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Neronian Ruling Class Fiddles While West Burns

West is on the brink of economic catastrophe because of self-defeating energy sanctions on Russia
Neronian Ruling Class Fiddles While West Burns

Above, Nero fiddles while Rome burns. We in the West are led by a claque of Neros.

Look, I don't like that Russia invaded Ukraine, and I don't like that they are succeeding in their aggression. But they have won this thing. Why? Because the West cannot afford to continue this proxy war with Moscow. Item:

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The other day, a major energy supplier in Vienna announced that it is facing the prospect of bankruptcy over losses on energy futures. And now, here in late August, another European gas monolith teeters:

In Poland, homeowners are lined up in their cars for days, hoping to buy enough coal to last the winter. Excerpt:

Artur's household is one of the nearly 4 million in Poland that rely on coal for heating (granted, these households are probably in better shape than the ones relying on nat gas whose price is rising by 10-20% every day and is now almost literally in the stratosphere) and now face shortages and price hikes, after Poland and the European Union imposed an embargo on Russian coal following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February. Poland banned purchases with an immediate effect in April, while the bloc mandated fading them out by August.

While Poland produces over 50 million tonnes from its own mines every year, imported coal, much of it from Russia, is a household staple because of competitive prices and the fact that Russian coal is sold in lumps more suitable for home use.

Soaring demand has forced Bogdanka and other state-controlled mines to ration sales or offer the fuel to individual buyers via online platforms, in limited amounts. Artur, who did not want to give his full name, said he had collected paperwork from his extended family in the hope of picking up all their fuel allocations at once.

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Yesterday in Rome, I talked to a couple of Poles who are terrified of the coming winter. If you are Polish and have the possibility of burning firewood, you are stocking up on it. But very many Poles do not. Nor can they burn coal in their flats for heat. What are they going to do? They're not sure.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia is rolling in cash from selling oil and gas in this current market. David "Spengler" Goldman states the obvious -- which is by no means obvious to European and American leaders, but which is already becoming painfully clear to ordinary Europeans:

As rich as the West is, it can't keep its people warm in the winter by burning cash. And so, European households are now being forced to ask if freezing in the dark for Ukraine is something they really want to do. This is not going to happen to Americans -- but you should think about how you would react if this were you, and your elderly parents, and your kids. Yes, Putin is an SOB, but this is the real world.

Meanwhile, in today's Wall Street Journal:

The war in Ukraine has depleted American stocks of some types of ammunition and the Pentagon has been slow to replenish its arsenal, sparking concerns among U.S. officials that American military readiness could be jeopardized by the shortage.

It might be worth it if we stood a chance of prevailing against the Russians. But we don't. They are fighting on what they believe is their own territory. Russia's a big country, and it's making a ton of money selling gas and oil in this distorted market created by Western sanctions. It by no means insults Ukrainian valor, which is considerable, to point out that they simply do not have the resources to prevail.

Let's look at Iraq, where the Green Zone was overrun by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric:

"Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!" 'Memba that? I do. George W. Bush and his government led the United States into this catastrophe. We spent blood and vast sums of treasure for this. Because see, we are America, we are the West, and as Karl Rove told the New York Times on background back in 2004, "We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

The Taliban would like to say something about that. Somebody call them at government HQ in Kabul. Muqtada al-Sadr would like to add to the conversation. And above all, Russia would like to comment.

Never, ever forget who has caused these catastrophes: the ruling class of most Western countries (Hungary is a notable exception). It was the United States leadership -- primarily the Republicans, but most Democrats went along -- that led us into the humiliating defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq. (I don't have any time for Republican partisans today who blame Biden for the shitshow of Afghanistan; I'm happy to give him grief, but we can't forget that Afghanistan was unwinnable, if by "winnable" we mean establishing a stable liberal democracy.) It is the Biden Administration, aided by Republicans in the Senate, that has been pouring money and weaponry into Ukraine, and it is the US political leadership, as well as the European Union leadership, that has pressed this catastrophic policy of energy sanctions on Russia -- a policy that is now going to immiserate Europeans this winter, and destroy their economies.

I can't stress this strongly enough to American readers: this is really happening in Europe. What if you were facing the winter with the prospect of rolling blackouts, not knowing if you will be able to heat your home or cook your food? What if you were facing the prospect of economic collapse taking your job away? What if your small business -- or the factory where you work -- is going to have to close because it can't afford energy? That's happening here in Europe. It's not wild speculation: this is a reality bearing down on Europe like a freight train.

