According to Crosscut, Seattle Now Fucking Hates the Left

Comments

1

The building trades have a quite different history from that of the (now-mostly-decimated) industrial unions. This also puts them in a different position politically.

2

"...a brief breakdown of my economics: From the post-Keynesians, I take the idea of uncertainty; from Marxists, I take the idea that much of history only makes sense in the light of class struggle; and from ecological economics, I take the idea that, for the protection of our environment, the economy must be de-linked from the bad infinity of growth in the form of money making money forever."

You want the idea of uncertainty, yet you do not apply it; you are certain of the explanatory power of class struggle, you are certain of the evil of economic growth (money-growth alone is simply inflation).

You want the idea that history makes sense in light of class struggle, but history can not make sense if we take it to be uncertain. And you do not want to see that "class struggle" has always produced growth. The struggle of the lower classes is not to destroy wealth, but to create more of it for themselves. The poor want homes and cars and meat on the table, not rubble where palaces once stood (this is the greatest failure of political Marxism-- its risible misreading of the proletariat it presumes to speak for).

You want (a very poorly worded) end to growth, but that is not possible without certainty, without control. You can not uncertainly end growth.

You can not just pluck a leaf here and a leaf there from contradictory economic theories, and make a salad of them. You do not have a meal there. You do not have a thing that hangs together. You have no more than a pile of wilting produce, torn from the plants that once sustained them.

3

@2, i agree with you. i have to make this more explicit in my writing about economics. it's also a new addition (two years in the making) to my thinking. but it is there more in my writing about life.

4

The vertical I-beam the gent in the picture is facing appears to be out of plumb.

5

Oh lord. Yes. the city that elected a socialist - twice - hates the left.

This is John Carlson we're talking about here. Carlson has never in his life been on the right side of an issue. Take scroll through his editorials and opinion pieces in the 1990's. It's hilarious. He rightly was laughed out of politics. But of course these paleo conservatives with their laughably light weight prattle come out of the woodwork once people like Trump make them seem reasonable.

PS. I knew Car personally.He is an insecure neurotic little momma's boy with a GIANT chip on his shoulder. Had he been born twenty years later he'd be on an INCEL Sub Reddit screaming about "Feminazis."

6

" The poor want homes and cars and meat on the table"

well, if advertising is for homes, cars and meat on the table, we certainly can expect people to want individual homes, cars and meat on the table. What other outcome do you expect?

Also, the necessity to end growth is a late realization that originated outside Marxism and postdates most of its history.

7

@6 is for @2

8

Carlson is calling for a Nixonian War on Drugs/Tough on Crime approach to Seattle's homelessness. Recently I've seen some evidence on Capitol Hill that police sweeps are targeting regular squats like the store front next to Scream Salon where a Mud Bay used to be. If the council can't override a likely Durkan veto, my guess is that things will continue in the direction Carlson wants. Maybe at some point Carlson will propose a prison ship on Elliott Bay as a cost-effective solution.

9

Cool yup. Good post. Not to nit pick, but that should read 18th century for Wealth of Nations.

Of course, there is no inconsistency with Charles' understanding of uncertainty in economics. He is uncertain about economics. He is not uncertain about the role of class struggle in history, a historiographical position. Nor is he uncertain about (A) the finitude of this Earth, or (B) the impossibility of an infinitude growing within a finitude. These positions are physical and mathematical, respectively. In no way do they infringe upon the uncertainty he has wisely reserved for considering the economic.

To use your salad metaphor, but more appropriately this time, the salad is not thinking on economics, but all thinking. The historiographical, the physical and the mathematical are parts of the salad of which we are very certain. We eat them and we know what they will taste like, what will be their consistency. But when Charles adds the economic to his salad, he has now added uncertainty. Every time there is something economic on his salad fork, because Charles uses a special fork when he enjoys a salad, he braces himself for the uncertain. "Here," he thinks, "I have something uncertain on my fork, I wonder what this uncertain thing will be like when it enters my mouth."

You see, my friend, the reason Charles is fun to read is precisely because he prepares such a rich salad. It has many hearty and unexpected ingredients, even ingredients of which we are to remain uncertain.

10

Disappointing that Crosscut gave Carlson a platform to broadcast his ugly characterizations of Seattle's homeless. Okay Carlson, we get it, you think they are all drug-addicted and mentally ill and you are terrified of them.
So let's see if he can imagine into existence this whole slate of head-cracking authoritarian candidates.

11

@9
Wow! Beautiful.

12

Charles... no mention of the Washington State B&O Gross Tax on every single business in the State? Ain’t no big thang? Yeah.. you could lose money and still pay the State a couple hundred grand... Not to mention that the Cities get in on the B&O fun too... We pay high, very high Property, we pay high, very high Sales Tax. We pay high, very high gas tax. We pay and we pay... if you own a home or a business in Washington State... you are a sitting target to “volunteer” to pay one hell of a lot more than anybody gives the engine that runs this freaking place credit for... Keynesian or not... something is going to burst and all boats will sink when that tide goes out...

13

Of course everyone hates the left. Look at the mess they made of Seattle over the course of the last 20 years of “We’re Liberal”, “We’re Progressive”, “We believe in Hope and Change”. Well - the left got what the wanted. They “Changed” and gentrified the city into a giant over-priced, used needle exchange campground and clearly killed all “Hope” with their ideology, identity politics and tax hikes. If it weren’t so sad- it would be hilarious. Actually-it is hilarious.

