Thursday, July 28, 2016

Zero sum politics Part II: Donald Trump, exiting, loyalty and disloyalty

The Democratic convention continues to be BO-RING.  So, here's Part II in Zero Sum Politics.

In Part I, I talked about how a drug-addled Charlie Sheen, I mean Fergus Laing (see?  I didn't call him Tony Clifton) thinks only in terms of winning and losing.  Zero sum games, like elections, do not describe interactions such as trade in capitalist systems.

So, let's get this straight.  We have a trade deficit with China.  That doesn't mean we are "losing" to China.  That means consumers are getting cheap stuff.  Voluntary trade makes everyone involved in those transactions better off.  That's called capitalism.  Adam Smith.  Go read a fucking book, Donald.  If you can hold it with your tiny, tiny hands.  Yes, there are complications, externalities, etc., but Donald Trump doesn't know what an externality is.

Moving on...

Zero sum politics means there are winners and losers.  Like in elections.  Let's talk about what losing means in an electoral system.  I promised as reading list, so let's get one going.  Great book time. Albert Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty.  You can't be an edumacated [sic] person 'til you've read it.  Go buy it and read it.

Basic point:  when firms, states, etc. decline, you can either whine or leave.  What mediates the decision?  Loyalty.

OK, how does Donald Trump define the quality of the political system?  Whether or not he wins.  He's Mr. Zero Sum.  What if he loses?  Well, he certainly does whine a lot, but in Hirschman's terms, there are two questions.

1)  How loyal is Donald Trump to the U.S., truly?

2)  What does "exit" look like for him?

On 1, less loyal than John McCain.  John McCain endured five years of torture and never broke.  Had Trump been there and been captured, he would have offered to turn traitor, and we all know it.  As an anti-goo-goo who thinks BCRA was one of the dumbest pieces of legislation in modern history, I'm no fan of McCain, but this isn't a real question.  Trump asked Russia to hack his opponent's email.  We are through the fucking looking glass here.

Then there's 2.  Maybe we'll save that for next time.  Now go read Hirschman.  Ph(ony) D(octor)'s orders.

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