Why I “Heart” My HOA Neighborhood

Yesterday I came across one of the dumbest pieces that I have encountered in more than 20 years of blogging — and that’s saying a lot about the dumbness of the piece. I’m referring specifically to this post, in which the author cites and quotes from an attack on homeowners’ associations (HOAs). He appends this comment:

They [HOAs] give you a very good look at America under Communism, with Karens in charge. You don’t want that.

Until 2003 I hadn’t owned a home in an HOA neighborhood. I have now lived in an HOA neighborhood for the past 18 years. I’m here to tell you that I’d rather live in an HOA neighborhood than not — at least the kind of HOA that I’ve experienced.

First, living in an HOA neighborhood is nothing like living under Communism. It’s voluntary; Communism isn’t. If you don’t like the idea of living in an HOA neighborhood, you shouldn’t, but you’ll be giving up a lot of things:

A neighborhood where homeowners take pride in their homes, keep attractive yards, and spend what it takes to keep their homes well-maintained.

A quiet neighborhood where homeowners respect each others’ privacy and do not bombard their neighbors with loud music or inflict drunken parties on them.

A neighborhood where homeowners can band together under the aegis of the HOA when the peace of the neighborhood or property values are threatened by bad actors.

A neighborhood whose residents are predominantly white-collar professionals whose wide-ranging tastes overlap considerably (to the benefit of social comity) but which aren’t in lockstep.

In sum, a neighborhood that is much like a loose-knit social club where members pay dues to enjoy the amenities of the club but without forced socialization.

What about those Karens? (overbearing scolds). I have yet to meet one or hear of one in my neighborhood. Why not? Probably because the people who live here do so because they like the neighborhood the way it is and wouldn’t do anything to change its character. And if they did, and a Karen swooped down on them, good for the Karen. Most peple who live in HOAs do so for the reasons listed above. Renegades who create eyesores and cause property values to drop aren’t welcome.

And there’s nothing wrong with protecting the value of one’s property, as long as one’s neighbors are of the same mind about how to protect it. An HOA makes that possible.

If you don’t like an.HOA neighborhood, sell and move out. And reap the handsome profit that accrues to a well-maintained home in a pleasant, attractive neughborhood.

All of which seems rather American and pro-liberty to me.

Natural Experiments in the Effect of Party Politics on Economic Performance

As “Tyler Durden” puts it at ZeroHedge, “US Set For Epic Labor Market Experiment: Red States Vs Blue States“. The experiment has to do with the effect of the cessation of extended unemployment benefits on unemployment rates:

According to JPMorgan’s Daniel Silver, as of this moment some 23 – all republican – states have announced at least some form of early reduction in pandemic-related unemployment insurance benefits ahead of the September expiration at the federal level. These programs, he suggests, are likely limiting labor supply, generating a potential economic argument for ending these programs early….

So, while the left are desperately gaslighting that this is a skills or geographic mismatch, the chart above makes it clear that paying people to stay home is not good for growth (or social stability).

Which is why 23 (Republican) states have listened to their business owners and started to cut those benefits. In fact, as Mike Shedlock notes, that means around 3.5 million Americans will come off Pandemic emergency benefits in the next few weeks….

And since Democrats will likely not end UI benefits any time soon – or ever, if they could –  this sets up the US economy to become an epic real-time economic experiment, one where everyone can keep track of the unemployment across in Red states (most of which have ended their UI benefits), and blue states where claims will keep potential workers at home, pressuring unemployment rates….

By way of early confirmation of our thesis that government handouts are repressing the recovery by encouraging people not to work, according to an analysis published this week … job searches jumped by 5% the day each state announced its intent to pull out of the federal programs.

I have compiled some statistics from another natural experiment. They support the thesis that Republican-controlled States outperform Democrat-controlled ones economically.

Although the central government’s tentacles reach deep into every State’s economy, there is still latitude for State and local action — or lack thereof. Republican-controlled States should have somewhat freer economies than Democrat-controlled ones. (See, for example, the Tax Foundation’s 2020 Business Climate Tax Index.) Republican-controlled States should therefore be more growth-prone than Democrat-controlled ones. Regional statistics support this hypothesis:


Constructed from the regional data tool of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, starting here.

The red lines represent regions that are dominated by Republican-controlled States; the blue lines, regions dominated by Democrat-controlled States. The constituent States of each region are as follows:

Far West — Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington

Southwest — Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Rocky Mountain — Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming

Southeast — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

New England — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Plains — Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

Mideast — Delaware, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

Great Lakes — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin

Despite the Far West’s slight lead over the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions, it is obvious that, on the whole, Republican-dominated regions have enjoyed much higher rates of growth than Democrat-dominated ones.

Critical Race Theory: Where It Really Leads

Blacks, on average, lag whites in income and wealth, and are disproportionately targeted by law-enforcement.

All of this is due to white racism.

White culture — including the tenet of racial equality under the law and the importance of dispassionate, scientific inquire — must be rejected because it is all tainted with racism.

Rejection means the suppression of whites and white culture so that blacks may reach their true potential.

Their true potential is determined by their intelligence and culture.

Blacks, on average, are less intelligent than whites, and black culture (in America) fosters violence, disdain for education, and family dysfunction to a greater degree than is true for whites, on average. (But that, somehow, is whitey’s fault.)

Where will this lead? Right where Dov Fischer predicts it will lead:

[T]he same disadvantaged groups who today rely on blaming instead of self-help will then be at the same exact rung on the social order that they are today, just as 50 years of racism-free society and Great Society “entitlements” have not accomplished equality of results today, even as newcomers from Asia entered this country these past 50 and 60 years and leap-frogged those already here.

The fault lies not in our stars but in our genes and culture.

What Do Wokesters Want?

I am using “wokesters” as a convenient handle for persons who subscribe to a range of closely related movements, which include but are not limited to wokeness, racial justice, equity, gender equality, transgenderism, social justice, cancel culture, environmental justice, and climate-change activism. It is fair to say that the following views, which might be associated with one or another of the movements, are held widely by members of all the movements (despite the truths noted parenthetically):

Race is a social construct. (Despite strong scientific evidence to the contrary.)

Racism is a foundational and systemic aspect of American history. (Which is a convenient excuse for much of what follows.)

Racism explains every bad thing that has befallen people of color in America. (Ditto.)

America’s history must be repudiated by eradicating all vestiges of it that glorify straight white males of European descent. (Because wokesters are intolerant of brilliance and success of it comes from straight white males of European descent.)

