Very good sentences

by on January 24, 2016 at 7:02 am in Books, Current Affairs, Political Science | Permalink

Moreover, the forces that are disfiguring the right are likely to spread in future years, consuming the Democrats in much the same way as they have consumed the Republicans. The stagnation of the living standards of average Americans is creating widespread angst. The culture wars are extending to new areas. The ­Internet-enabled news-cum-entertainment industry stokes political resentments even as it creates epistemic anarchy. Interest groups are finding ever more ingenious ways to pretzel the political process. Interesting times don’t remain confined to one part of the political spectrum for very long.

That is from an Adrian Wooldridge review at the NYT.

1 rayward January 24, 2016 at 8:02 am

What that sentence means is that right-wing populists and left-wing populists aren’t that different. Heaven help us if a politician can successfully consolidate the two. Trump has to an extent but not enough to create the super-demagogue that consolidation would produce. What Trump has accomplished (if you call it that) is a total abandonment of civility in public discourse and set the stage for ever-increasing angry political rhetoric that inflames the populists. What the authors of the two books reviewed (E.J. Dionne on the left and Matt Lewis on the right) agree on is that Republican elites are responsible for this, stoking outrage to raise money and gain votes without regard to the consequences to the republic.

2 Kris January 24, 2016 at 8:32 am

Heaven help us if a politician can successfully consolidate the two.

Trump will have a good shot at that if he (as I expect) wins the nomination. Especially if Sanders doesn’t win his party’s nomination. Trump’s position on economic issues and trade are not very different from the median Democratic voter.

3 Ricardo January 24, 2016 at 9:16 am

Donald Trump wants to cut the top marginal tax rate from 39.6% to 25%, eliminate the estate tax, and cut the corporate tax rate to 15%. Trump’s views on health care are less clear but he has said he wants to repeal PPACA, that he doesn’t favor single payer (which is a change from his views in 2000) and that he advocates policies such as allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines and pushing health savings accounts even more.

These are all mainstream Republican, not Democratic positions. Trump isn’t beholden to the GOP donor class or to certain shibboleths of free market ideology the way other Republicans are but that doesn’t make him an economic moderate.

4 Chris S January 24, 2016 at 9:50 am

Donald Trump wants to … do whatever it takes to win. Right now that is a combination of these positions, tomorrow it may be something else. Each position is just a negotiating stance, that can change as the circumstances.

5 Ricardo January 25, 2016 at 2:41 am

That’s quite possibly true but, if so, that means none of us can really say what Trump’s positions on economic issues are. We certainly can’t pick and choose liberal-sounding sentiments that he expressed 10 or 15 years ago as a guide to what President Trump might do. Trump’s main area of expertise is marketing and self-promotion and has been for most of his adult life so anything he has ever said has to be seen through that lens.

6 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 10:06 am

Nah.

He’s said too many racist things to ever win the support of people on the left.

7 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 10:08 am

He’s also said too many ridiculous things.

It may surprise you to learn that most people on the left seek some sort of policy position from their politicians.

8 Urstoff January 24, 2016 at 10:10 am

Can’t tell if serious…

9 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 10:21 am

Quite serious.

10 Urstoff January 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm

So either you are delusional or have a very narrow definition of “the left”

11 Cliff January 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm

It’s a common delusion.

“My tribe is the superior 50%!”

12 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:16 pm

who said better? who said my tribe? I got no tribe. Left cares more about policy, Right cares more about personality. Them’s facts.

13 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:33 pm

@Urstoff,

I can tell you this. I know some people. No statistician would call the people I know a representative sample of Americans, but they’re pretty diverse as a group of people.

The people I know who notice people’s race and make judgments about them based on race are (a) old, or/and (b) conservative.

People my age who are liberal would do everything in their power (sometimes to a ridiculous extent) to avoid any suggestion that they have a hint of racism. Maybe I know different people than you know. Maybe my dictionary has a different definition of ‘liberal’ than your dictionary. Probably not, though. The only liberals I know that support Trump do so because they are certain he would lose a general election.

14 Brian January 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm

“He’s said too many racist things to ever win the support of people on the left.”

I hope the Democrats aren’t depending on that to win in November. There’s no example anywhere I can see of Trump saying anything racist at all. Just repeating rumors about things he supposedly said long ago isn’t going to work with modern Trump-tempted voters that will demand video before deciding to hate him. Elite types that would never vote Trump are onanistically confident that such tape will show up without any evidence.

15 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:19 pm

What is a rumor about him demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate and banning muslims? Dude is constantly blowing racist dog whistles. You don’t have to admit it; that doesn’t make it not true.

16 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly January 24, 2016 at 4:22 pm

I see we’re narrowly defining “the Left” to exclude working-class white people.

17 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:17 pm

“The Left” as much as that is a singular voting block, voted in a black president. I think we can safely say they’re not racist.

18 Brian Donohue January 25, 2016 at 2:49 pm

I’m not a lefty, but I voted for Obama in 2008, tho I haven’t perfected my ability to not notice stuff.

Still, can I get my “I’m not a racist” sticker?

19 Dan in philly January 24, 2016 at 10:38 am

Trump is quite openly liberal on many social issues, such a gay marriage, health care, imminent domain, etc. He’ll be able to quickly pivot from his current pandering to the angry right and start pandering to the angry left. Many who now are flirting with Sanders will fall in love with Trump once it’s a choice between him and Mrs. Clinton.

