One Person At A Time

I had a conversation with a fellow this past week that went like this –

He is in his 30’s, professional, accomplished and works for a well-known corporation. He told me that he is leaning toward socialism.

I ask him why and he responded that capitalism is immoral and undercutting people.

I responded that we have not had capitalism in this country in a very long time if you define capitalism as free markets, i.e. transactions and prices are voluntary and no one can prevent or force you to buy something or set the price at which you must purchase something.

He said that he had to agree.

I further added that what we have is corporatism, cronyism – that each of these laws, taxes and regulations are intended to work to the favor of the corporations in that they snuff out choice and raise the bar in order to eliminate or prevent competition.

He thought about it and again said that he had to agree.

I finished my point by stating the obvious – socialism is simply more laws, taxes and regulations that snuff out choice and competition and, no matter how much you tax the corporations, socialism simply guarantees the corporations a market and a profit – which the corporations are all for.

Again he agreed.

He then thanked me for having the conversation and told me he had never thought of it in the terms I explained.

One person at a time.

Solving Problems

Those who wish for government to solve problems – economic, social, educational, transportation, poverty, et al. – all have a fundamental core belief: that private human beings are corrupt, greedy and not to be trusted but that a government consisting of these same corrupt, greedy and not to be trusted individuals will not be corrupt or greedy and can be fully trusted.

Truth.
The ideological foundations of believing government should solve problems is premised on the assumption that government is not corrupt and greedy but that private human beings are.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, these folks who believe that government should solve problems could not accomplish without involving government. Healthcare, transportation, education, making society more ‘fair’ – all of it could be done through private voluntary organizations. So why don’t they do that? Because they believe private organizations cannot be trusted but government can be. That there is zero in all of human history to substantiate that belief is irrelevant to these folks – it is the linchpin to the entire ideology and admitting to reality is akin to admitting they have been wrong.
Nothing terrible about being wrong, we are all wrong about things. The problem is when you are willing to destroy lives by the millions rather than admit maybe there was a better way to do something – then doubling and tripling down on those bad ideas rather than admit that you were wrong about it.
Some of these folks may confess that government can indeed be corrupt, greedy and not to be trusted – then qualify that by saying the private world is worse so government is the best of bad choices.
Again, there is zero in all of human history to substantiate that belief or qualification.
There is one major difference between government doing something and the private world doing something – the private world is voluntary except where government has mandated it not to be. Government is force. If the private, voluntary world is corrupt or has a bad idea – one can walk away from it and not be compelled, coerced or forced into participating.
Government is nothing except using compulsion, coercion and force to require you to participate – no matter how bad the idea, no matter how corrupt, no matter if it violates your conscience to participate.
It boggles the mind to think that so many people would prefer to be compelled, coerced and forced into participating in things that are corrupt, bad ideas or violate their conscience rather than have the opportunity to walk away – but there you have it.
Think on it.

The Fascination Of Virtue Signaling

The virtue signaling dynamic is beyond fascinating.

Just a few weeks ago we had the Charlottesville episode where those who define their moral superiority via virtue signaling unanimously sided with Antifa. Major politicians and the major media sided with Antifa. President Trump caught absolute hell for saying the Nazi’s and Antifa were equally responsible and implying equally as evil. People resigned from the administration due to Trump saying that.

The press, the Washington establishment, the virtue signalers of all stripes went absolutely nuts.

Now just a little while later the WashPo and other outlets explicitly say that Antifa is every bit as evil as the Nazi’s and the virtue signalers are now signaling how evil Antifa is! In other words – they now agree with Trump while they continue to castigate him for saying what they also say.

Yes, the virtue signalers are that shallow and easily manipulated.

It is becoming ever more obvious that virtue signaling is identical to shouting “I have no core values, I have no principles, I simply do anything I think will let me remain a part of the group! Let me stay in the group, please please!” Virtue signalers are no different than a leaf that falls in the river and they will go whereever that river takes them. They have apparently forsaken their volition in exchange for being popular with all of these others who have also forsaken their volition to remain popular – wash rinse repeat.

It is truly fascinating. In the wake of Charlottesville the virtue signalers were all apparently compelled to tweet and post that they ‘Opposed the White Supremacist and stood with those who opposed them’ along with the required ‘I am not a racist’ posts. We all saw them – endlessly and meaninglessly. It was simply a requirement to remain in the group – it had zero meaning beyond that and no positive effect what so ever in fighting racism.

What passes for ‘news’ organizations in this country have been nothing but virtue signalers for a long time now – the New York Times and Washington Post and CNN and MSNBC and on and on and on. They do not actually provide news and information but rather tell people what they believe is virtuous and what is not while providing just enough information to substantiate the signal while omitting everything that would destroy their position – and the bleating sheep follow mindlessly and proudly.

