Jair, Donald, Bibi and Boris will be back

[Before beginning the post, here’s a new rule for commenters. No more than 2 comments per post, unless replying to people who commented on your previous comment. Violators will be banned.]

In the good old days, failed political leaders would quietly fade into the woodwork. The first President Bush, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter all gracefully retired from public service after being defeated. But now that almost every country is becoming a banana republic, those days are gone. Politicians develop personality cults, and try to convince voters that only they can rescue their country.

This FT story on Benjamin Netanyahu nicely describes the phenomenon:

For Yaron Tzidkiyahu, who runs a popular food stall in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market, two things matter in next week’s Israeli election: the economy and security. Unhappy with the government’s approach, he plans to vote for Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I want someone else, but right now there is no one but Bibi,” he said, referring to the former prime minister by his widely used nickname. “Bibi is Gulliver in a land of pygmies.”

The November 1 election will be Israel’s fifth in three and a half years of political gridlock. Like the previous four, the poll is widely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, a polarising figure who has been Israel’s leader for 15 of the past 26 years.

Bolsonaro, Trump, Johnson and Netanyahu are all corrupt, but voters don’t care. They believe that a larger than life figure can somehow save their country. Before long, all four will be back in power.

History tells us that voters will have to go through a great deal of pain before they understand that demagogues are not effective policymakers. The Russians and Chinese are a bit further along the learning curve.

PS. The closeness of the race in Brazil is one more indication that polls are strongly biased against populist right wing candidates. If Biden goes into election day 2024 with a 5% lead over Trump, he’s almost certain to lose.

PPS. The media might tell you that the left is on a roll in Latin America. Don’t believe them. Below the surface the right is gaining strength. I predict that the right will dominate the region within 5 years. Given everything that’s happened in Brazil, Lula’s 50.9% vote total is pathetic. I’m glad he won (as is the rainforest), but he will be a failed president.



41 Responses to “Jair, Donald, Bibi and Boris will be back”

  1. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    30. October 2022 at 22:58

    “Bolsonaro, Trump, Johnson and Netanyahu are all corrupt”

    It’s bizarre to post four random names, without including actual examples of corruption, not just frivilous things like trying to avoid taxes, which every businessperson does.

    Pelosi accepting millions of dollars from starkist tuna, for example, to keep minimum wages low for American Samoa might be worth mentioning. (donations)

    The Clinton foundation, which is essentially a tool for pay to play, at least that’s how it appears when one looks at their foreign donation list, and legislation and permits that follows those donations, AND the nonprofits high administrative expenses (money going to pocket) all might be worth discussing.

    Biden’s son’s employment in Ukraine, his weird venture capital firm in China, and Biden’s brother’s construction company in Saudi, might be worth talking about.

    Incidentally, Pelosi has also been involved in what appears to be insider trading, specifcally her really bizarre and suspicious trades with Nokia. Maybe that’s worth mentioning.

    And Cheney — holy moly — how is this man’s name (and his daughter) not on the list. He gave his own company public contracts while serving office. That is the very definition of cronyistic corruption.

    Is it really this hard for you to be bipartisan?

    So other than permitting foreigners to sleep at his hotel, and possibly leveraging contacts to acquire real estate permits, which is innate to that industry (you cannot indict every real estate developer for their contacts), what corruption is Trump guilty of?

    The evidence must be physical. It cannot be a thought crime, or hearsay: i.e., what Bolton or someone else said happened.

    Dershowitz has warned against this type of puritan prosecution (as did orwell many years ago).

  2. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    30. October 2022 at 23:32

    They only win because they promise “free” things.
    “free education”
    “free health-care”
    “free _______ fill in the blank.

    Free of course means I have to pay more taxes. Taxes that line some corrupt politicians pocket.

    And then of course the price skyrockets. If you ended the student loan program tomorrow, Harvard tuition would drop from 80K to 10K.

    None of this sustainable, but of course dummies can be convinced to do just about anything. All you have to do is say “free” and the dummy joins your party. That’s why socialists have so much success, until their system indebts and bankrupts the nation.

  3. Gravatar of Nuño Sempere Nuño Sempere
    31. October 2022 at 02:44

    > Jair, Donald, Bibi and Boris will be back
    > Before long, all four will be back in power.

    It seems like a very conjunctive proposition. I’d be up for a small $100 bet that they will not all come back to power by 2027.

