Get Away From That Ledge III

Because We’re Still Americans

So, our self proclaimed elites (Despite their ivy league degrees, I’ve yet to see one of them who could make it into/through the lowest ranked community college without connections/special considerations/money/help.  And I doubt their ability to get through the day without minders.) have decided what they need is a more compliant populace and like the infernal racists they are, they think they can get that by importing people with a darker skin shade.

It worries me and others – and it should – not because of the skin shade of those being imported (bites back very strongly on pungent remark about other elites who thought it was okay to import dark skinned people to do what the elites wanted them to.  History repeats first as tragedy and then as farce.  We’re in the farce portion) but because of the reasons they’re being imported.  It’s bad enough when your government is importing people to do “what Americans aren’t willing to do” at a time when Americans are willing to take any job at all, if only the government will let them contract for work without interposing itself with regulations and demands for paperwork. It’s much worse when your government is advertising abroad all the benefits you can get at the expense of the US taxpayer, if you will just move here and refuse to or can’t work.

It worries us because quite bluntly, our society is having enough trouble looking after those who have fallen through the net.  The fact that the economic wounds are largely self-inflected doesn’t make them any less painful.  I don’t believe there are people who don’t have anything to offer society in the way of meaningful labor, but there are quite a few who can’t measure up when you weigh against their labor having to pay minimum wage.  Most people with some experience are worth minimum wage, but most kids – even smart kids – aren’t.  Sorry, it’s a fact of life.  They have to learn things like punctuality and that their wants that day count less than the job.  Until then, very few of them are worth minimum wage.  And frankly, none of them is when you count in stuff like the paperwork required to have an employee, the regulations that must be satisfied, and the matching Social Security contributions. (If you don’t have an employee you have no idea.  It’s almost a full time job complying with everything.  Frankly, even for a part time employee.  I could afford to pay someone, half time, to help with secretarial and management.  But then I’d have to hire them full time to do their own paperwork, and that I can’t afford.)

I favor, as I’ve said before, instead of minimum wage some type of assistance program where people working full time are given enough to make up what they’d get if they were working minimum wage.  (Favor in a manner of speaking.  I’m a libertarian who thinks all taxation is theft.  But of the things I CAN get, I think that would distort the market least.)

The other thing that worries us  – or at least worries me – is that culture isn’t plastic.  No, it is not hereditary.  No, you’re not stuck living with the culture of your ancestors because you wee born that way.  If I adopted a little girl from China tomorrow, she would be more Hoyt than anything else, by the time she got to be 18.  (And if I won the lottery tomorrow I would.  And… poor kid.  Maybe that’s why I never win the lottery/become a bestseller.)

Culture is acquired from your parents and your environment.  Most of it is acquired at pre verbal times.  (Yes, it might link in with certain hereditary characteristics, but the BS in biology down the hall tells me the human genome is too complex for us to determine that.  Are the kids slightly more unorganized than they should be because their mom is Portuguese-born, or because they were raised by a writer mom who is likely to forget stuff like meals while she’s working?  — I’ll note in passing that for Portuguese culture I’m almost unreal in my clock-work like organization, and that I was often accused of being German.  I’ll also note from what I see I’m about medium for the US, except that I’m trying to do six jobs at once.)  You can change how you react and how you interact with people VOLATIONALLY.  This is called acculturating.  I did it more or less on purpose, but it is more complex than it sounds, and it required things such as stopping reading in Portuguese (though part of that might have been needed only because I wanted to write in English, and sound American.  There is a different tempo to the Portuguese narration.  Never mind.)  Most people who come here, even the ones who want to become American, can’t or aren’t willing to do that.  They seek the comfort of their hometown newspaper, back home.  Or, now that there’s the internet, they stay linked to family via email on a daily basis.

I don’t know how that last will affect it, but I know that most people used to take three generations to integrate.  How that works now, particularly with the enshrining of victimhood, and particularly if you’re a darker shade of skin (even if it’s a very light brown like the boys) I can’t tell you, but I suspect it’s harder.

It is a human thing to use what excuse you have ready to hand to explain away your failures, even when the person you’re explaining them to is yourself.  It also gives you a bad incentive not to try as hard.

I suspect a lot of people will glump through life, demanding all the special perks because they’re “victims” and refusing to accept that they might not be working as hard as others, because after all “systemic racism” and “white male privilege.”  (These same people, in a more traditional system, like, say, Islam, would accuse genii of cursing them.  Do genii exist?  Probably not, but in that society people believe them, and it provides an excuse.  The same with “Systemic racism” and “white male privilege.”)

This makes the importation of a large contingent into our society at best problematic and at worst dangerous.  The Tsarnaev brothers were after all just such immigrants, nurtured by us on social security and resentment.  (And they are, btw, whiter than I.  Religion is culture but culture is not race.)

I don’t know why the elites want this.  Oh, some of them, definitely want a new electorate and have illusions of bringing in a contingent used to quasi-feudal rule because  they fancy themselves as the new rulers of the new peons.  Others of course feel guilty.  They know that if they’d been thrown into an inner city high school with no connections, no help, not only would they not have survived, but they would never have managed to learn enough to graduate.  They also know that by the standards of thirty years ago, they have a ninth grade education if that.  In other words, like everyone whose success wasn’t earned, they want to atone.  Frankly, I wish like medieval rulers they just build Cathedrals.  It would be both more aesthetically pleasing and, ultimately, better for society.  (All societies.  Mexico thinks it’s unloading its lowest levels of society on us, and getting money back to boot, but they’ll find in time that when you export your “lower class” you also export those more likely to innovate.  Or maybe for them that’s a plus. They’ve been stagnant how long?)

However the China-lust of our ruling class (“We should be more like China.  They know how to get things done”) leads me to believe the main idea is that them little brown peoples are more subservient, and if we had more of them we could do things more like China, by main force and command.  (I did say that our elites are racist, right?)

…  And they’re going to fail.

I want you to step back from that ledge, I want you to take a deep breath, and I want you to know, to the bottom of your heart, to the tip of their toes that the “New Electorate Project” is going to flop.

I’ve given you some of the reasons, two days ago.  First, the self-deportation process is well under way.  You can see it in what’s stocked in your area.  You can see it just walking around the street.  (It might not be as complete in some areas, and some areas were more taken over when it started and it will take longer to SEE the difference.  Also, of course, in rural areas it will linger longer, because I know for a fact most farms simply cannot survive without illegal labor (see minimum wage/regulations/paperwork.  The margin the farms operate on is not that wide.)  However, most people have noticed a difference, even if it’s unreported.

Yes, the “legalization” will be huge on paper, but I doubt most of those people intend to live here – they just want to file for social security/disability.

This of course means those systems crash fast.  (They’re already on the verge of crashing.)  Part of the “importing a new electorate” project assumes that the blue model goes on forever, and that payments are secure and unlimited.  It ain’t so.  My generation came of age knowing we’d never see a cent from social security.  It’s gotten worse.  It’s gotten bad enough that those getting money from social security might not be able to much longer.  I think that at some point we do triage and give minimum only to those who need it absolutely to survive.  No, I don’t WANT this – it’s just inevitable, with a falling birth rate.  And no, importing illiterate workers doesn’t help.  This is not the twenties.  There are no great factories waiting for them to walk in and work on.

