2:00PM Water Cooler 4/22/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Trade

“China Isn’t Cheating on Trade” [Peter Beinart, The Atlantic]. “From Elizabeth Warren, who earlier this year claimed that China has “weaponized its economy,” to Marco Rubio, who last year tweeted that the Chinese aim to “steal & cheat their way to world dominance,” leading Democrats and Republicans [including Trump, of course] describe China’s economic practices as uniquely malevolent and getting worse. In fact, neither accusation is true…. Beijing’s economic policies are actually quite typical of a country at its stage of development. Like many regimes in the developing world, Beijing fears the “middle-income trap,” in which rising wages undermine its advantage as a center of low-cost manufacturing before it develops the capacity to produce higher-value goods. China worries that unless it moves from assembling iPhones to inventing them, economic growth will stagnate and popular unrest will follow. China therefore erects tariffs to protect industries it hopes will help it make that leap. So did the United States when it was industrializing.” And: “[Complaints] dominate Beltway discourse not because the evidence underlying them is particularly strong. It isn’t. They have come to dominate Beltway discourse because Democrats and Republicans both believe that Trump’s anti-China message helped him win Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and that the path to the presidency runs through those states again in 2020.” • Blowback from de-industrializing the “Rust Belt”…

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

2020

Buttigieg (D)(1): “The Complexities of the Black Vote” [Charles Blow, New York Times]. “In a way, I think that you could make a case that there are two black Americas among the people descended of the enslaved in this country: The sons and daughters of the Great Migration and the sons and daughters of the people who stayed in the South…. One difference is religiosity. While black people in general are more religious than the overall population, black people in the South are also appreciably more religious than black people in other parts of the country, according to Gallup data. This religiosity translates into a form of social conservatism.” • Blow is, I think, treading delicately around California’s Proposition 8: “Based on National Eelction Pool (NEP) estimates, 70 percent of blacks cast their ballots in favor of Proposition 8 [i.e., against gay marriage] while 49% of white, 53% of Latinos, 49% of Asians, and 51% of those from another racial/ethnic identity supported a ban on gay marriage.” • The seeming paradox can be resolved if the liberal Democrat Establishment regards Buttigieg as a catspaw, with their ultimate goal preventing Sanders from winning 50% + 1 of the delegates, and a brokered convention.

Buttigieg (D)(2): Mayo Pete:

Buttigieg (D)(3): “South Bend considers legal options with homeless under Main Street” [South Bend Tribune]. “Two days after removing wooden pallets that the homeless were using for beds under the Main Street viaduct, the city was still letting people camp there Wednesday…. Shortly after the city destroyed the pallets Monday morning, people returned and set up new encampments with cardboard boxes, bedding and assorted possessions. Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t want that happening either, and he said his administration’s attorneys were researching whether Indiana’s public nuisance law authorizes the city to prohibit the encampments altogether….. John Shafer, founder of the nonprofit Michiana Five For the Homeless, which secured the pallets from an Elkhart food pantry and brought them to the viaduct, has called their confiscation and destruction by the city ‘shameful.’ Buttigieg said the city didn’t think it was taking anyone’s ‘possessions,’ as Shafer has said. ‘People have different ideas about being helpful,’ Buttigieg said. ‘The pallets symbolize, in some ways, a real concern we have about people who are well-intentioned… but can be doing more harm than good.'”

Buttigieg (D)(4): “Buttigieg says he doesn’t support boycotts of companies over political donations” [CNN]. “South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg cautioned against boycotts of companies like Chick-fil-A because of their political giving in an interview on Wednesday, arguing that it leads people to ‘sometimes slip into a sort of virtue signaling in some cases where we’re not really being consistent.’ The comment — which comes a day after Buttigieg, who is gay, said he doesn’t support Chick-fil-A’s politics but supports its chicken — is significant because of past controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A. The fast food company’s president Dan Cathy said in 2012 that the company was supportive of ‘the biblical definition of the family unit”=; and that society was ‘inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.” As a result, many groups boycotted the chain.” • People have different ideas about being helpful….

Moulton (D): “Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton joins 2020 presidential race” [Des Moines Register]. “’16 years ago today, leaders in Washington sent me and my friends to fight in a war based on lies. It’s still going on today,’ Moulton said in a recent tweet. ‘It’s time for the generation that fought in Iraq to take over for the generation that sent us there.’… He’s called health care “a right every American must be guaranteed,” pushed to toughen gun laws, was a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, has championed a federal “Green Corps” modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, and has called for an end to the Electoral College…. Moulton is now the third political figure from Massachusetts to take a stab at a White House run. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — a Democrat — and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld — a Republican — are also running.”

Sanders (D) (1): Crowds in SC:

Sanders (D)(2): The entire campaign has the union “bug,” not just the printed literature:

Warren (D)(1): “Elizabeth Warren’s Higher Education Plan: Cancel Student Debt and Eliminate Tuition” [New York Times]. “Ms. Warren’s sweeping plan has several planks. She would pay for it with revenue generated by her proposed increase in taxes for America’s most wealthy families and corporations, which the campaign estimates to be $2.75 trillion over 10 years. In addition to eliminating undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities, she would expand federal grants to help students with nontuition expenses and create a $50 billion fund to support historically black colleges and universities. She would eliminate up to $50,000 in student loan debt for every person with a household income of less than $100,000; borrowers who make between $100,000 and $250,000 would have a portion of their debt forgiven.” • Kudos to Warren because she’s in there punching on policy. That said:

As I’ve said, you can drown in an inch of water. $50,000 does seem low (plus the means test is part of the liberal love affair with complex eligibility requirements); I’ve remarked that Warren’s problem statements tend to be strong; her solutions, less so. And what about the people who faithfully paid? Shouldn’t they get a big fat rebate check in the mail?

Warren (D)(2): “Warren approaches breakout with black voters” [Politico]. “The Massachusetts senator launched into a brief history lesson on African-American homebuyers being rejected outside designated areas, black families getting hit hardest by subprime mortgages and foreclosures during the 2008 crash, and black homeownership still lagging far behind whites. ‘That’s a problem, and it’s a race problem,’ Warren thundered, emphasizing ‘race’ as the crowd erupted into applause. ‘And we need to attack it head on.'” • Who was President, then?

* * *

“We Asked Democratic Activists Who They’re Backing — And Who They’d Hate To See Win” [FiveThirtyEight]. “As part of my ongoing book research, I’ve been in touch with roughly 60 Democratic activists in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and Washington, D.C.,1 asking them about their preferences for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. About 35 people from the respondent pool participated in each wave of interviews… This time around, I also asked respondents who they didn’t want as the nominee.” • n = 35. The party decideds?

Hmm. Better start training those poll-watchers and coin-flippers.

“Evaluating the 2020 Democratic Primary Field” [RealClearPolitics]. “Assessing the Democratic presidential primary at this point is a nearly impossible task. With around 15 serious candidates who have declared or formed an exploratory committee, and with another handful seriously looking at joining the race, the slate is very much in flux. Like the Republican primary in 2016, small changes in the polling position of candidates can translate to a large change in their position relative to one another, which in turn incentivizes rising candidates to stay in. So rather than, say, power-ranking the candidates – how does one really decide how to rank John Hickenlooper versus Jay Inslee? – I will look at them through the lens of ‘buy’ versus ‘sell’.” • Fun methodology! Abrams (buy), Biden (sell), Booker (sell), Buttigieg (sell), Harris (hold), Klobuchar (buy), O’Rourke (buy), Sanders (buy), Warren (sell), Yang (buy). Penny stocks: Castro, Gillibrand, Hickenlooper, Inslee, Bennet, and some other members of Congress and candidates you may have never heard of.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Reparations:

Darity is an academic powerhouse behind reparations (and is sound on MMT, among other things). However, when Sanders, of reparations, asked “What does that mean?” — and caught amazing amounts of sh*t for it — he was exactly right, wasn’t he?

“Jane McAlevey on How To Organize for Power” [Current Affairs]. McAlevey: “I’m not critical of mobilization, I’m very clear that we need plenty of mobilization. It’s just, I’m critical when that’s all we do…. The difference between the two—and this is sort of the essential reason why we have to do both, not just one—mobilizing is essentially when we just spend all of our time talking to people who already agree with us. It’s getting more effective at the technology of turnout. It’s calling up a protest, and 300 people show up the first time, and you say ‘Wow, that wasn’t what we thought,’ and you double down, and you do way better social media, and you use every single piece of technology you can, and you get 4,000 out the next time. And that’s a huge jump, and you feel great. The problem is that your organization is more like 100,000, and so you’re still only turning out a teeny fraction, and even worse, you’re not actually engaging anyone or expanding your base. So, what organizing is, by contrast, if I just use that example: If your base is 100,000, organizing is an explicit strategy to go from 100,000 to 1,000,000 and to make it simple, realistic, with a plan. In organizing, we’re consciously, every single day, doing what we call ‘base expansion.'” • If Sanders is organizing, and not mobilizing… His staff and he are in for quite a ride.

DSA:

Go out and serve the working class!

Stats Watch

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, March 2019: “Consumer spending & housing remain in the negative column as do production and employment” [Econoday]. “Personal consumption & housing pulled the index down.”

Existing Home Sales, March 2019: “After surging far beyond expectations in February, existing home sales came in at the low end of Econoday’s consensus range in March” [Econoday]. “When balancing March and February together improvement is clear.”

Supply Chain: “One of the most frantic supply chains in the U.S. runs on an unlikely combination of semi-trucks, station wagons and harried parents sweating over the details of an $800 million annual business. The springtime seasonal frenzy of Girl Scout-cookie distribution is a logistics high-wire act” [Wall Street Journal]. “The Girl Scouts of the USA-licensed bakers oversee the operation on the back end before turning goods over to regional councils and finally to local leaders that bring together tractor-trailers and scout troops, often at any space they can find to get the Do-Si-Dos delivered.” • I’ve gotta say, I love Thin Mints.

Tech: “The Dark Side of Fitness Tracking” [Medium]. “[F]or many people, donning a health-focused device each day isn’t necessarily a good thing. Research suggests that even if you don’t ditch your tracker after the first few months, it can be difficult to develop a healthy, effective relationship with the device that’s monitoring your calories, steps, and minutes of sleep. In one study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, overweight participants who wore fitness trackers each day lost less weight than those who didn’t. In another, people who wore them for a full year were no healthier than they’d been at the start of the study. On the other end of the spectrum, users can become too obsessed with the data their devices are collecting, leading them to self-diagnose problems that don’t exist; they can get so invested in their stats that it drains any enjoyment from previously pleasant activities; and, in some cases, fitness trackers can even exacerbate disordered eating behaviors

Transportation: “Union Pacific Corp.’s precision railroading plan is triggering a major shift in the carrier’s investment plans. The freight carrier has halted construction of a sprawling $550 million facility in Brazos, Texas, and closed two other so-called hump yards… as the railroad embraces an operating strategy that calls for fewer, longer trains” [Wall Street Journal]. “The Union Pacific’s Brazos facility was the single largest capital project in the 156-year-old railroad’s history and was meant to help with the expected shipping demand in the region. The changes at Union Pacific already appear to be bearing fruit: The railroad’s first-quarter profit rose 6% thanks to lower operating expenses that offset lost revenue from severe weather that hit its operations.”

The Biosphere

“Just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it’s green” [Izabella Kaminska, FT Alphaville]. “[C]onsuming one euro of digital technology in 2018 induces direct and indirect energy consumption 37% higher than what it was in 2010.This trend is the exact opposite of what is generally attributed to digital technology and runs counter to the objectives of energy and climatic decoupling set by the Paris Agreement.” • This is a must-read, worth the log-in, which is free. And: “[The information and communications technology (ICT)] still contributes to about 4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is still twice that of civil aviation. What is worse, its contribution is growing more quickly than that of civil aviation.”

