Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

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JasonL
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Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 06 Mar 2019, 14:50

Remember when Brad DeLong, Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Paul Krugman and such were the serious wing of the left wonkosphere? They've been flanked. Remember when growth was a primary desire of the Right wonkosphere? Those people too have been flanked.

On the fates of the neoliberals, who I miss more every day.

Brad DeLong on why they should embrace those to the left: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... rad-delong

"The result, he argues, is the nature of the Democratic Party needs to shift. Rather than being a center-left coalition dominated by market-friendly ideas designed to attract conservative support, the energy of the coalition should come from the left and its broad, sweeping ideas. Market-friendly neoliberals, rather than pushing their own ideology, should work to improve ideas on the left. This, he believes, is the most effective and sustainable basis for Democratic politics and policy for the foreseeable future."

Henry Farrel at Crooked Timber on ... maybe?

http://crookedtimber.org/2019/03/05/the ... iberalism/

"It is clear why Brad and others are jumping ship – apart from the intellectual problems that Mike describes, there isn’t a politically viable there there to their right. But I am not as sure as I would like to be about the there there to their left either. The left is enjoying a resurgence in the US (not so much elsewhere). There are coalitions being formed, plans being conceived. But there are enormous obstacles to be overcome. First in the US (where the system seems almost deliberately designed to prevent the radical action required e.g. to tackle global warming, and where billionaires can credibly threaten to pull down the election if the Democratic candidate is not to their liking). Second, at the global level, where the soi-disant liberal order is in decay, and it is not clear that there is very much that is going to replace it. There may be no plausible choice in American politics other than the left right now. That doesn’t mean that the left has a very good chance of doing the things that it needs to do."

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Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Mo » 06 Mar 2019, 15:24

The instinct comes from a rational place. Basically all the center-left got from reaching out to the center-right with olive branches was getting pooped on, an angry empowered left flank and Donald Trump. Obama proposed and agreed to some big entitlement reform, but it got rejected because Obama hurt Paul Ryan’s fee-feels. The supposedly responsible right nearly doubled the budget deficit in a screaming hot economy.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 06 Mar 2019, 16:00

Yeah the politics were probably broken in a straw/camel way by the Tea Party after years of escalation. Still, there's a set of questions about how far down the populist politics path you want to go and still think you can retain anything like a good idea. If you hand the reins over to a Green New Deal coalition pimping MMT, how in the world are you going to have anything positive come out of that? It's possible that coalition may in the GND itself already have overplayed its hand and made left leaning things seem unserious.

I think it's potentially a mistake. The question is do you think the populist moment is a moment or is it a thing where you go full tard for your platform for the next decade. If you go all in on money doesn't matter at all, that's your brand for a while.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Warren » 06 Mar 2019, 16:17

JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 16:00
If you hand the reins over to a Green New Deal coalition pimping MMT, how in the world are you going to have anything positive come out of that?
Because your idea of what counts as 'positive' does not resemble what they want. You want unlimited growth and increased personal savings. They want solar power and social justice.
If you go all in on money doesn't matter at all, that's your brand for a while.
What rock are you living under? That's been the only brand on the shelf for decades.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 06 Mar 2019, 16:22

The left left has wanted those things but the neoliberal left has wanted growth with more redistribution without breaking things.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Warren » 06 Mar 2019, 16:24

JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 16:22
The left left has wanted those things but the neoliberal left has wanted growth with more redistribution without breaking things.
I see what you're saying now. The thing is, in the end it's sports bar all the way down. Policy is part of the game, but nothing matters more than winning.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Mo » 06 Mar 2019, 16:27

That feels like a misread of the interview. DeLong seems to be saying the old way was center-left and center-right working together. Now it’s populist/hard-right running the show with center-right enabling. So in order to prevent hard-left v. hard-right, center-left needs to align with the left to temper what comes out.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 06 Mar 2019, 17:03

That is not exactly how I read it. Not "lets start working with the left left" but "the left left should set the agenda and we should try to make it not awful". Maybe that's the same thing, but I feel like it's stronger than you are suggesting.

ETA: I may have a deep bias that you can't dip one toe with crazy. People who say paying for things "is not a thing" really shouldn't be speaking out loud in public nevermind driving the bus.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Mo » 06 Mar 2019, 17:31

I mean he literally says this, “It means argue with them, to the extent that their policies are going to be wrong and destructive, but also accept that there is no political path to a coalition built from the Rubin-center out. Instead, we accommodate ourselves to those on our left. To the extent that they will not respond to our concerns, what they’re proposing is a helluva better than the poke-in-the-eye with a sharp stick. That’s either Trumpist proposals or the current status.”
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 06 Mar 2019, 18:09

If they don’t respond to your concerns they are going to burn the economy to the ground.

