The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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The COTW consulship includes Jay Fink:

I have thought it through more than most of my fellow white males over 45 but I don’t see giving welfare to mothers as socialism. It is something I passionately oppose, but it’s totally status quo. Everyone from a conservative Republican to a neoliberal will keep giving handouts to mothers, especially single mothers, and pretty much no one else.

I see Socialism as a system that would allow other people besides single mothers to have a safety net. This is why Bernie Sanders had appeal to me. I want one extreme or the other. Either cut off everybody or give to everyone in need.

Whether it be immigration restriction or government wealth redistribution, the best way to increase white support is to focus on fairness. For immigration, that means a moratorium. For wealth redistribution, that means UBI. Charles Murray was a couple of decades early, Andrew Yang was a couple of years so, but some version of it is coming in the future.

And Divine Right on the seeming conundrum of Bernie Sanders the politician becoming less popular from 2016 to 2020 even as his expressed political beliefs became more popular over that same time period:

There’s a lot of wiggle room between socialism and not-socialism. Mostly, it’s in how you phrase it and what specific policies you are proposing. Luckily for the U.S. (so far), the democrats have chased out all the smart, attractive and straight white males who could have sold it to the public. They are stuck with trouble-making AOCs and the like. She did a good job of sinking Bernie Sanders this year with her racist grandstanding. Turns out, people don’t like that either.

Pew, 2018: “Six-in-ten Americans say it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage, including 31% who support a “single payer” approach to health insurance, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.”

Pew, 2018: “Two-thirds of Americans favor raising federal minimum wage to $15 an hour”

Time, 2016: Most voters favor defense cuts

Pew, 2017: “Few Americans support cuts to most government programs, including Medicaid”

Right on cultural issues, left on economic ones–that’s where the prime political real estate is, guarded by establishment agents. Donald Trump pushed past the guards but was sweet talked off the plot after throwing a couple shovels of dirt. Sanders politely asked if he might build there. He was curtly rebuked and sent away. Someone is going to get in there and start building soon, though.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: COTW 
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  1. Right on cultural issues, left on economic ones–that’s where the prime political real estate is, guarded by establishment agents.

    The establishment loves “Right-Left” as a scale, because it keeps their opponents apart. We really need to use “Globalist-Populist” as the spectrum.

    Iffen, DforDoom, and myself had a recent discussion about “Globalist SJW Corporate” values:

    — I argued that this is LEFT — As it is rooted in Globalist speech control and SJW Political Correctness.
    — They argued that it was RIGHT — As it is rooted in Corporate greed.

    The “Right-Left” scale created an unnecessary conflict.

    Donald Trump pushed past the guards but was sweet talked off the plot after throwing a couple shovels of dirt.

    Those objectively looking at Trump’s record as whole see the gains.

    Trump is a President, not an Ayatollah or an Emperor. The DNC is 99%+ Globalist and the GOP still suffers from Globalist contamination (e.g. Romney). Without the backing of a Populist party, there are limits to what a President can achieve.

    Trump wasn’t talked off. He was faced with the reality that Senate confirmation of Cabinet and Judicial appointments is Constitutionally required.

    As Voltaire said, “Do not let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good.

    PEACE 😷

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    "Woke Capital" not's a bad identifier. It gets at aspects of the establishment that both the populist right (wokeness) and the populist left (capital) take big issue with.
  2. There are young people watching our leaders mishandle this COVID thing. After their lives and all of their friends’ lives are utterly ruined by our reaction to the virus—and not the virus itself, which will have no lasting major effect on most of the population’s health—they are going to demand satisfaction.

    I don’t think future political orientations will be based around the left/right, liberal/conservative, republic/democrat coins. The old disagreements will be trivial or irrelevant.

    What’s socialism when a quarter of the population might starve and go homeless without intervention from the same government that took away their jobs? Who will pretend to care about microaggressed-upon grad students when unemployment is 25%?

  3. Someone is going to get in there and start building soon, though.

    That could be Gavin Newsom, the California governor. He’s a tall, photogenic guy who has done a pretty good job of handling the coronavirus situation. Surprisingly, he’s been unusually polite in regards to Donald Trump during the whole situation. If Biden fails in 2020, Newsom might be preparing for a run in 2024 or 2028. He might be able to pull it off, too. The competition is pretty meager as this year’s primary has shown. There is also a remote chance he might be picked as a replacement for Biden at the convention should Biden waver mentally.

    The media is taking note:

    How the coronavirus crisis gave Gavin Newsom his leadership moment

    The California governor has often cast himself as a foil to Trump, but even the president has lauded his pandemic response

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/12/how-the-coronavirus-crisis-gave-gavin-newsom-his-leadership-moment

    Probably one of the ways we could get a national healthcare system is to have a guy like Newsom run on a platform of merely ensuring everyone has access to healthcare (fairness). This is easier to sell than straight-up single payer medicare for all, which implies someone is coming in and taking something away from you unfairly. The implication with the “merely ensuring” kind of platform is that voters can be swayed by assurances they may keep their private healthcare on top of the public option if they wish while the government ensures those without healthcare options have access and that it is affordable (no, we don’t already have that because many states have requirements that exclude a great many from coverage). I believe Switzerland has some kind of private / public mix like this. Even in some Asian countries you can still buy private healthcare options on top of whatever public service is available.

    Cuomo is an alternative. He’s done a good job as New York governor during the crisis. He comes off as working-class and down to earth. It’s true New York has suffered mightily, but he has a ready patsy for the whole thing: Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor. It was de Blasio who downplayed the virus in an interview with MSNBC; his underlings also told people to use the subway and attend public gatherings where the virus later spread like wildfire. Cuomo is already gearing the media to point fingers at NYC officials after this ends by publicly asking how this could have happened in NYC during his press conferences (hint: it was all de Balasio’s fault … and it sort of was). In any case, Cuomo vs. Newsom in 2024 or 2028 could be a serious contest between two big players — much more interesting than 2020. Hispanic & White liberal / West Coast vs. Black and White working-class / East Coast showdown?

    • Replies: @Buck
    Re: public/private healthcare

    The UK system is like this, it's a two-tiered affair. Everyone gets the NHS and it's pretty mediocre to downright awful in many things. It's really cheap for the user and really expensive for the taxpayer. Most Brits will defend this system because they don't really understand anything else. But the wealthy add private cover (insurance) when they don't want to bother with the wait times or rationing of the NHS or just want better service.

    We find that in America also with boutique medicine and concierge practices. This is especially true in elective type procedures. When we adopt a national system, it will quickly become multiple tiers based on wealth.
    , @Truth

    . He’s a tall, photogenic guy who has done a pretty good job of handling the coronavirus situation.
     
    ...Just ask Ronnie.
  4. Propping up single motherhood is good

    West has been a cuckold society for quite some time. Not surprised you are being taken over and replaced. This can only happen to cuckolds.

  5. Right on cultural issues, left on economic ones–that’s where the prime political real estate is, guarded by establishment agents.

    That’s been my belief for quite a while. Maybe it will now be possible. The economic fallout from the CV crisis should discredit the Economic Right for all time. And it should logically make the Social/Cultural Left seem irrelevant.

    But voters have never yet been known to behave logically and rationally. Perhaps they will this time.

    • LOL: iffen
    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    My idea of voters behaving rationally would have to include boycotting elections. Voters have never quite grasped the obvious truth that they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting, for all the difference voting makes.
  6. anon[139] • Disclaimer says:

    This guy had a good take, to wit: Bernie was never a contender, he just got an artificial bump by running against Hillary Clinton. Politics is like wrestling, and Clinton is a world-class heel, transforming Bernie into a solid babyface by default. But take her away and he’s nothing.

    Sounds about right to me

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    Though I'm not that guy, that was our take as well.
  7. You can give everyone an income and free or subsidized health care, but someone has to pay for it. The USG does not have a huge pile of saved money. Either taxpayers, or future taxpayers (if borrowed) or a slice of everyone’s assets including their retirement accounts (printing money/inflation) pay for it.

    People might think Gates Buffet Bezos Zukerburg Ellison etc. will pay for most of it but their entire combined fortunes will not cover present USG expenditures for a few months.

    If you took away half their combined net worth the United States would have lost all that invested wealth, mostly invested in productive business. Capital investment makes workers more productive. So workers will be less productive per working hour. The Fed Reserve can just create some money and invest it in capital assets? Inflation would make business investment and planning harder. During the great inflation of the 70’s we had stagnation along with the inflation, stagflation.

    Luckily the USG has a few trillion dollars worth of real property (the majority of the land out west). So it could run debt up giving away everything for 20 years and then sell its assets to pay off the debt. Then the budget cuts. “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”

    • Thanks: Mr. XYZ
    • Replies: @Not my economy
    Don’t forget the other option

    We could conquer and seize wealth from other nations.
    , @RadicalCenter
    All fair points that many of our lefty friends haven’t adequately considered, sir.

