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Demons and Saviors

From Kevin Williamson in NR, From Ritual to Bromance

The United States of America is a big, diverse, complex modern country with big, diverse, complex modern problems. The most significant of those problems are never going to be “solved” because they are not subject to final resolution. The fundamental problem with health care, for example, is that Americans’ expectations about the level of care they ought to be receiving are misaligned with their willingness to pay for that care. This misalignment is made worse by the legacy of nearly a century’s worth of prior attempts at imposing “solutions” to this problem on the nation, its government, and the economy. You don’t “solve” a problem like that. You try to manage it intelligently. There is no “solution” to the problems of Islamic terrorism, the social disruption associated with new modes of economic production at home and abroad, Chinese nationalism, global warming, crime, drug abuse, or HIV. To the extent that there is something approaching a solution to some social problems, those solutions do not look very much like a man in a suit signing a bill in the Rose Garden: They look a lot more like the worldwide campaign against polio which, the admirable efforts of the Rotarians notwithstanding, remains incomplete decades into the effort and after billions of dollars spent on it.

HKO

Populists require demons…… and saviors.

This year’s problems are caused by last year’s solutions. This is the result of pragmatism unbalanced with principles.

Plutonomies

from Liberalism’s Summer of ’17 by Daniel Henninger at The WSJ

Economists for Citigroup have called cities like New York and San Francisco “plutonomies”—urban economies propped up by a plutocratic minority, which is to say, young professionals inured to both taxes and nearby poverty. But they vote their “consciences.”

Many of those now climbing over the Democrats’ blue walls were willing to live under the original liberal governance model that existed before 1960 because it recognized the legitimacy of private economic life. The wealthy agreed then to pay their “fair share.”

Today, private economic life, especially that of the urban middle class, is no longer a partner in the liberal model. It’s merely a “revenue source” for a system whose patronage is open-ended welfare and largely uncapped public-employee pensions. I’d describe the liberal-progressive governing strategy as ruin and rule.

Not widely noticed is that liberalism’s claimed beneficiaries—black Americans—are also fleeing its failures. Demographers have documented significant black out-migration from New York, Michigan, California and Illinois into Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina. North to south.

Noticeable and Unnoticeable Inequality

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in The Twenty First Century, has spawned a cottage industry of dissent.  Piketty uses masses of data to illuminate a growth in inequality, that he surmises is an inevitable result of capitalism and can only be resolved by painfully high taxes on the rich. For the left it is a pivotal work that brings data and credentialism to their ideology that capitalism is so flawed that it requires constant and strong control from the state.

Anti-Piketty is a collection of noted economists and political thinkers that find significant flaws with Piketty’s work.  These critiques include serious flaws with the data itself and how it is used, the difficulty of measuring the forms of income and inequality itself, conclusions that are not supported by the data, and a philosophically flawed concept of wealth, growth and capitalism.

From Anti- Piketty Chapter    17. Get Real: A Review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century by Donald Boudreaux

The shrinking gap between the real economic fortunes of the rich and the rest of us should calm concerns about the political dangers of the expanding inequality of monetary fortunes. If economic inequality is destined to dangerously destabilize our political institutions, it would have to be inequality that is readily noticeable. But the 1 percent’s private art collections, solid gold Jacuzzis, and (least of all) bank accounts are not on display for the 99 percent to gaze upon enviously. Those things are invisible to the public. Unlike a hundred years ago when upper-income people (and only upper-income people) were regularly seen motoring in automobiles or strolling in their clean, pressed, and patch-free clothing into restaurants, even the super rich today are largely indistinguishable in public from middle-class Americans. If you happened past Jeff Bezos strolling down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, you’d have no clue that he’s a billionaire. His dress, grooming, and physical health would look to the naked eye no different from that of countless middle-class Americans.

Piketty’s book itself ironically supports this point: progressives hail Capital in the 21st Century as supplying the best evidence yet that the trend of economic inequality has become, as Piketty describes it, “potentially terrifying” (2014, 571). But if people have to read a book to learn just how great is economic inequality, then that inequality is not salient to their daily lives.

Trump’s ‘Z’ Vote

from Selena Zito,  Why the generation after millennials will vote Republican

“Politically, Generation Z is liberal-moderate with social issues, like support for marriage equality and civil rights, and moderate-conservative with fiscal and security issues,” said Brauer.

“While many are not connected to the two major parties and lean independent, Gen Z’s inclinations generally fit moderate Republicans.”

The Republican Party, if it plays its cards right, could make lasting inroads with this generation, even at an early age — something the GOP has struggled with for decades.

Had he been able to vote last November, Bloomstine definitely would have picked Donald Trump for president.

“I was not old enough to vote for him, but I was very engaged and informed all throughout the election,” Bloomstine said. “I liked most his independence from the political parties and his willingness to challenge them when he felt they were not serving the American people.”

HKO

This is a fascinating analysis

The Great Equalizer

Inequality is a core political controversy, usually referring to inequality in wealth or income, concepts which are not synonymous.  We tend to equate inequality in income with inequality in power, but that does not always hold true.  If it was the great progressive trend in the welfare state and redistribution would not have occurred.

But there is one part of our lives that is always equal:  time.  We all get 24 hours a day, which we get to choose how to spend. Even when incarcerated, one has some control.  This leads me to one of my pet peeves:  people who insist on stating how busy they are.

Are they bragging?  Complaining?  Admitting that they have no self-discipline or self-control to manage their own life? Are they trying to tell you that you are not important enough for them to spend time with?

When you cannot keep an appointment, return a call, or finish a job and the reason is because you are sooooooooooo busy, all I hear is how unimportant I am to you.

We all get 24 hours a day to spend as we choose.