While robots are destroying jobs on a massive scale the US Senate is trying to increase the influx of low skilled workers. In spite of the illegal influx a declining number of high school grads and high school drop-outs are working. Even the illegals can't find enough work. This comment by a staffer of US Senator Marco Rubio shows hostility to the vast majority of American workers (and people who used to be workers who are unemployable in the current labor market).
“There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it. There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.”
Not every worker is a star performer. In fact, few workers are star performers. That's the idea about the star performers: they are the exceptions. What Rubio's staffers are saying is that anyone who isn't exceptional (way over 90% of workers) don't deserve their job and deserve to have their job taken by imported workers. Screw the masses in other words.
The "don't want to do it" are far outnumbered by those who are seen as useless by the employers. Most of those could have easily found factory jobs and worked at them successfully 50 years ago. Outsourcing, immigration, robots, and information systems are cutting demand for less skilled workers. Yet the majority of the US Senate want to flood the labor market, especially at the low end. This will only make that problem much worse.
The Senator really believes exactly what his staffer said in background. But he neve argues it in public.
We strongly objected to the magazine including that background quote in the piece because it’s not what Sen. Rubio believes or has ever argued.
Rubio Aide 2: But the same is true for the high-skilled workers.
Rubio Aide 1: Yes, and the same is true across every sector, in government, in everything.
One downside to the decline of the private sector labor unions: there's no strong organized force left against the unbridled power of capital.
I juxtapose a David Goldman (Spengler) article: The Russians Think We’re Wrecking the World on Purpose with an Elliot Abrams article: Neoconservatism: A Good Idea That Won't Go Away. Abrams is obviously not at all embarrassed by the failure of US policy in Iraq for example. After trillions of dollars costs, hundreds of thousands of US soldiers with brain damage from WMD blasts, and an Iraqi government much closer to Iran (supposedly our enemy) who has won? The New York Times reports: China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom.
Tony Blair, who famously teamed up with George W. Bush to do the Iraq invasion (which was deeply harmful to US interests) thinks the West should intervene in Syria. By contrast, Sarah Palin makes more sense: "Let Allah sort it out.”
“We’re talking now more, new interventions, I say until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he’s doing … well, in these radical Islamic countries aren’t even respecting basic human rights, when both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, Allahu Akbar, I say until we have someone who knows what they’re doing, I say: Let Allah sort it out.”
The Sarah wants us to think a competent President could competently intervene in the Middle East. I say such Presidents (Bush Sr comes to mind; ditto Tricky Dick Nixon) are so rare that we should stay out. Besides, we've got no crucial interests at stake.
The central Chinese city of Wuhan has published a draft ordinance that would fine women who have children out of wedlock more than £17,000.
Other parts of China such as Beijing and Guangdong province have already adopted similar regulations.
"The regulation is ridiculous," Wang Qiong, a professor at Wuhan University, told the China Daily.
"What if a woman chooses to have a test tube baby without getting married? Should she also be fined?"
Yes, of course. We can lengthen our hiatus from the Malthusian Trap by creating selective pressures against the sorts of irresponsible behavior that the Malthusian Trap used to select against in Europe and China.
In freer America where rights recognized as a result of responsible behavior a person with a long criminal rap sheet can do illegitimate kid making on a scale that the Chinese would scarely believe: Tennessee man who fathered 22 children by 14 women sued for child support; ‘I was young an ambitious and I loved women’.
It would not surprise me if the Chinese started sterilizing the worst sorts of criminals. Once genetic variants that contribute to criminal behavior are identified the Chinese government could select for an even lower crime rate by targeting criminal reproductive capacity.
What I do not get: Do the Israeli leaders or Israel's supporters in America think an Islamist Sunni government in Damascus would be less a threat to Israel than Assad's minority Alwawite/Shia regime? If so, why? What is in for Israel that a shift toward supporting Sunnis in Syria is not opposed by one of America's most powerful factions on the subject of America's policies toward the Middle East?
Are democratically elected theocracies less a threat to Israel or more a threat? They seem like more a threat to me. Am I missing something?
There is not a problem with Islam. For those of us who have studied it, there is no doubt about its true and peaceful nature.
