Precious Snowflakes in the winter of their discontent.
There they were, poised to be part of the change we can all believe in; to carry on the work of Abraham, Maritn and John. Just like mom, and dad, and ……… Hillary. Free the slaves, desegregate the schools, end Jim Crow, …… put a woman in the White House. What happened? What has become, they ask, of their hope, of their future?
It was a long, long time in the making, this generation of change. For a dozen or more years, most of their existence really, they have been told the twin tales. Important tales. That they need that degree -for a job, a future, for the money it will bring; and the social validation. That other tale? The victim’s story; the tale of innate disempowerment, of innate helplessness. The story of 1 in 5 women; of Fraternites as centers of racism and sexual assault. The tale well documented in last year’s Rolling Stone article, the one the President of the University of Virginia used to set policy.
What else is so prevalent in this college generation? Along with that feeling of teenage angst there is also, when young, whether in college or not, that deep, deep seated emotional need to belong, to be accepted. Such need will drive a man or woman – to fraternities, to sororities, to… social activism. We've sure seen a great deal of the latter this past year.
This election cycle the woman of the movement, the mothers of the movement, the blogs – Jezebel, Huffpost, the magazines – Glamour, Slate, and as always, the celebrities - Katy Perry, Beyonce, Madonna, and on and on; one and all – most of the main stream media too - told the young of the Republic that the inevitable was at hand. They all roared out: Demographics are destiny! For they knew black lives matter, immigrant lives matter, refugee lives matter, climate change is settled and …… then the election. And now the aftermath: no woman in the White House, no free college, no degree, no …. value. The racist, sexist, misogynist, – the Hitler(!) is coming and last of all many will remain …. Blue Collar!
Well, since celebrity is so important let’s let Hollywood explain it:
YOU were supposed to look out for me…
Old stories are often the best stories, aren’t they? They tell a tale worth telling – the tale of the human condition. It sure caught the feel of NYC in 1950. That vignette catches the mood of this generation too. Yep “YOU were supposed to look out for me.”…… " So much for self-reliance and individual responsibility. Can't have that now, so the colleges say. Well, anyhow, now you know how they feel. Their entire lives stretch out before them. An “undiscovered country” as the Bard put it; yet they feel helpless, as if their lives are over. Truly this is the winter of their discontent.
They were told they were gonna fight the great injustices – censorship, Jim Crow, segregated schools. How did it come to this? Why are America’s “best and brightest”, the Lake Woebegone generation, so traumatized? Why is there a retreat to “safe spaces”, “cry ins”, coloring books and even diaper pins as political statements? Why the common thread of victimhood as the result of a constitutional election in which a candidate they supported lost? How did it come to this indeed. Well those facts, positions, and even the “settled science” resonated differently with different Americans, didn’t they? Thus the results of that day of voting.
Which brings me to a few questions about the state of mind of (some) college students today. In an effort to avoid being overly polemic I’ll try to have some objectivity though my patience with a highly intelligent – and overly indulged – generation has worn rather thin. I believe their parents should have told them long ago that it is time to grow up and take personal responsibility for their futures.
After a dozen years of public education (for most students) why do they not understand that the legal barriers to school segregation were swept away long ago? Why is the basic governmental structure establishing this federal republic and the reason for the electoral college rather than a national plebiscite unknown? Just what have our tax dollars been spent on in the education industry if entrants to American colleges do not know that it is not the 1950s in America and even gay marriage is now legal? How can students today not know that “(who) let the dogs out” is a rap song they first heard at their mothers knee and not a command to the police from a Governor at the school house door? It's 2017 and no one is blocking the school house door or denying free speech on campus:
Gays are welcome everywhere on college campuses: Gay pride on campus
Segregation was swept away long ago: Segregation today
Ah, well. They sure know whose doing that, don't they? What many here lived through as it played out in the sixties is being played out again. The social engineers on campus have returned with vengeance to create the brave new world where the the founding faults of the Republic are corrected. Those who so disregard the national narrative, the aspiration society of old, use their prowess and skills with the manipulation of language and history to designate people by their “ascribed status,” i.e. what a person was born into, rather than the “achieved status” – what a person earns as an individual. Which color matters most, which group is most victimized, which victim status grants the most ascribed status and the benefits that go with it, for to be a victim is to be valuable. As Kierkegaard put it "To label me is to negate me." You can see how those with a deep emotional need to belong can be so persuaded, especially when they are told they are going to fight the great injustices. Black Lives Matter. What about the rest of the colors none dare ask. (Just remember Bernie and BLM at his speech.)
