Morning Ed: Politics {2016.04.26.T}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar j r
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    “Capitalism is also responsible for some of the worst crimes in history,” he contended, mentioning imperialism, world war, and the transatlantic slave trade. “Why isn’t that considered discrediting?”

    My pithy response to Eugene Puryear would be, “because mercantilism isn’t capitalism.” I’m guessing that folks like Puryear aren’t all that interested in those distinctions, though.

    In regards to Ben Carson, and to an even greater extent Alan West, I am really not able to form a sentence about either of them that I feel comfortable typing on this blog. Whatever the intellectual equivalent is of a black woman pulling off her earrings, that’s what I feel about those two.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to j r
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      No to mention the 100M + killed by communism/socialism. Overlooked that fact did he?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Damon
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        This is again a word game so that social democracy gets tarred with the same brush as communism.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to LeeEsq
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          Quotes from the article:

          “Eugene Puryear, the real-life socialist politician seated across the table from me.”

          “But as it happens, the real socialists—the ones toiling, lonely, in the trenches; the ones who never felt a need to temper their philosophy with a mitigating adjective like democratic, as Sanders does—are strikingly ungrateful”

          Dude’s not a social democrat. (Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy,) He’s a straight up socialist. Tell me where to draw the line between socialism and communism because as far as I can see, the line is very narrow:

          Socialism: “Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production… Although there are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.

          Communism: “In political and social sciences, communism is a social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.”Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq
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          “The ideology of the Scandinavian governments is really just a more fair capitalist society,” Puryear told me. True socialism as Marx and Engels envisioned it, by contrast, was intended as a way station on the road to full-fledged communism. “We refer to ourselves as socialists because what we’re trying to promote is the move from capitalism to socialism,” he said. But the ultimate goal is not Finland. It is a fully classless society in which the state has withered away to nothing.

          He’s not playing word games, Lee, he’s a true believer. (and he has a view on Palestine, too).Report

        • Avatar North in reply to LeeEsq
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          Sorry Lee, dude is a full on red, there’s no ambiguity there.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Damon
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        My pithy response to this is “because Stalinism isn’t socialism. ”

        Seriously I have played this game before. The great ideologies are like religion, they can only fail if not pursued faithfully.

        Almost all nations are mixed economies ,and none can be termed a pure “ism” since all are mixes of culture and religious identity.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to Chip Daniels
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          My pithy response to this is “because Stalinism isn’t socialism. ”

          You might want to take that issue up with Mr. Puryear

          “Puryear told me. True socialism as Marx and Engels envisioned it, by contrast, was intended as a way station on the road to full-fledged communism. “We refer to ourselves as socialists because what we’re trying to promote is the move from capitalism to socialism,” he said. But the ultimate goal is not Finland. It is a fully classless society in which the state has withered away to nothing.”Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Damon
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            I have, actually.
            Or rather, I learned this by talking to late-stage Marxists back in the 70’s, where the Soviet Union wasn’t real Socialism, you see, but Amerikka was.
            Meanwhile, the Nordic countries are Real Socialism, and the fact they have private ownership of capital only shows they haven’t progressed to full Communism yet.

            What makes this all nonsense is our understanding of political ideas as though they work like the laws of physics.
            Gravity works the same in Peru as Paris, and the arc of a ball thrown in Russia is the same as one in London.

            So this political system will yield the same result if applied to Norway or Haiti.
            Any deviation in outcome is a result of an impure application, possibly tainted by extraneous foreign matter.

            But of course there is no such thing as a pure application. The Nordic experiment combines private property with state planning and intervention AND heaping doses of Nordic culture, history and ethical frameworks.

            Russia wasn’t free under the Czar, it wasn’t free under the Communists, and it isn’t free under Putin. They have changed economic systems several times, and the outcome is only slightly different each time.
            China appears more and more every day to be reverting to the model they had prior to 1949, making the brief period of Communism an aberration from the long arc of Chinese history.

            For Mr. Puryear or any other true believer in ideology, I want to ask- How would an application of socialism/ capitalism/ libertarianism have changed the antebellum South, or Czarist Russia, or Haiti for the better? How would that process work?Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to j r
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      This is just playing word games in order to make your preferred economic policy look good. People who self-defined themselves as capitalists or free marketers eagerly took part or took advantage of the European conquest of Asia and Africa in the 19th century and later of American meddling in Latin America during the 20th. You can’t just say that these people aren’t capitalists because no true capitalist would do such a thing. Even ignoring imperialism, you had the use of child labor, deliberately unsafe working conditions, pollution, and violent action to prevent unionization of workers at home among other abuses committed by self-defined capitalists.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq
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        Do I really strike you as the kind of guy interested in playing word games for the purpose of obfuscating definitions?