“What lies beneath: Robert Macfarlane travels ‘Underland'” [Guardian]. “In the summer of 2010, I made the first notes towards a book called Underland, about burial and unburial, deep time and journeys into darkness, which would eventually take almost a decade to write. It was hard, that summer, not to think of the underland, for three extraordinary stories were unfolding, dominating global news for months: the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the entrapment of 33 Chilean miners beneath the Atacama desert, and the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano.” • Damn, one more book to read. This article has a fascinating perspective, and it’s well worth a read. I quoted this paragraph to memoriaize the Deepwater Horizon disaster; I still remember the live videos from the ocean floor…

“Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?” [The Atlantic]. “When it comes to direct evidence of an industrial civilization—things like cities, factories, and roads—the geologic record doesn’t go back past what’s called the Quaternary period 2.6 million years ago. For example, the oldest large-scale stretch of ancient surface lies in the Negev Desert. It’s “just” 1.8 million years old… And, if we’re going back this far, we’re not talking about human civilizations anymore…. So, could researchers find clear evidence that an ancient species built a relatively short-lived industrial civilization long before our own? Perhaps, for example, some early mammal rose briefly to civilization building during the Paleocene epoch about 60 million years ago…. Fifty-six million years ago, Earth passed through the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). During the PETM, the planet’s average temperature climbed as high as 15 degrees Fahrenheit above what we experience today. It was a world almost without ice, as typical summer temperatures at the poles reached close to a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Looking at the isotopic record from the PETM, scientists see both carbon and oxygen isotope ratios spiking in exactly the way we expect to see in the Anthropocene record.” • It’s always been my secret theory that civilization killed the dinosaurs. No evidence, though!s

“Southern Ocean diatoms: small, yet mighty!” [oceanbites]. “The organic carbon produced by the phytoplankton helps fuel the carbon cycle by either: 1) being eaten by zooplankton, a type of larger planktonic organism 2) sinking out to the deep ocean after dying or 3) contracting a marine virus that causes the cellular content (organic carbon) to leak out. The contribution that phytoplankton make to the carbon pump differs between ocean regions as the types and abundance of phytoplankton vary. Phytoplankton species vary between the different regions of the ocean depending on specific environmental conditions, such as light, nutrients or temperature.”

“‘Pointless’ rare knee bone makes evolutionary comeback in humans” [Sky News]. “The fabella, described as the “appendix of the skeleton”, is buried in a tendon behind the knee and acted as a kneecap in Old World monkeys…. It can cause pain and discomfort and was once rare in humans – but a new study has shown it is becoming more common. Scientists from Imperial College London (ICL) examined 21,000 knee studies from 27 countries spanning 150 years. Between 1918 and 2018, the number of people with a fabella increased more than threefold. In 1918, just 11.2% of the world population had one, but by 2018 the percentage had risen to 39%.’ • Evolution in historical time. Amazing.

“A highway runs through it” [Grist]. “Progressives like Chris Sensenig now see freeway removal as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redress the wrongs of the past and make cities radically greener. For nearly a decade, the urban designer has been thinking seriously about what Oakland would look like without I-980. And the more he thought about it — the more he collected old ma

“s and pictures of the landscape before the highway — the more excited he became. He joined up with other like-minded people to form ConnectOakland, a small organization dedicated to envisioning a neighborhood free of I-980. ‘The key thing is that this is public land,’ Sensenig said. ‘Public land is for the public good. We should be seeking to maximize the public good, not just accepting whatever happens to already be there.” • But the local politics are interesting; apparently, when I-980 was put through, the community was involved, so they are invested in a way that, say, the North End of Boston was not with the horrid “Central Artery.”

MMT

“The left should resist the siren song of ‘modern monetary theory'” [Heather Boushey, WaPo]. “But to me, as someone who shares some of the policy goals of MMT advocates, it seems crazy to give up on taxes as an important source of revenue for vital social programs — to define taxes as, in a sense, irrelevant to government spending — at a time when the public, finally, seems to have an appetite for universal health care, wealth taxes and similar ambitious policies. At such a moment, why embrace a theory that has never been tested on a significant scale? To shift toward an economic theory that sees taxes as largely irrelevant to government spending is economically and politically unwise.” • “Heather Boushey is the executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.” So this is what “passing the baton” means?

Hits the jackpot:

The 420

“New Yorkers Get Cannabis With Their Lunch for ‘4/20′ Day” [Bloomberg]. “Confusion reigns over the legality of marijuana-related products. Federal regulators are focused on commercial claims that CBD has beneficial health effects, for which there’s no conclusive evidence. Meanwhile, retailers claim the additive can help with chronic pain or anxiety, but again, there’s no evidence. Then there’s the unanswered question, as the FDA noted earlier this year, of whether there are negative long-term effects from CBD use. None of this has gotten in the way of clever marketing aimed at consumers who don’t know—or care—about the latest scientific study.” • Amazingly, Bloomberg does not expand the CBD acronym; it refers to cannabidiol, “the second-most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis” (after THC, with which I am familiar) but non-intoxicating.

Class Warfare

“The California exodus is speeding up” [Quartz]. “According to recently released data from the US Census, about 38,000 more people left California than entered it in 2018. This is the second straight year that migration to the state was negative, and it’s a trend that is speeding up. Every year since 2014, net migration has fallen…. Besides births, the main reason California’s population hasn’t already started falling has been international migration into the state. Every year since 2011, net domestic migration has been negative—i.e., more people leave California than move in from other states. But from 2011 to 2016, the number of international migrants moving into California was larger than the number of locals who were moving out.” • Hmm.

“Lawyer files $5-million claim, saying L.A. City Hall rat problem caused her illness” [Los Angeles Times]. “Workers at City Hall have complained for nearly a year about rodents, setting traps, finding droppings and paw prints, and capturing the scurrying creatures on video…. Since Greenwood went public with her claims, city crews have engaged in a major cleanup of the Civic Center, setting traps and clearing vegetation.” • Oops. I juxtapose these two snippets not to trash California, but to point out that California, with its very high Gini coefficient, is not necessarily a model for the rest of the country to follow (and we should be wary of the local oligarchy that runs it, if we were not already from CalPERS).

News of the Wired

“People Underestimate How Fun It Is to Do the Same Thing Twice” [The Atlantic]. “An entire category of people seems to have caught on to this way of thinking: little kids. Many of them will gladly rewatch the same movies, read the same books, and sing the same songs ad infinitum.” • This is me right now! I read plenty of new books, and see plenty of new art, but I reread old books all the time!

Be kind to librarians. Thread:

“Words from the 1990s” [Oxford English Dictionary]. “Cybernauts (1989) and Netties (1985) surfed the World Wide Web (1990) (or the Web (1990) for short). To be in the swim you had to have your own website (1993) or homepage (1993) or blog (1999), or you could communicate via SMS (short message service; 1991). It was the decade of all things cyber-: cybercrime (1991), cybersex (1991), cybershoppers (1994), cyberwar (1992), etc., etc. You would hope to avoid the spam (1994) and the mail bombs (1994), but the main fear in the cybercafé (1994) was the dreaded millennium bug (1995), which threatened to make the world’s computer systems crash when the clocks chimed midnight on 31 December 1999. At least cyberpets (electronic toys that need regular stimuli; 1995), such as the tamagotchi (1997), would not be affected; they only succumbed if you neglected them.” • Cybernaut is no more….

The world of eggcorns:

Never never never never never:

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (IM):

IM writes: “Sakura blossoms. These are actually throwback Sakura blossoms, long since shed, from May, not April, but a need for plant images is a need for plant images.”

In the past few days, I got a sudden influx of plant images; not sure why. Seasonal change? Change in the zeitgeist? Thank you, readers!

* * *

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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.

225 comments

      1. nippersmom

        Unfortunately, there are quite a number of Philistines out there who will look at that and say “Wow! What a great idea!” Look at the atrocities being built on a daily basis.

        Reply
        1. toshiro_mifune

          No argument from me on that.
          I was just relieved that (for once at least) my initial reaction to something that seems preposterous of; “This has to be a joke” was actually a joke.

          Reply
            1. nycTerrierist

              :-)

              astute commenter Ben Wiesenfeld:
              >
              > We need to think about this from a commercial standpoint. Otherwise,
              > the Catholic Church might be forced to move Notre Dame to a new city.

              Reply
                1. Harold

                  Notre Dame is the property of the nation of France and is only rented out to the Catholic Church under condition that it be open to all visitors free of charge. Of course that doesn’t preclude its being privatized and perhaps the Koch bros., or their equivalent, being granted naming rights.

                  Reply
                  1. Darius

                    Hey! Macron is the president. This is prophecy not satire. Plenty of marketing opportunities, potential public-private partnership rip-offs wise open here.

                    Reply
        1. Cal2

          Don’t kid yourself. “Exit through the gift shop” has been taken to a new height, or depth in Paris.

          The “Official” exit from the Louvre goes through a huge vulgar underground shopping center with an Apple Store and high end clothing retailers before depositing you across the street from the museum.

          https://www.tripsavvy.com/carrousel-du-louvre-shopping-center-1618841

          L’Occitane en Provence: Mid-priced but quality French cosmetics and gifts from Provence
          Esprit: Offering both womenswear and menswear
          Sephora: The go-to place for cosmetics, beauty gear and perfumes from major designers
          Swarovski: Find gifts from the iconic crystal-maker
          Bodum: Coffee aficionados will flock to this popular maker of French presses and other high-quality coffee-making equipment
          Hertz Car Rental: If you need to rent a car in Paris, this is one good option to consider. Only a fool would…

          Reply
      1. Lee

        They could just replace the whole cathedral with goggles and virtual tours. Maybe the real world would be improved if some of us simply retreated to virtual space and stayed there. I’m working on my list of nominees.

        Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I believe that Pick Rogarth + Baumsnatch is represented by Dewey Cheatham & Howe.

      That said, I would bet there are people in Macron’s orbit who would love it. (The spire itself is a 19th Century addition by Viollet Le Duc. We could just copy it, if we wanted:

      As a young architect in Paris, Viollet-le-Duc made it his life’s work to preserve the iconic cathedrals, monasteries and palaces that were damaged during the French Revolution and fell into further disrepair amid an early 19th century economic slump.

      His more than 20 years of work on Notre Dame, already prized for its vision and detail, may be put to its greatest use yet. As attention turns to rebuilding the Gothic cathedral significantly damaged by a fire, Viollet-le-Duc’s incomparable notes and drawings will give contemporary architects a guidebook to how he approached the job during the mid-19th century.

      Jean-Charles Forgeret, an expert on Viollet-le-Duc at the MAP historical monument archives, where the architect’s many drawings, notes and blueprints are kept, knows busy times are upon him. Viollet-le-Duc was a relentless worker with a knack for details and the habit of studiously holding onto what he produced. The renovation he undertook at Notre Dame lasted from 1845 until 1865, Forgeret said.

      “He left us a very substantial documentation. We have the letters and the work diary where he was writing day after day everything that was happening on the building site,” Forgeret told the Associated Press in an interview.

      Huge maps with blueprints and watercolor drawings of architectural details spill out of drawers in the archives. One map is a color-coded key of each stone set in the renovation work Viollet-le-Duc oversaw, showing the location and type.

      Viollet-le-Duc also designed the iconic spire that so dramatically collapsed in a ball of fire on Monday.

      Contemporary restorers will have more than Viollet-le-Duc’s drawings to consult since numerous studies of Notre Dame have been done in the years.

      Even as construction crews work to shore up the weakened building, there is speculation of which version of the Notre Dame spire will be the model for the rebuilding. Viollet-le-Duc has sometimes been derided for being too interventionist in his restorations; the pointy spire certainly was his alone.

