HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014 11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014 12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015 01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015 02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015 03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015 04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015 05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015 06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015 07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015 08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015 09/01/2015 - 10/01/2015 10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015 11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015 12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016 01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016 02/01/2016 - 03/01/2016 03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016 04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016 05/01/2016 - 06/01/2016 06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016 07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016 08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016 09/01/2016 - 10/01/2016 10/01/2016 - 11/01/2016 11/01/2016 - 12/01/2016 12/01/2016 - 01/01/2017


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

 
The angry hangover

by digby



















I wrote a little bit about the improving economy and why people are still so angry for Salon today:

Jeff Greenfield wrote a piece in Politico recalling the 1992 campaign in which he compared the rise of Trump to Pat Buchanan's primary challenge and the political environment that spawned it. It's an interesting look back at a race that has some intriguing parallels to 2016.  Greenfield thinks Trump's timing is better than Buchanan's because immigration is a more acute problem and American global dominance seems less assured so the isolationist argument has more salience today. And he points out that the white working class, a focus of much of this election, has seen stagnant wages since the start of the new millennium, as manufacturing jobs continue to disappear. This is the recipe for the kind of right wing populism that both Buchanan and Trump represent.

But it appears that at long last the cloud is lifting.  Immigration really isn't such an acute problem (it's been declining for years) and even Vladimir Putin admits that American dominance is as overwhelming as ever.  Most importantly, the economic news this week was very good.

Jared Bernstein in The Washington Post reported yesterday:
Poverty fell sharply, middle-class incomes rose steeply, and more people had health coverage last year, according to Tuesday’s report on household economic conditions from the Census Bureau — the best evidence to date that the growing economy is finally reaching households that had been left behind.
The trends are going in a positive direction for the first time in a long time mostly due to a tightening of the job market leading to higher wages and more hours across the income scale. Both unemployment and inflation are down leading to more money in people's pockets. The Affordable Care Act and low unemployment are responsible for the sharp rise in health coverage. The greatest gains in the past year were among the low and middle income households and they were real gains for a change.

In short, things are looking up. In fact, they've been looking up for a while.  And yet this election is being waged in an atmosphere of great rage and resentment, as if nothing had changed since 2010. What's going on?

The reason I brought up the 92 election is the fact that the recession which brought on that bout of populist fervor had also been over for a while. It lasted eight months from July of 1990 to March of 1991 but more than a year later the angst and the anger was just reaching fever pitch.

In May of 1992, the New York Times reported:
In a poll conducted May 4-6 and made public this week, the Wirthlin Group found that 14 percent said the country was moving in the right direction, while 83 percent said it was on the wrong track. That was the highest level of pessimism recorded in 12 years, said the group's political project director, Michael Dabadie. The group tied these findings, in part, to the riots in Los Angeles, but it was also part of a bleak pattern throughout 1992.
It felt a little like the country was falling apart with desperation everywhere and urban riots and bizarre politics. I remember Bill Clinton saying that he was riding in a car somewhere in New England and saw a man standing on the side of the road with a sign that said "Do something, please just do something."   We know how that election ended. Buchanan lost the primary, the third party candidate anti-trade reformer Ross Perot took twenty percent in the general and Bill Clinton went on to govern during one of the longest economic expansions in American history.

Needless to say, the 2007 financial crisis and the global Great Recession that followed cannot be compared to what happened in 91-92. The scale of the recent upheaval was a (hopefully) once in a lifetime cataclysm. It also revealed some systemic problems that have yet to be adequately addressed, income inequality being at the top of the list as well as serious weakness and corruption in the financial system. So far there does not seem to be much will to confront them.

And communities hit hard by the loss of manufacturing over the past 30 years are still hurting. That is a perennial problem for which there seems to be no easy answer. Better trade policies will surely help but the globalization genie isn't going back in the bottle.

Still the larger economy is improving rather smartly at long last and yet we have Donald Trump, the author of a book called "Crippled America"  saying daily that the country is going to hell and tens of millions of people agree with him. Obviously one big reason for this is the right wing media from which many of these Trump supporters get their information. If you watch Fox News you are told on a daily basis that we are living in a dystopian hellscape on the verge of economic collapse and imminent imposition of Sharia Law by illegal immigrants. His followers who are employed undoubtedly believe they are among a very lucky few.

But I also think people suffer from an emotional hangover after these economic upheavals. You feel paralyzed when they're happening, afraid to make a move or take a chance. And that makes sense. It's a perilous time. Once things finally improve in a substantial way, it's as if you are coming back to life and there's an understandable feeling of pent up anger and resentment about what you have gone through. It's not about what's happening now it's about what happened before.

Of course that's not a conscious thought. People just feel what they feel in the moment and when their anger is answered in some way, it begins to dissipate. I don't know if that will happen this time. A lot depends on how well people do economically, if they feel secure and are hopeful about the future. But it could. And if it does the next few years may look very different than the ones we just experienced.

This news won't make a difference in this election, of course. The narrative has been set. But whoever wins may be coming in with a strong wind at his or her back. Let's hope to God it isn't Donald Trump, who would not only destroy whatever gains we might have in our future, he would take credit for the upswing and use it to seize a mandate for some of his worst policies. And instead of a well-deserved period of economic well being, Americans would be faced once again with mourning in America.  If things are getting better, the last thing we need is another Republican to come in and mess things up again.


.