2016 April 24 Sunday
Hypersensitive Colleges, Safe Spaces, High School Students

We are moving into an era where many colleges enforce ridiculous rules aimed at preventing assorted privileged groups from feeling offended by anything they see or hear. Piling on, the US Department of Education is shoving an interpretation of Title IX down the throats of colleges which makes the colleges throw out due process for accused students. So what about the realists who want to go to college to learn about and discuss reality in a legally fair environment?

Here is my modest proposal: Encourage non-leftist students to avoid the craziest colleges and go to the most rational colleges. We need groups to measure the extent of politically correct nonsense and due process violations at various colleges and universities and publish this info as scores. Then high school students looking to choose a college could consult such a list, avoid the most politically correct, places, and apply at the best places.

This will tend to make the most left-leaning colleges even nuttier than they already are. But rational-minded students would benefit from flocking together and creating intellectual environments where the truth and reason are highly valued.

By Randall Parker 2016 April 24 11:02 PM 
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2016 April 23 Saturday
Ross Douthat On Neoreaction

The pessimists about human nature get some things right.

Reactionary assumptions about human nature — the intractability of tribe and culture, the fragility of order, the evils that come in with capital-P Progress, the inevitable return of hierarchy, the ease of intellectual and aesthetic decline, the poverty of modern substitutes for family and patria and religion — are not always vindicated. But sometimes? Yes, sometimes. Often? Maybe even often.

Turn away from Panglossian rah rah for your faction and you can understand and do a better job of predicting. A quick Google search confirms that Ross is familiar with Philip Tetlock's research on superforecasters. Wondering if reactionaries are overrepresented in the ranks of superforecasters.

Yes, both factions have far too much optimism about how the spread of their beliefs could make the world a better place. I think libertarians are especially guilty of this. They have a hard time realizing just how unnatural libertarian thinking is to most people.

Both liberalism and conservatism can incorporate some of these insights. But both have an optimism that blinds them to inconvenient truths. The liberal sees that conservatives were foolish to imagine Iraq remade as a democracy;

Really? Before the Iraq invasion major liberal commentators were saying that tribal Iraq with high rates consanguineous marriage and splits between Sunni and Shia and Arab and Kurd was not fertile ground for liberal democracy? I missed that commentary. Where is it? Even today, what tabula rasa liberal is going to admit out loud that Iraq can't become a liberal democracy? Global liberal manifest destiny seems to be a core belief of Democratic Party POTUS candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Perhaps Ross hears more skepticism from liberals who trust he won't publicly reveal their heretical beliefs about human nature.

By Randall Parker 2016 April 23 08:25 PM 
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2016 April 22 Friday
Western Left Hates Ayaan Hirsi Ali For Islam Criticisms

Western liberals are angry at Ayaan Hirsi Ali for saying mainstream Islam is misogynistic and hostile to non-believers. A very well funded Saudi lobby agrees wtih the Western liberals.

She notes that Congressional hearings held since September 11, 2001 have repeatedly cited the role of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states in spreading an ideology that praises misogyny in particular and retaliation against non-believers in general, and yet there has been no discernible change in U.S. policy toward these nations. “It has gotten worse,” Ms. Hirsi Ali says of the Saudis’ role in fomenting fundamentalist Islam. “The Saudi lobby is so strong.”

Read the whole article.

Also read When Pieties Collide: Feminism and multiculturalism in Western Europe by Heather Mac Donald. She addresses the sexual violence by Muslim men in Europe and the Left's response to it.

When feminists were cornered into addressing the violence, they tied themselves into knots trying to change the subject back to their favorite topic: Western white-male patriarchy. “The problem of sexualized violence has already existed here for some time and can’t simply be ‘deported,’” said German feminist Anne Wizorek to Der Spiegel. “It cannot be allowed to become the standard in gender debates that only male migrants are considered to be those responsible [for sexual violence].” In other words, the New Year’s assaults were continuous with the routine terror inflicted by German men on German women. Actually, there was no precedent in Germany or the rest of Europe for mass peacetime sexual assaults, much less ones where the police merely look on. “I have never experienced such a thing in any German city,” a victim told the New York Times. But people who did name the attacks for what they were—a manifestation of Muslim misogyny and an alarm bell regarding mass immigration—were vilified as racists.

