mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Donald Trump's World
Goldman Sachs Populism
Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Beauceron

    Interesting points, all.

    It may have been all an act. It may be that having won the keys to the kingdom, surprising himself more than anyone else, Trump panicked and allowed himself to be co-opted by the GOP establishment. It’s what the GOP did with the Tea Party wave, after all.
    It’s understandable that everybody’s trying to read the tea leaves, but it should remember that Trump is still nearly two months from taking office. We don’t really know what the guy is going to do. For now it looks like he is setting up the administration to serve the public from the Standard Republican Menu– it’s Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” agenda through and through.

    That will certainly be comfort to many, and may be better than what Hillary had in store for us, but I don’t think it’s what people put Trump in office for. They want to revitalize the middle class, treat working class people fairly and get control of an immigration system that is, well, close to nonexistent at this point.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Good start on the “coming around to reality” that is inevitable, but catastrophically belated, for a large chunk of workers and church people who voted for Trump. At this moment and with this alignment, nothing is even possible but the enormous shift of both wealth and power upward—done irreversibly and with breathtaking speed. You are quite correct that it’s not what (a lot) of people put Trump in office for. Many of them—–being too distracted with everything from talk radio to mega-preachers—-did not have the faintest idea who they were empowering or the steam-roller results they unleashed. Some of them will say, as you do, and as their lives become more and more irrelevant, “well, it may be better than what Hillary had in store for us”.

      • Tom

        That’s what most of them were voting for to begin with.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Voting for bait and switch? Maybe, but if true, that would rightly flip our perception of them from well-meaning in cluelessness to nefarious in deviousness. You, being an insider, can paint the church people that way if you want.
          It’s impossible to paint the working class that way.

          • Tom

            Deliberate obtuseness becomes you. I was referring to the “Clinton would have been worse.”

          • FriendlyGoat

            It’s not obtuseness. Unless the hearts and minds of your Trump-voting church friends are frozen in ice, most of them are going to eventually see that they made a regrettable error. Having you to tell them they did it on purpose because they wanted to trick people with bait and switch? Either you throw them out or they throw you out, but the sentiments won’t mix.

          • Tom

            And you’re still ignoring the actual point. They didn’t know if they could trust Trump, and figured there was probably a bait-and-switch in their future.
            But they KNEW they couldn’t trust Clinton. We’ve been over this multiple times, and I’m hoping that it will get through your head eventually. Of course, it’ll help if you stop plugging your ears, drumming your heels, and repeating leftist talking points like they’re Gospel.

          • FriendlyGoat

            As I said above, some of you will find no other justification for making a mess but to blame Mrs. Clinton. Turns out that your assessment of who to trust was very, very foolish. The proof of that will be coming in for years to come while you blame it all on the woman president who isn’t president. You guys just KNEW. Sure, Tom.

          • Tom

            I didn’t vote for him. And you’re still doing your level best not to hear what’s being said.
            That’s not surprising, mind you, but still disappointing.

          • Boritz

            No matter how Trump governs here is the template: It’s impossible to do better after the Obama years and think how much worse it would be if we had empowered a third or fourth term. This mantra will sound good even when barbarians wearing animal skins scour the wasteland in search of gasoline.
            This isn’t traditional thinking of the right but we’ve been taking notes.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Your top sentence doesn’t even make sense to you, much less me. Read it.

          • Beauceron

            I also think many of them knew they were rolling the dice with Trump.
            It wasn’t Fresh New Conservative/Old Establishment Conservative VS Clinton.
            It was Roll The Dice VS Clinton.
            The die are still rolling, I think.
            But it’s naturally for us to speculate on how they’ll land.

      • Beauceron

        You’re on the Left, FG.

        You don’t get to pretend you’re for the working class anymore. One thing the last 8 years has clarified, if little else, is that the Left as embodied in the Democratic party is a party of the wealthy urban elite. We’ve just had 8 years of the most far left president in this nation’s history. And workers got screwed. Many of those voters did not vote for Trump because they bought Trump’s line– they voted for Trump because Clinto openly presented herself as an Obama third term, and they just couldn’t take that.