  4. Gravatar of George George
    31. October 2022 at 04:32

    Post #1:

    Trump won, Democrats cheated.


    This ALONE is yet another singularly determinative demonstration that Trump won, that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen, there are MANY other singularly determinative facts Trump won.

    November 3rd, 2020 was an insurrection.

    January 6th, 2021 was a peaceful protest that was co-opted by the swamp and their operatives, primarily to cover up the insurrection.

    BUT, they won’t get away with it. They’ve fallen into a trap that they can not escape.

    I suspect the same thing occurred in Brazil. The crowd sizes for Bolsonaro were absolutely gigantic, and we already know now that socialists cheat elections. I suspect they rigged the Brazil election just like they rigged the US election to among other things take control of Petrobras to ship oil from Brazil to Houston.

    It would be a great thing if the swamp was revealed in Brazil as well. Bolsonaro has yet to concede, and there are already reports of ‘red flags’.




    More court filings in Konnech (CCP) case.


    Site owner: This part:

    “unless replying to people who commented on your previous comment”

    Could you expand on how a ‘comment on your previous comment’ is defined?

    For example, does it occur only when a person prefaces their comment with a proper name, or, does it also occur when they add additional information and viewpoints on the same topic what you wrote prior but did not include prefacing it with your name?

    Reason I am asking is that often times posters will be having a dialogue and names are not always included as a preface, for example Spencer and I had a few dialogues where there statements in alternating sequence, but each post did not get prefaced with a name so it is not as clear, except to the posters, that there are ‘comments to your comments’. It could look like someone just made a comment.

  5. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    31. October 2022 at 05:16

    This line from Sara’s comments strikes me:

    “And Cheney — holy moly — how is this man’s name (and his daughter) not on the list. He gave his own company public contracts while serving office. That is the very definition of cronyistic corruption.”

    I think a lot of politicians, even after all we’ve seen, vastly underestimate how important it is to avoid even the appearance of corruption. The Cheneys are not 1% as corrupt as Trump, but to casual followers of politics, it looks very bad for someone to go directly from a major corporation to the Vice Presidency, and have that major corporation awarded a large government contract just a couple of years later. This is particularly true when in conjunction with a catastrophically failed occupation of Iraq, which had no solid rationale.

    The Clintons always played too fast and loose with appearances, and were much too greedy in cashing in on speaking fees to major political donors after leaving office, for example. Then, they acted outraged when people suggested this was a corrupt practice. Hillary Clinton was usually cagey when accused of corruption. To be fair, most accusations were just part of smear campaigns, but the Clintons weren’t entirely innocent. They also weren’t particularly corrupt, by Washington standards. Like the Cheneys, they weren’t 1% as corrupt as Trump.

    The Citizens United ruling was greatly underrated in terms of leading to the level of cynicism we now have. We really do need to get more control over political donations, revolving doors between corporate and political positions, and stop choosing so many people from Goldman Sachs to serve in the Executive branch. There’s not as much corruption as many imagine, and it’s relatively less than in many other countries, but the corruption is real nonetheless.

    If the Democrats packed the Supreme Court and it helped get an agenda through that ended corporate campaign donations, greatly limited donations by the wealthy(ending bundling and super PAC donations, for example), that could help solidify their support politically as well as perhaps begin to restore faith in government.

  6. Gravatar of George George
    31. October 2022 at 06:22

    Post #2:

    The ‘Katie Hobbs HQ break in’ AND the ‘Pelosi home break in’ stories are looking to both be fraudulent psyops. Desperation to garner sympathy votes through them for the Dems, right before the midterms?

    I retract my initial guess that the DePape was there only as a ‘friend’ per the police recording. I did research on this the last two days, and the patterns began to look very familiar, best guess now is that the whole thing was an info op to influence the mid term elections, smear MAGA/’Qanon’/RW as ‘violent’, and cast Democrats as victims.

    Police should release the bodycam footage.


    Ukraine ‘wants’ US to pressure Israel.

    Washington should persuade its ally to send weapons to Kiev, the Ukrainian ambassador said.



    Elon Musk says Twitter’s board and US law firm Wachtell “deliberately hid evidence from the court”.

    Stop for a moment and remember all the ‘legal experts’ and news media people who CONFIDENTLY TOLD YOU once Musk attempted to halt the sale because of breach of contract that Twitter had his nuts in a vice and they had the upper hand and they spent MONTHS telling you Musk was going to lose if he didn’t complete the sale?

