Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Neoliberal globalization blowback bulletin, 2016

Home 2099 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Dec 01, 2017] Elite needs a kill switch for their front men and women

marknesop.wordpress.com
Patient Observer , July 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm
An interesting article on John McCain. I disagree with the contention that McCain hid knowledge that many American POWs were left behind (undoubtedly some voluntarily choose to remain behind but not hundreds ). However, the article touched on some ideas that rang true:

Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia's entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky.

One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.

The gist is that elite need a kill switch on their front men (and women).

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/

Cortes , July 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

Seems to be a series of pieces dealing with Vietnam POWs: the following linked item was interesting and provided a plausible explanation: that the US failed to pay up agreed on reparations…

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-relying-upon-maoist-professors-of-cultural-studies/

marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm
Remarkable and shocking. Wheels within wheels – this is the first time I have ever seen McCain's father connected with the infamous Board of Inquiry which cleared Israel in that state's attack on USS LIBERTY during Israel's seizure of the Golan Heights.
Cortes , July 25, 2016 at 9:08 am
Another stunning article in which the author makes reference to his recent acquisition of what he considers to be a reliably authentic audio file of POW McCain's broadcasts from captivity. Dynamite stuff. The conclusion regarding aspiring untenured historians is quite downbeat:

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-will-there-be-a-spotlight-sequel-to-the-killing-fields/

marknesop , July 25, 2016 at 10:40 am
Also remarkable; fantastic. It's hard to believe, and a testament to the boldness of Washington dog-and-pony shows, because this must have been well-known in insider circles in Washington – anything so damning which was not ruthlessly and professionally suppressed and simply never allowed to become part of a national discussion would surely have been stumbled upon before now. Land of the Cover-Up.

yalensis , July 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

So, McCain was Hanoi Jack broadcasting from the Hanoi Hilton?

[Dec 27, 2016] Is Trump just another globalists shill?

Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
John San Vant... Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 08:07 AM , December 27, 2016 at 08:07 AM
John,

I wonder what facts you have to label Trump's team "globalist shills".

Robert W. Merry in his National Interest article disagrees with you
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/trump-vs-hillary-nationalism-vs-globalism-2016-16041
=== start of the quote ===
Globalists captured much of American society long ago by capturing the bulk of the nation's elite institutions -- the media, academia, big corporations, big finance, Hollywood, think tanks, NGOs, charitable foundations. So powerful are these institutions -- in themselves and, even more so, collectively -- that the elites running them thought that their political victories were complete and final. That's why we have witnessed in recent years a quantum expansion of social and political arrogance on the part of these high-flyers.

Then along comes Donald Trump and upends the whole thing. Just about every major issue that this super-rich political neophyte has thrown at the elites turns out to be anti-globalist and pro-nationalist. And that is the single most significant factor in his unprecedented and totally unanticipated rise. Consider some examples:

Immigration: Nationalists believe that any true nation must have clearly delineated and protected borders, otherwise it isn't really a nation. They also believe that their nation's cultural heritage is sacred and needs to be protected, whereas mass immigration from far-flung lands could undermine the national commitment to that heritage.

Globalists don't care about borders. They believe the nation-state is obsolete, a relic of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which codified the recognition of co-existing nation states.

Globalists reject Westphalia in favor of an integrated world with information, money, goods and people traversing the globe at accelerating speeds without much regard to traditional concepts of nationhood or borders.
=== end of the quote ===

I wonder how "globalist shills" mantra correlates with the following Trump's statements:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/28/donald-trump-globalization-trade-pennsylvania-ohio/86431376/

=== start of quote ===
"Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very, very wealthy ... but it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache," Trump told supporters during a prepared speech targeting free trade in a nearly-shuttered former steel town in Pennsylvania.

In a speech devoted to what he called "How To Make America Wealthy Again," Trump offered a series of familiar plans designed to deal with what he called [Obama] "failed trade policies" - including rejection of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Pacific Rim nations and re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, withdrawing from it if necessary.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also said he would pursue bilateral trade agreements rather than multi-national deals like TPP and NAFTA.

In addition to appointing better trade negotiators and stepping up punishment of countries that violate trade rules, Trump's plans would also target one specific economic competitor: China. He vowed to label China a currency manipulator, bring it before the World Trade Organization and consider slapping tariffs on Chinese imports coming into the U.S.

[Dec 27, 2016] The technocrats lied about how globalization would be great for everyone. Peoples actual experience in their lives has been different.

Notable quotes:
"... We have a dollar democracy that protects the economic interest of the elite class while more than willing to let working class families lose their homes and jobs on the back end of wide scale mortgage fraud. Then the fraud was perpetuated in the mortgage default process just to add insult to injury. ..."
"... One thing that Trump certainly got wrong that no one ever points out is that there is a lot more murder than rape crossing the Mexican-American border in the drug cartel operations ..."
"... The technocrats lied about how globalization would be great for everyone. People's actual experience in their lives has been different. ..."
"... Centrist Democrat partisans with their increasinly ineffectual defenses of the establishment say it's only about racism and xenophobia, but it's more than that. ..."
Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
RC AKA Darryl, Ron
RE: Democracy Is Dying as Technocrats Watch - William Easterly

Assaults on democracy are working because our current political elites have no idea how to defend it.

[There are certainly good points to this article, but the basic assumption that our electorally representative form of republican government is the ideal incarnation of the democratic value set is obviously incorrect. We have a dollar democracy that protects the economic interest of the elite class while more than willing to let working class families lose their homes and jobs on the back end of wide scale mortgage fraud. Then the fraud was perpetuated in the mortgage default process just to add insult to injury.

One thing that Trump certainly got wrong that no one ever points out is that there is a lot more murder than rape crossing the Mexican-American border in the drug cartel operations:<) ]

Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... December 27, 2016 at 06:39 AM

The author fails to mention the Sanders campaign. An elderly socialist Jew from Brooklyn was able to win 23 primaries and caucuses and approximately 43% of pledged delegates to Clinton's 55%.

This despite a nasty, hostile campaign against him and his supporters by the Clinton campaign and corporate media.

There's also Jeremy Corbyn in the UK. Podemos, Syriza, etc.

Italy's 5 Star movement demonstrates a hostility to technocrats as well.

The author doesn't really focus on how the technocrats have failed.

The technocrats lied about how globalization would be great for everyone. People's actual experience in their lives has been different.

Trump scapegoated immigrants and trade, as did Brexit, but what he really did was channel hostility and hatred at the elites and technocrats running the country.

Centrist Democrat partisans with their increasinly ineffectual defenses of the establishment say it's only about racism and xenophobia, but it's more than that.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Peter K.... , -1
Yes sir.

[Dec 27, 2016] Donald Trump targets globalization and free trade as job-killers

Dec 27, 2016 | www.usatoday.com

"Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very, very wealthy ... but it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache," Trump told supporters during a prepared speech targeting free trade in a nearly-shuttered former steel town in Pennsylvania.

In a speech devoted to what he called "How To Make America Wealthy Again," Trump offered a series of familiar plans designed to deal with what he called "failed trade policies" - including rejection of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Pacific Rim nations and re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, withdrawing from it if necessary.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also said he would pursue bilateral trade agreements rather than multi-national deals like TPP and NAFTA.

In addition to appointing better trade negotiators and stepping up punishment of countries that violate trade rules, Trump's plans would also target one specific economic competitor: China. He vowed to label China a currency manipulator, bring it before the World Trade Organization and consider slapping tariffs on Chinese imports coming into the U.S.

[Dec 27, 2016] Neopopulism

Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs -> Peter K.... December 26, 2016 at 07:15 AM neopopulism: A cultural and political movement, mainly in Latin American countries, distinct from twentieth-century populism in radically combining classically opposed left-wing and right-wing attitudes and using electronic media as a means of dissemination. (Wiktionary)

[Dec 23, 2016] This is the time for stronger, more interventionist in internal policy state and the suppression of financial oligarchy

Notable quotes:
"... Democratic party under Bill Clinton became yet another neoliberal party (soft neoliberals) and betrayed both organized labour and middle class in favour of financial oligarchy. ..."
"... The cynical calculation was that "they have nowhere to go" and will vote for Democrats anyway. And that was true up to and including election of "change we can believe in" guy. After this attempt of yet another Clinton-style "bait and switch" trick failed. ..."
"... Now it is clear that far right picked up large part of those votes. So in a way Bill Clinton is the godfather of the US far right renaissances. The same is true for Hillary: her "kick the can down the road" stance made victory of Trump possible (although it surprised me; I expected that neoliberals were still strong enough to push their candidate down the US people throat) ..."
"... Under "democrat" Obama the USA pursued imperial policy of creating global neoliberal empire. The foreign policy remained essentially unchanged. Neocons were partially replaced with "liberal interventionists" which is the same staff in a different bottle. This policy costs the US tremendous amount of money and it is probable that the US is going the way British empire went -- overextending itself. ..."
"... Regional currency blocks are now a reality and arrangements bypass the usage of US dollar if international trade are common. They are now in place between several large countries such as Russia and China and absolutely nothing can reverse this trend. So dollar became virtualized -- a kind of "conversion gauge" but without profits for real conversion national currency to dollars for major TBTF banks. ..."
Dec 23, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fed C. Dobbs : , December 23, 2016 at 02:16 PM
(So, how long will the
post-inaugural honeymoon last?
I'd give it no more than a month.
Then what? I dunno, but nothing good.)

Reality TV Populism
http://nyti.ms/2i72Rol
NYT - Paul Krugman - Dec 23

This Washington Post article on Poland - where a right-wing, anti-intellectual, nativist party now rules, and has garnered a lot of public support - is chilling for those of us who worry that Trump_vs_deep_state may really be the end of the road for US democracy. The supporters of Law and Justice clearly looked a lot like Trump's white working class enthusiasts; so are we headed down the same path?

(In Poland, a window on what happens when
populists come to power http://wpo.st/aHJO2
Washington Post - Anthony Faiola - December 18)

Well, there's an important difference - a bit of American exceptionalism, if you like. Europe's populist parties are actually populist; they pursue policies that really do help workers, as long as those workers are the right color and ethnicity. As someone put it, they're selling a herrenvolk welfare state. Law and Justice has raised minimum wages and reduced the retirement age; France's National Front advocates the same things.

Trump, however, is different. He said lots of things on the campaign trail, but his personnel choices indicate that in practice he's going to be a standard hard-line economic-right Republican. His Congressional allies are revving up to dismantle Obamacare, privatize Medicare, and raise the retirement age. His pick for Labor Secretary is a fast-food tycoon who loathes minimum wage hikes. And his pick for top economic advisor is the king of trickle-down.

So in what sense is Trump a populist? Basically, he plays one on TV - he claims to stand for the common man, disparages elites, trashes political correctness; but it's all for show. When it comes to substance, he's pro-elite all the way.

It's infuriating and dismaying that he managed to get away with this in the election. But that was all big talk. What happens when reality begins to hit? Repealing Obamacare will inflict huge harm on precisely the people who were most enthusiastic Trump supporters - people who somehow believed that their benefits would be left intact. What happens when they realize their mistake?

I wish I were confident in a coming moment of truth. I'm not. Given history, what we can count on is a massive effort to spin the coming working-class devastation as somehow being the fault of liberals, and for all I know it might work. (Think of how Britain's Tories managed to shift blame for austerity onto Labour's mythical fiscal irresponsibility.) But there is certainly an opportunity for Democrats coming.

And the indicated political strategy is clear: make Trump and company own all the hardship they're about to inflict. No cooperation in devising an Obamacare replacement; no votes for Medicare privatization and increasing the retirement age. No bipartisan cover for the end of the TV illusion and the coming of plain old, ugly reality.

anne -> Fed C. Dobbs... , December 23, 2016 at 02:23 PM
Correcting the date:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/reality-tv-populism/

December 19, 2016

Reality TV Populism
By Paul Krugman

likbez : , -1
Two points:

Point 1:

Democratic party under Bill Clinton became yet another neoliberal party (soft neoliberals) and betrayed both organized labour and middle class in favour of financial oligarchy.

The cynical calculation was that "they have nowhere to go" and will vote for Democrats anyway. And that was true up to and including election of "change we can believe in" guy. After this attempt of yet another Clinton-style "bait and switch" trick failed.

Now it is clear that far right picked up large part of those votes. So in a way Bill Clinton is the godfather of the US far right renaissances. The same is true for Hillary: her "kick the can down the road" stance made victory of Trump possible (although it surprised me; I expected that neoliberals were still strong enough to push their candidate down the US people throat)

Point 2:

Under "democrat" Obama the USA pursued imperial policy of creating global neoliberal empire. The foreign policy remained essentially unchanged. Neocons were partially replaced with "liberal interventionists" which is the same staff in a different bottle. This policy costs the US tremendous amount of money and it is probable that the US is going the way British empire went -- overextending itself.

Regional currency blocks are now a reality and arrangements bypass the usage of US dollar if international trade are common. They are now in place between several large countries such as Russia and China and absolutely nothing can reverse this trend. So dollar became virtualized -- a kind of "conversion gauge" but without profits for real conversion national currency to dollars for major TBTF banks.

So if we think about Iraq war as the way to prevent to use euro as alternative to dollar in oil sales that goal was not achieved and all blood and treasure were wasted.

In this sense it would be difficult to Trump to continue with "bastard neoliberalism" both in foreign policy and domestically and betray his election promises because they reflected real problems facing the USA and are the cornerstone of his political support.

Also in this case neocons establishment will simply get rid of him one way or the other. I hope that he understand this danger and will avoid trimming Social Security.

Returning to Democratic Party betrayal of interests of labour, Krugman hissy fit signifies that he does not understand the current political situation. Neoliberal wing of Democratic Party is now bankrupt both morally and politically. Trump election was the last nail into Bill Clinton political legacy coffin.

Now we returned to essentially the same political process that took place after the Great Depression, with much weaker political leaders, this time. So this is the time for stronger, more interventionist in internal policy state and the suppression of financial oligarchy. If Trump does not understand this he is probably doomed and will not last long.

That's why I think Trump inspired far right renaissance will continue and the political role of military might dramatically increase. And politically Trump is the hostage of this renaissance. Flint appointment in this sense is just the first swallow of increased role of military leaders in government.

[Dec 21, 2016] Globalization and Sovietization of America by Vladimir Brovkin

Notable quotes:
"... Democracy is inevitably going to clash with the demands of Globalization as they are opposite. Globalization requires entrepreneurs to search cheaper means of production worldwide. ..."
"... In practice, this means moving capital out of the USA. ..."
"... To put it in Marxist terms the interests of American society to survive and prosper came into contradiction with the interests of capitalism as a system of production and with the capitalists as a class who has no homeland, and for whom homeland is where it is easier to make money. ..."
"... American capitalism from its very beginning was based on the assumption that what was good for business was good for America. Until 1929 it more or less worked. The robber barons were robbing other entrepreneurs and workers but at least they reinvested their ill gained profits in America. The crash of 1929 showed that the interests of Big Banks clashed with the interest of American society with devastating results. ..."
"... The decades after WWII have seen a slow and steady erosion of American superiority in technology and productivity and slow and steady flight of capital from the USA. Globalization has been undermining America. From the point of view of Global prosperity if it is cheaper to produce in China, production should relocate to China. From the point of view of American worker, this is treason, a policy destroying the United States as an industrial power, as a nation, and as a community of citizens. Donald Trump is the first top ranking politician who has realized this simple fact. The vote for Donald Trump has been a protest against Globalization, immigration, open borders, capital flight, multiculturalism, liberalism and all the values American Liberal establishment has been preaching for 60 years that are killing the USA. ..."
"... Donald Trump wants to arrest the assault of Globalization on America. He promised to reduce taxes, and to attract business back to the USA. However, reduced taxes are only one ingredient in incentives. For businesses to stay or come back to the US, companies must have educated labor force, steady supply of talented, well-educated young people, excellent schools, and safe neighborhoods, among other things. As of now most of these preconditions are missing. ..."
"... Dr. Brovkin is a historian, formerly a Harvard Professor of History. He has published several books and numerous articles on Russian History and Politics. Currently, Dr. Brovkin works and lives in Marrakech, Morocco. ..."
"... This is an interesting question: is it possible to contain neoliberal globalization by building walls, rejecting 'trade' agreement, and so on. I get the feeling that a direct attack may not work. Water will find a way, as they say. With a direct attack against globalization, what you're likely to face is major capital flight. ..."
Dec 21, 2016 | www.unz.com
In his election campaign Donald Trump has identified several key themes that defined American malaise. He pointed to capital flight, bad trade deals, illegal immigration, and corruption of the government and of the press. What is missing in Trump's diagnosis though is an explanation of this crisis. What are the causes of American decline or as Ross Pero used to say: Let's look under the hood.

Most of the challenges America faces today have to do with two processes we call Globalization and Sovietization. By Globalization we mean a process of externalizing American business thanks to the doctrine of Free trade which has been up to now the Gospel of the establishment. By Sovietization we mean a process of slow expansion of the role of the government in economy, education, business, military, press, virtually any and every aspect of politics and society.

Let us start with Globalization.

Dani Rodrick ( The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy) has argued that it is impossible to have democracy and globalization at the same time. Democracy is inevitably going to clash with the demands of Globalization as they are opposite. Globalization requires entrepreneurs to search cheaper means of production worldwide.

In practice, this means moving capital out of the USA. For fifty years economists have been preaching Free trade, meaning that free unimpeded, no tariffs trade is good for America. And it was in the 1950s, 60s and 1970s that American products were cheaper or better than those overseas. Beginning with the 1970s, the process reversed. Globalization enriched the capitalists and impoverished the rest of Americans. To put it in Marxist terms the interests of American society to survive and prosper came into contradiction with the interests of capitalism as a system of production and with the capitalists as a class who has no homeland, and for whom homeland is where it is easier to make money.

American capitalism from its very beginning was based on the assumption that what was good for business was good for America. Until 1929 it more or less worked. The robber barons were robbing other entrepreneurs and workers but at least they reinvested their ill gained profits in America. The crash of 1929 showed that the interests of Big Banks clashed with the interest of American society with devastating results.

The decades after WWII have seen a slow and steady erosion of American superiority in technology and productivity and slow and steady flight of capital from the USA. Globalization has been undermining America. From the point of view of Global prosperity if it is cheaper to produce in China, production should relocate to China. From the point of view of American worker, this is treason, a policy destroying the United States as an industrial power, as a nation, and as a community of citizens. Donald Trump is the first top ranking politician who has realized this simple fact. The vote for Donald Trump has been a protest against Globalization, immigration, open borders, capital flight, multiculturalism, liberalism and all the values American Liberal establishment has been preaching for 60 years that are killing the USA.

Donald Trump wants to arrest the assault of Globalization on America. He promised to reduce taxes, and to attract business back to the USA. However, reduced taxes are only one ingredient in incentives. For businesses to stay or come back to the US, companies must have educated labor force, steady supply of talented, well-educated young people, excellent schools, and safe neighborhoods, among other things. As of now most of these preconditions are missing.

To fight Globalization Donald Trump announced in his agenda to drop or renegotiate NAFTA and TPP. That is a step in the right direction. However, this will not be easy. There are powerful vested interests in making money overseas that will put up great resistance to America first policy. They have powerful lobbies and votes in the Congress and it is by far not certain if Trump will succeed in overcoming their opposition.

Another step along these lines of fighting Globalization is the proposed building of the Wall on Mexican border. That too may or may not work. Powerful agricultural interests in California have a vested interest in easy and cheap labor force made up of illegal migrants. If their supply is cut off they are going to hike up the prices on agricultural goods that may lead to inflation or higher consumer prices for the American workers.

... ... ...

The Military: Americans are told they have a best military in the world. In fact, it is not the best but the most expensive one in the world. According to the National priorities Project, in fiscal 2015 the military spending amounted to 54% of the discretionary spending in the amount of 598.5 billion dollars . Of those almost 200 billion dollars goes for operations and maintenance, 135 billion for military personnel and 90 billion for procurement (see Here is How the US Military Spends its Billions )

American military industrial complex spends more that the next seven runners up combined. It is a Sovietized, bureaucratic structure that exists and thrives on internal deals behind closed doors, procurement process closed to public scrutiny, wasted funds on consultants, kickbacks, and outrageous prices for military hardware. Specific investigations of fraud do not surface too often. Yet for example, DoD Inspector General reported:

material internal control weakness that affect the safeguarding of assets, proper use of funds, and impair the prevention of and identification of fraud, waste and abuse. Source: "FY 2010 DoD Agencywide Agency Financial Report (vid. p.32)" (PDF). US Department of Defense. Retrieved 7 January 2011, cited in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States#cite_note-20

Why is it that an F35 fighter jet should cost 135 million apiece and the Russian SU 35 that can do similar things is sold for 35 million dollars and produced for 15 million? The answer is that the Congress operates on a principle that any price the military asks is good enough. The entire system of military procurement has to be scrapped. It is a source of billions of stolen and wasted dollars. The Pentagon budget of half a trillion a year is a drain on the economy that is unsustainable, and what you get is not worth the money. The military industrial complex in America does not deliver the best equipment or security it is supposed to.(on this see: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/cutting-waste-isnt-enough-curb-pentagon-spending-18640 )

Donald Trump was the first to his credit who raised the issue: Do we need all these bases overseas? Do they really enhance American security? Or are they a waste of money for the benefit of other countries who take America for a free ride. Why indeed should the US pay for the defense of Japan? Is Japan a poor country that cannot afford to defend itself? Defense commitments like those expose America to unnecessary confrontations and risk of war over issues that have nothing to do with America's interests. Is it worth it to fight China over some uninhabitable islands that Japan claims? (See discussion: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/should-the-us-continue-guarantee-the-security-wealthy-states-17720 )

Similarly, Trump is the first one to raise the question: What is the purpose of NATO? ( see discussion of NATO utility: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/will-president-trump-renegotiate-the-nato-treaty-18647 ) Yes the Liberal pro-Clinton media answer is: to defend Europe from Russian aggression. But really what aggression? If the Russians wanted to they could have taken Kiev in a day two years ago. Instead, they put up with the most virulently hostile regime in Kiev. Let us ask ourselves would we have put up with a virulently anti-American regime in Mexico, a regime that would have announced its intention to conclude a military alliance with China or Russia? Were we not ready to go to nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba? If we would not have accepted such a regime in Mexico, why do we complain that the Russians took action against the new regime in Ukraine. Oh yes, they took Crimea. But the population there is Russian, and until 1954 it was Russian territory and after Ukrainian independence the Russians did not raise the issue of Crimea as Ukrainian territory and paid rent for their naval base there The Russians took it over only when a hostile regime clamoring for NATO membership settled in Kiev. Does that constitute Russian aggression or actually Russian limited response to a hostile act? (see on this Steven Cohen: http://eastwestaccord.com/podcast-stephen-f-cohen-talks-russia-israel-middle-east-diplomacy-steele-unger/ ) As I have argued elsewhere Putin has been under tremendous pressure to act more decisively against the neo-Nazis in Kiev. (see Vlad Brovkin: On Russian Assertiveness in Foreign Policy. ( http://eastwestaccord.com/?s=brovkin&submit=Search )

With a little bit of patience and good will a compromise is possible on Ukraine through Minsk accords. Moreover, Ukraine is not in NATO and as long as it is not admitted to NATO, a deal with the Russians on Ukraine is feasible. Just like so many other pro-American governments, Ukraine wants to milk Uncle Sam for what it is worth. They expect to be paid for being anti/Russian. (See discussion on need of enemy: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/does-america-need-enemy-18106 ) Would it not be a better policy to let Ukraine know that they are on their own: no more subsidies, no more payments? Mend your relations with Russia yourselves. Then peace would immediately prevail.

If we admit that there is no Russian aggression and that this myth was propagated by the Neo/Cons with the specific purpose to return to the paradigm of the cold war, i.e. more money for the military industrial complex, if we start thinking boldly as Trump has begun, we should say to the Europeans: go ahead, build your own European army to allay your fears of the Russians. Europe is strong enough, rich enough and united enough to take care of its defense without American assistance. (See discussion of Trumps agenda: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/course-correction-18062 )

So, if Trump restructures procurement mess, reduces the number of military bases overseas, and invests in high tech research and development for the military on the basis of real competition, hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved and the defense capability of the country would increase.

... ... ...

Dr. Brovkin is a historian, formerly a Harvard Professor of History. He has published several books and numerous articles on Russian History and Politics. Currently, Dr. Brovkin works and lives in Marrakech, Morocco.

Mao Cheng Ji says: December 21, 2016 at 8:43 am GMT • 200 Words

This is a bit too much, Volodya. Maybe you should've taken one subject – globalization, for example – and stop there.

This is an interesting question: is it possible to contain neoliberal globalization by building walls, rejecting 'trade' agreement, and so on. I get the feeling that a direct attack may not work. Water will find a way, as they say. With a direct attack against globalization, what you're likely to face is major capital flight.

You might be able to make neoliberal globalization work for you (for your population, that is), like Germany and the Scandinavians do, but that's a struggle, constant struggle. And it's a competition; it will have to be done at the expense of other nations (see Greece, Portugal, Central (eastern) Europe). And having an anti-neoliberal president is not enough; this would require a major change, almost a U turn, in the whole governing philosophy. Forget the sanctity of 'free market', start worshiping the new god: national interest

animalogic says: December 21, 2016 at 10:14 am GMT • 400 Words

What an INTERESTING article -- So much that is right, so much that is wrong. An article you can get your teeth into.
On globalisation: pretty spot-on (although I believe he exaggerates the US weakness in what he calls "preconditions": there are still many well educated Americans, still good neighborhoods (yes, sure it could be a lot better). He's against NAFTA & other neoliberal Trade self indulgences.
But then we come to his concept of "Sovietization" of the US. Perhaps it's mere semantics, but I find the concept incoherent & suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.

Example: "huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control"

This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can't see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)

Of course, the author is correct on the US military-industrial complex: it is a sump of crime & corruption. Yet he seems not to grasp that the problem is regulative capture. How is the Fiasco of the F35 & MacDonald Douglas merely an issue for the Legislature alone & how does this circus resemble the Soviet Union, beyond the fact that BOTH systems (like most systems) are capable of gross negligence & corruption ?

I like what the author says about NATO, Japan, bases etc. Although he's a little naive if he thinks NATO for instance is about "protecting" Europe. Yes, that's a part of it: but primarily NATO etc exist as a tool/mask behind which the US can exert it's imperial ambitions against friend & for alike.

The author does go off against welfare well that's to be expected: sadly I don't think he quite gets the connection between globalisation & welfare .He also legitimately goes after tertiary education, but seems to be (again) confused as to cause & effect.

The author is completely spot on with his sovietization analogy when he comes to the US security state. Only difference between the Soviets & the US on security totalitarianism ? The US is much better at it (of course the US has technological advantages unimaginable to the Soviets)

• Replies: @Randal I agree with you that it's a fascinating piece, and I also agree with many of the points you agree with.
But then we come to his concept of "Sovietization" of the US. Perhaps it's mere semantics, but I find the concept incoherent & suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.

Example: "huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control"

This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can't see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)

I think part of the problem here might be a mistaken focus on "the government" as an independent actor, when in reality it is just a mechanism whereby the rulers (whether they are a dictator, a political party or an oligarchy or whatever), and those with sufficient clout to influence them, get things done the way they want to see them done.

As such there is really not much difference between the government directly employing the people who do things (state socialism), and the government paying money to companies to get the same things done. Either way, those who use the government to get things done, get to say what gets done and how. There are differences of nuance, in terms of organizational strengths and weaknesses, degrees of corruption and of efficiency, but fundamentally it's all big government.

A more interesting question might be - how really different are these big government variants from the small government systems, in which the rulers pay people directly to get things done the way they want them to be done?

Miro23 says: December 21, 2016 at 11:06 am GMT • 300 Words

An excellent article. The points that resonated the most were:

For businesses to stay or come back to the US, companies must have educated labor force, steady supply of talented, well-educated young people, excellent schools, and safe neighborhoods, among other things. As of now most of these preconditions are missing.

This is an enormously difficult problem that will take years to resolve, and it will need a rethink of education from the ground up + the political will to fight the heart of Cultural Bolshevism and the inevitable 24/7 Media assault.

Drain the swamp in Washington: ban the lobbyists, make it a crime to lobby for private interest in a public place, restructure procurement, introduce real competition, restore capitalism, phase out any government subsidies to Universities, force them to compete for students, force hospitals to compete for patients. Cut cut cut expenditure everywhere possible, including welfare.

Banning lobbyists should be possible but draining the rest of the swamp looks really complicated. Each area would need to be examined from the ground up from a value for money – efficiency viewpoint. It doesn't matter which philosophy each one is run on – good value healthcare is desirable whichever system produces it.

Could we have ever imagined in our worst dreams that a system of mass surveillance would be created and perfected in the USA. (see discussion on this in: Surveillance State, in http://www.americamagazine.org/issue/surveillance-state

This one should be easy. The Constitution guarantees a right to privacy so just shut down the NSA. Also shut down the vast CIA mafia (it didn't exist prior to 1947) and the expensive and useless FED (controlling the money supply isn't the business of a group of private banks – an office in the Treasury could easily match the money supply to economic activity).

• Replies: @Daniel Chieh
This one should be easy. The Constitution guarantees a right to privacy so just shut down the NSA. Also shut down the vast CIA mafia (it didn't exist prior to 1947) and the expensive and useless FED (controlling the money supply isn't the business of a group of private banks – an office in the Treasury could easily match the money supply to economic activity).

From Unz, I have learned that the US actually has a four-part government: the "Deep State" part which has no clear oversight from any of the other three branches.

anonymous says: December 21, 2016 at 5:22 pm GMT • 300 Words

To put it in Marxist terms the interests of American society to survive and prosper came into contradiction with the interests of capitalism as a system of production and with the capitalists as a class who has no homeland, and for whom homeland is where it is easier to make money.

Another add-on contradiction, comrade, is that the selfsame capitalist class expect their host nation to defend their interests whenever threatened abroad. This entails using the resources derived from the masses to enforce this protection including using the little people as cannon fodder when deemed useful.

Donald Trump is the first top ranking politician who has realized this simple fact.

Come now, do you really believe that all these politicians who have gone to these world-class schools don't know this? They simply don't care. They're working on behalf of the .1% who are their benefactors and who will make them rich. They did not go into politics to take vows of poverty. They just realize the need to placate the masses with speeches written by professional speechwriters, that's all.

Insofar as Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid goes, those are the most democratic institutions of all. It's money spent on ourselves, internally, with money being cycled in and out at the grassroots level. Doctors, nurses, home-care providers, etc etc, all local people get a piece of the action unlike military spending which siphons money upwards to the upper classes.

I'd rather be employed in a government job than unemployed in the private sector. That's not the kind of "freedom" I'm searching for comrade.

Randal says: December 21, 2016 at 6:29 pm GMT • 300 Words

@animalogic What an INTERESTING article -- So much that is right, so much that is wrong. An article you can get your teeth into.

On globalisation: pretty spot-on (although I believe he exaggerates the US weakness in what he calls "preconditions": there are still many well educated Americans, still good neighborhoods (yes, sure it could be a lot better). He's against NAFTA & other neoliberal Trade self indulgences.
But then we come to his concept of "Sovietization" of the US. Perhaps it's mere semantics, but I find the concept... incoherent...& suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.

Example: "huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control"

This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can't see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)

Of course, the author is correct on the US military-industrial complex: it is a sump of crime & corruption. Yet he seems not to grasp that the problem is regulative capture. How is the Fiasco of the F35 & MacDonald Douglas merely an issue for the Legislature alone...& how does this circus resemble the Soviet Union, beyond the fact that BOTH systems (like most systems) are capable of gross negligence & corruption ?

I like what the author says about NATO, Japan, bases etc. Although he's a little naive if he thinks NATO for instance is about "protecting" Europe. Yes, that's a part of it: but primarily NATO etc exist as a tool/mask behind which the US can exert it's imperial ambitions ...against friend & for alike.
The author does go off against welfare...well that's to be expected: sadly I don't think he quite gets the connection between globalisation & welfare....He also legitimately goes after tertiary education, but seems to be (again) confused as to cause & effect.

The author is completely spot on with his sovietization analogy when he comes to the US security state. Only difference between the Soviets & the US on security totalitarianism ? The US is much better at it (of course the US has technological advantages unimaginable to the Soviets)

I agree with you that it's a fascinating piece, and I also agree with many of the points you agree with.

But then we come to his concept of "Sovietization" of the US. Perhaps it's mere semantics, but I find the concept incoherent & suspiciously adapted to deliberately agitate US conservatives.
Example: "huge sectors of American economy are not private at all, that in fact they have been slowly taken over by an ever growing state ownership and control"
This is nonsense on its face: the government spews out trillions to private actors to provide goods & services. It does so, in part, because it has systematically privatized every government function capable of returning a profit. The author can't see the actor behind the mask: how much legislation is now written by & for the benefit of private interests ? (Obama care, Bush pharmaceutical laws ?)

I think part of the problem here might be a mistaken focus on "the government" as an independent actor, when in reality it is just a mechanism whereby the rulers (whether they are a dictator, a political party or an oligarchy or whatever), and those with sufficient clout to influence them, get things done the way they want to see them done.

As such there is really not much difference between the government directly employing the people who do things (state socialism), and the government paying money to companies to get the same things done. Either way, those who use the government to get things done, get to say what gets done and how. There are differences of nuance, in terms of organisational strengths and weaknesses, degrees of corruption and of efficiency, but fundamentally it's all big government.

A more interesting question might be – how really different are these big government variants from the small government systems, in which the rulers pay people directly to get things done the way they want them to be done?

[Dec 17, 2016] Responsibility for the current decline of middle class in the USA rests on neoliberals

Dec 17, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Tim Duy:

Responsibility : I have been puzzling over this from Paul Krugman :

Donald Trump won the electoral college at least in part by promising to bring coal jobs back to Appalachia and manufacturing jobs back to the Rust Belt. Neither promise can be honored – for the most part we're talking about jobs lost, not to unfair foreign competition, but to technological change. But a funny thing happens when people like me try to point that out: we get enraged responses from economists who feel an affinity for the working people of the afflicted regions – responses that assume that trying to do the numbers must reflect contempt for regional cultures, or something.

Is this the right narrative? I am no longer comfortable with this line:

for the most part we're talking about jobs lost, not to unfair foreign competition, but to technological change.

Try to place that line in context with this from Noah Smith:

Then, in the 1990s and 2000s, the U.S opened its markets to Chinese goods, first with Most Favored Nation trading status, and then by supporting China's accession to the WTO. The resulting competition from cheap Chinese goods contributed to vast inequality in the United States, reversing many of the employment gains of the 1990s and holding down U.S. wages. But this sacrifice on the part of 90% of the American populace enabled China to lift its enormous population out of abject poverty and become a middle-income country.

Was this "fair" trade? I think not. Let me suggest this narrative: Sometime during the Clinton Administration, it was decided that an economically strong China was good for both the globe and the U.S. Fair enough. To enable that outcome, U.S. policy deliberately sacrificed manufacturing workers on the theory that a.) the marginal global benefit from the job gain to a Chinese worker exceeded the marginal global cost from a lost US manufacturing job, b.) the U.S. was shifting toward a service sector economy anyway and needed to reposition its workforce accordingly and c.) the transition costs of shifting workers across sectors in the U.S. were minimal.

As a consequence – and through a succession of administrations – the US tolerated implicit subsidies of Chinese industries, including national industrial policy designed to strip production from the US.

And then there was the currency manipulation. I am always shocked when international economists claim "fair trade," pretending that the financial side of the international accounts is irrelevant. As if that wasn't a big, fat thumb on the scale. Sure, "currency manipulation" is running the other way these days. After, of course, a portion of manufacturing was absorbed overseas. After the damage is done.

Yes, technological change is happening. But the impact, and the costs, were certainly accelerated by U.S. policy.

It was a great plan. On paper, at least. And I would argue that in fact points a and b above were correct.

But point c. Point c was a bad call. Point c was a disastrous call. Point c helped deliver Donald Trump to the Oval Office. To be sure, the FBI played its role, as did the Russians. But even allowing for the poor choice of Hilary Clinton as the Democratic nominee (the lack of contact with rural and semi-rural voters blinded the Democrats to the deep animosity toward their candidate), it should never have come to this.

The transition costs were not minimal.

Consider this from the New York Times :

As the opioid epidemic sweeps through rural America, an ever-greater number of drug-dependent newborns are straining hospital neonatal units and draining precious medical resources.

The problem has grown more quickly than realized and shows no signs of abating, researchers reported on Monday. Their study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, concludes for the first time that the increase in drug-dependent newborns has been disproportionately larger in rural areas.

The latest causalities in the opioid epidemic are newborns.

The transition costs were not minimal.

My take is that "fair trade" as practiced since the late 1990s created another disenfranchised class of citizens. As if we hadn't done enough of that already. Then we weaponized those newly disenfranchised citizens with the rhetoric of identity politics. That's coming back to bite us. We didn't really need a white nationalist movement, did we?

Now comes the big challenge: What can we do to make amends? Can we change the narrative? And here is where I agree with Paul Krugman:

Now, if we want to have a discussion of regional policies – an argument to the effect that my pessimism is unwarranted – fine. As someone who is generally a supporter of government activism, I'd actually like to be convinced that a judicious program of subsidies, relocating government departments, whatever, really can sustain communities whose traditional industry has eroded.

The damage done is largely irreversible. In medium-size regions, lower relative housing costs may help attract overflow from the east and west coast urban areas. And maybe a program of guaranteed jobs for small- to medium-size regions combined with relocation subsidies for very small-size regions could help. But it won't happen overnight, if ever. And even if you could reverse the patterns of trade – which wouldn't be easy given the intertwining of global supply chains – the winners wouldn't be the same current losers. Tough nut to crack.

Bottom Line: I don't know how to fix this either. But I don't absolve the policy community from their role in this disaster. I think you can easily tell a story that this was one big policy experiment gone terribly wrong.

[Dec 15, 2016] Putin Valday 2016 speeech

Dec 15, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Vladimir Putin's Valdai Speech at the XIII Meeting (Final Plenary Session) of the Valdai International Discussion Club (Sochi, 27 October 2016)

As is his usual custom, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the final session of the annual Valdai International Discussion Club's 13th meeting, held this year in Sochi, before an audience that included the President of Finland Tarja Halonen and former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki. The theme for the 2016 meeting and its discussion forums was "The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow" which as Putin noted was very topical and relevant to current developments and trends in global politics, economic and social affairs.

Putin noted that the previous year's Valdai Club discussions centred on global problems and crises, in particular the ongoing wars in the Middle East; this fact gave him the opportunity to summarise global political developments over the past half-century, beginning with the United States' presumption of having won the Cold War and subsequently reshaping the international political, economic and social order to conform to its expectations based on neoliberal capitalist assumptions. To that end, the US and its allies across western Europe, North America and the western Pacific have co-operated in pressing economic and political restructuring including regime change in many parts of the world: in eastern Europe and the Balkans, in western Asia (particularly Afghanistan and Iraq) and in northern Africa (Libya). In achieving these goals, the West has either ignored at best or at worst exploited international political, military and economic structures, agencies and alliances to the detriment of these institutions' reputations and credibility around the world. The West also has not hesitated to dredge and drum up imaginary threats to the security of the world, most notably the threat of Russian aggression and desire to recreate the Soviet Union on former Soviet territories and beyond, the supposed Russian meddling in the US Presidential elections, and apparent Russian hacking and leaking of emails related to failed US Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's conduct as US Secretary of State from 2008 to 2012.

After his observation of current world trends as they have developed since 1991, Putin queries what kind of future we face if political elites in Washington and elsewhere focus on non-existent problems and threats, or on problems of their own making, and ignore the very real issues and problems affecting ordinary people everywhere: issues of stability, security and sustainable economic development. The US alone has problems of police violence against minority groups, high levels of public and private debt measured in trillions of dollars, failing transport infrastructure across most states, massive unemployment that either goes undocumented or is deliberately under-reported, high prison incarceration rates and other problems and issues indicative of a highly dysfunctional society. In societies that are ostensibly liberal democracies where the public enjoys political freedoms, there is an ever-growing and vast gap between what people perceive as major problems needing solutions and the political establishment's perceptions of what the problems are, and all too often the public view and the elite view are at polar opposites. The result is that when referenda and elections are held, predictions and assurances of victory one way or another are smashed by actual results showing public preference for the other way, and polling organisations, corporate media with their self-styled "pundits" and "analysts" and governments are caught scrambling to make sense of what just happened.

Putin points out that the only way forward is for all countries to acknowledge and work together on the problems that challenge all humans today, the resolution of which should make the world more stable, more secure and more sustaining of human existence. Globalisation should not just benefit a small plutocratic elite but should be demonstrated in concrete ways to benefit all. Only by adhering to international law and legal arrangements, through the charter of the United Nations and its agencies, can all countries hope to achieve security and stability and achieve a better future for their peoples.

To this end, the sovereignty of Middle Eastern countries like Iraq, Syria and Yemen should be respected and the wars in those countries should be brought to an end, replaced by long-term plans and programs of economic and social reconstruction and development. Global economic development and progress that will reduce disparities between First World and Third World countries, eliminate notions of "winning" and "losing", and end grinding poverty and the problems that go with it should be a major priority. Economic co-operation should be mutually beneficial for all parties that engage in it.

Putin also briefly mentioned in passing the development of human potential and creativity, environmental protection and climate change, and global healthcare as important goals that all countries should strive for.

While there's not much in Putin's speech that he hasn't said before, what he says is typical of his worldview, the breadth and depth of his understanding of current world events (which very, very few Western politicians can match), and his preferred approach of nations working together on common problems and coming to solutions that benefit all and which don't advantage one party's interests to the detriment of others and their needs. Putin's approach is a typically pragmatic and cautious one, neutral with regards to political or economic ideology, but one focused on goals and results, and the best way and methods to achieve those goals.

One interesting aspect of Putin's speech comes near the end where he says that only a world with opportunities for everyone, with access to knowledge to all and many ways to realise creative potential, can be considered truly free. Putin's understanding of freedom would appear to be very different from what the West (and Americans in particular) understand to be "freedom", that is, being free of restraints on one's behaviour. Putin's understanding of freedom would be closer to what 20th-century Russian-born British philosopher Isaiah Berlin would consider to be "positive freedom", the freedom that comes with self-mastery, being able to think and behave freely and being able to choose the government of the society in which one lives.

The most outstanding point in Putin's speech, which unfortunately he does not elaborate on further, given the context of the venue, is the disconnect between the political establishment and the public in most developed countries, the role of the mass media industry in reducing or widening it, and the dangers that this disconnect poses to societies if it continues. If elites continue to pursue their own fantasies and lies, and neglect the needs of the public on whom they rely for support (yet abuse by diminishing their security through offshoring jobs, weakening and eliminating worker protection, privatising education, health and energy, and encouraging housing and other debt bubbles), the invisible bonds of society – what might collectively be called "the social contract" between the ruler and the ruled – will disintegrate and people may turn to violence or other extreme activities to get what they want.

An English-language transcript of the speech can be found at this link .

[Dec 09, 2016] Understanding Evil From Globalism To Pizzagate Zero Hedge

Dec 09, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Submitted by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

I have spent the better part of the last 10 years working diligently to investigate and relate information on economics and geopolitical discourse for the liberty movement. However, long before I delved into these subjects my primary interests of study were the human mind and the human "soul" (yes, I'm using a spiritual term).

My fascination with economics and sociopolitical events has always been rooted in the human element. That is to say, while economics is often treated as a mathematical and statistical field, it is also driven by psychology. To know the behavior of man is to know the future of all his endeavors, good or evil.

Evil is what we are specifically here to discuss. I have touched on the issue in various articles in the past including Are Globalists Evil Or Just Misunderstood , but with extreme tensions taking shape this year in light of the U.S. election as well as the exploding online community investigation of "Pizzagate," I am compelled to examine it once again.

I will not be grappling with this issue from a particularly religious perspective. Evil applies to everyone regardless of their belief system, or even their lack of belief. Evil is secular in its influence.

The first and most important thing to understand is this - evil is NOT simply a social or religious construct, it is an inherent element of the human psyche. Carl Gustav Jung was one of the few psychologists in history to dare write extensively on the issue of evil from a scientific perspective as well as a metaphysical perspective. I highly recommend a book of his collected works on this subject titled 'Jung On Evil', edited by Murray Stein, for those who are interested in a deeper view.

To summarize, Jung found that much of the foundations of human behavior are rooted in inborn psychological contents or "archetypes." Contrary to the position of Sigmund Freud, Jung argued that while our environment may affect our behavior to a certain extent, it does not make us who we are. Rather, we are born with our own individual personality and grow into our inherent characteristics over time. Jung also found that there are universally present elements of human psychology. That is to say, almost every human being on the planet shares certain truths and certain natural predilections.

The concepts of good and evil, moral and immoral, are present in us from birth and are mostly the same regardless of where we are born, what time in history we are born and to what culture we are born. Good and evil are shared subjective experiences. It is this observable psychological fact (among others) that leads me to believe in the idea of a creative design - a god. Again, though, elaborating on god is beyond the scope of this article.

To me, this should be rather comforting to people, even atheists. For if there is observable evidence of creative design, then it would follow that there may every well be a reason for all the trials and horrors that we experience as a species. Our lives, our failures and our accomplishments are not random and meaningless. We are striving toward something, whether we recognize it or not. It may be beyond our comprehension at this time, but it is there.

Evil does not exist in a vacuum; with evil there is always good, if one looks for it in the right places.

Most people are readily equipped to recognize evil when they see it directly. What they are not equipped for and must learn from environment is how to recognize evil disguised as righteousness. The most heinous acts in history are almost always presented as a moral obligation - a path towards some "greater good." Inherent conscience, though, IS the greater good, and any ideology that steps away from the boundaries of conscience will inevitably lead to disaster.

The concept of globalism is one of these ideologies that crosses the line of conscience and pontificates to us about a "superior method" of living. It relies on taboo, rather than moral compass, and there is a big difference between the two.

When we pursue a "greater good" as individuals or as a society, the means are just as vital as the ends. The ends NEVER justify the means. Never. For if we abandon our core principles and commit atrocities in the name of "peace," safety or survival, then we have forsaken the very things which make us worthy of peace and safety and survival. A monster that devours in the name of peace is still a monster.

Globalism tells us that the collective is more important than the individual, that the individual owes society a debt and that fealty to society in every respect is the payment for that debt. But inherent archetypes and conscience tell us differently. They tell us that society is only ever as healthy as the individuals within it, that society is only as free and vibrant as the participants. As the individual is demeaned and enslaved, the collective crumbles into mediocrity.

Globalism also tells us that humanity's greatest potential cannot be reached without collectivism and centralization. The assertion is that the more single-minded a society is in its pursuits the more likely it is to effectively achieve its goals. To this end, globalism seeks to erase all sovereignty. For now its proponents claim they only wish to remove nations and borders from the social equation, but such collectivism never stops there. Eventually, they will tell us that individualism represents another nefarious "border" that prevents the group from becoming fully realized.

At the heart of collectivism is the idea that human beings are "blank slates;" that we are born empty and are completely dependent on our environment in order to learn what is right and wrong and how to be good people or good citizens. The environment becomes the arbiter of decency, rather than conscience, and whoever controls the environment, by extension, becomes god.

If the masses are convinced of this narrative then moral relativity is only a short step away. It is the abandonment of inborn conscience that ultimately results in evil. In my view, this is exactly why the so called "elites" are pressing for globalism in the first place. Their end game is not just centralization of all power into a one world edifice, but the suppression and eradication of conscience, and thus, all that is good.

To see where this leads we must look at the behaviors of the elites themselves, which brings us to "Pizzagate."

The exposure by Wikileaks during the election cycle of what appear to be coded emails sent between John Podesta and friends has created a burning undercurrent in the alternative media. The emails consistently use odd and out of context "pizza" references, and independent investigations have discovered a wide array connections between political elites like Hillary Clinton and John Podesta to James Alefantis, the owner of a pizza parlor in Washington D.C. called Comet Ping Pong. Alefantis, for reasons that make little sense to me, is listed as number 49 on GQ's Most Powerful People In Washington list .

The assertion according to circumstantial evidence including the disturbing child and cannibalism artwork collections of the Podestas has been that Comet Ping Pong is somehow at the center of a child pedophilia network serving the politically connected. Both Comet Ping Pong and a pizza establishment two doors down called Besta Pizza use symbols in their logos and menus that are listed on the FBI's unclassified documentation on pedophilia symbolism , which does not help matters.

Some of the best documentation of the Pizzagate scandal that I have seen so far has been done by David Seaman, a former mainstream journalist gone rogue. Here is his YouTube page .

I do recommend everyone at least look at the evidence he and others present. I went into the issue rather skeptical, but was surprised by the sheer amount of weirdness and evidence regarding Comet Pizza. There is a problem with Pizzagate that is difficult to overcome, however; namely the fact that to my knowledge no victims have come forward. This is not to say there has been no crime, but anyone hoping to convince the general public of wrong-doing in this kind of scenario is going to have a very hard time without a victim to reference.

The problem is doubly difficult now that an armed man was arrested on the premises of Comet Ping Pong while "researching" the claims of child trafficking. Undoubtedly, the mainstream media will declare the very investigation "dangerous conspiracy theory." Whether this will persuade the public to ignore it, or compel them to look into it, remains to be seen.

I fully realize the amount of confusion surrounding Pizzagate and the assertions by some that it is a "pysop" designed to undermine the alternative media. This is a foolish notion, in my view. The mainstream media is dying, this is unavoidable. The alternative media is a network of sources based on the power of choice and cemented in the concept of investigative research. The reader participates in the alternative media by learning all available information and positions and deciding for himself what is the most valid conclusion, if there is any conclusion to be had. The mainstream media simply tells its readers what to think and feel based on cherry picked data.

The elites will never be able to deconstruct that kind of movement with something like a faked "pizzagate"; rather, they would be more inclined to try to co-opt and direct the alternative media as they do most institutions. And, if elitists are using Pizzagate as fodder to trick the alternative media into looking ridiculous, then why allow elitist run social media outlets like Facebook and Reddit to shut down discussion on the issue?

The reason I am more convinced than skeptical at this stage is because this has happened before; and in past scandals of pedophilia in Washington and other political hotbeds, some victims DID come forward.

I would first reference the events of the Franklin Scandal between 1988 and 1991. The Discovery Channel even produced a documentary on it complete with interviews of alleged child victims peddled to Washington elites for the purpose of favors and blackmail. Meant to air in 1994, the documentary was quashed before it was ever shown to the public. The only reason it can now be found is because an original copy was released without permission by parties unknown.

I would also reference the highly evidenced Westminster Pedophile Ring in the U.K. , in which the U.K. government lost or destroyed at least 114 related files related to the investigation.

Finally, it is disconcerting to me that the criminal enterprises of former Bear Sterns financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his "Lolita Express" are mainstream knowledge, yet the public remains largely oblivious. Bill Clinton is shown on flight logs to have flown on Epstein's private jet at least a 26 times; the same jet that he used to procure child victims as young as 12 to entertain celebrities and billionaires on his 72 acre island called "Little Saint James". The fact that Donald Trump was also close friends with Epstein should raise some eyebrows - funny how the mainstream media attacked Trump on every cosmetic issue under the sun but for some reason backed away from pursuing the Epstein angle.

Where is the vast federal investigation into the people who frequented Epstein's wretched parties? There is none, and Epstein, though convicted of molesting a 14 year old girl and selling her into prostitution, was only slapped on the wrist with a 13 month sentence.

Accusations of pedophilia seem to follow the globalists and elitist politicians wherever they go. This does not surprise me. They often exhibit characteristics of narcissism and psychopathy, but their ideology of moral relativity is what would lead to such horrible crimes.

Evil often stems from people who are empty. When one abandons conscience, one also in many respects abandons empathy and love. Without these elements of our psyche there is no happiness. Without them, there is nothing left but desire and gluttony.

Narcissists in particular are prone to use other people as forms of entertainment and fulfillment without concern for their humanity. They can be vicious in nature, and when taken to the level of psychopathy, they are prone to target and abuse the most helpless of victims in order to generate a feeling of personal power.

Add in sexual addiction and aggression and narcissists become predatory in the extreme. Nothing ever truly satisfies them. When they grow tired of the normal, they quickly turn to the abnormal and eventually the criminal. I would say that pedophilia is a natural progression of the elitist mindset; for children are the easiest and most innocent victim source, not to mention the most aberrant and forbidden, and thus the most desirable for a psychopathic deviant embracing evil impulses.

Beyond this is the even more disturbing prospect of cultism. It is not that the globalists are simply evil as individuals; if that were the case then they would present far less of a threat. The greater terror is that they are also organized. When one confronts the problem of evil head on, one quickly realizes that evil is within us all. There will always be an internal battle in every individual. Organized evil, though, is in fact the ultimate danger, and it is organized evil that must be eradicated.

For organized evil to be defeated, there must be organized good. I believe the liberty movement in particular is that good; existing in early stages, not yet complete, but good none the less. Our championing of the non-aggression principle and individual liberty is conducive to respect for privacy, property and life. Conscience is a core tenet of the liberty ideal, and the exact counter to organized elitism based on moral relativity.

Recognize and take solace that though we live in dark times, and evil men roam free, we are also here. We are the proper response to evil, and we have been placed here at this time for a reason. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it coincidence, call it god, call it whatever you want, but the answer to evil is us.

  • None
  • Donald Trump
  • Private Jet
  • FBI
  • Washington D.C.
  • Printer-friendly version
  • Dec 8, 2016 10:15 PM
  • 35
  • Comment viewing options Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
    AtATrESICI Dec 8, 2016 10:18 PM ,
    Wow
    eforce AtATrESICI Dec 8, 2016 10:24 PM ,
    "Out of the temporary evil we are now compelled to commit will emerge the good of an unshakable rule, which will restore the regular course of the machinery of the national life, brought to naught by liberalism. The result justifies the means. Let us, however, in our plans, direct our attention not so much to what is good and moral as to what is necessary and useful."

    --The Protocols.

    peddling-fiction eforce Dec 8, 2016 10:29 PM ,
    This rabbit hole requires a little spiritual know-how but is very blunt and direct.

    It is about EVIL this time around here in our terrarium.

    Almost Solvent peddling-fiction Dec 8, 2016 10:30 PM ,
    Only one question matters.

    Is there a basement or not?

    peddling-fiction Almost Solvent Dec 8, 2016 10:40 PM ,
    and what are chicken lovers?

    For a laugh read some real fake encyclopedia entries here-> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pizzagate_ (conspiracy_theory)

    eforce peddling-fiction Dec 8, 2016 10:42 PM ,
    I should also point out those alledgedly behind The Protocols are not the people the article is referring ie: those people are typically found in any liberal establishment.
    Fed Supporter eforce Dec 8, 2016 10:55 PM ,
    #PizzaGate New Info 12/8/16: Pizzagate SHOOTER & BROTHER Exposed Via their INSTAGRAM

    CHAOS MAYHEM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHTsMWUGVeE NO KIDDING THE #PizzaGate Shooter's (KID BROTHER) HAS AN INSTAGRAM ... WTF FUBAR
    the Internet has located the Shooter's younger Transgendered BROTHER the artist from COMET ping Pong Band Nights..
    Squid-puppets a... peddling-fiction Dec 8, 2016 10:44 PM ,
    A good article, but it fails to deliver on these key aspects of the matter:

    Everyone knows from the Godfather and its genre that there is a connection between loyalty, criminality and power: Once you witness someone engaging in a criminal act, you have leverage over them and that ensures their loyalty. But what follows from that - which healthy sane minds have trouble contemplating - is that the greater the criminality the greater the leverage, and that because murderous paedophilia places a person utterly beyond any prospect of redemption in decent society, there in NO GREATER LOYALTY than those desperate to avoid being outed. These must be the three corners of the triangle - Power:Loyalty:Depravity through which the evil eys views the world.

    I always beleived in an Illuminati of sorts, however they care to self identify. Until Pizzagate, I never understood that murderous paedophilia, luciferian in style to accentuate their own depravity, is THE KEY TO RULING THE EARTH

    And another thing. If pizzagate is 'fake news' then it it inconceivably elaborate - they'd have had to fake Epstein 2008, Silsby 2010, Breitbart 2011, the 2013 portugese release of podestaesque mccann suspects, as well as the current run of wikileaks and Alefantis' instagram account - which had an avatar photo of the 13 yr old lover of a roman emperor.

    Is that much fake news a possibility? Or has this smoke been blowing for years and we've all been too distracted to stop and look for fire?

    JacksNight eforce Dec 8, 2016 10:43 PM ,
    Happy Advent everyone! "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

    Matthew 5:43-48

    PizzaGate/TwitterGate/RedditGate repost:

    PizzaGate Infographic:

    http://sli.mg/lwgIgH

    Archived reddit thread to fellow journalists which led to the banning of r/pizzagate:

    https://archive.fo/MrsGu

    Andrew Breitbart tweets before death adds fuel to online speculation of D.C. sex-trafficking ring:

    https://i.sli.mg/C9U1nQ.jpg

    The Pedophocracy by David McGowan – Bibliography included:

    http://www.whale.to/b/pedophocracy.html

    FBI Special Agent Ted Gunderson outlines satanic pedophile elements in the United States:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BplUD6kQYuU

    Evidence regarding international pedophile rings being protected by police and intelligence agencies:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/1cm0t3/original_research_the_mountain_of_evidence_for_a/

    // //
    Draybin Defferc... eforce Dec 8, 2016 10:30 PM ,
    What floors me about the whole pizzagate thing is the evil staring us right in the face. And then to realize that the libtards don't even believe in evil at all, only "mental illness"!
    Umh Dec 8, 2016 10:22 PM ,
    Lesson #1: Do not waste your time figuring some things out. Things like evil people are probably beyond a decent persons ability to understand and let's be honest I don't want to feel any sympathy for them anyway.
    peddling-fiction Umh Dec 8, 2016 10:30 PM ,
    Invest some time if you want to understand what is going on> http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/hiddenevil/hiddenevil.htm
    Uwantsun Dec 8, 2016 10:22 PM ,
    PIZZAGATE IS REAL. All else is intrigue.
    peddling-fiction Uwantsun Dec 8, 2016 10:34 PM ,
    PIZZAGATE

    Why does this artist paint this-> https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyS0-oIUQAAJ7e8.jpg

    freddymercury Dec 8, 2016 10:22 PM ,
    The 'devil' is in the details
    Armadillo Bandit freddymercury Dec 8, 2016 10:33 PM ,
    Good subject to show your wit on.
    conraddobler Dec 8, 2016 10:35 PM ,
    True liberty does not exist and will never exist if the oxygen in the room is owned and rented back to you.