    But two points.

    First point: it won’t be hard to raise over $1 Trillion immediately, and $2 to $2.5 Trillion per year in time, without any new general taxes or tax increase, without structural change to our property system, and without more borrowing:

    1. Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget. Our 700-plus bases abroad alone cost $156 billion in 2016, thus likely at least $175 billion in 2021. Closing 4/5 of those bases would save $130 billion by itself.

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products. A rapidly growing market with huge States like Texas, Florida, and New York yet to legalize (New Jersey with its nine million people coming soon).

    3. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300 billion per year, from a fed excise tax of 20-25% on remittances of cash to recipients in foreign countries

    4. More than half a trillion dollars per year by raising the fed income tax rate to 40% on the top one percent (The portion of household annual income above $500,000 in 2021) and raising the rate to 60% on annual household income above say $25 million (top one tenth of one percent of people).

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year. That way, the new fed revenue is larger than the new fed expense, and the fed gov deficit decreases slightly as a result.). Note that the great majority of US Citizens would not pay any of the new taxes proposed, nor would they suffer from the big cuts in war and inflated-procurement spending.

    , @RadicalCenter
    Second point: my proposal above was to fund a universal basic income with huge military cuts, big tax hikes on the elite, and two targeted excise taxes that don’t affect 80% of the US Citizenry. No structural change to our ownership system.

    But now consider structural change to the ownership system in our crooked economy. One structural change that can yield enough revenue for a big UBI is taking our God-given natural resources back from the tiny elite who claim to “own” it. The oil, gas, metals, minerals, and water under our land should be publicly owned.

    There is no good reason for one in a thousand people to own these resources and turn around and charge us an arm and a leg for them. That’s the owners, major shareholders, and executives of energy corporations.

    Just as Alaska provides a small annual resource dividend check to its citizens, we could do the same on a much larger scale for all us citizens with revenue from the resources listed above.

    (While we are at it, prohibit the export of drinkable water, the ultimate life-and-death natural resource. We die without it in a few days. It’s dangerous to let companies send it abroad for profit in an over populated world where people will be competing ever more fiercely for clean water.)
    , @RadicalCenter
    How about an alternative to a UBI that would help tens of millions of Americans just as much: establish a public bank and lend directly to US Citizens, cutting profiteer banks out of the loop.

    Imagine the lives of American families and small businessmen if their mortgages, small business loans, student loans, vehicle loans, and medical debt were all refinanced at ZERO percent.

    Unlike proposals for an outright debt jubilee or forgiveness, this proposal doesn’t free borrowers from all consequence for their decisions and behavior. It requires people to pay back what they borrowed, just without crushing interest that constrains their life options and makes them live in fear every day. Creditors would get back all their principal — and without any administrative or collections costs at that.

    If necessary to minimize the burden on the federal taxpayer, charge a minimal processing fee (payable up front or rolled into the loan) or one quarter of one percent interest.
  8. Anon[375] • Disclaimer says:

    The mainstream right has been horribly out-of-touch for a long time now.

    I will assume that the right-wing in the USA is a convoluted reaction to liberalism, and that the reaction to liberalism is necessitated by the terror of racial amalgamation and atheism to many whites and white Christians (white racists and white Christians are not necessarily the same groups).

    The mainstream right is about 3rd path solutions to white or Christian interests. Just allow self-segregated small businesses and charter schools and Christian schools etc. so that these groups can flourish in separate spheres! Oh yeah, and push for “small government” so that you can have enough money left over to run your private schools, churches, fake universities, weak businesses etc. The general thrust of these 3rd path solutions must be anti-sociality, because the society is secular and therefore e-Christianizing, and anti-racist and therefore amalgamation-inducing.

    And now, right-wing-ishness has taken on a life of its own. Needless to say, it will die with the Boomers. Young people have no patience for this insanity.

    But what about people like me? I don’t want White Erasure, though I could care less about Christianity or right-wing politics. I don’t like the de-people-ing of the world. The world will have no “peoples” in the ideal global liberal system, just individuals who hopefully find a career that excites them, which can bring meaning to their life (there is not much else beyond that in this system). It will be the flourishing of ego at the expense of fraternity. What are people like me to do?

    • Replies: @UK
    You have identified two of the ways in which people exercise freedom to live their life as they want rather than in a one size fits all way. I suppose you did so because one of these is important to you, but there are many, many more. You might have the imagination to consider this before trying to hand waive in the removal of that freedom.
  9. anon[265] • Disclaimer says:

    One of the worst things a government can do is pay people to do nothing. There should be a constitutional amendment or something…

    Instead, a safety net would look like this:
    https://www.morganwarstler.com/post/44789487956/guaranteed-income-choose-your-boss-the-market

    TLDR: it’s Friedman’s negative income tax combined with an online labor auction. We just need a Texas mayor to go to the governor and get an exemption similar to what is done with waitresses.

    The rules for doling out the welfare vary by jurisdiction and sometimes recipients are required to look for work. My plan a few years ago was to classify recipients in these areas as volunteers to circumvent the minimum wage laws — not so easy under the FLSA!

  10. It’s pretty interesting to look at an Ngram of the terms “far right, center right, center left, far left.”

    One thing becomes apparent straightaway: they are not dispassionate categorizing labels. It’s not like they are trying to tally the numbers of different colored M&Ms in a jar. Count out the “far rights” and label them “far right”, etc.

    It actually reminds me something of an antibody response. Like the label “far-right” is meant to be an antibody to latch onto non-establishment bodies and activate the compliment pathway to punch holes into them, lysing them.

  11. Outsourcing the economy created large numbers of people who can no longer support themselves. Of course they want to be taken care of. Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.
     
    Nice idea but there are four problems.

    1) Employers will respond by demanding a massive increase in immigration to provide the very cheap labour that would be required to make the factories economically viable.

    2) The new factories will be so heavily automated that they will provide only a small number of jobs anyway.

    3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment. People are going to be very unhappy. Retailers will be unhappy as well since sales levels will fall. I think you're underestimating the extent to which people really really want low prices.

    4) Tariffs will be necessary and the countries affected by the tariffs (which will be all Asian countries, not just China) will naturally retaliate. They will retaliate politically as well as economically.

    What you're proposing is to turn back the clock. It's not that easy to do. It's not the 1950s any more.
    , @anon
    Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.

    Factories in the current year don't look the same as they did 25 years ago. There's a higher technical standard to meet.

    Recall that the Texas maker of n95 masks described on of his machines as rather expensive and about the size of a bus. He wouldn't want just anyone operating that piece of equipment.

    Automation is everywhere, not just in the paint booth on auto assembly lines.
  12. @Divine Right

    Someone is going to get in there and start building soon, though.
     
    That could be Gavin Newsom, the California governor. He's a tall, photogenic guy who has done a pretty good job of handling the coronavirus situation. Surprisingly, he's been unusually polite in regards to Donald Trump during the whole situation. If Biden fails in 2020, Newsom might be preparing for a run in 2024 or 2028. He might be able to pull it off, too. The competition is pretty meager as this year's primary has shown. There is also a remote chance he might be picked as a replacement for Biden at the convention should Biden waver mentally.

    The media is taking note:

    How the coronavirus crisis gave Gavin Newsom his leadership moment

    The California governor has often cast himself as a foil to Trump, but even the president has lauded his pandemic response

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/12/how-the-coronavirus-crisis-gave-gavin-newsom-his-leadership-moment
     
    Probably one of the ways we could get a national healthcare system is to have a guy like Newsom run on a platform of merely ensuring everyone has access to healthcare (fairness). This is easier to sell than straight-up single payer medicare for all, which implies someone is coming in and taking something away from you unfairly. The implication with the "merely ensuring" kind of platform is that voters can be swayed by assurances they may keep their private healthcare on top of the public option if they wish while the government ensures those without healthcare options have access and that it is affordable (no, we don't already have that because many states have requirements that exclude a great many from coverage). I believe Switzerland has some kind of private / public mix like this. Even in some Asian countries you can still buy private healthcare options on top of whatever public service is available.

    Cuomo is an alternative. He's done a good job as New York governor during the crisis. He comes off as working-class and down to earth. It's true New York has suffered mightily, but he has a ready patsy for the whole thing: Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor. It was de Blasio who downplayed the virus in an interview with MSNBC; his underlings also told people to use the subway and attend public gatherings where the virus later spread like wildfire. Cuomo is already gearing the media to point fingers at NYC officials after this ends by publicly asking how this could have happened in NYC during his press conferences (hint: it was all de Balasio's fault ... and it sort of was). In any case, Cuomo vs. Newsom in 2024 or 2028 could be a serious contest between two big players -- much more interesting than 2020. Hispanic & White liberal / West Coast vs. Black and White working-class / East Coast showdown?

