Morning Ed: World {2018.06.18.M}


Will Truman

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

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50 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Wo1 goes to a front page.

    Wo5 link is not formatted.Report

  2. Avatar pillsy says:

    We’ve discussed the idea that criminal violence is contagious in the past, and Radley Balko (of course) has an interview with Gary Slutkin, the founder of a group that tried that approach in Chicago.

    I haven’t done any followup on the claims involved, but the article says that the group’s approach had success where it was tried.

    Also, if you take Jaybird’s theory of the police seriously, the contagion theory suggests that having cops act like gangs (and it’s hard to read about some of the shit Chicago PD gets up to and not think the description applies to the them) is an incredibly bad plan.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The interview made the good point that treating crimes like disease epidemic works but has the down side of being really hard to convince people to do. It requires people be more generous than most of them are willing to be with criminals.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Well, also the causal mechanisms of the spread of bacterium and virus based infectious diseases are clearly understood, while violence, not so much.

      Also giving people a mental model that “those people over there have a disease [like thing]” has no small amount of sociological risk.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Also giving people a mental model that “those people over there have a disease [like thing]” has no small amount of sociological risk.

        This is a very good point.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Wo2 – The 1783 map doesn’t not look like it was drawn in 1783. besides the ‘souvenir’ quality of it (though maps were sold a souvenirs*), that Maine border looks too close to the modern boundary, and not either one that was claimed at the time (for what was then Massachusetts)

    *or at least as a fundraiser, for instance the 1860 slave population map was sold to raise money for wounded and disabled vets (as I see now the title says)

    also, huh, California Island lasted well into the 18th century, didn’t it.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      Alta California was settled by Europeans surprisingly late. It is a hell of a long ways from the parts of Mexico that were densely populated, and it is separated from them by the Sonora Desert. The sea route wasn’t much better, with both the current and the trade winds running from north to south. The main European contact with Alta California for centuries was the annual Manila galleon. It sailed north from Manila to catch the easterlies, ran them across the Pacific and hit the California coast around the San Francisco Bay region, give or take. There the survivors could take on some fresh vegetables and once their teeth stopped falling out it was an easy run down the coast to Acapulco. The Spanish didn’t bother making any serious explorations of Alta California until the second half of the 18th century. The entrance to the Gulf of California was unmistakable, but it was both non-trivial and kind of pointless to explore it to figure out whether it is a gulf or a strait.

      I had California history in fifth grade, and it stuck. The missions are cool, if you overlook the genocidal Franciscans part of the story. (The church clearly is prepared to do just this, as it canonized Junipero Serra a few years ago.) I also had US history, with the American Revolution and the like, in the normal course of schooling. It was only much later that I put them together and realized that the missions were being founded at about the same time as the American Revolution. It was kind of startling.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      A bit of digging shows it was part of the book Robertson’s geographic-historical series illustrating the history of America and the United States : from 1492 to the present time, published in 1898. The book contained many other maps drawn in exactly the same style. The sans serif font is a flag — sans serif was quite rare until late in the 1800s.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Good pull. Though even in that context, using pics of Adams and Jefferson to illustrate still doesn’t quite make sense. (they were both futzing around in Europe during this time. TJ likely futzing a little more than Johnny) (no neither as much as Franklin)Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      also, huh, California Island lasted well into the 18th century, didn’t it.

      Depending on whose maps you use. Early maps, eg Mercator’s 1569 map of the world, and other maps from that period, showed Baja California as a peninsula. Mercator was one of the first cartographers sensible enough to make use of the practical sea charts assembled by Spanish and Portuguese captains. The fiction that it was an island was published in 1620 by a friar who asserted that because there were no large rivers emptying into the Pacific, California must be an island. By 1700 or so, Spanish explorers had hiked around the northern end of the Gulf of California and reached the Pacific coast, proving that it was a peninsula. Some well-known map makers continued to show it as an island, leading the King of Spain to issue a formal decree in 1747 that California was not an island.Report

  4. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Wo2 is cool. It’s interesting to (a) see what they got wrong, (b) see what they got right (I am guessing accurate mapping of coastlines came before accurate mapping of interiors, and (c) seeing what used to be there (lots of the tribal names on the pre-1830s maps)

    I grew up in what was known as the “Western Reserve of Connecticut” (much of northern Ohio was) and so I remember learning about that. (And later, explaining to people what it was when they saw me in my “Western Reserve Academy” sweatshirt and asked me if I’d gone to a military high school….)

