Monthly Archives: February 2020

Democrats Default, Trump Gains

The Federal Trade Commission, with a majority of Trump appointees, has just launched a full-scale investigation of abuse of monopoly power by the tech platform giants—Google, Amazon, Facebook et al. The inquiry will focus on more than 400 strategic acquisitions over a decade, which big tech companies have used to cement their monopoly stranglehold, such as Facebook’s purchase of competitors Instagram and WhatsApp. This perversion of market power was already flagrant during the Obama years, but the FTC—with a [...]

By |2020-02-13T12:21:50-05:00February 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump’s Latest Crackpot

Donald Trump has named lots of crackpots to high office, but his latest nominee goes for the gold—quite literally. Judy Shelton, whom Trump says he plans to name to the Federal Reserve, wants to return the U.S. dollar to the gold standard. As we painfully learned from economic history, a gold standard is profoundly deflationary, because it prevents necessary expansion of the money supply in line with economic growth. No serious person advocates it. Gold had a certain intuitive [...]

By |2020-02-13T12:21:14-05:00February 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

A Bit of Good News for Warren

As Pete Buttigieg continues to surge and Joe Biden keeps collapsing, a deep dive into the Iowa precinct statistics (such as they are) contains some surprising and potentially hopeful news for Elizabeth Warren. Contrary to assumptions based on ideology, she turns out to be the second choice of a surprisingly large percentage of initial Biden supporters. Here are some numbers, courtesy of Richard Martin, a self-described political junkie and numbers junkie based in Iowa. Martin was a precinct captain [...]

By |2020-02-13T12:20:24-05:00February 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

The Winner: Mike Bloomberg

He wasn’t even in Iowa, but with the predictable collapse of Joe Biden, Mayor Mike had a better night than Mayor Pete. Bloomberg is doubling his paid staff to 2,000, and doubling his anticipated campaign spending to unheard-of sums approaching a billion dollars. Bloomberg’s hunch that Biden would crater paid off. So the center lane will now be a contest between him and Buttigieg, with Sanders and Warren contending for the left. Even in Iowa, with its leftish Democratic [...]

By |2020-02-13T12:18:04-05:00February 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Bread, Circuses, The Super Bowl, and Fascism

One of the many depressing things about Trumpism is how little daily life has changed, except in ways that are invisible and menacing. For the professional class, the food is better than ever. Art, literature, film, and theater are more compelling. Cities are vibrant and safe. There are new medical miracles. And you probably got a tax cut. Global warming hasn’t hit home yet, so eat, drink, and be merry. The policy travesties affect someone else. For the masses, [...]

By |2020-02-13T12:14:41-05:00February 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

I Spend Therefore I Am

NEWS ITEM: Michael Bloomberg pledges to help fund Democratic nominee even if it isn’t him. Bloomberg: Congratulations, Bernie. You did it. And Stacey Abrams is a very shrewd pick as running mate. Sanders: Thank you, Mike. Your anti-Trump ads have been just terrific. Bloomberg: Well, that’s what I wanted to discuss. Sanders: Yes? Bloomberg: Some of us billionaires aren’t all that evil. I mean, I’m as good as it gets on gun control, tobacco, gay rights, abortion—not to mention defense of [...]

By |2020-02-13T12:13:45-05:00February 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Full-On Fascism

It’s a word I avoid because it is used too loosely by the far left. But the behavior of both Trump and the Senate Republicans truly does suggest a deeper drift toward fascism. One hallmark is absolute loyalty to a delusional leader and Big Lies. The Democrats and the media (except for Fox) dwell in a factual universe; Trump and his defenders are off in an alternative realm of their own imagination. Fascism is also an alliance between a [...]

By |2020-02-13T12:07:42-05:00February 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments