Home / General / No, Bernie Sanders Is Not Going to Immiserate the World’s Poor

No, Bernie Sanders Is Not Going to Immiserate the World’s Poor

Comments
/
/
/
1008 Views

la-ed-presidential-race-trade-20160310-001

This is a guest post by Paul Adler, lecturer at the Harvard History and Literature program. He received his PhD in history from Georgetown University in 2014. Paul’s dissertation, Planetary Citizens: U.S. NGOs and the Politics of International Development in the Late Twentieth Century examines efforts by U.S. groups like INFACT and the Sierra Club to influence international institutions like Nestle and the World Bank during the 1970s and 1980s. Previous to graduate school, Paul worked for several years on global justice issues at Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. He previously wrote this post at LGM.

With the prospect of another Clinton presidency on the horizon and a miniseries on OJ Simpson receiving rave reviews, the era of 1990s retro appears to have arrived. Fortunately (or not), various corners of the Internet are already hard at work on bringing back the era– few more so than a band of writers discussing that favorite nineties buzzword: globalization. Unfortunately, thus far, this particular nostalgia trip mostly entails recycling reductionist narratives reminiscent of the days when Thomas L. Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree dominated the bestseller lists.

A good example of this globalization cheerleading resurgence can be found Zach Beauchamp’s piece for Vox, ominously titled “If You’re Poor In Another Country, This is the Scariest Thing Bernie Sanders Has Said.” The article centers on a single quote from Sanders’ recent interview with the New York Daily News, in which the Senator states that “what fair trade means to say that it is fair. It is roughly equivalent to the wages and environmental standards in the United States.” Beauchamp (and others who have written about Sanders on trade) take this admittedly vague and problematic pronouncement as a launching point to paint Sanders as an isolationist and protectionist for whom “Delivering on his campaign promises requires doing real damage to the global poor.”

The flurry of articles generated by this statement benefit from Sanders’s unfortunate penchant for expressing big-picture visions better than policy specifics. However, in knocking Sanders’ generalities, the current crop of globalization boosters advance arguments that are no less simplistic. The key trick these pieces employ involves conflating critiques of specific trade agreements and development policies with rejection of the very concept of trade. It’s as if someone told you that there are only two possible economic models – a Milton Friedman one or a Karl Marx one. This is a notion that, one hopes, would strike any observer as absurd.

Trade is not some universal economic action that looks the same no matter where or when it happens. At the risk of being patronizing, it’s important to note that different nations have different histories, geographies, social and political situations, etc. that all inform what policies they enact and what those policies produce. For example, whenever you see someone boasting about how “trade” has led to enormous global reductions in world poverty in recent decades, remember that three out of every four of those people live in China. How China engages with economic development is not a model that many other nations can plausibly adopt. Similarly, the idea that trade and trade agreements are synonymous is a problematic one. As but one example, the provisions in an agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership for instance are quite different than those in the Hugo Chavez inspired Bolivarian Alliance for the People of our Americas – yet both count as “trade agreements.” And I don’t exactly see many trade boosters singing the praises of Chavez or Evo Morales.

Given that, let’s return to Sanders’ policies. First, it is important to note that valid critiques certainly exist of his rhetoric. It is too frequently vague in ways that easily open him to attack. Furthermore, he often invokes a “US vs. the world” framework that is analytically simplistic and politically troublesome. Yet, does that mean Sanders is an unthinking economic nationalist? Well, let’s start with his rhetoric from that very same Daily News interview:

I’m not anti-trade. We live in a global economy, we need trade. But the trade policies that we have allowed to occur, that were written by corporate America have been disastrous for American workers.

So I think we need trade. But I think it should be based on fair trade policies. No, I don’t think it is appropriate for trade policies to say that you can move to a country where wages are abysmal, where there are no environmental regulations, where workers can’t form unions.

If we’re going on rhetoric alone, then these statements seem no less important than any others, yet they show a very different Sanders. Going a step further, elsewhere on the campaign trail Sanders’ promise is to renegotiate trade agreements, not simply throw them away. Still, Sanders remains vague on these details, meaning we need to take the radical step of looking back at Sanders’ actual record on trade and development issues. Unsurprisingly, some key insights come from the late 1990s, around the time of anti-WTO Seattle protests which helped thrust alternative views on globalization into mainstream debate. In 1999 and 2000, then Congressman Sanders introduced the Global Sustainable Development Resolution and supported a trade agreement called HOPE for Africa, both of which give a clearer sense of how he thinks about world poverty.

For starters, examining these documents quickly complicates the notion that Sanders wants to abandon trade with economically impoverished Global South nations. Take one of the recommendations presented in the Global Sustainable Development Resolution for improving trade agreements which calls for the United States to offer “Preferential market access for less developed countries as a means to accelerate development and counter global inequality.” Or to take on a different form of protectionism, HOPE for Africa also included language seeking to prevent the U.S. government from acting on behalf of large pharmaceutical companies to challenge African nations’ attempts to produce and distribute low-cost medicines.

The last point leads to a larger one about critiques of “free trade.” Sanders’ problems with free trade agreements like NAFTA or TPP do not stem from an anti-intellectual nationalism. Rather, he sees a world where multinational companies and governments in the Global North craft agreements and influence institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in ways that do little for the world’s poorest. To challenge this state of affairs, Sanders joins a myriad of NGOs, economists, social movement leaders, politicians, and more who call for debt relief for poor nations, reforms to international institutions to empower the Global South, and increased aid. Furthermore, unlike so many of the trade boosters, Sanders ties development challenges to climate change. This is absolutely essential, as climate change will dramatically affect the prospects of the world’s poorest. It will also force us to reinterpret how we think about trade and development policies, which even when they have brought temporary gains are also contributing to planetary catastrophe.

The bottom line is this: one can disagree with Sanders on his views about how to structure trade agreements or his understanding of the global economy. But let’s have a dialogue about actual histories and policies, and not airy abstractions.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Brien Jackson

    I think there’s a lot of projecting your own ideas onto Sanders going on here. Because, on the other hand, Sanders is still an angry old white guy who talks a lot about the unique plight of white working class people and off handedly says things like “American workers shouldn’t have to compete with workers in poor countries with much lower wage levels.” Why, it’s almost like he doesn’t really spend a lot of time actually thinking about things and figures he can get by on what he just knows is right or something.

    Also too, there isn’t any indication that China or Europe are particularly interested in renegotiating global trade deals, so what does Sanders do then?

    • Barry Freed

      …who talks a lot about the unique plight of white working class people

      Talk about projecting your own ideas.

      • Brien Jackson

        “A lot” might be a bit strong, and probably is at this stage in the campaign, but this is a matter of degree. The Sanders campaign started from the premise that “What’s The Matter With Kansas?” was the great work of poltiical theory in our time and that Democrats were ignoring white working class people. At the very least, Sanders’ trade ideas are aimed at addressing the problems of (mostly) non-college educated white people, and while there’s nothing wrong with that as a goal (obviously government should address problems caused by economic transition) a whole bunch of this outlook in the U.S. amounts to angry screaming at the fact that there’s economic growth in countries like China, India, and Brazil and the U.S. is naturally losing relative economic strength as a result.

        • carolannie

          No. It is really about noticing that the titans of industry are negotiating secret deals that impoverish Americans and do little or nothing to help workers in other countries. Neoliberalistic obfuscation full of glittering generalities can’t hide that the current TPP is a lot about lowering labor protections all around the world, not distributing the wealth to workers all around the world. Economic growth in other countries is not a zero-sum situation for the US, but the titans of industry always present to us as if it were.

          • DrDick

            Exactly.

        • At the very least, Sanders’ trade ideas are aimed at addressing the problems of (mostly) non-college educated white people,

          Look at Detroit. Look at Gary, Indiana. Look at Cleveland. Look at the entire rust belt, and at the cities that have suffered the most from deindustrialization.

          The notion that opposition to “free trade” and efforts to preserve American manufacturing jobs are primarily about helping white people is an inversion of reality.

          • witlesschum

            Yes, exactly. The fact that black voters have generally not heard Sanders’ arguments on trade and chosen to support him doesn’t mean he wasn’t seeking their support. He hasn’t, to my mind, gone around making appeals in language full of coded racism or anything even approaching it that would make it fair to suggest he’s making these appeals specifically to white voters.

            Definitely have to show your work to make that case.

            • Linnaeus

              This is why I don’t like the “Sanders is the left-wing Trump” argument that I see from time to time.

            • JMV Pyro

              A bit confused on what you’re saying here

              If the Sanders Campaign wasn’t able to frame their arguments on trade in a way that gets the AA community on board, that’s more on them then the AA community. They had to have been aware from the outset that they needed to draw that demographic in if they wanted to win this and so far it just hasn’t worked for them.

              • Pseudonym

                Sure, but the limited success of Sanders’ political appeal doesn’t repudiate his economic policies. The criticism has mostly been that he’s too focused on economic change as the way to help Americans of color to the exclusion of other concerns, not that his policies wouldn’t include them.

                • JMV Pyro

                  OK, that clears it up, thank you.

          • SausalitoSurfer

            I agree that the value of Bernie’s message is not just for white working people. Economic justice and social justice are closely related. He has had trouble getting through to African Americans partly due to having announced his candidacy only a year ago and the amount of work to be done in a short time. Additionally, an old white jewish guy from Vermont probably isn’t the best messenger to make that case.
            There is also the international human rights issue, which Bernie hasn’t addressed as he seems less comfortable in that arena.

        • rewenzo

          I don’t think this is true. Sanders has been focused on the problems of people who are struggling because of lack of money. That there a lot of white people who have this problem doesn’t make it a white people problem. Lots of people of color are also struggling because of lack of money.

          a whole bunch of this outlook in the U.S. amounts to angry screaming at the fact that there’s economic growth in countries like China, India, and Brazil and the U.S. is naturally losing relative economic strength as a result.

          Honestly, I don’t see this at all. The international comparisons he draws the most are between the US and Scandinavia, or the rest of Europe. And that’s to point out that other countries are smarter than us about how they allocate resources and that their successes are replicable.

      • Srsly.

        • Srsly Dad Y

          Yeth?

    • DrDick

      Speaking of projection.

    • JL

      I think there’s a lot of projecting your own ideas onto Sanders going on here.

      Yeah, it’s not like he provides links to Sanders’ own words and past policy proposals on the subject or anything.

      • Brien Jackson

        So did I:

        Sanders Statement on Senate Vote on Trade Deal
        Tuesday, May 12, 2015

        WASHINGTON, May 12 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after the Senate rejected a motion to take up the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement:

        “The Senate vote today was an important first victory in what will be a long battle.

        “A major reason for the decline of the American middle class and the increase in wealth and income inequality in the United State is our trade policies – NAFTA, CAFTA and Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. This agreement would follow in the footsteps of those free trade agreements which have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage workers around the world – including workers in Vietnam where the minimum wage is 56-cents an hour.

        “Trade agreements should not just work for corporate America, Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry. They have got to benefit the working families of our country.

        “We must defeat fast track and develop a new policy on trade. Today was a good step forward, but much more needs to be done.”

        http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-senate-vote-on-trade-deal

        And of course he’s articulated the view that immigrants take the jobs that belong to white people Americans on more than one occasion.

        • At this point in a criminal trial, Bernie Sanders’ defense attorney would stand up and ask the judge for a directed verdict.

          Did every one get the part where “Americans” becomes “white people” cuz punctuation?

    • wengler

      Jesus Christ it was painful to read this.

    • manual

      See this is bullshit people. Because anyone with rudimentary understanding of trade dislocation would know that black workers were also hurt incredibly hard in the transition from a good-producing to service economy.

      In fact, a lot of the recent coverts to our poor racial dialog do not understand that black people were hurt much harder in this transistion. Read William Julius Wilson on this.

      The idea that this is a whites only issue shows how shallow the analysis is. Its a class problem. Im happy to take people to the old steel plants in Mon Valley PA to look at the black poverty in the post industrial world and the outcome it has for folks lives.

      • Apparently, based on the quote Brien pulls above and thinks is a mike-drop, he is arguing that the argument about American companies going for low-wage, exploited labor to drive down labor costs, at the expense of American workers, is innately 1) only about white American workers, and 2) therefore innately racist.

        Or course he doesn’t make an argument that this is the case; we’re just supposed to accept it as a given.

    • a_paul_in_mtl

      “Sanders is still an angry old white guy who talks a lot about the unique plight of white working class people and off handedly says things like “American workers shouldn’t have to compete with workers in poor countries with much lower wage levels.””