None of it justifies what Vladimir Putin has done and is doing in Ukraine. But it does reveal, and reveal in a very harsh way, the limits of Western idealism and wishful thinking.

Viktor Orban said earlier this summer:

Western strategy in this war is based on four pillars. It is a sensible strategy on paper, and perhaps even has numbers to back it up. The first was that Ukraine cannot win a war against Russia on its own, but it can do so with training from the Anglo-Saxons and with NATO weapons. That was the first claim.

The second strategic claim was that sanctions would weaken Russia and destabilise the leadership in Moscow.

The third strategic element was that – although they would also affect us – we would be able to deal with the economic consequences of the sanctions, so that they would be hurt more and we would be hurt less.

And the fourth strategic consideration was that the world would line up behind us, because we were in the right.

As a result of this excellent strategy, however, today the situation is that we are sitting in a car with four flat tyres. It is absolutely clear that the war cannot be won like this.

The Ukrainians will never win a war against Russia with American training and weapons. This is simply because the Russian army has asymmetric superiority.

The second fact that we must face up to is that the sanctions are not destabilising Moscow.

The third is that Europe is in trouble: economic trouble, but also political trouble, with governments falling like dominoes. Just since the outbreak of the war, the British, the Italian, the Bulgarian and the Estonian governments have fallen. And autumn is still ahead of us. The big price rise came in June, when energy prices doubled. The effects of this on people’s lives, which are creating discontent, are only just beginning to arrive, and we have already lost four governments.

And finally, the world is not only not with us, it is demonstrably not with us. Historically the Americans have had the ability to pick out what they identify as an evil empire and to call on the world to stand on the right side of history – a phrase which bothers us a little, as this is what the communists always said. This ability that the Americans used to have of getting everyone on the right side of the world and of history, and then the world obeying them, is something which has now disappeared. Most of the world is demonstrably not on that side: not the Chinese, the Indians, the Brazilians, South Africa, the Arab world, nor Africa. A large part of the world simply refuses to take part in this war, not because they believe that the West is on the wrong side, but because for them there is more to the world than this war, and they have their own problems that they are wrestling with and want to solve. It may well be that this war will be the one that demonstrably puts an end to that form of Western ascendancy which has been able to employ various means to create world unity against certain actors on a particular chosen issue. That era is coming to an end and, as they say in the bombastic language of politics, a multipolar world order is now knocking on our door.

Did you read any of this in the United States? I bet not. The only thing the US media cared about was Orban's remarks about how Europe doesn't need to be "mixed-race" (by which he meant that members of the Islamic nation should not be imported into Europe). It's insane. Here was a European leader sounding the alarm that the West was losing this war, was walking off the cliff, and explaining why -- but the only thing our idiotic media class cared about was a tossed-aside comment that it misinterpreted. This is what happens when the media has been ideologically captured, and when journalists care more about managing the Narrative than reporting about things that matter in the real world.

Do you get it? Do you see how we are being lied to? Do you see what our political leaders -- Democrats and Republicans both -- and in the media, and in cultural institutions, are doing to us?

You might laugh, but I mean this: there is a clear connection between the lies that our media and our ruling class tell us all, and themselves, about the Ukraine war, and the lies they tell themselves and the rest of us about transgenderism and racism. Over the past few days, the very popular Twitter account Libs Of Tik Tok was kicked off of Twitter because Chaya Raichik, who runs it, does not believe the lies that children's hospitals around the country are telling about whether or not they are mutilating minor children with "gender confirmation" surgeries. What got her booted was that she posted audio of having phoned the Children's Hospital of Washington, pretending to be the parent of a dysphoric 16-year-old, and asked if they perform "gender-affirming" hysterectomies on children. Two employees -- two! -- said yes, they do. Raichik posted the audio. Twitter kicked her off for telling the damn truth, using the words of the hospital's own employees!

The rot is very, very deep. When the lies can no longer be sustained, it's all going to fall apart. Over the weekend in Rome, I spoke to a French person who told me that her family and a number of their neighbors have started making concrete plans to support themselves and each other through the coming severe crisis. Nobody trusts the government anymore. They know that they are on their own -- that their government is filled with liars who prefer to defend the progressive Narrative instead of the concrete interests of the French people.