We need more populist rebellions. The establishment is rotten.

By Randall Parker 2016 April 22 03:02 PM 
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Saudi Arabia Economy In A Nutshell

Heavily dependent on oil and this is true:

The state still employs two-thirds of Saudi workers, while foreigners account for nearly 80 percent of the private-sector payroll.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to reform the economy of Saudi Arabia because of the financial crisis caused by cheap oil. The state is bleeding money at a fast rate.

Okay, lets do some math on the Saudi labor market. The third of Saudis who are in the private sector are one fifth of the private sector. The Saudis employed by the state are another two fifths. So we have something like 80:60 ratio of foreigners to Saudis total overall in the Saudi workforce. Is there a viable way to transform this situation into a healthy economy?

It comes down to what the Saudi citizens are willing and able to do in the labor market. If they aren't all that willing or able then what? The government could go with a plan B that, at least in Saudi Arabia, might be viable: import even more workers but of very high skill. Create an economy of foreigners in some portion of the Kingdom that has high earning power and high productivity.

In theory this could be done while still maintaining an overwhelmingly Islamic populace since India has the most Muslims in the world and Saudi Arabia could try to skim the intellectual cream off the top of India, Indonesia, and a few other countries with large Muslim populations.

United Arab Emirates has a largely migrant labor force with natives in government and defense.

In 2013, the UAE had the fifth-largest international migrant stock in the world with 7.8 million migrants (out of a total population of 9.2 million), according to United Nations (UN) estimates.

It is amazing how far the UAE has gone with this strategy. Natives make up only 10-15% of the UAE workforce. The imported labor is overwhelmingly male and so doesn't reproduce much.

To make this sort of situation work you need a ruthless government with natives in the military and police very ready to crack down and do mass deportations of any protesting imported labor. You also need some viable industries that would get staffed by all the imported labor. But I'm not clear how, say, a manufacturing industry with an export focus could do better in Saudi Arabia than competing companies in, say, low labor cost India. How could Saudi Arabia make use of all that imported (and harshly treated) labor in a way that is competitive with companies in other countries producing the same sorts of goods and services?

I think the Saudi government is going to need to lower the living standards of natives because it is not going to find sources of wealth that can replace oil. But disappointments from declining living standards could easily lead to revolution. So can the Saudis maintain political stability over the coming decades?

By Randall Parker 2016 April 22 11:48 AM 
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2016 April 09 Saturday
Norwegian Leftist Feels Guilty About Deportation Of His Rapist

See: After Anal Rape, Left Wing Activist Felt 'Guilt And Responsibility' His Migrant Attacker Was Deported.

The Left's tendency to see each group as a whole as either oppressors or oppressed makes them opposed to punishment of individuals who are in supposedly oppressed groups. Those who most intensely embrace this model of the world really should be collected together into their own countries separate from the rest of us so that the rest of us do not have to deal with the consequences of their views. Seriously, we need a divorce.

I'm reminded of Stephen Fry on political correctness. But I do not get the sense that he understands the root causes of the problem.

Who has a firmer grasp of what's going on? NYU moral psychology researcher Jonathan Haidt. Listen to this podcast interview by a Spiked editor: Jonathan Haidt talks Safe Spaces, microaggressions and campus fragility. Haidt said many humanities fields lost their ability to have meaningful debates in the 1990s and now social sciences are going thru the same process. Progress is not inevitable. In a different interview with Tyler Cowen Haidt looks at what we are seeing in the Republican presidential primary:

JONATHAN HAIDT: You have to see politics as occurring at multiple levels simultaneously. Just as at a university we’ve got psychologists studying individual experiences, we’ve got neurologists studying neurons, we’ve got political scientists and sociologists studying emergent phenomena, that’s what you have to do to study politics.

If you look at the history, if you look at the higher‑level constructs, yeah, it’s bizarre what’s happening. It’s unprecedented, and people expected the past to predict the future.

