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  • A Very Revealing Bidenism

    Posted by David Foster on October 16th, 2020 (All posts by )

    In an interview which has received surprisingly little attention, Joe Biden talked about the Democratic Party’s political strategy:

    Well, look what’s happened. Look what started to seep in, beginning and probably even with candidates during our administration. We stopped showing up at the Polish American club. We stopped showing up, and we all went to you, the really smart people. We had a new kind of coalition we were putting together. College-educated women and college men and boom, boom, boom and so on.

    One could conclude from this that Biden doesn’t see people of Polish descent as being among the ‘really smart people’.  I guess he probably never heard of Frederick Chopin, Marie Curie, Nicolaus Copernicus, Stanislaus Ulam, or the Polish cryptologists who made the first breakthroughs in deciphering the Enigma code. And Biden’s remark is another example at the way he jumps at the categorization of people…furthermore, he wants to ensure that people stay within expected roles of the categories into which he assigns them.  (“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”) And this kind of categorization-obsession is characteristic of today’s entire Democratic Party.

    Back in 2011, I quoted AJP Taylor on the combination of the ethnic divisions and excessive centralization in the Austro-Hungarian Empire:

    The Austrian state suffered from its strength: it had never had its range of activity cut down during a successful period of laissez-faire, and therefore the openings for a national conflict were far greater. There were no private schools or hospitals, no independent universities; and the state, in its infinite paternalism, performed a variety of services from veterinary surgery to the inspecting of buildings. The appointment of every school teacher, of every railway porter, of every hospital doctor, of every tax-collector, was a signal for national struggle. Besides, private industry looked to the state for aid from tariffs and subsidies; these, in every country, produce ‘log-rolling,’ and nationalism offered an added lever with which to shift the logs. German industries demanded state aid to preserve their privileged position; Czech industries demanded state aid to redress the inequalities of the past. The first generation of national rivals had been the products of universities and fought for appointment at the highest professional level: their disputes concerned only a few hundred state jobs. The generation which followed them was the result of universal elementary education and fought for the trivial state employment which existed in every village; hence the more popular national conflicts at the turn of the century.

    The combination of the Dems’ categorization and their drive for government control would likely push the United States in the same direction–and already has, to some extent–although with even more fragmentation and resulting harm than with the case in Austria-Hungary.

    Not content with insulting Poles, Biden also said:

    All white guys are just basically, they don’t give a damn about women.

    …not clear why he restricted it to only white guys, but he also says “The people that don’t like equal pay are the people at the top of the heap,” so maybe he conflates “white guys” with “people at the top of the heap,” in a way paralleling his famos assertion that ““poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”  The pattern is that Biden has a very strong need to put people into demographic slots as their primary identities…and to keep them there…and in that, he mirrors his party.

    Biden’s remarks also demonstrate how focused the Dems have become on people who think they are really smart, and whose self-perceived smartness is a core part of their personal identities.  In his rambling and rather confused statement, he seems to also be saying that this has gone too far, that this focus is costing them votes and that there actually are some smart people out there among the great unwashed.  But the reality is, the Dems have indeed focused their brand on college-educated and upwardly mobile individuals, and people are going to be rightly suspicious of any sharp turns in this brand identity.  Especially given Biden’s refusal to grasp (or at least to admit) the seriousness of the economic competition from China, which a lot of people identify as having cost themselves, or at least their friends, their jobs.

    Writing in the WSJ, William Galston draws an analogy between the present political conflicts and the 1896 election between William McKinley and Williams Jenning Bryan:

      (Bryan) championed the interests of debtors against creditors, and of agriculture and small towns against industrial capitalism and big cities.  In his famous ‘Cross of Gold speech to the 1896 Democratic convention, he intoned: ‘Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again; but destroy our farms, and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.’  This Jeffersoniasm on steroids was a last stand against industrial production as the core of the US economy–and against the rise of cities as the center of American life.

    Galston continues: “Bryan’s defense of the countryside against the cities was focused and coherent, but it backfired.  He drove swing voters into the arms of the Republican Party.”  He argues that Donald Trump may turn out to be the William Jennings Bryan of our time, that “his relentless focus on his white working class base may short up Democratic support among minorities and drive suburban swing voters and college-educated women into the Democratic coalition…Over time, Americans with college degrees will increase their share of the electorate…When McKinley defeated Bryan, more than 40% of Americans worked on farms.  Today, even though farm production and exports have soared, only 1.5% of the workforce is in agriculture.  Manufacturing employment, which constituted more than 30% of the US workforce, in the 1950s, has declined to 8.8%, even as rising productivity allows industry to produce more with fewer workers…A new economy more focused on information and services is coming for reasons largely unrelated to public policy.”

    It’s an interesting analysis, but there are some problems with it.  For starters, it is quite inaccurate to assert that Trump has had a relentless focus on the white working class; he has focused on jobs and improved incomes for people of whatever ethnicity.  And I’d assert that the great increase in the share of Americans who have college degrees is not a future thing, but has already happened, and indeed has probably gone too far–there is beginning to be a reactions against the you-will-be-a-failure-without-college thinking, and a larger number of people are beginning to see that there are other respectable and reasonably lucrative career paths.  Similarly, the transition to an economy more focused on ‘information’ and ‘services’ has already happened to a considerable degree, and has resulted in too little emphasis on the manufacturing and resource segments of the economy…with dangerous implications, as indicated by a Chinese newspaper’s warning that China can  ‘plunge America into the mighty sea of coronavirus,’ by denying us pharmaceuticals and ingredients thereof.  And, as I pointed out in this post, we are also seeing offshoring in those information and services segments of the economy, and will undoubtedly be seeing more…with obvious impact on US employment in those segments. Galston also fails to note that the increasingly-obvious failure of Democratic approaches to governance and education, as seen major cities throughout the country, will surely have a long-term effect on political behavior of many people.

    Key points:

    –“Progressive” Democrats generally focus on putting people in demographic buckets as their core identities and keeping them there, and Biden reflects this view totally.

    –Democrats have long self-defined as the party for highly intelligent people, where ‘intelligent’ is defined largely in terms of educational connections, and this brand identity does set some limits on their appeal.  But Republicans, too, have a related issue which is limiting their appeal; there has to be more communication on why there are indeed highly intelligent people who choose to vote Republican and indeed for Trump.

