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Monday, August 28, 2017

Re: [socialist-econ] Should-Read: Matthew Yglesias : Steve Bannon’s “economic nationalism” is total nonsense : "'Economic nationalism' has g... [feedly]

You're right, John.  Well worth the read.  The writer framed good points very well.

On Aug 25, 2017 1:32 PM, "John Case" <> wrote:
Should-Read: Matthew Yglesias : Steve Bannon's "economic nationalism" is total nonsense : "'Economic nationalism' has g...

Should-Read: Matthew YglesiasSteve Bannon's "economic nationalism" is total nonsense: "'Economic nationalism' has grave flaws as an ideology beyond Trump's racism, lack of policy knowledge, and personal indiscipline...

...The idea that the United States as a whole is locked in zero-sum economic competition with other countries or that average Americans could become wealthier at the expense of foreigners is simply wrong. At best, it's an analytical error... At worst, it's a con job... to distract middle- and working-class Americans from very real questions about the domestic distribution of economic resources by casting aspersions on foreigners.... The extent of expert consensus on the economic impact of both trade and immigration is important to understand.... Both sides of the argument agree that the typical American was made better-off by trade with China. By the same token, the entire bitter argument among labor economists about immigration and wages is about whether or not immigrants have depressed the incomes of native-born high school dropouts.... But... only 8 percent of the native population lacks a high school diploma. Both sides agree that most Americans are benefitting from immigration....

Globalization is, fundamentally, an enormous opportunity for almost everyone in the world.... The United States has... taken advantage of it in order to obtain cheaper manufacturing goods for domestic consumers.... But note that just as manufacturing-focused globalization hasn't been bad for most Americans, shifting emphasis to professional services would hardly hurt foreigners. Creating broad and clear pathways for foreigners to train to US standards and then move here to work as doctors, dentists, and nurses would be great for most Americans while also creating great new economic opportunities for foreigners. All policy choices involve winners and losers, but the tradeoff is almost never the kind of strict country versus country battle that Bannonism implies....

While Americans who follow politics were obsessing over the latest ups and downs of the Trump Show this summer, real policy changes that are important to wealthy business interests continued to roll out of DC.... Nestlé is not particularly nationalistic, but they do enjoy selling bottled water. Luckily for them, last Thursday the Interior Department decided to reverse restrictions on bringing bottled water into national parks. The Trump administration was also hard at work last week on making it easier for nursing homes that provide substandard care to avoid legal liability. Like Trump's effort to let Sinclair Broadcasting violate longstanding media concentration rules, make workplaces less safe for the people who work in them, reduce workers' overtime pay, and make it easier for financial advisers to rip off their clients, there hasn't been a lot of tweeting about these two regulatory actions.

Instead, Trump feeds the public a steady diet of racial conflict hoping that if he punches nonwhite America hard enough, white America will be so busy gawking they won't notice their pockets are being picked too. This is a time-honored hustle in American politics, and Trump grasps its operation intuitively. And he also grasps in a way that Bannon may not that "economic nationalism" is useful as an extension of the hustle and no further. Adding immigrants and the Chinese to the scapegoat list alongside the traditional African-American targets makes for a more compelling narrative, and it's let him bring the scam to parts of the urban North that have traditionally been too overwhelmingly white for the standard race hustle to seem compelling.... There's nothing to mourn in the failure to build a more substantive vision of "economic nationalism" because the vision itself never made sense...

 -- via my feedly newsfeed

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