But what if the emerging social constructs of the Republican Party have been getting progressively out of tune with the moral intuitions and the psychology of the voters? I think that’s what we have seen happening.

The Big Sort (see Bill Bishop's book with this title) is one of the factors responsible for the decay of academia. The loss of intellectual diversity in academia allows a certain kind of moral sentiment to dominate with ridiculous effects. I do not see how this is going to reverse. The demographic changes driving it are still driving academia deeper into absurdity and away from truth-seeking.

What I think would help: if some small number of colleges signaled that they wanted moderate and conservative students (or conservatives just chose some colleges and overwhelmed applications for them) then some places in academia would exist that are not crazy. I think this is best started by people in the Right talking up a small number of colleges (preferably schools with good engineering programs so useful skills can be acquired too). For example, the right wing elite could flock to Dartmouth or CMU. Does another school come to mind as a good candidate to target?

By Randall Parker 2016 April 09 03:22 PM 
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2016 April 02 Saturday
How Salon Reacts To Terrorist Bombings

We brought this on ourselves, and we are the terrorists, too. This is status signaling of a destructive sort. It is a shame the Western civilization is suicidal. But it is likely to remain that way unless something extremely bad happens.

Salon's response was presaged by Douglas Murray's essay: A terrorist attack has happened in Europe. Let the standard response begin…

I think Westerners who are sane need to think about how to form a Western country of only sane people and separate themselves from the fools. Of course this proposed country should have excellent border barriers.

By Randall Parker 2016 April 02 10:16 AM 
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2016 March 27 Sunday
What Communism Has Done To Cuba Is Gruesome

A woman from Cuba describes what it is really like and argues you shouldn't say you want to see Cuba before it is ruined. I agree. I think you should see Cuba as an education into what communism does to an economy and a people.

The old cars are not kitschy; they are not a choice. It’s all they have. The old buildings are not preserved; their balconies are falling and killing people all the time. The very, very young girls prostituting themselves are not doing it because they can’t get enough of old Canadian men, but because it pays more than being a doctor does. Hospitals for regular Cuban citizens are not what Michael Moore showed you in Sicko. (That was a Communist hospital for members of the Party and for tourists, and I, for one, think Moore fell for their North Korea–like propaganda show pretty hard.) There are no janitors in the hospitals because it pays more money to steal janitorial supplies and sell them on the street than it does to actually have a job there. Therefore, the halls and rooms are covered in blood, urine, and feces, and you need to bring your own sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, and mattresses when you are admitted.

Communism makes it happen. Michael Moore doesn't want to believe it.

Check out these photos from Cuba. A shabby place with people waiting for better times.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 27 08:53 PM 
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2016 March 26 Saturday
Belgium: The World's Wealthiest Failed State Due To Immigration

"The country of just 11.2 million people faces widening derision as being the world’s wealthiest failed state"

The cultural code of silence in the heavily immigrant district, as well as widespread distrust of already weak government authorities, has provided what amounts to a fifth column or forward base for the Islamic State.

Donald Trump is derided in the mainstream media for saying he'd put an end to Muslim immigration. But look at what the conventional wisdom of our sanctimonious rulers has given us. Belgium has a fifth column (even the New York Times admits it) of ISIS/Daesh supporters living safely and plotting with the help of a surrounding community that keeps its secrets. We should want these sorts of people living in our midst?

Our elites and the elites in Europe are grossly irresponsible, incredibly foolish, and deluded. These people rule us.

The human race did not evolve to handle the complexities that result from the jet airplane, mass media, and the internet. Wishful thinking, status signaling, and an averse to truths that cause discomfort give us increasingly dysfunctional government.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 26 10:18 AM 
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2016 March 25 Friday
Federal Debt On Rising Long Term Trajectory

A subject which is not going to get attention in this election season:

A decade ago, the federal debt was just 35% of GDP. It is now more than double that and projected to reach 86% in 2026. But that’s just the beginning. The annual budget deficit projected for 2026 is 5% of GDP. If it stays at that level, the debt ratio would eventually rise to 125%.

