Category Archives: Government and Politics

Crash and War Anger

Crash and War Anger

All of us love validation – especially when it comes from an admired source.

That’s the way I feel after reading the NYT Review by Fareed Zakaria – possibly my most admired journalist

The review is of a book called Crash, by an eminent scholar writing about the consequences of the crash of 2008. The review is below.

It validates my deep belief that the seeds of Trump’s victory go back to the “crash” of 2008. It was a moment of major negative “reset” for far too many Americans. Their savings, or their employability, or their home values, or their prospects for credit changed so negatively that it created an emergent body politic. The new body politic was characterized by a primary sentiment: seething anger. More importantly, it was characterized by a call to action: “throw the bums out!”.

The deep irony here is that democracy handed the angry a “throw the bums out” choice that many didn’t want – Barack Obama.

But their anger at inside-the-beltway Republicans, and George W. Bush, was so strong that – inside the ballot box – they pulled the lever for Obama.

When Donald Trump had the courage to viciously criticize the Republican establishment, and especially Bush, he was speaking directly to this new body politic. If their sentiment was resentment, they found their gladiator in Trump.

My only beef with the book and the review is that they do not go back far enough.

I believe the seeds of Trump’s victory go back to 9/11. It was that fateful day that itself created a new body politic, whose primary sentiment was “We are under attack and we must fight back.”

George W. Bush was responding to that scary, new sentiment when he announced not just one, but two new wars. History will record that the Iraq War – which cost trillions – was a major mistake. History will be somewhat more kind about the war in Afghanistan, which led the nation into a massively expensive 15+ year engagement of limited success and many, many unintended consequences.

So my point is that 9/11 reigned holy hell on the nation – because of the new body politic of “we are under attack and we must fight back.” – by pushing a very weak leader George W. Bush – to start two wars that almost immediately looked incompetent and wrong.

The 2008 crash was the final straw. Two stupid wars and a major economic reset were enough to push most Americans over the edge to a seething anger and a “throw the bums out” call to action.

It took the decade after to weave a tapestry of cause and effect, supported by right wing media. Never mind that most of the tapestry was a fabrication. Never mind that he was a serial liar. It was soothing to have a gladiator (Trump) that spoke the truth about the subjects that really mattered: “those folks in Washington don’t know what they are doing and they need to go”; “you are being screwed by the economic resets” and “the war in Iraq was a major mistake”.“

There is very little question in my mind that Donald Trump will go down in history as our worst president. He will be remembered by his failures, his indecency and his lack of integrity. He will be remembered for his failures abroad, where he embarrasses us and plays the fool, and his failures at home, where he depletes the treasury and breaks the back of the Affordable Care Act. Everywhere he goes, he does what is bad, and undoes decades of progress In defining what is good,, e.g. environmental regulation. His indecency and his lack of integrity will leave lasting scars on the office, but hopefully schools and parents will now have an example of what not to be, how not to act.

How did the nation get to this horrible outcome? We will only have perspective on this decades from now, but the “second draft of history”, to me, traces it all back to 9/11 and it’s two awful wars. The cruel irony was that after eight Bush years of misguided foreign adventurism, the American economy collapsed. It was the straw that broke the camels back, causing all of us to say “we are mad as hell and we need to throw the bums out!”

So the math, looking back thirty years form now, might well be:

Afghan war + Iraq war + economic crash = Obama
(Obama was the backlash. We threw the bums out for him, and thank God he was as level headed and as competent and decent as he was)

Economic reset for most Americans + unresolved racist and nationalistic impulses + Comey + Russia = Trump
(Trump was the backlash to Obama, supported by all events above)
================
CRASH

CREDIT: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/books/review/adam-tooze-crashed.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbook-review&action=click&contentCollection=review&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront
NONFICTION
Looking Back at the Economic Crash of 2008

By Fareed Zakaria

Aug. 10, 2018

How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

By Adam Tooze
706 pp. Viking. $35.

Steve Bannon can date the start of the Trump “revolution.” When I interviewed him for CNN in May, in Rome, he explained that the origins of Trump’s victory could be found 10 years ago, in the financial crisis of 2008. “The implosion of those world capital markets has never really been sorted out,” he told me. “The fuse that was lit then that eventually brought the Trump revolution is the same thing that’s happened here in Italy.” (Italy had just held elections in which populist forces had won 50 percent of the vote.) Adam Tooze would likely agree. An economic historian at Columbia University, he has written a detailed account of the financial shocks and their aftereffects, which, his subtitle asserts, “changed the world.”

If journalism is the first rough draft of history, Tooze’s book is the second draft. A distinguished scholar with a deep grasp of financial markets, Tooze knows that it is a challenge to gain perspective on events when they have not yet played out. He points out that a 10-year-old history of the crash of 1929 would have been written in 1939, when most of its consequences were ongoing and unresolved. But still he has persisted and produced an intelligent explanation of the mechanisms that produced the crisis and the response to it. We continue to live with the consequences of both today.

As is often the case with financial crashes, markets and experts alike turned out to have been focused on the wrong things, blind to the true problem that was metastasizing. By 2007, many were warning about a dangerous fragility in the system. But they worried about America’s gargantuan government deficits and debt — which had exploded as a result of the Bush administration’s tax cuts and increased spending after 9/11. It was an understandable focus. The previous decade had been littered with collapses when a country borrowed too much and its creditors finally lost faith in it — from Mexico in 1994 to Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea in 1997 to Russia in 1998. In particular, many fretted about the identity of America’s chief foreign creditor — the government of China. Yet it was not a Chinese sell-off of American debt that triggered the crash, but rather, as Tooze writes, a problem “fully native to Western capitalism — a meltdown on Wall Street driven by toxic securitized subprime mortgages.”

Tooze calls it a problem in “Western capitalism” intentionally. It was not just an American problem. When it began, many saw it as such and dumped the blame on Washington. In September 2008, as Wall Street burned, the German finance minister Peer Steinbruck explained that the collapse was centered in the United States because of America’s “simplistic” and “dangerous” laissez-faire approach. Italy’s finance minister assured the world that its banking system was stable because “it did not speak English.”

In fact this was nonsense. One of the great strengths of Tooze’s book is to demonstrate the deeply intertwined nature of the European and American financial systems. In 2006, European banks generated a third of America’s riskiest privately issued mortgage-backed securities. By 2007, two-thirds of commercial paper issued was sponsored by a European financial entity. The enormous expansion of the global financial system had largely been a trans-Atlantic project, with European banks jumping in as eagerly and greedily to find new sources of profit as American banks. European regulators were as blind to the mounting problems as their American counterparts, which led to problems on a similar scale. “Between 2001 and 2006,” Tooze writes, “Greece, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, the U.K., France, Ireland and Spain all experienced real estate booms more severe than those that energized the United States.”

But while the crisis may have been caused in both America and Europe, it was solved largely by Washington. Partly, this reflected the post-Cold War financial system, in which the dollar had become the hyperdominant global currency and, as a result, the Federal Reserve had truly become the world’s central bank. But Tooze also convincingly shows that the European Central Bank mismanaged things from the start. The Fed acted aggressively and also in highly ingenious ways, becoming a guarantor of last resort to the battered balance sheets of American but also European banks. About half the liquidity support the Fed provided during the crisis went to European banks, Tooze observes.

Before the rescue and even in its early stages, the global economy was falling into a bottomless abyss. In the first months after the panic on Wall Street, world trade and industrial production fell at least as fast as they did during the first months of the Great Depression. Global capital flows declined by a staggering 90 percent. The Federal Reserve, with some assistance from other central banks, arrested this decline. The Obama fiscal stimulus also helped to break the fall. Tooze points out that almost all serious analyses of the stimulus conclude that it played a significant positive role. In fact, most experts believe it ended much too soon. He also points out that large parts of the so-called Obama stimulus were the result of automatic government spending, like unemployment insurance, that would have happened no matter who was president. And finally, he notes that China, with its own gigantic stimulus, created an oasis of growth in an otherwise stagnant global economy.

The rescue worked better than almost anyone imagined. It is worth recalling that none of the dangers confidently prophesied by legions of critics took place. There was no run on the dollar or American treasuries, no hyperinflation, no double-dip recession, no China crash. American banks stabilized and in fact prospered, households began saving again, growth returned slowly but surely. The governing elite did not anticipate the crisis — as few elites have over hundreds of years of capitalism. But once it happened, many of them — particularly in America — acted quickly and intelligently, and as a result another Great Depression was averted. The system worked, as Daniel Drezner notes in his own book of that title.

But therein lies the unique feature of the crash of 2008. Unlike that of 1929, it was not followed by a Great Depression. It was not so much the crisis as the rescue and its economic, political and social consequences that mattered most. On the left, the entire episode discredited the market-friendly policies of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and Gerhard Schroeder, disheartening the center-left and emboldening those who want more government intervention in the economy in all kinds of ways. On the right, it became a rallying cry against bailouts and the Fed, buoying an imaginary free-market alternative to government intervention. Unlike in the 1930s, when the libertarian strategy was tried and only deepened the Depression, in the last 10 years it has been possible for the right to argue against the bailouts, secure in the knowledge that their proposed policies will never actually be implemented.

Bannon is right. The crash brought together many forces that were around anyway — stagnant wages, widening inequality, anger about immigration and, above all, a deep distrust of elites and government — and supercharged them. The result has been a wave of nationalism, protectionism and populism in the West today. A confirmation of this can be found in the one major Western country that did not have a financial crisis and has little populism in its wake — Canada.

The facts remain: No government handled the crisis better than that of the United States, which acted in a surprisingly bipartisan fashion in late 2008 and almost seamlessly coordinated policy between the outgoing Bush and incoming Obama administrations. And yet, the backlash to the bailouts has produced the most consequential result in the United States.
Tooze notes in his concluding chapter that experts are considering the new vulnerabilities of a global economy with many new participants, especially the behemoth in Beijing. But instead of a challenge from an emerging China that began its rise outside the economic and political system, we are confronting a quite different problem — an erratic, unpredictable United States led by a president who seems inclined to redo or even scrap the basic architecture of the system that America has painstakingly built since 1945. How will the world handle this unexpected development? What will be its outcome? This is the current crisis that we will live through and that historians will soon analyze.

Fareed Zakaria is a CNN anchor, a Washington Post columnist and the author of “The Post American World.”

History of US Immigration

Borders
A History of Border Security, Illegal and legal immigration

Overview

Regulating the flow of immigrants into the United States has a long, and often tawdry past.

Once regulated, entry then becomes “legal” or “illegal”. And “legal” entry is now generally highly restricted, on a temporary or permanent basis to three different routes: employment, family reunification, or humanitarian protection. All other entry: “illegal”.

Once regulated, borders then become “secure” or “insecure”. Because of trade, borders needed to be highly efficient for goods, and highly “secure” for people. This distinction, between the flow of goods and the flow of people, was an almost unenforceable dilemma, where billions have been expended to do …. the best we can.

Who should regulate? The Supreme Court settled that issue in 1875, opining that this was the role of the Federal Government. Up until then, it was a state responsibility.

How should it regulate? Congress decided that racial quotas were the answer in 1917. Before that time, they actually banned Asian immigration in 1875. The essential idea was to restrict immigration by race to a % of the race’s population in the US (2% of that population was frequently used, noting that 2% of nothing is nothing). The notion of racial quotas was maintained until 1965!

Would there be any exceptions to racial quotas?

Yes, for refugees and asylum-seekers. Congress responded to American sympathies for those fleeing communism and those feeing persecution. Recognizing “refugees” added significant new complexity.

Yes, for spouses and children of American citizens.

Yes, for those born in the Western Hemisphere.

Once regulated, politicians could rail against immigrants, but they rarely provided the funds to enforce the border laws. We severely curtailed legal immigration, and illegal immigration was the easily anticipated result. In 1952, Congress specified that legal immigration be limited to 175,455 per year!

Also easily anticipated, “illegals” brought massive issues for schools, health care, housing, etc. As the number of “illegals” grew, so grew the pressure to do something, anything, to reduce the pressure. Congress has been forced to act, as they did in 1986 when they granted amnesty to approximately 3 million illegals!

So the history of immigration in the United States includes major shifts in policy in 1875 (Supreme Court rules), 1891 (Federal bureaucracy formed), 1924 (racial quotas put in place), 1986 (racial quotas replaced and amnesty granted).

“Illegals” are out of control. Estimates of illegals are 3 million illegals in 1986, 7 million in 2001, and 12 million in 2017. As a % of U.S. population, “foreign-born” dropped from 14.7% in 1910 to 4.7% in 1970, and has been rising ever since. In 2013, there were 13.1% of the population who were foreign born (CREDIT:PEW).

Discussion
Immigration became a full-fledged subject for the nation in 1875, when the Supreme Court ruled that it was a Federal responsibility. Shortly thereafter, Congress stepped up and began excluding people – literally making it “illegal” for them to enter the United States. They banned Asians in 1875 and Chinese in 1882 (the “Asian Exclusion Act” and the “Chinese Exclusion Act” set the stage for all restrictions on immigration that would follow.

In 1891, the Federal Government took a big step: they created a bureaucracy to execute the laws. The Immigration Act of 1891 established a Commissioner of Immigration in the Treasury Department. With the two exceptions noted above, states regulated immigration before 1890.

Before then, this “nation of immigrants” actually had an immigration hiatus from 1790 to 1815, when “foreign-born” reached a low. Immigration as we now know it began with some force in 1830, when “foreign-born reached 9.7% of the population. By 1850, census estimates place immigrants at 1.7 million people, and “foreign-born” at 2.2 million. Between 1870 and 1910, foreign born hovered between 13% and 15% of population. It then started to dip, moving to 4.7% in 1970. It has been climbing since, reaching 13.1% in 2013.

Since then, waves of immigration brought the country waves of immigrants:

Between 1850 and 1930, 25 million Europeans immigrated. Italians, Greeks, Hungarians, Poles, and others speaking Slavic languages made up the bulk of this migration. But among them were 5 million Germans, 3.5 million British, and 4.5 million Irish. 2.5 to 4 million Jews were among them.

The twentieth century began with debates about immigration, and we have been debating the subject ever since.

In 1907, Congress created The Dillingham Commission to investigate the effects of immigration on the country. They wrote forty volumes on the subject.

In 1917, Congress changed the nation’s basic policy about immigration. We began setting “quotas” and limiting access based on literacy. The first such law was a literacy requirement in 1917.

In 1921, Congress adopted the Emergency Quota Act, set quotas. The National Origins Formula assigned quotas based on national origins. This complex legislation gave preference to immigrants from Central, Northern and Western Europe, severely limiting the numbers from Russia and Southern Europe, and declared all potential immigrants from Asia unworthy of entry into the United States (to our shame, this law made it virtually impossible for Jews fleeing Germany after 1934 to immigrate to the United States).

