Occupy Blue Wall Street?
Published on: November 6, 2011
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  • Mrs. Davis

    The needs of every group addressed except the individual taxpayer.

  • Matthew McGuinness

    Very interesting and provacative piece. The use of dated, irrelevant terms like “goo-goos” is facile and weakens the analysis. and thinking about this within the lens of early 20th century progressive reform is of limited utility.

    What has happened is that Wall Street (BLUE or RED – doesn’t matter) is effectively at war with democracy…

  • It’s a tangled web we have woven, and you’ve done an excellent job exposing the individual strands.

    Can Hillary’s failed Russian Reset Button be repurposed for domestic use?

  • Kenny

    Excellent post, Mr. Mead. most insightful.

    My only comment is how racially charged the situtation is and how destined it is to become more so.

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    Politics was, is and always has been about groups promoting their own interests. As long as each of these groups’ interests complimented each other, they worked together. Now that the world has changed (there’s no longer enough money for everybody), their goals are in conflict with each other and the in-fighting begins. This is what is happening in Greece as well. This is a good analysis of the who and why of the emerging conflicts in New York. Doubtless other blue states (like California) have similar groups who will soon be (if not now are) in less cooperative moods.

  • Greg Ransom

    Were do you live?

    In California cops pull down 6 figures.

    And in CA cops retire with 6 figure pensions which they can begin at age 50.

    Not to mention top cops who can make a quarter million to a half million annually.

  • nirmal

    So the whole @OWS thing is a case of the wrong group of people attacking the right target for the wrong reasons thinking that the are the wrong kind of people who go around beleiving in the wrong kind of religion and not their new correct religion and science. What ever…

  • JorgXMcKie

    “Wall Street (BLUE or RED – doesn’t matter) is effectively at war with democracy…”

    No. As profit-seeking entities, Wall Street is attempting [successfully, it would seem] to co-opt the ‘system’ that many think was built to restrain its worse tendencies.

    Reduce the scope of government and you reduce the ‘need’ for Wall Street to co-opt.

    There’s a reason the average Wall Street highly-paid type works the system better than the average politician.

  • The global matzah ball is well understood as a privilege bubble to a degree reminiscent of pre-revolutionary France and on a scale that leaves precedent far behind. The presumptive and vigorously defended perks of the cops in New York are the same brand of product the greeks propose to burn the Parthenon yet again to perpetuate. Sadly for them and us is said perpetuation is impossible. I’ve been somewhat mystified by the dilemma Papandrou is facing and how it is being framed by the domestic socialist parties of all things. Has Papandrou been a spendthrift? Yes, clearly. Are the socialists the answer to that? And isn’t the spending the problem? Yet it seems he must go so Greece can stay within the EU. What? Doesn’t he want to stay within the EU? He sure does. All the bigs say they do yet they can’t; not if they want to avoid so-called “austerity”. And that the greeks at large certainly do. The only way out is some long term and consistent source of revenue from outside the current system, which is global. Obviously, that is a long shot. A close second is fiat currency collapse; either intentional and controlled or catastrophic and exploited by the most scurrilous players. New York will not get its house in order. Greece will not get its house in order. The EU will not get its house in order. The Chinese will not get their house in order and plainly the US overall, including nearly every state, has no intention of getting our house in order. The world has been financing everything from homes and education to food and fuel with scrip from several sources, each a powerful printing shop. Wampum was more seriously backed and to such we may return. Commodity barter in cigarettes or peanut butter will be a more practical currency than greenbacks or euros if the current course remains unchanged, and it will. The thirst for revenues is bottomless. The source for said revenues is not. So increase the tax rates, a ten percent-odd bump if you just let the Bush rates expire, or go to a 50% top rate or more with add-ons to seize from the Buffetts and Corzines of this world. You still will not get that revenue so the printing and borrowing continues. From New York cops to UK slums public money pours out. It just can’t go on. Therefore it won’t.

  • CBDenver

    Matthew McGuiness says “What has happened is that Wall Street (BLUE or RED – doesn’t matter) is effectively at war with democracy…”

    No, they are not at war with democracy. Democracy is when the majority votes itself money out of the public coffers. Wall Street is in perfect agreement with democracy because they facilitate the swelling of the public coffers by selling all those government bonds (and making a hefty profit for themselves as they do it).

    What Wall Street and the public sector are at war with is the idea of a limited constitutional republic that limits their ability to redistribute wealth.

  • forrest

    It seems that the democrat/media/union/legal alliance is imploding. This is a prime example of why; public employee unions must be outright banned, welfare reformed, rule of law followed, alternative media allowed to flourish, and democrat/leftist should not be elected, all rolled into one story.