    Soul Glow Dec 8, 2016 10:33 PM ,
    The best thing about Pizzagate is that it vindicates Breitbart's tweets before he died about Podesta being a pedophile.

    https://i.sli.mg/C9U1nQ.jpg

    peddling-fiction Soul Glow Dec 8, 2016 10:38 PM ,
    May he rest in peace. No fear.
    JTimchenko Dec 8, 2016 10:39 PM ,
    Lots of evil going on... but people ought not to be nuts enough to go into some pizza joint with a gun firing just because rumors are flying.
    Soul Glow JTimchenko Dec 8, 2016 10:43 PM ,
    I'm all for gold manipulation. Leaves more time for me to buy it!

    ;)

    Neighbour Dec 8, 2016 10:37 PM ,
    Man knows Good and Evil, which is the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. Man does not know God-Yet!

    When we are brought low, then we will know God, inwhich he will offer to us The Tree of Life.

    Keep your eyes open and ears tuned...our world is spinning faster and more violently then ever.

    cherry picker Neighbour Dec 8, 2016 10:54 PM ,
    The deeds of humans bring this out.

    This recent election illustrates how evil works.

    Read a book years ago by Dr. Karl Menninger, a psychiatrist, titled 'Whatever happened to Sin?'

    In it he talks of murder and that it is not a natural thing for man to do,. However, when the burden of guilt is spread over many shoulders and government condones the action, it becomes easier to bear.

    When observing the results, such as soldiers returning from war, unstable mentally, it is evident that evil has occured. It has been decades since I read the book, so the words I wrote may not be verbatim.

    dark pools of soros Dec 8, 2016 10:37 PM ,
    Good article.. must be fake

    ebworthen Dec 8, 2016 10:39 PM ,
    Wall Street, Washington, the FED, and the Kleptoligarchy are evil; Satanic.

    Was there a question in there somewhere?

    quax Dec 8, 2016 10:41 PM ,
    Unlike victimless Pizzagate a victim aledged to have been raped by Trump at the age of 13 did come forward, but this has been all but ignored here.
    kuwa mzuri quax Dec 8, 2016 10:50 PM ,
    You're saying raped, tortured, snuffed and maybe eaten child victims haven't come forward?

    You've got a point, then.

    stant Dec 8, 2016 10:41 PM ,
    Peak evil is hear , forget peak oil , peak debt etc
    Armadillo Bandit Dec 8, 2016 10:42 PM ,
    Lurked ZH for years, just started reading the comments. This is worse than Reddit's echo chamber. Bible quotes? 3 guys 1 hammer on liveleak has more productive comments. Why not mention methods you've used to help people reach their own conclusion about Pizzagate?
    Handful of Dust Dec 8, 2016 10:43 PM ,
    I had two slices of pizza for dinner. I had to try not to think of the poor children walking innocently about the store who may at any moment fall victim to a pedo. My gf said pizza places all over now need to keep a keen eye out for the Posdesta Brothers and their Gang after all the stuff that has come out from WikiLeaks and other sources about them.

    I notice the Podesta Brothers are now in hiding.

    Shameful.

    flaminratzazz Dec 8, 2016 10:51 PM ,
    The bible says God created evil and loosed it on us. The correct reading of Genesis 4;1 is from the dead sea scrolls stating :

    "And Adam knew his wife Eve, who was pregnant by Sammael [Satan] , and she conceived and bare Cain, and he was like the heavenly beings, and not like earthly beings, and she said, I have gotten a man from the angel of the Lord."

    So in Isaiah 45:7 we have this:

    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things .

    So my research shows evil was "grafted" into humans through the unholy alliance and 2 seedline of people resulted.

    US and THEM

    you can see it in their eyes

    kuwa mzuri Dec 8, 2016 10:54 PM ,
    Good article but an exception: evil doesn't reside in all of us, sin does. Evil is the expression of wanton and intentional deception, injury, degradation, and destruction and rarely self-recognizes or admits to God as supreme. It may be DNA encoded. Sociopathy certainly is.

    But you're so right about the organized nature of it all, and for thousands of years. The newly formed EU didn't advertise itself as the New Babylonia for nothing on publicty posters, heralding the coming age of one tongue out of many and fashioning its parliament building after the Tower of Bablyon:

    http://nteb-mudflowermedia.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/eur...

    Secret societies are cannibalizing us, and themselves, but members won't know till it's too late that they'll also be eaten fairly early on. Of all "people", they should know those in the pyramid capstone won't have enough elbow room if they let in every Tom, Dick and Harry Mason.

    HRH Feant Dec 8, 2016 10:47 PM ,
    I am sympatico with Brandon. I have always had similar interests, about the soul, about ethics, about human behavior.

    The reality is that evil is extant in other human beings. The thought that your property manager is going to piss in your OJ or fuck their BFF in your bed is abhorrent to most people, but not all. There was an article this week about a married couple that had concerns about their rental unit manager. And what did they find? He was fucking his BFF (yes, of course it was another dude) in their bed. The good news is they got it on video and moved. The bad news? This kind of attitude is rampant. People don't give a shit about other people. They think the rules don't apply to them. That they are special. The result is renting from some asshat that fucks in your bed or pisses in your OJ. Or parents that wonder why little Johnny or little Janie never move out of the house and are stoned and play video games all day.

    Evil exists, in varying forms. Sadly too many people continue to make excuses for not only bad behavior but evil behavior. I don't think that way and I don't live my life that way but I am fully aware of all the morons stumbling through the world that do.

    Ms No Dec 8, 2016 10:50 PM ,
    I think people are misunderstanding the setup theory. Nobody believes, at least I hope not, that all of this art and bizarre behavior on the part of these freaks was staged for the purposes of taking down the last of our free media, but rather, they just took advantage of a situation where they knew people were making accusations that couldn't be sufficiently backed up or even prosecuted, and yet caused proven or contrived damages to people. If this is the case, their intention, with the help of intelligence agencies , is to frame alt-media for starting vigilante violence and the destruction of innocent people's lives through promoting defamation against others.

    I have no doubt that our entire system is riddled with pedophilia and likely much worse. They have also been getting away with this forever, so when we go for the takedown we better have our ducks in a row. To do otherwise will just give these sickos complete immunity and more decades will pass with them continuing to prey on our children. Not only is this at stake but the fate of all the children of this nation is at stake if we lose our media. We are in very dangerous and treacherous times. When you go toe to toe with the professional trade crafters you have to play smart or they will have you every time.

    Once people have had enough exposure to NPDs or psychopaths you will vibe them after a while. I imagine this is likely the case for anyone who has worked as a trader, finance, politics, big commodity booms are bad, etc. We have all encountered them somewhere. People should pay attention to how they feel (yeah I know, people hate that word) when they are around people. I have to pretend that I don't notice them because it is so apparent to me and immediately.

    The last time I picked one out at work, a few months later the creepy bastard walked past me at night during a -20 blizzard, with next to no visibility, knowing that I had an hour drive, and told me in super spooky whisper.. "Don't hit a deer on your way home now." I found out later that a bunch of horses had mysteriously died in his care and a bunch of other things that confirmed my suspicions. I had a long battle with him so I eventually got to understand him pretty well. I didn't have to hear the guy state a single sentence or watch any body language, I just knew immediately because I could feel his malevolence and threat in my stomach where we have a large nerve cluster. Pay attention and you will know. Also their eye contact is all wrong and too intense.

    Aussiekiwi Dec 8, 2016 10:55 PM ,
    Globalism, is designed to make you poorer slowly over decades by allowing wages and conditions to be for ever slowly reduced under the guise of free market competition to funnel wealth ever upwards to the 1%.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of US Led Economic Globalisation?

    Notable quotes:
    "... By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline ..."
    "... President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US. ..."
    "... The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values. ..."
    "... But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. ..."
    "... But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them. ..."
    "... Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions ..."
    "... All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations ..."
    "... So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals. ..."
    "... The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself. ..."
    "... Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg ..."
    "... While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.) ..."
    "... Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes. ..."
    "... Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way. ..."
    "... We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products. ..."
    "... the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future! ..."
    "... The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder. ..."
    "... Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm ..."
    "... It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio. ..."
    "... The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/ "US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike." ..."
    "... So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now? ..."
    "... Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade". ..."
    "... Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy." ..."
    "... Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project! ..."
    "... Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves. ..."
    "... Funny how little things change over the centuries. ..."
    "... The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans. ..."
    "... "How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu. ..."
    "... The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China". ..."
    "... Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China". ..."
    "... Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them. ..."
    "... Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret. ..."
    "... Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects. ..."
    "... It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country. ..."
    "... I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations ..."
    "... Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St. ..."
    Sep 22, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline

    There is much angst in the Northern financial media about how the era of globalisation led actively by the United States may well be coming to an end. This is said to be exemplified in the changed political attitudes to mega regional trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed (but has not yet been ratified) by the US and 11 other countries in Latin America, Asia and Oceania; and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) still being negotiated by the US and the European Union.

    President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

    However, the changing political currents in the US are making that ever more unlikely. Hardly anyone who is a candidate in the coming elections, whether for the Presidency, the Senate or the House of Representatives, is willing to stick their necks out to back the deal.

    Both Presidential candidates in the US (Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton) have openly come out against the TPP. In Clinton's case this is a complete reversal of her earlier position when she had referred to the TPP as "the gold standard of trade deals" – and it has clearly been forced upon her by the insurgent movement in the Democratic Party led by Bernie Sanders. She is already being pushed by her rival candidate for not coming out more clearly in terms of a complete rejection of this deal. Given the significant trust deficit that she still has to deal with across a large swathe of US voters, it will be hard if not impossible for her to backtrack on this once again (as her husband did earlier with NAFTA) even if she does achieve the Presidency.

    The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values.

    But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. Even the only US government study of the TPP's likely impacts, by the International Trade Commission, could project at best only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032. A study by Jeronim Capaldo and Alex Izurieta with Jomo Kwame Sundaram ("Trading down: Unemployment, inequality and other risks of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement", Working Paper 16-01, Global Development and Environment Institute, January 2016) was even less optimistic, even for the US. It found that the benefits to exports and economic growth were likely to be relatively small for all member countries, and would be negative in the US and Japan because of losses to employment and increases in inequality. Wage shares of national income would decline in all the member countries.

    But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them.

    Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying:

    1. the intellectual property provisions,
    2. the restrictions on regulatory practices
    3. the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.
    Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.

    All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations

    For example, the TPP (and the TTIP) require more stringent enforcement requirements of intellectual property rights: reducing exemptions (e.g. allowing compulsory licensing only for emergencies); preventing parallel imports; extending IPRs to areas like life forms, counterfeiting and piracy; extending exclusive rights to test data (e.g. in pharmaceuticals); making IPR provisions more detailed and prescriptive. The scope of drug patents is extended to include minor changes to existing medications (a practice commonly employed by drug companies, known as "evergreening"). Patent linkages would make it more difficult for many generic drugs to enter markets.

    This would strengthen, lengthen and broaden pharmaceutical monopolies on cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS drugs, and in general make even life-saving drugs more expensive and inaccessible in all the member countries. It would require further transformation of countries' laws on patents and medical test data. It would reduce the scope of exemption in use of medical formulations through public procurement for public purposes. All this is likely to lead to reductions in access to drugs and medical procedures because of rising prices, and also impede innovation rather than encouraging it, across member countries.

    There are also very restrictive copyright protection rules, that would also affect internet usage as Internet Service Providers are to be forced to adhere to them. There are further restrictions on branding that would reinforce the market power of established players.

    The TPP and TTIP also contain restrictions on regulatory practices that greatly increase the power of corporations relative to states and can even prevent states from engaging in countercyclical measures designed to boost domestic demand. It has been pointed out by consumer groups in the USA that the powers of the Food and Drug Administration to regulate products that affect health of citizens could be constrained and curtailed by this agreement. Similarly, macroeconomic stimulus packages that focus on boosting domestic demand for local production would be explicitly prohibited by such agreements.

    All these are matters for concern because these agreements enable corporations to litigate against governments that are perceived to be flouting these provisions because of their own policy goals or to protect the rights of their citizens. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism enabled by these agreements is seen to be one of their most deadly features. Such litigation is then subject to supranational tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards and which do not see the rights of citizen as in any way superior to the "rights" of corporations to their profits. These courts can conduct closed and secret hearings with secret evidence. They do not just interpret the rules but contribute to them through case law because of the relatively vague wording of the text, which can then be subject to different interpretations, and therefore are settled by case law. The experience thus far with such tribunals has been problematic. Since they are legally based on "equal" treatment of legal persons with no primacy for human rights, they have become known for their pro-investor bias, partly due to the incentive structure for arbitrators, and partly because the system is designed to provide supplementary guarantees to investors, rather than making them respect host countries laws and regulations.

    If all these features of the TPP and the TTIP were more widely known, it is likely that there would be even greater public resistance to them in the US and in other countries. Even as it is, there is growing antagonism to the trade liberalisation that is seen to bring benefits to corporations rather than to workers, at a period in history when secure employment is seen to be the biggest prize of all.

    So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals.

    human , September 22, 2016 at 10:14 am

    his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

    "just _after_ the November Presidential election"

    Uahsenaa , September 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I was watching a speech Premier Li gave at the Economic Club of NY last night, and it was interesting to see how all his (vetted, pre-selected) questions revolved around anxieties having to do with resistance to global trade deals. Li made a few pandering comments about how much the Chinese love American beef (stop it! you're killing me! har har) meant to diffuse those anxieties, but it became clear that the fear among TPTB of people's dissatisfaction with the current economic is palpable. Let's keep it up!

    allan , September 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

    On a related note:

    U.S. Court Throws Out Price-Fixing Judgment Against Chinese Vitamin C Makers [WSJ]

    A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a $147 million civil price fixing judgment against Chinese manufacturers of vitamin C, ruling the companies weren't liable in U.S. courts because they were acting under the direction of Chinese authorities.

    The case raised thorny questions of how courts should treat foreign companies accused of violating U.S. antitrust law when they are following mandates of a foreign government.

    "I was only following orders" might not have worked in Nuremberg, but it's a-ok in international trade.

    different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself.

    Wellstone's Ghost , September 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Trump has already back peddaled on his TPP stance. He now says he wants to renegotiate the TTP and other trade deals. Whatever that means. Besides, Trump is a distraction, its Mike Pence you should be keeping your eye on. He's American Taliban pure and simple.

    RPDC , September 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    This is simply false. Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg

    Hillary wants to start a war with Russia and pass the trade trifecta of TPP/TTIP/TiSA.

    sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.)

    Trump was run to make Hillary look good, but that has turned out to be Mission Real Impossible!

    We are seeing the absolute specious political theater at its worst, attempting to differentiate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Trumpster – – – the only major difference is that Clinton has far more real blood on her and Bill's hands.

    Nope, there is no lesser of evils this time around . . .

    Quanka , September 23, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes.

    different clue , September 24, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Really? Well . . . might as well vote for Clinton then.

    First Woman President!
    Feminism!
    Liberation!

    TedWa , September 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way.

    a different chris , September 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    >only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032.

    At that point American's wages will have dropped near enough to Chinese levels that we can compete in selling to First World countries . assuming there are any left.

    oh , September 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products.

    sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Naaah, never been about competition, since nobody is actually vetted when they offshore those jobs or replace American workers with foreign visa workers.

    But to sum it up as succinctly as possible: the TPP is about the destruction of workers' rights; the destruction of local and small businesses; and the loss of sovereignty. Few Americans are cognizant of just how many businesses are foreign owned today in America; their local energy utility or state energy utility, their traffic enforcement company which was privatized, their insurance company (GEICO, etc.).

    I remember when a political action group back in the '00s thought they had stumbled on a big deal when someone had hacked into the system of the Bretton Woods Committee (the lobbyist group for the international super-rich which ONLY communicates with the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, and who shares the same lobbyist and D.C. office space as the Group of Thirty, the lobbyist group for the central bankers [Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Mario Draghi, Ernesto Zedillo, Bill Dudley, etc., etc.]) and placed online their demand of the senate and the congress to kill the "Buy America" clause in the federal stimulus program of a few years back (it was watered down greatly, and many exemptions were signed by then Commerce Secretary Gary Locke), but such information went completely unnoticed or ignored, and of course, the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future!

    http://www.brettonwoods.org
    http://www.group30.org

    Arthur J , September 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder.

    Carla , September 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    In June 2016, "[TransCanada] filed an arbitration claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) over President Obama's rejection of the pipeline, making good on its January threat to take legal action against the US decision.

    According to the official request for arbitration, the $15 billion tab is supposed to help the company recover costs and damages that it suffered "as a result of the US administration's breach of its NAFTA obligations." NAFTA is a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that went into effect in January 1, 1994. Under the agreement, businesses can challenge governments over investment disputes.

    In addition, the company filed a suit in US Federal Court in Houston, Texas in January asserting that the Obama Administration exceeded the power granted by the US Constitution in denying the project."

    http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/transcanada_complains_nafta_sues_us_15_bn_keystone_xl_rejection/

    Six states have since joined that federal law suit.

    Kris Alman , September 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm

    It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio.

    Obama's rhetoric May 5, 2015 at the Nike campus was all about how small businesses would prosper. Congresswoman Bonamici clings to this rationale in her refusal to tell angry constituents at town halls whether she supports the TPP.

    The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/
    "US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike."

    That appeals to the other big athletic corporations that cluster in the Portland metro: Columbia Sportswear and Under Armour.

    A plot twist!

    Vietnam will not include ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the agenda for its next parliament session. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/1087705/vietnam-delays-tpp-vote So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

    Vatch , September 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

    Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade".

    hemeantwell , September 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy."

    Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project!

    ChrisFromGeorgia , September 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves.

    Funny how little things change over the centuries.

    Brad , September 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans.

    "How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu.

    Minnie Mouse , September 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    When America writes the rules of the global economy the global economy destroys America.

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , September 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China".

    Would be nice if they had even a passing thought for those people in a certain North American region located in between Canada and Mexico.

    different clue , September 23, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China".

    Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them.

    different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    If calling the International Free Trade Conspiracy "American" is enough to get it killed and destroyed, then I don't mind having a bunch of foreigners calling the Free Trade Conspiracy "American". Just as long as they are really against it, and can really get Free Trade killed and destroyed.

    Chauncey Gardiner , September 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Excellent post. Thank you. Should these so called "trade agreements" be approved, perhaps Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS arbitration) futures can be created by Wall Street and made the next speculative "Play-of-the-day" so that everyone has a chance to participate in the looting. Btw, can you loot your own house?

    KYrocky , September 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret.

    At the time he made that statement Warren could go to an offsite location to read the TPP in the presence of a member of the Trade Commission, could not have staff with her, could not take notes, and could not discuss anything she read with anyone else after she left. Or face criminal charges.

    Yeah. Nothing secret about that.

    Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects.

    sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    And add to that everything from David Dayen's book (" Chain of Title ") on Covington & Burling and Eric Holder and President Obama, and Thomas Frank's book ("Listen, Liberals") and people will have the full picture!

    Spencer , September 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country.

    So, there's a financial incentive (to maximize profits), not to repatriate foreign income (pushes up our exchange rate, currency conversion costs, if domestic re-investment alternatives are considered more circumscribed, plus taxes, etc.).

    In spite of the surfeit of $s, and E-$ credits, and unlike the days in which world-trade required a Marshall Plan jump start, trade surpluses increasingly depend on the Asian Tiger's convertibility issues.

    Praedor , September 23, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations or even (potential) unfriendlies like China (who can easily put trojan spyware hard code or other vulnerabilities into critical microchips the way WE were told the US could/would when it was leading on this tech when I was serving in the 90s). We already know that US-written rules is simply a way for mega corporations to extend patents into the ever-more-distant future, a set of rules that hands more control of arts over to the MPAA, rules that gut environmental laws, etc. Who needs the US-written agreements when this is the result?

    Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St.

    [Dec 05, 2016] The Democratic Party Presidential Platform of 1996 – On Immigration

    Blast from the past. Bill Clinton position on illegal immegtation.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Today's Democratic Party also believes we must remain a nation of laws. We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again. ..."
    "... President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away. We have increased the Border Patrol by over 40 percent; in El Paso, our Border Patrol agents are so close together they can see each other. Last year alone, the Clinton Administration removed thousands of illegal workers from jobs across the country. Just since January of 1995, we have arrested more than 1,700 criminal aliens and prosecuted them on federal felony charges because they returned to America after having been deported. ..."
    "... However, as we work to stop illegal immigration, we call on all Americans to avoid the temptation to use this issue to divide people from each other. We deplore those who use the need to stop illegal immigration as a pretext for discrimination . And we applaud the wisdom of Republicans like Mayor Giuliani and Senator Domenici who oppose the mean-spirited and short-sighted effort of Republicans in Congress to bar the children of illegal immigrants from schools - it is wrong, and forcing children onto the streets is an invitation for them to join gangs and turn to crime. ..."
    Nov 30, 2016 | angrybearblog.com

    What follows is from Today's Democratic Party: Meeting America's Challenges, Protecting America's Values , a.k.a., the 1996 Democratic Party Platform. This is the section on immigration. I took the liberty of bolding pieces I found interesting.

    Democrats remember that we are a nation of immigrants. We recognize the extraordinary contribution of immigrants to America throughout our history. We welcome legal immigrants to America. We support a legal immigration policy that is pro-family, pro-work, pro-responsibility, and pro-citizenship , and we deplore those who blame immigrants for economic and social problems.

    We know that citizenship is the cornerstone of full participation in American life. We are proud that the President launched Citizenship USA to help eligible immigrants become United States citizens. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is streamlining procedures, cutting red tape, and using new technology to make it easier for legal immigrants to accept the responsibilities of citizenship and truly call America their home.

    Today's Democratic Party also believes we must remain a nation of laws. We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again.

    President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away. We have increased the Border Patrol by over 40 percent; in El Paso, our Border Patrol agents are so close together they can see each other. Last year alone, the Clinton Administration removed thousands of illegal workers from jobs across the country. Just since January of 1995, we have arrested more than 1,700 criminal aliens and prosecuted them on federal felony charges because they returned to America after having been deported.

    However, as we work to stop illegal immigration, we call on all Americans to avoid the temptation to use this issue to divide people from each other. We deplore those who use the need to stop illegal immigration as a pretext for discrimination . And we applaud the wisdom of Republicans like Mayor Giuliani and Senator Domenici who oppose the mean-spirited and short-sighted effort of Republicans in Congress to bar the children of illegal immigrants from schools - it is wrong, and forcing children onto the streets is an invitation for them to join gangs and turn to crime.

    Democrats want to protect American jobs by increasing criminal and civil sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers , but Republicans continue to favor inflammatory rhetoric over real action. We will continue to enforce labor standards to protect workers in vulnerable industries. We continue to firmly oppose welfare benefits for illegal immigrants. We believe family members who sponsor immigrants into this country should take financial responsibility for them, and be held legally responsible for supporting them.

    [Dec 05, 2016] The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

    Notable quotes:
    "... It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years. ..."
    "... IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China ..."
    "... It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife. ..."
    Sep 27, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
    Dante5 1d ago
    The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

    It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years.

    IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China as the US do and have a pretty capable army.

    If the US patched things up with the Russians, firstly it could redeploy forces and military effort away from the Middle East towards Asia Pac and secondly it would give the US effective leverage over China -- with the majority of the oil producing nations aligned with the US, China would have difficulty in conducted a sustained conflict.

    It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Fareed Zakaria Is Confused on Trade and the TPP

    Notable quotes:
    "... The real problem is the Chinese do not believe in economic profits, just market rates of return on invested capital which to be honest is only about 2-5% depending on risk. ..."
    Jul 20, 2015 | economistsview.typepad.com
    July 20, 2015
    anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    What we find the most interesting is that the AIIB founders didn't ask member countries to approve an expansion of either the World Bank or the ADB. Instead, they opted for a new organization altogether.
    Why? The problem is institutional legitimacy arising from issues of power and governance :

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

    [ Why? Because when all is said and done the United States wants to be able to control the Asian Development Bank, the IMF and World Bank and use them to in turn "control" countries that it wishes to be subject to the US but especially to control China as the New York Times editorial board made clear today in supporting Japanese militarism. *

    * http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/20/opinion/japan-wrestles-with-its-pacifism.html ]

    anne -> anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

    [ Unless the word "official" suffices as an excuse, of course United States and British policy makers in particular dispute the need for more government supported infrastructure funding. Amartya Sen and Vijay Prashad have made this entirely clear for India. *

    * http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/opinion/why-india-trails-china.html ]

    mulp -> anne :

    The real problem is the Chinese do not believe in economic profits, just market rates of return on invested capital which to be honest is only about 2-5% depending on risk.

    Americans demand monopoly profits and ROIC so high that the price of capital assets rapidly inflates.

    Thus China's high speed rail plans are evil because China is advocating high volumes of HSR construction that costs decline by economies of scale leading to the replacement cost of any existing rail line being lower than original cost so the result is capital depreciation lower the price of assets, tangible and intangible, and the frantic pace of creating jobs and building more capital - more rail - eliminates any monopoly power of any rail system, thereby forcing revenues down to costs with the recovery of investment cost stretched to decades, and ROIC forced toward zero.

    And it's that policy of investing to eliminate profits that drives conservatives insane. They scream, "it is bankrupt because those hundred year lifetime assets are not paying for themselves and generating stock market gains in seven years!"

    Its like banking was from circa 1930 to 1980! It is like utility regulation was from 1930 to 1980! How can wealth be created when monopoly power is thwarted?!?

    Just imagine how devastating if China uses the AIIB to build a rail network speeding goods between China and the tip of Africa and every place in between! Highly destructive of wealth.

    anne -> mulp :

    Interesting argument that I will carefully think through and argue with in turn. Nice, nice comment.

    anne -> mulp :

    Terrific comment, which should be further developed; I am thinking.

    anne -> mulp :

    Though I want to smooth the writing and terminology, I completely agree. Again, a terrific thoroughly enlightening comment. ]

    anne :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

    [ Surely the IMF and the like are responsible for the "explosive" 38 year growth in real per capita Gross Domestic Product and 35 year growth in total factor productivity from Mexico, neighbor to the United States, to the Philippines, to Kenya : ]

    anne -> anne :

    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1pbp

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2014

    (Percent change)


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1pbq

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne -> anne :

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=RZD

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2011


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=VJj

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne -> anne :

    Even supposing analysts short of an Amartya Sen wish to be judicious in actually looking to the data of the last 38 years, as even Sen has found there is a price for arguing about the obvious importance of soft (social welfare spending) and hard institutional infrastructure spending in China:


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=15Ie

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Mexico, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tO2

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Philippines, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tO3

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Kenya, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qyT

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United States and
    United Kingdom, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=VJf

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China,
    United States and United Kingdom, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tiq

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for United States, United
    Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Germany and China, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=197l

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for United
    States, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Germany and China,
    1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    What we find the most interesting is that the AIIB founders didn't ask member countries to approve an expansion of either the World Bank or the ADB. Instead, they opted for a new organization altogether.

    Why? The problem is institutional legitimacy arising from issues of power and governance :

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qsO

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=10zf

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China,
    Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qzW

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Sweden, Denmark, Norway,
    Finland and China, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qzY

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Sweden,
    Denmark, Norway, Finland and China, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qE2

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Ireland, Portugal, Spain,
    Italy, Greece and China, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qE5

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Ireland,
    Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and China, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1pco

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, Japan and Korea, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=VYR

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, Japan and Korea, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    kthomas :

    yawn

    anne :

    Yawn

    [ When did the United States experience 38 years of 8.6% real per capita GDP growth yearly? How about the United Kingdom? How about any other country? I have just begun, go ahead choose another country to go with China. I am waiting. Go ahead. I will include the astonishing total factor productivity growth as well. ]

    anne :

    While most of the G20 nations, including the big European states, Australia, and South Korea, are among the founding members, the United States, Japan, and Canada are noticeably not :

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

    [ I found it startling and discouraging that Greece virtually alone in Europe did not apply to be a founding member of the AIIB. ]

    anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1q64

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United Kingdom,
    Australia and Canada, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=10fa

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China,
    United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne -> anne :

    Yawn

    [ I am still waiting, choose a country to go with China. ]

    anne -> anne :

    No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

    And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

    -- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tX6

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and China, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tX8

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and China, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne -> anne :

    Yawn

    [ Still waiting, choose a country to go with China. ]

    Bruce Webb :

    As to why the AIIB decided to go alone (at least without the US) it may have something to do with a fact that I stumbled on in relation to the Greece crisis. I am sure that most people here knew the basic fact and perhaps appreciate the irony but I didn't know whether to weep or laugh outright.

    The U.S. only controls 17% of voting powers of the IMF. Why barely a sixth! Yet any positive decision requires an 85% vote. Meaning that in operational terms the U.S. might as well hold 51%.

    You see similar things with NATO. It's a partnership that has high officers rotating in from here or there. But which requires that the overall NATO Commander be an American.

    Nothing undemocratic or hegemonic here! Nope! Moving right along!

    anne -> Bruce Webb :

    The U.S. only controls 17% of voting powers of the IMF. Why barely a sixth! Yet any positive decision requires an 85% vote. Meaning that in operational terms the U.S. might as well hold 51%.

    You see similar things with NATO. It's a partnership that has high officers rotating in from here or there. But which requires that the overall NATO Commander be an American.

    Nothing undemocratic or hegemonic here! Nope! Moving right along!

    [ Perfect and important. ]

    anne -> Bruce Webb :

    I am sure that most people here knew the basic fact and perhaps appreciate the irony but I didn't know whether to weep or laugh outright :.

    [ No, in continually whining about the need for Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to be transparent and democratic the United States was making sure never ever to explain the historic lack of transparency and anti-democratic nature of the IMF and World Bank and Asian Development Bank. ]

    anne :

    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qtx

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile
    and China, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qtr

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Brazil,
    Argentina, Chile and China, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    anne :

    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tYy

    August 4, 2014

    Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India and Turkey, 1976-2014

    (Indexed to 1976)


    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=181Y

    November 1, 2014

    Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, India and Turkey, 1976-2011

    (Indexed to 1976)

    [Dec 05, 2016] The geopolitical reasons for TPP, from Americas point of view, are pretty clear. It is a preemptive move against future China dominance in the region

    Notable quotes:
    "... Bill Clinton: "The geopolitical reasons for [TPP], from America's point of view, are pretty clear. It's designed to make sure that the future of the Asia-Pacific region, economically, is not totally dominated by China" ..."
    "... " The full 40-page paper (PDF) [from the Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University] goes into the details [of projected economic gains from trade deals]. Along the way, it provides a highly critical analysis of the underlying econometric model used for almost all of the official studies of CETA, TPP and TTIP - the so-called "computable general equilibrium" (CGE) approach. In particular, the authors find that using the CGE model to analyze a potential trade deal effectively guarantees that there will be a positive outcome ("net welfare gains") because of its unrealistic assumptions" [ TechDirt ]. ..."
    Sep 26, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    Bill Clinton: "The geopolitical reasons for [TPP], from America's point of view, are pretty clear. It's designed to make sure that the future of the Asia-Pacific region, economically, is not totally dominated by China" [ CNBC ].

    "However, he stopped short [by about an inch, right?] of supporting the TPP. He added that his wife [who is running for President' has said provisions on currency manipulation must be enforced and measures put in place in the United States to address any labor market dislocations that result from trade deals." Oh. "Provisions enforced" sounds like executive authority, to me. And "measures put in place" sounds like a side deal. In other words, Bill Clinton just floated Hillary's trial balloon for passing TPP, if Obama can't get it done in the lame duck. Of course, if you parsed her words, you knew she wasn't lying , exactly .

    " The full 40-page paper (PDF) [from the Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University] goes into the details [of projected economic gains from trade deals]. Along the way, it provides a highly critical analysis of the underlying econometric model used for almost all of the official studies of CETA, TPP and TTIP - the so-called "computable general equilibrium" (CGE) approach. In particular, the authors find that using the CGE model to analyze a potential trade deal effectively guarantees that there will be a positive outcome ("net welfare gains") because of its unrealistic assumptions" [ TechDirt ].

    "Conservative lawmakers looking for a way to buck Donald Trump's populist message on trade may have gotten a little more cover with more than 30 conservative and libertarian groups sending a letter today to Congress expressing strong support for free trade" [ Politico ]. National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks

    "France is set to arrive at the meeting with a proposal to suspend TTIP negotiations, our Pro Trade colleagues in Brussels report. But for the deal's supporters, there's hop'e: 'France will not win the day,' Alberto Mucci, Christian Oliver and Hans von der Burchard write. 'Britain [???], Italy, Spain, Poland, the Nordic countries and the Baltics will thwart any attempt to end the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Bratislava'" [ Politico ].

    [Dec 05, 2016] Stiglitz Blasts Outrageous TPP as Obama Campaigns for Corporate-Friendly Deal Common Dreams Breaking News Views for the

    Notable quotes:
    "... Expressing his overall objections to the TPP, Stiglitz said "corporate interests... were at the table" when it was being crafted. He also condemned "the provisions on intellectual property that will drive up drug prices" and "the 'investment provisions' which will make it more difficult to regulate and actually harm trade." ..."
    "... The Democratic candidate, for her part, supported the deal before coming out against it , but for TPP foes, uncertainty about her position remains, especially since she recently named former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary-and " vehement advocate for the TPP "-Ken Salazar to be chair of her presidential transition team. ..."
    "... Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said , "We have to make sure that bill never sees the light of day after this election," while Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said at the American Postal Workers Union convention in Walt Disney World, "If this goes through, it's curtains for the middle class in this country." ..."
    Aug 25, 2016 | www.commondreams.org
    Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has reiterated his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying on Tuesday that President Barack Obama's push to get the trade deal passed during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is "outrageous" and "absolutely wrong."

    Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University and chief economist of the Roosevelt Institute, made the comments on CNN's "Quest Means Business."

    His criticism comes as Obama aggressively campaigns to get lawmakers to pass the TPP in the Nov. 9 to Jan. 3 window-even as resistance mounts against the 12-nation deal.

    Echoing an argument made by Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Mark Weisbrot, Stiglitz said, "At the lame-duck session you have congressmen voting who know that they're not accountable anymore."

    Lawmakers "who are not politically accountable because they're leaving may, in response to promises of jobs or just subtle understandings, do things that are not in the national interest," he said.

    Expressing his overall objections to the TPP, Stiglitz said "corporate interests... were at the table" when it was being crafted. He also condemned "the provisions on intellectual property that will drive up drug prices" and "the 'investment provisions' which will make it more difficult to regulate and actually harm trade."

    "The advocates of trade said it was going to benefit everyone," he added. "The evidence is it's benefited a few and left a lot behind."

    Stiglitz has previously spoken out against the TPP before, arguing that it "may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades;" that it would mean "if you pass a regulation that restricts ability to pollute or does something about climate change, you could be sued and could pay billions of dollars;" and previously said that the president's TPP push "is one of Obama's biggest mistakes."

    Stiglitz has also been advising the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. The Democratic candidate, for her part, supported the deal before coming out against it, but for TPP foes, uncertainty about her position remains, especially since she recently named former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary-and "vehement advocate for the TPP"-Ken Salazar to be chair of her presidential transition team.

    Opposition to the TPP also appeared Tuesday in Michigan and Florida, where union members and lawmakers criticized what they foresee as the deal's impacts on working families.

    Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said, "We have to make sure that bill never sees the light of day after this election," while Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said at the American Postal Workers Union convention in Walt Disney World, "If this goes through, it's curtains for the middle class in this country."

    [Dec 05, 2016] Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Tulsi Gabbard - Fighting for the people.

    Aug 01, 2016 | www.votetulsi.com

    We cannot allow this agreement to forsake the American middle class, while foreign governments are allowed to devalue their currency and artificially prop-up their industries.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a bad deal for the American people. This historically massive trade deal -- accounting for 40 percent of global trade -- would reduce restrictions on foreign corporations operating within the U.S., limit our ability to protect our environment, and create more incentives for U.S. businesses to outsource investments and jobs overseas to countries with lower labor costs and standards.

    Over and over we hear from TPP proponents how the TPP will boost our economy, help American workers, and set the standards for global trade. The International Trade Commission report released last May (https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4607.pdf) confirms that the opposite is true. In exchange for just 0.15 percent boost in GDP by 2032, the TPP would decimate American manufacturing capacity, increase our trade deficit, ship American jobs overseas, and result in losses to 16 of the 25 U.S. economic sectors. These estimates don't even account for the damaging effects of currency manipulation, environmental impacts, and the agreement's deeply flawed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process.

    There's no reason to believe the provisions of this deal relating to labor standards, preserving American jobs, or protecting our environment, will be enforceable. Every trade agreement negotiated in the past claimed to have strong enforceable provisions to protect American jobs -- yet no such enforcement has occurred, and agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has called TPP "NAFTA on steroids." The loss of U.S. jobs under the TPP would likely be unprecedented.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fC0qppnK_U

    Watch: Tulsi restates the need for transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the House floor.

    [Dec 05, 2016] BuzzFeed Exposes Corporate Super Courts That Can Overrule Government

    Corporations are "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy illegitimate
    Notable quotes:
    "... Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special " corporate courts " in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings. ..."
    "... Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). ..."
    "... International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat. ..."
    "... ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. ..."
    Sep 03, 2016 | Back to (our) Future

    BuzzFeed is running a very important investigative series called "Secrets of a Global Super Court." It describes what they call "a parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else."

    Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special "corporate courts" in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings.

    The 2014 post "Corporate Courts - A Big Red Flag On "Trade" Agreements" explained the origin and rationale for these corporate courts:

    Picture a poor "banana republic" country ruled by a dictator and his cronies. A company might want to invest in a factory or railroad - things that would help the people of that country as well as deliver a return to the company. But the company worries that the dictator might decide to just seize the factory and give it to his brother-in-law. Agreements to protect investors, and allowing a tribunal not based in such countries (courts where the judges are cronies of the dictator), make sense in such situations.

    Here's the thing: Corporate investors see themselves as legitimate "makers" and see citizens and voters and their governments - always demanding taxes and fair pay and public safety - to be illegitimate "takers." Corporations are all about "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems of governance. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy to be an illegitimate, non-functional system that meddles with their more-important profit interests. They consider any governmental legal or regulatory system to be "burdensome." They consider taxes as "theft" of the money they have "earned."

    To them, any government anywhere is just another "banana republic" from which they need special protection.

    "Trade" Deals Bypass Borders

    Investors and their corporations have set up a way to get around the borders of these meddling governments, called "trade" deals. The trade deals elevate global corporate interests above any national interest. When a country signs a "trade" deal, that country is agreeing not to do things that protect the country's own national interest - like impose tariffs to protect key industries or national strategies, or pass laws and regulations - when those things interfere with the larger, more important global corporate "trade" interests.

    Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    Secrets of a Global Super Court

    BuzzFeed's series on these corporate courts, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," explains the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the "trade" deals that have come to dominate the world economy. These provisions set up "corporate courts" that place corporate profits above the interests of governments and set up a court system that sits above the court systems of the countries in the "trade" deals.

    Part One, "Inside The Global "Club" That Helps Executives Escape Their Crimes," describes, "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment."

    In a little-noticed 2014 dissent, US Chief Justice John Roberts warned that ISDS arbitration panels hold the alarming power to review a nation's laws and "effectively annul the authoritative acts of its legislature, executive, and judiciary." ISDS arbitrators, he continued, "can meet literally anywhere in the world" and "sit in judgment" on a nation's "sovereign acts."

    [. . .]

    Reviewing publicly available information for about 300 claims filed during the past five years, BuzzFeed News found more than 35 cases in which the company or executive seeking protection in ISDS was accused of criminal activity, including money laundering, embezzlement, stock manipulation, bribery, war profiteering, and fraud.

    Among them: a bank in Cyprus that the US government accused of financing terrorism and organized crime, an oil company executive accused of embezzling millions from the impoverished African nation of Burundi, and the Russian oligarch known as "the Kremlin's banker."

    One lawyer who regularly represents governments said he's seen evidence of corporate criminality that he "couldn't believe." Speaking on the condition that he not be named because he's currently handling ISDS cases, he said, "You have a lot of scuzzy sort-of thieves for whom this is a way to hit the jackpot."

    Part Two, "The Billion-Dollar Ultimatum," looks at how "International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat."

    Of all the ways in which ISDS is used, the most deeply hidden are the threats, uttered in private meetings or ominous letters, that invoke those courts. The threats are so powerful they often eliminate the need to actually bring a lawsuit. Just the knowledge that it could happen is enough.

    [. . .] ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. Especially for nations struggling to emerge from corrupt dictatorships or to lift their people from decades of poverty, the mere threat of an ISDS claim triggers alarm. A single decision by a panel of three unaccountable, private lawyers, meeting in a conference room on some other continent, could gut national budgets and shake economies to the core.

    Part Three, "To Bankers, It's Not Just A Court System, It's A Gold Mine," exposes how "Financial companies have figured out how to turn a controversial global legal system to their own very profitable advantage."

    Indeed, financiers and ISDS lawyers have created a whole new business: prowling for ways to sue nations in ISDS and make their taxpayers fork over huge sums, sometimes in retribution for enforcing basic laws or regulations.

    The financial industry is pushing novel ISDS claims that countries never could have anticipated - claims that, in some instances, would be barred in US courts and those of other developed nations, or that strike at emergency decisions nations make to cope with crises.

    ISDS gives particular leverage to traders and speculators who chase outsize profits in the developing world. They can buy into local disputes that they have no connection to, then turn the disputes into costly international showdowns. Standard Chartered, for example, bought the debt of a Tanzanian company that was in dire financial straits and racked by scandal; now, the bank has filed an ISDS claim demanding that the nation's taxpayers hand over the full amount that the private company owed - more than $100 million. Asked to comment, Standard Chartered said its claim is "valid."

    David Dayen explains this last point, in "The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Super Court That We're Not Talking About": "Financiers will use it to bet on lawsuits, while taxpayers foot the bill."

    But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a way for rich investors to make money by speculating on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

    Here's how it works: Wealthy financiers with idle cash have purchased companies that are well placed to bring an ISDS claim, seemingly for the sole purpose of using that claim to make a buck. Sometimes, they set up shell corporations to create the plaintiffs to bring ISDS cases. And some hedge funds and private equity firms bankroll ISDS cases as third parties - just like billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker Media.

    Part Four of the great BuzzFeed series, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," is expected to be published later this week.

    PCCC Statement

    The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) released this statement on the ISDS provisions in TPP:

    "Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wall Street would be allowed to sue the government in extrajudicial, corporate-run tribunals over any regulation and American taxpayers would be on the hook for damages. This is an outrage. We need more accountability and fairness in our economy – not less. And we need to preserve our ability to make our own rules.

    "It's time for Obama to take notice of the widespread, bipartisan opposition to the TPP and take this agreement off the table before he causes lasting political harm to Democrats with voters."

    [Dec 05, 2016] No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia.

    Notable quotes:
    "... "No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia. Hillary Clinton knows it; and it's no accident President Obama is desperate to have TPP approved during a short window of opportunity, the lame-duck session of Congress from November 9 to January 3." ..."
    "... To me, the key to our economic hegemony lies in our reserve currency hegemony. They will have to continue to supply us to get the currency. Unless we have injected too much already (no scholars have come forth to say how much trade deficits are necessary for the reserve currency to function as the reserve currency, and so, we have just kept buying – and I am wondering if we have bought too much and there is a need to starting running trade surpluses to soak up the excess money – just asking, I don't know the answer). ..."
    Sep 01, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    Joe Hunter , August 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    " http://www.defenddemocracy.press/whole-game-containing-russisa-china/

    A response to Hillary Clinton's America Exceptionalist Speech:

    1. America Exceptionalist vs. the World..
    2. Brezinski is extremely dejected.
    3. Russia-China on the march.
    4. "There will be blood. Hillary Clinton smells it already ."

    clarky90 , August 31, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    "No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia. Hillary Clinton knows it; and it's no accident President Obama is desperate to have TPP approved during a short window of opportunity, the lame-duck session of Congress from November 9 to January 3."

    http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160829/1044733257/russia-china-game-brics.html

    MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 31, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    To me, the key to our economic hegemony lies in our reserve currency hegemony. They will have to continue to supply us to get the currency. Unless we have injected too much already (no scholars have come forth to say how much trade deficits are necessary for the reserve currency to function as the reserve currency, and so, we have just kept buying – and I am wondering if we have bought too much and there is a need to starting running trade surpluses to soak up the excess money – just asking, I don't know the answer).

    [Dec 05, 2016] In the face of public opposition to the TPP and TISA proponents have trotted out a new argument: we have come too far , our national credibility would be damaged if we stop now.

    Aug 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    L , August 26, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Regarding the push to pass the TPP and TISA I've been needing to get this off my chest and this seems to be as good a time as any:

    In the face of public opposition to the TPP and TISA proponents have trotted out a new argument: "we have come too far", "our national credibility would be damaged if we stop now." The premise of which is that negotiations have been going on so long, and have involved such effort that if the U.S. were to back away now we would look bad and would lose significant political capital.

    On one level this argument is true. The negotiations have been long, and many promises were made by the negotiators to secure to to this point. Stepping back now would expose those promises as false and would make that decade of effort a loss. It would also expose the politicians who pushed for it in the face of public oppoosition to further loss of status and to further opposition.

    However, all of that is voided by one simple fact. The negotiations were secret. All of that effort, all of the horse trading and the promise making was done by a self-selected body of elites, for that same body, and was hidden behind a wall of secrecy stronger than that afforded to new weapons. The deals were hidden not just from the general public, not from trade unions or environmental groups, but from the U.S. Congress itself.

    Therefore it has no public legitimacy. The promises made are not "our" promises but Michael Froman's promises. They are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government but only by the words of a small body of appointees and the multinational corporations that they serve. The corporations were invited to the table, Congress was not.

    What "elites" really mean when they say "America's credibility is on the line" is that their credibility is on the line. If these deals fail what will be lost is not America's stature but the premise that a handful of appointees can cut deals in private and that the rest of us will make good.

    When that minor loss is laid against the far greater fact that the terms of these deals are bad, that prior deals of this type have harmed our real economies, and that the rules will further erode our national sovreignity, there is no contest.

    Michael Froman's reputation has no value. Our sovreignity, our economy, our nation, does.

    flora , August 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    +1

    grizziz , August 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for your comment. +1

    Lambert Strether Post author , August 26, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    "We've gone too far."

    Whaddaya mean, "we"?

    ambrit , August 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    The imperial "We."
    I just had a soul corroding vision of H Clinton done up as Victoria Regina. Ouch!!! Go get the butter!

    Jim Haygood , August 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    In modern parlance, she's Victoria Rejayjay. :-0

    JohnnyGL , August 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Good comment .

    "What "elites" really mean when they say "America's credibility is on the line" is that their credibility is on the line. If these deals fail what will be lost is not America's stature but the premise that a handful of appointees can cut deals in private and that the rest of us will make good."

    Yes! And the victory will taste so sweet when we bury this filthy, rotten, piece of garbage. Obama's years of effort down the drain, his legacy tarnished and unfinished.

    I want TPP's defeat to send a clear message that the elites can't count on their politicians to deliver for them. Let's make this thing their Stalingrad! Leave deep scars so that they give up on TISA and stop trying to concoct these absurd schemes like ISDS.

    abynormal , August 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    sorry but i don't see it that way at all. 'they' got a propaganda machine to beat all 'they' make n break reps all the time. i do see a desperation on a monetary/profit scale. widening the 'playing field' offers more profits with less risk. for instance, our Pharams won't have to slash their prices at the risk of sunshine laws, wish-washy politicians, competition, nor a pissed off public. jmo tho')

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , August 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    LOL "America's credibility" LOL, these people need to get out more. In the 60's you could hike high up into the Andes and the sheep herder had two pics on the wall of his hut: Jesus and JFK. America retains its cachet as a place to make money and be entertained, but as some kind of beacon of morality and fair play in the world? Dead, buried, and long gone, the hype-fest of slogans and taglines can only cover up so many massive, atrocious and hypocritical actions and serial offenses.

    Synoia , August 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    his legacy tarnished and unfinished.

    And his post-presidential money small .

    NotTimothyGeithner , August 26, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Clinton Inc was mostly Bill helping Epstein get laid until after Kerry lost. If this was the reelection of John Edwards, Kerry's running mate, and a referendum on 12 years of Kerronomics, Bill and Hill would be opening night speakers at the DNC and answers to trivia questions.

    My guess is Obama is dropped swiftly and unceremoniously especially since he doesn't have much of a presence in Washington.

    John Wright , August 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    The must preserve American credibility argument on the line again.

    Here is a quote from NYT's Nicholas Kristoff from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/opinion/kristof-reinforce-a-norm-in-syria.html

    "It looks as if we'll be firing Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria in the coming days, and critics are raising legitimate concerns:"

    "Yet there is value in bolstering international norms against egregious behavior like genocide or the use of chemical weapons. Since President Obama established a "red line" about chemical weapons use, his credibility has been at stake: he can't just whimper and back down."

    Obama did back down.

    NIcholas Kristof, vigilant protector of American credibility through bombing Syria.

    polecat , August 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    he's just another syncophantic punk .in a long line of syncophantic punks

    ..oh..that includes Kristof too

    RabidGandhi , August 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Ah yes the credibility of our élites. With their sterling record on Nafta's benefits, Iraq's liberation, Greece's rebound, the IMF's rehabilitation of countries

    We must pass TPP or Tom Friedman will lose credibility, what?

    polecat , August 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    yeah but will he have to shave off his 'stache' ??

    Propertius , August 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Well said!

    HopeLB , August 26, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Wonderful (and credible) assessment.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Framing Votes for TPP as the Surrender of National Sovereignty (i.e., Treason) naked capitalism

    Notable quotes:
    "... pro-TPPers "consciously seek to weaken the national defense," that's exactly what's going on. Neoliberalism, through offshoring, weakens the national defense, because it puts our weaponry at the mercy of fragile and corruptible supply chains. ..."
    "... Now, when we think about how corrupt the political class has become, it's not hard to see why Obama is confident that he will win. ..."
    "... I think raising the ante rhetorically by framing a pro-TPP vote as treason could help sway a close vote; and if readers try that frame out, I'd like to hear the results ..."
    Aug 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Why the Proponents of TPP Are Traitors

    There are two reasons: First, they consciously seek to weaken the national defense. And second, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system is a surrender of national sovereignty .

    National Defense

    This might be labeled the "Ghost Fleet" argument, since we're informed that Paul Singer and Augustus Cole's techno-thriller has really caught the attention of the national security class below the political appointee level, and that this is a death blow for neoliberalism. Why? "The multi-billion dollar, next generation F-35 aircraft, for instance, is rendered powerless after it is revealed that Chinese microprocessor manufacturers had implanted malicious code into products intended for the jet" ( Foreign Policy ). Clearly, we need, well, industrial policy, and we need to bring a lot of manufacturing home. From Brigadier General (Retired) John Adams :

    In 2013, the Pentagon's Defense Science Board put forward a remarkable report describing one of the most significant but little-recognized threats to US security: deindustrialization. The report argued that the loss of domestic U.S. manufacturing facilities has not only reduced U.S. living standards but also compromised U.S. technology leadership "by enabling new players to learn a technology and then gain the capability to improve on it." The report explained that the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing presents a particularly dangerous threat to U.S. military readiness through the "compromise of the supply chain for key weapons systems components."

    Our military is now shockingly vulnerable to major disruptions in the supply chain, including from substandard manufacturing practices, natural disasters, and price gouging by foreign nations. Poor manufacturing practices in offshore factories lead to problem-plagued products, and foreign producers-acting on the basis of their own military or economic interests-can sharply raise prices or reduce or stop sales to the United States.

    The link between TPP and this kind of offshoring has been well-established.

    And, one might say, the link between neo-liberal economic policy "and this kind of offshoring has been well-established" as well.

    So, when I framed the issue as one where pro-TPPers "consciously seek to weaken the national defense," that's exactly what's going on. Neoliberalism, through offshoring, weakens the national defense, because it puts our weaponry at the mercy of fragile and corruptible supply chains. Note that re-industrializing America has positive appeal, too: For the right, on national security grounds; and for the left, on labor's behalf (and maybe helping out the Rust Belt that neoliberal policies of the last forty years did so much to destroy. Of course, this framing would make Clinton a traitor, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. (Probably best to to let the right, in its refreshingly direct fashion, use the actual "traitor" word, and the left, shocked, call for the restoration of civility, using verbiage like "No, I wouldn't say she's a traitor. She's certainly 'extremely careless' with our nation's security.")

    ISDS

    The Investor-State Dispute Settlement system is a hot mess (unless you represent a corporation, or are one of tiny fraternity of international corporate lawyers who can plead and/or judge ISDS cases). Yves wrote :

    What may have torched the latest Administration salvo is a well-timed joint publication by Wikileaks and the New York Times of a recent version of the so-called investment chapter. That section sets forth one of the worst features of the agreement, the investor-state dispute settlement process (ISDS). As we've described at length in earlier posts, the ISDS mechanism strengthens the existing ISDS process. It allows for secret arbitration panels to effectively overrule national regulations by allowing foreign investors to sue governments over lost potential future profits in secret arbitration panels. Those panels have been proved to be conflict-ridden and arbitrary. And the grounds for appeal are limited and technical.

    (More from NC on the ISDS panels , the TPP clauses on ISDS , the "code of conduct" for lawyers before the ISDS, pending ISDS settlements , and the potential constitutional challenges to the ISDS system.)

    Here again we have a frame that appeals to both right and left. The very thought of surrendering national sovereignty to an international organization makes any good conservative's back teeth itch. And the left sees the "lost profits" doctrine as a club to prevent future government programs they would like to put in place (single payer, for example). And in both cases, the neoliberal doctrine of putting markets before anything else makes pro-TPP-ers traitors. To the right, because nationalism trumps internationalism; to the left, because TPP prevents the State from looiking after the welfare of its people.

    The Political State of Play

    All I know is what I read in the papers, so what follows can only be speculation. That said, there are two ways TPP could be passed: In the lame duck session, by Obama, or after a new President is inaugurated, by Clinton (or possibly by Trump[1]).

    Passing TPP in the Lame Duck Session

    Obama is committed to passing TPP (and we might remember that the adminstration failed to pass the draft in Maui , then succeeded in Atlanta . And the House killed Fast Track once , before voting for it (after which the Senate easily passed it, and Obama signed it). So the TPP may be a "heavy lift," but that doesn't mean Obama can't accomplish it. Obama says :

    [OBAMA:] And hopefully, after the election is over and the dust settles, there will be more attention to the actual facts behind the deal and it won't just be a political symbol or a political football. And I will actually sit down with people on both sides, on the right and on the left. I'll sit down publicly with them and we'll go through the whole provisions. I would enjoy that, because there's a lot of misinformation.

    I'm really confident I can make the case this is good for American workers and the American people. And people said we weren't going to be able to get the trade authority to even present this before Congress, and somehow we muddled through and got it done. And I intend to do the same with respect to the actual agreement.

    So how would Obama "muddle through"? One way is to appeal to legislators who won't have to face voters again :

    So it is looking like a very close vote. (For procedural and political reasons, Obama will not bring it to a vote unless he is sure he has the necessary votes). Now let's look at one special group of Representatives who can swing this vote: the actual lame-ducks, i.e., those who will be in office only until Jan. 3. It depends partly on how many lose their election on Nov. 8, but the average number of representatives who left after the last three elections was about 80.

    Most of these people will be looking for a job, preferably one that can pay them more than $1 million a year. From the data provided by OpenSecrets.org, we can estimate that about a quarter of these people will become lobbyists. (An additional number will work for firms that are clients of lobbyists).

    So there you have it: It is all about corruption, and this is about as unadulterated as corruption gets in our hallowed democracy, other than literal cash under a literal table. These are the people whom Obama needs to pass this agreement, and the window between Nov. 9 and Jan. 3 is the only time that they are available to sell their votes to future employers without any personal political consequences whatsoever. The only time that the electorate can be rendered so completely irrelevant, if Obama can pull this off.

    (The article doesn't talk about the Senate, but Fast Track passed the Senate with a filibuster-proof super-majority, so the battle is in the House anyhow. And although the text of TPP cannot be amended - that's what fast track means! - there are still ways to affect the interpretation and enforcement of the text, so Obama and his corporate allies have bargaining chips beyond Beltway sinecures.[2])

    Now, when we think about how corrupt the political class has become, it's not hard to see why Obama is confident that he will win. ( Remember , "[T]he preferences of economic elites have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do.") However, if the anti-TPP-ers raise the rhetorical stakes from policy disagreement to treason, maybe a few of those 80 representatives will do the right thing (or, if you prefer, decide that the reputational damage to their future career makes a pro-TPP vote not worth it. Who wants to play golf with a traitor?)

    Passing TPP after the Inaugural

    After the coronation inaugural, Clinton will have to use more complicated tactics than dangling goodies before the snouts of representatives leaving for K Street. (We've seen that Clinton's putative opposition to TPP is based on lawyerly parsing; and her base supports it. So I assume a Clinton administration would go full speed ahead with it.) My own thought has been that she'd set up a "conversation" on trade, and then buy off the national unions with "jobs for the boys," so that they sell their locals down the river. Conservative Jennifer Rubin has a better proposal , which meets Clinton's supposed criterion of not hurting workers even better:

    Depending on the election results and how many pro-free-trade Republicans lose, it still might not be sufficient. Here's a further suggestion: Couple it with a substantial infrastructure project that Clinton wants, but with substantial safeguards to make sure that the money is wisely spent. Clinton gets a big jobs bill - popular with both sides - and a revised TPP gets through.

    Finally, an even more radical proposal, again from a conservative source :

    What Clinton needs is a significant revision to TPP that she can tout as a real reform to trade agreements, one that satisfies some of the TPP's critics on the left. A minor tweak is unlikely to assuage anyone; this change needs to be a major one. Fortunately, there is a TPP provision that fits the bill perfectly: investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), the procedure that allows foreign investors to sue governments in an international tribunal. Removing ISDS could triangulate the TPP debate, allowing for enough support to get it through Congress.