    Re: public/private healthcare

    The UK system is like this, it’s a two-tiered affair. Everyone gets the NHS and it’s pretty mediocre to downright awful in many things. It’s really cheap for the user and really expensive for the taxpayer. Most Brits will defend this system because they don’t really understand anything else. But the wealthy add private cover (insurance) when they don’t want to bother with the wait times or rationing of the NHS or just want better service.

    We find that in America also with boutique medicine and concierge practices. This is especially true in elective type procedures. When we adopt a national system, it will quickly become multiple tiers based on wealth.

  13. @Anon
    The mainstream right has been horribly out-of-touch for a long time now.

    I will assume that the right-wing in the USA is a convoluted reaction to liberalism, and that the reaction to liberalism is necessitated by the terror of racial amalgamation and atheism to many whites and white Christians (white racists and white Christians are not necessarily the same groups).

    The mainstream right is about 3rd path solutions to white or Christian interests. Just allow self-segregated small businesses and charter schools and Christian schools etc. so that these groups can flourish in separate spheres! Oh yeah, and push for "small government" so that you can have enough money left over to run your private schools, churches, fake universities, weak businesses etc. The general thrust of these 3rd path solutions must be anti-sociality, because the society is secular and therefore e-Christianizing, and anti-racist and therefore amalgamation-inducing.

    And now, right-wing-ishness has taken on a life of its own. Needless to say, it will die with the Boomers. Young people have no patience for this insanity.

    But what about people like me? I don't want White Erasure, though I could care less about Christianity or right-wing politics. I don't like the de-people-ing of the world. The world will have no "peoples" in the ideal global liberal system, just individuals who hopefully find a career that excites them, which can bring meaning to their life (there is not much else beyond that in this system). It will be the flourishing of ego at the expense of fraternity. What are people like me to do?

    You have identified two of the ways in which people exercise freedom to live their life as they want rather than in a one size fits all way. I suppose you did so because one of these is important to you, but there are many, many more. You might have the imagination to consider this before trying to hand waive in the removal of that freedom.

  14. @Dutch Boy
    Outsourcing the economy created large numbers of people who can no longer support themselves. Of course they want to be taken care of. Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.

    Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.

    Nice idea but there are four problems.

    1) Employers will respond by demanding a massive increase in immigration to provide the very cheap labour that would be required to make the factories economically viable.

    2) The new factories will be so heavily automated that they will provide only a small number of jobs anyway.

    3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment. People are going to be very unhappy. Retailers will be unhappy as well since sales levels will fall. I think you’re underestimating the extent to which people really really want low prices.

    4) Tariffs will be necessary and the countries affected by the tariffs (which will be all Asian countries, not just China) will naturally retaliate. They will retaliate politically as well as economically.

    What you’re proposing is to turn back the clock. It’s not that easy to do. It’s not the 1950s any more.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    1) Employers will respond by demanding a massive increase in immigration to provide the very cheap labour that would be required to make the factories economically viable.

    2) The new factories will be so heavily automated that they will provide only a small number of jobs anyway.
     
    You contradicted yourself in the space of 2 sentences.  Highly-automated factories don't need masses of low-skilled laborers; they need smart, experienced techies to set them up and diagnose problems.  I knew a guy who worked model changeover at auto plants, setting up the new lines.  He was pretty smart and went the unconventional route and wound up with a BSEE from studying nights.  The auto companies paid him because the average UAW guy is nowhere near bright enough to handle such work.

    What we'll wind up with is #2.  The case study for this is Generac.  They sent their production to China, but had enough trouble with bad quality product they pulled it back to Wisconsin.  But the new Wisconsin plant only employs about 1/5 as many workers as the old plant, and probably requires more skilled people.  They definitely didn't have any "diversity" in the pictures in the article I read, and you know reporters love to showcase diversity if they can find any.

    3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment.
     
    It'll be worth it if we also get higher wages.  We need to cut back on the amount of useless stuff we consume anyway.  So long as the basics of food, clothing, housing and utilities are affordable we'll make it.
  15. anon[314] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dutch Boy
    Outsourcing the economy created large numbers of people who can no longer support themselves. Of course they want to be taken care of. Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.

    Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.

    Factories in the current year don’t look the same as they did 25 years ago. There’s a higher technical standard to meet.

    Recall that the Texas maker of n95 masks described on of his machines as rather expensive and about the size of a bus. He wouldn’t want just anyone operating that piece of equipment.

    Automation is everywhere, not just in the paint booth on auto assembly lines.

  16. @dfordoom

    Re-empower the working class by repatriating the industrial economy and the number of such people will shrink considerably.
     
    Nice idea but there are four problems.

    1) Employers will respond by demanding a massive increase in immigration to provide the very cheap labour that would be required to make the factories economically viable.

    2) The new factories will be so heavily automated that they will provide only a small number of jobs anyway.

    3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment. People are going to be very unhappy. Retailers will be unhappy as well since sales levels will fall. I think you're underestimating the extent to which people really really want low prices.

    4) Tariffs will be necessary and the countries affected by the tariffs (which will be all Asian countries, not just China) will naturally retaliate. They will retaliate politically as well as economically.

    What you're proposing is to turn back the clock. It's not that easy to do. It's not the 1950s any more.

    1) Employers will respond by demanding a massive increase in immigration to provide the very cheap labour that would be required to make the factories economically viable.

    2) The new factories will be so heavily automated that they will provide only a small number of jobs anyway.

    You contradicted yourself in the space of 2 sentences.  Highly-automated factories don’t need masses of low-skilled laborers; they need smart, experienced techies to set them up and diagnose problems.  I knew a guy who worked model changeover at auto plants, setting up the new lines.  He was pretty smart and went the unconventional route and wound up with a BSEE from studying nights.  The auto companies paid him because the average UAW guy is nowhere near bright enough to handle such work.

    What we’ll wind up with is #2.  The case study for this is Generac.  They sent their production to China, but had enough trouble with bad quality product they pulled it back to Wisconsin.  But the new Wisconsin plant only employs about 1/5 as many workers as the old plant, and probably requires more skilled people.  They definitely didn’t have any “diversity” in the pictures in the article I read, and you know reporters love to showcase diversity if they can find any.

    3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment.

    It’ll be worth it if we also get higher wages.  We need to cut back on the amount of useless stuff we consume anyway.  So long as the basics of food, clothing, housing and utilities are affordable we’ll make it.

    • Agree: Tusk, A123, RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    You contradicted yourself in the space of 2 sentences. Highly-automated factories don’t need masses of low-skilled laborers; they need smart, experienced techies to set them up and diagnose problems.
     
    But employers will argue for more immigration anyway.

    And how many of those techies do you imagine are going to be native-born Americans?

    The point is that either way bringing back the factories is not going to create the numbers of jobs that some people imagine. It's not going to re-empower the working class. And the people who are struggling now will be paying much higher prices for the things they buy so they'll actually be worse off.


    >3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment.
     
    It’ll be worth it if we also get higher wages.
     
    How will this result in higher wages?

    We need to cut back on the amount of useless stuff we consume anyway. So long as the basics of food, clothing, housing and utilities are affordable we’ll make it.
     
    Once the panic has died down you might find that most people disagree with you. Maybe you'll succeed in convincing Americans that they need to accept a much lower material standard of living and they should be grateful if they just have enough to eat. Maybe, but I don't think you'll have much luck with that.
  17. @Mr. Rational

    1) Employers will respond by demanding a massive increase in immigration to provide the very cheap labour that would be required to make the factories economically viable.

    2) The new factories will be so heavily automated that they will provide only a small number of jobs anyway.
     
    You contradicted yourself in the space of 2 sentences.  Highly-automated factories don't need masses of low-skilled laborers; they need smart, experienced techies to set them up and diagnose problems.  I knew a guy who worked model changeover at auto plants, setting up the new lines.  He was pretty smart and went the unconventional route and wound up with a BSEE from studying nights.  The auto companies paid him because the average UAW guy is nowhere near bright enough to handle such work.

    What we'll wind up with is #2.  The case study for this is Generac.  They sent their production to China, but had enough trouble with bad quality product they pulled it back to Wisconsin.  But the new Wisconsin plant only employs about 1/5 as many workers as the old plant, and probably requires more skilled people.  They definitely didn't have any "diversity" in the pictures in the article I read, and you know reporters love to showcase diversity if they can find any.

    3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment.
     
    It'll be worth it if we also get higher wages.  We need to cut back on the amount of useless stuff we consume anyway.  So long as the basics of food, clothing, housing and utilities are affordable we'll make it.

    You contradicted yourself in the space of 2 sentences. Highly-automated factories don’t need masses of low-skilled laborers; they need smart, experienced techies to set them up and diagnose problems.

