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Sorry, Liberals. We Have To Talk About Economics — And Race.

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Sorry, Liberals. We Have To Talk About Economics — And Race.


Two conclusions about Donald Trump’s highly offensive and obviously effective campaign for president are undeniable.

He was the first Republican in decades to compellingly speak to the economic concerns of at least some workers, though he did so by making heartbreakingly impossible promises and with a plan no economist, in a recent survey of experts, believes will help the middle class. And he played to white identity politics in an unabashed way that dragged the old, barely coded racial appeals of “law and order” and “the silent majority” into the 21st century — while updating them with attacks on immigrants and Muslims that once would have gotten you banned from a decent message board.

Some on the left want Democrats to ignore the racial appeals implicit in Trump’s campaign and focus almost entirely on a populist economic agenda that will help all workers, as the Democratic agenda did effectively for generations. There have been several variations on the theme but they’re probably best summed up by the headline for a column David Paul Kuhn wrote in the New York Times: “Sorry, Liberals. Bigotry Didn’t Elect Donald Trump.”

But to insist that Trump’s fans must be blazing bigots for race to have been a deciding factor in the 2016 election plays exactly into the right’s strategy of hollowing out the middle class. According to IanHaney-López, UC Berkeley law professor and author of the essential Dog Whistle Politics, that strategy uses identity politics to generate “broad popular support for politicians and policies that transfer our nation’s wealth to the new robber barons.”

It’s a “false choice” to suggest Democrats must chose between “pocket book” issues and so-called “identity” politics, Haney-López argues: “To say that racial aggrievement fuels American electoral politics is not to say that America is a country of bigots.”

We “play into conservatives’ hands,” he writes, when we let them get away with the notion that “racism must look like a Klan hood and burning cross.”

Trump never used racial slurs and was, for instance, forced to back off explicitly racial attacks on Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage. He hastened to add “Some, I assume are good people,” immediately after suggesting that millions of Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals. Those hedges reveal that there was a method to what some Democrats called his madness.

“When progressives understand race solely in terms of bigotry — or shy away from talking about racism because it’s a fraught conversation —they play into conservative [strategies],” Lopez says. We can’t deny that “Trump made race a cornerstone of his appeal,” even if there are examples of Obama voters becoming Trump voters.

“Focusing on the Obama-Trump voter is less a successful rebuttal than a form of denial,” Haney says, noting that the phenomenon ignores factors like sexism and voters’ tendency to vote for the “change” candidate. Most importantly that voter represents “a tiny slice of the electorate,” likely less than 7 percent, which is almost irrelevant compared to Trump’s success at mobilizing white voters who hadn’t turned out in previous elections and Democrats’ failure to mobilize non-white voters who had.

Even Kuhn acknowledges that racism “appeared more concentrated among Trump voters,” while assigning Trump’s success to other factors.

Understanding how Trump and the GOP effectively use race requires seeing that the right is “waging a culture war around gender, elitism, and especially race, using coded and not so coded terms to trigger strong resentments.” This is specifically designed to persuade white voters to cast ballots that are not only against their interests but suicidal for the middle class.

Yes, the economic anxiety many Trump voters felt is real and must be addressed. But addressing that anxiety exclusively would be a big mistake, according to Haney-López, because “it assumes that economic pain comes first, and so, it implies that finances are more fundamental than scapegoating.”

Racial resentment has made the rigged economy we all live in now possible.

The parties have not switched their polarities from the North to the South, and the GOP didn’t become a party that is 90 percent white with 98 percent white elected officials by accident, Haney-López notes.

So how do we begin to change this?

Ignoring racism and focusing solely on economics helps the GOP, and that won’t even be an option considering whom Trump’s policies will target, Greg Sargent argues.

But Haney-López asserts that the Democratic Party presenting itself as “a coalition of minorities, each with discrete identities but united by a few shared interests” won’t reverse the trends that have fed massive inequality either.

Instead, we need to tackle the right’s white identity politics for what it is: a scam against the entire American working class.

“To regain control of government, progressives must directly address the divide-and-conquer politics employed by the right,” Haney-López says. “This doesn’t mean blaming white men for being racist or sexist, nor does it mean neglecting economic issues.”

