Nationalist–Socialist America

The German tight money policy of the early 1930s led to a surge in vote support for two groups, the nationalists and the socialists.  Today in America the nationalists and the socialists have all the momentum.  Consider:

1.  Dick Cheney might have been the worst Vice President in American history (at least Agnew didn’t do anything.)  Now add to the list his choice to be one heartbeat away from the presidency—Sarah Palin.  Palin is now gushing praise over Donald Trump, who campaigns on the same mix of statism and xenophobia that you see among the neo-fascist parties in Europe, with militarism thrown in.  For years I could take pride in the fact that America largely avoided that particular policy mix.  I don’t think even Pat Buchanan was a militarist.

Update:  Well that must be one of the most epic brain freezes in my 6 1/2 years of blogging, it was obviously McCain who chose Palin.  Cheney didn’t chose anyone, unless perhaps himself, when he headed Bush’s VP search committee.

2.  The heart of the Democratic Party is now with Bernie Sanders, whatever the polls show.  And let’s not have anyone accuse me of McCarthyism, he calls himself a “socialist.”  When asked, the head of the Democratic Party couldn’t think of a single difference between socialists and Democrats. And please don’t insult my intelligence by talking about Sweden.  Sweden is not a socialist country.  Venezuela is socialist.  When Sanders starts advocating free trade and investment, liberal immigration rules, privatization, zero inheritance tax, 100% nationwide school vouchers, a $0/hour minimum wage rate, then come back to me with your Sweden talk.  For now, he just wants the bad parts of Sweden.

The official Democratic platform now advocates a nationwide $15 minimum wage. Whatever you think of extreme Reagan era supply-side economics, the GOP never went that far off the rails on economic policy.  The GOP platform said consider the gold standard, not adopt the gold standard.  I suppose the Seattle case is debatable, but a nationwide $15 minimum wage law would literally destroy the economy in many low wage/low productivity parts of the country, such as Puerto Rico.  It would also create even more crime, a massive underground economy.

PS.  I hope it goes without saying that neither of these guys will win, but remember what happened to the policy platform of Eugene Debs


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74 Responses to “Nationalist–Socialist America”

  1. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. August 2015 at 12:33

    “For now, he just wants the bad parts of Sweden.”
    -I don’t think he wants large-scale unselective lower-second-world immigration. :-)
    “It would also create even more crime, a massive underground economy.”
    -Doubt it. Was there a big crime boost in mid-1933, with the President’s Re-employment Agreement? Massive underground economy, definitely, especially in such states as Alabama and Mississippi.
    BTW, I’m trying to find what percent of hourly workers works below $15 per hour. It’s gotta be at least a third.

  2. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. August 2015 at 12:40

    It’s 42%.
    http://nelp.org/content/uploads/Growing-Movement-for-15-Dollars.pdf
    How many of those jobs are going to disappear when the minimum wage hike happens? Andreas Papandreou, anyone?

  3. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. August 2015 at 12:52

    And 54% of Black and 60% of Latino workers make below $15 per hour! Unz might have been right (but only about legal Hispanic workers)!

  4. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. August 2015 at 13:04

    I hereby declare yesterday PASOK day, in honor of the semi-official transformation of the U.S. Democratic party into PASOK.

  5. Gravatar of Chuck Chuck
    29. August 2015 at 13:07

    The people are morons. Thank god they have little influence.

  6. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    29. August 2015 at 13:09

    Scott, you chose not to trumpet #Uber4Welfare which far more easily passes and solved these problems. MP just fills in gaps.

  7. Gravatar of harumpf harumpf
    29. August 2015 at 13:11

    Dick Cheney was one of the best VPs this country has ever seen and is a man of vastly more accomplishment than a ankle biting non-entity such as your like.

    What an arrogant buffoon you are.

  8. Gravatar of Kevin Erdmann Kevin Erdmann
    29. August 2015 at 13:17

    Trump wants the sheriff to bust in to firms and arrest all the illegals. Sanders wants the sheriff to bust in and arrest to owner. It’s perfectly reasonable that owners don’t like Sanders and Hispanic citizens don’t like Trump. It’s funny how identity politics can create a rational bifurcation of opinion even when there is no real difference in the policy itself.

  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    29. August 2015 at 13:33

    E. Harding, Keep in mind that prohibition was repealed in 1933, so the murder rate dropped sharply after 1933. But the NIRA did cause corruption.

    Other points very interesting. Either 60% of Hispanics will get a raise, 60% will lose their jobs, or some combination.

    Morgan, That’s what your blog is for. Division of labor.

    Kevin, Good point.

  10. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    29. August 2015 at 13:44

    The German non-loose money policy in the 1930s would not have occurred had there not been German loose money during the 1920s.

