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Showing posts from August 30, 2015

immigration: what is to be done?

Recently, the NYT has been running the occasional article about how bad the low paid sector in the American economy is doing. Without fail, the comments sections will fill up asking, pointedly, why said article doesn’t consider immigration. Of course, partly this is the Trump effect. But I am suspicious of the good liberal response that leaves it at that – those rednecks and racists out there, the end. After all, the immigration thesis seems kin to the Marxist thesis about the reserve army of the unemployed. And it also seems to hook up to a recurring pattern in American history, in which racism is used to undermine labor solidarity and lower wages. In the 19 th and 20 th centuries, mining companies would often recruit african americans to break up strikes.The unions were, at the time, extremely white nationalist. Thus, they would fall for the bait, and instead of recruiting among black laborers, they would battle with them. In the thirties, the “communist dominated” CIO unions tr

the matthew effect candidate

I'm starting to resent Trump. I had it all figured out. The establishment in the GOP always wins, almost. So, Bush would be their candidate. Nobody would stop Clinton. It would be Bush versus Clinton, with the victory going to Clinton by about 2 percentage points. But I had misunderstimated Jeb Bush. I thought he was sposed to be the smart one! He has run a rotten, no good campaign, and he himself makes his brother look like a genius. This must panic the establishment. Emotionally, they probably do think they are going to win, as they thought with Romney, but I can't believe they can't read the numbers like anybody else - on the national level, the GOP faces a very uphill struggle. But at least with Bush they could have a decorous loss and maybe pick up some seats somewhere, as the Dems hugely suck at state and local elections. Now I am starting to doubt. I still think the odds are with Bush, but how is he going to do it? If as looks very possible he loses Iowa, New Hampshi

On the sliming of Corbyn

The runup to the invasion of Iraq was, as is well know, accompanied by a complicit and cowardly press that rolled out every lie as though it were golden and adhered strictly to the Bush administration guidelines. I think it was the moment when the liberal readership, which is really the core newspaper readership for the majors, became disenchanted – and have never returned. Though the right entertains itself with a narrative about a timelessly liberal press, in reality, that liberal moment endured for around 3 decades in the U.S., and was spotty, at best, in criticizing the Cold War foreign policies it reported on. However, the level of distortion in the British press coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for the Labour leadership is, to my mind, unprecedented. I’ve never seen anything like it. While Britain, famously, has a suck press culture that mostly entertains itself by hounding celebrities to death on the tabloid level, and bloviating with Oxbridge pomposity about the wonders of ne