    Obama can't have a conversation on trade, or propose a jobs program, let alone jettison ISDS; all he's got going for him is corruption.[3] So, interestingly, although Clinton can't take the simple road of bribing the 80 represenatives, she does have more to bargain with on policy. Rubin's jobs bill could at least be framed as a riposte to the "Ghost Fleet" argument, since both are about "jawbs," even if infrastructure programs and reindustrialization aren't identical in intent. And while I don't think Clinton would allow ISDS to be removed ( her corporate donors love it ), at least somebody's thinking about how to pander to the left. Nevertheless, what does a jobs program matter if the new jobs leave the country anyhow? And suppose ISDS is removed, but the removal of the precautionary principle remains? We'd still get corporate-friendly decisions, bilaterally. And people would end up balancing the inevitable Clinton complexity and mush against the simplicity of the message that a vote for TPP is a vote against the United States.

    Conclusion

    I hope I've persuaded you that TPP is still very much alive, and that both Obama in the lame duck, and Clinton (or even Trump) when inaugurated have reasonable hopes of passing it. However, I think raising the ante rhetorically by framing a pro-TPP vote as treason could help sway a close vote; and if readers try that frame out, I'd like to hear the results (especially when the result comes from a letter to your Congress critter). Interestingly, Buzzfeed just published tonight the first in a four-part series, devoted to the idea that ISDS is what we have said it is all along: A surrender of national sovereignty. Here's a great slab of it :

    Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

    Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

    Imagine that this court is so powerful that nations often must heed its rulings as if they came from their own supreme courts, with no meaningful way to appeal. That it operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret. That the people who decide its cases are largely elite Western corporate attorneys who have a vested interest in expanding the court's authority because they profit from it directly, arguing cases one day and then sitting in judgment another. That some of them half-jokingly refer to themselves as "The Club" or "The Mafia."

    And imagine that the penalties this court has imposed have been so crushing - and its decisions so unpredictable - that some nations dare not risk a trial, responding to the mere threat of a lawsuit by offering vast concessions, such as rolling back their own laws or even wiping away the punishments of convicted criminals.

    This system is already in place, operating behind closed doors in office buildings and conference rooms in cities around the world. Known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, it is written into a vast network of treaties that govern international trade and investment, including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress must soon decide whether to ratify.

    That's the stuff to give the troops!

    NOTE

    [1] Trump: "I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers." Lotta wiggle room there, and the lawyerly parsing is just like Clinton's. I don't think it's useful to discuss what Trump might do on TPP, because until there are other parties to the deal, there's no deal to be had. Right now, we're just looking at Trump doing A-B testing - not that there's anything wrong with that - which the press confuses with policy proposals. So I'm not considering Trump because I don't think we have any data to go on.

    [2] In-Depth News explains the mechanisms:

    To pacify [those to whom he will corrupt appeal], Obama will have to convince them that what they want will anyway be achieved, even if these are not legally part of the TPP because the TPP text cannot be amended.

    He can try to achieve this through bilateral side agreements on specific issues. Or he can insist that some countries take on extra obligations beyond what is required by the TPP as a condition for obtaining a U.S. certification that they have fulfilled their TPP obligations.

    This certification is required for the U.S. to provide the TPP's benefits to its partners, and the U.S. has previously made use of this process to get countries to take on additional obligations, which can then be shown to Congress members that their objectives have been met.

    In other words, side deals.

    [3] This should not be taken to imply that Clinton does not have corruption going for her, too. She can also make all the side deals Obama can.

    [Dec 05, 2016] US Faces Major Setback As Europeans Revolt Against TTIP

    Notable quotes:
    "... One of the main concerns with TTIP is that it could allow multinational corporations to effectively "sue" governments for taking actions that might damage their businesses. Critics claim American companies might be able to avoid having to meet various EU health, safety and environment regulations by challenging them in a quasi-court set up to resolve disputes between investors and states. ..."
    "... These developments take place against the background of another major free trade agreement - the Trans Pacific Partnership ( TPP ) - hitting snags on the way to being pushed through Congress. ..."
    "... "US Faces Major Setback" Well, actually, US corporations face a major setback. Average US citizens face a reprieve. ..."
    Zero Hedge
    TTIP negotiations have been ongoing since 2013 in an effort to establish a massive free trade zone that would eliminate many tariffs. After 14 rounds of talks that have lasted three years not a single common item out of the 27 chapters being discussed has been agreed on. The United States has refused to agree on an equal playing field between European and American companies in the sphere of public procurement sticking to the principle of "buy American".

    The opponents of the deal believe that in its current guise the TTIP is too friendly to US businesses. One of the main concerns with TTIP is that it could allow multinational corporations to effectively "sue" governments for taking actions that might damage their businesses. Critics claim American companies might be able to avoid having to meet various EU health, safety and environment regulations by challenging them in a quasi-court set up to resolve disputes between investors and states.

    In Europe thousands of people supported by society groups, trade unions and activists take to the streets expressing protest against the deal. Three million people have signed a petition calling for it to be scrapped. For instance, various trade unions and other groups have called for protests against the TTIP across Germany to take place on September 17. A trade agreement with Canada has also come under attack.

    US presidential candidate Donald Trump has promoted protectionist trade policies, while rival Hillary Clinton has also cast doubt on the TTIP deal. Congressional opposition has become steep. The lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have railed against free trade agreements as unfair to US companies and workers.

    These developments take place against the background of another major free trade agreement - the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - hitting snags on the way to being pushed through Congress. The chances are really slim.

    silverer •Sep 5, 2016 9:51 AM

    "US Faces Major Setback" Well, actually, US corporations face a major setback. Average US citizens face a reprieve.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Trump campaign is a similar to Brexit crusade by grassroots activists against big banks and global political insiders . by those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised

    Notable quotes:
    "... Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton. ..."
    "... "I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it." ..."
    "... It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. ..."
    Aug 24, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

    ...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump's campaign. Farage will describe the Republican's campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against "big banks and global political insiders" and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

    This message resonates with the Trump campaign's efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump's never staid campaign rallies.

    The event will mark the first meeting between Farage and Trump.

    Arron Banks, the businessman who backed Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign group associated with the UK Independence party (Ukip), tweeted that he would be meeting Trump over dinner and was looking forward to Farage's speech.

    The appointment last week of Stephen Bannon, former chairman of the Breitbart website, as "CEO" of Trump's campaign has seen the example of the Brexit vote, which Breitbart enthusiastically advocated, rise to the fore in Trump's campaign narrative.

    Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton.

    "I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it."

    "I am being careful," he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. "It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom."

    [Dec 05, 2016] Failure of Globalization and the Fourth Estate

    Notable quotes:
    "... As Mr. Buffet so keenly said it, There is a war going on, and we are winning. ..."
    "... Just type `TPP editorial' into news.google.com and watch a toxic sludge of straw men, misdirection, and historical revisionism flow across your screen. And the `objective' straight news reporting is no better. ..."
    "... "Why is it afraid of us?" Because we the people are perceived to be the enemy of America the Corporation. Whistleblowers have already stated that the NSA info is used to blackmail politicians and military leaders, provide corporate espionage to the highest payers and more devious machinations than the mind can grasp from behind a single computer. 9/11 was a coup – I say that because looking around the results tell me that. ..."
    "... The fourth estate (the media) has been purchased outright by the second estate (the nobility). I guess you could call this an 'estate sale'. All power to the markets! ..."
    naked capitalism
    Free Trade," the banner of Globalization, has not only wrecked the world's economy, it has left Western Democracy in shambles. Europe edges ever closer to deflation. The Fed dare not increase interest rates, now poised at barely above zero. As China's stock market threatened collapse, China poured billions to prop it up. It's export machine is collapsing. Not once, but twice, it recently manipulated its currency to makes its goods cheaper on the world market. What is happening?

    The following two graphs tell most of the story. First, an overview of Free Trade.

    Deficit4-1024x420

    Capital fled from developed countries to undeveloped countries with slave-cheap labor, countries with no environmental standards, countries with no support for collective bargaining. Corporations, like Apple, set up shop in China and other undeveloped countries. Some, like China, manipulated its currency to make exported goods to the West even cheaper. Some, like China, gave preferential tax treatment to Western firm over indigenous firms. Economists cheered as corporate efficiency unsurprisingly rose. U.S. citizens became mere consumers.

    Thanks to Bill Clinton and the Financial Modernization Act, banks, now unconstrained, could peddle rigged financial services, offer insurance on its own investment products–in short, banks were free to play with everyone's money–and simply too big to fail. Credit was easy and breezy. If nasty Arabs bombed the Trade Center, why the solution was simple: Go to the shopping mall–and buy. That remarkable piece of advice is just what freedom has been all about.

    Next: China's export machine sputters.

    CAIXEN-1024x527

    China's problem is that there are not enough orders to keep the export machine going. There comes a time when industrialized nations simply run out of cash–I mean the little people run out of cash. CEOs and those just below them–along with slick Wall Street gauchos–made bundles on Free Trade, corporate capital that could set up shop in any impoverished nation in the world.. No worries about labor–dirt cheap–or environmental regulations–just bring your gas masks. At some point the Western consumer well was bound to run dry. Credit was exhausted; the little guy could not buy anymore. Free trade was on its last legs.

    So what did China do then? As its markets crashed, it tried to revive its export model, a model based on foreign firms exporting cheap goods to the West. China lowered its exchange rates, not once but twice. Then China tried to rescue the markets with cash infusion of billions. Still its market continued to crash. Manufacturing plants had closed–thousands of them. Free Trade and Globalization had run its course.

    And what has the Fed been doing? Why quantitative easy–increase the money supply and lower short term interest rates. Like China's latest currency manipulation, both were merely stop-gap measures. No one, least of all Obama and his corporate advisors, was ready to address corporate outsourcing that has cost millions of jobs. Prime the pump a little, but never address the real problem.

    The WTO sets the groundwork for trade among its member states. That groundwork is deeply flawed. Trade between impoverished third world countries and sophisticated first world economies is not merely a matter of regulating "dumping"-not allowing one country to flood the market with cheap goods-nor is it a matter of insuring that the each country does not favor its indigenous firms over foreign firms. Comparable labor and environmental standards are necessary. Does anyone think that a first world worker can compete with virtual slave labor? Does anyone think that a first world nation with excellent environmental regulations can compete with a third world nation that refuses to protect its environment?

    Only lately has Apple even mentioned that it might clean up its mess in China. The Apple miracle has been on the backs of the Chinese poor and abysmal environmental wreckage that is China.

    The WTO allows three forms of inequities-all of which encourage outsourcing: labor arbitrage, tax arbitrage, and environmental arbitrage. For a fuller explanation of these inequities and the "race to the bottom," see here.

    Of course now we have the mother of all Free Trade deals –the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)– carefully wrapped in a black box so that none of us can see what finally is in store for us. Nothing is ever "Free"–even trade. I suspect that China is becoming a bit too noxious and poisonous. It simply has to deal with its massive environmental problems. Time to move the game to less despoiled and maybe more impoverished countries. Meanwhile, newscasters are always careful to tout TPP.

    Fast Tracking is a con man's game. Do it so fast that the marks never have a chance to watch their wallets. In hiding negotiations from prying, public eyes, Obama, has given the con men a bigger edge: A screen to hide the corporations making deals. Their interest is in profits, not in public good.

    Consider the media. Our only defense is a strong independent media. At one time, newsrooms were not required to be profitable. Reporting the news was considered a community service. Corporate ownership provided the necessary funding for its newsrooms–and did not interfere.

    But the 70′s and 80′s corporate ownership required its newsrooms to be profitable. Slowly but surely, newsrooms focused on personality, entertainment, and wedge issues–always careful not to rock the corporate boat, always careful not to tread on governmental policy. Whoever thought that one major news service–Fox–would become a breeding ground for one particular party.

    But consider CNN: It organizes endless GOP debates; then spends hours dissecting them. Create the news; then sell it–and be sure to spin it in the direction you want.

    Are matters of substance ever discussed? When has a serious foreign policy debate ever been allowed occurred–without editorial interference from the media itself. When has trade and outsourcing been seriously discussed–other than by peripheral news media?

    Meanwhile, news media becomes more and more centralized. Murdoch now owns National Geographic!

    Now, thanks to Bush and Obama, we have the chilling effect of the NSA. Just whom does the NSA serve when it collects all of our digital information? Is it being used to ferret out the plans of those exercising their right of dissent? Is it being used to increase the profits of favored corporations? Why does it need all of your and my personal information–from bank accounts, to credit cards, to travel plans, to friends with whom we chat .Why is it afraid of us?


    jefemt, October 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    As Mr. Buffet so keenly said it, There is a war going on, and we are winning.

    If 'they' are failing, I'd hate to see success!

    Isn't it the un-collective WE who are failing?

    failing to organize,
    failing to come up with plausible, 90 degrees off present Lemming-to-Brink path alternative plans and policies,
    failing to agree on any of many plausible alternatives that might work

    Divided- for now- hopefully not conquered ..

    I gotta scoot and get back to Dancing with the Master Chefs

    allan, October 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Just type `TPP editorial' into news.google.com and watch a toxic sludge of straw men, misdirection, and historical revisionism flow across your screen. And the `objective' straight news reporting is no better.

    Vatch, October 23, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Don't just watch the toxic sludge; respond to it with a letter to the editor (LTE) of the offending publication! For some of those toxic editorials, and contact information for LTEs, see:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/10/200pm-water-cooler-10162015.html#comment-2503316

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/10/trading-away-land-rights-tpp-investment-agreements-and-the-governance-of-land.html#comment-2502833

    A few of the editorials may now be obscured by paywalls or registration requirements, but most should still be visible. Let them know that we see through their nonsense!

    TedWa, October 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

    "Why is it afraid of us?" Because we the people are perceived to be the enemy of America the Corporation. Whistleblowers have already stated that the NSA info is used to blackmail politicians and military leaders, provide corporate espionage to the highest payers and more devious machinations than the mind can grasp from behind a single computer. 9/11 was a coup – I say that because looking around the results tell me that.

    TG, October 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    The fourth estate (the media) has been purchased outright by the second estate (the nobility). I guess you could call this an 'estate sale'. All power to the markets!

    Pelham, October 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Even when newsrooms were more independent they probably would not, in general, have reported on free trade with any degree of skepticism. The recent disappearance of the old firewall between the news and corporate sides has made things worse, but at least since the "professionalization" of newsrooms that began to really take hold in the '60s, journalists have tended to identify far more with their sources in power than with their readers.

    There have, of course, been notable exceptions. But even these sometimes serve more to obscure the real day-to-day nature of journalism's fealty to the corporate world than to bring about any significant change.

    [Dec 05, 2016] The Great Ponzi Scheme of the Global Economy

    www.counterpunch.org
    March 25, 2016

    CHRIS HEDGES: We're going to be discussing a great Ponzi scheme that not only defines not only the U.S. but the global economy, how we got there and where we're going. And with me to discuss this issue is the economist Michael Hudson, author of Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy. A professor of economics who worked for many years on Wall Street, where you don't succeed if you don't grasp Marx's dictum that capitalism is about exploitation. And he is also, I should mention, the godson of Leon Trotsky.

    I want to open this discussion by reading a passage from your book, which I admire very much, which I think gets to the core of what you discuss. You write,

    "Adam Smith long ago remarked that profits often are highest in nations going fastest to ruin. There are many ways to create economic suicide on a national level. The major way through history has been through indebting the economy. Debt always expands to reach a point where it cannot be paid by a large swathe of the economy. This is the point where austerity is imposed and ownership of wealth polarizes between the One Percent and the 99 Percent. Today is not the first time this has occurred in history. But it is the first time that running into debt has occurred deliberately." Applauded. "As if most debtors can get rich by borrowing, not reduced to a condition of debt peonage."

    So let's start with the classical economists, who certainly understood this. They were reacting of course to feudalism. And what happened to the study of economics so that it became gamed by ideologues?

    HUDSON: The essence of classical economics was to reform industrial capitalism, to streamline it, and to free the European economies from the legacy of feudalism. The legacy of feudalism was landlords extracting land-rent, and living as a class that took income without producing anything. Also, banks that were not funding industry. The leading industrialists from James Watt, with his steam engine, to the railroads

    HEDGES: From your book you make the point that banks almost never funded industry.

    HUDSON: That's the point: They never have. By the time you got to Marx later in the 19th century, you had a discussion, largely in Germany, over how to make banks do something they did not do under feudalism. Right now we're having the economic surplus being drained not by the landlords but also by banks and bondholders.

    Adam Smith was very much against colonialism because that lead to wars, and wars led to public debt. He said the solution to prevent this financial class of bondholders burdening the economy by imposing more and more taxes on consumer goods every time they went to war was to finance wars on a pay-as-you-go basis. Instead of borrowing, you'd tax the people. Then, he thought, if everybody felt the burden of war in the form of paying taxes, they'd be against it. Well, it took all of the 19th century to fight for democracy and to extend the vote so that instead of landlords controlling Parliament and its law-making and tax system through the House of Lords, you'd extend the vote to labor, to women and everybody. The theory was that society as a whole would vote in its self-interest. It would vote for the 99 Percent, not for the One Percent.

    By the time Marx wrote in the 1870s, he could see what was happening in Germany. German banks were trying to make money in conjunction with the government, by lending to heavy industry, largely to the military-industrial complex.

    HEDGES: This was Bismarck's kind of social – I don't know what we'd call it. It was a form of capitalist socialism

    HUDSON: They called it State Capitalism. There was a long discussion by Engels, saying, wait a minute. We're for Socialism. State Capitalism isn't what we mean by socialism. There are two kinds of state-oriented–.

    HEDGES: I'm going to interject that there was a kind of brilliance behind Bismarck's policy because he created state pensions, he provided health benefits, and he directed banking toward industry, toward the industrialization of Germany which, as you point out, was very different in Britain and the United States.

    HUDSON: German banking was so successful that by the time World War I broke out, there were discussions in English economic journals worrying that Germany and the Axis powers were going to win because their banks were more suited to fund industry. Without industry you can't have really a military. But British banks only lent for foreign trade and for speculation. Their stock market was a hit-and-run operation. They wanted quick in-and-out profits, while German banks didn't insist that their clients pay as much in dividends. German banks owned stocks as well as bonds, and there was much more of a mutual partnership.

    That's what most of the 19th century imagined was going to happen – that the world was on the way to socializing banking. And toward moving capitalism beyond the feudal level, getting rid of the landlord class, getting rid of the rent, getting rid of interest. It was going to be labor and capital, profits and wages, with profits being reinvested in more capital. You'd have an expansion of technology. By the early twentieth century most futurists imagined that we'd be living in a leisure economy by now.

    HEDGES: Including Karl Marx.

    HUDSON: That's right. A ten-hour workweek. To Marx, socialism was to be an outgrowth of the reformed state of capitalism, as seemed likely at the time – if labor organized in its self-interest.

    HEDGES: Isn't what happened in large part because of the defeat of Germany in World War I? But also, because we took the understanding of economists like Adam Smith and maybe Keynes. I don't know who you would blame for this, whether Ricardo or others, but we created a fictitious economic theory to praise a rentier or rent-derived, interest-derived capitalism that countered productive forces within the economy. Perhaps you can address that.

    HUDSON: Here's what happened. Marx traumatized classical economics by taking the concepts of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill and others, and pushing them to their logical conclusion. 2KillingTheHost_Cover_ruleProgressive capitalist advocates – Ricardian socialists such as John Stuart Mill – wanted to tax away the land or nationalize it. Marx wanted governments to take over heavy industry and build infrastructure to provide low-cost and ultimately free basic services. This was traumatizing the landlord class and the One Percent. And they fought back. They wanted to make everything part of "the market," which functioned on credit supplied by them and paid rent to them.

    None of the classical economists imagined how the feudal interests – these great vested interests that had all the land and money – actually would fight back and succeed. They thought that the future was going to belong to capital and labor. But by the late 19th century, certainly in America, people like John Bates Clark came out with a completely different theory, rejecting the classical economics of Adam Smith, the Physiocrats and John Stuart Mill.

    HEDGES: Physiocrats are, you've tried to explain, the enlightened French economists.

    HUDSON: The common denominator among all these classical economists was the distinction between earned income and unearned income. Unearned income was rent and interest. Earned incomes were wages and profits. But John Bates Clark came and said that there's no such thing as unearned income. He said that the landlord actually earns his rent by taking the effort to provide a house and land to renters, while banks provide credit to earn their interest. Every kind of income is thus "earned," and everybody earns their income. So everybody who accumulates wealth, by definition, according to his formulas, get rich by adding to what is now called Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    HEDGES: One of the points you make in Killing the Host which I liked was that in almost all cases, those who had the capacity to make money parasitically off interest and rent had either – if you go back to the origins – looted and seized the land by force, or inherited it.

    HUDSON: That's correct. In other words, their income is unearned. The result of this anti-classical revolution you had just before World War I was that today, almost all the economic growth in the last decade has gone to the One Percent. It's gone to Wall Street, to real estate

    HEDGES: But you blame this on what you call Junk Economics.

    HUDSON: Junk Economics is the anti-classical reaction.

    HEDGES: Explain a little bit how, in essence, it's a fictitious form of measuring the economy.

    HUDSON: Well, some time ago I went to a bank, a block away from here – a Chase Manhattan bank – and I took out money from the teller. As I turned around and took a few steps, there were two pickpockets. One pushed me over and the other grabbed the money and ran out. The guard stood there and saw it. So I asked for the money back. I said, look, I was robbed in your bank, right inside. And they said, "Well, we don't arm our guards because if they shot someone, the thief could sue us and we don't want that." They gave me an equivalent amount of money back.

    Well, imagine if you count all this crime, all the money that's taken, as an addition to GDP. Because now the crook has provided the service of not stabbing me. Or suppose somebody's held up at an ATM machine and the robber says, "Your money or your life." You say, "Okay, here's my money." The crook has given you the choice of your life. In a way that's how the Gross National Product accounts are put up. It's not so different from how Wall Street extracts money from the economy. Then also you have landlords extracting

    HEDGES: Let's go back. They're extracting money from the economy by debt peonage. By raising

    HUDSON: By not playing a productive role, basically.

    HEDGES: Right. So it's credit card interest, mortgage interest, car loans, student loans. That's how they make their funds.

    HUDSON: That's right. Money is not a factor of production. But in order to have access to credit, in order to get money, in order to get an education, you have to pay the banks. At New York University here, for instance, they have Citibank. I think Citibank people were on the board of directors at NYU. You get the students, when they come here, to start at the local bank. And once you are in a bank and have monthly funds taken out of your account for electric utilities, or whatever, it's very cumbersome to change.

    So basically you have what the classical economists called the rentier class. The class that lives on economic rents. Landlords, monopolists charging more, and the banks. If you have a pharmaceutical company that raises the price of a drug from $12 a shot to $200 all of a sudden, their profits go up. Their increased price for the drug is counted in the national income accounts as if the economy is producing more. So all this presumed economic growth that has all been taken by the One Percent in the last ten years, and people say the economy is growing. But the economy isn't growing

    HEDGES: Because it's not reinvested.

    HUDSON: That's right. It's not production, it's not consumption. The wealth of the One Percent is obtained essentially by lending money to the 99 Percent and then charging interest on it, and recycling this interest at an exponentially growing rate.

    HEDGES: And why is it important, as I think you point out in your book, that economic theory counts this rentier income as productive income? Explain why that's important.

    HUDSON: If you're a rentier, you want to say that you earned your income by

    HEDGES: We're talking about Goldman Sachs, by the way.

    HUDSON: Yes, Goldman Sachs. The head of Goldman Sachs came out and said that Goldman Sachs workers are the most productive in the world. That's why they're paid what they are. The concept of productivity in America is income divided by labor. So if you're Goldman Sachs and you pay yourself $20 million a year in salary and bonuses, you're considered to have added $20 million to GDP, and that's enormously productive. So we're talking in a tautology. We're talking with circular reasoning here.

    So the issue is whether Goldman Sachs, Wall Street and predatory pharmaceutical firms, actually add "product" or whether they're just exploiting other people. That's why I used the word parasitism in my book's title. People think of a parasite as simply taking money, taking blood out of a host or taking money out of the economy. But in nature it's much more complicated. The parasite can't simply come in and take something. First of all, it needs to numb the host. It has an enzyme so that the host doesn't realize the parasite's there. And then the parasites have another enzyme that takes over the host's brain. It makes the host imagine that the parasite is part of its own body, actually part of itself and hence to be protected.

    That's basically what Wall Street has done. It depicts itself as part of the economy. Not as a wrapping around it, not as external to it, but actually the part that's helping the body grow, and that actually is responsible for most of the growth. But in fact it's the parasite that is taking over the growth.

    The result is an inversion of classical economics. It turns Adam Smith upside down. It says what the classical economists said was unproductive – parasitism – actually is the real economy. And that the parasites are labor and industry that get in the way of what the parasite wants – which is to reproduce itself, not help the host, that is, labor and capital.

    HEDGES: And then the classical economists like Adam Smith were quite clear that unless that rentier income, you know, the money made by things like hedge funds, was heavily taxed and put back into the economy, the economy would ultimately go into a kind of tailspin. And I think the example of that, which you point out in your book, is what's happened in terms of large corporations with stock dividends and buybacks. And maybe you can explain that.

    HUDSON: There's an idea in superficial textbooks and the public media that if companies make a large profit, they make it by being productive. And with

    HEDGES: Which is still in textbooks, isn't it?

    HUDSON: Yes. And also that if a stock price goes up, you're just capitalizing the profits – and the stock price reflects the productive role of the company. But that's not what's been happening in the last ten years. Just in the last two years, 92 percent of corporate profits in America have been spent either on buying back their own stock, or paid out as dividends to raise the price of the stock.

    HEDGES: Explain why they do this.

    HUDSON: About 15 years ago at Harvard, Professor Jensen said that the way to ensure that corporations are run most efficiently is to make the managers increase the price of the stock. So if you give the managers stock options, and you pay them not according to how much they're producing or making the company bigger, or expanding production, but the price of the stock, then you'll have the corporation run efficiently, financial style.

    So the corporate managers find there are two ways that they can increase the price of the stock. The first thing is to cut back long-term investment, and use the money instead to buy back their own stock. But when you buy your own stock, that means you're not putting the money into capital formation. You're not building new factories. You're not hiring more labor. You can actually increase the stock price by firing labor.

    HEDGES: That strategy only works temporarily.

    HUDSON: Temporarily. By using the income from past investments just to buy back stock, fire the labor force if you can, and work it more intensively. Pay it out as dividends. That basically is the corporate raider's model. You use the money to pay off the junk bond holders at high interest. And of course, this gets the company in trouble after a while, because there is no new investment.

    So markets shrink. You then go to the labor unions and say, gee, this company's near bankruptcy, and we don't want to have to fire you. The way that you can keep your job is if we downgrade your pensions. Instead of giving you what we promised, the defined benefit pension, we'll turn it into a defined contribution plan. You know what you pay every month, but you don't know what's going to come out. Or, you wipe out the pension fund, push it on to the government's Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, and use the money that you were going to pay for pensions to pay stock dividends. By then the whole economy is turning down. It's hollowed out. It shrinks and collapses. But by that time the managers will have left the company. They will have taken their bonuses and salaries and run.

    HEDGES: I want to read this quote from your book, written by David Harvey, in A Brief History of Neoliberalism, and have you comment on it.

    "The main substantive achievement of neoliberalism has been to redistribute rather than to generate wealth and income. [By] 'accumulation by dispossession' I mean the commodification and privatization of land, and the forceful expulsion of peasant populations; conversion of various forms of property rights (common collective state, etc.) into exclusive private property rights; suppression of rights to the commons; colonial, neocolonial, and the imperial processes of appropriation of assets (including natural resources); and usury, the national debt and, most devastating at all, the use of the credit system as a radical means of accumulation by dispossession. To this list of mechanisms, we may now add a raft of techniques such as the extraction of rents from patents, and intellectual property rights (such as the diminution or erasure of various forms of common property rights, such as state pensions, paid vacations, and access to education, health care) one through a generation or more of class struggle. The proposal to privatize all state pension rights, pioneered in Chile under the dictatorship is, for example, one of the cherished objectives of the Republicans in the US."

    This explains the denouement. The final end result you speak about in your book is, in essence, allowing what you call the rentier or the speculative class to cannibalize the entire society until it collapses.

    HUDSON: A property right is not a factor of production. Look at what happened in Chicago, the city where I grew up. Chicago didn't want to raise taxes on real estate, especially on its expensive commercial real estate. So its budget ran a deficit. They needed money to pay the bondholders, so they sold off the parking rights to have meters – you know, along the curbs. The result is that they sold to Goldman Sachs 75 years of the right to put up parking meters. So now the cost of living and doing business in Chicago is raised by having to pay the parking meters. If Chicago is going to have a parade and block off traffic, it has to pay Goldman Sachs what the firm would have made if the streets wouldn't have been closed off for a parade. All of a sudden it's much more expensive to live in Chicago because of this.

    But this added expense of having to pay parking rights to Goldman Sachs – to pay out interest to its bondholders – is counted as an increase in GDP, because you've created more product simply by charging more. If you sell off a road, a government or local road, and you put up a toll booth and make it into a toll road, all of a sudden GDP goes up.

    If you go to war abroad, and you spend more money on the military-industrial complex, all this is counted as increased production. None of this is really part of the production system of the capital and labor building more factories and producing more things that people need to live and do business. All of this is overhead. But there's no distinction between wealth and overhead.

    Failing to draw that distinction means that the host doesn't realize that there is a parasite there. The host economy, the industrial economy, doesn't realize what the industrialists realized in the 19th century: If you want to be an efficient economy and be low-priced and under-sell competitors, you have to cut your prices by having the public sector provide roads freely. Medical care freely. Education freely.

    If you charge for all of these, you get to the point that the U.S. economy is in today. What if American factory workers were to get all of their consumer goods for nothing. All their food, transportation, clothing, furniture, everything for nothing. They still couldn't compete with Asians or other producers, because they have to pay up to 43% of their income for rent or mortgage interest, 10% or more of their income for student loans, credit card debt. 15% of their paycheck is automatic withholding to pay Social Security, to cut taxes on the rich or to pay for medical care.

    So Americans built into the economy all this overhead. There's no distinction between growth and overhead. It's all made America so high-priced that we're priced out of the market, regardless of what trade policy we have.

    HEDGES: We should add that under this predatory form of economics, you game the system. So you privatize pension funds, you force them into the stock market, an overinflated stock market. But because of the way companies go public, it's the hedge fund managers who profit. And it's those citizens whose retirement savings are tied to the stock market who lose. Maybe we can just conclude by talking about how the system is fixed, not only in terms of burdening the citizen with debt peonage, but by forcing them into the market to fleece them again.

    HUDSON: Well, we talk about an innovation economy as if that makes money. Suppose you have an innovation and a company goes public. They go to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street investment banks to underwrite the stock to issue it at $40 a share. What's considered a successful float is when, immediately, Goldman and the others will go to their insiders and tell them to buy this stock and make a quick killing. A "successful" flotation doubles the price in one day, so that at the end of the day the stock's selling for $80.

    HEDGES: They have the option to buy it before anyone else, knowing that by the end of the day it'll be inflated, and then they sell it off.

    HUDSON: That's exactly right.

    HEDGES: So the pension funds come in and buy it at an inflated price, and then it goes back down.

    HUDSON: It may go back down, or it may be that the company just was shortchanged from the very beginning. The important thing is that the Wall Street underwriting firm, and the speculators it rounds up, get more in a single day than all the years it took to put the company together. The company gets $40. And the banks and their crony speculators also get $40.

    So basically you have the financial sector ending up with much more of the gains. The name of the game if you're on Wall Street isn't profits. It's capital gains. And that's something that wasn't even part of classical economics. They didn't anticipate that the price of assets would go up for any other reason than earning more money and capitalizing on income. But what you have had in the last 50 years – really since World War II – has been asset-price inflation. Most middle-class families have gotten the wealth that they've got since 1945 not really by saving what they've earned by working, but by the price of their house going up. They've benefited by the price of the house. And they think that that's made them rich and the whole economy rich.

    The reason the price of housing has gone up is that a house is worth whatever a bank is going to lend against it. If banks made easier and easier credit, lower down payments, then you're going to have a financial bubble. And now, you have real estate having gone up as high as it can. I don't think it can take more than 43% of somebody's income to buy it. But now, imagine if you're joining the labor force. You're not going to be able to buy a house at today's prices, putting down a little bit of your money, and then somehow end up getting rich just on the house investment. All of this money you pay the bank is now going to be subtracted from the amount of money that you have available to spend on goods and services.

    So we've turned the post-war economy that made America prosperous and rich inside out. Somehow most people believed they could get rich by going into debt to borrow assets that were going to rise in price. But you can't get rich, ultimately, by going into debt. In the end the creditors always win. That's why every society since Sumer and Babylonia have had to either cancel the debts, or you come to a society like Rome that didn't cancel the debts, and then you have a dark age. Everything collapses.

    [Dec 05, 2016] A Protectionist Moment?

    Notable quotes:
    "... Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes , the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins - but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other. ..."
    Sep 12, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Paul Krugman:
    A Protectionist Moment? : ... if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. ...

    But it's also true that much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest: false claims of inevitability, scare tactics ( protectionism causes depressions !), vastly exaggerated claims for the benefits of trade liberalization and the costs of protection, hand-waving away the large distributional effects that are what standard models actually predict. I hope, by the way, that I haven't done any of that...

    Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes , the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins - but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other.

    So the elite case for ever-freer trade is largely a scam, which voters probably sense even if they don't know exactly what form it's taking.

    Ripping up the trade agreements we already have would, again, be a mess, and I would say that Sanders is engaged in a bit of a scam himself in even hinting that he could do such a thing. Trump might actually do it, but only as part of a reign of destruction on many fronts.

    But it is fair to say that the case for more trade agreements - including TPP, which hasn't happened yet - is very, very weak. And if a progressive makes it to the White House, she should devote no political capital whatsoever to such things.

    cawley : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 03:47 AM
    Again, just because automation has been a major factor in job loss doesn't mean "off shoring" (using the term broadly and perhaps somewhat inaccurately) is not a factor.

    The "free" trade deals suck. They are correctly diagnosed as part of the problem.

    What would you propose to fix the problems caused by automation?

    jonny bakho -> cawley... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:25 AM
    Automation frees labor to do more productive and less onerous tasks. We should expand our solar production and our mass transit. We need to start re-engineering our urban areas. This will not bring back the number of jobs it would take to make cities like Flint thrive once again.

    Flint and Detroit have severe economic problems because they were mismanaged by road building and suburbanization in the 1950s and 1960s. Money that should have been spent on maintaining and improving urban infrastructure was instead plowed into suburban development that is not dense enough to sustain the infrastructure required to support it. People moved to the suburbs, abandoned the built infrastructure of the cities and kissed them goodbye.

    Big roads polluted the cities with lead, noise, diesel particles and ozone and smog. Stroads created pedestrian kill zones making urban areas, unwalkable, unpleasant- an urban blights to drive through rather than destinations to drive to.

    Government subsidized the white flight to the suburbs that has left both the suburbs and the urban cores with too low revenue to infrastructure ratio. The inner suburbs have aged into net losers, their infrastructure must be subsidized. Big Roads were built on the Big Idea that people would drive to the city to work and play and then drive home. That Big idea has a big problem. Urban areas are only sustainable when they have a high resident density. The future of cities like Flint and Detroit will be tearing out the roads and replacing them with streets and houses and renewing the housing stock that has been abandoned. It needs to be done by infill, revitalizing inner neighborhoods and working outward. Cities like Portland have managed to protect much of their core, but even they are challenged by demands for suburban sprawl.

    Slash and burn development, creating new suburbs and abandoning the old is not a sustainable model. Not only should we put people to work replacing the Flint lead pipes, but much of the city should be rebuilt from the inside out. Flint is the leading edge of this problem that requires fundamental changes in our built environment to fix. I recommend studying Flint as an object lesson of what bad development policy could do to all of our cities.

    http://www.flintexpats.com

    jonny bakho -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:29 AM
    An Interview with Frank Popper about Shrinking Cities, Buffalo Commons, and the Future of Flint

    How does America's approach shrinking cities compare to the rest of the world?

    I think the American way is to do nothing until it's too late, then throw everything at it and improvise and hope everything works. And somehow, insofar as the country's still here, it has worked. But the European or the Japanese way would involve much more thought, much more foresight, much more central planning, and much less improvising. They would implement a more, shall we say, sustained effort. The American way is different. Europeans have wondered for years and years why cities like Detroit or Cleveland are left to rot on the vine. There's a lot of this French hauteur when they ask "How'd you let this happen?"

    Do shrinking cities have any advantages over agricultural regions as they face declining populations?

    The urban areas have this huge advantage over all these larger American regions that are going through this. They have actual governments with real jurisdiction. Corrupt as Detroit or Philadelphia or Camden may be, they have actual governments that are supposed to be in charge of them. Who's in charge of western Kansas? Who's in charge of the Great Plains? Who is in charge of the lower Mississippi Delta or central Appalachia? All they've got are these distant federal agencies whose past performance is not exactly encouraging.

    Why wasn't there a greater outcry as the agricultural economy and the industrial economy collapsed?

    One reason for the rest of the country not to care is that there's no shortage of the consumer goods that these places once produced. All this decline of agriculture doesn't mean we're running out of food. We've got food coming out of our ears. Likewise, Flint has suffered through all this, but it's not like it's hard to buy a car in this country. It's not as if Flint can behave like a child and say "I'm going to hold my nose and stop you from getting cars until you do the right thing." Flint died and you can get zero A.P.R. financing. Western Kansas is on its last legs and, gee, cereal is cheaper than ever.

    In some sense that's the genius of capitalism - it's heartless. But if you look at the local results and the cultural results and the environmental results you shake your head. But I don't see America getting away from what I would call a little sarcastically the "wisdom" of the market. I don't think it's going to change.

    So is there any large-scale economic fallout from these monumental changes?

    Probably not, and it hurts to say so. And the only way I can feel good about saying that is to immediately point to the non-economic losses, the cultural losses. The losses of ways of life. The notion of the factory worker working for his or her children. The notion of the farmer working to build up the country and supply the rest of the world with food. We're losing distinctive ways of life. When we lose that we lose something important, but it's not like The Wall Street Journal cares. And I feel uncomfortable saying that. From a purely economic point of view, it's just the price of getting more efficient. It's a classic example of Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction, which is no fun if you're on the destruction end.

    Does the decline of cities like Flint mirror the death of the middle class in the United States?

    I think it's more the decline of the lower-middle class in the United States. Even when those jobs in the auto factories paid very high wages they were still for socially lower-middle-class people. I think there was always the notion in immigrant families and working-class families who worked in those situations that the current generation would work hard so that the children could go off and not have to do those kind of jobs. And when those jobs paid well that was a perfectly reasonable ambition. It's the cutting off of that ambition that really hurts now. The same thing has been true on farms and ranches in rural parts of the united states.

    http://www.flintexpats.com/2010/05/interview-with-frank-popper-about.html

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:45 AM
    It is a much different thing to be small minded about trade than it is to be large minded about everything else. The short story that it is all about automation and not trade will always get a bad reception because it is small minded. When you add in the large minded story about everything else then it becomes something entirely different from the short story. We all agree with you about everything else. You are wrong about globalization though. Both financialization and globalization suck and even if we paper over them with tax and transfer then they will still suck. One must forget what it is to be a created equal human to miss that. Have you never felt the job of accomplishment? Does not pride and self-confidence matter in your life?
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:11 AM
    "Have you never felt the joY of accomplishment?"

    [Apparently I have "jobs" on the mind even though I no longer have one nor need one in the least.]

    ken melvin -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:49 AM
    America's first course of action is denial; then, we pretend that things are different than the seem a lot.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to ken melvin... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:39 AM
    Priceless!
    DrDick -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:52 AM
    While automation is part of the story, offshoring is just as important. Even when there is not net loss in the numbers of jobs in aggregate, there is significant loss in better paying jobs in manufacturing. It is important to look at the distributional effects within countries, as well as between them

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/outsourcing-statistics-by-country/

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=12&ved=0ahUKEwjj9OK1xrbLAhUG92MKHbveBAgQFghhMAs&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wto.org%2Fenglish%2Fres_e%2Fbooksp_e%2Fglob_soc_sus_e_chap1_e.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHRBtLPlhJsKMg5PfxSlUIgOsFuwA&cad=rja

    https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2014/07/30/94864/offshoring-work-is-taking-a-toll-on-the-u-s-economy/

    Julio -> cawley... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:24 AM
    "off shoring"

    [The trending term is "tossing it over the Wall".]

    Chris G : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 03:58 AM
    Legislatively, what would it take to withdraw from the WTO? NAFTA? Other trade agreements?
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Chris G ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:52 AM
    It would probably be cheaper and easier to just fix them. We don't need to withdraw from trade. We just need to fix the terms of trade that cause large trade deficits and cross border capital flows and also fix the FOREX system rigging.
    JohnH -> Chris G ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:10 AM
    What would it take to ignore trade agreements? They shouldn't be any more difficult to ignore than the Geneva Conventions, which the US routinely flaunts.
    Richard A. : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:30 AM
    In order to import we must export and in order to export we must import. The two are tied together. Suppressing imports means we export less.

    What free trade does is lower the price level relative to wages. It doesn't uniformly lower the price level but rather lowers the cost of goods that are capable of being traded internationally. It lowers the price on those goods that are disproportionately purchased by those with low incomes.

    Free trade causes a progressive decline in the price level while protectionism causes a regressive increase in the price level.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:56 AM
    Are you saying that free trade lowers the cost of rice in India and China and raises the cost of cell phones and autos in the US?
    pgl -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:48 AM
    Funny rebuttal! Bhagwati probably has a model that says the opposite! But then he grew up in India and should one day get a Nobel Prize for his contributions to international economics.
    pgl -> Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:47 AM
    "What free trade does is lower the price level relative to wages."

    Which price? Whose wages? Look up Stopler-Samuelson ... a 1941 classic which I suspect Greg Mankiw has never bothered to learn.

    Tom aka Rusty said in reply to Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:54 AM
    People don't need good wages, they can buy cheap Chinese stuff at WalMart.
    JohnH -> Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:14 AM
    "In order to import we must export and in order to export we must import." One would think. However, experience shows that that's not the case.

    Capital flows from overseas investments help balance the books. When that doesn't work, the US simply prints money to be held by foreign CBs.

    ken melvin : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:53 AM
    Our media needs to copy France 24, ... and have real debates about real issues. What we get is along the lines of ignoring the problem then attacking any effort to correct. for example, the media stayed away from the healthcare crisis, too complicated, but damn they are good at criticizing.
    JohnH -> ken melvin... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:16 AM
    France 24 promotes neocon-style jingoism...even worse than Big Media in America.

    I hope they're better on domestic social policy.

    Tom Palley : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:08 AM
    A seriously shameful article. Krugman has been a booster of trade & globalization for 30 years: marginally more nuanced than the establishment, but still a booster.

    Now, the establishment has what it wanted and the effects have been disastrous for those not in the top 20 percent of the income distribution.

    At this stage, comes insult to injury. Establishment economists (like Mr. Krugman) can reinvent themselves with "brilliant new studies" showing the costs and damage of globalization. They pay no professional costs for the grievous injuries inflicted; there is no mention of the fact that critical outsider economists have been predicting and writing about these injuries and were right; and they blithely say we must stay the course because we are locked-in and have few options.

    Forgive me while I puke.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:44 AM
    Bless you my son.

    I don't think that they think that we weebles have memories.

    Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:13 AM
    "I don't think that they think that we weebles have memories."

    They insult our intelligence and wonder why people get mad.

    pgl -> Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:51 AM
    Krugman is not Greg Mankiw. Most people who actually get international economics (Mankiw does not) are not of the free trade benefits all types. Paul Samuelson certainly does not buy into Mankiw's spin. Funny thing - Mankiw recently cited an excellent piece from Samuelson only to dishonestly suggest Samuelson did not believe in what he wrote.
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:12 AM
    Why are we talking about Mankiw? You can't move the goalposts.
    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:40 AM
    Why are you mischaracterizing what Krugman has written? That's my point. Oh wait - you misrepresent what people write so you can "win" a "debate". Never mind. Please proceed with the serial dishonesty.
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:55 AM
    "The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he's never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't and can't."

    As Dean Baker says, we need to confront Walmart and Goldman Sachs at home, who like these policies, more than the Chinese.

    The Chinese want access to our consumer market. They'd also like if we did't invade countries like Iraq.

    "so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't"

    And what is that? Tear up trade deals? It is Krugman who is engaging in straw man arguments.

    DrDick -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:02 AM
    Krugman does indeed misrepresent Sanders' positions on trade. Sander is not against trade, he merely insists on *Fair Trade*, which incorporates human rights and environmental protections. His opposition is to the kinds of deals, like NAFTA and TPP, which effectively gut those (a central element in Kruman's own critique of the latter).
    DrDick -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:56 AM
    Krugman has definitely backed off his (much) earlier boosterism and publicly said so. This is an excellent piece by him, though it does rather downplay his earlier stances a bit. This is one of the things I especially like about him.
    Dan Kervick -> Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:11 AM
    I can get the idea that some people win, some people lose from liberalized trade. But what really bugs me about the neoliberal trade agenda is that it has been part of a larger set of economically conservative, laissez faire policies that have exacerbated the damages from trade rather than offsetting them.

    At the same time they were exposing US workers to greater competition from abroad and destroying and offshoring working class jobs via both trade and liberalized capital flows, the neoliberals were also doing things like "reinventing government" - that is, shrinking structural government spending and public investment - and ending welfare. They have done nothing serious about steering capital and job development efforts toward the communities devastated by the liberalization.

    The neoliberal position has seem to come down to "We can't make bourgeois progress without breaking a few working class eggs."

    pgl -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:41 AM
    I guess I'm not a neoliberal. Neither is Dani Rodrik. Nor is Paul Krugman.
    Dan Kervick -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:50 AM
    What does Dani Rodrik have to do with the above comments?
    pgl -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:51 AM
    Read his 1997 book. Excellent stuff.
    Julio -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:38 AM
    Great points, and a good line too.
    JohnH -> Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:22 AM
    Agreed! "Krugman has been a booster of trade & globalization for 30 years: marginally more nuanced than the establishment, but still a booster.'

    Now he claims that he saw the light all along! "much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest: false claims of inevitability, scare tactics (protectionism causes depressions!), vastly exaggerated claims for the benefits of trade liberalization and the costs of protection, hand-waving away the large distributional effects that are what standard models actually predict. I hope, by the way, that I haven't done any of that..."

    You would be hard pressed to find any Krugman clips that cited any of those problems in the past. Far from being an impartial economist, he was always an avid booster of free trade, overlooking those very downsides that he suddenly decides to confess.

    Dan Kervick : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:11 AM
    As far as I know, Sanders has not proposed ripping up the existing trade deals. His information page on trade emphasizes (i) his opposition to these deals when they were first negotiated and enacted, and (ii) the principles he will apply to the consideration of future trade deals. Much of his argumentation concerning past deals is put forward to motivate his present opposition to TPP.

    http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-trade/

    So Krugman's point about how difficult it would be diplomatically to "rip up" the existing trade deals seems like a red herring.

    Dan Kervick -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:29 AM
    Note also that Sanders connects his discussion of the harms of past trade policy to the Rebuild America Act. That is, his approach is forward facing. We can't undo most of the past damage by recreating the old working class economy we wrecked, but we can be aggressive about using government-directed national investment programs to create new, high-paying jobs in the US.
    jonny bakho -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:16 AM
    You could have said the same about the 1920s
    We can't undo most of the past damage by recreating the old agrarian class economy we wrecked, but we can be aggressive about using government-directed national investment programs to create new, high-paying jobs in the US.

    The march of progress:
    Mechanization of agriculture with displacement of large numbers of Ag workers.
    The rise of factory work and large numbers employed in manufacturing.
    Automation of Manufacturing with large displacement of workers engaged in manufacturing.
    What do we want our workers to do? This question must be answered at the highest level of society and requires much government facilitation. The absence of government facilitation is THE problem.

    Dan Kervick -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:23 AM
    Completely agree. Countries need economic strategies that go beyond, "let the markets sort it all out."
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:47 AM
    "...So Krugman's point about how difficult it would be diplomatically to "rip up" the existing trade deals seems like a red herring."

    [Win one for the kipper.]

    pgl -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:52 AM
    Memo to Paul Krugman - lead with the economics and stay with the economics. His need to get into the dirty business of politics dilutes what he ends up sensibly writes later on.
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:56 AM
    ""The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he's never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't and can't."
    Chatham -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:36 AM
    Yeah, it's pretty dishonest for Krugman to pretend that Sanders' position is "ripping up the trade agreements we already have" and then say Sanders is "engaged in a bit of a scam" because he can't do that. Sanders actual position (trying to stop new trade deals like the TPP) is something the president has a lot of influence over (they can veto the deal). Hard to tell what Krugman is doing here other than deliberately spreading misinformation.

    Also worth noting that he decides to compare Sanders' opposition to trade deals with Trump, and ignore the fact that Clinton has come out against the TPP as well .

    anne : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:26 AM
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/09/a-protectionist-moment/

    March 9, 2016

    A Protectionist Moment?
    By Paul Krugman

    Busy with real life, but yes, I know what happened in the primaries yesterday. Triumph for Trump, and big upset for Sanders - although it's still very hard to see how he can catch Clinton. Anyway, a few thoughts, not about the horserace but about some deeper currents.

    The Sanders win defied all the polls, and nobody really knows why. But a widespread guess is that his attacks on trade agreements resonated with a broader audience than his attacks on Wall Street; and this message was especially powerful in Michigan, the former auto superpower. And while I hate attempts to claim symmetry between the parties - Trump is trying to become America's Mussolini, Sanders at worst America's Michael Foot * - Trump has been tilling some of the same ground. So here's the question: is the backlash against globalization finally getting real political traction?

    You do want to be careful about announcing a political moment, given how many such proclamations turn out to be ludicrous. Remember the libertarian moment? The reformocon moment? Still, a protectionist backlash, like an immigration backlash, is one of those things where the puzzle has been how long it was in coming. And maybe the time is now.

    The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he's never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't and can't.

    But it's also true that much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest: false claims of inevitability, scare tactics (protectionism causes depressions! ** ), vastly exaggerated claims for the benefits of trade liberalization and the costs of protection, hand-waving away the large distributional effects that are what standard models actually predict. I hope, by the way, that I haven't done any of that; I think I've always been clear that the gains from globalization aren't all that (here's a back-of-the-envelope on the gains from hyperglobalization *** - only part of which can be attributed to policy - that is less than 5 percent of world GDP over a generation); and I think I've never assumed away the income distribution effects.

    Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes, **** the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins - but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other.

    So the elite case for ever-freer trade is largely a scam, which voters probably sense even if they don't know exactly what form it's taking.

    Ripping up the trade agreements we already have would, again, be a mess, and I would say that Sanders is engaged in a bit of a scam himself in even hinting that he could do such a thing. Trump might actually do it, but only as part of a reign of destruction on many fronts.

    But it is fair to say that the case for more trade agreements - including Trans-Pacific Partnership, which hasn't happened yet - is very, very weak. And if a progressive makes it to the White House, she should devote no political capital whatsoever to such things.

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Foot

    ** http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/the-mitt-hawley-fallacy/

    *** http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/the-gains-from-hyperglobalization-wonkish/

    **** http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2016/03/trade_trump_and_downward_class059814.php

    anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:26 AM
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Foot

    Michael Mackintosh Foot (1913 – 2010) was a British Labour Party politician and man of letters who was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1945 to 1955 and from 1960 until 1992. He was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980, and later the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983.

    Associated with the left of the Labour Party for most of his career, Foot was an ardent supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and British withdrawal from the European Economic Community. He was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Employment under Harold Wilson in 1974, and he later served as Leader of the House of Commons under James Callaghan. A passionate orator, he led Labour through the 1983 general election, when the party obtained its lowest share of the vote at a general election since 1918 and the fewest parliamentary seats it had had at any time since before 1945.

    pgl -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:53 AM
    Foot sounds like he was a good leader of the Labour Party.
    anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:27 AM
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/the-mitt-hawley-fallacy/

    March 4, 2016

    The Mitt-Hawley Fallacy
    By Paul Krugman

    There was so much wrong with Mitt Romney's Trump-is-a-disaster-whom-I-will-support-in-the-general * speech that it may seem odd to call him out for bad international macroeconomics. But this is a pet peeve of mine, in an area where I really, truly know what I'm talking about. So here goes.

    In warning about Trumponomics, Romney declared:

    "If Donald Trump's plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged recession. A few examples. His proposed 35 percent tariff-like penalties would instigate a trade war and that would raise prices for consumers, kill our export jobs and lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee America."

    After all, doesn't everyone know that protectionism causes recessions? Actually, no. There are reasons to be against protectionism, but that's not one of them.

    Think about the arithmetic (which has a well-known liberal bias). Total final spending on domestically produced goods and services is

    Total domestic spending + Exports – Imports = GDP

    Now suppose we have a trade war. This will cut exports, which other things equal depresses the economy. But it will also cut imports, which other things equal is expansionary. For the world as a whole, the cuts in exports and imports will by definition be equal, so as far as world demand is concerned, trade wars are a wash.

    OK, I'm sure some people will start shouting "Krugman says protectionism does no harm." But no: protectionism in general should reduce efficiency, and hence the economy's potential output. But that's not at all the same as saying that it causes recessions.

    But didn't the Smoot-Hawley tariff cause the Great Depression? No. There's no evidence at all that it did. Yes, trade fell a lot between 1929 and 1933, but that was almost entirely a consequence of the Depression, not a cause. (Trade actually fell faster ** during the early stages of the 2008 Great Recession than it did after 1929.) And while trade barriers were higher in the 1930s than before, this was partly a response to the Depression, partly a consequence of deflation, which made specific tariffs (i.e. tariffs that are stated in dollars per unit, not as a percentage of value) loom larger.

    Again, not the thing most people will remember about Romney's speech. But, you know, protectionism was the only reason he gave for believing that Trump would cause a recession, which I think is kind of telling: the GOP's supposedly well-informed, responsible adult, trying to save the party, can't get basic economics right at the one place where economics is central to his argument.

    * http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/mitt-romney-speech.html

    ** http://www.voxeu.org/article/tale-two-depressions-what-do-new-data-tell-us-february-2010-update

    anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:28 AM
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/the-gains-from-hyperglobalization-wonkish/

    October 1, 2013

    The Gains From Hyperglobalization (Wonkish)
    By Paul Krugman

    Still taking kind of an emotional vacation from current political madness. Following up on my skeptical post on worries about slowing trade growth, * I wondered what a state-of-the-art model would say.

    The natural model to use, at least for me, is Eaton-Kortum, ** which is a very ingenious approach to thinking about multilateral trade flows. The basic model is Ricardian - wine and cloth and labor productivity and all that - except that there are many goods and many countries, transportation costs, and countries are assumed to gain productivity in any particular industry through a random process. They make some funny assumptions about distributions - hey, that's kind of the price of entry for this kind of work - and in return get a tractable model that yields gravity-type equations for international trade flows. This is a good thing, because gravity models *** of trade - purely empirical exercises, with no real theory behind them - are known to work pretty well.

    Their model also yields a simple expression for the welfare gains from trade:

    Real income = A*(1-import share)^(-1/theta)

    where A is national productivity and theta is a parameter of their assumed random process (don't ask); they suggest that theta=4 provides the best match to available data.

    Now, what I wanted to do was apply this to the rapid growth of trade that has taken place since around 1990, what Subramanian **** calls "hyperglobalization". According to Subramanian's estimates, overall trade in goods and services has risen from about 19 percent of world GDP in the early 1990s to 33 percent now, bringing us to a level of integration that really is historically unprecedented.

    There are some conceptual difficulties with using this rise directly in the Eaton-Kortum framework, because much of it has taken the form of trade in intermediate goods, and the framework isn't designed to handle that. Still, let me ignore that, and plug Subramanian's numbers into the equation above; I get a 4.9 percent rise in real incomes due to increased globalization.

    That's by no means small change, but it's only a fairly small fraction of global growth. The Maddison database ***** gives us a 45 percent rise in global GDP per capita over the same period, so this calculation suggests that rising trade was responsible for around 10 percent of overall global growth. My guess is that most people who imagine themselves well-informed would give a bigger number.

    By the way, for those critical of globalization, let me hasten to concede that by its nature the Eaton-Kortum model doesn't let us talk about income distribution, and it also makes no room for the possible role of globalization in causing secular stagnation. ******

    Still, I thought this was an interesting calculation to make - which may show more about my warped sense of what's interesting than it does about anything else.

    * http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/should-slowing-trade-growth-worry-us/

    ** http://www.nber.org/papers/w11764

    *** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_model_of_trade

    **** http://www.gcf.ch/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/GCF_Subramanian-working-paper-3_-6.17.13.pdf

    ***** http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/maddison-project/home.htm

    ****** http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/trade-and-secular-stagnation/

    anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:46 AM
    http://www.nber.org/papers/w11764

    November, 2005

    General Equilibrium Analysis of the Eaton-Kortum Model of International Trade
    By Fernando Alvarez and Robert E. Lucas

    We study a variation of the Eaton-Kortum model, a competitive, constant-returns-to-scale multicountry Ricardian model of trade. We establish existence and uniqueness of an equilibrium with balanced trade where each country imposes an import tariff. We analyze the determinants of the cross-country distribution of trade volumes, such as size, tariffs and distance, and compare a calibrated version of the model with data for the largest 60 economies. We use the calibrated model to estimate the gains of a world-wide trade elimination of tariffs, using the theory to explain the magnitude of the gains as well as the differential effect arising from cross-country differences in pre-liberalization of tariffs levels and country size.

    anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:46 AM
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_model_of_trade

    The gravity model of international trade in international economics, similar to other gravity models in social science, predicts bilateral trade flows based on the economic sizes (often using GDP measurements) and distance between two units. The model was first used by Jan Tinbergen in 1962.

    anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:47 AM
    http://www.gcf.ch/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/GCF_Subramanian-working-paper-3_-6.17.13.pdf

    June, 2013

    The Hyperglobalization of Trade and Its Future
    By Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler

    Abstract

    The open, rules-based trading system has delivered immense benefits-for the world, for individual countries, and for average citizens in these countries. It can continue to do so, helping today's low-income countries make the transition to middle-income status. Three challenges must be met to preserve this system. Rich countries must sustain the social consensus in favor of open markets and globalization at a time of considerable economic uncertainty and weakness; China and other middle-income countries must remain open; and mega-regionalism must be prevented from leading to discrimination and trade conflicts. Collective action should help strengthen the institutional underpinnings of globalization. The world should move beyond the Doha Round dead to more meaningful multilateral negotiations to address emerging challenges, including possible threats from new mega-regional agreements. The rising powers, especially China, will have a key role to play in resuscitating multilateralism.

    anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:56 AM
    Real income = A*(1-import share)^(-1/theta)

    [ Help! What does this mean in words? ]

    Peter K. : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:37 AM
    "Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes, the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins"

    That was never the conventional case for trade. Plus it's kind of odd that you have to add "plus have the government redistribute" to the case your making.