It puts the burden on the left to invest in outreach that speaks to economic pain and explains explicitly how the right’s agenda is a scam to pit workers of all races against each other, while millionaires and billionaires suck up all the growth of the economy and almost exclusively benefit from Trump’s agenda, starving the American Dream.

“Democrats must re-tell the story of the last 50 years, emphasizing how race and other culture-war issues have been used to divide and conquer,”  Haney-López says. “This is fundamentally a story of shared interests and a common enemy.”

He’s been making this argument for years. But now that Democrats have seen and all of America will soon see the destructiveness of unchecked white identity politics, maybe we’ll all start to listen.

Sorry, but we can’t afford not to.



  1. Dominick Vila January 2, 2017

    Trump’s message throughout the presidential campaign included a hodgepodge of populist/nationalist themes, simplistic promises to fix alleged socio-economic problems, coded claims that appealed to white supremacists, and job creation “solutions” that appealed to blue collar workers. The latter was a major factor for his victory in November. Add to that Russian meddling, a highly effective Republican demonization strategy, Comey’s help, and Hillary neglecting to address the concerns of millions of assembly line workers and miners, and I think it is fair that we had a perfect storm in 2016. Add to all this the decision by millions of Bernie’s supporters and I think it is fair to say that the lesson to be learned is that a large segment of our population is not interested in complex plans. They prefer simple fixes to complex problems.

    1. Godzilla January 2, 2017

      and job creation “solutions” that appealed to blue collar workers.

      This could only have worked if the economy wasn’t as peachy as Obozo and the Liberal Left claimed. Not surprisingly that most will never see this, being that most Liberal’s are both economically illiterate and propaganda zombies.

      1. Thoughtopsy January 2, 2017

        How are those Trump Election promises coming along, Dumbass?
        Let’s see…
        Build the Wall?… Nope.
        Lock her up?… Nope.
        Drain the Swamp?… Double Nope.

        Oh… hang on…

        When are you predicting all those oil and coal jobs will be marched triumphantly back into middle America by Trump riding a unicorn?

        Please tell me…. I wouldn’t want to miss it.

        1. MartinArcher January 2, 2017

          Uh. You seem to have reached hard and fast conclusions before any actions even begin to be taken let alone before the facts of any results are available. It follows that your reasoning and conclusions are not useful.

          1. Thoughtopsy January 3, 2017

            You appear to be suffering under the false assumption that Trump has done nothing, said nothing, hired no-one and taken no actions in the time since his Election. I can assure you that quite the opposite is true. He has said, done, and enacted many things. He has hired many people.
            If you’re trying to imply that this is all a shell game until Jan 20th see the comment on the likelihood of Trump being a mastermind further down.
            However… If you’re implying that nothing Trump does or says is believable … well, that’s actually my original point. He lied to you. He’s not remotely believable.
            Let’s look at each promise in more detail shall we?

            Build the Wall – Congress (in the form of Mitch and Ryan) have already stated that “What he really meant was stronger border security”… you know.. like adding some fences. And that there is no money there for a border wall stretching across the country costing 20 billion or more. Given that the branches of Government don’t just obey whatever the Pres wants, I’m happy to call this one broken. The GOP won’t do it. So it’s over.
            They will add some fences, and cheer about how they’ve now “Secured the Border”… Trump will make a speech about how adding security was what he really meant, and how walls aren’t that great anyway… and it’s over.