        I made a statement. If you want to respond to that statement, please do. But don’t bring in a bunch of other stuff that I didn’t say. I’m very interested in historical facts, but I’m not interested in having some kind of political identity contest.Report

      • Avatar Dand in reply to LeeEsq
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        ople who self-defined themselves as capitalists or free marketers eagerly took part or took advantage of the European conquest of Asia and Africa in the 19th century and later of American meddling in Latin America during the 20th.

        Isn’t that a bit like saying that Hitler and Pol Pot were both self described socialists?Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Dand
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          And the Further Left who identify as full throttled reds and Marxists have to account for the suffering caused by imposing an ultra ideological sociological experiment on people. We know that full communism does not work.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    Sanders, Socialism, and the United States: The problem with the word Socialism is that it has been distorted beyond all meaning. You have a lot of radical conservatives who treat Socialism as anything that indicates the smallest welfare state measure is unacceptable socialism. For the most part, these people tend to at least have been old enough to vote for Reagan in 1980. Younger people who tend not to have any cold war in them seem to define socialism as any government service. This is why you can see memes like “Hate socialism? Don’t use roads, firefighters, the police, parks, libraries, etc.” The Welfare State and Public Parks are not socialism. Socialism is the nationalization that Eugene mentions. Sanders is essentially an old-school New Deal Liberal who calls himself a socialist for personal reasons.

    The likeness and Trump and Sanders: That essay is rather annoying. It starts with the premise that the United States is a uniquely racist nation with the we are all good middle-class Canadian anecdotes. I will admit that Sanders supporters tend to be whiter than the Democratic Party over all but he would have seen more diversity if he attended a Sanders rally in California over Iowa possibly. Sanders has also tried to court non-White voters. When he got into hot water with Black Lives Matter, he let them speak at his rallies, he did not encourage violence against them from his supporters. The Bernie Bros thing is a real phenomenon and it is annoying but Sanders supporters are still about universal healthcare for all, free college for all.Report

  3. Avatar North
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    We’re too religious to embrace socialism? Eh, I think we’re probably just too rational/self interested/historically aware to embrace true genuine socialism which is all for the good. As for ‘socialism’ or market socialism or democratic socialism I’d dare say religiosity would lend itself to such things.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to North
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      Like Saul noted, it depends on the religion. Certain branches of Evsngelical Protestsntism love capitalism because how they interpret the idea of salvation. Other religions are fine with inequality because a hierarchical society fits in their cosmology.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to North
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      The problem with socialism is that it is too top down for a pluralistic society such as the US. The only way to make it work is to have it forced down from above, much like Leninism, and that ain’t too cool. The nice thing about the US is that with a federal system if a state wants to have a more socialistic system, the can vote that it. And not inflict it on the other states that don’t share that point of view. Hurray!

      By the way, Capitalism isn’t a system. Its a word made up by a 19th cen. hipster.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to aaron david
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        I don’t think the facts bear out the broad assertion. Americans love their socialism as witnessed by the smoking carcasses that emerge every time the GOP looks sideways at Social Security, Medicare and the like. Americans just also don’t like paying for it (because who does?)Report

        • Avatar aaron david in reply to North
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          OK, thats fair. But those programs don’t involve the idea that the gov’t/other actors are in anyway limiting them for the “greater good.” And they do involve at least the idea of a trust fund (no matter how much BS is involved with that idea) to pay for it.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to North
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          Is social security and medicare and the like really socialism? I’ve always heard socialism defined, in its simplest terms, as a government/collective ownership of the means of production. SS and Medicare don’t seem to produce anything. They are a means of funding and seem better categorized as a (re)distributive system.

          Public schools would seem to fit the bill, if we see “education” as something that is “produced”.

          Most, if not everything, that would seem to fall under the umbrella of “socialism” in this country are services as opposed to goods: schools, libraries, the post office, public transportation.

          Do we have any truly socialist/socialized industries in this country that produce goods?Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Kazzy
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            @kazzy

            Social Srcurity and Medicare were attacked as socialist or socialistic since the days they were introduced. The programs eventually became popular enough that it was unacceptable to touch them. Even today, the GOP finds they can’t dismantle Medicare for their base.

