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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/8 (342 comments)

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  •  I'm trying to remember some articles (2+ / 0-)
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    MichaelNY, bumiputera

    about this.  I think the Southern Dems were the most consistent advocates for lower tariffs, which was generally an economically liberal position.  

    On the other hand, just looking for a vote, I found this one from 1913 on "increasing income taxes on those in the upper bracket so that they shall be compelled to pay an equitable and proportionate share of the expenses of the government".  16 Senators voted for it, all Republicans, and mostly Midwestern or Western Republicans (Robert La Follette, George Norris).

    27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14).

    by Xenocrypt on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:27:21 PM PST

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    •  In reality though it wasn't exactly a progressive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumiputera, James Allen

      position.  The northern working class in particular would have been hurt by lower tariffs while southern blacks wouldn't really stand to gain from increased agricultural exports.

      In comparison, countries that successfully industrialized over a rapid period protected their infant industries while repressing agricultural rents.  These include Taiwan, Japan, South Korea.  This is in stark contrast to Latin America where even after Spanish/Portuguese control ended, development languished as all of the agricultural exports went to wealthy landowners.  The same would have happened here had the South gotten its way prior to and immediately after the civil war (when those industries were in "infancy").

      However, the taxation issue is surprising at first glance, but wealth inequality was (probably? I don't have a citation) lower in the North and West thanks to the absence of plantation farming and when inequality is lower, political power is more dispersed allowing for more players to have an interest in taxing the rich.  In the South the large agricultural interests, though representing a small slice of the population, wielded a great deal of political power.

      NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

      by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:37:43 PM PST

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      •  Again, I don't really remember (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        but my sense is that northern liberals often voted for lower tariffs as well.  For example, this vote on eliminating hemp duties was nearly party line, with Northern and Southern Democrats voting together.  And I think an article I read used "lower tarrif" votes as a proxy for overall liberalism.  Whatever the actual effects of tarrifs, lower tarrifs might still have been regarded as a liberal position at the time (like prohibition).  But I'm certainly no expert in either regard.

        27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14).

        by Xenocrypt on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:56:10 PM PST

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        •  That's a bit later than the period I was thinking (2+ / 0-)
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          MichaelNY, bumiputera

          Once domestic industry was well established and by that time it was, lowering the tariff wouldn't kill it so yes, lower tariffs were the more left-wing position.

          But I'm thinking back to the 2nd party system where the Whigs were for the tariff and Democrats were against it and the period after the initial 2nd stage industrial revolution sparked by the civil war where a lot of nascent manufacturing would have been vulnerable to British competition.  From a domestic viewpoint, a policy that encouraged the greater amount of total development and prevented rents from accruing to an aristocratic elite seems hands down the more progressive of the realistic options.

          Don't get me wrong, not everything about that development strategy was perfect, but if you compare our experience with that of Latin America and Russia (and later Africa) on the one hand and Japan (and later South Korea and Taiwan) on the other, it doesn't take a genius to see which one we were closer to and that we are a lot more developed as a result.  Especially since the baseline wasn't all that different from Latin America in the 1800s, particularly countries like Argentina.

          NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

          by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:04:41 PM PST

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      •  I wouldn't make assumptions about inequality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumiputera

        outside the South. Let's remember that the Industrial Revolution led to tremendous inequality between the factory workers - who were expendable and could literally be worked to death - and the owners and managers.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:58:32 PM PST

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        •  Not everyone worked in a factory though (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, jncca

          I know for damn sure that agricultural wealth inequality was magnitudes lower outside the South (not just the North but also the midwest and plains) thanks to things like the Homestead act and the inability to grow plantation crops.  Yes, the wealth disparity between the factory workers and owners was disgusting, but do you really think it was worse than the disparity between the Southern plantation aristocrats and sharecroppers? I doubt it was.

          I'd love to see some GINI coefficient calculations for the South and non-South over the course of the 3rd party system though, I bet a lot of people would be surprised.

          NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

          by sawolf on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:17:44 PM PST

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    •  that vote (2+ / 0-)
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      KingofSpades, MichaelNY

      That 1913 vote would be scored as the conservative position, just fyi, due to the left right axis on that issue at that time. It was a "fiscal responsibility" vote.

      Remember to not look at those old votes through the prism of today's politics, because it'll warp what was the actual spectrum.

      23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

      by wwmiv on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:00:26 PM PST

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      •  I don't know about that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, sawolf

        George Norris and Robert La Follette on the right wing?  But your broader point is worth remembering.  

        27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14).

        by Xenocrypt on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:12:13 PM PST

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        •  Those were left wing votes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          The position that legislators take when voting for or against a piece of legislation is also normally taken into consideration.

          23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

          by wwmiv on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:35:13 PM PST

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