SL 683

I don’t understand the Bernie Bros who say they’ll vote for Trump, if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination.

I loved this discussion of transaction costs, because I’m the Queen of Transaction Costs. Ian needs a reading tutor? I’m the one who finds a qualified person, schedules it on the calendar, puts out little snacks during the tutoring session, and then writes the check. We’ve got a hole in the side of our house? I’m the one who finds qualified contractors (and not rip-off artists who want to charge us 9-1/2% interest on some financing deal), schedules a time during the day when we can discuss needs, researches the benefits of Hardie Board versus vinyl, looks at Pinterest boards to determine the best sized windows for our style house, and so on. I do get grumpy about this from time to time. But, seriously, the transaction costs of getting guardianship for Ian is shameful. Poor parents could never do what I’m doing.

I have some lovely fabric that I was saving to turn into a throw pillow, but I think I’m going to frame instead. Yes, you can frame fabric.

With only 45 minutes between the reading tutor and special ed basketball practice, I made this quickie chicken recipe last night. The video is good, and has a few added touches. I did burn my hand pretty seriously when I forgot that the handle of the pan had been in 450 degree oven, so don’t do that.

Who watched that hour long victory speech yesterday afternoon? Whew.

Big Boy has been at college for two weeks now, and I’m missing him a lot.

13 thoughts on “SL 683

  1. “I don’t understand the Bernie Bros who say they’ll vote for Trump…” My guess is at least some of it is épater la bourgeoisie – Bernie gets disdain from many of the same elites as those who sneer at Trump.

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  2. ds said, ““I don’t understand the Bernie Bros who say they’ll vote for Trump…” My guess is at least some of it is épater la bourgeoisie – Bernie gets disdain from many of the same elites as those who sneer at Trump.”

    Yeah.

    I also think it’s difficult to understand this as a partisan, but Trump really does have a similar emotional vibe as Sanders and Warren. You know, there are big, powerful, evil forces out there that are depriving you the voter of your just deserts, and if you just vote Trump/Sanders/Warren into office, Trump/Sanders/Warren will fight for you, crush the evil insiders and interlopers, etc, because your problems have nothing to do with either your personal choices or global economic reality.

    The connecting thread is populism.

    I blame comic book movies.

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  3. Transaction costs are the flip side of choice for many things, I think. And, yes, they have significant cost. Sometimes the time spent on choice adds very significant cost, and it can be hard to tell how much value it has added. Much market-based, everyone wins, “neoliberalism” (in quotes, ’cause I don’t want to hew to a particular definition) seems to depend on significant decision making investment. i think people aren’t particularly well-equipped to engage in these transaction costs to their benefit and that we have to price in these costs in how we organize our programs.

    (as your article says: “Regulators, lawmakers and companies seem disturbingly content to force average Americans to endure an ever-growing variety of headaches to carry out daily life. Those costs are making the basics of an advanced society harder to maintain.”

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  4. Shortly after we arrived in TX (probably 2008ish), we were doing Dave Ramsey and I was selling my kids’ old toys for a dollar or two off of my front porch via Craigslist. For the next 10 years or so, we listed a lot of stuff for free on Craigslist, set it out on the curb, and it almost invariably disappeared. (There’s a nearby flea market that is very lively on weekends.)

    The last couple years, we’ve had a much harder time getting stuff to disappear, even when setting out very similar, very usable items.

    This may be an over-read of this set of experiences, but I’m getting the feeling that (at least locally) prosperity really has reached the bottom 20% of the local population.

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  5. Epater les bourgeois is certainly a more elegant way of putting it, but I would guess that the Bernie supporters who name Trump as their second choice are strongly alienated members of the working/lower middle class. Maybe Laura should check on how the guys at the deli feel, although I’m guessing that that cultural barriers there preclude open communication. The archetypal Bernie Bros, i.e., mildly alienated 20-something children ofd the UMC who have learned that their degrees in “soft” fields will not land good jobs, will not turn into Trump supporters.

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    1. The danger for the Dems from “mildly alienated 20-something children…” is, I agree, not Trump voting but is more in the line of staying home to sulk. But I’ve been reading some Martin Gurri, so I am a believer in lots of ‘strongly alienated’ out there.

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    2. Let’s bring James Carville into the mix, on the general subject of Dem condescension and the reaction of those condescended to: “I want to give you an example of the problem here. A few weeks ago Binyamin Appelbaum, an economics writer for the New York Times, posted a snarky tweet about how LSU cancelled classes for the National Championship game. And then he said, do the “Warren/Sanders free public college proposals include LSU, or would it only apply to actual schools?”
      You know how fucking patronizing that is to people in the South or in the middle of the country? First, LSU has an unusually high graduation rate, but that’s not the point. It’s the goddamn smugness. This is from a guy who lives in New York and serves on the Times editorial board and there’s not a single person he knows that doesn’t pat him on the back for that kind of tweet. He’s so fucking smart.
      Appelbaum doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party, but he does represent the urbanist mindset. We can’t win the Senate by looking down at people. The Democratic Party has to drive a narrative that doesn’t give off vapors that we’re smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.”

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  6. There’s a huge problem with repeatedly saying:

    –I hate you
    –You’re a bigot
    –You’re a subliterate moron
    –Your state is full of bigoted, subliterate morons
    –People like you ought to die of cancer!

    combined with:

    –I’m going to help you and make your life better!

    It’s nearly impossible to believe that a person who demonstrates so much hatred and ill-will genuinely wants to make your life better, or that they are well-equipped to understand what “better” means from your point of view.