The central government (when it is run by wokesters and their political pawns) should be the sole arbiter of human relations. (Replacing smaller units of government, voluntary contractual arrangements, families, churches, clubs, and other elements of civil society through which essential services are provided, economic wants are satisfied efficiently, and civilizing norms are inculcated and enforced), except for those institutions that are dominated by wokesters or their proteges, of course.)

[You name it] is a human right. (Which — unlike true rights, which all can enjoy without cost to others — must be provided at cost to others.)

Economics is a zero-sum game; the rich get rich at the expense of the poor. (Though the economic history of the United States — and the Western world — says otherwise. The rich get rich — often rising from poverty and middling circumstances — by dint of effort risk-taking, and in the process produce things of value for others while also enabling them to advance economically.)

Profit is a dirty word. (But I — the elite lefty who makes seven figures a year, thank you, deserve every penny of my hard-earned income.)

Sex gender is assigned arbitrarily at birth. (Ludicrous).

Men can bear children. (Ditto.)

Women can have penises. (Ditto.)

Gender dysphoria in some children proves the preceding poiXXXX

Children can have two mommies, two daddies, or any combination of parents in any number and any gender. And, no, they won’t grow up anti-social for lack of traditional father (male) and mother (female) parents. (Just ask blacks who are unemployed for lack of education and serving prison time after having been raised without bread-winning fathers.)

Blacks, on average, are at the bottom of income and wealth distributions and at the top of the incarceration distribution — despite affirmative action, subsidized housing, welfare payments, etc. — because of racism. (Not because blacks, on average, are at the bottom of the intelligence distribution and have in many black communities adopted and enforced a culture the promotes violence and denigrates education?)

Black lives matter. (More than other lives? Despite the facts adduced above?)

Police are racist Nazis and ought to be de-funded. (So that law abiding blacks and other Americans can become easier targets for rape, murder, and theft.)

Grades, advanced placement courses, aptitude tests, and intelligence tests are racist devices. (Which happen to enable the best and brightest — regardless of race, sex, or socioeconomic class — to lead the country forward scientifically and economically, to the benefit of all.)

The warming of the planet by a couple of degrees in the past half-century (for reasons that aren’t well understood but which are attributed by latter-day Puritans to human activity) is a sign of things to come: Earth will warm to the point that it becomes almost uninhabitable. (Which is a case of undue extrapolation from demonstrably erroneous models and a failure to credit the ability of capitalism — gasp! — to adapt successfully to truly significant climatic changes.)

Science is real. (Though we don’t know what science is, and believe things that are labeled scientific if we agree with them. We don’t understand, or care, that science is a process that sometimes yields useful knowledge, or that the “knowledge” is always provisional, always in doubt, and sometimes wrong. We support the movement of recent decades to label some things as scientific that are really driven by a puritanical, anti-humanistic agenda, and which don’t hold up against rigorous, scientific examination, such as the debunked “science” of “climate change”; the essential equality of the races and sexes, despite their scientifically demonstrable differences; and the belief that a man can become a woman, and vice versa.)

Illegal immigrants migrants are just seeking a better life and should be allowed free entry into the United States. (Because borders are arbitrary — except when it comes to my property — and it doesn’t matter if the unfettered enty ro illegal immigrants burdens tax-paying Americans and takes jobs from working-class Americans.)

The United States spends too much on national defense because (a) borders are arbitrary (except when they delineate my property), (b) there’s no real threat to this country (except for cyberattacks and terrorism sponsored by other states, and growing Chinese and Russian aggression that imperils the economic interests of Americans), (c) America is the aggressor (except in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Gulf War I, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and in the future if America significantly reduces its defense forces), and (d) peace is preferable to war (except that it is preparedness for war that ensures peace, either through deterrence or victory).

What wokesters want is to see that these views, and many others of their ilk, are enforced by the central government. To that end, steps will be taken to ensure that the Democrat Party is permanently in control of the central government and is able to control most State governments. Accordingly, voting laws will be “reformed” to enable everyone, regardless of citizenship status or other qualification (perhaps excepting age, or perhaps not) to receive a mail-in ballot that will be harvested and cast for Democrat candidates; the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (with their iron-clad Democrat super-majorities) will be added to the Union; the filibuster will be abolished; the Supreme Court and lower courts will be expanded and new seats will be filled by Democrat nominees; and on, and on.

Why do wokesters want what they want? Here’s my take:

  • They reject personal responsibility.
  • They don’t like the sense of real community that is represented in the traditional institutions of civil society.
  • They don’t like the truth if it contradicts their view of what the world should be like.
  • They are devoid of true compassion.
  • They are — in sum — alienated, hate-filled nihilists, the produce of decades of left-wing indoctrination by public schools, universities, and the media.

What will wokesters (and all of us) get?

At best, what they will get is a European Union on steroids, a Kafka-esque existence in a world run by bureaucratic whims from which entrepreneurial initiative and deeply rooted, socially binding cultures have been erased.

Somewhere between best and worst, they will get an impoverished, violent, drug-addled dystopia which is effectively a police state run for the benefit of cosseted political-media-corprate-academic elites.

At worst (as if it could get worse), what they will get is life under the hob-nailed boots of Russia and China:; for example:

Russians are building a military focused on killing people and breaking things. We’re apparently building a military focused on being capable of explaining microaggressions and critical race theory to Afghan Tribesmen.

A country whose political leaders oppose the execution of murderers, support riots and looting by BLM, will not back Israel in it’s life-or-death struggle with Islamic terrorists, and use the military to advance “wokeism” isn’t a country that you can count on to face down Russia and China.

Wokesters are nothing but useful idiots to the Russians and Chinese. And if wokesterst succeed in weakening the U.S. to the point that it becomes a Sino-Soviet vassal, they will be among the first to learn what life under an all-powerful central government is really like. Though, useful idiots that they are, they won’t survive long enough to savor the biter fruits of their labors.

Centrism: The Path to Dystopia

Centrism is the habit of seeking compromise between opposing positions. It is the expression of the centrist’s personality, not a political philosophy. (I speak from personal experience with a self-proclaimed centrist who is chameleon-like in his willingness to adapt to his political environment — integrity be damned.)

Centrism fails because it doesn’t offer a concrete position to which one might adhere. Centrism is nothing but a reluctance or refusal to choose between concrete positions. A centrist has no principles to offer, unless you think of indecision and conflict avoidance as principles. But they are in fact the personality traits that underlie centrism.

Conflict is unavoidable — at least when it comes to political conflict that involves the foundational principles of governance. There are only two foundational principles that are viable in the long run: conservatism of temperament and left-statism (see this). Conservatism of temperament underlies ideological conservatism, which propounds government that is limited to the defense of life, liberty, and property — where liberty is negative liberty, the right to be left alone.