            Drain the Swamp – He’s just attempted to hire the swamp. Lobbyists. Wall Street Bankers. Crazy Nutjob Flynn. The CEO of Exxon… You know… that guy that has screwed over American interests in numerous parts of the world… rsulting in thousands of deaths…for money. Betsy DeVos… the Amway (read: Pyramid scheme con job billionairess) with almost no experience but a solid plan to drain money out of the public system and into school favoring the wealthy. Andy Puzder the CEO of Carl Jr etc… The guy who doesn’t believe in a minimum wage at all.
            If you were trying to put together a cabinet of people to promote corporate and Wall Street interests over the interests of the American people, it’s likely that you couldn’t have picked a better group. This isn’t “Returning the Government to the People”…
            As Salon put it, the people on Trump’s transition team “represent a mixture of cronyism, nepotism (Trump’s three eldest kids and his son-in-law are also advising the transition), shady legal and ethical ties, and influence peddling that might make Richard Nixon blush.” The New York Times was more muted but made the same point, “[S]ome of the most prominent voices [in the transition] will be those of advisers who come from the same industries for which they are being asked to help set the regulatory groundwork.”
            Laughably, even Trump admits he doesn’t really believe it. From his “Victory Rally”: https://youtu.be/5AaMtf338JI?t=48s
            “Then I started saying it like I meant it… right?”
            So… If you’re feeling frisky:
            – Explain how keeping his businesses (and all their attendant and obvious conflicts of interest) relates to “Draining the Swamp” or removing the corruption in Washington. No.. don’t pretend he’s going to use a “Blind Trust”, or sell anything. His ego is built into his Business. That’s why he loves sticking his name on everything. His business IS him. He will not give up ownership or control for anything. Not even the Presidency.
            – Explain how nepotism helps his goal of Draining the Swamp.
            – Explain how someone who for his entire life has only taken action to promote the interests of one person (himself) going to be any different in the White House.
            – Explain how Lewandowski starting his own lobbying firm after working on the Trump campaign is supporting all that Swamp draining.
            Oh… In case you’re going to use the totally boring “That’s not what he meant” defense, and try to reframe “Drain the Swamp”… here is a Trump direct quote from his speech in Westbend Wisconsin circa 14 August 2016:
            “On government corruption, I am going to restore honor to our government. We’ve seen the corruption of Hillary Clinton, …(snip)….the profiteering, the favors given to foreign corporations and governments at your expense.”
            “We are going to make this a government of the people once again. This is our chance to take back power from all the people who’ve taken it from you.”
            After hiring the profiteers themselves and the people with direct connections to the companies they will be regulating…. I’m willing to consider this promise completely broken. If your promise is to “Drain the Swamp”… this is not at all the way you start.

            Lock Her Up? – Hahahahaha
            Not going to happen. This one is done.
            Donald Trump’s actual quote on this topic: “That plays great before the election, now we don’t care”
            Something to educate yourself with:
            There’s a helpful video as well… of his actual words… to his actual voters. If that isn’t enough for you… if you think he’s playing some deep strategic mastermind game… then I don’t think you’ve actually been watching him speak. The guy’s mind is so shallow I could walk across it without getting the soles of my feet wet. He’s a grandiose narcissist driven by the need to prove to his dead father that he’s really a “winner”. He runs on adoration and hate, he spurns knowledge and prefers a constant state of lazy ignorance because it makes it easier to make up the stuff he says…
            There is no depth there.

            On the coal and oil jobs… After years of Mitch McConnell screaming about Obama’s WAR ON COAL… and the Republican idiots claiming that Hillary told the Coal miners she was going to take all their jobs (Pathetic lie… the point was that they needed to be retrained because the jobs were going no matter who was in power) now… suddenly… the story is completely different…. Amazing!

            Here is Mitch before the election:
            “McConnell sought “to put a human face on the suffering that is being felt in Appalachia due in large part to this administration’s war on coal.” He displayed a photo depicting two of “over 5,000 Kentuckians who have lost their jobs in the war on coal, two of the casualties from the president’s war on coal.” The longtime EPA critic drew a direct line between the agency’s emissions standards and the loss of jobs for his constituents.”

            And here is what Mitch McConnell said quietly just after Trump was elected:
            “McConnell also noted that he did not intend to spend any government dollars to help those who have lost coal jobs and may not regain them. “A government spending program is not likely to solve the fundamental problem of growth,” McConnell argued. “I support the effort to help these coal counties wherever we can but that isn’t going to replace whatever was there when we had a vibrant coal industry.””
            I guess “bringing back the coal and oil jobs” was a big fat lie.
            Or… best case scenario… Trump is just too ignorant to know it isn’t possible.

            Oddly enough, Hillary and Obama’s position that the industry was in decline, and the government had to step in to assist and retrain the people affected… which was screamed about as lies or misrepresented by the GOP… is now looking remarkably sane.

      2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 2, 2017

        Yet another useless comment full of bile and drivel—one that offers no insight and is just a gut reaction from someone whose brain is tucked between his gluteus maximus.

      3. FireBaron January 3, 2017

        ‘Zilla, remember, the only Jobs your boy has created are low wage jobs for H1B workers in the US, and jobs for sweatshops in Asia. Outside of that, the 10 person plumbing firm I use has a better record of job creation.

