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April 23, 2017

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"And religion is another part of what helps support traditional families". What does that mean? As actually practiced, it means rigid gender roles and male domination. That's yer "Traditional Families" right there.
I'm 67 and I'm an old white guy and I know these people. They are upset that white people aren't having babies. Others, not so much. The religion part is pretty fungible. It's more of a tribal marker and social network than any commitment to good conduct toward anyone outside the tribe.

WWII unified the country because it brought together people from different geographic and economic circumstances (although most experienced significant poverty during the depression), and gave them a common cause, loyalty to the federal government, and tangible economic benefits. The post-War boom kept everyone happy until the Civil War revived old divisions, and anti-federal government sentiment in the south. The Vietnam war exacerbated cultural tensions because the anti-war movement was seen as mostly a project of privileged college students.

When Reagan captured the conservative imagination, it was the beginning of the end.

Oops, when I said "the Civil War" I meant the Civil War, Stage 2 - the civil rights movement.

Well, perhaps if they want youngsters (of whatever hue) to have more babies, then perhaps they should spend a bit less effort knocking out the support structures that HELP people be able to handle "kids" situation.

Like jobs that pay well enough that survival and comfort only requires a single income. Or free pre-K childcare and affordable family healthcare. Or paid maternity leave. Or free prenatal care.

Yes "free" a lot, because if you demand that the young'n'fertile pay for that stuff themselves, they won't be able to unless they get A LOT MORE PAY from their jobs, and then they might well spend it on other stuff.

But, oh, no, that stuff is SOCIALIST or even YURPEAN, so unpossible. And here we are.

If you're not willing to take the obvious steps that lead to your (claimed) desired outcome, you can SHUT THE FNCK UP, DIPSTICK.

Also, punch in the face, old while a-holes. Die soon.

I don't think this is accurate at all. I'm sure there are some fundamentalists who are weirded out by women with jobs and no husband, but I think that if you surveyed actual conservatives you'd find loads of them for whom "young women go to college then find jobs and everyone uses birth control and that's all fine" is basically standard practice.

I think it's a lot more simple. The culture war stuff is damaging to conservative attitudes about liberals long after the culture war ends in the liberals favor because they hold grudges. There was a period where conservative leaders were regularly saying really awful things about gay people. The liberal response was, quite reasonably, "what a bunch of bigots." That worked. But now everybody who clapped along when gay people were being derided is editing their memory to de-emphasize their actions and words on that score, but they're remembering in detail that time someone called them a bigot on Facebook, or more likely, that time when their favorite radio host told them all about how some liberal somewhere called them all bigots for a stupid reason. A detailed recollection of how others slighted you is a great way of re orienting yourself so that you can forget things you're ashamed of.

More centrally, conservatives tend to have an aesthetic vision of what it means to be a good person. It looks something like, "strong, independent, doesn't need handouts, solves problems through strength, deters threats with strength, self made, owes no one anything."

Conservative media messaging focuses on playing up the idea that this represents conservatives and conservative political outcomes, and that if this doesn't represent your life, it's because the government got in the way- an entity so powerful you can't be expected to fight it alone even if you're a tough, self made man.

Liberals also have an aesthetic vision of the world, and its all but the polar opposite. It involves an almost meditative focus on rejecting the validity of the conservative aesthetic vision (check your privilege) and an insistence that people be treated as class groupings, and that the government is the vehicle by which differences within class groupings- which can only be attributed to injustice- be remedied.

I think that's it.

because they hold grudges

This is it. I would argue some large percentage hold grudges dating from 1864.

Liberals also have an aesthetic vision of the world, and its all but the polar opposite.

I'm not so sure it is the polar opposite. In my observation, most liberals are fine with people being "strong, independent, doesn't need handouts, solves problems through strength, deters threats with strength". They would like everybody to get there.

It's just that, opposite to conservatives, they think it is the responsibility of everybody (collectively, thru government) to help people reach that point. In short, they disagree on the "self made, owes no one anything" part. And even there, they actually would like people to be able to achieve the "self-made" part . . . they just don't see it happening without help to get to the point that it's possible.

Personally, I think that there is something to be said for the idea that people are responsible for their own actions, and the results of those actions. The idea that "owes no one anything" is the cancerous extreme of. Certainly I don't like the view that, for everybody who has problems, it's always someone else's fault. And toxic liberalism (perhaps in response to toxic conservatism) has a tendency to go there.

Not to say that some things are not the fault of bad behavior by others. But I think people can do a lot more to help themselves, and especially not to sabotage themselves, than they are routinely held to. See, for example, Hidden Figures and consider the way the families there worked like demons to make a better life for their kids. And held those kids to standards which would help them succeed in life -- even in the face of viscous racism. Contrast that to what we see in big parts of poor communities today.

"I would argue some large percentage hold grudges dating from 1864."

Don't give away the secret to the sauce:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/24/americas-most-political-food

"It occurs to me to wonder: How did that happen? How did we get 35 years of popular support for a party which wants to enrich less than 20% (maybe less than 10%) of the population at the expense of the rest? "

George Gilder?

Speaking of religion, from Count's link:

"In Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc., the district court asserted that “the fact that Piggie Park at all six of its eating places denies full and equal service to Negroes because of their race is uncontested and completely established by evidence,” but it concluded that the restaurants, because they were principally drive-ins, weren’t subject to the public-accommodation provision of the Civil Rights Act. When a higher court reversed the ruling, Bessinger appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that being forced to serve black people violated his religious principles. He lost, in a unanimous decision. (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently cited the case in her Hobby Lobby dissent.) "

In my observation, most liberals are fine with people being "strong, independent, doesn't need handouts, solves problems through strength, deters threats with strength". They would like everybody to get there.

It's just that, opposite to conservatives, they think it is the responsibility of everybody (collectively, thru government) to help people reach that point. In short, they disagree on the "self made, owes no one anything" part. And even there, they actually would like people to be able to achieve the "self-made" part . . . they just don't see it happening without help to get to the point that it's possible.

I'd say this is pretty much on the money, certainly about me and most liberals I know, always allowing for the fact that some people will never be able to get there and so society should be structured in such a way that those people are able to live a dignified, meaningful life rather than subsist in some shadowy underclass.

Meanwhile, since wj carried some of this over from the other thread, so will I. Since we are talking tangentially of economic theory, I have read some of bob mcmanus's writings on CT, and have found that in many cases I do not understand ONE SINGLE WORD. I therefore am suspicious of my previous feeling of enlightenment, and will never repeat it. To be clear, I attribute this mistake to my lack of education and background in the relevant areas, never having read any of the literature, not to any failings on his part.

George Gilder?

Howard Jarvis?

Wiki:In his first term, [Governor Ronald Reagan of California, 1968] froze government hiring and approved tax hikes to balance the budget. (Look up if you want, Nixon Tax Reform, 1969. Not big cuts)

Greenspan, with authoritative backing from Milton Friedman. But Alan Greenspan was a genius who was capable of a thirty year plan. Leaving Bretton Woods (also Connally and Volcker at that Camp David meeting). Volunteer Army. All moves that played out socially over decades.

But while not necessarily limiting myself to an economic analysis, do kinda insist for myself that my understanding be global. Because like the global event of 1968, the move to neoliberalism, as played out in the 70s and then through the 90s, was global. Thatcher. The Mitterand catastrophe in France. Deng Xiaoping in China 1978-82. Was Solidarity in Poland a move to the Right? Latin America, of course. India.

Wiki:Sadat [Early 70s] used his immense popularity with the Egyptian people to try to push through vast economic reforms that ended the socialistic controls of Nasserism. Sadat introduced greater political freedom and a new economic policy, the most important aspect of which was the infitah or "openness". This relaxed government controls over the economy and encouraged private investment. While the reforms created a wealthy and successful upper class and a small middle class..." And then a cultural right developed in Egypt.

An global abandonment of Keynesianism, maybe. Why?

So when people tell me it is all American racism and culture wars, I do have my doubts

when people tell me it is all American racism and culture wars, I do have my doubts

Certainly it isn't all American racism and culture wars. In a globally connected world, fads spread. If something looks to be working somewhere else, or even just be being implemented lots of other places, more places will try it.

But fads spread less towards America than away from it. Lots of countries have domestic movie industries; only the US has one which routinely spreads stuff around the world. Ditto lots of other stuff.

The rest of the world is actually pretty loud (although not much of it gets back to us) about resenting American "cultural imperialism." But it's not that we are shoving our culture on them deliberately. We're just making and selling stuff. Widely.

Among the things that get spread are our political and economic fads. (Is "fads" the right word? Nothing else seems to fit very well.) Whether it is Reagan economic policies getting picked up as Thatcherism, or democracy as the acceptable political system (witness even the worst autocrats routinely holding sham elections), if America is doing it, the rest of the world tends to give it a try -- even if the evidence here suggests that it wasn't our brightest idea ever.

So even a place without our racism or culture wars can end up copying stuff that was generated here for that reason.

So when people tell me it is all American racism and culture wars, I do have my doubts

This.

I had written a reply in the other thread, but was so tired, I forgot to press post and when I woke up this morning, I looked at the comment box, noted it was bizarrely filled with writing and then clicked on reload...

We've got right wing movements all over the place, not just the US and UK, but France, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Greece. There is something about this historical moment. Sure, American racism and sexism is part of the special sauce that allows us to scream "USA", but there is something more going on here.

The link to 1968 is interesting, I've always wanted to write a series of blog posts about how all of these student movements, France, the US, Japan, Thailand, are all part of a 'global' movement. All of them arose out of particular grievances, and they didn't happen synchronously, but the fact that they all happened within a decade has me argue that they are linked. I've not connected it to neo-liberalism, but when you think how all the higher education systems changed in response to these student protests, you have to wonder. More later, I hope.

I don't think the phenomenon is strictly "American". Racism and culture wars are universal, and Europe's played out quite dramatically in the 20th century. America's too, but in a different way.

The financial crisis and Islamic terrorism (in Europe, the refugee crisis)has affected all of those places, bringing out these tendencies, each country in its own traditional way. This certainly isn't the first time the world has collectively turned to radical, sometimes ugly, solutions.

The problem is not with enlightenment principles. It's with abandonment of them in the face of resentment and fear.