    But employers will argue for more immigration anyway.

    And how many of those techies do you imagine are going to be native-born Americans?

    The point is that either way bringing back the factories is not going to create the numbers of jobs that some people imagine. It’s not going to re-empower the working class. And the people who are struggling now will be paying much higher prices for the things they buy so they’ll actually be worse off.

    >3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment.

    It’ll be worth it if we also get higher wages.

    How will this result in higher wages?

    We need to cut back on the amount of useless stuff we consume anyway. So long as the basics of food, clothing, housing and utilities are affordable we’ll make it.

    Once the panic has died down you might find that most people disagree with you. Maybe you’ll succeed in convincing Americans that they need to accept a much lower material standard of living and they should be grateful if they just have enough to eat. Maybe, but I don’t think you’ll have much luck with that.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    How will this result in higher wages?
     
    Even the moderate changes Trump has made to the labor market have resulted in increased wages.  Re-shoring most manufacturing will have huge effects.  The automation of lots of that manufacturing will increase the minimum skill sets and lock most third-world immigrants out of those jobs, driving wages up.  There will still be savings because those wages will be spread over much larger product volumes.

    If we don't manufacture in the third world any more, the third world may wind up having to buy from us because it can't sustain its own factories and supply chains.

    Once the panic has died down you might find that most people disagree with you. Maybe you’ll succeed in convincing Americans that they need to accept a much lower material standard of living
     
    Aside from the basics, I need very little actual stuff.  What I need is stuff that lasts so I don't need to replace it.  People who chase every shift in fashion or have to have the latest gadget are not actually happy; they are trying to buy social status to compensate for insecurities.  They would benefit materially and emotionally from a move away from consumerism.
    , @A123
    As long as tangible unemployment/underemployment is felt by U.S. Voters there will not be enough politicians be foolish enough to risk their own seats. You:

    -- Say that employers will *ask* for low cost imported labor.
    -- Miss that the fact that they will *not get* any.

    Yes. The Globalist DNC swamp is crawling with foreign lobbyists demanding open borders for international corporations. However, the DNC is a defeatable foe. They picked Biden...

    PEACE 😷

  18. @dfordoom

    You contradicted yourself in the space of 2 sentences. Highly-automated factories don’t need masses of low-skilled laborers; they need smart, experienced techies to set them up and diagnose problems.
     
    But employers will argue for more immigration anyway.

    And how many of those techies do you imagine are going to be native-born Americans?

    The point is that either way bringing back the factories is not going to create the numbers of jobs that some people imagine. It's not going to re-empower the working class. And the people who are struggling now will be paying much higher prices for the things they buy so they'll actually be worse off.


    >3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment.
     
    It’ll be worth it if we also get higher wages.
     
    How will this result in higher wages?

    We need to cut back on the amount of useless stuff we consume anyway. So long as the basics of food, clothing, housing and utilities are affordable we’ll make it.
     
    Once the panic has died down you might find that most people disagree with you. Maybe you'll succeed in convincing Americans that they need to accept a much lower material standard of living and they should be grateful if they just have enough to eat. Maybe, but I don't think you'll have much luck with that.

    How will this result in higher wages?

    Even the moderate changes Trump has made to the labor market have resulted in increased wages.  Re-shoring most manufacturing will have huge effects.  The automation of lots of that manufacturing will increase the minimum skill sets and lock most third-world immigrants out of those jobs, driving wages up.  There will still be savings because those wages will be spread over much larger product volumes.

    If we don’t manufacture in the third world any more, the third world may wind up having to buy from us because it can’t sustain its own factories and supply chains.

    Once the panic has died down you might find that most people disagree with you. Maybe you’ll succeed in convincing Americans that they need to accept a much lower material standard of living

    Aside from the basics, I need very little actual stuff.  What I need is stuff that lasts so I don’t need to replace it.  People who chase every shift in fashion or have to have the latest gadget are not actually happy; they are trying to buy social status to compensate for insecurities.  They would benefit materially and emotionally from a move away from consumerism.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Aside from the basics, I need very little actual stuff. What I need is stuff that lasts so I don’t need to replace it. People who chase every shift in fashion or have to have the latest gadget are not actually happy; they are trying to buy social status to compensate for insecurities. They would benefit materially and emotionally from a move away from consumerism.
     
    That might well be true. In fact it probably is true. But people these days have nothing else to make them happy except consumer goods. You're going to have to persuade people that there's more to life than consumption. That's going to require ditching the entire existing social and cultural framework. That's going to require a social and cultural revolution more profound than the postwar social and cultural revolutions.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, but it will be an awesome task. Especially with the entire political, social, economic and cultural establishment fighting tooth and nail against you.

    I suspect that once the COVID-19 virus has burnt itself out most people will want to return to "normality"- to go back to the way things were in December 2019. Convincing people that they need to prepare themselves for a massive social/cultural/political revolution won't be easy.
  19. So the economic model of having all of us sell hamburgers to each other does not work in the long run? Who knew?

  20. @scrivener3
    You can give everyone an income and free or subsidized health care, but someone has to pay for it. The USG does not have a huge pile of saved money. Either taxpayers, or future taxpayers (if borrowed) or a slice of everyone's assets including their retirement accounts (printing money/inflation) pay for it.

    People might think Gates Buffet Bezos Zukerburg Ellison etc. will pay for most of it but their entire combined fortunes will not cover present USG expenditures for a few months.

    If you took away half their combined net worth the United States would have lost all that invested wealth, mostly invested in productive business. Capital investment makes workers more productive. So workers will be less productive per working hour. The Fed Reserve can just create some money and invest it in capital assets? Inflation would make business investment and planning harder. During the great inflation of the 70's we had stagnation along with the inflation, stagflation.

    Luckily the USG has a few trillion dollars worth of real property (the majority of the land out west). So it could run debt up giving away everything for 20 years and then sell its assets to pay off the debt. Then the budget cuts. "If you don't work, you don't eat."

    Don’t forget the other option

    We could conquer and seize wealth from other nations.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Don’t forget the other option

    We could conquer and seize wealth from other nations.
     
    Which nations did you have in mind?

    And you figure that the other nuclear powers will stand by and watch while the US does this?
  21. @scrivener3
    You can give everyone an income and free or subsidized health care, but someone has to pay for it. The USG does not have a huge pile of saved money. Either taxpayers, or future taxpayers (if borrowed) or a slice of everyone's assets including their retirement accounts (printing money/inflation) pay for it.

    People might think Gates Buffet Bezos Zukerburg Ellison etc. will pay for most of it but their entire combined fortunes will not cover present USG expenditures for a few months.

    If you took away half their combined net worth the United States would have lost all that invested wealth, mostly invested in productive business. Capital investment makes workers more productive. So workers will be less productive per working hour. The Fed Reserve can just create some money and invest it in capital assets? Inflation would make business investment and planning harder. During the great inflation of the 70's we had stagnation along with the inflation, stagflation.

    Luckily the USG has a few trillion dollars worth of real property (the majority of the land out west). So it could run debt up giving away everything for 20 years and then sell its assets to pay off the debt. Then the budget cuts. "If you don't work, you don't eat."

    All fair points that many of our lefty friends haven’t adequately considered, sir.

    But two points.

    First point: it won’t be hard to raise over $1 Trillion immediately, and $2 to $2.5 Trillion per year in time, without any new general taxes or tax increase, without structural change to our property system, and without more borrowing:

    1. Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget. Our 700-plus bases abroad alone cost $156 billion in 2016, thus likely at least $175 billion in 2021. Closing 4/5 of those bases would save $130 billion by itself.

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products. A rapidly growing market with huge States like Texas, Florida, and New York yet to legalize (New Jersey with its nine million people coming soon).

    3. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300 billion per year, from a fed excise tax of 20-25% on remittances of cash to recipients in foreign countries

    4. More than half a trillion dollars per year by raising the fed income tax rate to 40% on the top one percent (The portion of household annual income above $500,000 in 2021) and raising the rate to 60% on annual household income above say $25 million (top one tenth of one percent of people).

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year. That way, the new fed revenue is larger than the new fed expense, and the fed gov deficit decreases slightly as a result.). Note that the great majority of US Citizens would not pay any of the new taxes proposed, nor would they suffer from the big cuts in war and inflated-procurement spending.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products.
     
    Maybe the Federal Government should use the Mafia as a model. Why stop with just the narcotics racket? Why not have the government move into areas like prostitution, the numbers racket and the protection racket? The Government could replace the Mob as the country's biggest and most successful organised crime syndicate.
    , @dfordoom

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year.
     
    $200 a month would be useless.

    The one enormous advantage of a UBI is that it could replace all existing welfare benefits and would be much cheaper to administer. To do that it would need to be set at a realistic level, in other words equal to or ideally slightly higher than the current average welfare payments. Given that it would be so cheap to administer it could in fact quite easily be set at a level substantially higher than existing welfare payments.

