Tim Duy on desperately searching for a new strategy

I liked this recent Tim Duy post, the one that is everyone is talking about.  Do read the whole thing, but here is the closing bit:

We don’t have answers for these communities. Rural and semi-rural economic development is hard. Those regions have received only negative shocks for decades; the positive shocks have accrued to the urban regions. Of course, Trump doesn’t have any answers either. But he at least pretends to care.

Just pretending to care is important. At a minimum, the electoral map makes it important.

These issues apply to more than rural and semi-rural areas. Trump’s message – that firms need to consider something more than bottom line – resonates in middle and upper-middle class households as well. They know that their grip on their economic life is tenuous, that they are the future “low-skilled” workers. And they know they will be thrown under the bus for the greater good just like “low-skilled” workers before them.

The dry statistics on trade aren’t working to counter Trump. They make for good policy at one level and terrible policy (and politics) at another. The aggregate gains are irrelevant to someone suffering a personal loss. Critics need to find an effective response to Trump. I don’t think we have it yet. And here is the hardest part: My sense is that Democrats will respond by offering a bigger safety net. But people don’t want a welfare check. They want a job. And this is what Trump, wrongly or rightly, offers.

In part this is a question about helping these communities but if you read the whole post it is also about checking or preventing Trump and Trumpism.  My main disagreement is simply with the view that a solution is difficult.  It is not, rather most people are unwilling to accept the solutions on the table.  In fact I have a more or less bulletproof two-part remedy.  I’ll phrase it in backward-looking terms, but it is not hard to divine the forward-looking implications, noting that in the short term we have the president-elect we have no matter what.  Here goes:

1. In 2012, have five percent of Democratic voters switch their support to Mitt Romney, so that Romney is elected.  You don’t have to think Romney would be a better president than Obama has been, but a Romney election almost certainly would have forestalled the rise of Trump.  The worse you think Trump is, the more you should support this kind of “change we can believe in.”

If you don’t favor this retrospective change, you’re not very pragmatic (or you might really like Trump), perhaps preferring to consume your own expressive views than to improve the world.  That’s a common enough preference, and maybe it is even morally OK, but let’s recognize it for what it is: a deliberate lack of interest in solving the major problem before us, instead preferring to focus on your own feelings.  It’s not that different than the wealthy wishing to keep their tax cuts.  And if your response is something like “But the Republicans started this whole mess, why should I reward them?”, well, that is yet another sign you are far from the pragmatic, reality-oriented perspective.  At the very least, you should be regretting that you did not vote for Romney.  Unless of course you did.

A complement to this strategy, looking forward, is to have the Democrats run more conservative candidates, including those with a more conservative cultural garb.  They still can support a social safety net.  And, my friend, if you are tempted to suggest that Hillary Clinton was such a candidate, you need to attend Ross Douthat University for remedial lessons.

Another way to put this point is that Democrats (and some others) need to become more like the more sophisticated libertarians, namely to realize you won’t win but need to settle for what you can get.  At least increase your “p” that is the case, as the European left is finally starting to do.  I know that comes hard, but again our country is at stake.  And there is a lesson for libertarians too, more or less in the same direction, namely that potential backlash to libertarian ideas is stronger than we had thought, even for those with a fairly weak libertarian bent, and thus there is less absolute scope for their realization.  Sad!

Many progressives and libertarians have one thing in common, namely assuming that human affairs can be more governed by reason than ever will be the case.

2. Support a voluntary temperance movement for zero alcohol, zero drugs.  No exceptions.  Make these commodities less socially available, less widely advertised, less diverse in supply, and less glamorized on television and in the movies.  Take away the demand, and along the way praise Islam and Mormonism for their stances on this.

That’s so simple, isn’t it?  No one argues that the Rust Belt communities and the like are unacceptably “income poor” by global standards, rather they have wrenching social problems.  A temperance movement, insofar as it succeeds, would eliminate a significant share of those tragedies.  It would mean less alcoholism, fewer opioid addictions, less crime and spouse beating, and so on.  Consider the impact of this on America’s inner cities as well.  It’s hard to estimate how many of the problem users would stop if say 70 percent of America went “cold turkey,” but surely we should give this a try.  For instance, even less educated Americans smoke at much lower rates than they used to.

Do you really care about suffering Americans?  The answer is staring you right in the face, but are you brave enough, altruistic enough, and contrary enough to embrace it?  Again, you might like your evening glass of wine, or joint, but that is also like the wealthy seeking to keep their tax cuts.  It really is the same logic, like it or not.

From another direction, here are comments from Paul Krugman.  I agree with most of what he says, though I would stress the points above.


What are the lessons of the decline in smoking? Can a bunch of smug elitist democrats becoming teetotalers really reduce drinking and drug abuse in the rust belt?

That a national campaign against smoking was fairly successful.

Undeniably it would be good if people drank less.

Undeniably it would be good if people drank less.

That's undeniable?

Indeed. Some people would do better to loosen up a little from time to time.

But anything that reduces drinking among those consuming more than, say, 10 drinks a day, is quite certain to be good.

I honestly don't understand the thinking behind the temperance proposal. People who have little positive in their lives will drink and do drugs as an escape and they are not jeopardizing much. They also may not be the best sample of people with impulse control and who are good at considering the long term effects of their behavior. (Not that others don't do similar things, even when they have a lot to lose.) Not sure saying "don't drink so much" (or at all) is a very promising solution. How about improving their alternatives?

In some situations, what may appear self destructive isn't necessarily that irrational. As my mom used to say, "A bottle in front of me is better than a frontal lobotomy."

Cigarette smoking hardly existed before about 1900. Lung cancer was quite unusual prior to about 1935. Liquor's been around for millennia.

Beer and wine have been around for millenia. Liquor not so much--widely available distilled liquor is a 1700's-1800's phenomenon.

Just raising alcohol taxes back to the inflation-adjusted level of the 1950's would help--1950 levels of excise tax were about 5x what they are now. (That would add about $15 to the cost of a standard 750 ml bottle, about $1 to the cost of a beer.)

No, High Middle Ages, Late Middle Ages, and Renaissance, not 18th and 19th century.

You are right--1500's, not 1700's.

He said "widely available". Distilled liquors date back a ways, but were very expensive for a long time. They mainly graced the tables of the rich. It was in the 1700s that they became cheap enough for the masses.

Absolutely false. If anything tobacco--and it's only use at that time: smoking it many ways including as cigarette--can be considered the first major commercial crop in the Americas, and one of the first major exported commodity in a global context. It's cultivation and export had tremendous ramifications on American ecology, ecxonomy and culture (broadly). And it was very popular a long time before 1900.

The correct answer is #Uber4Welfare.

Built and tested in the pages of Breitbart. Endorsed by Farmer, Kimball, and Sumner...

Call it Weekly EITC with no Minimum Wage. Call it Libertarian Slave Reparations.... https://medium.com/@morganwarstler/in-support-of-reparations-7cde116f4eb1

Call it whatever you like, but IT IS THE ANSWER. And fortunately for ya'll, more than 3 years ago, I it it funded in TX and have had 10+ devs (now 14) building it full time.

Tyler is wrong footed, bc he isn't a technologist. Thiel see it, bc he is... and like everyone else who has seen GiovWhiz GETS it, bc they have seen it... you all will soon get it.

Lastly, IMO the key problem facing us is simple: Single mother raise boys who become bad marriage material. And this cycle grows despair.

The trick then is to use the Daddy state (not the mommy one) to reach in and get these boys when they are 14 and still forming neural networks, and put them to full time work of their choice in the summer and part time during school... and return America tot he days of apprenticeship... but with a tech bent. Fix the men. The rest works itself out.

Paying out 100% of profits to train the unskilled who you have no hold over to be good workers who then leave to work for your much more profitable competitors is your solution to the conservative economics of cutting taxes on profits to create jobs, and cutting corporate welfare state jobs because golden handcuffs are too job killing costly and take the liberty of workers to job hop for pay raises?

Are you nuts?

Milton Friedman attacked high tax rates and tax dodges from paying workers as a bad liberal policy that failed to collect lots of tax revenue to transfer wealth to the lower classes, so he argued to Democrats that cutting tax rates and eliminating tax loopholes like wage and benefit deductions of people on the payroll would raise more tax revenue and cut inflation because fewer workers would earn less and spend less driving up prices. That was circa 1970.

He noted that a small business man faced 70% Federal tax rates, plus State tax rates on his marginal profit, so putting his deadbeat son-in-law on the payroll meant he could give his sister $50,000 a year at a cost of less than $10,000 because the IRS and other tax agencies paid the other $40,000, plus he did not have to pay the Federal gift tax on the $40,000 over $10,000.

Friedman was arguing that lower tax rates would virtuously put his sister on welfare and her husband in the gutter and raise more tax revenue to pay $5000 in welfare.

In other words, the rural unemployment and poverty are the virtuous outcome of lower tax rates to kill jobs and eliminate wage and price inflation.

Why anyone thinks lower tax rates on profits will increase the incentive to reduce profits dollar for dollar for every new unskilled worker to be trained, for every factory in the US, for wages high enough to buy 4% GDP, is beyond me.

Show me the math where lower tax rates makes paying more workers more money good for meeting Wall Streets demands for higher profits in the context that the corporation which eliminates profits to pay more workers more will be transferring all its profits to all the other corporations which don't.

The fact of paying a higher share of value added to labour instead of capital does not constitute a transfer to competitors.

The dynamics is that their pricing would be lower, you lose market share, and eventually have no profits and close.

But it seems that you're on the cusp of some sort of interesting example that would make a sort of .. almost .. proof by contradiction of some sort. Maybe try again?


You are getting close. The current education model selects for girls and she-boys - anyone that can sit still and tolerate time wasting for 50 minutes at a time 6 times a day.

I would turn things upside down - 50 minutes of PE, shop, hands on art, theater, self-directed reading, etc. Data (real data) from online ed platforms (EdX, Coursera) indicate the ideal length of a content video is around 7 minutes +-, followed by a concept check ( quiz, exercise, etc). You can explain a Hamiltonian in a 7 minute animation-minus-the-talking-head followed by a practice problem. Most class time is wasted, just filler for 40 minutes.

There is much resistance to change in public education. Heck, it eats up appx 50% of the budget in CA. Lots of vested interests.

You point out a troubling social problem - many people don't think boys need fathers as role models. They are wrong.

Coming up with policies to help Americans isn't that hard. It's really quite easy. Coming up with policies to help Americans that don't offend cosmopolitan elites is impossible. That's the real issue.

Temperance is a great idea... But in this context its really just a diversion from doing things that might make a large positive difference (but deeply offend the greed and arrogance of the plutocracy).

Trade policy is a good place to start. Fiddling with tariffs might not bring to many jobs back. However, Warren Buffet’s plan would be a huge plus. See

“America's Growing Trade Deficit Is Selling The Nation Out From Under Us. Here's A Way To Fix The Problem--And We Need To Do It Now.”

So would Grove’s. See

“Andy Grove: How America Can Create Jobs”

Grove died this year. One of the commentaries on his death, extensively noted his commitment to prosperity in America. See

“Andy Grove’s Warning to Silicon Valley”

“Mr. Grove acknowledged that it was cheaper and thus more profitable for companies to hire workers and build factories in Asia than in the United States. But in his view, those lower Asian costs masked the high price of offshoring as measured by lost jobs and lost expertise. Silicon Valley misjudged the severity of those losses, he wrote, because of a “misplaced faith in the power of start-ups to create U.S. jobs.”

Mr. Grove contrasted the start-up phase of a business, when uses for new technologies are identified, with the scale-up phase, when technology goes from prototype to mass production. Both are important. But only scale-up is an engine for job growth — and scale-up, in general, no longer occurs in the United States. “Without scaling,” he wrote, “we don’t just lose jobs — we lose our hold on new technologies” and “ultimately damage our capacity to innovate.””

Another obvious issue is immigration. If America is really doomed to loose less-skilled jobs by the millions, how does it many any sense for the U.S. to encourage low-skill immigration into the U.S.? Let me use construction as an example. Construction was a typical non-college jobs for Americans for decades. Now it is not. Vast numbers of Americans have been pushed out of the construction labor force and into the netherworld of “disability” and opioid addiction. How does this make sense? A few papers on this point.


“Almost everybody knows that in the past 40 years, the real wages and job prospects for low-skilled men, especially low-skilled minority workers, have fallen. And there is evidence –– although no consensus –– that a rising tide of immigration is partly to blame. Now, a new NBER study suggests that immigration has more far-reaching consequences than merely depressing wages and lowering employment rates of low-skilled African-American males: its effects also appear to push some would-be workers into crime and, later, into prison…..The authors are careful to point out that even without increased immigration, most of the fall in employment and increase in jailed black men would have happened anyway. Nevertheless, the racially disproportionate effects of immigration on employment are striking.”

“Impact of Immigration In South Carolina”

“At the same time that more Latinos are entering South Carolina’s work force, median wages for those at the low-skill end of the spectrum are dropping. According to the USC survey, the median annual earnings for Latinos was $20,400, far below the median earnings for South Carolinians in general. The effects of a larger Latino work force are most evident in specific industries. Construction appears to be the predominant economic activity drawing Latinos to South Carolina: this industry accounts for approximately 38 percent of Latino employment in the USC survey. The survey also found that the median annual wage for Latinos working in construction is $21,840.

According to U.S. Census data, among construction workers real median earnings for Latinos dropped approximately 12 percent from 2000 to 2005, even as the number of construction workers expanded 181 percent. Black construction labor saw inflation-adjusted earnings fall two percent. It is also surprising to find that total Black employment dropped by 24 percent during the construction boom.”

There is yet another folly in all of this that is worth mentioning. That is the obsession with “education”. Anyone who looks at the actual numbers knows that the U.S. labor force is not highly educated now and will not be in the future. The media elite is (overwhelmingly) made up of Ivy League / Martha’s Vineyard types who simply can’t image life outside of their bubble. They don’t have any grasp of the
average/median skill level or the poor life prospects of people at the median.

A recent New York Fed newsletter, had some highly germane data. See
“Human Capital and Education in Puerto Rico”

The raw years of education don’t look so bad. However, the truth is far worse. Years of education do not mean education.

“In fact, in Puerto Rico virtually none (less than 1 percent) of the sampled students scored above level 3, which is generally considered a basic proficiency level, on the PISA test.”

“The basic achievement level denotes: “Partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.” As the charts below show, 89 percent of Puerto Rican fourth-graders, and 94 percent of the eighth-graders scored below the basic level in 2015. In contrast, in the nation as a whole 28 percent of NSLP fourth-graders, and 42 percent of the eighth-graders scored below the basic level in 2015. Results in 2011 and 2013 were similar. Thus, mathematics performance of Puerto Rican students lags far behind their mainland peers”

“In the maps below, we examine how Puerto Rico stacks up against individual states, as measured by the percentage of students scoring at or above the proficient level in NAEP math. Again, Puerto Rico lags dismally behind all states. In fourth-grade math, Alabama and New Mexico are the lowest scoring states as measured by this indicator, with 26 percent and 27 percent of their students, respectively, scoring at or above proficient. In contrast, this number is 0 percent in Puerto Rico. In eighth-grade math, Alabama and Louisiana were the lowest scoring at 17 percent and 18 percent respectively. In contrast, no sampled Puerto Rican eighth-grader scored in the proficient category.”

Like it or not, Puerto Rico is a model of America’s future, particularly with the Democrats (or the Bush Republicans) in charge. America must be able to create jobs and lives for its own people. The core of the Democratic approach (the party, not the philosophy of government) is to expand the welfare state, obsess over education (which does little more than legitimize the elite), and pretend that “America is Already Great”. The Bush Republican model amounted to almost the same thing.

You speak as though there is some sort of monolithic "American", which interestingly does not include the cosmopolitans.

Is American then, by definition, an uncosmopolitan place? I gather this applies quite a lot to various rural places where know one has ever really met any foreigners except on some resort holidays, but America is so much more than its understandably ignorant rural cultureS.


Americans are not monolithic and most are not cosmopolitans. Sadly, the cosmopolitan elite run almost everything and the consequences are dismal.


Excellent post, dense with content. I agree education is over rated. Worse yet, it gobbles up a disproportionate amount of wealth providing little more than an expensive 3-season summer camp. The elite institutions will always be popular because of the associated social network. Just look at the idiots that currently run the country (Pre-November 8) or read Halberstam's "Best and the Brightest". In any case, a combination of passion, curiosity, online education, and perseverance will eventually put downward pressure on the cost of mediocre post-secondary schools. Skills will be the ultimate currency for individuals, but skill evaluation will be tricky. University degrees are supposed to be proxies for skills, talents, and positive traits, but I met a lot of idiots at my University. I hope to see a resurgence of "trade schools" which are actual skill schools. Trades could include software development and hardware prototype building and even manufacturing.

We are lucky to live in the USA - a great nation, with the rule of law, the oldest constitution in the world, rich in natural resources, with massive coasts on the Earth's two biggest oceans, and reasonable neighbors on our borders. As the richest nation on the planet we have a big head start, we only need to wrest control away from the idiots that seem to want to auger in.

I read Warren Buffet's "Selling the Nation" document you described. Though dated 2003, he says he still mostly agrees with what he said though his concerns are somewhat moderated given our current status as a fossil fuel powerhouse. Sadly, the nitwits in power over the last 8 years have tried hard to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, but we have temporarily stalled their misguided efforts. Here is the full link to Warren Buffet's still relevant proposal:



There is a myth that trade actually makes America (as a whole) richer, even if the gains are very unequally shared. The truth is worse, much worse. Trade makes American (as a whole) poorer. Think of trade as a mechanism for taking $10 for workers and giving $1 to CEOs. Those number aren't right. However, the broad point is correct. America's trade policies make America (as a nation) poorer while making the elite richer. That's bad for America.

For example, NAFTA has been a loser for the USA. Quote from NYT

“Nafta Lowered Wages, as It Was Supposed to Do”
“Given the trends in U.S. trade with Mexico over the last two decades, it is strange that there is much of a debate over Nafta's impact on wages. At the time Nafta was passed in 1993 the United States had a modest trade surplus with Mexico. In 2013 we are on a path to have a trade deficit of more than $50 billion. The $50 billion in lost output corresponds to roughly 0.3 percent of gross domestic product, assuming the same impact on employment, this would translate into more than 400,000 jobs. If each lost job would have led to half a job being created as a result of workers spending their wages, this would bring the total impact to 600,000 jobs.”

America’s trade policies since 1980 haven’t just made some Americans richer and some Americans poorer (although that is true). They have weakened America as a whole. America was once the world’s largest creditor. We are now the world’s largest debtor. America once balanced its trade (with exports and imports roughly matching). Now we have endless (and very large) trade deficits. America was once the foremost industrial country in the world. Not anymore (of course, growth in China is a bigger influence than trade).

America once provided its own citizens with jobs. Now, we have declining LFP and soaring disability, drug addiction, and food stamps.
America once enjoyed large trade surpluses in Advanced Technology Products. Now we have huge deficits.

The point isn’t that U.S. trade policy has created winners and losers (which is true), but that it has made America a loser.

I can fabricate a theoretical scenario that demonstrates that trade makes countries poor.

Therefore I can ignore that econ101, 201, 301, and all the rest are basically in agreement in the opposite direction, with the exception of those who are sufficiently un-ideological to consider special cases where the first order up front logic does not dominate the situation.

OK, there are losers in trade reform. Discuss.



"The China Shock: Learning from Labor Market Adjustment to Large Changes in Trade
by David H. Autor, David Dorn, Gordon H. Hanson

China’s emergence as a great economic power has induced an epochal shift in patterns of world trade. Simultaneously, it has challenged much of the received empirical wisdom about how labor markets adjust to trade shocks. Alongside the heralded consumer benefits of expanded trade are substantial adjustment costs and distributional consequences. These impacts are most visible in the local labor markets in which the industries exposed to foreign competition are concentrated. Adjustment in local labor markets is remarkably slow, with wages and labor-force participation rates remaining depressed and unemployment rates remaining elevated for at least a full decade after the China trade shock commences. Exposed workers experience greater job churning and reduced lifetime income. At the national level, employment has fallen in U.S. industries more exposed to import competition, as expected, but offsetting employment gains in other industries have yet to materialize. Better understanding when and where trade is costly, and how and why it may be beneficial, are key items on the research agenda for trade and labor economists. "

If trade destroys American jobs (which it does) and those workers don't find new jobs (which many don't), then trade has made America (and not just the workers in question) worse off.

Even if workers found new jobs, America would still be trading Pareto losses for Kaldor-Hicks gains (that are never shared).

The big picture data is dismal. Look at LFP, median incomes, wages, addiction, dependency, the trade balance, foreign debt, etc. data since America embraced the ideology / policies of the cosmopolitan elite. All of the trendlines have gone the wrong way. Of course, Tim Cook gets a 9-figure bonus. Life is perfect, obviously.

Peter Schaeffer: If trade destroys American jobs (which it does) and those workers don’t find new jobs (which many don’t), then trade has made America (and not just the workers in question) worse off.

I don't entirely disagree.

That said, isn't the bigger, longer-term problem automation? Tech rendering more and more of the population's labor effectively worthless? Sure, they can get low-wage service jobs where they can bring value-added by simply being human, but those don't, and never will, pay enough to live independently on. What do we do with a perpetual labor surplus? And, by the same token, a perpetual opportunity shortage?


"That said, isn’t the bigger, longer-term problem automation?"

In a word, No. The sad truth is that we don't live in some marvelous era of technology and automation. We certainly have the mythology of rapid advances in technology and automation. However, the actual data shows a remarkable degree of stagnation. If technology were really advancing quickly, it would shop up in the productivity numbers. The exact reverse is true. Productivity has flat-lined of late to a remarkable degree (and not just in the U.S.).

The actual facts don't support any hypothetical boom in productivity. The prevalence of the automation/productivity myth shows how useful it is (versus confronting much harder trade and immigration issues).

See below for some real data. The data is from a spreadsheet I can post online if you are interested.

Let’s take a look at the productivity data (BLS) Here is the real GDP per-capita growth data for various periods (1960-1979 2.70%, 1960-1990 2.42%, 1979-1990 1.93%, 1990-2000 2.16%, 2000-2011 0.64%). Obviously the trend in GDP growth is down with 2000-2011 being particularly bad.

The real GDP per employed person data tells the same story. (1960-1979 1.78%, 1960-1990 1.58%, 1979-1990 1.24%, 1990-2000 2.02%, 2000-2011 1.35%). Obviously the productivity trend is down with 2000-2011 being particularly bad.

