I Predict 2021


Dennis Sanders

Dennis Sanders is the Associate Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis, MN.  You can follow Dennis through his blogs, The Clockwork Pastor and Big Tent Revue and on Twitter.  Feel free to contact him at dennis.sanders(at)gmail(dot)com.

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97 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Someone on Twitter pointed out that a more-than-just-possible outcome of this is an America with a very strong social safety net and a foreign policy so isolationist it would make Woodrow Wilson blink. I think that someone isn’t far wrong.

    The other thing that occurs to me is that we’re seeing just how much of American society became “Just-In-Time”. Not merely supply of goods; paycheck-to-paycheck is just-in-time for living.Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to DensityDuck says:

      the problem with just-in-time is it looks fantastic on paper, and it works, until it doesn’t, and then when it doesn’t, it’s pretty catastrophic.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to DensityDuck says:

      We’re also seeing how well the chains handle just-in-time. The giant companies, the Walmarts and Amazons, have done work that the mom-and-pops could never have done. I hate to admire them, but they’ve deserved it.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Pinky says:

        My wal-mart is not doing so well, it’s hard to get much of anything. Of course, we’re at the end of the supply chain. And I think Amazon’s search algorithm has been smoking a lot of weed, based on the stuff that gets recommended when I search on what seems like it should be a common thing.

        the little local grocery store seems to be more robust than our local wal mart. Like, they have flour. It’s some unusual brand from a mill in Colorado, I think, but they have actual, flour, made out of wheat, not gluten free or paleo or something like that.

        I think the owner must have some kind of connections there, he also had a lot of dry beans from Adobe/Dove Milling.Report

  2. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “It’s a way of looking at COVID-19 as something brought to America by an Asian other.”

    Which is in fact what happened, so, that’s an appropriate way of looking at it?

    I really don’t get this insistence on making Pointing Out The Possibility Of RACISM be a part of every thinkpiece about COVID-19. Like…do you think people are gonna not care about the virus if we don’t pretend that it just dropped out of space with no origin at all? Do you think people will say “well it’s all China’s fault, that means to hell with social distancing, no need to wash my hands”?Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Do you think people will say “well it’s all China’s fault, that means to hell with social distancing, no need to wash my hands”?

      Um, yeah, they will say or have said exactly that. Down here in the coastal south the only fault found so far with the President’s approach is that he didn’t completely shut China down sooner and hasn’t run up more tariffs to punish them for letting this thing loose.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

      It depends on whether you think it’s “just the flu” or not.


  3. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    ” Roger Martin notes that one of the reasons the US doesn’t have access to equipment like ventilators is because of the focus in the last half-century on efficiency, a system that allowed for little slack like a stockpile of needed equipment. ”

    ah-heh. Another, more trenchant reason is that we have decided that the government cannot simply buy ventilators, put them in a warehouse, and keep them until needed; we have decided that in the interests of Not Wasting Money we must buy a full service contract for the entire expected lifespan of the ventilators–a lifespan determined by the manufacturer, of course, and including a de-rating margin in case of error–and at the end of that lifespan we must throw them away. New York City and California both tried to build and maintain an emergency-equipment stockpile and realized that they would have to spend millions of dollars a year just keeping stuff in-date.

    And you can say “well maybe they should relax all those regulations, don’t they know this is important,” and I agree, but relaxed regulations tend to stay relaxed–because, after all, if they work without being so tight then why did they need to be tight in the first place?–and this is what leads to stories about “the supplies in this emergency PPE stock EXPIRED FOUR YEARS AGO”, or “this model of ventilator hasn’t been used by hospitals since 2008, this is an EXAMPLE OF GOVERNMENT FAILURE”.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “If Trump can tie this to immigration and he could do this, then he could form a coalition that could beat Joe Biden.”

    Biden hasn’t even lost yet and people are already inventing reasons why XDReport

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Sean King tweets:

      can hardly believe what I am watching.

      In his conversation with

      is clearly reading from a TelePrompTer.

      It’s supposed to be a CONVERSATION.

      I’ve never seen this happen in my entire life.

      The replies to his tweet seem to be Bernie supporters who aren’t going to vote for Biden, and who might even vote for Trump just to throw a symbolic brick through the party’s window.

      I think Biden is noticeably declining, and having staff who don’t trust him to maintain a coherent, well articulated thought in a video chat with somebody he’s worked with for decades is a big warning sign. To go up against Trump and not come off like a sad sack in a Presidential debate (Like Ross Perot’s running mate, James Stockdale, in 1992), you need a really good orator like Obama, FDR, Kennedy, or Reagan. Yet some of Biden’s recent pronouncements from lock down have had less coherence than we usually get from Marianne Williamson. He might muddle along saying the same basic things in the same basic style that he’s done for forty years, but I’m not sure he can process new information at all well. Trump’s going to spitting out dates and locations and lots of numbers regarding his response to the virus, and Biden’s staff is probably going to be praying he doesn’t call it Ebola or AIDS or talk about finding a possum in the outhouse.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

        Something to keep in mind: Twitter is not real life.

        Joe Biden won the nomination handily despite twitter supporting pretty much every single other candidate until Bernie dropped out. (And now it’s a fight between the “You just want people to die!” compromise camp and the “You just don’t care if people die!” no-compromise camp.)

        The energy out there is the energy of that lady in the elevator.

        How much of that energy is out there? I dunno. We can’t even see it and if we can’t even see it, we can’t come close to hoping to measure it.

        But we live in a bubble. We should have internalized that in 2016 but, of course, we freakin’ didn’t. Now we get to see how living in a bubble plays out in a global pandemic. (Worse places to be, of course.)Report

  5. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “The United States is rightfully upset that China tried to keep the coronavirus outbreak under wraps. Would that have happened if the CDC staffer was present in Beijing?”