In 1924 , Congress adopted The Immigration Act of 1924. It set quotas for European immigrants so that no more than 2% of the 1890 immigrant stocks were allowed into America.

Interestingly, no quotas were set for people born in the Western Hemisphere.

This era, and its legislative framework, lasted until 1965. During this period, Congress recognized the notion of a “refugee” seeking “amnesty”. Jewish Holocaust survivors after the war, those fleeing Communist rule in Central Europe and Russia, Hungarians seeking refuge after their failed uprising in 1956, and Cubans after the 1960 revolution, and others moved the conscience of the nation.

In 1965, Congress adopted the Hart-Celler Act. It was a by-product of the civil rights revolution and a jewel in the crown of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs. It abolished the racially based quota system.The law replaced these quotas with new preferential categories. It gave particular preference to immigrants with U.S. relatives and job skills deemed critical.

In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was adopted. It created, for the first time, penalties for employers who hired illegal immigrants. IRCA, also granted amnesty to workers in the country illegally. In practice, amnesty was granted for about 3,000,000 illegal immigrants. Most were from Mexico. Legal Mexican immigrant family numbers were 2,198,000 in 1980, 4,289,000 in 1990 (includes IRCA), and 7,841,000 in 2000.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_immigration_to_the_United_States

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/06/trump-history-of-american-immigration-215464

https://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/why-don’t-they-just-get-line

How U.S. immigration laws and rules have changed through history

http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/reports/39.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407978/

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

CREDIT:
New Yorker Article

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.

By Elizabeth Kolbert

The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight.Illustration by Gérard DuBois
In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed by a random individual, the other by a person who had subsequently taken his own life. The students were then asked to distinguish between the genuine notes and the fake ones.

Some students discovered that they had a genius for the task. Out of twenty-five pairs of notes, they correctly identified the real one twenty-four times. Others discovered that they were hopeless. They identified the real note in only ten instances.

As is often the case with psychological studies, the whole setup was a put-on. Though half the notes were indeed genuine—they’d been obtained from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office—the scores were fictitious. The students who’d been told they were almost always right were, on average, no more discerning than those who had been told they were mostly wrong.

In the second phase of the study, the deception was revealed. The students were told that the real point of the experiment was to gauge their responses to thinking they were right or wrong. (This, it turned out, was also a deception.) Finally, the students were asked to estimate how many suicide notes they had actually categorized correctly, and how many they thought an average student would get right. At this point, something curious happened. The students in the high-score group said that they thought they had, in fact, done quite well—significantly better than the average student—even though, as they’d just been told, they had zero grounds for believing this. Conversely, those who’d been assigned to the low-score group said that they thought they had done significantly worse than the average student—a conclusion that was equally unfounded.

“Once formed,” the researchers observed dryly, “impressions are remarkably perseverant.”

A few years later, a new set of Stanford students was recruited for a related study. The students were handed packets of information about a pair of firefighters, Frank K. and George H. Frank’s bio noted that, among other things, he had a baby daughter and he liked to scuba dive. George had a small son and played golf. The packets also included the men’s responses on what the researchers called the Risky-Conservative Choice Test. According to one version of the packet, Frank was a successful firefighter who, on the test, almost always went with the safest option. In the other version, Frank also chose the safest option, but he was a lousy firefighter who’d been put “on report” by his supervisors several times. Once again, midway through the study, the students were informed that they’d been misled, and that the information they’d received was entirely fictitious. The students were then asked to describe their own beliefs. What sort of attitude toward risk did they think a successful firefighter would have? The students who’d received the first packet thought that he would avoid it. The students in the second group thought he’d embrace it.

Even after the evidence “for their beliefs has been totally refuted, people fail to make appropriate revisions in those beliefs,” the researchers noted. In this case, the failure was “particularly impressive,” since two data points would never have been enough information to generalize from.

The Stanford studies became famous. Coming from a group of academics in the nineteen-seventies, the contention that people can’t think straight was shocking. It isn’t any longer. Thousands of subsequent experiments have confirmed (and elaborated on) this finding. As everyone who’s followed the research—or even occasionally picked up a copy of Psychology Today—knows, any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now. Still, an essential puzzle remains: How did we come to be this way?

In a new book, “The Enigma of Reason” (Harvard), the cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber take a stab at answering this question. Mercier, who works at a French research institute in Lyon, and Sperber, now based at the Central European University, in Budapest, point out that reason is an evolved trait, like bipedalism or three-color vision. It emerged on the savannas of Africa, and has to be understood in that context.

Stripped of a lot of what might be called cognitive-science-ese, Mercier and Sperber’s argument runs, more or less, as follows: Humans’ biggest advantage over other species is our ability to coöperate. Coöperation is difficult to establish and almost as difficult to sustain. For any individual, freeloading is always the best course of action. Reason developed not to enable us to solve abstract, logical problems or even to help us draw conclusions from unfamiliar data; rather, it developed to resolve the problems posed by living in collaborative groups.

“Reason is an adaptation to the hypersocial niche humans have evolved for themselves,” Mercier and Sperber write. Habits of mind that seem weird or goofy or just plain dumb from an “intellectualist” point of view prove shrewd when seen from a social “interactionist” perspective.

Consider what’s become known as “confirmation bias,” the tendency people have to embrace information that supports their beliefs and reject information that contradicts them. Of the many forms of faulty thinking that have been identified, confirmation bias is among the best catalogued; it’s the subject of entire textbooks’ worth of experiments. One of the most famous of these was conducted, again, at Stanford. For this experiment, researchers rounded up a group of students who had opposing opinions about capital punishment. Half the students were in favor of it and thought that it deterred crime; the other half were against it and thought that it had no effect on crime.

The students were asked to respond to two studies. One provided data in support of the deterrence argument, and the other provided data that called it into question. Both studies—you guessed it—were made up, and had been designed to present what were, objectively speaking, equally compelling statistics. The students who had originally supported capital punishment rated the pro-deterrence data highly credible and the anti-deterrence data unconvincing; the students who’d originally opposed capital punishment did the reverse. At the end of the experiment, the students were asked once again about their views. Those who’d started out pro-capital punishment were now even more in favor of it; those who’d opposed it were even more hostile.

If reason is designed to generate sound judgments, then it’s hard to conceive of a more serious design flaw than confirmation bias. Imagine, Mercier and Sperber suggest, a mouse that thinks the way we do. Such a mouse, “bent on confirming its belief that there are no cats around,” would soon be dinner. To the extent that confirmation bias leads people to dismiss evidence of new or underappreciated threats—the human equivalent of the cat around the corner—it’s a trait that should have been selected against. The fact that both we and it survive, Mercier and Sperber argue, proves that it must have some adaptive function, and that function, they maintain, is related to our “hypersociability.”

Mercier and Sperber prefer the term “myside bias.” Humans, they point out, aren’t randomly credulous. Presented with someone else’s argument, we’re quite adept at spotting the weaknesses. Almost invariably, the positions we’re blind about are our own.

A recent experiment performed by Mercier and some European colleagues neatly demonstrates this asymmetry. Participants were asked to answer a series of simple reasoning problems. They were then asked to explain their responses, and were given a chance to modify them if they identified mistakes. The majority were satisfied with their original choices; fewer than fifteen per cent changed their minds in step two.

In step three, participants were shown one of the same problems, along with their answer and the answer of another participant, who’d come to a different conclusion. Once again, they were given the chance to change their responses. But a trick had been played: the answers presented to them as someone else’s were actually their own, and vice versa. About half the participants realized what was going on. Among the other half, suddenly people became a lot more critical. Nearly sixty per cent now rejected the responses that they’d earlier been satisfied with.

“Thanks again for coming—I usually find these office parties rather awkward.”
This lopsidedness, according to Mercier and Sperber, reflects the task that reason evolved to perform, which is to prevent us from getting screwed by the other members of our group. Living in small bands of hunter-gatherers, our ancestors were primarily concerned with their social standing, and with making sure that they weren’t the ones risking their lives on the hunt while others loafed around in the cave. There was little advantage in reasoning clearly, while much was to be gained from winning arguments.

Among the many, many issues our forebears didn’t worry about were the deterrent effects of capital punishment and the ideal attributes of a firefighter. Nor did they have to contend with fabricated studies, or fake news, or Twitter. It’s no wonder, then, that today reason often seems to fail us. As Mercier and Sperber write, “This is one of many cases in which the environment changed too quickly for natural selection to catch up.”

Steven Sloman, a professor at Brown, and Philip Fernbach, a professor at the University of Colorado, are also cognitive scientists. They, too, believe sociability is the key to how the human mind functions or, perhaps more pertinently, malfunctions. They begin their book, “The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone” (Riverhead), with a look at toilets.

Virtually everyone in the United States, and indeed throughout the developed world, is familiar with toilets. A typical flush toilet has a ceramic bowl filled with water. When the handle is depressed, or the button pushed, the water—and everything that’s been deposited in it—gets sucked into a pipe and from there into the sewage system. But how does this actually happen?

In a study conducted at Yale, graduate students were asked to rate their understanding of everyday devices, including toilets, zippers, and cylinder locks. They were then asked to write detailed, step-by-step explanations of how the devices work, and to rate their understanding again. Apparently, the effort revealed to the students their own ignorance, because their self-assessments dropped. (Toilets, it turns out, are more complicated than they appear.)

Sloman and Fernbach see this effect, which they call the “illusion of explanatory depth,” just about everywhere. People believe that they know way more than they actually do. What allows us to persist in this belief is other people. In the case of my toilet, someone else designed it so that I can operate it easily. This is something humans are very good at. We’ve been relying on one another’s expertise ever since we figuredout how to hunt together, which was probably a key development in our evolutionary history. So well do we collaborate, Sloman and Fernbach argue, that we can hardly tell where our own understanding ends and others’ begins.

“One implication of the naturalness with which we divide cognitive labor,” they write, is that there’s “no sharp boundary between one person’s ideas and knowledge” and “those of other members” of the group.

This borderlessness, or, if you prefer, confusion, is also crucial to what we consider progress. As people invented new tools for new ways of living, they simultaneously created new realms of ignorance; if everyone had insisted on, say, mastering the principles of metalworking before picking up a knife, the Bronze Age wouldn’t have amounted to much. When it comes to new technologies, incomplete understanding is empowering.

Where it gets us into trouble, according to Sloman and Fernbach, is in the political domain. It’s one thing for me to flush a toilet without knowing how it operates, and another for me to favor (or oppose) an immigration ban without knowing what I’m talking about. Sloman and Fernbach cite a survey conducted in 2014, not long after Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Respondents were asked how they thought the U.S. should react, and also whether they could identify Ukraine on a map. The farther off base they were about the geography, the more likely they were to favor military intervention. (Respondents were so unsure of Ukraine’s location that the median guess was wrong by eighteen hundred miles, roughly the distance from Kiev to Madrid.)

Surveys on many other issues have yielded similarly dismaying results. “As a rule, strong feelings about issues do not emerge from deep understanding,” Sloman and Fernbach write. And here our dependence on other minds reinforces the problem. If your position on, say, the Affordable Care Act is baseless and I rely on it, then my opinion is also baseless. When I talk to Tom and he decides he agrees with me, his opinion is also baseless, but now that the three of us concur we feel that much more smug about our views. If we all now dismiss as unconvincing any information that contradicts our opinion, you get, well, the Trump Administration.

“This is how a community of knowledge can become dangerous,” Sloman and Fernbach observe. The two have performed their own version of the toilet experiment, substituting public policy for household gadgets. In a study conducted in 2012, they asked people for their stance on questions like: Should there be a single-payer health-care system? Or merit-based pay for teachers? Participants were asked to rate their positions depending on how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the proposals. Next, they were instructed to explain, in as much detail as they could, the impacts of implementing each one. Most people at this point ran into trouble. Asked once again to rate their views, they ratcheted down the intensity, so that they either agreed or disagreed less vehemently.

Sloman and Fernbach see in this result a little candle for a dark world. If we—or our friends or the pundits on CNN—spent less time pontificating and more trying to work through the implications of policy proposals, we’d realize how clueless we are and moderate our views. This, they write, “may be the only form of thinking that will shatter the illusion of explanatory depth and change people’s attitudes.”

One way to look at science is as a system that corrects for people’s natural inclinations. In a well-run laboratory, there’s no room for myside bias; the results have to be reproducible in other laboratories, by researchers who have no motive to confirm them. And this, it could be argued, is why the system has proved so successful. At any given moment, a field may be dominated by squabbles, but, in the end, the methodology prevails. Science moves forward, even as we remain stuck in place.

In “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves. Their concern is with those persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false but also potentially deadly, like the conviction that vaccines are hazardous. Of course, what’s hazardous is not being vaccinated; that’s why vaccines were created in the first place. “Immunization is one of the triumphs of modern medicine,” the Gormans note. But no matter how many scientific studies conclude that vaccines are safe, and that there’s no link between immunizations and autism, anti-vaxxers remain unmoved. (They can now count on their side—sort of—Donald Trump, who has said that, although he and his wife had their son, Barron, vaccinated, they refused to do so on the timetable recommended by pediatricians.)

The Gormans, too, argue that ways of thinking that now seem self-destructive must at some point have been adaptive. And they, too, dedicate many pages to confirmation bias, which, they claim, has a physiological component. They cite research suggesting that people experience genuine pleasure—a rush of dopamine—when processing information that supports their beliefs. “It feels good to ‘stick to our guns’ even if we are wrong,” they observe.

The Gormans don’t just want to catalogue the ways we go wrong; they want to correct for them. There must be some way, they maintain, to convince people that vaccines are good for kids, and handguns are dangerous. (Another widespread but statistically insupportable belief they’d like to discredit is that owning a gun makes you safer.) But here they encounter the very problems they have enumerated. Providing people with accurate information doesn’t seem to help; they simply discount it. Appealing to their emotions may work better, but doing so is obviously antithetical to the goal of promoting sound science. “The challenge that remains,” they write toward the end of their book, “is to figure out how to address the tendencies that lead to false scientific belief.”

“The Enigma of Reason,” “The Knowledge Illusion,” and “Denying to the Grave” were all written before the November election. And yet they anticipate Kellyanne Conway and the rise of “alternative facts.” These days, it can feel as if the entire country has been given over to a vast psychological experiment being run either by no one or by Steve Bannon. Rational agents would be able to think their way to a solution. But, on this matter, the literature is not reassuring. ♦

This article appears in the print edition of the February 27, 2017, issue, with the headline “That’s What You Think.”

Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.”Read more »

John C. Reid

Regulatory State and Redistributive State

Will Wilkinson is a great writer, and spells out here two critical aspects of government:

The regulatory state is the aspect of government that protects the public against abuses of private players, protects property rights, and creates well-defined “corridors” that streamline the flows of capitalism and make it work best. It always gets a bad rap, and shouldn’t. The rap is due to the difficulty of enforcing regulations on so many aspects of life.

The redistributive state is the aspect of government that deigns to shift income and wealth from certain players in society to other players. The presumption is always one of fairness, whereby society deems it in the interests of all that certain actors, e.g. veterans or seniors, get preferential distributions of some kind.

He goes on to make a great point. These two states are more independent of one another than might at first be apparent. So it is possible to dislike one and like another.

Personally, I like both. I think both are critical to a well-oiled society with capitalism and property rights as central tenants. My beef will always go to issues of efficiency and effectiveness?

On redistribution, efficiency experts can answer this question: can we dispense with the monthly paperwork and simply direct deposit funds? Medicare now works this way, and the efficiency gains are remarkable.

And on regulation, efficiency experts can answer this question: can private actors certify their compliance with regulation, and then the public actors simple audit from time to time? Many government programs work this way, to the benefit of all.

ON redistribution, effectiveness experts can answer this question: Is the homeless population minimal? Are veterans getting what they need? Are seniors satisfied with how government treats them?

On regulation, effectiveness experts can answer this question: Is the air clean? Is the water clean? Is the mortgage market making food loans that help people buy houses? Are complaints about fraudulent consumer practices low?

CREDIT: VOX Article on Economic Freedom by Will Wilkinson

By Will Wilkinson
Sep 1, 2016

American exceptionalism has been propelled by exceptionally free markets, so it’s tempting to think the United States has a freer economy than Western European countries — particularly those soft-socialist Scandinavian social democracies with punishing tax burdens and lavish, even coddling, welfare states. As late as 2000, the American economy was indeed the freest in the West. But something strange has happened since: Economic freedom in the United States has dropped at an alarming rate.

Meanwhile, a number of big-government welfare states have become at least as robustly capitalist as the United States, and maybe more so. Why? Because big welfare states needed to become better capitalists to afford their socialism. This counterintuitive, even paradoxical dynamic suggests a tantalizing hypothesis: America’s shabby, unpopular safety net is at least partly responsible for capitalism’s flagging fortunes in the Land of the Free. Could it be that Americans aren’t socialist enough to want capitalism to work? It makes more sense than you might think.

America’s falling economic freedom

From 1970 to 2000, the American economy was the freest in the West, lagging behind only Asia’s laissez-faire city-states, Hong Kong and Singapore. The average economic freedom rating of the wealthy developed member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has slipped a bit since the turn of the millennium, but not as fast as America’s.
“Nowhere has the reversal of the rising trend in the economic freedom been more evident than in the United States,” write the authors of Fraser Institute’s 2015

Economic Freedom of the World report, noting that “the decline in economic freedom in the United States has been more than three times greater than the average decline found in the OECD.”

The economic freedom of selected countries, 1999 to 2016. Heritage Foundation 2016 Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage Foundation and the Canadian Fraser Institute each produce an annual index of economic freedom, scoring the world’s countries on four or five main areas, each of which breaks down into a number of subcomponents. The main rubrics include the size of government and tax burdens; protection of property rights and the soundness of the legal system; monetary stability; openness to global trade; and levels of regulation of business, labor, and capital markets. Scores on these areas and subareas are combined to generate an overall economic freedom score.

The rankings reflect right-leaning ideas about what it means for people and economies to be free. Strong labor unions and inequality-reducing redistribution are more likely to hurt than help a country’s score.

So why should you care about some right-wing think tank’s ideologically loaded measure of economic freedom? Because it matters. More economic freedom, so measured, predicts higher rates of economic growth, and higher levels of wealth predict happier, healthier, longer lives. Higher levels of economic freedom are also linked with greater political liberty and civil rights, as well as higher scores on the left-leaning Social Progress Index, which is based on indicators of social justice and human well-being, from nutrition and medical care to tolerance and inclusion.

The authors of the Fraser report estimate that the drop in American economic freedom “could cut the US historic growth rate of 3 percent by half.” The difference between a 1.5 percent and 3 percent growth rate is roughly the difference between the output of the economy tripling rather than octupling in a lifetime. That’s a huge deal.
Over the same period, the economic freedom scores of Canada and Denmark have improved a lot. According to conservative and libertarian definitions of economic freedom, Canadians, who enjoy a socialized health care system, now have more economic freedom than Americans, and Danes, who have one of the world’s most generous welfare states, have just as much.
What the hell’s going on?

The redistributive state and the regulatory state are separable

To make headway on this question, it is crucial to clearly distinguish two conceptually and empirically separable aspects of “big government” — the regulatory state and the redistributive state.

The redistributive state moves money around through taxes and transfer programs. The regulatory state places all sorts of restrictions and requirements on economic life — some necessary, some not. Most Democrats and Republicans assume that lots of regulation and lots of redistribution go hand in hand, so it’s easy to miss that you can have one without the other, and that the relationship between the two is uneasy at best. But you can’t really understand the politics behind America’s declining economic freedom if you fail to distinguish between the regulatory and fiscal aspects of the economic policy.

Standard “supply-side” Republican economic policy thinking says that cuts in tax rates and government spending will unleash latent productive potential in the economy, boosting rates of growth. And indeed, when taxes and government spending are very high, cuts produce gains by returning resources to the private sector. But it’s important to see that questions about government control versus private sector control of economic resources are categorically different from questions about the freedom of markets.

Free markets require the presence of good regulation, which define and protect property rights and facilitate market processes through the consistent application of clear law, and an absence of bad regulation, which interferes with productive economic activity. A government can tax and spend very little — yet still stomp all over markets. Conversely, a government can withdraw lots of money from the economy through taxes, but still totally nail the optimal balance of good and bad regulation.

Whether a country’s market economy is free — open, competitive, and relatively unmolested by government — is more a question of regulation than a question of taxation and redistribution. It’s not primarily about how “big” its government is. Republicans generally do support a less meddlesome regulatory approach, but when they’re in power they tend to be much more persistent about cutting taxes and social welfare spending than they are about reducing economically harmful regulatory frictions.

If you’re as worried about America’s declining economic freedom as I am, this is a serious problem. In recent years, the effect of cutting taxes and spending has been to distribute income upward and leave the least well-off more vulnerable to bad luck, globalization, “disruptive innovation,” and the vagaries of business cycles.
If spending cuts came out of the military’s titanic budget, that would help. But that’s rarely what happens. The least connected constituencies, not the most expensive ones, are the first to get dinged by budget hawks. And further tax cuts are unlikely to boost growth. Lower taxes make government seem cheaper than it really is, which leads voters to ask for more, not less, government spending, driving up the deficit. Increasing the portion of GDP devoted to paying interest on government debt isn’t a growth-enhancing way to return resources to the private sector.

Meanwhile, wages have been flat or declining for millions of Americans for decades. People increasingly believe the economy is “rigged” in favor of the rich. As a sense of economic insecurity mounts, people anxiously cast about for answers.

Easing the grip of the regulatory state is a good answer. But in the United States, its close association with “free market” supply-side efforts to produce growth by slashing the redistributive state has made it an unattractive answer, even with Republican voters. That’s at least part of the reason the GOP wound up nominating a candidate who, in addition to promising not to cut entitlement spending, openly favors protectionist trade policy, giant infrastructure projects, and huge subsidies to domestic manufacturing and energy production. Donald Trump’s economic policy is the worst of all possible worlds.

This is doubly ironic, and doubly depressing, once you recognize that the sort of big redistributive state supply-siders fight is not necessarily the enemy of economic freedom. On the contrary, high levels of social welfare spending can actually drive political demand for growth-promoting reform of the regulatory state. That’s the lesson of Canada and Denmark’s march up those free economy rankings.

The welfare state isn’t a free lunch, but it is a cheap date

Economic theory tells you that big government ought to hurt economic growth. High levels of taxation reduce the incentive to work, and redistribution is a “leaky bucket”: Moving money around always ends up wasting some of it. Moreover, a dollar spent in the private sector generally has a more beneficial effect on the economy than a dollar spent by the government. Add it all up, and big governments that tax heavily and spend freely on social transfers ought to hurt economic growth.

That matters from a moral perspective — a lot. Other things equal, people are better off on just about every measure of well-being when they’re wealthier. Relative economic equality is nice, but it’s not so nice when relatively equal shares mean smaller shares for everyone. Just as small differences in the rate at which you put money into a savings account can lead to vast differences in your account balance 40 years down the road, thanks to the compounding nature of interest, a small reduction in the rate of economic growth can leave a society’s least well-off people much poorer in absolute terms than they might have been.

Here’s the puzzle. As a general rule, when nations grow wealthier, the public demands more and better government services, increasing government spending as a percentage of GDP. (This is known as “Wagner’s law.”) According to standard growth theory, ongoing increase in the size of government ought to exert downward pressure on rates of growth. But we don’t see the expected effect in the data. Long-term national growth trends are amazingly stable.

And when we look at the family of advanced, liberal democratic countries, countries that spend a smaller portion of national income on social transfer programs gain very little in terms of growth relative to countries that spend much more lavishly on social programs. Peter Lindert, an economist at the University of California Davis, calls this the “free lunch paradox.”

Lindert’s label for the puzzle is somewhat misleading, because big expensive welfare states are, obviously, expensive. And they do come at the expense of some growth. Standard economic theory isn’t completely wrong. It’s just that democracies that have embraced generous social spending have found ways to afford it by minimizing and offsetting its anti-growth effects.

If you’re careful with the numbers, you do in fact find a small negative effect of social welfare spending on growth. Still, according to economic theory, lunch ought to be really expensive. And it’s not.

There are three main reasons big welfare states don’t hurt growth as much as you might think. First, as Lindert has emphasized, they tend to have efficient consumption-based tax systems that minimize market distortions.
When you tax something, people tend to avoid it. If you tax income, as the United States does, people work a little less, which means that certain economic gains never materialize, leaving everyone a little poorer. Taxing consumption, as many of our European peers do, is less likely to discourage productive moneymaking, though it does discourage spending. But that’s not so bad. Less consumption means more savings, and savings puts the capital in capitalism, financing the economic activity that creates growth.

There are other advantages, too. Consumption taxes are usually structured as national sales taxes (or VATs, value-added taxes), which are paid in small amounts on a continuous basis, are extremely cheap to collect (and hard to avoid), while being less in-your-face than income taxes, which further mitigates the counterproductively demoralizing aspect of taxation.

Big welfare states are also more likely to tax addictive stuff, which people tend to buy whatever the price, as well as unhealthy and polluting stuff. That harnesses otherwise fiscally self-defeating tax-avoiding behavior to minimize the costs of health care and environmental damage.
Second, some transfer programs have relatively direct pro-growth effects. Workers are most productive in jobs well-matched to their training and experience, for example, and unemployment benefits offer displaced workers time to find a good, productivity-promoting fit. There’s also some evidence that health care benefits that aren’t linked to employment can promote economic risk-taking and entrepreneurship.

Fans of open-handed redistributive programs tend to oversell this kind of upside for growth, but there really is some. Moreover, it makes sense that the countries most devoted to these programs would fine-tune them over time to amplify their positive-sum aspects.

This is why you can’t assume all government spending affects growth in the same way. The composition of spending — as well as cuts to spending — matters. Cuts to efficiency-enhancing spending can hurt growth as much as they help. And they can really hurt if they increase economic anxiety and generate demand for Trump-like economic policy.

Third, there are lots of regulatory state policies that hurt growth by, say, impeding healthy competition or closing off foreign trade, and if you like high levels of redistribution better than you like those policies, you’ll eventually consider getting rid of some of them. If you do get rid of them, your economic freedom score from the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute goes up.
This sort of compensatory economic liberalization is how big welfare states can indirectly promote growth, and more or less explains why countries like Canada, Denmark, and Sweden have become more robustly capitalist over the past several decades. They needed to be better capitalists to afford their socialism. And it works pretty well.

If you bundle together fiscal efficiency, some offsetting pro-growth effects, and compensatory liberalization, you can wind up with a very big government, with very high levels of social welfare spending and very little negative consequences for growth. Call it “big-government laissez-faire.”

The missing political will for genuine pro-growth reform

Enthusiasts for small government have a ready reply. Fine, they’ll say. Big government can work through policies that offset its drag on growth. But why not a less intrusive regulatory state and a smaller redistributive state: small-government laissez-faire. After all, this is the formula in Hong Kong and Singapore, which rank No. 1 and No. 2 in economic freedom. Clearly that’s our best bet for prosperity-promoting economic freedom.

But this argument ignores two things. First, Hong Kong and Singapore are authoritarian technocracies, not liberal democracies, which suggests (though doesn’t prove) that their special recipe requires nondemocratic government to work. When you bring democracy into the picture, the most important political lesson of the Canadian and Danish rise in economic freedom becomes clear: When democratically popular welfare programs become politically nonnegotiable fixed points, they can come to exert intense pressure on fiscal and economic policy to make them sustainable.

Political demand for economic liberalization has to come from somewhere. But there’s generally very little organic, popular democratic appetite for capitalist creative destruction. Constant “disruption” is scary, the way markets generate wealth and well-being is hard to comprehend, and many of us find competitive profit-seeking intuitively objectionable.

It’s not that Danes and Swedes and Canadians ever loved their “neoliberal” market reforms. They fought bitterly about them and have rolled some of them back. But when their big-government welfare states were creaking under their own weight, enough of the public was willing, thanks to the sense of economic security provided by the welfare state, to listen to experts who warned that the redistributive state would become unsustainable without the downsizing of the regulatory state.

A sound and generous system of social insurance offers a certain peace of mind that makes the very real risks of increased economic dynamism seem tolerable to the democratic public, opening up the political possibility of stabilizing a big-government welfare state with growth-promoting economic liberalization.

This sense of baseline economic security is precisely what many millions of Americans lack.

Learning the lesson of Donald Trump
America’s declining economic freedom is a profoundly serious problem. It’s already putting the brakes on dynamism and growth, leaving millions of Americans with a bitter sense of panic about their prospects. They demand answers. But ordinary voters aren’t policy wonks. When gripped by economic anxiety, they turn to demagogues who promise measures that make intuitive economic sense, but which actually make economic problems worse.

We may dodge a Trump presidency this time, but if we fail to fix the feedback loop between declining economic freedom and an increasingly acute sense of economic anxiety, we risk plunging the world’s biggest economy and the linchpin of global stability into a political and economic death spiral. It’s a ridiculous understatement to say that it’s important that this doesn’t happen.