I don't know how relevant this is to the matter at hand, except I suppose that all these rightwing movements are very supportive of Putin, but if anyone is interested this is Carole Cadwalladr's latest piece on her continuing analyis of the Trump-Ukip-Cambridge Analytica-Putin and now Assange nexus:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/23/when-nigel-farage-met-julian-assange

I think I just posted and it disappeared into the ether (apologies if it reappears), but shorter: of possible relevance to the question at hand even if only because of the support by all these various rightwing movements for Putin, here for anybody who is interested is Carole Cadwalladr's latest piece examining the Trump-Ukip/Farage-Cambridge Analytica and now Assange nexus:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/23/when-nigel-farage-met-julian-assange

Two comments with I think an interesting link have just vanished into (I assume) the spam trap. If anybody wants to resurrect one of them, great, I'm off to bed.

What have Democrats ever done that has a REAL negative affect on families?

About the only thing I can think of is a very old example. I sort of remenber Daniel Moynahan's criticisms of how welfare was administered in his day. I am not sure that is something that only Dems should be blamed for.

Democrats may be seen by people who expose themselves to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk as anti-family--after all rightwing hate radio and rightwing fake news are a big influence and demonizing Dems is a big part of their message. but the idea that democrats are really either by attitude or action undermining families is unfair. If there is any common attitude toward families anomgst Dems it would be the attitude that the need for family is a fundamental human need, but that this is more than one way for a family to be a healthy happy unit.


I think the point here is that the political right leaders such as Atwater and ROve in this country made a conscious decision to employ the most polarizing tactics they could. To a large extent that meant demonizing, and marginalizing everyone who was not them. Hate was used when handy:gay bashing was big as long as it worked. When it stopped working the target of the bashing became immigrants and Muslims.The purpose of this tactic was to build up a base of voters who would vote Republican no matter what out of the belief that everyone else posed an existential threat to their way of life. It was a deliberate and cynical tactic used because the leaders of the Republican party knew (and kow right now) that their policies are harmful to most Americans, including their voters.

Yes, there are right wing movements all over the place. Rightwing leaders exploit fear and there is a lot ot be afraid of. catastrophic events are forcing millions of people to move. That is triggering the fear of the other that seems to be wired into the hardware of the human brain. Rightwing politicians exploit that fear while offering no real solutions. Actually the last thing in the world rightwing politicians want to do is improve the lives of their voters. Do that and there would be less fear and agner for them to exploit.

How did that happen?

I don't think this is the right crowd to answer the question. I know I cant.

maybe it's a family values thing. I will say that if it's all about single mom's and couples not having kids, then I'm even more puzzled than I was ten minutes ago.

the other thing I will say is that some kind of sense of being disrespected and looked down upon seems to be in the mix. reagan/bush/trump people all seem to be nursing some kind of resentment. to me, anyway.

when I talk with those folks, I can understand the words they are saying, and can basically understand where they are coming from. I just don't see how the world they want works for folks who aren't them, and it disturbs me that they don't see why that might be a problem.

Lots of countries have domestic movie industries; only the US has one which routinely spreads stuff around the world. Ditto lots of other stuff.

dude: bollywood and reggae. chinese kung fu movies and K-pop.

we're not the only catfish in the sea.

Yes, other countries do have movie industries, as noted. And some kinds of films from them do make it here. But the full range of their production? Just the US manages world-wide distribution like that.

I think you're misunderstanding the fundamental cause. The nice part of the 20th century basically went only from WWII through the mid-1970s. Before that, we had the Depression. After, oil shocks, stagflation and Reagan.

Basically, that era was characterized by strong economic growth which resulted from the facts that 1) we'd literally blasted our competitors to pieces, 2) the economy was sophisticated enough to employ millions of factory workers yet primitive enough to need them, and 3) we were still able to solve a lot of economic problems by throwing cheap fossil fuel at them.

When those conditions ceased to be true, the growth went from ~5% to ~2% annually. This left us poorer than we'd expected to be, and we naturally fell to squabbling as we each tried to protect our own. Since this is a democracy, the majority usually got a better deal than any minority did.

Re: fads.

My theory, which is mine: All cultures generate (or expand upon) "new ideas", some of which are good, some of which are horribly bad, most of which are "meh".

Where America is truly exceptional? MARKETING those ideas to the rest of the world.

2008 global economic meltdown, case in point.

What a different world we lived in last year.

Jay skrev :

the facts that 1) 2) 3)

4) To pay for WWII, the nation imposed confiscatory income taxes on the wealthiest. This turns out to have had many positive common-good side-effects. Among them :

a. Because it was more difficult to use a corporation as a cash-cow for the owners and management, profits stayed invested, and there was somewhat less incentive to squeeze profits out of workers. CEOs made 30x the average employee salary, not 300x as today. This gave us the RCA Sarnoff labs and Bell Labs, two of the glories of 20th century American tech development.

b. fewer among the wealthiest were able to amass such enormous fortunes that they could buy politicians and political parties outright.

c. fewer of the wealthy were able to adopt lifestyles completely uncoupled from the fortunes of the United States. Once the fortunes of wealthy Americans were tied up in the welfare of the nation as a whole; this is much less true today.

d. societies with extreme concentration of wealth, and extreme wealth inequality, are less stable and less happy.

e. philanthropy

2008 global economic meltdown, case in point.

The ads were something else indeed!

Well said, Joel. In fact, if the rich had had their way in 1939-1941 we would have never entered the war.

The marshalling of common resources to win WWII was simply stupendous.

The idea that we must do something similar wrt global warming? Not so much.

Killing the commons is an existential crisis.

But I'm just some wild eyed bomb thrower on the internets.....