    Mmm. yeah. alternate universe: “The racist Trump Administration today declared a ban on travel from China, in a further spasm of xenophobic paranoia over a minor flu outbreak in an isolated Chinese university town. Trump proudly announced the ban on Twitter, despite many Constitutional scholars questioning the legality of the move.
    This follows several days of angry claims, based on little to no evidence, that a dangerous disease is spreading from the region…”Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to DensityDuck says:

      I’m not sure the counterfactual even works. We had an entire CDC team in Wuhan in the early part of the outbreak, but they never found out a corona virus was circulating through the population because the Chinese government made sure that stayed a secret. If there was a CDC staffer in Beijing, he’d have found out about the virus long after we all found out. He wouldn’t find out from anyone within China, and all communications channels to other countries were filtering any mention of the outbreak. Not long into the crisis, American and Chinese researchers tried different communications methods to see whether any could a mention through to China. All such messages were completely censored.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    So long as we playing with predictions, one thing history tells us is that seemingly small changes are sometimes the harbinger of long term structural shifts.
    So I nominate the regional states forming their own groups as something which could lead to a very different future.


    Normally the tension between states and the federal government revolved around states wanting to limit the rights of their minority citizens, but this could develop into something very different.

    The states pursuing this are forming groups which have economies large enough to have their own gravitational force, and develop a power center for policy which rivals the federal government.

    What will they do with that power? I have no idea. But like we saw with social changes, gaining control over the economic engines of the nation can be a powerful tool to pursue whatever policy goals one has in mind.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      That kind of thing has been tried before and it fails, sometimes spectacularly. If it stays in the existing structure it won’t have the problems states had under the Articles of Confederation because we fixed those with a federal structure. If it tries to buck those, it will have the same problems as the previous Democratic political structure, in which states were so bad at cooperating that Lee had to look for shoes in Pennsylvania.

      In any event it’s going to have problems like the EU, with the bigger states throwing their weight around and smaller states getting short changed until they cry foul, as all the leaders involved realize they despise each other.

      This is yet another dumb idea that flows from Trump Derangement Syndrome.Report

  7. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Previously I’ve admitted to being skeptical about all the “World will Never Be The Same” takes… so I’ll reiterate my skepticism.

    But, what is interesting to me is that this event certainly should open us up to re-evaluating certain assumptions… assumptions about trade, eating habits, education, work, internet infrastructure, communal space, and, to be sure, health care.

    On health care, there’s a pretty good opportunity to make a limited case that the vehicle for Health Care ought to be detached from your employer… that doesn’t imply NHS or M4A as *the* answer… but with 10s of Millions losing their jobs and feeling the sweet kiss of the COBRA there’s an opening to re-think the assumption that “of course I want my employer to select and provide health-care.” And, “I like my Health Care”

    As I say, it doesn’t justify a govt take-over… but a competent political party interested in moving thoughts on Health Care should be opening the door for people to re-thinking the tight coupling of employment and insurance… maybe that leads to de-coupling as a first step; but it would be a good first step. What would de-coupling look like? Well, those are the kinds of things competent political parties would be able to outline.

    A reasonable approach here would be a real rallying cry for 2020.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Marchmaine says:

      “But, what is interesting to me is that this event certainly should open us up to re-evaluating certain assumptions… assumptions about trade, eating habits, education, work, internet infrastructure, communal space, and, to be sure, health care.”

      You are right, there should be. But, the people who generally set the agenda on this (doesn’t matter the party in power) did not, and will not, feel the sting on this whole shebang. They didn’t lose a paycheck, and indeed, will keep on getting paid to do the same thing we are doing now.

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      ― Upton SinclairReport

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I don’t have high confidence in the following, but I’ll post it anyway because I think there’s something in it:

      A micro-prediction on healthcare based loosely on two Republicans – Romney and Hawley – outflanking leftwing radical socialist Dems and beating them to the punch: if a congressional proposal to decouple healthcare from employment gains traction it will come from a Republican(s).

      Which leads to a second micro-prediction. Because Trump’s agenda is completely untethered to traditional GOP values and norms, GOP CCers will be more likely to propose sensible solutions to existing problems than Democratic CCers who will be overly cautious (and therefore not take advantage of manymany political opportunities) out of deference to Biden as the agenda setter.

      Blowing that up a bit, my prediction would be that one consequence of the pandemic is that the GOP becomes more likely to fulfill its current revolutionary trajectory, from dismantling existing institutions to the work of replacing them with popular(ist) (and better) policies, while the Democratic party remains quagmired in its own sclerotic institutional inertial.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

        Interesting… I’d wonder for the Dems whether previous commitments to M4A might act as a policy anchor that prevents them from responding with some nimbleness; not impossible, of course, but might incur some costs.

        On your second point (and perhaps above) Biden might be able to make such a pivot… able, but I’m not 100% sure he’s capable – I’m not convinced Biden is an Agenda Setter in any meaningful way.

        I think you’re right that Team Red, if competently led, could make some pivots… but we’re watching in real-time a President letting a crisis go to waste, therefore proving the adage in the negative.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

        “Trump’s agenda is completely untethered to traditional GOP values and norms”

        I think this is wholly unsupported, on two levels.

        One, it is preposterous to think that there is a coherent “Trump agenda”; All evidence points to his agenda consists entirely of his sociopathic craving for adulation and obedience; He twists and turns and backtracks and reverses, not based on evidence but based on whoever flatters and strokes his ego at the moment.

        Two, that his values and norms are at odds with traditional GOP values and norms; He commands 95% loyalty from the GOP voting base.
        How is that possible? Its not like 60 million Americans in the fall of 2016 just suddenly had a mass conversion moment and abandoned their old values and norms;

        Trump’s values and norms ARE Republican values and norms; He is who they are and have been for a very long time now.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          When you’re claiming a coach has absolutely no strategy but he keeps mopping the floor with you, taking home ALL the trophies, perhaps you need to re-evaluate your understanding of either the sport or the coach.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I think this is wholly unsupported, on two levels.

