My Conversation with Ezra Klein

by on October 6, 2016 at 11:07 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Film, Food and Drink, History, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Sports, Travel, Uncategorized, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

The very beginning is a little slow, but I thought Ezra was one of the very best guests.  The topics include the nature and future of media, including virtual reality, the nature of leadership (including Ezra’s own), how running a project shapes your political views, a wee bit on health care, what he thinks are the Obama and Clinton models of the world, Robert Putnam’s research on the costs of diversity, the proper role of shame in society, animal welfare, and of course Ezra’s underrated and overrated, with takes on Bob Dylan, The Matrix, William F. Buckley, Joe Biden, and more.  There is no video but here is the podcast and transcript.  Here is one excerpt:

COWEN: …Now Putman, let me ask you about Putnam, and how Putnam relates to Donald Trump. As you know, Robert Putnam at Harvard, he has some work showing that when ethnic diversity goes up that there’s less trust, less cooperation, less social capital.

If you think of yourself in the role of an editor, so you have an American society, diversity has gone up, and a lot of people have reacted to this I would say rather badly — and I think you would agree with me they’ve reacted rather badly — but there’s still a way in which the issue could be framed that while diversity is actually a problem, we can’t handle diversity.

Putnam almost says as such, and do you think there’s currently a language in the media where you have readers who are themselves diverse, where it’s possible not to just be blaming the bigots, but to actually present the positive view, “Look, people are imperfect. A society can only handle so much diversity, and we need to learn this.” What’s your take on that?

KLEIN: I strongly agree. We do not have a language for demographic anxiety that is not a language that is about racism. And we need one. I really believe this, and I believe it’s been a problem, particularly this year. It is clear, the evidence is clear. Donald Trump is not about “economic anxiety.”

COWEN: A bit, but not mainly, I agree.

KLEIN: That said, I think that the way it’s presented is a choice between economic anxiety and racism. And one I don’t think that’s quite right, and two I don’t think that’s a productive way of having that conversation.

COWEN: Why don’t we have that language? Where did it go, or did we ever have it?

And:

COWEN: You see this with Medicaid. A lot of people don’t sign up. They don’t have addresses. You can’t even get them, whatever.

KLEIN: They don’t like doctors. They’re afraid of doctors.

COWEN: This is me.

KLEIN: You’re afraid of doctors?

COWEN: “Afraid” isn’t the word.

KLEIN: Averse. [laughs]

COWEN: Maybe dislike. Averse. [laughs] They should be afraid of me, perhaps.

Definitely recommended.  The same dialogue, with a different introduction, is included in The Ezra Klein Show podcast.

1 Rick October 6, 2016 at 11:11 am

“We do not have a language for demographic anxiety that is not a language that is about racism. And we need one.”

That’s no accident. The media-political establishment benefits by framing all opposition to demographic change as “racism.” This discredits opposition while keeping minorities on the left. And they have no incentive to change either. All they have to do is continue to wait as the old white people die and continue to be replaced by more vibrant newcomers.

2 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 11:43 am

If fearing demographic change isn’t racist, what is ?

3 Rick October 6, 2016 at 12:19 pm

“If fearing demographic change isn’t racist, what is ?”

By that logic, is celebrating demographic change racist? If so, then the Democratic Party is openly racist, while Republicans are closet racists.

4 Thor October 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm

“Culturist”?

I rarely fear (substitute dislike, am averse to, etc.) other people because of their skin color but because they have values and practices that I consider problematic. That is, values and practices that are illiberal in the older sense of liberal, and which clash with the values I believe should prevail in modern Western democracies.

5 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm

In what way does Mexican culture have values and practices that are so horrifically “non-western” and/or illiberal, that the immigration of Mexicans must be opposed?

6 HL October 6, 2016 at 1:39 pm

They’re not small government conservatives.

7 The Anti-Gnostic October 6, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Low mean IQ and fatalistic culture, manifesting in social pathologies such as violent behavior, single motherhood and graft. And manual labor (which we increasingly do not need) gets old and sick a lot sooner.

8 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Neither are half of the white people in America.

9 XVO October 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Why aren’t millions of Americans risking their life to immigrate to Mexico? Why is it the other way around? The answer to that question is the answer to yours.

10 HL October 6, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Yeah thanks to immigration they’re outnumbered

11 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm

@XVO

That’s right, if we let enough Mexicans immigrate, they are literally going to replace the US Constitution with the Mexican constitution.

12 HL October 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

It only took a couple generations for Jews and Catholics to completely take over the supreme court.

13 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Ah yes, the threat posed to American culture by Anton Scalia.

14 The Anti-Gnostic October 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Immigration is political and cultural suicide for libertarians and conservatives.

Also, please put away your magic piece of paper. It won’t protect you from people who can out-breed, out-thug and out-vote you and take your stuff. The Constitution means whatever those in power say it means. That’s why we have a Federal Reserve bank, a Department of Education (among others), and only 435 Congressional representatives.

15 Christian P Hansen October 6, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Most people I talk to have no problem with Mexicans but do have a problem with illegals. Yet when Trump makes this obvious distinction it becomes a racist “dog whistle” where “we know what he really means”.

16 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Immigration is political and cultural suicide for libertarians and conservatives.

Nonsense. I am an immigrant who was raised Catholic. That didn’t stop me from becoming a libertarian.

17 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Most people I talk to have no problem with Mexicans but do have a problem with illegals.

And those same people will oppose any sort of immigration reform that increase legal immigration.

18 The Anti-Gnostic October 6, 2016 at 2:28 pm

You’re way outnumbered by the 60+% of immigrant ethnics who vote Democrat.

19 HL October 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm

If there was a country full of right wing white christian protestants just bursting at the seams to get into the United States you’d see enthusiasm for letting them in. However those types are an endangered species even in their own lands.

20 XVO October 6, 2016 at 3:56 pm

@Hazel

It’s not simply a countries constitutions that create the differences. That’s a foolish position to take. I doubt the Mexican constitution is really that bad, surely more progressive (if you consider that a good thing) than the US constitution.

The main reason why people don’t want to move to Mexico from the USA is corruption. Corruption in the government, both politicians and bureaucrats. It’s endemic from the President down, much worse than in the USA. Your life and property are not safe. The cause of this corruption lies with the Mexican people themselves, who are guilty of committing it and tolerating it. Why would they do anything different when they come here? Laws (like a constitution for example) don’t mean anything if no one cares to enforce them or follow them.

21 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Low mean IQ and fatalistic culture, manifesting in social pathologies such as violent behavior, single motherhood and graft.

No racism here. Move along.

22 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 5:01 pm

No racism here. Move along

Political corruption, institutional dysfunction, and street crime are wretched problems in most Latin American countries, Hazel (Chile a notable exception). The question is whether they come attached to the immigrant population or whether host country institutions and practices will prevail. Tough to say.

23 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Art, did immigrants from feudal Europe bring feudalism with them? Did Immigrants from England post-Revolutionary-War bring monarchy with them?
There’s a huge difference between continuing a legal and cultural tradition that has been in place for hundreds of years and supplanting it with a new one. Latin American countries may continue a particular political tradition because the institutions already in place support the continuation of that tradition, just as (for example) in Louisiana, certain parts of the law are derived from the Napoleonic code. If a person can move from New Orleans or Quebec, and not bring Napoleonic law with them, then a Hispanic immigrant can move from Mexico and not bring Latin American political institutions with them.
In fact, Hispanics are not really claiming to want to replace English Common Law with Spanish civil law in US institutions, or anything of the sort, so claiming this is a big threat is pure paranoia.

24 Simon October 6, 2016 at 7:29 pm

>Hazel Meade “… so claiming this is a big threat is pure paranoia.”

It’s not paranoia, it’s worth discussing. The benefits of low IQ*, low educated, peasant culture labor are historically low in the US. The costs are harder to determine, your points are fair, but there are also concerns that groups can import their broken institutions. Shouldn’t a country focus on immigration from higher skilled higher educated people who offer a very high benefit proposition? For example, the UK wouldn’t let me stay and work after I finished my MSc there. I moved back to my home country of the US and got a job in Tech. Yet the UK allows in lower-skilled, lower-educated, groups from culturally separate countries. That is an immigration policy that hurts them. The US has the same. Why not run our immigration the way CalTech runs admissions? If benefits are low and costs are debated, but we know another class has high benefits with better known costs, why not focus our countries policy on what most directly benefits us?