    It was the German loose money during the 1920s, not the non-loose money during the 1930s, that caused (along with other factors that Sumner is not educated enough to write about) the rise of National Socialism in Germany.

    If during 1920s the Fed was as irresponsible as the Weimar central bank, and if the US philosophical establishment was as pro-fascist, as enamoured with the concept of the Overman, as humiliated with war reparations, as impoverished with constant civil wars, then National Socialism might very well have risen in this country as well.

  11. Gravatar of TravisV TravisV
    29. August 2015 at 14:00

    Prof. Sumner,

    I though Palin was McCain’s selection, not Cheney’s. Am I mistaken?

  12. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. August 2015 at 14:03

    BTW, where is Trump a militarist? That didn’t seem to have been emphasized in the MSM.

  13. Gravatar of TravisV TravisV
    29. August 2015 at 14:04

    Also, could someone please fill me in re: the Eugene Debs reference?

  14. Gravatar of Max Max
    29. August 2015 at 14:34

    TravisV, yes, Cheney’s choice for VP was (famously)…Cheney!

  15. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    29. August 2015 at 15:38

    E. Harding, Well he wants to spend a lot more on the military, and bomb the Middle East oilfields.

    Thanks Travis and Max, What the heck was I thinking!?!?! I fixed it now.

  16. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    29. August 2015 at 16:22

    Wasn’t it really the Bank of France that did the damage?
    http://www.nber.org/papers/w16350

    Though, on reflection, Germany did have a sovereign central bank, and it did not *have* to go along …

  17. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    29. August 2015 at 16:23

    The cynic in me thinks the Media wants a Trump v Sanders election, because the ratings would be a helluva lot higher than Bush v Clinton.

    But my bigger fear is that the growing Nationalist-Socialist divide is caused not by tight money, but rather by social media.

    Social media is the greatest thing for Confirmation Bias since Gutenberg. Social media helps subsets of society conclude that they absolutely certainly beyond a shadow of a doubt know what is best for everyone else.

  18. Gravatar of benjamin cole benjamin cole
    29. August 2015 at 16:32

    Excellent blogging, although in defense of Trump, it is the Rubios and the Cruzs and the Walkers at all even Bush who are beating the most militaristic drums, not Trump. The Donald even went so far as to say, “Well let’s just live with the Iran deal.”

    And Bernie Sanders is a socialist who wants to spend a lot more of your money on the VA, as does the GOP. Trump too for that matter. You see, a social welfare program is good if it is for former federal employees.

    Of course, none of these candidates ever seems to be asked about their monetary policies, but when they do venture a comment it is always scary, such as money should be even tighter than now.

    Maybe America’s next immigration problem will be outward. Give these two parties a couple more terms….

  19. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. August 2015 at 17:17

    I want to nuke Turkey, invade Libya, temporarily occupy Iraq, aid the government of Syria, and aid the Houthis in Yemen. Also, make a deal with Iran, remove troops from Afghanistan (though put some remaining in Kyrgyzstan), and (eventually) cut military spending. Also, recognize the Kurdish states, South Ossetia, Abhazia, Transdniester, Northern Cyprus, and Somaliland. Does that make me a militarist?

  20. Gravatar of John S John S
    29. August 2015 at 19:54

    “neither of these guys will win”

    Surely you mean to say, “neither of these guys will likely win.” Do you believe there is a 0% probability that Trump will win the GOP nomination or the general election? Betfair’s prediction market puts Trump’s chances at 15% and 7%.

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/#/politics/market/1.107373419

    Stated another way: you certainly wouldn’t lay 100-1 odds that Trump won’t get the nomination or win the general, right? Trump is dominating the GOP polls**–if not Trump, then who?

    ** Yes, I realize it’s early. But previous cases of early poll leaders faltering only shows that it’s possible–not inevitable–that Trump will follow the same path. What evidence or logic are you basing your prediction on?

  21. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. August 2015 at 20:08

    @John S
    -Whatever, man. There was a 100% chance Obama would win the 2008 and 2012 elections. There are different ways of calibrating predictions, all of them valid.

  22. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    29. August 2015 at 20:25

    The enduring Cheney hatred among academics is amusing. Palin’s always been a populist but The Donald is mostly everything the Tea Party hates.

    No more Blue Dogs. The Democrats have been The Socialist Party since 2008. Welcome to the End of the End of the Era of Big Government!

    Ignore Trump, he’s just what the media wants a GOP candidate to look like.

    Cruz is in the best position because he’s brilliant and principled and will win Texas, which votes much earlier this year. Unfortunately, like all Republicans, he is terrible on monetary policy. Maybe he can pick up Sumner or Lars or Nick for his team? Please God and Milton Friedman, let the GOP see the monetary light this cycle. At least accept fiat currency, people.