The above data is from the BLS. The OECD productivity per-hour data is actually worse. (1970-1980 1.51%, 1980-1990 1.56%, 1990-2000 1.81%, 2000-2015 1.49%, 2010-2015 0.31%). As you can see, per-hour productivity growth since 2000 has been lower than historical levels and since 2010 productivity has stopped growing at all.

Note that the manufacturing productivity data tells the same dismal story. The biggest productivity gains were decades ago. FRED series PRS30006163 gives manufacturing output per-person. (1987-1990 1.66%, 1990-2000 4.2%, 2000-2010 4.11%, 2010-2016 1.32%, 2000-2016 3.05%). Clearly manufacturing productivity has risen faster than productivity in the economy as a whole. However, there is no evidence of a productivity boom that has somehow destroyed jobs.

Of course, the truth is that after 2000, output (general GDP and manufacturing) stopped growing and employment (measured different ways) crashed. A BLS report (http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/02/art4full.pdf) has the overall picture right “Unlike the late 1990s, when rapid output gains led to increased productivity growth, reductions in labor hours were an important contributor to productivity increases from 2000 to 2005”. The BLS report shows that productivity gains after 2000 were lower than before 2000. However, before 2000 output growth kept employment relatively stable. After 2000, production moved massively offshore and U.S. jobs collapsed.


Take a look at the actual numbers I posted above. The technology/productivity boom is just a myth pushed by people who profit from the status quo.

For another source, see "The Machines Displacing Middle Wage Jobs: Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Comforting Story" (http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/the-machines-displaying-middle-wage-jobs-dont-let-the-facts-get-in-the-way-of-a-comforting-story?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29)

"We are hearing endless accounts of how technology is displacing middle wage jobs (e.g. see the piece by David Autor and David Dorn in the NYT today). That would be work like manufacturing jobs, bookkeeping jobs, and other jobs that used to provide a middle class standard of living. It's a comforting story for the people who control the media, but it happens not to be true.

The story told by Autor and Dorn is that technology displaces these jobs putting downward pressure on the wages of formerly middle class workers. At the same time it creates more jobs for the people who program the machines, hence we see higher wages for high end workers.

This story is comforting to the affluent because it means that the upward redistribution of income that we have been seeing is simply an inevitable outcome of technological progress. It might be unfortunate, but what are we supposed to do, smash the machines?"

The people experiencing the downside of that situation would do better to make such reasoned arguments about the risks they face while others make off with the gains, and to separate their concerns for cultural continuity completely in matters of policy discourse.

Because if they can be written off as blow-hard racists on the one matter, there is no reason to believe the arguments are sincere in the other.

FYI, a socialist party would represent those concerns better. There is nothign right wing about the alt-right.

But, I do not think the alt-right would be welcome in such quarters either.

Maybe try be a little less racist. (More ... thinking the people who might be "inspired" by your comment more than you yourself, PS)

Also, I think you're being a bit stubborn in non-orthodoxy with regard to certain expected effects of trade, namely by focusing more on the cost side of things, but certainly I do not see this perspective over-represented these days, if excluding all people who are unable to express themselves with some competence on these subjects.

Also, on concerns in comparing US versus Chinese productivity growth, I suggest referring to "Solow growth model logic" as a good reason not to be too concerned. They will catch up. We will stay ahead. Guess who's got the harder job.

If they were not catching up, the appropriate question would be "WTF is wrong over there and has anyone got any silver bullets kicking around, because we'd really not have to bother to help you out... we're busy staying ahead and all"

'My main disagreement is simply with the view that a solution is difficult.'

Favelas for everyone - http://www.amazon.com/Average-Is-Over-Powering-Stagnation/dp/0525953736/ref=as_li_tf_il?ie=UTF8&tag=marginalrevol-20&linkCode=as2

'And, my friend, if you are tempted to suggest that Hillary Clinton was such a candidate' you might be paying attention to her actual politics, while ignoring the blatant reality that she is a woman who believes in equal rights for men and women, and thus clearly a raging harpy of feminazism, unable to be considered anything but a flaming - or is that raging? - liberal.

Fantastic. Yes, Tyler skips the most obvious solutions: Comey actually does his job, chunks of the media do their job (NY Times, CNN, and NPR would have done it, I'd say), or simply there is slightly better luck or a slightly better campaign from Clinton, winning her another 80,000 votes out of her 2.5 million plus lead to go straight to the fact that Democrats must never win an election ever for no reason, and should have voted for Romney in 2012 (who would have been a mediocre to bad President—repeal and replace, anyone?).

Duy's stuff is dead on. Tyler's add on value is negative. But I've started to think that's the shadow side: Tyler frequently provides excellent off-the-wall stuff, but the peril of throwing up a bunch of tenth baked ideas on a blog is that, even for someone as smart and well-meaning as Tyler, there's going to be frequent dog vomit-level quality as well.

Heaven forbid we do the right thing and move to a popular vote system too...

Perhaps he should have sipped an adult beverage and thought about it a bit more.

(I am sympathetic to Tyler's ode to personal virtue, but it is tough to tie to Trumpism without the "elitist" implication that virtue is indeed at odds with Trumpism.)

"We don’t have answers for these communities. Rural and semi-rural economic development is hard." - Tim Duy

"My main disagreement is simply with the view that a solution is difficult." - Tyler

The reason it is hard: people in underdeveloped areas want jobs that do not require education beyond high-school. More education for these people is not the answer for a variety of reasons. Similar people in Europe are willing to accept a stronger safety net and higher unemployment benefits if a decent job is not available; hence we see > 20% unemployment there. The American emphasis on individual responsibility means that people find such handouts unacceptable.

Tyler's solution of "voluntary temperance" is an insult. If it is "favelas for everyone", at least they should be able to dull their pain with stimulants.

Those people are the people who are showing up in the cities and schools to gain an education so they can get a job. Their parents and siblings are in the small towns.

They leave because there are no opportunities. For lots of reasons.

Believe me it is profoundly disheartening to live in a community that sees it's youth and energy leave.

But the kids leaving because the jobs pay too little does not eliminate the need for workers.

So immigrants move in and earn more than they did in rural crime ridden Latin America or Asia or Africa working really hard in food industries so their kids learn English and enough education to either go get much better jobs in cities, or they become the local employers in the rural communities. In either case, the children of immigrants are better off than their parents who are worse off than they would have been if war and crime hadn't taken everything away, and they start over in the USA for their kids.

But the rural parents see their kids either leave, or their kids become drug users, but immigrants come in and "take over", with their kids doing better than their parents, the American Dream that was lost to the Americans who stayed behind in rural America.

But what immigrants do in rural communities is sacrifice and invest while the rural Americans refuse to sacrifice, and instead extract every penny they can from past investments to survive.

So importing cheap labor foreigners to take jobs from Americans for lower wages is a good thing. Amazing the things you can "learn" from the left these days.

Of course, your notions about generational income mobility in low-skill immigrants is simply wrong. They start poor. They (mostly) stay poor.

See "Honesty from the Left on Hispanic Immigration" by Heather MacDonald

"John McCain and Barack Obama have largely avoided discussing immigration during the presidential campaign. But when it comes to the legal side of the issue, they both seem to support the status quo: an official policy centered around low-skilled, predominately Hispanic immigrants. A forthcoming book shows just how misguided that policy is, especially in light of the nation’s current economic woes. The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies, by Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras, offers an unflinching portrait of Hispanics’ educational problems and reaches a scary conclusion about those problems’ costs. The book’s analysis is all the more surprising given that its authors are liberals committed to bilingual education, affirmative action, and the usual slate of left-wing social programs. Yet Gandara and Contreras, education professors at UCLA and the University of Washington, respectively, are more honest than many conservative open-borders advocates in acknowledging the bad news about Hispanic assimilation.

Hispanics are underachieving academically at an alarming rate, the authors report. Though second- and third-generation Hispanics make some progress over their first-generation parents, that progress starts from an extremely low base and stalls out at high school completion. High school drop-out rates—around 50 percent—remain steady across generations. Latinos’ grades and test scores are at the bottom of the bell curve. The very low share of college degrees earned by Latinos has not changed for more than two decades. Currently only one in ten Latinos has a college degree."


“Human Capital and Education in Puerto Rico”

The raw years of education don’t look so bad. However, the truth is far worse. Years of education do not mean education.

“In fact, in Puerto Rico virtually none (less than 1 percent) of the sampled students scored above level 3, which is generally considered a basic proficiency level, on the PISA test.”

“The basic achievement level denotes: “Partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.” As the charts below show, 89 percent of Puerto Rican fourth-graders, and 94 percent of the eighth-graders scored below the basic level in 2015. In contrast, in the nation as a whole 28 percent of NSLP fourth-graders, and 42 percent of the eighth-graders scored below the basic level in 2015. Results in 2011 and 2013 were similar. Thus, mathematics performance of Puerto Rican students lags far behind their mainland peers”

“In the maps below, we examine how Puerto Rico stacks up against individual states, as measured by the percentage of students scoring at or above the proficient level in NAEP math. Again, Puerto Rico lags dismally behind all states. In fourth-grade math, Alabama and New Mexico are the lowest scoring states as measured by this indicator, with 26 percent and 27 percent of their students, respectively, scoring at or above proficient. In contrast, this number is 0 percent in Puerto Rico. In eighth-grade math, Alabama and Louisiana were the lowest scoring at 17 percent and 18 percent respectively. In contrast, no sampled Puerto Rican eighth-grader scored in the proficient category.”

Like it or not, Puerto Rico is a model of America’s future, particularly with the Democrats (or the Bush Republicans) in charge. America must be able to create jobs and lives for its own people. The core of the Democratic approach (the party, not the philosophy of government) is to expand the welfare state, obsess over education (which does little more than legitimize the elite), and pretend that “America is Already Great”. The Bush Republican model amounted to almost the same thing.

Immigrant underperformance in American society is well established. Indeed, we have a wealth of information that the deficits in question are multigenerational out to the 4/5th generation. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the deficits are genetic, social, or cultural as long as they persist. So far they are persisting. There are number of sources to support this statement, mostly from Hispanic analysts. See “Honesty from the Left on Hispanic Immigration – A provocative new book doesn’t flinch from delivering the bad news”. The authors cited by Heather MacDonald are Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras.

Telles and Ortiz have made much the same argument. The following is from a letter they wrote to the New York Times.

“In our book “Generations of Exclusion,” we show that the descendants of Mexicans do not experience the steady progress into the third and fourth generations that has been documented for those of European ancestry.”

Samuel Huntington wrote an article in Foreign Affairs, “The Hispanic Challenge” showing academic underperformance out to the 4th generation. Note this his data shows significant declines in academic performance from the 3rd to the 4th generation.

"So importing cheap labor foreigners to take jobs from Americans for lower wages is a good thing"

Maybe maybe not. Does future America have better skills-building activities to be involved in than weeding gardens and wiping granny butts? In the meantime, some folks would be quite happy to earn the income associated with those activities.


The actual high school graduation rate in the U.S. (measured in terms of skills, not diplomas) is around 50%. We have a vast domestic supply of labor for "weeding gardens and wiping granny butts". Does America need to provide higher wages for unskilled labor? Yes.

Of course, 50% is far too high for some parts of America. See the data on Puerto Rico (where the actual high school graduation rate is apparently zero).

“In fact, in Puerto Rico virtually none (less than 1 percent) of the sampled students scored above level 3, which is generally considered a basic proficiency level, on the PISA test.”

“The basic achievement level denotes: “Partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.” As the charts below show, 89 percent of Puerto Rican fourth-graders, and 94 percent of the eighth-graders scored below the basic level in 2015. In contrast, in the nation as a whole 28 percent of NSLP fourth-graders, and 42 percent of the eighth-graders scored below the basic level in 2015. Results in 2011 and 2013 were similar. Thus, mathematics performance of Puerto Rican students lags far behind their mainland peers”

“In the maps below, we examine how Puerto Rico stacks up against individual states, as measured by the percentage of students scoring at or above the proficient level in NAEP math. Again, Puerto Rico lags dismally behind all states. In fourth-grade math, Alabama and New Mexico are the lowest scoring states as measured by this indicator, with 26 percent and 27 percent of their students, respectively, scoring at or above proficient. In contrast, this number is 0 percent in Puerto Rico. In eighth-grade math, Alabama and Louisiana were the lowest scoring at 17 percent and 18 percent respectively. In contrast, no sampled Puerto Rican eighth-grader scored in the proficient category.”

Like it or not, Puerto Rico is a model of America’s future, particularly with the Democrats (or the Bush Republicans) in charge. America must be able to create jobs and lives for its own people. The core of the Democratic approach (the party, not the philosophy of government) is to expand the welfare state, obsess over education (which does little more than legitimize the elite), and pretend that “America is Already Great”. The Bush Republican model amounted to almost the same thing.


Take it easy—you're embarrassing our host!

How about people in underdeveloped rural areas move somewhere where there are jobs? Like cities.

The only places in the country with peculiarly elevated unemployment rates (> 8%) are Puerto Rico and some small commuter belts in Arizona and California. Loci with rates over 7% are not numerous and scattered all over the map (Louisiana, North Carolina, South Jersey, Arizona, Downstate Illinois).

I wonder why they didn't think of that themselves. Also, "The rent is too damn high."

2 Damn High.

Good point. Essentially, left-liberal progressives are responsible for the creation of a class of rural poor conservatives, because they implemented anti-development policies that made it too expensive for rural whites to relocate into the cities where the jobs are. You won't find me denying that Democrats have supported policies that prevented people in the rustbelt from facing up to economic realities, either. They've been blaming deindustrialization on trade and on the free market and capitalism for decades and promising to bring the jobs back.

You know, Trump is as much a creation of the Democrats populist rhetoric on economics as he is of the Republicans dog-whistling on race. They've been telling people that the decline in manufacturing jobs is something they can do something about instead of facing up to the reality that it's a natural process. All while simultaneously implementing as many policies as possible to stop "urban sprawl" and other forms of organic economic development that actually would have benefited this group of people.


In the biggest job engines the problem us housing - it is constrained and expensive.

How does one move from Bugtussel, TN to San Jose, CA.

It is interesting to consider the cultural practices of say, Mexican migrants, to see how those practices enable migration.

American cultural norms, such as self-reliance, are impediments to migration. Sleep on someone's couch? Would you do it? Would you allow it? Mexicans have been doing this for a long time - they have inherited a cultural adaption uniquely fit for the times,

You've never heard of couch surfing? Lots of white people do it.
Also, group houses? Lots of white people do that too.

Hazel - very cool for a lot of people, but not a system-level solution.

Among other things, high home ownership reduces mobility because it's a lot easier to give notice to a landlord and show up in a new town and rent than to sell one "forever home" and locate, then move into, the next.

Overall, that means fairly constrained rental markets compared to the total stock of housing.

Imagine "give notice and find somewhere to rent" as compared to "sell the house and find a new house I want to buy" as the necessary steps to accept a job on the other side of the country.


In the 1930s the Okies could move to California to get jobs. Back then we (the USA) enforced our immigration laws.

Times change... And not for the better.

Immigration laws prevent white people from moving to California?

Citizens are leaving California.


"The report's main findings include:

California experienced a negative net domestic migration of 625,000 from 2007 to 2014. In other words, 625,000 more people moved out of California to other states than moved in to California from other states.

The vast majority of the out-migrants went to just five states: Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Washington.

California was a net importer of residents from 15 states and the District of Columbia from 2007 to 2014.

Californians 25 years of age and over that do not possess four-year college degrees accounted for over 469,800 out-migrants. However, California was actually a net importer of nearly 52,700 residents with a bachelor's degree or higher.

California remains the top state attracting international migrants, many of which are low-income earners and those that have obtained a bachelor's degree."

Why would rust belt whites want to compete with immigrants in a race to the bottom in their own country?


You need at least one contact to find a couch. Social networks matter. Mexican immigrants have a better social network - large families and a history of going to El Norte to find work. Would you tolerate someone on your couch for a few weeks or months? ??

It's a really really poor argument to say that rural white people can't move to the city because they have worse social networks with people in the city than people who come from a totally different country do. I'm also continually told how conservative Christians have these great church communities that help eachother out. Apparently these things can't exist in cities that are literally only a few miles away, but every Mexican has a distant relative who will let him sleep on their couch for months.

Why would they move to the city? Unemployment rate in the midwest and rust belt is generally lower than NY or CA. It costs much less to live there and likely easier to accumulate wealth in a lower cost of living area.


Is mass immigration preventing Americans from moving to California? The one word answer is Yes.

Don't believe me. See what a family of illegals had to say about this (they left California for the promised land of Kentucky).

The LA Times wrote a stunning article on this subject. The title was “6 + 4 = 1 Tenuous Existence” Read the article by all means. However, the family tragedy isn’t the real story. Take a look at the quotes about how Open Borders has wrecked California and why even illegal aliens are getting out and (in this case) moving to Kentucky.

“What we weren't able to do in many years in California," Alejandra said, "we've done quickly here”. That includes having a place to live.

“We're in a state where there's nothing but Americans. The police control the streets. It's clean, no gangs. California now resembles Mexico — everyone thinks like in Mexico. California's broken.”

"Her sister Alejandra was the first to leave. In Los Angeles, she and her husband were barely able to make ends meet. As in Mexico, "there was little work and it's poorly paid," she said."

"Eight years ago, she and her family moved to Kentucky, where a friend said there was more work and were fewer Mexican immigrants bidding down the wages for unskilled jobs."

"at the school there are just people who speak English. It's helped my children a lot."

If poor illegal aliens working in California can recognize the horrific consequence of mass migration, why are so many of our elites blind to the nightmare staring at them? Could greed have something to do with it? Mind numbing political correctness? Could crass “I see the world through brown eyes” racism be responsible?

Of course, it is always possible to find folks who prefer life in California or New York. However, the American people don’t. Americans have been net leaving CA and NYC for a long time. Open Borders makes life miserable for all but the elite. Americans leave. I call it “American cleansing”.

HL: Why would they move to the city? Unemployment rate in the midwest and rust belt is generally lower than NY or CA.

"The city" could just easily be Denver or Columbus or Portland or Nashville or Albuquerque. Point is, there are plenty of other cities in this country than NY, LA, and SF.

If Hazel's point is that small towns are largely opportunity black holes, she's right. "Mayberry", for the most part, is economically obsolete. (I say that with no joy or satisfaction; I grew up in western Kansas.) Unless a small town is a) a college town, b) a natural resource boom town, or c) close enough to a metro area that it can reinvent itself as an exurb, it's probably going to gradually "boil off" as anyone with the means, ability, and ambition to leave does so.

"If Hazel’s point is that small towns are largely opportunity black holes, she’s right. “Mayberry”, for the most part, is economically obsolete. (I say that with no joy or satisfaction; I grew up in western Kansas.) Unless a small town is a) a college town, b) a natural resource boom town, or c) close enough to a metro area that it can reinvent itself as an exurb, it’s probably going to gradually “boil off” as anyone with the means, ability, and ambition to leave does so."

That's probably false or at least not as true now. Small towns 30 years ago were economically dependent on one or two major industries. Modern small American towns are far more resilient. There aren't nearly as many small towns that are dependent on manufacturing and the other industries, health care, education, farming, etc aren't as likely to be subject to trade and outsourcing policies. Furthermore, the internet & VPN technology and EBay, Amazon, etc have made a lot of trade and professional jobs to be far less dependent on the Urban core.

JWatts: That’s probably false or at least not as true now. Small towns 30 years ago were economically dependent on one or two major industries. Modern small American towns are far more resilient.

Not in the part of the country I'm from. I'm not making this shit up. I lived it. People I grew up with are still living it.

Furthermore, the internet & VPN technology and EBay, Amazon, etc have made a lot of trade and professional jobs to be far less dependent on the Urban core.

In theory. And yet, large swaths of rural America continue to depopulate.

Are you by chance a software engineer or some other sort of tech professional? If so, don't generalize from your experience to the rest of the job market or the economy.

@Ninja Tyler’s solution of “voluntary temperance” is an insult

The President Elect chose voluntary temperance, observing that the alternative can be deadly ruinous.

Hillary (the hater) was hard-core member of the elite plutocracy. She wasn't shy about taking 6 figures from Goldman Sachs and then refusing to publish her speeches. Of course, covering up her speeches make sense... Her actual words (revealed by Wikileaks) amounted to fawning sycophancy. She called the TPP "The Gold Standard of Trade Agreements". No one (on either side of the issue) ever believed her subsequent disavowal.

Her core polices amounted to shipping every possible American job abroad and replacing any left with a cheap labor immigrant. Since lots of folks were deeply offended by her ingrained hostility towards "deplorables" and "irredemables" she used (tried to use) the crassest racial identity politics to win.

She planned to give her victory speech with the "Mothers of the BLM movement" onstage. For better or worse (worse), BLM is the Klan of our time. That makes Hillary a Klanidate. This time at least, the Klanidate lost.

Hilary the hater is such a hater for saying something not that nice about people who hate.

The fact of observing or commenting on hateful expression is itself hate.


Now never speak a word about the fact of racism and its existence ever again. Because doing so is hate.



Racial discrimination is a big problem in the USA, just not the Hillary racial identity politics kind.

From the LA Times.

"Lee's next slide shows three columns of numbers from a Princeton University study that tried to measure how race and ethnicity affect admissions by using SAT scores as a benchmark. It uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant's race is worth. She points to the first column. African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says. She points to the second column. “Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.” The last column draws gasps. Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission."

See also "Former Civil Rights Activist: ‘Where Was Black Lives Matter’ When a 9-Year-Old Boy Was Shot in San Bernardino?"

"Three people — including a black 9-year-old boy — were shot dead outside a liquor store in California over the weekend, and one former civil rights leader (Joe Hicks) wants to know why Black Lives Matter activists were no where to be found. San Bernardino Police Sgt. Vicki Cervantes said the suspected shooter was waiting outside a local liquor shop for his victims late Friday night. When three people walked out, the gunman approached them from behind and opened fire, fatally wounding all of them, according to the Associated Press. The victims were later identified as 25-year-old Samathy Mahan, 26-year-old Travon Lamar Williams and his son, 9-year-old Travon Williams.

“Last week, three people were walking out of a liquor store in San Bernardino, … two black men and a 9-year-old boy,” activist Joe Hicks said. “Walking out a liquor store, mowed down by a black suspect — where was Black Lives Matter? Did you guys mobilize in San Bernardino?”"

Hillary embraced a movement that amounts to the modern version of the Klan. That's utterly shameful.

If I find that a student lives at home with no parents or has to work 20 hours a week to help with family bills while going through high school for example, I can give some little bits of extra attention in class to help out or maybe just nudge some grades up a tiny bit, in recognition that their underlying ability, and thus the grades-based signal that should indicate it, warrants being a little higher ...

