Duncan "Atrios" Black, an acknowledged Big Name on the left side of blogdom, has suggested a series of issues which, in his opinion, bloggers of a leftish persusasion probably would agree on. Inasmuch as I don't have much use for the left-wing brand of foreign policy, I'm concentrating here on domestic issues, which Kevin Drum has thoughtfully provided in a separate list that he refers to as "the serious stuff, anyway." Each plank of this quasi-platform will be followed by my reaction on a 1-to-5 scale, where 1 is "Strongly disagree," 5 is "Strongly agree," and 3 is "Who gives a flying fish?"

  1. Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration
    I didn't think much of that bill. My original comment: "I don't think bankruptcy should be viewed as just another personal financial tool, but I don't think it should be redefined purely for the benefit of the creditors, either." 5

  2. Repeal the estate tax repeal
    The only real justification I've ever seen for the "death tax" is that it gives the government one last chance to stick it to some rich bastard. I don't think this is a legitimate function of government. 1

  3. Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI
    In general, I favor an increase in the minimum wage; it's pretty much failed to keep up with its original intention of making it possible for the lowest-paid workers to stay above the poverty line. However, I think the Consumer Price Index should be limited by law to research purposes: nobody's paycheck, or whatever, should be indexed to it, as so doing inevitably magnifies the increases therein farther down the road. And those union contracts which are indexed to the minimum wage are, in my opinion, equally dubious. 3 overall

  4. Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one)
    I complain quite openly about the cost of my own health care; however, I can't see any good reason to tax me an extra ten grand a year to save me four or five grand in medical expenses, and that's the most likely effect of making it "universal." Still, absent a more concrete proposal, I am loath to dismiss this with a 1. 2

  5. Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation CAFE standards don't actually work until nine or ten years down the road when most people have replaced their guzzlers, unless you're willing to require everyone to buy a new vehicle built to the higher standards. And if you think there's a devil in the health-care details, imagine what's lurking in the environmentalist agenda. 1

  6. Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise
    I can go along with the contraception-access stuff (and I have no philosophical problems with the morning-after pill), and abstinence-only programs seem to have been a trifle oversold. Still, this isn't going to be enough to push me into the Friends of Planned Parenthood camp. 3 overall

  7. Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code
    Simplify, yes, definitely; increasing the progressivity works