• washunate commented on the blog post Questions from Ferguson

    2014-11-25 14:51:38View | Delete

    FYI, I agree those are good rhetorical questions. I think it’s worth noting there are specific substantive answers to them, as well. They are a part of the general trend of what to do with Millennials who are a massive generation yet are almost completely locked out of the halls of formal power – and that’s what is nationally (and internationally) relevant, but at the same time, each specific incident is flavored by the particular local situation.

    In this case, the prosecutor got his panties in a bunch because he got called out by the unwashed masses of second class citizens who forgot what their place is for a moment. He nearly cost the Democrats the County Executive seat for his racism – but only nearly. So after such a close but ultimately victorious election battle, he is openly gleeful to have survived intact and be in a position to shove it down people’s throats.

    It’s the perfect representation of what is wrong with the Democratic Party. It’s not a lesser of two evils. It’s the dominant force in most of our nation’s major metropolitan areas.

  • Jon, your willingness to be polite and charitable continues to be impressive.

    I would be much less respectful of the goals of PPACA. They were nothing short of entrenching a horrible healthcare system at exactly the moment when that entire healthcare system was most vulnerable to massive public desire for meaningful change.

  • washunate commented on the blog post Jonathan Cohn Rewrites History for Jonathan Gruber

    2014-11-19 10:29:52View | Delete

    I love that update. Cohn is caught and called out for either being conned himself or for being part of the con. So his response is not to question his underlying assumptions, but rather, to rewrite the specific passage talking about HHS contract disclosure.

    It’s just beautiful.

  • washunate commented on the diary post Laura Gottesdiener: A Tale of Two Cities: Post-Bankruptcy by Tom Engelhardt.

    2014-11-19 10:16:20View | Delete

    It’s interesting starting with RoboCop, because by the 1980s, the process of urban decay was already irreversible in the early outliers like Detroit and St Louis. I think that’s what’s easy to forget about it – this wasn’t future talk. The population had already moved. As Alice describes above, the rail system had already been [...]

  • washunate commented on the diary post Who Says Ferguson Can’t End Well? by David Swanson.

    2014-11-19 09:17:41View | Delete

    David, I’m not sure you actually answer your headline question, though? This isn’t a struggle between some workers and a factory owner. This is the systemic oppression and targeting of citizens by government itself. The legal system itself is the problem. There is no compromise or reconciliation there so long as the government itself likes [...]

  • washunate commented on the blog post Officials in Ferguson Prepare for Darren Wilson Verdict

    2014-11-18 10:12:47View | Delete

    @bluedot: That’s a loaded question :) Interesting factoid, if he’s driving east/west, he probably actually goes just north of Ferguson, since taking I-270 across northern St Louis is generally faster than going south through downtown. Not sure if there’s room for a truck, but it looks like there’s an ice cream stop at the old train depot:


  • washunate commented on the blog post Officials in Ferguson Prepare for Darren Wilson Verdict

    2014-11-18 08:33:13View | Delete

    @ThingsComeUndone: on the comment about moving to Ferguson, Saint Louis has a very unique housing history. It long predates the collapse of the housing market in the 2000s. STL is one of the core cities of urban decay, an early outlier. The white flight happened many decades ago, and it is much further west (and south). What you see in Ferguson specifically, and ‘NoCo’ (North Saint Louis County) more generally is more accurately thought of as black flight. It is black families wanting to raise kids in ‘bedroom communities’ away from the drug war and its associated problems in the more urban parts of the metro area. That’s part of why Ferguson has struck such a chord. It’s not an urban area. It’s the suburbs (and really, pre-suburbs: these were towns of their own and the metro region grew to them). It’s the County Police, not the City Police. But a rare American suburb, since a majority of the population is black, not white. Also helps explain the prosecutor’s issues. He’s from Kirkwood, which is in the southwestern part of Saint Louis County, on the other side of Clayton (the county seat) from Ferguson. This has been a bit of a wake-up call for white people in North Saint Louis County, since the response from STL County Police and the MO Highway Patrol communicated quite clearly what West County and South County thinks of North County as a whole. (Don’t bother looking those up on a map – they are all in the county of Saint Louis, not to be confused with the city of Saint Louis, and are useful shorthand since one of the lingering consequences of STL urban decay and white flight and associated decades of racist housing policy is the massive hodgepodge of tiny municipalities that dot STL County)

  • washunate commented on the blog post Officials in Ferguson Prepare for Darren Wilson Verdict

    2014-11-18 08:04:20View | Delete

    @ThingsComeUndone: The issue of the prosecutor recusing himself has been one of the more fascinating areas of this. Potential jurors are struck from cases if they have even remotely had a situation kinda-sorta similar to the incident in question. Basically, being the victim of a violent crime is a lifetime ban from serving on a jury. Yet for prosecutors, there is no bias. They’re SuperHumanRobots.

