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  #41  
Old 08-16-2011, 11:28 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
You might also want to check out this interesting site.
I don't understand what you mean with that link.
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  #42  
Old 08-16-2011, 11:30 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Maybe Obama just isn't a liberal

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I don't think it's hesitation, I think it's -- again, unsurprisingly -- his view of how the process should work, what would make for a successful policy. He might be wrong, but given that this was hashed out in the primary, anyone surprised wasn't paying attention. It's not Dems who thought he was a Leninist, for the most part.
I agree completely with the bold text above, but it is not entirely separate from the question of where on the spectrum of center-left to left-left he sits.

My recollection of his primary run is that he was to the left of Hillary Clinton on some things (wars, making a big deal of the environment) and to her right on other things (health care, NAFTA), all of which is fine, in that the individual views he expressed struck me as being coherent if not always ones I agreed with, and I expected that he would at some point knit them together into an overarching policy worldview.

But what I find now is that ALL policy views appear to pay a slightly secondary role in his mind to process: so in other words, he seems to be someone who may desire policy X, but would prefer to arrive at policy Y by a process he considers respectable rather than to arrive at policy X with his hands dirty.

The question of Obama's conciliatory, high-oratorical style and the question of his 'true' policy worldview aren't separate: the former helps explain the ambiguity both supporters and opponents feel about the latter.

That is what the Drew Westen piece referenced in the DV in the NYT gets at. It is also something highlighted in press coverage of the Administration and comments by staff.

As an example, in a session at a Fortune magazine conference earlier this summer, Larry Summers described Obama as someone who trusts his staff to the point of having essentially no opinion on specific policy points on which they advise him. Summers will say, 'Mr. President, I advise you to do this.' And the President will say 'Okay.' And if it backfires, he will fire Summers. Summers contrasted this to Bill Clinton, who got much deeper in the weeds of policy issues. Summers said that at the level of process - meetings that run on time, memos that get read and responded to instead of getting lost under mountains of other paperwork - Obama's way works better. And it might, but what I heard was the President's chief economic counselor saying the President was essentially neutral on the content of the policies he pursued.

So maybe he is neither a liberal nor a centrist, but someone who doesn't get up in the morning thinking about policy at all.

Last edited by PreppyMcPrepperson; 08-16-2011 at 11:41 PM..
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  #43  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:26 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: Maybe Obama just isn't a liberal

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post

But what I find now is that ALL policy views appear to pay a slightly secondary role in his mind to process: so in other words, he seems to be someone who may desire policy X, but would prefer to arrive at policy Y by a process he considers respectable rather than to arrive at policy X with his hands dirty.

The question of Obama's conciliatory, high-oratorical style and the question of his 'true' policy worldview aren't separate: the former helps explain the ambiguity both supporters and opponents feel about the latter.

........

As an example, in a session at a Fortune magazine conference earlier this summer, Larry Summers described Obama as someone who trusts his staff to the point of having essentially no opinion on specific policy points on which they advise him. Summers will say, 'Mr. President, I advise you to do this.' And the President will say 'Okay.' And if it backfires, he will fire Summers. Summers contrasted this to Bill Clinton, who got much deeper in the weeds of policy issues. Summers said that at the level of process - meetings that run on time, memos that get read and responded to instead of getting lost under mountains of other paperwork - Obama's way works better. And it might, but what I heard was the President's chief economic counselor saying the President was essentially neutral on the content of the policies he pursued.

So maybe he is neither a liberal nor a centrist, but someone who doesn't get up in the morning thinking about policy at all.

In this case, what really motivates him is that stuff about no blue states and no red states, etc. he spoke so well on. Maybe conciliation really is his primary interest and passion in public service -- and any policy position is a distant second. Maybe it's more then not being a fighter....he may be the exact opposite of a fighter.

If so, one really has to feel sorry for the guy and wonder why his hair isn't getting gray even faster then it is.
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  #44  
Old 08-17-2011, 01:49 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Maybe Obama just isn't a liberal

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Maybe it's more then not being a fighter....he may be the exact opposite of a fighter.

