Etymology lesson

by on May 5, 2016 at 12:19 am in Current Affairs, Education, Political Science | Permalink

trump (v.2) Look up trump at“fabricate, devise,” 1690s, from trump “deceive, cheat” (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper “to deceive,” of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de “to mock,” from Old French tromper “to blow a trumpet.” Brachet explains this as “to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying ….” The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe “blow the trumpet” as “act the fool,” and Donkin connects it rather to trombe “waterspout,” on the notion of turning (someone) around. Connection with triumph also has been proposed. Related: Trumped; trumping. Trumped up “false, concocted” first recorded 1728.


Here is more, via DK.  Here are related comments from Scott Sumner.

1 gongshow May 5, 2016 at 1:01 am

Well played, sir.

2 Heorogar May 5, 2016 at 7:18 am

Equal time: A review the etymology of a man’s means nothing.

Let’s go to the record and check Hillary’s sociopathic history. Here is a sample.

First, she’s lost 18 state primary elections to an aged socialist from a very tiny state.

Hillary’s record is horrendous. It’s why she’s running on her arête: the fact that she does not have a penis.

She’s a thief. In 2001, Hillary was forced to return $200,000 worth of White House art work, china, and furniture she had stolen.

US State Sec’y Hillary approved the transfer of 20% of US uranium to Russia at the same moment that nine Russian investors gave $145 million the Clinton Foundation. NYT

US State Sec’y Hillary approved sending Libyan sarin (chemical weapon, potent nerve agent, WMD) to Syrian rebels. Seymour Hersh

“Well played, sir.” said the imbecile.

3 anon May 5, 2016 at 8:06 am

Check yourself

Also see the related study on bullshit susceptibility at the bottom.

4 MOFO May 5, 2016 at 9:40 am

Thats pretty thin gruel, the linked article only takes issue with the claim that Clinton could have *vetoed* the deal, not with the claims that deal was improper. Consider:

“Schweizer raises legitimate questions about the Clinton Foundation and its donations. He simply goes too far when he says Clinton had “veto power” and “could have stopped” the uranium deal.”

He even says at the outset that Clinton could have forced the issue to the president but did not.

Heorogar never claims that Clinton could have vetoed the deal, on that she approved it, which is correct.

5 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:52 am

No, it is a functional lie on two levels. It was not a transfer of 20% of US uranium. It was the sale of a company, something that happens in free markets all the time. She did not have a direct approval role. It is a very different thing to say the truth, that she was on a committee which approved, saw no threat to national security.

How turned around is this? You are saying less Capitalism, more Hilary using the coercive power of the government. Because someone told you management of this company made the wrong choice? Government should command private enterprise?

6 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 11:21 am

No, I believe he is saying that regardless of what is right, Clinton did possess that functional power. And that donations could be intended (and even may have) influenced whether she exercised said functional power.

That corruption sometimes moves policy in the direction of the ideal doesn’t mean the corruption itself is ideal.

7 anon May 5, 2016 at 11:34 am
8 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 11:52 am

First two are people who look bad as a result of the story. Not surprising they would make contrary claims It is also possible to take action in the expectation that it will buy later favor, even without knowing the specific favor that will be needed. We won’t have the opportunity to cross-examine them.

“The State Department only had one vote on the nine-member Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that approved the deal. Other agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, Commerce, and Justice, also weighed in.”

There are 100 Senators. “Senator Jimmy only had one vote in the 100 member Senate. 99 other Senators also weighed in. My large campaign contribution clearly didn’t matter.”

“Rosatom had to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is an independent agency outside of the secretary of state’s influence.”

The executive branch can certainly influence independent agencies.

“Utah’s local nuclear regulator also had to sign off on the deal, as it involved mills in the state.”

The President has to sign legislation after passed by the Senate and House. So once again, the large campaign contribution to Senator Jimmy didn’t matter. It was just out of patriotic fervor.

The last is a politician who worked in the State Department at this time. Maybe he hopes to have a political future.

9 anon May 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

What bullshit.

10 MOFO May 5, 2016 at 1:35 pm

“No, it is a functional lie on two levels. It was not a transfer of 20% of US uranium. It was the sale of a company, something that happens in free markets all the time. She did not have a direct approval role. It is a very different thing to say the truth, that she was on a committee which approved, saw no threat to national security.”

I assume the “%20 of US Uranium” was a typo of “%20 of US Uranium production”, which isnt better or even much different.

She did have direct approval role, your link even said so directly, she just wasnt the only one. Again, that isnt much different or better. I stand by my statement, your defense is weaksauce.

11 Floccina May 5, 2016 at 10:14 am

Come now HRC’s record is bad enough that you do not need to make things up. She seems to support aiding rebels in Libya and Syria that is enough.

12 josh May 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

I’d like to know more about the the Clintons, the Rose Law Firm, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, and the relationship to the Mena Airport CIA drug-running operation if there was such a thing.

13 jk May 6, 2016 at 5:15 am

You didn’t even address her Foreign Policy disasters of Libya and her insistence on arming “moderate rebels” to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria. This coupled with her insane belief that “no fly zone” will make Syria safer when it may only risk further conflict or escalation with Russia.

She spoke at AIPAC. She is the only true neocon Republican candidate remaining.

14 Jamie_NYC May 5, 2016 at 10:44 am

Seven stages of grief, Tyler, seven stages of grief: shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope.

Btw., didn’t you blog a while ago about the etymology of your last name (‘Coven of witches’)? Don’t remember what the readers were supposed to conclude from that… Doubt it was anything of importance.

15 Matthew May 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I always assumed it was an alternative spelling of Cohen.

16 Urso May 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Wiktionary gives one definition of “cowan” as “A sneak; an inquisitive or prying person.” Better update your priors!!!

17 Tununak May 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Or perhaps more pertinent, this week anyway:
trump (v.1) “surpass, beat,” 1580s, from trump (n.).

18 firingline May 5, 2016 at 1:05 am

How stupid do you think these voters are? They haven’t been fooled, cheated, deceived, hoodwinked, duped or tricked by Trump. They’re voting for him because he speaks to their concerns. They know perfectly well what he is, and it’s still better than these empty suits tripping over each other to cowtow to their doners and their ideologies while paying lip service to “the middle class” and traditional values with empty promises. The well ensconced elite would like to think that Trump is some kind of Machiavellian media genius that’s managed to put a spell on his voters. The truth is that they’re simply fed up with your bullshit, and they’ll vote for anything else.

19 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 1:12 am

This is a very frightening time in this country. To me it’s even more unsettling than after 9/11.

20 Brian Donohue May 5, 2016 at 7:26 am

Six months of this? I seriously hope we are better than that.

We’re all maudlin now?

21 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 11:56 am

This is a new phase in our history, having a person like that so close to getting elected. And it may happen too. I am not one to think the country will be imperiled by 4 years of Trump (he won’t want to run again, that way he won’t have to care how he does once he gets the prize, which is all he cares about). I don’t think he’s evil, and I don’t think most of what he says can happen because he’s not being elected king. But there’s a lack of seriousness and class and gravitas and honesty that just makes me unsettled and a little sad. Not maudlin. But it’s not a good look for this country. So much of being president is symbolic, about what this country aspires to, and it’s sad that this guy is making so many waves.

Any honest Republican needs to admit that if he were running as a Democrat, and he could just as easily have done so, they would loathe the guy. But he’s team Red so rah rah Trump. But Trump is not what I thought our nation aspired to. And while Hillary is far from ideal, I’ve never understood the hatred, just as I never understood the hatred for Obama, or Bush II, or Bill Clinton.

22 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 12:17 pm

“But there’s a lack of seriousness and class and gravitas and honesty that just makes me unsettled and a little sad. Not maudlin. But it’s not a good look for this country. So much of being president is symbolic, about what this country aspires to, and it’s sad that this guy is making so many waves.”