  • Steve C.

    Securitization of home loans was not a driving force in the evolution of the US economy. FNMA, created in 1938, was chartered to to create a secondary market in federally insured (FHA, VA et al) home mortgages. This permitted banks constrained by their mortgage portfolios to sell mortgages for cash. Cash which could then be lent for more federally insured home mortgages.

    Securitization of federally insured mortgages was not possible until the law was changed in 1968. FNMA did not issue a mortgage backed security until 1981.

  • Kelso

    Brilliant article Mr. Mead and a timely one…

    I whole structure could be supported as long as their were economic engines to do so. While they still do exist, they are diminishing at a rapid rate.

    The whole crux is economic. We see it in Europe and we will see it in our “quasi-Europe” areas such as NYC, Chicago, LA – any urban area that is steadfastly addicted to tax revenues, cronyism and all things “government.”

    We are seeing a shredding of the old “FDR coalition.” Why? It just does not work in 2011. It did for a number of years but not today. We are too global, too transient and overall too open with communications. Look at Obamacare? Do you think Johnson (and yes Nixon was strongly thinking about it in 1972-1973) would have had this kind of negative reception if he had enacted such a far sweeping program in the 1960’s – my gosh no!

    Welcome to now – the future!

  • Foobarista

    Odd – I tried to share the link on Facebook, and I got an “abusive” flag. It looks like the free-speech (as long as it’s Party approved) lefties are at it again.

  • Bohemond

    What is needed is a ‘wall of separation’ between Finance and State, and for the same reason as that advanced by Jefferson with regard to religion: not only does the church corrupt the government, but the government corrupts the church.

    Certainly it’s the case that government and its lavishly-distributed money (extracted by force, not by willing transactions for value) attracts crooks and rent-seekers like flies to roadkill. There will ALWAYS be Tammanys and Conklings- the only way to minimize them is to minimize the festering swamp in which they thrive.

  • John

    Why should the cops, or anybody for that matter, obey the law when Mayor Bloomberg won’t even obey the law? And not just *any* law, laws that he decrees because he cares so much about the environment.

    A few years back, Bloomberg issued a decree that no vehicle in NYC was to idle for more than 60 seconds without moving, so he could save the world from “global warming”.

    So some reporters decided to follow his gargantuan SUV around one day to see if he followed his own law. The vehicle was recorded idling for hours on end (to keep the air conditioner running) awaiting his return from various, long meetings.

    And Bloomberg was limited to two terms by law. But he didn’t like that, so he just changed the law and is currently enjoying his third term.

    So why would a cop care about the law? Laws are for suckers, like taxes. Government employees are exempt from the legal and economic realities that apply to the tax slaves.

  • SC Mike

    Actually, there’s plenty of money, and there’s a potential for a lot more.

    A search for cheaper labor is not the main reason that manufacturing has left the US; a hostile regulatory environment and the withdrawal of access to resources plays just as big a role. The European chemical and pharmaceutical giants have hounded out of Europe by the Greens; those that set up shop in the US are hedging their bets by investing in Malaysia and Indonesia, as Dow has done. (Recent natural gas discoveries in the US may kick-start chemicals again unless the EPA finds a way to push state regulators aside and clamp down on that too.)

    Thanks to SarbOx, IPOs have been leaving the US for more reasonable regulatory treatment elsewhere, with London the big winner and Asia in second place. The Dodd/Frank monstrosity will further aggravate that sort of displacement. Why is New York City withering? Those with the necessary animal spirits have moved to the Emirates, Switzerland, London, and financial centers in East Asia to apply their instincts and knowledge.

    So what would happen if more of the cash we sent abroad stayed here in Vespucciland? There would be fewer Arabian princes partying in Soho for starters, and that would be good too.

  • Luke Lea

    @ “The securitization of home mortgages was one of the driving forces in the development of American capital markets after World War II;”

    Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the securitization of mortgages was something that started in the wake of the Savings and Loans crisis/scandal? Before their demise, these Main Street Savings and Loan banks kept a big part of these mortgages on their books — back when the American dream of a house in the suburbs and a full-time Mom who stayed at home with the kids was still an achievable reality for ordinary working families.

    P.S. Isn’t it time we stopped using “middle-class” to refer to ordinary American families in which both parents work full-time outside the home, most of them making their livings with their hands and their feet, even if “hands” often means “fingers” and “feet” means standing all day? Middle-class is just a euphamism for working-class, favored by those (the true middle-class) who think their is something demeaning about menial labor.

