The defeat of Roy Moore in Tuesday's special election in Alabama, to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, was a welcome development.  But Democrats should not rush to congratulate themselves and draw too many unwarranted conclusions about the implications for the upcoming midterm elections.  

Rarely has a major party put up a Senate candidate who was so widely renounced by top party elected officials.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear that he was prepared to find a legal remedy to block Moore from taking his seat if elected. President Donald Trump backed Moore's opponent in the Republican primaries (while Steven Bannon enthusiastically backed Moore) and only came in with a lukewarm endorsement in the final weeks, based more on a pragmatic consideration about the narrow Republican majority in the Senate than any enthusiasm for Moore as a future GOP Senate stalwart.

One takeaway from the Moore loss is that Republicans in Congress will rush even faster to pass an ill-conceived tax reform bill–before the new Democratic Senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, can be sworn in.  A Moore demand for a recount could stall that swearing in by a matter of days or weeks, but in any case, it is now more likely that a strictly partisan tax bill will land on President Trump's desk before the end of the year.

Another takeaway from the narrowing of the GOP Senate majority is that perhaps, after years of intensifying partisan gridlock, it may become clear that members of the GOP and Democratic Party are going to have to begin working together on bipartisan legislation.  That kind of return to comity and bipartisanship would be a welcome development for the nation.  Whether it was Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank bill, or the GOP efforts at ACA repeal, tax and immigration reform, it is usually the case that legislation passed by a strictly party-line vote is bad legislation.  

For one brief moment earlier this year, it appeared that President Trump understood that simple fact and cut his deal with "Chuck and Nancy," to the consternation of the Republican Establishment.

The United States is not a parliamentary system.  We are a democratic republic. President George Washington, in his seminal Farewell Address, not only warned about the dangers of "passionate attachments" in foreign policy.  He warned equally about the divisiveness of factions, regionalism and partisanship.  Some times core principles ring true through the decades and centuries.

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  1. Lars says:

    From the exit polls, there are some valid similarities in the result in AL and recently in VA. It appears that the ghost of Lysistrata has descended upon the GOP. I suspect politics will not quite be the same for awhile. No matter what, the GOP would lose yesterday, but they dodged a bigger bullet had Moore won. He would have been the crown jewel in every ad against GOP candidates next year.
    The other take away is that the pendulum still swings.

  2. Stumpy part 2 says:

    Symptomatic of the aging process is surely the ability to associate distant past events with current, and in this case it was the image of Gary Hart and Donna Rice in the infamous photo that torpedoed Hart’s career soon thereafter.
    Not to rehash the history, but here’s a good quote that applies well to various similar scenarios of today’s players:

    There was considerable contradiction in the Hart account, and beyond that, the facts floated on a sea of innuendo. And in politics, it is the shadow as much as the substance that shapes the image of events.

    Johnston, David; King, Wayne; Nordheimer, Jon (May 9, 1987). “Courting Danger: The Fall Of Gary Hart”. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/09/us/courting-danger-the-fall-of-gary-hart.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
    PS I have found the “Post” button greyed out in my usual browser, so if I have been somehow prevented from posting by the blog’s ownership, please confirm and I will cease with apologies.

  3. A.Pols says:

    I sometimes think it would be better if we were a parliamentary system or that the states’ allotments of senators were determined either by strict proportionality of population or some other setup more equitable so that Wyoming with 650K people wouldn’t have the same number of senators as California with ~~40M.
    The current setup introduces a lot of skew.

  4. scott s. says:

    In some respects Trump reminds me of Pres Taylor. Taylor was a “nominal Whig” outsider who wanted to try a “third-way”. He managed to alienate most of his party stalwarts, and toyed with the idea of forming his own party. His early departure resulted in the elevation of a loyal party-man (Fillmore), who attempted to appease the base through the appointment power, but ultimately went for the grand compromise. The result was blowing up his party. Fillmore would later try to resurrect the old Whigs by co-opting the Know-Nothing nativist movement into an “American Party” but it was too late by 56 for that.

  5. doug says:

    Ah yes, Their boat was named “Monkey Business.” Who can forget!

