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2023-03-28 09:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 461 references Ignore this thread
On Incentives And Ridiculous Tropes *
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Friedman famously claimed that world "free trade", which he fully knew would begin with Chinese and Mexicans earning 1/20th or less of their American counterparts, would almost-immediately begin to normalize wages over there.  That is, having "tasted freedom" the workers would essentially force companies to pay competitive world wages and their standard of living would wildly improve.  This would turn them into consumers of the very same products they produced and thus greatly expand the economy as a whole.  While he acknowledged this distribution would not be even the premise was that the great improvement generally would outweigh any modest declines in established markets.

He was wrong.  NAFTA was passed and what Ross Perot said would be the case turned out to be true; wages in Mexico did not normalize with America.  We offshored labor to Bangladesh and Vietnam for textiles and nearly everything to China and wages did not normalize with the western world over there.

Likewise in many American cities in the 50s and 60s we built "projects" for low-income housing.  Cabrini Green was one of the most-notorious of course but hardly the only one.  Some of these were constructed to house displaced people during the Eisenhower Expressway system construction through major cities, but hardly all had that as their excuse.  These places turned into hotbeds of crime, drugs and squalor, and we were told it was the concentration that was the problem; dispersing said people with Section 8 vouchers all over the urban and suburban landscape would cause them to experience good culture instead of bad and thus adopt the good elements, at least in part.

That's not what happened.  Instead the "bad culture" expanded wildly into the urban and suburban school districts, destroying the quality of education for everyone.  The drugs, thuggery and similar nonsense expanded there too, along with the criminal element that inevitably comes with all of it.

Joe Biden nominated Kato Crews for a federal district judgeship.  Crews, who is currently a magistrate judge, was asked during his confirmation hearing how he'd evaluate a Brady motion.  He did not know what it is yet it forms one of the pillars of due process of law and any graduate of law school or person who passed the bar would know this.  Therefore it is fact that irrespective of any alleged credential he may have that allegedly "qualifies" him to be a lawyer -- or judge -- he never actually learned any of that material and thus did not actually earn the credential; how did he manage to get that seat?

Obviously Kato Crews' cultural values do not include actually mastering material before being given a credential, a rather basic precept in any honest society.

That people who fail this basic test are not and will not be immediately removed from any position of power and authority, no matter who they are, points directly toward an impending collapse in our nation's capacity to deliver all manner of things that are utterly-reliant on basic competence.  To refuse to demand ALL said persons' removal and back up that demand with whatever is necessary is a choice our society has made and it has consequences you are not going to like.

South Africa infamously had an "apartheid" government structure for 43 years; black people were formally and legally disadvantaged, unable to be treated as equals despite being in the majority of the population, from 1948 to 1994.  The nation, despite formal and legal segregation had a functional economy and government structure.  In the 25 years since that system was formally ended the nation has essentially devolved into gang violence, thuggery and is teetering on the collapse of basic goods and services such as production of basic foodstuffs (farming), electricity and water supply.  Please explain how, if there was no cultural or other significant difference whether in capacity or culture between the two groups this occurred and for extra credit please explain why anyone should consider assistance of any sort to this nation when the majority of the people there, who demanded equality and got it, are in fact fully and completely responsible for this breakdown in the basics of any civilized society and economy.

MASHELE: You've got a political crisis, which started in 1997, where the then-CEO of Eskom alerted government and told them that, if we do not get additional capacity in, we are going to start load shedding from 2007, which is exactly what happened.

Post-apartheid the electrical system operator warned the government that if they did not act to incentivize infrastructure and investment this would happen.  The newly-empowered majority government did nothing of the sort -- with fully ten years of fair warning -- and thus collapse it is.

Lest you think I'm bagging on people because of their race -- nope.  I'm bagging on people because of their culture and unwillingness to accept that which is when it comes to physical fact and deal with it.  Biden and his family anyone?  A wife in the family who gets a "payment" for no service of note?  A son who likes to smoke meth and, it appears, shower with underage girls in the family, never mind all manner of apparently-corrupt business dealings in multiple nations, being paid huge sums of money when he has zero relevant business or operational experience in the fields at hand.  This man winds up President, which tells me everything I need to know about the culture of this nation, particularly when his opponent in the other major political party just got done paying hospitals bonuses in the amount of tens of thousands of dollars per-person for procedures we knew did not work against a novel viral threat -- even when the patient died.