* Research shows multi-generational IQ effects from peasant class immigrants. Doesn’t matter the root cause, it’s an observed predictive characteristic. Same way universities discriminate on IQ, so can countries. I also don’t use peasant in a derogatory manner whatsoever, that is the best description of the class of Mexican immigrants.

25 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 7:41 pm

Art, did immigrants from feudal Europe bring feudalism with them?

Hazel, Eastern European migration to the United States post-dated the abolition of hereditary subjection in the Hapsburg dominions by about 40 years and in Tsarist Russia by about 30 years. Few if any of the immigrants were drawn from the nobility and the immigrants largely settled in urban loci. There weren’t any seigneurs out west if they’d attempted homesteading.

Did Immigrants from England post-Revolutionary-War bring monarchy with them?

Immigration rates prior to 1840 amounted to about 0.125% of the extant population per annum. They tended to self-select for people not irrevocably attached to the British monarchy.

There’s a huge difference between continuing a legal and cultural tradition that has been in place for hundreds of years and supplanting it with a new one.

Whether there’s a huge difference or not, press 1 for Spanish.

Latin American countries may continue a particular political tradition because the institutions already in place support the continuation of that tradition, just as (for example) in Louisiana, certain parts of the law are derived from the Napoleonic code. If a person can move from New Orleans or Quebec, and not bring Napoleonic law with them, then a Hispanic immigrant can move from Mexico and not bring Latin American political institutions with them. In fact, Hispanics are not really claiming to want to replace English Common Law with Spanish civil law in US institutions, or anything of the sort, so claiming this is a big threat is pure paranoia.

Get back to me Hazel when you learn the distinction between something logically entailed and something that sociologicallly probable (or at least a risk). But don’t get back to me before you learn the distinction between legal-formal institutions and mundane practice.

26 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm

There’s some sort of spectrum. But you’re kind of trivializing or defining away racism if you call people who lament the loss of American culture or worry that the local high school is turning into a cram school. There used to be lynchings and slavery and gas chambers and genocide. Regretting that American food has been displaced by cheaper competition isn’t really in the same league.

27 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

In what way is “American culture” actually threatened by Hispanic immigration? How is Hispanic culture so different, or any more different than past immigrant groups? How is it so different from American culture 50 or 100 years ago? Can you actually pinpoint and identify any real fundamental differences?

28 prognostication October 6, 2016 at 2:06 pm

+1

29 HL October 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Are there fundamental differences between Spanish and German culture?

30 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm

I haven’t made that argument, so I’m not going to try to defend it for other people. I’m pretty thoroughly insulated from Hispanic immigration by my geography and wealth.

What I do see, and what manifests in what you would characterize as “racism” around here is the influx of Asian immigrants and their effects on neighborhoods and schools in particular. And while I grew up in Asian-heavy environments, and I’m kind of used to it, I also see the points people are making. It’s not the same culture. It displaces the old culture. If you liked the old culture, that’s bad. And in this case we’re talking about a pretty successful immigrant group, but the influx still causes a lot of pain. For example, Asian parents lobby the schools to ratchet up the pressure and the homework. The school system is already the best in the country. Making it more like China would be a bad thing, not a good thing, and there’s real conflict with white parents. Don’t get me started on local building codes, which are being made progressively tighter mostly to make it harder for the Chinese.

31 gregor October 6, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Hazel, I’m guessing you don’t get out much. Mexicans are completely distinct. Racially, linguistically, etc. The limited similarity is a result of their European heritage, but even that is Spaniard/Latin as opposed to Anglo. The Mexican invasion does not have historical precedent in the US and it is not at all the same as the previous, pre-1965 waves of European immigration. If Mexicans (on the whole) were capable of sustaining a US caliber civilization, they would be doing it in Mexico!

32 prognostication October 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

I can’t tell if people actually don’t realize the language they use about Mexican immigration is virtually identical to the language that was used toward Italians, Poles, Germans, Chinese, Irish, etc. in prior generations, or if they just hope no one will notice. Excepting the Irish, none of those groups came to the U.S. speaking English. Most major cities had enclaves, sometimes large enclaves, where you were more likely to hear the respective native languages of those immigrant groups than English. Their morality was in question, and they were (and in some cases, still are today!) frequently involved in organized crime. And they didn’t come here en masse because everything was going great back home. And yet, they assimilated just fine. American history is mighty inconvenient for the xenophobe.

33 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm

People seem to recognize they’re using similar language to that used in prior immigration waves, they just don’t concede that those waves worked out well.

I didn’t make that argument either, but it seems pretty clear that that’s what’s being said.

34 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 4:58 pm

I can’t tell if people actually don’t realize the language they use about Mexican immigration is virtually identical to the language that was used toward Italians, Poles, Germans, Chinese, Irish, etc. in prior generations, or if they just hope no one will notice. Excepting the Irish, none of those groups came to the U.S. speaking English. Most major cities had enclaves, sometimes large enclaves, where you were more likely to hear the respective native languages of those immigrant groups than English. Their morality was in question, and they were (and in some cases, still are today!) frequently involved in organized crime. And they didn’t come here en masse because everything was going great back home. And yet, they assimilated just fine. American history is mighty inconvenient for the xenophobe.

I have no reason to believe you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of whatever ‘language’ people were using in 1910.

The question at the time and the question in 1910 are the same: how does the extant population benefit from immigration waves. The answer given in 1920 and 1924 was, ‘not enough to continue with this policy’. The situation today is as much an artifact of sharp restrictions as it is of what antedated those restrictions.

And the economic and cultural context could not have been more different. Theodore Roosevelt was a celebrant of American culture. Barack Obama is a critic of it and despises large sections of the population. Both illustrate elite dispositions toward immigrant streams. We had no anti-discrimination law in 1910. Immigrants had to make what arrangements they could with employers and landlords exercising plenary discretion over their contrating. Common provision was quite truncated in 1910 as well. Immigrants did not have many alternatives to the labor market.

And we still had problems. The city machines and the New Deal coalition were crucially dependent on ‘diversity’ as then practiced If you thought those were unsalutary developments, immigration wasn’t good for you. (Did I mention the Mafia?).

35 HL October 6, 2016 at 5:07 pm

I suspect that the complete destruction and humiliation of many of those assimilated peoples homelands by WASP led forces helped the process. Mexico might think twice if it has the same fate as most of those countries.

36 HL October 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm

Catholics and Jews “assimilated” so well they have a complete stranglehold on the Supreme Court, the ultimate arbiter of justice. Did they so much assimilate or push aside WASP culture through numbers and ingroup bias?

37 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 5:25 pm

The only indubitably serious Catholic on the Supreme Court was Antonin Scalia. You can make a case for Messrs. Thomas, Roberts, and Alito.

38 gregor October 6, 2016 at 5:45 pm

@prog
Yeah, tens of millions from Latin America is just business as usual. What a pack of lies. Your argument is literally 1) historically we have had immigration, 2) before it “worked out fine,” and 3) therefore any future immigration will nessarily work out fine.

Previous waves have been basically entirely European. It was opened a bit to Southern and Eastern Europeans from late 19th century through 1924. Even that got people nervous and there was immigration restriction up until 1965. (Restriction also seemed to “work out fine” incidentally). To me this suggests we’ve had seeming success (more or less) with European immigration. But our experience with African “immigration” was, shall we say mixed. Nor did we seemlessly integrate with the native Americans. I see zero evidence that significant racial divides tend to disappear or that immigration is necessarily beneficial.

39 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 6:38 pm

Hazel, I’m guessing you don’t get out much. Mexicans are completely distinct. Racially, linguistically, etc. The limited similarity is a result of their European heritage, but even that is Spaniard/Latin as opposed to Anglo.