The other tactics of the public fight- protests and agitation: It hasn't worked so well in Ferguson or where the Ferguson effect spread, like Dallas. And then there's the Mau Mauing as Tom Wolfe called it. That sure worked then; it worked enough now to get DeRay Mckesson a couple hundred grand gig in Baltimore. (I'm sure he knows exactly how to run a school system. Can't be much worse than those who are running in now, can it?) How'd that trial work out though?: not so well.
That method of manipulation? Emphasizing birth status, or "privilege"; dividing citizens up into competing ethnic, racial, and gender groups by recounting the age old grievances. All these are very "old world” methods and very anti-American. It's the "sizzle that sells the steak" as the old salesman Zig Ziglar used to put it. Only in this case "Where's the beef"? Well there were plenty of people with a beef before (see above) and after this election even more. Here's one of the early snowflake tales from immediately afterwards, relayed on social media by my newly elected State Representative. Let me quote him:
"Please read the following Crime Alert. This is unacceptable. Not in Ann Arbor, not anywhere, not ever. We must stand united against hate. I am currently building a coalition of elected officials who will fight to make our community a safe space from the devastating racism, sexism and xenophobia that Trump has empowered."
Note the follow up from another constituent indicating the police concluded this was incident did not actually occur. Well, don't take my word for it, here's the MSM:
"… after Ann Arbor and UM police and the FBI interviewed multiple witnesses and reviewed video surveillance in the area of the alleged incident, said Detective Sgt. Matthew Lige of the Ann Arbor Police Department.
“This crime never happened,” Lige said. “It put the Ann Arbor community under significant pressure and put us in the national spotlight and it just did not happen. I have been doing this job for over 20 years and I have not seen a national or a law enforcement-related event that put as much as pressure on us as this report did given the timing that it was reported after the election.”…."
It turns out it was a hate hoax. Well my new State Rep is not off to such a good start, but he's in large company since this wasn't the only hate hoax to play out around our nations colleges these past few months.
Sizzle sells, just like Zig said. Bad beef doesn’t though. Two points which should help explain part of the election results. Now what of the lives (and futures) of other students, the "silent majority" of students? What of the engineers, the medical students, the accountants? We're sure not hearing much in the press about them. Of course not. Those students are not the ones who staff the legislative offices or enter the hallowed halls of journalism. Though I hear there are plenty of jobs open for them:
Poli-sci major jobs, well, not so much. Even the Clinton Global Initiative is letting those people go. In conclusion let us return to Hollywood and ask for some hope and change entertainment. Maybe they can do a nice movie about a fat 30 something guy doing a job he loves while living at home with mom and meeting the person of his dreams. I'm sure it will win at Cannes.
postscript. Oh snap!:
Well then maybe we can at least have some women who can give us a song:
It is a tough challenge for them and they seem in many ways woefully unprepared and I blame my generation for coddling them too much. Both my kids graduated from University and haven’t found the plethora of good jobs awaiting them. They both have realized they have to do their time in shit jobs before you can rise up and that takes time, experience, and a lot of patience putting up with leaders who are not the perfect specimens. Basically, the world hasn’t changed in that regard. What has changed is that the same education we got relatively cheaply now costs a king’s ransom. The population is growing so fast and the poor are flooding into every developed nation, there is now more and more competition for less prestigious jobs. The kids growing up in China, India, and Korea understand this completely and it is perhaps why they do so well when they come to the US where the relative requirements for success are so much lower. In their home countries being less than perfect means a dismal existence. It is why the suicide rate is so high for foreign college students when their GPA slips a little.
But, one thing is for certain. The world is getting smaller, people living longer, most wanting higher lifestyles with the least amount of work possible, and the earliest retirement they can afford. That is the dream and harder and harder to obtain when the wealth is being shifted more and more to fewer people on top. It is the relative wealth distribution which is going to cause the impetus for revolution coupled with the dissatisfaction about life not living up to advertised promises. This is the main subject at Davos this year and it appears the rich are finally getting it. If they don’t come up with a fix then bonfires and pitchforks are the end result.