We had a guy be President for 8 years who got a blow job from an intern in the White House, and managed to get semen on her dress. I believe a candidate is running to try to get him back in there.

23 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Really TV? You know most of the presidents had plenty of mistresses. That’s not what’s embarrassing about Trump, although he has done plenty of dress staining I’m sure.

24 Urso May 5, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Romney was nothing but class & gravitas (and I mean that literally, he was *nothing* but class & gravitas). Looked like he had been manufactured in a lab to be president. And as honest as the day is long. But in the end who cares? Not me, not the majority of American voters, and probably not you.

25 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 1:52 pm

@Urso: you make a fair, deeply cynical point, this is mostly a sideshow, the world goes on no matter who is president. But come on, it’s worth caring a little about isn’t it? This year? Sure nothing really matters but I prefer to sometimes act as if some things do.

26 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

“If the current polls are reliable… Nixon will be re-elected by a huge majority of Americans who feel he is not only more honest and more trustworthy than George McGovern, but also more likely to end the war in Vietnam. The polls also indicate that Nixon will get a comfortable majority of the Youth Vote. And that he might carry all fifty states… This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes… understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon. McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose… Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?”

27 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 2:08 pm

@TV: love the Hunter Thompson quote. But Nixon is a good exception to the rule of presidential philandering. That guy was probably very loyal to his wife, as was Carter. Obama too (Michelle would break her foot off in his ass). Make of that what you will when you give Bill Clinton grief for his pecker-dillos. Known presidential skirtchasers include FDR, JFK, LBJ, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and those are just the modern ones.

28 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm

My feeling is that Trump (or any president really) doesn’t have a lot of power to enact his agenda. No matter what he does, the US in 4-8 years will look about the same as it does now.

(I realize some MR commenters believe Obama has ruined the country, but I don’t see it, and in any case Obama had Congress on his side for a little while at least. I can’t imagine Trump will have either party on his side in the sense of getting legislation through Congress.)

But the President does have a lot of power to react to foreign events. If those foreign events are just more Mideast muddling, no big deal. But if we get anything like 9/11 or maybe an emboldened Putin… I’m just glad I don’t have children of military age.

29 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 8:31 am

Ward Churchill? Is that you?

It is strange that the Democrats can be bought off to support Clinton – a candidate manifestly worse than Sanders. But then it is bizarre there is no choice apart from Sanders or Clinton on the Left. However that is not that unsettling. It is just corrupt.

30 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Really not hard to believe when you consider that the last time Democrats had a sitting president in his second term, they only had two candidates then too (Gore and Bradley). The party wants to stay in power and discourages too many candidates slinging mud at each other.

31 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

If they wanted to stay in power they would not have picked one of the most unpopular and divisive candidates available. They have been bought off. Too many people owe too many Clintons too many favors.

Hilary is not a candidate in the mold of either Gore or Bradley.

The fact that Sanders is still in the race proves this.

Everyone talks about Trump’s problem with women. But Clinton has as much of a problem with men. And while Trump may be able to pivot back to attract female voters, Hilary’s schtick is to double down on alienating anyone with testicles by playing the sexism card. This is not going to work out well and the Democrats must have been able to see that when they knee capped anyone who might have stood against her.

32 Floccina May 5, 2016 at 10:16 am

The USSR is no more these are the safest and best of times.

33 TMC May 5, 2016 at 10:25 am

mskings, I too will feel better once Hillary is safely in prison.

34 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 11:59 am

LOL yeah she’s a menace to all of our safety.

35 Jamie_NYC May 5, 2016 at 10:49 am

Fear not. To help you, here is a parable from Dogbert (Dilbert cartoon caracter) given duing his “Seminar on Change”:

Two bulls are talking, and the first says: “I’m afraid of change!”

The second bull: “Oh, get over it.”

The next day they were both slaughtered and ground into hamburgers. Thanks for coming!

36 Joan May 5, 2016 at 2:06 am

Anyone who opposes immigration and free trade and has been voting for Republicans for the last 30 years is very dumb.

37 Kris May 5, 2016 at 3:13 am

Would they have been smart to vote for the Democrats instead? I don’t see how: Democrats have been (and are) pro-immigration, and only their labor/socialist wing (ably represented now by the Bern) has expressed discontent about free trade.

38 A Definite Beta Guy May 5, 2016 at 7:31 am

This isn’t really the case. The Republicans aren’t necessarily “anti-” globalization, but there’s been a populist trend in the Republicans for over a decade. The House GOP sank Bush’s immigration reform package back in 2006, for instance, and the House GOP has sunk any attempt at reform. I’d say Party Leadership has mostly been using this as a football and trying to concede as little as possible in attempt to placate the base, but now they have been righteously routed. Perhaps in the future they will actually do the things they say will.

39 Brian Donohue May 5, 2016 at 7:45 am

Historically, neither immigration or free trade were neat left/right issues, e.g. there has ALWAYS been a business interest in this country in favor of immigration, while organized labor has ALWAYS been staunchly anti-immigration.

I would say the ‘elites’ in both parties have been in agreement on these two issues for a long time (pro free trade and immigration), while the masses in both parties are more protectionist/restrictionist.

I myself am fervently ‘with’ the elites on these issues, although I find ‘elite culture’ increasingly ridiculous. Case in point: prominent right wing economists have to signal like overwrought peacocks against Trump in order to maintain their seat at the table.

Both issues are a rich vein for populist demagoguery over jobs, particularly when an economy falters.

(Fun illustrative fact about jobs, manufacturing, productivity etc: In 1990, the US produced 89.7 metric tons of steel and the industry employed 204,000 Americans. In 200, the US produced 101.8 metric tons of steel and the industry employed 151,000 Americans. That is 53,000 jobs that didn’t “go” anywhere- they disappeared. Economists should spend more time explaining such things to people than enlisting on their behalf in the 21st century victimhood/grievance wars.)

It’s funny: you hear a lot of sanctimony these days from the left about democracy- our secular religion or somesuch. Bashing NAFTA and immigration is democracy. Enjoy. The elites have kept a lid on this debate for a while now- the Democratic Party has gone in whole hog here – particularly on immigration – for some time.

I enjoy the idea of forcing Hillary Clinton to articulate the case for free trade. This feels like a clever wrongfooting move by Trump.

In any event, we will in all likelihood see no significant changes in our terms of trade with the rest of the world regardless.

Got some popcorn and relax. Hillary is probably gonna win anyway.

40 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 11:00 am

Many spot-on points in here.

I used to be more ‘with’ the elites on these issues too, but I’ve begun to move away. The elite want to keep the gains from globalization and immigration to themselves, while burdening the non-elite with the costs. This isn’t going to change: the idea that we could maximize the size of the pie through the most efficient policy, and then redistribute it ex-post, is wishful thinking (also, the “most efficient” policy also often ignores the welfare effects of having a big chunk of your lower-skilled population in perpetual un- and under-employment: even if we did redistribute to these people, I tend to think that if it is in the form of a cash transfer they will still tend to be worse off than if they received the same monetary reward for a dignified job). Once the elite gets its out-sized portion of the pie, they will fight like hell to keep it, and thanks to the extra power their portion of the pie affords them, they are in a better position to keep it.

41 Urso May 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Very good post, but as to this: “That is 53,000 jobs that didn’t “go” anywhere- they disappeared. Economists should spend more time explaining such things to people…” what exactly do you think will happen? People are just going to say oh ok then, never mind, sorry to have bothered you? Seems to me that the potential worst-case-scenario for the elites there is far worse than “parts of NAFTA are repealed.”

42 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

But it’s not NAFTA that disappeared those jobs, it’s technological advance. Do we outlaw that?

43 Urso May 5, 2016 at 2:41 pm

I don’t know what they’ll do. But I’m not willing to put all my chips on “accept it with a stoic nod.”

44 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm

‘Put your chips’? What does that mean? Tech means we can make more stuff with less people. That’s got nothing to do with tariffs or NAFTA or the Chinese. Politicians can’t do anything about it. A UBI is probably what will eventually happen. Also people have to find things to do besides make stuff en masse. Artisanal production maybe.

45 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:22 pm

How much market share did US steelmakers retain?

To what degree was investments technology driven by the reality that non-US producers could undercut them on price?

46 anon May 5, 2016 at 8:33 am

Or maybe it’s in their economic interest to do so? They haven’t been seeing the gains of trade, just their jobs leaving. Maybe it’s easier to see gains of trade when you are a tenured faculty member who doesn’t have to compete with imported and illegal immigrant labour, but for the low skilled worker, it’s perfectly rational to support immigration restrictions, tariffs, and worker protections.

47 Thiago Ribeiro May 5, 2016 at 2:40 am

“and they’ll vote for anything else.”
Thanks God Stalin and Osama bin Laden are dead and weren’t American citizens anyway. We really dodged a bullet here.

48 Kris May 5, 2016 at 3:11 am

Trump boosts the ego of his followers and at the same time portrays them as victims (granted they thought of themselves as victims anyway.) These are standard tools of a demagogue. Once people get convinced that they are righteous people who have been grievously harmed, they’ll believe anything the demagogue says. It’s not stupidity, just classic human psychology.

49 AIG May 5, 2016 at 3:18 am

“How stupid do you think these voters are?”


50 AIG May 5, 2016 at 3:19 am

“The truth is that they’re simply fed up with your bullshit”

To a retard, everything seems like bullshit.

51 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

I am enjoying your lesson on civility.

Trump may well be a horrible person. He is certainly a Democrat. But the issue remains he is a popular horrible Democrat. Sensible people should ask why. Insisting his supporters are morons is not an answer.

52 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:02 pm

You accuse ‘the left’ of being morons constantly. Is that ‘not the answer’?

53 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm

If Trump is elected, it will set a new standard for the acceptability of trolling.

From the White House on down Twitter will be aflame with department heads going after their loser opponents.

54 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm

No. The Left thinks the Right is stupid. The Right thinks the Left is evil.

The last claim can be defended both intellectually and from historical precedent. So can the former to be honest. But neither quite fits for Trump’s supporters.

55 Urstoff May 5, 2016 at 8:11 am

No, they don’t know what he is because no one does. He changes positions constantly and doesn’t have any sort of thought out policies. See the recent interaction between Cruz and a Trump supporter over gun rights: Trump supporters are impervious to facts. They don’t care what Trump actually says or has done.

56 Brian Donohue May 5, 2016 at 8:27 am

I think I disagree. Trump aside, extrapolating from what a politician says to what a politician does seems like a mistake, a kind of naivete. It’s the equivalent of swallowing any advertising whole. There’s marketing, and then there’s customer service.

Much better, I think to consider what the politician has done. In a sense, this is why my vote for Obama in 2008 was way more of a shot in the dark- the guy had a very thin resume. And I think he’s done ok, better than I would have guessed.

Trump is a 70 year old guy with executive talent who knows how to negotiate and make deals and has never shown a shred of ideological conviction. He will be placed in a robust partisan system with a likely split legislative body and other slow-moving apparatus of state.

As the symbolic ‘head of state’, he may be embarrassing sometimes, and the rest of the world will get a chance to chuckle at America – good for them – but in military matters, he sounds less adventurous than Hillary, let alone the raft of Republicans he left behind.

This too shall pass.

57 Floccina May 5, 2016 at 11:25 am

, he sounds less adventurous than Hillary, let alone the raft of Republicans he left behind.

That the reason given by the stanchest Trump supporter I know. He disagrees with Trump on everything on domestic policy but hopes that Trump ease off on the Middle East wars. He is a pretty rabid Trump supporter. He also hopes Trump will ease up on drug war.

58 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:06 pm

It’s fair to support him on that basis, the president has far more leeway in foreign affairs and executive functions like prosecuting the drug war. He’s less hawkish than Hillary for sure. And most of his domestic ‘policies’ will never pass Congress.

59 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Trump is fairly clear about wanting to fight ISIS but is less than clear about what, exactly, he proposes. His foreign policy stance strikes me as Nixonian and that should give people like the guy you know pause. Nixon, after all, claimed to have a plan to extricate the U.S. from Vietnam and also made a show of being “unpredictable” as a way to scare the North Vietnamese into a truce. It didn’t work and combat operations had to last another four years before a deal was made.

60 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:25 pm

George W Bush claimed he would have a humble foreign policy and was against nation building.

61 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Brian: very well said here

62 Anoni May 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Thats why I am voting for him. Clinton has been an absolute disaster on everything she has touched, especially foreign policy. From the Iraq War to Libya and Syria, she is a compass that always points in the wrong direction and always toward war. She has also strayed far from sanity on Russia. She is like McCain without the combat experience in foreign policy. Clinton has a real shot at getting into wars with Iran and Russia-and you all think that Trump is dangerous?

My guess is Tyler Cowen knows very few if any of the men that would die in Hillary’s wars.

63 anon May 5, 2016 at 8:36 am

He signaled strongly his willingness to do extreme things to protect working class people’s jobs. At the end of the day, people vote their pocket books.

64 Urstoff May 5, 2016 at 9:15 am
65 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:52 am

It depends on what you consider “working class”. I am including those who work in manufacturing and manual labor and whose jobs are at particular risk of foreign competition. You can’t gleam that information from income data alone. I am not including welfare recipients and government drones in my definition.

66 Bob from Ohio May 5, 2016 at 11:29 am

“They’re voting for him because he speaks to their concerns. They know perfectly well what he is”

Pretty much.

Not a Trump supporter but his voters just choose differently than I would have liked. We ought to respect that.

67 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Does that sentence work when it’s changed slightly to “Not an Obama/Bush/Clinton supporter but his voters just chose differently than I would have liked. We ought to respect that.”?

68 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I agree with the sentiment, but then I talked to my aunt in South Carolina who told me “Obama wants to do evil to the United States.” This is an upper-class college-educated woman who reads the Wall Street Journal every day, and of course has Fox News on all day.

69 Jay May 5, 2016 at 8:42 pm

I believe I read it on this site or Econlog but a commenter there explained voting for Trump because it pisses off all the right people. The media and left don’t realize they had a hand in creating him by making fun of him 24/7 and giving him all that free air time.

70 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 11:35 am

“They haven’t been fooled, cheated, deceived, hoodwinked, duped or tricked by Trump. They’re voting for him because he speaks to their concerns.”

To combine these two sentences, they’re voting for him because they have been fooled, cheated, deceived, hoodwinked, duped or tricked by Trump into thinking he speaks for their concerns. You seem to think these two things are mutually exclusive but they are not. Trump is an expert at marketing and self-promotion and is better at it than almost all politicians. Like any businessman, he saw a market currently being served by mediocre products that left a large opening for himself and he took advantage of that opening.

71 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Stupid enough to elect George W Bush, who claimed he was for a humble foreign policy and less nation building.

72 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm

He was for a more humble foreign policy and less nation building. He didn’t change.

He simply got over-taken by events. Roosevelt did not campaign on entering World War Two either.

73 Keith May 5, 2016 at 1:15 am

I believe his ancestral name is Drumpf though.

74 A Definite Beta Guy May 5, 2016 at 7:10 am

See, I’ll vote for any Republican as long as the John Oliver-types are routed from government.

75 It's current year May 5, 2016 at 9:21 am

His name is Drumpf, which sounds totally foreign! I’m like, totally not race-baiting or appealing to xenophobia!

76 MOFO May 5, 2016 at 9:44 am

Its not race baiting for the same reason that saying that Cruz is a serial killer isnt race baiting, because fuck you, thats why.