     

     

     

     

     

    42 Responses to “A Very Revealing Bidenism”

    1. Brian Says:

      Joe’s an idiot, and the NYT “interview” was him rambling on incoherently at great length. But I don’t think he was saying that there are no smart Poles. He was saying that instead of prioritizing the box of “Polish-Americans”, the Dems in 2016 were prioritizing the box of “smart people” (i.e., NYT writers and readers). Those aren’t two different boxes, of course–you can reach some Polish-Americans through interviews with the NYT, but by doing so you’ll be missing others of them.

      It’s going to be interesting to see how the election actually shakes out. I don’t think the polls are in the same universe as reality. Remember that the Australia polling was off by something like 8 points–they had the left at +4 when it ended up being the right +4. And they were way off on the UK election last year as well. I think we’ll see non-white males going to Trump quite a bit more than the “smart people” box thinks, Hispanics especially–BLM is about the worst possible slogan you can use to try to get Hispanic males to vote for you. The Dems hope is that Biden can pull in some of the old white voters in the Midwest that were the “Blue Wall” that completely crumbled for Hillary. I’m skeptical about that, but we’ll see. If they do go for Slow Joe, they’re going to hate what the Dems do in office, and there are no Dems who can possibly ever lure them back again, so I have no idea what the Dem plan is at that point.

    2. Mike-SMO Says:

      Buckets is how the Leftists/Progressives/Marxists conceive of the world. Identities and Classes that cross national lines. The counter that unifies, i.e. Nationalism, is a horror to them. The nasty descriptor is “Fascism”. In the post-WWI era, the “Fascists”, such as the Fascisti, Phalange, and Nazi (National Socialists) and even the German Social Democrats had a national (or racial) identity that was counter to the “International” class-based ideology of the Marxists/Bolsheviks. Most of the “Fascists” were just as authoritarian as the Communists/Bolsheviks but were offensive to the Communists/Bolsheviks because they were the competition in the quest for power and domination. The current attacks on the history and identity of the United States is just a continuation of that struggle of identity (this time racial) vs. nationalism.

      Instead of “class warfare”, this time it is “Racism” as the theme. They are pitting dark skins (especially immigrant) against the national identity, hence “POC”. The “working class” are the enemy who supported the Nazis in 1930s Germany and Trump in the current era. “White Nationalism” and/or “White Supremacy” are necessary stage props in this theater.

      The competition are always the “Fascists” who offer a traditional identity that opposes the current Leftist/Marxist theme. Adding the “intelligent” portion provides a justification for getting the “prosperous” susceptable segment into the identity pool in spite of their pale skin color. “Nationalism” is so “yesterday”. “All the smart people know that.” “Racism”, once used by the Nazis, is acceptable since “Nationalism” isn’t involved in the identity and “White Racism” is totally different.

      The “Globalism” concept is a distraction from the quest for power using anti-national identities. The Soviet Union was all about international socialism until it wasn’t. “Socialism in one country” worked just as well as a justification for the exercise of brutal power. “Globalism” is just the costume for the destruction of a national identity and something to be discarded when inconvenient for the exercise of raw power. “Intelligent” people are not distracted by the change in jargon, but will realize that “they”, this time the POC, are contaminated by the old nationalist identities and must be liquidated to ensure the control by the select. There is nothing new here, although, “This time it will be different”.

      With some luck, we can avoid the (non-)choice between the Nazis and the Bolsheviks.

    3. Stephen Karlson Says:

      I’ll cut the vice president a little slack here. His reference to “Polish-American clubs” might have been a reference to no longer campaigning for blue-collar ethnics. That’s a shift a long time coming, consider Ronald Reagan campaigning in Milwaukee’s Serb Hall, back when that’s where any Democrat wanting to fire up the union vote would go. Hillary Clinton famously didn’t campaign in Wisconsin, but if she did it would likely be at a university club gathering or something similar. In his confused way, he’s trying to keep the eggheads and Jessica Yogamat types on board and win back a few Joe Sixpacks, some of whom might have Slavic forebears.

    4. Xennady Says:

      Manufacturing employment, which constituted more than 30% of the US workforce, in the 1950s, has declined to 8.8%, even as rising productivity allows industry to produce more with fewer workers…A new economy more focused on information and services is coming for reasons largely unrelated to public policy.

      Galston is a fool. I actually clicked on the link to see if this was something written long ago, because this is the same song these folks have been singing for decades. They were completely gobsmacked by the success of Donald Trump, and it appears they still haven’t figured it out.

      Trump is a politician- now, at least. He won office by raising issues of public policy and convincing people that he was correct. Lecturing people that nothing could be done, and that the slow-motion collapse of the US economy has nothing to do with public policy is a specialty of the geee ohh peee. This is why the party got crushed by Trump is 2016. The electorate just isn’t buying that BS anymore. These people have managed to make communism popular in the US, which is a stunning achievement, in a certain way.

      I’d have thought that the election of Trump would have inspired these people to pause and reflect upon what went wrong, and wonder what they could do to stop their endless political failure. But no, not a chance. This particular fool is still prattling on about the new future economy based on services, as if the collapse of American manufacturing still hasn’t happened yet.

      Where has he been?

      And for Pete’s sake, someone please give Galston a tiny nudge, and point out to him that Trump actually won election as president, unlike Bryan. Thanks in advance.

    5. The Dark Lord Says:

      if you are “highly intelligent” I don’t think you need anyone to tell you why to vote for Trump … i.e. the highly intelligent label … now of course if you THINK you are highly intelligent but can’t fathom why ANYONE would vote for Trump I would suggest you are in fact, NOT highly intelligent at all … highly credentialed maybe …

    6. David Foster Says:

      A piece on manufacturing’s “footprint” here:

      https://www.epi.org/publication/the-manufacturing-footprint-and-the-importance-of-u-s-manufacturing-jobs/

      It’s from 2013, and cites manufacturing as accounting for 8.8% of employment (which is the same number quoted by Galston) BUT that in that same year, it accounted for 12.5% of GDP.

      And there are a lot of jobs in businesses which are not themselves categorized as manufacturing, but exist to support those businesses that are…from IT services to cafeteria services.

    7. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      What happened to all those people who can no longer find jobs in agriculture or manufacturing?

      The credentialed super-smart guys talk about information & services — and there certainly are some more jobs in those categories than previously. But the huge shift in employment has been into government & para-government jobs (e.g., accountants filing taxes under very complex business tax regulations; lawyers filing paperwork for complex regulatory compliance; etc). The more accurate description of much of that large & growing class of work is “Overhead”. The credentialed super-smart guys spin complex fantasies to explain declining US labor productivity — when it is simply an inevitable consequence of more people in unproductive overhead and fewer people doing productive work.