      1) True, Sanders is white, and old, and often ticked off. I’m not sure how that invalidates his message, but sure.

      2) I find it fascinating that here we have people conflating “American working class” with “white working class”, and somehow it’s Bernie who has the race problem. Uh, no. It is true that because of racism the working class is often divided upon racial lines, but what is this claim that Sanders is exclusively talking about the “white working class” based on?

      3) In relation to my second point, it is not an answer to say that Sanders’ campaign has been more effective at reaching white people than people of color. That’s generally true, but it doesn’t prove that Sanders’ message is tailor-made to a “white working class”.

      4) Sanders has been thinking and talking about this stuff for decades, so if there’s a problem with his message, it’s not for lack of thought. You may not like it, but it’s not thrown together at the last minute to score campaigns in a campaign.

      5) Presumably one reason why people tend to articulate general principles in these debates rather than focusing on very specific points is that such finer points are worked out in the process of trade negotiations. One principle that can be articulated, though, is that changing the general thrust of trade agreements is a priority. Since the United States has a certain clout in the world economy, other countries would be foolish to refuse to renegotiate agreements if such renegotiation is, in fact, a priority for the US government.

      4)

  • Mr. Rogers

    I’m not a Bernie supporter, but I did feel the obligation to talk some of my Berner friends down from panic after the Vox piece started making the rounds. Are there lots of things we can do to improve the situation of the worlds poor, and Sanders didn’t articulate the best path in that pull quote, but it’s a really complicated situation.

    I then gave them a link to Out of Sight.

    • JL

      I’m surprised that so many people, including people politically aware enough to be involved with a candidate’s campaign, have apparently heard or read so little debate about trade issues before now that the arguments on various sides come as surprising. The Vox piece was a fairly standard pro-globalization-as-we’ve-implemented-it argument against a fairly standard left anti-globalization-as-we’ve-implemented-it position. I would expect people to be either smug or irritated about it depending on which approximate side they favor, but not panicked.

      • I’m surprised that so many people, including people politically aware enough to be involved with a candidate’s campaign, have apparently heard or read so little debate about trade issues before now that the arguments on various sides come as surprising.

        Yes.

      • I’m not so surprised. Before this campaign, “free trade” was one of those issues that featured such a high degree of bipartisan approval, at least among elected officials and opinion leaders, that it got a lot less press than issues that the parties and officeholders were actually fighting about.

        Like Israel policy, or the drug war.

        • Jackov

          Right. There was an uptick on NAFTA in 2008 when Obama was promising to renegotiate the deal. It is almost like competitive primaries focus attention on areas of disagreement within the Democratic party.

          • ASV

            Free trade remains relatively popular among Democrats, including among Sanders supporters.

            • Srsly Dad Y

              Motherhood and apple pie poll well too.

            • And this is an area where, if people are serious about moving public opinion, protest (for all its benefits, which Erik pointed out yesterday) isn’t going to do it. People can be convinced that Thomas Friedman and Ezra Klein don’t have the last word on these questions. I’ve seen a lot of good articles in the past few weeks arguing just that.

              If those “most Democrats” aren’t convinced that economics doesn’t really prove what Beauchamp is saying it does, they won’t be convinced by protests.

              • JL

                Along those lines, someone from the EPI wrote a response to Beauchamp’s article, which Beauchamp has acknowledged as being “very smart.”

    • MDrew

      Panic?

  • addicted44

    Even if we accept the premise that Sanders will not destroy the trade deals, but will renegotiate it based on China improving labor standards, adding environmental protections and strengthening labor laws, what does that mean in practice?

    Does anyone think China is gonna reinvent their economy out of fear from the actions of a President Bernie who won’t even have 10-20% support from his own members of congress? Where’s the path to anything other than the status quo or unilaterally backing out of trade deals?

    This is just another are, where like most things Bernie, it seems that the destination is desirable, but the path to getting there is simply not visible. And Bernie refuses to even point in the direction of where he’s trying to take us, simply saying “trust me, I’ll get your there”. The one improbable, but at least theoretically possible way would be to support candidates down ballot and overturn the house and senate majorities, but even that seems to be something Bernie cannot commit to.

    The lack of specifics is especially galling when you consider this wasn’t a stump speech. It was an off camera interview with the editorial board of a newspaper. If there was ever an opportunity to show Bernie had any plans beyond ponies for everyone, this was it. Unfortunately he didn’t do so.

    Outside of guns, I pretty much agree with Bernie’s stated goal over Hillary’s in almost every issue, but the lack of even the slightest explanation of how he will achieve any of them is quite galling at this point.

    • DrDick

      Did you even read the piece or are you just reflexively Bernie bashing? As the post points out, he has an actual history of proposing and advocating legislation which addresses these very points. Maybe you should go read that.

      • addicted44

        The point is how does this legislation pass Congress. Bernie doesn’t have an answer for that.

        Until recently he was saying he would generate so much enthusiasm that we would be able to overturn Congress. While implausible, at least it’s a plan.

        But the last thing he mentioned regarding that was he wasn’t sure if he would support down ballot Democrats.

        It’s one thing to have an implausible plan, and work hard towards beating the odds, which is what I figured the Bernie candidacy to be while I supported it.

        But now it increasingly appears that there is no plan for passing anything.

        • Nobody has an answer for “How do we get progressive legislation through Congress next year.”

          We would be fools to allow that to define the limits of our discussions during the primary. Should our candidates also drop all discussion of upper-income tax increases, gun control, and climate/energy policy?

          • Pseudonym

            “We elect a progressive Congress.”

            You didn’t say it had to be a plausible answer.

        • xq

          Neither Clinton nor Sanders will be able to pass anything meaningful through congress. You just need to accept that this is the kind of lie politicians tell in primaries.

        • DrDick

          Funny how only Sanders has to answer that question. The idea that Clinton, whom they personally hate with a white hot passion, will get anything through this congress is laughable.

          • rewenzo

            Yeah.

            “Political revolution” is not a realistic strategy, but frankly, neither is “I’ve been in politics a long time, I’m a pragmatist, and everyone on the other side hates me, so that makes me tough or something so in the end I win.” There’s a whole bunch of underpants-gone-a-miracle-happens going on in both. The only differences are that (1) HRC’s positions have compromises already baked in; and (2) HRC has establishment support so everything she says is conferred upon with a floor of reasonableness.

            • addicted44

              Hillary’s position promises to continue the successful strategies employed by the Obama administration for the past 7 years.

              This strategy is significantly more plausible than what Bernie Sanders is suggesting.

              • Steve LaBonne

                Legislatively? With this Congress? Nope. And what, Hillary knows how to issue executive orders but Bernie doesn’t? Your comment is pure BS.

                • Brien Jackson

                  “And what, Hillary knows how to issue executive orders but Bernie doesn’t?”

                  This is implausible how, exactly?

                • wjts

                  This is implausible how, exactly?

                  Because he’s been an elected official in one capacity or another for the last 35 years and is not a total moron?

                • Brien Jackson

                  Ok, but crafting legal executive orders isn’t as simple as sitting down, picking up your quill pen, and pretending you’re the king. Who is Sanders stocking his White House with that are in the weeds of government enough to be ready to craft workable orders at the margins of what regulatory law and executive discretion will allow? And how long will Sanders take to realize the revolution ain’t coming before he goes to Plan B?

                • wjts

                  And what if the phone in the Oval Office is different from the one Sanders has at home or at work? When it rings, will he stare at it in mute incomprehension, or fly into a sort of caveman rage at the infuriating noise-box, bashing it with a makeshift club?

                  These questions are only slightly stupider than the questions, “How can a man with a quarter-century’s worth of experience as a Federal legislator possibly understand Federal law and work within it to his advantage? Where and when would he have ever met people who could advise him on such matters?”

                • Brien Jackson

                  So the argument is what, that Sanders is obviously going to hire veteran Democratic aides and government officials to staff his administration? I definitely think that’s possible, but a) is it a given and b) at that point what’s supposed to be the significant difference between a Sanders and Clinton administration? (Also the idea that members of Congress must obviously be inantely familiar with the details of statutes gave me the best laugh I’ve had all week, so thanks for that).

                • wjts

                  a) is it a given

                  Yes? I think he’d draw from a pretty similar pool as Clinton – it’s not like his senior campaign staff were pulled from the UVM chapter of the Spartacist Youth League. I mean, the guy’s a career politician, not a quixotic part-time city councilman running on Norman Thomas’ old platform.

                  b) at that point what’s supposed to be the significant difference between a Sanders and Clinton administration?

                  Not much?

                  (Also the idea that members of Congress must obviously be inantely familiar with the details of statutes gave me the best laugh I’ve had all week, so thanks for that).

                  I grant that they lack the intimate familiarity that only comes with being a former First Lady and Secretary of State, but I submit that they’re not wholly ignorant.

          • Ormond

            Dems could nominate Paul Ryan and the D after his name would still mean nothing gets through congress.

          • Brien Jackson

            If Clinton was promising PEOPLE IN THE STREET that would force Majority Leader McConnell to capitulate altogether this would be a relevant comparison.

      • UserGoogol

        The history linked in the post doesn’t exactly show a deep wonkish mind. A congressional resolution supporting broad economic values and cosponsoring someone else’s bill isn’t really evidence of how to do precise policycraft.

        • DrDick

          But she is only promising them pie in the sky if they just bide their time and wait patiently like good children.

    • So we should just give up then because it’s too hard? Bernie might be pointing the direction, but he will have plenty of smart people to figure out how to get there. It’s not like he’s going to be sitting in the Oval Office by himself trying to figure this out.

      • DrDick

        And he also has a record of getting things done in the Senate. He is called the “Amendment King” for a reason.

      • addicted44

        No, but he should at least attempt to articulate some sort of strategy.

        Sanders actually did suggest a strategy earlier in the campaign. His idea was a significant number of Republican voters who’ve suffered in our current economy may be motivated to vote for him and Dems, helping change the tilt in Congress. Of course, he torpedoed this strategy when he wasn’t sure whether he would support down ballot candidates.

        • DrDick

          Really? So when did Clinton do so?

          • Brien Jackson

            Do what? Present a plan to pass new progressive reforms through a Republican Congress? As best I can tell she hasn’t, because he’s the only one pretending that this is going to happen.

            • DrDick

              So why is she so awesome if she will not get anything done?

              • Brien Jackson

                Actually seeming to know what’s in her own proposals gives her a solid leg up on Sanders at this point.

                • DrDick

                  You really need to do your homework. If you go to his website, you can get detailed information. Sanders also has a strong record of getting things done and making legislation more progressive. Clinton;s whole position is “let’s not really change anything, just maybe tweak things around the edges a little.” Do nothing is a pretty easy position to describe.

                • Brien Jackson

                  No really dude, Sanders doesn’t even know the content of his own campaign proposals:

                  “Now, what Secretary Clinton says is that Scott Walker may not go along with that. But you know what happens to the state of Wisconsin if he does that? California will, Vermont will, states all over this country will, and young, bright people will be leaving Wisconsin. And I think the people of Wisconsin will tell Scott Walker, you know what, this will be a disaster for the future of our state. Because when kids leave, sometimes they don’t come back. So I think the idea is sound.

                  http://www.vox.com/2016/3/30/11332612/bernie-sanders-free-college

                  His campaign proposal, on the other hand, only requires states to cover in-state tuition rates.

            • The “Do What?” was “articulate some sort of strategy,” and you changed the subject.

              Because, once again, Hillary Clinton has no more of a strategy for getting things through the Republican Congress than Sanders does. Yet only Sanders, the candidate with a significant record of getting legislation passed while the Republicans control Congress, gets asked the question.

    • a_paul_in_mtl

      Who’s demanding that China “reinvent” their economy? I sense a straw man on the horizon…

  • andrew97

    What I was hoping for, based on the title of the post, was an explanation of how we can both insist on western-style worker protections and wages *and* lift the global poor out of poverty at the same time. So how does that work?

    The globalized trade system, at least, has the benefit of plausibility and a track record, not just in China but in India, Vietnam, and elsewhere. (I am not saying the track record is perfect, rather that there does exist at least some debatable evidence that it works.)