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Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Mo » 06 Mar 2019, 18:14

The dudes driving the bus now have been saying paying for stuff is not their thing for the last two administrations when they were driving. That includes dudes who were hellbent on deficits being a moral issue. Seems like not paying for stuff is a feature of both sides and hardly something unique to the left.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Kolohe » 06 Mar 2019, 19:11

I'm sorta with Jason in that I agree with Delong that the right side of the political ideological spectrum is a smoking radioactive crater, but Delong I think is significantly discounting the downside risk.

The status quo right now is not quite getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick. It's more like someone's hand behing an inch away from your face saying "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!"
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Warren » 06 Mar 2019, 20:02

JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 17:03
People who say paying for things "is not a thing" really shouldn't be speaking out loud in public nevermind driving the bus.
The you have to abandon your "no revolutions" policy. There is not one sitting congress critter that allows paying for things to influence their governance. If you are really serious about paying for things without "one toe dipping in crazy", then you can have no truck with any Republican or Democrat.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 06 Mar 2019, 20:44

A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER. Revolution will seriously, seriously fuck things up. Abandonment of the range of policies from say Reaganite to Macron or even Sweden (where high taxes pay for high spending) in favor of complete fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the aisle would be a human tragedy.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Warren » 06 Mar 2019, 21:51

JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:44
A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER. Revolution will seriously, seriously fuck things up. Abandonment of the range of policies from say Reaganite to Macron or even Sweden (where high taxes pay for high spending) in favor of complete fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the aisle would be a human tragedy.
Then all you're doing is whining about things you don't like. You have no proposed path forward that is anything like possible sans revolution.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Mo » 07 Mar 2019, 06:19

JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:44
A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER. Revolution will seriously, seriously fuck things up. Abandonment of the range of policies from say Reaganite to Macron or even Sweden (where high taxes pay for high spending) in favor of complete fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the aisle would be a human tragedy.
What makes you think neo-libs working with the left will lead to revolution? Trump's been trying to make Smoot–Hawley Great Again which would also seriously fuck things up.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 07 Mar 2019, 06:59

Mo wrote:
JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:44
A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER. Revolution will seriously, seriously fuck things up. Abandonment of the range of policies from say Reaganite to Macron or even Sweden (where high taxes pay for high spending) in favor of complete fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the aisle would be a human tragedy.
What makes you think neo-libs working with the left will lead to revolution? Trump's been trying to make Smoot–Hawley Great Again which would also seriously fuck things up.
That was for Warrens suggestion that supporting something like revolution would be helpful.

I don’t think neolibs working with the left will lead to revolution, I believe the last adults will at that point have been moved to the kiddie table.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Warren » 07 Mar 2019, 13:54

JasonL wrote:
07 Mar 2019, 06:59
Mo wrote:
JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:44
A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER. Revolution will seriously, seriously fuck things up. Abandonment of the range of policies from say Reaganite to Macron or even Sweden (where high taxes pay for high spending) in favor of complete fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the aisle would be a human tragedy.
What makes you think neo-libs working with the left will lead to revolution? Trump's been trying to make Smoot–Hawley Great Again which would also seriously fuck things up.
That was for Warrens suggestion that supporting something like revolution would be helpful.

I don’t think neolibs working with the left will lead to revolution, I believe the last adults will at that point have been moved to the kiddie table.
So what are you saying? That the neo-libs are the last best hope for humanity? And once they go all is lost?
If that happens, what will you be advocating for then?
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by lunchstealer » 07 Mar 2019, 14:15

JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 17:03
"the left left should set the agenda and we should try to make it not awful".
I've always felt that this is the best libertarianism can do. At this point we're not going to get optimal market-restrained healthcare policy, and are probably going to get some universal healthcare, so the goal needs to be steering it away from the shittiest models and towards the best models, whatever those might be.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by lunchstealer » 07 Mar 2019, 14:18

Warren wrote:
07 Mar 2019, 13:54
JasonL wrote:
07 Mar 2019, 06:59
Mo wrote:
JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:44
A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER. Revolution will seriously, seriously fuck things up. Abandonment of the range of policies from say Reaganite to Macron or even Sweden (where high taxes pay for high spending) in favor of complete fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the aisle would be a human tragedy.
What makes you think neo-libs working with the left will lead to revolution? Trump's been trying to make Smoot–Hawley Great Again which would also seriously fuck things up.
That was for Warrens suggestion that supporting something like revolution would be helpful.

