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June 26, 2014

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JuliaM

"A few months ago I met a woman selling the Big Issue outside a supermarket in north London."

What follows is comedy Gold...

David

I felt only anger and shame: anger because she was not grateful for my gift, as I wished her to be. Shame because – why should she be?

And lo, the gulf between the Guardianista mindset and the public it claims to speak for becomes apparent. It reminds me of another Dalrymple article, about how “dependency does not promote gratitude.”

Trail after Darius

Why does Theodore Dalrymple never mention something that he is well aware of: that blacks are the worst and most violent of the British underclass, particularly in their behaviour towards women? A Guardianista would applaud his failure to mention the "race" of the thug here (after all, goodthinkful folk know that it's completely irrelevant):

A prostitute was a patient in our ward, and her pimp arrived to visit her. He was a man of evil appearance and demeanor: gold front teeth glistened menacingly in his mouth; his shaven head bore the marks of more than one machete attack (or defense). In the past he had broken his prostitute's jaw and ribs; he had a long criminal record. He demanded of a nurse to know the diagnosis, treatment, and expected period of hospitalization of the patient; when the nurse refused to tell him on the grounds that the information was confidential, he backed her into a corner (in the presence of another nurse) and threatened to follow her home and set fire to her house, with her, her husband, and her children in it.

Policeman in Wonderland

Sounds like vibrancy in the Jamaican stylee to me. And why does Dalrymple fail to discuss the part played by mass immigration and low IQ in the problems of the British underclass? There are certain subjects he seemed curiously reluctant to touch, almost as tho' he were liberal himself in certain ways. He has of course mentioned the genetic diseases caused by consanguineous marriage among Muslims, but that's really ideology, innit? If we only got our ideas right, mass immigration would cause no problems.

Rob

The State must provide, no foreigner should go without a buggy.

To be fair to the writer, at least she did something out of her own pocket. The standard Guardianista would have gone straight to the conclusion, that it was a matter for the State.

theophrastus

"Independence has now come to mean independence of the people to whom one is related and dependence on the state."

Many of the motley crew of liberationists believe exactly that. All human institutions are oppressive, except for the all-powerful, non-judgemental beneficent state, which liberates us from all those patriarchal, capitalist, racist, homophobic (etc etc) constraints on our freedom.

Minnow

I like Dalrymple but he is a bit barmy. If you spend as much time with hardened criminals as he has done I think you get a pretty distorted sense of the world. In fact, the people who are most dependent on state handouts are those who work in the banking or insurance sectors, or in any engineering enterprise that depends on military contracts. Compared to them, the amount of spend taken up my single mothers is truly minuscule. Of course, we expect the poor to be ashamed of their state subsidy but not the rich.

JuliaM

"...the people who are most dependent on state handouts are those who work in the banking or insurance sectors, or in any engineering enterprise that depends on military contracts."

All of which provide jobs (engineers, contractors, systems specialists). Which creates wealth.

Do single mothers provide jobs? Only, I would suspect, in the public sector (police, social workers). Which doesn't.

JuliaM

"To be fair to the writer, at least she did something out of her own pocket."

Rob, given she got a column out of it, she probably expensed it to the 'Guardian'...

Nikw211

Why does Theodore Dalrymple never mention something that he is well aware of: that blacks are the worst and most violent of the British underclass, particularly in their behaviour towards women?

Trail after Darius,

Have you considered the possibility that the reason why he doesn't include reference to ethnic origin here is that it might be irrelevant?

Obviously, as we are pseudonymous visitors to this blog, I don't know what experiences you have had that may have lead you to that particular conclusion, but I can at least assure you that the behavior of the man described is not peculiar to young(er) black men, even if it may be true that a statistically higher proportion of the latter group – when taken as a whole – have a higher likelihood of becoming involved in (violent) crime when compared to other ethnic groups. But even should that be the case (as I understand it may well be according to prison population statistics), I sincerely doubt that it is ethnic origin that is the determining factor.

It is not necessary to have grown up in a specifically Afro-Caribbean model of patriarchal* machismo to become the kind of recklessly violent antisocial 'ACAB' wife-beating gold-toothed maniac described in that Dalrymple/Daniels extract – there are plenty of strands within white British culture that will produce exactly the same results even if the contributory factors which cause it are arrived at by another route.

Such violent maniacs are just as likely (and more thankfully, just as unlikely) to crop up in Swansea, Gipton or Paisley as they are in Brixton, Hackney or Peckham.

Was black Londoner Michael Adebolajo really more of a bug-eyed homicidal loon than white Mancunian Dale Cregan?

Besides, when ethnicity does seem to be relevant then Dalrymple/Daniels doesn't generally shy away from mentioning it as in this extract from Our Culture – What's Left of It:

    Even among Indian heroin addicts (principally Muslim), the kind of malnutrition I have described is rare, because they do not yet live in the solipsistic isolation of their white counterparts, who live alone, even when there are other people inhabiting the house or apartment in which they themselves live.

*I'm using patriarchal in its more usual sense here and not in the capital 'P' Patriarchy found in the wilder shores of Marxist-Feminism

Minnow

"All of which provide jobs (engineers, contractors, systems specialists). Which creates wealth.Do single mothers provide jobs?"

Bringing up a baby is productive labour. If we are OK with the idea of state subsidised industry, let's go for it, but let's favourr the poor rather than the rich.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Hi Minnow - Single mothers are usually bad mothers, and the children they raise are more likely to end up criminals and benefits claimants and bad parents themselves.

We should stop subsidising them, so we can have fewer of them.

Minnow

Steve, we would need data to show that what you claim is true and also data to show that we don't get worse outcomes without the subsidy. Notice that the banks we subsidise at an infintielyy greater costs also tend to be bad banks but they still get their bennies and always will.

Nikw211

Bringing up a baby is productive labour.

Arguably it is not.

While it's true that the number of hours spent on the important business of raising a child can alternatively be spent in a workplace, I don't personally care to be so reductive as to equate one's private family life solely or mainly in terms of its economic productivity.

… let's favour the poor rather than the rich.

To what end (in specific regard to having children that is)?

This statement appears to be implying that you think the state should pay for women to have children and pay them to care for those children at home full time.

Why would the state want to do that when it is essentially a decision for the parents to make?

noob

See also this, especially the last two paragraphs.

Wow. That Madeleine Schwartz article is the wrongest thing I've read in a long time. Is she from the evil mirror universe?

Minnow

To what end (in specific regard to having children that is)?

To the end of social justice. Let people who have had bad luck receive some money to improve their lives a great deal instead of giving that money to people who have had good luck and are already rich.

I think the state paying mothers to look after their children at home, if that is what they want to do, would be a very good thing. Don't you? If it is affordable I mean. What are the objections?

Nikw211

Single mothers are usually bad mothers

I'm not trying to take your statement out of context, but it is still worth pointing out that single mothers do come from quite a wide range of economic and social backgrounds.

I'm thinking of three women I know, one a marketing manager and the other two both senior sales directors, who are currently single mothers who it would be hard pressed to say are bad mothers and whose children are bright, articulate and well-behaved.

On the other hand, they are full-time working professionals so likely pay more into state coffers than they take out ...

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - there's reams of data proving what I say is true. Look it up if you're interested.

Of course we'll get better outcomes when we stop financially incentivising single motherhood as a lifestyle choice for chavs: we'll have fewer chavlets running around.

I'm less worried about feral bankers hanging around street corners in my town.

JuliaM - Brilliant!

A few months ago I met a woman selling the Big Issue outside a supermarket in north London. Her name is Anna; she is from Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. She was wearing a headscarf and sitting on a crate.

Ever wondered why the indigenous British tramp has been driven off his Big Issue pitch by all these young Eastern European women in headscarves?

Obviously nobody at the Guardian does. Spoiler alert: distribution of the Big Issue has been taken over by criminal gangs of gypsies from Eastern Europe. They use their women as the sympathetic public face of their operations.

They don't actually care about the pittance they get from selling magazines. Being a Big Issue vendor means they count as employed, which unlocks all the goodies of the British welfare system to them.

What fear drove away the British men you used to see selling the Big Issue? The fear of being beaten to a bloody pulp by Roma gangsters.

