The Bernie Sanders Threat

Bernie is the moral supremacist progressive of the first Progressive Era of 1900-1920 that reacted to the Gilded Age and inequality of that period. Bloomberg is the elite technocrat Progressive of the second Progressive Era of 1932-1980; beginning with the New Deal and ending with the Great Society. The irony of a “progressive” reclaiming old and exhausted positions from fifty to a hundred years ago is lost on most who accept progressivism.

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The False Identity of the American Founding

“Properly understood, the “1619 Project” isn’t about black history. It’s about today’s racial disparities. It’s about applying current ideologies to past events, in the continuing attempt to blame the past actions of whites for the current problems of blacks.”

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The Nature of Knowledge

Levin observes that for the left it is forever 1965 and we are just one huge federal program away from supreme social justice. For the right it is forever 1981 and we are just one big tax cut away from economic nirvana. The conditions of 1965 or 1981 no longer exist.

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Political Thoughts 2020 02 16

The problem with greater federal power is no longer legitimacy but competence. The failure of the left to maintain control of their sacred institutions has not led them to decry it’s competence but to question its legitimacy; but by not supporting the institutions they relied on they have brought their own legitimacy into question.

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Rights Trump Democracy

“The destructive nature of socialism comes not from its tendency to trample on democracy (though socialism often does trample on democracy) but from its total disregard for rights — rights that are, in the context of the United States and other liberal-democratic systems, beyond the reach of mere majorities.”

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Restricting Democracy

“The rising authoritarianism of our time is not an aberration but the ordinary natural fulfillment of mass democracy when it has overflowed its constitutional restraints”

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A Bottomless Well of Misery

“The problems of socialism are problems of socialism — problems related to the absence of markets, innovation, and free enterprise and, principally, problems related to the epistemic impossibility of the socialist promise: rational central planning of economic activity. The problems of socialism are not the problems of authoritarianism and will not be cured by democracy.”

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Impeachment Afterthoughts

The impeachment seemed liked a hail Mary from the inception, motivated more by rage than reason. That is precisely why the constitution designed the process as they did to start in the House and then move to the Senate.  Rather than viewed as a Constitutional crisis, it should be affirmed as its proper functioning. It does not become a threat to the constitutional order just because you disagree with the outcome.

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Democracy and Property

“The right of property is of course always and everywhere a necessary but not insufficient condition for the flourishing of genuine liberty, which is a different thing from genuine democracy. Democracy despises property when it does not envy it and envies it when it does not despise it, and hence Senator Bernie Sanders et al. extol democracy in their war on property, which is a war on liberty, its sometime synonym. “

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Impeachment Thoughts

A moderate Democratic party could have leveraged this impeachment to certain victory in Congress and the Whitehouse. The new radicalized Democratic party will have a much tougher time.

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Democracy and Progressivism

Progressives wish for more democracy yet wish to move the accountability of the administrative state further from the accountability of the voter.  Progress comes from the unique output from a minority.  Minority rights should be protected from majority rule.  Freedom should not be sacrificed to the false god of democracy.

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The Paradox of Capitalism

Walter Williams properly noted that socialism works if you know everybody’s name; in small family and tribal units.  It is poorly suited to the dispersed knowledge that is the glue of an integrated complex world.  Capitalism is efficient but contrary to our biological nature.  It is no surprise that the growth of tribalism in politics is accompanied by anti-capitalist rhetoric. Capitalism, like democracy, depends on values that may be contrary to human nature, while serving the betterment of mankind in our complex world.

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Transactional Trump Support

“The president has become a convenient straw man for all the political anxieties on the left, which have manifested in an unhealthy obsession and antagonism toward the constitutional system that allowed Trump to win. “

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Economic Growth and Inequality

The passion for equality and social justice often obscures the best way to achieve it. This is the epitome of virtue signaling; policies and results matter more than intent,

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Health Market Realities

To those who claim insurance is immune to market forces, I would suggest that the problem is that it is not.  If a grocery store was required to get a certificate of need to open up a new store and the competitors got to make the decision what would likely happen to the price of food.  What would happen if an association of grocers could determine who is allowed to sell food?  What would happen to the price of your auto insurance of you filed a claim for oil changes and preventative maintenance? What happens to anything when you restrict supply and expand demand?

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Moral Agency

“The problem for Warren (who should know better) and others like her (who often don’t) is that there is a lot more juice in the moralistic account of economic problems than in the economic account of economic problems. To make things worse, the moralistic account offered by Senator Warren is untrue. Americans are not incapable of being anything other than passive victims of forces beyond their control. “

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A New Wave of Thinking

“The Depression and FDR transformed the Democratic Party. It adopted as an article of faith, held to this day by every Democratic presidential candidate, that any tear in the social fabric should be mended with permanent entitlements or subsidies. The competing idea is that subsidies are a poor substitute for finding and holding a job in a vibrant private economy.”

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Why Has Inflation Not Followed Our Debt?

But these explanations leave me uneasy. Without the pain of excessive government debt is there ever an end to it? It seems doubtful that scarcity has been erased from economic reality. The absence of short-term firewalls has historically led to large reconciliations, and it just seems immoral to spend more that you can pay for. In 50 years gold has risen from $35 to $1517.99 an ounce (1/1/20), does anybody care? The dollar is strong, and the American economy is performing better than any other in the world, even if that only provides a low bar.

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John Coltrane’s America

“..this is not Donald Trump’s America or Elizabeth Warren’s America but ours and Walt Whitman’s and John Coltrane’s and Herman Melville’s and Toni Morrison’s, and that if we really love this country, then that can only be because we love the people in it, the ones who are with us still and the ones who have been, who are “not enemies but friends.”

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A Greater Display of Democracy

When activists complain of markets failing to serve our needs, they often are just unwilling to pay the market price and are seeking subsidies at someone else’s expense.  Progressives and socialists who insist on government control while speaking in terms of greater democracy are contradicting themselves; the market place properly regulated is the greatest display of democracy.

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