    Musk now has evidence of the breach of contract. That Twitter’s board was engaged in FRAUD in it’s contract representations to him.

    Musk trapped THEM, not the other way around.

    After publicly insulting Crooked Hillary on Twitter, Musk has likely broken the world record for longest streak of not killing himself.


    I have been told by msm trusting viewers that ‘conspiracy theories are dangerous’ & ‘those promoting them must be silenced/censored/ratio’d’. Exactly in lock step with the msm which of course stands to benefit by holding a monopoly on information. Almost like that is the true intention.

    Well by that logic then, anyone involved in spreading the lies that Iraq had WMDs, that the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia, that covid came from nature, or that Hunter Biden’s laptop was fake Russian disinfo, must all have their accounts locked.

    Oh wait that’s the entire msm, LOL.


    Why is the site owner censoring the website of multiple award winning investigative journalist John Solomon? Solomon was right when the MSM’s conspiracy theories were wrong, and yet MSM sites are not censored but his site is censored. I thought ‘conspiracy theories’ were a bad thing? Looks like they’re a good thing if they politically benefit one party over another.

    Left wing sourced conspiracy theories = true stories.
    Right wing sourced true stories = conspiracy theories.

  7. Gravatar of Edward Aldecoa Edward Aldecoa
    31. October 2022 at 06:32

    Just one last post. I know this isn’t a conservative blog, but…

    George is insane.
    Sara sounds like a combination of Rothbard and Rand. I don’t think she’s a real conservative.

    I guess it’s just very difficult for conservatives to articulate their view. Perhaps that is why Roger Scruton was so beloved.

    We just feel that the past is sacred, and we want to hold onto a piece of it. It’s nice to be able to celebrate halloween in a community that is predominantly catholic or christian, without having to worry whether someone will feel offended. If you are jewish and muslim and live in the community, then just participate without hatred in your heart, or choose not to participate, but don’t yell and scream and ask us to stop right? Does that make sense?

    And I’m not alone. I was in Da Nang a few months ago, and the locals were complaining that the Chinese bought up most of their businesses. They feel that the culture at work has changed, that there are too many tourists, and they don’t like that cultural shift. This feeling seems to be common everywhere.

    If Trump is a fascist, I will be the first one to grab my U.S. passport, fly twenty hours, and help you remove him. But I just don’t see it.

    The left is much more intolerant. I see the left: that is, the globalist left, as the demagogue. And I’m old enough to remember Marcos. I remember the soldiers that harassed my family. They were the worst thing to ever happen to the Philippines. The left in America, at least today, resembles that type of tyranny more than the right.

    For the record, I voted for cruz, not Trump. But I will take Trump over anyone on the left, unless its a moderate like Gabbard.

  8. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    31. October 2022 at 08:24


    We just discussed this, Biden is very unlikely to be the Dem nominee in 2024. But yes any Dem polling number needs to be adjusted negatively.

  9. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    31. October 2022 at 08:50

    I wonder if there’s a Kondratieff wave of politics as well as economics and we’re just in an authoritarian trough because our collective memory of the awfulness of authoritarian rule in the West has faded.

    And, I like the new comment rules. I’m afraid, however, you’ll need to add a few amendments to the rule when George and Sara start commenting on each other’s comments.

  10. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    31. October 2022 at 13:04


    Not to mention when they write 5000 word long comments

    And yes, perhaps authoritarianism is a cyclical thing, who knows?

  11. Gravatar of Ted Durant Ted Durant
    31. October 2022 at 13:48

    “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature … If the next centennial does not find us a great nation … it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
    –James A. Garfield

  12. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    31. October 2022 at 16:05

    Perhaps I’m just being optimistic, but its worth pointing out that center right candidates won their elections in the Brazilian down ballot races, and Bolsonaro lost. Sunak is now in power in the UK. Israel doesn’t look promising but thats not comparative to the other cases … the Israeli left basically no longer exists. And Netanyahu, while corrupt yes, was a competent leader, who could have more experience? And my understanding was that the previous pm, Bennet, was more right wing than Bibi is (I dont follow Israeli politics that closely so that might not be accurate, but thats the sense I get).

    So it seems the center right is winning, at least for now.

    Come the midterms, I suspect it will be a red wave … but only for the more moderate republican candidates. Republican candidates will win in deep blue areas, and they will lose in red areas, because of self sabotage in those races due to idiotic fealty to Trump. I’m fine with that.

