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March 21, 2016

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svh

Heather Mac Donald on the myths of Black Lives Matter

Paywall.

David

Paywall.

For readers without a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, just type “Heather Mac Donald Myths of Black Lives Matter” into Google and the resulting link will take you to the full article.

svh

Thanks.

Patrick Brown

The thing that worries me about the universal basic income thing, is the potential for massive inflation. If everybody gets €800, then by the law of supply and demand doesn't €800 pretty quickly become virtually worthless?

Stuart Lord

Universal income is a modern nirvana for those unwilling to be productive enough to even just get the essential basics in life. However I can't for the life of me see how this will actually work in reducing spending, as you mentioned, or who is going to pay for it.

Apparently automation means that most people don't need to work, we are just forced to by the system as a way of keeping the wealthy wealthy and the poor poor or something similarly inane. Why someone would go to work creating the next widget, or engineer the next generation of manufacturing and industry etc only to have all that work appropriated to unleash the typical 'creativity' of some individuals as seen here and elsewhere is beyond me.

David

the potential for massive inflation

That was one of the (many) issues discussed in the long, quite lively thread following this.

Joan

my kids... were very excited to, sort of, join the movement themselves.

These people are twisted. I just don't believe that *six year olds* came up with the idea.

David

I just don’t believe that *six year olds* came up with the idea.

No, it does seem a tad improbable and more like an excuse for using minors to further a pre-existing agenda, one with which Ms Bernal-Martinez is somewhat preoccupied, even if that entails thwarting parents’ preferences and taking their children to a politically and racially charged rally where violence may ensue. Regarding one parent’s complaint that he and other parents weren’t able to opt their children out of the political activity, Ms Bernal-Martinez says, rather airily, “It wasn’t the formal consent process. It was about, do the kids want to do this, or not? It’s about the children’s agency.” And of course not every primary school teacher has short-notice access to a supply of Black Lives Matter t-shirts in infants’ sizes.

Again, as so often, you have to marvel at the presumption, the vanity, the casual arrogance.

[ Edited. ]

rjmadden

And of course not every primary school teacher has short-notice access to a supply of Black Lives Matter t-shirts in infants’ sizes.

Parents really need to start doing some research on who's teaching their kids.

David

Parents really need to start doing some research on who’s teaching their kids.

Absolutely.

Microbillionaire

I will be very interested in seeing how the basic income works out. The doomsaying reminds me a bit of the economics quip aimed at various targets, that [so-and-so] predicted eight of the last five recessions. It's a serious candidate for playing merry hell with the economy, but it's not altogether unreasonable that there might be some way to implement it successfully.

David

It’s a serious candidate for playing merry hell with the economy, but it’s not altogether unreasonable

I think Tim Worstall has suggested it would be more plausible if set at a very basic level, much lower than is generally advocated. A detailed economic analysis is beyond my powers, but it seems to me we’re still left with the basic sociological problems regarding incentives, work ethic, freeloading, etc. And the question of what happens when the existing welfare system is disassembled in favour of a “universal income,” and idiots, of which there are many, piss away that income and find themselves, and any children, in dire situations. What happens then?

Anna

Sweden's 'little Mogadishu'.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/03/20/watch-journalists-punched-kicked-and-rammed-with-car-in-swedens-little-mogadishu-no-go-zone/

#MulticulturalEnrichment

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

For readers without a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, just type “Heather Mac Donald Myths of Black Lives Matter”

The myth of the so-called "War on Cops".

It's infuriating that people's wanting to turn this into a racial issue is obscuring the fact that American cops really are getting more and more thuggish and above the law.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

When Chicago-area police officer Charles Gliniewicz was shot last September, there was much bigger manhunt than there would be for any non-cop who was shot.

It turns out the little fucker shot himself, carefully planning it to look like a murder. Of course, all the usual suspects screamed "WAR ON COPS!!!" at the time.

Anon

she spends her time “envisioning a world without physical or intangible borders.”

That would be an interesting approach to take to, say, designing the rooftop of a skyscraper or the sides of a bridge.

Anon

Police officers —of all races— are disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black

Note though that this statistic, nor the following 'violent crimes are disproportionately committed by black people' means much on its own.

Imagine a town of one thousand people. one hundred are black, nine hundred are white. In a given year, one white person commits a violent crime, and nine black persons do.

