2018-10-31: While planning for a little essay on class war, I went looking for a provocative essay I vaguely remembered from a few years back (2012) by Michael O. Church, which has sadly disappeared from its original source. Thankfully it can be found using the Wayback Machine. Church proposed a three-ladder system of class in the US which is a bit baroque but does have lots of useful explanatory value. He also provides some excellent insights into class war strategies, although I have my doubts about his celebration of what he calls the Gentry. Here's the lede:
Typical depictions of social class in the United States posit a linear, ordered hierarchy. I've actually come to the conclusion that there are 3 distinct ladders, with approximately four social classes on each. Additionally, there is an underclass of people not connected to any of the ladders, creating an unlucky 13th social class. I'll attempt to explain how this three-ladder system works, what it means, and also why it is a source of conflict. The ladders I will assign the names Labor, Gentry, and Elite. My specific percentage estimates of each category are not derived from anything other than estimation based on what I've seen, and my limited understanding of the macroeconomics of income in the United States, so don't take them for more than an approximation. I'll assess the social role of each of these classes in order, from bottom to top.
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2018-08-28: Taxes do not fund sovereign spending. Inspired by Why I Am Not Wildly Enthusiastic about Sanders' Plan to Tax Amazon. Lambert says:
Let me now turn to the problems with Sanders' plan to have a plan... The framing reinforces the notion that Federal taxespay forFederal spending, so Sanders traps us in the austerity box... Federal taxes do not pay for Federal spending, nor do taxpayers... It is not true, as Sanders says, thatyou pay for it.You don't... Unfortunately for us all, the implications of Sanders' framing are horrific, whether for the left, or liberals of good faith, if any... Thefiscal myththat taxes pay for Federal spending is already being used to attack #MedicareForAll. When Sanders asks and answersYou know who pays for those programs? You do,he's teaching an entire constituency a falsehood that actively works to undermine working class interests in universal concrete material benefits! Why on earth would Sanders do this?
2018-07-17: Revisions to argument.
2018-06-26: Brief remarks on argument, reflecting the rather unsatisfying course which so many conversations seem to take.
2018-06-19: A brief meditation on respect, corresponding to remarks I often make to my liberal friends.
2018-04-20: Happy 4/20 to all! Over at Naked Capitalism, Lambert is fundraising for the Water Cooler. If you've got it to spare, be sure to give. Nobody works harder to bring us real news and original analysis.
2018-04-15: A short piece on lies.
2018-03-12: Greetings to our new readers, and thanks for your visits and your consideration. New material coming soon, I promise. Apologies for outages as our shoestring operation was subject to power and internet losses in the recent spate of Nor'easters. Possibly another tonight!
2018-01-24: Austerity is a policy choice (abstract).
2018-01-23: Fiat money is unbounded.
2017-12-19: Huge shout-out to Zero Anthropology on their 10th anniversary! Max Forte provides carefully researched, superbly argued challenges to conventional wisdom that have been a major influence in my ongoing program of study of indigenous cultures and neoliberalism, colonialism, imperialism, and globalization. And I really appreciate the style of posting:
[Our] current pattern of production...is very slow, very deliberate, with comparatively long articles that are as well researched as possible... our engagement withHighly recommended. Old news...social mediahas been substantially pared down in recent years and months, not to devote our free labour to inflating the value of an environment dominated/censored by US interests and US corporations -- and because most of the important realizations and understandings are not produced a dozen per second instreams,feedsandtimelines.Release early, release often,I slowly came to realize is the slogan of those who prefer instant recognition and constant gratification, likely inspired by asocial mediaenvironment dominated by the celebrity-activist-journalist type.