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  #1  
Old 10-30-2011, 07:09 PM
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Default Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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  #2  
Old 10-30-2011, 07:17 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Steve Lopez a noted feature columnist at the L.A. Times, wrote the "Soloist" that became a movie, said so far the 99% camped out in Downtown L.A. is all talk and no action. He wonders what the endgame is suppose to be. Having camped out there he heard negative talk about Glass Steagall, withdrawing their money from banks but nothing concrete. One of the General Assembly members or spokesman, Mario Brito, told him they are still formulating plans of action. Stay tuned.

Last edited by bkjazfan; 10-30-2011 at 07:53 PM..
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:20 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
>> McWhorter: "the issues are so abstract,"
What is so abstract about this?

Wages as percentage of GDP.

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  #4  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:23 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Or this:

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  #5  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:26 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
Steve Lopez a noted feature columnist at the L.A. Times, wrote the "Soloist" that became a movie, said so far the 99% camped out in Downtown L.A. is all talk and no action. He wonders what the endgame is suppose to be. Having camped out there he heard negative talk about Glass Steagall, withdrawing their money from banks but nothing concrete. One of the General Assembly members or spokesman, Mario Brito, told him they are still formulating plans of action. Stay tuned.
Just wait until they get word of Jerry Brown's proposed public employee benefit cuts. Maybe they'll get a little visit from the Ed Show, complete with shots of disadvantaged CalTrans workers, comparisons of Brown to Hitler and big Ed himself crying about Brown balancing the budget on the backs of the workin' man. Kind of a dilemma for MSNBC, though... Jerry Brown being a dem and all

And the weather isn't likely to make any impact on the demonstrator's comfort level. Maybe they'll ship the New York folks to LA.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2011, 09:27 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

About the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Kevin Phillips first wrote about this 30 years ago in his book "The Politics of Rich and Poor." In at least 3 of of his subsequent books he has touched on this sad aspect of American life. Nothing new here except it's becoming more lopsided than ever as time goes on regardless of who is in the White House and Congress.
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:42 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I haven't listened yet. But I vote for these two as the best ever BHTV guests. (Wish we could vote.)
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:01 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
What is so abstract about this?
Everything. If you really want to talk about the core of "what's wrong," the problem is difficult and systemic and the solution requires nuance. Here's a video of a few OWS protesters attempting a substantive rallying cry. Words by BHTV's somewhat regular guest Conor Friedersdorf.



Awkward. On the one hand, what they were reading is a very legitimate, substantive issue that deserves to be addressed (or maybe that was the point of Dodd-Frank). On the other hand, the protesters had no idea what they were reading.

As usual, McWhorter and Loury covered most of the bases and their conclusions largely comport with my own.
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:01 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I whipped this up yesterday, and it probably deserves more promotion. But I figured what the hell - one good chart deserves another. It illustrates what I often go on about on these forums, namely the correlation between economic inequality and social capital, and how it relates to human capital development, especially education.
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:12 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Everything. If you really want to talk about the core of "what's wrong," the problem is difficult and systemic and the solution requires nuance. Here's a video of a few OWS protesters attempting a substantive rallying cry. Words by BHTV's somewhat regular guest Conor Friedersdorf.

Awkward. On the one hand, what they were reading is a very legitimate, substantive issue that deserves to be addressed (or maybe that was the point of Dodd-Frank). On the other hand, the protesters had no idea what they were reading.

As usual, McWhorter and Loury covered most of the bases and their conclusions largely comport with my own.
I think it is a fair criticism. But I actually think it has an easy fix: tax the heck out of the rich to pay for necessary social programs. It may be eat the rich, but the The Tea Party does eat the poor. So what.

I don't think there are any clear answers - and that doesn't make for good politics. This explains much of the incoherence of OWS and the Tea Party. I just posted a graphic upthread that I think demolishes much of the education reform debate and illustrates the enormity of the problem. This stuff is really hard. Yet, do we need to have answers?

Right now I'll settle for people getting healthcare, social security, public transportation, parks, libraries, community colleges, and roads and bridges that aren't falling apart. I think we can do that. I think the rich can pay for it. I think we have every right to demand that they do. In the meantime, we'll keep doing the hard work, the low paying jobs.

