Thursday, August 10, 2017

Advice To "Fat Boy" Don't Screw With Uncle Sam. Tripe From A Failed Majority Leader. Get Ready, UBI Is Coming Our Way!

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
— Thomas Sowell

Click here to watch this video
You’ve certainly heard of students – even conservative ones – going into college and coming out social justice warriors. But here is a video about a social justice warrior going into an elite East Coast liberal arts college and coming out a conservative. Jay Stephens explains how she awoke to leftist indoctrination and discovered common sense during her roundabout journey from progressive to conservative.
"Fat Boy" is not stupid but he certainly is reckless.  He, apparently, understands in a democracy different views are allowed ( even if not on American college campuses anymore) and he probably mis-interprets that for weakness or lack of unity. He needs to familiarize himself with what happened after Pearl Harbour and what GW did after 9/11.
He also has dealt with several presidents who allowed him more latitude than was either wise or warranted and this has emboldened him.
He also needs to understand Trump. Trump is not Clinton, Carter or Obama and he is surrounded by a team of advisors that trounce the caliber of those who advised these former presidents.
Trump does not want to engage in a nuclear war with N Korea nor do his advisors but I also believe Trump understands that avoiding an operation  is not a cure. So"Fat Boy, were I advising you, I would suggest you cool your provocative rhetoric, dial back your tests and find a way to sit down and negotiate because you might get a far better deal by doing so than trying to prove you can best Trump and/or Uncle Sam.
Americans are slow to anger, except when it comes to sports, and we tolerate nonsense far beyond what I believe we should. That said, when we do reach the point where we have had it don't screw with us.
"Fat Boy" does not get my memos so he will probably never see this advice. 
Star Parker is a personal friend whose views I mostly embrace. In this article she suggests liberal values are bankrupting our nation. I basically agree.  However, Republican ineptness and fecklessness cannot be ignored as a contributing factor as well.
What I found particularly loathsome about McConnell's recent dump on Trump is that he accused the president of having expectations that were "too high."  I assume we should have low expectations and instead of aspiring to make America "Great Again" we should settle for making America "just so so." What tripe from a failed  Majority Leader. (See 1 below.)
As I briefly noted in a recent memo, I believe the market is using the N Korean matter as an overdue reason to react. Depending upon how events unfold it could be mild, in other words around 10% on the Dow or, if things really get nastier than they already are, 20% or more is not out of the question.
Having said that, what do I know?
One would think liberals and progressives would finally be embarrassed  by the tragedies that occur in cities they have run for decades but no they are not.  In fact their failures always are ascribed to not having enough money to solve the problems their policies have created.  Then, when they run out of the opportunity for getting more money they fall back on racial bias.  However, many cities that have been run by black administrations have turned into disasters as well. Detroit is one that quickly comes to mind and my own home town of Birmingham has had its share of corrupt black officials.
As for New York, everything Giuliani and even Blumberg accomplished has been reversed by de Blasio and then we have Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, the epitome of mayoralty stupidity and arrogance. (See 2 below.)

The next dumb liberal/progressive idea that will consume public debate will be the issue of Universal Basic Income proposed by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.   First you feed everyone by way of food stamps, then you give them free cellphones and finally you send send a check to rid America of poverty. Get ready because the push is coming. 

