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Slightly Skeptical View on Neoliberal Transformation of University Education

News Neoliberalism and rising inequality Recommended Links Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The value of education
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Information overload Mental Overload Sleep Deprivation Drinking from a firehose Humor Etc


Introduction

Previously education was mostly about "finding yourself" -- developing understanding of the world and yourself, as well as developing those set of abilities that you was gifted most. Andinding what you what to do in the future, Neoliberalism has changed that dramatically. Education now is just in "investment" into your "entrepreneurial self" to increase your value as "human capital" holder and this your value in the "labout market." (Symptomatic Redness -Philip Mirowski - YouTube).  That's bullsh*t, but people already brainwashed by neoliberals from the middle school buy it uncritically.

In the current circumstances education is no longer the answer to rising inequality. Instead of serving as a social lift it, at least in some cases, became more of a social trap. This is connected with neoliberal transformation of education. With the collapse of post-war public funded educational model and privatization of the University education students face a pretty cruel world. World in which they are cows to milk. Now universities became institutions very similar to McDonalds ( or, in less politically correct terms, Bordellos of Higher Learning). Like McDonalds they need to price their services so that to receive nice profit and they to make themselves more attractive to industry they intentionally feed students with overspecialized curriculum instead of concentrating on fundamentals and the developing the ability to understand the world. Which was a hallmark of university education of the past.

Since 1970th Neo-Liberal University model replaced public funded university model (Dewey model). It is now collapsing as there are not that many students, who are able (and now with lower job prospects and persistent tales of graduates working as bartenders) to pay inflated tuition fees. That means that higher education again by-and-large became privilege of the rich and upper middle class.

Lower student enrollment first hit minted during dot-com boom expensive private colleges, who hunt for people with government support (such a former members of Arm forces). It remains viable only in elite universities, which traditionally serve the top 1% and rich foreigners. As David Schultz wrote in his article (Logos, 2012):

Yet the Dewey model began to collapse in middle of the 1970s. Perhaps it was the retrenchment of the SUNY and CUNY systems in New York under Governor Hugh Carey in 1976 that began the end of the democratic university. What caused its retrenchment was the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.

The fiscal crisis of the 1970s was born of numerous problems. Inflationary pressures caused by Vietnam and the energy embargoes of the 1970s, and recessionary forces from relative declines in American economic productivity produced significant economic shocks, including to the public sector where many state and local governments edged toward bankruptcy.

Efforts to relieve declining corporate profits and productivity initiated efforts to restructure the economy, including cutting back on government services. The response, first in England under Margaret Thatcher and then in the United States under Ronald Reagan, was an effort to retrench the state by a package that included decreases in government expenditures for social welfare programs, cutbacks on business regulations, resistance to labor rights, and tax cuts. Collectively these proposals are referred to as Neo-liberalism and their aim was to restore profitability and autonomy to free markets with the belief that unfettered by the government that would restore productivity.

Neo-liberalism had a major impact on higher education. First beginning under President Carter and then more so under Ronald Reagan, the federal and state governments cut taxes and public expenditures. The combination of the two meant a halt to the Dewey business model as support for public institutions decreased and federal money dried up.

From a high in the 1960s and early 70s when states and the federal government provided generous funding to expand their public systems to educate the Baby Boomers, state universities now receive only a small percentage of their money from the government. As I pointed out in my 2005 Logos “The Corporate University in American Society” article in 1991, 74% of the funding for public universities came from states, in 2004; it was down to 64%, with state systems in Illinois, Michigan and Virginia down to 25%, 18%, and 8% respectively. Since then, the percentages have shrunk even more, rendering state universities public institutions more in name than in funding.

Higher education under Neo-liberalism needed a new business model and it found it in the corporate university. The corporate university is one where colleges increasingly use corporate structures and management styles to run the university. This includes abandoning the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) shared governance model where faculty had an equal voice in the running of the school, including over curriculum, selection of department chairs, deans, and presidents, and determination of many of the other policies affecting the academy. The corporate university replaced the shared governance model with one more typical of a business corporation.

For the corporate university, many decisions, including increasingly those affecting curriculum, are determined by a top-down pyramid style of authority. University administration often composed not of typical academics but those with business or corporate backgrounds had pre-empted many of the decisions faculty used to make. Under a corporate model, the trustees, increasingly composed of more business leaders than before, select, often with minimal input from the faculty, the president who, in turn, again with minimal or no faculty voice, select the deans, department heads, and other administrative personnel.

In some disciplines such as economics University presidents became way too greedy

Neoliberalism professes the idea the personal greed can serve positive society goals, which is reflected in famous neoliberal slogan "greed is good". And university presidents listen. Now presidents of neoliberal universities do not want to get $100K per year salary, they want one, or better several, million dollar salary of the CEO of major corporation (Student Debt Grows Faster at Universities With Highest-Paid Leaders, Study Finds - NYTimes.com)

At the 25 public universities with the highest-paid presidents, both student debt and the use of part-time adjunct faculty grew far faster than at the average state university from 2005 to 2012, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning Washington research group.

The study, “The One Percent at State U: How University Presidents Profit from Rising Student Debt and Low-Wage Faculty Labor,” examined the relationship between executive pay, student debt and low-wage faculty labor at the 25 top-paying public universities.

The co-authors, Andrew Erwin and Marjorie Wood, found that administrative expenditures at the highest-paying universities outpaced spending on scholarships by more than two to one. And while adjunct faculty members became more numerous at the 25 universities, the share of permanent faculty declined drastically.

“The high executive pay obviously isn’t the direct cause of higher student debt, or cuts in labor spending,” Ms. Wood said. “But if you think about it in terms of the allocation of resources, it does seem to be the tip of a very large iceberg, with universities that have top-heavy executive spending also having more adjuncts, more tuition increases and more administrative spending.”

... ... ...

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual survey of public university presidents’ compensation, also released Sunday, found that nine chief executives earned more than $1 million in total compensation in 2012-13, up from four the previous year, and three in 2010-11. The median total compensation of the 256 presidents in the survey was $478,896, a 5 percent increase over the previous year.

... ... ...

As in several past years, the highest-compensated president, at $6,057,615 in this period, was E. Gordon Gee, who resigned from Ohio State last summer amid trustee complaints about frequent gaffes. He has since become the president of West Virginia University.

This trick requires dramatic raising of tuition costs. University bureaucracy also got taste for better salaries and all those deans, etc want to be remunerated like vice presidents. So raising the tuition costs became the key existential idea of neoliberal university. Not quality of education, but tuition costs now are the key criteria of success. And if you can charge students $40K per semester it is very, very good. If does not matter that most population get less then $20 an hour.

The same is true for professors, who proved to be no less corruptible. And some of them, such as economic departments, simply serve as prostitutes for financial oligarchy. So they were corrupted even before that rat race for profit. Of course there are exceptions. But they only prove the rule.

As the result university tuition inflation outpaced inflation by leaps and bounds. At some point amount that you pay (and the level of debt after graduation) becomes an important factor in choosing the university. So children of "have" and "have nots" get into different educational institutions and do not meet each other. In a way aristocracy returned via back door.

Job market situation and hidden financial rip offs

Neoliberal university professes "deep specialization" to create "ready for the market" graduates. And that creates another problem: education became more like stock market game and that makes more difficult for you to change you specialization late in the education cycle. But early choice entail typical stock market problem: you might miss the peak of the market or worse get into prolonged slump as graduates in finance learned all too well in 2008. That's why it is important not to accumulate too much debt: this is a kind of "all in" play in poker. You essentially bet that in a particular specialty there will be open positions with high salary, when you graduate. If you lose this bet you are done.

As a result of this "reaction to the market trends" by neoliberal universities, when universities bacem appendixes of HR of large corporations students need to be more aware of real university machinery then students in 50th or 60th of the last century. And first of all assume that it is functioning not to their benefits.

One problem for a student is that there are now way too many variables that you do not control. Among them:

On the deep level neoliberal university is not interested to help you to find specialization and place in life where can unleash your talents. You are just a paying customers much like in McDonalds, and university interests are such they might try to push you in wrong direction or load you with too much debt.

If there is deep mismatch as was with computer science graduates after crash of dot-com boom, or simply bad job market due to economy stagnation and you can't find the job for your new specialty (or if you got "junk" specialty with inherent high level of unemployment among professionals) and you have substantial education debt, then waiting tables or having some other MacJob is a real disaster for you. As with such salaries you simply can't pay it back. So controlling the level of debt is very important and in this sense parents financial help is now necessary. In other words education became more and more "rich kids game".

That does not mean that university education should be avoided for those from families with modest means. On the contrary it provides unique experience and help a person to mature in multiple ways difficult to achieve without it. It is still one of the best ways to get vertical mobility. But unless parents can support you need to try to find the most economical way to obtain it without acquiring too much debt. This is you first university exam. And if you fail it you are in trouble.

For example, computer science education is a great way to learn quite a few things necessary for a modern life. But the price does matter and prestige of the university institution that you attend is just one of the factors you should consider in your evaluation. It should not be the major factor ("vanity fair") unless your parents are rich and can support you. If you are good you can get later a master degree in a prestigious university after graduation from a regular college. Or even Ph.D.

County colleges are greatly underappreciated and generally provide pretty high standard of education, giving ability to students to save money for the first two years before transferring to a four year college. They also smooth the transition as finding yourself among people who are only equal or superior then you (and have access to financial resource that you don't have) is a huge stress. The proverb say that it is better to be first in the village then last in the town has some truth in it. Prestigious universities might provide a career boost (high fly companies usually accept resumes only from Ivy League members), but they cost so much that you need to be a son or daughter of well-to-do parents to feel comfortably in them. Or extremely talented. Also amount of career boost that elite universities provide depends on whom your parents are and what connections they have. It does not depend solely on you and the university. Again, I would like to stress that you should resist "vanity fair" approach to your education: a much better way is to try to obtain BS in a regular university and them try to obtain MS and then, if you are good, PHD, in a prestigious university. Here is a fragment of an interesting discussion that covers this topic (Low Mobility Is Not a Social Tragedy?, Feb 13, 2013 ; I recommend you to read the whole discussion ):

kievite:

I would like to defend Greg Clack.

