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Donald Trump: America's Berlusconi?
#21
(01-06-2017, 03:11 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: If the world is exactly the same in 2030 as it is now, geopolitically speaking, without a clear and obvious divider the way even the US Civil War/Franco-Prussian War was for Britain in their Victorian 4T, then sure.

I am talking about the S&H model not M&T.  They are different.

Quote:Even if the country doesn't change according to T4T model, it does change, issues and demographics change, the party system changes, policies change.  The notion that the 6th party system will totter on indefinitely is wrong on the face of it.  No party system lasts forever, no political coalition is without internal tensions that will spawn eventual realignmnent.  Things will change.
Of course things will change.  Obama's world was different from Clinton's and Bush II's different from his father's (as he found out). 

What I am pointing out is the possibility that the country doesn't change according to T4T model.
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#22
Also, the comment this period is unlike any other is always true.  History does not repeat.  The question has always been, does it rhyme as Twain suggested?
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#23
Quote:I am talking about the S&H model not M&T.  They are different.


I know what you are talking about.  I was referencing Britain's 4T during that period, which on the homefront wasn't particularly dramatic.  There was what, the Crimean War (pushing towards the 3T/4T boundary), the Indian Mutiny (which didn't really affect the average Britain) and... what?

Quote:Of course things will change.  Obama's world was different from Clinton's and Bush II's different from his father's (as he found out).  

What I am pointing out is the possibility that the country doesn't change according to T4T model.

Which would preclude an endless repetition of Bush, Obama, Bush, Obama, which is what I was arguing against.  As to the notion that T4T would be a dud?  Sure, it's possible.  I don't see why you're so fixated on it, though, other of course than disappointment that Obama's presidency didn't seem to realign the country the way you might have hoped.

So what do you really want to talk about?  What if nothing happens?
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#24
(01-05-2017, 03:32 PM)TeacherinExile Wrote: With the benefit of hindsight, how will presidential historians characterize Donald Trump's time in office?  I know that's looking far into the future.  What I can say, without equivocation, is that Trump poses more imponderables than any of his successors.  And that means unprecedented uncertainty.  We have only his business record by which to judge the potential nature and quality of his leadership.  He is the only American president to assume the mantle of leadership without benefit of either military or political experience.  Oh sure, he can assemble a "crack team" of retired generals and savvy politicians to advise him, but there is something valuable in and of itself to having been in the field of combat or having served in high political office beforehand.  That kind of experience provides a perspective that a total outsider like Trump cannot possibly bring to the table: real lessons on the horrors of war and the limits of power.

According to Strauss and Howe, the Fourth Turning crisis that now confronts us cries out for a Gray Champion.  We already have threads aplenty that addresses that topic, which I consider one of the weaker tenets of their theory.  Our previous Gray Champions were not all that "gray" to begin with--before their inauguration: Washington (57), Lincoln (52), and FDR (51), who was younger than his disastrous predecessor--Hoover (54).  Younger candidates than were on offer this past election might well be able to lead us out of the "swamp" in which our country is mired.  A Gen-Xer...maybe even a Millennial four to eight years from now.  (He or she could hardly do worse than the Boomer presidents who have preceded them.)

Anyway, I digress...

Trump, who has been underestimated politically all along the way, could well turn out to be the Gray Champion.  That, of course, is the best case, according to S&H theory.  But I just don't see it.  Trump has neither the intellect, nor experience, much less the character of Washington, Lincoln and FDR.  Not even close. 

He is no doubt a demagogue, the first of that political ilk to reach the pinnacle of power in America, succeeding where Father Coughlin, Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, and George Wallace failed.  But I am not prepared to call Trump a fascist, as some pundits have called him, political commentators who--quite frankly--should know better.  I would hesitate even to call him a strongman in the manner of Vladimir Putin or Hugo Chavez, although I would not rule that out altogether, especially if a meta-crisis strikes on his watch, one that brings out his worst tendencies.  Either possibility is a worst case.

The most likely case is that Trump goes down in history as a (faux) populist, like Italy's Silvio Berlusconi.  The two men bear an uncanny resemblance.  This article appeared in The Guardian prior to our election: "We’ve Seen Donald Trump Before – His Name Was Silvio Berlusconi:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre...e_btn_link

We keep being told that the Donald Trump phenomenon means we have entered the era of post-fact politics. Yet, I would argue, post-fact politics has been tarnishing democracy for some time. Twenty-two years ago a successful businessman sent a VHS tape to Italy’s news channels. It showed him sitting in a (fake) office. He read a pre-prepared statement via an autocue.

The man’s name was Silvio Berlusconi, and he was announcing that he was, in his words, “taking the field”. The first reaction was derision. Opposition politicians saw his political project (the formation of a “movement” called Forza Italia – Go for it, Italy – just months ahead of a crucial general election) as a joke. Some claimed a stocking had been put over the camera to soften the impact of Berlusconi’s face.

But Forza Italia soon became the biggest “party”. In the working-class Communist citadel of Mirafiori Sud in Turin, an unknown psychiatrist standing for Berlusconi’s movement beat a long-standing trade unionist. Berlusconi had not just won, he had also stolen the left’s clothes and some of its supporters. That first government was short lived, but Berlusconi would dominate Italian politics for the next 20 years – winning elections in 2001 and 2008 and losing by a handful of seats in 2006. In terms of days in office, Berlusconi ranks as Italy’s third longest-serving prime minister, behind Mussolini and the great liberal of 19th-century Italy, Giovanni Giolitti.

The parallels between Berlusconi and Trump are striking. Both are successful businessman who struggle with “murky” aspects linked to their companies – tax, accounting, offshore companies. Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud in 2013, which effectively put an end to his political career. But business success and huge wealth was part of his political appeal, as they are for Trump. Beyond wealth, Berlusconi, like Trump, always painted himself as an outsider, as anti-establishment, even when he was prime minister. And, like Trump, Berlusconi’s appeal was populist and linked to his individual “personality”.

Berlusconi’s personal-business political model has since been followed by others in Italy. It could be argued that both Beppe Grillo’s populist anti-political Five Star Movement and Matteo Renzi’s insider-outsider appeal (until recently) have been created very much in Berlusconi’s image. One could go so far as to say Berlusconi transformed politics. The mass parties of the postwar period had become increasingly irrelevant, but he didn’t need a party just as Trump doesn’t really need the Republican party...