We are somewhat insulated from this in America because we don't face the hideous energy crunch that Europeans do. Do you really think, though, that the US is going to be fine when one of our largest trading partners goes belly up? We are going to crash too, and crash hard. A word to my fellow conservatives: if you think the return of the buffoonish Donald Trump is going to be sufficient to deal with what is here, and what is coming, you are almost as deluded as the libs. You are as much a prisoner to emotionally satisfying Narrative as they are. We are in bad, bad trouble, and it's going to get far worse before it gets better.

And I didn't even mention the coming food shortages! But hey, we have affirmative action in senior financial leadership, so it's all good, right?

Blake Masters, the GOP Senate candidate in Arizona, tweeted out a criticism of this mentality. Naturally, our media being ideologically insane, accused him of blaming "diversity" for our economic problems. Masters responded:

“I don’t care if every single employee at the Fed is a Black lesbian as long as they’re hired for their competence and not because of what they look like or who they sleep with,” Masters said. “News for Joe Biden: We are done with this affirmative action regime.”

I agree! But the damage has been done. The media, which lives by lies, are more concerned with smashing a RACIST than with truth, or dealing with the substantive point Masters is making about how ideology is no substitute for competent dealing with reality. Here's a link to the video in which Masters explained himself.

So: as much as I hate to say it, Russia, at great cost to itself, has won its war with Ukraine. It's going to drag on for longer, but the West's backing for Ukraine cannot go on much longer. This winter, we will likely see massive crowds of cold, angry Europeans out in the streets demanding to know why their governments are destroying their economies, and the lives of their own people, for Ukraine. And then what?

Our leaders are liars and ideologues who are destroying the West. The ruling class -- the State, the media, the financial sector, woke capitalism, the universities, every institution -- is actively betraying the people they are meant to serve. This is not just crackpot Internet speculation. It is actually happening, right now -- and as far as I can tell, the American people are being kept in the dark, figuratively. It's about to become literal in Europe. Watch this clip from Tucker Carlson, one of the few major journalists who tell the truth. He's pointing out that Americans aren't being told that Europeans are teetering on the edge of catastrophe.

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JON FRAZIER
JON FRAZIER
Re: But they have won this thing.

No they haven't, and that's a weird take. Russia is mired down with no end in sight. And the panic over energy is ridiculous. Yes, it will be painfully expensive. But no people will not be freezing in the dark.
schedule 4 weeks ago
    Theodore Iacobuzio
    Theodore Iacobuzio
    There's a comma missing in your last sentence.
    schedule 4 weeks ago
    Michael Campbell
    Michael Campbell
    Agree with you re the Ukraine War, but it's wrong to just dismiss energy panic as "ridiculous". Energy price spikes resulting from foreign policy are effectively regressive taxation, except in this case the ostensible target of the foreign policy is doing much of the taxation.

    Power and gas prices through the roof inevitably fall hardest on those least able to bear it. Mandarin-class "experts" once again preaching and gesturing while leaving the little guy to pay the bill. Eventually the little guys, the great mass of popular vote, will get tired of this and decide that the mandarin regime, like so much of their representative industries of finance and tech, has lost its touch, adds nothing of value, and must be destroyed and replaced with a ruling regime better suited to a society with less energy resources available.

    Energy is the heart of the economy. Shocks to energy are not ridiculous - they are the catalysts for political regime change and social upheaval.
    schedule 4 weeks ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      If you had been around in 1973 (maybe you were) would you have argued for throwing Israel to the tender mercies of its Arab neighbors to end the oil embargo?
      schedule 4 weeks ago
        Michael Campbell
        Michael Campbell
        I'm a millennial, so no I wasn't, but I see generally little interest for us in pushing Israel on the Middle East. It just fans broad resentment at us for no gain.

        Israel has always had a domestic politics element, which has to be managed. But throwing so much in US-paid weapons towards Israel that it made the Arabs angry enough to embargo us, was not managing that.