And that’s a good thing, of course.  By and large this country has dispensed with dangerous, labor-intensive work – except in farms, though even then it’s been lessened.

But it’s also a hint of things to come.  When I was born, mid-twentieth century we had some innovations and things had gotten cheaper, but the world would have made perfect sense to someone born a century earlier.  (Particularly where I lived.)  You could take someone from the nineteenth century and plunk them down in the middle of the twentieth, and after some adjustment, they’d go “oh, right, motors are different, carriages have motors, blah blah” but the structure of life would make perfect sense.  There would be homes, families, hospitals, schools, factories, office buildings.  Once they adapted to the minor tech innovation (and humans are very adaptable.) they’d “get” what was going on well enough.

Now… not so sure.  We’re only at the beginning, so they’d still identify a lot of things, of course, and they’d fail to see the significance of the fact that you can communicate instantly, in real time around the world.  They’d think it was just a “neat” thing.  A lot of people today think that too.

Part of that is because we’re just at the beginning of the revolution.  It’s hitting my business first, so I can tell you it’s dispensing with factories, with warehouses, with centralized distribution.  It’s a HUGE change.

The change is coming to other fields.  Schools are dead, but still walking.  Most factories, too, once three-d printing gets going.

Am I saying technology will save us?

Oh, my Lord NO!

Rapid change brings on upheaval.  The last change almost (but not) this fast gave us… the French Revolution and its sisters around the world.

It’s going to get rough.  It’s going to get really rough.  At the end of this where you live will mean far less than where you work, and the two might be half a world apart.

Does this mean territorial location and territorial nations will mean nothing?  Well, no.  It means stuff we can’t even imagine yet, but not that.  After all, my friends are around the world, my publisher is in North Carolina, but I am still affected by a disaster in my area, and how my neighbors live still matters.

What it means, though, is that people will be increasingly more free.  The territorial government will mean something, but not as much as it used to: labor regulations/welfare/laws about what you can’t and can’t do for a living – all of this means much less when you can live one place and work the other.  The same for what you can do for play.  The same for the interest rate that controls what home you can buy.  Regional jurisdictions, like NYC who rely on a highly paid work force are going to be upended, because people can work there and live elsewhere.  The same, writ large goes for national governments.

I have no idea, none, what the world will look like at the end of this.  And neither do you.  And neither does anyone else.  So called “futurists” are usually missing ten or twenty little points that could be all that determines the future.

But I do know one thing: where you live will still matter, as a locus of culture, law enforcement and neighborliness.

And I know another thing: we’re likely to come out on top.  We’re likely to come out on top for the same reason that our elites want a new electorate – because we’re not a normal nation.

We’re the descendants of those who left everything, who acculturated to become something new united not by blood, not by tribe, but by the words of the constitution.

The constitution is more flexible than tribe or blood. The constitution was forged to meet circumstances no one could have foreseen, a new world, new ways of doing things.  It was a document supposed to underlie a nation as tough as granite, as flexible as steel. A creature the world had never seen.

There is a reason that for the last hundred years, the future has come from America.  Even when inventions are made elsewhere, they are applied and popularized here.

We Americans are more flexible than those who chose to stay behind.

The cowards never left, the weak died on the way and the pusillanimous went back, tail between their legs.  (As will many of the new ones, when the teat goes dry.)

Those who became American are crazy people, ready for any challenge.

We are a people of the future.  The future can’t scare us because it’s where we come from.  We are impatient for it to arrive, curious about what it will bring, excited about our opportunities in it.

Let the elites rule and mandate.  You concentrate on what you can do that they never thought of.  You create a future they can’t comprehend, much less affect.

Step back from that ledge.  You’re an American and you belong to the future.

 

NOTE: If you’re interested in the future of SF, you should also read Amanda Green’s post at Mad Genius Club: Why?

147 responses to “Get Away From That Ledge III

  1. Rob Crawford

    “Mexico thinks it’s unloading its lowest levels of society on us, and getting money back to boot, but they’ll find in time that when you export your “lower class” you also export those more likely to innovate. Or maybe for them that’s a plus. They’ve been stagnant how long?”

    Their “Permanent Revolution Party” has been in power nearly non-stop for a century, AFAICR.

    • PAN (National Action Party) actually has broken the PRI political monopoly, but I am not convinced it is just a re-arrangement of seating charts. They had the presidents in 2000 to recently but not a majority.

      • Rob Crawford

        Both parties promise (“Revolution!” “Action!”) but both just deliver more oligarchy, corruption, violence, and comic books showing how to sneak into America an apply for benefits.

  2. These Ledge posts’ do help with the anxiety a little. But I’m still about ready to join that nut group at the Republic of Texas (no not really). I live in 1 of the freer states and yet we are 1 of the ones that suffer the most from the illegal immigrant problems. Texas is great, we celebrate the Tejanos, the Germans, the Czechs and others that helped to make Texas Texas. But the second you get below I-10 you better have at least a get by knowledge of spanish. That only gets worse the further south you go. I realize that that is to be expected to some extent in any border state, but I no longer feel welcome in a large portion of the state I was born and raised in. So with that in mind what will it be like for the rest of the nation when they are made to feel like 2nd class citizens in their own states? My bet is THAT will be the point they will finally realize they been screwed.

    • The thing is, for those of us willing to see how things are developing that point is already here.

    • I think you’re right on the language filtration across borders. Thing is, up here, near the Great Lakes, the language across the line is Canadian, which is pretty easy to get along in.

      M

      • Except for the French Canukistanis … they will refuse to use english just to be a bunghole. They tend not to be very popular with my relates back home, and some of us have French Canadian in our blood.

      • Having driven a truck through most of the states that border Canada, It always struck me that I could understand them better than I could the a lot of the upper mid westerners. When I was in Burlington, Ontario I actually had a french speaker giving me a translation of what a guy from Chicago or Rockford was saying. The dude was talking so fast, he wasn’t speaking english, to my ears anyway.

  3. Yay! Wonderful and very inspiring article. Thanks for writing this.

  4. Sarah, fine words, but my fear is that our elites appear to have a vested interest in opposing the very idea of American exceptionalism. Seems obvious to me that they fervently believe as you said that they will remain at the top to rule over a vast under class. Of course any student of history knows that such as they tend to be the first to be hung from a lamp post or feel the bite of le Guillotine. But such history doesn’t seem to be taught any more, at least not in the government schools. I take it as both a privilege and responsibility to pass such knowledge along to my children and grandchildren thus making them one eyed in a country of the blind.
    Regarding the idea of taking a 19th century citizen and moving them 100 years forward, other than myriad cultural changes what struck me was the great relief they would feel once aware of the advances in medicine. Born in 1951 I can vaguely remember the terror folks felt over Polio, and by all accounts from a century earlier it was common for a man of means to lose several wives to childbirth, not to mention something like half those born never reached adulthood. I expect the lack of fear that a simple scratch might fester and kill you would be a tremendous burden removed.
    I’m willing to speculate that communications and access to information may have a similar effect, albeit in more subtle ways for the current culture. Being in the middle of things we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.
    Still, thanks for your positive attitude and perspective.
    Hope to see you at the Choo Choo.