If Donald Trump merely turns out to be a political leader in the mold of Silvio Berlusconi, that simply guarantees the kind of feckless or mediocre leadership that we have seen before in previous presidents.  That is hardly the worst case.  Still, the policies that Trump has proposed, and the team that he is assembling, promises more of the same neoliberalism that has brought class resentment--and worse impulses, in some of his supporters--to a fever pitch.  That would be bad enough...

Some astrologers are predicting that Trump will be impeached. I can see where you are getting at.
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#25
(01-06-2017, 02:10 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: TeacherInExile,

Predictions, I'll bite.

1) Trump as Carter:
     
Despite Trump's rhetoric, he fails in making any lasting change, and the country goes through another brutal recession, the jobs don't come back, his efforts at foreign policy blow up in his face, etc.  The Dems make big gains in 2018 (despite the unfavorable map) and especially 2020.  They run somebody who can excite the Bernie Sanders types as well as the people (particularly minorities) who swung the primary for Hillary then failed to show up for the general.  They capture enough statehouses by 2020 to put a serious dent in Republican gerrymandering (which will still be limited by the fact that Dems are concentrated in major cities and the Republicans in rural areas and exurbs).  The Republicans try and resist, but are irreparably tarnished via association with Trump and their worsening hold on nonwhite and young voters.  The Dems push through a laundry list of Obama and Sanders campaign promises, building a lasting coalition of nonwhite and Yuppie voters that function as a latter day New Deal coalition.  The Republicans squeak in in the 2030s with some nonwhite guy who, despite some conservative tendencies, is nonetheless pro-SSM, immigration, environmentalism, what have you.  Obama becomes the Teddy to this (2020s Dem)'s FDR, the Nixon to their Reagan, with Trump as the last gasp of those evil, reactionary, white men.

2) Trump as Reagan:

Trumps actually manages to follow through on his campaign promises, and they actually end up working.  Immigration reform tightens the labor market (raising wages), infrastructure spending and tariffs actually lead to substantial job growth, he either avoids launching any wars/they seem successful and popular.  The remainder of the Rust Belt turns red, VA shifts back thanks to the booming defense contractor business red-shifting NVA, and Trump is re-elected with not just commanding leads in the Electoral College, but a mandate from the popular vote.  The Dem's half-hearted efforts to resist with sanctuary <insert place here>s and sit-ins at Congress blow up in their face.  They limp helplessly from election to election searching desperately for someone who can bring back the Obama magic.  Pence takes office in 2025, only for changing demographics (Texas, Georgia, and Arizona are now purple states trending blue) and misteps (possibly inherited from Trump, possibly not) losing him the election in 2028.  The Dems get back in, but the turn towards nationalism has been set and they are once again dominated by their union base (who managed to reorganize in the private secot once labor markets are tight and jobs plentiful), and have to carry out their agenda in the context of domestic (Green?) infrastructure investment and benefits targeted at the working class.  Or maybe they come back in as purely the party of the professional class, switching around completely from the old New Deal coalition.

These possibilities are exclusive of others, and are only meant to serve as starting points for ideas on how things could shake out.
Actually, on this thread anyway, I'm arguing Door #3: Trump as Berlusconi.  Why?  Because the similarity between these two men is--in a word--eerie, which is easily supportable, the evidence of which I will continue to cite.  Too, why must an analogue be limited to past American leaders, as you seem to suggest with Possibility #1 (which I can buy in to somewhat) and Possibility #2?  Adolf Hitler, after all, believed in a Third Reich, a Teutonic pattern of sorts.  Was Hitler analogous in the end to either Charlemagne or Bismarck?  What precedent in the long Germanic history suggested that an ultimately reviled leader, such as Hitler, would spring forth in one of the most sophisticated cultures in the world, only to rule with such utter barbarism?  None that I can detect. 

All I'm saying is that the model of leadership that Trump may follow could be that of Berlusconi, or Putin, or indeed anyone outside the American experience.  Can you allow for that?
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#26
Quote:Actually, on this thread anyway, I'm arguing Door #3: Trump as Berlusconi.  Why?  Because the similarity between these two men is--in a word--eerie, which is easily supportable, the evidence for which I will continue to cite.  Too, why must an analogue be limited to past American leaders, as you seem to suggest with Possibility #1 (which I can buy in to somewhat) and Possibility #2?  Adolf Hitler, after all, believed in a Third Reich, a Teutonic pattern of sorts.  Was Hitler analogous in the end to either Charlemagne or Bismarck?  What precedent in the long Germanic history suggested that an ultimately reviled leader, such as Hitler, would spring forth in one of the most sophisticated cultures in the world, only to rule with such utter barbarism?  None that I can detect. 

All I'm saying is that the model of leadership that Trump may follow could be that of Berlusconi, or Putin, or indeed anyone outside the American experience.  Can you allow for that?


Fixed that for you.  Unless you are providing evidence that Trump actually IS Berlusconi, you are providing supporting data FOR an assessment.  One which I can see, and have seen the case for from Daniel Larison et al. at the American Conservative for the last year-ish.

I have no problem allowing for it, in fact, I was originally anticipating an American general playing the part of Putin in the event of a Hillary presidency leading to war.  Could still happen, I suppose.

My only objection to the Berlusconi comparison in terms of my examples above is simply in terms of turning placement, and role in history.  In terms of affect, absolutely.  He's even the right color.
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#27
(01-06-2017, 04:46 PM)SomeGuy Wrote:
Quote:Actually, on this thread anyway, I'm arguing Door #3: Trump as Berlusconi.  Why?  Because the similarity between these two men is--in a word--eerie, which is easily supportable, the evidence for which I will continue to cite.  Too, why must an analogue be limited to past American leaders, as you seem to suggest with Possibility #1 (which I can buy in to somewhat) and Possibility #2?  Adolf Hitler, after all, believed in a Third Reich, a Teutonic pattern of sorts.  Was Hitler analogous in the end to either Charlemagne or Bismarck?  What precedent in the long Germanic history suggested that an ultimately reviled leader, such as Hitler, would spring forth in one of the most sophisticated cultures in the world, only to rule with such utter barbarism?  None that I can detect. 