Left-statism is also a matter of temperament. As I say here,

If there is a distinction between “liberalism”, “progressivism”, and left-statism, it is one of attitude rather than aims. Many a “liberal” and “progressive” wants things that require oppressive state control, but is loath to admit the truth that oppressive state control is required to have such things. These naifs want to believe the impossible: that the accomplishment of the “progressive” agenda is compatible with the preservation of liberty. The left-statist simply doesn’t care about liberty; the accomplishment of the left-statist agenda is the end that justifies any and all means. Those “liberals” and “progressives” who aren’t left-statists by attitude are merely useful idiots to hard-core, Lenin-like left-statists.

So in the battle between conservatism and left-statism, the centrist abets left-statism by encouraging compromises that allow it to creep into governance step by step. As the Chinese proverb says, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. All it takes to achieve left-statist aims is to keep moving toward them as centrists clear the way by giving in, a foot at a time.

Political centrists include any Republican who has or would collaborate with Democrats on any matter that led or will lead to the further empowerment and aggrandizement of the central government. Religious centrists include any Catholic cleric who would or does administer Holy Communion to a “pro-choice” politician. Judicial centrists include any justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who rescues a statist policy (e.g., John Roberts’s rescue of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by calling a penalty a tax). I am sure that you can add to that list.

There is plenty of centrism around. But the only excusable centrism is the kind that is practiced out of politeness, to avoid pointless conflicts (e.g., Thanksgiving dinner arguments about politics and football). The rest of it is just weakness in the face of left-statism, weakness that is not and will not be rewarded by favors from left-statists when they prevail.

To quote Karl Popper:

If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

The defense of toleration may well require something that centrists cannot contemplate: a violent showdown with leftists.


Related reading:

Roger L. Simon, “How ‘Woke’ May Be Leading Us to Civil War“, The Epoch Times, May 9, 2011

“Tyler Durden”, “The American Cyber Stasi Will Suppress All Digital Dissent in Biden’s Dystopia“, ZeroHedge, May 11, 2011

Is Scientific Skepticism Irrational?

I am revisiting David Stove‘s Popper and Beyond: Four Modern Irrationalists. There is something “off” about it, which is captured in a review at Amazon:

Stove’s primary target was the idea that there might be a problem about inductive inferences, one dating to Hume who was the first to notice it and try to solve it. His secondary target was Popper, whose solution to Hume’s problem was to develop a deductivist account of scientific rationality (critical rationalism, as an alternative to logical empiricism)–naively attempting to change the philosophy of science to address a problem which, in Stove’s opinion, doesn’t exist. His tertiary targets were “historicist” philosophers of science such as Kuhn and Feyerabend….

One does not learn the actual positions of any of these folks from Stove’s book, unfortunately, much less any of their actual errors or excesses. Stove’s own position seems to be a kind of “naive realism” about scientific change and progress: almost as if there were no questions worth asking on the subject. I’ve encountered secondary literature on Kuhn and Feyerabend before that utterly failed to understand them, but Stove doesn’t even make the attempt.

Here is Stove’s argument, reduced to its essence:

  • Scientific knowledge has progressed.
  • Some philosophers of science hold the view that scientific knowledge is provisional because what is believed to be true can always be falsified by new knowledge.
  • Saying that scientific knowledge is provisional is tantamount to saying that scientific knowledge has not progressed.
  • The philosophers of science who hold that scientific knowledge is provisional are therefore irrational because they effectively deny that scientific knowledge has progressed.

Stove assumes that which he seeks to prove. His reasoning is therefore circular. His book is a waste of ink, paper, and pixels (depending on the format in which it is published).

Stove, nevertheless (unwittingly) poses a question that demands an answer: If scientific knowledge is provisional (as it always is), is it possible to say that scientific knowledge has progressed; that is, more is known about the universe and its contents than was known in the past?

The provisional answer is “yes”. Human knowledge of the universe progresses, in general, but it is never certain knowledge and some of it is false knowledge (error). Witness the not-so-settled science of cosmology, which has been in flux for eons.

There is broad but not universal agreement that the universe (or at least the part of the universe which is observable to human beings) originated in a Big Bang. Expansion followed. But the rate of expansion of the universe and the cause(s) of that expansion remain beyond the ken of science. The knowledge that the universe is expanding — and expanding at an ever-increasing rate — is an advance on prior knowledge (or belief), which held that the universe is contracting or that it is neither contracting nor expanding. But the knowledge of an accelerating expansion must be provisional because new observations may yield a different description of the universe.

That example brings us to the essential dichotomy of science: observation vs. explanation. What is observed is observed with varying degrees of certainty. The variations depend on the limitations of our instruments, sensory organs, and brains (which may be conditioned to misperceive some phenomena). Where things often go awry is in explaining that which is perceived, especially if the perception is wrong.

A classic case of misperception is the once-dominant belief that the Sun circles Earth. It’s easy to see how that misperception arose. But having arisen, it led to erroneous explanations. One erroneous explanation was that the Sun is embedded in a “sky dome” that surrounds Earth at some distance and rotates around it.

A current case of misperception is the deliberately inculcated belief that the general rise in observed temperatures on Earth from the late 1970s to late 1990s is due almost entirely to an increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 caused by human activity. The dominance of that theory — which objective observers know to be incomplete and unsubstantiated — may well lead to the impoverishment of vast numbers of persons in North America and Western Europe because the leaders of those countries seem to be virtue-signaling CO2-reduction race to limit and eventually ban the use of fossil fuels.

If David Stove were still with us, he would probably say what I have just said about the current misperception, given his penchant for iconoclasm. But where would that leave his “naive realism” about scientific progress? He would have to reject it. In fact, knowing (as he undoubtedly did) of the erroneous belief in and explanation a geocentric universe, he should have rejected his “naive realism” about scientific progress before taking Popper et al. to task for their skepticism about the validity of new scientific knowledge.

Yes, scientific knowledge accrues. It accrues because knowledge (to a scientist) is ineluctably incomplete; there is always a deeper or more detailed explanation of phenomena to be found. The search for the deeper or more detailed explanation usually turns up new facts (or surmises) about physical existence.

But scientific knowledge actually accrues only when new “knowledge” is treated as provisional and tested rigorously. Even then, it may still prove to be wrong. That which isn’t disproved (falsified) adds to the store of (provisional) scientific knowledge. But, as Stove fails to acknowledge, much old “knowledge” hasn’t survived, and some current “knowledge” shouldn’t survive (e.g., the CO2-driven theory of “climate change”).