    And yeah. I realize now how much my town was being a New England wannabee or New England poseur, based on things like the architecture….Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Wo3 –

    Compared with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Japan’s investment activities in the Indian Ocean are barely promoted, and as a result its projects often fly under the radar. This obscures the fact that Japan has been very active in building infrastructure and “connectivity” across the region.

    This is almost certainly by design (on the part of all parties). It seems almost too obvious that there should be Australian – Japan geopolitcal, well not alliance, but friendship pact? – that would be the counterpart to a Chinese – (semi-united) Korea one, with India being the big man in the middle.Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Wo4 – That sweet sweet prosperity based on oil, uranium, and asbestos.
    (but really, that’s remarkable growth in 9 years on all metrics)Report

  7. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Wo8 – see also, wikileaks and all their erstwhile supporters over the years. (many former, some still current)Report

  8. Avatar Brandon Berg says:


    I did some research into this a couple weeks ago and was shocked at how much less progressive Sweden’s tax system is than the US’s. Sweden’s top marginal income tax rate on labor income is 56%, which is only a couple points higher than the top marginal rate in high-tax US places like California and New York City, but it kicks in at about $75,000. The 51% rate kicks in at $50,000, and the lowest rate is 31%, which kicks in after just $2,000 in annual income. Then on top of that, there’s the 25% VAT, which isn’t as much as it sounds like because the government has already taken out 30+% of your income in income taxes.

    On the investment income side, their capital gains tax is 30%, well under the top combined Federal + state rate of about 37% in California, and comparable to that faced by investors in many more moderately-taxed states. Their corporate income tax rate, as mentioned in the video, is 22%, just one percentage point higher than the 21% rate set in last year’s tax bill. Yes, when the left was screaming bloody murder last year, they were complaining about lowering the corporate income tax to…Swedish levels.

    Granted, with all the welfare spending they have, the Swedish system is more redistributive overall than the US system (note, by the way, that their pre-tax income inequality is the same as the US’s), but a much higher share of the tax burden for that redistribution comes from the middle and upper-middle classes than in the US.Report

    • Avatar J_A says:

      Their corporate income tax rate, as mentioned in the video, is 22%, just one percentage point higher than the 21% rate set in last year’s tax bill. Yes, when the left was screaming bloody murder last year, they were complaining about lowering the corporate income tax to…Swedish levels.

      This is trivially true but it ignores that the US Corporate tax Code is full of deductions, deferrals, subsidies, etc. that are not normally available in most other country. The effective tax rate is significantly lower.

      It is accepted by everyone, including the cut the corporate taxes lobbyists that the US effective tax rate in average is in the low to middle 20s, about 10% lower than the tax rate and in line with the effective tax rate of teh G-7, while the median is much lower. The effective tax rate of GE in 2017, for instance, is less than 1% (that’s one percent).

      The left’s screams of bloody murder was the reduction of the tax rate without phasing out the deductions, which will bring the average effective tax rate to around 10%, about half or the G-7sReport

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Wo0: In early 1980s 82% of Swede’s said it was wrong to claim benefits one is not entitled to, down to 55% today (still one of highest).

    It took two generations to drop that by 27%.

    While 55% might be worth celebrating as “one of the highest”, I’d have to see the trend line to see if “one of the highest” is going to turn into 50% over the next decade or if 55% is going to hold steady (or even inch back up into the high 50s).

    I’d also like to say that the framing of the question seems to have one heck of a thumb on the scale. “Wrong to claim benefits one is not entitled to” strikes me as being barely shy of a tautology. I mean, if I am not entitled to subsidized housing, it strikes me that it would be wrong for me to take subsidized housing.

    How not?

    Well… Sweden is working on a society where 82% of people agreed with that sort of thing is has turned into 55% of people agreeing with it.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      @jaybird But (as you kinda point to) there’s no way to understand how much of that answer is due to people thinking people are entitled to more stuff.