    Tom Pally above is correct. Krugman has been on the wrong side of this issue. He's gotten better, but the timing is he's gotten better as the Democratic Party has moved to the left and pushed back against corporate trade deals. Even Hillary came out late against Obama's TPP.

    Sanders has nothing about ripping up trade deals. He has said he won't do any more.

    As cawley predicted, once Sanders won Michigan, Krugman started hitting him again at his blog. With cheap shots I might add. He's ruining his brand.

    Peter K. -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:41 AM
    'A Protectionist Moment?'

    So for Krugman, no doing corporate trade deals means you're "protectionist?"

    It's a fair trade moment. As Dean Baker points out, corporate trade deals are protectionist:

    http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/tell-morning-edition-it-s-not-free-trade-folks

    Tell Morning Edition: It's Not "Free Trade" Folks
    by Dean Baker
    Published: 10 March 2016

    Hey, can an experienced doctor from Germany show up and start practicing in New York next week? Since the answer is no, we can say that we don't have free trade. It's not an immigration issue, if the doctor wants to work in a restaurant kitchen, she would probably get away with it. We have protectionist measures that limit the number of foreign doctors in order to keep their pay high. These protectionist measures have actually been strengthened in the last two decades.

    We also have strengthened patent and copyright protections, making drugs and other affected items far more expensive. These protections are also forms of protectionism.

    This is why Morning Edition seriously misled its listeners in an interview with ice cream barons Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield over their support of Senator Bernie Sanders. The interviewer repeatedly referred to "free trade" agreements and Sanders' opposition to them. While these deals are all called "free trade" deals to make them sound more palatable ("selective protectionism to redistribute income upward" doesn't sound very appealing), that doesn't mean they are actually about free trade. Morning Edition should not have used the term employed by promoters to push their trade agenda.

    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:57 AM
    This has been Dean Baker's excellent theme for a very long time. And if you actually paid attention to what Krugman said about TPP - he agreed with Dean's excellent points. But do continue to set up straw man arguments so you can dishonestly attack Krugman.
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:06 AM
    Some of us have memories. Like Tom Palley up above.
    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:42 AM
    Memories of things Krugman never wrote. In other words, very faulty memories.
    Julio -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:07 AM
    No. That is not a sign of a faulty memory, quite the contrary.

    Krugman writes column after column praising trade pacts and criticizing (rightly, I might add) the yahoos who object for the wrong reasons.
    But he omits a few salient facts like
    - the gains are small,
    - the government MUST intervene with redistribution for this to work socially,
    - there are no (or minimal) provisions for that requirement in the pacts.

    I would say his omissions speak volumes and are worth remembering.

    Syaloch -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 11:51 AM
    Krugman initially wrote a confused column about the TPP, treating it as a simple free trade deal which he said would have little impact because tariffs were already so low. But he did eventually look into the matter further and wound up agreeing with Baker's take.
    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:56 AM
    "That was never the conventional case for trade". Actually it was. Of course Greg Mankiw never got the memo so his free trade benefits all BS confuses a lot of people. Mankiw sucks at international trade.
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:11 AM
    Actually it wasn't. I remember what Krugman and others wrote at the time about NAFTA and the WTO.

    https://uneasymoney com/2016/03/06/krugman-suffers-a-memory-lapse/

    David Glasner attacks Krugman from the right, but he doesn't whitewash the past as you do. He remembers Gore versus Perot:

    "Indeed, Romney didn't even mention the Smoot-Hawley tariff, but Krugman evidently forgot the classic exchange between Al Gore and the previous incarnation of protectionist populist outrage in an anti-establishment billionaire candidate for President:

    GORE I've heard Mr. Perot say in the past that, as the carpenters says, measure twice and cut once. We've measured twice on this. We have had a test of our theory and we've had a test of his theory. Over the last five years, Mexico's tariffs have begun to come down because they've made a unilateral decision to bring them down some, and as a result there has been a surge of exports from the United States into Mexico, creating an additional 400,000 jobs, and we can create hundreds of thousands of more if we continue this trend. We know this works. If it doesn't work, you know, we give six months notice and we're out of it. But we've also had a test of his theory.

    PEROT When?

    GORE In 1930, when the proposal by Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley was to raise tariffs across the board to protect our workers. And I brought some pictures, too.

    [Larry] KING You're saying Ross is a protectionist?

    GORE This is, this is a picture of Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley. They look like pretty good fellows. They sounded reasonable at the time; a lot of people believed them. The Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Protection Bill. He wants to raise tariffs on Mexico. They raised tariffs, and it was one of the principal causes, many economists say the principal cause, of the Great Depression in this country and around the world. Now, I framed this so you can put it on your wall if you want to.

    You can watch it here*

    * https://uneasymoney com/2016/02/17/competitive-devaluation-plus-monetary-expansion-does-create-a-free-lunch/

    jonny bakho -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:26 AM
    You obviously have not read Krugman. Here is from his 1997 Slate piece:

    But putting Greenspan (or his successor) into the picture restores much of the classical vision of the macroeconomy. Instead of an invisible hand pushing the economy toward full employment in some unspecified long run, we have the visible hand of the Fed pushing us toward its estimate of the noninflationary unemployment rate over the course of two or three years. To accomplish this, the board must raise or lower interest rates to bring savings and investment at that target unemployment rate in line with each other.

    And so all the paradoxes of thrift, widow's cruses, and so on become irrelevant. In particular, an increase in the savings rate will translate into higher investment after all, because the Fed will make sure that it does.

    To me, at least, the idea that changes in demand will normally be offset by Fed policy--so that they will, on average, have no effect on employment--seems both simple and entirely reasonable. Yet it is clear that very few people outside the world of academic economics think about things that way. For example, the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement was conducted almost entirely in terms of supposed job creation or destruction. The obvious (to me) point that the average unemployment rate over the next 10 years will be what the Fed wants it to be, regardless of the U.S.-Mexico trade balance, never made it into the public consciousness. (In fact, when I made that argument at one panel discussion in 1993, a fellow panelist--a NAFTA advocate, as it happens--exploded in rage: "It's remarks like that that make people hate economists!")

    http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/1996/10/economic_culture_wars.html

    pgl -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:44 AM
    Yes. But please do not interrupt PeterK with reality. He has important work do with his bash all things Krugman agenda. BTW - it is a riot that he cites Ross Perot on NAFTA. Perot has a self centered agenda there which Gore exposed. Never trust a corrupt business person whether it is Perot or Trump.
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:42 AM
    Did you read what Al Gore said? He said nothing about the government redistributing the gains from NAFTA?
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:44 AM
    "But please do not interrupt PeterK with reality."

    We are talking about the reality of Krugman's past support for free trade agreements.

    You can't rewrite the past.

    jonny bakho -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:47 AM
    Yes the model PeterK is using is unclear. He doesn't seem to have a grasp on the economics of the issues. He seems to think that Sanders is a font of economic wisdom who is not to be questioned. I would hate to see the left try to make a flawed candidate into the larger than life icon that the GOP has made out of Reagan.
    Peter K. -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:15 AM
    "Yes the model PeterK is using is unclear. He doesn't seem to have a grasp on the economics of the issues."

    Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein. Like you I want full employment and rising wages. And like Krugman I am very much an internationalist. I want us to deal fairly with the rest of the world. We need to cooperate especially in the face of global warming.

    1. My first, best solution would be fiscal action. Like everyone else. I prefer Sanders's unicorn plan of $1 trillion over five years rather than Hillary's plan which is one quarter of the size. Her plan puts more pressure on the Fed and monetary policy.

    a. My preference would be to pay for it with Pigouvian taxes on the rich, corporations, and the financial sector.

    b. if not a, then deficit spending like Trudeau in Canada

    C. if the deficit hawks block that, then monetary-financing would be the way around them.

    2. close the trade deficit. Dean Baker and Bernstein have written about this a lot. Write currency agreements into trade deals. If we close the trade deficit and are at full employment, then we can import more from the rest of the world.

    3. If powerful interests block 1. and 2. then lean on monetary policy. Reduce the price of credit to boost demand. It works as a last resort.

    "I would hate to see the left try to make a flawed candidate into the larger than life icon that the GOP has made out of Reagan.'

    I haven't seen any evidence of this. It would be funny if the left made an old Jewish codger from Brooklyn into an icon. Feel the Bern!!!

    Sanders regularly points out it's not about him as President fixing everything, it's about creating a movement. It's about getting people involved. He can't do it by himself. Obama would say this too. Elizabeth Warren become popular by saying the same things Sanders is saying.

    Syaloch -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 12:19 PM
    The Compensation Principle certainly is part of standard Heckscher-Ohlin trade model, you can find it in any textbook:

    http://internationalecon.com/Trade/Tch60/T60-13.php

    However to say that the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the Compensation Principle isn't quite accurate. The conventional case has traditionally relied on the assertion that "we" are better off with trade since we could *theoretically* distribute the gains. However, free trade boosters never seem to get around to worrying about distributing the gains *in practice*. In practice, free trade is typically justified simply by the net aggregate gain, regardless of how these gains are distributed or who is hurt in the process.

    To my mind, before considering some trade liberalization deal we should FIRST agree to and implement the redistribution mechanisms and only then reduce barriers. Implementing trade deals in a backward, half-assed way as has typically been the case often makes "us" worse off than autarky.

    Peter K. -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:43 AM
    From Krugman's wikipedia article:

    "Krugman has at times advocated free markets in contexts where they are often viewed as controversial. He has ... likened the opposition against free trade and globalization to the opposition against evolution via natural selection (1996),[167]

    167 167 http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/ricardo.htm

    "Ricardo's difficult idea". Web.mit.edu. 1996. Retrieved 2011-10-04.

    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:48 AM
    Wikipedia. Now there is an unimpeachable source!
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:17 AM
    what's your alternative?
    Julio -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:10 AM
    (In fact, when I made that argument at one panel discussion in 1993, a fellow panelist--a NAFTA advocate, as it happens--exploded in rage: "It's remarks like that that make people hate economists!")

    [Thanks to electoral politics, we're all fellow panelists now.]

    Peter K. -> Julio ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:20 AM
    "To me, at least, the idea that changes in demand will normally be offset by Fed policy--so that they will, on average, have no effect on employment--seems both simple and entirely reasonable. Yet it is clear that very few people outside the world of academic economics think about things that way."

    As we've seen the Fed is overly fearful of inflation, so the Fed doesn't offset the trade deficit as quickly as it should. Instead we suffer hysteresis and reduction of potential output.

    Peter K. : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:04 AM
    "The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious."

    Here Krugman is more honest. We're basically buying off the Chinese, etc. The cost for stopping this would be less cooperation from the Chinese, etc.

    This is new. He never used to say this kind of thing. Instead he'd go after "protectionists" as luddites.

    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:09 AM
    "This is new. He never used to say this kind of thing. Instead he'd go after "protectionists" as luddites."

    You have Krugman confused with Greg Mankiw. Most real international economics (Mankiw is not one) recognize the distributional consequences of free trade v. protectionism. Then again - putting forth the Mankiw uninformed spin is a prerequisite for being on Team Republican. Of course Republicans will go protectionist whenever it is politically expedient as in that temporary set of steel tariffs. Helped Bush-Cheney in 2004 and right after that - no tariffs. Funny how that worked.

    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:20 AM
    "Most real international economics (Mankiw is not one) recognize the distributional consequences of free trade v. protectionism."

    Obama and others don't defend the TPP that way. Krugman and Hillary don't support the TPP but only because the politics has shifted since the 1990s.

    If Krugman wrote today as he did in the 1990s, he'd completely ruin his brand as liberal economist.

    Peter K. -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:22 AM
    Where is the "redistribution from government" in the TPP. There isn't any.

    Even the NAFTA side agreements on labor and the environment are toothless. The point of these corporate trade deals is to profit from the lower labor and environmental standards of poorer countries.

    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:46 AM
    And where did I say TPP was a good thing? I have slammed TPP. And I never said NAFTA included this compensation thing. Nor did Mark Kleiman.

    But do continue to misrepresent what I and others have said. It is what you do.

    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:12 AM
    Hat tip to my Econospeak colleague Sandwichman for noting this from Krugman:

    http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2013/06/paul-krugmans-sympathy-for-luddites.html

    Mark Thoma also noted this sympathy for the Luddites. But the professional Krugman haters have to deny he would write such things.

    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:17 AM
    The fact that you resort to calling me a professional Krugman hater means you're not interested in an actual debate about actual ideas. You've lost the debate and I'm not participating.

    One is not allowed to criticize Krugman lest one be labeled a professional Krugman hater?

    Your resort to name calling just weakens the case you're making.

    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:47 AM
    You of late have wasted so much space misrepresenting what Krugman has said. Maybe you don't hate him - maybe you just want to get his attention. For a date maybe. Lord - the troll in you is truly out of control.
    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:29 AM
    I have not misrepresented what Krugman has said.
    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:49 AM
    Who wrote?

    "This is new. He never used to say this kind of thing. Instead he'd go after "protectionists" as luddites."

    Did you even bother to read that link to what the Sandwichman posted? Didn't think so.

    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:23 AM
    Sandwichman's quote is from 2013. I'm talking about before that and especially in the 1990s.

    Sandwichman says the quote is notable because Krugman has changed his views. That proves my point.

    Did you read it?

    pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 10:34 AM
    Sandwichman may think Krugman changed his views but if one actually read what he has written over the years (as opposed to your cherry picking quotes), you might have noticed otherwise. But of course you want Krugman to look bad. It is what you do.
    Syaloch -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 12:31 PM
    Krugman's views have evolved quite a bit over the years. Can you envision today's Krugman singing the praises of cheap labor?

    http://www.pkarchive.org/trade/smokey.htm

    In Praise of Cheap Labor (1997)

    Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:25 AM
    Only recently he has begun to say that trade deals are part of diplomacy, like we're giving these countries something in order for them to cooperate.

    If we didn't do these trade deals, these countries would cooperate less.

    Peter K. -> Peter K.... , -1
    It's a legitimate point.

    [Dec 05, 2016] The conditions that produced and enabled Trump are the Democratic Party betrayal or working classes, especially its transformation into another wing of neoliberal party of the USA under Clinton. People now view a vote for Hillary as a vote for more of the same - increasing disparity in wealth and income.

    Sizeable numbers of Americans have seen wages decline in real terms for nearly 20 years. Many/most parents in many communities do not see a better future before them, or for their children.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Democracy demands that ballot access rules be selected by referendum, not by the very legacy parties that maintain legislative control by effectively denying ballot access to parties that will pose a challenge to their continued rule. ..."
    "... I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money. ..."
    "... My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income. ..."
    "... Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. ..."
    "... For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations. ..."
    "... Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope. ..."
    Aug 02, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

    Glenn 08.02.16 at 5:01 pm

    @William Meyer 08.02.16 at 4:41 pm

    Legislators affiliated with the duopoly parties should not write the rules governing the ballot access of third parties. This exclusionary rule making amounts to preserving a self-dealing duopoly. Elections are the interest of the people who vote and those elected should not be able to subvert the democratic process by acting as a cartel.

    Democracy demands that ballot access rules be selected by referendum, not by the very legacy parties that maintain legislative control by effectively denying ballot access to parties that will pose a challenge to their continued rule.

    Of course any meaningful change would require a voluntary diminishment of power of the duopoly that now has dictatorial control over ballot access, and who will prevent any Constitutional Amendment that would enhance the democratic nature of the process.

    bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

    I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

    Ronan(rf) 08.04.16 at 10:35 pm

    "I generally don't give a shit about polls so I have no "data" to evidence this claim, but my guess is the majority of Trump's support comes from this broad middle"

    My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income.

    This would make some sense as they are generally in economically unstable jobs, they tend to be hostile to both big govt (regulations, freeloaders) and big business (unfair competition), and while they (rhetorically at least) tend to value personal autonomy and self sufficiency , they generally sell into smaller, local markets, and so are particularly affected by local demographic and cultural change , and decline. That's my speculation anyway.

    bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:28 pm

    I am somewhat suspicious of leaving dominating elites out of these stories of racism as an organizing principle for political economy or (cultural) community.

    Racism served the purposes of a slaveholding elite that organized political communities to serve their own interests. (Or, vis a vis the Indians a land-grab or genocide.)

    Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. The ugly prejudices and resentful arrogance of working class whites is thus a component of how racism works to organize a political community to serve a hegemonic master class. The business end of racism, though, is the autarkic poverty imposed on the working communities: slaves, sharecroppers, poor blacks, poor whites - bad schools, bad roads, politically disabled communities, predatory institutions and authoritarian governments.

    For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations.

    bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:31 pm

    Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Trump and the Transformation of Politics

    Notable quotes:
    "... Journal of Democracy ..."
    "... John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus. ..."
    Sep 04, 2016 | fpif.org
    Trump and the other illiberal populists have been benefiting from three overlapping backlashes.

    The first is cultural. Movements for civil liberties have been remarkably successful over the last 40 years. Women, ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGBTQ community have secured important gains at a legal and cultural level. It is remarkable, for instance, how quickly same-sex marriage has become legal in more than 20 countries when no country recognized it before 2001.

    Resistance has always existed to these movements to expand the realm of civil liberties. But this backlash increasingly has a political face. Thus the rise of parties that challenge multiculturalism and immigration in Europe, the movements throughout Africa and Asia that support the majority over the minorities, and the Trump/Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party with their appeals to primarily white men.

    The second backlash is economic. The globalization of the economy has created a class of enormously wealthy individuals (in the financial, technology, and communications sectors). But globalization has left behind huge numbers of low-wage workers and those who have watched their jobs relocate to other countries.

    Illiberal populists have directed all that anger on the part of people left behind by the world economy at a series of targets: bankers who make billions, corporations that are constantly looking for even lower-wage workers, immigrants who "take away our jobs," and sometimes ethnic minorities who function as convenient scapegoats. The targets, in other words, include both the very powerful and the very weak.

    The third backlash, and perhaps the most consequential, is political. It's not just that people living in democracies are disgusted with their leaders and the parties they represent. Rather, as political scientists Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk write in the Journal of Democracy , "they have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives."

    Foa and Mounk are using 20 years of data collected from surveys of citizens in Western Europe and North America – the democracies with the greatest longevity. And they have found that support for illiberal alternatives is greater among the younger generation than the older one. In other countries outside Europe and North America, the disillusionment with democratic institutions often takes the form of a preference for a powerful leader who can break the rules if necessary to preserve order and stability – like Putin in Russia or Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt or Prayuth Chan-ocha in Thailand.

    These three backlashes – cultural, economic, political – are also anti-internationalist because international institutions have become associated with the promotion of civil liberties and human rights, the greater globalization of the economy, and the constraint of the sovereignty of nations (for instance, through the European Union or the UN's "responsibility to protect" doctrine).

    ... ... ....

    The current political order is coming apart. If we don't come up with a fair, Green, and internationalist alternative, the illiberal populists will keep winning. John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus.

    [Dec 05, 2016] The most powerful force in Presidential election 2016 is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics, especially among Democratic electorate

    Notable quotes:
    "... if neo-liberalism is partly defined by the free flow of goods, labor and capital - and that has been the Republican agenda since at least Reagan - how is Trump a continuation of the same tradition?" ..."
    "... Trump is a conservative (or right populist, or whatever), and draws on that tradition. He's not a neoliberal. ..."
    "... Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view. He's consistent w/the trade and immigration views but (assuming you can actually figure him out) wrong on banks, taxes, etc. ..."
    "... But the next populists we see might be more full bore. When that happens, you'll see much more overlap w/Sanders economic plans for the middle class. ..."
    "... There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal. ..."
    "... Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing. ..."
    "... There's also the fact Reagan tapped a fair number of Nixon people, as did W years later. Reagan went after Nixon in the sense of running against him, and taking the party in a much more hard-right direction, sure. But he was repudiated largely because he got caught doing dirty tricks with his pants down. ..."
    "... From what I can tell - the 1972 election gave the centrists in the democratic party power to discredit and marginalize the anti-war left, and with it, the left in general. ..."
    "... Ready even now to whine that she's a victim and that the whole community is at fault and that people are picking on her because she's a woman, rather than because she has a habit of making accusations like this every time she comments. ..."
    "... That is a perfect example of predatory "solidarity". Val is looking for dupes to support her ..."
    Aug 12, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
    Rich Puchalsky 08.12.16 at 4:15 pm 683
    "Once again, if neo-liberalism is partly defined by the free flow of goods, labor and capital - and that has been the Republican agenda since at least Reagan - how is Trump a continuation of the same tradition?"

    You have to be willing to see neoliberalism as something different from conservatism to have the answer make any sense. John Quiggin has written a good deal here about a model of U.S. politics as being divided into left, neoliberal, and conservative. Trump is a conservative (or right populist, or whatever), and draws on that tradition. He's not a neoliberal.

    ... ... ...

    T 08.12.16 at 5:52 pm

    RP @683

    That's a bit of my point. I think Corey has defined the Republican tradition solely in response to the Southern Strategy that sees a line from Nixon (or Goldwater) to Trump. But that gets the economics wrong and the foreign policy too - the repub foreign policy view has not been consistent across administrations and Trump's economic pans (to the extent he has a plan) are antithetical to the Nixon – W tradition. I have viewed post-80 Dem administrations as neoliberals w/transfers and Repub as neoliberals w/o transfers.

    Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view. He's consistent w/the trade and immigration views but (assuming you can actually figure him out) wrong on banks, taxes, etc.

    But the next populists we see might be more full bore. When that happens, you'll see much more overlap w/Sanders economic plans for the middle class. Populists have nothing against gov't programs like SS and Medicare and were always for things like the TVA and infrastructure spending. Policies aimed at the poor and minorities not so much.

    bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 7:47 pm 689

    T @ 685: Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view.

    There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal.

    These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory. That is different.

    I am not a believer in "the fire next time". Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing.

    Nor will Sanders be back. His was a last New Deal coda. There may be second acts in American life, but there aren't 7th acts.

    If there's a populist politics in our future, it will have to have a much sharper edge. It can talk about growth, but it has to mean smashing the rich and taking their stuff. There's very rapidly going to come a point where there's no other option, other than just accepting cramdown by the authoritarian surveillance state built by the neoliberals. that's a much taller order than Sanders or Trump have been offering.<

    Michael Sullivan 08.12.16 at 8:06 pm 690

    Corey, you write: "It's not just that the Dems went after Nixon, it's also that Nixon had so few allies. People on the right were furious with him because they felt after this huge ratification that the country had moved to the right, Nixon was still governing as if the New Deal were the consensus. So when the time came, he had very few defenders, except for loyalists like Leonard Garment and G. Gordon Liddy. And Al Haig, God bless him."

    You've studied this more than I have, but this is at least somewhat at odds with my memory. I recall some prominent attackers of Nixon from the Republican party that were moderates, at least one of whom was essentially kicked out of the party for being too liberal in later years. There's also the fact Reagan tapped a fair number of Nixon people, as did W years later. Reagan went after Nixon in the sense of running against him, and taking the party in a much more hard-right direction, sure. But he was repudiated largely because he got caught doing dirty tricks with his pants down.

    To think that something similar would happen to Clinton (watergate like scandal) that would actually have a large portion of the left in support of impeachment, she would have to be as dirty as Nixon was, *and* the evidence to really put the screws to her would have to be out, as it was against Nixon during watergate.

    OTOH, my actual *hope* would be that a similar left-liberal sea change comparable to 1980 from the right would be plausible. I don't think a 1976-like interlude is plausible though, that would require the existence of a moderate republican with enough support within their own party to win the nomination. I suppose its possible that such a beast could come to exist if Trump loses a landslide, but most of the plausible candidates have already left or been kicked out of the party.

    From what I can tell - the 1972 election gave the centrists in the democratic party power to discredit and marginalize the anti-war left, and with it, the left in general. A comparable election from the other side would give republican centrists/moderates the ability to discredit and marginalize the right wing base. But unlike Democrats in 1972, there aren't any moderates left in the Republican party by my lights. I'm much more concerned that this will simply re-empower the hard-core conservatives with plausbly-deniable dog-whistle racism who are now the "moderates", and enable them to whitewash their history.

    Unfortunately, unlike you, I'm not convinced that a landslide is possible without an appeal to Reagan/Bush republicans. I don't think we're going to see a meaningful turn toward a real left until Democrats can win a majority of statehouses and clean up the ridiculous gerrymandering.

    Rich Puchalsky 08.12.16 at 9:18 pm

    Val: "Similarly with your comments on "identity politics" where you could almost be seen by MRAs and white supremacists as an ally, from the tone of your rhetoric."

    That is 100% perfect Val. Insinuates that BW is a sort-of-ally of white supremacists - an infuriating insinuation. Does this insinuation based on a misreading of what he wrote. Completely resistant to any sort of suggestion that what she dishes out so expansively to others had better be something she should be willing to accept herself, or that she shouldn't do it. Ready even now to whine that she's a victim and that the whole community is at fault and that people are picking on her because she's a woman, rather than because she has a habit of making accusations like this every time she comments.

    That is a perfect example of predatory "solidarity". Val is looking for dupes to support her - for people to jump in saying "Why are you being hostile to women?" in response to people's response to her comment.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Yes, the System Is Rigged

    Notable quotes:
    "... More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille. ..."
    "... If 2016 taught us anything, it is that if the establishment's hegemony is imperiled, it will come together in ferocious solidarity - for the preservation of their perks, privileges and power. All the elements of that establishment - corporate, cultural, political, media - are today issuing an ultimatum to Middle America: Trump is unacceptable. Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power. ..."
    "... Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for "regime change" in faraway lands whose rulers displease us. How do we effect "regime change" here at home? ..."
    "... Donald Trump's success, despite the near-universal hostility of the media, even much of the conservative media, was due in large part to the public's response to the issues he raised. ..."
    Aug 12, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    "I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged," Donald Trump told voters in Ohio and Sean Hannity on Fox News. And that hit a nerve.

    "Dangerous," "toxic," came the recoil from the media.

    Trump is threatening to "delegitimize" the election results of 2016.

    Well, if that is what Trump is trying to do, he has no small point. For consider what 2016 promised and what it appears about to deliver.

    This longest of election cycles has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider. It was a year that saw a mighty surge of economic populism and patriotism, a year when a 74-year-old Socialist senator set primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton.

    It was the year that a non-politician, Donald Trump, swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout, with his nearest rival an ostracized maverick in his own Republican caucus, Senator Ted Cruz.

    More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.

    But if it ends with a Clintonite restoration and a ratification of the same old Beltway policies, would that not suggest there is something fraudulent about American democracy, something rotten in the state?

    If 2016 taught us anything, it is that if the establishment's hegemony is imperiled, it will come together in ferocious solidarity - for the preservation of their perks, privileges and power. All the elements of that establishment - corporate, cultural, political, media - are today issuing an ultimatum to Middle America: Trump is unacceptable. Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power.

    It testifies to the character of Republican elites that some are seeking ways to carry out these instructions, though this would mean invalidating and aborting the democratic process that produced Trump.

    But what is a repudiated establishment doing issuing orders to anyone?

    Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around?

    Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?

    You want Trump out? How do we get you out? The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring? The Brits had their "Brexit," and declared independence of an arrogant superstate in Brussels. How do we liberate ourselves from a Beltway superstate that is more powerful and resistant to democratic change?

    Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for "regime change" in faraway lands whose rulers displease us. How do we effect "regime change" here at home?

    Donald Trump's success, despite the near-universal hostility of the media, even much of the conservative media, was due in large part to the public's response to the issues he raised.

    By campaign's end, he had won the argument on trade, as Hillary Clinton was agreeing on TPP and confessing to second thoughts on NAFTA.

    But if TPP is revived at the insistence of the oligarchs of Wall Street, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - backed by conscript editorial writers for newspapers that rely on ad dollars - what do elections really mean anymore?

    And if, as the polls show we might, we get Clinton - and TPP, and amnesty, and endless migrations of Third World peoples who consume more tax dollars than they generate, and who will soon swamp the Republicans' coalition - what was 2016 all about?

    Would this really be what a majority of Americans voted for in this most exciting of presidential races?

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable," said John F. Kennedy.

    The 1960s and early 1970s were a time of social revolution in America, and President Nixon, by ending the draft and ending the Vietnam war, presided over what one columnist called the "cooling of America."

    But if Hillary Clinton takes power, and continues America on her present course, which a majority of Americans rejected in the primaries, there is going to be a bad moon rising.

    And the new protesters in the streets will not be overprivileged children from Ivy League campuses.

    Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority .

    [Dec 05, 2016] Neoliberalism has only exacerbated falling living standards

    Notable quotes:
    "... the capitalist economy is more and more an asset driven one. This article does not even begin to address the issue of asset valuations, the explicit CB support for asset inflation and the effect on inequality, and especially generational plunder. ..."
    "... the problem of living standards is obviously a Malthusian one. despite all the progress of social media tricks, we cannot fool nature. the rate of ecological degradation is alarming, and now irreversible. "the market" is now moving rapidly to real assets. This will eventually lead to war as all war is eventually for resources. ..."
    Aug 07, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Sally Snyder , August 5, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Here is an article that explains the key reason why economic growth will be slow for the foreseeable future:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/08/the-baby-bust-and-its-impact-on.html

    No matter what central banks do, their actions will not be able to create the same level of economic growth that we have become used to over the past seven decades.

    JEHR , August 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Economic growth does not come from the central banks; if government sought to provide the basics for all its citizens, including health care, education, a home, and proper food and all the infrastructure needed to give people the basics, then you could have something akin to "growth" while at the same time making life more pleasant for the less fortunate. There seems to be no definition of economic growth that includes everyone.

    David , August 5, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    This seems a very elaborate way of stating a simple problem, that can be summarised in three points.

    And that's about it.

    jgordon , August 5, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Neoliberalism has only exacerbated falling living standards. Living standards would be falling even without it, albeit more gradually.

    Neoliberalism itself may even be nothing more than a standard type response of species that have expanded beyond the capacity of their environment to support them. What we see as an evil ideology is only the expression of a mechanism that apportions declining resources to the elites, like shutting shutting down the periphery so the core can survive as in hypothermia.

    I Lost at Jeopardy , August 5, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    I really don't have problem with this. Let the financial sector run the world into the ground and get it over with.

    In defference to a great many knowledgable commentors here that work in the FIRE sector, I don't want to create a damning screed on the cost of servicing money, but at some point even the most considered opinions have to acknowledge that that finance is flooded with *talent* which creates a number of problems; one being a waste of intellect and education in a field that doesn't offer much of a return when viewed in an egalitarian sense, secondly; as the field grows due to, the technical advances, the rise in globilization, and the security a financial occuptaion offers in an advanced first world country nowadays, it requires substantially more income to be devoted to it's function.

    This income has to be derived somewhere, and the required sacrifices on every facet of a global economy to bolster positions and maintain asset prices has precipitated this decline in the well being of peoples not plugged-in to the consumer capitalist regime and dogma.

    Something has to give here, and I honestly couldn't care about your 401k or home resale value, you did this to yourself as much as those day-traders who got clobbered in the dot-com crash.

    nothing but the truth , August 6, 2016 at 11:46 am

    the capitalist economy is more and more an asset driven one. This article does not even begin to address the issue of asset valuations, the explicit CB support for asset inflation and the effect on inequality, and especially generational plunder.

    the problem of living standards is obviously a Malthusian one. despite all the progress of social media tricks, we cannot fool nature. the rate of ecological degradation is alarming, and now irreversible. "the market" is now moving rapidly to real assets. This will eventually lead to war as all war is eventually for resources.

    [Dec 05, 2016] The Trans-Pacific Partnership Permanent Lock In The Obama Agenda For 40% Of The Global Economy

    Oct 06, 2015 | Zero Hedge
    We have just witnessed one of the most significant steps toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been completed, and if approved it will create the largest trading bloc on the planet. But this is not just a trade agreement. In this treaty, Barack Obama has thrown in all sorts of things that he never would have been able to get through Congress otherwise. And once this treaty is approved, it will be exceedingly difficult to ever make changes to it. So essentially what is happening is that the Obama agenda is being permanently locked in for 40 percent of the global economy.

    The United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam all intend to sign on to this insidious plan. Collectively, these nations have a total population of about 800 million people and a combined GDP of approximately 28 trillion dollars.

    Of course Barack Obama is assuring all of us that this treaty is going to be wonderful for everyone

    In hailing the agreement, Obama said, "Congress and the American people will have months to read every word" before he signs the deal that he described as a win for all sides.

    "If we can get this agreement to my desk, then we can help our businesses sell more Made in America goods and services around the world, and we can help more American workers compete and win," Obama said.

    Sadly, just like with every other "free trade" agreement that the U.S. has entered into since World War II, the exact opposite is what will actually happen. Our trade deficit will get even larger, and we will see even more jobs and even more businesses go overseas.

    But the mainstream media will never tell you this. Instead, they are just falling all over themselves as they heap praise on this new trade pact. Just check out a couple of the headlines that we saw on Monday…

    Overseas it is a different story. Many journalists over there fully recognize that this treaty greatly benefits many of the big corporations that played a key role in drafting it. For example, the following comes from a newspaper in Thailand

    You will hear much about the importance of the TPP for "free trade".

    The reality is that this is an agreement to manage its members' trade and investment relations - and to do so on behalf of each country's most powerful business lobbies.

    These sentiments were echoed in a piece that Zero Hedge posted on Monday

    Packaged as a gift to the American people that will renew industry and make us more competitive, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Trojan horse. It's a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda. Buyer beware. Citizens beware.

    The gigantic corporations that dominate our economy don't care about the little guy. If they can save a few cents on the manufacturing of an item by moving production to Timbuktu they will do it.

    Over the past couple of decades, the United States has lost tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying jobs due to these "free trade agreements". As we merge our economy with the economies of nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, it is inevitable that corporations will shift jobs to places where labor is much cheaper. Our economic infrastructure is being absolutely eviscerated in the process, and very few of our politicians seem to care.

    Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city on the planet and it had the highest per capita income in the entire nation. But today it is a rotting, decaying hellhole that the rest of the world laughs at. What has happened to the city of Detroit is happening to the entire nation as a whole, but our politicians just keep pushing us even farther down the road to oblivion.

    Just consider what has happened since NAFTA was implemented. In the year before NAFTA was approved, the United States actually had a trade surplus with Mexico and our trade deficit with Canada was only 29.6 billion dollars. But now things are very different. In one recent year, the U.S. had a combined trade deficit with Mexico and Canada of 177 billion dollars.

    And these trade deficits are not just numbers. They represent real jobs that are being lost. It has been estimated that the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas, and one professor has estimated that cutting our trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.

    Just yesterday, I wrote about how there are 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now. Once upon a time, if you were honest, dependable and hard working it was easy to get a good paying job in this country. But now things are completely different.

    Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, only about 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

    Why aren't more people alarmed by numbers like this?

    And of course the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not just about "free trade". In one of my previous articles, I explained that Obama is using this as an opportunity to permanently impose much of his agenda on a large portion of the globe…

    It is basically a gigantic end run around Congress. Thanks to leaks, we have learned that so many of the things that Obama has deeply wanted for years are in this treaty. If adopted, this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, healthcare, copyright and patent protection, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more. This treaty includes many of the rules that alarmed Internet activists so much when SOPA was being debated, it would essentially ban all "Buy American" laws, it would give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and it would force even more domestic manufacturing offshore.

    The Republicans in Congress foolishly gave Obama fast track negotiating authority, and so Congress will not be able to change this treaty in any way. They will only have the opportunity for an up or down vote.

    I would love to see Congress reject this deal, but we all know that is extremely unlikely to happen. When big votes like this come up, immense pressure is put on key politicians. Yes, there are a few members of Congress that still have backbones, but most of them are absolutely spineless. When push comes to shove, the globalist agenda always seems to advance.

    Meanwhile, the mainstream media will be telling the American people about all of the wonderful things that this new treaty will do for them. You would think that after how badly past "free trade" treaties have turned out that we would learn something, but somehow that never seems to happen.

    The agenda of the globalists is moving forward, and very few Americans seem to care.

    HedgeAccordingly

    CIA Insider: China is About to End the Dollar

    two hoots

    Bill Clinton on signing NAFTA:

    First of all, because NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement.

    Freddie

    Many of those NeoCon Bibi lovers and Jonathan Pollard conservatives love TPP and H1B Ted Cruz. Ted is also a Goldman Sachs boy.

    Squids_In

    That giant sucking sound just got gianter.

    MrTouchdown

    Probably, but here's a thought:

    It might be a blowing sound of all things USA deflating down (in USD terms) to what they are actually worth when compared to the rest of the world. For example, a GM assembly line worker will make what an assembly line worker in Vietnam makes.

    This will, of course, panic Old Yellen, who will promptly fill her diaper and begin subsidizing wages with Quantitative Pleasing (QP1).

    Buckaroo Banzai

    If this gets through congress, the Republican Party better not bother asking for my vote ever again.

    Chupacabra-322

    Vote? You seem to think "voting" will actually influence actions / Globalists plans which have been decades in the making amoungst thse Criminal Pure Evil Lucerferian Psychopaths hell bent on Total Complete Full Spectrum World Domination.

    Yea, keep voting. I'll be out hunting down these Evil doers like the dogs that they are.

    Buckaroo Banzai

    I have no illusions regarding the efficacy of voting. It is indeed a waste of time.

    What I said was, they better not dare even ASK for my vote.

    Ignatius

    Doesn't matter. Diebold is so good at counting that you don't even need to show up at the polls anymore. It's like a miracle of modern technology.

    Peter Pan

    Did the article say 40%?

    I imagine they meant 40% of whatever is left after we all go to hell in a hand basket.

    Great day for the multinationals and in particular the pharmaceutical companies.

    [Dec 04, 2016] UK election Who really governs Britain

    But those politicians lucky enough to win discover -- if they did not know already -- that their capacity to affect even their own domestic environment is constrained by forces beyond their control.
    Notable quotes:
    "... But those politicians lucky enough to win discover -- if they did not know already -- that their capacity to affect even their own domestic environment is constrained by forces beyond their control. ..."
    "... In the case of Britain, the once-powerful centralized governments of that country are now multiply constrained. As the power of Britain in international affairs has declined, so has the British government's power within its own domain. Membership of the European Union constrains British governments' ability to determine everything from the quantities of fish British fishermen can legally catch to the amount in fees that British universities can charge students from other EU countries. ..."
    "... Not least, the EU's insistence on the free movement of labor caused the Conservative-dominated coalition that came to power in 2010 to renege on the Tories' spectacularly ill-judged pledge to reduce to "tens of thousands a year" the number of migrants coming to Britain. The number admitted in 2014 alone was nearer 300,000. ..."
    "... On top of all that, British governments -- even more than those of some other predominantly capitalist economies -- are open to being buffeted by market forces, whose winds can acquire gale force. In a world of substantially free trade, imports and exports of goods and services are largely beyond any government's control, and the Bank of England's influence over the external value of sterling is negligible. During the present election campaign, HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, indicated that it was contemplating shifting its headquarters from the City of London to Hong Kong. For good or ill, Britain's government was, and is, effectively helpless to intervene. ..."
    "... That's why we need a federal Europe. Local governments for local issues and elected by the local people and a European government for European issues elected by all Europeans. ..."
    May 04, 2015 | CNN.com

    Once upon a time, national elections were -- or seemed to be -- overwhelmingly domestic affairs, affecting only the peoples of the countries taking part in them. If that was ever true, it is so no longer. Angela Merkel negotiates with Greece's government with Germany's voters looming in the background. David Cameron currently fights an election campaign in the UK holding fast to the belief that a false move on his part regarding Britain's relationship with the EU could cost his Conservative Party seats, votes and possibly the entire election.

    Britain provides a good illustration of a general proposition. It used to be claimed, plausibly, that "all politics is local." In 2015, electoral politics may still be mostly local, but the post-electoral business of government is anything but local. There is a misfit between the two. Voters are mainly swayed by domestic issues. Vote-seeking politicians campaign accordingly. But those politicians lucky enough to win discover -- if they did not know already -- that their capacity to affect even their own domestic environment is constrained by forces beyond their control.

    Anyone viewing the UK election campaign from afar could be forgiven for thinking that British voters and politicians alike imagined they were living on some kind of self-sufficient sea-girt island. The opinion polls indicate that a large majority of voters are preoccupied -- politically as well as in other ways -- with their own financial situation, tax rates, welfare spending and the future of the National Health Service. Immigration is an issue for many voters, but mostly in domestic terms (and often as a surrogate for generalized discontent with Britain's political class). The fact that migrants from Eastern Europe and elsewhere make a positive net contribution to both the UK's economy and its social services scarcely features in the campaign.

    ... ... ...

    After polling day, all that will change -- probably to millions of voters' dismay. One American presidential candidate famously said that politicians campaign in poetry, but govern in prose. Politicians in democracies, not just in Britain, campaign as though they can move mountains, then find that most mountains are hard or impossible to move.

    In the case of Britain, the once-powerful centralized governments of that country are now multiply constrained. As the power of Britain in international affairs has declined, so has the British government's power within its own domain. Membership of the European Union constrains British governments' ability to determine everything from the quantities of fish British fishermen can legally catch to the amount in fees that British universities can charge students from other EU countries.

    Not least, the EU's insistence on the free movement of labor caused the Conservative-dominated coalition that came to power in 2010 to renege on the Tories' spectacularly ill-judged pledge to reduce to "tens of thousands a year" the number of migrants coming to Britain. The number admitted in 2014 alone was nearer 300,000.

    The UK's courts are also far more active than they were. The British parliament in 1998 incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British domestic law, and British judges have determinedly enforced those rights. During the 1970s, they had already been handed responsibility for enforcing the full range of EU law within the UK.

    Also, Britain's judges have, on their own initiative, exercised increasingly frequently their long-standing power of "judicial review," invalidating ministerial decisions that violated due process or seemed to them to be wholly unreasonable. Devolution of substantial powers to semi-independent governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has also meant that the jurisdiction of many so-called UK government ministers is effectively confined to the purely English component part.

    On top of all that, British governments -- even more than those of some other predominantly capitalist economies -- are open to being buffeted by market forces, whose winds can acquire gale force. In a world of substantially free trade, imports and exports of goods and services are largely beyond any government's control, and the Bank of England's influence over the external value of sterling is negligible. During the present election campaign, HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, indicated that it was contemplating shifting its headquarters from the City of London to Hong Kong. For good or ill, Britain's government was, and is, effectively helpless to intervene.

    The heirs of Gladstone, Disraeli, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, Britain's political leaders are understandably still tempted to talk big. But their effective real-world influence is small. No wonder a lot of voters in Britain feel they are being conned.

    ItsJustTim

    That's globalization. And it won't go away, even if you vote nationalist. The issues are increasingly international, while the voters still have a mostly local perspective. That's why we need a federal Europe. Local governments for local issues and elected by the local people and a European government for European issues elected by all Europeans.

    [Dec 04, 2016] James Pinkerton Globalism Hits a Brick Wall Now, What Will Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Do

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Guardian ..."
    "... it seems fair to say: Globalism isn't quite the Wave of the Future that most observers thought it was, even just a year ago. And so before we attempt to divide the true intentions of Clinton and Trump, we might first step back and consider how we got to this point. ..."
    "... An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations . ..."
    "... Clinton will say anything then she'll sell you out. I hope we never get a chance to see how she will sell us out on TPP ..."
    "... What we would be headed for under Hillary Clinton is fascism--Mussolini's shorthand definition of fascism was the marriage of industry and commerce with the power of the State. That is what the plutocrats who run the big banks (to whom she owes her soul) aim to do. President, Thomas Jefferson knew the dangers of large European-style central banks. ..."
    Aug 30, 2016 | Breitbart
    On the surface, it appears that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, for all their mutual antipathy, are united on one big issue: opposition to new trade deals. Here's a recent headline in The Guardian: "Trump and Clinton's free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world's economic future."

    And the subhead continues in that vein:

    Never before have both main presidential candidates broken so completely with Washington orthodoxy on globalization, even as the White House refuses to give up. The problem, however, goes much deeper than trade deals.

    In the above quote, we can note the deliberate use of the loaded word, "problem." As in, it's a problem that free trade is unpopular-a problem, perhaps, that the MSM can fix. Yet in the meantime, the newspaper sighed, the two biggest trade deals on the horizon, the well-known Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the lesser-known Trans Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), aimed at further linking the U.S. and European Union (EU), are both in jeopardy.

    Indeed, if TPP isn't doing well, TTIP might be dead: Here's an August 28 headline from the Deutsche Welle news service quoting Sigmar Gabriel, the No. 2 in the Berlin government: "Germany's Vice Chancellor Gabriel: US-EU trade talks 'have failed.'"

    So now we must ask broader questions: What does this mean for trade treaties overall? And what are the implications for globalism?

    More specifically, we can ask: Are we sure that the two main White House hopefuls, Clinton and Trump, are truly sincere in their opposition to those deals? After all, as has been widely reported, President Obama still has plans to push TPP through to enactment in the "lame duck" session of Congress after the November elections. Of course, Obama wouldn't seek to do that if the president-elect opposed it-or would he?

    Yet on August 30, Politico reminded its Beltway readership, "How Trump or Clinton could kill Pacific trade deal." In other words, even if Obama were to move TPP forward in his last two months in office, the 45th president could still block its implementation in 2017 and beyond. If, that is, she or he really wanted to.

    Indeed, as we think about Clinton and Trump, we realize that there's "opposition" that's for show and there's opposition that's for real.

    Still, given what's been said on the presidential campaign trail this year, it seems fair to say: Globalism isn't quite the Wave of the Future that most observers thought it was, even just a year ago. And so before we attempt to divide the true intentions of Clinton and Trump, we might first step back and consider how we got to this point.

    2. The Free Trade Orthodoxy

    It's poignant that the headline, "Trump and Clinton's free trade retreat", lamenting the decay of free trade, appeared in The Guardian. Until recently, the newspaper was known as The Manchester Guardian, as in Manchester, England. And Manchester is not only a big city, population 2.5 million, it is also a city with a fabled past: You see, Manchester was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, which transformed England and the world. It was that city that helped create the free trade orthodoxy that is now crumbling.

    Yes, in the 18th and 19th centuries, Manchester was the leading manufacturing city in the world, especially for textiles. It was known as "Cottonopolis."

    Indeed, back then, Manchester was so much more efficient and effective at mass production that it led the world in exports. That is, it could produce its goods at such low cost that it could send them across vast oceans and still undercut local producers on price and quality.

    Over time, this economic reality congealed into a school of thought: As Manchester grew rich from exports, its business leaders easily found economists, journalists, and propagandists who would help advance their cause in the press and among the intelligentsia.

    The resulting school of thought became known, in the 19th century, as "Manchester Liberalism." And so, to this day, long after Manchester has lost its economic preeminence to rivals elsewhere in the world, the phrase "Manchester Liberalism" is a well-known in the history of economics, bespeaking ardent support for free markets and free trade.

    More recently, the hub for free-trade enthusiasm has been the United States. In particular, the University of Chicago, home to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, became free trade's academic citadel; hence the "Chicago School" has displaced Manchesterism.

    And just as it made sense for Manchester Liberalism to exalt free trade and exports when Manchester and England were on top, so, too, did the Chicago School exalt free trade when the U.S. was unquestionably the top dog.

    So back in the 40s and 50s, when the rest of the world was either bombed flat or still under the yoke of colonialism, it made perfect sense that the U.S., as the only intact industrial power, would celebrate industrial exports: We were Number One, and it was perfectly rational to make the most of that first-place status. And if scribblers and scholars could help make the case for this new status quo, well, bring 'em aboard. Thus the Chicago School gained ascendancy in the late 20th century. And of course, the Chicagoans drew inspiration from a period even earlier than Manchesterism,

    3. On the Origins of the Orthodoxy: Adam Smith and David Ricardo

    The beginnings of an intellectually rigorous discussion of trade can be traced to 1776, when Adam Smith published his famous work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

    One passage in that volume considers how individuals might optimize their own production and consumption:

    It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy.

    Smith is right, of course; everyone should always be calculating, however informally, whether or not it's cheaper to make it at home or buy it from someone else.

    We can quickly see: If each family must make its own clothes and grow its own food, it's likely to be worse off than if it can buy its necessities from a large-scale producer. Why? Because, to be blunt about it, most of us don't really know how to make clothes and grow food, and it's expensive and difficult-if not downright impossible-to learn how. So we can conclude that self-sufficiency, however rustic and charming, is almost always a recipe for poverty.

    Smith had a better idea: specialization. That is, people would specialize in one line of work, gain skills, earn more money, and then use that money in the marketplace, buying what they needed from other kinds of specialists.

    Moreover, the even better news, in Smith's mind, was that this kind of specialization came naturally to people-that is, if they were free to scheme out their own advancement. As Smith argued, the ideal system would allow "every man to pursue his own interest his own way, upon the liberal plan of equality, liberty and justice."

    That is, men (and women) would do that which they did best, and then they would all come together in the free marketplace-each person being inspired to do better, thanks to, as Smith so memorably put it, the "invisible hand." Thus Smith articulated a key insight that undergirds the whole of modern economics-and, of course, modern-day prosperity.

    A few decades later, in the early 19th century, Smith's pioneering work was expanded upon by another remarkable British economist, David Ricardo.

    Ricardo's big idea built on Smithian specialization; Ricardo called it "comparative advantage." That is, just as each individual should do what he or she does best, so should each country.

    In Ricardo's well-known illustration, he explained that the warm and sunny climate of Portugal made that country ideal for growing the grapes needed for wine, while the factories of England made that country ideal for spinning the fibers needed for apparel and other finished fabrics.

    Thus, in Ricardo's view, we could see the makings of a beautiful economic friendship: The Portuguese would utilize their comparative advantage (climate) and export their surplus wine to England, while the English would utilize their comparative advantage (manufacturing) and export apparel to Portugal. Thus each would benefit from the exchange of efficiently-produced products, as each export paid for the other.

    Furthermore, in Ricardo's telling, if tariffs and other barriers were eliminated, then both countries, Portugal and England, would enjoy the maximum free-trading win-win.

    Actually, in point of fact-and Ricardo knew this-the relationship was much more of a win for England, because manufacture is more lucrative than agriculture. That is, a factory in Manchester could crank out garments a lot faster than a vineyard in Portugal could ferment wine.

    And as we all know, the richer, stronger countries are industrial, not agricultural. Food is essential-and alcohol is pleasurable-but the real money is made in making things. After all, crops can be grown easily enough in many places, and so prices stay low. By contrast, manufacturing requires a lot of know-how and a huge upfront investment. Yet with enough powerful manufacturing, a nation is always guaranteed to be able to afford to import food. And also, it can make military weapons, and so, if necessary, take foreign food and croplands by force.

    We can also observe that Ricardo, smart fellow that he was, nevertheless was describing the economy at a certain point in time-the era of horse-drawn carriages and sailing ships. Ricardo realized that transportation was, in fact, a key business variable. He wrote that it was possible for a company to seek economic advantage by moving a factory from one part of England to another. And yet in his view, writing from the perspective of the year 1817, it was impossible to imagine moving a factory from England to another country:

    It would not follow that capital and population would necessarily move from England to Holland, or Spain, or Russia.

    Why this presumed immobility of capital and people? Because, from Ricardo's early 19th-century perspective, transportation was inevitably slow and creaky; he didn't foresee steamships and airplanes. In his day, relying on the technology of the time, it wasn't realistic to think that factories, and their workers, could relocate from one country to another.

    Moreover, in Ricardo's era, many countries were actively hostile to industrialization, because change would upset the aristocratic rhythms of the old order. That is, industrialization could turn docile or fatalistic peasants, spread out thinly across the countryside, into angry and self-aware proletarians, concentrated in the big cities-and that was a formula for unrest, even revolution.

    Indeed, it was not until the 20th century that every country-including China, a great civilization, long asleep under decadent imperial misrule-figured out that it had no choice other than to industrialize.

    So we can see that the ideas of Smith and Ricardo, enduringly powerful as they have been, were nonetheless products of their time-that is, a time when England mostly had the advantages of industrialism to itself. In particular, Ricardo's celebration of comparative advantage can be seen as an artifact of his own era, when England enjoyed a massive first-mover advantage in the industrial-export game.

    Smith died in 1790, and Ricardo died in 1823; a lot has changed since then. And yet the two economists were so lucid in their writings that their work is studied and admired to this day.

    Unfortunately, we can also observe that their ideas have been frozen in a kind of intellectual amber; even in the 21st century, free trade and old-fashioned comparative advantage are unquestioningly regarded as the keys to the wealth of nations-at least in the U.S.-even if they are so no longer.

    4. Nationalist Alternatives to Free Trade Orthodoxy

    As we have seen, Smith and Ricardo were pushing an idea, free trade, that was advantageous to Britain.

    So perhaps not surprisingly, rival countries-notably the United States and Germany-soon developed different ideas. Leaders in Washington, D.C., and Berlin didn't want their respective nations to be mere dependent receptacles for English goods; they wanted real independence. And so they wanted factories of their own.

    In the late 18th century, Alexander Hamilton, the visionary American patriot, could see that both economic wealth and military power flowed from domestic industry. As the nation's first Treasury Secretary, he persuaded President George Washington and the Congress to support a system of protective tariffs and "internal improvements" (what today we would call infrastructure) to foster US manufacturing and exporting.

    And in the 19th century, Germany, under the much heavier-handed leadership of Otto von Bismarck, had the same idea: Make a concerted effort to make the nation stronger.

    In both countries, this industrial policymaking succeeded. So whereas at the beginning of the 19th century, England had led the world in steel production, by the beginning of the 20th century century, the U.S. and Germany had moved well ahead. Yes, the "invisible hand" of individual self-interest is always a powerful economic force, but sometimes, the "visible hand" of national purpose, animated by patriotism, is even more powerful.

    Thus by 1914, at the onset of World War One, we could see the results of the Smith/Ricardo model, on the one hand, and the Hamilton/Bismarck model, on the other. All three countries-Britain, the US, and Germany, were rich-but only the latter two had genuine industrial mojo. Indeed, during World War One, English weakness became glaringly apparent in the 1915 shell crisis-as in, artillery shells. It was only the massive importing of made-in-USA ammunition that saved Britain from looming defeat.

    Yet as always, times change, as do economic circumstances, as do prevailing ideas.

    As we have seen, at the end of World War II, the U.S. was the only industrial power left standing. And so it made sense for America to shift from a policy of Hamiltonian protection to a policy of Smith-Ricardian export-minded free trade. Indeed, beginning in around 1945, both major political parties, Democrats and Republicans, solidly embraced the new line: The U.S. would be the factory for the world.

    Yet if times, circumstances, and ideas change, they can always change again.

    5. The Contemporary Crack-Up

    As we have seen, in the 19th century, not every country wanted to be on the passive receiving end of England's exports. And this was true, too, in the 20th century; Japan, notably, had its own ideas.

    If Japan had followed the Ricardian doctrine of comparative advantage, it would have focused on exporting rice and tuna. Instead, by dint of hard work, ingenuity, and more than a little national strategizing, Japan grew itself into a great and prosperous industrial power. Its exports, we might note, were such high-value-adds as automobiles and electronics, not mere crops and fish.

    Moreover, according to the same theory of comparative advantage, South Korea should have been exporting parasols and kimchi, and China should have settled for exporting fortune cookies and pandas.

    Yet as the South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang has chronicled, these Asian nations resolved, in their no-nonsense neo-Confucian way, to launch state-guided private industries-and the theory of comparative advantage be damned.

    Yes, their efforts violated Western economic orthodoxy, but as the philosopher Kant once observed, the actual proves the possible. Indeed, today, as we all know, the Asian tigers are among the richest and fastest-growing economies in the world.

    Leading them all, of course, is China. As the economic historian Michael Lind recounted recently,

    China is not only the world's largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), but also the world's largest manufacturing nation-producing 52 percent of color televisions, 75 percent of mobile phones and 87 percent of the world's personal computers. The Chinese automobile industry is the world's largest, twice the size of America's. China leads the world in foreign exchange reserves. The United States is the main trading partner for seventy-six countries. China is the main trading partner for 124.

    In particular, we might pause over one item in that impressive litany: China makes 87 percent of the world's personal computers.

    Indeed, if it's true, as ZDNet reports, that the Chinese have built "backdoors" into almost all the electronic equipment that they sell-that is to say, the equipment that we buy-then we can assume that we face a serious military challenge, as well as a serious economic challenge.

    Yes, it's a safe bet that the People's Liberation Army has a good handle on our defense establishment, especially now that the Pentagon has fully equipped itself with Chinese-made iPhones and iPads.

    Of course, we can safely predict that Defense Department bureaucrats will always say that there's nothing to worry about, that they have the potential hacking/sabotage matter under control (although just to be sure, the Pentagon might say, give us more money).

    Yet we might note that this is the same defense establishment that couldn't keep track of lone internal rogues such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Therefore, should we really believe that this same DOD knows how to stop the determined efforts of a nation of 1.3 billion people, seeking to hack machines-machines that they made in the first place?

    Yes, the single strongest argument against the blind application of free- trade dogma is the doctrine of self defense. That is, all the wealth in the world doesn't matter if you're conquered. Even Adam Smith understood that; as he wrote, "Defense . . . is of much more importance than opulence."

    Yet today we can readily see: If we are grossly dependent on China for vital wares, then we can't be truly independent of China. In fact, we should be downright fearful.

    Still, despite these deep strategic threats, directly the result of careless importing, the Smith-Ricardo orthodoxy remains powerful, even hegemonistic-at least in the English-speaking world.

    Why is this so? Yes, economists are typically seen as cold and nerdy, even bloodless, and yet, in fact, they are actual human beings. And as such, they are susceptible to the giddy-happy feeling that comes from the hope of building a new utopia, the dream of ushering in an era of world harmony, based on untrammeled international trade. Indeed, this woozy idealism among economists goes way back; it was the British free trader Richard Cobden who declared in 1857,

    Free trade is God's diplomacy. There is no other certain way of uniting people in the bonds of peace.

    And lo, so many wars later, many economists still believe that.

    Indeed, economists today are still monolithically pro-fee trade; a recent survey of economists found that 83 percent supported eliminating all tariffs and other barriers; just 10 percent disagreed.

    We might further note that others, too, in the financial and intellectual elite are fully on board the free-trade train, including most corporate officers and their lobbyists, journalists, academics, and, of course, the mostly for-hire think-tankers.

