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Nation of Change in a post entitled Democrats Swipe Right Wing ‘Soundbite Magic’ offers the following as what Democrats will talk about in 2014:

“Democrats will bang the drum this year: 1) to keep government open, 2) raise the minimum wage (with midterm ballot propositions), 3) keep unemployment insurance going, however marginal, 4) defend to the death the sanctity of Medicare and Social Security, 5) urge immigration reform overdo for decades, and 6) take pot shots at the open Citizens United spigot. Most will gingerly endorse climate change and gay rights. This campaign only has to be bold enough to dramatize the rightwing contradiction of spending billions to get elected to government, then methodically gumming up the works to prove that government is the enemy.”

Left out is the relationship between the economy and jobs and income inequality. Andy Stern, speaking at Town Hall in Seattle on January 7, 2014 in a talk entitles “Innovation and the Future of Labor” presented a much more complex dialogue that is emerging and that progressives are talking about. What’s happening is that the “economy” is growing but growth in jobs and wages are not. The issue is not just raising the minimum wage, which is important, but in ensuring that all Americans share in the economic growth, not just the top 1% or 2%.

Stern noted that 11 million jobs were lost since 2008 and only 8 to 9 million have come back. And while GDP has gone up by 50% and profits have gone up 70%, wages have gone up only 4%. The profits have gone to the very wealthy at the top, not to the average wage earner. Since the recession started low wage jobs increased from 24% to a majority now.

Many factors have contributed to this but one Stern spent time discussing was the continued increase in the use of robots. The real emerging issue here is as there is less and less need for human labor how do you provide economic support to the masses of people who really can’t find work through no fault of their own. It is not because they are lazy and want to leech off the employed. Our nation is undergoing a real transition in the nature and composition of its workforce and citizens economic livelihood as a result.

Republicans are not addressing these issues at all, falling back on outdated moral righteousness outrage and blaming government overspending and placing blame for issues like unemployment on the victims. Democrats, while increasingly concerned about the profound changes occurring, need to also update their basic understanding of what is happening and work for solutions to address the new economic reality facing our society.

It is a challenge for all of us but we need to start finding solutions soon. Our economic reality of increased joblessness, decreased wages for most Americans despite economic growth, drastically growing income inequality, increased pressures on many citizens ability to meet basic human needs, and the loss of real opportunity and equality for most citizens to better their economic security is increasingly affecting the future of our nation and its citizens.

Kathleen Drew, who is running for Washington Secretary of State, is a top priority race for Progressive Majority. Washington State was one of the first states that Progressive Majority got involved in.  They have has a good record of helping to elect progressive candidates and are now involved in campaigns in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas in addition to Washington.

Besides Kathleen Drew, here are the other candidates Progressive Majority is prioritizing for help in the Nov 6, 2012 General Election:

Steve Bergquist, State Representative, District 11

Roslynne Reed, Mason County Commissioner, District 2

Marcus Riccelli, State Representative, District 3

Tom Riggs, State Representative, District 10

David Sawyer, State Representative, District 29

Yoshie Wong, State Senator, District 28

 Linda Wright, State Representative, District 39

Here is the short writeup Progressive Majority put up about Kathleen Drew.

Kathleen Drew Kathleen Drew is running for Secretary of State in the state of Washington. She is the only Democratic woman running for constitutional statewide office this year and if elected, will be the first Democrat elected Secretary of State in Washington since 1960. A long-time resident of Washington, Kathleen has a long record of public service marked by the successful advocacy for issues ranging from ethics to environment. In 1992, Kathleen was elected to the State Senate, becoming the youngest woman ever to hold that office. As a public servant, Kathleen wrote the state’s ethics laws for state employees and elected officials and worked with three west coast governors to promote ocean health.
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