    • J. Otto Pohl

      Yes, I am currently reading Mira Kamdar’s Planet India and the economic accomplishments of India in the last three decades are incredible. Certainly they are doing much better adapting to the global capitalist economy now then they were under Nehru. I wish Ghana could emulate India more. More importantly it is quite obvious that the current path is infinitely superior to the Stalinist model of development advocated for India by one LGM commentator in Montana. Dekulakization and the resulting Holodomor killed almost five million people in the USSR. It would probably kill close to 30 million in India like the GLF resulting famine did in China.

      • sonamib

        Come on, are you accusing Dr. Dick of being a Stalinist? That’s ridiculous.

        • wjts

          I think we’re all Stalinists on this bus.

        • JL

          It’s J Otto. Everyone who considers themselves on the left is a Stalinist. Also, Palestine solidarity is a rightist position. Also, he’s a rightist, despite many of his positions not lining up with the contemporary right, because he’s anti-Stalinist.

          • sonamib

            That’s a weird way to define left and right. That would make Orwell right-wing.

            Anyway thanks to all three of you for the heads up.

            • DrS

              That’s a weird

              It is J. Otto to the core tho

            • That’s a weird way to define left and right.

              To be fair (seriously), J. Otto is consistent: he characterizes himself as a “reactionary”, although all the best known reactionaries are far to his right.

          • DAS

            Actually, with respect to Israel/Palestine, J Otto is onto something. Why shouldn’t support for a nationalist movement, that arose in opposition to an internationalist movement whose mainstream was rooted in socialism, be a right wing thing?

            • sonamib

              I’ll grant you that that’s a clever play on words, but you can’t seriously believe what you just wrote.

              There’s no nationalism on the Israeli side? Are all anti-colonial movements right-wing because they often use nationalist rhetoric? Was opposition to the Vietnam War right-wing because Lyndon Johnson favored it?

            • For the same reasons that the Viet Minh/Vietnamese Communists were not a right-wing thing, despite being a nationalist movement: because the colonialist/anti-colonial conflict was the fundamental dynamic of the confrontation; and because the actual, existing movement itself took on an explicitly leftist ideology and character.

            • wjts

              And to be wholly fair, 40-50-60 years ago, there were several fairly prominent and vocal Republican critics of Israel/supporters of the Palestinians. And in that same time period, Republicans like Pete McCloskey and John Chaffee were major proponents of legislation like the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, so clearly environmentalism is also a right-wing thing.

            • Ronan

              There’s significant enough support on parts of the right for Palestinians, most notably because parts of the right are more sympathetic to “the Arabs” than “the Jews”. (Other reasons as well, but that one apoears a sticker )

        • DrDick

          Anybody to the left of King Leopold, Pinochet, and Franco is a Stalinist in JOtto’s world.

        • djw

          You must be new here. In J. Otto’s world, all American academics to the left of, say, Tom Friedman are presumptively unreconstructed Stalinists. The evidence for this claim is that he was unable to get a job in American academia, and there’s simply no plausible explanation for that outcome, except that he’s being punished for saying some less than flattering things about Stalin in his scholarly work.

      • DrDick

        Your “economic miracle” is killing millions in India, where as many as 40% are in abject poverty. Almost all of the benefits of development have gone to the rich. There is also the fact that much of this growth is based on forced labor.

        • DrDick

          The links for forced labor in India. You really need to visit reality some day. Capitalism is and always has been as bad or worse than Stalin ever dreamed of being, but you erase slavery, conquest and colonial exploitation (the foundations of the system) from your narative.

          • andrew97

            I’m reading Van Reybrouck’s “Congo” right now, which has the interesting tidbit that the capitalists were annoyed with Leopold (and the European powers in general) because they wanted to trade with the Congolese, which they were doing just fine without colonialism, and his borders messed up their system.

            Also, that the Arabs were arguably even bigger assholes in Africa than the Europeans.

            • DrDick

              The Arab slave trade and colonialism was trivial in scale compared to the Europeans.

              • andrew97

                What? The Arabs were colonial rulers in (North) Africa for a thousand years before the Europeans showed up. In Congo, the most prominent Arab pre-Leopold was a slave trader called Tippo Tip, so named because that’s the sound his guns made when he attacked villages to carry away their inhabitants.

                • DrDick

                  Admittedly, I was only thinking about Sub-Saharran Africa, but even there my point largely holds. The Arabs conquered North Africa in the 700s and the Europeans showed up in West Africa in the 1400s, which if far less than 1000 years. The Transatlantic slave trade, which profoundly transformed Western Africa, was established in the 1600s.

                  The impact of the Arab conquest of North Africa was much more benign than later European colonization and many countries blossomed. It is also the case that the rulers of those countries after the conquests were largely native people who converted it Islam.

                • DrDick

                  I would add that a huge portion of the slaves in the Americas came from the Congo, long before either Leopold of Tippo Tip. The Arab Slave trade was mostly along the east coast and North Africa. The European slave trade managed to equal their total volume in 1/6 the time (1300 years for the Arabs and 250 for the Europeans).

            • sonamib

              Also, that the Arabs were arguably even bigger assholes in Africa than the Europeans.

              Really? We’re talking about Leopold here, the guy who reigned over a ~10 million drop in Congo’s population.

              Also, you might want to check out the genocide Germans carried out in Namibia in the early 20th century. Not to mention the 12 million people shifted across the Atlantic to work as slaves (that’s not counting those who died during the journey).

              Really, Europeans had unprecedented resources, and they used it to do unprecedented exploitation.

          • addicted44

            Do you have any links for how these thinks compare to pre globalization? A snapshot of the current picture tells you nothing about the effects globalization has, or what was happening to those kids before globalization?

            YOur first link from poverties.org is the only one that asserts that globalization reversed the trend of reducing poverty, but the actual figures and charts it presents show the opposite (it claims those are wrong because government figures, but doesn’t bother presenting the corrected figures, or why those govt. figures are incorrect post globalization but correct pre-globalization).

            Also, this retelling of history completely ignores the disastrous situation the Indian economy was when it opened its borders, and does not consider the alternative where the economy would have collapsed without the pro-globalization reforms. You think a larger and a messier democracy than the US just gladly accepted the govt shifting from a better system to a worse one without rioting for no reason at all?

            And even worse, if the effects of globalization were so bad for the Indian poor, why was the Indian poor almost entirely responsible for electing, and then reelecting as prime minister the man who headed and was the poster child of those reforms (as finance minister) nearly 15 and then 20 years after those reforms?

            • DrDick

              Why don’t you post links to support your own positions? Perhaps because there is no data to support them or else that you do not actually have any idea what you are talking about (any more than JOtto does)? You also ignore the effects of a couple hundred years of British colonialism in India. India was “globalized” before Europe was even civilized. They had trade with Sumer and China, as well as East Africa and Indonesia for thousands of years.

              As for electing Modhi, that is like the people supporting Trump. He is a demagogic Hindu nationalist.

              • andrew97

                I would note that many of your links have very prominent “Donate Here” links at the bottom, calling their credibility somewhat into question.

                • DrDick

                  So prominent and respected NGOs fighting the problems are not trustworthy because they rely on donations? These were at the top of the search lists, but match data from other sources. When you have a substantive critique, feel free to respond.

                • Jackov

                  Everyone knows credible sites put the “Donate” button at the top of the page.

                • Ormond

                  That’s why I spit every time I hear “OxFam.”

                • This is utterly and completely ridiculous.

                  There were 4 links:

                  1) US Dept of labor
                  2) Anti-Slavery international, the oldest anti slavery organisation in the world and rather transparent (looks to me that they spend under 20% on fundraising/admin but have had some tough times recently).
                  3) The Diplomat (a magazine that asked for subscriptions).
                  4) Poverties.org, an independent website run by some dude who asks for donations.

                  I don’t see how any of the funding sources inherently impugn the content. Look at the ads running on LGM.

                  Even if there was a prima facie concern (OMG! PEOPLE WHO PROVIDE RESEARCH OR REPORTING NEED TO GET PAID!!!), you didn’t spend two seconds to check whether there was an issue.

                • addicted44

                  I doubt the presence of “Donate here” links makes a site any less credible. If you want to be a relevant organization you have to raise money, and donations are one of the few ways you can do so.

                  My issue is that those links don’t actually say what DrDick claims they say. They do correctly point out massive issues in India with high poverty, and forced labor. However, there is absolutely no comparison to pre-globalization (what would be ideal would be a comparison to some sort of reasonable guess as to where India would be if it hadn’t liberalized its economy but that’s obviously very difficult, if not impossible). But that tells us nothing about whether globalization was a net positive or a net negative for the Indian poor.

                • DrDick

                  My issue is that those links don’t actually say what DrDick claims they say. They do correctly point out massive issues in India with high poverty, and forced labor. However, there is absolutely no comparison to pre-globalization

                  Before globalization? You do realize that Indian has been at the heart of globalization for almost 5000 years don’t you? They were a major power when Europe was just a bunch of illiterate peasants. You also ignore the impact of 200 years of British colonialism. You simply have no idea what you are talking about.

              • addicted44

                If you think I was talking about Modi when I mentioned that poor Indians elected the Finance Minister who reformed the Indian economy in the 90s as Prime Minister, you know so little about Indian politics that you really should refrain from talking about India if you don’t want to appear woefully ignorant.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manmohan_Singh

                • DrDick

                  Your comment was vague and poorly worded, so I had no idea who you were talking about. I made a wild guess. Again you have yet to make any coherent argument here or to provide any actual evidence.

              • addicted44

                Obviously colonialism had massive negative effects on India. WTF does that have to do with globalization in the 90s?

                My position is fairly simple. Globalization helped the Indian poor more than it hurt them. On the other hand, the benefits were not distributed fairly, so it did not benefit the poor as much as it should have. I would say the same is true of Mexico, China, and even the USA.

                As far as whether globalization helped or hurt the Indian poor, there are 2 points:

                1) Without globalization the Indian economy would have collapsed. India was running out of reserves which forced it to globalize

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalisation_in_India

                2) Indians themselves don’t think globalization was the problem. If they did, they likely would not have voted in a way that resulted in Manmohan Singh, the man who liberalized the Indian economy, becoming the Prime Minister in elections held in 2004 and 2009, 14 and 19 years after those policies were implemented (and largely because of support from the poor. The opposition was supported by the rich and the middle class).

            • xq

              There’s a big controversy over what happened to poverty in India over the last 30 years (http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/bwpbwppap/20314.htm).

              My reading is that poverty probably is down substantially, but not as much as one would reasonably hope given the rapid economic growth.

              • Thanks for the link!

                Go Manchester!

              • addicted44

                I agree with your reading. I would add (you may not agree with this) that I think things would have been a lot worse if the country hadn’t opened the economy.

                But I think the fact that wealth was unevenly distributed is not because of globalization, and that wealth would be unevenly distributed even if the growth happened due to some other reason.

                • DrDick

                  Yet you provide no actual evidence to support that belief or to counter my critique.

          • DrDick

            There is also this.

          • J. Otto Pohl

            If you honestly believe that capitalism in the US or even India today or at anytime in the 20th century is worse than Stalin’s actual reign thn you are a moral idiot. Here is a link on forced labor in the USSR under Stalin. Like slavery in the 19th century US it was also racially based.

            http://jpohl.blogspot.com/2016/04/russian-review-article-link.html

            • DrDick

              As always, you are comparing apples and road apples. Stalinist Russia was still in the process of establishing itself. Even then, 20th century capitalism has plenty of blood on its hands throughout the developing world. Think King Leopold, the fascists, The British and French in SE Asia and India, etc.

        • Brett

          They were in abject poverty long before India even started to open up for trade again in the 1990s. Remember the “Hindu rate of growth”?

          • DrDick

            A by product of a couple of centuries of British colonialism in part.

            • Brett

              And a terrible post-independence economic policy.

              • DrDick

                Assumes facts not in evidence. Much of Indian’s economic problems arose from the lack of infrastructure development, itself a product of colonialism.

    • DrDick

      The track record is, in fact, horrific. AS the post states, Sanders is talking about trade deals with enforceable worker and environmental protections, including the right to unionize.

    • Murc

      Even if we accept this as valid, what’s the end game?

      Serious question. I keep seeing people say “well, worker protections and livable wages and not being murdered by your boss will come in time.” And it’s like… I don’t understand that logic? If it’ll be possible in twenty years, and it’s possible here in the US right now, why isn’t it possible in other parts of the world right now?

      The argument always seems to be either “well, industry will simply move back to whatever the next hellhole du jour is, or if there isn’t one will simply move back to the states.”