          One, it is preposterous to think that there is a coherent “Trump agenda”; All evidence points to his agenda consists entirely of his sociopathic craving for adulation and obedience

          Heh. You refuted your own view and proved mine in your very first sentence!

          Trump’s agenda *IS* adulation and praise, why it *IS* untethered to traditional GOP rhetoric and policy, and why GOP CCers can introduce populist proposals which would run counter to longstanding party precedent. If Trump thinks a policy will be popular, he’ll support it. (McConnell on the other hand…)Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

            If “populist” proposals run counter to longstanding precedent, does that mean that the 95% of the GOP had a mass conversion repudiating their longstanding precedent, or does it mean they never really held to that in the first place?

            Isn’t it more likely that for the 95% base, “capitalism” and “populism” are like “federalism”; Just a means to an end? And so they an be used and jettisoned alternately depending on the needs of the moment?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Chip, it’s enough to concede that Trump’s agenda is untethered to the traditional GOP agenda. That’s the point I was making, and you’ve admitted that that’s the case.

              Do you find it interesting that Romney and Hawley – two Republicans – beat the Dems to the direct cash payments punch? That conservatives outflanked the socialist liberals by proposing not only what most economists viewed as the correct policy, but what most people viewed as the correct policy as well?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                No, its not interesting in the slightest; Its entirely in keeping with Republican orthodoxy.

                Did the “populist” base reject the massive tax cuts for billionaires? Did the “populist” base reject the cuts in unemployment aid this week? Is the “populist” base supporting the continued attack on Obamacare in favor of a return to plutocrat control?

                There never, ever, was a point in Republican history in which cash payments would have been rejected;

                Because the entire edifice of conservative orthodoxy is hierarchy, in which occasionally the benevolent feudal lord will toss coins out the window of his carriage.

                All they have really done now is drop the pretense that there is some deeper coherent economic policy behind it. Its all just feudal autocracy, open and unashamed.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No, its not interesting in the slightest; Its entirely in keeping with Republican orthodoxy.

                Direct cash payments to US citizens to cover their basic needs with no strings attached is part of Republican orthodoxy? (Really? I feel like I’ve been dropped into an alternate universe.)

                Do you realize that you’re making one helluva campaign pitch to elect Republicans here Chip?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                Hey, I know!
                Lets ask the Republicans here at OT if this is part of their new orthodoxy!

                George Turner, Urusigh, guys like that; Do you support a federal welfare program of continuing cash payments to needy families?

                Maybe something called Temporary Aid to Needy Families? Or maybe a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to cover food needs?

                Hell, maybe the government should give cell phones to poor urban folk!

                You guys cool with that?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, let’s be fair about it Chip and ask the liberals here if their view is that everyone who lost their job to the pandemic should be retrained to write code.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Nice to be invited to the debate, thanks Chip.

                “Do you support a federal welfare program of continuing cash payments to needy families?”

                Conditional yes, We decide who counts as “needy” and we get to kick them off the program when they aren’t. Success of the program will not be judged by how many people we can get on it, but rather by how fast we can get people off of it. You know, so that it’s actually TEMPORARY and only goes to people actually NEEDY.

                “Or maybe a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to cover food needs?”

                Honestly, I think this one is so rife with fraud and abuse that I’m going to veer away from free market orthodoxy for a moment and say that I’d almost prefer to just hand out MREs and other prepackaged meals. This hits a weird intersection of interests where we still don’t like socialism, but overall food security is also a national security issue so we end up coming at it kinda sideways by doing things like subsidizing farmers to keep food prices low instead (which is also awkward because we don’t like subsidies much better). There isn’t a good “conservative” answer to that problem that doesn’t require tradeoffs unpopular with at least part of our base besides indirect measures like job training and tax cuts/strong economy to get those people back into the workforce and able to afford their own food without government being involved.

                “give cell phones to poor urban folk!”


                To avoid a strawman that seems to be getting implied, I think it’s worth noting that Republican orthodoxy is not dead set against having a safety net at all, it IS dead set against encouraging dependency and supporting frauds and freeloaders on the taxpayer’s dime.

                People do end up in the hole sometimes even without it being their own fault, sometimes too deep to realistically get out purely on their own efforts, we know that. We just know that the correct response to that is a ladder to get out of the hole, not a hammock to get comfortable in it, and that as a matter of principle that aid should come from the lowest, closest level possible, such as friends, family, and local charity. Federal intervention in such matters should be only a last resort when ALL intervening steps have failed (and in such a case, a corresponding emphasis should simultaneously be placed on rebuilding capacity at those lower levels so that continued federal intervention becomes unnecessary).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Urusigh says:

                As is your right, you have given us the most positive version of Republican orthodoxy.
                And I won’t argue against it, since that wasn’t the point here.

                The point was that there has always been, and is still, a profound difference in visions presented by the two parties. Your vision of how America should be is radically different than mine or Joe Biden’s.

                And the occasional direct cash assistance from a Republican doesn’t change that, anymore than HRC giving a speech to Goldman Sachs makes the Democrats the party of free market capitalism.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip, wouldn’t it be easier to just admit that the Dems should have been the party to introduce direct cash payments for corona relief instead of the GOP? It’d save you from pulling a brain muscle engaging in all these gymnastics…Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                Isn’t that what both the very first and now this new, Democratic proposal asked for?Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “The point was that there has always been, and is still, a profound difference in visions presented by the two parties. Your vision of how America should be is radically different than mine or Joe Biden’s.”