Now, we have a town where 90% of violent crime is committed by blacks, which sounds terrible. But we also have a town where 91% of black people do not commit violent crimes.

Both of those are true, but they don't exactly seem to tell the same story, and presenting one statistic without the other is misleading.

(And that's before we even get into the Yule–Simpson effect).

TDK

The idea of citizens basic income (CBI) is supported by both Libertarians and socialists.
-
The former support it for three reasons
1. Incentives - currently welfare is withdrawn from low income earners as they start to work more. The combination of low personal allowances combined with benefit withdrawal means that low income earners suffer what amounts to a very high tax rate as they attempt to work their way up the scale. This disincentive would disappear with CBI because it would be untaxed.
2. The problem of welfare is twofold. First the effect on the recipients. Second the creation of a class of bureaucrats whose task is to dole out the different benefits. A simple CBI would eliminate all the means tests and more importantly eliminate a vast army of state dependent clerks.
3. Politicians are keen to be seen to be doing something. Hence increasing benefits or creation of new ones suits them. Take one example: fuel poverty. Logic would dictate that you can't be poor in one necessity only. But the campaign to highlight fuel poverty is never challenged one this basic logic. Hence the politician who cares about fuel poverty is seen to be effective. The logic of CBI is that "there are no other benefits - full stop". No housing benefit, no jobseekers allowance. Some go as far as no education, no health etc. The state shrinks to Defence and Justice. It remains to be seen how pure this ideal would remain over time.

Incentives: the core assumption is that CBI is set low. It has to be low so that sufficient people are motivated to work. They have to work enough to generate the income to pay the CBI before anything else like defence was paid for. I'd be concerned about how an electorate would avoid the temptation to vote for an increase in CBI.

Another way to think about a Libertarian CBI is that it is inconceivable that welfare would ever be abolished. This is the compromise that all politics requires to get closer to the ideal.
-
Socialists like CBI for a completely different reason. Since they believe that private property is fundamentally immoral, then the CBI is not designed to prevent starvation of the poorest. Rather it is a basic right. People don't work for income, they work because they want to. In such a paradise, I will be the person clearing up unicorn shit with pixie dust.

Here's Owen Jones talking CBI with the Adam Smith institute. I could bear very little.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qslx0cBu_Z4

John D

According to Bernal-Martinez, the idea to march came from the students.

*bitter laugh*

NielsR

Anon, if it's FBI data it's very likely national data. For which the next paragraph gives us that 13% of the population are black.

So a citation would have been helpful, but it's not likely to be the sort of cherry picking you suggest.

If you want to show statistical abuse, you have to do a but more work than that.

David

*bitter laugh*

Quite. But Ms Bernal-Martinez is certainly bold. I think we have to give her that.

Or brazen, if you prefer.

David

So a citation would have been helpful,

Some relevant FBI data can be found here. Note that the demographic ratios are quite stable and change very little from one year to another. And the last item here seems apposite too.

Flubber

I risk opprobrium with this post but here goes.

I think the key highlights of Heather MacDonald's excellent article is that blacks kill more cops than cops kill blacks and that blacks kill blacks at 30 times the rate that cops kill blacks.

So why BLM? I think there's a simple and a complex answer. The simple answer is that blacks were motivated to vote for Barack Obama; Hillary nowhere near as much. So an issue needed to be manufactured to motivate them. After all Hillary needs every vote (assuming she is not in jail where she belongs)

The complex answer is is much more important - as the racial animus that has been unleashed won't simply dissipate post election. Why is it that the left will not hold blacks accountable for their actions and choices and instead make excuses for them. The glib answer from the right is that the left doesn't want functional black communities as they then might not automatically vote Democrat, but can it be this simple?

Flubber

Another issue with BLM is whats happening on campus. The sheer volume of blunt anti-white racism is worrying. After all, where does it end.

White people are always being asked to check your privilege - as supposedly they're pre-judged differently to black people. But every time I hear "check your privilege" I hear "I'm ashamed"

Wildgoose

I have supported the introduction of a universal Citizen's Basic Income all my life.

Please note that it:
(1) applies only to Citizens, i.e. legally resident adults
(2) is Basic, i.e. only sufficient for basic sustenance
(3) is universal

We already have a Welfare System that prevents people starving on the streets, as befits a civilised society. Why not also have a Welfare System that doesn't have the current disincentives to enterprise and tacit encouragement of indolence and "playing the system"?