      And if that’s so, the implication is that there literally isn’t enough work for everyone. Either there’s enough work for everyone in the world, or there isn’t. If there is enough work, then we should be able to implement worker protections and living wages right now using the power of the state. If there’s not, it means we need to rebuild the entire global economy from the ground up to distribute wealth in different ways.

      • andrew97

        “then we should be able to implement worker protections and living wages right now using the power of the state”

        Which state?

        • Murc

          … any if not all of them?

          But if we’re limiting it to the US, when we deign to actually do so we’ve had an awful lot of success using “if you want access to our markets you will play by our tools” as a cudgel. It turns out if you tell foreign industries “don’t murder your workers. Allow them to unionize. Pay them a living wage. If you don’t, you can’t sell here” then they’ll… stop murdering their workers, will allow them to unionize, and will pay them a living wage!

          • Ormond

            This is exactly the kind of thing in which the US’s immense global power could have some benefit. It would not immiserate poor people to allow them to organize collectively for a bigger piece of the pie. Nobody on the left is arguing for the US to blunder in and demand a $15 minimum wage in the Philippines at the point of a gun. But if goods rise in cost because labor is being compensated more fairly through their own democratic actions, then…fine.

          • andrew97

            Isn’t a great power dictating policy to less powerful countries, by definition, imperialism?

            • Ormond

              By some definitions, yes. But that’s not what this is. It’s a large economy demanding that human rights are respected in the process of trade with it’s domestic market. I would tend to say that the case for cultural imperialism is hard to make is most cases, and that the case of economic imperialism is premised on the ways in which trade agreements abrogate the rights of people in partner nations, rather than express US desires for its domestic labor economy. It’s also a question of domestic politics. In as much as global trade is simply a thing that will exist, and trade agreements must be reached to facilitate the particulars of that trade (which some people on the far left and far right would dispute), then what kinds of democratic political choices does the US want to make in constructing a treaty that will, among other things, operate as domestic law?

            • sonamib

              The US, for good or ill, is a superpower. If the US engages with the developing world, there’ll always be a considerable power imbalance involved. That power can be used either for exploitation or some good-ish purposes. But there’s no point pretending that this power doesn’t exist.

            • Murc

              Isn’t a great power dictating policy to less powerful countries, by definition, imperialism?

              So you’re saying that the US should allow other countries to import whatever the hell they want here, regardless of whether or not we approve of how it was produced? And that our relations with other countries should have nothing, at all, to do with their internal policies, and that we should never attempt to influence them in any way?

      • Brett

        The argument always seems to be either “well, industry will simply move back to whatever the next hellhole du jour is, or if there isn’t one will simply move back to the states.”

        It’s more the fear that they’ll respond to demands for some of this stuff with a “fuck you” in the treaty negotiations, and then go and be poor and authoritarian instead of just authoritarian. At least some of the countries are not democratic – what are the chances they’ll agree to any rules that make it seriously more likely that independent trade unions and civic organizations will arise, which then might form the locus of resistance against the regime?

        Obviously, that doesn’t apply to countries like India and the others that are democratic.

        • DrDick

          They are already “poor and authoritarian,” so this kind of begs the question. Importantly, even if they were required to pay living wages, provide safe working conditions, allow unions, and enforce environmental protections, they would still be significantly cheaper than the developed world and highly competitive. It would also boost local consumption and grow domestic markets.

        • Murc

          Not to sound callous, but I would say we should refuse to be held hostage that way. “Let your capital classes come here and abuse our workforce or we’ll abuse our workforce instead, and we’ll be worse!” is the sort of proposal that should be responded to with a table flip.

        • sonamib

          what are the chances they’ll agree to any rules that make it seriously more likely that independent trade unions and civic organizations will arise, which then might form the locus of resistance against the regime?

          Shortsighted greed might help? If the elites want to make more frequent fancy trips to New York and Paris, they better make some money.

        • Linnaeus

          Which would contradict the argument that free trade promotes democracy.

          • Brett

            I still think it does, even in a situation where we don’t have rules protecting labor and environmental rights. By its nature, you’re creating new urban work-forces and more economic openness in the society in question, which can help subvert the regime’s grip. It’s much easier to be totalitarian with a closed society.

    • a_paul_in_mtl

      You do realize that at core, your argument is “that which has not already been done is not worth trying, since we can’t know for sure that it will work any better than what has already been done”

  • bobbyp

    …but the lack of even the slightest explanation of how he will achieve any of them is quite galling at this point.

    Like FDR’s detailed plans to fight the Great Depression during the campaign of 1932?

  • When I was reading Reason Magazine and its blog regularly, expressions of feigned anti-racism were the standard gambit for pushing back against arguments against “free trade.” You don’t want brown people to have middle-class jobs was the free trade version of the Iraq War classic You don’t think Arabs deserve to have democracy.

    So, given the race-baiting the Clinton campaign has indulged in against Bernie Sanders, it’s unsurprising to see it rolled out again by true-believer free traders, Clinton supporters, and free trade true-believer Clinton supporters, in regards to Bernie Sanders’ views on trade deals.

  • bobbyp
    • Brett

      He quotes the “standard story”, but I don’t think that’s been true for a long time – all of the successful cases of major economic development in the past half-century have been export-oriented industrialization (aside from already comparatively rich countries getting richer). It may not have been true in earlier waves of industrialization as well – the US sucked up large amounts of foreign capital in its industrialization, but that was not paralleled with a massive US trade deficit in manufactured goods.

      In fact, considering CEPR is a lefty think tank, I’m surprised he’s arguing for a policy that basically consists of lending poor countries money to buy our exports, like a China situation in reverse (China exports to us, then reinvests the capital in the US). Essentially you’d be encouraging poor countries to rack up massive debt, and it’s questionable whether they’d ever actually develop in this situation.

      The rest is just stuff he’s been peddling for years. He hates the patent system and thinks we could replace it with some type of prizes system, and wants to import tons of skilled professionals to drive down the wages of the existing ones in the US.

  • paulgottlieb

    Bernie Sanders doesn’t “express big picture visions better than policy specifics,” he simply doesn’t have any policy specifics. It was both shocking and disappointing to see how poorly thought out his ideas were. He seemed incapable of backing up his slogans with anything other than more slogans. And these are his issues! The ones he has supposedly cared about for years. And yet he doesn’t seem to have cared enough to come up with any coherent policies. “Everybody should get a pony!” is not a big picture vision when my granddaughter says it, and it’s no moe impressive coming from Bernie Sanders

    • Or you could read the OP, including the links to the legislation he has been proposing regarding this issue for years, instead of mindlessly repeating this talking point about one interview.

      • paulgottlieb

        Well, they asked him some pretty simple questions, and he seemed unable to frame coherent answers. If that doesn’t bother you, fine, But your use of the term “mindless” shows how deep in denial Bernie’s people really are. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Al Franken or a dozen other democrats would have had clear, thought out answers to those questions

        • Brien Jackson

          It’s almost like his staffers probably wrote those bills and, knowing they’d go nowhere (or just generally not caring that much), Sanders didn’t pay them a lot of mind.

          • That’s funny, Brien, you just asked the Very Serious, Important Question of whether Sanders would hire professional staff capable of drafting serious policy.

            If you weren’t just obediently typing whatever seemed like a good argument against Bernie Sanders at any particular moment, it would be much harder to depict you as dishonest.

        • Like I said, you can read the OP and follow the links, or you can keep mindlessly repeating the talking point about one interview.

          I see you chose Option B – mindlessly repeat talking points, but that doesn’t make your assertion that he doesn’t have policy specifics true. Yet another source you might have looked at would be the extensive policy section available on his web page.

          As it turns out, the interview you wish to present as the sole source of policy proposals is no such thing.

          …how deep in denial Bernie’s people really are.

          Oh, I see. Way to knock down the charge of mindlessly reciting campaign rhetoric in place of a serious consideration of the policy substance.

  • efc

    Sanders’ rhetoric isn’t directed at our trading partners or the workers who live in those countries. The talk about renegotiating or ending trade agreements is meant to influence the elites here in the US.

    The current strategy of accepting trade agreements as inevitable and then begging for distributional scraps has not been working. Something needs to change. The elites who draft and support these trade agreements want the trade agreements to be passed. If there is a threat the agreements may not be passed if there aren’t additional measures to distribute the gains then we may see more action in regards to distributing gains from trade.

  • Ormond

    This is a great post. It leads me to my number one problem with (often useful!) data driven journalism:
    I don’t want to ruffle any feathers over at Vox or anything, but… It’s almost as if complicated global phenomena cannot be reduced to “data journalism” genre conventions in which we read three Brookings papers and a SSRN working paper, then extrapolate out. It might, and I know I’m off the reservation here, mean examining the historical and material conditions of particular nations and institutions from different disciplinary and ideological perspectives and imagining ways of living and being that are not the same as, nor are oriented toward, being a middle class person in the United States. I don’t know, I’m just a dreamer I guess.

    • That’s crazy talk.

      Can we require all our commenters have a bachelor’s degree from Harvard? We all know that makes them automatically experts on everything and thus deserving of a $125,000 salary by the age of 24.

      • Ormond

        I edited out a line about an (ahem) AB from Harvard in my post. It’s amazing the sort of contempt for expertise that pervades that crowd, unless the expertise more or less replicates the informed opinions of a non-expert writer with Ivy credentials. It’s almost as though elite education serves primarily to replicate the ruling class and form bourgeois cultural institutions that are meant to support it. But, again, what do I know? I’m just a non-economist who never interned at Slate or TNR.

        • It’s a real problem that “data journalism” which seemed to start out as a useful corrective to “wise villagers know journalism” basically ends up replicating it, just with more Excel and increasing helpings of Freakonomics.

          And I loves me some data analysis!

          Reminds me rather of blogging :)

          Who’s doing long form data journalism? Perhaps the problem is the “here’s a quick pieces about a complex topic” format?

          • sonamib

            The main problem with data is that you can’t reduce a complex topic into a single number. You can maybe reduce it to multiple numbers, but then it isn’t obvious which numbers you should care about. At the end of the day, you still have to make a value judgment in order to say : “this is the number* we have to maximize”.

            Yglesias can argue : “growth is more important than pretax inequality, since it’s always possible to redistribute the money”. I can argue (paging Holbo) : “yes, but the political economy is such that a lot of voters don’t like giving ‘handouts’** to ‘undeserving’ people, so it’s better to have a lot that’s predistributed”. Which one of us is right? It depends on how you read the political situation.

            And of course, there are lots of things that are hard or impossible to reduce to numbers, like environment quality, overall happiness, etc.

            *or more precisely, the function

            **even if it’s not their own money!

          • Ormond

            I like data analysis too. Especially as a counter to know-nothing horse race nonsense. But “data journalism” isn’t an appeal to expertise, but an appeal to elite consensus (albeit a numerate one that originates in certain precincts of the university).

            I used the term “genre” above, and I think that’s kind of the problem. Most of these pieces have settled into a generic format in which they fulfill the demands of the genre and then walk out the door. The author introduces the topic, explains that the CW is misguided, then moves on to an “Actually…” then cites a few papers, or even quotes an expert. At this point, a chart or graph appears summarizing the data presented. A simple interpretation of the data in line with the previously quoted research is presented as a conclusion. Sometimes a reiteration of the fact that the problem is complex and CW does not capture that complexity.

            But…the range of experts is very narrow. Especially when dealing with large phenomena. Ethnographers, or historical and literary experts on the archive of a culture or institution are rarely consulted. I suspect because their research is hard to quantify. But this kind of expertise is often crucial for understanding complicated things. Among other things, these are the kind of experts who often transmit the voice of marginalized, or simply local, people.

            • Steve LaBonne
            • The one good thing about Vox is that they often actually provide the data. I know this has its limits, but Yglesias, especially, used to write as if all his readers could access and interpret the original data sources he used, when most of us couldn’t. Vox provides just a skosh more data than you’d get elsewhere, if you like that kind of thing.

              eta Otherwise, absolutely what you said. That aspect of the “data” crowd drives me bonkers.

              • The Guardian data blog had tons of cool data (lots of posts would have a a Get the Data link at the top) but it seems to have degenerated a bit.

              • CD

                1 piece in 10 at Vox is pretty good. Sadly, the rest read like intern-generated clickbait.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      There is a bigger story here about presidential campaigning that deserves to be told (unless it’s been told somewhere and I just missed it). In the mists of time, but within the memory of a lot of us commenters, presidential candidates weren’t expected to set out a multipage “Plan For” accomplishing everything they supported. They had general positions, and usually those positions fit on single sheets of (actual) paper, which could be handed out or faxed to inquiring reporters. AFAIR it was perfectly OK to say you’d let Congress sweat the details.