                Agreed. I actually consider that a good thing. Much as I prefer Republican/Libertarian policies and advocate for more of a unified American monoculture, I don’t actually want a one-party State, not even if it was my party permanently in charge. Both parties have strengths and shortcomings and need push back to keep us honest and make sure everyone has a voice in the debate. Even if it means my side loses occasionally, I like voters having a meaningful choice.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Remember when Good King George gave everyone a $600 check back in 2004 or so?
                Was that a “outflanking” of liberals from the left?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip, the most left-leaning populist proposals during the covid relief bill negotiations came from conservatives. I mean, we can get all “prima facie” about it, and then analyze the motives and spin a story about how Romney’s proposal to make direct cash payments was the equivalent of a rich person preferring European au pairs to Guatemalan maids and all that, but why waste the time? Let’s just look at the policy proposals for what they were. Direct cash payments.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Only if the liberals were saying “we should give that money to corporations instead!” rather than “we should be giving people $601 dollars!”

                What were they saying at the time?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Where does the Kennedy Center fit in that feudal autocracy? I’m thinking pretty darn high. Now of course that doesn’t apply to the musicians, who are basically street performers who dress nice, but it does apply to the people who run the fine arts programs.

                I’m sure Nancy will also throw a ton of money at movie studios who are being hit hard by the outbreak, and who are losing hundreds of millions in revenue. The country needs to cover any losses Bob Iger or Brie Larson suffered due to this outbreak, because those are the people that really matter, especially when it comes to fund raising.Report

      • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Stillwater says:

        “Because Trump’s agenda is completely untethered to traditional GOP values and norms”

        Chip and I have a very different take on this, but you are both right and wrong in different ways. 1) Trump is not, personally, a doctrinaire republican. Much as I support the President, I strongly doubt he can name any significant Republican thinker besides Reagan and the man who proudly brags about not reading books almost certainly hasn’t been using audiobooks or video courses to brush up on Republican orthodoxy when planning his platform. So you are right in the sense that Trump’s personal views are neither derived from nor deliberately aligned to Republican orthodoxy as a matter of shared philosophical principle.

        You are nonetheless wrong that he’s untethered to Republican values and norms. Donald Trump is ultimately a very pragmatic man. Taking over a party comes with a lot of baggage to haul and Trump is saddled with ours. The former democrat pro-choice real estate developer has become a President stronger on Pro-Life policy than even Reagan, He’s cut more regulation than Reagan, and even while keeping his pledge to not touch Social Security, he’s also been harder on getting people off of aid programs like food stamps than Reagan was, and if his tax cuts aren’t actually that severe that’s unavoidable because Reagan had a much higher tax level to cut from.

        I don’t give Trump a lot of personal credit for this, I think Dems blew an easy shot to pull him leftward if they’d been more willing to offer deals and give him credit for bipartisan successes, but with little room to move left or even hold the center, Trump had nowhere to go but right. Instead of welcoming him to cross the aisle, Dems largely blockaded him in the Republican camp. He has overwhelming support from the base, enough to even force out the odd congressman who bucks him too openly, but he only has that high support by staying focused on what the MSM like to call “red meat for the base” and the rest of us like to call “keeping his campaign promises”. Face it, no matter how opportunistic you think him, it’s the same old Republican values and norms that set the right and left limits of his opportunities. Trump only carries the base he needs and gets the appreciation he wants so long as he works toward the goals WE set for him. Trump may have captured the republican party, but the republican party has likewise captured him.

        Our Agenda IS his agenda, not the other way around. It’s quite coherent: America First. Means are flexible, whatever works (within Constitutional limits), but the endstate is still traditional republican fare: lower taxes, less regulation, less reliance on foreign countries, more patriotism, more respect for the traditional values of family, God, and Country, more respect for the traditional American stereotype of the hard-working rugged individualist who earns his own way and makes things (be that a business or a bridge). Trump differs from his predecessors mainly in style, not substance. His policies are well precedented in republican orthodoxy. He has a lot of flexibility in HOW he gets there, but we told him WHERE he must go.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Urusigh says:

          Nonsense Urusigh. You’re prjecting those values onto Trump. He holds none of them. He’s a political opportunist who realized that his con would sell best in the GOP. He’s an adulterer-rapist who shits on rugged individualists and couldn’t care less about God or country and views constitutional constraints as impediments that impinge on his insatiable desire for praise and demonstrations of respect from those he admires but will never receive.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

            Ix-nay on the apist-ray. There are stories coming out and we don’t want to put people in a position where they have to explain why some people just need to bite the bullet and vote a certain way despite some statements they made about principle a few months ago.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Urusigh says:

          BTW, the first two examples you cited as the core of conservatism which Trumpists accept are lower taxes and less regulation.. The irony here is that the conservative base consistently prefers *higher* taxes on the wealthy (including the wealth tax…) and regulation on business practices that negatively effect the environment.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

            The “regulation” always ends up being rules written by big business lobbyist to benefit big business. Pro regulatory capture is an ethos at least.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

              I’m not sure I’ve decoded this comment correctly. Are you saying the conservative base favors regulation because they know it will be captured by their favorite polluters?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                In some cases they are fine with that. Especially those that work in extraction industries.

                In most cases the concept of dereg, which C’s like, is co-opted by R’s in power. Lots of regular C’s dont’ like Big Business getting sweet deals but, as near as i can tell, just saying “deregulation” is good enough to get them to overlook what actually happens.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                Not to go all naive on you, but when conservative voters say they favor regulations on pollution that negatively effects air, water, land quality, I believe them. The more nuanced view (which I think is correct) is that they oppose the layers of bureaucratic red-tape required to do simple things. Like re-shingle your house.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                I’ve known a lot of very conservative/ always vote R people who want strong regs to protect the enviro. Sure the R’s dont’ give it to them, but they want clean water, air, etc. Plenty of oil company workers don’t trust oil companies and especially Exxon to really care about safety. (long time alaskans, even conservative ones, typically hate Exxon for the Valdez spill)Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to greginak says:

                We already HAVE strong regs to protect the environment and have for decades. There’s a lot of overlap between conservatives and conservationists. What we object to is the abuse of the EPA as a vehicle hijacked by anti-capitalists to restructure the economy rather than simply do its job of clean air and water. BS like trying to rule that any dirt field that has puddles after a rain counts as a protected wetland and any rut by the road then counts as a “waterway”…that’s the ridiculous stuff we’re pushing back on. Stupid things like environment impact reviews taking 5-7 years in the US when European and Asian countries manage the same thing in no more than 2-3yr (because we have greens/democrats trying to block new construction and they don’t). We can protect the environment AND grow the economy AND keep energy cheap.