Johnson declared war on poverty, spent trillions and we wound up with more.We have gone from a chicken in every pot nation to a nation smoking pot and politicians playing chicken when it comes to facing reality. Very dispiriting but then I am not wise enough to understand the brilliance of liberal/progressive thinking because I focus on the results. (See 2a below.)
1)Liberal Values Are Bankrupting Us
Recently, Gallup published the results of its annual Values and Beliefs poll.  The headline of the report speaks for itself: "Americans Hold Record Liberal Views on Most Moral Issues."
Gallup has been doing this poll since 2001, and the change in public opinion on the moral issues surveyed has been in one direction — more liberal.
Of 19 issues surveyed in this latest poll, responses on 10 are the most liberal since the survey started.
Sixty-three percent say gay/lesbian relations are morally acceptable — up 23 points from the first year the question was asked. Sixty-two percent say having a baby outside of marriage is OK — up 17 points. Unmarried sex, 69 percent — up 16 points. Divorce, 73 percent — up 14 points.
More interesting, and of greater consequence, is what people actually do, rather than what they think. And, not surprisingly, the behavior we observe in our society at large reflects these trends in values.
Hence, the institution of traditional marriage is crumbling, Americans are having fewer children, and, compared with years gone by, the likelihood that children are born out of the framework of marriage has dramatically increased.
Undoubtedly, the liberals in academia, in the media, in politics, see this as good news. After all, doesn't removing the "thou shalt not's" that limit life's options liberate us?
Isn't the idea of freedom supposed to be, according to them, that you have a green light to do whatever you want, as long as you're not hurting someone else?
But here's the rub. How do you measure if you are hurting someone else?
No one lives in a vacuum. We all live in a country, in communities. We are social beings as well as individuals, no matter what your political philosophy happens to be. Everyone's behavior has consequences for others.
For instance, more and more research shows the correlation between the breakdown of the traditional family and poverty.
In 2009, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution published his "success sequence." According to Haskins, someone who completes high school, works full time, and doesn't have children until after marriage has only a 2 percent chance of being poor.
A new study from the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies focuses on millennials — those born between 1980-1984. And this study reaches conclusions similar to those of Haskins.
According to this study, only 3 percent of millennials who have a high school diploma, who are working full time, and who are married before having children are poor. On the other hand, 53 percent of millennials who have not done these three things are poor.
Behavior increasing the likelihood of poverty does have consequences on others. American taxpayers spend almost a trillion dollars a year to help those in poverty, a portion of whom would not be in this situation if they lived their lives differently.
But the same liberals who scream when Republicans look for ways to streamline spending on antipoverty programs like Medicaid, scream just as loudly at any attempt to expose young people to biblical values that teach traditional marriage and chastity outside of marriage.
The percent of American adults that are married dropped from 72 percent in 1960 to 52 percent in 2008. The percentage of our babies born to unmarried women increased from 5 percent in 1960 to 41 percent by 2008.
This occurred against a backdrop of court orders removing all vestiges of religion from our public spaces, beginning with banning school prayer in 1962, and then the legalization of abortion in 1973. In 2015, the Supreme Court redefined marriage.
Losing all recognition that personal and social responsibility matters, that the 

biblical tradition that existed in the cradle of our national founding is still 

relevant, is bankrupting us morally and fiscally.

2) Liberalism’s Summer of ’17

Liberals whine about being governed by Trump. Pity those governed by them.

This is the summer of ’17 for people who live in politically blue northern cities, but few would call it the best days of their lives.
New Yorkers are living through the “Summer of Hell,” the phrase that defines a city whose ancient transportation infrastructure has finally hit the wall. It’s hard to say who got the worst of it—the commuters trapped for 45 minutes without air or lights on a southbound F train or the riders in Harlem who were evacuated after the tracks caught fire.
Naturally, Mayor Bill de Blasio says the solution is a $700 million tax increase on “the wealthiest in our city.”

In Chicago, more than 100 people were shot over July Fourth weekend, with 14 ending up dead. So naturally Mayor Rahm Emanuel has filed a sanctuary-cities lawsuit against the federal government to protect the city’s immigrants.
For decades, urban liberalism has sold itself as a compact between government and taxpayers. The people paid, and with that revenue liberal politicians would deliver infrastructure, services, economic opportunity and civil order. But liberal governance, instead of keeping its side of the bargain, is at a dead end.Hartford, Conn., at the brink of insolvency, last month hired a law firm specializing in bankruptcy. The owners of dozens of destroyed businesses sued the city of Baltimore in June for mishandling the mayhem, two years after the riots ended.
Writing in City Journal last year on the widespread fiscal distress of northern cities, Stephen Eide noted a study which found that “among the 1,100 census tracts in major metropolitan areas with poverty rates of 30 percent or more in 1970, only about 100 had seen their poverty rates drop below the national average by 2010.”
Defenders of the liberal model argue that cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are changing into sophisticated, cosmopolitan hubs that attract a new class of young professionals who will restore urban America. Instead, many of these urban revivals are producing a phenomenon economists now call “racially concentrated areas of affluence,” or RCAAs.
An area gets RCAAed when the residents who pack themselves into it are mostly white people whose median incomes are unprecedentedly greater than the city’s poverty level. Some of the most RCAAed cities are liberal duchies like Boston, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Economists for Citigroup have called cities like New York and San Francisco “plutonomies”—urban economies propped up by a plutocratic minority, which is to say, young professionals inured to both taxes and nearby poverty. But they vote their “consciences.”
Progressives are acutely aware of this embarrassing reality in cities under their control. A writer for In These Times identified the problem as “a lack of revenue caused by the refusal of Wall Street banks, big corporations and millionaires to pay their fair share in taxes.” Put forth solutions, he said, “to make them pay.”
“Make them pay” might work if the U.S. were East Germany, so that the wealthy could be captured and jailed as they tried to escape across the border.
We’re not living yet under a President Sanders or Warren, so the steady, documented outflow of residents will continue from New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, California and New Jersey.
Many of those now climbing over the Democrats’ blue walls were willing to live under the original liberal governance model that existed before 1960 because it recognized the legitimacy of private economic life. The wealthy agreed then to pay their “fair share.”
Today, private economic life, especially that of the urban middle class, is no longer a partner in the liberal model. It’s merely a “revenue source” for a system whose patronage is open-ended welfare and largely uncapped public-employee pensions. I’d describe the liberal-progressive governing strategy as ruin and rule.
Not widely noticed is that liberalism’s claimed beneficiaries—black Americans—are also fleeing its failures. Demographers have documented significant black out-migration from New York, Michigan, California and Illinois into Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina. North to south.
Now comes the summer-of-hell infrastructure crisis. Residents of the northeastern slab from New Jersey to Boston have been living off infrastructure created by their grandparents and great-grandparents during the golden age of American capitalism.
They are now asking the federal government, meaning taxpayers who live in parts of the U.S. not hostile to capitalism, to give them nearly $15 billion to replace the 100-year-old train tunnel beneath the Hudson River. Why should they? Why send money to a moribund, dysfunctional urban liberal politics that will never—as in, not ever—clean up its act or reform?
Maybe we need a new default solution to the urban crisis: Let internal migration redistribute the U.S. population away from liberalism’s smug but falling-apart plutonomies.

