My introductory column in this series laid out the blood libels against police, policing, blacks, and whites that are doing so much harm to America. This second installment provides a brief historical overview necessary to begin the discussion about the blood libels against Black Lives Matter, law enforcement officers (LEOs) and whites as a racial group. I repeat my warning from my introductory installment that criminology produces hard truths and nuanced explanations that upset almost everyone.
The best way to lose friends and be vilified in America is to talk frankly about race, racism, violent crime, politics, gender, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and prosecuting police officers. I am writing a series of articles on these subjects. In the course of this series I employ my “hats” as criminologist and a professor who teaches economics, law, and regulation plus my spousal hat where I draw on my wife and her co-author’s work on employment and marriage. As criminologists, we are used to upsetting people from all parts of the political spectrum. The one-sided stories that dominate the discussion of these difficult issues virtually always deliberately exclude unpleasant and analytically critical truths long documented by criminologists. I hope to show you how my field has found the answers to the challenges of policing in the United States to be complex and often paradoxical.
NEP’s Bill Black appears on the The Real News with Sarmini Peries discussing Boris Johnson. Johnson’s demonization of the EU and virtually all of its leaders in his role as an alleged journalist makes him the worst conceivable person to put in a top diplomatic post. Video below. Transcript available here.
Review of William Goetzmann, Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton University Press, 2016)
By Michael Hudson
Debt mounts up faster than the means to pay. Yet there is widespread lack of awareness regarding what this debt dynamic implies. From Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC to the modern world, the way in which society has dealt with the buildup of debt has been the main force transforming political relations.
Financial textbook writers tell happy-face fables that depict loans only as being productive and helping debtors, not as threatening social stability. Government intervention to promote economic growth and solvency by writing down debts and protecting debtors at creditors’ expense is accused of causing an economic crisis (defined as bankers and bondholders not making as much money as they thought they would). Creditor lobbyists are not eager to save indebted consumers, businesses and governments from bankruptcy and foreclosure. The result is a biased body of analysis, which some extremists project back throughout history.
Recent news reports lament the on-going collapse of America’s coal industry―specifically the spectacular loss of jobs which is devastating not only families but entire local economies and communities. On a PBS news report, a woman who’d worked for a local mining company for thirty years teared up and asked the reporter, “What in the world am I going to do?” At a recent event sponsored by Wyoming Public Radio, attendees were asked to fill out 5X7 cards with suggestions about how to answer that question—how to replace the lost coal industry jobs. Under the banner “How to Diversify Wyoming,” the cards were pinned on a bulletin board for everyone to see and discuss. The suggestions ranged from eco-tourism to pot-growing to space-flight support―all good, healthy, creative ideas, (with the possible exception, I think, of space-flight). What suddenly jumped out at me, however―like a jack-in-the-box on a spring―is that implicit in every suggestion written on those 5X7 cards lies a huge, overpowering, built-in assumption about the way the world has to work:
The Brexit vote is being taken by some commentators as a sign that the basic competence of leadership groups throughout Western countries is in question. Unfortunately not enough media attention has been paid, public concern raised, and action taken about the most massive and long-standing failure of the political leadership classes, a failure to protect by governments that threatens humanity itself. Governments and government leaders have failed to lead on climate change, even as most recently in Paris, they have sworn to hold Earth’s surface temperature below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and target 1.5 degrees as the “optimal” goal. This failure of leadership both in governments and also in the nongovernmental organizations that nominally address environment and climate is almost absolute and is terrifying to behold.
The NYT editorialized against the BREXIT vote, just in case the six columns it printed attacking the vote might not make it clear where the editorial board stood. The editorial explained what it saw as the basis for the vote.
It was a cry of anger and frustration from more than half the country against those who wield power, wealth and privilege, both in their own government and in Brussels, and against global forces in a world that they felt was squeezing them out.
The sixth column that the New York Time published on the same date condemning the vote in favor of BREXIT can be dealt with briefly. It too attacked the legitimacy of democracy, which it presented as a threat to “representative government.”
Steven Erlanger – Part 6
Steven Erlanger quoted with apparent approval this revealing quotation in his column condemning BREXIT.
Bronwen Maddox, former editor of Prospect Magazine and the new director of the Institute for Government, a research institution, commented by email that “there is a growing intolerance for representative government, which is likely to have consequences for the ability of any government to run the country.”
Jim Yardley wrote a column entitled “Populist Anger Upends Politics on Both Sides of the Atlantic.” Yes, anyone in the UK who supported BREXIT is just like an American supporter of Donald Trump because they are angry. Indeed, it’s “the same” as every non-establishment politician and political supporter throughout Europe and the U.S.
The same yawning gap between the elite and mass opinion is fueling a populist backlash in Austria, France, Germany and elsewhere on the Continent — as well as in the United States.
As Tony Blair’s column correctly noted, however, the leadership of the pro-BREXIT movement was ultra-elite. Elite opinion was fractured in the UK along multiple fault lines. EU “elites” have, of course, brought the EU over a decade of massive bubbles, widespread fraud by financial elites, financial crises, a Great Recession, an economically illiterate response to the Great Recession that forced much of the eurozone into Great Depression level unemployment. Oh, and those elites have been exposed in far too many cases as tax frauds and cheats. Oh, and the head of EU Commission is the guy who turned Luxembourg into a “let’s make a secret deal” cesspool for large corporations seeking to evade paying taxes. The dominant EU elites are colossal failures in terms of competence and ethics. Any rational, adult citizenry would reject the dominant EU elite “opinion.” Yardley admits at one point that the rejection is rational.