The Problem with Capitalism

The danger of excess regulation or central planning is not frustrating the natural organic order, but undermining the institutions that control our baser instincts.

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Hatred and Glory

“The disastrously unsuccessful social experiment of the early 21st century has been attempting to substitute hundreds or thousands of superficial and transitory instant relationships for genuine community and family, which require time and a different kind of effort to cultivate.”

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A Patina of Affluence

“Young people have the patina of affluence, with an array of electronic appurtenances and lifestyle choices, but not so much else when it comes to finding good jobs, affordable homes, and freedom from debt — especially tragic when so many got so little from the university in exchange for their borrowed money.”

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Economic Thoughts 2019 02 02

Typically, the economy rebounds sharply after a deep recession like 2008.  The slow growth experienced could have shown a delayed effect unleashed by the Trump election.  The market may have been cheering more for the removal of impediments to growth than it was to the prospect of tax cuts and deregulation.  Emerging from a long period of slow growth may have the same effect as emerging from a deep recession.

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Hoping the Alligator Eats Us Last

“In such a bizarro world, there is nothing wrong with tech employees forced to sleep in their cars near Silicon Valley monopolies -— as long as the owners wear T-shirts and flip-flops and rail at Trump in internal memos.”

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The Higher Truth

“They too often define accuracy as the higher Truth that transcends the fossilized idea of truth predicated on obsolete ideas such as evidence, facts, and empiricism.”

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The Shame of American Journalism

“Ronald Reagan liked to quip that a government department represented the closest thing to eternal life we are likely to see on this earth. In close second is a bad journalist with the right opinions, for he will be treated as if he were the very embodiment of liberty.”

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The Identity Cult

Identity politics and its accusation of “privilege” is collective guilt.  It is the opposite of individual rights.  In the case of Kavanaugh it is used to undo due process and the basis of our legal system.  The illusion of social justice is used to destroy the reality of legal justice, the justice that truly counts and protects all of us from the mobs feared by our founders.

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The Demise of Objective Sociology

“..we did not think our primary professional task was improving political institutions or helping people who were suffering. Understanding how and why people interacted with one another was difficult enough.”

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Status on the Cheap

“And it is the very cheapness of the identity that causes us to cling to it ever more angrily. Women are more liberated than ever before, but they grow louder about their oppression. “

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A Slave to Our Narrative

You will believe the most outrageous things if it fits your narrative. If your first response to an outrageous story is to smile or cheer or become enraged  then a professional should stop and triple check every detail and then wait 48 hours to see what clarifications emerge.

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Are Property Taxes Regressive?

The contest between the sales tax and the property tax obscures the true problem: a government that spends too much and tries to hide from its responsibilities with these shell games.

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The Progressive Inception

Clarity in words and thoughts decay over time.  When opposing views retain respect for the same words and principles, those ideas become ripe for interpretation, transposed to meet our current personal and political objectives as much as we may profess fidelity to its conception.

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The Tucker Carlson Debate

“It’s not the free market that is financializing the American economy and empowering Wall Street’s leveraged buyouts of American businesses. It’s the federal government’s preferential tax treatment of corporate debt and guarantee of “too big to fail” bailouts.”

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The Heart of Populism

Populism on the right has risen from the neglect of the values that uphold the market and lack of recognition of the market’s effect on our social values.

Populism on the left has risen from an unfulfilled promise of more democracy and then frustrating it with the administrative state, executive orders and judicial decrees.

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Killing Art

“Political correctness is the enemy of art. Self-censorship is a killer of art. Censorship applied from outside, through organized pressure, is an assassination of art.”

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Year End Thoughts 2018 12 30

At 66 I am more inclined to accepts my flaws than work hard to correct them. Again, tipping to Churchill I would hope to limit my annoying virtues and be less ashamed of my admirable vices.

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Utopian Fascists

Utopian political movements — and all totalitarian movements are basically utopian — love the world, except for all the people in it.”

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The Crash of 1937 and the Rise of Keynes

William Trufant Foster, a former college president, and Waddill Catchings, an industrialist and financier wrote Profits in 1925 and The Road to Plenty in 1928. A decade before Keynes these amateur economists challenged the fundamental principle of Say’s Law that production generates its own supply. They reversed the principle to ‘consumption drives production.’

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The Third Wave of Capitalism

Competition is both wasteful and efficient. Lots of ideas die, but the new ones that emerge more than make up for the loss. Central planning may restrict competitive ideas, but rarely leads to the emergence of great ideas because central planning is reacting to problems and needs that become obsolete before the ink is dry on the plan.

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