All I'm saying is that the model of leadership that Trump may follow could be that of Berlusconi, or Putin, or indeed anyone outside the American experience.  Can you allow for that?


Fixed that for you.  Unless you are providing evidence that Trump actually IS Berlusconi, you are providing supporting data FOR an assessment.  One which I can see, and have seen the case for from Daniel Larison et al. at the American Conservative for the last year-ish.

I have no problem allowing for it, in fact, I was originally anticipating an American general playing the part of Putin in the event of a Hillary presidency leading to war.  Could still happen, I suppose.

My only objection to the Berlusconi comparison in terms of my examples above is simply in terms of turning placement, and role in history.  In terms of affect, absolutely.  He's even the right color.
Thanks for the grammatical correction.  Shame on this retired English teacher; I must be getting sloppy in my old age.

Can you explain what you mean by "in terms of turning placement, and role in history"?

Your point about my beating the subject of "neoliberalism" with a cudgel is well taken.  But I'll not stop and here's why--

Strauss and Howe make liberal reference to the "old civic order," or some such words to that effect, that is defeated or cast aside in each Fourth Turning.  By civic order, I think they meant the prevailing political/economic system that, however long it may have endured, or how well it may have served the ruling class, reaches a point where the subjugation or oppression of a people, class of people, or country becomes so dire that it precipitates an existential crisis.  What would we call those political/economic systems of our past turnings?  The Revolutionary War: colonialism; the Civil War: slavery; the Great Depression/World War II: laissez-faire capitalism/fascism. 

Don't we similarly have to put a name--some name--to the current political/economic system that has become so pathological that it, too, must be overturned and replaced with something better?  If not the term "neoliberalism," then what?  Again, I prefer we attack its basic tenets--like privatization--which the public can more readily get its arms around.

As much as I object to Trump's insistence that we label the jihadism of ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc. as "radical Islamic terrorism," he is simply doing what every leader does in a time of war, that is, naming the enemy.  That can be done fairly or in propagandistic terms.  I much prefer "neoliberalism," as confusing as the term may be to the masses.  I believe it fairly describes the civic order that has prevailed here and abroad for nearly four decades now.  It is part ideology, part political project, but above all the predominant civic order in much of the Western world.  It has reached the point of morbidity, though it yet lives on, like the Walking Dead...
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#28
Quote:Thanks for the grammatical correction.  Shame on this retired English teacher; I must be getting sloppy in my old age.


No worries, it's more a question of semantics than grammar.  Syntactically, it's perfectly valid, it just doesn't mean the same thing.

Quote:Can you explain what you mean by "in terms of turning placement, and role in history"?

Well, unless you're like Mikebert and ready to throw the whole theory to the winds because it isn't working out the way you thought it would (a little gratuitous, I know, but I mean it in good fun, Mike), you have to look not just at the man, but at the point in the saeculum in which each gets elected.  If Trump had actually run and gotten elected in the 90s, yeah, sure, they probably would have turned out pretty much the same, politically (well, not really, you'd still have to account for the exorbitant scope of powers the one position has versus the other).  But here we are, well into the 4T, and Trump is taking the helm of an almost wholly Republican government, a bitterly divided public hungry for dramatic change, and a sensitive geopolitical position.  Berlusconi, by contrast, was the head of a government that was pretty much designed not to work, in a time and region where nothing much was going on.  The outcome is just likely to be different, even if you assumed they were actually the same person in different wigs.

That's what I meant.

Quote:Your point about my beating the subject of "neoliberalism" with a cudgel is well taken.  But I'll not stop and here's why--

Strauss and Howe make liberal reference to the "old civic order," or some such words to that effect, that is defeated or cast aside in each Fourth Turning.  By civic order, I think they meant the prevailing political/economic system that, however long it may have endured, or how well it may have served the ruling class, reaches a point where the subjugation or oppression of a people, class of people, or country becomes so dire that it precipitates an existential crisis.  What would we call those political/economic systems of our past turnings?  The Revolutionary War: colonialism; the Civil War: slavery; the Great Depression/World War II: laissez-faire capitalism/fascism. 

Don't we similarly have to put a name--some name--to the current political/economic system that has become so pathological that it, too, must be overturned and replaced with something better?  If not the term "neoliberalism," then what?  Again, I prefer we attack its basic tenets--like privatization--which the public can more readily get its arms around.

As much as I object to Trump's insistence that we label the jihadism of ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc. as "radical Islamic terrorism," he is simply doing what every leader does in a time of war, that is, naming the enemy.  That can be done fairly or in propagandistic terms.  I much prefer "neoliberalism," as confusing as the term may be to the masses.  I believe it fairly describes the civic order that has prevailed here and abroad for nearly four decades now.  It is part ideology, part political project, but above all the predominant civic order in much of the Western world.  It has reached the point of morbidity, though it yet lives on, like the Walking Dead...

Dude, I, like a lot of other people in this country and elsewhere, am all about getting rid of the present order.  It's a big part of why I actually voted for Trump.  I don't think you and I necessarily see eye to eye on what exactly we'd like to see, instead, but neither of us seems to have much desire to maintain the status-quo.  We should be mindful that what comes after might not necessarily be better, but that's a fight for tomorrow.

I just think, as you said, that you might be better off placing a little more emphasis on specific points you'd like to see addressed (in so far as you are using a message board filled with awkward geeks as a political rally  Rolleyes ), and less on pounding away at a term of art that the vast majority of people here in the States instinctively think means the exact opposite of what it does.

Just a little more subtlety, if you please.  I hate being barked at, or even being in the vicinity of people barking.   Tongue
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#29
(01-07-2017, 02:10 AM)SomeGuy Wrote:
Quote:Thanks for the grammatical correction.  Shame on this retired English teacher; I must be getting sloppy in my old age.


No worries, it's more a question of semantics than grammar.  Syntactically, it's perfectly valid, it just doesn't mean the same thing.

Quote:Can you explain what you mean by "in terms of turning placement, and role in history"?