    2. dbtheonly January 2, 2017

      Dom, I’m confused by what LOLGOP is suggesting.

      How does focusing on the Middle Class not become an economic issue? How do you run minority identity issues without turning off those non-minorities who already feel abandoned? Dismissing all of them as racists is hardly helpful.

      Can we abandon complexity? If so, do we become a nation of slogans and sound bites? Politics in 140 characters or less?

      1. Thoughtopsy January 2, 2017

        I think it’s more breaking through the Fox News and GOP misinformation around who the Democratic Party is trying to help. The white republican voters see the Democratic Party as the “Brown” party. They party that always wants the “Brown” people to get the opportunities. And feel white anxiety that their place in society is being taken away.

        The Dems have been painted that way for a reason. And it’s easy to do, because there is a lot of catching up required for minorities before they even get close to parity with the white populace… even in terms of poverty. The Dems speak a lot against racism, and for minority communities.

        The broader message that they are for ALL working class people has been lost through deliberate obfuscation and… let’s be fair… already existing prejudice and bias.

        I think the point he’s making is that JUST making the Dem response about Economics won’t solve this. Because white anxiety is clearly a stronger motivator.
        But making it about educating the white working class about the big lie that the Dems are “anti-white” or a “Brown Party”, and explaining how this racial division has been used carefully to take from them, while also giving them something to blame, allows the opening for them to accept that the Dems will promote the welfare of ALL working class people. I don’t think this is complex. Everyone can understand when they’ve been screwed… you just need a couple of simple messages, that prime them to look out for the things that the GOP are going to do that will effectively screw the working class over. Like: “You’ll understand why we fight for all Working Class people in America, when the Republicans take away your healthcare.”

        Without addressing the lie, and the strategy of division (simply and clearly), you don’t get understanding of what has happened or the avenue to re-introduce your Party as what they really are, and talk about how to economically help them as well.

        The biggest opportunity for the Dems is to destroy this lie.

        The GOP is only gaining traction in rural America because the people there have been lied to for many years. The lie is that the “F**k the Poor” and “Less Government” and the “Remove Regulations” Party is their best choice/in their best interests.

        This is a lie as evidenced by nearly every other civilised nation, whose poor and middle class generally vote for the Liberal Party…. because they understand through educational resources supplied by Unions, schools, Church groups and local outreach programs, which party will actually improve their lives, and which will screw them over for money.

        America is a far outlier in this strange marriage between the White Middle and Poor class and the Elite Conservative Pro-Corporation party. There are many reasons for this… Fox constantly sending a message of fear and doom and race, playing on unaddressed racism, victim blaming, viewing wealth as sanctifying, narcissistic individualism, religion being used as a political weapon (look at the hypocrisy of the Evangelicals now…), abortion being used as a religious and political weapon (a few years ago the church didn’t care and ran their own abortion clinics), etc etc.

        However if the Dems successfully find a way to kill this lie and even half the rural White working community vote for their best interests, then the GOP will be reduced to nothing and will have to address the endgame of chasing white identity politics to fuel a massive money grab as the incredibly stupid dead end that it is.

        1. dbtheonly January 2, 2017

          More later, but at the moment, I think Martin has a point.

          You’re dismissing “Lock Her Up” far too easily. Trump has said one thing and done another far too often for me to accept that he won’t keep the Clintons tied up in BS “investigations” until they declare bankruptcy, he leaves office, or the Republicans lose their majorities.

          1. Thoughtopsy January 3, 2017

            It’s true that Trump works best with someone to fight.
            He (and Conway) keep talking about the Clintons… and keep having to be reminded that the election is over.

            It will be fascinating if he decided that flogging that dead horse is the best way to give himself someone to war with… especially since I think:
            – there are few stones left unturned
            – Trump is now doing most of the things he accused Hillary of doing
            – since she is not competing for anything it will raise the misogyny issue all over again.

            I definitely agree that, like all trolls, he needs someone to bully. I just hope that it’s the Republican Senators and Congresspeople. There’s plenty of disagreements waiting in the mix there to keep him fighting for his whole term.

            I would bet anything that his pick of who to be his whipping person(?) for the next 4 years will not be Putin, however. 😉

          2. dbtheonly January 3, 2017

            No way I take that bet. The homeless shelter is a good cause, but I’m not that generous.

