Smart Ideas: The Super-Rich, Hillary’s Tactics, and Trump’s Foreign Policy

Gulfstream business jets in Hong Kong
AP Photo/Kin Cheung, file
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April 13, 2016, 8 p.m.

It's not about the 1 percent. It's about the 0.1 percent.

Lynn Stuart Parramore, writing for AlterNet

“It’s not the 1 percent you should worry about—it’s the .01 percent. … These are the wildly exotic and rapidly growing plants in our economic hothouse. Their habits and approaches to life are far divorced from the rest of us, and if we let them, they will soon cut off all our air and light.” The “lower-uppers”—the doctors, lawyers, and accountants that make up the bulk of the 1 percent—are not the natural allies of the super-wealthy tycoons and hyper-elites. Rather, they should work with the 99 percent to rein in the elites, or else “inequality will continue to grow and that .01 percent will continue to explode because the returns on their wealth exceed increases in salaries and income” for everyone else. “By seriously taxing our wealthiest households, we could raise significant revenues and invest these funds to expand wealth-building opportunities across the economy.”

A Trump foreign policy vision actually exists

Rosa Brooks, writing for Foreign Policy

“[D]espite the contradictions, misstatements, and near-total absence of actual facts,” Donald Trump is “nonetheless articulating a coherent vision of international relations and America’s role in the world. … In his inimitable way, Trump is offering a powerful challenge to many of the core assumptions of Washington’s bipartisan foreign-policy elite,” and those challenges demand answers other than “tired clichés.” For example, why “does the United States need to keep troops in Japan, or Germany, or Kuwait? Would the sky really fall if the United States had fewer forward-deployed troops? What contingencies are we preparing for? … Does a U.S. alliance with the Saudis truly offer more benefits than costs?” In looking to negotiate from strength, Trump’s vision is “realist, transactional, and Machiavellian—and it demands a serious, thoughtful, and nondefensive response.”

CO2 output doesn't have to grow along with GDP

Robinson Meyer, writing for The Atlantic

For the second straight year, “global GDP grew in 2015 while global carbon emissions stayed flat,” breaking a 200-year-old link between the two. In fact, 21 countries with developed economies have shrunk their carbon outputs while growing their economies since 2000. The United States leads this trend, reducing carbon output 6 percent since 2010. “Given the grave consequences of carbon emissions, it seems no exaggeration to call this the most important political-economy news this millennium. CO2 emissions aren’t just another economic indicator.”

Clinton besting Sanders through micro-targeting

David Catanese, writing for U.S. News & World Report

Behind Hillary Clinton’s success in New York thus far is a highly targeted approach. She’s taken to hosting events that target “a particular subset of voters, allowing her to narrowcast a specific message that resonates with them. Whether it be women, African-Americans or seniors, the Clinton operation is ever cognizant about catering to a targeted group’s sweet spots.” For example, on Equal Pay Day this week, Clinton held a roundtable discussion that included soccer star Megan Rapinoe, and pushed for the Paycheck Fairness Act. Bernie Sanders, by contrast, has stuck to his well-worn tactic of the “mega-rally.”

Hillary Clinton, joined by World Cup soccer champion Megan Rapinoe, speaks during a Glassdoor Pay Equality Roundtable on Tuesday in New York. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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