                Air and water quality continue to improve under republican administrations and while results are mixed (depending on your choice of metrics when assessing multi-year projects) the Trump Admin has remained vocal and dedicated to superfund site cleanup. There is no party in favor of pollution.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Urusigh says:

          But surely, Urusigh, you Republicans wouldn’t be so devious as to outflank the liberals by supporting cash welfare payments to poor people!Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Chip, it’s not that they were *devious* in proposing this policy (that’s your take on it). Instead it’s that members of the GOP, and not the Dems, were the ones who actually in fact in reality proposed it.

            Add: every economist I heard interviewed about corona relief proposed cash payments to American workers. It was a widely known policy proposal. Why didn’t the Dems race to the front of that line with a bill providing those funds? Why (Stillwater asked somewhat cynically) did the GOP get to the head of that line first?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

              Are they though?
              Are the Republicans really supporting welfare programs to distribute cash to people?

              Or is this a one time thing like aid after a hurricane or tornado, and afterward we will be hearing lectures about self-reliance and how nobody ever helped me when I was on food stamps?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Why didn’t Democrats, the party of the working class, propose it?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                Nancy Smash says, “Yes! Yes, we did!”


                And if, as you suggest, the Republicans are now trying to outflank us, they will support this enthusiastically, right?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Oooh, good! Carbon offsets for airlines! I was hoping that we’d see a bill that had those. Does it address Medicare-For-All?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                It did include this:

                Requires companies receiving federal assistance during coronavirus to institute a $15 minimum wage.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                I guess I see what they’re going for… It’s just that $15 in (insert crappy town here) is significantly different from $15 in (real city).

                I see what they’re going for, though… I’m just not sure that it’ll accomplish what they want to accomplish if “staying open” is what they want to accomplish.

                But that part, at least, is not the equivalent of Republicans putting stuff about “School Choice” into the bill.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, I didn’t mean to endorse it. I just thought it was an odd imposition on companies which, by definition (since it only applies if they’re requesting assistance), are already underwater.

                But it signals to the BernieBase that institutional Dems are taking their concerns very seriously, yes it does.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                It is in fact, a Democratic wishlist:

                Increases the amount of money being offered to individuals to $1,500, and up to $7,500 for a family of five. The same GOP income thresholds in the GOP bill would apply — $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples, but the benefit would be available to anyone with an individual taxpayer identification number, retirees and unemployed individuals.

                Waives $10,000 in federal student loan payments.

                Dedicate $4 billion in grant funding to help states with upcoming elections and nationally mandates 15 days of early voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail, including mailing a ballot to all registered voters in an emergency.

                Includes a section that would cancel several executive orders and presidential memorandums that Democrats argue have weakened public sector unions’ ability to engage in collective bargaining.

                Creates new carbon offset guidelines for airlines, with a long-term goal of reducing jet fuel emissions by 50% by 2050.

                Allocates $150 billion to support hospitals, local health centers and government-funded medical programs, with an additional $80 billion in low-interest loans to hospitals.

                Eliminates cost-sharing for coronavirus treatments and vaccines for all patients, including the uninsured.

                Addresses broader health care concerns that Democrats have pushed for months, including increasing subsidies on the individual market and creating new incentives for states to expand Medicaid.

                Provides child care assistance to health care workers and emergency personnel.

                Would temporarily provide $600 per week to unemployed workers affected by the coronavirus. Self-employed workers, Americans whose contracts were canceled, and new entrants to the job market would also be eligible.

                Expands paid sick leave and family medical leave, as well as gives more money to food-safety benefits.
                Provides $500 billion in grants and interest-free loans to small businesses.

                Creates a $200 billion stabilization fund for states and $15 billion for local governments through the Community Development Block Grant program. The legislation also authorizes the Federal Reserve to purchase state and local government bonds.

                Pumps nearly $60 billion into schools and universities, with $50 billion directly provided to states for school funding and nearly $10 billion to higher education institutions.

                Dedicates $20 billion to reimbursing the U.S. Postal Service for lost revenue, and forgives USPS debt.

                Requires companies receiving federal assistance during coronavirus to institute a $15 minimum wage.

                This is the difference between a noblesse oblige stunt, and Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                That’s a load of lard with a poison pill chaser. Good fishing luck getting Republican votes for that monstrosity.Report

          • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            “But surely, Urusigh, you Republicans wouldn’t be so devious as to outflank the liberals by supporting cash welfare payments to poor people!”

            They would, they have, and they probably will again. This is not to say that I consider that policy “conservative”, it isn’t (AFAICT its original proponents were classical liberals: people we respect and tend to quote when trying to make arguments TO liberals, but not themselves conservatives), but our libertarian free market wing tends to embrace that particular outflank as a form of triage when we don’t expect to be able to outright block more social spending because of a disaster. The logic seems to be 1) it doesn’t distort the market by specifying HOW the money will be used, and 2) it doesn’t require adding additional bureaucracy to manage it (thus not growing the government or trapping us into yet another entitlement program on autopilot), and 3) so far we’ve managed to hold the precedent that when we do it it’s explicitly in response to a temporary external event/disaster (not poverty in general) so we’re able to manage expectations that it WILL end when the situation is resolved.