  6. turcopolier says:

    A. Pols
    Ah, you want New York, California, Texas and Florida to rule us. In other words you think that a federal republic is a bad idea. I think the Framers were very wise. In fact i would like to see repeal of the Amendment that caused US Senators to be popularly elected. pl

  7. turcopolier says:

    I do not think the new tax law is “ill conceived,” but I am a believer in supply side economics. I will pay more tax under this law. pl

  8. Annem says:

    In a critical scene from the Egyptian TV series about Hassan al Banna and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, an aging retired judge who in his youth had been enamored briefly with the Brothers, tells a young prosecutor of his long ago experiences, saying what he learned from his experience with the MB. The mix of religion and politics, he states, corrupts both.
    While many Evangelicals used mental gymnastics to justify the unjustifiable of supporting Moore, the more thoughtful and religiously conscious among them were pained to see that politics was indeed corrupting a religious movement by discrediting Evangelical beliefs and compromising moral principles. I believe that in the weeks and months to come, the Christianists may reflect deeply on the cost of being an uncritical wing of the Republican Party rather than a moral conscience within it.

  9. ked says:

    There are some preliminary conclusions that may be drawn.
    – The train wreck that is Bannonist populism inside the GOP can go a long way to further blowing up both the party & populism. In a pure Red State (like ‘Bama) with lousy adult supervision at party leadership level these things can easily happen. I think Moore got the nomination on a 12-15% turnout. A loud, extremist minority is no way to select winners for the general election.
    – Trump’s final stage endorsement was not lukewarm – there’s nothing lukewarm about fireman Trump (I’ve spoken w/ friends who attended the Pensacola rally). Classic Trump… & sure it’s all about him – that’s how he expresses everything. His NY Greatness is now a three time loser in AL: Sessions > Strange > Moore. He can do the same for any state in-play – he can’t help himself (or anyone else, evidently)? As to national party leaders, Southerners have never been too big on outside agitators, regardless of politics.
    – Is it even possible that Corker, Snow, McCain &/or Flake might-could (Southern colloquialism) hold off the tax bill until Jones is seated? A stick in the eye to Trump & Bannon in the name of bi-partisanship (& notching down their power a bit). I wouldn’t hold my breath on an emerging kumbaya movement – too much $$$ & power in the status quo, along w/ egotistical billionaires wanting to play the game – their way.
    – Character matters. Let’s not overlook the impact of the sex-abuse & harassment scandal that has swept across the political landscape. That’s not a minor issue to old-timey conservatives (note all the write-in votes that would’ve been for a tolerable conservative in a one-party state).
    – There was real discomfort with Moore on his view of the role of Christianity in our legal system. Even in Very Protestant Alabama. He had been twice removed from the state supreme court for putting faith above his civic duty. When citizens of AL fear faith-based extremism poisoning functional governance, well, you’ve got to be pretty far off the deep end. On top of all that, Jones is actually a moderate, well-adjusted human being and came across that way… even as a Democrat.
    Perhaps not a perfect storm, but a real storm and as might return in similar climes. I fully concur one must be very careful generalizing from single cases. One thing that didn’t change in this election is that like real estate, politics is local. However, windspeed does appear to be on the uptick.

  10. Laura says:

    Tucopolier — I don’t think the Senate is the problem. The problem is the House…that is where the representative per constituents equation is way off. We probably need to increase the number in the House in order for our representatives to fulfill the goals of the Founders vis a vis adequate representation.

  11. turcopolier says:

    how many thousand reps would you like to have? pl

  12. Laura says:

    Turcopolier —
    Well…435 is an arbitrary number to begin with and was simply “chosen” and passed by Congress in the 20s, I believe. Up to that point, the number of reps had increased based upon the census (which is why we have a census, I think). The Founders wanted government closer to the voters and probably envisioned something like 50,000/1. Obviously, they did not envision a population of 300 million Americans.
    Currently each Rep. “represents” an average of 700,000. Could we not aim for 200,000? Yes, we might have to re-arrange the Capitol a bit — but why would let a building decide how representative our Representatives should be? One of the major problems currently is people feeling estranged from their federal government — I don’t see how it could hurt to increase the number of Representatives. I imagine that it might also help with our gerrymandering proclivities–at least for a while.