I think that Greg Clack point is that the number of gifted children is limited and that exceptionally gifted children have some chance for upper move in almost all, even the most hierarchical societies (story of Alexander Hamilton was really fascinating for me, the story of Mikhail Lomonosov http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Lomonosov was another one -- he went from the very bottom to the top of Russian aristocracy just on the strength of his abilities as a scientist). In no way the ability to "hold its own" (typical for rich families kids) against which many here expressed some resentment represents social mobility. But the number of kids who went down is low -- that's actually proves Greg Clack point:

(1) Studies of social mobility using surnames suggest two things. Social mobility rates are much lower than conventionally estimated. And social mobility rates estimated in this way vary little across societies and time periods. Sweden is no more mobile than contemporary England and the USA, or even than medieval England. Social mobility rates seem to be independent of social institutions (see the other studies on China, India, Japan and the USA now linked here).

Francisco Ferreira rejects this interpretation, and restates the idea that there is a strong link between social mobility rates and inequality in his interesting post.

What is wrong with the data Ferreira cites? Conventional estimates of social mobility, which look at just single aspects of social status such as income, are contaminated by noise. If we measure mobility on one aspect of status such as income, it will seem rapid.

But this is because income is a very noisy measure of the underlying status of families. The status of families is a combination of their education, occupation, income, wealth, health, and residence. They will often trade off income for some other aspect of status such as occupation. A child can be as socially successful as a low paid philosophy professor as a high paid car salesman. Thus if we measure just one aspect of status such as income we are going to confuse the random fluctuations of income across generations, influenced by such things as career choices between business and philosophy, with true generalised social mobility.

If these estimates of social mobility were anywhere near correct as indicating true underlying rates of social mobility, then we would not find that the aristocrats of 1700 in Sweden are still overrepresented in all elite occupations of Sweden. Further, the more equal is income in a society, the less signal will income give of the true social status of families. In a society such as Sweden, where the difference in income between bus drivers and philosophy professors is modest, income tells us little about the social status of families. It is contaminated much more by random noise. Thus it will appear if we measure social status just by income that mobility is much greater in Sweden than in the USA, because in the USA income is a much better indicator of the true overall status of families.

The last two paragraphs of Greg Clark article cited by Mark Thoma are badly written and actually are somewhat disconnected with his line of thinking as I understand it as well as with the general line of argumentation of the paper.

Again, I would like to stress that a low intergenerational mobility includes the ability of kids with silver spoon in their mouth to keep a status close to their parent. The fact that they a have different starting point then kids from lower strata of society does not change that.

I think that the key argument that needs testing is that the number of challengers from lower strata of the society is always pretty low and is to a large extent accommodated by the societies we know (of course some societies are better then others).

Actually it would be interesting to look at the social mobility data of the USSR from this point of view.

But in no way, say, Mark Thoma was a regular kid, although circumstances for vertical mobility at this time were definitely better then now. He did possessed some qualities which made possible his upward move although his choice of economics was probably a mistake ;-).

Whether those qualities were enough in more restrictive environments we simply don't know, but circumstances for him were difficult enough as they were.

EC -> kievite...

"the number of gifted children is limited"

I stopped reading after that. I teach at a high school in a town with a real mix of highly elite families, working class families, and poor families, and I can tell you that the children of affluent parents are not obviously more gifted than the children of poor families. They do, however, have a lot more social capital, and they have vastly more success. But the limitations on being "gifted" are irrelevant.

According to an extensive study (Turkheimer et al., 2003) of 50,000 pregnant women and the children they went on to have (including enough sets of twins to be able to study the role of innate genetic differences), variation in IQ among the affluent seems to be largely genetic.

Among the poor, however, IQ has very little to do with genes -- probably because the genetic differences are swamped and suppressed by the environmental differences, as few poor kids are able to develop as fully as they would in less constrained circumstances.

kievite -> EC...

All you said is true. I completely agree that "...few poor kids are able to develop as fully as they would in less constrained circumstances." So there are losses here and we should openly talk about them.

Also it goes without saying that social capital is extremely important for a child. That's why downward mobility of children from upper classes is suppressed, despite the fact that some of them are plain vanilla stupid.

But how this disproves the point made that "exceptionally gifted children have some chance for upper move in almost all, even the most hierarchical societies"? I think you just jumped the gun...

mrrunangun:

The early boomers benefitted from the happy confluence of the postwar boom, LBJ's Great Society efforts toward financial assistance for those seeking to advance their educations, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act which opened opportunities for marginalized social groups in institutions largely closed to them under the prewar social customs in the US.

The US Supreme Court is made up of only Jews and Catholics as of this writing, a circumstance inconceivable in the prewar America. Catholics were largely relegated to separate and unequal institutions. Jews' opportunities were limited by quotas and had a separate set of institutions of their own where their numbers could support such. Where their numbers were not sufficient, they were often relegated to second rate institutions.

Jewish doctors frequently became the leading men in the Catholic hospitals in Midwestern industrial towns where they were unwelcome in the towns' main hospitals. Schools, clubs, hospitals, professional and commercial organizations often had quota or exclusionary policies. Meritocracy has its drawbacks, but we've seen worse in living memory.

The cruel world of neoliberal university

Of course bad things that happened to you during your university years are soon forgotten and nostalgia colors everything in role tones, but the truth is that the modern university is a very cruel world. Now more then ever. Here are some random observations of the subject (See also my Diploma Mills page about high education sharks for which sucking you dry financially is the main goal ):

Lysenkoism and petty, greedy pseudo-scientific scum as professors and teachers

Most teachers and Professors in the university are good, honest people who are trying to make some contribution to science and teach students (difficult things to mix). But not all. One of the most dangerous feature of neoliberal university are influx of people who represent a toxic mix of teacher, snake oil seller, careerist and cult follower. They are not teachers but brainwashers, hired guns -- propagandists masquerading as University professors. That is why we have witnessed such a corruption and politicization of science and rising proportion of research and theories taught at the universities that are fraudulent.

Previously teacher was a person somewhat similar to a monk. A person who consciously traded the ability to work in science to the possibility of acquiring material wealth, at least excessive material wealth. As Ernest Rutherford once reminded Pyotr Kapitsa "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Matthew 6:24)

But in neoliberal university way too many teachers/researchers took Faustian bargain when one trades the academic independence for above average personal wealth, influence, for the power grab. And despite popular image of scientists and university professors they proved to be as corruptible by money as Wall Street traders ;-). This is because the sponsors of their research such as big business, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and government vie to publish reports and results that put the sponsors in the best light. Good example is relations of pharmaceutical industry and academia

“The answer to that question is at once both predictable and shocking: For the past two decades, medical research has been quietly corrupted by cash from private industry. Most doctors and academic researchers aren't corrupt in the sense of intending to defraud the public or harm patients, but rather, more insidiously, guilty of allowing the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to manipulate medical science through financial relationships, in effect tainting the system that is supposed to further the understanding of disease and protect patients from ineffective or dangerous drugs. More than 60 percent of clinical studies--those involving human subjects--are now funded not by the federal government, but by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. That means that the studies published in scientific journals like Nature and The New England Journal of Medicine--those critical reference points for thousands of clinicians deciding what drugs to prescribe patients, as well as for individuals trying to educate themselves about conditions and science reporters from the popular media who will publicize the findings--are increasingly likely to be designed, controlled, and sometimes even ghost-written by marketing departments, rather than academic scientists. Companies routinely delay or prevent the publication of data that show their drugs are ineffective.

...

“ Novartis, stepped in and provided additional funding for development. In 1984, private companies contributed a mere $26 million to university research budgets. By 2000, they were ponying up $2.3 billion, an increase of 9000 percent that provided much needed funds to universities at a time when the cost of doing medical research was skyrocketing.”

Historically the scientific community is held together through its joint acceptance of the same fundamental principles of conducting research (and teaching those results) and ethics. Scientific research is best practiced in a voluntary, honest and free atmosphere. But this idyllic arrangement as well as scientific ethics now belongs to the past ( The Corruption of Science )

“It’s a long-standing and crucial question that, as yet, remains unanswered: just how common is scientific misconduct? In the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, Daniele Fanelli of the University of Edinburgh reports the first meta-analysis of surveys questioning scientists about their misbehaviours. The results suggest that altering or making up data is more frequent than previously estimated and might be particularly high in medical research.

...There is immense pressure on scientists to produce results, to publish, to seek glory, or just to get tenure. Scientists are human beings, after all, and sometimes they approach their field with preconceptions or biases. Politics certainly comes into play; consider eugenics in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, or eugenics in Nazi Germany.

Now we can talk only about the level of political and economical pressure and corresponding level of corruption on professors and scientists, not so much about presence or absence of corruption in science and education. What really matters for students is that when they feel that a professor is a scum, they nevertheless try to imitate. See for example Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia.

Historically the situation started to change even before neoliberal university became a dominant educational institution. Previously, despite the fact that money for science were in short supply, scientists maintained a self-discipline. That changed after WWII. Prior to World War II there was little government financial support for science. A graduate student working on a Ph.D. degree was expected to make a new discovery to earn that degree. And if somebody else came first he needed to find a new theme and to restart his work.

But with the advent of NSF scientists started to "propose" directions of research to get funding. And be sure this instill atmosphere of sycophantism and political correctness. This process accelerated dramatically since 1980th with the ascendance of neoliberalism as a dominant USA ideology, when greed became playing significant role in US universities. It should be understood that now the university professor is no longer is a teacher and a scientist, but predominantly "grants provider" for the university and that means that he/she is in the first place a political agent, a manipulator on a mission from the external agent (typically the state via NSF or other agency, see The Corruption of Science in America -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net)

For the unwashed masses University professor career still represents the ultimate carrier of truth for a given discipline, so his opinion have a distinct political weight. And the architects of our neoliberal world fully use this "superstition". Like we can see with neoclassical economics, economists have turned into an instrument of cognitive manipulation, when under the guise of science financial oligarchy promote beneficial to itself but false and simplistic picture of the world, using University professors to brainwash the masses into "correct" thinking.

Professors literally became a religious figures, and cult members or even cult leaders. The first sign of this dangerous disease of the modern university was probably Lysenkoism in the USSR. In this sense one can say that Lysenkoism represented a natural side effect of shrinking of freedom of the scientific community and growing influence of political power on science. As by Frederick Seitz noted in his The Present Danger To Science and Society

Everyone knows that the scientific community faces financial problems at the present time. If that were its only problem, some form of restructuring and allocation of funds, perhaps along lines well tested in Europe and modified in characteristic American ways, might provide solutions that would lead to stability and balance well into the next century. Unfortunately, the situation is more complex, made so by the fact that the scientific establishment has become the object of controversy from both outside and inside its special domain. The most important aspects of the controversy are of a new kind and direct attention away from matters that are sufficiently urgent to be the focus of a great deal of the community's attention.

