That Old-Time Whistle

Paul Krugman, New York Times, March 17, 2014

{snip}

It’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars—people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait.

Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate. But it doesn’t matter. He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.

Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.

We are told, for example, that conservatives are against big government and high spending. Yet even as Republican governors and state legislatures block the expansion of Medicaid, the G.O.P. angrily denounces modest cost-saving measures for Medicare. How can this contradiction be explained? Well, what do many Medicaid recipients look like—and I’m talking about the color of their skin, not the content of their character—and how does that compare with the typical Medicare beneficiary? Mystery solved.

{snip}

In the 1970s it was still possible to claim in good faith that there was plenty of opportunity in America, and that poverty persisted only because of cultural breakdown among African-Americans. Back then, after all, blue-collar jobs still paid well, and unemployment was low. The reality was that opportunity was much more limited than affluent Americans imagined; as the sociologist William Julius Wilson has documented, the flight of industry from urban centers meant that minority workers literally couldn’t get to those good jobs, and the supposed cultural causes of poverty were actually effects of that lack of opportunity. Still, you could understand why many observers failed to see this.

But over the past 40 years good jobs for ordinary workers have disappeared, not just from inner cities but everywhere: adjusted for inflation, wages have fallen for 60 percent of working American men. {snip}

These awkward facts have not, however, penetrated the world of conservative ideology. Earlier this month the House Budget Committee, under Mr. Ryan’s direction, released a 205-page report on the alleged failure of the War on Poverty. What does the report have to say about the impact of falling real wages? It never mentions the subject at all.

And since conservatives can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening to opportunity in America, they’re left with nothing but that old-time dog whistle. {snip}

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  • sbuffalonative

    If Conservatives are said to us ‘dog whistles’ when speaking of race, blacks and their white apologists use a bullhorn.

    When Conservatives cite the same statistics that blacks use to call attention to black problems, they too are citing race.

  • Boring. A left wing whackjob (sorry, Engelman, he is) throwing pies at a direct disciple of Jack Kemp.

    They’re both wrong.

  • WR_the_realist

    Yet even as Republican governors and state legislatures block the
    expansion of Medicaid, the G.O.P. angrily denounces modest cost-saving
    measures for Medicare. How can this contradiction be explained? Well,
    what do many Medicaid recipients look like—and I’m talking about the
    color of their skin, not the content of their character—and how does
    that compare with the typical Medicare beneficiary? Mystery solved.

    Okay, here Krugman admits that Obamacare, which greatly expands Medicaid and pays for part of that by cutting Medicare, transfers wealth from elderly whites to young blacks and Latinos. Why shouldn’t white people who have worked and paid into the system their whole lives complain about that, especially when the Medicaid recipients haven’t paid for any part of what they get?

    Krugman is correct that the jobs situation in this country has gotten worse for everybody. But why is that? Part of the problem is due to massive outsourcing of jobs, accepted by both parties. The rest of the problem is due to massive insourcing of cheap labor, accepted by both parties but most especially by the Democrats.

    BTW, this is the same Nobel Economics Prize winning economist who believes the federal government isn’t deficit spending nearly enough. Naturally the New York Times loves him.

    • Grantland

      Krugman is just another cunning liar, like Greenspan and Gould and Diamond and Freud and countless others of the tribe. He doesn’t believe his nonsense for a moment. I was once told by one of the creatures (an outburst) “Your mind is my cum-rag”.

      • Geo1metric

        An attitude like that is cultivated.

    • Michael Whalen

      Something else about Obamacare that nobody wants to talk about. Some of the most strident supporters of Obamacare are in the hard core gay community. If you have AIDS or HIV, or any other of a number of lethal, incurable diseases that gays catch and spread with complete abandon, the medications necessary to keep you alive can range in cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars per month. Obamacare means that if you are a hard working family man or woman, who spends your evenings helping your kids with their homework, and watching the National Geographic Channel, you are financing the depraved lifestyle of some hard partying, disco diving pervert.

  • WhiteGuyInJapan

    In a way, Krugman is correct. The mainstream Right constantly does mental and semantic acrobatics to avoid addressing race head on while the Left is obsessed with race. Immigration and gun rights can be seen as proxies for racial concrens on both sides.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    “But over the past 40 years good jobs for ordinary workers have disappeared, not just from inner cities but everywhere”

    That means that, even more, whites need to look out for themselves.