Joel, you make some solid points. But the question before the house is: how did we get back to a new Gilded Age, with substantial support a party pushing for policies that do so much economic damage? Why were we willing to let go of economic policies which were working well? How do they keep selling it?

My thesis is that they don't sell it. Instead, the support comes from people who are willing to ignore how bad those policies are for them, because they are focused on what they see as serious cultural attacks by the other party. Specifically, attacks on the family as an institution.

I find a bit odd that the Democrats (or New Labour, if you like) get a free pass on this here when they just put a bit of lipstick on the pig:

https://www.thenation.com/article/why-it-matters-that-hillary-clinton-championed-welfare-reform/

Third was just a continuation of the Reagan/Thatcher polices with better PR. It didn't work and that's one reason we are where we are.

"Third Way", sorry

The culture-war wedge issues are the means by which those who have purchased the Republican Party "sell" Republicanism to the voters they need.

Sheldon Adelson and the Kochs and the Spencers and DeVos et. ilk are probably not themselves single-issue anti-abortion voters, nor is it necessary that they actually despise people of color, nor that they be revolted by the idea of same-sex marriage. But they can use those issues to whip up loyalty to the Republican Party, which has spent 40 years giving lip service to the culture war while quietly accomplishing their main goal : helping the plutocrats sneak out the back door with the boodle.

But I think sapient gets an essential bit of it above: the searing mid-20th-century experiences of shared privation (the great Depression) and shared sacrifice for the common good (WWII) are passing out of living memory, and with them the idea that we're all in this together.

The social mixing from military service became a war-movie trope: the Polish guy, the Italian guy, the Irish guy, the southerner, the farmer, the city kid, all thrown together and facing death somewhere far from home. The reality of that mixing died for good with the volunteer Army -- most college-educated parents will never have a child in military service, so our 'elites' no longer have that experience of serving with people not like them -- or of serving at all, of duty. And even Kelly's Heros didn't have a woman. Or a black guy. Or a Muslim. Or an out gay.

Too many Americans no longer feel that we're all in this together, nor that they have any duty to serve anything bigger than their own self-interest; and the perceived self-interests of all too many Americans are dominated by purposely-manfactured resentments and fears.

Specifically, attacks on the family as an institution.

the sense of threat seems right, but it seems broader than just the family.

maybe some of the other conservatives can share their thoughts.

"fewer of the wealthy were able to adopt lifestyles completely uncoupled from the fortunes of the United States. Once the fortunes of wealthy Americans were tied up in the welfare of the nation as a whole; this is much less true today"

One of the unintended consequences of globalism. The CEO of the global corporation isn't emotionally tied to the good of any set of workers. They mostly just manage brands and spreadsheets, or PDF versions of dashboards. If this nation doesn't do well they just turn their attention to other markets.

Joel, I mostly agree with you. On the other hand, American and British plutocrats had a decade or two of high income taxes; their continental equivalents were expropriated or killed by some combination of Nazis, communists, de-Nazification, and the war. The power of the wealthy was broken much more thoroughly in Europe (excluding Britain and Italy) than in America, and that largely explains the political differences that remain.

Wj, my point above was that the good times of the middle twentieth century were mostly not caused by our economic policies. Rather, we were able to afford the welfare state because unrepeatable factors had left us wealthy. By "wealthy" I mostly mean that wealth had grown faster than claims on that wealth, so we had a surplus available for distribution.

Well, the threat is to what many consider a certain way of life. As defined by getting up, going to work, getting raises, saving money, buying a house, having a yard for your kids, coaching little league, being a part of the church community, helping your kids get to second base in life, at least first, then helping the grandkids too, having enough leisure time to look forward to and being appreciated for the caring and hard work that life demands.

The last sentence is what has changed. Now those same, men in particular, are old white men whose beliefs are demeaned, efforts diminished constantly, values mocked and intentions questioned. They have changed from being the backbone of a great country to being a bunch of people that society is hoping will die soon. Everyone a domains group protest old white men making decisions in Congress every old white man shakes his head and wonders when we became the bad guys. And if the 40 year olds know their turn is just around the corner.

Owning a home or a car is old fashioned, the access economy purposefully belittles our accomplishments while convincing people that driving a cab for 9 dollars an hour and no benefits while providing the car is an economic good. Or a leg up somehow. That everyone should be involved in some tech startup while fewer people are starting companies than in decades. The list of large and small insults to a life we worked hard to create is long, and disheartening.

"Everyone a domains"/ every time a women's group

Everyone a domains group protest old white men making decisions in Congress every old white man shakes his head and wonders when we became the bad guys.

old white guys are learning that society no longer automatically elevates them - they're losing that, yes, privilege. and they're learning that old white guy is no longer society's 'default' person. old white guy is now just another type of person, no better than any other.

the sooner old white men start accepting this, the better off we'll all be.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/325562-dem-lawmaker-shreds-house-gop-over-lack-of-women-in-maternity

Old white guys aren't against other people participating, old white guys are tired of being defined as the bad guy. Just as your link portrays. How many women are there in the Freedom Caucus, none? How many old white men at in the Black Congressional caucus? It's stupid identity politics that's insulting to everyone of those people who represent lots of women. Mist of them with wives, daughters, sisters, mothers etc. The premise that they can't effectively represent women is b.s.. Now, whether the Freedom Caucus itself does or doesn't is fair game. But not because they are old white men. I suspect there are some old white men on this blog that would be considered perfectly fine represetatives.