77 Urso May 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Said by a guy who is, literally, foreign.

78 JayT May 5, 2016 at 1:53 am

I kind of feel like if you’re going down this road you have to also include the most common definition of the word:

“a valuable resource that may be used, especially as a surprise, in order to gain an advantage”

79 Rich Berger May 5, 2016 at 6:52 am

Yes, but that was not the road to be taken. Do you sense a tendency in the Professor’s selections?

80 Nigel May 5, 2016 at 8:31 am

And also the (perhaps) most apposite one: a loud fart.

81 TMC May 5, 2016 at 10:47 am

Why can’t you be both?

82 Spandrell May 5, 2016 at 2:41 am

A proper economic analysis of this blog:

Even if Trump does win.

By the time it takes Trump and his faction to purge the state or Virginia of opponents, say 10 years or so, Mr. Cowen will be already retired. So his interest is to come up with childish puns against Trump to signal his allegiance to the present ruling class.

Coming up with actual rebuttals of the substance of Trump policies is not good because the opposition to Trump may actually end up using some of his policies to get back to power. So the proper strategy is character assassination.

83 anon May 5, 2016 at 6:41 am

Ok, here’s the deal. I am a moderate, and when they list things about Trump that conservatives shouldn’t like, they are right up my alley. Do more federal spending when interest is low. Single payer healthcare. Down with assault rifles. Caitlyn can use the bathroom she wants.

Are those the positions you too support? Because if you think all those positions are not real, are negotiable, you have your answer.

The BS intolerant want real positions, with follow-through.

84 A Definite Beta Guy May 5, 2016 at 7:13 am

I really don’t know how you think you are a moderate when you support single payer healthcare.

85 anon May 5, 2016 at 7:22 am

Majority still supports single-payer option, poll finds

For me personally, the fact that it works in so many advanced countries makes it a moderate idea.

86 A Definite Beta Guy May 5, 2016 at 7:38 am

I don’t know why you mention other nations in a discussion on American politics, and I don’t know why you would point to an opinion poll rather than the actual legislative history of single payer in the US. It died and no states have even thought about implementing it except Vermont. Where it was such a disaster they gave up on it in 3 years.
That means you are on the EXTREME left, and trying to paint yourself (and Bernie Sanders) as the real moderates.

87 anon May 5, 2016 at 7:44 am

Sane people can do comparative politics and economics across countries, to see what works and what does not.

But you might know that, and just be communicating in the right wing bullshit style

88 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 8:26 am

anon May 5, 2016 at 7:44 am

Sane people can do comparative politics and economics across countries, to see what works and what does not.

Sure. And sane people can see beyond the “my drugs are free, dude” to see that single payer countries are poorer than the US, have less choice, longer waiting lines, no new drugs, no new procedures.

In fact sane people can see that single payer systems free ride off US innovation in all sorts of ways.

89 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 9:46 am

“and I don’t know why you would point to an opinion poll rather than the actual legislative history of single payer in the US.”

If “legislative history” is now what defines the ideological spectrum, the Republican Party has to be called a far-right political entity since many of the things it now advocates would require substantial changes to laws that have been in place and been kept in place for decades by Congress. But I am not interested in pursuing that argument because it simply makes no sense to define the ideological spectrum in the United States through “legislative history” due to evidence from empirical political science that there is far less ideological diversity in legislatures than there is in the general population.

90 Floccina May 5, 2016 at 11:36 am

Many “advanced countries” have something more like the PPACA than single payer.

91 Jay May 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm

You confused single-payer and universal, most places are certainly NOT single payer.

92 Andre May 5, 2016 at 3:54 am

Sumner is not quite right, the one position that Trump won’t abandon is the only one that really matters to his supporters – long promised harassment and discrimination of Hispanic people. Starting with ‘Illegals’ as the pretext for harassing all of them. He’ll never get support from ‘the blacks’ since we know he’d be coming after us next. Although I have to appreciate Trumps ability to take everyone’s masks off, it really is a great service to the country.

93 Chip May 5, 2016 at 6:08 am

Who would have guessed 10 years ago that concepts like border and law would today become instruments of hate.

FFS, Trump is a buffoon but things are so bad he seems sane by comparison.

94 anon May 5, 2016 at 6:12 am

You’re right, and I’m sure they aren’t all rapists.

95 anon May 5, 2016 at 6:11 am

As has been pointed out, using “the” unironically in “the blacks” is a big tell.

96 A Definite Beta Guy May 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

What harassment? Please be specific.

97 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 8:52 am

How is Trump going to come after black people?

98 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:02 am

What is it with people like Andre attributing to Trump positions that he has never advocated for? Trump has never said that he wants to harass Hispanics or any other ethnicity…just that he wants to deport illegal immigrants and build a wall to prevent their illegal entry into the country. In fact, he has said that he loves Hispanics.

Why do you project your fears on to Trump? Did mama not hug you enough as a child?

99 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 9:11 am

“In fact, he has said that he loves Hispanics.”

Trump, like all con artists, is perfectly happy to talk about his love for a certain person or group of people if he senses it will give him a strategic advantage. Even by the standards of electoral politics, he is a pathological liar and very little of what he says can be taken at face value.

100 Cliff May 5, 2016 at 9:58 am

In that case, I guess we can just ignore the wall and the ban on Muslim immigration as well?

101 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

Both are very unlikely to happen in the unlikely event that Trump becomes President and I wouldn’t be shocked if he completely disavows them. That’s not the same as saying one should “ignore” what he says. It is very useful to pay close attention to con artists, grifters and pathological liars as their statements can give clues about their weaknesses.

102 Jay May 5, 2016 at 8:47 pm

He never said bad by the way but don’t let facts get in your way, he was for a temporary pause until the entry checks could be worked out.

103 Urstoff May 5, 2016 at 9:17 am

Some of Trumps best friends are Hispanic.

104 Jones May 5, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Illegal immigrants ain’t a race fool. Hispanics are a made up category. No one wants low-IQ, impulsive small foreheaded slugs in their country. Sorry.

105 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Yet we still have to deal with you being here.

106 Josh May 5, 2016 at 6:03 am

He never struck me as worse than any of these other people. I know far more terrible things about Clinton than I do about trump, for instance.

107 anon May 5, 2016 at 6:08 am

You are just choosing convenient values of “terrible.”

108 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 7:19 am

The “terrible” things Trump has done do not have a death toll. Hilary’s incompetence and malfeasance has.

You can only compare them if you place no value on the lives of America’s diplomats and soldiers.

109 anon May 5, 2016 at 7:24 am

I don’t play phony games with risk.

Though perhaps they are not phoney to you. Perhaps you believe that with a “strong President” no one dies. It’s a rule, right?

110 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 7:50 am

On the contrary phoney games are exactly what you are playing. Hilary is a morally bankrupt hack who will vote for any number of deaths if it helps her electability – or do you think she really supported the Iraq War?

Meanwhile Trump has killed no one and has not come up with a single policy that would suggest he will. He said somethings but he says a lot of things. Hilary voted for everything.

You are simply letting your political beliefs determine your reality.

111 anon May 5, 2016 at 7:56 am

You are a long way off the reservation. Are you starting with GWB’s policy being bad, his war something that should not have been supported?

I certainly agree, but if Bush could bend Colin Powell, he could bend anyone. Most visible politicians had to fall in line after that.

But amazing, Hilary is bloodthirsty because she supported the Republican administration, so vote Republican!

112 So Much For Subtlety May 5, 2016 at 8:16 am

anon May 5, 2016 at 7:56 am

You continue with the phoney lines. I do like the racist “off the reservation” quote too.

I did not say George W Bush’s war was bad or good. I said that Hilary was happy to have people killed to further her political career even though she certainly thought it wrong.