      I’m not sure whence the rise of The Plan, but I think it might have been the 1992 Democratic prez campaign. The DLC helped Clinton put out a lot of issue papers in ’91, and olds may remember that the election of Harris Wofford as PA Senator on a health-care platform suddenly required every Dem candidate to have a Health Care Plan.

      Fast forward and now data journalists, who mostly grew up in the 2000s, will eat you alive if you don’t post online a “realistic” (what could this possibly mean, the President doesn’t legislate) and “detailed” Plan for achieving each of your major policy goals. IMO this has a small benefit because it exposes the craziness of the Republicans’ tax “plans,” but of course the elite press only really expects details from Democrats, and Plan-ism (planitis?) has gone way, way too far, because it’s fodder for the self-replicating Ivy-grad gotcha game that Erik complains about.

      Maybe I have the history wrong tho?

      • Ormond

        I didn’t know that. Thanks.

        • Srsly Dad Y

          Well, get two sources before believing it.

          • Ormond

            I made a graph, so it’s true.

  • Quite Likely

    “The key trick these pieces employ involves conflating critiques of specific trade agreements and development policies with rejection of the very concept of trade.”

    It’s crazy how often you see this. Shockingly many people think that “Hurr-durr, haven’t you even heard of comparative advantage?” is a sufficient argument in favor of the TPP.

    • Linnaeus

      You even see this conflation in hard news stories about trade: Democrats opposed to or skeptical of the TPP, for example, are “antitrade” or “trade skeptics”, while those who favor it are “protrade”.

      • Perhaps that’s because the issue has only ever played out as support for trade deals vs. opposition to trade deals.

        Perhaps the next step is to start articulating affirmative liberal/left visions for trade deals, instead of just articulating the problems with the old ones, and the image will shift to two competing pro-trade positions, instead of a pro- vs. an anti-.

        • Linnaeus

          Perhaps the next step is to start articulating affirmative liberal/left visions for trade deals, instead of just articulating the problems with the old ones, and the image will shift to two competing pro-trade positions, instead of a pro- vs. an anti-.

          Here’s one.

          Part of the problem is, as Dean Baker insinuates at the end of the piece, that our discourse about trade carries with it certain assumptions about what it means to be “protrade”.

    • JKTH

      It seems like projection in that they reflexively support any trade agreement because Econ 101 BS so they assume those who oppose them do so reflexively because they’re economic knuckle-draggers. I think the point that Dean Baker often makes (linked above) about trade agreements being selective protectionism is an effective one to make.

      • xq

        It seems like projection in that they reflexively support any trade agreement because Econ 101 BS

        Beauchamp’s argument really isn’t based on comparative advantage. He’s pretty clear that free trade agreements as implemented probably are bad for many American workers. As far as I can tell he doesn’t make econ 101 arguments at all. Baker does make a bunch of arguments (all correct in my view) direct out of Econ 101.

        • JKTH

          I wasn’t speaking to Beauchamp specifically, but you hear plenty of people who argue exactly as Quite Likely said above, that they simplify issues of specific trade agreements down to broad economic theory that has little to do with what a lot of the opposition is about.

      • MDrew

        I sometimes wonder, and this is not meant as a knock, whether Dean Baker is actually an uber-doctrinaire free marketer who has just really perfected the art of talking free maket talk in wys that lefties like.

        That’s probably wrong, but it does seem like the thrust of his arguments is often, “The people talking big free-market talk are really being very selective and favortistic about it; what we actually need is the real, genuine article. REAL free markets would be the awesome!”

        Again, probably not correct, but he does say that a lot imo. I’d be interested in examples of clearly contra-free-market-orthodoxy positions that he holds.

  • Crusty

    Just some random thoughts on trade and Bernie and the working class- As others have said, there seems to be a lot of projecting going on. Bernie’s campaign, at least at the outset, was not so much focused on the “working class” as folks like Erik talk about them, i.e., people without college educations who need things like factory jobs that enable them to live a dignified life, but on the 99% vs. the 1%. The 99% is much larger than just the folks who work at places like Carrier. It includes most of us, including many, many educated professionals, teachers, doctors, etc. And the campaign focused on the notion that the 1% have tremendously outsized influence over our politics, which they use to increase their wealth, which they do by influencing politicians and the debate to give us norms like, taxes are immoral, taxes can never be raised, raising the top marginal tax rate a few percentage points to maybe pay for some schools and roads would destroy the economy, wall street and industry are regulated way too much and not way too little- the type of stuff that made Joe the Plumber think he’d be better off with Mitt Romney than with Obama because he’s gonna be getting that plumbing business any day now and he’ll have to pay the dreaded rich people taxes. So I don’t see Bernie as a champion of the working class, i.e., people who might be stitching clothes together except that the Gap would rather have it done in Bangladesh to save three nickels and avoid pesky lawsuits over people dying. I see him more as taking aim at a larger system that is just unfair- not to this smaller subset, but to most of us. Trade deals are part of that. Trade deals allow our nominally U.S. companies to put more money in their pockets at the expense of Americans who would make oreo’s, air conditioners, etc., as well as at the expense of foregin workers who will be exploited. As for whether Bernie is a white guy who wants to protect white guys, well, I don’t see it that way. He wants to protect everyone- literally, 99% of us, and to the extent that includes people who might build air conditioners at carrier, that includes plenty of minorities. Also, culturally, Jewish guys Bernie’s age from Brooklyn don’t really see themselves as white.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      Endorse. “White working class” is a cliche frame applied by horse-race campaign journalists when candidates talk about income security without regard to race. AFAIK the Sanders campaign never, ever embraced “WWC” as a strategy, it just sounds like a savvy thing for reporters to say.

      • Brien Jackson

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        I’m still not sure if this is paywalled for everyone or just me because I’ve opened it so many times, but if you can read this, Sanders literally defines the white working class, in those exact words, as the biggest, most important demographic group in the country.

        https://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/2014/06/18/im-right-everybody-else-is-wrong-clear-about-that

        • Srsly Dad Y

          It’s pay walled but if he said that he was no doubt answering a question about how a Democrat can win by running to Clinton’s and Obama’s left. The implication of a “WWC strategy” is that Sanders campaigned with an eye on white racial identity or racial sensitivity, which he has not.

          • Brien Jackson

            No he didn’t. The actual context is that Sanders is arguing Democrats can’t do anything because their coalition is built on non-white people, and gets really close to lamenting “gonadal politics.” The titular line is him blowing up when the profiler points out that the white share of the vote is decreasing, and that most people would argue that trying to swap non-white interests for conservative white voters is a losing strategy.

        • Paywalled article + no quote = Brien bullshitting

        • Hogan

          From behind the wall:

          In re­cent months, Sanders has in­dic­ated he’s will­ing to use his fire-and-brim­stone act not simply to in­flu­ence a pres­id­en­tial elec­tion, but also to lay the ground­work for something of a “polit­ic­al re­volu­tion.” “Let me ask you,” he says, his gangly frame strug­gling to con­tain it­self to our couch, “what is the largest vot­ing bloc in Amer­ica? Is it gay people? No. Is it Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans? No. His­pan­ics? No. What?” An­swer: “White work­ing-class people.” Bring them back in­to the lib­er­al fold, he fig­ures, and you’ve got your re­volu­tion.

          Hear­ing this fo­cus on white voters from a left-wing­er sounds odd in 2014. Over the past two pres­id­en­tial-elec­tion cycles, Barack Obama has cobbled to­geth­er a co­ali­tion of out­siders — wo­men, minor­it­ies, yup­pies, and young people. In 2012, he won the low­est per­cent­age of white voters for a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in 20 years. Es­pe­cially with the coun­try’s His­pan­ic pop­u­la­tion in­creas­ing, many Demo­crats view the Obama co­ali­tion as one that will only grow stronger with time. But Sanders, and those around him, are not im­pressed. “The Obama way,” says the sen­at­or’s former chief of staff, Huck Gut­man, now an Eng­lish pro­fess­or at the Uni­versity of Ver­mont, “doesn’t build a last­ing co­ali­tion. It wins you an elec­tion. Obama wins the elec­tion and then he runs in­to all this res­ist­ance. He does not have the coun­try be­hind him.” (Yes, Sanders’s former chief of staff teaches 19th-cen­tury Amer­ic­an po­etry.)

          What Sanders is ad­voc­at­ing as a solu­tion to this prob­lem is a ver­sion of the thes­is Thomas Frank laid out in his 2004 book What’s the Mat­ter With Kan­sas? Frank pos­ited that would-be Demo­crat­ic voters were be­ing stolen away by a GOP that had cornered the mar­ket on so­cial con­ser­vat­ism. “How do you have a party that cre­ated So­cial Se­cur­ity lose the seni­or vote?” Sanders asks me. The an­swer, he be­lieves, is that seni­ors have been dis­trac­ted from the pock­et­book is­sues that should mat­ter most in polit­ics. The Left, in turn, can win them back, along with oth­er white work­ing-class voters, by down­play­ing the cul­ture wars — what Ral­ph Nader once called “gon­adal” is­sues — and in­stead fo­cus­ing on eco­nom­ic pop­u­lism.

          Of course, Sanders sup­ports gay mar­riage and abor­tion rights; he just puts far less em­phas­is on those ques­tions than he does on eco­nom­ics. “He has an over­arch­ing view that tran­scends our ra­cial and gender dif­fer­ences,” says Tom Hay­den, the Stu­dents for a Demo­crat­ic So­ci­ety hero and former Cali­for­nia le­gis­lat­or. “It’s the older view of the so­cial­ists who thought class is­sues could unite all. To ask him to drop that is ask­ing him to change his iden­tity.”

    • bender

      ” Also, culturally, Jewish guys Bernie’s age from Brooklyn don’t really see themselves as white.”

      True dat.

      Between Kissinger, who was Nixon’s Court Jew, and the rise of Jewish neocons, was a watershed moment when elites decided that Jews are really white people.

      • JL

        Yeah, I was trying to figure out how articulate above why the “Angry old white guy appealing to the white working class” framing felt viscerally wrong to me even aside from any issues of ideological disagreement, but I couldn’t quite find a wording that sounded right, so I didn’t address that bit. I’m not sure it’s literally true that Jewish guys Bernie’s age from Brooklyn don’t see themselves as white, but they certainly see themselves as a distinct, weird, and conditional subset of white, in a way that does not lend itself to the “angry white guy trying to appeal to angry white people” trope.

        Between Kissinger, who was Nixon’s Court Jew, and the rise of Jewish neocons, was a watershed moment when elites decided that Jews are really white people.

        I would argue that it was earlier, at least in a literal sense, but that whiteness was and is a strange, marked subtype of white. I think a lot of white Jews, even young ones, see themselves and perceive themselves to be seen as white with an asterisk, for lack of a better way to describe it (and I am including myself in this characterization).

        • My sense is that it’s a bit lenticular. From one angle, Jews are white. From another angle, they aren’t. The shift can be very abrupt.

          I also suspect that it’s phenomenologically distinct from passing, even whole group passing. (With passing, if you are outed, that’s it. With lenticular status, it’s not that you “really are” nonwhite but seem white, but that sometimes you are and sometimes you aren’t).

          The experience of black Ethiopian Jew (in the US or Israel) is also very interesting (esp. in how in interacts with the whiteness of “Jews”).

          • bender

            I came across a term I like for this, “off white”. It’s what Biljan says, belonging to a group that is counted as white in some contexts but not all.

            To see the system working openly with clear boundary maintenance you have to go back before all the civil rights and anti-discrimination laws.

            An off-white man (my father, for instance) could use public accommodations without incident, get an appointment to one of the service academies, and vote below the Mason-Dixon line. He would find it difficult or impossible to pursue some careers, be admitted to elite private schools, live in some neighborhoods, court a white woman, etc.

            This aspect of American social structure is very old, but unlike the major racial categories, different groups move readily in and out of off-white status, and in both directions–to being accepted as completely white, or reclassified as another race.

            Jews were off white from colonial times until after WWII. The process of moving to white-with-no-asterisk was completed around 1980. Irish, and Catholics generally, were off-white for a long time. People with ancestry from southern Europe were off-white until the 1970s. Mexican-Americans have been regarded as white, off-white and brown at various times and places. Japanese Americans were off-white during the first half of the twentieth century; they thought they were on the same track as the Portuguese before Pearl Harbor. They have regained off-white status and seem about one generation from being totes white.

