Or perhaps having non-Democrats split and most of the left arrayed in opposition is too hostile an environment for the moment’s renaissance. If it’s not an idea whose time has yet come, it will. Things are going to get worse before they get better.
The Fed is the beating heart of the welfare-warfare state. Despite its existence rendering taxation as conventionally understood–on income, sales, imports, bequests–superfluous, the Overton Window on government spending is confined to whether or not said spending is worth raising taxes over. It shouldn’t be, but it is convenient for the financial classes that it is.
The last year, wherein much less than half of all federal government spending was funded through taxation, has forced the window open. The TreasureFed creates whatever it needs to fund whatever it wants to. The big banks get their hands on the new money first, for free, when its value is highest.
The dollars held by everyone else, the 99%, lose value on account of the total supply of money going up. Suppliers and retailers get grumbled at for steadily raising prices over time. They aren’t charging more in real terms, though. The dollar is just worth less. Out of necessity, average joes jump into the stock market to protect their modest savings. It is out of necessity because the Fed rewards them for doing so. That new money has to end up somewhere, and asset prices are a major destination.
That process is about to spin out of control, however, as price increases find their way into things that aren’t so benign for the financial system, like consumer goods, raw materials, and wages.
The monetarist playbook calls for raising interest rates in response, but the American economy is saddled with waaaay too much debt for that to be politically viable. Tens of millions of mortgages would go into default. The consumer economy would come to a screeching halt as borrowing for a car, a house, a living room set, a swimming pool, an education, and everything else became prohibitively expensive. The equity markets would plunge and with them boomer pensions and 401(k)s.
Instead, prices will rise. Last month’s four decade record-setting inflation figures will not be a one-off thing. They are the beginning of a painful process that will see the dollar dethroned and the American monetary standard of living decline.
This will revivify the sentiments fueling phenomena like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, and this time the anger and frustration will be much worse, concordant with how much worse the economy is in the process of becoming.
The Establishment will respond by labelling Tea Party 2.0 as insurrectionist white supremacy and by demonstrating maximal Wokeness to defang Occupy 2.0 into obeisance. Don’t fall for it. It’s worth knowing who is to blame.
Wency on how below replacement fertility, Woke Capital, and high anxiety are just some of the blessings modern status striving has given us:
If parents don’t themselves become more money-focused after having kids, even if they do spend lots of time with their kids, nearly everyone in the upper-middle class is obsessed with making their own kids career-focused. And this parental obsession with kids’ material well-being and financial success, to the exclusion of everything else, is an aggressively toxic force. This mentality seems to be a factor not only in the catastrophically small families of the present age, but also the rapid rise of Woke Capital — say anything, do anything to make it into elite corridors.
Americans nowadays simply don’t care about foreign policy that much. That was a luxury of 70%+ white America, where the economy was good, race relations weren’t as serious, demographics not as bad, culture not as pozzed and the left not as unhinged.
There’s simply no stomach for that stuff nowadays. Now its all about race, economic bankruptcy, leftist cultural and physical terrorism and elite power abuse. Sure people might say China is their enemy, but ask how many of them support going to war with China over defending Taiwan. I doubt it would be more than 20%. Same with Russia over Ukraine.
As multiple nations assert themselves within the geographic boundaries of a single country, what takes place inside that country increasingly becomes foreign policy. Caspar intends this as a lamentation, and there are obviously negative aspects to it, but there is an upside to it for much of the rest of the world. When America is collapsing in on itself, it’s not collapsing buildings in your country. A little gratitude, please!
The good doctor DanHessinMD diagnoses the underlying condition responsible for many of the symptoms our sick society is suffering with:
The central mental error of our age is the conceit that through clever application of language you can change the rules of the world.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
Continuing with pithy aphorisms, WorkingClass offers a great slogan for an American populist party to adopt–if such a thing existed:
Work and wages. Not war and welfare.
