Mark Blyth and Wendy Schiller – Election 2016: What Happened and Why?

Even though this assessment of the Trump win and the implications for American politics going forward is long, it’s also meaty and very much worth your attention. Mark Blyth was virtually the only person to call a Trump victory from the get-go (a colleague who spends a lot of time outside the Acela corridor is another member of that club) but also correctly gamed out how the stock market would react.

Everything Blyth says is incisive, colorful, and on the mark. By contrast, it’s frustrating listening to Schiller because she is invested heavily in Dem orthodoxy, and not even in the plausible parts: the Hillary scandals were manufactured by Republicans, Sanders would have lost if he were the Democratic candidate, Clinton was a victim of being a woman with a long political career (hello?). Similarly, towards the end, Blyth says, “There is no left left. It’s already had its lunch eaten,” and explains why, and then Schiller begs to differ by trying to depict the Democrats as still a real force and capable of being “renovated”. Help me. But she does have some random insightful remarks.

In other words, you can run the video and tune your attention in and out, although you may then want to go back and listen to just the Mark Blyth remarks a second time. There’s a lot of solid material here.

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      1. Clive

        I was (sorely!) tempted to nudge the YouTube little slidey dot thing to the right whenever Schiller got into her stride — my biggest moment of weakness was when her blathering on about “staying engaged… develop people, tutor them, find them a job, get involved with your community…” (I’m paraphrasing a bit but that was the gist.) seemed like it would never end.

        But for every five or six total clinckers like that, there was some especially interesting points from Schiller such as how Trump’s biggest troublemakers will not be Republican voters and their animosity but working class Democratic voters who switched to Trump after the Democratic Party abandoned them. Which is kind-a obvious when you hear it, but I hadn’t susssed that out at a conscious level until Schiller stated the bleedin’ oblivious. Maybe you all across the pond got that immediately and can’t believe how dumb you’d have to be to not appreciate that nuance, but for me, being so clueless, relativity speaking, about the U.S. and it’s political machinations, it was a bolt from the blue.

        I think that’s part of her charm in this piece, bumping into the truth by accident but then grabbing it and amplifying it. All in that delightful accent of hers which I could listen to all day.

        1. flora

          Yes, Prof. Schiller presents the current Dem estab side very well. That’s a good counter-point to Prof. Blyth. She makes several good points. Using much verbage – wordiness – to make a point is very common in academia, even expected. I was glad to see both “sides” presented in this video.

          Accent? What are you talking about? ;)

          1. JohnnyGL

            First off, thanks Yves for finding this. Blyth is always enjoyable to watch, even if you don’t agree with everything he’s got.

            Clive/flora, Schiller has a very mild NY/NJ/Long Island accent. I barely noticed until you two pointed it out. I’m going to guess Clive was being sarcastic, unless he really is into that accent. If he’s serious about enjoying it, he’d be distinctly in the minority from my experience! :)

            Schiller was wordy at times and got bogged in minutiae, but as you both point out, she represents the viewpoint of the current Dem Party establishment. She does make the case decently enough, minus a few howlers, as Yves points out. She did have some interesting thoughts, at points, too, as Clive points out. She’s right that Trump may find himself caught between the swing voters that pushed him over the top and the hard right Freedom Caucus that won’t allow any federal spending.

            One of the interesting questions was if there’s a real realignment coming. Blyth sees resurgent nationalism in the US and Europe and does a really good job of putting a global context to it and points out that America is just the latest domino in this wave that’s underway (he’s also got some real zingy factoids and one liners and delivers them with conviction). Schiller seems to feel that ‘our team is doing fine, fundamentally, but sometimes you just lose one that you didn’t see coming’. So, basically, no realignment, just a fluke election.

            Okay, at this point, I lost my patience and wanted to jump through the screen and shake the woman or douse her in cold water and yell, “What’s wrong with you??!!? Did you really learn NOTHING from this election, except ‘try harder’??!?!? For chrissakes you just lost white women 53-42 to a guy who’s a confessed serial groper!?!?!?! I hereby sentence you to read Thomas Frank’s recent string of articles 10x until you get the message?!?!” Actually, she doesn’t even need to do that. She just needs to tune into some of what Blyth is saying while sitting right next to her.”

            For what it’s worth, I think if Biden had been selected by the party elites the way Clinton was he would have squeaked out a win against Trump. Turnout would have been a little better on the Dem side without the FBI criminal investigation and all the Foundation bribery scandals and leaked emails. Fewer working class whites would have flipped to Trump. I also think Bernie would have crushed Trump at least as easily as Obama beat McCain in 2008.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Wendy Schiller has an extraordinary ability to talk loudly and at length without saying anything vaguely interesting. She’d do well in politics.

        1. Pete

          Hilarious. He says “people are tired of being told what to think” and it goes in one of her ears and out the other. No self-awareness.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I think a lack of self-awareness is an absolute job requirement for membership of the captured intellectual elite in one way or another.

      1. dcrane

        She’s not as efficient in her words as she could be, but I liked quite a bit of what she had to say (as well as Blyth’s commentary). And she comes across as being pragmatically positive as well as earnest.

        1. Clive

          Yes, I couldn’t, despite my best efforts (due to innate cyclical outlook and general not-too-keenness on American’s tendencies to wide-eyed gee-whizz we can accomplish anything we set our mind to-isms) begrudge Schiller’s “you’ve got to keep trying something — anything — otherwise you might as well just give up now” indefatigability.

    2. Greg Gerner

      For me, the gold of Mark Blyth’s analysis is found at 34:40 in and runs to 43:44. Listen to that short 10 minute stretch and you’ve got the keys to the kingdom. In it, Mark explains where we’re at, how we got here, who’s to blame, and what’s going to happen to us if we don’t wake up. Whether we can change, whether we have the political will to do what’s necessary to change is in no way clear to me. The dilemma that we face as a nation is that while “We, the people” may want real change, the NeoLiberal order (for which HRC is the poster child) is totally invested in the failed, corrupt status quo. Proof: The Democratic Party made it abundantly clear that given the choice, they’d rather lose with Hillary than win with Bernie.

      1. Marco

        Thanks Greg for the time slice. Curious what others here think of Blythe’s point that both Trump AND Bernie were being dishonest telling voters that we can bring manufacturing back to US soil. The “problem” is a distributional issue where only 10% of the population in any modern economy can materially provide for the rest.

        1. reslez

          There’s a lot to unpack.

          – Contra Blyth, manufacturing in China is a decision. It’s a political choice. The trade treaties that reduced tariffs and make offshore manufacturing and labor profitable can be torn up. Is Blyth saying this can never happen? Because that seems inaccurate.
          – Blyth says Trump can’t bring back manufacturing because it would make the iPhone more expensive and the CEO of Apple won’t have it. Yet Trump spent an entire election yelling about offshoring CEOs and the iPhone insider Beltway crowd. If he does not go after offshoring manufacturers he’ll fracture his base. Are we really to believe that President Trump can’t pound the podium and get people to accept a more expensive iPhone in exchange for jobs? It seems to me the Freedom Caucus would accept that a lot faster than ramped up federal spending
          – As Blyth asks, do people truly want manufacturing jobs? Or do they actually want good-paying jobs with benefits, some moderate control over their working conditions, that give them respect and status and a self-story?
          – Do blue or pink collar jobs without unions grant any of the above?
          – Technology is making some of these jobs obsolete, but contra Blyth, at $2/day human labor in near slave conditions will stay cheaper than machines for a very long time. (My question: How long until those humans start pushing for unions?)
          – Some manufacturing jobs are dangerous and lead to toxic exposures, do we really want humans to be doing them?
          – Does it make sense to force all people to work when Blyth thinks only 10% of the population needs to? Yet society calls people who don’t work lazy and worthless.

          I don’t agree with him on all points but he sees things a lot clearer than most economists.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Thats the one thing he said which struck a sour note for me. Its simply untrue. Manufacturing will go where its cheapest and where the CEO thinks its in its interest to send it. There is plenty of research out there indicating that off-shoring actually damaged many businesses by over-stretching supply chains and a loss of quality control. The ‘driver’ was business politics – CEO’s needed to be seeing to do it to justify their big pay rises. The US is not a high cost manufacturing centre by developed world standards (especially in energy intensive businesses). There is already significant evidence of retrenchment by companies back in ‘core’ manufacturing countries in the US and Europe for all sorts of reasons.

          So there is absolutely no reason why, over a 10-20 year timescale, why a there could not be a major rebuilding of manufacturing in the US, or large parts of Europe for that matter. The question for progressives is whether this is the most efficient way of generating jobs and reducing inequality – that may be the bigger and more important point.

          (btw, I suspect the reason Blythe threw in Sanders there is that he is one of those Scots who loves being the contrarian, much as I admire his ideas, he does love being the ‘sole voice of reason’ and slamming everyone, including allies I think).

          1. SAURABH GOYAL

            I’ve always had a few questions related to this:
            1. How much do tax loopholes contribute to sending manufacturing abroad? (basically, if you manufacture within the US, there is no way to evade corporate tax – is this assumption true?)
            2. Isn’t the “cost” of top management making it difficult for manufacturing companies to compete with China? (this is in relation to the “value” they add to the business)
            3. If the above two have even a modicum of truth, couldnt the management function be out-sourced?

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I’m no expert in the topic, but I would say in response to your questions that:

              1. Opportunities for transfer pricing to minimise tax plays a significant role in sending manufacturing abroad. But I think its just one element among many. I think raw cost is the single most important (i.e. labour and energy costs, etc), plus currency hedging (i.e. protecting yourself against your domestic currency going too high) and others. but I understand research indicates that many companies did it simply because the CEO’s decided that not to do it made them look like they were not ruthless or ambitious enough. Never underestimate the herd instinct. I know from friends who worked for the Irish investment agency that many IT companies chose ireland for the simple reason that they felt that ‘if its good enough for Apple and Google, why bother doing something different?’

              2 and 3. Excellent point of course. But thats to make the mistake that these people run the companies for the benefit of shareholders.

        3. ChrisPacific

          I actually agreed with him on that one. We can already produce vastly more than we could 50 years ago, more efficiently and at a lower cost. This is what we’ve been working towards for decades. It was supposed to be the Jetsons future in which everything was automated and nobody had to work because technology had succeeded in finally making life easy. We are largely there now – but we forgot that our economic system requires people to work in order to live. Take away the work in that situation and it turns out that the Jetsons future actually means huge profits and benefits flowing to the holders of capital and mass layoffs and unemployment for everyone else.

          In short, we don’t need More Stuff – we need a way to more equitably manage the distribution of the stuff we have. That is where the system is failing. Arguing about who gets the manufacturing jobs is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  1. dk

    Trump didn’t have his own turnout engine, and the RNC hung back during the crucial Sept-Oct period, when ground organizations are built.

    But the Republican senatorial campaigns did, and they were well funded; they carried Trump, not vice versa.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Not persuaded that this was key. Yes, Trump could rely on Republican turn out the vote efforts because they’d do it regardless for their own down ticket races no matter how that came together. But the Republican vote was the same as in 2008, while the Democratic vote was down. And as Lambert pointed out, the turnout among the core Trump demographics (rural in particular) was 10 points over what the models predicted, even Team Trump’s own models, while groups assumed to be strongly for Hillary (older women, Hispanics, blacks) did a combination of turning out less than anticipated and voting for Hillary less when they did vote.