Here is the argument that Stove should have made:

  • Scientific knowledge has progressed on many fronts, but not to the exclusion of error.
  • Some philosophers of science hold the view that scientific knowledge is provisional because what is believed to be true can always be falsified by new knowledge.
  • Given the track record of science, those philosophers are correct to say that scientific knowledge is provisional.
  • It is possible for scientific knowledge to accrue, and to be provisional at the same time.

Think of all of the ink, paper, and pixels that could been saved if Stove had thought more carefully about science and issued a PowerPoint slide instead of a book.


Related post: Deduction, Induction, and Knowledge

The Vatican Goes All-Out Democrat

Politico has the story:

The head of the Vatican’s doctrine office is warning U.S. bishops to deliberate carefully and minimize divisions before proceeding with a possible plan to rebuke Roman Catholic politicians such as President Joe Biden for receiving Communion even though they support abortion rights.

The strong words of caution came in a letter from Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, addressed to Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB will convene for a national meeting June 16, with plans to vote on drafting a document on the Communion issue….

Ladaria, in his letter, said any new policy “requires that dialogue occurs in two stages: first among the bishops themselves, and then between bishops and Catholic pro-choice politicians within their jurisdictions.”

Even then, Ladaria advised, the bishops should seek unanimous support within their ranks for any national policy, lest it become “a source of discord rather than unity within the episcopate and the larger church in the United States.”

Ladaria made several other points that could complicate the plans of bishops pressing for tough action: — He said any new statement should not be limited to Catholic political leaders but broadened to encompass all churchgoing Catholics in regard to their worthiness to receive Communion.

— He questioned the USCCB policy identifying abortion as “the preeminent” moral issue, saying it would be misleading if any new document “were to give the impression that abortion and euthanasia alone constitute the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest accountability on the part of Catholics.”

— He said that if the U.S. bishops pursue a new policy, they should confer with bishops’ conferences in other countries “both to learn from one another and to preserve unity in the universal church.”

— He said any new policy could not override the authority of individual bishops to make decisions on who can receive Communion in their dioceses. Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has made clear that Biden is welcome to receive Communion at churches in the archdiocese.

In other words, don’t embarrass Joe Biden (or Nancy Pelosi or any other nominally Catholic but pro-abortion politician). Doing so would upset the Pope, who has fully embraced their leftist views on abortion, “climate change”, income redistribution, etc., etc., etc. Cardinal Gregory obviously shares the Pope’s willingness to shape his religion to fit his political views.

And Cardinal Ladaria, a Jesuit, has given us a master class in Jesuitical casuistry.

Trump: Symbol of Resentment?

Thomas Edsall of The New York Times (unsurprisingly) endorses an essay by William Galston, “The Bitter Heartland”. Galston, according to Edsall,

captures the forces at work in the lives of many of Trump’s most loyal backers:

Resentment is one of the most powerful forces in human life. Unleashing it is like splitting the atom; it creates enormous energy, which can lead to more honest discussions and long-delayed redress of grievances. It can also undermine personal relationships — and political regimes. Because its destructive potential is so great, it must be faced.

Recent decades, Galston continues, “have witnessed the growth of a potent new locus of right-wing resentment at the intersection of race, culture, class, and geography” — difficult for “those outside its orbit to understand.”

They — “social conservatives and white Christians” — have what Galston calls a “bill of particulars” against political and cultural liberalism. I am going to quote from it at length because Galston’s rendering of this bill of particulars is on target.

  • “They have a sense of displacement in a country they once dominated. Immigrants, minorities, non-Christians, even atheists have taken center stage, forcing them to the margins of American life.”

  • “They believe we have a powerful desire for moral coercion. We tell them how to behave — and, worse, how to think. When they complain, we accuse them of racism and xenophobia. How, they ask, did standing up for the traditional family become racism? When did transgender bathrooms become a civil right?”

  • “They believe we hold them in contempt.”

  • “Finally, they think we are hypocrites. We claim to support free speech — until someone says something we don’t like. We claim to oppose violence — unless it serves a cause we approve of. We claim to defend the Constitution — except for the Second Amendment. We support tolerance, inclusion, and social justice — except for people like them.”

So far, so good. The four bullet points are right on; that is, they are not only true of “social conservatives and white Christians”, but they are also true of the proponents of what Edsall calls “political and cultural liberalism”. But, as the characterizations of the latter reveal, they are not liberal in the true meaning of the word. It is therefore meet and just for “social conservatives and white Christians” to resent political and cultural fascists — for that is what they are.

But there’s a lot more to it. Our home-grown fascisti are not just resented, but also rightly feared and vehemently opposed by conservatives, regardless of their socioeconomic status or religious views. And that is why Trump still has a grip on hordes of Americans.

Despite Trump’s lack of fiscal and rhetorical discipline, he was more than talk when it came to restoring conservative governance to America.

  • Exhibit A is his record of judicial appointments — in sheer numbers and in conservative judicial philosophy. (Why else would the Democrats have been so fierce in their opposition, not only to Supreme Courts picks but also to many lower-court picks?)
  • Exhibit B: Trump did more than any president since World War II to roll back the administrative state (See “Presidents as Regulators: From Ike to the Donald“. Truman isn’t included because the database is incomplete, but his regime was heavy-handed.)
  • Exhibit C: Defense spending, which was on the decline under Obama, turned around under Trump. (Many conservatives oppose “endless war”, but most conservatives prefer preparedness and the ability to defend the nation in case a “real war” comes along.)
  • Exhibit D: Trump’s pro-life agenda.

I could add a lot to that list, but it seems like more than enough to make the case that allegiance to Trump signals more than mere resentment. It signals alignment with his deeply conservative agenda.

There is also the not insignificant fact that Trump — unlike the Bushes, McCain, and Romney — wasn’t an “establishment” Republican who cozies up to Democrats or a “maverick” prone to betraying those who voted for him.

Trump was true to his base and true to his campaign promises. That’s integrity — a rare commodity in electoral politics. Trump’s supporters are discerning enough to recognize it when they see it, and to reject faux conservatives like Romney.

The Real Unemployment Rate

It’s bad. How bad? Here is the newly updated Part VI of “Economic Growth Since World War II“.

The real unemployment rate is several percentage points above the nominal rate. Officially, the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent as of April 2021. Unofficially — but in reality — the unemployment rate was 13.8 percent.