            None of which is to say that I personally support it as a general principle, but in times like these it may well be the least bad option of those available.Report

  8. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Covid-19 revealed to me that many people hate handshakes and are happily looking for a world where they are gone.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I honestly thought we might be able to switch to the fist bump for a few months there, back in the teens…

      Well, maybe we will be able to switch now.

      (Back in February, my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss came in from out of town and met with all of us in the lab. He insisted on telling us all to stay safe and then shook each of our hands, individually, then left. The *SECOND* we heard the door down the hallway shut, we dove to the hand sanitizer, like it was one of those 1940’s cartoons about a football game.)Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I doubt handshaking is going anywhere. Shaking hands is an old greeting, it has survived plagues and epidemics before, I suspect it will survive this one.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to James K says:

        Maybe holding up empty palms will replace it – after all, it started as a “look, I do not draw my weapon (a sword, in those days) on you” Showing empty hands would convey the same thing.

        That said? If we go to 100% hands-off except for lovers and children? I’m screwed and will die of skin-hunger, because I have neither a lover nor a child. I never realize how important the occasional hug from a friend was until now.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to fillyjonk says:

          Sport fencing requires a handshake at the end of each bout. This has been a tradition for more than a hundred years. I am curious about whether it will survive the coronavirus.

          The sport is currently shut down in the US. Everyone’s insurance derives from the one big policy negotiated by USA Fencing. The insurance company threatened to cancel the policy if any activities were conducted.Report

          • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Michael Cain says:

            Don’t you wear gloves?Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to PD Shaw says:

              The FIE rule specifies shaking with the off hand, and few fencers wear an off-hand glove. Rightie vs leftie is kind of clumsy but you get used to it.

              And yes, there’s a rule requiring the handshake these days (the tradition goes back farther than the current rules). Refusal to shake at the end of a bout at an event draws a black card — disqualification from the event and you must leave the facility.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Interesting, I don’t think I’ve watched a fencing match close enough to observe. The youth soccer association discouraged or banned handshakes after games this year before soccer was discontinued, but it wasn’t clear to me what authority they had, and I think my son’s February games ended with handshakes.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to PD Shaw says:

                Hardly anyone (other than fencers) notices the salute at the start of a bout either. There’s a full formal salute, used by no one but beginners. Even at the top of the sport — the finals at a World Cup or Olympics, say — competitors barely dip their weapon to the three parties that have to be saluted, in the proper order: opponent, referee, audience. But it’s there.

                Both the handshake and the salute become habitual, even at practice. My son was watching me at a practice session once, and told me later that it was amusing to watch everyone salute their opponent, the empty spot where a referee would have been standing, and the blank wall where the audience would have been.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Pandemics can change society. The Black Death in England helped accelerate the death of the Feudal Age and gave serfs liberty because those that survived were able to demand higher wages and many just left the land where they were supposed to remain.

    But I am skeptical that COVID-19 is going to change society drastically. I’m seeing a lot of bold predictions and hot takes baby about how we will now all work from home because companies will realize that spending massive amounts on office space is a waste of money. I am also seeing predictions on the death of conferences/business travel, handshaking, eating out at restaurants, going to clubs, going to bars, going to concerts/movies, sports, etc.

    My guess is that a lot of these people are hardcore introverts and homebodies who love shelter-in-place. Unfortunately for them, something like 70 percent of society is extroverts.

    I’m rather astonished that people out there think the current shelter-in-place rules can stay in effect for another 12-18 months. Not only that, they get very, very angry when you say such predictions are not realistic. And who knew some people hated handshaking so much that they wanted it to die.

    The 1918 Flu Pandemic did not turn the 1920s into a demure age where people kept distance from each other and stayed at home. Human psychologically is remarkable at being able to take bad events and just turn them into bad dreams/distant memories. SF had really nice weather on Sunday. Today is a nice day too. We are getting to the nice part of spring and summer. Golden Gate Park was filled with people yesterday. People were trying to be respectful of distance but it was not 6 feet apart. SF also needed to shut down a club over the weekend.


    Unless you want to get very anti-democratic and authoritarian, there is a limit to what democratic countries can do to enforce social distancing even if the traditional police powers assumed the power to quarantine. Emmanuel Macron announced that France could start easing the lockdown starting on May 11th. I suspect that Democratic governors in the U.S. will start making the same decisions. I am already seeing courts try to ease open for more normal business.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      A lot of people on the Far Right and the Far Left are itching to use Covid-19 to remake the world in their image. On the other blog, people are seeing a long shut down as a way to destroy predatory capitalism, which is apparently any form of mass commercial entertainment. I think a lot of these big bold predictions are happening as a combination of this being the first big pandemic most people in the developed world are living through and negative partisanship. The majority of not very online people just probably want to go back to normal.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The visceral, relentless hostility to capitalism exhibited by the prog left continues to amaze and baffle me, and is one reason why I (and I’m sure lots of others) tune them out completely.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater says:

          Most people on the other blog would just like capitalism regulated more and recognize that governments aren’t good at making consumer goods. There are still quite a few dyed in the wool anti-capitalists of various stripes that want to destroy the entire edifice of commerce because they think it is bad for the human soul and prevents true equality from taking place. They seem to sincerely believe that humans will be happier once all forms of consumerism are gone.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      What I’ve noticed is that changes become permanent when they get untethered to their origin.
      Like how the security checkpoints at theme parks and large buildings stopped being “because 9-11” and just started being “because security”, just something that was done reflexively without a specific cause.

      It could be that once bars and stadiums reopen, there will be a heightened germaphobia, where hand sanitizer is everywhere and masks become prevalent like in Asia. Or where foods are individually wrapped, and the idea of leaving piles of fruits out for everyone to touch them will seem strange to people a decade from now.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Like how the security checkpoints at theme parks and large buildings stopped being “because 9-11” and just started being “because security”, just something that was done reflexively without a specific cause.

