Author Archives

Archive of the posts written by author : Henry Oliner.

The Battle of the Bastards

The big question when Trump won in 2016 was whether his victory was the result of the rejection of the ideology of the left or the rejection of the deeply flawed Hillary Clinton.  The question few of us considered was if it was the attractiveness of either the character or policies of Donald Trump.  

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The Madisonian Insight

“This was the Madisonian insight,” he contends: “that you can make all sorts of promises on a piece of paper, and call it a ‘bill of rights,’ and it’s not worth the paper it’s written on unless you have some means to enforce it. Like any good contract, it’s only worth the enforcement mechanism it stands on.”

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Of the Elites, By the Elites, and for the Elites

“Progressivism was exactly a doctrine of the elites, by the elites, and for the elites. They said–I mean, their objection to market society was that markets function so annoying well, without the supervision of intellectuals.”

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The Political Corruption of History

Politics can pollute science, religion and – in this case- history.  We are all the sum of our decisions- good and bad.  Progress comes from the recognition of both; recognition and correction of our sins, but also the recognition of how we overcame them and the value of our institutions that prevented other evils and promoted the stunning progress we have achieved in spite of our sins.   The 1619 Project only wants to recognize our sins and ignore our redemption, virtues, and progress.

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Another Failed God

“the worst forms of tyranny very much include majoritarian tyranny. One might think that the Trump presidency would cause progressives to think twice about what William F. Buckley Jr. dismissed as “the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.”

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Reconciling Flaws with Success

Even supporters have trouble reconciling Trumps flaws with his success.  Half of Trump supporters like him as he is, and half just like him more than the Jacobins running for the Democratic slots.  They prefer Trump’s character flaws to the bad ideas of the Democrats which pour forth uncontrollably.  The mobocracy fo the Kavanaugh hearing scares them more.

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A Watery Ceasarism

“Hence, there is such a thing as a human nature that is fixed and settled, not plastic to the touch of culture or government. That, we are more than culturally-acquiring creatures that take on the coloration of whatever social situation we are in. And third, from this flows the most important principle, which is separation of powers, to make government strong enough, to protect our natural rights, and not so strong that it threatens them. “

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A Financial Warning Shot

The bailout of the overnight repo market by the NY Fed has raised a lot of questions. Why was the financial market unable to respond without Fed help? What caused such an unpredictable surge in demand that caused rates to double overnight? Such conditions are ripe for theories and I have mine.

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The Middle Class Finally Wins

The data counters the false refrain of the Trump cuts only benefiting the rich.  While I have repeated this refrain for years, the actual tax rates matter more than the statutory rates. The difference is the Special Interest Spread- SIS- a term I coined in this article: Save the Swamp.

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Conrad Black on American Legal System

“The U.S. criminal justice system, because of the corruption of the plea bargain system that facilitates the prosecutors’ extortion of perjured inculpatory evidence with impunity, is just an immense kangaroo court.”

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The Danger of Consensus

“we are on a trajectory to increased sluggishness economically, which will mean increased ferocity politically as we use political power to allocate wealth and opportunity, which we used to assign to markets.”

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Centrally Planned Ignorance

From National Review, Kevin Williams’ China’s Population Problem: Governments always operate in ignorance, and authoritarian governments suffer from this more than the governments of liberal societies. That is because in liberal societies, the spontaneous orders of markets, civil society, and…

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Jacobin Democrats

Hanson’s Jacobin moniker is more accurate than ‘progressive’.  It is a far more radical, illiberal, and often violent way to move  the political needle. It is different than populism;  it shares impatience and passion but lacks a root to the old order.  Among populists you sense a love for the country, even if it is an older version of it; with the Jacobins you sense a disgust for the country. One could argue that the Jacobin wing on of the Democratic Party is just a violent radical populist movement, but its lack of civil restraints make it far more dangerous.

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Growth and Inequality

It only surprises those whose blind rage over anything Trump combined with their mistaken belief that inequality is “the defining challenge of our time” (Obama).  If you prioritize inequality over growth you will have more inequality and less growth; if you prioritize growth over inequality you will have more growth and less inequality.  

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The Business Roundtable

Their compliance and subjugation to this class warfare rhetoric perpetuates the giant lie of the social justice warriors; that their wildest spending programs can be borne by a narrow band of the extremely wealthy.  If the middle class understood how much their share of the bill would be, they would lose in a McGovern style landslide.

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Incubator of Civility

While politics dismisses  ideology, it still underlies our differences.  The belief in permanent human nature and governing principles is what distinguishes the conservative from the progressive.

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The Self Righteous Mob

Half of Trump’s supporters like his in your face, hit back twice as hard, refusal to be intimidated, trolling, protocol style.  The other half fear the poorly thought, lunatic, illiberal, and authoritarian ideas and behavior of the Democrats much more than the ego and unpredictability of Trump.  The Kavanaugh hearing was a live rehearsal of how they handle power, like a self righteous mob. 

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Burnham Quotes

“No theory, no promises, no morality, no amount of good will, no religion will restrain power. Neither priests nor soldiers, neither labor leaders nor businessmen, neither bureaucrats nor feudal lords will differ from each other in the basic use which they will seek to make of power.”

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The Great Ignored

“As a group they are virtually ignored, and yet they are the center of everything. They include those of the left who are no longer comfortable in a new progressive party. And rightists not comfortable with Mr. Trump, or with the decisions and approaches of the Bush era. It includes those experiencing ongoing EID—extreme ideological discomfort.”

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Modern Individualism

When the masses rise up the individuals suffer in mass.  Professed love of humanity often justified horrid treatment of individual humans.  The problems of division are not the result of individualism, but the poor substitutes that subvert it.

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