How can I say that the real unemployment rate was 13.8 percent, even though the official rate was 6.1 percent? Easily. Just follow this trail of definitions, provided by the official purveyor of unemployment statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Unemployed persons (Current Population Survey)
Persons aged 16 years and older who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be classified as unemployed.

Unemployment rate
The unemployment rate represents the number unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Labor force (Current Population Survey)
The labor force includes all persons classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the definitions contained in this glossary.

Labor force participation rate
The labor force as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population.

Civilian noninstitutional population (Current Population Survey)
Included are persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

In short, if you are 16 years of age and older, not confined to an institution or on active duty in the armed forces, but have not recently made specific efforts to find employment, you are not (officially) a member of the labor force. And if you are not (officially) a member of the labor force because you have given up looking for work, you are not (officially) unemployed — according to the BLS. Of course, you are really unemployed, but your unemployment is well disguised by the BLS’s contorted definition of unemployment.

What has happened is this: Since the first four months of 2000, when the labor-force participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent, it declined to 62.3 percent in 2015 before rising to 63.4 percent just before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy. Then, the participation rate dropped to 60.2 percent before recovering to 61.7 percent in April 2021:

FIGURE 9

Source: See figure 10.

The decline that began in 2000 came to a halt in 2005, but resumed in late 2008. The economic slowdown in 2001 (which followed the bursting of the dot-com bubble) can account for the decline through 2005, as workers chose to withdraw from the labor force when faced with dimmer employment prospects. But what about the sharper decline that began near the end of Bush’s second term?

There we see not only the demoralizing effects of the Great Recession but also the growing allure of incentives to refrain from work, namely, disability payments, extended unemployment benefits, the relaxation of welfare rules, the aggressive distribution of food stamps, and “free” healthcare” for an expanded Medicaid enrollment base and 20-somethings who live in their parents’ basements*. That’s on the supply side. On the demand side, there are the phony and even negative effects of “stimulus” spending; the chilling effects of regime uncertainty, persisted beyond the official end of the Great Recession; and the expansion of government spending and regulation (e.g., Dodd-Frank), as discussed in Part III.

More recently, COVID caused many workers to withdraw from the labor force out of an abundance of caution or because they couldn’t work from home. The recovery has stalled, in large part because of “free” money and extended unemployment benefits. The effects are being felt by employers who are unable to fill job openings, thus refueling a resurgence of inflation.

Another factor, though of less significance, is a decline in the percentage of employed persons who are working full-time. It dropped from 83.3 percent in 2000 — its highest level since 1989 — to 79.9 percent in 2010 before rising jaggedly to 83.5 percent in April 2021. A shift from full-time to part-time work is really a form of disemployment, and ought to be reflected in the unemployment rate.

I constructed the actual unemployment rate by adjusting the nominal rate for (a) the change in the labor-force participation rate and (b) the change in the percentage of workers in full-time status. The disparity between the actual and nominal unemployment rates is evident in this graph:

FIGURE 10

Derived from SeriesLNS12000000, Seasonally Adjusted Employment Level; SeriesLNS11000000, Seasonally Adjusted Civilian Labor Force Level; Series LNS11300000, Seasonally Adjusted Civilian labor force participation rate; and Series LNS12500000, Employed, Usually Work Full Time. All are available at BLS, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey.

The bad news — which the stock market has chosen to ignore (as of 05/07/2 1)  — is that the real unemployment rate is where it was in the darkest days of the Great Recession.
_________
* Contrary to some speculation, the labor-force participation rate is not declining because older workers are retiring earlier. The participation rate among workers 55 and older rose between 2002 and 2012. The decline is concentrated among workers under the age of 55, and especially workers in the 16-24 age bracket. (See this table at BLS.gov.) Why? My conjecture: The Great Recession caused a shakeout of marginal (low-skill) workers, many of whom simply dropped out of the labor market. And it became easier for them to drop out because, under Obamacare, many of them became eligible for Medicaid and many others enjoy prolonged coverage (until age 26) under their parents’ health plans. For more on this point, see Salim Furth’s “In the Obama Economy, a Decline in Teen Workers” (The Daily Signal, April 11, 2015), and Stephen Moore’s “Why Are So Many Employers Unable to Fill Jobs?” (The Daily Signal, April 6, 2015). On the general issue of declining participation among males aged 25-54, see Timothy Taylor’s “Why Are Men Detaching from the Labor Force?“, (The Conversible Economist, January 16, 2020), and follow the links therein. See also Scott Winship’s “Declining Prime-Age Male Labor Force Participation” (The Bridge, Mercatus Center, September 26, 2017).

The Great Breakup?

I end “The Great Breakup (I Hope)” with this:

The nation is almost certainly broken, and broken irrevocably. That leaves the question of what is to be done about it. I have offered options in the past. The only one that can deliver (a lot of us) from the evil that bears down is a concerted secession effort by many States, perhaps leading to a negotiated partition of the country. The choice is stark: either a breakup or a complete takeover by America’s domestic enemies.

(Do read the whole thing. It is replete with keen observations and bons mots.)

Victor Davis Hanson rehearses the many reasons for a breakup in “How Much Ruin Do We Have Left?” (American Greatness, April 21, 2021); for example:

The military—after costly strategic stagnation in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya—is now turning on its own. Some of the politicized top brass seem more worried about the politics of their own soldiers than the dangers of foreign militaries.

Our public schools and colleges are systematically downplaying meritocratic curricula and substituting in their places ideological, racial, and cultural litmus tests. Admissions now often hinge as much on race, gender, and ethnicity than quantifiable achievement. The First and Fifth Amendments—free speech and due process—have vanished from most college campuses.

2020 saw the most destructive riots in American history. Yet very few of the looters, arsonists, and rioters were ever indicted. Most were never arrested….

Private monopolies that control most written communications of Americans censor expression entirely on the basis of politics….

Our officials at the Justice Department and the United Nations either will not or cannot defend the history and reputation of their own homeland.

Record natural gas and oil production had formerly given the public affordable heating, cooling, and transportation. Self-sufficiency in energy made the United States exempt from worries over Mideast wars or foreign oil embargoes. The more we produced our own natural gas, the cleaner became our air and the smaller our collective carbon footprint.

Yet in just 100 days, energy prices have soared. The Left has canceled pipelines and limited energy leasing on federal lands—with promises to all but end our own gas and oil independence in just a few years.

In the drought-stricken West, key irrigation water is still being diverted from farms to the ocean. Billions of dollars in farm aid are doled out on the basis of race. And promised new regulations and estate taxes may well kill off what’s left of family farms.

Not to mention higher taxes and more regulations, which penalize success and deter business formation and expansion. Not to mention the murderous anti-life stance of “devout Catholic” Biden and his henchpersons. And on and on it goes.