Well, unless you're like Mikebert and ready to throw the whole theory to the winds because it isn't working out the way you thought it would (a little gratuitous, I know, but I mean it in good fun, Mike), you have to look not just at the man, but at the point in the saeculum in which each gets elected.  If Trump had actually run and gotten elected in the 90s, yeah, sure, they probably would have turned out pretty much the same, politically (well, not really, you'd still have to account for the exorbitant scope of powers the one position has versus the other).  But here we are, well into the 4T, and Trump is taking the helm of an almost wholly Republican government, a bitterly divided public hungry for dramatic change, and a sensitive geopolitical position.  Berlusconi, by contrast, was the head of a government that was pretty much designed not to work, in a time and region where nothing much was going on.  The outcome is just likely to be different, even if you assumed they were actually the same person in different wigs.

That's what I meant.

Quote:Your point about my beating the subject of "neoliberalism" with a cudgel is well taken.  But I'll not stop and here's why--

Strauss and Howe make liberal reference to the "old civic order," or some such words to that effect, that is defeated or cast aside in each Fourth Turning.  By civic order, I think they meant the prevailing political/economic system that, however long it may have endured, or how well it may have served the ruling class, reaches a point where the subjugation or oppression of a people, class of people, or country becomes so dire that it precipitates an existential crisis.  What would we call those political/economic systems of our past turnings?  The Revolutionary War: colonialism; the Civil War: slavery; the Great Depression/World War II: laissez-faire capitalism/fascism. 

Don't we similarly have to put a name--some name--to the current political/economic system that has become so pathological that it, too, must be overturned and replaced with something better?  If not the term "neoliberalism," then what?  Again, I prefer we attack its basic tenets--like privatization--which the public can more readily get its arms around.

As much as I object to Trump's insistence that we label the jihadism of ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc. as "radical Islamic terrorism," he is simply doing what every leader does in a time of war, that is, naming the enemy.  That can be done fairly or in propagandistic terms.  I much prefer "neoliberalism," as confusing as the term may be to the masses.  I believe it fairly describes the civic order that has prevailed here and abroad for nearly four decades now.  It is part ideology, part political project, but above all the predominant civic order in much of the Western world.  It has reached the point of morbidity, though it yet lives on, like the Walking Dead...

Dude, I, like a lot of other people in this country and elsewhere, am all about getting rid of the present order.  It's a big part of why I actually voted for Trump.  I don't think you and I necessarily see eye to eye on what exactly we'd like to see, instead, but neither of us seems to have much desire to maintain the status-quo.  We should be mindful that what comes after might not necessarily be better, but that's a fight for tomorrow.

I just think, as you said, that you might be better off placing a little more emphasis on specific points you'd like to see addressed (in so far as you are using a message board filled with awkward geeks as a political rally  Rolleyes ), and less on pounding away at a term of art that the vast majority of people here in the States instinctively think means the exact opposite of what it does.

Just a little more subtlety, if you please.  I hate being barked at, or even being in the vicinity of people barking.   Tongue
If you are who I think you are, someone who admits that our country may be lurching toward an American-style fascism, I'm not sure why you voted for Trump.  He checks off more than a few boxes of an emergent fascism in the body politic.  If he does not lead us directly into the funhouse of fascism, might he not lead us, at least, into its antechamber?  Is that not dangerous enough?   You give evidence of nuanced thought from what I've seen in previous posts.  I'd like to think that I do, too. (The older I get, the less I tend to see the world in binary terms: you know, war or peace, capitalism or socialism, "You're either with us or against us.")  God knows you don't have to explain your rationale to me or anyone else.  But I just don't get it, especially with you. 

Anyway, the problem with downplaying "neoliberalism," and attacking its individual planks instead, is that that political tack comes off as so much "scattershot" to the public: the very problem that hindered Hillary Clinton and--to a much lesser extent--Bernie Sanders, who at least offered a half-formed vision to the voters.  The Republicans, I hate to admit, do a much better job of characterizing their policies as a whole.  The Democrats have to roll all the way back to LBJ and his Great Society to find a succinct summation of their policies. "Hope and change"?  (Way too nebulous for me, Obama.)  Trump at least gave Americans a ball cap slogan they could understand; Hillary gave us "I'm With Her."  (By the way, if you're at all interested, I'll tell you sometime about a coffee shop conversation that I overheard about Her in my conservative small town prior to the election.  It was as illuminating as it was disgusting.)

I think where you and I really part ways is that you envision Trump as a departure from the "present order" or "status quo," which I've characterized as neoliberalism.  From the policies that he's proposed, and the administration that he's now assembling, it sure looks like neoliberalism to me: privatization? (check); deregulation? (check again); tax cuts for the rich? (big check), austerity for everyone else? (We'll see).  You rightly mentioned Trump's stance against free trade as a break from neoliberal orthodoxy, but I see that as a mere sop to the working-and-middle class voters that he had to woo to swing a narrow victory his way.  In the main, his policies amount to little more than reconstituted Reaganomics, in my humble opinion.

I readily concede that Trump might prove transformational, though enough time remains in this Fourth Turning for him to merely prove transitional, paving the way for something better (some kind of post-capitalism)--or worse (neo-feudalism or fascism, God forbid).

I apologize for the "barking."  Don't mean to come off like some drill sergeant.  Chalk it up to political passion...
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#30
(01-06-2017, 03:49 PM)SomeGuy Wrote:
Quote:I am talking about the S&H model not M&T.  They are different.


I know what you are talking about.  I was referencing Britain's 4T during that period, which on the homefront wasn't particularly dramatic.  There was what, the Crimean War (pushing towards the 3T/4T boundary), the Indian Mutiny (which didn't really affect the average Britain) and... what?

Quote:Of course things will change.  Obama's world was different from Clinton's and Bush II's different from his father's (as he found out).  

What I am pointing out is the possibility that the country doesn't change according to T4T model.

Which would preclude an endless repetition of Bush, Obama, Bush, Obama, which is what I was arguing against.  As to the notion that T4T would be a dud?  Sure, it's possible.  I don't see why you're so fixated on it, though, other of course than disappointment that Obama's presidency didn't seem to realign the country the way you might have hoped.

So what do you really want to talk about?  What if nothing happens?

None of these things.  Change can happen and it not be a dud.  We can even have something that folks will call a 4T, but it might not be consistent with the theory.