    Did you see Tyler’s links to how tight money played a role in bringing the Maoists to power? Very interesting, if true.

  23. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. August 2015 at 21:24

    @TallDAve,

    “The Donald is mostly everything the Tea Party hates.”

    I disagree. He expresses their xenophobia and anger and rage at “the debt” and “foreigners” and “the establishment” and “the real inflation rate… the one the gov is covering up!”
    much more so than do any of the others… and when it comes down to it, apparently that’s what’s truly important to them. They’re willing to toss neo-liberal policies and facts under the bus in a heartbeat, if they can feel like their guy is dominant, charismatic and powerful and will “make America great again” so they can “take America back.”

    I’d speculate that many populists and Tea Partiers don’t *really* care about government spending or entitlements as long as only what they perceive to be the right people get them. This is what Trump has brilliantly tapped into. IMO, they’re terrified that millions of Spanish speaking Mexican rapists and anchor babies (who they delusionally think are flooding into the country by the 10s of millions every year: when it’s really closer to “net zero” across the border in recent years) will take away their entitlements, NOT that entitlements exist. They’ve been sold a zero sum bill of goods by populist radio and TV hosts and conspiracy theorist lunatics who deliberately stoke the flames of xenophobia and paranoia. Having several “Tea Party” identifying relatives, co-workers and neighbors, that’s my impression anyway: hardly a scientific study I realize. What get’s me is the conspiracy theories ALL of them (all the ones I know) seem to revel in: about the Fed, and gold, and “secret underground cities” and “chem trails” and FEMA camps and “toxis” and tons of batshit crazy bullshit… these are otherwise intelligient people too. Do they hear that crap on talk radio? Alex Jones? Glenn Beck? The “rapture” and “end-times” preaching fundy churches they go to (or watch on TV)? I’m not sure.

    When Reagan demonized the “urban welfare queen” that was a deliberate play the GOP made for the Dixicrats, and it worked brilliantly, and now they have Dixicrats around their necks like an albatross: net federal funds sink hole states in the Old Confederacy.

    But Reagan didn’t demonize immigrants or guest workers. Nor did Milton Friedman. I can even remember a time (early 90s) when Rush Limbaugh was in tune with the WSJ on immigration, and made fun of immigrant bashers and groups like FAIR who were so terrified of immigration (they wanted a moratorium and a wall back in the early 90s!). But the wind changed direction on that score in a BIG way in the last 10 or 15 years, and Limbaugh (and others) changed their tune accordingly.

  24. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. August 2015 at 21:51

    Scott, have you heard the joke (originally about Russian peasants I think), in which a peasant finds a bottle with a genie whom he releases. The genie, in gratitude, tells him he’ll grant him one wish, however, whatever he wishes for his neighbor will get the same thing only double.

    The peasant thinks for a while before announcing his wish:

    “I wish you’d blind me in one eye.”

    That’s my impression of xenophobes and what I’m guessing is their zero-sum induced terror that somebody they don’t approve of will be getting what they perceive to be their entitlements.

    Here’s some good quotes from Erick Erickson at RedState from a recent piece he did on Trump:

    “He has captured the souls of almost a quarter of Republican Party voters and fashioned a coalition of people angry at Washington; people angry at Mexico and China; and people who are angry at people of any skin color other than white.”

    “I have never seen a single campaign composed of more angry souls “” people who believe America is no longer great and are pissed off about it, people who think Washington is actively opposed to making the United States great; white supremacists; conspiracy theorists; Jew haters; and more. If you believe the President is a foreign born Kenyan muslim sleeper cell of one, you are probably voting for Donald Trump.”

    “At the same time, there are very vocal racists and white supremacists who have gravitated to Trump. They have flooded social media, email, and websites raising not just the confederate battle flag, but the Neo-Nazi flag. I suspect Trump does not even know this.”

    Just to be clear the piece in question is arguing that Trump and most Trump supporters are NOT racists, as is evident in the title:

    “Donald Trump Is Not a Racist. Don’t Go Back to 2005, Republicans.”

    I realize Erickson and Trump have had a spat recently, but still, those are some surprising things to hear from Erickson (at least for me, who’s not a regular reader there). Of course I cherry picked some of the worst of it, so read read the whole thing for context.

  25. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    29. August 2015 at 22:03

    Well the bad news for Ted Cruz is he lost his own state to Trump 52% to 24%.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/29/trump-wins-nashville-grassroots-straw-poll-with-52-percent/

    If the Tea Party hates Trump so much someone forgot to tell Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr.

    https://howiecarrshow.com/nobody-wants-to-see-jeb-win-the-nomination/

  26. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. August 2015 at 22:55

    Scott, I forgot to tell you that I enjoyed your post here. I’ve been almost exclusively focused on the GOP race, but I respect your opinion on both races. I gave up on the GOP back when they invaded Iraq in 2003. I figured once the “neo-cons” had been shamed I might return, but now I miss the neo-cons, and I haven’t seen any evidence of “adult table” behavior there since. (Somebody who thinks the Earth is 6000 years old might as well think it’s flat in my book: that’s full on delusional, and I’d as soon vote for a Raelian).

