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Old 12-05-2018, 12:56 PM   #4276
Tyrone Slothrop
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Re: Barcelona

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
I don't think Trump blew up anything. The process, the political system, the economy, was so fucked up, so ill, a disease like Trump appears.
Don't you ever get tired of these bromides?

Lots of places have inequality without populism. Maybe populism appears when people believe that the political parties are too similar and are not representing them. But: The people who most support Trump are not the poorest. The poorest vote for Democrats. So you need a model that explains that.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:01 PM   #4277
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Re: Barcelona

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In terms of traditional politics and acceptable policies (being anathema to most of what we call "capitalism"), he is. Not extreme in rhetoric or luridness of policy prescriptions, like Trump, of course.
I mean, if you put Bernie in 1976, do you think anyone would really think that universal healthcare, higher minimum wage, free college and trade skepticism were extreme positions? He only looks extreme after that multi-decade lurch to the right, which dragged even the Democratic Party into "conservative" positions.

Reagan/Thatcherism were a huge mistake (prompted by failure to fix prior mistakes and excesses) that spread through the developed world. Rather than use our rising collective wealth to provide for our collective well-being, as we'd done in the post-war world out of fear of actual extremism, we decided we didn't need to (or that it was harmful to do so). Bernie's only "extreme" because all of those actual extremists are completely gone.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:10 PM   #4278
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Re: We are all Slave now.

Merry Christmas from Dinesh D'Souza!
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:45 PM   #4279
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Re: Barcelona

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I don't think Trump blew up anything. The process, the political system, the economy, was so fucked up, so ill, a disease like Trump appears.

Trump is like cancer. You need a number of bad things to all go very wrong inside a cell to get metastatic disease. We as a nation had enough of those things going on that a thing like Trump appeared, the normal immune response never killed him, and he spread.

Same thing is going on throughout Europe right now.

Populism sat relatively idle, controlled, from the days of Father Coughlin. Its appearance and spread is not the problem, but the symptom. If smart people like us don't realize that -- if we keep saying Trump "hacked" politics (he's not that smart) or that populism is the cause of problems -- we're fucked. And I don't think any of us actually believe that. We know exactly what caused extreme politicians like Bernie and Trump to acquire such support. I just don't think we want to admit it. It's much easier to see Trump as an aberration in a line of people like H.W. or Obama. But I think that's seeing it backwards. H.W. and Obama are very much Yesterday, the former a dinosaur Rockefeller Republican, the latter our last Moderate Democrat for a while.

Until we address inequality (that the economy is not delivering anywhere near what it should to all people), and I've no idea how that can or will be done, we're going to get more populism, which will bring us more Bernies and Trumps.

Trump = Symptom. Bernie = Symptom.
Bush is the well meaning Dr. who created the monster.

The alliance between the religious right, racists, and the Republican party was built by Reagan, encouraged by the Bushes', and pushed full throttle by Murdock and right wing radio. You need to have a powerful and willful ignorance of American history to not see where the union of those forces ends. Many of us called this one a long time ago.

Bernie is the dying breath of post-War laborism. Minimum wage, protectionism. Yawn.

But I am increasingly fascinated by AOC. She seems more the future of populism than any of them.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:54 PM   #4280
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Re: Barcelona

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Bush is the well meaning Dr. who created the monster.

The alliance between the religious right, racists, and the Republican party was built by Reagan, encouraged by the Bushes', and pushed full throttle by Murdock and right wing radio. You need to have a powerful and willful ignorance of American history to not see where the union of those forces ends. Many of us called this one a long time ago.

Bernie is the dying breath of post-War laborism. Minimum wage, protectionism. Yawn.

But I am increasingly fascinated by AOC. She seems more the future of populism than any of them.
I don't think Bush created it. He tried to compromise with it, and only partly succeeded.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:35 PM   #4281
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Re: We are all Slave now.