      “The spire that he built was a spire of the 19th century, let’s be clear,” said Forgeret. “It’s a creation from the 19th century, but inspired by everything he knew, by all his science and knowledge of the Middle Ages.”

      I’m sure people hated the spire at the time, just like they hated the Eiffel Tower. But…. I think the pyramid at the Louvre is ugly and stupid, far worse than the Louvre itself, and the new spire might be just as bad.

      Reply
      1. clarky90

        ‘They are Christians’: Obama & Clinton lambasted for calling bombed Sri Lankans ‘Easter worshipers’”
        https://www.rt.com/usa/457206-obama-clinton-easter-worshipers/

        “Some people believe prominent Democrats deliberately avoided using the word “Christian” when condemning bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday as part of a policy to undermine Christian faith in the US.”

        There is a relentless psych-war on Christianity/Jesus, by the MSM. I have experienced this my entire life; but only began to notice recently. Laughing at Christ seemed so “everyday normal”, ha ha ha…. Has it anything to do with “…and Forgive Them Their Debts”, Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year By: Michael Hudson?

        A debt Jubileeeeee? Noooooooo…..!

        Reply
        1. Plenue

          “There is a relentless psych-war on Christianity/Jesus, by the MSM. I have experienced this my entire life; but only began to notice recently. Laughing at Christ seemed so “everyday normal”, ha ha ha…”

          …what? In what American mainstream does Jesus get constantly mocked? At worst Christianity is simply ignored, which has far more to do with producers not wanting to offend anyone and wanting to appeal to as wide an audience as possible than any anti-christian doctrine.

          Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        I’m glad that somebody else thinks that that pyramid at the Lourve is stupid and entirely out of place. It just grates. Some are saying that the roof may not be able to stand the weight of a rebuilt spire as it has been weakened by the fire. If that is the case, then perhaps they should build just a light-weight replica of the lost spire and at night, have a holographic spire to adorn the church with.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > I’m glad that somebody else thinks that that pyramid at the Lourve is stupid and entirely out of place

          Ugly, stupid, an insult to what is beautiful and important, and sharp-edged assertion of raw power. In other words, conforming perfectly to today’s elite sensibilitities. It’s not an accident that the message conveyed by the geometry of both pyramid and spire is upward thrust, and that only the tip is important.

          If one must assert power, I prefer it as done by the Louvre…. Or the Parthenon…. Or Angkor Wat…

          Reply
    2. DJG

      nippersmom: The first time that I saw the plan, I realized that it will look much better once they put in the Cheesecake Factory.

      Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Notre Dame.

      St Paul’s Cathderal.

      Yasukuni Shrine.

      I can’t find much about burials and memorials at the first one above, but at London’s St Paul’s cathedral, there are memorials to the military heroes of the British empire.

      The question is, in what ways is it similar to Japan’s shrine to her military heroes?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Not to put too fine a point on it, the “differences” between St. Paul’s and the Yasukuni Shrine is that Nippon lost their Imperial war outright while it took England a few more decades to realize that they also lost that same war. I don’t know too much about Yasukuni Shrine, but St. Paul’s also houses the “illustrious dead” of English Letters, the Arts, the Sciences, and Politics as well.
        Realistically, to honour the dead of a lost war is to try to retain a nation’s sense of honour and worth. Insofar as Nippon is an individual and unique culture, such reverence for the past is rational. Japan has become, perhaps too much like the Western Power that defeated it. Places like Yasukuni Shrine preserve a lot more than just the memories of those who went before. They preserve the ‘soul’ of the Nation.
        Perhaps those who have lived and worked in Japan can correct me if I am wrong. I will not complain. It’s a big world.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was curious if it enshrineevpatriotic poets. So I looked up Wikipedia.

          It says it has non-Japanese ‘kami’ – Korean, Taiwanese, etc.

          And who is eligible? Here is the list:

          Military personnel, and civilians serving for the military, who were:
          killed in action, or died as a result of wounds or illnesses sustained while on duty outside the Home Islands (and within the Home Islands after September 1931)
          missing and presumed to have died as a result of wounds or illnesses sustained while on duty
          died as a result of war crime tribunals which have been ratified by the San Francisco Peace Treaty
          Civilians who participated in combat under the military and died from resulting wounds or illnesses (includes residents of Okinawa)
          Civilians who died, or are presumed to have died, in Soviet labor camps during and after the war
          Civilians who were officially mobilized or volunteered (such as factory workers, mobilized students, Japanese Red Cross nurses and anti air-raid volunteers) who were killed while on duty
          Crew who were killed aboard Merchant Navy vessels
          Crew who were killed due to the sinking of exchange ships (e.g. Awa Maru)
          Okinawan schoolchildren evacuees who were killed (e.g. the sinking of Tsushima Maru)
          Officials of the governing bodies of Karafuto Prefecture, Kwantung Leased Territory, Governor-General of Korea and Governor-General of Taiwan

          So, maybe no patriotic poets, but school children.

          Reply
        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Ambrit, I didn’t have a chance to say over the weekend, but you have good chi, and I wish you and your wife well.

          Reply
        3. Plenue

          Imperial Japan had no honor to preserve in the first place, barring the actions of dissidents or the occasional official like Sugihara.

          The real problem with Yasakuni is that the Japanese government and the shrine priests deliberately went out of their way to allow the executed war criminals specifically ‘to be honored’ in the mid to late 60s, and then hid this fact from the public for years.

          https://apjjf.org/-Akiko-TAKENAKA/2443/article.html

          So it isn’t a case of it just being a kind of generic memorial that everyone killed in war was admitted into. The war criminals didn’t automatically get in, it took a subsequent deliberate act to magic them inside. Yasakuni has since become a kind of pilgrimage site for people nostalgic for the Empire, and the attached museum is apparently a gold mine of ‘Pacific War’ revisionism.

          Reply
          1. Conrad

            The attached museum is astounding. Everything since the Meiji restoration is portrayed as the indomitable Yamato spirit persevering against the aggressive machinations of the rest of the world. And there’s a sense of regret that the Hundred Million broken jewels thing never actually happened. Absolutely a must see.

            Reply
          2. Redlife2017

            I’ve been to Yasakuni and it is a very lovely area. It is very intense with hard-core Japanese men looking at the few white people (me and my partner) who are touristing around.

            In the end, we were waved away from the shrine itself, but we did go into the museum. Hoo boy! That was an experience. It was the only museum I’ve been to in Japan that had excellent English translations. We must have spent almost 3 hours in there until closing time. I could go back again as it was so well done. But also so very insane. Like right-wing nutjob doesn’t do service to how the narration in there was crazy. It was like Japan hadn’t lost WWII, so this is the alt-history museum that would exist in that timeline. At one point there was a discussion on the Rape of Nanking (clearly not called that – something like the battle of Nanking). The discussion centred on how some Chinese people were dug in and fighting the Japanese. But see, the Chinese were being aggressive in their defensive position. Seriously. They weren’t supposed to defend so aggressively so they had to be killed. Oh man. It was crazy. My partner and I still talk about that 10 years later.

            On the bright side, they have a great museum shop where all the goods are only made in Japan. The quality is very good. I got my Dad a letter opener that was shaped like a samurai sword. It was proper sharp. Very nice. And they have a zero fighter in the hallway, so if you like fighter planes…uh, it’s interesting.

            If you want to understand what others are thinking, go to their museums. You really get it then. I know it’s crazy to say, I would like to go back, but it was so well documented and really helpful to understand the underlying politics of what is going on in Japan.

            Reply
            1. carl

              I felt the same way in Hua Loa Prison in Hanoi. The propaganda still asserted that the US pilots housed there were treated well, so well, in fact, that they nicknamed it the Hanoi Hilton. Amazing experience.

              Reply
            2. Plenue

              I don’t think that museum represents many Japanese. The think it’s more something enabled by a general void in Japanese common knowledge.

              I think an American equivalent would be a Civil War museum presenting it as the War of Northern Aggression, Reconstruction as a tragedy, the war wasn’t really about slavery, oh and the slaves were quite happy anyway.

              Reply
    4. Yikes

      Not to worry, the Yellow Vests would prefer to burn it to the ground, when real estate is more important that the people who need to live on it, then something is way wrong.

      Reply
      1. todde

        if they burn it to the ground, the wealthy will re-build.

        A billion dollars to renovate creates a lot of jobs.

        It is a job opportunity, not arson. The creative destruction we hear so much about.

        Burn it down.

        Reply
  1. SlayTheSmaugs

    Re the 538 article, the comments on it were great:

    1) what is the definition of “activist”?
    2) how can 35 spread out across “early states” be representative?
    3) when the n is so small, it’s really irresponsible to to do percentages they way they did, as they could be applied to the universe of “activists”.

    Reply
    1. GF

      I find the table suspect due to the misspelling of the word “supoorting” in the table title. If they can’t spell maybe they can’t count either. The table is attributed to Seth Masket who is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Denver. He needs to better edit what his grad students are writing.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Because “Learning from Loss” isn’t out yet, I read the only Masket article I could find online: “The Persistence of Faction Clinton and Sanders Supporters in the 6789 Gubernatorial Primaries” (PDF). There is no definition of “activist” there; the two examples given are a “campaign worker” and a “campaign staffer” (the second I assume paid, the first volunteer).

      I’m not sure how large the universe of campaign “activists” is; but intuitively I think Masket’s interview methodology makes sense. As far as the definition of activists goes, this is me projecting: I think we rule out electeds (at least at the state level and above) and paid campaign staff by definition, with NGO employees borderline. That would rule in precinct captains, polling place volunteers, “wise heads” with big networks who are sounding boards for candidates and electeds*, party volunteers who do GOTV, convention delegates, etc. Remember that political scientists regard defining political parties as a hard problem, so it should not be a surprise that defining “activist” is a bit fluid.

      * For example, the sort of person who would hold a house party for a candidate. You see them on TV in the New Hampshire primary all the time, but they’re all over. Such people can wield considerable power locally if they’re on the zoning board, for example.

      Reply
  2. Mark Gisleson

    re: FiveThirtyEight on activists in early states

    This makes no sense to me regarding Iowa. If you’re on Nate Silver’s speed dial you’re definitely not someone with a finger on the pulse of this cycle. The activists who make a difference in Iowa are the ones no one’s heard of … yet.

    The Caucuses are exhausting to organize which is why most Iowa activists burn out every four to six years. If you’re around long enough for out-of-state media to notice you, it usually means you’re not doing any real work, just hanging around the bar at events.

    Unrelated, I think a lot of people fail to understand how lethal that 15% rule is. Yes, it’s almost impossible for one candidate to sweep a caucus, but that same math makes it insanely hard for a marginal candidate to get delegates. Iowans won’t just have 20 choices for President, they can also go Uncommitted, a category that often does very well.*

    *I can’t verify this but someone who was in the room when they did the final count told me McGovern lost to Uncommitted in the 1972 Iowa Caucus but they’d already announced McGovern as the winner (good faith counting error) so they did what they always do: they didn’t say nothin’.

    Reply
    1. Brindle

      Years ago when I was a regular visitor at Daily Kos, Nate Silver was there and did diaries fairly often. He was known to have a strong bias towards Dem centrism—I don’t think he has changed much.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        The first place I heard the name Pete Buttigieg was at an event and from Nate Silver. He was an also ran in the possible nominees named from the panel as in one of the last people mentioned, but he was still mentioned. This was the point when Harris was still the flavor of the week and before she actually announced.

        There are things Silver gets credit for, but I realized during the run up to Clinton vs. Trump that when Silver doesn’t really have data to ground him, he goes full bore ‘centrist’ neoliberal.

        Reply
        1. JohnnyGL

          Silver sometimes has interesting stuff, but he mostly takes his opinion and looks for data so he can figure out how to support what he wants to say.

