Things we already know about the winning party

The winner of the 2020 election will be the party that supports vast increases in government spending, fueled by debt (i.e. a tax burden on the next generation.)

It will be people who believe the government should run the economy, picking winners and losers:

Government intervention in the economy used to be anathema to conservatives. But when the Senate called a vote last month on legislation that would direct billions of federal dollars to semiconductor manufacturers, nearly every Republican supported it. . . .

“Ultimately, capitalism is the best economic model. It will always yield the most efficient outcome. But there are times where the most efficient outcome is not the best outcome for America,” Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), one of the Republican sponsors of the semiconductor legislation, said in an interview.

For the past year, Rubio has been arguing that the government must identify the industrial sectors most critical to national security and economic growth, and spur investment in them, an approach he calls a “21st-century pro-American industrial policy.”

That kind of language is more often associated with Democrats, who have long endorsed the government taking an active role in shaping the economy, from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are big proponents of the approach, and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has peppered his platform with industrial-policy proposals to revive the economy, including spending an extra $400 billion of federal money on American-made goods.

Nationalism, protectionism, industrial policy, ballooning federal spending, bigger budget and trade deficits, Nimby zoning, personality cults, loyalty tests, anti-Muslim, pro-global warming, militarize the police, macho mask phobia, anti-testing, bleach!, pro-vigilante, pro-torture, pro-US war criminals, Putin worship, xenophobia—welcome to the modern GOP (excluding Mitt.)

The Dems are still sane at the very top, but at the lower levels the left is rapidly moving toward the US version of China’s Cultural Revolution.

Have a nice day.



34 Responses to “Things we already know about the winning party”

  1. Gravatar of Cartesian Theatics Cartesian Theatics
    30. August 2020 at 20:06

    Also, fertility is 1.7 in the US.

  2. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    30. August 2020 at 20:52

    I think sadly that you are right. Both parties are drinking straight out of the punch bowl.
    What puzzles me is why we have been able to be so incredibly profligate without paying a higher price. Debt is at 150% of GDP. Govt spending is now 45% of GDP. With a commodity based currency there seemed to be strong countervailing forces to government debt accumulation. Nowadays it seems that either those countervailing forces have weakened or we’re Wile E Coyote and we just haven’t looked down yet.

  3. Gravatar of ChrisA ChrisA
    30. August 2020 at 22:47

    Carl, a wise man said there is a great deal of ruin in a nation. More practical is the observation that d

  4. Gravatar of ChrisA ChrisA
    30. August 2020 at 22:50

    Sent the last by mistake, I was going to say that more practically the debt capacity of an economy depends of course on nominal interest rates, and today we have very low nominal rates. I think the lower debt gdp ratio limits we think about are based on times with much higher rates.

  5. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    30. August 2020 at 23:19

    Both parties not even question a fantastically globalist military posture, decade after decade after decade.

    The US spends $1.3 trillion annually of Dept. of Defense, VA, DHS, black budget and pro-rated interest on the national debt.

    That is about $10,000 for ever one of the 130 million households in the US, year after year. Not just one year. Every year. Biden-Harris? The Donks? The “left wing?” That is “left wing” as in the left wing of the F-35 fighter jet.

    The same left-wing that brainwashes people to think of themselves as members of an identity group, or as consumers, but not as citizens or producers.

    This year, the government may give back one or two $1,200 stimulus checks to each household—part of the $10,000 they took from households to begin with.

    As for sanity at the top, middle or bottom of the parties, well, maybe Sumner is using a better microscope than me.


  6. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    30. August 2020 at 23:46

    Questioning the ‘excesses’ of the M.I.C. would make one persona non grata? No NGDPLT?

  7. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    31. August 2020 at 01:38

    Scott, now you mention Cultural Revolution? What took you if all people so long? Even my very young Chinese colleague saw it ages ago and to many who experienced socialism first hand this was just so obvious. The danger is real, nothing Trump has done in the last 3.5 years is anywhere close.