  • Luke Lea

    @ “Good relations with politicians help make money: ask the leadership of Goldman Sachs, which has provided much of the leadership and policy advice for administrations of both parties for some time.”

    Which is why NYT financial correspondent David Cay Johnson calls them members of “the donor class.” They bankroll both parties and set the political agenda. Plus they don’t pay their taxes, at least according to Johnston.

    There are only about 10,000 American families in the donor class altogether, with net worths starting around $25 million. That works out to 200 per state on average, including 15 or so in and around Chattanooga where I live. We read about them in the society pages all the time, most often in connection with the latest charity ball or fund raising drive for the local opera or art museum.

    We’ve heard about Occupy Wall Street. Maybe it’s time to Occupy Manhattan.

  • Andrew Allison

    @megapotamous, like many other commentators, appears to have forgotten that it’s been just two years since Papandreou (note the spelling)came to power and announced that the deficit run up by his predecessors (the conservatives now holding the country hostage) was three times what they said it was. It’s astonishing to me that this is not getting more play.

  • Joe Louderback

    Great stuff!! Just like the rest of it that I’ve read. Michael Barone’s assessment of your importance is spot on. Keep it up.

  • Andrew … do keep in mind that those “conservatives”, like our Republicans of the last decade, apparently ran up the deficits on their watch because they chose to play by the Progressives’ playbook and ignored the need to be fiscally responsible.

  • A lot of the Blue America paradigm was built upon our belief in a lie … the Biggest Lie of All:

    All you need to do is show up for work or go to school; we have experts who have the answers to your housing needs, your health care needs, your financial needs … no need to plan for your future or actively manage your career, since we can do a better job than you can; just trust us to solve those problems FOR you.

    And we bought into it … hook, line and sinker.

    The facade of that Lie is now disintegrating before our eyes, as the people you describe find that they have been left high and dry by the promises of these “experts” …

    … the promise to the middle-middle class that they can work the same job for a lifetime in the same place …

    … or the promise to the goo-goos, that they can turn WHATEVER they find “fulfilling” or “noble” into a viable means of support, even if they have to do it on a dime taken by force of law from another who might not see the value in whatever they are doing — or even if the problem they are trying to solve is a parts-per-billion probability instead of a clear-and-present issue …

    … or the assertions to the underclass/less-privileged that they CAN’T get ahead without “expert assistance”, leaving them with the impression that their best choice is to just scrape by on government-mandated “generosity” until the “experts” solve their problems FOR them through even more government intervention …

    … all to be fulfilled by leaving the hard work of managing their own socio-economic destiny — from contingency planning to continuous personal improvement to firing their management and finding a new employer when called for — to the “experts” of government/unions/employers; the same positions that the goo-goos aspire to and Blue Wall Street sees as their allies.

    This ENCOURAGED dependence upon our “betters” at higher and higher levels, flew in the face of the self-reliance, personal initiative and “neighborly” interdependence that is the hallmark of the American experience.

    Those who didn’t buy the Lie and instead kept control of their destiny, are the ones better off today … yet even some goo-goo’s and Blue Wall Streeters who kept that control and therefore are better off, still think that keeping that control isn’t for everyone, and that the Lie needs to be perpetuated (which is, of course, in their interest, since they aspire to be, or already are, some of those “experts” that are made “indispensable” by the Lie).

    The light at the end of this tunnel, though, is that more and more people that bought the Lie before, are seeing it now for the Lie it is. They are coming to the understanding that, while experts are good for advice, it is best to leave the decision-making to the 300 million problem-solvers who are closest to the problems … not to a few Best and Brightest in DC to make our choices FOR us on the basis of the socio-economic morality of that select few.

  • John Mainhart

    The solution will be incremental and slow while their is much suffering. Americans ,like many other people,across the world, lose their values when money and things flow into their coffers. Until we study the Costitution and take the values therein seriously we will not find our way out of this mess. God gives people the power to form governments that serve the people and the government must adhere to values like “no man is above the law and gov’t begins with the family unit and other higher Governments in the nation should only act when absolutely necessary.” Control of large groups of people with laws in exchange for things will never be the answer no matter how well meaning the elitist is. You cannot control large populations through power, only through persuasion.

  • Anthony

    “…means that the middle class, so far as it survives, depends largely on the revenue from the state. The cops, the teachers, the firefighters, the sanitation and transit workers: these are most of what remains of the backbone of what used to be the organized working class.” The above reads like Democratic Party emphasis since 1932 on federal/state programs to domestic affairs and economic dislocations as well as welcoming European refugees (now contentious minorities) and their descendants into voting fold – the glue underpinning blue model coalition.

