Edsall looks at why democracy doesn't correct inequality

02/15/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Bread

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/opinion/democracy-inequality-thomas-piketty.html

Brahmin left vs Merchant Right


Piketty asks why we see more right-based populism over left-based populism (racism vs trade)

there was an American party system in which one party, the Republicans, was primarily responsive to white collar constituencies, and in which the other, the Democrats, was primarily responsive to blue collar constituencies.

After reform, Shafer contends,

there were two parties each responsive to quite different white collar constituencies, while the old blue collar majority within the Democratic Party was forced to try to squeeze back into the party once identified predominately with its needs.

Do you like your populism leftish or rightish?

02/15/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/30/business/economy/populist-politics-globalization.html

But right-wing populism — like that harnessed in Europe — is provoked by immigration. Its clan consciousness exploits cleavages of race, religion and nationality. On the left, by contrast, the “us versus them” narrative focuses on the economic divide between the capitalists and the working class. Populists of the left mostly take aim at trade.

The United States was ripe for both reflexes. Over the last 50 years, as the nation opened its markets to foreign trade, it never set up a social safety net to help workers dislodged by change, as Europe did. It also experienced large-scale immigration across the southern border. And it was walloped by a financial crisis that proved to typical workers that Wall Street would always get a better deal.

Tribal epistemology

02/13/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/22/14762030/donald-trump-tribal-epistemology

Over time, this leads to what you might call tribal epistemology: Information is evaluated based not on conformity to common standards of evidence or correspondence to a common understanding of the world, but on whether it supports the tribe’s values and goals and is vouchsafed by tribal leaders. “Good for our side” and “true” begin to blur into one.

It's your thing - do what you wanna do

01/08/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/smarter-living/dont-let-a-lack-of-self-awareness-hold-you-back.html?action=click&module=Smarter%20Living&pgtype=Homepage

A close friend and I have this agreement: If one of us ever recognizes the other person’s “thing,” we’re bound to disclose what it is, no matter what.

But what is a person’s “thing,” exactly?

It’s that particular behavior, habit or mind-set that is self-destructive but that we’re completely blind to. Personally, professionally or otherwise, it’s something that’s holding us back from achieving our full potential, but for whatever reason, we simply can’t see it ourselves.

What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind?

01/06/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://theconversation.com/what-if-consciousness-is-not-what-drives-the-human-mind-86785


If the experience of consciousness does not confer any particular advantage, it’s not clear what its purpose is. But as a passive accompaniment to non-conscious processes, we don’t think that the phenomenon of personal awareness has a purpose, in much the same way that rainbows do not. Rainbows simply result from the reflection, refraction and dispersion of sunlight through water droplets – none of which serves any particular purpose.

And after all.  Rainbows are pretty.  Isn't that a purpose, he said tongue-in-cheekily.

Do poor white Republicans really vote against their self interests?

01/04/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Bread

Link: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/31/trump-white-working-class-history-216200


Southern liberals in the 1930s and 1940s applied a sharp class focus and concluded that wealthy Democrats wanted, in historian Gavin Wright’s words, to keep labor “cheap and divided.” The white liberal writer Lillian E. Smith famously captured this thinking in her short story, “Two Men and a Bargain,” which began: “Once upon a time, down South, a rich white man made a bargain with a poor white ... ‘You boss the nigger, and I’ll boss the money.’”



Don't call it racism - call it cultural anxiety

01/02/18 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/white-working-class-trump-cultural-anxiety/525771/


In the wake of Trump’s surprise win, some journalists, scholars, and political strategists argued that economic anxiety drove these Americans to Trump. But new analysis of post-election survey data conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic found something different: Evidence suggests financially troubled voters in the white working class were more likely to prefer Clinton over Trump. Besides partisan affiliation, it was cultural anxiety—feeling like a stranger in America, supporting the deportation of immigrants, and hesitating about educational investment—that best predicted support for Trump.
This data adds to the public’s mosaic-like understanding of the 2016 election. It suggests Trump’s most powerful message, at least among some Americans, was about defending the country’s putative culture. Because this message seems to have resonated so deeply with voters, Trump’s policies, speeches, and eventual reelection may depend on their perception of how well he fulfills it.


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