Kinda sad that so many delicate snowflakes can't handle hearing this sort of thing. Calling these remarks anti-Semitic seems like a mis-use of the term, and an ad hominem effort to delegitimize views one doesn't like.

Also disappointing: Tumblr's porn ban.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:47 PM   #4282
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Counter-intuitive though it may seem, Trump winning was a political disaster for the white working class, especially older whites. They were once pandered to in elections; now it's no longer possible to indulge the pretense that their concerns are economic - or fixable.

That's because there's no ground for a policy fix or a compromise with people whose basic position is that they want America to be white, sorta Christian, and frozen in 1963 - except with 2018's drugs, sexual liberty, govt transfer payments, ESPN channels, and internet porn.

That's why I'm tired of people declaring conservatives (like me, Boot, Rubin, Wilson and others) who still believe in limited government, fiscal responsibility, a superpower foreign policy, and individual freedom to be "not conservatives" because we won't pander to populists.

Who's more liberal? Us, or the working class Trump voters who are always looking to Daddy to excuse them for out-of-wedlock births, their embrace of a defeatist foreign policy, rampant drug abuse, chronic underemployment, and endless demands for government solutions?

This "it's not your fault, the system has it in for you" bullshit pioneered by Bannon and weaponized by Trump is something conservatives castigated liberals for saying to minorities years ago. And rightly so: it deprives people of agency and responsibility.

If sucking up to small-town populism - the worst melding of ignorance and self-pitying, insecure nationalism - is now "conservative," then the word has no meaning. Conservatives were once prudent, incremental, patriotic, and stoic. (Like, say, the President who just passed.)

Yes, we were also hidebound, resistant to needed change, overly cautious, too wrapped up in our sense of tradition, and often indifferent to the struggles of others. (We were also the counterpart to progressives who needed the sensible ballast of prudence and judgment.)

Conservatives and liberals need each other to make progress. What we're seeing with Trumpism, especially two years in, is neither conservative nor liberal. It is a stubborn demand that the world treat white working class adults like children. To coddle them with soothing lies.

So enough with the woes of the Iowa farmers who fear black and female presidents, or New Hampshire townies who fear immigrants without ever seeing one anywhere near them. That's not "conservative" any more than Occupy Wall St guys taking dumps on police cars are "liberal."

I don't know what it's going to take for Generation Fox to figure it out. I now seriously doubt they will come to their senses, if they ever had any. (This is why I have very little hope that anything Mueller or anyone else says is going to move that 30-40%.)

That intransigence is the disaster for the white working class: because it shows there's no point in trying to compromise with what were once legitimate concerns about taxes, foreign affairs, education, etc. They've traded that agenda for mindless Trumpian ethno-nationalism.

That kind of political agenda can't be reasoned with. It can only be defeated. And realizing that this is no longer a rational political debate is not good for America (or Europe, or anywhere else), but that's how it has to be.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:30 PM   #4283
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Kinda sad that so many delicate snowflakes can't handle hearing this sort of thing. Calling these remarks anti-Semitic seems like a mis-use of the term, and an ad hominem effort to delegitimize views one doesn't like.

Also disappointing: Tumblr's porn ban.
Really? So a world where stuff you say would get you kicked off TV is sad? Don't you mean scary?
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:31 PM   #4284
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Really? So a world where stuff you say would get you kicked off TV is sad? Don't you mean scary?
OK. Could be sad and scary.

I guess I am less worried about than about the effects on the discourse for all of us. I'm sure it's sad for him that he won't be on the TV so much.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:43 PM   #4285
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Tom Nichols on Twitter
I don't disagree with a lot of what he says, but this shit right here is fucking infuriating: 'This "it's not your fault, the system has it in for you" bullshit pioneered by Bannon and weaponized by Trump is something conservatives castigated liberals for saying to minorities years ago. And rightly so: it deprives people of agency and responsibility.'

