Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In the long run we are all dead.

"Many people have grown tired of waiting for the benefits of a vastly interconnected world to trickle down. As the world whizzes by them, their wages remain flat and jobs become scarcer. Then it becomes convenient to blame their straits on the immigrant speaking a strange tongue and taking their employment opportunities."

"These people are not studying demographic charts and complex economic models to understand why their country needs immigrants in the long run, nor are they lying awake at night fretting over a Moody's [credit] downgrade. The more sophisticated rhetoric they hear about the benefits to come — and the fewer benefits they actually see — the more distrustful they become. As John Maynard Keynes said, '"In the long run we are all dead.'"  Stratfor analysis, 6/28/16

You thought this was referring to Donald Trump supporters, didn't you? You were wrong.  This was what the "experts" said as they tried to explain why the UK voted to exit the European Union.  It would be an easy mistake to make as there is a strong correlation with what's happening in the US this election season.

The status quo is difficult to sell today.  The "interconnected world" is not trickling down for many people, particularly middle-aged white guys....and young people who are concerned about their future (hello Bernie Sanders supporters).  

Trade agreements between first-world countries (who want to buy cheap stuff) and poor countries (who have willing, cheap labor) are increasingly difficult to sell to Americans, and apparently to Brits, too, as by nature trade agreements are "equalizers".  The people in poor countries see their incomes rise, while the people in wealthy countries see their incomes fall (or at least become stagnant) until eventually an equilibrium is reached.  In the rich countries (the UK, the US, etc) a select few (the 1%) do very well, while everyone else is left in the dust wondering what happened to the long term benefits they were promised.  

The 60-year-old Trump supporters today were the ones who bought into that when they were 40-somethings, and they're still waiting.  The 20-something Sanders supporters today look at their parents and wonder if that will be their fate, too.

The status quo, ironically now represented by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, is being squeezed from both sides.  They might splinter the vote enough for Clinton to be elected President, but then IMO she's going to have a tough time bringing these two different demographics together to govern effectively.

I'm thinking dysfunction might be here to stay.  "Long term plans" might need to be re-defined to mean anything not to exceed 90 days in the future.  If you disagree, please 'splain yourself.  I hope you're right.

 Personally, I'm no longer buying green bananas.  *wink*



  1. Personally, I think the more visible, effective changes will happen with the next round of elections for representatives. People are getting - as a friend of mine used to say - pissed offer and pissed offer (excuse the French)...politicians better watch out.

    1. I've been waiting for changes in Congress for years now...I'm growing impatient. Problem is, people agree Congress is corrupt and they all need to be put out to pasture, EXCEPT their guy, and he's just peachy good. Maybe there are a few good ones, but I'm willing to throw a couple of babies out with the bath water if it will flush out the rest of them.

  2. The Democrats shot themselves in the foot by focusing on Healthcare for everyone and generally trying to govern effectively, and while they were doing so they failed to notice the gerrymandering the Republicans were up to and now there are extremist Republicans in districts that would vote for Satan rather than a moderate or liberal who might consider compromising or reaching across the isle.

    I stopped buying green bananas a long time ago.

    1. I'm hopeful we're seeing the end, or at least the extreme weakening of both our political parties. People both left and right are understanding that our parties do NOT work for us, but for themselves and their special interest bosses. Bernie Sanders was right: we need a politicl revolution.

  3. The problem is neither political party (or fringe parties like the Libertarians) can change the fundamental forces shaping the world. the population is getting bigger (and older), resources (like fossil fuels) are going to get scarcer, at the same time you have globalization and automation and so forth that eliminate the good-paying blue-collar jobs. "Issues" like immigration are just a smokescreen.