All the studies that have taken place have shown it to be a success. Alaska has a Citizen's Dividend from their oil revenue that is an annual version. Finland is seriously examining changing to a Citizen's Basic Income.

It is the least worst Welfare System.

Incidentally, it would not be any more inflationary than our current Welfare System which also doles out "free money" to recipients both deserving and undeserving.

And the computer revolution has only just started. (I am a computer programmer, so this is an informed opinion). There really is going to be technological unemployment, and what better way is there of ensuring that money keeps circulating through the economy?

TDK

"Why is it that the left will not hold blacks accountable for their actions and choices and instead make excuses for them."

It's identity politics. Pure and simple. The identity group, blacks, are victims of oppression and the dysfunction seen is a result of that oppression. Remove that oppression and the dysfunction will disappear.

If the right has a principle stock answer it isn't the cynical one you select. Rather I would suggest that it blames the collapse of marriage, welfare dependency, etc.

Microbillionaire
A detailed economic analysis is beyond my powers, but it seems to me we’re still left with the basic sociological problems regarding incentives, work ethic, freeloading, etc.

Yes. On the other hand, many of those already exist in the form of generous welfare systems. Basic income - if implemented with a clue, of which I am not at all confident - can improve the incentive structure by getting rid of the near-total income tax that results from means-tested welfare. (That's near-total from both sides of 100%.)

And the question of what happens when the existing welfare system is disassembled in favour of a “universal income,” and idiots, of which there are many, piss away that income and find themselves, and any children, in dire situations. What happens then?

I don't know. Some variant of slavery seems to me the obvious resolution, though I gather I'm an outlier on this score.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

All the studies that have taken place have shown it to be a success. Alaska has a Citizen's Dividend from their oil revenue that is an annual version.

Alaskan citizens got a whole $2000 and change last year, and the key difference between Alaskan Citizen's Dividend is that the money comes from actually selling something of value, not from somebody else's pocket which is why a CBI won't work.

Thornavis

Might a negative income tax, only payable to those below a certain threshold, be a better alternative to CBI ?

David

Speaking of academia, where joy goes to die:

“Wheelchair basketball should be [only] for physically disabled people who need wheelchairs,” said Ophelia Brown, a disability advocate… Julia St. Louis, writing in the college’s student paper The Gateway, agrees, and calls events like wheelchair basketball a form of “cultural appropriation.”

You see, a game in which disabled and able-bodied students can share the fun, maybe bond, and compete on a fair footing, as it were, is something to denounce. I wonder what these dreary, po-faced scolds would make of the sentiment seen here.

Little Tripoli

@David

What's the latest on the FBI statistics? I recall the guardian making big noises about how they were deficient in totalling all of the police related fatalities.

David

What’s the latest on the FBI statistics?

I don’t follow these things religiously. I suppose you could always email Heather Mac Donald, who pays more attention.

David

In happier news:

A man who broke into a woman’s apartment in Antioch late Friday morning was met with an unexpected surprise when he walked into her bedroom and she shot him.

Does that count as “social justice”? Asking for a friend.

Kevin B

Why not a CBI?

Well as Insty would say "insufficient opportunities for graft". But there's also the whole political thing of fiddling with the welfare system to please one's allies and piss off one's enemies. Without welfare to play with, politicians might be reduced to policing the borders and ensuring the citizens' property rights.

Also, a massively comples, (and inefficient), welfare system requires a huge bureaucracy to manage it, as well as another to steal the money to pay for it.

Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth if the current bureaucrats were forced to actually live on the CBI.

Geezer

The Central Park School for Children describes itself as "A Child-Centered, Progressive Charter School in Durham, North Carolina." Its admissions page says: "We encourage families to tour our school and learn about our educational approach before applying." Parents who choose to send their children there have only themselves to blame.

Joan

Does that count as “social justice”?

Only if it's a head shot. Otherwise taxpayers are still forking out for this scumbag.

Geezer

"...as befits a civilised society."

Why do some people believe that "a civilised society" requires stealing money from people who earned it and giving it to people who did not?

Wildgoose

Why do some people believe that "a civilised society" requires stealing money from people who earned it and giving it to people who did not?

