Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Education, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Immigration, Law, National Security, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes, Unemployment | Tags: The Failed Leftist Policy, The Progressive Media, Truth and Lies
This is possibly the weirdest election year ever, though there have been some pretty disturbing ones in the past. We have candidates in each of the major parties who were not only not my choice, but far from it. We had our primaries and conventions, and this is what they came up with. We have two equally impossible candidates in the two minor parties.
The earth has shifted, and much has changed — and we are beginning to wake up to it. First, consider the news. The world of information as we knew it consisted of the news (solemn, reasonably accurate, and fairly non-partisan), and opinion — partisan, but you could identify those on your side and decide who among them to pay attention to. The news came on at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. A good percentage of the American people also got a daily newspaper, some even got two, and maybe some magazines. Where do you get your news today?
The powers that be do want desperately to divide us into classes — the upper class. middle class, working class and the poor — they have other names for the “upper” class, and the “they” clearly represents those who want to be considered “upper.” Charles Murray wrote:
Harvard economist Robert Reich was the first to put a name to an evolving new class of workers in his 1991 book, The Work of Nations, calling them “symbolic analysts.”Reich surveyed the changing job market and divided jobs into three categories; routine production services, in-person services, and symbol-analytic services. In Reich’s formulation, the new class of symbolic analysts consisted of managers, engineers, attorneys, scientists, professors, executives, journalists, consultants and other “mind workers” whose work consists of processing information. He noted that the new economy was ideally suited to their talents and rewarded them accordingly.
Murray, in The Bell Curve, called this new class “the cognitive elite,” and said that currently when he uses the term new upper class, he is referring to a fuzzy set of people who run the nation’s economic political and cultural institutions, and at the top are those who have risen to jobs that affect the nation’s culture, economy and politics. So if you are one of those who mumbled about all of us working for a living, there you are.
So where do you get your information? Note that we no longer have a “news” class — it’s all opinion. Brief rants on Twitter are as apt to make the “news” as the latest from the wire services. (Are there still wire services?) Count up the sources you have for information — takes a heck of a lot more than two hands.
We are all human beings, including those we send to Congress as well as those we send to the White House, and to judges chambers, and those currently serving time. Oddly, the new upper class, who need so badly to think well of themselves, usually forget that—possibly because being human means we don’t know as much as we think we do, we make mistakes, some of us lie, commit fraud and are false to our best ideals — and worse. We are told that we must commit to lifetime learning, but when you come home at the end of the day, an old movie seems more enticing. Those who run for political office have an extra gene for public speaking and imperviousness to criticism, and of course ego. Don’t expect too much.
In the meantime, the Left has changed dramatically. Kim Holmes has written a fascinating book to explain the changes that have taken place.
For most of the 1980s and 1990s, leftists worked, if not underground, then certainly below the political radar. They were still operating in a Reagan or post-Reagan era. They inhabited universities and activist organizations that had existed on the fringes of American liberalism since the 1960s. This marginal existence ended in the 2000s under the presidency of George W. Bush. Progressive activists launched a movement against the war in Iraq, and eventually the Democratic Party broke with the moderation of the Clinton years. Energized and radicalized, Democrats moved left and began to take on the old liberal establishment, much as the New Left had done in the Kennedy and Johnson years. The result is a far more aggressive liberal party. This cause triumphed with the election of Barack Obama, a quintessential postmodern leftist, to the presidency in 2008.
The new Left is better characterized by groupthink and intolerance. Hillary has disavowed her husband’s accomplishments in office, but her only real ambition has always been to get very rich and be the first woman President of the United States. She hasn’t given much thought to what would be good for the country as is easily evidenced by her claim to make college and university free to all. (And how do we afford that?) She has arranged the rich part through the worst kinds of graft in pubic office, and ‘the first woman part’ seems fairly absurd in the wake of women presidents and prime ministers and heads of state around the world, not to mention long history of queens who headed states. The Big Whoop has pretty much gone out of it. Nobody cares.
