Jesse Singal on excess anti-Wokism; Louise Perry on the sexual revolution; Rob Henderson on academic values; Kotkin and Cox on demographic trends
If Woke-ism will be defeated, its going to come from politics. You're going to have to elect right wing populists at every level of government, every school board, every judgeship, etc. Then you are going to have to punish and fire wokesters so hard that out of fear and self preservation they stop or are powerless.
It's not going to come from centrist Democrats or Romney republicans. It's not going to come from friendly debate or asking people nice. It's not going to come without forming coalitions being pragmatic.
It's going to come from court rulings and school defunding and mass firings and executive orders that don't give a shit. It's going to look like DeSantis endorsing and supporting school board candidates or punishing work companies that get involved in politics. It's going to look like suing and winning against companies that practice affirmative action with huge penalty lawsuits.
If you think you can keep voting D and doing things the way they are and it will all somehow just go back to "the way it was" you aren't serious.
"We still have not converged on a set of norms that works best for most people."
The 50's norm of no sex outside of marriage works best for most people, something like 80% of women and 60% of men (my guesstimates - what are yours?).
It's true that the 20% of women and 40% of men for whom some other norm would be better have NOT "converged" on the optimal norms. (There's also the issue of norm-violation while maintaining the norm as a standard, like speeding laws.)
The homosexuals & alphas (Trump, Clinton) & elites (H. Weinstein) & most beautiful & rich who think other norms are better have successfully destroyed the optimal norm - but it's becoming increasingly clear to many, especially to more women, that the "responsible promiscuity*" norm of consent is sub-optimal for them, and their own children.
*I used to believe in responsible promiscuity, but now it's clearly sub-optimal. Christians & Republicans & conservatives should try to talk more using terms like "optimal" rather than "moral", even tho the development of morals is an attempt to develop optimal norms.
Singal: "Hey don't be a cariacature of an anti-woke fanatic idiot extremist, becaue just look how I can push that strawman down."
Ok Jesse. How about telling us where between that and "Lay back and think of England" / "I signed an open letter once" is the sweet spot for taking the problem seriously and pushing back when necessary?
If 80 and 90 year old people control 45% of assets and property, right around the corner is a windfall of inheritance for the younger people in their lives.
I'm all for raising the age at which people start to receive SS, but in my experience, private companies also devalue older workers. There are issues of norms and expectations that go beyond the "retirement age"
"You don't have to fight back since the crazy people are under control by people who aren't fighting back either."
Long run fiscal health will depend entirely on the ability to control medical cost trend. Raising the retirement age would be a meaningless gimmick for medical cost trend, and if anything I expect there will be pressure to decrease rather than increase the age people can apply for Medicare.
As to demographics, you can't just keep raising the retirement age forever. If TFR is below replacement, it's just going to get worse and worse over time.
Anyway, the real demographic worry is immigration. Where are those billion Africans going to go? If the answer is "the west", I don't think raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 would be enough to fix Detroit.
Oh dear. Bad ideas from the early 20th Century - fascism, socialism, Victorianism - are on the rise all over the place. There are always problems, but some ideas were genuinely bad. Oh well, I guess we'll spend the next couple of decades re-learning why Victorianism once had such a bad reputation. Those who do not remember history, etc.
"Between 2022 and 2050, United Nations projections indicate that nearly 55 percent of world population growth will occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where fertility rates are still relatively high."
Consider the avg IQ of sub-Saharan Africans. Even with 5-10iq point pickup in low hanging fruit of nutrition and health, that still leaves them south of African American IQ (~84, with 10-15% white admixture), and of course other non-IQ issues (high predisposition to violence, high time preference, etc.).
That is a VERY different human capital stock and no you can't just educate your way out of it. Either thousands of years of sharp painful Malthusian natural selection, or we need genetic engineering. Else....
Demographics is destiny, but is also adjustable.
Japan showing the world how to be a stable, comfy, country of balanced old-middle-young, perhaps also rich-middle-poor (but not too uncomfortable nor suffering), would be good.
Note the wealth figures: 16% millenials, 31% Gen X, 45% boomers (in 80s & 90s). This is because of the inflation since 2008, almost none in the Consumer Price Index, but hyper-inflation in the (ad hoc metric) Investor Price Index, which includes financial assets, houses, and valuables (art, jewels, NBA teams). Magic Monetary Theory (MMT - magical Modern) says deficits don't matter because of CPI. But "all-Money" Theory says that when more investment money chases the same investment goods, the prices of those goods goes up. Making the rich, and old, richer - as well as increasing their richness faster than the poor are getting richer.
No talk yet about getting more housing built.
Just like, for medical costs, little talk about increasing the number of Medical Schools and graduating more doctors.
No discussion about increasing the number of jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially to hire women. Like the sweatshops 20 years ago in Bangladesh, which have created a far more prosperous and NOT aid-dependent society.
Arnold is mostly correct, slow de-population is not such a big problem, "there are ways to adapt to a different demographic pyramid."
Humans won't have so many problems adjusting.
