Jan 6, 2022Liked by Jim Power & Chris Johns

Yikes! The potential of USA going down the civil war route … very scary. Certainly worth monitoring

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Jan 7, 2022·edited Jan 7, 2022

Trying to talk reason to someone who has seen red is a waste of time because the person isn't actually capable of listening to you and acting reasonably. They need to let the mist pass and calm down. Right now there seems to be more angry people than ever in the USA (prob everywhere tbf) so reasoned dialogue and consensus is difficult to achieve, certainly between the two main political parties. Recently my Aunty was home from Houston. One remark she made was about road rage being off the charts. She mentioned that she will never react to being cut off in traffic or the like because there's a good chance the exchange goes quickly from abusive hand gesture to guns. Like a red mist maybe it'll blow itself out, you'd have to hope so because they have an awful lot of guns.

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Happy New Year to you both.

I enjoyed your podcast today - the time flew. It was like a good football match - the 45' seemed to vanish.

I'd like to make two quick comments on the topics you discussed.

1/ USA. I'm a Dub who's been in the US for over 30 years. It's changed incredibly since I've come here, and politically not for the better. I would lean toward Chris' take on the "who is to blame" argument. I think the facts don't support the idea that the blame can be evenly distributed. I would also point that out it is hard for British and Irish people to understand the system over here. The tendency over there is to view the US through one's own experience. Ireland/UK are very much top down, highly integrated countries with almost all power residing in Dublin & London, with some limited power devolved to Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff. Over here we have very strong local government. In NY the local municipalities tax residents (property, and it is quite heavy) and that pays for local services. The school districts also tax resident directly. On top of that you have County government, and then on top of that you have State government (which is huge: NY State economy is $1.7 trillion - the state government budget is $212 billion). The issues you discuss refer to the Federal Government, which in many ways impacts our lives less than our local governments. It matters, greatly, but we are also distanced from it. '

2/ Covid. What's struck me about the world's experience with Covid is how the "winners" and "losers" keep changing. Countries that seem to be doing very well can suddenly be leading the world in bad outcomes. I think it is probably prudent to hold off on judgement until this nightmare is finally over and we can look at nations' overall excess mortality, levels of long covid, changes in GDP, unemployment etc. We can't avoid being obsessed with it of course, but I think quite often today's wisdom can be tomorrow's foolishness.

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