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.

Let’s Make a Deal


Sarah Hoyt has a long essay over at According to Hoyt very effectively demonstrating the stupidity of She Guevara’s proposed Green New Deal. Ms. Hoyt does this in a most unfair manner by using Real World data and numbers and math. For example, consider the cost of green energy upgrades to “every” residential and commercial building.

That estimate— which, frankly, for a full remodel of an average 2,500 square foot home to state-of-the-art anything is still probably small— would put the cost of this project at 1.36 trillion dollars. Oh, plus another 336 billion dollars if we assume renovating commercial buildings costs only about 6 times as much, per building, as private homes. Or, for convenient reference, a bit more than the 1.688 trillion the government is expected to make in personal income taxes. Again, by fairly conservative estimates. This could be way higher.

Read the whole thing. I did, and in the process I also found couple of useful new terms to use in reference to the young congresscritter-elect: ¡Ocasio! and kindercaucus.

Omelettes, Eggs, Some Disassembly Required


“What’s your comfort number, Lefties?” asks The Phantom over at The Phantom Soapbox. Even before taking office, She Guevara has already threatened the President’s son with a subpoena because of an effective meme on Twitter, and Eric Swalwell has expressed a willingness to use nuclear weapons to enforce gun control. Both may be joking or speaking hyperbolically, but they tipped their hands. It’s clear that these socialists are willing to use government power to force through the social changes they want.

P. J. O’Rourke once suggested that we should not favor any government program that we were not willing to kill our own grandmother for. He reasoned that if she didn’t pay her taxes to support the program, the government would send an agent with a gun to collect the taxes and that further resistance could be fatal, so we only should support a government program if we really supported such an outcome. The Phantom wonders how many of our grandmothers these socialists are willing to sacrifice—

So there’s really only one question worth asking DemocRats in the USA and Liberals here: how many people are you willing to throw out of work to get your socialist plan enacted? How many will you imprison to enforce your regulation? How many senior citizens are you willing to freeze to death for your ecological fuel tax? How many resisters will you kill? Hmm?

One?
Ten?
Ten thousand?

The Communist’s answer was 100 million in the 20th Century. The entire nation of Canada, four times over, died for the myth of the Worker’s Paradise. The Chinese Communists are still at it.

Read the whole thing.

Math Is Hard, Facts Are Stubborn, …


… and socialist claims don’t add up. She Guevara’s latest silliness suggests that converting to a renewable energy economy will establish … oh, here are her own words—

As a matter of fact, it’s not just possible that we will create jobs and economic activity by transitioning to renewable energy, but it’s inevitable that we are going to create jobs. It’s inevitable that we’re going to create industry, and it’s inevitable that we can use the transition to a hundred percent renewable energy as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America.

Ummm, I suppose Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is relying on the “fact” that the socialism being practiced in other countries isn’t the real thing, and that she and her comrades would finally get it right here in America. After all, the real world facts show that the proles in France (the intellectual cradle of Marxism and Post-modernism) are rebelling against a carbon fuel tax. And the socialist destruction of the carbon fuel industry in Venezuela has not had a positive effect on that country. (However, wrecking that industry was probably an unintended consequence of other socialist policies.)

Whatever.

What does seem to be true is that she’s been reasonably successful selling her brand of snake oil. She’s been elected to Congress. She’s developing a national following. And there seems to be a group of uneducated young people who are rallying to her promises of free stuff. It’s been suggested that she could be the Left’s answer to Donald Trump, a brash upstart who doesn’t play by the rules and who intuitively understands how to sell her program to a large segment of the voters. If that’s true, let’s hope that Reality catches up to her before she can do real damage.