  13. Gravatar of agrippa postumus agrippa postumus
    31. October 2022 at 16:07

    for all his faults, sumner has landed on the right comment policy. maybe he has more virtues than perspicacious movie reviews?

  14. Gravatar of Andrew C Andrew C
    31. October 2022 at 16:14

    “The polls” as a generalization can be rather misleading imo. A few things are happening at once.
    1. The electoral college is becoming slanted towards republicans. The difference between the popular vote and tipping point state in 2016 was 2.8% more Republican. In 2020, it was 3.8%. This will probably get worse as Democrats lose more ground with low education white voters.
    2. In certain states with lots of low education white voters, the polls have been biased towards democrats for 3 cycles in a row now. This is primarily the case in Pennsylvania, wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, and Florida (weird outlier but it’s happening). But that’s not the case for all swing states! In Georgia, the polls in both 2018 and 2020 got the numbers very, very close (giving some leeway for 2020 cause Biden won by 0.25%, which, good god that’s close)
    3. The polls writ large in 2020 were terrible. Across the board they showed results more favorable to democrats than the results were, most notably seen in the House of Representatives. But this is only true about 2020! David Shor has a fairly convincing argument that this was due to the pandemic, with more democrats stuck at home answering surveys. https://youtu.be/0GtgyfHwDho

  15. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    31. October 2022 at 18:06

    All I’m advocating for is classical libertarianism. The idea that community ought to have more power when it comes to legislation than the state, and the state ought to be better funded and have more power than the central government.

    This need to centralize is mostly on the left and mostly from globalists: democrat politicians in PA attempted to force a blue collar woman who was managing airbnb accounts to acquire a real estate license. They wanted her to go to school for four years, take the licensing exam, then setup a brick and mortar business just to manage these airbnb rental units. Thankfully, due to the probono work at the Institute of Justice, the courts ruled against the petty thugs working for the state, and ruled on the side of liberty. All I’m saying is that this type of policy, mostly supported by the left, creates barriers to entry, consolidates industry, consolidates power, etc, etc. The end result will not be good. There is no way to justify that centralization.

    The left always talks about the oppressor, but the oppressor is right in front of them: it’s regulation; it’s consolidation. This is the type of crazed legislation that makes it impossible for people like Christopher Langan to chair some University Physics department because in reality the University doesn’t care about his knowledge. Academics from around the world email him about the CTMU, but he cannot chair a University because he lacks credits…how idiotic is that.

    Economists talk about maximizing human capital. What is a better way to maximize human capital: a state monopoly that forces people to take credits to receive a degree, or an examination (merit based) that anyone can take at anytime, which is the way it used to be.

    And corruption exists on both sides of the aisle. Trump may or may not be corrupt, but he’s certainly not anymore corrupt than Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, and the others. The only way to stop corruption is to remove their power.

    The argument for federal taxes to have a huge standing army is also weak: we just lost to a country with no standing army at all. They beat us the same way we beat England so many years ago: time and persistence.

    I think it’s better to pay 40% tax to your community or state than to Washington — if you need to pay that much at all.

    Trump will not reduce the bloated size of our military, but at least he will pull us away from supranationals who are siphoning power away from the people. That’s a good start.

  16. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    31. October 2022 at 22:26

    With all do respect, Sara, there is no way to test langan’s hypothesis.

    Perhaps he could chair a philosophy department, but not physics.

    But it is true that the education system is broken.

  17. Gravatar of veritas veritas
    1. November 2022 at 06:38

    Holy crap, conspiracy theorists are the truth tellers now.


  18. Gravatar of veritas veritas
    1. November 2022 at 06:47


    DHS Leak Proves Government Conspired With Big Tech To Subvert Elections, Censor News

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. November 2022 at 11:21

    Carl, No worries. I can ban anyone, at any time, for any reason.

    Ted, Didn’t he get shot?

    Andrew, The polls were also biased in 2016.

  20. Gravatar of steve steve
    1. November 2022 at 11:24

    I chair a medical department. I would guess that at least 10%-20% of my staff are smarter than I am, maybe more as I get older. However, none of those really smart people have the management or people skills to chair a department. Just guessing but I would expect Langan to be a disaster as a physics chair. Would also probably be a waste but even that is not clear. Some really bright people just dont have the discipline to do good research or the focus. The head of my research team is probably not the smartest person in our department (one of the brighter ones for sure) but she is incredibly focused and driven. Of note she draws in several of the super bright folks due to her wonderful leadership skills.