      I’d love a seasoned person to chime up, but I don’t believe get out the vote efforts target smaller, dispersed communities. The logistics would make it a costly, low payoff exercise.

      I know someone who canvassed for Hillary in Nevada. He said it was impressive how well organized the effort was. But two things were striking. One was that the demographics of the canvassers (as he put it, “well off people from the Bay area protecting their interests”) were way different than those of the neighborhoods they were visiting. But to him an even bigger issue was that the Clinton campaign had no message whatsoever as to why the Democrats or Clinton deserved the vote.

      1. Ulysses

        “An even bigger issue was that the Clinton campaign had no message whatsoever as to why the Democrats or Clinton deserved the vote.”


        I would argue that this is really all you need to know to understand what happened. You cannot win a national election by merely pointing out, which in this case is true, that your opponent is horrible. Especially when your supporters are obviously devoting great amounts of energy to hiding and distorting the most horrible parts of your record.

        People were rightly dismayed by the public, political record of HRC. Trump, as a non-politician, had no public record to cover up. It was easy for desperate people to project onto him their own positive fantasies about disrupting the establishment, while dismissing the many signs of his narcissism and lack of empathy for other people.

        1. Quanka

          ++. In Colorado we were flooded with HRC ads in the last 5-7 days and none of them — NONE — had anything to say about HRC. It was a constant stream of offensive things Trump has said over the past 12 months mixed with black/white written messages to the effect “what will your kids think/say” if that other guy wins.

            1. beth

              How do we explain it to the kids when we are still telling ourselves that he won because most people are racist and deplorable.

              The reason we have bullies at school, is because we have bullies among adults.

        2. Carla

          “while dismissing the many signs of his narcissism and lack of empathy for other people.”

          Very easy to do when the other candidate has shown over at least three decades that her narcissism and lack of empathy, although slightly obscured with a layer of sophistication, are actually in the same league…

          1. Anon

            Yes. And over three decades the Clinton’s have squeezed any scent of liberal, democratic, populist energy from the Democratic Party.

        3. hemeantwell

          “An even bigger issue was that the Clinton campaign had no message whatsoever as to why the Democrats or Clinton deserved the vote.”

          And on top of that a believable message. The Dems were not only hamstrung by elite dominance but also by the fact that many people recognize the Clintons as lying public office grifters, as this thread develops below. If Schiller cannot admit that as a major problem/factor, she’s nothing more than a Kool Aid guzzler.

          1. no one

            In a sense, the Clinton failure was a referendum on the Obama years. If the Obama presidency had been successful (i.e., by growing a jobs economy), then Hillary “More of the Same” Clinton would have had the wind at her back. It was a mistake to run as though the Obama years were good years, which is why Allan Lichtman’s 13 keys to presidency ( should be important reading for would-be candidates and, especially, political parties. While it’s hard to believe these keys are dispositive, they have been remarkably predictive so far.

        4. jawbone

          Seems to me, and I may projecting my dismay at her actions, that Hillary’s strongest messages to voters came from things left unsaid, answers which were not clear, moves to the right meant to pull in moderate Republican voters.

          When Hillary talked about certain topics, such as universal single payer health care, her message came through loud and clear: Her tone when she said “never, ever” about single payer said far more than just an absolute rejection of single payer. It was more powerful that even Obama’s dismissive comment when he got a question from a single payer advocate at a “town hall” meeting: “Got the little single payer advocates up here.”

          The other topic where I felt completely sincere emotions matched her words was when she was talking about the incredible dangers posed by today’s Russia. Her tone, facial expressions, even posture said Iron Lady and that she was totally ready to get her war on with Russia.

          Another message, which did not match any of her evasions, rationalizations, and excuses, was that she had something to hide about the email “scandal.” And the very highly paid Goldman Sachs speeches.

          But positive messages to the voters? Promising to go slow and move in small increments? Wow, something that really turned voters on to a Hillary presidency…NOT.

          Again, this could be just me, because she lost me at her Honduras coup actions.

        5. TK421

          You cannot win a national election by merely pointing out, which in this case is true, that your opponent is horrible.

          Especially when you, yourself, are horrible. Iraq. Libya. Haiti. Egypt. “Bring them to heel”. Hillary Clinton is a despicable person with a terrible record.

        6. herkie

          And yet that is ALL Trump did. He never gave policy answers, he claimed he would repeal and replace the ACA yet never once even implied what he would replace with. He never ran a positive commercial (at least here) but rather showed a fat woman in blond wig and pants suit taking a hammer to cell phones.

          I suspect part of the reason he did not give any clue to his post election policies was that if people knew what he was going to do they would never have voted for him.

          Hillary might have won had she pointed out very clearly to the voters that it is either me or a fascist take over of the USA but she waffled on that, implied it a few times but otherwise treated Trump as just another republican. Now the people are going to find out the hard way because this will destroy the USA.

      2. dk

        Oh yes, not saying the Rep senatorial turnout beat a competent Dem turnout; Dems fell down on the job. But the Clinton campaign sucked a lot of dollars aways from senatorial campaigns, and generally did not work with progressives like Feingold or Hassan. They didn’t think they had to.

        The classic GOTV model is to build local teams that reach out in their own or nearby neighborhoods. So knowledge of local issues and attitudes is built in. Field organizing generally starts in September (to begin pushing early voting in October). These teams are urban or suburban, rural in-person outreach is difficult, time-consuming, and the ROI is poorer than for concentrated population. However, I’ve seen it done is some rural communities, such as Native American reservations.

        The DNC never liked this model because it costs money, doesn’t appear in the media narrative (so donors don’t get the feeling their money is well spent), and leaves behind empowered local organizations. Killing OFA after 2008 is an example of this attitude. Consultants are always looking for ways to cut costs, while keeping prices (to campaigns/committees/donors) high so they can pocket the difference.

        Brief discussion of Clinton turnout failures here:

        There was much talk of “Clinton Republicans” who would, in the spirit of the Reagan Democrats, cross party lines to oppose Trump. But according to the exit polling of the New York Times, more Democrats crossed over and voted for Trump than Republicans crossed over and voted for Clinton.

        Dems notoriously hate talking to Republican voters. Some justifications for this are, we’re protecting our people from abuse, they won’t listen anyway, we can count on our base. So it’s no surprise to see a failure to spot-check and confirm this hypothetical vote bloc.

        1. sharonsj

          There is a reason Dems hate talking to Repubs. Dems usually rely on facts. Repubs just repeat right-wing talking points because it reinforces their delusional world view. I spent about four years on the computer (I’m retired and hate daytime tv) checking out conservative sites as well as liberal sites and making it a point to read all comments. Liberals usually made reasonable comments on the topic; conservatives insulted anyone who didn’t agree with them.

          Finally, I talked to two ladies I work with who turned out to be rabid right-wing Christians who think climate change is a hoax (despite our area having been completely flooded by a 50-year flood, a 100-year flood and a 500-year flood all happening at once). They absolutely love Mike Pence–a Dominionist who is against the separation of church and state and who believes destroying the Earth for profit is just fine because Jesus will return soon and fix it–whereas I am completely appalled by him. Hell will freeze over before we talk politics again.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            While I think there is some truth in what you say, its not true of all conservatives or all liberals. My perception, as an outsider, is that there is a particular cultural thing in parts of the non-coastal continental US where people just don’t like arguing or discussing politics with people who don’t agree with them. I come from a background (Irish) where people love having a good argument about politics with no hard feelings afterwards whatever is said. The branch of my family who are east coast Republicans are just like this, they will strongly defend their views and are pretty open minded (well, most of them are). I’ve been in discussions with liberals who have accused me of misogyny and racism for even daring to suggest that some aspects of identity politics don’t stand up to rigorous assessment (it was a deep shock to me the first time I encountered this, because I had always thought liberal/progressives were open to discussion). Hard left Trotskyists (a species I’ve had the misfortune to encounter a few times) are the worst of all, you have no hope if you wander from the true path for that lot.

            As a general rule, I would say that people of a Libertarian bent of the left or right or middle are far more up for a good discussion than those who veer to authoritarianism, and the latter can be found all across the political spectrum.

        2. Bev

          Clinton lulled by NY Times headlines of 93% probability of her winning, combined with stories of how Trump was destroying the GOP (note they now have all the power, and it is the Democrats who are powerless), and as dk says, there were supposed to be all those Republicans, like the Bushes and Kissinger, other warhawk neocons who were backing neolib Clinton over neocon Trump, but now look who Trump has on his team, the Bushes’ 911ers, the swamp builders not drainers.

          What a set up. Hillary should have taken note when someone (who?), paid 4 Billion Dollars of free media to Trump, but only 2 Billion of free media to herself.

          So, I want Democrats, Greens, Independents, Bernie, Jill Stein, Michael Moore, scientists, sports fans to get our democracy back now, even though Democrats were obstacles and others were ineffective to help Bernie Sanders who won the primary. As Cliff Arnebeck said, Clinton was being used to defeat Sanders, and did not control those e-voting machines. The general election has proved him right. What may have worked for Clinton during the Primary, worked against her during the General Election.

          And, someone controlled the purging of liberal Bernie voters in NY and other states, helping Clinton. While during the general, even more minority voters were purged from Democratic rolls, helping Trump.

          Do Democrats want to rise to this occasion and do the right thing now? Remember Trump said he would challenge any rigging. Trump did rig the election by purging minority voters while calling these legal voters illegals, making his actions the illegal actions.

          The Election was Stolen – Here’s How…

          Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.

          Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.

          The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report,
          “The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,” 8/24/2016.

          On Tuesday, we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump. The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “Caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted.

          Trump signaled the use of “Crosscheck” when he claimed the election is “rigged” because “people are voting many, many times.”

          So follow Trump’s advise to challenge rigging. We have proof of rigging of the voting machines also. When do we address this, if not now? If we challenge a rigged election, politicians will have to be more responsible to voters, not the riggers. So, no WW3, no nuclear war, clean water not fracking, implement much of the wonderful Jill Stein’s Green New Deal, and I’m on board. Democrats, Greens, Independents, Libertarians, Bernie, Michael Moore, all sports fans, scientists, and truth telling media, let’s do this for the kids, for Democracy:

          BREAKING: Ballot Protection Software On Ohio Voting Machines TURNED OFF!

          This is almost too incredible to believe. The Ohio voting machines now have ballot protection software on every machine. It allows an image to be collected and stored for every ballot cast. New York Times best-selling author Greg Palast is reporting that the protection software has been TURNED OFF on every single Ohio voting machine! After all the chaos that has gone down in Ohio elections, why in God’s name would they turn off the protection software?! Well, you might think, “Maybe it’s an accident.” …NOPE. In fact they were taken to court over it by Bob Fitrakis, and according to Palast, the Republican Secretary of State argued that it would take a MASSIVE effort to turn on the software. …But in fact, it’s a simple drop-down menu. The judge ruled in the Secretary of State’s favor. Apparently protecting our vote from fraud is just TOO MUCH TROUBLE.
          Clinton and Trump Supporters Both Agree On One Thing: The Election Could Be Hacked

          Fraction Magic – Detailed Vote Rigging Demonstration by Bev Harris

          Q: Does Fraction Magic always use a USB?
          A: No. It can also be on the computer or use remote access

          Q: Why would someone do Fraction Magic?
          A: Contract signing authority. Pay to play. Billions of $$ in local appropriations.