            There has always been a strong minority in the Anerican electorate that saw any bit of welfare state legislation as unacceptable and socialistic.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw
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              @saul-degraw

              But does that ACTUALLY make it socialism? I mean, people attack things using all sorts of hyperbole but that doesn’t make it so.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Kazzy
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                That is a matter of semantics and subjectivity. I say no but plenty of people say yes including supporters of the program. Medicare is more socialistic than social security.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw
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                But don’t semantics matter here? If the question is, “Are we ready for socialism?” asking how we respond to not-socialism-called-socialism doesn’t get us closer to the answer.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Kazzy
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                It seems to have, in that in many conversations everyone involved will agree that “socialism” means welfare state programs rather than collective/government/democratic control of the means of production. I’m beginning to think arguments to the contrary are as much an ultimately futile rearguard linguistic action as arguments that “conservatism” is really about resistance to change rather than center-right policy preferences.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to pillsy
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                You can make a good faith argument that welfare state programs are a part of socialism without murdering the definition. Various socialists always included welfare state programs as part of the package they were advocating for in addition to collective, government, or democratic control of the means of production. Since they were assumed to be part of the package of socialism by socialists themselves than they are socialist.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    On religion and socialism in the United States: The 538 article uses a very Protestant and very evangelical view of religion. I don’t like it when religious becomes a stand-in for evangelical protestantism. Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. do not have the same views on salvation. There was a study a while ago that indicates that most American Jews stayed Democratic because of their Judaism not despite it.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw
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      Furthermore, the very early Christian church was explicitly communist:

      And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. Acts 2:44-45.

      Some day I want to hold up that sign in the endzone. It is always fun to quote those verses at Evangelicals and hear the explanations for why this can’t possibly have anything to do with us.

      In fairness, the 538 piece does mention “the individualist, evangelical style of American religion” but yeah, from that point onward it drops any distinctions. White Evangelical Protestantism is only about one third of American Christianity but you wouldn’t know it, either from Evangelicals or the purportedly lefty mainstream media.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Richard Hershberger
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        It’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Richard Hershberger
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        On dating sites I’ve noticed that In religion category, Protestsnt Christians call themselves Christian rather than Protestant. Catholics refer to themselves as Catholics though and Eastern Orthodox as Eastern Orthodox.Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to LeeEsq
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          I strongly suspect that it is White Evangelical Protestants who call themselves “Christian.” This is a very characteristic linguistic tic among them. In most cases it is nothing more than a tic, but in a minority of cases it is an intentional “fuck you.” Among mainline Protestants I would expect a specific denomination to be stated: “Methodist” or “Lutheran” or what have you. Or if aiming for something broader, then “mainline Protestant” makes clear that you can communicate with this person without having them speculate about your fate, were you to be run over by a hypothetical bus.Report

        • Avatar KenB in reply to LeeEsq
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          I’m not on a dating site but it would never occur to me to describe myself as “Protestant” — I’d go with either “Christian” or my specific denomination.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Richard Hershberger
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        That would be a good one, along with Matthew 6:5.Report

      • Avatar KenB in reply to Richard Hershberger
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        Richard Hershberger: the very early Christian church was explicitly communist

        I don’t think this is a valid statement — communism is a form of government, and it’s ahistorical to look at this passage, or any arrangement or instruction from the NT, as a recommendation for how an entire polity should be organized (especially since governments are inherently coercive and there’s nothing in the NT that suggests that anyone should be forced into anything). Better simply to take it as how a church community should behave.Report

  5. Avatar j r
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    Just saw the Trump war room picture and I have to ask:

    Would that group get us in any less trouble/cause any more trouble in the world than the group that’s been there for the last 16 years? The people in that photo are a collection of possible idiots, but how many of them have actual blood on their hands?Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to j r
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      Because there’s not a dimes worth of difference between Bush and Obama, apparently.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to j r
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      It’s pretty easy to look at our foreign policy muck ups and think, “How can it possibly get worse?” but I think that shows a lack of imagination. Based on the worst national outcomes we’ve seen in other countries over the past couple hundred years, I’m betting it can always get worse. It’s a little bit like people kicking around the CEOs of unsuccessful companies for their huge paychecks. Sure, a chunk of that failure is probably due to genuine buffoonery, but that doesn’t mean that a bigger buffoon wouldn’t have made it even worse.

