Print Story on the rise of nativist populism
By gzt (Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 05:09:11 PM EST) gzt, nativism, populism, sanity caucus, inflation, climate, denialism (all tags)

Points out that despite all their interest in the Founding Fathers and other aspects of American civil religion, the Tea Party movement is simply another nativist populist movement like the various similar parties in Europe, distinguished only by their relative influence.

Fortunately, I see hints that there's some swing of the pendulum away from them. Hopefully it's true. Among those hints is that McConnell seems to be indicating that shutdown isn't a conservative strategy, etc. Mainstream press coverage of stuff. Very annoying that they quote a denialist at the end for balance. Yes, that's a denialist talking point. Considering writing the author. In other news, the shutdown really mucked up some scientific research and wasted tons of scientific money. And it is the GOP's fault. No two ways about it.

I got into a discussion with one of those "inflation truthers" elsewhere. You know, those people who follow Shadowstats and think inflation is really at 10% instead of whatever the government reports (and whatever MIT, Google, whoever else independently tracks). Thoroughly crazy. Note economists have not been able to duplicate Shadowstats and it is suggested that the guy is just adding a constant onto inflation numbers.

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on the rise of nativist populism | 31 comments (31 topical, 3 hidden) | Trackback
Also seems very much like by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:58:15 AM EST
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
This seems like an excellent description ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:00:45 AM EST
Isn't that by Orion Blastar (4.00 / 2) #10 Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:59:23 PM EST
natitivist populous movement caused by the failings of the plutocrats to take care of the least of their brothers and sisters?

I mean if the plutocrats weren't jerks to everyone, you wouldn't have these sort of movements?

"I drank what?" - Socrates after drinking the Conium
10% inflation: 'i can't believe it's not math!' by nathan (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 09:09:30 AM EST
At 10% inflation, the value of money is halved every ~ 7.3 years. So in 15 years, purchasing power is quartered, etc. Every ~48.3 years, prices will have increased by a factor of 100.

One RL example of 10% inflation is nominal college tuition. Ask yourself if all prices are increasing as fast as the cost of a 4-year degree.

OMG!!! by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 10:11:25 AM EST
my daughter's tuition will cost over half a million dollars!!!1!!!!1!~

[ Parent ]
don't worry by nathan (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:15:15 PM EST
By then, MOOCs will have replaced the kinds of prole colleges that actually have to charge tuition. Pyjamas U! 

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another is health insurance premiums by gzt (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 10:35:52 AM EST
And for both, even the 10% doesn't go back too far.

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i think with college tuition significant inflation by nathan (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:33:06 PM EST
goes back to the early 80's?

For instance, at Michigan UG, tuition in 1979 was $1240/year for residents. Now, it's $12,800. So call that annual inflation of a tiny bit over 7% for 34 years straight. Not quite 10%, but obviously much higher than any reasonable price inflation figure.

The H-bomb's tuition was $4850 in 1979, while in 2012 it was $37,576, yielding a mere 6.2% annual inflation rate. It looks like, at H-dawg at least, the rate was higher in the 80's than in the 90's, but by the early 90's the figures were so large that even a lower inflation rate still amounted to YOY $1,000+ increases.

[ Parent ]
of course, with the H-bomb... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:11:34 PM EST
...rofflecopter, who pays the sticker price? it's strictly limited to people who can 100% afford it, even then.

the real scandal is that the H-bomb is really not more expensive, in terms of sticker prices, than other "similar" schools. i mean, if anything, they're the ones who can get away with it. charge 100K/yr, whatever, to the kids who have that much money. it's harvard. they'll pay and it'll be worth it. tell the rich kids that, unless they're ronan farrow, they have to pay 100% for one less advantaged kid who's smarter than them. they'll do it. and they'll get their money's worth. the real scandal is that your average SLAC costs about that much.

[ Parent ]
edit: by gzt (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:13:43 PM EST
"about as much", not "about that much". eg, about as much as Harvard.

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i know no one pays full price at H by nathan (2.00 / 0) #31 Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 01:33:37 AM EST
They started getting serious about capturing the 1520/4.78 bound-for-state-flagship crowd about 15 years ago, IIRC. So there's a reason that lots of people who really ought to know it's deeply discounted often don't.

I wasn't posting about its tuition in order to gawk at how high it is (and honestly I'm also surprised it isn't higher) but to illustrate the trend of tuition inflation.

I agree that it's monstrous that lame schools ask $40k/year and get it.

[ Parent ]
"Very annoying that they quote..." by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:09:17 PM EST
Yes, it's very annoying when not everybody agrees with your particular outlook on the world.  It would be so much better if everybody who engaged in crimethink would just be ignored.

Note that I would not consider myself a climate change denialist - I do believe that climate change is real and anthropogenic.  On the other hand, I also suspect that people whose entire paycheck depends on creating an atmosphere of panic about climate change have an incredible incentive to create an atmosphere of panic about climate change.  If that is a "denialist" talking point, and in your opinion that view puts me in a broad category of folks who should be censored/ignored/ridiculed, so be it. 

