Open thread April 22, 2022 Dan Crawford | April 22, 2022 7:55 am Comments (64) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
When FDR gave his 1936 Madison Square Garden speech where he said, “”They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred,” then they were just the fat cats, the wealthy, the powerful, the financially connected, but not a large block of voters nor a congressional majority. It takes votes to enact policy which is something that is always worth considering. When policy casts a wider net, then it can haul in more votes. Social Security has been a positive role model for policy that should never be overlooked.
Is this about some particular policy option or options that you think sensible but is not moving forward very effectively? In a sense, I think Obamacare passed the “Social Security role model” hurdle and getting real energy behind more major healthcare reforms is tough because the problem is a lot smaller now than a decade ago.
General observation. E.g., student loan forgiveness generates more backlash than a broad based solution for all higher education students. We need to remember that the top 1% is only 1% of the population and they do not need student loans. Student loan forgiveness generates animosity towards the needy from among the demographics that either can repay their loans or whose parents saved from before they were even born to pay for their education. Conservatives criticize that student loan forgiveness provides disincentives for debt repayment and for saving. It is one of the few things about which conservatives are somewhat correct. Of course liberals do not get that at all, choosing to believe that all of their opposition is merely unkind or even cruel. In the end we get mostly over-priced and inadequate higher education to support corporate HR credentialism, with most students not getting into the programs in which they might excel and provide the most value. The rich do not care since their parents can pay for the few good schools and the best and most appropriate curriculum.
At 73 YO, then I don’t care about higher ed myself, but I do hate losing. When I was 18 then with my own money from a summer job, a grant, and a couple of loans, then I could afford a state teachers’ college. It bored me to death and I dropped out middle of the first semester. I should have been in an operations research curriculum at a decent technical school, but could not afford one even if I had known that would be my field. So, the path of least resistance was to enroll into math education curriculum. After quitting school, then I went to work as a computer operator before getting drafted and sent to Vietnam. Back from the army then I resumed work as a computer operator, learned seven programming languages OJT, programmed applications until in my thirties I was promoted into information technology systems management (ITSM) large systems performance management and capacity planning (i.e., operations research for the IT asset management application). Higher ed has only gotten far more expensive and far less educational. Credentialism does have its merits though, albeit mostly in terms of ranking in the meritocracy system, which is not at all about merit.
We have conflicts between immigrants and traditional Americans of European descent, but it is cruel to foster assimilation via a national language. If one knows our history, then who needs to be able to communicate with us? Makes me wonder what is in that history they must learn. In any case, then we could hardly do more to foster mistrust between native born citizens and immigrants that we are already doing.
We have a growing set of problems where obvious solutions are eschewed because they fail the political correctness test. This is not just a liberal problem. Conservatives are at least as obsessed as liberals when it comes to fashion over function thinking. Consider critical race theory which no state teaches but everyone is talking about. OK, actually CRT is just coded jargon to mean teaching any history regarding racism, but that is not how it is framed by pointy headed conservatives. Once that I finally understood the conversation then I realized that it was the dumbest piece of faux psychology propaganda that I had ever heard. Of course some of these people actually do want a race war, so there is that. They should ask Putin how that is going for him? My POV is to never start a war that you do know for certain that you will win.
The sum of all of the above is wasted potential on top of virulent ignorance of each other. These were just off the top of my head, but I do not have time for more now.
The underlying irony is that in the US most people are afraid to discuss either religion or politics with anyone that is not like-minded with themselves. Furthermore, psychology has become more of a pop science than an unbiased behavioral study.
OK, done with today’s work.
My biggest boners with policy are not about broadly accepted public policy to achieve desirable ends, but rather intelligent policy to achieve stated goals in areas too nerdy for John Q to understand despite his excessive confidence to the contrary. IOW, not shooting ourselves in our collective left foot. Essentially it is a goal consistent with the casting a broader net on public policy in order to actually get something done, but that prior is where we cannot achieve our goals because of a lack of popular consensus. The intelligent policy to achieve stated goals runs afoul of when we solve the wrong problem precisely (borrowing from systems theory expert Ian Mitroff). We are successful, but at doing the wrong thing.
