The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersAudacious Epigone Blog
Provide for the Peaceful Pepper-Free Airing of Grievances
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

In case it is unclear, there are distinct lines to be drawn between people protesting non-violently, people looting, and people physically attacking other people. The previous post concerned the latter two groups who surely comprise a minority of people who’ve taken to the streets over the last week. Instances of protesters being detained for taunting the police or just saying something the police don’t want to hear is optically awful and is unacceptable behavior from a representative of the state against a private citizen:

Dwelling on that for a moment, it dawned on me that just as it is easier to harass a suburban mother taking her kids to the park than it is to harass people in the streets, it’s easier to harass protesters than it is to go after violent looters. Why are there more videos of people being arrested for shouting at cops than there are of people being arrested for carting off plasma televisions? It seems unlikely to exclusively be a consequence of selective editing and uploading, since videos of any kind of on-the-ground action are getting lots of eyeballs on them. If you have the clip, you want it to go viral.

Regarding the pessimism about the prospects of the violence ending without being violently ended, the reasons for the unrest–massive unemployment, stagnant wages, social atomization, people at the bottom of society being crushed by the law while the people at the top skate–go along way in explaining the it. These are real issues tearing away at the seams of a very frayed American tapestry. Would so many people be so angry if instead of growing the Fed’s balance sheet by $3,000,000,000,000 in three months, the government had given every American adult $12,000 over that same time period?

Rhetorical, of course. The system doesn’t care because that’s not who the system exists for.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Chaos and order, Class 
Hide 49 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Rosie says:

    Dwelling on that for a moment, it dawned on me that just as it is easier to harass a suburban mother taking her kids to the park than it is to harass people in the streets,

    Precisely, and it allows them to justify their existence.

  2. Spot on analyses! Any coincidence that the rioting / looting is predominantly occuring in blue states with totalitarian governor’s and mayors who flatly refuse to remove their boot from the necks of their constituents after lying about two weeks two “flatten the curve”, continuing after Trump said to reopen, the inconsistent and nonsensical petty rules, the do as I say not as I do hypocrisy going to vacation houses and to get hair cuts, and telling the proles to suck it up? Yeah the blue states have the highest concentration of blacks, but I’m not buying that lockdown bullshit didn’t prime the anger pump!

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  3. anon[146] • Disclaimer says:

    I think a lot of people who supported the lockdowns just thought the government would do the right thing and handle the situation perfectly (or at least competently). Instead, they badly bungled things making it far worse than if we had done nothing at all. That’s just crazy. It’s one thing to make bad choices, it is another to only make bad choices — the worst possible. We are truly living at the end of an era.

    • Replies: @VinnyVette
  4. You’re right, and also the leaders of the blue states are willing to accept some collateral damage in the Orange Man Bad revolution. They consider it a small price to pay to get rid of Cheeto Hitler. Small businesses are a pain in the ass for them to regulate anyway, the states will shed no tears when they’re gone. And an intimidated or brainwashed or drugged up (depending on the drug) population is much more subservient.

    If this is coup attempt number 4, what will coup attempts number 5 and 6 look like? Whatever the outcome of the Glorious Revolution, I have a feeling that at the end Golman Sachs will still have theirs. Which means that at the end, much of Not Goldman Sachs will not still have much of theirs.

    • Replies: @Realist
  5. Dumbo says:

    Stop the presses! George Floyd had coronavirus. Maybe his death can now be safely chalked up to corona and all the protests can end. Go home, folks!

    https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/george-floyd-protests-06-04-20/h_c146c66a73b4e51cc3fac1f2ce02020e

  6. Pericles says:

    the reasons for the unrest–massive unemployment, stagnant wages, social atomization, people at the bottom of society being crushed by the law while the people at the top skate–go along way in explaining the it. These are real issues tearing away at the seams of a very frayed American tapestry.

    I’d expect an entirely different set of protesters if that was really the case. These rioters fully expect to skate after a feeble official response by their pals in government.