      Sadly, Slo Joe and the rest of his ilk in the DC Swamp are surrounded by the Overhead types of credentialed super-smart people, and have lost all contact or knowledge of the kind of work that actually creates economic value.

    8. Ginny Says:

      The thing about work that creates economic value is that generally it is more enlivening, more meaningful and a good deal more satisfying than creating red tape. No wonder we as a nation are often apathetic, cautious, and unhappy.

      A rant about Biden’s town hall that kind of relates to David’s point:

      I understand the desire to categorize – my kids are always saying I do that too much and probably do.

      Nonetheless, Biden is categorizing in ways that were truer in his youth and middle years, not so much now (and it would appear Galston, too). What struck me the most about Biden’s town hall was 1) he isn’t as incoherent and doddering as he has been portrayed and he’s been in interactions with less friendly reporters; 2) he isn’t living in the present. Much that he says implies that with him we get Obama/Biden policies again – ones that didn’t work: shovel ready federal jobs, insurance on its way to being nationalized, quota obsessed hiring practices, a form of theoretically benevolent paternalistic policies that actually give money to the wealthy (lifting the $10,000 limit on state taxes), programs with obvious vulnerabilities to graft, broad regulations and phony diatribes against straw “rich” men. Where Trump liberated the innovators, inventors, small businessmen (the core of the tea party), he would entangle them in regulations and controls.

      But of course, none of that worked well – obamacare or shovel-ready, quotas or a punitive tax system. He ignores the healthy improvement in lower class wages and employment rates, the optimistic approach of freed research departments, the cases won against admittance stacked priorities. Those who gave testament after testament at the Republican convention – artists and craftsmen, farmers and fishermen, minorities and majorities. And that isn’t even speaking of the fact that research has pretty much demonstrated that Head Start and similar programs that are government run don’t work, that charter schools often do, that accepting an 8-year-old’s assertion that she is transgender is not a sensible child raising technique.

      He seemed to consider a foreign policy some allies liked because his style implied disdain for the people who had elected him – not unlike theirs. But this is not a great basis for alliance; expecting Europeans not to pull their share in an alliance built to protect them far before any harm would come to us is condescending, when they were beaten and dependent that was the deal. But nations that built themselves up in the last 70 years and now need/want to have skin in that game and responsibility for their own self-respect. And with Trump there has been little condescension to “old Europe” and an understanding of their place that the former president, whose sympathies too often were with the policies that had imprisoned them for so long, seldom showed. Instead, he showed clear pleasure in the company of Castro.

      The truth is Biden also seems to be in some kind of time chamber back to the 80s or so. Of course at the beginning of that period, China didn’t have the money to bribe as many American politicians, ballplayers, and scholars. And they didn’t have the power to affect us they do now. And NATO was a fairly useful force that kept communism in Russia. And Russia was a theoretical powerhouse that we now realize was a facade but one that can best be held in line by becoming ourselves and encouraging others to become energy independent. And the UN might then (I don’t know how long ago that stopped) have a theoretical chance of becoming the kind of ruling body that the Trekkers imagine. It isn’t now and the more we dispense with its services and hand out, the better.

      His sense of categories doesn’t imagine the real desires of real people: that is the ability to through sweat, courage, and intelligence to earn a seat at the table – not one preserved for black or hispanic or LGBTQ or, well, anything other than the useful, productive individual skills honed by experience and education to make that mean that seat is one that can do, produce, speak, act. Whether it is Ric Grennell or Ben Carson or Betsy DeVos, Trump fills those seats with admirable people with depth. But the choices Biden would make – and the quotas he would enforce – would end up with people like Hirono who sees her function as speaking for oppressed women rather than like Barrett, who sees her function as bringing to the table a sharp mind, a clear and discerning theory of judicial practice, a willingness to follow arguments through precedent and close reading. He says Trump “buddies up” to tyrants – did he take money from Xi who now sets up concentration camps? It is hard to take seriously anyone who spent 8 years trying to get a deal with Iran and trying to meet the ever changing demands of the Palestinians and now cases dispersions on someone who rid the sands of the middle east from ISIS and brokered peace not only in the mid-east but in the Balkans – neither place known for getting over past feuds easily.

      Electing Biden takes us back into a past having learned none of the lessons from having lived through that time. It is also scary – because those to whom he clearly bowed in setting up his platform whatever he may say today, are those who literally don’t believe history is something from which we can learn or that those who found ways of solving complex problems in the past have any sense of either process or solution that can help us today. Marxists talk a lot about history but in the end they are ahistorical. And so is his (how many green programs have been proposed in the past? how many have worked? do these people look at the long range of climate change and question their hysteria?)

      Perhaps enough rant – but I fear that some will look back with nostalgia to a time when we thought the UN and NATO could solve problems, a time when the sheer brazen attacks on a president could be submerged in a unified media response, a time when the corruption lay quiet below a dark swamp. Biden is their man. Trump is hard to follow, intuitive, combustible. A lot of us like that. But it is unsettling. As a boomer, indeed a quite early boomer, I often think the world is going to hell in a handbasket but the last four years have shown me that it needn’t be, the energy of our youth – often misused by us in the sixties and seventies – is still there and can be tapped. And it can, perhaps, learn from our mistakes. I do not want to relive those decades – there is much that was silly and some that was regrettable. What was good will survive.

      (Sorry, this reaction to Biden came because we hadn’t heard him much. We watched the beginning of Trump and we saw the jumble he often goes through while making a point after reporter questions, as usual, that come from questionable assumptions. Where Cruz would point out the assumption, Trump just goes at the question and questioner full throttle. Trump has taken some getting used to – but his is the immediate response that is not just emotional, it is also of a man of action gathering his thoughts. In the end, you can usually see his point and his defense and his approach. Clearly it moves an audience more than Cruz does, much as we admire his debating technique. Oh, well. I am glad for a party that welcomes both.)

    9. Mike K Says:

      I attribute a lot of the shift of educated/credentialed people to the left to the influence of abortion as a sacrament. I remember some years ago hearing the guy who is CEO of Alphabet (parent of Google) say he was influenced politically by his wife’s concerns about abortion.

      There is some irony here because most highly educated affluent women don’t have abortions and practice all the virtues they denigrate in public. Charles Murray has pointed this out repeatedly.

      Personally, I am prochoice but with limits. First trimester, etc.

      The worship of abortion is a weird development and there is an element of eugenics in the concern.

