Announcement: Minneapolis, Minnesota Meetup THIS SATURDAY, January 20, at 10:30 AM

Alert reader Katy sends the following note:

My new Minnesotan NC reader friends and I are having our first meetup this Saturday, January 20 at 10:30 AM. The location is Dunn Brothers Coffee at 201 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401. We have no particular agenda other than to get together and meet each other and talk.

Plenty of power outlets; that’s my kind of coffee shop. Here is a map:

Yves and I have talked about what the criteria for a self-organized local meetup should be, and we’re pleased that this meetup seems to have evolved them, organically, in parallel. They are:

1) The Meetup should have a local point-person who is responsible to NC for the date, the time, the venue, and local contacts;

2) The Meetup is social in nature. (If we were to make Meetups agenda-driven, we’d have to evolve a management structure to make sure the agenda was NC-appropriate, and who wants that? More to the point, we don’t have time to do it.)

Other criteria may evolve, but this is the baseline for now.

So NC Minnesota readers, go and have fun. And do note the morning time: 10:30AM. This is not usual for meetups, which tend to be in the evening; I’m guessing the dark and the cold have something to do with meeting in the bright morning.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Eclair

    Sort of NC meet-up related, but in Seattle. I found out yesterday that there will be a discussion of Modern Monetary Theory this Sunday, January 21, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N, from 2 to 3:15 PM. Titled “Austerity is Not Our Only Option: Economics for a New Era,” it is hosted by Seattle Womxn Marching Forward, Modern Money Revolution and 350 Seattle.

    Interested NC’ers could sport an unobtrusive identifying mark … maybe a flower behind the left ear?

    The Center is an elegant early 20th century school building, converted for neighborhood use. It shelters yoga, dance classes, folk and jazz concerts, craft fairs, coop nursery school, etc. So I am delighted that MMT seems to be going main stream.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Okay… how about I show up with my dog-eared copy of ECONned under one arm?
      Would that do it?
      Otherwise, a large maroon scarf?

      It’ll take me an hour to get there (assuming easy traffic – ha!!), so I’ll hope the presentation is good.

      FWIW, I’m not sure that I’d describe Phinney Ridge as ‘mainstream’. Definitely ‘front of the curve’, and definitely lots of smart, creative people there. But mainstream is more…. Federal Way or Shoreline, if you get my drift ;-)
      (Nothing wrong with mainstream ;-)

    2. Eclair

      Report back on the MMT presentation, again, piggy-backing on the Twin Cities meet-up. At least one other NC-er showed up. The presenters had put out chairs for about 25 people, in one of the old classrooms with the original slate ‘black-boards.’ By the end of the presentation, there were at least 50 people, much to the surprise of the presenters; the overflow were happily sitting on the floor. I was surprised; expected maybe 5 or 6 fellow wonky people. Lots of questions, enthusiasm, etc.
      Apologies again for intruding on the St Paul/Minneapolis meet-up link.
      Maybe a Seattle NC social meet up in the future? Lots of coffee shops to chose from!

  2. diptherio

    Good to see NCers are taking matters into their own hands. Hopefully this will be just the first of many!

  3. Katy

    Thanks for posting, Lambert! Maybe later in the year, when the sun starts setting after 5 PM, we’ll get together for drinks. When it’s warm enough, Minneapolis/St. Paul has restaurants and bars with awesome outdoor patios!

  4. KB


    Thanks for letting this fellow Minnesotan know…..unfortunately, won’t be able to make this Saturday meeting. Please keep us aware of any future meetups. Hopefully out of the downtown area if possible…hint, the Superbowl.

    1. Katy

      The meetup plans were last minute, specifically because of the football. After the 20th, I’m not going to want to be in downtown Minneapolis again until mid-February.

      Fun fact: on Superbowl Sunday, nobody can ride the light rail unless they have a Superbowl ticket. Also, the light rail costs $30 that day.

  5. JGG & NSG

    Came for the antidote. Stayed for the verisimilitude.

    Two elderly NC junkies from Mankato plan to be there if the weather (always the 500-pound gorilla in MN, as you well know) permits a 175-mile round-trip.

    Started reading NC when Yves was still struggling to put the final touches on ECONNED. That must have been in 2009, or perhaps a bit before. We’ll bring our copy of said Meisterstruck for purposes of tribal recognition.

    1. redleg

      Funny, ’cause this NC reader is going to be in Mankato, missing the gathering. There will be songs of economics and politics at the What’s Up Lounge later that evening, taken as a sort of pennance for absence.
      Next time…

  6. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    Boo Vikings!

    Who Dat!

    New Orleans is supposed to be in the aughts tonight. Yasssssss! Lovin dat deep south cold

  7. MaxFinger

    All you gulf coast and New OrleansNC readers we are planning our 1st New Orleans NC meetup. JonathanHB we’ll talk and arrange a time soon. cheers

  8. sleepy

    I live 2 hrs south of Minneapolis in Mason City IA. Unfortunately, it’s also my wife’s birthday and I’ve planned a big shindig that day. with grandkids and so on or I would definitely be there.

    1. Katy

      There is metered parking on 2nd Street. The Depot has a parking lot around the block. Enter on 5th Ave. Two blocks down there’s a ramp with an entrance on Portland.

  9. duffolonious

    Me will be there. So excited to see there are others nearby that frequent this site.

    I was sad to see no Yves or Lambert, but beggars can’t be choosers.

  10. Furiouscalves

    Too bad my Daughter has a hockey tourney or I’d be there! Daily reader since econned days would feel more alive to see some comrades in person.

  11. Lambert Strether Post author

    This all sounds great. There is no obligation to report back, but it would be nice to hear what happened (including lessons learned, if any, so other meetups can improve).

  12. duffolonious

    One thing I would like to talk about:
    The important graphic:

    This very closely maps with the actual results (only Hoch was 3rd instead of being 2nd with money).

    To quote Ron Silver from Timecop (1997):

    McComb: Elections are won with television. You don’t need the press, you don’t need endorsements, you don’t even need the truth. You need money.

  13. JGG & NSG from Maankato

    Saturday, January 20, 2018, 0515 hours

    The weather radar this morning shows a non-trivial patch of freezing rain crossing the SoDak border between Watertown and Brookings, headed straight east toward Minneapolis.

    Much as we would love to be at the Dunn Brothers meet-up, the risk/benefit ratio seems unfavorable at this hour. (Sighs heavily. We had so hoped to meet Katy, ex-PFC Chuck, Userfriendly and all of the rest.) We are therefore going to chicken out. We hope the event is well-attended by NC fans from the Cities metro area with an eight-miles-each-way transit rather than an eighty-miles-each-way transit. Perhaps another meet-up can be scheduled when spring comes to the tundra and we can attend without going in harm’s way.

    Best regards to everyone. We hope the ice storm misses you and the event is a smashing success.

    p.s. for Lambert & Yves: Perhaps one take-home from this is to maintain a thread each day for prospective meet-ups, so potential attendees can RSVP/post to the co-ordinator within a same-day thread rather than back-tracking to a four-days-previous thread. The latter procedure (and the one I am using, obviously) seems methodologically more fragile.

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