Recently the Panel has discussed the lack of economic discussion on the site. I’m no economist, and considering how we’re all socialists now, its important to learn a few practical things about economics outside of a theoretical framework. I’m going to start with a few basics: currency, inflation/deflation, interest rates, and central bank easing.
Ideological swaps have a common tendency: first, you experience a marked increase in positive feelings and energy towards your new ideology. Second, you disassociate yourself with your previous ideology and sling mud at it. You can’t take it seriously, so even if you have decent critiques of it, the best you can come up with–if you try at all–is a series of strawmen.
This is not that.
This is going to be a critique of Why Should We Restrict Immigration? a paper written by the economist Bryan Caplan that was published in winter 2012 edition of the Cato Journal, which is published by the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute. In the paper, Caplan attempts to show that all the common arguments in favor of restricting immigration are flawed and that restricting immigration is an unjust thing for a country to do.
SWPL-Down Economics refers to the idea that, thanks to material abundance (at the expense of vassals both foreign and domestic), high-brow SWPL preferences become affordable and accessible to the mass.
The libertarians are wont to view the result of SDE as a desirable “fruition” of man’s efforts. They do this because they champion an ideology that reduces man to a walking alimentary canal. That is to say, libertarians are liberals with a more pedantic vocabulary. This of course echoes the intellectual efforts of a previous generation.
It totally happened then, too.
Today’s subject comes from Huffington Post:
Few cities in the U.S. embody the growing divide between rich and poor quite like New York and San Francisco. In just the past 20 years, both have changed from economically diverse melting pots to exclusive playgrounds for the rich.
The change is clear in striking new visualizations from the U.S. Census Bureau, crunching data from its latest American Community Survey of population and income.
Huffpo’s Kevin Short intended this article and it’s massaged presentation of wealth disparity ($75k is a low number) to be argument fodder for the mainstream, more gaudy pablum for a bumper sticker bourgeo-tariat. Blahblah growing divide between the rich and poor. Muh capitalism, muh fairness, ad nauseum.
I want you, dear reader, to instead take note of the subtle and devastating implication that even entrenched liberal pundits like Short cannot help to avoid.
This is a response to the butthurt that occurred after Northman’s recent article Women Should Hate Freedom.
In theory libertarianism is all about capitalism and the free market, both of which are dominated by white males. Men make more money than women. Women are terrible at economics and math. Despite much of society’s resources dedicated to the task of gender egalitarianism, women still fail at economics and math. This is an empirical fact. It has been shown that most women are unfamiliar with even the most basic economic concepts needed to make saving and investment decisions.
So, according to Tucker, the “fullness of (humanity’s) fruits” is being trampled by high time preference-types for a $200 Playstation 3. Most of them are buying these deals on credit, as well. I’m sure our ancestors are proud.
Dear Jeffrey Tucker,
I’m very sorry that you live in a society where notions like “productivity” and “mutual service” cannot be rationally advanced on a masturbatory social media outlet like facebook.
Let me begin by stating that I believe everyone reading this article will at least share my desire for a more orderly and prosperous society than what currently exists in the West today. With that said, my criticisms and considerations are mainly directed at libertarians.
I should preface that I myself have been a libertarian since 2007 or so. I supported Ron Paul in 2008 and would have liked to have seen him get the GOP nomination at least in 2012. Besides that I have read, watched and studied libertarian ideology since then, so don’t believe a return criticism that can be leveled at me is, “he just doesn’t understand libertarianism!” In fact, it is my understanding of the subject that informs these criticisms.
Libertarians desire a society that has more personal liberty, economic freedom and less “nanny state” molestation of the individual. These are indeed admirable goals, but their ways of achieving these are mistaken. Many think this can be done through either nonviolence and the non-aggression principle, or a sort of Fabian philosophical drift.
Seeing nothing new under the sun, I’ve come to think, as The Joker put it, “that is the one rule you’ll have to break to know the truth.” To paraphrase him, the only sensible way to live in this world and achieve your goals is not through the absence of rules(ers), but by not allowing everyone to decide on the rules.
Drive through most any town in the United States, and you will notice a recurrent theme, our societal leitmotif: at least one street (usually several) blighted by, sacrificed to, consumptive postmodernism.
Large and gaudy signs, unimaginative architecture, mass-produced imagery, welfare disguised as diversionary hourly make-work (Now hiring 4th assistant manager!). All of this designed for the singular, mechanical, amoral purpose of pandering already obsolescent shit to an ever lower common denominator.