Um Spanish is derived from Latin, just like French and Italian. And significant parts of English.
So no, they are not linguistically distinct.
Neither are they completely racially distinct, and thanks for reminding everyone how close “race” is to the top of your consciousness.
Spain was part of the Roman Empire, as was the rest of Western Europe.
One could equally complain about the alienness of Scots and Irish because they have Celtic linguistic heritage and as we know Ireland and Scotland were clan-based and never part of the Roman Empire so therefore they aren’t “really” party of Western Civilization. Same thing for Norwegians and Swedes. Totally alien culture. Have you seen Vikings? Who the hell ever heard of Bjorn Lothbrook ? Or worshipping Odin. What the fuck is that shit about?

40 prognostication October 6, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Art Deco: Yes, urban historical demography actually is something I know a lot about. Whether you want to accept that assertion or not, it’s true. Latinos have a very similar labor force participation rate to non-Latinos and an unemployment rate about 1.5 points higher than non-Hispanic whites, which is to say, comparable. Latinos are working. They aren’t on the dole. The assertion that Obama isn’t pro-American is not one I care to engage with. I also find distasteful the notion that we shouldn’t want immigrants who might disagree with us politically. Latinos could just as easily be Republican as Democrat if the Republican Party wanted them. Most Central American cultures are more conservative than are coastal U.S. liberals on quite a few dimensions. They’ve tended to vote Democrat because the Republican Party has frequently tolerated and occasionally actually promoted bias against them. If they started voting Republican, I wouldn’t suddenly start thinking we shouldn’t let them in.

HL, I’d heard that anti-Semitism was coming back into fashion, but I sort of thought anti-Catholicism was permanently out of vogue. Did I miss a memo?

And gregor, if you can’t see how the slave trade differs from immigration, I’m… honestly speechless.

41 Jan October 6, 2016 at 7:59 pm

@Lord, if you’re talking about Lexington, relax. They are not the best schools in the country. Could actually use some improvement.

42 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Art Deco: Yes, urban historical demography actually is something I know a lot about. Whether you want to accept that assertion or not, i

I never referred to anything you said about ‘labor force demography’. I referred to your yap about what people had to say about immigrant populations in 1910, which you contend was identical to what they say today.

Latinos have a very similar labor force participation rate

So what? That’s irrelevant to my argument.

The assertion that Obama isn’t pro-American is not one I care to engage with.

Obama’s a disgustingly normal bourgeois type. He could be the assistant dean of students just about anywhere. No point wasting your air on the proposition he does not look down his nose at most people (and he’s been explicit about it in front of a hot mic).

I also find distasteful the notion that we shouldn’t want immigrants who might disagree with us politically.

Well, no one’s packing the meeting to outvote you, toots.

Latinos could just as easily be Republican as Democrat if the Republican Party wanted them.

Only in the imagination of partisan Democrats do Latinos vote Democratic because Republicans are mean to them.

They’ve tended to vote Democrat because the Republican Party has frequently tolerated and occasionally actually promoted bias against them.

This has no reality outside your imagination.

43 HL October 6, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Is it anti-Catholicism or a recognition that immigration and demography has far larger impacts on the native population than most like to admit. The founding caste of America doesn’t even have representation on their most supreme of courts. Scalia at least made an attempt at representing the will of the founders and was mercilessly derided for it. The rest of them are so clearly disconnected from founding principles that the cognitive dissonance in saying otherwise is simply offensive.

44 prognostication October 6, 2016 at 10:03 pm

@HL …it only matters that they aren’t WASPs if you think that they somehow decide cases differently because they aren’t WASPs. And I’d love to see your math on that conclusion.

45 gregor October 7, 2016 at 1:11 am

@prog The fact remains that 150 years after slavery and 50 after the civil right laws whites and blacks have yet to assimilate. Not even close. Nor are there ready examples elsewhere in the world of such assimilation. A lot of it is simply because physically whites and blacks are very different. Additionally, blacks have radically worse outcomes, and everyone notices this (again, physically very distinguishable). Blacks feel like they are being kept down and resent whites, while whites inevitably retreat to “safe neighborhoods” with “good schools.” With Latinos, many will be more or less absorbed into White America, but there will likely be a large, permanent, brown underclass that will remain very distinct, in a way that did not occur with the Irish, etc.

46 HL October 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

There’s plenty of evidence that the demographics of the judge makes a difference in deciding cases. I imagine this would apply to WASPs as well. If it doesn’t then why all the demand for diversity and representation from minorities?

To pull a PA:
——
A judge’s race or gender makes for a dramatic difference in the outcome of cases they hear—at least for cases in which race and gender allegedly play a role in the conduct of the parties, according to two recent studies.

The results were the focus of a program about “Diversity on the Bench: Is the ‘Wise Latina’ a Myth?,” sponsored by the ABA Judicial Division at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando on Saturday afternoon.

In federal racial harassment cases, one study (PDF) found that plaintiffs lost just 54 percent of the time when the judge handling the case was an African-American. Yet plaintiffs lost 81 percent of the time when the judge was Hispanic, 79 percent when the judge was white, and 67 percent of the time when the judge was Asian American.

The comprehensive study, by professors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, examined a random assortment of 40 percent of all reported racial harassment cases from six federal circuits between 1981 and 2003.

A second study (PDF), looked at 556 federal appellate cases involving allegations of sexual harassment or sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The finding: plaintiffs were at least twice as likely to win if a female judge was on the appellate panel.

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Professor Pat K. Chew, who co-authored the racial harassment study, said she found “the rule of law is intact” in the cases she reviewed. Judges—no matter which side they ruled for—took the same procedural steps to reach their decisions, she said.

But judges of different races took different approaches “on how to interpret the facts of the cases,” she said.

Pressed on whether the rule of law could actually be considered intact when outcomes varied so much depending on the race of the judge, she replied: “It’s always made a difference who the judge was. We’ve long known, for instance, that a judge’s political affiliation makes a difference.”

Judge Carol E. Jackson of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri said she was heartened that diversity has crept into the federal court system, where today 20 percent of judges are women and 15 percent are members of minority groups.

“It’s important that different voices are being heard,” she said.

The program took its title from a much-debated comment made years ago by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor : “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

The participants never answered the question of whether a Latina judge reaches better conclusions, but at least in some cases, it appears likely that she would reach a different conclusion from a white male jurist hearing the same evidence.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/race_gender_of_judges_make_enormous_differences_in_rulings_studies_find_aba

47 Matt October 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm

This would render the Native Americans racist. If it is racist, then racism is unavoidable and loses much of its stigma.

48 Daniel Weber October 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Yes, what label do we apply to people opposed to gentrification?

49 JC October 7, 2016 at 6:18 am

+1

50 Cassiodorus October 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Because the opposition is about race. People who are “very concerned” about immigration are far more concerned about African immigrants to the United States (of which there are few) than about ones from Europe or Asia (of which there are many by comparison).

Racism for a large portion of white people at this point is defined by wearing a Klan hood. There are no racists, because racism is something bad people practice, and since they don’t see themselves as bad people they’re not racist.

51 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Is it about race/nationality or is it about culture and genes?

52 Kyle Motsinger October 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Depends on who you talk to. Higher IQ internet denizens who have time to craft (potentially post-hoc) justifications make it about culture and genes. I would doubt that the justification for average or below average IQ Trump supporters, for example, is (primarily) about anything other than race.

53 jill October 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Just Another MR Commentor, that is.

54 Simon October 6, 2016 at 7:34 pm

> No such thing as a low IQ Trump supporter. Less than 2% of African Americans support Trump. Thanks for playing.

???
So your model of the world doesn’t even have distributions? It’s just point estimates based on race?

55 jill October 6, 2016 at 4:48 pm

I certainly hope you are kidding.

56 Matt October 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm

“racism is something bad people practice” sounds like the standard view on racism, not just the “white” view. Hard to explain the public shamings otherwise.

57 Li Zhi October 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm

So, you’re ok with weak language?

58 Li Zhi October 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm

The term bs is used. That doesn’t qualify as strong language in 2016, perhaps “somewhat impolite”. Summary:
CEOs are becoming a separate class with language and culture different from the rest of us. Much of what is said in any organization is known by all to be untrue. CEOs are more social-welfare concerned than he expected (note that his industry is media, and he admits to leaning left). Some jobs are unpleasant, tedious, and difficult, but need doing; sometimes government is the best one to do them — but don’t expect them to do them any better, more effectively, or efficiently than you or I would. Use a to-do list. Hire people who will obsess over their job. Don’t eat meat, most especially (industrial) farm-raised meat.