Market-loving Republicans and libertarians need to stare hard at a framed picture of Donald Trump and reflect on the idea that a stale economic agenda focused on cutting taxes and slashing government spending is unlikely to deliver further gains. It is instead likely to continue to backfire by exacerbating economic anxiety and the public’s sense that the system is rigged.

If you gaze at the Donald long enough, his fascist lips will whisper “thank you,” and explain that the close but confusing identification of supply-side fiscal orthodoxy with “free market” economic policy helps authoritarian populists like him — but it hurts the political prospects of regulatory state reforms that would actually make American markets freer.

Will Wilkinson is the vice president for policy at the Niskanen Center.

Property Rights and Modern Conservatism



In this excellent essay by one of my favorite conservative writers, Will Wilkinson takes Congress to task for their ridiculous botched-joob-with-a-botchhed-process of passing Tax Cut legislation in 2017.

But I am blogging because of his other points.

In the article, he spells out some tenants of modern conservatism that bear repeating, namely:

– property rights (and the Murray Rothbard extreme positions of absolute property rights)
– economic freedom (“…if we tax you at 100 percent, then you’ve got 0 percent liberty…If we tax you at 50 percent, you are half-slave, half-free”)
– libertarianism (“The key is the libertarian idea, woven into the right’s ideological DNA, that redistribution is the exploitation of the “makers” by the “takers.”)
– legally enforceable rights
– moral traditionalism

Modern conservatism is a “fusion” of these ideas. They have an intellectual footing that is impressive.

But Will points out where they are flawed. The flaws are most apparent in the idea that the hoards want to use democratic institutions to plunder the wealth of the elites. This is a notion from the days when communism was public enemy #1. He points out that the opposite is actually the truth.

“Far from endangering property rights by facilitating redistribution, inclusive democratic institutions limit the “organized banditry” of the elite-dominated state by bringing everyone inside the charmed circle of legally enforced rights.”

Ironically, the new Tax Cut legislation is an example of reverse plunder: where the wealthy get the big, permanent gains and the rest get appeased with small cuts that expire.

So, we are very far from the fears of communism. We instead are amidst a taking by the haves, from the have nots.

====================
Credit: New York Times 12/120/17 Op Ed by Will Wilkinson

Opinion | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
The Tax Bill Shows the G.O.P.’s Contempt for Democracy
By WILL WILKINSON
DEC. 20, 2017
The Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is notably generous to corporations, high earners, inheritors of large estates and the owners of private jets. Taken as a whole, the bill will add about $1.4 trillion to the deficit in the next decade and trigger automatic cuts to Medicare and other safety net programs unless Congress steps in to stop them.

To most observers on the left, the Republican tax bill looks like sheer mercenary cupidity. “This is a brazen expression of money power,” Jesse Jackson wrote in The Chicago Tribune, “an example of American plutocracy — a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy.”

Mr. Jackson is right to worry about the wealthy lording it over the rest of us, but the open contempt for democracy displayed in the Senate’s slapdash rush to pass the tax bill ought to trouble us as much as, if not more than, what’s in it.

In its great haste, the “world’s greatest deliberative body” held no hearings or debate on tax reform. The Senate’s Republicans made sloppy math mistakes, crossed out and rewrote whole sections of the bill by hand at the 11th hour and forced a vote on it before anyone could conceivably read it.

The link between the heedlessly negligent style and anti-redistributive substance of recent Republican lawmaking is easy to overlook. The key is the libertarian idea, woven into the right’s ideological DNA, that redistribution is the exploitation of the “makers” by the “takers.” It immediately follows that democracy, which enables and legitimizes this exploitation, is itself an engine of injustice. As the novelist Ayn Rand put it, under democracy “one’s work, one’s property, one’s mind, and one’s life are at the mercy of any gang that may muster the vote of a majority.”

On the campaign trail in 2015, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, conceded that government is a “necessary evil” requiring some tax revenue. “But if we tax you at 100 percent, then you’ve got 0 percent liberty,” Mr. Paul continued. “If we tax you at 50 percent, you are half-slave, half-free.” The speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, shares Mr. Paul’s sense of the injustice of redistribution. He’s also a big fan of Ayn Rand. “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it,” Mr. Ryan has said. If the big-spending, democratic welfare state is really a system of part-time slavery, as Ayn Rand and Senator Paul contend, then beating it back is a moral imperative of the first order.

But the clock is ticking. Looking ahead to a potentially paralyzing presidential scandal, midterm blood bath or both, congressional Republicans are in a mad dash to emancipate us from the welfare state. As they see it, the redistributive upshot of democracy is responsible for the big-government mess they’re trying to bail us out of, so they’re not about to be tender with the niceties of democratic deliberation and regular parliamentary order.

The idea that there is an inherent conflict between democracy and the integrity of property rights is as old as democracy itself. Because the poor vastly outnumber the propertied rich — so the argument goes — if allowed to vote, the poor might gang up at the ballot box to wipe out the wealthy.

In the 20th century, and in particular after World War II, with voting rights and Soviet Communism on the march, the risk that wealthy democracies might redistribute their way to serfdom had never seemed more real. Radical libertarian thinkers like Rand and Murray Rothbard (who would be a muse to both Charles Koch and Ron Paul) responded with a theory of absolute property rights that morally criminalized taxation and narrowed the scope of legitimate government action and democratic discretion nearly to nothing. “What is the State anyway but organized banditry?” Rothbard asked. “What is taxation but theft on a gigantic, unchecked scale?”

Mainstream conservatives, like William F. Buckley, banished radical libertarians to the fringes of the conservative movement to mingle with the other unclubbables. Still, the so-called fusionist synthesis of libertarianism and moral traditionalism became the ideological core of modern conservatism. For hawkish Cold Warriors, libertarianism’s glorification of capitalism and vilification of redistribution was useful for immunizing American political culture against viral socialism. Moral traditionalists, struggling to hold ground against rising mass movements for racial and gender equality, found much to like in libertarianism’s principled skepticism of democracy. “If you analyze it,” Ronald Reagan said, “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

The hostility to redistributive democracy at the ideological center of the American right has made standard policies of successful modern welfare states, happily embraced by Europe’s conservative parties, seem beyond the moral pale for many Republicans. The outsize stakes seem to justify dubious tactics — bunking down with racists, aggressive gerrymandering, inventing paper-thin pretexts for voting rules that disproportionately hurt Democrats — to prevent majorities from voting themselves a bigger slice of the pie.

But the idea that there is an inherent tension between democracy and the integrity of property rights is wildly misguided. The liberal-democratic state is a relatively recent historical innovation, and our best accounts of the transition from autocracy to democracy points to the role of democratic political inclusion in protecting property rights.

As Daron Acemoglu of M.I.T. and James Robinson of Harvard show in “Why Nations Fail,” ruling elites in pre-democratic states arranged political and economic institutions to extract labor and property from the lower orders. That is to say, the system was set up to make it easy for elites to seize what ought to have been other people’s stuff.

In “Inequality and Democratization,” the political scientists Ben W. Ansell and David J. Samuels show that this demand for political inclusion generally isn’t driven by a desire to use the existing institutions to plunder the elites. It’s driven by a desire to keep the elites from continuing to plunder them.

It’s easy to say that everyone ought to have certain rights. Democracy is how we come to get and protect them. Far from endangering property rights by facilitating redistribution, inclusive democratic institutions limit the “organized banditry” of the elite-dominated state by bringing everyone inside the charmed circle of legally enforced rights.

Democracy is fundamentally about protecting the middle and lower classes from redistribution by establishing the equality of basic rights that makes it possible for everyone to be a capitalist. Democracy doesn’t strangle the golden goose of free enterprise through redistributive taxation; it fattens the goose by releasing the talent, ingenuity and effort of otherwise abused and exploited people.

At a time when America’s faith in democracy is flagging, the Republicans elected to treat the United States Senate, and the citizens it represents, with all the respect college guys accord public restrooms. It’s easier to reverse a bad piece of legislation than the bad reputation of our representative institutions, which is why the way the tax bill was passed is probably worse than what’s in it. Ultimately, it’s the integrity of democratic institutions and the rule of law that gives ordinary people the power to protect themselves against elite exploitation. But the Republican majority is bulldozing through basic democratic norms as though freedom has everything to do with the tax code and democracy just gets in the way.

Will Wilkinson is the vice president for policy at the Niskanen Center.

Alzheimer’s Genetic Risk Assessment

CREDIT: NPR article

CREDIT: Bill Gates 11.13.17 Blog Post on Alzheimer’s

FDA Approves Marketing Of Consumer Genetic Tests For Some Conditions

April 7, 20171:40 PM ET
JESSICA BODDY

23andMe is now allowed to market tests that assess genetic risks for 10 health conditions, including Parkinson’s and late-onset Alzheimer’s diseases.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved 23andMe’s personal genetic test for some diseases on Thursday, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and celiac diseases.
The tests assess genetic risk for the conditions but don’t diagnose them, the FDA says. The agency urges consumers to use their results to “help to make decisions about lifestyle choices or to inform discussions with a health care professional,” according to a press release about the decision.
Jeffrey Shuren, the director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, wrote, “it is important that people understand that genetic risk is just one piece of the bigger puzzle, it does not mean they will or won’t ultimately develop a disease.” Other known factors that can play into the development of disease include diet, environment and tobacco use.

SHOTS – HEALTH NEWS
23andMe Bows To FDA’s Demands, Drops Health Claims
The FDA has previously scolded the company for marketing the personal genetic testing kits without the agency’s consent. In 2013, the agency told 23andMe to stop selling its personal genome kits in the United States until they gained FDA approval by proving they were accurate.
The company agreed to work with the FDA, as we reported, and a recent FDA review of peer-reviewed studies found more consistent links between certain gene variants and 10 diseases, the FDA says.
As a result, the FDA is now allowing 23andMe to market tests that assess genetic risks for the following 10 diseases or conditions:
▪ Parkinson’s disease, a nervous system disorder impacting movement 

▪ Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills 

▪ Celiac disease, a disorder resulting in the inability to digest gluten 

▪ Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a disorder that raises the risk of lung and liver disease 

▪ Early-onset primary dystonia, a movement disorder involving involuntary muscle contractions and other uncontrolled movements 

▪ Factor XI deficiency, a blood clotting disorder 

▪ Gaucher disease type 1, an organ and tissue disorder 

▪ Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, also known as G6PD, a red blood cell condition 

▪ Hereditary hemochromatosis, an iron overload disorder 

▪ Hereditary thrombophilia, a blood clot disorder 


The company’s $199 Health and Ancestry test is available directly to consumers, without seeing a physician or genetic counselor. Consumers’ DNA is extracted from a saliva sample. After mailing in their sample, people can see their results online.
“This is an important moment for people who want to know their genetic health risks and be more proactive about their health,” said Anne Wojcicki, the CEO and co-founder of 23andMe, in a company press release.
Sharon Terry, the CEO of the Genetic Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for health care for people with genetic disorders, likens it to another consumer test. “Women learn they are pregnant using a test directly marketed to them and buy it off the shelf in a drugstore,” she told NPR. “In 10 years we will marvel that this is an ‘advance’ at all. Imagine pregnancy tests being only available through a doctor!”
Robert Green, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says people should be able to access genetic information in whatever way is best for them. “Some people really want this [genetic] information on their own, and others want it through their physician,” he said. “Both those channels are legitimate. People should just be aware that this information is complicated.”
But some are still concerned about whether the genes in question actually correspond to a higher risk of disease reliably enough to warrant direct-to-consumer marketing and testing, as opposed to genetic testing with the guidance of a professional.

SHOTS – HEALTH NEWS
Don’t Get Your Kids’ Genes Sequenced Just To Keep Up

SHOTS – HEALTH NEWS
Personalizing Cancer Treatment With Genetic Tests Can Be Tricky
Some health professionals worry that consumers will “take the results and run,” as Mary Freivogel put it. Freivogel, a certified genetic counselor and the president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, added that genetics are just “one piece to the story when it comes to developing a disease.”
Freivogel said speaking with a genetic counselor before getting tested for disease is important. “Direct-to-consumer testing takes away a pre-test conversation,” she said, where counselors can help patients think about questions like: “What do you want to know? What are you going to do with this information? Is it something you’re prepared to know, or is it going to just make you anxious?”
And it isn’t clear what consumers should do with their newly calculated disease risk, especially for conditions like Alzheimer’s for which there isn’t a cure or even a course of action to prevent the disease.
What’s more, having the genes is not the same as having the diseases the genes are associated with. A person may have genes that are associated with Alzheimer’s, for example, but that doesn’t mean he or she will ever get the disease. Conversely, some people develop Alzheimer’s without the identified risk genes.
The Alzheimer’s Association does not recommend routine genetic testing for the disease in the general population because it can’t “productively guide medical treatment.”
A genetic test result for Alzheimer’s is “not going to provide useful information even if you’re at an increased risk,” said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs at the Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s not like there’s a drug you can take right now [to prevent the disease] or a lifestyle change you can make that you shouldn’t make anyway,” such as exercising and eating right to keep your brain healthy.
John Lehr, the CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation, says personal genetic tests can help identify risk for Parkinson’s disease. But, he wrote in a statement following the FDA’s announcement, the foundation recommends “that people who are interested in testing first seek guidance from their doctors and from genetic counselors to understand what the process may mean for them and their families.”

Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

Karen first met Dianne through the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future (WNSF).

As I got to know Dianne more, I realized that there were many stories: facets of her experience and interests that make her life very complex, but also very interesting.

I came to realize that she believes that her myriad interests are really one interest: justice.

If I were to try to summarize her interests, I might do it this way:

Sustainability (including Energy, Environment, Environmental Health)
Civil Rights
Women’s Rights

Her story includes many close relatives that were are part of the Thurgood Marshall precedent cases that led up to Brown v Board of Education. That ruling, in 1954, overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896), which held that segregation was legal, so long as facilities were “separate but equal”. The court ruled that segregation violated the Fourteenth Amendment (“no State shall … deny to any person … the equal protection of the laws”).