All of which leads Oliver Wiseman (“Disunited States“, The Critic, May 2021) to recall that more than 180 years ago

John Quincy Adams gave a speech to mark 50 years since the presidential inauguration of George Washington. “If the day should ever come, (may Heaven avert it) when the affections of the people of these states shall be alienated from each other; when the fraternal spirit shall give away to cold indifference, or collisions of interest shall fester into hatred,” he told a New York audience, “far better will it be for the people of the disunited states, to part in friendship from each other, than to be held together by constraint.” Collisions of interest festering into hatred? That sounds familiar. The Trump years were famously light on fraternal spirit and, as the divisions deepened, “parting in friendship” started to look awfully attractive to a growing number of Americans.

After reciting many reasons for a breakup, and offering some reasons why it may not come to pass, Wiseman ends with this:

For now, secession threats are still mostly part of a bigger fight for the future of the country as a whole: a nuclear option in a cold civil war. America may lurch forwards having loud arguments that belie an underlying stability. But if divides grow wider and differences on fundamental constitutional questions start to look irreconcilable, more and more Americans might agree with John Quincy Adams: better to part in friendship rather than being held together in constraint.

It can’t happen soon enough for me, even though I may end up on the wrong side of the divide because of my impending move from Texas to Virginia.


Related page: Constitution: Myths and Realities, Part VI

Playing with Numbers

Stephen Moore asks a rhetorical question in “Why Did Biden’s Census Bureau Add 2.5 Million Residents to Blue-State Population Count?”. The obvious answer is: To reduce the loss of House seats to Red States, as Moore says:

The original projections for Census reapportionment had New York losing two seats, Rhode Island losing a seat, and Illinois perhaps losing two seats. Instead, New York and Illinois only lost one seat, and Rhode Island lost no seats. Meanwhile, Texas was expected to gain three seats, Florida two seats, and Arizona one seat. Instead, Texas gained only two seats, Florida only one, and Arizona none.

Was the Census Bureau count rigged? Was it manipulated by the Biden team to hand more seats to the Democrats and to get more money—federal spending is often allocated based on population—for the blue states?

The evidence is now only circumstantial, but when errors or revisions are almost all only in one direction, the alarm bells appropriately go off.

The same was true of Election 2020. There is ample evidence that the election was stolen from Trump and handed to Biden by chicanery in at least five States: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

But did the courts give a hoot? No, they looked the other way. And the same thing will happen when the Census Bureau’s fudged figures are challenged.

Democrats have a near-lock on electoral fraud. And (to change the metaphor) they need it because their “wokeness” is  is swimming against the tide of popular opinion.

Racial Profiling?

A point that I — and many fact-driven observers — have made over the years: Blacks are disproportionately “targeted” for arrest and incarceration because blacks are disproportionately prone to commit crimes, especially crimes of violence.

The cold facts are corroborated by the preponderance of blacks in the mugshots that have become a too-frequent feature of Austin’s local newscasts.

I am, praise be, leaving Austin for a somewhat less-populous city in a considerably less-populous metropolitan area. I have already begun to subscribe to that city’s newspaper. I was struck by the photos of the suspects in all of the murders covered on the front page of that newspaper. Here they are:

I wonder how much longer it will be before Biden’s Department of Injustice enjoins the media from displaying mugshots of black persons (or is it Black Persons)?

Double Jeopardy by Any Other Name …

… is still double jeopardy. The Constitution — as interpreted to date — still allows double jeopardy, despite the Fifth Amendment. A case in point is the federal indictment against Derek Chauvin (and other ex-Minneapolis police officers):

The Biden DOJ has indicted former police officer Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers on federal civil rights charges for their roles in the death of George Floyd.

The indictment alleges that Chauvin, along with J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane violated Floyd’s rights when they saw him lying on the ground “in clear need” of medical attention, but instead “willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm.”

This is essentially an indictment of Chauvin for the same actions that led to his arrest, trial, and conviction under Minnesota law.

I call a foul. This isn’t a new, pro-Chauvin call. I’ve held this position for many years. It’s documented (among other places) in a page that I published almost five years ago, “Constitution for the 21st Century“:

8. A citizen of the United States may not be:…

b. brought before a criminal or civil court to answer for the same act or acts that had been judged previously, under any rubric of law, by any criminal or civil court of any State or the United States;

I wrote that, despite the fact the O.J. Simpson — who was wrongly found not guilty of the murder of his ex-wife and her friend — was later found responsible for the murders in a civil trial. Which just goes to show how fair-minded I am.

The 96-Year Pause

Much has been written (pro and con) about the “pause” in global warming climate change the synthetic reconstruction of Earth’s “average” temperature from 1997 to 2012. That pause was followed fairly quickly by a new one, which began in 2014 and is still in progress (if a pause can be said to exhibit progress).

Well, I have a better one for you, drawn from the official temperature records for Austin, Texas — the festering Blue wound in the otherwise healthy Red core of Texas. (Borrowing Winston Churchill’s formulation, Austin is the place up with which I have put for 18 years — and will soon quit, to my everlasting joy.)

There is a continuous record of temperatures in central Austin from January 1903 to the present. The following graph is derived from that record:

A brief inspection of the graph reveals the obvious fact that there was a pause in Austin’s average temperature from (at least) 1903 until sometime in 1999. Something happened in 1999 to break the pause. What was it? It couldn’t have been “global warming”, the advocates of which trace back to the late 1800s (despite some prolonged cooling periods after that).

Austin’s weather station was relocated in 1999, which might have had something to do with it. More likely, the illusory jump in Austin’s temperature was caused by the urban heat-island effect induced by the growth of Austin’s population, which increased markedly from 1999 to 2000, and has been rising rapidly ever since.


Related reading:

Paul Homewood, “Washington’s New Climate ‘Normals’ Are Hotter“, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 6, 2021 (wherein the writer shows that the rise in D.C.’s new “normal” temperatures is due to the urban heat-island effect)

H. Sterling Burnett, “Sorry, CBS, NOAA’s ‘U.S. Climate Normals’ Report Misrepresents the Science“, Climate Realism, May 7, 2021 (just what the title says)

All Eyes Should Be on China

I have said many times (e.g., here) that the U.S. is in danger of becoming subservient to China. Recent reportage only reinforces my view:

Tyler Durden, “Top Australian General’s Leaked Classified Briefing Says War With China A High Likelihood’“, ZeroHedge, May 4, 2021

Nicole Hao and Cathy He, “Chinese Leader Xi Jinping Lays Out Plan to Control Global Internet: Leaked Documents“, Epoch Times, May 5, 2021

Tom Pyman and Mark Nicol, “China Was Preparing for a Third World War with Biological Weapons – Including Coronavirus – SIX Years Ago, According to Dossier Produced by the People’s Liberation Army in 2015 and Uncovered by the US State Department“, Daily Mail, May 8, 2021

As you should know by now, our “fearless” faux president, Joseph RobinHood Biden Jr., is in thrall to China.