The dividends tax credit that existed with the creation of the income tax in 1913 initially had no relevance given the low tax rates and high income threshold for income tax. Until 1921, when the income tax rate was increased for WWI, there was no tax preference for capital gains such that the tiny insignificant dividends tax credit had no capital gains preference to even offset. Also, Wall Street securities trading before WWI was still more wild west than dominant business force. In 1936 the New Deal liberals repealed the dividends tax credit, then reinstated it in 1939. By then the capital gains tax preference was significant thereby making the dividends tax credit also significant. I don’t know if Keynes whispered in their ears or they just saw the error of their ways. In any case the dividends tax credit was a tax cut for the wealthy that created an incentive to hold equity and collect quarterly dividends rather than sell for capital gains one time windfalls. Securities brokerages and exchanges hated the dividends tax credit as did investment bankers. The financial paper media called it passive investing and belittled it. The widows living on dividend checks were characterized as coupon clippers. In any case, liberals gave the wealthy back their dividends tax credit in 1939, only to have Republicans repeal it in 1954. The first two LBOs were in 1955. The liberals let it stand rather than face jabs over giving the rich a tax cut. The capital gains tax preference so magnified produced endless M&A which lead to a decline in unions and traditional corporate pensions, the rise of Wall Street on the back of employees trying to save for their own retirements in IRAs and 401Ks, the offshoring of a great many jobs, decline in labor compensation, political capture by corporations, and generations of ineffective government policy from the POV of American workers.
Next FUBAR. In 1986, then Republicans controlled the US Senate and Democrats controlled the House. The work of government under Reagan still had to be done which is why we called them Reagan Democrats, because they sure were not progressives. In 1986 the 501(c) nonprofit tax exemption was removed from all nonprofit BC/BS and mutual health insurers. It took seven more years for most of the state BC/BS health insurers to go for profit and a few more for them to go public and begin merging together. So that is the backdrop for Obamacare, which by then was probably the best that we could hope to get. Also, that mistake has had me cussing excessively for almost forty years now and my wife works for Anthem BC/BS.
Correction: “…My POV is to never start a war that you do NOT know for certain that you will win…”
Footnote: The 501(c) nonprofit tax exemption for health insurers originated in the 1930’s New Deal Era.
Also, my wife went to work for Anthem BC/BS in VA when they were still the nonprofit Trigon BC/BS. Stuff happens.
I still remember an episode of 60 Minutes from 1986 or maybe just a little earlier where employees for the nonprofit BC/BS state corporations were exposed for wasting nonprofit dollars on conferences held in Los Vegas, where they were presumably just drinking and gambling and living it up. The Computer Measurement Group (CMG) nonprofit professional organization of which I was a member (as a VA state employee) had its own international membership conference in Los Vegas in December 1986. Back then Los Vegas hotels made their money from the casinos and their rooms and meals were cheaper than any other cities in the US with capacity for conferences that were that large. I cannot recall whether 60 Minutes ever told the truth about why Vegas, but I can recall shouting at the TV much as my New Deal dad had back in the 60’s.
(Sad, but this probably not the most horrible occurrence in Ukraine as of late, however.)
One Ukrainian War Casualty: The World’s Largest Airplane
NY Times – April 22
I don’t know about all that, but I suppose you do.
But you take on the student loan/debt “debate” made me think this: each side has one end of the tape, and that’s all they can hold in their minds. The “right” sees “pay your debts” virtue; the left sees consumer fraud and predatory lending sanctioned by crooked government. funny how they both agree about crooked government,
So we never get anywhere: because limited intelligence and crooked government.
Someone up thread seems to think Obamacare was an advance on/from Social Security: how wrong they are. Social Security is paid for by the workers and hard to cheat or FU. Obamacare is paid for by the gummint and a boondoggle from the start. It’s only “virtue” (from the point of view of its designers) was to prevent a Social-Security-like “single payer” [actually worker paid] healthcare insurance like Medicare should have been.
The Left doesn’t want people to have to pay for anything. The Right doesn’t want to have to pay for everything. Can’t we all just get along?
Yes – agreed. However, since we are stuck the mud with student loans then it might be easier to sell higher ed for all on Uncle Sam’s dime with perhaps some qualifying conditions such a those used the past like military service, where one teaches school or practices medicine and so on while casting a bigger net than we have done in the past. If higher ed is not a public investment, but just a private investment then either pay your debt or put up some collateral. OTOH, the credentialism practiced by corporate HR departments needs to be put out of our misery. People do not need higher ed to be stupid because they are stupid enough straight out of high school.