59 Li Zhi October 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Oh and single motherhood is a side-effect (if I understand what he implied) of positive social changes concerning tolerance. The good out-weighs the bad.

60 a Fred October 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm

I just read it.
It’s safe.
No strong language.

61 Daniel Weber October 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Is there any explicit language? I’d rather have implicit language.

62 Massimo Heitor October 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm

When I see many hispanics/muslims passionate about increasing immigration or I see whites passionate about restricting immigration, the self ethnic motivation is quite obvious. Only one side of this coin is called racist.

63 Harun October 6, 2016 at 6:32 pm

From this exchange, I suspect the Democrats will move on this issue at some point.

They are thinking about it, obviously, because its a weak flank.

64 EverExtruder October 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

“Donald Trump is not about “economic anxiety.”

What the hell are you smoking? Last time I checked people of all different ethnicities occupy the middle-class and the middle-class is in increasingly bad shape. Even the HillHarpy and Obama themselves have been bandying around “income-inequality” for over a year and half now as a talking point. Even their base sees this. Every indicator you choose to look at shows the middle class hasn’t received a raise in 30 years while the top 1-5% is pulling away at an ever increasing rate.

The only one making a link between the language of economics and the language of racism is Klein. This is precisely because they live in ivory towers and are not on the ground. It is also precisely why the ilk are still stunned by the rise of Trump.

65 Cassiodorus October 6, 2016 at 12:23 pm

If Trump was really about economic anxiety, why does he poll so poorly with minority voters? Saying he’s a Republican isn’t sufficient, because he polls way behind Romney among them as well.

66 JWatts October 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm

“If Trump was really about economic anxiety, why does he poll so poorly with minority voters? ”

That’s a nonsensical question. Those two items aren’t mutually exclusive of each other. Furthermore, Bernie Sanders campaign was primarily about economic anxiety and he also polled poorly with minority voters.

67 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm

I think that’s wrong. Perhaps surprisingly, Trump polls relatively well for a Republican presidential candidate among minority voters. He’s not rocking the vote or anything, but he’s not doing especially badly.

That suggests maybe the economic message is resonant, or that low-income people feel the immigration message is important to them.

http://cesrusc.org/election/
http://thehill.com/latino/287086-poll-trumps-hispanic-support-on-par-with-romney-2012

68 Jan October 6, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Dude, black people. He polls horribly with the biggest minority group in a large share of states. Don’t act like you don’t know this.

69 Daniel Weber October 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

Googling shows 50% stories saying Trump is worse than other Republicans, and 50% say Trump is better than other Republicans. It’s hardly proven that black people hate Trump more than any other GOP candidate.

70 Jan October 7, 2016 at 11:40 am

That may not be a great method to assess this, but your statement does not support “polls relatively well for a Republican presidential candidate among minority voters.” It’s at best, “polls about as well as an avg R candidate”

71 mm October 7, 2016 at 5:52 pm

hey dude- blacks aren’t the largest minority group-you are so nineties

72 EverExtruder October 6, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Screw polls. I think Brexit and this election are going to be a wake up call that new models are needed, if that’s even possible.

And my proof is the rise of Bernie Sanders. The fear he put in the DNC and the Hillary campaign was entirely due to the resonance he created based soley on the economic issues the dem base is feeling, same as the other side of that line.

The country is politically, economically, and culturally ill. People are waking up. It is not a mistake that Bernie or Trump voters see these as the two best alternatives to the establishment and business-as-usual. The establishment needs to be afraid. They need to go. And business-as-usual is literally going to kill us.

73 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Comically, Trump polls better with robocallers than live surveys. As with Brexit, people may not want to publicly admit what they privately believe.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/live-polls-and-online-polls-tell-different-stories-about-the-election/

74 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 1:46 pm

And looking at recent events at Oculus Rift and earlier ones at Mozilla, the shy people may be smart. There are serious career consequences in much of corporate America for being outed as conservative, so it makes sense to stay closeted.

75 Millian October 6, 2016 at 1:49 pm

It probably doesn’t matter for corporate America. If you are a brand in a generic industry depending on the goodwill of a very small number of young people, like Mozilla or Oculus Rift, you need to get their loyalty (not just their dollars).

76 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

I don’t know where you are, but I don’t work in some brand-dependent company catering to millennials, and I’d be terrified of the career consequences if people found out I thought maybe there was too much immigration.

77 Jan October 6, 2016 at 8:07 pm

Really? Corporate CEOs can’t be outtd as Republicans? Considering they make up the majority of CEOs and give much more to Republican candidates, your comment is absurd.

78 HL October 6, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Jan… CEOs are, by and large, not endorsing Trump nor are they anti-immigration. This is a blatant strawman even for you.

79 Jan October 7, 2016 at 5:39 am

HL, if you believe it is a big secret that most CEOs are conservatives I don’t think you’re paying attention. And they have good reason to not support Trump–he is a crazy narcissist who will probably have negative impacts on business. That does not mean they are fearful of being outed as conservatives. In fact, a whole lot of them make donations to campaigns that they know become public info. This is not in dispute.

80 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Trump is about WHITE economic anxiety. He’s about whites who feel economically threatened by non-white labor.

81 Lord Action October 6, 2016 at 1:49 pm

That doesn’t make sense. The low-skill are all hurt together, and they certainly aren’t exclusively white. Hence Trump’s polling. The guy’s got decent hispanic support.

82 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Is he?

83 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

I thought he was about Cuck Anxiety. CUCKS like me!

84 Jan October 7, 2016 at 5:40 am

+1

85 asdf October 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Dems are going to steal from the white middle class to give to poor minorities. That’s good for the economics of minorities, they are acting based on rational self interest. As are the people trying not be be robbed.

86 JWatts October 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm

“Donald Trump is not about “economic anxiety.”

Donald Trump main thrust seems to be about both economic and cultural anxiety. So, I agree that Klein and Cowen’s dismissal of the economic side seems completely wrong.

87 ant1900 October 6, 2016 at 11:24 am

You should be afraid of doctors, especially in hospitals. They are death zones.

Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/03/476636183/death-certificates-undercount-toll-of-medical-errors

88 mulp October 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm

But because someone else pays or subsidizes doctors, the only rational option is to see a doctor at least once per day and demand a colonoscopy once a month.

That Tyler says: “COWEN: Maybe dislike. Averse. [laughs] They should be afraid of me, perhaps.” Indicates likely mental illness, some sort of dementia which has him failing to respond to signals as a rational economist would.

After all, smoking kills, but as long as Joe Camel could hand out free smokes to children, children took up smoking because it was free and anything that is free is something a rational person does a lot of.

After all, isn’t the objection to Obamacare the fact it costs too much to buy the insurance Obama mandates and the Obamacare thousand dollar deductibles make seeing a doctor too costly, and that means no one sees a doctor any more because you must pay, instead of medical care being free just by showing up at the ER and letting the government or someone else pay.

Like conservatives keep telling us, before Obamacare, no one was denied the chance to see a doctor because they had no money: obviously seeing a doctor was free. That’s why people want Obamacare repealed so seeing a doctor at least once a week returns to being free.

89 jill October 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm

LOL, they want Obamacare repealed because of tribalism. They have no idea what’s in it, what effects it has, how things would change if it were repealed. The Red Tribe has been told to be against it, by Fox, Right Wing radio, and the ubiquitous Right Wing web sites. So they are. Propaganda works.

90 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Seriously? A sweeping policy change people have been experiencing over the last 3 years and you think they have no idea what it is or what effects it has?

91 Adam October 6, 2016 at 11:33 am

What is it about white people that makes us think we need a different language to talk about racism? Instead, we could maybe acknowledge that what we’re trying to talk about is racism and just go ahead and talk.

92 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 11:48 am

Either that or the white people could just admit they are afraid that a bunch of Mexican immigrants are going to take their jobs and stop pretending that they just racist and afraid that the Mexicans are going to rape their culture or something.