    And when you say “The Dems are still sane at the very top” does it include VP candidate?

  8. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    31. August 2020 at 04:32

    Most on the left on the bottom are more centrist, but the trend has perhaps been moving more toward the ignorant left. Unfortunately, I do think AOC may have her own small personality cult growing around her and she and/or others like her may have bright political futures. This might be okay if she weren’t so ignorant on policy, despite her economics degree. While I would never vote for Paul Ryan, I suspect he understands the economics he learned in college much better than AOC. The Green New Deal is about as dumb a bill as I’ve ever seen proposed, for example. Paul Ryan is a shameless liar, but don’t think he’d come close to supporting a bill so stupid.

    The looney left is still very fringe, though they disproportionately cause the Democrats problems because Democrats are so awful at PR and electoral politics. “Defund the police” is just another example of an incredibly dumb rallying cry, politically, and otherwise.

  9. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    31. August 2020 at 04:38

    We really need to level target NGDP, or the centrists will continue to lose influence. It’s merely an academic point from a policy perspective, since I don’t favor a different monetary policy than that advocated here, but I think productivity would boom under a good level targeting regime, but not as much as it did in the late 90s.

    I do think there are a wider variety of ways of targeting NGDP than are widely recognized.

  10. Gravatar of Skeptical Skeptical
    31. August 2020 at 04:50

    The thing keeping the Dems somewhat attached to reality is their racial minority base.

  11. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    31. August 2020 at 05:56

    It’s important to distinguish between what politicians say and what they do. Politicians of both parties support intervention in the economy. The GOP likes to pretend their favored interventions are just the neutral working of the free market. The Democratic messaging isn’t quite so sophisticated.

  12. Gravatar of Mark Mark
    31. August 2020 at 05:59

    I see the Dems as significantly less dangerous now because their base is such a big non-cohesive tent that it would be hard for them to really push any radical policies without alienating a large part of their base. Recall during the Obama administration, they couldn’t even get the tax break for college savings accounts repealed because of base pushback even though it seemed like every pundit agreed that the tax break was regressive with no justifications and repeal was long overdue. The Democrats are an even bigger tent now. I see little risk that that the party of AOC and John Kasich is going to be able to implement socialism, or really much of anything. Republicans, on the other hand, do have their base behind a pretty authoritarian nationalist agenda and have been able to do a lot of things under Trump like cut legal immigration in half through executive orders. And if I’m wrong, well then we can vote them out next time. If you’re going to have two authoritarian parties, it’s better to have a rotation of power so neither of them can accumulate too much power and entrench themselves too much.

  13. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    31. August 2020 at 06:44

    I don’t understand how any person would choose to live in the US over Europe these days. Obviously we have our own issues, short-term and long-term, but at least our level of sanity is more-or-less intact.

    Although a bystander in a hotel bar in London did accuse me of cultural appropriation the other day when I met a friend for drinks and suggested we copy our Japanese friends and bow instead of shaking hands upon meeting.

  14. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    31. August 2020 at 06:58


    It is not US versus Europe, it’s US versus 30 or so individual countries. Plus we have 50 states. I think you should say something like—-“why would any one choose to live in Texas when they can live in Greece”? Or why would anyone live in New Jersey when they could live in Germany? I have no reason to think some abstract person would choose one over the other. But it seems pretty obvious why people tend to prefer where they are from.

  15. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    31. August 2020 at 07:42

    Two really good reasons to prefer the US today is First and Second amendments.

    At least those in the US who want to defend themselves against Red Guards stand a chance. In most European countries one can do nothing against a small mob who come to attack them at home, let alone on a street. British police fail to deal with illegal raves because they don’t have enough manpower and obviously no firearms.

  16. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. August 2020 at 07:52

    Joseph, You said:

    “Scott, now you mention Cultural Revolution? What took you if all people so long?”