The flip side of virtue signaling is the shaming. When people depart from the program, engage their own brain, decide that they indeed own and are accountable for their own morals – the virtue signalers endlessly publicly shame them. It truly is a cult. People are so tremendously insecure and unwilling to think – anyone who does decide to think must be made to pay!

Amazing.

Choose Wisely

Everyday I hear or read people arguing for

Their speech to be limited

Their property rights to be limited

Their choices in healthcare to be limited

Their choices in employment to be limited

Their choices in lifestyle to be limited

Their choices in what they are allowed to believe without being punished by government to be limited

Yes, we have reached this level of absurdity.

Why anyone would want their speech, property rights, healthcare, employment, lifestyle and beliefs to be limited or chosen for them by Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell I have no clue.

These folks respond with “Ahhhh! I don’t want it controlled by Trump and McConnell, I want it controlled by people who agree with ME!”

This is how delusional we have become as a society – people are arguing for government to take away their rights – but not ‘those guys’ but ‘their guys’ to unilaterally decide what is what! As though they would have a choice in the matter and as though even if it were ‘their guys’ it would somehow be any different than ’the other guys’. These people all have the delusion that only ‘those other people’ would be controlled and punished for what they think or believe or do – they would not be controlled and punished at all.

These folks have an endless litany for why ‘those other guys’ rights should be taken away – climate change, racism, ‘fairness’, ‘whiteness’, ‘blackness’, privilege, ‘toxic masculinity’ – the list goes on and on.

These folks are not limited to Leftist, a number of Trump people are perfectly willing to deny fundamental rights to the people that they disagree with.

A major component of this argument to deny basic rights to people (including themselves!) is to mischaracterize liberty and freedom. I hear and read these mischaracterizations everyday as well. Absurdities such as “If you drive on roads you are a socialist” are common – which if true would mean that Caligula and Tsar Nicholas I were socialist as well? Yeah, it is that dumb. The difficult part is that no matter how logically and morally ridiculous their argument is these people believe it. To be observant – not disparaging – these people cannot even begin to explain how the current system works let alone how their fantasy future system of denying fundamental rights would work. What they know is propaganda and propaganda that if followed through on inevitably enriches and empowers the few at the expense of the many.

“If socialist understood economics they wouldn’t be socialist” is as close as we will ever come to a universally true statement.

Let me be clear – liberty and freedom is

The right to say what you want

The right to do as you wish with your property

The right to choose the healthcare you prefer

The right to do what you choose to make a living

The right to live your life as you wish

The right to believe what you choose to believe instead of what is chosen for you

I could add about a hundred thousand other items to this list – but you get the point.

Our division is not between Republicans and Democrats – the division is between those who want to make their own choices about their own life and those who maintain that society can only function if the government or some other entity makes those choices for you.

Choose wisely…

Let Us Talk About What No One Wants To Talk About

Let us talk about the reality that no one wants to talk about anymore – your economic and social outcome in life, as well as your general happiness, contentment and ability to behave as a human, has more to do with the family you grew up in that any other single factor. In fact – no other factor is even close. It has very little to nothing to do with your skin color, your last name, your immigration status, or your gender.

This is kryptonite to the Social Justice Warriors because it is true. Tear down all of the statues you want, you will not improve the economic and social outcomes in life, as well as the general happiness, contentment and ability to behave as a human unless you fix the family. It is well documented, researched and established as to the family models, behaviors and habits that will constantly produce the happiest, most content and most successful human beings. Unfortunately to a significant degree the Social Justice Warriors are intent on destroying that model – in fact many Leftist believe that evading every aspect of that model is virtue signaling their superiority.

Now just because there is a well documented, researched and established family model, behaviors and habits that will constantly produce the happiest, most content and most successful human beings does not mean it is always the case that it will produce the most successful human. It means it is overwhelmingly more successful than other models in accomplishing that. Great families can produce terrible adults and children who grow up in terrible circumstances can become great human beings. No one doubts or argues that.

There was a study some years ago that determined that if you avoided having babies before marriage, being convicted of a crime, finished high school, spent at least one year in your first job, and got married and stayed married then your chances – statistically speaking – of dying in poverty were about the same as getting struck by lightening. This seems like a fairly straightforward formula to follow in order to avoid poverty and it is not at all dependent on your skin color, your last name, your immigration status, or your gender. If this is the solution to poverty we might rationally ask what family structure and values best produces this outcome?

If you guessed two parents that did all of the above themselves then you would be correct!

This is not rocket science despite what the Ph.D.’s may want you to believe. Deviate from these things – have babies before you are married, be convicted of a crime, drop out of school, get divorced, stay single all your life, start job-hopping or just quit working at a young age – and you will not be doomed to misery but you will greatly enhance the chances that your life – and your children’s lives – will consist of poverty, social isolation, unhappiness, discontentment and dysfunction.

Just the truth.

Buckle Up!

Yesterday I shared a newspaper column I wrote two years ago, Unwinding. In it I said, “The pattern is common, they come to believe that they can solve the problems in the world by changing human nature. That belief is inevitably acted upon by using all of the power they can amass in order to compel people to change. What will follow will often be people changing their behavior because they fear the consequences represented by the force compelling them to do so. However forcing people to change their behavior in the face of dire consequences is not the same as changing human nature.

That is the rub in this belief system. You cannot use force to change human nature, you can use force to change human behavior. Ever more force is required in order to maintain that ‘change’ in human behavior. ‘Ever more force’ has a logical end and when that logical end is reached the logical end of the ‘change’ is also reached.”

A couple of days previous to that I quoted Paul Brodsky extensively in a blog post – “Mr. Trump’s “Being There” presidency is reflecting an inconvenient truth back on a society that has, until maybe now, successfully deluded itself into believing government is functionally the glue holding society together. Though he does not mean to, Mr. Trump is single-handedly demonstrating to groups ranging from idealistic Washington elites to social media zombies to southern white supremacists that Madisonian government has become a dignified cover for the financial, commercial and national security interests that control it. We suspect those interests would rather the reach of their power be less visible”

Who really is running this country? That is not an intro to a Ron Paul conspiracy theory but an honest question. It seems to be ever more obvious that Trump is not running it – the bureaucracy he supposedly directs counters and foils him at every turn. If that Federal bureaucracy is not working for Trump, whom are they working for? As I noted previously, Goldman-Sachs alumni have taken nearly every meaningful economic position in the administration. Who is running the country? Rather than that question being ask in terms of a grave crisis and a complete subverting of the will of the voters and the electoral process it is instead celebrated as victory by the Washington establishment and the media.

Fred Reed posted in his blog over the weekend, “Clearly the people at the top, in the editorial suites in Manhattan, at Goldman Sachs, at Lockheed-Martin, know what they are doing. They want Trump out so they can continue looting. From their point of view, the placard-carriers and ball-bat wielders are, merely useful idiots. It is an odd and amusing alliance. The useful idiots, Leftists all, apparently do not know that they are carrying water for the arms industry and international finance.”

I have often pointed out that this country experienced a $15 trillion net wealth transfer during the Obama years, $15 trillion transferred from the bottom 93% to the top 7%. Each meaningful Obama policy and all of the legislation passed when the Democrats controlled congress and the White House amounted to nothing more than wealth transfers to the rich. These bills were written by corporations to benefit corporations. The Affordable Care Act drafted by the former VP of Lobbying for WellPoint, Dodd-Frank drafted by CitiGroup. The Obama administration was the pure and total take over of the Federal government by Wall Street banks and insurance companies.

Every law, policy and regulation from 2009 until January of 2017 worked to enrich the corporations and impoverish you – and the corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks all gained immense net wealth while you lost net wealth under Obama.

In no small measure Trump was elected to end this corporate ownership of the Federal government. It is undeniable that Trump is failing at kicking the corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks out of the government. It is also undeniable that most of the GOP is onboard with the corruption. If we had an honest media we would be treating this for what it is – the greatest threat and crisis since the Civil War. The corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks do not want to give up these policies, these regulations, these laws that allow them to gain wealth at your expense.

Somehow the American Left is standing foursquare in line with the corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks efforts to continue to plunder the country.

When I repeat James Kunstler’s line “Sometimes societies just collectively go insane” this is the level of insanity to which I refer. The one thing that 90% of Americans should be agreeing on – that corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks should not be plundering the country – the Left has decided is A-OK with them. Not only is the Left good with corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks plundering the country they are increasingly willing to back that view up with baseball bats and axes.

There is simply no end to the level of force the American Left is willing to bring to the table in order to allow corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks to continue to plunder the country.

It is just as Hayek said, “If socialist understood economics they wouldn’t be socialist.” This is the predicament this country finds itself in – Leftist refuse to entertain that what they are doing and want to do enriches the elites and impoverishes the masses. No amount of data will apparently convince them of the results of their position – and the more data presented the more vehement the resistance. The corporations and insurance companies and Wall Street banks are more than wiling to fund and support the Left to allow the plunder to continue.

The Left truly and sincerely believe that they are in the process of changing human nature. The Left truly and sincerely believe that force is justified in bringing about this change. They are wrong on both counts and no matter how truly and sincerely they believe something that is wrong – it is still wrong.

I have long said that Trump does not have the skill set or personality for the job at hand. I think that is shown to be true daily. It is unlikely to get better. Each day it looks more likely that the battle is corporations + Wall Street + insurance companies + American Left vs. Everyone Else.

Buckle up, Everyone Else is not going quietly.

Page 10 of 37« First...89101112...2030...Last »