    You can get a lot of interesting quotes if you google “love without respect.” Apologies, as many of them are pretty gooey and New Age-y, but it’s a real point that love without respect is dangerous.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn/201208/in-relationships-respect-may-be-even-more-crucial-love

    “Love without respect is dangerous; it can crush the other person, sometimes literally. To respect is to understand that the other person is not you, not an extension of you, not a reflection of you, not your toy, not your pet, not your product. In a relationship of respect, your task is to understand the other person as a unique individual and learn how to mesh your needs with his or hers and help that person achieve what he or she wants to achieve. Your task is not to control the other person or try to change him or her in a direction that you desire but he or she does not. I think this applies as much to parent-child relationships as to husband-wife relationships.”

    That author is talking about interpersonal relationships, but I would argue that it applies just as much in the political realm. To wish to do good to a person or a group of people without respecting their autonomy or their goals is not respectful, and in the end not loving at all. It makes the US as a nation a sort of massive toxic family, the sort of place where “love” and “I just want the best for you” justifies all manner of abuse.

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  7. The “white savior complex” is an interesting and useful term used mostly on the left for white people who (often narcissistically) “help” non-white people in disrespectful or self-serving ways.

    I would suggest that “urban coastal savior complex” is also a thing within the US. You have the same issue of narcissistic, disrespectful and self-serving “help,” often with minimal effort made to hide feelings of disgust, hatred or contempt toward the objects of their beneficence.

    Needless to say, this kind of “help” is unlikely to be helpful.

    I’d suggest a quick checklist:

    –Do I respect the people that I intend to help?
    –Am I making an effort to listen to what they want, or am I so busy giving them what I think is good for them that I am not being respectful?
    –Am I making this about me?

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  8. “–Do I respect the people that I intend to help?
    –Am I making an effort to listen to what they want, or am I so busy giving them what I think is good for them that I am not being respectful?
    –Am I making this about me?”

    These are all good questions, and brown/black folks are telling those guidelines to the west coast white liberals all the time. Read How to Be an Anti-Racist & So You Want to Talk about Race as examples.

    In your list of things that offend white Trump voters when they hear them — well, I’m guessing no candidate has said “you should die of cancer.” Pointing out racism and bigotry when it occurs, though, is not negotiable for gaining support. Slavery was evil. Telling brown Americans that they should “go back” is racist (Trump did this, of course, but it also happened in a school meeting in Michigan last week). Building a wall to protect our boarders? negotiable. But, when it is interpreted by a 3rd grader in a Seattle catholic school, as “build a wall to keep the immigrants out (while playing with blocks)?” offensive, and an ultimately a message that undermines American ideals.

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    1. bj said,

      “In your list of things that offend white Trump voters when they hear them — well, I’m guessing no candidate has said “you should die of cancer.””

      I can’t come up with any examples of voters being told this, but yes, there have been quite a number examples of prominent Democrats wishing cancer deaths on prominent Republicans or rejoicing at cancer diagnoses. It’s kind of a thing.

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/rush-limbaugh-critics-celebrate-cancer-diagnosis

      This is not just internet nobodies–you see a lot of blue checkmark people doing it.

      As other people have mentioned: why should I trust a group to be in charge of my healthcare when prominent members of the group say that they want people like me to die of cancer?

      See also the Covington Catholic fiasco when various liberal or left blue checkmarks with good media jobs were wishing violence or inciting violence against the Covington kids, many of which were minors. (Reza Aslan of CNN notably tweeted that the completely innocent Nick Sandman had a “punchable” face.)

      (And no, there is not an air-tight barrier between the media and politicians, on either left or right. It’s gotten very obvious that a lot of media people see their role as serving a particular side.)

      “Pointing out racism and bigotry when it occurs, though, is not negotiable for gaining support. Slavery was evil. Telling brown Americans that they should “go back” is racist (Trump did this, of course, but it also happened in a school meeting in Michigan last week). Building a wall to protect our boarders? negotiable.”

      Criticizing ideas, sure.

      Although, I have to say that accusations of racism are not the kryptonite that people would like them to be, just because nowadays everything is racist–the Betsy Ross flag, the OK hand sign, a Moana Halloween costume, wearing a cheongsam to prom without appropriate ethnic credentials, the American Revolution, using the SAT for college admissions, neighborhood public schools, voter ID, etc. The word has lost a lot of its punch via overuse. People who want racism to be taken more seriously need a lot more trigger discipline before using the term.

      You might not like it, but I think it is fair to tell immigrants or resident aliens (of whatever color) that if they don’t like it here, that the exit is thataway. It’s annoying when people voluntarily choose a country and then constantly whine and carp about it. (This doesn’t apply so much to people who immigrated as small children, of course.)

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  9. I think Bernie is getting plenty of elitists on board – though it depends on what you mean by elitist. I’m thinking of the “no, you don’t really understand what socialism means” elitist. For the love of God, why can’t we stop using a word that a majority of Americans over 40 associate primarily with the USSR? Yes, I know that it’s a term that can be used in a variety of ways, but it’s not going to work. This is why I loved the Freakonomics interview with Yang, where he said they tested a bunch of things to call universal basic income and went with “freedom dividend.” Progressives will support a UBI no matter what you call it, but you have to reframe the story for some other people. I don’t mean lie, I mean actually, tell the same story using different words.

    Also, heading into the general election Democrats need to focus more on the judiciary in general and the Supreme Court in particular. I’d like to see a million articles on how the courts can reshape voting rights, privacy rights, first and second amendment rights, and pretty much everything we care about. But voting rights first of all, because it only works to say, well, the Supreme Court can rule on things, but then the legislative and executive branches can change the law, if the elections are genuinely free and fair.

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