20 mulp January 24, 2016 at 11:29 am

Yep, Trump is liberal like the Founders. Get the government out of my way, but let me own and control other people in a culturally accepted way, to get rich.

21 Ricardo January 25, 2016 at 2:49 am

Again, on health care, all of his recent statements have been anti-PPACA with no real positive policy suggestions aside from expanding health savings accounts and allowing health insurers to sell policies across state lines without being regulated by the state of the insured. Standard Republican fare in other words. Lots of mainstream Republicans starting sounding much more conservative on health policy after 2008 so if you are taking Trump’s pre-2008 statements as an authentic expression of what he actually favors, you would have to do the same for Romney, Gingrich, the Heritage Foundation, several Republican members of Congress, and others who used to support individual mandates and community rating.

22 The Original D January 25, 2016 at 2:19 pm

total abandonment of civility in public discourse

It reminds me of a Kurt Vonnegut story: The Big Space Fuck – http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/07/wf041307.htm

In his futurist society things have gotten so coarse that even the president can say “shit” and “fuck” and so on and no one bats an eye.

23 ibaien January 24, 2016 at 8:08 am

if the systems have failed the people, they deserve to be torn down. I’m not sure that this should come as a surprise to either party.

24 chuck martel January 24, 2016 at 2:05 pm

The democratic/republic is acknowledged to be the pinnacle of human social development and its end point. It doesn’t get any better than this. The idea that some pied piper/demagogue should have the capability of misleading the electorate defies its very validity. Americans have been taught from birth of the importance of the vote, how it reflects the wishes of the majority and believe it. So what’s the problem? This is how it’s supposed to work.

25 Chip January 24, 2016 at 8:08 am

Disfiguring the right?

Much of Trump’s support is there simply because he’s the only person addressing widespread unease about the disappearing border.

If anything has been disfigured it’s a political class that’s decided to rule rather than represent majority opinion. Polls show Trump pulls support from 20% of Democrats.

It’s not a right-wing issue. It’s not even an element of the culture wars. Territorial integrity and rule of law are basic tenets of stable society. The people in the U.S. and in Europe understand this truth. The political class is convinced they’ve created a new truth.

Change we can believe in.

26 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 8:27 am

Matt K. Lewis has little to commend him. He is, however, an OPEN BORDERS enthusiast, hence the endorsement.

27 Brian January 24, 2016 at 11:39 am

So, I take it you think that there is now more migration into the US than there was 20 years ago? 10 years ago? More illegal migration? I do not have all of the facts at my fingertips, but a cursory search suggests that we are not in the middle of some massive up tick in migration, legal or otherwise.

You may be correct that Donald’s appeal has to do with his supporters’ perception that this is something that needs to be addressed, but it seems that migration, to the extent that it is a problem, is not alarmingly worse than it has been at any time in recent memory.

28 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:56 am

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mexican-immigration-to-u-s-reverses-1447954334

Illegal Mexicans have supposedly been decreasing for some time. I don’t know about non-Mexican Hispanics, though.

29 Owen January 24, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Migration has been a disaster levels for decades. It’s been wildly unpopular since the previous century and pressure has been building up as the political class has distanced itself more and more from the truth on the ground for working families.

The danger has become more acute as the migrants have gone from far too many somewhat compatible people to far too many unassimilable people from backwards nations. The Koreans, Chinese, Mexicans, and Russian Jews have proven they can build prosperous first world democracies in their own countries. The newer Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Honduran, African, and Moslem migrants have clearly not. We’re not really even getting Mexicans or Russian Jews anymore; they’re being replaced by Nigerians, Afghans, and soon Syrians.

It was already alarming. Now it’s detonation level klaxon.

30 Brian January 24, 2016 at 6:18 pm

I’ve heard enough stories from even my father’s generation and certainly from my grandfather’s about how they were considered unassimilable because they were Catholic (Irish). They even lived in their own section of town and didn’t know any non-Catholics! The popular epithet for Italians comes from the fact that they were the original day worker (they work for a day and then go). Let’s not even talk about the perceptions of Jews a generation or two ago.

Additionally, net migration statistics seem to indicate that the majority of immigrants are still from the countries you mentioned as assimilable: Mexicans, Chinese, Indian are the top 3. Also, last I checked, Nigerian immigrants outperform native born African Americans in both education and Job prospects (so much so that programs that show success at training black students in STEM fields are almost considered to be cheating if they aggressively select Nigerian immigrants from high performing cultures).

I am willing to respect someone who says that immigration’s net effect is dependent on the culture from which the immigrants come from, but you have to make an argument that squares with the facts. A good starting point is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States. I’m sure there are ways to refute some of those stats, but it’s a base line.

There are at least two Brians commenting on this post. The Brian in the first comment thread is someone else. We do have a common name, I suppose.

31 HL January 24, 2016 at 9:14 pm

Immigration assimilation worked so well there aren’t even any WASPs on the Supreme Court anymore! Our forefathers would be proud.

32 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:27 pm

I mean, they actually would be proud, right?

33 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly January 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm

There is a palpable sense among many segments of society that “establishment” politicians are not credible or serious about preventing illegal immigration or keeping overall migration to manageable levels.

Whether that sense is justified is sort of beside the point in a democratic society where politicians are expected to respond to the worries of the electorate.

34 Chip January 24, 2016 at 6:19 pm

“The foreign-born population living in the USA has increased so rapidly that it could break a 125-year-old record within the next decade, according to a Pew Research Center report out Monday.”