The bigger American agricultural crisis will be the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer, without which the Dust Bowl will return as soon as the next dry cycle occurs on the plains, unless everybody plants cover crops and stops farming once the aquifer dries up - good luck there!  I'd start investing in plastic sheeting now. 

cato by gzt (2.00 / 0) #19 Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:08:41 PM EST
There's a thing called false balance. Your position is fine, Cato's isn't, and feeling obliged to throw in a quote from a denialist is an urge that should not be indulged by journalists. 97% of experts believe one thing, don't need to seek out the 3 that dont'.

[ Parent ]
redact: by gzt (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:15:33 PM EST
I don't really think your position is totally fine, as you're accusing them of acting in bad faith.

[ Parent ]
Nativism/tribalism/populism by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #18 Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:23:05 PM EST
I really would be interested in hearing a logical philosophical argument why nativism is okay in some places (e.g. South Africa) and not okay in others (e.g. most European countries).  I mean, I totally understand why we feel it in our guts that is okay for people to say that African countries should be run by Africans and it's not okay to say that European countries should be run by Europeans - we feel sorry for Africans after years of colonial oppression, and don't feel sorry for privileged white Europeans.  But isn't that just special pleading?  What is the fundamental logical basis for the double standard?

As far as inflation goes, I've never heard of Shadowstats and haven't got time to investigate so I'm not arguing with that specific observation.  My main criticism with the "oh, there's no inflation" argument is that food and energy costs are always excluded from core inflation because they are too volatile.  They also have the most inelastic demand - so if there are more dollars chasing fewer goods, that's where you'd expect to see prices go up the most.  And I definitely think food costs have gone way, way up over the past five years.  At any rate, I've yet to hear a logical argument for why a fixed money supply isn't sufficient to run an economy that isn't results-based (in other words, most people wouldn't like to live in a world where there wasn't a constant hidden wealth transfer from savers to debtors via currency debasement, since most people are debtors).

food... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #20 Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 05:13:31 PM EST part of CPI. MIT's "billion price project" includes just about everything, yet it closely tracks 'core inflation'. yes, CPI for food is outpacing several other indicators. still not shadowstats levels. it's "20% since 2006" rather than "14% since 2006". as of august 2013.

I'm not saying there's no inflation, nobody is. I'm saying inflation truthers are simply wrong.


[ Parent ]
Not a full argument but two things by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #22 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:34:33 AM EST
It doesn't just represent a historic power relation, but a current power relation - white Europeans are clearly in a dominant position in Europe today. Even if there is a sense of unease or slipping position among certain groups - economic uncertainty, changing culture etc - they still have a massive majority and upper hand.

Secondly maybe I can't speak for everyone but wanting a black majority to be democratically represented and fully defended as citizens in state institutions isn't exactly nativism, and that's what abolishing apartheid was about. If you're talking about affirmative action quotas as nativism in South Africa or Malaysia there's a fair point there.

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
more! by gzt (4.00 / 1) #23 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 11:30:55 AM EST
the official european phrasing for this was "majority rule". but, yes, it was about (1) abolishing institutional racism (eg apartheid) and (2) establishing democratic institutions to allow for "majority rule". rather than entrenching a white majority who also conveniently appropriated the best farm land, ownership of natural resources, etc. i don't see it - and neither the accused "nativists" nor the european powers withdrawing from colonial rule - as "people saying african countries should be ruled by africans".

i mean, the difference between (the unrecognized) republic of rhodesia after the unilateral declaration of independence and its "nativist" movements and eg modern-day france and its "nativist" movements shouldn't even need any discussion. but i'll gladly oblige!

for those who weren't paying attention to rhodesia between 1965 and 1979, "Southern Rhodesia" was under responsible government since 1923 and that generally meant that the white minority ruled and phoned back to England. in the 60s, England has a "no independence before majority rule" policy, which meant colonies would not be granted independence until the government was set up under the principles of majority rule and all that jazz. however, the colony wanted independence but also to protect the white minority, so they unilaterally declared independence, established apartheid laws, outlawed the black political parties, and, over time, started escalating its suppression of political dissidents (who became guerrillas (increasingly radicalized, since they killed off the more pacifist figures)), and otherwise started making things very ugly. they created the monster that is Mugabe.

whereas, say, nativist movements in france are a reaction by the white majority to large-scale immigration. generally, the immigrants do not have political power and are not about to obtain any. they may have some point about whether or not this kind of immigration is sustainable in the long or even short run, but the immigrants are generally disenfranchised already. so... quite different.

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edit: by gzt (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:04:28 PM EST
in the first paragraph, it should be white minority, not white majority.

[ Parent ]
large-scale immigration by nathan (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 02:45:55 PM EST
"nativist movements in france are a reaction by the white majority to large-scale immigration"

I agree with this, but I also think part of it is also a reaction by whites who believe that they can't vote for anyone legitimate who will restrict immigration from poor people from third-world countries. Even if particular immigrants are unobjectionable, you can still object to a trend. I don't think you have to be a racist to have legitimate concerns about mass movements of peoples*, since mass movements are not something that immigration systems were set up to address.