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Old 12-06-2018, 01:06 AM   #4286
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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OK. Could be sad and scary.

I guess I am less worried about than about the effects on the discourse for all of us. I'm sure it's sad for him that he won't be on the TV so much.
And by “you” I meant Ty.

But to the point you thought we were talking about, of course we kill people for shit they say. I’d suggest a world where the market sorts it out, but even the clients that pay me usually don’t listen so let’s kill everyone who doesn’t stay in the lines.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:48 AM   #4287
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Re: Barcelona

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
Don't you ever get tired of these bromides?

Lots of places have inequality without populism. Maybe populism appears when people believe that the political parties are too similar and are not representing them. But: The people who most support Trump are not the poorest. The poorest vote for Democrats. So you need a model that explains that.
No. Do you ever get tired of being wrong about Trump being a cause, rather than a symptom? I understand the status quo delivers for you and me, so you'll make any argument in favor of the following, as it allows you to feel like you've done something to help the losers while giving up nothing yourself:

1. Redistribution;
2. Expanded safety nets;
3. Regulation that doesn't harm the economic sectors in which you operate.

Now on to substance... You seem to be advocating for inequality without populism. That can only occur where you "manage" (placate) the underclasses via redistribution and safety nets. That is a system which would deliver for those of us lucky enough to be in the top 20%. It's also Brave New World. No, that's not hyperbole. That's me getting to the classist element of your (and many others here) argument.

You think a society in which the losers take what we decide to give them is acceptable. Don't bristle. You think exactly that.

And to an extent, so do I. I think, "Give them UBI. It's got a nice multiplier, and it'll shut them the hell up."

The difference between you and me is that UBI, as I envision it, doesn't seek to "manage" these people. It allows them dignity. They still technically control their own existence. They retain agency, and freedom.

Your vision would be an expansion of govt programs that would increasingly micro-manage the lives of the underclasses. It would make them increasingly dependent on the whims of false elites like you and me -- people who think we know what ought to be done, but are really quite clueless, and have no appreciation for the law of unintended consequences. (Yes, we both are quite clueless and equally sure of ourselves.)

And now to the most important point: the Trump voter is not rich. I believe the Trump voter had an average income of $65k or $75k. That is a person who is treading water. (Average income in the country is something like $59k, and $50k is so low that people at that level pay no Fed income taxes.)

A person making $65-75k makes enough not to receive transfers via most safety nets, but barely enough to survive in most locales. These people are the pitchfork carrying populists. And they have good reason to be so. The system is built to hook up those of us at the top of the income ladder, and deliver via the safety nets to those at the bottom, but provide nothing for those in the middle treading water.

I understand why you'd see what I wrote as a bromide. You've probably never thought about the working poor in that doughnut hole I just described. You've focused on the destitute and absorbed the false argument that Trump voters are largely well off to affluent. This causes you to think the current populism is just greedy xenophobes.

Any model of the current populism needs to assume that the populists are the working poor, the middle class that is treading water. If you think those people do not have a right to be populist, or that the fact that they are shows a perversion in our society, you have it backwards. It is our perverted economic system - the one you advocate, in which winners take all and then "manage" the collapsing middle class - that is the problem.

If you defend the current status quo, be it under Obama, Bush, or Trump, in which we prop asset prices, hemorrhage jobs via labor arbitrage and automation, and respond to the collapse of the middle class with "let's just kick the can," you are part of the problem. You are the cause of Trump.

I own blame here. For years, I said here and many other places, "Eat your peas, you complainers. Globalization is inevitable, and our middle class has to suck it up until cost of foreign labor approaches ours." That argument assumed that the middle class would not find a voice like Trump or Bernie. Well, I was wrong. They found that voice. And your response, to assert that Trump is problem -- that he caused this populist uprising around the world -- makes the situation all the more problematic.