You have been warned.

Is a Reckoning at Hand?

If it is, it will arrive on two fronts: political and economic.

On the political front, Conrad Black and Victor Davis Hanson are (sort of) optimistic that the left’s audacious power-grab will fail. A recent op-ed by Black at Epoch Times ends with this:

But we are almost at the point where this administration’s attempt to revolutionize American elections by practically abolishing any verification process for ballots and turning election day into a weeks-long orgy of ballot-harvesting, while packing the Senate and the Supreme Court and gagging congressional minorities, will collide with public opposition to all of these measures.

In those circumstances, the Supreme Court, its attempt at appeasement of the Democrats by abdicating as head of a co-equal third branch of government having failed, might also reassert the legitimacy of the Constitution.

A turning in the road is almost at hand.

Hanson’s view complements Black’s:

We are becoming cynical 1980s Eastern Europeans who quietly scoffed at their daily government news. And this is step one to a repudiation of the lies we have been living with—that masks were necessary outdoors even for those fully vaccinated; that derelict, sexual harasser Andrew Cuomo is a noted author, Emmy-winner and national icon rather than a reckless sexual-harasser and responsible for needless death and misery by his unhinged long-term facilities policies; that Oprah, LeBron, and the Obamas are genuine voices of what it is like to be oppressed in America, and all the subsidiary untruths: the “brave” former intelligence officials who signed campaign-sensitive affidavits seconding Joe Biden’s insistence that Hunter’s laptop was a Russian disinformation trick; that Trump scoffed at “proof” that Russians put bounties on Americans in Afghanistan as they were appease;, and that Joe Biden has no cognitive issues and never did, at least of the sort that prompted his predecessor to take cognitive tests and draw the attention of a Yale psychiatry professor to diagnose him as unhinged in absentia.

In sum, the woke movement daily, hourly, second-by-second hinges on untruth, from the 1619 canard to America is systemically racist. And the number who spot the lies is beginning to outnumber the number who lives by them—which means the Revolution is likely to follow the Jacobin rather than Bolshevik fate.

On the economic front, the huge increase in government spending over the past two years — which Biden wants to perpetuate — will bear rotten fruit.

Here is the increase, in perspective:


Derived from Bureau of Economic Affairs, Table 1.1.5 Gross Domestic Product (billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted at annual rates) and Table 3.1. Government Current Receipts and Expenditures (billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted at annual rates)

As I have amply documented, government spending doesn’t “multiply”. If fact, it “divides”; that is, it causes real GDP to decline because government spending (and the regulatory activities funded by it) result in the transfer of resources from productive private uses to unproductive and counterproductive government uses, while also discouraging business expansion and productive investments in capital formation.

The bottom line is that a sustained increase in the share of GDP spent by government from about 33 percent (the average for the 10 years before the recent surge) to about 45 percent (the average for the recent surge) would cause a long-term reduction 4 percent of real GDP. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, consider that it would be the equivalent of a Great Recession that lasts for years on end instead of two or three years.

Voters flocked to the Democrat Party in the 1930s because they believed (mistakenly) that it — and especially FDR’s “New Deal” — would rescue them from the Great Depression. Voters will flock the the GOP in the 2020s if the Democrat Party remains stubbornly “woke” and persists in economic policies that impoverish them.

And if voters fail to switch in droves, it will prove the wisdom of the Framers’ (long-abandoned) Constitution, which was designed to prevent demagogues from pillaging the nation.


Related reading:

Victor Davis Hanson, “Are Americans Becoming Sovietized?“, The Daily Signal, May 6, 2021
Patricia McCarthy, “Aldous Huxley Foresaw Our Despots — Fauci, Gates, and Their Vaccine Crusaders“, American Thinker, May 5, 2021
Jeffrey A. Tucker, “Is the U.S. Economy a Virtual Reality?“, AIER, May 2, 2021

Related post: Turning Points

The Fed and Business Cycles, Revisited

This post updates “The Fed and Business Cycles” of June 11, 2011.

The following graphs depict the length of expansions and contractions (and the trends in both), before and since the creation of the Federal Reserve System in December 1913.



Source: “Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions,” National Bureau of Economic Research.
Note: The logarithmic scale on the vertical highlights proportional changes in the lengths of business cycles.

The creation of the Fed might have had a hand in the lengthening of expansions and the shortening of contractions, but many other factors have been at work.

What the graphs don’t depict is the relative severity of the various contractions. It is worth noting that the worst of them all — the Great Depression — occurred after the creation of the Fed and, in part, because of actions taken by the Fed. (A note to the history-challenged: The Great Depression began in September 1929 and ended only because of America’s entry into World War II.) Moreover, the worst downturn since the Great Depression — the Great Recession — was clearly the work of the Fed, in unwitting(?) complicity with the politicians who insisted on expanding home ownership through subprime loans.

In any event, the long-run cost of economic stability has been high. (See this, this, and this, for example.)

Biden: Not Knocking Their Socks Off

It comes as no surprise that Biden isn’t enjoying a post-inaugural “honeymoon” with the mass of voters. It is evident that he is intent on screwing them with higher taxes, higher energy prices, and special treatment of illegal immigrants, blacks, and gender-confused persons.

Compare and contrast Biden’s performance relative to the performances of Obama and Trump according to a measure that I devised in the early days of Obama’s presidency. I call it the enthusiasm ratio, which I derive from the Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, published by Rasmussen Reports. It is the number of likely voters expressing strong approval as a percentage of the number of likely voters expressing either approval or disapproval. That is, the ratio omits likely voters who express neither approval nor disapproval, and focuses on strong approval rather than mere approval.

Here’s the comparison:

Trump’s slow start can be chalked up to the phony Trump-Russia scandal and the incessant flow of negative stories about “chaos” in the Trump White House, both of which plagued his first months in office. Despite that slow start, Trump’s support then became — and remained — much stronger than Obama’s. It remained stronger even during the pandemic panic and the bizarre post-election months, when Trump was roasted for daring to assert (correctly, I believe) that the election was stolen from him.

