Link roundup for Thanksgiving weekend

A few significant things happened while America watched football this weekend.

Commentators are finally starting to notice a strange trend in American life. The innovation economy is not only creating income inequality, it is concentrating the bulk of income growth in certain cities, mostly on the coasts. The “death of distance” has died.

From The Atlantic: Why the Economic Fates of America’s Cities Diverged

Good reminder as tensions with Russia heat up. The battlefield is no longer the battlefield.

From Gizmodo: The Next Big War Will Be Digital—and We’re Not Ready For It

Where do the Chinese go to find financial security? The United States.

From the NY Times: Chinese Cash Floods U.S. Real Estate Market

It is getting harder to love college football.

From The Atlantic: The Bleak Future of College Football

And a little good news. Ted Cruz condemns the terrorist attack on Planned Parenthood in Colorado.

From the Texas Tribune: Cruz Condemns Planned Parenthood Shooting

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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83 comments on “Link roundup for Thanksgiving weekend
  1. flypusher says:

    The 1st head to roll in Chicago:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-police-chief-garry-mccarthy-fired-laquan-mcdonald-fallout/

    I’m not at all being original in noting that it sure was convenient for Rahm Emmanuel that the shooting video got released after the election. But this still may drag him under too.

    While I expect defense attorneys to spew lots of BS on behalf of their clients, the guy representing this accused cop is really over the top. “Feared for his life”, you say? “Video doesn’t tell the whole story”?? Well, we’re expecting a bombshell Perry Mason moment then. Your chance to shine!

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I think the shooting was complete and total bullshit, but as noted previously, I’m not at all optimistic that the cop gets convicted.

      Attorneys are going to argue that they rolled up on a dynamic and volatile situation, the dude was drugged up, and they will will say that McDonald yelled, “I’m going to kill you” while running with the gun. They will have video simulations to show that a person can cover 20 feet in less than few seconds, and when a guy with a knife says he’s going to kill you, a rational person takes that threat seriously.

      The issue of shooting him 15 or 16 times is not really an issue. Once you pull the trigger once, you are going to keep shooting until the guy is dead. So, they just have to get the jury to buy into the first shot being legitimate, and I don’t think that is going to be too tough.

      In a better world, the guy likely would be convicted, and everyone who lied and covered shit up for a year would be out of a job.

      Being a cop is a tough job. There are some absolute asshats doing that job.

      It is, however, one of the few jobs where you have the potential to go to jail for a mistake. If I screw up, it will probably just cause a delay in something, and at worst, there is a lawsuit that costs my company or a client a few million dollars. I would have to willfully and intentionally do some bad stuff that would cause me to go to jail (and even then, I’m white in a white collar job, so it would be white collar crime and no jail time would be likely).

      If a cop just royally screws up and shot the guy without really thinking (let’s go with the better angels of no racism and no intentional maliciousness), just completely misinterpreted the situation and make a really, really bad decision to shoot too soon…that guy has a chance to go to jail.

      • Crogged says:

        We keep passing more and more laws allowing ‘everybody’ to walk around with lethal force and wonder why cops seems to make quicker bad decisions? The police trust that sitting in a seminar and passing a multiple choice test ensures that everyone carrying a concealed weapon is just average law abiding citizen No. 2312-no, maybe not -so let’s just all walk around with six shooters out in the open and be as safe as it was in all those John Wayne movies.

        How on earth did we get so fucking stupid about guns.

      • 1mime says:

        It appears that the deans from the majority of TX colleges and universities are going to “opt out” for guns on campuses. Of course, despite the fact that these are TX institutions and therefore “must” be conservative, means that the decision makers won’t be accused of being “those liberal institutions”. The deals and faculty are speaking out by exercising their right to opt out…..would that other places I frequent would have the right. It will be interesting to see how many places that are afforded the legal right ot “opt out” do so. I think I’ll start a list. Maybe there’s a back door to fewer guns here….maybe.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Homer, when you say “The issue of shooting him 15 or 16 times is not really an issue. Once you pull the trigger once, you are going to keep shooting until the guy is dead”, it seems that is part of the problem. Even if you are trained to shoot until the threat is nullified, when a knife bearer is on the ground, the threat is greatly reduced.

