FOR years I've used Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan as a weathervane. When Peggy writes about something in her weekly Wall Street Journal column then it's just gone mainstream.
Today she's writing about Donald Trump and how Hispanics aren't offended by him. She talked to her friend Cesar after the first GOP debate and he told her about a Hispanic call-in show right after the debate.
More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts.What about after Trump dissed Jorge Ramos? A majority of callers backed Trump. What is going on here? Aren't Hispanics supposed to be offended by Trump?
Cesar shook his head: No, you have it wrong. Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you.”Makes sense to me. After all, if you've gone through all the horrible bureaucratic process to immigrate legally, you sure don't appreciate people that are crashing the line.
He’d also have to somehow reach out to a new version of the party that is out there waiting to be born. It is a yet-to-be-defined mashup of Black Lives Matter; pro-immigration activism; non-European cultural consciousness; tolerance of all religions, lifestyles and genders; genuine urgency about the fate of the planet; confidence in technology, social media and the sharing economy; and skepticism about America’s right, power and duty to lead the world.Hmm. Richard Fernandez writes that Fineman's "vision of the Democratic Party hoping to be born is actually the one waiting to die." Come on, Howard. The Democrats have been doing the whole "progressive" thing since 1998 and the Clinton impeachment and the birth of MoveOn.org. The problem is that, given the decline in Democratic strength in legislatures all across the nation, it looks like the American people really don't like the Democratic Party "waiting to be born."
MY Big Idea to explain everything is to say that there are three kinds of people in the world. Let us call it the Three Peoples Theory. There are the People of the Subordinate Self, your eternal peasants, the clients in the patron-client relationship. They are people that experience themselves as victims, tossed about by irresistible forces. Then there are the People of the Responsible Self, ...
IF you read the excellent The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker you will learn three important historical facts about homicidal violence. Fact One is that death by violence in the hunter-gatherer age was about 500 per 100,000 population, or about 0.5 percent per year. Fact Two is that death by violence in the late agricultural age was about 50 per 100,000 population, or about 0.05 ...
AFTER the three-day market rout it's time for an I Told You So article on the follies of the politician-driven Chinese economy. Writes Rich Lowry: China might have bright, shiny airports and gauzy GDP numbers, but that is window dressing on a badly distorted economic system that is being managed about as well as you’d expect by a group of corrupt, self-interested statists, which is to say not ...
IN the era when progressive minds were concerned about the power of the absolute monarchs the word on the street was "limited government." Progressive minds realized that the absolute monarchs, like the feudal monarchs before them, maintained themselves in power by distributing favors to their supporters. That was insupportable, according to reason and natural law.
That lasted for about 100 years, from 1750 to 1850.
But once the absolute monarchs had been dispatched to the dustbin of history progressive minds forgot all about limited government. Now they saw themselves as the rising ruling class and developed a politics where they would replace the monarch and win political power for themselves by offering favors to their supporters. So much was obvious to the best minds. And it was all discernible from the march of history and from social justice.
Of course, the truth is that politics has always been about loot and plunder. It was about loot and plunder when the hunter gatherers conducted their dawn raids on the neighboring tribe, killing the men and taking the women into slavery. It was about loot and plunder when Agamemnon and his pals including Odysseus, sacker of cities, besieged and sacked the city of Troy. It was about loot and plunder when the Roman legions ranged through Europe and the Middle East. It was about loot and plunder when Europeans discovered America and took the silver from Bolivia and the land from the North American Indians.
The formula is simple. A would-be political leader -- we might call him a freebooter or a buccaneer -- recruits an army with the promise of loot and plunder. We might call these followers freeloaders. If successful, this leader takes political power over some territory and taxes and regulates the people therein to benefit his supporters.
For that brief century from 1750 to 1850 the idea got about that maybe the loot and plunder idea was not such a good plan for government. Because, after all, loot and plunder are destructive. They sweep away productive economic relations and strip people of their wealth. And give it to people whose only talent is military or political soldiering. So the idea got about that government, the agency of looting and pillaging, ought to be limited, so that wealth could increase and benefit everyone.
But in the middle of the 19th century, as we have seen, a new idea got about. The educated sons of the bourgeoisie, shocked by the squalor of the industrial slums, intuited a new society in which all the squalor would be gone and society would become truly social and cooperative, rather than hierarchical and exploitative.
But there was one little problem with their ideas. How would we get from here to there? The answer was as old as the hills. We would get there by recruiting a political army with promises of loot and plunder: bigger wages, less working hours, free education, old-age pensions, health care.
It did not seem to occur to these people -- it still does not occur to their political descendants -- that a political movement based on loot and plunder will end up 100 years later as government based on loot and plunder. And what does loot and plunder do? It strips the land and the people of their wealth and their livelihood.
The trouble with socialism, according to Margaret Thatcher, is that in the end you run out of other peoples' money. It's easy to see why. The nature of the political game is that you must come to each election with a new promise of loot. That is what you have taught your supporters down the decades and that is what they demand. That was why President Obama had to lie about Obamacare and pretend it would lower health insurance premiums, and why Hillary Clinton has to conjure up brain-dead ideas to complicate the capital gains tax to make it look as though she is shaking new money out of the trees that can be spent on her supporters.
In the end the politicians over-promise on the loot. In the end you run out of other peoples' money. In the end you get Greece or Argentina.
So the solution is pretty obvious. You replace the current system with a system of limited government, where the politicians do not rally support by offering free stuff.
After all, any sensible voter should be able to see that in the end the government runs out of money to pay its pensions, so the practical thing to do is to make sure that your life is not dependent upon the continued payment of a government pension. On that view the idea of paying payroll taxes for 40 years on the faith that the government will pay the pensions it promised seems close to certifiable delusion.
But that is the system we live under. Until we don't.
I get it. Conservative leadership, from Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Senate and John Boehner (R-OH) in the House to the mainstream conservative media is disappointingly wimpy. You might even say that they had been cuckolded by the shameless hussies in LiberalLand who have been cheating on them for decades. Thus #cuckservatives. When are they going to do something about it? And act like real ...
I'M going to be lunching with my liberal women friends in the next week or so. We are talking about the kind of woman that will be on board for the idea that it's time for America's First Woman President. Here I am, aching with sorrow about the way that America's government has failed its people, because of the faith of its ruling class in its top-down paternalism, and your average educated ...
I just had an epiphany on the Blame the Bankers meme that every Democrat and every liberal instinctively believes as the cause of the Crash of 2008. I'd always assumed that it was pure cynical political blame-shifting, the natural instinct of the ruling class to find a scapegoat to take the blame for its feckless and foolishness. Of course, that's what it was, mostly. You can't run a country ...
AS I weave my ideas about a better world, in which the domination of the welfare state administrative system is replaced by a just world where people cooperate to help each other rather than compete for freebies, I wonder. Think of things this way. A couple hundred years ago most people were serfs on some lord's estate. They were, in a profound way, his dependents, living at his pleasure and ...
WE are right in the middle of the #BlackLivesMatter nightmare, which I presume is based on the notion that the biggest problem African Americans face is police shooting gentle giants in the back. And of course, it is woe betide the Democratic presidential candidate that suggests that "All Lives Matter." Because racism. But let us do a President Eisenhower. You remember him. He said that if you...
EVERYONE KNOWS that Medicare is going to eat the budget. But last week the Medicare Trustees issued their annual Medicare Trustees Report and they said that costs are increasing slower than expected. They have a point. Medicare has been chugging along at 3 percent ...
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WHAT WILL come after the welfare state? After 120 years, at the turn of the twenty-first century, it is clearly showing its age.... more
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
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