  • LHathaway

    “the flight of industry from urban centers meant that minority workers literally couldn’t get to those good jobs”

    What to say to this? One could say, this is completely race neutral. Companies were relocating to areas where actual work could be expected to be done (it’s not as if belief in ‘unions’ and a refrain from momumental stealing from the company is race dependant – hell – poor whites lead the charge in deconstructing American morality {or pandering to people of color, blacks in particular if one wanted to call it that}). If this turned much of the country into possible guests on the next Jerry Springer show, heck, this too is something to be proud of.

    How about examining both transportation schemes and also rates of car ownership?

    There’s no way to get to those ‘good jobs’? What do we have but her word on how much ‘more’ those good jobs pay – jobs outside urban area’s instead of located inside them or very close. Is she saying she wants more industry located inside urban areas? Last I checked, new Hyunda plants only start pay at around $9.00 and hour.

    An entire article about how we should do more to raise american wages yet none of those who agree with her or read her magazine would be caught dead driving an american car. More than one side can exhibit this hypocracy she is so eager to tell us about. Unfortunately, only one side is every heard from. ‘Bigots’ don’t deserve to be part of the converstation

  • DaveMed

    I have to agree with the premise of Krugman’s piece (and WhiteGuyInJapan’s post). So-called “conservatives” are trapped in the ridiculous position of being faintly aware of racial realities but simultaneously clinging to the hope that if they give enough speeches at NAACP conventions and denounce the War on Poverty as having decimated the Black community (because there couldn’t possibly be any other reasons Blacks have never succeeded, right?), they will buy the minority vote. Oh, and of course, fighting abortion is supposed to bring Latinos into the fold. This tightrope act is fairly obvious, but I won’t deny that I used to do my best to publicly deny it when I was a National Review-type conservative.

    The advantage to being a racial realist/White Nationalist is that we can state our beliefs unabashedly, without trying to walk this inane tightrope. The battle lines are drawn, and there is little need for silly self-muzzling.

    • Martel

      Excellent comment.

    • JSS

      Great comment but the only thing I would disagree with is this sewer we call Amurika today is the logical conclusion of the wheels set in motion by people like Lincoln and the Roosevelt’s. Not trying to split hairs though. My partriotism died the same way as yours.

      • DaveMed

        While we can debate the wisdom (or folly) of Lincoln’s war, it must be remembered that, to his credit, he at least recognized that the Blacks had no business being here. Of course, it was to his great discredit that he had no plan set in place to accomplish their relocation. All this apart from that whole Civil War thing.

        Likewise, TR had refreshingly realistic views on race.

        Different times, JSS. Back then, even the Progressives were sane on the questions of race and culture.

  • Thanks, Krugman for calling out conservative hypocrisy on race. Of course, you never mention liberal hypocrisy on race. In fact, you libtards don’t want anybody talking about race. That’s why anybody who does start talking about it is labeled “racist.” That’s why you have to shut down the comments section on websites. That’s why you have to censor the news. The Bible says something about taking the log out of your own eye, you fool.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Has groveling ever worked? It makes Paul Ryan look even more pathetic!

  • Sue

    Last sentence: Mr. Ryan wasn’t being inarticulate — he said what he said because it’s all that he’s got.

    All that the shrill author’s got is “Never again” over and over and over.

  • “Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.”

    Well, they obviously are.

    “the flight of industry from urban centers meant that minority workers literally couldn’t get to those good jobs, and the supposed cultural causes of poverty were actually effects of that lack of opportunity.”

    Industries don’t flee anyplace unless they have good economic incentives to. And since we’re talking about employers of blue collar employees, said employers apparently felt that fleeing from inner city blue collar workers would benefit them. So do you blame the blue collar workers or do you blame the industries for behaving rationally?

  • JohnEngelman

    people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites.

    – Paul Krugman, New York Times, March 17, 2014

    When accused of violating the constraints of political correctness, truth is no defense. Indeed, the more accurate the statement, the more serious is the offence, and the more severe is the punishment.

    • Charles W.

      And don’t forget the larger the outrage from the lemmings.

      The most interesting thing to me with respect to white liberals is that their outrage doesn’t stem from their disagreeing factually with what you say (although there is an element of that). Their outrage stems primarily from the fact that you said something that ‘you shouldn’t have said,’ because ‘EVERYONE KNOWS’ that smart, cultured, educated people don’t say things like that.