The assaults on science from the outside arise from such movements as the ugly form of "political correctness" that has taken root in important portions of our academic community. There are to be found, in addition, certain tendencies toward a home-grown variant of the anti-intellectual Lysenkoism that afflicted science in the Stalinist Soviet Union. So-called fraud cases are being dealt with in new, bureaucratic ways that cut across the traditional methods of arriving at truth in science. From inside the scientific community, meanwhile, there are challenges that go far beyond those that arise from the intense competition for the limited funds that are available to nourish the country's scientific endeavor.

The critical issue of arriving at a balanced approach to funding for science is being subordinated to issues made to seem urgent by unhealthy alliances of scientists and bureaucrats. Science and the integrity of its practitioners are under attack and, increasingly, legislators and bureaucrats shape the decisions that determine which paths scientific research should take. There is, in addition, a sinister tendency, especially in environmental affairs, toward considering the undertaking of expensive projects that are proposed by some scientists to remedy worst-case formulations of problems before the radical and expensive remedies are proven to be needed. They are viewed seriously though they are based on the advice of opportunistic alarmists in science who leap ahead of what is learned from solid research to encourage support for the expensive remedies they perceive to be necessary. The potential for very great damage to science and society is real.

Textbook racket is a part of neoliberal transformation of university education

Unfortunately a large part of the textbook market in the USA has all signs of corrupted monopoly infested with cronyism and incompetence to the extent that Standard Oil practices looks pretty benign in comparison. As the site MakeTextbooksAffordable.com states on its font page:

The report found that even though students already pay $900 year for textbooks, textbook publishers artificially inflate the price of textbooks by adding bells and whistles to the current texts, and forcing cheaper used books off the market by producing expensive new editions of textbooks that are barely different from the previous edition.

And some university professors are part of these scheme. Congressmen David Wu sites the opinion of the publisher in his letter "If a student is paying hundreds of dollars for a book, it's because the professor has ordered the Cadillac edition". But that might be true only for CS where any professor can easily find a cheaper high quality substitute from publishers like O'Reilly (and students can do this too, see Softpanorama Bookshelf actually about finding the best CS book (and some other) at reasonable prices. In other disciplines like mathematics situation is a real racket: The cost of a common calculus textbook is over $100 in the USA. This is a blatant, open rip-off. Economics is probably even worse with some useless junk selling for almost $300 per book.

In the meantime, enterprising students have many ways to cut the cost of buying textbooks.

But here one needs to see a bigger picture: low quality of recommended textbooks and, especially, the quality of university instruction makes it necessary buying additional textbooks. Also the ownership of best textbooks often makes the difference between success and failure in the particular course. In this sense additional $100 spending for books for each course makes economic sense as the common alternative is to drop the course, which often means $1K of more loss.

There are several ways to save on additional textbooks that hopefully can somewhat compensate for the low quality of tuition in a typical university. With some effort a student can often save approximately 50% of the cover price. Again my Links2bookstores page contains more information.

At the same time if the instructor is weak, or, worse, belongs to "fundamentalists", a category of instructors that does not distinguish between important and unimportant things and overloads the course with "useless overcomplexity" additional books are one of few countermeasures against this typical university-style rip-off. Dropping the course is a difficult maneuver that requires perfect timing and problems with instructor and the course content usually do not surface during the first month of the study when you can still do it for free or with minimal damage.

College textbook publishing became a racket with the growth of neoliberalism. And it is pretty dirty racket with willing accomplishes in form of so called professors like Greg Mankiw. For instance, you can find a used 5th edition Mankiw introductory to Microeconomics for under $4.00, while a new 7th edition costs over $200. An interesting discussion of this problem can be found at Thoughts on High-Priced Textbooks'

Tim Taylor on why textbooks cost so much:

Thoughts on High-Priced Textbooks: High textbook prices are a pebble in the shoe of many college students. Sure, it's not the biggest financial issue they face, But it's a real and nagging annoyance that for hinders performance for many students. ...
David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein at National Public Radio took up this question recently on one of their "Planet Money" podcasts. ... For economists, a highlight is that they converse with Greg Mankiw, author of what is currently the best-selling introductory economics textbook, which as they point out is selling for $286 on Amazon. Maybe this is a good place to point out that I am not a neutral observer in this argument: The third edition of my own Principles of Economics textbook is available through Textbook Media. The pricing varies from $25 for online access to the book, up through $60 for both a paper copy (soft-cover, black and white) and online access.

Several explanations for high textbook prices are on offer. The standard arguments are that textbook companies are marketing selling to professors, not to students, and professors are not necessarily very sensitive to textbook prices. (Indeed, one can argue that before the rapid rise in textbook prices in the last couple of decades, it made sense for professors not to focus too much on textbook prices.) Competition in the textbook market is limited, and the big publishers load up their books with features that might appeal to professors: multi-colored hardcover books, with DVDs and online access, together with test banks that allow professors to give quizzes and tests that can be machine-graded. At many colleges and universities, the intro econ class is taught in a large lecture format, which can include hundreds or even several thousand students, as well as a flock of teaching assistants, so some form of computerized grading and feedback is almost a necessity. Some of the marketing by textbook companies involves paying professors for reviewing chapters--of course in the hope that such reviewers will adopt the book.

The NPR show casts much of this dynamic as a "principal-agent problem," the name for a situation in which one person (the "principal") wants another person (the "agent") to act on their behalf, but lacks the ability to observe or evaluate the actions of the agent in a complete way. Principal-agent analysis is often used, for example, to think about the problem of a manager motivating employees. But it can also be used to consider the issue of students (the "principals") wanting the professor (the "agent") to choose the book that will best suit the needs of the students, with all factors of price and quality duly taken into account. The NPR reporters quote one expert saying that the profit margin for high school textbooks is 5-10%, because those books decisions are made by school districts and states that negotiate hard. However, profit margins on college textbooks--where the textbook choice is often made by a professor who may not even know the price that students will pay--are more like 20%.

The NPR report suggests this principal-agent framework to Greg Mankiw, author of the top-selling $286 economic textbook. Mankiw points out that principal-agent problems are in no way nefarious, but come up in many contexts. For example, when you get an operation, you rely on the doctor to make choices that involve costs; when you get your car fixed, you rely on a mechanic to make choices that involve costs; when you are having home repairs done, you rely on a repair person or a contractor to make choices that involve costs. Mankiw argues that professors, acting as the agents of students, have legitimate reason to be concerned about tradeoffs of time and money. As he notes, a high quality book is more important "than saving them a few dollars"--and he suggests that saving $30 isn't worth it for a low-quality book.

But of course, in the real world there are more choices than a high-quality $286 book and a low-quality $256 book. The PIRG student surveys suggest that up to two-thirds of students are avoiding buying textbooks at all, even though they fear it will hurt their grade, or are shifting to other classes with lower textbook costs. If a student is working 10 hours a week at a part-time job, making $8/hour after taxes, then the difference between $286 book and a $60 book is 28.25 hours--nearly three weeks of part-time work. I am unaware of any evidence in which students were randomly assigned different textbooks but otherwise taught and evaluated in the same way, and kept time diaries, which would show that higher-priced books save time or improve academic performance. It is by no means obvious that a lower-cost book (yes, like my own) works less well for students than a higher-cost book from a big publisher. Some would put that point more strongly.

A final dynamic that may be contributing to higher-prices textbooks is a sort of vicious circle related to the textbook resale market. The NPR report says that when selling a textbook over a three-year edition, a typical pattern was that sales fell by half after the first year and again by half after the second year, as students who had bought the first edition resold the book to later students. Of course, this dynamic also means that many students who bought the book new are not really paying full-price, but instead paying the original price minus the resale price. The argument is that as textbooks have increased in price, the resale market has become ever-more active, so that sales of a textbook in later years have dwindled much more quickly. Textbook companies react to this process by charging more for the new textbook, which of course only spurs more activity in the resale market.

A big question for the future of textbooks is how and in what ways they migrate to electronic forms. On one side, the hope is that electronic textbooks will offer expanded functionality, as well as being cheaper. But this future is not foreordained. At least at present, my sense is that the functionality of reading and taking notes in online textbooks hasn't yet caught up to the ease of reading on paper. Technology and better screens may well shift this balance over time. But even setting aside questions of reading for long periods of time on screen, or taking notes on screen, at present it remains harder to skip around in a computerized text between what you are currently reading and the earlier text that you need to be checking, as well as skipping to various graphs, tables, and definitions. To say it more simply, in a number of subjects it may still be harder to study an on-line text than to study a paper text.

Moreover, as textbook manufacturers shift to an on-line world, they will bring with them their full bag of tricks for getting paid. The Senack report notes:

Today’s marketplace offers more digital textbook options to the student consumer than ever. “Etextbooks” are digitized texts that students read on a laptop or tablet. Similar to PDF documents, e-textbooks enable students to annotate, highlight and search. The cost may be 40-50 percent of the print retail price, and access expires after 180 days. Publishers have introduced e-textbooks for nearly all their traditional textbook offerings. In addition, the emergence of the ereader like the Kindle and iPad, as well as the emergence of many e-textbook rental programs, all seemed to indicate that the e-textbook will alter the college textbook landscape for the better.

However, despite this shift, users of e-textbooks are subject to expiration dates, on-line codes that only work once, page printing limits, and other tactics that only serve to restrict use and increase cost.

Unfortunately for students, the publishing companies’ venture into e-textbooks is a continuation of the practices they use to monopolize the print market.

JohnH:

My understanding is that there are cases where the professor requires the textbook he wrote and for which he receives royalties...

In such cases, the publisher and the professor's interests align against the student, who pays through the teeth.

djb:

good article but i have a real problem with introductory texts on economics

they are completely biased, mostly towards supply side of the debate

meaning, of course, they are wrong

if they just contained that which is undeniably true then ok, or if they presented it as this school of thought says this and that school of thought says the other, ok,

The Raven:

A general rule of thumb: half the selling price of a book is spent before the first impression is made on paper. Speaking as a very small publisher, I think the main problem is that the texts are expensive to produce.

They take a lot of editorial and design effort, so the fixed costs of textbook production are high, the production costs are often high, and textbook bestsellers are not common, so they don't usually make it up on volume.