14

@9, right on the mistake wrong on the way i'm developing the idea of uncertainty. it begins with the admittance that economics is not a science. it's cultural. this is, admittedly, a new development for me, and one that i feel responds to the critique of capitalism by the likes of werner bonefeld. i will have more to say about this in the future.

15

I'm glad conservatives feel empowered to express their opinions in Seattle, provided they reciprocate respectfulness towards others and not merely deem them "libtards" or "dumbocrats" or "Obummer" supporters. What currently fatigues many in Seattle are stereotypes. And, yes, that includes demonizing representations of "the rich" as racist, classist overlords to be endless fought. Traditionally, Seattle has been a city where political consensus was achieved through hard bargaining--it got nasty, but it got done. We don't want to lose that capacity for conflict resolution because of hyperbolic rhetoric about rich "class enemies" or "clueless libtards." I know many wealthy people in this city who give very generously of their time and money to help those in need. Feel welcome to call such wealthy people class enemies; I call many of them friends and colleagues.

16

@9

The failure of the pieces to fit together, the failure to cohere, the incoherence... this is of course quite fine and even agreeable in light works of entertainment.

But it is no good in a theory of political economy.

For a theory of political economy, we need two things: we need a reasonably reliable model which estimates how much a society will produce given its available resources, labor, and social restrictions (laws) -- and where the output so produced will end up -- and we need a moral philosophy that tells us what sorts of production should be encouraged or discouraged, and how we would like the results divided up amongst us.

These two are obviously interdependent, and the mechanism of their interdependence, again obviously, is the social restrictions we place upon others, and enforce.

Charles Mudede does not have a strong history of engaging in the kind of quantitative reasoning necessary for the first component of political economy; he is, let us say, reluctant to use even simple quantitative relationships to think about resources, output, and the effects of laws.

And while many of the elaborate spun-sugar mathematical models of contemporary economics have rather famously failed to make correct predictions, even with generous margins of statistical error, a lot of the simpler, older quantitative frameworks have held up quite well -- this is of course the legacy of Keynes. And it is worth noting that a few of the fancy new formulas have had remarkable success -- this is the legacy of Fischer Black -- and while these tend to be more precise, they are also much more limited in application.

Charles Mudede is rather more enthused with the moral philosophy component of political economy, and he is hardly alone in this. Like many who share his predilection, he is slow to realize the implications of the necessary interdependence of the quantitative and the ethical; that laws will alter a society's production and distribution, and are quite unlikely to have any given desired ethical effects without a strong, numerical understanding, based in observation and measurement, of the limits on the system's ability to produce and distribute and the ways in which production and distribution are likely to respond when new restrictions or changes are introduced.

For the time being, his plucked leaves will simply wilt. "Uncertainty" is not a quantitative understanding of the world, and embracing "uncertainty" does not get one off the hook; without quantitative reasoning there is no political economy at all, there is only empty moralizing, rooted inevitably in fantasy, drifting ever further from the finite, measurable world we are all stuck living in with each other.

17

@12- ask your friends on the East Coast about our "very, very, high" property taxes. I know people that pay triple what we do on houses of similar value. Couple that with no income tax and this is actually a fairly low tax state.

18

"he is, let us say, reluctant to use even simple quantitative relationships to think about resources, output, and the effects of laws."

My best guess is that Charles recognizes the earth is a closed system (except for solar energy, which is huge) and that economic growth isn't sustainable considering resource and ecosystem limits, population growth and wanton consumerism

19

@18

I am not quite sure you understand that scolding is not an adequate substitute for measurement.

20

Outstanding, CM.

21

Look Ma, no capital letters!

22

I know I enjoy Seattle and the endless and growing homeless encampments with needles everywhere. And the increase in public shitting and pissing? It all screams world class liberal living!

And the best part? Absolutely ZERO accounting of where the money goes. None, zero, nada!

23

@19

And I'm not sure you understand that blog posts aren't a theory.

In fact, we might even call them light works of entertainment.

24

@ 17 - Nope - wrong unless you choose to merely cherry pick one tax. Washington State is number 16 out of 50 in the highest property tax sweepstakes and that is grading on a steep curve. Add that to our Sales Tax ranking of 24th highest, our Gas tax being the second highest in the entire Nation, our only-State in the Union business regressive B&O tax on gross revenue - along with dozens of fees, taxes like that ridiculous pop and sugar tax, a minimum wage mandate and a bit of this and that - we are danged lucky that Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstroms, Zillow, etc don't pull up stakes and move to Vancouver....

25

@24 - Truly! I mean we have one comparable example of that already with Boeing right? They fled to Vancou... oh wait, no, they went to Chicago.

Any other brain farts you'd like to share with the class before naptime?

26

@25 Truly! - back at you... brain fart appears to be yours... Amgen ring any bells nap man? 660 high tech jobs.. How about Keyport? Just another 250... Not enough to dent you? How does McCormick and Schmidt grab you - those 700 jobs gone? Ain’t no thang? Amazon hq2 - 9,000 plus jobs - all gone. Sure, opine about Boeing, long time ago - you are living way back on that one...but same reasons... Where did Google go? opps, Eastside, way cheaper... uhh ohhh - Buffalo left SoDo.. why? Seattle’s crap treatment that’s why... There are more, many more frankly, but that’s not the point here... the point? Consider being less smug... especially when you are so frequently wrong... not such a good look, you know? And don’t assume businesses will stay here if we mistreat them. They will not as evinced by much, apparently unknown to you, evidence to the contrary.

27

@26 - well huh, that's some crazy word salad you got there just to show off your lack of reading comprehension.

28

@ 27 and that was a no answer toss-off - second time now. You do not like being called on your BS. Few, including me, do.