Bernie Sanders on Education
You might know ADP as the biggest name payroll, but that's just the beginning because ADP is transforming the way, great work gets done with HR talent time benefits and payroll informed by data and designed for people, that's ADP always designing for people. From the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal. This is Potomac watch. We've Joe Biden dominating the field. Other democratic presidential candidates keep floating proposals to try to break through. And amid and game or primary voters. We'll talk about Bernie Sanders proposal to block new charter schools, and Kamala Harris proposal to bridge, the gender pay gap. What are these candidates just below Joe Biden in the polls, trying to do and who are they trying to peel off from Joe Biden support, welcome? I'm Paul zhigo with the my colleagues here. Kim strassel? Hello, kim. Hi ball and one Kyle Peterson. Hello, kyle. Hello, hello. All right. So let's, let's talk about this. The democratic fields courts fascinating to look, Joe Biden has, I think surprise certainly surprised me with his strength since he announced his candidacy, getting into the race bouncing up to a very solid forty percent. In most polls and solid support from African Americans cruelly crossed the democratic spectrum, and one of the things that people who are suppo-. Putting Joe Biden are saying is that they want to be Donald Trump and Biden looks like the guy who can do it appeal in the midwest, industrial states for one thing appeal with his experience for another, and that's one of the that's seems to be, it's always on the mind at primary voters every presidential election to some extent. But this year seems to be taking on an even more important role. This idea of who can win electability in favor of, of Joe Biden. Never mind that electability is a fairly hard thing to pin down. You never know. Some people thought Don, Donald Trump was not electable turned out to be electable, other people who've said some candidates were sure things didn't win been a lot of those across the years. But right now, the other Democrats in the field are coming up with proposals Kim to try to break through and they seem to be trying to do it. Not on the question of electability, but on policy proposals pay attention to my proposal and here we have one this week came out on the weekend. Bernie Sanders on education, and he came out four square against anymore, new charter schools, and then favor of a lot more of federal spending on education. What's he up to here? Well, just on the broad point, by the way, I. My view is yes. They're trying to break through. But I think the strategy for all of these second tier candidates everyone that is neither, neither Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders is to simply hang on. Right. Because they idea out there is that for all of Joe Biden support, they're still sixty percent of the democratic electorate that has not made up their mind and they're currently all divided between twenty other different candidates. So if you can hang on and other people drop out, you may get that support in the end. And so I, I think that's what is motivating some of this. It's a it's a survival strategy. But Bernie Sanders. It's very clear here, what he's attempting to do. Well, first of all, is to consolidate his union support, obviously teachers unions, etc. They hate charter schools, and they love a bunch of the other parts of Bernie Sanders is new education plan, which fundamentally is all about giving tons of new federal money. Two different schools across the country, public schools. I think this is also weirdly a play for minority support because this was a big problem for Bernie the last time around. He ended the primary with only fourteen percent of the black vote, I'm not necessarily as sir, that, that is wise because while there are civil rights groups out there like the N, double ACP that tend to ally themselves with teachers unions among the black electorate and the Hispanic electorate charter schools are a pretty popular thing. Our colleague, Jason Riley had very good column on this, this week, talking about a poll that was recently done of democratic primary voters and, and of those fifty eight percent of black, democratic primary voters support charter schools as do fifty two percent of Hispanics. So I think that, that's what he's aiming that at, at this at. But I'm not sure that it's as big a winner is he might think. Yeah. That's that is an interesting question. The ACP, of course is financed by unions to a significant degree including the teachers unions, and it's the teachers unions endorsement Kyle. That is the big prize here, the national Education Association, the American federation of teachers, if you have been like me and gone to a democratic presidential convention. You will notice that public unions, are a huge proportion of the delegates in teacher its members of the teachers unions in particular, are big chunk of the delegates, and that endorsement from the NEA and the af tea is a prize thing to get and he's got competition for that. I mean Kamala Harris has talked, I think if I remember properly ten thousand bucks. For each teacher across the country, and Bernie. Here is pitching now a sixty thousand dollar minimum wage for teachers across the country, now that's not going to matter much in New York, where most of them will make more than that. But it probably does in huge chunks of the country, and that would be essentially a public payment from federal government to make up, whatever gap, there is between local pay and sixty K yet there's, there's no doubt that, that union endorsement and organizing is going to be key in the primary, and the general election. But to Kim's point, one of the things that may be interesting to watch here is whether, whether it's sort of drives a wedge into pieces of the democrat coalition. I mean it was very interesting last year the governor's race in Florida. Rhonda, Santa's who ended up winning by very narrow margin. There was some exit polling that showed he had surprisingly high support from particularly African American women. And there was some speculation that maybe that's because he he. Oh, had come out strongly for charter schools for vouchers for school choice and the opponent. They're Andrew gillum had essentially said they wanted he wanted to roll all of that back. So it's it would be interesting to see if that, that wedge continues to exist or even widens in this upcoming election. I mean, the, the, the truth of the matter is that these these, these families just see that charter schools are working one thing, I would throw out, there is a study recently by the national bureau of economic research