Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the collapse of 2008 and things are much, much worse


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/14/lost-decade.html


#2

Tanta’s Compleat Ubernerd posts over at Calculated Risk are worth a read. https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2007/07/compleat-ubernerd.html

Tanta Vive!


#3

In the winter in the Summer
Don’t we have fun
Times are bum and getting bummer
Still we have fun
There’s nothing surer
The rich get rich and the poor get poorer
In the meantime, in between time
Ain’t we got fun?

Ain’t We Got Fun” (1921) could be the theme song of the last decade.


#4

Matt Taibbi is always worth a read.

But anyone who clings to the notion that racists elected Trump owes this a read from Naked Capitalism. A highly salient point is what starts at “Oh no no no no, Hillary didn’t really lose”. But the whole article is worth it.


#5

Hi sorry Cory. Octopus imagery like this is antisemitic which I know is not the point of your post. Just thought you should know and change the picture.


#6

I’m familiar with the anti-Semitic trope of the octopus, but in this case the creature shown is Taibbi’s famous “vampire squid from hell”, a comparison which doesn’t target Jews but rather the Mammon-worshipping firm of Goldman Sachs:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

That said, I agree that there are better metaphors with less historic baggage:


#7

I was not personally aware of that, so thank you for joining and teaching me something new today! :heart_eyes:


#8

None of the points he makes in the section you mention fight the idea that Trump was elected by racism. Note he even has to preface the working class with white, because put simply Trump lost the working class by a larger margin than he lost any other income bracket. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/08/us/politics/election-exit-polls.html


#9

Certainly there were racists who voted for Trump. Whether they tipped the election to him is disputable, but no doubt they exist. What I think Frank does counter is the idea, very common in such discourse, that the only explanation for Trump is racism, therefore all his supporters are racist and as such dismissable.


#10

I like Thomas Frank and think he’s insightful and vicious (in a good way). However, based on that interview I would take issue with him on two points.

First, he’s conflating the clearly complacent and bungling and tone-deaf DNC establishment with the affluent creative/meritocratic-class liberals who voted for them. Given a limited choice of two parties to vote for, of course the latter will vote for the former in a general election, even when the GOP candidate is far less noxious than Il Douche. That’s true even if they recognise that the DNC needs serious reform and change despite the fact that the party has placed their interests above those of the working-class.

Second, he takes his valid critique of the errors (often confirmed by class consensus) made by Dem-friendly political scientists and economists and pundits in the run-up to the 2016 election and starts venturing into the territory of Michael Gove’s anti-intellectual claim that “I think that the people of this country have had enough of experts with organisations from acronyms”. That kind of thing only benefits right-wing populists.

It also bears repeating that Clinton didn’t lose the popular vote. She lost the electoral vote thanks to (as Frank discusses more broadly) her own and the party establishment’s incompetence and the broken Electoral College.

I don’t think it’s all that common amongst serious liberals and progressives. Frank makes it clear that Dolt-45 did get the racist vote, which is far from insignificant in this country (probably around a quarter of the electorate, roughly overlapping with the Know-Nothing 27% base the GOP depends on to make its margin). Without those racist voters Hillary Clinton would have been President. Racism isn’t the only explanation but it was a major factor.


#11

Also evocative of United Underworld™

united-underworld


#12

Some “fun” stats:


#13


#14

that sentance is backwards and maybe reversing it would help.

trump is racist, and the only explanation for his support is racism.

people aren’t mostly the full on confederate flag waving, cross burning sort.

instead, people are worried about things like their “culture” being undermined. about english not being the official language of the us. of losing american ( white american ) exceptionalism.

while he’s deplorable, his support isn’t just from “deplorables.” it’s from people who see latinos as not true americans. it’s from people who believe white jesus is a thing. it’s from people who think we can just pretend society is equal and therefore – why can’t those other people just behave normal already.

not being “racist” isn’t enough to solve the problems of racism in america.

oh contraire. that’s why the “fight” doesnt end with trump but looks beyond. 45 is a wake up call. he’s a symptom of something deeper – something ingrained in american history – that has never been fully addressed. or even fully admitted.


#15

On the subject of the thread itself, I doubt things are much worse, in the sense that at least as far as I know there’s not a ginormous, opaque, unsustainable bubble of complicated derivatives where even the people originating them don’t know how they work or what, exactly, is in them.


#16

I wonder if Cory actually read the article. Sorry for the big quote, but sometimes you need to read more than a headline:

In other words, the rich people didn’t spend money to get Trump elected; Trump was elected as a way to get back at the rich people.

Also interesting that the call to action from an article on a decade of mostly Democratic misrule is to get out the vote and elect a bunch of Democrats (and one independent) who have a worrying understanding of numbers:

Dr. Rob Davidson … earned 52,221 votes running unopposed in the Democratic Primary, despite spending only 1/10th of incumbent Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga’s primary budget.


#17

… and the classic NSDAP slogan

“Denn heute, da gehört uns Deutschland / und morgen die ganze Welt”
(“For today, Germany is ours / and tomorrow the whole world”)

from the marching song “Es zittern die morschen Knochen”
(“The rotten bones are trembling”).

Yes, Nazis try to ruin everything.


#18

In the context of the article, yes. I would broaden it further to what right-wing populists call “the elites”, many of whom aren’t wealthy but who do have the gall to be educated and cultured and have careers they enjoy and who live in vibrant and diverse cities. The growing inequality over the last 10 years that financially benefited the top 1% also brought the lives of these happy 9-19% (depending on how one reckons these things) into sharp relief for the other 80-90% of Americans who are suffering and struggling.

Many of that last, large group are classic spite voters who, as we’ve seen, will gladly elect the most gaudy and cartoonish conservative plutocrat if it means giving those “elites” (especially women, PoC, immigrants, LGBTQ) a taste of the misery the deal with day in and day out. From the stats, a large portion of those spite voters in the last election were not working-class voters but college-credentialled middle-class white males.

The Dems are hapless, but in terms of policy they’re the better of the duopoly parties. Until we get some form of ranked choice voting and reform of the Electoral College, I doubt anyone serious who’s looking for change thinks the best way to get it is “moar Republicans.” The strategy, then, has been to GOTV for better, more progressive Dems who do understand numbers.


#19

If we are to buy the economic dislocation narrative, we should see Trump performing better with working class voters. We don’t. We see the exact opposite pattern. I will say with absolute certainty that ALL Trump voters are racist. If you’re are okay with the rhetoric and policies he pursues, you are racist.


#20

Hopefully:

Es geht alles vorüber, es geht alles vorbei,
erst geht der Trump, und dann die Partei.