Ready for the New Economy Press Breakfast
Third Way President Jon Cowan hosted Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D-DE), former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and New Democrat movement founder Elaine Kamarck to issue a warning to the Democratic Party about the political perils of economic populism and to unveil a major new report, Ready for the New Economy. The report, which includes more than 70 policy ideas to create more skills, jobs, and wealth for the middle class, will serve as the centrist Democratic alternative to economic populism.
“The left’s retro economic populism does not work substantively or politically and has cost Democrats the House and the Senate,” said Cowan. “To regain majorities and boost middle class prosperity, Democrats must move past populism and embrace a modern, pro-growth economic message and agenda. It’s time for Democrats to be Democrats, not Socialists.”
The bold, actionable, and fully paid-for ideas in our report make the twin forces of globalization and technological change work for Americans—not against them. They usher in a skills revolution through the entire learning lifecycle so that far more Americans possess the skills to get and hold 21st century middle class jobs. They boost private sector job creation by lowering barriers to exports overseas and jobs here at home, all while increasing job-creating public investments. And they give Americans a better shot at financial security with over $500 billion in wealth-building policies.
“The latest broadside in the Democratic Party's internal rift over the economy runs 52 pages and begins not with a screed about Wall Street, but with a story about a camera company. It's the tale of Kodak, once a production and job-creation giant until it was, almost overnight, crushed under the wheels of the digital photography revolution. The centrist Democratic think tank Third Way offers the company's decline as a telling example of what's ailing America's stagnant middle class — and as a counter to the emerging liberal consensus that the rules of the economy have been "rigged" against workers in recent decades.”
The Economist: “If Hillary Clinton wins she will face a hostile Congress. This reality is shaping her pitch”
“Thoughtful centrists have begun urging Democrats to prepare for divided government, notably at a recent meeting at Third Way, a think-tank in Washington.”
“Third Way says a better agenda focuses on growth by promoting skills, job growth and wealth creation without adding to deficits or raising taxes on the middle class. Its report outlines a series of policies it says can do this, including new employer-provided pension savings programs and a plan that promotes mortgage-equity buildup.”
“Is the system dangerously tilted in favor of what Sanders terms “the billionaire class,” and the fix therefore primarily redistributive? Or, as centrist Democratic groups such as Third Way contend, has the modern global economy fundamentally changed in ways that require expanding opportunity for participation, not simply rearranging stacked deck chairs?”
The worry of the centrists: “Left-wing economic populism,” said Jon Cowan, the president of the Third Way, a Democratic public policy organization, at a briefing where the group laid out a manifesto — a menu of ideas for Democrats to consider — including a regional minimum wage boost, not the national increase embraced by President Barack Obama on down.
“At an event…at Third Way, the centrist organization’s President, Jon Cowan, was flanked by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Democratic leaders from the Clinton era to announce an alternative economic plan in response to the populist approach pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s main opponent in the Democratic presidential primaries.”
“Centrist Democrats, including Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, are warning fellow party members that the economic populism championed by the left wing risks “political perils,” and they’re offering an alternative. A report unveiled…by the centrist group Third Way, Markell and others includes more than 70 “fully paid-for” policy ideas they say would create new skills, jobs and wealth for the middle class.”
“Third Way’s report recommends a number of steps it says will bring in more voters. Its recommendations include a push for a smaller minimum wage hike than some populists have proposed, adjusted by region and based on economic differences. The report also offers suggestions its authors say will help the party pave a more future-oriented strategy, including a “skills revolution” that gives more access to quality pre-K.”