Pre debate podcast

S3E23:ABC 2020 Pre Debate Podcast

The ABC News 2020 Democratic debate is this Thursday and we at The World As I Like It To Be podcast will be focusing the next few episode on the debate.

In our pre debate podcast we focus on the top issues each candidate is running on and if it is a winning or losing position.

With me is Denise from California.

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First up is Andrew Yang, a tech entrepreneur, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, then former housing secretary, Julián Castro and Former Representative of Texas Beto O’Rourke.

Take a listen:

The Universal Basic Income

Listeners wanting to learn more about the Mississippi experiment with the universal basic income can take a look at the Washington Post article.

One of the things we do not mention is how dramatically the relationship between the participants and money changed.  From the article:

Gray’s relationship with money changed dramatically. She used to want to put her children in the hottest clothes to prove that she was providing for them, but now saw the value of visiting the clearance racks. She paid off $4,000 in credit card debt. She found an $11-an-hour teaching job at a preschool and another part-time job, so she could save more money. As her new bank account grew from zero to $1,000 to $2,000, she began looking to leave the projects.

When a friend told her about a program to help low-income families buy houses, she decided to apply.

In April, Gray learned that her application had been approved. A local affiliate with the faith-based Habitat for Humanity would provide her with a no-interest, 30-year mortgage after a $1,000 down payment for a renovated home.

Gray had to agree to attend financial literacy workshops and complete 125 hours of “sweat equity” — hammering nails, painting and doing other tasks with the volunteers that Habitat uses to keep costs low.

Gray would go on to help build her house, educate her children all while saving $13,000 in her bank account by the end of the program.

Inequality at Davos

For those interested in watching the videos we discussed in today’s podcast, take a look:

First, Michael Dell Schooled by MIT Professor

 Next, Historian Rutger Bregman berates billionaires at World Economic Forum over tax avoidance:

Amy Klobuchar abusive boss claims

Denise and I make fun of the Minnesota senator on claims she is abusive to her staff.  As we discussed in a previous podcast and blog, those claims are not without merit.

In an essay, from February of this year, Vanity Fair reported on the claims of staffers:

Klobuchar’s alleged temper was not unknown in Washington. Last year, The New York Times noted that, “On Capitol Hill, Ms. Klobuchar’s reputation is not all sweetness and light.” A March 2018 article in Politico described Klobuchar as among the “worst bosses in Congress,” with the highest office turnover rate in the Senate. But the new details reported by BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, if true, are particularly damning. BuzzFeed reviewed e-mails, often sent between 1 and 4 in the morning, in which Klobuchar “regularly berated employees, often in all capital letters, over minor mistakes, misunderstandings, and misplaced commas. Klobuchar, in the e-mails, which were mostly sent over the past few years, referred to her staff’s work as ‘the worst in . . . years,’ and ‘the worst in my life.’”

As for allegations she threw objects at people, the articles goes on to quote one staffer saying:

That anger regularly left employees in tears, four former staffers said. She yelled, threw papers, and sometimes even hurled objects; one aide was accidentally hit with a flying binder, according to someone who saw it happen, though the staffer said the senator did not intend to hit anyone with the binder when she threw it.

“I cried. I cried, like, all the time,” said one former staffer.

[ . . . ]

When staffers made mistakes, the emails show, she reamed them out—and sometimes, emails show, threatened to fire them—over threads that included many of their colleagues.

Long standing abuse claims

The article goes on to mention the abuse was so bad, then senate majority leader Harry Reid had to speak to Klobuchar and insist she change her ways.

As we mentioned in the podcast, the senator defended herself as being a “demanding” boss.  Business Insider and the Huffington Post her office has said:

“Senator Klobuchar loves her staff ― they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today,” her campaign said in a statement to the Huffington Post. “She has many staff who have been with her for years ― including her Chief of Staff and her State Director, who have worked for her for 5 and 7 years respectively ― and many who have gone on to do amazing things.”

In an open letter to editors, 60 former Klobuchar staffers accused news outlets who published negative stories about Klobuchar, including The New York Times, of not including the “positive anecdotes and stories” many of them had shared with the Times and other publications.

But the charges levied against her goes back over a decade to before her time as a senator.

Klobuchar has been openly criticized for her management style going back as early as 2002, when she served as the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County in Minnesota.

One local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union — which represented many attorneys employed by Klobuchar’s office — requested that the union not endorse her 2006 Senate bid over her treatment of aides and prosecutors in the office, according to a letter reported on by the Huffington Post.

The letter charged that Klobuchar “created a hostile work environment” for employees, “refused to support their efforts for a fair wage adjustment” and “severely damaged the morale of the office.”

And Klobuchar her self-admitted to being somewhat abusive at a CNN Town Hall:

“Am I a tough boss sometimes? Yes,” she said. “Have I pushed people too hard? Yes. But I have kept expectations for myself that are very high. I’ve asked my staff to meet those same expectations.”

Castro’s ad to Donald Trump

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

In our podcast I mention Thomas Piketty’s famous book. Below is an affiliate link to the book for those who may be interested:

The right to bear arms

Finally, I mentioned Buzzfeed’s article on the shifting “right to bear arms” debate in the country:

Check In his book Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, as well as in a seminal 2011 piece in the Atlantic on the subject, UCLA law professor Adam Winkler details a counterintuitive history of gun control. The 1967 California bill and the Black Panthers’ protest of it are a significant part of that history, and worth revisiting because they remind us that the debate around how to address gun violence has not always been nearly as partisan, or entrenched, as it is today. And, as with so many other issues in American politics, the debate has actually been in large part about race. out the following video to learn more.

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