    10. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I have also wondered about the ‘abortion as a sacrament’ and primary concern for capital “F” feminists, for decades – early on, there were orgs like Feminists for Life. When did abortion become a ‘thing’ for establishment capital ‘F’ feminists? It was ghastly to contemplate – why did this become the mountain to die on for establishment Feminists? The whole thing was just ghastly to contemplate.

    11. Jay Guevara Says:

      Over time, Americans with college degrees will increase their share of the electorate

      Let’s not conflate having a college degree with being intelligent. Someone with a degree in physics is one thing. Someone with degree in Unemployment or Perversion Studies is another.

      Personally, I am prochoice but with limits. First trimester, etc.

      A modest proposal: no restrictions on abortion if the prospective mother-not-to-be signs an affidavit that if she had had the baby, she would have raised the child to be a liberal.

    12. Anonymous Says:

      Jay, I think the bubble is in the midst of bursting – degrees are not going to be pursued or honored as they have been except in specific fields, esp hard sciences and ones certified in other ways – like medicine and engineering.

    13. Ginny Says:

      above me – unusually brief

    14. Mike K Says:

      I agree about the college bubble bursting. The student loan thing is behind a lot of Bernie Bros who want student loans paid by taxpayers. I would like to see colleges eat 50% of those loans. If the Democrats take over, the Bernie types may prevail but the student loan overhang is huge. We could see another 2008.

    15. Kirk Says:

      The education-industrial complex here in the US has been running a scam since the 1940s, and they’ve gotten away with it because there was a lot of excess slack in the economy. It didn’t hurt that the rest of the world looked to them as being what they advertised themselves as, rather than the source of division and ignorance that they actually are.

      Most of the problems in modern society stem from the fact that we’ve drastically over-estimated the benefits of “education”, which has gradually morphed into mis-education and outright indoctrination/brainwashing.

      You can observe it in the dramatically lowered standards in primary education. I defy you to go out and find a recent high school graduate that can perform up to the standards of, say, 1950. Even a valedictorian is going to look at you funny when you ask them to diagram a sentence, or how the government is supposed to work under the Constitution. Their ignorance of basic historical fact will astound you, and you’ll find yourself wondering how the hell they ever got a diploma for anything other than kindergarten. It’s not their fault, but they are so damn arrogant in their ignorance that it is maddening, and you come to blame them, rather than the schools and teachers.

      Somewhere around the house, I have my grandmother’s high school transcript and her diploma from around 1916. That sucker is scary–Latin, Greek, “the calculus”, all the sort of stuff we quit teaching because it was “too hard”. She left high school and started teaching in a one-room school out in Eastern Oregon, which she was fully qualified to do, and then later went to the University of Oregon where she was a Phi Beta Kappa. Her generation got itself an education. Mine? LOL… I grew up in an environment where you couldn’t help but learn, gang-taught by my grandmother, maiden great-aunt, and my mother, schoolteachers all. What is interesting is that my formal education didn’t go past high school, but I’m still better read and more grounded in Western Civ than the vast majority of the college graduates I worked for as an NCO. About the only people I never had to explain references to Greek mythology (Sisyphus, usually…) to were West Point graduates from before the great enstupiding that took place in the 1990s. I developed a vast contempt for most “education” in the years I served, because I noted that about 95% of the people possessing college degrees around me were mostly credentialed idiots who’d never read a book for pleasure or self-improvement once they left college. I observed a lot of office bookshelves loaded down with military history and philosophy works, but most of them were never, ever read, let alone opened. The majority of our educated elite is not actually intellectual or at all curious about the world around them–They’re credentialed dolts, and our educational system has made them such.

      The effects of this dumbening down permeate society. We’re all conditioned to worship at the feet of the elite “expert” class, but not to ever question their value or accomplishments. Look around you–Has the world really improved, under their care? I don’t remember Seattle and other west coast cities being inundated with the homeless drug users they are now, back in the old days. And, I ask myself, what changed? Mostly, the people we have running things, college graduates all. I suspect that the old-school uneducated types would solve the problem rather swiftly, likely with the imposition of drastic policing and involuntary workhouses for the vagrant indigents.

      These days, we’re too maleducated to impose such nasty solutions, and we’d apparently rather step over used needles and human feces on our sidewalks, while writing off the parks our tax dollars pay for.

      Precisely none of this was voted for, all of it was foreseeable to anyone possessing the slightest understanding of practical human behavior, but our university-trained elites didn’t see it coming.

      Based on that, I think the value of an “education” these days is drastically and dramatically over-valued. The practical effect that the people with credentials have had on the body politic and the public commons has been nothing but destructive, and I would love to see a class-action lawsuit or a RICO prosecution against these institutions of “education”.

      It’s like I’ve observed in the past about our military: There’s a lot of talk about being a “learning organization”, but damn little to demonstrate any actual ability to learn from experience.

    16. Jay Guevara Says:

      I would like to see colleges eat 50% of those loans.

      Me too. In fact, I’d like to see government getting out of the student loan business entirely, and colleges have to set up a financial arm to finance purchase of their product (such as it is), much like GM has GMAC. Also make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy.

      Think of the benefits. First, colleges would have skin in the game: do they really think a degree in Unemployment Studies is a good investment?

      Second, it would place a lot of downward pressure on tuition, as students would now be more price-sensitive, and demand value for money, as they’d have to pay back their loans or discharge them in bankruptcy, clobbering their credit ratings. Lower tuition would probably also lead to pink slips for a lot of administrators and bloated intellectual sandbox departments (yeah, sociology, I’m talking about you).

      Third, from the colleges’ point of view, a separate financial arm could be a source of considerable revenue, unless of course it ends up financing the training of more hot beverage engineers.

      This would overall force colleges to be run in a more business-like fashion instead of providing day care for late adolescents.

    17. MCS Says:

      Jay,
      I take exception to your “hot beverage engineer”. Those espresso machines you see cost upwards of $15K and a good deal of real engineering goes into them. The people you’re talking about are operators only.

    18. Mike K Says:

      Me too. In fact, I’d like to see government getting out of the student loan business entirely, and colleges have to set up a financial arm to finance purchase of their product (such as it is), much like GM has GMAC. Also make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy.

      Remember who got us into this. Obama nationalized student loans to pay from Obamacare.

      The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board (WSJ) recently suggested that the Obama administration pulled off “the biggest accounting fraud in history” with student loans when eliminating the role of private lenders in the federal student lending market.