    But simply adding a minuscule UBI on top of existing welfare would be madness. You'd be making the system more complex and more expensive to run than the existing system.

    Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget.
     
    You could cut the military budget by 80% and still have a bigger military than you actually need.
  22. @scrivener3
    You can give everyone an income and free or subsidized health care, but someone has to pay for it. The USG does not have a huge pile of saved money. Either taxpayers, or future taxpayers (if borrowed) or a slice of everyone's assets including their retirement accounts (printing money/inflation) pay for it.

    People might think Gates Buffet Bezos Zukerburg Ellison etc. will pay for most of it but their entire combined fortunes will not cover present USG expenditures for a few months.

    If you took away half their combined net worth the United States would have lost all that invested wealth, mostly invested in productive business. Capital investment makes workers more productive. So workers will be less productive per working hour. The Fed Reserve can just create some money and invest it in capital assets? Inflation would make business investment and planning harder. During the great inflation of the 70's we had stagnation along with the inflation, stagflation.

    Luckily the USG has a few trillion dollars worth of real property (the majority of the land out west). So it could run debt up giving away everything for 20 years and then sell its assets to pay off the debt. Then the budget cuts. "If you don't work, you don't eat."

    Second point: my proposal above was to fund a universal basic income with huge military cuts, big tax hikes on the elite, and two targeted excise taxes that don’t affect 80% of the US Citizenry. No structural change to our ownership system.

    But now consider structural change to the ownership system in our crooked economy. One structural change that can yield enough revenue for a big UBI is taking our God-given natural resources back from the tiny elite who claim to “own” it. The oil, gas, metals, minerals, and water under our land should be publicly owned.

    There is no good reason for one in a thousand people to own these resources and turn around and charge us an arm and a leg for them. That’s the owners, major shareholders, and executives of energy corporations.

    Just as Alaska provides a small annual resource dividend check to its citizens, we could do the same on a much larger scale for all us citizens with revenue from the resources listed above.

    (While we are at it, prohibit the export of drinkable water, the ultimate life-and-death natural resource. We die without it in a few days. It’s dangerous to let companies send it abroad for profit in an over populated world where people will be competing ever more fiercely for clean water.)

  23. @scrivener3
    You can give everyone an income and free or subsidized health care, but someone has to pay for it. The USG does not have a huge pile of saved money. Either taxpayers, or future taxpayers (if borrowed) or a slice of everyone's assets including their retirement accounts (printing money/inflation) pay for it.

    People might think Gates Buffet Bezos Zukerburg Ellison etc. will pay for most of it but their entire combined fortunes will not cover present USG expenditures for a few months.

    If you took away half their combined net worth the United States would have lost all that invested wealth, mostly invested in productive business. Capital investment makes workers more productive. So workers will be less productive per working hour. The Fed Reserve can just create some money and invest it in capital assets? Inflation would make business investment and planning harder. During the great inflation of the 70's we had stagnation along with the inflation, stagflation.

    Luckily the USG has a few trillion dollars worth of real property (the majority of the land out west). So it could run debt up giving away everything for 20 years and then sell its assets to pay off the debt. Then the budget cuts. "If you don't work, you don't eat."

    How about an alternative to a UBI that would help tens of millions of Americans just as much: establish a public bank and lend directly to US Citizens, cutting profiteer banks out of the loop.

    Imagine the lives of American families and small businessmen if their mortgages, small business loans, student loans, vehicle loans, and medical debt were all refinanced at ZERO percent.

    Unlike proposals for an outright debt jubilee or forgiveness, this proposal doesn’t free borrowers from all consequence for their decisions and behavior. It requires people to pay back what they borrowed, just without crushing interest that constrains their life options and makes them live in fear every day. Creditors would get back all their principal — and without any administrative or collections costs at that.

    If necessary to minimize the burden on the federal taxpayer, charge a minimal processing fee (payable up front or rolled into the loan) or one quarter of one percent interest.

    • Agree: Jedi Night
  24. @Divine Right

    Someone is going to get in there and start building soon, though.
     
    That could be Gavin Newsom, the California governor. He's a tall, photogenic guy who has done a pretty good job of handling the coronavirus situation. Surprisingly, he's been unusually polite in regards to Donald Trump during the whole situation. If Biden fails in 2020, Newsom might be preparing for a run in 2024 or 2028. He might be able to pull it off, too. The competition is pretty meager as this year's primary has shown. There is also a remote chance he might be picked as a replacement for Biden at the convention should Biden waver mentally.

    The media is taking note:

    How the coronavirus crisis gave Gavin Newsom his leadership moment

    The California governor has often cast himself as a foil to Trump, but even the president has lauded his pandemic response

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/12/how-the-coronavirus-crisis-gave-gavin-newsom-his-leadership-moment
     
    Probably one of the ways we could get a national healthcare system is to have a guy like Newsom run on a platform of merely ensuring everyone has access to healthcare (fairness). This is easier to sell than straight-up single payer medicare for all, which implies someone is coming in and taking something away from you unfairly. The implication with the "merely ensuring" kind of platform is that voters can be swayed by assurances they may keep their private healthcare on top of the public option if they wish while the government ensures those without healthcare options have access and that it is affordable (no, we don't already have that because many states have requirements that exclude a great many from coverage). I believe Switzerland has some kind of private / public mix like this. Even in some Asian countries you can still buy private healthcare options on top of whatever public service is available.

    Cuomo is an alternative. He's done a good job as New York governor during the crisis. He comes off as working-class and down to earth. It's true New York has suffered mightily, but he has a ready patsy for the whole thing: Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor. It was de Blasio who downplayed the virus in an interview with MSNBC; his underlings also told people to use the subway and attend public gatherings where the virus later spread like wildfire. Cuomo is already gearing the media to point fingers at NYC officials after this ends by publicly asking how this could have happened in NYC during his press conferences (hint: it was all de Balasio's fault ... and it sort of was). In any case, Cuomo vs. Newsom in 2024 or 2028 could be a serious contest between two big players -- much more interesting than 2020. Hispanic & White liberal / West Coast vs. Black and White working-class / East Coast showdown?

    . He’s a tall, photogenic guy who has done a pretty good job of handling the coronavirus situation.

    …Just ask Ronnie.

  25. @dfordoom

    You contradicted yourself in the space of 2 sentences. Highly-automated factories don’t need masses of low-skilled laborers; they need smart, experienced techies to set them up and diagnose problems.
     
    But employers will argue for more immigration anyway.

    And how many of those techies do you imagine are going to be native-born Americans?

    The point is that either way bringing back the factories is not going to create the numbers of jobs that some people imagine. It's not going to re-empower the working class. And the people who are struggling now will be paying much higher prices for the things they buy so they'll actually be worse off.


    >3) Prices for whatever those factories produce will be substantially higher than consumers are paying at the moment.
     
    It’ll be worth it if we also get higher wages.
     
    How will this result in higher wages?

    We need to cut back on the amount of useless stuff we consume anyway. So long as the basics of food, clothing, housing and utilities are affordable we’ll make it.
     
    Once the panic has died down you might find that most people disagree with you. Maybe you'll succeed in convincing Americans that they need to accept a much lower material standard of living and they should be grateful if they just have enough to eat. Maybe, but I don't think you'll have much luck with that.

    As long as tangible unemployment/underemployment is felt by U.S. Voters there will not be enough politicians be foolish enough to risk their own seats. You:

    — Say that employers will *ask* for low cost imported labor.
    — Miss that the fact that they will *not get* any.

    Yes. The Globalist DNC swamp is crawling with foreign lobbyists demanding open borders for international corporations. However, the DNC is a defeatable foe. They picked Biden…

    PEACE 😷

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    You forget that the GOP(e) is firmly in the pocket of the cheap-labor Chamber of Commerce.  To defeat them, nationalists have to replace corporatists/globalists.
  26. @A123
    As long as tangible unemployment/underemployment is felt by U.S. Voters there will not be enough politicians be foolish enough to risk their own seats. You:

    -- Say that employers will *ask* for low cost imported labor.
    -- Miss that the fact that they will *not get* any.

    Yes. The Globalist DNC swamp is crawling with foreign lobbyists demanding open borders for international corporations. However, the DNC is a defeatable foe. They picked Biden...

    PEACE 😷

    You forget that the GOP(e) is firmly in the pocket of the cheap-labor Chamber of Commerce.  To defeat them, nationalists have to replace corporatists/globalists.

    • Replies: @A123
    I concur with your assessment of the GOP(e). I didn't forget... No short post can ever be complete...

    There are indeed Globalists (like Romney) that need to be ejected from the Populist GOP so they can serve their Globalist DNC masters.

