Predictions for the 2020s

1. China’s growth will be slower than in the 2010s (60%)

2. Russia’s growth will be faster than in the 2010s (70%)

3. Indonesia’s growth will be slower than in the 2010s (70%)

4. India’s growth will be slower than in the 2010s (90%)

5. U.S. forces will withdraw from Syria (70%)

6. Idlib will be fully terrorist-free (95%)

7. The Communist Party will continue to rule in China (70%)

8. Kim Jong-Un will be ruler of North Korea (80%)

9. The Saudi monarchy will remain in power (95%)

10. Trump will lose in 2020 (80%)

11. Democracy will not come to Venezuela (60%)

12. The U.S. economy will fall into recession in 2020 (70%)

13. Japan’s population will fall (95%)

14. There will be no major (unemployment 8% or higher) U.S. recessions in the 2020s (95%)

15. The president’s party will have less than 200 seats in the House in 2023 (80%)

16. Democracy will not come to Cuba (90%)

17. The machine will retain power in Russia (70%)

18. The machine will retain power in Turkey (50%)

19. The machine will lose power in Bangladesh (60%)

20. Africa will grow in population (100%)

21. New Cold War continues (90%)

22. More states will recognize Crimea as part of Russia (80%)

23. The Iran Deal will be restored (70%)

24. The machine will retain power in Iran (90%)

25. There will be no major anti-establishment left elected officials in the United States at the end of the decade (95%)

26. There will be no major anti-establishment left elected officials in the United States at any point in the decade (90%)

27. There will be no FUNDAMENTAL changes in Republican Party ideology (70%)

28. Trump’s approval rating will be above water at the end of the decade (80%)

29. Marijuana will be legalized nationwide in the United States (80%)

30. Religion in the United States will continue to decline (90%)

31. The U.S. Non-Hispanic White population will continue to decline (80%)

32. No resolution of the Palestinian question (95%)

33. No resolution of the Kashmiri question (100%)

34. No Russian military incursion into Ukraine (70%)

35. No major (1 million+ dead) wars in Africa (70%)

36. No major (100,000+ dead) wars in Asia outside the Middle East (Middle East includes Afghanistan and Central Asia) (70%)

37. No public option or Medicare For All in the United States (80%)

38. Pakistan’s per capita GDP grows faster in the 2020s than in the 2010s (70%)

39. No third Iraqi Civil War (70%)

40. No military invasion of Taiwan (95%)

41. Labour recovery in the next election (this means by seats) (80%)

42. At least one major U.S.-based social network will decline to insignificance in the coming decade (60%)

Saturday Assorted Links

1. The Reaganization of Mother Jones

2. Basically my view of Obama from the very beginning (and part of why I preferred HRC 08 to him). Even his release of Manning was only because the dude went trans.

3. Interesting argument on future of medicine and DNA

4. Trump says something actually disgusting

5. Ballsiest move of the week. I’m still amazed they actually managed to do it.

6. Interesting attempt by left-wing U.S. Senators to impose a religious test for public office

7. Wise words on terrorism

8. Wise reminder on arguments from silence

Monday Assorted Links

1. Canada’s booming; the upper Midwest (exception: Minnesota) isn’t. Also, NAFTA caused shipping U.S. manufacturing jobs to Canada.

2. The uberwonk

3. Assad says the truth

4. The West Wing

5. Funniest thing I read today

6. Your daily dose of slave morality (read the comments) A Lockean interpretation of such a doctrine (see Locke’s Second Treatise, Paragraph 18) would be Grade A subversion of the enemies of truth and beauty, but is not necessary due to the sheer pathetic nature of it.

7. Russia might build a naval base in Aden if peace negotiations succeed in Yemen

8. Carter Page and mindless Dem Establishment thoughtworms

9. Axel McKibbin goes full populist. I have my reservations, but this is a potentially defensible stance.

10. Rising education does not equal rising IQ. I am inclined to agree with Scott Alexander and Bryan Caplan on Tulip subsidies.


The first of its kind, and probably not the last. I want the largest sample size for this possible, so send it to every Tom, Dick, and Harry you know. Some of the answers (and you should review them after you’ve submitted the quiz) may surprise you. In fact, the questions are all made to have an element of surprise to them. Quiz should take a maximum of three minutes for most people.
The Quiz!:

Be warned, it’s USA-centric. You can still try your hand at it if you’re from abroad, though.

Monday Assorted Links

1. Tyler Cowen remains as nutty as ever. I don’t think I’m missing out on anything by not reading his blog anymore for the past couple months.

2. Winning tweet; winning man

3. Utah and the opioids

4. Trump in his own words

5. Full list of Trump’s executive orders. Unimpressive.

6. What ever happened to that surging antisemitism (really thorough Tracey piece)?

7. Percentage of Dems proud to be Americans at all-time low

8. The guy who discovered the Internet Research Center exposes the fearmongering poseurs

9. Keynes on population control

10. Sunnis leaving parts of Mosul recaptured from ISIS

Heart of Atlanta

In the early part of this decade, NCR corporation, following the footsteps of many others before it, moved its headquarters from its historic base of Dayton, Ohio, to Gwinnett County, Georgia. To noone’s surprise, in November 2016, the county containing Dayton, an Obama 2012 county (indeed, a Kerry 2004 county), went for Trump. Its population had shrunken by over twenty thousand between 2000 and 2010. Gwinnett County, Georgia, meanwhile, swung from being won by Romney by eight points to being won by Hillary by five. Its population had grown by over two hundred thousand between 2000 and 2010. Trump, only having been nominated due to his big talk of bringing dying jobs back, simply has no appeal to where the jobs are being shipped to. And when the jobs are being shipped out of the dying rust belt towns, they’re not just being shipped overseas. And they’re not just being shipped from the dying rust belt towns, either -over two dozen counties in Georgia actually had a smaller population in 2010 than they had in 2000. And when those jobs are leaving, they’re primarily bringing not left-behind blue-collar workers with them, but intelligent, ambitious young men and women with abundant faith in the Cathedral -clay of the elites- with them.

