Date of publication: 2017-07-09 06:06
The final comment I made concerning the sequestration is a reference to the uproar over furloughs caused by the military budget cuts. There were many people with domestic military jobs who were upset about the spending cuts because they lost their wages (which, of course, is unfortunate and regrettable) rather than upset because of an ideological or national motivation. The war is so far away to so many (both physically and psychologically) it is difficult to comprehend the import or purpose of it, which can breed—again, in my opinion—a strange cultural attitude about it.
In just the last few hundred years, that all changed for a few billion people. So the right question today is: “Why did whole parts of the world cease to be poor for the first time in history?” And further: “What can we do to share this ahistorical prosperity with more people?” Economics taught me that two billion of my brothers and sisters had escaped poverty in my own lifetime. This was a modern-day miracle. I had to find its source.
If capitalism per se does not cause income inequality, what does? One part of the answer becomes clear after spending just a few days in China or Argentina. It is impossible to miss that prosperity in these places depends largely on political power and privilege, much more so than in the United States. While the United States is not perfect on this score by any means, our relative success at decoupling non-merit-based clout from economic success goes a long way toward explaining why so many people are so eager to relocate here.
Practically every public and private place in Orwell’s fictional world is under surveillance through “telescreens,” that also broadcast announcements, news, and propaganda. They are the sleepless eyes monitoring every move, every word, every facial expression, and every involuntary reaction of every person in the effort to detect thoughtcrime. “Big Brother is watching you.”
The Romney to Clinton voters are like the Obama to Trump voters in one respect. They seem to have voted primarily based on social/identity issues, on which they were considerably closer to core Democratic voters than Republican voters (especially on attitudes toward Muslims). They also were closer to Democrats regarding attitudes on economic inequality.
The 8775 mess 8776 is the creation of politicians pandering, mandating benefits, all against the backdrop of the federal government imposing a myriad of complex, confusing and contradictory regulations through the IRS, the DOL and CMS. And then there 8767 s the lawyers that offer to 8775 help 8776 you if you were 8775 hurt 8776 by your doctor.
There are three notable points of difference. Sanders supporters were notably less enthusiastic about trade deals. This was a point of contention between Clinton and Sanders, so the difference we see here makes sense. Sanders supporters were also a little less enthusiastic about America and its history, and they evinced more pessimism about people like them. Yet, they are indistinguishable from Clinton supporters on concern for inequality and value of government activism. On the social and identity issues, they are also largely indistinguishable from Clinton supporters.
Moving to issues that divide the parties, there is a clear division on concern about inequality and support for active government, consistent with what we have come to expect from the parties.
These density plots help demonstrate that there is noticeably more overlap between the two camps on economic issues than there is on social/identity issues. Specifically, percent of Clinton voters are to the right of the median position on the economic index, while percent of Trump supporters are to the left of the overall median position on the economic index. By contrast, only percent of the Clinton supporters are to the right of the median on the social/identity index, while just percent of the Trump supporters are to the left of the overall median position on the social/identity index.
Finally, if you don't like capitalism why don't you suggest something that will work? I think your frustration is not with capitalism but with our political system that needs fixing. This is, in part, why Trump was elected. Let's pray he fixes Washington, acts in the best interest of our country, our citizens and in particularly the poor and middle class that are screaming for change.
Now Brooks does a very good job of going after recent welfare programs and expensive education programs that have done little to address either the income gap or the achievement gap. But he does so while only pushing capitalism as the cure. Surely that hasn't worked either. How about putting our heads together (AEI think tank types and others, of course) to address both areas in new and effective ways, not simply by sitting back and enjoying our second homes at the beach which we have worked so hard for while others remain homeless.
Income inequality is an obvious by-product of opportunity inequality, not a separate issue.
I don 8767 t think any more Democrats think that way than do Republicans, though the party rhetoric is different. Both parties have factions that affect some version of contempt for 8775 the great unwashed 8776 . Republicans think Democrats hate red-necks and Democrats think Republicans hate peace-niks and there 8767 s a slice of truth in both those preconceptions. Once again, I think you are taking it too far and only see it as a left-wing problem.