Back before the industrial revolution and modern statecraft to replace monarchies and landed aristocracy, then Kant might have been correct that good will was sufficient and those with good intentions need not concern themselves with unforeseen outcomes. Life was simpler then. People may be even simpler now. Dead philosophers never imagined the world in which we now live, not self-driving vehicles nor nuclear weapons. Nowadays, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the civil engineers are better dreamers than builders.
Who Qualifies For Student Loan Forgiveness Under Biden’s Huge New Expansion Of Income Based Repayment
Adam S. Minsky
Apr 20, 2022,02:11pm EDT
Yesterday, the Biden administration announced a sweeping new initiative to expand income based repayment programs. The effort will dramatically expand the pool of borrowers who qualify for student loan forgiveness.
According to the Education Department, at least 40,000 student loan borrowers will receive immediate, automatic student loan forgiveness. And another 3.6 million borrowers will accelerate their progress towards getting the student loans completely wiped out.
As with many federal student loan relief programs, the new initiative is somewhat complicated. Here’s who qualifies, and what borrowers need to do.
Key Elements of Biden’s New Student Loan Forgiveness Initiative Through Income Based Repayment
Income-driven repayment (IDR) describes a collection of plans — which include Income Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and others — that tie a borrower’s monthly payment to their income. After 20 or 25 years of payments (depending on the plan), any remaining balance is forgiven, although this could potentially be treated as taxable income to the borrower depending on when the forgiveness actually occurs. Under the original IDR rules, only time spent in repayment under specific IDR plans can count towards student loan forgiveness.
IDR plans are also a required component of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which can eliminate a borrower’s federal student loan debt in as little as 10 years if they devote their career to nonprofit or government work. However, the Biden administration recently announced a temporary initiative called the Limited PSLF Waiver which, for a limited time, expands the type of repayment plans that qualify for PSLF.
Under the new IDR changes announced this week, the Biden administration will significantly expand student loan forgiveness eligibility under IDR:
Under this initiative, the Education Department will also be able to count payments made prior to loan consolidation — a huge benefit to borrowers, given that under the original IDR rules, consolidation restarts the clock on a borrower’s repayment term…
[MORE at link ]
yes, but it gets complicated. you are doubleplus right about credentialism. I hated school…without even realizing it until it was too late (being unhappy did not make me realize that the school medium was the message. schools spoiled all the good things about education.
that said, education is a good thing, but it will take more imagination than i saw to make it work. if it can be made to work, it should be a “taxpayer paid” because it is a public benefit not (just) a personal one, and not just job training for an upper middle class job.
if it can be made to work.
maybe a good start would be for the government (us) to realize that the student loan program was badly handled and ought to be written off as a bad investment. having teenagers make decisions about “education” is like the duck in “Babe” telling the pig “you look like a smart young fellow…” if you haven’t seen Babe, the quote should alert you to the danger of believing someone who tells you you look like a smart young fellow.
on the other hand, it always seemed to me that educators acted as if their job was to convince kids they were not smart enough to expect to get a “good” job or be treated like human beings.
Yes sir. Once again I see that we are not too far apart on this.
So, far our student loan forgiveness programs have been more Machiavellian than egalitarian. Although, just realistic and practical in a broadly humanist sense rather than more explicitly egalitarian would be fine with me. Not everyone is actually created equal and able to benefit either themselves or their society or their posterity with every possible opportunity.
However, rich parents should not be a qualification for scholastic opportunity. That falls dangerously too near to the inbred hemophiliac aristocracy of our divine rights of kings past.
yes, but i’d be careful about that “created equa”l meme. definitely depends on what you mean by equal. especially when it comes to “benefit themselves or society or posterity.”
some very ordinary people have been doing that for six thousand, or six hundred thousand, years…without ever making money or even calling attention to themselves.