... so, that's hard to do institutionally when you know it applies to an entire group and in fact most teachers will not (maybe should not, much of the time?) do something like that. So I don't think it's a big deal to systematically up the SAT grades. However, if it were up to me, I'd do away with the SAT system altogether, leave it to colleges and universities to find whatever mechanisms they decided upon, and then count on ruthless culling (plus second chances) in first year courses.

Easier colleges could be less ruthless. A new equilibrium could arise, sans SAT.

So, this "big problem" ought to be manifested in lower graduation rates, lower levels of LFP and lower incomes among whites and Asians, right? Also, fewer invitations for jobs for those with stereotypically white or Asian names.

Why is this supposed to be my problem?

I have been fired twice in my life. Once I moved from Italy to Mexico, the second I moved from employee to entrepreneur. Life is often unfair and cruel, but people have adapted since the start of civilization. Just because society's surplus has never been so high, I have to be robbed? And don't tell me that it is already my problem because they elect either socialists or a freaks like Trump, I still have the option of the exit. And, BTW, this unsophisticated (deplorable?) libertarian is not settling for what he can get now.

Why is this supposed to be my problem?

It is called the social contract....you could look it up.

There is also basic morality/compassion and on a more practical level, it is unpleasant to step over dead bodies on the way to a nice meal at a restaurant.

And speaking of the social contract... here is a great book on that topic, just in time for the holidays!

I never signed no stinking contract... This is The Constitution of no authority, Lysander Spooner classical take on "the social contract" : http://files.libertyfund.org/files/2194/Spooner_1485_Bk.pdf,

Regarding the funny stuff about stepping over dead bodies, I thought that Tocqueville's Democracy in America was required reading in those concentration camps that are the American high-school, or Mintru has abolished even that?

You are forcing job steal immigration on people just so you can get rich. Trump and Republicans and most conservatives will erect walls to keep you in poverty where you got fired.

Obama is your friend in welcoming the downtrodden, poor, striving masses, ....

Social contract theory does not presuppose or suggest that people from here on should just shut up and take their lot for the fact that previous generations established some system that basically kinda works and that most people basically go along with for lack of obviously better alternatives.

The "social contract" isn't working for you? Doesn't our "social contract" include the right, no, active encouragement, to raise a little hell if that's the case?


Thank you! You have provided perfect examples of:
1. Survivorship bias.
2. The Fundamental Attribution Error.
3. Hindsight bias.

Class dismissed!

I can't believe it... you are actually trying to pull a Rawls on me, don't you? What bullshit are you choosing this time? Veil of ignorance? Reflective equilibrium?

And, just to give you some perspective about the real world, I am not a survivor. A survivor is somebody that came out from the Halbe Kassel. I am just a dude that, instead of whining and blaming others, chose to look for a job. It was actually very easy. I read somewhere that 3 millions of jobs are destroyed and created everyday in the US, any moron can find a job the way I did.


Whoa! I think I hit a nerve! Actually, I'm pulling a Kahneman, Haidt, Arielly, Mlodinov on you. I really do have Rawls TOJ on my night table but haven't got past the intro yet. Amazing you should mention Rawls!!!!

Actually, I migrated across the full width of the USA and found myself washing dishes side by side with the Mexicans in CA. That random act led to a CA subsidized education at a JC and UC (mathematics) and a truncated career in high tech, a little good luck (and a lot of bad) with stock options and here I am. When I look back, the contingencies astonish me.

I have been thinking about envy lately. Does it have a latent function? Why do all the major religions warn against it? Is that a form of social control to protect hierarchies? Is envy natural? Is it a product of the evolution of a social and mostly egalitarian species? Was envy sanctioned to protect agriculture? This has led me to Rawls, uneducated Trumpian that I am.

Behavioral economics might interest me as an entrepreneur. But I assumed we were talking politics here, the rules of the game for human relationships.
I know I own myself, and as such I have a natural right of disassociation. This implies that nobody can force me to do anything, only voluntary relationships are moral. Therefore, anything short of full-blown anarchism is immoral.
We can discuss from an utilitarian view-point if paying lazy guys to move where there is a job makes sense or not, but from a moral viewpoint all this is immoral. A slave might well choose, if he has the option, a master that beats him once a week instead of once a day, but this doesn't imply he agrees with slavery.
You seem to have been having a good, interesting and independent life, good for you.

Part 1: Just not demonizing Mitt Romney as a misogynist, elitist, racist bullshitter would have made a significant difference.

Part 2: This might have made a difference, but I'm unconvinced that drugs are the cause and not just a symptom.

But either way, too little and too late.

Isn't the temperance thing a bit like what Duterte is up to ?

Duterte is targeting Meth, not alcohol. I doubt alcohol is on his radar screen.

I think Cowen was referencing drugs too, in fact mainly that: opioids and meth are a big problem in Trumpland.

Cowen is targeting alcohol and drugs. Duterte is targeting Meth, not alcohol.

Oh so we're doing pedantic repetition? OK, isn't the temperance thing (cracking down on drug use like opioids and meth and the drug known as alcohol) what Duterte is up to?


Duterte is going after narcotics with lethal force. He has proposed to ban alcohol sales from 1 AM to 6 AM. Big difference. Duterte has made it clear that he does not object to private consumption of alcohol.

Sure, Josephine gets drunk because she lost her job. Let's suppose that, if a job was magically bestowed on her, she'd quit drinking. The fact remains she won't get a job while she keeps on drinking.

Death is just a symptom of disease, not the cause of it.

I'm arguing against a temperance movement, though not strenuously. I'm all for a voluntary movement, I might even decide to participate, but I don't think it will have any effect. I think Josephine will keep right on drinking, no matter how many of the elite show disdain for it.

Are you arguing for a temperance movement?

Drinking isnt an all or nothing thing. Even committed alcoholics can sober up enough to get and keep a job.

Hmmph. I thought this was a good post. Ties into McMegan's is/ought diatribe from yesterday, which was also quite good.

I never did any of those Part 1 things. I mainly faulted the Party for ruining moderate candidates McCain and Romney, so making them over as far right in the primaries, that they could not win the general.

Perhaps you and Tyler should recognize that Mass Mitt could have won the general, but never the primary.

His "make over" made his outcome.

Cool story bro!

It should be a strong reminder that the GOP made its bed.

Yeah, total control! Thx race baiters!

Here is an alternate universe for Tyler:

What if McCain/Lieberman had won?

The Middle East would presumably be in much better shape; there's a good chance we could have avoided the war in Syria. But economically, I didn't seem them as markedly superior to the Obama team. Certainly they were free-trade/open-borders types.

"see" them, not "seem" them.

Quite possibly, and quite possibly that could have got my vote. The thing is though, Republicans didn't want to be that.

I think they built themselves into a tighter and tighter "against everything" box until Trump was the only way out. He upset their card table, and then the general.


There is also a good chance we would all have died after a nuclear war with Russia (which McCain clearly favored).

I didn't like Obama (and still don't). However, McCain was "let's drop the bomb on Russia" happy. He was dangerous. I refused to vote for him. That was my opinion back then and still is.

Long-term (way after Putin and Trump are gone), Russia is America's inevitable ally (and vice-versa). American foreign policy needs to recognize this.

"Long-term (way after Putin and Trump are gone), Russia is America’s inevitable ally (and vice-versa). American foreign policy needs to recognize this."

Strongly disagree. The European Union and NATO are America's allies and Russia is the enemy of these two organizations.

What would be gained by allying ourself with the despotic Russian regime? What possible interests could we have in common?

@Cooper: he means Russia is very white racially, and even more racist than whites in the US.


Ah, that makes sense (at least if you agree with the original assumptions).

Sometimes it's hard to follow the logic of white nationalists. I generally assume the people who point nuclear weapons at my house and assassinate western journalists are enemies.


Russia was America's ally in the Civil War, WWI, and WWII. See "U.S. Civil War: The US-Russian Alliance that Saved the Union" and "How The Russian Navy Saved The Union In The Civil War". A long-term an alliance between the U.S. and Russia is likely to counterbalance the emerging powers of the 21st century. Europe could also help. However, Europe is in profound decline.

By 2050, China's GDP will be 3X the United States. China may be a benign force in world affairs. It may not be. If China reverts to its historical "Middle-Kingdom" mindset, it will treat the rest of humanity as vassal states. This will create an inevitable global alliance against China (making the U.S. and Russia allies).

None of this has happened yet. It may never happen. However, it would be deeply unwise for the U.S. to ignore the possibility that China might not be a friendly superpower in the future.

I get that some of you folks see everything in racial terms. You need to get over that kind of thinking.


The EU doesn't spend enough on defense to be anyone's ally (or enemy). Putin (and his successors) may not be nice guys. However, Stalin wasn't notably charming either. However, America in 1941 allied itself with Moscow (just as we did in the Civil War and WWI).

You can't be serious about condemning Russia as despotic. When has despotism even been an obstacle to U.S. foreign policy?

Quote from Kissinger

"Never in China’s centuries-long history has it conceived of a foreign nation as more than a tributary to it, the Central Kingdom.”

If China retains that mindset (and it probably will) mutual interest will bring America and Russia together.

McCain and Lieberman were on different tickets.

Think about it. Part of the Romney makeover was that he had to deny Romneycare.

How much stronger could he have been if he had run then on fixing Obamacare .. but Republicans still hoped they could "repeal and nuthin'"

Now we are at "fix" and Mass Mitt looks good.

Bad timing.

Mitt Romney was never really seen as "racist", in the election was he - aside from the conventional views on Muslims that the GOP has had? Mitt Romney was lambasted for being elitist and out of touch with the working poor, which he kinda admitted he was indirectly or directly.

"DNC Chair: Romney Welfare Attacks Are Racist"

"“This is ‘welfare queen’-lite. You don’t even have to say it,” MSNBC host Chris Matthews averred while covering the Republican National Convention in the summer of that election year. “All you have to say is ‘urban.’”

“They keep saying ‘Chicago,’ by the way, have you noticed?” He added, intimating without much subtlety the sinister intention behind the invocation of the Windy City.

“There’s a lot of black people in Chicago.” Game Change co-author John Heilemann helpfully decoded."


The word has so little meaning anymore that it is thrown out with no thought, hence forgotten.

That is the bed the Democrats have created.

And in mirror fashion the Republicans made a world where "anti-racism" was not them, providing safe harbor.

"A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks" - Orwell

I don't see the word "immigration" in Duy's post.

Be realist, will you? Where would poor Americans immigrate to?

Brazil of course.

Sorry, but no. "The Hunter and the Bear" still is my favorite Janet Greene's song.


Migrate to California? And live where?

Surely you're joking, Mr. Meade! :)

They might get temporary work permits for a handful of other Western countries. But you need 5k in the bank to get the visa and it's only valid for a year or two (after which, GTFO - it's for cultural exchange, not employment access).

The "handful" part being driven by the assumption that a poor American would never move to a country where they'd have to learn a second language.

I thought mass Mexican and Puerto Rican immigration was concentrated in the Sunbelt, NY and Florida not the Rust Belt or rural Appalachia.

Per J D Vance the decline of Christianity and accompanying social breakdown seem far bigger contributors to the rural American death spiral.

Maybe Tyler should add that to his list: valorize Christianity. Make sure that movies and TV shows contain constant and consistent favorable portrayals of Christianity. Make sure that the President not only meets regularly with Christian leaders, he tells them how wonderful Christianity is and doesn't lecture them about the Crusades. Support a really strong RFRA at both state and federal levels. I think most liberals would hate those ideas even worse than what Tyler has.

Tyler would hate them too.

So retarded it is barely worth responding to. The government should not be in the business of "making sure" that movies and TV shows contain *anything*. Certainly not a positive portrayal of specific religious faith.

This is some fucked up fascist/theocratic shit right here.

The left is hellbent on destroying poor whites. Now we have resurgence of white nationalism because your feelings are more important to you than reality. That's TCs point.

"(...) because your feelings are more important to you than reality.", i.e. not voting for his candidate. "The left is hellbent on destroying poor whites." I seriously wonder how more ridiculous the Neo-Nazis can get.

Hazel, I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm. Heavy sarcasm. Did you read the last line he wrote?

"The left is hellbent on destroying poor whites."

Yeah, Obama hates rural whites because he forced free health care on them so they are no longer too sick to work, disqualifying them for Social Security disability welfare which forces them not not work legally. Only conservatives work hard to put rural whites on Federal welfare where work is Illegal!

The only time Social Security disability aging out was not greatly exceeded by new awards of disability and longer waiting lists and appeals has been since Obamacare took effect providing free health care to everyone who applies for SSDI benefits.

If all States had expanded Medicaid, SSDI rolls might be going down with fewer awards than aging out.

Excluding the question of the state being involved in portrayals of religion (generally a bad idea), I don't see any specific reason to suggest that the state, as a matter of law or practice, say, "must not make sure that SOME MOVIES/CONTENT OR ANOTHER..." contain some specific elements.

For example, maybe relating to history, documentaries of various sorts, etc. Maybe the private sector didn't fill in some gaps. Duh, in the meantime, there wil be some duds and in 20 years time some of that content will be evaluated as low quality (other content can be directed to the rubbish bin much earlier on, but unlike the private sector this is difficult to merely claim as a "writeoff" and someone will probably have to have their nose rubbed in that shit one day or another ... which basically never happens in the private sector, but anyways ...)

So, with due respect for the perspective, I think it's worth arguing for a little space of potential legitimacy of state action in areas where that implies, for practical purposes, allocations of taxpayers dollars to create media content with intentional "making sure" aspects with regard to the existence of some particular type of content.

(PBS, for example, probably does quite a lot of this kind of stuff (by which I hope just 1 or 2% of overall activities can be considered as A LOT(!) for that kind of thing. And, it's also one of the most trusted public institutions in the country, so they can't be doing that bad of the job.)

A specific example that comes to mind involves a documentary series produced in Canada relating to the Dieppe and D-Day invasions.

So, we can all be enormously surprised that the soundtrack and other aspects put things in a light which are pro-Canada, pro-weRock and somewhat "nationalist" in all the ways you'd expected for a publicly supported historical documentary series the most casuality-laden military events in the history of the country.

But it really kind of filed in a lot of gaps in a way that could capture the public imagination. I think. And given the timing of the release, it absolutely was "making sure" that content existed which contained specific things and perspectives.

I do not think that kind of thing is necessarily a poor allocation of resources, although depending on implementation it certainly can be.

"... here are comments from Paul Krugman..."

You use the phrase "Trumpism", but I'll point out that Trump is merely a reaction to smug and condescending Liberals such as Paul Krugman. Krugman says things every bit as outrageous as Trump, he merely coaches it in a snide high brow manner. Perhaps, we should say Trump is just an aspect of Krugmanism.

Yes, if you're looking for ways to actually stop Trump, Krugman is the last place you should look. But as Tyler points out, there's a real disconnect between the stated and revealed preferences here. Everyone shouts "we have to stop Trump!" but then they'll refuse to compromise even an inch to actually do it.

Is the goal to stop Trump or help our fellow citizens to cope with economic shocks to the system?

Help the people and the Trump archtype goes away. Sit on your self-satisfied rump and you eventually get Hugo Chavez.

If you like your IRA or your 401(k) you can keep it (Kirchener et al).



Everyone wants to stop Trump but retain the status quo Good luck with that.

"The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition..."

Yep that's what why welfare doesn't cut it, they want to better their own condition, not be on welfare. So why don't they move?

Oddly, the one thing Obamacare could have done to help it didn't. With plans being tightly tied to individual states people are less mobile. iI's a risk to try moving out of state to search if you've gone through a struggle to finally get a plan you can afford.

And, as we have learned on this blog, encouraging low income home ownership ties the new homeowner in place. Bad in the long run when jobs go away.

+1 for the Obamacare fail.

I think it is fit and proper that we remember today that in December 29th -- a date which will live in infamy -- the Empire of Brazil was suddenly and deliberately attacked by ground forces of Paraguay. The Empire of Brazil was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Paraguay, was still in conversation with its government and its president looking toward the maintenance of peace in La Plata River. It will be recorded that the distance of Dourados from Paraguay makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks before. During the intervening time, the Paraguayan government has deliberately sought to d eceive the Empire of Brazil by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. No matter how long it would take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the Brazilian people in their righteous might were to win through to absolute victory. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we gained the inevitable triumph -- so helped us God.

Remember, remember the 29th of December And those who died in Dourados -- outnumbered tens or hundreds to one -- fighting for freedom and civilization. We can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- that ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled there, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we write here, but it can never forget what they did there. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought there have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that their nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Don't you think having Paraguay as your arch rival is kind of lame? The United States had the Soviet Union and now maybe China. A great country like Brazil needs a better nemesis.

Paraguay was rather big at the start of the war of the triple alliance and had been governed for a long time by dictators at the level of Stalin.
What makes always boil my blood is the hypocrisy of FDR and how he treated Konoye. He really needed a war to establish a standing army.

Not to mention that the peaceful people of Brazil helped Paraguay to arm itself. We were repayed with an unprovoked and dastardly attack. It was shocking because some people in Brazil thought we should have adopted a system more like Paraguay's totalitarian regime. One of the Paraguayan dicttors were among the leaders chosen by Auguste Comte -- a French thinker with great influence in Brazil, his motto "Order and Progress" is on our beautiful flag -- as role models for Mankind. It was as if the Soviet Union had broken up with China or as if China hd fought Vietnam.
In the end of the war, López took to killing those who wanted to surrender to prevent the destruction of the country. Something like Hitler ordering the country to fight until the bitter end when the war was already lost.

FDR was really just an upper class version of Obama. A not too bright dilettante who had way too much self confidence.

"A not too bright dilettante who had way too much self confidence."
It looks like a description of most American presidents since time immemorial.

He was nothing of the kind. FDR had a background as an executive (7 years as the undersecretary of the Navy, three years and change as Governor of New York. His first turn at law practice (1907-13) was longer than BO's entire career in law, and he undertook a mix of legal work and banking between 1920 and 1928. The challenges FDR faced in 1933 were worse than those faced by BO (the economic contraction of the period running from 1929 to 1933 was larger than that of the 2008-09 recession by a factor of 6). His administration made it's share of mistakes, but implemented successful therapeutic policies as well.

Neither BO nor FDR suffered from any intellectual deficiencies per se.

Yet, FDR is the original Boogeyman of the post-WW II American Right, the Adam whose sin cursed the American soil, sentenced the American worker to try to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow only to have much of it stolen by parasitical public servants and Welfare clients and expelled Americans from the Eden of Freedom they used to live in and brought to the unsuspecting country the ills of Big Government, Welfare and Intervention in Markets.

Paraguay is not our arch rival. It was once upon a time, but, after it attacked us, we trampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored and crushed Paraguay so thoroughly that tyrant Solano López before dying said "I die with my fatherland". Paraguay was dead indeed by then, but we canceled the debts and war reparations it owed us and forgave the Paraguayan people, who had been a victim of López almost as much as we were. Yet the December 29th is still -- and always will be -- a day of remembrance and pride. It was our finest hour. We think about it and our dead the same way Americans think about WW II, Korea and Vietnam and their dead even after making friends with Germany, Japan, China and Vietnam.
Regarding arch rivals, Brazil "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.” We are a peaceful nation, we never fought a war of aggression, never will. One of our most important anthems says:
"If it is to be that from brave chests
Our banner will be bloodied
The living blood of the hero Tiradentes
Baptized this bold flag!
Messenger of peace, it is peace for which we yearn,
From love comes our force and power
But in war, in the greatest ordeals
Thou shall see us struggling and victorious!"
Even our Army is pacifist, its anthem says:
"We yearn for Peace fervently
War only pains us
But if the beloved Fatherland
Is someday threatened
We will fight fearlessly
If our nation at risk
Before the enemy
And we give for Her our life
Glory shines
Victory lusters"
We don't want war, we wnt peace, but Prophet Bandarra predicted that Brazil will have to rise like a lion and crush the serpent with its heel to save the world. Brazil has a rendez-vous with Destiny.


"A great country like Brazil needs a better nemesis"

So true.

The World is our nemesis. No other people in Mankind's History has ever been so mistreated and slandered as we have been.

I really wonder how common your sort of humour is among world-aware educated people in Brazil ... probably better if more, but I somewhat doubt it is ...

Search your feelings; you know it to be true! We're the only Portuguese-speaking country in South America. During the regional soccer mstches, the players from Spanish-speaking countries try to hurt our players and their supporters try to hurt our teams' supporters .
We had to fight three big wars before our mere right to exist was recognized by our neighbors. Argentinian dictator Rosas, who we defeated, called us monkeys. López's newspapers also used to call us monkeys and savages. Even today, our neighbors still call us monkeys. Some time later, we had to fight anti-Brazilian insurrections suported by our neighbors.
Even today, anti-Brazilian propaganda is widespread in the neighboring countries and we are treated like monsters. The Paraguayan regime, instead of respecting Brazil's unmatched generosity, tries to fleece us. The Argentinians keep backstabbing as they did during the wr against the Praguayan aggressor. Brazil's participation was essential to V-E, yet our leaders are never invited to the festivities, instead who gets invited? Germany!
We are to pressured to open, open and open our market to their products, but Brazilian exports are kept out of their markets. Brazilian sugar, meat and steel are much cheaper and superior to their American/European/Japanese. counterparts, yet we are locked out. American biopiracy is brazen and blatant and costs Brazil, as Mr. Carl Sagan would say, billions and billions of dollars.


I won't claim to know too many Brazilians. However, they usually come across as laid back, not paranoid. TR seems like an outlier.


TR gets one point right. The Spanish are way crazier than the Portuguese... Which makes TR a very unusual Brazilian.

"R gets one point right. The Spanish are way crazier than the Portuguese… Which makes TR a very unusual Brazilian."
You just have to compare their caudillos with our Emperor, their contemporary, who spent two decades commuting death sentences because he feared an innocent person would be executed (even in our worse days, we never were Texas) our our dictatorships (a few hundred deaths) with their thousands upon thousands of deaths. Their constant warring (Brazilian writer Monteiro Lobato said that Spanish-speaking America was a butcher shop) with our peaceful behavior, we only fight in self-defense.
There are three famous short texts written about it in the last 100 years.

Maybe if Brazil had not invaded Uruguay on October 12, 1864 in an undeclared war then Paraguay would not have felt the need to follow through on its earlier diplomatic attempts to stop Brazilian aggression against a smaller nation. One can question the wisdom of small Paraguay from challenging Brazil, but it's really absurd to try to paint Brazil as the innocent party here.