    PEACE 😷
  27. @Mr. Rational
    You forget that the GOP(e) is firmly in the pocket of the cheap-labor Chamber of Commerce.  To defeat them, nationalists have to replace corporatists/globalists.

    I concur with your assessment of the GOP(e). I didn’t forget… No short post can ever be complete…

    There are indeed Globalists (like Romney) that need to be ejected from the Populist GOP so they can serve their Globalist DNC masters.

    PEACE 😷

  28. @Mr. Rational

    How will this result in higher wages?
     
    Even the moderate changes Trump has made to the labor market have resulted in increased wages.  Re-shoring most manufacturing will have huge effects.  The automation of lots of that manufacturing will increase the minimum skill sets and lock most third-world immigrants out of those jobs, driving wages up.  There will still be savings because those wages will be spread over much larger product volumes.

    If we don't manufacture in the third world any more, the third world may wind up having to buy from us because it can't sustain its own factories and supply chains.

    Once the panic has died down you might find that most people disagree with you. Maybe you’ll succeed in convincing Americans that they need to accept a much lower material standard of living
     
    Aside from the basics, I need very little actual stuff.  What I need is stuff that lasts so I don't need to replace it.  People who chase every shift in fashion or have to have the latest gadget are not actually happy; they are trying to buy social status to compensate for insecurities.  They would benefit materially and emotionally from a move away from consumerism.

    Aside from the basics, I need very little actual stuff. What I need is stuff that lasts so I don’t need to replace it. People who chase every shift in fashion or have to have the latest gadget are not actually happy; they are trying to buy social status to compensate for insecurities. They would benefit materially and emotionally from a move away from consumerism.

    That might well be true. In fact it probably is true. But people these days have nothing else to make them happy except consumer goods. You’re going to have to persuade people that there’s more to life than consumption. That’s going to require ditching the entire existing social and cultural framework. That’s going to require a social and cultural revolution more profound than the postwar social and cultural revolutions.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, but it will be an awesome task. Especially with the entire political, social, economic and cultural establishment fighting tooth and nail against you.

    I suspect that once the COVID-19 virus has burnt itself out most people will want to return to “normality”- to go back to the way things were in December 2019. Convincing people that they need to prepare themselves for a massive social/cultural/political revolution won’t be easy.

  29. @Not my economy
    Don’t forget the other option

    We could conquer and seize wealth from other nations.

    Don’t forget the other option

    We could conquer and seize wealth from other nations.

    Which nations did you have in mind?

    And you figure that the other nuclear powers will stand by and watch while the US does this?

  30. @RadicalCenter
    All fair points that many of our lefty friends haven’t adequately considered, sir.

    But two points.

    First point: it won’t be hard to raise over $1 Trillion immediately, and $2 to $2.5 Trillion per year in time, without any new general taxes or tax increase, without structural change to our property system, and without more borrowing:

    1. Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget. Our 700-plus bases abroad alone cost $156 billion in 2016, thus likely at least $175 billion in 2021. Closing 4/5 of those bases would save $130 billion by itself.

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products. A rapidly growing market with huge States like Texas, Florida, and New York yet to legalize (New Jersey with its nine million people coming soon).

    3. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300 billion per year, from a fed excise tax of 20-25% on remittances of cash to recipients in foreign countries

    4. More than half a trillion dollars per year by raising the fed income tax rate to 40% on the top one percent (The portion of household annual income above $500,000 in 2021) and raising the rate to 60% on annual household income above say $25 million (top one tenth of one percent of people).

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year. That way, the new fed revenue is larger than the new fed expense, and the fed gov deficit decreases slightly as a result.). Note that the great majority of US Citizens would not pay any of the new taxes proposed, nor would they suffer from the big cuts in war and inflated-procurement spending.

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products.

    Maybe the Federal Government should use the Mafia as a model. Why stop with just the narcotics racket? Why not have the government move into areas like prostitution, the numbers racket and the protection racket? The Government could replace the Mob as the country’s biggest and most successful organised crime syndicate.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    The libertarian photo bomb:

    The Government is the Mob, the country’s biggest and most successful organised crime syndicate.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Marijuana is not a narcotic and is nothing like a narcotic. I haven’t proposed legalizing narcotics.
  31. @RadicalCenter
    All fair points that many of our lefty friends haven’t adequately considered, sir.

    But two points.

    First point: it won’t be hard to raise over $1 Trillion immediately, and $2 to $2.5 Trillion per year in time, without any new general taxes or tax increase, without structural change to our property system, and without more borrowing:

    1. Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget. Our 700-plus bases abroad alone cost $156 billion in 2016, thus likely at least $175 billion in 2021. Closing 4/5 of those bases would save $130 billion by itself.

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products. A rapidly growing market with huge States like Texas, Florida, and New York yet to legalize (New Jersey with its nine million people coming soon).

    3. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300 billion per year, from a fed excise tax of 20-25% on remittances of cash to recipients in foreign countries

    4. More than half a trillion dollars per year by raising the fed income tax rate to 40% on the top one percent (The portion of household annual income above $500,000 in 2021) and raising the rate to 60% on annual household income above say $25 million (top one tenth of one percent of people).

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year. That way, the new fed revenue is larger than the new fed expense, and the fed gov deficit decreases slightly as a result.). Note that the great majority of US Citizens would not pay any of the new taxes proposed, nor would they suffer from the big cuts in war and inflated-procurement spending.

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year.

    $200 a month would be useless.

    The one enormous advantage of a UBI is that it could replace all existing welfare benefits and would be much cheaper to administer. To do that it would need to be set at a realistic level, in other words equal to or ideally slightly higher than the current average welfare payments. Given that it would be so cheap to administer it could in fact quite easily be set at a level substantially higher than existing welfare payments.

    But simply adding a minuscule UBI on top of existing welfare would be madness. You’d be making the system more complex and more expensive to run than the existing system.

    Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget.

    You could cut the military budget by 80% and still have a bigger military than you actually need.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I don’t know that it’s wise to cut the military budget 80%, and politically it will be hard enough to cut it by the 40% I’m envisioning, even if hard-left snd/or libertarian / paleocon reformers manage to get elected to Congress in big numbers.

    I didn’t say that a $200/month UBI is enough. Of course you’re right that it’s not. My idea was to phase in the UBI so that the expense doesn’t outstrip the revenue raised by the two new federal excise taxes and elite income-tax hikes proposed.

    Maybe start higher than the mere couple hundred bucks I threw out there, though, to build a strong constituency relying on the UBI — a constituency that will support further big cuts in military spending and welfare-State bureaucracy if they know their UBI will go up every time further cuts take effect.

    Another concern is that increasing the UBI too fast would lead to more price and rent inflation as landlords and merchants try to capture much of the big increase in disposable income.

    In any event, we seem to agree that the goal should be replacing most of the federal welfare-state bureaucracy with a meaningfully large UBI.

    The military is also, to some degree, a jobs program, and military cuts of the size that you and I are proposing would surely lead to major layoffs in the military bureaucracy. Those people, too, will have a pressing need for a good severance package and then the UBI. I haven’t called for reductions in the number of actual fighting men in the army, navy, and Air Force, nor in the number of planes or ships. Probably wouldn’t support doing so (with few exceptions such as ending the boondoggle that is the aircraft carrier).

    Finishing with a note on the even larger military cuts that you favor: I’ve proposed that we have a public agency manufacture our armaments rather than profiteering corporations. This eliminates the part of military prices that is attributable to lavish executive compensation, profits needed to lay shareholder dividends, and profits needed to support share appreciation. We’d need to know how much of current exorbitant military prices is attributable to those items, which we can eliminate by having government armaments factories.

    , @RadicalCenter
    PS I think the UBI ultimately needs to be not just higher than average welfare payments, but as high as the average wage in the fields where jobs are going to be eliminated en masse by further automation (use of machines, robots, and now artificial Intelligence). As my favorite Chinese pinko Andrew Yang points out, these are not just minimum-wage jobs by any means.

    The revenue needed for such a large UBI will be massive indeed. That’s why I’ve proposed public ownership of our God-given natural resources, including oil, natural gas, metals, minerals, and spring water. The new federal excise taxes I’ve proposed (marijuana and foreign remittances) are useful and rarely mentioned, but they’re nowhere near enough to fund a sufficiently large UBI without some structural or systemic change in property ownership and a major change in taxation on the elites.

  32. @A123

    Right on cultural issues, left on economic ones–that’s where the prime political real estate is, guarded by establishment agents.
     
    The establishment loves "Right-Left" as a scale, because it keeps their opponents apart. We really need to use "Globalist-Populist" as the spectrum.

    Iffen, DforDoom, and myself had a recent discussion about "Globalist SJW Corporate" values:

    -- I argued that this is LEFT -- As it is rooted in Globalist speech control and SJW Political Correctness.
    -- They argued that it was RIGHT -- As it is rooted in Corporate greed.