Maybe I would have been better understood if I had written “from every possible opportunity.” E.g., I might have gotten a lot of use out of a free ride to MIT, but giving me a free ride to the Juilliard School the for the performing arts would have been a waste for everyone involved.
re oppoetunity and juliard: yes. but poor kids never heard of either mit or juliard. schools should give them an opportunity to at least know about such things.
i would have “discovered” math and science on my own (with a great deal of help from my mother) but probably not navigated its farther reaches. i would not have discoed “juliard” without the friends i met in school.
one trouble with schools is they rub kids noses in things they have no taste for and then humilate them when they are not at the top of their class….this has been a fact of at least British-American education since even before credentialization.
Seems like we have circled around to saying that everyone deserves equality of opportunity, but not every individual can have equality of outcome. Think I have heard that before.
re “circled around.”
certainly we have, but not from me. as a society we would do well to do what we can so each person can have a decent life, whether as janitor or ceo, and certainly have the opportunity to become what he can be or wants to be.
if by “equality of outcome” you mean “makes the same amount of money,” you miss my point entirely.
equality in a democracy means you don’t have to say “sir” to your “betters”… and your vote counts the same as mine.
equality for some of us means something like of equal worth in the eyes of god…even if you don’t believe in god. but we need to treat each other as if we were equal in the eyes of god. unfortunately i think that means even bad people are so equal. that makes it a hard sell, but is probably important anyway, provided we don’t over rationalize what we mean by equal…i don’t think it means an equal right to be hanged for violating the law.
Outcomes are like the rookie public defender that the low income accused get to provide them with equal protection under the law.
After my mom died then I started saying sir and mam to everyone from the CEO down to the janitor. At an earlier stage in life then I was disrespectful to everyone. In either case though I did not discriminate by station in life, whether I was being hostile or respectful, then I treated everyone the same.
me too. but then i respected janitors.
jr bosses not so much.
bosses that demanded i “respect” them not at all.
‘Obamacare is paid for by the gummint and a boondoggle from the start.’
A more progressive view would be that ‘it’s a step in the right direction’.
If the guv’mint does this, they are obliged (sooner or later?) to raise taxes to pay for wider (universal?) coverage.
You want to call it a ‘boondoggle’, please be sure to mention that it was foisted upon US by MA guv’nah Mitt Romney attempting to demonstrate how a GOP adherent can be a moderate. Of course, in MA, it was financed by mandatory health insurance coverage (subsidized by the state when necessary.)
At the same time that Obamacare was being enacted then The Treatment Trap was being published. The actual boondoggle which Obamacare merely perpetuated more inclusively was born out of the 1986 legislation which lead the health insurers from nonprofit New Deal Era BC/BS and mutual insurers to become consolidated corporate enterprises with healthy margins on their bottom lines. The lady author of the aforementioned book said in an interview that “The for-profit health insurers went from providing patients access to healthcare providers to providing healthcare providers access to patients.”
Of course the biggest boondoggle in healthcare is the administrative overhead among both insurers and providers that is required to collect economic rents from our pay for service healthcare system. If one can rationalize good will, then who needs to worry about outcomes? How Kant!
you remind me of how unreasonable of me it is to expect anyone to understand what I mean. I have given a good bit of thought to the problem of paying for necessary services better paid for collectively than individually. you seem to me to be one of those who think “the government should pay for…” and are therefore essentially locked in a death struggle with those who think “private enterprise is better in all ways for the greatest good for the greatest number…while privately thinking they are among the “greater”number..greater, as in “better than you, loser.”
[First came the New Deal and then came Reagan. WTF! Highlights below.]
…1868: The Organic Act creates the University of California as a “complete university,” merging the then-private College of California in Oakland and a new state land-grant institution. Section 14 of the Act read: “as soon as the income of the University shall permit, admission and tuition shall be free to all residents of the State.”
1921: California colleges begin to charge “incidental fees” of $25 per year to cover non-instruction related services. Non-California residents are charged $75 per year for tuition, but residents are still tuition-free.
1960: The Master Plan for Higher Education in California maintains that tuition at University of California and state colleges should be free, but that fees are necessary to help cover non-instructional costs. “The two governing boards reaffirm the long established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be free to all residents of the state.”
1966: Ronald Reagan assumed office of Governor of California and changed the course of the state’s higher education system. In his eight years, he cut state funding for college and universities and laid the foundation for a tuition-based system.