That is the bargain.
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:45 PM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Awkward. On the one hand, what they were reading is a very legitimate, substantive issue that deserves to be addressed (or maybe that was the point of Dodd-Frank). On the other hand, the protesters had no idea what they were reading.
Says who? You? Did you quiz them about it? Did they flunk your test?

No, the issues are not abstract. Etale cohomology l-adic sheaves are abstract. Greedy bankers ripping us off are not. The issues might not be simple, they might not be pretty, but abstract is one thing they are not. And yes, as you pointed out, words matter.

Krauthammer is, as usual, full of shit.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:51 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

The discussion about the need to tell a story, to turn an economic issue into narrative, made me think immediately of this.
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:01 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
...Krauthammer is, as usual, full of shit.
That's a pretty good approximation of a physical law.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:02 AM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
It may be eat the rich, but the The Tea Party does eat the poor.
No, no, no, no! The tea party is on the same side as OWS: they just don't know about it. The tea party exists for PRECISELY the same reason OWS exists. Both movements are pissed at the elites for ripping them off and both are right to be pissed off. The government is ripping us off and the tea party is right about that; corporations (for which the government works) are ripping us off and OWS is right about it. I believe in government but not in THAT government. In that sense I am a tea partier. It kills me to have to pay taxes to those greasy plutocrats and wall street oligarchs who use their 15% tax rate and multimillion dollar bonuses to buy the NYPD so they can have hookers and drugs with impunity. (Which is, as any trader will tell you, what JP Morgan's $4.6 mil "donation" was all about.)

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  #15  
Old 10-31-2011, 01:11 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by ohreally View Post
No, no, no, no! The tea party is on the same side as OWS: they just don't know about it. The tea party exists for PRECISELY the same reason OWS exists. Both movements are pissed at the elites for ripping them off and both are right to be pissed off. The government is ripping us off and the tea party is right about that; corporations (for which the government works) are ripping us off and OWS is right about it. I believe in government but not in THAT government. In that sense I am a tea partier. It kills me to have to pay taxes to those greasy plutocrats and wall street oligarchs who use their 15% tax rate and multimillion dollar bonuses to buy the NYPD so they can have hookers and drugs with impunity. (Which is, as any trader will tell you, what JP Morgan's $4.6 mil "donation" was all about.)
Maybe the Tea partiers have convinced themselves that they are opposed to crony capitalism and corporate democracy, but if that's the case then they've done an awfully poor job of converting that sentiment into policy. As far as I can tell, the Tea Party favored politicians out there are interested in screwing the poor, making it easier for Republicans to win elections in the future, lowering taxes on the super-rich, and repealing everything with Barack Obama's name on it. I don't see an actual anti-Wall Street agenda lurking in there, but maybe it's just because I haven't been issued my secret decoder ring.
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  #16  
Old 10-31-2011, 02:40 AM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Maybe the Tea partiers have convinced themselves that they are opposed to crony capitalism and corporate democracy, but if that's the case then they've done an awfully poor job of converting that sentiment into policy. As far as I can tell, the Tea Party favored politicians out there are interested in screwing the poor, making it easier for Republicans to win elections in the future, lowering taxes on the super-rich, and repealing everything with Barack Obama's name on it. I don't see an actual anti-Wall Street agenda lurking in there, but maybe it's just because I haven't been issued my secret decoder ring.
Or maybe it's because you have impossibly high standards, and see things through a certain perspective? The supposedly horrible things you claim the tea party politicians want aren't mutually exclusive with opposition to crony capitalism. Let's just separate anti-wall street sentiment with anti crony-capitalism (you seem to have conflated the two). I can rattle off plenty of examples of opposition to crony capitalism coming from these politicians. It's not the same exactly as anti wall street sentiment, but you can attack a single problem from lots of angles. And since you mentioned it, repealing stuff that has Barack Obama's name on it is probably the best way to go about pushing back against crony capitalism.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:08 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
Everything. If you really want to talk about the core of "what's wrong," the problem is difficult and systemic and the solution requires nuance. Here's a video of a few OWS protesters attempting a substantive rallying cry. Words by BHTV's somewhat regular guest Conor Friedersdorf.



Awkward. On the one hand, what they were reading is a very legitimate, substantive issue that deserves to be addressed (or maybe that was the point of Dodd-Frank). On the other hand, the protesters had no idea what they were reading.

As usual, McWhorter and Loury covered most of the bases and their conclusions largely comport with my own.
Whatever one thinks of the content, this surely deserves some sort of prize for the least pithy protest sign ever.
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  #18  
Old 10-31-2011, 04:16 AM
testostyrannical testostyrannical is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

The difference between the Tea Party and the OWS movement is fundamental. The Tea Party was fighting for the right to not give a shit about people. The occupy movement is, fundamentally, just about giving a shit about people.
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  #19  
Old 10-31-2011, 05:33 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
Whatever one thinks of the content, this surely deserves some sort of prize for the least pithy protest sign ever.
If you want pithy OWS wonkery, you have to turn to this guy.

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  #20  
Old 10-31-2011, 06:09 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Maybe the Tea partiers have convinced themselves that they are opposed to crony capitalism and corporate democracy, but if that's the case then they've done an awfully poor job of converting that sentiment into policy. As far as I can tell, the Tea Party favored politicians out there are interested in screwing the poor...
That isn't as far as you can tell, considering a previous discussion we had on this subject. You said that the Tea Party opposition to crony capitalism was simply insane; the notion of allowing hopelessly flawed financial institutions to fail. So you know quite well that they are opposed to crony capitalism, and indeed are opposed to it to a far greater degree than OWS as far as I can tell.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:23 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
That isn't as far as you can tell, considering a previous discussion we had on this subject. You said that the Tea Party opposition to crony capitalism was simply insane; the notion of allowing hopelessly flawed financial institutions to fail. So you know quite well that they are opposed to crony capitalism, and indeed are opposed to it to a far greater degree than OWS as far as I can tell.
I'm making a distinction between their privately held opinions and the ways in which those opinions are expressed as policy by the politicians that they have elected. Tea Party-backed politicians have yet to decline to bail out Wall Street during a financial crisis, and I don't think it's realistic to think that they actually would do so, no matter what their intentions, so I don't see any particular contradiction here.
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  #22  
Old 10-31-2011, 06:48 AM
bbenzon bbenzon is offline
 
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Default Zombies Rising

Fascinating conversation, guys, fascinating.

Yes, I agree, the issues are abstract, the power of charts and graphs not withstanding--they, after all, are abstract.

I was in Liberty Plaza yesterday (Sunday) and I saw zombies. Now, I guess those zombies were supposed to be the 1% on the prowl for the flesh of the 99&. But I'm not sure. Didn't hit me over the head.

But maybe THAT imagery would start bringing things home.
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  #23  
Old 10-31-2011, 07:56 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: "All that is solid melts into thin air"...Karl Marx

Glenn nailed it: People are making money, lots of it, out of thin air. And that is why other people are angry. They are angry at the disproportionate rewards that go to speculation in globalized stock markets, at the low rates of taxation (15% and less) on capital gains, and at government bailouts for gamblers. Anyone with the slightest familiarity with stock markets knows how easy it is to make huge profits (and suffer huge losses) using derivatives, options and other complex financial instruments, most of which did not even exist twenty years ago.

OWS needs a slogan. How about, No free lunch for financiers? Not very original, I know, but it is alliterative besides being the favorite slogan of libertarians, Milton Friedman e tutti quanti.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: "All that is solid melts into thin air"...Karl Marx

"Eat the peculators."
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  #25  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:16 AM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Thank you for posting this. I saw this somewhere, neglected to copy it, and thought that it was lost forever.
The wonkiness of this slogan is part of the problem. It is tough to explain exactly why our economy got so screwed up. It is easy for blowhards to blame it on government spending and immigration. What is even tougher to understand is how we will get out of this mess.
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  #26  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:22 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I'm making a distinction between their privately held opinions and the ways in which those opinions are expressed as policy by the politicians that they have elected. Tea Party-backed politicians have yet to decline to bail out Wall Street during a financial crisis, and I don't think it's realistic to think that they actually would do so, no matter what their intentions, so I don't see any particular contradiction here.
So what does this mean? Tea Party-backed politicians have yet to decline to bail out Wall Street during a financial crisis,
Are we talking about the future because they weren't around during the last bailout?
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:28 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
So what does this mean? Tea Party-backed politicians have yet to decline to bail out Wall Street during a financial crisis,
Are we talking about the future because they weren't around during the last bailout?
I'm saying that repealing Dodd-Frank and promising to never bail a bank out ever again is some pretty weak tea if that's your entire anti-Wall Street agenda.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:33 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
And since you mentioned it, repealing stuff that has Barack Obama's name on it is probably the best way to go about pushing back against crony capitalism.
Pretty much everything they do in Washington is a result of crony capitalism.
The joke is that some believe it when politicians say there are things that are not.