        Israel was going to win that war, so we got an embargo for nothing - we just gave the Arabs the middle finger in the brash arrogance characteristic of our actions in the Middle East.
        schedule 4 weeks ago
          JON FRAZIER
          JON FRAZIER
          I am not a fan of kowtowing to Israel-- or to any foreign nation. But I am also not a fan of giving into blackmailers. I was a child during the 1973 oil embargo. The only really personal memory I have of it is the fact we had year round daylight savings time-- and we hated it in the winter since it meant we walked to school in the dark. (The even more hated 55 mph speed limit dated from then too). I gather it was a very rough time with gas lines, gas shortages, galloping inflation due to a colossal price spike, ham-handed energy regulations making everything even worse. But we got through it and did not give in the threats of the Arab oil states. I fail to see why we can't get through this business too. Giving in to this blackmail would be the worse choice.
          Get back to me if the nukes start to grumble and mumble in their silos. Everything else is survivable.
          schedule 4 weeks ago
Peter Pratt
Peter Pratt
The price of energy has increased exponentially. The sanctions have hurt the West, while enriching Russia. They have also caused the growth of a parallel world economic system which is growing. This will have negative consequences for the West for decades.

As to the war itself, it is a long slow grind. More than that is obscured by the mass propaganda from all sides. Except that Russia keeps taking territory little by little.

Russia controls almost a quarter of the country. It may not stop until it controls half.
schedule 4 weeks ago
Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson
Re: "A word to my fellow conservatives: if you think the return of the buffoonish Donald Trump is going to be sufficient to deal with what is here, and what is coming, you are almost as deluded as the libs."

The question is not whether the return of "buffoonish Donald Trump" is sufficient to deal with this energy crisis. Nor is it a question about deluded conservatives supporting Trump. The question is when will buffoons on the sidelines quit mocking him and realize we would not be in this position had people listened. Case in point is in the Tucker Carlson video clip attached to this article, starting at 7:15 and running to 8:15. A lot of people now need to ask themselves why they couldn't move beyond Trump's personality flaws and enthusiastically support his policies? Why did they sit in their minds with the German UN Delegation and mock and sneer? Or why do those who like his policies constantly put their toe in the water and say the waters are fine only to pull their foot back and say it is bad!
schedule 4 weeks ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    An unexamined (and highly dubious) assumption is that events would not have played out as they have (in regards to Russia and Ukraine) had Trump been reelected president.
    schedule 4 weeks ago
Eusebius Pamphilus
Eusebius Pamphilus
Worse still. Had Hillary not hired Steele to concoct a narrative about Russians collusion and the MSM not gone on a four year rampage drumming up hate, conspiracy theories and lies about Russia's influence then we probably would not have been in the same position as it relates to Ukraine which means Russia probably would not have invaded. If/When the lights go our in Europe this winter you can blame Putin and you can blame stupid esg policies, you can even blame Merkel for shutting down nuclear plants but you should also blame the MSM and Hillary Clinton for short sighted stoking of Russian xenophobia.
schedule 4 weeks ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    The sun does not rise in the Atlantic and set in the Pacific, and plenty of *stuff* happens in this world which is not all about the US.
    schedule 4 weeks ago
      Michael Campbell
      Michael Campbell
      The US had become unwilling to compromise with Russia, however. It was made toxic in domestic politics.
      schedule 4 weeks ago
        JON FRAZIER
        JON FRAZIER
        I won't defend US foreign policy which has plumbed the depths of Stupid for most of my life. But this war is all Putin's doing and short of inventing a time machine and going back to 1991 and somehow convincing everyone to do things very differently via a vis Russia there's nothing Donald Trump could have better.
        schedule 4 weeks ago
Chris Karr
Chris Karr
From Orban:

"The third is that Europe is in trouble: economic trouble, but also political trouble, with governments falling like dominoes. Just since the outbreak of the war, the British, the Italian, the Bulgarian and the Estonian governments have fallen. And autumn is still ahead of us. The big price rise came in June, when energy prices doubled. The effects of this on people’s lives, which are creating discontent, are only just beginning to arrive, and we have already lost four governments."

I didn't remark on it at the time, but this seems like a very odd perspective. The British government did not "fall", Boris Johnson was pushed out of power by his own party due to issues not related to Russia and Ukraine, and the Brits are going through their normal processes to select a new prime minister. Similarly, Italy and Bulgaria are replacing their prime ministers through completely normal processes that would be unremarkable in other contexts. I couldn't find much about the Estonian "collapse", so if anyone has any details on that, I'd love to hear them. Britain and Estonia remain staunchly pro-Ukrainian, Italy seems to remain inline with everyone else, and Bulgaria's the only country I've read about backtracking in their support a bit.

