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April 05, 2006

Better than you portray

[Posted comment to David Sirota's blog post Wall Street Dems unveil plans to undermine the progressive movement regarding the recently announced Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institute 4/4/2006]

After reading some of their materials, as well as your excerpt, I find the Hamilton Project's overall goals actually very aligned with progressives. 

The teacher's union in Oregon has fought for seniority over meritocracy -- that's not a good thing for our kids educations, so if that is the sort of thing the Hamilton Project are willing to go up against at the teachers unions, that is a good thing.  There are plenty of good things the union fights for, and ought to fight for, but the lack of accountability of a seniority-based rather than  meritocracy-based advancement system is <em>not</em> something to support.

The glaring “error of omission” in the Hamilton Project is that although they propose addressing the issues of dislocation from globalization, they appear to take no stand for “fair trade” against “free trade”.  The right-wing “free markets” dogma needs to be replaced with the more reasoned democratic capitalism (which they refer to) which is the real, and even Hamiltonian, American economic model. 

To me, for example, this means also not allowing a global system in which we out-source our pollution or labor exploitation with the jobs, thus “externalizing” public “bads” ... all the way to another country unequiped to deal with it.

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