Hauser’s Curve Image Credit: Wikimedia commons/Sugar-Baby-Love
With a Republican tax bill having passed both houses of Congress and certain to be signed by the President, taxes and tax rates are the universal subject of the day. A critical empirical fact to consider in the debate is Hauser’s Law, as illustrated by Hauser’s curve above. Continue Reading…
Two faces of American populism
Left: Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-VT) during campaign event in Phoenix, Az. Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore
Right: Donald Trump during 2016 presidential campaign event. Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore
American elites appear to remain both stunned and bewildered by the results of last year’s elections, even after more than a year later. It is unthinkable, as they see it, that so many people should reject the obvious truths the elites proclaim. These are the intelligentsia, and the nation’s leaders in academia, entertainment, news media, business, and politics. How can such a large number of American voters repudiate them?
Former CFPB director Richard Cordray testifying before a congressional committee.
Screenshot from a Youtube video produced by CNN Money
No sooner do I write a post about the dangers of government regulation and the regulatory state than one of the featured rogue agencies proves just how much of a rogue it is. Continue Reading…
President Trump signs executive order in his first 10 days of office to curb government regulations.
NBC News / Carlos Barria / Reuters
One huge Trump achievement only marginally commented upon by the news media has been the beginnings of his deconstruction of the regulatory state, aka the administrative state. Republicans may have failed so far to repeal and replace Obamacare, and passage of tax reform in the U.S. Senate might look problematical, but at least in bringing down the cost of the regulatory state and bringing us back to a more constitutionally sound government, Trump has racked up solid successes.
A progressive regarding the world. Be careful what you buy from him!
(c) Can Stock Photo / ezumeimages
In my last essay I was only able to cover two of the major subsidiary lies progressives tell to both themselves and to others. By subsidiary I mean the falsehoods are told to buttress progressives’ ability to uphold their most fundamental offense to the truth, which is: Government actually has the capability to solve or ameliorate all social and economic problems without creating even worse problems. I discussed this fundamental lie in the post The Lies Progressives Tell (Especially To Themselves!). In my last post, More Lies Progressives Tell To Themselves, I debunked two of the supporting lies progressives often trot out in support of their policies. Those untruths were: first, that the ideological opponents of progressives and a large fraction of the American people are racists and fascists; and second, that free-markets encourage increasingly unequal income distribution. In this essay I want to continue the effort by rebutting four more progressive lies.
A neoliberal view of progressives. The cricket of course is a neoliberal.
Pinocchio from the 1940 Walt Disney movie
In my last post I outlined what I thought was the most fundamental — and also most egregious — lie that progressives told both to themselves and to the world at large. I noted that since progressives sincerely and passionately believed in this misstatement of the truth, it was probably ungenerous to say it was actually a lie, but that it was most certainly a prevarication. This most fundamental of falsehoods about the nature of social reality is this: Government actually has the capability to solve or ameliorate all social and economic problems without creating even worse problems. A corollary to this falsehood is that individuals and non-governmental social organizations lack the power without government assistance to solve their most serious problems. The counterargument disproving this thesis starts with the observation that human social organizations are fundamentally chaotic systems. What the term chaotic system actually means and how the most fundamental assumption of progressive ideology is invalidated by considering them was the subject of my last essay. If you have not read it, you probably should before you read this one.
But fundamental lies about reality give rise to a great many other lies in support of the fundamental one. People who succumb to it will need to declare a great many other falsehoods to buttress the first. Listing what I consider such subsidiary lies is the subject of this post.
Violence between UC Berkeley students and Trump supporters on March 2, 2017
Screen capture from Fox News Youtube post
Over the past nine years the offenses progressives have made against the truth have multiplied. This was certainly true through all eight years of the Obama administration, but since the election of Donald Trump, these misrepresentations have positively bloomed. It may be a stretch to say they are actually lies since progressives themselves seem to actually believe many of these distortions of the truth. Yet those of us who are neoliberals (aka “conservatives”, a misnomer) need to point out to progressive friends and acquaintances what we consider their fallacies. Then, of course they can respond why they think we are desperately wrong, and we can respond in kind.
Whether or not neoliberals can actually persuade progressives to engage in such a conversation is uncertain, since many progressives, especially those in the progressive elites, consider most neoliberals to be despicable, immoral, barely human individuals. Nevertheless, neoliberals must hold themselves ready for such discussions, since coming to an agreement on the nature of social reality might be the only way to avoid a second American civil war.
US real GDP growth from Q1 2009 to Q3 2017. The green line is a linear fit to the GDP over the three years from Q1 2014 to Q1 2017.
St. Louis Federal Reserve District Bank / FRED
I have have just updated the leading and coincident economic indicators I am following, the first update I have done since last May. That means it is time to take a more analytic view of just what is happening to our economy, and why.
Iranian Emad IRBM at launch
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons/Tasnimnews/Mohammad Agah
Much has been said recently about President Trump’s decertification of Iran’s compliance to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA. The Europeans are uniformly opposed to what Trump has done, and of course Democrats consider Trump’s action to be a great blunder. Yet, the most accurate evaluation is probably from a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton. His view is the JCPOA is completely flawed and fundamentally unfixable.
Hitler and Hermann Göring saluting at a 1928 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. This is the current progressive view of present day Republicans and “Conservatives”.
Source: National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized, Heinrich Hoffmann collection
What constitutes acceptable conversation for progressives appears to be moving continuously toward only that speech assuming the inhumanity of the Right. Unlike in the past, progressives assume not only are neoliberals (often mistakenly called “conservatives”) completely and woefully wrong, their views are so morally reprehensible, they should not even be discussed in a serious way publicly. With much of the “mainstream” media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc., etc.) adopting this point of view, those on the political Right can expect a vigorous progressive campaign to shame them into submission.
The United States Senate in session in their chamber in the U.S. Capitol building.
Image Credit: CDM.me
Every now and then, President Donald Trump urges the U.S. Senate to get rid of their ancient filibuster rules. I suspect a great many people, myself included, are terribly ambivalent about the issue. There are truly excellent reasons for the Senate both to retain and to junk their filibuster rules. What would be best for the nation? With the Senate balanced on the edge of a knife between the Republicans and the Democrats, a great deal rides on how the issue will be resolved.
Plot of annual Real U.S. GDP per capita growth in percent averaged over ten year periods. This is the major reason why huge U.S. corporate tax cuts are needed!
The Gallup Organization
About a month ago, I was having a conversation with a gentleman of the progressive persuasion about U.S. corporate tax cuts. I was trying to persuade him the U.S. desperately needed very large corporate tax cuts to restart economic growth. Otherwise we are doomed to secular stagnation, if not indeed secular decline. Being a progressive, he of course did not agree.
Antifa combatants fighting with Trump supporters at Berkeley, California on August 27, 2017.
Youtube screenshot / The Red Elephants
The United States of America is unraveling as a society, in much the same way that the European Union is beginning to fall apart. Throughout the West, conflict is building between those who believe government is the answer to all social problems and those who believe government creates most of those problems. In the U.S. that conflict is becoming ever more violent. Those who believe in government, generally called “progressives”, are demonstrating increasing hatred toward those who do not, who are most accurately called “neoliberals” but often referred to as “conservatives.” Many neoliberals seem to mirror that hate.
Vladimir Putin, President (for life?) of the Russian Federation
While Democrats continue to obsess over imaginary connections between Donald Trump and the Russian Federation, they seem to pay little attention to what the Russians actually are doing, and what their motivations might be. Yet, as current events involving North Korea and China remind us, allowing wishful thinking about our foreign adversaries to blind us to their very real threats is the height of folly. Chickens almost always come home to roost
An 1846 painting by George Caleb Bingham showing a collection of voters before a polling place. A polling judge is administering an oath to a voter.
Wikimedia Commons / George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879)
In my last two posts, the dysfunctional nature and enormous political problems of both the Republican and Democratic parties were examined. With division and discord in the Republican party, and a rush toward the political Left by the Democratic that alienates a growing fraction of the American people, how can legislative progress be made towards solving our increasingly serious problems? How can the electorate respond?