      Maybe in 1982 they thought people were entitled to less stuff but still kind of felt they should extend it because they also thought there should be curbs on inequality.

      Now they’re at “max generosity” (hypothetically) and “max human performable equality” (hypothetically) and don’t want to give more.

      There’s no way to distinguish between the two as the question is constructed.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Oh, yeah. There’s a ton of problems there.

        But what I’m seeing is a bit of a shift from “what am I obliged to provide to other people in my society?” to “what can I get away with taking from my society?”

        A society full of the former might be sustainable forever.

        The latter? Well. We’ll see.Report

        • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

          I am not from Sweden (or even am Swedish) but I was raised with the “don’t take stuff you’re not entitled to” mentality, and similar thought patterns, and I admit there are some days I look around and go “Well, hell Erica, you’re a chump, aren’t you” and yet I cannot do otherwise than feeling obligated to pay my own way because I can.

          (And I suspect social security and the like, by the time I am of age, will be heavily means-tested, and if you have a pension or any other kind of savings, you won’t get it. And I’m not sure I have a problem with that, as long as there are safeguards in place so that the guy with, say, only $20K in the bank isn’t left starving when he’s used that up….)Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I still don’t get the appeal of the classical liberal model considering that modern liberalism has been around longer than classical liberalism. It seems like a rather rearguard action to go back in time.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I have no doubt that I read those words and think different definitions of them than you are likely intending when you say them.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        I usually see “classical liberal” to mean something similar to “libertarianism as advocated by CATO”, say. There’s an emphasis on freedom to contract, free association, and property rights [1], as well as a heavy shift towards free trade.

        Recently some people have started using it to mean roughly, “Views held by moderate liberals who wrote for The Atlantic and The New Republic in the 1990s,” which is sort of confusing.

        [1] With the associated distrust of regulation, welfare states, and maybe anti-discrimination lawReport

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I had less trouble with “classical liberal” than I did with “modern liberalism”. (I mean, to what extent does that include “Social Justice”? Or is that “post-modern liberalism”?)Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            Well, we’d have to nail down an agreed-upon definition of “social justice”, then. It’s a term with a long history, but which has shifted a lot in terms of its meaning over the years.

            I’d say the core of modern liberalism dates back between 30 and 70 years, with the earlier date coinciding with the Democratic Party adopting civil rights into its party platform, and the latest date being about the time gay rights started becoming a highly visible, national political issue.

            If you mean “social justice” as a term for contemporary online and maybe academic discourse about matters of race, gender, and sexuality, I’m not sure that is a part of “modern liberalism”. It’s pretty new as something people in the mainstream will know about, and I don’t know that it will really catch on.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Modern Liberalism uses Classical Social Justice?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Well, if by classical you mean stuff from decades ago, sure.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If we have to explicitly explain that by “modern”, we don’t mean “what actually seems to be happening today”, perhaps we need more words.

                “Liberalism like the kind we had when I was a kid.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                “Liberal” and “Conservative” don’t have any functional use in describing the contemporary political divisions in America at least, not in the way they were used only a few decades ago.

                In most of the 20th century, those terms were separated by economic preferences and later after the 1960s, about culture.

                The economic separation has almost ceased to exist.
                Republicans and Democrats agree on most economic issues. They both want a mixed economy with a robust social welfare state, while driven primarily by a market economy.

                The battleground now is almost entirely cultural, and most of that is driven by racial resentment with minor tones of gender issues.

                “Liberal” means a multicultural society, while “Conservative” means a hierarchy of white males.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Republicans aren’t acting like they believe in a robust welfare state considering how many times they tried to destroy the ACA and gut or restrict other programs.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Yes they hate Obamacare but love the ACA. Hate welfare but love Social Security and Medicare.

                The Republican base voter actually loves activist government social welfare, except for Those People.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                I hadn’t heard we all came to agreement on guns, abortion, the minimum wage, environmental regulation, and judicial review. Which side won?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Guns= White folks defending their family from Urban thugs.

                Abortion= gender issues mentioned above.

                Environmental regulation= Nobody gives a crap one way or the other, except people who argue politics on blogs. No election turns on this.