          Q: Who put it there?
          A: According to programmers and court testimony: a convicted felon; 23 counts on previous computer crimes.

          Q: Name?
          A: Jeffrey W. Dean. Previously employed by Bud Krogh, the former head of White House Plumbers unit under Richard Nixon.
          Jeffrey Dean put some other stuff in there too.

          It is not over.:
          Stand up.
          Let’s make it right.

          We the People must ACT NOW for real elections in America! (Jonathan Simon on my plea to Michael Moore)
          From Jonathan Simon:

          BREAKING: Election Experts Explain How The Election Was Stolen!
          Redacted Tonight

          Exit polls suggest that Trump’s big “victory” was stolen (just like Hillary’s nomination)
          Clinton WON these four swing states, according to the exit polls—and then went on to “lose” them. (Sound familiar?)

          Who owns Scytl? George Soros isn’t in the voting machines, but the intelligence community is
          by Gerry Bello

          Trump is the Stalking Horse for the latest Coup: Oil, 9/11, the Deep State, and Wall St.
          By dale ruff  

          Three Petitions Urging Electors to Make Hillary Clinton President
          Quicklink submitted By Amy Fried, Ph.D.


          NEWS! Oct 13, 2016: My advice for this presidential election is for each of the candidates to:
          — Don’t concede. American elections (due to voting machines, early voting, absentee voting, and online military voting) are illegal because there is no effective manner to monitor the election for fraud nor verify the results.
          — Ask for a new election using paper ballots and hand counts.
          — Audit the “official” results anyway. Establish a national online voter audit that includes the voter’s choice for president, plus their name, address, and email (optional) and compare those results to “official” vote tallies by polling places. It’s not perfect, but it encourages people to go public with their votes and demand that their votes are counted accurately. Learn more about “open voting” at VotingSecurity.htm
          — Sue the state governments for holding illegal elections (I tried and failed, but others may have better results).Lynn’s federal lawsuit against non-transparent voting systems (2004-2006)

          VOTING MACHINES: Constitutional Issues, Federal & Case Law

          From July 2, 2004 to April 4, 2006, Lynn Landes challenged the use of voting machines and absentee ballots, citing the lack of public participation and oversight. The defendants were the following: Margaret Tartaglione (Democrat), Chair of the City Commissioners of the City and County of Philadelphia, Pedro A. Cortes (Democrat), Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and John Ashcroft (Republican), the Attorney General of the United States.

          See Supreme Court filing at
          Apr 4, 2006: Supreme Court lets stand lower court decision – Denies Landes Standing & Allows Costs Against Voting Rights Activist
          Mar 27: U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Lynn’s case.
          Jan 30, 2006: Landes Lawsuit Reaches U.S. Supreme Court –

          Against voting machines:

          Election Integrity activists who are talking with Congressional leaders now:

          National Election Defense Coalition
          Please Donate.

        3. Linda Galindo

          “As anybody who has gone through a particularly nasty breakup knows, disdain [hate] cultivated in the aftermath of a divide quickly exceeds the original grievance. You lose somebody. You blame them. Soon, the blame is reason enough to keep them at a distance, the excuse to drive them even further away.”
          It’ a long read, but hang in there. Does anything here resonate? I have to remember I am the driver, not someone sitting in the back seat yelling at the driver to stay in their lane!

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Obamaling I had living with me in 2008 would get flustered because there were so many canvassers in the office it could be overwhelming. As the election neared, she had crowds every hour to get in and out on doors. If she had half the people, she would have looked more organized. She was in a bellwether area at the time, so it was a big deal. She had the local volunteers, people from the hard to canvass areas of Virginia, and people from non relevant states. Then the unions would show up with 50 people at a time. Field organizers should look like messes (not too messy, they have to keep showering and eating) if they are working hard towards the end. The Hillary organizers in 2007 and 2008 looked like fine examples of College Republicans as selected by Bill himself. My Obamaling was a new organizer was living with me because the state field director knew I would make sure she ate reasonably well and would tell her it’s time to call in sick. Those 14 to 16 hour days lead to people not appearing organized.

        Only the very committed canvassers went to the worst neighborhoods. “You want me to go where?!?!” The staff knows in general elections (primaries can be too short) and sets aside those neighborhoods for people they know or for the crazies.

        Organizing in rural areas is time consuming and takes years. Dismantling OFA and the 50 state stategy destroyed years worth of work in districts that finally paid off with the extra help. The best way is long term block captains and continual community organizing. When I did a Presidential primary campaign, an office mate and roommate (it was a horrid flop house) found her best results at the dump (the three dumpsters) on Saturday morning. Twice her Ford POS broke down and someone had to get the 100 lb waif. We couldn’t leave her on a New Hampshire highway in winter. We doubled the lost man power hours. Republicans have permanent dedicated people who largely do this organizing. They usually operate in churches, but they help with Republican turnout even if you don’t see it. If you go to any non partisan event and are new or unknown and probably white, the Republicans will have someone trying to feel you out and connect you with other Republicans. They never quit. The RNC stays in touch and takes feed back from these people.

        Then there are driveways.

      4. Ted

        We do need to push back on the republican turn out meme as well as the working class switched to Trump meme. Democratic voters, particularly in some key battle ground states simply chose to not vote. There was no upswing in republican voters for trum, but a rather shocking decline in Dem voters, when compared to both 2008 and 2012. For example, while about 24% of the electorate in 2008 and 2012 had high school or less education, this dropped to 18% in 2016. Yes, in addition, Clinton lost the support of those high school or less voters by about 6-7%.

        Moreover, these were not just white working class voters as the other meme suggests. Sure the post-college grad professionals now note team dream in lock step, but HRC LOST ground among African-Americans & Latinos, in addition to seeing support among white voters with high school or less crater. I think this election was an attempt to create a gilded age bifurcation between the professional classes and everyone else (who the professionals see as a market to be exploited for personal gain i.e., “$tudents”, “patient$”, “legal client$”, “debtor$”, con$umers, “NGO aid recipient$”, etc., etc.). Schiller’s paternalism is only a symptom of these: go out there kiddies and volunteer (like a thousand points of light! Hmmm), help those poor folks in their misery (and call it an “internship” to boost your resume to boot).

        1. bob mcmanus

          The key to the election (and the primaries) I think is that Trump’s base (partially) that turned out is not the standard Republican base. Trump’s base is lower income, some prior Democrats, upper Midwest, etc.

          Republican turnout didn’t increase, but these are different Republicans. Not entirely, but enough to give him leverage against Congress and the Party.

      5. bob mcmanus

        I’d love a seasoned person to chime up, but I don’t believe get out the vote efforts target smaller, dispersed communities. The logistics would make it a costly, low payoff exercise.

        There is an article floating around, I think you linked it, about Trump’s massive and brilliant online operation, run by a digital marketing kid out of San Antonio. Trump didn’t have a press office, didn’t have a GOTV operation, but I think had a hundred full time staffers on Facebook and twitter, building databases and facilitating communication.

        And so could target smaller, dispersed communities in ways invisible to bif media and possibly the DNC.

      6. Tim D

        GOTV has incremental benefit in a close race when there is low name recognition or unclear differentiation between candidates – hardly the case last week. At best, GOTV might add 1/2% to 1% to an individual candidate’s vote total. My experience is that it’s usually just a way for myopic Democrats to convince themselves that everyone thinks like they do because most people tell the canvasser what they want to hear so they can close the door or get into the post office as soon as possible.
        To back Yves anecdote, it was mostly people from Boston’s affluent suburbs canvassing in towns in New Hampshire from what I saw.
        In August, I spoke with friendly and articulate Trump supporter who said simply “This country needs a bull in a china shop”. Clinton’s message was pretty much “Trump is a bull in a china shop”. Not hard to figure out what went wrong.

      7. olga

        On the lack of constructive proposals in HRC’s campaign – quite agree. Her entire strategy seemed to be: vote for me because I am me. The absence of anything constructive was like a gaping hole… if she’d filled at least 10% of the Russia-bashing time with helpful ideas that actually affect people’s lives – she might have had a chance. Having some kind of a plan shows (1) competence and (2) that you care about what matters your voters. But, of course, she does not care – we should know that by now. Energy was spent instead coming up with clever phrases like ‘basket of deplorables,’ which – one must admit – is not just a casual phrase, but must have taken quite some effort to devise. Just another proof – as if we needed more – of the total disconnectedness of Dem leadership from the folks they profess to represent. This was also clear when she steamrolled Sanders and then treated his platform at the convention with a cold shrug. She managed to alienate the most enthusiastic voting block – and it did not occur to her that there’d be a price to pay. I remember thinking back then that those voters would simply not show up at the polls… And she did get almost 8 million fewer votes than Obama in 2008. Call it Bernie’s revenge

        1. Eduardo Quince

          Her entire strategy seemed to be: vote for me because I am me.

          Note quite. It was: vote for me because I’m not him (him being Trump). He’s way worse than me.

      8. Oregoncharles

        GOTV doesn’t help you much if it’s the issues and the candidate that are killing you.

        The Dems have been in charge, in varying degrees, for 10 years. The voters have been voting them down for the last 6 of those, and admitted membership has shrunk drasically, for both parties. Obama’s reign has been an utter disaster for the Dems, and Hillary promised more of the same. So the outcome isn’t really a surprise, unless you listened to the polls.

  2. Clive

    Flippin’ heck. This is powerful and hugely relevant material. I’m glad that a) it’s Saturday lunchtime, it’s miserable and raining outside, there’s nothing in TV and I’ve not got anything in particular to do having already killed time this morning shopping and mooching around the coffee shop before getting frustrated with the free newspapers because b) otherwise I wouldn’t have had the inclination to watch this. That would have been my loss.

    Please everyone, if you do nothing else today, just skip, to the slot at c. 16 mins in. I’ll transcribe to give you a falvour:

    “… there was a moment when people started to figure out, there has been a huge amount of money generated in the global economy… most of it has gone up to a tiny fraction of the population … hardly anyone has benefited. And you don’t have to go far to see this (list examples). So they’re a bit fed up with this. And they’re decided to, at any possible opportunity, … , to basically give their elites notice — that we’ve had enough of it.

    You’ll then probably want to go back and listen to the whole thing from the beginning.

      1. Clive

        Yeah, and “climate change should get da yoof vote out” (pure projection, millennials are just not that into it when set against much more, for them, pressing issues — yes, it’s the single biggest but not head and shoulders above other contemporary issues) and spoken by someone who is obviously interested and deeply wanting to understand young people but, like any old fart (myself included) will inevitably be miles from any actual understanding.

        It often seems to me that younger people bring up the subject when in the context of “talking to serious older people” (MSM interviews, school projects, that kind of thing) for the sole reason that that is what they think the older people are wanting them to cover.

        But of course, if I spoke for 90 minutes, had to respond off the cuff and spontaneously, despite my best efforts and general all round genius, I’d talk the odd bit of bollocks now and again. Sometimes too, especially towards the end of a session like that, you’re aware your audience’s attention is waning — it is hard to listen to anyone talk for that time while you’re just sat there — you do tend to lob the occasional provocative statement in, if only to make sure they’re still awake.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think Climate change should work, but people look to their tree hugging friends. What do the tree huggers say? The tree huggers know Clinton is a fraud. KeyStone, DAPL, franking, etc. It’s often the messenger. Tim Kaine pushed “clean coal” and mountain top removal. He talked up the environment when he ran for governor.

