• Economics, POC, and Who You Should Support in 2020

    March 23, 2019

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Democracy, Trump


    “See, in America we have this thing about ‘people of color.’ POC. I think you’re one.” I was explaining things American to a visitor. He was actually from Spain, so he was Spanish, not Hispanic. We were trying to figure out if he was a POC.

    This was not some sort of intellectual Sudoku to pass the time; core Democratic strategy is based on this POC idea. The U.S. is poised to become a non-majority nation (“minority white”) within 25 years, meaning about half of us will be POC. The Democratic party believes these POC will vote for their candidates, while the Republican party will wither away cherry picking voters from the dwindling cesspool of deplorable whites.

    My Spanish friend considered himself European. “So I guess I am white, yes?” he offered. But his skin was clearly a few shades darker than mine, though he pointed out that was only because my relatives came from the cold part of Europe and he came from the sunny part. But he spoke Spanish. At least in America my new friend qualified as a POC.

    His Seamless order arrived. He said gracias to the delivery guy and handed over a one dollar tip. “What do I have in common with him?” the Spaniard asked, “except the rudimentary ability to speak the same language, same as 560 million others.” I rolled my eyes at the delivery guy, a universal gesture of “people don’t tip, right?” solidarity.

    I noted to my friend as I pulled into traffic, headed back to his hotel, the Democrats in 2020 would likely have at least POC vice presidential candidate who “looked like him.” But the whole POC thing did not sit well. Why did Americans, he asked, want leaders who physically looked like them? “Didn’t it used to be wrong to judge people by the color of their skin,” he said. “Why is it OK to choose someone because they’re black but racist to choose someone because they aren’t?” I shared in 2019 a candidate named Richard who graduated from Columbia needed to go around saying “call me Beto” to lighten his whiteness.

    Things really got confusing when I explained the Democratic strategy of it’s-our-turn when white people drop below 50% seemed to be based on the idea that a newly arrived Chinese migrant and a 70-year-old Mexican-American CEO and people from Trinidad, Ghana, and the Bronx with three different levels of education all had something inherently in common. And something inherently not in common with everyone tainted various shades of pink.

    I mentioned reparations; until slavery was ended in the United States, human beings were legally considered capital, just like owning stocks and bonds today. But the Spaniard knew enough about history to wonder what reparations would be offered to the thousands of Chinese treated as animals to build the railroads, or the 8,000 Irish who died digging the New Basin Canal. Or the whole families of Jews living on the Lower East Side of New York who were forced to employ their children to make clothing for uptown “white” stores. Later in the same century, wages were “voluntarily” cut to the bone at factories in Ohio to save jobs which disappeared anyway after the owners wrung the last profits out.

    The more we talked, the more it all seemed to be about labor, low paid or never paid, and less about the C of the P doing the work. Inequality unequally distributed by race changes little about the base reality that for about 90% of us it is the controlling factor in our lives. It was like we were missing the thing behind the thing. Or someone was trying to hide it.

    “I think,” my friend said, “Americans spend so much time worried about race they miss what we Europeans understand in our bones. It is class which divide societies. Look at Britain, once nearly 100% white, yet a person just had to say a few words and you’d know who worked for who by the accent. Or India, where everyone is a POC as you Americans would say, and where they created a caste system that survived the departure of the white people.”

    It did seem silly to think a Caucasian on food stamps in West Virginia had more in common with a Caucasian in L.A. producing multi-million dollar movies than a black person on food stamps in say, West Virginia again. Blacks are lazy and get free welfare, whites don’t have to try because of free privilege. “No, your Democrats are drawing the lines the wrong way,” said the Spaniard. “It is about money not melanin.” We had to look up the last word from the Spanish melanina.

    We’d been driving for awhile, since right after the Seamless guy first met us. We’d arrived at The Plaza. My Spanish friend paid me for the ride through the Uber app, but with a generous cash tip. Privilege, I guess. I pocketed the $10.
    As I set off to my other job, it started to make more sense about money even as the idea of POC made less sense. Color masks the lines that really matter, and those lines are all colored green.

    Since 1980, incomes of the very rich (the .1%) grew faster than the economy, about a 400% cumulative increase. The upper middle class (the 9.9%) kept pace with the economy, while the other 90% fell behind. Race? You can be confident the .1% are mostly white, likely the 9.9%, too. But the other 90% of America is every color. Whether your housing is subsidized via a mortgage tax deduction or Section 8, you’re still on the spectrum of depending on the people really in charge to allow you a place to live.

    The birth lottery determines which of those three bands we’ll sink or swim together in, because there is precious little mobility. In that bottom band 81% face flat or falling net worth (40% of Americans make below $15/hour) and so aren’t going anywhere. Education, once a vehicle, is mostly a tool now for the reproduction of current status across generations and worth paying bribes for. Uplifted by virtue of a choking mortgage, the indentured servitude of college loans, credit cards, pay day loans, and the hope of lottery tickets, is still poor. Class is sticky.

    Money, not so much. Since the 9.9% have the most (at least the most the super wealthy do not yet have) they have the most to lose. At their peak in the mid-1980s the managers and technicians in this group held 35% of the nation’s wealth. Three decades later that fell 12%, exactly as much as the wealth of the 0.1% rose. A significant redistribution of wealth – upward — took place following the 2008 market collapse as bailouts, shorts, repossessions, and new laws helped the top end of the economy at cost to the bottom. What some label hardships are business opportunities to those above.

    See, the people at the top are throwing nails off the back of the truck to make sure no one can catch up with them; there is a strong zero sum element to all this. The goal is to eliminate the competition. They’ll have it all when society is down to two classes, the .1% and the 99.9% and at that point we are all effectively the same color. The CEO of JP Morgan called it a bifurcated economy. Historians will recognize the endstate as feudalism.
    You’d think someone would sound a global-climate-change level alarm about all this. Instead we divide people into tribes and make them afraid of each other by forcing competition for limited resources like healthcare. Identity politics sharpen the lines, recognizing increasingly smaller separations, like adding letters to LGBTQQIAAP.

    Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, herself with presidential ambitions, is an example of the loud voices demanding more division. Contrast that with early model Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention pleading “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

    The divisions can always be jacked up. “My opponent is a white nationalist!” and so he doesn’t just think you’re lazy, he wants to kill you. Convince average Americans to vote against their own interests by manipulating them into opposing any program that might benefit black and brown equally or more than for themselves. Keep the groups fighting left and right and they’ll never notice the real discrimination is up and down, even as massive economic forces consume all equally. That consumption is literal as Americans die from alcohol, drugs, and suicide in record numbers.
    Meanwhile, no one has caught on identity politics is a marketing tool for votes, fruit flavored vape to bring in the kiddies. Keep that in mind as you listen to the opening shouts of the 2020 election. Listen for what’s missing in the speeches about inequality and injustice. The candidate who admits we created an apartheid of dollars for all deserves your support.


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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Green will always be the dominant color. How else would a rich old white guy who makes his money off black guys get a handjob from an Asian woman. Yes, we have this thing about color…of money.

      03/23/19 8:50 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Europeans are different colors but greed makes them the same tribe. English and Spanish invaders stole land from the natives, imported black Africans to work the land, and NOW they are afraid the Chinese will take it all away…which was never theirs in the first place.

      03/23/19 9:08 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      As a POP (person of pallor) I have a conjecture. If Africa had been the more advanced civilization 500 years ago Africans would have sailed to Europe trolling for slaves. My ancestors would have ended up dancing their minuets and quadrilles while clearing jungle growth under the lash of a black master/owner. Today as a European African I’d be complaining about black privilege and the indignity of whiteface on the court at NBA events.

      03/23/19 10:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “Keep the groups fighting left and right and they’ll never notice the real discrimination is up and down, even as massive economic forces consume all equally. That consumption is literal as Americans die from alcohol, drugs, and suicide in record numbers.”

      This is genetics at work. Our ancestors were natural born killers.

      03/23/19 10:47 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      You do know the conventional wisdom is all of mankind can be traced back to its African roots. So technically they are your ancestors.

      03/23/19 10:51 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- you mean to say the so called mythical Garden Of Eden was a Kentucky Fried Chicken joint? OK, I’m up for any speculation. I thought maybe the engineers of Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS sort of spread us out on the various land masses millions of years ago. But then again the extra terrestial ambassador in A SMALL TALENT FOR WAR said an alien race had “intervened” to create warriors. Well, that conceit makes sense at least to me. We are indeed killer apes

      03/23/19 11:02 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      And Apple was our downfall.

      03/23/19 3:49 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Biden and Beto apologizing for “white entitlement” is one of the most pathetic things I’ve witnessed this week. All races will take advantage of favorable circumstances. No race is any better or worse in this regard.

      03/23/19 4:25 PM | Comment Link

    • J.L.Seagull said...


      Peter, it seems like you wrote this intending publication in a more formal outlet. Was it not accepted? It seems valuable to me. If I ran The Baffler, I would print it — your sentiments are not so far from their writer Amber A’Lee Frost.

      03/23/19 8:05 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      It ran first over at the The American Conservative.

      03/23/19 10:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      While the Dumbocrats, having run a white woman last time, are focusing on the POC to get them into the White House, they better not select a fat person. Fathead Trumpie was the anomaly considering we usually elect someone skinny like Obama and skinny W. Of course Trumpie made up for it with his skinhead racism and his skinny Jared and Ivanka. Our fat intolerance is stronger than class division. Just watched a YouTube video claiming more people would have survived 9-11 if fat people didn’t clog the stairways.

      03/24/19 6:18 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- we both know who you are referencing with the word fat but you are too kind. That POC who ran in the South recently is obese. What does it say about self control when someone is obese? Nothing flattering. She might think the red button on the red phone is the cherry toping a strawberry sundae and grab for it. Whoosh- we’re all deceased or wished we were at that point.

      03/24/19 11:07 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      She ran against a total fathead and still lost. Yes, it is fat prejudice. The tv is their enemy, adds twenty pounds. Genes are a critical factor in body metabolism. So fathead Trump has to fill his mouth with Big Macs to be obese, while others have a tough time losing fat cells. I don’t think it is always a character Issue. Let’s put demented in a concentration camp and watch the fat disappear.

      03/24/19 12:16 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- yeah, I noticed there wasn’t much fat on those German concentration camp guest photos. So if Stacy Abrams with Biden is the best ticket to defeat Trump in2020 I think we can assume Trump is assured a second term. I’m not happy with that scenario but hell, that is what happens in a democracy. We’ll survive.

      03/24/19 4:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Yes, the liberal wing of the War Party wins either way.

      Biden his time, get lost. We don’t need Hillarious 2.0.

      BTW, has the Dumbocrat Party said anything about Trumps defense budget? No, I didn’t think so. If the Dumbocratic candidate goes along with the War Party agenda, it doesn’t matter who is the Presidunce.

      03/24/19 5:14 PM | Comment Link

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