Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Highly Recommended: The rioters and the rentiers

This is an article by Michael Lind that analyzes the various factors behind the Blue City riots:

The rioters and the rentiers
Post-industrial cities aren’t working

I found the article to be quite insightful--and it spells trouble for the Dems in the long term as well as the short term. To give you a flavor, here are a few paragraphs, but a full reading is highly recommended:

The economy of America’s major hub cities is based not on profits from the sale of manufactured goods, but on economic rents of various kinds. Interest payments flow to financiers on Wall Street. Royalties for the use of intellectual properties flow to Silicon Valley tech firms and individual tech tycoons. Similar royalties flow to the Hollywood-based entertainment industry. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and search engines like Google derive quasi-rents from their near-monopolies of online advertisements. 
These three industries — Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood — provide the donor base for the Democratic party, a political machine that has virtually unchecked one-party control of most larger cities in the United States. Industries that make physical products and engage in physical services — national manufacturing, oil and gas, agribusiness, logistics — tend to contribute to the Republican party. 
The political economy of America’s progressive Democratic cities is an extreme version of the very trickle-down economics that Democrats like to denounce. Financial rents and intellectual property payments flow from around the US and the world to billionaires and firms in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other ‘blue’ cities. Some of the rents that go to the Democratic rich are then shared as payoffs to constituencies that get out the vote for Democratic machine politicians, of which the most important are the public-sector employee and teachers’ unions.


  1. >Was it genuine distress at the police murder of George Floyd?<

    I stopped reading the article at this point. If he can't report what happen to Floyd truthfully, why should I be interested in the rest of fortune telling article?

    1. I know what you mean. Yesterday I read a good article — with the exception of his death referred to as "the Floyd murder".