The electorate is heavily divided by race, ethnicity, gender, class. Lee Kuan Yew understood and would not be surprised by the result. the finer points of fiscal prudence is no longer in the cards. Entitlements will grow, not shrink. Democracy is failing.

We are going where Lee Kuan Yew expected:

Mr. Lee: Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people's position. In multiracial societies, you don't vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I'd run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that...

People aren't voting for the good of the commonwealth. The donor class chooses most of the candidates. We have deep racial splits where most issues (e.g. the federal debt) is not even a consideration. Identity is a much bigger consideration. I am way past thinking the dysfunction can be turned around.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 25 10:10 PM 
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Weak American Support For Free Trade

An article how whether Donald Trump can win the election has an interesting section about American views of free trade. The support is not so strong.

Trump's attacks on trade have the potential to win over voters. According to the Bloomberg Politics poll, 65 percent of Americans prefer more restrictions on imported goods to protect U.S. jobs, while 22 percent favor fewer restrictions. Forty-four percent said NAFTA, which took effect while Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, was in office, has been bad for the economy.

Trade and immigration are both subjects where the elites and masses differ in their views. The elites want more. The masses want less.

I do not think that Trump can win the election on immigration alone. He has to appeal to the lower classes more on trade. If he manages to win election will he put up trade barriers. My sense of it is that the President has very limited room for raising trade barriers. Legislation and treaties would hem him in pretty well. I suspect he would have more power to cut immigration than to raise tariffs.

Trump would have a lot more leeway in non-trade foreign policy. Primarily he'd be free to not do all the stupid sorts of things the last 3 Presidents have done abroad. So he'd make fewer mistakes by doing fewer foolish things abroad.

I think Trump still faces an uphill fight to win the Presidency because Hillary has striong support from the press, academia, billionaires, blacks, and Hispanics. Can the master persuader make inroads among women? Among the lower classes? It remains to be seen.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 25 09:49 PM 
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Thousands Fought In Bronze Age Battle In Germany

A bigger battle than had previously been thought possible in 1250 BC northern Europe.

About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology.

How did people from over a wide area (southern and northern Europe, areas east and west) know to come together and fight in one spot on a single day? Were polities organized over a wider area then than we have suspected? What were they fighting over? What were the two sides? Will we ever know?

What's interesting: DNA analyzes are being done on some of the remains. But the bones are intermingled from lots of dead people. It isn't clear that any of the DNA will be able to be assigned to rival groups.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 25 09:33 PM 
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Conservative Purges, Conservative Publications

Read Paul E. Gottfried's The Logic Of Conservative Purges. It is about the series of writers who, over decades, were purged from mainstream conservatism, especially from writing in The National Review.

What I especially object to: litmus tests for conformity. Even if I perfectly agreed with the purgers on a long list of specific issues I'd still object to stifling diversity of opinions. Uniformity leads to uniformity of mistakes and intolerance of opposing views.

Whenever (not often) I go to The National Review web site I'm struck by a much more crusading feel than going to, by contrast, The American Conservative. Have a look at both. The former seems more bent on promoting an agenda and the latter seems more like people kicking around a lot of ideas about difficult problems with no easy solutions. The latter comes across more as people earnestly thinking out loud with less worry about ideological conformity. You can also find purged National Review writers at Taki's Magazine. Neither of them are likely to run an attack on the white lower class who aren't able to compete in the globalized economy.

If you want to read a site with both liberal and conservative writers grappling with the problems of Western societies without political correctness or ideological crusading check out Quillette. It has a more data-driven bent. Another alternative opinion site: Unz.com. It also has purged conservatives but also writers who were never part of the mainstream commentariat.

Am I leaving out some sites I ought to mention? Post links in the comments and I'll have a look.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 25 08:44 PM 
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$15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Likely For New York State

The politics in New York look favorable for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

The top 5 US states in population are California (39 million), Texas (27 million), Florida (20 million), New York (20 million), Illinois (13 million). Well, California has a $15 per hour min wage voter proposition for 2016. In the New Jersey (population 9 million) state legislature a $15 min wage bill is drawing attention.