For those who want to work, wages will be nominally higher in the coming years. They’ll buy less, though. Foreign wars may end out of necessity despite the drastic reduction in welfare to the military-industrial complex that would represent. When Rome could no longer afford garrisoning troops in Britain because it needed them closer to home, they came home. The crisis of the third decade is only getting started.
A plurality of BIPOCs and of Democrats perceive social media to be fair. Pluralities of whites and of independents, and an outright majority of Republicans, see the deck stacked in favor of the left. Know thy enemy.
Curiously, nearly one-in-five Republicans perceive the tech companies to on their side. Must be a combination of Never Trumpers and Gab users!
He also appears to be one of the least ideologically driven. The Florida governor has mastered the material. When it comes to the scientific literature applicable to Covid, no other mainstream politician knows it better. Many on the dissident right mock and disdain the normie right’s celebration of liberty at the expense of other values. Whatever the merits of liberty over other values like order, though, DeSantis has delivered the former while no one in America has made much progress on the latter.
For greybeards politically conscious during the George W. Bush regime, it’s stunning to see the total embrace of the Bush and Cheney clans by the mainstream left and correspondingly encouraging to see the rejection of Bush/Cheney neoconnery by the Republican electorate.
Liz Cheney is far more popular among Democrats than she is among Republicans. The GOP’s base is running her out of the party. Good riddance. Let Democrats own military intervention in the service of global empire. As trust, competency, and currency collapse in America, allow the bipartisan political class to buckle under the weight of the problems they created.
Conservative Inc might be trying to sell its supporters on Caitlyn Jenner, but the Republicans’ grassroots isn’t buying it. Are politics in California so different from the rest of the US that Jenner has a prayer here or is the candidacy a combination of self-promotion and senility that won’t fare much better in the Golden State than it would in flyover country?
By selected demographics, the following graph compares whether the disease or the putative cure is perceived to be the greater threat. The figures are arrived at by taking the percentages identifying Covid-19 as a greater risk than adverse reactions to the Covid-19 vaccines and subtracting from it the percentages identifying the cure as a bigger problem than the disease:
Joe Rogan’s advice against vaccination for healthy people in their twenties is shared by half or more of the people it was directed towards.
If you have not yet reached forty years of age, you had not until this last month experienced the rate of consumer price increases Americans experienced in April. We have to journey all the way back to 1981 for that. How, with the labor force participation rate so low and so many jobs unfilled, can the prices of everything–including wages–be rising? Stagflation isn’t supposed to happen, especially not with so much supposed slack in the labor market!
Get used to it because things are just getting started. We’ve grown accustomed to ever-increasing debts, deficits, and asset price increases. Those things aren’t so bad.
For a lot of people, in fact, they’re quite good. They’re raising the debt ceiling again, the trade imbalance with China is getting ‘worse’, yada yada yada. Sounds like I can get a house and stuff to put in it with no money down and almost no money coming in. And you’re upset about this?
We’re now entering a period when the price increases will be concentrated in services and in non-durable goods. It’s not just buying a home that will be expensive. Buying a gallon of milk and subscribing to that streaming service are going to get expensive, too.
If you come in search of optimism, find a flicker of hope in the results by age cohort. Zoomers are by this measure the generation most opposed to the corpotocracy silencing the citizenry.
Trump did nothing to protect other voices critical of the regime during the four years he had some power to do so. If he thought by refusing to take the fight to the social media syndicate he would be spared its banhammer, he was badly mistaken. More likely it was a consequence of his general unwillingness or inability to ever follow through on any his tough talk. Whatever the reason, his permanent exile is unsurprising even if it is mildly unpopular.
Crypto currencies are infinite. Expect their value to eventually reflect that.
There can only ever be ~21 million Bitcoin, ergo it is by definition ultimately inflation-proof. But where are the limits on how many bitcoin wannabes can be introduced? There are already over 5,000 of them. Ethereum is approaching half of Bitcoin’s market cap.