    To be sure, there are always exceptions: As that Guardian article, the one lamenting the sharp decrease in support for free trade as a "problem," noted, not all of corporate America is on board, particularly those companies in the manufacturing sector:

    Ford openly opposes TPP because it fears the deal does nothing to stop Japan manipulating its currency at the expense of US rivals.

    Indeed, we might note that the same Guardian story included an even more cautionary note, asserting that support for free trade, overall, is remarkably rickety:

    Some suggest a "bicycle theory" of trade deals: that the international bandwagon has to keep rolling forward or else it all wobbles and falls down.

    So what has happened? How could virtually the entire elite be united in enthusiasm for free trade, and yet, even so, the free trade juggernaut is no steadier than a mere two-wheeled bike? Moreover, free traders will ask: Why aren't the leaders leading? More to the point, why aren't the followers following?

    To answer those questions, we might start by noting the four-decade phenomenon of wage stagnation-that's taken a toll on support for free trade. But of course, it's in the heartland that wages have been stagnating; by contrast, incomes for the bicoastal elites have been soaring.

    We might also note that some expert predictions have been way off, thus undermining confidence in their expertise. Remember, this spring, when all the experts were saying that the United Kingdom would fall into recession, or worse, if it voted to leave the EU? Well, just the other day came this New York Post headline: "Brexit actually boosting the UK economy."

    Thus from the Wall Street-ish perspective of the urban chattering classes, things are going well-so what's the problem?

    Yet the folks on Main Street have known a different story. They have seen, with their own eyes, what has happened to them, and no fusillade of op-eds or think-tank monographs will persuade them to change their mind.

    So we can see that there's been a standoff: Wall Street vs. Main Street; nor is this the first time this has happened.

    However, because the two parties have been so united on the issues of trade and globalization-the "Uniparty," it's sometimes called-the folks in the boonies have had no political alternative. And as they say, the only power you have in this world is the power of an alternative. And so, lacking an alternative, the working/middle class has just had to accept its fate.

    Indeed, it has been a bitter fate, particularly bitter in the former industrial heartland. In a 2013 paper, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) came to some startling conclusions:

    Growing trade with less-developed countries lowered wages in 2011 by 5.5 percent-or by roughly $1,800-for a full-time, full-year worker earning the average wage for workers without a four-year college degree.

    The paper added, "One-third of this total effect is due to growing trade with just China."

    Continuing, EPI found that even as trade with low-wage countries caused a decrease in the incomes for lower-end workers, it had caused an increase in the incomes of high-end workers-so no wonder the high-end thinks globalism in great.

    To be sure, some in the elite are bothered by what's been happening. Peggy Noonan, writing earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal-a piece that must have raised the hackles of her doctrinaire colleagues-put the matter succinctly: There's a wide, and widening, gap between the "protected" and the "unprotected":

    The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

    Of course, Noonan was alluding to the Trump candidacy-and also to the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Those two insurgents, in different parties, have been propelled by the pushing from all the unprotected folks across America.

    We might pause to note that free traders have arguments which undoubtedly deserve a fuller airing. Okay. However, we can still see the limits. For example, the familiar gambit of outsourcing jobs to China, or Mexico-or 50 other countries-and calling that "free trade" is now socially unacceptable, and politically unsustainable.

    Still, the broader vision of planetary freedom, including the free flow of peoples and their ideas, is always enormously appealing. The United States, as well as the world, undoubtedly benefits from competition, from social and economic mobility-and yes, from new blood.

    As Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, notes, "77 percent of the full-time graduate students in electrical engineering and 71 percent in computer science at U.S. universities are international students." That's a statistic that should give every American pause to ask: Why aren't we producing more engineers here at home?

    Moreover, Reuters reported in 2012 that 44 percent of all Silicon Valley startups were founded by at least one immigrant, and a 2016 study found that more than half of all billion-dollar startups were founded by immigrants. No doubt some will challenge the methodology of these studies, and that's fine; it's an important national debate in which all Americans might engage.

    We can say, with admiration, that Silicon Valley is the latest Manchester; as such, it's a powerful magnet for the best and the brightest from overseas, and from a purely dollars-and-cents point of view, there's a lot to be said for welcoming them.

    So yes, it would be nice if we could retain this international mobility that benefits the U.S.-but only if the economic benefits can be broadly shared, and patriotic assimilation of immigrants can be truly achieved, such that all Americans can feel good about welcoming newcomers.

    The further enrichment of Silicon Valley won't do much good for the country unless those riches are somehow widely shared. In fact, amidst the ongoing outsourcing of mass-production jobs, total employment in such boomtowns as San Francisco and San Jose has barely budged. That is, new software billionaires are being minted every day, but their workforces tend to be tiny-or located overseas. If that past pattern is the future pattern, well, something will have to give.

    We can say: If America is to be one nation-something Mitt "47 percent" Romney never worried about, although it cost him in the end-then we will have to figure out a way to turn the genius of the few into good jobs for the many. The goal isn't socialism, or anything like that; instead, the goal is the widespread distribution of private property, facilitated, by conscious national economic development, as I argued at the tail end of this piece.

    If we can't, or won't, find a way to expand private ownership nationwide, then the populist upsurges of the Trump and Sanders campaigns will be remembered as mere overtures to a starkly divergent future.

    6. Clinton and Trump Say They Are Trade Hawks: But Are They Sincere?

    So now we come to a mega-question for 2016: How should we judge the sincerity of the two major-party candidates, Clinton or Trump, when they affirm their opposition to TPP? And how do we assess their attitude toward globalization, including immigration, overall?

    The future is, of course, unknown, but we can make a couple of points.

    First, it is true that many have questioned the sincerity of Hillary's new anti-TPP stance, especially given the presence of such prominent free-traders as vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and presidential transition-planning chief Ken Salazar. Moreover, there's also Hillary's own decades-long association with open-borders immigration policies, as well as past support for such trade bills as NAFTA, PNTR, and, of course, TPP. And oh yes, there's the Clinton Foundation, that global laundromat for every overseas fortune; most of those billionaires are globalists par excellence-would a President Hillary really cross them?

    Second, since there's still no way to see inside another person's mind, the best we can do is look for external clues-by which we mean, external pressures. And so we might ask a basic question: Would the 45th president, whoever she or he is, feel compelled by those external pressures to keep their stated commitment to the voters? Or would they feel that they owe more to their elite friends, allies, and benefactors?

    As we have seen, Clinton has long chosen to surround herself with free traders and globalists. Moreover, she has raised money from virtually every bicoastal billionaire in America.

    So we must wonder: Will a new President Clinton really betray her own class-all those Davos Men and Davos Women-for the sake of middle-class folks she has never met, except maybe on a rope line? Would Clinton 45, who has spent her life courting the powerful, really stick her neck out for unnamed strangers-who never gave a dime to the Clinton Foundation?

    Okay, so what to make of Trump? He, too, is a fat-cat-even more of fat-cat, in fact, than Clinton. And yet for more than a year now, he has based his campaign on opposition to globalism in all its forms; it's been the basis of his campaign-indeed, the basis of his base. And his campaign policy advisers are emphatic. According to Politico, as recently as August 30, Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro reiterated Trump's opposition to TPP, declaring,

    Any deal must increase the GDP growth rate, reduce the trade deficit, and strengthen the manufacturing base.

    So, were Trump to win the White House, he would come in with a much more solid anti-globalist mandate.

    Thus we can ask: Would a President Trump really cross his own populist-nationalist base by going over to the other side-to the globalists who voted, and donated, against him? If he did-if he repudiated his central platform plank-he would implode his presidency, the way that Bush 41 imploded his presidency in 1990 when he went back on his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge.

    Surely Trump remembers that moment of political calamity well, and so surely, whatever mistakes he might make, he won't make that one.

    To be sure, the future is unknowable. However, as we have seen, the past, both recent and historical, is rich with valuable clues.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Democrat Tom Coyne : Trump Challenging Institutional Elites in Both Parties

    Notable quotes:
    "... Donald Trump is challenging the very fabric of the institutional elites in this country on both sides that have, quite frankly, just straight up screwed this country up and made the world a mess. ..."
    Aug 30, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
    Tom Coyne, a lifelong Democrat and the mayor of Brook Park, Ohio, spoke about his endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Matt Boyle.

    Coyne said:

    The parties are blurred. What's the difference? They say the same things in different tones. At the end of the day, they accomplish nothing. Donald Trump is challenging the very fabric of the institutional elites in this country on both sides that have, quite frankly, just straight up screwed this country up and made the world a mess.

    Regarding the GOP establishment's so-called Never Trumpers, Coyne stated, "If it's their expertise that people are relying upon as to advice to vote, people should go the opposite."

    Coyne has been described as "a blue-collar populist, blunt and politically incorrect":

    In an interview last week, Coyne said that Democrats and Republicans have failed the city through inaction and bad trade policies, key themes Trump often trumpets.

    "He understands us," Coyne said of Trump. "He is saying what we feel, and therefore, let him shake the bedevils out of everyone in the canyons of Washington D.C. The American people are responding to him."

    Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

    [Dec 04, 2016] In Trump We Trust E Pluribus Awesome! Ann Coulter

    Notable quotes:
    "... Donald Trump isn't a politician -- he's a one-man wrecking ball against our dysfunctional and corrupt establishment. We're about to see the deluxe version of the left's favorite theme: Vote for us or we'll call you stupid. It's the working class against the smirking class. ..."
    "... He understands that if we're ever going to get our economy back on its feet the wage-earning middle class will have to prosper along with investors ..."
    "... Trump that really "gets" the idea that the economy is suffering because the middle class can't find employment at livable wages ..."
    "... Ms. Coulter says it more eloquently: "The Republican establishment has no idea how much ordinary voters hate both parties." Like me, she's especially annoyed with Republicans, because we think of the Republican Party as being our political "family" that has turned against us: ..."
    "... The RNC has been forcing Republican candidates to take suicidal positions forever They were happy to get 100 percent of the Business Roundtable vote and 20 percent of the regular vote. ..."
    "... American companies used free trade with low-wage countries as an opportunity to close their American factories and relocate the jobs to lower-paying foreign workers. Instead of creating product and exporting it to other countries, our American companies EXPORTED American JOBS to other countries and IMPORTED foreign-made PRODUCTS into America! Our exports have actually DECLINED during the last five years with most of the 20 countries we signed free trade with. Even our exports to Canada, our oldest free trade partner, are less than what they were five years ago. ..."
    "... Trade with Japan, China, and South Korea is even more imbalanced, because those countries actively restrict imports of American-made products. We run a 4x trade imbalance with China, which cost us $367 billion last year. We lost $69 billion to Japan and $28 billion to South Korea. Our exports to these countries are actually DECLINING, even while our imports soar! ..."
    "... Why do Establishment Republicans join with Democrats in wanting to diminish the future with the WRONG kind of "free trade" that removes jobs and wealth from the USA? As Ms. Coulter reminds us, it is because Republican Establishment, like the Democrat establishment, is PAID by the money and jobs they receive from big corporations to believe it. ..."
    "... The donor class doesn't care. The rich are like locusts: once they've picked America dry, they'll move on to the next country. A hedge fund executive quoted in The Atlantic a few years ago said, "If the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile [that] means one American drops out of the middle class, that's not such a bad trade." ..."
    "... The corporate 1% who believe that the global labor market should be tapped in order to beat American workers out of their jobs; and that corporations and the 1% who own them should be come tax-exempt organizations that profit by using cheap overseas labor to product product that is sold in the USA, and without paying taxes on the profit. Ms. Coulter calls this group of Republican Estblishmentarians "locusts: once they've picked America dry, they'll move on to the next country." ..."
    "... Pretending to care about the interests of minorities. Of course, the Republican Establishment has even less appeal to minorities than to the White Middle Class (WMC) they abandoned. Minorities are no more interested in losing their jobs to foreigners or to suffer economic stagnation while the rich have their increasing wealth (most of which is earned at the expense of the middle class) tax-sheltered, than do the WMC. ..."
    "... Trump has given Republicans a new lease on life. The Establishment doesn't like having to take a back seat to him, but perhaps they should understand that having a back seat in a popular production is so much better than standing outside alone in the cold. ..."
    Aug 26, 2016 | www.amazon.com

    Donald Trump isn't a politician -- he's a one-man wrecking ball against our dysfunctional and corrupt establishment. We're about to see the deluxe version of the left's favorite theme: Vote for us or we'll call you stupid. It's the working class against the smirking class.

    Frank A. Lewes

    No pandering! The essence of Trump in personality and issues , August 23, 2016

    Ms. Coulter explains the journey of myself and so many other voters into Trump's camp. It captures the essence of Trump as a personality and Trump on the issues. If I had to sum Ms. Coulter's view of the reason for Trump's success in two words, I'd say "No Pandering!" I've heard many people, including a Liberal tell me, "Trump says what needs to be said."

    I've voted Republican in every election going back to Reagan in 1980, except for 2012 when I supported President Obama's re-election. I've either voted for, or financially supported many "Establishment Republicans" like Mitt Romney and John McCain in 2008. I've also supported some Conservative ones like Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani. In this election I'd been planning to vote for Jeb Bush, a superb governor when I lived in Florida.

    Then Trump announced his candidacy. I had seen hints of that happening as far back as 2012. In my Amazon reviews in 2012 I said that many voters weren't pleased with Obama or the Republican Establishment. So the question became: "Who do you vote for if you don't favor the agendas of either party's legacy candidates?" In November 2013 I commented on the book DOUBLE DOWN: GAME CHANGE 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heileman:

    =====
    Mr. Trump occupies an important place in the political spectrum --- that of being a Republican Populist.

    He understands that if we're ever going to get our economy back on its feet the wage-earning middle class will have to prosper along with investors, who are recovering our fortunes in the stock market.

    IMO whichever party nominates a candidate like Trump that really "gets" the idea that the economy is suffering because the middle class can't find employment at livable wages, will be the party that rises to dominance.

    Mr. Trump, despite his flakiness, at least understood that essential fact of American economic life.

    November 7, 2013
    =====

    Ms. Coulter says it more eloquently: "The Republican establishment has no idea how much ordinary voters hate both parties." Like me, she's especially annoyed with Republicans, because we think of the Republican Party as being our political "family" that has turned against us:

    =====
    The RNC has been forcing Republican candidates to take suicidal positions forever They were happy to get 100 percent of the Business Roundtable vote and 20 percent of the regular vote.

    when the GOP wins an election, there is no corresponding "win" for the unemployed blue-collar voter in North Carolina. He still loses his job to a foreign worker or a closed manufacturing plant, his kids are still boxed out of college by affirmative action for immigrants, his community is still plagued with high taxes and high crime brought in with all that cheap foreign labor.

    There's no question but that the country is heading toward being Brazil. One doesn't have to agree with the reason to see that the very rich have gotten much richer, placing them well beyond the concerns of ordinary people, and the middle class is disappearing. America doesn't make anything anymore, except Hollywood movies and Facebook. At the same time, we're importing a huge peasant class, which is impoverishing what remains of the middle class, whose taxes support cheap labor for the rich.

    With Trump, Americans finally have the opportunity to vote for something that's popular.

    =====

    That explains how Trump won my vote --- and held on to it through a myriad of early blunders and controversies that almost made me switch my support to other candidates.

    I'm no "xenophobe isolationist" stereotype. My first employer was an immigrant from Eastern Europe. What I learned working for him launched me on my successful career. I've developed and sold computer systems to subsidiaries of American companies in Europe and Asia. My business partners have been English and Canadian immigrants. My family are all foreign-born Hispanics. Three of my college roommates were from Ecuador, Germany, and Syria.

    BECAUSE of this international experience I agree with the issues of trade and immigration that Ms. Coulter talks about that have prompted Trump's rising popularity.

    First, there is the false promise that free trade with low-wage countries would "create millions of high-paying jobs for American workers, who will be busy making high-value products for export." NAFTA was signed in 1994. GATT with China was signed in 2001. Since then we've signed free trade with 20 countries. It was said that besides creating jobs for Americans, that free trade would prosper the global economy. In truth the opposite happened:

    American companies used free trade with low-wage countries as an opportunity to close their American factories and relocate the jobs to lower-paying foreign workers. Instead of creating product and exporting it to other countries, our American companies EXPORTED American JOBS to other countries and IMPORTED foreign-made PRODUCTS into America! Our exports have actually DECLINED during the last five years with most of the 20 countries we signed free trade with. Even our exports to Canada, our oldest free trade partner, are less than what they were five years ago.

    We ran trade SURPLUSES with Mexico until 1994, when NAFTA was signed. The very next year the surplus turned to deficit, now $60 billion a year. Given that each American worker produces an average of $64,000 in value per year, that is a loss of 937,000 American jobs to Mexico alone. The problem is A) that Mexicans are not wealthy enough to be able to afford much in the way of American-made product and B) there isn't much in the way of American-made product left to buy, since so much of former American-made product is now made in Mexico or China.

    Trade with Japan, China, and South Korea is even more imbalanced, because those countries actively restrict imports of American-made products. We run a 4x trade imbalance with China, which cost us $367 billion last year. We lost $69 billion to Japan and $28 billion to South Korea. Our exports to these countries are actually DECLINING, even while our imports soar!

    Thus, free trade, except with a few fair-trading countries like Canada, Australia, and possibly Britain, has been a losing proposition. Is it coincidence that our economy has weakened with each trade deal we have signed? Our peak year of labor force participation was 1999. Then we had the Y2K collapse and the Great Recession, followed by the weakest "recovery" since WWII? As Trump would say, free trade has been a "disaster."

    Why do Establishment Republicans join with Democrats in wanting to diminish the future with the WRONG kind of "free trade" that removes jobs and wealth from the USA? As Ms. Coulter reminds us, it is because Republican Establishment, like the Democrat establishment, is PAID by the money and jobs they receive from big corporations to believe it. Ms. Coulter says:

    =====
    The donor class doesn't care. The rich are like locusts: once they've picked America dry, they'll move on to the next country. A hedge fund executive quoted in The Atlantic a few years ago said, "If the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile [that] means one American drops out of the middle class, that's not such a bad trade."
    =====

    Then there is immigration. My wife, son, and extended family legally immigrated to the USA from Latin America. The first family members were recruited by our government during the labor shortage of the Korean War. Some fought for the United States in Korea. Some of their children fought for us in Vietnam, and some grandchildren are fighting in the Middle East. Most have become successful professionals and business owners. They came here LEGALLY, some waiting in queue for up to 12 years. They were supported by the family already in America until they were on their feet.

    Illegal immigration has been less happy. Illegals are here because the Democrats want new voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Contrary to business propaganda, illegals cost Americans their jobs. A colleague just old me, "My son returned home from California after five years, because he couldn't get construction work any longer. All those jobs are now done off the books by illegals."

    It's the same in technology. Even while our high-tech companies are laying off 260,000 American employees in 2016 alone, they are banging the drums to expand the importation of FOREIGN tech workers from 85,000 to 195,000 to replace the Americans they let go. Although the H1-B program is billed as bringing in only the most exceptional, high-value foreign engineers, in truth most visas are issued to replace American workers with young foreigners of mediocre ability who'll work for much less money than the American family bread-winners they replaced.

    Both parties express their "reverse racism" against the White Middle Class. Democrats don't like them because they tend to vote Republican. The Republican Establishment doesn't like them because they cost more to employ than overseas workers and illegal aliens. According to them the WMC is too technologically out of date and overpaid to allow our benighted business leaders to "compete internationally."

    Ms. Coulter says "Americans are homesick" for our country that is being lost to illegal immigration and the removal of our livelihoods overseas. We are sick of Republican and Democrat Party hidden agendas, reverse-racism, and economic genocide against the American people. That's why the Establishment candidates who started out so theoretically strong, like Jeb Bush, collapsed like waterlogged houses of cards when they met Donald Trump. As Ms. Coulter explains, Trump knows their hidden agendas, and knows they are working against the best interests of the American Middle Class.

    Coulter keeps coming back to Mr. Trump's "Alpha Male" personality that speaks to Americans as nation without pandering to specific voter identity groups. She contrasts his style to the self-serving "Republican (Establishment) Brain Trust that is mostly composed of comfortable, well-paid mediocrities who, by getting a gig in politics, earn salaries higher than a capitalist system would ever value their talents." She explains what she sees as the idiocy of those Republican Establishment political consultants who wrecked the campaigns of Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz by micromanaging with pandering.

    She says the Republican Establishment lost because it served itself --- becoming wealthy by serving the moneyed interests of Wall Street. Trump won because he is speaking to the disfranchised American Middle Class who loves our country, is proud of our traditions, and believes that Americans have as much right to feed our families through gainful employment as do overseas workers and illegal aliens.

    "I am YOUR voice," says Trump to the Middle Class that until now has been ignored and even sneered at by both parties' establishments.

    I've given an overview of the book here. The real delight is in the details, told as only Anne Coulter can tell them. I've quoted a few snippets of her words, that relate most specifically to my views on Trump and the issues. I wish there were space to quote many more. Alas, you'll need to read the book to glean them all!

    Frank A. Lewes
    Bruce, I would also add that the Republican Establishment chose not to represent the interests of the White Middle Class on trade, immigration, and other issues that matter to us. They chose to represent the narrow interests of:

    1. The corporate 1% who believe that the global labor market should be tapped in order to beat American workers out of their jobs; and that corporations and the 1% who own them should be come tax-exempt organizations that profit by using cheap overseas labor to product product that is sold in the USA, and without paying taxes on the profit. Ms. Coulter calls this group of Republican Estblishmentarians "locusts: once they've picked America dry, they'll move on to the next country."

    2. Pretending to care about the interests of minorities. Of course, the Republican Establishment has even less appeal to minorities than to the White Middle Class (WMC) they abandoned. Minorities are no more interested in losing their jobs to foreigners or to suffer economic stagnation while the rich have their increasing wealth (most of which is earned at the expense of the middle class) tax-sheltered, than do the WMC.

    The Republican Establishment is in a snit because Trump beat them by picking up the WMC votes that the Establishment abandoned. What would have happened if Trump had not come on the scene? The probable result is that the Establishment would have nominated a ticket of Jeb Bush and John Kasich. These candidates had much to recommend them as popular governors of key swing states. But they would have gone into the election fighting the campaign with Republican Establishment issues that only matter to the 1%. They would have lost much of the WMC vote that ultimately rallied around Trump, while gaining no more than the usual 6% of minorities who vote Republican. It would have resulted in a severe loss for the Republican Party, perhaps making it the minority party for the rest of the century.

    Trump has given Republicans a new lease on life. The Establishment doesn't like having to take a back seat to him, but perhaps they should understand that having a back seat in a popular production is so much better than standing outside alone in the cold.

    Frank A. Lewes
    It's funny how White Men are supposed to be angry. But I've never seen any White men:

    1. Running amok, looting and burning down their neighborhood, shooting police and other "angry White men." There were 50 people shot in Chicago last weekend alone. How many of those do you think were "angry white men?" Hint: they were every color EXCEPT white.

    2. Running around complaining that they aren't allowed into the other gender's bathroom, then when they barge their way in there complain about being sexually assaulted. No, it's only "angry females" (of any ethnicity) who barge their way into the men's room and then complain that somebody in there offended them.

    Those "angry white men" are as legendary as "Bigfoot." They are alleged to exist everywhere, but are never seen. Maybe that's because they mostly hang out in the quiet neighborhoods of cookie-cutter homes in suburbia, go to the lake or bar-be-que on weekends, and take their allotment of Viagra in hopes of occassionally "getting lucky" with their wives. If they're "angry" then at least they don't take their angry frustrations out on others, as so many other militant, "in-your-face" activist groups do!

    [Dec 04, 2016] Michael Hudson 2016 Is Wall Street and the Corporate Sector (Clinton) vs. the Populists (Trump)

    Notable quotes:
    "... I've tuned out Warren-she has become the "red meat" surrogate for Clinton. Just because Taibbi was excellent on exposing Wall St. doesn't mean he really knows s**t about politics. I find the depiction of Trump as some kind of monster-buffoon to be simply boring and not very helpful. ..."
    "... (might be the Trump Chaos bc Hillary will strategically turn our war machine on us can't believe this is as good as it gets, sighed out) ..."
    "... Having the establishment, the military-industrial complex and Wall Street against him helps Trump a lot. ..."
    "... You can fool part of the people all the time, and all people part of the time, but Brexit won, so will Trump, politician extraordinaire ..."
    "... Given his family, a Trump presidency may look more like JFK's, where Bobby had more power than LBJ. Also, given Trump's negotiating expertise, I would certainly not believe any assertion of support he proclaims for the VP. I expect he had little choice in the matter, and that he also plans to send the VP to the hinterlands at the first opportunity. I'm unclear why so many appear to believe the VP has any influence whatsoever; I believe GWB was the only post-WW2 president who let the VP have any power. ..."
    "... What is a populist? Somebody that tries to do what the majority want. Current examples: Less wars and military spending. More infrastructure spending. Less support for banks and corps (imagine how many votes trump would gain if he said 'as pres I will jail bankers that break the law' And how that repudiates Obama and both parties.) Gun control (but not possible from within the rep party) ..."
    "... What is a fascist? Somebody that supports corporations, military, and military adventures. ..."
    "... Actually, it sounds a whole lot like a different candidate from a different party, doesn't it? ..."
    "... Neoliberal "Goodthink" flag. What this means when neoliberals say it is not let's build a better global society for all it means Corporations and our military should be able to run roughshod over the world and the people's of other countries. Exploit their citizens for cheap Labor, destroy their environment and move on. These are the exact policies of Hillary Clinton (see TPP, increase foreign wars etc.). Hillary globalism is not about global Brotherhood it's about global economic and military exploitation. Trump is nationalist non – interventionist, which leads to less global military destruction than hillary and less global exploitation. So who is a better for those outside the US, hillary the interventionist OR trump the non-interventionist? ..."
    "... Look, the Clintons are criminals, and their affiliate entities, including the DNC, could be considered criminal enterprises or co-conspirators at this point. ..."
    "... The very fact that Establishment, Wall St and Koch bros are behind HRC is evidence that the current 'status quo' will be continued! I cannot stand another 4 years of Hilabama. ..."
    "... The striving for American empire has so totally confused the political order of the country that up is down and down is up. The idea of government for and by the people is a distant memory. Covering for lies and contradictions of beliefs has blurred any notion of principles informing public action. ..."
    "... If there is any principle that matters today, it is the pursuit of money and profit reigns supreme. Trump is populist in the sense he is talking about bringing money and wealth back to the working classes. Not by giving it directly, but by forcing businesses to turn their sights back to the US proper and return to making their profits at home. In the end, it is all nostalgia and probably impossible, but working class people remember those days so it rings true. That is hope and change in action. People also could care less if he cheats on his taxes or is found out lying about how much he is worth. Once again, fudging your net worth is something working people care little about. Having their share of the pie is all that matters and Trump is tapping into that. ..."
    "... The only crime Trump has committed so far is his language. Liberals like Clinton, Blair and Obama drip blood. ..."
    "... The 2016 election cannot be looked at in isolation. The wars for profit are spreading from Nigeria through Syria to Ukraine. Turkey was just lost to the Islamists and is on the road to being a failed state. The EU is in an existential crisis due to Brexit, the refugee crisis and austerity. Western leadership is utterly incompetent and failing to protect its citizens. Globalization is failing. Its Losers are tipping over the apple cart. Humans are returning to their tribal roots for safety. The drums for war with Russia are beating. Clinton / Kaine are 100% Status Quo Globalists. Trump / Pence are candidates of change to who knows what. Currently I am planning on voting for the Green Party in the hope it becomes viable and praying that the chaos avoids Maryland. ..."
    Jul 24, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    naked capitalism

    Brindle, July 24, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I've tuned out Warren-she has become the "red meat" surrogate for Clinton. Just because Taibbi was excellent on exposing Wall St. doesn't mean he really knows s**t about politics. I find the depiction of Trump as some kind of monster-buffoon to be simply boring and not very helpful.

    abynormal , July 24, 2016 at 4:51 am

    for all the run around Hillary, Trump's chosen circle of allies are Wall Street and Austerity enablers. actually, Trump chaos could boost the enablers as easily as Hillary's direct mongering. War is Money low hanging fruit in this cash strapped era and either directly or indirectly neither candidate will disappoint.
    So I Ask Myself which candidate will the majority manage sustainability while assembling to create different outcomes? (might be the Trump Chaos bc Hillary will strategically turn our war machine on us can't believe this is as good as it gets, sighed out)

    Norb , July 24, 2016 at 10:54 am

    War is only good for the profiteers when it can be undertaken in another territory. Bringing the chaos home cannot be good for business. Endless calls for confidence and stability in markets must reflect the fact that disorder effects more business that the few corporations that benefit directly from spreading chaos. A split in the business community seems to be underway or at least a possible leverage point to bring about positive change.
    Even the splits in the political class reflect this. Those that benefit from spreading chaos are loosing strength because they have lost control of where that chaos takes place and who is directly effected from its implementation. Blowback and collateral damage are finally registering.

    Plenue , July 24, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Trump may be a disaster. Clinton will be a disaster. One of these two will win. I won't vote for either, but if you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I'd take Trump. He's certainly not a fascist (I think it was either Vice or Vox that had an article where they asked a bunch of historians of fascism if he was, the answer was a resounding no), he's a populist in the Andrew Jackson style. If nothing else Trump will (probably) not start WW3 with Russia.

    cm , July 24, 2016 at 11:28 am

    And war with Russia doesn't depend just on Hillary, it depends on us in Western Europe agreeing with it.

    A laughable proposition. The official US policy, as you may recall, is fuck the EU .

    Where was Europe when we toppled the Ukrainian govt? Get back to me when you can actually spend 2% GDP on your military. At the moment you can't even control your illegal immigrants.

    Lambert Strether Post author , July 24, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    The political parties that survive display adaptability, and ideological consistency isn't a requirement for that. Look at the party of Lincoln. Or look at the party of FDR.

    If the Democrats decapitate the Republican party by bringing in the Kagans of this world and Republican suburbanites in swing states, then the Republicans will go where the votes are; the Iron Law of Institutions will drive them to do it, and the purge of the party after Trump will open the positions in the party for people with that goal.

    In a way, what we're seeing now is what should have happened to the Republicans in 2008. The Democrats had the Republicans down on the ground with Obama's boot on their neck. The Republicans had organized and lost a disastrous war, they had lost the legislative and executive branches, they were completely discredited ideologically, and they were thoroughly discredited in the political class and in the press.

    Instead, Obama, with his strategy of bipartisanship - good faith or not - gave them a hand up, dusted them off, and let them right back in the game, by treating them as a legitimate opposition party. So the Republican day of reckoning was postponed. We got various bids for power by factions - the Tea Party, now the Liberty Caucus - but none of them came anywhere near taking real power, despite (click-driven money-raising) Democrat hysteria.

    And now the day of reckoning has arrived. Trump went through the hollow institutional shell of the Republican Party like the German panzers through the French in 1939. And here we are!

    (Needless to say, anybody - ***cough*** Ted Cruz ***cough*** - yammering about "conservative principles" is part of the problem, dead weight, part of the dead past.) I don't know if the Republicans can remake themselves after Trump; what he's doing is necessary for that, but may not be sufficient.

    Steve C , July 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Republicans won Congress and the states because the Democrats handed them to them on a silver platter. To Obama and his fan club meaningful power is a hot potato, to be discarded as soon as plausible.

    Older & Wiser , July 24, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Having the establishment, the military-industrial complex and Wall Street against him helps Trump a lot.

    Pro-Sanders folks, blacks, and hispanics will mostly vote for Trump.
    Having Gov. Pence on the ticket, core Republicans and the silent majority will vote for Trump.
    Women deep inside know Trump will help their true interests better than the Clinton-Obama rinse repeat
    Young people, sick and tired of the current obviously rigged system, will vote for change.

    You can fool part of the people all the time, and all people part of the time, but Brexit won, so will Trump, politician extraordinaire
    Even Michael Moore gets it

    cm , July 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Trump has intimated that he is not going to deal with the nuts and bolts of government, that will be Pence's job.

    Given his family, a Trump presidency may look more like JFK's, where Bobby had more power than LBJ.

    Also, given Trump's negotiating expertise, I would certainly not believe any assertion of support he proclaims for the VP. I expect he had little choice in the matter, and that he also plans to send the VP to the hinterlands at the first opportunity. I'm unclear why so many appear to believe the VP has any influence whatsoever; I believe GWB was the only post-WW2 president who let the VP have any power.

    John k , July 24, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Minorities will benefit at least as much as whites with infrastructure spending, which trump says he wants to do It would make him popular, which he likes, why not believe him? And if pres he would be able to get enough rep votes to get it passed. No chance with Hillary, who anyway would rather spend on wars, which are mostly fought by minorities.

    What is a populist? Somebody that tries to do what the majority want. Current examples:
    Less wars and military spending. More infrastructure spending. Less support for banks and corps (imagine how many votes trump would gain if he said 'as pres I will jail bankers that break the law' And how that repudiates Obama and both parties.) Gun control (but not possible from within the rep party)

    What is a fascist? Somebody that supports corporations, military, and military adventures.

    Uahsenaa , July 24, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I'm saying you have a much better chance to pressure Clinton

    Sorry, but this argues from facts not in evidence and closely resembles the Correct the Record troll line (now substantiated through the Wikileaks dump) that Clinton "has to be elected" because she is at least responsive to progressive concerns.

    Except she isn't, and the degree to which the DNC clearly has been trying to pander to disillusioned Republicans and the amount of bile they spew every time they lament how HRC has had to "veer left" shows quite conclusively to my mind that, in fact, the opposite of what you say is true.

    Also, when NAFTA was being debated in the '90s, the Clintons showed themselves to be remarkably unresponsive both to the concerns of organized labor (who opposed it) as well as the majority of the members of their own party, who voted against it. NAFTA was passed only with a majority of Republican votes.

    I have no way of knowing whether you're a troll or sincerely believe this, but either way, it needs to be pointed out that the historical record actually contradicts your premise. If you do really believe this, try not to be so easily taken in by crafty rhetoric.

    EndOfTheWorld , July 24, 2016 at 8:19 am

    BTW, I'll take Trump's record as a husband over HRC's record as a wife. He loves a woman, then they break up, and he finds another one. This is not unusual in the US. Hillary, OTOH, "stood by her man" through multiple publicly humiliating infidelities, including having to settle out of court for more than $800,000, and rape charges. No problem with her if her husband was flying many times on the "Lolita Express" with a child molester. Could be she had no idea where her "loved one" was at the time. Do they in fact sleep in the same bed, or even live in the same house? I don't know.

    EndOfTheWorld , July 24, 2016 at 7:12 am

    RE: calling Donald Trump a "sociopath"-this is another one of those words that is thrown around carelessly, like "nazi" and "fascist". In the Psychology Today article "How to Spot a Sociopath", they list 16 key behavioral characteristics. I can't see them in Trump-you could make a case for a few of them, but not all. For example: "failure to follow any life plan", "sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated", "poor judgment and failure to learn by experience", "incapacity for love"-–you can't reasonably attach these characteristics to The Donald, who, indeed, has a more impressive and loving progeny than any other prez candidate I can think of.

    edmondo , July 24, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Actually, it sounds a whole lot like a different candidate from a different party, doesn't it?

    HBE , July 24, 2016 at 11:06 am

    "I have a sense of international identity as well: we are all brothers and sisters."

    Neoliberal "Goodthink" flag. What this means when neoliberals say it is not let's build a better global society for all it means Corporations and our military should be able to run roughshod over the world and the people's of other countries. Exploit their citizens for cheap Labor, destroy their environment and move on. These are the exact policies of Hillary Clinton (see TPP, increase foreign wars etc.). Hillary globalism is not about global Brotherhood it's about global economic and military exploitation. Trump is nationalist non – interventionist, which leads to less global military destruction than hillary and less global exploitation. So who is a better for those outside the US, hillary the interventionist OR trump the non-interventionist?

    "And not everyone feels the same way, but for most voters there is either a strong tribal loyalty (Dem or Repub) or a weaker sense of "us" guiding the voter on that day.
    Mad as I am about the Blue Dogs, I strongly identify with the Dems."

    So you recognize you are a tribalist, and assume all the baggage and irrationality that tribalism often fosters, but instead of addressing your tribalism you embrace it. What you seem to be saying (to me)is that we should leave critical thinking at the door and become dem tribalists like you.

    "But the Repubs and Dems see Wall Street issues through different cultural prisms. Republican are more reflexively pro-business. It matters."

    Hillary Clinton's biggest donors are Wallstreet and her dem. Husband destroyed glass-steagall. Trump wants to reinstate glass-steagall, so who is more business friendly again?

    "He is racist, and so he knows how to push ugly buttons."

    This identity politics trope is getting so old. Both are racist just in different ways, Trump says in your face racist things, which ensure the injustice cannot be ignored, where hillary has and does support racist policies, that use stealth racism to incrementaly increase the misery of minorities, while allowing the majority to pretend it's not happening.

    "First, he will govern with the Republicans. Republican judges, TPP, military spending, environmental rollbacks, etc. Trump will not overrule Repubs in Congress."

    These are literally hillarys policies not trumps.
    Trump: anti TPP, stop foreign interventions, close bases use money for infrastructure.
    Hillary :Pro TPP, more interventions and military spending

    "And no, no great Left populist party will ride to the rescue. The populist tradition (identity) is mostly rightwing and racist in our society.
    People do not change political identity like their clothes. The left tradition in the US, such as it is, is in the Dem party."

    So what you are saying is quit being stupid, populism is bad and you should vote for hillarys neoliberalism. The democrats were once left so even if they are no longer left, we must continue to support them if another party or candidate that is to the left isn't a democrat? Your logic hurts my head.

    Arnold Babar , July 24, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Look, the Clintons are criminals, and their affiliate entities, including the DNC, could be considered criminal enterprises or co-conspirators at this point. Those who haven't realized that, or worse, who shill for them are willfully ignorant, amoral, or unethical. The fact that that includes a large chunk of the population doesn't change that. I don't vote for criminals.

    sunny129 , July 24, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    DNC is no different than RNC!

    The very fact that Establishment, Wall St and Koch bros are behind HRC is evidence that the current 'status quo' will be continued! I cannot stand another 4 years of Hilabama.

    I hate Hillary more than Trump. I want to protest at the Establishment, which at this represented by Hillary.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/24/politics/dnc-email-leak-wikileaks/index.html

    John k , July 24, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Populism (support for popular issues) is, well, popular.

    Fascism (support for corps and military adventures) is, at least after our ME adventures, unpopular.

    Commenters are expressing support for the person expressing popular views, such as infrastructure spending, and expressing little support for the candidate they believe is most fascist.

    Btw, Most on this site are liberals, few are reps, so to support him they have had to buck some of their long held antipathy regarding reps.

    EndOfTheWorld , July 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Right, what is changing with Trump is the Republicans are going back to, say, the Eisenhower era, when Ike started the interstate highway system, a socialist program if there ever was one.

    local to oakland , July 24, 2016 at 10:48 am

    This article by Mckay Coppins was illuminating I thought.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/how-the-haters-made-trump?utm_term=.sm0BPXq0g#.qnzvzj8aP

    It shows some of his history in a fairly sympathetic light.

    Lambert Strether Post author , July 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    It's a good article; this is a general observation. Sorry!

    "Hate" seems to be a continuing Democrat meme, and heck, who can be for hate? So it makes sense rhetorically, but in policy terms it's about as sensible as being against @ssh0les (since as the good book says, ye have the @ssh0les always with you). So we're really looking at virtue signaling as a mode of reinforcing tribalism, and to be taken seriously only for that reason. If you look at the political class writing about the working class - modulo writers like Chris Arnade - the hate is plain as day, though it's covered up with the rhetoric of meritocracy, taking care of losers, etc.

    Strategic hate management is a great concept. It's like hate can never be created or destroyed, and is there as a resource to be mined or extracted. The Clinton campaign is doing a great job of strategic hate management right now, by linking Putin and Trump, capitalizing on all the good work done in the press over the last year or so.

    Pat , July 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    For years we have been told that government should be run like a business. In truth that statement was used as a cudgel to avoid having the government provide any kind of a safety net to its citizenry because there was little or no profit in it for the people who think that government largess should only be for them.

    Here's the thing, if government had been run like a business, we the people would own huge portions of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Chase today. We wouldn't have bailed them out without an equity stake in them. Most cities would have a share of the gate for every stadium that was built. And rather than paying nothing to the community Walmart would have been paying a share of their profits (much as those have dropped over the years).

    I do not like Trump's business, but he truly does approach his brand and his relationships as a business. When he says he doesn't like the trade deals because they are bad business and bad deals he is correct. IF the well being of the United states and his populace are what you are interested in regarding trade deals, ours are failures. Now most of us here know that was not the point of the trade deals. They have been a spectacular success for many of our largest businesses and richest people, but for America as a whole they have increased our trade deficit and devastated our job base. When he says he won't go there, this is one I believe him on.

    I also believe him on NATO and on the whole Russian thing. Why, because of the same reasons I believe him on Trade. They are not winners for America as a whole. They are bad deals. Europe is NOT living up to their contractual agreement regarding NATO. For someone who is a believer in getting the better of the deal that is downright disgusting. And he sees no benefit in getting into a war with Russia. The whole reserve currency thing vs. nukes is not going to work for him as a cost benefit analysis of doing it. He is not going to front this because it is a business loser.

    We truly have the worst choices from the main parties in my lifetime. There are many reasons Trump is a bad candidate. But on these two, he is far more credible and on the better side of things than the Democratic nominee. And on the few where she might reasonably considered to have a better position, unfortunately I do not for a moment believe her to be doing more than giving lip service based on both her record and her character.

    GF , July 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    This article from Talking Points Memo was pointed to by PK in his Twitter feed today. It has some interesting background on Trump's Russian connections:
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-putin-yes-it-s-really-a-thing

    tegnost , July 24, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Is it your opinion that to have globalisation we must marginalize russia to the extent that they realize they can't have utopia and make the practical choice of allowing finance capitalism to guide them to realistic incrementally achieved debt bondage?

    DarkMatters , July 24, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    World turned upside down.

    The Democratic Party has been inching further and further to the right. Bernie tried to arrest this drift, but his internal populist rebellion was successfully thwarted by party elite corruption. The Democratic position is now so far to the right that the Republicans will marginalize themselves if they try to keep to the right of the Democrats.

    But, despite party loyalty or PC slogans, the Democrat's rightward position is now so obvious that it can be longer disguised by spin. The Trump campaign has demonstrated, the best electoral strategy for the Republican Party is to leapfrog leftward and campaign from a less corporate position. This has given space for the re-evaluation of party positions that Trump is enunciating, and the result is that the Trump is running to the
    left of Hillary. How weird is this?

    DarkMatters , July 24, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I meant to use right and left to refer generally to elite vs popular. The issue is too big to discuss without some simplification, and I'm sorry it has distracted from the main issue. On the face of it, judging from the primaries, the Republican candidates who represented continued rightward drift were rejected. (Indications are that the same thing happened in the Democratic Party, but party control was stronger there, and democratic primary numbers will never be known).

    The main point I was trying to make is that the Democratic party has been stretching credulity to the breaking point in claiming to be democratic in any sense, and finally the contradiction between their statements and actions has outpaced the capabilities of their propaganda. Their Orwellian program overextended itself. Popular recognition of the disparity has caused a kind of political "snap" that's initiated a radical reorganization of what used to be the party of the right (or corporations, or elites, or finance, or "your description here".)

    Besides confusion between which issues are right or left for Republicans or Democrats on the national level, internationally, the breakdown of popular trust in the elites, and the failure of their propaganda on that scale, is leading to a related worldwide distrust and rejection of elite policies. This distrust has been percolating in pockets for some time, but it seems it's now become so widespread that it's practically become a movement.

    I suspect, however, there's a Plan B for this situation to restore the proper order. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Norb , July 24, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    The striving for American empire has so totally confused the political order of the country that up is down and down is up. The idea of government for and by the people is a distant memory. Covering for lies and contradictions of beliefs has blurred any notion of principles informing public action.

    If there is any principle that matters today, it is the pursuit of money and profit reigns supreme. Trump is populist in the sense he is talking about bringing money and wealth back to the working classes. Not by giving it directly, but by forcing businesses to turn their sights back to the US proper and return to making their profits at home. In the end, it is all nostalgia and probably impossible, but working class people remember those days so it rings true. That is hope and change in action. People also could care less if he cheats on his taxes or is found out lying about how much he is worth. Once again, fudging your net worth is something working people care little about. Having their share of the pie is all that matters and Trump is tapping into that.

    Clintons arrogance is worse because the transcripts probably clearly show her secretly conspiring with bankers to screw the working people of this country. Trumps misdeeds effect his relationship to other elites while Clintons directly effect working people.

    Such a sorry state of affairs. When all that matters is the pursuit of money and profit, moving forward will be difficult and full of moral contradictions. Populism needs a new goal. The political machinery that gives us two pro-business hacks and an ineffectual third party has fundamentally failed.

    The business of America must be redefined, not somehow brought back to a mythical past greatness. Talk about insanity.

    John Wright , July 24, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the mention of the Bob Herbert editorial.

    I found it by searching for your quoted statement at http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/26/opinion/in-america-cut-him-loose.html

    I was published Feb 26,2001

    Herbert has some advice for the Democrats.

    "Bill Clinton has been a disaster for the Democratic Party. Send him packing."

    "There's not much the Democrats can do about Mrs. Clinton. She's got a Senate seat for six years. But there is no need for the party to look to her for leadership. The Democrats need to regroup, re-establish their strong links to middle-class and working-class Americans, and move on."

    "You can't lead a nation if you are ashamed of the leadership of your party. The Clintons are a terminally unethical and vulgar couple, and they've betrayed everyone who has ever believed in them."

    "As neither Clinton has the grace to retire from the scene, the Democrats have no choice but to turn their backs on them. It won't be easy, but the Democrats need to try. If they succeed they'll deserve the compliment Bill Clinton offered Gennifer Flowers after she lied under oath: "Good for you." "

    Amazing how the New York Times has "evolved" from Herbert's editorial stance of 15 years ago to their unified editorial/news support for HRC's candacy,

    In my view, it is not as if HRC has done anything to redeem herself in the intervening years.

    Herbert left the NY Times in 2011..

    Sound of the Suburbs , July 24, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    It takes liberals to create a refugee crisis.
    What country are we going to bomb back into the stone age this week?

    We are very squeamish about offensive language.
    We don't mind dropping bombs and ripping people apart with red hot shrapnel.
    We are liberals.

    Liberal sensibilities were on display in the film "Apocalypse Now".
    No writing four letter words on the side of aircraft.
    Napalm, white phosphorous and agent orange – no problem.

    Liberals are like the English upper class – outward sophistication hiding the psychopath underneath.
    They were renowned for their brutality towards slaves, the colonies and the English working class (men, women and children) but terribly sophisticated when with their own.

    Are you a bad language sort of person – Trump
    Or a liberal, psychopath, empire builder – Clinton

    The only crime Trump has committed so far is his language. Liberals like Clinton, Blair and Obama drip blood.

    Richard , July 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Lambert strether said: my view is that the democrat party cannot be saved, but it can be seized.
    Absolutely correct.
    That is why Trump must be elected. Only then through the broken remains of both Parties can the frangible Democrat Party be seized and restored.

    VietnamVet , July 24, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    The 2016 election cannot be looked at in isolation. The wars for profit are spreading from Nigeria through Syria to Ukraine. Turkey was just lost to the Islamists and is on the road to being a failed state. The EU is in an existential crisis due to Brexit, the refugee crisis and austerity. Western leadership is utterly incompetent and failing to protect its citizens. Globalization is failing. Its Losers are tipping over the apple cart. Humans are returning to their tribal roots for safety. The drums for war with Russia are beating. Clinton / Kaine are 100% Status Quo Globalists. Trump / Pence are candidates of change to who knows what. Currently I am planning on voting for the Green Party in the hope it becomes viable and praying that the chaos avoids Maryland.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Dont blame the masses

    Notable quotes:
    "... Because we interpreted the end of the Cold War as the ultimate vindication of America's economic system, we intensified our push toward the next level of capitalism, called globalization. It was presented as a project that would benefit everyone. Instead it has turned out to be a nightmare for many working people. Thanks to "disruption" and the "global supply chain," many American workers who could once support families with secure, decent-paying jobs must now hope they can be hired as greeters at Walmart. Meanwhile, a handful of super-rich financiers manipulate our political system to cement their hold on the nation's wealth. ..."
    "... Rather than shifting to a less assertive and more cooperative foreign policy, we continued to insist that America must reign supreme. When we declared that we would not tolerate the emergence of another "peer power," we expected that other countries would blithely obey. Instead they ignore us. We interpret this as defiance and seek to punish the offenders. That has greatly intensified tensions between the United States and the countries we are told to consider our chief adversaries, Russia and China. ..."
    Aug 08, 2016 | www.bostonglobe.com
    Because we interpreted the end of the Cold War as the ultimate vindication of America's economic system, we intensified our push toward the next level of capitalism, called globalization. It was presented as a project that would benefit everyone. Instead it has turned out to be a nightmare for many working people. Thanks to "disruption" and the "global supply chain," many American workers who could once support families with secure, decent-paying jobs must now hope they can be hired as greeters at Walmart. Meanwhile, a handful of super-rich financiers manipulate our political system to cement their hold on the nation's wealth.
    Enrique Ferro's insight:
    Moments of change require adaptation, but the United States is not good at adapting. We are used to being in charge. This blinded us to the reality that as other countries began rising, our relative power would inevitably decline. Rather than shifting to a less assertive and more cooperative foreign policy, we continued to insist that America must reign supreme. When we declared that we would not tolerate the emergence of another "peer power," we expected that other countries would blithely obey. Instead they ignore us. We interpret this as defiance and seek to punish the offenders. That has greatly intensified tensions between the United States and the countries we are told to consider our chief adversaries, Russia and China.

    [Dec 04, 2016] The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while fascists are doing well in Europe is the same reason: neoliberalism has gutted, or is in the process of gutting, societies

    This is downright sickening and the people who are voting for Hillary will not even care what will happen with the USA iif she is elected.
    By attacking Trump using "Khan gambit" she risks a violent backlash (And not only via Wikileaks, which already promised to release information about her before the elections)
    People also start to understand that she is like Trump. He destroyed several hundred American lifes by robbing them, exploiting their vanity (standard practice in the USA those days) via Trump University scam. She destroyed the whole country -- Libya and is complicit in killing Khaddafi (who, while not a nice guy, was keeping the country together and providing be highest standard of living in Africa for his people).
    In other words she is a monster and sociopath. He probably is a narcissist too. So there is no much phychological difference between them. And we need tight proportions to judge this situation if we are talking about Hillary vs Trump.
    As for people voting for Trump -- yes they will. I think if Hillary goes aganst Trump, the female neoliberal monster will be trumped. She has little chances even taking into account the level of brainwashing in the USA (which actually is close to those that existed in the USSR).
    Notable quotes:
    "... The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while fascists are doing well in Europe is the same reason: neoliberalism has gutted, or is in the process of gutting, societies. Workers and other formerly "safe" white collar workers are seeing their job security, income security, retirement security all go up in smoke. Neoliberals are trying to snip and cut labor protections, healthcare, environmental regulations all for corporate profit. In Europe this is all in addition to a massive refugee crisis itself brought on by neoliberalism (neocon foreign policy is required for neoliberal social policy, they go hand-in-hand). The US and NATO destabilize countries with the intent of stealing their resources and protecting their markets, cause massive refugee flows which strain social structures in Europe (which falls right into the hands of the gutters and cutters of neoliberalism). Of course the people will lean fascist. ..."
    "... U.S. Government Tried to Tackle Gun Violence in 1960s ..."
    "... Another key feature of fascism is territorial expansionism. As far as I am aware, none of the nationalist parties advocate invading other countries or retaking former colonies. Once again, contemporary neoliberalism is far closer to fascism. But you are correct about both Israel and Turkey – our allies. They are much closer to the genuine article. But you won't hear those complaining about the rise of fascism in Europe complaining too much about them. ..."
    "... The only way they have avoided complete revolt has been endless borrowing to fund entitlements, once that one-time fix plays out the consequences will be apparent. The funding mechanism itself (The Fed) has even morphed into a neo-liberal tool designed to enrich Capital while enslaving Labor with the consequences. ..."
    "... "Every society chooses how resources are allocated between capital and labor." More specifically, isn't it a struggle between various political/economic/cultural movements within a society which chooses how resources are allocated between capital and labor. ..."
    "... My objection to imprecise language here isn't merely pedantic. The leftist dismissal of right wing populists like Trump (or increasingly influential European movements like Ukip, AfD, and the Front national) as "fascist" is a reductionist rhetorical device intended to marginalize them by implying their politics are so far outside of the mainstream that they do not need to be taken seriously. ..."
    "... " the gutters and cutters of neoliberalism" ..."
    "... The neoliberals are all too aware that the clock is ticking. In this morning's NYT, yet more talk of ramming TPP through in the lame duck. ..."
    "... The roads here are deteriorating FAST. In Price County, the road commissioner said last night that their budget allows for resurfacing all the roads on a 200 year basis. ..."
    "... This Trump support seems like a form of political vandalism with Trump as the spray paint. People generally feel frustrated with government, utterly powerless and totally left out as the ranks of the precariat continue to grow. Trump appeals to the nihilistic tendencies of some people who, like frustrated teens, have decided to just smashed things up for the hell of it. They think a presidency mix of Caligula with Earl Scheib would be a funny hoot. ..."
    "... Someone at American Conservative, when trying to get at why it's pointless to tell people Trump will wreck the place, described him as a "hand grenade" lobbed into the heart of government. You can't scare people with his crass-ness and destructive tendencies, because that's precisely what his voters are counting on when/if he gets into government. ..."
    "... In other words, the MSM's fear is the clearest sign to these voters that their ..."
    "... Your phrase "Trump is political vandalism" is great. I don't think I've seen a better description. NPR this morning was discussing Trump and his relationship with the press and the issues some GOP leaders have with him. When his followers were discussed, the speakers closely circled your vandalism point. Basically they said that his voters are angry with the power brokers and leaders in DC and regardless of whether they think Trump's statements are heartfelt or just rhetoric, they DO know he will stick it to those power brokers so that's good. Vandalism by a longer phrase. ..."
    "... Meritocracy was ALWAYS a delusional fraud. What you invariably get, after a couple of generations, is a clique of elitists who define merit as themselves and reproduce it ad nauseam. Who still believes in such laughable kiddie stories? ..."
    "... Campaign Finance Reform: If you can't walk into a voting booth you cannot contribute, or make all elections financed solely by government funds and make private contributions of any kind to any politician illegal. ..."
    "... Re-institute Glass-Steagall but even more so. Limit the number of states a bank can operate in. Make the Fed publicly owned, not privately owned by banks. Completely revise corporate law, doing away with the legal person hood of corporations and limit of liability for corporate officers and shareholders. ..."
    "... Single payer health care for everyone. Allow private health plans but do away with health insurance as a deductible for business. Remove the AMA's hold on licensing of medical schools which restricts the number of doctors. ..."
    "... Do away with the cap on Social Security wages and make all income, wages, capital gains, interest, and dividends subject to taxation. Impose tariffs to compensate for lower labor costs overseas and revise industry. ..."
    "... Cut the Defense budget by 50% and use that money for intensive infrastructure development. ..."
    "... Raise the national minimum wage to $15 and hour. ..."
    "... Severely curtail the revolving door from government to private industry with a 10 year restriction on working for an industry you dealt with in any way as a government official. ..."
    "... Free public education including college (4 year degree). ..."
    "... Obama and Holder, allowing the banks to be above the law have them demi-gods, many of whom are psychopaths and kleptocrats, and with their newly granted status, they are now re-shaping the world in their own image. Prosecute these demi-gods and restore sanity. Don't and their greed for our things will never end until nothings left. ..."
    "... This is why Hillary is so much more dangerous than trump, because she and the demi gods are all on the same page. The TPP is their holy grail so I expect heaven and earth to be moved, especially if it looks like some trade traitors are going to get knocked off in the election, scoundrels like patty murray (dino, WA) will push to get it through then line up at the feed trough to gorge on k street dough. I plan to vote stein if it's not Bernie, but am reserving commitment until I see what kind of betrayals the dems have for me, if it's bad enough I'll go with the trump hand grenade. ..."
    "... Totally agree tegnost, no more democratic neoliberals -- ..."
    "... "they are now re-shaping the world in their own image" Isn't this intrinsic to bourgeois liberalism? ..."
    "... Two things are driving our troubles: over-population and globalization. The plutocrats and kleptocrats have all the leverage over the rest of us laborers when the population of human beings has increased seven-fold in the last 70 years, from a little over a billion to seven billions (and growing) today. They are happy to let us freeze to death behind gas stations in order for them to compete with other oligarchs in excess consumption. ..."
    "... Thank you for mentioning the third rail of overpopulation. Too often, this giant category of problems is ignored, because it makes people uncomfortable. The planet is finite, resources on the planet are finite, yet the number of people keeps growing. We need to strive for a higher quality of life, not a higher quantity of people. ..."
    "... The issue goes beyond "current neoliberals up for election", it is most of our political establishment that has been corrupted by a system that provides for the best politicians money can buy. ..."
    "... America has always been a country where a majority of the population has been poor. With the exception of a fifty five year(1950-2005) year period where access to large quantities of consumer debt by households was deployed to first to provide a wealth illusion to keep socialism at bay, followed by a mortgage debt boom to both keep the system afloat and strip the accumulated capital of the working class, i.e. home equity, the history of the US has been one of poverty for the masses. ..."
    "... Further debt was foisted on the working class in the form of military Keynesianism, generating massive fiscal deficits which are to be paid for via austerity in a neo-feudal economy. ..."
    www.nakedcapitalism.com
    The first comment gives a window into the hidden desperation in America that is showing up in statistics like increasing opioid addiction and suicides, rather than in accounts of how and why so many people are suffering. I hope readers will add their own observations in comments.

    seanseamour, June 1, 2016 at 3:26 am

    We recently took three months to travel the southern US from coast to coast. As an expat for the past twenty years, beyond the eye opening experience it left us in a state of shock. From a homeless man convulsing in the last throes of hypothermia (been there) behind a fuel station in Houston (the couldn't care less attendant's only preoccupation getting our RV off his premises), to the general squalor of near-homelessness such as the emergence of "American favelas" a block away from gated communities or affluent ran areas, to transformation of RV parks into permanent residencies for the foreclosed who have but their trailer or RV left, to social study one can engage while queuing at the cash registers of a Walmart before beneficiaries of SNAP.

