Blog Post Opinion Politics

How Policy Matters

There is an old adage in American politics that people vote for character and values, not policies.

And while character and values may very well be the best way to position a candidate to win an election, policy is how the the consequences of our electoral processes impact our lives.

In new research from Marquette University, Philip Rocco examines the role that state budget shortfalls have had in encouraging premature reopening , and ascribes these decisions to the failure of the CARES Act to provide any meaningful relief to states or local municipalities.

Rocco’s research found that Holding all other variables constant, a shift in states’ revenue share derived from the income tax from 5 to 10 percent is associated with a 43 percent increase in the probability of reopening.”

Writing on the study in the American Prospect, David Dayen concludes:

If economic precarity played a role in reopening, and induced states to reopen early, then the CARES Act could have put states at ease by ensuring fiscal support. Nearly four months later, no such support has arrived, practically every state has reopened, and we have virtually the same level of outbreak we did then, completely wasting the lockdown. The CARES Act structure helped lead to that outcome. “This is, I think, very much the story,” Rocco said.

You can put on a partisan hat, blame it on Trump, blame it on idiots like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey. They certainly all were bad at their jobs. But you can’t discount that the CARES Act’s lack of fiscal aid nudged states to reopen early. We now have some evidence suggesting that to be true. And the effect of that was catastrophic.

The massive surge in COVID-19 cases as a result of premature reopening and the CARES Act’s indifference to state and local relief is but one example of how policy impacts our lives.

Another example is that 5.4 million American families lost health insurance during a pandemic, but because of a recession. Let that sink in.

And yet a third sits behind the backdrop of the protests that have rocked the country over the past two months since George Floyd’s murder. The “systemic” part of systemic racism isn’t just confined to the hearts and minds of Americans, it is has been turned into policy, and written into law – sometimes obviously, but other times more insidiously.

Policy matters. Elections have consequences, but policy changes lives and often continues long after the leaders we voted for retire from public life.  Americans who have committed to learning, listening and personal change as they rethink society in these tumultuous times should question not only what they think individually, but also the consequences of what we do collectively.

Blog Post Data

Trump vs. Fauci

Per NBC news yesterday:

The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings of the U.S. coronavirus response.

Dr. Fauci continues to enjoy higher ratings than President Trump when it comes to his trustworthiness on COVID-19, and Americans have far more confidence in Dr. Fauci in dealing with the pandemic moving forward than they do in the President.

Opinion Politics

Dead Cat Bounce

The virus and the real economy are linked, and Americans have understood this from the start.

Blog Post Politics

The Election Question

Sometimes politics is a game of checkers, not chess.

It’s exceedingly difficult to win an election when 2/3rds of America thinks you’re doing a bad job on the #1 issue facing the country.

The American people have always viewed pandemic response as something that needs to be addressed by the President at the Federal level. And while they were willing to forgive early errors by President Trump & the CDC, America’s patience has worn out.


Society Behind The Stat Podcast Ep. 03 – Novena Carmel on Music in the COVID-19 Era

Episode 3 of Society Behind The Stat dropped today. This week’s guest is Novena Carmel, a Los Angeles-based DJ, singer, and multi-talented music person.

Adam & Scott talk with Novena about about music as a coping mechanism, performance as a transfer of energy, what we can all learn from the improvisation and adaptability of music in these times, and the best songs to kick off your summer playlist with.

podcast Politics

Society Behind The Stat Podcast Ep. 02 – Gen-Z Activism with Aleysha

Adam and Scott are back this week with Episode 2 of their podcast Society Behind The Stat.

In this episode they interview Aleysha, one of the Gen-Z Activists whose TikTok tactics helped sink Donald Trump’s Tulsa controversial campaign rally.

SBTS Ep. 02 is a must-listen for anyone who wants to better understand the motivating factors behind Gen-Z activism, how teens are using new social platforms to interact with the world around them, and what “K-Pop Stans” are.

Blog Post Data Opinion

The Wisdom of Crowds: The Worst Is Yet To Come

Very little good news this morning.