      2. olga

        Blyth is usually very good – perceptive and incisive (I try to catch his commentary wherever…).
        But the Baltics invasion remark stumped me… really? What has he been reading to come up with that scenario? Maybe it just shows how insidious propaganda is – that even smart people who really ought to know better fall for it. Sad (although he does redeem himself a bit at 1:11)… Baltics area is very similar to Ukraine – all Putin has to do (if he’s inclined to do anything about them) is just wait until they fall apart from within… Ukraine is well on the way… and Baltics states have been seriously de-populated, with falling living standards. Never forget that Putin is painfully aware that 1979 Afghanistan was a clever trap set for USSR; he’s not likely to repeat that mistake. Plus, as he once said: it took me nine hours to fly from Moscow to Vladivostok; do you really think we need more territory…?

        1. dcrane

          Made me wonder as well. Maybe I’m just grasping here, but it could have been intended as just a way to highlight the potentially frightening implications of Trump’s temperament and inexperience.

      3. H. Alexander Ivey

        WTF? Doesn’t anyone think that the USA is hell bent on world domination and the only ones standing against them is Russia & Putin? Why is the question always framed such that it’s ‘Russia attacks, the US defends’? Blyth is quite right on with most of his arguments, but that throw-away line on Trump is a cheap shot with no basis. Why don’t we instigate the non ad-hominem rule for Trump?

      4. PlutoniumKun

        I think Blythe is one of those Scots who loves being a contrarian and throwing in occasional verbal hand grenades into conversations with people who agree with them. There is no evidence whatever that Putin has any interest in that kind of military conquest. He is much more subtle than that. Plus he almost certainly knows the Russian Army is nowhere near as competent or as well equipped as propagandists say. He was behind the purchase of French assault ships because he knew Russian shipyards were incapable of delivering workable vessels on that scale.

  3. Evan Not That Almighty

    I remember when I turned against Hillary Clinton. There was a New Yorker article published when she was FLOTUS about Her Arkansas years when Bill was Govenor. A commodity trader on a local exchange – beef I think – shifted wins to Her and losses to others. When it was found out, she never showed remorse for those who lost at Her expense or tried to make restoration. Her avarice was apparent even then and never failed to reappear.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, that news story first became public in 1992. Even before the details came out, just the profile, that she’d turned $1000 into $100K trading commodities…and then suddenly stopped! was so utterly bullshit that you knew even though she did have an actual commodities account and somehow trades were made in it, that this was a $99K bribe. And the trades took place in 1978, when she and Bill were in Arkansas…which means they were grifters from the get go. That level of crookedness was utterly beyond the pale back then (there was much more of a sense of probity and getting caught out really did have serious reputational consequences), and yet they got away with it and more until the Presidential campaign put the spotlight on her for too long.

      1. susan the other

        I remember bits of the story she told that their friend who knew the cattle derivatives market talked her into playing a few bets and she won; she asked him stg. like, ‘is it really that easy?’ and he said yes. So she played it a few more times and when she reached 100K she thought that was enough. Can’t remember the guy’s name, but he got into very deep shit over the Whitewater affair. I think he’s the one who went to jail and his wife was so mangled by refusing to fess up (FBI?) that she went to jail too; she looked pathetic. Never heard what happened to those guys.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Another seminal event from Hillary’s Arkansas years, when a political unknown named Frank White ousted Bill Clinton from the governor’s office in 1980 after Clinton’s first term:

      One detail had stuck with [White’s wife] 36 years later. “I cannot tell you the number of times [voters] would say to me, ‘If your husband wins, are you going to keep his last name?’ ” she told me. “I heard it over and over and over.”

      They knew, of course, that Arkansas had seen no first lady like Rodham, a Wellesley graduate who wore bookworm spectacles and a hairdo that was not blown out in the Southern manner. At 32, she was a full partner at one of the nation’s oldest law firms. She had never changed her name, and Rodham was how her clients knew her.

      Unremarkable today, a married woman keeping her surname could still be a polarizing gesture in the 1970s, at least in flyover land. Then as now, Hillary was blind to the negative reactions she was provoking. As the Times drily notes:

      Rodham “changed everything: her whole appearance, her wardrobe. She started wearing makeup. She took Bill’s last name. They did the things they needed to do.”

      The Clintons’ showbiz friends Harry and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason assigned her three fashion consultants — one each for her makeup, hair and wardrobe — and her headbands were consigned to the dustbin of history.

      As we vividly witnessed on Wednesday morning with Hillary’s blinding blaze of primary purple, years of expert fashion advice left the not the slightest impression on her.

      1. jawbone

        RE: the intense purple

        I was curious about its symbolism and found an amazing number of articles discussing the meaning of her purple and black pantsuit. It could be a blending of Repub red and Dem blue, a call for unity. Or a reference to the suffragette flag, which was purple, green, and white. It is also a symbol of mourning or penitence or royalty, dignity, wisdom. Whatever it symbolized, it was clearly meant to be a strong message.

        Her outfit was coordinated with Bill’s matching primary purple tie and Ann Holton’s (Tim Kaine’s wife) dress which was a bit more subdued but also deep purple. I couldn’t tell if Tim Kaine’s tie was deep purple stripes against lighter purple or black/deep gray with lighter pourple or black and gray…. I didn’t see it mentioned in the articles.

        If anyone’s curious, google “symbolism of purple + Hillary’s concession speech pantsuit.”

    1. Susan

      Yep, I’ve been following Blyth since his global Trumpism went viral (the Athens Live snippet), and I’d seen both these videos. In the one you posted, the last question is of particular interest to me – the student’s question about Asia – where it’s difficult to get this sort of populism going. Japan is singled out.

      But I don’t recall him ever mentioning the rest of the world. So, yeah, not really global, but western Trumpism or old colonial master feudal revolts in the US, Britain and Europe. There’s a lot of world left to consider.

      Okay then, since we (westerners) are still lording it over the rest of the world (okay, maybe not Australia and Canada), how do they, the global south and Asia figure in while we brexit and trumpet?

      1. dk

        But I didn’t think that Blyth does a good job of balancing universal income against overall environmental impacts of large populations, which go well beyond affecting global climate temperatures through carbon-fuel consumption. A vast number of subsidized consumers doesn’t take resource consumption or recycling into account. But that is not the focus of his synthesis, which is very cogent.

    2. JEHR

      Excellent commentary by Blyth and he got everything so right way before Trump was elected. I watched the whole thing and it brings together all the different threads of information that we have be reading at NC–terrific video with captions!

  4. PH

    Schiller is my worst nightmare. Smug assurance that it is all just cyclical, and worst, that the public will recognize Repub flaws once Repubs have total power. And casual belief that nothing irredeemable will happen in next four years.

    1. dcrane

      I didn’t see her as smugly certain that the public will recognize R flaws now that they have full control. But she did raise this as a real possibility, and I completely agree with her that this is a very different situation from the one they’ve exploited for eight years now. Especially when coupled with the fact that, based on the results of this election, they’re not likely to easily retain power solely by appealing to their red meat Tea Party base. They need to hold on to the voters who switched to them from Obama.

      The GOP will now own the country’s fate to a greater extent than at almost any other point in my lifetime. Voters in nearly half of our states now have Republican control from President right down to dogcatcher.

    2. Brad

      Yes, Schiller has the typical American liberal “Greek” concept of endlessly repeated cycles of history, this resting on a theology of the Holy Eternal Constitution handed down to us from heaven by our Founding fathers. IOW clueless.

      But nothing lasts forever, not even the US Constitution. The gist of Blyth’s analysis is that we’ve entered into a historic cul-de-sac. The people increasingly cannot tolerate the status quo, and therefore Schiller’s endless cycles, but the system as structured by the Constitution (whose Founders were indeed classicists in political thought) gives no way out.

      That’s a recipe for a mighty social explosion that will be unparalleled in human history. Hence I found Blyth’s snort of approval (“You think?”) to Schiller’s comment that (I paraphrase) “now was not a good time to open up the Constitution given the present political climate” puzzling. “The current political climate” is really the same political climate that got Obama elected in 2008. The whole problem is that nothing has changed since then, nor since Clinton time, Schiller’s preferred state of things for her political theology. Then when will it be “the right time”? The answer from Blyth is never. So we’re sitting on a volcano starting to smolder, heading for a great social explosion. No predicting here where it will take us.

      1. Phil

        Yes, one hears a lot of talk about how the Constitution that the Founders wrote is not working any more.

        Well, it is not the Constitution that the Founders wrote any more. That one died in 1865.

        If we went back to the one they wrote, which structured a republic based on separation of powers and extremely limited central government, no income tax, no standing army, extensive State rights, and a representative for every 35,000 property holders, we might see something that worked, again.

        I get so tired of people blaming the Founders. You can blame Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, and the Supreme Court since 1945. But don’t blame a Constitution that those people tore up.

        And don’t talk to me about the evils of slavery then, until you open the jails and release 1,000,000 black folk who are in there now, mostly for their inevitable involvement in the war on some drugs. Civilizations never perceive the extent of their own cruelty; it is so much easier to redirect attention to the cruelty of their predecessors.

  5. Colin

    Mark Blyth is terrific, but he lost me at 43:35 when he talks about the possibility of “Putin invading the Baltics” without offering any motive for doing so. He should stick to economics.

    1. Clive

      I should point out that, when I talk to Polish friends who I know well enough for me to think they are telling me the unvarnished truth about what they believe, including one lady who’s family came to the U.K. in the run up to WWII and several others who have relocated since the end of the Cold War) they despise the Russians far, far more than the Germans.

      Perhaps, like Mark, having a Europe-centric — and even more so, a 1970’s / 80’s British — centricity Russia is always, historically, the big bogeyman. We can seemingly forgive Germany, but never Russia although why and for what transgressions, I’m not entirely certain.

      Don’t forget that, exposed as we are here to constant media bombardment of tales of Russian bombers harrying our brave lads in their F15s off the coast of Cornwall or steaming their aircraft carriers down the English Channel (“I saw ’em from the upstairs bedroom window of my house in Chichester! They were that close, I thought they were going to ram the harbour!” exclaimed my mother-in-law’s friend followed by the sorts of comments about “ruskies” which would have riots on the streets of cities if they were said about other ethnic or national groups) — an endless diet of Daily Mail-esque sensibilities, in other words — it’s so easy to end up constantly freaked out about Russia.

      Unsurprisingly then, it can be the go-to resource when you want to conjure up a quick, scary sounding, scenario in a very few words.

      1. HBE

        Anecdotal as well but the same runs true for the Swedish, I’ve found across generations young and old, while they will admit the US is dangerous in terms of FP, they staunchly feel the Russians are worse (I got into a heated argument over Syria, it was all agreement when we talked about the US’s negative role in the conflict, but once Russia entered the conversation it was a complete shift, the US could do no wrong and everything, migrant crisis in Sweden etc. was then Russias fault) but can never provide any concrete reason as to why.