That is functionally equivalent to the Palestinians sending family members $10,000 when one of their sons wears a suicide vest and blows up a bunch of Israelis.  If that is an unacceptable act worthy of United States and international sanction tell me why the man who paid hospitals bonuses when they used known worthless treatments on your Grandmother and she died just had a huge crowd show up to cheer him on for a second Presidential run instead of running that rat bastard out of town?

When both major political parties post up candidates such as this and the people through their representative processes allow, enable and cause that to happen the cultural problem resides in us.

The instant rhetoric whenever someone engages in a school shooting is "ban guns."  How about banning thugs, virtually all of whom self-identify before the final incident?  We just had that happen in Denver, did we not?  I don't care how old you are or aren't or what race, sex or other "tribe" you belong to; if you're violent and disruptive you have no right to destroy the rights of others under some rubric of "equity."

You know, this thing called "The Rule of Law" which says when you demonstrate you're unfit to be in polite society through your actions we put you somewhere where you can't harm peaceful citizens.

I think they're called "prisons", but I could be mistaken.

There have always been thugs among humanity who, given the opportunity, will take advantage of others.  This is not new.  There have also always been narcissists among humanity who are absolutely certain they are the most-important person in the universe.

Positions of power attract these people just like crap attracts flies.

The entire reason we have an alleged "Rule of Law" and no "Divine Right Of Kings" in this nation, and such was ensconced in the Constitution of the United States is that history has shown repeatedly over more than two thousand years that as soon as you allow any group to be exempt from said laws the thugs are attracted there and you wind up with abused and dead people by the score.

Tell me again how Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted and imprisoned for sexually trafficking minors, managed to be convicted for that crime when not one person to whom she trafficked said minors to has been indicted, tried or imprisoned?  Its rather difficult to traffic minors for sex without someone consuming that service and in each and every case doing so is a serious felony.  If you believe the only person she "trafficked" them to was Epstein you're a few cans short of a sixpack; the flight logs from his aircraft make quite clear an awful lot of people were flying around on that plane, nearly all of them men and underage girls, and in addition no plausible legal explanation for where he got all of his money from has surfaced.  So where are the other prosecutions, convictions and imprisonments?  You see we still have "The Divine Right of Kings" don't we, and we, as Americans, have not sacked our government for continuing that practice despite it being the very reason this nation exists and why we shot all those British soldiers, ejecting them from America!

I'm supposed to be mad enough to ban guns over the shooting in Nashville despite the fact that a gun in the hands of a non-thug at that instant in time ended the slaughter?  At the same time 107 people, as of 3/20/2023 were shot and killed this year in Chicago, all but two of whom were apparently killed by thugs (the other two were, it appears, legitimate police stops of a thug-in-process.

The shooter in Nashville was apparently a 28 year old woman and the "early reports" were that she was apparently "in her teens."  Oh really?  Why isn't her name all over the place if she was known to be 28 years old and since when is a 28 year old apparently "in her teens"?

Then we find out -- the shooter, according to the Nashville cops, identified as a man and so gee, was biologically a woman. A copy of a social media profile with pronouns has been found.  Gee, no culture problem there right?  I get it, you didn't like being born with a slot between your legs instead of a hose.  I didn't like being born a dude who wasn't really all that good at hand-eye coordination sports because my right eye isn't as good as my left and thus, for example, I will never be any good at hitting a pitched baseball, but there's no "bionic" replacement so there's also nothing I can do about it as I was born this way.

I didn't go shoot up a school because I sucked at baseball when I was a kid nor did I demand people coddle me because I couldn't process an incoming baseball fast enough to accurately swing a bat at it.  Not do I have a right to play in the Major Leagues even though, no matter how much effort I put into training, I will never be capable of hitting a fastball.  Ever.

We all have something we'd rather be different.  The cultural difference between "well, that's how the cookie crumbles; I have to figure out how to deal with it" and "this is reason to scream, shout, demand accommodations and then go kill a bunch of people" is, well, rather profound.


Rational response (this is who I am, like it or not, so I have to deal with it and figure out how to be ok with it) or kowtowing to the screaming demands of those who, when they don't get what they wish they were and can never be or have, turn rabid?


Biden's administration immediately tried to frame this as yet more "gun control" nonsense which is a nice attempt from deflection from the fact that he and his administration have funded the slaughter of tens of thousands of people in and around Ukraine which incidentally shielded wild-eyed corruption over there, was a direct beneficiary of our corruption of their political process and then "demanded" literal tanks in the streets -- and got them, from us.

Oh, never mind the LIE that there is no objective reality with it comes to things you cannot change and are fixed at the moment of conception too.

Why do I bring this up specifically?

