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Hester Koch's Scarlet Letter Carry on Cutting, says Brandeis

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"Socially Liberal, Economically Conservative" Is So Over

by Christopher Chantrill
April 08, 2014 at 12:00 am

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THE GENIUS of teaching the educated professional class to be “socially liberal, economically conservative” for the last 20 years was that the economically conservative part came for free during the Great Boom from 1983-2007. When the economy looked good forever and everyone’s 401(k) was increasing, the professional class could easily be persuaded to look down on and actually fear! the bigoted Religious Right and vote for Democrats. Candidate Obama’s remark about bitter clingers captured the meme perfectly.

But now that gay marriage is a fact and the junior inquisitors from the gay Holy Office have shifted from the hard work of prosletyzing to the exquisite pleasure of showing heretics at Mozilla the instruments of torture, what now?

If you are some tech professional, you know that you can never be safe from some liberal hater on Twitter. The liberals can change the rules on you any time they want. We were all taught to fear the right-wing bogeyman; now it turns out that it’s the Liberal Fascists we should fear. Hey, didn’t some guy write a book on that?

So much for “socially liberal;” it’s history. You may also have noticed that the “economically conservative” side of the deal is no longer a slam dunk in these Obama years.

Suppose you are a college graduate in your twenties. It’s really cool that you can get laid with anything you want, but what about the future? What about marriage, eventually? What about kids? What about a college fund and, perish the thought, retirement? What about that student loan? For all of that you’ll need something better than the Obama economy.

What is left of “economically conservative” now that Obama is pushing an increase in the minimum wage and the NYT/NPR set are all singing the inequality chorus, and Zero Interest Rate Policy is hammering the mom-and-pop savers? Maybe it’s time for the “economically conservative” to get a clue.

We pedal-to-the-metal conservatives know that the only way to the future that avoids Greece or Venezuela is a future that cuts government spending and lowers regulation and cuts tax rates on businesses and individuals. Our chorus is Drill, Baby, Drill, and Frack, Baby, Frack, and we invite the “economically conservative” to raise their voices in song.

Now which political party in this good old USA is likely to offer a way out of Obamism? I suppose the question answers another question: why does Paul Ryan keep putting out those budgets that go nowhere? It’s simple. Ryan’s budgets are a dog whistle for educated professionals, telling them that Republicans have a plan to fix this mess while there is still time. Yes, and usgovernmentspending.com has the latest Ryan budget.

There are actually two good economically conservative reasons why educated professionals need to vote Republican for a few cycles before they can afford to return to the comforts of their cultural snobbery. One is ordinary self-interest. If you want a career for yourself and then for your children you need a growing economy with lots of opportunity.

The other reason is the same, only more so. It is desperate self-interest. If and when the government runs out of cash, it will be coming for our money, all of us from bitter clingers to high-flying professionals. It will start by devaluing the money in your bank account and your salary and any dollar denominated assets. That goes without saying. Maybe it will also just take money from your bank account like they did in Argentina in 2002 and Cyprus last year.

But there is more. After the government has taken your bank account and that still isn’t enough, the government will decide to come for your 401(k). Or even your on-line brokerage account. Yeah! It’s a national emergency! The rich must pay their fair share!

Back in the old days it would have been difficult to take your money. Back then people had paper certificates for their stocks and bonds. But still, the Roosevelt administration devalued the dollar by 40 percent in the 1930s and forced everyone to give up their gold coins.

Today all your assets except your home are just records in a computer database, courtesy of the late Dr. Codd. It will be so easy! Now the only place the government needs to go to take your money is to Wall Street’s computers.

So you see, the “socially liberal, economically conservative” game is up. The gays smashed the socially liberal part, and Obama smashed the economically conservative part.

If you are an educated professional, you need the economy to get on track now and the government’s finances to get fixed now. Otherwise the government will soon be coming for your money.

Cue Roy Orbison and “It’s Over.”

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[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


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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