Bill Black: Liberals Didn’t Listen – The Immense Cost of Ignoring Tom Frank’s Warnings

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Jointly published at New Economic Perspectives

I am writing this article late on election night in my office at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, about a mile from the home in which Tom Frank grew up just over the state line in Kansas. Beginning with his famous book, What’s the Matter with Kansas, first published in 2004, Tom Frank has been warning the Democratic Party of the increasing cost it was paying by abandoning and even attacking the working class, particularly the white working class. Some political scientists tried to savage his work, pointing to Bill Clinton’s electoral success and arguing that the disaffected members of the working class were also less likely to vote. Frank returned to the theme just in time for this election with a new book – Listen, Liberal – that documents in damning, lively narrative the New Democrats’ war on the New Deal, their disdain for organized labor, and their antipathy for what they viewed as retrograde white working class attitudes.

Frank kept showing the enormous price the working class were paying as a result of the economic policies of the Republicans and the New Democrats, and the indifference to their plight by the leaders of the New Democrats. Senator Bernie Sanders consciously took up the cause of reducing surging inequality and became a hero to a broad coalition of voters, many of them fiercely opposed to the New Democrats’ embrace of Wall Street cash, policies, and arrogance. Sanders set records for small donor fundraising and generated enormous enthusiasm. Sanders knew he would face the opposition of the New Democrats, but he also found that progressive congressional Democrats would rarely support him publicly in the contest for the Party’s nomination and even union leaders sided overwhelmingly with Secretary Hillary Clinton, the New Democrats’ strongly preferred candidate.

Hillary did not simply fail to reach out to the working class voters that the New Democrats had turned their backs on for decades, she infamously attacked them as “deplorables.” This was exactly the group of potential voters that was enraged because it believed, correctly as Tom Frank keeps showing us, that the New Democrats looked down on them and adopted policies that rigged the system against the working class. Hillary’s insult confirmed their most powerful bases for their rage against her. Her insult was an early Christmas present to Trump. Her attempt to walk the insult back was doomed.

Hillary Clinton handled things so miserably that she allowed a plutocrat whose career is based on rigging the system against the working class to become the hero of the working class. That is world-class incompetence. Had she followed Tom Frank’s advice she would today be the President-elect. The real cost, however, of her failure will be enormous damage to our democracy, the safety of the world, and the damage that President Trump will do to the working class as he systematically betrays their interests.

The first test of whether the Wall Street-wing of the Democratic Party has learned any of the lessons Tom Frank tried to teach them is whether President Obama will continue with his threat to try to have the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) approved by the lame duck session of Congress. Obama, who was elected on the promise that he would stop TPP, should listen to Senators Sanders and Warren and honor his promise to the voters to stop TPP. He must begin the process of the Democrats winning back the support of the working class.

The leaders of the democratic-wing of the Democratic Party need to move forward assertively to retake control of their Party. The current head of the DNC has been exposed as part of the effort to prevent Senator Sanders from winning the nomination. She should resign tomorrow. The Clintons should cease acting as Party leaders.

A period of enormous corruption and elite fraud is coming soon as the Trump administration brings its signature characteristic – crony capitalism – to bear to control all three branches of government. Trump promises to deregulate Wall Street, appoint top supervisors chosen for their unwillingness to supervise, and appoint judges who will allow CEOs to loot with impunity. Trump promises to outdo even the savage anti-media and anti-whistleblower policies of the Obama administration. The House and Senate committee chairs will intensify their blatantly partisan use of investigations while refusing to conduct real oversight hearings revealing the elite fraud and corruption.

The progressive Senate Democrats will have to be innovative and stalwart in these circumstances to find ways to blow the whistle repeatedly on the mounting corruption. Their challenge will be to lead despite having no real institutional power. Democrats should start by doing what they should have done in 2004 – take Tom Frank’s warnings deadly seriously.

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  1. Kev kane

    Everywhere the working class is mocked, yet do they not bleed? A focus by the left almost completely on race and gender politics whilst ignoring the issue of class is indeed one of the key issues in a world where globalisation and automation are bringing gut-wrenching change to everyone but especially to the working class.

    1. aab

      The left does not focus on race and gender. Corporate liberals do that.

      Clintonians are not of the left. They hate the left. Which is why they lost.

      1. Merf56

        Exactly so. It is why I left the presidential slot blank here in battleground PA yesterday . The Dems deserved what they got. Sadly now we all will pay the price for a decade or more
        . I have little hope the Democratic Party will heed or even understand and consider the warnings of Frank and Black however.

        1. John Morrison

          “I have little hope the Democratic Party will heed or even understand and consider the warnings of Frank and Black however.”

          They literally will not hear the warnings (or read them). They can’t heed or understand what they are not conscious of.

          1. Warpig

            Not only this, but they cannot allow themselves to be conscious of this. Their livelihoods, careers, and/or legacies (dare I hope, even, their consciences?) depend on this not being true.

          2. Rich S

            They would be aware of it if Warren jammed it down Debbie’s throat just before she and Bernie kick her ass out the door.
            I think Warren and Bernie need to aggressively build a coalition now and a plan to take back the Senate by demonstrating they have learned the lessons of Frank. When Warren first announced a Senate run, I thought it was a waste of her talents. But now, it seems she is exactly where we need her.

        2. jawbone

          A blank vote of the presidential line is a terrible thing to waste. If all those who had left that spot blank out of protest had instead voted for, say, Jill Stein, the Green Party may have reached the 5% level.

          Perfectly understandable to not vote if there’s absolutely no one on the line you can support.

          But, oh, maybe write-in, whether counted or not? Like, for example, Bernie? However, as I said above, if there’s no one you can support, so be it.

        3. Johns

          So to teach the Dems a lesson which you’re pretty sure they won’t learn from, you chose to obstain from voting against someone you felt like will cause us a decade of hell. Yip, totally worth it.

      2. oh

        You’re right. The left should emerge now with vigorous opposition to the corporate politicians wherever they are.

      3. Higgs Boson

        And they will learn nothing. They will double-down on the very arrogance that got them to where they are now.

  2. Jess

    Yep. But remember, the GOP fears its base, and that may mean that they will be reluctant to stomp on this astonishing display of public anger.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      The Republicans have a more complete mandate than ever before, including the 1984 Reagan landslide. They will do all that they have promised to do going forward. That will not involve stomping on their base I don’t think, but I don’t see them as having anything to fear. Certainly not the average American citizen. They have 3-4 SOTUS appointments to look forward to and will control apportionments in 2020. They should have a lock on governance throughout the early part of this century.

      I guess I don’t get your comment real well. The Republicans believe in their principles and they will pursue them. The electorate has voted them in, quite decisively. It’s a done deal. A bit more so than expected, but it’s not too terribly surprising in retrospect. When Americans have to choose between an ersatz Republican and the real thing, they choose the real thing every time.

      1. Waldenpond

        The Rs would chant mandate if they won by one vote and will do a great deal of damage regardless. I’ll wait on the numbers. Early numbers indicate that R numbers were typical and that the white areas where Obama won big were Clinton’s greatest loses. The Ds were dumped.

        If Rs display the same level of corruption and contempt for the working class, the anger may just for once hit the midterms.

        1. Katharine

          >If Rs display the same level of corruption and contempt for the working class, the anger may just for once hit the midterms.

          Which is how the system is supposed to work. If you don’t like what the incumbents are doing (and it’s likely many will not), vote them out! I think the idea of a Republican mandate suggested by some is illusory, as many races were quite close and many voters against rather than for something. If they are given more to be against, they will vote against it. But it is highly desirable that in the interim activists and prospective candidates should be thinking of ways to give them something to be for. The beauty and strength of Bernie’s campaign lay in that positiveness. We could use more of it.

          1. Waldenpond

            Sanders may be an option in 2020 but I don’t think he’s the solution. Did the mocking of Russia, Russia, Russia signal the desire for the end of forever wars for profit or the desire to keep devastating just the brown people in the ME? Sanders positivity was for a domestic audience, he was weak on foreign policy and he supports the drone program. Did Sanders speak against Nato putting 300,000 troops in Ukraine in January? If the answer is that people are fed up with all wars, Sanders has a problem.

            1. jawbone

              Sanders, iirc, has no plans to run for president again, but he is fully committed to building a progressive base with balls. (Is there a pun there?)

          2. hunkerdown

            Then, clearly, the system isn’t supposed to work. They have more right to exercise their whims than we have to interrupt them.

        2. Steve Kerouac

          Forget any midterm relief. Gerrymandering has Congress on a Rep lock for many years to come.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I’m really tired of your bigotry on this topic.