    WRM, the blue model may have been an attempt to mask/hide class struggle in U.S. post World War II (its devolution reveals James Madison’s “factions” conveniently masquerading America’s actual pluralistic underbelly).

    Capitalism by its nature is destructive and your analysis speaks to the ameliorative affects of blue model governance post World War II up to Reagan election (1980). The blue model has shielded some Americans from impersonal processes of modern capitalism (though it did not arrest a large and spreading incapacity among the unskilled). Nevertheless, economic changes beginning by mid 1990s have revealed (to some) inadequacies of blue model soci0/economic reforms and have given voice to government minimmalist.

    Your analysis WRM is sound and you present a well thought out exposition (although, I would not exclude Republican Party from nexus between government and warfare/welfare state policy adoptions/enactments post World War II). Yet given the need for a post economic blue model, the question for me remains: can 21st century economics provide prosperity (middle class American life styles) to majority of its people?

  • Very sad… What’s happened to America?

  • Georgiaboy61

    John, re: “Why should the cops, or anybody for that matter, obey the law when Mayor Bloomberg won’t even obey the law? A few years back, Bloomberg issued a decree that no vehicle in NYC was to idle for more than 60 seconds without moving, so he could save the world from “global warming.”

    “So some reporters decided to follow his gargantuan SUV around one day to see if he followed his own law. The vehicle was recorded idling for hours on end (to keep the air conditioner running) awaiting his return from various, long meetings.”

    Of course Bloomberg’s limo was caught idling for hours! What’s the point of being a bigshot if you can’t ignore the very laws the great unwashed have to follow or else be fined, arrested or thrown in jail?

    The law must apply in the same manner to all, the rich and poor, the powerful and the weak alike – or it is a sham. If the law is applied unevenly or makes exceptions for some people based on status and power, eventually the public begins to see that the law isn’t impartial, and loses respect for it. Thereby, the legitimacy of the law is lessened, until one day its authority fails altogether.

    The truth hidden in plain sight is that the biggest breaker of laws in the United States is the government itself. Starting at the top with the lawless Obama, who flouts the law regularly and as he pleases, on down to Mayor Bloomberg, and finally to the cops on the beat whose disdain for the law is apparent.

    The American people are, by nature, a people devoted to the rule of law and standards of conduct – but even they wil soon wake up to the unpleasant fact that they are being played as suckers by their leaders. What then? What happens when Joe Sixpack figures out that he is the last one in the nation following the law, and decides to quit? Whatever it is, it won’t be pretty.

  • Another great example of why public employee unions should be made illegal like they used to be before the 1960s.

  • Good article with TWO CRITICAL ERRORS.

    First, White Unions are fighting FOR exams and formal civil service criteria, and Blacks/Hispanics plus the “goo-goos” are fighting FOR basically just promoting/hiring Blacks.

    This is nowhere more evident than the New Haven Firefighters lawsuit (they argue that as the highest scorers according to union contract, they should have been promoted even if all but one were White); and the US vs. FDNY suit over “too many Whites” getting promoted. Because Black guys don’t study hard, are not as literate, and frankly for the most part are not as smart (no, they aren’t — Black IQ average is only 85 in the US) as their White competitors. Just the way Whites are not competitive in the NBA (80% Black, compared to 12% of the population Black) and NFL (65% Black).

    The story of Unions is the attempt of upper class Whites to push them out and replace them with Blacks and Hispanics, in response to spoils feeding battles with Blacks and Hispanics. In this, Upper Class Whites and Blacks/Hispanics argue that civil service and formal exams “benefit” Whites due to “racism of written tests” or something. So the solution is to just hire mostly Blacks, no matter they’re unqualified.

    As for “police harassing minorities,” most minorities are innately criminal. Yes, that is ugly but so is much of human nature. It is innately criminal to drop a shopping cart on a (White) woman’s head (done by two Black boys in Harlem) in a multi-level shopping center. She’s brain dead on life support. What did they think was going to happen? About 95% of the crime in NYC is done by Black and Hispanic people. Whites are 35% of the population and commit only 5% (despite what you see on Law and Orderen). And yes Asians don’t even show up on crime stats.

    Like the NYC McDonald’s beating (two Black women slap a Black cashier in the face for holding up their fifty dollar bill to the light, one jumps over the counter, gets beaten by a metal rod used to clean the grease traps as the cashier is an ex-con just out recently for murder), or the rapes done by the NYC art circuit guy from Ghana (Black immigrant), crime has a Black or Hispanic face in NYC.

    When minorities complain, it is because they are criminal.