  13. VietnamVet says:

    Donald Trump’s foundation of 33% Fundamentalists won’t win elections even in Alabama. He won the electoral vote because mid-America was tossed in the dumpster bin. Democrats have the same problem except they are doing their best to alienate their 33%, Progressives. A party that defends and serves the middle class would break the gridlock. Overthrow of the rulings that corporations are persons and that money is free speech is required. This could be done peaceful through elections. If not, America has had violent revolts before.

  14. J says:

    Colonel, Laura,
    I don’t think that the numbers is the problem, I think that the way they think is the problem. Their thinking processes are skewed, instead of putting the Republic first, they put their political party first on their flag poles, then their close second is their $$$ donors, and the state and citizens who elected them are further down their flag poles and most times left out in the cold.
    For Representatives and Senators to not put their state and citizens who elected them first, in my book equals a betrayal of trust on their parts.
    Town square stocks with rotten eggs and rotten fruits for those politicians who don’t put their states and home folks first.

  15. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Your point is well taken, Colonel, for it also points to the imposibility of representative democracy on the national level for China [1.4 billion],India[1.33 billion] and other, large populations as the USA, Indonesia et al – without an extremly large number of elected, vs an extermely large number being represented by a mangable size elected mebers

  16. outthere says:

    I will not consider the tax bills’ conception.
    But it’s process was the worst in USA history.
    No time was allowed for proper analysis by CBO.
    This was a deliberate decision by GOP leadership, they do not want the people to know. Additions were slipped into the bills at the last minute, and no hearings were held on these revisions.
    CBO did conclude
    “In an estimate released Monday that said the bill would add $1.456 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.”
    As for supply side economics, the author of that theory (David Stockman) said this bill was “of the lobby, by the PAC’s, for the money.”
    I am surprised that your taxes will increase and wonder what analysis led you to that conclusion. Please share your analysis.

  17. outthere says:

    Stockman said:
    “I think the bill introduced late last week is the biggest con job in years.”
    details here:

  18. Fred says:

    A fine sentiment but the Democratic Party leadership will take away from this that allegations of sexual impropriety regardless of age or veracity have a major impact especially if made immediately preceding an election. We can be certain that there will be virtually no follow up on the allegations against members of the House who were forced to resign, including icon John Conyers (I wonder who covered up his actions and for how many years.). Harvey Weinstein will be erased from cultural memory faster than Stalin erased Nikolai Yezhov. (The Harvey minted millionaires will keep all that money, fame and influence, however.) As Lars points out the Sex Stassi will be out with or for vengance (take your pick). This will be especially true on college campuses where the left has mostly managed to create a seperate non-judicial process that can destroy reputations and future employability. #MeToo should be recast as #I’m a victim too and you know who did it, now get out and vote; because there’s a War on Women.

  19. TV says:

    Take a look at the last 60 years of US history.
    “Bipartisanship” and “compromise” have consistently moved the country further and further left.
    Inside-the-beltway denizens (“swamp creatures”) are there for self aggrandizement and self-enrichment.
    Bipartisan compromise only greases that wheel by growing the government and buying votes – the march to the left toward becoming a really BIG Belgium.

  20. J says:

    FISC Assurances on Spying Leave Too Many Questions Unanswered | Electronic Frontier Foundation

  21. Jose says:

    For one brief moment earlier this year, it appeared that President Trump understood that simple fact and cut his deal with “Chuck and Nancy,” to the consternation of the Republican Establishment.
    It’s on Chuck and Nancy to return the favor and surrender to Trump on an issue.
    Oh wait, you only want bipartisanship when Dems win.

  22. Bill H says:

    Thank you, sir. When I read the post I was counting you to express this more eloquently than I could ever do, and you did not let me down. I particularly admire the thought about the popular election of Senators.

  23. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    I would be really curious to see whether partisan fault lines could and will be overcome.
    Based on european experience I find it highly unlikely.

  24. ISL says:

    Precisely. Getting to speak to your representative isnt hard. Getting them to listen should not require also writing a fat campaign check. Adding more doesnt address that.
    If there were two thousand, there would be four times the number of hands out asking for money four times as desperately. Since the current budget is 6 billion, this means the the corporate payoff (cost benefit) would have to go up.
    I would add jail after the rotten eggs.

