A Modest Proposal


Swift’s essay was supposed to be satire rather than a how-to manual.

Moloch was unavailable for comment.

UPDATE—

UPDATE 2—

UPDATE 3—Say, could this be the basis for a Soylent Green New Deal?

Trump v. Pelosi v. AOC


Donald Trump is running for reelection, and it seems that he’d rather run against the sort of Progressive Democrat whose politics are strongly different from his own—”a choice not an echo” to borrow an old campaign slogan. While AOC won’t be the 2020 nominee, she’s the face of the Democrat’s for now, and that seems to suit Trump just fine.

Nancy Pelosi’s goals aren’t much different from She Guevara’s, but the two differ radically on how to achieve those goals. After six months as a congresscritter, AOC has shown that she is unwilling and/or unable to work within the established congressional order. She wants revolution now. Pelosi’s decades of practical politics have taught her that a recurring first step toward her goals is winning elections. She’s also seen what happens when her side’s politics moves too fast for the voters. See, eg., the elections of 1994 and 2010.

Pelosi isn’t all that popular with voters outside the costal blue zones, but recent poling shows that AOC and her squad of newbies are unpopular even in many Democrat strongholds. Thus, Trump would much rather have She Guevara as the face of the Democratic Party. As the coming primaries settle on the Democrat’s presidential nominee, that candidate will push AOC aside, but her effect on the party’s branding will linger, and Trump sees that as to his advantage.

So Trump is likely to continue baiting AOC and her squad. And given their mix of arrogance and inexperience, I suspect they’ll keep taking the bait.

Oh, one more thing … I’ve seen Trump’s tweets from last weekend labeled as “racist.” He suggested that a foreign-born congresswoman return to her homeland, straighten it out, and then come back to show us how it was done. How is that challenge racist?

The Dispossessed


Neo has a post up titled Something’s going on in Europe which quotes several European source about populist movements on the other side of the Atlantic.

France and Britan—

Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places…

Norway—

America isn’t the only Western country in which too much power accrues to self-seeking bureaucrats and lobbyists who don’t give a damn what ordinary citizens think or want or need. America’s not alone in being run by politicians who, preoccupied with short-term personal gains and political prospects at the expense of the long-term national interest, pursue disastrous policies that threaten to bring down Western civilization. And America isn’t the only country whose mainstream news media spread “fake news” about all the above, whitewashing dangerous alien cultures while showing insufficient concern for our own.

France—

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.

I believe that there’s a lesson to be drawn from history about the long-term viability of a society that focuses on an urban elite at the expense of the plebes in flyover country. It is the history of Rome. Eventually, the political balance that maintains the elite in their commanding positions will fail as their internal conflicts weaken them. We may be seeing such a struggle on the Left here in the U. S.

Trump, Brexit, and les gilet jaunes are the vanguard of flyover country’s opposition to the current order. Bernie Sanders and ¡Ocasio! She Guevara appear to represent people who want to be part of the elite, but who feel that they have been cheated by a corrupt hierarchy. There are only so many slots available for executive, managerial, and professional workers, and many young inner party wannabes are finding that they have six-figure student loans and a working-class job or no job at all. They haven’t even been able to move into the outer party.

Free stuff—tuition, medical care, whatever—will ease the current burden on the elite wannabes, but many of the elite’s policies run counter to their real world interests. The internal fights on the Left are about to get interesting.

Math and Facts are Harder


I’m sure Paul Krugman thinks he made a morally justifiable argument in his recent NYT article supporting ¡Ocasio! She Guevara’s proposed higher tax rates, but he’s dead wrong on both the facts and his math. He wrote,

The controversy of the moment involves AOC’s advocacy of a tax rate of 70-80 percent on very high incomes, which is obviously crazy, right? I mean, who thinks that makes sense? … And it’s a policy nobody has ever implemented, aside from … the United States, for 35 years after World War II — including the most successful period of economic growth in our history.

It’s a fact that World War II ended in 1945. You can look it up.

It’s also a fact that the top U. S. personal income tax rates were cut from 70 percent to 50 percent in 1964. Paul Krugman could have looked that up in the NYT’s archives.

1964 – 1945 = 19 and 19 < 35.

Also, the peak period of post WWII economic growth in America was after that tax cut, a fact that Krugman would have also found if he researched his paper's own archives.

Space prohibits a full discussion of the impact of the tax cut, but current data show that inflation-adjusted G.D.P. increased 5.8 percent in 1964 after a 4.4 percent rise in 1963. Growth improved to 6.5 percent in 1965 and 6.6 percent in 1966. These were the three best back-to-back years for economic growth in the postwar era, and economists generally credit the Kennedy-Johnson tax cut for much of it.

Sometimes Truth just refuses to fit The Narrative.

UPDATE—To be fair to Paul Krugman, the Kennedy/Johnson tax cut became law just before his 11th birthday, so he probably has no real memory of the economic conditions he was writing about.