Now, one could, for standard freshman and sophomore texts, aim at lower costs and higher volumes, but that's not academic publishing, and nothing is going to help with upper-level texts; the market is just not that big.

pgl -> to The Raven...

Excellent! With a high elasticity of demand, the increase in quantity beats the drop in price. Unless the marginal cost of printing books is higher than I suspect it is, Mankiw's publisher is not a profit maximizing monopolist. I'm telling you the best economics is right here and we don't charge $286!

The Raven -> to pgl...

Thanks.

You'd have to market a book *hard* to get that increase in demand, though. It's not a student-by-student sale decision; the professors have to be marketed. The other thing about publishing economics that people outside the industry don't realize: most books don't make much money, so publishers rely on the good-sellers and the best-sellers for much of their profits. If you've got something you're pretty sure is going to be in demand, *you mark it up,* because in William Golding's immortal phrase, "Nobody knows anything."

Over the past 25 or so years, the consolidation of publishing has put the money types more and more in control of the business. And the money types always want to only market best sellers. This is sort of like Germany saying that everyone should make money exporting. "That trick never works."

Now, if anyone wanted to bring the price of an Econ 101 book down, one could do a no-frills book, small, soft-covered, and strictly monochrome, or perhaps an ebook. (But watch out—only some ebook readers support mathematics well.) It might cost $50 or so (I'm guessing—I'm not a textbook publisher.) It would not look impressive, and this might make a problem for marketing, but students could still learn from it. And—who knows?—it might even sell.

T.J.:

The issue is that textbook publishers release new editions every couple of years. For many subjects, including economics, this is absurd. Sciences don't change that quickly.

For instance, you can find a used 5th edition Mankiw introductory to Microeconomics for under $4.00, while a new 7th edition costs over $200.

Has principles of microeconomics changed that much over the course of 6 years? No, but textbook companies make a few changes on the margin and charge you hundreds of dollars for a new edition. Many times, professors require online access codes to supplement their lecture. Therefore, the student is forced into the newer edition, in which often there is no substantial differences or major improvements in presenting the material.

When you have that sort of market power, it is easy to achieve economic rents.

pgl -> to T.J....

"Sciences don't change that quickly". One would hope those freshwater books changed after their utter failures to predict the most recent recession. But they likely haven't.

cm -> to T.J....

There are errata, and some content that the author has in mind doesn't make it into the first edition, or not at the intended quality/depth. Most people who have never published something substantial have no idea how much work it is to get non-fiction scientific/technical stuff publication ready. Not only on the author's part but also editing and proofreading/giving feedback at a collegial level. (Not meaning to knock down fiction, that's a different set of challenges.)

Bill Ellis:

Two Ideas I would like to see combined. A period of Universal public service that earns a free higher and or tech education. Something like the GI bill for all.

I think making universal public service a right of passage could help us be a more unified society. If we have kids from inner city Detroit, rural West Virginia, suburban San Francisco and the oil fields of Oklahoma working side by side it would open their eyes to each other in ways that are never experienced by most American kids who are living in communities of institutional self-segregation.

Having said that.. free education is a no brainer no matter what.
To cover everyone's tuition it would only cost us about forty billion more than the feds already spend on higher ed. That's a rounding error in terms of our total budget.

We subsidize big oil and gas to the tune of about 50 billion a year.

The maddening thing is that the national debate is not even close to taking Free Ed seriously. Instead Liz Warren is portrayed some kind of wild eyed radical for proposing a modest cut in interest rates on student loans and some narrow way to get some forgiveness of debt.

John Cummings:

It is part of the educational industrial complex (which include vouchers and government backed private school industrial complex)

Educational industrial complex
Military industrial complex
Medical industrial complex
Prison industrial complex

Fred C. Dobbs:

(Evidently, 'It’s Economics 101'.)

Higher education: Why textbooks cost so much http://econ.st/1yzDU5Z via @TheEconomist - Aug 16th 2014

Students can learn a lot about economics when they buy Greg Mankiw’s “Principles of Economics”—even if they don’t read it. Like many popular textbooks, it is horribly expensive: $292.17 on Amazon. Indeed, the nominal price of textbooks has risen more than fifteen fold since 1970, three times the rate of inflation (see chart, at link).

Like doctors prescribing drugs, professors assigning textbooks do not pay for the products themselves, so they have little incentive to pick cheap ones. Some assign books they have written themselves. The 20m post-secondary students in America often have little choice in the matter. Small wonder textbooks generate megabucks.

But hope is not lost for poor scholars. Foreign editions are easy to find online and often cheaper—sometimes by over 90%. Publishers can be litigious about this, but in 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have the right to buy and resell copyrighted material obtained legally. Many university bookstores now let students rent books and return them. Publishers have begun to offer digital textbooks, which are cheaper but can’t be resold. And if all else fails, there is always the library.

Related: How Your Textbook Dollars Are Divvied Up http://t.usnews.com/a2B567 via @usnews - Aug 28, 2012

Fred C. Dobbs -> to Fred C. Dobbs...

(A bunch of experts discuss the matter.)

Room for Debate: The Real Cost of College Textbooks http://nyti.ms/1qEHasX - July 2010

(Including a couple of economists!)

Fred C. Dobbs -> to Fred C. Dobbs...

How to Cut Your Textbook Costs in Half -- or More-Kiplinger http://po.st/nCZsxY - August 2014

(By renting e-books, donchaknow.)

(Turns out Mankiw's Econ textbook, which
currently costs $289 in hardcover from
Amazon, can be rented in Kindle format
for a mere $173 - for 180 days.)

(Hardcover rental is $70, however.)

Fred C. Dobbs -> to Fred C. Dobbs...

(Wait a second. The Federales fixed
this problem back in 2008...)

Advocates say a new set of federal provisions, aimed at driving down the cost of college textbooks, should help students this fall. On July 1, (2010) these rules took effect:

Publishers must give professors detailed information about textbook prices, revision histories and a list of alternate formats.

Publishers have to sell materials typically bundled with textbooks -- such as CDs, DVDs and workbooks -- separately so students don't have to buy them.

Colleges have to include in-course schedules with required textbooks for each class, including the book's price and International Standard Book Number, an identifying tool.

The protections, included in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, are an attempt to lessen student debt, said U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., on Wednesday.

"The cost of education is of concern not only to students and families but to the nation," Durbin said, explaining why the government got involved in textbook prices. "Students are emerging with more and more debt."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/07/22/97931_new-federal-rules-take-aim-at.html?rh=1

Charles Peterson:

A $289 econ text is only marked up 20% ???

I'm not sure how to account for this, but I believe a full account of markup should include royalties if they have become outrageous economic rent.

Jim Harrison:

Textbooks have been outrageously expensive for a long time, though some of the prices quoted in this article were astonishing to me and I used to be in the business. Nothing much has changed. The complaints and the defenses sound very familiar. Even in the 70s and 80s, publishers groused about how the used trade hurt their sales and the suggestion was repeatedly made that one way around the trap was to produce much cheaper texts and make up the difference on volume. Unfortunately, the numbers never add up for that business plan since the major textbook publishers have huge sunk costs in the big sales forces needed to support the current model. Anyhow, good cheap books have long been available for many big undergrad courses if profs want to assign them and don't mind producing their own tests and other teaching aids. A handful of profs do just that and were already doing it thirty years ago, but they are a distinct minority.

About the revision racket: the funny thing is that old editions of textbooks are often better than more recent editions. Market research makes good books worse in much the same way that it eventually screws up software by the relentless addition of bells and whistles. I'm a technical writer these days and keep copies of several old classics at hand when I need to brush up: Feynman's lectures on physics; the first edition of Freeman, Pisani, and Purves on Statistics; the 2nd edition of Linus Pauling's Intro Chem text; Goldstein on Thermo; and a real museum piece, Sylvaner Thomas' Calculus Made Easy. Many of these books have been reprinted by Dover and are available for peanuts.

To be fair, the high price for textbooks makes more sense in some fields than in others. The three or four year revision cycle is absurd for math books since the math remains the same decade after decade, but texts in areas like molecular biology really do have to be revised frequently and substantively, a very labor-intensive task. Which is why I give a pass to the Biology editors and the folks who struggle to update the Intermediate Accounting books with the latest FASB standards.

cm -> to Jim Harrison...

Can you elaborate on the revision "paradox"? Surely not only in very new fields, the state of the art progresses, or textbook authors see a need or opportunity to include new material (I suspect somebody setting out to write a comprehensive text has more ideas what to write about than can be finished at the required quality in the required time, for the first edition).

How would the subsequent editions be worse, if the new content is driven by the author and not by external marketing considerations, unless the new material is at the expense of older material (e.g. #pages limit)?

From my very limited experience, authors who are not in it for making a profit, and who write for a small market (selling up to a few thousand copies per year is a small market) run into substantial overhead costs for editing, marketing (i.e. making the existence of the book known to the target audience), and distribution, and basically have to do the work for free. Some, and perhaps most, certainly academic, publishers have "charity" programs where they publish small editions where they at best break even or even cross-subsidize them out of "full rate" publications. Then people complain about excessive prices for the latter.

Leading Edge Boomer:

Jeebus, $286 for a textbook, from an author who is often wrong lately? I co-authored a graduate computer science text (low volume = higher cost) that retailed in the low two digits.

cm -> to Leading Edge Boomer...

I will not comment on the author's merit or lack thereof, but $286 is really in "WTF" territory, for any textbook.

cm -> to Leading Edge Boomer...

I once contributed to a book, and the authors/editors decided to collectively waive their royalties to hit an affordable price (and I suspect it was still a charity deal on the part of the largely academic publisher). But I got my free copy.

Jim Harrison:

At least for big market textbooks, the motive for revisions is generally financial and that's as true for the authors as the publishers. In fact, the authors are often the ones who push for new editions as their royalty checks steadily diminish. In cases where it's the authors who are reluctant to revise for whatever reason, publishers often sweeten the deal with advances, grants, or other goodies.

I don't mean to be completely cynical. Authors and editors certainly try to produce a better product when they put out new editions, and it very often happens that the second edition is better than the first. Especially in later cycles, however, the changes are usually pretty cosmetic. The editor in charge of the project solicits advice from users and potential users and comes up with a list of "improvements" in a process not entirely different than what happens when various interests in Washington get their pet provisions put in a bill. If you think that professor X is likely to adopt the text if you go along with his ideas and plug his contributions in the acknowledgements, the idea is very likely to be irresistible.