  7. t says:

    With all the signs reading “DEFUND POLICE” a looked up what the GSS had to say about it and they did in 2016, turns out cutting funding for the police is very unpopular:

    SPPOLICE

    Overall:

    1: SPEND MUCH MORE 10.9

    2: SPEND MORE 39.8

    3: SPEND SAME 39.2

    4: SPEND LESS 8.5

    5: SPEND MUCH LESS 1.5

    White

    1: SPEND MUCH MORE 11.1

    2: SPEND MORE 40.7

    3: SPEND SAME 39.4

    4: SPEND LESS 7.6

    5: SPEND MUCH LESS 1.3
    Black:

    1: SPEND MUCH MORE 12.5

    2: SPEND MORE 37.1

    3: SPEND SAME 33.5

    4: SPEND LESS 14.3

    5: SPEND MUCH LESS 2.7

    Hispanic:

    1: SPEND MUCH MORE 10.1

    2: SPEND MORE 42.9

    3: SPEND SAME 39.3

    4: SPEND LESS 6.0

    5: SPEND MUCH LESS 1.8

  8. Dwelling on that for a moment, it dawned on me that just as it is easier to harass a suburban mother taking her kids to the park than it is to harass people in the streets, it’s easier to harass protesters than it is to go after violent looters.

    Bullies prefer soft, easy targets.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @nebulafox
  9. nebulafox says:
    @Adam Smith

    Some realities of life never really change from your school days, do they? The most insecure bark the loudest.

  10. Twinkie says:

    I have been critical of the way the Floyd arrest was handled, but let me stick up for law enforcement officers a bit here. While there is no excuse for the police behavior in that video, especially firing a tear gas canister direct at an individual protester, there are some conceivable explanations for this kind of an aggressive police response even against “peaceful” demonstrators.

    First of all, try to realize that police officers are human beings and, as such, get upset, angry, vengeful, stressed, tired, fearful, and, yes, make mistakes. When I first saw the Floyd arrest video, notwithstanding my pro-police sentiments, my initial thought was, “That guy had a bad day and is taking it out on another arrestee. He shouldn’t be a police officer.”

    Now, try to imagine what these police officers have gone through in the past week or so. They are likely working nonstop with very little rest, as these protests have created an “all hands on deck” sitution. They are likely physically and emotionally exhausted. Policing the street is often already a very stressful job ordinarily. One friend of mine who is a retired big city police officer told me once that many patrol officers want to get off the street ASAP and do something cushier – “It gets to you, walking the street and seeing the worst and the dirtiest of humanity. The crud gets on your uniform, your body, your face. And it’s very stressful not knowing for sure if the next guy you interact with is a nice guy or some deranged person waiting to stick a knife into you. You have to be on alert with everyone. You look at everyone with suspicion.”

    The current situation is like that, only times hundred. The officers can’t tell ahead if the next group of “protesters” is going to be peaceful, a bit rowdy, or crazies who throw bricks and Molotov cocktails at them or even shoot at them. They are often outnumbered. The media is out to make them look like bad guys, the civilian leadership has abanoned them, it feels like nobody is looking out for them. It probably feels like the whole country is after them.

    On top of all the psychological stress, they are probably exhausted physically. Their normal “3 on, 2 off” type of schedule is gone and they likely have been working everyday in highly demanding situations. We might think that truly peaceful demonstrators have nothing to do with looters and violent thugs, but in reality, having to escort and deal with peaceful demonstrators is still mentally and physically taxing and takes away resources and personnel from dealing with looters and violent thugs. Indeed, seen from that perspective, the nonviolent protesters enable the looters and the thugs.

    There is a saying that “fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Well, not only is that true in that being exhausted degrades your willpower tremendously, fatigue also makes assholes and monsters of us all too. Fatigue and stress can degrade judgment critically. When people are very tired, mentally besieged, feel isolated and abandoned by their leaders, demonized, and have been battling dangerous and violent people, it doesn’t take much to set them off – being confronted, being yelled at, or being “disrespected” can do it very easily.

    Without imaginging this context, it’s easy to critize that officer who fired the tear gas cannister as being an asshole, out-of-control cop. But my guess is, he is probably not the same guy as he would be on the first day of some peaceful demonstration. He probably wouldn’t do what he did on the video. But chances are, that’s not the first day for him. I am not suggesting whatever the strains he has experienced justifiy his behavior. Being sworn to protect and serve is a higher calling and requires those thusly sworn to hold themselves to a higher standard. But before they are law enforcement officers, they are people first. And people do things that are out of the ordinary when they are overwhelmed, physically and mentally. We ought to keep that in mind when we judge their actions onscreen, instead of expecting them to be robotically competent and in-control people who don’t break mentally no matter what.

    • Thanks: Yahya K.
  11. Realist says:
    @Che Blutarsky

    If this is coup attempt number 4, what will coup attempts number 5 and 6 look like? Whatever the outcome of the Glorious Revolution, I have a feeling that at the end Golman Sachs will still have theirs. Which means that at the end, much of Not Goldman Sachs will not still have much of theirs.

    True the Deep State and their minions will be fine (still rich and powerful).

    But if you think Trump is the savior of truth and justice…you are wrong. Trump is also a Deep State minion. It is a charade. trump has done nothing to make it better for most Americans. A most recent and reoccuring example is Antifa…Trump has done nothing to stop Antifa. Antifa has been around for many years. This is just one of Trump’s many failures.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  12. You have to understand that police will sometimes have to push back when they can.

    Have you ever been in a fight?

    So, they shot some gas at that protester. Maybe they were tasked with moving that crowd back. That one person came up beyond some abstract line, and he got gassed. Big Fucking Deal.

    Let’s state that again: Big Fucking Deal.

    As has been said to me: This is not the hill to die on.

    • Replies: @Nodwink
  13. Nodwink says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    How do those boots taste?

  14. … people at the bottom of society being crushed by the law while the people at the top skate…

    I disagree here, A.E. It’s the middle that gets crushed by what you describe, basically anarcho-tyranny. It’s much easier to get a middle-class guy with a family and wage job to come in to court pay that stupid ticket for rolling through the 4-way than that ghetto (fatherless) family with no tail-lights working and smoke pouring out the pipe. There are lots of people with not much to lose.

    People getting welfare, WIC, disability, etc or “3 hots and a cot” are doing just fine. OK, obviously not fine, but with not much to lose, this crap is only affecting those with middle-class lives, or at least middle-class ambitions.

    The top and the bottom skate, while the middle, what’s left of it, complies and pays. The problem is that “what’s left of it” part. The middle has been eviscerated. The elites love this as they do not like any competition or any people with disposable income, good ideas about governance, and a little time on their hands. Unfortunately, someone’s got to uphold law and order and pay for everything. Ooops. It’s just not working out.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  15. @anon

    Most everyone was on board for the “two weeks flatten the curve” b.s. and then they pulled the bait and switch. They lied! Blue states still will not relent and reopen to full pre coronahoax levels. Yeah we’re pissed!

  16. @Achmed E. Newman

    40% of people making less than $40k were relieved of employment due to lockdowns. Meanwhile, the upper middle class professional managerial elite just worked from home and saved on transport and dining out.

    The Poor were made to sacrifice to supposedly keep people well. We know now that the virus was the biggest risk to those over 70. That population looks like America did in 1950, more than 85% white. So, young, poor mostly NAM people were disadvantaged by largely white older politicians to save older white people. It wasn’t sold that way, but that has been the effect.

    If you expect young black and Hispanic people to voluntarily pay in to Social Security to support older white people, which is what that particular Ponzi scheme is going to require, you’re feeding the flames (I expect you’re an opponent of the system, fwiw.)

  17. In case it is unclear, there are distinct lines to be drawn between people protesting non-violently, people looting, and people physically attacking other people.

    I despise them all. Their entire supposed movement is based on the lies of White privilege and systemic racism.

    • Agree: songbird, Buzz Mohawk, Lowe
    • Replies: @Talha
  18. anon[558] • Disclaimer says:

    In case it is unclear, there are distinct lines to be drawn between people protesting non-violently, people looting, and people physically attacking other people.

    You are wrong. It is more of a Venn diagram, with overlap between the different groups of people.

    One can say that there is a group mostly protesting non violently – but some of them are there for other reasons.

    One can say that people may start off carrying a sign and protesting in a non violent way, but when other people start smashing windows, a certain percentage of the non violent will join in.

    Venn diagram describes this more accurately, but you have to accept that “some” and “all” are not synonyms, that people’s moods can change over the course of hours or days, and that everyone has a means streak or dark side. Most of us control that most of the time. In the race between emotion and reason, we all let emotion win from time to time, but some groups of people are better at the whole “reason” thing than others.

    This whole event would be a long chapter in an update of Charles MacKay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, longer than the chapter on witch burnings, probably longer than the chapter on the South Seas Bubble. It really has become a kind of madness, a very cultish thing.