        Somewhere there is a problem with training or a lack of understanding of what we expect from police. The similarity to the Tamir Rice shooting is striking. That is, initially getting too close to assess the situation. Except there was no gun in the hand of the shootee.

        Wouldn’t you think that there would be a protocol for a knife bearer, different from a report of a gun? You know, park away from the assailant, grab your gear for this situation from the trunk(what no gear such as shield and helmet?), pull your taser. Assign an officer to have his handgun ready. Then assess the situation further.

        When we say “protect and serve” we have to mean it. And train for it.

      • 1mime says:

        Unarmed, I have watched the video footage that has been available on the net and it is clear that this young Black man was not lunging at the officer, which officer had seven other police cars around him. The knife has been documented as having a 3″ blade, which I’m sure can cause death if properly pointed, but we aren’t talking about a butcher knife here.

        This was clearly a young man strung out on drugs. There was plenty of police presence, he was vastly outnumbered, and he should not have been killed.

      • flypusher says:

        “Homer, when you say “The issue of shooting him 15 or 16 times is not really an issue. Once you pull the trigger once, you are going to keep shooting until the guy is dead”, it seems that is part of the problem. Even if you are trained to shoot until the threat is nullified, when a knife bearer is on the ground, the threat is greatly reduced.”

        Methinks this is more tongue-in-cheek from our friend Homer; he’s very good at that! But sadly he’s not too far from the logical contortions that some people are indulging in to excuse bad police actions. I’ve been reading the comments elsewhere (always risky), and it’s enough to make you weep for humanity.

      • flypusher says:

        “It appears that the deans from the majority of TX colleges and universities are going to “opt out” for guns on campuses. ”

        The private schools can totally ban guns. The public ones can make a few restrictions, but will have to allow some concealed carry.

        Rice said no. They asked for input from everyone on campus, and the answer was an overwhelming no from every group. Now if only they had been so inclusive about the KTRU sale…..

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Fly, my apologies to Homer. I did get that his comment was tongue in cheek, yet didn’t make it clear that I was just using it as a jumping point. Homer is cool.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I was doing some odd googling on police shootings a couple of weeks ago, and stumbled upon the shooting of an unarmed 59 year old dude laying face down in the snow with a taser in him. The victim and the cop were both white.

      He was running away, and the cop tased him. He was on the ground, in the snow, and the cop kept yelling for him to she his hands. His hands were clearly visible, but he didn’t reach them way out above his head (maybe because he was being shocked or because he was in the cold snow).

      At some point, she thought he was reaching for a gun, so she shot and killed him. Face down, in the snow, with a taser in him, and unarmed.

      She was acquitted.

      I had never heard about this case at all. There was video of the shooting (her taser has a camera that is activated when the taser is shot).

      I hate to sound like a Republican here, but if that had been a black dude getting shot in that situation, it would have been all over the media. If this was, I managed to miss it.

      I think it is important to broadcast the heck out of shootings of black folks, and it is hugely disproportionate regarding the shooting of whites versus blacks, but there are enough police shootings going on to be having some serious discussions of better selection and training of officers while talking about the racism and preconceived notions regarding minorities.

      • texan5142 says:

        Read the story a few weeks ago, on the stand she said, “he made me shoot him”.

      • 1mime says:

        Is there any legal recourse to reconsider this decision exonerating the female officer? This is horrible!

        And, for the record, it matters to me anytime anyone of any race is murdered. There are too many instances in which there are no witnesses. This time there was video and she still was not convicted? How could this happen?

      • 1mime says:

        Homer, keep pushing for mandatory video cams (that are turned on with charged batteries). The officer and the victim are better protected. Live footage may be subject to interpretation, but it sure is easier when you are viewing the situation in living color….until someone is no longer living….