A couple of other good faith questions for Bitcoin boosters and crypto enthusiasts more generally:
– To the assertion that Bitcoin is a store of value are the wild swings in its valuation. A big day for a traditional store of value like gold is a move of 2%. For cryptos, swings an order of magnitude larger than that are not uncommon. Dogecoin, which had been the fourth highest crypto in market capitalization going into the weekend, dropped 30% in a matter of hours. Does this not reveal crypto to be a class of speculative asset with huge upside and downside potential–that is, the opposite of a store of value?
– To the assertion that Bitcoin is a medium of exchange, nothing is actually priced in it. There are an increasing number of vendors who will convert to fiat the market price of Bitcoin at the time a transaction occurs, but things aren’t priced directly in cryptos. If Bitcoin is $55k, a Tesla Y goes for a Bitcoin. If Bitcoin drops 10% tomorrow though, a Tesla Y will continue to sell for $55k but will now go for 1.1 Bitcoin.
On the other side is the potential decentralization of money and ultimately the end of empire. Here’s to its continued success!
Not only wrathful on how a message of negative white identity–not negative in the vicious sense of white fragility and white guilt, but in terms of defining identity in contrast to that of another group–is so often dead on arrival:
Your opinion is a very minor one among white people. It is almost non-existent among the educated and the young. You hope to persuade them to agree with you, but you don’t even give these people the respect of acknowledging that they are not merely brainwashed or totally ignorant. Instead you tell them that their ideals are actually an aggressive war of genocide against them. Just imagine how that comes across! They support those ideals, so they obviously don’t consider it genocide. How low a regard can you hold people to think they would all love their own genocide? And then think you’ll win them over?
If you want to engage with people, you need to begin with where they are at and take their stated preferences and ideals seriously. But instead you take away all of their agency and ability to think and give it to the Jews. This is the real reason why they find your ideas so personally offensive – because they are personally offensive.
A black negative identity views blacks primarily in relation to whites. It is and continues to be viable, for better or worse (the latter in this blogger’s view), because many blacks and a substantial number of non-blacks embrace it. A white negative identity isn’t because whites don’t.
I just went back and re-read one of my favorite books, Coming Apart by Charles Murray. It starts with a prologue that gives an extensive description of the U.S. in 1963 before the massive changes that started in the later sixties. It occurred to me while reading it that wokism is an attempt to take the America of 1963 and turn it into the exact opposite. Murray says that Americans of 1963 smoked liked chimneys and drank like fish but the use of drugs was rare and exotic so if you take the reverse of that you would have widespread drug use and more restrictions on tobacco and alcohol.
The U.S. of 1963 actually had much less income inequality than the U.S. of today. The newly created wealthy elites prefer the woke America of today over the unwoke America of 1963 because going back to something like 1963 would mean the loss of a large part of that additional wealth that has been transferred up to them.
Wokeism neutralizes the progressive left by preempting their criticisms of the system with accusations of anti-wokeness. Have a problem with the CIA killing brown people overseas? Sounds like what you really have a problem with is women of color overcoming white supremacy in traditionally male spaces:
Have a problem with the largest upward transfer of wealth in the history of the world? Sounds like you’re anti-science, anti-Semitic, and homophobic:
While it perverts the left into boot-licking apologists for the corpotocracy, the intelligence agencies, the war on terror, and tech censorship, it takes for granted the high regard respectable Republicans have for business. If woke means broke, the problems will fix themselves, and if not, well, the market has spoken and who are we to argue with that? Just make sure our the value of our houses and 401(k)s keep going up and we’re on board.
The only contingent Wokeism can’t absorb is the dissident right and a handful of independent leftists like Glenn Greenwald and Jimmy Dore, but their numbers are small, their institutional support even smaller, and all the cultural guns are pointed at them if they ever manage to seriously threaten the power structure in any way.
If I was to go on my Facebook today and be honest about who I am attracted to…. conventionally attractive women, mostly younger than me, not obese etc I think I would get a lot of negative feedback. Some would shame me, others might delete me.