      Experts who spoke with Yahoo Finance acknowledged the issue with the general policy in hindsight, though they disagreed on who exactly is to blame.

      In 2010, Democrats “nationalized the market to help pay for Obama Care,” WSJ asserted. “The Congressional Budget Office at the time forecast that eliminating private lenders would save taxpayers $58 billion over 10 years. This estimate was pure fantasy, and now we’re seeing how much.”

    19. Brian Says:

      I like the idea better, I think it came from Glenn Reynolds, to make colleges cosigners on student loans. Letting students discharge them in bankruptcy lets the colleges keep the money. Better to claw it back from them. Of course, they wouldn’t ever agree to do show, which would amply demonstrate their product isn’t worth the price.

    20. Xennady Says:

      If we could solve the problems with our educational system, we could then also solve myriad other seemingly intractable problems.

      But that’s the problem- we can’t.

      The people with the power to do something are the exact same people who are benefiting, richly, and they have no interest in derailing their own personal gravy train.

      My own personal pet peeve is how these folks arranged to block the US government from using its position as monopsony buying to negotiate for bulk drug discounts as part of the Bush medicare part D plan.

      That single item of corruption cost the taxpayers untold billions of dollars, helped pave the way for the disaster of Obamacare, and made democrat turned republican Billy Tauzin very wealthy.

      I take this abomination as a sign of just how screwed up American governance has become. For almost fifteen years now, despite health care being a live-wire issue, neither party has made changing this any priority at all, or as far as I’ve noticed even mentioned it at all.

      If we can’t get that simple issue fixed, how can we get anything more complicated resolved?

      It seems we cannot, under the present regime. Alas.

    21. Xennady Says:

      I like the idea better, I think it came from Glenn Reynolds, to make colleges cosigners on student loans.

      My plan- let colleges fail, thus throwing the idiot administrators and communist professors out of work, forcing them to get jobs paying what their skills are actually worth.

      Depending on the locality, that might be as much as 15$ an hour.

      Otherwise, they can go straight square to hades.

    22. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} And, as I pointed out in this post, we are also seeing offshoring in those information and services segments of the economy, and will undoubtedly be seeing more…with obvious impact on US employment in those segments. Galston also fails to note that the increasingly-obvious failure of Democratic approaches to governance and education, as seen major cities throughout the country, will surely have a long-term effect on political behavior of many people.

      The solution to this is not “bringing manufacturing home” (though that is nominally not that bad, as the new factories will be highly automated, using a fraction of the workers of 40 years ago — see the auto factory in Minority Report), but to not single-source it — on the national level as well as the individual company level. If China makes it for us, we also want factories in India, and Indochina making it for us.

    23. Jonathan Swift Jr. Says:

      Boy, I haven’t been to Chicago Boyz for a while and I have to say its a pleasure to read a well-written post/essay with intelligent, thoughtful responses. Web sites like the Federalist (when they hosted comments, before our techno-fascist overlord came for the comments) were ruined by trolls, most of who were probably paid per post by Media Nutters and other Soros-allied organizations. The whole point of their trolling was to seldom address the point at hand and to make each thread descend into a series of insults or to divert it into the hobby horse of a troll, such as a few obsessed transexuals.

      Joe Biden began his political life in a very different era, in the era of the ward heelers, when ethnic social clubs was really where the business of politics got done. Unfortunately for those of us who may look at the past through a pair of rosy glasses, ethnic politics, an early form of identity politics played a key role in American life, especially in the East and Midwest. So, in the mining and manufacturing regions, you appealed to the local political bosses in each ethnic neighborhood, who then in time delivered the vote after some minor corruption, back-scratching and log rolling. Now, these divisions were never as hard and firm West of the Mississippi. So, while I love the essay, I actually believe Joe Biden was in a sense bemoaning the end of the old days when a back slapping, child fondling old politician like himself would get the vote delivered to him through a middleman. Old Joe, senile as he now is (he looks coherent from time to time only because he wears an earpiece where answers can be dictated to him, off the cuff he has trouble getting through a single minute before losing the trace) was never gifted with a moment of clarity, his thinking has always been muddled, he had been wrong about every major issue for his entire career.

      The Democratic Party of today is a party of technocrats, middle managers and middle managers that have been promoted far past their level of insight or intelligence should dictate. What virtually all of them fail to see is that intelligence and insight is well dispersed. The technocrat believes that they merit their positions and that someone shook the country up and that all the intelligent people ended up along the coastal regions, that all the bright young things live along the West Coast or the Acela corridor. The Covid debacle has shown two things: First, how rotten the “meritocracy” is with Dr. Fauci the prime example, Second, how many brilliant, insightful people there are who have no connection to the government or the think tank complex. There are a host of brilliant people operating on Twitter, graphing, charting this epidemic, all far more insightful than any public official. I have learned once again that the people worth listening to – like Dr. Levitt of Stanford and Tel Aviv, the Nobelist, or Dr. Ioannides of Stanford – are willing to brook dissent and have a measure of humility. When someone tells you to sit down, shut up and to stop asking questions, you know they are corrupt and not worth listening two. Seeing Dr. Levitt – a man with incredible credentials – engaging again and again with brilliant amateurs who are following the evidence rather than pre-conceived notions or a “narrative” has been wonderful.

      What this nation and every other need is intellectual engagement, the type of engagement we find here. I have been fortunate to be able to take long trips across the country, 10,000, 15,000 even 20,000 mile trips that span the seasons, though now I am tied down taking care of a 93 year-old parent slipping into dementia. It IS a great nation and most of our people are welcoming, though I believe Obama made things worse and through Black Lives Matter and other similar movements we have become more suspicious of each other. I recommend Ms. Bin Laden’s two essays in the Spectator on her experience as an American who is unfortunately the niece of the terrorist mastermind. She has found Americans as very welcoming and hospitable in spite of the name she must bear and finds more enmity for being a Trump supporter than the niece of the world’s worst terrorist.

      I am hoping that the corrupt Biden family with its decades of grafyt and the regime of Identity Politics uber all will be sent to the showers three weeks from now.

    24. Xennady Says:

      The solution to this is not “bringing manufacturing home” (though that is nominally not that bad, as the new factories will be highly automated, using a fraction of the workers of 40 years ago — see the auto factory in Minority Report), but to not single-source it — on the national level as well as the individual company level. If China makes it for us, we also want factories in India, and Indochina making it for us.

      I’ll agree that it is certainly better to have more than one source for any import, but having factories in China and India doesn’t solve our problems.