            I lived in 6 manufacturing towns, where the local paper mill was one of the biggest, if not the biggest employer in town. One of my brothers is a member of this “white working class” that you so detest. Lambert also worked in a mill during part of his career.

            I grew up in the 1960s when civil rights was a hot topic. I saw a ton of support for equal treatment for blacks in these towns. And this was back in the day when there wasn’t PC speech policing. The bigots in those towns were the Republican country club businessmen.

            Stop imposing your sample bias by virtue of having bigoted relatives on the readership. You’ve become a no-value added one note nanny on this topic and I am telling you to drop it.

          2. diptherio

            I and most of my friends are members of the white working class. Please, tell me about our profound racism…go on, tell me.

    2. Lord Koos

      The Republicans don’t care. When Boehner was speaker of the house he said of his constituents, “they all hate us”.

  3. Tertium Squid

    Go around the internet. For the first time in months the Brock wing of the internet has gone quiet.

    Right now it’s just actual America out there, not the endless chatter of leading narratives.

    It seems kind of empty.

    1. Boatwright

      Well said Professor Black. The New Democrats – pay no attention folks to The Ivy League Hogs at the Trough, they LOVE regular hard-working folks, just don’t want them too close to mid-town Manhatten.

      One can hope for an invigorated progressive party. But what we should fear deeply is a tyrant who grows stronger every day as he dispenses alms to the poor..

  4. RMO

    So it actually happened? I really thought that HRC would pull off a narrow win. Anyone want to bet that the Democratic party will learn nothing from this and keep on keepin’ on with their corporate neoliberal ways on the assumption that Trump will be such a disaster that in four years they are going to be back in the White House even if they run the Devil himself as a candidate?

    Trump had better thank the Democratic party elite for rigging their primaries to ensure he would run against the only candidate who he could beat.

    1. Ian Ollmann

      No, they will learn. There are just so few Sanders and Warrens out there after nearly 40 years of attempt to turn liberal into a four letter word, that it is going to take a while to bring up new people.

    2. Quentin

      I recall that in August 2015 Ann Coulter remarked (on television?) that the Republicans preferred Hillary Clinton as their opponent because they would lose to Bernie Sanders. So maybe she’s quoted here for the first time. The Republicans have a lock on all three branches of government. Just let that sink in. Think Supreme Court: now it’s for real, not the ornamental, vapid, cutesy warning by the Clinton campaign anymore. They achieved their worst dreams by going for the Hollywood glitz candidate.

      1. Ptolemy Philopater

        The most liberal supreme court justices were appointed by Republicans. Suckle on Main Stream cliches if you will, but life is way more complicated than that. Trump was a Democrat until that fateful year, 2008. His children couldn’t vote for him in the New York primary because they hadn’t changed their affiliation to Republican in time. He’s made statements like, “governments can’t go bankrupt” in response to fiscal hawks like Hillary Clinton. He knew his audience while campaigning to the Republican base. Let’s see what he says when he is speaking to a national audience. Instead of disparaging him, let’s give him a chance and appeal to his Democratic roots rather than echoing the power elite’s slanders against him. Maybe Wall Street knows something that we don’t given their extreme hostility to his candidacy, let’s wait and see. The fact is he used progressive rhetoric to win over the Republican base. Too bad Hillary Clinton didn’t do the same. He might be more of a problem for establishment Republicans than Secretary Clinton would have been. Let’s just see if the glass is half full before we echo the main stream media hysterics.

      2. hunkerdown

        You need to explain Merrick Garland then, or be silent on the SCOTUS magical thinking from which we are isolated by at least two vetoes anyway.

    3. Big River Bandido

      The neoliberal wing of the party has no future. It still holds power within the party, but last night proved that those days are numbered. The neoliberal wing’s strongest leaders are aging, its ideology is tired and worn out, its electoral efficacy shattered. Their big star — the qualified, *serious*, certain shoo-in — was humiliated. The rising generation, the only potential future for the Democrats, despises this crowd. The party lost because its own core constituencies refused to support the party’s nominee(s).

      Perhaps the “leaders” of the party will not learn this lesson. After all, they cannot “reform”. They will have to be displaced. But yesterday’s results showed that their hold on power is clearly ebbing.

      1. cybrestrike

        I sincerely hope that you’re right about the neoliberals. They suffered a crushing defeat last night. But they may take the wrong lessons from this–as they always have–and may double down on their toxic ideology.

        This is a new opportunity for new leaders to emerge from the ashes of this conflagration. But where are they? Bernie Sanders is getting up there in age and will fight a futile battle in the Senate. Elizabeth Warren’s star was tarnished when she hitched her wagon to Hillary Clinton. No one knows who Donna Edwards is. We don’t know who Kamala Harris really is. Zephyr Teachout lost again.

        And worst of all, the DNC is still occupied by neoliberals who will spend the next few years thinking that their poo doesn’t stink and will double down again on the neoliberalism. They never learn they only circle the wagons against the inevitability that their ideology is a total loser.

        1. PKMKII

          The problem is that the neoliberals like to imagine themselves as having loads of progressive/liberal/left values, no matter how faintly it may be. So when they lose, they blame whatever sliver of leftism they have, shave off a little more of it, chastise the actual left (they’re seriously trying to blame Stein for last night), and then continue on down their third position without question.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        More likely the “lesson” the DNC will learn will be to move even further to the right. If they were clever, good people who gave a single solitary damn for this country and the people in it they would recognize the chance to be against all of the stuff Dem-identifying people were very clearly against in 2008: endless war for profit, free pass for Wall St crime, health care/pharma money extraction schemes (like Bush’s Medicare Part Five but now their own ACA), ridiculous, completely ineffective, and hideously expensive domestic spying, and anti-worker corporo-fascism for starters. I hold zero hope they will do this. The Clinton legacy, from NAFTA all the way through to Libya, is a giant middle finger to the very people they claimed to be “for”. And now Obama will get the “legacy” he so richly deserves: a charlatan con man who claimed to be a Democratic man of the people but who in fact enshrined and expanded the very worst policies of his predecessor.

      3. casino implosion

        Neoliberalism isn’t going anywhere. It is the natural result of technocracy, managerialism/professionalism/”meritocracy”, and the structural and technological developments that make global capitalism possible. Anyone who thinks Brexit and Trump are going to make neoliberalism shrivel up and die is a hopeful fool.

    4. tongorad

      Anyone want to bet that the Democratic party will learn nothing from this and keep on keepin’ on with their corporate neoliberal ways…

      The Democrats are beyond learning or redemption. Our ongoing environmental catastrophe requires a radical break from the status quo. The role of liberalism is to prevent radical change.

      If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Michelle Obama as the Dem’s next Presidential candidate.

  5. Code Name D

    Years ago, yes years ago, I predicted that HRC would win the primary – and then go on to lose the general election in spectacular fashion. I said that she was a candidate so flawed that she couldn’t win. And then along came Trump – quite possibly the one candidate she could beat. The one candidate that was so bad, and so ugly, that maybe my prediction would fail. But it looks like I needn’t have worried.

    Yes, I do take immense satisfaction in watching Hilary Clinton fail. And what a failure it was. Clinton had every advantage, the media in her back pocket, Comey running interference for the e-mail server scandal, Trumps habitual self-destructive nature, first rate ground game, ten times the campaign funds, she even had Berny Sanders pulling his punches and even joining in the campaign. Trump barely even tried to raise money, all but handed over the organizing to the party apparatus, didn’t even get the backing of his own party. And Clinton STILL found a way to lose.

    Yes, the Democrats have a remarkable capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But under the leadership of Hillary Rodham Clinton, her defeat easily eclipses the tragedy of Gorge McGovern. Her defeat was both predictable and predicted.

    Alas, my glee shall be short-lived as the new reality of President Trump begins to set in. While I am hardly shaking in abject terror as the Clinton apologists surly are, the immediate future is still quite grim. Some one recently said that we are fooling ourselves if there will be a new resurgent of the left as a result of Clinton’s defeated, and he is right. But not in the way he might think.

    For starters, with the Senate still in Republican hands, and the skeletons of the DNC now dragged out into the day-light. What will probably happen now is the Democrats will circle the wagons, to try and protect as much of their power-base as possible.

    The DNC’s fate then resides the hands of the Republicans. They could play it as politics as usual. If this is the case, then the Clinton wing remains entrenched in the DNC. They control all the leavers of significance and they will continue to starve out any sort of political challenger. Sanders could lead the charge, but I am not confident he actually will or even recognize the opportunity. If left to their own devices, they will appoint yet another corporate democrat in 2020.