We could find a fifth or even a quarter of the American population living under $15 minimum wage laws by 2025 if not sooner.

Of course regular readers know my takes of the effects of $15 per hour min wage:

  • Great news for robot makers
  • Will cut illegal immigration by reducing supply of low skilled jobs.
  • Will make more high school kids idle. If you are bright then Code Academy beckons.
  • Hastens the day when low IQ people become unemployable (already a reality for some of them).
  • Will greatly boost quality of restaurant food and many basic services as they become automated.

I look forward to automated cooking robots that can whip up recipes downloaded from internet recipe sites. The quality of fast food will soar.

Update: California politicians have just reached a deal for $15 min wage by 2022. Venture capitalists take note. Restaurant automation opportunities await the right start-up.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 25 02:32 PM 
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2016 March 20 Sunday
Mutually Incompatible Desires Of The Donor Class

Reihan Salam says To save itself, the Republican Party must finally put the working class ahead of the donor class. I assert that the Republican Party is incapable of doing that. James Pethokoukis says Paul Ryan just revealed that the GOP has learned nothing from its Trump debacle. Yes, and it is rallying around the viewpoint that it has to defeat Trump so that it does not have to learn anything. Ross Douthat presents Profiles In Paralysis on how Paul Ryan won't give an inch in the face of rebellion of the Republican base. Ryan's faith is strong.

What do most of the rich want?

  • Low taxes, at least for those who get most of their income from capital gains or dividends. Also. the corps want to continue to use arrangements such as the double Irish with Dutch Sandwich tax avoidance scheme.
  • Low regulations (unless the regs entrench a profitable monopoly).
  • Low trade barriers.
  • Open borders for migrants for cheap labor.
  • Perpetual war in the Middle East.

Some of these desires, translated into policy, set in motion changes to society that make other of these desires increasingly less attainable.

Imagine yourself a donor class billionaire. You going to meet many people who disagree with you? You'll have lackey employees, think tanks begging to take your money to prove you are right, peers who agree, quotes from famous libertarians to tell you that you are right and as smart about your wants as you are about how to accumulate lots of money. Not conducive to second guessing your judgments.

But these desires are not mutually compatible. First off, open borders undermines electoral support for their other wants. Open borders brings in a much more left-leaning population that remains that way for many generations, perhaps centuries. Most of that population is lower earning for many generations and is therefore eligible for and wants more welfare payments for themselves. That puts them in conflict with older natives who want promised old age retirement benefits.

Also, open borders cuts wages for the lower income levels in the Republican base. Similarly, lower trade barriers has sped offshoring of jobs and makes a lot of those who have suffered job losses and status and income losses a lot more willing to vote for someone who says he wants to make America great again.

If the donor class manages to get its way in this electoral cycle it is setting itself up for a much bigger loss in the future. The country will go Left (see youth for Bernie Sanders) and turn against lower taxes and lower regulations. It might well go protectionist as well.

But here's the thing about the donor class: they want it all and they are not willing to accept trade-offs. They want to believe they can convince any future American population of their shopping list of wants. They can't even convince a majority of Republican primary voters today, let alone Democrats. This ought to set off alarm bells in their heads. But they'd rather see the problem as due to a skilled demagogue rather than to them having mutually incompatible desires rather than face that they can't have it all.

The middle and lower classes are going to get even more restive in the future as more kinds of jobs get automated, outsourced, or staffed by imported labor. Even an end to lower skilled immigration (say anyone with less than an engineering degree) isn't going to stop automation and outsourcing. A long list of once reliable jobs for the working class are going away in 10-20 years (e.g. taxi driver, truck driver, and even sooner, fast food cashier).

Perpetual war in the Middle East is also going to get harder to do. The new Americans do not feel special affinity to Israel that evangelical white Christians feel. Also, the old American ethnic groups don't want to see their kids coming back with brain damage from improvised explosive devices. The government can not afford it and also afford the growing welfare state that is driven by both an aging population and less skilled immigrants.