        Take a look at this map of counties that voted TWICE for Obama and then voted for Trump in 2016. Those aren’t people who bit on the lure Trump cast into the waters of the election. They are people that are hurting and decided to roll the dice rather than stick with more of the same. Or you could just denounce them all as racist white supremacists and be done with it, which is, sadly, exactly what the Dems seem to be doing.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/live-updates/general-election/real-time-updates-on-the-2016-election-voting-and-race-results/map-the-obama-voters-who-helped-trump-win/?utm_term=.ce3424e031b4

        The middle class shrank during the Obama just as quickly as they did during the Bush years. The rich got richer during Obama’s two terms at the same pace as they did under Bush (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/12/09/the-american-middle-class-is-losing-ground/). You are in no place to look at Trump supporters and act triumphalist. Trump has not taken office yet, so this is, at this point, all speculative. We know the Left bought a lie with Obama.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Oh, pardon me for noticing you woke up here with the first comment for this thread, actually admitting that many of the Trump voters are getting the exact opposite of what they thought they were voting for—-a minor brush with wistful honesty on your part. And along comes FG, turning you back into The Grinch.

          • Beauceron

            I think you’re exhibiting your usual partisan hypocrisy.

            I mean seriously, an Obama fan, a Man Of The Left, as it were, might want to pipe down a bit instead of engaging in a “Ha, Ha, you were duped!” moment.

            First, as I say pretty explicitly, we don’t know that yet– it just certainly looks that way. It isn’t even early days yet. We’re still two months away from Trump taking office. And second, do you not feel duped as an Obama supporter and person of the Left? I mean, for the working class and poor, Obama was pretty much no different than Bush. His policies floundered, the middle class got even poorer and shrank even more dramatically than under Bush, there was little to no change for the poor, and 95% of the income increases went to the top 1% (http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/15/news/economy/income-inequality-obama). Do you feel duped?
            I am not sure we have been baited and switched– yet.
            I do think it is LOOKING that way. Just too early to tell.
            I will be honest about it though if I do think that’s what happened.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, quoting you—–“it just certainly looks that way.” Here’s the deal, the working class never really recovered from the Reagan tax cuts and judges, until they were whacked again with the Bush tax cuts and judges. Now the present GOP alignment plans to drop a piano on their heads from the top of Trump Tower with the worst tax cuts and judges ever seen. This is not a debate about Obama. It is a debate about the long-term effects of conservatism in diminishing the prospects of ordinary people.
            The debate is over. The steam roller is fired up. The damage is going to occur to many of the people who you (in your more honest moments) admit were voting for something else. Falling pianos are very dangerous, usually fatal.

          • Beauceron

            Yes, operative word– “looks” as in “appears to be”, which is not a declaratory “is.”

            Oh, C’mon. There are a lot of reasons for the collapse of the middle and working classes. Globalization and mass immigration chief among them.

            This, however, is utter nonsense and counterfactual. Just the usual leftist pablum:

            “Here’s the deal, the working class never really recovered from the Reagan tax cuts, deregulation and judges”

            Have a look at this chart:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5721756f8ea5b9c2067698ab83e3fa9559682d5bd725b18a863a2a712173ce90.jpg
            The truth is that the middle class soared under Reagan’s policies.When they really started tanking was under Clinton– and you can see the nose dive under Obama.

          • FriendlyGoat

            If you really look at that graph you will notice that the difference in position at 1981 and 1993 (when Clinton came in) is virtually no change—–not any soar.
            But that is not the point. You cannot learn anything from measuring economic data during the particular years of a particular president. You measure by when particular policies are in effect. The negative effects from tax cutting which started with Reagan never went away. Neither did those from the Bush tax cuts. Neither will those which come from Trump.

          • Beauceron

            “You cannot learn anything from measuring economic data during the particular years of a particular president. You measure by when particular policies are in effect.”

            I actually had to read that a couple of times to make sure you were actually saying it.

            While some policies can take years to show an effect, business policies generally aren’t one of them– particularly not with two term presidents.

            “The negative effects from tax cutting which started with Reagan never went away.”

            But they did change– dramatically. Clinton raised taxes when he was in office. Obama hiked takes as well (https://www.atr.org/full-list-ACA-tax-hikes-a6996
            ). I suppose it’s easier to just pretend nothing changed after Reagan. It’s just not true.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Slight adjustments were all you got in tax hikes. The tax trend was still lower and has been for the same decades the middle class was going lower too. No other answer is even possible.

