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June 02, 2023 05:37 PM MDT

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.”

–Carl Jung


16 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. "On the Second Gilded Age." Brad De Long writes:

    Some of us are relatively more optimistic about the future of humanity. We are so because we are optimistic about humanity's possibility of escape from the traps in which our current Second Gilded Age of extremely high income and wealth inequality has caught us. 

    A Gilded Age is one in which a distressingly high proportion of humanity's productive capabilities are directed away from providing people with many of the necessities and conveniences we can afford, and instead diverted into spiteful engines of luxurious display that are of great and little genuine worth. A Gilded Age is one in which the rich spend a substantial chunk of their large relative resources creating cleavages of distrust and fear and promoting status-based hierarchies of domination. Why? To diminish the political salience of issues of economic distribution. Plus a Gilded Age is one in which inherited wealth has a great deal of social power. _Inherited_ wealth is always threatened by the Schumpeterian creative destruction that will accompany the next wave of technology-enabled growth. So inherited wealth will use its ample social power to try to block and delay economic growth and transformation.

    We see all of these at work in the here-and-now.

    1. "Some of us are relatively more optimistic about the future of humanity."

      I sure as Hell am not. I see the future as something of a hybrid between the worlds depicted in the Handmaid's Tale, Snowpiercer, and the Last Ship.

      Be afraid, be very afraid. The only comfort I take is that I'm in my mid-60's and there's a good chance I'll be dead before the worst of it arrives.

  2. False equivalency on Left vs Right from mainstream media. From TPM.

    On a scale of political ideology and positions from 100 to 0 (with 100 being the far left and 0 being the far right), and 50 being in the middle, even the most left-oriented Democrats (Ocasio-Cortez, Bush, Casar, Bowman, Raskin, Jayapal) are not extremists. They are different shades of social democrats; they espouse policies that are fairly mainstream across western democracies. They advocate for the rights of marginalized people and are pro-union, pro-choice and concerned about climate change. They want to expand the social safety net, favor progressive taxation and want to raise the minimum wage.  

    In contrast, the most right-wing Republicans are extremists and reactionaries. Many rub shoulders with, and speak in support of, white supremacists, Christian nationalists, and anti-Semites. In many cases, they want to repeal the political and cultural victories of the civil rights, feminist, gay rights, environmental, and labor movements. They deny that the 2020 election was legitimate, and took steps to overturn it. They support the January 6 insurrectionists, who they cast as freedom fighters. They have opposed the fundamentals of democracy — like the right to vote and the peaceful transition of power — and, in some cases, played active roles in the closest thing to a coup the U.S. has experienced in its nearly 250-year history.

  3. Interesting: Via Brad De Long.

    1. Alexander SammonWant to Stare Into the Republican Soul in 2023?: ‘At a party filled with booze and grievance, some of the party’s richest patrons looked to the future. Not everyone liked what they saw…. Car dealers, gas station owners, and building contractors… make up the majority of the country’s 140,000 Americans who earn more than $1.58 million per year…. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz found that over 20 percentof car dealerships in the U.S. have an owner banking more than $1.5 million per year…. You can’t understand U.S. conservatism without understanding the car dealer—that middlemensch of American capitalism, selling a product he doesn’t make at a fat-enough markup to become fabulously rich and politically powerful…. Although dealers are maligned as parasites, their relationship to the GOP is pure symbiosis: Republicans need their money and networks, and dealers need politicians to protect them from repealing the laws that keep the money coming in…. Teslas made in Texas have to be shipped out of the stateand then reimported across state lines to any buyers in Texas who purchase them online, one of many ridiculous workarounds born of dealer-protection laws…. Greg Gutfeld… current aw-shucks libertarian everyman of Fox News…. “Cars are fun. If you wanna live in a padded cell, if you wanna drive your Prius, that’s great. I am all for gas, lots of gas!” Gutfeld couldn’t even finish his sentence over the riotous applause that broke out. He started in on a different joke, then abandoned it midway through to go back to the well. “Nobody is going to be able to confiscate your gas-powered car, because what’s gonna tow it?!” The audience roared. “I have not seen an e–tow truck to save my life!”…

    1. Should be unconstitutional: In some states it is illegal for a car company to sell direct to consumers. They are required to sell via a dealership.


    1. It seems strange to be telegraphing to Casey DrSantis that you share a certain fashion sense? Your subtle support for MeatballRon? 

      Things you can’t unsee…

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