  27. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    29. August 2015 at 22:56

    I wouldn’t be surprised in James Galbraith ends up as a common adviser to both Syriza and Bernie Sanders.

    Recall that Galbraith was a friend and adviser to Yanis Varoufakis.

    Galbraith was also one of the earliest advocates of a $12, then $15 minimum wage, introduced as legislation by Sanders.

    Also recall that in January, Sanders picked Stephanie Kelton, an MMTer, as his economic adviser, with Galbraith mentioned as another MMT inspired economist.

    And in July, Sanders blasted the IMF and Europeans on Greece, and convened a conference on Greek debt. The participants?: Stephanie Kelton, James Galbraith, Joseph Stiglitz, Jacob Kirkegaard

  28. Gravatar of Captain Video Captain Video
    30. August 2015 at 00:46

    “such as Puerto Rico”
    I don’t think the US minimum wage applies to Puerto Rico. One of the things that kept Puerto Rico from applying for statehood has been that a number of federal mandates that do not currently apply would apply to it.

  29. Gravatar of Full Employment Hawk Full Employment Hawk
    30. August 2015 at 00:48

    OOPS, I used the nickname I use on non-economic sites by mistake again.

    “such as Puerto Rico”
    I don’t think the US minimum wage applies to Puerto Rico. One of the things that kept Puerto Rico from applying for statehood has been that a number of federal mandates that do not currently apply would apply to it.

  30. Gravatar of Full Employment Hawk Full Employment Hawk
    30. August 2015 at 00:54

    Trying to equate Sanders’ Democratic Socialism with Venezuela’s Authoritarianist Socialism is sophistry. It is similar to the traditional agenda of Social Democrats in Europe.

  31. Gravatar of Full Employment Hawk Full Employment Hawk
    30. August 2015 at 01:04

    The German tight money policy of the early 1930s led to a surge in vote support for two groups, the nationalists and the socialists. This is misleading. The opposition to the policies of Der Hungerkanzler, Bruening from the left came from the Communists. The Social Democrats largely went along with the austerity policies. By 1933 people who wanted an end to the austerity policies essentially had two choices: The Nazis on the right and the Communists on the left.

  32. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    30. August 2015 at 04:41

    Lorenzo, Yes to both.

    John, Trump is clearly a lunatic. How likely is it that a major party nominates a lunatic? And don’t those odds imply that he’d have almost a 50% chance of winning if nominated? Who makes that stuff up? (Arb alert!)

    Talldave, A candidate’s views on monetary policy are essentially meaningless. Most don’t even know what monetary policy is.

    On China, are your referring to the silver issue–that’s pretty well known.

    Tom, Would you agree that Sanders picking an MMTer as an economic adviser is equivalent to the GOP putting a creationist in charge of the FDA?

    FEH, You really ought to spend 10 seconds checking your facts before commenting here and wasting my time. Try google sometime, you might like it.

    As far as Germany, I said socialists, not social democrats. There is a difference.

    Wait, Chavez was a dictator? The American left has spent the last decade trying to convince us that he was democratically elected.

    So are you claiming that Sanders is lying when he calls himself a socialist? Or are you claiming the dictionary definition is wrong? Why don’t any other Democrats call themselves socialists? Does he have his own private meaning for the term, that no one else knows? It would be like a Republican self-identifying as a fascist, and then his supporters claiming that all Republicans are fascists, so it’s not big deal.

  33. Gravatar of John S John S
    30. August 2015 at 06:05

    How likely is it that a major party nominates a lunatic?

    According to the polls: increasingly likely. Trump’s net favorability rating–which is his main weakness according to Nate Silver–has increased from massively negative to +26% in a few weeks (Jeb’s net rating in Iowa is now negative).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/29/iowa-poll-finds-trump-and-carson-surging-as-walker-collapses/

    Now obviously polls don’t mean that much now, but if Trump can’t win, who can realistically beat him? The numbers–such as they are–favor Trump for now, and the outlook only seems to be brightening.

    don’t those odds imply that he’d have almost a 50% chance of winning if nominated? Who makes that stuff up?

    The Quinnipiac poll has him trailing Clinton by 4 points (41% to 45%).

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/27/politics/donald-trump-jeb-bush-poll-quinnipiac/index.html

    Trump has big GOP leads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and nationally. To say he has no chance isn’t a reasonable conclusion, regardless of what you think of his sanity.