  21. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    1. November 2022 at 14:29

    Michael Sandifer:
    On what are you basing your claim that “The Citizens United (CU) ruling was greatly underrated in terms of leading to the level of cynicism we now have.” First, I openly confess to not having done any research on this beyond the googling I just did out of curiosity. I came across some HuffPo and NY Times articles claiming that it had increased corruption and cynicism. Then I found these two studies from the Free Speech Institute which looked at what happened to corruption convictions before and after CU and in states where CU affected state law vs. those where it didn’t and also looked at voter turnout since CU. It found that corruption convictions were not altered nor was voter turnout suppressed.
    What data are you looking at?

  22. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    1. November 2022 at 16:19

    The result of the election in Brazil carries a familiar pattern of ‘close call’ elections where there are just enough fraudulent votes to eke out a victory.

    When you look at the tiny crowds of the rallies of the candidate who ‘won’, and compare them to the size of the crowds of the rallies of the candidate who ‘lost’, the result defies what we would expect.

    Bolsonaro stated that he is going to conduct a ‘transition of power’. He hasn’t yet used the word ‘concede’. This sounds an awful lot like what Trump did, according to evidence of the EOs he signed just before he left office, which appear to indicate that the government was ‘devolved’ and the real power was ‘transitioned’ to the military. The constitution permits the military to ‘engage’ the three letter agencies when certain criteria are demonstrated.

  23. Gravatar of Negation of Ideology Negation of Ideology
    1. November 2022 at 16:36

    Scott – If you’re interested in feedback, I like the new policy as well.

    I know it may be a little bit of a judgement call, but perhaps you could make a rule that comments should have at least something to do with the post. (This post mentioned comment policy, so I’m on topic.) It seems like a lot of commenters just want to go on unrelated political rants that belong on their own blog instead of yours.

    But it’s your site, and I agree with what you said above: “I can ban anyone, at any time, for any reason.”

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. November 2022 at 18:36

    Veritas and Daniel, As if I don’t already have enough conspiracy nuts.

  25. Gravatar of veritas veritas
    1. November 2022 at 20:43

    Huh? These are DOCUMENTS borne out in the courts.

    They’re not ‘conspiracy theories’, they’re ‘conspiracy facts’.

    Did you miss Zuckerberg’s admission on Joe Rogan as well?

  26. Gravatar of Jhow Jhow
    2. November 2022 at 02:58

    I’m from Brazil and would say your post is kind of delusional. Lula is also a populist, actually he is a lot more than Jair when talking about economics at least. Lula had two of the worst cases of corruption in the history of Brazil and his successor (Dilma) had another big one.

    Lula is from the 80′ in the political history of Brazil but you say Jair is the “populist who refuses to retire”.

    I’m not a defender of Bolsonaro but the blindness of political commentators about Lula is baffling.

  27. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    2. November 2022 at 05:01


    “Based on today’s release there are now 1.9 job openings for every unemployed worker,” Jason Furman, an economics professor at Harvard, wrote on Twitter. “This is slightly less tight than the 2.0 ratio earlier this year but just barely. This level of labor market tightness is consistent with continued fast nominal wage growth and high inflation.”

    It is also ‘consistent’ with continued inconsistencies between capital allocation and labor, which is precisely what we would expect when economic calculations are distorted by inflation.

  28. Gravatar of Klaus Klaus
    2. November 2022 at 08:48


  29. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    2. November 2022 at 09:28


    Start with these 3 links:




    I didn’t address whether Citizens United actually increased corruption. I addressed the appearance of corruption. I don’t think the effects of Citizens United on actual corruption is as great as most seem to think.

    I think we need to overturn the ruling to restore some faith in government.

  30. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    2. November 2022 at 09:32

    Jhow, Oh no, another commenter who doesn’t know how to read.

  31. Gravatar of Klaus Klaus
    2. November 2022 at 10:41

    White House deleted tweet about Biden Social Security policy after Twitter adds user fact-check.

    Social Security raise came through cost-of-living assessment, not Biden policy, note says.

    The White House’s original tweet had declared that American seniors were “getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership.” The federal government last month announced that Social Security checks would get nearly 9% boost this year.

    That spike, however, came not from Biden administration policy but via an annual cost-of-living assessment, which is tied to the inflation rate.