    Because I do not have social media connections, especially Facebook, nor do view much commercial vid (CNN, Fox, PMSNBC, etc.) and I view Twitter / TikTok / YT vids with a critical eye, I’m pretty close to immune to the brainwashing. My emotions have been under control, and I keep seeing the same falsehoods repeated – lies, to be blunt, are everywhere. Facebook is stuffed with them. Groupthink is all around me, it’s like living in a neighborhood where everyone has joined some crazy Jim Jones style cult.

    I repeat: Venn diagram. Not crisp boundaries between the categories, fuzzy ones. That’s human nature.

  19. Talha says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Hating them all is irrelevant – you can hate them for being liberals or being black or being under 50 – it doesn’t really matter; he is specifically asking for distinctions in how the law handles one group of protestors (peaceful, orderly) versus the other (riotous, violent).

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  20. Meanwhile, there’s trouble in paradise.

    OT:

    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2020/06/04/Knife-wielding-attacker-injures-39-at-Chinese-primary-school/8161591282481/

    Haven’t we been told, over and over here on UR, that China is the coolest place on Earth with the best darned gov’mnt in history, where those superior worker bees never, ever do anything wrong? They have their shit together, right?

    (Hey, I realize this is less than a drop of piss in an ocean of beer, but still, it sounds so…American or European-Muslim Murderer, don’t it?)

  21. Does anyone know how those “we’ll help you settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar” things actually work?

    Seems like it could be a low key/low risk way to do a tax revolt

  22. Talha says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    They have their shit together, right?

    Someone obviously didn’t…
    “The suspect, identified as Li Xiaomin, 50, a security guard at the school, has been detained.”

    All of the monitoring and classification and records they do for their citizens seems to have missed this. If you turn your country into a surveillance-police-state and you still have random guys going stab-happy once in a while on women and children…was it all worth it?

    Reminds me of the final culprit in Gattaca.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  23. @Talha

    All of the monitoring and classification and records they do for their citizens seems to have missed this. If you turn your country into a surveillance-police-state

    Perhaps someone isn’t telling the truth ?
    Or rather wishful thinking at work.

    Imagine if they had granted him Second Amendment rights. 😢😢

    • Replies: @Talha
  24. Talha says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Perhaps someone isn’t telling the truth? Or rather wishful thinking at work.

    Either way, stab-happy Li slipped through the cracks. Don’t they have facial recognition software that tells if you are lying and stuff?:
    “The technology scans classrooms at Hangzhou No. 11 High School every 30 seconds and records students’ facial expressions, categorizing them into happy, angry, fearful, confused, or upset….The use of facial-recognition technology is soaring in China, where it is being used to increase efficiency and improve policing. Cameras are used to catch jaywalkers, find fugitives, track people’s regular hangouts, and even predict crime.”
    https://www.businessinsider.com/china-school-facial-recognition-technology-2018-5

    I’m just pointing out that if you go hyper-security state and stuff like this still happens, well…was it worth it?

    Is anybody allowed to own personal firearms in China? I mean, on one side of the spectrum you have a place like Pakistan which is awash in unregistered personal firearms, but I thought China was on the complete other side, no?

    One of the issues with a police-surveilance-security state is that it makes citizens very incapable and reliant on the state for a sense of order, security and safety. This is not good for human beings in general:

    Peace.

  25. @Talha

    Yes, and at this point, I want them all before the sword.

  26. Don’t mean to commandeer AE’s comment section, but right now there is “Airing of Grievances” happening on American television. (Is today Festivus?)

    My wife wanted to watch one of her brainless entertainment shows, turned on the TV, and instead, every major network, plus every news network — a total of at least six — is airing the funeral service for George Floyd.

    First thing we saw on the screen: Al Sharpton giving a speech/sermon about how Black people have a knee on their necks right now in my America. Al Sharpton, lying race hustler, on six networks like a president giving an address.

    This country is being flushed down the toilet, while we watch.

    • Replies: @Talha
  27. Talha says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    My wife wanted to watch one of her brainless entertainment shows

    Quick question; feel free to ignore if you like.

    So, where does your wife stand on all this? Is she basically on the same angle as you with regards to this or is she more sympathetic to the protestors? Just wondering…

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  28. songbird says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    This stabbing problem could be solved quite easily, IMO, by the wider use of “man-catcher” poles, which seem common tools of the police in China. BTW, I don’t know if that is actually what they call them, but I’ve seen video of them being used on illegal Nigerians.