Quote:
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is taking the lead for the progressive opponents, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America that the Senate bill "is a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG."

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  #29  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:39 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
The discussion about the need to tell a story, to turn an economic issue into narrative, made me think immediately of this.
Bimetallism certainly inspires some people to wax rhapsodic.
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  #30  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:59 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I'm saying that repealing Dodd-Frank and promising to never bail a bank out ever again is some pretty weak tea if that's your entire anti-Wall Street agenda.
It's a slogan.

You continue to operate under the assumption that someday there will be the perfect set of laws which will protect us from malfeasance. I continue to operate under the assumption that the only law which will protect us is the law of profit and loss.

This sums it up for me.

Quote:
The implication is that we need to reject unfettered capitalism and embrace regulation. But Wall Street and the housing market were hardly unfettered. Yes, deregulation and misregulation contributed to the crisis, but mainly because public policy over the last three decades has distorted the natural feedback loops of profit and loss. As Milton Friedman liked to point out, capitalism is a profit and loss system. The profits encourage risk taking. The losses encourage prudence. When taxpayers absorb the losses, the distorted result is reckless and imprudent risk taking.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:12 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
You continue to operate under the assumption that someday there will be the perfect set of laws which will protect us from malfeasance. I continue to operate under the assumption that the only law which will protect us is the law of profit and loss.
Meh. We don't want every other area of life governed this way. "There will never be a perfect set of laws that prevents every murder. So let's do away with state interference and just allow families of victims to take their own justice."
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  #32  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:24 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Meh. We don't want every other area of life governed this way. "There will never be a perfect set of laws that prevents every murder. So let's do away with state interference and just allow families of victims to take their own justice."
Yeah, that's analogous!
weak tea, indeed.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:30 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Pretty much everything they do in Washington is a result of crony capitalism.
The joke is that some believe it when politicians say there are things that are not.
That sounds like a cop out, unless I'm misunderstanding your phrasing. I would say that most everything is going to have competing interests, and those interests are going to have more or less power, leveraged against the ideology of a particular representative and his or her party apparatus. Any idea is going to have to run that gauntlet in a democracy, the final bill inevitable having a lot of hands on it.

Fundamentally, the OWS/Tea Party disagreement is over what kind of society we want to live in, and what we want government to do. There may be some who actually would like the government to do certain things, but don't think it is capable. (I believe sugarkang has expressed as much). But I think the far more common view is that these things should not be done period. Thus, the problem is not government efficiency but core values. Because the fact is, much of what liberal groups want done simply is not (or was not) being done. Having the government do them is the only practical alternative to them not being done at all. So when the Tea Party complains about government spending, it isn't because they think there is some better way of doing it, but rather that it shouldn't be done at all.
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  #34  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:37 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Yeah, that's analogous!
weak tea, indeed.
How is it not analgous? Your argument seems to be that people are going to do bad things, so there's no point in having laws. Also, as long as the private sphere gives people the negative consequences of their actions, the system will self-regulate.

I don't see how this is any different than a vigilante model of criminal justice.
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  #35  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:53 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
That sounds like a cop out, unless I'm misunderstanding your phrasing. I would say that most everything is going to have competing interests, and those interests are going to have more or less power, leveraged against the ideology of a particular representative and his or her party apparatus. Any idea is going to have to run that gauntlet in a democracy, the final bill inevitable having a lot of hands on it.
So, what you call a cop-out, I call pointing out the obvious. As far as competing interests, I agree. I guess that's why we protect the first amendment so vigorously. And this is why it is so difficult to get rid of the incestuous relationships between lobbyists and politicians.


Quote:
Because the fact is, much of what liberal groups want done simply is not (or was not) being done. Having the government do them is the only practical alternative to them not being done at all. So when the Tea Party complains about government spending, it isn't because they think there is some better way of doing it, but rather that it shouldn't be done at all
I guess I would have to ask what liberal groups want done that is not being done. What I have gleaned is that OWS wants to have loans forgiven and wealth taken away from those who have too much of it. How that would be achieved legally, ex post facto, would be interesting to see.