        The best answer I’ve managed to get is that, it’s still simmering fear from the cold war when Sweden felt it lived under the shadow of a belligerent USSR.

          1. Colin

            Are you sure? The Soviet satellites of the past were a drain on the metropolis; why would they want to take on those responsibilities again? It was widely believed that Russia could have occupied the whole of Ukraine within days after the civil war broke out in 2014; but they didn’t. Ever wonder why?

            1. Clive

              I agree. Colonial escapades are always and every time drains on the coloniser. Britain didn’t “grant” independence to colonial possessions; we ran from the places before they bankrupted us. Russia is a great many things, but strategic ineptness and proneness to imperial overreaching isn’t high on my list of their faults.

              They learned that in Afghanistan and don’t show any signs they’re about to forget that lesson with Syria. The notion they’d make a land grab to retake the Baltic states is far fetched.

              1. LifelongLib

                “Colonial escapades are always and every time drains on the coloniser.”

                Yes, that’s the history I’ve heard too, but there are a lot of posters here who think that “colonizers” got rich from looting the colonies. Maybe it was only some people in the colonizing countries who did. And I guess you’d have to distinguish between colonizing (e.g. India) and mass settlement (like in the U.S).

        1. OIFVet

          Well, Poland and Sweden used to invade Russia quite regularly, and win too. At one point Poland controlled quite a bit of territory in what is today’s Russia. Peter the Great vanquished both Sweden and Poland quite thoroughly, and in Sweden’s case the thrashing was so great that it forever gave up on having territorial ambitions. Poland too came to be completely absorbed, I think under Catherine the Great, and I am sure that the resentment lives. Although some of the Polish nobility was quite the better off for it… The ironic thing is that Catherine herself was actually a Prussian. In any case, the history runs deep, and ill feelings due to grievances, real or perceived, don’t just go away in Europe. I am sure the average Russian is thinking, “You had no problems when you used to dominate us in the 16th and 17th centuries, so deal with it.”

        2. UserFriendly

          To me, it sounded like he was just using political shorthand for Russia rocking the apple cart. It was posed as a hypothetical after all.

      2. Colin

        I understand there’s a lot of historical baggage in this part of the world (I live in the Netherlands myself), for reasons one can’t just wish away. But still. Mark Blyth is so sharp when talking about the depredations of neoliberalism that it is downright embarrassing when he parrots an utterly banal neocon trope, such as the Russian “threat” to the Baltics.

        1. Colin

          Sorry, I shouldn’t have put it that way; it isn’t just the neocons; yes, some people in the Baltics and Poland also consider Russia a threat. Thing is, like the neocons, none of them has ever presented an even remotely credible motive for Russia to invade and occupy their countries anno 2016. Why Blyth buys this bogus scaremongering remains a mystery.

      3. susan the other

        I was puzzled by that one – what if Putin decides to attack the Baltics thing. Actually the way to prevent that is not to cut them off from their harbor. (In Latvia?)

  6. none

    I’m about 8 minutes in, just Schiller so far, but she sounds fine and is saying informative things about polling breakdowns etc. Blyth is being annoying, shaking his head and playing with his phone. As it gets further along that might change.

    1. m

      I would be irritated & bored if my fellow speaker hogged the platform, stated rubbish & yelled like that, blah!

  7. NoBrick

    Mean while, back at the ranch, the established voices at cnn,msnbc, (fill in) fail to realize
    or admit, their comparative impotence to “sway” has been defined by the electoral results.
    None the less, they keep firing “blanks”, mounted on their high horse of “popular”
    indignation. Priceless…

  8. bob mcmanus

    Watched half of this the other day, now the latter half. Schiller’s a hack, but Blyth is terrific

    The line from Schiller that burned me this time was something about the developing nations are the climate change problem, because they don’t want to limit productivity.

    The developing nations are producing for the Empire, and Americans want their toys cheap. Low wages and foreign emissions are American’s fault.

  9. KurtisMayfield

    At one point during the video Schiller stated that she was an independent. To me she sounded like a typical “centrist” Democrat, with her emphasis on gender/race/climate change.

    Also her advice on taking off you earbuds (good advice) and say hi to the janitor (good advice) should provide for the greatest awkward comedy skit in US history. I can’t imagine that 99% of any of the kids listening to her lecture at Brown desire to be in conversation with any of the support staff at Brown, let along have the ability to have a non-patronizing conversation with them.

    The last anti-Bernie bit was enough for me. The Democrats are losing an entire generation because they won’t go center-left. Only 55% of millennial voters voted for the Democratic candidate, and they can’t figure out that it is because they have been economically screwed?

    1. dcrane

      Also her advice on taking off you earbuds (good advice) and say hi to the janitor (good advice) should provide for the greatest awkward comedy skit in US history. I can’t imagine that 99% of any of the kids listening to her lecture at Brown desire to be in conversation with any of the support staff at Brown

      But isn’t that a problem, and wouldn’t it be better if more of those students did look up and say Hi now and then (figuratively speaking at least)? I thought it was a good point, though nothing earth-shattering.

      (edit: just noticed your ‘good advice’ in parens)

  10. SoCal Rhino

    One other difference for me was that Blythe described the global (ok western) forces at work of which Trump is just one avatar, while Schiller thought Dems need to do a better job explaining themselves. And she equated Dems with the Left vs his flat – there is no left, left. Blythe sounded like someone worth listening to going forward, Schiller not so,much. Wonder why someone who appears to be a partisan Dem registers as independent.

    You Brits agree that Corbin is doomed to minority status?

    1. paul

      He has been assigned this status, but that has been by the oligarchy.
      They’ve been on the wrong side of far too regularly recently for it to hold.

  11. jake

    Schiller is a perfect illustration of Thomas Frank’s self-infatuated Democratic party hack “professional”, who confuses personal comfort with merit, because it feels so good and all her friends agree.

    One would love to hear Blyth go at Paul Krugman who, despite some good years as an anti-austerity scold, today amusingly fits this mold. His latest despairing blog posts — he’s not sure wine will ever taste as good, or the exercise bike run as well, as it did under Obama, and ponders whether he should retire to “quietism” or storm the barricades of the Times op-ed page with more personal insults of Ryan or McConnell — don’t evince the slightest contrition for hawking Hillary or all his Bernie Bros nonsense.

    Some people never learn — or simply prefer the governance of Trump et al to an actual progoressive. In both cases, a large percentage of them seem to work for the Democratic party

  12. Carla

    Ooohhhh…. Love Blyth’s response to the question on “will America have a more isolationist policy under Trump?” starting @1:10:45.

  13. Vergniaud

    This may be a little off topic, but I just want to respond to a couple of Schiller’s comments. Can we finally, after 16 years, accept the known fact that Gore won Florida? So this is really the first time that we know of, not the second time, when the popular vote result differed from the electoral college result.

    Also, can we stop pretending that the Iraq attack was a “mistake” that “lot’s of people got wrong” including the very “experienced” members of the Cheney administration? Sure, by
    March ’03 a strong majority of the citizenry had been persuaded by the most relentless propaganda assault ever mounted by the US “free” press that the the attack should happen, provided it received authorization from the UN Security Council. But let’s now acknowledge that there was no excuse for congress critters and the Cheney administration — who all had access to accurate information — pretending that they really thought that a disarmed desert nation on the other side of the world was an “imminent threat,” or even any kind of threat. And while we’re at it, let’s ask ourselves why they’re all content, now, to let us think it was just monumental incompetence, a big “oops” — although not so big an oops that it should disqualify anyone from their positions of power in govt and the media, and certainly not one that calls for anyone to be prosecuted for, you know, conspiracy to commit torture, murder, aggressive war, etc.

    The fact that the bombs are still falling in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria, and the Obama administration has continued the Cheney administration’s bloody program for “remaking the map” of the Middle East through aggressive war (by proxy and not), ultimately put Hillary in a poor position to make her favored pitch that the voters should choose her over the Donald on the basis of her superior “judgment” in the use of military force.

    1. Herkie

      For what it is worth Vergniaud; I was a resident of Leon County Florida in 2000 and a registered democrat planning to vote for Gore (anyone but BushCo) but had an offer in August that year in New York I could not refuse, so I put things in storage, requested an absentee ballot, and moved up to The Empire State. I had looked first and saw that NY required a 90 day residency at the time before you could register and we were within 90 days of the election. Thus the absentee ballot request.

      The week before the election I still had not gotten my ballot and was getting nervous about it, so I called the registrars office in Tallahassee and they said they would send one. It took 10 days to arrive and I got it the day after the election when it had exactly zero value, it was then worth the same as the other litter the mailman left in my mailbox.

      I often wonder which link in the chain was the broken link that caused the ballot to be late and unvotable, was it an intentional delay by the registrars office or someone inside it who knew perhaps hundreds of (democratic) ballots would be voided by being returned late? Was it my local mailman in NY that knew the household he was delivering a ballot to was democratic?

      I will never know if there was intent or if there was just sloppy work by those who’s job it was to make sure a citizen voted as they requested, but one thing is certain, they only had to do this to a few hundred people in order to change the outcome of the election. And thus history, from 9/11 to the wars on credit cards we have to assume Gore wither would have caught the menace before it happened, or at least would have responded differently to it after it happened. Climate change would have been treated differently rather than delayed to the point where we now must suffer uneconomical solutions in order to solve it’s worst impacts, and we can go down the list of 8 years of Neocon infringements of rights and neglects that never would have happened.

    2. Waking Up

      For historical perspective:

      In 1824, John Quincy Adams did not win the popular vote. The election was ultimately decided by the House of Representatives.

      In 1876, President Elect Rutherford Hayes lost the popular vote (won electoral college).

      In 1888, President Elect Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote (won electoral college).

  14. Steven

    Anyone have a link to this footage with close captioning?

    I’m not sure I’d have the patience to look at it. Somebody has to start talking about some basic issues at play here, like technological unemployment or military Keynesianism, or we are not going to get anywhere. Do these people? Technological unemployment has been recognized as a problem and discussed virtually since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution – if not since the beginning of human civilization. It appears a viable solution for the problem has yet to be discovered. See David Graeber’s Debt, the First 5000 Years.

    The 20th century has been called ‘a century of war’. This one does not appear to be off to a much better start. World-wide ruling classes appear to be intent on siphoning off the benefits of scientific and technological progress and using them to contend with each other for more power. When you can no longer spend what you have, that appears to be the only thing money left to buy. Two world wars and a ‘century of waste’ (the American business model of planned obsolescence and conspicuous consumption) have allowed this country and the world to avoid coming to terms with the closing of the American Frontier and the success of Industrial Capitalism.

    Then there is, of course, Michael Hudson’s “debts that can’t be repaid (and) won’t be”. Just creating more of it and using the money to fund ‘jobs’ instead of meaningful, wealth-creating employment is not going to get us off this train.

    1. KurtisMayfield

      Yes Blyth mentioned that manufacturing isn’t going to employ many people because 1/10 of the world’s population produces everything we need. I try to explain that to coworkers everytime they mention “working hard” or “bootstraps” and it falls on deaf ears.

      1. Steven

        I’ll bet its the old ‘services industry’ rejoinder? There is some truth in it. We can and need to do a much better job of things like taking care of the elderly, providing adequate health care and education, etc. These are the kind of things I meant by “wealth creation”, not more ‘commodities’ or private jets and space flights for the 0.001%. The problem is getting the 1% and the rest of us who still have jobs and / or a little money to pay for it.