93 Josh October 6, 2016 at 12:10 pm

But I’m not particularly afraid that Mexicans will take my job. They will probably remain mostly at the lower end of the economic ladder. I’m genuinely concerned about the in erased atomization that has resulted from the combination of deeply rooted cultural diversity and our extreme liberalism, not to. Enticing the frankly totalitarian impulse that has arisen in response to those who express dissatisfaction. In the long run, it’s crazy not to be concerned about populations with different understanding of the ultimate good and how to organize society occupying the same territory. Even blacks and white who have shared a country for four hundred years have yet to find a modus vivendi that actually works. as with, say, the Catholics who migrated in to a Protestant country in the 19th century, social peace can only be achieved at the expense of their Catholicism. That means elevating things like markets and bureaucracies which claim neutrality about any notion of the good to the fundamental organizational structures of our society. This was bad for Catholics and protestants and it will be bad for muslims if it even happens. The probable other alternative is civil war. These are the kinds of things statement should be thinking about, not commenters on blogs.

94 HL October 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm

The highlander principle of life: There can be only one.

95 Josh October 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Actually, i think the best America that ever existed was the one with largely autonomous extremely local ethnic communities. The problem is, these thing are no longer allowed to exist, and we have a diabolical ruling class that actively tries to use one ethnic group against another while simulateously destroying the cohesion of any group that they see as a threat.

96 Nick October 6, 2016 at 1:46 pm

@Josh

I have some doubts about how much “largely autonomous extremely local ethnic communities” can exist in 2016. For example, markets tend to push people to live close to large numbers of other people, especially as agriculture gets more efficient. In addition, consider the impact of the automobile. The political system may declare La Vergne, TN to be its own community, but reality is that the automobile has made it part of Nashville, as evidenced by how many people commute to or from Nashville for work, dining, seeing a doctor, going to a game, etc. I don’t know if you would consider the road construction that has made this possible to be diabolical, but the market incentives that spurred La Vergne’s population growth from 5,495 in 1980 to more than 34,000 today isn’t really about “a diabolical ruling class that actively tries to use one ethnic group against another while simultaneously destroying the cohesion of any group that they see as a threat.”

97 Millian October 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Not all the ethnic communities got to be autonomous. Some were genocided and others were enslaved, remember?

98 Josh October 6, 2016 at 2:03 pm

We are talking about different time periods. Thanks though.

99 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Not all the ethnic communities got to be autonomous. Some were genocided and others were enslaved, remember?

There was no genocide of Amerindians or anyone else.

We bought the slaves from the Africans who captured them in raids.

100 HL October 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm

And now that America is impossible.

101 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm

In the long run, it’s crazy not to be concerned about populations with different understanding of the ultimate good and how to organize society occupying the same territory.

And Mexicans are that different. Really? A bunch of people who inherit a culture from Spain, who precise a religion that is a close branch of Christianity, and which is commonly accepted when it’s adherents are Irish or Italian, are SO INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT from us that they will alter our culture in a way that is existentially threatening to the very foundations of Western Civilization. Seriously?

Even blacks and white who have shared a country for four hundred years have yet to find a modus vivendi that actually works.

That’s not because blacks and whites have some fundamentally different conception of how society should be organized.

as with, say, the Catholics who migrated in to a Protestant country in the 19th century, social peace can only be achieved at the expense of their Catholicism.

You’re joking, right? There is literally NOTHING in Catholicism that conflicts with ANYTHING about American culture. ZERO. And there never has been. In spite of whatever idiotic myths you may have ressurrected from the archives of social bigotry from (early part of) the last century, there is no Catholic mandate to obey the pope and vote how he tells you to. There was never any existential conflict between Catholicism wherein the Catholics had to give up their Catholicism. Protestants just got over it. The election of JFK was over 50 years ago. American culture didn’t die.

The funny thing is that for the last half century, nobody gave a shit. Nobody gave a shit until they decided that the REAL PROBLEM with Mexicans is that they’re Catholic. Then suddenly people like you started digging up retrograde anti-Catholic claptrap so you would have a reason to be against Mexican immigration that wasn’t racist.

102 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Mexicans are very different from Americans, yes. Compare the two countries. If you replaced “Mexicans” with Canadians then I would agree with you that there is not that much difference (although still significant)

It seems extremely simplistic and hey, racist, to say that Mexico “inherited a culture from Spain”

103 Josh October 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Hazel,

As a devout catholic, I strongly disagree with you. Americanism remains a heresy. The protestants didn’t just “get over it”, they engaged in the most perniscious and extensive social engineering campaign that ever existed including a CIA “doctrinal warfare” program.

104 Josh October 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Spike lee’s “do the right thing” was an excellent demonstration to a liberal moviegoing public that blacks and whites fundamentally disagree about how society should be organized. Even movie critics who praise the movie don’t seem to be able to admit what it was about.

105 Josh October 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Since nothing l goes without saying anymore, not all blacks and not all whites.

106 mdv1959 October 6, 2016 at 9:01 pm

” There is literally NOTHING in Catholicism that conflicts with ANYTHING about American culture. ZERO. And there never has been.”

Really, when did Catholicism embrace gay marriage and abortion?

107 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Garrett Jones is quaking in his boots about Mexicans taking his job, I am sure

108 D October 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm

+1

the lengths people will go through o straw-man good arguments for considering the intergenerational quality of immigrants is astounding. As if it’s always about MY job? As if it’s about just the first generation? As if it’s just about the benefits but not about the costs?

109 Dynamic Array October 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm

What is it about liberals that they can’t make arguments without bringing up the word racism? Why can’t they argue for their positions on their own merits rather than use name calling?

110 Maximilian October 6, 2016 at 11:38 am

A new paper by Abascal and Baldassari has a better take on the diversity-trust link. It “reproduces the analysis of Putnam and shows that the association between diversity and self-reported trust is a compositional artifact attributable to residential sorting: nonwhites report lower trust and are overrepresented in heterogeneous communities. The association between diversity and trust is better explained by differences between communities and their residents in terms of race/ethnicity, residential stability, and economic conditions; these classic indicators of inequality, not diversity, strongly and consistently predict self-reported trust. Diversity indexes also obscure the distinction between in-group and out-group contact. For whites, heterogeneity means more out-group neighbors; for nonwhites, heterogeneity means more in-group neighbors. Therefore, separate analyses were conducted by ethnoracial groups. Only for whites does living among out-group members—not in diverse communities per se—negatively predict trust.”
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/683144

111 Millian October 6, 2016 at 11:39 am

I don’t think you even have a definition of “good racism” yet, which you need before you get a language.

112 jim jones October 6, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Human beings are the product of Natural Selection, we should exclude the ones who have failed the Evolutionary test

113 Millian October 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm

The funny thing is, people who are looking for a language of “good racism” often believe the opposite of that as well: yes, they think high-IQ groups should be collectively rewarded and low-IQ groups collectively punished, but no, they think cultures that are too successful at propagating, like Muslims, need to be stopped. This is why, to me, it is a bit ill-defined. I don’t think “Good racism” can elide the tensions without resorting to what it is, which is prejudice.

114 The Anti-Gnostic October 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm

In-group preference is universal, from which we can hypothesize it is an evolved trait.

115 Jill October 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm

but the kind of tribalism we have in the U.S. today is extreme.

116 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm

but the kind of tribalism we have in the U.S. today is extreme.

Well, blame the schools, the legal profession, and Democratic politicians.

117 Daniel Weber October 6, 2016 at 4:53 pm

they think cultures that are too successful at propagating, like Muslims, need to be stopped

I’ve have hung around people who turned out to be white nationalists, and their actual beliefs are that Blacks and Muslims are fine for standing up for their rights and taking all they can. They just think the Whites (with a capital W, in case you ever need to sneak in among them) need to be doing the same, instead of unilaterally disarming and voluntarily losing. They think people like you (or me, for that matter) are race traitors and worse than any Black, Mexican, or Jew.

118 Millian October 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Well, there’s nothing in there I can disagree with. I also think the analysis is, Muslims need to be stopped, not stopped as in killed but kept out of white countries.

I just realised, tl;dr to my post Houellebecq is smarter than any of these followers who put “us” at the end of their names to sound well-read.

119 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 11:39 am

COWEN:Putnam almost says as such, and do you think there’s currently a language in the media where you have readers who are themselves diverse, where it’s possible not to just be blaming the bigots, but to actually present the positive view, “Look, people are imperfect. A society can only handle so much diversity, and we need to learn this.” What’s your take on that?

