I noticed this too:
The treatment of the poor and unemployed isn’t where the economic progressive line is drawn. Ensuring that the most vulnerable are well taken care of in society is a bare minimum standard. The energy behind the cause of income inequality is about increasing the negotiating power of workers across the spectrum while disincentivizing the hollowing out and rent-seeking of the economy by the parasitic asset classes. Progressive action on income inequality is about expanding Social Security, reinvesting in pensions, eliminating student loan debt, raising the capital gains tax, instituting a financial transaction tax, reinstating Glass Steagall, expanding labor unions, enhancing worker protections, and a host of similar issues designed to maximize middle class negotiating power.
Dealing with the long-term unemployed and the minimum wage only barely scratches the surface of the conversation on income inequality. It’s a conversation to which the comfortable asset classes would like to limit the conversation, because it allows them to wedge the middle class against the poor, when the real divide is between the 1% and 99%.
While it’s great—and necessary—to focus on policy prescriptions like making the unemployment insurance program consistent with the length of long-term joblessness in America, and raising the minimum wage, the real labor problem in our country has to do with the inability of the middle class to bargain for an appropriate wage. It has to do with the lack of employment security across a whole range of industries and regions. Extended UI does not address that. Minimum wage does not address that.
If the Democrats just focus on the bare minimums, i.e. “starting in the middle”, they are going to get negotiated down once again. This is the recurring pattern of the 2010’s, which really started incubating when? 1990s? 1970s?