Now if I was to lie and say that I was gay, transexual etc I think I would get much love and support. There is something really wrong about this. Biologically normal preferences are shamed while deviant choices are praised.
Personal income in the US grew over 20% from February to March. March of 2021, the last month for which full data are available, was the most lucrative month in American history in terms of personal income–by a long shot!
To ‘finance’ this, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet approaches $8 trillion. That ‘financing’ is the only thing keeping interest rates from exploding upwards and burying the country under an unserviceable avalanche of debt, the only way of extracting the buried being the breaking of the dollar. If rates are permitted to rise, the bond and equity markets will crash, something made clear in late 2018 when the Fed attempted very tepid tightening.
The labor force participation rate, after rebounding from its Covid nadir, appears to have settled at a low level not seen since the late 1970s. Proto-UBI in the forms of extended unemployment, eviction moratoriums, and the like are politically unrescindable. There is thus no reason to expect employment to return to pre-Covid levels. The low-end labor shortages apparent throughout the economy aren’t ending, either.
Not without big increases in wages, anyway. Labor is a cost. It costs businesses significantly more to operate today than it did 18 months ago. Those costs are in the process of manifesting in higher prices for everything from haircuts to a hamburgers.
These effective labor shortages are accompanied by increasing goods shortages at every point in the supply chain. Nearly all commodity prices are trending upwards.
One notable exception has been gold. The conventional explanation for why is the assumption central banks will respond to all these price inflation indicators by raising rates, something that inversely correlates with the price of gold and other traditional inflation hedges. With the Fed and Treasury joined at the hip, the pretense of any American institution being politically independent a thing of the past, that is highly unlikely. The bankers aren’t going to do the Biden administration dirty like that, not in a million years. Central banks won’t fight inflation, they’ll surrender to it without a fight.
Why not gold, then? Cryptocurrencies are the 20-pound puppy in the room. A year ago, crypto’s global market capitalization was less than 1% that of gold. Today, it’s more than 20% of gold’s and gaining fast. Had the money that went into crypto over the last six months instead gone into gold, gold would be trading at over $2,500 an ounce.
All of these things point to substantial price inflation on the horizon. Unlike the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the Fed has no tools in its toolkit to respond to this. On the eve of that crisis, regular people were earning a 5% return on commercial money market accounts. Plunging the return from 5.0% to 0.5% provided a lot of cushion for the financial crash.
But that cushion is long gone. It’s all concrete now. Brace for impact.
The fire of racial tension must be stoked. When the flames stop licking and the embers begin to show, the regime’s corporate media arm instinctively starts rummaging around for kindling. They found that kindling in Breonna Taylor, Ahmed Arbery, and George Floyd. The were the logs tossed on the fire, a fire now burning as hot and brightly as it did when Trump was elected.
It may be impossible for this multiracial polyglot to function well but it could obviously function better than it does with the media merchants of mendacity so relentlessly peddling their blood-soaked wares.
In 2004, the General Social Survey asked respondents to identify from a list of ten the three most important personal attributes or characteristics for describing who they are. The percentages who identified “racial or ethnic background” among the top three, by, well, racial or ethnic background:
One of the major objectives of Wokeism in general and Critical Race Theory in particular is to force whites to strongly identify by their race. That identity is by mandate a cursed, cancerous one, of course, but it is important they strongly identify with it all the same. The failure to do so–to strive to live in a colorblind world, as the vast majority of white Americans did as recently as 2004, evidenced by the preceding graph–is deemed unacceptable.
This interesting module needs an update. The Great Awokening has likely pushed the white figure closer to BIPOC numbers. While the Wokeists have awakened many whites to the salience of their racial identities by screaming in their slumbering faces, it’s unclear to what extent and for how long those recently awakened whites will view their racial identities in the deplorable, irredeemable ways their abyssal persecutors demand they do.
All that talk from the GOP aimed at convincing blacks how the Democrat party keeps them on the plantation has been really effective. Party of Lincoln, freed the slaves! Frank Luntz and Karl Rove are geniuses.