      For running a big company or a country, I’d say the average person is doing pretty well if they mostly avoid major disasters. I don’t get a disaster avoiding vibe from The Hulkster. Then again, his recent court victory could indicate that he has some real mojo that we could use.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Troublesome Frog
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        It’s not even the right or wrong people. Nixon in 1960 would have responded to the crises put in front of Kennedy much differently, and probably worse. While Kennedy elected in 1968 might very well have done the same vis a vis the 1968 Nixon.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r
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      Michael Bay definitely could make things worse. I’m sad he wasn’t included.Report

  6. Avatar notme
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    Tamir Rice’s family to get $6million from city. I guess the city just rolled over.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/us/tamir-rice-family-cleveland-settlement.htmlReport

  7. Avatar Dand
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    Paul Krugman is attacking Bernie Sanders for not being a food snob by opposing a soda tax,

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/25/a-note-on-the-soda-tax-controversy/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body

    This is what I mean when I say that for high SES liberals snobbery is the reason for their liberalism.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Dand
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      Next thing you’re going to tell me that it’s snobbery to be pro-backup-cameras — rather than simply an acknowledgement that we’re moving away from the “one person one vehicle” paradigm, and any safety feature is going to help — and this one is cheap.

      [You can, if you like, translate this to: talk about me and mine, if you like. I know more, and I’ll have actual things to contribute. I don’t expect to toss around casual judgements on Krugman, even though I do know someone who’s worked with him before].Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
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      This is what I mean when I say that for high SES liberals snobbery is the reason for their liberalism.

      What does that have to do with the words Krugman actually wrote?Report

      • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
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        Krugman is attacking Sanders for not being a food snob (his supposed reasoning is pretense). It really telling that high SES liberals will attack non-snobs to their left as well as their right.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Dand
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          No, he’s not. I don’t know Krugman well, but I do know he’s a math guy.
          He’s arguing strongly for a mathematical solution to disincentivize poor people from drinking soda, for health reasons.

          This ain’t a chump talking about how corn syrup is horrible and you really ought to only buy pure sugar soda! (I do like pure sugar soda better. I can taste the consistency difference).

          I can find snobby attitudes… if I really look hard. But in my house, we play Plants Versus Zombies, and it’s rather hard to be a snob after you do that.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
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          Krugman is attacking Sanders for not being a food snob (his supposed reasoning is pretense).

          I see. Your allegation really does have absolutely nothing to do with the words Krugman actually wrote.Report

          • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
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            Did he not attack Sanders for opposing the soda tax? Soda taxes a passed with the deliberate intent of pushing the working class out of cities and replacing them with hipsters.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Dand
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              Cite some sources?
              Besides, I don’t think the wall vagina crew has much more interaction with hipsters than working class folks.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
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              Soda taxes a passed with the deliberate intent of pushing the working class out of cities and replacing them with hipsters.

              I… wait, what?

              Your theories about liberal snobbery might be better received if they contained more evidence and fewer dark hints about how the Gnomes of Zurich are directing the Boy Sprouts to destroy Fnord Motor Company.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
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                Why is it crazy to suggest the city officials are trying to encourage gentrification by setting policies that are favorable to yuppie and hipsters while making like more difficult for the working class?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Dand
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                To be honest? This is a really stupid way to do it. If you want to make people move — housing and taxes are the tricks. Maybe schooling… Noise ordinances even — Saul posted something a while back on this in Brooklyn (I think it was Spike Lee complainin’ — which yeah is what he does, but still…)

                This is pulling more money out of LongIslanders visiting the city than working class in the city, I’d wager.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dand
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                Actually this is correct, that cities want more upper middle class people, and want to discourage low income people.

                Sometimes its open and malign, like with homeless sweeps, other times its a byproduct of Fear Of Crime, other times its people voting with their pocketbooks.

                Its probably a stretch to assign a soda tax to it, but there is a pattern where sin taxes are unpopular until the sin in question becomes relegated to the lower class.

                Sort of like how a spike in heroin addiction among affluent young people is a tragic problem to be treated with counseling, while drug abuse by black kids is a scourge to be stamped out with zero tolerance.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
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                Why is it crazy to suggest the city officials are trying to encourage gentrification by setting policies that are favorable to yuppie and hipsters while making like more difficult for the working class?

                It’s crazy to cite such a suggestion to prove that Paul Krugman is, like, totally obviously motivated by snobbery when he supports the soda tax, and then provide no more evidence for it than allusions to the self-evident perfidy of city officials, yuppies and hipsters.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
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                Like I said Krugman has more than once compared Sanders to Bush 43; Sanders and Bush have literally nothing in common other than mannerism that are off-putting the to high SES northerners.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dand
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                The idea that the only basis for comparison between presidential candidates is their mannerisms is fascinatingly bizarre.

                Compared to that, it’s merely far from obvious that Sanders is particularly off-putting to “high SES northerners”, based on the exit polling I’ve seen.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to pillsy
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                The idea that the only basis for comparison between presidential candidates is their mannerisms is fascinatingly bizarre.