Because the alternative is gated communities and random violence from those desperate to feed themselves. People who in times past found the laws rigged against them via the Enclosure Acts which were used to steal the land they used to feed themselves, and thereby forced them into the factories as desperate supplicants. Eventually leading to the world we now live in.

And of course it is ongoing. Local Authorities raised the cash from loans and local ratepayers to provide clean water and sewerage for all, something necessary for public health - diseases like cholera not being particularly interested in how much money you had (or have). Then Labour nationalised the water companies with no recompense, leaving the Local Authorities to repay the original debts. Then the Tories sold the water companies off cheap to their friends, but kept the proceeds, stiffing the Local Authorities again.

Now if you want to argue for the abolition of all Welfare then feel free to make that demand. You could probably start with the concept that you never signed the Social Contract and so shouldn't be held to its terms.

But if not, then why are you arguing against the desire to fix the existing (broken) Welfare System? Because that is what the universal Citizen's Basic Income does.

Microbillionaire

Why do some people believe that "a civilised society" requires stealing money from people who earned it and giving it to people who did not?

Possibly, as in the case of Bismark, because the alternative looks like it might involve a large mass of volunteers for the Revolution. It's all very well to denounce such volunteers and make moral arguments for why people shouldn't do that, but this is often about as effective as denouncing entropy for the "uncivilized" things it does to your elderly parents.

Or possibly, because they don't believe it's stealing. Do you begrudge a cardroom its rake, or an auction house its cut? Taxes can be argued as a similar sort of rent or fee you pay to the superior landowner for permission to conduct business there.

Geezer

...because the alternative...

...is even worse. The gist of the replies my comment evoked seems to be that "a civilised society" requires a willingness to pay Danegeld.

Watcher in the dark

"my kids... were very excited to, sort of, join the movement themselves."

No, dear, they were excited by having a day out of the classroom and the opportunity to avoid listening to a lefty spout rubbish all the time.

Charlie Suet

TDK gets it on UBI (and maybe BLM).

The Groan, the Indignant, Twitter etc. would be all keen on the income actually being paid out. But any suggestion that disability benefits, winter fuel allowances and so on would be abolished would be met with screeching outrage. Jonathan Portes and Nick Cohen would write pompous articles. Polly Toynbee would write sanctimonious articles. John Harris would do a bit of poverty tourism. Laurie Penny would write about herself. Steve Bell would draw an unfunny cartoon.

mojo

Bernal: your standard-issue La Raza racist commie douchebag, dime a dozen in Cali.

David

your standard-issue La Raza racist commie douchebag

Pretty much. It’s radicalism as imagined by a fairly common type of narcissistic mediocrity.

But no, we mustn’t mock her pretensions. She is fierce and exotic, as she tells us many times. Not only is her preferred classification (because hey, you’ve got to have one) “Queer Xicana,” she’s also a “Radical Queer Progressive Educator,” one who struggles heroically in a “White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy.” (And no, I’m not sure why almost everything has to be capitalised. Perhaps it’s to let us know that Everything She Says Is Incredibly Radical And Important.) And when asked if there’s a “Latin@ leader” she looks up to, our fearless race warrior says, matter-of-factly, “I am the Latinx/Xicana leader that I look up to.”

So there’s that.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

In another lovely cop story, one that doesn't involve any of those black people who commit all the crime:

Jury acquits West Viginia woman who stepped between dog and cop who wanted to kill it

She had video showing the cop's claims were BS, although the cops tried to confiscate it because "if you've done nothing wrong you should have nothing to hide" doesn't apply to the cops apparently. Yet the case still went to trial, and as fair as I know, the cop hasn't been disciplined.

Read the whole story for the really enraging details, like the cop's implication that it's standard policy to shoot even dogs that are chained.

Dr Cromarty

A survivor of *what* exactly? Her hairdresser, maybe?

mojo

Meanwhile, in cloud cuckoo land:

CA: Condoms in Porn on Ballot

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2016/03/20/ca-condoms-in-porn-on-november-ballot/

Short-arm inspections will commence after chow.