        The world will never have enough of the kind of wealth that comes from the human brain. Whether it is science, literature or some other form of discovering how the world we inhabit really works, we will never have too much of that kind of wealth. We just have to come up with a political and economic system insuring that promotes its creation, i.e. that people have the opportunity to develop to develop their potential as much as possible.

  15. Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

    Do you remember those thousands of people attending Trump rallies? They were the Democratic base, though they didn’t realize it.

    They were the working class, the less educated, the unemployed, the union members, the production line workers, the honest, compassionate, charitable people who had worked, and worked, and worked, and now no longer could afford what our great economy has to offer.

    They were the traditional Democrats — the FDR, HST, JFK, LBJ liberal-leaning Democrats, who simply wanted better healthcare, food, clothing, housing, education and retirement benefits.

    It was these liberals who created Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and the other social programs that support the working class. They are the Democratic base.

    The new Democrats forgot about their base. The Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Democrats were not Democrats at all. They were Republicans in Democrat clothing. They were conservatives.

    They were the Bill Clinton who ran a federal surplus, thereby guaranteeing a recession that cost his base their jobs.

    They were the Barack Obama who promised a “Grand Bargain,” which included cuts to Social Security and Medicare and the overall budget, all of which would impact the working class far more than the idle rich, thereby widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

    They were the Barack Obama who refused to prosecute the bank criminals who caused the Great Recession that took the homes, jobs, and savings from the Democratic base.

    They were the Hillary Clinton who would be an Obama clone, and who held secret meetings with the criminal bankers, guaranteeing they could continue to rob the Democratic base.

    Don’t search for esoteric and hidden reasons why Hillary lost. The Democratic liberal base composed of ordinary, working class, compassionate Americans, is far, far larger than is the Republican conservative base of the rich, the bigots, and the religious extremists.

    This massive majority would have voted for an LBJ Hillary, but instead were offered an Obama Hillary

    Hillary lost for one reason, and one reason only. She allowed Donald Trump to take the Democratic base.

  16. Theo

    just tuned in and listening to beginning of Schiller
    for god’s sake, it’s too much so often when this site is so blatantly anti female in so petty a manner
    hard to listen to indeed
    too bad
    if you disagree, yes judge her on what she has to say but not the other

    1. Socal Rhino

      I agree. Personally I found her charming, but wanted to restrict comment to substance. I don’t think she showed much that was insightful. Blythe seemed to be almost passively rude at points and I would guess he is not overly impressed with her.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry I am female and I agree with the criticisms of her 100%. Stop playing the gender card to defend someone who in the main was selling Democratic party tripe as if it were steak, and going on about it overlong to boot.

  17. Eurasier

    It’s easy to imagine Schiller as a gung ho political appointee in an HRC administration, presiding over a staff meeting that crosses out Blyth’s name from a list of approved consultants.

  18. tongorad

    This is why I love this site. Thanks for the link.
    Schiller does not belong on the same stage with Blyth. Cringe-worthy is an understatement. What an infuriating, clueless person.

  19. Not a Hillary-hater, just tired and depressed

    The Clintons and Obama need to stay out of politics and let the Democratic Party heal itself. If you haven’t seen this please take a look:
    If you agree that Keith Ellison should be the next Chair of the Democratic National Committee, add your name to mine. We’ll deliver a letter to DNC members to show the tremendous support for Keith.

    Under the circumstances, it is more than a little alarming to see stories like this one: The Clintons and Soros launch America’s Purple Revolution I believe I also saw a story suggesting Chelsea wants to perpetuate the Clinton family political dynasty. If the nation hasn’t learned enough from the Bushes I suppose it deserves what it is likely to get if she succeeds.

    1. integer

      The Clintons and Soros launch America’s Purple Color Revolution.

      You just can’t take your eyes off these little rascals, even for a minute. What will they get up to next?


    Trump had a “turn-key” operational advantage when it came to utilizing more than a decade of character assassination mass media sound bytes that condemned everything Hillary Clinton set on her agenda. The entire Republican Machine had it imprinted in headline rhetoric in their talking points to induce uncertainty into rage (see:

    It is currently interesting to watch as pundits and media personalities adjust their own spin and rationalize new interpolations and interpretations as to “what went wrong” and how the upset pulled its rabbit out of the hat they dismissed. The majority of interpretation look at character and cam-pain flaws in the same PR / political science text book rendition of checking for misappropriated tactics and technical strategies. Everyone now has 20/20 and the few true believers that did get it right are considered guru sages to be studied.

    The question as to whether the baselines are even authentic is not even raised. Not that it isn’t out there in theory The evaluation of method is not one of failed historical reference points thought to be precedent standards to guide speculative as calculus, probability and guidelines for success. The failure was that these were not even in play. The people that did call it properly were, apparently, ignored: “In 2016, the “post-truth” label was especially widely used to describe the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, including by Brogan Morris writing in Salon,[38] Professor Daniel W. Drezner in The Washington Post,[5] Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian,[4] Chris Cillizza in The Independent,[23] Jeet Heer in The New Republic,[39] and James Kirchick in the Los Angeles Times,[40] and by several professors of government and history at Harvard.[15] (see the link above to access live articles)

    Perhaps more complicated was the “TRUMP-Card” himself working out his own methods and ad-libbing to an emotivism among mass of vengeful and avenging vigilantes.
    Why does this sound so obviously true?
    “His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.[7]”
    Surely everyone recognizes this from the past year? Or do they?
    The fact is that it comes from a “…a report prepared during the war by the
    United States Office of Strategic Services in describing Hitler’s
    psychological profile in 1943.
    Full article: The Big Lie
    Theory to power does not work; test results for truth come up negative. Truth to Power requires that research look to the right place in history, and the people that were actually right in their evaluation of processes and methods of this new political machine.

    1. jawbone

      “His [Trump’s] primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.[7]”

      Ah, so now we have a Roy Cohen disciple as president working with an Ayn Rand disciple in the House and a proven scorched earth advocate running the Senate.

      IF Trump continues to be rolled by the rightwing and alt-right, we are in for some dire decades in this nation. Bill McKibben said it will be thousands of years for the Earth, that having a climate change denier as president will set back efforts to ameliorate the effects of global warming. It will mean four years of increasing damage to the environment, which cannot be easily adjusted for — if it can be adjusted for.

      As McKibben told Mother Jones:

      “…the thing that will have turned out to have been the biggest deal over the next several thousand years—is what it means for the rate at which the planet warms.

      “Geologic time” will become a familiar term as we go forward –and backward– under The Donald.

      Or, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The problem was not Donald’s skill in “character assassinating” what “Hilary had on her agenda” to do next. The problem was what the Clintons and Obama had *already done* in plain view, in fact and in deed. Bill: trade deals that eviscerated American manufacturing, mass incarceration policies, and dereg of Wall St predation; Obama: scot-free bank crime, expanded Bush foreign policy disasters, and disastrous new health insurance schemes/scams; and Hilary: 25 years of public life without a single solitary “accomplishment” that could be construed as “pro-90%” coupled with lying, theft and lawbreaking on a scale never before seen in American politics.

      1. Steven

        You are forgetting the theft of the nomination from Sanders. But otherwise not a bad summary. Any possibility of filing CRIMINAL charges against whoever was involved?

  21. susan the other

    Blyth talked about the global aspect of what he calls neo-nationalism. It’s true there is a global reaction to austerity; it’s not working but neither is the reaction. I always think I know how we got here (we’re all insane for the most part). How did the whole world effectively go bankrupt at the same time? Not just bankrupt but poisoned, literally poisoned by our excessive manufacturing and waste. We are also insanely stupid. I wonder what Wendy would have to say about that.

    1. Steven

      The key here is money. It used to be that you had to dig it (gold) out of the ground and then bury it again in a vault somewhere. But later with fraction reserve banking and then pure ex nihilo money creation and the US dollar standard all limits on ‘wealth creation’ a la Greenspan style were off. So you have not just the 1% but all of us who have have no idea what wealth really in single minded pursuit of the next digit for our bank accounts and stock portfolios.

      No wonder the Lords of Finance have such great contempt for the intelligence and welfare of the multitudes!


    Worth noting specifically:
    “In his 2004 book Post-democracy, Colin Crouch used the phrase “post-democracy” to mean a model of politics where “elections certainly exist and can change governments,” but “public electoral debate is a tightly controlled spectacle, managed by rival teams of professionals expert in the techniques of persuasion, and considering a small range of issues selected by those teams.” Crouch directly attributes the “advertising industry model” of political communication to the crisis of trust and accusations of dishonesty that a few years later others have associated with post-truth politics.[13]
    The term “post-truth politics” was coined by the blogger David Roberts in a blog post for Grist on 1 April 2010, where it was defined as “a political culture in which politics (public opinion and media narratives) have become almost entirely disconnected from policy (the substance of legislation)”

  23. Oregoncharles

    I don’t expect NC to do a transcript, but I don’t understand why the original source didn’t. Most of the first comments are telling us how to defeat the video. Video is a frustrating way to absorb this kind of information.

    Has Blyth written something on this topic? I’d love to read it. (OK, I’ll try searching it.)

    1. kareninca

      Same here. I appreciate that this was posted, not because I will watch it, but because I will look for something written as a result.

    2. Jeff W

      I transcribed the two main portions of Mark Blyth’s comments and put them on Google Docs here. Anyone with that link can view and download the transcript—you don’t have to be signed into any Google account.

      (I won’t say the transcript is perfect but it’s not bad.)

  24. alex morfesis

    gr8 vid…didn’t find schiller “that” offensive…she is a demobot cheerleader…not much different than eye of nyute gin grinch is for the rudepublikanz…

    did like her slip up at the very end…

    where she states “no matter which republican got elected…” goldwater gyrl vs donald karrottop…

  25. Oregoncharles

    Update: I found nothing written by Blyth on the election, at least not recent. I did find that NC’s listing of the video was right at the top (Yahoo Goodsearch).

  26. EyeRound

    Two benighted academics in debate.
    Neither one gets to the real way that Trump won: Republican election fraud. And its corollary in this election: Hillary’s hasty concession.
    Election fraud is easy to do and very hard to trace with today’s electronic voting. I suggest that most or all of the Republican rigging took place in battleground states’ Republican districts. Lambert had a recent post here at NC regarding Republican AG’s in battleground states.
    Clinton et al then fell for an obvious con by a con man: Trump’s assertion that he might not concede the election, which he claimed would possibly be rigged. It was rigged–by the Republican Party. Hello Paul Ryan.
    Clinton et al, could not do what Trump had vowed to do, and he knew it (so did Ryan). With her early concession HRC immediately agreed not to contest the election outcome.
    Consider what the Republicans had to achieve after their convention, when they fell in line with Trump, after they had disavowed him. The Party then had it both ways to make sure they won the election big–they were simultaneously both with Trump and against Trump, but their machine was operating to win ground needed in the battleground states.
    Down ballot candidates could be against Trump and still win. But only with strategic election fraud, which we see (together with Blythe and Schiller) clearly in North Carolina, and again with Feingold’s defeat.
    The Democratic Party, rather than believing in polling that said it was virtually impossible for Trump to win, chose instead to believe that troglodyte whites would crawl out of the swamp in FL, OH, WI in order to vote in unheard of numbers. There may be many of those indeed here in the land of the free, but not enough to win an election without a little extra “help.”