  • washunate commented on the blog post Officials in Ferguson Prepare for Darren Wilson Verdict

    2014-11-18 07:58:15View | Delete

    It’s interesting how much effort has gone into preparing people slowly for what has been a non-event in thousands of previous cases (the non-prosecution of officers in officer involved shootings). That acknowledgment by the establishment that things are changing is excellent proof that things are changing. I find it particularly hilarious that having a gas mask and a bulletproof vest are now signs that you area violent criminal. I mean, you’re supposed to just lie down and let the police shoot you. It’s the American way.

  • washunate commented on the blog post Democrat’s Demographic Fatalism Facing Critiques

    2014-11-17 15:48:24View | Delete

    Great post. The Dems had a tantalizing shot at demographics in the 1990s. But they decided instead to do pretty much the exact opposite of what said demographics believe.

  • You gotta admire the consistency of the Dems. Everything is the fault of the Republicans. Even when the Republicans have nothing to do with the decision.

  • It’s just the gift that keeps on giving. Absolutely hilarious. Most. Transparent. Administration. Evah.

    And all Hail to our Bestest and Brightestest economists. We humble neanderthals bow to your gracious superiorness.

  • washunate commented on the diary post Elizabeth Warren: Better, But Not There Yet by letsgetitdone.

    2014-11-12 08:18:09View | Delete

    “Or to put it another way, it’s not enough to have aggregate indicators going up. We also have to have shared gains and inequality going down, and given our current state of affairs, going down rapidly.”

    Ah, the aggregate demand panacea of the MMT crowd is withering away under the force of reality? Interesting development.

  • washunate commented on the blog post How the Government Wants You to Get Drunk and High

    2014-11-10 09:59:25View | Delete

    Well, not really impossible. We could simply tax alcohol and marijuana the way we tax coffee and cheeseburgers.

    But then that would require an evidence-based discussion, which is not exactly what the authoritarian busy bodies are going for.

  • washunate commented on the blog post NSA Director Profited Off ATT Spying

    2014-11-05 12:54:05View | Delete

    Clearly conflict of interest policies only have to be signed by the little guys.

  • It’s been pretty interesting watching the Democratic party trade away the long-term demographic advantage they were handed for a few years of power.

  • @Karl: Many forms of insurance are based on specific periods of time. The time to change your coverage (ie, open enrollment) is when one time period is coming to a close and the next time period is getting ready to begin. This is why health insurance as it works in the US is stupid conceptually – health is a life long issue, not a group of individual 12 month periods that can be tacked together. It’s why universal life insurance and term life insurance involve different fees and uses.

    What is unique about health insurance is that it’s trying to do two different things. On the one hand, it’s traditional insurance, spreading costs out over time amongst people with similar risk and coverage profiles. On the other hand, it is also attempting to subsidize across different risk pools and coverage desires. Those are inherently competing and mutually exclusive priorities. Auto insurance wouldn’t work very well if people driving 10 year old Ford Escorts without comprehensive coverage paid into the same risk pool as someone with a brand new Jaguar with comprehensive coverage. And even our auto system has serious faults, basically too costly for low-income drivers stuck in crap jobs (that require vehicular transportation since we dismantled our rail system) so they drive around completely uninsured.

    So extra bizarre processes are required to curb the natural incentives people have. One of those bizarre practices is the way in which open enrollment works in health/dental/vision/etc. coverage.

    By the way, this is nothing new to PPACA. Medicare’s open enrollment is October – December. And virtually all employment-based health plans have a 12 month commitment, only changeable at open enrollment or what more generally is called a ‘qualifying event’ (marriage, birth of a kid, termination of employment, etc.)

    Open enrollment is not about being able to sign up at any time. You can do that. When you join a company, or lose your job, that is a ‘qualifying event’ for whatever group plan or marketplace plan you are seeking. Rather, open enrollment is about not letting you change your plan without a corresponding change in your circumstances.

  • washunate commented on the blog post Sensible Leadership On Economics In Real Life

    2014-10-19 13:38:11View | Delete

    Wow Masaccio, your willingness to make this a red team vs blue team thing is a little disappointing. Blaming the Republicans? I think you’re a couple decades late on that.

  • It’s more so that Google is a big donor than that the tech industry in general has been beefing up its presence. For example:


  • Kevin, you’ve probably seen this screenshot, but thought you might like the link if you haven’t.


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