Foreign Policy Blogging at OTB

by Dave Schuler on May 21, 2014

I’ve just published a foreign policy-related post at Outside the Beltway:

Is “Finlandization” an Option?

Is a a neutral posture between “the West” and Russia really an alternative for Ukraine? Reacting to a column by David Ignatius I summarize Finlandization, explain why it makes sense, and ask a few questions. I think there are more questions here than answers.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

... May 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

The fact that Ignatius and Brzezinski are in favor of the Finlandization of Ukraine makes me think it must be the wrong policy, though I’m not sure why.

... May 21, 2014 at 9:29 am

And under the category of good domestic news:

Poll: 47% of Unemployed Have ‘Completely Given Up’ Looking for a Job

How old is that ‘”recovery”‘? How long do those things usually last?

Dave Schuler May 21, 2014 at 9:36 am

The fact that Ignatius and Brzezinski are in favor of the Finlandization of Ukraine makes me think it must be the wrong policy, though I’m not sure why.

Yeah, Brzezinski’s support signals it’s a questionable idea; Ignatius’s support suggests that it’s now the prevailing wisdom.

... May 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

Ignatius’s support suggests that it’s now the prevailing wisdom.

If it is the prevailing wisdom in DC it can only mean that it is bad for America, but boffo for DC and the billionaires that own its denizens.

michael reynolds May 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm

There’s just a wee bit of a problem with that poll:

47 percent agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job.” (7 percent said they “agree completely,” 7 percent “agree a lot,” 15 percent “agree somewhat,” and 18 percent “agree a little.”)

60 percent say looking for work has been harder than expected. 10 percent say it’s been easier than expected.

Nevertheless, 91 percent agree with the statement, “I’m hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months.”

And 81% agree either wholeheartedly or to a degree that “I’m confident that I will find a job in a reasonable amount of time.”

It’s a very interesting poll – setting aside the disconnect between 47% given up and 91% hopeful – with all kinds of interesting facts. The overwhelming majority of lost jobs appear to be low-wage gigs. 69% say their last job paid $10 an hour or less, which is below what my local In-N-Out pays. I don’t see any way to clarify whether “last job” refers to the job from which they were initially laid off, or refers possibly to a temp job subsequent to the big initial loss. But it flies a bit in the face of the notion that this is hitting the middle class especially hard.

Also found this interesting: “Are you actively taking steps to start your own business?” Only 16% say yes.

Among those who’ve been out of work for more than two years, 63% say they’ll take any job that will help pay the bills, 37% say “I’ll only accept a job that I really want to do.” That number rises to 49% of college-educated folks.

It’s a whole big long list of interesting data – definite Schuler-bait – but one of the many things that struck me was this number: 57%. That’s the percentage of people who’ve been out of work for 24 months or more who answered “Not at all willing” to the question “How willing are you to consider relocating to another city/town or state to find a job?” Presumably a lot of that is people trapped in homes they can’t sell (an issue Dave has raised), as well as people with kids in school, a spouse with a job, etc…

... May 21, 2014 at 7:47 pm

I’m not seeing the problem. It points out that the economy is terrible. Which we know from any number of other results, from falling median wage data to the fact that as of a couple of months ago we were almost 3.9 million full time jobs short of where we were before the recession.

Oh, and any number of studies have shown that the jobs lost during the recession have been replaced by lesser jobs.

B-fucking-PLUS if you’re a loyal Dem!

michael reynolds May 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Just pointing out that “giving up completely” and “hopeful” and “confident” are contradictory.

... May 22, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Well, good God, then, let’s burn the bastards alive for not showing logical consistency.

... May 22, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I’ll also note that the logical consistency you call for would require them to either be delusional or extremely pessimistic. The latter of which every goddamned one of you rich people criticize unemployed people for.

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