Matt Gardner at the Tax Justice blog hits the nail on the head when discussing the Trump "deal" with the Carrier Corporation: "giving these tax breaks to bad actors such as United Technologies should be seen as an outright capitulation by the incoming Trump administration, rather than as a savvy deal." "For decades, footloose corporations have used the threat of moving jobs to different cities, states or even countries to extract special tax incentives from state and local governments, despite the lack of evidence that these strategies create jobs," he also says. "Company-specific tax breaks reward companies for what they likely would have done anyway." It is rather like handing out cookies for your kids as an "incentive" to do your homework -- rather than handing out the cookies after they get their homework done. And if you wouldn't do that, why would you treat corporations the same way?
Noah Smith at Bloomberg says we should "give the President-elect a chance" on his infrastructure plans before criticizing them. Sorry, but if it looks like dung, why would I "give it a chance" to become meatloaf? Mr. Smith is pointing to the wrong critics, too -- I already said why Ms. Yellen's criticisms are irrelevant; why doesn't Mr. Smith take on David Dayen, for example? And arguing about the benefits of infrastructure spending generally don't justify supporting a particular infrastructure spending plan, particularly Mr. Trump's boutique infrastructure plan. It's enough to make me doubt Mr. Smith's honesty.
Mike Ludwig at TruthOut asks if Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions will "Revamp the War on Drugs to Preserve White Power." Mr. Ludwig's article is an excellent reminder that the "War on Drugs" has always been about race and activism -- you couldn't "make it illegal to be either against the war or black," as Mr. Ehrlichman infamously put it not too long before his death, but you could "get()the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin," and ramp up prosecution of both. Just as we were starting to make some headway against "tough-on-crime" swordfighting, here comes the king of all swordfighters.
Right-wing Civitas Institute lawsuit aims to challenge 90,000 votes cast by North Carolinians who took part in same-day registration in 2016. How do we know this is bullshit? Because Civitas says it thinks its lawsuit will get 3,000 votes thrown out -- and Democrat Roy Cooper currently leads incumbent Governor Pat McCrory by 10,000 votes. And we don't know those 3,000 votes are all Cooper votes, since a disproportionate number of same-day registrants this year were Republicans. I'm OK with calling this a frivolous lawsuit.
Finally, the incomparable Gar Alperovitz describes the necessity of "Building a System-Changing Response to Trump and Trumpism at All Levels." From paragraph two's tabulation of no less than eight sources of intense populist energy, through to paragraph 13's five local movements for "democratized economic institutions," to the final paragraph's reminder that civil rights organizing in Mississippi in the '30s and '40s was "a time of acute brutality and danger," it's clear that few folks see more clearly, or have more good ideas, than Gar Alperovitz.