It has nothing to do with whether the policy is Republican or not – although you continue to fail to see the world as anything much a Manichaean struggle between the two parties. It has to do with Hilary’s cynical but bloody record.

Trump has never voted to kill anyone. You continue to refuse to face that fact.

113 anon May 5, 2016 at 8:23 am

So, you are saying Trump is good because he is NOT a Republican.

Did you realize that was your logic last week, or did it only becone true when it became convenient?

I think you might be the perfect example of a bullshit Prosumer.

114 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 9:29 am

Are you daft? The argument being made is that Hillary will let people die and go against her principles – as long as that helps her.

Consider that the left is rallying begins someone who set up a billion-dollar hereditary wealth guarantee by seeking political access to businessmen.

I guess selling out your principles is a common feature on the left.

115 anon May 5, 2016 at 10:11 am

So you knuckleheads have no recollection of any “unity in time of wár” thing going on? Nor that once it became a Colin Powell approved threat there was a great call to stop playing politics and unite in support of the President?

Now your best attack on bloodthirsty Hilary is that she did that. She united. She supported the President.

Most did, because that was the nature of the con. Once the intelligence was fixed around the policy, if you belived the intelligence you had to fall in line.

116 Brian Donohue May 5, 2016 at 10:28 am

@anon, I seem to recall a young Illinois state senator bravely opposing the Iraq war. He later made quite a bit of hay over this in 2008.

Hillary had an opportunity to take a stand. It would have taken a lot of political courage. It would have been right. She decided on the easier path. I’m sure today she wishes she had shown more courage at the time.

117 anon May 5, 2016 at 10:41 am

I opposed the Iraq war. I made arguments against it to my friends.

But even I can remember a moment, when Bush was shaking his sabre, demanding Hussein let in UN inspectors, when I thought “this is it, we have to support Bush, in order to get the inspections, in order to get the truth.”

I submit that the moment was a hard call, because it depended on what was in the hearts of two men. Bush and Hussein.

If Bush had let the inspections run their course everything would be different, and the junior senator’s complaint would have been forgotten.

118 Brian Donohue May 5, 2016 at 10:55 am

Well, I never thought the war was a good idea. Your story is a good example of the coercive power of government, particularly when focused on an external enemy. Orwell may have had some thoughts on the subject.

Anyway, sorry to hear that you knuckled under. Next time.

119 anon May 5, 2016 at 11:40 am

Few people are in the “nukes for everyone” party.

120 josh May 5, 2016 at 9:29 am

Why convenient? I don’t care about these people? I don’t even vote.

121 Floccina May 5, 2016 at 11:44 am

HRC voted for teh invasion of Iraq.

Enough said.
But I will say more, she seems to be against Marijuana legalization and to support the war on drug!

122 anon May 5, 2016 at 6:04 am

I could go with this general problem:

Misperceiving Bullshit as Profound Is Associated with Favorable Views of Cruz, Rubio, Trump and Conservatism

But it’s relative, and Trump supporters aren’t even the most susceptible. Interestingly Bernie is the candidate of the most BS intolerant.

123 Brian Donohue May 5, 2016 at 8:08 am

Bernie is shoveling a lot of the same shit as Trump, with a different shovel. There are plenty of aggrieved white people out there to go around.

124 anon May 5, 2016 at 8:15 am

It is interesting. I don’t think Bernie’s economics work, but they are appealing to many, especially to the young. All while self-described as a Socialist. I would not have guessed.

My only guess on this study’s result is that they are catching the young.

Or some n-dimensional chess players who think Bernie’s policies would reduce in practice the right way?

125 Brian Donohue May 5, 2016 at 8:43 am

The Bernie thing is interesting. I see him very much in parallel with Trump.

The original idea was for Hillary to have a sparring partner to keep her sharp while the Republicans sorted themselves. But he’s tapping the “aggrieved young white people” vein much like Trump is tapping the “aggrieved older white people” vein, and lo and behold, it’s a gusher. Bernie is off the leash, and Rocky Balboa has actually bloodied Apollo Creed’s nose!

No one imagined the Democratic race would outlast the Republicans, but here we are. So now all the same people who wanted Hillary to carry Bernie for a few rounds to stay sharp are busily buttoning this thing down. Left wing economists come out of the woodwork to expose Bernie-math. Show’s over, folks. On to the main event.

Bernie, maybe you didn’t hear us. SHOW’S OVER.

126 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 8:57 am

It amazes me that an old independent Senator, self described as a socialist, is winning States in the Democratic primary, against an inevitable candidate no less. Makes it clear that distaste for Hillary runs deep, well outside of old conservatives who have hated Clintons for decades.

127 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 9:32 am

“It amazes me that an old independent Senator, self described as a socialist, is winning States in the Democratic primary, against an inevitable candidate no less. Makes it clear that distaste for Hillary runs deep, well outside of old conservatives who have hated Clintons for decades.”

Nate Silver showed that one can predict whether Sanders or Clinton will carry a state based on the racial make-up of that state’s Democratic-primary-eligible electorate. Sanders does well in states that have a disproportionately large white vote while Clinton does well among minorities. The bottom line is that Clinton is winning states where the racial make-up is close to that of the country overall so Sanders’ edge in some places comes down to a fraction of whites (who themselves are becoming a relatively less important part of the Democratic coalition) who don’t like Clinton. I wouldn’t call this “deep” distate for Hillary — at most it looks like a small number of pissed off white people, many of them relatively young and very liberal.

128 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 10:14 am

“The bottom line is that Clinton is winning states where the racial make-up is close to that of the country overall”

The racial make-up of those states might be close to that of the country overall, but the racial make-up of the Democratic party in such states is not usually a mirror of the state’s overall demographics.

“so Sanders’ edge in some places comes down to a fraction of whites (who themselves are becoming a relatively less important part of the Democratic coalition) who don’t like Clinton”

That doesn’t make sense. You’re attributing the difference between how Sanders does in states where the racial make-up is close to the U.S. average vs. in whiter states to this small group of pissed-off white people. Why wouldn’t the Sanders voters in states with racial make-ups close to the U.S. average (where he loses, but still gets a sizeable portion of the vote) also be pissed-off white people? And then in states with relatively more pissed-off white people, he does relatively better. That is the much more reasonable interpretation.

“I wouldn’t call this “deep” distate for Hillary — at most it looks like a small number of pissed off white people, many of them relatively young and very liberal.”

She received less than half of the Democratic vote in Indiana. More than half went to an old white independent socialist from Vermont. That is a deep distaste for her within her own Party.

129 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 11:08 am

“She received less than half of the Democratic vote in Indiana.”

And she won more than half in Nevada, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. For a reason you have yet to clearly explain, you invest special significance in Sanders’ 5% margin in Indiana.

130 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 11:26 am

I attach special significance to it because it is the most recent, when I would think the tendency would be towards voters rallying around their Party’s likely flag-bearer. That they are not doing so is, again, a sign that she is not liked by a large group within her own Party.

You are attaching special significance to that 5% in Indiana, considering them to be of a wholly different breed than the minority voting against her in other states. I don’t think that is the case. There just happen to be relatively more of those people in Indiana, but they are similar people all over. And they don’t like her.

131 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 8:59 am

I don’t know that you should take much away from a clearly politically motivated study published to Plos one.

132 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:17 am

They might be having fun, but the methodology is pretty straight up.

133 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:23 am

Besides, Heorogar confirms up top with a bunch of fact check fails as his political rationale.

We regularly see that kind of BS justification in these pages. SOP. Sailer’s whole gig is raising it to another level of obfuscation.

134 MOFO May 5, 2016 at 9:58 am

A bunch = not quite one.

135 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:59 am

Try factcheck on “stealing” china.

136 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Being young is partly about rebelling against the established order. Socialism/social democracy whatever you want to call it, seems rebellious to young people.

It’s so cute how they think you have to actually like the person you vote for.