  25. The electoral “Skew” you describe is needed when the political unit is not homogeneous. In the UK it’s partly, if clumsily, supplied by giving the smaller countries within the UK at least a nominal form of autonomy. If it’s in English interests to keep the UK as a unit then the smaller countries within the unit have to be protected in some way from the dictatorship of the largest country. Otherwise the integrity of the whole is compromised.
    This will become more of a consideration in the UK as the various ethnic minorities in the UK become larger and more distinct.
    Similar considerations apply in the US. They were in the minds of those in the lesser States who consented to the Union. It’s far easier to give consent than to withdraw it but were the “skew” to be removed then those States with significantly smaller populations would be under the dictatorship of the majority, and if that were pushed too far would be more likely to withdraw consent.
    In short, in both countries “skew” is not a regrettable accident but a prerequisite for stability.
    It is in any case not a good time to disturb the current settlement in either country. There are more urgent problems. Here’s ZH – the comments are marginally less foul-mouthed than usual but I’d keep clear if I were you – setting it out:-
    Veiled doom warnings from the Bank of England (& Morgan Stanley) on the financial position in England. Neither sees the “print” key as a solution. As has been discussed several times on the Colonel’s site, that print key can do a little more when it’s the reserve currency in question but no one in this field I talk to regards the American financial position as that sound either. Which is more important, re-arranging the furniture or keeping it safe from the bailiffs?

  26. Harper says:

    The new tax law, which is now likely to pass both Houses next week and be signed into law before Christmas, presumes that lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, who get the lion’s share of the cuts, will result in a flow of investment into the real economy, creating jobs, boosting GDP and offsetting the revenue losses. This, IMHO, is not likely, unless other measures are introduced to direct investment in those productive areas. Investment tax credits and other measures have worked in the past to create incentives for investment that boosts the national wealth and creates jobs. Recent history indicates that corporations are plowing money into stock repurchases and dividend payments, rather than any productive investment. And there are still no effective enforcement measures to prevent corporate and wealthy cash from migrating to even bigger tax havens offshore. The recent Panama Papers and Paradise Papers show that this trend is accelerating.
    The picture, however, will remain incomplete until the Trump Administration presents its infrastructure investment plan early next year. This was a major campaign issue for Trump, and the delays in the ACA repeal, the tax bill and other factors delayed any Trump action on his proposed $1 trillion infrastructure investment. In that legislation, some of the measures I am suggesting could be incorporated, along with the establishment of some kind of Federal infrastructure bank or bonding authority.
    It is investment in quality infrastructure that is main vehicle for genuinely boosting the real economy, creating meaningful jobs and increasing productivity on a long-term and secure basis. The last time the U.S. established a mechanism for long-term infrastructure investment was when Dwight Eisenhower was President and he pushed through the National Defense Highway Act. Kennedy used investment tax credits to finance some further capital investments in infrastructure, but that tradition largely died with the assassination of Kennedy and the end of capital budgeting by Congress in the early 1970s.
    Most legislation when initially written and passed into law is flawed, and I hope that subsequent legislative action can correct the initial flaws and improve the tax reform that is vitally needed but falls short of what the country needs for a real boost.

  27. outthere says:

    Thinking about your statement that you will pay more taxes, I read that
    “Based on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the Senate version, the reconciled scheme reduces taxes on people earning more than $75,000 in both the immediate and the long term”.
    Do you a a veteran receive both retirement pay and VA compensation? Perhaps this is the reason you will pay more taxes?
    With the 2010 Pay-As-You-Go requirement, the drop in revenue will automatically result in drops in other programs, including Medicare (-$25bn), a program allowing veterans to receive both retirement pay and VA compensation (-$7.5 bn), Farm Security and Rural Investment Programs (-$3.8 billion), National Flood Insurance (-$1.5bn), Unemployment Insurance (-$800m) and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (-$630m).