Minnow

I'm less worried about feral bankers hanging around street corners in my town.

That is because the small amounts of damage those poor people do ('chavs' as you call them)is visible to your eye, but the great deal of damage those bankers do (destroying livelihoods and industries etc) isn't.

I have seen no data at all that shows single motherhood is a serious social cost in any sense.

Minnow

On the other hand, they are full-time working professionals so likely pay more into state coffers than they take out ...

Depending on where they work and at what level.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Nikw211 - yes, but usually.

And this isn't just Crazy Steve being crazy: on all manner of statistics, from educational attainment to future criminality, substance abuse, mental illness, suicide, you name it - the children of single mothers in general do far worse than kids brought up with both parents. Even when adjusted for income.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - "I have seen no data at all that shows single motherhood is a serious social cost in any sense."

I bet you've been looking, too.

David

Noob,

Welcome aboard. Help yourself to nibbles and liquor.

That Madeleine Schwartz article is the wrongest thing I’ve read in a long time.

It is a tad perverse.

Is she from the evil mirror universe?

I think she’s from the same corner of creation that produced Laurie Penny, whose excited endorsement of the New Inquiry brought Ms Schwartz to my attention. Though when it comes to pretentious contrarianism, Ms Schwartz was given a run for her money by several other contributors, among them Ms Kendra Salois, who tells us that she went to Casablanca to work on her “dissertation on Moroccan hip hop and neoliberalisation,” before mulling the inevitable question: “Is rap the battleground between Muslims?”

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - "That is because the small amounts of damage those poor people do ('chavs' as you call them)"

Don't try to tar poor people with the chav brush.

I grew up in a council flat on a not-very-nice estate. Working class people hate chavs. It's middle class latte-sippers who make excuses for them.

Tim Newman

Interesting that Dalrymple mentions France. In my cultural training course that I took when I arrived, I was told that the French don't pick up their dogs' shit because they feel it's the government's job. The French are collectivists at state and departmental level, but selfish individuals at the personal level.

Nikw211

To the end of social justice … If it is affordable I mean. What are the objections?

Minnow,

Well, to begin with there's this:

    Among the many arguments without arguments, none is more pervasive or more powerful than that of what is called 'social justice'. Yet it is a term with no real definition … All justice is inherently social, since someone alone on a desert island cannot be either just or unjust. What seems to be implied by adding the word 'social' to the concept of justice is that justice is to be established among groups, rather than just among individuals. However, the term does at least signal a dissatisfaction with conventional notions of formal justice, such as applying the same rules to all. (Sowell, 2011)

And Sowell is right, I think – Social justice is just an empty phrase, a useless shiny bauble to decorate over the patches in weak arguments.

And it's true here too – even you have queried whether or not it's affordable despite not actually being very clear about what 'it' is.

Why should the state pay women to stay at home to raise children? At what point does the state demand that women do this? How would such a policy take into account changes in circumstance (positive as well as negative) during the years of childcare? Just how massive a bureaucracy would be needed to administer such subventions from the state?

More interestingly, what would the Feminist and Social Justice Warrior reactions be to such a policy? Would they decry this as being just another example of the Patriarchy rewarding and privileging biologically female cis-women or applaud it? What about women who want careers and children? How would they be affected? What about childless women?

I could go on of course, but in short while it may sound 'nice' I'm really more interested in the hard practical outcomes of such a policy – from the evidence of similar social programs it would likely result in the opposite of what its aims were and on those grounds it's a non-starter for me however shiny and attractive it might sound as an ideal.

Tim Newman

That is because the small amounts of damage those poor people do ('chavs' as you call them)is visible to your eye, but the great deal of damage those bankers do (destroying livelihoods and industries etc) isn't.

I'm trying to think of an industry which bankers have destroyed, and all I've come up with is loan sharking.

Civilis

In fact, the people who are most dependent on state handouts are those who work in the banking or insurance sectors, or in any engineering enterprise that depends on military contracts. Compared to them, the amount of spend taken up my single mothers is truly minuscule. Of course, we expect the poor to be ashamed of their state subsidy but not the rich.

sub·si·dy [ súbssədee ]
1.money given by government: a grant or gift of money from a government to a private company, organization, or charity to help it to function

We can quibble about individual decisions made by certain governments, but in general government payments to businesses are not gifts or grants, but payment for services rendered. The government pays money to people that provide the equipment that keep it safe, whether that equipment be a weapon system or a computer network.

To the end of social justice. Let people who have had bad luck receive some money to improve their lives a great deal instead of giving that money to people who have had good luck and are already rich.

"Social justice" is a meaningless term. I don't think anyone has a problem with handouts to people that truly have bad luck, although we can argue that the government is not the best way to do it. The problem comes with people that would deliberately keep having "bad luck" rather than try to achieve good fortune. It's one thing to help someone that had their house burn down, it's another to help someone that purposely burned down their house.

If you spend as much time with hardened criminals as he has done I think you get a pretty distorted sense of the world.

Ah, the irony...

Nikw211

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Yes, I think you may well be right - I've only seen a few reports which look at the effects of single-parent households tracked over time but it does seem on balance likely that stable mum-dad (and mum-mum) family units do seem to do better long term than single parents.

But even so (and not to go all social justice warrior on you or anything) I think it's worth remembering that there quite a few successful single parents out there, such as the ones I mentioned, who buck the general trend.

David

The problem comes with people that would deliberately keep having “bad luck” rather than try to achieve good fortune.

And I think that’s sort of the point of Dalrymple’s article – he’s describing a shift in expectations and values (if such they can be called) among a significant number of people. A shift that tilts towards a kind of generational moral squalor.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Nikw211 - this is the thing. The fear of stigmatising the good parents has stymied serious discussion of what to do about all the bad ones we're creating through government policy.

We're - what? More than 6 decades along since the founding of the British welfare state? High time we evaluated how it's doing against its stated objectives.

David

See also Heather Mac Donald, here, here and here. As you’ll see, the correlations and statistics are hardly encouraging.

In the third link, a podcast, she describes various “community organisers” pretending that Chicago’s poverty and crime stats have nothing whatsoever to do with those “diffused” family arrangements advocated by Madeleine Schwartz, Laurie Penny et al. The idea that sub-optimal family arrangements might often have sub-optimal outcomes was, she discovered, practically taboo. As Mac Donald points out, “The sky-high illegitimacy rate meant that black boys were growing up in a world in which it was normal to impregnate a girl and then take off. When a boy is raised without any social expectation that he will support his children and marry his children’s mother, he fails to learn the most fundamental lesson of personal responsibility.”

Which doesn’t sound like a recipe for “one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation,” as Ms Schwartz would have us believe.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

The problem comes with people that would deliberately keep having “bad luck” rather than try to achieve good fortune.

I grew up alongside people who had a mixed bunch of aspirations. One guy went to the local college to learn washing machine repair. Another got an apprenticeship as a sparky and now runs his own business. Another was a bit of a Del Boy salt of the earth wheeler dealer type, who now owns a couple of florists.

But there were others too - the guy who got into booze and drugs in a big way and is now a professional layabout with four illegitimate kids he doesn't support. The other chap who achieved his career ambition of being declared medically unfit to work by the age of 26, and now pootles around in his free disability car, fetching his fish supper dinners and crates of beer from the supermarket.

Worst of all: the girl who became a junkie and then a prostitute and was found dead near the canal, at the age of 22. At one time, she was a mischievous tomboy with a cheery big smile.

What separated the first group of kids from the second? There wasn't much difference in income, we were all at the lower end of the working class. We all went to similar state schools. We all lived in the same housing estate.

The first group wasn't noticeably cleverer than the second when we were teenagers hanging about, smoking and drinking cheap booze under orange sodium street lamps on bleak autumn nights.

What the guys who did well have in common is that they came from families that expected them to work for a living. Families that didn't tolerate people dropping litter on their doorsteps and who were upset if their teenagers came home drunk: bourgeois families.

The other group grew up in dysfunctional families, usually without a Dad. All of them grew up in households where permanent dependence on the State was the norm.

This is the human cost of the welfare state. This is what they tell us is "social justice".

