Freeimages.com / Julia Borysewicz
Recently a friend asked me, “What do you think life and economics will be like in 100 and 200 years, if no catastrophe derails the progress of civilization and technological development?” To this question about the American Future, I replied,
As you might expect from what I have written in the past, I think your premise about civilization avoiding catastrophe to be problematic. Nevertheless, if I accept your premise, I would have to say I have very little clue. However, whatever its shape, the economy should be largely independent of government management and control. The reason why I expect this is that this is the only way your premise could be true. Without a free-market economy, government-induced catastrophe would inevitably hit us. Witness the economic stagnation of most of Western Europe and the United States over the past several decades, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, modern day Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, etc., etc.
Nevertheless, one can think of various possible trends for the American Future of differing plausibilities. Let us take a look at what I think are the more probable possibilities. Before we do that, however, let us think of the binding constraints reality puts on these thought experiments, and how we should go about conducting them.
Hauser’s Curve Image Credit: Wikimedia commons/Sugar-Baby-Love
American progressives want a much bigger government with greater powers, while neoliberals (usually mislabeled “conservatives”) passionately want a greatly smaller, weaker government. The reasons for the neoliberal resistance to progressive policies are that neoliberals believe those policies to be incompatible with both human freedom and general economic prosperity.
The interaction of Hauser’s Law with Rahn’s Law provides an important neoliberal argument for limiting both government taxes and government spending. However, Hauser’s Law is an economic “law” only by courtesy of the fact that it has always been observed to be true in the United States for the past seven decades or so. If it can be repealed, that economic change could expose a serious flaw in the neoliberal picture of economic reality.
A friend and critic of mine on the progressive side of the argument pointed out an explanation for Hauser’s Law that shows how it might be repealed. Let us take a careful look at it.
The labyrinth connections of persuasion
(c) Can Stock Photo / focalpoint
The more things change, the more they stay the same. — Translation of a French epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”
Despite the kernel of truth in this famous epigram, the long sweep of history teaches us it is fundamentally false. About a millennium ago, the timescale on which human world views (weltanshauungen, religions, ideologies) were fundamentally changed was measured in centuries. In our time, however, with increasing connections between human minds offered by the internet and televised news, and with accelerating advances in science, this timescale has shortened to decades. It would be extremely expedient and opportune for us now to find yet another revolution in Western world views. The modern challenges the Western world faces are truly existential in nature. Neoliberal and progressive minds will have to adjust if we are to survive.
Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, announces final passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act in the Senate, 51-48.
Screen shot of Right Side Broadcasting Network video on Youtube
The lies of progressive politicians, pundits, and progressive allied news media have seriously misled Americans about what the recently passed GOP tax reform bill actually does. Senate minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) may have claimed Republicans “will rue the day” they passed the tax bill, but it is far more likely Democrats and their supporting news media echo chamber will rue the day they misrepresented and opposed tax reform. This might happen as soon as next February when American workers discover their new, lower payroll taxes. Continue Reading…
A 1795 view of political debates that could pass for today!
Wikimedia Commons / Issac Cruikshank (1756-1811)
This essay is a cri de coeur from yours truly about what I see as progressives’ unyielding idiocy about the nature of the world. I do appreciate that progressives would generally respond in similar fashion to people of my ilk, and that since the election of Donald Trump they have been giving ever greater vent to their own frustrations. Indeed, those of us who are neoliberals have been dumbfounded with amazement by progressives’ evident loss of sanity resulting from Trump’s election. Continue Reading…
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.
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.
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.