Her organizational affiliations:

Interface
Howard University (alumnus)
Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future (WNSF)
Green Mountain Energy
Auburn University
River Network
Center for International Environmental Law
National Wildlife Federation
University of Indiana (School for Public Environmental Administration)
Zero Population Growth

Her full biography is below:
Ms. Dianne Dillon-Ridgley serves as an Adjunct Lecturer of University of Indiana School for Public Environmental Administration. Since 1997, Ms. Dillon-Ridgley has represented the World Young Women’s Christian Association at U.N. headquarters. From 1995 to 1998, Ms. Dillon-Ridgley served as a Senior Policy Analyst of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and from 1998 to 1999, Ms. Dillon-Ridgley served as an Executive Director of that organization. From 1994 to 1997, Ms. Dillon-Ridgley served as a National President of Zero Population Growth, the nation’s largest grassroots organization concerned with rapid population growth and the environment. In 1998, Ms. Dillon-Ridgley was elected to the Global Water Partnership (Stockholm) and in 1999 appointed to the Oxford University Commission on Sustainable Consumption (UK). Ms. Dillon-Ridgley serves as the Chairman of Environmental Advisory Board of Green Mountain Energy Company. Ms. Dillon-Ridgley was appointed by President Clinton to the President’s U.S. Council on Sustainable Development in 1994 and served as Co-Chair of the Council’s International and Population/Consumption Task Forces until the Council’s dissolution in June 1999. Ms. Dillon-Ridgley serves as a Member of Environmental Advisory Board of Green Mountain Energy Company. Ms. Dillon-Ridgley serves as a trustee of River Network, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Natural Step-US and Population Connection. She serves as Director of National Wildlife Federation, Inc. She also serves as a trustee of the International Board of Auburn University’s School of Human Sciences and also serves as a Member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Aspen Law and Business’ Fair Housing and Fair Lending Publications. Ms. Dillon-Ridgley also serves on the Boards of five nonprofit organizations and one private company. Ms. Dillon-Ridgley served as Director of Interface Inc., since February 1997 until May 12, 2014. Ms. Dillon-Ridgley served as a Director of Green Mountain Energy Company since July, 1999. From 1998 to 1999, Ms. Dillon-Ridgley served as an Interim Executive Director of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, an international women’s advocacy network for environmental, economic and sustainability issues. Ms. Dillon-Ridgley completed her undergraduate work at Howard University and is state-certified by the Iowa Mediation Service as a mediator specializing in agricultural mediation and public policy negotiation.

===============Notes on Brown vs (Topeka) Board of Education (1954) =====

CREDIT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education

Brown v. Board of Education
(Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al.)

Supreme Court of the United States
Argued December 9, 1952
Reargued December 8, 1953
Decided May 17, 1954

Citations
347 U.S. 483 (more)
74 S. Ct. 686; 98 L. Ed. 873; 1954 U.S. LEXIS 2094; 53 Ohio Op. 326; 38 A.L.R.2d 1180

Prior history
Judgment for defendants, 98 F. Supp. 797 (D. Kan. 1951)
Subsequent history
Judgment on relief, 349 U.S. 294 (1955) (Brown II); on remand, 139 F. Supp. 468 (D. Kan. 1955); motion to intervene granted, 84 F.R.D. 383 (D. Kan. 1979); judgment for defendants, 671 F. Supp. 1290 (D. Kan. 1987); reversed, 892 F.2d 851 (10th Cir. 1989); vacated, 503 U.S. 978 (1992) (Brown III); judgment reinstated, 978 F.2d 585 (10th Cir. 1992); judgment for defendants, 56 F. Supp. 2d 1212 (D. Kan. 1999)

Holding
Segregation of students in public schools violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because separate facilities are inherently unequal. District Court of Kansas reversed.NOTE: Fourteenth Amendment says “no State shall … deny to any person … the equal protection of the laws”.

Court membership
Chief Justice
Earl Warren
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · Stanley F. Reed
Felix Frankfurter · William O. Douglas
Robert H. Jackson · Harold H. Burton
Tom C. Clark · Sherman Minton

Case opinions
Majority
Warren, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. XIV

This case overturned a previous ruling or rulings
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education (1899)
Berea College v. Kentucky (1908)

Educational segregation in the US prior to Brown
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation, insofar as it applied to public education. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the Civil Rights Movement,[1] and a model for many future impact litigation cases.[2] However, the decision’s fourteen pages did not spell out any sort of method for ending racial segregation in schools, and the Court’s second decision in Brown II, 349 U.S. 294 (1955) only ordered states to desegregate “with all deliberate speed”.

Background
For much of the sixty years preceding the Brown case, race relations in the United States had been dominated by racial segregation. This policy had been endorsed in 1896 by the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which held that as long as the separate facilities for the separate races were equal, segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment (“no State shall … deny to any person … the equal protection of the laws”).

The plaintiffs in Brown asserted that this system of racial separation, while masquerading as providing separate but equal treatment of both white and black Americans, instead perpetuated inferior accommodations, services, and treatment for black Americans. Racial segregation in education varied widely from the 17 states that required racial segregation to the 16 in which it was prohibited. Brown was influenced by UNESCO’s 1950 Statement, signed by a wide variety of internationally renowned scholars, titled The Race Question.[3] This declaration denounced previous attempts at scientifically justifying racism as well as morally condemning racism. Another work that the Supreme Court cited was Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944).[4] Myrdal had been a signatory of the UNESCO declaration. The research performed by the educational psychologists Kenneth B. Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark also influenced the Court’s decision.[5] The Clarks’ “doll test” studies presented substantial arguments to the Supreme Court about how segregation affected black school children’s mental status.[6]

The United States and the Soviet Union were both at the height of the Cold War during this time, and U.S. officials, including Supreme Court Justices, were highly aware of the harm that segregation and racism played on America’s international image. When Justice William O. Douglas traveled to India in 1950, the first question he was asked was, “Why does America tolerate the lynching of Negroes?” Douglas later wrote that he had learned from his travels that “the attitude of the United States toward its colored minorities is a powerful factor in our relations with India.” Chief Justice Earl Warren, nominated to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower, echoed Douglas’s concerns in a 1954 speech to the American Bar Association, proclaiming that “Our American system like all others is on trial both at home and abroad, … the extent to which we maintain the spirit of our constitution with its Bill of Rights, will in the long run do more to make it both secure and the object of adulation than the number of hydrogen bombs we stockpile.”[7][8]

In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs were thirteen Topeka parents on behalf of their 20 children.[9]

The suit called for the school district to reverse its policy of racial segregation. The Topeka Board of Education operated separate elementary schools under an 1879 Kansas law, which permitted (but did not require) districts to maintain separate elementary school facilities for black and white students in 12 communities with populations over 15,000. The plaintiffs had been recruited by the leadership of the Topeka NAACP. Notable among the Topeka NAACP leaders were the chairman McKinley Burnett; Charles Scott, one of three serving as legal counsel for the chapter; and Lucinda Todd.

The named plaintiff, Oliver L. Brown, was a parent, a welder in the shops of the Santa Fe Railroad, an assistant pastor at his local church, and an African American.[10] He was convinced to join the lawsuit by Scott, a childhood friend. Brown’s daughter Linda, a third grader, had to walk six blocks to her school bus stop to ride to Monroe Elementary, her segregated black school one mile (1.6 km) away, while Sumner Elementary, a white school, was seven blocks from her house.[11][12]

As directed by the NAACP leadership, the parents each attempted to enroll their children in the closest neighborhood school in the fall of 1951. They were each refused enrollment and directed to the segregated schools. Linda Brown Thompson later recalled the experience in a 2004 PBS documentary:

… well. like I say, we lived in an integrated neighborhood and I had all of these playmates of different nationalities. And so when I found out that day that I might be able to go to their school, I was just thrilled, you know. And I remember walking over to Sumner school with my dad that day and going up the steps of the school and the school looked so big to a smaller child. And I remember going inside and my dad spoke with someone and then he went into the inner office with the principal and they left me out … to sit outside with the secretary. And while he was in the inner office, I could hear voices and hear his voice raised, you know, as the conversation went on. And then he immediately came out of the office, took me by the hand and we walked home from the school. I just couldn’t understand what was happening because I was so sure that I was going to go to school with Mona and Guinevere, Wanda, and all of my playmates.[13]

The case “Oliver Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas” was named after Oliver Brown as a legal strategy to have a man at the head of the roster. The lawyers, and the National Chapter of the NAACP, also felt that having Mr. Brown at the head of the roster would be better received by the U.S. Supreme Court Justices. The 13 plaintiffs were: Oliver Brown, Darlene Brown, Lena Carper, Sadie Emmanuel, Marguerite Emerson, Shirley Fleming, Zelma Henderson, Shirley Hodison, Maude Lawton, Alma Lewis, Iona Richardson, and Lucinda Todd.[14][15] The last surviving plaintiff, Zelma Henderson, died in Topeka, on May 20, 2008, at age 88.[16][17]

The District Court ruled in favor of the Board of Education, citing the U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), which had upheld a state law requiring “separate but equal” segregated facilities for blacks and whites in railway cars.[18] The three-judge District Court panel found that segregation in public education has a detrimental effect on negro children, but denied relief on the ground that the negro and white schools in Topeka were substantially equal with respect to buildings, transportation, curricula, and educational qualifications of teachers.[19]

Supreme Court review

The case of Brown v. Board of Education as heard before the Supreme Court combined five cases: Brown itself, Briggs v. Elliott (filed in South Carolina), Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (filed in Virginia), Gebhart v. Belton (filed in Delaware), and Bolling v. Sharpe (filed in Washington D.C.).

All were NAACP-sponsored cases. The Davis case, the only case of the five originating from a student protest, began when 16-year-old Barbara Rose Johns organized and led a 450-student walkout of Moton High School.[20] The Gebhart case was the only one where a trial court, affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court, found that discrimination was unlawful; in all the other cases the plaintiffs had lost as the original courts had found discrimination to be lawful.

The Kansas case was unique among the group in that there was no contention of gross inferiority of the segregated schools’ physical plant, curriculum, or staff. The district court found substantial equality as to all such factors. The lower court, in its opinion, noted that, in Topeka, “the physical facilities, the curricula, courses of study, qualification and quality of teachers, as well as other educational facilities in the two sets of schools [were] comparable.”[21] The lower court observed that “colored children in many instances are required to travel much greater distances than they would be required to travel could they attend a white school” but also noted that the school district “transports colored children to and from school free of charge” and that “[n]o such service [was] provided to white children.”[21]

In the Delaware case the district court judge in Gebhart ordered that the black students be admitted to the white high school due to the substantial harm of segregation and the differences that made the separate schools unequal.

The NAACP’s chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall—who was later appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967—argued the case before the Supreme Court for the plaintiffs. Assistant attorney general Paul Wilson—later distinguished emeritus professor of law at the University of Kansas—conducted the state’s ambivalent defense in his first appellate argument.
In December 1952, the Justice Department filed a friend of the court brief in the case. The brief was unusual in its heavy emphasis on foreign-policy considerations of the Truman administration in a case ostensibly about domestic issues. Of the seven pages covering “the interest of the United States,” five focused on the way school segregation hurt the United States in the Cold War competition for the friendship and allegiance of non-white peoples in countries then gaining independence from colonial rule. Attorney General James P. McGranery noted that

The existence of discrimination against minority groups in the United States has an adverse effect upon our relations with other countries. Racial discrimination furnishes grist for the Communist propaganda mills.[22]

The brief also quoted a letter by Secretary of State Dean Acheson lamenting that
The United States is under constant attack in the foreign press, over the foreign radio, and in such international bodies as the United Nations because of various practices of discrimination in this country.[23]

British barrister and parliamentarian Anthony Lester has written that “Although the Court’s opinion in Brown made no reference to these considerations of foreign policy, there is no doubt that they significantly influenced the decision.”[23]

Unanimous opinion and consensus building

The members of the U.S. Supreme Court that on May 17, 1954, ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

In spring 1953, the Court heard the case but was unable to decide the issue and asked to rehear the case in fall 1953, with special attention to whether the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause prohibited the operation of separate public schools for whites and blacks.[24]

The Court reargued the case at the behest of Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter, who used reargument as a stalling tactic, to allow the Court to gather a consensus around a Brown opinion that would outlaw segregation. The justices in support of desegregation spent much effort convincing those who initially intended to dissent to join a unanimous opinion. Although the legal effect would be same for a majority rather than unanimous decision, it was felt that dissent could be used by segregation supporters as a legitimizing counter-argument.

Conference notes and draft decisions illustrate the division of opinions before the decision was issued.[25] Justices Douglas, Black, Burton, and Minton were predisposed to overturn Plessy.[25] Fred M. Vinson noted that Congress had not issued desegregation legislation; Stanley F. Reed discussed incomplete cultural assimilation and states’ rights and was inclined to the view that segregation worked to the benefit of the African-American community; Tom C. Clark wrote that “we had led the states on to think segregation is OK and we should let them work it out.”[25] Felix Frankfurter and Robert H. Jackson disapproved of segregation, but were also opposed to judicial activism and expressed concerns about the proposed decision’s enforceability.[25] Chief Justice Vinson had been a key stumbling block. After Vinson died in September 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren as Chief Justice.[25] Warren had supported the integration of Mexican-American students in California school systems following Mendez v. Westminster.[26] However, Eisenhower invited Earl Warren to a White House dinner, where the president told him: “These [southern whites] are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes.” Nevertheless, the Justice Department sided with the African American plaintiffs.[27][28][29]

In his reading of the unanimous decision, Justice Warren noted the adverse psychological effects that segregated schools had on African American children.[30]

While all but one justice personally rejected segregation, the judicial restraint faction questioned whether the Constitution gave the Court the power to order its end. The activist faction believed the Fourteenth Amendment did give the necessary authority and were pushing to go ahead. Warren, who held only a recess appointment, held his tongue until the Senate confirmed his appointment.

Warren convened a meeting of the justices, and presented to them the simple argument that the only reason to sustain segregation was an honest belief in the inferiority of Negroes. Warren further submitted that the Court must overrule Plessy to maintain its legitimacy as an institution of liberty, and it must do so unanimously to avoid massive Southern resistance. He began to build a unanimous opinion.

Although most justices were immediately convinced, Warren spent some time after this famous speech convincing everyone to sign onto the opinion. Justices Jackson and Reed finally decided to drop their dissent. The final decision was unanimous. Warren drafted the basic opinion and kept circulating and revising it until he had an opinion endorsed by all the members of the Court.[31] Reed was the last holdout and reportedly cried during the reading of the opinion.[32]

Holding

Reporters who observed the court holding were surprised by two facts. First, the court made a unanimous decision. Prior to the ruling, there were reports that the court members were sharply divided and might not be able to agree. Second, the attendance of Justice Robert H. Jackson who had suffered a mild heart attack and was not expected to return to the bench until early June 1954. “Perhaps to emphasize the unanimity of the court, perhaps from a desire to be present when the history-making verdict was announced, Justice Jackson was in his accustomed seat when the court convened.”[33] Reporters also noted that Dean Acheson, former secretary of state, who had related the case to foreign policy considerations, and Herbert Brownell, the current attorney general, were in the courtroom.[34]

The key holding of the Court was that, even if segregated black and white schools were of equal quality in facilities and teachers, segregation by itself was harmful to black students and unconstitutional. They found that a significant psychological and social disadvantage was given to black children from the nature of segregation itself, drawing on research conducted by Kenneth Clark assisted by June Shagaloff. This aspect was vital because the question was not whether the schools were “equal”, which under Plessy they nominally should have been, but whether the doctrine of separate was constitutional. The justices answered with a strong “no”:

[D]oes segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does. …
“Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The effect is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system.” …

We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Local outcomes

Judgement in the Supreme Court Decision for Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka et al.