      For one thing we can’t assume that China and India won’t both decide they don’t like us, or that one country won’t be able to threaten or bribe another to stop trading with us. I note the German war effort suffered significantly in both world wars because their enemies were able to cut off a great deal of their foreign trade, and our sanctions against Japan were a factor leading up to their decision to go to war against us.

      For another, it does nothing to make the American economy more competitive against foreign competition, which essentially means the United States is failing as a nation. It doesn’t matter that we can right now print up Federal Reserve Notes on demand to buy things foreigners make to sell. Long term, we need to be able to produce enough to pay our bills. We aren’t presently.

      Even worse, the loss of jobs and economic activity is ripping the guts out of the country’s political stability. For the right, I note that Donald Trump easily defeated what was supposedly the best GOP field of candidates of my lifetime, despite the frantic efforts of the party establishment. As a Trump supporter this pleases me, but I also take it as an obvious sign of the failure of the republican party. For the left, I note that the democrats have essentially been taken over by communists, with just about every primary election producing a more extreme winner.

      This is not success. Compare and contrast with China, which has gone from an irrelevant backwater to a peer competitor of the US, all within my adult lifetime. And to borrow a concept from China, I’d say the Mandate of Heaven has been withdrawn from the present American regime, and restored to China. That government has worked very hard to make China more prosperous, successfully, unlike our regime, which plainly hates most Americans and can’t manage to hide its disdain even when it would be very much in its interest to do so.

      The regime’s fanatical devotion to free trade- regardless of what happens to the American economy- has been an important factor in its incipient demise.

    25. Xennady Says:

      The technocrat believes that they merit their positions and that someone shook the country up and that all the intelligent people ended up along the coastal regions, that all the bright young things live along the West Coast or the Acela corridor.

      I remember that I stopped reading The Bell Curve when I reached the page where the authors wrote that all smart people were vacuumed up by the Ivy League to become our glorious wealthy overlords. I read that decades ago, so I’m pretty sure I’m misremembering their words, but not what they meant by them.

      She has found Americans as very welcoming and hospitable in spite of the name she must bear and finds more enmity for being a Trump supporter than the niece of the world’s worst terrorist.

      I feel bad for her. But I also think she is getting roughly the same treatment that all Trump supporters get from the usual suspects, alas.

    26. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Xennady: “It doesn’t matter that we can right now print up Federal Reserve Notes on demand to buy things foreigners make to sell. Long term, we need to be able to produce enough to pay our bills.”

      Thank you, Xennady! That is the crux of the matter right there. It is totally obvious that the US cannot run a trade deficit for ever. The realities which will be forced upon us are either (1) import a lot less, or (2) export a lot more. Either way, in the long term, we need to be able to make a lot more within the US — just like the US did, up until about the 1990s. This is obvious to anyone who stops to think about it, but apparently it is beyond the comprehension of our Political Class. Certainly, in this election cycle, almost the only person talking about bringing production (& jobs, and tax revenue) back to the US is President Trump.

      Of course, a country also cannot run a government Budget Deficit and run up its National Debt for ever either. That is another economic reality which seems to escape the attention of our highly-credentialed Best & Brightest.

    27. Mike K Says:

      I recall “The Bell Curve” argument about “assortive mating,” which distressed Murray. He believed that a sort of super quintile of people would go to super colleges and marry each other instead of the boy or girl next door. I think what has happened is that many of those people have been miseducated by the leftist professoriate. Many became the “quants” who took us into the 2008 meltdown.

      Remember this ?

      For five years, Li’s formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.

      His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.

      Then the model fell apart. Cracks started appearing early on, when financial markets began behaving in ways that users of Li’s formula hadn’t expected. The cracks became full-fledged canyons in 2008—when ruptures in the financial system’s foundation swallowed up trillions of dollars and put the survival of the global banking system in serious peril.

      Those were our super generation.

      We are still besieged by ignorant lefties who are credentialed, not educated, but they could not run a corner liquor store.

    28. Kirk Says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about assortative mating as a long-term problem. It may be a bit of an issue for a generation or two, but I am pretty sure that by about the third generation of “genius-on-genius” boinking, the rate of autism in that population is going to be so damn high that you’d think it was a new communicable disease that was doing it.

      Human intelligence ain’t as simple as people want to believe. There are probably innumerable factors that go into it all, and what makes for genius in one family genome may well create idiots in others. You aren’t going to know until you run the numbers or have the babies.

      I’ll cheerfully wager a paycheck or two that the first set of idiots to try for a “designer baby” genius-level kid will live to regret having done so, and more so if it’s done by some government agency like the Chinese would put in charge of it. People designed by committee are unlikely to be very successful, and the amount of sheer arrogance and wishful thinking that will go into the initial attempts at this idiocy will likely sour everyone on the idea. I’d predict that most of the resulting kids are going to be seriously ‘effed up, one way or another.

      Hell, there is so much we just don’t know about the entire issue. Judging from observation, my guess is that whatever is behind the rising rate of autism has an awful lot to do with the assortative mating effect, because there is a really disturbing correlation to be seen in the number of kids with autism I’ve seen in the high-octane marriages I know.

      Meanwhile, Joe and Jane Sixpack are producing relatively normal kids, with apparent spontaneous spikes of really high IQ. Smartest kid I’ve met in the last couple of years has parents who I’m pretty sure haven’t read a book since high school, and are just pleasantly surprised at the child they’ve somehow produced.

      You look at the way genius fails to breed true in a lot of cases, and you really have to wonder at the whole “assortative mating” idea in and of itself. I am pretty certain that there are some tremendous holes in the entire concept, ones you could drive a truck through…

    29. Mike K Says:

      The autism theory is interesting. Have you read Gregg Cochran’s book, “The 10,000 year explosion?” He has a chapter on Ashkenazi Jews and Tay Sachs disease.

    30. Kirk Says:

      It’s not really a theory, more of an observation. I’ve yet to see an autistic kid produced by parents of mediocre mid-grade intelligence. From that, my supposition is that there are probably some recessive traits that tie in, which are essentially harmless when high-IQ breeds with lower, but when reinforced by a pairing of equally high-IQ types, those traits interact unpredictably to produce the expression of autism in the resultant kids. I honestly can’t think of a single autistic kid I’ve run into who came out of a mid-level parental background. Every one of the ones I’ve encountered had really bright, really intellectual parents.