Young people since the 90s have been screwed:
94% of jobs created since the great recession have been temp, without benefits: try starting a family on that.
The quality if disinformation in the US is such that this screwed generation has been largely advocating for Democrats who “foamed the runway” with them or their parents:
The Case Deaton study http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15078.full has demonstrated the bad economic and social policy can create the same dysfunction in white families it created in the “black urban underclass” back in the day.
I’m not that sure that the Progressives will be having it all their own way in the Universities and the Media in the future.
It’s not as bad as all that when you look below the surface though, I must confess, looking beneath the surface is something I’m not well qualified to do. That’s because I don’t as a rule get allegory or symbolism. I prefer it when people who’ve got something to say come straight out with it. Then you know where you are. I remember ploughing through the New Testament as a child, following the story with great interest – loaves and fishes for 5,000? That’s a LOT – and missing the parable completely. It didn’t help that my religious instructors, dogged rationalists to a man, explained that what really happened was that everyone had brought lunch along with them but just didn’t like to be the first to start eating. Is that all, one thought, robbed of the miracle. Well, let’em try and explain away Moses shifting all that water. Bet they can’t.
Scarcely a good preparation for the post-Freudian world, where everything in a narrative is symbolic of something else and that something else as often as not dubious. Even less a preparation for the post-modernist Rove-ian fantasy world where, provided there’s an adequate supply of cookies and Special Forces and tame journalists on hand, the narrative itself is whatever the hell we choose to make it and do the symbolism yourself. I’m not up to all that.
That’s me. No allegory please, I’ll just take the story as it comes. So when the American film “Divergent” happened along last Christmas we settled down to watch it in innocent expectation of a rattling good yarn and nothing much else. It wasn’t until we’d got well into it that I realised I was watching a straight dissident parable. Have a look at it yourself. You’ve got sinister NWO types using mind control to get soldiers to do things they shouldn’t be doing in an attempt to subvert society. The NWO types lose, you’ll be glad to know, but they have a damned good try and are only frustrated by a group of high-fiving regular guys – and fragile female recruits who end up doing the commanding, this is Hollywood after all – who could every one of them, allowing for costume, have come straight out of 50’s central casting.
I suspect that next Christmas, if we get hold of the sequel, the role-model commander and the regular guys are going to have a further go at straightening things out – the society they were rescuing looked a bit Orwellian to me – but even so they’ve done OK to date. What they haven’t done is anything remotely in tune with progressive values. Not a snowflake among ’em. Makes you think, that.
Made me think about the Christmas before last. Then it was Hunger Games. If I’d understood Hunger Games then, I might have realised what was going on in the States earlier and got Trump at 100 to 1. The film was that pointed, though with my allergy to parable I missed it completely at the time. But just examine it. The dissidents – let’s come straight out with it and call them Deplorables – live appallingly insecure lives on the fringes. Flyover country. Trump land, if I’d known about the Trump movement then. They’re up against the Clintonistas – sorry, got carried away – they’re up against the decadent psychotic cronies who run the show in the imperial capital, and they have a remarkably rough time of it. The Deplorables are doing reasonably well so far, but we’ve only watched the first episode and I’ll have to wait a couple of years to see whether they make it. Even that, I suppose, is an accurate mirror of the current state of play. Those film makers must have been prescient.
The satire is Swiftian. The Deplorable heroine – same rules apply as “Divergent”, solid leadership material, photogenic but let’s not make a thing of it, invincible but do be careful – has to cope with a TV reality type show of stomach-churning decadence. It’s apple pie moral values up against prog and we all hope apple pie wins.
What on earth is Hollywood, or, I suppose, the sub-sub-contractors who stand in for Hollywood these days, doing putting out subversive stuff like this? Do they know they’re doing it? Why aren’t they being sat on hard by the progressives who are supposed to rule Hollywood? In England, when they did Harry Potter, the film makers turned it from a neat little version of Enid Blyton with broomsticks into an extravaganza with progressive overtones so heavy they almost fell off the screen. Mind you, I think the author helped there. But in America, and that at a time when, with any luck, we’re at peak prog, they’ve gone back to normal.