WTP

You know, I am very hesitant to use the word troll and I may be pushing the envelope of my own limited definition, but the following pains me for reasons I don't fully understand (I usually blame these things on being an engineer). I've disengaged myself but I can't help watching as cycles of wit and intelligence and wordsmith talents of which I am often in awe are wasted on the disingenuous deceptions, obfuscations, implications of reducto ad absurdum, yaddas, yaddas, yaddas of the one called Minnow.

In that regard, I'd like to put forward the following challenge. Since that same urge every seven year old has to toy with a loose tooth causes me to read through the argumentations, if anyone here can get Minnow to admit, without qualification, to being wrong about even the most absurd of his claims (thinking specifically here of single mother subsidy == engineering work on govt contracts specifically, but anything concrete will do) I'll wager 20 of those pound-thingy's y'all use for wompum (too lazy to google the £ symbol that ain't on my keyboard) to be donated to the Noble Cause of The Rickety Barge. Any takers?

Civilis

I think that this summarizes one of the inherent flaws in leftist thinking:
The idea that sub-optimal family arrangements might often have sub-optimal outcomes was, she discovered, practically taboo.

Because some single parents manage to get along just fine, we can't stigmatize single-motherhood in general, despite the fact that single-motherhood is often a cause of sub-optimal outcomes. Because some welfare recipients are victims of truly horrible luck, we have to give all welfare recipients vast leeway with our tax dollars (and then wonder why despite spending massive amounts of money on people "down on their luck" poverty never goes away).

pst314

"Let people who have had bad luck receive some money to improve their lives"

There is so much comedy in those words. Such cluelessness would be cute if we did not know what evils it leads to.

John West

You will always get more of what you subsidize and less of what you don't.

It is rather simple once you take to phoney compassion out of the equation.

Fact: Everything is getting worse in the Western World. That is sign that what we have been doing is wrong. We need to do something different or go down with the insanity of wondering why things aren't doing what we want.

Start by rolling back immigration and stop with the welfare state ... stop subsidizing everything. And get government snout out of my face.

ftumch

WTP: "You know, I am very hesitant to use the word troll..."

You can't call Minnow a troll, because they don't exist, except in your fevered, swivel-eyed neo-liberal neo-patriarchal mind. And anyway, Minnow defines troll differently, and correctly. Unlike you or me.

Anyway, I came across this yesterday:

http://classicalvalues.com/2014/06/the-world-explained-whether-i-like-it-or-not/

The last sentence seems particularly apposite.

‘The Johnson Family’ was a turn-of-the-century expression to designate good bums and thieves. It was elaborated into a code of conduct. A Johnson honors his obligations. His word is good and he is a good man to do business with. A Johnson minds his own business. He is not a snoopy, self-righteous, trouble-making person. A Johnson will give help when help is needed. He will not stand by while someone is drowning or trapped under a burning car.... Unlike the Johnsons, Shits are obsessed with minding other’s business. They are the town busy body, the preacher, the lawman. Shits are incapable of taking the honorable road of each-to-his-own... the world is one of conflict between the Johnsons and the Shits. A Shit is one who is obsessively sure of his own position at the cost of all other vantages. Burroughs describes Shits as incapable of minding “their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a small pox virus has.” This is more than a offhanded analogy. For Burroughs, Shits are, in actuality, virus occupied hosts—chronically infected by what he terms the Right virus. “The mark of a basic Shit,” Burroughs reminds us, “is that he has to be right.”

Rafi

he’s describing a shift in expectations and values (if such they can be called)

And incentives.

Jeff Wood

Steveageddon: "Working class people hate chavs."

John West: "Everything is getting worse in the Western World."

Two truths, simply stated.

Lancastrian Oik

Social justice is indeed a term with no real definition- unless one adds an "-ist" to "social".

Lancastrian Oik

@Steve: What separated the first group of kids from the second? There wasn't much difference in income, we were all at the lower end of the working class. We all went to similar state schools. We all lived in the same housing estate.

Absolutely- it's those much-derided bourgeois values that win it every time, especially when adopted by single parents. Diane Abbott for instance...

pst314

Saw two t-shirts on the street yesterday:
"Party all night, sleep all day"
"Thug forever"
I'm sure that "bad luck" explains any economic difficulties these American chavs may suffer.

Dan

@Minnow

"Let people who have had bad luck"

Since you're all about the data, what's this thing called 'luck' and how exactly do you measure it?

And vis a vis benefits/corporate welfare (both of which I'm against) how can you - with a straight face - argue that because X exists it is not right or proper to discuss Y?

pst314

"what's this thing called 'luck' and how exactly do you measure it?"

Undeserved good luck is when you study hard in school, foregoing parties and luxuries in order to get a good career without going into debt. Undeserved good luck is avoiding luxuries and travel, and saving for retirement and emergencies.

Undeserved bad luck is partying every night, never studying, drinking and taking drugs, never learning enough (in technical skills or social skills) to become employable, never trying to be a valued employee, having babies at age 15, and hanging out with low-lifes and criminals.

Clearly the lucky ones must help the unlucky ones to live in comfort. I mean, like, it's obvious, dude.

Patrick Brown

John West: "Fact: Everything is getting worse in the Western World."

You are, of course, absolutely right. Unless you compare life in the Western World to life ABSOLUTELY ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

Seriously. Read some history. Trace your family tree, anything. Those of us in the modern west are more free, more prosperous, safer from violence, healthier better informed and with loads more access to cool shit than about 99.9999999999% of all the human beings who have ever lived.

Annoying people exist, bad people go unpunished, politicians are on the make. That was just as true, probably even more so, when you could be hung for stealing and had a close to even chance of dying before you reached adulthood, and it's just as true, probably even more so, in Iraq or Pakistan or Sudan or Nigeria, to pick four countries that have been in the news for utter barbarism recently, right now.

Not saying there aren't things worth complaining about or campaigning against here and now. But for Christ's sake, a bit of perspective please. Western capitalist democracies with sustainable social democratic safety nets are about as close to paradise on earth as our species has yet managed.

Jeff Wood

Patrick, your point is good, as far as it goes. We do indeed live in good times. However, you may not appreciate how far all that we have is under threat.

My background has some overlap with Steve's. We both, I think, understand how fine the line can be between civilisation and barbarism, and how prosperity depends on the first, and how the second can kill it: we have seen both at close quarters. I think we both appreciate that essential components of free civilisations are liberty and opportunity.

We probably both know the truth of the observation: Clogs to clogs in three generations. As an accountant, I have seen it more than once. It can happen to nations and civilisations.

I live in a place where a great civilisation grew, rotted, and died. Later, it recovered, but I only have to step out of the front door to see some remaining evidence of an ancient death. Before the Barbarians arrived, this place rotted from within (Yes, I too read history) and some of the forces working to weaken Western civilisation were at work 1,800 years ago. Principally, the cynicism and Trahison des Clercs which so often figure here at David's. Also, mass parasitism within the State and among the people, to touch on the current topic.

The Barbarians have outposts in the West, as they did in the old civilisation. The Clercs encourage them.

I am too old now to do anything much about it, though if I ever return to Britain with an army at my back - preferably the British Army - there will be a few changes. Meantime, you should perhaps know that the wit often displayed here is frequently a cover for anger.

Hal

Pulling a number of observations together . . . . .

Theodore Dalrymple . . . but the question of whether a man would be a suitable father is no longer a question because there are no fathers:

JuliaM: Do single mothers provide jobs?

Minnow: Bringing up a baby is productive labour.

Nikw211: single mothers do come from quite a wide range of economic and social backgrounds.

I'm thinking of three women I know, one a marketing manager and the other two both senior sales directors, who are currently single mothers who it would be hard pressed to say are bad mothers and whose children are bright, articulate and well-behaved.

And also . . .

I've only seen a few reports which look at the effects of single-parent households tracked over time but it does seem on balance likely that stable mum-dad (and mum-mum) family units do seem to do better long term than single parents.
But even so (and not to go all social justice warrior on you or anything) I think it's worth remembering that there quite a few successful single parents out there, such as the ones I mentioned, who buck the general trend.

