Cato Goes Woke

 

A speaker at an event at the “libertarian” Cato Institute says that efforts to maintain or rebuild American manufacturing is nothing more than a “fetish for keeping white males with low education in the powerful positions they are in.” And I really don’t whether this comes from a place of embracing woke racialism (seeing everything in terms of race and class) or just the typical contempt of the think-tank class toward the working class.

But perhaps the real lesson is that no one should ever take the Cato Institute seriously. Video is here.  Some of the hot takes are here.

The speaker is the president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics – an economic think-tank that champions globalism and is funded by a bunch of transnational corporations.

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  1. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    It is interesting to me that the twerps at Cato would use the term “low education” in reference to men, and maybe women, who can actually do something of value. You know: Plumbers, electricians, builders, auto mechanics, as opposed to those who make a living by running their mouths. 

    Back in horse country where I grew up, we have a suggestion for those people that is not appropriate for this forum, but the initials are S a H’s A. 

    • #1
  2. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Cato was great for a while there, about the time of the Great Recession.  Downhill since then.

    • #2
  3. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Libertarian views, including the utterly hilarious late P.J. O’Rourke, run into issues when people do things for not economic reasons.  Manufacturing is useful to be able to resist trade sanctions or a breakdown of the supply chain.   The fact that it provides good jobs for trades workers and lesser skilled workers is a bonus.  The racial element is silly – there are plenty of black and hispanic people in trades and manufacturing.

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    “They aren’t real libertarians ” in three two one …..

    • #4
  5. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    Free market theory was always a crock. I figured that out when the supporters of free markets defend the moving of our industry to fundamentally unfree state run markets like China. These people don’t know what they’re talking about. And now adding the it’s good because Chinese people should have the opportunity instead of the white American areas that have been damaged due to our “free market” policy  is just the icing on the cake of what crap this all is.

    • #5
  6. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Also, how delusional and out-of-touch do you have to be to think working class white males – the most marginalized demographic in America – have any power.

    • #6
  7. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Victor Tango Kilo: A speaker at an event at the “libertarian” Cato Institute says that efforts to maintain or rebuild American manufacturing is nothing more than a “fetish for keeping white males with low education in the powerful positions they are in.”

    The speaker (Adam Posen) is a Harvard Man (BA through PhD), which in itself suggests a degree of insularity above and beyond that of academics in general. Bet on it that he has never dirtied his hands and his eyes with any involvement in the sort of work done by non-academics.

    Academics are usually more careful to hide their contempt for (and malevolent intentions toward) “the lower classes”. Presumably Adam Posen felt that his opinions would sound less vile when dressed up in trendy racial and sexual politics.

    • #7
  8. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):
    Free market theory was always a crock.

    No.

    …I figured that out when the supporters of free markets defend the moving of our industry to fundamentally unfree state run markets like China.

    It’s not free trade when one of the two markets is unfree.

    The problem is that many public intellectuals (and pundits, and politicians) who pose as advocates of free trade are really mouthpieces for corrupt businesses and foreign agents. And it’s amazing how little money it takes to corrupt an academic.

    • #8
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: A speaker at an event at the “libertarian” Cato Institute says that efforts to maintain or rebuild American manufacturing is nothing more than a “fetish for keeping white males with low education in the powerful positions they are in.”

    The speaker (Adam Posen) is a Harvard Man (BA through PhD), which in itself suggests a degree of insularity above and beyond that of academics in general. Bet on it that he has never dirtied his hands and his eyes with any involvement in the sort of work done by non-academics.

    Academics are usually more careful to hide their contempt for (and malevolent intentions toward) “the lower classes”. Presumably Adam Posen felt that his opinions would sound less vile when dressed up in trendy racial and sexual politics.

    Agreed. This is a class thing, and as long as you can claim that you are attacking Undeserving White People, you can advantage your higher caste all you want. 

    There is a sense, on both the right and the left, that there is a group of moneyed people who keep the money to themselves through essentially dishonest and unethical means by creating, bending, and outright breaking laws that favor them. Meanwhile the people on the bottom who are attempting to rise cannot do so (and cannot access the freebies – we can debate whether they should exist or not some other time – the government sends to the unemployed). There is a reason for this sense. 

    Contempt for people who are on welfare is unkind; contempt for people who are working is bizarre, yet here we are. 

    • #9
  10. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    TBA (View Comment):
    There is a sense, on both the right and the left, that there is a group of moneyed people who keep the money to themselves through essentially dishonest and unethical means by creating, bending, and outright breaking laws that favor them.