    The "Right-Left" scale created an unnecessary conflict.

    Donald Trump pushed past the guards but was sweet talked off the plot after throwing a couple shovels of dirt.
     
    Those objectively looking at Trump's record as whole see the gains.

    Trump is a President, not an Ayatollah or an Emperor. The DNC is 99%+ Globalist and the GOP still suffers from Globalist contamination (e.g. Romney). Without the backing of a Populist party, there are limits to what a President can achieve.

    Trump wasn't talked off. He was faced with the reality that Senate confirmation of Cabinet and Judicial appointments is Constitutionally required.

    As Voltaire said, "Do not let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good."

    PEACE 😷

    “Woke Capital” not’s a bad identifier. It gets at aspects of the establishment that both the populist right (wokeness) and the populist left (capital) take big issue with.

  33. @dfordoom

    Right on cultural issues, left on economic ones–that’s where the prime political real estate is, guarded by establishment agents.
     
    That's been my belief for quite a while. Maybe it will now be possible. The economic fallout from the CV crisis should discredit the Economic Right for all time. And it should logically make the Social/Cultural Left seem irrelevant.

    But voters have never yet been known to behave logically and rationally. Perhaps they will this time.

    My idea of voters behaving rationally would have to include boycotting elections. Voters have never quite grasped the obvious truth that they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting, for all the difference voting makes.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    My idea of voters behaving rationally would have to include boycotting elections. Voters have never quite grasped the obvious truth that they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting, for all the difference voting makes.
     
    It's certainly true that representative democracy is (and always was) to a large extent a con.

    If you're going to argue that voting is entirely useless then it seems to me that you have two alternatives.

    The first is to simply accept that there's nothing at all that can be done in which case you might as well just accept whatever happens and make the most of it (or if you like you can curl up in the corner and cry).

    The second is to find other ways to change things.

    If you look at the Cultural Revolution that has swept the West from the late 60s to the present day - the triumph of the feminist agenda, the triumph of the homosexual agenda, the Sexual Revolution, the triumph of the trans agenda, the almost complete collapse of any kind of censorship and the resultant explosion of porn, the near-destruction of marriage as an institution - absolutely none of it was achieved directly (or even indirectly) through the ballot box. In fact it was achieved by ignoring the electoral system altogether. It was also achieved without recourse to violence.

    The western Cultural Revolution was a disaster of course but it does demonstrate that a complete social and cultural revolution can be achieved by means other than voting. But it requires hard work, dedication, leadership, organisation and discipline.

    The mistake the MAGA crowd made was thinking that they could get what they wanted simply by voting for Trump. Maybe the answer is to not worry whether Trump or Biden wins the election, but to use the methods used so successfully by the Cultural Revolutionaries to force whichever candidate wins to adopt their agenda.
    , @iffen
    they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting

    In the good old days they could do both. Many candidates made free alcohol the main tactic of their campaigns. "Good government" types eventually ended it by forcing alcohol venues to close on election day.
  34. @anon
    This guy had a good take, to wit: Bernie was never a contender, he just got an artificial bump by running against Hillary Clinton. Politics is like wrestling, and Clinton is a world-class heel, transforming Bernie into a solid babyface by default. But take her away and he's nothing.

    Sounds about right to me

    Though I’m not that guy, that was our take as well.

  35. @dfordoom

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products.
     
    Maybe the Federal Government should use the Mafia as a model. Why stop with just the narcotics racket? Why not have the government move into areas like prostitution, the numbers racket and the protection racket? The Government could replace the Mob as the country's biggest and most successful organised crime syndicate.

    The libertarian photo bomb:

    The Government is the Mob, the country’s biggest and most successful organised crime syndicate.

  36. @dfordoom

    2. A hundred billion dollars, rising to $300-billion-plus per year, from a fed excise tax of 10% on marijuana products.
     
    Maybe the Federal Government should use the Mafia as a model. Why stop with just the narcotics racket? Why not have the government move into areas like prostitution, the numbers racket and the protection racket? The Government could replace the Mob as the country's biggest and most successful organised crime syndicate.

    Marijuana is not a narcotic and is nothing like a narcotic. I haven’t proposed legalizing narcotics.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Marijuana is not a narcotic and is nothing like a narcotic. I haven’t proposed legalizing narcotics.
     
    I used the term "narcotics racket" because that's the term generally used when talking about the Mob and drug trafficking. Perhaps I should have just used the term drug trafficking. OK, so under your proposal the government will become a major player in drug trafficking.

    I think my point still stands. Why not have the government involved in the other rackets as well? Prostitution certainly does a good deal less social harm than marijuana.
  37. @dfordoom

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year.
     
    $200 a month would be useless.

    The one enormous advantage of a UBI is that it could replace all existing welfare benefits and would be much cheaper to administer. To do that it would need to be set at a realistic level, in other words equal to or ideally slightly higher than the current average welfare payments. Given that it would be so cheap to administer it could in fact quite easily be set at a level substantially higher than existing welfare payments.

    But simply adding a minuscule UBI on top of existing welfare would be madness. You'd be making the system more complex and more expensive to run than the existing system.

    Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget.
     
    You could cut the military budget by 80% and still have a bigger military than you actually need.

    I don’t know that it’s wise to cut the military budget 80%, and politically it will be hard enough to cut it by the 40% I’m envisioning, even if hard-left snd/or libertarian / paleocon reformers manage to get elected to Congress in big numbers.

    I didn’t say that a $200/month UBI is enough. Of course you’re right that it’s not. My idea was to phase in the UBI so that the expense doesn’t outstrip the revenue raised by the two new federal excise taxes and elite income-tax hikes proposed.

    Maybe start higher than the mere couple hundred bucks I threw out there, though, to build a strong constituency relying on the UBI — a constituency that will support further big cuts in military spending and welfare-State bureaucracy if they know their UBI will go up every time further cuts take effect.

    Another concern is that increasing the UBI too fast would lead to more price and rent inflation as landlords and merchants try to capture much of the big increase in disposable income.

    In any event, we seem to agree that the goal should be replacing most of the federal welfare-state bureaucracy with a meaningfully large UBI.

    The military is also, to some degree, a jobs program, and military cuts of the size that you and I are proposing would surely lead to major layoffs in the military bureaucracy. Those people, too, will have a pressing need for a good severance package and then the UBI. I haven’t called for reductions in the number of actual fighting men in the army, navy, and Air Force, nor in the number of planes or ships. Probably wouldn’t support doing so (with few exceptions such as ending the boondoggle that is the aircraft carrier).

    Finishing with a note on the even larger military cuts that you favor: I’ve proposed that we have a public agency manufacture our armaments rather than profiteering corporations. This eliminates the part of military prices that is attributable to lavish executive compensation, profits needed to lay shareholder dividends, and profits needed to support share appreciation. We’d need to know how much of current exorbitant military prices is attributable to those items, which we can eliminate by having government armaments factories.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    In any event, we seem to agree that the goal should be replacing most of the federal welfare-state bureaucracy with a meaningfully large UBI.
     
    Yes. The UBI should be set at a level sufficient to live a decent life. Not just enough to keep people alive in misery and squalor.

    I haven’t called for reductions in the number of actual fighting men in the army, navy, and Air Force, nor in the number of planes or ships.
     
    You could eliminate the army entirely. It's only purpose is to invade other people's countries.
  38. @dfordoom

    That’s enough for a small UBI two years from enactment. (Start the UBI very low, just a couple hundred dollars per month, and increase it only by $200/month per year.
     
    $200 a month would be useless.

    The one enormous advantage of a UBI is that it could replace all existing welfare benefits and would be much cheaper to administer. To do that it would need to be set at a realistic level, in other words equal to or ideally slightly higher than the current average welfare payments. Given that it would be so cheap to administer it could in fact quite easily be set at a level substantially higher than existing welfare payments.

    But simply adding a minuscule UBI on top of existing welfare would be madness. You'd be making the system more complex and more expensive to run than the existing system.

    Several hundred billion dollars per year in major cuts to the military / war budget.
     
    You could cut the military budget by 80% and still have a bigger military than you actually need.

    PS I think the UBI ultimately needs to be not just higher than average welfare payments, but as high as the average wage in the fields where jobs are going to be eliminated en masse by further automation (use of machines, robots, and now artificial Intelligence). As my favorite Chinese pinko Andrew Yang points out, these are not just minimum-wage jobs by any means.

    The revenue needed for such a large UBI will be massive indeed. That’s why I’ve proposed public ownership of our God-given natural resources, including oil, natural gas, metals, minerals, and spring water. The new federal excise taxes I’ve proposed (marijuana and foreign remittances) are useful and rarely mentioned, but they’re nowhere near enough to fund a sufficiently large UBI without some structural or systemic change in property ownership and a major change in taxation on the elites.