                Judicial Review= Ditto, except for when it means “Rulings I don’t Like”.

                There is a nuance I should mention. The GOP has a current split between its donor interests which do include economic and environmental issues, and the voting base which doesn’t.

                But when the GOP Presidential incumbent won office running on buzzwords lifted from Noam Chomsky like “Crony Capitalist” and lambasting his opponent for making speeches to Wall Street bankers, I think we can agree that the economic war is over and liberal capitalism won.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                This makes me think “Oh, we’re fighting over positional goods at this point”.

                That’s going to end up bad.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                If “positional goods” means “Jews Will Not Replace Us” then yeah, it could end very badly.

                Which is why guys like me are so shrill and uncivil.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If I communicated “Jews Will Not Replace Us” when I said “positional goods”, I miscommunicated.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

                Reproductive rights are not provisional goods.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                “Liberalism like the kind we had when I was a kid.”

                That’s not quite what I’m going for, but I think there’s something like that going on.

                Back when “classical liberal” meant “basically agrees with CATO, Friedman, or Hayek”, I had a pretty good idea what it meant. Now that it might mean that, or it might mean, “Liberals who believed what liberals who liked Bill Clinton and had high profile opinion writing gigs back when Nirvana was around,” I’m just not quite sure any more.

                Of course, there’s also the whole headache caused by the renewed currency of the term “progressive” for pretty much anybody to the left of Susan Collins. I will complain about this yet again because it annoys me for various petty reasons.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              The core of modern welfare state liberalism can go back to at least the Asquith government and Lloyd George’s The People’s Budget. Possibly it can go back to Gladstone.

              Self-described classical liberals seem to want to go back to the early 1800s when it was all against the kings and the welfare state.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                One of the key issues beyond a welfare state that I see is the idea of eliminating unjust discrimination. Now when it comes to religion, that actually predates even what we usually call classical liberalism, and many early liberals were prominent supporters of women’s rights.

                But I think the clear assertion of racial equality was a key step in the construction of what we call liberalism today, as was gay rights.

                (I think/hope the same will ultimately happen with trans rights, but we aren’t all the way there yet.)Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq says:

            Modern liberalism started in the 1880s when some liberals started to question the strict laissez-faire and night watchmen state doctrines of other liberals. They might not have believed in government ownership of the means of production like socialists but they started to see the need for at least some government intervention into the economy and society to balance out inequality.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      “Classical Liberalism” is the “Classic Rock” of politics.

      It’s meant to convey something that is edgy and hip (It’s Liberal!), but safe enough to use around the kids (Look, it’s got the word “classic” right there in the name!).

      It’s Tipper Gore grooving to Fleetwood Mac, having a Sistah Soulja moment.Report

  11. Avatar pillsy says:

    Maajid Nawaz has received an apology and $3 million settlement from the SPLC for calling him an “anti-Muslim extremist”.

    On the one hand, calling Nawaz an “anti-Muslim extremist” is ridiculous and offensive, and the SPLC rightfully took a lot of shit for this, as well as, it seems, some real damage to its reputation.

    On the other hand, I really worry about a major defamation settlement for having bad opinions, even very bad options. Popehat (unsurprisingly) lays out the case better than I ever could.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      Interesting piece, but I’d have to see the original text (which I can’t find anywhere) to see if/where they crossed the line into defamation.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Well, this is something the SPLC did, not something the courts did.

      I’m not sure how to calibrate my unease.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        I mean I’d be surprised if they settled a case for multiple million dollars if they thought they were going to win in court. But yeah, obviously a court ruling would be worse.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Important to note (IIRC) the case was filed in UK courts, which are not as enamored of free speech rights as the US is. Granted, I don’t think the UK can force a US org to pay for a ruling, but it could be that the SPLC was not inclined to allow the circus to proceed.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Ah that makes some sense. Popehat has written that US courts are prohibited from recognizing foreign libel judgments unless they wouldn’t violate protections the defendant would have had under the First Amendment.

        I may not be a lawyer, but I’m good at remembering blog posts I read years ago, which is almost as good, I’m sure.Report

  12. Avatar Pinky says:

    Wo2: Good Roads Everywhere in 1920. Too bad that was the last time they paved them in Ohio.Report