35 Brian January 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

Thanks for that stat. It does suggest that things have changed. Google-ing that line brings me to this article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/09/28/us-foreign-born-population-nears-high/72814674/

I still believe that Trump’s popular immigration positions have been driven by fear of Hispanic and Middle Eastern immigrants, but the same report seems to suggest Asian immigrants are the largest driver of that increase.

Also of note in that report: “More Americans (45%) say immigrants make American society better in the long run than those (37%) who say immigrants make it worse, according to a poll conducted by Pew for the report”

36 mulp January 24, 2016 at 11:41 am

Interesting. I wonder if Trump would reflect and say like Obama “people hear what they want to hear in my speech”?

Eg, I hear many more issues where Trump carves out a vague populist position that listens can interpret “Trump will let me take what I want from others and ensure others can’t take from me.” But he’s hardly alone. Cruz supporters hear the same thing from him, on down the line.

No one attacking the welfare state is clearly stating most of those over 65 will become hungry and homeless unless their children and grandchildren take them in like back in the 50s and even more often before WWII.

And Bernie is promising an expanded welfare state by what would be 500% taxes on the rich, and that a 200% tax on wealth would raise hundreds of trillions because more sellers of stocks and bonds than buyers will increase prices just like all supply side economics raise prices and profits.

37 oreallynow January 24, 2016 at 8:21 am

The only “forces” that are “disfiguring the right ” are commen sense and a desire to return this nation to what is was prior to the Marxist, elitist depredations and perfidy of the Democrat Party. It is not “disfigutring” anything, as a matter of fact; it is forcing it to deal with real issue.\

The democrats and their paymasters hate this nation and all it stands for and wish to wip eit out.

How absurd, how very childish, to go to the NYT for any serious commentary on either “the right” or America in general.

What is motivating those supporting Trump is the absolute failure of the political class in this country to 1) adit what harm they have done, and 2) do anything positive about it. The are not “inflamed by populist rhetoric”, they are enraged by the strip mining of the country and the White middle and working class by a bunch of self appointed elites. That you parrot this nonsense show that 1) you do not know what is going on, 2) you share in this standard posture of the left which holds decent, regular Americans in contempt, ans 2) and, most importantly, you are part of the problem.

Trump is merely saying what we would have ex[ected any reasonable politician to say 20 ir 25 years ago before the New Left Boomers fully came to power.

38 amen January 24, 2016 at 9:30 am

I’ve sed it before and I’ll say it again. The Right is the only home of the brave. It ain’t New York and it ain’t North of hte Mason Dixon LIne.

The Left is Satan itself. The people see it, Fox News sees it. The Marginal Reveolution sees it. They just keep pumpin in the browns over that border to spread their hate and buy their votes.

Trump shares our values, thank God.

39 A Definite Beta Guy January 24, 2016 at 9:54 am

Donald Trump is a billionaire from New York. I highly doubt he shares ANY values with me, though we might share a taste in women.

He is, however, outside the normal political discourse of immigration, a la Martin O’Malley, which requires me to acknowledge the 12 million illegal immigrants as “neighbors” who are committing “acts of love” by violating my nation’s laws, and supposedly exactly like me. Trump doesn’t peddle a pile of bovine excrement up a hill just so he can dump it on me, at least on this issue.

Mr. President makes a great show of declining the enforce the national border, while legally structuring it in as narrow a legal sense as possible so it sticks and becomes a permanent “fact on the ground.” It’s one thing if my elected representatives voted for amnesty and the President merely enforces it, as under Reagan. The current President simply declines to enforce borders through executive fiat.

A Democratic Party plagued by dishonesty thinks these are exactly the same.

40 amen January 24, 2016 at 10:13 am

agreed.

they’re all criminals. the Left won’t admit it, but I’ve seen it. TO a person, 12 million criminals invited into our country, invited by them demi lovatos and Sen~or Presidente Hussein Obama.

Donald Trump made his money by creating good things that everyone wants from the rich. He’s made his mistakes, sure, but who hasn’t. He’s better than any of hte other sell-outs who are just after power to continue the same broken system.

41 libert January 24, 2016 at 1:22 pm

Not sure if oreallynow and amen are satire, but if not, here are some Trump quotes (source for all is below):

“I identify mostly as a Democrat”
“The Republicans are just too crazy right”
“I hate the concept of guns”
“My tax would raise approximately $5.7 trillion”
“I’m a liberal on healthcare…I’m gonna take care of everybody…the government’s gonna pay for it”
“It seems the economy does better under the Democrats than under the Republicans”
“I think [eminent domain] is a wonderful thing”
“How do you throw somebody out who’s lived in this country for 20 years? You just can’t throw somebody out”
“I’m very pro-choice”
“I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life. My views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa”
“I think Hillary would do a good job [making a deal with Iran]”
“I think [Nancy Pelosi] is a very impressive person. I like her a lot”.
“I think [Barack Obama] is a strong guy who really knows what he wants, and this is what we need”
“Hillary is very, very capable”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcUCLwWCihE

42 HL January 24, 2016 at 9:15 pm

(Working class republican who is aching for more free trade and tax cuts for the rich)

43 mulp January 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

“Trump is merely saying what we would have ex[ected any reasonable politician to say 20 ir 25 years ago before the New Left Boomers fully came to power.”

Conservative Republicans who now control 70-80% of government in the US are Marxists?