Because its really all part of the same issue.  Prior to 1968 you could literally buy a gun out of the Sears Catalog by mail order and have it delivered to your door by the post office.  There was an entire section in the "wish catalog" that came out every fall before Christmas; I remember that catalog as a boy since the back part of it was Christmas toys.

Yet there was no such problem.  Indeed it was common for boys to have a shotgun in the rack of the back of their truck in rural areas because they went hunting after school with it.

Why was there no such problem?

Because if you were a thug or decided that your specific issues meant someone else had to kowtow to you our culture was that you were not allowed to get away with that crap -- you sucked it up or not, but you could not impose your insanity on others.  Oh sure, there were exceptions -- the mob in some cities and similar -- but not in the general case.  You hit a teacher or threw a chair at her you got expelled and your parents had to deal with finding a way to get you an education at their own expense.  You got neither an IEP or a "cry room" if you were incapable of being in the same space with others and not disrupting their learning.  If they didn't or couldn't act as parents you wound up having to fend for yourself.  If that ended with you in prison for life tough crap.  If you attacked someone else you got jailed.  If you did it again you got jailed for a lot longer and you got to break rocks or make license plates as your highest and best life achievement.  If you believed you were a woman trapped in a man's body, or vice-versa, you were told to suck it up buckwheat -- your chromosomes were set at conception and there's nothing you can do about it.   If you wanted to be wild-eyed crazy that was your prerogative until and unless you committed a criminal act against someone else -- and then off to jail you went.  If you were a man but liked to dress as a woman that was fine, but we still called you "Joe" and there was nothing you could do about it and no, you could not be on the woman's track or swim team.  We did not allow a parade of people to break the law coming into the United States and if you tried that you were summarily ejected, we did not allow a river of fentanyl to flow in via said illegal border crossings and we did not coddle people who committed violent offenses against others no matter their age.

Whatever gifts and abilities, for better or worse, you were born with that's what you had.  Our culture instilled the viewpoint that you should make the best use of your unique abilities to the best of your capacity, and if you choose not to for whatever reason that was fine -- but the cost of that decision was on you and nobody else.  If you tried to make it someone else's problem you'd be told "NO!" in a firm but compassionate manner -- and if you refused to accept that answer it would be enforced if necessary.

With this culture we advanced in this nation as no other country ever has over a similar period of time.  We conquered atomic energy for peaceful purpose, we put men on the moon multiple times, we built reusable spacecraft that could fly to orbit and return and we created and distributed all manner of apparently-miraculous things, including electric lights, electricity on demand, automobiles capable of being bought by the average person's salary, calculators you could hold in your hand, computers in an office, then on your desk and finally in your pocket and more.

But then over the last several decades we decided we could instead create and nurtured culture where flat-out false claims and demands for "equality" when in fact that is impossible are tolerated and even rewarded, such as the insane "reparations" nonsense out in San Francisco, claims that a man is in fact a woman., that one is entitled to a law or other degree or diploma if one hasn't learned the material and repeatedly releasing violent accused felons on trivial or even no bail whatsoever.  Friends of mine vacationing in Nashville a few months ago were held up at gunpoint overnight in their rental by armed thugs.  To the best of my knowledge the assailants have not been caught.  Anyone care to guess whether they had priors and if so why weren't they in prison?

A couple of years ago violent bands of thugs burned and looted cities all over this nation.  How many were imprisoned for a decade for committing arson or commercial looting?  Effectively zero.  What does that tell you about how our culture has evolved to consider such thuggery nothing more than a nice night out on the town?

It is all the same thing through this article and these examples -- culture.  We have enabled and celebrated thuggery in Mexico (drug gangs), China (Uyghurs, Christians, Muslims .et.al.) and right here in the United States (drug gangs, illegal immigrants slaughtering a girl in Iowa, BLM and antifa "mostly-peaceful protestors" and more.)

This has extended into our government with both Trump (paying hospitals a bonus when they kill you) and Biden (mandates that had no basis in law or fact, "defund the police" out of Harris, shielding from prosecution his son for apparent criminal acts and more) never mind our Congress which has enabled repeated scams and schemes (Solyndra and all the various Covid-time period rip-offs anyone) going back decades and accelerating on an unbroken basis over the last 20+ years.  Rather than punish the funding source for the 9/11 attacks (Saudi Arabia) we instead waged war on TWO nations that had nothing to do with it (Iran and Iraq) and killed a few million children in one of them; one of the most-outrageous examples of thuggery in human history explicitly endorsed and permitted by the American people.

Spare me the crocodile tears until our culture changes and we decide, as a body politic, that this crap is going to stop -- and mean it.