Noah Smith’s Crazy Utopian Idea

He writes,

I want to move back toward a society where the hard work of an unskilled laborer is considered worthwhile in social interactions, regardless of how many dollars it brings home. I want to move back toward a society where being a good parent or a friendly neighbor earns as much respect as making a hundred million dollars on Wall Street.

In other words, I want our “democracy” back. We need to redistribute respect.

Pointer from Mark Thoma. To realize this utopia, the mainstream media would have to respect people who belong to the tea party. That is why the idea struck me as crazy.

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27 Responses to Noah Smith’s Crazy Utopian Idea

  1. Lord says:

    Or even more incredible, the tea party would have to respect others, including Obama. Well what’s a future for if not to dream.

    • Andrew' says:

      There are two kinds of respect relevant to this context: the kind you grant someone because they earned it because they are a decent human being, and the kind you grant that they haven’t earned because you aspire to be that kind of person.

    • djf says:

      Yeah, just like Obama, Democrats and leftists always respect their political opponents. I well remember how much personal respect the Democrats showed George W. Bush even as they respectfully disagreed with his policies. What a shame Tea Partiers and other conservatives can’t be like that.

      Really, this is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  2. Andrew' says:

    “Back”? When was that? I’d guess that the alpha was lower, but wasting time on unprofitable activities was even more denigrated at any time t<0

  3. sam says:

    There is no “back”. There have always been social and economic classes, and usually ones more rigid than now.

    “Respect” is nothing more than the currency of social class. We will never have redistribution of respect for the same reason why we will never have much redistribution of income: There is a demographic and a party that fiercely defends its position.

    Republicans are the party of social egalitarianism and economic inequality.

    Democrats are the party of economic egalitarianism and social inequality.

  4. Yancey Ward says:

    It is difficult to respect Smith’s opinion when he seems to truly believe such a “utopia”, or “Democracy” in his phrasing, existed in the first place.

  5. Noah Smith says:

    Ah, but in a society of equal respect, Tea Party people would respect nonwhite Americans as equals. And if that happened, I suspect that the media would have a much easier time respecting Tea Partiers.

    • Andrew' says:

      Kind of like how Obama and Krugman respected the “tea baggers” who “cling to their guns and religion” first?

    • Yancey Ward says:

      Ah, here it comes- the race card. Nice.

    • S says:

      Its funny cause part (a really big part) of the media’s disrespect for the Tea Party involves gratuitous accusations of racism. Accusations that are mostly untrue, unfair, and completely disproportionate.

    • Jeff R. says:

      Well, that didn’t take long.

    • ColoComment says:

      Tea party supporters support three general principles: limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets. Those principles are not reserved for the pleasure of white people only, Mr. Smith. In fact, skin color is never mentioned by tea party supporters. IT IS IRRELEVANT.

      Mr. Smith, cite me to one honestly sourced, accurately reported, confirmed by witnesses and/or evidence, just one, example of a credibly identified tea party supporter or tea party event participant who disrespected a non-white person (be he American or not), either in action or in word.

      I’m not talking about disagreement over policy. I’m talking about ad hominem insult and obvious lack of respect.

      You yourself have just gratuitously & generically insulted a fairly large segment of the U.S. population by your words. You should either support your statement or apologize to your blog host.

    • Handle says:

      Good grief Noah; what a tin ear.

      You claim you want to live in a world with more respect.

      Kling says that’s probably a false claim, because despite all this posturing about wanting the ordinary working man to get more public respect from elites (like yourself) you don’t actually respect those ordinary people when they have different political opinions from your elite self, and you feel no compunction against falsely slandering them as racists, among other things.

      And in response, you actually show that precise kind of self-contradicting disrespect.

      Obliviously ironic. You couldn’t have illustrated Kling’s point better if you tried.

    • drycreekboy says:

      Know any actual tea-partiers, or just what you read on other policy blogs?

  6. John says:

    I’d like to congratulate Noah Smith on proving for the n-th time that the Godwin’s law for liberals is still valid and that he is intellectually impotent in framing his oponents.

    Additional clarification: per American constitution, people still have the right to be racist as fuck and express it (unconstitutional judicial precedents be damned), so even if the argument is true, it still means fuckall.

  7. Andrew' says:

    Obama basically had one job, to fix too-big-to-fail, but he chose the healthcare boondoggle because he could due to the crisis caused by too-big-to-fail.

    He gets more than enough respect. Not because he’s black, because he’s a lying political cynic opportunist who happens to hold an office that some people (e.g. tea partiers) still think deserves respect.

    Just for the drone program, if he weren’t president, he’d deserve less than respect, he’d deserve judgment.

    And please let’s get off the racism ad hominem untruths. Or stick with it. Who cares? Tea partiers don’t hate races as a rule. Southern open borders have obvious problems, which is why every other people have strict quotas. Only for the Mexicans when people ask if they need to be allowed in en masse is the question racist. Blacks are not generally hated, in my observation, though their statistically odd parenting choices and proportion of criminal activity are noticed- though even there, I bet I could convince some tea partiers to look into the lead exposure causes crime aspect. That is to say, maybe it’s not genetic, but who cares? Show me some actually racist policies or proposals. Citizenship and voting doesn’t count. Tea partiers didn’t suddenly realize that America was a melting pot and get angry, they suddenly realized it was going to pot.

    I predict that when Hilary is president and pursues a bunch of horrible wrongheaded policies we’ll be sexists too.

  8. Andrew' says:

    Boy howdie, the charitable view towards those who disagree is getting hard.

    Just our drones have now killed more civilians than Amercians lost in 9/11.

    Imagine living in a place where silent drones can attack at any time.

    I realize this isn’t the venue for the disrespect I feel these people deserve, so I’m out.

    • andrew' says:

      It’s a weird show of respect that I expect everyone else should understand this: if In a two party system you make gratuitous positive rights for minorities your signature brand don’t be surprised if the I the side includes the infinitesimal amount of non-unionized racists.

  9. TA says:

    I don’t think Noah liked Arnold’s view. That’s a pretty ugly response he put into the comments.

  10. Floccina says:

    Three cheers for Mike Rowe and the dirty jobs show.

  11. Lord says:

    The thing is MSM shows tea partiers plenty of respect. In the MSM, coverage is respect. Now tea partiers don’t come across that coherent or competent, but that is just because they lack a single leader to provide a unified front and so have many conflicting opinions that they are trying to accrete into a common position and many aren’t very knowledgable and prefer truthiness to truth, or are and prefer to dissemble than be open about their objectives.

    • djf says:

      The MSM shows the same kind of respect to the Tea Partiers that the state propagandists showed to Goldstein in 1984. Or that the Arab press shows to Jews.

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