Nodwink on how the appearance of divided government is what the Uniparty prefers on account of it adding an extra layer of discord to keep the public at each other’s throats instead of the Uniparty’s:
The ideal outcome for the current Ruling Class (including the Oligarchy) is for a divided government. I’d say their favoured situation would be for Gropey to scrape over the line, and for the GOP to hold the Senate at least, or even both chambers. This would be handy for Biden, who could tell Bernie to “Take a hike, Mac!” with his unrealistic demands.
Interesting, though I suspect the perceived optimal arrangement to be the inverse–Democrats take the Senate, extend their advantage in the House, and Trump squeaks by in a narrow Electoral College victory while losing the popular vote by an even wider margin than in 2016. They get their Goldstein, hated and completely hamstrung.
Is Saudi Arabia, rich from oil in a kingdom maintained by foreign laborers, really as affluent as the Netherlands? Their purchasing power parities are at, well, parity. How is that relationship going to look in fifty years, though? Nebulafox on a similar dynamic in antebellum America:
Would the US have really been worse off and poorer if slavery ended around 1800 and the South hadn’t proceeded to drag the nation down? In the context of the Industrial Revolution, which America took advantage of as well as any other nation, I doubt that: steel and coal and railroads were the future. At a time when entrepreneurs were doing stuff like building railroads up North, men on the make in the South who otherwise might have been doing the same were still heading into agriculture, because that remained the route to upward mobility. Those railroads played a critical part in how the Civil War went. An agrarian slave dominated economy was simply not able to compete with modernity. You don’t need to use America as an example. Just look at serf-holding Russia’s failed attempts to keep pace with Western Europe.
The north was industrializing, improving infrastructure, and attracting productive, intelligent immigrants from Europe, a trend that the south thought their cotton bubble wealth could overcome. They were, of course, very wrong. Slavery profits blinded the south to the need to diversify and innovate. It was a commodity boom, but they didn’t feel the pressure to compete for the long run.
Craig Nelsen presents a handy graphic tracing the rates of deaths of despair for young and middle-aged American men over the last couple of decades:
Men doing what men of a defeated people do.
Here is a chart I made from the mortality data at the CDC combining suicide and drug and alcohol deaths for US males, ages 15-54, by race:
The white and black rates have diverged significantly over that time. While black rates have happily gone down, white rates have steadily risen and are now about on par with the high rates suffered by American Indians.