  34. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    30. August 2015 at 06:16

    @Tom Brown,

    The Tea Party movement, to the extent it had any ideological coherence, was mostly libertarian. You have apparently forgotten that it arose mostly in response to the financial bailouts, big deficits and Obamacare. Immigration was not a big theme.

    Donald Trump is no more libertarian than Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton are.

    Milton Friedman probably would have been sympathetic to the Tea Party, although I’m sure he would have disagreed with some of the positions taken by some of the people calling themselves Tea Partiers. He clearly would not have been a Trump supporter.

  35. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    30. August 2015 at 06:42

    Sumner: “Update: Well that must be one of the most epic brain freezes in my 6 1/2 years of blogging, it was obviously McCain who chose Palin.” – no sir, you’ve done far worse than this. It’s just that you don’t realize it.

  36. Gravatar of John S John S
    30. August 2015 at 06:44

    TallDave,

    Cruz is buddying up to Trump big-time:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/27/ted-cruz-and-donald-trump-planning-a-joint-appearance-to-protest-the-iran-deal/

    Tom Brown,

    I know exactly the type of nutty-belief holding (yet seemingly normal in other respects) people you describe. They are a lot more common than most readers of this blog probably realize.

    However, for GOP voters of any stripe, it does make rational sense to want to limit the growth of the Hispanic population–Hispanics lean heavily Democrat, especially younger cohorts.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/163451/hispanics-ages-tilt-democratic.aspx

    If the goal is reduce legal immigration (a key driver of Hispanic population growth), the first logical step is to go after illegal immigration. If talk of combating illegal immigration remains taboo, proposals to reduce legal immigration obviously won’t go anywhere.

    Btw, Trump also supports a moratorium on H-1B visas. Rightly or wrongly, this kind of “let’s save tech jobs for America’s youth” talk will also have strong populist appeal.

  37. Gravatar of bill bill
    30. August 2015 at 06:51

    Travis V, you asked about the Eugene Debs reference.
    My vague recollection is that Milton Friedman pointed out (maybe in Free to Choose?) that policy positions from a third party can eventually matter. The Debs socialist platform of the 1920’s or so was fully accepted by both major parties by the 1970’s or 1980’s. So, having a libertarian platform was worthwhile even if Libertarians never got elected because it could influence the agenda. At least that’s my recollection.

  38. Gravatar of Jean Jean
    30. August 2015 at 07:42

    It was the French government’s decision to go back on the gold standard in 1926 that caused the Great Depression and deflation for every country using gold as reserves. In 1926, France owned 7.7% of global gold; by 1932 France owned over 28% of gold in the world!
    There simply wasn’t enough gold to function as reserves, but because gold had been ‘money’ for millennia, central bankers couldn’t see past that. Although Irving Fisher did, and advised FDR to confiscate gold.

  39. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    30. August 2015 at 08:02

    I don’t blog.

  40. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    30. August 2015 at 08:56

    John S — Cruz understands there’s not much percentage in attacking the media favorite Trump at this point, so he’s positioning himself to capture Trump’s supporters. Plus, some of Trump’s comments do resonate, even if he’s not a serious candidate.

    Merely quoting Trump’s ridiculous statements in attack ads will be enough to destroy him in 2016. Right now the polls are measuring name recognition. There is zero chance he will be the nominee.

    Also, remember that even polls close to the election are extremely unreliable, else Cameron would no longer be PM.

  41. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    30. August 2015 at 09:18

    You mention “the gold standard,” slightingly. And no doubt a system of fiat money *might* be operated in a way that made it superior to any of the various systems that count as “gold standards.” But it might also be operated so as to make it worse. Does the way it *is actually* being operated now in the U.S. make it superior to one of the better versions of “the gold standard”? The answer is far from obvious (to me).

  42. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    30. August 2015 at 09:20

    (This discussion lies in the murky realm of second-best [third-best, etc.] policy.)

  43. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    30. August 2015 at 09:22

    BTW for perspective, at this point in the 2012 cycle Rick Perry was leading the field. He dropped out in Jaunary and never secured a single delegate.

  44. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    30. August 2015 at 09:37

    Nate Silver explains: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/donald-trumps-six-stages-of-doom/

  45. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    30. August 2015 at 09:50

    If the goal is reduce legal immigration (a key driver of Hispanic population growth)

    Asians are actually the most populous group of new citizens (we get more from China than Mexico), and they’ve been trending sharply toward the GOP recently, as they gradually realize Democrats’ obsession with social justice identity politics hurts them even more than whites. Seven years isn’t enough to make most new citizens Republicans, but in the long run legal immigration doesn’t seem to be an obvious threat to the GOP.