    • Witness a declaration by a certain soul, that American exceptionalism is not exceptional, that German, etc. believe in German, etc. exceptionalism.

      • I await with great anticipation that day when some brave individual leaks that certain soul’s college transcripts so that we can all see for ourselves what a truly hopeless doofus he really is. Smartest president ever, my aunt Fanny!

      • IIRC, the Germans believed in Aryan, not German, exceptionalism.

        Not entirely the same thing, eh? Culture is not Race, Race is not Culture. Except for racists.

        • Yes, indeed. NOT all Germans, but those who believe in “exceptionalism” and the same goes for every little country, principality and satrapy in Europe.

        • People tend to forget that a unified Germany is a fairly recent concept. Prior to late 19th century it was all a bunch of loosely affiliated provinces and city states often more antagonistic between each other than with outside countries.
          I seem to recall somewhere reading that the whole Aryan thing originated in India, but can’t recall whether that comes out of history or fiction.

          • The language/culture group “Aryan” is now called “Indo-European.”

            The racial grouping “Aryan” was pretty much always a figment of the European imagination, combined with airbrushing of inconvenient facts. You can’t get much more Aryan than the Roma/Gypsies, but that didn’t help them in Germany. Not the desired narrative.

          • The Aryan peoples include Germans (still the largest American ethnic group), as well as Persians (Iranians) … and the upper castes of India. The whole concept seems as malleable as silly putty, hinging on mutated concepts of “race” and some very bad historicism.

            The Aryan race was a racial grouping commonly used in the period of the late 19th century to the mid 20th century to describe peoples of Indo-European Eurasian heritage. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or subrace of the larger Caucasian race.
            [SNIP]
            In the 18th century, the most ancient known Indo-European languages were those of the ancient Indo-Iranians. The word Aryan was therefore adopted to refer not only to the Indo-Iranian peoples, but also to native Indo-European speakers as a whole, including the Romans, Greeks, and the Germans. It was soon recognised that Balts, Celts, and Slavs also belonged to the same group. It was argued that all of these languages originated from a common root—now known as Proto-Indo-European—spoken by an ancient people who were thought of as ancestors of the European, Iranian, and Indo-Aryan peoples. The ethnic group composed of the Proto-Indo-Europeans and their modern descendants was termed the “Aryans”.

            This usage was common in the late 19th and early 20th century. An example of an influential best-selling book that reflects this usage is the 1920 book The Outline of History by H. G. Wells. Wells wrote about the accomplishments of the Aryan people, stating how they “learned methods of civilization” while “Sargon II and Sardanapalus were ruling in Assyria and fighting with Babylonia and Syria and Egypt”. As such, Wells suggested that the Aryans had eventually “subjugated the whole ancient world, Semitic, Aegean and Egyptian alike”. In the 1944 edition of Rand McNally’s World Atlas, the Aryan race is depicted as being one of the ten major racial groupings of mankind. The science fiction author Poul Anderson (1926–2001), an anti-racist libertarian of Scandinavian ancestry, in his many novels, novellas, and short stories, consistently used the term Aryan as a synonym for Indo-Europeans. He spoke of the Aryan bird of prey which impelled those of the Aryan race to take the lead in developing interstellar travel, colonize habitable planets in other planetary systems and become leading business entrepreneurs on the newly colonized planets.
            [SNIP]
            Nazi racial theorist Hans F. K. Günther identified the Aryan race in Europe as having five subtype races: Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine, and East Baltic. Günther applied a Nordicist conception that Nordics were the highest in the racial hierarchy amongst these five Aryan subtype races. In his book Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (1922) (“Racial Science of the German People”), Günther recognized Germans as being composed of all five Aryan subtypes, but emphasized the strong Nordic heritage amongst Germans. He defined each racial subtype according to general physical appearance and their psychological qualities including their “racial soul” – referring to their emotional traits and religious beliefs, and provided detailed information on their hair, eye, and skin colours, facial structure.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_race

            • I have a lot of Nordic in my genetic heritage– I am sure that the Aryan idea has been disproved by the DNA migration patterns, which makes me happy.

              • Yes, but only if you believe the people doing the DNA research, those that believe in Aryan superiority don’t. This exacerbated by the fact that DNA research is necessarily not visible to the average person (do to both the special equipment needed, and the knowledge to use such equipment) which makes it much easier to convince themselves that those researchers are lieing or manipulating the research to propagate the ‘false’ conclusion that Aryans and particularly Nordic Aryans are not superior. The fact that they can point to the global warming researchers to show the unreliability of ‘scientific experts’ and their research is a bonus.

    • This. The people at the top don’t believe in American exceptionalism. They don’t believe that American culture is better than other cultures because according to their post-modern, deconstructionist-trained minds, there is no such thing as better. (Unless you’re talking about non-Western cultures, because all of them are better than Western cultures.
      It seems like some people have been fed a line about how horrible the US is, and they’ve swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. And I can’t help but wonder if part of that is what Sarah was alluding to with the lack of earned success.
      It’s immoral to keep people from innovating and exercising their talents, using their time, energy, resources and determination to better their lives and the lives of others through productive enterprise and commerce in trade. And it’s especially non-sensical when it’s done in the interest of “fairness”.
      Hmm… let me see, how many more of my personal hobby horses can I fit in this…
      I know. Kirk was the better captain by far!

  5. A “program where people working full time are given enough to make up what they’d get if they were working minimum wage” is effectively a block payment to anyone with a job combined with a 100% marginal tax rate on all income in between $0 and minimum wage. The resulting incentives (why ever offer anyone anything in between 1 cent per hour and minimum wage?) are almost as distortionary as you could possibly imagine.

    I do have to say “almost”, because the current reality is sometimes vastly worse; a system wherein a raise can’t end up reducing your income would at least be a big step forward.

    • Oh, I know. It’s better than the current, but not wonderful. I did point out that I’d prefer none of that, right? (And I think we’re going towards “none of that” just through being broke. BUT at least young kids could get work experience and working under the table would be “desincentivized” (I hate neologisms.)

      • It would also be a less destructive and more easily superseded solution.

        For one thing, it would be properly counted as a cost to the government.
        By changing the locus of the constraint from the employer to the government, it would make explicit what is now implicit. It is always best when the cost of a policy is borne by the party advocating that policy.

        Such a policy of shifting a constraint on employment (BTW, note the proposed program is fundamentally similar to the E.I.T.C.) encourages more hiring and encourages workers to increase the value they provide employers. Over time the effects of the policy should tend to dissipate as inflation and other policies mitigate the cost.

        • “For one thing, it would be properly counted as a cost to the government.”

          If only. Google “Walmart welfare”.

      • We could call it “de-scenting”.
        I came to the conclusion a long time ago that raising the minimum wage basically meant that employers had to get rid of something they were paying for in running their businesses to pay for the increased cost of bottom rung employees. It could be raises for higher rating emp;loyees, it could be buying new equipment, it could be the take home for the owners or the stockholders, but something had be shorted like a too short blanket on a too cold night. Generally, though, what happens is that you don’t hire low skilled employees to train up.
        I talked to an orchard owner once about minimum wage. He said that the trouble with bringing in H2A (federal program foreign temporary agricultural workers) was that they didn’t know about ladder picking fruit; a new ag worker needed at least a season to figure out how to pick fruit efficiently, and he preferred to hire migrants who followed the harvests because they didn’t have to be carried as a group, that is at a loss, for the first year or so.