Blair's with versus within sophistry gives him the bow toward political correctness that allows him to feel safe enough at least bring up one of the core problems with Islam: it is a religion that defines a political system.
But there is a problem within Islam, and we have to put it on the table and be honest about it. There are, of course, Christian extremists and Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu ones. But I am afraid that the problematic strain within Islam is not the province of a few extremists. It has at its heart a view of religion – and of the relationship between religion and politics – that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies. At the extreme end of the spectrum are terrorists, but the worldview goes deeper and wider than it is comfortable for us to admit. So, by and large, we don’t admit it.
Islam is at its core incompatible with Western societies. The Muslims who accept values like freedom and separation of religion and state are Muslims who are just not embracing their full religion. Sure, such Muslims exist. But Islam's set of religious beliefs extend far further into the realm of politics and government than Christianity's core beliefs. Jesus was not a ruler. Mohammed was.
In what sense is “true” Islam peaceful? I don’t doubt that most Muslims are peaceful, but that’s not the same thing as saying that the doctrines and teachings of the religion are peaceful, in the sense of being non-violent and tending towards living in harmony with others.
Dreher thinks maybe Islam can be made more apolitical. I do not believe this. The best we can hope for is for fewer people to believe the religion. But secularization seems less likely to occur in Muslim societies.
It can be done, in theory. The Roman Catholic Church was bitterly opposed to liberal democracy (including one of its key values, religious liberty) in the 19th century, but became reconciled to it in the 20th. The Church traveled a long way in a relatively short time. The trick is to change without making it look like you’re changing. Can Islam pull that off? I don’t know. For one thing, unlike in Catholicism, there is no centralized institution for determining Islamic orthodoxy. More importantly, Catholicism could make the adjustment because Christianity is intrinsically apolitical, at least by comparison to Islam.
I remain a Separationist: They live in their countries. We live in ours. We do not involve ourselves in the politics of their countries. However, such an approach goes against what America's globalizing elites want to do with the world.
Job prospects for the lower classes weren't already grim enough. Hence the need for Obamacare and immigration amnesty. Mish Shedlock summarizes:
- Temporary hiring at Wal-Mart has gone from 1-2% to 10% in a year
- Employees face an 8-36 percent increase in healthcare premiums in 2013
- Part-time employees now need to work 30 hours instead of 24 to get coverage
- 61% of the stores in the survey were only hiring temps or were not hiring at all
- Regular employees have seen their hours cut
I say again to my readers: The middle is crumbling. You've got to go up or you are going to go down. Get yourself lots of skills that will set you apart from those who are taking the down escalator. Lots of things are coming together to make living standards lower for most of the population. Low skilled immigrants, Obamacare's disincentives for hiring full time employees, and robotic automation are among the reasons living standards have gone down for many people in the last 20 years. More to come.
A Reuters survey of 52 stores run by the largest U.S. private employer in the past month, including one in every U.S. state, showed that 27 were hiring only temps, 20 were hiring a combination of regular full, part-time and temp jobs, and five were not hiring at all.
Before the recession of 2008 median household incomes never regained their peak of the late 1990s. As of fall of 2012 median household income was back to the level of 1995. California's fall in state per capita GDP presages the nation's fall because California is living America's demographic future.
Employers who hire for high-paying occupations will continue to hire lots of directs because medical costs are a small percentage of total costs and they need directs who will stick around and accumulate knowledge of company practices. But for lower IQ workers the job market is especially grim. Since 1997 total employment of high school graduates has dropped 9% and total employment of high school drop-outs has dropped 14%. For black men the labor market is especially grim.
Time to rouse up and send emails and phone calls against the latest push for immigration amnesty. This worked in 2007. It could work now. Phone calls. Emails. Physical letters. Post cards. Let them know you are there and care.
Ignore the f—ing scandals for a few days and save the country from Chuck Schumer.
I'm with Mickey. Hey fellow bloggers, do a post on this. Ask other blogger you know to do the same. Send emails to your friends with the contact info.
The Senator from Virginia is obviously seeking to remind us in every way possible of the extent to which the elites want to elect a new people.
The Tower of Babel story in the Old Testament is meant to remind us that not being able to speak a shared language is a handicap. But we live in an era where we are supposed to unlearn actual reality and embrace a fantasy reality.
