At a time when Americans can only agree on how divided they’ve become, it’s no surprise that politicians who promote a bi-partisan approach are singled out for praise. Step forward Ohio Governor John Kasich, for example, a Republican who expanded Medicaid to 275,000 people under ‘Obamacare’ in October of 2013. “Nowhere in life do we not compromise” he told the New York Times. Or how about Ron Unz, the publisher of the American Conservative who also wants to raise the minimum wage in California to the highest in the USA?

The message is clear: pCompromiseartisan politics is the problem, and working across the aisle to get things done is the solution. But which problems get solved in this way and which get ignored? Whose interests are served by compromise along the way? And what if bi-partisan deal-making is nothing more than that: the ‘lowest common denominator’ of progress in politics; a temporary fix that leaves America’s huge problems of inequality untouched. Read more…

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