    • Why would anyone take a job at all under minimum wage? You’d get the same amount of money by sitting on your duff.

      • well, the idea is that no work, no money. But I’m mean, remember?

        • I thought you were talking about better than the current but feasible?

          • well, instead of minimum wage, pay some “minimum amount” that IS better than welfare, and doesn’t lose benefits. Encourage people to get off their duffs and acquire skills.

          • Honestly, I think in the long run it would cost us less and, as RES says, it would be VISIBLE.

            • How about paying half the difference between their wage and minimum wage? This would give them an incentive to work harder in order to get a raise. because they would actually see a benefit. If they are making $4/hr and minimum wage is $8 then paying them half the difference would mean they were making $6, whereas your system would be giving them $8. Under your system there is no incentive to work towards getting a raise unless they can expect a raise to above $8/hr., if they were to get a raise to $6/hr. they would still be taking home $8/hr., where is the incentive there? Whereas in my scenario if they got a raise to $6/hr. they would be taking home $7/hr. rather than the $6/hr. they were taking home when getting paid $4/hr.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      If it were to go in that direction, my proposal is to set a base value which is provided for those who don’t have any income, and reduce the payment by HALF of the recipient’s working wages. That way, there is still an incentive for people to work to improve their income, but there is a floor level which can be survived on, if not particularly well.

  6. Read somewhere long ago:

    After Pericles addressed the people, they said to each other, “How well he spoke.” After Demosthenes Hoyt addressed them, they said, “Let us march.”

    The country is parched for this kind of resolute optimism.

  7. A fundamentally American view from a guy who got no respect:

    Words to stand by. Not exactly safe for work.

  8. Oh, Lord: Some of what you describe is so much like Clifford Simak’s “City” that I’m worried about talking dogs! Prescience is a rare gift, but one that suits an SF author well. Keep writing!

  9. And frankly, none of them is when you count in stuff like the paperwork required to have an employee, the regulations that must be satisfied, and the matching Social Security contributions. (If you don’t have an employee you have no idea. It’s almost a full time job complying with everything. Frankly, even for a part time employee. I could afford to pay someone, half time, to help with secretarial and management. But then I’d have to hire them full time to do their own paperwork, and that I can’t afford.)

    I’ve an Uncle who has a small deli and he used to have several employees and a ‘manager’ who was an ex-inlaw (be his Niece-in-law … Still on rather amicable terms with the family).
    This is in Michigan.
    Between the Feds and well before 0care, mainly due to Michigan under the Canukistani Jennie, he can no longer afford any employees, even his daughter, so it is him and my Aunt running the place. So what used to supply several seasonal jobs to teens who were in need of those summer jobs and a ‘manager’ who allowed my Uncle and especially my Aunt some time off (my uncle has been on full disability since 1970 due to a horrble motorcycle crash, and now has a really bad back so he never was able to really work much in the first place), has been forced to not offer any of those jobs because they simply cannot afford Michigan’s higher Min Wage and the associated costs from the feds. This again was well before 0care hit so he is even less likely to have any employees and is in fact trying to sell the thing. It could be a great money maker (and was when started) but the state and fed regulations have gotten in the way and they work 7 days a week during the spring, summer, and fall, to make a go of it.
    Selling has been hard as they really don’t want to screw anyone over either.

    • Anyone familiar with third world commerce knows that such places function quite well, but most real activity is gray market or under the table transactions. In short, everyone keeps two sets of books, the one for the government and the real one. Free trade or something close to it is necessary for human survival, and some mechanism will always be created to accommodate needs. I see this country heading in that direction.

    • That couple whom regulation is forcing out of their deli might find work managing a McDonald’s, perhaps for less pay and definitely for much less job satisfaction.

      Cui bono? Who benefits? The big companies with the size to implement compliance, hire lobbyists, and perform regulatory capture.

      Of course, if it suits the politicians, they will turn on McDonald’s et al the way they turned on Big Tobacco after generations of mutual support. (Very few big shots in charge understand it happen to them. Lenin supposedly said, They’ll sell us the rope we’ll them with.)

      IMHO libertarian discourse pays too little attention to the distinction betweeen a corporatist economy and a free-market economy.

      • We’re going to a crony capitalism model. Yep.

      • You are incorrect in your last. Libertarian discourse pays a great deal of attention to the difference between a corporatist economy and a free market economy. Its Socialist propaganda that conflates the two (whether adopted by nominally Liberal propagandists). Frankly, Libertarians find that its the differences between a socialist and a corporatist economy that are too slight to notice.

        • Nothing earthshaking in my reply, but apparently the site ate it. Are there Forbidden Words on which the ATH commenter stumbles at his peril? Have I summoned Gorgo to lounge on my bed? Time to find out.

  10. Deb Kinnard

    A case could be made for a five (ten if it works well) year moratorium on all immigration. Yes, really. That would give us a chance to shake out what we, the people, want this land to become. Jobs might become rational to offer and to perform again. Wages could stabilize at a level one can live on (not for writers, of course–no matter what equation you’ve got, we don’t figure in). We might see our US young people get spots at good colleges that are now filled by others.

    Just a thought. We don’t owe the rest of the planet.

    • librarygryffon

      And that’s our problem right there. The current “elites” in DC think we do owe the rest of the world. I mean, how else can we redistribute all that immorally gained wealth that we “stole” from all those poor brown people in 3rd world countries? /sarc should be obvious

      • Part of this is the idea of the finite pie. If a country is rich it stole from the poor countries. Forget that, say, Israel, is massively rich compared to its neighbors, who are endowed with WAY more natural wealth. Or that Venezuela has lost Wealth to Marxism, not foreign theft. Or that Rhodesia was the bread basket of Africa, but Zimbabwe is a basket case.

        • Yep, far too many politicians cannot wrap their heads around the fact that commerce is not a zero sum game, or at least isn’t until government regulates all the gains away. In every voluntary transaction both parties profit, both wind up richer than before the trade. Thus does the free market create value and wealth.
          Certainly the West has taken advantage of abundant resources and cheap labor in third world nations, but at the same time the native population benefits with a higher standard of living, unless of course their own governments steal away all the benefit through force and intimidation.
          Speaking of Israel, I would have to say that they have the greatest natural wealth possible, an educated and determined people.

        • The best way to demolish the rich profiting at the expense of the poor myth is to simply point out that there are no peoples poorer than they were 1000 years ago. A millennium ago there wasn’t much difference between the wealth of Europe, America, Africa or Asia. Today Europe and America are vastly wealthier than their predecessors, but Asia and Africa are measurably better off. So, if the wealth of the West was stolen, who was it stolen from?

    • Eh. I’m not saying that case can’t be made. It can. BUT if we allow immigration, it should be DIRECTED not “can you walk over the border.”
      I’m not saying the case can’t be made, but what do you think the chances are?