Orban's wording above is quite odd, given that the governments of those respective countries remain intact and functioning. It would like be declaring that Israel's government has "collapsed" each time the citizens went back for another parliamentary election as they did multiple times over the past few years.
schedule 4 weeks ago
Michael Campbell
Michael Campbell
"Our leaders are liars and ideologues who are destroying the West. The ruling class -- the State, the media, the financial sector, woke capitalism, the universities, every institution -- is actively betraying the people they are meant to serve."

It's revealing that in every high profile crisis - "War on Terror", the financial crisis, Covid - with the cameras focused, our elite are caught with their pants down each time. Everything contrarians said about the "war on terror" in 2002 and 2003 ended up true. I remember my mother would mock Atlanta-area black Dem Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as a conspiracy theorist. My mother was horrifically wrong, and McKinney generally right in retrospect.

The same with Covid. Everything I was saying one year ago here, and derided for by the progressive commenters, has become common knowledge now. 2021 me could have written 2022 CDC guidance. Since I was right before Fauci, by applying simple reason and available data trends to sensible conclusions, do I get to call myself The Science now?

I was kicked off another forum (because I was "dangerous") by its idiot leftie mods for saying that cloth masks generally don't work (they were jabbing at people that didn't wear masks). Not 3 months later some public health toady went on CNN and called them "facial decorations". No mea culpa though from leftie cultists. When will the Dems come to terms with the fact that school closures they cheered for will probably be a greater net harm to this country than even Iraq? With the mental health crisis they fanned?

The regime's defenders cannot come to terms with the fact that "conspiracy theorists" are correct in the broader scheme even if often not in particular details.

The question then is if the current elite still serves the public interest as well (given that it obviously and inevitably is going to be serving its own too)? Does it have the "Mandate of Heaven"? (the traditional Chinese term for a dynasty perceived as having public legitimacy and authority) The answer to that is a resounding no. And what can we have but contempt for such an elite?
schedule 4 weeks ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    The fact that the tinfoil hat brigade gets the particulars wrong invalidates their larger conclusions, or at least renders their program useless, if not downright harmful. A quack may correctly diagnose a malady, but if his advised treatment kills you he's, er, dead wrong still.
    And in this situation, as I have noted elsewhere, there may be no right course of action that does not lead to horrible outcomes. The one and only truly unacceptable outcome is nuclear war. Everything else one can adapt and adjust to.

    In passing, I'll note that when this ugly business started back in late winter, there was almost no daylight between Rod's position and mine-- at most a matter of nuance. Yet Rod's seems to bought into a barn-burning defeatist, run up the white flag mentality which I cannot endorse. I have to ask where this is coming from (I mean ask sincerely-- the question implies no answer-- I am genuinely puzzled)
    schedule 4 weeks ago
      Michael Campbell
      Michael Campbell
      They're wrong in some details and that invalidates us having much interest in them as alternative elites (kind of the problem with Trump - as avatar of rebellion against the regime, he's not an appealing vision of what could be the alternative) but that's not really the point.

      We don't care if the boy shouting that the Emperor has no clothes is otherwise a scoundrel, a bully, or a bad tailor himself. The fact that he is right, and every time the naked Emperor appears in public that boy is right, and we know he's right, tells us something - about the Emperor who was made a fool by a mere boy. He has lost his mandate.

      They can also be right in general prescriptions, if not for the specific reason envisioned. Powerful men do in fact conspire. Early and often. Whenever the prescription is to remove power from these men and put more of it permanently in the hands of laws and ordinary people, that's a good thing. Our founders were conspiracy theorists about the danger of cults of personality, powerful states, banks, distant kings and governments, etc. And crafted the constitution of government accordingly - it's a document that screams fear. Fear of what powerful people can get up to if we don't stop them. It assumes that men with power are bad and need to be stopped, and that insight has saved us from the inevitable experience of "good" men with "good" intentions doing so much evil.

      Generally Chinese dynasties are not replaced by the first popular insurgency that flames up. They're just the ones who do the job of exposing the dynasty's authority as papered-over rotted wood, ready to burn. The new men of power are the new elite that emerge from the chaos.

      Rod's view is not at all inconsistent with the majority of humanity, that have nothing to do with the conflict directly and really don't want a part in it, and that see Western intentions in Ukraine with a large degree of skepticism. Equating support for Ukraine with our own elite, given how people feel about that elite right now, is it surprising that many people really want them to fail?
      schedule 4 weeks ago
        JON FRAZIER
        JON FRAZIER
        Equating Ukraine with our elite is just more American egoism. This is not all about us.
        schedule 4 weeks ago
    Michael Campbell
    Michael Campbell
    We don't need to look any further than our states. Red states are not perfect, but function half-decently - well enough to attract constant migration of people and industries. Blue states are the reverse (except for red parts of blue states). They have a now well earned reputation for dysfunction and we'll see how long they can survive the trends that shot off the charts during Covid - losing businesses, losing families, losing order - once government money spigots shut off and interest rates spike.