          He wrote an article in the last few months trying to parse how much of Bernie’s vote totals were really “not Clinton” votes and they went on to try to argue that this shows that Sanders’ base of support is much narrower than it seems. He argued that self-described conservative voters couldn’t have possibly liked Sanders and that they were just lodging a protest vote against Clinton and would never vote Sanders again.

          He has never written anything to try to break down the composition of how much voters “liked Clinton” vs the voters who felt the need to “vote for electability” or “be pragmatic in their voting” even though maybe they liked what Sanders had to say. I suspect that number is pretty large.

          But, there’s other times when he does good stuff, like when he dug into Sanders voters during the 2016 run. He pointed out that Sanders got a LOT of raw votes, more than anyone outside of 2008, or 2016. He also got a LOT of independents.

          He also described Sanders as the front-runner back around 2017, so there’s times when his brain flips on…and there’s other times when he shuts it off in a fit of centrist hackery.

          Reply
          1. WJ

            FWIW, lots of my Catholic conservative students were Sanders supporters in 2016. I was initially surprised, until I realized that this is not the era of Culture Wars but Student Debt. I would bet that lots and lots of otherwise “conservative” younger Christian/Catholic voters will support Sanders this time around again.

            The problem with Silver is that he doesn’t actually engage with people outside the beltway elite, and so he precludes himself from having the kind of experience described above.

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              A lot of religious people are concerned about what it means to be part of a religious faith especially the parts of faith, love, and charity; all the major religions have these things as a base and none have wealth, war, and free market capitalism as good.

              So while many might have some serious differences on with the religious socially conservative on some social issues, feeding the poor, housing the homeless, and giving care to sick is a common agreement. As is work, a living wage, and the environment.

              It’s been a political bargain between the socially conservative religious leaders especially, but not only, the Southern Baptists to ally with the Republican Party who tied them into the economic conservatives.

              A fair majority of Americans are fairly conservative socially; a greater majority is not economically conservative.

              Since the entire mainstream political establishment has been more and more economically conservative and going into Social Darwinism as well as Fascist ideologies the tool of social issues to divide Americans is starting to fail.

              Reply
    2. Cal2

      “Democratic” “Activists” Don’t support Gabbard?

      Excellent reason for the Democratic rank and file voter to support Gabbard!

      38 year old combat veteran, Army major, athlete, progressive house member who has actually authored and passed legislation, will pardon student debt, implement Medicare for All and wants to withdraw us from losing wars as her main foreign policy goal.
      https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/129306/tulsi-gabbard

      versus
      A corrupt machine-politician power broker’s girlfriend who has never finished a term in office without seeking something better, takes payoffs from corporate criminals who she has pardoned while first misrepresenting The People of San Francisco and then California, while acting as a cop to imprison her own tenuous people? Jamaica is not America, campaign headquarters Baltimore is not Oakland nor even California.

      “Harris had dated Brown, who was investigated by the FBI when he was speaker of the California Assembly and as mayor was dogged by conflict of interest, and she had benefited from his political patronage. As the speaker of the state Assembly, Brown had named Harris to well-paid posts on the California Medical Assistance Commission and Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. As mayor of San Francisco in 2003, Brown was supportive of her district attorney campaign although they were no longer dating. Critics—including her opponents—were bemoaning cronyism at City Hall.”

      https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/01/24/kamala-harris-2020-history-224126

      Trump will make mincemeat of her.

      Bernie+Tulsi = Victory over Trump

      Anything less = Trump’s re-election.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think some people were surprised to read about Tulsi and the CFR the other day, and commented on it.

        Reply
    3. Big River Bandido

      Hi Mark, from another Iowa native. Seems like you are conflating McGovern in ’72 with Carter in ’76. Iowa instituted its caucus system in the 1976 cycle, and Carter did in fact finished second, behind Uncommitted.

      The word “activist” really calls attention to itself in that piece , for being so repetitive and so nebulous. I got the sense the writer was using that term specifically for its slippery quality, to avoid describing who he interviewed. This would make sense if your interviewees were just party regulars — the leaders of the local Democrat organizations. They constitute a very special class of “activists”, if you squint and look at them from just the right angle, and their names do tend to crop up every four years. They’re just the kind of people a DC insider would know.

      They are also just the kind of people who would respond in the way the poll describes. They’ve always been that way, and it’s a problem insofar as they’re the people flipping the coins and counting the numbers.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > This would make sense if your interviewees were just party regulars — the leaders of the local Democrat organizations. They constitute a very special class of “activists”, if you squint and look at them from just the right angle, and their names do tend to crop up every four years. They’re just the kind of people a DC insider would know.

        That’s how I read it (see comment above), and I should have thought to use the term “party regular.”* But note that “party regular” isn’t all that crisp-edged either!

        * That’s why I made the joke about coin flips!

        Reply
    4. Big River Bandido

      Guess it was I doin’ the conflatin’. Thanks for that link, Odysseus — I never knew Iowa Democrats even had a caucus in 1972. I wonder if “Others” meant “Harold Hughes”.

      Reply
    5. Gregorio

      Nowhere in the article do they provide a definition of “Democratic activist.” Is what they call party hacks these days?

      Reply
    1. Lee

      Except for the casualties, the collapse of sections of elevated freeways in the SF Bay Area during the 1989 quake was a boon to several previously dankly dark and noisy city neighborhoods.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Yeah, The Highway to Nowhere above the Embarcadero made the whole eastern part of the city dark and sad.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Ironically then, the quake of ’89 also did several millions of dollars of improvements to San Francisco as well.

          Reply
    2. jhallc

      Niagara Falls during the Mayor Lackey years in the 60’s and 70’s bulldozed huge sections of the city which became weed infested parking lots for years afterwards. Robert Moses bulldozed some great old Victorian mansions overlooking the falls to build his parkway. One of my Great Uncles homes among them. They later shut down the parkway along that stretch above the falls and ran the little tourist trains on the parkway. The Canadian side never saw this destruction and remains the better view all around.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        My wife from Buffalo with relatives in Niagara Falls, used to call it “Stink City” back in the 60’s & 70’s, must’ve been horrific.

        Reply
        1. jhallc

          I grew up north of NIagara Falls in Lewiston. The winds rarely blew in our direction ,but when they did you knew it. Union Carbide, Stauffer Chemical, Pittsburgh Metals were all big polluters.

          Reply
          1. Darius

            Visited Niagara twice as a kid in the 70s. The American side was sad and scary. The Canadian side was rocking and rolling.

            Reply
    3. anon in so cal

      Was going to mention Robert Moses and the Cross-Bronx Expressway:

      “The “Cross Bronx,” as it is known colloquially, was the brainchild of Robert Moses. But historically it has been blamed for bisecting the Bronx roughly in half causing a migration of middle and upper class residents to the north and leaving the south portion to become an underserved slum of low-income residents. It displaced as many as 5,000 families when an alternate proposed route along Crotona Park would have only affected 1-2% of that amount. Robert Moses is accused of favoring “car culture” placing an importance on building highways instead of subways in order to grow the city. This can be seen as a segregationist ideology since it ignores the needs of the large population in NYC that can not afford a car. Also the construction of large highways like the CBE shelved greater NYC Transit projects including the Second Avenue Subway. Not only did it have these ill effects, but to this day the expressway remains a headache for commuters with stacked and entangled roadways such as the Highbridge and Bruckner Interchanges. This MIT report has a few more examples of Moses’ failures associated with the CBE as well as a few more of his projects Massachusetts that were shelved after his reputation plummeted in 1968.”

      https://untappedcities.com/2013/12/18/5-things-in-nyc-we-can-blame-on-robert-moses/

      Reply
      1. Cal2

        Don’t forget destroying ethnic neighborhoods. Same thing achieved with housing projects as expressways.

        In the postwar period, the projects were almost always located in ethnic Catholic neighborhoods. This helped promote car culture as well since the refugees from these areas had to buy cars when they moved to the suburbs.
        See The Slaughter of The Cities for an analysis of that.

        http://www.culturewars.com/Reviews/SlaughterReviews.html

        “Jones argues that the established urban neighborhoods did not deteriorate simply because of economic crises or demographic accidents. Rather, from the 1950s on, a combination of misnamed redevelopment programs and malicious social planning turned these areas into war zones, and finally, depopulated deserts. … He insists that what motivated such experiments as busing and scattered public housing, presented as urban renewal, was at least partly a disdain for urban ethnics … . Protestant elites and their Jewish liberal allies never hid their contempt for the white ethnics who resisted their plans for thrusting underclass blacks into ethnic Catholic neighborhoods. Nor did the urban reformers whom Jones examines, such as Louis Wirth and the Blanshard brothers, conceal their intention of mainstreaming Catholic immigrants and their descendants, whom they viewed as a threat to their notion of a ‘pluralistic America.”

        The Ford Foundation was for urban renewal.
        Helped sell more Ford cars to fund the foundation.

        Reply
        1. Sanxi

          What data about the Ford Foundation do you have on policy that actual shows they favored a car centered approach? And more so any public policy institute? Henry Ford, the Deuce, hated the Ford Foundation.

          Reply
      2. Big Tap

        The Philadelphia version of Robert Moses but to a lesser extent, Edmund Bacon, tried to build the Crosstown Expressway in the 1950’s going through Center City. It would of cut off South Philadelphia from it and segregated blacks south of the expressway and whites to the north of it. The road was eventually defeated by community opposition. Also if anyone knows Bacon today it’s because of his famous son. Think “Footloose”. https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/crosstown-expressway/

        Reply
  3. Lee

    “China Isn’t Cheating on Trade” [Peter Beinart, The Atlantic].

    Hmmm. So maybe the Chinese government is simply endeavoring to address the concrete material needs of its people, and that it is the capitalists of the developed world who are cheating their own workers and citizens of the surplus value they created so as to seek higher rates of return elsewhere. Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This:

      China worries that unless it moves from assembling iPhones to inventing them, economic growth will stagnate and popular unrest will follow.

      All middle-income-trap-avoiding nations should invent their 5G iPhones, then, or maybe this applies to just China.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        It applies to all countries where the wealthy would prefer to keep manufacturing items at low costs and hope that Fukuyama was right and there will be no downside. I’m not sure what these people mean anymore given how quickly capital can flow from one country to the next and how completely the people in charge of production have abandoned their home states.

        One idea from Robert Reich that I did like was his concept that there was a minimum threshold corporations were required to meet in order to gain the benefits of the US protecting their interests and patents. I think that conversation might make for some very interesting politics. Like AOC arguing that the public should be first in line to get returns on profitable drugs. Or Google losing all its patents for not paying enough local, state, and federal taxes.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I repeat that the FT Alphaville article is worth reading. I should also have excerpted:

        Observation of the evolution of world GDP compared to that of digital expenses shows a significant difference in growth in favour of digital technologies. It has risen from 1.5 per cent in 2013 to 3 per cent since 2016 in the OECD zone, which coincides with the deployment of digital transition in these countries. However, whereas the growth of digital technologies has speeded up, the rate of economic growth has stagnated.

        More greenhouse gas from digital and stagnant productivity would not seem like the best direction for the Chinese Community Party to steer the country.

        Reply
  4. XXYY

    “We Asked Democratic Activists Who They’re Backing — And Who They’d Hate To See Win”

    I think it’s interesting that Biden is second only to Gabbard and Sanders on the question of who these “Democratic activists” (which I assume means low level party officials) would *not* want to see win. Biden is a dyed-in-the-wool Dem guy. What up?

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Besides the age factor which might turn off a few, I think it is likely those ‘activists’ remember how badly Biden actually does when he runs for President. Even though he probably does appeal to their continue the status quo neoliberal thinking, they also see that Joe isn’t all that outside the Beltway.

      I’m more curious about how Booker does so well. I may say not to write him off based on how he works a crowd, but he would have to have done a whole lot of events in order to make that a factor.

