Background Briefing: July 2, 2018
Hope and Joy in Mexico
We begin with the blowout victory of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, affectionately known as AMLO, in the Mexican elections where he won the presidency with twice as many votes as his nearest rival while his party Morena captured 260 of the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 65 of the 128 seats in Mexico’s Senate. Margarita Favela, a professor of Political Science at the National Autonomous University in Mexico where she researches social movements and political institutions, joins us to discuss the revival of hope and a sense of joy in Mexico. We analyze whether this clean sweep will cleanse the political landscape now that a revolutionary Leftist populist leader who ran against endemic corruption and rampant violence will hold the powerful presidency for six years. And we assess whether AMLO will be able to change the system with the help of his new Morena Party in the congress who, like him will not be taking bribes. Although AMLO ran against the very corrupt establishment he now has to negotiate with, Margarita Favela predicts the new president’s first two years will not be confrontational, but in the last four, the changes the Mexican people are demanding and expect, will be realized.
Democrat’s Massive Mistake of Calling to Abolish ICE
Then we speak with Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton Universityabout his concerns that the Democrats are making a big mistake in calling for the abolition of the federal agency ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He is the co-host of the “Politics & Polls” podcast and joins us to discuss his article at CNN “Abolish ICE is a massive political mistake” and argue that at a time when the focus should be on Trump’s cruel and immoral border policies, Democrats are undercutting their own message as Senators Warren and Gillibrand play into Trump’s hands by allowing him to brand Democrats as advocates of open borders.
We Will Be Paying More for Mortgages, Car Loans and Credit Cards
Then finally we examine the latest warning from the Federal Reserve’s forecasters that the federal funds rate currently at 1.9% is headed to 3.4% by the end of 2020, meaning that we be paying more for mortgages, car loans and credit cards. Dean Baker, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research who writes the popular economics blog “Beat the Press”, joins us to discuss how the economy appears to be improving while the net worth of the richest Americans is up an average of 27% but for what is left of the middle class, wealth has declined by 20 to 30% as Trump’s tax cuts for the rich cut into their share of the pie.