            Obviously what I’m talking about is entirely socially constructed, not anything genetic.

            • I’m going to question the universality of this, at least, because the system required everyone not black or Indian to think of themselves as white, going a very long way back. And if you’re going to tell me everyone in he 1970s said, yeah, Italians and Hungarians are victims of racism . . . yeah, no.

              • bender

                I’m not sure why you mention Hungarians unless you are one; Hungary isn’t in southern Europe.
                To the best of my knowledge (I’m open to being corrected) the native born offspring of gentile immigrants from Central European countries around the turn of the last century got counted as white people of whatever class roughly from the 1920s onward (except for residual anti-Catholic prejudice). By the 1970s, it was not a live issue for them.

                If you are not of Hungarian ancestry, my guess is that your family lines are some combination of Great Britain, German, French, Dutch and Cherokee, mostly Protestant, and traces back to before the American Revolution; the standard mix. If my assumption is correct, your relationship to the social category of whiteness is something you can take for granted; you are the model of a white American and it’s never been contested.

                Even if you don’t know any Italians, you maybe watched The Godfather I and II? Francis Coppola has a different outlook.

                • DrDick

                  There was a lot of prejudice against eastern Europeans in the first half of the 20th century, which extended into the 1950s. You may have heard of “Polack jokes” or “Bohunks”. The same is true of Southern Europeans. None of them was really “white”, though they were not black. They occupied a space similar to Hispanics today.

                • Huh? I’ve said several times I’m Jewish (and this is not my real name), and I’ve known more Italians than any other ethnicity except my own. I was trying to avoid using a slur and thought Hungarian was recognizable enough (it’s used in Sixteen Candles). And maybe in mob circles they play at Italians (Sicilians) being practically black, but not where Italian-Americans are likely to cross with the typical LGM commenter.

                • bender

                  Apologies, Ms. Steele. I intended to delete my last reply to you during the editing process, but didn’t succeed in doing so. I reread all your comments and figured out that you were likely either Jewish or Italian and that I was beating a dead horse.

                  I’ve been reading this blog for about ten days and the comments are voluminous enough that I haven’t tried catching up with anyone’s backstory.

                • galanx

                  Hungarians were differentiated from other East Europeans on the grounds that they were…Huns, hence Asians, see Magyars.

                  Same thing happened to Finns, who, because their language was classified as Uralic (and related to Hungarian) were sometimes clasified non-white. See this story by some guy on some website.
                  http://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2011/09/are-finns-whit

              • SamChevre

                It wasn’t that long a way back, though.

                When my grandfather was a boy, his family couldn’t live in the town where his father worked (this was in the NYC area in the 1920’s). I knew that, and thought of it as something that had stopped a long time ago.

                A few months ago, one of my colleagues mentioned that when she was in high school, they had moved–but not to the town where she now lives, because “Jews couldn’t live there.”

                They were white, but not for all purposes.

              • burritoboy

                The system might seem to be rigid, but it never was. The system often had to waver at the margins to preserve the core. If you look at the racist ideologues of the early twentieth century, they almost universally grouped a huge number of Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans into a separate racial category in between white and black.

            • Jackov

              Japanese Americans were off-white during the first half of the twentieth century; they thought they were on the same track as the Portuguese before Pearl Harbor.

              nope

              • DrDick

                Not even close. Indeed the Supreme Court unambiguously decreed that they were not.

        • My father is a little older than Sanders and grew up in a part of South Philly that was mixed Jewish and Italian. I have little doubt that every Jewish or Italian person in his high school class thinks of himself (boys’ school) as white. They may hate middle or upper class or elite or WASP people, but they don’t doubt they’re white. When my dad taught in North Philly or in his old neighborhood (now Hispanic and Southeast Asian), there was no question he was white. I would be very surprised to discover this wasn’t the case. (If he hadn’t stayed in Philadelphia but had moved to, say, Worcester County, Mass.? But I think he would have found a different explanation than “non-white “.)

          OTOH, that he sees blacks and immigrants now as in the same position his family was in 100 years ago? Sure.

          • Crusty

            “I have little doubt that every Jewish or Italian person in his high school class thinks of himself (boys’ school) as white. They may hate middle or upper class or elite or WASP people, but they don’t doubt they’re white.”

            Did they feel any kind of white solidarity with white farmers in Iowa? White factory workers in the midwest or South?

            • White farmers? probably not, they knew they weren’t blond enough to be welcome in Iowa and from an urban vantage point, the country seems like a big middle class suburb. They weren’t Communists, it seems like they were more into white solidarity.

              Factors workers elsewhere? Why not, since lots of them, or their parents were factory workers and union members themselves?

          • DrDick

            Depending on how much older than Sanders he is, he was coming of age during the period when Southern and Eastern Europeans were becoming white after WWII. Jews did not fully become white until the late 1960s (many of the clubs and institutions which banned black members also banned Jews).

            • I’m going to guess that’s how it seemed to you in the Midwest.

              • DrDick

                Actually, that is how it was on the east coast. I only heard about it in the news, where this was an issue during the civil rights era.

              • burritoboy

                This isn’t some kind of weird outlier in Dr. Dick’s fantasies. That Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans as well as the Irish were not white was so common an idea in the early to mid twentieth century that it was a core belief of the revived KKK. (One of the major scandals of the 1920s was that the KKK assassinated a number of Catholic priests in the South.) Numerous authors of the time openly satirized the idea – the most famous instance is in The Great Gatsby, but there’s plenty of other mentions.

                • Ronan

                  Yes, protestant supremacists didn’t like Catholics or jews. This is neither unique to the kkk nor best explainable with theories of “whiteness “

                • DrDick

                  Yes, protestant supremacists didn’t like Catholics or jews. This is neither unique to the kkk nor best explainable with theories of “whiteness “

                  Really? You obviously need to do more research, like I have.

                • Ronan

                  Instead of googling irrelevancies to win arguments I’m not making (who doesn’t know other groups were racialised) ,how about dealing with the long quote below?

                • DrDick

                  They also lynched at least one Jew.

        • Crusty

          “Yeah, I was trying to figure out how articulate above why the “Angry old white guy appealing to the white working class” framing felt viscerally wrong to me even aside from any issues of ideological disagreement, but I couldn’t quite find a wording that sounded right, so I didn’t address that bit.”

          I think part of it is that Bernie is simultaneously appealing to the white working class, as well as the limousine liberal who would like to help the white working class.

    • Ronan

      Oh come on. They might not see themselves as part of the establishment, or they might see themselves as a different ethnicity, but there’s literally no way he sees himself as”not white” in any non trivial manner.
      I do have my problems with this “becoming white” theorizing though (in that it’s a perhaps useful concept completely overused) so perhaps this is just my scepticism speaking

      • Ronan

        Ie “Critics of the “whiteness” thesis began by pointing out the vague and slippery nature of the concept. Scholars seemed to be finding “whiteness” wherever they looked, yet it was frustratingly difficult to know what they meant by the term. “Whiteness,” its proponents insisted, was not a matter of skin color. Was it then to be understood as a symbol for labor exploitation, with lack of “whiteness” connoting lower-class position? Was it a substitute term for social success, with the Irish overcoming adversity, moving toward respectability and assimilation, and thereby acquiring “whiteness”? Or was it a surrogate for racism and white supremacy? All three elements—class position, upward social mobility, and assimilation through racism—were central to the history of European migrants in the United States. But why use “whiteness” as a symbol, substitute, or surrogate instead of trying to explain the historical processes—the real social relations between real people— involved in this history? To amplify this objection, critics pointed to the shaky empirical founda-tions of the “whiteness” thesis. The scare quotes surrounding “whiteness” suggested that it was intended as a shorthand term for something important. But what was that something? The answer to this question remained frustrat-ingly elusive.
        On the one hand, “whiteness” seemed to be an overarching analytical concept for explaining history; on the other hand, it was presented as a central preoccupation of historical actors who lacked “whiteness,” set out to acquire it, and sometimes worried about losing it. Arnesen and Fields found neither version of this argument coherent. To pose the well-known question of “how the Irish became white” presupposed that the Irish did become white. But this presupposition introduced an often fatal element of circularity into the argument. According to Arnesen and Fields, “white-ness” scholars first invented a subject of inquiry and then projected forms of identity onto past actors that the available historical evidence could not sustain. As Fields put it, “whiteness leads to no conclusions that it does not begin with as assumptions.” Instead it “offers us endless variations on the theme of race that, reproducing their assumptions as conclusions, invari-ably end where they started.”
        The result was a concept of ever-decreasing coherence.
        This conceptual confusion, in turn, had serious implications for histori-ans’ understanding of race and racism. According to the “whiteness thesis,” experiencing racism was the necessary precondition of becoming white: to say that the American Irish were initially seen as less than white was to say that they were consigned to an inferior race. The Irish allegedly set out to acquire “whiteness” in order to improve their position. Yet if these immigrants could “become white,” and black people, by definition, could not, then what sort of racism did the Irish experience? Put another way, to what race had the Irish supposedly been consigned? Fields suggested that “whiteness” studies, as a subset of “multiculturalism” and “multiracialism,” proceeded on the assumption “that a blight becomes a blessing if widely enough diffused.”
        If everyone had a racial identity, in other words, race became benign. The scholars Fields criticized had expanded their defini-tion of race (the “unmarked marker” of the privileged majority) in order to evaluate the unfair advantages accruing to “whiteness.” But Fields took issue with the idea that everyone has a race and that racial identities can be acquired voluntarily. Insisting that race was starkly “asymmetrical” and “bipolar,” she argued that people, such as slaveowners, who consigned race on others, such as slaves, thereby exerted a power capable of obliterating the identity and agency of their subjects. From this perspective, the idea that European immigrants either had a racial identity or strove to acquire one was at best incoherent. Who would choose to acquire race if they could avoid doing so? “

        • Ronan

          Barbara fields surely knows what she’s talking about

          • DrDick

            No, obviously she does not (either that or you do not understand what she is trying to say and took this out of context). That is totally vacuous with no actual data or logic to at all. It also does not address anything that I or others here have said.

            • Ronan

              Look dr dick, as convincing asyour declarations to authority and decontextualised historical nuggets are , your (and others) objections to the responses to crusty are what’s irrelevant.
              Here the point. Were these groups racialised at times ? Yes, of course. Particularly in periods when racial categories and racial rhetoric was the norm. They were also victims of discrimination based on confessional divisions, national and cultural ones, political, class etc removed from racialisation. Thd question thdn becomes why is race the best category of analysis? Why is racial discrimination a better category of analysis for the Irish and Polish then being catholic, or foreign, or working class or a Fenian? Or for the Jew than their religion ? The fact that they were racialised at times is not in dispute , the point is that they were a lot of other things, so you’re taking a specific phenomenon (racialisation) done in specific circumstances for specific reasons by specific people and instead of explaining it in that context you’re turning it into an explanation for everything. Hence crustys “sanders saw himself as not white ” or “anti Semitic hotel owners saw Jews as not white”. Again you’re assuming not white is the relevant marker , but I don’t see why it is.
              They were not subject to extensive, institutionalised racial discrimination like blacks were. They were discriminated against on multiple grounds, because they were seen as having multiple relevant identities. Blacks were discriminated on one, primarily , race, because in a racist country their race was all that matters. Saying that some European immigrants were seen as an inferior race and became white (rather than became American , or became the establishment, or became bourgeoise ) trivialises racism and the position of it in American history

              • DrDick

                They were also victims of discrimination based on confessional divisions, national and cultural ones, political, class etc removed from racialisation. Thd question thdn becomes why is race the best category of analysis? Why is racial discrimination a better category of analysis for the Irish and Polish then being catholic, or foreign, or working class or a Fenian? Or for the Jew than their religion ?

                Racializtion is the proper marker for these groups at that time because their marginalization was constructed in terms of inherent, biological character, not religious belief or other cultural practice. You seem to be operating under the illusion that “race” has any sort of empirical, measurable reality. It does not. All racial categories are cultural fictions used to marginalize some groups in favor of others. Again, the position of these European groups in the 19th and early 20th century was the same as Hispanics in the US today. They were not White, a privileged cultural category, bot not actually black either. Your quote above refers to something else entirely and has nothing to do with this.