    This blog does have a search box. Next time before making a complete ass of yourself why not enter “Cultural Revolution” in the search box to find out how often I’ve used the analogy over the years.

    The blog attracts idiots like flies to honey.

    Michael, You said:

    “The looney left is still very fringe”

    Not at all. They’ve taken over many of our institutions, including (most recently) the high school my daughter attended.

    People get fired from Silicon Valley companies for refusing to bow to political correctness.

    foosion, Yup.

  17. Gravatar of Cameron Blank Cameron Blank
    31. August 2020 at 07:57

    True. Of course whereas Biden will make his party smarter, Trump makes republicans much stupider.

  18. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    31. August 2020 at 08:24


    Your daughter attended high school in Massachusetts, right? Maybe the looney left is not so fringe there, or in Silcon Valley, but they certainly are in places like Jacksonville, FL, where I am for example.

    Most Democratic voters are not fringe, and while the looney left is loud and powerful in some places, I think they’re fringe overall.

    By the way, speaking of that, betting markets now have Biden and Trump in a dead heat, fully supporting your concerns about the election.

    That’s not to downplay how much damage they can do to the efforts of moderate Democrats, if the whole moderate-left gets smeared as a result.

  19. Gravatar of Gene Frenkle Gene Frenkle
    31. August 2020 at 09:03

    I think Rubio is being responsible in this instance and his primary focus is getting more dollars to parents with small children. So Trump’s absurd trade war was about creating a show to please the base even though manufacturing jobs started returning to America in 2010 when fracking was proven economical. I even read a factory worker say Trump’s trade war did nothing because automation is always reducing manufacturing jobs even as more are created, but he still believed Trump was on his side. So I do believe there is a responsible way to deal with what is really a culture losing what it believes is important and attempting rationalize what is going on in their lives. So clearly there are Americans in the Midwest who believe manufacturing jobs are important just like say religion might be important to them.

  20. Gravatar of Richard A. Richard A.
    31. August 2020 at 10:36

    This appears to be the vote on the semiconductor amendment.

    All the Democrats voted for it and only 4 Republicans voted against;

    Lee (R-UT)
    Rand Paul (R-KY)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Toomey (R-PA)

    Romney voted for.

  21. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    31. August 2020 at 10:55

    Ouch, clearly touched the nerve, Scott.

    I don’t pretend I am smart. Said many stupid things over the years surely and will inevitably say more.

    Yeah, I have to apologise for the way I worded my message, you certainly mentioned CR about 3 times in the last year alone. But believe it or not, this is not bloody good enough.
    1. These messages simply got lost in my head behind all the Trump/GOP bushing
    2. More importantly, until today I couldn’t remember and can’t find where you directly connected Dems with these processes. No, just referring to “some on the left”, liberals or AOC won’t cut it. Please point me to the right place and I will happily apologise again.

    Try harder, Scott. You might start by admitting the obvious to start with: the danger of Trump is nowhere close to that of a woke Dem leadership working hand in hand with woke Google/Facebook/Twitter and mass media. Again, you of all people must see it.

  22. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. August 2020 at 11:41

    Joseph, LOL, there’s a big difference between making a fool of oneself and “touching a nerve”.

  23. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    31. August 2020 at 12:30

    Scott, I am sure you realise I’ve learnt to live with my limitations. I suppose you will have to live with your own guilt should the worst happen.
    Yet you seem to have no link to prove me wrong, do you?

  24. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    31. August 2020 at 15:50


    Why would Sumner feel “guilt” if “the worst happens”? What’s that got to do with him?

  25. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    1. September 2020 at 04:38


    When one has a popular blog
    And expresses support for a certain party or a person
    And gets his or her wish
    And as a result their country gets to experience a Cultural Revolution and/or a civil war (no, a win of one side is not the worst outcome)
    One might feel guilty for their part in getting to this state. Krugman won’t. But Scott is different.

