Wednesday, December 30, 2020

On the Privatization of the ACA Exchanges

At Charles Gaba's urging, I have written in response to the Trump administration's proposal to privatize various aspects of the ACA exchanges. As I reviewed the proposals, I realized that I was looking at a recipe for turning the individual health insurance market into something like the mortgage market before 2008. And this was two things: a giant fraud machine and a racism and sexism machine.

How utterly disgusting. How entirely Trumpian.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Morning Cranky Croaky Tweets

“If you work for the Klan, be you ever so personally decent, even if your job has nothing to do with burning crosses, you are still working for the Klan. Remember this, Republicans.” – tweet

“At what point do we say ‘we are being ruled by monsters’ and revolt?” – tweet

“The Republican Senate leadership is working on creating a depression during a pandemic. Fuck that cluster of fuckers.” (Collective noun due to Driftglass.) – tweet

“Democide. The apparent goal is to reduce the vast majority to poverty, disease, and servitude.” – tweet

“The goal, ultimately, is to destroy all workplace safety protections. It probably won’t pass this year, but it will be back.” - tweet

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Winning the Upper Middle Class

I may have an answer to how to reach these people.

The main enemy of the non-college educated upper middle class is the actual upper class; people like Trump. We need to concentrate on that, and insist on that. Remind them, over and over, that Trump consistently stiffed his contractors.

At the same time, we need to offer an out; we need to say, “You can be respected and adored; you just can't be kings” to this group, so that they have a place to go.

This…might work.

The Con is Unraveling

So today, we have Senator Hawley (R-Stone Age) claiming that the major Russian attack on the US government is a hoax. And, at the same time, it is now revealed that the Trump administration made a policy of spreading COVID-19.

What these things have in common is that they come out after Trump is losing power. Before then, not enough people were brave enough to talk.

The con is unraveling, and all that will be left are several hundred thousand dead, and millions grieving.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Winning Back the “Working Class”

Senator Bernard Sanders offers this op-ed in The Guardian: How do we avoid future authoritarians? Winning back the working class is key.

The people who most heavily supported Trump are white, upper middle class, and non-college educated; contractors who own their own trucks, well-off subcontractors, small shop owners, and the like, a group more petty bourgeois than working class. 

Working class or petty bourgeois, Senator Sanders  is right in this: healing the divisions in the USA requires persuading this group to support democracy and aligning their interests with the broader public. It is a difficult project, which socialists historically have rejected entirely entirely. This past Presidential election was not won by persuading the white upper middle class, but rather by turning out marginalized people like Blacks and Natives. But the white upper middle class remains, and must be dealt with somehow.

Sanders is wrong; this is not simply a problem of corporate capitalism. The non-college educated white upper middle class largely sees its interests as aligned with corporate capitalism. There is ample evidence that those interests are not. We need only consider how the largest businesses have fared (well) compared with the small ones (poorly) during the COVID pandemic to see that the biggest enemy of the upper middle class is the same as the enemy of the working class.

I once wrote to a Trump supporter, “If you're willing to be in the middle, not at the top or the bottom, we have a place for you.” He didn't answer. Being able to claim the bottom position in society while actually being several rungs up the ladder is a fine delusion. One gets to both claim sympathy for one's oppressed state, while at the same time getting the benefits of being an oppressor. So…I don't know. White privilege is a hell of a drug.