According to a New York Times article from 1982, during his eight years as governor, “Reagan fought hard in the legislature to impose tuition at four-year colleges. He lost the battle to lobbyists for the university, … However, the Legislature agreed to increase student registration fees.”
1975: Students at University of California schools are now paying $600 in fees and tuition—a number that would soon skyrocket…
So, I began cussing well before 1986, but back in the 70’s did not have a TV upon which to focus my anger.
Yes, I lived in VA rather than CA, but even in VA we knew what events in CA meant for our own futures.
well, as we know, government should be run like a business. how else are we going to make a profit?
Ron, I’m impressed that you knew in VA that what happens in CA does not stay in CA.
By 1975 I was out of the system and didn’t know much of anything.
Even at that, my daughter was out of graduate school before the higher-ed money machine really got rolling.
On the other hand, neither of us made much out of our repective degrees, having expected “education” to take care of that automatically.
i was genuinely surprised when three weeks short of graduation one of my major professors said “with your degree and twenty five cents you can get a bus ride downtown.”
i think by the time my daughter was in higher education, she, and the schools, had gotten wiser about this [career planning is the key, my dear] but by the time she noticed that her very good school was graduating more PhD’s than the market could absorb, it was too late. Well, maybe not too late. She is happy if not rich now doing something that has nothing to do with her degree, but doesn’t regret the education.
and if you listen carefully, that’s what the people who run this country think life is all about: making a profit. education is worthless if it doesn’t make you rich.
even the Left thinks that way.
Education is free for everyone without limit. OTOH, academic credentials cost money and it is for academic credentials that anyone that is not already rich might pay the toll for a university education. If one just wants to learn there have long been libraries and now most of that content is available online much of it free and far more at a very low cost compared to a university. I never finished my first semester of college, but also never stopped my education.
ideally that’s true. but even the libraries are not free, and the private enterprizers uber alles are coming after them too.
moreover, you are an unusual person. most people would need at least an introduction to things they never thought of, if not a little guidance in getting into the depths of them. school did that much for me. where they fail is by turning it into a kind of cattle drive where credential/job is the motive, and where the putting a sticker on the foreheads of kids is the product.
and all the graft and abuse attendant to that.
How Green Is Your Metropolis?
NY Times – Paul Krugman – April 21
Christ. Yeah, good is the enemy of perfect.
The Medicaid expansion was the best part until Republicans blocked it in several states. It took a while in VA for Democrats to win enough seats to reverse the Republicans on Medicaid expansion finally in January 2019.
In France, they are voting today, LePen or Macron.
‘I had no choice’: The weary voters backing Macron to keep Le Pen out.
NY Times – April 24
Macron and Le Pen spar in an increasingly divided France.
Macron vs Le Pen: France votes in tense presidential runoff
Boston Globe – April 24
The feminizing of fascism in Europe
Boston Globe – April 21
i have been wondering when we would notice that electing “any woman” would not make us a kinder and gentler country/world. in America at least, a woman has no harder time breaking through the glass ceiling than any man who is not connected to the power-elite. women as a class get exploited only because they are exploitable. there have been plenty of Lady Macbeth’s throughout history.
Contrary to what you might think, this is not me being anti-feminist. I just recognize the lies by which the powerful divide us and keep the power for themselves.
so, is the far right not “the powerful”? i don’t know. i think they are a tool of the real powers who really don’t give a damn, right or left, man or woman, gay or straight, black or white, pro life or or pro choice. they just use our stupidities against us.
Exactly sir, because using our stupidities against us gives them so much to work with.