that was published a Boston, Boston lifted its charter cabin over about four or five years, the number of charter schools in this city essentially doubled the city said of the rules, so that these proven providers were encouraged to start new campuses, and what the study found was that. Those campuses were just as effective as the original so the critique of charters that they don't replicate essentially didn't didn't hold any water, and the and the gains are huge. I also think Kim, that this Sanders proposal is an attempt to have a wedge again. Against Joe Biden, because Biden is member. He was associated for eight years with Barack Obama, who supported charter schools. Now, Bill Clinton, also supported charter schools, both education, secretaries under Barack Obama, Arne Duncan. And John king supported charters. So what is Biden gonna do? Is he going to go left and endorse the, the, the moratorium, which could in turn Kyle suggested give Trump on issues in the presidential election campaign, especially the ability to peel to minority voters? Or is he going to stick with the Obama proposal and, and, and maybe have that become a source of real debate in the primary? Yeah. Of all of the things that Joe Biden has been relatively quiet on. He's been particularly quiet on the question of education. And I think you just put your finger on exactly why it's because the look, if you go back, and you look through Joe Biden's history. He was initially a fan of the no child left behind act, which was George W Bush's education, reform that dealt with standardized testing and other things he has since said he'd soured on that, and a number of people did even some conservatives, but, you know, the, another interesting little story about Joe Biden is his brother, actually runs a for profit charter school chain. Right. Yeah. Drink bite. And by the way on that point of four prophet Sandra's called explicitly for the abolition of any for profit charter schools. Now most charters are nonprofit, but he said he calls for the explicit end of four prophets. I wonder if he knew about Frank Biden, because I didn't. Well, there you go. So I think that could be. Well, he's I think he's the president of it. But but he's certainly is very involved in that movement. And it's that jumped out at me too, and it's what made me remember that detail is, you know, when, when you have critics of charters, it's often they don't necessarily go after the four prophet ones in particular, and it was a big, bold letters and Bernie's plan on his website. You know, we're going to get rid of for profit charter school. So it'll be interesting to see how bind respond to this. But you make a good point here. Paul is it broadly within the Democratic Party. We've seen a big pushback against the reformist, especially in the past decade, the teachers unions, have really made this a litmus test for their support and really started to come down on those Democrats and L for a while. There was a lot of them that were embracing real reform in schools, in particular charter, schools, and experimentation. So by. After all those years association, and clearly families sociation in a long history in the Senate, where he's been on record with a lot of different proposals. I think it's going to be a very difficult area for him. The other the other interesting figure to watch here is Cory Booker, who has a long record of being in favour of school choice and has similarly sort of hedged on it. I haven't seen recent statements from him. But when he first launched his campaign, one of the reporters asked him about that, or you still going to sport school choice. And he responded words the effect of I'm going to run the most pro public school campaign this country's ever seen. So he just completely dodged that question. And if he if he were to get on the debate stage in four weeks four weeks from now and say charter schools saved Newark schools, then then we would have a real debate, I just don't know that we're going to get their keep in mind. Charter schools are public schools. He's on private schools. He's on parochial schools, religious schools. They are public schools are just organized differently. Usually independent of union rules and various other obligations that allow it to operate independently and have different standards. All right. The we're talking about the some of the other democratic presidential candidate proposals other than Joe Biden near listening to Potomac watch from the Wall Street Journal, you might know eighty as the biggest name in payroll. But that's just the beginning because ADP is transforming the way great work gets done with HR talent time benefits and payroll informed by data and designed for people, that's ADP always designing for people. From the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal. This is Potomac watch. Welcome back on Paul's you go with the Kim strassel and Kyle Peterson. And let's take up now Kamala Harris, the Senator from California. She has a new proposal out Kyle to bridge, the so-called gender wage gap between men and women. She citing the familiar, if I think inaccurate proposal figure that women only make eighty percent of male wages overall. There's a lot of reasons for that having to do with life choices and so on. But she has a I think a notable proposal for what to do about it. What is it? Well, essentially, it's the flip the burden of proof. So instead of having employees complained to regulators that my company's discriminate against me, which you can do into current law. Sure, or or filing discrimination lawsuits. She would require any company with over one hundred employees, he's to prove that it is not a -scriminate ING, so within three years of this plan passing any company with a hundred employees would have to get an equal pay certification from the federal government, and the main qualify qualification to get one is they have to prove that, quote to the extent that pay disparities do exist for similar jobs companies will be required to show. The gap is based on merit performance, or seniority, not gender, unquote. So the way this is the trouble is the way this is being reporting reported is just so here's the sub head from vox, if companies don't want to pay women equitably. They will pay a fine. Instead, you know, that seems pretty straightforward, but the problem with that is, it's this huge fudge fudge factor within merit performance, in your d, you know, if you've got a couple of lawyers, and one of them wrote two long briefs, and one of them wrote five short briefs and one of them lost the case in one case, I mean, how do you as a federal regulator? Get involved in a million different companies judging the performance of their employees. It