                • Ronan

                  Okay, let me put this another way, but pose it as a series of questions so we’re no longer talking past each-other (and my quote refers to the comment I replied to, which was before the follow up conversations you were involved in, so does have something to do with it)

                  Here are two things I can easily accept (1) that race is a “cultural fiction” and (2) that European immigrants were at times ‘racialised’. I have never disputed either of these claims.
                  What I have disputed is that this was done to such an extent that the proper way of framing their experience is being categorised as an inferior race, and then ‘becoming white.’ As you yourself say, they ‘weren’t black but also weren’t quite white.’ If you can’t even clarify what they *were* then how far does this theory go ? And if they were able to ‘become white’ (something not open to people of African ancestry) then in what meaningful way were they ever turned into a subordinate race? So why is race (rather than culture, class, foreignness) the useful analytical category?

                  Going on from that, afaict the marker of race (and so social inferiority) in the US was blackness. The ideology supporting their subordination was built over centuries in the material conditions of slavery and oppression. In this context it makes sense that the new lower classes were compared to this subordinate class, but what were people doing when they compared them? Were they creating a new racial category? (Irish, or Jewish) Or were they just using modes of thinking and oppression to excuse, justify and prolong poor immigrants lower social status? If they didn’t (which they didn’t afaict) create a complicated, systematic, societal racial ideology to subordinate these European groups, and if these groups were able to (by the telling) ‘become white’ (or become American, or Middle class) then how were they meaningfully seen as a subordinate race?
                  I just don’t see where this theory gets us outside of very limited explanations of *how* they were racialised, at specific times in specific contexts.’

                • DrDick

                  I regard to your first question, race is not and never has been just about black and white. In modern America, there are three large blocks: white at the top, black at the bottom and “brown” in the middle. The latter group includes Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. Their status is somewhat ambiguous, but they are never really white (at present), though they can sometimes be “white-ish”. The groups we are talking about fell into this category in the past.

                  As for the third question, race is the proper analytical category because their difference (and inferiority) is/was seen as innate and “biological”, therefore not subject to change. Jews remained Jews regardless of their religious beliefs, for instance.

                  As to “becoming white”, this is a contingent possibility for some groups, but is not automatic or inevitable. For the groups we have been discussing, the most common explanation is that they became white when displaced upward by new arrivals (the Irish by Eastern and Southern Europeans, including the Jews). The latter groups were displaced by African Americans during the Great Migration to the Northern cities.

                  As I said at the top race and racism have never just been about black and white. I have spent a lot of time reading the 19th and early 20th century scholarly literature on race and it has always been about ranking all ethnic groups based on supposed biological characteristics. Every attribute of the individuals was said to be determined by heredity, including intelligence, character, emotionality, industry, etc. This is what defines racism, the assumption that your character and abilities are defined by your race and therefore fixed.

                  The race concept, in its modern sense emerged gradually in the late 18th-early 19th century, largely to justify colonialism and slavery. Essentially, it existed (and still does) to justify oppression and exploitation. Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” derives from this. It still influences our behavior and policies, both domestically and internationally.

                  The importance of the concept derives from its assertion of innate, unchangeable difference and inferiority. Ethnic, religious, class differences are subject to change and therefore fluid. Race is not.

                  It is worth noting that racism derives out of prior justifications for aristocratic privilege and some scholars in the early 20th century in Britain argued for the futility of trying to educate and improve the lot of the poor.

                  I hope this clarifies things a bit.

                • DrDick

                  I would add that a major difference between racism and the earlier class based distinction has to do with the degree and nature of the difference. For social class, there i an acknowledgement of relatedness. That is there may be enduring differences in ability, but we are all British or American or whatever. With racism, this connection is explicitly rejected and they are completely and forever “other”.

      • Crusty

        Put it this way- if a white Jewish fella of Bernie’s age and geographic origin hears a politician talking about wanting to help whites, he has a sense that he is not included in the group that he wants to help. If said politician starts talking about how Mexicans are taking jobs from real Americans and then a reporter asks that politician how he feels about Jews, it probably isn’t going to be something nice.

        • Ronan

          Sure, he might not associate with a specific political demographic. But why confuse this with “whiteness “? What does that clarify ? He might have been a Jew who felt that when people spoke of “real America” they were speaking about certain types of Americans that he didn’t belong to. But whiteness as the category of analysis just strikes me as muddying the waters.

          • Crusty

            I don’t know why people get all bent out of shape about this, but its very simple- people who are into things like “white power” or “white pride” or hate blacks, hate latinos, don’t like immigrants, say things like “white people are discriminated against” because of things like affirmative action and black lives matter, the KKK- they usually don’t like Jews. Or liberals. Or liberal Jews.

            What does it clarify? Well, I don’t know that it clarifies, but put it this way- it is an improvement over the idea that Bernie is an old white guy appealing to the angry white working class. Those words evoke something vastly different than what Bernie is. If you don’t see that, you’re just ignorant. Pat Buchanan appealed to the angry white working class.

          • DrDick

            The Nazis did not consider Jews or Slavs to be “white” and the KKK feels the same about Jews and Southern Europeans, as well as Hispanics. This really is not complicated. The Irish were not “white” in either the US or Britain in the 19th century and were routinely portrayed in the same way as blacks, sometimes quite directly.

            • so-in-so

              NPR had an interview a year or two back with a director (don’t remember his name) who told the story of his family planning a vacation to Florida after WWII. His dad had served in the OSS. They drove from somewhere up north, possibly NY, to the hotel they had planned to stay at (had to be the Royal Poinciana in Boca Raton from his description) only to see a sign that said “No dogs, n_s or Jews”. He expected his father to raise a fuss, but they somewhat sadly found a different hotel instead.

              The point being that clearly the hotel owners did not view Jews as “white”.

              • Ronan

                Ffs, this doesn’t mean they “weren’t seen as white” , it means the hotel owners are anti Semites

                • Exactly. Racism in the South has always been directed at blacks. Anti-semitism is something very different.

                • DrDick

                  Speaking as a Southerner who grew up in the 50s and 60s, Jews definitely were not considered “white” by many in the South, or in many other places. Antisemitism is simply a variety of racism and antisemites have routinely portrayed Jews as nonwhite.

                • DrDick,

                  That may be the case where you lived, but just as poor whites were embraced within the ruling class in the South, to keep them under control, so were the non-black working class elsewhere. And in much of the country, the non-black working class was largely made up of recent immigrants. This has to have started around WWII. Now maybe this has turned into working class racism against those not part of that postwar settlement, but I don’t think telling anyone Catholics and Jews are victims of racism just like the African Americans is going to fly very far.

                • Crusty

                  I’m sorry, Bianca, but you’re missing quite a bit. The second iteration of the KKK, begun around 1915 in Atlanta, which I believe counts as the South, directed its anger against Blacks, Jews and Catholics. And not coincidentally, Catholics were often Irish or Italian.

                  Find a southern white guy who hates blacks, there’s a good chance he doesn’t care much for jews either. Its part of one big giant pile of hatred.

                • Crusty

                  Bianca, why are you shockingly unaware of prejudice by the white establishment against new immigrants, even the white ones. You make it sound like white people were sitting here watching the boats arrive, and saying “good, more white people.” That was not the case.

                • burritoboy

                  Of course, they were anti-Semites as well, but notably this wasn’t primarily some form of primarily religious discrimination. In fact, there was often equal or more discrimination against Jews who had converted to Christianity or were at best only nominally observant than against observant ones.

                  The racial discourse of the time made race the foundation of religion as well. I.E. the reason why Italian immigrants had an anti-Anglo-Saxon religion was because of their lesser race, not vice-versa. Degenerate races were believed to pick degenerate religions (Judaism, Catholicism, etc.) while superior races generated superior religions (Protestantism).

                • Crusty,

                  I admit I am missing any reason why millions of Jewish and Catholic Northerners would have any idea what the KKK thought of them. Or why I, now, today, have to accept the KKK definitions of words.

                • burritoboy

                  “Crusty,

                  I admit I am missing any reason why millions of Jewish and Catholic Northerners would have any idea what the KKK thought of them.”

                  They were conversely extremely well-aware of what the KKK thought of them. I would doubt that any Catholic or Jew of those times in the US was unaware of them.

                  1. The revived KKK was extremely important – indeed, probably vital – in the Democratic Party in the 1920s. The 1926 Democratic convention basically was a huge brawl between Northern Democrats and Southern Democrats over lynching. Lynching was then basically how the KKK ruled the areas it controlled. The KKK supporters (nearly half the delegates) at the 1926 convention went and burned a huge field of crosses showing their enthusiasm for the organization. This was widely covered in all the newspapers and happened in the New York City suburbs.

                  2. The KKK liked terrorism against Jewish and Catholic targets. As I mentioned, there were multiple assassinations of Catholic priests throughout the South. This was widely covered in the press, and the Catholic press (throughout the country) wrote very extensively about these attacks. The Catholic hierarchy was quite enraged by this – and throughout the country. There was similar oppression towards the Jewish community, and these attacks were thoroughly covered in Jewish media, as well as in the general media.

                • DrDick

                  bianca steele:

                  This is one of my areas of professional expertise and is not based on my personal experience, but rather 30 years of research and teaching the subject. This is not even in question among those of us who study the topic.

                • I disagree that what’s at issue here is correct scholarly terminology. Historically, northern workers thought of themselves as white unless they were black or Indian. Politically, they are and were white. No public statement to the contrary would have been permitted, regardless of what rich people thought privately, or what could be said publicly in the south. We’re not talking about “race” here but about who was permitted to consider themselves not a member of the excluded other, in spite of not being wealthy. There are no white American people alive today who experienced the equivalent of anti-black racism. Period.

                • Moreover, the discussion here is whether the “white working class” includes Catholics, which is about as stupid a question as they come.

                • DrDick

                  Historically, northern workers thought of themselves as white unless they were black or Indian.

                  It does not matter how they regarded themselves. Whiteness is something that is bestowed by those with power and in the early 20th century, it was not bestowed on Jews or Eastern and Southern Europeans, just as it is not now bestowed on Hispanics.

            • Ronan

              I understand this history, but the Nazis are sui generis. The irish might have been racialised (particularly in britain) in the 19th century, but they were also seen as culturally and confessionally distinct. None of this speaks to what use this dogma “becoming white” serves.
              I’m with Barbara fields (quoted above) that it’s theoretically incoherent, explanatoraly close to useless, and completely in thrall to it’s assumptions with the conclusions built in from the start (ironic considering the objections we often have against economists on these grounds)
              Not all bigotry is explainable by these ridiculous racial categorisations

              • so-in-so

                Ffs back, “white” in this case isn’t some literal, it implies not only fitting into the dominant political and economic structure of “White Supremacy” but also within a cultural structure of associations. It is short-hand, and is as coherent as the basic concept of “race” is to begin with. I guess we could list out all the people not allowed to stay at the Royal Poinciana ca. 1950, but it would probably be a longish list.

                • Ronan

                  I know what it implies. I’m saying the implication is ridiculous

                • Ronan

                  No offence meant by the “ffs” above, btw. ; )

                • Crusty

                  “I know what it implies. I’m saying the implication is ridiculous.”

                  Well then you’re just an idiot.

                  Bernie may be angry, old and white, and he may have a certain appeal to the working class, but ffs, angry, old, white, appealing to the working class invokes a guy telling a reporter I’m voting for so and so because we’ve got too many Mexicans and niggers running around this country, and Bernie is not that. To characterize Bernie as an angry old white guy making an appeal to the working class is to miss the point completely. David Duke and Bernie Sanders are not in the same category, though they may both be white. See?

                • Ronan

                  Wtf are you going on at me with this Bernie bullshit for ? I’ve made no claims about Bernie being an angry old white dude who only cares about the white working class. I think that, both theoretically and rhetorically, it is less than useless but it has nothing to do with anything I’ve Said

                • Crusty

                  Scroll up. You replied to me.

                • Ronan

                  Yes, but my reply was not about what you’re talking about now. I only replied saying Sanders never meaningfully considered himself non white. I understand what the rhetoric of “angry white dude out for the white working class” represents, and why it Is so unsuited to Sanders particularly given his history as an urban, liberal, Jewish, son of immigrants. But my objection was to the idea of seeing Sanders within American conceptions of “whiteness”, rather than what he should be seen in, a child of immigrants, an ethnic minority and someone who didn’t fit US ideals of what it meant to be American. The question here, again, Is why is whiteness a useful category ?
                  All I’m saying(and as my long quote above stated explicitly), whiteness is not a useful analytical category

                • so-in-so

                  All Americans are “children of immigrants” except the Native Americans, who wield no real political or economic power and are treated as badly as any other “non-white”; while even recent immigrants from northern Europe fare better than black people who’s ancestors where brought here 200 years ago, longer than most WASP people have been here. THAT is why the “white” racial concept is used as more coherent than “native” vs. “immigrant”.

