Treasonable noticing of seditious facts

Nicholas Kristoff in the NYT: “The newest Social Progress Index, shared with me before its official release Thursday morning, finds that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s. …

“The United States, despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, ranks 28th — having slipped from 19th in 2011. The index now puts the United States behind significantly poorer countries, including Estonia, Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece.”

A measure of social progress finds that the quality of life has dropped in America over the last decade, even as it has risen almost everywhere else.

Treasonable noticing of seditious facts

Paul Krugman in NYT: “The first thing you need to know about the very rich is that they are, politically, different from you and me. Don’t be fooled by the handful of prominent liberal or liberal-ish billionaires; systematic studies of the politics of the ultrawealthy show that they are very conservative, obsessed with tax cuts, opposed to environmental and financial regulation, eager to cut social programs.

“The second thing you need to know is that the rich often get what they want, even when most of the public want the opposite. For example, a vast majority of voters — including a majority of self-identified Republicans — believe that corporations pay too little in taxes. Yet the signature domestic policy of the Trump administration was a huge corporate tax cut.”

Yes, the rich have too much political influence.

Trump doesn’t know the meaning of America

Max Boot in the Washington Post: “So Trump doesn’t know the difference between West Coast liberalism and Western liberalism — between supporting the Green New Deal and supporting the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence that all people are endowed “with certain unalienable Rights,” including “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is the issuance of the Declaration of Independence that we celebrate on July 4. But Trump is clueless. For him it’s just another chance to stage a garish spectacle with himself at the center. …

“Asked about his embrace of dictators, Trump told reporters, “I get along with a lot of people.” Not true. He doesn’t get along with America’s democratic allies. Before flying to Osaka, Trump complained that “Europe treats us worse than China” and even claimed that “European nations were set up to take advantage of the United States.” (How prescient of the Europeans to create their nations to take advantage of another country that did not yet exist.) In a telling comment, Trump said, “You have a woman in Europe, I won’t mention her name . . . she hates the United States perhaps worse than any person I’ve ever met.” He was apparently referring to Margrethe Vestager, the European Union antitrust chief. So he thinks Vestager is more anti-American than his pal Putin, who has actually attacked America.”

How Trumpism hurts rural America

Paul Krugman in the New York Times: “What, after all, is Trumpism? In 2016 Trump pretended to be a different kind of Republican, but in practice almost all of his economic agenda has been G.O.P. standard: big tax cuts for corporations and the rich while hacking away at the social safety net. The one big break from orthodoxy has been his protectionism, his eagerness to start trade wars.

“And all of these policies disproportionately hurt farm country.”