      It’s a form of group identification; status signaling. Sad evidence that 95% of humanity, including whites, are followers by nature.

      • Frank_DeScushin

        The white liberals’ lemming-like nature is pathetic. It’s their smug righteousness and their penchant for blaming whites for black pathologies which makes them loathsome. If white liberals formulated another bogus excuse for black failure like the devil makes them do it, I would find the white liberals merely disingenuous and annoying. Since they insist on blaming whites for black problems, though, I find them detestable.

        • JohnEngelman

          They are finally seguing to the explanation that there is something wrong with “the black culture.” That begs the question of why the black culture is so depraved, but it does not quite blame whites.

          What this black culture stuff does not explain is why black crime and illegitimacy have gotten worse since the civil rights legislature was signed.

          How is it that whites, with our lower rates of crime and illegitimacy, are responsible for the fact that blacks have higher rates of crime and illegitimacy? Don’t ask that question at a liberal dinner party if you want to be invited back.

      • JohnEngelman

        People get angry when assertions they wish were true but know are not true are questioned.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Liberals foolishly imagine that social reality somehow transcends human beings and that this reality will remain the same regardless of which ethno-racial group replaces the founding population. Wishful thinking aside, all of the empirical evidence suggests that society is an organic whole, whose way of life and dominant social and political institutions are determined by the kinds of human beings in that society.

    The only way to save America is to have an honest and open discussion about race and racial differences. Unless that discussion happens now or in the near future, we’ll all be drowning in 3rd world feces and America will be on the brink of a disastrous race war.

  • Steven Barr

    Ryan is a miscegenator but even he can’t avoid the dreaded r word. That’s why I don’t think nationalists should waste time trying to claim “we’re not racist, we’re not racist” ad nauseum. The truth is you are going to have insults thrown at you no matter what if you tell the truth. The best thing you can do is to just stop caring.

    • D.B. Cooper

      Once I realized the Chinese don’t care if you call them racists, I stopped caring too.
      I’ve gotten quite good at bringing up several examples of other race’s own racism whenever I’m called that dreaded R word.

      • LHathaway

        The solution is not Necessarily to go on about the opposite. . point out all the milllions killed by Stalin, etc. I suppose it depends on how deftly you do it. Most of the time, as conservatives, our own ‘reactions’ are used against us. Sometimes it’s better to ignore whatever issue it is they are bringing up to (for the purpose of demeaning you or making themselves look better – certainly to keep themselves out of the pot). Does denying Global Warming do anything to advance the argument that the Earth is getting colder (as it certainly has been in my neck of the woods for the last 15 years or so)? Even arguments against the multicult often favor the multicult. Sometimes the best you can do is just ignore them and get used to being ‘out of power’.

        Of course, to truly be the of opposite of what the multicult and ‘tolerance’ stand for would be to highlight the cause of whites and whites who aren’t doing so well. Ignore their activism and do your own. It is also playing the game by the same ‘tolerance’ rules. Championing white vitcims is truly something different for the forces of tolerance to face. As such, it can earn you the ‘Nazi’ tag, if not in actual word. However you do it, I wish you the best of luck.

        • Geo1metric

          “That’s what we are doing here, forming an agenda of our own. Personally, I wish we’d focus more on ‘whiteness’ (if not exclusively) and less on people of color – it only gives them even more power.”

          You make an excellent point. Most successful politicians learn early on that being “positive” trumps being “negative”.

          We should apply that concept to our cause as well. For example, we should join and support organizations which promote White culture. Attend Celtic festivals. Help Whites in need. East coast people can help in Appalachia; there are organizations which help the poor in Appalachia most of whom are White. There are poor Whites everywhere, though. Help them.

      • SoulInvictus

        It’s lost so much power due to over use. The only place it still carries weight is the work place (though you’d be reasonable to say that’s the only place that matters). But increasingly in any social setting I’ve been in, no one cares. And if someone lobs it at you, they usually laugh through it the same way as if they’d said, “damn, man…you’re a bastard lol”.
        Because truth cuts through bullsh*t. And people find it refreshingly shocking from the garbage the left forces them to choke down.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    “Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.”
    ——————

    So you mean that it’s driven by the truth, Paul?