    I believe the time is close that the current elite and their regime will need to be replaced. They simply don't bring home the bacon any more, except for their own cohort of court mandarins. With lean times on the horizon, not just in a money printing slowdown but due to fundamental gradual declines in energy available per person, their increasing disconnect from the public interest goes from annoying to unforgiveable.

    We are going to have to sacrifice, to look at the common good, to use the silly rhetoric of this elite from the last two years. And the common good is that this elite is unneeded complexity in society only made possible by a massive resource glut. We are overproducing elites, as Turchin has it, for current conditions, and this elite is the chaff. Society doesn't have enough tomato pickers and plumbers. It doesn't have enough policemen or infantry soldiers. Emma and her two moms just doesn't cut it. The world works by men doing tough things and always will. It's very inefficient to pretend that you can run a country by excluding 40% of its "deplorable" white working class population. We have far more gender studies majors than we need, on the other hand.

    What will they be replaced by? The red states are mostly functional, the blue states are not. They will be replaced by red state elites. Agriculture, resource extraction, manufacturing, retail - the "tangible" sectors of the economy that employ by far the most people. This elite is less complex - far fewer top-quintile highly educated mandarins involved in profit generation - and therefore better suited for lean times.

    From a class perspective, I believe society will decide to manage lean times by continuing previous patterns - hollowing out the middle class - but this time, that orange already being squeezed to a large degree, the IMO quite politically vulnerable (latent American anti-intellectual tendencies waking up) and still very juicy (because they assisted in the juicing of those below them and still do) upper middle class, currently progressive-leaning, will be the target.

    Such a regime change will introduce new tensions, of course. The waning of the last big middle class segment will drive tensions between now even more separated owners of capital and owners of labor to new heights not seen before here. New politics and schemes to moderate those tensions will have to emerge - perhaps with building up a new middle class via sharing some capital ownership with the working class.
    schedule 4 weeks ago
      Chris Karr
      Chris Karr
      "The red states are mostly functional, the blue states are not."

      Get back to me when Red States contribute more than they receive from the federal piggy bank. It's not entirely clear how "functional" Red States would be without Blue States subsidizing them.
      schedule 4 weeks ago
        Michael Campbell
        Michael Campbell
        Quite functional, because the elites themselves are functional. They are fulfilling the role of an elite and if 10% of the economy disappeared they would simply adjust accordingly. The net receipts are a meager proportion of the total economy.

        Also this notion of "subsidies" is basically equivalent to owners of capital and top echelon economic activity taking all of the profit, and then saying that they generously subsidize owners of labor by trying to bribe them with the fruits of their own labor. Capital is disproportionately concentrated in blue states. You see the same dynamic between Germany and Hungary. "Germany so generously subsidizes Hungary!" leaving out that German capital extracts a ridiculous amount of money from Hungarian labor.

        This is a type of imperialism, and the US North has always treated the US South imperialistically and then wonders why it isn't grateful for the imperialism. Unfortunately for them the US is also a democracy so there is nothing that says that the targets of imperialism can't use it to beat a lot of the profits out of the perpetrators if they get the upper hand.

        The blue states, holding capital, are trapped by populism. If the right gets the upper hand it will tilt the board towards the tangible economy and cut the net profit flow north, and subsidies north, faster than it cuts any subsidies south. If the left gets the upper hand it is because of left populism that will send even more subsidies south effectively bribing them to be quiet about the north still holding the capital. The latter is certainly possible though the former is much more efficient on the whole.

        This realignment is funny, it now has the left leaning towards fascism, and the right leaning towards Marx.
        schedule 4 weeks ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      Re: Red states are not perfect, but function half-decently - well enough to attract constant migration of people and industries

      No. A very small number of "red" states are successful. Florida and Texas. Others are dysfunctional messes. Rod's native Louisiana is beset with problems and has been losing people.
      An honest look at the patterns suggests a certain randomness and not politics is in the drivers seat-- well, that and the climate, with people moving toward places that have mild winters and fun stuff to do.
      schedule 4 weeks ago