I don’t think neolibs working with the left will lead to revolution, I believe the last adults will at that point have been moved to the kiddie table.
So what are you saying? That the neo-libs are the last best hope for humanity? And once they go all is lost?
If that happens, what will you be advocating for then?
For the necromancers to reanimate the neolibs, duh.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 07 Mar 2019, 14:20

Warren wrote:
07 Mar 2019, 13:54
JasonL wrote:
07 Mar 2019, 06:59
Mo wrote:
JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:44
A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER. Revolution will seriously, seriously fuck things up. Abandonment of the range of policies from say Reaganite to Macron or even Sweden (where high taxes pay for high spending) in favor of complete fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the aisle would be a human tragedy.
What makes you think neo-libs working with the left will lead to revolution? Trump's been trying to make Smoot–Hawley Great Again which would also seriously fuck things up.
That was for Warrens suggestion that supporting something like revolution would be helpful.

I don’t think neolibs working with the left will lead to revolution, I believe the last adults will at that point have been moved to the kiddie table.
So what are you saying? That the neo-libs are the last best hope for humanity? And once they go all is lost?
If that happens, what will you be advocating for then?
I think the neoliberal consensus is the thing worth fighting for, yes. Let's argue about tax rates and government spending within a liberalized global trade, private property, capitalist framework. Madness is outside that framework unless I get my absolutely perfect revolution, which is not a thing.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Shem » 07 Mar 2019, 23:42

JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 18:09
If they don’t respond to your concerns they are going to burn the economy to the ground.
And if you maintain separation trying to keep up supporting the Third Way, the economy gets burnt to the ground by the people who have already blown you off.
JasonL wrote:
06 Mar 2019, 20:44
A big part of where my brain is for the past five years or more is like WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING AS THOUGH THINGS ARE AWFUL THEY AREN'T AWFUL BY ANY MEASURE COMPARED TO ANY TIME EVER.
Over the past 10 years, annual rates of death by overdose have doubled. Wages haven't kept pace with inflation for anyone but the top 10 percent of earners in my lifetime. Unsheltered homelessness has exploded since the recession, and still hasn't really been addressed. Meanwhile, the neoliberals you're depending on to lead the way forward have been insisting that since things are better in aggregate, that people who feel left behind are being irrational. But aggregate statistics don't mean anything for people living specific problems. Insist that this is the best of all possible worlds to someone who finds himself vising his nephews in foster care because their parents picked up a heroin habit and he can't afford to take them in himself, and it won't matter how many statistics you throw out about how much worse it could be. The point is, he's got a lot of problems he didn't have 10 years ago, and you don't seem to care about any of them. So why should he listen to you?

I know this isn't exactly popular around here, but the original New Deal was in many ways (maybe even most ways) an attempt to buy off people liable to give in to communist or fascist sentiment by addressing enough of their concerns to take the edge off their unrest. The technocratic ideal you're supporting in many ways only exists because of the technocratic paradigm that was established during that time period. For you to dismiss that solution so readily when it clearly worked for you in the past is...curious, to say the least.
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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 08 Mar 2019, 06:46

At any point in history for any reason at all I could find that guy and say we should give him a bunch of stuff that breaks all the aggregate gains because the left behind test is really “if literally everyone doesn’t win, burn it down”. People said the same thing in the 70s when everything was a lot worse. The left always says this at every margin.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by JasonL » 08 Mar 2019, 10:02

That was a quick response. To expand a bit. The comparison to the New Deal is telling. Compare conditions under which that emerged to what we are looking at now. They are ... dissimilar.

I don't know how to fix heroin or suicide. No idea. It's middle age and older white men in large part. Women are doing frankly pretty great. It is completely unclear to me there's a particular aspect of a green new deal that gets you there, but it does have lots of things in the costs column.

The whole 10% of earners captured 100% of wage growth thing is subject to debate. It frankly doesn't pass the smell test and has much to do with composition and data definitions I think. Wages have been rising since the recession, a bit ahead of inflation. Long run real wages for unskilled labor is flat not negative, but it is a mistake to view the aggregate story as one person perpetually in that same condition because people get skills and they get better pay. I can't tell you nobody is left behind because that's not true. Like, in life. It's an unreasonable test.

Healthcare eats a lot of total compensation, and to me that's the thing we have to tackle somehow without breaking too many things and that's where we need neolib wonks running around trying to solve it. I want to see something like Simpson-Bowles in healthcare along with actual Simpson Bowles rejuvenated. It's maybe the last adult proposal produced by our government in any form. Yes the TP blew it up. So did the left wing.

To the extent the crazies are running the show acting like it's end times and proposing laughable stupid things - we aren't closer to helping at risk suicide guy.

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Re: Neoliberalism - Booga Booga

Post by Shem » 08 Mar 2019, 10:15

That's a fine perspective to take if you're convinced you're winning the war of ideas among the general population. Does that feel like a good descriptor of the position you're in?
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