is exceptionally hard. In fact, it's impossible because it pay pay questions. I'm a manager myself and making question decisions about pay are are complicated enough. I mean and the measurements us are, you know, performance based, and obviously some people start, you know, in a lower salary at a comparable age. So they might take a while to catch up even if they're very good. Other people are they jump from a high paying position at another job and you wanna get them. So you. Got to pay him a little more for, for frankly, for comparable work. These are that Enam IX of the marketplace, and they really have nothing to do with discrimination. So Kim, I mean, it's, it's hard for me to believe you're going to have a national pay commissar come in and for every company that has one hundred employees go in there. Please prove to us that you have that this is all based on on merit, and it had the disparities and have nothing to do with discrimination. It's, it's, it's a recipe for essentially politicizing, pay throughout the private economy. Well, it's also a recipe for an incredibly complex system to address something that doesn't really exist. People who have done studies on this opposed pay gap, the complexity of all of the decisions that go to pay of individual person. But if you if you look out and you see these very broad numbers that the left will often cite showing a pay gap in a specific industry when you drill down into it, it, it often, most of that disparity has to do with priorities individual priorities, and choices, you know, women for instance, tend to, to work fewer hours, especially married women with children, because if they're given a choice between overtime, which produces more money or working at home, they or going home and spending more time with their children. Most of them, choose that. And there's a lot of different factors like that, that pay. And when you begin just stripped, those out there isn't really a pay gap at all. So I mean, this is the other thing is sort of making government the solution to a. A non existent problem. And that leads us to the question has wise Kamala Harris doing this, and we were just talking about Bernie Sanders, and, you know, this pitch to minority voters, you know, this is clearly a pitch to women voters for whom especially on the left of this is that this has become a dominating theme. And even though there's not a lot of accuracy to it, by the way, just one small clarification. I looked it up on the break. And Frank Biden is a former charter school executive. Well, that's a. Interesting. And I still think the Bernie will probably bring that up in an entity Kamala Harris is, is languishing. Right now. I think fourth or fifth and the democratic field you've got bide. And then you've got Bernie, then you've got Elizabeth Warren and then she's somewhere in there with a Pete booed edge of the mayor of south bend, and head of Beto Aurora. Former Texas congressman, but I think Harris's calculation is that of the air coups out of the Biden, candidacy candidacy, she's not going to have to run through Warren and, and, and Biden and Bernie, on the left, she can peel off some of their support and an inherent. Whatever Lee whatever support lease Biden. Right. And these, these proposals I think are best understood as bids for attention. I mean, the field is you've got a twenty four candidates. I think at last count. I saw the debate stage is going to be set for twenty so there are some of these people that are not even going to be in the first debate, and they're, they're trying to get their message across they're trying to figure out a way to, to get some attention. Connect with Oaters and to some extent. It seems like it's working. So I saw a recent poll Elizabeth Warren has been at the forefront of just putting out policy white paper after policy white paper, not often not really, really thought through, or great ideas from my point of view. But that's what she's been doing. And I saw a poll recently that, you know, the most liberal members of the democratic coalition now prefer her as a candidate to Bernie Sanders. So it seems like there's some indication that this, this churn of white papers is, is getting some has having some effect man to interesting. And of course, Biden is not be bind as being as unspecific as possible. I think in his policy proposals aiming his campaign directly at Donald Trump taking Trump on and saying it's a matter of presidential decorum, I'm going to bring normalcy and respect back to the White House without making a lot of policy proposals. And I think the will the other Democrats are trying to test to see. If that is, in fact, a strategy that can persist under pressure with everybody else coming out with, with a lot of ideas. Kim. Yeah. And it's a question that I don't think can be a lasting one. I think he can get away with it now and it's probably wise for him. Right. Because it's the best way for him to avoid this giant divide in the party at the moment between the progressive wing, that wants a lot more radical proposals at a more moderate wing, that is looking more for a return to the Obama years, sort of the way to go. And so this allows them to ignore it. But can he do it forever? Probably not because at some point here again, remember and it won't likely come until after the debates, but some people are going to drop out. They're going to run out of money they're going to realize they don't have a shot, and then you're going to start getting people mounting behind a progressive candidate on the other side. And I think that, that's where this ends up going as Biden versus a. Progressive. And then he's going to have to address some of these policy issues, but, but by holding his fire now he kind of preserves his optionality so he can tailor his message later, to whatever whoever that opponent the opponent that he ends up facing is, which is the trouble of putting on all these policy papers. I mean especially on the green new deal, there's been kind of a rising of the figures. You know, my new green green new deal six trillion, and yours is eight trillion Biden by not participating in that, you know, when we get down the road, and he's mono Amano you know, if somebody has five trillion he can say, two trillion, which is a figure that is a maybe we'll be enough to placate some of the progressive base. While also seeming more realistic to the, the moderate center of the party and the first test of this will be in the debates you mentioned late in June. Oh, joy. Democratic presidential debates are already here or. It be in a month. All right. Thank you, Kim. Thank you. Kyle. Thank you all for listening. We'll be back later in the week with another addition of Potomac watch.