That is truly master political deception on the part of Heritage Action, Karl Rove, et al

44 John Smith January 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Californian farmers, constructions businesses and sweatshop owners tend not to be LIBERALS — if you get my drift. Countless thousands of conservative Americans have enriched themselves by employing cheap Mexican labor. Aren’t the conservative business people who employ Mexican labour the real problem here? After all, with no job prospects Mexican labor would simply go home, never come in the first place. However, because Mexicans are well aware of Republican business owners proclivity to skirt the law they also know a ready market exists for their labor. Isn’t the real problem a lack of morals and ethics in the US conservative business climate?

45 ivvenalis January 24, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Rejection of “Chamber of Commerce Republicans” aka “the business lobby” is one aspect of right-wing dissent against the Republican party, yes.

46 Cliff January 24, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Can you really blame businesses for not willingly going out of business out of principle? No

47 gab January 25, 2016 at 5:36 pm

I can’t. I mean, exploitation of workers by California farmers is a time honored tradition. Where would my Raisin Bran be without thousands of Mexican pickers?

48 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 8:26 am

And the moderator is now commending to us a tendentious review by a snotty British journalist (I know, the descriptor is redundant) of tendentious books by two hacks. Opinion journalists are seldom interesting, and those which are are commonly on a second career, which these two are not. And if you’re interested in a starboard perspective, the next-to-last person you should pay much attention to is a man who would be unknown were he not a special pet of the former editor of The New Republic. One of the curios of the world of opinion journalism would be the number of people who are analogues to the bogus Catholic, bourgeois and agrarian parties set up in Eastern Europe during the Cold War (e.g. Conor Friedersdorf, David Weigel, David Frum, and Lewis).

49 Kris January 24, 2016 at 8:42 am

Who is an interesting opinion journalist in your opinion? Your dislike seems to cover the spectrum of opinion (I vaguely recall you having criticized Steve Sailer in the past too).

50 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 9:31 am

Austin Ruse, Megan McArdle, Thomas Sowell, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Scott Richert, Phillip Jenkins, Chilton Williamson, Steven Sailer, John Derbyshire, Richard Cohen, R.M. Kaus, Robert Stacy McCain, Michael Walzer, William Jacobson, Michael Kinsley, Ross Douthat, etc etc. Most of these people have day jobs or came out of fields other than journalism. I do not agree with most of them. None of them can be described as vapid shills.

The trouble you get with those who made their bones in broadcasting is that production values or spoken verbal styles generate distractions (I just never listen to broadcast commentary).

Sailer generates interesting discussions. I don’t buy his worldview (and some of his votaries are insufferable). Same deal re Derbyshire, who is regrettably obnoxious at times. Rod Dreher can generate an interesting discussion, but (unlike Sailer, who seems to be bothered by flat nothing), Dreher’s manifest emotional problems are a maddening distraction.

51 Sam Haysom January 24, 2016 at 10:42 am

It’s extremely strange how more people don’t call Douthat on his emotional problems. Just yesterday he tried to score a cheap debating point against his recently deceased father.

52 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 11:14 am

Do you mean Ray O Dreher, Sr? Pretty sure Charles Douthat’s still alive (and his son usually doesn’t write much about family life, which Dreher does).

http://www.jacobslaw.com/Attorneys/Charles-R-Douthat.shtml

53 Sam Haysom January 24, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Yes I meant Rod Dreher. My mistake. Douthat’s the best political writer these days.

54 MC January 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

I like Rod Dreher a lot, but sometimes when he goes on and on about some family melodrama, I just want to tell him to get over it and move on with his life. But, hey, he turned them into a book deal, so maybe people like reading that stuff.

55 gab January 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Not only did Thomas Sowell come out of a field other than journalism, he made his bones in the exceeding competitive world of academia.

56 John January 24, 2016 at 9:12 am

So much bile. Try medical MJ, maybe your grandkids will stop hating you.

57 Sam Haysom January 24, 2016 at 10:43 am

Word of advice John. Medical MJ isn’t a panacea. No matter how much you smoke those restraining orders against you aren’t getting lifted.

58 Hoosier January 24, 2016 at 9:55 am

“One of the curios of the world of opinion journalism would be the number of people who are analogues to the bogus Catholic, bourgeois and agrarian parties set up in Eastern Europe during the Cold War (e.g. Conor Friedersdorf, David Weigel, David Frum, and Lewis).”

Do you mind unpacking this one a bit? What do the names you listed have to do with Eastern European political parties? I’m genuinely curious.

59 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 10:22 am

The Red Army and the local communists successfully suborned the non-communist political parties in five east European countries during the period running from 1944 to 1947 (they just banned them in the other four). For decades, you had phony agrarian parties in Bulgaria, Poland, and East Germany; phony Catholic parties in East Germany and Czechoslovakia; phony bourgeois parties in East Germany and Poland, and a phony social-democratic party in Czechoslovakia. I think what the membership got out of it was some candy and the removal of some impediments to advancement in the civil service, etc.