If so, one really has to feel sorry for the guy and wonder why his hair isn't getting gray even faster then it is.
This is why I've always liked him and still plan to vote for him. I'll likely use my simple system of voting: vote against the guy who uses the worst negative ads. In 2008, McCain ran the most egregious things I'd ever seen; rewarding that kind of politics seems wrong, but this seems more a minority position.

Perry is starting to make me mad with his talk of a treasonous Bernanke. And Tea Partiers, as we already know, are terrorists. What is this disconnect where one side feels the description is perfectly accurate for the other?
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  #45  
Old 08-17-2011, 02:18 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Re: Maybe Obama just isn't a liberal

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post

Perry is starting to make me mad with his talk of a treasonous Bernanke. And Tea Partiers, as we already know, are terrorists. What is this disconnect where one side feels the description is perfectly accurate for the other?

I agree, the more Perry does this the more I move toward Romney.
The only voters this helps Perry get is from Bachmann. He wants to compete with Romney, not Bachmann. Not very smart.
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  #46  
Old 08-17-2011, 02:44 AM
whburgess whburgess is offline
 
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Default Chris Christie gives Obama some advice

Here is my first choice for President giving President Obama (who we both admire) some pretty good advice.
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  #47  
Old 08-17-2011, 02:50 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Chris Christie gives Obama some advice

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Originally Posted by whburgess View Post
Here is my first choice for President giving President Obama (who we both admire) some pretty good advice.
Damn he's fat. I have no problem voting for a fat man. I don't think voters feel the same way. But yeah, definitely my first choice for President.
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Last edited by sugarkang; 08-17-2011 at 02:53 AM..
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  #48  
Old 08-17-2011, 03:59 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Too many people discussing this point to respond to just one, so I'll just post this link. I think Ross does a pretty good job here of throwing cold water on the idea that semantics about Barack Obama's personality or leadership style created a large marginal difference between the policies we got and the policies of imaginary Democratic president X. I think we spend way too much time being armchair psychologists with presidents, and not enough time paying attention to structural factors, which are waaaaaay more important. That doesn't mean people from the left and right shouldn't give presidents hell; they should! Just because the differences derived from leadership style and things of that nature are marginal doesn't mean they don't matter. They absolutely do. I simply think we just tend to overstate it.
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  #49  
Old 08-17-2011, 07:16 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Chris Christie gives Obama some advice

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Damn he's fat. I have no problem voting for a fat man. I don't think voters feel the same way. But yeah, definitely my first choice for President.
His politics are also very similar to those of Grover Cleveland.
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  #50  
Old 08-17-2011, 07:19 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Any balance between capital and labor can be found at equilibrium. Which is to say that no particular balance between capital and labor is a priori most desirable. What should determine the balance between capital and labor is the relative scarcity of the inputs of production. If capital is more scarce, it should receive a higher return in order to induce more effort directed at the formation of capital (at the expense of currently productive labor). If labor is more scarce, it should receive a higher return in order to induce more effort directed at laboring (at the expense of capital formation).
You have to define equilibrium.

The idea that equilibrium could occur at any arbitrary intersection of two curves, one measuring income to capital and the other measuring income to labor, seems very far-fetched. There may be no ideal solution, but surely there is some fairly narrow range for equilibrium, once you've defined it (e.g. everyone who wants to work is working), given any level of technology. That is, one would not expect it to be the case that 99% of income could go to capital and 1% to labor and that that would satisfy some definition of equilibrium. Secondly, in the world in which we currently live, labor is not ever going to be scarce, and therefore capital is always going to be the scarcer of the two inputs. Particular kinds of labor might be scarce.