                • bender

                  Part of the point I originally had in mind is that genteel Anti-Semitism was normative in polite society through the first half of the twentieth century, expressed by elite actions such as as mandatory restrictive covenants in new housing tracts, quotas on the numbers of Jews admitted to the better medical schools, and entire industries that did not promote Jews in executive positions. Top down norms.

                  After WWII, probably because of The Final Solution, respectable anti-Semitism gradually became less respectable. One eventual outcome and lagging indicator was the rise of Jewish neocons, Jews operating in concert with Christians and secularists to defend the rights of the wealthy and powerful; it demonstrates that the elites are no longer very anti-Semitic and that some Jews feel secure enough in their own positions to identify totally with upper class power and privilege.

                  In the U.S., the reservoirs of fervent antisemitism are mainly among the working class, the uneducated, and some of their religious leaders. The original KKK was led by upper class men; the revived KKK of the 1920s had middle class leadership; current antisemitic organizations have lower middle class and working class leaders. This is a big shift, probably not permanent, but interesting.

              • DrDick

                The Nazis are anything but sui generis, but rather represent one manifestation of a general pattern in Europe going back to the Middle Ages. Your objections assume that race is anything other than an arbitrary cultural construct used to exclude certain groups from full participation in society, which is exactly it is. “Whiteness” has no biological or empirical meaning. The very concept is nonsense from a scientific standpoint.

                • I would guess that the U.S. is sui generis in being unable to conceive of any real, significant prejudice that doesn’t boil down to white vs. black.

                • so-in-so

                  The racists themselves where (and are) the ones who define the”white race” and set it off against blacks, Jews, Irish, Italians, etc. It isn’t that the Irish or Jews “see” themselves as not-white, its that the WASP establishment sees them as not-white. Once a concession is reached and someone is allowed into the “white” club, one of the requirements is generally that they agree about the other people who are still “not-white”. The British press in the 19th century is certainly full of references to the “Irish Race”, usually accompanied by racist illustrations that imply ape-like characteristics to the typical Irishman.

                • burritoboy

                  Quite frankly, I’m not sure where Bianca’s confusions come from. The racial discourse of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century incorporated but also simultaneously heavily transformed some already existing prejudices between competing ethnic or religious groups.

                  You can see this in how things shift in the late nineteenth century. Before then, a Jew who converted to Protestantism or Deism, was regarded as a smart and fine fellow completely indistinguishable (or perhaps even superior to) from any other upstanding citizen. After about 1870-1880, it literally didn’t matter whether a Jew converted – Jewishness had moved from being viewed as a religion (which Protestants naturally opposed as a wrongheaded religion, but wasn’t some sort of inherent biological construct) to being a derivative of the degenerate Jewish race.

                  So both the Protestants of say 1810 and 1920 are anti-Semites of a sort, but their grounds for their anti-Semitism were completely different. The 1920 anti-Semitism is also much more virulent – the 1810 Protestant anti-Semite thought that Jews were just wrongly informed or unenlightened (and thus a fertile field for potential converts which then generally meant trying to lure Jews in through good treatment), while the 1920 Protestant anti-Semite thought that the mere presence of people of a Jewish race (no matter what religion they currently practiced) was a very bad thing.

                • DrDick

                  I would guess that the U.S. is sui generis in being unable to conceive of any real, significant prejudice that doesn’t boil down to white vs. black.

                  You are the only one pushing that view. Racism does not just apply to blacks. Antisemitism is every bit as much a form of racism.

                • That you’re claiming a view that sees the most important racial classification in the U.S. as one that groups hillbillies and Boston Brahmins together, and see nothing strange about the fact that this happens to be the opinion of the people you grew up among yet is not shared by anyone else except people worried they’re losing the oppression Olympics, is maybe not something you should be proud to admit.

                • DrDick

                  That you’re claiming a view that sees the most important racial classification in the U.S. as one that groups hillbillies and Boston Brahmins together, and see nothing strange about the fact that this happens to be the opinion of the people you grew up among yet is not shared by anyone else except people worried they’re losing the oppression Olympics, is maybe not something you should be proud to admit.

                  Have you ever even read the scholarly literature on race and ethnicity? This has nothing to do with my personal background and was very much shared by many people in Chicago when I lived there for 12 years. You are the one pushing a highly idiosyncratic and provincial view of these issues. A wide variety of ethnic groups have suffered racialization at various points in time and in different places. Some of them overcame that, though not generally through their own efforts. Southern and Eastern Europeans, as well as the Irish, are among those. Jews have largely, though not completely shed that, but there is still a lot of antisemitism and it has nothing to do with religion, as it applies equally to secular and religious Jews. If you see who these groups are described, it is in racial terms, not religion or culture.

              • bender

                Anybody here make a claim that all bigotry is explained by these particular categories?

                • DrDick

                  Not me.

  • No Longer Middle Aged Man

    Discussions of trade would generally be more productive if people stop kidding that they are about “free trade” however defined. At this point the dispute is really about “more trade” or not. Trade in 2016 isn’t “free” in any useful sense of the word:

    1. Someone always pays even if there’s aggregate economic improvement because the compensating transfer payments to the losers are a myth. This, maybe, used to even out inter-generationally — e.g., the descendants of displaced cottagers were, again maybe, eventually at some point in time and not necessarily permanently, better off as industrial factory workers — but I don’t see the evidence for that case today or in the near future.

    2. In most cases at least one government of the nations involved cross-border transactions is actively engaged in “guiding” those transactions (in terms of which industry sectors they will occur in) so hardly free in the laissez faire sense

    3. I can’t be arsed to check the most recent approximation (exact numbers obviously are impossible to determine), but ~50% of international trade occurs between affiliates of the same company, so it’s less about nations exchanging goods and services with each other than it is about corporations making internal decisions (so hierarchies rather than [free] markets)

    None of this is an argument for or against TPP or other arrangements, but to support the OP in re “But let’s have a dialogue about actual histories and policies, and not airy abstractions.”

    • CD

      On 1: Doesn’t your argument about losers apply just as well to trade within a country? E.g. Walmart or Amazon put small firms out of business within the US.

      On 2: The word “guiding” is doing a lot of work for you, no?

      On 3: Apologies for the extreme pedantry, but if we’re critiquing the dogmatic free-trader position, then for those folks, it’s not “nations” exchanging but individuals and firms who happen to be located in different nations exchanging, and it’s no problem if trade is mediated through affiliates. In other words if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool neoclassical economist, firms are rational actors dealing in goods and factor markets in different places, and particular transactions will move inside or outside the boundaries of the firm depending on informational and management efficiencies etc. It *is* a problem for that position that a lot of production worldwide is oligopolistic, but I don’t see that the fact of affiliate-mediated trade across borders changes much.

      TPP, FWIW, is not really a “free trade” agreement in any useful sense and Krugman, if I remember rightly, has argued against it on free trade grounds.

  • Ormond

    Also this:

    The last point leads to a larger one about critiques of “free trade.” Sanders’ problems with free trade agreements like NAFTA or TPP do not stem from an anti-intellectual nationalism.

    Lots of discussion of “free trade” have either an ignorant or tendentious sense of political history in which there are liberal internationalists, anti-intellectual nationalists, and miscellaneous totalitarians. The idea that US political history is not a story of simple dialectic leading inexorably to the Washington synthesis of capitalism and liberalism is ignored; the idea that post-colonial movements have a complex political relationship to capitalism, nationalism, and socialism, and often incorporate indigeneity or even a sense of geography as an ideological formation passes unnoticed.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      Could you come to my house and rant for me at the dinner table so I can eat? Thx

      • Now I’ve got an idea for a rant-sharing app.

        • Sign me up!!!

        • Bruce B.

          Rantr. Guaranteed big bucks.

      • Steve LaBonne

        Heh. I’ve been trying to control my own ranting impulses for the sake of my long-suffering wife. But things are so fucked up and bullshit that it’s hard…

        • DrDick

          More reasons I am glad I am single. Of course that also means I have no one to rant to except the cat, who just ignores me.

      • Ormond

        Yes! I have very competitive rates!

  • ProgressiveLiberal

    Not a single one of you has even the slightest idea how trade is supposed to work – even those who i agree with. I am dumber for having read the comments.

    • sharculese

      Wait… you can get dumber?

      …How…?

      btw, a smart person thinks twice before setting themselves up for such a clear layup.

      • DrDick

        But Pl would not know a smart person if they smacked him upside the head with a 2×4 (which is what any half way intelligent person would do).

      • ProgressiveLiberal

        I couldn’t care less about your silly replies.

        Between Loomis’ hatred of productivity increases and trade of any sort, and the rest of y’all having no idea how trade should work, liberals sounds like a bunch of neanderthal luddites. Although trade has harmed many americans (and benefited many others, even the middle class), trade done right could benefit virtually everyone here. I mean, there really is no reason we should be making our own socks, even if slaves shouldn’t be making them either. And unemployment isn’t intrinsic to trade. I get the desire to throw the baby out with the bath water, but geez, isn’t that what we insult conservatives for doing? Do we advocate getting rid of welfare because there are people who are scamming the system? Do we really want to go back to farming and knitting by hand?

        There is never an intelligent economic discussion here about trade (or productivity…or unemployment…it seems no one understands macroeconomics) – instead we get rambling comments and silly bickering.

        You know, those countries we keep talking about – Denmark, etc – have some of the most “free” and open economies in the world.

        Maybe Loomis could have more guest posts by people who know what they are talking about, and less commenting from the insane asylum.

        • Pseudonym

          Maybe the point isn’t that socks should be made in the US but that US companies shouldn’t be selling socks made by Bangladeshi garment workers in conditions where they are being killed by building collapses. But I’m sure that you can lecture at us that criminally lax safety standards are just a manifestation of David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage (which none of us could possibly understand) and therefore unassailable.

          • ProgressiveLiberal

            …except thats exactly what i said – “even if slaves shouldn’t be making them either.” But the fact that some of our stuff is made in other countries isnt the cause of our unemployment problem or wage stagnation problem. Hell we had 4% year round unemployment rate in 2000, even after we signed the admittedly terrible nafta deal. Denmark has a $20 effective min wage, even though i can buy the same slave goods at H&M on Stroget in Copenhagen. Bernie is right, our trade DEALS are universally bad, but trade is a good thing overall. (Same with productivity.) Now, the proper adjustment we need to make to our trade is to lower the value of the dollar to decrease the trade deficit and increase aggregate demand to try to increase employment and wages. And we need to stop the fed from raising rates to prevent these very things. Absent these two policies (or another bubble) we will never see high levels of employment and wage gains ever again.

            • Pseudonym

              Okay, that’s a reasonable argument, but there are still some problems. For one thing, the current U-3 unemployment rate is only 5%, but it’s not a good measure of underemployment or structural versus cyclical unemployment. Lowering the value of the dollar might help in theory but it would have many other repercussions. For one thing, the renminbi is tied loosely to the dollar (now as part of a basket of currencies), so unless the US somehow gained control of Chinese currency policy the effects of a dollar revaluation would be limited. It could also spark a widespread disinvestment from the US as well as a global trade war during a still-fragile recovery. What sort of timeline for revaluation are you talking about?

        • sonamib

          I mean, there really is no reason we should be making our own socks, even if slaves shouldn’t be making them either. And unemployment isn’t intrinsic to trade. I get the desire to throw the baby out with the bath water, but geez, isn’t that what we insult conservatives for doing?

          Did you even read the OP? Here’s Sanders quoted in the OP :

          I’m not anti-trade. We live in a global economy, we need trade. But the trade policies that we have allowed to occur, that were written by corporate America have been disastrous for American workers.

          So I think we need trade. But I think it should be based on fair trade policies. No, I don’t think it is appropriate for trade policies to say that you can move to a country where wages are abysmal, where there are no environmental regulations, where workers can’t form unions.

          (emphasis mine)

          That’s exactly the position you outlined, right? Again, you seem to have a lot more fun arguing with the strawmen in your head than actually admitting you agree with the OP.

          Btw, it’s not written by Loomis, it’s guest post. Go read it, it’s really good.

  • Pingback: Zack Beauchamp and the Free Trade Strawman - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money()

It is main inner container footer text