Steve 2: Steveageddon: What the guys who did well have in common is that they came from families that expected them to work for a living.
Civilis: Because some single parents manage to get along just fine, we can't stigmatize single-motherhood in general, despite the fact that single-motherhood is often a cause of sub-optimal outcomes.

. . and so on . . .

An easy aid here is a fact that I’ve noted for years from my background and the backgrounds of others. Very simply, that A) any common animal can breed, whether the animal is four legged, no legged, or two legged. In Addition: B) A parent is the one who raises a child and at no time ever is being the donor of the DNA related to the raising of the child. B1) Barely being present or involved in raising a child is not being a parent.

And no amount of vehement screaming denials from anyone will ever change these facts.

In my case, I was bred by a pair of extremely malevolent psychopaths so that they could collect the social benefits of being parents, and thus being able to collect was the entirety of their interest in me or anything I did. The only reason I even made it to college was so that they could point at the resulting diploma.

More recent conversations with cousins wound up confirming that the cousins could tell that there was something amiss, but they could not quite figure out exactly what was going on. One cousin remembers that among her immediate family, a common reaction when she was growing up was Gee, there’s something repeatedly odd with that branch of The Family. I have a pair of uncles who wound up as alcoholics, one a drug addict, both dead sometime in their thirties, forties. What I and the cousins have sorted out is that I was very clearly bred to be the next dead alcoholic. . . . except that I have a brain, and, while I did get very thoroughly conditioned for failure, I find the taste of alcohol to be horrible . . . . So I’m still alive, and have been able to slowly sort through what was done to me and finally piece together what the expected result was.

At this point what my cousins and I have established and remain quite aware of is that there are parents, that rather a few of my cousins are parents. Several of my cousins had children, and they actively raised those children and only in raising their children, caring for their children, proactively being involved in the best interests of their children as the children grew and developed, are those cousins---or anyone else---able to claim to be parents. And then by contrast there are the monsters that bred me and at most are IDed as being breeders, and that description also applies when reading any of the headlines in the news of children assaulted, abandoned, denied, Etc . . . .

There is an interesting exercise that I’ve noticed when reading the news. Find a story where something happens to a child, and read of the adults around the child. Based on what the adults do and not any claim by the story of being “parents”, see if the correct word is indeed parent---or if the more correct term is breeder.

pst314

I like Robert Heinlein's definition of "bad luck".

dicentra

Let people who have had bad luck receive some money to improve their lives a great deal instead of giving that money to people who have had good luck and are already rich.

Aaand there it is: the fundamental Marxoid assumption about why inequality exists — because of forces outside oneself. In this case, Minnow is being diplomatic by citing "luck," but the more intemperate will add more nefarious forces such as oppression and bigotry and outright theft.

ERGO, the remedy is to enable an all-powerful, all-wise, all-beneficient deity state to Set Things Right ("social justice").

I posted it before in a dead thread, but I'd like to present anew the invitation to Minnow to evaluate Evan Sayet's "How Modern Liberals Think" and tell us whether Sayet gets the description right, aside from the subjective evaluation. ("They're always wrong.")

48 minutes long, but it's a well-developed thesis.

jimmy

@pst314

I like Robert Heinlein's definition of "bad luck".

Do share...

Spiny Norman

I guess I'll answer for him, jimmy.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Indeed.

Darleen

Western capitalist democracies with sustainable social democratic safety nets are about as close to paradise on earth as our species has yet managed.

However, when those safety nets become mere ways for The State to micromanage people's lives, then something very tangible is lost.

Consider,

My maternal grandfather, born 1901, left school after 8th grade and, with two of his friends, worked their way across country from Pennsylvania to California. He worked at the studios (RKO & Hal Roach) mostly as a stunt & camera driver. Later, drove ambulances (which were owned by mortuary companies) learned the trade of embalming, went into the funeral business. Married, children, home owner, successful middle class. History was his passion and self-taught.

My own father, born 1928 (still alive), marginal family. Lived on his own at 15, worked while finishing high school. Graduated '46 went into the Army (2 years in Japan occupation army), came back with only the GI bill in his pocket which would pay for only 2 years of college. So he finished his 4 year business degree in 2 years.

Both of these men were born & raised in times of economic hardship. Both were on their own at early ages.

Yet, they succeeded .. due not only to their own internalized values but to the liberty this country used to have that allowed people to succeed or fail based on their own talents.

A lot of that Liberty has been traded for security -- security that comes with all manner of statist strings.

Is it really worth it?

dicentra

Headline of the day?

"Alaska bear falls through skylight into party, eats all the cupcakes"

YES! OH SO VERY YES!

dicentra

Unless you compare life in the Western World to life ABSOLUTELY ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

Two words: indoor plumbing

Dan

Patrick is right, though cultural suicide and the death of antibiotics may soon halt us like a handbrake turn.

Greg Allan

re Christina Hoff Sommers she absolutely nailed it in her book "The War Against Boys" with regard to changes made in western schools which have significantly disadvantaged boys.

I was running funding and grants systems for schools in Australia through eighties and nineties and had full access to all demographic data within our schools including outcomes. The catchcry of the feminist types - based on dubious research by Carol Gilligan in the US - was that the entire system wasn’t “girl friendly” even though overall outcomes for girls were already better than those of boys. By the mid nineties there were programs for girls in every school in my state but nothing for boys anywhere.

Throughout the western world curriculum and the means of it's delivery was altered to suit girls preferred learning styles. There was absolutely no balance. Myself and quite a few others in my state’s school system warned of a very bleak future for boys but were roundly denounced as misogynists. The potential impact WAS known but they forged ahead with changes nonetheless. It was quite deliberate and in terms of the very poor current outcomes for boys - ie low and still falling university enrolments - we have reaped exactly what we sowed.

[Feminist advocates] have persuaded courts that if there are fewer women than men on college varsity teams the only explanation is discrimination. [But] the evidence that women taken as a group are less interested than men in competitive sports is overwhelming.

Title IX was always about reducing boys' and mens' opportunities. As Hoff Sommers states there doesn't seem to be any real concern about the dwindling numbers of men on their campuses. Now the push is on to get more women into the only areas still well populated by males - the STEM areas. It seems there are some who wont be happy until there are no men in universities at all.

=======================================

the fathers of their children...who in general were violent swine

Contrarily the large majority of the abusers of children ARE actually women.

And this...

Women 'more aggressive to partners'

Nor is this really news. Notwithstanding decades of feminist rhetoric about beastial, violent husbands and fathers the reality has always been known as is demonstrated by this twenty year old article...

Riding the Donkey Backwards

Trail after Darius

Another question for the conservatives here to ignore:

Why do so many committed anti-liberals bewail the increasing power of the Laurie Pennys and Hilary Clintons of this world without bewailing the phenomenon that hands them more power with every day that passes: mass immigration? Or have you not noticed how immigrants (even high IQ ones) vote overwhelmingly for Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US? Are you scared of an accusation of racism? Or is mass immigration a Good Thing badly handled at the moment but sure to come right in the end?

Nikw211:

Have you considered the possibility that the reason why he doesn't include reference to ethnic origin here is that it might be irrelevant?

Thanks for reply and, yes, I have considered that point. That's why I pointed out that "goodthinkful folk know that it's completely irrelevant" ("it" being the race of the thug Dalrymple was describing). I'm familiar with Guardianista ideology, you see.

Obviously, as we are pseudonymous visitors to this blog, I don't know what experiences you have had that may have lead you to that particular conclusion, but I can at least assure you that the behavior of the man described is not peculiar to young(er) black men,

What odds would you give on the thug being black? And remember that the UK is still a majority white nation.

even if it may be true that a statistically higher proportion of the latter group – when taken as a whole – have a higher likelihood of becoming involved in (violent) crime when compared to other ethnic groups.

Not just a higher proportion: a much higher proportion.

It is not necessary to have grown up in a specifically Afro-Caribbean model of patriarchal* machismo to become the kind of recklessly violent antisocial 'ACAB' wife-beating gold-toothed maniac described in that Dalrymple/Daniels extract – there are plenty of strands within white British culture that will produce exactly the same results even if the contributory factors which cause it are arrived at by another route.

I'm afraid you both write and think like a Guardianista. The "recklessly violent antisocial 'ACAB' wife-beating gold-toothed maniac" is a distinctively black demographic (as Guardianistas say) on both sides of the Atlantic. And what about such aspects of vibrancy as gang rape? It's a big problem in London, not a big problem in Glasgow. Why is it? Why do Guardianistas bewail the way parts of London have become like "war-zones" for sexual violence? How can what's happening in the Congo be reproduced thousands of miles away in London? What's common to the two places? Patriarchy, obviously.

Such violent maniacs

He was a pimp too. Does any mainstream white culture "celebrate" pimpdom? Or rape?

are just as likely (and more thankfully, just as unlikely) to crop up in Swansea, Gipton or Paisley as they are in Brixton, Hackney or Peckham.

Then why are blacks imprisoned for such behaviour at much higher rates than whites?

Was black Londoner Michael Adebolajo really more of a bug-eyed homicidal loon than white Mancunian Dale Cregan?

Yes, he certainly was. Some questions I doubt you'll answer: What would Michael Adebolajo or a fellow jihadist do if given the opportunity to set off a nuclear device in London or Washington or Paris? What would Dale Cregan and his kind do? And Dale Cregan came from an ethnic group that is also disproportionately violent and over-represented in jails in the UK: Irish Catholics. But they're not fond of gang rape, for some reason.

Besides, when ethnicity does seem to be relevant then Dalrymple/Daniels doesn't generally shy away

It is highly relevant that the behaviour Dalrymple disapproves of is committed disproportionately by blacks. Only liberals and crypto-liberals deny this. Dalrymple saw plenty of violent women during his work and plenty of non-violent men. He didn't conclude that "gender" is irrelevant to discussions of violence. Nor do Guardianistas. They're right.

from mentioning it as in this extract from Our Culture – What's Left of It:

Even among Indian heroin addicts (principally Muslim), the kind of malnutrition I have described is rare, because they do not yet live in the solipsistic isolation of their white counterparts, who live alone, even when there are other people inhabiting the house or apartment in which they themselves live.

He's criticizing Muslims. In that way, he's not like a Guardianista. In the article I linked to, while failing to mention the race of a gold-toothed thug, he names the race of three white thugs who assaulted an Indian shopkeeper. Just as a Guardianista would have done. He's not a genuine conservative. For ideological reasons, he won't describe reality and he won't admit the truth about the huge genetic influences on criminality (among many other things).

Minnow

We're - what? More than 6 decades along since the founding of the British welfare state? High time we evaluated how it's doing against its stated objectives.

Let's start with a look at cases of rickets in Manchester. Of course we may have paid for those stronger bones with a weakening of the moral fibres, but perhaps that is a price we can afford.

Minnow
Aaand there it is: the fundamental Marxoid assumption about why inequality exists — because of forces outside oneself.

And that is the case. The reason you are living in comfort is because you have had an amazing amount of luck being born where and when you have been. It may comfort you to think that the wretched masses of the world just lack your qualities of character, that they deserve their fate as you deserve yours, but it isn't true. If you had been born in different conditions you could very well have been one of those poor, hungry illiterate people having to listen to people like you lecturing them on their moral failings.

Minnow

In my case, I was bred by a pair of extremely malevolent psychopaths so that they could collect the social benefits of being parents, and thus being able to collect was the entirety of their interest in me or anything I did. The only reason I even made it to college was so that they could point at the resulting diploma.

It sounds like you had a particularly horrible upbringing. Thankfully the welfare state has ensured that you did not die of starvation or disease and that you were able to get an education. Imagine if instead those two psychopaths had had a child, you, by accident in a situation where they would have had no subsidy, no healthcare they didn't have to pay for, and where they would have had to cough up for your education.

Minnow

Are you scared of an accusation of racism? Or is mass immigration a Good Thing badly handled at the moment but sure to come right in the end?

Hang on, am I right that this fierce libertarian wants the state to decide who can travel where? Surely that is a greater infringement on liberty than taxing you for hospitals.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow -"Let's start with a look at cases of rickets in Manchester."

OK, let's.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/rickets-making-a-comeback-970169

BRITAIN'S recent washout summers have led to a resurgence of rickets, say health experts. Manchester University researchers say the serious bone disorder - caused by a lack of vitamin D - is on the rise among the Asian community.

Most of the body's vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight, but the pigments of those with darker skin, particularly of Asian descent, reduces some of the effects of sunshine, meaning higher levels are needed.

Researcher Lesley Rhodes said the last two poor summers could be directly linked to the resurgence of rickets.

It doesn't say so in the article, but I'd guess another factor may be that making your wives wear burlap sacks when they're allowed out in public doesn't help them avoid rickets.

"Of course we may have paid for those stronger bones with a weakening of the moral fibres, but perhaps that is a price we can afford."

Or, you know, they can buy vitamin D supplements for what works out to pennies a pill at Boots.

That's your defence of the welfare state? That some people get an easily preventable condition due to their skin pigmentation and habits? If this was Catchphrase, Roy Walker and Mister Chips would be looking at you with pity.

Next!

Minnow

It doesn't say so in the article, but I'd guess another factor may be that making your wives wear burlap sacks when they're allowed out in public doesn't help them avoid rickets.

Since rickets is a childhood disease I am guessing that this is not a big factor. And, no, my 'defence' of the NHS does not depend on the near eradication of rickets, that is just one datum among thousands. We could start counting diphtheria deaths instead if you like, or look at leukaemia survival rates or ... well you know the score. All those poor people not dying and suffering who otherwise would be, under burlap sacks or not.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Jeff Wood and Patrick Brown - You both make good points.

There's a great deal of ruin in a nation, but not an infinite amount. Life is good for most people in the West. I'd like to see that continue, but civilisation doesn't just magically sustain itself on its own.

Lancastrian Oik - It's hard to believe Diane Abbott ever got a man in the first place. Surely there isn't that much booze in the world?

Thornavis.

We could start counting diphtheria deaths instead if you like,

I should imagine the lower death rate now has more to do with antibiotics than anything else, however both my mother's siblings contracted the disease before 1945 and both survived, good nursing had a lot to do with that.

Minnow

I should imagine the lower death rate now has more to do with antibiotics than anything else, however both my mother's siblings contracted the disease before 1945 and both survived, good nursing had a lot to do with that.

Those who could afford healthcare or were lucky enough to receive good charitable care it could survive sometimes, if their health wasn't already too badly affected by malnutrition etc. I am glad your mother survived even though thousands of others died. And I am glad that nobody dies of it now, because we not only have the medicines, but we have a welfare state to make sure everybody gets them.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - "Since rickets is a childhood disease I am guessing that this is not a big factor."

You guessed wrong.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1154211.stm

However, traditional Muslim female dress places emphasis on relatively little skin being exposed to sunlight.

This can lead to a vitamin D deficiency in mothers which is then passed on to their children during and after pregnancy.

Girls approaching puberty who are adhering to traditional dress are also at risk


"We could start counting diphtheria deaths instead if you like, or look at leukaemia survival rates or ... well you know the score. "

I do indeed. I've played Social Justice Whack-a-Mole before.

I notice, though, that I was talking about the perverse lifestyle incentives of the welfare state, and you'd rather talk about the narrower topic of NHS instead.

And as usual in these sort of rote defences of the NHS, you seem to assume the alternative to our Stalinist state healthcare system is "poor people ... dying and suffering".

Tell it to the patients at NHS Mid Staffs.

Thornavis.

Minnow

It was Mum's sister and brother who had Diptheria not her but while we're on the subject she has spent the last sixty odd years with a breathing tube in her throat after a NHS surgeon made a hash of a thyroid operation.

Those who could afford healthcare or were lucky enough to receive good charitable care it could survive sometimes, My mother's family were working class and certainly couldn't afford to pay for healthcare, they got the normal medical attention of the time, granted my Uncle was in the Army but given it was wartime and antibiotics weren't available I don't suppose the treatment he received was anything other than routine. My aunt got the disease in 1938 and was put into the local isolation hospital as was normal practice. The notion that medical treatment immediately prior to the establishment of the NHS was rudimentary is nonsense.