    Stopping to take the time to talk and attempt to understand their predicament and their beliefs as to the cause of their plight is a dizzying experience in and of itself. For a moment I felt transposed to the times of the Cold War, when the Iron Curtain dialectics fuzzed the perception of that other world to the west with a structured set of beliefs designed to blacken that horizon as well as establish a righteous belief in their own existential paradigm.

    What does that have to do with education? Everything if one considers the elitist trend that is slowly setting the framework of tomorrow's society. For years I have felt there is a silent "un-avowed conspiracy", why the seeming redundancy, because it is empirically driven as a by-product of capitalism's surge and like a self-redeeming discount on a store shelf crystalizes a group identity of think-alike know-little or nothing frustrated citizens easily corralled by a Fox or Trump piper. We have re-rcreated the conditions or rather the reality of "Poverty In America" barely half a century after its first diagnostic with one major difference : we are now feeding the growth of the "underclass" by lifting ever higher and out of reach the upward mobility ladder, once the banner of opportunity now fallen behind the supposedly sclerotic welfare states of Europe.

    Praedor, June 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    So Richard Cohen now fears American voters because of Trump. Well, on Diane Reem today (NPR) was a discussion on why fascist parties are growing in Europe. Both Cohen and the clowns on NPR missed the forest for the trees. The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while fascists are doing well in Europe is the same reason: neoliberalism has gutted, or is in the process of gutting, societies. Workers and other formerly "safe" white collar workers are seeing their job security, income security, retirement security all go up in smoke. Neoliberals are trying to snip and cut labor protections, healthcare, environmental regulations all for corporate profit. In Europe this is all in addition to a massive refugee crisis itself brought on by neoliberalism (neocon foreign policy is required for neoliberal social policy, they go hand-in-hand). The US and NATO destabilize countries with the intent of stealing their resources and protecting their markets, cause massive refugee flows which strain social structures in Europe (which falls right into the hands of the gutters and cutters of neoliberalism). Of course the people will lean fascist.

    In the US we don't have the refugees, but the neoliberalism is further along and more damaging. There's no mystery here or in Europe, just the natural effects of governments failing to represent real people in favor of useless eater rich.

    Make the people into commodities, endanger their washes and job security, impose austerity, and tale in floods of refugees. Of COURSE Europeans stay leaning fascist.

    Praedor , June 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    According to NPR's experts, many or most of those parties are "fascist". The fascist label is getting tossed around a LOT right now. It is slung at Trump, at UKIP, or any others. Fascist is what you call the opposition party to the right that you oppose. Now I don't call Trump a fascist. A buffoon, yes, even a charlatan (I still rather doubt he really originally thought he would become the GOP nominee. Perhaps I'm wrong but, like me, many seemed to think that he was pushing his "brand" – a term usage of which I HATE because it IS like we are all commodities or businesses rather than PEOPLE – and that he would drop by the wayside and profit from his publicity).

    Be that as it may, NPR and Co were discussing the rise of fascist/neofascist parties and wondering why there were doing so well. Easy answer: neoliberalism + refugee hoards = what you see in Europe.

    I've also blamed a large part of today's gun violence in the USA on the fruits of neoliberalism. Why? Same reason that ugly right-wing groups (fascist or not) are gaining ground around the Western world. Neoliberalism destroys societies. It destroys the connections within societies (the USA in this case). Because we have guns handy, the result is mass shootings and flashes of murder-suicides. This didn't happen BEFORE neoliberalism got its hooks into American society. The guns were there, always have been (when I was a teen I recall seeing gun mags advertising various "assault weapons" for sale this was BEFORE Reagan and this was BEFORE mass shootings, etc). Machine guns were much easier to come by BEFORE the 1980s yet we didn't have mass killings with machine guns, handguns, or shotguns. ALL that stuff is a NEW disease. A disease rooted in neoliberalism. Neoliberalism steals your job security, your healthcare security, your home, your retirement security, your ability to provide for your family, your ability to send your kids to college, your ability to BUY FOOD. Neoliberalism means you don't get to work for a company for 20 years and then see the company pay you back for that long, good service with a pension. You'll be lucky to hold a job at any company from month-to-month now and FORGET about benefits! Healthcare? Going by the wayside too. Workers in the past felt a bond with each other, especially within a company. Neoliberalism has turned all workers against each other because they have to fight to gain any of the scraps being tossed out by the rich overlords. You can't work TOGETHER to gain mutual benefit, you need to fight each other in a zero sum game. For ME to win you have to lose. You are a commodity. A disposable and irrelevant widget. THAT combines with guns (that have always been available!) and you get desperate acting out: mass shootings, murder suicides, etc.

    WorldBLee , June 2, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    There are actual fascist parties in Europe. To name a few in one country I've followed, Ukraine, there's Right Sector, Svoboda, and others, and that's just one country. I don't think anyone calls UKIP fascist.

    John Zelnicker , June 3, 2016 at 12:24 am

    @Praedor – Your comment that Yves posted and this one are excellent. One of the most succinct statements of neoliberalism and its worst effects that I have seen.

    As to the cause of recent mass gun violence, I think you have truly nailed it. If one thinks at all about the ways in which the middle class and lower have been squeezed and abused, it's no wonder that a few of them would turn to violence. It's the same despair and frustration that leads to higher suicide rates, higher rates of opiate addiction and even decreased life expectancy.

    Jacob , June 3, 2016 at 11:35 am

    "Machine guns were much easier to come by BEFORE the 1980s yet we didn't have mass killings with machine guns, handguns, or shotguns. ALL that stuff is a NEW disease. A disease rooted in neoliberalism."

    Easy availability of guns was seen as a serious problem long before the advent of neoliberalism. For one example of articles about this, see U.S. Government Tried to Tackle Gun Violence in 1960s . Other examples include 1920s and 1930s gangster and mob violence that were a consequence of Prohibition (of alcohol). While gun violence per-capita might be increasing, the population is far larger today, and the news media select incidents of violence to make them seem like they're happening everywhere and that everyone needs to be afraid. That, of course, instills a sense of insecurity and fear into the public mind; thus, a fearful public want a strong leader and are willing to accept the inconvenience and dangers of a police state for protection.

    Disturbed Voter , June 2, 2016 at 6:49 am

    First they came for the blue collar workers

    America has plenty of refugees, from Latin America

    Neo-liberal goes back to the Monroe Doctrine. We used to tame our native workers with immigrants, and we still do, but we also tame them by globalism in trade. So many rationalizations for this, based on political and economic propaganda. All problems caused by the same cause American predatory behavior. And our great political choice iron fist with our without velvet glove.

    Jeff , June 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Israel, Australia come to mind (if one is allowed to participate in a European song contest, one is supposed to be part of Europe :) They all have more or less fascist governments.
    Once you realize that the ECB creates something like 60 billion euros a month, and gives nothing to its citizens nor its nation-states, that means the money goes to corporations, which means that the ECB, and by extension the whole EU, is a fascist construct (fascism being defined as a government running on behalf of the corporations).

    Seb , June 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

    That's a fallacy. Corporatism is a feature of fascism, not the other way around.

    None of the governments you mention, with the possible exception of Israel and Turkey, can be called fascist in any meaningful sense.

    Even the anti-immigration parties in the Western European countries you mention – AfD, Front National, Vlaams Belang – only share their nationalism with fascist movements. And they are decidedly anti-corporatist.

    BananaBreakfast , June 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    The problem here is one of semantics, really. You're using "fascist" interchangeably with "authoritarian", which is a misnomer for these groups. The EU is absolutely anti-democratic, authoritarian, and technocratic in a lot of respects, but it's not fascist. Both have corporatist tendencies, but fascist corporatism was much more radical, much more anti-capitalist (in the sense that the capitalist class was expected to subordinate itself to the State as the embodiment of the will of the Nation or People, as were the other classes/corporate units). EU technocratic corporatism has none of the militarism, the active fiscal policy, the drive for government supported social cohesion, the ethno-nationalism, or millenarianism of Fascism.

    The emergent Right parties like UKIP, FNP, etc. share far more with the Fascists, thought I'd say they generally aren't yet what Fascists would have recognized as other Fascists in the way that the NSDAP and Italian Fascists recognized each other -perhaps they're more like fellow travelers.

    tgs , June 2, 2016 at 9:46 am

    True, I posted a few minutes ago saying roughly the same thing – but it seems to have gone to moderation.

    Another key feature of fascism is territorial expansionism. As far as I am aware, none of the nationalist parties advocate invading other countries or retaking former colonies. Once again, contemporary neoliberalism is far closer to fascism. But you are correct about both Israel and Turkey – our allies. They are much closer to the genuine article. But you won't hear those complaining about the rise of fascism in Europe complaining too much about them.

    Jeff , June 2, 2016 at 10:05 am

    When I was young, there were 4 divisions:
    * who owned the means of production (public or private entities)
    * who decided what those means were used for.
    If it is a 'public entity' (aka government or regime) that decides what is built, we have a totalitarian state, which can be 'communist' (if the means also belong the public entities like the government or regional fractions of it) or 'fascist' (if the factories are still in private hands).
    If it is the private owner of the production capacity who decides what is built, you get capitalism. I don't recall any examples of private entities deciding what to do with public means of production (mafia perhaps).
    Sheldon Wolin introduced us to inverted totalitarism. While it is no longer the government that decides what must be done, the private 'owners' just buy the government, the judiciary, the press, or whatever is needed to achieve their means.
    When I cite Germany, it is not so much AfD, but the 2€/hour jobs I am worried about. When I cite Belgium, it is not the fools of Vlaams Belang, but rather the un-taxing of corporations and the tear-down of social justice that worries me.

    Jim , June 2, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    But Jeff, is Wolin accurate in using the term "inverted totalitarianism" to try to capture the nature of our modern extractive bureaucratic monolith that apparently functions in an environment where "it is no longer the government that decides what must be done..simply.."private owners just buy the government, the judiciary, the press, or whatever is needed to achieve their means."

    Mirowski argues quite persuasively that the neoliberal ascendency does not represent the retreat of the State but its remaking to strongly support a particular conception of a market society that is imposed with the help of the State on our society.

    For Mirowski, neoliberalism is definitely not politically libertarian or opposed to strong state intervention in the economy and society.

    TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Inverted totalitarianism is the mirror image of fascism, which is why so many are confused. Fascism is just a easier term to use and more understandable by all. There is not a strict adherence to fascism going on, but it's still totalitarian just the same.

    jan , June 2, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Hi
    I live in Europe as well, and what to think of Germany's AfD, Greece's Golden Dawn, the Wilder's party in the Netherlands etc. Most of them subscribe to the freeloading, sorry free trading economic policies of neoliberalism.

    schizosoph , June 2, 2016 at 9:28 am

    There's LePen in France and the far-right, fascist leaning party nearly won in Austria. The far right in Greece as well. There's clearly a move to the far right in Europe. And then there's the totalitarian mess that is Turkey. How much further this turn to a fascist leaning right goes and how widespread remains to be seen, but it's clearly underway.

    myshkin , June 2, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Searched 'current fascist movements europe' and got these active groups from wiki.

    National Bolshevik Party-Belarus
    Parti Communautaire National-Européen Belgium
    Bulgarian National Alliance Bulgaria
    Nova Hrvatska Desnica Croatia
    Ustaše Croatia
    National Socialist Movement of Denmark
    La Cagoule France
    National Democratic Party of Germany
    Fascism and Freedom Movement – Italy
    Fiamma Tricolore Italy
    Forza Nuova Italy
    Fronte Sociale Nazionale Italy
    Movimento Fascismo e Libertà Italy
    Pērkonkrusts Latvia
    Norges Nasjonalsosialistiske Bevegelse Norway
    National Radical Camp (ONR) Poland
    National Revival of Poland (NOP)
    Polish National Community-Polish National Party (PWN-PSN)
    Noua Dreaptă Romania
    Russian National Socialist Party(formerly Russian National Union)
    Barkashov's Guards Russia
    National Socialist Society Russia
    Nacionalni stroj Serbia
    Otačastveni pokret Obraz Serbia
    Slovenska Pospolitost Slovakia
    España 2000 Spain
    Falange Española Spain
    Nordic Realm Party Sweden
    National Alliance Sweden
    Swedish Resistance Movement Sweden
    National Youth Sweden
    Legion Wasa Sweden
    SPAS Ukraine
    Blood and Honour UK
    British National Front UK
    Combat 18 UK
    League of St. George UK
    National Socialist Movement UK
    Nationalist Alliance UK
    November 9th Society UK
    Racial Volunteer Force UK

    Lexington , June 2, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    "Fascism" has become the prefered term of abuse applied indiscriminately by the right thinking to any person or movement which they want to tar as inherently objectionable, and which can therefore be dismissed without the tedium of actually engaging with them at the level of ideas.

    Most of the people who like to throw this word around couldn't give you a coherant definition of what exactly they understand it to signify, beyond "yuck!!"

    In fairness even students of political ideology have trouble teasing out a cosistent system of beliefs, to the point where some doubt fascism is even a coherent ideology. That hardly excuses the intellectual vacuity of those who use it as a term of abuse, however.

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , June 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Precisely 3,248 angels can fit on the head of a pin. Parsing the true definition of "fascism" is a waste of time, broadly, fascism is an alliance of the state, the corporation, and the military, anyone who doesn't see that today needs to go back to their textbooks.

    As far as the definition "neo-liberalism" goes, yes it's a useful label. But let's keep it simple: every society chooses how resources are allocated between Capital and Labor. The needle has been pegged over on the Capital side for quite some time, my "start date" is when Reagan busted the air traffic union. The hideous Republicans managed to sell their base that policies that were designed to let companies be "competitive" were somehow good for them, not just for the owners of the means of production.

    The only way they have avoided complete revolt has been endless borrowing to fund entitlements, once that one-time fix plays out the consequences will be apparent. The funding mechanism itself (The Fed) has even morphed into a neo-liberal tool designed to enrich Capital while enslaving Labor with the consequences.

    Jim , June 2, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    PodBay stated:

    "Every society chooses how resources are allocated between capital and labor." More specifically, isn't it a struggle between various political/economic/cultural movements within a society which chooses how resources are allocated between capital and labor.

    Take, for example, the late 1880s-1890s in the U.S. During that time-frame there were powerful agrarian populists movements and the beginnings of some labor/socialist movements from below, while from above the property-production system was modified by a powerful political movement advocating for more corporate administered markets over the competitive small-firm capitalism of an earlier age.

    It was this movement for corporate administered markets which won the battle and defeated/absorbed the agrarian populists.

    What are the array of such forces in 2016? What type of movement doe Trump represent? Sanders? Clinton?

    Lexington , June 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    fascism is an alliance of the state, the corporation, and the military, anyone who doesn't see that today needs to go back to their textbooks

    Which textbooks specifically?

    The article I cited above in Vox canvasses the opinion of five serious students of fascism, and none of them believe Trump is a fascist. I'd be most interested in knowing what you have been reading.

    As for your definition of "fascism", it's obviously so vague and broad that it really doesn't explain anything. To the extent it contains any insight it is that public institutions (the state), private businesses (the corporation) and the armed forces all exert significant influence on public policy. That and a buck and and a half will get you a cup of coffee. If anything it is merely a very crude descriptive model of the political process. It doesn't define fascism as a particular set of beliefs that make it a distinct political ideology that can be differentiated from other ideologies (again, see the Vox article for a discussion of some of the beliefs that are arguably characteristic of fascist movements). Indeed by your standard virtually every state that has ever existed has to a greater or lesser extent been "fascist".

    My objection to imprecise language here isn't merely pedantic. The leftist dismissal of right wing populists like Trump (or increasingly influential European movements like Ukip, AfD, and the Front national) as "fascist" is a reductionist rhetorical device intended to marginalize them by implying their politics are so far outside of the mainstream that they do not need to be taken seriously. Given that these movements are only growing in strength as faith in traditional political movements and elites evaporate this is likely to produce exactly the opposite result. Right wing populism isn't going to disappear just because the left keeps trying to wish it away. Refusing to accept this basic political fact risks condemning the left rather than "the fascists" to political irrelevance.

    Roger Smith , June 2, 2016 at 7:13 am

    " the gutters and cutters of neoliberalism"

    This phrase is pure gold.

    allan , June 2, 2016 at 7:44 am

    The neoliberals are all too aware that the clock is ticking. In this morning's NYT, yet more talk of ramming TPP through in the lame duck.

    sleepy , June 2, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I moved to a small city/town in Iowa almost 20 years ago. Then, it still had something of a Norman Rockwell quality to it, particularly in a sense of egalitarianism, and also some small factory jobs which still paid something beyond a bare existence.

    Since 2000, many of those jobs have left, and the population of the county has declined by about 10%. Kmart, Penney's, and Sears have left as payday/title loan outfits, pawnshops, smoke shops, and used car dealers have all proliferated.

    Parts of the town now resemble a combination of Appalachia and Detroit. Sanders easily won the caucuses here and, no, his supporters were hardly the latte sippers of someone's imagination, but blue collar folks of all ages.

    weinerdog43 , June 2, 2016 at 8:25 am

    My tale is similar to yours. About 2 years ago, I accepted a transfer from Chicagoland to north central Wisconsin. JC Penney left a year and a half ago, and Sears is leaving in about 3-4 months. Kmart is long gone.

    I was back at the old homestead over Memorial Day, and it's as if time has stood still. Home prices still going up; people out for dinner like crazy; new & expensive automobiles everywhere. But driving out of Chicagoland, and back through rural Wisconsin it is unmistakeable.

    2 things that are new: The roads here are deteriorating FAST. In Price County, the road commissioner said last night that their budget allows for resurfacing all the roads on a 200 year basis. (Yes, that means there is only enough money to resurface all the county roads if spread out over 200 years.) 2nd, there are dead deer everywhere on the side of the road. In years past, they were promptly cleaned up by the highway department. Not any more. Gross, but somebody has to do the dead animal clean up. (Or not. Don't tell Snotty Walker though.)

    Anyway, not everything is gloom and doom. People seem outwardly happy. But if you're paying attention, signs of stress and deterioration are certainly out there.

    Jim Haygood , June 2, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    "the road commissioner said last night that their budget allows for resurfacing all the roads on a 200 year basis"

    while the fedgov spends north of 5 percent of GDP on global military dominance.

    We're the Soviets now, comrades: shiny weapons, rotting infrastructure.

    Today in San Diego, the Hildabeest will deliver a vigorous defense of this decadent, dying system.

    Mary Wehrheim , June 2, 2016 at 8:32 am

    This Trump support seems like a form of political vandalism with Trump as the spray paint. People generally feel frustrated with government, utterly powerless and totally left out as the ranks of the precariat continue to grow. Trump appeals to the nihilistic tendencies of some people who, like frustrated teens, have decided to just smashed things up for the hell of it. They think a presidency mix of Caligula with Earl Scheib would be a funny hoot.

    You also have the more gullible fundis who have actually deluded themselves into thinking the man who is ultimate symbol of hedonism will deliver them from secularism because he says he will. Authoritarians who seek solutions through strong leaders are usually the easiest to con because they desperately want to believe in their eminent deliverance by a human deus ex machina. Plus he is ostentatiously rich in a comfortably tacky way and a TV celebrity beats a Harvard law degree. And why not the thinking goes the highly vaunted elite college Acela crowd has pretty much made a pig's breakfast out of things. So much for meritocracy. Professor Harold Hill is going to give River City a boys band.

    uahsenaa , June 2, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Someone at American Conservative, when trying to get at why it's pointless to tell people Trump will wreck the place, described him as a "hand grenade" lobbed into the heart of government. You can't scare people with his crass-ness and destructive tendencies, because that's precisely what his voters are counting on when/if he gets into government.

    In other words, the MSM's fear is the clearest sign to these voters that their political revolution is working. Since TPTB decided peaceful change (i.e. Sanders) was a non-starter, then they get to reap the whirlwind.

    Praedor , June 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Your phrase "Trump is political vandalism" is great. I don't think I've seen a better description. NPR this morning was discussing Trump and his relationship with the press and the issues some GOP leaders have with him. When his followers were discussed, the speakers closely circled your vandalism point. Basically they said that his voters are angry with the power brokers and leaders in DC and regardless of whether they think Trump's statements are heartfelt or just rhetoric, they DO know he will stick it to those power brokers so that's good. Vandalism by a longer phrase.

    hunkerdown , June 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Meritocracy was ALWAYS a delusional fraud. What you invariably get, after a couple of generations, is a clique of elitists who define merit as themselves and reproduce it ad nauseam. Who still believes in such laughable kiddie stories?

    Besides, consumers need to learn to play the long game and suck up the "scurrilous attacks" on their personal consumption habits for the next four years. The end of abortion for four years is not important - lern2hand and lern2agency, and lern2cutyourrapist if it comes to that. What is important is that the Democratic Party's bourgeois yuppie constituents are forced to defend against GOP attacks on their personal and cultural interests with wherewithal that would have been ordinarily spent to attend to their sister act with their captive constituencies.

    If bourgeois Democrats hadn't herded us into a situation where individuals mean nothing outside of their assigned identity groups and their corporate coalition duopoly, they wouldn't be reaping the whirlwind today. Why, exactly, should I be sympathetic to exploitative parasites such as the middle class?

    Dave , June 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

    There are all good ideas. However, population growth undermines almost all of them. Population growth in America is immigrant based. Reverse immigration influxes and you are at least doing something to reduce population growth.

    How to "reverse immigration influxes"?

    I too am a lifetime registered Democrat and I will vote for Trump if Clinton gets the crown. If the Democrats want my vote, my continuing party registration and my until recently sizeable donations in local, state and national races, they will nominate Bernie. If not, then I'm an Independent forevermore. They will just become the Demowhig Party.

    Jack Heape , June 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Here's a start

    1. Campaign Finance Reform: If you can't walk into a voting booth you cannot contribute, or make all elections financed solely by government funds and make private contributions of any kind to any politician illegal.
    2. Re-institute Glass-Steagall but even more so. Limit the number of states a bank can operate in. Make the Fed publicly owned, not privately owned by banks.
    3. Completely revise corporate law, doing away with the legal person hood of corporations and limit of liability for corporate officers and shareholders.
    4. Single payer health care for everyone. Allow private health plans but do away with health insurance as a deductible for business. Remove the AMA's hold on licensing of medical schools which restricts the number of doctors.
    5. Do away with the cap on Social Security wages and make all income, wages, capital gains, interest, and dividends subject to taxation.
    6. Impose tariffs to compensate for lower labor costs overseas and revise industry.
    7. Cut the Defense budget by 50% and use that money for intensive infrastructure development.
    8. Raise the national minimum wage to $15 and hour.
    9. Severely curtail the revolving door from government to private industry with a 10 year restriction on working for an industry you dealt with in any way as a government official.
    10. Free public education including college (4 year degree).
    TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Obama and Holder, allowing the banks to be above the law have them demi-gods, many of whom are psychopaths and kleptocrats, and with their newly granted status, they are now re-shaping the world in their own image. Prosecute these demi-gods and restore sanity. Don't and their greed for our things will never end until nothings left.

    tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

    This is why Hillary is so much more dangerous than trump, because she and the demi gods are all on the same page. The TPP is their holy grail so I expect heaven and earth to be moved, especially if it looks like some trade traitors are going to get knocked off in the election, scoundrels like patty murray (dino, WA) will push to get it through then line up at the feed trough to gorge on k street dough. I plan to vote stein if it's not Bernie, but am reserving commitment until I see what kind of betrayals the dems have for me, if it's bad enough I'll go with the trump hand grenade.

    TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Totally agree tegnost, no more democratic neoliberals -- Patty Murray (up for re-election) and Cantwell are both trade traitors and got fast track passed.

    hunkerdown , June 2, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    "they are now re-shaping the world in their own image" Isn't this intrinsic to bourgeois liberalism?

    Sluggeaux , June 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Two things are driving our troubles: over-population and globalization. The plutocrats and kleptocrats have all the leverage over the rest of us laborers when the population of human beings has increased seven-fold in the last 70 years, from a little over a billion to seven billions (and growing) today. They are happy to let us freeze to death behind gas stations in order for them to compete with other oligarchs in excess consumption.

    This deserves a longer and more thoughtful comment, but I don't have the time this morning. I have to fight commute traffic, because the population of my home state of California has doubled from 19M in 1970 to an estimated 43M today (if you count the Latin American refugees and H1B's).

    Vatch , June 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Thank you for mentioning the third rail of overpopulation. Too often, this giant category of problems is ignored, because it makes people uncomfortable. The planet is finite, resources on the planet are finite, yet the number of people keeps growing. We need to strive for a higher quality of life, not a higher quantity of people.

    seanseamour , June 3, 2016 at 7:59 am

    The issue goes beyond "current neoliberals up for election", it is most of our political establishment that has been corrupted by a system that provides for the best politicians money can buy.

    In the 1980's I worked inside the beltway witnessing the new cadre of apparatchiks that drove into town on the Reagan coattails full of moral a righteousness that became deviant, parochial, absolutist and for whom bi-partisan approaches to policy were scorned prodded on by new power brokers promoting their gospels in early morning downtown power breakfasts. Sadly our politicians no longer serve but seek a career path in our growing meritocratic plutocracy.

    paul whalen , June 2, 2016 at 9:19 am

    America has always been a country where a majority of the population has been poor. With the exception of a fifty five year(1950-2005) year period where access to large quantities of consumer debt by households was deployed to first to provide a wealth illusion to keep socialism at bay, followed by a mortgage debt boom to both keep the system afloat and strip the accumulated capital of the working class, i.e. home equity, the history of the US has been one of poverty for the masses.

    Further debt was foisted on the working class in the form of military Keynesianism, generating massive fiscal deficits which are to be paid for via austerity in a neo-feudal economy.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/28/the-myth-of-the-middle-class-have-most-americans-always-been-poor/

    [Dec 04, 2016] Methheads as a sign of socioeconomic desperation: neoliberalism behaves much like British behaves in China during opium wars

    Notable quotes:
    "... Money, it seems to him, has somehow changed its role. It has "increased" (is that possible, he asks?) while at the same time it has become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. It appears to seek to become an autonomous and dominating sector of economic life, functionally separated from production of real things, almost all of which seem to come from faraway places. "Real" actually begins to change its meaning, another topic more interesting still. This devotion to the world of money-making-money seems to have obsessed the lives of many of the most "important" Americans. Entire TV networks are devoted to it. They talk about esoteric financial instruments that to the ordinary citizen look more like exotically placed bets-on-credit in the casino than genuine ways to grow real-world business, jobs, wages, and family income. The few who are in position to master the game live material lives that were beyond what almost any formerly "wealthy" man or woman in Rip's prior life could even imagine ..."
    "... children gone away and lost to either the relentless rootlessness of the trans-national economy or the virtual hell-world of meth and opioids and heroin and unending underemployed hopelessness. ..."
    "... "If public life can suffer a metaphysical blow, the death of the labor question was that blow. For millions of working people, it amputated the will to resist." ..."
    "... It's a Wonderful Life ..."
    "... as educators ..."
    "... OK, so I hear some of you saying, corporate America will never let this Civic Media get off the ground. My short answer to this is that corporations do what makes money for them, and in today's despairing political climate there's money to be made in sponsoring something truly positive, patriotic and constructive. ..."
    "... I am paying an exorbitant subscription for the UK Financial Times at the moment. Anyway, the good news is that very regular articles are appearing where you can almost feel the panic at the populist uprisings. ..."
    "... The kernel of Neoliberal Ideology: "There is no such a thing as society." (Margaret Thatcher). ..."
    "... "In this postindustrial world not only is the labor question no longer asked, not only is proletarian revolution passé, but the proletariat itself seems passé. And the invisibles who nonetheless do indeed live there have internalized their nonexistence, grown demoralized, resentful, and hopeless; if they are noticed at all, it is as objects of public disdain. What were once called "blue-collar aristocrats"-skilled workers in the construction trades, for example-have long felt the contempt of the whole white-collar world. ..."
    "... Or, we could replace Western liberal culture, with its tradition to consume and expand by force an unbroken chain from the Garden of Eden to Friedrich von Hayek, with the notion of maintenance and "enough". Bourgeois make-work holds no interest to me. ..."
    "... My understanding of the data is that living standards increased around the world during the so-called golden age, not just in the U.S. (and Western Europe and Japan and Australia ). It could be that it was still imperialism at work, but the link between imperialism and the creation of the middle class is not straightforward. ..."
    "... I thought neoliberalism was just the pogrom to make everyone – rational agents – as subscribed by our genetic / heraldic betters .. putting this orbs humans and resources in the correct "natural" order . ..."
    "... Disheveled Marsupial for those thinking neoliberalism is not associated with libertarianism one only has to observe the decades of think tanks and their mouth organs roaming the planet . especially in the late 80s and 90s . bringing the might and wonders of the – market – to the great unwashed globally here libertarian priests rang in the good news to the great unwashed ..."
    "... I would argue that neoliberalism is a program to define markets as primarily engaged in information processing and to make everyone into non-agents ( as not important at all to the proper functioning of markets). ..."
    "... It also appears that neoliberals want to restrict democracy to the greatest extent possible and to view markets as the only foundation for truth without any need for input from the average individual. ..."
    Jun 02, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    bluecollarAl , June 2, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I am almost 70 years old, born and raised in New York City, still living in a near suburb.

    Somehow, somewhere along the road to my 70th year I feel as if I have been gradually transported to an almost entirely different country than the land of my younger years. I live painfully now in an alien land, a place whose habits and sensibilities I sometimes hardly recognize, while unable to escape from memories of a place that no longer exists. There are days I feel as I imagine a Russian pensioner must feel, lost in an unrecognizable alien land of unimagined wealth, power, privilege, and hyper-glitz in the middle of a country slipping further and further into hopelessness, alienation, and despair.

    I am not particularly nostalgic. Nor am I confusing recollection with sentimental yearnings for a youth that is no more. But if I were a contemporary Rip Van Winkle, having just awakened after, say, 30-40 years, I would not recognize my beloved New York City. It would be not just the disappearance of the old buildings, Penn Station, of course, Madison Square Garden and its incandescent bulb marquee on 50th and 8th announcing NYU vs. St. John's, and the WTC, although I always thought of the latter as "new" until it went down. Nor would it be the disappearance of all the factories, foundries, and manufacturing plants, the iconic Domino Sugar on the East River, the Wonder Bread factory with its huge neon sign, the Swingline Staples building in Long Island City that marked passage to and from the East River tunnel on the railroad, and my beloved Schaeffer Beer plant in Williamsburg, that along with Rheingold, Knickerbocker, and a score of others, made beer from New York taste a little bit different.

    It wouldn't be the ubiquitous new buildings either, the Third Avenue ghostly glass erected in the 70's and 80's replacing what once was the most concentrated collection of Irish gin mills anywhere. Or the fortress-like castles built more recently, with elaborate high-ceilinged lobbies decorated like a kind of gross, filthy-wealthy Versailles, an aesthetically repulsive style that shrieks "power" in a way the neo-classical edifices of our Roman-loving founders never did. Nor would it even be the 100-story residential sticks, those narrow ground-to-clouds skyscraper condominiums proclaiming the triumph of globalized capitalism with prices as high as their penthouses, driven ever upward by the foreign billionaires and their obsession with burying their wealth in Manhattan real estate.

    It is not just the presence of new buildings and the absence of the old ones that have this contemporary Van Winkle feeling dyslexic and light-headed. The old neighborhoods have disintegrated along with the factories, replaced by income segregated swatches of homogenous "real estate" that have consumed space, air, and sunlight while sucking the distinctiveness out of the City. What once was the multi-generational home turf for Jewish, Afro-American, Puerto Rican, Italian, Polak and Bohunk families is now treated as simply another kind of investment, stocks and bonds in steel and concrete. Mom's Sunday dinners, clothes lines hanging with newly bleached sheets after Monday morning wash, stickball games played among parked cars, and evenings of sitting on the stoop with friends and a transistor radio listening to Mel Allen call Mantle's home runs or Alan Freed and Murray the K on WINS 1010 playing Elvis, Buddy Holly, and The Drifters, all gone like last night's dreams.

    Do you desire to see the new New York? Look no further than gentrifying Harlem for an almost perfect microcosm of the city's metamorphosis, full of multi-million condos, luxury apartment renovations, and Maclaren strollers pushed by white yuppie wife stay-at-homes in Marcus Garvey Park. Or consider the "new" Lower East Side, once the refuge of those with little material means, artists, musicians, bums, drug addicts, losers and the physically and spiritually broken - my kind of people. Now its tenements are "retrofitted" and remodeled into $4000 a month apartments and the new residents are Sunday brunching where we used to score some Mary Jane.

    There is the "Brooklyn brand", synonymous with "hip", and old Brooklyn neighborhoods like Red Hook and South Brooklyn (now absorbed into so desirable Park Slope), and Bushwick, another former outpost of the poor and the last place I ever imagined would be gentrified, full of artists and hipsters driving up the price of everything. Even large sections of my own Queens and the Bronx are affected (infected?). Check out Astoria, for example, neighborhood of my father's family, with more of the old ways than most but with rents beginning to skyrocket and starting to drive out the remaining working class to who knows where.

    Gone is almost every mom and pop store, candy stores with their egg creams and bubble gum cards and the Woolworth's and McCrory's with their wooden floors and aisles containing ordinary blue collar urgencies like thread and yarn, ironing boards and liquid bleach, stainless steel utensils of every size and shape. Where are the locally owned toy and hobby stores like Jason's in Woodhaven under the el, with Santa's surprises available for lay-away beginning in October? No more luncheonettes, cheap eats like Nedicks with hot dogs and paper cones of orange drink, real Kosher delis with vats of warm pastrami and corned beef cut by hand, and the sacred neighborhood "bar and grill", that alas has been replaced by what the kids who don't know better call "dive bars", the detestable simulacra of the real thing, slick rooms of long slick polished mahogany, a half-dozen wide screen TV's blaring mindless sports contests from all over the world, over-priced micro-brews, and not a single old rummy in sight?

    Old Rip searches for these and many more remembered haunts, what Ray Oldenburg called the "great good places" of his sleepy past, only to find store windows full of branded, high-priced, got-to-have luxury-necessities (necessary if he/she is to be certified cool, hip, and successful), ridiculously overpriced "food emporia", high and higher-end restaurants, and apparel boutiques featuring hardened smiles and obsequious service reserved for those recognized by celebrity or status.

    Rip notices too that the visible demographic has shifted, and walking the streets of Manhattan and large parts of Brooklyn, he feels like what walking in Boston Back Bay always felt like, a journey among an undifferentiated mass of privilege, preppy or 'metro-sexed' 20 and 30-somethings jogging or riding bicycles like lean, buff gods and goddesses on expense accounts supplemented by investments enriched by yearly holiday bonuses worth more than Rip earned in a lifetime.

    Sitting alone on a park bench by the river, Rip reflects that more than all of these individual things, however, he despairs of a city that seems to have been reimagined as a disneyfied playground of the privileged, offering endless ways to self-gratify and philistinize in a clean, safe (safest big city in U.S., he heard someone say), slick, smiley, center-of-the-world urban paradise, protected by the new centurions (is it just his paranoia or do battle-ready police seem to be everywhere?). Old ethnic neighborhoods are filled with apartment buildings that seem more like post-college "dorms", tiny studios and junior twos packed with three or four "singles" roommates pooling their entry level resources in order to pay for the right to live in "The City". Meanwhile the newer immigrants find what place they can in Kingsbridge, Corona, Jamaica, and Cambria Heights, far from the city center, even there paying far too much to the landlord for what they receive.

    New York has become an unrecognizable place to Rip, who can't understand why the accent-less youngsters keep asking him to repeat something in order to hear his quaint "Brooklyn" accent, something like the King's English still spoken on remote Smith Island in the Chesapeake, he guesses
    .
    Rip suspects that this "great transformation" (apologies to Polanyi) has coincided, and is somehow causally related, to the transformation of New York from a real living city into, as the former Mayor proclaimed, the "World Capital" of financialized commerce and all that goes with it.

    "Financialization", he thinks, is not the expression of an old man's disapproval but a way of naming a transformed economic and social world. Rip is not an economist. He reads voraciously but, as an erstwhile philosopher trained to think about the meaning of things, he often can't get his head around the mathematical model-making explanations of the economists that seem to dominate the more erudite political and social analyses these days. He has learned, however, that the phenomenon of "capitalism" has changed along with his city and his life.

    Money, it seems to him, has somehow changed its role. It has "increased" (is that possible, he asks?) while at the same time it has become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. It appears to seek to become an autonomous and dominating sector of economic life, functionally separated from production of real things, almost all of which seem to come from faraway places. "Real" actually begins to change its meaning, another topic more interesting still. This devotion to the world of money-making-money seems to have obsessed the lives of many of the most "important" Americans. Entire TV networks are devoted to it. They talk about esoteric financial instruments that to the ordinary citizen look more like exotically placed bets-on-credit in the casino than genuine ways to grow real-world business, jobs, wages, and family income. The few who are in position to master the game live material lives that were beyond what almost any formerly "wealthy" man or woman in Rip's prior life could even imagine
    .
    Above all else is the astronomical rise in wealth and income inequality. Rip recalls that growing up in the 1950's, the kids on his block included, along with firemen, cops, and insurance men dads (these were virtually all one-parent income households), someone had a dad who worked as a stock broker. Yea, living on the same block was a "Wall Streeter". Amazingly democratic, no? Imagine, people of today, a finance guy drinking at the same corner bar with the sanitation guy. Rip recalls that Aristotle had some wise and cautionary words in his Politics concerning the stability of oligarchic regimes.

    Last year I drove across America on blue highways mostly. I stayed in small towns and cities, Zanesville, St. Charles, Wichita, Pratt, Dalhart, Clayton, El Paso, Abilene, Clarksdale, and many more. I dined for the most part in local taverns, sitting at the bar so as to talk with the local bartender and patrons who are almost always friendly and talkative in these spaces. Always and everywhere I heard similar stories as my story of my home town. Not so much the specifics (there are no "disneyfied" Lubbocks or Galaxes out there, although Oxford, MS comes close) but in the sadness of men and women roughly my age as they recounted a place and time – a way of life – taken out from under them, so that now their years are filled with decayed and dead downtowns, children gone away and lost to either the relentless rootlessness of the trans-national economy or the virtual hell-world of meth and opioids and heroin and unending underemployed hopelessness.

    I am not a trained economist. My graduate degrees were in philosophy. My old friends call me an "Eric Hoffer", who back in the day was known as the "longshoreman philosopher". I have been trying for a long time now to understand the silent revolution that has been pulled off right under my nose, the replacement of a world that certainly had its flaws (how could I forget the civil rights struggle and the crime of Viet Nam; I was a part of these things) but was, let us say, different. Among you or your informed readers, is there anyone who can suggest a book or books or author(s) who can help me understand how all of this came about, with no public debate, no argument, no protest, no nothing? I would be very much appreciative.

    tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I'll just highlight this line for emphasis
    "there are no "disneyfied" Lubbocks or Galaxes out there, although Oxford, MS comes close) but in the sadness of men and women roughly my age as they recounted a place and time – a way of life – taken out from under them, so that now their years are filled with decayed and dead downtowns, children gone away and lost to either the relentless rootlessness of the trans-national economy or the virtual hell-world of meth and opioids and heroin and unending underemployed hopelessness."
    my best friend pretty much weeps every day.

    Michael Fiorillo , June 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    bluecollar Al,

    As a lifelong New Yorker, I too mourn the demise of my beloved city. Actually, that's wrong: my city didn't die, it was taken from me/us.

    But if it's any consolation, remember that Everyone Loses Their New York (even insufferable hipster colonizers)

    Left in Wisconsin , June 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Beautifully said.

    I don't have a book to recommend. I do think you identify a really underemphasized central fact of recent times: the joint processes by which real places have been converted into "real estate" and real, messy lives replaced by safe, manufactured "experiences." This affects wealthy and poor neighborhoods alike, in different ways but in neither case for the better.

    I live in a very desirable neighborhood in one of those places that makes a lot of "Best of" lists. I met a new neighbor last night who told me how he and his wife had plotted for years to get out of the Chicago burbs, not only to our city but to this specific neighborhood, which they had decided is "the one." (This sentiment is not atypical.) Unsurprisingly, property values in the neighborhood have gone through the roof. Which, as far as I can tell, most everyone here sees as an unmitigated good thing.

    At the same time, several families I got to know because they moved into the neighborhood about the same time we did 15-20 years ago, are cashing out and moving away, kids off to or out of college, parents ready (and financed) to get on to the next phase and the next place. Of course, even though our children are all Lake Woebegoners, there are no next generations staying in the neighborhood, except of course the ones still living, or back, at "home." (Those families won't be going anywhere for awhile!)

    I can't argue that new money in the hood hasn't improved some things. Our formerly struggling food co-op just finished a major expansion and upgrade. Good coffee is 5 minutes closer than it used to be. But to my wife and me, the overwhelming feeling is that we are now outsiders here in this neighborhood where we know all the houses and the old trees but not what motivates our new neighbors. So I made up a word for it: unsettling (adj., verb, noun).

    Softie , June 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Try to read this one:

    "If public life can suffer a metaphysical blow, the death of the labor question was that blow. For millions of working people, it amputated the will to resist."

    - Steve Fraser, The Age of Acquiescence

    Jim , June 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    bluecollar Al:

    Christopher Lash in "Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy" mentions Ray Oldenburg's "The Great Good Places: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts and How they Got You through the Day."

    He argued that the decline of democracy is directly related to the disappearance of what he called third places:,

    "As neighborhood hangouts give way to suburban shopping malls, or, on the other hand private cocktail parties, the essentially political art of conversation is replaced by shoptalk or personal gossip.

    Increasingly, conversation literally has no place in American society. In its absence how–or better, where–can political habits be acquired and polished?

    Lasch finished he essay by noting that Oldenburg's book helps to identify what is missing from our then newly emerging world (which you have concisely updated):

    "urban amenities, conviviality, conversation, politics–almost everything in part that makes life worth living."

    JDH , June 2, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    The best explainer of our modern situation that I have read is Wendell Berry. I suggest that you start with "The Unsettling of America," quoted below.

    "Let me outline briefly as I can what seem to me the characteristics of these opposite kinds of mind. I conceive a strip-miner to be a model exploiter, and as a model nurturer I take the old-fashioned idea or ideal of a farmer. The exploiter is a specialist, an expert; the nurturer is not. The standard of the exploiter is efficiency; the standard of the nurturer is care. The exploiter's goal is money, profit; the nurturer's goal is health - his land's health, his own, his family's, his community's, his country's. Whereas the exploiter asks of a piece of land only how much and how quickly it can be made to produce, the nurturer asks a question that is much more complex and difficult: What is its carrying capacity? (That is: How much can be taken from it without diminishing it? What can it produce dependably for an indefinite time?) The exploiter wishes to earn as much as possible by as little work as possible; the nurturer expects, certainly, to have a decent living from his work, but his characteristic wish is to work as well as possible. The competence of the exploiter is in organization; that of the nurturer is in order - a human order, that is, that accommodates itself both to other order and to mystery. The exploiter typically serves an institution or organization; the nurturer serves land, household, community, place. The exploiter thinks in terms of numbers, quantities, "hard facts"; the nurturer in terms of character, condition, quality, kind."

    I also think Prof. Patrick Deneen works to explain the roots (and progression) of decline. I'll quote him at length here describing the modern college student.

    "[T]he one overarching lesson that students receive is the true end of education: the only essential knowledge is that know ourselves to be radically autonomous selves within a comprehensive global system with a common commitment to mutual indifference. Our commitment to mutual indifference is what binds us together as a global people. Any remnant of a common culture would interfere with this prime directive: a common culture would imply that we share something thicker, an inheritance that we did not create, and a set of commitments that imply limits and particular devotions.

    Ancient philosophy and practice praised as an excellent form of government a res publica – a devotion to public things, things we share together. We have instead created the world's first Res Idiotica – from the Greek word idiotes, meaning "private individual." Our education system produces solipsistic, self-contained selves whose only public commitment is an absence of commitment to a public, a common culture, a shared history. They are perfectly hollowed vessels, receptive and obedient, without any real obligations or devotions.

    They won't fight against anyone, because that's not seemly, but they won't fight for anyone or anything either. They are living in a perpetual Truman Show, a world constructed yesterday that is nothing more than a set for their solipsism, without any history or trajectory."

    ekstase , June 2, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Wow. Did this hit a nerve. You have eloquently described what was the city of hope for several generations of outsiders, for young gay men and women, and for real artists, not just from other places in America, but from all over the world. In New York, once upon a time, bumping up against the more than 50% of the population who were immigrants from other countries, you could learn a thing or two about the world. You could, for a while, make a living there at a job that was all about helping other people. You could find other folks, lots of them, who were honest, well-meaning, curious about the world. Then something changed. As you said, you started to see it in those hideous 80's buildings. But New York always seemed somehow as close or closer to Europe than to the U.S., and thus out of the reach of mediocrity and dumbing down. New York would mold you into somebody tough and smart, if you weren't already – if it didn't, you wouldn't make it there.

    Now, it seems, this dream is dreamt. Poseurs are not artists, and the greedy and smug drive out creativity, kindness, real humor, hope.

    It ain't fair. I don't know where in this world an aspiring creative person should go now, but it probably is not there.

    Dave , June 2, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Americans cannot begin to reasonably demand a living wage, benefits and job security when there is an unending human ant-line of illegals and legal immigrants willing to under bid them.

    Only when there is a parity or shortage of workers can wage demands succeed, along with other factors.

    From 1925 to 1965 this country accepted hardly any immigrants, legal or illegal. We had the bracero program where Mexican males were brought in to pick crops and were then sent home to collect paychecks in Mexico. American blacks were hired from the deep south to work defense plants in the north and west.

    Is it any coincidence that the 1965 Great Society program, initiated by Ted Kennedy to primarily benefit the Irish immigrants, then co-opted by LBJ to include practically everyone, started this process of Middle Class destruction?

    1973 was the peak year of American Society as measured by energy use per capita, expansion of jobs and unionization and other factors, such as an environment not yet destroyed, nicely measured by the The Real Progress Indicator.

    Solution? Stop importing uneducated people. That's real "immigration reform".

    Now explain to me why voters shouldn't favor Trump's radical immigration stands?

    RUKidding , June 2, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Maybe, but OTOH, who is it, exactly, who is recruiting, importing, hiring and training undocumented workers to downgrade pay scales??

    Do some homework, please. If businesses didn't actively go to Central and South America to recruit, pay to bring here, hire and employ undocumented workers, then the things you discuss would be great.

    When ICE comes a-knocking at some meat processing plant or mega-chicken farm, what happens? The undocumented workers get shipped back to wherever, but the big business owner doesn't even get a tap on the wrist. The undocumented worker – hired to work in unregulated unsafe unhealthy conditions – often goes without their last paycheck.

    It's the business owners who manage and support this system of undocumented workers because it's CHEAP, and they don't get busted for it.

    Come back when the USA actually enforces the laws that are on the books today and goes after big and small business owners who knowingly recruit, import, hire, train and employee undocumented workers you know, like Donald Trump has all across his career.

    tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    This is the mechanism by which the gov't has assisted biz in destroying the worker, competition for thee, but none for me. For instance I can't go work in canada or mexico, they don't allow it. Policy made it, policy can change it, go bernie. While I favor immigration, in it's current form it is primarily conducted on these lines of destroying workers (H1b etc and illegals combined) Lucky for the mexicans they can see the american dream is bs and can go home. I wonder who the latinos that have gained citizenship will vote for. Unlikely it'll be trump, but they can be pretty conservative, and the people they work for are pretty conservative so no guarantee there, hillary is in san diego at the tony balboa park where her supporters will feel comfortable, not a huge venue I think they must be hoping for a crowd, and if she can't get one in san diego while giving a "if we don't rule the world someone else will" speech, she can't get one anywhere. Defense contractors and military advisors and globalist biotech (who needs free money more than biotech? they are desperate for hillary) are thick in san diego.

    RUKidding , June 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I live part-time in San Diego. It is very conservative. The military, who are constantly screwed by the GOP, always vote Republican. They make up a big cohort of San Diego county.

    Hillary may not get a big crowd at the speech, but that, in itself, doesn't mean that much to me. There is a segment of San Diego that is somewhat more progressive-ish, but it's a pretty conservative county with parts of eastern SD county having had active John Birch Society members until recently or maybe even ongoing.

    There's a big push in the Latino community to GOTV, and it's mostly not for Trump. It's possible this cohort, esp the younger Latino/as, will vote for Sanders in the primary, but if Clinton gets the nomination, they'll likely vote for her (v. Trump).

    I was unlucky enough to be stuck for an hour in a commuter train last Friday after Trump's rally there. Hate to sound rude, but Trump's fans were everything we've seen. Loud, rude, discourteous and an incessant litany of rightwing talking points (same old, same old). All pretty ignorant. Saying how Trump will "make us great again." I don't bother asking how. A lot of ugly comments about Obama and how Obama has been "so racially divisive and polarizing." Well, No. No, Obama has not been or done that, but the rightwing noise machine has sure ginned up your hatreds, angers and fears. It was most unpleasant. The only instructive thing about it was confirming my worst fears about this group. Sorry to say but pretty loutish and very uninformed. Sigh.

    tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    part timer in sd as well, family for hillary except for nephew and niece .I keep telling my mom she should vote bernie for their sake but it never goes over very well

    Bob Haugen , June 2, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Re Methland, we live in rural US and we got a not-very-well hidden population of homeless children. I don't mean homeless families with children, I mean homeless children. Sleeping in parks in good weather, couch-surfing with friends, etc. I think related.

    equote , June 2, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Fascism is a system of political and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stand(s) accused of producing division and decline. . . . George Orwell reminded us, clad in the mainstream patriotic dress of their own place and time, . . . an authentically popular fascism in the United States would be pious and anti-Black; in Western Europe, secular and antisemitic, or more probably, these days anti-Islamic; in Russia and Eastern Europe, religious, antisemitic, and slavophile.
    Robert O. Paxton
    In The Five Stages of Faschism

    " that eternal enemy: the conservative manipulators of privilege who damn as 'dangerous agitators' any man who menaces their fortunes" (maybe 'power and celebrity' should be added to fortunes)
    Sinclair Lewis
    It Can't Happen Here page 141

    Take the Fork , June 2, 2016 at 11:07 am

    On the Boots To Ribs Front: Anyone hereabouts notice that Captain America has just been revealed to be a Nazi? Maybe this is what R. Cohen was alluding to but I doubt it.

    pissed younger baby boomer , June 2, 2016 at 11:57 am

    The four horse men are, political , social, economic and environmental collapse . Any one remember the original Mad Max movie. A book I recommend is the Crash Of 2016 By Thom Hartmann.

    rfam , June 2, 2016 at 11:59 am

    From the comment, I agree with the problems, not the cause. We've increased the size and scope of the safety net over the last decade. We've increased government spending versus GDP. I'm not blaming government but its not neoliberal/capitalist policy either.

    1. Globalization clearly helps the poor in other countries at the expense of workers in the U.S. But at the same time it brings down the cost of goods domestically. So jobs are not great but Walmart/Amazon can sell cheap needs.

    2. Inequality started rising the day after Bretton Woods – the rich got richer everyday after "Nixon Shock"

    https://www.google.com/search?q=gini+coefficient+usa+chart&client=safari&rls=en&biw=1371&bih=793&tbm=isch&imgil=tRkxcVEo17ID8M%253A%253B-Lt3-YscSzdOaM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.the-crises.com%25252Fincome-inequality-in-the-us-1%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=tRkxcVEo17ID8M%253A%252C-Lt3-YscSzdOaM%252C_&usg=__bipTqXhWx0tXxke6Xcj5MUAcn-o%3D&ved=0ahUKEwjY18rm2onNAhUPeFIKHREjAS4QyjcILw&ei=nFdQV9iZCo_wyQKRxoTwAg#imgrc=tRkxcVEo17ID8M%3A

    TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Hi rfam : To point 1 : Why is there a need to bring down the cost of goods? Is it because of past outsourcing and trade agreements and FR policies? I think there's a chicken and egg thing going on, ie.. which came first. Globalization is a way to bring down wages while supplying Americans with less and less quality goods supplied at the hand of global corporations like Walmart that need welfare in the form of food stamps and the ACA for their workers for them to stay viable (?). Viable in this case means ridiculously wealthy CEO's and the conglomerate growing bigger constantly. Now they have to get rid of COOL's because the WTO says it violates trade agreements so we can't trace where our food comes from in case of an epidemic. It's all downhill. Wages should have risen with costs so we could afford high quality American goods, but haven't for a long, long time.

    tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Globalization helps the rich here way more than the poor there. The elites get more money for nothing (see QE before you respond, if you do, that's where the money for globalization came from) the workers get the husk. Also the elite gets to say "you made your choices" and other moralistic crap. The funny(?) thing is they generally claim to be atheists, which I translate into "I am God, there doesn't need to be any other" Amazon sells cheap stuff by cheating on taxes, and barely makes money, mostly just driving people out of business. WalMart has cheap stuff because they subsidise their workers with food stamps and medicaid. Bringing up bretton woods means you don't know much about money creation, so google "randy wray/bananas/naked capitalism" and you'll find a quick primer.

    RUKidding , June 2, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    The Walmart loathsome spawn and Jeff Bezos are the biggest welfare drains in our nation – or among the biggest. They woefully underpay their workers, all while training them on how to apply for various welfare benefits. Just so that their slaves, uh, workers can manage to eat enough to enable them to work.

    It slays me when US citizens – and it happens across the voting spectrum these days; I hear just as often from Democratic voters as I do from GOP voters – bitch, vetch, whine & cry about welfare abuse. And if I start to point out the insane ABUSE of welfare by the Waltons and Jeff Bezos, I'm immediately greeted with random TRUE stories about someone who knew someone who somehow made out like a bandit on welfare.

    Hey, I'm totally sure and in agreement that there are likely a small percentage of real welfare cheats who manage to do well enough somehow. But seriously? That's like a drop in the bucket. Get the eff over it!!!

    Those cheats are not worth discussing. It's the big fraud cheats like Bezos & the Waltons and their ilk, who don't need to underpay their workers, but they DO because the CAN and they get away with it because those of us the rapidly dwindling middle/working classes are footing the bill for it.

    Citizens who INSIST on focusing on a teeny tiny minority of real welfare cheats, whilst studiously ignoring the Waltons and the Bezos' of the corporate world, are enabling this behavior. It's one of my bugabears bc it's so damn frustrating when citizens refuse to see how they are really being ripped off by the 1%. Get a clue.

    That doesn't even touch on all the other tax breaks, tax loopholes, tax incentives and just general all-around tax cheating and off-shore money hiding that the Waltons and Bezos get/do. Sheesh.

    JustAnObserver , June 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    This statement –

    "I'm immediately greeted with random TRUE stories about someone who knew someone who somehow made out like a bandit on welfare."

    is the key and a v. long term result of the application of Bernays' to political life. Its local and hits at the gut interpersonal level 'cos the "someones" form a kind of chain of trust esp. if the the first one on the list is a friend or a credentialed media pundit. Utterly spurious I know but countering this with a *merely* rational analysis of how Walmart, Amazon abuse the welfare system to gouge profits from the rest of us just won't ever, for the large majority, get through this kind emotional wall.

    I don't know what any kind of solution might look like but, somehow, we need to find a way of seriously demonising the corporate parasites that resonates at the same emotional level as the "welfare cheat" meme that Bill Clinton and the rest of the DLC sanctified back in the '90s.

    Something like "Walmart's stealing your taxes" might work but how to get it out there in a viral way ??

    Vatch , June 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    "random TRUE stories about someone who knew someone who somehow made out like a bandit on welfare."

    Hmm. Your acquaintances might need to be educated about urban legends .

    Anonymous Coward , June 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Wait, you mean we don't all enjoy living in Pottersville?

    For anyone missing the reference, you clearly haven't been subjected to It's a Wonderful Life enough times.

    Judith , June 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    People may be interested in an ongoing project by the photographer Matt Black (who was recently invited to join Magnum) called the Geography of Poverty. http://www.mattblack.com/the-geography-of-poverty/

    Steve Sewall , June 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    What a comment from seanseamour. And the "hoisting" of it to high visibility at the site is a testament to the worth of Naked Capitalism.

    seanseamour asks "What does that have to do with education?" and answers "Everything if one considers the elitist trend " This question & answer all but brings tears to my eyes. It is so utterly on point. My own experience of it, if I may say so, comes from inside the belly of the beast. As a child and a product of America's elite universities (I have degrees from Harvard and Yale, and my dad, Richard B. Sewall, was a beloved English prof at Yale for 42 years), I could spend all morning detailing the shameful roles played by America's torchbearing universities – Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc – in utterly abandoning their historic responsibility as educators to maintaining the health of the nation's public school system.*

    And as I suspect seanseymour would agree, when a nation loses public education, it loses everything.

    But I don't want to spend all morning doing that because I'm convinced that it's not too late for America to rescue itself from maelstrom in which it finds itself today. (Poe's "Maelstrom" story, cherished by Marshall McLuhan, is supremely relevant today.)

    To turn America around, I don't look to education – that system is too far gone to save itself, let alone the rest of the country – but rather to the nation's media: to the all-powerful public communication system that certainly has the interactive technical capabilities to put citizens and governments in touch with each other on the government decisions that shape the futures of communities large and small.

    For this to happen, however, people like the us – readers of Naked Capitalism – need to stop moaning and groaning about the damage done by the neoliberals and start building an issue-centered, citizen-participatory, non-partisan, prime-time Civic Media strong enough to give all Americans an informed voice in the government decisions that affect their lives. This Civic media would exist to make citizens and governments responsive and accountable to each other in shaping futures of all three communities – local, state and national – of which every one of us is a member.

    Pie in the sky? Not when you think hard about it. A huge majority of Americans would welcome this Civic Media. Many yearn for it. This means that a market exists for it: a Market of the Whole of all members of any community, local, state and national. This audience is large enough to rival those generated by media coverage of pro sports teams, and believe it or not much of the growth of this Civic media could be productively modeled on the growth of media coverage of pro sports teams. This Civic Media would attract the interest of major advertisers, especially those who see value in non-partisan programming dedicated to getting America moving forward again. Dynamic, issue-centered, problem-solving public forums, some modeled on voter-driven reality TV contests like The Voice or Dancing with the Stars, could be underwritten by a "rainbow" spectrum of funders, commericial, public, personal and even government sources.

    So people take hope! Be positive! Love is all we need, etc. The need for for a saving alternative to the money-driven personality contests into which our politics has descended this election year is literally staring us all in the face from our TV, cellphone and computer screens. This is no time to sit back and complain, it's a time to start working to build a new way of connecting ourselves so we can reverse America's rapid decline.