The idea that there is a cycle that S&H call the saeculum, and the generational theory are two different things.  One of these can be true and not the other, or neither could be true, or both could be true.  What I am suggesting is that this last possibility, that both are true is a lot less likely to be true today than it was in 2000 when I first came to the S&H site.  In 1991 S&H had detected the nomad/hero transition from a distance of 9 years suggesting that these transitions would be evident in less than a decade after the fact.  They had identified the current era as the inner-directed era (which they would later call a 3T) which implied that the next period would be a secular crisis (later called a 4T).  They forecasted this transition for 2003.

Now the 4T turning in the American nation (which has always been their focus*) have been distinctive.  Within half a decade of the trigger, major structural changes had occurred. Big events like 911 can serve as 4T triggers, but the fact that the Bush-inaugurated changes were not retained by successors like the Reagan, FDR or Lincoln changes were argues against a 4T starting in 2001.  Obama came in as an anti-Bush and not as a continuation like Bush I/Clinton or Truman/Eisenhower did after Reagan and FDR, respectively.  Trump and the entire Republican party has very much promised to undo the Obama era.  Do you think they are lying?  It seems perfectly reasonable to me that Trump plans on undoing the Obama changes as much as possible and starting his own new program.  If he is not lying (and I see no reason to believe that he is) Trump will be the start of a new era. His election, a surprise like 911 and the financial crisis, is a potential trigger.  If what he does gets traction with the public (and this will take some time to happen) the THAT would be a regeneracy.  If so, it will follow a short period after the trigger just like the
three previous 4Ts.


*Note they did not call GenX the 17ers (they are the 17th of the generations listed in Generations).  Instead they called them the 13ers as they were the 13th American generation, that is the generations that were born in the 3 complete saecula ending in the Revolutionary, Civil War and Depression 4Ts, plus the not yet complete Millennial saeculum.
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#31
SomeGuy Wrote:Well, unless you're like Mikebert and ready to throw the whole theory to the winds because it isn't working out the way you thought it would a little gratuitous, I know, but I mean it in good fun, Mike)
I know.  But do you actually understand the theory, as opposed to their cycle?  They are two very different things.
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#32
Quote:If you are who I think you are,


Jordan Goodspeed.  Although, since I admittedly reposted the same article to you under my present moniker, if you're thinking that I am "SomeGuy", that would be true, too. Wink


Quote:someone who admits that our country may be lurching toward an American-style fascism, I'm not sure why you voted for Trump.  He checks off more than a few boxes of an emergent fascism in the body politic.  If he does not lead us directly into the funhouse of fascism, might he not lead us, at least, into its antechamber?  Is that not dangerous enough?   You give evidence of nuanced thought from what I've seen in previous posts.  I'd like to think that I do, too. (The older I get, the less I tend to see the world in binary terms: you know, war or peace, capitalism or socialism, "You're either with us or against us.")  God knows you don't have to explain your rationale to me or anyone else.  But I just don't get it, especially with you. 

It might be worthwhile to know that the man who wrote the article I linked to actually writes on a weekly basis, and made comments concerning this issue.  He actually said a year ago that the most likely outcome of this election is that Donald Trump would win.  The things you might want to consider is that while Donald Trump, while no fascist, certainly fills a fascist shape hole, so did a lot of political leaders in the '30s whom we have much higher opinions of.  Including a certain wealthy, womanizing New Yorker with a populist flair and a penchant for talking to the electorate over the heads of the established media. 

I know, I know, dear readers, you're outraged.  I can hear the squealing from here.  If this president is altogether cruder, louder, more volatile, and less thoughtful than that other one, why, perhaps we might reflect on what that says about this period versus that one.  But hey, at least he can walk, right?  Take that, Great Power Saeculum!

But seriously, even if he doesn't do any of things he campaigned on, and gets tossed out on his ear 4 years from now, at least he cleared the space on both parties for something new.  Which is something we sorely need, and, if we have to have a crude populist phase, having a wealthy, socially liberal real estate developer with a taste for pretty women and debt-driven construction projects fill the role is not the worst outcome we could have had.  In the absence of serious address of the issues of a substantial portion of the electorate, that fascist shaped hole would still be there, and could have been filled by someone much worse.


Quote:Anyway, the problem with downplaying "neoliberalism," and attacking its individual planks instead, is that that political tack comes off as so much "scattershot" to the public: the very problem that hindered Hillary Clinton and--to a much lesser extent--Bernie Sanders, who at least offered a half-formed vision to the voters.  The Republicans, I hate to admit, do a much better job of characterizing their policies as a whole.  The Democrats have to roll all the way back to LBJ and his Great Society to find a succinct summation of their policies. "Hope and change"?  (Way too nebulous for me, Obama.)  Trump at least gave Americans a ball cap slogan they could understand; Hillary gave us "I'm With Her."


My problem with this is two-fold.  One, by reducing everything to a single nebulous buzzword, you are necessarily flattening and distorting the issues at play, which are never reducible to single causes.  Particularly if the buzzword in question is somewhat ill-defined, unfamiliar to most people on this continent, and thus susceptible to meaning whatever people want it to mean.  Which would be fine, up to a point, if you were a politician on the stump, who needs to encapsulate complicated ideas in a fashion easy for his constituents to suggest, but that's not what you are.  You are a poster on a board dedicated (at least nominally) to discussion, and as such I would prefer if you put aside the rhetoric and spoke to actual issues or ideas.

But it's a free country, you do what you want.


Quote:  (By the way, if you're at all interested, I'll tell you sometime about a coffee shop conversation that I overheard about Her in my conservative small town prior to the election.  It was as illuminating as it was disgusting.)

I always like hearing gossip.


Quote:I think where you and I really part ways is that you envision Trump as a departure from the "present order" or "status quo," which I've characterized as neoliberalism.  From the policies that he's proposed, and the administration that he's now assembling, it sure looks like neoliberalism to me: privatization? (check); deregulation? (check again); tax cuts for the rich? (big check), austerity for everyone else? (We'll see).  You rightly mentioned Trump's stance against free trade as a break from neoliberal orthodoxy, but I see that as a mere sop to the working-and-middle class voters that he had to woo to swing a narrow victory his way.  In the main, his policies amount to little more than reconstituted Reaganomics, in my humble opinion.

And this is the problem with thinking solely in terms of categories (by your leave).  You could easily have drawn up similar objections to a Jeb administration, a Cruz administration, or even a Clinton administration.  Hell, since you're using the word, Obama's administration came up for much the same abuse.  If you're coming at it from a European perspective, for instance, pretty much all American politicians are neoliberal.  And yet I think we can clearly agree that all of those administrations would have been different, and that some of those differences are too big to be obscured under fancy 50 cent words.