    • ——————————

      “but we should remember that Trump is still nearly two months from taking office. We don’t really know what the guy is going to do.”

      Exactly!
      So many here seem to feel the need to exercise mental masturbation to the point of Rube Goldberg status regarding what the incoming administration will do, might do, blah, blah, blah….

      • Andrew Allison

        I don’t see much mental masturbation to the point of Rube Goldberg status regarding what the incoming administration will do, might do, blah, blah, blah…. from the comments section of the blog. The posts, on the other hand . . . . Perhaps TAI might consider posting on what has been done rather than what might, in their fevered imaginations, be done.

        • ——————————

          Ahhh AA, but I have the perspective of being on the outside looking in (new to TAI), so not so numb to it. Trust me about what I said in my previous post, it’s there.
          Some people just have too much time on their hands, some merely like to bloviate, and some just have diahrrea of the fingers. There is no need to over-explain or over-complicate things. I simply skip the lengthy posts.
          And yes TAI too. If the article is too long I find that skipping a third to half of the sentences or paragraphs gives me enough info about the subject.

  • Dhako

    What a tendentious nonsense. In other words, here we are being told Mr Trump is populist (or at any rate, he is the tribune of the White working Class) not merely of what his picking of his administration says about his intend, but, rather he is a tribune of those folks because speak ill of those politically correct folks. And such a transparent ploy to bait-and-switch done for those who put their trust in him, should be view (according to Jason in here) as a manifestation of truly populist hero looking out for his followers.

    Now you see, how contemptible your assertion is. Of course, you could simply say, that Trump will appoint anyone he likes in his government, and therefore we should judge how he helps his WWC voters in the real sense of the word, more than we should be “fixated” on how many Wall-Street’s well-heeled “financial panjandrums” he appoints to oversee the welfare and the interest of his Rust-Belt’s denizens.

    Similarly, it’s tad disingenuous to use FDR as an example when you are dealing with Mr Trump. After all, Roosevelt, was a nearest US had to a aristocratic born-Brahmin. And, yet he had the empathy to create the New Deal after the depression. Went out of his way to create the welfare state to look after the his “Forgotten Man” (who was everyday Americana from the Normal Rockwell’s paintings, not the monied-classes of upper-west side).

    Furthermore, he did all of that while he was also raiding the crimping the excess of Wall Street, as Wall Street Journal (WSJ) never stopped to fulminate against him. Which means, he did “soaked” those the journal speak for with high taxes. And, of course, when you put that altogether, you can see why FDR’s brand of liberalism was the nearest the US have come to have a genuine tribune of the working class of America. Admittedly, most of his new deal policies was specifically designed to “exclude” the Blacks in America, due to the “lock” the old Dixiecrats from the South had on the old Democratic party under FDR till mid 1960s when finally LBJ ended that politically co-dependence between the democratic party and the southern Dixie-Crats with the passing of Voting Act.

    Now, knowing all of that, it’s genuinely bit rich (if not down right sheer contemptible assertion) to say, that Mr Trump is the chap who is going to recreate what the white working class have lost in globalization and outsourcing. And he is going to do that with biggest tax-cut the US’s Congress ever passed, while front-loading his administration with all the “Rich Rileys” from Wall street, who in turn will get to work in dismantling the consumer protection, weakened the EPA, and dilute the regulatory power of the SEC under Frank-Dodd scheme, and while they are at it, get rid off ObamaCare without replacing anything with it, at least till 2019/2020 (at the earliest, which is the talk in Republican’s circles in Capital Hill, according to Politico website).

    And finally, all of these may make sense to the likes of Jason. But to say, that these is a fine policy descriptions that forms the heart of a populist agenda, or it is what forms the internal sinews of what the “tribune” of the working class is made off, is genuinely pervert the very definition of basic concepts. And in fact it borders on a “Orwellian” manipulation of language, that I wonder, whether our Jason in here, may have decided to peruse Orwell’s insight of how to “murder” a plain language, just so that, you can make it say whatever it is you wanted such speech to say it.