The proto-Fascist so-called Uruguayan refime (in fact, the rogue Province Cisplatine of Brazil) persecuted Brazilian citizens. We tried everything to get them to behave like decent people, but the Castilian savage only understands one language: force! But you must blame Brazil first!
It was not the last time they attacked us: in the early days of the Republic, Monarchist traitors used the so-called Uruguay as their base of opertions in their full-scale invasion of Brazil in an attempt to conquer our Fatherland. The invader used to execute its prisoners by slicing their throats. We fought for survival.

Impressive rhetorical skills, Thiago. You effortlessly moved from FDR bourgeois speech to something that resembles a mix of Stalin and Hitler. Very nice.

Are you sure? The "Blame Brazil First" bit, for instance, is based in Jeanne Kirkpatrick's keynote at the 1984 Republicn Convention. Politically, I consider myself something between a Castilhista (follower of the teachings of Brazilian Caudillo Júlio de Castilhos) and an Eisenhower Republican/Sanders Democrat.

It seems that this sitesmdo not allow for replies at the fourth level...

Well, neo-cons origins and attitude put them in the right-wing collectivist group, where fascism stands. And sometimes Bolton utterances do resemble Goebbels'. Regarding this guy de Castilhos, I admit I'll have to check in Wikipedia.

"neo-cons origins and attitude put them in the right-wing collectivist group"
What about their (at least partial) Trotskyte origins?
"Regarding this guy de Castilhos, I admit I’ll have to check in Wikipedia."
During the Empire, he was for prompt emanciption, opposed payments of reparations for the former slaveowners (he said if someoned deserved reparations it was the former slaves), he was one of the greatest journalists in Brazilian history and favored a Republican government for Brazil. After the Republican Revolution, he became a governor, he wrote the "July 14th Constitution", which was thought to be by many the West's most perfect constitution. He supressed the anti-Republican uprisings and died still a governor in 1903 aged 43. He was one of the greatest Titans in Brazilian history. His name has become a legend, pronounced in hushed tones. The most famous public school and some of the most iconic places in his state, Rio Grande do Sul, including a town are named after him.

Yup, not much difference between Goebbels or Beria. This is a beautiful and funny piece of Rothbard that partially talks about the origin and rising of neo-cons: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard60.html

Regarding this guy Castilhos, for what I read, he seems too much hipercynetic for my tastes. The positivists killed the golden age of humanity, the Enlightment and its political son, the (classic) Liberalism. Misquoting Yourcenar, those two centuries where the gods of the ancien regime were dead, but the God of the Omniscient State was not yet born. Your Comte was the John the Baptist of this superstition in which we still live.

As everyone knows, when Benjamin Harrison was in Rio in 1891 killing da Fonseca with his own hands, he also had an affair with de Castilhos' wife. When de Castilhos found out about this in 1903, he took his own life in shame. Interestingly, he was thought by many to be one of the most feminine men in South America.

"As everyone knows, when Benjamin Harrison was in Rio in 1891 killing da Fonseca with his own hands, he also had an affair with de Castilhos’ wife. When de Castilhos found out about this in 1903, he took his own life in shame. Interestingly, he was thought by many to be one of the most feminine men in South America."
It is not true. Deodoro da Fonseca died in his bed from heart disease. Two years before that, he was already so ill, he only left his bed to lead the Revolution and, as soon as possible, went back to his bed, muttering he was grateful for that last opportunity to fulfill his duty before dying. He miraculously survived.
Júlio de Castilhos was a brave man, who fought slavery, supressed anti-Brazilian uprisings, wrote the most perfect Constitution the West has ever seen and fathered six children. He was the Brazilian Lincoln. He did not kill himself, a throat cancer killed him in his prime ("those whom the gods love die young"). Her wife was one of the most virtuous women the world has ever seen, the Brazilian Lucretia, the Brazilian Cornelia, the Brazilian Penelope.

"The positivists killed the golden age of humanity, the Enlightment and its political son, the (classic) Liberalism."
I doubt it, the religious positivists, the Comteans, were only influential in Brazil, where they were on the side of the angels. Comte opposed slavery, they fought for prompt emancipation. Comte said no country should be too big (Brazil is bigger than Western Europe), they fought for radical Federalism. Comte was against colonilaism and opposed Napoleon's wars of conquest, Brazilian Positivists, influential among the Army officers, made a pacifist Army out of ours. They fought for complete freedom of speech and the abolition of the death penalty (to each, his own -- the former Emperor had abolished it de facto, spending two decades commuting death penalties). Comte was against political terrorism, the positivist revolutionary refused to kill the overthrown Emperor -- compare and contrast with the experiences of England, France and Russia. The posivist motto Order and Progress is on our flag, widely considered the most beautiful flag in the world, which was drawn by the positivists. Comte was no John the Baptist. He himself said he spent the first half of his life being Aristotle and would spend the second half being Saint Paul.
If his countrymen had heeded his teachings, there wouldn't have happened something like the Algerian War.

". We tried everything to get them to behave like decent people, but the Castilian savage only understands one language: force! ... The invader used to execute its prisoners by slicing their throats. We fought for survival."

Yes, definitely Stalinist.

If you ever reveal yourself to be a troll, masquerading as a hard core nationalist Brazilian, then my hats off to you, for such a brilliant performance.

Not Stalinist, a plain, simple Patriot. Someone who believes fiercely in our right to exist,someone who will never apologize for being Brazilian, someone who knows the first war we lose will also be the last, someone who will never forget how a handful of Brazilian soldiers, hopelessly outnumbered, fought the aggressor to the last rather than surrender. As their commanding officer is thought to have said (there is strong controvery concerning this) after evacuating the civilians : "I know I will die, but my comrades' blood and mine will serve as a most solemn protest against the invasion of my Fatherland's soil."
Again, the Paraguayans, like the Nazis, forced children to fight their lost war. They hated us more than they loved their children. It is hard to believe there is a greater depravation than parents turning on their own children.

Anybody who cites the 2016 Krugman approvingly is not worth reading.

As an affluent coastal Californian, I don't know why I and mine should have to suppress the cultural libertinism that makes our home great in order to appease a gang of resentful Trumpists, when we could secede instead. America is not ours to save anymore and it is time we stopped trying to save it and started trying to build something better. This isn't about "consuming our own expressive views" but about materially improving (by libertine metrics of material improvement) the portion of the world where we actually live and which we have the most direct cause to care about.

If secession proves infeasible, the weaker version is federalism. I would be happy with that too. The less relative power the Feds have, the less Trump matters.

So Texans (Trump's voters, mostly) and Californians want to secede... As we say in Brazil, the last person left must turn off the lights. A Soviet-like Scurry has already begun.

Can the rest of us kick CA out? Would that be as good? Can we make you take NY with you?

We will send you a bill for the water.

And the electricity.

And the 35% tariff we will be imposing on your movie and music imports to us, after you have become part of the possessions of a known currency manipulator.

And the military protection. SF could be conquered by 500 homeless.

"SF could be conquered by 500 homeless."

Already has been.

Boy, the shoe sure is on the other foot nowadays, ain't it.

But, yes, it's time for a divorce.

Not really. Every election these days one state or another claims that secession is the answer (was Texas under Obama, now it's California under Trump). Or rather, a few knuckleheads on the internet do. Perfect topic for what we do here, snarky anonymous one-upsmanship. Years ago the lefty posters said "ok bye Texas!" now the righty ones will say "ok bye California!" while in the real world nothing actually happens.

I am glad that you say you would be happy with federalism because what most struck me about the California secession movement is that most progressives are against federalism. Seceding, of course, would not allow Californians to impose their will on the rest of the country, so it didn't seem to be consistent with their anti-federalist ideology. It seems that a number of our most contentious issues could easily be solved if we allowed each state to set its own policies and run its own programs on: abortion, health insurance, Medicare, climate policy, to name a few. We could eliminate all of these laws/programs at the federal level.

"abortion, health insurance, Medicare, climate policy, to name a few. We could eliminate all of these laws/programs at the federal level."
It can work for abortion for some time (even if pro-choice people be wrong, aborted children won't come back to hunt down Americans -- anyway, whatever may be the right position, I doubt America can be half pro-life and half pro-choice any more than it could be half-slave and half-free forever) and health insurance and Medicare (people dying in Alabama is not Texas' problem), but either Climate Change is a threat to all Mankind, not to mention America or it is not. It makes sense to have an unified policy for the country.

Are you referencing "libertinism" in the most broadly understood sense, or have you come up with a new definition? "Libertinism" was not in common usage when I left California a few yeas ago, and I am somewhat startled to see it openly claimed as a political philosophy. Though perhaps I should not be. Please clarify, because it significantly affects the context of your comment.

"The less relative power the Feds have, the less Trump matters." hear hear!
Oh, and Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush ...

OK, good luck with that. File this one under "yet another sign you are far from the pragmatic, reality-oriented perspective."

Ever just consider a big dose of Federalism.

Instead of completely destroying the federal government, why not neuter it, and let California make most of their decisions about how their government works for themselves.

As a Texan, this is my preferred approach.

"If secession proves infeasible, the weaker version is federalism. I would be happy with that too. The less relative power the Feds have, the less Trump matters."

I could absolutely support that!

...the weaker version is federalism. I would be happy with that too.


Sadly, I don't think a return to federalism will get any serious hearing unless/until Washington's authority collapses e.g. a major constitutional crisis, a debt default, etc.

In the meantime, the right and the left will continue taking turns in the futile exercise of trying to subjugate and convert each other.

You (TC) still don't get it do you? You are writing here that the the problem is Trump, and talking about weird side manouvers to avoid Trump. Neither of these proposals would deal with the underlying issue.

Paying people TO WORK is one of the key, if not THE key, mechanisms in which our political economy declares that a person has value to other people. People dislike many transfers because they amount to giving money to people who (through their non working) have shown themselves to be of no value to the rest of us. People dislike living on transfers (at least before retirement) because it amounts to admitting that one is of no use to the rest of society.

Replacing Trump with Romney, or persuading america to stop drinking, WOULD NOT CHANGE the fact that a large pool of the population feels they have been kicked out of the political economy and they want back in! Now!

Once Milton Friedman was invited by the government of Indonesia. Visiting a large open-pit mine, he noticed that most of the work was done by people with spades. He asked the guy that was showing him around: "Why don't you use excavators?". The guy answered something about the impact on jobs that it would imply. So Friedman asked again: "If unemployment is what concerns you, why don't you give them spoons"

Hadn't Kaganovich said it first: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=pt-BR&id=ltJBAAAAYAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=depression

Wouldn't know. I was told at a Mont Pelerin meeting by a guy that knew Friedman well. But, you can't trust these sneaky Chicagoans...

Can we trust Soviet Stalinist Politburo members?

The options are makework or intergenerational welfare. The Democrats prefer the latter but would probably agree to excluding whites from welfare.


"But people don’t want a welfare check. They want a job."

No. They want money. That's why they buy lottery tickets. That's why they go to casinos. As soon as they get a job they want time off, with pay, to go to the dog's birthday party.

People buy lottery tickets because they like to dream, not because they think it's a good investment.

So the government should create some fake jobs so they can pretend they have value to the rest of us?
Is that really different than a welfare check?
If the free market decides it doesn't make sense to build factories in rural Michigan, is it the governments job to manipulate things so there are factories in rural Michigan? Ultimately it's all a transfer, whether it occurs via taxes and welfare checks or higher prices at the checkout line.

Even if exporting the national manufacturing base to a competitor and potential enemy wasn't foolhardy, why is it so galling to you that the jobs of some of your countrymen who aren't well suited to smartphone app development or to serving specialty coffee should be subsidized through protectionism? We don't actually live in a global free market, if you haven't noticed.

Because I know that if we start subsidizing through protectionism everyone whose skills aren't suited to the work offered by a modern economy, we will ultimately end up lowering living standards for all of us. Because subsidizing uncompetitive, or outmoded industries will slow down development and lead to stagnation and decline. I'm sorry, but there are way, WAY, too many people who would benefit from protectionism, and if we're fair and do it for everyone, it will fuck all of us.

If only there was some way that I could get economic barriers to protect me, but require everyone else to compete so I can keep my costs down.

What's the equilibrium if everyone's trying to do that?

(What you said, stated differently.)

Stagnation and decline? You think paying, say, double for labor inputs to manufacturing goods is going to lead to stagnation and decline? How did we manage to do that before shipping those jobs over to China when total output and efficiency was much less than they are now? If we could bear it then we can certainly bear it now.

By the way, Germany seems to be doing pretty well with a manufacturing industrial base producing high quality goods, but I guess that's beneath us tech wizards in our gay Google spaceship of a "modern economy". The fact is that middle age truck drivers are going to be programming computers or serving espressos, and if they aren't doing something productive, you should expect some big problems down the line.

Going back to 1970 would not be the end of the world. Nor 2000 for that matter.

But is it really necessary?

"My sense is that Democrats will respond by offering a bigger safety net. But people don’t want a welfare check. They want a job."
To be blunt, as Americans pride themselves on being, beggars can't be choosers, don't hate the player, hate the game.

i'm starting to see where those Paraguayans were coming from

Paraguay, I guess.

I feel like I've just read something posted by Tyrone. Here is my simplistic attempt to muddle through a Straussian reading.

#1. The lesson is that moderate Republicans and Libertarians need to put more wood behind fewer arrows during the primaries to ensure a Trump-like candidate does not win the GOP nomination. The "moderate" GOP candidate then needs to pay more attention to populist concerns and less attention to libertarian fantasy. Had Romney done this in 2012, he could have pulled an extra 5% of the vote, won the election, and prevented the rise of Trump. (Let's send an Austrian back in time and make it happen!)

#2. Clearly, this is incredibly complex social engineering, not "simple". It's not even clear that the direction of the causal relationship is correct (i.e. people driven to drugs and drink by the collapse of local communities). But liberals could pay more attention to addressing critiques of the welfare system, i.e. that "it's a bunch of people drinking and popping pills instead of working". This could be done by pursuing a "legalize and tax heavily" approach, by skipping the culture wars over drug testing of benefits recipients, and/or by devoting more of the "welfare state" resources to rehab.

How'd I do?

Why are all you guys so concerned by this opioids stuff? I have been using them for years and I am perfectly fine. My only problems were to pay a lot and have to constantly watch out for some stupid cop. Ah, and of course the quality, not being pills. These were not problems linked to the substance, but to the prohibition. It would be the same if orange-juice was banned.
The Harrison act was born in 1914, in the middle of the Progressive era. What's the problem with you Puritans? Go read "Looking back" and leave the rest of us alone.

I have thought to myself many times over the last year that, if Romney had been elected in 2012, we wouldn't have President Trump now. I did my part in 2012. I will wait with bated breath for Democrats to concede that Obama's re-election contributed to Trump's election. They still don't want to admit that Obamacare is the main cause of the Republican wave that started in 2010 that has allowed Republicans to capture most governorships, state legislatures, both houses of Congress, and finally the presidency (despite, rather than because of, Trump).

'I will wait with bated breath for Democrats to concede that Obama’s re-election contributed to Trump’s election.'

Why be so limited in vision. I'm sure that Democrats also need to concede that Hawaii's lack of miscegenation laws contributed to Trump's election.

After all, the Commonwealth of Virginia certainly tried its best to anchor God's plan for racial harmony into its laws, including using banishment as punishment for those who refused to follow the law.

(And as a note, here is a list of states that never had laws preventing someone like Obama from ever being in the position to apparently blight the office of the presidency - 'Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia' - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws_in_the_United_States#The_repeal_of_anti-miscegenation_laws.2C_1948.E2.80.931967 )

Hawaii is a hotbed of racism but it's cool because the left hates haoles too.

Obama has become what he wanted -- a Reagan figure.

Bad policy, but personally very popular.

Just as republicans can't admit the Reagan years were bad you're not going to get Democrats to see the Obama years were also bad.

Worse from Democrats, the new "Obama democrats" of gays, transgenders, blacks and some women isn't a willing coalition on Presidential or Congressional (let alone state and local) elections.

The Reagan coalition was a bit more durable until they threw the working white man off the bus.

I'm not trying to downplay Obamacare (healthy 45 year old whose insurance went from 90 a month before Obama to 500 for next year), but i'd say the Holder inspired BLM riots really pushed the country over the edge. The suspicion of black politicians is they are for the blacks, not everyone, and the riots really showed the teeth.

(Race riots are about showing dominance, not about justice)

(I Would have loved BLM to challenge black Americans not to commit a crime for one day a year. Call it BLM day.)

I look forward to President Oprah who might be able to rebuild the coalition.

"(healthy 45 year old whose insurance went from 90 a month before Obama to 500 for next year)"

If this is in any way representative of a significant portion of the general population the country (or rather its residents) is in big trouble.

In remembereance of Pearl Harbor, NPR did a special on Japanese Internment: how hard it was to fuck in the camps and how victims only got $20k (1988) and an apology from the President, and how Trump could make this happen again. Who cares about the white supremacists murdered by Japan. The real victims of Pearl Harbor are LGBTQIA++ in SC. (Worthy PhD thesis)

I have no problem conceding that. Romney would have reminded American voters that Republican national politician are the dread enemy of the poor and don't do much for anyone outside of few who get enormous tax breaks. But this means I should have supported Romney because Trump was the guaranteed follow on? That is a really stupid argument. In general, hindsight can sometimes tell you that action A would have been better than action B. But that doesn't mean action A was the wrong decision based on what was known at the time or that similar decision in the future should be taken differently. You play the odds and the best odds are usually to support the political party that you think is better, especially if you think the difference in quality is substantial.

White voters that were reliable Democratic voters in 40 years ago started moving to the Republican party. First it was just the South at the presidential level. Then Appalachia followed and various mid western rural states. Then, more recently, those voters also started rejecting Democratic candidates at the regional level as well. Now this trend has extended to the rust belt. I'm supposed to blame this multi-decade trend on Obama? I certainly understand why many of those voters have drifted away from Democrats. And I think Democrats should consider picking issues they less about and dropping them - instead of trying for 50% of the vote and more of their preferred policy, maybe they should drop some views and aim for 55% to retake all those state houses. After all, the Republican party has shown it is not responsible enough to allow it to govern. The leftist should give up a few things to save the nation. Yes, I actually agree they should.

The dread enemy of the poor are the people who have allowed unlivable disorder on the streets and in the schools of slum neighborhoods. That's not the Republicans.

Re: The dread enemy of the poor are the people who have allowed unlivable disorder on the streets and in the schools of slum neighborhoods.

It's not either party, it's the people who live in those places who tolerate that disorder, and even contribute to it themselves. After all the street toughs an junkies aren't aliens dropping in from some other planet. They are people who live in those places.

Maybe with more intensive harassment from the police, children will try harder in school and have more respect for the system, as a result of which they will be more likely to follow the rules.

I wonder ... are people more likely to get caught and go to prison when the patrols pass 50 times a day as compared to never ever ever except right away, chop chop, when someone calls?

I wonder if this could affect any statistics whatsoever.

If so, let's ignore it. There are some black people to shit on.

I mean, your logic can be followed up on in a good way. But my understanding is that in practice it's not how things end up.

The idea that a Romney would have stopped the rise of a Trump seems dubious to me. Obama had already bailed out the auto industry but if a Romney presidency had let the automakers, or some other industry, crash wouldn't that have lead even more directly to the rise of a Trump? If Republican voters thought Romney was superior to Trump they had any number of mini Romney's to pick in the primary.

A dozen things could have stopped the rise of Trump more effectively than voting for Mitt Romney. Super delegates, a real requirement to force candidates to release their tax returns, a handful of different words in Comey's letter to congress. Why would the pragmatic solution be 4 years of an inferior Romney as president?

Me too.

I'm stumped.

What IS TC hiding??

I really admire your work, but someone has to tell you that this post is just silly.

I'm sure lots of people tell Prof. Cowen he is silly, but why should a tenured professor care about anything like that?

Whatever Tyler isn't smoking, I want some.

It seems a bit ridiculous to say that a political party should work for the election of its opponents. I mean, voting McCain would also have made Romney less likely. Ad absurdum, in a system like the post-war USA where a backlash against the winner leads to long-term political equilibrium, you would always have to vote for your opponents, and they would always have to vote for your party!

Come now, Romney need only have talked of the 42% being worthless, and he would have won, in Prof. Cowen's universe. See, just change 47 to 42, and it is obvious that Romney could have picked up those Democratic votes - 'There are 42 percent who are with him,” Romney said of Obama, “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. These are people who pay no income tax.”

He said that his job “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”' https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/leaked-videos-show-romney-dismissing-obama-supporters-as-entitled-victims/2012/09/17/5d49ca96-0113-11e2-b260-32f4a8db9b7e_story.html?hpid=z2

Why did Hillary do the same thing? Obama did as well, the guns and religion comment.

It is possible that the only reason Trump won was he showed a modicum of respect for the people in these states and communities?

I think the last few years have made one thing very very clear; the US bureaucracy and political class hate the population of the US. They love the Chinese, the Mexicans, the Europeans (as long as they stay asleep) the Muslims and the Palestinians.

It is possible that the only reason Trump won was he showed a modicum of respect for the people in these states and communities?

Not even that. He simply acknowledged their existence.

I think the last few years have made one thing very very clear; the US bureaucracy and political class hate the population of the US.

It's not hate. Rather, it's indifference combined with social class prejudice, diametrically opposed economic interests (i.e. globalism), and an inability to comprehend localist communitarian values.

Hate is a passion. The political class, and urban cosmopolitans more broadly, don't care enough about provincials nor know them well enough to hate them.

"It’s not hate. Rather, it’s indifference combined with social class prejudice, diametrically opposed economic interests (i.e. globalism), and an inability to comprehend localist communitarian values.

Hate is a passion. The political class, and urban cosmopolitans more broadly, don’t care enough about provincials nor know them well enough to hate them."

That's almost right, but there is some genuine disdain that borders on hate. It's absolutely common and unremarkable for a Leftie to make a bigoted comment about a white redneck or Southerner. The kind of comment that if directed toward black people would immediately draw charges of racism.

If you regularly make comments and jokes that state that urban blacks are inbred idiots, most people are going to think you are racist and that you hate black people.

Why isn't rational to conclude that people making comments and jokes, that white rednecks are inbred idiots, actually hate white rednecks?

Why isn’t rational to conclude that people making comments and jokes, that white rednecks are inbred idiots, actually hate white rednecks?

The passion isn't there. Prejudice against provincials is casual and thoughtless, borne out of ignorance more than perceived grievance.

Urban yuppies generally don't sit around in coffee shops and gastropubs angrily pining for the annihilation of rural folk. Urban yuppies don't think about rural folk hardly at all.

"Urban yuppies don’t think about rural folk hardly at all."

Sure they do. Ask them what their opinion of Sarah Palin is? Or their opinion about Walmart? Or about Texas? Watch them explode in anger every time some one in a Red State does something that they don't agree with?

You might as well say white racists in Minnesota don't think about black people hardly at all. Sure most of the time they don't, because they rarely see them. But that doesn't mean they don't have a strong opinion when they do cross paths.

Re: Ask them what their opinion of Sarah Palin is? Or their opinion about Walmart? Or about Texas?

None of which are necessarily rural. Sarah Palin may play "white trash" but her family is fairly well off (and Wasilla is Alaska's version of a suburb, a bedroom community for Anchorage-- I've been there). Walmart is mainly a suburban chain, and most of its clientele are middle class suburbanites. Texas boasts several of the nation's largest cities.

@JWatts: Urban yuppie here* (yeah, I'll admit it) to test your thesis.

Sarah Palin: OK, I think she is an ignorant fool. In fairness, however, the right certainly does not have a monopoly on ignorant fools.

Wal-Mart: Eh. I kind of wish they paid their workers more, though I know there's trade-offs inherent in that. I don't shop there - I'd honestly have to go pretty far out of my way to do so - but I'm not particularly offended by them.

Texas: I probably disagree with most of the state's political leaders, most of the time. But that doesn't mean it's a horrible place. Never having been there, I'll withhold judgment**.

*I think the bubble in which "urban yuppies" live is far more permeable than people who like to prattle on about the condescension of urban yuppies tend to assume. I am a liberal who lives in a large city in a deep-blue state. I know multiple people who voted for Trump.

**I have been to other places in "red America" that I've quite liked.

Perhaps my remarks were poorly stated. I never meant to imply that all Urban yuppies are hateful bigots or even a majority.

My larger point was that bigotry towards rednecks or Southerners is considered publicly acceptable among Leftwingers. Whereas a similar comment directed against a black person or a woman (for example) would be deemed racist or misogynist.

Are you saying you've never heard a stupid redneck joke from your Liberal friends? Do you think those same friends would accept a stupid 'darkie' joke? (Because redneck is generally considered a derogatory term.)

@JWatts: Depends what you mean. It's true that the specific phrase "stupid redneck" would be more socially acceptable than the specific phrase "darkie," although it's still not trotted out very much. And I've heard people say politically incorrect things of all stripes.

Sometimes it might make sense.

Say ... there's an economic catastrophe on the horizon. It might not be dumb to sort of throw the election and occupy yourself with ways to pin it all on whoever wins the present election, for purposes of statistically intellectually fraudulent comparisons down the road - or, just to draw that narrative.

Regarding (2), Tyler lets his own distaste for drugs and alcohol cloud his judgment. Drug abuse is mostly a symptom, not a cause - isn't this reflected in the drug abusers and drug-non-abusers you know personally?Prescribing his own preference for temperance on everyone else, Tyler is no less guilty of being self-serving than rich people favoring tax breaks.

The real question for 2 is this: Assume that drug and alcohol abuse drops to zero tomorrow. What replaces it? In other words, what is your best case scenario?

Prof. Cowen, mood affiliating, seems to assume that the answer is "sober self-reflection and careful study of the great works of Western literature." I'm not so sure that's how it would pan out.

"“sober self-reflection and careful study of the great works of Western literature.”"

That's what we are engaging here on this blog, no?

I'm here for the limericks.

Ok so let's say it's video games or even worst case scenario hard core pornography. How are the negative externalities of those not far less than for drugs or alcohol.

I do like the irony of someone arguing that an aversion to drugs and alcohol clouds one's judgement as opposed to the actually clouding of judgment caused by substance use and abuse.

Negative internalities count too.

Look, I'm not saying temperance is a bad idea, but I am saying we should continue the analysis down the chain.

How are the negative internalies worse?

Religiously and culturally I am certainly open to the argument that porn might be internally worse than booze and drugs, but where's the evidence.

What's the negative externality of drugs? How does my using a drug imply a negative effect on someone else? (Assuming that I'm not driving while on lots of drugs or something ...)

Plausibly, it is more of a waste of resources (which is fine, it's my time to waste, not yours) to spend hours playing video games than, say, smoking a joint on break at work (evaluations should be based on quality, in my opinion, not what you do on your own time).

Well for a one there are the infectious diseases. Drug use is directly correlated with all manner of disease. Shockingly people are vastly more likely to engage in unsafe sex and other risky behaviors when their judgment is impaired. Of particular concern is how people who engage in risky behavior often end up with multiple concurrent infections which is a great way for resistance genes to move laterally. Of course the fact that drug users tend to be far less compliant with prescriptions means that infections develop resistance faster too. Even if you were using good injection technique, not having any more sex than you otherwise would, or other stupid things - many drugs weaken your immune response (e.g. LSD directly activates stress receptors which down regulate immune response). All sympathomimetics induce weakened immune responses making you a better breeder of highly lethal pathogens (but hey, they mostly kill babies and old people).

Then there are the transplants. A large number of the recreational drugs of choice are directly hepatotoxic (e.g. cocaine), particularly in the quantities and combinations used for recreation. The average liver transplant has $750,000 of costs for the first year. Typically, patients will require lifelong medical care and of course immunosuppression makes it more likely some infection will develop resistance. More fun, the fact that these drug users will share medical facilities for years with other transplant patients makes nosocomial infections much more likely. Other organs also tend to get trashed by drug use and there is a bit of a difficult thing of there being an organ shortage (e.g. IV drug use, even with supervised injection, leads to massively elevated risks of endocarditis which can land a young drug user on the cardiac transplant list). Under socialized medicine, these costs are born by everyone else. In the US, EMTALA requires hospitals to care for life threatening illness (e.g. hepatic failure) regardless of ability to pay so again everyone else typically pays for drug users' vastly elevated healthcare costs.

Then there is the time issue. Drug users are vastly more likely to show up in my ER than comparable peers. Even nice clean suburban MDMA can result directly in mass anxiety attacks. This means that I may be dealing with a mandatory 72 hour commitment because of a molly induced panic attack with suicidal ideation when you come in with a dissecting aorta. The minute or so it takes me to get away from the panic attack is more than enough time to kill you before we can get you to surgery. Recreational drugs, like all drugs, have a host of side effects which often are person specific. Even if they were made by GlaxoSmithKline, we still would have huge numbers of people who would come in with allergies, receptor mutations, and everything else. If we are talking homegrown, then well good luck with consistent doseage for the masses. Drug use means a certain percentage will show up at my door and they will kill a number of other patients because we have a finite number of emergency docs. Drug users are particularly bad at sucking down ER time - shockingly people with altered consciousness are bad at answering questions, performing tasks for physical examination, or undergoing tests. In Colorado, legalization was shockingly followed by a massive increase ER visits for marijuana. This suggests that either Colorado will need to increase spending here or other people will die more.

All of the above are direct results of ideal drug use. It does not matter if we are talking about a patient taking imipramine given to them by their doctor or a person taking high quality cocaine for fun. Both of them muck with your body and cause all manner of trouble; recreational use does typically require far higher doses so yes society pays for your drug use. It will take around 20 years and mostly it will be people you never meet who you will statistically kill.

Of course in the real world, we cannot even manage to make alcohol use responsible. Given the potency of most harder drugs it is virtually impossible for the average user (and I have seen thousands) to use responsibly. Drug use has always had and will always have large negative externalities, particularly if we are not willing to let drug users die in the streets.

You can make a (bad) argument that legalization has fewer negative externalities than the current idiotic setup, or that drug use might be less harmful to society than other vices (like eating habits that lead to obesity) ... but let's get real - drug use has major societal costs. I could buy decriminalization being less bad, but unless you are willing to die cheaply for your drugs I will be paying for your habit in twenty or thirty years.

Drugs and disease: except for needles, if there is any correlation it is not caused by the drugs, or near to zero at least. Perhaps sick people need drugs? Maybe not all sick people looking for treatment prefer those offered by unsanctioned providers rather than sanctioned ones? Also, most anti-drug efforts in area of drug usage where disease transmission is relevant CAUSE MORE DISEASE not the other way around for the fact of illegality (so safe shooting centres is smart even though common sense says it's dumb, because common sense is that free needles in safe locations are less likely to contain your friend's undiagnosed AIDS).

Unsafe sex - maaybe. But I'm inclined to think the common factor is "people who might try drugs" and "people who might have unsafe sex" just kind of are often in the same group, and that "people who have unsafe sex BECAUSE they smoked a joint" are pretty close to zero people. Alcohol? Different story maybe.

Compliance, prescriptions and resistance: so, you are loosely aware of the logic of antibiotic resistance maybe? The concerns apply at societal, not individual levels. This would be a risk factor for the origins of a new anti-biotic disease, but would not be very relevant in explaining illness rates among those who use mind- or health-altering substances which have been defined as illicit (or from sources other than those explicitly permitted).

And HOLY F'N SMOKES - you think someone's gonna be a little "paranoid" or have a "panic attack" when you start talking about cutting up their heart against their will, after some lectures about drugs? Like, damned straight 3 days to think about it might be a good idea (mostly that time will probably be spent trying to figure out how to sue you, or worse). And while we're at it, I'd like to know the name of the hospital you work at so I can make sure the ambulance takes me anywhere but there in the case of emergency!

Give them the $2 or $50 pills to help get stuff out of the system and get cardiorespiration back to norm, and WTF about the $50,000 operation or whatever ... what's this "when you come in with the dissecting aorta"? And if there is a specific toxic shock risk, shit man, talking about cutting up their heart as a solution would get anybody a little anxious. What the FFFFFFFF are you doing sending these people on 72 hour mental health incarceration on that stuff for?

OK, thanks for the answers/opinions though, I think. IMO, the cure is far worse than the disease, and imo, you confirm the validity of that view enormously.

Your immune system is modulated by a variety of chemicals in your body. One set of those have actions we define as "sympathetic", these boost your concentration, decrease your reaction time, and many other things. They also take and depress your immune response. Cocaine, like many other recreational drugs, has these same effects - heightened attention, decreased reaction time, and depressed immune function. If you give yourself a large dose of compounds that bind to immune cells and turn them off you will get more infections. The infections you have will take longer to clear. Both of these mean that you will have higher odds of different pathogens swapping genes (say via a plasmid). You can be using cocaine, antidepressants, steroids, or predisone - anything that activates the sympathetic system increases the number of infections you will have, along with their severity and the chance that they will develop and share resistance. We can track this with CBCs, CD4 counts, plasma electrophoresis and dozens of other tests. Take a sympathomimetic, have lower immune response - it does not matter if you inhale it, take a pill, or get it transdermally, your immune system is always tanked if you take a high dose of potent sympathomimemtics.

Now sure, needles are 4 lane super highway for infection and are far more deadly to society, but no just using cocaine means you will get infected more and kill more people (on a statistical basis).

Will people on drugs take more risks? Well the MRI data on the nucleus accumbens shows that drug addicts using drugs are worse at estimating risk-reward ratios than drug addicts not on drugs at the moment (and similar differentials are observed with drug naive individuals). Frankly the number of people I have treated for STIs who "only had sex because" of the meth, LSD, cocaine, etc. is in the thousands. Certainly they believe that the drugs interfered with their rational choices.

Compliance is directly responsible for infection progression in drug users. I give you a 10 day course of antibiotics, you take it for 3, feel better, and go off it. Well the bacteria that survive those three days are more likely to be resistant to antibiotics. Normally, the handful of resistant bacteria are the only survivors and your (normal strength) immune system is sufficient to kill, you end the antibiotics early and now the immune system is diluted by all the non-resistant bacteria. You come back, I give you more antibiotics, you take all of them, but that handful of resistant bacteria has grown exponentially and now the antibiotic no longer works.

End of the day, drug users are some of the worst patients for breeding resistant pathogens. But hey like I say those mostly just kill babies and old people.

People with certain genes have different receptors for neuro-transmitters. In some of these atypical people, MDMA binds far more strongly than normal. They end up in a panic attack simply because the nerves for heightened awareness never turn off. It is no different than people are intolerant of haloethane (except for the whole part where haloethane washes out quickly without causing suicide). Most people who take MDMA will not present this way, but even 1% means that I have several every week. The particular thing I am looking at here is one night where we had a few cousins come in with bad MDMA responses. Giving them something simple, like Lorazepam, requires that we first find out which drugs they have taken (just MDMA, or maybe they have some Cocaine, or perhaps a Cyt450 inhibitor); that takes time. While we were processing them for the legally required in-patient psychiatric evaluation (if you tell me you are contemplating killing yourself I have to commit you if anyone make take it seriously), we had an older man come in with a dissecting aorta after a car accident. We needed a lot of work, but unfortunately he burst before we could get him to the OR; if he had been on bypass about 2 minutes earlier he would have lived. That is your societal cost of drug use, teen drug users sucked up ER staff time, guy who needed it died because of them.

Drugs mess up your body - that is why plants make them to discourage animals from eating them. When people use drugs they will eventually consume disproportionate amounts of medical care. They will breed a disproportionate amount of infections. They will consume a disproportionate number of transplant organs. Drug use has large and obvious medical negative externalities.

Gotcha. Drug users kill babies and old people because they are filthy scum, like, it's literally their scumminess.

I bet there is more aggregate pathogen resistance risk associated with 6 hours of meat consumption in America than an entire year of whatever might be linked to all the non-needle banned substances taken in an entire year.

Anyways, maybe if we throw a few hundred thousand drug users in prison, this will make things better for a few hundred or thousand other super hard core ones who will have to burn ten times as much money (due to being illegal) before they do in their liver.

(P.S. - If you do drugs, don't do a lot. Except maybe sometimes. But really not often. Just don't. A lot often does not work out well.)

If we are bending space time to blame Democrats for Trump, would not the easiest course be to go back one year and advise them to nominate anyone other than HRC? Any breathing politician as liberal (or more so!) but without her glaring self-inflicted wounds would have easily flipped the 78,000 votes that comprise Trump's winning margin.

Yes. Clinton was a truly awful candidate. The Democrats were delighted and confident they would win after the Republicans seemingly nominated a candidate that was actually worse than Clinton. They were wrong, she remained the worst candidate.

Really, JWatts? She is now 2.6 million votes ahead of Trump and still counting, a 2% lead. Looks like he lucked out with the Comey bit there at the end to put him over in those three surprise states, but she has pretty solidly whomped him in the popular vote.

"She is now 2.6 million votes ahead of Trump and still counting, a 2% lead."

Well that was good enough for second place in the Presidential election of 2016. What do you think second place is worth?

The above comment was snarky, so just ignore it.

She ran as the third term of a popular President with a decent economy and she lost to Donald Trump. So, yes, I stand by my comment that Hillary Clinton was a truly awful candidate.

The sandbagging of Bernie has the same roots as hatred of Trump: SocJus and globalism. The Dems can't change that.

Not with Bernie though. Surely with the other guy, Jim Webb I think he is called. That guy would have won without problems, although, as Jeffrey Tucker said, he looks like he's going to put me in jail. On the other hand, against Hillary any other Republican would have won. Actually, A great opportunity lost for Ran Paul.

Just read somewhere Joe Biden is considering running in 2020. He'll be really old then though. But obviously if the Dems hadn't been so Clinton focused he could have beaten Trump pretty easily.

I wonder if the years of preceding media coverage might have had any influence on your opinion of her.

If not, then probably a lot of people should get fired, because it's obviously what they were doing. Did they fail completely?

OK, now let's debate about how failing to orchestrate a Hollywood hero ending to Benghazi in a situation where she was not the authorized decision maker for deployment of forces was a horrible failure, but invading an entire country based on false information which resulted in a million civilian casualities is just ...

... duh, any thinking human being knows that HRC is the incompetent failure in the comparison of these two situations. (FYI, for the easily persuaded or programmed, I actually mean the opposite of that.)

In part this is a question about helping these communities but if you read the whole post it is also about checking or preventing Sanders and Sanderism. My main disagreement is simply with the view that a solution is difficult. It is not, rather most people are unwilling to accept the solutions on the table. In fact I have a more or less bulletproof two-part remedy. I’ll phrase it in backward-looking terms, but it is not hard to divine the forward-looking implications, noting that in the short term we have the president-elect we have no matter what. Here goes:

1. In 2012, have five percent of Republican voters switch their support to Barack Obama, so that Obama is re-elected. You don’t have to think Obama was a better president than Romney has been, but a Obama re-election almost certainly would have forestalled the rise of Sanders. The worse you think Sanders is, the more you should support this kind of “change we can believe in.”

If you don’t favor this retrospective change, you’re not very pragmatic (or you might really like Sanders), perhaps preferring to consume your own expressive views than to improve the world. That’s a common enough preference, and maybe it is even morally OK, but let’s recognize it for what it is: a deliberate lack of interest in solving the major problem before us, instead preferring to focus on your own feelings.

Cowen is blaming Trump on Democrats, typical of Republicans never taking responsibility for their own behavior. I complimented Duy's post several days ago; Krugman's reaction, to take it as a personal affront, is, well, Krugman being Krugman. Duy's most important, if obvious, point is that populist voters (in the mid-west anyway) want jobs, not government handouts, and that the Democrats' small-bore solutions (such as family leave) have little if any appeal. Cowen is right about Romney, but he's wrong about the year: in the weeks and months preceding the election, I commented several times that Romney's mistake was running in 2012 rather than in 2016. The Bush Republicans had made such a mess of things that even a black man could beat the Republican candidate in 2008; in 2012, Romney reminded voters of the mess that his banker friends had made of the economy. The question is whether Romney could have run a better campaign against Trump in 2016 than Trump's rivals and stood up to him? Unlike Trump's actual rivals, Romney had the advantage of success in both business and politics and wasn't simply an empty suit and did not carry the baggage of the Bush legacy. But what happened in 2016 is what I feared: populists on the right and populists on the left combining to elect a demagogue. The anger and resentment expressed on both sides overlap, and Trump exploited it. Usually reliable Democratic voters, including (especially) millennials, either voted for Trump or didn't vote at all, for many of the same reasons as populists on the right voted for Trump. That's the story of 2016. Cowen may be right (to blame Democrats), but he's right for the wrong reason.

Tyler played "two bad choices" so well that some readers were surprised when he finally leaned somewhat against Trump.

Too many played that game. They used false equivalence to protect their personal dignity, while letting "partisans" worry about the actual result.

I didn't comment on Cowen's suggestion, temperance, because it's so ridiculous: the nation is facing an emergency unlike any since December 7, 1941 (of course, today is the anniversary), and Cowen proposes temperance as the solution. Temperance, hell, I need a drink! Since Cowen seldom says what he means, I assume by temperance he means Americans need to take a sober look at what caused so many to support an ignoramus and demagogue for president. Fair enough. Maybe more opinion leaders should have been more vocal and direct about Trump and the unique risk he poses for the American experiment.

If you truly believe that Trump is equal to Tojo - which, by the way, is a refreshing change from the tired Trump=Hitler meme - you have a duty to engage in violent resistance, as cogently set forth in the article below. Of course you won't, because you don't actually believe that. Again, the real question is why is the anti-Trump so much more interested in loudly and ineffectively virtue-signaling as opposed to getting anything done?


As a Clinton voter, and still, a believer in Democracy, I see no justification for violence at this point.

To be honest, I see moves toward moderation, as well as worrying things in the same day. Trump meets with Gore. Flynn has to fire his own son for being a right wing nut job.

The danger with Trump was the chaos. This is the chaos. See also China, tariffs, etc.

"Again, the real question is why is the anti-Trump so much more interested in loudly and ineffectively virtue-signaling as opposed to getting anything done?"

They were doing that before the election, why stop now?

Right MOFO, anti-virtue won. Congratulations.

Trump is not Hitler or Tojo or Mussolini. He's Berlusconi. This was not a sure thing but it's clear now most of the crazy talk was a brilliant play to win the office. Now he's just gonna be a fairly typical rich guy Republican. rayward and others are really overdoing the complaining, exactly like the "Obama will destroy America" crowd.

A lot of us would like to break out of the two-party dynamic. The country would be vastly healthier if we could shake up the two-party system and provide people with something besides a binary choice.
Perhaps allowing Trump to be elected is a price worth paying if it gives us a chance of doing that.

Yeah, let's import Bloc Quebecois

It is possible to have a third voice without breaking the country apart.

The political and elections systems structure and freedoms which make possible the existence of an explicitly (but de facto not really quite any more) separatist party have probably done more in the long run to reduce overtly separatist sentiment in francophone Canada.

Stuff isn't obvious and stuff.

But maybe there's an example somewhere else where a harsh crackdown followed by intense political repressions (FLQ crisis lasted about a week, not a generation, and to be fair was in response to assassination of an ambassador - LET THERE BE NO DOUBT THERE WILL BE ORDER!!! - or "you you watch how far I'm wiling to go", as that pansy socialist loser said at the time) ... might just not be a good idea.

Anyways, you're practically seeped in Chinese-style paranoia to think that promoting the inclusion of a third voice would necessarily lead to the dissolution of the country.

Something that would help rural areas would be a modern rural electrification scheme, but with upgrades to cell phone and internet coverage funded by the federal government. I work from home, make an income that is roughly top two percent nationally, but am on the verge of moving to a city because the lack of good cell and internet is making my job difficult.

This is the infrastructure that matters.

If you were to move from your current rural location to a city, would it harm that rural area? Let's say, for instance, that lack of cutting-edge cell phone and internet service would require you to move. One negative might be that your home, should you sell it, might be of less value than with the infrastructure improvements. Whoever bought it would pay less for it, a benefit for them. If the improvements were made, you wouldn't move so the home value is a non-issue, except for tax assessment. Federal funding of rural infrastructure, like electrification, has been a boon to the rustics in the sense that taxpayers of the corrupt, evil city have been forced to fund the bucolic existence of their country cousins.

#2 -- Wow, good on you Tyler! I had a feeling there was some kind of outside-the-box quality thinking inside you. This is it. Very impressive.

I'm guessing you realize that the reason smoking vanished in the USA virtually overnight was political. Tobacco is grown in GOP states, and lawyers are Democrats. It was a war waiting to happen, and it happened, and the Dems won (thank God).

But there are no such partisan stakes when it comes to alcohol. Without that, how to we get drinking rates to plummet in the same way?

Thanks very much for this post.

'Tobacco is grown in GOP states, and lawyers are Democrats.'

The war on tobacco started this way, under a Democratic administration, back when the tobacco states were known for being filled with yellow dog Democrats, and lawyers were famous for wing tips and being Republican - 'On January 11, 1964, Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, released the first report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health.


During the more than 40 years that have elapsed since that report, individual citizens, private organizations, public agencies, and elected officials have pursued the Advisory Committee's call for "appropriate remedial action."