        Seems easy enough for me to understand: those security checks should have been in place before 9/11 as a standard precautionary measure. The initial justification sorta drops out.

        My guess is that, like with most things Americans do, our security check points are overly burdensome because none of the decision-makers care enough about point-of-entry use to design and pay for more functional, practical solutions. Instead, the grift ran over the purpose, leaving everyone else with skid marks on their backs.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

          To deter what threat?Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Uhhh, the death of thousands (hundreds, dozens…) of people?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

              For instance, a typical office building now has unarmed security officers monitoring the front entrance; and card key access to the elevators; and an assortment of cameras around the perimeter.

              Which is to say, a lower level of security than the one which failed on 9-11.
              But what threat are they deterring? what sort of terrorist plot would unarmed guards deter? Card keys which are easily stolen and duplicated prevent what exactly?

              The answer is they protect only the lowest level of threat, maybe a deranged street transient, or disgruntled ex employee.

              That is, they deter a threat from someone who made no plans, had no organization whatsoever, and who isn’t armed.

              There is a reason its called “security theater”; it is the equivalent of those signs people post on their lawns, the ones with official looking badges and emblems, with stern warning of 24/7 security response. The target audience is not the determined terrorist, but the owner, to make themselves “feel” safer.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Oh I understand that it’s security theater Chip. You mentioned a disconnet between the initial rationale and the argument for it’s persistence over time. I mentioned that even the initial rationale was bogus and that those measures are justified independently of 9/11.

                Look, if you want to get rid of those features of buildings and airports I suggest you write a letter to your CCer or building owner. I have no control over it.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Security measures against the least prepared threat are completely valid and useful. No place, out side some military bases/pentgaon/etc are truly secure against a highly prepared threat. We can’t make everything that secure nor would we want to. But keeping out lazy but potentially deadly people is good.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                We’re wandering a bit off topic here, but I’ve actually discussed this, with the buildings we design.

                The justification given isn’t a specific threat; No one says “We gotta protect against crazy street people or spree shooters”;

                Because its not like office buildings and apartments had a problem with these things before. Street people were always deterred by nothing more than an elderly guy in the lobby saying “Go away”. And spree shooters aren’t deterred even now.

                Instead the security is just part of the overall building amenity, like a firepit or gym or wifi. Its just What People Expect.

                I can see something like this happening, with “Health Security Theater; all sorts of ostentatious wiping and spraying, latex and wrappings to communicate “Cleanliness” to the public.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I work in a state court house. A high level terrorist attack will kill the security guards in the first seconds and have everybody dead in the DV office in under 30 sec. Basic security prevents a lazy violent person from bring a gun/knife/ machete in then going nutzoid when his hearing goes poorly.

                OTOH i’m all for We’re wandering a bit off topic here, as a great new name for the OT when we need a new name.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        This is more plausible.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        I am doubtful on the masks personally. The food wrapping I can see. Right now at our farmer’s market is not letting people touch the products. You tell the workers what food you want and then they get it for you.Report

      • Like how the security checkpoints at theme parks and large buildings stopped being “because 9-11” and just started being “because security”…

        “Because security” seems like a reasonable thing. Last month was reportedly the last March without a school shooting since 2002. My state’s Capital bought metal detectors after 9-11, put them away in storage before long, then brought them out when a nut went to the governor’s office in the Capital waving his handgun. Every couple of years we seem to have a shooting of some sort at an office or crowded place.

        I keep meaning to look up current insurance practices, to see if liability insurance requires places like sports arenas to have security check points.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        I’m interested in what Phase One of the reopening will look like. There are restrictions on:
        known coronavirus patients
        people potentially exposed
        people with high risk due to age/health
        locations / businesses /schools
        public gatherings
        movement without masks / gloves

        What portions of those get lifted? Gradually or suddenly? Will people respond in a trickle or a flood? I think that’ll give an indication which changes are more permanent.

        I’ll tell ya, though, Disney timed Endgame and Star Wars 9 perfectly.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

          According to the Vox podcast I posted below, places of recreation and entertainment like bars and restaurants, along with concerts, theaters, clubs, gyms, and sporting events are going to be the last places to reopen. The expert they interviewed was from the AEI, so he isn’t opposed to these things as a matter of principle.

          I’m really interested in how the partner dance community is going to react. Right now all the dance schools and events have shut down. People are doing listens on line. The partner dance community isn’t the biggest and has little overall economic impact but it is a dedicated community. On the other blog, another poster said she will go nuts if she can’t go out dancing by the end of 2020. Since allowing partner dances is both a Covid-19 risk and a low priority, it will be fascinating to see how the overall community reacts to not being able to get out dancing/Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Would you feel comfortable dancing mask-to-mask, glove-in-glove with a stranger?

            I can see sporting events returning where there’s limited contact with others, like attending a Redskins game.Report

            • Avatar Swami in reply to Pinky says:

              “Would you feel comfortable dancing mask-to-mask, glove-in-glove with a stranger?”

              Sounds like a scene from Money Heist.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

              I suspect that sooner rather than latter, the partner dance community is going to want to come out and start dancing again. Whether we have to put on masks and repeatedly change gloves or whether we do this in illegal Covid-19 speakeasies remains something to be seen.

              My main point is that nearly every reopening event from the right-leaning and fastest AEI proposal to the more restrictive and stricter left-leaning ones have assumed that people might grumble about the slow roll out but will basically comply en mass in good faith for the duration. I don’t think that is going to happen. People are going to rebel eventually. We will get Covid-19 speakeasies.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Several of my friends are saying “hand washing sinks, out in the open, at the entrances to groceries and restaurants and the like” and while l doubt that would happen everywhere (I can see upscaley places complaining about it changing their decor), it would be nice to be able to wash one’s hands EASILY. Some places either hide the restrooms or make them largely off limits (because of the extra cost of cleaning) and in-the-open sinks with soap and towels would helpReport

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      My guess is that a lot of these people are hardcore introverts and homebodies who love shelter-in-place.