  28. turcopolier says:

    I don’t think you like me very much. I make more than 75k/year. How about you? Still got the big sailboat? I never got past the 40 ft. sloop level of sailing. Alas, long gone now. I was thinking of the loss of the Va. Commonwealth income tax deduction, but you may be right, my overall taxes may go down. But, on the other hand rising dividends and interest in our family trust might be a factor as well. BTW VA disability compensation is not taxed. pl

  29. outthere says:

    I hold you in high respect, especially in regard to your knowledge and background in the military which I have never been a part (save for 3 years of required ROTC in high school).
    I sold my schooner long long ago, to my close friend and partner, who rebuilt her extensively. Sad to say, she is now in Davy Jones’ locker.

  30. Bill H says:

    “Town square stocks with rotten eggs and rotten fruits for those politicians who don’t put their states and home folks first.”
    I cringe every time I hear a US Representative or Senator say that, “My first responsibility is to serve in the best interest of the people of my state/district.” This policy pits state against state, district against district, gives new meaning to “a nation divided against itself” and is second only to the careerism of today’s politicians in making the nation ungovernable.
    In fact, the function of a US Representative or Senator is to represent the principles of the people of his/her state/district in serving in the best interest of the nation as a whole, something that no politician today does.

  31. turcopolier says:

    That’s me, a renaissance man for all seasons. Ask anyone. pl

  32. Lars says:

    The biggest threat to this country, other than Trump’s thumbs, is the coming substantial loss of jobs to automation, robotics and AI. The country is not prepared and this tax bill will just make it worse. The second biggest threat is the level of private and public debt and again, this tax bill is just going to make it worse.
    We are indeed living in interesting times.

  33. LondonBob says:

    Lars you Luddite, you will be smashing up cotton machines in Lancashire. In my experience automation and robotics just enables one man to do more, boosts productivity thus generating more wealth. There will be other opportunities, and someone will be needed to oversee the AI etc.

  34. SR Wood says:

    Getting rid of the 17th Amendment would just allow corporate money to buy (I mean influence) state politicians to elect as Senators those the big money want. If I recall that is why the 17th Amendment was passed in the first place. Getting rid of the electoral college would still enable small states to have an outsized influence through their Senators. I think the presidency should reflect and represent the will of the people, not the will of the states.

  35. turcopolier says:

    SR Wood
    Yes, that is what we need, a unitary state with 350 million servants of the coastal elites ruled over by the secret police (FBI, NSA, ATF, etc.) pl

  36. Fred says:

    How many jobs for American citizens will be protected by making illegal immigrants return home?

  37. Imagine says:

    Job economics will work itself out, as it always has. When states go bankrupt, Washington will print more money & bail them out.
    Biggest threat is the usage of face recognition, visual action understanding, ubiquitous home video & audio surveillance, Big Computer universal surveillance, militarized police, and jailing/purging/assassinating dissidents, coupled with the Deep State (military/NSA/CIA) taking over actual rule, to turn America into a literal 1984 totalitarian police state. Within 5 years we’ll have enough computer power to be able to watch everyone. This is already being tried in parts of Israel and China. It is the logical conclusion of the War On Terrorism.

  38. Imagine says:

    In “The Dictator’s Handbook”, Buena De Mesquita explains (1) the primary job of a politician is to stay in power; that typically means (2) raising enough funds, more than competitors, to pay minions and/or run campaigns.
    So the primary difference between a democratic republic and an autocracy is the number of representatives. Oligarchs stay in power by payments for a relatively small number of cronies. When the number of Congressmen is too large to bribe effectively, Congressmen have to resort to faithful representation in order to get re-elected.
    Under the current set-up, it would take roughly $75M for a pac to buy 99% of all Representatives and Senators.
    Multiplying the number of Representatives times 10, disallowing pacs contributions, and giving each serious candidate a fixed budget for marketing would go far towards increasing the democratic potential of America.

  39. blue peacock says:

    I’m no political analyst. IMO, there’s not much to be read by the loss for the Republicans in the recent senate races.
    I believe the incumbent party always loses some seats in a mid-term.

  40. Lars says:

    Not at all, LondonBob, I suspect that you will never find me in Lancashire. I know the machines are coming. They always have. The problem is that an awful lot of people will have to be retrained and nothing has been done about that and the wealth is too concentrated at the top of the economic food chain.

