When will we stop blaming the poor and lauding the rich? The top of the socioeconomic ladder takes far more in welfare from the government than those at the bottom.
This article gets back the heart of what NobodyisFlyingthePlane means.
You can’t make sense of [Trump’s] shocking victory last year without reference to the downward spiral of public faith in governing elites and established institutions. Years of stagnating incomes, combined with dimming prospects for the future, have primed voters for the message that the system is “rigged” and that only an outsider not beholden to the corrupt establishment can clean it up.
That’s an essential part of NobodyisFlyingthePlane.
Any smart and decent person knew that Trump could never be the solution to lost faith in government. Sadly his message resonated with enough ignorant racist sheep and their self interested political overlords to elect him.
The good part of this article recognizes that the President alone won’t be a solution. We had all these same problems when we had the only decent man since Carter as President. The system itself is rigged and it’s those players we have to battle.
Our predicament of slow growth and sky-high inequality has many causes, but one important factor is the capture of the American political system by powerful insiders — big businesses, elite professionals, wealthy homeowners — that use it to entrench their own economic power. In so doing, they protect themselves from competition, fatten their bank accounts with diverted wealth and slow the creative destruction that drives economic growth.
In the financial sector, a web of regulatory subsidies sustains financial institutions’ unhealthy reliance on extremely high levels of debt. These subsidies, including policies that strongly encourage mortgage securitization as well as the implicit promise to bail out “too big to fail” institutions, swell profits in the near term while increasing the systemic risk of a catastrophic meltdown in the long run. The result is a financial sector much bigger than the economy needs, chronic misallocation of capital and the diversion of some of the country’s top talent into counterproductive work. Luring people into excessive debt, draining their savings with hidden fees, inflating the next asset bubble — these and other dubious “contributions” by finance to the economy need to be curtailed.
The problem is not only at the national level. NIFTP is happening at the local and state level.
In addition, many regressive regulations are made in obscure places with limited participation, such as state licensing boards and town councils in charge of approving new housing. Insiders with narrow interests, whether self-serving professional groups or Nimby neighbors, have the motivation and resources to show up at poorly attended meetings and work the system, often at odds with the general public’s interest in low prices and economic opportunity.
One suggested solution:
Courts at all levels need to be less deferential to regulatory schemes that — in contrast to environmental or labor regulation — have no justification other than the protection of incumbent interests. For example, courts could force legislatures to explicitly approve expansions in the scope of occupational licensing, depriving licensing boards of the power to do so in shadowy obscurity.
Trump Made the Swamp Worse. Here’s How to Drain It. https://nyti.ms/2yNU44e
This is the new colonialism. Western corporations are forcing their junk food down the collective throats of the developing world.
The story is as much about economics as it is nutrition. As multinational companies push deeper into the developing world, they are transforming local agriculture, spurring farmers to abandon subsistence crops in favor of cash commodities like sugar cane, corn and soybeans — the building blocks for many industrial food products. It is this economic ecosystem that pulls in mom-and-pop stores, big box retailers, food manufacturers and distributors, and small vendors
The new reality is captured by a single, stark fact: Across the world, more people are now obese than underweight. At the same time, scientists say, the growing availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods is generating a new type of malnutrition, one in which a growing number of people are both overweight and undernourished.
How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food https://nyti.ms/2jyJTww
So much of what besets the imaginations of Americans as catastrophic is merely distraction. The would be Tyrant-in-Chief is certainly not good for the country, but he is mostly distraction.
Tyrannophobia, the belief that the overwhelmingly important political issue is the threat to our liberal freedoms and institutions, has always been a powerful force in the United States. As history has shown, however, its tendency to redirect our attention from underlying social and economic problems has often been the real source of danger. It is easier to believe that democracy is under siege than to acknowledge that democracy put Mr. Trump in power — and only more economic fairness and solidarity can keep populists like him out.
If there is one lesson from the 20th century worth learning, it is that an exclusive focus on the defense of liberal fundamentals against a supposed totalitarian peril often exacerbates the social and international conflicts it seeks to resolve. This approach to politics threatens to widen the already yawning gulf between liberal groups and their opponents, while distracting from the deeply rooted forces that have been fueling right-wing populist politics, notably economic inequalities and status resentments.
The anti-communist politics in the United States of the early 1950s were rooted in assumptions that had much in common with those of anti-Trumpism today. There was, it was claimed, a serious risk to liberal democracy from American subversion within, in alliance with the Russians without, peddling seductive untruths. Other goals — like the creation of a more just and equal society — had to take second place to the country’s military posture.
Trump Isn’t a Threat to Our Democracy. Hysteria Is. https://nyti.ms/2uNrV9E
This is most definitely NobodyisFlyingthePlane. We know that the President and other elected leaders aren’t flying the plane. This writer makes the case that the bureaucracies behind our national security often take the stick.
It’s the sort of thing that we really all know, but we don’t act or vote that way.
Of course, we know there are exceptions. Cheney and Armey took the stick when they headed the plane into the 2nd Iraq war.
The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy. John Kerry was not exaggerating when he said that some of those programs are “on autopilot.”
Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change. – The Boston Globe
This sounds a lot like NobodyisFlyingthePlane.
This part is a great story for Democrats to tell as a counter for the evil overlords bullshit.
The staff here did not conceive of this possibility. The anger, disappointment, and vile thoughts we’ve experienced since last night don’t have a place here in this blog.
Its hard to let the media be our voice right now. They share significant blame for legitimizing this scumbag and subjecting our country to his rule. But, this article gets right at the heart of the matter.
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy.
It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.
All along, Trump seemed like a twisted caricature of every rotten reflex of the radical right. That he has prevailed, that he has won this election, is a crushing blow to the spirit; it is an event that will likely cast the country into a period of economic, political, and social uncertainty that we cannot yet imagine. That the electorate has, in its plurality, decided to live in Trump’s world of vanity, hate, arrogance, untruth, and recklessness, his disdain for democratic norms, is a fact that will lead, inevitably, to all manner of national decline and suffering.
And yet, somehow, no matter how long and committed her earnest public service, she was less trusted than Trump, a flim-flam man who cheated his customers, investors, and contractors; a hollow man whose countless statements and behavior reflect a human being of dismal qualities—greedy, mendacious, and bigoted. His level of egotism is rarely exhibited outside of a clinical environment.
But despair is no answer. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals—that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do.