Quote:I readily concede that Trump might prove transformational, though enough time remains in this Fourth Turning for him to merely prove transitional, paving the way for something better (some kind of post-capitalism)--or worse (neo-feudalism or fascism, God forbid).

He may be transitional, may be transformational, things may get better or worse.  We'll have to wait and see, and act accordingly.  I can't help but feel that your ideology may be limiting your thoughts on the range of possible outcomes.  As it does to us all, to be sure.


Quote:I apologize for the "barking."  Don't mean to come off like some drill sergeant.  Chalk it up to political passion...

Don't worry, I have actually had drill sergeants, you don't sound anything like them.
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#33
Quote:Now the 4T turning in the American nation (which has always been their focus*) have been distinctive.


And yet they did acknowledge that Britain in fact had a saeculum, as did Germany and others whose politicians they referenced in T4T.  And the model clearly fits for them, too, which means that what I mentioned was in fact a 4T.

Quote:Big events like 911 can serve as 4T triggers, but the fact that the Bush-inaugurated changes were not retained by successors like the Reagan, FDR or Lincoln changes were argues against a 4T starting in 2001.

Are there still troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Is the War on Terror still going on?  Is Gitmo still open?  Drones still in used to engage in targeted killings?  Remind me, was TARP put in place under Bush or Obama?  How about Snowden?  What administration did his defection take place during?

I am not convinced of a 2001 or 2003 start date, but it would be absurd to say that his policies weren't retained.

Quote:Obama came in as an anti-Bush and not as a continuation like Bush I/Clinton or Truman/Eisenhower did after Reagan and FDR, respectively.

I was unaware that that was a fourth turning requirement.

Quote:Trump and the entire Republican party has very much promised to undo the Obama era.  Do you think they are lying?  It seems perfectly reasonable to me that Trump plans on undoing the Obama changes as much as possible and starting his own new program.

And yet simply getting rid of those policies isn't so simple, is it?  Look at the kerfluffle over the Republican plans for Obamacare.  They still have to replace it with something, don't they?

To what extent did FDR really act as a continuation of Hoover?

Quote:If he is not lying (and I see no reason to believe that he is) Trump will be the start of a new era. His election, a surprise like 911 and the financial crisis, is a potential trigger.  If what he does gets traction with the public (and this will take some time to happen) the THAT would be a regeneracy.  If so, it will follow a short period after the trigger just like the 

A regeneracy does not immediately follow a trigger!  IF Trump and the Republican's overwhelming capture of government, after an intense period of political competition, does end up as a regeneracy, and we precede to a crisis climax in a few years, how then does that contradict the theory as laid out by S & H?

I know, this is the bit where you start trotting out a bunch of dates in the 2030s and talk about how if things follow THAT course the theory is invalidated, but we're not there yet, are we?

Remind me again what year Churchill was elected?
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#34
The idea that we could have gotten someone worse than Trump has some merit--- or at least it did before he started making his appointments. After this fiasco, it seems hard to conceive of someone worse. But, who knows; Trump is nothing if not a wild card.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#35
(01-07-2017, 04:56 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: But seriously, even if he doesn't do any of things he campaigned on, and gets tossed out on his ear 4 years from now, at least he cleared the space on both parties for something new.

Exactly.  But if he does this, he will be serving in the role of a post-trigger president like Hoover, and not a post regeneracy president like FDR, Trump still presents a change from the past, and the simplest interpretation would be a 2016 trigger with a regeneracy in the future.

On the other hand, if 2016 is a regeneracy, then 2008 as trigger still makes sense. For this to happen Trump has to be successful.  But to be successful he needs the right tools, and the right personnel.  He has neither, he ran all by himself. There was no movement that he led. He has no ideology, no loyal followers.  Only self-interested individuals like himself, who are backing his play for now, because he's on top.

He has to select amongst the same Republican ideas and people that Bush had to choose from.  Trump's plan, of which I approve, is to make nice to Russia. The GOP is filled with people who mistrust Russia and who see Munich everywhere.  He is going to have a lot of unhappy campers. 

He is not tapping libertarian anti-war types, but rather hawkish Republicans.  They may be less antagonistic about Russia, but they make it up in spades with Iran.  So if Trump manages to replace a Cold War with Russia with a hot war with Iran, how is this any better than what Bush did? 

We are going to get another recession.  This will not endear him to his base, who are expecting jobs not pink slips.  A $2 trillion deficit is going to be noticed, even if Tea Partiers suddenly decide they don't care about deficits anymore.  Obama inherited a recession that was half over before he took office, and enjoyed an expansion for almost all of both of his terms and yet he and his works were dragged through the mud.  Trump is inheriting a boom, which is going to go bust on his watch.  Do you really think it is possible for him to make the big electoral gains that FDR did?  Or is slow bleeding like what happened to Obama more likely?

Note we could still have a 4T contemporaneous with a conflict with China during a global war period over 2025-2050.  (M&T posited a delegitimization period over 1973-2000, which would suggest a deconcentration era over 2000-2025).  An eventful period running from 2020-2040 could easily serve as a secular crisis social moment.  A 4T ending in 2040 would give a 94-year saeculum, which is perfectly in line with the century-long spans of past ones. In other words, the S&H cycle would not be invalidated.  But the theory that this 4T is caused by the collective history made by Boomers, Xer's and Millies moving into elder, mature adult and rising adult phases of life would be.
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#36
He stands to be a Carter on foreign policy and Hoover on economics, with the moral compass of neither.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#37
(01-08-2017, 08:15 AM)Mikebert Wrote:
(01-07-2017, 04:56 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: But seriously, even if he doesn't do any of things he campaigned on, and gets tossed out on his ear 4 years from now, at least he cleared the space on both parties for something new.

Exactly.  But if he does this, he will be serving in the role of a post-trigger president like Hoover, and not a post regeneracy president like FDR. For 2016 to a regeneracy. Trump has to be successful.  But to be successful he needs the right tools, and the right personnel.  He has neither, he ran all by himself. They was no movement that he led. He has no ideology, no loyal followers.  Only self-interested individuals like himself, who are backing his play for now, because he's on top.