      Reply
    2. Big River Bandido

      I suspect Silver’s sources were just local Democrat leaders. They take a very jaundiced view of electoral politics. These people know how to evaluate the typical party candidate — they seem candidates like that all the time, and it’s easy to compare them. And when the candidates are just the typical pol (like Joe Biden), their estimates of that person’s chances of success are usually quite prescient. Not so much when it comes to outsiders, though.

      Reply
    3. Chris

      Dem activists = random people put in the audience anytime MSNBC or CNN host a town hall with Sanders or Gabbard :)

      Reply
  5. Matthew G. Saroff

    538 puts out a dubious poll with a dubious sample, which sounds more like, “I talked to my friends,” and decides that it is dispositive.

    Unless more sampling criteria are supplied, this is meaningless.

    There is a shocker.

    Reply
  6. anon in so cal

    Migration out of California:

    Wasn’t the Aztlan movement dedicated toward having immigrants take back California and the southwest “block by block,” or some such?

    Separately, driving around Los Angeles, the increasing density and accompany traffic gridlock sometimes makes it seem as though things could be headed toward conditions in Delhi.

    The Los Angeles June ballot contains a measure EE that may be an attempt to chip way at Prop 13: it advocates a property parcel tax of $.016 per square foot for additional funding for LAUSD.

    Reply
    1. Summer

      There is one thing I can’t tell from that report. I don’t think it says anything about international departures from Cali to other states.
      Cali could just be the “Ellis Island” (so to speak).

      Reply
    2. Summer

      “Wasn’t the Aztlan movement dedicated toward having immigrants take back California and the southwest “block by block,” or some such?”

      That is not the main group who is moving to Cali with housing costs the way they are.

      Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I just read the following about Henry Clay:

      Henry Clay had opposed the war. He distrusted James Polk and the purposes for which the war was fought. He knew that disposing of any territory taken from Mexico would require reopening the debate over slavery. He wasn’t sure the country could survive it. But he had not known that the costs of the war [he lost his son] would be so personal and painful. He had hoped that the sons left to him and Lucretia would outlive their parents; he had hoped to be spared yet another reprise of that most excruciating task of a parent, the burying of a child. Fate had decreed otherwise.

      “He had meant to leave public affairs to the younger generation. He had done his part; let them take up the task. But the death of his son made him reconsider. In his old work he might find solace. And he might give meaning to Henry’s death. Henry had died beneath the flag of the Union. His father sensed that the Union was in greater danger than ever. He could make a final effort to save it. He wasn’t sure his health could stand it. But what his son had given, he could give too, if it came to that.

      “He let his friends in Kentucky know he was willing to serve once more. The legislature made him senator again, and he followed the familiar route to Washington. New faces occupied the old seats; of his generation of lawmakers only John Calhoun, Daniel Webster and a few others remained.

      OK, hagiography. But–

      First, it’s a interesting to imagine an alternative future where opposition to the Mexican War of 1846 had succeeded; Lincoln opposed the war, too.

      Second, the contrast between Henry Clay and Joe Biden is instructive.

      Reply
        1. RMO

          “Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?”

          Well, there were the Silurians… but the Brigadier blew them up.

          I loved the anti-MMT article, it was wonderfully misleading (though it could just have been stupidity as well). There’s nothing in MMT that says a nation needs to deficit spend, or not take in taxes or “print money” by the method the treasury and banks already do – it just provides a solid working description of the economic reality of a nation with a sovereign fiat currency. MMT’s opponents seem to dislike it not for any functional property of the theory itself but simply because it removes the standard argument given for why we can’t have things like adequate health care, infrastructure etc. It’s like arguing against the validity of relativistic and quantum physics because they point out that thermonuclear reactions are possible.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There are ways to, say, destroy money.

            One is by taxation. The other is for less public sector debt. The former is typically mentioned, but the latter not so often.

            As well, there are way to increase money.

            One is with more government debt. The other is for less taxation. Again, the former is often offered. Not so much the latter.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Robert E. Howard postulated in his Conan the Barbarian books the existence of the Hyborian Age in which there was an earlier civilization that included people like the Asgards and the Atlantians. The reason why knowledge was nearly totally lost of this age was that during the last ice Age, the ice sheets bulldozed all traces of this previous civilization out of existence.
              Of course it is only ego to think that any previous civilization must have been human. An episode of Star Trek Voyager postulated that some dinosaur survivors managed to keep on developing and eventually left the Earth to establish themselves elsewhere-

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjuptfaTqyo

              Reply
  7. Wukchumni

    The thought of being an interstate California equity refugee was never gonna work, they’d pick me out easy as being from the left coast, bottom corner pocket…

    Better to be an intrastate refugee, nobody’s going to rag on you for being a Californian. Lots of interesting little towns in the Golden State to cash in your overvalued home in SD/OC/LA/SF on, buy a place for a 1/3rd of what you sold your old place for, and coast on the rest.

    Reply
  8. barrisj

    Re: RussiaGate and the “ Steele Dossier”…even the NYT are walking back their original frequent citings of the so-called “findings” of Steele, et al. Prominent RussiaGate partisans such as Emptywheel had repeatedly said that “many assertions” contained therein have “proved true”. Well, Mueller didn’t think so, and not only was the “Dossier” dismissed, but there is some fairly compelling evidence that Geo. Papadopolous was used as a pigeon to convey bogus info allegedly from “Russian government sources” concerning “dirt on Hillary” to the Trump Campaign. Now, the irrepressible Giuliani has publicly stated that there is “nothing wrong” with a candidate accepting oppo research “information” from foreign sources, and therefore whatever Papadopoulos was tasked to deliver shouldn’t be taken as illegal conduct if accepted by the Campaign. However, FEC policy and US election laws strictly prohibit either financial donations or “in-kind” contributions originating from foreign sources, be it government, corporate, or private, so I’m not quite sure if Rudy is on firm ground here.
    At any rate, anyone interested can read the Times story linked into this piece put up on the ZH site, FWIW.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-21/nyt-tables-have-turned-time-investigate-fbi-steele-and-rest-witch-hunters

    Reply
    1. Plenue

      Marcy Wheeler is a sad train wreck. She’s done a small amount of backpedaling (“I never used the word collusion!”) and a whole lot of…I don’t even know what to call it. She’s gone full bore into the bizarre Barr hate parade. Why are people even still talking about Barr? I get that after he released the summary it was pertinent to some to smear him as a liar, but the full report is out now. His summary was accurate. Yeah, Barr is a hack with an ugly history, but so was Mueller and the conspiracy nuts were naming their puppies after him (that poor dog…).

      ‘Russiagate’ is forever plumping new depths of stupid.

      Reply
  9. Carolinian

    Trump explained, by Alistair Crooke. Scary stuff

    But, having lost control of the House of Representatives in November, and under ever closer scrutiny for his campaign’s links to the Kremlin, Trump’s instinct has been to cleave ever closer to his most loyal supporters. Almost alone among major demographic groups, white evangelicals are overwhelmingly in favour of Trump’s border wall, which some preachers equate with fortifications in the Bible, Stewart suggests.

    In brief, this is what Trump has – this is what ‘has his back’ politically. Bolton gives him some cover from the US Deep State; the Evangelicals and the deplorables represent a base which sustains the President from the plots to remove him from office. A core base, which simply ignores the denigrations thrown out at President Trump, daily.

    By this calculation the pro impeachment crew are Armageddon’s useful idiots. They want the puppetmaster (Pence and the evangelicals) instead of the puppet. Crooke says that it is the continuous Trump demonization that has driven him into the arms of these reliable supporters.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/22/when-non-rational-trumps-rational-fuels-our-march-towards-war.html

    Reply
    1. barrisj

      Re: Crooke thesis…Trump had been railing against Iran well before the mid-term elections, and made it known very early on that he was totally on-board with the Israeli far-right vis-à-vis Iran and completely unsympathetic toward Palestinian goals, and from Opening Day of his administration, his policies in the ME would be geared toward Israeli “security”, even though tearing up the JCPOA would greatly increase tensions throughout the area. And he was already making threatening noises about Maduro in Venezuela, before Bolton/Abrams came into the picture. Fine, I take the point that Trump had easing of the contentious US-Russia relationship a key part of his early foreign policy initiatives, then Mueller/media/mid-terms changed the dynamic, but really, so much else of his hideous foreign policy is right out of the neocon playbook, and has remained unaltered from Day One.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Pence was there from day one and supposedly helped him pick out some of his worst staff members such as Nikki Haley. There are reports that Trump’s real goal re Iran is to make them knuckle under–perhaps through regime change–and not to start a war. Pence and Pompeo on the other hand may be perfectly ready to be raptured and not be too worried about Armageddon. Bolton is not religious, just a power hungry idiot.

        Anyhow, that’s Crooke’s view and also, he’s suggesting, increasingly the Russian view.

        Reply
      2. dearieme

        I take the point that Trump had easing of the contentious US-Russia relationship a key part of his early foreign policy initiative: that’s the issue on which there is a vital American interest. It’s the Russkis who have ICBMs.

        Reply
    2. shinola

      President Pence – now that’s a scary thought!

      I think the Dem’s will be making a mistake if they pursue impeachment. It will just make Trump’s base dig in their heels & make his re-election more likely.
      Just keep feeding him more rope & he’ll hang himself.

      Reply
  10. Pat

    Call me wild and crazy, but before you burn the pallets, maybe you should have resources in place to handle the homeless. Well…unless…you think they will just go up in smoke like the pallets.

    More than a couple of Mayor Pete’s policies seem to scream for well meaning people to make things worse, as in put a spanner in his works.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      It’s what every city is doing to the homeless almost, evacuates their encampments. Now you might ask: how many homeless can South Nowheresville really have anyway? But apparently it has a homeless issue too.

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      There’s 3 or 4 roadside businesses off of Hwy 99 that buy and sell pallets, one of them has so many, that the top of them extends almost 3 stories. Another is open 24/7, as you never know when you’re going to get a hankering for some old wood.

      They’re used extensively in Ag, but only seasonally. I think the buy-sell spread is around $3 to $5 per pallet.

      Reply
    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      I forwarded that article to a friend who is a Bernie gal but for some unfathomable reason finds Buttigieg appealing.

      Then I noticed it is from Nov 2017. Still relevant but it would be nice to have an update as to how in fact he resolved the situation. (Not assigning homework!)

      Reply
    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      If people started referring to Mayor Southbend as Pete Wuttapig; would people easily know who “Wuttapig” refers to?

      Reply
  11. Summer

    Re: Left and MMTo shift toward an economic theory that sees taxes as largely irrelevant to government spending is economically and politically unwise.” • “Heather Boushey is the executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

    Did anyone tell Heather to remember that the next time the defense and national secueity apparatus gets increased budgeta while all the politicians talk about tax cuts? That has been going on at least since JFK.

    Reply
    1. skippy

      Interesting how the narrative has changed, once taxes were bane to some and privatization supporters called for diminishment to spur animal spirits …. MMT tapped the shoulder and said wrong frame work.

      Now its back azimuth day and MMT hates taxes …..

      I hear echos of my past – YOUR – military right – left …. keep in step …

      Reply
  12. allan

    Herman Cain: I will 9-9-9 no more forever.

    Stephen Moore: Hold my beer:

    Trump Fed pick Stephen Moore wrote columns criticizing female involvement in sports [Marketwatch]

    A new report has publicized embattled Trump Fed nominee Stephen Moore’s views on women and sports.

    A CNN report has highlighted several columns that Moore had written in 2000 through 2003 for the National Review, a conservative publication.

    Allowing a woman to referee a men’s college basketball game was “an obscenity,” the former Club for Growth president wrote in a 2002 column, adding that he didn’t like watching women’s basketball or having women play in recreational-league games. He also wrote that men’s college basketball should have “no more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything.”