    That’s your big miss there. The Blue Social model fails White people who have to live near Blacks/Hispanics because the Civil Rights movement means enhanced, privileged positions for Blacks/Hispanics and White people in an eternal groveling abasement. Criminal activity cannot be stopped by the police or private people, lest Blacks or Hispanics get upset, riot, sue (and in the legal system, where White skin is defacto evidence of original sin, that’s a potent threat) and so on. Whites flee because Black and Hispanic people are dangerous to be around.

    Nobody wants a shopping cart dumped on them from a height, just for the “sin” of being born White. [The view of the “goo-goos” or basically, the lesser aristos.]

  • Toni

    “Blue, government-oriented Wall Street; the professional do-gooders and the progressive intellectual and foundation establishment; the unionized government workforce; and the beneficiaries of social programs: this is the blue coalition.”

    Coalition? It sounds to me like a racket.

    Down here in free-wheeling, entrepreneurial, right-to-work Texas, we wouldn’t like all those people trying to run our lives. Thinking they have a right to.

    An anecdote comes to mind. In the 1980s, a Forbes senior editor covered unions and the Mafia (which then had close ties). He asked some big-time organized crime expert why there was no Mafia in Texas. “Well,” replied the esteemed expert, “they have all those Texans down there.”

  • Kenny

    Ugh oh.

    Whiskey broke what is perhaps the greatest taboo in society by noting, ” …. for the most part [Blacks]are not as smart (no, they aren’t — Black IQ average is only 85 in the US) … ”

    This is something that, when not refuted by saying something like there’s no significant genetic component to group intelligence, is either totally ignore, actively censored, or shouted down by name calling.

    Be that as it may: On another subject Whiskey is unquestoionably right in saying that it is the whites who want civil service test results respected while it’s the liberals and minorities who push racial quotas.

    Private sector union — especially in the construction industry– is another story. There, connections & family relations count a lot.

  • Chester White

    Walter:

    Did you not vote for Obama? And what fraction of your votes has gone to Democrats of late?

  • Lavaux

    Building and holding a coalition of factions together represents just one aspect of today’s political calculus. Financing political promises represents another (Uncle Sugar is broke). Ideology yet another – perhaps the most important one.

    There’s not enough money in the world to finance all of the outstanding Blue Society promises. Some of the Blue Crew’s factions are going to get the shaft, starting with the urban poor because they can’t make campaign contributions or reliably find the ballot box. Recent rumblings from the Congressional Black Caucasians indicates that the schism may already be underway.

    If 2012 delivers the Blue Crew another shellacking, and if the GOP delivers on their promises to scale back government, then more Blue Crew factions will peel off. At this point, ideology will assume prominence because Democrats will have to rely on it to resuscitate their party.

    What ideology will the Democrats fashion? They can’t go too far left because OWS is squatting in that space, and no one can stand the stench. Some amalgam of socialist populism coupled with entitlement nostalgia is the best bet, although I doubt this will sell to a recovered and booming America.

    If the Dems are clever, they’ll retrench just right of center and adopt a platform of transparent, efficient and limited government dedicated to dismantling D.C. corruption, breaking up the Bigs and ending their influence, entitlement reform, fiscal prudence and full private sector employment. “Renewing the American Dream” could become the theme of this ideology, and it would sell well, just as it always has.

  • Jerome

    “no one but the state can educate their kids”.

    Where on Earth did you get that idea? That’s like saying no one but the state can provide them with birdcages. Public education is a lot like public transportation; better than nothing, but nowhere near as good as the private kind.

  • You are wrong on one point. Civil Service exams help the white working class as they score consistently better than immigrants and minorities. It is the goo-gooos that oppose civil service exams. Fire Departments and Police Departments used to rely on exams to select members. Sure, there were generations of firefighters and police officers, but each generation had to pass the exams.

    The goo-goos are not good government types in the area of affirmative action. They oppose objective measurements of employability as that by its very nature discriminates against immigrants and minorities.

  • Anne Ominous

    Although it may be unintentional, I will give the author credit for making his bias known from the very beginning:

    “… what we like to think of as the country’s bluest, most European and most enlightened city.”

    Would is surprise you, Mr. Mead, to learn that the majority of Americans do not share that view? That they think New York politics is the epitome of idiotic far-Leftism, and DON’T want to live there? (I am neither conservative or Republican, by the way… and those are not the same things, if they ever were.)

    Further, the rest of us want America to be like America, not like Europe! We consider Europe overall to be decadent rather than “enlightened”. You are entitled to your own opinion of course, but I have to wonder: if you so idolize Europe, why aren’t you living there?

    Are you honestly blind to the absolute mess the Democrats have made of everything over the last few years?