    • On the contrary, it is clearly our duty to the rest of the planet, in order to maintain the ever so desirable society that people want to immigrate too. Just think of the generations unborn who might enjoy it if only we clamp down now.

    • I wouldn’t want a moratorium.

      But we do have a right to control our borders and select who comes in and under what circumstances. I would be perfectly happy with a seasonal worker visa, unlimited entry and exit, so they could visit their families that stayed home and didn’t burden our schools, hospitals and welfare system. But they would have to have a health cert. No MDR TB thankyouverymuch.

      Even for people here for long term employment or on the path toward citizenship, no welfare, food stamps etc. The INS immigration maze needs a bunchatona work. A slow down in immigration would help there, breathing room for remodeling, so to speak.

      There are people in difficult situations, illegals who came as children and grew up here. Illegals married to citizens. The occasional person without any official citizenship who needs some way to get legitimacy.

      • It has long been recognized that having people of … dubious legal status has advantages. Say, f’r instance, you need somebody on probation who can be arrested and incarcerated with great fanfare for having made an inconvenient video. Or say somebody has gotten their hands on what are essentially confessions of a president sexually harassing an intern, and that somebody has some associations that can be made to look dubious … or perhaps political opposition is attempting to organize and seeks to comply with an incomprehensibly complex tax code?

  11. America: the only nation with spaceflight capability AND a fondness for beltsander racing!

    • I an get into BOTH of those. (I have THREE belt sanders.) I AM an American. (Thanks for letting me become one, guys.)

      • I live having you as an an american. I love having most of the immigrants I’ve met as Americans. Especially those from the Eastern bloc. Vile progs don’t seem to want to BE Americans. They keep promising to leave if they don’t get what they want. Yet somehow, thye never do.

      • Thanks for becoming one, accepting symbiosis over parasitism.

        • Sarah, I truly believe that you, like many others I’ve met over the last six decades, were actually BORN American, just in another country. Glad you came home!

          In the meantime, we still have to fight the urban idjits (village idjits can be cared for in their village, urban idjits tend to go into government), and all they try to shove onto us. We need a huge bonfire — to burn 80% of all government regulations (need to do it in DC – too much fire danger here).

          • Just had a great idea over on Facebook. Companies should be allowed to bill regulatory agencies for the cost of complying with regulations. The money comes out of the agency’s budget before things like payroll or operating expenses.

            I’m a big fan of negative feedback. Positive feedback systems tend to get irritable and spread fissile material over norther Ukraine.

      • Glad and honored to have you.

    • That rocks. My belt sander wants to join in, especially if it gets to play dress up. And I’m thinking of making a little belly-dance outfit for my orbital sander…

    • This is why I don’t fear for the Republic. Look at the kinds of things Americans come up with just because they’re BORED. Imagine what we can do when we decide someone needs to be dealt with.

      • Yes, a belt sander would work well to deal with a number of the inhabitants of DC. I recommend starting at the top of their head, that way you don’t remove anything that they will miss until you reach their mouth.

        • I would start at the toes.

          My standard reply to people complaining about waterboarding was that it wasn’t torture until you’ve broken out something from the Sears powertool section.

  12. “The change is coming to other fields. Schools are dead, but still walking. Most factories, too, once three-d printing gets going.”

    While I agree with you on most of what you’ve said, 3D printers are not going to replace factories. 3D printing simply won’t scale up in the same way more traditional manufacturing processes can, so it will always be cheaper to mass produce an item than to 3D print it. That said, 3D printing will have a big impact on manufacturing because it makes the manufacturing of one-off or small batches of items far cheaper than it ever has been before.

    As 3D printing becomes more mature and widespread, you will see factories continue in the way they always have, making one-size fits all type of stuff like golf balls and electronics. However you will see customization go through the roof. So that golfer with the mass produced ball will also have a low cost grip on his clubs that are designed to fit his hands perfectly. The electronics for your cell phone will be unchanged, but the case it is in will customized to your own taste and design. Clothing and medical devices will be 3D printed to your specific needs, but the engine of your car will still be mass produced.

    • Yes, I know, but they’re still going to affect how SOME things work and don’t forget that’s also just the beginning.

    • Pete: the important thing is not so much the technology as it is now, but what it implies about how things are going to change. In the 1812 war the US navy had a steam driven ship that was considered a useless toy since it couldn’t deal with rough water and kept breaking down. Railroads were considered mostly for specific uses since the cost of operating them was so high and the rails had to be maintained so often, and canals and river boats were so much cheaper to use and maintain.
      As they are now, printers are a limited use tech, best for hobbyists and fast prototyping, but the implications, in the light of previous developments, are mindblowing.

      For example, the engine in your car may well be re-designed to be manufactured by 3-d printing one day

      • Now I want to write an SF story about a kid like my younger, redesigning a car, so it flies, and the poor parent…

      • Bob: Kinda yes, and kinda no. Even if 3D printing gets close to a Star Trek Replicator-level of sophistication (which will never happen), what will be 3D printed vs. mass produced will still come down to the level of customization needed.

        You used the example of a car engine being 3D printed. That’s been happening for the past 10 years. Prototyping parts of car engines with 3D printers has become a standard practice. However, it is only used on the prototypes because once the design is finalized, it’s much, much cheaper and faster to produce thousands of replicas using traditional manufacturing methods. There’s no reason why you would need to ‘tweak’ the engine design for every car you are putting on the road, so why not go with the cheapest process out there?

        There’s also the knowledge/skill bottleneck. It takes a lot of specific know-how to redesign, customize, and print a complex system such as a car engine or gearbox or cell phone or… Not everyone is going to have that knowledge, and there is only so far software tools and tutorials can take you in the design and manufacturing process.

        • My bets would be on plasma deposition within shaped fields. Kind of like xerographic printing copier/printers do in offices all over nowadays.

          A car engine is a forging that is then drilled, milled, shaped, bored, polished and had extra stuff bolted on. If there are fewer than 100 specific operations done on a Chevy block alone to turn it into a block I am really surprised. The same thing with door-panels and fenders. If you had, instead, a sort of Sampo* that would plop out specific parts that just needed to be snapped together, a lot of the man-power and machine time would be reduced, making the unit cost drop after the machine design and construction cost was amortized. And that would be worth the investment if you are competing against old-style manufacturers for market share. It would also be worth the re-design of the engine that would make it more amenable to being fabbed, and that would lead to abandonment of old design ideas that were caused by the needs of milling on forgings and rolled stock, and the adoption of new designs that fabbing will make possible.

          As for the bottleneck for skill and design? If you were to go to MIT in 1946 and told the faculty there that there will be a need for computer programmers, they’d look at you as if you had declared a need for armor-piercing Twinkies. They would kindly inform you that the Burroughs company had a building full of engineers to design cams and sprockets, and to operate it you just needed to pull out the booklet underneath the machine and set up the machine according to the instructions so there was hardly a need to start a whole new college.
          If there is a need and it pays, there will be lots of people who will be interesting in learning how to do it, and if they make money, they will do it well.

          (*The Sampo is the mill “with a lid of many colors” that is mentioned in the Kalevala that grinds all the goods of the world including salt and flour out of nothing – I mentioned it because of Pohjalainen.)