The unimpressive Republican figure among conservatives is arrived at by way of only two-thirds of conservatives viewing the GOP favorably while one-third view it unfavorably. There are tens of millions of Americans on the right who are politically homeless.
My experience with actual top corporate leadership has been limited outside of extremely formal contexts, but I went to a reasonably elite MBA school, and most of my classmates went on to corporate work. None are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies yet (I follow practically the whole class on LinkedIn), but I believe some are on that path. There are some CFOs and COOs of smaller public companies now, and some have been promoted to impressive-sounding titles within middle management at various megacorps.
My sense of this class of person is that most of them have a fairly high IQ, but they’re intellectually incurious, mostly inclined to ask one question and one question only: “How is a successful businessman expected to comport himself?” and then mirror that personality as best as they can. I’ll also say they seemed to be the type of person who, at least in that stage of life, was drawn to centers of money and power, whose eyes glimmered at the bright lights of places like NYC. I already knew at that age that I wanted to be as far away from places like NYC as possible.
I met several people who had more mental horsepower than I did, but no one who was nearly as curious about the world as I was (or at least no one who was prepared to admit it). We never even talked politics, though admittedly the Great A-Wokening was just getting underway then. The culture was very surface-level, very dedicated to “Rolodex-building” as the old-timers say, so you wanted to have fun with people, not alienate them with controversy.
Wokeness has rendered it nearly impossible to strike up candid conversations with new acquaintances. For purposes of self preservation it is at the very least necessary to put out feelers. Mentioning Joe Rogan is one approach I’ve gotten a lot of utility out of. If the person recoils, talk about the weather–though even that’s a precarious subject anymore–until the first opportunity to bail on the conversation arises and then bolt. If they can’t handle an open-minded moderate liberal with a huge audience, they will be nothing but trouble.
This is unlike undergrad, where many of us were curious about the world and would get into deep conversations and debates outside class, maybe even engaging the professor outside class. In MBA school, unlike undergrad, everyone generally assumed the profs had little to teach them since they’re academics and not businesspeople.
Though again, maybe a lot of that was stage of life. Some of these people might have been more curious as undergrads, and maybe after MBA school they matured in a different direction. But I never really lost my curiosity, which might be part of what makes fatherhood so enjoyable. Sometimes I can relate better to kids and their 10,000 questions than all the adults who stopped asking any.
The vicarious experience of rediscovering the world through the eyes of a child is one of life’s greatest joys. Don’t lose your playfulness.
All the stuff about, say, body acceptance is really Mean Girls advice, on some level. They don’t do that with their own bodies, but in order to make themselves feel good-i.e, not for the other person-they’ll tell that crap to someone who might subliminally be looking for support for actual, positive changes, yet are too weak to do on their own. It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive subversion of a potential rival. If you truly care about someone, love someone, you’ll want them to become your equal, or even get better than you, rather than reserving them for permanent satellite status.
Although I am now quite withdrawn from the social and political gay world, I was heavily involved for years. My anecdotal take.
L and G often have very friendly social ties but as groups they are always in tension. For lesbian feminists, gay men are still men and just as “problematic.” Lesbians are far fewer in number than gay men but have outsized power. After all, we had to put the L first just because of that…
Adding the B was, if I recall, scoffed at by the men but supported by the women. Since so many lesbians I knew had a much more fluid erotic interest, no surprise. It was a non-event.
L G and B are all about sexual orientation, the focus of your sexual desire. And despite the effeminacy of some gay men and the mannishness of some gay women, it was males who were males who liked males and females who were females who liked females.
It was the adding of the T that turned the whole construct into a dog’s breakfast. I, a man who found the male form, head to toe, a thing of jawdropping wonder, was supposed to be part of a “community” with males who wanted to castrate themselves and have breast implants? I’d rather go to hell.
Now the only sexual link in this bizarre camp of ever-expanding letters is hostility, yes, hostility, to the idea either of binary gender or heterosexuality. It stinks and I want nothing to do with it.