    Not that the Republicans get a pass. BOTH major parties keep telling us “Give US the power, and we will fix everything!” Yet each party HAS HAD controlling power, and they have both just continued to mess things up even more.

    It is time for a real change. And I don’t just mean swapping spit with the Republicans, either. More of the same is just going to continue getting us more of the same.

    The ONLY one who promises real change is Ron Paul. And he is the only one who has been solidly consistent. All the others, of both parties, either promise more of the same, or have adopted new speaking points based on the way they smell the political wind blowing. Which makes the former useless to us, and the latter hypocrites who are not worth our time.

    And by the way, you who have been blaming Capitalism for our troubles: you don’t even know what it is. You have never seen real Capitalism in your lifetime. Either pick up Adam Smith or a history book and learn what you are talking about, or give it a rest.

  • Glen

    Congratulations to Professor Mead on another tour de force analysis of our political economy!

    However, one key constituency is missing: you – and the professoriate of which you are a member. The Academy is the real tie that binds together the “well-socialized, well-credentialed and well-intentioned upper middle class” goo-goos, professional journalists, non-profit policy mavens and public interest lawyers with the bankers, financiers, foundation executives and business leaders. The professoriate is the true source of the ideas and causes (which underly the “rapidly evolving notions of correct behavior”) that these groups “make sure the rest of us behave in accordance with.” And The Academy is at the core of next rapidly inflating public/private debt bubble.

  • g50

    Don’t forget, though, that despite what keeps us Democrats apart, the Republicans always seem to bring us back together. While from one angle Republicans tend to appear confident and optimistic, from another angle that appears overly cocky, dickish and cruel. Add in Republicans’ dicey politics of women, gays & minorities, the sense of anti-scientific provincialism, a basis in the southern United States that alienates northerners & midwesterners, and finally the Republicans often insensitive but clear bias toward the rich, and it’s mostly workable to get the blue family back together.

    FWIW, on that last point about GOP bias toward the wealthy, there’s nothing wrong with wealth or success and to become rich mostly reflects work and savvy, but obviously most people can’t really accomplish that, and underperformers and the merely adequate are people too, who don’t need their faces rubbed in their own inability to become rich. Republican prickishness about the economy (and the social issues as mentioned above) is a huge turn-off for a lot people.

  • Hollywood Hick

    Cops fixing tickets? Do an audit of the Handicapped flags that go out to city employees and friends of city employees.

  • Sparky222

    “Money and power” This is what a pure democracy looks like, mob rule, mobs of looters and parasites ripping chunks off the of the producers till the corpse is all eaten (like it is now) and then they will start eating each other. It is so sad we have to watch the end result of socialism once again and even sadder that it is here in the first bastion of individual freedom in the world.

  • JohnR22

    The european socialist model is clearly in the process of failing. It’s only human nature that greedy and uneducated voters will vote themselves goodies and that greedy and unprincipled politicians will abet them. It’s tantamount to eating your seed corn; at some point you suck so much capital out of the private sector that you reach a tipping point. Sadly, once the voters are hooked on entitlements there’s no turning back….until you have a total fiscal collapse with riots in the streets.

    How ironic that the Dems “big idea” is to leapfrog us into the european socialist model…even as our national debt skyrockets. And the Repubs? Their only offer is austerity and rationing of entitlements which voters will never accept either.

  • Irish Mike

    Reminds me of the old story that in Washington (or any city or state dominated by the Blue Coalition, for that matter), you are either at the table (Blue Wall St., Goo-Goos, Unions and Community Activists) or you’re on the menu (taxpayers).

  • john werneken

    My takeway is as it has beensince I changed my mind a generation ago: never vote for a Democrat, no matter what, not ever. Not again.

  • “…no one but the state can educate their kids or provide basic safety from crime on the streets…”

    Funny!

    You WERE kidding, right?

    Seems to ME that the Catholics and others (not to mention HOME schoolers!) have been lapping The State for DECADES now as regards education.

    As for “safety”, well… First there’s the fact that cops have no duty to protect anyone but THEMSELVES! Add to this that the streets in cities in states with “shall-issue” laws are an order of magnitude safer – and “police” or “the state” have NOTHING to do with it!

    In sum, these are but two of the most vile lies promulgated by The Enemy!

  • Tom Kinney

    Great piece of writing: “their first encounter with the rough edges of the urban male working class: dewy cheeked and candy bottomed political studies majors at their first Teamster rally.”

    Nicely rendered.