U.S. COVID-19 cases set new daily record as the virus decimates the South & West.

And 1.5 million new unemployment claims were filed last week despite re-opening of many regions. That marks the 14th straight week with more than 1MM new jobless claims.

Our CSIP data suggests that a plurality of Americans believe the worst is yet to come regarding the virus, and a majority feel the worst is yet to come on the economy.

And they may be correct. The United States has not been able to contain the novel coronavirus even as other developed nations have.

Even more sobering – during the Great Recession unemployment in the US peaked at just under 8% – but took nearly 6 years to recover. We are currently at nearly 13% with no end to COVID-19 spikes causing ongoing disruptions to our economy in sight.

Data Opinion

The (New) New Rules for Corporate Activism

Today on Medium, WINS President Scott Kotchko writes that the outpouring of corporate support for the George Floyd protests represents a tipping point. We’re now all living in the era of Corporate Activism.

…But the era of Corporate Activism is different. It’s no longer about telling a story about purpose because you want to — it’s about taking real action because you have to

Scott’s perspectives are grounded in a career spent at the nexus of politics and corporate brand strategy, with a little help from our CSIP data:

Our research shows that on the issue of COVID-19 there is incredibly high support (85%) for companies to re-purpose aspects of their business to contribute directly to the fight against the virus as well as to make financial donations to COVID-19 relief organizations (82%). Despite this, fewer than 1 in 5 (16%) say the company they work for has done anything meaningful from a business perspective, and just 1 in 10 (11%) say their employer donated to a pandemic relief organization.

On the issue of systemic racism, police reform, and Black Lives Matter — Americans are even more attuned towards action and activism. Americans believe it is time now to finally deal with systemic racism (75%), that it isn’t up to minority communities to educate the rest of us (64%), that black people in America need more than allies, and it is time for others to roll up their sleeves and help (75%).


Society Behind The Stat Podcast: Ep. 01 – Cooking with Bry Disanto

This week Adam and Scott launched a podcast, Society Behind The Stat.

The premise behind the pod is simple: We’re increasingly bombarded with data. We are overloaded with it, drowning in it, and desensitized to numbers. But behind all of the numbers are people, and their stories. Each episode we feature a data point or statistic, and then speak to a relevant guest about his or her lived experience. This is what the show is all about.

For our inaugural episode we talk to the multi-talented Bryan Disanto, host of Cucina Quarantina, about cooking as coping during COVID-19.

And a friendly reminder that Taco Tuesday comes every week…

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CUCINA QUARANTINA EPI N°10: TACOS & LECHE DE TIGRE MARGS. 🌮🍼🐯 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ IT’S TACO TUESDAY BITCHACHOS!!! Is there anything better than messy tacos with frozen margs and a fatty bombatty spread of accoutrements? It’s a whole ass summer mood with infinite possibilities. It also shouldn’t be hard or fussy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We rocked out with a five-pack for Cinco de Mayo: the simplest carne asada and pan-seared grouper as your sassy taco foundation // a zingy chipotle-lime crema and fresh mango salsa as festive toppings // and *obviously* my world-renowned, punchy, spicy-sweet, dangerously delicious LECHE DE TIGRE frozen margs to wash it all down (a play on the peruvian “leche de tigre” fish runoff from ceviche). Hit the tacos with some avo, cotija, and shredded cabbage and oh baby, you’ve got a colorful SPREAD in under 30 minutes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Demo up for everything in my highlights. Drop a 🌮🌮🌮 and I’ll shoot ya the recipe for any part of it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ // MAIN INGREDS: 🐟 fish: fresh grouper or mahi, lime, oo 🥩 carne asada: flank steak, lime, adobo, cilantro, red wine vin 🍦 crema: greek yogurt, lime, (blood) orange 🥭 mango salsa: mango, cilantro, red onion, oo 🐯 LDTs: tequila, citrus, turmeric, fresh ginger, mint, jalapeño

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The Spiritual Side Of The Great Rethink

Bernard Whitman takes CSIP insights and perspective to Instagram Live with author, Chief Communications Officer, and self described “Change Addict,” Monica Berg.

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