  46. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    30. August 2015 at 11:10

    Yes, but Trump isn’t Perry, Cain, or Gingrich. He has led longer than any of them and his domination across the board in state after state and issue after issue is much stronger than anything we saw out of these three in 2012.

    Polls show Trump is trusted by 44% on the economy to 9% to Jeb. The other GOP candidates have less than 9%

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/18/politics/donald-trump-presidential-poll-debate/

    What really worries the GOP establishment is how poorly Jeb is doing. Romney was a lot stronger in 2012 even when these other candidates had their flash in the pan.

    I agree Trump can’t win the primary if for no other reason than the GOP delegates will probably refuse to count for Trump even if he wins all the primaries.

    But if this happens this could lead to a third party run which would lead a sizable slice of the Tea Party to support.

    In Britain Labor has been destroyed by SNP but in the US I can imagine a Trump third party splintering the GOP. This has the potential to get very nasty.

  47. Gravatar of collin collin
    30. August 2015 at 11:18

    The heart of the Democratic Party is now with Bernie Sanders

    And that is why nationwide HRC is still leading Sanders by 20%+ with no alternative candidate in the Party. Admittingly, Sanders is probably going to win NH but he is going to beaten down in the South as Bernie Sanders seriously needs to figure how to win minorities to get anywhere with the Democratic Party. (HRC has done a better in winning their support.) C’mon Obama has been President for almost 7 years and the country has hardly changed that much.

    We should not be surprised with the Trump campaign and if you can believe he is most dovish of all the Republican candidates. (Rand Paul is the leading candidate for worst run Primary so far.) US working class wages have been stagnant for generations and this country was due for a national Prop. 187 (California 1994) type fight. It was bound to happen and the battle seems to occur on the economic way up.

  48. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    30. August 2015 at 14:24

    “Trump is clearly a lunatic.”
    -Actually, he’s not. I think he’s brilliant, but I don’t think he has any idea what to do while in office. I still support him, though, because I don’t see a better candidate who can actually win.
    “Asians are actually the most populous group of new citizens (we get more from China than Mexico), and they’ve been trending sharply toward the GOP recently, as they gradually realize Democrats’ obsession with social justice identity politics hurts them even more than whites.”
    -If only that were true (it’s not)! Asians are the New Jews, meaning that they’re more Democratic than U.S. Hispanics!
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/179921/obama-loses-support-among-white-millennials.aspx

  49. Gravatar of Calion Calion
    30. August 2015 at 16:32

    “remember what happened to the policy platform of Eugene Debs”

    Yes, I do, but I’ve failed to find much evidence for it. Do you have a link that substantiates this claim?

  50. Gravatar of Don Don
    30. August 2015 at 18:58

    The word “xenophobe” has a definition and it does not apply to Trump. If you go past the media spin and look at Trump’s actual words (you can tell his by the butchered grammar), he is careful not to be overtly racist and stick to mostly talk about borders, “criminals”, and actions of governments. I think it is fair to say he has appeal to xenophobes, but not fair to say that he is one.

  51. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    30. August 2015 at 19:02

    Collin — Trump said he would like to “bomb the hell” out of Iraqi oilfields, which pretty much every military analyst agrees is nuts, and then “take back the oil” and apparently sell it. He also called himself the most militarist candidate.

  52. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    30. August 2015 at 19:04

    BTW, I’m not sure people have noticed, but Bern is also not a fan of the immigration, which he views as anti-labor.

  53. Gravatar of John S John S
    30. August 2015 at 19:15

    TallDave,

    Merely quoting Trump’s ridiculous statements in attack ads will be enough to destroy him in 2016.

    If the Donald has shown one strength, it’s an unmatched ability to swat away blowback from his ridiculous statements. Why will GOP voters care next year–they don’t even care now, when the comments are still fresh?

    in the long run legal immigration doesn’t seem to be an obvious threat to the GOP.

    65% of Asian-Americans identify/lean Democrat, with only 23% identifying or leaning Republican. That’s a +42% pro-Democrat gap–only Blacks are higher, at +69% D (Hispanics are +30% D).

    Whites are +9% R. It’s quite logical to conclude that increased legal immigration from Asia and Latin America will increase the number of Democrat leaning voters.

    http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/

    As for the Nate Silver article–I read it when it first came out, which is why I see Trump’s huge turnaround on net favorability as a strong point for him.

    Nobody has given any good reasons why Trump has a 0% chance to win either the nomination or the general. Even Nate Silver gives Trump a 2% chance. Predictwise, which aggregates the results of several prediction markets, has Trump at 14% and 7% (3rd and tied for 2nd with Rubio).

  54. Gravatar of John S John S
    30. August 2015 at 19:27

    Immigration was not a big theme [of the Tea Party].