      • flypusher says:

        ” This time there was video and she still was not convicted? How could this happen?”

        You really have to wonder who’s on these juries.

      • flypusher says:

        I clicked the link, and I had to stop it half way through. These circumstances look to me to be even more egregious than the shooting of Walter Scott. I get that cops are legally allowed to use deadly force if they perceive a reasonable threat, but I’m really questioning the meaning of reasonable here.

      • 1mime says:

        I couldn’t finish watching it either. That’s why I asked earlier if this case had any hope of being re-tried….The man on the ground had his hands out…he had been tased…that, so I understand, is hugely painful, and the man was not young…Such an injustice. There has to be a reckoning for people like this female cop…

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        “if that had been a black dude getting shot in that situation, it would have been all over the media.”

        I remember reading about this on a liberal web site, so those who care the most about this issue aren’t ignoring cases where the victim is white.

        I submit that if the corporate media didn’t cover it, it wasn’t because it was a white victim. It was because they used to pretty much NEVER covered these stories, except to quote the police line< and they still cover only a small fraction of the cases. It is a MUCH BIGGER issue for minorities and poor than for your average white. So I don't see the racism here — no one fighting this issue has said that it only matters if the victim is black. What has been said (quite correctly) is that it happens far more often — and it's easier to get away with it — if the victim is black.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “Well, you know, the video doesn’t tell the whole story”

      “OK….so then what is the whole story?”

      “…..hm, pardon me?”

      “I said, what IS the whole story then?”

      “Oh….uh…..well, to be honest, i hadnt really expected a follow up question. There’s never been any before…..”

      That whole missing 60 minutes of Burger King footage, after the cops were in there for 2 hrs, and the manager explicitly said they deleted footage, is worrisome as well.

      Its really starting to look like the Police are the biggest organized gang in the country. Thugs in blue.

      And even there are many that are good cops, their silence and refusal to cross the “thin blue line” makes them guilty by commission.

  2. Larry says:

    Here’s another link for the roundup, written by someone who has said that he is a conservative but no longer a Republican. I avoided reading the comments.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/11/30/montel-williams-why-2016-race-has-me-wondering-if-americas-best-days-are-behind-us.html?fb_ref=Default

  3. Rob Ambrose says:

    Yes Ceuz, going full batsh*t crazy.

    “Its an undeniable fact that the overwhelming number of violent offenders are Democrats”

    Since this is very much a deniable fact, and since I’m sure they don’t determine party affiliation as part of the arrest process, I can only assume this is an overtly racist statement that since black people are clearly inherently violent criminals, and since they clearly don’t vote Republican , so they MUST be Democrats, then we can take the obvious leap that the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats .

    But of course, its OBAMA whose divisive and a race baiter.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/12/01/ted_cruz_defends_his_partys_honor_the_overwhelming_majority_of_violent_criminals_are_democrats/

    • texan5142 says:

      Proof that Gawd does not exist, otherwise the lying, bigoted, wiesel would have been struck down already with a bolt of lighting.

      My sincere apologies to the wiesel family for the comparison .

    • flypusher says:

      Cut the guy some slack; Trump is stealing so much of his thunder.

  4. Tuttabella says:

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

    To my fellow Houstonians — The runoff election for Houston mayor and other positions is Saturday, Dec 12, and early voting starts this Wednesday, Dec 2. I don’t care who you vote for. If you don’t vote, it’s YOUR loss (in more ways than one). The pertinent information is below:

    http://www.houstontx.gov/2015runoffinfo.html

  5. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Chris, did you see this in the NYT? Any comment about your good governor?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/30/us/politics/illinois-campaign-money-bruce-rauner.html

    “Now they are rallying behind Mr. Rauner’s agenda: to cut spending and overhaul the state’s pension system, impose term limits and weaken public employee unions.”

    “But to a remarkable degree, their philosophies are becoming part of a widely adopted blueprint for public officials around the country: Critical of the power of unions, many are also determined to reduce spending and taxation, and are skeptical of government-led efforts to mitigate the growing gap between the rich and everyone else.”