Loyal followers are merely self interested people whose fates are tied to their leader by lack of alternative patrons.  Folks like Bannon and Conway qualify, as do the cabinet appointments with a business rather than a government background as far as politics is concerned.

Quote:He has to select amongst the same Republican ideas and people that Bush was dealt.  The Russian cyber attacks are an act of war against the US, just like sanctions have been against Russia. Trump's plan, of which I approve, is to to appease Russia.  The GOP is filled with people who agreed with Romney that Russia = USSR, and who see Munich everywhere.  He is going to have a lot of unhappy campers.

You have a very loose definition of "war".  With respect to the Russians, while I agree that there are Republicans like McCain and Graham who fit your description, it's not a fair characterization of Romney.  By virtue of their nuclear arsenal, the Russians are our primary geopolitical adversaries; that just doesn't make them our enemies as the McCains of the world would have it.  That's water under the bridge, though.

Quote:Also, he is not tapping libertarian anti-war types, but rather hawkish Republicans.  They may be less antagonistic about Russia, but they make it up in spades with Iran.  So if Trump manages to reduce tensions with Russia by giving Putin a free hand in Europe, but gets us into a war with Iran, how is this any better than Bush?  Bush's relation with Russia was pretty good, IIRC, it's not that hard to say nice things about Vlad.

We are going to get another recession.  If it is bad, his promise to bring jobs will be replaced by massive job losses.  This will not endear him to his base.  A $2 trillion deficit is going to be noticed, even if Tea Partiers suddenly decide they don't care about deficits anymore.  It is going to help with Trump's popularity, and could conceivably hurt him.  Obama inherited a recession that was half over before he took office, and enjoyed an expansion for almost all of both of his terms and yet he and his works were abjured by half the country.  Trump is inheriting a boom, which is going to go bust on his watch.  Do you really think it is possible for him to make big electoral gains like FDR did?

The Tea ("Taxed Enough Already") Party never really cared about deficits; that was just rhetoric to keep spending down and avoid pressure to increase taxes.  But frankly, Trump is a third way that has undercut the Tea Party as much as he has the Republican Establishment.

Trump has a terrific opportunity on the economic front, because there has been no actual recovery from the financial recession.  Instead, under the Obama administration, the economy has grown parallel to the long term trend, but below it, rather than recovering to the long term trend after the recession as is more usual.


[Image: cbo_fit_postwar.png]


If Trump can identify and reverse the Obama policies that prevented a recovery, and avoid implementing any depressive policies of his own such as trade isolationism, there could be a rapid first term economic improvement that would make him wildly popular.  Granted that is a big "if".
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#38
(01-08-2017, 12:26 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Trump has a terrific opportunity on the economic front, because there has been no actual recovery from the financial recession.  Instead, under the Obama administration, the economy has grown parallel to the long term trend, but below it, rather than recovering to the long term trend after the recession as is more usual.


[Image: cbo_fit_postwar.png]


If Trump can identify and reverse the Obama policies that prevented a recovery, and avoid implementing any depressive policies of his own such as trade isolationism, there could be a rapid first term economic improvement that would make him wildly popular.  Granted that is a big "if".

As the graph shows the deviation from linearity began after 2000. Both sides have had a crack at it with no results. The problem is things are better for those on the top than they have been for a very long time. Furthermore Republicans are completely dominant without having done anything to address this issue. As soon as Obama leaves office they can assert that its morning in America again.  Polls show the GOP base is coming to believe that the economy is in good shape since the election. If it ain't broke you don't fix it.

This has happened before after ca. 1910:
[Image: latest?cb=20080315042052]
Last time effective action on the problem was taken only after those at the top perceived that they had a problem.  I don't think we are there yet.
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#39
Quote:Exactly.  But if he does this, he will be serving in the role of a post-trigger president like Hoover, and not a post regeneracy president like FDR, Trump still presents a change from the past, and the simplest interpretation would be a 2016 trigger with a regeneracy in the future.

This is a reasonable interpretation, and I would agree with it if that came to pass.  I was speaking more broadly, in terms of why I chose to vote for Trump, rather than solely in terms of S & H theory.  Given the age of the Boomers, and the likely candidates on the Democratic side, I would be more inclined to your view that the T4T theory would then be in serious trouble, at least in generational terms.


Quote:On the other hand, if 2016 is a regeneracy, then 2008 as trigger still makes sense. For this to happen Trump has to be successful.  But to be successful he needs the right tools, and the right personnel.  He has neither, he ran all by himself. There was no movement that he led. He has no ideology, no loyal followers.  Only self-interested individuals like himself, who are backing his play for now, because he's on top. 

He has to select amongst the same Republican ideas and people that Bush had to choose from.  Trump's plan, of which I approve, is to make nice to Russia. The GOP is filled with people who mistrust Russia and who see Munich everywhere.  He is going to have a lot of unhappy campers.  

He is not tapping libertarian anti-war types, but rather hawkish Republicans.  They may be less antagonistic about Russia, but they make it up in spades with Iran.  So if Trump manages to replace a Cold War with Russia with a hot war with Iran, how is this any better than what Bush did? 

Speculative, and too informed by what your personal opinions of the "right" tools, policies, and personnel are.  Ross and Lighthizer are adequate support for his stated positions on trade, as are Kelly and especially Sessions on immigration.  The inclusion of people like Kobach and Dan DiMicco in lesser positions (which can not be ruled out as of yet) would only reinforce those policies in terms of personnel.  Flynn and Tillerson provide adequate support for rapprochement with Russia.  Likely Navy Secretary Ray Forbes has long been pushing for naval rearmament on a grander scale.   Mnuchin has already discussed implementing an infrastructure bank, and Chao would help in providing political support for more infrastructure spending through her husband McConnell.  Likewise, Trump did not specifically campaign on things like education policy, and so people like DeVos are an easy sop to the more traditional Republicans.  He may not pursue all of those policies as president with equal vigor, but he has hired the right personnel to implement them if he so chooses.

Hawkishness towards Iran is unfortunate, although invading Iran would be on quite a different scale from either Iraq or Afghanistan.  Occupying it even more so.  The call with Tsai in Taiwan, and mention of expanding arms sales with the same, pose additional geopolitical risks as well.  Renewed violence abroad would likely be on quite a different scale from what occurred in the 2000s.  Sufficiently so as to imply a qualitative difference.