2a)Why a Universal Basic Income Would Be a Calamity

How long before the elites decide the unemployed underclass shouldn’t have the right to vote?

Leading voices in the tech industry—from Mark Zuckerberg to Sam Altman —are warning that increased automation risks leaving an unprecedented number of Americans permanently unemployed. In response, many concerned Silicon Valley luminaries have called for a universal basic income, or UBI. Guaranteed income from the government may seem like the easiest way to address long-term unemployment, but UBI fixes only the narrowest and most quantifiable problem joblessness causes: lack of a reliable income. It completely ignores, and may exacerbate, the larger complications of mass unemployment.
Finland has been testing a basic income for 2,000 of its unemployed citizens since January, and UBI proponents say the Nordic country is providing an example for the U.S. It will be interesting to see the Finnish results, but Americans shouldn’t read too much into the outcome of a small-scale, early-stage trial. Look instead to Saudi Arabia, which for decades has attempted the wholesale replacement of work with government subsidies. Perhaps more than half of all Saudis are unemployed and not seeking work. They live off payments funded by the country’s oil wealth.
And what has Saudi Arabia’s de facto UBI created? A population deeply resistant to work. Efforts by the Saudi government to diversify the economy have been hamstrung by the difficulty of getting Saudis to trade in their free income willingly for paid labor. Regular citizens lack dignity while the royal family lives a life of luxury. The technocratic elite has embraced relatively liberal values at odds with much of the society’s conservatism. These divisions have made the country a fertile recruiting ground for extremists.
It’s true that Saudi Arabia has a host of other social problems. For one, it is ruled by a hereditary monarchy and a strictly enforced set of religious laws. Yet the widespread economic dis-empowerment of its population has made it that much harder for the kingdom to address its other issues. Don’t expect the U.S. to fare any better if divided into “productive” and “unproductive” classes.
At the heart of a functioning democratic society is a social contract built on the independence and equality of individuals. Casually accepting the mass unemployment of a large part of the country and viewing those people as burdens would undermine this social contract, as millions of Americans become dependent on the government and the taxpaying elite. It would also create a structural division of society that would destroy any pretense of equality.
UBI supporters would counter that their system would free people to pursue self-improvement and to take risks. America’s experience over the past couple of decades suggests that the opposite is more likely. Labor Department data show that at the end of June the U.S. had 6.2 million vacant jobs. Millions of skilled manufacturing and cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled in the coming years.
This problem stems from a lack of skilled workers. While better retraining programs are necessary, too many of the unemployed, or underemployed, lack the motivation to learn new skills. Increasingly, young unemployed men are perfectly content to stay at home playing videogames.
UBI would also weaken American democracy. How long before the well-educated, technocratic elites come to believe the unemployed underclass should no longer have the right to vote? Will the “useless class” react with gratitude for the handout and admiration for the increasingly divergent culture and values of the “productive class”? If Donald Trump’s election, and the elites’ reactions, are any indication, the opposite is likelier.
Rapid technological advancement is already presenting American workers with unprecedented difficulties. Facing this challenge is going to require creative approaches from the government and the private economy. UBI is a noble attempt. Perhaps it could work as only a supplement to earned income. But as currently envisioned, UBI addresses the material needs of citizens while undermining their aspirations.
In the same Harvard commencement speech in which Mr. Zuckerberg called for a basic income, he also spent significant time talking about the need for purpose. But purpose can’t be manufactured, nor can it be given out alongside a government subsidy. It comes from having deep-seated responsibility—to yourself, your family and society as a whole.
Silicon Valley’s leading innovators should understand this better than anybody. In an era when civic participation in all forms is falling, employment is for many the last great equalizer. It is worth preserving.
Mr. Nidess is a writer in San Francisco.

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