The problem of our world is a superabundance of labor. There are too many people. If equilibrium means the market-clearing price for labor where all the police and military power is in the hands of capital, it will follow that the equilibrium price of labor is low, because the supply of labor is high. The price of labor will be so low that the world becomes highly unstable and in an inherently revolutionary situation. The capitalist class will be in a permanent state of siege. But this is not far from where we are now, as noted by Nouriel Roubini in his interview with "The Wall Street Journal" cited by florian in "The Marx was Right" topic in the "Life, the Universe, and Everything" section of these forums. One might think that the equilibrium price of labor could be made so low that the supply of labor would gradually dwindle due to malnutrition and poverty and that the market will be self-correcting in that way. "Operative" recently stated a view that was not unlike this. Things do not seem to be working out this way.
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  #51  
Old 08-17-2011, 09:04 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

The problem of our world is a superabundance of labor

Precisely. But I wonder if the superabundance of cheap labor hasn't always been a problem in the development of capitalism. In a 1957 lecture on the relation between the developed capitalist world and the third world (at the time, just emerging from colonialism), Kojève said this:

"à la longue le capitalisme ne peut ni se développer, ni même se maintenir, si la plus-value obtenue grâce au progrès de la technique industrielle n’est pas répartie entre la minorité capitaliste et la majorité laborieuse. »

"In the long run capitalism cannot evolve or even maintain itself unless the surplus value obtained from technological progress is distributed between the capitalist minority and the working majority."

It was from these premises that Kojève concluded that Henry Ford was the greatest Marxist of the 20th century. But the United States was always fortunate--until now?---in having a relative scarcity of labor.
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  #52  
Old 08-17-2011, 09:27 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

The best part of this dialogue was watching John and (esp) Glenn treat the Tea Party with at least some modicum of respect. On this site over the last year or so the slow transformation from ridicule and dismissal to sobering realization regarding liberals views on the group has been a real joy. The immediate relflex to shout racist/hateful/ignorant has failed so utterly it's only the real moonbats who still try to employ it.

One of these days I hope Glenn understands that Obama was just as ridiculous an idea for President as Jesse Jackson was (before anyone plays the race card, it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with experience, accomplishment and leadership qualities).

Also Glenn, if you understood the Tea Party, you'd know that they are just as anti-bank as you are in regards to bailouts that reward bad business practices. But they also understand that floating loans to persons who no one ever should have expected to make an effort to repay them is not to be compounded by paying them off twice.

Europe's mob violence hopefully will remain worse than ours because we have invested less in those who want lifetime handouts. But as long as we have idiots on TV and in politics calling people who just want fiscal sanity 'terrorists', you still invite violence. BTW - I just received an invite from The Nation (I'm a member) where I can learn to organize flash mobs of disgruntled welfare dependents while I cruise the Bahamas.

Speaking as someone who was in Los Angeles not only for the Rodney King but also the Watts riots, the real problems in the RK case were 1)that the police were indicted for attempted murder instead of assault and not-guilty was the only realistic verdict and 2) that Tom Bradley immediately post-verdict went on TV and incited a mob which he very quickly realized was out of his control.

Regarding the black incarceration rate, as long as Bill Cosby and Michael Nutter are the exceptions and not the rule, and as long as most young black men grow up in a household without a father, and as long as cities are controlled by politicians willing to co-opt and perpetuate misery in exchange for power, the disproportionality will continue.

As to the flash mobs both here and abroad, the answer lies at Home Depot, why is it that it's only immigrants who stand on the roadside offering their services for cash? Because they come from a place where that opportunity is to seized, they can work for money to support their and their family's needs. The natives who need work expect the taxpayers to provide for their needs and when this institutionalized laziness is threatened, they will react. Look at the reaction when the governor of Wisconsin asked the public unions to pay for a small percentage of their luxury benefits, it doesn't take much to form an unruly mob.

Lastly, regarding the fact that the ideas and opinions expressed at City Journal and the Manhatten Institute are winning out over those coming from the statist think tanks, being proven right over and over again can have an effect on people.
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  #53  
Old 08-17-2011, 09:40 AM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
"In the long run capitalism cannot evolve or even maintain itself unless the surplus value obtained from technological progress is distributed between the capitalist minority and the working majority."
In the long run, captialism and free markets are the worst form of societies, except for everything else (apologies to W Churchill).

It should never be lost on anyone the complete and utter failure of everything else so far in the history of man.