I don’t reckon, therefore, that the picture is as gloomy as all that. Naturam expellas furca, if I’ve googled the quote right, tamen usque recurret. These films have a wide circulation here and in the States, so for millions upon millions of our children normality’s coming back with a vengeance.
How would you categorise the activism of Occupy Wall Street 5 years on, many of the anarcho-libertarian viewpoints that many Trump supporters now espouse ? Not trolling just asking.
Also, what differentiates activism in the “information age” to the activism of CND or that or Arthur Scargill for the miners in the UK in the 1980s; activism that warned of the dangers of outsourcing and unregulated corporatisation at a time when Trump was more likely trying his damnedest to be part of the establishment ?
I’m only focusing on the activism part because I think there is still an important place for it. As to the fickle nature of “yoffs” these days, surely this is a generational observation imho.
I’d be interested in your opinions or observations about the western welfare state and how this pandered generation will come to terms when it cannot deliver anything near what they were made to believe it could provide.
There is crisis of confidence in western public institutions (here I mean banks,academia and its curricula, the press, government representation,the profit motive that powers multinationals, judicial systems, the surveillance state etc).
I personally don’t see any politician, Borg or not who can provide reasoned, rational answers to any of these….anxieties.
To continue your metaphoric nod to the Duke of Gloucester, what confidence should the younger generation have that their “winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of……Trump ?”
Hollywood’s take ? Perhaps Hollywood presaged Trump with Out of the Furnace. So-so script but beautifully capturing “deplorable” country. There’s even a scene of the late Ted Kennedy declaring Obama’s second candidature. V ironic.
Why don’t you explain what this “activism” is instead of begging the question?
EO -I hadn’t thought about it in this terms but agree with you. It baffles me that they put out this stuff then rebel at the results. I think few Americans read any more but they do watch movies. For, the most prescient film to date, was Elysium which I fear is the US in 30 years. Actually, I believe it will be much worse than that.
We have several parallel paths for humanity occurring simultaneously. We are only at the beginning though. The first is genetic engineering foe health, longevity, and enhanced capabilities. The second is artificial enhancements adding in memory storage, real time video, inside the brain digital storage, brain to network communications etc. then we have AI becoming alive sometime in the near future. The last is to upload conciousness into a computing environment and possibly run multiple copies of yourself in robotic extra-matrix environments. The final group will be the luddites and religious nuts resisting all of this. IMHO all of this will come out o fruition over time more or less simultaneously. We are not even close to being ready for this and it is going to happen within the next generations life cycle. They have already figured out how to repuair telomeres do we just might see a fountain of youth, assuming you can afford it.
CND was a unilateral nuclear disarmament group. Scargill’s counterpart now would probably be the head of SEIU, especially since Obama’s environmental regulations (via EPA) put thousands of miners out of work (at zero cost to the greenies in the coastal enclaves) and forced the mothballing or decommissioning a number of coal fired power plants. Occupy Wall Street? They were co-opted the same way as the WTO protesters were in Seattle when Bill Clinton was president. All of these are traditional labor based protests. As an example nobody in the UAW leadership really cares much about LGBT “marriage” etc. they care about wages, benefits and working conditions in the memberships workplace. Those are the whole reason for being of labor unions. Unions and disarmament protesters are not the culturally changing social activism groups of I wrote of above.
“try starting a family on that.” All it takes is some belly slapp’n and nature does the rest. (Unless you visit a planned parenthood clinic) That’s when you see the 1000 yard stare on the face of the clerk at Whole paycheck who realizes he/she/zhe has “responsibility” like the granddad ignored talked about and all that organic ecofriendly yada, yada stuff doesn’t pay the bills and was that degree in underwater basket-weaving really worth anything other than keeping a few professors and college administrators employed?
“Hunger Games … The dissidents … “No. I disagree. Katniss and her bow and arrow replace Theseus to defeat the Minotaur and end the slaughter of the innocents. Just like Rouge 1 and the Force Awakens it’s the dawn of the age of the woman and we’re gonna lead because, well- biology. It’s all role reversal and not much else (other than computer generated special effects) especially not the hard work and unrecognized self-sacrifice that is needed to keep a civilization going.
