I thought the President was great Tuesday.
Friendly, decent, agile, reassuring, optimistic, empathetic, visionary, energetic.
And — writes Josh Barro — effective:
Biden’s State of the Union Was a Feisty Return to ’90s Politics. Republicans Should Be Afraid.
I’m 10 months late posting this, but — even as inflation is on its way back down (wholesale egg prices have collapsed!) — I think it’s worth amplifying:
Corporate profits are half the inflation problem.
. . . The price of just about everything in the U.S. economy can be broken down into the three main components of cost. These include labor costs, nonlabor inputs, and the “mark-up” of profits over the first two components. Good data on these separate cost components exist for the nonfinancial corporate (NFC) sector—those companies that produce goods and services—of the economy, which makes up roughly 75% of the entire private sector.
Since the trough of the COVID-19 recession in the second quarter of 2020, overall prices in the NFC sector have risen at an annualized rate of 6.1%—a pronounced acceleration over the 1.8% price growth that characterized the pre-pandemic business cycle of 2007–2019. Strikingly, over half of this increase (53.9%) can be attributed to fatter profit margins, with labor costs contributing less than 8% of this increase. This is not normal. From 1979 to 2019, profits only contributed about 11% to price growth and labor costs over 60%, as shown in Figure A below.
From: Ben Wikler, WisDems Chair
To: Interested Parties
On April 4, 2023, Wisconsinites will vote to fill an open seat on the state Supreme Court—in an election that will determine whether that body will have a conservative or a progressive majority until 2025. This race will shape voting rights, decisions on election subversion, legislative district lines, and so much more—and will likely have a larger effect on the 2024 presidential race than any other contest in the country in 2023.
Over these last two presidential cycles, the state Supreme Court has played an outsized role in shaping the electoral playing field and the powers of government in ways that have systematically advantaged Republicans in Wisconsin.
Currently, three independent and relatively progressive Justices serve on the nominally nonpartisan court, along with three hard-right Republican, and one conservative, Brian Hagedorn, who occasionally declines to take the most extreme GOP position. Wisconsin was the state that came closest in the country to overturning the results of the 2020 election; only Hagedorn’s decision to side with the three
non-GOP-aligned Justices led to Trump’s suit losing 4-3.
With a conservative justice retiring, April 4 represents a chance to flip an open seat—which could lead to a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority ready to adopt far less gerrymandered state legislative maps, defend voting rights, rule that Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban is invalid, and otherwise side with the law rather than Republican ideology. Fair maps, in turn, could open the door to contested legislative majorities in 2024 and the possibility of winning a blue trifecta in Wisconsin in 2024 or 2026.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin intends to fully support the more progressive candidate in this nonpartisan contest. In keeping with other recent high-stakes races here, this is likely to be the most expensive Supreme Court race in Wisconsin history.
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It could have been called Zionism for Dummies and is written by an actress/model/producer who went to Burning Man dressed as Lawrence of Arabia. If you’re concerned about the plight of the Palestinians (and who can fail to be?), read Noa Tishby’s Israel to check your perceptions.
Have a great weekend!
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