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
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  #54  
Old 08-17-2011, 10:21 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Florian, I don't know if you have figured this out, but I became interested in Leo Strauss and Kojeve, and their debate in "On Tyranny," when I was about twenty. That did not work out for me, ultimately, as an academic career path, and I actually had a brief discussion with Bernard Williams about this once. But I did study with this fellow Stanley Rosen, who studied with both Strauss and Kojeve.
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  #55  
Old 08-17-2011, 10:26 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

People seem to be confidently predicting that China will surpass the US in scientific "production" soon. No doubt defenders of the West will say that the Chinese have not yet shown that they can really compete at the highest levels of theoretical science. But I think it's too early to be confidently asserting Western supremacy in this regard, or the incompatibility of science with a heavy-handed state.
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  #56  
Old 08-17-2011, 10:27 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by jimM47 View Post
The first answer is depressing but not unsettling. In means there is a lot of malinvestment out there, and we just need time for people to wind up their old commitments and move on to more productive investments.
I pick curtain #1. The whole thing is going to take time. Twenty years from now we will look back (if we're not in the midst of another crisis) and see that the thing settled out and malinvestments dissipated. Prices dropped to where they should be and the engine started running again. No one will be able to point to any particular program or measure to account for this because no program can account for this. The best we can hope for is that the economy doctors keep their hands off of the patient.

Of course curtain #2 is a part of the process of the economy getting back into some kind of equilibrium. Unfortunately things like Dodd-Frank and the new consumer protection agencies will force banks to pass those costs onto their customers in one way or another because surely they won't absorb those costs themselves, something that always seems to escape the minds of the do-gooders.

Curtain #3 will always be with us as the government seeks to control and profit from industry. Sometimes it's neccessary for business to be regulated surely. Finding the right balance between regulation and freedom is probably impossible but still a worthy goal.
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  #57  
Old 08-17-2011, 10:47 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
BTW - I just received an invite from The Nation (I'm a member) where I can learn to organize flash mobs of disgruntled welfare dependents while I cruise the Bahamas.
Those filthy capitalists at the Nation... Will Ed Shultz be aboard? Ahoy ye workin' men!

Quote:
Lastly, regarding the fact that the ideas and opinions expressed at City Journal and the Manhatten Institute are winning out over those coming from the statist think tanks, being proven right over and over again can have an effect on people.
It's not fair that they are right. Something needs to be done about this.

But in the meantime, open up the tent flaps, they're coming in! Geez, I hope the Republicans don't blow this opportunity.
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  #58  
Old 08-17-2011, 11:01 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
BTW - I just received an invite from The Nation (I'm a member) where I can learn to organize flash mobs of disgruntled welfare dependents while I cruise the Bahamas.

....
As to the flash mobs both here and abroad, the answer lies at Home Depot, why is it that it's only immigrants who stand on the roadside offering their services for cash? ...
1. I call BS on your cruise invite. I personally can't think of anything I'd be less willing to spend a vacation doing, but there's nothing in the Nation cruise about organizing flash mobs of any kind. The Weekly Standard also has fundraising cruises, where you can hear from various neo-cons about the need for our troops to be deployed all over the globe, making sacrifices to secure freedom, and how horribly elitist limousine liberals are. This is a neighborhood full of glass houses.

2. The obvious answer is because legal residents of the US can apply for jobs through official means, not through the black market.

Last edited by miceelf; 08-17-2011 at 11:49 AM.. Reason: Important clarification about my interest in the Nation cruise
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  #59  
Old 08-17-2011, 11:43 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Ooh, ooh, Robert Scheer, up close and personal. Could The Nation Cruise be combined with "The Smooth Jazz Cruise?" Are there celebrity raffles on The Nation Cruise, so, for instance, Robert Scheer will be your duplicate bridge partner in the big tournament if you win?

Sorry, I should confess that I have devoted a huge amount of time to researching cruises and have never been on one, except when I was a child. I want to do a Transatlantic crossing from Italy or Spain to Florida, I think, or vice versa. I keep worrying about the David Foster Wallace essay, but I gather that his was a particularly vulgar cruise. One of the most unintentionally hilarious literary genres is the long-form cruise review on the Internet by a cruising veteran. I have a lurid fascination with the people who are fascinated by cruise ship architecture and design. All the ships seem to be competing for awards in hideous taste.
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  #60  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:06 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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1. I call BS on your cruise invite. I personally can't think of anything I'd be less willing to spend a vacation doing, but there's nothing in the Nation cruise about organizing flash mobs of any kind.
Van Jones?
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  #61  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:39 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Van Jones?
Van Jones talks about a lot of things.
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  #62  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:44 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Van Jones talks about a lot of things.
He does. I was just trying to find a connection with what harkin put out there. Certainly Jones is well known for his devotion to Alinsky tactics
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  #63  
Old 08-17-2011, 01:16 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
In the long run, captialism and free markets are the worst form of societies, except for everything else (apologies to W Churchill).

It should never be lost on anyone the complete and utter failure of everything else so far in the history of man.

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
Who said anything about "equal sharing"? The question confronting capitalism, now as always, is the distribution of "surplus value" resulting from technological progress, between two basically antagonistic groups---the owners of capital and everyone else---so that capitalism can avoid the fate predicted by Marx. Since Kojève thought (somewhat tongue in cheek) that Henry Ford was the greatest Marxist of the 20th century, he can hardly be accused of being a "socialist"---assuming the word means anything.

By the way, Kojève despised Stalin and the Soviet Union. He much preferred living in France and acting as the eminence grise of De Gaulle.

Last edited by Florian; 08-17-2011 at 01:19 PM..
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  #64  
Old 08-17-2011, 01:25 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Who said anything about "equal sharing"? .
Churchill
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  #65  
Old 08-17-2011, 01:34 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Sharing what? Blood, sweat and tears?

But neither capital nor empire.

I don't think you understood Harkin's point.
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  #66  
Old 08-17-2011, 02:04 PM
Jay J Jay J is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Hmm, you walk me through the steps and still I don't know. First, may I just ask if you're actually saying the same thing as Florian? You say that any change in the balance between labor and capital is disruptive. As you give your reasons, they across to me as, relatively speaking, particularized, at least next to Florian's claim, which seems to be that capitalism has a fundamental flaw: the laborers can't buy back the product they make on account of labor saving technology. Florian's point doesn't seem to be (I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong) that there is a two-way balance between labor and capital, that, if disrupted, will lead to a mismatch of goods demanded and goods supplied. Rather, Florian seems to be saying that owners engage in suicidal behavior by continually sucking money from labor, such that total demand will dry up and capitalism will be in crisis. The crisis will be on its on terms. By "on its own terms" I don't mean that the workers will storm the Bastille, (they might) but that capitalism will fail to sustain itself because economic activity won't be able to keep humming along, and the reason will be that capital took too much money from labor. This seems thoroughly Marxist, and you replied "No doubt." But since your reply struck me as noticeably different from Florian's, I thought I would go to you. Is it different?

Last edited by Jay J; 08-18-2011 at 01:21 AM..
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  #67  
Old 08-17-2011, 03:01 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Sharing what? Blood, sweat and tears?

But neither capital nor empire.

I don't think you understood Harkin's point.
You asked who said anything about 'equally sharing.' I let you know according to Harkin's quotation, Churchill did. I'm just a literal kinda gal. Getting in the weeds with you big time intellectuals is likely to ruin my stockings.
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  #68  
Old 08-17-2011, 03:04 PM
brucds brucds is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I find it hard to believe that McWhorter characterized the commenters at that Walter Russell Mead blog post "not idiots" - they were, in fact, the "spectrum" of almost stereotypical white racism joined to relatively articulate (as in not many misspellings, and several footnotes) Tea Party know-nothingism, nonsense about Obama's "socialism", warnings about our going the way of Zimbabwe, etc. If the bulk of the commenters there "aren't idiots", how low to I have to stoop to hear the rants of authentic idiots? IMHO it's not only the strange noises gurgling just above the gutter - Mead's post itself gives the game away: "Obamageddon!"

That comments section is like a 99-cent buffet of all the backward, half-baked, ill-informed, racist and resentment driven crap that infects today's pathologically moronic and pitifully infantile right-wing. Even the "mainstream" of the GOP is no longer a "conservative." It's a populist gaggle, hooked on noise, moving more and more to the extremism of an openly radical right. Ben Bernanke is getting threatened with a beating by phonies like the God 'n Guns Guv because the GOPer peanut gallery demands the scent of real blood on the street in this dark night of "Obamageddon!"