You cannot fix a problem until you reach consensus on what it is. Today's populism, the fragmentation and nationalism, is our fault. Yours, mine, and everyone else who ignored the losers in a global economy. If this sounds like a bromide to you, it's only because I must keep repeating it as, like the insane, you hear it over and over again and offer the same vacant retorts to it.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:04 AM   #4288
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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I don't disagree with a lot of what he says, but this shit right here is fucking infuriating: 'This "it's not your fault, the system has it in for you" bullshit pioneered by Bannon and weaponized by Trump is something conservatives castigated liberals for saying to minorities years ago. And rightly so: it deprives people of agency and responsibility.'

TM
What's inaccurate there? The current "conservatives" (populists) are asserting that the system is rigged against them. And it is. It's rigged for asset holders, and if you're a Trump voter with a $65-75k household income, you don't own adequate assets to to enjoy the appreciation in their value caused by that rigging.

Whether that is the fault of those populists, for not getting skills that allowed them to move further up the ladder, is an argument of degree. Personally, I think the angry, complaining Trump voter owns a decent percentage of his own situation. How much I don't know. But he owns some. As the author noted, he has agency. Everyone has agency.

And for "conservatives" to use the same argument with which they've pilloried Democrats for so many years is a putrid hypocrisy, distilled effectively to: "When you poor Democrats fail, it's entirely because you're lazy. When we Populist Conservatives fail, it's entirely because the system is rigged against us." Right... They can shove all that up their asses until it bleeds into their Eustachian tubes.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:19 AM   #4289
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Kinda sad that so many delicate snowflakes can't handle hearing this sort of thing. Calling these remarks anti-Semitic seems like a mis-use of the term, and an ad hominem effort to delegitimize views one doesn't like.

Also disappointing: Tumblr's porn ban.
Ahhh, the mother of all third rails: Criticizing Israel.

I read his comments. Agreed. There is 000.0% anti-semitism there. Unless you apply the bizarre rule that to argue the Palestinian side is to automatically place yourself with anti-semites. If that's the case, if that political correctness applies, then every news story on the tensions between the Palestinians and Israelis must always take the Israeli side.

I had a professor once who referred to portions of Israel as "Occupied Palestine," out loud. This view was backed up with many solid arguments. One could agree or disagree with them, but one could never dismiss them as inappropriate for debate. They'd beat any 12(b)(6) and provide for an excellent summary judgment battle.

But isn't the aim of our current correctness to succeed in saturating the public with "approved narratives" by avoiding summary judgment, or trial, on these arguments? Isn't the whole point to kill the uncomfortable debates before they can be considered because if considered, the debate might go in a direction that the forces wishing to craft consensus don't want it to go?

Isn't that what's caused people to distrust almost all official sources of information? Amazingly, somehow, as dumb as the common man seems, he retains a strong bullshit detector. He spots the procedural dodge, the argument avoidance.

...If only he'd then decide to think for himself, to examine each issue in greater depth, rather than looking at both sides' bullshit and deciding, "I like Red Bullshit, so I shall join the Red Bullshit Club, and hate the Blue Bullshit Club."

Maybe he has no choice.

On Tumblr, I am too upset to comment. My universe is turned upside down, my faith in man all but destroyed.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:47 AM   #4290
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Re: We are all Slave now.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
Kinda sad that so many delicate snowflakes can't handle hearing this sort of thing. Calling these remarks anti-Semitic seems like a mis-use of the term, and an ad hominem effort to delegitimize views one doesn't like.

Also disappointing: Tumblr's porn ban.
We are at the point where Bibi is throwing in with neo-Nazis in central Europe. Haaretz is apolplectic. My pioneer friends in Israel are telling all their kids to move to America.

England makes some noble efforts with Brexit, and Hungary shutting down a University is an impressive bit of insanity, but I think Israel is the real competition with us for the country-that-has-totally-lost-its-shit prize. Bibi starting a war in the north to distract from his indictment is the future we need to fear here.
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