We are stuck with 4 candidates that we mostly don’t like very much. We need to stop blaming it on the uneducated in backwoods districts, and realize that this is all entirely the work of the far left press. We had 17 candidates, too many, but the Republicans have a big bunch of extraordinarily successful governors. All were left desperately trying to get some attention while the press was only interested in what Donald would say next.
Most people don’t spend a lot of time on politics, and aren’t all that familiar with policy. They just know when things are not right and their lives are being turned upside down. They may not know all that much about government, but they revere their Constitution, their freedoms, and the idea that we have a system for immigrants that has, through the years, done an excellent job of welcoming immigrants and turning them into American citizens. So there you are.
Donald Trump blurts out whatever occurs to him — apparently in the vein of Obama’s statement “If they bring a knife to the fight, you bring a gun.” Hillary is a crook. She is not just untrustworthy, or lies occasionally — she has used the high office entrusted to her to enrich her family Clinton Foundation by responding to donations by doing federal favors for the donors. That is called graft. Or selling out your country for cash. Trump says things he shouldn’t say. Hillary does things that are very, very illegal and very damaging to our country.
Gary Johnson is the Libertarian candidate, a successful governor and a “pot entrepreneur,” and is for drug legalization, and other unacceptable views. Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate, a doctor of internal medicine, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and Harvard Medical School, and a complete environmental nut who expects the United States to be underwater by 2030 or so, and is an environmental activist, sit-ins and protests too many to measure.
Filed under: Blogging, Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economics, Education, Energy, Free Markets, Freedom, Health Care, Immigration, National Security, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: A Strange New World, Political Wars, Tending to my Garden
Sorry about the light blogging. I have not been lolling on a sunny beach with a cold beverage. My broken foot has healed, I can wear shoes once again, and the neglected yard demands attention, right now! Add veterinary appointments for 2 sick cats, doctors appointments, and I have been somewhat ignoring you, my beloved audience.
Besides, what does one say in an electoral year like this! Everyone is at everyone else’s throat. I have NEVER seen anything like this, and I’ve seen a lot of electoral seasons. The comments sections on most blogs are downright vicious. Today it is in the high 80°s, and we in the Pacific Northwest who are not accustomed to much sun, retreat to the darkest corners with our electric fans in fear that our mossy backs will dry out and wilt.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Humor, Politics, Taxes | Tags: Burton Folsom, Government Failures, Private Investment Works
Democrats are always promising to build stuff. California has their High Speed train to nowhere that is becoming a very expensive bad joke. The Seattle area’s Light Rail is well on the way to becoming another, as is common for commuter rail projects all over the country. Government officials are as subject to falling for popular fashion as is any young ingenue, and for quite a while building a railroad seemed like a great way to make yourself famous. So they are, but not exactly in the way they planned on. Here’s Burton Folsom, author, historian and professor at Hillsdale College to explain why the government is such a lousy investor.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economy, European Union, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: No Self-Awareness, The British Exit, The EU Hissy Fit
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Free Markets, Politics, Taxes, The United States | Tags: AEI's Carpe Diem Blog, Econ Prof Mark Perry, The Economic Fact of the Day
From Economist Mark Perry at The American Enterprise Institute:
Economic Fact of the Day. There hasn’t been a single president in US history whose time in office didn’t include at least one year of 3% economic growth (real GDP), which is the average growth rate in the post-WWII era. The highest growth during Obama’s seven years in office was 2.5% in 2010, and the average growth from 2009 to 2015 was 1.4% (and 2.1% without the -2.8% growth in 2009).
Obama has been out bragging about the success of the economy in his administration. The candidates running to succeed him excoriate the Obama economy. They’re right, but I’m not sure any of them are capable of improving it.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economics, Economy, Education, Freedom, Heartwarming, Taxes, Unemployment | Tags: Graduation Speech, Making a Living, Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Education, Free Markets, Freedom, Politics, Pop Culture, Progressives, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: Economist Lee Ohanian, Reality and Ignorance, What's Fair and What Isn't
Here’s noted economist and economics professor Lee Ohanian from U.C.L.A. clarifying things a little for the ignorant. Or — all about income inequality, and other leftist confusions.