            Consistency and Trump are rarely used in the same sentence. There is nothing incorrect in what you say, but I’m not sure any of it is relevant to Trump and/or the Republicans.

            And there’s the vengeance issue.

            But, in good faith, I can’t claim that Trump is entirely random and then pretend to predict his actions. So, even though it’s a line the trolls run at us, we really do just need to wait and see what Trump does. Standing up for the House Ethics Panel isn’t a bad start.

            And I’ll point out in Austria, Britain, France, Italy, Hungary, and particularly Poland, rightist, nativeist, insular parties have made strong inroads. Trump may be unique to the USA, but the RW ideas are much more common.

          3. Thoughtopsy January 3, 2017


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    4. CPANY January 3, 2017

      Yes, and they’re stupid.

    5. MartinArcher January 5, 2017

      It isn’t that the public prefers simple fixes, it is that the public prefers a president who will actually try to do something fix our problems instead of generating meaningless “position papers” and making meaningless speeches. We have major problems and our choice was between a man who said he would act and a woman who said she would continue the policies of the current “do nothing” administration which left tens of millions of Americans bankrupt and unemployed and resulted in the failure of two thousand community banks and many of the businesses they financed. Better to at least go with someone who says he will try to get the economy going again.

      1. Dominick Vila January 5, 2017

        Hillary’s job creation plan was far from being meaningless. A focus on issues such as affordable education and retraining so that Americans displaced by the erosion of jobs, or good paying jobs going to foreigners working in the USA with H1b visas because employers cannot find qualified American workers to do the job, is the key to solve many of the problems we have. The problem is that many among us are not interested in doing what it takes to qualify for those jobs, and are more inclined to support facile proposals than do what it takes to get ahead. For them it is more about entitlement, than who is offering the best long term proposal.

  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 2, 2017

    As we might see, there is this foundation that’s been built in America(and elsewhere) where we start from the premise of a divisive attitude according to the “Minimum Group Paradigm”(MGP) that arose as soon as humans walked upright and began forming groups. Color of skin evolution, facial shapes, language, and such have added complexity to MGP.
    Fanning out across the continent of Africa with others spreading north, eastward, and westward. The political, sectarian, racial, and nationalist battles playing out are just an extension of this MGP complex. Articles like this one and numerous others written by extremely talented and writers and thinkers continue to use terminology to distinguish one group from another but with, and partisan politics takes advantage of the competition between groups in order to gain ascendancy and influence.
    Political terms like, “Leftist”, “Progressives”, “Conservatives”, “Whigs”, “Tories”, “Democrats”, “Republicans”, are just a few terms used past and present that only serve to divide rather than allow people to see the Reality of “The Oneness of Humankind”.

    Donald, the GOP, the ALt-Right have added to the mix racialist epithets and terms of distinction, with a certain toxic element woven into the new terms to distinguish one group from another. “White Identity”, a relatively new terminology that plays on the anti-God concept of Racialism and its practice—Racism—that will only inflame rather than improve the current chaos. In response to divisiveness and MGP, groups like the “Black Panthers”, and recently BLM evolved in counteraction to the negative forces unleashed on the less favored and less powerful groups in our society. (Elijah Muhammad was a notable personage who arose from obscurity as a response to racialism and racism with a knee-jerk response of “Black Superiority”, and equivalent myths, to match the myth of “White Superiority”),

    The economic factor, although important, is ancillary in terms of the big picture; failure of the economy is simply an outcome of the absence of spiritual principles motivating our daily lives, which in turn is reflected in a faltering economy. This economic breakdown is evident in every corner of the globe, and exists directly as a result of the lack of being imbued with spiritual influences. Partisan-politics, racial animus, fear of “the other” also are caused by the absence of spirituality as a motivator of daily actions. For now, people in America are primarily being driven by materialist/political influences as their compass for how to direct their lives, with chaos, derision, and divisiveness as the outcomes.

  3. MartinArcher January 2, 2017

    Some of this article does not make sense, including the “fact” that “a recent survey of experts” don’t think that Trumps program to get the economy moving again will help the middle class. Some experts – it is the middle and working classes (if they are separate which I doubt) whose incomes will be helped the most when jobs again become plentiful and trump’s appointees are on the Federal Reserve so that financing is once again available for small and medium size businesses. Those two “Trumpisms” more than any social program or “tax the rich” scheme the democrats can dream up will reduce the current mal-distribution of income.