Early on, the U.S. Congress adopted the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965 and the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969. These laws—

* Required a health warning on cigarette packages

* Banned cigarette advertising in the broadcasting media

* Called for an annual report on the health consequences of smoking'


Smoking didn't vanish virtually overnight in the US. I live in a red state, and spend a lot of time outside of the small city that I live in, and smoking is widespread.

And a cursory look at the data on who smokes tells us quite obviously that Tyler's point about alcohol and culture is self-refuting, as he might say: those damned college-educated librul elites stopped smoking, but the poor most assuredly did not. So what way does the causality run?

This is preposterous and backwards. The decline in smoking did not happen overnight. It was slow and gradual. The only place it 'vanished virtually overnight' was on TV and movies, a number of public spaces, and (very tightly related) in its social acceptability among the affluent.

1) Tobacco has in no way been economically choke-slammed by politics. Phillip Morris is a $136b market cap company, Altria is a $128b co, and Reynolds/RJR is a $78b co. A portfolio consisting of those 3 companies would have beaten the S&P on 5-, 10-, and 15- year horizons. Phillip Morris and Altria aren't in the Dow-30 but are easily big enough that they could be (Goldman's market cap is $98b, Boeing is $94b, United Technologies is $87b, Nike is $85b). Tobacco is still a giant, giant industry. You just don't hear about it because it has no social cachet and is run from places like Winston-Salem, NC.

2) The headline-grabbing "War on Tobacco" was primarily just a grubby money-grab by state governments, who now make more money off tobacco than do the aforementioned colossal tobacco companies, who quite clearly do just fine in their newer place in the world. D's very much did win that war, but It never had anything to do with reducing smoking and always had everything to do with making sure that government and D groups like trial lawyers got a big piece of the tobacco pie.

3) The actual political war on tobacco was at the municipal level, and was a fight over to what extent tobacco use would be permitted in shared, public spaces and in legally private but practically public spaces like bars & restaurants. That fight was nominally over the health effects of second-hand smoke but was in reality about the aesthetics of second-hand smoke. Upscale non-smokers found smoking sufficiently repellent that they felt practically excluded from such spaces. Downscale smokers considered smoking bans to practically exclude them from the same spaces. The non-smokers obviously won that war, but again it was never about reducing smoking, only about whose aesthetics would rule public spaces.

4) Tobacco use has been massively downgraded in social acceptability, and that has much more to do with the (again, slow and gradual) decline in smoking than has any political action been. The political results were (to use Andrew Breitbart's phrasing) "downstream" of the social changes. This is the central premise of Tyler's point- achieving a comparable change in alcohol/drug use is first and foremost a social & status matter, not a matter of government policy (I'm a right-winger, but for a left-wing perspective google around for Ralph Nader's discussion about how shocked he was by the effectiveness of MADD w/r/t changing attitudes about drunk-driving). Remember that alcohol prohibition was achieved by constitutional amendment, which (by design) required a massive level of social consensus. Tyler's point is that you have way more control and sway over the social aspect than you do over the political aspect, and so if you personally want to "do something", that's where you should start

"Tyler’s point is that you have way more control and sway over the social aspect than you do over the political aspect, and so if you personally want to “do something”, that’s where you should start"

That's thoughtful. I'm not sure if Tyler meant it that way, but if he did, then his post is better than I thought at first. In either case, your comment is Good.

There exists a world beyond blind partisanship.

FYI, tobacco causes cancer.

"I liked this recent Tim Duy post, the one that is everyone is talking about."

I knew nothing about this post, so I wasn't talking about it. I suspect those who do and "are talking about it" are members of the same insular group that is desperate to find an answer for Trump that preserves their settled world view.

Trump is many things, some of them crass and crude, but he represents an optimism and energy that seems so distasteful to our progressive intellectual class (and those like Tyler who like its style even if not sharing its ideology). If you want to understand his appeal, watch his rallies, like the one in Fayetteville, NC last night. He has people energized, not to put progressives in detention camps, as many of the deluded think, but rather to dream big and fulfill those dreams. And not at the expense of others, but to invite others to join in. This is in line with the optimism of our founders, the optimism of Ronald Reagan. Borrowing from Reagan, Trump said "The best social program is a JOB!"

Libertarians (how I hate that word) live in their own political world, content with the correctness of their views, but having little impact on the fortunes of the nation and the world. The Trump presidency is sure to advance some defective ideas, but also opens up many possibilities for advancing the general cause of liberty and prosperity. Better to hop on and attempt to steer it in favorable ways, than to sneer from the sidelines (Don Boudreaux is one of the most glaring examples).

"Make America Great Again" is not optimistic if the associated policy proposals mostly work in the opposite direction (although the matter of always ignoring the losers in trade reform is certainly not a positive thing unto itself).

But I'm optimistic that he will not follow through on some of the dumber things that may have attracted votes.

Didn't we try Prohibition and have a huge temperance movement? How did that go and where was the economy in 1932 before it was repealed. Anyway isn't the level of drinking and drug usage down compared to 20 - 30 years?

Why not throw in mandatory Christian church attendance banning TV, internet and video games while your at?

Why not? If your number one cause is a solution to the growing underclass then all those solutions would likely help solve that issue. A true altruist committed to a solution would probally support those changes even at costs to himself.

Prohibition did after all have a significant positive effect on household savings and worker absenteeism.

"A true altruist committed to a solution would probally support those changes even at costs to himself."
Everyone hs jobs in Cuba or else... There re few people well-off, most are struggling so no one really feels left behind. Drug use is little to nothing (though it seems the regime made a killing with drug exports in the past). Little electricity so no television (except awesome Brazilian soap operas and lenghty old Castro's speeches) and videogames. Little access to the internet. A true altruist commited to a solution would probably support the Communization of the United States even at costs to himself.

If Ross Douthat social issues made such an impact how in the hell did Pat McCory lose in North Carolina with a Trump victory?

Trump won because of immigration, trade and TV news loved him. (Also throw the natural tendency for the US to elect a President in response the weaknesses of the last President.) HRC did poorly defending the last 30 years (especially the economy during her husband years) and the E-mails MATTERED more than Ds assumed.

Mandatory yoga classes would help re-unite the country. Is Trump or any of his entourage into yoga?

What's that expression about the worst of tyranny's being the ones undertaken under the cover of purporting to be for the benefit of another?

"It will be better for you if you live every little bit of your live in this exactly perfect way. Trust me ... you'll be happier if you just do every every little thing exactly how it must be."

"Just pretending to care is important. At a minimum, the electoral map makes it important."

Which is why the first instinct of people who really don't care, who actually hate caring, is to rewrite the map somehow.

I am having difficult seeing retrospective change to be a solution. If Romney had won, yes, the circumstances for a Trump win last november would not have occurred. But if we understand his victory as the result of sytemic problems across the West, then this only delays what was possibly inevitable. Moreover, Romney winning is a solution insofar as travelling back in time and killing Trump's great grandparents is a solution: It offers absolutely no value for how to go forward or how to prevent similar victories in the future. At best, it creates a challenging what-if thought experiment for progressives to ponder their values. In no way can it pose as a 'solution.'

As another commenter argued, it is not clear whether number 2 is a symptom or a cause, and I am inclined to think that drugs and alcohol are more a symptom of social decay. Surely they exasperate social decay, but would prohibition measures be enough of a boon to the midwest as to prevent a Trump victory? I am not convinced. For such an intelligent thinker as Cowen is, I am surprised he doesn't ponder this cause and effect aspect further.

To time travellers, remember that you never have to kill anyone. In this case, save Trump's brother.

I thought drugs were a sign of progress and technological advancement?

Oh, just the ones that are NOT basically free from nature and which do NOT pad pharma profits.

This might be the dumbest post Tyler has had. It all seemed reasonable (except for time travel), but then he said praise Islam. I understand that he means praise conservative values, especially when it concerns temperance, and I think these values should be raised in status. But let's just be honest, time travel is a more feasible solution than praising Islam for getting reasonable people into office. Did he watch the same campaign that everyone else did?

Tyler hate Christianity. Islam and Mormonism were mention explicitly as a jab Christianity which Tyler hates for let's say opaque reasons.

He's making an appeal to anti-authority.

A century has taught you little or nothing, Tyler, if you so readily say "temperance" when what you mean is "abstinence".

James Fallows is calling on Obama to speak out against Trump. https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/12/dear-mr-obama-you-are-still-the-president/509714/ Kathleen Parker is calling on electors, Democrats and Republicans, to elect either Romney or Kasich. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-electoral-college-should-be-unfaithful/2016/12/06/360f8f2c-bbfb-11e6-ac85-094a21c44abc_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.b64f941033fc I don't doubt that either would trigger a constitutional crisis in America. But what crisis do we face with Trump as president? Appeasement did not work with fascists in the 1930s, and it won't work today.

I agree brownshirts like rayward need to be shouted down and not allowed to peddle their poison.

Give him a break, ineffectual bloviation is all they have left.

You're off your meds.

Thanks for drawing attention to the worthwhile content.

He's bought into Kevin Williamson's caricature of non-metropolitan zones in this country. Small towns and rural areas in the Plains have been suffering for quite some time, as have some blocs of territory elsewhere (e.g. the southern half of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, the Mississippi Delta, and the Black Belt counties in Alabama and some other places. As for urban zones, the most prevalent problem is the neglect of law enforcement in slums. The metropolitan centers in persistently troubled circumstances due to sectoral shifts are a very modest share of the whole.

Drug abuse is a symptom. Good jobs are the cure. Welfare promotes drug culture as source of non-taxed, non-reported income. Good jobs are the cure. Families and communities are dissolving because men can't become good providers. Good jobs are the cure. On-the-job training has been replaced by scapegoating insufficient education. Good jobs are the cure.

"Arbeit macht frei "

Because government can just wave a magic wand and make good jobs appear in depressed rural areas where there's no rational reason to put a factory.

The DOW has rallied 1,000 points since Trump was elected.

So put the drugs in the formal system where it they are taxed (and thus controlled, more so than on the streets) instead of promoting laws which contribute to these negative cycles (in addition to funneling billions annually into organized crime).

1. What if a __% of Republicans just switched and voted for Hillary and prevented Trump? What if __% Republicans just switched and nominated someone else?

Well, then HRC or "someone else" continues on a trajectory that increases the number and anger of what would have been trump voters and they nominate him or someone else next time.

Well, then HRC or "someone else" continues on a trajectory that increases the number and anger of what would have been trump voters and they nominate him or someone worse next time.

Arnold Kling has an interesting idea: Disperse the Federal Government. Put dpt of energy in eastern KT, HUD and dpt of transportation in Detroit etc.

Why not? There could be better value for money in places where wages do not include huge premiums to cover cost of living.

Do these officials need to regularly interact with financiers, oil industry people or others, in order to have the basic awareness and knowledge to be effective in doing their job?

I don't think so. So why not do it?

TC's solution to Trump: Rust Belt Mormons.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fully approves of this idea.

I think Tyler has reached the "bargaining" stage of grief.

"We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. "


Whereas you are ready to say you fully own the Trump presidency?

Hate to think you want it both was, hippie punching and treating Trump as the loose cannon he is.

? Hippie punching I recognize as ultra-left slur against standard left wingers, but why on earth can't you both.

There were really only two choices in the past election. Of you hate on the losers, while denying responsibility for the winner .. I think that's called nihilism, at best.

A lot worse, at worst.

So basically you are a partisan Democrat who is committed to using the horrible logic of the two-party system to force people to vote for your shitty candidate.
Maybe you should come up with a better motivation to vote for your side than "the other side is worse and you only have two choices".

@Hazel: both sides did this. Almost every Trump voter's reasoning prominently featured the word 'emails'

I am an independent who made the correct decision. Heck, I voted for Cruz in the primary trying for anyone but Trump.

Msg, no strictly speaking and accurately, Trump voters did this.

The email issue was , in fact, a legitimately huge problem for Hillary Clinton. She was a shit candidate. A corrupt arrogant self-absorbed fool who thought the rules didn't apply to her. She was unworthy to serve as president and should never have been nominated. She should be hiding in a hole in the ground with a bag over her head, and probably serving time for mishandling classified data.

Hillary served a tour as Secretary of State. The only faults anyone found were that she kept her emails at home. That is actually a very good record.

@Hazel: sure, but you can say the same kinds of things about Trump

@anon: the 'this' I was referencing was 'the other side is worse and you only have 2 choices' thing. Hardly any Trump voters could justify their vote without saying something about how bad Clinton was. Both candidates were terrible.

That is just prolonging the false equivalence.

It's not false equivalence if they were both terrible candidates. Which they were. Not for the exact same reasons of course.

One was a bit too frumpy and uncharismatic, one was the least qualified And most unstable candidate in the last 100 years.


@anon: "That's just, like, your opinion, man"

I will say, you are right that charisma is a key thing here, she had none and Trump had plenty. It's not good that that's so important to win elections but that's how it goes, and it's always been thus. Leadership does need some of that.

one was the least qualified And most unstable candidate in the last 100 years.

The least qualified candidate in the last 100 years spent about 4 years working in law offices, was gifted a faculty position in Chicago but published no research, sat in legislative bodies for a dozen years while establishing his expertise in no area of policy, spent a couple of undistinguished years in Congress before running for President, but had showed his mettle as an executive by running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the ground. He wasn't on the ballot this year.

It's all so weird to me. This for example:

"If you don’t favor this retrospective change [Romney in 2012], you’re not very pragmatic (or you might really like Trump),"

I'm ok with Obama in 2012, and I voted for Hillary in 2016, and I think Trump is a con man, but he doesn't freak me out like he does most people. There's a small chance this could be a disaster, but also a small chance this could be the shake-up DC needs, and a pretty large chance this will be a garden-variety "big government conservative" reign, maybe not so different than Bush the Younger but (hopefully) without the wars.

But the chatterati, Tyler probably included and Duy definitely included, all start from the standpoint that this is already a trainwreck. Whatever.

Yes, that's pretty close to my position.

I didn't think the press treated Romney remotely fairly, but that doesn't mean the biggest reason for his loss was a weak campaign. And I was ok with Obama's win. I was firmly a 'Never Hillary' person, but wasn't willing to vote for Trump, so I voted for Gary Johnson.

Trump may or may not be a successful President, but America has a strong system and I have no fears that Trump will somehow run amok.

"but that doesn’t mean the biggest reason for his loss was a weak campaign."

That should have read: "The biggest reason for Romney's loss was a weak campaign."

+1 to both of you. I preferred Clinton to Trump but I'm no longer worried too much about him as president. It's still embarrassing but it won't be a disaster. And it should be good for my pocketbook.

In 2012, have five percent of Democratic voters switch their support to Mitt Romney, so that Romney is elected. You don’t have to think Romney would be a better president than Obama has been, but a Romney election almost certainly would have forestalled the rise of Trump. The worse you think Trump is, the more you should support this kind of “change we can believe in.”

[Redacted rude comment].

Look, Tyler, it's time for Republicans and conservatives, even those who don't like Trump, to take some responsibility for his rise and stop trying to argue that he is the Democrats' fault for nominating Clinton, or not electing Romney. That is ridiculous and insulting. Trump did not fall from the sky. The forces on the right that led to his nomination and election have been there for years, and he, or someone like him has been on the way for a while.

You want to blame Democrats? [Redacted rude comment repeated]. I blame "respectable" conservatives and Republicans, who stood by and watched and remained loyal and made no protest for years out of what I suppose you would call "mood affililiation." Now they are shocked.

The Democrats should nominate "more conservative" candidates? Well, they nominated someone who got about 2.5 million more votes than Trump. So maybe a solution is to start using a sensible system for electing the President. Would that change be hard to make? Of course, but no harder than your suggested temperance movement. Anyway, Douthat, whose views I don't find very incisive, notwithstanding, Clinton is hardly a wild leftist. Maybe the Republicans should have considered nominating a sensible candidate, instead of claiming that Democrats left them no choice but Trump.

It is sadly a pattern that Republicans do something stupid, and then fully excuse it with "Democrats should have stopped us."

George W. Bush invaded Iraq?

Hillary should have stopped him!

Looking at the 'balance' of power in Washington, im at a loss as to what stupid thing you think the R's did. You people who hate Trump with the fire of the sun are be-clowning yourselves. Most of us do not consider Trump to be an extinction level event, maybe the rest of you can come off the ledge a bit.

If Trump proves safely pragmatic I will rescend, but Guy leads with 35% tariff talk above. Neither safe nor pragmatic.

anon, it's still very early obviously but the markets recognize that at least so far he is being pretty pragmatic and toning down the crazy. The crazy was an election ploy and it worked.

This is still very much a black box, with very weird things normalized.

We accept his daughter on the transition, because of course he can't do it himself.

As I said above, he's still weird and embarrassing but he's at least toned down his worst stuff. He's not king, he can always be impeached, he's clearly just gonna try to make himself as much money as he can. We'll be fine.

Put it this way, he's the pilot of the plan and we are all passengers. We didn't want him there but we're in the air now and any signs we were wrong about how bad he might be are welcome ones.

"Duy" got spell corrected.

Open hatred for poor new deal whites is on the Dems. It is your fault.

I think the logic is more like blaming people for an over-reaction.

"Because you spoke against my racism, as a result I require more racism".

Sometimes it makes sense in a tug of war. But it seems in this case more to have evoked a stubborn ignorance revolving around the assumption that anyone who comes to America gets some special pleasure out of unemployment among those who are not willing to work for $5 an hour to shovel shit.

Mostly, it's just that employers don't want to pay $10 an hour for that. Which I think it worth talking about (maybe quite a lot). But a move toward monopoly or protectionism almost always ends up in tears, unless reflecting a situation where the aspect of more equal negotiating positions between two market actors outweighs the negative aspects of the shift towards monopoly in the first place..

Really, it might be a lot easier to address these people's concerns through explicit worker representation, whether through unions or political lobby organizations.

But their identity is "on the right", "republican", and what goes along with that is decades of programming that anything union is a) against the country and b) against them and c) inherently full of waste.

So they cannot consider the pathway that worked for the working class so many times before.

Clinton hates poor whites and advocates race based punishment, and the left foams at the mouth with their hatred of them.

Who's advocating for race-based punishment?

Personally, my active lack of respect for racist views does not imply that I hate poor whites. However, if those poor white people are racist, I will continue to actively disrespect their racist ignorance at the same time as being able to have degrees of compassion in understanding other challenges they face.

Never heard of disparate impact? It's all the rage.

Who is advocating? Oh I don't know... thought leader T. Coates, the entire academic left, BLM, and a substantial congressional caucus?

The naming of names does not imply that whatever was said before those names was true.

Be specific. Which "race-based punishment" are you talking about?

I blame “respectable” conservatives and Republicans, who stood by and watched and remained loyal and made no protest for years out of what I suppose you would call “mood affililiation.”

'Watched and remained loyal' is not how I would describe Paul Ryan's conduct this year.

So maybe a solution is to start using a sensible system for electing the President.

Well. You know. Ostensibly the electoral rules were the same for both candidates. So how come Trump won? How come Hillary didn't?

One answer is that she didn't play the game by the actual rules in place.

I do not believe that is Trump's fault.

So many terrible ideas, so little space to talk about them.
What rural and semi-rural communities need is not some federal program to create fake economic development and then vote for Republicans to mollify rural whites.
The best thing that could happen to them is to allow them to find their own economic destiny, which in many cases means a continuation of the long trend of urbanization. If there aren't jobs in rural areas, that's because there's not that much productive stuff to be done them. Move to the cities. We have welfare programs and jobs programs and neverending unemployment, and all it serves is to keep people trapped in poor rural areas when they should be moving to cities.
Stop trying to fight what the economy wants to do.

And guess what, when people move to cities, they tend to become more liberal. Problem solved. The real, underlying problem here is not the lack of rural development in the rust belt etc., it's the way we as a society, over the last 70-80 years have held up this notion that the government is going to solve this problem give people jobs, create jobs in places where it doesn't make economic sense to have jobs, and stop the natural decline and change. We give people false hope with this fantasy and that causes them to stick to economically irrational decisions, like continuing to live in Detroit or rural Michigan.

And when the excess population leaves the rural areas, the rural areas will be economically healthier for it. Fewer basket case slum communities, less drug and alcohol addiction. Maybe there will be larger urban slums, but again, people should go where the jobs are, and create their own jobs. Maybe they become artists and artisans. Maybe some guy who used to be a welder gets into making cast iron fencing and sells custom wrought-iron gates to rich people in California. Just stop trying to tell that guy that the government is going to create jobs in his community so he doesn't have to move. We don't need more fake jobs and fake growth, we need people to figure out how to do something that other people actually want.

Urbanization is the pattern in every developing country - it makes sense here too.

This is a good theme. Perhaps builder Trump will act against zoning and rent control that is ultimately self defeating?

Great, I heartily encourage to the Democrats to move in a more libertarian direction on economics. Perhaps now that that 3% of the vote (more than the margin of victory) is up for grabs, you'll decide that free trade is a good idea after all.

You have not been reading carefully at all.

If he loosens zoning the left will say he's giving him to corporations and gentrification. If he reduces rent control the left will say you've giving into wealthy landowners and is racist. Trump can't win, the left has no principles.

At a certain point on the scale the prospect of organizing and taking stuff by force becomes an option too.

Theoretically a lot of "new economy jobs" can be done remotely, for example in rural areas while taking advantage of lower prices.

But, the people with these skills are basically never the ones already located in rural areas.

"The speed of regional labor market adjustment to shocks is agonizingly slow in any area that lacks a critical mass of population."
You mean trade shocks here, don't you. You (progressives -- plural) never seem to notice what you might define as "monopsony shocks" -- the decent into wage depression caused by de-unionization.

Monopsony shock -- de-unionization shock: keep those phrases in mind.
"We don’t have answers for these communities. ...
A high school degree was not necessary to earn a living through logging or mill work, with wages roughly equal to $20 or $30 an hour in today’s terms."
We have a big (!) answer -- it's called making $10/hr low skilled jobs into $20 jobs -- if you want low skilled to show up for work. Surprisingly, doing it by de-unionization costs nothing directly and has mucho efficiency bonuses. It works like this:

45% of the US workforce pulls down $600 a week or (a lot) less. The 45% pull in only 10% of overall income.

The next 54% pull in 70%. Top 1% pull 20% -- up from 10% a couple of gens back.

A unionized bottom 45% could (could) squeeze 10% of overall income out of the next 54% by raising prices at Walmart or McDonald's. Take more radical measures for the 99% to squeeze back 10% from the top 1%.

The 99%'s unions wont think twice about resetting the 90% fed income tax on earnings over $2 million, say. Or whatever it takes.