    Mr. Daley added, “I think they believe philosophically in that business mentality and that strong public unions are a root of all evil in governing places like Illinois or Chicago and New York and California.”

    “Contributing millions to his own campaign, Mr. Rauner triggered a state law that removes limits on campaign contributions when a wealthy candidate spends heavily on his or her own race.”

  6. vikinghou says:

    The Atlantic article about regional inequality is interesting. However, I think the author missed an important point. It may be true that high income earners are concentrating in the elite coastal cities, but the cost of living in said cities is inordinately high as well. I would like to see this analysis normalized in terms of the affordability of a given standard of living.

  7. texan5142 says:

    What say you now Rafael Bienvenido Cruz?

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/former-wife-says-planned-parenthood-shooter-is-conservative-religious-and-anti-abortion/

    “Former wife says Planned Parenthood terrorist is conservative, religious and anti-abortion”

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Lol. Ted Cruz is a real piece of work.

      The guys wife says he’s Conservative, and anti abortion. He shoots up PP at a time of unprecedented hate and threats against the organization, and says “no more baby parts”.

      But, no, hes actually a transgendered left wing activist, a massive leap of faith we can infer b/c if the fact that this person who clearly disdains any type of government wrote that he was a female and an ” independent” on his voter registration card.

      Clearly, this is a reasonable assumption. Ignore the overhwleming pile of concrete evidence in favor of the single tiny piece of circumstantial evidence.

      Of course, if logic was the right wing strong suit, they’d be supporting the COP21 talks in Paris.

  8. MassDem says:

    Re:Ted Cruz condemns Planned Parenthood shooting….

    Give me an effing break.

    Because of a paywall or whatever, I could only access the article by searching for Ted Cruz on the Texas Tribune’s website. It isn’t exactly good news…

    Firstly, the actual title of the article is “Cruz condemns Colorado Shooting, Rejects Anti-Abortion Link”

    While Cruz did indeed say that he was praying for victims & first responders of the “situation” in Colorado Springs, he has since twisted himself into knots denying that the anti-abortion movement had anything to do with the shooting, being quoted in the article referring to “some vicious rhetoric on the left blaming those who are pro-life”. Cruz also mentioned that the shooter was reported to be a “transgendered leftist activist” in the absence of any proof (unless a mistake in his CO voter registration where he was misidentified as a woman counts as proof). More on this below:
    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/11/29/3726311/ted-cruz-planned-parenthood-shooting-transgendered/

    Of course, Cruz has been demonizing PP to whip up support among evangelicals.
    For example, in the CNN debate:
    http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2015/09/16/gop-debate-cnn-debate-8p-7.cnn

    If this is what counts as good news, I’d hate to see what would be considered bad.

    • 1mime says:

      Great digging, Massdem! Cruz is a weasel.

    • EJ says:

      Most fascinating to my mind, Cruz has joined in the ranks of those pushing the counterfactual that Dear is “a transgendered Leftist activist.”

      Do we think that he lives under the friendly green skies of an alternate world? Is he living in our world but cynically pandering to those who do not? Or, Breitbart-like, does he simply not care about the distinction between reality and fantasy?

      • flypusher says:

        Did anyone catch Trump on the Sunday poli-talk shows?? Talk about an alternative reality on another planet!!

      • 1mime says:

        EJ, he’s spouting Republican talking points. None of these candidates can be honest about what is going on here, and, all of them are milking the issue to role their base. More of the same, I’m afraid. Intellectual shallowness.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, yes, and, yes!

    • 1mime says:

      MassDem, Cruz is a pariah of his own making. That said, Rubio is simply not experienced enough nor mature enough to be President at this time. He needs to gain governing experience. Run for governor. Then make a bid for pres.