                It would be bizarre if the Candidates in question Mitt Romney and john Kasich, but the candidates in question are Bernie Sanders and George W. Bush.

                Compared to that, it’s merely far from obvious that Sanders is particularly off-putting to “high SES northerners”, based on the exit polling I’ve seen.

                Here’s an election map for Chicago.

                https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160315/edgewater/illinois-election-results-live-march-15-primary-results-from-illinois

                Clinton won the yuppie wards and black wards Sanders won everywhere else.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dand
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              So it’s impossible to be pro soda tax (or anti-anti-soda tax) for any motivation other than snobbery and hatred of poor people?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko
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                If one discusses the soda tax without discussing the need for a mocha latte tax (not for the sugar-free chocolate mocha lattes no whip, just for the regular chocolate mocha lattes with whip), one does have grounds to wonder whether there is a reason that one 140 calorie drink gets taxed but a 350 calorie drink does not.

                Wondering whether it’s the constituency associated with the drinks seems as fair a question as any.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                Wondering whether it’s the constituency associated with the drinks seems as fair a question as any.

                It’s a monumental leap from there to, “These policies are deliberately designed to make room for hipsters by making life unbearable for the working class, which is the only possible reason Paul Krugman could possibly support them.”Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to pillsy
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                And it’s made all the more monumental by the fact that the post was primarily about whether or not progressives can support regressive taxes in general, not soda taxes in particular. I’m probably more skeptical than Krugman about soda taxes, but the level of mind reading that @dand is engaging in here is bonkers.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                Oh, I’m sure it’s nowhere near that active.

                It’s a nice, gentle passive attitude that gets a shrug when it’s pointed out that this tax will have disparate impact.

                Well, we have an obesity crisis anyway.

                How many mochas are sold in these areas, though? Imagine how many schoolchildren could be helped by a new playground or through higher quality P.E. instruction via a mere 10 cent additional tax on a mocha?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                Jaybird:
                Oh, I’m sure it’s nowhere near that active.

                Well, yeah, and that’s the problem with what @Dand is arguing. Soda taxes seem dumb and classist and paternalistic, sure, but he’s inferring a lot more than that from Krugman’s apparent support for them, or, for that matter, his opposition to Sanders.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                Much like with racism, the fact that a problem cannot be solved by calling a beneficiary of structural racism a “racist” does not prove that structural racism does not exist.

                So, too, here.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                Jaybird:
                Much like with racism, the fact that a problem cannot be solved by calling a beneficiary of structural racism a “racist” does not prove that structural racism does not exist.

                So, too, here.

                Quite. If the argument were that soda taxes are being helped along by “structural classism” and unexamined prejudices on the part of policymakers, then I’d have no objection.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
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                Heh. Or cases where the law is supposedly facially neutral with regards to the sugary substance being ingested… but coincidentally only applies to servings larger than any provided by Starbucks.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to Don Zeko
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                If you support a tax that doesn’t single out soda but treats all equally unhealthy products the same way that would be defensible. But no one has proposed taxing high calorie drinks that are only consumed by rich people.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dand
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                Do you really think that proves something about the motivations of every person that has ever supported or sponsored a soda tax? I don’t disagree that there’s a lot of really gross classism bound up in the way many liberals talk about food, but you’re putting words in Krugman’s mouth here and it’s not backed up by any evidence.Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to Don Zeko
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                Krugman has repeatedly used “real American” as sneer. And his attempts to compare Sanders to Bush deify logic. Hilary does much better with rich whites than poor whites.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dand
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                A few things:
                #1: why are you so sure that “real american” wasn’t mocking the people on the right that use that phrase to make their culture war points, rather than an expression of Krugman’s distaste for middle America?
                #2: What about the logic that I described above? The fact that you don’t buy it doesn’t mean that Krugman, the one making that argument, doesn’t buy it.
                #3: What on earth does Hillary’s vote totals in a Democratic primary have to do with anything?
                #4: That said, why just poor white voters? Do poor black voters not drink soda?Report

              • Avatar Dand in reply to Don Zeko
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                says:

                #1: why are you so sure that “real american” wasn’t mocking the people on the right that use that phrase to make their culture war points, rather than an expression of Krugman’s distaste for middle America?

                He’s doing both at the same time. That’s more or less the point. Why does Krugman who served as an adviser to the President Reagan at the age of 28 and went on to become an Ivy League Professor and win a Nobel Prize care that some blue collar worker doesn’t think he’s a “real American”. If it’s because Krugman in Jewish and theirs is really nasty history of suggesting that Jew’s aren’t real nationality X’s then it’s understandable, otherwise it’s silly.

