Saturday, November 18, 2006

Marriage Amendment Side Effects May Include...

Republicans thought of the marriage amendment as a miracle drug that would pull their electoral asses out of the fire. Unfortunately (for them) the side effect of increased swing voter turnout often proved deadly in this strongly Democratic year.

But there's another interesting side effect that I haven't seen discussed anywhere. The marriage amendment is going to increase state taxes.


By passing the amendment Wisconsin effectively reduced the potential labor pool for state jobs. Gays, lesbians, and unmarried couples will tend to go elsewhere, either into the private sector, which can still offer domestic partner benefits, or out of state.

When you cut supply, prices go up. That's basic economics, and it's just as true for labor as it is for material goods. The effect will be gradual and hard to measure, but it will happen. And the money the state potentially saves by not offering domestic partner benefits will not make up for the higher salaries necessary to attract and retain workers.

So the next time you run into someone who supported the amendment, be sure to thank them for voting to raise their own taxes.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Righty 'Toons

In case you haven't noticed, I like editorial cartoons. In a single glance a good cartoon can convey complex ideas that would take paragraphs to explain. And cartoons are a valuable tool to reach people who are otherwise very unlikely to engage in politics.

Usually I present cartoons with a left or centrist point of view, but there are a number of cartoonists, a few of them quite good, on the right side of the political spectrum. Their work represents a very different point of view, and I thought it would be interesting to show some examples because they give us a window into the conservative mind.

This set of cartoons is about the elections. The bitterness is obvious, but they express true and deep fears about the new direction America is going.

For more check out these sites: (great site, not just righty cartoons)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Jessica McBride Likes Me!!!

This is a little weird.

Jessica McBride, the wicked witch of the Midwest, wrote a rather complimentary piece about my analysis of the AG race. Of course she used it as a chance to take some cheap shots at Kathleen Falk. And to give props to her husband, Republican primary AG candidate Paul Bucher. But overall it was ... pretty nice!

I guess I'm just not being mean enough to Republicans. I promise I'll try harder!

Seriously, although I'm about as partisan as they come, the whole point of the analysis I do is to find the truth, and the truth doesn't take sides.

My goal is to understand why we win or lose so that we can do a better job in future elections. I also want to get this information out to the progressive base because the better informed we are the more powerful we become. And I want to dispel some of the unjustifiable opinions that are floating around, because they tend to lead us into intellectual dead ends that damage the progressive movement.

And finally, I hope that this my work will put some pressure on the MSM to do a better job of election analysis down the road. Because the job they're doing now, as a general rule, sucks.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006