I'd rather that the donor class hit its limits sooner, before more damage gets done to the commonwealth. But they might find a way to put down the political rebellion against them. They have a lot of resources (think private investigators, friendly prosecutors and IRS agents). They might find a way to keep getting what they want come 2017. But they face an increasingly uphill battle as demographic changes that they caused undermine their ability to get what they want.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 20 04:06 PM 
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2016 March 19 Saturday
Pieces Of Our Presidential Electoral Conflict

Donald Trump's skills at persuasion and attention-getting have shifted America's political debate outside the confines of where they'd prefer to keep the Overton Window. It has also highlighted the extent to which a very large part of the Republican Party's base feels abandoned and betrayed by its leaders and funders.

Trump's chances of getting enough votes to win the Republican nomination have risen so high that our elites are in a panic. We are being treated to a great deal of commentary from the mainstream media and Republican leaders and pundits on how a Trump presidency would be a disaster. Lets think about that.

What strikes me most: there are types of potential or actual policy disasters that will not get the media elite and donors worked up. For example, the long US military presence in Iraq was very expensive in money (trillions of dollars) and harm to US troops. It did not make the United States more secure. It could be argued the opposite happened since it made possible the rise of ISIS. This did not lead to Republicans saying we have to purge the party of neoconservatives or George W. Bush. Aside from the supposedly reckless Trump the rest of the field defended the war (except Rand Paul who faded very early).

Similarly, Hillary Clinton was for overthrowing Qaddafi in Libya. Obama was more reluctant than her but lacked the will to stop her. How'd that work out? ISIS controls about 150 miles of Libyan coastline around Sirte and the country has been in civil war for about 5 years. Its a disaster. Note what Philip H. Gordon says at that page. Probably no way we could have done Libya right. Yet Hillary's supporters point to her foreign policy experience as weighing in her favor. Look, we had the Afghanistan and Iraq nation building debacles already (and quite a few others in US foreign policy history). Anyone actually willing to learn did not need to learn the lesson again in Libya.

As I see it the Democratic and Republican Party foreign policy circles are dominated by irresponsible lunatics. How is Trump worse than them? Not seeing it. He seems way better on the Middle East.

Then there is Russia. Should we take a hard line against Russia? To hear some Republican Party Presidential candidates talk you'd think so. But how does this help our national security? Under Putin Russia is acting very Russian by taking back Crimea and a very Russian slice of Ukraine. Why should we get worked up about this? Neocons and neoliberals think its terrible. But the borders were an accident of Nikita Krushchev's Premiership and how the USSR broke up. Crimea really is Russian. The Obama State Department overplayed its hand in Ukraine and Russia responded. I can't see how Trump's friendlier attitude toward Putin is going to be bad. Anyone care to explain it? I think the stakes are low for US interests.

Or how about Syria? International pariah ISIS has a large chunk of the country. If Assad's government fell ISIS might expand its territory. The moderate opposition is a badly beaten minority. But there are neocon and neoliberal factions inside and outside the government who would have loved to see the US take out Assad a few years ago. Crazy.

Trump as the disaster on foreign policy? No, we already have bipartisan foreign policy disasters in place. Trump is sane compared to what passes for conventional wisdom on the use of US power abroad.

Next is immigration. That's a bipartisan disaster too. Importing tens of millions of poorly skilled people to drive down the wages of our existing lower classes is just a damaging thing to do to the commonwealth. Reduces incentives to make labor more productive. Increases the number of people who get more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. Creates new divisions by race. Actually led to the very rise of Trump that the elites detest.

Here's what I see about the elites: They know what they want and will keep trying to get it. If Trump loses the elites aren't going to say they ought to address the legitimate concerns of his supporters. They'll say those concerns aren't legitimate. They'll revert to norm. They'll ramp up their propaganda and try harder. They'll also continue to use US power abroad in foolish and damaging ways.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 19 09:34 PM 
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Carrier Moving Jobs From Indianapolis To Mexico

One way Trump gets more voters: companies move their jobs abroad. One worker losing their job says about the prospects of finding a similarly paying job:

"I think it will be extremely hard to find a job that pays $22 an hour," Ms Bigbee said. "You have to be really blessed to find a job that pays that kind of money."