    And that is the original, true meaning of privilege: “private law”. A commoner would be hanged for something that the Lord of the Manor could do with impunity. And now a Biden or Clinton or Obama enjoys that same immunity.

    • #10
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    There is a sense, on both the right and the left, that there is a group of moneyed people who keep the money to themselves through essentially dishonest and unethical means by creating, bending, and outright breaking laws that favor them.

    And that is the original, true meaning of privilege: “private law”. A commoner would be hanged for something that the Lord of the Manor could do with impunity. And now a Biden or Clinton or Obama enjoys that same immunity.

    Hmm. What I am hearing is that we need to shift the conversation to ‘wealth privilege’. Because a goodly amount of white privilege is that, in we make up most of the wealthy. 

    • #11
  12. MoFarmer Coolidge
    MoFarmer
    @mofarmer

    So is this a typical opinion of the Cato folks or is he someone on the fringe of Libertarians?

    • #12
  13. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    Cato people accused GW Bush in classic Truther form. My experience with libertarians who make a big deal of that (whether big or small L) is that they are interested in two things: 1) legalizing their favorite drugs, and 2) isolationist foreign policy. 

    Brink Lindsey is a leftist in disguise, Ed Crane is an airhead doofus.  Michael Tanner thinks that we can terminate all government involvement in medicine and the world will adjust (eventually after we all die of curable diseases).  These people are not to be taken seriously.

    • #13
  14. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Something like 35 or more years ago the CATO Institute did something I must have liked and I sent them some money.  I only did it once.  I have moved many, many, many times since then, but they always find me to ask for more money.  It’s actually kind of eerie that the first indicator that I’ve got a new address is that I get a mailer from CATO.

    I haven’t opened a single envelope, I think, in these past decades.  I certainly will continue with that habit.

    • #14
  15. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):
    Free market theory was always a crock.

    No.

    …I figured that out when the supporters of free markets defend the moving of our industry to fundamentally unfree state run markets like China.

    It’s not free trade when one of the two markets is unfree.

    The problem is that many public intellectuals (and pundits, and politicians) who pose as advocates of free trade are really mouthpieces for corrupt businesses and foreign agents. And it’s amazing how little money it takes to corrupt an academic.

    Academics are a cheap date.  

    • #15
  16. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    • #16
  17. Steve Fast Coolidge
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    Is that the official stance of Cato, or is it the opinion of an invited guest? It is possible to invite speakers to give a variety of opinions without it necessarily being something the Cato champions.

    • #17
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Is that the official stance of Cato, or is it the opinion of an invited guest? It is possible to invite speakers to give a variety of opinions without it necessarily being something the Cato champions.

    These two comments make me want to say that the guy on the left is probably an unofficial guest, but that his stance is similar to that of many other Cato members. 

    • #18
  19. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Alot of black guys lost their jobs due to the transfer of manufacturing to other countries. Think of Detroit. A mostly black city where black and white guys moved to to work in factories. I think Trump has done unusually well among black males because lots of black guys want those jobs. 

    I think I probably disagree with most of you guys on trade issues but I really resent this Woke racialist racist nonsense. 

    • #19
  20. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Is that the official stance of Cato, or is it the opinion of an invited guest? It is possible to invite speakers to give a variety of opinions without it necessarily being something the Cato champions.

    The only issue with it is that it was said bluntly. I’ve heard insinuations from plenty of libertarians that skate very close to this.

    I’ve also heard a lot of post-Trump libertarians readjusting their views on it, too. But this view above clearly dominates libertarian thought leaders with Mises likely being an exception to that rule. Glad they won the last battle for control of the LP.

    • #20
  21. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    Free market theory was always a crock. I figured that out when the supporters of free markets defend the moving of our industry to fundamentally unfree state run markets like China. These people don’t know what they’re talking about. And now adding the it’s good because Chinese people should have the opportunity instead of the white American areas that have been damaged due to our “free market” policy is just the icing on the cake of what crap this all is.

    That’s because we don’t practice free markets. If automation and globalized trade is forcing deflation (better living through lower prices), you have to have a deflationary and very libertarian economy. If you don’t, you are going to have an inhumane system with terrible inequality. All of the changes are going to happen way faster than is necessary as well. You also can’t trade with the Chinese mafia.

    CATO is corporatist. They don’t really want to make the adjustments as I’m talking about.

    I used to talk to the CATO immigration guy on Twitter. I never thought he was coherent about the deflation from the immigration those guys effectively want.  It looks like corporatist raping and pillaging, to me.

    • #21
  22. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    TBA (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: A speaker at an event at the “libertarian” Cato Institute says that efforts to maintain or rebuild American manufacturing is nothing more than a “fetish for keeping white males with low education in the powerful positions they are in.”

    The speaker (Adam Posen) is a Harvard Man (BA through PhD), which in itself suggests a degree of insularity above and beyond that of academics in general. Bet on it that he has never dirtied his hands and his eyes with any involvement in the sort of work done by non-academics.

    Academics are usually more careful to hide their contempt for (and malevolent intentions toward) “the lower classes”. Presumably Adam Posen felt that his opinions would sound less vile when dressed up in trendy racial and sexual politics.

    Agreed. This is a class thing, and as long as you can claim that you are attacking Undeserving White People, you can advantage your higher caste all you want.

    There is a sense, on both the right and the left, that there is a group of moneyed people who keep the money to themselves through essentially dishonest and unethical means by creating, bending, and outright breaking laws that favor them. Meanwhile the people on the bottom who are attempting to rise cannot do so (and cannot access the freebies – we can debate whether they should exist or not some other time – the government sends to the unemployed). There is a reason for this sense.

    Contempt for people who are on welfare is unkind; contempt for people who are working is bizarre, yet here we are.

    This is my view.

    • #22
  23. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    There is a sense, on both the right and the left, that there is a group of moneyed people who keep the money to themselves through essentially dishonest and unethical means by creating, bending, and outright breaking laws that favor them.

    And that is the original, true meaning of privilege: “private law”. A commoner would be hanged for something that the Lord of the Manor could do with impunity. And now a Biden or Clinton or Obama enjoys that same immunity.

    You better be able to hire lawyers and lobbyists either with wealth or associations or you are screwed.

    • #23
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The other way to look at it is, IWalton is right about everything. 

    • #24
  25. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Some may like this. 

     

     

     

    • #25
  26. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Stina (View Comment):

    The only issue with it is that it was said bluntly. I’ve heard insinuations from plenty of libertarians that skate very close to this.

    I’ve also heard a lot of post-Trump libertarians readjusting their views on it, too. But this view above clearly dominates libertarian thought leaders with Mises likely being an exception to that rule. Glad they won the last battle for control of the LP.

    There is a video going around of Dennis Prager saying that if you vote Libertarian you are enabling socialists. Then the argument is, Trump and all of the Republicans spend so much that they are socialists.

    This is the problem. The time to reduce spending was 20 years ago at the outside. If the government doesn’t keep spending the asset bubble is going to collapse. Tax revenue is really high right now, but it barely covers entitlements, interest, and military spending.

    The other problem is, enabling Democrats in any way is comprehensively bad. I can’t believe people can’t see that.

    You have to get it in your head that terrible mistakes were made in the 90s and the absolute last chance to be ordinary conservatives was around 2004.

    Regarding the types of libertarians, I would say there is Mises, CATO, Hayek and the Objectivists. Everything else is really tiny. CATO is really bad. The Hayek people aren’t really organized. To be clear, I am not an expert on this topic.

    • #26
  27. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I wish the LP would stop doing anything above state legislature. It’s never going to be anything positive because there are too many types of libertarians. They should just recognize who is running and give them a place to make their pitch. Explain what type of libertarian they are. 

    Also, I would like to see somebody defend the prior president of the LP. I thought the guy was a train wreck. 

    • #27
  28. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I wish the LP would stop doing anything above state legislature. It’s never going to be anything positive because there are too many types of libertarians. They should just recognize who is running and give them a place to make their pitch. Explain what type of libertarian they are.

    Also, I would like to see somebody defend the prior president of the LP. I thought the guy was a train wreck.

    When the LP came out a day or two after 9/11 and blamed the attacks on the US for not being isolationist enough is when I had had enough of their stupidity.  A lot of what they say is good, but they are dominated by idiots and they are too interested in shocking people and smoking dope and after 9/11 they could no longer be considered to have America’s best interests at heart.

    • #28
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    That’s because we don’t practice free markets. If automation and globalized trade is forcing deflation (better living through lower prices), you have to have a deflationary and very libertarian economy. If you don’t, you are going to have an inhumane system with terrible inequality. All of the changes are going to happen way faster than is necessary as well. You also can’t trade with the Chinese mafia.

    Then the issue is, do you solve this with industrial policy? If you don’t fix it with that, what do you do? You sure as hell don’t do it with stupid GOPe boiler plate babbling about free trade. It’s a real mess. I tend to think that Steve Bannon has the solutions but I can’t say I fully understand it.

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

     

     

     

     

     

    • #30
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