  41. Lars says:

    I don’t know, Fred. It appears that illegal immigrants are doing jobs that most American citizens refuse to do. But now even legal immigration is being curtailed and that will have negative economic results, since without immigrants, the economy will have a hard time expanding. American women do not have enough babies to replace all the people who die.

  42. Colonel,
    Hmm, 40 ft. A 16 ft clinker-built open boat was my introduction to sailing. Lovingly repaired and varnished but always prone to leaks.
    I learned to sail in her. That is, when the last coat of varnish was dry I slipped down to the local library the evening before and took out a handbook on the art of sailing. I was keen to get on the water and hadn’t got more than half an hour to spare for the book, so it was really launch and away. Solo. There are some skills one instinctively knows are better learned in private.
    It turned out that to get to the open sea I had to sail past a long double line of moored yachts. So much for privacy. The channel was narrow so the gap between the yachts was also narrow. The wind was against me so I had to start my voyage by learning to tack. The diagram in the book on tacking had been perfectly clear but my application of it did not at first match the theory.
    It was early so my progress was marked by cursing men in pyjamas rushing out of their cabins and fending me off with anything from boat hooks to mops. They were obviously expert sailors and had mastered quite advanced nautical language. Which they used freely. By the time I’d run the gauntlet I’d got the hang of tacking and was even able to throw in a few hastily improvised wheelbarrow turns for good measure. The mops were out in force by then and were of considerable assistance.
    Later on the yachts gave way to mud flats. I was able to apply my newly acquired vocabulary while extricating myself from them. Fortunately my boat had oars, and a drop keel.
    But the open sea! Couldn’t have been more than force five with the odd gust, but it was a revelation. I’ve been on larger boats since but nothing could match that first introduction at eye level or below to a stiff breeze and a heavy swell.
    Coming back the wind fell so I had to row home past the moored yachts. Might have been imagination – we’re so prone to seeing our stereotypes – but I think I saw a few gin and tonics raised approvingly as I worked laboriously but safely past all that vulnerable paintwork.
    I moved inland later. I wish I had graduated, as you did, to something larger and more fit for heavy weather. More comfortable too. Lunch en famille in an open 16 footer was usually more of an achievement than a pleasure. But I wouldn’t have missed that first introduction to those heaving seas and that odd but satisfying feeling of handling a risk that one was not experienced or knowledgeable enough to estimate.

  43. NancyK says:

    I don’t feel states with large populations should rule over the entire country, and I also do not feel rural areas should rule over large urban areas due to gerrymandering.

  44. turcopolier says:

    Nancy K
    “I also do not feel rural areas should rule over large urban areas due to gerrymandering.” How does that work exactly? pl

  45. blue peacock says:

    “…without immigrants, the economy will have a hard time expanding…”

    Not if productivity improves. Have you seen the chart of recent productivity growth rate?
    Clearly, the growth of debt across the board – both private & public, under both Republicans & Democrats and the financialization of the economy and with trillions printed by the Fed, does not seem to work in that regard.

    “….an awful lot of people will have to be retrained and nothing has been done about that and the wealth is too concentrated at the top of the economic food chain…”

    Wealth inequality has been growing for decades under both Democrat and Republicans administrations & Congresses. In fact it accelerated under your heroes Obama and Hillary. It was their administration that socialized all Wall Street’s speculative losses incurred during the GFC. And also decided they were too important to prosecute.
    Of course you want some commissar in DC to be in charge of training and absolve the people from taking responsibility for their own careers. The US economy transitioned from horse buggy to automobile and oil lamps to electricity without much government intervention. And it will do the same as automation comes to the service industry.

  46. Fred says:

    At what wage will Americans not do particular jobs? Why does the economic principle of a lack of supply of American labor not cause the wage rate to go up to a point where Americans would do those jobs, just like Americans did in the past?
    “American women do not have enough babies to replace all the people who die.”
    So what. With half the population and far less technology the US put a man on the moon and had an econimc system that allowed one wage earner families to have a middle class lifestyle and a secure retirement.