So there. Making more than $22 per hour? Then it is very likely you really are blessed, blessed with genetic variants that boost intelligence.

If you've got the genetic variants that boost intelligence but haven't used those smarter neurons to learn skills that shield you from out-sourcing you are making a mistake.

Another way Trump gets more voters: The Democrats let in illegal aliens who are willing to work for less. This make the donor class happy. It also makes happy the Democrats who want more lower class voters to support them.

The 90 IQ people are at a distinct disadvantage in this battle: They aren't smart enough to figure out where their interests lie. So not holding out much hope for their future employment.

Why else those of 90 IQ (and pretty much anyone near average or below average IQ) is screwed: The robots are coming. By 2035 taxi jobs, long haul trucker jobs, local delivery jobs, trash collection truck jobs, and other surface transportation jobs are going to be gone, gone, gone. Janitors? Gone for the most part. Backhoe, bulldozer, farm tractor jobs? In the history books.

Carrier would automate those air conditioning factory sooner if they couldn't get Mexican workers in Mexico to do the work for less than $20 per day. What is surprising to me: why didn't Carrier make the shift sooner? Loyalty to American workers? A drop in other costs in Mexico? What changed? Why now?

By Randall Parker 2016 March 19 05:18 PM 
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2016 March 12 Saturday
Trump Opponents Trapped By Delusions Of Donor Class

Reihan Salam gets this part right.

Having recognized this chasm separating the Republican donor class from the grassroots, Trump has exploited it brilliantly. He has defended entitlement programs, and he has bashed bankers. He has defied the elite consensus on trade and immigration. He is channeling the Republican id, and in doing so he may have already dashed conservative hopes of winning the White House. Why can’t his GOP opponents convince Republican voters that they would do a far better job than Trump of defending middle-class economic interests? The answer is that they are trapped by the delusions of the donor class, and they can’t break free.

In a nation where median household income peaked in the 1990s it is hard to argue that the elite consensus is good for the middle class.

If I was king I would require companies to pay immigrants a minimum of $100k per year. This would eliminate all the low skilled immigrants and those who are net burdens on society. It would greatly raise the skill level of the average immigrant as well. The number of immigrants would fall by at least an order of magnitude.

As king I would also deport all criminal immigrants, legal or illegal. I would also deport all illegal aliens.

I am amazed at the turn of events in this election cycle. The base in the Republican party is in rebellion. The MSM is in full fury trying to delegitimize them and trying not to yield an inch of their narrative. The billionaires don't want to accept that their right to buy the political system should in any way be limited by the views of mere citizens and voters. I am not excited by this yet because I think the establishment could still win and continue on their merry way in full contempt for Americans.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 12 02:41 PM 
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2016 March 06 Sunday
Patterns In Marriage Across Occupations

Play with this cool interactive graphical depiction of relationships between occupations of spouses.

A few observations: First, registered nurses seem to marry across the widest range of social classes. Some marry doctors while others marry truck drivers. But some other medical assistant occupations (e.g. licensed practical nurse, dental hygienist) are much more tilted toward marrying poorly paid guys.

Another observation: grade school and high school teachers marry across a fairly wide range of partner occupations.

Another one: looks like medical doctors today heavily marry each other. That's not true for most occupations.

Another one: cooks and waitresses marry each other. Propinquity has a lot to do with it. I'm guessing restaurants are going to become so automated that they'll lose most of their role for pairing up couples in the work place.

When truck drivers get automated out of a job will they find other jobs to make them acceptable for marriage?

Another point about jobs: jobs growth in the United States is becoming heavily focused on some coastal regions. Someone at an early stage of their career ought to take a long hard look at the graphic at that link and think about where they ought to live. If that is a long term trend then some pretty big regions aren't going to have good job prospects in the future. OTOH, if you can create your own business then the interior will probably remain a very cheap place to live.

By Randall Parker 2016 March 06 10:11 AM 
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