Donal's picture

    Not One Big Happy Party

    Benjamin Studebaker’s Why Bernie vs Hillary Matters More Than People Think has been widely read, and reposted on Huffington Post. If you haven’t seen it yet, read it now.

    I’ve been called a political naif for supporting Sanders, and not wanting to accept Clinton as a consolation candidate. My first primary vote was for Jerry Brown, but I had to accept Jimmy Carter as the nominee. Carter was a very unpopular president, and though he now stands out as a very good and compassionate elder statesman, he was considered to have made a neoliberal bargain in the wake of the 1970’s oil shock, which probably contributed to the stagflation that followed.

    What the hell is neoliberalism?

    Investopedia sez:

    Neoliberalism is an approach to economics and social studies in which control of economic factors is shifted from the public sector to the private sector. Drawing upon principles of neoclassical economics, neoliberalism suggests that governments reduce deficit spending, limit subsidies, reform tax law to broaden the tax base, remove fixed exchange rates, open up markets to trade by limiting protectionism, privatize state-run businesses, allow private property and back deregulation.

    In plainer words, Wikipedia sez:

    Neoliberalism is a term which has been used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences and critics primarily in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism beginning in the 1970s and 1980s. Its advocates support extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy. Neoliberalism is famously associated with the economic policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States. The transition of consensus towards neoliberal policies and the acceptance of neoliberal economic theories in the 1970s are seen by some academics as the root of financialization, with the financial crisis of 2007–08 one of the ultimate results.

    Since Carter, we have been governed by neoconservative Republicans and neoliberal Democrats, with disastrous consequences for the working, wage-earning class, but a pretty comfortable ride for much of the white collar, salaried class, and an unqualified bonanza for the wealthy investor class. Despite this savaging of their base, Democratic candidates that challenged the neoliberal order, like Dennis Kucinich, were not even allowed to debate. Barack Obama promised hope and change, but governed as a neoliberal. Hillary Clinton looks to govern much like Obama. With grass roots support among the millennials, Bernie Sanders, a throwback to the FDR type of liberal, has broken through, and is making a real race of it – with no help from the Democratic National Committee.

    Members of the comfortable classes see no need to rock the boat, and urge Democrats to fall in line and vote for the establishment, neoliberal Democrat candidate to keep out the scary establishment, neoconservative Republican candidate, or more likely the scary outsider Donald J Trump.

    Frankly, having a look at a candidate like Bernie Sanders has gone to my head. I want the Democratic party to change, and start representing the people again.


    The Democratic Party does represent the people. Americans are scared and wanted intrusive security policies and foreign wars to fight terror. Americans have been lukewarm about Healthcare, many believing in by-your-own-bootstraps gumption than safety nets and precaution. When Hemingway got Alzheimers ,  he just pulled out a shotgun - when men were men. Hell, Bernie's even too old to be establishment - he's the retired leftover part of the establishment. Oh well, we'll see.

    I am in the same boat.  Now that many are waking up to the reality that corporations & billionaires are ruling our country(and THEY SUCK AT IT)... regular order candidates are NOT what we are looking for and the usual cheating. lies, and corruption is not as easily overlooked because 'look over there at how bad they are' 'we aren't as bad as them'.  When they all eat at the same corporate/billionaire table, giving them a vote so they can operate under the 'pretense' of democracy is like me helping to pull the wool over they eyes of fellow Americans.  I can't be complicit in their deception.  That's where I am and I know after  the Colorado caucus that I have a lot of company.

    The good news is Bernie Can Win This and we can mark a first step toward reclaiming, reforming our democracy.

    'Nothing matters but Bernie'! 

    And all Democrats back to Carter were no good for us!

    Well yeah. You have to realize that the only reason democrats lost is that the country wanted a liberal to run. If Sanders had run against Reagan he would have creamed him.

    Back to the Future III. Where are you, McFly? 

    A liberal like LBJ .......who bombed the hell out of Vietnam. LBJ good, every Democrat since like a Reagan. See the Donal lnk.