The cost drivers of that King’s ransom is never discussed- especially when it comes time to set a University’s budget. “…. poor are flooding into every developed nation,….” We have no Constitutional need to commit economic or cultural suicide.
“This is the main subject at Davos this year and it appears the rich are finally getting it.” The disintegration of Mexico, its culture and its future is because of people like Vicente “I’m not paying for that f’n wall” Fox and politicians like him who helped make Carlos Slim the richest man on Earth. I’ve commented here before that the NYT and the rest of the MSM never, ever pointing out the inequality of wealth that made that man rich, or the powerful politicians of Mexico rich. If we as a Republic want to do some actual R2P based regime change and nation building maybe the new President can send Mad Dog’s boys back to the Halls of Montezuma and help the Federales South of the Border clean out all the gangs. They can use Vicente and Carlos’s money to rebuild their countries. I think there are 8 or 10 million Mexicans here who would like nothing more than to return home and Make Mexico Great Again. The Davos crowd better take note of that fact before some loose cannon with a Twitter account does. They might not get in on “the deals” to come.
Sure. I define “activism” as a systematic attempt to bring attention to issues that are unreported, ignored or considered unnewsworthy by traditional news organizations, political institutions or society. Hence my highlighting of the Occupy movement. I lived through the Scargill era in the UK and many union concerns wrt unregulated corporatism, an erosion of manufacturing and its baleful effects on the sense of community and country, though raucously delivered and in the backdrop of the Cold War, seem very pertinent today. I am in no way glorifying the UK’s miners unions of the 80s but history may be more sympathetic to their activism (and Occupy’s) than many contemporaneously credited them with.
I consider Tea-party republicans activists as much as advocates of neocon policy, R2Pers et al.
Campus activists of what ever stripe are as activist as those that voted for Trump in the “hope” he will fundamentally alter the established order/status quo in foreign affairs, global macroeconomic policies, domestic environmental policy, Congress, the media, immigration policy and a whole host of other electoral promises.
I wish him luck but I hold out little hope. That’s a heck of a to-do list in 8 years.
Otherwise called posthumanism, according to the site.
Er, these Luddites you mention. Not looking for new members by any chance, are they?
Of course you’re right. But sometimes I like whistling in the dark. Keeps the spirits up.
On a more serious note, would you call the identity politics you excoriate in your article “displacement politics”? Stuff we’re encouraged to play around with so that real politics doesn’t get a look in? And the Trump movement, and to a lesser extent the enthusiasm for Sanders, as indicating real politics elbowing its way back in?
So massage a word to mean whatever you want it to mean whenever you want it to mean it in spite of whatever the reality is. Gotcha.
Some politicians use this as distraction but the Utopians want to “displace” the traditional Americans and the Western ideals that are the foundation of our culture.
Ah, come now Fred, what about all the expense of those Clinton training programs to become web programmers and embrace the economy of the future…….
Oh. never mind. SWMBO notes the great sucking sound of internet programming (and any programming) to India at $1 per day. you can do better than that here in California picking up bottles on the highway side.
At least the coastal types are celebrating the newest future: the sharing economy…. Uber alles…..
oh that is going to be automated?
hmmm, I recall in Hitch-hikers guide to the Galaxy, the universe ends with a flush.
BTW, I enjoyed the writing style
They don’t teach things like this in our schools any more:
Well, that knowledge won’t make anyone much money…
Very much enjoyed Fred’s essay. Very high quality comments.
Off topic but link below takes the reader through Steele’s Dirty Dossier as is presumed a professional reader of Intelligence might so do:
I religiously watch SyFi’s science fiction TV shows. Right now, I am watching “Incorporated”. Since most of the shows are filmed in Vancouver BC, they probably will appear in England sooner or later. The series takes place in a dystopian Milwaukee in the year 2074 ruled by the corporate elite.
The show is quite explicit that climate change and corporate seizure of power is the cause of mass migration and the walling off the elite into Green Zones. From the script of the latest show a character said “I’m supposed to be taking my kid to the Scott Walker exhibit at the state capitol today.”