Countries currently led by women:
Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wajed Prime Minister 2009-present
Barbados Sandra Mason President 2021-present
Denmark Mette Frederiksen Prime Minister 2019-present
Estonia Kaja Kallas Prime Minister 2021-present
Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde President 2018-present
Finland Sanna Marin Prime Minister 2019-present
Gabon Rose Christiane Raponda Prime Minister 2020-present
Georgia Salome Zourabichvili President 2018-present
Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou President 2020-present
Honduras Xiomara Castro President 2022-present
Hong Kong Carrie Lam Chief Executive 2016-present
Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir Prime Minister 2017-present
Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė Prime Minister 2020-present
Moldova Maia Sandu President 2020-present
Namibia Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila Prime Minister 2015-present
Nepal Bidhya Devi Bhandari President 2015-present
New Zealand Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister 2017-present
Samoa Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa Prime Minister 2021-present
Serbia Ana Brnabić Prime Minister 2017-present
Singapore Halimah Yacob President 2017-present
Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová President 2019-present
Sweden Magdalena Andersson Prime Minister 2021-present
Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen President 2016-present
Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan Prime Minister 2021-present
Togo Victoire Tomegah Dogbé Prime Minister 2020-present
Tunisia Najla Bouden Ramadhane Prime Minister 2021-present
Uganda Robinah Nabbanja Prime Minister 2021-present
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron comfortably won reelection to a second term Sunday, according to polling agencies’ projections. In the midst of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the result offered the European Union the reassurance of stable leadership in the bloc’s only nuclear-armed power and was immediately hailed by France’s allies.
A second five-year term for the 44-year-old centrist spared France and Europe from the seismic upheaval of a shift of power to firebrand populist Marine Le Pen, Macron’s presidential election challenger who quickly conceded defeat but still appeared on course for her best-ever showing.
Acknowledging that “numerous” voters cast ballots for him simply to keep out Le Pen’s fiercely nationalist far-right policies, Macron pledged to reunite the country “filled with so many doubts, so many divisions” and work to assuage the voter anger that fed Le Pen’s campaign.
“No one will be left by the side of the road,” he said in a victory speech against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower and a projection of the blue-white-and-red tricolor French flag.
“We have a lot to do and the war in Ukraine reminds us that we are going through tragic times where France must make its voice heard,” he said, as several hundred supporters happily waved French and EU flags to the beat of Daft Punk’s “One More Time.”
During her campaign, Le Pen pledged to dilute French ties with the 27-nation EU, NATO and Germany, moves that would have shaken Europe’s security architecture as the continent deals with its worst conflict since World War II. Le Pen also spoke out against EU sanctions on Russian energy supplies and faced scrutiny during the campaign over her previous friendliness with the Kremlin.
A chorus of European leaders hailed Macron’s victory. “Democracy wins, Europe wins,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. …
Boston Globe – April 24
Vive la France!
hope the sane do better next time. well, the more sane anyway.
Which ‘sane/more sane’ voters are you referring to?
Macron did 17% better than LePen in the popular vote. There is no ‘electoral vote’ nonsense in France. (58.5% to 41.5%)
Biden did 13.8% better than Trump in electoral votes in 2020. At 51.3% to 46.9%, Biden did 4.4% better in the popular vote, which doesn’t matter.
Let’s hope that Biden gets 17% more electoral votes than his opponent in 2024, but I would settle for somewhat less.
I have no doubt that Trumo voters are not sane. Neither do you. Since there are “about” 80 million of them or “about” half of the electorate, I guess that “about” half of the voting public is not sane. This accords pretty well with soething I was told in Psychology 101 back in 1960. I have seen nothing to reassure me since.
On the other hand, there are plenty of people on the Left who strike me as insane…or just so cognitively limited they might as well be insane, even though they can “pass” in daily life. I could go into great detail on this. But you wouldn’t want me to and I don’t have the time. The difference between Trump voters and the anti-trump voters, I think, is that Trump encourages his voters to display their insanity, while Democrats encourage their voters to express their better angels.
I assume that French voters are not different from American voters in this regard.
As for electoral college nonsense, the Framers did not think the electoral college was nonsense. They thought it was a way to limit the power of “the majority” to prevent the historically demonstrated gullibility of “the people” to be manipulated by demagogues to their own harm as well as the harm of others. Blaming our election losses on the electoral college is a manifestation of cognitive limitation if not insanity. Please note I recognize my own cognitive limitations (at least that I have them, if I don’t always recognize them), and while I try to be sane, I don’t always succeed.
Is that the answer you were looking for?
Oh, long before Trump, the R’s were smart enough to see how they could use the electoral college to their advantage. This does not mean we need to get rid of the EC. we “just” need to get a little smarter ourselves. Lincoln, and FDR, and LBJ, and even Carter and Obama and Biden managed to win with the electoral college system ..
Meanwhile, in case you forgot, the original advantage conferred by the EC was NOT to “slave” states.