          • Wayne Blackburn

            The thing about those operations you’re talking about are that they are done by highly durable machines that have tens of thousands of hours of service life, plus are constructed to be able to do them relatively quickly. Current 3D printing is done over hours for one part, and what you’re talking about there would require days. The sheer number of 3D fabricators required to match the output of the production lines today would be enormous.

            Now, fabbing and selling custom shells for the vehicle? Oh, yeah. Seats, ditto. Steering wheel? Sure. But the frame, the engine, parts like fuel injectors? No, there just isn’t a likelihood that it will happen until there is a completely new technology which is unrelated to anything that is out there yet.

            • As the technology stands now, you are absolutely right. But look a chip fabs. Millions of dollars of photo-lithography equipment junked because of a new chip style development, and each iteration of the technology makes it faster, quicker and cheaper. If the money is there the hot companies will retool, if they see a way to increase earnings.
              But change will come incrementally, and there will always be that calculation of Fab/build/buy, just like it is in any manufacturing company today, and the cost will change with newer tech, designs and materials.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                You’re not even talking apples and oranges here. You’re talking apples and goldfish.

                First of all, chip manufacturing doesn’t really increase speed all that much with new generations of chip design. The chips get smaller, therefore more are produced from each wafer. Also, the millions of dollars worth of equipment is scrapped because it cannot handle the process to create smaller and smaller components, not because the new processes are particularly faster and more efficient. The equivalent would be if 3D printers were considered to be improving because they were making smaller cars, where more parts could be printed per square foot. By comparing it to CPU manufacturing over the past 40 years, this would make new cars approximately 1/2 inch long.

                It’s not just improvements to existing technology that will be required to make PrintFab-On-Demand viable for things that are currently mass-produced, it will require a radically NEW technology. I don’t know what that technology would be. It could, perhaps, be done by having massive quantities of micromachines assemble things from materials fed in through tubes from above (think tens of thousands of wires trailing down from a framework, with each wire accompanied by a capillary tube, and each pair terminating in a machine the size of a dust mite), but I think that being able to build those is a ways off. One benefit to that method is that you could have multiple types of machines that each work in one material or family of materials, so that multiple materials could be assembled at the same time, instead of having to make separate parts and fit them together. However, we still don’t have macroscopic, let alone microscopic, machines yet that are flexible enough for the job, so I think that is not right on the horizon.

                • Sorry, I was focusing on the issues of resolution – which is a bugaboo of chips and fabbing – and the willingness to scrap and refit capital equipment to retool for new tech. I’m being enthusiastic, and I am convinced that the possibilities of the tech are so great for manufacturing that a lot of really smart people are beavering away to make it reality, but the chip analogy may have been a poor choice.
                  I used to work as a parts guy for a manufacturing shop, where we practiced a version of “not quite in time stocking”. I always wanted more control over our supply of parts since I was the one who got screamed at if the frabbitz distributor was out of stock due to a snowstorm in Outer Slobovia and we needed 3 to finish our production run. I think the desire for more security of the supply chain will be a major driver of adoption of this tech, as much as keeping down labor and shop costs, especially if margins get tighter and manufacturers keep less merchandise on the shelves to keep down overhead.

                  • The problem with Just-In-Time manufacturing is that it puts you at the mercy of your supply chain. In Japan that wasn’t so much of a problem; in America the distances are such that sh*t will happen. Among the worst things that might happen is that a plant somewhere along your chain will go on strike, forcing shutdowns at all other plants whose workers will still draw pay, a portion of which goes into the union strike fund which supports the striking workers.

                    A solution to that supply chain vulnerability which also keeps down inventory costs is golden. The reduction in capital requirements it would enable would more than pay its freight. We are not there now, we may never be there, but if there is a way to get there you are looking at the 3D printer equivalent of the 10 Meg hard drive or the 1 Meg thumb drive.

                    And this is just the obvious applications.

      • Consider the effect of Eli Whitney’s interchangeable parts, and how long the full affect of that took to be realized.

        Or consider that 3D printing is already allowing development of highly efficient, highly compact batteries for all sorts of applications.

        We are only a couple decades removed from processor power and memory capacities that are puny by today’s standards. One of the easiest things to overlook is how rapidly technology is absorbed into the culture.

    • Consider though that the modern factory is little more than a humongous 3-D printer. Raw materials enter, robots perform the forming and assembly, and finished goods come out the end. The advantages are of course economy of scale, and the ability to incorporate a much broader range of raw materials. Some of that will change with technical advances as the current paradigm of “you can have anything you want as long as it’s made out of certain plastics” opens up with the addition of materials like sintered metals and ceramics.

    • Consider that there are currently huge factories around the world dedicated to producing compact metal constructs like the alloy frame used in traditional spinning hard drives. I have friend that ran a traditional machine shop here in SV employing a pile of skilled machinists and consistently making money that got most of it’s business prototyping such complex metal framey chunks – mainly the HD protos and custom metal parts for Harley Davidsons. Both of these applications are well within the current capacity of the higher end metal sintering 3d printers, and one would not have to build an overseas factory to be able to produce them cheaply enough to remain in business.

      Another example – older airplanes often end up needing small metal parts that are no longer in production, leading to the civilian side supporting a thriving aviation junkyard industry, and the military keeping a lot of planes in the desert at Davis-Monthan AFB just so they can go pull the lefthand trailing drag knuckle fitting off the main landing gear of a mothballed B-52 and ship it over to the active duty maintenance folks when a BUFF driver half the age of her airframe lands a little to energetically one day.

      The alternative for either the mil or civilian users needing an out-of-production part is to pay humungous prices to have a short production run machined, or scavengry.

      A 3d printed lefhand trailing drag knuckle only needs to beat the net storage-search-retrival-and shipping cost, or the net setup-machining-shipping cost if there are none left anywhere. Such economies improve when such printers are widely available enought that they are only one Fedex hop away from your local maintenance shop.

      And the 3d printer capacities are only getting bigger.

      • DARPA has a massive program designing putting together mobile fab units specically for that function. think of it as a shop in a trailer.

      • Some of your examples I agree with, but you can’t wave your hand and say that technology advancements will solve all the problems in 3D printing. For example, there is an upper limit to how fast a 3D printer can print, based on both the method it uses to print and the material it is printing.

        Take for example an SLS metal powder 3D printer. An SLS printer prints by moving a laser around in a shape, melting a thin layer of metal powder, moving up a small amount, depositing another layer of metal powder and melting the next layer. If you move your laser assembly too fast you start overshooting and bouncing, causing very poor quality and ruined prints. You can upgrade your hardware to allow for a faster, more controlled movement, but you quickly get diminishing returns on your investment. It you’re printing small parts, you have to slow down your printer between layers otherwise the layer below will be too hot to hold the layer above and deform. You can introduce cooling systems, but they cause warping and other layering defects into your print. This won’t change with ‘better technology’.