The Topeka junior high schools had been integrated since 1941. Topeka High School was integrated from its inception in 1871 and its sports teams from 1949 on.[35] The Kansas law permitting segregated schools allowed them only “below the high school level”.[36]
Soon after the district court decision, election outcomes and the political climate in Topeka changed. The Board of Education of Topeka began to end segregation in the Topeka elementary schools in August 1953, integrating two attendance districts. All the Topeka elementary schools were changed to neighborhood attendance centers in January 1956, although existing students were allowed to continue attending their prior assigned schools at their option.[37][38][39] Plaintiff Zelma Henderson, in a 2004 interview, recalled that no demonstrations or tumult accompanied desegregation in Topeka’s schools:
“They accepted it,” she said. “It wasn’t too long until they integrated the teachers and principals.”[40]

The Topeka Public Schools administration building is named in honor of McKinley Burnett, NAACP chapter president who organized the case.[citation needed]

Monroe Elementary was designated a U.S. National Historic Site unit of the National Park Service on October 26, 1992.

Social implications
Not everyone accepted the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In Virginia, Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr. organized the Massive Resistance movement that included the closing of schools rather than desegregating them.[41] See, for example, The Southern Manifesto. For more implications of the Brown decision, see Desegregation.

Deep South
Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd organized a campaign to generate legal obstacles to implementation of desegregation.[42]

In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out his state’s National Guard to block black students’ entry to Little Rock Central High School. President Dwight Eisenhower responded by deploying elements of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Arkansas and by federalizing Arkansas’s National Guard.[43]

Also in 1957, Florida’s response was mixed. Its legislature passed an Interposition Resolution denouncing the decision and declaring it null and void. But Florida Governor LeRoy Collins, though joining in the protest against the court decision, refused to sign it, arguing that the attempt to overturn the ruling must be done by legal methods.
In Mississippi fear of violence prevented any plaintiff from bringing a school desegregation suit for the next nine years.[44] When Medgar Evers sued to desegregate Jackson, Mississippi schools in 1963 White Citizens Council member Byron De La Beckwith murdered him.[45] Two subsequent trials resulted in hung juries. Beckwith was not convicted of the murder until 1994.[46]

In 1963, Alabama Gov. George Wallace personally blocked the door to Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to prevent the enrollment of two black students. This became the infamous Stand in the Schoolhouse Door[47] where Wallace personally backed his “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” policy that he had stated in his 1963 inaugural address.[48] He moved aside only when confronted by General Henry Graham of the Alabama National Guard, who was ordered by President John F. Kennedy to intervene.
Upland South

In North Carolina, there was often a strategy of nominally accepting Brown, but tacitly resisting it. On May 18, 1954 the Greensboro, North Carolina school board declared that it would abide by the Brown ruling. This was the result of the initiative of D.E. Hudgins Jr, a former Rhodes Scholar and prominent attorney, who chaired the school board. This made Greensboro the first, and for years the only, city in the South, to announce its intent to comply. However, others in the city resisted integration, putting up legal obstacles[how?] to the actual implementation of school desegregation for years afterward, and in 1969, the federal government found the city was not in compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Transition to a fully integrated school system did not begin until 1971, after numerous local lawsuits and both nonviolent and violent demonstrations. Historians have noted the irony that Greensboro, which had heralded itself as such a progressive city, was one of the last holdouts for school desegregation.[49][50]
In Moberly, Missouri, the schools were desegregated, as ordered. However, after 1955, the African-American teachers from the local “negro school” were not retained; this was ascribed to poor performance. They appealed their dismissal in Naomi Brooks et al., Appellants, v. School District of City of Moberly, Missouri, Etc., et al.; but it was upheld, and SCOTUS declined to hear a further appeal.[51][52]

North
Many Northern cities also had de facto segregation policies, which resulted in a vast gulf in educational resources between black and white communities. In Harlem, New York, for example, not a single new school had been built since the turn of the century, nor did a single nursery school exist, even as the Second Great Migration caused overcrowding of existing schools. Existing schools tended to be dilapidated and staffed with inexperienced teachers. Northern officials were in denial of the segregation, but Brown helped stimulate activism among African-American parents like Mae Mallory who, with support of the NAACP, initiated a successful lawsuit against the city and State of New York on Brown’s principles. Mallory and thousands of other parents bolstered the pressure of the lawsuit with a school boycott in 1959. During the boycott, some of the first freedom schools of the period were established. The city responded to the campaign by permitting more open transfers to high-quality, historically-white schools. (New York’s African-American community, and Northern desegregation activists generally, now found themselves contending with the problem of white flight, however.)[53][54]

The intellectual roots of Plessy v. Ferguson, the landmark United States Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of racial segregation in 1896 under the doctrine of “separate but equal” were, in part, tied to the scientific racism of the era.[55][56] However, the popular support for the decision was more likely a result of the racist beliefs held by many whites at the time.[57] In deciding Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court rejected the ideas of scientific racists about the need for segregation, especially in schools. The Court buttressed its holding by citing (in footnote 11) social science research about the harms to black children caused by segregated schools.

Both scholarly and popular ideas of hereditarianism played an important role in the attack and backlash that followed the Brown decision.[57] The Mankind Quarterly was founded in 1960, in part in response to the Brown decision.[58][59]
Legal criticism and praise

U.S. circuit judges Robert A. Katzmann, Damon J. Keith, and Sonia Sotomayor at a 2004 exhibit on the Fourteenth Amendment, Thurgood Marshall, and Brown v. Board of Education
William Rehnquist wrote a memo titled “A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases” when he was a law clerk for Justice Robert H. Jackson in 1952, during early deliberations that led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In his memo, Rehnquist argued: “I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by ‘liberal’ colleagues but I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed.” Rehnquist continued, “To the argument . . . that a majority may not deprive a minority of its constitutional right, the answer must be made that while this is sound in theory, in the long run it is the majority who will determine what the constitutional rights of the minorities are.”[60] Rehnquist also argued for Plessy with other law clerks.[61]
However, during his 1971 confirmation hearings, Rehnquist said, “I believe that the memorandum was prepared by me as a statement of Justice Jackson’s tentative views for his own use.” Justice Jackson had initially planned to join a dissent in Brown.[62] Later, at his 1986 hearings for the slot of Chief Justice, Rehnquist put further distance between himself and the 1952 memo: “The bald statement that Plessy was right and should be reaffirmed, was not an accurate reflection of my own views at the time.”[63] In any event, while serving on the Supreme Court, Rehnquist made no effort to reverse or undermine the Brown decision, and frequently relied upon it as precedent.[64]

Chief Justice Warren’s reasoning was broadly criticized by contemporary legal academics with Judge Learned Hand decrying that the Supreme Court had “assumed the role of a third legislative chamber”[65] and Herbert Wechsler finding Brown impossible to justify based on neutral principles.[66]

Some aspects of the Brown decision are still debated. Notably, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, himself an African American, wrote in Missouri v. Jenkins (1995) that at the very least, Brown I has been misunderstood by the courts.

Brown I did not say that “racially isolated” schools were inherently inferior; the harm that it identified was tied purely to de jure segregation, not de facto segregation. Indeed, Brown I itself did not need to rely upon any psychological or social-science research in order to announce the simple, yet fundamental truth that the Government cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of race. …

Segregation was not unconstitutional because it might have caused psychological feelings of inferiority. Public school systems that separated blacks and provided them with superior educational resources making blacks “feel” superior to whites sent to lesser schools—would violate the Fourteenth Amendment, whether or not the white students felt stigmatized, just as do school systems in which the positions of the races are reversed. Psychological injury or benefit is irrelevant …

Given that desegregation has not produced the predicted leaps forward in black educational achievement, there is no reason to think that black students cannot learn as well when surrounded by members of their own race as when they are in an integrated environment. (…) Because of their “distinctive histories and traditions,” black schools can function as the center and symbol of black communities, and provide examples of independent black leadership, success, and achievement.[67]

Some Constitutional originalists, notably Raoul Berger in his influential 1977 book “Government by Judiciary,” make the case that Brown cannot be defended by reference to the original understanding of the 14th Amendment. They support this reading of the 14th amendment by noting that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 did not ban segregated schools and that the same Congress that passed the 14th Amendment also voted to segregate schools in the District of Columbia. Other originalists, including Michael W. McConnell, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in his article “Originalism and the Desegregation Decisions,” argue that the Radical Reconstructionists who spearheaded the 14th Amendment were in favor of desegregated southern schools.[68] Evidence supporting this interpretation of the 14th amendment has come from archived Congressional records showing that proposals for federal legislation which would enforce school integration were debated in Congress a few years following the amendment’s ratification.[69]

The case also has attracted some criticism from more liberal authors, including some who say that Chief Justice Warren’s reliance on psychological criteria to find a harm against segregated blacks was unnecessary. For example, Drew S. Days has written:[70] “we have developed criteria for evaluating the constitutionality of racial classifications that do not depend upon findings of psychic harm or social science evidence. They are based rather on the principle that ‘distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality,’ Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81 (1943). . . .

In his book The Tempting of America (page 82), Robert Bork endorsed the Brown decision as follows:
By 1954, when Brown came up for decision, it had been apparent for some time that segregation rarely if ever produced equality. Quite aside from any question of psychology, the physical facilities provided for blacks were not as good as those provided for whites. That had been demonstrated in a long series of cases … The Court’s realistic choice, therefore, was either to abandon the quest for equality by allowing segregation or to forbid segregation in order to achieve equality. There was no third choice. Either choice would violate one aspect of the original understanding, but there was no possibility of avoiding that. Since equality and segregation were mutually inconsistent, though the ratifiers did not understand that, both could not be honored. When that is seen, it is obvious the Court must choose equality and prohibit state-imposed segregation. The purpose that brought the fourteenth amendment into being was equality before the law, and equality, not separation, was written into the law.

In June 1987, Philip Elman, a civil rights attorney who served as an associate in the Solicitor General’s office during Harry Truman’s term, claimed he and Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter were mostly responsible for the Supreme Court’s decision, and stated that the NAACP’s arguments did not present strong evidence.[71] Elman has been criticized for offering a self-aggrandizing history of the case, omitting important facts, and denigrating the work of civil rights attorneys who had laid the groundwork for the decision over many decades.[72] However, Frankfurter was also known for being one of court’s most outspoken advocates of the judicial restraint philosophy of basing court rulings on existing law rather than personal or political considerations.[73][74] Public officials in the United States today are nearly unanimous in lauding the ruling. In May 2004, the fiftieth anniversary of the ruling, President George W. Bush spoke at the opening of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, calling Brown “a decision that changed America for the better, and forever.”[75] Most Senators and Representatives issued press releases hailing the ruling.

In an article in Townhall, Thomas Sowell argued that When Chief Justice Earl Warren declared in the landmark 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education that racially separate schools were “inherently unequal,” Dunbar High School was a living refutation of that assumption. And it was within walking distance of the Supreme Court.”[76]

Brown II

In 1955, the Supreme Court considered arguments by the schools requesting relief concerning the task of desegregation. In their decision, which became known as “Brown II”[77] the court delegated the task of carrying out school desegregation to district courts with orders that desegregation occur “with all deliberate speed,” a phrase traceable to Francis Thompson’s poem, The Hound of Heaven.[78]

Supporters of the earlier decision were displeased with this decision. The language “all deliberate speed” was seen by critics as too ambiguous to ensure reasonable haste for compliance with the court’s instruction. Many Southern states and school districts interpreted “Brown II” as legal justification for resisting, delaying, and avoiding significant integration for years—and in some cases for a decade or more—using such tactics as closing down school systems, using state money to finance segregated “private” schools, and “token” integration where a few carefully selected black children were admitted to former white-only schools but the vast majority remained in underfunded, unequal black schools.[79]

For example, based on “Brown II,” the U.S. District Court ruled that Prince Edward County, Virginia did not have to desegregate immediately. When faced with a court order to finally begin desegregation in 1959 the county board of supervisors stopped appropriating money for public schools, which remained closed for five years, from 1959 to 1964.

White students in the county were given assistance to attend white-only “private academies” that were taught by teachers formerly employed by the public school system, while black students had no education at all unless they moved out of the county. But the public schools reopened after the Supreme Court overturned “Brown II” in Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, declaring that “…the time for mere ‘deliberate speed’ has run out,” and that the county must provide a public school system for all children regardless of race.[80]

Brown III

In 1978, Topeka attorneys Richard Jones, Joseph Johnson and Charles Scott, Jr. (son of the original Brown team member), with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union, persuaded Linda Brown Smith—who now had her own children in Topeka schools—to be a plaintiff in reopening Brown. They were concerned that the Topeka Public Schools’ policy of “open enrollment” had led to and would lead to further segregation. They also believed that with a choice of open enrollment, white parents would shift their children to “preferred” schools that would create both predominantly African American and predominantly European American schools within the district. The district court reopened the Brown case after a 25-year hiatus, but denied the plaintiffs’ request finding the schools “unitary”. In 1989, a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit on 2–1 vote found that the vestiges of segregation remained with respect to student and staff assignment. In 1993, the Supreme Court denied the appellant School District’s request for certiorari and returned the case to District Court Judge Richard Rodgers for implementation of the Tenth Circuit’s mandate.

After a 1994 plan was approved and a bond issue passed, additional elementary magnet schools were opened and district attendance plans redrawn, which resulted in the Topeka schools meeting court standards of racial balance by 1998. Unified status was eventually granted to Topeka Unified School District No. 501 on July 27, 1999. One of the new magnet schools is named after the Scott family attorneys for their role in the Brown case and civil rights.[81]

Related cases
• Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)—separate but equal for public facilities
• Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education 175 U.S. 528 (1899)—sanctioned de jure segregation of races
• Lum v. Rice, 275 U.S. 78 (1927)—separate schools for Chinese pupils from white schoolchildren
• Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932)—access to counsel
• Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 (1938)-states that provide a school to white students must provide in-state education to blacks
• Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944)—non-white voters in primary schools
• Hedgepeth and Williams v. Board of Education (1944)-prohibited racial segregation in New Jersey schools.
• Mendez v. Westminster, 64 F. Supp. 544 (1946)—prohibits segregating Mexican American children in California
• Sipuel v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Okla., 332 U.S. 631 (1948)—access to taxpayer state funded law schools
• Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948)—restrictive covenants
• Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950)—segregated law schools in Texas
• McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950)—prohibits segregation in a public institution of higher learning
• Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954)—the Fourteenth Amendment protects those beyond the racial classes of white or Negro.
• Briggs v. Elliott, 347 U.S. 483 (1952) Brown Case #1—Summerton, South Carolina.
• Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, 103 F. Supp. 337 (1952) Brown Case #2—Prince Edward County, Virginia.
• Gebhart v. Belton, 33 Del. Ch. 144 (1952) Brown Case #3—Claymont, Delaware
• Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954) Brown companion case—dealt with the constitutionality of segregation in the District of Columbia, which—as a federal district, not a state—is not subject to the Fourteenth Amendment.
• Browder v. Gayle, 142 F. Supp. 707 (1956) – Montgomery, Alabama bus segregation is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment protections for equal treatment.
• NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958)—privacy of NAACP membership lists, and free association of members
• Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) – Federal court enforcement of desegregation
• Boynton v. Virginia, 364 U.S. 454 (1960) – outlawed racial segregation in public transportation
• Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964)—held constitutional the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial discrimination in public places, particularly in public accommodations even in private property.
• Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) – banned anti-miscegenation laws (race-based restrictions on marriage).
• Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, 396 U.S. 1218 (1969) – changed Brown’s requirement of desegregation “with all deliberate speed” to one of “desegregation now”
• Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971) – established bussing as a solution
• Guey Heung Lee v. Johnson, 404 U.S 1215 (1971) – “Brown v. Board of Education was not written for blacks alone”, desegregation of Asian schools in opposition to parents of Asian students
• Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974) – rejected bussing across school district lines.
• Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1,[82] 551 U.S. 701, 127 S. Ct. 2738 (2007)—rejected using race as the sole determining factor for assigning students to schools.[83]
• List of United States Supreme Court Cases
* See Case citation for an explanation of these numbers.
See also
• African-American Civil Rights Movement (1896–1954)
• Little Rock Nine
• Rubey Mosley Hulen, federal judge who made a similar ruling in an earlier case
• Timeline of the African American Civil Rights Movement
• Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South
References
1 Jump up 
^ Brown v Board of Education Decision ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans
2 Jump up 
^ Schuck, P.H. (2006). Meditations of a Militant Moderate: Cool Views on Hot Topics. G – Reference, Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-7425-3961-7.
3 Jump up 
^ Harald E.L. Prins. “Toward a World without Evil: Alfred Métraux as UNESCO Anthropologist (1946–1962)”. UNESCO. “As a direct offshoot of the 1948 “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” it sought to dismantle any scientific justification or basis for racism and proclaimed that race was not a biological fact of nature but a dangerous social myth. As a milestone, this critically important declaration contributed to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.’”(in English)
4 Jump up 
^ Myrdal, Gunnar (1944). An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. New York: Harper & Row.
5 Jump up 
^ “Desegregation to diversity?”. American Psychological Association. 2004. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
6 Jump up 
^ “Kenneth Clark, 90; His Studies Influenced Ban on Segregation – Los Angeles Times”. Los Angeles Times. May 3, 2005. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
7 Jump up 
^ Mary L. Dudziak, “The Global Impact of Brown v. Board of Education” SCOTUS Blog
8 Jump up 
^ Mary L Dudziak “Brown as a Cold War Case” Journal of American History, June 2004 Archived December 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
9 Jump up 
^ Anderson, Legacy of Brown: Many people part of local case, Thirteen parents representing 20 children signed up as Topeka plaintiffs, The Topeka Capital-Journal (Sunday, May 9, 2004).
10 Jump up 
^ Black, White, and Brown, PBS NewsHour (May 12, 2004).
11 Jump up 
^ Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka MSN Encarta, archived on October 31, 2009 from the original Archived October 31, 2009, at WebCite
12 Jump up 
^ “Interactive map of locations in Topeka important to the Brown case – Topeka Capital Journal online”. Cjonline.com. October 26, 1992. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
13 Jump up 
^ Black/White & Brown Archived September 10, 2005, at the Wayback Machine., transcript of program produced by KTWU Channel 11 in Topeka, Kansas. Originally aired May 3, 2004.
14 Jump up 
^ Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, Myths Versus Truths Archived June 27, 2005, at the Wayback Machine. (revised April 11, 2004)
15 Jump up 
^ Ric Anderson, Legacy of Brown: Many people part of local case, Thirteen parents representing 20 children signed up as Topeka plaintiffs, The Topeka Capital-Journal (Sunday, May 9, 2004).
16 Jump up 
^ Fox, Margalit (May 22, 2008). “Zelma Henderson, Who Aided Desegregation, Dies at 88”. The New York Times. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
17 Jump up 
^ Last surviving Brown v. Board plaintiff dies at 88 The Associated Press, May 21, 2008, archived on May 24, 2008 from the original
18 Jump up 
^ School facilities for Negroes here held comparable, The Topeka State Journal (August 3, 1951)
19 Jump up 
^ Brown v. Board of Education, 98 F. Supp. 797 Archived January 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. (August 3, 1951).
20 Jump up 
^ Student Strike at Moton High ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans
21 ^ Jump up to: 
a b Brown v. Board of Education, 98 F. Supp. 797, 798 (D. Kan. 1951), rev’d, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
22 Jump up 
^ Aryeh Neier “Brown v. Board of Ed: Key Cold War weapon” Reuters Blog, May 14, 2014
23 ^ Jump up to: 
a b Antonly Lester, “Brown v. Board of Education Overseas” PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY VOL. 148, NO. 4, DECEMBER 2004
24 Jump up 
^ See Smithsonian, “Separate is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education Archived June 30, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
25 ^ Jump up to: 
a b c d e Cass R. Sunstein (May 3, 2004). “Did Brown Matter?”. The New Yorker. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
26 Jump up 
^ George R. Goethals, Georgia Jones Sorenson (2006). The quest for a general theory of leadership. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-84542-541-8.
27 Jump up 
^ Digital History:Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
28 Jump up 
^ The Gang That Always Liked Ike
29 Jump up 
^ Warren, Earl (1977). The Memoirs of Earl Warren. New York: Doubleday & Company. p. 291. ISBN 0385128355.
30 Jump up 
^ Mungazi, D. A. (2001). Journey to the promised land: The African American struggle for development since the Civil War (pp. 46). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group
31 Jump up 
^ Patterson, James T. (2001). Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515632-3.
32 Jump up 
^ Caro, Robert A. (2002). Master of the Senate. Vintage Books. p. 696. ISBN 9780394720951. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
33 Jump up 
^ Huston, Luther A. (18 May 1954). “High Court Bans School Segregation; 9-to-0 Decision Grants Time to Comply”. The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
34 Jump up 
^ “AP WAS THERE: Original 1954 Brown v. Board story” Archived December 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
35 Jump up 
^ “Topeka Capital Journal article on integration of THS sports teams”. Cjonline.com. July 10, 2001. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
36 Jump up 
^ “Topeka Capital Journal on line article”. Cjonline.com. February 28, 2002. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
37 Jump up 
^ “Racial bar down for teachers here”, Topeka Daily Capital (January 19, 1956)
38 Jump up 
^ “First step taken to end segregation”, Topeka Daily Capital (September 9, 1953)
39 Jump up 
^ “Little Effect On Topeka” Topeka Capital-Journal (May 18, 1954)
40 Jump up 
^ Erin Adamson, “Breaking barriers: Topekans reflect on role in desegregating nation’s schools” Archived April 27, 2004, at the Wayback Machine., Topeka Capital Journal (May 11, 2003)
41 Jump up 
^ “Massive Resistance” to Integration ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans
42 Jump up 
^ Howell, Mark C., John Ben Shepperd, Attorney General of the State of Texas: His Role in the Continuation of Segregation in Texas, 1953-1957, Master’s Thesis, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas, July 2003.
43 Jump up 
^ The Little Rock Nine ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans
44 Jump up 
^ Michael Klarman, The Supreme Court, 2012 Term – Comment: Windsor and Brown: Marriage Equality and Racial Equality 127 Harv. L. Rev. 127, 153 (2013).
45 Jump up 
^ Id. citing Karlman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality at 352-354 (2004).
46 Jump up 
^ De La Beckwith v. State, 707 So. 2d 547 (Miss. 1997).
47 Jump up 
^ Standing In the Schoolhouse Door ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans
48 Jump up 
^ The American Experience; George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire; Wallace Quotes, Public Broadcasting Service, pbs.org, 2000. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
49 Jump up 
^ Desegregation and Integration of Greensboro’s Public Schools, 1954-1974
50 Jump up 
^ “Summary of ‘Civilities and Civil Rights’: by William H. Chafe” George Mason University website
51 Jump up 
^ http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/267/733/393864/
52 Jump up 
^ http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/13-miss-buchanans-period-of-adjustment
53 Jump up 
^ Melissa F. Weiner, Power, Protest, and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City (Rutgers University Press, 2010) p. 51-66
54 Jump up 
^ Adina Back “Exposing the Whole Segregation Myth: The Harlem Nine and New York City Schools” in Freedom north: Black freedom struggles outside the South, 1940-1980, Jeanne Theoharis, Komozi Woodard, eds.(Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) p. 65-91
55 Jump up 
^ Austin Sarat (1997). Race, Law, and Culture: Reflections on Brown v. Board of Education. Oxford University Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-19-510622-0. “What lay behind Plessy v. Ferguson? There were, perhaps, some important intellectual roots; this was the era of scientific racism.”
56 Jump up 
^ Charles A. Lofgren (1988). The Plessy Case. Oxford University Press. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-19-505684-6. “But he [ Henry Billings Brown ] at minimum established popular sentiment and practice, along with legal and scientific testimony on race, as a link in his train of reasoning.”
57 ^ Jump up to: 
a b Race, Law, and Culture: Reflections on Brown v. Board of Education By Austin Sarat. Page 55 and 59. 1997. ISBN 0-19-510622-9
58 Jump up 
^ Schaffer, Gavin (2007). “”‘Scientific’ Racism Again?”: Reginald Gates, the Mankind Quarterly and the Question of “Race” in Science after the Second World War”. Journal of American Studies. 41 (2): 253–278. doi:10.1017/S0021875807003477.
59 Jump up 
^ Science for Segregation: Race, Law, and the Case Against Brown v. Board of Education. By John P. Jackson. ISBN 0-8147-4271-8 Page 148
60 Jump up 
^ William Rehnquist, “A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases” Archived June 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., S. Hrg. 99-1067, Hearings Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the Nomination of Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist to be Chief Justice of the United States (July 29, 30, 31, and August 1, 1986).
61 Jump up 
^ Peter S. Canellos,Memos may not hold Roberts’s opinions, The Boston Globe, August 23, 2005. Here is what Rehnquist said in 1986 about his conversations with other clerks about Plessy: I thought Plessy had been wrongly decided at the time, that it was not a good interpretation of the equal protection clause to say that when you segregate people by race, there is no denial of equal protection. But Plessy had been on the books for 60 years; Congress had never acted, and the same Congress that had promulgated the 14th Amendment had required segregation in the District schools. . . . I saw factors on both sides. . . . I did not agree then, and I certainly do not agree now, with the statement that Plessy against Ferguson is right and should be reaffirmed. I had ideas on both sides, and I do not think I ever really finally settled in my own mind on that. . . . [A]round the lunch table I am sure I defended it. . . . I thought there were good arguments to be made in support of it.

S. Hrg. 99-1067, Hearings Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the Nomination of Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist to be Chief Justice of the United States (July 29, 30, 31, and August 1, 1986).
62 Jump up 
^ Justice William O. Douglas wrote: “In the original conference there were only four who voted that segregation in the public schools was unconstitutional. Those four were Black, Burton, Minton, and myself.” See Bernard Schwartz, Decision: How the Supreme Court Decides Cases, page 96 (Oxford 1996). Likewise, Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote: “I have no doubt that if the segregation cases had reached decision last term, there would have been four dissenters—Vinson, Reed, Jackson, and Clark.” Id. Justice Jackson’s longtime legal secretary had a different view, calling Rehnquist’s Senate testimony an attempt to “smear the reputation of a great justice.” See Alan Dershowitz, Telling the Truth About Chief Justice Rehnquist, Huffington Post, September 5, 2005. Retrieved March 15, 2007. See also Felix Frankfurter on the death of Justice Vinson.
63 Jump up 
^ Adam Liptak, The Memo That Rehnquist Wrote and Had to Disown, NY Times (September 11, 2005)
64 Jump up 
^ Cases where Justice Rehnquist has cited Brown v. Board of Education in support of a proposition Archived June 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., S. Hrg. 99-1067, Hearings Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the Nomination of Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist to be Chief Justice of the United States (July 29, 30, 31, and August 1, 1986). Also see Jeffery Rosen, Rehnquist the Great?, Atlantic Monthly (April 2005): “Rehnquist ultimately embraced the Warren Court’s Brown decision, and after he joined the Court he made no attempt to dismantle the civil-rights revolution, as political opponents feared he would”.
65 Jump up 
^ Michael Klarman, The Supreme Court, 2012 Term – Comment: Windsor and Brown: Marriage Equality and Racial Equality, 127 Harv. L. Rev. 127, 142 (2013) citing Learned Hand, The Bill of Rights at 55 (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lecture, 1958).
66 Jump up 
^ Id., Pamela Karlan, “What Can Brown Do For You: Neutral Principles and the Struggle Over the Equal Protection Clause, 58 DUKE L.J. 1049 (2008) citing Herbert Wechsler, Toward Neutral Principles of Constitutional Law, 73 HARV. L. REV. 1 (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lecture, 1959).
67 Jump up 
^ Missouri v. Jenkins, 515 U.S. 70 (1995) (Thomas, J., concurring).
68 Jump up 
^ McConnell, Michael W. (May 1995). “Originalism and the desegregation decisions”. Virginia Law Review. The Virginia Law Review Association via JSTOR. 81 (4): 947–1140. JSTOR 1073539. doi:10.2307/1073539.
• Response to McConnell: Klarman, Michael J. (October 1995). “Response: Brown, originalism, and constitutional theory: a response to Professor Mcconnell”. Virginia Law Review. The Virginia Law Review Association via JSTOR. 81 (7): 1881–1936. JSTOR 1073643. doi:10.2307/1073643.
• Response to Klarman: McConnell, Michael W. (October 1995). “Reply: The originalist justification for Brown: a reply to Professor Klarman”. Virginia Law Review. The Virginia Law Review Association via JSTOR. 81 (7): 1937–1955. JSTOR 1073644. doi:10.2307/1073644.
69 