    I think this reference to “steel pitchforks” in wikipedia, refers to them:

    The education ministry has formed an emergency panel to tackle the violence and some local police authorities have distributed such instruments as steel pitchforks and pepper spray to security guards in schools.

    I guess pepper spray would also help.

    • Replies: @Talha
  29. @Talha

    She is a little more sympathetic than I am. That is okay with me. We have been talking a lot about it, and that is good too. She has been known to change my mind, and I hers.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @SafeNow
  30. Talha says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    She has been known to change my mind, and I hers.

    Signs of a healthy relationship.

    Peace.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
  31. Talha says:
    @songbird

    You mean like this?

    distributed such instruments as steel pitchforks and pepper spray to security guards in schools.

    Stab-happy Li was a security guard in the school.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @songbird
  32. SafeNow says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Commandeer-away; this sympathy/empathy/fairmindedness thing, which Inspector Morse called “the cuddlier qualities,” is now quite relevant, I now realize. I am not saying that these qualities are as important as “good with sauces,” which Ian Fleming underscored, but these are important.

  33. “Would so many people be so angry if instead of growing the Fed’s balance sheet by $3,000,000,000,000 in three months, the government had given every American adult $12,000 over that same time period?”

    I was recently offered 100k if I would take responsibility for something I had no part in. You know the depth people will go yo avoid responsibility to denigrate, humiliate and force others into submission knows no bounds it seems.

    But I think the observations at the top have weight. Nothing wrong with having money. Nothing wrong with being rich, but there is something definitely wrong with getting rich by not only avoiding responsibility for said action, but expecting the victims of the same to foot the bill.

    And engaging in everything and anything to destroy their reputations to force the matter of escape. It is not as if people don’t know or are not figuring out the game that is afoot.

    It is depressing. And worse is to know that the men you voted for are part of aiding and abetting such behavior is always disappointing.

  34. songbird says:
    @Talha

    Yes, that’s it. Thanks, it is interesting to see them using it against a guy with a machete.

    Stab-happy Li was a security guard in the school.

    I realize that, but I was thinking maybe there could be one in every classroom, or at least a few in every school. I don’t know if that seems excessive, but maybe, they could make it into something with a dual-purpose, like a broom-stick, or something. It seems like something that could be mass-manufactured for cheap. And once you have it, you don’t really need to do any maintenance on it – it would last forever.

    It just seems like a practical solution to me, against stabbings. I remember going to school in the US, after shootings in far away places, and they lost their minds and made all these crazy changes – like no carrying your backpack between classes – keep it in your locker. Or locking all the doors, but the main entrance. There was a policeman, which was probably excessive in the suburbs, though maybe not since some urban blacks were bused in, and the US is a very litigious and race-sensitive society.

    I guess screening crazy people in sensitive jobs is a big problem. (For example: Germanwings Flight 9525.) A lot seem to say it is impossible. I suspect that it might be possible – or at least possible to screen more of them – with the right tools. But that sort of thing makes a lot of people uncomfortable – stuff where there would be false positives, even though you’d actually be getting most of the dangerous folks.

    What is forgotten in a lot of these cases, is that a lot of these people don’t have fathers in their lives. I don’t know whether that is the case in China too. And of course, if the craziness is heritable, that might explain it partly.

    • Replies: @Talha
  35. Talha says:
    @songbird

    It just seems like a practical solution to me, against stabbings.

    I see your point here.

    What is forgotten in a lot of these cases, is that a lot of these people don’t have fathers in their lives.

    Big, big problem.

    Peace.

  36. nebulafox says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    These kinds of spree attacks are nothing new in China.

    The wackos there don’t have as easy access to guns (a lot of PRC guys who are interested in shooting head to the Philippines-which has a strong gun culture-on weekends), so they use knives instead, and instead of turning the tragedy into a pseudo-apocalpytic vehicle for their ideological hobby horses, the media over there goes to the opposite extreme and simply refuses to address it. Everything’s fine, nothing to see here…

    We’ve forgotten the concept of Aristotlean moderation, as a species.