The comparison is overly harsh, but not false. Weigel is a Journ-o-list veteran who was fired in embarrassment by the Post when his contributions to Journ-o-List revealed he actually despised the people he’d been assigned to cover and did so in a quite crude way. David Frum re-invents himself about once a decade, finger to the wind. He’s sold himself as a libertarian, as a Republican hawk a la Wm. Kristol, and now as the recrudescence of what was called a ‘Modern Republican’ (i.e. temporizer) during the Eisenhower years. Friedersdorf is another pet of Robert Wright whose shtick has varied over the years. At one point he was offering critiques of talk radio programs. He is now employed by The Atlantic. A critic once described a Friedersdorf special as an article with a title like “The Conservative Case for [Insert Pet Liberal Cause]”. Lewis is older and subtler than Friedersdorf. I forgot Kathleen Parker, who works the same niche (and is a periodic self-re-inventer like Frum, in addition to being the mean-girl type). Other than David Frum, these people are unprepossessing. They write in complete sentences and turn in copy on time, and that exhausts their virtues. There isn’t much salaried employment left in opinion journalism, so one grasps for an explanation for why the modest number of slots therein are allocated to writers of no special distinction bar one – they tell liberal audiences at The Atlantic and The Washington Post what they want to hear and validate the liberal viewpoint by presenting themselves as opponents of it. It’s a bore, and, bar Frum, it’s hard to believe these people produce anything of value.

60 Mull January 24, 2016 at 11:47 am

The Red Army commies have taken over the Republican Party and risen to power by controlling 70% of the government’s in the USA.

61 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 8:31 am

What’s disfiguring the right is execrable leadership on Capitol Hill, which is bereft of accomplishment or even an interest in accomplishment and devoted to fellating the Chamber of Commerce lobbyist. As for the left, they’re now pretty bereft of any redeeming features; George McGovern is dead and Nat Hentoff is real old.

62 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 9:56 am

Literally curious. To you, what are the right’s redeeming features (and don’t say something factually untrue like ‘family values’. I want something that represents the right in its entirety.)

63 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 11:30 am

There’s nothing that represents ‘the right’ in its entirety. It’s an omnibus of sectors which have distinct and somewhat dissimilar concerns. One thing that might garner little opposition (though not be precisely ‘consensual’) would be a portfolio of stances which might be called ‘the suburban f!%k you;’. Another might be the fussing over marginal tax rates. I would not list either as a redeeming feature.

64 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

I would agree with you, and say the same for the left. There are a portfolio of stances of varying degrees of reasonableness…

In your opinion, what happened that dispelled the redeeming features from both sides? Is it a lack of leadership or an echo-chamber mentality?

65 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 12:12 pm

I would agree with you, and say the same for the left. There are a portfolio of stances of varying degrees of reasonableness…

Not at all. Among the left, there are distinct social roles, but hardly any policy disagreements anymore.

66 A B January 24, 2016 at 8:38 am

There’s an old Soviet Joke about civil rights: “In America, you can stand in the middle of Washington DC and criticize the United States. Likewise, in the Soviet Union: you can stand in the middle of Moscow Square and criticize the United States.” There will be no corresponding New York Times article comparing books critical of the Left written by a conservative and a progressive.

67 ibaien January 24, 2016 at 8:54 am

have you tried checking the Washington Times?

68 A B January 24, 2016 at 10:57 am

It’s not the venue — it’s the lack of reflective books written by Progressives about Progressive Extremism.

69 Mull January 24, 2016 at 11:49 am

Haven’t you been listening to Bernie Sanders?

70 Lord January 24, 2016 at 8:54 am

We all know what, or should I say whom, the last Great Depression led to, and if we aren’t willing to prevent that we will deserve what we get.

71 ibaien January 24, 2016 at 8:56 am

i love that on this blog I can’t decide whether you’re referring to FDR or Hitler.

72 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 9:57 am

haha +1

73 Owen January 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm

+2

74 required January 24, 2016 at 9:13 am

WWII solved our economic woes after the Great Depression. Are you suggesting WWIII to occur?

75 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 9:39 am

No, real domestic product per capita in 1941 exceeded that in 1929 by about 15%. The Depression was over prior to the war, and, but for some policy miscues in 1937, might have been over in 1939. The labor market remained troubled, with elevated unemployment rates and a mess of labor stashed in the Works Progress Administration.

76 required January 24, 2016 at 9:56 am

So truly, we don’t need a war to recover. We need half a decade of government intervention following the proper cues to recover the economy. Since both sides try to say the other sides idea is policy miscues, the proper government intervention is not efficient.

77 required January 24, 2016 at 10:05 am

*I meant the proper government intervention does not occur as the compromise from the two sides with agendas prevent it from occurring.

78 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 10:35 am

Arguably not much government intervention was needed. The ratio of federal expenditure to domestic product during the period running from 1933 to 1940 averaged about 0.065. Federal deficits never exceeded 4% of domestic product and the Roosevelt Administration turned in two balanced budgets. The rapid growth began subsequentt to the bank holiday, to suspending the convertibility of the dollar into gold, to devaluation of the currency, and to Glass-Steagall. Other state interventions were injurious to recovery (the National Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Acts, the Wagner Acts, the minimum wage laws), or irrelevant to it (the Social Security Act). The bank holiday &c., expansionary monetary policy, the federal employment programs, and federal labor law promoting flexible wages could have done the trick.

79 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 10:36 am

Oh, there was some credit extended through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the HOLC workouts as well.

80 Art Deco* January 24, 2016 at 11:32 am

I know because I was there.

*not really Art

81 Mull January 24, 2016 at 11:58 am

I see Tyler calling the finance regulations requiring people be able to service debt to be excessive government regulation, but the FHA et al refi of mortgages had a minimum 20% equity requirement, which was easy because debt was originally only 50% of market price, but five years later the market price had fallen 25-30% and made the debt 75% of market price, so refi into a new 5 year mortgage of no more than 50% debt to market price was impossible.