LGBTQWTF: a sexual Yugoslavia.
As for the Borg-like leftist political posing and alliance, the clinging to victim status when they have won every battle, and the hostility toward masculinity outside the gym… don’t, as they say, get me started.
As previously noted, both men and women who self-identify as bisexual tend to have significantly more opposite sex partners than they have partners of the same sex as their own. For men and women who self-identify as “gay, lesbian, or homosexual”, same sex partners are overwhelmingly more common and substantially more common, respectively:
Some L and G notoriously have problems with T. How do they feel about B, though?
General Social Survey variables used: NUMMEN, NUMWOMEN, SEX, SEXORNT(1)
The median number of sexual partners among bisexuals, by sex of the respondent and the number of partners of each sex he or she has had since turning eighteen:
Is it that those who have experimented at some point with someone of the same sex who otherwise pursue members of the opposite sex describe themselves as bisexuals, while those who discover they like hitting for the other team self-describe as gay or lesbian?
GSS variables used: NUMMEN(0-989), NUMWOMEN(0-989), SEXORNT(2), SEX
The most striking thing is how much the Establishment’s bipartisan foreign policy consensus is shared by an allegedly increasingly restless, increasingly populist electorate. There are huge partisan divides on domestic issues like immigration, abortion, and race relations. But when it comes to how Americans view other countries, politics doesn’t matter nearly as much. The elites say it, the people believe it.
Republicans are moderately warmer towards Israel than Democrats; Democrats are somewhat less hostile towards China and Iran than Republicans. Beyond those modest caveats, sentiments are remarkably consistent.
Parenthetically, Heartiste chides us over YouGov’s left lean. It is duly noted, but we disagree with the assertion that in analyzing the organization’s results we are misleading readers. The method by which the organization leans left is consistent. It often–though not always–oversamples Democrats and independents while undersampling Republicans. To our knowledge, in contrast, it never oversamples Republicans. This makes the skew easy to account for.
YouGov makes no effort to hide it from those who look beyond the headline. Many people don’t, of course, and that is a problem. YouGov thus plays a part in guiding low-information news consumers to the left. Since the 2020 presidential election, it has regularly sampled voters who report backing Biden over Trump, 60% to 40%. Consequently, we rarely report results for the entire survey sample.
There is a lot of utility in the subgroup results, though. The results reliably replicate what other polling outfits probing similar things discover. It is for this reason it remains a favorite source.
In the process of sleuthing through political campaign donations by industry to show how absurd the idea that Republicans are the party of Corporate America is, we stumble across an interesting albeit small industrial category: “Pro-Israel”.
Given the pro-Palestinian sentiments among many rank-and-file Democrat voters, the influence of Christian Zionism among rank-and-file Republicans, president Trump’s antagonism towards Iran and his reneging on the nuclear deal, the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem, and the like, this must be one unusual industry where the GOP receives more in bribes and thank yous than Democrats do, right?
Nope. Democrats clobbered Republicans at the national level by a margin of 84% to 16% in 2020. MAGA is dead but MIGA is crushing it!
Because expanding the definition of marriage from being a union between two members of opposite sexes to being a union between two people had nothing to do with redefining the the parameters and expectations of the institution, this is a mere idle observation with no bearing on anything.
Unrelatedly, isn’t monogamy inherently exclusionary? Isn’t it time to end monogamous discrimination? After all, love is love. When it comes to marriage, the more the merrier!
And yes, bigot, as the definition of marriage further evolves, the slippery slope argument was and continues to be nothing more than thinly disguised concern trolling. Just bad faith with no relevance, none whatsoever.
If there is a Covid kill switch, too many deplorables are going to escape it. If refusing to take the jab is playing Russian roulette with one’s health, too many deplorables are going to… die? That doesn’t sound like an outcome that would much bother the powers that be, so it is curious there is a concerted effort by the Establishment to reach out in putatively good faith to their political obstacles: