The best-case scenario is twice as bad as your worst-case scenario


Pennsylvania

I remember my mother warning me of Pittsburgh that she thought of it as about fifty years behind the times. The context for that conversation was race relations.

But seeing that Pennsylvania has just gotten around to banning underage marriage,[1] I’m thinking her warning applies more broadly, to the entire state, and to a few things besides race relations.

KDKA, “Pa. Governor Wolf Signs Bill Setting Minimum Marriage Age At 18 Years Old,” May 9, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/05/09/pa-governor-wolf-marriage-age/


Recession

Ed Kilgore highlights many significant differences between Herbert Hoover and Donald Trump and between the contexts of their presidencies[2] in an article clearly written before it was clear that the headline unemployment rate had already reached 14.7 percent officially and, more realistically, something like 20 percent by mid-April.[3] But having thought the Republican Party was doomed in the aftermath of Richard Nixon’s resignation, I think he is much too optimistic when he writes that the Party “may face a reckoning for years to come.”[4]

Nixon’s disgrace instead heralded a new increasingly conservative era, as his second vice president, Gerald Ford, assumed the office and, as ‘liberal’ became the ‘L-word,’ refused to rescue New York City in its near-bankruptcy.[5] I attribute neoliberal ideology’s rise to power to Ford’s presidency.[6]

My entire adult life has been a refutation of the notion that things can’t get worse. They can and they will.

Ed Kilgore, “Could Trump Go the Way of Herbert Hoover?” New York, May 4, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/could-herbert-hoovers-fate-be-trumps.html


  1. [1]KDKA, “Pa. Governor Wolf Signs Bill Setting Minimum Marriage Age At 18 Years Old,” May 9, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/05/09/pa-governor-wolf-marriage-age/
  2. [2]Ed Kilgore, “Could Trump Go the Way of Herbert Hoover?” New York, May 4, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/could-herbert-hoovers-fate-be-trumps.html
  3. [3]John Cassidy, “The Most Alarming Thing About the Worst Jobs Report in History,” New Yorker, May 8, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-most-alarming-thing-about-the-worst-jobs-report-in-history; Heather Long, “Jobless rate soared to 14.7% in April as U.S. shed 20.5 million jobs amid coronavirus pandemic,” Washington Post, May 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/08/april-2020-jobs-report/
  4. [4]Ed Kilgore, “Could Trump Go the Way of Herbert Hoover?” New York, May 4, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/could-herbert-hoovers-fate-be-trumps.html
  5. [5]Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014).
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.