  • Frank_DeScushin

    Krugman is not only a true believer in Liberal dogma, but he’s a sort of high priest to the other zealots.

    • My political science professor sung his praises constantly. It made me sick.

  • Extropico

    Krugman admits there is less opportunity to find legitimate work with all the offshoring and yet he’ll type up an article two days from now with that old time dog whistle about Whites being racists if they are opposed to open borders and devaluation of the dollar to pay for it.

    Mr. Krugman, I prefer my intellectuals to have principles other than antiWhite dog whistles.

  • Yet it’s hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees

    I wonder if Paul Krugman, who writes for the New York Times, ever reads the New York Times. If he did, those “denunciations of huge WS bailouts” on the part of TPM leaders and politicians would not be hard to find:

    www dot smartertimes dot com/1164/krugman-tarp-and-the-tea-party

    The reality was that opportunity was much more limited than affluent Americans imagined; as the sociologist William Julius Wilson has documented, the flight of industry from urban centers meant that minority workers literally couldn’t get to those good jobs, and the supposed cultural causes of poverty were actually effects of that lack of opportunity.

    When urban areas had those jobs, blacks largely did not want them, and to the extent they got those jobs, were big time screw ups.

    Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate.

    Paul Krugman probably thinks that Paul Ryan others like him are unwilling dupes of our agenda. Well, does anyone here think that Paul Ryan is a particularly good dupe of what we want done? When it comes to our #1 political concern at the moment, Paul Ryan is clear on the wrong side.

    Left wingers hear dog whistles, people who listen to George Noory see UFOs.

  • Charles W.

    The damage that this one individual (Paul Krugman) has done to the country through his economic and social propaganda is hard to exaggerate.

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

    Apparently, economics is not the only issue on which Mr. Krugman is best ignored.

  • John R

    The conservatives are just for the rich; the liberals are just for the minorities. Same old story.

  • Geo1metric

    I am constantly stunned by the ability of people like Krugman to ignore the obvious; they are shockingly disingenuous. Alternatively, they are incredibly naive.

    • No, they are evil and they are liars. The simplest answer is often the correct one.

  • cranky_1970

    Even the children of the most successful blacks have on average a much lower IQ than the children of the least successful whites. Explain that, Paul!

    • Charles W.

      Institutional racism.

  • Hunter Morrow

    Krugman is another jew trying to take your speech away. Pay attention!

  • Geo1metric

    Yes! One thousand times, Yes!!!

    When I get calls from either political party, I ask them if they support affirmative action. When they say yes, which they always do, I say “then you will get not one dime from me since that is discrimination…against Whites”!

  • SoulInvictus

    Nope. Good luck finding a full time job. Look up the stats for how many applicants there are per available job.
    Did you not see the widely talked about piece on the Walmart opening that had thousands in line and applying for their crappy min. wage jobs. It was like something from the Depression. You can barely afford to pay for the commute’s gas and a daily food ration from the income off jobs like that. And the jobs you mention in your number one require either a couple years of college (more money or debt) or apprenticing. No, neither is undoable, but eating and not sleeping under a bridge while you’re making them happen could be very difficult.

    I think it’s been a while since you were poor. It’s rough out there right now.
    And if you live in a small town or rural area with an even slimmer crop of employers, very hard times.

  • SoulInvictus

    I try to base my opinions on my own personal experiences or those of people I know and trust. Data can be bent to endorse any perspective or agenda, such as global warming or the unemployment rates the government touts knowing they don’t reflect reality.

    You’re not wrong about work ethic though. I’ve run a business, and it was unbelievably difficult finding decent workers.
    Of course, the way the corporation was structured, it was almost guaranteed I would never find any (no one is going to clean toilets for long on minimum wage).

    “let’s not pretend that 86 million Americans are helpless victims of economic forces beyond their control.”
    Well, one word comes to mind in response to that.
    Globalization.
    By forcing the American worker to compete against third world, child, peasant and slave labor, we will inexorably descend into parity with the lowest common denominator.
    That trend has accelerated since the 90’s.
    Not everyone can be upper echelon, highly educated professionals, and in this respect John Edwards was right about the whole “two Americas” idea. We are in the process of polarizing into two very different economic classes (3 if you count the uber wealthy separately).

    That is very dangerous for a republic or democracy and those are indeed forces completely out of their control.