Civilis

It's funny that these advances in health care are attributed to the "welfare state" rather than the general rising tide of technological advancement which seems to lift all boats.

but we have a welfare state to make sure everybody gets them.

You don't know whether the welfare state is responsible for making sure people get the protection from disease they need. In the real world, a lot of the public health work in disease prevention around the world is done by NGOs and other charities. From the March of Dimes foundation work to eradicate Polio to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation work on Malaria (a disease whose resurgence can be blamed solely on liberal do-gooders using government power for personal agendas), private groups do and have done the grunt work on many public health issues, and there's no reason this would change in the absence of a powerful government.

look at leukemia survival rates

Yes, let's look at cancer survival rates by country.

http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-027766.pdf

Nikw211

What odds would you give on the thug being black? … Not just a higher proportion: a much higher proportion.

The salient feature of this man is not his ethnicity but his willingness to use extremes of violence. I wouldn't be willing to bet on the level of melanocytes in his skin because it simply isn't relevant – what matters is what he does, not what he is.

I'm afraid you both write and think like a Guardianista.

Heh.

I dare say I do at times. I'm not a conservative at any rate; certainly, I'm not a conservative in the sense you describe.

The "recklessly violent antisocial 'ACAB' wife-beating gold-toothed maniac" is a distinctively black demographic …

Well that really rather depends on the criteria you are going to use to determine the demographic.

Personally, I avoid categorizing by race – partly of course because, by definition, it is actually racist – but mainly because it focuses on what people are and not on what people do.

What we are is ephemeral and context bound – while we don't have complete freedom to choose who we are, we do have some; and our view of who we are is not fixed but varies over time; what we do on the other hand is concrete, has real world consequences and once we've done it we have to take responsibility for it.

Obsessing about what someone 'is' results in identity politics and leads to what today are absurd claims such as 'The reason why black boys perform poorly in school is because of institutional racism'. If a black boy does happen to perform poorly in school it has nothing to do with his being black and everything to do with the fact that he's evidently not working hard enough at his studies. There may be many reasons suggested as to why he isn't working hard enough, but none of that changes the fact that if he worked harder he would do better. You also appear to be practising a form of racial identity politics, though one which characterizes black people as being violent oppressors rather than being oppressed by violence. The underlying premise is common to both these views, however.

For ideological reasons, [Dalrymple/Daniels] won't describe reality and he won't admit the truth about the huge genetic influences on criminality

It is not race or ethnicity, but the post code (zip code) that you are born into that is the most reliable indicator by far as to the statistical probability of a child growing up to become involved in violent crime – race and ethnicity are irrelevant.

Even then, the post code only suggests what might be more likely based on past observation – it in no way determines what will actually happen in the future. What a person does with their lives is what actually counts.

Please see the personal family and childhood stories from Steve 2: Steveaggeddon, Hal, Darleen and others above, for example.

As Steve 2: Steveaggeddon, Lancastrian Oik and others have also both pointed out, the trump card is by and large attitude rather than genertic inheritance or geographic location.

How else can we explain why, amongst low income British families who are eligible for free school meals, 75% of teenagers from an ethnic Chinese background passed five or more A*–C grade GCSE high school exams compared to only about 30% of white and black children? Not race, attitude.

Some questions I doubt you'll answer: What would Michael Adebolajo or a fellow jihadist do if given the opportunity to set off a nuclear device in London or Washington or Paris? What would Dale Cregan and his kind do?

Adebolajo was a jihadist, Cregan a drug dealer. In that sense, each had a different set of aims, though I would hesitate to underestimate the amount of overlap between the illegal trade in narcotics and terrorist activities.

One thing that they both had in common was that they were deranged narcissistic nihilists who fantasised about violence.

As a nihilist with political terror on his agenda, I guess Adebolajo would have been more likely to seek out a nuclear device. Then again, as a nihilist, Cregan liked to set off hand grenades in the suburban back streets in Manchester for kicks – behaviour that reckless in a drug dealer who you would normally expect to avoid drawing the attention of the authorities to themselves in such a manner rather suggests that making money wasn't his primary motivation. Had a nuclear device fallen into his lap, he might well have been tempted to set it off. He was f******g nuts – so who knows?

[Dalrymple/Daniels]'s criticizing Muslims.

Not in that extract he's not.

Nikw211

smoking and drinking cheap booze under orange sodium street lamps on bleak autumn nights.

Steve 2: Steveaggeddon,

Heh - nothing like a British childhood ; - ))))

Nikw211

Steve 2: Steveaggeddon - meaning 'nothing can compare to …' not 'not resembling' that is!

Minnow

I notice, though, that I was talking about the perverse lifestyle incentives of the welfare state, and you'd rather talk about the narrower topic of NHS instead.

I am happy to talk about both, although the NHS is the most salient feature of the welfare state. The same 'perverse incentives' arguments are, of course, levelled at the NHS too, by its detractors. I don't think they stand up either way.

Minnow

It's funny that these advances in health care are attributed to the "welfare state" rather than the general rising tide of technological advancement which seems to lift all boats.

Well let's look at the healthcare outcomes in countries where there has not been any meaningful welfare state. Ethiopia perhaps. How has the 'rising tide' done there?

Civilis

Well let's look at the healthcare outcomes in countries where there has not been any meaningful welfare state. Ethiopia perhaps. How has the 'rising tide' done there?

The life expectancy in Ethiopia has been increasing over time, which is what one would infer from the "rising tide of technological advancement lifts all boats" line. It's hard to find accurate long term statistics for Ethiopia. http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=et&v=30 was the best I could do on short notice. I can't find any reliable stats for the North Korean welfare state.

The "rising tide lifts all boats" analogy suggests that regardless of government, life expectancy will increase over time. If you want to see whether an increased welfare state provides better health care, you'd compare similar populations in similar countries. It's hard to factor in all the demographic issues, so any comparison will be approximate. You could, for example, compare the life expectancies in Western and Eastern Europe from, say, 1950 onward. One part of Europe had a significantly more socialist economic system than the other. You could also look at what happened to life expectancies in Eastern Europe after it became remarkably less socialist in the early 90s and see how it then compared to both Western Europe and to its own past. I would expect that Western Europe has a higher life expectancy than Eastern Europe even today, but that the difference became less significant after the Berlin Wall fell.

Note that rather than cherry pick an extreme example, here I have provided a simplistic methodology for coming up with a valid, fair comparison.

You may also note in my last post I linked to an excellent list of cancer survival rates by country. Without looking at the list, how would you expect cancer survival rates to compare?

Minnow

"Note that rather than cherry pick an extreme example, here I have provided a simplistic methodology for coming up with a valid, fair comparison."

No you are not. You are comparing a group of countries with welfare states of different kinds, whereas you were arguing that the existence of the NHS could not be shown to have had any positive health outcomes, as I understand you, so you need to compare with a similar country that did not have welfare provision. Or you could just concede that giving people access to modern medicine who would otherwise not have had access to it (the majority of people) is very likely to have had health benefits and to argue otherwise seems a bit mad.

Civilis

Half the fun of this is discovering new information.

This site is a good spot for country to country comparisons over the last 10 years: http://www.indexmundi.com/g/ It's fun to just look at random statistics.

The CIA World factbook is a good place for current country data from a US perspective:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

I actually went out and did some research. I was confident enough when I wrote that comment that I didn't actually look up the answer. Here's a study looking at life expectancy during the transition period: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1731602/

Minnow

Epidemiological data is fun, although not always as transparent as you might wish. This paper that shows mortality levels a strongly correlated to public expenditure on health and education services for example:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1733131/

Civilis

Or you could just concede that giving people access to modern medicine who would otherwise not have had access to it (the majority of people) is very likely to have had health benefits and to argue otherwise seems a bit mad.

Objection! Assuming facts not in evidence! You assume that people would not have access to modern medicine without the welfare state, yet you have provided no evidence to back up your assumption.

You are comparing a group of countries with welfare states of different kinds, whereas you were arguing that the existence of the NHS could not be shown to have had any positive health outcomes, as I understand you, so you need to compare with a similar country that did not have welfare provision.