  47. Fred says:

    Which government agency or polical party in the US is “assassinating dissidents”?

  48. NancyK says:

    Right, I’m sure there would be lines of American citizens waiting for jobs in fields, chicken factories, minimum wage construction and service industry jobs. Don’t you get it American citizens can already apply for those jobs and they don’t. Even Trump hires workers at Mar Lago outside of the U.S..

  49. “With half the population and far less technology the US put a man on the moon and had an economic system that allowed one wage earner families to have a middle class lifestyle and a secure retirement.”
    Fred – I believe that single sentence could replace most of text-book economics to our great advantage. It was done once, however imperfectly, and resource shortages, automation and environmental constraints don’t at all mean it can’t be done again. We’d have to replace one donation one vote by one man one vote, else it’d be impossible to put a better economic framework in place, but that’s a detail. Isn’t it?
    A man over your way got elected on a programme along those lines. How’s he getting on? Have they swamped him yet?

  50. different clue says:

    Many of these jobs are jobs that US citizens DID do before millions of illegal aliens were imported on purpose to work for less, to accept unsafe and illegal working conditions, etc.
    Meatcutting and meatpacking, for example, used to be high paid unionized jobs. During the Reagan period ( I think), Iowa Beef Packers and some other big operators began the mass hiring of illegal aliens as part of their plan to destroy the meatworkers unions in their factories and drive out all the US citizen employees who had been members of those unions.
    Construction and labor jobs were mainly filled by US citizens until millions of illegal aliens were imported to lower wages and degrade conditions.
    I am not sure of other examples to cite, but I suspect other such examples exist.
    If we were to convict several hundred thousand employERS of illegal alien labor to long sentences of Hard Time in Nasty Prisons, the others might stop doing it. If we were to expel the illegal aliens currently here ( with a humanitarian exception for the Young Dreamers perhaps) and rigidly exclude the entry of any more, while continuing to try, convict and imprison every convictable employER of illegal alien labor to the longest sentences possible in the worst prisons that exist, we would eventually create enough of a labor shortage that a hostile and unwilling employER class would be forced to raise wages and improve conditions enough to entice employable US citizens back into these jobs.
    Do I know for a fact it would happen that way? No, not for a fact. I merely strongly suspect it would happen that way. Certainly the experiment deserves to be run.

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That certainly was the case in Nebraska where the state government colluded with the owners of slaughterhouses in order to break the back of the unions. Neither Omaha nor Lincoln ever recovered; boarded shops, department stores and all of that.

  52. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    Yes. And the other process devised to exterminate millions of jobs and disemploy millions of US citizens was ( and remains) Free Trade.
    Your description of what happened to so many bussinesses in Lincoln and Omaha after Big Meat’s breaking of the unions and expulsion of all the US citizen workers with illegal alien replacements would exactly describe the mass extermination of secondary bussinesses in thousands of American towns and cities when Free Trade came to town.
    I am reminded of a comment many threads ago where a Free Trade Hasbarist repeated the often-flung canard that the rest of us had to carry the overpaid Union thingmakers. Your example shows how exactly false and ack-basswards this piece of Free Trade Hasbara really is.
    The sequence of events in Lincoln and Omaha AFter Big Meat’s extermination of the meatworkers’ unions and expulsion of the American jobdoers from their American jobs makes very clear that it was the highly paid Union meatworkers who were themselves carrying the surrounding rings of secondary and tertiary and quarternary retail goods and service businesses by spending their high Union pay at all those businesses. The owners and workers of all those businesses could then spend their high Union receipts at still more surrounding rings of businesses, whose owners and workers could then spend those receipts yet again and more further more rings of businesses. I suppose all these thousands of downstream businesses could be dismissed as goldfish pond bussinesses because they were all too small to swim with the Big Sharks. But in their thousands, the business goldfish they supported may well have added up to more overall economic “biomass” than the economic “biomass” weight of the spectacular Big Sharks who get all the attention.
    Given the deliberate policy of Mass Jobicide which the Ruling Classes pursue against us through the twin weapons of Free Trade and Illegal Immigration, I am very aware of how blind-chance lucky I am to even have a job at all. And my gratitude makes me very well behaved at work.

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