This is beyond subliminal. Youngsters watching this should be able to recognize what is happening to them now. If corporate media ignores this “subversion”, it is because this is the last thing they want the public to pay attention to.
Correct me if I am wrong; but, the domination of foreign global corporations and the adverse impact on Midlanders is a primary cause of Teresa May’s Hard Brexit; no matter the adverse consequences.
Don’t watch the movie The Road
That you can interpret the Hunger Games as a commentary on contemporary society is a great, and potentially very subversive, point. For example, watching the reports about the celebrity outfits at the annual Met Gala (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/03/fashion/what-is-the-met-gala-and-who-gets-to-go.html) always makes me think of the the Hunger Games’ decadent Capital District obsession with over-the-top glitzy costumes.
Eight out of nine ain’t bad, and snowflakes become blizzards.
So we are massaging activism until its plastic enough to fit around whatever you want it to? Okay then.
Didn’t see Cry Havoc by Jack Hanson mentioned, voted 1.
(Seriously good post tho)
“The revolution will not be televised.” The new revolutionaries just aren’t relevant anymore.
I really enjoy your writing style.
While correlation does not equate to causation, there is an amazing correlation in the growth of student loans and the cost of college education. So this massive credit expansion lead coincidentally to price inflation in education negatively impacting the debtor. The millenials are earning less than the boomer cohort did at the same stage in life and have substantially more debt. No wonder so many are still staying with their parents.
Fred, I appreciate this post, but admit to scratching my head a bit.
Apparently, because I’m female, have degrees, and for other reasons unclear to me, I’m supposed to be at some sort of ‘cry in’ with coloring books…?
Because of Trump’s rude comments about women, he was ‘a bridge too far’ for my vote. In addition, having spent far too many hours of my life around people in real estate, he doesn’t exhibit the traits of the people that I respect in that economic sector.
But so what?
Am I supposed to throw myself a Pity Party over it? Or melt?
That seems a complete waste of my time.
I know people (including family) who voted for Trump, primarily because he was not the status quo.
They’re great people: hard working, determined, fair-minded, and fed up with feeling looted.
They would have preferred Bernie Sanders, but the DNC in its exalted, social justice warrior insolence, screwed them out of that option. So they gave the DNC a ‘middle finger salute’ and voted for Trump.
They seem to have found registering their contempt at corrupt politics fairly liberating.
We live in interesting times.
The trouble folks is that economics and politics haven’t caught up with technology and both Snowflakes and Trump are symptoms.of technology causing disruption.
The first problem is that economists dont understand modern technology on a number of levels, the most critical being that they still believe the “economy of scale” BS which states that production costs decrease with increasing volume of production. For the last Fifty years us engineers have been using technology to drive the economic order quantity of a good to one unit. When you see the robotic production lines with the commentator pointing out “each car is different” you get the idea.
In addition, modern machine tools are quite capable of producing say, a gearbox housing one minute and a marine winch the second. There is no “setup time” involved. Then of course the machines and factory is automated.
The second problem is that some economists and politicians still think. China is producing goods in bamboo shacks with mud floors where thousands of coolies labor in their underwear. Sorry, the Chinese factories are the most modern in the world with the most advanced manufacturing technology. – driven by the Chinese, not foreign contractors.
So what happens? Jobs vanish in America and a few jobs reappear in China, but not enough even to keep the Chinese fully employed. With the departure of high paying blue collar American jobs goes blue collar political power. The result of that? A corrupt Democratic Party that gets its money from the one percent.instead of what was once its blue collar base. The result of that? A President Trump snaps up the votes of what the Democrats call “the deplorables”.
This is a world wide phenomenon, technology is destroying blue collar jobs as well as now middle class white collar jobs that the Snowflakes were going to aspire to. The economists are fifty years behind the times and have no policy response. The end state is pure marxian capitalism where. the factory owners dictate planetary politics in the worst sense.
Brexit(Farage) , Trump, Le Pen, Grillo, Hanson and others are all “populist” leaders who are channeling the reaction of those left behind to their plight – which is a revulsion towards globalism and the slide of the 99% into relative poverty. It doesn’t have to be like this but Americans have a revulsion for redistributive economic policies as do the one percenters.