The sales force also weighs in. They want feature they can tout; but since real improvements are hard to come by, that usually means more and more pedagogy: boxes, pictures, computer programs, and umpteen forms of emphasis. Let me assure you it takes desperate ingenuity to come up with something new to add to an Intermediate Algebra textbook. "Now with a new way to factor trinomials" isn't exactly a memorable pitch. Meanwhile, after three or four editions, the author, who presumably would be the best source of serious innovation for a new edition, is generally bored to death with the project.

As I said above, there are textbooks that really do need perpetually revision for substantive reasons; but in most fields what Freshmen and Sophomores need to learn has been known for a long time. My remarks on revisions also don't apply very well to upper level texts in smaller markets, in part because students tend to hang on to serious books in their majors so the companies have less incentive to beat the used book market with new editions.

reason:

From what I remember of my university days (in the long distant past), we didn't have text books (that was for school kids). We had lectures and lists of reading materials (that if we were lucky we could find in the library and photocopy relvant sections). I did have a copy of Samualson (relatively cheap). But the emphasis was on a reading a variety of sources. What has changed, and why?

reason:

P.S. Not have text books would have the advantage of ensuring that the students attended lectures and stayed awake during them.

Jay:

No mention of the cost for this textbook...

http://www.amazon.com/Economics-Paul-Krugman/dp/1429251638/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1413545846&sr=8-2&keywords=krugman+wells

grizzled:

My own biggest peeve concerns calculus textbooks, especially introductory calculus textbooks. The material hasn't changed in at least 60 years, if not longer. If it weren't for the current ridiculously long copyright terms people could just use old ones.

The last time I took the subject our professor went to some lengths to let us use the previous edition, which was available used. The only real change in the next edition was in the problems. That is, if a student was assigned "problem 8 in section xxx" having the most recent edition was the only way to know what the problem was.

I don't see any redeeming value in this.

Bloix:

My son took an intro geology course a few years ago. The textbook price at the school bookstore was about $125. He purchased the gray market (legal) "international edition" - word for word, page for page the same, but with a different picture on the cover - over the internet for about $50.

It's my understanding that this sort of price-differential is common. Mankiw's book appears to be available in the "international edition" for $60 (soft cover).

http://www.abebooks.com/9781285165875/Principles-Economics-7th-Edition-Mankiw-128516587X/plp

Please don't tell me that publishers and authors are not making money when they sell their books for US$50 or 60 in Australia.

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov


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[Sep 17, 2017] The ethic of hard work , Obama, Trump and Hillary by Gaius Publius

Notable quotes:
"... If anything, the whole plagiarism scandal reflects somewhat poorly on Michelle Obama. One reason Obama's words were able to play so well at the RNC was that in the lifted passages, Obama was speaking using the conservative language of "bootstrapping." Obama's sentence, that "the only limit" to one's achievements is the height of one's goal and the "willingness to work" toward it, is the Republican story about America. It's the story of personal responsibility, in which the U.S. is overflowing with opportunity, and anyone who fails to succeed in such a land of abundance must simply not be trying hard enough. ..."
"... People on the left are supposed to know that it is a cruel lie to tell people that all they need to do is work hard. There are plenty of people with dreams who work very hard indeed but get nothing, because the American economy is fundamentally skewed and unfair. This rhetoric, about "hard work" being the only thing needed for the pursuit of prosperity, is an insult to every tomato-picker and hotel cleaner in the country. It's a fact that those who work the hardest in this country, those come home from work exhausted and who break their backs to feed their families, are almost always rewarded the least. Far from embarrassing Melania Trump and the GOP, then, it should be deeply humiliating for Democrats that their rhetoric is so bloodless and hollow that it can easily be spoken word-for-word in front of a gang of crazed racists. Instead of asking "why is Melania Trump using Michelle Obama's words?" we might think to ask "why is Michelle Obama using the right-wing rhetoric of self-reliance?" ..."
"... This is, of course, the myth of "meritocracy" that Thomas Frank has exposed with scalpel-like precision in his latest book Listen, Liberal . It's clear that the Democratic Party, at its core, believes with Michelle (and Barack) Obama the comfortable and self-serving lie that no individual has anyone to blame but herself if she fails to achieve high goals. She should just have reached higher; she should just have worked harder. ..."
"... It's not only a lie, it's a "cruel lie," as Nimni says. So why is she, Michelle Obama, telling it? Clearly it serves her interests, her husband's interests, her party's interests, to tell the "rich person's lie," that his or her achievement came from his or her own efforts. To call most people's success a product of luck (right color, right gender, right country, right neighborhood, right schools, right set of un-birth-damaged brain cells) or worse, inheritance (right parents), identifies the fundamental unfairness of our supposed "meritocratic" system of allocating wealth and undercuts the "goodness," if you look at it writ large, of predatory capitalism. By that measure, neither the very wealthy themselves (Charles Koch, Jamie Dimon) nor those who serve them (Barack Obama et al ) are "good" in any moral sense. ..."
"... U.S. cultural norms, as the piece describes accurately, glorify and misrepresent "work" especially of the "hard" kind. Hmm I wonder where that notion came from and why it gained such a foothold in the prevailing groupthink? ..."
"... The present regime of "teach to the test" here in America almost completely short circuits the teaching of critical thinking skills. With stressed parents increasingly abdicating their responsibilities towards the upbringing of their offspring in favour of the State, is it any wonder that the narrow interests of the State, such as the Iron Law of Institutions, are supplanting enlightenment in the minds of the young? We now must begin to consider the divergence of the interests of the Society from the interests of the State. With the balance of power swinging heavily in favour of the State these recent decades, I am not sanguine about the near term future of our culture. ..."
"... As is so often the case in American culture, the "hard work" meme emerges from the slave system. Slaves had to be bullied and terrorized in order to extract "hard work" from them, given that they had zero rewards of any tangible sort for it. So "hard work" required constant vigilance and frequent punishments while slaves rationally attempted to do the least amount of work that enabled them to escape the many types of tortures they were regularly threatened with. ..."
"... Then after "emancipation," plantation owners complained that they could not get any of those lazy, shiftless Negroes to perform "hard work" for them, given that the newly freed men and women were much more interested in getting ahead for themselves than continuing to pick cotton or harvest rice for starvation wages. ..."
"... I don't think you are over-simplifying, Clive–in Hong Kong, too, my experience has been that most people I deal with in the work world take a great deal of intrinsic pride in doing a job efficiently and well, for its own sake, not because it will necessarily make you more money. ..."
"... What I'm starting to sniff in the zeitgeist today is that Trump's kids are totally changing what people think of the father. People are making the semi-rational assumption that anyone who can raise such good kids must be very different in private than he is on the campaign trail. ..."
"... the genesis of the "plagiarism" attacks. The mud slinging has started early in this campaign. However, if Trumps' family can exude some sense of charm and class, the entire mud slinging strategy can be 'stood on its' head.' ..."
"... Me, I'm terrified of Hillary Clinton and the devastation that her ascension to the Presidency might bring to this nation and to the world. She is not only a liar, a blatantly self-dealing criminal, but more devastating yet, a sociopath of the first water, willing to walk across the bodies to advance her personal and class agenda. ..."
"... Her time as President would go a long way toward cementing the Unitary Executive in place (i.e., a functional Dictator, as understood in the Roman Republican meaning of the term, a Tribune, in which a chief magistrate of the State like the President under our Constitution, whose writ as an authoritarian ruler ran so long as there was a national emergency. I serve as the clerk for government documents in a university law library, and I can tell you that the number of House Documents announcing a "National Emergency" or the continuation of a previously announced "National Emergency" is very alarming. These "emergencies" are the camel's nose under the tent in my estimation for the slow accretion of Dictatorial powers (again, in the Roman Republican sense of the term "dictator") toward the Caesar-like role of Unitary Executive. These "National Emergencies" functionally invest power into the hands of the President and those forces military, legal, and regulatory under the control of the Executive by which the President can wage military, legal/diplomatic, and economic warfare against those who refuse to bend the knee to US-dominated global hegemony. ..."
"... Hillary is practically salivating to grasp the rod of power embodied in the Unitary Executive. Warfare will follow her tenure in office like a dire shadow, and due to her belief in the right of and necessity of the US to enforce a global hegemony, she is inevitably moving toward a deadly clash with other nuclear powers unwilling to submit to the yoke of globalized, stateless, culturally-anodyne finance capitalism. Good times await. ..."
"... "Our well-nigh useless Legislative branch has largely surrendered its Constitutional responsibilities to the Executive through such trash as Authorizations of Military Force rather than engaging in the mandated procedure of the Declaration of War found in the Constitution to authorize extended use of military (and legal and economic) force." ..."
"... That allows individuals to claim they had no responsibility for the war, something Pence and Clinton cannot claim because of their votes. But on what other things do you see Obama as being a strong "unitary executive." I thought it was generally viewed that Congress had thwarted his (almost) every wish. ..."
"... And how about that patriot act renewal, US out of iraq/afganistan? Vicky nuland and the ukraine? I guess the problem is that you get your information as it is generally viewed, but you fail to indicate who it is that generally views things that way, however, it should help you understand why trump will win because hillary is generally viewed as corrupt. ..."
"... I'm intrigued by author's concluding idea. "It involves another attempt to take over the Republican Party, this time by the Clinton-led Democratic leadership. " ..."
"... And if the words were lies coming out of Obama's mouth, what are they coming out of Trump's mouth? ..."
"... "Far from embarrassing Melania Trump and the GOP, then, it should be deeply humiliating for Democrats that their rhetoric is so bloodless and hollow that it can easily be spoken word-for-word in front of a gang of crazed racists. Instead of asking "why is Melania Trump using Michelle Obama's words?" we might think to ask "why is Michelle Obama using the right-wing rhetoric of self-reliance?" ..."
"... A lot of this is related to the Democrats and what Bill made "successful" with his presidency. The lack of a truly left party that works for average citizens has created this environment when a character like Trump can gain such support. This article illustrates but another example of meritocratic nonsense being regurgitated by the party. ..."
"... A thought-provoking and unexpected take, Gaius Publius. I was struck by one item left off your list of lucky attributes: beauty. Both Michelle Obama and Melania Trump are undeniably beautiful women -– tall, slim, with the elegantly symmetrical features prized in every culture. Sadly in beauty-obsessed America the doors opened for women who look this lovely are shut hard against women who are fat, or old, or ugly. ..."
"... I had pretty much the exact same thought as your second "blackbird" when the video of Melania Trump plagiarizing Michele Obama's speech and all my liberal friends were yuking it up. All I could think was "If the same speech could plausibly come out of either of their mouths without alienating the audience, we have much worse problems than her Mrs. Trump's copycating." The fact that this seemed to bother hardly anyone else made it worse. So much of these elections just get reduced down to rooting for your team at a sporting event. This works well to keep people from having to deal with a lot of unpleasant questions and conclusions. ..."
"... Read Roosevelt's speech, Trump certainly did, for some real fear mongering and look at the coalition he has taken over the Republican party to form. FDR 1932. ..."
"... > "another attempt to take over the Republican Party" Which shouldn't be that hard, since both the Democrat and Republican parties are neoliberal. As always, the real enemy is the left. ..."
"... I'm surprised Gaius failed to address this portion of Michelle's speech which he quoted: "tell the truth; keep your promises; treat others with dignity and respect." Since when has Obama told the truth, or kept his promises, or treated anyone except Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blanfein with respect? ..."
"... Put aside whether "Michelle Obama" or some speechwriting merc came up with the banal verbiage redolent of Sunday school and Horatio Alger. What gives the snippet its special Trumpian turn into hyper-unreality, an ever-expanding balloon of hot boast and hyperbolic deceit, is the way it transcends garden-variety plagiarism by laying claim to the very virtues that the appropriation itself falsifies. ..."
"... That's chutzpah! The stunning effrontery supersizes an overall meta-ness that's less indicative of middle-class morality and meritocracy than the predatory opportunism of the exploitative rich, what C. Wright Mills might have recognized as the "higher immorality." Here we have a colossally vain billionaire atop an empire of glitz and privilege kayfabing his way to a party nomination as the indignant voice of the brutalized working class he's dedicated his life to disparaging as envious losers. The mind reels between giddiness and nausea. ..."
"... You can't forever distract it away with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and color counter-revolutions against exploitative freeloaders (the non-rich and famous ones, that is). It takes an philosophy of human worth apart from vanities over this or that temporarily adaptive skill or happy accident. ..."
"... I think Oren Nimni basically gets it right: When you cut through the tautologies and the bromides that many parents deliver to their children, what you have is the message, "don't expect government to be there for you; those days are over" (which, actually, sounds like Bubba Bill's pitch–"the day's of big government are over"). ..."
"... If you work hard enough and have enough ambition you will succeed is not a lie to those born on 3rd base, it was true for them. The Obama's the Trumps. They are really just guilty of not understanding the plight of those who were born at bat against a major league pitcher. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

naked capitalism

Gaius Publius Two Ways of Looking at a Plagiarism

Oren Nimni: Obama's statement "is an insult to every tomato-picker and hotel cleaner in the country"

The fact that Michelle Obama's statement is blatantly false (and that a woman of color in the United States said it) is revealing. Current Affairs writer Oren Nimni on that (emphasis in original):

If anything, the whole plagiarism scandal reflects somewhat poorly on Michelle Obama. One reason Obama's words were able to play so well at the RNC was that in the lifted passages, Obama was speaking using the conservative language of "bootstrapping." Obama's sentence, that "the only limit" to one's achievements is the height of one's goal and the "willingness to work" toward it, is the Republican story about America. It's the story of personal responsibility, in which the U.S. is overflowing with opportunity, and anyone who fails to succeed in such a land of abundance must simply not be trying hard enough.

People on the left are supposed to know that it is a cruel lie to tell people that all they need to do is work hard. There are plenty of people with dreams who work very hard indeed but get nothing, because the American economy is fundamentally skewed and unfair. This rhetoric, about "hard work" being the only thing needed for the pursuit of prosperity, is an insult to every tomato-picker and hotel cleaner in the country. It's a fact that those who work the hardest in this country, those come home from work exhausted and who break their backs to feed their families, are almost always rewarded the least.

Far from embarrassing Melania Trump and the GOP, then, it should be deeply humiliating for Democrats that their rhetoric is so bloodless and hollow that it can easily be spoken word-for-word in front of a gang of crazed racists. Instead of asking "why is Melania Trump using Michelle Obama's words?" we might think to ask "why is Michelle Obama using the right-wing rhetoric of self-reliance?"

This is, of course, the myth of "meritocracy" that Thomas Frank has exposed with scalpel-like precision in his latest book Listen, Liberal . It's clear that the Democratic Party, at its core, believes with Michelle (and Barack) Obama the comfortable and self-serving lie that no individual has anyone to blame but herself if she fails to achieve high goals. She should just have reached higher; she should just have worked harder.

It's not only a lie, it's a "cruel lie," as Nimni says. So why is she, Michelle Obama, telling it? Clearly it serves her interests, her husband's interests, her party's interests, to tell the "rich person's lie," that his or her achievement came from his or her own efforts. To call most people's success a product of luck (right color, right gender, right country, right neighborhood, right schools, right set of un-birth-damaged brain cells) or worse, inheritance (right parents), identifies the fundamental unfairness of our supposed "meritocratic" system of allocating wealth and undercuts the "goodness," if you look at it writ large, of predatory capitalism. By that measure, neither the very wealthy themselves (Charles Koch, Jamie Dimon) nor those who serve them (Barack Obama et al ) are "good" in any moral sense.

(The idea of the supposed "goodness" of the successful capitalist, by the way, his supposed "greater morality," goes all the way back to the 18th Century attempt of the wealthy to counter the 17th Century bleakness of Protestant predestination. How could people, especially the very rich, know whether they are among the "elect" or the damned? God gives them wealth as a sign of his plans for them, just as God gives them morally deficient poverty-wage workers to take advantage of.)

Clive , July 22, 2016 at 4:27 am

There's also a flip side to the main point drawn out in the above article ("if you work hard you'll be successful and rewarded") which, dare I say, is rarely mentioned and even an anathema in U.S. culture (not, mind you, that I think British culture isn't going the same way so I am not trying to throw stones in this glass house).

Which is: quite often, you are rewarded if you don't "work hard" and even if you work somewhat "hard" the rewards you receive are out of all proportion to the effort you have to make. But no-one (or few people) are willing to admit, if they are in that position, that - to put it crudely - they are really doing bugger all but raking it in.

I, for example, do very little. What I do do certainly isn't "hard work". Now, I have expended a certain amount of mental effort on understanding the system - the dynamic - in play at my employer. And how to successfully exploit that to gain the maximum amount of financial reward for the least amount of effort. But I would hardly call that "work", and certainly it is not of "hard" variety.

U.S. cultural norms, as the piece describes accurately, glorify and misrepresent "work" especially of the "hard" kind. Hmm I wonder where that notion came from and why it gained such a foothold in the prevailing groupthink?

In Japanese culture, to introduce another nuance, the concept of "hard work" is still present as a thing to be looked up to but it is more tinged with an air of "doing your best" or "doing your upmost" rather than "hard" (i.e. demanding) work and lacks the "you're going to get the payoff if you do" quid pro quo. The reward, in Japanese culture, comes from knowing you've done the best you can which is more a personal satisfaction than a financial compensator. But I am glossing over some complexity here so do not view what I've just said in this paragraph as anything other than a simplification.

ambrit , July 22, 2016 at 5:02 am

May I suggest that the "simplification" you mention is an essential part of any group control strategy. Simplified thinking may work wonders in efficiency studies or some sorts of high energy physics, but in the realm of social relations, simplicity masks diversity and complexity to the detriment of any version of "truth." I was lucky in having skeptical parents and some excellent minds among my High School teachers. The present regime of "teach to the test" here in America almost completely short circuits the teaching of critical thinking skills. With stressed parents increasingly abdicating their responsibilities towards the upbringing of their offspring in favour of the State, is it any wonder that the narrow interests of the State, such as the Iron Law of Institutions, are supplanting enlightenment in the minds of the young? We now must begin to consider the divergence of the interests of the Society from the interests of the State. With the balance of power swinging heavily in favour of the State these recent decades, I am not sanguine about the near term future of our culture.

timotheus , July 22, 2016 at 7:43 am

As is so often the case in American culture, the "hard work" meme emerges from the slave system. Slaves had to be bullied and terrorized in order to extract "hard work" from them, given that they had zero rewards of any tangible sort for it. So "hard work" required constant vigilance and frequent punishments while slaves rationally attempted to do the least amount of work that enabled them to escape the many types of tortures they were regularly threatened with.

Then after "emancipation," plantation owners complained that they could not get any of those lazy, shiftless Negroes to perform "hard work" for them, given that the newly freed men and women were much more interested in getting ahead for themselves than continuing to pick cotton or harvest rice for starvation wages. Ever since, we have lived with the embittered voice of the slaveowner infuriated at the loss of all that labor power he once had at his disposal for free. Thus the mythology that "hard work" is all you need to perform to get ahead and the implicit wink-wink-we-know-who-won't-do-that racism that goes along with it.

MsExPat , July 22, 2016 at 10:27 am

I don't think you are over-simplifying, Clive–in Hong Kong, too, my experience has been that most people I deal with in the work world take a great deal of intrinsic pride in doing a job efficiently and well, for its own sake, not because it will necessarily make you more money. (Although often that is the result– over-performing and exceeding expectations is a great way of ensuring repeat customers and a thriving business.)

Coming from the US, where every corporate smile and "Have a Nice Day" is being recorded for performance review, I find this a most refreshing cultural trait, one that I have tried my best to assimilate.

Uahsenaa , July 22, 2016 at 11:14 am

I would add to what Clive said that in Japan the ganbare ethos is also underlined by a certain expectation that your wider social group will back you up, or at least make certain your life doesn't fall off a cliff. This doesn't always work in practice, and there are obvious examples of social groups that the Japanese polity like to pretend simply doesn't exist, but it is a cultural expectation. You even see it among homeless camps in Japan, which constitute a very clear in group.

In the US, a great of anxiety stems from the realization that you could do your best in all circumstances and still have your life fall apart, since that social backstop just isn't there, especially not in the world of meritocracy, in which you're expected to basically give up your pre-existing social networks in order to even participate.

Portia , July 22, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I remember one job where my Boss warned me: "Nice guys finish last here."

Nice of him, eh?

Figure out the culture of your workplace, and if you can stomach it, do what you have to do to succeed. This is what the Obamas and the Clintons have done. And geez, they can stomach a lot. But I do know people who have "worked hard" and been successful in their own businesses, and musicians are a prime example of having to really do the work to get the work. It's who you want to be recognized by, in my way of thinking.

ewmayer , July 22, 2016 at 4:37 am

I often think the better saying would be "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make outrageously successful."

With outrageous – as in wildly-disproportionate-to-effort-and-actual-talent – success comes a sense of infallibility, inevitability, hubris. A self-centered personality-cult delusion – ergo a form of madness – which often ends in a spectacular undoing. Alas, not nearly often enough, when it comes to the DC cabal of hubristic upward-failing sociopaths.

GOP convention finished with a bang tonight, and thankfully the dire pre-convention worries about the streets of Cleveland flowing with rivers of blood proved unfounded – I'd studiously avoided the previous evenings, aside from a few brief nauseating while-channel-flipping glimpses – but happened to catch Trump himself tonight. While I disliked Trump's police-centric take on American security at home, I thought he really effectively hammered the issues of economic inequality – including a mention of soaring unemployment rates in the latino and black communities (I wish he would have said more in that vein, but he did at least say something) and governmental corruption at the highest levels, as well as Hillary's multiple foreign-policy debacles; the whole "what has 15 years of blowing shit up in the middle east done for us?" issue. Also made a very pronounced point of embracing Sanders' "top issue" of bad so-called-free-trade deals, while emphasizing the degree to which things were rigged against Bernie. And closed with a nifty turning of Hillary's pet slogan against her [I paraphrase, too tired to dig the exact quote out]: "she demands a three-word loyalty oath 'I`m with her' well I'm here to tell you tonight that I'm with you ."

And the speeches by his kids (Donald Jr last night, Ivanka tonight) were both good, and I think likely surprising – in a positive way – to many people. The image of the whole family onstage post-speech will likely resonate with the traditional Republican base – clean-cut successful-looking guys and attractive ladies of a leggy-blond (but not Barbie-esque/ditzy) type I expect even folks of a conservative Mormon bent will have found something to like in that image. Scott Adams comments on the kids :

What I'm starting to sniff in the zeitgeist today is that Trump's kids are totally changing what people think of the father. People are making the semi-rational assumption that anyone who can raise such good kids must be very different in private than he is on the campaign trail.

Would be interested to hear the takes of other NC readers who watched the nomination acceptance speech.

ambrit , July 22, 2016 at 5:20 am

Re "..a minority of one.." At least you go in for nuance and reflection. My take on H Clinton and her claque is that they all perceive the Candidate as a 'majority of one.'
Your comment about the wife of Trump reminds me of the old saying by Caesar that : " Caesars' wife must be above suspicion." Thus, the genesis of the "plagiarism" attacks. The mud slinging has started early in this campaign. However, if Trumps' family can exude some sense of charm and class, the entire mud slinging strategy can be 'stood on its' head.'

JerseyJeffersonian , July 22, 2016 at 9:28 am

Me, I'm terrified of Hillary Clinton and the devastation that her ascension to the Presidency might bring to this nation and to the world. She is not only a liar, a blatantly self-dealing criminal, but more devastating yet, a sociopath of the first water, willing to walk across the bodies to advance her personal and class agenda.

Her time as President would go a long way toward cementing the Unitary Executive in place (i.e., a functional Dictator, as understood in the Roman Republican meaning of the term, a Tribune, in which a chief magistrate of the State like the President under our Constitution, whose writ as an authoritarian ruler ran so long as there was a national emergency. I serve as the clerk for government documents in a university law library, and I can tell you that the number of House Documents announcing a "National Emergency" or the continuation of a previously announced "National Emergency" is very alarming. These "emergencies" are the camel's nose under the tent in my estimation for the slow accretion of Dictatorial powers (again, in the Roman Republican sense of the term "dictator") toward the Caesar-like role of Unitary Executive. These "National Emergencies" functionally invest power into the hands of the President and those forces military, legal, and regulatory under the control of the Executive by which the President can wage military, legal/diplomatic, and economic warfare against those who refuse to bend the knee to US-dominated global hegemony.

Our well-nigh useless Legislative branch has largely surrendered its Constitutional responsibilities to the Executive through such trash as Authorizations of Military Force rather than engaging in the mandated procedure of the Declaration of War found in the Constitution to authorize extended use of military (and legal and economic) force. This gives the Executive carte blanche to engage in unending wars (beginning to sound familiar?) with all that that implies concerning the dominance of the MIC in the formulation of national policies.

Hillary is practically salivating to grasp the rod of power embodied in the Unitary Executive. Warfare will follow her tenure in office like a dire shadow, and due to her belief in the right of and necessity of the US to enforce a global hegemony, she is inevitably moving toward a deadly clash with other nuclear powers unwilling to submit to the yoke of globalized, stateless, culturally-anodyne finance capitalism. Good times await.

And that is only the beginning, as the plans she has for the US citizenry are scarcely less dire, what with the inevitability of the Grand Bargain in service of Finance Capitalism looming dead ahead.

Clinton delenda est.

Russ Zimmerman , July 22, 2016 at 10:15 am

"Our well-nigh useless Legislative branch has largely surrendered its Constitutional responsibilities to the Executive through such trash as Authorizations of Military Force rather than engaging in the mandated procedure of the Declaration of War found in the Constitution to authorize extended use of military (and legal and economic) force."

That allows individuals to claim they had no responsibility for the war, something Pence and Clinton cannot claim because of their votes. But on what other things do you see Obama as being a strong "unitary executive." I thought it was generally viewed that Congress had thwarted his (almost) every wish.

flora , July 22, 2016 at 10:54 am

This seems pretty strong. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/feb/05/obama-kill-list-doj-memo

tegnost , July 22, 2016 at 11:16 am

Indeed, the republicans twisted barack's arm behind his back and forced him to allow insurance company lobbyists to write the "Affordable Care Act". Since you have tsa pre check I'll guess that your cadillac plan is still operational, or if not that that all the people who pay for insurance they can't use are subsidising you, and your own health care costs have been ameliorated. They also forced him to nominate merrick garland. They forced him to foam the runway for the banks and forced him to let all the bankster crimes go unpunished. My view is that obama, like hillary, is a republican because for both of them the policies they worked to advance are republican policies. TPP, ISDS, ACA, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning I could go on and on. I agree with the author that dems like obama and hillary are interested in serving the top sliver of the population that has the lions share of the wealth. It's not right/left anymore, it's top/bottom .

And how about that patriot act renewal, US out of iraq/afganistan? Vicky nuland and the ukraine? I guess the problem is that you get your information as it is generally viewed, but you fail to indicate who it is that generally views things that way, however, it should help you understand why trump will win because hillary is generally viewed as corrupt.

flora , July 22, 2016 at 5:59 am

I think both Obama and Trump were reciting a standard variation of the American Dream™. Horatio Alger stories are part of the US mythos. Bill Clinton used a variation in 1992. Most US pols use the "up from nothing by dint of hard work and good morals" line. The flap is that O and T used the exact same words instead of noting that the sentiment itself is boilerplate?

I'm intrigued by author's concluding idea. "It involves another attempt to take over the Republican Party, this time by the Clinton-led Democratic leadership. "

Roger Smith , July 22, 2016 at 7:16 am

" And if the words were lies coming out of Obama's mouth, what are they coming out of Trump's mouth? "

They are still lies, but they are lies in keeping with the ideology that dominates the party of which Trump is the nominee. Nimni summarized this well:

"Far from embarrassing Melania Trump and the GOP, then, it should be deeply humiliating for Democrats that their rhetoric is so bloodless and hollow that it can easily be spoken word-for-word in front of a gang of crazed racists. Instead of asking "why is Melania Trump using Michelle Obama's words?" we might think to ask "why is Michelle Obama using the right-wing rhetoric of self-reliance?"

A lot of this is related to the Democrats and what Bill made "successful" with his presidency. The lack of a truly left party that works for average citizens has created this environment when a character like Trump can gain such support. This article illustrates but another example of meritocratic nonsense being regurgitated by the party.

jrs , July 22, 2016 at 11:04 am

I think she initially claimed she wrote it didn't she? But yea it's clearly silly coming out of her mouth. Although being a model may be hard work (it could very well be frankly), she hasn't worked hard for years by now, and didn't get into such a privileged position by hard work (in whose definition exactly does marrying money count as hard work?).

So while in Michelle Obama's mouth the words are a lie, at least they might be a lie that's kind of true for her, in Misses Trumps mouth it's beyond silly. I have no idea if Mr Inherited Wealth and Misses Married Money do raise their kids that way or not. Wow the rich are crazy!!!

Hana M , July 22, 2016 at 6:16 am

A thought-provoking and unexpected take, Gaius Publius. I was struck by one item left off your list of lucky attributes: beauty. Both Michelle Obama and Melania Trump are undeniably beautiful women -– tall, slim, with the elegantly symmetrical features prized in every culture. Sadly in beauty-obsessed America the doors opened for women who look this lovely are shut hard against women who are fat, or old, or ugly.

MsExPat , July 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

+ Good point. Jane Sanders was repeatedly ridiculed for her appearance by pro-Hillary twitter bots during Bernie's campaign , and I doubt that would have happened had she been young, fashionable and svelte.

Hana M , July 22, 2016 at 11:32 am

There is a strong correlation between height and compensation. "When it comes to height, every inch counts–in fact, in the workplace, each inch above average may be worth $789 more per year, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology (Vol. 89, No. 3).

The findings suggest that someone who is 6 feet tall earns, on average, nearly $166,000 more during a 30-year career than someone who is 5 feet 5 inches–even when controlling for gender, age and weight."
http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/standing.aspx

Hana M , July 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm

That apparently is not true. One study of lawyers "found that those rated attractive on the basis of their graduation photographs went on to earn higher salaries than their less well-favoured colleagues. Moreover, lawyers in private practice tended to be better looking than those working in government departments." Even among economists, beauty pays and "attractive candidates were more successful in elections for office in the American Economic Association." http://www.economist.com/node/10311266

Roquentin , July 22, 2016 at 7:56 am

I had pretty much the exact same thought as your second "blackbird" when the video of Melania Trump plagiarizing Michele Obama's speech and all my liberal friends were yuking it up. All I could think was "If the same speech could plausibly come out of either of their mouths without alienating the audience, we have much worse problems than her Mrs. Trump's copycating." The fact that this seemed to bother hardly anyone else made it worse. So much of these elections just get reduced down to rooting for your team at a sporting event. This works well to keep people from having to deal with a lot of unpleasant questions and conclusions.

