Could Kevin Drum be a bigger nitwit? I’m sure he could find some method, but it’s a distinct challenge at this point.
Drum minimizes facts that are massive and important because he’s old, owns his own home, has gold-plated health coverage (dude has cancer — someone 25 years old would probably be homeless or dead right now with his same condition) and is terrified of his house price falling a few percent.
It’s like in Drum’s mind we didn’t just have this thing called the Great Financial Crisis that completely nuked the hopes, aspirations, dreams and future of a whole generation of people.
And I benefited and continue to benefit from this crisis myself in several ways! But it doesn’t make me blind. And it didn’t turn me into a goddamn moron. For instance as to personally benefiting, I put money into the market when it was near its lows, and also there is a whole generation of people who will never catch me in the job market (evidence shows those who start working during a recession stay behind their whole careers). That eliminated 20 or 30 million people in the US alone that I will never have to compete against; they will always be behind me.
But as I said it doesn’t make me not see how devastating politics as usual has been to people slightly younger than I am.
How can you be someone like Drum, just so oblivious? I don’t understand. And pretend things are so great when conditions are like this in America.
Another fact. Drum says that, “Yes, two or three percent of the working-age population has dropped out of the labor force, but the headline unemployment rate is 5 percent.”
Here’s the BLS graph of Labor Participation Rate from 1988 to 2016.
Just the raw numbers from the comparative heyday of the late 1990s, that’s a four percent drop. Some of that though is due to population aging. However, that’s still approximately 11 million people not in the labor force anymore.
Assuming roughly forty percent of that is due to demographic factors, that is still over five million people whose prospects are so poor that they don’t even bother to look for work any longer. Five million people is not minor. Not even in a country of 300 million. That’s a crisis. That’s the entire population of Atlanta, just gone from the market altogether.
Countries have had revolutions over much much less, by the way.
People like Drum aren’t the only problem with the country, of course. Not by a long mile. But is Drum and people like him part of the problem? Oh yes. A huge part.
No, I don’t think Bernie would’ve solved this or any problem, by the way. I don’t even think Bernie would’ve been a good or effective president. But at least Bernie was talking about the issues, about the way the future will play out. About the devastation that has been wrought and why it occurred.
Clinton and Drum are stuck in the past, worshipping old dead gods in a sepulcher where they’ll soon be entombed, unremembered and unloved by a future that finally gets to move on from their amaurosis and self-absorption.
Good riddance to them.