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Old 30th May 2020, 08:02 PM   #1
Solitaire
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The Economics of Discontent: From Failing Elites To The Rise Of Populism

The Economics of Discontent: From Failing Elites To The Rise Of Populism by Jean-Michel Paul

What a strange book. Has anyone read it?

I'm not sure I agree with the introduction.

Quantitative Easing not working?

Tippit's not going to like that one bit.

Hm. Might be worth downloading.
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Old 30th May 2020, 08:20 PM   #2
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The synopsis sounds promising enough. I might try to find it if libraries ever reeopen.
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Old 30th May 2020, 09:30 PM   #3
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The introduction starts:-
Quote:
The next crisis is coming. It will be a severe downturn for which we are unprepared. Economically unprepared - our traditional means of action - be it fiscal or monetary policy - are no longer effective or available.... there is little time left to make sure it doesn't turn into a full-blown political meltdown.
Well we are in that crisis now, so we will soon find out if the author is correct.

He continues:-
Quote:
The wave of popular dissent, apparent from Brexit to Trump to new populist governments around the World... has been all but denied, dismissed and disregarded by the well-to-do and an arrogant intellectual elite.
New flash! Many of the 'well-to-do' are all-in with Trump, and the 'arrogant intellectual elite' are on the back-foot trying to counter his toxicity (and failing).

The real crisis isn't economic, it's Populism. That wasn't caused by an 'arrogant intellectual elite' - quite the opposite. It was created by anti-intellectuals and co-opted by the well-to-do who are themselves anti-intellectual, having only money and selfish greed on their side. If only we had more 'intellectuals' in government we might be in a much better position!

Perhaps the situation is different in Europe, but you can't blame an 'intellectual elite' for the problems in the US. I fear the author has the wrong end of the stick. He is right about one thing - it is partly an age problem. But not the ages of 'intellectuals' nor even the 'well-to-do'. It is actually the consolidation of conservative ideals among the population in general (thus the age problem, as people tend to become more conservative as they get older). And it didn't start recently. In the US it can be traced back to Reagan, and in the UK to Maggie Thatcher. And let's be honest, these people didn't get into power without support from the people.

The truth is, the real problem is that people in general are just too selfish, too greedy and too dumb to vote the right people into power. Intellectual elitism isn't the problem - Populism is.
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Old 30th May 2020, 11:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Solitaire View Post
Quantitative Easing not working?

Tippit's not going to like that one bit.
I didn't see anything about QE in the intro that you linked to.

However, Tippit would feel quite vindicated if that is in the book (anything that proves that fiat is "wrong").

Incidentally, gold has been doing quite nicely during the covid-19 crisis thank you very much.
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Old 31st May 2020, 07:08 AM   #5
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Any book intro that includes "arrogant intellectual elite" starts with a false premise.

No thanks.
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Old 31st May 2020, 11:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
The synopsis sounds promising enough. I might try to find it if libraries ever reeopen.
The Kindle version from Amazon.com is $0.00, and it says that there is no copyright on the book, so ...

ETA: Barnes&Noble, too.
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Last edited by dann; 31st May 2020 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 31st May 2020, 06:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The Kindle version from Amazon.com is $0.00, and it says that there is no copyright on the book, so ...

ETA: Barnes&Noble, too.

Well, for that price I'll take two.
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Old 1st June 2020, 12:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The introduction starts:-


Well we are in that crisis now, so we will soon find out if the author is correct.

He continues:-
New flash! Many of the 'well-to-do' are all-in with Trump, and the 'arrogant intellectual elite' are on the back-foot trying to counter his toxicity (and failing).

The real crisis isn't economic, it's Populism. That wasn't caused by an 'arrogant intellectual elite' - quite the opposite. It was created by anti-intellectuals and co-opted by the well-to-do who are themselves anti-intellectual, having only money and selfish greed on their side. If only we had more 'intellectuals' in government we might be in a much better position!

Perhaps the situation is different in Europe, but you can't blame an 'intellectual elite' for the problems in the US. I fear the author has the wrong end of the stick. He is right about one thing - it is partly an age problem. But not the ages of 'intellectuals' nor even the 'well-to-do'. It is actually the consolidation of conservative ideals among the population in general (thus the age problem, as people tend to become more conservative as they get older). And it didn't start recently. In the US it can be traced back to Reagan, and in the UK to Maggie Thatcher. And let's be honest, these people didn't get into power without support from the people.
Populism;
"a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups."
So by blaming populism, you are automatically calling out the elite that the ordinary people feel are ignoring them - unless you really believe the elite are not ignoring the ordinary people...
Quote:

The truth is, the real problem is that people in general are just too selfish, too greedy and too dumb to vote the right people into power. Intellectual elitism isn't the problem - Populism is.
People in general are quite sure the right people have been voted into power. They may indeed be selfish , greedy and possibly dumber than you, but that's the human race for you and unless you feel they should be disenfranchised, that's the result you will get.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 02:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Populism;
"a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups."
So by blaming populism, you are automatically calling out the elite that the ordinary people feel are ignoring them - unless you really believe the elite are not ignoring the ordinary people...
Correct.

Quote:
People in general are quite sure the right people have been voted into power.
Wrong. 54% of the population (of the US) are quite sure the right people were not voted into power, and many of the other 43% who say they are not at all sure (but must say they are because partisanship). Of the rest of the World, the vast majority also don't think we have the right people in power - but they have no say in the matter.

