Ten Great Books I Read in the Second Half of 2016
Weekend Reading: J. William Ward: "The Hunters of Kentucky": The Kentucky Strain of American Nationalism Has Always Been Fake News...

Should-Read: Matthew Yglesias: Obama to Working Class Trump Voters: You Played Yourselves: "'If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities'...

...he said, “then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.” It does not take a genius to understand who is whom in this parable. Donald Trump... was born rich and lives in a gold-plated tower... can withdraw further into his private enclaves. So is his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner. So is... Betsy DeVos... Wilbur Ross. So is the Goldman Sachs executive he’s tapped to run the National Economic Council and the Goldman Sachs trader turned hedge fund manager he’s tapped to run the Treasury.... This crew is laughing all the way to the bank as white working class votes install a new regime based on regressive tax cuts and bank deregulation.

And... Obama mercifully spared us the tired pieties.... He didn’t balance the ledger with a slam on identity politics... didn’t argue that white people’s economic pain is somehow more authentic or meaningful. He identified... the economic woes of [the] working class... [as] caused, to a large extent, by the racism of a sub-set of the working class that leads them to prefer a politics of white supremacy to a politics of economic uplift. This commitment to white supremacy is, Obama argued, deadly to the future of the country:

If we decline to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don’t look like us, we diminish the prospects of our own children – because those brown kids will represent a larger share of America’s workforce. And our economy doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Last year, incomes rose for all races, all age groups, for men and for women....

Trump is proposing to bring back the exact policy mix of tax cuts for millionaire and deregulation for banks and fossil fuel extractors that brought the global economy to its knees under George W Bush. Economic policy will be crafted at the highest levels by and for the inheritors of large fortunes.... [Obama's] message... is clear enough: white working class Trump supporters played themselves...

Comments