      I deeply believe that the world is entering very difficult times. Experience bracketed by a deep abilty to make complex decisions, will be necessary. Rubio doesn’t have this foundation. We all recognize that Obama would have been a more effective leader if he had had governing experience. He has grown in the job but valuable time was squandered.

      Americans are not demonstrating solid reasoning skills, but the times require capability to lead and make wise choices. Hillary, even with her personal shortcomings is head and shoulders above all others. She is competent and will serve our country well as she had already demonstrated.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I don’t think Hillary has any personal shortcomings that anyone wouldn’t have if they lived every moment ofbthe past 30 years under national scrutiny.

        Given that, its pretty impressive that the biggest knocks against her is that she’s too chummy with the corporatocracy and she used her own secure email acct ratherbthen the governments secure email acct

      • MassDem says:

        Sorry to give the erroneous impression that I support Rubio–I am 100% behind Hillary for exactly the reasons you gave.

      • 1mime says:

        I didn’t think you did (-:

    • BigWilly says:

      Of course you would never, ever, demonize Christians to fire up your base. At least not when you’re so busy trying to be inclusive and tolerant. You wouldn’t allow your standard bearers to casually refer to white males as a “most likely” terror threat? You wouldn’t allow for constant, destabilizing, coverage of any and all cop shootings of black citizens without allowing for any rebuttal from the cops, would you?

      Nah, you’d never do that.

      • n1cholas says:

        No, us leftie atheist communist muslim sympathizers are too busy waging our annual WarOnChristmas™, by not including pagan symbols on Starbucks coffee cups, and by aggressively wishing people “Happy Holidays” whenever we get the chance.

        Y’all reactionaries are hilarious.

        White Christian Men: Biggest victims in the world.

      • BigWilly says:

        I can’t be the victim if I’m busy victimizing you. How passive aggressive is that? You’re supposed to be terrified of me, why are you not terrified of me? I’m a middle aged white man-boooooooo!!!!!

      • MassDem says:

        BigWilly, I am sorry that you are feeling persecuted. We Democrats mean you no harm. I hope the following helps bring you some peace of mind.

        Democrats are not demonizing Christians. In fact, most of us are Christian.
        In 2014, 63% of all Democrats self-identified as Christian. http://www.pewforum.org/2015/11/03/u-s-public-becoming-less-religious/
        Among Democratic political leaders, a higher percentage identify as Christian than you see among garden-varietyDemocrats. 189/234 (80%) of all Democrats in the 114th Congress are Christians. http://www.pewforum.org/2015/01/05/faith-on-the-hill/
        President Obama is Christian (UCC)
        Two our of three Democratic presidential candidates are Christians: Hillary Clinton is a Methodist and Martin O’Malley is Catholic. Bernie Saunders is Jewish.

        So are white males the most likely terror threat? No one can deny that by far, the largest loss of life due to an act of terror on American soil were the events of 911, carried out by Islamic extremists.
        However, since then, the number of people killed in the US by right wing extremists (48) is almost double that of Jihadists (26).
        http://securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists/deadly-attacks.html
        This list only includes politically motivated homicides, so the majority of mass shootings would not be included, although those are mostly carried out by white males (64% since 1982).
        Fortunately, all of these are extremely rare events, so I am not living in fear of white males, and neither should you.

        I don’t know what you mean by “constant, destabilizing coverage of any and all cop shootings of black citizens”.
        Sadly, the US does not collect accurate statistics on police shootings, and relies on self-reporting by police departments. See for example http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/02/politics/kristoff-oreilly-police-shooting-numbers-fact-check/index.html
        Some news organizations have started to collect statistics on police shootings. Here is one on fatal police shootings that you can explore by filtering by race of victim, whether they were armed, whether there was an attack in progress etc.
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/
        It’s pretty clear from the numbers that it is entirely hyperbolic to claim that “any and all cop shootings of black citizens” are reported on the national level. Generally, shootings that make the national news when there is evidence (often video) to question whether the shooting was in fact justified. Would you not agree that unjustified use of deadly force by police is newsworthy? And wouldn’t you also agree that it is important to look at whethere there is racial disparity in the use of deadly force by police?