  26. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    1. September 2020 at 07:22


    Grow up.

  27. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    1. September 2020 at 07:32

    Maybe a new category of cutural revolution posts should be added, so people stop asking. Would it make a differnce? Sadly, can’t be sure.

  28. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    1. September 2020 at 08:11

    Naff off 🙂
    Don’t want to see the answer – don’t ask the question

  29. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. September 2020 at 09:00

    Joseph, Do people who voted for Trump feel guilt about the Cultural Revolution we are now having?

    Unlike you, I’m not so naive as to think a country’s outcome depends on who’s elected president. Do you really believe that the difference between Switzerland and a banana republic like Honduras is based on who wins an election? America is becoming a banana republic. I’ve know this for a long time, but others are just starting to wake up to the fact. Our downward spiral won’t be arrested regardless of who wins in the fall.

    You said:

    “And gets his or her wish”

    I didn’t get my wish in 2016, and the woman I vote for this fall won’t win. The country’s going down the toilet even though you got your wish in 2016.

  30. Gravatar of Bob OBrien Bob OBrien
    1. September 2020 at 09:39

    “The Dems are still sane at the very top, but at the lower levels the left is rapidly moving toward the US version of China’s Cultural Revolution.”

    Maybe the Dems are sane at the top but they are also very weak at the top. I think the lower levels are now in charge and it is really scary. Sane people I know are out buying guns because of fear of the left.

    There is also a belief by many of my friends that if the Dems win this time they will rig the election process and turn us into a one party country. This may already have happened to California. At first this seemed very unreasonable to me but, like Joseph, I am no longer so sure it is an unreasonable fear!

  31. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    1. September 2020 at 11:31

    Scott, I am sure you know that I don’t vote in the US elections. But what happens in the US has massive consequences in the world hence I find it important to follow.

    I can’t see why Trump/GOP voters should feel responsible for CR. You know full well the process started before Trump, hell, you did indeed reference it 9 years ago. Dem side have been raising a militant wing like the IRA very methodically. This has not started with Trump and will not stop with him going.

    I agree about the trend, my view is you can either try and reverse it or hope for the better (sanity of the Dem top). Looking at all the lies coming from them (Biden, Harris, Pelosi) directly I have zero trust in these people nor do I expect them to be able to get rid of the mad ones. When cancel culture came close enough to home some chose to sign a letter trying to affect the process. Where is such a letter about looting, murders, destroyed neighbourhoods?

    I am sure you personally don’t support this and you did mention the stupidity of the left many times. Yet you still support the party vs Trump and consider them the lesser evil today – this in my book is a mistake. My voice means nothing, yours doesn’t.

    3+ years could have been used to build a common ground, which is easier with a relatively weak President.
    Insead Dems and MSM doubled-down on hatred. Well, they tought their crowd well.

    Find it hard to believe you vote for Harris, she would fare well in the most disgusting person contest against HRC.

  32. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    1. September 2020 at 12:40

    America is becoming a banana republic. I’ve know this for a long time, but others are just starting to wake up to the fact. Our downward spiral won’t be arrested regardless of who wins in the fall.

    Well that’s cheery. Curious what you think is behind it and when you first noticed.

  33. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    3. September 2020 at 09:46

    Joseph, If you know nothing about what Trump is actually like, then it’s best to remain silent. This issue is Trump, one of the worst people in global history, not whether Harris is “disgusting”. She’s a nonentity.

    Carl, I noticed this several years ago, and it’s also happening elsewhere in the world.

  34. Gravatar of Joseph Joseph
    8. September 2020 at 22:56

    Scott, I know enough about Trump and more importantly about Dems as well to know what is worse. “One of the worst people in global history”??? This is without starting a war? “She is a nonentity” – that’s about the person who will almost inevitably become US president should Biden win? What drugs are you on? The Atlantic and Co, that’s the substance 🙁

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