Fred – In my opinion, I have regarded the War on Drugs to be a complete failure from the aspect of changing smuggling patterns and abuse in the US. I have often wondered what kickbacks have been made to Congress to ensure that the DEA can’t effectively do their jobs. Perhaps the porous borders are deliberate? I also recall that the real reason for the 2007 financial crisis (the actual trigger) was the attempt to reign in the US banks doing the laundry for the cartels. When that pressure was applied the cartels simply pulled out all their money all at once, something like $580 billion and it cause a liquidity crisis triggering the cascade of bank failures which resulted in the failure of the hedging instruments (specifically AIG who had guaranteed over $1 trillion dollars). Then we have multiple reports of using US military to guard poppy fields in Afghanistan from destruction by the Taliban (under their reign the opium trade dropped to zero) and since we decided to invade Afghanistan the heroin trade is back as bad as it was ever before. This was done as a further attempt to screw Russia by infiltrating drugs into the Russian culture a plan which worked with some minor success before.
But drugs are a symptom of a diseased society as is online porn, and the like. Next will be entertainment in the form of gladiators or public rape etc. We are already seeing game shows for random sex coming on line. This stuff including drugs, alcohol, violence, and sex are all necessary to keep the plebeians in line. It is the old bread and circus all over again. Then we have the recent suggestion here in the EU of a mandatory minimum wage for people who cannot work at all and will never work again all in an attempt to get in place the necessary ability for the masses to keep spending to buy the crap made by the new robots. Where that is heading is anyone’s guess. I believe it is unsustainable under current financing without printing more fiat money. But, in some sense this has been happening in the US for quite a long time now for certain segments of American society. I can’t recall the numbers but I believe something like 47% of Americans receive some kind of government handout not including Social Security.
Well, to be fair biologically we don’t need men anymore to reproduce. Perhaps soon we won’t need women either. There were plans to “humanize” cows (replace the immune system with a human one so human tissue could be grown without rejection and/or human proteins produced in milk for oral vaccinations). ut doing this would also permit implantation of human zygotes for growth in the bovine model. Maybe we can design a sexless human or better hermaphroditic ones without functional reproduction so we could have sex ad libitum? I jest but it is seriously possible and one can imagine a world of hermaphrodites in charge. I suppose this is the penultimate end phase of sexual engineering. We could replace all individual races as well and produce a melange of “perfect” specimens of no particularly identifiable race. Of course, in evolution this typically results in a lack of diversity but that can be overcome by programming.
Some theorists believe that human aggression is all about sex and that all wars etc. ultimately are part of a Darwinian process. Eliminate this aspect of human behavior and I wonder what we get? Perhaps a world of nothing but hermaphroditic snowflakes might be preferable.
Jack – Good point. I cannot put my finger on to exactly when this changed. I went to college after serving 8 years active duty and started at Cal Poly in 1980. My cost for a State College was $65 a Quarter. If I recall correctly my Vietnam Era GI Bill was $271 a month so more than enough to cover tuition, books and parking. I recall my (second) wife was also going to college (we met in ROTC) and she was attending UC Davis and her cost was $600 a Semester as the UC system is 1/2 public and 1/2 private. I then made my MS degree at CSUF and I recall that was something a bit more like $50 a credit hour for graduate school. Much later the Army (after recalling me to active duty) sent me for a PhD at Cornell and my tuition (I didn’t pay it but got the bills) was $35k a year. That was in 1990. My kids went to separate schools My son being a somewhat typical millennial needed to attend a junior college and did an AS at NOVA which garnered him a discount at George Mason where he did the 6 year plan. I recall his tuition was something on the order of $2500 a Semester. My daughter went to Temple and she was on 1/2 scholarship for gymnastics and I recall she was still paying $5000 a semester. Neither of my kids obtained any student loans and my ex paid whatever was necessary. Both kids worked through college as did I. Except for my PhD I paid for everything out of pocket. I actually didn’t get much GI il as I had already used the lion’s share to get a commercial/instrument dual engine pilot certificate which more or less pissed it all away. I never did get a job as an airline pilot as after Vietnam so many military pilots were on the market.