Quote:
They may indeed be selfish , greedy and possibly dumber than you, but that's the human race for you
Wrong. Populists manipulate people into believing that the elite ignore them. They play on their emotions and offer simplistic solutions and demonize the elite. It's not the 'human race', but very small number of psychopaths who have discovered how to control the masses - supported by a small number of greedy sycophants and like-minded individuals in positions of power. From there it feeds on itself. Once populism takes hold the people in power promote selfish greed and keep the general population ignorant (not dumb).

Quote:
unless you feel they should be disenfranchised, that's the result you will get.
No, I think they should be better informed. Populists often get into power partly through disenfranchisement, and once they do they attempt to consolidate it. Since populists often don't have the skills to actually run the country, they must resort to disenfranchisement, muzzling the press etc. to stay in power. We have a prime example of this in the White House right now.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 04:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Correct.

Wrong. 54% of the population (of the US) are quite sure the right people were not voted into power, and many of the other 43% who say they are not at all sure (but must say they are because partisanship). Of the rest of the World, the vast majority also don't think we have the right people in power - but they have no say in the matter.

Wrong. Populists manipulate people into believing that the elite ignore them. They play on their emotions and offer simplistic solutions and demonize the elite. It's not the 'human race', but very small number of psychopaths who have discovered how to control the masses - supported by a small number of greedy sycophants and like-minded individuals in positions of power. From there it feeds on itself. Once populism takes hold the people in power promote selfish greed and keep the general population ignorant (not dumb).

No, I think they should be better informed. Populists often get into power partly through disenfranchisement, and once they do they attempt to consolidate it. Since populists often don't have the skills to actually run the country, they must resort to disenfranchisement, muzzling the press etc. to stay in power. We have a prime example of this in the White House right now.
Well, if you really believe the elite are not ignoring the ordinary people then the elite are doing a really poor job of making it clear, given the ability to inform the ordinary people by means of mass media.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 06:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Well, for that price I'll take two.
Sounds like another book "self published as a E book because no real publisher would touch it with a ten foot pole.
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Old 4th June 2020, 04:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Well, if you really believe the elite are not ignoring the ordinary people then the elite are doing a really poor job of making it clear, given the ability to inform the ordinary people by means of mass media.
Inform them of what, that they are not ignoring them? Pointless. If they aren't then then it should be obvious, if they are it's lie. Or do you think ordinary people are too thick to see the obvious?
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Old 5th June 2020, 02:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Inform them of what, that they are not ignoring them? Pointless. If they aren't then then it should be obvious, if they are it's lie. Or do you think ordinary people are too thick to see the obvious?
So you categorically state that the elite are not ignoring the ordinary people

And you state that fact to be obvious.

So you are simply saying the ordinary people are too stupid to see the obvious....
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Old 5th June 2020, 08:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Well, if you really believe the elite are not ignoring the ordinary people then the elite are doing a really poor job of making it clear, given the ability to inform the ordinary people by means of mass media.
There are vast swaths of the US where every single media outlet (TV station radio station, newspaper) is owned by ultra right wing anti-intellectual companies that systematically attack science, expertise and education. It really doesn’t matter how well experts express themselves, their message will not be heard.
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Old 5th June 2020, 09:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
And it didn't start recently. In the US it can be traced back to Reagan, and in the UK to Maggie Thatcher. And let's be honest, these people didn't get into power without support from the people.

The truth is, the real problem is that people in general are just too selfish, too greedy and too dumb to vote the right people into power. Intellectual elitism isn't the problem - Populism is.

I never got around to reading Manufacturing Consent, but you are obviously right about the rulers having the support from the people, on the one hand, but on the other hand, they have the support of the people as rulers, they don't have the support of the people when you look at what the (majority of) the people would like to see implemented, which does not exactly spell selfishness: The people elect leaders who don't benefit the people!

So I think that it is necessary to look at the ideologies that make people accept this state of things, i.e. the American Dream, for instance. The ideologies that they want to be true even when they experience on a daily basis that they aren't.

People in general are just as unwilling to take a sober look at the state of things, the rules that society obeys, as Christian are to contemplate that there might not be a God in a Heaven. The state of things that make some of them have three jobs. Just like Christians need to believe in a life everlasting, somebody with three jobs needs to believe that they (or their children, or their children's children) will benefit from those circumstances in the long run. It's what makes them keep going, it's what makes them keep ruining their health and lives in vain.
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Old 5th June 2020, 09:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
So you categorically state that the elite are not ignoring the ordinary people

And you state that fact to be obvious.

So you are simply saying the ordinary people are too stupid to see the obvious....

There is a big difference between the economic and the intellectual elites. There is an even bigger one between the majority of the intellectual elite that lives to serve the economic elite (from Russian trolls to Hannity and Ben Shapiro) and the minority of the intellectual elite that opposes the economic elite and the market economy that creates it.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th June 2020, 10:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
There is a big difference between the economic and the intellectual elites. There is an even bigger one between the majority of the intellectual elite that lives to serve the economic elite (from Russian trolls to Hannity and Ben Shapiro) and the minority of the intellectual elite that opposes the economic elite and the market economy that creates it.
So the majority of the "elite" are indeed ignoring the ordinary people.
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Old 5th June 2020, 10:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Well, for that price I'll take two.
I hope you get your moneys worth.
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