    But Republicans could take another tack – that of the DNC executioner. More than enough dirty laundry has been aired to warrant further investigations. And with loyalist removed from power, and with Trump having the authority to appoint a special prosecutor, the criminal probes could be deep and far reaching indeed. Such investigations could wipeout nearly the entire DNC political structure, and probably even drag in several state level party organizers. When the dust clears, America could suddenly find itself governed by a one-party state.

    Either way, the imperative of building a viable third party can no longer be denied. The debate over whether the Democratic Party can be reformed or must be replaced -is over.

    But it remains an open question over whether the Republicans will even permit a political challenger to arise.

    There are no guarantees here. There never were.

    1. Plenue

      Trump was fundamentally elected on a wave of economic populism. Those voters are in for a shock, probably quite rapidly. They’re going to feel abandoned, flailing around for something to grab on to. Now is the chance for the left, a real, working-class labor left, to gather a substantial base. The Greens, or whoever, need to get out into the street and start real ground-pounding work.

      1. JSM

        Agree & disagree. Yes, they will be in for a shock sooner or later. But now is the time to make common cause with populists on the right before they are coopted by the faceless corporate forces operating puppets like Ryan & McConnell.

        Trump has at least rhetorically destroyed the establishment Republican party – something potentially more useful to the left than any amount of ‘rehabilitation’ of Republicans was ever going to be.

        The playbook IMHO is to go back and read something like Nader’s Unstoppable. We don’t yet know where the political realignment is going or where it will end up, but the populist left should first form popular/grassroots majority movements on specific issues of interest where possible. Whether the Greens pick up big pieces of the Democrats or the Democratic party gets remade and absorbs the Green agenda – those issues are perhaps further down the road.

        Left may have to break some (false) taboos, e.g. admitting a sensible immigration policy isn’t inherently racist, etc. to name one probably not-the-best example.

        1. Marshall Auerback

          It will be interesting to see how Trump interacts with leaches like McConnell and Ryan, who are just as despicable as the Rubinites (maybe less so, as they have no pretence of trying to be do-gooders). Trump owes these people nothing. Will he be “educated” as to how things really work in DC in order “to get things done”, or will he actually drain the swamp.

          1. Code Name D

            Very true. There is going to be a major re-alignment on the Republican side of the isle as well. Trump is an outsider, meaning he doesn’t have to appoint his cabinet from GOP rolodex and bringing back administrations of the past. The real tell is if he does so or not. But he would be a fool (oh, wait) if he forgot about those high-ranking Republicans that backed the wrong pony.

            The Republicans will be under a lot of pressure to drop the ax on the Democrats. And it would be a great way to unify the party. But it’s not without its risks. The ax could end up lopping off the heads of more than a few Republicans as it falls. In fact, this will be the primary incentive to re-build the Democratic Party, to cover their own as.

        2. sharonsj

          I think the shock will be sooner. Trump has surrounded himself with the diehard right-wing. As Frank said on TV this AM, the Republicans will immediately move to give tax breaks to the rich, cut social programs, and institute a Federal right-to-work law which will negate any municipalities that raised the minimum wage. They will gut or kill Obamacare, leaving millions uninsured. And they will privatize everything, which means the 99% will end up paying more in taxes and services. All those workers that Trump vowed to help will be worse off. But if the Republicans put prayer back in the schools, stop all abortions and birth control, and negate gay marriage, then the rabid white Christians will shut up and not complain that they are poorer than ever.

          1. jrs

            I still don’t see how say Welpoint will allow them to gut Obamacare without at least providing an even bigger bailout. The insurance industry needed the ACA. Now I could see how they might attempt ever further privatization (already the case to a large degree) or even the abandonment of the Medicaid part of the ACA.

      2. I Have Strange Dreams

        Agreed. This is a fantastic opportunity with the Dems reeling to build an issues based party – Jobs, jobs, jobs, healthcare (singlepayer) and (free) education.

        1. Geoff

          Since Obamacare will most likely be repealed in just a few months at least we don’t have to listen to the crap about incremental improvements to it anymore. Next time – in the hopefully not too distant future – we can get real healthcare reform.

      3. uncle tungsten

        The Greens are in no position to lead anywhere. That was abundantly clear years ago and Bernie Sanders was never going to join them. Bernie Sanders clearly sensed to mood of a vast electorate of downtrodden and betrayed people and talked into where they were feeling and listening. The DNC stupidly ignored the millions who came out to hear him. The DNC could only hear the siren song of Wall Street and the banksters and they have sunk the ship.

        There is a really strong third political force revealed by this election and that is the force that Bernie Sanders unleashed. Regardless of the DNC shenanigans over the coming months, it is the actions and mechanism of ‘our revolution’ that will shape the contest in 2 and 4 years. If the DNC has any sense they will make a grand bargain with Bernie Sanders and all and reshape the journey. Somehow I doubt the DNC is capable of it.

        1. ironbutterfly

          Don’t forget the other DNC backers (Silicon Valley). The Silicon Valley capitalist class is just as corrupt and vicious as Wall Street.

        2. oh

          Hoping for the DNC to make any alliance with the coward and turncoat Sanders is a wasted exercise. It will go nowhere fast. It’s up to people like us to spearhead the effort to form a vibrant third party to oppose the corporate and money hungry politicians. It’s not going to be easy and it will be a long road.

          First step is to oppose TPP and injustices such as hydrocarbon pipelines, fracking and help the folks at Black Lives Matter.

      4. Romancing The Loan

        Forget the Greens – thanks to the smears of Sanders, the American Socialist Party is now associated in people’s minds with the most popular politician, and the best policies, in the US. All hail Eugene Debs! It’s our time.

      1. Jim Young

        We are now the reality show losers, even though many of us never signed up to be contestants (those that did have taken us down with them)..

        More likely to me is that the reality show losers (whether they realize it yet, or not), have made him the head oligarch in nominal control of other oligarchs, some what similar to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

        Despite all the talk of bringing “capitalism” to Russia, what they got was an oligarch that appointed other oligarchs (some of whom thought they would eventually, carefully hand the country back to the real people).

        Fat chance if the Soviet Union is any example, any oligarchs that attempt to leave the gang suffer the consequences, as do more of the real people.

        They have cut off their noses to spite our faces.

        1. hunkerdown

          Well, now there is Russia, so the Sovietology can be put to bed.

          The only difference I’m seeing here is that the bourgeoisie doesn’t get to nominate their own anymore. The more rights they suffer the loss of, the better for us all.

    2. Waldenpond

      Clinton’s failure is an historical event. I think you are correct that the DNCs fate rests with the Rs and that they will repair the Ds as the Ds under Obama repaired the image of the Rs. They will do everything to continue the duopoly.

      If Sanders starts pushing OurRevolution, a dark money lobbying fund, you’ll know he has no interest in upsetting the duopoly. If he announces he’s running, I’ll believe he is concerned about effecting change.

      1. Foy

        That’s an interesting point Waldenpond about the duopoly and Obama repairing the Rs and the Rs repairing the Ds now. Sanders would seem to old to run again now…

        1. Waldenpond

          The Ds will rollover on the R SC nominees (after all, it is the Ds that created to the high morality of Presidential privilege for SC nominees knowing the Rs rebuke it) and the Rs will congratulate them on their ability to put the country first.

          I will be disgusted if they put on a dog and pony show where they allow a couple people to pretend to block it initially and then rollover. But this is the Ds were talking about here.

    3. DJG

      Code Name D: Excellent analysis. You mention a resurgence of the left. The question is whether the left will attempt to “reform” the Democratic Party. The question is whether the left can organize itself separately. This is the dilemma that Lambert and Yves have been pointing to all along.

      So long as Rahm Emanuel, DWS, and the others have any purchase in the Democratic Party, there left stands no chance there. The question is whether or not the left will fall for the siren-song of the failing Democrats one more time.

    4. Jim Young

      The first Republicans were mostly disaffected Whigs (and Northern Democrats) that created the new party after the Whigs let the Kansas-Nebraska Act pass, breaking the deals made when our Constitution passed and the assumptions were that slavery would die a natural death, as it seemed to be doing in the rest of the world.

      This election seems similarly monumental in abandoning old bargains, and fertile ground for building a far more robust new party. I just hope the world can survive well enough from the lessons and turmoil sure to come.

    5. Brian Daly

      Even though Trump is not a doctrinaire Republican, he fits right in with his ruthlessness to win at all costs. There will be no progressive revival in the US

      Bernie was a protest candidate. The citizens of the US do not give two fucks about left wing values, outside of the miniscule number of “occupy” fantatist

      1. Gary Goodman

        It depends which left wing values.
        This was partly a populist vote vs Identity Politics (racism, sexism, other-ism).
        Trump’s (empty?) promotion of good jobs with decent pay is socialism.
        Add Trump’s nationalism.

        Trump’s anti-Wall Street rhetoric and last ad was similar to Occupy but from a hint-racist & populist perspective (anti-Jewish) not a kumbaya Occupy left wing perspective.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I see you don’t know much about Occupy. I went to Zucotti Park a couple of times during its mere two month existence there, was member of one Occupy group and have good friends who are members of Occupy the SEC.

          It was about curbing the power of banks and achieving economic justice. It was not about identity politics.

          I suggest you read Thomas Frank’s “Listen, Liberal,” or our recent series on libearlism. You are confusing that with the left. The Democratic party has systematically gone after the left. Google “Jane Hamsher” and “veal pen”. Or did you forget how Clinton and her surrogates repeatedly hippie-punched the left after she won the Democratic party nomination?

    6. Code Name D

      Oh, and while I remember. I will acknowledge my failed prediction from yesterday. I predicted that we would get dozens of Florida “hanging chads.” This never happened. At this point, it appears to be fairly quiet on the election-rigging front.

    7. MLS

      Personally I doubt the GOP will dig too deeply into DNC dirty laundry because doing so more than likely implicates themselves as well.

      I expect superficial wounds (not unlike token “fines” to big banks that makes for good headlines but do little to deter future bad behavior) that will allow the DNC to carry on as usual.

      Any change that comes to the DNC will have to be done by the DNC itself.

  6. I Have Strange Dreams

    Name suggestions for a new party – American Workers Party? Progressive Dems? Social Democrats? Hammer and Sickle?

          1. BecauseTradition

            I agree. So much needs to be abolished – a lot of private debt and privileges for the banks certainly being on the list.

      1. tongorad

        – Abolition of Wage Slavery Party –

        Gosh, that makes my knees wobbly (tee hee):

        Preamble to the IWW Constitution

        The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.

        Instead of the conservative motto, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, “Abolition of the wage system.”

    1. Praedor

      The America Party. You need to play a game on the name, make it automatically attractive and, if possible, impossible to centenary easily. How do you attack The America Party (for ALL Americans) workout sounding like you are attacking America itself?

      Social Democrats works for me to though those potatoes in Europe have been add co-opted by Third Way crap as “Labour” parties or even the “Socialist Party” of Spain.

      1. Praedor

        Godsa I hate auto-correct and auto-complete! Make the Party impossible to easily insult or attack.

      2. Wrongjohn

        Like the idea of calling it the American Party. A Justice Party based in Utah, already exists. I also like that name, and most of their platform. Maybe a new “American Justice” party could recruit Eliz. Warren, Bernie, and most important, a batallion of young messengers to bring a third party to power in the US.

      3. DonCoyote

        The American Bull Moose (ABM) Party

        The song remains the same

        “The platform’s main theme was reversing the domination of politics by business interests, which allegedly controlled the Republican and Democratic parties, alike”

        The logo is a purple moose whose rear is kicking a donkey and whose front is reaming an elephant.

    2. Michael C.

      Working Class Labor Party (WCLP). Of course, we will have to get the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to finally wake up and break with the Democratic Party. I propose a meeting in, say Kansas City or St. Louis, since they are in the middle of the country. Maybe Cleveland would be good.

      Invite all the factional socialist parties, the Greens, the progressive democrats, and representatives of all the issue groups–the array of environmental groups, the social justice, the anti-war and anti-imperial, the single-payer groups, Black Lives Matter, elections reform groups, the Move to Amend type groups, and the National Nurses United and the few other union groups that supported Sanders, with an invite to the major union federations.

      It has to capture vast majority of people getting screwed by the moneyed and corporate interests.

      The purpose–to start a new party, a party of the working class and the poor. The only major point that should be a starting point is agreement that whoever runs as a candidate in this party must adhere to the platform. There must be some mechanisms in place to ensure party discipline so it does not slide to the right in orientation and forget its base and its principles.

  7. Quentin

    Donald Tump drove a stake through the heart of the Bush dynasty. And now the Clinton dynasty can look forward to the same treatment. Quite an unexpected achievement, whatever the less positive consequences may be. Two birds with one stone.

      1. hunkerdown

        True. But any respite they had from oppression was stolen anyway. They only postponed their day of reckoning by playing zero-sum politics, and now they’ll be hoist on them. There’s no common cause with them until they recognize that they sold others out and are willing to make amends.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Unfortunately, the DINOs always have an excuse for every one of their many self-inflicted loses, and that excuse always blames someone else (usually from the left). I expect no difference this time. Perhaps they will try to recycle Second Row Joe (Biden) in 2020. It is after all more important to our overseers that the left be forever kept away from power than it is to them which of our right wing parties win.

    2. Gary Goodman

      I do agree on driving a stake thru Dubya and Jeb — good riddance.
      And while many of Clinton’s stated policies for growth & jobs were likeable, there was the looming threat of TPP and privatizing Social Security. (I doubt many voted against her on this matter, just generally.)

      I know NAFTA & opening China for outsourcing were Reagan/Bush/Wall Street agenda, they got Bill Clinton to sign the legislation and push it through Congress via his popularity.

      Republicans have ironically voted against decades of Republican policies, which they previously strenuously supported & defended.

      Trump voters don’t seem to grasp that Bill Clinton’s rise as the Democratic Leadership Council faction of the Democratic National Committee was reaction of Reagan Democrats and conservatives eager to destroy the New Deal. Now they mad cuz no good jobs.

      So yay! Reagan-Democrats were defeated by folks who are still big fans of Ronald Reagan.

    3. Lawrence Sheperd

      Unfortunately there are already rumblings of Chelsea Clinton running for Congress in ’18 or ’20. The Dynasty that refused to die.

  8. Quantum Future

    Love your work and fight for justice Mr. Black. But I disagree Trump will betray the working class. He is a 60’s Democrat. I wager he will do a public option. And he was very kind to salute Hillary. He has no time for revenge and never need this job in the first place.

    He has no compunction on giving bankers the finger and being an Eisenhower in debt restructucture.

    Neoliberalism was a very hard thrust to the right, I believe Trump wont push it further. He wont honor the promise to build a wall or rebuild inner cities but he won’t demonize and attack parts of the population like Obama did. I expect he will legalize illegals and tax them and have a zero tolerance policy on illegal felons.

    I do hope in all of this he has learned to speak to women better. That behavior is more Boomer generation than X or Millenials.

    In any event, cleaning up the corruption will take time and the market will take a hit. I liked Bernie over Trump but Bernie caved “sick of talking about your damn emails”….Then supported Hillary like Warren did. So such hung themselves politically no need for revenge.

    1. Nancy Drew

      Will a “nicer” Trump survive his blood thirsty base? I don’t think so. They will want him to deliver on all those wild promises he will enact “on day one.”
      Even at their party last night they were chanting ‘Lock her up” when a photo of HRC showed up on the screen there.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        My guesstimate is that less than 10% of the people who voted Trump are actual racists. And the lady richly deserves an orange jumpsuit if we are going to start restoring the rule of law. Just the obstruction of justice would be good for 20 years before even piling on the Espionage Act, campaign finance law, tax evasion etc etc etc

  9. foghorn longhorn

    Don’t know what happens from here, but anybody but a bush or a clinton won.
    That has to be considered a victory.
    Have a cigar America!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        41 was elevated by virtue of being Reagan’s Veep and Democrats lurching to the right. Shrub, who lost, was a different bird from his father or his clan. 43’s status as a reformed drunk and black sheep really resonated in a way “my daddy and brother were President and I would like to be President too because my mommy loves me.”

        These families are done.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Thomas Frank today in the Guardian – a typically incisive article.

    And the Guardian shows how hilariously tone deaf it is by putting a plea for readers contributions ‘for its journalism at the bottom – this having inflicted a year of Clinton propaganda on its long suffering readers. Supposedly ‘liberal’ and ‘left wing’ papers like the Guardian need to share the blame for their absolute refusal to report fairly on Sanders.

    1. Uahsenaa

      I found that laughable as well, the suggestion that “we need independent journalism now more than ever.” Yes, I agree with that statement, which is why I’m not giving the Guardian any of my money and gave a great deal of it to NC.

    2. Whine Country

      “Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.” – Maybe it’s time? The Democrat Party lost this member and my family of rock solid Democrats long ago for this very reason. Yes, I’d say it’s way overdue.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Sanders got a lot of flack from his supporters for supporting Clinton.

    But maybe, just maybe he has played a smart game. He is in a perfect position now to lead a genuine revolt within the Dem party for a radical alternative and sweep the neocons and neolibs out.

    1. voteforno6

      Yes! I was thinking the same thing. Some of the establishment Democrats may try to pin this on him, but he can always point at his support for her in response.

  12. DSP

    No,the name of a new party should sound nothing like that,it would sink like a stone.
    It would have to sound formally American and preferably post- Revolutionary…Constitutionalist…Federalist(ah,maybe not) …something pompous that won’t frighten the horses.

    1. Tom Bradford

      How about the “Alliance Party”? Several democracies have one, and the one I am familiar with is the New Zealand Alliance Party which was formed in 1991 when four small limited issues parties including the Greens and Social Democrats came together under one banner. Under New Zealand’s proportional representation electoral system it actually achieved some electoral success – and even power when supporting a minority labour government for a while.

      Mind you, PR electoral systems require a reasonably sophisticated electorate to operate and I have to wonder if the USA is up to it. Although of course I understand that under your present system Hillary Clinton actually won more votes in total than Trump yet lost the election, which suggests that your current system is not truely representative.

      1. hunkerdown

        Score voting doesn’t require a sophisticated electorate. Maybe IRV is just obscurantist — it doesn’t stop two-party systems from forming, so I don’t see the point other than making it easier to fix.

  13. Marshall Auerback

    This really all started when the Obama Administration broke with its Hope and “Change you can believe in” and gave us a Wall Street friendly bank bailout that effectively restored the status quo ante. He followed that up with a bailout of the private health insurance industry under the guise of so-called “health care reform” legislation, the “Affordable” Care Act (which contained no provision for containing the cost of the health insurance oligopolies, because the marginal “public option” was gutted out of the final legislation, courtesy of the lobbyists invited to craft the legislation). All of the Rubinites were brought back in to run economic policy. So this gave force to the idea that the government was nothing but a viper’s nest full of crony capitalist enablers, which in turn helped to unleash populism on the right (the Left being marginalised or co-opted by the Rubinites). And this gave us Trump. The only good thing about this is that Clintonism is dead as a political force, much as Trump killed “Bushism” on the other side of the aisle. I hope the Dems finally do heed the lessons of Tom Frank, although I suspect most will retreat to their hideaways in the Vineyard and Aspen, licking their wounds for the next few years and hoping this “temporary bout of madness” by the “deplorables” will go away.

    1. Mieko

      Obama was given the chance of our lifetime to be a great populist leader by going after the banksters. But he was never going to go there. Obama didn’t really have the vision thing at all, he was only ever about his own career. He did have quite a gift for the BS but that’s all it was.

      Now the wave of populism that could have been the Democrats’ is now Trumps to ride as far as he can. And he is nothing if not a great self-promoter.

    2. roadrider

      The only good thing about this is that Clintonism is dead as a political force

      I hope so – but I’m afraid that they might be the undead of politics just waiting for someone to open the coffin and pull the stake out of their heart (I think I saw that in an old Dracula movie)

  14. Marshall Auerback

    Add to that a visceral neo-con, whose foreign policy instincts were as destructive as those of Dick Cheney (the no-fly zone over Syria being almost guaranteed to get us into a war with Russia) and you can see why a Clinton restoration would have been disastrous for the country as a whole.

  15. Quantum Future

    True liberals should drop the brand of Democrats. Start a new party. No need to reinvent the wheel. Call it Labor party. Bernie made a huge mistake. Still love the guy but not realistic thinking people will give him another shot, despite a good voting record on important issues.

    1. Plenue

      As far as I can see liberals are part of the problem. Always have been. Leftists need to ditch them altogether and strike out on their own.

    2. hunkerdown

      “Twoo liberals”, puh-lease. Kooky religious grandeur again? Liberals do not honor agreements. They are, quite frankly, the problem in this failed alliance. They need to be forcibly excluded from representation among us, not included in any way.

  16. casino implosion

    I voted Trump and a straight Green ticket down ballot. Would have loved to vote for Bernie Sanders, but instead just got to play my little part in driving a stake through the heart of the Clinton dynasty.

    Big opportunities for the real left are emerging, if they can manage to lay off the identity politics and stop blaming white workers for the sins of America.

  17. Jon Paul

    I’m just over 50 years old. The Rs just took over all branches of our government. I fear several things.

    1. I possibly just lost social security
    2. I most likely will not have Medicare, at 65 and older I will be at the mercy of insurance companies
    3. Nothing will be done about global warming, and my son will grow up in a world that may face crop failures 2 out of every 5 years by 2050/2060
    4. Education is endangered as the Rs attempt to ensure that the things being taught to our young conform with their political objectives rather than reality.

    This is not a pretty picture

    1. Uahsenaa

      I think these are reasonable fears, though 1 and 2 overstate things a bit. In both cases, the Rs will prefer a slow bleed reform process masked as “making them solvent” rather than outright destruction, because the simple fact is, both social programs are wildly popular even among their most hardcore base. It has to look like they’re trying to save them in order for the crapification to work, lest they incur the wrath of their own voters who could easily get them thrown out of Congress in 2018.

    2. KurtisMayfield

      I have to disagree with #4… Trump has said in the past that he would get rid of the Dept. of Education. And he has come out saying that he wants Common Core gone. Now I do not think he will go as far as getting rid of the Dept. of Education, but if he can minimize its grasp on the states that would be a wonderful start.

      Full disclosure: I am from a liberal leaning Northeastern state that has a great public school system and will not feel one bit of regret of losing federal mandates in education.

  18. jhallc

    Here in MA this is “Deja vu all over again” . A few years back the Dems ran Martha Coakley, a thoroughly uninspiring candidate, for Ted K’s seat only to lose to Scott Brown. Two years later they gained some sense and ran Liz Warren. We can only hope that they will finally learn from this and we will see some real progressive options down the road.

  19. Sluggeaux

    This election is a repudiation of Obama’s betrayals outlined above, and Clinton’s sneering corruption. Of course, Trump was lying to the voters as well, and people are going to walk away from the social contract when he likewise betrays them.

    1. BecauseTradition

      when he likewise betrays them.

      Then why was his own party so against Trump? Trump as a potential class traitor is the only explanation that occurs to me. He may actually be patriotic.

      1. Sluggeaux

        Trump is not a class traitor. He is a paradigm of his generation. He is nothing but a narcissistic wanna-be rock-star who is in love with the trappings of fame and has no intention of governing. Trump will abdicate policy to Mike Pence, who will go about crushing the last vestiges of the middle class who elected this buffoon against their own class interests, but could only flip the “bird” at their self-appointed leaders.

        1. BecauseTradition

          You haven’t explained why the Republican establishment hates Trump. Even Rush Limbaugh refused to endorse him.

            1. BecauseTradition

              You give them far too much credit, imo. The Republican establishment has shown they have no god but Mammon. More likely, they think he may threaten their ability to exploit fellow Americans by, say, import and immigration restrictions.

              Sure, the Republican Establishment may be pious in public but so were the Pharisees of old, another cult of money worshippers.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I’m here to tell you that it isn’t that easy to become a Canadian citizen.

      Back in 1980, I was deeply opposed to the rise of Reaganism, and I didn’t see the Democratic Party offering any viable alternatives. After all, the D president had just reinstated draft registration. Just like a Republican would.

      So, I went to Canada for part of the summer.

      I quickly learned that it was not easy to get landed immigrant status. You had to prove that you had skills that were lacking in the Canadian job market. And there I was, a 22-year-old unemployed American.

      That was the end of my quest to become Canadian.

  20. Stephen Douglas

    Black’s analysis of the damage done to the Democrats and the nation by Clinton and the New Democrats is astute, but then he runs off the rails by saying:

    “The real cost, however, of her failure will be enormous damage to our democracy, the safety of the world, and the damage that President Trump will do to the working class as he systematically betrays their interests.”

    Bill? How would you know that to be true? Are you saying that Trump will do the exact same thing as Obama did when he got elected on the basis of his countless words and slogans about “Hope and Change?”

    Are you now a fortuneteller instead of an economist and analyst?

    Trump was elected because he looks to want to change things. If he does not do that, and you turn out to be right in your prophecies?

    Well, with Clinton we knew in advance that she would not only not change a dismal thing brought to us by Repubs and Demos for the last 3 Administrations, but she was obviously, emphatically going to make things much worse for us. And you don’t need to be a card reader to know that would have been true.

    How ’bout you back off the Chicken Little stuff and try a little wait and see?

    1. BecauseTradition

      and the damage that President Trump will do to the working class as he systematically betrays their interests.” Bill Black

      Speaking of “systematically”, that’s how the working class has been looted and disemployed by government subsidies for depository institutions since they are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) to banks, credit unions, etc. to lower the borrowing costs of business.

      1. Stephen Douglas

        Just because that is how it was done, means nothing. Who cares, Because Tradition? Why do you wait untii something is actually done???

        i truly do not understand. Why are you spouting such nonsense?
        Can’t you wait until something actually happens?

        Instead you scream. Why? Really, why? You want to fortuneteller things?

        That is the thinking of a fool.

        Are you a fool?

        Obviously, you are

        Don’t be a fool. Ok? Stop being a fool.

        1. BecauseTradition

          My comment was directed at Bill Black, not at you. Yes. let’s wait and see what Trump will do.

    2. Min

      Bill Black: “The real cost, however, of her failure will be enormous damage to our democracy, the safety of the world, and the damage that President Trump will do to the working class as he systematically betrays their interests.”

      Stephen Douglas: “Bill? How would you know that to be true? Are you saying that Trump will do the exact same thing as Obama did when he got elected on the basis of his countless words and slogans about “Hope and Change?”

      Trump is very likely to do what he has done to his partners, investors, contractors, and employees when he finds it convenient to do so. Screw them over. Now, maybe he won’t find it convenient to screw over the working class, but he is ready and willing to do so in an instant, all the while denying that he is doing so.

  21. Denis Drew

    I did a “Find” search of 128 comments [on today’s Economist’s View] and only found the world “labor” four times — the word union once, but in the contexts of “European union” — and the paired words “labor union” not even once.

    In short, if the less educated whites were earning $800 a week at their low skilled jobs instead of $400 we never would have heard of Donald Trump — IOW if they had the benefit of collective bargaining to set their wages by the maximum the consumer would tolerate instead of how little the most vulnerable (immigrant?) could tolerate.

    Manufacturing may have moved away but how much manufacturing was there — how much was replaced by robot manufacturing (most I believe) — and how much did most manufacturing pay (I recently read of one refrigerator plant moving south of the border that paid all of $15 an hour here)?

    Collective bargaining is the great missing right in our economic/political scheme. While hacking in San Francisco a decade or so ago I was witness to a demonstration before the Marriott Hotel on Fourth Street. All day: “Marriott Hotel you’re no good; sign that contract like you should — San Francisco should beware; Marriott Hotel is unfair.” Driving a concierge past the Marriott one Sunday morning I retold this — she said that part of the deal to get the Marriott in there was that it would be unionized. Good luck!

    There is no legal — as in punitive criminal — sanction for one side muscling the other in our most important market: our spin-your-wheels-you-ain’t-going-nowhere labor market. (Just don’t get caught take a movie in the movies in our least important.)

    Manufacturing? If we were like Germany (most thoroughly unionized in the world) we would be producing twice as many motor vehicles and exporting most of them (at double US auto worker wages).

    We still have airliners? Maybe used to: Boeing still builds its legacy aircraft here — but its new 787 Dreamliner according to WIKI is being built in:
    “Subcontracted assemblies included wing manufacture (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan, central wing box)[37] horizontal stabilizers (Alenia Aeronautica, Italy; Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea);[38] fuselage sections (Global Aeronautica, Italy; Boeing, North Charleston, US; Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan; Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita, US; Korean Air, South Korea);[39][40][41] passenger doors (Latécoère, France); cargo doors, access doors, and crew escape door (Saab AB, Sweden); software development (HCL Enterprise India);[42] floor beams (TAL Manufacturing Solutions Limited, India);[43][44] wiring (Labinal, France);[45] wing-tips, flap support fairings, wheel well bulkhead, and longerons (Korean Air, South Korea);[46] landing gear (Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, UK/France) … ”

    Wouldn’t happen in Germany or any Airbus republic because those countries are run for the most part for their citizens interests for the most part because of labor unions.

    Only a labor union empowered America can truly save what manufacturing can be saved from the robots.

    Simple way back: progressive states can make union busting a felony. When we “clear and hold” enough states to make our organized middle class way of life the way to go we can take back the Congress and set up the NLRB with the power to mandate a certification election upon a finding of union busting — seems to me simplest and most straight forward way to go.

    Right now we have a culture that is so blind to the missing dimension of what’s left of our democracy (LABOR UNIONS!!!) that even on blogs like this nobody even mentions the words. Mentioned them over and over myself — but nobody ever picks up.

    That’s why them the people picked Donald

    1. Inode_buddha

      Putting numbers to your comment (first para) that 400/wk translates to roughly 12/hr. the 800/wk translates to 24/hr and also translates to increased spending (houses, durable goods, auto, etc) and social security via investment/retirement plans as opposed to gov’t plans.

      If the so-called conservatives really wanted to do away with welfare as we know it, they would be the champions of a living wage and we would laready have 15/hr mationwide. But, the conservatives are champions of the looting class (1%-ers), just like Clinton was.

      1. jrs

        Or if they didn’t want to go that way they would be champions of reducing the cost of living, which amounts to the same thing as increasing wages really, and perhaps better (isn’t as at odds with global competition etc..). But to have a hope of getting a handle on what is affecting most people’s costs of living you have to take on the rentiers (and their bubble economy as well). And they won’t.

      2. Denis Drew

        In numbers (I like to say eighth-grade math) the money is there somewhere.

        In 1968 the fed min was $11/hr — when per capita income, productivity, whatever was half today’s: $15,000 to today’s $30,000 per.

        In income share 45% of today’s workforce take only 10% of overall. Doubling their share would take only 10% from the 55% who now take 90% …
        … or should I say 10% from the 54% who take 70% plus the 1% who now take 20%.

        Mostly from the 70% — kind of hard to get back millionaire money by raising store prices.

        The 1% used to take only 10% of income share but now 20%. Sounds like a good place to take back that middle class income shifted to the poor.

        In numbers, the money is there somewhere. In practice it should actually be oh, so easy to grab it: just make it possible for workers to join a collective bargaining unit if they feel like (w/o running an impossible gauntlet) — and let the first 2,000 people in the phone directories everywhere take the nation where they want it to go.

        Simpler and simpler: no more academic arguments about the unexpected effects of the minimum for instance: just let the truly free labor market take over.

        Ditto for a political forum where the great majority of (now unionized) people have equal lobbying power with the rich (late dean of the Washington press corps, David Broder said that when he came to DC all the lobbyists were union), equal political financing and 99% of the votes (or something like that :-]).

        More places to recoup the 10% income shift from — cut-and-paste — just to suggest what a healthier society can look like:
        10% saved on market rip-offs like medical (drug and device monopolies), education (for profit colleges), real estate skyrocketing (self-destructive zoning, no realistic rent control like Germany’s, et al.) — others can produce a much more comprehensive list than I can.
        10% of overall income gouged back from the 1% who now take 20% (historically it was only 10%, which was thought to make very rich) via confiscatory taxation — think Eisenhower level.
        10% more productive economy by cutting today’s finance share of the economy from a bloated 20% (where too many of our best young minds go to gamble) back to a genuinely useful 10%.
        Another 10% potential savings in a pervasively union managed and monitored economy: Sick: The biggest increase in healthcare costs in 32 years

        The latter just a sneak glimpse of a healthier society.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Please don’t make stuff up.

          The minimum wage in 1968 was $1.60 an hour. Adjusted to 2014 dollars, it was $8.54. I’m not about to go through your other data errors. Provide links in the future. We expect that save when the factoid is very well known.

          1. Denis Drew

            According to the BLS online inflation calculator $1.60 in 1968 is worth $11 today — using CPI-U the most commonly accepted inflation calculator.

            The four 10% savings at the end should be obvious to anyone who reads here as just general imagination provokers.

            I don’t remember when I looked up the income share figures but they are roughly correct I’m sure. The disparity with justice is so wide that precision hardly all important.

            Be nice if someone here (you?) could see high union density as the only way back.

            Again, I am less concerned with absolute precision than I am with outlining overall composition of the situation. Be nice if our political leaders (or our public) came that close.

    2. Sluggeaux

      In my personal experience of 12 years on a public employee negotiating committee in one of the “blue-est’ places in the country — Silicon Valley — Democrats can be as hostile to labor unions as anybody. Decades of manufacturing job loss and a ridiculous flood of low-wage H-1B and undocumented workers has gutted collective bargaining in the private sector.

    3. jrs

      Yea the labor movement has always been one of the most hopeful ones in my view, it demands and doesn’t wait for crumbs from our “betters” (although some unions like the AFL/CIO were thoroughly domesticated – ie sold out – but there is a radical tradition in the labor movement as well that doesn’t sell out). The largest strike going on now is that of prison labor and it is massive.

      Yes we should try to change state law in any state that isn’t completely hopeless for such reforms, but there exists a possibility at this point that it could be overruled by the federal government we’ve got now.

    4. Gary Goodman

      Weird thing is, the conservatives now voting for Trump, they or their parents wanted union busting under Reagan. I remember this cheering when the Air Traffic Controllers union workers were all fired at once.

      The Air Traffic Controllers union wasn’t fighting for wages or benefits. They were fighting for less stress, more hiring, more safety for fliers.

    5. jawbone

      The Donald prefers nonunion workers, and more than them, he luvs him those “illegal aliens” who can’t use the judicial system when he screws them financially.

      He will not be labor’s savior; more likely organized labor’s assassin. Just finishing off what St. Ronnie started.

      1. Inode_buddha

        Yup. And the whole time, the pundit class will be hand-wringing about why aren’t people buying more stuff to stimulate the economy? I guess there are truly none so blind as those who refuse to see…

    6. rosemerry

      “Collective bargaining is the great missing right in our economic/political scheme.”
      Bravo! I am an Australian and lifetime Union member. Americans seem so individualistic and Union membership is now so low that it is not surprising that working people are losing out, while the Big Boys,(eg banksters, Chamber of Commerce) are careful to unite in “cooperative groups” to help one another use their money to push for even more power.

      “Right to work” laws are the opposite. “Americans for Prosperity” does not mean for normal humans. “Democrats” are of course not democrats. “Christians” leave much to be desired!!

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      And scarier than both of them? A single-party country with a bought-and-paid-for press, above all law enforcement, led by a woman who loves war, thinks lying is a job qualification, and thinks the very tools of our democracy are her personal playthings.

  22. michael

    “A period of enormous corruption and elite fraud is coming soon as the Trump administration brings its signature characteristic – crony capitalism – to bear to control all three branches of government.”

    This article is garbage. As if enormous fraud, corruption, crony capitalism is not already running rampant. As the current moron in the white house has indicated “elections have consequences.”

  23. Bop Blake

    Am I the only one that recalls recent history where the “Republicans” all but denounced Donald Trump as the lowest form of political life? What “Republicans” whole heartedly supported him all the way? I cannot hear you. Yet Mr. Black writes him off as a “Republican.” The “Republican” party abandoned him. But Donald Trump stayed the course despite being denounced and abandoned by “Republicans” and Mr. Black appears convinced he knows the future. I don’t know Mr. Trump nor the future. But having spent twenty years working with construction companies in and around New York City, I do know none of the owners of those companies ever forget the past. No matter how long ago. Donald Trump may have won as a “Republican” but it will be interesting to watch how he leads.

    1. H. Alexander Ivey

      Quite right. I agree that is a point Prof. Black may have too quickly reached. Donald ran under a Republican ticket, but he does not have the support of the Republican elites and power brokers. Whatever he does in Washington, it will be different than what other President-elects have done, simply because he doesn’t have an in-depth political machine behind him.
      And while money talks, especially in DC land, and you may think that politics makes for strange bed fellows, I will be looking for the knives to be out. ‘It is just business’ may be the thing to say as you shaft someone, but to that person and their family, it may not be ‘just business’, eventually the shafting becomes personal. So I’m not sure what policy The Donald will pursue. Trump Towers on every corner?

  24. Mitch Ritter

    I did not foresee any obstacles to the resurrection of the House of Clinton other than Clinton Foundation “networking” and more unlikely given the shallowness of Business Coverage, the billion or so dollars lost by outlaw in-law Marc Mezvinsky’s Eaglevale Partners Hedge Fund investors selling Vulture Fund-ers on a bail-out for Greece. Nothing actionable there, even if the appearance of impropriety would’ve radiated with any amplification or repetition in the last two years of 24\7 marathon broadcasting of “Election Season.”

    Corporate-captured and alternative news media spent very little time deepening the public’s understanding of Ms. Clinton’s policy failures in office. Bernie Sanders suffered for his failure to do any deepening of public discussion of why TRADE DEAL SCORE BOARDS matter more to working and under-employed folk than do DOW JONES or SPORT SCORE BOARDS, which while irrelevant appear daily and identify WINNERS\LOSERS.

    For all the money spent by the Koch Brothers and similar corporate sponsors deriding the House of Clinton, disseminating reductionist media memes and their institutional sway over Tea Party social networks, the public’s attention to analyzing Madame Secretary of State’s actual record and outcomes in office seemed to shrink in inverse proportion to the ad hominem attacks.

    Madame Clinton’s White House exit and entrance into NY State politics as the Jr Senator from Wall Street in the shadow of the “Schumer Box” during the bubble-building years of her husband and the Rubin-Summers-Weil-Greenspan-Bush-Paulson-Obama-Geithner-Holder continuum of escalating de-regulation received even less serious legislative and policy scrutiny.

    Yet, Schadenfreude isn’t among my vices, legion though they may be. I wondered not long after the Pacific Coast Midnight news reports of the advancement of the Mein Trumpf Project why rather than being mired in fear and dread, a bit of buoyancy seemed to attend the news that there would be no more rehabilitation or ascension of the House of Clinton to the White House. As I tossed and turned feeling guilty for feeling good even as our collective nation was entering even less stable circumstances than the precariousness that would have accompanied a Krugman-approved Clinton Apparatus taking the reins it occurred to me:

    What could I say to my political rivals on the Conservative Right (Paleo or Neo Con) other than “Way to go for so successfully smashing the GOP” and its Trade Deal\Off-Shoring and Capital Un-fettering Neo-Lib E-Con orthodoxies? Except maybe for the slashing of tax obligations on the wealthiest that Speaker Ryan and Senator Brownback of Kansas along with much of the Supply Side conventional wisdom properly referred to as Zombie Ideas.

    Now it is our turn on the Liberal Left (Paleo or Neo Lib) to smash our DLC and its orthodoxies, taking even fewer prisoners, er, Zombies than our rivals have. I suspect that will be an energized effort with the Clinton-Kaine defeat and the banishment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as Gatekeeper of the DLC.

    Likewise a hearty congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn and the post-Blair\Brown UK Labour Party. I so used to wish U.S. Labor could cooperate enough to launch a Labor News Network or manifest our own Labor Political Party. Until I saw the results of the Brits’ Labour Party post Tony Blair & Gordon Brown’s purges and how useful they were to advancing the Bush vision of a New World Order.

    One more salve for my conflicted feelings as another Snake Oil Salesman ascends to the Executive Office with all the additional Presidential powers added in bi-partisan abdication of congressional responsibilities since the first form of TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) was granted to that most Group Think branch of government by the most deliberative. Had the House of Clinton ascended back to the White House, like Nicaragua’s Ortega-Murillo betrothed team or Argentina’s Casa de Kirchner y Fernandez, bid-net as usual would hardly have been disrupted.

    Meanwhile with wildcard Trump whose Private Interests are barely known to him much less to the hood-winked Public who elected him to run U.S. like a CEO\Chairman of the Board navigates an LLC, externalizing the costs and risks as they go, the built-in contradictions of Global Capital and maintaining a democratic facade are more readily apparent and the streets are likely to be filled with the TRADE DEAL SCORE BOARD LOSERS…

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  25. oho

    “Trump promises to deregulate Wall Street”

    i’m not going to defend Trump like a surrogate—but Trump did go on the record in a speech saying that he wanted to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

    Given Wall Street lob-sided support of Democrats over the past 8 years and Wall Street’s concentration in NY/NJ/IL/CA, Glass-Steagall might return.

    but i’m not holding my breath or counting on it.

    1. BecauseTradition

      There’d be far far less need to regulate the banks in the first place if they were 100% private with 100% voluntary depositors.

      And no, that’s never been tried in US history otherwise we would have had a Postal Checking System from the beginning so that no US citizen need ever have darkened the door of a bank.

      1. Gary Goodman

        Banks are the backbone of commerce & capitalism.
        Banks in the 1800s repeatedly over-speculated and went bust. Banks would call in loans and demand payment in gold when people didn’t have gold, so there was repeated widespread bankruptcy and destruction of good honest businesses and good honest working people, thanks to “da math”, thanks to Finance.

        During the Free Banking Era, states somewhat loosely regulated banks or otherwise they were unregulated. Banks in one area didn’t trust banks in another county or another state. Obviously a robust national economy was not possible. Bank owners issues private notes, over-speculated, ripped off customers, took off on their horse at midnight. Depositors lost everything, repeatedly.

        In that last great collapse before the Fed, the Govt asked JP Morgan — the one-man de facto central bank — to bail out banks which had crashed, but JP Morgan’s deep for-profit pockets were not deep enough.

        Banks also were not rich enough to fund the Civil War for Lincoln, he needed to print Greenbacks and tax Greenbacks, which were said to be “not money” but good enough for circulation.

        Banks also were not rich enough to subsidize capitalism which capitalists wanted and needed in the Industrial Era and Progressive Era of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Contrary to problems of scarcity, the Industrial Age presented problems of abundance, and the capitalists called on Big Government for Assistance and Big Government cronies provided them with Assistance, by purchasing some output and by “opening” foreign markets by diplomacy or by force.

        This is accurate only if you don’t count the railroad expansion handouts to land speculators as a Government Giveaway to the wealthy & their corporations and their flim-flam stock operations.

        Like it or not, the entire history of capitalism is one of Govt intervention on behalf of Capitalists. But it kinda worked pretty well for 80 years or so after FDR formed a new relationship between Business, Labor, and Government for the betterment of all, and for boosting domestic Demand, which is the key to sales & profits.

        You can’t have stable capitalism with an unstable banking system. Ideally, markets are self-regulating. Actually, they aren’t, they are prone to speculative excess.

        1. BecauseTradition

          But it kinda worked pretty well for 80 years or so after FDR formed a new relationship between Business, Labor, and Government for the betterment of all, and for boosting domestic Demand, which is the key to sales & profits. Gary Goodman

          So long as labor was needed; which it is increasingly not due to automation.

          You can’t have stable capitalism with an unstable banking system.

          And who says systematic oppression of workers and the poor should be stable? And who says a free market is even possible with a government privileged usury cartel? And who says that ethical forms of finance are not feasible?

        2. BecauseTradition

          Actually, they aren’t, they are prone to speculative excess.

          I presume you know accounting? Then what does it say about the potential stability of the banks when their liabilities wrt the general population are, because of extensive government privileges, largely a sham*?

          *They’ll be 100% a sham if physical fiat is abolished unless, by then, the population is allowed to deal with fiat as the banks do, via inherently safe, convenient accounts at a Postal Checking Service or equivalent.

        3. BecauseTradition

          During the Free Banking Era, states somewhat loosely regulated banks or otherwise they were unregulated. Banks in one area didn’t trust banks in another county or another state. Obviously a robust national economy was not possible.

          Because we had no central bank or, more precisely, a Postal Checking Service for the use of all citizens and their businesses, including the banks.

          And obviously we’ve never had Free Banking since the citizens were forced to use private banks or else be limited to unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat. What’s free about that?

  26. Ptolemy Philopater

    You support a corrupt war criminal tool of Wall Street whose platform is making the world safe for billionaires and this is what you get. Until the left gets back on the class warfare bandwagon and abandons “identity” politics and triangulation, we will have the spectacle of a Newt Gingrich Secretary of State. When the biggest issue the left tackles is Trans-gender bathroom rights, Donald Trump is what we deserve. The real problem is that as long as progressives support candidates that give us the corporate give away that is Obama-care and corruption on scale not seen in millennia, a for profit military, all progressives are labeled as cheats! “Chuck” Schumer, indeed.

    It is really galling that Trump used Progressive issues to steal the electorate in the service of oligarchy. The irony is beyond belief! Trump lied through his teeth. Secretary Clinton is a liar too, but she was too sensitive to the feelings of her donors to tell the right lies. Quid est Demonstrandum! That’s right, let’s all blame the victims, those ignorant uncolleged white guys. At least they can see through the abomination that is neo liberalism otherwise known as neo feudalism. Because the market! At least now when social security and Medicare are downsized and privatized, progressives won’t be blamed. Chained CPI indeed. Apparently we have Monica Lewinsky to thank that the privatization didn’t take place in slick
    Willy Clinton’s administration If at first you don’t succeed…. Like the “red neck” woman at the McCain rally yelling, “tell the government to keep their hands of my Medicare.”, instead of disparaging the Yahoos it’s time to start educating them. Medicare is a government program! So is the 60 billion in annual Medicare Fraud! Where was Eric Holder? Making deals with the silk stocking crowd, keeping them out of jail, you know the guys that support Gay Marriage. Yeah let’s all keep pretending we live in Downton Abbey. “God Save the Queen, she ain’t no human Been”

  27. knowbuddhau

    122 comments, not one mention of “climate?” Among the costs of liberals not listening to Frank, right at the top of my list is “some chance at staving off catastrophic climate change.”

    Ilargi thinks (Why the Energy Crisis is Coming Sooner Than Most Experts Forecast) a financial crisis will happen before we hit terminal thermodynamic limits on fossil fuel use in only 15 years. What kind of planet will we be after 15 more years of oceans acidifying, polar ice caps melting, aquifers drying up, CO2 concentrations over 400ppm, record weather events an almost daily occurrence, etc.?

    I like many of the suggestions, and will work toward some of the goals, but without an Apollo-scale effort to mitigate climate change, can’t help but wonder if we’re doomed anyway.

    Looking at you, HRC and the DNC. By stealing the nomination from Bernie and his supporters, you cleared a path to putting a climate-denier in the White House. You may have doomed civilization as we know it, maybe even the possibility of it (if we go full-on runaway warming, we’ll end up like Venus, where daytime highs are in the 900s F and it rains sulfuric acid). Put that on your precious resumes.

    1. jrs

      Other ways they conspire against the climate? Well .. the Dem and Rep parties do agree on debate questions ahead of time, and guess what not one question on climate. Not mentioning the issue is acting against mitigating climate change.

      The hope might be that the rest of the world finally fully realizes the U.S. is out of it’s f’in gourd (it really is, in so many ways) and starts to act independently of it. But it’s not much of a hope.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Oh yeah, in my litany of doom, forgot to add “sea levels rising, ecosystems collapsing, 6th mass extinction extinguishing.” We’re going to see migrations like never before. The political implications are mind-boggling.

    3. BecauseTradition

      It’s government privileges for usury that drive environmental abuse and the rat-race in general. What did the Buddha say about usury, btw?

  28. JTFaraday

    “Hillary did not simply fail to reach out to the working class voters that the New Democrats had turned their backs on for decades, she infamously attacked them as “deplorables.””

    No, she did not. Even the deplorables know what she really said:

    “‘You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable. But thankfully they are not America.’

    Clinton then went on to explain that the other basket of Trump supporters

    ‘are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.'”

    No HRC fan, but enough with the holy innocents society already. They’re why the libertarians just voted for private prisons.

    1. BecauseTradition

      So she can talk a good game and even then the smug elitism leaks through.

      They’re why the libertarians just voted for private prisons.

      That would be the very definition of fascist, not libertarian – private enrichment via government means.

  29. Ping

    I wonder if the Clinton Foudation will wither away or implode.
    Tsk Tsk…..all those donors anticipating donation rewards via president HRC.

  30. CSS

    Sorry, but I think many of them really are racists. This is because I don’t think they’re idiots. Only an idiot would think that Trump, of all people, would share and champion their interests. Since I don’t assume them to be idiots, I assume they realize that Trump has devoted his entire life to screwing people like them. So since they’re not idiots, there must be some other kind of appeal Trump made to them, to which they’re receptive.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      With all due respect, you need to get past your blinders on this one. Go read Frank’s book Listen, Liberal.

      The Democrats made clear for decades that they held the less educated in contempt and regarded them as disposable. And you seem to miss the the Dems have tons of private equity and hedge fund chiefs as fundraisers for them. Soros is way richer than Trump, for starters.

      Trump asked for their vote and said he’d deliver policies that would help them. Hillary only offered wonky weak tea complicated incremental plans and was untrustworthy based on her track record. Trump was the only candidate for them, as flawed as he was.

      Better to bet on a possible even if partial win than sure failure. I don’t see why you refuse to see the voter calculus here. This is voting for their wallets.

  31. CSS

    I’ve read Frank. I didn’t and don’t disagree with the critique of Hillary, the party in its current incarnation, etc. But why would anyone who paid attention, for five minutes, to Trump’s life, record, etc. believe him when he said “he’d deliver policies that would help them”? I can well understand not voting for Hillary. I can’t understand voting for Trump.

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