I did observe at Cornell and got to know many professors there that the teaching staff salaries suck. The suck bad especially for that caliber of expertise. As a major I made at least 30% more than my professors. My point is the money isn’t going to the teaching staff. Compare these salaries to those of “less” academic doctorates such as lawyers or physicians and you can see what I mean.
Sorry, posted British salaries which look equally dismal. Here are US salaries:http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Professor,_Postsecondary_%2F_Higher_Education/Salary
100 (as snowflakes like to tweet).
Walrus, is Economics junk science ?
You’re dead right. Most people these days are never going to able to have a crack at what we all took for granted only a few decades ago – get a job that’ll support a family, get a decent house, have a bit left to spare. There’s a large group who’ve already done all that and are therefore OK but as that demographic fades away – and they won’t be passing much on to the next generation – the distinction between the mass of people and the better off will become sharper.
I read of Jamie Dimon the other day remarking that workers in Europe were going to have to accept lower wages if Europe was to become competitive. I’ve seen that said about the American workforce too. It’s a theme amongst conventional economists and the cronies like it too. Can’t be done. Not without the pitchforks coming out. Third world incomes don’t go with first world costs, and even if they could be made to they don’t go with first world expectations.
Then there’s the job market itself, shrinking rapidly because of automation and mass immigration.
Put all that together and, as you say, you’ve got the mass rejection of the status quo that led to Brexit; and to the Trump and Sanders movement.
If more and more people are seeing that the emperor has no clothes as regards the economy they’re also seeing that the emperor’s ideological clothes are skimpy. “Progressivism” is an incoherent political movement. “Fred’s” article above gives it a good pasting and doesn’t it deserve it. “Social Justice” is a great notion – I like it myself and so do most people – but the progressive version of social justice doesn’t square with the progressive addiction to cronyism. Of course all ruling elites go in for cronyism, but you don’t expect to see social justice warriors at it – hence the force behind Sanders. And that’s apart from the tricky question of how you get to afford social justice if you end up with more getting it than paying for it.
Anti-racism, again, is something most of us would support, but how does that square with supporting White Supremacists, and as often as not Neo-Nazis at that, in the Ukraine? And how does it square with mass immigration? The brotherhood of man is a noble concept but saying to our brothers “You’re poor. You’re desperate. So come over here, if you don’t drown on the way, and supply us with cheap labour”, isn’t most peoples’ idea of it.
With the progressives in disarray on all fronts therefore, it’s to be expected that the pitchforks are starting to line up. Trump’s function, as has been obvious from the start, is not to lead the charge. It’s more to keep the pitchforks at bay while the Americans try to figure out how to get a functioning economy again.
I’m not sure how Mrs May in this country will do the same here, but with any luck Mr Trump will give her a few hints. He’s quite good on the question of outsourcing, they say.
I have been following the trend you speak of. Agree and I don’t think anyone in power is willing to it directly; assuming they even comprehend it – though some must.
Ultimately, IMO, the solution is to achieve lower birth rates and a lower global population. This is already happening somewhat on its own in industrialized countries. Lower birth rate should be incentive and there are a lot of ways to do that without violating rights and ethics. Global population targets should be set at a level where every person has a purpose and a job. I have been thinking this for a few years – of course an economist/actuary (me) would think that way, but I don’t see any other viable solution.
I have never comprehended why low birth rates are perceived as a bad thing in the modern world.
I don’t think economics is junk science at all. The problem is that people either apply half-baked economics or ignore what economics really says about a problem.
The federal taxpayers funded all your education based on service. Cornell doesn’t pay its faculty correctly? That’s a shock when they have an endowment worth close to $6 billion and the open source info says the “Average Effective Annual Salary: $213,921”
Here’s the best and brightest at your alma mater.
Perhaps we should stop federal funding to private colleges like this that can’t or won’t fulfill their obligations under the land grant acts that got them going and give them their tax exempt status. In addition why do private universities have private armed police forces? I wonder what Betsy Devos’ take on that is……
Was the Corvair safe at any speed?
Vietnam Vet and EO,
I’ll have to write another piece on the declining power of the establishment black politician. If you look closely at the makeup of the Democratic party you’ll see which leadership just lost power and influence in the federal government. Look for more mass black protests and violence in the near term.