In fact, if the rich had had their way in 1939-1941 we would have never entered the war.

FDR was rich.

On that subject, this is a fascinating article about some people debating intervention into WWII. Interesting that Lindbergh's father blamed "the rich" for getting us into WWI.

Old white guys aren't against other people participating, old white guys are tired of being defined as the bad guy.

and everybody else is tired of listening to the people with all the power complaining that they're being asked to share some of that power.

old white guys and their traditions aren't being automatically respected anymore? now we know how the rest of the world feels!

It's stupid identity politics...

identity politics isn't something that only non-old-white-men can play. juss sayin.

The premise that they can't effectively represent women is b.s.

people are no longer satisfied by being told what to do by people who don't know what they go through. you fighting this is part of the problem.

italiexo!

how did we get back to a new Gilded Age, with substantial support a party pushing for policies that do so much economic damage?

Big question...some tidbits

The WMC had it all in the post war period, but others began to assert claims on that boodle, cf. Civil Rights, feminism.

Worker productivity growth fell off dramatically starting in the early 70's...so less boodle to fight over.

Having conquered inflation in the early 80's, the Fed has consistently promoted policies that lead to labor market slack, putting downward pressure on wages.

The lessons learned battling the Depression and fascism were easy to toss overboard once things returned to 'normal'. Taft-Hartley was passed shortly after the war.

And remember, Clinton was the slight winner of those voting and making under $50k/yr.

bobbyp: And remember, Clinton was the slight winner of those voting and making under $50k/yr.

I find a bit odd that the Democrats (or New Labour, if you like) get a free pass on this here when they just put a bit of lipstick on the pig:

***

Third [way] was just a continuation of the Reagan/Thatcher polices with better PR. It didn't work and that's one reason we are where we are.

Third way worked better than eliminating programs entirely, or cutting them even more than they were.

Why do socialists get a pass for not being able to convince the voters to elect them?

novakant, as in foreign policy, absence doesn't absolve people from responsibility.

Sorry, I meant to identify italicized paragraph 2 and the rest of that italicized statement as novakant's.

"people are no longer satisfied by being told what to do by people who don't know what they go through. you fighting this is part of the problem."

No one is fighting this, unless you presume that men of good conscience should not run for office because they don't understand what women are going through. Somebody has to represent a reasonably diverse group of people. Assuming a man, or a white man , is less able to do this is just as bad as assuming a woman cant. It is the Dem talking point to retain their base, in perfect collusion with the Rs talking points to create the Rovian 51% view of winning elections. Someone has to be defined as the other to distrust.

The CEO of the global corporation isn't emotionally tied to the good of any set of workers. They mostly just manage brands and spreadsheets, or PDF versions of dashboards.

Correct, in my experience.

Owning a home or a car is old fashioned, the access economy purposefully belittles our accomplishments while convincing people that driving a cab for 9 dollars an hour and no benefits while providing the car is an economic good. Or a leg up somehow. That everyone should be involved in some tech startup while fewer people are starting companies than in decades.

I agree with all of this.

The list of large and small insults to a life we worked hard to create is long, and disheartening.

Who is this "we" you speak of, kemosabe? Nobody works hard except old white guys?

Times are tough on everyone. I don't understand why "old white men" think this experience is unique to them, or why they think they are being singled out.

I'm not hating on old white guys, because I am one, but talking about old white men as a distinct group within the overall population, with distinct issues, interests, and complaints, *is identity politics*. That is not to de-legitimize it, because it's completely legitimate for any group of people to advocate for their interests. But it is not a different thing than "women's groups" or "the black caucus" or "the freedom caucus" or anybody else doing the same.

We'd make a lot more progress if "old white men" who think they are being left behind - not an unreasonable perception, because they are - would recognize that they have common cause with a lot of the folks they have issues with.

Also, thanks for your comments here Marty, I appreciate your willingness to step up and take the heat.

Assuming a man, or a white man , is less able to do this is just as bad as assuming a woman cant.

The problem might be that we're not talking about *a* white man. Congress is a large enough group of people to reasonably reflect the nation's diversity, but it doesn't, at least not very proportionately.

I don't think anyone is suggesting barring white men from serving in congress.

The list of large and small insults to a life we worked hard to create is long, and disheartening.

Good that you have so many people in government who know exactly what you are going through so that they can legislate on your behalf.

old white guys are tired of being defined as the bad guy. Just as your link portrays.

cleek's link portrays a bunch of old white men, some of whom have been named in public court records as wife abusers, voting to take away funding for women's healthcare.

Cry me a river, Marty.

Somebody has to represent a reasonably diverse group of people.

right. but should our representatives be such a homogeneous group?

for example, women only make up a fifth of Congress.

guess what: some of them feel that's not quite ideal.

and given the Freedom&rtade; Caucus' particular ideological bent, the idea that that particular group of old white men should be deciding what's best for all the non-OWM in the country rankles.

the idea that that particular group of old white men partisan representatives should be deciding what's best for all the non-OWM women in the country rankles.

and everybody else is tired of listening to the people with all the power complaining that they're being asked to share some of that power.

old white guys and their traditions aren't being automatically respected anymore? now we know how the rest of the world feels!

Straw man (men). No one is saying this. It's a bedtime story told to justify seeing everything in terms of gender, color, orientation and "culture". Hint: Muslim is not an ethnic group, it's a religion.

