Thursday, May 11, 2006

Am I a Liberal?

Atrios posted a list of policies that he thought most liberals would agree on a while back. He was trying to counter centrist (DLC) arguments that the liberal blogosphere had extremist viewpoints. But it turned out to be an interesting list anyway. Kevin Drum refined it a bit, and then today I saw that Dan Drezner went through it to see where he stood (he concluded he's 36.6% liberal). So anyway I figured I would do the same, just for the hell of it:
  • Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration Yes.

  • Repeal the estate tax repeal Yes! I'm all for capitalism, and I recognize that people need something to work for. But inheritance (i.e. lack of inheritance taxation) screws it all up because some kids have huge advantages over others.

  • Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI
    No. Not a big fan of minimum wages. They often lead to higher unemployment (as in Europe). Some amount of workers rights, yes. But minimum wages are not necessary and fraught with market-distorting problems.

  • Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one) YES! It would cut the paper-pusher/doctor ratio at most medical offices dramatically, vastly improve healthcare for the bottom 50% of the population, and decrease overall healthcare spending and waste.

  • Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation Yes (even without knowing the details). The US is far too polluted.

  • Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise. Yes.

  • Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code Big yes to both.

  • Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination. Yes.

  • Reduce corporate giveaways Yes.

  • Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan Sure (don't know what this would entail but Atrios is usually pretty smart about this stuff).

  • Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions. No. At least not without careful research. Mucking with established corporate law is often counter-productive and may produce undesired results.

  • Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too. Yes.

  • Paper ballots Whatever.

  • Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter. Yes.

  • Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes. Not sure.

  • Marriage rights for all, which includes "gay marriage" and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens. Yes.

So that's 12 yes, 2 no and 2 don't know, which comes out to 86% liberal.

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