Quote:We are going to get another recession.  This will not endear him to his base, who are expecting jobs not pink slips.  A $2 trillion deficit is going to be noticed, even if Tea Partiers suddenly decide they don't care about deficits anymore.  Obama inherited a recession that was half over before he took office, and enjoyed an expansion for almost all of both of his terms and yet he and his works were dragged through the mud.  Trump is inheriting a boom, which is going to go bust on his watch.  Do you really think it is possible for him to make the big electoral gains that FDR did?  Or is slow bleeding like what happened to Obama more likely?

We are going to get another recession, AT SOME POINT.  Neither you nor I have had a particularly good track record predicting when that would be, and the economy has stubbornly continued to limp along all the while.  Remember that economy doesn't fall into recession because of the position of the calendar.  It is entirely possible that stimulus spending could keep the economy in good shape till the election.  Likewise, a strong stance on trade and infrastructure could shore up his position in the Electoral College even if the economy suffered.  Or again, a downturn caused by a sharp trade stance with China could be subsumed into a broader conflict that caused people to rally around the flag, at least for a time.  Or you could be right, neither of us know what the future holds, and a lot of these sorts of wargaming of specifics are, at this point, idle.

Quote:Note we could still have a 4T contemporaneous with a conflict with China during a global war period over 2025-2050.  (M&T posited a delegitimization period over 1973-2000, which would suggest a deconcentration era over 2000-2025).  An eventful period running from 2020-2040 could easily serve as a secular crisis social moment.  A 4T ending in 2040 would give a 94-year saeculum, which is perfectly in line with the century-long spans of past ones. In other words, the S&H cycle would not be invalidated.  But the theory that this 4T is caused by the collective history made by Boomers, Xer's and Millies moving into elder, mature adult and rising adult phases of life would be.

I just re-read the book last night (Thank you, Amazon!).  A couple of points:

1.) 2000 is a nice round number, but with the benefit of hindsight I would be inclined to start the high-growth period of the 19th k-wave and surrounding deconcentration/coalition-building phase in the 90s.  That's when IT really took off, the military might of the US' military allies and their erstwhile Russian adversaries bled away, the US military started abandoning training for specialties (electronic warfare, antisubmarine warfare, air defense, etc.) needed for great power war, etc.  Likewise, China's agenda-setting had largely concluded with Tienanmen Square and the death of Deng Xiaoping, and their military commenced its big modernization drive in the wake of the Gulf War (which provided the demand, as they saw what the US military did to another large Third World military with more advanced weapons than they had at the time), the Taiwan Straits Crisis, and the breakdown on the Soviet Union (which reduced the threat of land war, and provided a supply of weapons and weapons related technologies for them to purchase).  Really, nothing happened on their end in the 2000s that wasn't already in place during the 90s.

2) This would push the beginning of the macro-decision, end of the high growth phase to around 2020, which jibes with my understanding of when things like Moore's law are anticipated to completely breakdown, and for many of the associated technologies presently in the late stages of high growth to reach saturation.  We can quibble on the dates, but I would be inclined to say that 2030 is a little late.  Other theorists on these sort of decision cycles like S & H (loosely, I know) and Chase-Dunn also incline me to believe that the 2020s are the decade to watch for fireworks.

3) Like I said, this leaves us a roughly 2020-204x timeframe for a likely macrodecision phase.  It might then be tempting to frame this phase as being the 4th turning for those countries whose previous one was the 30s-40s.  I think this would be an error for two reasons.  One, as you said, this would invalidate the theory of generations causing these issues, leaving T4T theory as a whole kinda shaky.  Two, looking back at previous decision periods, none of them have neatly lined up with a single 4T, and have instead almost invariable straddled either the 4T-1T, or 3T-4T periods.  Case in point, see the World Wars, the Napoleonic Wars-French Revolutionary Wars, the host of conflicts spanning from the Glorious Revolution to the War of the Spanish Succession, etc.  This need not be a single continuous war, but might be part of a series of conflicts, truces, shifting alliances, and the like that suffice to either confirm US hegemony or transfer it elsewhere, be it China or somewhere else.  An Awakening would then follow the conclusion of this process in short order, as it did with Europe in the early to mid-19th century, or the Soviet Union immediately after WWII with the Khrushchev Thaw and de-Stalinization.
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#40
(01-08-2017, 05:37 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(01-08-2017, 12:26 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Trump has a terrific opportunity on the economic front, because there has been no actual recovery from the financial recession.  Instead, under the Obama administration, the economy has grown parallel to the long term trend, but below it, rather than recovering to the long term trend after the recession as is more usual.


[Image: cbo_fit_postwar.png]


If Trump can identify and reverse the Obama policies that prevented a recovery, and avoid implementing any depressive policies of his own such as trade isolationism, there could be a rapid first term economic improvement that would make him wildly popular.  Granted that is a big "if".

As the graph shows the deviation from linearity began after 2000. Both sides have had a crack at it with no results. The problem is things are better for those on the top than they have been for a very long time. Furthermore Republicans are completely dominant without having done anything to address this issue. As soon as Obama leaves office they can assert that its morning in America again.  Polls show the GOP base is coming to believe that the economy is in good shape since the election. If it ain't broke you don't fix it.

The substantial deviation from the trend clearly starts with the 2008 recession.  Prior to that, the line was as close to the trend as it was for most of the 1990s.  I grant that the housing bubble did not produce the same upward pop that the internet bubble did, but that has limited relevance to the current situation.

I don't see how you can say the Republicans are dominant when the President is still a Democrat.

Parts of the Republican base may be reacting to the effervescence of the stock market in the wake of the election.  However, if Trump doesn't deliver improved wages and employability to the working class whites who put him over the top, or substantial improvement to some other segment to make up for their votes, he's going to have difficulty winning reelection.

Quote:This has happened before after ca. 1910:
[Image: latest?cb=20080315042052]
Last time effective action on the problem was taken only after those at the top perceived that they had a problem.  I don't think we are there yet.

What do you see as the issue in 1910, and how and when do you think it was addressed?  Fair warning:  I can see what you're talking about, but it appears to me to date from about 1907 with respect to GDP, and it doesn't appear to me ever to have been addressed;
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