    Personally, I don't believe Bernie is the only good Democrat since LBJ as the link purports. He isn't even a Democrat, so how does he get anything through Congress? Bernie isn't La Follette, and it isn't 1912.

    I get that your are making a judgement and trying to project it.  If you took in what I wrote, you would understand it is Bigger than Bernie but He is the man who has not sold his political power so he is the symbolic and political leader for standing against Oligarchy.

    Thanks Sync and Donal.  Excellent points from both of you.

    Many of us have wanted this change for a long time. We know the corporations are not the ones that need to be even near the driver seat of the government economical policy. All they think about is quarterly profits and their bonuses. So it isn't all about Bernie but his offer to correct this. He is the heir to OWS that never really died.  This is the next phase of it. It is not going to go away. 

    We will be facing another major economical down turn again in the near future. Mrs. Clinton will be bringing into the White House the same New Keynesian (neo liberals) economics team that put us were we are now.   It is a failed economic theory that allows bubbles and busts every 8 to 10 years. We are in the second gilded age and that is not a good place to be. The robber barons are the financial institutions and the multi national corporations.  The Clinton has benefited to the tune of a 100 million dollars from this system and she will protect it during the next big down turn with out changing any of the fundamentals with the help of the Republicans. After all that is what the oligarchy pays them to do. 

    MMT is a pony, a belief in fairies and unicorns. It ain't real. It ignores historical hyperinflation and runaway economies, and tries to give governments huge excuses for massive unconstrained spending sprees. There is no free lunch, gravity cannot be suspended (though can be lessened by running away from it), and if the world does stop spinning, we be in a heap o' trouble.

    A platform of campaign promises built on this snake oil is dangerous. While there is probably a usefulness to heretical views of stodgy old economics, just like say "parallel lines intersect" allowed us to model intersecting longitude lines in topological geography, in the end our assumptions fit within the physics of our theoretical domain once proved.

    Here you can look at the intricacies of MMT and decide if indeed you think MMT still holds water. Still, at some point people are going to want their money back, and if they're big enough, you just might have to pay them. Good luck with that. I'm happier with the more traditional universe for now. Until I walk off that cliff, I'll leave their new suppositions re: weightlessness as a theoretical, thanks. And that includes pushing our economy off a cliff.

    I do agree that austerity can be overdone, but there's something to be said for not pushing the limits either.

    I do wonder why people are worried about trade deficits and sending jobs to China, since MMT basically says trade deficits don't matter, nor does debt - you just print more money, and while you're doing that, you can be giving that money to unemployed local workers who then effectively are paid by Chinese working for them. YAY! All the universe's problems solved! (Except the Chinese's but then maybe they can do the same in reverse, so gravity is suspended and I can have my Kate and Edith too.)


    I’ve been called a political naif for supporting Sanders, and not wanting to accept Clinton as a consolation candidate.

    I know Donal.  I have been called worse. But you know that too because you have probably read it on our FB feed. That group of likely Democratic voters that don't want to accept Clinton as a consolation candidate is a big group.  Many won't be there for the general election to vote for her. It is just the reality of this election. Those who think the party will rally around Clinton a 100% is out of touch with what is going on with main street. 

    We heard this same talk in 08 but in the end the vast majority of Hllary's supporters voted for Obama even though the fight was much more bitter and the anger was much greater. All polling data points to the vast majority of Sanders supporters voting for Hillary. The loudest voices in the room don't necessarily speak for the majority.

    every bit of available data tells us that 80% to 85% or more of likely democratic voters plan to vote for Hillary Clinton if she’s the democratic party nominee, and there is not one available statisical data point from any polling outlet which runs counter to this trend.

    Perhaps, but Obama and Clinton seemed more similar than Sanders and Clinton. Sanders is an avowed reformer while Clinton at her most progressive is an incrementalist.

    No one knows until the votes are cast. But it doesn't matter. In08 PUMA was unable to use fear to blackmail the Obama supporters into switching their votes to Hillary. It quickly fizzled away. If Sanders supporters try with a New And Improved PUMA to convince Hillary supporters to switch their vote with threats of sitting out or voting third party in the general it will fail too.

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