      Your read is off by a bit. Don’t see it as “they love shelter-in-place” as much as “it’s easier for them than it is for extroverts”. I am *EXCEPTIONALLY* introverted. Other introverts say “that guy is pretty introverted!” about me. Yet, I very much miss seeing my friends. I very much miss sitting with my gaming group and making jokes while sharing a meal. I miss seeing my family (we were supposed to have a quarterly birthday gathering shortly where we sat with the fam and ate food and played games with the nephews). I miss eating at my favorite restaurants. I miss going to my rock climbing gym.

      These are things that introverts like, even if they aren’t crazy about large gatherings with people that they only know a little bit, if at all. Where they have to make small talk.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird says:

        I don’t think I’m an introvert any more, if I ever actually was one. I’m pretty miserable in all of this with no one to talk to.

        I’m also bad at self-validation; I occasionally get demanding or rude e-mails from students and in the past I’d run it by a colleague and go “does the tone to this seem okay to you” and they would be like “no, the student should not speak to you like that” and I’d feel better – I used to do that by catching the person in the hall and going “does this seem off to you or…” but now it seems too much effort and like “bothering” them to e-mail them, so I read the e-mail is a personal vaccum and immediately assume the student’s comment implying I’m a bad teacher has to be true.

        I don’t know how to learn self-validation on my own. If I even can at this point. I realize now how much I needed other people to shore me up and now they’re all off into their own orbits and I’m just out spinning here in space.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk says:

          It was never about “likes people” versus “likes being alone” as much as about how quick your batteries get filled or drained by large groups of acquaintances/strangers or small intimate groups of people.

          The whole “Hermit” thing is only sustainable by a very, very small number of people.

          Solitary Confinement is used as a punishment in prisons for a reason and there are a whole lot of people who are solitarily confined.

          And that’s a lot different than what most introverts would come close to finding as ideal.

          Hang in there.

          We’re in a place where we can’t get the small pleasures of leisurely shopping in a grocery store that is fully stocked with our preferred items or going to church on a Wednesday night to hear a nice little sermon and sing a couple of nice songs or going to the little coffee shop that has the raspberry muffins with the almond shavings sprinkled on top and the college kid to ring you up.

          We’re in solitary confinement. Plus text chat.

          Even though there are a lot of ways it could be worse, it still really, really, really sucks.Report

  10. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Vox interviews a Covid-19 public health expert from the Right on reopening and how society won’t snap back to normal.


  11. Avatar Urusigh says:

    Predict 2021?

    Sure, here’s how the world WON’T change:

    Confidence in government, the media, and expertise in general will stay low or fall even further as everyone with an internet connection armchair quarterback’s the response to COVID-19 and the economic aftershocks. We won’t reach a consensus on what should have been done instead, but pretty much everyone will agree that “mistakes were made” and think their personal policy prescriptions would have turned out much better.

    Unlike many historical disasters, this one won’t “bring the country together”. Even as disaster relief spending forces both parties to compromise in order to pass legislation, the bases will regard those same compromises not with respect for the inherent complexities of cooperatively governing a diverse nation, but with resentment for how the other party “abused” ‘must pass’ legislation to push through thoroughly objectionable things. Negative partisanship will dominate and those who do compromise to get legislation passed will nonetheless be attacked from both sides after doing so, leaving them with the bleak prospect of leaving office at the end of their current term or be forced out by a primary challenger. Self-righteous speakers on both sides will attempt to take the moral high ground by standing on the graves of the pandemic dead and blame their ideological foes for all the country’s suffering.

    On the up side, illegal immigration will probably go down and stay down for a while as “migrant caravans” are a terrible idea in a pandemic and even Dems have to admit that adding more people to already over-strained medical systems will inevitably kill someone. Besides, low-skill work (both retail and manual) probably isn’t going to recover as fast as the rest of the economy, so the economic incentives for most migrants are going to stay depressed (possibly indefinitely if enough companies use the pandemic layoffs as an opportunity to increase automation and replace those jobs instead of rehiring, i.e. lingering social distancing habits and the rise in kiosk/app ordering both indicate that counter register jockeys may already be obsolete.).

    Long-running trends like the decline in male workforce participation, decline in two-parent households, and decline in church/association membership will continue or accelerate as people disassociated from those norms by lockdown are less likely to return to them.

    What WILL change?

    Depends who wins in November. Trump has a great economic track record on reducing unemployment while boosting the stock market, so he might be able to deficit spend his way through back to a recovery, but it’ll still be touch and go for a while and build up a lot of resentment for both the OccupyWallStreet and Tea Party types to tap into to start building a backlash. If Biden wins, Dems will almost certainly overreach and republicans will respond by closing ranks, making effective legislating impossible. Dems will respond to that congressional gridlock by trying to govern via executive fiat (and possibly attempt court packing when the Supreme Court repeatedly overrules their more blatantly unconstitutional acts). Actual governing will largely devolve to the States, which will turn ever more partisan in their own policies.

    Either way, we’re almost certainly going to see a baby boom as both awareness of mortality and sheer boredom among those sheltering in place yield their most predictable result. At the same time, workers are going to be facing reduced wages, reduced lifetime earnings unlikely to ever catch up to, much less surpass, their parent’s generation, and a precarious economy. New parents traditionally tack right on social matters and left on economics, so we’re probably going to see some shifts as the republican party make “temporary” concessions to expanding safety net programs to try to capture that group (hello paid family leave and expanded unemployment benefits) whereas Democrats try to cut that flight off by even further vilifying republican social positions (and thereby continuing their own self-destructive PC purity spiral).Report

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