KLEIN: I strongly agree. We do not have a language for demographic anxiety that is not a language that is about racism. And we need one. I really believe this, and I believe it’s been a problem, particularly this year. It is clear, the evidence is clear. Donald Trump is not about “economic anxiety.”

Can anyone exlain to me what Ezra Klein is talking about. Because if Donald Trump isn’t about “economic anxiety”, but is about “demographic anxiety”, but that’s not about racism, then what is it?

Also, can someone explain why “demographic anxiety” that is focused on Spanish-speaking Roman Catholics is any different from “demographic anxiety” that focuses on Italian-speaking Roman Catholics or English-speaking Irish Catholics, or German Catholics. Or why Spanish-speaking Catholics engender so much anxiety when Hindus and Buddists and Eastern Orthodox Greeks don’t, in a way that has nothing to do with the “economic anxiety” associated with the skill level of said immigrants and which demographic groups are most economically threatened (and therefore anxious) about such competition.

If you’re trying to say that Donald Trump is some sort of legitimate manifestation of WASP cultural anxiety which is totally, like, not racist at all, and has nothing to do with economics, then I don’t believe you.

120 Jeff R. October 6, 2016 at 12:07 pm

I think the point is this: you didn’t pack up and move to Mexico not because you hate Mexicans, but because you were born in the US, you were steeped in American culture as a youngster, etc. If you stay put and Mexico comes to you via mass immigration and differential birthrates, having misgivings about this requires no sort of irrational, ethnicity-based animus toward Mexico or Mexicans.

121 JWill October 6, 2016 at 12:11 pm

The point Tyler and Ezra are talking about here is, among other things, referring to all the survey data showing that the economic fortunes of the strongest Trump supporters are not actually that bad. Trump is not killing it in the lower classes. His biggest gains (over Romney and previous Republicans) is winning middle class white males who usually do not vote, the “missing white vote” that was talked about in previous cycles. And the question is, if their primary attraction to Trump is not economic anxiety, then what is it?

One possible answer is racism. But this line is the key to their conversation:
Klein: “That said, I think that the way it’s presented is a choice between economic anxiety and racism. And one I don’t think that’s quite right, and two I don’t think that’s a productive way of having that conversation.”

Klein is making two points. His first point is that fear of demographic/cultural change isn’t exactly racism. It’s partly that. But it’s more. It’s frustration over the perception about one’s way of life and word view no longer dominant. You can’t go around calling people f*gs anymore. Traditional masculinity is not respected as it once was. Urbane culture is “winning” in the popular media and on television and in movies. Even the superheroes are all city boys. The kind of jobs they can get are no longer respected jobs. The New York Times (and everyday people) have trouble talking people from West Virginia as anything but a hick, and talking about Nebraska as anything but a flyover state. The list of ways in which this demographic (of which I am a member) feels ostracized and displaced in modern America goes on and on. Concerns about race and immigration are a part of this, but only a part, and to chalk it up exclusively or even primarily to race is to miss the more interesting, deeper, and more explanatory trend.

The second point is that even for the part that is about race and racism, he is arguing that calling it that is unproductive. Calling someone a racist isn’t an effective way to start a conversation, it’s an effective way to end it. The word is morally loaded with implications of unredeemability, and failure of moral character that casts utter unworthiness on the target. If one of the faults of racism is that it reduces an individual to nothing more than a member of the racial group with which you identify them to, calling someone a “racist” does the same thing. I say this as someone who thinks that racist behavior is one of the biggest moral failings we have in America. But as a cognitive psychologist who studies concept formation and behavior, I agree wholeheartedly that if our goal end racism, we need a different, more healing and productive way to talk about the issue and to get people to change their beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Whereas if our point is merely to identify, stigmatize, and punish the racists, then we should just keep on keeping on.

122 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Traditional masculinity is not respected as it once was.

The Mexican cultural invasion should take care of that. Half the time it’s all about how everything becoming all feminist and gay, and then the other half of the time, it’s all “But the Muslims don’t respect women’s lib! They beat their wives and stuff, and they hate gays!” Make up your minds!

The kind of people you are talking about probably have more in common with the Mexican day laborers they are afraid of than they do with YOU. If they could get over the fact that they speak poor English and have slightly different toned skin.

123 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Ah, so if they could only “get over” the fact that they cannot communicate at all with these guys with which they share so much in common, and in fact cannot get a job in the industries where they work as a result, they would be best buddies.

Should they also “get over” the poor economic prospects and high crime rates of 4th generation Mexican Americans?

Are Canada and Australia ALL ABOUT racism since they have a points-based immigration system that rewards educational attainment, productivity, etc.?

124 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Thank you for finally admitting that it’s about competition for jobs.

125 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Maybe for some people. I am sure it is particularly galling to be told you cannot get a job in American because you do not speak Spanish.

126 Anon39 October 6, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Let’s see if I can pass the Ideological Turing test:

It’s not about race. It’s about culture and what happens to quality of governance in a democracy when you have distinct ethnic/cultural/religious groups.

Lee Kuan Yew famously explained Singapore’s style of governance in terms of limiting democracy for this exact reason. To paraphrase: eventually everyone simply votes for their own demographic. Governance turns into a spoils system/status elevator system where government is used to punish/reward certain groups vs others. See Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa, various multi ethnic/religious African states, Zimbabwe, Egypt and the Copts under the MB, etc.

The fear then, is not about “they took err derr” but rather the erosion of a government that has, in theory, the interests of the republic as its primary goal.

They look to the future of the US and see Brazil or some other semi failed Latin American state. One way to see if this is true is to look, in the future, at the quality of governance in states which have over 50% minority demographics.

Anyways that’s my best shot. Personally I think racism explains a lot.

127 Dynamic Array October 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Yeah it’s quite hypocritical, you must either support radical feminism or stonig for adultery. There can be no middle ground.

128 aha October 6, 2016 at 9:45 pm

I know, right? It’s almost as if there is no coherent position that might embrace distinction in gender roles while denying that one person has a right to violently coerce another. Crazy…

129 HL October 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm

The immigrants get to have their masculinity. White males feel like they don’t.

130 Jill October 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm

” if our goal is to end racism, we need a different, more healing and productive way to talk about the issue and to get people to change their beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Whereas if our point is merely to identify, stigmatize, and punish the racists, then we should just keep on keeping on.”

Definitely.

131 Dan in Euroland October 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Human social groups exhibit homophily. Culture serves as a coordination mechanism increasing social bonds and reducing violent conflict.

I’m puzzled why you find evolutionary reality “racist”.

For a theoretical piece focusing strictly on informational differences creating in-group/out-group dynamics see http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1085&context=econ_workingpaper

132 JWill October 6, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Beware the “ought-is” fallacy. “Racist” is a moral term about what one believes ought to be true, and is perfectly consistent with an evolutionary reality of tribalism and ingroup-outgroup preferential treatment. Labeling such behavior as racist is making that claim that even if such things are true, we should combat them when we can.

133 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm

“Racist” as it’s commonly used in this country is a rebuke by haut bourgeois types who fancy their social antagonisms are sleek and refined and everyone else’s are crude and vulgar and justify all manner of harassment by their social betters.

There are people who have it in for blacks. What’s derived from that is mostly passive-aggressive dispositions that are pefectly congruent with the aims of black politicians. Quite ironic really. And irrelevant to anything Trump’s tapping into.

134 Millian October 6, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Human social groups also exhibit a tendency to conflict, often violent? I blame the ecological movement for making people think natural means good/desirable.

135 Philipw2 October 6, 2016 at 12:04 pm

The talk about demographic fear as opposed to good old fashioned racism would be more credible if there wasn’t a 150 year history of racial animus that came up before white people felt economically or demographically threatened. 60 percent of Louisiana white folks voted for David Duke an avowed KKK member for senator long before inequality or economic stagnation hit. Racism is deeply rooted in the United States. It is naive to say “well these racists also now have real economic problems” and expect their deep commitment to racism to go away.

136 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 12:13 pm

It’s racism against brown people who are Catholic and speak a different language, so therefore it’s not really racism. Being afraid of papists is cool and not retrograde and wierd at all.