The electoral college bestows votes on states according to their overall population, not just of voters, using numbers of Representatives in Congress. Adds a bonus for the two Senators each state has, regardless of population.
In using this formula, southern states with large slave populations (6/10s of a vote each) were advantaged. Clearly, back in the day, those slaves would not be voting. But those extra Reps would be. The former part of this was designed to appeal to southern states to gain their ratification votes for the Constitution. Does this suggest why it is now so important to do vote/voter suppression in southern states?
The bit about adding two extra votes for each state’s Senators was to appeal to smaller states and didn’t matter much to larger states back when there were 14 (VT joined the Union in 1791.) Certainly matters more when there are fifty states, and only a dozen or so have large populations (with half of the electorate.) Note that when Sara Palin becomes Alaska’s sole Representative, it is said she will have more political clout than either of their two Senators, that this is somehow the case with all states that have one Rep apiece. (Bernie Sanders for many years was VT’s sole Representative, 1991-2007.)
Since Trump got 74 million votes in 2020 (Biden 81 million), your ’80 million Trump supporters’ figure seems a bit high.
IMO, the problem in 2024 for Biden (if not vote suppression and manipulation by the GOP) will be disgruntlement from progressives, particularly younger ones, that could threaten a Biden popular vote majority. (The suppression/manipulation is intended to deal with any electoral college difficulties.)
However, those young progressives will not become Trump voters presumably.
we have been through this all before. fortunately it doesn’t matter what either of us thinks.
So, go on suggesting that Trump has 80 million supporters and that the south was disadvantaged somehow by the Constitution. Let this not interfere much with our schemes to keep Trump out of office.
one reason i think most people are insane is that keep telling me what I mean even when I tell them that is not what I meant. Okay to get it wrong the first time, happens all the time. But to persist…
okay 80 million was an estimate arrived at by rounding up from the vote count. i amagine there are Trump supporters out there who did not vote. In any case if you are facing an army of “about” 80 million people, or an electorate of “about ” half the population, it is not wise to say “only” 74 million.
i don’t think i ever said anything like the EC disadvantaged the slave states. i said the EC was part of an overall plan of checks and balances to slow down the harm a majority could do to a significant minority. We could be smart and learn how to win back the votes in the small states (Vermont?) that the R’s won by smart politics, or we can go on blaming the flaws in the Constitution.
btw, as far as i know the Slave states have lost their “3/5 of persons” advantage.
note “persons” not person. contrary to the illiterate Left no one ever claimed a black man was 3/5 of a white man. But if we keep going on with this you will convine yourself, and others like you, that I am a racist Trump supporter, whatever I say.
You should not use ‘half the electorate’ to round up 74 million Trump votes to 80 million, mainly because your ‘each got half the votes approximately’ claim applies to the Electoral Votes, which is skewed by the same bias built into the Constitution, and is persistent sloppy thinking.
Where did ‘3/5 of a person’ come from. Why not ’22/7 of a person’?
Or ‘1/(22/7)’ if you prefer.
thanks for your insights. i need to rest now. getting cranky.
Vote suppression is really all about preventing non-white voters from voting. It should be reminding ALL that this is somehow supposed to be ok because it has nothing to do with the ‘3/5 compromise’, because that did not even imagine non-white voting.
Because after all vote suppression is really all about keeping people who are not ‘supposed to be’ voting from voting, or isn’t it?
(The correct answer here is: No it is not.)
As for the GOP using the Electoral College to ‘their advantage’, they learned how to do that back when they were Dixiecrats.
I would point out that Carter & Clinton, both ‘southern boys’ may have used the Electoral College to their advantage. I wonder why Gore didn’t. (Maybe Bush Jr, transplanted to TX from CT, out-southerned Gore.)
If you want to accept that the distorting effect of the Electoral College is to make a close EV result like Biden-vs-Trump seem almost a tie even though Biden got 7 million votes more than Trump, I can agree with that.
Also, that the miracle in Georgia and close races that Dems won up around the Great Lakes helped Biden a lot, may be hard to repeat.
US Says It Wants Russian Military Weakened
NY Times – April 25
Rapid Inflation, Lower Employment: How the US Pandemic Response Measures Up
NY Times – April 25
(Graph at link above.)