137 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 9:30 am

Bullshit is defined as ‘things the liberal author disagrees with’.

138 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 9:47 am

PS: the original BSR suggests that “bullshit-receptivity” may be due to an “excessively open mind”. The real bullshit is the way in which the above mentioned used the BSR without understanding it, and how the left uses bad science as a crutch. Their lack of ability to infer meaning from psuedo-bullshit, like poetry, probably plays a rule in their external search for understanding the right, here through garbage science; they aren’t capable of internal creativity.

139 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:58 am

A sample item reads: “Imagination is inside exponential space time events.”

Sure, “creativity” makes that work.

140 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 11:16 am

If you can’t look at a phrase like that and contemplate how it might be creative and potentially lead to interesting thoughts, you aren’t particularly creative.

Pretty much anything anyone writes about human existence is bullshit, unless it’s “You’re going to die and your life is meaningless – except it’s even worse than that, because your entire perception of a ‘you’ is illusory. Enjoy!”

141 anon May 5, 2016 at 11:53 am

Neither you nor I are “inside exponential space time events.”

As the article says, you fail to do the work to decode the sentence.

142 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 11:57 am

“How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way, Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?”

143 anon May 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm

That isn’t a question that was survey tested, as part of the BSR.

Are you bullshitting now, by saying “a phrase like that,” and substituting another?

I think so.

144 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Look man, everything I do is bullshit. I should be mowing the yard right now, but I’m arguing about bullshit in the comments of an economics blog.

145 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 2:13 pm

“Neither you nor I are “inside exponential space time events.””

In fact, each of us exist within spacetime, and indeed, we exist within space time events that are exponentially larger than ourselves.

146 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm

To conclude, if you aren’t capable of deciphering a meaning from that statement, then you aren’t very smart.

147 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm

“Imagination is inside exponential space time events”

The massive physical universe and its dead laws of physics produce life and from life entire non-material universes within the synapses of the brain. Wow, that is profound to think about. If you are a leftist though, I guess you’ll find more profundity on the pages of Salon.

148 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

“Imagination is inside exponential space time events”

The physical happenings of the universe themselves seem to have a kind of imagination in the apparent creativity of their creations, at each level of magnitude, the universe, the galaxy, the solar system, the planet, the ecosystem, the organism, the brain, and the mind. Wow, very profound to think about, unless you aren’t very smart.

149 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm

If Tyler Cowen posted that on this blog you would call it bullshit.

150 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 10:22 pm

If the question was: can you find profundity in this statement, it would be hard for me to answer in the negative for any statement. Thought is profound, as is its communicative manifestation, language.

151 Urso May 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Do you perceive that particular “study” as profound?

152 Thomas May 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm

It is profound that people believe the study because they so desperately want to believe the results, to such extent that they will publicly claim that they cannot ascribe meaning to poetry-like sentences.

153 jk May 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

Tyler, we know you are trolling 🙂 I thought you stayed out of politics.
But It worked!The problem with trolling is that it becomes addictive. And clickbait has accelerated diminishing returns.

154 rayward May 5, 2016 at 7:34 am

Sumner’s view that white people are the problem could describe any number of historical atrocities committed by white people. Indeed, the history of Europe is a history of atrocities committed by white people against brown people, and against each other, and the history of America is a history of atrocities committed by white people against red people and brown people. Of course, the problem with white people is their color: it’s the same as the color of sheep. Baaaaa.

155 anon May 5, 2016 at 8:49 am

The history of humanity is people of all colors committing atrocities against people of all colors.

White people have saved millions upon millions of lives of people of all ethnicities through technological advances in medicine and agriculture, to name two of many areas.

I know you are trolling…you’re guaranteed to get a few more bites I’m sure 😉

156 rayward May 5, 2016 at 9:47 am

Why would Sumner troll? It seems to me the distance between libertarian intellectuals and the Republican Party is a chasm. Indeed, a very good case could be made that libertarian intellectuals may realign with the Democratic Party. Maybe that’s the realignment that deserves more attention (as opposed to the realignment of the white working class).

157 Cliff May 5, 2016 at 10:03 am

He admits to the trolling if you read all the way through the post

158 derek May 5, 2016 at 10:21 am

MR has telegraphed Democratic support in at least 2 of the last 3 elections (vs Trump, vs McCain/Palin, can’t remember about vs Romney but would guess MR was pro-Romney). So yeah, we’ll probably see more Republicans effectively become independents.

As far as Sumner’s trolling, he is having a surprisingly bitter comment war against Trump, so although the “white voters” message of the essay is somewhat in jest, his animus against Trump and preference for Clinton/Sanders is pretty clear.

159 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 10:39 am

There are different types of libertarians. I think of myself as broadly in the libertarian camp, but I approach it from a much more populist direction than the leading libertarian intellectuals. I distrust centralized power, whether big government or big business. I think many of the leading libertarians whose voices are actually heard care too much about the former, and are actually okay with increasing the power of the latter. To be more crude, I think many are still bootlickers, they’ve just found a different set of boots to lick (probably far fancier boots though, to be fair).

I think the schism has already largely happened and is just finishing playing out. A libertarian that cares mostly about lessening government power on certain social issues but is fine with increasing the power of corporations has probably already moved to, or at least leans strongly toward, the Democratic party. I think the more populist libertarians are relatively disengaged from politics, though they will cheer on aspects of a Sanders or Trump anti-establishment movement.

160 asdf May 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Good post.

161 Urso May 5, 2016 at 2:21 pm

No lie, if you had a blog I’d read it.

162 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 6:51 pm

I’ll join you on distrusting centralized power. But I don’t know how “big business” is a menace… unless you mean rent-seeking, for example, which is of course only made possible by … government. Can you elucidate?

163 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 8:42 am

Speaking of deception and trumpeting, remember that time Tyler misinterpreted a study as showing welfare gains only accrued to the bottom 20%, when in fact it was the top 20%? And told us to shout it from the rooftops? And then deleted it without explanation or copping to the fact that his ideological bias led him to the misinterpretation?

164 anon May 5, 2016 at 9:08 am

It was a Straussian blog post edit.

165 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 11:35 am

I’m worried I will need to update my priors about Tyler’s intellectual honesty. I still appreciate what he has done in allowing a free speech zone of fairly intelligent, thoughtful, and well-informed people to develop in his comments section. But I don’t like that someone who readily attributes other people’s views to not just being wrong, but being biased toward being wrong by an underlying predilection, to fall victim to this tendency without acknowledging it.

166 Floccina May 5, 2016 at 10:06 am

I do not see much difference between Trump, Cruz, Sanders, Kasich and HRC. Sanders seems to me the most deceptive but that is mostly because he makes more concrete policy proposals. HRC seems to like to have the US Government involved in wars, Middle-East wars, drug wars, she talks like she wants to start a war on men but, we give her a pass because we are confident that she is lying and will govern pretty well just like Bill did. Trump is most likely lying to and in politics with so rationally ignorant voters wanting stiff from Government, a candidate’s lying looks like a feature not a bug.

I will vote libertarian to signal to the Politicians that I am against the wars.

167 Dan in Euroland May 5, 2016 at 10:11 am


It may be time to put down the NYTs and go back to reading NBER. This explains Trump:

And yes he is going to win, and yes there will be a wall. (Which should make Krugman happy from a fiscal policy stand point, but he he will make excuses.)

168 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

Can’t be right. Tyler said yesterday that only the bottom 20% saw welfare gains over several decades. So they can’t possibly be angry for a valid reason. It has to be pure demagoguery.

A rising tide lifts all boats. Any that appear to be sinking or sunk are the product of your deceived (and probably racist) mind.

169 anon May 5, 2016 at 10:26 am

Dan, I remember when automation and globalization were outsiders’ concerns. I shared them. I wanted policy change. I even suggested that a bit of tariff was in order (above zero, below protectionism).