Overall, the money is there -- and so is so much efficiency through reform. Less financialization, less (much less!) pharma price gouging, fewer pro-profit ed ripoffs. Enough union density puts an reform cop on ever corner.

Come to think of it enough unions is the only thing that can clear up the last of the US crime wave: the drug wars on impoverished neighborhoods streets.

How to, how to:

Our US labor market is the only modern, first world labor market where union busting happens -- doesn't exist over there as far as I know -- just not in the cultures (scabs; what's that?).

If there were no labor laws at all at the local or state level, nobody would doubt the power of individual states to make union busting a felony. Guess what? States can add to current (placebo level) federal protections just like states can add to the fed min wage, not subtract.

Easy then: progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV to cite one block) make union busting a felony -- and get out of the way of the first 2000 people in the phone directories. From there, it is a war of clear and hold -- on our way to becoming more like continental Europe (or even as exotic a labor market as, say, Canada).
"Just pretending to care is important. At a minimum, the electoral map makes it important."
In case electing Democrats is all progressives really, giving people back their ability to collectively bargain and full political (political financing and lobbying) would go a long way to neutralizing Republican dominance -- in case that is all most progressives really care about. They will sure look like they care about us.

Well, we've heard from the fellow on the SEIU payroll....

How are the higher equilibrium wages to be sustained in the long run if worker unions are not allowed to (or able to) negotiate on equal terms with the shareholder union?

Will have to remember to go back to the future the next time I'm in the poll booth.

How about the feds not allowing locals to restrict any building that would increase density so that they could more easily move to the cities that are doing well?

You want Washington to make local zoning rules?

low density zoning could be considered interference with interstate commerce, like a tariff betweens states.

Maybe that could help market the idea, or broaden people's thinking when considering related stuff at the local level. But I highly doubt it'd fly as suggested.

Whoever wrote this needs remedial lessons.

Tyler thinks the easy solution is to travel through time or that rust belt communities will respond positively to praising Islam. So he is either trolling or starting to become senile. I'm betting he is trolling and not serious. What do you think?

The rust belt/Appalachia is actually a very beautiful and interesting part of the country. What the federal government should do is create a couple dozen small national parks at some of the best sites and open up more tourist destinations/opportunities in the area.

There already are lots of national and state parks all over the area. And actually I agree, the area is probably better left to develop into a recreational and vacation area. They don't need factory jobs, they need artesianal cheese makers and small craft distilleries.

Outside the 3 most bulbous cities, the Rustbelt has a population of about 53 million. You anticipate quite a lot of cheese and beer production.

Well, as noted elsewhere, I think a lot of these people need to move to where the jobs are.
Maybe at one time, it made sense to locate factories in inland locations, but nowadays, it makes sense to locate them near large shipping ports. The Great Lakes really only work as shipping ports to Canada and the Northeast. Not efficient for global shipping or really huge ships, or even shipping to the West Coast.

Transportation is a minimal cost, especially compared to labor, which is less expensive in the rust belt or midwest. Are there factories being built in major coastal cities because they are near a shipping port despite higher labor costs? This is news to me.

A little less racist or it'll never fly ... imo

Even though those will never be the ones who get into the tourism jobs where one must suffer through interactions with brown people, people with accents, people with funny clothes and various other traumatic experiences ...

Those brown people with funny accents and funny clothes will probably pick up on the more general atmosphere.

In time, it'll probably go in the direction you suggest though.

Oh WOW. You must have watched too many reruns of deliverance.

There are lots of parks in Appalachia but as a retire I can tell you that in the last 10 years or so U.S. national park attendance has skyrocketed especially from visitors from other countries. Travel companies have set up bus day trips and others have set up longer trips and more exciting adventures. The small towns near a park are booming, millions and millions of dollars being spent. All kinds of jobs and business opportunities. Appalachia is a beautiful place it needs to market itself. The federal government could do this in a heartbeat and it wouldn't even require congressional approval. I'm not talking about million acre parks but a larger number of smaller but very attractive sites would do it. I can guarantee you that there are organizations that have already identified candidates and other organizations that could drum up support for it. It could be a game changer and they don't even need to work in dirty mines or pollute the rivers to do it.

I mean the other 90% of the world, whose tourism dollars might not yet be met with a welcome face by at least some people in those parts.

I'll suggest two things.

First is hold Democrats to a higher standard. Detroit and Chicago are both democrat run cities. They are an illustration of the failure of the divide and conquer, the interest group and racial politics. Why wasn't Obama asked to account for Detroit and to convince us why his policies would lead to a different end?

Why wasn't an inner city school administrator quoted saying some blitheringly stupid thing, and it blared across the airwaves for days? Why wasn't the regulatory policies that are closing opportunities for much of the country publicized and decried?

Pelosi said many things that only could come out of the mouth of a rich white bitch. Why wasn't she pilloried for it? Why is she house leader of the Democrats?

Democrat politicians are a sleazy, vile and deserving of hanging as Republican ones. Hold your scum to account. Please.

Second, Humiliation.

I'm not in the US, but hoping for a Trump win. It was pure unadulterated non chemically induced pleasure to see the Republican political establishment humiliated. A whole generation of political operatives will never work again in the industry. Good riddance, they were a vile infection on the body politic.

What is with this family dynasty stuff? Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, then another Clinton? The Republicans wanted another Bush? Good heavens, do you really want the cross eyed inbreds running your country? Gone. This is good.

Hillary hates half the country, condemned as deplorable 3/4 of the US population. She wanted desperately a constitutional amendment forbidding criticism of her. The email stuff was appalling; profound disdain mixed with incredible incompetence. She campaigned on dividing the population into ever smaller slices and setting them up against each other. She lost to a carnival barker with negatives a mile long.

She should be ashamed of herself, and Democrats should wear paper bags over their heads.

The stupidity evidenced in 2008 where a mixture of over confidence, incompetence, and the assurance that nothing could go wrong wasn't corrected. And here we are.

Be humiliated. Take it as discipline that only a free democracy can deliver; safe, painful and can be ignored only at your peril. The smart people in the US all got a cold fish across the side of their heads.

By the way, how the Democrats are reacting right now, if continued, will almost guarantee Trump organizing his second inaugural four years from now.

Good heavens, do you really want the cross eyed inbreds running your country? Gone.

Who do you fancy is a cross-eyed inbred?

"Hillary hates half the country, condemned as deplorable 3/4 of the US population." I really love how the Neo-Nazis got the Trump trick of inventing their own reality. "At a fundraiser, she suggested that as many as half of GOP rival Donald Trump's supporters belonged in what she labeled a 'basket of deplorables'" Trump did not even get half of the votes of the half of the elegible voters (they themselves are not the whole country) who actually vote. So actully she didn't even call a fifth of the country "deplorable", but who cares about fcts when one can heil Trump.

The neo nazi talk is just dog whistle violence advocation against poor whites. If you mention rape in islam, aids in gays, work preferences in sexes, iq at all, wanting penises out of elementary girls bathrooms, crime in black communities, you are deplorable, a nazi, and nazis should be killed. Total coincidence about most of those people being "fucking white males".

Yeah, until liberals start addressing these glaring discrepancies to their carefully constructed worldview they will continue to lose credibility, and slurs against the insurgents won't work. Sailer et al. are only gaining influence.

I guess "insurgent" sounds better thn "liar" even if the latter is a better description of people who tell the 3/4 lie.

"Sailer et al. are only gaining influence."
Really? Has he been seen heiling Trump, too? It is seems popular sport among people "gaining influence" nowdys.

America, the country that protected and spoiled SS officers is the last Fascist regime left on Earth. Shame on you, America.

For starters, I think it's bloody creepy that you're so obsessed with penises in girl's bathrooms (no known transgender abuse cases in bathrooms EVER in the feared adult male young girl situation, correct?) ... and focused on rape as something only related to one specific religion and not something that is pretty much more of a human issue than an Islamic issue - lines have been redrawn in recent decades, for example.

If you have anything constructive for really good ideas about crime in black communities, I'm sure no one wants you to shut up. But if all you have to say is crime in black communities crime in black communities crime in black communities crime in black communities crime in black communities crime in black communities over and over again, then I'm not sure how someone could see that in a different light than the one you don't want them to see it in.

"So actully she didn’t even call a fifth of the country “deplorable”,"

Oh, only a fifth you say? Well that's perfectly ok then.

Instead of47%, you mean or the 3/4 the liar above claimed? It is funny when the truth annoys you more than a known lie.

My comment was meant sarcastically. I understand that derek's "as deplorable 3/4 of the US population" was an exaggeration. In reality Hillary merely condemned 1/4 of the voters as 'deplorables'.

However, Thomas Taylor's response was far worse. "I really love how the Neo-Nazis got the Trump trick of inventing their own reality. "

It's not the 'truth' that annoys me. It's the childish tactic of calling your opponent a Nazi. Instead of admitting that Clinton's usage of 'deplorables' was stupid, elitist and a blunder of a comment, Thomas Taylor doubled down by pedantically insisting that derek was a Neo-Nazi who invented his own reality.

America, that hosted and protected SS officers instead of handing them to the proper interntional authorities, has become a para-Fascist regime, not so unlike Hitler's, morally speaking.

America doesn't hold a candle to Brazil. As always Brazil did it much better than the US.

"Find out how and why South American countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile became safe havens for thousands of former Nazi party members and SS officers in the years following the fall of the Third Reich."

"German prosecutors who examined secret files from Brazil and Chile discovered that as many as 9,000 Nazi officers and collaborators from other countries escaped from Europe to find sanctuary in South American countries. Brazil took in between 1,500 and 2,000 Nazi war criminals, while between 500 and 1,000 settled in Chile. "

"Gustav Wagner, an SS officer known as the “Beast,” died in Brazil in 1980 after the country’s supreme federal court refused to extradite him to Germany because of inaccuracies in the paperwork. "

"Perhaps the most notorious of the fugitives was Dr. Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” who conducted macabre experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp. He fled to Argentina in 1949 before moving to Paraguay in 1959 and Brazil a year later. Buried under an assumed name after drowning off the Brazilian coast in 1979, Mengele had his identity confirmed only after forensic testing of his remains in 1985."

Brazil hosted the Angel of Death for the last 20 years of his like. While America had to make do with some Rocket scientists. The lures of São Paulo were obviously too great for America to attract the top quality talent.


Just to re-iterate:

Thiago Ribeiro - "America, that hosted and protected SS officers instead of handing them to the proper interntional authorities"

"died in Brazil in 1980 after the country’s supreme federal court refused to extradite him to Germany because of inaccuracies in the paperwork. "

TR, that was some truly masterful trolling on your part. My hats off to you.

Mengele was hiding from the Brazilian government, not being hired by it, and he was looking forward to retirement, not a well-paid government job doing what had landed von Braun his previous job... SS Major. Our government would never deliberately import thousands of Nazis, including SS officers, no matter which selfish benefits we could get from it.

"Extradition requests from Israel en Germany did not have to be considered as Wagner committed suicide in early October 1980, under circumstances which have not yet been fully clarified."

I will never understand why we are so hated when our Fatherland is the light of the world, the salt of Earth..

I think you forgot California, Hazel's shining city on a hill.

I was kidding. California is sort of a stand in for "coastal urbanized area". Just move somewhere where there are jobs.

Relocation assistance would be way, way, better idea than skills retraining.

Adjusted for cost of living the coastal states are much worse off than the midwest, where unemployment is generally low.


So what are all these midwestern white people bitching about then?

1) That they don't like being made fun of and told what to do by a bunch of weirdos and cosmopolitans from the city who don't know a bean from a bunny turd. Case in point, being told to "move where the jobs are" when they can see 1) unemployment is higher in the city 2) living standards are lower, cost of living is higher 3) you end up working harder for less. They don't want what happened to the city to happen to them, so they are attempting to thwart the problem at the pass before it gets get to their gate.


They didn't bitch, they voted, now they are celebratin'.

@Lanigram: how much longer of Trump proving to be a pretty typical business elite Republican before they stop celebratin' and start cryin' they wuz duped?

Wrong level of government. imo.

This is almost literally incomprehensible. I guess the point is: "Liberals need to vote for libertarian conservatives to make sure there are enough votes to beat Trumpian populists". Behind that must be "There is no solution, so we have to keep denying political power to the obsolete, and make no attempt to solve their problems".

Good luck with that. Also: you're a crackpot. Also: the problem with populism is the authoritarianism, so a better move is for liberals to support fusion with non-autocratic right-populists against libertarian conservatives. Fuck "there is no solution". Ban automation. Force companies to surrender automation technology that progresses beyond an arbitrary standard. Create a global treaty to this effect. Halt the motor of the world. Stop the bleeding. Stop the defeatism. Fight the trend. Technological advancement is not a law of history, but humans making choices. Prevent them from doing so.

Ban automation. Force companies to surrender automation technology that progresses beyond an arbitrary standard. Create a global treaty to this effect. Halt the motor of the world. Stop the bleeding. Stop the defeatism. Fight the trend. Technological advancement is not a law of history, but humans making choices. Prevent them from doing so.

So the alt-right is now openly advocating luddism. This is a new kind of bizarro world hilarity.

Hazel you are tone deaf. Glasnost is not on the alt-right. He's on the Left.

Shit. it's a Green-brown alliance this time.

There are ignorant racists on the left too.

How shall we group these people together?

Clearly, there is nothing "right wing" about the "alt right". (For economic policy, it's basically all the opposite of right wing, except for reducing some streams of crumbs handed out to meet the basic needs of the less fortunate)

So, I think it's fair to lump any and all ignorant racists together with the "alt right", unless, of course, out of respect for self identification and respecting the right of people to define themselves, we should allow racists who do not wish to be associated with the "alt right" to explicitly separate themselves from both the term and the people linked to it.

What qualifying factor is needed to be considered as "alt-right" other than various negative things to say about minorities?

Is there a coherent grouping of policy positions (outside of "get the brown people out") that has been brilliantly kept under cover since the origin of the term?


This idea is, frankly, horseshit. "Liberal elites" are not the only ones who enjoy an occasional drink. Suggesting that non-elites are incapable of indulging in moderate drinking, or even moderate use of other substances, is about as condescending as the phrase "low-skilled" (and I think Duy has an excellent point about that one). We tried alcohol prohibition in this country in the 1920s, we've tried drug prohibition since then, both were miserable failures. I know this is not EXACTLY what Tyler is suggesting - he's talking more about social norms - but still.

Somehow, we've survived with alcohol being a prominent part of Western culture basically forever, and yet the masses have generally done quite well for themselves in the past century so, current problems notwithstanding. Substance abuse rates are high in certain, specific, communities that face certain disadvantages; this is problematic, but not fatal, or new.


A) I can see the logic behind the argument about Romney, but right now we simply do not have enough information to make this call. Yes, the early signs for the Trump administration are looking pretty awful. But we don't know what's going to happen. Maybe Trump is a non-fatal disaster that nevertheless gets us to wake up and solve our problems, whereas with Romney we would have just muddled along a bit longer (at best; while I think Romney is a decent guy with mostly-moderate instincts, I doubt he'd have had the spine or political capital to stand up to Republican extremists in Congress).

I'm not saying Tyler is wrong about this; he could very well wind up correct. But right now we simply do not have enough information to determine that 4-8 years of Romney > 4 years of Obama + 4 years of Trump (could be 8, of course - whether Trump is re-elected will play a part in this calculus). There are any number of scenarios in which this is not true, and while Tyler could well be be proven right about this, the level of confidence he expresses in this opinion is entirely too high.

B) "Democrats need to run more conservative candidates, including those with a more conservative cultural garb." In certain places? Absolutely. The Democrats never should have abandoned Howard Dean's 50-state strategy. The bench is entirely too thin now; the party needs to connect with more, and a wider array of, voters.

But at a national level? For the Presidency? No. Two things:

-HILLARY CLINTON RECEIVED MORE VOTES THAN DONALD TRUMP. The difference in this election was fewer than 100,000 votes in three states. You would think that, if cultural liberalism were such an anathema, culturally liberal candidates would, I don't know - have hard time winning the popular vote. Yet they do, again and again.

-The most popular politician in America today is....President Barack Hussein Obama. Who is a half-black college professor from Chicago, a self-described feminist who has nominated liberal Supreme Court justices and supported marriage equality and criminal justice reform, who has implemented a variety of policies firmly in keeping with the mainstream center-left. Obama is no more conservative, culturally or otherwise, than Hillary Clinton. Does anybody seriously doubt that, if Obama were able to run for a third term, he would have won?

Hillary Clinton lost because she was a shit candidate. She was a shit candidate for reasons that were largely specific to her. Now, I don't mean to let the Democrats off the hook here: there were plenty of signs that she was a shit candidate, and the fact that the Democratic Party mostly ignored them reflects quite poorly on its institutional status. Still, liberalism did not lose the Democrats this election. Cultural liberalism did not lose the Democrats this election, either.

I'd argue two things stand out in losing this election for the Democrats. One was Hillary's personal baggage which, as I've noted, was quite specific to her. Two was a certain institutional myopia on the part of the Democratic Party. Note that this is not the same thing as "liberal elites living in a bubble." It is simply this: the party should have realized that Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate to begin with, and an especially bad candidate for our current political moment.

I'm not a Democratic insider, and so I can't say precisely why they didn't realize this. But going forward, I don't think the answer is more conservatism, cultural or not. Nor is the answer a full-on embrace of Sandersian left-wing populism, though I think emphasizing certain aspects of the party's economic message a bit more probably couldn't hurt. I think the answer is something like - and this is admittedly inchoate - building a more national party, which may mean more conservatism in some places, but also more liberalism in others, while simultaneously emphasizing a patriotic message of unity. Racial, gender, ethnic - and economic (and note that "white men" are also a race, a gender, and an an ethnicity). More focused on commonality, and a positive vision of patriotism, than on difference. The Clinton campaign made gestures in this direction with the "Stronger Together" stuff, but couldn't really pull it off. I actually think Obama's '08 campaign is a decent blueprint, though you obviously can't fully recreate the magic. You've got to do it bit-by-bit.

If combined with a real national, political strategy, focused on building out the party's currently-pathetic presence in local and state governments, this would have the advantage of building a thicker bench - a real problem right now. The Democrats don't need to become more conservative, or to abandon cultural liberalism. They need to develop a more cohesive, unifying message, and not nominate Hillary Clinton again.

+1, overall for some good points.

The answer for the Republicans winning the White House was not for them to become a Democrat Lite party and the answer for the Democrats winning the White House will not be for them to become a Republican Lite party. Both parties already have a lot in common, though they don't so much fight for the middle as both orbit it from opposite sides. The distinctions between the parties are important and it's good that we have the dynamic tension.

That being said, there's one significant flaw in the Democratic party that favorable media coverage has allowed them to ignore. They are devolving into a regional party instead of a national party. Yes, they got more of the popular vote, but that's largely because California is both very large and Left leaning. However, if you remove just the state of California the popular vote flips.

National Vote: Clinton 65.5 million versus Trump 62.8 million
National Vote without California: Trump 58.3 million versus Clinton 56.8


Not that California doesn't count. It does and the results stand.

However, the Democratic party has become a party of the North East and West coast with a Chicago enclave. It's not just the Presidential politics that matter. The Democrats are down to 18 out of 50 state governorships and 31 out of 99 state legislatures.

JWatts: I agree 100% that the Democrats need to focus heavily on winning local and state elections.Their strategy over the past 4-6 years seems to have been something like "rely on demographics to carry us to victory in Presidential races and.....?" This was colossally stupid, and frankly that fact should have been apparent well before the 2016 election. But that's more of a nuts-and-bolts party organizing thing than a liberalism-conservatism thing.

"But that’s more of a nuts-and-bolts party organizing thing than a liberalism-conservatism thing."

I think it's more profound than merely party organizing. The Democratic party didn't suddenly forget how to handle local organizing in the last 20 years. Indeed, most of the evidence I've seen indicates that they've gotten better at it. Indeed, the Obama campaign was famed for how well their organization ran.

I'm not sure it's a "liberalism-conservatism" thing either. But whatever it is, the Democratic party is on the cusp of becoming a regional party. And even though I'm a libertarian leaning conservative, I consider that a bad thing. America needs the dynamic tension of (at least) two strong parties.

Eh, it wasn't that long ago that the Reps had no chance to compete nationally. Can't read too much into this crazy election between 2 awful candidates. All the Dems have to do is dial back on their most egregious stuff, just like the Reps do/did. Also nominate people who aren't loathed.

"Eh, it wasn’t that long ago that the Reps had no chance to compete nationally. Can’t read too much into this crazy election between 2 awful candidates."

msgkings, I think you underestimate how poorly the Democrats are doing at the state level. The problem isn't the Presidential election, where they are doing fine. The problem is their success at that level is masking their issues elsewhere. Democrats are doing better at the Federal level than they are at the State level.

"Democrats went into this election controlling the governorship, Senate and House in just seven states -- that was their lowest number since the Civil War, when there were 15 fewer states. Now, they control just five states."
---- http://www.governing.com/topics/elections/gov-republicans-add-dominance-state-legislatures.html

"Democrats have "lost more than 900 state legislators" since Barack Obama has been president. " This was a comment from Cokie Roberts before the election. It's worse now.
---- http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/jan/25/cokie-roberts/have-democrats-lost-900-seats-state-legislatures-o/

I do think the Democratic party can recover. But they need to make some significant changes to their direction and message. Re-electing Nancy Pelosi to House Leader and potentially electing Keith Ellison to head the DNC don't seem to be addressing that. Granted, it's early and they're still in shock.

One problem is we are both influenced by where we live, if I recall from a post of yours you live in deep red Tennessee and I live in a deep blue state. But yes they need to make some big changes, and they will because that's where the votes are. The Republican party per se didn't actually win the presidency, Trumpism did.

Regional party is maybe correct, but the regions they control have more people and do most of the heavy lifting in terms of GDP.

Yeah I don't know if organizing is the right word - although the Obama campaign being good at organizing doesn't really go against the Dems being OK at a national level, but having problems at local and state levels. It was a national campaign.

Anyway, I'd guess the thing we are talking about it is...some kind of combination of recruitment and resource allocation? I don't really know what you call it, exactly.

I don't have a very strong opinion on Pelosi and/or Ellison. Pelosi is the sort of person that is easy for Republicans to scapegoat, but I think both roles hinge more on 'insider' stuff - dealmaking, organizational abilities, balancing different constituencies within the party - than on public perception. And I don't know enough about either of them to have an informed view on that.

The democrats lost to Donald Fucking Trump, a reality TV star with even higher unfavourable ratings than the losing candidate. Maybe you should think about that before declaring that everything is fine and what Democrats need is more of the same, but next time even more of it.

