[Link] Scoring points by being cynical

Basically, the understanding is that whoever can paint the darkest possible portrait of the status quo is the one who is showing the most commitment to the cause. And you see this norm at work across climate change, health care, criminal justice reform, the economy, and everything else. If you’re not saying the sky is falling, that shows you don’t really care. A true comrade in the struggle would deny that any progress has been made or insist that any good news is trivial.

I tend to think this approach to politics is counterproductive — it’s psychologically and emotionally exhausting, out of touch with people’s lived experience of the world, and ultimately demoralizing and un-motivating.

Original source: Scoring points by being cynical

Link: Government services must go digital, lawmakers urge in new bill

“The bill text points to an Internal Revenue Service report in which the agency shares that, for the fiscal 2014, live assistance cost between $42 and $53 per inbound correspondence. Digital transactions in the same time period, in contrast, cost the IRS just $0.22.”
Original source: Government services must go digital, lawmakers urge in new bill

Link: Government services must go digital, lawmakers urge in new bill

“The bill text points to an Internal Revenue Service report in which the agency shares that, for the fiscal 2014, live assistance cost between $42 and $53 per inbound correspondence. Digital transactions in the same time period, in contrast, cost the IRS just $0.22.”
Original source: Government services must go digital, lawmakers urge in new bill

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid

Rational anaysis is hard to find in real life:

But in Elkhart, people have jobs they didn’t have six years ago, and they’re working more hours. Their homes are worth more than they were before Obama took office, on average, and their paychecks are fatter than they used to be. Yet Obama is, and will likely remain, the president who didn’t do anything right.

Link

Fear of change vs. change is progress

Ezra Klein frames up the election well here:

This is the argument coursing through this election. Democrats believe America’s rising diversity, its increased emphasis on inclusion, is making it greater. Republicans have nominated a candidate who represents and channels the fears of that diversity, the sense of displacement — both real and imagined — that accompanies that inclusion.

Check out a different view from Peter Beinart:

But when Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took the stage later in the evening, the convention began to sound much more like the campaign Gore actually ran: the dark and angry, “people versus the powerful.” Warren said: “I’m worried that opportunity is slipping away for people who work hard and play by the rules.” Sanders talked about “the 40-year decline of our middle class” (40 years that include the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), called American inequality “grotesque,” and said America was moving “toward oligarchy.”

Source: “The Democrats’ message: America is already great. Don’t let Trump screw it up.”