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Will the Wealthy Allow the World to Fix Itself? Or Delay Till It Comes Apart?



By Thomas Neuburger

The real resistance occurred in 2016. It failed in both parties. –Yours truly

I’d like to put three things before you and consider what they mean.


• The first is something I wrote, presciently I think, in 2017, after the Trump election had advanced beyond shock and before the liberal response had fully cemented. In a piece called “The Resistance, the #Resistance and Harvey Weinstein,” I wrote in part:


“All this has led me to wonder what the goal of this professional #Resistance really is. The Restoration of Democracy to America? Or the Restoration of Mainstream Democrats — the anti-Sanders, anti-progressive, "you can't have that" crowd — to power again?


“If just the latter, the nation may sink more slowly beneath the neoliberal waves than it would under solid Republican rule, a plus to many people's way of thinking. But progressives will still have an enemy, who hates all they stand for, armed, enabled and in the field against them.


“The real Resistance, of course, occurred in 2016, in that year's electoral revolt against the money-bought in both parties, and it failed in both parties. Mainstream Democrats successfully fended off the actual populist in their race, Bernie Sanders, whom they hate even to this day. Mainstream Republicans successfully elected their "populist," the fake swamp-drainer Donald Trump, and his voters are getting nothing they wanted in terms of relief from the relentless greed and austerity they rebelled against.


“The nation, meanwhile, is left with a still-unsatisfied populist anger, waiting like an abscess to erupt. What form that will take in 2018 and 2020 is anyone's guess. Failed revolutions, like bad meals, often come back stronger.”


The piece closes:


“Is the anti-Trump #Resistance, the professional broadcast version with its behind-the-scenes security state actors, simply setting us up for a Restoration of those — a Pence, a Biden — who "weep tears of admiration for their own virtue" as they tank or attempt to co-opt the next Bernie Sanders, or re-destroy the last one?


“And if they do, will America weep tears of thanks, or something else?”


To answer the first question above, look no further than the selection — by “liberal” Nancy Pelosi — of progressive-hating Democrat Hakeem Jeffries as the next leader of the Party in the House.


To answer the second, read on.


Next, this editorial from Krystal Ball, on the rail disaster in East Palestine OH, and more importantly, on the particular way both parties are complicit in it. She starts with a common theme from many liberals, that Trump voters deserve what they get.


Here’s the editorial:



Note that, unlike what liberals like Joy Behar believe, Trump voters aren’t a solid bloc of 74 million racists and “enemies of American democracy.” But they are a (radically misled) part of the real resistance, people who are increasingly upset that American democracy is a thing only its owners and funding classes enjoy.


To see what that resistance looks like, watch the editorial. Of course it’s misled resistance, this voting for Trump. Trump voters got nothing they wanted in terms of relief from the relentless greed and austerity they rebelled against.


But what were their choices? Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the rest of the management class of the Democratic Party offered no “resistance alternative” of their own — and celebrated the fact that the neutered their most viable alternative, Bernie Sanders (see clip at the top).


That celebration will bite them. The discontent is not going away. How do I know? Read on.


The beatings will continue until the storm outside is over. By which I mean, the inflation-caused economic crisis the Fed is addressing can only get worse given what the Fed is trying to do. It’s analysis is that the “littles,” as one CEO described us, got too much money from Covid relief, and now it has to be clawed back through lost wages and jobs — the inevitable result of relentlessly rising interest rates.


As Robert Kuttner noted, “[R]educing [inflation] all the way to 2.0 percent would require an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent, more than double the current rate.”


Thomas Ferguson and Servaas Storm have a different analysis. You can read the whole thing here — his takedown of the mainstream (wealth-serving) analysis, the data that shows the true causes of today’s inflation, and his proposed solutions. As they write in the introduction (emphasis mine):

We assess four supply side factors: imports, energy prices, rises in corporate profit margins, and COVID. We argue that discussions of COVID’s impact have thus far only tangentially acknowledged the pandemic’s far-reaching effects on labor markets. We conclude that while all four factors played roles in bringing on and sustaining inflation, they cannot explain all of it. There really is an aggregate demand problem. But the surprise surge in demand did not arise from government spending. It came from the unprecedented gains in household wealth, particularly for the richest 10% of households, which we show powered the recovery of aggregate US consumption expenditure especially from July 2021. The final cause of the inflationary surge in the U.S., therefore, was in large measure the unequal (wealth) effects of ultra-loose monetary policy during 2020-2021. This conclusion is important because inflationary pressures are unlikely to subside soon. Going forward, COVID, war, climate change, and the drift to a belligerently multipolar world system are all likely to strain global supply chains. Our conclusion outlines how policy has to change to deal with the reality of steady, but irregular supply shocks.

The authors’ solutions include “vigorous antitrust policy, tight limits on commodities (futures) markets, and other targeted (microeconomic) regulatory measures including strategic price controls and limits to speculation in commodity markets, along with major investments in public health and renewable energy.” But in a world ruled by the rich who win either way, we all know none of this will happen, at least at scale.


The Bottom Line


The lesson here is simple, and nothing new: Much of the Trump resistance at the voter level is real resistance to much that real progressives also oppose — the relentlessly advancing, immoral rule-by-the-rich our modern elites support (and benefit from). Those people, those resistance voters, should be led to join us, not vilified as Behar and others cruelly do.


The future looks unbright, however. Will the wealthy allow the world to fix itself?


Or will wealth disparity, war, a belligerent world, and the daddy of them all, climate change, go unaddressed, until chaotic unrest breaks it all apart?


On those answers all our futures turn.

1 Σχόλιο


"Those people, those resistance voters, should be led to join us, not vilified as Behar and others cruelly do. " That depends on what you want. If you want real progress for the good of the country, you have to get the majority of people behind an issue, and get the money out of politics. Vilification is antithetical to that. Nobody wants to agree with you, i.e. take up your position, if it means they first have to admit they are an idiot. If you want to feel superior to someone else, vilification is great. If you want to raise money on the premise of preventing the dangerous from winning office, vilification is profitable. But refraining from vilification is only part …


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