No one is saying this.

i said it.

It's a bedtime story told to justify seeing everything in terms of gender, color, orientation and "culture".

But that's not a strawman, I guess. And to the extent that the meanies on the left do see things in those terms, it's in reaction to the people who decided that certain genders, colors, orientations and cultures were inferior to others. You can thank those people for "identity politics."

the idea that that particular group of old white men partisan representatives should be deciding what's best for all the non-OWM women in the country rankles.

those partisan representatives are all from a single demographic, one that is over-represented in Congress.

"Hint: Muslim is not an ethnic group, it's a religion."

The implication here is, well, I am not sure what it is for McKT. But I have seen people argue that Islamophobia isn't racism because being Muslim isn't a race. True, but bigots for the most part aren't acting on a logical system of thought. This is why sometimes Sikhs or other non-Muslims are attacked by Islamophobes--they "look" Muslim.

Also, antisemitism is similar--for some anti-semites Jews are a race (and sometimes non-racists argue about whether Jews or many Jews have a common ancestry going back to the eastern Mediterranean). For others they hate the religion and for many it sort of sloshes back and forth between hating Judaism and its practitioners and hating Jews as an alleged race. Converting to Christianity didn't always save (former) Jews from persecution.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with criticizing any religion( or other ideology) for its tendencies to produce some sort of really bad behavior. Terrorism, for instance, or antisemitism. Or self-righteous crusades or settlement activity and land theft. In that last case obviously I am thinking of both rightwing Jews and Christian Zionists, but I bring this up not because it is one of my hobbyhorses, but because it is also a good point. There is nothing wrong with criticizing Christians and Jews who use their religion to justify some form of nasty behavior and you can also go into what aspects of the religion encourage that, but people who obsess about the evils of Islam or of Judaism (not so much Christianity since even the "New Atheists" like to bash Islam much more) are rightly suspected of having more than a concern for human rights on their mind. (And these days the bashers of Islam and the bashers of Judaism are often different groups, though there is some overlap. The Trump Administration has some Muslim bashers on the one hand and some who hate both. I think the "bash Muslims only" camp is winning at the moment.)

"right. but should our representatives be such a homogeneous group? "

Not necessarily, but outside barring men from running for office I believe this is a local issue. statewide for the Senators and local for the reps. So blaming the people who ran and won seems disingenuous.

So blaming the people who ran and won seems disingenuous.

What about the power structures that are in place ensuring that such people continue to run and win? And can we blame the people who run and win for the things they do in office? Is it not possible to see certain patterns among groups such as the (almost) all-white, all-male Freedom Caucus?

So blaming the people who ran and won seems disingenuous.

i haven't heard anyone do that. but people are saying "this room full of old white men deciding what's best for women's health is a perfect example of how screwed up this country (and especially the GOP) is."

absolutely, more women need to run for office. and people should probably vote for more of the women who do run.

side note: currently 3/4 of all women in Congress are Democrats.

"blaming the people who ran and won seems disingenuous."

I'm perfectly okay with holding the people who VOTED FOR the OWM that currently infest politics to blame for the situation.

But of course, they're just reacting to 250 years of OWM being under the heel of those "other people", amirite?

"but should our representatives be such a homogeneous group?"

Not necessarily, but outside barring men from running for office I believe this is a local issue. statewide for the Senators and local for the reps. So blaming the people who ran and won seems disingenuous.

Fortunately, nobody much is suggesting barring any particular group from running for office. (Outside a very few on the extreme right getting exercised about Muslim elected officials. And, less out-right, working to minimize blacks from political activity.)

I thought Marty also made a good point above, that it is not unreasonable to expect elected officials to represent the interests of all of their constituents. There is no reason to assume that they cannot. Although, admittedly, some (from various groups) seem to have huge blind-spots concerning some of their constituents.

Just a little factoid from California. The substantial majority of Californians live in Southern California. Yet for the past couple of decades, our Senators were both . . . Jewish women from San Francisco.** I had serious philosophical disagreements with Senator Boxer, but it wasn't because she was excessively representing just the interests of her gender or religion.

Incidentally, since the last election, we have replaced Senator Boxer with a black woman . . . from San Francisco. Maybe LA should be outraged? Personally, I'm just glad to have someone less far left in the Senate.

** Oh yes, and our Governor is an old white guy . . . also from Northern California. Also the Lt. Governor is an old white guy . . . from San Francisco. LA just can't catch a break!

"What about the power structures that are in place ensuring that such people continue to run and win? And can we blame the people who run and win for the things they do in office? Is it not possible to see certain patterns among groups such as the (almost) all-white, all-male Freedom Caucus?"

In order:

All parties are now looking for qualified diverse candidates that they believe can win. The party power structures at least don't tend to favor white males.

Male or female, white or black, yada yada they should be held accountable,

This includes groups of partisans such as the Freedom Caucus who should be held accountable for their positions. But there are people, specifically owm, that disagree with their positions vehemently.

But there are people, specifically owm, that disagree with their positions vehemently.

Maybe they should quit voting for them in droves then. Also, some OWM are my best friends.

Boxer was "far left"? That's a hoot. Maybe somebody should tell that to "the Left". As a member, I hate being left out.

In fairness, wj wrote "less far left." Anyone to anyone else's right is less far left than the other, regardless of either person's absolute position.

the access economy purposefully belittles our accomplishments while convincing people that driving a cab for 9 dollars an hour and no benefits while providing the car is an economic good.

