I like the dog picture better.
So, who are you going to vote for in order to accelerate the catastrophe we need? I'm liking the chances of Cruz's ridiculous religious extremism for starting WWIII, but you seem like more of a Trump guy to me.
I'd like to say something pithy but the Deja Vu ad is frying my brain.
I'm puzzled by the claim that Piketty's central finding, the centerpiece of virtually all commentary on his work is something "that many missed or failed to appreciate"
did the Scandinavian countries come to Social Democracy as a result of WW2?
We need to harness the energy that Bernie's campaign generates to elect a ton of women and racial minorities into congress. If we do that, then we can restore social democracy. I think it's pretty clear to everyone now that you can't stop at just putting a progressive into the oval office. Even if you do and you have democrats running congress, that's not enough (a lot more could have been done between 2008 and 2010 -- and neoliberals suck). I dunno how it's going to happen, but it's the only way.
Nice piece Charles. I completely agree, and, while it would be a rush to see Sanders elected, I feel it would ultimately be a letdown. The President alone does not create laws, there are two other branches of government that can (and often do) fuck everything up. Sanders' policies are so toxic to the foundation of the republicans (and some democrats) that they would fight him tooth and nail on everything, just as they've done with Obama.

It's really easy to talk about grand, sweeping reforms... it's a completely different game to actually see them implemented. All you have to do is look at Obama's presidency if you want an example.
But many of those anti-Socialists are also Armageddonists . . . .
Charles, I'd be more hooked if you summarized enough of Piketty's argument that I could say at least that sounds interesting, let me go look that up...
My reply to those hoping for some creative catastrophe, like my reply to those armchair economists that think the banks should have been allowed to crash in 2008 is: have you really thought that through? Be careful what you wish for. The contemporary global economy is held together by nothing but belief. Shake that belief and it's not just the bankers that will be brought down but the whole thing. And the people who always pay first and suffer the most are those at the bottom.

I may well vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary but aside from the fact that his big plans would go pretty much nowhere with at least half the government in the hands of the far right he would never get to the point of attempting to implement them because there is no way once the general electorate has a look at the massive tax increases he is proposing he is going to get elected. The idiot American voter is perpetually angry, and wants this that and the other (often contradictory) thing, but he sure as hell doesn't want to pay a dime for it.
Changing the plutocracy will take one of their own, like FDR who came from a long line of blue bloods. That's the thing that is intriguing about Trump, he is pitching himself as a class traitor under all that bluster. It's too bad he's such a clown. One of his best lines was about how Hillary was at his wedding because he paid her to be there--he may be despicable, but there is some hard truth in that statement.
On point, for sure. This is one of my arguing points lately with Bernie folks; their pie-in-the-sky candidate is exactly that. Once elected, much of what he promises will either not come to pass or come through harsh struggle. Although I absolutely support and want his positions to come true, I understand how American democracy actually functions and know that much of what he want just won't happen in 4 or 8 years. This, to me, makes his hardcore supporters come off as a bit stupid, or at least naive.
Yes. Let's not forget to be depressed and hopeless! Thanks for the reminder!

PS. And also, remember when you form your circular firing squad make sure to tell the person across from you shooting them is for the betterment of mankind.
@13, you think Hillary will be able to get more done? The only candidate the Republicans dislike more than Obama? How many Benghazi hearings have they had now? The only things she will be able to do are agree to corporate handouts & policies that favor the ultra rich. With Bernie, they will have to at least make some concessions in exchange for their corporate handouts. Bernie supporters aren't expecting everything to magically change overnight- but it's a start, which is better than taking a step backwards (remember how Obama was the more progressive choice in 2008?). Voting Hillary with any expectations for anything other than continued gridlock in Washington is naive.
@15 True enough. Bernie would I suspect turn out to be rather pragmatic if elected. And his hardcore supporters would be screaming bloody murder about being betrayed. Trouble is, how do you imagine he is going to be elected? His healthcare plan calls for massive tax increases on the high-end but also substantial ones on the middle class. Of course the idea is the increases would be offset by higher wages when the private sector is no longer responsible for health insurance. That's an idea. Is the American electorate going to buy that? I'm pretty sure not even most of Bernie's supporters have actually looked at his plans, let alone any of the halfwit independents that swing elections.
@13, if you want naïve, listen to the Jill Stein supporters.
Did a Marxist just support neoliberalism?
@5, Thank you.

Yes, and that Marxist's name was "Vladimir Lenin"

Lenin's "worse is better" has done more harm both to the world and to socialism than any other piece of socialist ideology, yet Socialists can not let go of it.

Another component that continues to do damage to socialism is Trotsky's vanguardism, of which we have a lovely example here in Mudede's lecture on the correct emotional posture a socialist must adopt, and the correct expectations a socialist must hold.
Kuznets. Kuznets'.