        The fastest commercial SLS printer that I’m aware of can draw a 12″ by 12″ layer about as fast as a desktop laser printer can print a single page. However, it takes hundreds of layers to build up an inch in the Z axis. The tool costs about 2 million dollars. It will take hours to print the hard drive frame you mentioned. How long would it take your friend with the traditional machine shop to make the same thing? 30 minutes? How much do the tools he uses cost? How much would it cost to create the die needed to make this frame in mass production? Is $15K in the right ballpark? How long does it take to punch out and fold the frame in mass production? 20 seconds? How many mass produced frames can you make compared to the fasted 3D printer? Hundreds? Thousands? Even assuming the starting materials cost the same (which they don’t — 3D sintering powder is MUCH more expensive, and will be even when it goes mainstream), mass production will be far cheaper and more efficient.

        Your examples of printing no longer manufactured replacement parts are already happening. However, in every case where a lot of people will want the same thing, that thing will be mass produced.

        3D printing is awesome in its potential, but it is a supplement to current manufacturing processes, not a supplant.

        • Can’t argue with your particular specifics, but I have learned over a moderately long life to be very wary when an expert says something can’t be done because of the limits of the technology.

          They used to say that a wide-format printer couldn’t get much beyond 60″ because the engine couldn’t print fast enough to make it economically feasible. They even had to invent a new class of plotters — larger than 60″ — when that was proven invalid.

          Just sayin’s all.

          M

          • Meh, you’re right that technology is advancing in surprising ways, but 3D printing right now is extremely over hyped. I’m a huge 3D printing enthusiast and hobbyist, but the direction the technology is going now and has been going for the last 25 years is not the direction that the media and most people seem to think it is going.

            • Edgar Allen Poe is supposed to have stopped one day in New York with a friend, looked around and announced, “One day this city will have building _Ten Stories High_!”
              The limitation on his thinking was not seeing that technical advances may make bigger changes than expected.

          • I’ve worked in the (2D) printing industry for about 20 years, and I can say that the impact of inkjet and laser printers coupled with home computers has been enormous. The capabilities of the printers have steadily advanced. The ones of 20 years ago were laughably crude by today’s standards.

            While there is still a need for high-volume offset printing, more and more small businesses are able to print their own stationery and forms on demand, things they used to have to buy from commercial printers. Sure, maybe the unit cost is greater, but if a small business only needs 20 copies of a form, it may be cheaper to produce it themselves rather than buy 1000 copies from a printer.

            Many commercial printers have gone out of business as a result. The ones who have survived have had to scramble to find niches that home printers can’t compete with, and we now heavily use laser printers for short run jobs, which wasn’t the case when I started.

            I’m not an engineer and have no experience with 3D printing, but I am certain that it will turn the manufacturing world upside down. It’s only in its infancy now.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              One difference is that in 3D printing, EVERY print run except for things of similar nature to nameplates (ie, flat) will require thousands of “pages” to produce each part.

    • Where 3D printing is going to have its highest impact is on design. Once the design is created, the working prototype can be built by 3D printers. Once the design is finalized and proven effective, robot mechanical devices will turn out copies by the millions — lathes, drill presses, stamp presses, plastic forms, etc., all controlled by PC-like devices. Men will still be needed, but it will be one or two per manufacturing line, plus a product engineer, but no more lathe operators, no more drill press operators, and so forth. I also foresee a huge increase in the use of lasers for measuring devices.

      Schools… schools are going to be a problem for many, many years into the future. There will be a major blow-back about online courses by the brick-and-mortar brigade, but they’ll gradually lose ground as online schools provide both a useful education and at lower cost. There’s no reason why 85% of what’s taught in America’s colleges today can’t be provided online, with only some science classes requiring students to be present in classes — mostly for lab assignments where textbook-only class doesn’t suffice. Elementary and secondary schools, again except for lab courses, can be taught online as well, saving literally billions of dollars.

      • I have mixed feelings about online classes. I took both brick-and-mortar and online classes in college. I have to say that the biggest success factor I had to both types of classes was the amount of access I had to the professor that allowed him to work with me on concepts I found difficult. I spent about the same amount of time studying alone and in a group, but I found that brick and mortar classes gave me much more access to the professor than an online class did, and I subsequently learned more from those classes. If we ever go to a large scale online class format, I would demand that students have access to a professor/teacher/someone who knows their elbow from their… butt. However, that access would raise the cost of the online class significantly.

        • I think that primary education, regardless of form, is going to move toward your demand. Not to long from now all classes will be formatted like literature classes. Instead of a math class where the teacher presents the concepts and then assigns homework for the student to puzzle through with the help of whatever adults are available the student will review the concepts online the night before, and then the next day will practice with the teacher available to help and provide specific feedback.

          I’m not sure that schooling will go totally virtual any time soon. There are plenty of good reasons to put people in the same room together while they learn.

  13. One difference I can see coming down the pipeline is the return of “bespoke” clothing. It’s only been a century since standardized clothing even came into fashion, yet the idea of getting clothing custom-made to your measurements seems bizarre and only for the rich. I’ve already seen a couple of sites offering custom make—one of them does jeans, and starts around $50, which is mid-range for jeans pricing. I suspect they’re using the equivalent of laser cutters to do one-off patterns.

    This is huge, because the amount of sheer frustration in shopping (especially for those of us with non-standard proportions—I don’t look like it, but that’s because my oddnesses average. But you don’t dress to your average!) is a major economic driver. I HATE shopping for clothes. This is largely because my chances of finding something that fits and that I like are hovering down in the single digits. But if I could be guaranteed a good fit every time, I wouldn’t hate it the way I do now. I’d probably buy more instead of wearing the things I have to shreds. How many people out there are like me? How many other products can customization effect?

    • Yes. It will also single handedly improve body images. I mean, I remember the village and ht way people looked, and no one tried to look like a teen all their lives, because they could have clothes made to order. They were cheaper than ready made.

      • I can’t wait for made to order clothes! Some of us have unusual shapes!

        Also no one has commented on how a number of jobs can be done from home. (This is just a placeholder comment until hubby has the time to write a comment) Because he can work from just about anywhere it means that he has to always work. He just carves out family time from his work schedule. I take a lot of naps, usually in the afternoon, so hubby works then. However he now works almost all the time because he’s now a supervisor/manager as well as a worker.

        Totally off topic but dear to our hearts: After 3 years of doglessness we will pick up our new dog(puppy. All dogs in our household are called puppy regardless of their age. We have found Nemo! Our new dog is named Nemo and we will be adopting him from a shelter in Austin, TX. It’s only about 3 hours driving time from Plano (our suburb of Dallas, our place in the Metroplex.) We like to think of ourselves as the financial and technological heart of the Republic of Texas.

        Sarah, you are still coming to Fencon, right?

        • You will post pictures of Nemo.

          Oh, hey, I’ll be in TX in September, to commune with my remote, auxiliary pet, Amanda Green’s dog… okay, and to teach a workshop and do fencon — but I get to see Rocky and that’s awesome.

          • I will leave the posting of pictures to the family tech expert: Hubby.
            Sarah if you have the time you need to read Gertrude Himmelfarb. She does for History and the Humanities what Thomas Sowell did for economics and current affairs. I think that she’s the Professor you wish you had. If circumstances were otherwise(I that she’s retired and a widow) she’d make an ideal PhD.D advisor for you.

        • And DUH yes, Fencon.