70 Jump up 
^ Adam Liptak (November 9, 2009). “From 19th-Century View, Desegregation Is a Test”. New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
71 Jump up 
^ Days, III, Drew S. (2001), “Days, J., concurring”, in Balkan, Jack; Ackerman, Bruce A., What ‘Brown v. Board of Education’ should have said, New York: New York University Press, p. 97, ISBN 9780814798904. Preview.
72 Jump up 
^ Harvard Law Review, Vol. 100, No. 8 (June 1987), pp. 1938–1948
73 Jump up 
^ See, e.g., Randall Kennedy. “A Reply to Philip Elman.” Harvard Law Review 100 (1987):1938–1948.
74 Jump up 
^ A Justice for All, by Kim Isaac Eisler, page 11; ISBN 0-671-76787-9
75 Jump up 
^ “Supreme Court History: Expanding civil rights, biographies of the robes: Felix Frankfurter”. pbs.org/wnet. Educational Broadcasting Corp., PBS.
76 Jump up 
^ Remarks by the President at Grand Opening of the Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site, Topeka, Kansas (May 17, 2004)
77 Jump up 
^ Thomas Sowell (October 4, 2016). “Dunbar High School After 100 Years”. townhall.com.
78 Jump up 
^ Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 349 U.S. 294 (1955)
79 Jump up 
^ Jim Chen, Poetic Justice, 29 Cardozo Law Review (2007)
80 Jump up 
^ The “Brown II,” “All Deliberate Speed” Decision ~ Civil Rights Movement Veterans
81 Jump up 
^ Smith, Bob (1965). They Closed Their Schools. University of North Carolina Press.
82 Jump up 
^ Topeka Public Schools Desegregation History: “The Naming of Scott Computer Technology Magnet” Archived October 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
83 Jump up 
^ “FindLaw | Cases and Codes”. Caselaw.lp.findlaw.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
84 Jump up 
^ For analysis of this decision, see also Joel K. Goldstein, “Not Hearing History: A Critique of Chief Justice Roberts’s Reinterpretation of Brown,” 69 Ohio St. L.J. 791 (2008)
Further reading
• Keppel, Ben. Brown v. Board and the Transformation of American Culture (LSU Press, 2016). xiv, 225 pp.
• Kluger, Richard (1975). Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality. New York: Knopf. ISBN 9780394472898.
External video
Booknotes interview with Charles Ogletree on All Deliberate Speed, May 9, 2004, C-SPAN
• Ogletree, Charles J., Jr. (2004). All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half Century of Brown v. Board of Education. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 9780393058970.
• Patterson, James T., and William W. Freehling. Brown v. Board of Education: A civil rights milestone and its troubled legacy (Oxford University Press, 2001).
• Tushnet, Mark V. (2008). “”Our decision does not end but begins the struggle over segregation” Brown v. Board of Education, 1954: Justice Robert H. Jackson”. In Tushnet, Mark V. I dissent: Great Opposing Opinions in Landmark Supreme Court Cases. Boston: Beacon Press. pp. 133–150. ISBN 9780807000366. Preview.
External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (347 U.S. 483)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brown v. Board of Education.
• Case Brief for Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka at Lawnix.com
• Case information and transcripts on The Curiae Project
• Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site (US Park Service)
• Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (full text with hyperlinks to cited material)
• A copy of Florida’s 1957 Interposition Resolution in Response to the Brown decision, with Gov. Collin’s handwritten rejection of it. Made available for public use by the State Archives of Florida.
• U.S. District Court of Kansas: Records of Brown v. Board of Education, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
• Online documents relating to Brown vs. Board of Education, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
• Documents from the district court, including the original complaint and trial transcript, at the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
• 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education curated by Michigan State University’s Diversity of Excellence through Artistic Expression
• Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights Digital Library.
• “Supreme Court Landmark Case Brown v. Board of Education” from C-SPAN’s Landmark Cases: 12 Historic Supreme Court Decisions
[hide]
• v t e

African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–1968)

Notable
events
(timeline)

1954–1959
• • • • • Brown v. Board of Education Bolling v. Sharpe Briggs v. Elliott Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County Gebhart v. Belton Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company Emmett Till Montgomery bus boycott Browder v. Gayle Tallahassee bus boycott Mansfield school desegregation 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom “Give Us the Ballot” Royal Ice Cream Sit-in Little Rock Nine National Guard blockade Civil Rights Act of 1957 Kissing Case Biloxi Wade-Ins

1960–1963
• • • • • Greensboro sit-ins Nashville sit-ins Sit-in movement Civil Rights Act of 1960 Gomillion v. Lightfoot Boynton v. Virginia Rock Hill sit-ins Robert F. Kennedy’s Law Day Address Freedom Rides attacks Garner v. Louisiana Albany Movement University of Chicago sit-ins “Second Emancipation Proclamation” Meredith enrollment, Ole Miss riot “Segregation now, segregation forever” Stand in the Schoolhouse Door 1963 Birmingham campaign Letter from Birmingham Jail Children’s Crusade Birmingham riot 16th Street Baptist Church bombing John F. Kennedy’s Report to the American People on Civil Rights March on Washington “I Have a Dream” St. Augustine movement

1964–1968
• • • • Twenty-fourth Amendment Bloody Tuesday Freedom Summer workers’ murders Civil Rights Act of 1964 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches “How Long, Not Long” Voting Rights Act of 1965 Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections March Against Fear White House Conference on Civil Rights Chicago Freedom Movement/Chicago open housing movement Memphis Sanitation Strike King assassination funeral riots Poor People’s Campaign Civil Rights Act of 1968 Green v. County School Board of New Kent County
Activist
groups
• • Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights Atlanta Student Movement Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Committee on Appeal for Human Rights Council for United Civil Rights Leadership Dallas County Voters League Deacons for Defense and Justice Georgia Council on Human Relations Highlander Folk School Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Montgomery Improvement Association Nashville Student Movement NAACP Youth Council Northern Student Movement National Council of Negro Women National Urban League Operation Breadbasket Regional Council of Negro Leadership Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Southern Regional Council Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) The Freedom Singers Wednesdays in Mississippi Women’s Political Council

Activists
• Ralph Abernathy Victoria Gray Adams Zev Aelony Mathew Ahmann William G. Anderson Gwendolyn Armstrong Arnold Aronson Ella Baker Marion Barry Daisy Bates Harry Belafonte James Bevel Claude Black Gloria Blackwell Randolph Blackwell Unita Blackwell Ezell Blair Jr. Joanne Bland Julian Bond Joseph E. Boone William Holmes Borders Amelia Boynton Raylawni Branch Ruby Bridges Aurelia Browder H. Rap Brown Guy Carawan Stokely Carmichael Johnnie Carr James Chaney J. L. Chestnut Colia Lafayette Clark Ramsey Clark Septima Clark Xernona Clayton Eldridge Cleaver Kathleen Neal Cleaver Charles E. Cobb Jr. Annie Lee Cooper Dorothy Cotton Claudette Colvin Vernon Dahmer Jonathan Daniels Joseph DeLaine Dave Dennis Annie Devine Patricia Stephens Due Charles Evers Medgar Evers Myrlie Evers-Williams Chuck Fager James Farmer Walter E. Fauntroy James Forman Marie Foster Golden Frinks Andrew Goodman Fred Gray Jack Greenberg Dick Gregory Lawrence Guyot Prathia Hall Fannie Lou Hamer William E. Harbour Vincent Harding Dorothy Height Lola Hendricks Aaron Henry Oliver Hill Donald L. Hollowell James Hood Myles Horton Zilphia Horton T. R. M. Howard Ruby Hurley Jesse Jackson Jimmie Lee Jackson Richie Jean Jackson T. J. Jemison Esau Jenkins Barbara Rose Johns Vernon Johns Frank Minis Johnson Clarence Jones Matthew Jones Vernon Jordan Tom Kahn Clyde Kennard A. D. King C.B. King Coretta Scott King Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Sr. Bernard Lafayette James Lawson Bernard Lee Sanford R. Leigh Jim Letherer Stanley Levison John Lewis Viola Liuzzo Z. Alexander Looby Joseph Lowery Clara Luper Malcolm X Mae Mallory Vivian Malone Thurgood Marshall Benjamin Mays Franklin McCain Charles McDew Ralph McGill Floyd McKissick Joseph McNeil James Meredith William Ming Jack Minnis Amzie Moore Douglas E. Moore William Lewis Moore Irene Morgan Bob Moses William Moyer Elijah Muhammad Diane Nash Charles Neblett Edgar Nixon Jack O’Dell James Orange Rosa Parks James Peck Charles Person Homer Plessy Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Fay Bellamy Powell Al Raby Lincoln Ragsdale A. Philip Randolph George Raymond Jr. Bernice Johnson Reagon Cordell Reagon James Reeb Frederick D. Reese Gloria Richardson David Richmond Bernice Robinson Jo Ann Robinson Bayard Rustin Bernie Sanders Michael Schwerner Cleveland Sellers Charles Sherrod Alexander D. Shimkin Fred Shuttlesworth Modjeska Monteith Simkins Glenn E. Smiley A. Maceo Smith Kelly Miller Smith Mary Louise Smith Maxine Smith Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson Charles Kenzie Steele Hank Thomas Dorothy Tillman A. P. Tureaud Hartman Turnbow Albert Turner C. T. Vivian Wyatt Tee Walker Hollis Watkins Walter Francis White Roy Wilkins Hosea Williams Kale Williams Robert F. Williams Andrew Young Whitney Young Sammy Younge Jr. James Zwerg

Influences
• • • Nonviolence Padayatra Sermon on the Mount Mohandas K. Gandhi Ahimsa Satyagraha The Kingdom of God is Within You Frederick Douglass W. E. B. Du Bois
Related
• • • • • Jim Crow laws Plessy v. Ferguson Separate but equal Buchanan v. Warley Hocutt v. Wilson Sweatt v. Painter Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States Katzenbach v. McClung Loving v. Virginia Fifth Circuit Four Brown Chapel Holt Street Baptist Church Edmund Pettus Bridge March on Washington Movement African-American churches attacked Journey of Reconciliation Freedom Songs “Kumbaya” “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” “Oh, Freedom” “This Little Light of Mine” “We Shall Not Be Moved” “We Shall Overcome” Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” Watts riots Voter Education Project 1960s counterculture In popular culture King Memorial Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument Freedom Riders National Monument Civil Rights Memorial

Noted
historians

• Taylor Branch Clayborne Carson John Dittmer Michael Eric Dyson Chuck Fager Adam Fairclough David Garrow David Halberstam Vincent Harding Steven F. Lawson Doug McAdam Diane McWhorter Charles M. Payne Timothy Tyson Akinyele Umoja Movement photographers
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This page was last edited on 17 October 2017, at 07:10.

Sorting Out Charlottesville

This post is about VICE footage of Charlottesville

I just watched – all the way through. Wow wow wow.

So here’s my take.

I am beyond anger. All these scenes and words and stridency underscore the hot mess we are in. And I am so pissed at POTUS … spitting mad.

But here’s the thing: Trump did not create this. He took the lid off it, and asked everyone to look inside. It’s a petrie dish, and he is a fungus that grew out of it.

The petrie dish is given a beneficial ecology through Fox, so many fungi variations can thrive. Trump just rose up to be the fungi-in-chief.

Fox is wrong that there are 100,000 racists in the country. I think it’s 50-100 million. Trump has made it clear that, with a blind ballot, 30% of the country covertly or overtly has these views.

Maybe they are not as strident. Maybe they are too clever to use these disgusting words (duh, it’s not that smart to talk about that beautiful girl Ivanka being with that piece of sh*t Jew husband). Maybe they whisper to people of like mind. Maybe they are a silent class – and love it when someone speaks up on their behalf.

I’m pretty sure that 50-100 million in the US are glad that someone is speaking out about all “this”.

What “this”? The “this” began, seems to me, when a rough, tough white texan, LBJ, used his swagger and savvy to push through the civil rights legislation we know today.

Then came the hot mess that brought us ten+ million illegal immigrants (as congress failed to figure something out). That is. part of “this”.

Then came affirmative action.

Then came black mayors and electeds.

Then came gay marriage. I’ll bet most of the 30% don’t even know someone that is gay.

Then came all the others – like transgender folks that want to pee.

You get the point. The liberal class has been out there for fifty years “perfecting the union” by extending equality to every group they can think of.

Every time this happens, the class I am talking about says “hey, what am I, chopped liver?”. They get pissed but they have no place to put their anger.

Now, mind you, I LOVE “perfecting the union”. I love Obama’s take on this. But I assumed that progress was possible because this silent class would stand down. WRONG.

The silent class is mega-pissed. Republicans figured this out, and have gotten better and better at speaking to this massive crowd of disaffecteds. But they are covert and clever, not overt. They have perfected the “dog whistle”, where only the disaffected can hear “I am totally with you!”.

As you know, I thought the HRC campaign was abominable. Gotta say, I still thought she would win. But what I am saying above is the best articulation yet of WHY she lost; and WHY we have an idiot president; and Why we have Charlottesville.

I wish I had made all this up. I did not. The best version of this position can be found here;

http://www.npr.org/2017/08/15/543730312/the-once-and-future-liberal-looks-at-shortfalls-of-american-liberalism

Columbia Professor Mark Lilla has a VERY controversial point. But I think it’s correct. And I think Democrats are sunk unless they stop their nonsense, and start speaking about the whole, more than the parts. The quilt of America is fine. Going to the mat for transgender people’s bathroom is not. We now know that as “OVER-REACH” – or, to mix metaphors “A BRIDGE TOO FAR”.

Lilla says that when you speak about the parts, you inevitably leave someone out. I think 50-100 million have heard the elected’s speak on all “this”, and they say: I feel left out.

Compounding this problem is that most media types come from diverse cities, and think like I do. They LOVE perfecting the union, and want their readers to know it. And that makes the 50-100 million even MORE pissed off and left out.

We have a hot mess. But maybe, maybe, maybe it’s better that someone, even a complete fool, ripped the cover off the petrie dish. So we can address the hot mess. Before it’s too late.

Folly of One-Way Loyalty

Maybe, instead of bashing Trump at every turn, we can step back and learn from him.

In this case, John Pitney makes a great point about the folly of one way loyalty:

“John J. Pitney, a political scientist with sterling conservative credentials, has a blistering piece in Politico explaining Trump’s problem: He thinks loyalty flows only one way. “Trump’s life has been a long trail of betrayals,” Pitney writes. He has dumped wives, friends, mentors, protégés, colleagues, business associates, Trump University students and, more recently, political advisers.

“Loyalty is about strength,” Pitney, a professor at Claremont McKenna, writes. “It is about sticking with a person, a cause, an idea or a country even when it is costly, difficult, or unpopular.”

CREDIT: NYT Op Ed