    • Fat_Man

      Dhako, Chinese bots are not allowed to comment on American politics.

      • Dhako

        In other words, you have no arguments to which counter my take of the “bait-and-switch” that is going on with Trump and his agenda of naked “profiteering” at the expense of those gullible Rust-Belt’s denizens. Do I read your “subliminal” massage, correctly, in here, dear fatso?

        • Fat_Man

          You are a PRC bot. I don’t bother reading your “writings”.

          • Dhako

            In other words, like the English are fond of saying: “you have decided to tackle the man, not the ball”. And yet you think that is anything other than beneath contempt. Pity, really, for you did come across to me as one of those folks who could be rely on to see what a “con-game” the likes of Trump was playing on the “fly-over-country” and their ill-educated denizens. But now apparently you don’t seems to be any the wiser by the looks of it. Since you give the impression as if Mr Trump is the finest thing that has happened to US since slice-bread was invented. Good Luck with that, mate.

          • Fat_Man

            I am not tackling a man. You a bot. And a very wordy one at that.

          • Dhako

            That must be the lamest excuse or the most pitiful “get-me-out-of-here-for-I-am-beat” excuse I ever heard, indeed. Hence, since you can’t debate your way out of an empty bag, much less to hold your own end in a serious counter-argument, then, I suppose, I should be charitable enough to allow you to escape from this discussion without further disrobing your meager intellect.

          • Fat_Man

            A very wordy bot.

          • Dhako

            Ok, fatso!

          • Fat_Man

            Sticks and stones. But, you are still a PRC Bot.

    • Disappeared4x

      Dhako: you are believing too much bad information about Warren’s ‘Consumer protection agency’, Dodd-Frank, and the EPA over-reach during Obama’s Reign of Lawyers. All dangerous failures of legalese that never fixed the causes of the 2008 meltdown.

      For all the rules of Dodd-Frank on home mortgages, they forgot to include any regulation of home appraisals, one of the reasons we are now in a new housing bubble. Another is too-low interest rates that make it cheaper to buy than rent, for now.

      I also wonder where you have been studying American political history, which has been very distorted since FDR’s era by both Schlesingers: Sr, and Jr.

      Start by watching Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon”. Always four sides to every story, only one is the truth.

      I do not think I can endure reading your long posts again, so sorry.

  • Fat_Man

    Basically, the reactions of the MSM reveal that they are vulgar marxists with no discernment, no knowledge of history, and no understanding of politics. But, we already knew that. There are no necessary or sufficient connections between life circumstances and political opinions. But, the MSM has always been mute when mentioning billionaire leftists like Soros and Penny Pritzker.

    Ascribing a political theory to Trump is an error. The man is not thoughtful enough to hold a theory. What he has is an attitude.

    That said, the important Cabinet picks are the big four — AG, SoS, DoD, and Treasury. The two that he has announced Sessions for AG and Mnuchin for Treasury, are from the core of Trump’s campaign.

    OTOH, there are not enough Trumpeters to occupy (NPI) , a substantial portion of the slots in the ranks of Assitants, Deputies, and Deputy Assistant, (I don’t think the rank of Assistant Deputy exists). Those slots will have to be filled more or less conventional Republicans.

    I do not think that many Republicans, whether or not they were Trumpeters, would countenance leaving any executive slots in the hands of the Obamadroids.

    As for Goldman Sachs, you can only admire their ability to work both sides of the Street. Democrat John Corzine, was from that house, as is Trumpeter Mnuchin. It is good to be the Vampire Squid.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Thanks for providing the link to Paul Waldmon.

  • QET

    Like I suggested in another thread, in this era of the world, government income support for millions will be necessary for the foreseeable future. But working-class men and women, I think, prefer their “welfare” in the form of income supports to their employers (factories, mines, construction companies, etc) which preserve their relatively higher paying, higher benefit jobs and maybe even bring back a more or less significant fraction of those that have been lost. It may not work, but it is preferable to most people, I think, than direct government transfers like the “refundable tax credit” monstrosity and social security disability payments. Sure, the crony capitalists get rich, but workers don’t seem to mind that as much so long as their “decent-paying” blue collar jobs are preserved. That seems an entirely rational political position for the working class to take. It hardly matters what name you give it: populism or any other. The job still pays as sweet and that is what people voted for.