Ok, but you have yet to explain why nations with smaller welfare states have better health outcomes than larger ones. The reason I brought up the cancer survival rates was because the US has high (if not the highest) cancer survival rates with our 'lousy' health care system. The US, with it's poor non-socialized health care system provides better results than the NHS does. Some minimal level of public social safety net may indeed be a good thing, but using the NHS as your evidence for it doesn't do you much good, as based on results, the non-socialized US outperforms it. If you're arguing that government control makes things better, stats that show nations with less government control do better than those with more government control don't help your cause.

you were arguing that the existence of the NHS could not be shown to have had any positive health outcomes

This is where we part ways on economics. The standard argument from the left for any government program is that we must spend money from the government to accomplish any good goal. "The NHS gives people healthcare. Healthcare is good. Therefore the NHS is good." For me as an American, the argument has been "Education is good; the department of Education provides education; therefore the Department of Education is good."

This logic inherently fails to take in the opportunity cost associated with whatever we actually do, because people just seem to assume that the resources used to provide these goods are infinite. If I can get the same amount of Education (a good) by letting education fall to the states and have money left over for spending on another good, then I'm doing better by not having a Department of Education even though the Department of Education does something good. Healthcare is good, so the NHS is good, except that you could also get healthcare with a private system for less resources, meaning the leftover resources can be spent on other goods.

And it's not just money. "Saving the birds" is good, except in the real world, if you "save the birds" you're stuck with "millions of people die of malaria".

Minnow

Ok, but you have yet to explain why nations with smaller welfare states have better health outcomes than larger ones.

This hasn't been shown to be true. The health outcomes in Sweden and Finland for example are better than in the UK. And as the paper linked above shows, even in the US health outcomes are better where public spending on health and education are higher. So the ball is in your court on this one. Also, the US does have socialized health, just not for all sectors of society. However, public health is provided to the demographic that has most need of it and to the very poor.

Civilis

Epidemiological data is fun, although not always as transparent as you might wish. This paper that shows mortality levels a strongly correlated to public expenditure on health and education services for example:

Hey! You're actually looking things up and providing stats relevant to the discussion! You've learned something today!

Lesson 2: Correlation does not equal causation.

Given the disparate social stratification of the US, it could be that higher lifespans cause more money to be available for public expenditure (the reverse of your argument). It's more likely, though, that richer parts of the US have both the money to spend on public social welfare (like education) and have higher life expectancies. Do rich places have better public schools? Yes. Do rich people have higher life expectancies? Yes.

The stronger an economy, the more money can be lost to deadweight government bureaucracy and corruption before the whole thing comes apart.

Civilis

'Sweden and Finland' is cherry picking. The health outcomes for American citizens of Scandinavian ancestry is both higher than Americans as a whole and higher than native Scandinavians of the appropriate ethnic backgrounds, implying that there is something demographic to the life expectancy. I also understand that both Sweden and Finland have a less socialized health-care system than the NHS.

Also, the US does have socialized health, just not for all sectors of society.

And those sectors that are socialized do significantly worse outcome-wise and are significantly more expensive than the non-socialized sectors.

Minnow

Lesson 2: Correlation does not equal causation.

And this is true of all epidemiological data including yours. We cannot be sure what the mechanism is, we only know that where public spending is greater in the US, health outcomes are better. I think it is unlikely though that spending on welfare is higher in richer parts of the US as you postulate. Nor is it 'cherry picking' to cite Sweden and Finland as disproving your claim that smaller welfare states have better healthcare outcomes. If larger welfare states sometimes have better healthcare outcomes it shows your claim is untrue.

And those sectors that are socialized do significantly worse outcome-wise and are significantly more expensive than the non-socialized sectors.

Because they will by definition be poorer and iller sections of society, the old and the impoverished. You are right though to notice that US health care is fantastically costly compared to the UK, twice as expensive as the NHS without having twice as positive health outcomes, and in some cases markedly worse ones..

WTP

Oh, f*ck all...this sh*t is never going to end. Can we stick to just one SIMPLE statement Minny made above, re:

"In fact, the people who are most dependent on state handouts are those who work in the banking or insurance sectors, or in any engineering enterprise that depends on military contracts. Compared to them, the amount of spend taken up my single mothers is truly minuscule. "

Followed on by the pointless statement (last I saw):

"Bringing up a baby is productive labour. If we are OK with the idea of state subsidised industry, let's go for it, but let's favourr the poor rather than the rich."...As if engineers, bankers, and such don't have babies of their own whilst still holding productive jobs, but I suppose that's besides the point.

Minnow, do you or do you not understand what complete and utter BS these statements are? Can you admit that much? Can you do so without changing the subject or whining about "poor form" or other such nonsense?

Minnow

I think you are wrong WTP. By any definition we subsidise bankers and such to a much higher level than we do the poor and needy and that is before. You don't object to it because you find rich people more pleasant than poor people and, I suspect, like others on here, you think luck is a moral quality. I don't mind that you have those preferences, but don't pretend that they are something else. It is just ideology that stops you seeing this. A state handout to a very rich man in a bank isn't called that and doesn't come with any element of humiliation so it is harder to see that's all.

Minnow

Estimates vary but here is one influential paper that put implicit subsidy to UK top 5 banks in 2009 to be £105 billion per year, £55 billion per year in the immediately preceding years. How much do you think those nasty single mums got?

http://www.bis.org/review/r100406d.pdf

Civilis

If larger welfare states sometimes have better healthcare outcomes it shows your claim is untrue.

You are right, I was sloppy when I wrote that. I would expect, in general and all else being controlled, nations with more economic freedom to have better health outcomes than those with less economic freedom. Life expectancy is only one health outcome, and it is related to demography and other factors other than just quality of health care. I did specifically mention demographic data as making direct comparisons very difficult, which is why I suggested a large general comparison.

I expect that in general, nations with more controlled (socialist) economies (of which the size of the welfare apparatus is one component) are in general worse to live in than nations with more free economies, health care being one factor in how well it is to live in that country. It's certainly possible for nations for various historical and demographic reasons to be outliers.

If you were looking at this specifically, you'd assign a rating to each unit you were studying for both economic freedom (of which the size of the welfare state is one component) and health care outcomes. Here's a sample of economic freedom ratings (http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking) which has Ethiopia at 151/178, a long way from being 'free'. Oddly, overall, the US, UK, Sweden and Finland are all rated pretty closely.

I think it is unlikely though that spending on welfare is higher in richer parts of the US as you postulate.

It's because the definition of 'welfare' in the study is so broad, and most local 'public welfare' spending is education spending.

Because they will by definition be poorer and iller sections of society, the old and the impoverished. You are right though to notice that US health care is fantastically costly compared to the UK, twice as expensive as the NHS without having twice as positive health outcomes, and in some cases markedly worse ones..

I'd like to see a section of US healthcare with markedly worse outcomes when you're comparing apples to apples.

WTP

"I think you are wrong WTP. By any definition we subsidise bankers and such to a much higher level than we do the poor and needy and that is before. "

I was going to ask you to define subsidy, but that's yet another distraction from the main point. Bankers, insurers, and yes even engineers on government contracts get their asses up out of bed every g-d day, go to work and provide services to the public. The government does not pay the above to sit at home. They WORK. Something I have a feeling you know very little of. At least not REAL work.

"You don't object to it because you find rich people more pleasant than poor people and, I suspect, like others on here, you think luck is a moral quality."

"It is just ideology that stops you seeing this." - This is just f'n arrogance, not to mention projection. Not to go there either.

AGAIN, stop changing the subject and putting words into other people's mouths. My position on luck as a "moral quality" is not as much in line with Heinlen and such as you may suspect, but that is NOT the issue here. Do you or do you NOT admit that bankers, insurers, and yes government contract engineers provide services (and goods) to the public?

"A state handout to a very rich man in a bank isn't called that and doesn't come with any element of humiliation so it is harder to see that's all."
Bankers provide services to the community. They go to work and make decisions on what businesses and/or people are likely to pay back the loan(s). Not necessarily always good decisions, but in the aggregate they are far more so than the government employees socialism would like to replace them with. Government employees who themselves are 100% subsidized by the tax payers. Name ONE comparable contribution to society that single mothers provide. And don't give me that BS about bringing up baby. Bankers, insurers, and weapons engineers raise their children as well. They just manage to so while simultaneously holding down jobs that are far more demanding than throwing one's legs in the air to "produce" another responsibility they are incapable of supporting.

