Why We Hate Politics

What threatens us is not the division of factions but the myth of unity, even within a single party. Unity does not rise, it is forced. The will of the people is what their demagogue tells them it is.

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Vichy Republicans

“But these are stupid times, especially for Republicans, who in their pursuit of fleeting political advantage must pretend to be something other than what they are and pretend that Trump is something other than what he is. “

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Trump Builds only Half a Bridge

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has expressed approval for a weaker dollar.  Trump is promising higher tariffs.  These moves threaten to undo the benefits of his work on tax cuts and regulations.

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Abandoning Reason

“When the moral equivalent of World War II is not available, then the next best thing is the moral equivalent of Hitler. “

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Classical Progressivism

That has always been the attraction of classical progressivism: the idea that government can step in, take charge, and execute large and complex programs to improve our common life in ways that the market and private actors can’t or won’t. Understanding why that rarely works out as intended is conservatism.

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Ignore the Tweets

“What if American reporters began by ignoring Mr. Trump’s tweets, treating them as no more than the belches and embarrassing flatulence of an incurably dyspeptic man?”

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The Progressive Need for War

The two world wars of the 20th century  required of an expansionist central government that facilitated progressive goals.  Peace reduces the need for this central power,  thus they seek the “equivalence of war” to sustain progressive central power. 

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The Local Solutions to Parkland

If we want to secure our children from the mentally deranged, then address it locally. Require your local councilmen and commissioners to beef up school security. Hire the needed security personnel (including plain clothed), install the necessary surveillance equipment, provide the checkpoints and metal detectors. Add it to the budget and raise your taxes. When you own the problem, you can solve it.

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The Origin of Ideology

“As Adams explained it, the French philosophes had invented the word, which became a central part of their utopian style of thinking and a major tenet in their “school of folly.” It referred to a set of ideals and hopes, like human perfection or social equality, that philosophers mistakenly believed could be implemented in the world because it existed in their heads. Jefferson himself thought in this French fashion, Adams claimed, confusing the seductive prospects envisioned in his imagination with the more limited possibilities history permitted. “

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The Futility of a National Conversation

Our founding was a radical effort to apply principles of democracy and liberty over a large geographic area. Before it had applied largely to city-states. As the country expanded we decry the lack of a national consensus which was never meant to exist, and have lost the value of the potential of 50 laboratories, engaged to find the best solutions.

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Health Care is an Economic, not a Political Problem

The health care problem, like so many others, is the result of making an economic problem a political problem. Our elected officials make promises in exchange for votes and power without paying for them. They hide the cost in cross subsidies, mandates, regulation, demonization, and wishful thinking.

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Everything Must Be Easy

“We live in an age when we all too often want our local problems, even our personal problems, to be national problems because we think that the government in Washington is there to solve anything called a “national problem.”

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Anti-Fragile Democracy

The idea of central control of individual freedom is fraught with contradictions and has become our greatest challenge. The Progressive Era is where this came to a head and majoritarian democracy edged priority over individual and minority rights. This battle between Progressive majoritarianism manifested in an activist president and the Constitutional protection of individual rights defines our current political debate.

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Correlation is Still Useful

The problem in political policy is that once a decision is reached, a policy enacted, and a bureaucracy created we get married to the solution and refuse to correct previous analysis and assumptions. Tools that are successful in analyzing are often not so successful in predicting. The problem with government analysis is not their imperfection but their resistance to correction.

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The Need for Ideology

“There’s nothing wrong with partisanship per se, but it’s a problem when the parties view each other as enemies and existential threats. Centrism may seem an obvious solution, but too little ideology can be as dangerous as too much.”

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Jeffersonian End; Non Jeffersonian Means

Irony is almost synonymous with history.  Jefferson feared a large central government, but could not foresee a central government with Jeffersonian values.

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Capitalizing the Great Recession

“The extraordinary postcrash prosperity of the precrash superrich is altogether new in our history. Near-zero interest rates are a godsend to the wealthy, inflating their real estate, stock portfolios, bond portfolios, private equity holdings, and art collections. Middle-class and blue-collar Americans, meanwhile, haven’t made much progress, and many are worse off. Inequality has increased.”

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Rage is Poor Fuel

Trump remains vulnerable and the Democrats are too self absorbed and ill tempered to be able to take advantage of it. Resistance is not enough, and it is becoming progressively weaker.

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The True Cost of Cheap Money

From The City Journal
“Ultralow rates ease the pressure on enterprises to adopt productivity-enhancing innovations, restructure inefficient operations, and dispose of unproductive assets. That’s a major reason that productivity growth has been so poor. Ultralow rates also distort capital allocation.”

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The One and the Few

Adams feared the aristocrats (the elite). Jefferson feared the monarchs.  Each thought the other an existential threat. Evan after the constitution was signed  we were unclear what kind of government we had and what kind we wanted.  We have been trying to complete the job every since.

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