    • Dhako

      But the point is, Trump, is unlikely (nay, strike that, will never, ever) bring those “decent-paying-jobs” in which you are pining for in here. And not only he knows that, but any half-way intelligence voter should know by now that the old manufacturing jobs in the Mid-West and in the rest of the Rust-Belt’s states are not coming back. Moreover, the first thing he did when he became a president-elect was to surround himself with the very folks who have made billions in “off-shoring” those jobs in the first place. And to boot they are asking for a massive tax-cuts for their kind up-front even now.

      And yet, those who voted for him never will believe the massive transfer of wealth that is likely to hit them once the Federal government run into the massive deficit that such a giant “give-away-tax-cuts” will create in its wake. Now you being a decently educated fellow (I am sure of it) should say, straightforwardly, that what is going on in here, is a massive “bait-and-switch” of the most pernicious kind.

      However, for some reason you are still trotting out the argument that says, Mr Trump, will bring those bygone jobs back to the voters in Mid-West states, when in fact any of those “Friends-of-Trump” (FoT) who are likely to form the bulk of his administration will tell you, if you caught them in moment of candor, that, those manufacturing working-class jobs are unlikely to return. No matter how much Tax-Cut of a sweat-heart kind of deal they got from Mr Trump.

      • Disappeared4x

        Low cost energy, medical insurance NOT part of unit labor cost, and delete some of the Obama era regulations, and there can be a manufacturing reboot in America. Would also help to have more engineers and fewer lawyers, and for the punditocracy to stop pushing the idea of the post-industrial economy, or the robot/AI threat.

        Germany has the highest unit labor cost on earth (without the cost of medical insurance!), yet manufacturing thrives. I always got blank stares from American executives when presenting the truth about unit labor costs and Germany.

        America has many non-tariff trade barriers, and too many agricultural subsidies for me to continue here.

  • Kevin

    Interesting article.
    Understand how a new political coalition comes together, what it agrees on and what internal tensions it has is useful. It’s fascinating to see the differences between class, income, politics, etc.

    • Andrew Allison

      Oh, please. It’s just another of Willick’s endless Trump hit jobs. When will he, and the rest of the TAI staff, stop aping the cry-babies of the left (-behind)?

  • Anthony

    Nothing is definitive (policy/laws/direction) yet and effects will not occur until both inauguration and convening of new congress (2017 and beyond). But, none of this (Post’s thesis) is relatively new (except WWC is now experiencing 1st hand the marginalization experienced by some of their other fellow American which has been accompanied by popular indifference, if not down right contempt and relish). However and more fundamentally to the implied “bait and switch”, historically to succeed (bait and switch) there must be a willing mark (confidence men sell the confidence [Con] to the less sure – ready believers in tales and promises of nimbler wits.

    A key question, perhaps, may be (historically) just how does the common man in the United States get spun off the merry-go-round as he does so regularly; Perhaps, systematically we may look at three stages of the political process: 1) when it comes to voting, the choice narrows down (generally) to two almost distasteful choices; 2) before the election the choice of candidates has already been made; 3) very few voters participate in the primaries where the real action is; consequently, the common man ends up with a candidate who will be acceptable to a broad culturally differentiated, intellectually and emotionally low-grade public – a candidate plausibly picked by the public but actually “purchasable” by the propertied. One may further ask just what does the common man get by voting in the prearranged preferences offered him beyond the proverbial dirty end of the stick.

    H.L Mencken often wrote/spoke of the state of popular opinion and understanding. “Where the voting public goes wrong is in whom it accepts in each jurisdiction as plausible candidates – not men (women) of proven knowledge, ability and purpose but men who appeal to various unexamined prejudices: ethnic, religious, national-origin, occupational, aesthetic, regional, personal and the like. As Plato brought out in his dialogue Gorgias the politician uses rhetoric to flatter and seduce his public and to carry the decision even against the man (woman) of knowledge and sound judgment. People in general, it seems, are far more responsive to blandishment than to reason. They love obvious charlatans.” So, Goldman Sachs (U.S.) populism is nowhere as unique as implied in Post.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service