Jesse doesn't name names - therefore he isn't really serious; except for claiming, without evidence! or specific argument, that one can't favor "liberalism" and still support Donald Trump.
"radical lefty professors are annoying. Sometimes they do bad things, such as leading campaigns to get their colleagues fired or calling everything – everything – 'fascist.' But they are not, in fact, one of America’s hundred most pressing problems. "
The acceptance of college discrimination against Republicans, Christians, & conservatives is the SINGLE biggest cause of the increased polarization in America as well. It was known, documented, & publicized in 1987 with Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind", and it has only gotten worse - partly because useful near-idiots like Jesse claim it's never a "pressing problem".
Jesse totally fails to make the connection that, for those unwilling to be excessively anti-Woke, the best strategy is to support somebody else who IS anti-Woke. I.e. support somebody like DJ Trump, who fights against the Woke and whom the Woke fight against, so that the Trump voters can do other things with their lives. And for such mild anti-Woke folk, those like Jesse who attack DJT are just trying to support the Woke, even if they claim they're not.
At least Jesse is not as bad as those who Neo tells how "The Left explains the Trump voter"
As I note there, it's not the Left, but it IS Democrats.
Talk about "the Left" allows Democrats to claim that "it's not them". Like Jesse does.
Rob's questionable analysis about distributing 100 points among the 5 categories includes:
"The researchers looked at whether there were differences in academic values based on gender. There were no significant differences between men and women regarding preferences for academic rigor, academic freedom, and advancing knowledge. However, women valued the emotional well-being of students and social justice significantly more than men."
So, no significant differences on points for 3 groups, but for 2 other groups women gave significantly more. Significantly more was given to some groups without significantly less being given to others.
How is that possible? By "significant" - the women can give an avg of 18 to emotions & social justice, as well as an avg of 21-22 to rigor, freedom & knowledge. The men avg 15 for emotions & social justice, but 23-24 for rigor, freedom & knowledge. The 2 point diff in avg is "not significant" for 3 groups, but the 3 point diff is. Kinda close to p-hacking.
These point distributions are EXAMPLES only - I'd like to see the actual data, and a summary of the data would not have been so hard:
Professor(#profs) avg points for each trait total, . . . female (#profs), . . . male (#profs).
Were such professors to also take the 4 axis Myers-Briggs test, I'm sure most of the women would be NF (abstract feelers) and the men split between NF & NT (abstract thinkers), with virtually none of them on the N-S axis having S - sensory (concrete). But some 3/4 of the population are S, only about 1/4 are iNtuitive (abstract).
It might be that no other single personality axis widely used would have as much predictive value as the N-S axis for elite vs non-elite, tho the F-T (decision making by Feeling or Thinking) might be more predictive of Dem vs Rep now.
For understanding people with mental health problems, the Big 5 OCEAN model seems likely to be better, but for understanding the normal folk you deal with, the Introvert-Extrovert, N-S, F-T, and J-P (closure vs open ended) axes are probably better, especially the 4 main pairs of NF & NT and SJ & SP.
For the non-abstract folk, their closure vs open-ended styles of living make a bigger difference than F-T. (J-judging P-perceiving don't seem to be such good words for describing the trait)
So very lay popular.
"Why? Perhaps it was the user-friendly way that Please Understand Me helped people find their personality style. Perhaps it was the simple accuracy of Keirsey's portraits of temperament and character types. Or perhaps it was the book's essential message: that members of families and institutions are OK, even though they are fundamentally different from each other, and that they would all do well to appreciate their differences and give up trying to change others into copies of themselves."
New for me from Keirsey:
"Each of us, he says, has four kinds of intelligence -- tactical, logistical, diplomatic, strategic -- though one of the four interests us far more than the others, and thus gets far more practice than the rest. "
Jesse Singal makes a good point about choosing one’s self identity. Nevertheless I am secure in my abjection: modern culture’s symbolic boundaries are ones in which I will never willingly be enclosed. Today acceptance and celebration of child sexualization and pedophilia are the defining symbolic boundaries of the dominant elite’s ethics. Emile Durkheim and Mary Douglas are often on my mind lately as we listen to President Biden issue proclamations regarding one of his Administration’s top priorities, claiming:
“This hard-fought progress is also shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity with the transgender community.
In spite of our progress in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, too many transgender people — adults and youth alike — still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality. Transgender Americans of all ages face high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination.” ( https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/03/31/a-proclamation-on-transgender-day-of-visibility-2021/ )
And so we have transgender education in the public schools, transvestite and transgender shows to allow the sexual gratification of performers before child audiences, transgender story hours in the public libraries, efforts in the schools to keep parents ignorant of what is going on, and of course the sexual mutilation and sterilization of child. Of course all this is what the American people signed up for as Biden’s proclivity for inappropriately touching young girls was well established prior to the election and there has been no public outcry even after AshleyBiden revealed that she took inappropriate showers with her father and apparently his own son Hunter may have referred to him as “Pedo Peter.” Why have acceptance and ritual intonation of approving words for this phenomenon become such effective new symbolic boundaries for ruling class culture in the United States?