    OK, so I hear some of you saying, corporate America will never let this Civic Media get off the ground. My short answer to this is that corporations do what makes money for them, and in today's despairing political climate there's money to be made in sponsoring something truly positive, patriotic and constructive. And I hear a few others saying that Americans are too dumbed down, too busy, too polarized or too just plain stupid to make intelligent, constructive use of a non-partisan, problem-solving Civic Media. But I would not underestimate the intelligence of Americans when they can give their considered input – by vote, by comment or by active participation – in public forums that are as exciting and well managed as an NFL game or a Word Series final.

    hunkerdown , June 2, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    "Don't hate the media, become the media" -Jello Biafra

    Sound of the Suburbs , June 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I am paying an exorbitant subscription for the UK Financial Times at the moment. Anyway, the good news is that very regular articles are appearing where you can almost feel the panic at the populist uprisings.

    The end is nigh for the Neo-Liberals.

    Sound of the Suburbs , June 2, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Whatever system is put in place the human race will find a way to undermine it. I believe in capitalism because fair competition means the best and most efficient succeed.

    I send my children to private schools and universities because I want my own children at the top and not the best. Crony capitalism is inevitable, self-interest undermines any larger system that we try and impose.

    Can we design a system that can beat human self-interest? It's going to be tricky.

    "If that's the system, how can I take advantage of it?" human nature at work. "If that's the system, is it working for me or not?" those at the top.
    If not, it's time to change the system.
    If so, how can I tweak it to get more out of it?

    Neo-Liberalism

    Academics, who are not known for being street-wise, probably thought they had come up with the ultimate system using markets and numeric performance measures to create a system free from human self-interest.

    They had already missed that markets don't just work for price discovery, but are frequently used for capital gains by riding bubbles and hoping there is a "bigger fool" out there than you, so you can cash out with a handsome profit.

    (I am not sure if the Chinese realise markets are supposed to be for price discovery at all).

    Hence, numerous bubbles during this time, with housing bubbles being the global favourite for those looking for capital gains.

    If we are being governed by the markets, how do we rig the markets?
    A question successfully solved by the bankers.

    Inflation figures, that were supposed to ensure the cost of living didn't rise too quickly, were somehow manipulated to produce low inflation figures with roaring house price inflation raising the cost of living.

    What unemployment measure will best suit the story I am trying to tell?
    U3 – everything great
    U6 – it's not so good
    Labour participation rate – it hasn't been this bad since the 1970s

    Anything missing from the theory has been ruthlessly exploited, e.g. market bubbles ridden for capital gains, money creation by private banks, the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and the fact that Capitalism trickles up through the following mechanism:

    1) Those with excess capital collect rent and interest.
    2) Those with insufficient capital pay rent and interest.

    Neo-Liberalism – It's as good as dead.

    perpetualWAR , June 2, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I just went on a rant last week. (Not only because the judge actually LIED in court)

    I left the courthouse in downtown Seattle, to cross the street to find the vultures selling more foreclosures on the steps of the King County Administration Building, while above them, there were tents pitched on the building's perimeter. And people were walking by just like this scene was normal.

    Because the people at the entrance of the courthouse could view this, I went over there and began to rant. I asked (loudly) "Do you guys see that over there? Vultures selling homes rendering more people homeless and then the homeless encampment with tents pitched on the perimeter above them? In what world is this normal?" One guy replied, "Ironic, isn't it?" After that comment, the Marshall protecting the judicial crooks in the building came over and tried to calm me down. He insisted that the scene across the street was "normal" and that none of his friends or neighbors have been foreclosed on. I soon found out that that lying Marshall was from Pierce County, the epicenter of Washington foreclosures.

    The scene was totally surreal. And unforgettable.

    Softie , June 2, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    You need to take a photograph or two using your above words as caption.

    EGrise , June 2, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    And nobody cares
    As long as they get theirs

    Softie , June 2, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    The kernel of Neoliberal Ideology: "There is no such a thing as society." (Margaret Thatcher).

    Softie , June 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    "In this postindustrial world not only is the labor question no longer asked, not only is proletarian revolution passé, but the proletariat itself seems passé. And the invisibles who nonetheless do indeed live there have internalized their nonexistence, grown demoralized, resentful, and hopeless; if they are noticed at all, it is as objects of public disdain. What were once called "blue-collar aristocrats"-skilled workers in the construction trades, for example-have long felt the contempt of the whole white-collar world.

    For these people, already skeptical about who runs things and to what end, and who are now undergoing their own eviction from the middle class, skepticism sours into a passive cynicism. Or it rears up in a kind of vengeful chauvinism directed at alien others at home and abroad, emotional compensation for the wounds that come with social decline If public life can suffer a metaphysical blow, the death of the labor question was that blow. For millions of working people, it amputated the will to resist."

    - Steve Fraser, The Age of Acquiescence

    LeitrimNYC , June 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    One thing I don't think I have seen addressed on this site (apologies if I have missed it!) in all the commentary about the destruction of the middle class is the role of US imperialism in creating that middle class in the first place and what it is that we want to save from destruction by neo-liberalism. The US is rich because we rob the rest of the world's resources and have been doing so in a huge way since 1945, same as Britain before us. I don't think it's a coincidence that the US post-war domination of the world economy and the middle class golden age happened at the same time. Obviously there was enormous value created by US manufacturers, inventors, government scientists, etc but imperialism is the basic starting point for all of this. The US sets the world terms of trade to its own advantage. How do we save the middle class without this level of control? Within the US elites are robbing everyone else but they are taking what we use our military power to appropriate from the rest of the world.

    Second, if Bernie or whoever saves the middle class, is that so that everyone can have a tract house and two cars and continue with a massively wasteful and unsustainable lifestyle based on consumption? Or are we talking about basic security like shelter, real health care, quality education for all, etc? Most of the stories I see seem to be nostalgic for a time when lots of people could afford to buy lots of stuff and don't 1) reflect on origin of that stuff (imperialism) and 2) consider whether that lifestyle should be the goal in the first place.

    perpetualWAR , June 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I went to the electronics recycling facility in Seattle yesterday. The guy at customer service told me that they receive 20 million pounds per month. PER MONTH. Just from Seattle. I went home and threw up.

    Praedor , June 2, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    It doesn't have to be that way. You can replace military conquest (overt and covert) with space exploration and science expansion. Also, instead of pushing consumerism, push contentment. Don't setup and goose a system of "gotta keep up with the Joneses!"

    In the 50s(!!!) there was a plan, proven in tests and studies, that would have had humans on the mars by 1965, out to Saturn by 72. Project Orion. Later, the British Project Daedalus was envisioned which WOULD have put space probes at the next star system within 20 years of launch. It was born of the atomic age and, as originally envisioned, would have been an ecological disaster BUT it was reworked to avoid this and would have worked. Spacecraft capable of comfortably holding 100 personnel, no need to build with paper-thin aluminum skin or skimp on amenities. A huge ship built like a large sea vessel (heavy iron/steel) accelerated at 1g (or more or slightly less as desired) so no prolonged weightlessness and concomitant loss of bone and muscle mass. It was all in out hands but the Cold War got in the way, as did the many agreements and treaties of the Cold War to avoid annihilation. It didn't need to be that way. Check it out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

    All that with 1950s and 60s era technology. It could be done better today and for less than your wars in the Middle East. Encourage science, math, exploration instead of consumption, getting mine before you can get yours, etc.

    hunkerdown , June 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Or, we could replace Western liberal culture, with its tradition to consume and expand by force an unbroken chain from the Garden of Eden to Friedrich von Hayek, with the notion of maintenance and "enough". Bourgeois make-work holds no interest to me.

    Left in Wisconsin , June 2, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    My understanding of the data is that living standards increased around the world during the so-called golden age, not just in the U.S. (and Western Europe and Japan and Australia ). It could be that it was still imperialism at work, but the link between imperialism and the creation of the middle class is not straightforward.

    Likewise, US elites are clearly NOT robbing the manufacturing firms that have set up in China and other low-wage locations, so it is an oversimplification to say they are "robbing everyone else."

    Nostalgia is overrated but I don't sense the current malaise as a desire for more stuff. (I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I don't remember it as a time where people had, or craved, a lot of stuff. That period would be now, and I find it infects Sanders' supporters less than most.) If anything, it is nostalgia for more (free) time and more community, for a time when (many but not all) people had time to socialize and enjoy civic life.

    jrs , June 2, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    those things would be nice as would just a tiny bit of hope for the future, our own and the planet's and not an expectation of things getting more and more difficult and sometimes for entirely unnecessary reasons like imposed austerity. But being we can't have "nice things" like free time, community and hope for the future, we just "buy stuff".

    catlady , June 2, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I live on the south side, in the formerly affluent south shore neighborhood. A teenager was killed, shot in the head in a drive by shooting, at 5 pm yesterday right around the corner from my residence. A white coworker of mine who lives in a rich northwest side neighborhood once commented to me how black people always say goodbye by saying "be safe". More easily said than done.

    Skippy , June 2, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I thought neoliberalism was just the pogrom to make everyone – rational agents – as subscribed by our genetic / heraldic betters .. putting this orbs humans and resources in the correct "natural" order .

    Disheveled Marsupial for those thinking neoliberalism is not associated with libertarianism one only has to observe the decades of think tanks and their mouth organs roaming the planet . especially in the late 80s and 90s . bringing the might and wonders of the – market – to the great unwashed globally here libertarian priests rang in the good news to the great unwashed

    Jim , June 2, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Skippy:

    I would argue that neoliberalism is a program to define markets as primarily engaged in information processing and to make everyone into non-agents ( as not important at all to the proper functioning of markets).

    It also appears that neoliberals want to restrict democracy to the greatest extent possible and to view markets as the only foundation for truth without any need for input from the average individual.

    But as Mirowski argues–carrying their analysis this far begins to undermine their own neoliberal assumptions about markets always promoting social welfare.

    Skippy , June 2, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Hay Jim

    When I mean – agents – I'm not referring to agency, like you say the market gawd/computer does that. I was referencing the – rational agent – that 'ascribes' the markets the right at defining facts or truth as neoliberalism defines rational thought/behavior.

    Disheveled Marsupial yes democracy is a direct threat to Hayekian et al [MPS and Friends] paranoia due to claims of irrationality vs rationally

    Rick Cass , June 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Neo-liberalism could not have any power without legal and ethical positivism as the ground work of the national thought processes.

    seanseamour , June 3, 2016 at 4:32 am

    I have trouble understanding the focus on an emergence of fascism in Europe, focus that seems to dominate this entire thread when, put in perspective such splinter groups bear little weight on the European political spectrum.
    As an expat living in France, in my perception the Front National is a threat to the political establishments that occupy the center left and right and whose historically broad constituencies have been brutalized by the financial crisis borne of unbridled anglo-saxon runaway capitalism, coined neoliberalism. The resulting disaffection has allowed the growth of the FN but it is also fueled by a transfer of reactionary constituencies that have historically found identity in far left parties (communist, anti-capitalist, anarchist ), political expressions the institutions of the Republic allow and enable in the name of plurality, a healthy exultury in a democratic society.
    To consider that the FN in France, UKIP in the UK and others are a threat to democratic values any more that the far left is non-sensical, and I dare say insignificant compared to the "anchluss" our conservative right seeks to impose upon the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
    The reality in Europe as in America is economic. The post WWII era of reconstruction, investment and growth is behind us, the French call these years the "Trente Glorieuses" (30 glorious years) when prosperity was felt through all societal strats, consumerism for all became the panacea for a just society, where injustice prevailed welfare formulas provided a new panacea.
    As the perspective of an unravelling of this golden era began to emerge elites sought and conspired to consolidate power and wealth, under the aegis of greed is good culture by further corrupting government to serve the few, ensuring impunity for the ruling class, attempting societal cohesiveness with brash hubristic dialectics (America, the greatest this or that) and adventurism (Irak, mission accomplished), conspiring to co-opt and control institutions and the media (to understand the depth of this deception a must read is Jane Mayer in The Dark Side and in Dark Money).
    The difference between America and Europe is that latter bears of brunt of our excess.
    The 2008 Wall St / City meltdown eviscerated much of America' middle class and de-facto stalled, perhaps definitively, the vehicle of upward mobility in an increasingly wealth-ranked class structured society – the Trump phenomena feeds off the fatalistic resilience and "good book" mythologies remnant of the "go west" culture.
    In Europe where to varying degrees managed capitalism prevails the welfare state(s) provided the shock absorbers to offset the brunt of the crisis, but those who locked-in on neoliberal fiscal conservatism have cut off their nose in spite leaving scant resources to spur growth. If social mobility survives, more vibrantly than the US, unemployment and the cost thereof remains steadfast and crippling.
    The second crisis borne of American hubris is the human tidal wave resulting from the Irak adventure; it has unleashed mayhem upon the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa and beyond. The current migrational wave Europe can not absorb is but the beginning of much deeper problem – as ISIS, Boko Haram and so many others terrorist groups destabilize the nation-states of a continent whose population is on the path to explode in the next half century.
    The icing on the cake provided by a Trump election will be a world wave of climate change refugees as the neoliberal establishment seeks to optimize wealth and power through continued climate change denial.
    Fascism is not the issue, nationalism resulting from a self serving bully culture will decimate the multilateral infrastructure responsible nation-states need to address today's problems.
    Broadly, Trump Presidency capping the neoliberal experience will likely signal the end of the US' dominant role on the world scene (and of course the immense benefits derived for the US). As he has articulated his intent to discard the art of diplomacy, from soft to institutional, in favor of an agressive approach in which the President seeks to "rattle" allies (NATO, Japan and S. Korea for example) as well as his opponents (in other words anyone who does not profess blind allegiance), expect that such modus operandi will create a deep schism accompanied by a loss of trust, already felt vis-a-vis our legislature' behavior over the last seven years.
    The US's newfound respect among friends and foes generated by President Obama' presidency, has already been undermined by the GOP primaries, if Trump is elected it will dissipate for good as other nations and groups thereof focus upon new, no-longer necessarily aligned strategic relationships, some will form as part as a means of taking distance, or protection from the US, others more opportunist with the risk of opponents such as Putin filling the void – in Europe for example.

    dk , June 3, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Neoliberalism isn't helping, but it's a population/resource ratio thing. Impacts on social orders occur well before raw supply factors kick in (and there is more than food supply to basic rations). The world population has more than doubled in the last 50 years, one doesn't get that kind of accelerated growth without profound impacts to every aspect of societies. Some of the most significant impacts are consequent to the acceleration of technological changes (skill expirations, automations) that are driven in no small part by the needs of a vast + growing population.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth
    Note that the vertical scale in the of the first graph is logarithmic.

    I don't suggest population as a pat simplistic answer. And neoliberalism accelerates the declining performance of institutions (as in the CUNY article and that's been going on for decades already, neoliberalism just picked up where neoconservatism petered out), but we would be facing issues like homelessness, service degradation, population displacements, etc regardless of poor policies. One could argue (I do) that neoliberalism has undertaken to accelerate existing entropies for profit.

    Murica Derp , June 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for soliciting reader comments on socioeconomic desperation. It's encouraging to know that I'm not the only failure to launch in this country.

    I'm a seasonal farm worker with a liberal arts degree in geology and history. I barely held on for six months as a junior environmental consultant at a dysfunctional firm that tacitly encouraged unethical and incompetent behavior at all levels. From what I could gather, it was one of the better-run firms in the industry. Even so, I was watching mid-level and senior staff wander into extended mid-life crises while our entire service line was terrorized by a badly out-of-shape, morbidly obese, erratic, vicious PG who had alienated almost the entire office but was untouchable no matter how many firing offenses she committed. Meanwhile I was watching peers in other industries (especially marketing and FIRE) sell their souls in real time. I'm still watching them do so a decade later.

    It's hard to exaggerate how atrociously I've been treated by bougie conformists for having failed/dropped out of the rat race. A family friend who got into trouble with the state of Hawaii for misclassifying direct employees of his timeshare boiler room as 1099's gave me a panic attack after getting stoned and berating me for hours about how I'd wake up someday and wonder what the fuck I'd done with my life. At the time, I had successfully completed a summer job as the de facto lead on a vineyard maintenance crew and was about to get called back for the harvest, again as the de facto lead picker.

    Much of my social life is basically my humiliation at the hands of amoral sleazeballs who presume themselves my superiors. No matter how strong an objective case I have for these people being morally bankrupt, it's impossible to really dismiss their insults. Another big component is concern-trolling from bourgeois supremacists who will do awfully little for me when I ask them for specific help. I don't know what they're trying to accomplish, and they probably don't, either. A lot of it is cognitive dissonance and incoherence.

    Some of the worst aggression has come from a Type A social climber friend who sells life insurance. He's a top producer in a company that's about a third normal, a third Willy Loman, and a third Glengarry Glen Ross. This dude is clearly troubled, but in ways that neither of us can really figure out, and a number of those around him are, too. He once admitted, unbidden, to having hazed me for years.

    The bigger problem is that he's surrounded by an entire social infrastructure that enables and rewards noxious, predatory behavior. When college men feel like treating the struggling like garbage, they have backup and social proof from their peers. It's disgusting. Many of these people have no idea of how to relate appropriately to the poor or the unemployed and no interest in learning. They want to lecture and humiliate us, not listen to us.

    Dude recently told me that our alma mater, Dickinson College, is a "grad school preparatory institution." I was floored that anyone would ever think to talk like that. In point of fact, we're constantly lectured about how versatile our degrees are, with or without additional education. I've apparently annoyed a number of Dickinsonians by bitterly complaining that Dickinson's nonacademic operations are a sleazy racket and that President Emeritus Bill Durden is a shyster who brainwashed my classmates with crude propaganda. If anything, I'm probably measured in my criticism, because I don't think I know the full extent of the fraud and sleaze. What I have seen and heard is damning. I believe that Dickinson is run by people with totalitarian impulses that are restrained only by a handful of nonconformists who came for the academics and are fed up with the propaganda.

    Meanwhile, I've been warm homeless for most of the past four years. It's absurd to get pledge drive pitches from a well-endowed school on the premise that my degree is golden when I'm regularly sleeping in my car and financially dependent on my parents. It's absurd to hear stories about how Dickinson's alumni job placement network is top-notch when I've never gotten a viable lead from anyone I know from school. It's absurd to explain my circumstances in detail to people who, afterwards, still can't understand why I'm cynical.

    While my classmates preen about their degrees, I'm dealing with stuff that would make them vomit. A relative whose farm I've been tending has dozens of rats infesting his winery building, causing such a stench that I'm just about the only person willing to set foot inside it. This relative is a deadbeat presiding over a feudal slumlord manor, circumstances that he usually justifies by saying that he's broke and just trying to make ends meet. He has rent-paying tenants living on the property with nothing but a pit outhouse and a filthy, disused shower room for facilities. He doesn't care that it's illegal. One of his tenants left behind a twenty-gallon trash can full to the brim with his own feces. Another was seen throwing newspaper-wrapped turds out of her trailer into the weeds. They probably found more dignity in this than in using the outhouse.

    When I was staying in Rancho Cordova, a rough suburb of Sacramento, I saw my next-door neighbor nearly come to blows with a man at the light rail station before apologizing profusely to me, calling me "sir," "man," "boss," and "dog." He told me that he was angry at the other guy for selling meth to his kid sister. Eureka is even worse: its west side is swarming with tweakers, its low-end apartment stock is terrible, no one brings the slumlords to heel, and it has a string of truly filthy residential motels along Broadway that should have been demolished years ago.

    A colleague who lives in Sweet Home, Oregon, told me that his hometown is swarming with druggies who try to extract opiates from local poppies and live for the next arriving shipment of garbage drugs. The berry farm where we worked had ten- and twelve-year-olds working under the table to supplement their families' incomes. A Canadian friend told me that he worked for a crackhead in Lillooet who made his own supply at home using freebase that he bought from a meathead dealer with ties to the Boston mob. Apparently all the failing mill towns in rural BC have a crack problem because there's not much to do other than go on welfare and cocaine. An RCMP sergeant in Kamloops was recently indicted for selling coke on the side.

    Uahsenaa's comment about the invisible homeless is spot on. I think I blend in pretty well. I've often stunned people by mentioning that I'm homeless. Some of them have been assholes about it, but not all. There are several cars that I recognize as regular overnighters at my usual rest area. Thank God we don't get hassled much. Oregon is about as safe a place as there is to be homeless. Some of the rest areas in California, including the ones at Kingsburg and the Sacramento Airport, end up at or beyond capacity overnight due to the homeless. CalTrans has signs reminding drivers that it's rude to hog a space that someone else will need. This austerity does not, of course, apply to stadium construction for the Kings.

    Another thing that almost slipped my mind (and is relevant to Trump's popularity): I've encountered entrenched, systemic discrimination against Americans when I've tried to find and hold menial jobs, and I've talked to other Americans who have also encountered it. There is an extreme bias in favor of Mexican peasants and against Americans in the fields and increasingly in off-farm jobs. The top quintile will be lucky not to reap the whirlwind on account of this prejudice.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Donald Trump, Brexit Are Blowback From Years of Anti-Government Rhetoric US News Opinion

    Notable quotes:
    "... The number one issue fueling the leave vote was immigration – a lot like Trump's wall against Mexico. The number two issue was lack of accountability of government: Leavers believe that the EU government in Brussels is unaccountable to voters. For Trump supporters, resentment towards a distant and unaccountable Washington government ranks high as well. The Brexit constituency and the Trump constituency are both motivated by the same sense of loss and vulnerability. ..."
    "... In both the U.S. and the U.K., a large and growing segment of voters has not prospered in today's complex, technology-driven global economy. Their wages have stagnated and in many cases fallen. Too few good-paying jobs exist for people lacking a college degree, or even people with a college degree, if the degree is not in the right field. These people are angry, frustrated, and afraid -- and with very good reason. Both countries' governments have done little to help them adapt, and little to soothe the sting of globalization. The voter's concerns in both places are mostly the same even though these concerns have coalesced around a policy issue ("leave") in the U.K. whereas here in the U.S. they have coalesced around a candidate (Trump). ..."
    "... Similarly, the elite insiders of the Republican Party and their business allies badly underestimated Trump. Establishment candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush failed terribly. Now the Republican political insiders are trying to make sense of a presumptive nominee who trashes free trade, one of the fundamental principles of the party, and openly taunts one of most important emerging voting blocks. ..."
    "... Perhaps the biggest reason for the impotence of today's political elites is that elites have trashed the very idea of competent and effective government for 35 years now, and the public has taken the message to heart. Ever since Reagan identified government as the problem, conservative elites have attacked the idea of government itself – rather than respecting the idea of government itself while criticizing the particular policies of a particular government. This is a crucial (and dangerous) distinction. In 1986, Reagan went on to say "the nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" ..."
    Aug 07, 2016 | www.usnews.com
    In addition, the issues are similar between the two campaigns: The number one issue fueling the leave vote was immigration – a lot like Trump's wall against Mexico. The number two issue was lack of accountability of government: Leavers believe that the EU government in Brussels is unaccountable to voters. For Trump supporters, resentment towards a distant and unaccountable Washington government ranks high as well. The Brexit constituency and the Trump constituency are both motivated by the same sense of loss and vulnerability.

    In both the U.S. and the U.K., a large and growing segment of voters has not prospered in today's complex, technology-driven global economy. Their wages have stagnated and in many cases fallen. Too few good-paying jobs exist for people lacking a college degree, or even people with a college degree, if the degree is not in the right field. These people are angry, frustrated, and afraid -- and with very good reason. Both countries' governments have done little to help them adapt, and little to soothe the sting of globalization. The voter's concerns in both places are mostly the same even though these concerns have coalesced around a policy issue ("leave") in the U.K. whereas here in the U.S. they have coalesced around a candidate (Trump).

    In both countries, political elites were caught flat-footed. Elites lost control over the narrative and lost credibility and persuasiveness with angry, frustrated and fearful voters. The British elites badly underestimated the intensity of public frustration with immigration and with the EU. Most expected the vote would end on the side of "remain," up to the very last moment. Now they are trying to plot their way out of something they never expected would actually happen, and never prepared for.

    Similarly, the elite insiders of the Republican Party and their business allies badly underestimated Trump. Establishment candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush failed terribly. Now the Republican political insiders are trying to make sense of a presumptive nominee who trashes free trade, one of the fundamental principles of the party, and openly taunts one of most important emerging voting blocks.

    How did the elites lose control? There are many reasons: With social media so pervasive, advertising dollars no longer controls what the public sees and hears. With unrestricted campaign spending, the party can no longer "pinch the air hose" of a candidate who strays from party orthodoxy.

    Perhaps the biggest reason for the impotence of today's political elites is that elites have trashed the very idea of competent and effective government for 35 years now, and the public has taken the message to heart. Ever since Reagan identified government as the problem, conservative elites have attacked the idea of government itself – rather than respecting the idea of government itself while criticizing the particular policies of a particular government. This is a crucial (and dangerous) distinction. In 1986, Reagan went on to say "the nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    Reagan booster Grover Norquist is known for saying, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Countless candidates and elected officials slam "Washington bureaucrats" even though these "bureaucrats" were none other than themselves. It's not a great way to build respect. Then the attack escalated, with the aim of destroying parts of government that were actually mostly working. This was done to advance the narrative that government itself is the problem, and pave the way for privatization. Take the Transportation Security Administration for example. TSA has actually done its job. No terrorist attacks have succeeded on U.S. airplanes since it was established. But by systematically underfunding it , Congress has made the lines painfully long, so people hate it. Take the Post Office. Here Congress manufactured a crisis to force service cuts, making the public believe the institution is incompetent. But the so-called "problem" is due almost entirely to a requirement, imposed by Congress, forcing the Postal Service to prepay retiree's health care to an absurd level, far beyond what a similar private sector business would have to do. A similar dynamic now threatens Social Security. Thirty-five years have passed since Reagan first mocked the potential for competent and effective government. Years of unrelenting attack have sunk in. Many Americans now distrust government leaders and think it's pointless to demand or expect wisdom and statesmanship. Today's American voters (and their British counterparts), well-schooled in skepticism, disdain and dismiss leaders of all parties and they are ready to burn things down out of sheer frustration. The moment of blowback has arrived.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Human beings are now considered consumer goods in job market to be used and then discarded. As a consequence, a lot of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape (pope Francis)

    Aug 28, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

    R.L.Love : August 27, 2016 at 09:49 AM

    PK has nearly lost all of his ability to see things objectively. Ambition got him, I suppose, or maybe he has always longed to be popular. He was probably teased and ridiculed too much in his youth. He is something of a whinny sniveler after-all.

    Then too, I doubt if PK has ever used a public restroom in the Southwest, or taken his kids to a public park in one of the thousands of small towns where non-English speaking throngs take over all of the facilities and parking.Or had his children bullied at school by a gang of dark-skinned kids whose parents believe that whites took their land, or abused or enslaved their distant ansestors. It might be germane here too... to point out that some of this anti-white sentiment gets support and validation from the very rhetoric that Democrats have made integral to their campaigns.

    As for not knowing why crime rates have been falling, the incarceration rates rose in step, so duh, if you lock up those with propensities for crime, well, how could crime rates not fall? And while I'm on the subject of crime, the statistical analysis that is commonly used focuses too much on violent crime and convictions. Thus, crimes of a less serious nature, that being the type of crimes committed by poor folks, is routinely ignored. Then too, those who are here illegally are often transient and using assumed names, and so they are, presumably, more difficult to catch. So, statistics are all too often not as telling as claimed.

    And, though I'm not a Trump supporter, I fully understand his appeal. As would PK if he were more travelled and in touch with those who have seen their schools, parks, towns, and everything else turn tawdry and dysfunctional. But of course the nation that most of us live in is much different than the one that PK knows.

    likbez -> R.L.Love

    > And, though I'm not a Trump supporter, I fully understand his appeal

    I wonder why everybody is thinking about this problem only in terms of identity politics.

    This is a wrong, self-defeating framework to approach the problem. which is pushed by neoliberal MSM and which we should resist in this forum as this translates the problems that the nation faces into term of pure war-style propaganda ("us vs. them" mentality). To which many posters here already succumbed

    IMHO the November elections will be more of the referendum on neoliberal globalization (with two key issues on the ballot -- jobs and immigration) than anything else.

    If so, then the key question is whether the anger of population at neoliberal elite that stole their jobs and well-being reached the boiling point or not. The level of this anger might decide the result of elections, not all those petty slurs that neoliberal MSM so diligently use as a smoke screen.

    All those valiant efforts in outsourcing and replacing permanent jobs with temporary to increase profit margin at the end have the propensity to produce some externalities. And not only in the form "over 50 and unemployed" but also by a much more dangerous "globalization of indifference" to human beings in general.

    JK Galbraith once gave the following definition of neoliberal economics: "trickle down economics is the idea that if you feed the horse enough oats eventually some will pass through to the road for the sparrows." This is what neoliberalism is about. Lower 80% even in so-called rich countries are forced to live in "fear and desperation", forced to work "with precious little dignity".

    Human beings are now considered consumer goods in "job market" to be used and then discarded. As a consequence, a lot of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: "without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape" (pope Francis).

    And that inevitably produces a reaction. Which in extreme forms we saw during French and Bolsheviks revolutions. And in less extremist forms (not involving lampposts as the placeholders for the "Masters of the Universe" (aka financial oligarchy) and the most obnoxious part of the "creative class" aka intelligentsia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligentsia ) in Brexit vote.

    Hillary and Trump are just symbols here. The issue matters, not personalities.

    [Nov 30, 2016] The Electoral Consequences of Globalization

    Notable quotes:
    "... Capital in the Twenty-first Century, ..."
    Nov 29, 2016 | angrybearblog.com
    by Joseph Joyce The Electoral Consequences of Globalization

    The reasons for the election of Donald Trump as President of the U.S. will be analyzed and argued about for many years to come. Undoubtedly there are U.S.-specific factors that are relevant, such as racial divisions in voting patterns. But the election took place after the British vote to withdraw from the European Union and the rise to power of conservative politicians in continental Europe, so it is reasonable to ask whether globalization bears any responsibility.

    The years before the global financial crisis were years of rapid economic globalization. Trade flows grew on average by 7% a year over the 1987-2007 period. Financial flows also expanded, particularly amongst the advanced economies. Global financial assets increased by 8% a year between 1990 and 2007 . But all this activity was curtailed in 2008-09 when the global financial crisis pushed the world economy into a downturn. Are the subsequent rises in nationalist sentiment the product of these trends?

    Trump seized upon some of the consequences of increased trade and investment to make the case that globalization was bad for the U.S. He had great success with his claim that international trade deals are responsible for a loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector. In addition, he blamed outward foreign direct investment (FDI) by U.S. firms that opened production facilities in foreign countries for moving manufacturing jobs outside the U.S. Among the firms that Trump criticized were Ford Motor, Nabisco and the Carrier Corporation , which is moving a manufacturing operation from Indiana to Mexico.

    Have foreign workers taken the jobs of U.S. workers? Increased trade does lead to a reallocation of resources, as a country increases its output in those sectors where it has an advantage while cutting back production in other sectors. Resources should flow from the latter to the former, but in reality it can be difficult to switch employment across sectors. Daron Acemoglu and David Autor of MIT, David Dorn of the University of Zurich, Gordon Hanson of UC-San Diego and Brendan Price of MIT have found that import competition from China after 2000 contributed to reductions in U.S. manufacturing employment and weak U.S. job growth. They estimated manufacturing job losses due to Chinese competition of 2.0 – 2.4 million. Other studies find similar results for workers who do not have high school degrees.

    Moreover, multinational firms do shift production across borders in response to lower wages, among other factors. Ann E. Harrison of UC-Berkeley and Margaret S. McMillan of Tufts University looked at the hiring practices of the foreign affiliates of U.S. firms during the period of 1977 to 1999. They found that lower wages in affiliate countries where the employees were substitutes for U.S. workers led to more employment in those countries but reductions in employment in the U.S. However, when employment across geographical locations is complementary for firms that do significantly different work at home and abroad, domestic and foreign employment rise and fall together.

    Imports and foreign production, therefore, have had an impact on manufacturing employment in the U.S. But several caveats should be raised. First, as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT and others have pointed out, technology has had a much larger effect on jobs. The U.S. is the second largest global producer of manufactured goods, but these products are being made in plants that employ fewer workers than they did in the past. Many of the lost jobs simply do not exist any more. Second, the U.S. exports goods and services as well as purchases them. Among the manufactured goods that account for significant shares of U.S. exports are machines and engines, electronic equipment and aircraft . Third, there is inward FDI as well as outward, and the foreign-based firms hire U.S. workers. A 2013 Congressional Research Service study by James V. Jackson reported that by year-end 2011 foreign firms employed 6.1 million Americans, and 37% of this employment-2.3 million jobs-was in the manufacturing sector. More recent data shows that employment by the U.S. affiliates of multinational companies rose to 6.4 million in 2014. Mr. Trump will find himself in a difficult position if he threatens to shut down trade and investment with countries that both import from the U.S. and invest here.

    The other form of globalization that drew Trump's derision was immigration. Most of his ire focused on those who had entered the U.S. illegally. However, in a speech in Arizona he said that he would set up a commission that would roll back the number of legal migrants to "historic norms."

    The current number of immigrants (42 million) represents around 13% of the U.S. population, and 16% of the labor force. An increase in the number of foreign-born workers depresses the wages of some native-born workers, principally high-school dropouts, as well as other migrants who arrived earlier. But there are other, more significant reasons for the stagnation in working-class wages . In addition, a reduction in the number of migrant laborers would raise the ratio of young and retired people to workers-the dependency ratio-and endanger the financing of Social Security and Medicare. And by increasing the size of the U.S. economy, these workers induce expansions in investment expenditures and hiring in areas that are complementary.

    The one form of globalization that Trump has not criticized, with the exception of outward FDI, is financial. This is a curious omission, as the crisis of 2008-09 arose from the financial implosion that followed the collapse of the housing bubble in the U.S. International financial flows exacerbated the magnitude of the crisis. But Trump has pledged to dismantle the Dodd-Frank legislation, which was enacted to implement financial regulatory reform and lower the probability of another crisis. While Trump has criticized China for undervaluing its currency in order to increase its exports to the U.S., most economists believe that the Chinese currency is no longer undervalued vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar.

    Did globalization produce Trump, or lead to the circumstances that resulted in 46.7% of the electorate voting for him? A score sheet of the impact of globalization within the U.S. would record pluses and minuses. Among those who have benefitted are consumers who purchase items made abroad at cheaper prices, workers who produce export goods, and firms that hire migrants. Those who have been adversely affected include workers who no longer have manufacturing jobs and domestic workers who compete with migrants for low-paying jobs. Overall, most studies find evidence of positive net benefits from trade . Similarly, studies of the cost and benefits of immigration indicate that overall foreign workers make a positive contribution to the U.S. economy.

    Other trends have exerted equal or greater consequences for our economic welfare. First, as pointed out above, advances in automation have had an enormous impact on the number and nature of jobs, and advances in artificial intelligence wii further change the nature of work. The launch of driverless cars and trucks, for example, will affect the economy in unforeseen ways, and more workers will lose their livelihoods. Second, income inequality has been on the increase in the U.S. and elsewhere for several decades. While those in the upper-income classes have benefitted most from increased trade and finance, inequality reflects many factors besides globalization.

    Why, then, is globalization the focus of so much discontent? Trump had the insight that demonizing foreigners and U.S.-based multinationals would allow him to offer simple solutions-ripping up trade deals, strong-arming CEOs to relocate facilities-to complex problems. Moreover, it allows him to draw a line between his supporters and everyone else, with Trump as the one who will protect workers against the crafty foreigners and corrupt elite who conspire to steal American jobs. Blaming the foreign "other" is a well-trod route for those who aspire to power in times of economic and social upheaval.

    Globalization, therefore, should not be held responsible for the election of Donald Trump and those in other countries who offer similar simplistic solutions to challenging trends. But globalization's advocates did indirectly lead to his rise when they oversold the benefits of globalization and neglected the downside. Lower prices at Wal-Mart are scarce consolation to those who have lost their jobs. Moreover, the proponents of globalization failed to strengthen the safety networks and redistributive mechanisms that allow those who had to compete with foreign goods and workers to share in the broader benefits. Dani Rodrik of Harvard's Kennedy School has described how the policy priorities were changed: "The new model of globalization stood priorities on their head, effectively putting democracy to work for the global economy, instead of the other way around. The elimination of barriers to trade and finance became an end in itself, rather than a means toward more fundamental economic and social goals."

    The battle over globalization is not finished, and there will be future opportunities to adapt it to benefit a wider section of society. The goal should be to place it within in a framework that allows a more egalitarian distribution of the benefits and payment of the costs. This is not a new task. After World War II, the Allied planners sought to revive international trade while allowing national governments to use their policy tools to foster full employment. Political scientist John Ruggie of the Kennedy School called the hybrid system based on fixed exchange rates, regulated capital accounts and government programs " embedded liberalism ," and it prevailed until it was swept aside by the wave of neoliberal policies in the 1980s and 1990s.

    What would today's version of "embedded liberalism" look like? In the financial sector, the pendulum has already swung back from unregulated capital flows and towards the use of capital control measures as part of macroprudential policies designed to address systemic risk in the financial sector. In addition, Thomas Piketty of the École des hautes etudes en sciences (EHESS) and associate chair at the Paris School of Economics , and author of Capital in the Twenty-first Century, has called for a new focus in discussions over the next stage of globalization: " trade is a good thing, but fair and sustainable development also demands public services, infrastructure, health and education systems. In turn, these themselves demand fair taxation systems."

    The current political environment is not conducive toward the expansion of public goods. But it is unlikely that our new President's policies will deliver on their promise to return to a past when U.S. workers could operate without concern for foreign competition or automation. We will certainly revisit these issues, and we need to redefine what a successful globalization looks like. And if we don't? Thomas Piketty warns of the consequences of not enacting the necessary domestic policies and institutions: "If we fail to deliver these, Trump_vs_deep_state will prevail."

    cross posted with Capital Ebbs and Flows

    Comments (10) | Digg Facebook Twitter | --> --> --> Comments (10)

    1. spencer November 29, 2016 10:33 am

      Since 1980, US manufacturing output has approximately doubled while manufacturing employment fell by about a third.

      Yes, globalization impacts the composition of output and it is a contributing factor in the weaker growth of manufacturing output. but overall it has accounted for a very minor share of the weakness in manufacturing employment since 1980. Productivity has been the dominant factor driving manufacturing employment down.

    2. JimH November 29, 2016 11:11 am

      "Overall, most studies find evidence of positive net benefits from trade."

      Of course they do! And in your world, studies always Trump real world experience.

      Studies on trade can ignore the unemployed workers with a high school education or less. How were they supposed to get an equivalent paying job? EDUCATION they say! A local public university has a five year freshman graduation rate of 25%. Are those older students to eat dirt while attempting to accumulate that education!

      Studies on trade can ignore that illegal immigration increases competition for the those under educated employees. Since 1990 there has been a rising demand that education must be improved! That potential high school drop outs should be discouraged by draconian means if necessary. YET we allow immigrants to enter this country and STAY with less than the equivalent of an American high school education! Why are we spending so much on secondary education if it is not necessary!

      "In Mexico, 34% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, much lower than the OECD average of 76% the lowest rate amongst OECD countries."
      See: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/mexico/

      Trade studies can ignore the fate of a small town when its major employer shuts down and leaves. Trade studies can assume that we are one contiguous job market. They can assume that an unemployed worker in Pennsylvania will learn of a good paying job in Washington state, submit an application, and move within 2 weeks. Or assume that the Washington state employer will hold a factory job open for a month! And they can assume that moving expenses are trivial for an unemployed person.

      Our trade partners have not attempted anything remotely resembling balanced trade with us.

      Here are the trade deficits since 1992.
      Year__________US Trade Balance with the world
      1992__________-39,212
      1993__________-70,311
      1994__________-98,493
      1995__________-96,384
      1996__________-104,065
      1997__________-108,273
      1998__________-166,140
      1999__________-258,617
      2000__________-372,517
      2001__________-361,511
      2002__________-418,955
      2003__________-493,890
      2004__________-609,883
      2005__________-714,245
      2006__________-761,716
      2007__________-705,375
      2008__________-708,726
      2009__________-383,774
      2010__________-494,658
      2011__________-548,625
      2012__________-536,773
      2013__________-461,876
      2014__________-490,176
      2015__________-500,361
      From: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/historical/gands.pdf

      AND there is the loss of the income from tariffs which had been going to the federal government! How has that effected our national debt?

      "However, when employment across geographical locations is complementary for firms that do significantly different work at home and abroad, domestic and foreign employment rise and fall together."

      And exactly how do you think that the US government could guarantee that complementary work at home and abroad. Corporations are profit seeking, amoral entities, which will seek profit any way they can. (Legal or illegal)

      The logical conclusion of your argument is that we could produce nothing and still have a thriving economy. How would American consumers earn an income?

      Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are RUST BELT states. Were the voters there merely ignorant or demented? You should never ever run for elected office.

    3. Beverly Mann November 29, 2016 12:30 pm

      Meanwhile, Trump today chose non-swampy Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell's current wife and GWBush's former Labor Secretary, as Transportation Secretary, to privatize roads, bridges, etc.

    4. JimH November 29, 2016 12:36 pm

      The trade balances are in millions of dollars in the table in my last comment.

      Global trade had a chance of success beginning in 1992. But that required a mechanism which was very difficult to game. A mechanism like the one that the Obama administration advocated in October 2010.

      "At the meeting in South Korea's southern city of Gyeongju, U.S. officials sought to set a cap for each country's deficit or surplus at 4% of its economic output by 2015.
      The idea drew support from Britain, Australia, Canada and France, all of which are running trade deficits, as well as South Korea, which is hosting the G-20 meetings and hoping for a compromise among the parties.
      But the proposal got a cool reception from export powerhouses such as China, which has a current account surplus of 4.7% of its gross domestic product; Germany, with a surplus of 6.1%; and Russia, with a surplus of 4.7%, according to IMF statistics."
      See: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/24/business/la-fi-g20-summit-20101024

      That cap was probably too high. But at least the Obama administration showed some realization that global trade was exhibiting serious unpredicted problems. Too bad that Hillary Clinton could not have internalized that realization enough to campaign on revamping problematic trade treaties. (And persuaded a few more of the voters in the RUST BELT to vote for her.) Elections have consequences and voters understand that, but what choice did they have?

      In your world, while American corporations act out in ways that would be diagnosed as antisocial personality disorder in a human being, American human beings are expected to wait patiently for decades while global trade is slowly adjusted into some practical system. (As one shortcoming after another is addressed.)

      Antisocial personality disorder:
      "a personality disorder that is characterized by antisocial behavior exhibiting pervasive disregard for and violation of the rights, feelings, and safety of others "
      See: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antisocial%20personality%20disorder#medicalDictionary

    5. Ray LaPan-Love November 29, 2016 1:01 pm

      Spencer,

      The article states almost exactly what you 'add' in your comment:

      "Imports and foreign production, therefore, have had an impact on manufacturing employment in the U.S. But several caveats should be raised. First, as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT and others have pointed out, technology has had a much larger effect on jobs".

      So, what gives? Is there an award today for who ever gets the biggest DUH??? If there is anything worth adding, it would be a mention of the Ball St study that supports the author's claim but is somehow overlooked. But your comment, well, DUH!!

      =================================================

      JimH,

      Some good stuff there, your assessment of Economics and its penchant for ignoring variables, and your insight which states that "studies can assume that we are one contiguous job market", is all very true, and especially when it comes to immigration issues. I've lived most of my life near the Southern border and when economists claim that undocumented workers are good for our economy I can only chuckle and shake my head. I suppose I could also list all of the variables which those economists ignore, and there are many to choose from, but, there is that quote by Upton Sinclair: "You can't get a man to understand what his salary depends on his not understanding".

      In all fairness though, The Dept. of Labor does of course have its JOLTS data, and so not all such studies are based on broad assumptions, but Economics does have its blind spots, generally speaking. And of course economists apply far too much effort and energy serving their political and financial masters.

      As for your comment in regards to the the trade deficit, you might want to read up a little on the Triffin Dilemma. The essence of globalization has a lot to do with the US leadership choosing to maintain the reserve-currency status and Triffin showed that an increasing amount of dollars must supply the world's demand for dollars, or, global growth would falter. So, the trade deficit since 1975 has been intentional, for that reason, and others. Of course the cost of labor in the US was a factor too, and shipping and standards and so on. But, it is wise also, to remember that these choices were made at time, during and just after the Viet Nam war, when military recruitment was a very troubling issue for the leadership. And the option of good paying jobs for the working-class was very probably seen as in conflict with military recruitment. Accordingly, the working-class has been left with fewer options. This being accomplished in part with the historical anomaly of high immigration quotas, (and by the tolerance for illegal immigration), during periods with high unemployment, a falling participation-rate, inadequate infrastructure, and etc.

    6. Ray LaPan-Love November 29, 2016 2:18 pm

      JimH,

      After posting my earlier comment it occurred to me that I should have recommended an article by Tim Taylor that has some good info on the Triffin dilemma.

      http://conversableeconomist.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-triffin-dilemma-and-us-trade.html

      Also, it might be worth mentioning that you are making the common mistake of assigning blame to an international undertaking that would be more accurately assigned to national shortcomings. I'm referring here to what you quoted and said:

      ""Overall, most studies find evidence of positive net benefits from trade.""

      "Of course they do! And in your world, studies always Trump real world experience".

      My point being that "positive net benefits from trade" are based on just another half-baked measurement as you suggest, but the problems which result from trade-related displacements are not necessarily the fault of trade itself. There are in fact political options, for example, immigration could have been curtailed about 40 years ago and we would now have about 40 million fewer citizens, and thus there would almost certainly be more jobs available. Or, the laws pertaining to illegal immigration could have been enforced, or the 'Employee Free Choice Act could have been passed, or whatever, and then trade issues may have had much different impact.

    7. Ray LaPan-Love November 29, 2016 3:12 pm

      It seems worth mentioning here, that there are other more important goals that make globalization valuable than just matters of money or employment or who is getting what. Let us not forget the famous words of Immanuel Kant:

      "the spirit of commerce . . . sooner or later takes hold of every nation, and is incompatible with war."

    8. coberly November 29, 2016 6:33 pm

      Ray

      the spirit of commerce did not prevent WW1 or WW2.

      otherwise, thank you, and Jim H and Joseph Joyce for the first Post and Comments for grownups we've had around here in some time.

    9. Ray LaPan-Love November 29, 2016 7:03 pm

      Hey Coberly, long time no see.

      And yes, you are right, 'the spirit of commerce' theory has had some ups and downs. But, one could easily and accurately argue that the effort which began with the League of Nations, and loosely connects back to Kant's claim, has gained some ground since WW2. There has not, after-all, been a major war since.

      So, when discussing the pros and cons of globalization, that factor, as I said, is worthy of mention. And it was a key consideration in the formation of the Bretton Woods institutions, and in the globalization effort in general. This suggesting then that there are larger concerns than the unemployment-rate, or the wage levels, of the working-class folks who may, or may not, have been at the losing end of 'free-trade'.

      I've been a 'labor-lefty' since the 1970s, but I am still capable of understanding that things could have been much worse for the American working-class. Plus, if anyone must give up a job, who better than those with a fairly well-constructed safety-net. History always has its winners and losers, and progress rarely, if ever, comes in an even flow.

      Meanwhile, those living in extreme poverty, worldwide, have dropped from 40% in 1981, to about 10% in 2015 (World Bank), so, progress is occurring. But of course much of that is now being ignored by the din which has drowned out so many considerations that really do matter, and a great deal.

    10. coberly November 29, 2016 8:25 pm

      Ray

      I am inclined to agree with you, but sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. Especially if one of those trees has fallen on you.

      In general I am more interested in stopping predatory business models that really hurt people than in creating cosmic justice.

      as for the relative lack of big wars since WW2, I always thought that was because of mutual assured destruction. I am sure Vietnam looked like a big enough war to the Vietnamese.

    [Nov 23, 2016] Trump will have as many problems with Ayn Ryan Congress as Obama/Clinton on economic issues

    Nov 23, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Cry Shop November 23, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Bankers & Trump

    Bankers know you capture catch more flies with money honey.

    ewmayer November 23, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    "The Trump campaign, meanwhile, delved into message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning." - Oh, please, this sounds like a stereotypical Google-centric view of things. They of course left out the most important part of the campaign, the key to its inception, which could be described in terms like "The Trump campaign, meanwhile, actually noticed the widespread misery and non-recovery in the parts of the US outside the elite coastal bubbles and DC beltway, and spotted a yuuuge political opportunity." In other words, not sentiment manipulation – that was, after all, the Dem-establishment-MSM-wall-street-and-the-elite-technocrats' "America is already great, and anyone who denies it is deplorable!" strategy of manufactured consent – so much as actual *reading* of sentiment. Of course if one insisted on remaining inside a protective elite echo chamber and didn't listen to anything Trump or the attendees actually said in those huge flyover-country rallies that wasn't captured in suitably outrageous evening-news soundbites, it was all too easy to believe one's own hype.

    " former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who has known Trump socially for decades and is currently advising the president-elect on foreign policy issues " - I really, really hope this is just Hammerin' Hank tooting his own horn, as he and his sycophants in the FP establishment and MSM are wont to do.

    Brad November 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    "Trump dumps the TPP: conservatives rue strategic fillip to China" (Guardian)

    Another wedge angle for Trumps new-found RINO "friends" to play. Trump will have as many problems with Ayn Ryan Congress as Obama/Clinton on economic issues.

    "The TPP excludes China, which declined to join, proposing its own rival version, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which excludes the US." You see, it is all China's fault. No info presented on why China "declined" to join.

    And if Abe's Japan were really an independent country, they'd pick up the TPP baton and sell it to China.

    [Nov 19, 2016] The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss of jobs. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun.

    It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Neoliberalism has been disastrous for the Rust Belt, and I think we need to envision a new future for what was once the country's industrial heartland, now little more than its wasteland ..."
    "... The question of what the many millions of often-unionized factory workers, SMEs which supplied them, family farmers (now fully industrialized and owned by corporations), and all those in secondary production and services who once supported them are to actually do in future to earn a decent living is what I believe should really be the subject of debate. ..."
    "... two factors (or three, I guess) have contributed to this state of despair: offshoring and outsourcing, and technology. ..."
    "... Medicaid, the CHIP program, the SNAP program and others (including NGOs and private charitable giving) may alleviate some of the suffering, but there is currently no substitute for jobs that would enable men and women to live lives of dignity – a decent place to live, good educations for their children, and a reasonable, secure pension in old age. Near-, at-, and below-minimum wage jobs devoid of any benefits don't allow any of these – at most, they make possible a subsistence life, one which requires continued reliance on public assistance throughout one's lifetime. ..."
    "... In the U.S. (a neoliberal pioneer), poverty is closely linked with inequality and thus, a high GINI coefficient (near that of Turkey); where there is both poverty and a very unequal distribution of resources, this inevitably affects women (and children) and racial (and ethnic) minorities disproportionately. The economic system, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are not separate, stand-alone issues; they are profoundly intertwined. ..."
    "... But really, if you think about it, slavery was defined as ownership, ownership of human capital (which was convertible into cash), and women in many societies throughout history were acquired as part of a financial transaction (either through purchase or through sale), and control of their capital (land, property [farmland, herds], valuables and later, money) often entrusted to a spouse or male guardian. All of these practices were economically-driven, even if the driver wasn't 21st-century capitalism. ..."
    "... Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this. ..."
    "... Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote. ..."
    "... Regional inequality and globalization are the principal drivers in Japanese politics, too, along with a number of social drivers. ..."
    "... The tsunami/nuclear meltdown combined with the Japanese government's uneven response is an apt metaphor for the impact of neo-liberalism/globalization on Japan; and on the US. I then explained that the income inequality in the US was far more severe than that of Japan and that many Americans did not support the export of jobs to China/Mexico. ..."
    "... I contend that in some hypothetical universe the DNC and corrupt Clinton machine could have been torn out, root and branch, within months. As I noted, however, the decision to run HRC effectively unopposed was made several years, at least, before the stark evidence of the consequences of such a decision appeared in sharp relief with Brexit. ..."
    "... Just as the decline of Virginia coal is due to global forces and corporate stupidity, so the decline of the rust belt is due to long (30 year plus) global forces and corporate decisions that predate the emergence of identity politics. ..."
    "... It's interesting that the clear headed thinkers of the Marxist left, who pride themselves on not being distracted by identity, don't want to talk about these factors when discussing the plight of their cherished white working class. ..."
    "... The construction 'white working class' is a useful governing tool that splits poor people and possible coalitions against the violence of capital. Now, discussion focuses on how some of the least powerful, most vulnerable people in the United States are the perpetrators of a great injustice against racialised and minoritised groups. Such commentary colludes in the pathologisation of the working class, of poor people. Victims are inculpated as the vectors of noxious, atavistic vices while the perpetrators get off with impunity, showing off their multihued, cosmopolitan C-suites and even proposing that their free trade agreements are a form of anti-racist solidarity. Most crucially, such analysis ignores the continuities between a Trumpian dystopia and our satisfactory present. ..."
    "... Race-thinking forecloses the possibility of the coalitions that you imagine, and reproduces ideas of difference in ways that always, always privilege 'whiteness'. ..."
    "... Historical examples of ethnic groups becoming 'white', how it was legal and political decision-making that defined the present racial taxonomy, suggest that groups can also lose or have their 'whiteness' threatened. CB has written here about how, in the UK at least, Eastern and Southern Europeans are racialised, and so refused 'whiteness'. JQ has written about southern white minoritisation. Many commentators have pointed that the 'white working class' vote this year looked a lot like a minority vote. ..."
    "... Given the subordination of groups presently defined as 'white working class', I wonder if we could think beyond ethnic and epidermal definition to consider that the impossibility of the American Dream refuses these groups whiteness; i.e the hoped for privileges of racial superiority, much in the same way that African Americans, Latin Americans and other racialised minorities are denied whiteness. Can a poor West Virginian living in a toxified drugged out impoverished landscape really be defined as a carrier of 'white privilege'? ..."
    "... I was first pointed at this by the juxtapositions of racialised working class and immigrants in Imogen Tyler's Revolting Subjects – Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain but this below is a useful short article that takes a historical perspective. ..."
    "... In a 1990 essay, the late Yale political scientist Juan Linz observed that "aside from the United States, only Chile has managed a century and a half of relatively undisturbed constitutional continuity under presidential government - but Chilean democracy broke down in the 1970s." ..."
    "... Linz offered several reasons why presidential systems are so prone to crisis. One particularly important one is the nature of the checks and balances system. Since both the president and the Congress are directly elected by the people, they can both claim to speak for the people. When they have a serious disagreement, according to Linz, "there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved." The constitution offers no help in these cases, he wrote: "the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate." ..."
    "... In a parliamentary system, deadlocks get resolved. A prime minister who lacks the backing of a parliamentary majority is replaced by a new one who has it. If no such majority can be found, a new election is held and the new parliament picks a leader. It can get a little messy for a period of weeks, but there's simply no possibility of a years-long spell in which the legislative and executive branches glare at each other unproductively.' ..."
    "... In any case, as I pointed out before, given that the US is increasingly an urbanised country, and the Electoral College was created to protect rural (slave) states, the grotesque electoral result we have just seen is likely to recur, which means more and more Presidents with dubious democratic legitimacy. Thanks to Bush (and Obama) these Presidents will have, at the same time, more and more power. ..."
    "... To return to my original question and answer it myself: I'm forced to conclude that the Democrats did not specifically address the revitalization – rebirth of the Rust Belt in their 2016 platform. Its failure to do so carried a heavy cost that (nearly) all of us will be forced to pay. ..."
    "... This sub seems to have largely fallen into the psychologically comfortable trap of declaring that everyone who voted against their preferred candidate is racist. It's a view pushed by the neoliberals, who want to maintain he stranglehold of identity politics over the DNC, and it makes upper-class 'intellectuals' feel better about themselves and their betrayal of the filthy, subhuman white underclass (or so they see it). ..."
    "... You can scream 'those jobs are never coming back!' all you want, but people are never going to accept it. So either you come up with a genuine solution (instead of simply complaining that your opponents solutions won't work; you're partisan and biased, most voters won't believe you), you may as well resign yourself to fascism. Because whining that you don't know what to do won't stop people from lining up behind someone who says that they do have one, whether it'll work or not. Nobody trusts the elite enough to believe them when they say that jobs are never coming back. Nobody trusts the elite at all. ..."
    "... You sound just like the Wiemar elite. No will to solve the problem, but filled with terror at the inevitable result of failing to solve the problem. ..."
    "... One brutal fact tells us everything we need to know about the Democratic party in 2016: the American Nazi party is running on a platform of free health care to working class people. This means that the American Nazi Party is now running to the left of the Democratic party. ..."
    "... Back in the 1930s, when the economy collapsed, fascists appeared and took power. Racists also came out of the woodwork, ditto misogynists. Fast forward 80 years, and the same thing has happened all over again. The global economy melted down in 2008 and fascists appeared promising to fix the problems that the pols in power wouldn't because they were too closely tied to the existing (failed) system. Along with the fascists, racists gained power because they were able to scapegoat minorities as the alleged cause of everyone's misery. ..."
    "... None of this is surprising. We have seen it before. Whenever you get a depression in a modern industrial economy, you get scapegoating, racism, and fascists. We know what to do. The problem is that the current Democratic party isn't doing it. ..."
    "... . It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part. ..."
    "... This hammered people on the bottom, disproportionately African Americans and especially single AA mothers in America. It crushed the blue collar workers. It is wiping out the savings and careers of college-educated white collar workers now, at least, the ones who didn't go to the Ivy League, which is 90% of them. ..."
    "... Calling Hillary an "imperfect candidate" is like calling what happened to the Titanic a "boating accident." Trump was an imperfect candidate. Why did he win? ..."
    "... "The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians." ..."
    "... "It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and the House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week, party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: `the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that's essentially a smoking pile of rubble.' ..."
    "... "One would assume that the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated and wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite mistaken." ..."
    "... Foreign Affairs ..."
    "... "At the end of World War II, the United States and its allies decided that sustained mass unemployment was an existential threat to capitalism and had to be avoided at all costs. In response, governments everywhere targeted full employment as the master policy variable-trying to get to, and sustain, an unemployment rate of roughly four percent. The problem with doing so, over time, is that targeting any variable long enough undermines the value of the variable itself-a phenomenon known as Goodhart's law. (..) ..."
    "... " what we see [today] is a reversal of power between creditors and debtors as the anti-inflationary regime of the past 30 years undermines itself-what we might call "Goodhart's revenge." In this world, yields compress and creditors fret about their earnings, demanding repayment of debt at all costs. Macro-economically, this makes the situation worse: the debtors can't pay-but politically, and this is crucial-it empowers debtors since they can't pay, won't pay, and still have the right to vote. ..."
    "... "The traditional parties of the center-left and center-right, the builders of this anti-inflationary order, get clobbered in such a world, since they are correctly identified by these debtors as the political backers of those demanding repayment in an already unequal system, and all from those with the least assets. This produces anti-creditor, pro-debtor coalitions-in-waiting that are ripe for the picking by insurgents of the left and the right, which is exactly what has happened. ..."
    "... "The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss and racism. It's also driven by the global economy itself. This is a global phenomenon that marks one thing above all. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun." ..."
    "... They want what their families have had which is secure, paid, benefits rich, blue collar work. ..."
    "... trump's campaign empathized with that feeling just by focusing on the factory jobs as jobs and not as anachronisms that are slowly fading away for whatever reason. Clinton might have been "correct", but these voters didn't want to hear "the truth". And as much as you can complain about how stupid they are for wanting to be lied to, that is the unfortunate reality you, and the Democratic party, have to accept. ..."
    "... trump was offering a "bailout" writ large. Clinton had no (good) counteroffer. It was like the tables were turned. Romney was the one talking about "change" and "restructuring" while Obama was defending keeping what was already there. ..."
    "... "Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course - the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check." http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html ..."
    "... Clinton toward the end offered tariffs. But the trump campaign hit back with what turned out to be a pretty strong counter attack – ""How's she going to get tough on China?" said Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro on CNN's Quest Means Business. He notes that some of Clinton's economic advisors have supported TPP or even worked on it. "" ..."
    Nov 19, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

    dbk 11.18.16 at 6:41 pm 130

    Bruce Wilder @102

    The question is no longer her neoliberalism, but yours. Keep it or throw it away?