    “Is there no area in life where men can take vacation from women?” he asked.

    In a 2000 piece, Moore criticized female athletes who were advocating for pay equality, saying they were asking for “equal pay for inferior work.” …

    If only the Czar Javanka knew.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does Javanka also think there should be areas in life where women can take vacation from men?

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        Thinking that would put him on the wrong side of a certain flavor of feminism, which considers things like lesbian only bars verboten.

        Reply
    2. Lee

      “Is there no area in life where men can take vacation from women?” he asked.

      Monasteries, and prisons come immediately to mind.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If they are not really ‘safe’ safe spaces, does it mean men don’t need safe spaces or they still need ‘safe’ safe spaces?

        Here, men are seen as one of the sub-divisions of humans… or one of the many ways to divide them (or us, more correctly).

        Reply
      2. jrs

        I think there are any number of such places even if not officially so, but he wants it to be a whole stadium full. Never mind that many women at the college probably like attending a game.

        Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Maybe this can be weaponised to keep Moore off the Fed. Or at least delay his placement there long enough to make his desire to abolish Social Security and privatize the remains well known and weaponizable.

      Reply
  13. DJG

    From the article on digital and its voracious energy consumption by Izabella Kaminski:

    Observation of the evolution of world GDP compared to that of digital expenses shows a significant difference in growth in favour of digital technologies. It has risen from 1.5 per cent in 2013 to 3 per cent since 2016 in the OECD zone, which coincides with the deployment of digital transition in these countries. However, whereas the growth of digital technologies has speeded up, the rate of economic growth has stagnated.

    I copied this paragraph because I’m not sure what its consequences are: Endless digitization and energy consumption in a flaccid economy?

    For years, I’ve suspected that Save a Tree! is wrong, and I usually ask for paper. At this point, though, many companies are actively suppressing paper billing and receipts. What could possibly go wrong?

    Reply
    1. Lepton1

      It is rare to get actual paper receipts. Now you get some sort of thermal sensitive sheet full of noxious chemicals.

      Reply
  14. Plenue

    >share of respondents who said they would not consider supoorting a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary
    >supoorting

    This is the kind of quality I’ve come to expect from Nate Silver. Remember all those times he assured us Trump would never be the candidate, much less the president?

    Reply
    1. RMO

      I still think of him as a man who bought a winning lottery ticket once and has considered himself an expert on investment ever since.

      Reply
    2. petal

      I did a quick search and found somewhere that around 42% of NH voters are unaffiliated. What people(incl me) do for the primaries is when you walk in, you register as a D or an R to vote, then on your way out you change back to unaffiliated. Maybe something for them to think about? Not so black and white.

      Reply
  15. jeremy415

    On Warren’s student loan forgiveness – “And what about the people who faithfully paid? Shouldn’t they get a big fat rebate check in the mail?”

    And what about the people who decided not to go to college because it was too expensive, and as a result, opted to go into trades or other careers that will pay much less over their lifetime? Shouldn’t they get taxpayer money for that lowered lifetime earning?

    And, and, and, and…..

    And, errrrrr, and errrrr….

    Hmmm. Rhymes with pander, pander….

    Yeah, I know. I”m on the wrong blog to think that way.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      +1 and what about those with no aptitude (not everyone is above average afterall), and what about those who went to a state school to save money but could have gone somewhere fancier and …

      I mean if we’re straight out suggesting cutting checks to people, how about something universal (basic income)?

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        “I mean if we’re straight out suggesting cutting checks to people, how about something universal (basic income)?”

        Because it’s been tried and was an abject failure that allowed business to get away with paying crap wages.

        Reply
          1. Plenue

            Which they’re able to do partly by relying on things like food stamps to pick up some of the slack. I would expect wages to get even worse if a UBI happened.

            Reply
        1. Plenue

          Reparations for crimes committed against people who are currently alive, fine. It’s when people start saying we need reparations for past crimes, committed by and against people who are now dead, eg slavery, that I check out.

          Reply
      1. Grumpy Engineer

        @Plenue:

        The problem is that pretty much everybody was actively screwed.

        The people who are drowning in student loan debt today are being screwed.

        The people who ate Ramen noodles and lived in in a crappy 250 sq-ft apartment for a decade in order to pay off their loans early were screwed.

        The people who completely avoided debt by working 60+ hour weeks during college (or by having their parents drain their retirement accounts) were screwed.

        The people who skipped college entirely because of the excessive cost were screwed.

        To reward only one class of “screwee” (is that a word?) with debt forgiveness while ignoring the real sacrifices others made is guaranteed to make a lot of people very angry.

        Reply
        1. jrs

          those who ended up dropping out of college because their K-12 education was so bad it didn’t remotely prepare them for any college (I mean people who never even got a decent K-12 education, were really even more screwed weren’t they?).

          Reply
          1. jeremy415

            Just from my personal experience of public education, mainly high school. The teachers were fine. The food was okay. The building was nice.

            80% of the students (me included) had 0% interest in getting educated, and 100% interest in having fun.

            Some of us went to college, some went to work at cr*ppy jobs out of high school and eventually started our own successful businesses.

            Some kept on partying way too much, and life hasn’t been good for them.

            IMHO, putting the blame on the schools is just one more way of steering people away from self-responsibility, which far too many people are happy to avoid.

            Reply
            1. JCC

              Interesting… I’ve had this discussion recently with some younger co-workers and younger friends (they were in their 20’s to early 40’s, I’m in my mid-60’s).

              Their position was very similar to yours, mine was that there have been structural changes in society that have had a large effect, too. Of course, they’ve only seen the changes in the last 10 to 20 years, whereas I’ve seen the changes during the last 45 years.

              Sure, there are self-responsibility problems, they existed in my High School years, too, although I would flip that 80% number of yours to around 20% during the HS Boomer years.

              Self-Responsibility was more of a norm then for a lot of structural reasons that we don’t have today. A simple example (there are others) is part-time jobs for teenagers today vs the 50’s and 60’s; paper routes for 15 year-olds?, part-time delivery jobs for grocery stores and others for 16 and 17 year-olds?, summer construction jobs for most teen-agers? Almost all are non-existent today. And the few that do exist today are have limited availability due to competition with older dis-placed working people and many who saw their pensions reduced or disappeared due to changes in business practices like off-shoring, private equity buy-outs, etc.

              Then on to local Community Colleges at a minimum. Today, those costs are $3K+ per year. Back then closer to $300.00. A summer job then would pay for a semester of Community College with enough left over to buy a cheap car. And a part-time job during the School Year would cover rent and a beer or two on the weekends.

              Four Year State Schools were a little more expensive, but doable without years of serious debt.

              So, yeah, self-responsibility nowadays does seem to be a bigger problem, especially according to my younger co-workers (almost all ex-military), but the opportunities and costs from a social/economic structural view are serious considerations, too.

              As I said to a recent co-worker, 24 years old and fresh out of the Navy (his primary solution was, “They can do what I did, join the Military.”), the Armed Forces are not about to hire the estimated 3.3 million kids graduating from Public High Schools this year., and neither is Walmart.

              But our Banking System and private colleges are salivating over college loans back-stopped by the US Taxpayer.

              Reply
        2. marym

          Maybe a lot of people won’t be angry. Maybe they’ll be proud to be part of our country’s decision that, with debt forgiveness, and free tuition, and more generous grants our young people will no longer need to make such sacrifices.

          Reply
          1. Fiery Hunt

            Nah…I’ll be good and pissed.

            Just about the time it gets enacted, I’ll have both finally paid my nearly $70,000 (principle and interest) in loans off (for a degree i never finished ) and suffered nearly 30 years of financial damage.

            Reply
            1. maltheopia

              The plan to stop slapping people in the face is a slap in the face to everyone who was slapped in the face.

              More broadly, I’m inherently suspicious of people who makes this line of anti-equality argument. They inevitably tend to end up becoming some variety of Strasserite / hotep / TERF when pressure from the classes below gets applied and they feel they can get the thrill of hierarchy by siding with the overclass.

              Reply
              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                For those who came in late, “Strasserite” is a passive-aggressive way of saying “loser Nazi.” I’m inherently suspicious of projecting European fragments of history into our own day, when we’ve got plenty of fascism right here at home. After all, the Nazis came here to study our Jim Crow laws, because they regarded us as experts in the field.

                Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think the solution to this problem isn’t to fret about making sure everyone is being assigned a position. The solution is to do so much and change society in such a way that no one cares because things are awesome.

      This was a problem with ACA and the whole Obama Administration. You don’t build a program to please everyone. You fight for programS for everyone.

      The solution isn’t to fret about who is being left out because no one is. Its Alphabet Soup Time!

      Reply
      1. marym

        +100

        There has to be some notion of the common good allowing us to say we’ll make some (certainly imperfect) reparations for the past, and build new (probably imperfect) systems to address these issues going forward. Maybe we’ll be so pleased with our accomplishments for, say, universal healthcare and higher education, that we can move on to affordable housing and free public transportation.

        The post WW2 G.I. bill didn’t cover people who tried to enlist but didn’t qualify, who made sacrifices on the home front, or who had served in WW1.There was racial and gender discrimination in the administration of benefits. However, millions of veterans got an education and bought homes. Their accomplishments and taxes benefited the country.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > we’ll make some (certainly imperfect) reparations for the past, and build new (probably imperfect) systems to address these issues going forward

          There are a lot of areas I can think of that could use Truth and Reconciliations commissions….

          Reply
    3. NotReallyHere

      I’m with you but…..

      The problem is now so huge that the credibility of the whole system is disintegrating. For instance, my 25 and 22yr old daughters know many graduating with some shocking amounts of debt. Average Med school debt is scary and dentistry – forget about it. When I asked how these guys sleep at night, they said, “fine, nobody pays. It’s impossible.”

      When you say, “ but … but … that will destroy life, they’ll never get a mortgage and they are bad-risk marriage partners” the answer comes back, nobody can afford a house anyway, and the marriage thing, well who knows in future.

      The government is on the hook for all of the defaults in this whacky system. The student is induced to borrow at almost credits card interest rates (when fees are included) while having little or no possibility of discharging the debt in bankruptcy. Meanwhile the colleges can charge what they like and nobody is watching the debt servicers as they add abusive fees and fines and lose paperwork. It’s an insane system and it’s already beginning to fail under the weight of absurdity.

      The whole thing has to be restructured. Colleges and Universities should carry the risk of their fee policies and the financial vampires in the banking system have to be removed from it. At least Warren it trying to start a conversation.

      Reply
      1. jeremy415

        “At least Warren is trying to start a conversation.”

        I’ve read that Warren charged $400,000 per year to teach – one class. If that’s the case, Warren is NOT the right person to start a conversation.

        Unless her solution is clawback of past salaries to college professors and administrators, to be used for reimbursement to overcharged students who were sold pipe dreams.

        As soon as she cuts her first check to pay her obscene salary back, then she can talk.

        Reply
        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          link? I know a lot of people in academia, sounds awful high though I guess she was at the business school…

          Reply
            1. Darthbobber

              That seems to have been for 2 years, not 1, and the article makes no reference at all to number of classes taught.

              Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                Just a question about student loans. That CharliePatrick tweet said that his loan was incurring compounded interest. Is that right? That student loans work with compound interest rates instead of simple interest rates?

                Reply
                1. NotReallHere

                  True – it’s the most obscene sytstem – 7.9% or 6.9% who knows – some accruing at compound rates from the moment of disbursement (not all I emphasize) – BUT there is a 4% fee on all disbursement’s so the effective interest rate is something like 11+ % – again compounding from day one. I say some loans because other loans compuund from the day you graduate. Others are straight out grants. But get this – all the loans are classified as financial aid even the most abusive ones.