      • BigWilly says:

        http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/11/white-men-are-biggest-terrorist-threat-to-u-s-not-muslims-says-senator-sherrod-brown

        Just remarking about the remarks of Sen. Sherwood Brown (see above). Put these in the current political context which includes forcible resettlement of Syrian refugees in your community and it gets even further out there.

        At least you didn’t go straight into “raaaaaaaaaaaacists” mode.

        Let’s not forget Hillary forswearing the term “illegal alien.” If that ain’t Ingsoc I don’t know what is. Remove the term from the understanding, change the understanding.

        I don’t mind exposing my own, but you need to get your act together and start seeing exactly what the dems are up to politically.

      • 1mime says:

        BW, it would really help if you would reference “who” your remarks are meant for. I have trouble linking your reply to something that’s been said. I know I am not always clear so I am not criticizing you, only want to understand where/for whom your remarks are intended in case I want to reply.

  9. 1mime says:

    Another sad gun incident occurred in Biloxi, MS. A beloved long time waitress at one of the city’s Waffle House Restaurants was shot dead by a customer after she advised him the restaurant was a non-smoking facility and he would have to extinguish his cigarette.

    Just like that, he shot her. Too bad he stopped at her workplace.

  10. Stephen says:

    Just read the first article.Nothing new under the sun.

    I have down loaded Carl Rove”s new book The Triumph of William McKinley. Listen to a interview of him

    He thinks that this time mirrors that time Both times are a guilded age. I agree. This explains our current populism. I tapped this out on my phone so please forgive any mistakes.

  11. flypusher says:

    Re: college football. I went to the UH-Navy game on Friday morning and the Rice-Charlotte game yesterday afternoon (quite a contrast in atmospheres, but that’s another topic). I agree with the notion that boycotting isn’t the best way to deal with the inequities; anyone who’s watched the reaction of a student body to a victory in a big game knows that. The whole vibe in TDECU stadium was very intoxicating. But the NFL and the NBA have a really sweet deal going- the NCAA acts as a free minor league system for them. I’ve had the debate with my dad over compensation for college athletes; he contends that they’re getting room, board, and education, and that should be enough. I don’t agree with that, at least in the case of the big powerhouse football programs, because they make more $ off these kids than the cost of their scholarships, freshmen and sophomores don’t have the option to try out for the NFL and earn more $, and the new info on traumatic brain injuries means the risk they’re taking has been underestimated.

    I think that the players and the fans are the ones to push the reforms, be it changes in training, rules, or student athlete compensation.

    • 1mime says:

      For so many of these athletes, especially those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, sports are their big chance. They will never speak out. It will have to come from theedical profession, via litigation before change happens. And, it is desperately needed in the little kids sports… Soccer (heading balls) and pee wee football.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Agree 100% Mime.

        The article suggests that lower income youth come from families that just knownless. Even if they knew more, it wouldn’t change things.

        Its literally the only way out for some of these people.

        A middle class family would likely not enroll their son in football b/c they can reasonably assume their child can (if he so desires) grow up, go to school, get a degree and become a doctor, or lawyer or whatever they want.

        An inner-city black family even if fully aware of the risks will likely consider it a risk worth taking given the alternative. There’s no alternate life they can reasonably assume their son will miss out on if he gets seriously injured.

        As well, for many of these youths, its sports or gangs. Most families of ANY social stature would prefer the risks entailed from football then the ones from gangs.

  12. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    Hmm, how important is the inequality anyway?

    One of the things I keep hearing over and over is that inequality is the *bad thing* that needs fixing.

    Why is this? Shouldn’t mobility, both positive and negative, be the essential indicator – to ensure that a section of society doesn’t feel left out?

    I don’t really understand the details of economics to comment on specifics – but in general, would a society with little poverty but huge inequality and huge positive and negative mobility be bad?