  37. @TomSchmidt

    Tom, I have said for decades that one (of the many) reason that Soc. Sec. is doomed is that the immigrants are not going to be willing to pay the high taxes needed to keep ME (childless white man, 58 yo) in current payments, even at the poverty level. They may move their old relatives in the house with them, but wont give up 30% of gross income for a national scam, er, I mean old age and disability support system. Will Medicare hold up? I am betting not.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  38. @Buzz Mohawk

    No, you don’t get it, Buzz. As with all the schools in China, that one was a gun-free zone. And it worked just fine too!

  39. @TomSchmidt

    Tom, our definitions don’t match, I think. The low end by my definition is the poor that get loads of free stuff from everyone else via redistribution. You refer to the working class, I am guessing, and yes, they are getting screwed (and have been). Those upper middle class executives I’d put with “the top”. All those computer guys, creative guys, engineers, etc, that have been working from home do have their jobs, but they will still get screwed via higher taxes to pay for this all, at least after all the borrowing comes due.

    You are right that I am an opponent of the SS system, Tom. Since you mentioned it, here is a 2-part Peak Stupidity post on the subject: “The Social Security Scam, errr, Scheme(?)”Part 1 and Part 2.

    Thanks for the reply.

  40. @Brian Reilly

    It’s not just immigrants who will balk at paying an increasing share of their income to support retirees.

    As the number of workers per retiree continues to fall towards 2 (from 16:1 in 1950 to 2.9:1 in 2015) the tax rates required for all employed individuals will be the subject of increasing acrimony.

    This demographic change has been understood since the 1980s, which is why Greenspan and his cronies started Jewing the methods used to calculate the Consumer Price Index (CPI) – adding hedonics; chain-link indexing; substitution effects and so forth.

    These combine to cut the measured CPI by more than 3% relative to the prior ‘fixed-basket‘ method (which is still what people think of when they hear the acronym “CPI“).

    CPI was finagled precisely because it was the basis for COLA (cost-of-living adjustments) for pensions. Artificially suppressing CPI means that COLA adjusts pensions by less than the actual increase in the cost of living… thus reducing the real value of pensions over time.

    Real wage growth is negligible outside the top quintile, and this means that pensions must be cut in real terms because otherwise they (pensions) will consume 100% of feasible taxes (i.e., the level of income taxation that can be applied without a revolt).

    Median real wages have barely budged since the 1970s – and it’s worse if you use a proper deflator to discount. Using a fixed-basket CPI, median real wages have gone backwards – hard – for 4 decades.

    This helps explain why a median household could easily afford a median house in 1978, but a top-decile household today can’t afford a median house, even with interest rates well below levels that are non-inflationary-without-finagling.

    .

    Note that this is not just a US phenomenon: it’s relevant all across the West. The political class made promises that they can’t keep; so they decided just to Jew everyone with a CPI fiddle… with abundant pilpul crafted to enable them to claim that they didn’t renege.

    And mandatory worker contributions to defined-contribution schemes (e.g., 9% mandatory pre-tax ‘superannuation contributions’ in Australia) are designed to generate gigantic piles of money to be managed by the finance industry – for fees that total tens of billions a year.

    Meanwhile, this leaves take-home private sector wages 10% lower than they would otherwise be, thereby increasing household reliance on revolving credit. As if by design… promise people too dumb to get a decent job that this scheme will give them a comfortable retirement – but they have to have a (growing) exposure to (highly-profitable, for banks) revolving credit in order to live long enough to retire.

    Worse: ‘self-funded’ investment-based retirement plans can’t possibly work across the board (make every retiree twice as rich? Just leads to inflation).

    People contributing to them will get – at best – bond-like real returns over a worker lifespan, for the simple reason that demography is working against the demand side in the market for financial instruments. Add that the funds management industry has zero net alpha; there will be a bunch of disappointed future retirees.

    .

    This was obvious in the 1990s, but anyone who said so faced a rather (ahem) truncated career in policy analysis.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  41. nebulafox says:

    OT: well, I’ve become a little less indifferent to the election now. This is one of Biden’s possible picks for Defense Secretary…

    In other words, nothing should change. There was nothing fundamentally against American interests about the world trade structure our leaders embraced from the 1990s onward. What we’re going through now has nothing to do with the systematic de-industrializing and rentiering of the American economy, and only ignorant, racist peasants could think otherwise. I expect little from Trump, but at least he’s not likely to appoint people who are too explicitly pro-China.

    It’s the underlying bipartisan elite consensus that the nation-state exists to serve the economy. How much of this is self-serving grifting and how much is genuine belief, I don’t know, but it doesn’t really matter: in successful countries that are not oligarch-ridden basketcases, it is the other way around-the economy exists to serve the nation. Until this is changed, nothing’s going to change, and that means getting rid of an entire generation’s worth of trade policies that have proven nothing less than a dumpster fire.

    I’m a realist when it comes to China. Chinese society is going to face some major problems going forward, from organized crime to debt to a lopsided gender balance, but the place just isn’t going to revert to being a backwater that isn’t a major power in the world. We’re back to “normal”, from the long-term historical perspective: the difficult, artificially prolonged collapse of the Qing meshing with other destructive factors meant that the weak, divided, insular period in China that is normative between dynasties lasted longer than usual throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries.

    So why, given that reality, accept a view of the world that benignly assumes American power can just cruise on autopilot while the Chinese magically adopt democracy through the power of Free Trade and WTO gimmies-even assuming that Americans should *care* whether they adopt democracy or not? How China governs itself is not the issue, how their actions impact America’s own security and interests is. Because that’s what it takes if you endorse a vision of the world that doesn’t think letting private corporations and individuals export critical technologies and supply chains to a rival is a good idea-including 70% of our pharma industry, for that matter. Largely exported under Bush II and Obama at the behest of the US drug industry.

    https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/coronavirus-disrupt-us-drug-supply-shortages-fda

    Bit of an issue during a pandemic, no?

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk, Twinkie, AaronB
  42. dvorak says:

    Instances of protesters being detained for taunting the police or just saying something the police don’t want to hear is optically awful and is unacceptable behavior from a representative of the state against a private citizen

    Waahhhhh, sniff, sniff, boo hoo.

    AE sounds like a libertarian here. “Protest and the right to scream in a cop’s face is who. we. are. Remember Thomas Jefferson and his nation of yeoman protestors!”

    I know, let’s try Opportunity Zones and tax cuts for drug dealers.

  43. @Realist

    A most recent and reoccuring example is Antifa…Trump has done nothing to stop Antifa.

    Antifa was just declared a terrorist organization.

    This step had to wait for the right time.  That time didn’t come until now.

    • Replies: @Realist
  44. @Kratoklastes

    In lieu of a “Thanks” tag, I must post this.

  45. Realist says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Antifa was just declared a terrorist organization.

    That’s talk…action is required.

    This step had to wait for the right time. That time didn’t come until now.

    Meaningless comments…the time was years ago. You are an apologist for Trump. He had many chances in the last three years when Antifa was beating the crap out of Whites at public speeches.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  46. @Realist

    He had many chances in the last three years when Antifa was beating the crap out of Whites at public speeches.

    Two things wrong with doing it then:

    1.  It would have been viewed as a partisan political act.  Now, when it’s blue cities at risk, it’s statesmanship.
    2.  Antifa has plenty of support, from organizations like the Soros foundations.  It took time to uncover the links and follow the money.  Now Trump can roll up entire networks, not just grab a few footsoldiers.

    Don’t underestimate the power of removing Soros’ Open Society crap, and maybe Soros himself.

    • Replies: @Realist
  47. Realist says:
    @Mr. Rational

    1. It would have been viewed as a partisan political act. Now, when it’s blue cities at risk, it’s statesmanship.

    Not at all. There will always be the appearance of conflict between the two parties.

    The Deep State doesn’t care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the two parties as long as their important issues are advanced (wealth and power). As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

    Antifa has plenty of support, from organizations like the Soros foundations. It took time to uncover the links and follow the money. Now Trump can roll up entire networks, not just grab a few footsoldiers.

    I have known of Soros’ involvement for years. His organization could have been infiltrated many years ago.

    Don’t underestimate the power of removing Soros’ Open Society crap, and maybe Soros himself.

    You have a child like infatuation with Trump. He has talked big…and accomplished nothing. He has hired numerous known Deep State supporters, yet rabid Trump supporters constantly make excuses for his failures

  48. @VinnyVette

    The point of the drive toward utter destruction in the Blue cities and States is to support the demand for their being bailed out by the Feds, i.e. Me and you,

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Audacious Epigone Comments via RSS