Yale economists Robert Schiller argues Social Security payouts should be tied to the nation's economic health.
One alternative that we should consider is a different kind of index switch, linking retirees’ benefits to gross domestic product per capita, in current dollars. This measure responds to inflation just as the C-CPI-U does, but, in contrast, it also responds to changes in the nation’s resources, as measured by real G.D.P. There could also be corrections for other factors, like the dependency ratio, which compares the number of “dependents” (retired people and children) to the number of working adults.
Tying old age retirement benefits to the nation's ability to pay can either be done sooner with formulas as Schiller suggests or will be done later in financial crises. My guess: it will be done later, with more abrupt and painful effects under enormous pressure. Lack of economic growth has caused political stalemate as politicians no longer can find the money needed to buy off and placate political factions.
Mencius Moldbug, in a post about an essay by Sam Altman, fingers a basic problem in American society: academia and major media embrace a view of reality that is at variance with actual reality in crucial ways.
The basic problem with our society is a disconnect between consensus reality and actual reality. We actually have no shortage of natural leaders. But they cannot actually lead us anywhere. They are operating in consensus reality rather than actual reality. Their joysticks are not plugged in. When the consensus is nonsense, sober good sense is nonsense. Nonsense is no use to anyone.
We face problems which we can't even seriously attempt to solve because of that gap between consensus reality and actual reality. The educational policy of Bush Jr and Ted Kennedy, "No Child Left Behind", failed due to a willful ignorance of actual reality. The current immigration debate takes place without key actual reality facts as part of the discussion. The character assassination of Jason Richwine shows how far our elites will go to keep actual reality out of the debate.
Sam Altman embraces a couple of views that I also hold: First, a society can only go up or down. A society can't easily stand still. Also, the US economy and assorted European economies are not growing fast enough to buy off all the competing demands that democracy (i.e. larcenous voters) make on net taxpayers.
I believe that growth is not only critical for startups, but for most systems. Either you’re growing, or you’re slowly dying. Perfect equilibrium is rare.
One system that seems to be in early death throes is the United States government.
Without growth, we’re voting against someone else’s interest as much as we’re voting for our own. This ends with lots of fighting and everyone feeling screwed, broken into factions, and unmotivated. Democracy does not work well in a zero-sum world. Autocratic political systems probably work better with growth too, but the effect of a lack of growth is likely less pronounced right up until the revolution.
Altman seems to think one cause is a more anti-science mood among the American people. I do not see that. What I see: a declining fraction of the population have sufficient intellectual octane to understand difficult scientific subjects, let alone to do original path-breaking scientific work. Yet we still have a great many scientists. The problem: an exhaustion of low hanging fruit, both scientifically and with natural resources.
Altman says the long term US economic growth rate has slowed from 5% to 2%.
The trendline goes from just under 5% to just under 2%. This is a much more significant drop than it appears, because it compounds exponentially.
Utopians of libertarian and liberal bent want to imagine we can easily return to the old growth rates if only their policy prescriptions were followed. Libertarians and liberals do not want to give up their myths because they do not want to give up their fantasies of their own versions of utopia.
The decline in Californa's relative standing among the states for per capita income shows that in spite of the presence of Silicon Valley companies the average ability of the populace matters far more. California is doing poorly in NAEP scores.
But aren't some trends really positive? Steven Pinker thinks we are on a great long term trend toward lower crime. But New York City's police might be cooking the books to report a decline in crime.
But during much of that period, the number of assault victims taken to emergency rooms nearly doubled, according to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
In the long run advances in nuclear power, solar power, batteries, stem cells, gene therapy, genetic engineering for agriculture, and a large assortment of other areas might end up weighing more heavily than what is going wrong. But we do not live in the long run. We can not hop in a time machine and go forward 40 or 50 years. We live in a series of short runs and in those short runs Western societies show signs of stagnation and decline in spite of advances in computer and communications technologies.
Dingell, who turns 87 years old next month, has since then been elected 29 consecutive times, and only twice with less than 60 percent of the vote. If that wasn’t enough, his 1955 victory came in a special election to replace his father, John Sr., who died in office after serving 22 years in the House.
