Corporate phonies: the “progressive” policy institute

Editor’s Note: This post comes from my my radical friend, only calling himself Sir Moneypants. Still a good post, regardless.

Before you get fooled by these clever assholes, one needs a refresher on who these people really are. According to Wikipedia and likely noted elsewhere, the “Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)…[which] argued [that] the United States Democratic Party should shift away from the leftward turn it took in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s…hailed President Bill Clinton…[and created an] affiliated think tank [named] the Progressive Policy Institute.” This article will go a little in depth into what this group actually stands for. Burkely and his snide commentary starts NOW!

What they stand for?

The status quo. They describe themselves as having “a long legacy of promoting break-the-mold ideas aimed at economic growth, national security and modern, performance-based government” and a “unique mix of political realism and policy innovation continues to make it a leading source of pragmatic and creative ideas.” What’s the policy initiatives they want? More nationalism! Advancing “progressive, market-friendly ideas that promote American innovation, economic growth and wider opportunity.” I’m not sure what ‘progressive’ means to them but it sure of hell doesn’t mean what Americans or people in the whole world think progressive means. Yay they want to remove “governmental barriers to innovation, including antitrust, and regulatory reform; tax policy; trade; education and workforce development; infrastructure and telecom.” More deregulation! Oh wait. Wasn’t one of the conclusions of the very mild Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that didn’t hold anyone accountable that “widespread failures in financial regulation and supervision proved devastating to the stability of the nation’s financial markets”? Yes it was. They support what they call ‘energy realism’ but what I call energy (un)realism. They want Obama’s a lot of dirty energy and little renewable all-of-the-above strategy it seems:we focus on natural gas, nuclear and renewables as keys to greater energy independence and new jobs.” So, they must love fracking, the unregulated nature of nuclear power. They want “medical innovation, ” believing in “more innovation…[to raise] raising productivity growth in health care and bringing down costs.” Like that will actually lower costs. Utter bullshit. “We promote FDA regulatory reform and seek to change the debate around innovation’s role in controlling costs.” Same thing as before. Bullshit. They want a “robust housing market and a healthy balance between government and private capital.” This just reminds me of the time Obama said “private capital should take a bigger role in the mortgage market. I know that sounds confusing to folks who call me a socialist — I think I saw some posters there on the way in…But I actually believe in the free market.” Yeah. That ridiculousness. “our work focuses on housing and homeownership..” Sure it does. In screwing over the homeowner. “Fannie and Freddie reform, financial services regulation and retirement security.” Oh, so more deregulation and austerity. That isn’t the answer AT ALL.

Who sits on their staff?

WILL MARSHALL, the president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute.

We’ll let his bio speak for itself: “Marshall is an honorary Vice-President of Policy Network, an international think tank launched by Tony Blair to promote progressive policy ideas throughout the democratic world.” Yay a league with a war criminal! (as noted here, here , here, and by this guy). “Marshall currently serves on the board of directors for the National Endowment for Democracy.” Oh yeah, supporting imperialism worldwide, imposing corporate-friendly governments! Woohoo! Read more here.

LINDSAY MARK LEWIS, executive director of the Progressive Policy Institute.

The bio speaks for itself: “Prior to joining PPI, Lewis was vice president of the 21st Century Democrats. From 2005-2006, he was the National Finance Director for Democratic National Committee, where he founded the Democracy Bonds program. Lewis worked for Minority Leader Rep. Richard A. Gephardt from 1992-1999. He has also worked for Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), [corporatist] Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Gray Davis for Governor of California, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Tom Harkin for President, and Democracy for America [a Democratic Party front group].”

MICHAEL MANDEL, the chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute.

Let the bio speak for itself:

“Dr. Michael Mandel is chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, where he supervises PPI’s research and policy work across a wide range of topics, including the data-driven economy, the impact of regulation on innovation, and policies to improve production, investment and job growth…Mandel recently testified before Congress on impact of regulation on innovation. Mandel also holds an appointment as senior fellow at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as president and founder of South Mountain Economics LLC, which provides expertise on emerging occupations and emerging industries…Mandel received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and formerly served as chief economist at BusinessWeek, where he directed the magazine’s coverage of the domestic and global economies.”

STEVEN CHLAPECKA, the director of public affairs for the Progressive Policy Institute.

Let the bio speak for itself:

“Steven K. Chlapecka…served as a communication intern at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and was a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he worked with a visiting scholar researching the future of Ukraine and Russia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and interest in accession into NATO and the European Union. Previously, he also served as an intern for Wesley Clark and Associates, Rep. Vic Snyder (D-AR) and the International Rescue Committee of Dallas.”

DIANA G. CAREW, an economist at the Progressive Policy Institute.

Read part of her bio:

“…At PPI, she works on issues related to innovation and growth in the U.S. economy, including investment, technology policy, and regulatory reform. Carew also leads PPI’s work on the economic obstacles affecting young Americans, covering topics such as student debt, workforce preparedness, and financial security. Prior to joining PPI, Carew was with the Export-Import Bank of the United States….Previously, Carew was with the Bureau of Labor Statistics…She also serves on the Advisory Board for Bucknell’s Institute of Public Policy.”

JASON GOLD, the director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s “Rethinking U.S. Housing Policy Project” and senior fellow for financial services policy.

Read his bio:

“…His areas of expertise include housing, banking, financial services and capital markets. He has been involved in banking and federal policy for over eighteen years….In 2010 he advised the Congressional Oversight Panel in producing the November 2010 oversight report on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)….Gold is a frequent industry speaker and regular contributor to US News and World Report.”

Also, these bastards:

  • JIM ARKEDIS
    Jim Arkedis is a senior fellow at PPI.
  • ROGER BALLENTINE
    Roger Ballentine is a PPI senior fellow and founder and president of Green Strategies, Inc.
  • JOEL BERG
    Joel Berg is executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. He is also the author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?
  • ROGER COOPER
    Roger Cooper is currently the principal of Cleveland Park Policy Consulting.
  • ANNE KIM
    Anne Kim is a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and Senior Strategist at the Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington, D.C.
  • ED KILGORE
    Ed Kilgore is a PPI senior fellow, as well as managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, an online forum.
  • ANDREW KLEIN
    Andrew C. Klein is a Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State University.
  • DAVID OSBORNE
    David Osborne is a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute.
  • MARK REUTTER
    PPI Fellow Mark Reutter is the former editor of Railroad History and author of Making Steel: Sparrows Point and the Rise and Ruin of American Industrial Might (2005, rev. ed.).
  • RAYMOND A. SMITH
    Raymond A. Smith, a PPI Senior Fellow, is an adjunct assistant professor of political science at Columbia University and New York University and an investigator in the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the Columbia University Medical Center.
  • DANE STANGLER
    Dane Stangler is research manager at the Kauffman Foundation.
  • SYLVESTER SCHIEBER
    Sylvester J. Schieber is the former chair of the Social Security Advisory Board.
  • PAUL WEINSTEIN
    Paul Weinstein Jr. is an eight-year veteran of the Clinton Administration and served as senior advisor to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. He is currently a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, an adviser to the Bowles-Simpson Moment of Truth project, and lectures at the Johns Hopkins University.

I could go on an on, listing their contributors and more. But this is enough.

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