Since you raise the specific question of "low skilled", I would like to ask your opinion of any better alternative.

Clearly, an employer regards a high school dropout differently from a PhD holder. It is useful to be able to distinguish between these two groups (or more group).

Most often, this is in the firm of a threshold which separates between "high skilled / low skilled" or "high qualified / low qualified" (it should high "highly qualified", but for consistency with "low qualified", which also isn't that amazing using "highly".

So you can draw attention to the difference in labour market-relevant skills. Which leads to "low skilled".

Or you can draw attention to the difference in educational attainment. which lead to "low qualified" or often even "UNqualified" despite, say 10 years of education.

So, how should a "liberal elite" communicate the difference between skill levels without using language which a) communicates lack of respect or b) which may perpetuate an elitist perspective conducive to not seeing capacity and potential in those with lower qualifications (or fundamental abilities, even)?

(I make this decision in perhaps some half dozen or so published translations or editing projects a year so ... your input would be actually appreciated.)

The general objective being to ensure, zero negotiability, accurate communication of the underlying data and statistical concepts, etc., while preferring language which opens up to potential and progress as compared to that which boxes people into labels and various categories for the fact of present situations.

That's a good question. Low-qualified sounds OK to me. Maybe "low-certification" or something like that? "Low-employability," maybe?

I mean, really, I don't think the term "low-skill" is widespread enough outside of economics discussions to be all that relevant politically, but I think Duy brings up an interesting point in that it does carry an undercurrent of...dismissiveness.

Is point two satire or something? TC says he has simple solutions that don't rely on people being reasonable and then the proposes a nation wide voluntary temperance movement?

The reasons the republicans won is that they are the party of assholes. Assholes care more about getting what they want--which is usually money and power--than normal people, which is why they are more willing to do things that break norms and rules, more willing to hurt others to get what they want. Think about the 4 main factors that lead to the current republican dominance in the government. Notice how they are all anti-democratic and violate the norms of common society. 1. Gerrymandering.In 2010 there was a very conscious effort to redraw congressional maps to favor Republicans. 2. Voter suppression legislation. The recognized in the obama election that they were fast becoming a minority party and they did everything the could to suppress democrat votes. 3. Obstruction. 6 years of explicit obstructionism putting the welfare of the party over the welfare of the country. 4. Lie and inflame. On of the foundation tactics of the modern republican party is to propagandize and inflame low information voters. Trump took it to a new level. Even his supporters can recognize that Trump is the definitive asshole.

I think the democrats have to play the same game until there is a stalemate, at which time new rules can be negotiated. We all know what happens when you give into assholes.

The reasons the republicans won is that they are the party of assholes. A

The more you lie to yourself, the less effective you'll be. So, for the sake of my confederates, I'll suggest you keep it up.

Refute my argument. Tell me how obstructionism, vote suppression, gerrymandering, and populist propoganda and lies are not anti-democratic. Explain to me how these are not things the Republicans did.

If refuting your argument involves treading into territory which might be conducive to doubting traditional Repulblican orthodoxy, the free thinker you are speaking with will turn to cute insults instead of debate.

"obstructionism, vote suppression"

There are no indications that Republicans blocked legitimate voters from voting on election day to any significant extent. Indeed, Jill Stein's recount in Wisconsin is resulting in Trump gaining votes.


The Republicans certainly engaged in this. And so did the Democrats. Both parties have engaged in the practice for their entire history. It's a longstanding practice. Indeed, the very first Congress of the US was gerrymandered.

"In Hunt vs. Cromartie (1999), the Court found that a redrawn 12th was constitutional because it was legal partisan gerrymandering -- designed to create a safe Democratic seat -- rather than illegal racial gerrymandering."

"populist propoganda"

There's nothing anti-democratic about populist propaganda. It's pretty much guaranteed as Freedom of the Press.

"and lies "

Both sides engaged in both propaganda and lies.

The problem with your whole argument is that you want one side to be treated different than the other. Both sides followed the same rules and one side won and the other lost.

Fundamentally Art Deco is correct. If Democrats keep complaining about how their side was "cheated" and refuse to address the serious weakness of the modern Democratic party, then they'll continue to lose.

Thank you for at least trying to refute the argument.

There are all kinds of indications Republicans tried and succeeded in supressing votes. A district court ruled that N. Carolina's new voter laws were unconstitutional and targeted african americans with "surgical precision." The list goes on and on.

Both sides do gerrymander and it is anti-democratic. The republicans have used computers to precisely draw their district lines and all over the country have won seats while losing the popular vote. Quite a few district courts have ruled--the latest in Wisconsin--that the redistricting in 2010 was unconstitutional.

I do not want one side to be treated different than the other. I want both sides to not be assholes and put the country above their personal needs for power and respect the democratic norms that make this country (sort of) work. I do not want to live in a banana republic. And both side are not equally guilty of anti-democratic behavior. The republicans of the past 10-15years have been way more anti-democratic, just counting the obstructionism and the voter suppression alone.

You did not deal with the 6 years of egregious obstructionism.

I do not w

Your best argument is that partisan propoganda is not unconstitutional. It is anti-democratic. Without correct information the voter has no valid basis on which to vote. In addition, the Republicans, aided by conservative media (or visa versa) have taking it to extreme level. And then we have Donald Trump, who can't go five minutes without uttering a lie.


"Your best argument is that partisan propoganda is not unconstitutional. It is anti-democratic. Without correct information the voter has no valid basis on which to vote. In addition, the Republicans, aided by conservative media (or visa versa) have taking it to extreme level. "

The Democrats and the Left in general are just as bad. Your mood affiliation just keeps you from recognizing it.

Yes, I know you don't see that. It's a classic aspect of mood affiliation. When your side misbehaves, you rationalize it as relatively minor and infrequent. Whereas when the other side does it, it's egregious and they do it all the time!

But trust me, people on the other side, believe exactly the same thing.

"You did not deal with the 6 years of egregious obstructionism."

Do you think the Republicans in Congress should have done whatever it took to compromise with Obama and thus to craft bipartisan legislation?

Do you think the Democrats in Congress should do whatever it takes with Trump to craft bipartisan legislation?

If your answer isn't the same to both questions, then your are holding the two sides to different standards.

"There are no indications that Republicans blocked legitimate voters from voting on election day to any significant extent."

Duuuh. If you block their access to documents they need to vote, they will not be in the category of "blocked legitimate voters". By definition! And you believe your own lies because of some fancy word trick!

"Both sides engaged in both propaganda and lies."

There's a difference between a period of obfuscation about Clinton's email server and Trump's daily outrageous lies, often lies about lies that he was recorded saying just the day before.

Funny thing is, Republicans won AND Trump won, and guess whose still whining about cheating? The party on the wrong side of a suspicious recount!

This is a reply to your reply below. For some reason there was no reply button below.

"But trust me, people on the other side, believe exactly the same thing."

I remind myself of this often. The problem is just because both sides think the other is crooked, doesn't make each side equally crooked. Just calling everything mood affiliation, which I admit to at times, is nice trick. You don't have to give any evidence, rebut any facts, you just say, your wrong.

Try rebutting my statements with actual facts.

Can we please stay within the realm of the possible?

1. No one has a time machine, and if they did it's not clear that it's possible to change the past (or that doing so might not yield catastrophe
2. As far as booze and drugs go, they are largely symptoms not causes-- you need to treat causes not symptoms. Moreover opioids are not street drugs primarily-- they are prescribed for generally valid reasons-- they happen to be very good at treating pain. (Last month I had a oxycodone Rx when I had surgery on a broken metatarsal bone). For a small but non-trivial number of people these drugs become addictive. There's no way to tell that in advance, but we are not going to move to a regime of denying people en masse effective pain medication. As far as praising Mormonism goes, that will earn weird looks Praising Islam will earn you accusations of treason and terrorism.

1) If the past had been different the present would be different.

Dreaming aside, what's the use in that? In the future, people will not preferred their unpreferred candidate out of concern that backlash by those in opposing camps will be reduced as a result. They might accept some middle ground compromises (and obviously there is to be no compromise with those who would seek to shift the middle ground as a matter of intentional strategy in such regards, as that is manipulation, not compromise) to reduce the potential for backlash in some future electoral situation.

But, I repeat, will surely not prefer their unpreferred candidate for the fact of what backlash may result if their preferred candidate goes all the way on fulfilling stated commitments on different issues.

Between Trump and Sanders' popularity, clearly Americans have a degree of openness to ideas that could not have reached any sizeable audience 20 years ago.

Namely, the kneejerk (socialism= murderous Stalism) programming is significantly reduced (it is possible to have socialist aspects without murdering million of people in the process, as has been proven many many times over already, but let's talk Pol Pot why don't we, because that's really related to the lessons we can learn from, say, Denmark or Canada).

And, while I think Trump's speech has brought out the ignorant xenophobic expressions at the maturity level of a 12 year old who never got disciplined, in time the ability to directly face these issues for the fact of them being brought to the fore for open discussion may ultimately be better.

For those who do not share my Godly white skin (by which lack of melanin I define my entire being and wish to build a nation of similarly melanin-deficient compatriots), in the meantime, things might not be that pleasant ...

" Again, you might like your evening glass of wine, or joint, but that is also like the wealthy seeking to keep their tax cuts."

Unlike keeping my tax cuts, keeping my evening joint doesn't have the direct consequence of forcing the government to tax someone else to meet operating expenses. The analogy isn't particularly apt at all.

And since a significant portion of the "drug problem" comes from people who steal and abuse the medication of others, how would his plan eliminate substance abuse rather than merely shift it even more toward fraud & theft?

Live in the middle of nowhere, and what a manufacturing job? Make something, and sell it on the internet.

You're welcome.

That's what I told the Africans, but they didn't have enough money to open up a bank account let alone upscale production ...

Innovator centres and other public supported endeavours can be useful even if for scale reasons being not practical.

You don't need one for every town or 200. A handful across an entire state that is largely rural could help to connect innovative people with materials, people and other stuff that's useful for invention, innovation, etc.

I'm not sure if it'd be a good bet for a private investor, but the government is able to recoup future gains through taxation so there's good reason to believe that, in some situations, this is wise and "profitable" for the government even when no business could ever earn a profit by offering the service.

"praise islam" bc anti-alcohol?
yeah, Tyler, that's why islamic countries are so much more productive than countries w/ a drinking culture like japan, italy, etc.
please see your neurologist

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, by a lot. If we get rid of the easily hackable electronic voting machines, undo some voter suppression, get more Dem voters out to the polls, combat fake news, and protect the next Dem candidates's emails from being hacked-- then a Hillary like candidate will win the next presidential election by a large landslide. And maybe we only need to do one or two of those things, because the election was pretty close.

Funny how Right Wingers always have "solutions" for the problems of the Democratic party, which entail Dems all following the polices that Republicans follow now. So that everyone does what Republicans and their crony capitalist welfare queen political donor masters want. That's not a solution. That would be a complete and permanent surrender of the entire country to Republicans and their masters.

Plus you make ridiculously unrealistic suggestions like getting drug addicts to give up their drugs, without doing anything about the pain they are trying to number through the drugs. Because, of course, everyone who is hurting-- it's their own fault. Because, according to Republicans, everyone always gets what they deserve, even if they inherited it all.

I can see why a Right Winger like Tyler would make those suggestions. But there is no reason whatsoever why Democrats would do anything of the kind.

As if people vote for Republicans because they like their policies so well. They don't. They vote for Republicans because Republicans are good at deceiving people and riling them up with fear and anger and propaganda. Dems do need to get better at political marketing, though I hope it is not necessary to create fake news the way Republicans do.

She lost to Donald "freakin" Trump, any reasonable candidate would have beat her by 20 points

Trump was the political outsider running after the Republican party had spent many decades bashing political insiders, as an election strategy. Trump had a lot of other things going for him too-- fake news, Comey, Assange, voter suppression etc. Trump also is a celebrity billionaire business man reality TV star i in a country that worships celebrities and billionaires and successful businessmen. Also a type with an aggressive macho type of charisma, which appeals to lots of Americans.

There might never be a more electable candidate than he was-- which doesn't necessarily mean anything at all about what kind of president he will be. No one knows.

I thought everyone knew that only a few percent of all Americans who vote retain the capacity to change their mind or are otherwise not 100% entrenched into blind partisan preference at election time.

Republicans could have run Jesus himself and gotten 52.5% of the vote, and the opposite presumably applies, more or less, in the opposite direction.

Whoever wrote this bot that simulates a Bush-era liberal who got his political education from Michael Moore films, well done!

I guess Right Wingers have armies of bots to keep making comments, saying that everyone who disagrees with them is a bot.

Even Tyler gets accused of being a "Lefty", being slightly to the Left of Attila the Hun, as he is.

Yes of course. The "other side" in politics is inherently evil. Every one knows this.

A Thermodynamic Explanation Of Politics

the pain they are trying to number through the drugs, I meant to type.

What I think nearly everyone is missing is that manufacturing jobs paid a lot more money than their replacements. People want blue collar jobs that pay $50,000 to $100,000 a year. If the replacement jobs in services paid that kind of money, people in the Midwest would not be pining for manufacturing jobs.

However neither the right of the left offer a coherent plan as to how to achieve this. From a macroeconomic perspective it's reasonable. If GDP per capita is over double what it was in 1973 why can't they earn at least what used to back then? And furthermore why can't these new service jobs pay proportionately more for increased productivity since 1973.

It seems that openness to trade both increases GDP and inequality to the point where directly and indirectly it contributes to making most Americans worse off. It would be preferable to have a frank discussion about this and admit that the externalities of trade may be too high. Especially because unlike pollution bring compensated for this is viewed as welfare.

And blue collar workers don't want to be on welfare their whole life which is why they find Obamacare and other welfare programs distasteful. To be on welfare for life is demeaning to the human spirit if being able to provide for oneself. They want these programs to serve as temporary stopgap measures when they temporarily run into difficulties. It would nice if the Democrats got back in favor of unions to extract better wages.

And this brings me to a huge deal. Profits per worker have increased since 1973 by more than productivity. This occurs because real wages either go up by less than productivity or go down even while productivity increases. Neither party seems to care. I don't understand why. Perhaps this is because of the corrosive effect if identity politics - I don't know.

So in the future I would like to see workers getting their fair share of productivity and clawing back their lost wage that should have gone to them on the basis of productivity. And if that occurs the Midwest will be happy again and a lot if the social problems will go away.

Hillary and the democrats are much to pro-abortion. So much so that Christians voted for a immoral man of bad character.

Is it too much to ask that the Democrats acknowledge that abortion is at the least, distasteful? Yes, because that would cause the transkin, dragonkin, gender-fluid, radical feminist, black separatist, anti-white racist, antifa criminals, and assorted freaks to not vote.

Hillary Clinton said abortion is a “fundamental constitutional right” that should be “safe, legal, and rare.” So, yes, she already said it-- that abortion isn't any wonderful thing. But nothing satisfies a Right Winger except their politicians being clones of themselves.

Hillary and the democrats are much to pro-abortion. So much so that most Christians (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwm3TXV7UWk&t=4s) voted for a immoral man of bad character. In the USA it is tough if right off christians.

I just noticed the literal dozen derivative links at the bottom, all of them using an Economist article. It almost seems like some sort of poorly thought out link SEO scheme. What makes it stand out is truly the sort of thing that makes this site so entertaining - 11 share exactly the same title, with only Express News putting in the effort to add 'The dismal science' in front of the shared headline.

Small steps to a much better world indeed.

TC trolls his readers with a howler.

It's true TC is a conservative in thought, usually good for 'getting it right' in a workman-like albeit plodding manner (e.g., he did back the current #1 in chess to retain his chess title, though he almost lost it to the challenger) but he gets two things wrong here:

1) that the Temperance Movement, which we tried in the 1920 (Prohibition) and 1980s ("war on drugs") would work some sort of miracle,

2) that most drugged out rural citizens vote

Both counts are wrong.

A more simple solution to stopping Trumpism is to double down on doing things the opposite of Trump, and let the movement peter out when people either tire of Trump or the economy goes bad. There's a danger to this however. Since economies are non-linear and don't really follow any 'laws' of macro economics (the evidence shows both monetarism does not work very well, Google Bernanke's 2002 FAVAR paper; and same for Keynesianism, Google 'fiscal multiplier is less than one') there's always a chance that the economy does better than expected in 2017-2020 under Trump. If that's the case, then Trump, like Obama, will get another four years no matter what the opposition does. Obama rode the same wave. As H. Clinton's advisors advised, "it's the economy stupid". And, dare I say it, even Ronald Reagan wrote the wave of the recovery of the US economy from high inflation during the early 1980s (no, Volcker had little to do with that, sorry if I upset your priors), unless you want to believe Keynesian style deficit spending during Reagan's 600 ship Navy buildup was the key to prosperity, which is dubious.

In short, let nature take its course and Trumpism will burn itself out. No need to support rural racists and white collar suburban sympathizers of the same.

Like others, I do not consider this to have been one of Tyler's more well-reasoned posts. Clinton won the popular vote by a relatively wide margin and lost the election simply because that vote was distributed in such a way that, given the peculiarities of the electoral college, denied her an electoral college majority. It has been asserted (I cannot independently corroborate this) that had democratic voter turnout in three counties (on each in WI, PA, and FL) matched their 2012 levels, Clinton would have won all three states and the presidency. From this perspective, Clinton's loss was a freak accident and not indicative of a need for the Democrats to rethink their entire position on the political spectrum. By all means, run better, more charismatic, candidates in the future, but it is not necessary engage in a wholesale re-evaluation of the center-left's platform.

Good point. I do think it's interesting that in Wisconsin, before the vote was stopped yesterday, Clinton had picked up, in roughly 50% of districts counted, 11 more votes. Considering that Gore in 2000 won Florida (the entire state, not just Boward county) by three votes say some based on a newspaper funded recount (even using Republican standards on what counts as a vote, hanging chad and all) it's plausible that in a great number of elections the people are not getting the candidate they want for president.

Gore lost Florida under 10 of 11 scenarios. All the likely ones.

The explanation for this post and its long thread is that it was Tyler's evil altar ego doing it, the infamous Tyrone who did it. I mean, would Tyler actually get all in a snit about how the solution to Trump is to engage in time travel to elect Romney in 2012. And while Tyler is indeed a teetotaler himself, surely he is aware of the research that shows that people who drink one or two glasses of wine at dinner and keep it to that are healthier than those who do not drink at all, so I think it is Tyrone taking advantage of Tyler with this abstinence argument, although probably all those poor people in a lot of people would be better off if they just gave up the drugs, even if we know that it would most likely take having decent jobs that would motivate them to do that, and even going back in time to elect Romney in 2012 would not bring about that particular desideratum.

+1, yeah, I forgot to mention the time traveler part, which indeed is ludicrous. Stopping an unknown unknown like Trump requires a very reliable crystal ball.

My grandprents were teetotalers and they have all beaten Brazilian by one or two decades.

* living expectancy

1100w DELL C6100 C5110 power supply PS-2112-2L

Two things...

First, this is only going to get worse as things get more automated. Wait until driverless long-haul trucks start rolling down the highways in numbers. The middle sections of this country are going to get absolutely decimated.

Second, I spent an inordinate amount of time in Africa when I was in the Navy. Not that I would now call myself "an old African hand" or anything like that, but I spent enough time there that I tend to spot Africans when I am in proximity here in America. And more than once I've introduced myself...listened to their stories of coming here...and offered help if I perceived a need.

I am currently mentoring a young African guy who got a degree in philosophy in Nigeria...came to America...learned English...realized he could not get a job and so enlisted in the Navy as (basically) a supply clerk...and is now enrolled in an online Masters in data analytics (which is what I am helping him in).

It is a bit difficult for me to feel a whole lot of sympathy for the Americans who are suffering from globalization when I have come across people like the fellow I am currently mentoring who were willing to give up so much to move across the ocean and start somewhere near the bottom and work so very hard to carve out a life and a living in this new culture and global economy.

I get it: we have a problem and we cannot ignore it. But it is difficult to to feel much sympathy when I can see and compare the two different responses to globalization.

Does anyone read comments a day after the post? I'm going to put this out there anyway.

Though I think all of your statements are correct, this post is wrong on a more fundamental level.

1. I agree that a Pres. Romney would have prevented the ascendence of Trump; it's not clear that would have been better WRT the goals of "the Left." With the exception of immigration, Trump is no worse than Romney on his stated positions, and at least on a few, markedly better from the perspective of the Left. For example, gay marriage and the expansion of rights for transgender individuals is clearly copacetic with Trump. And on many other issues, it is not certain whether Trump will actually work to realize his stated position or is just engaging in Bullshit. We'll know more in one years time.

2. I agree that temperance would be good for many distressed communities in the US, but it looks more likely that we will end up in a world with legalized drugs and a guaranteed basic income than in a world with prohibition on alchohol and drugs. Given that, I think it makes more sense to look for solutions that mitigate the potential problems these may cause. I would say that if you truly care about these communities you should work for legalization of psychedelics as quickly as possible.

And more fundamentally, you assume that Trump won because his message was more convincing. Contrary to that, I think the outcome of the election gives credence to Ray Fair's model of presidential elections in which the role of the candidate and his/her message are actually dominated by the state of other variables. Assuming that is the case, there is no point in trying to come up with takeways from Trump's success.

Tyler is ignoring the fact that Trump won a few key states by thin margins and got killed in the popular vote, and Trump is the least popular candidate to ever win an election. Trumpism has no real mandate, and even half his supporters were voting against Hilary, not for Trump. The Democrats don't really need to adjust their basic strategy at all, it is their tactics that were massive failures. Start by running someone who doesn't have the baggage of Hilary Clinton. Second, don't antagonize the police. That's all. End of Trump. The "law and order" vote probably helped Trump more than the economically distressed vote, yet no one wants to talk about that.

Trump the least popular to win the Presidency?

Look up Bill Clinton's vote totals (in % terms).

Mmmm, Bill Clinton - 43% of the popular vote.

Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts had been sexually assaulted in childhood.

Please explain how you fix that?

Let me add that it is a wonder that so many of those pontificating on the drug "problem" don't know a damn thing about it.

Drug use and alcoholism is mainly a PTSD problem. A clue is to look up the symptoms of PTSD. Drug use/addiction is listed.

So why don't "we" know this? Well how would a war on abused children (most PTSD is from child abuse) look to the average citizen? The DEA would be out of business.

Chandrasekhar Ramakrishnan December 8, 2016 at 2:09 pm,

I would say that if you truly care about these communities you should work for legalization of psychedelics as quickly as possible.

Yes. The original work by Leary on alcoholics is quite instructive.

I think vapors are a big part of it!

Is point two a joke or something?

Comments for this post are closed