Also, pay no attention to the fact that nobody gave a shit about the Catholic menace until after lots of low-skilled Catholic immigrants showed up. The scaryness of Catholicism has nothing to do with economic anxiety. Absolutely nothing.

137 Dynamic Array October 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

I think you’re the one bringing up Catholicism.

138 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Try reading Josh above.

Catholicism is fundamentally incompatible with American culture, apparently. Social peace cannot be achieved unless the Catholics give up their Catholicism.

139 Josh October 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

catholics did give up their catholicism, this is why the church is in crisis. It’s a tragedy.

140 HL October 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm

You brought up Catholicism first @ 11:39 am and it seems to be a sensitive issue for you.

141 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 4:11 pm

I’m brining it up because I’m trying to identify what it is about Hispanics that makes them so culturally alien that they can’t be allowed to immigrate here. I’m told skin color has nothing to do with it, so the other biggest things are the fact that they’re Catholic and they speak Spanish.

142 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm

I’m brining it up because I’m trying to identify what it is about Hispanics that makes them so culturally alien that they can’t be allowed to immigrate here. I’m told skin color has nothing to do with it, so the other biggest things are the fact that they’re Catholic and they speak Spanish.

This isn’t that difficult.

You’re having a problem with this, perhaps deliberately. It isn’t that ‘they cannot be allowed to immigrate here’. The complaint is that they are effectively allowed to migrate at their own discretion, they come in unprecedented and unnecessary numbers, they form linguistic ghettos, they’re useful for one part of the extant population to marginalize another, their source country populations are of the opinion that they should be allowed to migrate at their own discretion and that restrictions on migration are contrary to right (see recent survey research in Mexico), and most of the source countries have dreadful problems with street crime (southern Mexico an exception).

If I’d wanted to live in Mexico, I’d have moved there. If I’d wanted to live in a bilingual country, I’d have applied to settle in Canada, which was just 80 miles away from my home and where I actually have some minimal proficiency in the second language. We had no social problems in this country in 1970 for which colonization by Mexicans were an apposite response. The effect of that colonization just makes the country more foreign than it had been and distorts political life.

I cannot figure out why picked for your red herring the Catholic Church. The Church began to self-immolate in the United States around 1966 and in Ireland around 1990. It’s no threat to the ruling class in this country. Serious evangelicals seldom have more than the most abstract pro forma issues with the Church. The people who despise the Church are the sort of people who end up on the board of Planned Parenthood, which was society matrons a generation ago and professional-managerial class types today. These people vote Democratic and see Hispanic Catholics as a useful tool to use against people they really dislike, if they’re giving it any thought at all.

While we’re at it, Hispanic Catholicism in this country is aesthetically distinct from Anglo Catholicism (and that’s not unimportant), but the Church has no more influence on social relations in Hispanic populations than it does among Anglo populations, when it makes any attempt at all. We’ve a Latin American pope and he’s an utter disaster. His conception of the Catholic Church resembles the dregs of the Church of England – just with worse liturgy and more social work.

This country has some fertility deficits which could be supplied by 400,000 immigrants a year. We do not need 3x that number to supply that defect. We do not need to import any individual who does not speak English when they step off the boat. We do not need highly concentrated influxes which act to create a latent irridentist movement in the southwestern United states. We certainly do not need an eight digit population of turnstile jumpers.

143 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 12:44 pm

All those racists are dead. Is your belief evidence-based or bias-based? Is there evidence that Trump voters are more racist than Clinton voters?

144 Dynamic Array October 6, 2016 at 1:21 pm

And it’s not like any of those Duke voting Whites could have predicted the economic and demographic threats. They were a total black swan, completely unpredictable.

145 PD Shaw October 6, 2016 at 1:49 pm

“60 percent of Louisiana white folks voted for David Duke an avowed KKK member for senator long before inequality or economic stagnation hit.”

This is false on three points. David Duke ran as a Christian convert who rejected his intolerant past, not as “an avowed KKK member.” He got 60 percent of the white vote (estimated) when he ran for Governor against Edwin Edwards, an unconvicted crook with greater than 50% unfavorability ratings. This election followed the late 1980s oil bust that devastated the Louisiana economy.

146 Boris_Badenoff October 6, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Every reference to Ezra Klein is a bullet through the heart of your credibility.

147 Rich Berger October 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Yes, but at this point “What difference does it make?”

148 Josh October 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm

It would be fine to call it racism if racism was just the acknowledgment that race is a real aspect of existence and should be taken into account as such. Instead it is loaded with connotations about hatred, politics and ethics.

149 Hoosier October 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm

When will you have on Ross Douthat as a guest?

150 Chip October 6, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Democrats are virtuous because they support mass immigration of unskilled people into an increasingly indebted country – people who are overwhelmingly statist, vote left and will likely give the Democrats a permanent majority in the future.

Republicans are racist for objecting.

151 Millian October 6, 2016 at 1:58 pm

The new democratic majority, unskilled immigrants like Fred Trump Sr.?

152 The Anti-Gnostic October 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

People are not fungible. American aboriginals are not Germans. Nor did Frederick Trump, Sr. have access to welfare and civil rights laws.

153 Millian October 6, 2016 at 5:33 pm

What a banal opening declaration! Mrs May’s speechwriter, by any chance? If you don’t like paying for people who are poorer than you, I feel bad for you son, but you got beat by democracy. Go hang out with God-Emperor Thiel now..

154 Harrison October 6, 2016 at 2:29 pm

And double secret racist for pushing policies (voter ID) that help their own party.

155 TMC October 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm

I’ve read 3 stories this week about voter fraud. The worst was thousands of illegal voter in PA. How’s that racist?

156 steve October 7, 2016 at 4:25 pm

The stores show people improperly registered. It shows no actual voter fraud, as in they voted. Almost all voter fraud issues occur with absentee ballots (but absentee ballots heavily favor Republicans so we will NEVER see a push to reform absentee ballot voting), registration and problems with the voting machines. The kind of fraud that would be stopped by ID cards is very rare, and minuscule compared with the more common I cited above. Yet, the attempts at “reform” we see are only for ID cards and will disproportionately affect minorities. Of course this could just be coincidental and not racist.

Steve

157 CMOT October 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm

TL;DR. Is it all just mutual log rolling, or is there anything of substance there?

158 Nick October 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm

You put this in so many different categories, I am not sure why you put it in “Uncategorized”.

159 Nick W October 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm

Incredible that two smart (and influential) people could have an hour-long conversation about the state of the world in 2016 and not once mention climate change. Our problem in a nutshell.

160 Chip October 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Because the climate is changing well within the parameters of natural volatility, and not according to the erroneous forecasts of some computer projections, which were scaled back in the most recent IPCC report.

Plus, the current moderate warming is beneficial to life as opposed to the regular and devastating ice ages that appeared as recently as 13,000 years ago.

And the attempts to control the climate are both expensive and ineffective.

161 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm

I’m a cuck

162 prognostication October 6, 2016 at 2:19 pm

There is an out and out lie in here — IPCC5’s best case scenario is more or less the worst case scenario from IPCC4.

163 TMC October 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm

IPCC has been backing off – lowering – it’s estimates of climate sensitivity. NOT raising.

164 EverExtruder October 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

The problem is that they didn’t discuss climate change?

The problem with climate change is not that it’s happening, which it is, but that practical people like myself are becoming increasingly convinced that there is virtually nothing that can be done about it. The global political will that would be required would probably cause more harm than good.

165 JWatts October 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm

If Climate Change is a serious problem then the obvious solution is a massive nuclear power build out. When I see Greens advocating this, I’ll take it seriously.

166 The Anti-Gnostic October 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

I’ve always wondered where liberals think ‘diversity’ comes from.

167 Slocum October 6, 2016 at 2:02 pm

And one I don’t think that’s quite right, and two I don’t think that’s a productive way of having that conversation.

I’ve posted this before, but Jonathan Haidt nailed it on this topic:

Nationalists feel a bond with their country, and they believe that this bond imposes moral obligations both ways: Citizens have a duty to love and serve their country, and governments are duty bound to protect their own people. Governments should place their citizens interests above the interests of people in other countries.