    White House caught in another lie.

  32. Gravatar of Jose Jose
    2. November 2022 at 10:57

    Pls, Prof. Sumner, write about monetary policy. You embarrass yourself in almost all other subjects. Pls believe me, your monetary views are billiant, I learned a lot from you and I am a successful speculator in large part because of what I learnt from you here. but I stopped coming to your blog long time ago. It’s too painful.

  33. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    2. November 2022 at 12:41


    You don’t have to read the non-monetary policy posts.

  34. Gravatar of Christian Christian
    2. November 2022 at 13:19

    “As is the rainforest” Weren’t you a libertarian?

  35. Gravatar of Jon Jon
    2. November 2022 at 21:14


    Do you believe Japan is tending toward a banana republic? Abe came and went and came back to office.

    In the past China had former premiers wielding power. Now Xi has smashed that norm and there are no elders looking over his shoulder. Was China a banana republic and isn’t now?

    Did Jerry Brown coming back for round two mean California was a banana republic?

  36. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    3. November 2022 at 05:11


    You’re missing the whole point. Abe was not a fascist, though he was right wing. While some of his performative nationalism was disgusting, he was mostly, in practice, a moderate who actually did some good things for Japan.

    Jerry Brown was also not fascist and had a mixed record as a governor, but he wasn’t a threat to the rule of law or republican form of government.

  37. Gravatar of TGGP TGGP
    3. November 2022 at 06:24

    There are people who got elected president of the US after losing a previous election: Nixon lost to JFK after serving as VP, and Grover Cleveland served non-consecutive terms. Normally losing a presidential election marks one as a loser that one shouldn’t nominate again, but bizarrely Trump is evading that label despite his entire pitch consisting of winning vs losing.

    The UK is a different matter though. I believe I’ve discussed before that PMs can come & go more easily there without the requirement of losing an election that serves as a referendum on them. The voters didn’t remove Boris Johnson from office, after all. And there are PMs like Churchill that have left and then come back:

    In order to operationalize your prediction about that the right will “dominate” Latin America, does that mean to have a majority of chief executives? Or to govern a majority of the people? I am assuming that Brazil counts as “Latin” America despite speaking Portugese, as it is indeed part of that “region”. Does the Caribbean?

  38. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    3. November 2022 at 12:10

    Jose, I’ll write about what I enjoy writing about. I think my political posts since 2015 have held up pretty well. January 6th wasn’t a surprise to anyone following my blog.

    Christian, What do rainforests have to do with libertarianism? (Commenters say the darndest things)

    Jon, Japan’s problem is right wing nationalism and cancel culture. It’s less chaotic than a banana republic, but quite repressive in certain ways. (And I like Japan.)

    TGGP, Last time I looked, Portuguese was a Latin language. I don’t care about the Caribbean.

  39. Gravatar of TGGP TGGP
    3. November 2022 at 17:36

    I was thinking along those lines in part because I’d seen this not too long ago via Yassine Meskhout.

    The Caribbean has less land mass & population than central + South America, but I find it interesting in terms of economic development. Jared Diamond in “Collapse” highlighted the difference between neighboring Haiti & the Dominican Republic, and the question of just when they actually diverged has been a topic of debate. Ideologues find plenty of material for argument in whether Cuba is really better off than it’s neighbors, or how it has fared comparatively since the communists took over (and, relevant to political developments in South America, it did try to export communist revolution there afterward). The Caribbean contains territories that have some of the highest per capita GDPs in the world (thanks to offshore banking), as well as very poor places. The UK previously held more of the Caribbean than South America, so they’ve had a lot of immigration from there. The US has also had a significant amount, both as a result of being located nearby and claiming some of it for ourselves. Since Puerto Rico in particular is part of the US, we can see that a lack of immigration barriers resulted in more Puerto Ricans living on the mainland than PR, which can help us to predict how things might shake out if other places were treated similarly.

  40. Gravatar of Jon Jon
    3. November 2022 at 17:41

    Jon, Japan’s problem is right wing nationalism and cancel culture. It’s less chaotic than a banana republic, but quite repressive in certain ways. (And I like Japan.)

    I’d love to hear more about cancel culture in Japan. I didn’t know, can you share more?

  41. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    4. November 2022 at 08:53

    Jon, This is one example, but there are hundreds of others:


    Japan is a more conformist society than the US, which makes cancel culture a particularly powerful weapon there.

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