When in “boom” times, debt to market price of 110% is seen as rational then all the principles of capitalism have been run through a wood chipper ten times. But that’s what happened 2001 to 2005.

82 Derek January 24, 2016 at 10:08 am

Hmm. What would that look like today? Flatten the industrial capacity of China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, any country that has capacity.

….
Enjoy the benefits of a monopoly that can only be had by being the last man standing.

83 HL January 24, 2016 at 10:12 am

not that we have enough industrial capacity to support ourselves in such a situation anymore

84 A Definite Beta Guy January 24, 2016 at 9:38 am

Political dysfunction has already spread to the Left. The #BlackLivesMatter and #FeeltheBern movements are equally radically crazy. Look how far the Democrats have deteriorated since Howard Dean: Obama in ’08, and now Sanders in ’16, and again, Sanders would cake-walk into the nomination if he could actually pull any support from the minority communities. That’s a HUGE deterioration in the electoral politics.

The Republicans ran Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney was the only guy in the entire party who implemented universal health care. Yes, the Republican Voter is upset that the Republican Party continues to run “moderate” Republicans like Dubya, McCain, and Romney, and end up with nothing to show for it.

The Democrats are already undergoing a HARD shift to the left. What discipline they do have makes them inflexible in State elections: see running Wendy Davis for Texas, and getting destroyed.

85 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 9:43 am

Disagree. “BlackLivesMatter” is utter humbug, and potentially quite destructive humbug. The Sanders campaign is a sign that there is some health in the Democratic Party and a willingness to take out the trash. Partisan Democrats have to make use of a certain sort of artifice to avoid explicitly acknowledging that there’s been a stew of corruption and abuse of power at the apex and center of the Democratic Party so state things in terms of approved bogies. They cannot manage better than that within the limits of their distorted self-understanding. Still, a Sanders win would be a good thing as it might put the Clintons and their camarilla out to grass once and for all.

86 A Definite Beta Guy January 24, 2016 at 11:40 am

I don’t understand why you think #FeeltheBern is a sign of health, other than that the Democratic Party won’t entirely cave into the Clintons. It’s perhaps good to have some element of insurgency and passion within the party, not so much when the in-mates start running the asylum (which is the position the Republicans are in, though of course you might disagree).

Bernie is freakin’ insane. The best part of Bernie is that Paul Krugman finally has to mount some arguments against the progressive Left and stop pretending Progressive policies are all rainbows and unicorns. Krugman called Bernie’s health-care cost-cutting “plan” the equivalent of Republican voodoo supply-side, tax-cuts pay for themselves economics.

Yes, Bernie is THAT crazy, he’s just as bad as the “if we cut taxes by half they will pay for themselves by economic growth.”

That’s not really health, IMO, that’s the start of insanity, because the voters are revolting against the Democratic Establishment that can implement actual progressive policy.

87 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Bernie’s a goof. I’m fairly sure he’s an honest goof, and I doubt you could show he performed poorly as Mayor of Burlington (when he was facing more severe constraints on policy than he would as president, to be sure). The Clinton’s are a criminal mafia, and a malignancy on our public life. Sanders is merely wrong on the issues.

88 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:46 am

How much of what we see in DC is corruption, and how much of that is realpolitik?

For both parties.

89 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 9:49 am

Mitt Romney was the only guy in the entire party who implemented universal health care.

Mitt Romney could not and did not institute ‘universal health care’ by decree. The market for household medical insurance in Massachusetts was an utter ruin due to policies adopted during the Dukakis administration. Romney had to come up with therapeutic policy measures to nurse that market and persuade a Democratic legislature to co-operate, which required concessions to them. Romney was not navigating Utah politics. He was navigating Massachusetts politics. Unless your politics consists of striking poses a la Ron Paul, your record in going to look different working in one matrix than working in another.

90 Mull January 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

Are you arguing that Texas health insurance and delivery were totally optimal in 2006 when Romney signed Romneycare into law?

91 required January 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

The best presidents of this country occured when Republican was the liberal party and Democrates was the conservative party.

92 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 10:00 am

I’ve noticed this as well.

It comes directly from people on the left who think that the Right has been too unwilling to compromise. Why should they give up their policy goals to support those of the Right?

At least in the people I know who are voting Bernie, that is the widespread view. “Why should we compromise all the time?” I think everyone recognizes he won’t lead to effective government.

93 A Definite Beta Guy January 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

Yes, I’ve noticed this, and it’s biased view of recent political history. Which Hillary pointed out: The Democrats controlled Congress and STILL couldn’t get a public option passed, and Sanders wants single-payer healthcare. It’s not politically feasible to go far, we don’t even have to discuss the “merits.”

When I bring this up with my #FeeltheBern people, that even the Democrats themselves can’t get behind single payer, the argument is more “RAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MONEY IN POLITICS!!!!!”

The #feeltheBern people are morons. Anyone who votes for Bernie Sanders is as stupid as the people voting for Donald Trump. One man’s opinion, of course.

94 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 11:47 am

Never thought I’d agree with you.

I’m a technocrat in favor of smart, compromising solutions.

Don’t love Bernie as I don’t love any ideologue.

95 Mull January 24, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Of course, Democrats could not get the conservative health reform passed without a few key Republican traitors. Especially conservative Republican Arlen Specter representing conservative Pennsylvania and Republican Olympia Stowe representing conservative Maine, plus a few other fellow travelers who got a bill that represented Republicans drafted which convinced Democrats that Obamacare was the best possible option.