                  Now say you got your degree and the job market doesn’t cooperate. You need a break and call the debt servicers to get a re-structuring. Now you are in beaurocratic hell. The servicers underbid for the contracts and they likely make money from extra fees ( I don’t know that though) anyway the system smells a sucker – can’t pay but wants to – fees sky rocket, the number of lost payments etc accelerates and you often end up in a worse position than if you hadn’t bothered.

                  The best bit is the colleges are indifferent. They got their money and for as long as they can a) portray abusive extortionate debt as “financial aid” and b) enjoy the us government guarantee on the fees, they are not incentivized to change.

                  Reply
        2. NotReallyHere

          Fair … again with a but attached …

          That only tells you she was smart enough to play this bs star system. You know the one where you load the admin with a bunch of overpaid deans of student naval gazing who hire a few academic stars ( about 3% to 5% of faculty ) that these admins can sell as a lure for new students. Then you force all of the non stars into adjunct positions at pay levels, on a per hour basis, that are often minimum wage at best.

          What if Elizabeth Warr en had worked as an adjunct? Wouldn’t the obvious disqualifier be that she shouldn’t speak because she didn’t make it in academia and is bitter as a result?

          The conversation is worth having. The instigator’s past matters but when it’s messed up it’s messed up.

          Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > When I asked how these guys sleep at night, they said, “fine, nobody pays. It’s impossible.”

        > When you say, “ but … but … that will destroy life, they’ll never get a mortgage and they are bad-risk marriage partners” the answer comes back, nobody can afford a house anyway, and the marriage thing, well who knows in future.

        Welcome to the Soviet Union right before the collapse. Sanders is really quite moderate, isn’t he?

        Reply
        1. NotReallyHere

          “Welcome to the Soviet Union”

          That often crosses my mind too. What was that joke in the eighties? Russian goes into butchers by mistake and asks to buy a loaf of bread. Shop assistant says you are in the wrong place. This shop is where we don’t have meat, you need to go to the bakery next door where they don’t have bread.

          Scary thought.

          Reply
      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > At least Warren it trying to start a conversation.

        At least from what I see on the (totally not representative, but intended to influence the press) Twitter, Warren’s proposal is being touted as concrete and detailed (“wonkish”), in contrast to Sander’s vague sloganeering.

        Reply
      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        At the risk of repeating myself, let me just repeat myself to say that repealing the Biden Bankruptcy Deform Law . . . just wiping it out and default-restoring the Status Quo Ante . . . would be a good thing to do before all the bitter battles over which debtors will be reparationized and which won’t.

        Reply
    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Maybe Warren could simply pivot to promising to seek the repeal of the Biden Law, so that unpayable student loan debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy; along with everything else that was dischargeable in bankruptcy before the passage and signing of the Biden Bill into Law.

      Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Why untangle the tangle? Why not just cut it or burn it with a straight-up repeal of the Biden Bankruptcy Law? We could incinerate two birds with one stone. We could incinerate Biden’s Law, and we could incinerate Biden’s reputation and public image.

          Reply
    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m reminded of the parable of the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-32:

      11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

      13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

      17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

      “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

      21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

      22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

      25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

      28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

      31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

      My suspicion is that many voters will identify with the older son, not the younger son.

      My own view is that the entire system was rigged and designed to screw people* (hat tip, Joe Biden, for making student loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy). Some people, while being screwed, managed to survive the process; others did not. I think in justice the survivors should be recompensed as well.

      NOTE * At some point I should look into how college loan debt facilitated the neoliberalization, i.e., the crapification, of the university as well. I would guess that it did. So even the “survivors” would have received a devalued degree.

      Reply
  16. giantsquid

    Re: the fabella’s “Evolution in historical time”

    Not likely in this particular case. The fabella is a sesamoid bone, which are bones embedded in a tendon or muscle that can be induced to grow in response to stress. The most likely explanation for the increased number of identifiable fabella bones in humans over the last hundred years is the increasing average weight of humans during the same time period, putting greater stress on the tendons of the knee.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      You beat me to it – the timespan neatly overlaps a historically unprecedented rise in average human height and, more importantly, weight. Ah well, another ‘fabellous’ scientific discovery debunked!

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Here is the original study from the Journal of Anatomy:

      Fabella presence/absence is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors: as the prevalence rates of other sesamoid bones have not changed in the last 100 years, we postulate the increase in fabella prevalence rate is due to an environmental factor. Namely, the global increase in human height and weight (due to improved nutrition) may have increased human tibial length and muscle mass. Increases in tibial length could lead to a larger moment arm acting on the knee and on the tendons crossing it. Coupled with the increased force from a larger gastrocnemius, this could produce the mechanical stimuli necessary to initiate fabella formation and/or ossification.

      And:

      Why would there be an increase in fabella prevalence rate over time? Skeletal phenotypes result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although fabella formation appears to have a genetic component, it is improbable a genetic mutation is responsible for the worldwide increase in prevalence rates; the probability of a mutation occurring in Homo sapiens and spreading throughout the entire species in the past 100 years is an unprecedented and unlikely scenario.

      But, speaking once more to weight:

      This means people are taller, weigh more, and have bigger muscles today than they did 100 years ago. Increases in tibial length could lead to a larger moment arm acting on the knee and on the tendons crossing it. Coupled with the increased force from a larger gastrocnemius, this could produce the mechanical stimuli necessary to initiate fabella formation and/or ossification. However, these factors do not explain the high prevalence of cartilaginous fabellae in foetuses, or why there was no relationship between presence and height in our sample.

      “Evolution in real time” is my own comment (it follows the •), not the article’s conclusion. I think it’s a fair layperson’s summary (heck, it’s a bone) especially if you don’t think of adaptation as involving genetics only.

      Reply
      1. giantsquid

        Go to the beach regularly, your exposed skin will produce more melanin, resulting in darker skin. Spend a lot of time at high altitude, your body will start producing more red blood cells. Lift weights, your body will gain muscle mass. All of these are examples of tissues demonstrating phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental cues. The brain also displays phenotypic plasticity, and it will respond to environmental cues (or the lack thereof) as well. Referring to such change as ‘evolution’ when it occurs across a wide swath of a population can cause confusion, to say the least.

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps the genetic permission for fabella bone formation if needed was always there, and the last 100 years saw the sudden emergence of mass conditions favoring epigenetic evocation of the fabella bone’s formation.

        Reply
  17. DJG

    Peter Buttigieg, at a again. Or maybe not. Buttigieg makes me recall the endless embarrassments and endless debates caused by Human Rights Campaign. Nathan Robinson at Current Affairs sums it up, quoting the formidable Yasmin Nair:

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/09/the-human-rights-campaign-has-totally-betrayed-its-constituents

    I hesitate to do psychological projection (being a Jungian at heart, which means not all that able to project anyway), but I suspect that Buttigieg wants to be normal in a conservative world (as Nair points out in the quote near the bottom of the article about marriage equality being a conservative venture). Buttigieg doesn’t want to have gayfolk be actors in remaking and repairing the world at its most basic (as Mario Mieli proposed, as Epaminondas did so long ago). So Buttigieg takes pallets away from the homeless, who are free to sleep under bridges, commodifies his dissent into a backhanded endorsement for a chicken chain, and advertises his status as a veteran. He’ll be great at an HRC fundraiser. Becoming chair of the fundraising committee for HRC should be his upper limit, in my not-so-humble opinion.

    Reply
    1. Big River Bandido

      advertises his status as a veteran

      as a “naval intelligence officer” in the landlocked nation of Afghanistan, IIRC.

      Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Only Navy i ever saw in Afghanistan were SeaBees.

          SeaMen n SeaWomen get scared when they leave their ships ;)

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Thank you. I’ve been trying to understand this. From the article:

          They received orders directing them to the Navy Mobilization Processing Site in Norfolk with follow-on training at Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Miss. Their mission is to work with joint U.S. forces in small teams called Embedded Training Teams, or ETTs, teaching military doctrine to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA).

          “Our training here and subsequent mission in Afghanistan is a prime example of how the role of the military is slowly shifting,” said Capt. Joseph Green, commander of the Navy ETTs.

          The Sailors are undergoing required Army training for deployment into Afghanistan and will primarily help teach, coach and mentor Afghanistan National Army counterparts with logistics and how to operate a base. The Navy ETTs will teach command and control; communications; facilities engineering; food service; fuel; logistics; and medical support. They will also directly support ANA and Task Force Phoenix with expertise in construction contract management and installation facilities management, as well as contracting purchasing process management.

          The Army is teaching the Sailors combat survivability skills, which includes night vision goggle driving, night fire and daylight weapons qualification, convoy operations, urban operations, language and cultural awareness, improvised explosive device awareness and land navigation.

          “This training is vital,” Rear Adm. Hank Tomlin, commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group said. “It wouldn’t bother me at all if they never had to put this training into practice. But we want them to be safe and well trained – and, that’s what the training at Camp Shelby is all about.”

          Still not clear, however, what his intelligence role was. Training? Something else? Since his service is being touted, I don’t think it’s unfair to ask what the service actually was. So “not surprising” isn’t enough for me.

          Reply
    2. jrs

      He’s somewhat right on the boycotts. A targeted boycott with a lot of public awareness can really work for limited effect. And the Chik-Fil-A boycott was in that vein.

      But people say things like they are boycotting all Koch products, no you probably aren’t, as they are involved in things like synthetic fabric (and thus clothing made with it) manufacture etc.. So you’re maybe wearing Koch and don’t know it. So there is a virtue signaling element, of fighting the battles that can be won (like Chik-Fil-A) and not others (like Koch) that are much bigger. Much less an Amazon.

      As for the sandwiches being good, oh yea fast food sandwiches made of who knows what garbage, are somehow good … give me a break. I mean I know they are engineered to push one’s buttons, but good is not the word for that.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I think the word virtue signalling is being overused. I understand virtue signalling to mean, for example, signing a petition calling on OTHer people to boycott Chik-Fil-A. Whereas boycotting Chik-Fil-A oneself is some minimal small-scale virtue practicing in that it requires practical action. And bragging about how one is boycotting Chik-Fil-A would be virtue horntooting. Of course the Chik-Fil-A boycotters got an awful big horntoot out of an awful little virtue-practice.

        Signing a petition calling on OTHers to boycott the Koch Brothers would be virtue signalling. Boycotting those Koch products which one can would be virtue practicing. The wider-spread the boycott, the bigger the virtue. But some Koch Industries products are so key and crucial that they will never be boycotted.

        So one does what one can, within reason; and one prepares to show others what others can do, within reason, should they eventually want to do so.

        If a hundred Koch oil and coal custormers strangle back their energy use to cut the money they send to Big Koch by , say, 20% ; that is what Dick Cheney sneered at as the “practice of private virtue”. If a hundred million Koch oil and coal customers strangle back their energy use to cut the money they send to Big Koch by, say, 20%; that is no longer just private virtue. That is public economic combat.

        Reply
    3. Jen

      For what it’s worth, a colleague of mine who has been gushing about Buttigieg for weeks, yesterday posted on facebook: “I take comfort in knowing that Joe Biden will enter the presidential race this week and with that the end of our long national nightmare can finally begin.”

      Yeah, I know.

      He’s exactly the sort of moderate republican the DNC has been courting. Only one data point but I think Pete may have peaked.

      Reply
  18. AndrewJ

    I received a water filter cartridge this weekend with a prop 65 warning on it. First time I’ve seen THAT! Changes were made in August to the rules such that labels are required to call out the chemicals actually present in the product, so “consumers” can make “informed decisions”. There’s an exception for things too small for such a label, so if the rest of the labels on the product’s “immediate packaging” – in this case, the shrink wrap – are in the same font size as the warning sticker, they can stick a generic short-form label on it. Pentair, being an inhuman megacorp, has decided to go this route and put the label on every. Single. Product. Regardless of any prop-65-listed chemical content.