As is my wont, I will turn yet again to the constitutional failings. And even though it hurts my head to try and wrap it around the later chapters of Calculus of consent, I think we can look at two phenomenon: the never ending accumulation of debt being pushed onto future generations (we are not only obsessed with aborting them but with drowning the ones who survive with debt) and the maintenance of credible voting commitments to persist in the legislative logrolling and clientelistic relationships between politicians and interest groups. Buchanan argued that constitutions ought to provide some restraint on pushing debt off onto the people of the future. Of course that will never happen but we nevertheless have the grotesque spectacle of the US economics profession flailing about attempting to rationalize it. One might be excused for being tempted to consider economists as pedo-enablers.
Another argument from Calculus of Consent perhaps addresses the transaction costs involved in maintaining clientielistic patterns of trade and specialization. As the trillion dollar price tag for the package of new student loan repayment regulations announced yesterday attests, it ain’t cheap. From my personal, admittedly idiosyncratic reading of Buchanan and Tullock, it seems that there are two possible directions one might look in for finding ways to minimize the transaction costs. The first is what I will call the “high road” and that is designing constitutional features that inhibit clientelism.
The Calculus of Consent suggests that it is cheaper to buy seats in the legislature under majoritarian (first-past-the-post majority rule – but actually throwing in third parties, like the Libertarian Party for example, a full majority is not really needed). Thus, as we see around the world, Hence, ceteris paribus, clientelism is most common and most stable under majoritarian systems similar to that of the US than under consensus systems (such those with proportional representation) systems in which more than a majority is needed to enact legislation. Buchanan cites to Knut Wicksell on the ideal of unanimous agreement but recognizes political realities. Nevertheless, Wolfgang Muller’s concise summary lays out the high road plainly enough:
“There is wide consensus in the literature that clientelism is expensive (because it inflates demands) and economically inefficeint (because it leads to overinvestment). Moreover, clientelism is siad to inflate demands and hence in order to keep its effects constant its costs increase over time. Tying voters to parties by the means of clientelism requires considerable public resources at the disposal of the parties and is the more expensive (1) the more votes need to be purchased and (2) the more expensive those votes are. While the second condition depends on the citizen’s opportunity costs the first one can be signficantly influenced by the electoral systems; the cheaper seat shares are in terms of vote shares (because of the effects of the electoral system) the more likely clientelism should be.”
What I will call the low road are alternative means to cheapen transaction costs. First, given the political realities and integrity of the US electoral system, transitioning to one party rule might be the most effective way to achieve greater efficiency. The Republicans have never demonstrated any willingness to carry through with their bold talk of reining in government so they should probably just fold up tent and go away. Even the sainted Paul Ryan as House Majority Leader with a Republican Senate and President couldn’t find any spending to rein in. Presumably with no competition, the Democrats would not need to spend so lavishly on their constituent groups. The competition would instead be shifted to the primaries, but party leaders nevertheless would have an incentive to maximize the net present value of tax revenue streams so, assuming rationality, they would not kill the tax-paying goose that lays the golden egg.
Other ways to command loyalty to the Democratic party might include explicit political ratings by teachers on letters of recommendation. Requiring all letters of recommendations to include a rating 1 to 10 a student’s loyalty to The Party would simply formalize current practice and lower the transaction uncertainty involved in patronage.
Another way of commanding loyalty is through occupational licensure like those in social work. Social work. Most states require social worker compliance with the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics with requires “Social workers should promote the general welfare of society, from local to global levels, and the development of people, their communities, and their environments. Social workers should advocate for living conditions conducive to the fulfillment of basic human needs and should promote social, economic, political, and cultural values and institutions that are compatible with the realization of social justice.” (https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English/Social-Workers-Ethical-Responsibilities-to-the-Broader-Society ). And we are seeing similar initiatives in teacher licensure and mandatory avowals of ideological purity for employment on college campuses and in the federal government and the US military. Rather than fighting such developments, we should support and encourage changes to make such vows credible by for example eliminating tenure, labelling individuals who are not registered Democrats as white supremacists and potential terrorists and separating them from government employment and military service. Presumably such steps would decrease the amount of public resources that The Party would need to maintain party dominance. Would this work? Consider the example of federal pay raises. Trump wasted tens of billions on annual federal pay raises yet Obama went from 2011 to 2013 without any (see table A-3 at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R47033 ). Overall Republican presidents have given away the store in a wholly unsuccessful effort to upset the Democrat’s established clientelistic relationship: https://www.fedsmith.com/2021/01/10/50-years-federal-pay-democrats-v-republicans/
One direction seems inevitable absent a military defeat. We might consider J.A. Doyles’ observation that “According to what one may call the customary precedents of the Old World, external danger furnished the community with an effective weapon against its rulers” and hope that the new rulers are better than the old.
"I am not predicting that this will happen, but I dissent from the view that increasing birth rates is an urgent task for public policy."