Marty. Just who or what is driving the spreading "gig economy"? It certainly is not your standard issue Democrats or union thugs now, is it?

This trend is admired by the political party you support.

So, why do you continue to support that party? So we can have means tested Social Security? How will doing that reverse what you see as the disappearance of "your accomplishments"?

It will do nothing.

Boxer was "far left"? That's a hoot. Maybe somebody should tell that to "the Left".

Well *I* thought she was pretty far left. But then, although some here beg leave to doubt it, I think I'm somewhat conservative. That might color my perception.

But certainly she was substantially further left than, for example, Senator Feinstein or Governor Brown. Both of whom are regarded as distinctly left of center -- at least by those in the rather moderate area where I live (which has a moderate Republican woman and a moderate, albeit anti-public-sector-union-strikes, Democratic owm in the state legislature, plus an owm Democrat in Congress).

"Marty. Just who or what is driving the spreading "gig economy"? It certainly is not your standard issue Democrats or union thugs now, is it? "

No. it is very much supported by the Dems. The gig economy is the marketing brainchild of the Dems who wanted to support Ubers displacement of those horrible taxi companies that achieved a monopoly by spending millions on medallions, background checks, bribes and contract fees.

There is no purer example of the Dems desire to reduce the working person to a wage slave than their ecstasy at disrupting "big" business on the backs of unprotected workers and selling it as entrepreneurial progress. Freedom from those enslavers to work for a three person company worth 50 billion(not sure what those numbers are exactly today).

There is no purer example of the Dems desire to reduce the working person to a wage slave than their ecstasy at disrupting "big" business on the backs of unprotected workers and selling it as entrepreneurial progress.

Despite the abject fantasy of the first half of this sentence, there is a nugget here. The relative stability of corporate jobs (line and management) I would guess has declined precipitously over the past 30-40 years. In that while it was likely never the case most people only worked for one company their entire life, working for only 2-3 was probably very common.

Now, you have a global marketplace for M&A (along with little to no anti-trust enforcement in the US), plus disruptions by the tech industry (which also concentrates wealth in a few hands due to rapid growth) and lots of people who in the 50s, 60s, 70s, would have had stable employment for most of their adult lives, are suddenly subject to unpredictable bouts of unemployment through no fault of their own. These are very disruptive, hard to get through and deplete savings, and the lost wages/position in the company is rarely made up for in the following years.

Not sure why that set of facts would lead to votes for the current GOP though.

Globally mobile capital while globally sticky labor also contributes to decline of US working class.

The gig economy is the marketing brainchild of the Dems who wanted to support Ubers displacement of those horrible taxi companies that achieved a monopoly by spending millions on medallions, background checks, bribes and contract fees.

[citation required]

The gig economy is the marketing brainchild of the Dems who wanted to support Ubers displacement of those horrible taxi companies that achieved a monopoly by spending millions on medallions, background checks, bribes and contract fees.

huh?

I, for one, welcome our new insect Uber-lords.

I can only cite my 20 or 30 Dem friends who are C-level officers of unicorns in MA/Silicon Valley. So, because I said so. Which I realize it is not very good backup. Is what it is.

the tech industry (which also concentrates wealth in a few hands due to rapid growth)

I would say that the computer industry concentrates wealth due to a combination of significant first-mover advantage and a substantial incentive towards common applications (so all users can communicate with each other). Rapid growth in itself is not, I think, that significant a factor.

The result of those advantages is a lot of software where there is only one major vendor -- with the same sort of monopoly/oligopoly rents that we see in other monopolistic industries.

I can only cite my 20 or 30 Dem friends who are C-level officers of unicorns in MA/Silicon Valley. So, because I said so. Which I realize it is not very good backup. Is what it is.

So "Dems" is really "the tiny select group Dems I had in my head but didn't mention" and not, say, what I think other people on this blog might think of as "Dems", such as people identifying as Democrats, the Democratic party writ-large, or the Democrats in Congress.

You really need to add those qualifiers in when you say sh1t like that Marty, otherwise I start to wonder what color the sky is in your and Cliff Clavin's world.

Let's be clear, the Dems I know spend time working on apps to help the Dems build databases, apps, and work directly with Elizabeth Warren and her son to map communications strategy for next year. These are not just "a tiny select group of Dems I know". But, I also know that from a top level party point it is less clear.

And they want everyone to be wage slaves?

Si Valley tech execs are mostly Techno-utopian Libertarians who don't mind a bit of charity to keep the indigenes from insurrection.

And re:So Cal not being upset that Kamala Harris won...Loretta Sanchez is just up the road, but she looked entirely out of her depth during the debate with Harris.

(Though I would have voted for Sanchez had she been running against Feinstein whatever her performance in the debate. Feinstein's fight/fold issues seem to be the exact opposite of mine most of the time.)

Elizabeth Warren is no friend of the gig economy.
http://fortune.com/2016/05/20/uber-lyft-elizabeth-warren/

"The much-touted virtues of flexibility, independence, and creativity offered by gig work might be true for some workers under some conditions," Warren said, "but for many, the gig economy is simply the next step in a losing effort to build some economic security in a world where all the benefits are floating to the top 10%."

Ugh,

They don't think of it that way. They think of it as the new normal with everyone marketing themselves to create their next gig. But the reality is there is a pretty small group of people that are competent or interested in competing by constantly marketing themselves.