    • moslerfan says:

      Mobility is a good thing, or at least lack of mobility is a bad thing. I don’t think our mobility is anything to boast about though. It’s lower than many other developed countries. As I commented below, inequality beyond a certain extent is a bad thing. Think about a Monopoly game – when one person controls all the property and holds all the money, the game stops. Of course, we’re far from that but I believe the stagnation we’re seeing is a result of too few people controlling too large a portion of the economic resources. A healthy economy has to be broad-based, and even more so a healthy society has to be broad-based.

    • Hi Pseudo
      Inequality is not bad
      Like chocolate is not bad

      Inequality is one of the “driving forces” of a society
      The problem is excessive inequality –
      Like all things there is an optimum amount
      Less than that is not optimum – neither is more

      So where are we now?
      If we examine societies (countries) in this world we can measure inequality
      (and also track it against time)
      We can also measure “well being” – a bit flakier but still a measure

      So we graph the two together
      What we see is a simple trend – more inequality = worse well being
      Logically we should also see a turnover where less inequality = worse well being
      But our data points don’t go that far

      On the chocolate analogy we are comparing eating 40% of our food as chocolate to eating 60% of our food as chocolate

      We need to get down to 5%?
      before we would suffer from too little chocolate

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_Level:_Why_More_Equal_Societies_Almost_Always_Do_Better

      • goplifer says:

        I agree with Duncan’s explanation and I would add a few wrinkles from a Republican (or at least an 80’s Republican) perspective.

        One of the worst consequences of wealth concentration is economic stagnation. 100 families with a billion dollars each will generate a lot less economic activity than 10,000 families with 10m each. It isn’t just a question of inequity, but concentration.

        Wealth concentration can start to feed itself, cutting off new options for economic development. I suspect that we are seeing a bit of that effect in the fact that govt bonds in many countries have “inverted,” started to result in negative yields. The super rich are far more interested in wealth preservation than wealth generation. That starts to be reflected in the shape of an economy as it drifts away from development toward rent seeking.

      • 1mime says:

        Good analysis,Lifer. As long as those at the top control the legislative process, they can design the system that guarantees wealth preservation. (Look at inheritance tax levels and so many tax loopholes plus the financial means to exploit them with sharp accountants. I still maintain ( as quoted by Mosler), that machines will be less and less able to buy cars…. Nor will people in other countries have the means to purchase US goods and services. The economy here is only healthy if we regain our sense as a nation.

    • Creigh says:

      PR, I’m having a hard time imagining a society with great inequality and high mobility. Great inequality means great economic advantage, and great advantage will certainly be used by those who have it to preserve the status quo, class-wise.

      I keep coming back to competition. With true competition the economy will be strong and move forward. You’ll necessarily have some inequality and mobility. But if the inequality gets out of hand, competition will be suppressed. The playing field can never be perfectly level, but it does need to be kept within reasonable bounds.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Here’s an extreme example.

        You have very small (maybe even flat or nil) income taxes but 100% inheritance tax.

        Income taxes are low, which should fuel income inequality. But no rich kid will be rich because of parents – they’ll have to work for it like everyone else and they can expect to move downwards on the economic scale of they don’t.

        Ensure equal opportunity when it comes to education and healthcare with tax money, and anyone can get rich with skill, hard work and maybe a bit of luck.

        There, massive mobility, both positive and negative across generations, and there’s massive inequality within the generation

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Pseudo
        That would leave things like the way Trump got his “start” daddy gave (lent) him a couple of million so he could do some property deals

        Seriously with a 100% inheritance tax then the rich would simply transfer their money while they were still alive

        With a decent effort on loophole filling that could actually work – if not well at least better than our current system

      • Creigh says:

        PR, how long do you think rich people are going to stand for DEATH TAXES??

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        PR – the benefits of being born into privilege don’t begin with an inheritance. The inheritance is merely the icing on the cake.

        The benefits begin the day they’re born and are substantial.

        Ntm, rich ppl would simply gift their fortunes to heirs BEFORE they die or place it in trust.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I never claimed that would be practical nor acceptable.