The rise of the Democratic Party in the Southern cities from the 1990s to today parallels that of the Republican from the 1920s to the 1960s. In 1928 (a truly revolutionary year for the party systems), Atlanta was won by Hoover -the first time a Republican candidate had won the White population of Atlanta. This Republicanism maintained itself during the Great Depression in a muted form, peaking about 1960, when Dallas was the most Republican county in Northeast Texas. It only began to move to the suburbs during the 1960s, when Goldwater lost Fulton County (GA), but did well in the Atlanta suburbs (winning DeKalb, which was only narrowly more Republican than Fulton in 1960). No doubt, this was due to the movement of southern Blacks into the inner city, resulting in a process of White flight that, to some extent, continues to this day. By 1972, Atlanta had become the most liberal part of Georgia outside the rural Black belt. Yet, this does not mean the Heart of Atlanta had in any way changed between the 1950s and the 1970s. It meant that it had only moved outward to the fertile fields of suburbia. Though any man could see that McGovern was the candidate of the urban liberals (the New York Times famously endorsed him, and Manhattan went for him), any man could also see that Nixon was, if slightly less so than Reagan, the candidate of the wealthy elites. Though Nixon’s best margins, just like Romney’s, were in the southern rurals, he performed respectably in DeKalb (77% of the vote; over 70K vote margin), Cobb, Clayton and Gwinnett -the furnaces of the new southern elite. The fault lines between this elite and the common people of the country became far clearer in the next election, when Ford’s best counties in Georgia were, in general, fairly population-dense and well-off -they included Dougherty County (containing Albany) in southern Georgia, as well as DeKalb, Cobb, and Fayette in the Atlanta suburbs. These three counties were, in the 1970s, the Heart of Atlanta, where the stereotypes of the rich South -grandiose homes, detachment from both the rural and inner-city populaces, white-collar employment, hatred of Communism, love of business, and of the attraction for and possession of both money and education- all applied.

But the was not Ford, but Reagan, who truly attracted the Southern elite’s admiration – in the election of 1980, the suburbs of Atlanta lit up Republican colors on the map like Christmas lights. The most Republican county in Georgia became Fayette, where Reagan won over 60% of the vote. Rockdale, Clayton, Douglas, Cobb, Gwinnett stood out among the patchwork of Georgia counties as some of the only counties in the state to flip to Reagan -and when they flipped, they flipped big league. Reagan might have created the marriage gap, but he also vastly exacerbated the income gap, which remained in existence until 2016.

Though the heart of Atlanta continued moving outward and outward (Clayton is now majority-Black), and the rurals increasingly took on the politics of the suburbs, the heart of Atlanta remained the same throughout -solidly establishment, solidly hawkish, solidly White collar, and solidly elitist.

What is the heart of Atlanta? The heart of Atlanta is not inner-city disorder, or the perpetrual White populism of rural Georgia, but pure and unadulterated suburban elitism that prevails in the fastest-growing parts of Georgia even unto this day. It has no regard for the protection of blue-collar jobs, Vermonter radicalism, or even crude demagoguery -its main turn-ons are tax-cuts, foreign policy insanity, corruption, praise of the financial establishment, lengthy papers filled with unacheivable policy promises, and behavior more proper to marionettes than men. Its champions Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney satisfied all those requirements. Last year’s Democratic nominee satisfied all but the first. Last year’s Republican nominee satisfied the first and only the first.

This, my friends and foes, is the heart of Atlanta- the heart of Southern elitism:

Credit: Ryne Rohla

This year, two House races will take place to replace Trump’s two cabinet picks from the House. Both will take place in districts Republican House candidates won by more than ten points. One will take place precisely in that heart of Atlanta so filled with deluded and dangerous elitists and elites, the other in the much less elite and much more generally sensible, but equally split-ticket prone state of Montana. The district that elected Tom Price, Trump’s present secretary of Health and Human Services, was the district east of the Mississippi that swung hardest against Trump in 2016. The Republican Party may suffer at first from its loss -and such a loss is certainly possible in the second round of voting. But in the long term, it will be far better off dumping the majority of this district’s residents to the big-government party they properly belong to. Some votes choke parties’ throats. Had the Democrats had an all-White primary, Bernie would have won, and won easily. Had the dominance of such people as constitute the swing vote in this district been shattered by the grand old party’s base earlier, Barack Obama would have lost re-election.

Thursday Assorted Links

1. McMansions swung to Trump

2. Hispanos swung to Trump. Nationwide precinct-wide swing map here

3. Why is DACA being given to new people?

4. is something out of a terrible spy novel

5. Wall Street bronze sculpture

6. Good points on Cowen

7. That ISP privacy thing (I’m not worried about in the least)

8. Trump is not Jeb Bush

Wednesday Assorted Links

1. Turnout didn’t lead Trump to win

2. Interview with the head of product at Cambridge Analytica

3. Gender gap shrinks as Trump loses support among men

4. How job training made women better off and men worse off

5. The eventual fate of the social media alt-right

6. Half-good criticism of Bannon

7. The Southern Captivity of the GOP. Much right, much wrong, but interesting nevertheless.

8. Classic Sailer material

9. Lee and Paul: the only men you can trust (actually, only Paul, really, as Lee unthinkingly voted McMuffin)

10. “Didn’t I?” (Turkie Delenda Est)