Related, well sort of:

Farage:

We have sunk so low as a nation that we cannot control the tax rates on every day items. And we beg foreign bureaucrats politicians and courts help us.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/03/20/is-cameron-really-going-to-get-a-victory-on-the-tampon-tax/

mojo

Oh, from the staff directory:

Stef Bernal-Martinez was born in Southern California, grew up in the West Texas borderlands and is a new member of the Durham community. She is a young and new teacher who received her undergraduate degree in Political Science at The University of Texas at El Paso and her master's degree in Early Childhood Education at Sarah Lawrence College. Outside of the classroom, Stef is a self-described community photographer. She comes from a legacy of women who have worked to teach her that she is worth it and she hopes to inspire the same message to the children she teaches — that they deserve a meaningful education and have a right to a myriad of beautiful learning experiences.

mojo

Heh:
http://takimag.com/article/i_have_met_the_enemy_and_he_is_easily_terrified_jim_goad/print

Hal

Spring has sprung, let the celebrations commence . . . .

dicentra

Parents really need to start doing some research on who’s teaching their kids.

And then when they find out that Teacher is a left-wing radical, they have quite the conundrum on their hands: fight the system and risk being destroyed or KNOWINGLY submit to it.

Not looking means not knowing. If you're hurting for resources (time, passion, money), ignorance might be your only viable option.

Franklin

I am the Latinx/Xicana leader that I look up to.

Shouldn't that be "Xicanx"? I imagine it sounding like an utterance from Sylvester the Cat.

R. Sherman

Parents really need to start doing some research on who’s teaching their kids.

If one's children are enmeshed in the public school system (U.S.), it is safe to assume their teachers are part of the problem. Either they're left wing loons or they are beholden to the unions which exist to protect teachers' careers and not further children's education. Better to home school or send your kids to a decent parochial school. How much is it worth to make sure one's child is learning to read at age 6 as opposed to learning to shout "power to the people."

David

Browner than thou and therefore more righteous:

Last week we had the unedifying spectacle of the general secretary of the LSE Students Union - a self-proclaimed feminist - saying that she had “a lovely time” at a gender-segregated dinner put on by the LSESU Islamic Society. She found the whole event “comfortable and relaxed,” and was appalled at the subsequent “Islamophobic attacks” on her relaxed attitude to sitting one side of a seven foot screen separating the sexes.

Learn your place in the victimhood hierarchy.

David

Cower in the shadow of feminist logic:

Laura Parson suggests that females enrolled in such studies suffer from “the masculine nature of STEM education” in her research paper “Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis.” To rectify the issue of reinforced gendered messages, Parson essentially proposes that STEM courses could offer “less competitive teaching methods.”

You see, our feminist lionesses are every bit as competent as those hairy, smelly men, and that’s why we must lower standards and make STEM subjects “less competitive,” and therefore less intimidating to “women and minorities.” If you think that’s absurdly precious and incoherent, you’re right. And we’ve been here before, of course.

Microbillionaire
The gist of the replies my comment evoked seems to be that "a civilised society" requires a willingness to pay Danegeld.

It obviously doesn't, as demonstrated by those that didn't. But you asked "Why do some people believe..." and I offered some speculations. Perhaps your question was supposed to be rhetorical? In that case, you are free to pretend that I ignored it.

John D

Learn your place in the victimhood hierarchy.

If anyone asks I just assume I'm at the bottom. Saves a lot of time.

David

If anyone asks I just assume I’m at the bottom. Saves a lot of time.

As the person doing the asking is generally asserting their rank - either directly by invoking some rather doubtful victimhood, or vicariously, supposedly on behalf of some allegedly put-upon group – that would save a lot of faffing. On three occasions I’ve been informed, quite sternly, that my white, cis-male existence is the “lowest difficulty setting” of life. This knowledge was imparted in such a way as to imply that I should therefore feel bad and should bow in deference to the person doing the scolding and any group of their choosing.

Oddly, the people who initiate this kind of exchange tend to be from backgrounds much wealthier and more comfortable than my own.

Microbillionaire
On three occasions I’ve been informed, quite sternly, that my white, cis-male existence is the “lowest difficulty setting” of life.

Heard this one too. Occasionally amplified to something like "straight white cis male able-bodied Christian" or the like. I find it a poorly thought out metaphor that seems to ignore how difficulty settings usually work in favor of a knee-jerk complaint that sounds vaguely like "you have it easy". For most games, though, difficulty settings go something like this -

Low difficulty: Your character draws less aggression. Threats ignore you more, and when they do come after you, you have an easier time finding allies to do your fighting for you. You are offered free stuff, discounts, and the game cheats to let you into special areas early. If you ever feel you are stuck, the boss monster might just fall over dead halfway through the fight and you will be declared the victor anyway. On the other hand, since you are not challenged, you will develop less skill. Your score will be penalized, and your accomplishments devalued. Other players may give you things out of charity, but may also ridicule you for sucking.

