Oh I hear you. And to the extent those policies do have that level of support I believe a big chunk of it comes with a distinctly nationalistic and not remotely 'progressive' tang to it.

But it does come back to this question of whether our democracy is working the way it's supposed to. My take away is people care about pocket book issues and basic quality of life stuff. They want benefits but not to over pay for them. And yet is that what our elites are debating and/or trying to figure out for us? I would say 'not really' and certainly not as a priority.

Definitely an interesting read, even with all the caveats on the limitations of what we can deduce from polls.

Oh get real. They get 3 squares a day and we don't make lamp shades out of their skin. What more do you want?

The ability to participate in and of itself can be just as meaningful as the ability to impact policy. The problem isn't the process it's when too many people think it's a sham.

One of the things we do not talk enough about is just how bad things were in early modern Europe and why the basic enlightenment ideas became appealing over time.

The question becomes how long will the poor parts go along for the ride and how much will the rich parts tolerate the government doing to make sure they do.

Remember when Chip and Dark Matter got into a debate about numbers versus anecdotes? This is where I think the anecdotes side has some real merit. No, we aren't putting black people in concentration camps or anything remotely like it. But that’s not really the bar for America. The optics of our law enforcement and rationalize our stated values out of the equation can have a profound impact.

I mean, it definitely enables us to play out our most base impulses in a way no authoritarian society could allow. We can gamble it all away on black. So we've got that.

You can sell rich and free wheeling, and maybe even a little unruly. You can't sell gilded age and 'stop resisting!'

China is not the super power it looks like. It has a looming demographic crisis and will be a real world experiment in seeing what happens when a very large country gets old before it gets rich.

But you also don't have to be a BernieBro to recognize that our own civil infrastructure isn't holding up, that we chose over and over not to invest in it. Our moral authority rests to at least some degree on our system kicking ass, not falling into a muddle of pros and cons.

This is a great comment Chip and I think it underlies many of the problems we're facing as a country. Some degree of shared prosperity is required for our system to maintain the critical mass of legitimacy it needs.