    Perhaps not then, but as of one week ago, Tea Party attitudes are broadly in line with Trump’s positions:

    “Republicans (55% good thing), especially Republicans and Republican leaners who agree with the Tea Party (65%), were more likely than Democrats (37%) to have a positive view of increased deportations.”

    57% of Tea Party Republicans favor ending birthright citizenship (R: 47%; D: 32%; Ind: 39%).

    Republicans as a whole are positive about building a border fence:

    “Our most recent survey on this issue was in October 2011. At that time, 46% favored building a fence ‘along the entire border with Mexico,’ while 47% were opposed. Republicans (62%) were far more likely than independents (44%) or Democrats (39%) to support the construction of a border fence.”

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/08/24/what-americans-want-to-do-about-illegal-immigration/

  55. Gravatar of John S John S
    30. August 2015 at 19:40

    Tom Brown,

    Re: 6,000 year old Earth — there is a small but growing rationalist movement among evangelical Christians (some of whom are escaping to more moderate denominations). You may enjoy this discussion between Robert Wright (The Moral Animal, Bloggingheads.tv) and Karl Giberson, a physicist who resigned from a Christian college over his books on integrating scientific rationalism and evidence into Christianity.

    This type of open-mindedness among Christians should be lauded by athiests and rationalists, imo.

    http://meaningoflife.tv/videos/31870

  56. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. August 2015 at 04:30

    Bill. That’s right.

    Morgan, Then you need to start one.

    Philo, Yes, recent performance of fiat money is better than a gold standard would have been in recent years. The rise of China and India would have been very deflationary for a gold standard.

    Collin, If you don’t actually read my posts, why should I respond to your comments.

    E. Harding, I hope you are joking about Trump, the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

    Calion, Nope, that’s what google’s for.

    Don, You said:

    “he is careful not to be overtly racist”

    You’re saying he’s just covertly racist? But isn’t that true of pretty much all American racists.

    Talldave, I have a post on immigration over at Econlog.

    John S. You pay waaay too much attention to polls.

    And isn’t the Tea Party anti-government? Do they now favor trade barriers and single payer health care?

    I agree that Tom is way too impressed by the silliness of GOP voters. I recall a poll showed that 1/3 of Dems thought Bush was behind 9/11.

  57. Gravatar of John S John S
    31. August 2015 at 07:11

    Scott,

    Ok, fair enough. I seem to remember a recurring theme here is that polls aren’t really indicative of people’s actual policy stances. OTOH, none of those poll results are violently at odds with what my gut feeling says (e.g. yes, AA’s do lean heavily Dem, Hispanics moderately so).

    What does surprise me is how dismissive you are of the prediction markets’ forecasts (made with several million pounds worth of real-money matched bets) given how many positive things you’ve said about PM’s in general. If PM’s are so off-base that they produce big-time arb opportunities, why are you a fan of them?

    It’s certainly not a given that Trump will win, but I don’t think the probability is zero, either. Is that view crazy? (particularly considering how much of a tin ear Jeb has demonstrated — c’mon following up a Trump border visit with a press conference given in Spanish?)

    Again, I ask — if not Trump, who? There isn’t a single realistic GOP candidate, in my view.

    isn’t the Tea Party anti-government?

    I agree with Tom that the Tea Party’s belief are a jumbled mess (as are the GOP’s, to a slightly lesser extent). But I’d say the unifying theme is that they see themselves as broadly “Pro-American,” which can lead to seemingly contradicting views. So they like small-govt for domestic issues, but they want to “protect” Americans from what they see as unfair foreign competition (both wrt imports and cheap, imported labor). These people have never cracked an Econ 101 textbook, so economic logic is “trumped”(!) by a general feeling of “America first.”

    And I also think I’m right that they believe increased immigration will lead to the perpetual dominance of the Democratic Party. This fear is actually quite rational, given the political leanings of 2nd and 3rd gen Asian and Hispanic Americans. So it’s no wonder curbing immigration is a high priority for them.

  58. Gravatar of John S John S
    31. August 2015 at 07:17

    Also, I think Tea Partiers support small-govt as cover to implement Christian right social policies (namely anti-abortion laws) at the state level (although they wouldn’t mind lower federal taxes, either).

    Opposition to abortion is still the #1 litmus test for the GOP nom. Trump has passed, so that’s a big difference between him and Giuliani ’08.

  59. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    31. August 2015 at 09:28

    @ssumner
    -Not joking. Trump offers the promise of true political independence (though that’s not necessarily a good thing; he’s still opposed to the Iran deal and wants to execute Snowden). Getting some of the profits out of the Iraqi oilfields would be nice, though my idea to get even more profits out of the Libyan oilfields would be nicer still. Libya would be easier to occupy than Iraq.