I live in a largely black, lower-income neighborhood, and I can assure you that black youth are the least of my fears. It's the folks who offer rationalizations for our local kids' lack of opportunities and who want to strip society down to some Randian "winners take all" scenario (where, as one absurd example, Clinton-era tax rates are "socialism" or "theft" and school teachers are admonished as villains) who threaten my community.
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  #69  
Old 08-17-2011, 03:38 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Jay J View Post
Florian's point doesn't seem to be (I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong) that there is a two-way balance between labor and capital, that, if disrupted, will lead to a mismatch of goods demanded and goods supplied. Rather, Florian seems to be saying that owners engage in suicidal behavior by continually sucking money from labor, such that total demand will dry up and capitalism will be in crisis. The crisis will be on its on terms. By "on its own terms" I don't mean that the workers will storm the Bastille, (they might) but that capitalism will fail to sustain itself because economic activity won't be able to keep humming along, and the reason will be that capital took too much money from labor. This seems thoroughly Marxist, and you replied "No doubt." But since your reply struck me as noticeably different from Florian's, I thought I would go to you. Is it different?
I accept the paraphrase, but I think that capitalists in the West are not, yet, facing a "storming of the Bastille" moment, and perhaps never will. In those countries where capitalism is well-established (Europe and the US), where there is some re-distribution of wealth through taxation, where there is a social safety net---social security, health care and unemployment insurance--- revolution is not very likely.

But Kojève's point is still valid: if capitalism produces far more goods and services than workers can afford to buy because they are underpaid, there is a big problem.

Last edited by Florian; 08-17-2011 at 03:48 PM..
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:21 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by brucds View Post
I find it hard to believe that McWhorter characterized the commenters at that Walter Russell Mead blog post "not idiots" - they were, in fact, the "spectrum" of almost stereotypical white racism joined to relatively articulate (as in not many misspellings, and several footnotes) Tea Party know-nothingism, nonsense about Obama's "socialism", warnings about our going the way of Zimbabwe, etc. If the bulk of the commenters there "aren't idiots", how low to I have to stoop to hear the rants of authentic idiots?
I like McWhorter a lot, but one of his very annoying tics is that he is loath to label any negative thing directed at Black people as racist. On the other hand, Black people's attitudes and thoughts about others is much more likely to get that label. Witness his recent TNR discussion of The Help.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:34 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Maybe Obama just isn't a liberal

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I know, I know Stephanie. Here is my hand to slap.
Heh. I actually wasn't so much bitching about your use of labels this time as the term "progressive," which I dislike. I don't think it has a concrete meaning yet, except more left on certain issues than the center of the Democratic Party. Or something like that. But it is developing a more concrete/nuanced meaning, which may even explain Obama's varying uses of it. It still gets used just as a synonym for liberal but also as a signifier of the nutroots type.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:40 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
BTW - I just received an invite from The Nation (I'm a member) where I can learn to organize flash mobs of disgruntled welfare dependents while I cruise the Bahamas.
And to think I just keep getting invites to the Commentary cruise.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:53 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

What happens on "The Commentary" cruise? Senior boxing with Norman Podhoretz against a passenger in a wheelchair? Memorial services for Ariel Sharon? Seriously, what do they say happens on this cruise? How many Israelis are scheduled to speak, and who are they? Did Madoff go on "Commentary" cruises?
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:55 PM
Jay J Jay J is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Ok good. Thanks for the reply.

I guess where I tend to disagree, or where I perceive a disagreement, is in whether this problem of demand is an inherent feature of capitalism, or if our problems are, in Krugman's words, "narrow and technical" (this was Krugman crediting Keynes. I think we can agree that when placed on the whole spectrum economic thought, Keynes' diagnosis of the problems of capitalist economies is relatively mild).