Now, it could be that the immigration of poor people from third-world countries is such an indisputably good thing that there is no good reason to oppose it. Or it could be that there are better reasons not to oppose it -- in any case, that it's something that no non-fringe party will restrict, just as there are no non-fringe gold standard parties or flat earth parties.

It could also be that there's a disconnect between politicians and their constituents that there's no obvious way to resolve. I'm sure we can all think of examples of similar disconnects from both left and right.

Another possibility is simply that a changing world has broken old paradigms. I think that the Westphalian state doesn't handle mass immigration and a changing ethnic mix very well -- it's based on the idea that ethnic populations, at least those of recognized ethnic groups, map onto clusters separated by national boundaries, and that there are no mass movements of populations. We've already see this fail conspicuously in WW1, which saw the end of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires. The end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is particularly interesting since this was a case of, to burlesque Bismarck, languages becoming countries. (One thinks of the historical irony inherent in an Austrian nobleman making a speech in the legislature with the entire corpus of Slovenian literature tucked under his arm,  which was intended to demonstrate to the subject races of the Empire that they were simply unqualified for independence...) The collapse of Yugoslavia was in some ways an aftershock from WW1, since part of the rationale for consolidating Serbs, Croats and others into a single nation was the establishment of a sufficiently large, consolidated "South Slavic nation" to remove the temptation of piecemeal conquest.

Mass immigration (voluntary or in-) is not good for Westphalian states either. Sri Lanka is an example. One of the causes of the civil war was the great linguistic distance between Tamils and Sinhalese. When Sinhalese was established as the national official language, it instantly made Tamils, an involuntary immigrant population, second-class citizens. (Just imagine if the official language of the USA was Japanese and you could only attend universities in Japanese, only conduct office work in Japanese, etc. -- obviously for most Anglophones this would be an insurmountable burden, and it would convey a huge competitive advantage in every field on native speakers). And if you establish two official languages, you also tend to establish "two solitudes", as demonstrated by the cases of Canada and Belgium.

Obviously it's the "mass immigration breaks the Westphalian state" interpretation that I subscribe to. But it's not just mass immigration, it's the Haber-Bosch process. Around half of the nitrogen ever fixed has been fixed in the past century; the absence of human-fixed nitrogen from the fertilizer/food pathway would literally put significant pressure on the bioavailability of nitrogen for the human race at present population figures. There wouldn't be enough fixed nitrogen for our bodies' constituent proteins.

In the West, voluntary sterility masks the potential reproductive impact of vastly greater food availability (both as to quality and quantity), but this effect lags in the third world. (The lag is 20-50 years, depending, but the Islamic world outside of Africa, e.g., is now at borderline-replacement fertility). In practical terms, this means that Western countries are below replacement fertility and approaching (in some cases now past) peak population, but many non-Western countries are still in an explosive growth phase. Consider Nigeria, for instance. Nigeria's population has grown by ~120 million people since 1950 -- in other world, Nigeria has about as many people in 1950 as Poland has now, but since then it has increased by the size of the entire Russian population and it now has roughly as many people as Germany, France and Spain combined. Since 44% of the Nigerian population is between 0 and 14, we should expect Nigerian fertility to continue booming for some time, and we should expect lots of Nigerians to be available for emigration. (Based on my conversations with Chicago cabbies, everyone in Nigeria wants to leave). Not to harp on Nigeria -- it is simply a dramatic example.

Poor countries, particularly poor African countries, have rapidly swelling populations, while first-world countries have low fertility and no turnaround in sight. Since there is a yawning gap between the standards of living (including basic things like personal security, sufficient water, etc) btw these two groups of countries, there is a strong incentive for individual citizens of poor countries to emigrate. At some point, people in first world countries are going to object. There is as yet no legitimate immigration objection party in any first-world country. So there's a constituency for nativist populism.

* Or maybe it's just that Canadians are racist in the aggregate and I can't shake my heritage.

[ Parent ]
why aren't there such parties? by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:28:38 PM EST
are the chambers of commerce wrong about immigration? are these right wing nativist fringe parties and political movements unfairly stereotyped?

it seems to me the answer on both counts is "no."

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is there any point at which unrestricted by nathan (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:38:01 PM EST
Immigration from undeveloped countries is a net negative? If not, doesn't that mean that we should greatly ramp it up?

The current system is shambolic and is moving in a certain direction by default. I'm not at all sure that it's an unmitigated economic good. And I'm kind of surprised to see you taking the word of chambers of commerce for anything -- aren't they mostlyv made up of,in your formulation, small-minded bigots who like to complain about how they're not allowed to say the n-word?

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you're thinking of republican county chairmen. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:41:19 PM EST
but i grant that, as you've argued convincingly before, the number of people in a position of political influence who complain privately about not being allowed to say the n-word is negligible.

whether i take their word for it or not, the chambers of commerce seem to be the guys behind the mainstream parties that could conceivably represent opposition to immigration policies in various western democracies. i've never seen a well-reasoned account of what the optimal level of immigration is or would be and where the US and other western democracies stand relative to it. perhaps this is part of my skepticism about the sentiment behind nativist political movements.

[ Parent ]
on the rise of nativist populism | 31 comments (31 topical, 3 hidden) | Trackback