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Morning coffee break

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Whatever my deficiencies, I’ve never been reluctant to engage with commenters. Here are a few responses to what I’ve seen so far. I am not going to engage with silly paraphrases that misrepresent or exaggerate what I write to the point of absurdity. Save it for Twitter.

coffeeI didn’t really come here to talk about LGM. My flawed ‘hive’ impression was based on limited interactions with Scott. I don’t mind conceding that point; it was exaggerated, at the very least. I confess I don’t follow law professors much, including those I might agree with. Economics professors, yes. I’m only one man!

Commenters are taking “stolen” too literally. There is no question in my mind that Bernie was outvoted. Nor is there any question that the DNC was stacked against him. There is no point in trying to factor one out against the other. The nomination is settled, but the fairness of the process is a legitimate object of analysis too. In any case, there are bigger fish to fry now. That’s all I mean.

C.V. Danes affirms his willingness to tax the rich, as indeed do I. But for social-democracy, we need more. There is too much more to do, and not enough to be gained from the very wealthy and, if you like, corporations. I did a piece on that some time ago. There is enough for a greatly enlarged welfare state, but if we’re talking social-democracy, we need upwards of 40 percent of GDP in revenue. Presently we are south of 30 percent (Federal, state and local combined). One of my pet peeves about the U.S. left is that its usual appeal is, we can have nice things, but you won’t have to pay for it. Well, if they’re really nice, shouldn’t people want to pay for it?

To Professor Pohl, re: the durability of Cuban socialism, socialism in one big country, maybe. Socialism in one little island at this point, after the dissolution of Soviet and Chinese socialism, very doubtful. The Venezuelan piggy-bank is empty and Fidel isn’t getting any younger. My (liberal) Cuban econ professor tells me Fidel’s family owns all kinds of enterprises on the island. I don’t give it much time.

I would also take exception to the formulation, Soviet economics went fine albeit at the extreme expense of the peasantry. To me that’s not a functional process. In the final analysis, the Soviet economies could not match the West’s provision of consumer goods. So it isn’t that those systems didn’t work on some level; it’s that they didn’t work well enough.

I will address the post-November question in further posts.

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