    1. Thoughtopsy January 2, 2017

      Not remotely the case.

      I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re not just another astroturfer or troll (of which this site has more than it’s fair share already) and supply you with a couple of things to read.
      Please see below:

      Moody’s Analysis of Trump Economic Policies:

      Relevant Quotes:
      “Economic impact
      The U.S. economy will weaken significantly if Mr. Trump’s economic policies are fully implemented as he has proposed. The economy will suffer a recession that begins in early 2018 and extends into 2020 (see Table 1). During this downturn, real GDP will decline peak to trough by close to 2.4%.
      This would be an unusually lengthy recession—even longer than the Great Recession—although the severity of the decline in economic activity would be more consistent with a typical recession suffered since World War II. Employment will continue to decline and unemployment will rise into the next presidential term, with the unemployment rate peaking at 7.4% in summer 2021.”

      “The economy also suffers as Mr. Trump’s immigration and trade policies act like a negative supply shock.16 Requiring millions of undocumented immigrants to leave the country reduces the size of the labor force, and the higher tariffs on imports from two of our largest trading partners increase the price of imported goods. The result is a smaller economy and higher inflation, something akin to stagflation.”

      “Mr. Trump’s economic policies hurt the economy due in part to the large budget deficits and heavy debt load that result from his tax and spending policies. Even on a static basis, the deficit in 2020, the last year of his
      term, will be close to $1 trillion greater than if there were no changes to tax and spending law. By 2026, the end of the budget horizon, the deficit will be almost $1.6 trillion greater.”

      Link to full analysis:

      The Guardian (British Newspaper… i.e. outside partisan politics) article: “The Economists’ Guide to Choosing Between Trump and Clinton”

      Relevant Quotes:
      “By moving in the wrong direction, the Trump plan would accelerate the growth in the income share of the top 1% as the Bush tax cuts did in the early 2000s and by 2018 drive inequality in America to the highest level on record.”

      “The net effect of Trump’s program will be to cause considerable economic disruption but little if any net gain in employment or output, even while raising the risk of a major economic crisis. Trump proposes to lower taxes and to reduce business regulation and foreign competition for American businesses and jobs. While raising income for the rich, the tax cuts will do little to promote economic growth; tax-cutting has been tried repeatedly over the past 35 years and does little to stimulate the economy, especially in a depressed economy where people and businesses save tax cuts rather than invest or spend. While high tariffs on Chinese or Mexican imports would shift some production to domestic suppliers, the effect will be muted because footloose suppliers will move to other sources not facing the tariffs. Any gains from reduced imports will also be offset by losses among American export industries, such as high technology, entertainment and business services.”

      Link to full article:

      If you have any questions, feel free to post them.

      1. MartinArcher January 2, 2017

        The “experts” you cite are wrong. What will happen to the economy will not be much affected by the absolutely large but relatively insignificant program and regulatory changes even though they will get most of the press; it will almost totally depend on who President Trump appoints to the Federal Reserve.

        Not much will change if his Fed appointees are just another batch of academic and treasury bureaucrats and placemen who basically continue the current “do nothing” policy which has devastated the real economy of jobs and production for the past eight years; everything will change and Trump will be hailed as a great president if (and only if) he appoints people who understand both economics AND the real world of jobs and production as opposed to only Wall Street and academic theories. I would bet on the latter because he has experience beyond the narrow confines of Wall Street and the academic world, but, unlike you and your “experts,” I don’t have a crystal ball and know exactly what he will do or who he will appoint to do it..

        1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 2, 2017

          Martin, nothing is totally dependent on one factor, nor do solutions occur only in a linear fashion. The Federal Reserve, Wall Street, etc. are institutions composed of humans just like you and I. You and so many other Americans are one-dimensional in your assessment, with economy as the sole source of our ills as you explain it while blithely ignoring the need for give and take in decision-making and implementation.

          You complain about a lot of systems not functioning correctly, but did you ever consider that the reason that is so is due to competing interests forever overlooking the importance of cooperation, reciprocity, and a willingness to compromise???