Massachusetts similarly fixated on the Kennedys for decades.
Anyone see a way to make monarchy work? See a mechanism for how to choose a leader that would be better than democracy? We've got a powerful wealthy elite buying influence and making a big impact on who is available to vote for. Meanwhile we also have a growing lower class voting for spending on themselves. This is working poorly. The American political system shows increasing signs of failing. We need something better.
Half Sigma has made it a point to distinguish between value creation and value transference activities. He's correct to draw this distinction because some really large scale value transference activities are going on. Money managers transfer value from you to them and give nothing in return.
By 1960, though, the mutual fund business was booming, and selling investors on high-cost, high-risk products called "performance funds." Within a few years, researchers armed with more statistical skills (and these new things called computers) were examining the industry's performance and finding it wanting. "[W]e find no evidence to support the belief that mutual fund managers can outguess the market," Jack Treynor and Kay Mazuy of the consulting firm Arthur D. Little reported in the July-August 1966 HBR (sadly, we don't have the article online). Multiple academic studies soon backed up that conclusion.
They've continued to back it up ever since.
To many observers, the investment industry of today is like a giant extraction machine. The incredible growth in the industry during the last forty years has resulted in a billionaire’s club made up of the owners of asset management firms, hedge funds, pension consulting organizations, and the like — and tens of thousands of others in the business have gotten plenty rich from the mother load of fees.
You are better off investing in low fee passive index funds.
California was in the 8th position in 2007 but is now in the 15th position. Connecticut is in 1st place.
How far the mighty have fallen. Back 1978 Connecticut was in 1st place and California was in 2nd place.
This is an inevitable outcome of immigration.
California's drop in median per capita income has probably been steeper. The average has been held up by Silicon Valley.
Harvard University students increasingly do not see a humanities degree as a viable starting point for a career. Even a Harvard degree has limited value without skills to go along with the high IQ that acceptance at Harvard usually means.
At Harvard, humanities majors have fallen to 20% in 2012 from 36% in 1954. In the last decade, the decline in humanities students at Harvard has been particularly pronounced, with one-third fewer prospective freshmen expressing interest in the field.
It is great news that more students are heeding the message that we have a very competitive job market. People who major in more useful subjects will do more productive work. Already the people with less than college degrees are facing worsening job prospects. The IQ thresholds and skills thresholds for good career prospects are going to keep going up.
Another needed development: turn down tax funding of universities whose students can't manage to graduate. The average SAT for the U with only 4% graduation rate: 715. Imagine what IQ tests would show about the students of schools with low graduation rates.
The editorial board of the New York Times complains Obama's surveillance state goes too far.
Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.
Hey, if terrorists are such a massive threat that the US government needs to suck data out of the servers of the biggest internet companies, with more internet companies joining, with all Verizon call records turned over to the Feds (and likely the same for other phone companies), then isn't it time to stop letting the kinds of people into the country that make the threat so seriously large?
Take the Boston running event bombing. If some Chechens hadn't been allowed into the country the bombing never would have happened. We are not under any obligation to let in Chechens. Our elites will argue otherwise of course. But their interests and our interests have diverged and the distance between the interests of the majority and the elites keeps getting wider every day. They want to manage us with a massive surveillance program so they can let anyone into the country. Oppose it.
My advice to you: stop watching TV news. Unplug from the most powerful propaganda sources. Our elites pump out reality distortion messages. Your challenge: figure out the people who have taken the Red Pill and read them.
19% of US Muslims are unprepared to say that suicide bombing is never justified. Do you feel relieved? That compares favorably to 28% of global Muslims who take the same position. The Cathedral (i.e. major media and universities) members can absorb this information with their faith unshaken.
I would like to know whether this difference in attitudes between Muslims in America and the rest of the world is due to more highly educated Muslims coming to America as compared to those living in the rest of the world. Or is the difference due a blend of Muslim ethnicities and nationalities come here which is not like the average distribution in the Muslim countries?
If you are a witness to a terrorist attack in the US beware of getting your name into the press. It can get dangerous. What percentage of the rest of the American citizens and immigrant residents believe suicide bombing is ever justified? My guess is very very low.