      I think there may be a bit of a self-limiting factor baked into things, when it comes to human intelligence. Source of that? Who the hell knows? It would make sense, though, if you look at it from the standpoint of evolutionary behavioral biology–Get too many plains apes standing around looking at the night sky and going “Ook-ook”, and the entire tribe is going to wind up in the belly of a smilodon or something. It’s quite possible that the mixture of intelligence levels we have is actually an evolutionary advantage, keeping the species grounded enough to survive and still be able to advance…

    31. Jonathan Swift Jr. Says:

      On autism, I believe that there are claims that it is off the charts in the Silicon Valley. The idea is that men who are “on the spectrum” who would likely have not been considered marriageable by most women fifty years ago, are now seen as attractive because they are making a lot of money. Think of Bill Gates. Then, at least some of them are marrying women engineers who may be on the autism spectrum themselves. So, it is claimed this sort of mating has led to a greater incidence of autism in the tech world.

      The problem will all the emphasis on pure intelligence is that intelligence by itself does not mean a person will be sensible, let alone wise. Many of the people who are most panicked about the C-19 Pandemic are well educated and intelligent, yet they are unable to understand that we live in a world of relative risk and that the vast majority of the population is at little to no risk to get very ill from a C-19 infection, let along die. And, those that do are often at (or even past) their normal life spans. There are tens of thousands of healthy, relatively young and very well educated people who won’t even leave their apartments (there is a whole subset of Twitter where you can fine them, “Its been 140 days for me,” that sort of thing) because their fear is so great. And of course anyone with the most elementary grasp of science and logic would have known that it is not incidental contact that passes the virus most efficiently but prolonged contact, so the lock-downs would have to lead to spikes, more cases of transmission not less. A logical person would also know that keeping healthy young people locked up for months only compromises their immune system. Even at the beginning in March we knew that it was elderly people who were isolated and thus had weakened immune systems and of course people with respiratory illnesses who were most at risk, so the concept of turning entire populations into human veal farms would seem to be counter productive. Yet, intelligent and well educated “experts” almost all got on the lock-down train immediately and won’t get off now, long after it has become clear that they do far more harm than good, especially in the third world. This untried and brand new approach (which had been soundly rejected by the WHO in the past) was adopted faddishly everywhere. The media of course only traffics in “fear porn” and controversy and seldom seeks to actually make anyone better informed. I began reading about Farr and Snow and the origins of epidemiology and public health and then discovered the great R.E. Hope-Simpson who spent more than fifty years studying influenza and virus transmission. Once you read his work, much of what has happened becomes far more understandable. Because of virus seasonality it became clear to me that if you were successful enough at isolating healthy people from the virus you could successfully keep it around long enough to bridge one flu season to another, making it more likely to take the lives at those most at risk, not less. Like a forest fire, keeping the fire around a longer time makes it more, not less destructive. And, because we were coming off a light flu year, there was lots of “kindling” for this or any other deadly virus. Hope-Simpson also noticed the lack of D-3 (the Sunshine Vitamin) in severe influenza cases way back in the 1930s and 1940s, something that has been clear with C-19, which means being out of doors on the beach is of course the healthiest place to be for humidity and heat kills this virus like others, but the “experts,” our scientific geniuses made beaches off limits so that everyone was trapped at home where there is almost always a lack of air circulation and poor ventilation. Thanks to C-19, I have learned which “experts” should be listened to. The ones to listen to are calm, rational, often even humble and are willing to engage in intelligent discussion. Anyone who insists on shutting down debate and brooks no dissent from their point of view should never be listened to or taken seriously. Anyone who favors a computer model over real world experience is a well educated idiot, Anyone who insists a model is “science” is an idiot because of course nothing predictive, nothing based on unproven assumptions (especially assumptions about a novel virus) can be “science.”

      So, count me as one who is skeptical of a world being run by a race of super-intelligent, credentialed “experts” who claim to use “science” to guide their every decision. It seems to me that as one who grew up around countless emigrants from Western and Eastern Europe in the 1960s that that whole tangent was followed in Germany and the Soviet Union and the “New Man” that emerged from these scientific societies were not such an improvement.

      The Manhattan Project was probably the greatest assemblage of geniuses in human history. In fact, even among the other geniuses, the Hungarians such as John von Neumann were considered so brilliant that they became known as “The Martians.” But, as we all know a significant number of the geniuses were Marxists. I would posit that it may be more likely for intelligent and well educated people to adopt faddish ideas that are untested than less educated people who may have a healthy skepticism of novelty and changing something that works. Marxism remains far more popular among academics than the average person and as the late, great Jacques Barzun observed, they always cling to the most preposterous of Marx’s ideas most tightly.

    32. MCS Says:

      The wuflu situation has been compounded by desperation, hysteria and incompetence from the start. It started in China where local authorities concealed the outbreak until it was beyond control. The WHO then continued to conceal and obfuscate, possibly in the hope of currying favor with the CCP or from simple incompetence. Once the cat was out of the bag, all the other alphabet agencies continued the charade in the name of containing panic and concealing their own incompetence and unpreparedness. Now the politicians have locked onto the idea that they can score points by “controlling” the new infection rate. Never mind the fact that once the prevalence was in even single digit percentages, that was out of their, or anyone else’s control.

      We’ll all be paying a real price for this for a long time. Now that the politicians have gotten the idea that they can bribe us with printed money to ignore their powerlessness in the face of something that was never controllable, a million dollars for a loaf of bread is in sight. All it will take is the merest breath of wind for the house of cards to collapse and everyone seems anxious to open all the windows.

      What should be seen as proof of the limits of government is instead being used as an excuse to double down. The only thing in that direction is the drain we are now circling.

    33. David Foster Says:

      Although there were several Marxists among the Los Alamos scientists, John von Neumann wasn’t among them…he was so anti-Communist that he favored a preventive nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

    34. Brian Says:

      “I believe that there are claims that it is off the charts in the Silicon Valley”
      Partly that’s because we’re refined what “autism” means to mean “personality quirks of people who thrive in academic settings.” And I’d wager a substantial amount, as a pure layman, that being diagnosable as “autistic” correlates very, very highly with having spent a lot of time staring at a screen in your formative years. Like to the point of believing it’s not correlation, but causation.

    35. David Foster Says:

      C S Lewis describes his protagonist, a sociologist, in ‘That Hideous Strength’

      “..his education had had the curious effect of making things that he read and wrote more real to him than the things he saw. Statistics about agricultural laboureres were the substance: any real ditcher, ploughman, or farmer’s boy, was the shadow…he had a great reluctance, in his work, to ever use such words as “man” or “woman.” He preferred to write about “vocational groups,” “elements,” “classes,” and “populations”: for, in his own way, he believed as firmly as any mystic in the superior reality of the things that are not seen.”

