Cool rain and the dismal science

IT’S BEEN RAINING a lot recently, and that’s cooled things down nicely. Even though it’s raining, I still head downtown most afternoons to sit at a sidewalk table with a nice café americano negro and my trusty Kindle.

It’s a good way to live.

My current book, and I’m just about finished with it, is Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics. It came recommended by young Ben Shapiro, a brilliant, conservative guy in spite of his not being a fan of President Trump.

Ain’t nobody perfect in this troubled world.

They don’t call economics the dismal science for no reason. Trying to get a good grip on the subject is a dismal undertaking, especially for someone like me who grapples with simple arithmetic.  But Hazlitt makes it pretty easy.

The book was first published in the late 1940s and updated in the late 1970s, but it’s quite relevant today because some things don’t change.

Hazlitt simplified things for me, and I’m going to make it even simpler for you:

A free market, unfettered by government meddling, works best 98 percent of the time. That’s the core message. But there’s more.

If government meddles in the free market, it should do this: 1. Look not at the immediate, desired effect of a policy, but at its long-term effects. 2. Look not just at the people a policy is designed to benefit, but at everyone it affects.

It’s quite common that a policy will help one group of people while doing harm to other, larger groups of people. And it’s common for a policy to right a perceived wrong today while creating greater wrongs over the long haul.

Hazlitt points out that most laymen do not take this into consideration when favoring something, and even professional economists can fail to take into account the long-term effects.

Speaking of professional economists, I cannot resist mentioning Paul Krugman’s prediction the stock market would tank if Trump became president. Of course, it did quite the opposite. One must chuckle.

On to the Irony Department, Starbucks, about as vocally leftist an outfit as you’ll find, is closing 150 stores in the United States due to minimum-wage increases and government regulations, putting scads of SJW employees out of work.

Nailed by their beloved socialism.

Minimum-wage increases is one of the things Hazlitt touches on at length as being an example of short-term vision. Government steps in to help “poor people,” but fails to realize the broader effects of a high minimum wage.

The higher salaries is money that comes from somewhere else. It is not pulled out of thin air. Starbucks sees that now. One must chuckle even more.

Hazlitt’s book is just 220 pages. I recommend it to you.

Obviously, it was not raining in the above video, which was taken a year ago, but it was raining in the video below, which was taken four years ago. Rain looks the same from one year to the next.

 

The left’s poisoning of everything

(A quarter of a century ago when I still voted for the notably different Democrat Party, still lived in Houston with my second wife, I enjoyed watching Dennis Prager’s television show. Prager is a conservative Jew, a radio talk-show host, author and columnist. Even back in those days, I always agreed with him, which means I was a conservative at heart. I just had not quite seen the light.

(Prager is the source of one of my favorite quotes, one of those I have in the right sidebar here: “The usurpation of the word ‘liberal’ by the left has been a catastrophe.” The left’s superior skill with words often leaves conservatives coughing in the dust. But without further ado, here’s Dennis Prager.)

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Guest Post

new-image2The only way to save Western civilization is to convince more people that leftism — not liberalism — is a nihilistic force. Quite literally, whatever the left touches it ruins. So, here is a partial listing of the damage done by the left and the Democratic Party:

The most obvious is the near destruction of most American universities as places of learning. In the words of Harvard professor Steven Pinker — an atheist and a liberal — outside of the natural sciences and a few other disciplines (such as mathematics and business) “universities are becoming laughingstocks of intolerance.”

If you send your children to a university, you are endangering both their minds and their characters. There is a real chance they will be more intolerant and more foolish after college than they were when they entered college.

When you attend an American university, you are taught to have contempt for America and its founders, to prefer socialism to capitalism, to divide human beings by race and ethnicity. You are taught to shut down those who differ with you, not to debate them. And you are taught to place feelings over reason — which is a guaranteed route to eventual evil.

The left has ruined most of the arts. The following three examples are chosen because they are scatological, a favorite form of left-wing artistic expression. Before the left poisoned the arts, art was intended to elevate the viewer (or listener). But to the left, “elevate” is a meaningless term; it is far more at home depicting urine, fecal matter and menstrual blood.

In 2011, a lifelike German sculpture depicting a policewoman squatting and urinating — even the puddle is sculpted — received an award from a prestigious German foundation, the Leinemann Foundation for Fine Art.

In 2013, the Orange County Museum of Art in California placed a huge 28-foot sculpture of a dog outside the museum, where it periodically urinates a yellow fluid onto a museum wall.

In 2016, one of the most prestigious art museums in the world, the Guggenheim in New York, featured a pure-gold working toilet bowl, which visitors were invited to use. The name of the exhibit was “America” — so one could literally relieve oneself on America.

Thanks to the left, The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the greatest orchestras in the world, allowed itself to become a voice of leftist hate last week. It featured the premiere of Philadelphia Voices, “a political rant put to musical garbage,” as some musically knowledgeable Philadelphians described it to me. In the fifth movement, titled “My House Is Full of Black People,” the black teen narrator chants the following lines: “The county is full of black people/ All wanting to be heard/ While old white men draw lines on maps/ To shut all of them up.” Later in the movement, he yells, “If you would all just f—-ing listen!”

Uplifting, no?

On the left, that’s considered art.

And, of course, such politicization of the arts is accepted as the norm.

Indeed, that’s part of the left’s poisoning of everything — its politicization of everything.

The left is increasingly poisoning sports. In most football stadiums this past season, one could not attend an NFL game without being subjected to left-wing contempt for America and its flag.

So, too, one cannot watch late-night television if one desires to simply be entertained before drifting off to sleep. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and other hosts have changed late-night TV into left-night TV. Why merely be funny when you can use your monologues to advance your left-wing views?

The left has poisoned mainstream religion. Mainstream Protestantism, non-Orthodox Judaism and much of the Catholic Church — including and especially Pope Francis — are essentially left-wing advocacy groups with religious symbols.

The left is destroying the unique American commitment to free speech. Almost half of incoming college freshmen do not believe in free speech for what they deem “hate speech” (merely taking issue with a left-wing position is, in the left’s view, “hate speech”). They do not understand that the whole point of free speech is allowing the expression of opposing ideas, including what we consider “hate speech.”

The left has poisoned race relations. America is the least racist multiracial society in the world. On a daily basis, Americans of every race and ethnicity get along superbly. But the black left and the white left constantly poison young minds with hate-filled diatribes against whites, “white privilege,” “systemic racism,” black dorms, black graduations, lies about the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the like.

The left has made innumerable women unhappy, even depressed, with its decades of lying about how female sexual nature and male sexual nature are identical — leading to a “hookup” culture that leaves vast numbers of young women depressed — and its indoctrinating of generations of young women into believing they will be happier through career success than marital success.

And, in some ways scariest of all, the left is poisoning our children with its commitment to ending male and female as distinct categories. One of the great joys of life, celebrating one’s sex, is now deemed nothing more than a hateful idea in many of your children’s schools.

For these and other reasons, if you treasure American and Western civilization, fighting the left — something all liberals and conservatives need to do — is the greatest good you can engage in at this time.

First glorious year of King Trump’s reign

year
The Teddy Roosevelt of our times.

KING TRUMP was crowned one year ago today, and a glorious year it has been. In no particular order, read and rejoice at this partial list of accomplishments:

  1. No planes crashed. Last year there were no fatalities in commercial air travel. Worldwide! That was the first year ever. It was, of course, also the first year of King Trump’s reign. Coincidence? I think not.
  2. Unlike Obama, Trump does not kowtow to foreign bigwigs, especially the really nasty ones, and there are lots of really nasty ones. Trump is no throne-sniffer. Weepy Barry Obama was a world-class throne-sniffer.
  3. The economy took heart at the election of The Donald sending the stock market into record territory. The Dow soared 31 percent. Money is good, as is capitalism. Socialism baaaad. The Democrats’ economic God, the sleazy Paul Krugman, said the global economy would collapse if Trump became president. Whoops-a-daisy! Back to the drawing board wid ya, Paul, ya nincompoop!
  4. The overall unemployment rate has fallen, but did you know that the jobless rate for blacks has dipped to the lowest level since 1972? Yes, those very same people who voted against the Donald in droves like clueless, black sheep have had their job opportunities rise in Trump’s first year in the Oval Office.
  5. Put Neil Gorsuch, an upstanding man, on the Supreme Court.
  6. “Climate Change” is removed from the national threat list, whatever that is. Anyway, it’s good to make it official that climate changes sometimes, and there’s not much of anything you can do aside from sending Al Gore a financial contribution. But there are other, even better, changes to the national security strategy. Just take a look.
  7. Israel, Christianity and Judaism back on top with Trump! It’s important to remember that Israel, unlike the Mohammedan states, does not oppress women who are included in the military. Mohammedan women are never in their military because they can hardly step outdoors without a male chaperone.
  8. Trumpian tax cuts are boosting economic confidence! Last year was the best for U.S. manufacturing since 2004.
  9. The Mohammedan murderers in ISIS have taken it on the chin since Trump entered the Oval Office. ISIS made lots of progress during the eight years of Weepy Barry, but dem days are over!
  10. Trump cuts $255 million in military aid to Pakistan for 2018 due to Pakistan’s lame efforts against terrorism. It was Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was hiding in plain sight near a Pakistani military base. In response, Afghan elders awarded King Trump with a genuine gold Medal of Bravery.
  11. In a similar vein, Trump’s United Nations ambassador, the staunch Nikki Haley, announced in late December a fat reduction in U.S. funding to the United Nations to the tune of $285 million smackeroos. My hope is that the United States will come to its complete senses and toss the anti-American United Nations into the Atlantic Ocean. Be gone ye knaves and nincompoops!
  12. The swamp level is falling, just like he promised. Hundreds of federal positions have been eliminated in the first year of Trump’s glorious reign.
  13. During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed to kill two regulations for every new regulation issued. In fact, far more than two have been zapped for each new regulation. Regulations generally hamper the economy and citizens.
  14. Trump pushes for voter-identification laws. Sensible nations require voter ID. Mexico does. I have mine. The Democrats don’t want voter ID because so many of their voters are not legal voters.
  15. The recent citizen protests in Iran were loudly supported by Trump. When something similar happened in 2009, Weepy Barry kept his mouth shut. Sad.
  16. And just this week, King Trump announced the Fake News Awards. Not surprisingly, CNN scored big-time.
  17. And one more time: No airliners crashed. Anywhere!

You likely saw few or none of these stories in publications like the failing New York Times and the leftist Washington Post.* And, as we head into the second year of King Trump’s glorious reign, clueless, dreamy-eyed leftists across the nation continue to wail, pout and kick their heels on the floor because they lost the election, fair and square.

What’s not to love?

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* A recent nonpartisan study showed that about 90 percent of mainstream media stories about Trump over the past year were negative. Yuge bias! Sad.

The hysterical circus of the Democrats

Taxcutageddon

AS TRUMP’S tax-reduction package makes its way to his desk for the sealing signature, the loons of the left are in a state of meltdown.

What particularly has them in hysterics is the part that reduces corporate taxes. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. This is silly, since it hinders economic development and job growth.*

And the legislation also reduces taxes on the working stiffs.

The Trump presidency continues to keep a smile on my face.

For a funny look at Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) by the lovely Candace Owens, I point you toward this previous post.

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* The unemployment rate has fallen significantly since the rootin’, tootin’, raspberry shootin’, New York Golden Boy was inaugurated.

(Tip of the sombrero to Jonolan for bringing this cartoon to my attention.)