High difficulty: Your character is a priority target. You will have to do all your own fighting, and then some. Your score is increased, making this the best way to be remembered in history for your accomplishments, but it's still a long shot due to the difficulty of getting there. You will have to get good to stand out among the competition, and can't hope for participation trophies. However, this at least means your accomplishments will be taken seriously. Other players will frequently envy your success and accuse you of having cheated somehow.

Now which one of these sounds like the lot of a buzzword buzzword white male, and which one sounds like a recipient of affirmative action, white knighting, holistic admission algorithms that totally aren't racial quotas I swear, selective service exemptions, protected class status, and having the President send in the fucking Army to clear your path?

Dr Cromarty

Any SJWs started a #BelgianLivesMatter hashtag?

Thought not

David

I find it a poorly thought out metaphor that seems to ignore how difficulty settings usually work

Yes. But like much else such people mouth, I don’t think it’s intended to withstand much scrutiny. The idea, I think, is to shut down discussion before any serious scrutiny can occur. It’s essentially a piety-signalling device and a way to indulge in browbeating. For people who get their jollies from psychological malice.

It’s quite funny to watch these exchanges unfold online, especially when the scolding party assumes that their target must have every attribute deemed “privileged,” only to be corrected on one detail or another. For instance, someone points out that the allegedly privileged party is actually gay or has brown skin or whatever, and then lots of furious recalculation has to be done, lots of intersectioning, to determine where that person sits in the all-important hierarchy of victimhood. That this neurotic classification and point-scoring is probably best avoided doesn’t seem to occur to the ones doing the scolding.

mojo

Any SJWs started a #BelgianLivesMatter hashtag?

Unlikely, Doc. It would require self-awareness, and might make somebody feel bad, possibly.

How about those Belgies, huh? Let's let them run everything.

and, for the record, the way to handle muslim ghettos that your police are scared to enter is to send in the army, have a big fight and don't allow that idiocy any more.

Flubber

The latest entry on the victimhood hierarchy:

Gay men no longer need representation on the LGBT committee...

Sorry fags - but you're men, so sod off....

David

Laurie Penny would write about herself.

We await her inspirational three-volume autobiography, How Brave I Am.

ac1

A citizens dividend is actually quite a capitalist idea.
Adam Smith was an advocate of taxing land-titles based on their value (and not harmful taxes on work such as income tax, EENI, ERNI and VAT). The idea could be expanded to tax all other titles such as mineral extraction rights, copyrights and patents, and might solve some of the problems we see with big business rent-seeking (by making licensing more likely thus stopping the use of patents to block others which is 100% NOT the idea).

The advantages of taxing unearned income are massive, the problem is that it would abolish the establishment and therefore it will not be allowed to happen.

R. Sherman

Re: Laura Parson

Laura Parson is a doctoral candidate in the teaching and learning department, higher education concentration, at the University of North Dakota. She has a MEd, Adult Education concentration, and TESOL certificate from Westminster College.

That's certainly the CV of one uniquely qualified to critique STEM curricula.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Shouldn't that be "Xicanx"? I imagine it sounding like an utterance from Sylvester the Cat.

Sounds like a brand name for a new herpes medication.

WTP

A citizens dividend is actually quite a capitalist idea.
Adam Smith was an advocate of taxing land-titles based on their value

While I haven't put a lot of thought into the matter, I am inclined to agree on the second part. Along with something similar WRT common goods, the meaning of which I now see has become completely politicized on Wiki and defined away from what it really means, so fat chance with that. Don't see how the latter ties to the former. How is a citizens' dividend a "capitalist" idea? Unless "citizens' dividend" has some meaning other than people receiving the wealth generated by other people. Even if the wealth is extracted from common goods, giving it to others simply by the virtue of their existence does not seem very capitalistic. Not to mention the can of worms deciding who is a citizen, does it apply to children, to what age, etc. etc. etc. and the consequences, intended or otherwise. Even wealth from common goods requires a good bit of labor and capital to exploit. The fish don't just jump into the boat. Well, excepting those crazy silver carp. And shmoos. But I digress...