There is nothing necessarily racist or base about this arrangement or social contract. Having a shared sense of identity, norms, and history generally promotes trust. Having no such shared sense leads to the condition that the sociologist Émile Durkheim described as “anomie” or normlessness. Societies with high trust, or high social capital, produce many beneficial outcomes for their citizens: lower crime rates, lower transaction costs for businesses, higher levels of prosperity, and a propensity toward generosity, among others.

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/07/10/when-and-why-nationalism-beats-globalism/

Personally, I’m much more on the cosmopolitan end of the spectrum myself, but this struck me as a much more insightful way to understand Trump supporters than to dismiss them as a bunch of bigots.

168 Hazel Meade October 6, 2016 at 4:24 pm

I think you’re bending way over backwards to give Trump’s supporters the benefit of the doubt.
Nationalism, throughout history, is associated with bigotry against outsiders. Every in-group implies an out-group. And Trump is quite explicit about who the out-groups are.

169 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Nationalism, throughout history, is associated with bigotry against outsiders.

Personally, I’d be happy to mail you back to Saskatoon.

That aside, if everyone is your brother, no one is. Government is undertaken in geographic units. They may be large or small, they may be culturally uniform or culturally variegated. They do not function well when there isn’t a society-wide sense of belonging, which means there’s us and there’s them across the border.

170 Millian October 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm

The problem is that Us is almost never All of Us.

171 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm

No, it’s ‘almost never’ to the satisfaction of any country’s population of social workers. It’s adequate for the rest of us.

172 Hazel Meade October 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Art’s perfectly happy being one of the ‘Us’, having never once in his life been one of the ‘Them’.

173 Millian October 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm

Ok, but nationalism can be motivated by anomie, too. If you got nothing else, you got your shared… what is it exactly? Because the Trump nationalists do not seem to want to make America great for everybody, mainly for Racially Conscious Whites.

174 Art Deco October 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm

Because the Trump nationalists do not seem to want to make America great for everybody, mainly for Racially Conscious Whites

The Trump nationalists bear no responsibilities for what you impute to them.

175 asdf October 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Calling someone a racist (perhaps bigot is a more all-inclusive word for the phenomenon) un-persons them. That’s a problem, because the definition of bigot is ever expanding. Who can keep up? Someone like Tyler, Ezra, or someone they care about could easily end up on the wrong side if the bigot weapon, no matter how much they are willing to sell out to stay in good graces.

We need a new language that upper middle class cosmopolitan white people can speak which makes it clear they aren’t to get hit on the head with the bigot club. Like a vaccine against getting un-personed. Can’t come up with one though because the virus mutates too quickly.

176 prior_test2 October 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm

‘We need a new language that upper middle class cosmopolitan white people can speak which makes it clear they aren’t to get hit on the head with the bigot club.’

Well, at least in the U.S., upper middle class cosmopolitan white people could probably return to using an all-inclusive term from the past, and just call everyone beneath them ‘wogs.’ Ask the Commodore how that works, if you aren’t up on the glory days of the Royal Navy ruling the waves. Though it is always hard to tell these days – would some well-off Italians be considered upper middle class cosmopolitan white people, or do all Italians necessarily belong to the wog grouping? Though that might depend if you are a pom or an ozzie.

Trying to get past the anti-PC wars is getting to be so confusing these days.

177 FE October 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm

More likely the language will move in the other direction and racism will be downgraded from an “ism” to a “phobia” so that questioning certain policies can be equated with mental illness.

178 aha October 6, 2016 at 9:56 pm

I think the language is pretty clear. Repeat after me: “there is no social ill a stronger Democratic administration cannot fix.” If you ever hint that something to the right of current orthodoxy might be correct, prepare to be hit with the club.

179 Bob from Ohio October 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm

So many comments discussing what Ezra Klein says or thinks. No one has anything productive to do?

180 Harrison October 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

I tried the Impossible Burger at Momofuku Nishi in NYC a couple of weeks ago. It tastes remarkably like beef — although the smell is still a little off — and cost me about $12 for a burger and fries.

181 Zeitgeisty October 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm

The very beginning is a little slow, but I thought Ezra was one of the very best guests

And Hillary claims to think that Tim Kaine is one of history’s greatest debaters.

182 Cliff October 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Don’t mention That Name I’ll never forgive the former governor for cucking me just like the governor of Maryland did. God I’m such a CUCK!

183 TMC October 6, 2016 at 3:50 pm

I find no mention of Journolist kind of odd.

184 DJD October 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I feel like he probably made a decision about Bob Dylan before ever really listening to him. At least he admits that he has bad taste in culture.

185 a Fred October 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Klein performed a noteworthy rendition of “Sorry, no judgement implied but I’m just not wired to appreciate team sports. I’ve tried and tried but it’s just not there.”

186 Li Zhi October 6, 2016 at 5:02 pm

We live in an amazing age. One where a mere 32 year old’s opinions and life-experience are considered exceptionally valuable. Couldn’t be the cult of success, could it? (Despite the fact that, given the growth in the on-line media sector he is part of, that most of his can be reasonably ascribed to luck.) OTOH, his interview was pretty good, with TC mostly able to stay out of the way, at least given his obvious ego. It would be interesting to ask him in another 20 years to listen to this interview and comment.

187 jill October 6, 2016 at 5:08 pm

We live in a very ageist time. Klein is almost over the hill.

The Brutal Ageism of Tech
Years of experience, plenty of talent, completely obsolete
https://newrepublic.com/article/117088/silicons-valleys-brutal-ageism

188 wesmouch October 6, 2016 at 8:34 pm

A metrosexual with no significant life skills to boot

189 Cliff October 7, 2016 at 5:06 am

He cucked me. Like everyone else. I am SUCH a CUCK!

190 BC October 8, 2016 at 1:42 am

you sound bitter.

191 jill October 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Our society really needs to get its act together around what is and is not acceptable speech around race. What we have now is ridiculous.

192 Millian October 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Well, you are safe here. This website lay down with Roissy a long time ago, and the fleas still leech off it.

193 Massimo Heitor October 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm

#7: I’m taking a full 16-week course on cryptography at a state university. The lectures are pretty much straight content. Learning involves lots of homework assignments, proof derivation, textbook reading, and lots of programming implementation practice. A motivated student could fully learning everything by self-study from the textbook and doing problems and programming implementations themselves, but I’m skeptical about how much value people will get out of watching a 1.5 hour video on YouTube.

194 Cletus October 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm

What’s so hard about this? We’re sick and tired of the globohomo paradigm. Every minority and deviant class has been crammed down America’s throat for 25 years and it’s becoming nauseating. Enough of this garbage. Normal people are way past caring whether you call us racists, bigots, rednecks or phobics of one kind or another.

195 wesmouch October 6, 2016 at 8:33 pm

Mr Klein is what is wrong with American journalism. It is essentially an illiberal, close-minded propaganda arm of the Democratic party. Remember he was the founder of the Journolist to coordinate media propaganda with Democrat talking points. Intolerant Regressives shout down any disagreement as racism. The facts are that the public is nauseated with public corruption that reaches its apogee in the Clinton Foundation with its influence peddling, pay for play, and out right flouting of the law. They also reject the importation of third world peoples to build a large underclass that can be tapped for future Democrat votes. Trump has hit a nerve and elites such as yourselves are besides themselves.

196 A October 8, 2016 at 1:39 am

feel better now?

197 N.K Anton October 7, 2016 at 10:26 am

As a millennial with all the right priors, I even find Vox articles sometimes nauseating but in his podcasts, he is a lot more down-to-earth, fun and epistemically kind than most bloggers on the right and left.

He’s had conservatives such as Levin, Sullivan, Thiel as well as those far more left of him such as the woman from the Demos – in recent memory. He also got tons of flack for hiring that young LGBT writer who had contrary views on the subject.

198 P October 8, 2016 at 1:38 am

loved this.

199 Enrique October 8, 2016 at 5:01 pm

I liked Ezra’s point about the difference between “visual stories” and “non-visual” (or less visual) ones and his point about the potential permanence of blog posts versus the ephemeral nature of TV

200 Ryan T October 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Pretty good. This one felt more like a conversation than previous “CWT” episodes. Broadly speaking, I suspect that experienced podcast participants produce better pod content.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: