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  • Some Random Thoughts

    Posted by David Foster on November 29th, 2015 (All posts by )

    Hillary Clinton, if elected president, would likely do for gender relations what Barack Obama has done for race relations.

    Speaking of Hillary, anyone remember her response when the harmful impact of her proposed healthcare plan on small businesses was questioned?  Her response was: “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.”

    No one was asking her to “be responsible” for them, of course, only to refrain from wantonly devastating them.  Should Hillary become the Democratic nominee, Republicans need to ensure that this quote, and other similar ones, are brought to the attention of every small business owner in America.

    There are a lot of small business that are run by women, and an effective attack on the Democratic hostility toward small business should help to reduce Hillary’s advantage among the female demographic.  Part of such attack should consist of hammering on the cultural factor–the truth is, Hillary feels contempt for you, Ms small businessperson–and part of it should consist of a very specific and tangible critique of particularly obnoxious regulatory and tax policies.  (I recently ran across a message board on which Etsy sellers, really micro-manufacturers, almost all female, were discussing the pain suffered while trying to comply with IRS inventory accounting rules.)

    Marco Rubio’s comment statement that “we need more welders and less philosophers” was unfortunate.  His overall point is entirely correct–we need to stop stigmatizing vocational education and assuming that College is and should be the only path to a really good job–but he could have said it better.  (See discussion at Ricochet, led by an actual philosopher.)  Republicans need to be careful not to project contempt toward anyone who thinks of himself as an intellectual, in the way that Obama projected contempt for a wide swath of working people with his snide comment about “clinging to guns or religion”…which comment certainly cost him votes and would have cost him a lot more had Republicans been able to use it more effectively.

    In that same debate, when the subject of whether large banks should be bailed out in crisis situations came up, neither Cruz nor Kasich mentioned the existence of the FDIC.  I don’t care about Kasich, but Cruz should have responded that ‘we have the FDIC to protect the vast majority of depositors–although we need to ensure that it is adequately funded by fees to the banks–so the real question about a bailout has to do with protecting the bank shareholders and bondholders–and no, we shouldn’t do that.’

     

     

    14 Responses to “Some Random Thoughts”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Hillary if elected would be divisive if for no other reason than that she and Bill are running a racket, selling either protection or influence depending on the buyer.

      There’s a lot of money in gender issues as in race issues, so the current pattern of bureaucratic shakedowns and institutional expansion could be expected to continue under a Hillary administration.

      Unlike Obama she would come into office with a long record of ineptitude, so she has that going for her.

    2. Mike K Says:

      If Hillary were to be elected, the revolution would be a step closer. Obama may recognize this, even subconsciously. apres moi, deluge

      I don’t think even Democrats will show up to vote for her but there are lots of crazy Democrats, some in my family.

      The healthcare industry is no longer what it was when Hillary made her comment as Obamacare has had radical effects and created a vertically integrated monstrosity that is probably no more viable in a market setting than “Green energy” companies are.

      The hospital that I help build and run 40 years ago, I would not allow myself to be admitted to.

      I think we will see a huge reorganization with cash practices and restoration of the “cottage industry” that Ted Kennedy dismissed in 1965. The present monstrosity cannot survive without massive subsidy. Britain is having enough trouble with the NHS to warn off all but the dullest observer.

      A British health manager warned the boss of the NHS four years ago that his hospital was a threat to patients’ safety. A nationwide investigation into avoidable hospital deaths has found that such warnings from doctors were often silenced or ignored.

      Gary Walker, the former chief of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, was silenced in 2010 under a £500,000 ‘super gag’ agreement; he is now risking legal action by the NHS by speaking out. Walker reportedly received the payment last year; his former employer now faces a major investigation over its unusually high death rates, in the midst of the Stafford inquiry fallout.

      Walker said that the chief of the NHS chief was “not interested in patient safety,” and called on him to resign to end the “culture of fear” he had created in the NHS, Britain’s Daily Mail reported.

      This is going on NOW.

    3. Phil Ossiferz Stone Says:

      >an effective attack on the Democratic hostility toward small business should help to reduce Hillary’s advantage among the female demographic
      >should

      You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. No matter how unhappy our current crop of liberal religious fanatics get with their own, there will never be able to force themselves to vote for The Evil Other. At best, their enthusiasm may wane and more of them may stay home. That’s about all we can sensibly hope for at this point.