    1. dcrane

      I do think that electronic voting is a horrid mistake for any democracy to make. Hand-marked paper ballots is the only way to go.

      Perhaps there was fraud in Wisconsin. That’s Scott Walker territory after all. But the fact that Bernie Sanders, who consistently outperformed Clinton with independents, unexpectedly won both the Michigan and Wisconsin Democratic primaries (which were open) indirectly suggests that the underlying vote pattern is real. Sanders also crushed it in neighboring Minnesota (open caucus), where the presidential election was also unexpectedly close.

      1. Eduardo Quince

        electronic voting is a horrid mistake

        Electronic voting systems’ hackability is a feature not a bug, so if it’s a mistake it’s an intentional one

    2. TheCatSaid

      Bless you, Eye Round, for this note of sanity. “Election 2016: What Happened and Why” never addresses the “What Happened” question. Until we audit the votes we’ve no way of knowing who actually won any race in any location–let alone understand why.

      Greg Palast reveals vote suppression tactics of a scale more than adequate to change the presidential election results from Clinton to Trump. (Similar tactics were used to change the Democratic primary results from Sanders to Clinton.)

      But let’s leave the voter suppression to one side, and just consider the votes actually cast. What reason do we have to accept any of the official results we’ve been told? Absolutely none. In fact, there are numerous instances where we know the results were not humanly possible. I.e., fraud occurred in the electronic vote counting or there were mistakes that defy credibility (e.g., Gore’s negative 16,022 votes in 2000 that led to his concession–and for which election officials never offered any explanation).

      Requesting and checking the Ballot Images would quickly address this question so we would know the true results instead of relying on blind trust. (See “Ballot Images – a new way to verify that results are true”.)

      Until we first know the actual results, it is pointless fantasy to discuss “why” we got the results we were told. It’s up to us to find out the results. Clinton or other candidates will not do it for us.

  27. JCC

    I didn’t find Schiller that bad, although she did tend to dominate the floor. I’m assuming that’s because Blythe intentionally deferred to her because she’s the Chair of the Dept. he works in (which might also explain why he remained in the background “shaking his head and playing with his phone”).

    She definitely follows the present Dem Party line, but she is right about one thing; we do have to stay engaged, no matter what we determine are our reasons and what results we are working towards.

    I’m a little tired of people I know wailing and moaning this weekend about the election results, but other than talking to their silo’ed friends (as Schiller clearly pointed out) they remain, for the most part, almost totally disengaged during non-election seasons.

    As for Blythe bringing up the Putin thing, what justification statement is needed? Putin is part of the old guard and I’m sure he feels he has just as much right to Eastern Europe as we feel we have to Central and South America. The only difference is the the Russians have more of a reputation for overt action in this regard, relative to our reputation for covert action. The results are the same, war and death. The only difference is that we get to hide behind the native death dealers we hire and the “moral justifications” to take out those we subvert (in other words, we’re just a tad more subtle, but only a tad).

    With all that said, it seems to me that Blythe is the better informed and educated, the wiser of the two.

    1. witters

      Well, if you are sure about that ” I’m sure he feels he has just as much right to Eastern Europe as we feel we have to Central and South America.”

      The 1 – listen to some Putin interviews and speeches. The man is impressive, intelligent, and no nutter. And he says the idea is wrong, ridiculous and a bit insulting. (I know liberal/progressives all for tolerance who refuse “on principle (!) to do this. Be brave.)

      And 2 – I like the Putin Versus “We who have the right to central and south america” – pure neocon HRC – identify Russia with an individual, and all individual americans with aggressive foreign policy.

  28. Brad

    Around 1:15 they field a question on climate change. Schiller’s response was complete a apologetic for Obama, but both failed to note that it was under Obama that the US hockey-sticked its petroleum production from a 2008 historic low to virtually double that output in 2015. In a mere 6 years under Obama the USA has reversed a long-term declining trend in crude oil output. Incrementalism? Really? It’s more like Sarah Palin’s “Drill Baby Drill”! Maybe Palin’s not as dumb as she acts. That goes for Trudeau’s “liberal” Canuckistan too.

    Remember that when you watch DeCaprio’s “Before the Flood” where he invites on Clinton and Obama to knowing nod their heads about climate change.

  29. beth

    Econ question: Paraphrasing, Mark Blyth says,

    From 1945-1975 we targeted full employment. Lucas Critique says if you target something, people will game it. Result was inflation.

    I thought the Phillips Curve had been discredited? Please explain. Thanks.

    1. UserFriendly

      Well Blyth is a poli sci professor, and hell most economists are still in the dark about the Phillips Curve. You are correct though, that the OPEC oil shocks caused the inflation.

      If I had to guess the mechanism he is proposing is that Unions used their influence to extract inflated pay from many employers and that extra pay required employers to raise prices.

  30. Brad

    Sorry, last comment on Schiller on climate change and I’m done. Schiller is totally off base here, bashing developing countries while claiming the “we’ll soon not be the biggest culprits here”. Utterly false. It is a fact that the USA’s *per capita* energy consumption (using this as a proxy for carbon footprint, assuming most energy sources are fossil) is about two times that of comparable countries (Japan and Western Europe). Schiller’s take is absolutely, positively reactionary, not “progressive” at all.

    The US system is simply an inefficient utilizer of resources of all sorts. Again as with the racism issue this is not because of “bad” gluttonous or greedy individuals, but of a dysfunctional system. Fat chance that system will be adequately addressed under the present constitution .

  31. Ben lebsanft

    An observation from Australia .
    I think instead of every Democrat/Republician/Pundit that is trying to pick apart the election result.
    Should just be posted a copy of
    “Dear Hunting With Jesus”
    Joe Bagent describes this at length on How vast numbers of Americans see the world.
    Deep down the economy to most people is
    Can I get a job ,can I pay my rent ,can my kids be a little better off than I am.
    Not huge trade agreements that they certainly understand means that they can’t do the above

    I think it was printed initially in 2001

  32. Andrew Watts

    Blyth and Schiller are both wrong about not being able to forecast a Sanders vs Trump presidential election matchup. The 18-25 age bracket cast more votes for Sanders in the primary than for both Trump/Clinton combined in the general election.

    If the same amount of people in that age bracket carried over to the general election Sanders would’ve stomped Trump in the electoral college with some estimates being as high as a 504-23 beatdown in electoral votes. Welcome to Bernie’s America.

    Should I be looking forward to Medicare death panels?

  33. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Very, very interesting video. Much appreciated.
    Prompted me to start looking up GINI coefficients for US, and for US states, which I’ve not done for awhile.
    One of the best is actually from a Chinese site, with an overlay of historical events – worth a click.

    Intriguingly, the GINI coefficient maps pretty well to ‘red Trump states’:

    As does, to toss in another tea leaf, diabetes (which implies poor diet, sodas, higher percentage of fast foods). Third map down in green and white:

    IMVHO, those ‘tea leaves’ are all fundamentally connected.

    1. jrs

      I don’t know that it maps well to Trumps red states. The states with the most inequality are:

      47 Massachusetts 0.475
      49 Connecticut 0.486
      50 New York 0.499
      51 District of Columbia 0.532

      Which actually most people already know intuitively. Being urban liberal cities are not affordable.

      1. readerOfTeaLeaves

        The GINI coefficient is for the entire nation.
        The big urban liberal cities are the same places where people profit from financialization.

        As for the diabetes, anyone with that condition needs affordable health care, needs preventive health care, and if you Google, you’ll see that the price of insulin has risen obscenely in the past year or 24 months.

  34. casino implosion

    I love her matter-of-fact, flat, blase, confident tone of voice. From her affect you’d almost believe that these people have some idea about what’s going on.

  35. none

    I’ve been listening to this thing on and off (still only about halfway through, and that’s skipping a lot of Schiller) and Blyth talks much more like an economist than like a poli sci person. Schiller is much more poli-sci and talks about election stuff.

    It would be cool to have a transcript of this video and maybe some of the related ones. Anyone want to join a typing pool? This vid is about 90 minutes and I’d be happy to transcribe 5 minutes (18 people doing 5 minutes each would get the whole thing) or could do 10 minutes if necessary. Note that transcribing audio usually takes at least 3x as long as the audio itself, so that would optimistically be 15 to 30 minutes of typing. If someone who listened to it all could mark out the interesting sections (cutting the transcription to say 45 minutes instead of 90) that would decrease the work of course.

    1. Jeff W

      I did a transcript of Mark Blyth’s two main comments. (I was going to send some portions of Dr Blyth’s comments to some friends and, seeing your request for a transcript here, just did the whole thing.) See my comment above here.

  36. jeremy Grimm

    Prof. Wendy Schiller’s presentation reminded me of an extended Roseanne Roseannadanna skit that needs a little work.

  37. none

    I’ve listened to more of it. Schiller is definitely more up on the nuts and bolts of US elections, so she had worthwhile things to say, though some of it was platitudes. Blyth was great, much more combative towards the establishment. He did seem to mansplain a little bit to Schiller.

    1. RMO

      The viewpoint Schiller subscribes to makes me despair. The only way I can see the next four years being remotely worth the pain that I think Trump’s administration will bring is if the shock of the loss causes the Democratic party to remake itself into a left wing party that has the interests of the vast majority of the citizenry as it’s guiding principal. If all they do is stick with the current corporatist, big-donor pleasing script on the basis that four years of Trump will be so godawful that they are sure to win the next time even if they run a CPR training dummy as president it would be a tragedy.

      If the Democrats do stick with the status quo the only option I can think of for Americans to do would be to either try to turn the Greens into a viable party or build a brand new one. Both of those seem to be long term projects though with little hope of making a serious challenge inside of a quarter century. I don’t know if the U.S. has that long to pull out of the spiral dive it’s in though.

  38. Sound of the Suburbs

    Show me a version of Capitalism that hasn’t failed.

    We need to recognise that we have been through many versions of Capitalism and they all fail as this version is failing now.

    As John Kenneth Galbraith points out in “The Affluent Society” there is always a desperate attempt to hold onto the “conventional wisdom” that those at the top have invested so much time and effort in.

    The death throes of each system are maintained for as long as feasible until it is almost impossible for anyone to believe that the current system can work.

    A new system comes along with promises that everything will be much better, and it is, for a decade or two.

    Capitalism mark 1 – Unfettered Capitalism

    Crashed and burned in 1929 with a global recession in the 1930s.
    The New Deal and Keynesian ideas promised a bright new world.

    Capitalism mark 2 – Keynesian Capitalism

    Ended with stagflation in the 1970s.
    Market led Capitalism ideas promised a bright new world.

    Capitalism mark 3 – Unfettered Capitalism (Part 2 – Market led Capitalism)

    Crashed and burned in 2008 with a global recession in the 2010s.

    It has followed the same path as Unfettered Capitalism (Mark 1).

    1920s/2000s – high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase

    1929/2008 – Wall Street crash

    1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, rising nationalism and extremism

    Unfettered Capitalism has a catastrophic failure mode and dressing it up in the Emperor’s New Clothes of supply side economics didn’t make a blind bit of difference.