Hal

Imagine if instead those two psychopaths had had a child, you, by accident in a situation where they would have had no subsidy, no healthcare they didn't have to pay for, and where they would have had to cough up for your education.

Actually, Minnow, except for . . by accident . . , and only 6 years in proper schools, that is exactly what did happen.

There was no subsidy. They were paying for the healthcare. Kindergarten and first grade in a private school outside of the country, 2nd grade through 6th grade in an excellent public---state, in the US---school which was very rather recommended by people that the breeders were trying to blend in with, so they had to go along with the local peer pressure. 7th through 11th grades dumped into a local private school to better keep a thumb on me rather than allow the better education that I had the greater interest in. 12th grade back in the local public school where rather a few old classmates demanded to know where I'd disappeared to. And then from there, as noted, the only reason I managed to get into college was because of the demand that the breeders be able to point to a college diploma . . . .

There are going to be arguments of OhMiGhod How can you claim the state school was better than the private school?!?!?!? Easy. In the public school I could follow my interests and preferred studies, even in the general assigned curriculum. One year, I and classmates created our own variety show for the entertainment of our classmates entirely with our own initiative, and support of the teachers. In the private schools, 7-8 grades, 9-11 grades, I and everyone else were trapped in the rather limited offerings mandated by those private schools. After hours, the breeders further targeted me for additional abuse and rather vehemently denigrated and denied all of my requests for support and growth---a request for a computer to help study with, learn more programming with, Etc, got answered with "We don't have the money" . . . as private school tuition was being paid, as the breeders were rather repeatedly hanging out at a local auction house and dumping money into shiny stuff they wanted there, as the male breeder was rather openly gambling on stock market scams---not investing, we’re talking quite clueless . . .

As Steve 2: Steveageddon notes Working class people hate chavs. The breeders were/are basically middle class chavs . . . . . . .

And it took me a very long time to sort out what had been done to me, and I still have the echoes rattling about that I still have had to keep pushing past . . . .

Civilis

Estimates vary but here is one influential paper that put implicit subsidy to UK top 5 banks in 2009 to be £105 billion per year, £55 billion per year in the immediately preceding years. How much do you think those nasty single mums got?

Objection! Claimant does not understand difference between subsidies to banks and subsidies to bankers, even before you get to whether the payment to the bank was a subsidy.

Also, I find it odd to have you not name or link the influential paper, probably because the phrase "implicit subsidy" is not a term of art, suggesting that there is an agenda at work.

A lot of us have objections to the recipients of government subsidies (be they banks or other companies) giving out bonus payments as they take in our tax dollars, but that's much more tied to the incestuous nature of state crony socialism.

present & correct

@WTP
hahaLoL!.. i sense your exasperation reaching critical mass,
but..
the minnow is an excellent rhetorical device... by means of which, commonplace 'goodwill' assumptions can be exposed as falsehoods with hidden costs, courtesy of the many excellent commentators on here (including your good self).

WTP

Well the arguing about so many ethereal issues such as luck, etc. when common ground on fundamental absurdities as I've mentioned above is such an insane waste of time.

Few things aggravate me more than having to defend bankers, but for the love of pete the unthinking rhetoric that spews forth from one who claims others are incapable of seeing due to being beholden to ideology whilst at the same time endorsing an ideology that has proved disastrous for the USSR, Red China, Cambodia, East Germany, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. and Detroit is exasperating. Why argue any of this until we establish an understanding that the taxpayer is at least getting something in return from someone going to work at an honest bank, insurer, or weapons factory (not that I don't have issues with much of these in the proper context) vs. some skank staring at the ceiling while getting her chimney swept.

Thornavis.

Also, I find it odd to have you not name or link the influential paper, probably because the phrase "implicit subsidy" is not a term of art, suggesting that there is an agenda at work.

I assume Minnow is referring to Table 4 in that paper, I haven't read the whole thing, life's too short and it's not a subject I'm knowledgeable enough about to comment on really but I'm rather amused by the irony of a website of the central banks criticising state subsidy of banking. It also appears to be supportive of the idea of tighter regulation and government control of banking activities, there's a surprise.

Dan

At least one point which should be made to Lucky Minnow re the bank subsidies is that they were forced on the banks by the State. Some took money they actually did not want to take.

Also, the cost of single mothers (and the absent fathers) goes very far beyond merely the benefits they receive.

Our jails are full of their children, they need more remedial education, they spend more time in A&E, there are legions of social workers and outreach workers on their cases, there are large and expensive supported housing projects to house them after 16, and so on. Best of all, they are all but guaranteed themselves to produce further children of single parents once they hit puberty. It's almost like a money factory for parasites!

No one sensible says they are all, or even mostly, bad, and some rise heroically above their origins, but only idiots think they're a positive benefit.

Hal

So Minnow is going into long spasms of My saying this is what’s important!!!! What I say is not the issue, just cheer along!!!!

---and particularly he’s going on regarding social structures and what the country/people/whatever should be doing . . .

Somewhat on topic, and a complete match for Minnow, someone else got equally pointless the other day, and did at least amuse the hell out of me . . .

See as Ann Coulter quite thoroughly shoves both feet into her mouth, up to the knees, as she proclaims:

I've held off on writing about soccer for a decade -- or about the length of the average soccer game -- so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay.

(1) Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls -- all in front of a crowd. When baseball players strike out, they're standing alone at the plate. But there's also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.

In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child's fragile self-esteem is bruised. There's a reason perpetually alarmed women are called "soccer moms," not "football moms."

. . . .

(2) Liberal moms like soccer because it's a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.

. . . .

(4) The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. Most sports are sublimated warfare. As Lady Thatcher reportedly said after Germany had beaten England in some major soccer game: Don't worry. After all, twice in this century we beat them at their national game.

. . . And so on and all that . . . .

Ah, Dear Ann . . . .

It’s rather a pity you clearly don’t know that much about America and of American history and culture. If you did actually learn something of America and Americans and how we think and work and feel, you might possibly, mebbe, just possibly, have run across to a reference to some fellow named Patton.

George Patton.

United States Army General George Patton.

An army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, and fights as a team. This individual hero stuff is bullshit. The bilious bastards who write that stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real battle than they do about fucking. And we have the best team—we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity these poor bastards we're going up against.

All the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters. Every single man in the army plays a vital role. So don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. What if every truck driver decided that he didn't like the whine of the shells and turned yellow and jumped headlong into a ditch? That cowardly bastard could say to himself, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' What if every man said that? Where in the hell would we be then? No, thank God, Americans don't say that. Every man does his job. Every man is important. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the quartermaster is needed to bring up the food and clothes for us because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last damn man in the mess hall, even the one who boils the water to keep us from getting the GI shits, has a job to do.

Each man must think not only of himself, but think of his buddy fighting alongside him. We don't want yellow cowards in the army. They should be killed off like flies. If not, they will go back home after the war, goddamn cowards, and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the goddamn cowards and we'll have a nation of brave men

Oh, By The Way, Ann, when you were quoting that bit from Margaret Thatcher regarding beating the Germans? You might possible have noticed that Patton was very much involved in one of those occurrences . . . . .

Miguel

"I have seen no data at all that shows single motherhood is a serious social cost in any sense.

Posted by: Minnow"

Well you haven't looked very hard: http://washingtonexaminer.com/children-in-two-parent-families-do-better-in-life/article/2541188

WTP

Not to OT this too much but

"I've held off on writing about soccer for a decade -- or about the length of the average soccer game -- "

She's misrepresenting the best thing about soccer. It's over in 2 hours, unlike what's become of baseball, football, basketball, etc. At least hockey is somewhat ongoing except for that extra half-time show. As for soccer in the US, I found this more on spot to what drives some of the anti-soccer attitude of some of us (vs. others of us), this from a Brit.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/why-i-hate-american-soccer-fans-1402012291

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