by China Miéville The stricken punditocracy agrees that Donald Trump is missing a crucial quality, a je ne sais quoi necessary for his office. He may be president, but he is not presidential. The liberal world is in mourning for this dispositional quiddity, presidentialness. According to one recent poll, 70 per cent of Americans surveyed held that Trump has – particularly in his genuinely startling use of social media, his deliberately offensive provocations – acted ‘unpresidentially’. Plucking examples from vast reserves, the LA Times decries Trump’s ‘self-indulgent and unpresidential demeanor’; the Village Voice his ‘unpresidential’ ‘antics’; the Atlantic ‘the
by Amar Diwakar. The great normalisation has commenced. The universal belief amongst the establishment that Trump would be catastrophic for the Republic has given way to sycophantic supplications that the grandiosity of the highest office in the land will eventually mollify much of his incendiary proposals. Whether it is Hillary Clinton declaring that Americans “owe Trump a chance” in her post-mortem concession speech, or Nancy Pelosi promising to engage with him on policy issues related to infrastructure, childcare, and early childhood education.
by Benjamin Kunkel The acute capitalist crisis of 2008 has in the years since developed into a chronic complaint, to be managed but not overcome. In wealthy countries, ultra-low interest rates prop up consumer spending and, for investors, prolong the ‘asset-price Keynesianism’ described by Robert Brenner in the 2000s: the money conjured into being by government deficits no longer boosts the economy, through public investment and purchases, in the way of old-fashioned Keynesianism, but takes the form of cheap loan capital, which (funnelled through private banks or wagered on a bank’s own account) inflates the prices of stocks, bonds, and other
by Benjamin Kunkel The acute capitalist crisis of 2008 has in the years since developed into a chronic complaint, to be managed but not overcome. In wealthy countries, ultra-low interest rates prop up consumer spending and, for investors, inflate the value of stocks, bonds, and other paper or digital assets. Swollen private portfolios induce luxury spending, and the size of the resulting wealth effect, as Alan Greenspan liked to call it, does a lot to determine what volume of crumbs spills from the banquet table in the form of worker’s wages. Because the rich spend a smaller proportion of