        It is simply an extreme theoretical example of one way to conceive of a high inequality, high mobility society

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Pseudo

        IMHO you could (similar to your example) have a high inequality high mobility society
        BUT
        Only with LESS inequality than we have now

        At present those who lose the parental lottery have simply too high a hill to climb

        If however your 100% inheritance tax operated to reduce inequality – was used to provide a “Universal Basic Income” for instance then yes we could probably operate with a Flat tax regime

        But that society would have much less inequality to go with its greater mobility

      • 1mime says:

        100% Inheritance tax is never gonna happen in the U.A., Duncan. We’ll be lucky to get tax reform that even tries to be fair…The old, “he who has the gold, rules” mantra….

    • 1mime says:

      Inequality is never a problem if it doesn’t affect you (-:

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      The two cannot be looked at as separate. They are deeply interconnected.

      A society cannot HAVE mobility without wealth equality, and inequality destroys mobility.

  13. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    “terrorist attack on Planned Parenthood in Colorado”

    I have nothing but agreement for this.

    But I will get popcorn.

    Related something I read in the bowels of Reddit.

    “If a crazy person shoots up a school, it’s not terrorism. But if Boko Haram or the Taliban does it (Nigeria and Pakistan), that is a case of Islamic terrorism.
    If a crazy person shoots up a church, it’s not terrorism. But if a racist does it because black people, it’s a case of racist terrorism. If an antitheist does it because religious people, it’s a case of antitheist terrorism.
    If a crazy person shoots up PP, it’s not terrorism. But if a Christian does it because abortion, then it’s a case of Christian terrorism.
    If a crazy person shoots up a antihomosexual meeting, it’s not terrorism. But if a gay rights activist does it, then it’s a case of gay rights terrorism.
    In all of those cases, the individual(s) conducting the act of terror are at extreme fault, but do note that the ideology does play a part”

  14. moslerfan says:

    Excellent article on regional inequality in The Atlantic, powerfully arguing that regional inequality is the result of a deliberate dismantling of regulatory policies put in place after the last Gilded Age. It seems clear to me that the deliberate dismantling also resulting in more class-based inequality. This is holding back the economy as well as undermining democracy itself. To quote Charles P. Pierce, “Having 1% of the people hoarding all the money is no way to have a healthy economy” and Louis Brandeis, “You can have a great concentration of wealth, or you can have democracy. You can’t have both.”

    • 1mime says:

      I continue to wonder when the 1% will realize that poor people have no discretionary income. Who will be left to buy their goods and services?

      One would think they would have learned from the lessons of Henry Ford who paid his workers we’ll enough so they could afford to buy the cars they made.

      Greed frequently walks hand in hand with ignorance.

      • moslerfan says:

        Great story (possibly apocryphal) about Henry Ford and union president Walter Reuther inspecting some new automated machinery. Ford said “Walter, how are you going to get those machines to join your Union?” And Reuther replied “Henry, how are you going to get those machines to buy your cars?”

  15. Bobo Amergio says:

    These two articles reminded me of earlier discussions here on reparations.

    As specifically as Coates did in his Atlantic article, the author describes the impact of Woodrow Wilson’s decision to remove or demote blacks in Civil Service, after they’d passed the exams and been working in various positions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/24/opinion/what-woodrow-wilson-cost-my-grandfather.html

    The article was followed by letters from people who family members experienced similar demotions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/opinion/readers-weigh-in-woodrow-wilson-cost-my-grandfather-too.html

    I’m pretty sure my history lessons didn’t include this Wilson’s racist actions and racist policies at the beginning of the 20th century. My high school history books talked about his efforts regarding the League of Nations; that’s about it.

    When generational wealth and experience and understanding and contacts are stripped from a family, the word reparations seems too small.

  16. texan5142 says:

    Ted Cruz condemning the PP attack is good news to you, you have a very low bar on what is good news Chris. Nothing can wash the putrid stink from that ass called Cruz.

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