Dan

Uh small problem with your citizens dividend- US has a $20 trillion deficit. Here in Oz a few hundred billion and growing. I'm curious as to where this money is actually supposed to be coming from.

Hedgehog

Uh small problem with your citizens dividend- US has a $20 trillion deficit.

And that's just the stuff you know about. When you add in unfunded liabilities such as social security, Medicaid/Medicare, etc., the total is around $70 trillion. I.e. about the same size as annual World GDP. World, not US. Which basically means that the population of the entire world would need to agree to work for one full year and give everything to Uncle Sam just in order for the US to be debt-free. And start from scratch, presumably. Ain't gonna happen.

What is happening, however, is that central banks the world over are engaged in an effort to suppress their currencies by buying up their own debt, keeping interest rates low or even negative, etc. The intended result of this policy is to increase people's propensity to consume in the here and now rather than saving money, on the idea that this will increase GDP growth. Of course that doesn't work, because most people aren't stupid and they realize that if interest rates are negative they actually need to save more now in order to have enough money to retire on when they stop working.

The other effect of financial repression, which I think is also intended, is to get people used to the idea that their standard of living is going to decrease over time. If I retire today with a given sum of money, this amount will shrink over time (negative interest rates), while the cost of living will increase (albeit slowly) at the rate of inflation, which all central banks are trying desperately to keep positive. Thus the fixed income which I have in retirement keeps shrinking both in nominal terms and in real terms and my standard of living decreases.

Of course this policy may be preferable to the alternative, which is to tell everybody today that the government borrowed too much money, that it can't possibly ever repay it, and that therefore all the promises that it made (social security, etc.) are null and void.

So there we have it. One way or the other we're screwed.

PiperPaul

"...the cost of living will increase (albeit slowly) at the rate of inflation..."

Except maybe for the cost of energy, which is going to "necessarily skyrocket" for some reason. Wait - when the cost of energy goes up, doesn't the price of almost everything else also go up?

R. Sherman

So there we have it. One way or the other we're screwed.

The immigration mess is part and parcel of the whole problem, as well. The elites looked around and compared their unfunded promises with their declining demographics and thought that importing a lot unassimilatable brown people could shore up their social net by assuming menial jobs and pumping more money in the system. Surprise, it hasn't turned out that way.

Joan

Laurie Penny would write about herself.

We await her inspirational three-volume autobiography, How Brave I Am.

https://twitter.com/GodfreyElfwick/status/712223230568886272

#JeSuisLauriePenny

David

#JeSuisLauriePenny

Oh dear. I see dozens of people are still trying to convey to Laurie why events in Brussels are not the ideal platform for her usual “poor me” pantomime. From what I’ve seen, they aren’t having much success.

It’s like trying to shovel toothpaste up a hummingbird’s arse.

WTP

Except maybe for the cost of energy, which is going to "necessarily skyrocket" for some reason. Wait - when the cost of energy goes up, doesn't the price of almost everything else also go up?

Yes and no. Depends on the dynamic or otherwise nature of the economic system. If more wealth must be spent on energy, less is spent elsewhere, everything being held constant. Which never happens. Things that can happen are, but not limited to:

1) People figure out how to use energy more efficiently.
2) People figure out how to create energy by consuming fewer other resources, thus lowering the cost, albeit over a longer time frame than the immediate.
3) uh...more stuff i don't have time to get into right now...

The "energy underlies everything and thus figures into the cost of everything" meme, while somewhat true, was a cover for 1970's inflation (in the US, don't know about elsewhere) to cover for the failures of Keynesianism.

Of course it's a bit more complicated than that and my rough outline has exceptions and other complications (the latter of which I feel would even more prove my point), etc. but that's the short version.

PiperPaul

Anecdote Alert! I recall prices going up when oil was north of $100/bbl (higher production and shipping costs were cited) but I guess I missed when they came back down after the oil price crash.

Hedgehog

The immigration mess is part and parcel of the whole problem, as well.

I have a feeling that this won't quite work as intended, indeed. In France, the "social contract," such as it is, seems to be based on the idea that good jobs can be protected by making labor laws so inflexible that people can't get fired. In turn, the people who have jobs pay high taxes (aka protection money) to ensure that there is a wide-ranging safety net available to those who do not have jobs. Over time, this has led to a tiering of the population into people who are employed (typically older) and people who are not (typically younger). The intersection of that dynamic with the demographic profile of the old (mainly ethnic French, i.e. white) and the young (increasingly basané) will lead to some interesting developments. Mainly, will underemployed young people of North African extraction accept to work for low wages and pay high taxes to support the comfortable retirements of older French people with whom they have nothing in common, be it culturally, ethnically, religiously, etc.?