Republicans can’t write a replacement that is not just Obamacare II.

96 Harun January 24, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Those people on the left who don’t believe the right has compromised are delusional.

Reid and Obama got planned parenthood funding, for example. They got funding for Obama’s executive action on immigration.

The right got what red meat? Nada.

This is why you get Trump.

97 required January 24, 2016 at 10:11 am

The most conservative aspect of our Government is the compromise of two wings of our Eagle (our Government). For an eagle could only fly with two wings.

98 Hoosier January 24, 2016 at 9:52 am

Didn’t Tyler predict that people would learn to accept income stagnation in his recent book? I know I’m over simplifying his prediction, but in general I got the feeling that he wasn’t too worried about the political outcomes resulting from it.

Or was that a long term prediction?

99 required January 24, 2016 at 10:18 am

Economic stagnation occurs because of the lack of new inventions. Small innovation is not good enough anymore, and large innovation is to costly.

Why do we have 48-bit, and 56-bit address space instead of directly going into 64-bit address space for our 64-bit motherboards? It is becuaee of profit and supply creates a demand in itself gradually. There are few computer clusters that require more than 48-bit of address space right now, so the engineers won’t over engineer things becuase they can make more money. This, my friends, is a small innovation and a counterexample to my generalization above.

100 fwiw January 24, 2016 at 10:25 am

Wait, sorry, are you being sarcastic?

We have 48-bit address spaces because most people don’t have 16 petabyte disk drives.

101 required January 24, 2016 at 11:47 am

Supply creates a demand in itself. It is not that people don’t have large capacity harddrives but that the lack of harddrive of such capacities.

Once upon a time, it cost $1000 for a 16-bit computer with 64k ram under flat address, or 1M ram under the segmented system.

Later, it cost $1000 for a 32-bit computer with 4GB ram under flat address.

So, it should be $1000 for a 64-bit computer with 16EB ram under flat memory. By Moore’s law this should occur by 2020, but will it happen?
exabyte = 1024 petabyte
petabyte =1024 terabyte
terabyte = 1024 gigabyte

102 Alain January 24, 2016 at 8:48 pm

This is the most cracked comment I have seen on this site. You hold promise of being the next mulp. I’ll get the popcorn out and watch.

103 Mull January 24, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Clinton-Gore are not driving DOE policy with competition for bigger faster supercomputers to test bigger nuclear bombs without violating the test ban treaty, thus winning support from conservative Republicans for bigger government intervention in the free market. Before that it was the Atari Democrats working with conservative Republicans selling the idea of COTS by government writing RFPs to create the free market demand that Wall Street needs to pay workers to do risky R&D in dual use technology….encryption, global networks, digital wireless, supercomputers, supercomputers in non-military applications like health care, advertising, market research. DOE was the classic example of a government agency finding a way to stay alive and increase its budget after its charter of building bombs and nuclear power plants was revoked by We the People who did not want to pay the high taxes those missions required.

104 Derek January 24, 2016 at 10:26 am

It is quite simple. The party purported to be conservative, family values, fiscal rectitude, strong on defense, small government are none of the above.

Trump is not a real conservative! So Romney was? Dole? McCain has nothing but contempt for conservatives.

This is the Red Tory purge. It will probably save the country, as did the one in Canada.

105 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 11:25 am

McCain’s overall voting record was passable. McCain has an odd indifference or hostility to controlling the border, and he is oddly hostile and irritated to people who call that into question and want him to countenance measures to control the border. Dole was a careerist Capitol Hill fixture whose discussion of issues was along the lines of “we passed a bill just a couple of weeks ago that provides for 20% of…” blah blah blah. It’s doubtful his thinking ever transcends niggling legislative details or turf battles in Congress or parliamentary procedure. As for Romney, there are a couple of ways you could look at him: an ambitious opportunist looking for a new challenge, so he leaves I-banking and goes into politics; or as someone who looks like an opportunist because he’s had to work in dissimilar matrices (ergo the appellation ‘windsock Romney’). I’m pretty sure it’s wrong to look at these people as bearers of some ideology foreign to you (and the RINO discourse is just stupid).

106 LR January 24, 2016 at 10:35 am

The populist impulse is the most important factor and it cuts across both parties. The feeling in the electorate is that the game is rigged, the benefits of the US economic engine go to a few (the 1%, immigrants and China) , and that the politicians are bought and paid for. It’s the perceived unfairness of all of this that causes resentment. The constant repetition of old chestnuts: “A rising tide lifts all boats”, “America is a nations of immigrants”, “Free trade is good for everyone”, has proven to be insufficient to mask the facts on the ground for a large portion of the country, You can’t manage a political economy when 2/3 of the country thinks the game is completely rigged. In addition, they have a point on the merits of the case. The “experts”, political class, and bankers have not fared well in running the economy over the past 10 years, but they seem to be doing just fine, thanks.

107 Derek January 24, 2016 at 11:28 am

The stated and unstated policy over the last while has been that the 10% of the population, productive, innovative and fully capable of competing in the world market will carry the other 90%.

Invest in chicken feathers and thick bitumen. There may be hope for Alberta and Arkansas after all.

