Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Is Minnesota the Next Target for GOP Wage Suppression Laws?

A conservative ALEC legislator threatens to block local minimum-wage hikes.

AP Photo/Jim Mone
AP Photo/Jim Mone Representative Pat Garofalo speaking on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives. T he state of Minnesota—long a liberal bastion of the upper Midwest—could be the next target for the right’s nationwide effort to block any minimum wage increases by cities like Minneapolis that are higher than the state’s minimum of $9.50 an hour. In the months before the November election, progressive advocacy groups and a majority of the Minneapolis city council were pushing for a $15 minimum wage. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges opposed it, however, saying she would prefer it if Democratic state legislators passed a bill mandating a higher regional minimum wage for the Twin Cities metro area instead. However, Election Day changed that political calculation when the Minnesota GOP expanded its majority in the state House ( with help from the Koch brothers ) and, in a huge upset, wrested control of the senate from the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (the state Democratic party...

Larry Kudlow: Trickle Downer of the Week

Trump may tap cable news’ most diehard devotee of supply-side policy as his top economic adviser, cementing his administration’s adherence to a malicious scheme. 

(Photo: AP/Seth Wenig) Kudlow speaks at the New York State Republican Convention in 2014 I f we needed a clearer signal that Donald Trump’s administration will go all in for amped-up trickle-down economics—that is, tax cuts for the rich, deregulation for the corporations, and wage suppression for everyone else—consider that the president-elect is likely to tap Larry Kudlow to chair his White House Council of Economic Advisers. For those who aren’t familiar with him, Kudlow is a prolific cable news commentator who has a stellar reputation for being wrong—a lot. Like, a lot a lot . Given that he has no formal education in economics, Kudlow also neatly fits Trump’s preference for putting “unconventional” people (i.e., he sees them frequently on cable news) to top White House posts. As David Dayen aptly puts it in The Nation , “Kudlow isn’t an economist, but he plays one on TV.” To put a sharper point on it, he plays a trickle-down economist on TV. As a ubiquitous talking head, Kudlow is...

Unions Stake Out Positions in Battle for DNC Chair

Ellison and Perez both have strong ties with the labor movement, but union politics are primed to drive a wedge.

AP Photo/Molly Riley
AP Photo/Molly Riley Representative Keith Ellison speaks at a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, November 13, 2014, held by low-wage contract workers. O ver the weekend, the contenders for Democratic National Committee chair headed to Austin, Texas, to make their case before a crowd of the Lone Star State’s party faithful. All eyes were on progressive firebrand Keith Ellison, the Minnesota, Sanders-supporting congressman who jumped in the race first and has built a broad coalition of support, and Obama’s Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who got in late with the implicit backing of the White House. Both candidates spoke about their vision of returning the party to the grassroots and rebuilding organizing capacity in the states—and both made it clear that labor unions would play a critical role in realizing that vision. One of the people in attendance was John Patrick, president of the Texas AFL-CIO. “I think that both Perez and Ellison bring a long history of being very friendly...

Paul Ryan: Trickle Downer of the Week

Don’t be fooled by Ryan’s “simplification” rhetoric. The speaker’s tax plan is a massive giveaway for Corporate America and the 1 percent. 

(Photo: AP/Cliff Owen)
Photo: AP/Cliff Owen House Speaker Paul Ryan during a news conference on Capitol Hill earlier this month. A s Congress prepares to end its lame-duck session, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan races to grease the tracks for his trickle-down tax plan. His partner in this latest GOP shell game is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference Monday that after Republicans finish gutting Obamacare (their first target), they intend to use a second, filibuster-proof, budget reconciliation process to ram through comprehensive tax reform. The speaker would have you believe that his reform plan merely simplifies the tax code by shaving the number of tax brackets from the current seven—“their [the Democrats’] way”—down to just three—a #BetterWay—the average taxpayer will save big bucks. He recently tweeted: The U.S. tax code is too complicated. ← Retweet if you agree. #BetterWay pic.twitter.com/Do9qmHskzd — Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 11,...

Ohio Republicans Advance Nationwide Wage-Suppression Campaign

State lawmakers move to prevent municipalities from boosting pay for low-wage workers—a growing obstacle in the Fight for $15. 

(Photo: Raise Up/Cleveland)
Fight for 15 supporters gather before a protest in Cleveland over the summer. (Photo: Raise Up Cleveland/Facebook) I n its lame-duck rush to push through a controversial legislative package, the Republican-controlled Ohio Legislature made headlines by passing the “ heartbeat bill ,” an oppressive—and likely unconstitutional—anti-abortion measure that, if signed by Republican Governor John Kasich, would be the most restrictive law in the country. But there was another harsh measure in the mix that flew under the radar: a measure that would force Ohio localities to comply with state minimum-wage regulations that top out at $8.10 an hour. The legislation aims to block Cleveland, one of Ohio’s largest and poorest cities, from unilaterally boosting wages for its low-wage workers. According to U.S. census data , 35,000 Clevelanders work full-time for less than $15 an hour, and 50 percent of those workers are black. After the Cleveland City Council rejected a both a Fight for 15 campaign...

Pages