Biden’s early returns are as weak as Trump’s, but the lack of enthusiasm for Biden is self-inflicted, not media-generated.

A 100-Day Scorecard

On January 6, 2021, in “Here We Go … “, I essayed 17 predictions about changes Democrats would attempt to consolidate their grip on America and make it over into a European-style “social democracy” with the added feature of subservience to China and Russia. As I said in the original post, not every item on the list will be adopted, but it won’t be for want of trying.

How are my predictions panning out? Quite well, sadly.

Judge for yourself. Here they are:

1. Abolition of the Senate filibuster.

2. An increase of at least two seats on the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC), though there may be some vacancies to be filled.

3. Adoption of an interstate compact by states controlling a total of at least 270 electoral votes, committing each member state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who compiles the most popular votes nationwide, regardless of the outcome of the popular vote in each state that is a party to the compact. (This may seem unnecessary if Biden wins, but it will be a bit of insurance against the possibility of a Republican victor in a future election.)

4. Statehood for either the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico, or for both of them. (Each would then have two senators and a requisite number of representatives with full voting privileges in their respective bodies. All of them will be Democrats, of course.)

5. Empowerment of the executive branch to do at least three of the following things:

a. Regulate personal and business activity (in new ways) with the expressed aim of reducing CO2 emissions.

b. Commit at least $500 billion in new obligational authority for research into and/or funding of methods of reducing and mitigating CO2 emissions.

c. Issue new kinds of tax rebates and credits to persons/households and businesses that spend money on any item on a list of programs/technologies that are supposed to reduce CO2 emissions.

d. Impose tax penalties on persons/households and businesses for their failure to spend money on any item in the list mentioned above (shades of the Obamacare tax penalty).

e. Impose penalties on persons/households and businesses for failing to adhere to prescribed caps on CO2 emissions.

f. Establish a cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions (to soften the blow of the previous item). (Needless to say, the overall effect of such initiatives would deal a devastating blow to economic activity – meaning massive job losses and lower real incomes for large swaths of the populace.)

6. Authorization for an agency or agencies of the federal government to define and penalize written or spoken utterances that the agency or agencies declare “unprotected” by the First Amendment, and to require media enforcement of bans on “unprotected” utterances and prosecution of violators (e.g., here). (This can be accomplished by cynically adopting the supportable position that the First Amendment protects only political speech. The purported aim would be to curb so-called hate speech, but when censorship is in full swing — which would take only a few years — it will be illegal to criticize or question, even by implication, such things as illegal immigration, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, anthropogenic global warming, the confiscation of firearms, or the policies of the federal government. Violations will be enforced by fines and prison sentences — the latter sometimes called “sensitivity training”, “citizenship education”, or some other euphemistic term. Candidates for public office will be prime targets of the enforcers, which will suppress open discussion of such matters.)

7. Imposition of requirements for organizations of all kinds — businesses, universities, charitable organizations, clubs, and even churches — to favor anyone who isn’t a straight, white male of European descent. (The “protections” will be enacted, upheld, and enforced vigorously by federal agencies, regardless of their adverse economic and social effects.)

8. Effective nullification of the Second Amendment through orders/regulations/legislation, to enable gun confiscation (though there will be exemptions for private security services used by favored elites).

9. Use of law-enforcement agencies to enforce “hate speech” bans, mandates for reverse discrimination, and gun-confiscation edicts. (These things will happen regardless of the consequences; e.g., a rising crime rate, greater violence against whites and Asians, and flight from the cities and near-in suburbs. The latter will be futile, anyway, because suburban and exurban police departments will also be co-opted.)

10. Criminalization of “sexual misconduct”, as it is defined by the alleged victim, de facto if not de jure. (Investigations and prosecutions will be selective, and aimed mainly at straight, white males of European descent and dissidents who openly criticize this and other measures listed here.)

11. Parallel treatment for the “crimes” of racism, anti-Islamism, nativism, and genderism. (This will be in addition to the measures discussed in #7.)

12. Centralization in the federal government of complete control of all health care and health-care related products and services, such as drug research, accompanied by “Medicare and Medicaid for All” mandates. (Private health care will be forbidden or strictly limited, though — Soviet-style — there will be exceptions for high officials and other favored persons. Drug research – and medical research, generally – will dwindle in quality and quantity. There will be fewer doctors and nurses who are willing to work in a regimented system. The resulting health-care catastrophe that befalls most of the populace will be shrugged off as necessary to ensure equality of treatment, while ignoring the special treatment accorded favored elites.)

13. Revitalization of the regulatory regime (which already imposes a deadweight loss of 10 percent of GDP). A quantitative measure of revitalization is an increase in the number of new rules published annually in the Federal Register by at least 10 percent above the average for 2017-2020.

14. Proposals for at least least two of the following tax-related initiatives:

a. Reversal of the tax-rate cuts enacted during Trump’s administration.

b. Increases in marginal tax rates for the top 2 or 3 income brackets.

c. Imposition of new taxes on wealth.

15. Dramatic enlargement of domestic welfare programs. Specifically, in addition to the creation of “Medicare and Medicaid for All” programs, there would be a “fix” for Social Security that mandates the payment of full benefits in the future, regardless of the status of the Social Security Trust Fund (which will probably be abolished). (Initiatives discussed in #5, #7, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, and #15 would suppress investment in business formation and expansion, and would disincentivize professional education and training, not to mention work itself. All of that would combine to push the real rate of economic growth toward a negative value.)

16. Reduction of the defense budget by at least 25 percent, in constant dollars, by 2031 or sooner. (Eventually, the armed forces will be maintained mainly for the purpose of suppressing domestic uprisings. Russia and China will emerge as superpowers, but won’t threaten the U.S. militarily as long as the U.S. government acquiesces in their increasing dominance and plays by their economic rules.)

17. Legalization of all immigration from south of the border, and the granting of citizenship to new immigrants and the illegals who came before them. (The right to vote, of course, is the right that Democrats most dearly want to bestow because most of the newly-minted citizens can be counted on to vote for Democrats. The permanent Democrat majority will ensure permanent Democrat control of the White House and both houses of Congress.)


If you’re keeping up with the news, you will know that almost all of those actions are underway or clearly telegraphed by official statements. It’s hard to chosse the most chilling of those statements, but the one that clearly reveals Biden’s totalitarian urge is his campaign against “white supremacy as domestic terrorism”. This will morph into the suppression of anyone who dares question the doctrine that blacks are where they are because of white racism, and not because of their generally inferior intelligence and cultural traits, or anyone who questions the justice of racial discrimination when it favors blacks. Stay tuned.