Kind of galling that Trump might the path to that realignment.

(Galling that The Wall was more a motivator than globalization economics.)

170 other_anon May 5, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Trump is the path to the realignment because he had enough gall to speak to people’s dissatisfaction with globalization, free trade, unrestricted illegal immigration, and unrestricted legal immigration (they are all the similar because they all lower wages of lower skilled workers).

What I find galling is that neither party was able to recognize this and field a candidate that spoke to these concerns. Not only that, but it became even taboo to address these issues. So now we are stuck with an opportunist like Trump, instead of a respectable and experienced candidate who has the wisdom to properly balance the gains and costs of trade and immigration.

171 asdf May 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm

They had a million opportunities. Pat Buchanan types have come up many times. After purging all those people they were left with the one person they couldn’t purge, an independently wealthy celebrity.

172 Bob from Ohio May 5, 2016 at 11:33 am

A lot of Trump supporters think that there is no difference between the parties, that the so called elites of both just pretend to disagree and are playing a con on the mass of voters who really do disagree on many things.

Posts like TC’s tend to support this.

173 albatross May 5, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Realistically, how different would the world look today if Romney had won the election in 2012?

My guess is, not all that much. We might not yet have gay marriage across the whole country, but it would probably have been delayed only a few years. We’d probably have followed the same foreign policy, probably including the Iran deal. We’d be trying to get the TPP though Congress. We’d have made sure nobody in the CIA or Pentagon got into any trouble over a few tiny little forgiveable crimes against humanity. We’d have hammered whistleblowers and tried to shut down Wikileaks. Abortion and gun ownership would both still be legal. The war on drugs would still continue. The NSA would still be spying on everyone all the time, and nobody at the top would have any interest in pushing back on it. The economy would probably be about the same–the middle class would be doing okay, but with rising debt, too little retirement savings, and a much less optimistic future for their kids. And so on.

There are differences between the parties, but they’re *much* smaller than the differences in rhetoric.

174 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm

“There are differences between the parties, but they’re *much* smaller than the differences in rhetoric.”

Necessarily so, especially in Presidential races, because of the separation of powers and constitutional limits on the executive branch. Nevertheless, there are rather obvious and glaring differences between the parties when it comes to health care policy, taxes, abortion (which is becoming de facto illegal in some states), voter ID laws and energy and climate change policy. The differences are a bit less clear when it comes to Medicare and Social Security — some Republicans would like to cut or make drastic changes to these if given the chance but others know the electoral math too well and, like Donald Trump himself (and Reagan before), largely support the status quo.

175 The Original D May 5, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Nader voters thought the same thing.

176 albatross May 5, 2016 at 11:54 am

What’s striking to me is that this was a year when there were a couple candidates with huge establishment support from the beginning, and yet Jeb was driven from the field by Trump, and Hillary is getting a serious challenge from Sanders. I would not have predicted that either Trump or Sanders would ever run a very successful campaign, given their policy positions and history and image and all.

Most people neither know nor care about economic theory or detailed policy prescriptions. My guess (definitely influenced by my own biases) is that both candidates’ voters are largely giving the establishment consensus that we’ve been running on for the last couple of decades a vote of no confidence. Huge numbers of voters feel like they don’t have much of a voice or anyone representing them.

Which party would you have voted for, in 2008, to oppose bailouts for the big financial companies? In 2012, which party would you have voted for to oppose endless undeclared wars in the Middle East, or unaccountable assassination and massive spying on US citizens? Our opinions on those matters were simply not wanted. In a Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton election, which party would you have voted for to get tighter enforcement of immigration law? Or to dial back free trade a bit in favor of protecting existing jobs with tariffs?

Any or all of those alternative positions might be wrong, or bad policies. And yet, it’s pretty galling that our input simply isn’t wanted–the people on top have decided that this is how it’s going to be, and the mere fact that lots of voters don’t agree isn’t going to get in the way of following that decision. I suspect the support for both Trump and Sanders is largely driven by that realization.

177 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I would add that the candidates offered by the establishment in both Parties really drove the rest of this home: the son and brother of a President, and the wife of a President – here you go everyone, we really care about you, trust us!

Such a setup in another country would look like a banana republic to us – a barely-disguised corporatist oligarchy. To our credit, the hoi polli here reached their breaking point, and have responded. The response may ultimately have no effect, but at least they tried to stand up.

178 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Both of these posts are pretty spot on. Trump is a protest vote that went too far. I wish there was a different person delivering that vote.

Like many I didn’t think he had a snowball’s chance. I think I owe JWatts’ charity of choice $10 in fact.

179 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Yeah I keep defending him because I’m kind of an asshole contrarian, and I do think a lot of the attacks on him are pretty ridiculous, but objectively I don’t particularly like Trump. I deeply dislike Hillary, but most of that is because of the extent to which her ascension makes me feel like we are setting up some kind of corporatist aristocracy here. I felt the same way about GWB (and Jeb – and I do thank Trump for at least saving us from a Bush-Clinton election). Absent that, if her husband were a random Joe Lawguy, I’d dislike her for being a neocon corporatist in the same way I disliked Romney – probably less so, as she wasn’t born in the winning locker room thinking she pitched a perfect game.

I still might vote for Trump as my protest vote. I live in NY so it doesn’t matter. Probably just repeat my 2012 vote and throw my vote even more uselessly away by voting for Gary Johnson.

180 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm

I’m thinking I will Feel The Johnson(TM) too. But it’s not a throwaway, as you said your state is going blue so at least let Johnson have one more vote. This election is already a weird one, with 2 loathed candidates, so maybe other parties will get more than their usual number of votes and a message is sent that way.

181 Turkey Vulture May 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

I just noticed I said “objectively” and then stated something intended to be purely subjective, so maybe I should abstain from the ballot box.

182 asdf May 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm

We should thank Scott for his public service. Establishment “rightist” are outing themselves for who they are, people who really really really hate the white middle class. You could say that hating the white middle class is the core of their life philosophy.

The left, including Sumner, is engaged in a very dangerous game. Having long ago lost the white vote, they have to rely on importing minorities to maintain electoral majorities. The problem though is that those minorities don’t support any of the positions people like Scott like. How much does your average black person care for trannies? How much does your average Muslim care for women? What views and track record do Latin American voters have on socialism?

For a brief period of time, specifically because they are a minority, they can be bought off with welfare and racial agitation. That’s what the democratic party offers. Vote for us, we use that power mostly to enrich ourselves, and we toss you a few bones. Also you get to march in the street and burn some things (not in our neighborhoods though).

This only works so long as:
1) Minorities stay minorities.
2) The white majority can be force to pay for all the giveaways.

When NAMs are a majority that entire system falls apart. If you want a look at that see current third world countries with those demographics, or the relative underperformance of heavily black areas here in the USA.

Probably the most insane position of your post is that minority voters are some kind of high information wisdom filled vessels. Watching too many movies where Morgan Freeman is the supporting character on your personal quest to enlightenment? In reality most minority voters are easily manipulated sub-literates who mostly respond to political patronage machines. They vote Dem to get welfare, they voted Obama because he is the same skin color as them, and they vote Hillary because they recognize her. In the future as their power grows expect them to abandon their current white liberal enablers to form their own political base.

In the long run turning America into a majority NAM country will make us like every other majority NAM country. Corrupt quasi-socialists in which most of the population has to live chaotic and miserable lives. People like Sumner will wall themselves off in compounds with private security and lord over a divided and impoverished mass that they helped to create.

Scott is going to do more long run damage to this country then losing a war. All for his own personal gain and comfort. How dare middle class white people want to live in a first world country. Why are they in his way.

183 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:31 pm

How’s that anger and aggrieved wussiness working out for ya?