Kuznet's? No, there is no Kuznet.
Your belief that Obama is a neoliberal isn't really reflected in your commentary that I have seen. In fact, you appear to give him a pass on most everything.

@16 a tax for universal healthcare is more than offset by not having to pay health insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles. It's probably a good idea to know the basic stuff before calling others halfwits.
@20, Lenin didn't support laissez faire capitalism, too big to fail, privatization, or deregulation. All of these are hallmarks of neoliberalism.
y'all bakers toasting in a roll bread
Dumb. This is just dumb.
While Republicans claim to hate Hillary, she might be able to get more "things done" because she might actually be a closet Republican.
If voter turnout is high, the push to return at least the senate and eventual control of congress to the Democrats is on the table. Sanders currently appears to have the means to push that turnout higher than Hillary.

This article sounds more like the conservative notion that solutions cannot be piecemeal. Then again, that "pessimism" is embedded in Charles' last point.
C.M., is it not fair to say that two things created it--historical accident and the individual political will of F.D.R. and those who felt similarly? Bernie's run for the presidency is the thrust of this individual political will . . . do we feel similar enough to support him? I surely do . . . and am.
Late to comment on this, but I disagree slightly with the pessimism. What will be required is for conditions to get fairly intolerable for all but those in the 1%, at which point coalitions (currently divided by tribal social issues) will form - not unlike what happened in this county in the 30s, before WW-II. There was a labor movement, progressive politics and economic reform before WW-I - that's what the Square Deal was all about - precisely because TR recognized we were on the precipice of genuine revolt. Things were a lot worse than they are today, and they may have to get a lot worse, but the Post-WWII anomaly isn't the entire story.
My naive lefty fantasy is to find a populist president like Theodore Roosevelt (The greatest Republican ever, including Lincoln.) to change the economic situation we have today, which is the same as the robber barons of the early 20th century, except writ large.

Income disparity is greater now than any time since the down of the Industrial Revolution and the only way shit will change is from the populace... and thanks to the economic policies since 1980 (and before) the deck is stacked against anyone in this world who actually works for a living.

For me, Bernie is the last hope of my generation. As anyone who has argued with me on the SLOG knows, I've always said Bill Clinton was the greatest Republican president of the late 20th century... except any Republican who isn't a millionaire is too stupid to realize it.

Obama promised us Hope and Change... and never prosecuted a single person who robbed and torpedoed our economy. That is his greatest failure. To me, he was Bill Clinton 1.9.

Hillary will be Clinton 2.0 if she's elected.

I sent Bernie $100 last March, which is like sending him $500 today. I don't make a lot of money and things are tight at the moment, but I'm going to send him another $100.

For me, he's the last hope on the horizon for the middle class and the poor.

If I'm wrong, give me a name of someone who can.
I think each of the neoliberal democrat presidents have done ok, as US presidents go. I feel worst about the Iraq sanctions, attacks on the Somali pharma company, and Libya. on the economy I feel they all did as well as they might have been expected to, tho I would have liked Obama to nominate Romer or Summers to the Fed. the guy had a lot on his plate. I can't imagine inheriting two failed wars and the Great Recession. it's awful that he can't run again

it seems likely that many states will expand medicaid in the coming years, as a few have already. Hillary's bloodthirstiness will b constrained by Russia's presence in the Middle East

Clinton 1 worked ok with the Republicans. at least we should get larger flows of skilled immigration. probably measures like subsidy for people who take lower-wage jobs and forego UI benefits will b agreeable to Ds and Rs. fiscal policy will loosen via military spend under anyone but Bernie. after ebola and zika scares we'll probably get legislation for public health response updates. also lots of white people do hard drugs now so drug treatment may b better funded. the feds will hire a ton of young forest firefighters, El Ninyo or no. if an R wins, congress will probably run massive deficits and build a lot of port and pipeline infrastructure

fiscal strength returns to local govs - look at all the plans for tracks and tunnels around here. Tacoma passed a road repair bill last year. baby boomers retire and China's workforce ages and gets raises. Wal-Mart and McDonalds just raised minimum pay. new minimum wages take effect in many cities and states over the next few years, and more will share the ballot with POTUS, including CA and FL. when the oil price drop exits the CPI calculation and these wage hikes enter, we'll have juicier bumps to inflation-linked payouts like SocSec. we're still doing +100k jobs per month. Uber-style work options r hella numerous, ez to get. renewable energy credits were extended longer than before + exponential installation growth pattern for rooftop solar should put lots to work

demographically - lots of workers r retiring in most economically important countries, including US. wages r growing gangbusters in China. milennials will have families

things look aight for US workers, imo

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