns on you that all the answers to this epistemological conundrum are bad and you cry out to a suddenly absent God: “In the name of all that is holy are we to understand that the only thing standing between Illinois becoming Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey or Kansas is Mike Madigan?” You know that moment in every good Godzilla film where you have to switch gears from can the heroes stop Godzilla to can Godzilla stop the aliens and their pet monster from destroying Tokyo? You know, the place in the film where everyone is hoping that after kicking a lot of furry or scaly ass Godzilla will lose interest and just wander back into the ocean? That’s where we are now… That would mean that Mike Madigan is Godzilla… I swear to God following politics is going to make me take to the drink.

MORE.

Attention Should Be Paid
At In These Times, Joe Burns argues that the strike in Wisconsin at the Kohler faucet plant deserves more than cursory attention:

Two thousand workers at the Kohler faucet plant in Wisconsin have been walking the picket since November 16. Such a strike would have been commonplace decades ago. Nowadays it is a rarity. Major strikes of over 1,000 workers are few and far between. Even rarer are open-ended strikes at an industrial plant.

Today’s battered labor movement no longer thinks of watershed strikes; we are so beaten down and used to defeat that no particular loss is seen as critical. And sadly, it’s not as if labor must win this particular battle to survive. The truth is labor has learned to live with defeat. But a more fundamental point is at stake: Labor must redevelop the ability to win this type of strike if we are to have any chance of survival.

MORE.

At Jacobin, Joel Feingold provides an account of the history of heroic struggles for labor rights at Kohler HERE.

Blue to Red, Red to Blue
At FiveThirtyEight, Aaron Bycoffe and David Wasserman present a clever online tool wherein the user can play with the demographics of the 2016 election. Devout marxists might not like the assumptions implicit in the demographic categories, but check it out HERE.

163-2 DSA News

Tabling for Sanders
DSA members have been active circulating petitions to get delegates committed to Bernie Sanders on the Democratic primary ballot, particularly in the 7th Congressional District where folks from GOPDSA have been particularly active. On December 13, they organized a table at a west-side Chicago flea market. The table was staffed by DSA members from across the Chicago area. For more photos, CLICK HERE.

Fighting Back Against the Rising Tide of Nativist and Racist Reaction
Adopted by the DSA National Political Committee on December 1, the statement begins:

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) call on all progressives across the United States to join together in a broad coalition against the rising tide of racist and nativist politics in the United States. The nativist fear-mongering by one Democratic and 27 Republican governors about the alleged threat posed to U.S. residents by Syrian refugees (themselves often fleeing ISIL violence) and undocumented immigrants obscures the true violent threat to our collective security: nativist, racist and misogynist terrorism.

MORE.

Solidarity with the Muslim Community
A statement by the YDS Coordinating Committee, adopted December, 2015, begins:

History has shown us that fear-mongering and hatred towards certain minority groups is nothing new when it comes to political elections. Various societies over different periods of time have shown this to be true. A notable example is the hatred directed towards the Jewish community by the Nazis in Germany. Unfortunately, this year has proven that fear-mongering tactics are not for the history books but something we, as Democratic Socialists, need to fight in our current political climate.

MORE.

DSA in the News

At the Wall Street Journal (page 1!), Peter Nicholas wrote about the DSA National Convention, including quotes from several members, including Chicago DSA member Julie Allison. Peter Nicholas also posted a Wall Street Journal blog entry about Bernie Sanders, DSA, and democratic socialism, including a video that summarizes the entry. It being The Wall Street Journal, after all, the articles (particularly the video) were picked up by multiple sites.

Joseph Schwartz discussed the role of socialism in mainstream U.S. politics, including the Sanders campaign, and mentioned DSA in passing at In These Times.

At The Nation, Liza Featherstone recommends the Young Democratic Socialists as one of several possible cures for the violent.

Coverage at Hot Indie News of a Dump Trump / Refugees Welcome demonstration included a photo of the DSA contingent.