          1. MartinArcher January 2, 2017

            You are right about nothing being dependent on one factor and that solutions don’t occur only a linear fashion – but the Federal Reserve is not much understood or appreciated by Americans. It is the primary determinant of the level of economic activity our “animal spirits” are able unleash, not the congress or the president. They make the speeches and take the credit when things go well and the blame when they don’t; the Federal Reserve makes the decisions that determine how things will go.

          2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 3, 2017

            I agree wholeheartedly about the importance of the Fed. But think of the situation from another perspective and once which daily comes into clearer focus. I’ve known this perspective from an intellectual standpoint for quite some time, but today’s social climate shows the deeper dimension.
            The perspective is this: The problem with human societies and individuals stem from a dimming of one’s view of her/his higher nature, referred to often as the spiritual. By reforming and refining that aspect, a more ennobled society forms from which the chances of selecting people with higher principles are quite high; from the selection of people endowed with higher degrees of nobility, the institutions populated by such people will run more smoothly, and with the best interests of all rather than a few paramount. Institutions are just channels which act according to the make-up of the people who guide said institutions.

            Refer to http://www.bahai.org for further details and follow the various links and references.

        2. Thoughtopsy January 3, 2017

          That’s what I get for being polite and engaging… *sigh*

          Ok pinhead…

          Either please explain why Moody’s is not an expert source, and exactly why their analysis is incorrect, AND explain why the Economic experts chosen by the Guardian are not actual experts and incorrect.
          Please provide your Credentials as an Economist or someone who has equivalent achievements or qualifications in the economic field.

          If you can’t do either of those things, and given you also did not choose to provide any links, evidence, or other support for your unsubstantiated opinion, I will dismiss it out of hand as drivel.

          Here’s a fact you can take home with you:
          Just because YOU believe something, does not make it real.
          Just because YOU feel something is right does not make it true.
          If you have no evidence, and you have no experience, and you have no RELEVANT expertise, then your opinions and strong feelings are worth Jack.

          Trump supporters have made an art form out of “Truthiness” and ignoring facts. This is abject stupidity, as should be clear to anyone with half a brain.

          If you don’t agree, just ignore the warning label on rat poison, believe really really hard that it won’t kill you, and drink a bottle.
          Truthiness meets Reality.
          Reality wins.

          As for the idiotic idea that the people appointed to the Fed can solve everything in a complex economic system when Trump has clearly signaled (in simple terms… just for you) that he will be reducing taxes AND overspending is so dumb that I have to assume you don’t really know anything about what an “economy” actually is.

          So produce a real argument, personal credentials, or evidence… if you can.
          Your personal opinion is both irrelevant and useless without the above.

          1. MartinArcher January 3, 2017

            I am a highly published macroeconomist. You will have read some of my books if you have read any books by real economists about the economy, which is doubtful based on what seems to concern you. And it is not an idiotic idea that the Fed is capable of getting the economy out of its current great stagnation.

          2. Thoughtopsy January 4, 2017

            I point blank don’t believe you. By the way I’m a Nuclear Physicist, noted Neurosurgeon and play Pictionary exceedingly well.

            Nonetheless… you get the benefit of the doubt because I can’t ask you to post your real name, as that would be unfair. Very well. I guess we’ll just have to see who is right.

            For the record, my understanding is the economy is going to crater under Trump for the following reasons:
            1) High spending plans. (The Wall, Massive Infrastructure giveaways to corporations, and undoubtedly some war somewhere)
            2) Lower taxation (Already published as his plan which will severely reduce revenue)
            3) Trade wars (China, NAFTA rewrite, Mexico, etc etc)
            4) Immigration shock (reduction in available workforce)
            5) Recession (as a result of the above)
            6) Repeal of Obamacare with assoc. rising healthcare costs, and economic volatility.