Methinks not.

But then of course Frau Merkel preempted the entire long-run deterioration that France is looking forward to by allowing it to happen in Germany in one fell swoop.

Sporkatus

Anyone care for a poke at the horrible current Google Doodle? "My Afrocentric Life" by "Akilah Johnson, Washington DC". It's got very nearly every cliche at once - from an obligatory "Rosa Parks" and "Douglass, Frederich(?)" to "POWER" graffiti, an upraised fist, and - gallingly - a Black Lives Matter protest. It also features some Eye of Horus and ankh Egyptian symbolism in the idiotic NOI sort of "Black Egyptian" mold. In summary, Google are once again going from passive aggressive leftism to appallingly stupid passive aggressive leftism. In a sane world, the principals would be sacked by now.

WTP

and - gallingly - a Black Lives Matter protest

Oh, does it? Gee, we really hadn't noticed that. But it's not like it's the main theme of the picture. You really have to squint to see it. I think you're making too much of this. It's not at all like a microagression. Not at all. Because microagressions are wrong. And this can't be wrong. It was done by an innocent child. Now you're on to impinging her freedom of speech. Yada-yada-yada...

Thanks. Now every time I hit Google today, I'm gonna wanna puke.

Sporkatus

Well, it's not like the Egypt symbols could be taken as an endorsement of Black History claims of a global conspiracy to hide black involvement in things or the fist could possibly be Black Panthers or anything. Nothing of the kind. Purest. Innocence.

mojo

It's some brainwashed DC public school teenager's angst-filled cry. Lighten up.

Geezer

Re: Microbillionaire | March 22, 2016 at 08:17

Your point is well taken. Let me rephrase it:

Some people seem to believe that "a civilised society" requires a willingness to pay Danegeld, because they believe that the alternative is even worse.

Does that work?

Sporkatus

@mojo: I don't blame said teen. I blame said teen's teachers (so very, very much) and the goodthink brigade at Google HQ who think it's oh-so-important and worthy of inflicting on us, despite a high percent of - let's not deny - propagandish psychosis and endorsement of black power ideologies. "Don't be evil" is really taking a beating these days.

Sporkatus

Said teachers presumably being very much along the lines of Mx. Bernal-Martinez, I meant to include.

WTP

Sooo...anyone still seeing the Google Doodle or did they take it down? It's not like it's midnight GMT so ...?

Sporkatus

Just gone down, seemingly. It's been up since at least yesterday, so it's not as if it was that easy to miss.

Hal

Laurie Penny would write about herself.

We await her inspirational three-volume autobiography, How Brave I Am.

Four volume. One for each title word.

Sporkatus

"I" being the thickest volume, surely.

Geezer

Google Doodle

If you Google "Google Doodle," this is the first hit. It's fun to visit.

In honor of our host, this is pretty nifty, too.

Dr Cromarty

FFS

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/22/tintins_racist_history_symbol_of_brussels_solidarity_is_uncomfortably_divisive/

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Poor Laurie. How she suffers when other people get hurt.

R. Sherman

As is now usual with these sorts of stories, my first thought was, "Thank the heavens, it's not Mizzou again.

David Taylor

Re making STEM less competitive... almost all the pharmacists I see in this town are women and when I was doing computer science at the local uni the lecturer told us we had it easy in the maths subjects as we could get marks for trying, whereas the pharmacy students had to get the answer exactly correct or get zero.

I used to ask the advice of a barista in the cafe I frequent for particularly knotty problems as she was one of said pharmacy students and one of the smartest people I've ever met. She's doing post grad medical research now.

The state of STEM education doesn't seem to have put any of them off.

mojo

@Sporkulus: I guess I'm just inured to that particular tribe of lefties. Like I said, a dime a dozen, maybe a bit more if they now have to go all the way to Yonkers to get a grad degree in baby brainwashing.

jones

"It’s like trying to shovel toothpaste up a hummingbird’s arse."

If in flight I can see how that might be difficult.

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