108 peri January 24, 2016 at 11:02 am

Agree with LR, but I don’t think the Democrats will be infected with the chaos that afflicts the GOP, at least not to the same degree, because of the obvious difference between the parties. Democrats have a core unifying principle – opposition to the powerful/whites/males. The GOP has no such principle… Their only unifier is that they’re not Democrats. The Democrats are always the leaders in the ideological dance, which gives them focus. (Which doesn’t mean that it’s easy for them to find leaders, apparently. HRC is the presumptive winner of the election and she’s the worst statesman and candidate in a generation…)

109 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 12:41 pm

The unifying core principle of the Democratic Party is to manufacture patron-client relations for the benefit of selected occupational groups. The hostility to white males is a means to mobilize the working-class appendix to their bourgeois constituency. You get the patriciate and the haut bourgeois with certain cultural themes; certain professionals and common and garden bourgeois with cultural themes and programs which make candy for them; and the blacks, Puerto Ricans, California Chicanos, and trashy single mothers by emphasizing welfare programs and the perfidy of the white man. The Jews are captured through the means which garner the bourgeois and patriciate generally. Orientals can be corralled the same way, but more haphazardly and unevenly.

110 mulp January 24, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Seriously??

Democrats are made up of a thousand interest groups that drive a maximum of 1% of the vote. Who do you look to to get a cure for autism? Who do you look to for support for valuing autistic people by mainstreaming them into society with a full time tax funded helper? Who do you look to for tax funded for babies born with disabilities requiring a million dollars of care in the first year, dropping to a quarter million per year afterward? Who do you look to for support for prenatal genetic screening to eliminate babies born needing millions of dollars of lifetime taxpayer support?

Certainly not Republicans.

Issue after issue follow the same pattern. Conservatives want no welfare and no job training and no poor people in their neighborhood taking their jobs or slots in college, but they want poor people to have more babies who grow up in poverty that they do not want living near them or taking their jobs or competing for slots in college. A white girl took a case to SCOTUS based on poor non-whites taking her slot at college, but she never objected to well off white males taking her slot at college with worse grades and test scores. Classic conservative Republican: whites are entitled to special treatment disadvantaging other whites….

111 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 2:06 pm

There are lumpers and splitters, and you’d be more insightful as a lumper. Higher education is a non commercial interest which runs on credentials and gossip, employs verbalizers, and is crucially dependent on high barriers to entry, flows of public money, low elasticity of demand, opacity regarding product content, &c. It doesn’t much matter if they want the cash to study autism or to pay for a new faculty line in gender studies, except in purely intramural disputes.

112 Thomas January 24, 2016 at 2:11 pm

It is actually wealthy blacks that are the beneficiary of the University of Texas’ ‘holistic admission’. Impoverished blacks were already effectively targeted by the University of Texas policy to admit the top 10% of Texas high school students combined with Texas’s still very much segregated high schools. Well to do black children apparently I can not compete with their equally well to do white counterparts, and as we’ve learned in recent history race is more important to progressives than class.

113 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Not many upper class blacks; you’d be recruiting from the professonal-managerial bourgeoisie.

114 Edward Burke January 24, 2016 at 11:20 am

Even irrespective of Vico’s analysis, we still can see that Rome’s Patrician Era stretched just over 140 years after the overthrow of the Tarquins and that the Conflict of the Orders consumed the Roman polity for some 80 years after that.

Whether or how we proceed could depend at least in part on how well acquainted we are with the Roman model, as Mr. Vico suggested.

Are not both the Republican and the Democratic Parties on the threshold of reconstituting themselves? (I see Republicans rebranding themselves as Constitutionalists, the Democrats as Populists.)

115 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Yeah, ‘populists’ who get what they want courtesy judicial decrees signed by Ivy League lawyers meeting in secret.

116 rich January 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

In American politics, Trump is just business as usual.

Kennedy: Sam Giancana
Nixon: Carlos Marcello, Mickey Cohen
Ronald Reagan: Salvatore “Sal the Banker” Pisello
Trump: Nicademo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, Salvatore Testa

117 Andre January 24, 2016 at 12:34 pm

The idea that there is some sort of symmetry between the two parties with equally extreme wings is nonsense. The Republican base is revolting because they’ve been hoodwinked year after year by elites that only care about tax cuts for the wealthy. The base cares about jobs and wages but are stuck in a lump of labor fallacy waiting for someone to kick minorities and women back to the fringes of the labor market so that (white) America will be great again. Trump is telling them exactly what they want to hear and he skips the dog whistles to convince them that he will actually have to deliver. That is why the Republican’s are getting more extreme, the old lies aren’t fooling the base anymore. There isn’t any comparable on the left.

118 Art Deco January 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Republican legislators are fixated on tax rates. Please recall, though, that for a generation the ultimate marginal rate has bobbed up and down between 28% and 40%. The really radical changes took place between 1980 and 1986, when that rate was reduced from 70% to 28%.

119 required January 24, 2016 at 1:10 pm

That was by the president whom talked about global warming.

120 Thomas January 24, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Go enjoy Crooked Timber

121 Cliff January 24, 2016 at 10:30 pm

So if their only care is tax rates for the wealthy what explains their utter lack of success in affecting these?

122 Andre January 24, 2016 at 10:41 pm

They had a very good run on rates for 8 years under Bush. They simply shot themselves in the foot by making the tax cut expire so they could lie about the total cost.

123 Brian Donohue January 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

But those tax cuts were extended for everyone except for the wealthy. Under a Republican House!

124 Floccina January 24, 2016 at 10:08 pm

The only problem is I do not think stagnation has much to do with Trump popularity:
What Do Donald Trump Voters Actually Want?

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