            This will result in:
            – Rising unemployment
            – Increasing inequality and a further reduction in the middle class.
            – Increased national debt load as a % of GDP.
            – Possibly reduced US Credit rating
            – Possible higher cost of borrowing as a result of the above creating a faster increase in debt.
            …and this will be irrespective of who he appoints to the Fed. Or to put it another way… the Fed appointee won’t be able to do more than panic and keep the ship afloat after Trump punches numerous holes in the hull. I’m sure they’ll be great at bailing vigorously, though.
            Maybe another decade of qualitative easing and super low Fed rates? Yeah!… Let’s open the cheap money hose straight to those Wall Street companies and deregulate them at the same time… I’m sure nothing can go wrong with that plan. It’s not like we have 2-3 recent examples to learn from…

            Your point seems to be:
            “it is the middle and working classes (if they are separate which I doubt) whose incomes will be helped the most when jobs again become plentiful and trump’s appointees are on the Federal Reserve so that financing is once again available for small and medium size businesses.”
            So Trump will “make Jobs again become plentiful” and make “financing once again available to small and medium size businesses.”
            “…everything will change and Trump will be hailed as a great president if (and only if) he appoints people who understand both economics AND the real world of jobs and production as opposed to only Wall Street and academic theories.”

            I guess we’re going to see who is right.

          3. MartinArcher January 4, 2017

            Well you certainly know as much about economics as I know about neurosurgery. Don’t you think it a bit unethical to present yourself as knowledgeable about a highly technical subject you never neither studied nor practiced?

  4. esmensetoo January 2, 2017

    When are articles like this going to stop ignoring the misogyny that was so extremely important in, such a large part of, this race? And such a large part of the political problems progressives face?

    Misogyny that is an important aspect of conservatism, of course, but also was destructively rampant among Sanders “progressives.”

    Misogyny that was all over the media, of course — but especially destructive in the media of the Left that reached first time, younger voters.

    The “mommy” party — as it has been disdainfully deemed, reflecting our cultural disdain of the feminine — and progressive economic and social policy can’t prevail without acknowledging and effectively dealing with the gendered attacks commonly made on progressives candidates, male and female, and policies.

    Doing so requires a better strategy than the hapless yearning after the “angry, white males,” who simply don’t support progressive policies, that so many liberal men have been usefully arguing for over the last many decades. Conservative men who, like Republicans in general, college degree or not, actually are older and more affluent than the average American. Men who don’t see their economic interests aligned with progressive policy, no matter how much Thomas Frank believes they should.

    The great Daddy hope of this latest Democratic primary would have, if he’d won the nomination, been seen as and disdained as a progressive Mommy in the general election despite being male. And no matter how many crude attacks on “vagina voters” his supporters indulged in when his opponent was a woman.

    Until the Left is courageous enough to call out and defend against destructive misogyny in the culture, in the attacks of their opponents, in the media, and within its own ranks, and give their female candidates AND supporters smart and totally committed support — rather than, as the Sanders campaign did, use and build on the misogyny, dishonest witch hunts and non-stop lies and negative characterizations that conservatives used in order to dishonestly sow irrational distrust of a woman seeking unprecedented power — most destructively among the youngest voters — progressives will fail to progress toward their goals.

    And the country will continue to be subjected to policy-free campaigns in which ever more ridiculous candidates make ever more absurd and dishonest appeals based in emotional, bizarrely hyper-masculine, boorish and violent tropes.

    Destructive political conversations arising from fear of the revolutionary cultural change genuine political representation and power — commensurate with their numbers in the population and serious responsibilities in the economy and in meeting the vital social needs of the nation, their communities, partners and families that are culturally expected of them and economically required — and yet still barely acknowledged. (Responsibilities that grow larger while political and economic injustices still severely limit their resources for meeting them.)

    Nothing makes the Left look weaker than the complete avoidance of this issue by male liberals in all the endless, endlessly dishonest, essays being written about what happened in this election and how progressives must proceed.

    We can’t put the misogyny revealed in this election back in the box. We can’t unlearn how little progress has been made. Or how dangerous and determined conservatives’ plans to limit women’s access to the resources they need, to support and care for themselves and others successfully in a modern economy are. And we can’t dismiss how ugly and destructive the misogyny of progressives — whose political success has depended for years on women’s support that equates to significant gender gaps — actually is.

    That support is beginning to feel more problematic, frustrating, and useless, as supposed “progressives” continue to insist and dismiss, as Sanders did recently, the vital economic concerns of, and the serious lack of true political representation for, more than half the population, as “identity politics.”

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 3, 2017

      Very correct you are. Women and men, both on the Left and the Right and everywhere in between, have made an unconscionable error of allowing Trump’s misogyny to slink into a shelter away from the spotlight. And the media composed of humans who have this blind spot have been instrumental in allowing Trump to skate unhindered to the White House.


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