    36. Jonathan Swift Jr. Says:

      Brian makes an intelligent point here about the rise of the online world, does it cause or exaggerate personality traits that can be defined as autism? Time spent online may also be circular, it may attract a certain type of person and reinforce their natural traits.

      As far as the short-lived John von Neumann, I did not mean to indicate that he was a communist or a communist sympathizer, that was not the case. I mentioned him as one of the “Martins,” a number of whom were decidedly on the right. Klaus Fuchs, Morris Cohen, Theodore Hall and a number of others were actually Soviet spies, while others were sympathizers.

    37. Kirk Says:

      Actually, I have to regard belief in Communism/Socialism as a key indicator that someone is somewhere on the autism spectrum, due to the inherent lack of understanding you have to have when it comes to human nature. You really have to be utterly “people blind” to think that the majority of your peers would actually participate in such a system in any meaningful or effective way. In this regard, most fervent Marxist/Socialist believers are as deluded about the “fundamentally good” nature of their fellow humans as any of the various optimistic religious cults are.

      Humans are, I am afraid, fundamentally selfish bastards who only occasionally act in the interests of the group, and then mostly when it either makes them feel virtuous, or someone they want to boink is watching. You get down to it with most males, and a lot of it is selfish mating strategy designed to lure in unsuspecting women so that they’ll carry the male’s kids. And, vicey-versa–An awful lot of female “altruistic” behavior is designed to lure in unsuspecting males looking for a good mother for their kids, and what they’re observing is the equivalent of what the males themselves are doing, posturing as their big bad selves to look like they can defend the females.

      Some people will actually live up to the expectations required of good socialist citizens–The Soviets called them “Stakhanovites”. I call them suckers, and they rapidly get bred out of the population, ‘cos ain’t nobody wanting to be hooked up with that sort of credulous sucker-dom.

      In order to believe in the ideology, you have to be blind to people, their actual behavior, and the real world around you. Traditional economics didn’t shake out after thousands of generations going back to the caves by accident–It’s set up that way for good reasons. Most humans are essentially “go-along-to-get-along” types who won’t do things for the collective unless they’re incentivized. The Incan Empire notwithstanding, I can’t think of a single successful civilization that didn’t demonstrate this, and even the Inca had their internal trade networks.

    38. Mike K Says:

      In order to believe in the ideology, you have to be blind to people, their actual behavior, and the real world around you.

      I think there is a very large share of communists who are in it for the power. We see them in the streets of Portland and Seattle. There are “Useful idiots,” sure, but the ones we see mostly want to rule. Maybe not all are violent but be a kid with a Trump sign showing in your room on Zoom and see how peaceful they are.

    39. Ginny Says:

      One of those things I have trouble getting out of my mind: In the displaced persons camps of the mid-forties, Soros wanted to go to Russia, where he thought he could eventually gain more power. His father pressured him to choose Britain (as any sensible father would). Soros had, in a sense, chosen then – his first desire was power, his second was what the West offered. But of course only someone with his intelligence and those ambitions could have succeeded either place – it is just that we are lucky that people with ambitions like those of our founders, like Lincoln, etc. etc. in lesser degrees had different ambitions – and set the laws and also the culture. Of course, it is only by destroying those laws and that culture that another can take place.

      If you want a picture with the lovely take of some of the Spring of ’68 movies and a sense of what totalitarianism did in that small nation, you might be interested in All My Countrymen”. It is set in Moravia, where most Texas Czechs came from – more rural. In my sense, it is in some ways a great film; here’s the IMBD url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_My_Compatriots

      But my husband loved it and I pretty much disliked it – the picture of the fatalism that infects a village after decades of this pressure to not see what is before their eyes in terms of what works and of the inevitability of that pressure to grind down, even those who are heroic but who also want the community itself to survive is disturbing. I’m curious if anyone else here saw it? (I’d recorded it from tcm a few weeks ago.)

      One of my daughter’s friends was a brilliant computer guy who set up early Amazon forms as it expanded form mainly books; he left to get a linguistics ph.d. But he’d observed that the neat thing about Amazon then was that it had a lot of geeky types who weren’t all that good at social interactions and he thought it was so neat that they’d found a place where they could meet and date and marry and reproduce with each other. Of course that percentage of brilliance is rare and that it also matches in whatever makes us what to mate is probably rarer still.

    40. Kirk Says:

      @MikeK,

      Note that I said “believe”, not “use”. Marxism is a con job, always has been. The people who make use of it to gain power over others are much different than the ones who believe in it as a system. The ideology attracts sociopaths because that’s where the rubes are–If you’re a “true believer”, you’re all too easily exploited and prone to following the charismatic sociopaths of the world that mouth the words you believe in. The power-seekers are a different class from the rubes.

      The real solution to dealing with these idiots is to remove power from the hierarchies and institutions where it accumulates. Anywhere there’s a power sink, there’s the potential for abuse, and the more power/authority/prestige you invest in a position or hierarchy, the lower class of sociopath you’re going to attract to it.

      You really want to “fix” a lot of our institutions, you need to change things such that the general ethos is such that being in a position of decision-making power is actually actively unattractive to the sociopathic. Accomplishing that would do two things–One, you’d have a lot fewer positions where you’d have to worry about the abusive types taking over, and two, you’d get only the truly altruistic self-abasing types into those jobs.

      Trick is, how do you do it?

    41. PenGun Says:

      In the game I am currently playing, Eve Online, an autistic bent is almost a requirement, for real success. ;) I play it as its quite challenging on many levels. I will fire my production line back up is a bit. The Research and Production facility, I am using has been refuelled, and I can make more ships, ammo and modules, to replace the ones lost by my more aggressive brethren, who have the biggest war ever fought online, in progress. ;)

    42. Mike K Says:

      Note that I said “believe”, not “use”. Marxism is a con job, always has been. The people who make use of it to gain power over others are much different than the ones who believe in it as a system.

      Oh yes. There are three groups in the streets. One is anarchist/communist. They are the leaders.

      A second group, not present in Portland but in Chicago and Minneapolis are feral blacks who do the looting. They are gangs and shiftless kids who want to steal stuff.

      The third group are the useful idiots, a lot of them college age, and attending, girls. Quite a few are from upper class families. They are angry at things we don’t see, and many of them are not real. Stuff like “systemic racism” are slogans like the Bolsheviks chanted.

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