[Plura-list] Bojo's "New Deal" is neither; The real racial wealth gap

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Sun Jul 5 11:52:09 EDT 2020

Today's links

* Bojo's "New Deal" is neither: tldr 0.2% of GDP is not 40% of GDP.

* The real racial wealth gap: The 1% distort our statistics.

* This day in history: 2010, 2015, 2019

* Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming appearances, current writing
projects, current reading


🤜🏿 Bojo's "New Deal" is neither

Whenever I think of grifters, I get that classic image of an
overconfident, self-destructive idiot racing across a river on the backs
of alligators, certain that they won't stumble and lose a leg. See, for
example, DJ Trump.

Or Boris Johnson.

You know that grifter tactic of putting a scandal behind you by creating
a bigger scandal? That's pure gator-dancing.

Grifters love debt - spending other peoples' money is Grifter 101. But
it's not just money-debt - it's also policy debt.

If you have a real problem and a fake solution, the real problem will
continue to fester until it becomes so acute that you have a rupture, a
default, a leg chewed off. The grifter way of dealing with this is
blowing town before the rupture.

The snake-oil salesman who prescribes alternating doses of speed and
opioids to "cure your cancer" stays long enough to witness your stoned,
energized delight and collect his fee, then gtfos before you enter
metastasis and croak.

The 4-5 year terms of Anglo-American elections are not a bad timeframe
for this kind of grift. Reaganomics can produce a stock-market sugar
rush and hectic roses on the economy's cheeks in that period, and then
Ronny can toddle off to count his polyps before the bill is due.

Some gators, though, have faster-than-average reflexes and can turn and
take a leg before you can move on. Coronavirus, with its 3-week crisis
cycles, is among the most intensely anti-grift adversaries that chancers
like Trump and Bojo could encounter.

"Everything's fine! Get drunk in an enclosed space while desperate,
precarious, racialized people sharpen your fingernails and groom your
fur! It will be fine!"

[3 weeks pass]

"Uh, we've always been pro-mask. Why the fuck are you in that bar?
Personal responsibility!"

The chancers have fed our lungs and our economy to the gators, by
refusing to lock down and refusing to fund a stay-at-home order. Now,
they're trying to figure out how to distract us from the sight of all
those gators masticating our severed legs.

Bojo's idea? A "New Deal."

That was FDR's plan to revitalize the economy after the Great Depression
through extensive public spending that offered meaningful employment in
the caring and infrastructure sectors, with generous arts and
scholarship spending.

Which would be pretty amazing! But Bojo's Made-in-Britain New Deal is
just another grift.

FDR's New Deal accounted for *forty percent US GDP*.

Boris's proposed spend is 0.2%.

Zero. Point. Two. Percent.


Grifters like to surround themselves with other grifters. Reagan had
Nancy's astrologer. Boris has Dominic "Typhoid Dom" Cummings, who has
his own back to the future plan: a Made-in-Britain ARPA (the US agency
that created the internet, GPS, etc).

This is how ARPA worked:


A kind of autonomous, excellence-focused institution where advancement
was based on skill, not aristocratic birth.

It's impossible to imagine such an institution emerging from a Tory
regime. The posh boys would fill the agency with inbred double-hairs in
need of cushy resume-padding and an expense account. It wouldn't produce
a new internet - it would produce a massive bar-tab and a long tail of
sexual harassment claims.


🤜🏿 The real racial wealth gap

America has a serious racial wealth-gap problem. The mean net worth of
white US households is $900,600; the mean net worth of Black US
households is $140,000.

But as Matt Bruenig writes, averages are deceiving.


That's because America *also* has a serious inequality problem. Almost
all the wealth in America is controlled by the richest 10% of households
(those households are overwhelmingly white, ofc, but also the richest
10% of Black households account for nearly all Black wealth).

"What this means is that the overall racial wealth disparity is being
driven almost entirely by the disparity between the wealthiest 10
percent of white people and the wealthiest 10 percent of black people."

In other words, if you made the average Black US household as rich as
the average white US household, but left the gap between the richest
Black and white people intact, it would hardly make a dent in the gap
between white and Black wealth.

"97 percent of the overall racial wealth gap is driven by households
above the median of each racial group."

We could eliminate almost all of the wealth gap by making the richest
Black people as rich as the richest white people - which would no
nothing for nearly everyone.

Or we could fix it by leveling the bottom 90% of Black households up to
the same net worth of the bottom 90% of white households, which would
still leave both groups in desperate precarity.

Bruenig: "The way through this bind is, of course, to acknowledge that
racial capitalism has concentrated almost all of the national wealth in
the hands of a small number of white families. The proper course of
action is to redistribute that wealth to the multiracial lower and
working classes, tackling both racial and class inequality simultaneously."


🤜🏿 This day in history

#10yrsago Underwater Basket Weaving: the real story

#10yrsago Prizewinning pirate shed

#10yrsago Four Lions: This is Spinal Tap for suicide bombers

#10yrsago Secret copyright treaty participants demand less security,
more border-searches of iPods

#10yrsago Internet access guide 2025: Dystopian humor

#10yrsago TSA blocks "controversial opinion" from its internal network

#5yrsago All 40 of the FBI & DHS's post-9/11 terror attack warnings

#5yrsago Greece says NO

#5yrsago Greek finance minister resigns

#1yrago Tim Wu rebuts Zuck's reasons for exempting Facebook from
antitrust enforcement


🤜🏿 Colophon

Today's top sources: Memex 1.1 (https://memex.naughtons.org/).

Currently writing:

* My next novel, "The Lost Cause," a post-GND novel about truth and
reconciliation. Friday's progress: 535 words (34486 total).

Currently reading: Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Latest podcast: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 08)

Upcoming appearances:

* In Conversation with Hank Green, Jul 10,

Upcoming books: "Poesy the Monster Slayer" (Jul 2020), a picture book
about monsters, bedtime, gender, and kicking ass. Pre-order here:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626723627. Get a personalized, signed
copy here:

"Attack Surface": The third Little Brother book, Oct 20, 2020.

"Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new
introduction by Edward Snowden:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583; personalized/signed copies

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