                #2: What about the logic that I described above? The fact that you don’t buy it doesn’t mean that Krugman, the one making that argument, doesn’t buy it.

                I don’t buy premise that Sanders is being more lose with the facts than Clinton. And candidates like Gary Hart and Howard Dean received stronger support from high SES white than low SES. Something about Sanders turns high SES liberals off.

                #3: What on earth does Hillary’s vote totals in a Democratic primary have to do with anything?

                Its shows that white supports of Clinton are more likely to be snobs.

                #4: That said, why just poor white voters? Do poor black voters not drink soda?

                There is class divide among white voters that doesn’t seem to exist among black voters. I don’t know what’s motivating poor blacks but it isn’t snobbery.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Don Zeko
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                says:

                I don’t disagree that there’s a lot of really gross classism bound up in the way many liberals talk about food,

                As an aside, one of my knee-jerk objections to the Johnathan Haidt stuff about moral universes is that he argues that conservatives care about purity while liberals basically don’t, while my sense is that liberals care about some kinds of “purity” (especially around food) while conservatives care about others (especially around sex).Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Dand
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      says:

      For my part, while I see the class implications of soda taxes as being quite clear, I can’t really ascribe class as the conscious motivation of most of those who favor it. And in some cases it’s neither there consciously or unconsciously. So support for it doesn’t translate into snobbery directly or indirectly on an individual level. I’m glad to have Krugman on the record in saying that regressive taxation isn’t a big deal, but other than that he doesn’t say much interesting other than his apparent support for such taxation.Report

      • Avatar Dand in reply to Will Truman
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        says:

        I think the hostility that Krugman has shown to Sanders throughout the campaign has been really telling, he has multiple times compared to Bush in 2000. What both Sanders and Bush have in common is mannerisms that are off putting to high SES liberals.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Dand
          Ignored
          says:

          Can you cite some sources? [hate to say it, but your earlier reads on Krugman have me wanting to doublecheck your work]

          Krugman doesn’t always listen to the same people I do, but Sanders’ handle is “Angry Deli Man” [and no, that’s not liberals coming up with the nick. everyone knows spies lean right].Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dand
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          says:

          Can we not even consider the possibility that Krugman perceives Sanders to be playing fast and loose with the facts and data? Since, you know, that’s why he said he’s skeptical of Sanders and compared him to Bush?Report

          • Avatar Dand in reply to Don Zeko
            Ignored
            says:

            Can we not even consider the possibility that Krugman perceives Sanders to be playing fast and loose with the facts and data?

            That describes every politician who’s ever lived.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dand
              Ignored
              says:

              Again, we’re talking about Krugman’s perception of the world and the candidates, not yours, because you’re the one making assertions about what Krugman is thinking without reference to what he wrote. And while you may think that Sanders is no more sloppy with facts and data than anyone else, Krugman disagrees, which is exactly why he compared him to Bush 43.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to Dand
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          says:

          In defense(?) of Krugman, he’s always been dismissive, bordering on hostile, towards people who disagree with him. He was this way even before he started writing political columns.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Actually, here’s a thought: Consider soda taxes and trans fat bans. You’d have to reach back a bit (since the FDA finally realized trans fat is killing us pretty badly and decided to phase it out), but IIRC there was a lot of shouting about trans fats from a few areas before the FDA got on board.

        In fact, I believe New York itself was in on trying to eliminate trans fats.

        A quick and dirty check would be to see if the same people promoting soda taxes to encourage healthier behavior also tended to support the trans fat ban, because that would show consistent concern for health and healthy eating.

        I suppose that might also be class based behavior, but the FDA seemed to agree and frankly the only people I noticed screaming about it was Reason magazine, and they scream about everything. And I don’t think even they claimed it was class warfare.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20
          Ignored
          says:

          Of course, if the FDA had gotten its way I would probably still be smoking…

          Transfats are most likely to be in the products that the great unwashed eat. Reason may not have made that argument, but it was there to be made. The same dynamics apply, if to a lesser degree. Hard to say where one motivation ends and the next begins, but I don’t think think it’s coincidental even while I don’t think it’s consciously deliberate.

          Indications are soft drinks aren’t a significant agent. They do, however, seem to be an easy target. For some reason.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman
            Ignored
            says:

            Transfats are, by and large, replaceable. That was what got them killed. Soda taxes are more akin to sin taxes, but I think for the purposes of determining whether or not someone is engaging in clever class warfare or just flailing trying to address health concerns it’s a good proxy.

            On soda taxes, I really don’t have a dog in the fight. I think they’re pretty pointless in general, but don’t care enough to vote for or against.

            (Obesity in general and nutrition are depressing subjects. The former is looking more and more depressingly difficult to deal with– the human body likes to put on weight and hates giving it up, for what are sound survival reasons up until the last century or so — complicated, messy, and your body works against you and any therapies. Nutrition, well — we’ve just gotten the computers to really model this kind of thing, and what we’re finding looks a lot like “Everything we thought was mostly and sometimes horribly wrong”.).Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Will Truman
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        says:

        Is this the first time he’s said such things? Economists, even left-leaning ones, tend to be pretty enthusiastic about consumption taxes, regressiveness aside. I mean, he’s not wrong about how important they are to funding European welfare states.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to pillsy
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          says:

          They do like the VAT, but usually as part of the fabric of an overall progressive tax structure (for example they don’t like reliance on state sales taxes without a state income tax and significant property taxes to tilt the overall balance – pretty heavily). Krugman is saying overall tax structure is secondary because it’s other things (namely spending) that matter.Report

  8. Avatar Dand
    Ignored
    says:

    Ron Unz has one of the best platforms I have ever seen:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/unz-on-the-issues/Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Dand
      Ignored
      says:

      If you say so. After my experience working with English language learners in California schools, anyone who opens their platform by supporting English-only education has lost my vote.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Dand
          Ignored
          says:

          Dand,
          I think this needs to be handled with a bit of sensitivity.

          You get a kid in Algebra, who is ALSO trying to learn “second grade” English at the same time? He’s not going to be learning Algebra — ditto Science class.

          On the other hand, there should be an honest goal that everyone who leaves the Cali system should be 7th grade fluent in English (and with the skills to develop more). That’s bare basics, but you do really need to work to get people there.

          Immersion helps people learn languages, but trying to learn English (which is a bitch to learn for anyone who’s not German) AND get through other classes is just going to leave kids behind.

          Personally, I prefer the idea of ulpan-like “here, learn english for three months” immersion programs. Call them summer school. At the end of each, you test the kids, and the kids who can at least get 7th grade concepts can start moving out of Spanish-language science class.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Dand
          Ignored
          says:

          There are many places where bi lingual schools are a choice people seek out. Usually so their child can learn another language they wouldn’t’ have the chance to. Here we have spanish, german, japanese and chinese bi-lingual school options. Lots of parents also raise their children in bi-lingual homes. Typically that leads to children fluent in two languages….i know shocking…but any problems.Report

        • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Dand
          Ignored
          says:

          @dand , consider the following passage from the article:

          As a teaching assistant in the UC system I’ve encountered some older students who exhibit a peculiar linguistic profile. Almost always Latino, they have a very mild accent in English, but are basically verbally fluent. But they are shockingly less fluent in written English. My first “wake-up” call was on a final exam where a student of mine asked for the definition of a word. My initial thought was “Dude, I can’t define scientific words for you, that’s your job.” It was the word composition. This is not an isolated incident. I’ve learned not to infer written fluency from verbal fluency for Latino students who are old enough to have gone through bilingual education as it was practiced in California in the 1990s.

          That wasn’t particularly different from my first exposure to the students I tutored. Students who were conversationally fluent in English, but struggled with any kind of academic writing. But unlike the student interviewed, the students I worked with were too young to have gone through bilingual education in the 1990s. Indeed, I think the same thing is true for Khan’s students too, given that it’s 2016.

          The students I worked with were born in the US, grew up in Spanish-speaking homes, and had been in English-only classes since kindergarten. And that’s not actually an atypical student profile for an English-language learner in 21st century California.

          There are good windows and bad windows for immersive language education. That’s because the process for learning primary languages and secondary languages is different. Primary language learning begins near birth–the infant brain is an empty sponge, soaking up the ability to recognize and make sounds, words, and sentences.

          But secondary language development is different. It’s harder in a certain way, because the brain is no longer that empty sponge that it was during primary language development. But in another way, it’s easier, because in developing primary language, they’ve also developed a common underlying proficiency.

          As an example, consider this: you could learn the colors or numbers in a foreign language in an afternoon. But learning the colors and numbers in English took you months. It’s not that “one” or “red” are harder words than “uno” or “rojo”. It’s just that when you learned English, in order to learn your numbers, you needed to have an understanding of what numbers were, and you can rely on that same understanding as you learn about numbers in different languages.

          So here’s the upshot when it comes to English-only education: Our kids start school at age five. And at age five, primary language acquisition isn’t anywhere close to being done. Which means that the common underlying proficiency that would help a student to learn English more quickly is still very limited.