    Unions have a vitally important historical background, matched only by an equally dismal future. They’ve never managed to leave their violent, confrontative origins behind them. When you see Trumpka shaking his fist against imagined enemies, greeted by equally overwrought audiences, he bears resemblance to totalitarians like Chavez. And Trumpka is not a union anomaly; he’s symptomatic of union leaders.

    When individuals or organizations who inhabit the modern world fail to evolve with the times, they are left behind. Unions have failed utterly in evolving their tactics. Their in-your-face approach to every crisis results in self-destructive optics that increasingly turn the American public off. The public who pay for but get no benefits from their hysteria.

    Today’s vote in Ohio may well go in labor’s favor, but they can’t win in the long run. Unfunded pension liabilities are tearing like tornadoes through our interior economy state by state as the day of their reckoning comes ever closer. A recent report stated that the total debt of the 50 states is over $4 trillion, twice the national debt of Italy, the eight biggest economy in the world. And these debts come mostly from unfunded pension liabilities, a frequent subject here.

    I doubt whether that $4 trillion, being part of our internal economy, is even counted in our national debt which has just surpassed an unprecedented $15 trillion.

    For not being a bigger scandal than it is, we can thank a monopolizing leftstream press allergic to reporting inconvenient facts that reflect poorly on its agenda.

    But those facts won’t stay buried long. Illinois is on the verge of implosion and California isn’t far behind, yet even further in debt, with nearly a quarter of the four trillion.

    And as that day of reckoning approaches, the once powerful liberal media has begun to implode in a flurry of dissonance that becomes ever more incoherent and irrelevant to the real problems at hand.

  • elisa

    g50 – being easily manipulated to believe evil things of ‘the other guy’ is nothing to brag about. Greed and fear – the twin whips of democratic party leadership.

  • g50

    Both parties use fear of course. Regardless, I have little in common with the Southern racists, homophobes, anti-intellectuals, etc., who are so prominent in Republican politics. It’s perfectly rational to vote against these people who would represent me. Many people, myself included, would be happy to vote for the GOP if they could shape up, but they cannot seem to control themselves.

    That all is to say, far from bragging about Democratic demagoguery, that Republicans routinely undermine themselves. Sometimes they are disciplined about their message and image – Bush in 2000, great example. Usually, they are not, though. Thus Democrats can count on that to unify their own ranks.

  • JohnLeeHooker

    the “demonstrations” by public employee union members is what happens WHEN YOU UNIONIZE CIVILITY

  • Tom Kinney

    Have to pick a bone with Mead’s contention that liberal entitlement programs reflect a “well-intenioned” effort.

    That was once true, in liberalism’s infancy when their entitlement regimen was new and exciting. It’s been a long time since it’s been either of those.

    Today’s liberals have reversed roles with conservatives. The latter are the radicals demanding change, while the former have been status quo reactionaries, trying to duck tape together frayed remnants of the ancien regime.

    The excitement is long gone, replaced by cynicism and a growing despair. Today’s liberal “intentions” are but cynical ploys to stave off further, and even to them, an inevitable crumbling of its power base, nothing more.

  • Denise Barber

    G5O obviously hates Southerners, and is very racist He’s also dead wrong about everything. The Unravelling on the streets of this Wrecked Nation bears evidence of the disastrous WRONG-ness, every single day.

  • Ozyripus

    Matthew McGuiness said: “The use of dated, irrelevant terms like “goo-goos” is facile and weakens the analysis.”

    I disagree very strongly. “Goo-goos” is a perfect, cultural-descriptive term from, what?, thirty or forty years ago, for the Liberals who run our universities and social projects. “Do Gooders” lacks the disdain deserved by the feckless, highly-self regarding goo-goos who allot themselves huge credits for upgrading the masses, while sending the bill to others.

  • David Hadley

    Another thought provoking article, I don’t agree with all of it but much to think about.

    Mead is omitting a fourth pillar of this coalition – the out-migration of opposing forces. The cost and regulation of the blue coalition drives business – and private sector supporting voters – out of these jurisdictions. This, of course, leaves the cities even bluer.

    California is now experiencing this on a state-wide level. The voters who are needed to reverse the state’s decline are in too many cases leaving the state.

  • George

    Our modern day populist democracy is at the root of all this evil. We need to return to the limited, constitutionalist republic the founders envisioned and framed. Where is the leader that will take us there? Where is the responsible group that will provide the reasoned counterpoint to the OWS and Tea Party fringes?

    Thank you for this – you and modern day intellectuals and thinkers such as yourself are the reason I maintain hope.