184 asdf May 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm

If you aren’t angry over all this, do you still have a soul? Dignity? Self-respect? Attachment to anyone beyond yourself or perhaps a small circle?

For some people making a good salary and eating nice ethnic food is enough to justify their existence. I’ve found those experiences aren’t enough. I want truth, beauty, community. I want to leave things better then I found them. Personal comfort, even as the world burns, is enough for Sumner types. It’s not enough for me.

185 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 12:42 pm

But ‘the world’ isn’t ‘burning’. Things are generally better and better everywhere. You need some Matt Ridley:

186 asdf May 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm

I’ve written rebuttals to this sort of thing before, so I’ll stick to the basics.

1) One of the most important things in life, family, has collapsed. Look at the % of children living with both parents till 18 in 1960 versus today. No comparison.

2) Law and order have broken down. Look at crime rates in 1960 and compare to today. No comparison.

3) The % of world population making the PPP equivalent of the USA poverty line hasn’t budged much. After ditching communism, lots of high IQ Chinese joined the middle income bracket (note: still what we would consider poverty), but this was a one time affair (NE Asian TFR is abysmal).

So we’ve got a stagnant first world, a played out boost from farming high IQ Chinese for a generation, and an ever increasing low IQ third world. In the third world there has been no such boost into what we would consider an acceptable living standard, and yet their TFR is high as heck and they are immigrating here in huge numbers.

Of course people will cherry pick irrelevant stats to deflect this.

#1 they’ll say we have fewer teen pregnancies then some date they pick, as if this makes up for the fact that less then a third of people who don’t graduate college will have a two parent household.

#2 they will say measured crime stats (note: well documented that they are highly manipulated, even Tyler linked on this issue recently) are better then the height of the 1990 crack epidemic (not even true in my city after last summer). But what most people think of when they consider “Making America Great Again” were the crime states from 1960. That’s the Great America they want back. Everything after that looks like shit by comparison. Crime stats also don’t take into account rioting and indirect costs (things people do to avoid crime that represent a burden).

#3 they will say that people in Africa make $2/day instead of $1/day. As if I want my descendants to make $2/day. If the TFR of Africa is higher then whether they make $2 a day or $1 a day then the amount of crushing poverty in the world is increasing. According to Sumner, so long as anyone in America makes more then anyone anywhere in the globe, we aren’t entitled to our “privilege”. So every time the # of poor Africans increase that is another person dragging down first world wages. The % of African population making more then US poverty rate hasn’t changed at all, and yet there are a lot more of them, which means the future of the world is more poverty.

187 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 1:25 pm

I’ll defer to Ridley for my re-rebuttal. Bottom line I think is we just have very different priors and personalities so we see the world differently.

188 asdf May 5, 2016 at 2:34 pm

I’ll agree that people see the world the way they do because they want to. Then they search out confirming sources (like Ridley) and do little to question them, because reinforcing the existing desire was the entire point to begin with.

I don’t think I can convince religious fanatics that their doctrine is wrong, especially when they are insulated from the negative effects of their doctrine. The modern globalist blank slate ideology is a religion.

Still, we are the many and you are the few. That’s the entire reason you had to import foreign mercenaries to suppress the populace in the first place.

189 msgkings May 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm

It sounds like you think OTHER “people see the world the way they do because they want to. Then they search out confirming sources (like Ridley) and do little to question them”. But of course you don’t do that.

190 Ricardo May 5, 2016 at 3:19 pm

“The % of world population making the PPP equivalent of the USA poverty line”

Why would anybody consider this the relevant metric to use? The poverty line even within the U.S. has very well-documented problems. Extrapolating this rate to the rest of the world using PPP makes even less sense. Progress isn’t just about China: about half of the world’s population lives in India plus the Asian Pacific Rim which is home to many growing middle income countries.

191 asdf May 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm


Actually, India is an interesting case because people get wowed by economic productivity of high caste members that come to the west, but low casters are basically another race entirely. Widely differing genetics. It’s one of the reasons India lags China, only a portion of its populace is high IQ.

“The middle-income population in India barely budged during the decade. Its share increased from 1% in 2001 to 3% in 2011, still small by any measure. The number of middle-income people grew by 17 million, paltry compared with the increase in the low-income population. From these trends, the middle-income threshold appears more like a barrier as only a small share in India stepped across the line from 2001 to 2011.

It is clear from these estimates that India did not keep pace with China in creating a middle class in this century. The median daily per capita income in India increased relatively slowly, rising from $2.39 in 2001 to $2.96 in 2011, a gain of only 24%, compared with 126% in China.”

I use the poverty line in the US because that’s the touchstone the study I’m looking at uses. For them “Middle Income” is around the US poverty rate, so you’ve got to be above that to get out of poverty.

From what I can see of the poverty rate in the US, its not something I would want to live on nor would I want my children to live on it. Any political faction that wants my children to live in poverty is one I oppose. The Sumners of the world believe the citizens of the US should have their standard of living reduced until its equal to that of the world’s poorest. I’m showing how the math means that convergence means a very low standard of living for people in America. If Sumner where a more honest and honorable man he would tell everyone he wants them to live in slums, heck at least TC was honest enough to publish a book saying just that.

“But of course you don’t do that.”

I’m sure I do. Maybe I should go all college freshmen and decide that certain knowledge is philosophically impossible, so why bother trying! (mope, cry)

Or I could just do what everyone does. Follow the evidence as best I can. The evidence for HBD and its implications are clear and irrefutable.

192 Jones May 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm

+ 1

193 authorization May 5, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Whatever else you want to say about Trump, he does have the ability to get our intellectual collosi’s collective panties in a bunch. Anything that disturbs the elite so much can’t be all bad. He does have that going for him.

Nice rejoinder to Sumner, TC, and their ilk:

And some of the other alpha plus pluses are not on the virtue-signalling band wagon:

Glad I don’t bother voting or Camille Paglia might just sell me on Trump. On net, I imagine a Viking raid burning DC to the ground would have to be a positive:

194 Jones May 5, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Sumner reveals himself as a joke, in case you didn’t realize that before.

Muh momentary policy.

195 uair01 May 5, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Probably too late to the party but I think you’ll have fun with this. I got it through Niall Ferguson:

For, like all tyrants, he is utterly lacking in self-control. Sleeping a handful of hours a night, impulsively tweeting in the early hours, improvising madly on subjects he knows nothing about, Trump rants and raves as he surfs an entirely reactive media landscape. Once again, Plato had his temperament down: A tyrant is a man “not having control of himself [who] attempts to rule others”; a man flooded with fear and love and passion, while having little or no ability to restrain or moderate them; a “real slave to the greatest fawning,” a man who “throughout his entire life … is full of fear, overflowing with convulsions and pains.” Sound familiar? Trump is as mercurial and as unpredictable and as emotional as the daily Twitter stream. And we are contemplating giving him access to the nuclear codes.

196 A B May 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm

In this environment, Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once. Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, gave me a primer on how it’s done. The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. “But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — ”

OK, let’s talk about Charlatans and Media Manipulators:

I’ll quote from the upcoming New York Times article on Ben Rhodes, on how he sold the Iran Deal (H/T Weekly Standard, but I went to the original source):

“I can name them,” I said, ticking off a few names of prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging.
Price laughed. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, look, some people are spinning this narrative that this is a sign of American weakness,’ ” he continued, “but — ”
“In fact it’s a sign of strength!” I said, chuckling.

“And I’ll give them some color,” Price continued, “and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own.”
This is something different from old-fashioned spin, which tended to be an art best practiced in person. In a world where experienced reporters competed for scoops and where carrying water for the White House was a cause for shame, no matter which party was in power, it was much harder to sustain a “narrative” over any serious period of time. Now the most effectively weaponized 140-character idea or quote will almost always carry the day, and it is very difficult for even good reporters to necessarily know where the spin is coming from or why.

Weekly Standard take on this:

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