BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-04-22 Th

Things that went whizzing by that I want to remember...


Jamelle BouieF.D.R. Didn’t Just Fix the Economy: ‘He saved democracy itself…. As… Eric Rauchway argues in his… “Why the New Deal Matters,” a recovery program for American democracy…. These days we tend to think of the New Deal as a very large stimulus program. And that was true, to an extent… But… the New Deal was bigger…. Rauchway… writes: “The foundational belief of the New Deal was the conviction that democracy in the United States—limited and flawed through it remained—was better kept than abandoned, in the hope of strengthening and extending it.”…

‘[Some] Americans at the top who believed democracy had failed the country. In Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s draconian response to the Bonus marchers—burning their camps and driving them out of the city, against President Herbert Hoover’s explicit orders—they saw a model for how the government might restore “order” to the United States. “To his aide Rexford Tugwell,” Rauchway notes, “Roosevelt described Douglas MacArthur as one of the ‘most dangerous men in the country.’” MacArthur appealed to Americans who yearned for a strongman, who believed “democracy had run its course and that the totalitarians had grasped the necessities of the time.” Roosevelt said that among people he knew—rich people, who came from privileged backgrounds and who found the mobilized people deeply alarming—such talk was commonplace.

‘Roosevelt had to prove to all Americans that self-government worked; that it could restore confidence and tackle the economic crisis without compromising the principles of the revolution and the founding…

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John HolboThe Steelwool Scrub—A Fallacy: ‘isn’t it awfully mean, ad hominem and unfair if thoughtful Christian philosophers and theologians, Thomistic would-be anthropologists, get lumped in with bog-standard bigots?… There IS an element of unfairness. But now we come to the tell. Who should Ryan T. Anderson-types be indignant with, by rights, for unfairly trashing his reputation? Well, that would obviously be, first and foremost, the bigots he is consistently mistaken for…. Within the ecosystem of Christian cultural politics and belief, the role of someone like Ryan T. Anderson is not to scourge conservative Christians for having something in the neighborhood of right attitudes, but only as a culturally bigoted, hence surely spiritually poisonous inheritance of animus. Rather, his role is to apologize for bad attitudes as defensible and righteous—to ensure no one can call bigotry ‘bigotry’, by inserting himself in the line of fire as a model, steel-reinforced unbigot. This is… belief laundering…. A money launderer does not help criminals go straight… but mostly helps criminals appear to go straight, while not doing so. So this is what I call the Steelwool Scrub. Somehow, if there is one steelman—or even if there just could be one—everyone actually gets scrubbed clean by proxy.… LINK: <>

John QuigginGenerational Replacement & the Leftward Shift of the Democrats: ‘Political views formed in early adulthood are quite durable, particularly when they are the result of very good or very bad economic outcomes. The New Deal produced a generation with large numbers of lifelong Democratic voters, while the prosperity of the 1950s gave rise to Republican majorities in the Silent Generation…. Until recently, the leading voices among Democrats and centrists came from a cohort whose views on economic policy issues were formed during the rise and seeming triumph of neoliberalism, from the early 1970s to the end of the 20th century. The ideal among this group was to be ‘socially liberal and economically conservative’, without going too far in either direction.… LINK: <>

Investigating SubstackWho are the Substack Pros?: ‘Matt Yglesias, Anne Helen Peterson, Casey Newton, Scott Alexander, Freddie deBoer, Matt Taibbi, Nicholas Jackson, Ashley Feinberg, Grace Lavery, Alexis Coe, Jude Ellison S. Doyle, …. Unconfirmed But Likely: Glenn Greenwald… Michael Tracey…. Lingering Threads… Hunter Harris… Jesse Signal… Bari Weiss… Andrew Sullivan…. Update: Both Emily Atkin and Lindsey Gibbs announced they received advances from Substack, which they had to pay off with subscription money. These seem subtly different from the Pro contracts—which are for one-year long, and more like bets than advances…. A lot of other folks have gotten advances too, so not sure how often I’ll be updating this, as this post is “Who Are the Substack Pros?” not any dang thing about those getting advances!… LINK: <>

Paul GrahamHow People Get Rich Now: ‘In 1982 the most common source of wealth was inheritance. Of the 100 richest people, 60 inherited…. By 2020 the number of heirs had been cut in half, accounting for only 27 of the biggest 100 fortunes…. How are people making these new fortunes? Roughly 3/4 by starting companies and 1/4 by… managing investment funds. There were no fund managers among the 100 richest Americans in 1982…. In 1982, there were two dominant sources of new wealth: oil and real estate. Of the 40 new fortunes in 1982, at least 24 were due primarily to oil or real estate…. Of the 73 new fortunes in 2020, 4 were due to real estate and only 2 to oil…. The oil and real estate magnates of the 1982 Forbes 400 didn’t win by making better technology. They won by being really driven and good at making deals…. In 1892, the New York Herald Tribune compiled a list of all the millionaires in America. They found 4047 of them. How many had inherited their wealth then? Only about 20%… LINK: <>

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