    I wish this issue was being seriously discussed. Neoliberalism has been disastrous for the Rust Belt, and I think we need to envision a new future for what was once the country's industrial heartland, now little more than its wasteland (cf. "flyover zone" – a pejorative term which inhabitants of the zone are not too stupid to understand perfectly, btw).

    The question of what the many millions of often-unionized factory workers, SMEs which supplied them, family farmers (now fully industrialized and owned by corporations), and all those in secondary production and services who once supported them are to actually do in future to earn a decent living is what I believe should really be the subject of debate.

    As noted upthread, two factors (or three, I guess) have contributed to this state of despair: offshoring and outsourcing, and technology. The jobs that have been lost will not return, and indeed will be lost in ever greater numbers – just consider what will happen to the trucking sector when self-driving trucks hit the roads sometime in the next 10-20 years (3.5 million truckers; 8.7 in allied jobs).

    Medicaid, the CHIP program, the SNAP program and others (including NGOs and private charitable giving) may alleviate some of the suffering, but there is currently no substitute for jobs that would enable men and women to live lives of dignity – a decent place to live, good educations for their children, and a reasonable, secure pension in old age. Near-, at-, and below-minimum wage jobs devoid of any benefits don't allow any of these – at most, they make possible a subsistence life, one which requires continued reliance on public assistance throughout one's lifetime.

    In the U.S. (a neoliberal pioneer), poverty is closely linked with inequality and thus, a high GINI coefficient (near that of Turkey); where there is both poverty and a very unequal distribution of resources, this inevitably affects women (and children) and racial (and ethnic) minorities disproportionately. The economic system, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are not separate, stand-alone issues; they are profoundly intertwined.

    I appreciate and espouse the goals of identity politics in all their multiplicity, and also understand that the institutions of slavery and sexism predated modern capitalist economies. But really, if you think about it, slavery was defined as ownership, ownership of human capital (which was convertible into cash), and women in many societies throughout history were acquired as part of a financial transaction (either through purchase or through sale), and control of their capital (land, property [farmland, herds], valuables and later, money) often entrusted to a spouse or male guardian. All of these practices were economically-driven, even if the driver wasn't 21st-century capitalism.

    Also: Faustusnotes@100
    For example Indiana took the ACA Medicaid expansion but did so with additional conditions that make it worse than in neighboring states run by democratic governors.

    And what states would those be? IL, IA, MI, OH, WI, KY, and TN have Republican governors. Were you thinking pre-2014? pre-2012?

    To conclude and return to my original point: what's to become of the Rust Belt in future? Did the Democratic platform include a New New Deal for PA, OH, MI, WI, and IA (to name only the five Rust Belt states Trump flipped)?

    kidneystones 11.18.16 at 11:32 pm ( 135 )

    Thomas Pickety

    " Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.

    Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote. "

    The Guardian

    kidneystones 11.18.16 at 11:56 pm 137 ( 137 )

    What should have been one comment came out as 4, so apologies on that front.

    I spent the last week explaining the US election to my students in Japan in pretty much the terms outlined by Lilla and PIketty, so I was delighted to discover these two articles.

    Regional inequality and globalization are the principal drivers in Japanese politics, too, along with a number of social drivers. It was therefore very easy to call for a show of hands to identify students studying here in Tokyo who are trying to decide whether or not to return to areas such as Tohoku to build their lives; or remain in Kanto/Tokyo – the NY/Washington/LA of Japan put crudely.

    I asked students from regions close to Tohoku how they might feel if the Japanese prime minister decided not to visit the region following Fukushima after the disaster, or preceding an election. The tsunami/nuclear meltdown combined with the Japanese government's uneven response is an apt metaphor for the impact of neo-liberalism/globalization on Japan; and on the US. I then explained that the income inequality in the US was far more severe than that of Japan and that many Americans did not support the export of jobs to China/Mexico.

    I then asked the students, particularly those from outlying regions whether they believe Japan needed a leader who would 'bring back Japanese jobs' from Viet Nam and China, etc. Many/most agreed wholeheartedly. I then asked whether they believed Tokyo people treated those outside Kanto as 'inferiors.' Many do.

    Piketty may be right regarding Trump's long-term effects on income inequality. He is wrong, I suggest, to argue that Democrats failed to respond to Sanders' support. I contend that in some hypothetical universe the DNC and corrupt Clinton machine could have been torn out, root and branch, within months. As I noted, however, the decision to run HRC effectively unopposed was made several years, at least, before the stark evidence of the consequences of such a decision appeared in sharp relief with Brexit.

    Faustusnotes 11.19.16 at 12:14 am 138

    Also worth noting is that the rust belts problems are as old as Reagan – even the term dates from the 80s, the issue is so uncool that there is a dire straits song about it. Some portion of the decline of manufacturing there is due to manufacturers shifting to the south, where the anti Union states have an advantage. Also there has been new investment – there were no Japanese car companies in the us in the 1980s, so they are new job creators, yet insufficient to make up the losses. Just as the decline of Virginia coal is due to global forces and corporate stupidity, so the decline of the rust belt is due to long (30 year plus) global forces and corporate decisions that predate the emergence of identity politics.

    It's interesting that the clear headed thinkers of the Marxist left, who pride themselves on not being distracted by identity, don't want to talk about these factors when discussing the plight of their cherished white working class. Suddenly it's not the forces of capital and the objective facts of history, but a bunch of whiny black trannies demanding safe spaces and protesting police violence, that drove those towns to ruin.

    And what solutions do they think the dems should have proposed? It can't be welfare, since we got the ACA (watered down by representatives of the rust belt states). Is it, seriously, tariffs? Short of going to an election promising w revolution, what should the dems have done? Give us a clear answer so we can see what the alternative to identity politics is.

    basil 11.19.16 at 5:11 am

    Did this go through?
    Thinking with WLGR @15, Yan @81, engels variously above,

    The construction 'white working class' is a useful governing tool that splits poor people and possible coalitions against the violence of capital. Now, discussion focuses on how some of the least powerful, most vulnerable people in the United States are the perpetrators of a great injustice against racialised and minoritised groups. Such commentary colludes in the pathologisation of the working class, of poor people. Victims are inculpated as the vectors of noxious, atavistic vices while the perpetrators get off with impunity, showing off their multihued, cosmopolitan C-suites and even proposing that their free trade agreements are a form of anti-racist solidarity. Most crucially, such analysis ignores the continuities between a Trumpian dystopia and our satisfactory present.

    I get that the tropes around race are easy, and super-available. Privilege confessing is very in vogue as a prophylactic against charges of racism. But does it threaten the structures that produce this abjection – either as embittered, immiserated 'white working class' or as threatened minority group? It is always *those* 'white' people, the South, the Working Class, and never the accusers some of whom are themselves happy to vote for a party that drowns out anti-war protesters with chants of USA! USA!

    Race-thinking forecloses the possibility of the coalitions that you imagine, and reproduces ideas of difference in ways that always, always privilege 'whiteness'.

    --

    Historical examples of ethnic groups becoming 'white', how it was legal and political decision-making that defined the present racial taxonomy, suggest that groups can also lose or have their 'whiteness' threatened. CB has written here about how, in the UK at least, Eastern and Southern Europeans are racialised, and so refused 'whiteness'. JQ has written about southern white minoritisation. Many commentators have pointed that the 'white working class' vote this year looked a lot like a minority vote.

    Given the subordination of groups presently defined as 'white working class', I wonder if we could think beyond ethnic and epidermal definition to consider that the impossibility of the American Dream refuses these groups whiteness; i.e the hoped for privileges of racial superiority, much in the same way that African Americans, Latin Americans and other racialised minorities are denied whiteness. Can a poor West Virginian living in a toxified drugged out impoverished landscape really be defined as a carrier of 'white privilege'?

    I was first pointed at this by the juxtapositions of racialised working class and immigrants in Imogen Tyler's Revolting Subjects – Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain but this below is a useful short article that takes a historical perspective.

    Why the Working Class was Never 'White'

    The 'racialisation' of class in Britain has been a consequence of the weakening of 'class' as a political idea since the 1970s – it is a new construction, not an historic one.

    .

    This is not to deny the existence of working-class racism, or to suggest that racism is somehow acceptable if rooted in perceived socio-economic grievances. But it is to suggest that the concept of a 'white working class' needs problematizing, as does the claim that the British working-class was strongly committed to a post-war vision of 'White Britain' analogous to the politics which sustained the idea of a 'White Australia' until the 1960s.

    Yes, old, settled neighbourhoods could be profoundly distrustful of outsiders – all outsiders, including the researchers seeking to study them – but, when it came to race, they were internally divided. We certainly hear working-class racist voices – often echoing stock racist complaints about over-crowding, welfare dependency or exploitative landlords and small businessmen, but we don't hear the deep pathological racial fears laid bare in the letters sent to Enoch Powell after his so-called 'Rivers of Blood' speech in 1968 (Whipple, 2009).

    But more importantly, we also hear strong anti-racist voices loudly and clearly. At Wallsend on Tyneside, where the researchers were gathering their data just as Powell shot to notoriety, we find workers expressing casual racism, but we also find eloquent expressions of an internationalist, solidaristic perspective in which, crucially, black and white are seen as sharing the same working-class interests.

    Racism is denounced as a deliberate capitalist strategy to divide workers against themselves, weakening their ability to challenge those with power over their lives (shipbuilding had long been a very fractious industry and its workers had plenty of experience of the dangers of internal sectarian battles).

    To be able to mobilize across across racialised divisions, to have race wither away entirely would, for me, be the beginning of a politics that allowed humanity to deal with the inescapable violence of climate change and corporate power.

    *To add to the bibliography – David R. Roediger, Elizabeth D. Esch – The Production of Difference – Race and the Management of Labour, and Denise Ferreira da Silva – Toward a Global Idea of Race. And I have just been pointed at Ian Haney-López, White By Law – The Legal Construction of Race.

    Hidari 11.19.16 at 8:16 am 152

    FWIW 'merica's constitutional democracy is going to collapse.

    Some day - not tomorrow, not next year, but probably sometime before runaway climate change forces us to seek a new life in outer-space colonies - there is going to be a collapse of the legal and political order and its replacement by something else. If we're lucky, it won't be violent. If we're very lucky, it will lead us to tackle the underlying problems and result in a better, more robust, political system. If we're less lucky, well, then, something worse will happen .

    In a 1990 essay, the late Yale political scientist Juan Linz observed that "aside from the United States, only Chile has managed a century and a half of relatively undisturbed constitutional continuity under presidential government - but Chilean democracy broke down in the 1970s."

    Linz offered several reasons why presidential systems are so prone to crisis. One particularly important one is the nature of the checks and balances system. Since both the president and the Congress are directly elected by the people, they can both claim to speak for the people. When they have a serious disagreement, according to Linz, "there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved." The constitution offers no help in these cases, he wrote: "the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate."

    In a parliamentary system, deadlocks get resolved. A prime minister who lacks the backing of a parliamentary majority is replaced by a new one who has it. If no such majority can be found, a new election is held and the new parliament picks a leader. It can get a little messy for a period of weeks, but there's simply no possibility of a years-long spell in which the legislative and executive branches glare at each other unproductively.'

    http://www.vox.com/2015/3/2/8120063/american-democracy-doomed

    Given that the basic point is polarisation (i.e. that both the President and Congress have equally strong arguments to be the the 'voice of the people') and that under the US appalling constitutional set up, there is no way to decide between them, one can easily imagine the so to speak 'hyperpolarisation' of a Trump Presidency as being the straw (or anvil) that breaks the camel's back.

    In any case, as I pointed out before, given that the US is increasingly an urbanised country, and the Electoral College was created to protect rural (slave) states, the grotesque electoral result we have just seen is likely to recur, which means more and more Presidents with dubious democratic legitimacy. Thanks to Bush (and Obama) these Presidents will have, at the same time, more and more power.

    Eventually something is going to break.

    dbk 11.19.16 at 10:39 am ( 153 )

    nastywoman @ 150
    Just study the program of the 'Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland' or the Program of 'Die Grünen' in Germany (take it through google translate) and you get all the answers you are looking for.

    No need to run it through google translate, it's available in English on their site. [Or one could refer to the Green Party of the U.S. site/platform, which is very similar in scope and overall philosophy. (www.gp.org).]

    I looked at several of their topic areas (Agricultural, Global, Health, Rural) and yes, these are general theses I would support. But they're hardly policy/project proposals for specific regions or communities – the Greens espouse "think global, act local", so programs and projects must be tailored to individual communities and regions.

    To return to my original question and answer it myself: I'm forced to conclude that the Democrats did not specifically address the revitalization – rebirth of the Rust Belt in their 2016 platform. Its failure to do so carried a heavy cost that (nearly) all of us will be forced to pay.

    Soullite 11.19.16 at 12:46 pm 156

    This sub seems to have largely fallen into the psychologically comfortable trap of declaring that everyone who voted against their preferred candidate is racist. It's a view pushed by the neoliberals, who want to maintain he stranglehold of identity politics over the DNC, and it makes upper-class 'intellectuals' feel better about themselves and their betrayal of the filthy, subhuman white underclass (or so they see it).

    I expect at this point that Trump will be reelected comfortably. If not only the party itself, but also most of its activists, refuse to actually change, it's more or less inevitable.

    You can scream 'those jobs are never coming back!' all you want, but people are never going to accept it. So either you come up with a genuine solution (instead of simply complaining that your opponents solutions won't work; you're partisan and biased, most voters won't believe you), you may as well resign yourself to fascism. Because whining that you don't know what to do won't stop people from lining up behind someone who says that they do have one, whether it'll work or not. Nobody trusts the elite enough to believe them when they say that jobs are never coming back. Nobody trusts the elite at all.

    You sound just like the Wiemar elite. No will to solve the problem, but filled with terror at the inevitable result of failing to solve the problem.

    mclaren 11.19.16 at 2:37 pm 160

    One brutal fact tells us everything we need to know about the Democratic party in 2016: the American Nazi party is running on a platform of free health care to working class people. This means that the American Nazi Party is now running to the left of the Democratic party.

    Folks, we have seen this before. Let's not descend in backbiting and recriminations, okay? We've got some commenters charging that other commenters are "mansplaining," meanwhile we've got other commenters claiming that it's economics and not racism/misogyny. It's all of the above.

    Back in the 1930s, when the economy collapsed, fascists appeared and took power. Racists also came out of the woodwork, ditto misogynists. Fast forward 80 years, and the same thing has happened all over again. The global economy melted down in 2008 and fascists appeared promising to fix the problems that the pols in power wouldn't because they were too closely tied to the existing (failed) system. Along with the fascists, racists gained power because they were able to scapegoat minorities as the alleged cause of everyone's misery.

    None of this is surprising. We have seen it before. Whenever you get a depression in a modern industrial economy, you get scapegoating, racism, and fascists. We know what to do. The problem is that the current Democratic party isn't doing it.

    Instead, what we're seeing is a whirlwind of finger-pointing from the Democratic leadership that lost this election and probably let the entire New Deal get rolled back and wiped out. Putin is to blame! Julian Assange is to blame! The biased media are to blame! Voter suppression is to blame! Bernie Sanders is to blame! Jill Stein is to blame! Everyone and anyone except the current out-of-touch influence-peddling elites who currently have run the Democratic party into the ground.

    We need the feminists and the black lives matter groups and we also need the green party people and the Bernie Sanders activists. But everyone has to understand that this is not an isolated event. Trump did not just happen by accident. First there was Greece, then there was Brexit, then there was Trump, next it'll be Renzi losing the referendum in Italy and a constitutional crisis there, and after that, Marine Le Pen in France is going to win the first round of elections. (Probably not the presidency, since all the other French parties will band together to stop her, but the National Front is currently polling at 40% of all registered French voters.) And Marine LePen is the real deal, a genuine full-on out-and-out fascist. Not a closet fascist like Steve Bannon, LePen is the full monty with everything but a Hugo Boss suit and the death's heads on the cap.

    Does anyone notice a pattern here?

    This is an international movement. It is sweeping the world . It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part.

    Feminists, BLM, black bloc anarchiest anti-globalists, Sandernistas, and, yes, the former Hillary supporters. Because it not just a coincidence that all these things are happening in all these countries at the same time. The bottom 90% of the population in the developed world has been ripped off by a managerial and financial and political class for the last 30 years and they have all noticed that while the world GDP was skyrocketing and international trade agreements were getting signed with zero input from the average citizen, a few people were getting very very rich but nobody else was getting anything.

    This hammered people on the bottom, disproportionately African Americans and especially single AA mothers in America. It crushed the blue collar workers. It is wiping out the savings and careers of college-educated white collar workers now, at least, the ones who didn't go to the Ivy League, which is 90% of them.

    And the Democratic party is so helpless and so hopeless that it is letting the American Nazi Party run to the left of them on health care, fer cripes sake! We are now in a situation where the American Nazi Party is advocating single-payer nationalized health care, while the former Democratic presidential nominee who just got defeated assured everyone that single-payer "will never, ever happen."

    C'mon! Is anyone surprised that Hillary lost? Let's cut the crap with the "Hillary was a flawed candidate" arguments. The plain fact of the matter is that Hillary was running mainly on getting rid of the problems she and her husband created 25 years ago. Hillary promised criminal justice reform and Black Lives Matter-friendly policing policies - and guess who started the mass incarceration trend and gave speeches calling black kids "superpredators" 20 years ago? Hillary promised to fix the problems with the wretched mandate law forcing everyone to buy unaffordable for-profit private insurance with no cost controls - and guess who originally ran for president in 2008 on a policy of health care mandates with no cost controls? Yes, Hillary (ironically, Obama's big surge in popularity as a candidate came when he ran against Hillary from the left, ridiculing helath care mandates). Hillary promises to reform an out-of-control deregulated financial system run amok - and guess who signed all those laws revoking Glass-Steagal and setting up the Securities Trading Modernization Act? Yes, Bill Clinton, and Hillary was right there with him cheering the whole process on.

    So pardon me and lots of other folks for being less than impressed by Hillary's trustworthiness and honesty. Run for president by promising to undo the damage you did to the country 25 years ago is (let say) a suboptimal campaign strategy, and a distinctly suboptimal choice of presidential candidate for a party in the same sense that the Hiroshima air defense was suboptimal in 1945.

    Calling Hillary an "imperfect candidate" is like calling what happened to the Titanic a "boating accident." Trump was an imperfect candidate. Why did he win?

    Because we're back in the 1930s again, the economy has crashed hard and still hasn't recovered (maybe because we still haven't convened a Pecora Commission and jailed a bunch of the thieves, and we also haven't set up any alphabet government job programs like the CCC) so fascists and racists and all kinds of other bottom-feeders are crawling out of the political woodwork to promise to fix the problems that the Democratic party establishment won't.
    Rule of thumb: any social or political or economic writer virulently hated by the current Democratic party establishment is someone we should listen to closely right now.

    Cornel West is at the top of the current Democratic establishment's hate list, and he has got a great article in The Guardian that I think is spot-on:

    "The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians."

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/17/american-neoliberalism-cornel-west-2016-election

    Glenn Greenwald is another writer who has been showered with more hate by the Democratic establishment recently than even Trump or Steve Bannon, so you know Greenwald is saying something important. He has a great piece in The Intercept on the head-in-the-ground attitude of Democratic elites toward their recent loss:

    "It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and the House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week, party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: `the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that's essentially a smoking pile of rubble.'

    "One would assume that the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated and wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite mistaken."

    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/18/the-stark-contrast-between-the-gops-self-criticism-in-2012-and-the-democrats-blame-everyone-else-posture-now/

    Last but far from least, Scottish economist Mark Blyth has what looks to me like the single best analysis of the entire global Trump_vs_deep_state tidal wave in Foreign Affairs magazine:

    "At the end of World War II, the United States and its allies decided that sustained mass unemployment was an existential threat to capitalism and had to be avoided at all costs. In response, governments everywhere targeted full employment as the master policy variable-trying to get to, and sustain, an unemployment rate of roughly four percent. The problem with doing so, over time, is that targeting any variable long enough undermines the value of the variable itself-a phenomenon known as Goodhart's law. (..)

    " what we see [today] is a reversal of power between creditors and debtors as the anti-inflationary regime of the past 30 years undermines itself-what we might call "Goodhart's revenge." In this world, yields compress and creditors fret about their earnings, demanding repayment of debt at all costs. Macro-economically, this makes the situation worse: the debtors can't pay-but politically, and this is crucial-it empowers debtors since they can't pay, won't pay, and still have the right to vote.

    "The traditional parties of the center-left and center-right, the builders of this anti-inflationary order, get clobbered in such a world, since they are correctly identified by these debtors as the political backers of those demanding repayment in an already unequal system, and all from those with the least assets. This produces anti-creditor, pro-debtor coalitions-in-waiting that are ripe for the picking by insurgents of the left and the right, which is exactly what has happened.

    "In short, to understand the election of Donald Trump we need to listen to the trumpets blowing everywhere in the highly indebted developed countries and the people who vote for them.

    "The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss and racism. It's also driven by the global economy itself. This is a global phenomenon that marks one thing above all. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun."

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2016-11-15/global-Trump_vs_deep_state

    efcdons 11.19.16 at 3:07 pm 161 ( 161 )

    Faustusnotes @147

    You don't live here, do you? I'm really asking a genuine question because the way you are framing the question ("SPECIFICS!!!!!!) suggests you don't. (Just to show my background, born and raised in Australia (In the electoral division of Kooyong, home of Menzies) but I've lived in the US since 2000 in the midwest (MO, OH) and currently in the south (GA))

    If this election has taught us anything it's no one cared about "specifics". It was a mood, a feeling which brought trump over the top (and I'm not talking about the "average" trump voter because that is meaningless. The average trunp voter was a republican voter in the south who the Dems will never get so examining their motivations is immaterial to future strategy. I'm talking about the voters in the Upper Midwest from places which voted for Obama twice then switched to trump this year to give him his margin of victory).

    trump voters have been pretty clear they don't actually care about the way trump does (or even doesn't) do what he said he would do during the campaign. It was important to them he showed he was "with" people like them. They way he did that was partially racialized (law and order, islamophobia) but also a particular emphasis on blue collar work that focused on the work. Unfortunately these voters, however much you tell them they should suck it up and accept their generations of familial experience as relatively highly paid industrial workers (even if it is something only their fathers and grandfathers experienced because the factories were closing when the voters came of age in the 80s and 90s) is never coming back and they should be happy to retrain as something else, don't want it. They want what their families have had which is secure, paid, benefits rich, blue collar work.

    trump's campaign empathized with that feeling just by focusing on the factory jobs as jobs and not as anachronisms that are slowly fading away for whatever reason. Clinton might have been "correct", but these voters didn't want to hear "the truth". And as much as you can complain about how stupid they are for wanting to be lied to, that is the unfortunate reality you, and the Democratic party, have to accept.

    The idea they don't want "government help" is ridiculous. They love the government. They just want the government to do things for them and not for other people (which unfortunately includes blah people but also "the coasts", "sillicon valley", etc.). Obama won in 2008 and 2012 in part due to the auto bailout.

    trump was offering a "bailout" writ large. Clinton had no (good) counteroffer. It was like the tables were turned. Romney was the one talking about "change" and "restructuring" while Obama was defending keeping what was already there.

    "Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course - the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check."
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html

    So yes. Clinton needed vague promises. She needed something more than retraining and "jobs of the future" and "restructuring". She needed to show she was committed to their way of life, however those voters saw it, and would do something, anything, to keep it alive. trump did that even though his plan won't work. And maybe he'll be punished for it. In 4 years. But in the interim the gop will destroy so many things we need and rely on as well as entrench their power for generations through the Supreme Court.

    But really, it was hard for Clinton to be trusted to act like she cared about these peoples' way of life because she (through her husband fairly or unfairly) was associated with some of the larger actions and choices which helped usher in the decline.

    Clinton toward the end offered tariffs. But the trump campaign hit back with what turned out to be a pretty strong counter attack – ""How's she going to get tough on China?" said Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro on CNN's Quest Means Business. He notes that some of Clinton's economic advisors have supported TPP or even worked on it. ""

    http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/11/news/economy/hillary-clinton-trade/

    [Nov 19, 2016] Steve Bannon Interviewed Its About Americans Not Getting disposed

    Notable quotes:
    "... " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement." ..."
    "... Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids." ..."
    "... Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump" ..."
    "... " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ." ..."
    "... ... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet. ..."
    Nov 19, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
    Bannon next discusses the "battle line" inside America's great divide.

    He absolutely - mockingly - rejects the idea that this is a racial line. "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist, " he tells me. " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

    Bannon's vision: an "entirely new political movement", one which drives the conservatives crazy. As to how monetary policy will coexist with fiscal stimulus, Bannon has a simple explanation: he plans to "rebuild everything" courtesy of negative interest rates and cheap debt throughout the world. Those rates may not be negative for too long.

    " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

    How Bannon describes Trump: " an ideal vessel"

    It is less than obvious how Bannon, now the official strategic brains of the Trump operation, syncs with his boss, famously not too strategic. When Bannon took over the campaign from Paul Manafort, there were many in the Trump circle who had resigned themselves to the inevitability of the candidate listening to no one . But here too was a Bannon insight: When the campaign seemed most in free fall or disarray, it was perhaps most on target. While Clinton was largely absent from the campaign trail and concentrating on courting her donors, Trump - even after the leak of the grab-them-by-the-pussy audio - was speaking to ever-growing crowds of thirty-five or forty thousand. "He gets it, he gets it intuitively," says Bannon, perhaps still surprised he has found such an ideal vessel. "You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message and two political parties that are so owned by the donors that they don't speak to their audience. But he speaks in a non-political vernacular, he communicates with these people in a very visceral way. Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids."

    Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump"

    At that moment, as we talk, there's a knock on the door of Bannon's office, a temporary, impersonal, middle-level executive space with a hodgepodge of chairs for constant impromptu meetings. Sen. Ted Cruz, once the Republican firebrand, now quite a small and unassuming figure, has been waiting patiently for a chat and Bannon excuses himself for a short while. It is clear when we return to our conversation that it is not just the liberal establishment that Bannon feels he has triumphed over, but the conservative one too - not least of all Fox News and its owners, the Murdochs. "They got it more wrong than anybody," he says. " Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump. To him, Trump is a radical. Now they'll go centrist and build the network around Megyn Kelly." Bannon recounts, with no small irony, that when Breitbart attacked Kelly after her challenges to Trump in the initial Republican debate, Fox News chief Roger Ailes - whom Bannon describes as an important mentor, and who Kelly's accusations of sexual harassment would help topple in July - called to defend her. Bannon says he warned Ailes that Kelly would be out to get him too .

    Finally, Bannon on how he sees himself in the administration:

    Bannon now becomes part of a two-headed White House political structure, with Reince Priebus - in and out of Bannon's office as we talk - as chief of staff, in charge of making the trains run on time, reporting to the president, and Bannon as chief strategist, in charge of vision, goals, narrative and plan of attack, reporting to the president too. Add to this the ambitions and whims of the president himself, and the novel circumstance of one who has never held elective office, the agenda of his highly influential family and the end runs of a party significant parts of which were opposed to him, and you have quite a complex court that Bannon will have to finesse to realize his reign of the working man and a trillion dollars in new spending.

    "I am," he says, with relish, "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors."

    Life of Illusion nibiru Nov 18, 2016 2:32 PM ,
    now that is direct with truth

    " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

    Deathrips Life of Illusion Nov 18, 2016 2:34 PM ,
    William Jennings Bryan!!!! Bonus Points.

    http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/william-jennings-bryan-cro...

    Read cross of gold about bimetalism. Gold AND Silver

    PrayingMantis wildbad Nov 18, 2016 3:51 PM ,
    ... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet.

    ........ from wiki ...

    Stephen Kevin Bannon was born on November 27, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia into a working-class, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1976 and holds a master's degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. In 1983, Bannon received an M.B.A. degree with honors from Harvard Business School.

    Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet and stateside as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

    After his military service, Bannon worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department. In 1990, Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. Through Bannon & Co., Bannon negotiated the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment to Ted Turner. As payment, Bannon & Co. accepted a financial stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld. Société Générale purchased Bannon & Co. in 1998.

    In 1993, while still managing Bannon & Co., Bannon was made acting director of Earth-science research project Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. Under Bannon, the project shifted emphasis from researching space exploration and colonization towards pollution and global warming. He left the project in 1995.

    After the sale of Bannon & Co., Bannon became an executive producer in the film and media industry in Hollywood, California. He was executive producer for Julie Taymor's 1999 film Titus. Bannon became a partner with entertainment industry executive Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm, Inc., a film and television management company. In 2004, Bannon made a documentary about Ronald Reagan titled In the Face of Evil. Through the making and screening of this film, Bannon was introduced to Peter Schweizer and publisher Andrew Breitbart. He was involved in the financing and production of a number of films, including Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman, The Undefeated (on Sarah Palin), and Occupy Unmasked. Bannon also hosts a radio show (Breitbart News Daily) on a Sirius XM satellite radio channel.

    Bannon is also executive chairman and co-founder of the Government Accountability Institute, where he helped orchestrate the publication of the book Clinton Cash. In 2015, Bannon was ranked No. 19 on Mediaite's list of the "25 Most Influential in Political News Media 2015".

    Bannon convinced Goldman Sachs to invest in a company known as Internet Gaming Entertainment. Following a lawsuit, the company rebranded as Affinity Media and Bannon took over as CEO. From 2007 through 2011, Bannon was chairman and CEO of Affinity Media.

    Bannon became a member of the board of Breitbart News. In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart's death, Bannon became executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart took a more alt-right and nationalistic approach towards its agenda. Bannon declared the website "the platform for the alt-right" in 2016. Bannon identifies as a conservative. Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: "We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly 'anti-' the permanent political class."

    The New York Times described Breitbart News under Bannon's leadership as a "curiosity of the fringe right wing", with "ideologically driven journalists", that is a source of controversy "over material that has been called misogynist, xenophobic and racist." The newspaper also noted how Breitbart was now a "potent voice" for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

    Escrava Isaura The Saint Nov 18, 2016 6:11 PM ,

    Bannon: " The globalists gutted the American working class ..the Democrats were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

    Well said. Couldn't agree more.

    Bannon: " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.

    Dear Mr. Bannon, it has to be way more than $1trillion in 10 years. Obama's $831 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) didn't make up the difference for all the job lost in 2007/08. Manufacturing alone lost about 9 million jobs since 1979, when it peaked.

    Trump needs to go Ronald Reagan 180% deficit spending. If Trump runs 100% like Obama, Trump will fail as well.

    [Nov 19, 2016] How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer

    Nov 19, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

    anne -> anne... November 18, 2016 at 05:07 AM

    http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

    October, 2016

    Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer
    By Dean Baker

    Introduction: Trading in Myths

    In winter 2016, near the peak of Bernie Sanders' bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, a new line became popular among the nation's policy elite: Bernie Sanders is the enemy of the world's poor. Their argument was that Sanders, by pushing trade policies to help U.S. workers, specifically manufacturing workers, risked undermining the well-being of the world's poor because exporting manufactured goods to the United States and other wealthy countries is their path out of poverty. The role model was China, which by exporting has largely eliminated extreme poverty and drastically reduced poverty among its population. Sanders and his supporters would block the rest of the developing world from following the same course.

    This line, in its Sanders-bashing permutation, appeared early on in Vox, the millennial-oriented media upstart, and was quickly picked up elsewhere (Beauchamp 2016). After all, it was pretty irresistible. The ally of the downtrodden and enemy of the rich was pushing policies that would condemn much of the world to poverty.

    The story made a nice contribution to preserving the status quo, but it was less valuable if you respect honesty in public debate.

    The problem in the logic of this argument should be apparent to anyone who has taken an introductory economics course. It assumes that the basic problem of manufacturing workers in the developing world is the need for someone who will buy their stuff. If people in the United States don't buy it, then the workers will be out on the street and growth in the developing world will grind to a halt. In this story, the problem is that we don't have enough people in the world to buy stuff. In other words, there is a shortage of demand. But is it really true that no one else in the world would buy the stuff produced by manufacturing workers in the developing world if they couldn't sell it to consumers in the United States? Suppose people in the developing world bought the stuff they produced raising their living standards by raising their own consumption.

    That is how the economics is supposed to work. In the standard theory, general shortages of demand are not a problem. Economists have traditionally assumed that economies tended toward full employment. The basic economic constraint was a lack of supply. The problem was that we couldn't produce enough goods and services, not that we were producing too much and couldn't find anyone to buy them. In fact, this is why all the standard models used to analyze trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership assume trade doesn't affect total employment. Economies adjust so that shortages of demand are not a problem.

    In this standard story (and the Sanders critics are people who care about textbook economics), capital flows from slow-growing rich countries, where it is relatively plentiful and so gets a low rate of return, to fast-growing poor countries, where it is scarce and gets a high rate of return.

    [Figure 1-1] Theoretical and actual capital flows.

    So the United States, Japan, and the European Union should be running large trade surpluses, which is what an outflow of capital means. Rich countries like ours should be lending money to developing countries, providing them with the means to build up their capital stock and infrastructure while they use their own resources to meet their people's basic needs.

    This wasn't just theory. That story accurately described much of the developing world, especially Asia, through the 1990s. Countries like Indonesia and Malaysia were experiencing rapid annual growth of 7.8 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, even as they ran large trade deficits, just over 2 percent of GDP each year in Indonesia and almost 5 percent in Malaysia.

    These trade deficits probably were excessive, and a crisis of confidence hit East Asia and much of the developing world in the summer of 1997. The inflow of capital from rich countries slowed or reversed, making it impossible for the developing countries to sustain the fixed exchange rates most had at the time. One after another, they were forced to abandon their fixed exchange rates and turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help.

    Rather than promulgating policies that would allow developing countries to continue the textbook development path of growth driven by importing capital and running trade deficits, the IMF made debt repayment a top priority. The bailout, under the direction of the Clinton administration Treasury Department, required developing countries to switch to large trade surpluses (Radelet and Sachs 2000, O'Neil 1999).

    The countries of East Asia would be far richer today had they been allowed to continue on the growth path of the early and mid-1990s, when they had large trade deficits. Four of the five would be more than twice as rich, and the fifth, Vietnam, would be almost 50 percent richer. South Korea and Malaysia would have higher per capita incomes today than the United States.

    [Figure 1-2] Per capita income of East Asian countries, actual vs. continuing on 1990s growth path.

    In the wake of the East Asia bailout, countries throughout the developing world decided they had to build up reserves of foreign exchange, primarily dollars, in order to avoid ever facing the same harsh bailout terms as the countries of East Asia. Building up reserves meant running large trade surpluses, and it is no coincidence that the U.S. trade deficit has exploded, rising from just over 1 percent of GDP in 1996 to almost 6 percent in 2005. The rise has coincided with the loss of more than 3 million manufacturing jobs, roughly 20 percent of employment in the sector.

    There was no reason the textbook growth pattern of the 1990s could not have continued. It wasn't the laws of economics that forced developing countries to take a different path, it was the failed bailout and the international financial system. It would seem that the enemy of the world's poor is not Bernie Sanders but rather the engineers of our current globalization policies.

    There is a further point in this story that is generally missed: it is not only the volume of trade flows that is determined by policy, but also the content. A major push in recent trade deals has been to require stronger and longer patent and copyright protection. Paying the fees imposed by these terms, especially for prescription drugs, is a huge burden on the developing world. Bill Clinton would have much less need to fly around the world for the Clinton Foundation had he not inserted the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) provisions in the World Trade Organization (WTO) that require developing countries to adopt U.S.-style patent protections. Generic drugs are almost always cheap - patent protection makes drugs expensive. The cancer and hepatitis drugs that sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year would sell for a few hundred dollars in a free market. Cheap drugs would be more widely available had the developed world not forced TRIPS on the developing world.

    Of course, we have to pay for the research to develop new drugs or any innovation. We also have to compensate creative workers who produce music, movies, and books. But there are efficient alternatives to patents and copyrights, and the efforts by the elites in the United States and other wealthy countries to impose these relics on the developing world is just a mechanism for redistributing income from the world's poor to Pfizer, Microsoft, and Disney. Stronger and longer patent and copyright protection is not a necessary feature of a 21st century economy.

    In textbook trade theory, if a country has a larger trade surplus on payments for royalties and patent licensing fees, it will have a larger trade deficit in manufactured goods and other areas. The reason is that, in theory, the trade balance is fixed by national savings and investment, not by the ability of a country to export in a particular area. If the trade deficit is effectively fixed by these macroeconomic factors, then more exports in one area mean fewer exports in other areas. Put another way, income gains for Pfizer and Disney translate into lost jobs for workers in the steel and auto industries....

    reason : , November 18, 2016 at 05:14 AM

    I thought this from Dean Baker was interesting:
    http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/if-you-thought-a-trump-presidency-was-bad?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29

    It includes this interesting piece on international trade:

    "I'll start with my favorite, the complaint that the trade policy advocating by Warren and Sanders would hurt the poor in the developing world, or to use their words:


    "And their ostensible protection of American workers leaves no room to consider the welfare of poor people elsewhere in the world."

    I like this one because it turns standard economic theory on its head to advance the interests of the rich and powerful. In the economic textbooks, rich countries like the United States are supposed to be exporting capital to the developing world. This provides them the means to build up their capital stock and infrastructure, while maintaining the living standards of their populations. This is the standard economic story where the problem is scarcity.

    But to justify trade policies that have harmed tens of millions of U.S. workers, either by costing them jobs or depressing their wages, the Post discards standard economics and tells us the problem facing people in the developing world is that there is too much stuff. If we didn't buy the goods produced in the developing world then there would just be a massive glut of unsold products.

    In the standard theory the people in the developing world buy their own stuff, with rich countries like the U.S. providing the financing. It actually did work this way in the 1990s, up until the East Asian financial crisis in 1997. In that period, countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia were growing very rapidly while running large trade deficits. This pattern of growth was ended by the terms of the bailout imposed on these countries by the U.S. Treasury Department through the International Monetary Fund.

    The harsh terms of the bailout forced these and other developing countries to reverse the standard textbook path and start running large trade surpluses. This post-bailout period was associated with slower growth for these countries. In other words, the poor of the developing world suffered from the pattern of trade the Post advocates. If they had continued on the pre-bailout path they would be much richer today. In fact, South Korea and Malaysia would be richer than the United States if they had maintained their pre-bailout growth rate over the last two decades. (This is the topic of the introduction to my new book, Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer, it's free.)"

    Not sure that I fully agree with him, but I do agree that trade imbalances and mercantilism is a large part of the problem.

    Oh I see Anne posted this in parallel.

    anne -> reason ... , November 18, 2016 at 05:59 AM
    http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/if-you-thought-a-trump-presidency-was-bad?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29

    November 15, 2016

    If You Thought a Trump Presidency Was Bad .

    The Washington Post editorial page decided to lecture readers * on the meaning of progressivism. Okay, that is nowhere near as bad as a Trump presidency, but really, did we need this?

    The editorial gives us a potpourri of neo-liberal (yes, the term is appropriate here) platitudes, all of which we have heard many times before and are best half true. For framing, the villains are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who it tells us "are embracing principles that are not genuinely progressive."

    I'll start with my favorite, the complaint that the trade policy advocating by Warren and Sanders would hurt the poor in the developing world, or to use their words:

    "And their ostensible protection of American workers leaves no room to consider the welfare of poor people elsewhere in the world."

    I like this one because it turns standard economic theory on its head to advance the interests of the rich and powerful. In the economic textbooks, rich countries like the United States are supposed to be exporting capital to the developing world. This provides them the means to build up their capital stock and infrastructure, while maintaining the living standards of their populations. This is the standard economic story where the problem is scarcity.

    But to justify trade policies that have harmed tens of millions of U.S. workers, either by costing them jobs or depressing their wages, the Post discards standard economics and tells us the problem facing people in the developing world is that there is too much stuff. If we didn't buy the goods produced in the developing world then there would just be a massive glut of unsold products.

    In the standard theory the people in the developing world buy their own stuff, with rich countries like the U.S. providing the financing. It actually did work this way in the 1990s, up until the East Asian financial crisis in 1997. In that period, countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia were growing very rapidly while running large trade deficits. This pattern of growth was ended by the terms of the bailout imposed on these countries by the U.S. Treasury Department through the International Monetary Fund.

    The harsh terms of the bailout forced these and other developing countries to reverse the standard textbook path and start running large trade surpluses. This post-bailout period was associated with slower growth for these countries. In other words, the poor of the developing world suffered from the pattern of trade the Post advocates. If they had continued on the pre-bailout path they would be much richer today. In fact, South Korea and Malaysia would be richer than the United States if they had maintained their pre-bailout growth rate over the last two decades. (This is the topic of the introduction to my new book, "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer," ** it's free.)

    It is also important to note that the Post is only bothered by forms of protection that might help working class people. The United States prohibits foreign doctors from practicing in the United States unless they complete a U.S. residency program. (The total number of slots are tightly restricted with only a small fraction open to foreign trained doctors.) This is a classic protectionist measure. No serious person can believe that the only way for a person to be a competent doctor is to complete a U.S. residency program. It costs the United States around $100 billion a year ($700 per family) in higher medical expenses. Yet, we never hear a word about this or other barriers that protect the most highly paid professionals from the same sort of international competition faced by steelworkers and textile workers.

    Moving on, we get yet another Post tirade on Social Security.

    "You can expand benefits for everyone, as Ms. Warren favors. Prosperous retirees who live mostly off their well-padded 401(k)s will appreciate what to them will feel like a small bonus, if they notice it. But spreading wealth that way will make it harder to find the resources for the vulnerable elderly who truly depend on Social Security.

    "But demographics - the aging of the population - cannot be wished away. In the 1960s, about five taxpayers were helping to support each Social Security recipient, and the economy was growing about 6 percent annually. Today there are fewer than three workers for each pensioner, and the growth rate even following the 2008 recession has averaged about 2 percent . On current trends, 10 years from now the federal government will be spending almost all its money on Medicare, Social Security and other entitlements and on interest payments on the debt, leaving less and less for schools, housing and job training. There is nothing progressive about that."

    There are all sorts of misleading or wrong claims here. First, the economy did not grow "about 6 percent annually" in the 1960s. There were three years in which growth did exceed 6.0 percent, and it was a very prosperous decade, but growth only averaged 4.6 percent from 1960 to 1970.

    I suppose we should be happy that the Post is at least getting closer to the mark. A 2007 editorial *** praising The North American Free Trade Agreement told readers that Mexico's GDP "has more than quadrupled since 1987." The International Monetary Fund data **** put the gain at 83 percent. So by comparison, they are doing pretty good with the 6 percent growth number for the sixties.

    But getting to the demographics, we did go from more than five workers for every retiree to less than three today, and this number is projected to fall further to around 2.0 workers per retiree in the next fifteen years. This raises the obvious question, so what?

    The economy did not collapse even as we saw the fall from 5 workers per retiree to less than 3, so something really really bad happens when it falls further? We did raise taxes to cover the additional cost and we will probably have to raise taxes in the future.

    We get that the Post doesn't like tax increases (no one does), but this hardly seems like the end of the world. The Social Security Trustees project ***** that real wages will rise on average by more than 34 percent over the next two decades. Suppose we took back 5–10 percent of these projected wage gains through tax increases (still leaving workers with wages that are more than 30 percent higher than they are today), what is the big problem?

    Of course most workers have not seen their wages rise in step with the economy's growth over the last four decades. This is a huge issue which is the sort of thing that progressives should be and are focusing on. But the Post would rather distract us with the possibility that at some point in the future we may be paying a somewhat higher Social Security tax.

    The Post's route for savings is also classic misdirection. It tells how about high-living seniors who get so much money from their 401(k)s they don't even notice their Social Security checks. Only a bit more than 4.0 percent of the over 65 population has non-Social Security income of more than $80,000 a year. If the point is to have substantial savings from means-testing it would be necessary to hit people with incomes around $40,000 a year or even lower. That is not what most people consider wealthy.

    We could have substantial savings on Medicare by pushing down the pay of doctors and reducing the prices of drugs and medical equipment. The latter could be done by substituting public financing for research and development for government granted patent monopolies (also discussed in Rigged). These items would almost invariably be cheap in a free market. But the Post seems uninterested in ways to save money that could affect the incomes of the rich.

    One can quibble with whether the current benefits for middle income people are right or should be somewhat higher or lower, but it is ridiculous to argue that raising them $50 a month, as proposed by Senator Warren, will break the bank.

    Then we have the issue of free college. The Post raises the issue, pushed by Senator Sanders in his presidential campaign, and then tells readers:

    "Our answer - we would argue, the progressive answer - is that there are people in society with far greater needs than that upper-middle-class family in Fairfax County that would be relieved of its tuition burden at the College of William & Mary if Mr. Sanders got his wish."

    There are two points to be made here. First there is extensive research ****** showing that many children from low- and moderate-income families hugely over-estimate the cost of college, failing to realize that they would be eligible for financial aid that would make it free or nearly free. This means that the current structure is preventing many relatively disadvantaged children from attending college. Arguably better education on the opportunities to get aid would solve this problem, but the problem has existed for a long time and better education has not done much to change the picture thus far.

    The second point is that the process of determining eligibility for aid is itself costly. Many children have divorced parents, with a non-custodial parent often not anxious to pay for their children's college. Perhaps it is appropriate that they should pay, but forcing payment is not an easy task and it doesn't make sense to make the children in such situations suffer.

    In many ways, the free college solution is likely to be the easiest, with the tax coming out of the income of higher earners, the vast majority of whom will be the beneficiaries of this policy. There are ways to save on paying for college. My favorite is limiting the pay of anyone at a public school to the salary of the president of the United States ($400,000 a year). We can also deny the privilege of tax exempt status to private universities or other non-profits that don't accept a similar salary cap. These folks can pay their top executives whatever they want, but they shouldn't ask the taxpayers to subsidize their exorbitant pay packages.

    There is one final issue in the column worth noting. At one point it makes a pitch for the virtues of economic growth then tells readers:

    "It's not in conflict with the goal of redistribution."

    At least some of us progressive types are not particularly focused on "redistribution." The focus of my book and much of my other writing is on the way that the market has been structured to redistribute income upward, compared with the structures in place in the quarter century after World War II. Is understandable that people who are basically very satisfied with this upward redistribution of market income would not want this rigging of the market even to be discussed, but serious progressives do.

    * https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-does-it-mean-to-be-progressive/2016/11/14/469662fe-9c8d-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html

    ** http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/Rigged.pdf

    *** http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/02/AR2007120201588.html

    **** http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2016/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=44&pr.y=2&sy=1987&ey=2007&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=273&s=NGDP_R&grp=0&a=

    ***** https://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/2015/index.html

    ****** http://www.allhallows.org/ourpages/auto/2012/9/7/43578201/Real%20and%20Imagined%20barriers.pdf

    -- Dean Baker

    anne -> reason ... , November 18, 2016 at 06:01 AM
    I thought this from Dean Baker was interesting...

    [ And, I think, especially important. ]

    reason -> anne... , November 18, 2016 at 06:19 AM
    Although I like much of what Dean Baker, I don't like his term "loser liberalism", nor do I think his de-emphasis on redistribution useful. Au contraire, I think talking about redistribution is absolutely essential if we are to move to sustainable world. We can no longer be certain that per person GDP growth will be sufficient to be able to ignore distribution or to rely on "predistribution".
    anne -> reason ... , November 18, 2016 at 06:35 AM
    "Although I like much of what Dean Baker, I don't like his term 'loser liberalism', nor do I think his de-emphasis on redistribution useful...."

    http://www.cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/ending-loser-liberalism-why-a-market-based-approach-makes-sense

    November 18, 2015

    Ending Loser Liberalism: Why a Market Based Approach Makes Sense

    -- Dean Baker

    [ Well worth arguing about. ]

    anne -> reason ... , November 18, 2016 at 07:19 AM
    http://deanbaker.net/images/stories/documents/End-of-Loser-Liberalism.pdf

    2011

    The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive
    By Dean Baker

    Upward Redistribution of Income: It Didn't Just Happen

    Money does not fall up. Yet the United States has experienced a massive upward redistribution of income over the last three decades, leaving the bulk of the workforce with little to show from the economic growth since 1980. This upward redistribution was not the result of the natural workings of the market. Rather, it was the result of deliberate policy, most of which had the support of the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

    Unfortunately, the public and even experienced progressive political figures are not well informed about the key policies responsible for this upward redistribution, even though they are not exactly secrets. The policies are so well established as conventional economic policy that we tend to think of them as incontrovertibly virtuous things, but each has a dark side. An anti-inflation policy by the Federal Reserve Board, which relies on high interest rates, slows growth and throws people out of work. Major trade deals hurt manufacturing workers by putting them in direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. A high dollar makes U.S. goods uncompetitive in world markets.

    Almost any economist would acknowledge these facts, but few economists have explored their implications and explained them to the general public. As a result, most of us have little understanding of the economic policies that have the largest impact on our jobs, our homes, and our lives. Instead, public debate and the most hotly contested legislation in Congress tend to be about issues that will have relatively little impact.

    This lack of focus on crucial economic issues is a serious problem from the standpoint of advancing a progressive agenda....

    Johannes Y O Highness -> anne... , November 18, 2016 at 06:25 AM
    Awareness is the first step forward. Foreign workers is just another name for workers, just another

    name for My
    People --

    anne -> Johannes Y O Highness... , November 18, 2016 at 06:36 AM
    Foreign workers is just another name for workers...

    [ Nicely expressed. ]

    [Nov 19, 2016] Trump's Win, Brexit Vote Stem From Mishandling of Globalization, Obama Says

    www.wsj.com

    President Barack Obama said Wednesday that America's election of Donald Trump and the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union reflect a political uprising in the West over economic inequities spawned by leaders' mishandling of globalization.

    [Nov 19, 2016] Globalizations Last Gasp by Barry Eichengreen

    Notable quotes:
    "... Already, motor-vehicle manufacturers ship an automotive transmission back and forth across the US-Mexican border several times in the course of production. At some point, unpacking that production process still further will reach the point of diminishing returns. ..."
    "... The story for cross-border flows of financial capital is even more dramatic. Gross capital flows – the sum of inflows and outflows – are not just growing more slowly; they are down significantly in absolute terms from 2009 levels. ..."
    "... ... cross-border bank lending and borrowing that have fallen. Foreign direct investment – financial flows to build foreign factories and acquire foreign companies – remains at pre-crisis levels. ..."
    "... This difference reflects regulation. Having concluded, rightly, that cross-border bank lending is especially risky, regulators clamped down on banks' international operations. ..."
    Nov 19, 2016 | www.project-syndicate.org

    Does Donald Trump's election as United States president mean that globalization is dead, or are reports of the process' demise greatly exaggerated? If globalization is only partly incapacitated, not terminally ill, should we worry? How much will slower trade growth, now in the offing, matter for the global economy?

    World trade growth would be slowing down, even without Trump in office. Its growth was already flat in the first quarter of 2016, and it fell by nearly 1% in the second quarter. This continues a prior trend: since 2010, global trade has grown at an annual rate of barely 2%. Together with the fact that worldwide production of goods and services has been rising by more than 3%, this means that the trade-to-GDP ratio has been falling, in contrast to its steady upward march in earlier years.

    ... the resurgent protectionism manifest in popular opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP),

    Causality in economics may be elusive, but in this case it is clear. So far, slower trade growth has been the result of slower GDP growth, not the other way around.

    This is particularly evident in the case of investment spending, which has fallen sharply since the global financial crisis. Investment spending is trade-intensive, because countries rely disproportionately on a relatively small handful of producers, like Germany, for technologically sophisticated capital goods.

    In addition, slower trade growth reflects China's economic deceleration. Until 2011 China was growing at double-digit rates, and Chinese exports and imports were growing even faster. China's growth has now slowed by a third, leading to slower growth of Chinese trade.

    China's growth miracle, benefiting a fifth of the earth's population, is the most important economic event of the last quarter-century. But it can happen only once. And now that the phase of catch-up growth is over for China, this engine of global trade will slow.

    The other engine of world trade has been global supply chains. Trade in parts and components has benefited from falling transport costs, reflecting containerization and related advances in logistics. But efficiency in shipping is unlikely to continue to improve faster than efficiency in the production of what is being shipped. Already, motor-vehicle manufacturers ship an automotive transmission back and forth across the US-Mexican border several times in the course of production. At some point, unpacking that production process still further will reach the point of diminishing returns.

    The story for cross-border flows of financial capital is even more dramatic. Gross capital flows – the sum of inflows and outflows – are not just growing more slowly; they are down significantly in absolute terms from 2009 levels.

    ... cross-border bank lending and borrowing that have fallen. Foreign direct investment – financial flows to build foreign factories and acquire foreign companies – remains at pre-crisis levels.

    This difference reflects regulation. Having concluded, rightly, that cross-border bank lending is especially risky, regulators clamped down on banks' international operations.

    In response, many banks curtailed their cross-border business. But, rather than alarming anyone, this should be seen as reassuring, because the riskiest forms of international finance have been curtailed without disrupting more stable and productive forms of foreign investment.

    We now face the prospect of the US government revoking the Dodd-Frank Act and rolling back the financial reforms of recent years. Less stringent financial regulation may make for the recovery of international capital flows. But we should be careful what we wish for.

    [Nov 18, 2016] The statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes by Bruce Wilder

    Notable quotes:
    "... The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. ..."
    "... It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. ..."
    "... When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. ..."
    "... Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. ..."
    "... It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. ..."
    "... This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. ..."
    "... No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. ..."
    "... If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. ..."
    "... Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. ..."
    Nov 18, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

    bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30

    At the center of Great Depression politics was a political struggle over the distribution of income, a struggle that was only decisively resolved during the War, by the Great Compression. It was at center of farm policy where policymakers struggled to find ways to support farm incomes. It was at the center of industrial relations politics, where rapidly expanding unions were seeking higher industrial wages. It was at the center of banking policy, where predatory financial practices were under attack. It was at the center of efforts to regulate electric utility rates and establish public power projects. And, everywhere, the clear subtext was a struggle between rich and poor, the economic royalists as FDR once called them and everyone else.

    FDR, an unmistakeable patrician in manner and pedigree, was leading a not-quite-revolutionary politics, which was nevertheless hostile to and suspicious of business elites, as a source of economic pathology. The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance.

    It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle.

    In retrospect, though the New Deal did use direct employment as a means of relief to good effect economically and politically, it never undertook anything like a Keynesian stimulus on a Keynesian scale - at least until the War.

    Where the New Deal witnessed the institution of an elaborate system of financial repression, accomplished in large part by imposing on the financial sector an explicitly mandated structure, with types of firms and effective limits on firm size and scope, a series of regulatory reforms and financial crises beginning with Carter and Reagan served to wipe this structure away.

    When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup.

    I don't know what considerations guided Obama in choosing the size of the stimulus or its composition (as spending and tax cuts). Larry Summers was identified at the time as a voice of caution, not "gambling", but not much is known about his detailed reasoning in severely trimming Christina Romer's entirely conventional calculations. (One consideration might well have been worldwide resource shortages, which had made themselves felt in 2007-8 as an inflationary spike in commodity prices.) I do not see a case for connecting stimulus size policy to the health care reform. At the time the stimulus was proposed, the Administration had also been considering whether various big banks and other financial institutions should be nationalized, forced to insolvency or otherwise restructured as part of a regulatory reform.

    Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. Accelerating the financialization of the economy from 1999 on made New York and Washington rich, but the same economic policies and process were devastating the Rust Belt as de-industrialization. They were two aspects of the same complex of economic trends and policies. The rise of China as a manufacturing center was, in critical respects, a financial operation within the context of globalized trade that made investment in new manufacturing plant in China, as part of globalized supply chains and global brand management, (arguably artificially) low-risk and high-profit, while reinvestment in manufacturing in the American mid-west became unattractive, except as a game of extracting tax subsidies or ripping off workers.

    It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics.

    It is conceding too many good intentions to the Obama Administration to tie an inadequate stimulus to a Rube Goldberg health care reform as the origin story for the final debacle of Democratic neoliberal politics. There was a delicate balancing act going on, but they were not balancing the recovery of the economy in general so much as they were balancing the recovery from insolvency of a highly inefficient and arguably predatory financial sector, which was also not incidentally financing the institutional core of the Democratic Party and staffing many key positions in the Administration and in the regulatory apparatus.

    This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints.

    No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence.

    bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:33 pm ( 31 )

    The short version of my thinking on the Obama stimulus is this: Keynesian stimulus spending is a free lunch; it doesn't really matter what you spend money on up to a very generous point, so it seems ready-made for legislative log-rolling. If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying.

    Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit veh