  • Joe Lammers

    I’ve read several of Walter Russell Mead’s articles on this subject, and he seems to have a good handle on what is actually going on with the “Blue” model. If his analysis is correct (and I think it is) then eventually, and probably pretty soon, the Democratic coalitions running many of our large cities will collapse. How this turns out is anyone’s guess, but it will probably get quite ugly.

  • EscondidoSurfer

    Very insightful article. I will quibble with this: Jerry Brown’s pathetic stab at good government pension policies was too little, too late. He had already given away the store. His clear goal is to gain 2/3 majority rule and then to fully fund blue CA in the same way that blue HI is funded: by means of even heavier taxation.

  • Americans are enamored of Democracy thanks to the gov’t sshools. Few, if any, understand the concept of limited govt’ and individual liberty much less how capitalism would work if the go’vt got out of the way.

    I agree with this:
    The ONLY one who promises real change is Ron Paul. And he is the only one who has been solidly consistent. All the others, of both parties, either promise more of the same, or have adopted new speaking points based on the way they smell the political wind blowing. Which makes the former useless to us, and the latter hypocrites who are not worth our time.

    And by the way, you who have been blaming Capitalism for our troubles: you don’t even know what it is. You have never seen real Capitalism in your lifetime. Either pick up Adam Smith or a history book and learn what you are talking about, or give it a rest.

  • Claire Solt PhD

    Democrats seek to serve too any masters and screw most anybody in the process. Waiting for every bureaucrat in the country to get his piece of my disbility claim landed me in a crumby trailor ark with poor people. My neighbor told me that they do not see the social programs as something for them but as something done to them. I heard but did not understand that. She taught me as I drove her around to negotiate with the government.

    High paid bureaucratic jobs for a few and tiny stipends for the clients breeds noxious antagonism in a minority community. Those who get jobs through political pull lord it over the less fortunate in very abusive and demeaning ways. Most believe that the cops are complicit in the plague of drugs that afflicts every family. The demands of community limit their horizons and cut then off from America. Everyone is trained to think that the ghetto is the truth about America. Corruption is normal and crime a given.

    I watched as the black majority took control of this 60% black city Theyve succeeded remarkably making it safer and more prosperous. Liberals had left commercial properties boarded up since riots in the late sixties.
    But the blacks got themselves a retired police chief from Cincinatti and he worked hard to build trust. Meanwhile, beautifully educated young leaders set out to create a Renaissance in commerce. Now business is thriving and everybody is wearing new clothes.

    The fundamental fallacy is that the self-annointed elites who seek to dominate are not the best and brightest, at all. I like to cite Hillary as an example. Though many pretend that she is the smartest woman in the world, her class at Wellesley had 400 others just as smart who are not in government. We have the best educated electorate ever, and the very best are never found in government. Gvernment attracts and breeds mediocrity and the more arrogant they get, the less willing we citizens are to tolerate their pretensions.

  • Four evil genies need to be popped back into their bottles. The first evil genie granted government’s wish that the commerce clause could morph from a regulatory scheme between or among states to one that regulated commerce, itself. The second evil genie granted government’s wish that the general welfare clause could be a nebulous catch all with no limiting constraints. The third evil genie granted government’s wish that money could be whatever they said it was. The fourth evil genie granted government’s wish to change the old differentiatinfpg definitions between wages, salaries, commisssions on the one hand and income on the other hand. Now, as we are too familiar with, the definition of income is whatever comes in.

  • Luke Lea

    @ glen – “one key constituency is missing: you – and the professoriate of which you are a member. The Academy is the real tie that binds together the “well-socialized, well-credentialed and well-intentioned upper middle class” goo-goos, professional journalists, non-profit policy mavens and public interest lawyers with the bankers, financiers, foundation executives and business leaders. The professoriate is the true source of the ideas and causes (which underly the “rapidly evolving notions of correct behavior”) that these groups “make sure the rest of us behave in accordance with.” And The Academy is at the core of next rapidly inflating public/private debt bubble.”

    I’ll second that.

    re: “dewy cheeked and candy bottomed political studies majors”

    Is Mead claiming street cred in general, or just in his Queens neighborhood? 😉

  • David Davenport

    What ideology will the Democrats fashion? They can’t go too far left because OWS is squatting in that space, and no one can stand the stench. Some amalgam of socialist populism coupled with entitlement nostalgia is the best bet, although I doubt this will sell to a recovered and booming America.

    The Dem’s tactic will be to try to keep America’s borders wide open, so as to overwhelm legitimate Americans with poor 3td World clients who will always vote Democrat.

    Prof. Mead seems to be a member of the Wide Open Borders clerisy.

  • The Your Majesty”Police Officer NYPD,I think Police in United State of America,is Number One in the World,thank you.

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