  60. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    31. August 2015 at 11:31

    Scott, I write down the right policy. Then I show it to people and it beats whatever shitty idea they have.

    Mine is easy to understand… :)

  61. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    1. September 2015 at 06:07

    John S — As Silver explained, relatively few voters are paying attention right now, and Trump’s recent statements aren’t even the most damnning.

  62. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    1. September 2015 at 06:14

    John S — The GOP won the Asian vote in the last election, which is a huge shift, it had never happened before.

    No broad political movement is totally coherent, but the main thrust of the Tea Party is definitely fiscal minarchist. I belong to multiple TP organizations, as you would expect some are more concerned with social issues than others. Obama famously tried to call their bluff on sequester cuts to military spending, and the Tea Party shrugged and took him up on it.

  63. Gravatar of Pras Pras
    1. September 2015 at 06:23

    We are already a socialist country….progressive income tax…ss..Medicare…minimum wage…earned income tax credit…Bernie Sanders just wants to dial it up and attempt to get rid of some of the corporate socialism….but one difference between Bernie and someone from the Gop, other than bush, is that if you sat down with him and explained the merits of some more libertarian policy, you could have a productive decision and hopefully convince him or come up with a good compromise….try going the other way with the gop.

  64. Gravatar of Pras Pras
    1. September 2015 at 06:24

    Decision = conversation in above

  65. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. September 2015 at 06:57

    John, There’s a bit of hyperbole when I say no chance, obviously the change is not precisely zero. You make a good point about the prediction markets.

    The Tea Party contains lots of different types of people–probably dangerous to make generalizations.

    Morgan, I still think you should do your own blog.

  66. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. September 2015 at 06:57

    I think the anti-immigrant movement in some ways is similar to the blacklives movement. Both are grassroots, both are addressing real underlying issues, but both are also attracting an unsavory element as well.

    Of course if you live in a wealthy community, most of the immigrants you cross paths with will be wealth doctors, business people, or Chinese scientists. No one has a problem with this.

    However, if you live in a middle class community, you have federal government agencies dumping unskilled refugees in your community, and ordering the local taxpayers to pay for healthcare, education, translators, and social services.

    (Bad paraphrase, but I recall Scott Sumner once saying that the middle class would abandon Democrats, like in the 1970s, once they realized that it was poor vs middle, not poor vs rich)

    I think the class divide in immigrant settlement is really important: wealthy communities receive wealthy taxpaying immigrants, and businesses receive new (government-funded) healthcare customers and low-cost workers. Middle class communities get the costs consisting of education, housing, food, and police bills paid by local taxpayers.

    In any event, I present this link without prejudice (neither for nor against) in order to show what is going on at the grassroots level:
    https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/manchester-nh-still-trying-to-get-relief-from-refugee-burden-on-the-city/

  67. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. September 2015 at 06:58

    Pras, I certainly think Sanders is better than Trump.

  68. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. September 2015 at 07:10

    Steve, You said:

    “Of course if you live in a wealthy community, most of the immigrants you cross paths with will be wealth doctors, business people, or Chinese scientists. No one has a problem with this.”

    Doesn’t Trump have a problem with that?

  69. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. September 2015 at 07:33

    I have no idea what Trump believes. I am not even sure if he is serious about running for President, if he is really a Republican, or if he is just having an ego trip.

    Personally, I hope Rubio, Cruz, or Fiorina can hang in there and leave Trump and Bush in the dust.

  70. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    1. September 2015 at 07:53

    Trump’s appeal to low-information voters is perhaps explained by hiw low-information candidacy:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/251225-trump-not-sure-about-planned-parenthood-donations

  71. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    1. September 2015 at 07:56

    Not sure he’s quite locked up that pro-life vote…

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/11/donald-trump-is-planned-parenthood-s-favorite-republican.html

    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/250878-trump-takes-heat-for-planned-parenthood-remarks

  72. Gravatar of Don Don
    2. September 2015 at 05:36

    Detailed policy positions are hard to find for the candidates, but I am wondering if anyone has collected positions on monetary policy for the candidates. Share a link.

  73. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    2. September 2015 at 07:27

    Steve, Interesting grouping, Aren’t Rubio and Bush quite similar, and both very different from Cruz?

    And I’m pretty sure he is in fact on an ego trip. :)

  74. Gravatar of Gary Anderson Gary Anderson
    10. December 2015 at 10:43

    Just FYI, the NWO baroness Lady Lynn De Rothschild, sponsored Sarah Palin and she had sponsored Hillary Clinton. So, if you don’t believe in the NWO and that it is evil, perhaps you won’t connect the power of that cabal with Sarah Palin being chosen to run for VP. The baroness made that happen.

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