There is a long-established, though entirely under-appreciated, tactic deployed by men who find themselves chastened by more those they consider beneath them. That ploy is to humbly acknowledge receipt of the proles’ complaint. To assure that their dissatisfaction has been fully absorbed, and greater attentiveness to their interests is definitely forthcoming. And then to simply repackage the previous despised platform with the somber concession of: “We now understand that this is what the people want.”
Yes, we understand those bovine bug-eaters quite well. The people didn’t like their colons molested by our 12″ black dildo, and we can fully recognize that now. So a red one it shall be. Or green. Whatever. Just don’t ever say we were callous to your complaints.
This process is now as predictable as chemistry. And as old as the IQ delta between flanks on the bell curve. The powerful crush the weak, as the cunning wheedle the dense. A pristine example of the latter is found in the recent headline below:
Global elites must heed the warning of populist rage
Well that sounds encouraging. It’s good to see the Financial Times seasoning into a tribune of the yeomanry. It’s editorial staff having finally ascertained the folly of its clientele’s program. And now urging a good-faith reconciliation with the faceless labor units who are rumored to reside in dirt mounds beyond sight of the community gates.
The author presents a five-point plan for executing this class detente. The comical disingenuousness of which making their crux almost impossible to paraphrase without eliciting reader skepticism. So scan it yourself below. I’m offering more courtesy than what was earned.
How to heed the hoi polloi in five easy pieces.
One: more globalism and carbon credits
First, understand that we depend on one another for our prosperity. It is essential to balance assertions of sovereignty with the requirements of global co-operation. Global governance, while essential, must be oriented towards doing things countries cannot do for themselves. It must focus on providing the essential global public goods. Today this means climate change is a higher priority than further opening of world trade or capital flows.
“Assertions” of sovereignty. Yes, some deluded philistines make those foolish assertions periodically. So to honor them, we’ll balance it with global governance, which is essential. As, obviously, are “global public goods,” which is a term we just concocted but sounds quite noble, you’ll certainly agree.
Two: Make humble noises
Second, reform capitalism. The role of finance is excessive. The stability of the financial system has improved. But it remains riddled with perverse incentives. The interests of shareholders are given excessive weight over those of other stakeholders in corporations.
This is intentionally opaque as “reforming capitalism” isn’t an actual proposal, but rather just a conciliatory sounding cluck. Though I’m certain its intended audience understood the subtext.
Three: Feed the third-world…even more
Third, focus international co-operation where it will help governments achieve significant domestic objectives. Perhaps the most important is taxation. Wealth owners, who depend on the security created by legitimate democracies, should not escape taxation.
This is a two parter. a) Tax dollars from (formerly) white countries should flow freely to tropical kleptocracies. And b) rich people should also pay taxes. I have to admit, that second one is quite a generous concession. I’m starting to come around on the good-faith of this piece.
Four: Import the third-world…even more
Fourth, accelerate economic growth and improve opportunities. Part of the answer is stronger support for aggregate demand, particularly in the eurozone. But it is also essential to promote investment and innovation. It may be impossible to transform economic prospects. But higher minimum wages and generous tax credits for working people are effective tools for raising incomes at the bottom of the distribution.
Readers would be forgiven for glossing past some of the more arcane jargon. Here’s a translation: stronger support for aggregate demand means importing millions of brown consumers. Their ability to consume (a felicitous term if ever one existed) to be buttressed by high minimum wages and “generous tax credits” in those many instances where work isn’t a high priority.
American readers may already understand the clandestine welfare of refundable tax credits. I do not know if European states offer a similar subterfuge, though importing foreigners and giving them your money to spend is the transparent intent.
Five: No nationalists!
Fifth, fight the quacks. It is impossible to resist pressure to control flows of unskilled workers into advanced economies. But this will not transform wages. Equally, protection against imports is costly and will also fail to raise the share of manufacturing in employment significantly.
There’s an old saying: if you sit down at an Economy and don’t know who the quack is, the quack is you. The author is helpfully directing any residual disdain back upon the populists who, we were initially led to believe, should be heeded. Interesting.
But you should savor the following sentence: It is impossible to resist pressure to control flows of unskilled workers into advanced economies. That is to say, flows of unskilled workers into the West should be uncontrolled, though alas this isn’t possible. Thus his reasoning for why you must fight the quack in your mirror is that failing to do so won’t “transform wages” or raise the manufacturing percentage significantly. The author’s sincerity nearly runs off the computer screen.
Maybe you can imagine workers displaced by Indian visa holders or poor/elderly whites trapped in violent diversifying neighborhoods as their home equity dissolves to nothing. Perhaps these people look grimly upon their situation and think: Goddamn it. The percentage of employment in manufacturing has remained static for six. fucking. quarters!
Surely these people have no greater ally than the Financial Times and its earnest five point plan.