          As for working from home, I swear I’d mentioned it. Yeah, if Dan can figure out how to work from home our schedule will get very EXOTIC, particularly after the kids leave. We tend to work whenever and if there are no outside demands, we might very well work all night, then sleep all day, then…

    • The sites you’re seeing use Asian tailors to make the clothes and fly them over here.

      I have a suit that I had made in Singapore that fits like a pair of pajamas, which is saying something since I can’t buy pants off the rack (apparently nobody taller than 6’2″ shops in stores, I have to go to the internet). It only cost me around $400 for a 2-piece wool suit, a shirt, and a tie.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Where I live, apparently overweight people are all short. Fortunately, the Big & Tall store is near enough I can shop there.

  14. I was thinking of writing this in response to the post on the ’70’s, but to fits here too;

    The history of governance is the history of the rise and fall of self-selected elites. There is always some group of pillocks who think that their obvious (read; undetectable) superiority superbly fits them to tell the rest of us what to do and how to think. The rise of the Intellectualoids started in the early 19th Century (I strongly recommend Paul Johnson’s THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN for background on this). They rose in response to the Social Darwinists, and are every bit the knee-jerk, bigoted bastards that those jerks were, or (for that matter) as bad as the Aristocrats who were still clinging on to power while drowning in the Industrial Revolution. The Intellectualoids seized on Communalism really, and when it developed a recognizable Brand (Communism) they took to it like Rockers to Levi’s. Like the Divine Right of Kings, Communism promised the would-be elite that they had a providential right to power, and never mind the details. The Intellectualoids have, for decades, managed to ignore that in virtually ever Communist Revolution the thugs have ousted the Intellectualoids almost immediately, and usually liquidated the lot of them.

    The Political Power of the Intellectualoids in the United States peaked with the resignation of Richard Nixon; a man whose domestic agenda was virtually indistinguishable from their own, and whose primary crime was to believe that he deserved the same freedom of action that the Intellectualoids granted themselves. Since then any advances they have made have been largely matters of inertia. They have lost ground on several significant fronts, and they have consistently had to expend more political capitol than their operations have netted.

    Opening the borders to a population of “peasants’ who the Intellectualoids believe they can control is an act of desperation; the Mexicans are not naturally respectful of Authority since they have never experienced an Authority worthy of respect. Further; they are strong believers in Family and Church. They are not going to be anywhere near as malleable as the Intellectualoids think they are.

    The problem is that, if the pattern I see is something I actually understand, the self-selected elite that will supplant the Intellectualoids is probably already in the smug self-righteousness stage.

    *sigh*

    • Their illegitimacy rates do not bespeak a strong belief in Family.

      • Does it speak of a disrespect of family or a disrespect of whatever government organ is collecting data on who married who?

        • First generation, that works; second generation, not so much.

          • the ones we’re importing get aggregated to our underclass. You want illegitimate babies, you pay for illegitimate babies. That’s all it is. Also, they get sold victimhood. I get told that in the fifties and before — yes, discriminated against, yes, everything like that — black people had solid families and if anything more “conservative” values than whites. Victimhood and state payments destroyed it. why would it work differently on anyone else encouraged to consider themselves a visible and set apart minority?

            • It works with poor whites, too, that just doesn’t show up on metrics using race as an indicator. (Same way that Blacks and Hispanics that “act white” don’t show up in the other.)

    • There are probably earlier historical examples of the flaws in such presumptions, but shouldn’t the Britons’ importation of Saxon mercenaries be sufficient example for “smart” and “educated” intellectuals to suspect their scheme might not work out as anticipated?

      I seem to recall the Russian princes running into the same problem when they hired Vikings to act as their military.

  15. The Tsarnaev brothers were after all just such immigrants, nurtured by us on social security and resentment. (And they are, btw, whiter than I. Religion is culture but culture is not race.)

    Well, being from the Caucuses the Tsarnaevs were certainly more caucasian than most all of us here in the US.

    I wonder if a solution to the “come here and export your benefits” might not be a variation on the shipping-and-handling charge scam on all the “free” stuff in those late night TV ads – once they get them enrolled in all the benefits, the GOV would add a handling surcharge that gets deducted from any SS etc. payment that’s mailed to an address outside the US?

  16. We’re the descendants of those who left everything, who acculturated to become something new united not by blood, not by tribe, but by the words of the constitution.

    We Americans are more flexible than those who chose to stay behind.

    This is one thing that’s bugging me. It seems to me that a lot of native-born Americans have grown complacent and take our freedom for granted. A lot of us don’t have the gumption that our immigrant ancestors did.

    Yes, I include myself in that description.

    • Actually– hardship really sharpens the ambition. You might be complacent, but I have had to fight for everything I have gotten including fight to live (after I was dx’d with this disease). Maybe you haven’t wanted something so much that you would sacrifice everything for it. I find that sad.

      • That’s what I was saying.

      • Actually– hardship really sharpens the ambition.

        That’s how I look at it. After almost losing everything—however ‘everything’ might be defined—, it would seem…inadequate…to resume merely existing. I don’t claim that everyone should look at it that way.

        Maybe you haven’t wanted something so much that you would sacrifice everything for it. I find that sad.

        Though I share your attitude, IMO it is possible to be a perfectly decent human being without it. Maybe a long-term society needs a certain amount of human inertia.

        • Maybe– then maybe not 😉 I wonder sometimes what it would be like to not have to struggle. But then I would NOT be the person I am now.

        • …IMO it is possible to be a perfectly decent human being without it. Maybe a long-term society needs a certain amount of human inertia.

          Christopher Anvil’s Pandora’s Planet has humanity saved from nuclear self-extinction by getting conquered by a more sedate race, to the advantage of both.

          The story original appeared in the 1950s Astounding. Regardless of whose concept it was, I bet it tickled John W. Campbell’s fancy to publish a story in which a conquered humanity was the good outcome.

    • Nah — they just were told they couldn’t by their teachers. This will slough off when the going gets tough. Look, seriously, I’ve lived “as native” in other countries. We’re all nuts — and we’re awesome.

    • It’s a mindset thing. Every single American is descended from (or is) a person who looked around and said “This sucks. Screw it, I’m leaving.” I think that’s why Americans are so innovative. They look at the present and say “This sucks. Screw it, I’m changing it.”

      But there’s a countervailing attitude. “…[A]ll experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” It’s been around for a while. But once enough people cross the threshold…

    • You don’t know what you can do until an emergency hits you. I’m a couch potato who can’t drive who had a hubby get deathly ill out of town.

      I’m sure that when the last straw hits we’ll do more than we thought we could!

  17. We need to get everybody off our backs so we can live our own lives again!

  18. I heard two different Senators (can’t remember which ones) on the radio today say that we need to pass the Amnesty Bill, because “what we are doing now isn’t working.” I wanted to grab them and shake some sense into them. Instead of passing more laws, to cure what “isn’t working” right now, why don’t we do a scientific experiment? Lets enforce the laws we have right now for, say five years, then we will have five years of data to prove whether they “are working” or not.

    As it is, we ignore the current laws, so we really can’t say whether they work or not. And what makes them think that we will enforce the new laws they want to pass, instead of ignoring them just like we do the current ones, and continuing on just as we are?

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