    They COULD test their products to see if levels are below safe harbor levels and thus not required to be labelled, but nooooooooo.

    On a WATER FILTER. I’m supposed to install this on a commercial coffee brewer??

    Reply
  19. Tom Doak

    I must say the tweet linked above was the first time I’d considered that there are a lot in the young professional class who want their GRADUATE student loans forgiven. For me, that would be the cut-off point on debt forgiveness, as such loans are only taken by more mature students who were hopefully doing some sort of economic calculus for themselves.

    Reply
    1. nycTerrierist

      Many, many grad students who took out loans are exploited in precarious gigs as adjunct faculty.

      Shameful fact: 70% of faculty is now adjunct. This does not pay a living wage.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Does rejecting credentialsm help in freeing students from being pressured into seeking graduate or college degrees?

        Is that one of the fundamental causes of the problem?

        I think the first professor in my, er, graduate school (can’t say I would go that route if I could do over again), and he was a really good teacher (maybe that was why he was chosen to teach that class to that year’s new graduate students) did not even have a graduate degree.

        Reply
    2. Big River Bandido

      I could see an exemption being made for “professional” graduate programs like medicine and law, where the returns are great and the fields are already dominated by wealth.

      But the more you qualify “jubilee”, the more you erect a gatekeeping establishment.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Some people regret, or are frustrated, that they are over-educated (for their work).

        Perhaps they mean, over-credentialed. (But they can’t distinguish the two, while being over-educated?, Are they educated?).

        Reply
      2. jeremy415

        Education IS available to all. It’s called reading.

        Gold stars and pats on the head for self-esteem – those are costly.

        Mortimer Adler (co-editor of The Great Books of the Western World) said that the only worthwhile thing that one retains from high school is the ability to read, and the only worthwhile thing that one retains from college is the ability to know what’s worth reading. That’s it.

        Reply
        1. Harold

          Mortimer Adler, monetizer of “Great Books”TM. His entire list of ‘Great Books’ contained only two books by women authors, one by Jane Austen (Emma) and one by George Eliot (Middlemarch), but ALL of Dickens (including, presumably, juvenilia), and ALL of Cicero — good grief! What kind of education is that? Not to mention that he made no distinction in editions or translations. Also, there was almost no poetry (although the novel was primarily a 19th century phenomenon ), poetry and plays having being previously been much more important.

          Reply
          1. Plenue

            Cicero is worthwhile if you always keep in mind that he was full of crap and an opportunist. He becomes an education in how pretty words by themselves are worthless.

            Reply
            1. Harold

              Worthwhile, yes, but is everything he wrote necessarily a “great book” ? Jane Austen wrote at least five great books, and there are countless other great books by women (I won’t mention Mme de Lafayette, George Sand, and Lady Murasaki) who were among the inventors of the novel and its main readership — if we’re talking about novels. It shows the futility of compiling lists.

              Reply
          2. Fiery Hunt

            Since women didnt have as great a chance to be published, it’s not surprising that women aren’t represented a great deal in the Canon.

            The only glaring snub I can think of (off the top of my head) is perhaps the greatest novel ever written by a woman…Frankenstein

            Reply
      3. Lepton1

        Free college tuition is a facile solution to public education. I’d like us to rethink education top to bottom. My naive view is we need more teachers, more teaching assistants, study coaches, and other ways to help young people learn, and learn how to learn.

        Reply
  20. barrisj

    “Oil Surges to 6-Month High” screams a CNBC headline…more fallout from reports that Trump will refuse to sign any more waivers to countries wanting to purchase Iranian oil, effectively removing Iran’s petro production from world markets, and ratcheting up prices. Oh, of course moron Trump assured us that his good friends in KSA and the Emirates would more than make up Iranian shortfall, keeping crude prices steady, yadda-yadda. What’s that old saw about…”I’ve got a bridge here I’d like to sell you…”.

    Reply
  21. dcblogger

    I suspect that Yves has posted about this, but I am curious about why the financial system has not imploded. nobody learned anything from the last one, they are up to their old tricks, so why hasn’t this imploded? anybody have a good link on this?

    Reply
    1. skippy

      Is the insurance cured this time[?????], last episode was too soon, next question is what does that portend moving “forward”…

      Reply
  22. Grant

    “At such a moment, why embrace a theory that has never been tested on a significant scale?”

    Sigh, can at least one “critic” of MMT show that they’ve read MMT and understand what it says? We shouldn’t “try” MMT, we should accept it’s insights on how things work. Not complex, even for a trained economist writing for a major paper.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t know if it should be this nuanced, but by ‘a significant scale,’ (the qualifier in that statement), I think it is referring to such considerations as ‘resource limitations.’

      Practically, that has to do with how to measure inflation (or employement, or other economic measurements). From exeprience (my own experience, in trying to learn economics), we don’t always have reliable numbers.

      Also, from Quantum Mechanics, we know that what works on one scale may not work in another, when other previously insignificant factors exert themselves. Here, perhaps the system is designed as described by the ‘theory,’ but there are factors in it that are inherent, without being ‘designed into it,” that could possibly behave differently in different scales.

      For example, human psychology. The theory doesn’t reference it, and the system designed makes no allowance for it. And humans can behave quite irrationally and unpredictably.

      Reply
    2. Plenue

      To do that they would have to actually engage with it in a serious way. And to do that they would have to acknowledge that it’s mostly an in-depth description of real world government accounting operations, ie it’s already true and in use. Which means any opposition they have would instantly collapse.

      This would also instantly lead to the question: “Wait, if this is how it already works…what the hell have you been teaching/writing/saying this whole time?!”.

      MMT goes into highly specific details, to a fault really. Eye-watering wall of text articles are not hard to find on MMT websites and blogs. Krugman et al can’t even be bothered to critique summaries of MMT from actual MMTers, much less any of the in-depth claims.

      Reply
  23. ewmayer

    “Words from the 1990s” [Oxford English Dictionary]. “Cybernauts (1989)” — I call bullshit on ‘cybernauts’ as a recent-ish neologism – the classic TV series The Avengers had a 1966 episode titled The Cybernauts.

    (For those who’ve not watched the series, The Avengers Complete Emma Peel Megaset DVDs are a bargain at around $25 for the entire set, new. The earlier seasons with Honor Blackman as Macnee’s partner-in-intrigue were also good albeit grainy and a bit rough at times in terms of lighting and sound, but Diana Rigg as Emma Peel was the high point of the series. Poor John Steed – his leading lady left him to become a Bond girl, not once but twice. But he always was a most resilient fellow. :)

    Reply
  24. Darthbobber

    538 article on the preferences and dislikes of “Democratic activists”. If we knew what a “democratic activist” even was for the author’s purposes we might be able to take something away from this.

    My working assumption is that he’s using the term to refer to the appartchiks, in which case the results tell me what I already knew.

    Reply
  25. ewmayer

    “Restoration of Notre Dame should be mindful of its past while revealing its unique potential as an urban mixed-use development.” — Lambert, you progress-retarding Luddite! Imagine how wonderfull it would be to be able to sit beneath one of the famous rose windows and sip an iced frappucino from the new vibrant Le Starbucks discreetly nestled beneath same, as you listen to the lilting strains of the great organ playing a tasteful Beatles medley. And using modern steel-framed construction they could restore the roof to look just like before from inside, while making room for several floors of luxury condominiums above. With a location and view like that, these would command prices – and attendant property taxes, some of which would of course go to ongoing maintenance of the rest of the cathedral – which would make even a hardened Paris bureaucrat salivate. Add in the multi-million-dollar-per-year revenues from letting Disney stamp its name on the restored Notre Dame by way boosting its own Hunchback of Notre Dame-themed intellectual properties, and what’s not to like? Turn that stodgy old house of worship into a fun place to visit for the whole family!

    Reply
    1. flora

      “….its unique potential as an urban mixed-use development.”

      Nooooo….. That’s *exactly* the mindset that destroyed our once excellent, highly regarded nationally, smallish art museum. It’s refurbishment and updating, (which all buildings go through if they’re in use over several decades) was lead by one of these “urban mixed-use” termites, who destroyed its art museum function in the name of … what? … Real estate development? bah.

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth

        Well, I’m wondering if all the billionaires who contribute to the restoration of ND won’t want some return on their investment – mixed-use privatization might be too hard to resist.

        Reply
  26. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

    Theoretical problem with MMT
    (MMM first, theorise later – one shock at a time)

    The “T” is the problem. Those promulgating it might have been better off by first establishing in people’s minds the way money* is actually managed at the highest level. On understanding the Modern Monetary Method people might just be coaxed into theorizing.

    Pip-Pip!

    *I make it a point of asking every professional type in my acquaintance what they think of fiat money. So far only one person has ever heard of it and I know that he is an ex-union autodidact without a university degree. It is hardly surprising that graduate types have little understanding of money if you go and take look at university economics textbooks. My suspicion is that the majority of political candidates have nothing to say on this topic, but their ignorance leaves them well primed to spout the party line (if they are in one).

    Reply
  27. Cal2

    “The California exodus is speeding up”
    Yup, highly taxed productive people are decamping for Montana, Idaho and other places where they can establish trust communities and try to replicate 1970s America.

    Who is replacing them?

    At least in Sanctuary City San Francisco, and most of the urban areas, foreign nationals, mostly illegals, welcomed and provided with more services than they would receive back home, such as translation and legal services, free official i.d., free healthcare, free housing, schools in their native language etc.

    “the county had a total net migration of 52,066 people.”
    [49 square miles, wonder what that does to housing prices?]
    “Though the population of San Francisco did indeed increase, the surge in residents is largely due to international migrants. The net international immigration for the county was 55,042 between 2010 and 2018.”

    “The net domestic immigration number (-2,976) tell another story. The negative sign signifies that more American nationals left San Francisco County than moved there over the past eight years…”

    https://www.sfgate.com/expensive-san-francisco/article/bay-area-exodus-fleeing-moving-cost-census-13778557.php

    The numbers belie the “techbros are taking over the city myth.”

    Reply
    1. Summer

      “where they can establish trust communities and try to replicate 1970s America.”

      I have to ask. Why the 70s? Not saying it’s better or worse, but why?

      Reply
    2. Laughingsong

      Surely some number are not just “mostly illegals” seeking “free stuff” — but rather the ubiquitous H1B and similar? When I visit the old homestead that’s what it looks like to me.

      Reply
      1. Fiery Hunt

        The construction trades are all Latinos now in the SF Bay Area.The crush of Chinese has lessened in the last year but 2012-2016 was all about hot Chinese money investing in real estate.

        Reply
    3. cm

      decamping for Montana, Idaho and other places where they can establish trust communities and try to replicate 1970s America.

      Nope. Decamping for Oregon, Washington, Arizona where they can enact the exact same damn policies that turned California into an unaffordable cesspool. McMansions included, so nothing 70s about it.

      Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          cm didn’t say “politics”, cm said “policies”. Probably enough Californians will arrive in these places to drive up house prices to Ess Eff and Ell Ayy levels in every invadable nice place in the states which these runaway Californians are targetting.

          And in the end, the Californian influx will help outpopulate these other desert and semidesert states entirely beyond their water budgets.

          Reply
  28. Parker Dooley

    “Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?”

    “Toolmaker Koan” a 1987 science fiction novel by John C. McLoughlin, a zoologist and paleontologist, explored this issue and the inevitable lack of direct evidence of such after the passage of “deep time”. He adduced a different line of evidence — the disappearance of all but a few of the large saurian species from the fossil record — to suggest a civilization which had eliminated wild in favor of domesticated species, and asked the question, what evidence of our civilization might even a few million years after our extinction?

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, a pre-and-post Mass Extinction difference in the number of species remains in the fossil record.

      Reply

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