Saying that the Tea Party doesn't want to government to do anything at all is too general and ridiculous a statement to respond to.
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Last edited by badhatharry; 10-31-2011 at 11:58 AM..
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  #36  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:54 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
I don't think there are any clear answers - and that doesn't make for good politics.
I don't think there are clear answers either, and I do think there need to be more concrete proposals and goals at some point. But I think the hand waving about the lack thereof (and concern trolling, although I'm obviously not accusing Loury or McWhorter of that) is misplaced.

Basically, there is a lot of discontent in the country because of the current recession topping off years of stagnation and worse by the middle class and US industry. Since Obama was elected, when we seemed to be on the verge of catastrophe, the right has done a good job at seizing upon and twisting the discontent to their ends -- quite weirdly in many cases -- whereas the Dems have been stuck largely defending Wall St and trying to get business going by not seeming anti business and by generally buying into rightwing solutions (tax cuts) that happen to fit with their own Keynesian ideas and the inability to do much else in the current political context.

Just showing that the anger is not all directed in a rightwing, anger at spending, anger at the poor, etc. way -- that the population as a whole doesn't think our response to the rich who have done so well is just "thank you, what can we do to make you happier" is an important message.

I don't think this is as different from the TP effect as McWhorter seems to.

One mistake that keeps getting made is this idea that everything can be broken into left and right, that by doing something about jobs or otherwise expressing populist messages Obama is "moving left" and thus alienating the middle. It seemed obvious over the past couple years that at least a significant portion of the middle was alienated by his failure to do those things and use populist rhetoric -- that the efforts to seem friendly to Wall Street and big business that not only didn't pay off so much with them didn't help him with much of the middle.

Pointing out that there's a mass movement that thinks something more should be done -- the same mass movement that was as responsible for Scott Brown's election as anything else if one remembers the exit polls back then -- is important. Otherwise, the media and many of the inner circle I think too easily assume the simplistic dichotomy and that Obama must move along some single axis between Geithner and Boehner, which leaves out so many who really are in the vast middle. And I think this is what Loury had his finger on in predicting OWS.
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  #37  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:00 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Basically, there is a lot of discontent in the country because of the current recession topping off years of stagnation and worse by the middle class and US industry.

As I mentioned IRL over the weekend. I agree with you (well, I didn't mention you IRL, but I agree with this sentiment). This notion that OWS must have a specific set of concrete policies they lobby for strikes me as the worst kind of concern trolling, as you say; and some people have accepted the concern trolling as legit.

It's a perfectly valid stance to simply point out that phenomenon x is a problem, especially when there's a powerful and dedicated lobby working overtime to argue that x isn't a problem at all and just our system WAI.
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  #38  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:01 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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The tea party is on the same side as OWS: they just don't know about it.
Wishful thinking.

The Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already, remember) is the Republican base. Maybe there was something else to it originally -- something that came out of Paul's campaign -- but that's clearly not what it became, and even that doesn't fit how you'd like to see it. (Once again, the TP, far more than Obama, is the mirror for so many of its analysts.)

Just look at origin myths like the rant at the CBOT -- the fault wasn't the banks, it was the poor people who the TP would fear would get bailed out. The TP is a classic example of how you deflect anger that might go against the elites by getting the non-elites upset with each other. Gov't hands off my Medicare, after all -- the problem with health care reform is the thread that the TP types would have to pay more or might lose one of their gov't benefits. Cloak this in some ironically ridiculous BS about opposition to the gov't (when it doesn't obviously benefit me!), and off to the races.

Also, just look at the spokespeople -- Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle and the rest aren't raising the interests of the working classes. They are doing what the Republicans have since Nixon and Buchanan.
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:02 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Values Added: Capitalism and Its Discontents (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
The discussion about the need to tell a story, to turn an economic issue into narrative, made me think immediately of this.
Good example. I wonder what the analogy could be today.
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:16 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default What happens when it gets cold?

Why, they will move indoors of course. There are plenty of indoor public spaces to occupy. (Or even private ones -- how about the lobbies of the buildings in which the major trading floors are located?) Might be necessary to chain themselves together though so as to prevent being too easily hauled away by the cops. Jails are warm, too, by the way. Remember Parchman Farm?
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