          Consider the article where Khan says he still speaks and reads Bengali with the fluency of a five-year old. That’s not to far off from the Spanish language skills of plenty of English-language learners in our nation’s schools.* Fortunately, Khan had a relative that was teaching him some English from an age early enough that it used the primary language acquisition pathway. Sure, he describes his skills as rudimentary, but even primary English speakers have rudimentary English skills when they’re five.

          It normally takes a non-English speaking student five to seven years to develop academic English proficiency. When you deprive students of primary language acquisition in the way that English-only kindergarten does, it takes closer to ten–that’s what the studies in the article’s opening quote have found. I don’t think anyone wants to go back to a situation where 13-year-olds are in Spanish-only classes. But we also need to avoid a situation where blanket bans enacted by politicians actually make it harder for schools to teach English.

          *The primary difference is that Spanish is spoken widely enough that Spanish speakers are more likely to continue to develop conversational language skills. But most Spanish-speaking students in English-language educational programs probably don’t have the academic language skills to write an essay in Spanish, for example.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Alan Scott
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            says:

            Complicating things is that written English is – I don’t want to say uniquely hard, considering the difficulties that e.g. Japanese have with non-Toyo kanji or Chinese with non-standard phonetic substitutions – but the degree to which the written words just do not map in an intuitive way to the spoken words is certainly extreme.

            Hell, I read early and well above my grade level, and still into my teens would sometimes get confused by a word which I knew from conversation but literally didn’t recognize when I saw it on the page.Report

          • Avatar Dand in reply to Alan Scott
            Ignored
            says:

            Thanks for all that, I’m still digesting it. My understanding is that prop 227 only requires students receive the majority of their education in English and that they can still receive some instruction in their native langue. Given what you’ve it would seem to be a good idea to get children from non-English speaking homes into preschool at a very young age.Report

          • Avatar Dand in reply to Alan Scott
            Ignored
            says:

            Incidentally I just looked up the exit poll from prop 227. Hispanics voted against while Asians voted for it; so differently groups with large numbers of non-native speakers voted differently on it.Report

            • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Dand
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m not really surprised that the votes would go that way. On the other hand, waiver supported dual-immersion programs in San Fransisco that teach Korean or Chinese have become fantastically popular and models for the rest of the state. I’m not sure California’s Asian communities are going to vote the same way on the upcoming repeal measure as they did for the original.

              Those programs, by the way, are supported by waivers that allow parents to opt their students out of Prop 227 requirements. Those waivers are much more limited in the subsequent English only laws supported by Unz in Arizona, Massachusetts and Colorado, and such programs would be prohibited in those states.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Dand
      Ignored
      says:

      If you substitute “right wing populist” for “best,” I agree. If you’re telling me that you have “concluded that our national immigration levels are too high” and that ending affirmative action is one of your top priority concerns, I am going to look at you sideways.

      By the way, I don’t use right wing as a pejorative. Unz is a strange cat, though. That platform is an odd mix of favoring explicitly conservative policy goals enacted through the technocratic methods normally employed by progressives.

      It’s actually quite instructive. If any progressives want a view into how non-progressives view progressive positions, read this platform.Report

      • Avatar Dand in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Compare the way he talks about immigration to the way most restrictions talk about; he’s just about the only person I’ve seen who makes a non-bigoted argument against immigration.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to Dand
          Ignored
          says:

          Yes. And he’s still wrong.Report

          • Avatar Dand in reply to j r
            Ignored
            says:

            Well I agree with, since it’s clear that this country is having a difficult time providing decent paying jobs the working class that is already here the last thing we should be doing is allowing low skilled foreigners to move here. Economic non-bigoted opposition to immigration is that the viewpoint most needed in America today.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Holy crap!

    The study that found fecal transplant from obese rats caused obesity in recipients has been retracted for fraud.

    I guess I’m glad I didn’t get the poop transplant, now.Report

  10. Avatar Dand
    Ignored
    says:

    pillsy: Soda taxes a passed with the deliberate intent of pushing the working class out of cities and replacing them with hipsters.

    I… wait, what?

    Your theories about liberal snobbery might be better received if they contained more evidence and fewer dark hints about how the Gnomes of Zurich are directing the Boy Sprouts to destroy Fnord Motor Company.

    Richard Florida has built his entire career around basically suggesting that cities’ first priority should be to attract hipsters because the hipsters will attract yuppies and tech start ups. Lots of cites believe Florida and are trying to follow his advice.Report

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