The Thing About Obama Supporters

You go into these tastefully-appointed homes in Crocus Hill and Highland Park, and, like a lot of comfy urban-but-not-too-urban neighborhoods full of college-educated middle-aged academics and non-profiteers and mid-to-upper-level government and institutional employees, the sense of their historical invincibility has been gone now for 2-3 years and nothing’s replaced it. And they felt invincible, like a historically-deterministic event, through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna achieve the utopia that their entire education said they would, and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to rote activism or Volvos or blind ideology or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or their posh education or anti-faith sentiment or anti-White-Republican-Male-Cliché sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

66 thoughts on “The Thing About Obama Supporters

  1. TFS: I predict stasis unless both sides see the wisdom of allowing state by state reform, which would allow for many experiments, in particular many different reforms intended to cut costs. Forming a sufficient consensus to achieve significant reform in Washington, in contrast, seems unlikely.

  2. Emery, you run into a brick wall with the federal government. It will never allow the states the freedom to experiment in any meaningful way. If its power is ever threatened, the federal government will simply mint a few million new citizens who are likely to support the federal government over state governments.

  3. This is very structural, supreme count cases (commerce clause), 17th amendment, too much ruling by bureaucratic regulatory edict. SS and Medicare. K-street.

    Obama “fixing” O-care by fiat. Obama and Justice not enforcing laws

    They need to block grant back to the states like crazy, for starters.

  4. Again, Emery, you misinterpret the historical moment. Laboratories of Democracy was America 2.0, the one that died when the federal government seized control under the guise of helping fight poverty and racism.

    In America 3.0 (Gimme Free Stuff Edition) everything must be done from Washington to make it Uniform, so there is no Inequality of Result. Everybody gets a ribbon, earned or not, and it must be exactly the same ribbon. The same education. The same student loan. The same mortgage. The same health insurance.

    We live in a country where the elite policymakers believe politics can only move in one direction, toward federalized power. That progress to the Left is the inexorable direction of history. The soviet nomenclatura believed that, too, and were similarly mistaken. When an empire becomes moribund, it collapses, and its constituent components break free to start afresh, it has happened many times in history. The ugly part is living through it.

  5. It is truly insidious, Joe Doakes.
    You must pay your taxes in dollars or go to jail, and according to the 16th amendment, congress can tax your income at whatever level they like. Case law has shown that the IRS can count whatever it likes as income. All this was an idea of early 20th century ‘progressives’, of course.
    So the federal government can’t pay its bills and goes into permanent sequester. The state governments move in and take care of day-to-day governance. You are doing well at farming and selling your crops for “paul bunyans”, the new Minnesota state currency.
    One day the mafioso-like IRS agents show up. They explain to you that you have to pay them ten thousand dollars in taxes or go to jail. You tell them you don’t have any dollars. They tell you they will sell you all the dollars you need at the rate of one dollar for one bushel of your grain.

  6. You can use dollars to pay your taxes. You can use bitcoin to not pay your taxes. I wonder which will win?

  7. No, Emery, you have to use dollars to pay your taxes. You cannot pay your taxes in bitcoins. The fact that you have to pay taxes in dollars is what makes dollars more than a fiat currency — that plus the fact that the courts can enforce contracts with dollar payouts.
    You really should take an econ 101 course.

  8. I think the point Emery is making is bitcoin is a huge threat to The Man, statism, Liberalism, centralized power, etc. because it will make the masses think about legal tender laws a little to much. Excessive Fed easing (goosing the economy), asset bubbles, and inflation are really indirect REGRESSIVE taxation on EVERYONE. So the masses vote for the government to “help” them. Keynesian solutions look attractive.

    Do you see the cycle? For 100 years, it’s been feeding back on it’s self and now we are nearing collapse.

    No legal tender laws = no invisible statist prison.

    So government force will get increasingly overt and ham handed going forward. Look at all of the ruling by fiat that Obama is doing on Obamacare. Look at the IRS trying to suppress the Tea Party. Lois Learner made 175K a year being a Stalinist paper pusher. An illegal immigrant ditch digger is a way more of a net contributor to society.

  9. Also, at some point other things besides bitcoin are going to make the masses think about legal tender laws: precious metals, other currencies, staple stocks like Wall Mart. Right now, the modern art market is an example.

    Fed easing —-> government force —–> repeat over and over —–> the world is only prosperous for speculators, the already wealthy, political whores, and rent seekers—-> collapse.

    100 years.

    Krugman is leading the Left off a cliff and they are taking everyone down with it.

  10. 99% of the people think that what’s needed is more and better statist force acquired via the political process. Alinsky tactics. 90% of the time this is the wrong solution.

  11. There is so much inflation, so many asset bubbles, and such a lack of opportunity, why would anyone procreate taxPAYORS to pay for Medicare and the LBJ Great Society? Is it rational to create more slaves for the state? How can you afford them? If they turn out well, the state will just appropriate their productivity.

    Is that extreme?

  12. TFS:
    Re: Bitcoin > You are correct sir !
    Re: Fed easing
    This is the game that the fed has been playing for decades. Use low interest rates to inflate the value of equities, encourage investment (and hopefully thus employment) until consumer price inflation forces higher rates. Does this cause bubbles? Yes, I think we can say we know this to be true by now. The problem is that monetary policy (short term interest rates) are only one of many factors that affect growth and inflation. If structural factors (demography, various government policies, technology) are pushing growth and inflation lower, monetary policy is going to be increasingly overused to counteract the other effects. The overuse of monetary policy over-stimulates equities and other asset values, including home prices, which leads to a series of bubbles. This has been going on since at least 1987.

  13. PM: All I’m hearing in your argument is that the people who disagree with me must be wrong.

  14. QUOTE: “The problem is that monetary policy (short term interest rates) are only one of many factors that affect growth and inflation.”

    For the record, inflation is only caused by central banks. The problem is you never know where it’s going to go: NASDAQ stocks, housing, general stock market, modern art, NYC apartments etc -or- the dreaded CPI.

    I agree that policy and demographics are what is pushing it into these various places for the most part. Globalization has kept the CPI way, way down, for now. Plus it’s really a big government lie.

  15. Emery, it is not that I am so often right, but that you are so often wrong.
    We can test this. Try to pay your taxes with bitcoins this year. Let’s get some empirical data.

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