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Edward  Boyle

Much has been made of the similarities between the current situation with that of the 1930s, Bush as Hoover, Obama as FDR, etc. with maybe conflict with China instead of Japan/Germany over resources.

However the USA is divided internally very similarly to the antebellum period of the 1850s. Slavery had been limited to natural growth since 1808 and slave states /free states were limited along geographical lines. As the USA expanded westward the argument was slave or free state. Eventually war broke out.

The modern slave is oil, which peaked in 1970, exports becoming ever more expensive(like slave trade limitations after 1808). Geographical expansion is into the suburbs due to cheap driving and into the Southwest and previously sparsely settled parts of the south through Air conditioning units. Whereas the antebellum North relied on ingenuity and inventiveness, own hard work on farm, i.e. industrialism through technology, the south relied on a simple culture of slave agriculture and simple religious and cultural values.

The modern democratic base is urban, more immigrant and educated in areas mostly not in the exurban or southern solely A/C liveable areas. This democratic base is on the upscale, believes in technological advance through alternative energy and smart urban living, energy conservation, and is more liberal to agnostic and less prowar/expansionist.

The current Republican party relies on expansion of suburban/rural/southern constituency with a strong religious, even racist, xenophobic tinge and is warmongering jingoistic.

As local oil and all energy production is going backwards and external production is peaking and is only attainable through warfare the expansion of the republican demographic has stopped. A/C will fail in southern edge areas and exurbs /suburbs everywhere will become unliveable / inaccessible by current means. The simple promise of constant expansion of lifestyle without apparent costs is over. The slave trade allowed similar to southerners. The dispute between the two modern political parties is over what lifestyle can the country afford into the future. Both sides are arch enemies. Can the country expand endlessly at cost to others with strong, simplistic conservative jingoistic values, without technical change espoused by democrats which would allow a limited more urban, less materialistic lifestyle. Even without imminent climate change this choice would have to be made due to peak energy. The constituents of the republicans will shrink in number due to peak oil and moderate northern urban locales will become repopulated due ot immigration form depopulating areas. As people live closer together and must rely on their ingenuity they will become more moderate religiously and politcially.

To sum up - the Republican base is unwilling to give up his slaves and plantation (oil based life and suburban home). He justifies this with inborn rights from Bible or empire (manifest destiny, white man’s burden).

The democratic is more urban and international. He looks to a more European way of life where quality of life depends on consumption of intellectual goods not just more plastic. God’s will is, as far as is believed in religion in a vague sense, to care for the creation, and Asian religious thought is not strange (balance with nature). Foreigners are to be welcomed with foreign ideas. Growth is to be in balance with nature, in terms of energy saving devices to eliminate dependence on Fossil fuel slaves and with more natural agricultural methods where possible to improve health of individual and environment (less chemicals, pesticides, runoff).

A physical civil war will not occur. There will be no positive resolution a la FDR, 1930s. It seems by avoiding or postponing a decision on purpose the republicans are forcing US default and inability to transition. The civil war then is now occurring in congress. Only as the republicans do not believe, or deny Peak Oil and Global Warming, when the US has defaulted and is in a major downslide, with less oil and electricity, and no way to adjust, only the republicans can lose. The suburbs and southern conservative areas will shrink as energy availability shrinks quickly. So congressional stalemate leads to disintegration of current party stalemate and arrogance of republicans. Slavery became untenable over time as northern industrialism won advantage. PO /GW denial will become untenable and the only solutions will be those offered by current progressives. I do not mean old style democratics/keynsians with ideas of redistribution of wealth. I mean hard working powerdown “industrialists” and localizer farmers, creatives of all sorts ready to roll up their sleeves to change the status quo and not attack other countries and be religious or national bigots. However it seems before that happens the USA must fall a long way. The internal struggle/ civil war must be won to save the country from worse.

Matt K

I've heard the idea of the Republican tactic of forcing the U.S. into default to prompt massive cuts in programs, but with the ensuing financial crisis that it would bring, wouldn't the people it would affect most be the wealthy Republicans (miserable for all, don't get me wrong)? Unless you own productive (farm) land or actually own a business (not stock/bonds in said business), it seems any financial crisis could & would wipe your wealth out. Great that you own four houses - who will buy them from you? All of your stocks - same question. Or is the thinking that they would all somehow avoid this financial crisis?

I also wonder, with the huge baby boomer voting block nearing retirement, if it would be suicide (figuratively and literally) for the Republicans to take away all of those promised benefits. Cries of socialism and redistribution of wealth can scare a lot of people, but they won't get you too far if you're yanking away all of the promised benefits and giving more tax cuts to "spur investment" to the very wealthy.


I agree with the premise of the post: nothing will be done. Sadly, I think it will take another Pearl Harbor (external event) to get both parties of Congress to agree on anything.

At 2:43 Mr. Dow says that he's "not sure we need it (more stimulus)." The structural problems he mentions cannot be fixed with stimulus, surely he knows this. Furthermore, how does borrowing more stimulus money help if the middle class isn't willing to take on more debt? This is a false arguement.

At 3:57 he fails to mention energy when he talks about "the inhibtors to growth." Mr. Boyle talks about this above and I agree. As China and India increase their demand for oil and mature fields decline in earnest, traditional brick and mortar growth is no longer possible. This is already masked by the financial sector.

I'm sure Mr. Dow is an intellegent guy, but sometimes I think the guests on these programs live in a different dimensional reality.

Greg Pinelli

Precisely what is supposed to be done??? More bailouts? More unemployment extensions? Should the overpriced homes people can't pay for be propped up with subsidized loans?? Do something? How about letting lousy investments fail..how about building from a financial base where integrity matters? Anything else is the kind of political whining I'm surprised to see Dave participating in.

Jack Lohman

Even when Obama had 60 votes he chose "bipartisanship" because he knew he wouldn't get it and his corporate funders would be tickled pink.

Nothing is going to change until we have public funding of campaigns. What is it about political bribes do we not understand?

If politicians are going to be beholden to their funders, those funders should be the taxpayers. And at $5 per taxpayer per year it would be a bargain. Even at 100 times that. We MUST lobby our senators and representative to co-sponsor the bill at:

Jack Lohman …

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