    4. dearieme Says:

      The sneer at philosophy was unfortunate: here’s how to sneer at genuinely dud subjects.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=detwbqTp_4A

    5. Mike K Says:

      I think “Philosophy” as an academic subject has little to recommend it. As an avocation, it sounds wonderful.

      Eric Hoffer is the best example I can come up with on short notice.

      Hoffer was a young man when he also lost his father. The cabinetmaker’s union paid for Knut Hoffer’s funeral and gave Hoffer about $300 insurance money. He took a bus to Los Angeles and spent the next 10 years on Skid Row, reading, occasionally writing, and working at odd jobs.[9]

      In 1931, he considered suicide by drinking a solution of oxalic acid, but he could not bring himself to do it.[10] He left Skid Row and became a migrant worker, following the harvests in California. He acquired a library card where he worked, dividing his time “between the books and the brothels.” He also prospected for gold in the mountains. Snowed in for the winter, he read the Essays by Michel de Montaigne. Montaigne impressed Hoffer deeply, and he often made reference to him. He also developed a respect for America’s underclass, which he said was “lumpy with talent.” He wrote a novel, Four Years in Young Hank’s Life, and a novella, Chance and Mr. Kunze, both partly autobiographical. He also penned a long article based on his experiences in a federal work camp, “Tramps and Pioneers.” This was never published, but a truncated version appeared in Harper’s Magazine after he became well known.

      Hoffer tried to enlist in the U.S. Army at age 40 during World War II, but he was rejected because of a hernia.[11] Instead, he worked as a longshoreman on the docks of San Francisco. At the same time, he began to write seriously.

      Hoffer left the docks in 1967 and retired from public life in 1970.[12] In 1970 he endowed the Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize for students, faculty, and staff at the University of California, Berkeley.

      Hoffer called himself an atheist, but he had sympathetic views of religion and described it as a positive force.

      Desiderius Erasmus, while a priest was largely self educated.

      His parents were not legally married. His father, Gerard, was a Catholic priest and curate in Gouda.[13] Little is known of his mother other than that her name was Margaretha Rogerius (Latinized form of Dutch surname ‘Rutgers’)[14] and she was the daughter of a physician from Zevenbergen; she may have been Gerard’s housekeeper.[10][13][15] Although he was born out of wedlock, Erasmus was cared for by his parents until their early deaths from the plague in 1483; but he felt his origin to be a stain, and threw a smoke-screen around his youth.[13]

      Erasmus was given the highest education available to a young man of his day, in a series of monastic or semi-monastic schools. At the age of nine, he and his older brother Peter were sent to one of the best Latin schools in the Netherlands, located at Deventer and owned by the chapter clergy of the Lebuïnuskerk (St. Lebuin’s Church),[10] though some earlier biographies assert it was a school run by the Brethren of the Common Life.[10] During his stay there the curriculum was renewed by the principal of the school, Alexander Hegius. For the first time ever Greek was taught at a lower level than a university in Europe, and this is where he began learning it.

      Harry Truman, a great president, was self educated in History.

      After graduating from Independence High School (now William Chrisman High School) in 1901, Truman worked as a timekeeper on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, sleeping in hobo camps near the rail lines.[13] He worked at a series of clerical jobs, and was employed briefly in the mailroom of the Kansas City Star. He returned to the Grandview farm in 1906, where he lived until entering the army in 1917.[14] During this period, he courted Bess Wallace and proposed to her in 1911. She turned him down. Truman said that before he proposed again, he wanted to be earning more money than a farmer did.[15]

      Truman is the most recent U.S. president who did not earn a college degree.

    6. Veryretired Says:

      Hillary will not be the democratic nominee in 2016.

      She will withdraw sometime just before the convention, probably citing health issues, or, if she fails to cooperate, because she’s been indicted.

      I doubt she will push the situation that far, though. Withdrawal is cleaner and more lucrative.

      Biden has already been removed as an impediment, and the other candidates are place holders only. They will immediately announce their support for the proposed candidate.

      The various street gangs and media assets are already in place.

      Act surprised.