And it's also my understanding that inequality (economic, political, and otherwise) can be rampant, poverty can be widespread, and total demand can zoom along just fine. In such a scenario, the poor can be shut out of the process and get the worst opportunities and be exploited by the rich. The worse it gets, the more likely they'll storm the Bastille. This sounds plausible to me, and aside from the intrinsic moral problem present in such a scenario, the possibility of a social breakdown like this (and other ills springing from rampant inequality) make me interested in the Gini index.

But this doesn't necessarily strike me as Marxist, since in order for Marx's critique to go through, it has to be that capitalism isn't sustainable *from a purely economic standpoint.* In other words, the eventual lack of demand of capitalist economies is due to internal contradictions, namely that workers can't simultaneously buy back the products they create while owners make a profit, and labor saving technology puts this problem front and center. Now, the Bastille storming story can still make one sympathetic to leftism, (or maybe on the flip side authoritarianism), but it doesn't come across to me as Marxist.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Jay J; 08-18-2011 at 01:17 AM..
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:06 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
1. I call BS on your cruise invite.
I assumed he was joking. I may be naive.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:28 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Re harkin:

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I assumed he was joking. I may be naive.
Making that assumption more generally would probably be wise. It would make me feel better about my fellow man.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:29 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
What happens on "The Commentary" cruise? Senior boxing with Norman Podhoretz against a passenger in a wheelchair? Memorial services for Ariel Sharon? Seriously, what do they say happens on this cruise? How many Israelis are scheduled to speak, and who are they? Did Madoff go on "Commentary" cruises?
Heh.

I checked and the invitations I was referring to are all for last year. It perhaps was not as much fun as the Weekly Standard and National Review cruises or I'm off their invite list.

Quote:
The intimate and luxurious Navigator is the ideal setting for relaxed and serious conversation and debate on the key issues issues of 2010 and beyond. We’ll have a cocktail party, daily seminars, and nightly dinner with the speakers in and among some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. I’ll be your host, and also with us will be my parents, the leading conservative intellectuals Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter; Commentary’s contributing editor and chief blogger, Jennifer Rubin; the great British historian of World War II, Andrew Roberts; and a speaker to be named later.
The speakers are further identified as:

John Podhoretz, author of best-selling Bush Country

Norman Podhoretz, best-selling author of World War IV and Why Are Jews Liberals

Midge Decter, author of Rumsfeld and An Old Wife's Tale [my note: to think Rumsfeld was not a best-seller]

Jennifer Rubin, Commentary's chief blogger

Andrew Roberts, England's leading historian of World War II [poor Roberts seems not to have written any books worth promoting]
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:50 PM
aajax aajax is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

These guys were so bummed out in this dv. I think McWhorter and Loury need to have a moratorium on discussion of Obama until Obama does something really good. For their sake, and ours.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:26 PM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
By the way, Kojève despised Stalin and the Soviet Union. He much preferred living in France and acting as the eminence grise of De Gaulle.
Those who most vociferously despise capitalism usually do so while enjoying its comforts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myceelf
1. I call BS on your cruise invite. I personally can't think of anything I'd be less willing to spend a vacation doing, but there's nothing in the Nation cruise about organizing flash mobs of any kind.
You can call BS but you would be wrong. I will not call BS on you because I just believe you are uninformed.

And you must not be a typical Nation reader (I'm not either but most know that) if you aren't itching to organize a flash mob. For some reason they not only tout the class but they seem to think it's a pretty important enticement, leading off with it. Look at the email invite if you received one (the email subject does not mention the cruise btw, all it actually says is 'FLASH MOB 101', how's that for subtle?) and not the cruise site they link to. If you look you'll see that not only are they going to give instruction on organizing flash mobs but those kooky america-loving scamps from Code Pink are the guest facilitators! And oh, yes, by coincidence to earlier remarks, Van Jones will speak!





Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie
I assumed he was joking. I may be naive.
Of course you're naive. But you're fairly nice for a clique member.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myceelf
Making that assumption more generally would probably be wise. It would make me feel better about my fellow man.
If I opened your eyes at all regarding The Nation then I feel better.

Last edited by harkin; 08-17-2011 at 08:45 PM..
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:31 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: This Cutting Edge (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post



If I opened your eyes at all regarding The Nation then I feel better.
very nicely done.
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