The rest of the people end up with the bottom end gigs and essentially are the cheap labor force for these new reality guys that think business the way it was/is should be replaced or regulated to limit the expansion that is necessary to create high paying actual jobs.

So they are the new face of corporate greed. And every one of them is a Democrat, mostly volunteering to be taxed more, but not too much more.

The sky ain't f'ing rose colored.

One more thing, they are for regulating everything except them. They are the disruptors so they should be able to avoid all historical regulations, anti trust laws, HR regs, etc. because they have a "different" business model.

But certainly she was substantially further left than, for example, Senator Feinstein or Governor Brown.

If she was "substantially" further" left, then there should be some "concrete" examples.

I am quite curious. Provide a couple.

This sounds like a non-representative sample of Democrats.

Italics?

could be hsh, I live in the world I live in.

I live in the world I live in.

I don't doubt that for one minute, but that is no excuse for not nosing about a bit and verifying that "Democrats" support the gig economy...which, by the way, they do not. This is not to say there are NO Democrats who have bought into this BS. They exist. So do anti-abortion Democrats, and Democrats who support charter schools.

But in the bigger scheme of things? I would tend (with a substantial degree of certainty) to think not.

the Dems i know aren't like that: teachers, nurses, scientists, blacksmiths, photographers, retirees, handymen, etc..

and personally, i think Uber's business model is such a transparently phony attempt to get around taxi laws that it should have been shut down in its first week. i don't have a need for it, but i'm not sure i'd use it if i did - the whole thing feels scummy to me.

personally, i think Uber's business model is such a transparently phony attempt to get around taxi laws that it should have been shut down in its first week.

Personally, I think the taxi medallion system is such a transparent attempt to restrict competition (and so provide high rents to medallion owners, not actual taxi drivers) that IT should have been shut down long since.

"I don't doubt that for one minute, but that is no excuse for not nosing about a bit and verifying that "Democrats" support the gig economy.."

I don't know bobby, the people I am talking about were the loudest supporters of Clinton on all my feeds. They are ardent Democrats whose support both financially and in time for Dems across the ticket matches the political involvement of anyone I know. So I give myself a pass if there is not broadbase support at the top end of the party, as these people represent that in MA as far as I am concerned.

Uber and Lyft's app system is an extremely convenient way to get a ride somewhere in towns where taxis aren't easily available. I try taxis first, but sometimes have better luck with an app. There's no reason why taxis can't implement a better system to make sure people can get transportation.

As for the gig economy, full-time work with benefits is preferable for most people, but some people need flexibility more than set working hours, and are happy that some situations will accommodate that. People also are happy to be able to make some extra cash with air b&b, etc.

If these systems are helpful to people, our lawmakers (federal and local) have to be more nimble about making sure that people are appropriately remunerated. I don't think that nostalgia is helpful in figuring out how to manage a changing world.

The gig economy is the marketing brainchild of the Dems...

I can only cite my 20 or 30 Dem friends who are C-level officers of unicorns in MA/Silicon Valley.

OK, now I understand what was confusing me.

When people talk about "Dems" and public policy, I assume they are talking about people holding public office. Or, at least, involved in some career-related way in making public policy.

20 or 30 C-level unicorn tech company execs are not really a representative demographic. Of anything.

You could probably find 20 hedge fund managers who vote (D), too, but I wouldn't want them making financial policy.

Conversely, I could probably find 20 or 30 C-level oil executives who all vote (R), but you wouldn't want them making the rules about whether and where they can drill in your watershed. I wouldn't think so, anyway.

Uber's business model

Uber's business model is shifting all of the operational expense, risk, and workload to their drivers and customers, and putting the profit in their own pockets.

Groovy app, though, from what folks tell me.

I don't think that nostalgia is helpful in figuring out how to manage a changing world.

Here's my solution:

If you drive for Uber, you get equity, either in the form of profit sharing or an actual piece of the company.

Flexibility etc are all lovely. Grown-ups can't live on minimum wage.

My understanding (and I may be way off base) is that in most cases the guy who owns the taxi medallion isn't the guy doing the driving. He's just collecting the rent from the driver, and setting the fares. Likewise the driver isn't on salary, he just has a permanent gig and gets to keep the fare (less the rent for the medallion, of course).

Which doesn't, if I've understood how things actually work, sound all that much different from what Uber's drivers see.

"You could probably find 20 hedge fund managers who vote (D), too, but I wouldn't want them making financial policy."

I do know 6 or 7 of these. They love the new economy because it creates volatility. Well, some of them. Depends on the fund. I know a bunch of wealth managers who are less happy with the volatility but have made a ton of money for their clients betting on new tech, like Microsoft.

Actually wj, in the taxi world there are full time jobs, lots with benefits, drivers earn shifts and fares through seniority and dependability, they have an actual person to talk to, they usually don't own or have to pay for upkeep of the car, they are subject to background checks, they have a boss that if they get complaints they can defend themselves, and, there are some independents that work like you say. But every one of the medallions is maintained by meeting the state and local requirements for vehicle and driver safety. Along with a bunch of other things.

History matters when the government has imposed a medallion requirement that has cost companies millions of dollars and then allowed their competition to operate without the regulations or upfront costs.

Was it here that someone linked an article about the likes of Uber and Air B&B being the new rentiers?

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