    7. dearieme Says:

      “Truman is the most recent U.S. president who did not earn a college degree”: and a better man than any of them, I suspect, except Ike and Reagan.

    8. dearieme Says:

      “the proposed candidate”: not that muscular woman who hangs around the White House, I hope – she always looks ill-tempered.

    9. Mike K Says:

      “a better man than any of them,”

      Yup. A better man than Roosevelt. I have read a number of books about him. He had a saying about his attendance at the funeral of his patron, the Kansas City political boss Pendergast. He was criticized for attending the man’s funeral as Pendergast had gone to prison for corruption.

      He described a Roman Senator of whom it was said, “His downfall began when he took his friends for granted and tried to bribe his enemies.”

      That is a profound sentiment. I spent my career in a profession that depends on referrals. It was always a temptation to take those who supported us for granted and to try to add more referral sources. It was a treacherous temptation.

      Always be sure to dance with the one who brought you to the dance. Truman never forgot that.

    10. Robert Schwartz Says:

      “Marco Rubio’s comment statement that “we need more welders and less philosophers” was unfortunate.”

      I don’t think so. The sort of people who worry about the well being of philosophers (academic ones, as there are no real philosophers like Socrates or Spinoza left) are academic and liberals already. Kick ’em while they are down.

      Spinoza was a skilled craftsman. Socrates was a layabout.

    11. David Foster Says:

      There are 1.7 million professors in the US (including graduate assistants who plan to become full-time professors), and there are also there wives, husbands, parents, etc. Can we really afford to write off that entire set of voters?

      For comparison, there are 2 million autoworkers in the US, including parts suppliers and dealerships.

    12. Gringo Says:

      Mike K
      I think “Philosophy” as an academic subject has little to recommend it. As an avocation, it sounds wonderful.
      I can think of a lot worse choices than Philosophy for a subject of study. At least in Philosophy you are more likely to have to think, as opposed to repeating politically correct verbiage. I would go so far to say that of the non-STEM subjects, I would hold Philosophy in the highest regard.

      Back in the day, I knew a Philosophy graduate from Occidental who had a business selling irrigation machinery. A subject that teaches you to think and to reason has its utility in the outside world.

      David Foster
      There are 1.7 million professors in the US (including graduate assistants who plan to become full-time professors), and there are also there wives, husbands, parents, etc. Can we really afford to write off that entire set of voters?
      They have pretty much written off Republicans. What is the percentage of political party donations on college campuses that go to Democrats? What I have read, 95% is not an uncommon figure.

      That being said, Rubio’s statement could have been said better. Such as, “We have unduly denigrated skilled labor such as welding in deference to graduating from college. We need skilled labor in addition to college graduates. Skilled labor can be as rewarding and as renumerative as many jobs that college graduates hold.”

      What I would say in private-I do not need to modulate my views for public consumption as a politician does: “We need more philosophers and fewer Studies majors. We also need more welders.” Which would force those turkeys taking Studies classes to have to think instead of merely repeating politically correct verbiage.

      Speaking of welding, when my brother was in high school, he took a welding class from Karl Hess, the former Goldwater speechwriter. My brother never did any welding beyond that class.

    13. Vader Says:

      The liberal arts are wonderful in themselves. The problem they have, relative to STEM fields, is that it can be hard to filter out the poseurs.

      You can either get the right solution to the differential equation, or you can’t.

      To an extent, you can either play the music, or you can’t. This makes music (a fine art) more rigorous than the liberal arts, at least until a liberal arts major infiltrates the field and makes a virtue of dissonance. Then you can have musical poseurs.

      You can translate the passage in Greek, or you can’t. Perhaps it should be no surprise that study of language has greatly diminished in importance in liberal arts colleges?

      But no one can prove, or at least not easily, that your unusual reading of Shakespeare was simply pulled out of the south end of your alimentary canal. This is not because there is anything wrong with Shakespeare or with studying Shakespeare.

    14. Mike K Says:

      “Socrates was a layabout.”

      I believe he was a fairly skilled stone mason. He did not charge for instruction and supported himself as a mason.

      When he was condemned to death for “corrupting’ young men, his wife complained of the unfairness of it all. He asked her if she would rather he deserved it.