    • Replies: @Jedi Night
    Nationalization offers nothing that can't be had better and easier by raising the tax rate on those same industries instead. Going full Communist doesn't work, even if it could be made to happen, which it can't.
    , @Mr. Rational
    Points for spelling "en masse" correctly.
    , @dfordoom

    PS I think the UBI ultimately needs to be not just higher than average welfare payments, but as high as the average wage in the fields where jobs are going to be eliminated en masse by further automation (use of machines, robots, and now artificial Intelligence).
     
    Yes, I agree with that.

    The revenue needed for such a large UBI will be massive indeed. That’s why I’ve proposed public ownership of our God-given natural resources, including oil, natural gas, metals, minerals, and spring water.
     
    That's socialism! But I like it and I agree with you. But politically not easy to achieve when both parties are owned lock, stock and barrel by billionaires and mega-corporations.

    Of course if the economy actually does collapse completely and society implodes as a result of the lockdowns then things that are not easy to achieve politically might suddenly become very achievable.
  39. @Twodees Partain
    My idea of voters behaving rationally would have to include boycotting elections. Voters have never quite grasped the obvious truth that they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting, for all the difference voting makes.

    My idea of voters behaving rationally would have to include boycotting elections. Voters have never quite grasped the obvious truth that they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting, for all the difference voting makes.

    It’s certainly true that representative democracy is (and always was) to a large extent a con.

    If you’re going to argue that voting is entirely useless then it seems to me that you have two alternatives.

    The first is to simply accept that there’s nothing at all that can be done in which case you might as well just accept whatever happens and make the most of it (or if you like you can curl up in the corner and cry).

    The second is to find other ways to change things.

    If you look at the Cultural Revolution that has swept the West from the late 60s to the present day – the triumph of the feminist agenda, the triumph of the homosexual agenda, the Sexual Revolution, the triumph of the trans agenda, the almost complete collapse of any kind of censorship and the resultant explosion of porn, the near-destruction of marriage as an institution – absolutely none of it was achieved directly (or even indirectly) through the ballot box. In fact it was achieved by ignoring the electoral system altogether. It was also achieved without recourse to violence.

    The western Cultural Revolution was a disaster of course but it does demonstrate that a complete social and cultural revolution can be achieved by means other than voting. But it requires hard work, dedication, leadership, organisation and discipline.

    The mistake the MAGA crowd made was thinking that they could get what they wanted simply by voting for Trump. Maybe the answer is to not worry whether Trump or Biden wins the election, but to use the methods used so successfully by the Cultural Revolutionaries to force whichever candidate wins to adopt their agenda.

  40. @RadicalCenter
    PS I think the UBI ultimately needs to be not just higher than average welfare payments, but as high as the average wage in the fields where jobs are going to be eliminated en masse by further automation (use of machines, robots, and now artificial Intelligence). As my favorite Chinese pinko Andrew Yang points out, these are not just minimum-wage jobs by any means.

    The revenue needed for such a large UBI will be massive indeed. That’s why I’ve proposed public ownership of our God-given natural resources, including oil, natural gas, metals, minerals, and spring water. The new federal excise taxes I’ve proposed (marijuana and foreign remittances) are useful and rarely mentioned, but they’re nowhere near enough to fund a sufficiently large UBI without some structural or systemic change in property ownership and a major change in taxation on the elites.

    Nationalization offers nothing that can’t be had better and easier by raising the tax rate on those same industries instead. Going full Communist doesn’t work, even if it could be made to happen, which it can’t.

  41. @RadicalCenter
    Marijuana is not a narcotic and is nothing like a narcotic. I haven’t proposed legalizing narcotics.

    Marijuana is not a narcotic and is nothing like a narcotic. I haven’t proposed legalizing narcotics.

    I used the term “narcotics racket” because that’s the term generally used when talking about the Mob and drug trafficking. Perhaps I should have just used the term drug trafficking. OK, so under your proposal the government will become a major player in drug trafficking.

    I think my point still stands. Why not have the government involved in the other rackets as well? Prostitution certainly does a good deal less social harm than marijuana.

  42. @RadicalCenter
    I don’t know that it’s wise to cut the military budget 80%, and politically it will be hard enough to cut it by the 40% I’m envisioning, even if hard-left snd/or libertarian / paleocon reformers manage to get elected to Congress in big numbers.

    I didn’t say that a $200/month UBI is enough. Of course you’re right that it’s not. My idea was to phase in the UBI so that the expense doesn’t outstrip the revenue raised by the two new federal excise taxes and elite income-tax hikes proposed.

    Maybe start higher than the mere couple hundred bucks I threw out there, though, to build a strong constituency relying on the UBI — a constituency that will support further big cuts in military spending and welfare-State bureaucracy if they know their UBI will go up every time further cuts take effect.

    Another concern is that increasing the UBI too fast would lead to more price and rent inflation as landlords and merchants try to capture much of the big increase in disposable income.

    In any event, we seem to agree that the goal should be replacing most of the federal welfare-state bureaucracy with a meaningfully large UBI.

    The military is also, to some degree, a jobs program, and military cuts of the size that you and I are proposing would surely lead to major layoffs in the military bureaucracy. Those people, too, will have a pressing need for a good severance package and then the UBI. I haven’t called for reductions in the number of actual fighting men in the army, navy, and Air Force, nor in the number of planes or ships. Probably wouldn’t support doing so (with few exceptions such as ending the boondoggle that is the aircraft carrier).

    Finishing with a note on the even larger military cuts that you favor: I’ve proposed that we have a public agency manufacture our armaments rather than profiteering corporations. This eliminates the part of military prices that is attributable to lavish executive compensation, profits needed to lay shareholder dividends, and profits needed to support share appreciation. We’d need to know how much of current exorbitant military prices is attributable to those items, which we can eliminate by having government armaments factories.

    In any event, we seem to agree that the goal should be replacing most of the federal welfare-state bureaucracy with a meaningfully large UBI.

    Yes. The UBI should be set at a level sufficient to live a decent life. Not just enough to keep people alive in misery and squalor.

    I haven’t called for reductions in the number of actual fighting men in the army, navy, and Air Force, nor in the number of planes or ships.

    You could eliminate the army entirely. It’s only purpose is to invade other people’s countries.

    • Disagree: iffen
  43. @RadicalCenter
    PS I think the UBI ultimately needs to be not just higher than average welfare payments, but as high as the average wage in the fields where jobs are going to be eliminated en masse by further automation (use of machines, robots, and now artificial Intelligence). As my favorite Chinese pinko Andrew Yang points out, these are not just minimum-wage jobs by any means.

    The revenue needed for such a large UBI will be massive indeed. That’s why I’ve proposed public ownership of our God-given natural resources, including oil, natural gas, metals, minerals, and spring water. The new federal excise taxes I’ve proposed (marijuana and foreign remittances) are useful and rarely mentioned, but they’re nowhere near enough to fund a sufficiently large UBI without some structural or systemic change in property ownership and a major change in taxation on the elites.

    Points for spelling “en masse” correctly.

  44. @RadicalCenter
    PS I think the UBI ultimately needs to be not just higher than average welfare payments, but as high as the average wage in the fields where jobs are going to be eliminated en masse by further automation (use of machines, robots, and now artificial Intelligence). As my favorite Chinese pinko Andrew Yang points out, these are not just minimum-wage jobs by any means.

    The revenue needed for such a large UBI will be massive indeed. That’s why I’ve proposed public ownership of our God-given natural resources, including oil, natural gas, metals, minerals, and spring water. The new federal excise taxes I’ve proposed (marijuana and foreign remittances) are useful and rarely mentioned, but they’re nowhere near enough to fund a sufficiently large UBI without some structural or systemic change in property ownership and a major change in taxation on the elites.

    PS I think the UBI ultimately needs to be not just higher than average welfare payments, but as high as the average wage in the fields where jobs are going to be eliminated en masse by further automation (use of machines, robots, and now artificial Intelligence).

    Yes, I agree with that.

    The revenue needed for such a large UBI will be massive indeed. That’s why I’ve proposed public ownership of our God-given natural resources, including oil, natural gas, metals, minerals, and spring water.

    That’s socialism! But I like it and I agree with you. But politically not easy to achieve when both parties are owned lock, stock and barrel by billionaires and mega-corporations.

    Of course if the economy actually does collapse completely and society implodes as a result of the lockdowns then things that are not easy to achieve politically might suddenly become very achievable.

  45. @Twodees Partain
    My idea of voters behaving rationally would have to include boycotting elections. Voters have never quite grasped the obvious truth that they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting, for all the difference voting makes.

    they may as well just go and get drunk instead of voting

    In the good old days they could do both. Many candidates made free alcohol the main tactic of their campaigns. “Good government” types eventually ended it by forcing alcohol venues to close on election day.

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