    We’ve done Neo-Keynesian stimulus.

    After eight years of pumping trillions into the top of the economic pyramid, banks, and waiting for it to trickle down. It didn’t work, hardly anything trickled down.

    The powers that be are now for Keynesian stimulus.

    Carry out infrastructure projects that create jobs and wages which will be spent into the economy and trickle up (pumping money into the bottom of the economic pyramid).

    A new brush sweeps clean, the old ideologues stuck in their old failed ways must go.

    The Left is still full of neoliberal ideologues; it’s time to move on.

    1. Sound of the Suburbs

      Today’s economics is a discipline in need of euthanasia.

      We tried to form a global economy.

      1980s – boom
      Early 1990s – bust
      Late 1990s – boom
      Early 2000s – bust
      Mid 2000s – boom
      Late 2000s – bust
      2008 on – stagnation

      We even put the economy top of the agenda with economic liberalism.
      We put in place a technocrat elite in Central Banks to ensure things would run smoothly.
      We have lost hope that the Central Bankers will deliver after eight years.

      What’s wrong with economics?

      John Bates Clark is the father of today’s neoclassical economics.

      His economics hides the distinction between “earned” income and “unearned” income made by the Classical Economists.

      Most of the UK now dreams of giving up work and living off the “unearned” income from a BTL portfolio, extracting the “earned” income of generation rent.

      The UK dream is to be like the idle rich, rentier, living off “unearned” income and doing nothing productive.

      It went wrong over one hundred years ago and everyone has been building on these flawed foundations.

      Start again, from the point where it went wrong.

      Michael Hudson has extracted most of the important information from Classical Economics to show us where we went wrong in his book “Killing the Host”.

      Though Michael Hudson is missing the well hidden secrets of money.

      It is not really the 1% lending their money to the 99%.

      Money and debt are opposite sides of the same coin.
      If there is no debt there is no money.
      Money is created by loans and destroyed by repayments of those loans.

      From the BoE:

      Fuller description:
      “Where does money come from?” available from Amazon.

      You need to really understand money and debt, this leads to Minsky Moments and Debt Deflation.
      “Minsky Moments”

      1929 – US (margin lending into US stocks)
      1989 – Japan (real estate)
      2008 – US (real estate bubble leveraged up with derivatives for global contagion)
      2010 – Ireland (real estate)
      2012 – Spain (real estate)
      2015 – China (margin lending into Chinese stocks)

      Debt inflated asset bubbles.

      The work of Irving Fischer, Hyman Minsky and Steve Keen, each one built on the work of his predecessor.

      How to get out of debt deflation?

      Studied by Richard Koo after watching Japan for 25 years after 1989.

      Not forgetting markets have two modes of operation, not one.
      1) Price discovery of rational investors
      2) Bigger fool mode when everyone rides the bubble for capital gains

      The US housing market was in mode 2 before 2008.
      The Japanese housing market was in mode 2 before 1989.
      The US stock market was in mode 2 before 1929.

      Nearly every housing market in the world has been, or is, in mode 2 in the last decade or so, everyone riding the bubble for capital gains.

      Most Chinese markets usually operate in mode 2; they are not very keen on price discovery.

      Mode 2 ends in the big bust, not a stable equilibrium.

      Get all this into the new economics and we should be off to a good start.

      1. Sound of the Suburbs

        Capitalism gets itself into dead ends – 1930s, 1970s, today’s secular stagnation and new normal.

        You need to change your ideas as current ideas don’t work.

        Let’s keep lowering interest rates and adding more QE forever, it hasn’t worked for eight years maybe in a hundred years time it will start to work or perhaps it won’t.

        1. Sound of the Suburbs

          I realised that something was wrong in 2008 and decided to look into it.

          Our experts attributed it to a “black swan” event.

          Having a scientific background, I have grave doubts when things are attributed to mythical creatures.

          There was a time when eclipses were attributed to mythical creatures swallowing the sun, real science has moved on.

          I decided to have a look myself as the experts were satisfied with their mythical creature explanation.

          The size of 2008 indicated the problem was deep down in fundamental assumptions and not the froth on top (the complex mathematical models).

          I got to the very bottom, the very nature of money itself and how it is created and destroyed on bank balance sheets to find the problem.

          While digging into that, I found numerous other flawed assumptions such as all income being “earned”.

          The foundations of modern economics are rotten to the core.

          Finance is hollowing out the economy and it’s all hidden by spurious figures and measurements we look at and reassure ourselves nothing is fundamentally wrong, but it is.

          Adam Smith would think we are on the road to ruin and I agree.

          “But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.”

          Exactly the opposite of today’s thinking, what does he mean?

          When rates of profit are high, capitalism is cannibalising itself by:

          1) Not engaging in long term investment for the future
          2) Paying insufficient wages to maintain demand for its products and services

  39. 4D

    “You can dump 13 trillion euros into the global money supply through quantitative easing…” at 17mins.

    Excellent observations by Blyth except for the above. As far as the private sector is concerned there was no direct increase in money supply from QE.

    QE is an asset swap and the private sector ended up with roughly the same amount of “assets” as before Q started. Bonds were swapped for cash, most of which sits idle as bank reserves at the Fed, that’s why there was little inflation and bond speculators continue to jump at shadows.

    First Japan, now the Fed and ECB have shown QE is not inflationary and of limited support for growth, except for lowering rates for refinancing mortgages and some marginal investment activity, and once that’s run its course,growth rolls over.

    QE removes AAA collateral from the system, limiting rehyopthecation.

    Not all “money” is equal. The only money supply that matters from a GDP and inflationary point of view is private bank money creation.

  40. GlassHammer

    Schiller (paraphrasing here): “Republicans run the government so now they can only blame themselves if things don’t work out.”

    Nonsense, they are not the party of “personal responsibility” they are the party of “blame the other”. They will blame the “other” like never before. Get ready for the “House of unamerican activities Version 2.0”.

  41. DarkMatters

    Russia invades the Baltics! Historical fears, and the foolishness of contemplating such an act was discussed at length yesterday, above. However, the timing of concerns over that matter was odd to say the least. Political instability developed in Ukraine, to the south of Russia, and Russia reacted, perhaps more aggressively than expected by some.

    But not by many others. Who in their right mind would believe the Russians would stand by and let their Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol fall into the hands of hostile nationalists, especially since the local population in the Crimea was friendly, and already pre-polticized by threats like Timoshenko’s to nuke Russian-speaking dissenters to the coup? (And the threats of ruthless violence held some force, as the Odessa massacre, and Rada bans against pro-Russian parties demonstrated.)

    Even to those who insist that there was no Feb. 22 agreement, no Ukrainian coup the next day, no Crimean referendum, and believe the stories that Putin’s paratroopers invaded Crimea and ruthlessly murdered thousands of innocent disabled children on the points of their bayonets, it must have seemed odd to see tensions heating up in the Baltics on the other side of Europe. And not by any local action on the part of Russia. NATO was ready and waiting to inflame existing historical tensions (some arising from differences between Roman and Eastern Christianity) and inflame cultural ill-will, into a full-blown international crisis at a location where the situation ad been previously quiet. I really don’t understand how someone as astute and apparently well-informed as Blyth missed this.

    I agree he’s incisive, but I find this blind spot over Russian affairs typical of an absence of awareness of the role of elite interests in current events. In particular, I feel that what he dismisses as technocratic bungling is not so nearly happenstance as it seems to be to him. The elites have agendas and political operations like the populace.

    Blyth gives very perceptive analyses in his youtube videos (easily searched) of economic conditions, and how voters across the world might be reacting, but he totally ignores the elephant in the room, that the elites have their own political agenda which is bringing into existence the popular political reactions he discusses so well.

    As for Shiller, useless: usual shallow platitudes about things just happening without agency.

    1. paul

      I agree,blyth was superbly on point about economics but his comments on the Baltics show that he should learn a little more or stick to his knitting,which is excellent in the main.
      The female speaker was irredeemable.

  42. Fiver

    What do Larry Summers, James Woolsey, Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch, Jason Rothschild and Netanyahu have in common?

    I knew about Woolsey and that was bad enough. I knew about an (illegal) Israeli oil discovery in the Golan Heights, which was bad enough. I did not know about this particular company, its key players, or that Netanyahu has made it clear he intends to annex the Golan Heights. This could well be the key to understanding what has really just gone down.

    As I believe it is vital that everyone know about this, I will post more than once. Thanks in advance.

  43. Sound of the Suburbs

    Trump was change, Hillary was the status quo.

    The main problem is in economics.

    The elites realised economics was the route to get the system working for them.

    Today’s economics is rentier economics.

    Neoliberalism is based on neoclassical economics.

    The Classical Economists came to all sorts of unpleasant conclusions by observing the world of small state, raw capitalism around them in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

    They saw how the wealthy maintained themselves in idleness and leisure.

    Adam Smith observed:

    “The Labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers.”

    Today we think capitalism trickles down!

    The conclusions of the Classical Economists were buried at the end of the 19th Century and the differentiation between “earned” and “unearned” income was lost. It was buried by neoclassical economics that was backed tirelessly by the rentier class.

    What was hidden has been revealed.

    Most of the UK now dreams of giving up work and living off the “unearned” income from a BTL portfolio, extracting the “earned” income of generation rent.

    The UK dream is to be like the idle rich, rentier, living off “unearned” income and doing nothing productive.

    Neoclassical economics reveals who it favours, the idle rentier.

    It led to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, its back and it’s exactly the same.

    1920s/2000s – high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase

    1929/2008 – Wall Street crash

    1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, rising nationalism and extremism

    Its ideas failed miserably in the Great Depression and it took Keynes’s New Deal to kick start things in the US.

    Even after this failure, neoclassical economics didn’t die, the rentier class didn’t want to lose their baby.

    Milton Freidman and Hayek worked on it and modified it ready to bring it back when the opportunity arose.

    They tried it out in Chile with the military dictatorship of Pinochet. It made a few very wealthy, there was widespread poverty; torture, concentration camps and terror were needed to keep this harsh system in place.

    Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan got the ball rolling in the West with a mild version.

    Milton Freidamn wanted Thatcher to go further as he had done in Chile but she knew she would never get away with it.

    Its flawed rentier economics, though improved, played out in the same way as it had before with a Wall Street Crash and global recession.

    1. Sound of the Suburbs

      Keynes posed a threat even though he hadn’t bought back the ideas of the Classical Economists.

      Keynes’s work was used for the New Deal but the rentier class wanted to bury some of his more unpleasant conclusions too. During the war they merged Keynes and neoclassical economics to leave their cleverly thought out, misleading core in place that buried the work of the Classical Economists.

      Keynes work was put in a new area, called macro-economics, but the old misleading core was maintained.

      The new macro-economics was Keynes, with some unpleasant conclusions missed out and some modifications put in to ensure it didn’t contradict the core.

      Keynes said capitalism was inherently unstable, the core said it reached stable equilibriums. Things like this had to go.

      After the war the world was ready for hybrid Keynesianism.

      Milton Freidman used the old core as his base, without the Keynesian modifications.

  44. Christopher Sturr

    Blyth’s joking suggestion, around 1:10:30, that the political scientists could imprison Trump voters to get truthful answers in focus groups about why they voted for him, is hilarious. Seems like a send-up of political science methodology.

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