Or worse still, they've become so used to neoliberal platitudes like "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" that it's become "common sense" or the don't even recognize it as such.

A forgotten man , July 22, 2016 at 9:05 am

In case you missed it, T's entire speech was about the "forgotten man," those that work hard and still cannot make a living wage. The height of their dreams count for nothing. The system is rigged. Read Roosevelt's speech, Trump certainly did, for some real fear mongering and look at the coalition he has taken over the Republican party to form. FDR 1932.

Lambert Strether , July 22, 2016 at 11:41 am

> "another attempt to take over the Republican Party" Which shouldn't be that hard, since both the Democrat and Republican parties are neoliberal. As always, the real enemy is the left.

Jess , July 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm

I'm surprised Gaius failed to address this portion of Michelle's speech which he quoted: "tell the truth; keep your promises; treat others with dignity and respect."

Since when has Obama told the truth, or kept his promises, or treated anyone except Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blanfein with respect?

dingusansich , July 22, 2016 at 1:07 pm

you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise

Put aside whether "Michelle Obama" or some speechwriting merc came up with the banal verbiage redolent of Sunday school and Horatio Alger. What gives the snippet its special Trumpian turn into hyper-unreality, an ever-expanding balloon of hot boast and hyperbolic deceit, is the way it transcends garden-variety plagiarism by laying claim to the very virtues that the appropriation itself falsifies.

That's chutzpah! The stunning effrontery supersizes an overall meta-ness that's less indicative of middle-class morality and meritocracy than the predatory opportunism of the exploitative rich, what C. Wright Mills might have recognized as the "higher immorality." Here we have a colossally vain billionaire atop an empire of glitz and privilege kayfabing his way to a party nomination as the indignant voice of the brutalized working class he's dedicated his life to disparaging as envious losers. The mind reels between giddiness and nausea.

What then exists outside the genteel social Darwinism of meritocratic ideology and further descent into a society of the spectacle, the Reaganite sitcom devolved into the Trump unreality show? To the gnomic, sidelong mysticism of Stevens let's add the frontal transvaluation of a sardonic Shaw:

What am I, Governors both? I ask you, what am I? I'm one of the undeserving poor: that's what I am. Think of what that means to a man. It means that he's up agen middle class morality all the time. If there's anything going, and I put in for a bit of it, it's always the same story: 'You're undeserving; so you can't have it.' But my needs is as great as the most deserving widow's that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband. I don't need less than a deserving man: I need more. I don't eat less hearty than him; and I drink a lot more. I want a bit of amusement, cause I'm a thinking man. I want cheerfulness and a song and a band when I feel low. Well, they charge me just the same for everything as they charge the deserving. What is middle class morality? Just an excuse for never giving me anything.

Governors both, Democrats and Republicans, the meritocrats and the masters. What must be taken in is that the unskilled, the uneducated, the out of step, the unlucky, all need the means to live. If that's taken from them by the self-described deserving on the Acela and the higher immoralists in their towers and Gulfstreams, a democracy will begin to wobble like a spinning coin on the verge. You can't educate that away. You can't forever distract it away with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and color counter-revolutions against exploitative freeloaders (the non-rich and famous ones, that is). It takes an philosophy of human worth apart from vanities over this or that temporarily adaptive skill or happy accident.

When the market is be all and end all, an expression of natural law and supernatural giver of meaning, it's hard to see how even a managed, minimal democracy can prevail except as grotesque, corrupt parody, a mood traced in the shadow a decipherable cause. Or did I read something like that somewhere, like in a poem?

George S , July 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

I don't recall Ms. Obama's speech. Based on the excerpts I heard during the recent news cycle (from both speeches) were pathetic. I think Oren Nimni basically gets it right: When you cut through the tautologies and the bromides that many parents deliver to their children, what you have is the message, "don't expect government to be there for you; those days are over" (which, actually, sounds like Bubba Bill's pitch–"the day's of big government are over").

... ... ...

Tim , July 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm

If you work hard enough and have enough ambition you will succeed is not a lie to those born on 3rd base, it was true for them. The Obama's the Trumps. They are really just guilty of not understanding the plight of those who were born at bat against a major league pitcher.

... ... ...

[Aug 24, 2017] Sacrificing Smart Asians to Keep the Racial Peace - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... This peace-keeping aspect of affirmative action understood, perhaps we ought to view those smart Asians unfairly rejected from Ivy League schools as sacrificial lambs. ..."
Aug 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

The argument is that admitting academically unqualified blacks to elite schools is, at core, a policy to protect the racial peace and, as such, has nothing to do with racial justice, the putative benefits of diversity or any other standard justification. It is this peace- keeping function that explains why the entire establishment, from mega corporations to the military, endorses constitutionally iffy racial discrimination and why questioning diversity's benefits is the most grievous of all PC sins. Stated in cost-benefit terms, denying a few hundred (even a few thousand) high-SAT scoring Asians an Ivy League diploma and instead forcing them attend Penn State is a cheap price to pay for social peace.

This argument rests on an indisputable reality that nearly all societies contain distinct ethnic or religious groups who must be managed for the sake of collective peace. They typically lack the ability to economically compete, may embrace values that contravene the dominant ethos, or otherwise just refuse to assimilate. What makes management imperative is the possibility of violence either at an individual level, for example, randomly stabbing total strangers, or on a larger scale, riots and insurrections. Thus, in the grand scheme of modern America's potentially explosive race relations, academically accomplished Asians, most of whom are politically quiescent, are expendable, collateral damage in the battle to sustain a shaky status quo.

Examples of such to-be-managed groups abound. Recall our own tribulations with violent Indian tribes well into the 19 th century or what several European nations currently face with Muslims or today's civil war in Burma with the Karen People. Then there's Turkey's enduring conflict with the Kurds and long before the threat of Islamic terrorism, there were Basque separatists (the ETA ), and the Irish Republican Army . In the past 45 years, there have been more than 16,000 terror attacks in Western Europe according to the Global Terrorism Database . At a lower levels add the persistently criminal Gypsies who for 500 years have resisted all efforts to assimilate them. This listing is, of course, only a tiny sampling of distinct indigestible violence-prone groups.

The repertoire of remedies, successful and failed, is also extensive. Our native-American problem has, sad to say, been largely solved by the use of apartheid-like reservations and incapacitating a once war-like people with drugs and alcohol. Elsewhere generous self-rule has done the trick, for example, the Basques in Spain. A particularly effective traditional solution is to promote passivity by encouraging religious acceptance of one's lowly state.

Now to the question at hand: what is to be done regarding American blacks, a group notable for its penchant for violence whose economic advancement over the last half-century has largely stalled despite tens of billions and countless government uplift programs.

To appreciate the value of affirmative action recall the urban riots of the 1960s. They have almost been forgotten but their sheer number during that decade would shock those grown accustomed to today's relative tranquility. A sampling of cities with major riots includes Rochester, NY, New York City, Philadelphia, PA, Los Angeles, CA, Cleveland, OH, Newark, NJ, Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, Washington, DC and several smaller cities.

The damage from these riots! "uprisings" or "rebellions" according to some!was immense. For example, the Detroit riot of 1967 lasted five days and quelling it required the intervention of the Michigan Army National Guard and both the 82 nd and 101 st Airborne divisions. When it finally ended, the death toll was 43, some 7200 were arrested and more than 2000 buildings destroyed. Alas, much of this devastation remains visible today and should be a reminder of what could happen absent a policy of cooling out black anger.

To correctly understand how racial preferences at elite colleges serves as a cost-effective solution to potential domestic violence, recall the quip by comedian Henny Youngman when asked "How's your wife?" He responded with, "Compared to what?" This logic reflects a hard truth: when confronting a sizable, potentially disruptive population unable or unwilling to assimilate, a perfect solution is beyond reach. Choices are only among the lesser of evils and, to repeat, under current conditions, race-driven affirmative action is conceivably the best of the worst. A hard-headed realist would draw a parallel with how big city merchants survive by paying off the police, building and food inspectors, and the Mafia. Racial preferences are just one more item on the cost-of-doing business list–the Danegeld .

In effect, racial preferences in elite higher education (and beneficiaries includes students, professors and the diversity-managing administrators) separates the top 10% measured in cognitive ability from their more violent down market racial compatriots. While this manufactured caste-like arrangement hardly guarantees racial peace (as the black-on-white crime rate, demonstrates) but it pretty much dampens the possibility of more collective, well-organized related upheavals, the types of disturbances that truly terrify the white establishment. Better to have the handsomely paid Cornel West pontificating about white racism at Princeton where he is a full professor than fulminating at some Ghetto street corner. This status driven divide just reflects human nature. Why would a black Yalie on Wall Street socialize with the bro's left behind in the Hood? This is the strategy of preventing a large-scale, organized rebellion by decapitating its potential leadership. Violence is now just Chicago or Baltimore-style gang-banger intra-racial mayhem or various lone-wolf criminal attacks on whites.

Co-optation is a staple in the political management repertoire. The Soviet Union adsorbed what they called the "leading edge" into the Party (anyone exceptionally accomplished, from chess grandmasters or world-class athletes) to widen the divide the dominant elite, i.e., the Party, and hoi polloi. Election systems can be organized to guarantee a modicum of power to a handful of potential disruptors and with this position comes ample material benefits (think Maxine Waters). Monarchies have similarly managed potential strife by bestowing honors and titles on commoners. It is no accident that many radicals are routinely accused of "selling out" by their former colleagues in arms. In most instances the accusation is true, and this is by design.

To appreciate the advantages of the racial preferences in higher education consider Henny's "compared to what"? part of his quip. Certainly what successfully worked for quelling potential Native American violence, e.g., forced assimilation in "Indian Schools" or confinement in pathology-breeding reservations, is now totally beyond the pale though, to be sure, some inner-cities dominated by public housing are increasingly coming to resemble pathology-inducing Indian reservations. Even less feasible is some legally mandated homeland of the types advocated by Black Muslims.

I haven't done the math but I would guess that the entire educational racial spoils system is far more cost effective than creating a garrison state or a DDR-like police state where thousands of black trouble-makers were quickly incarcerated. Perhaps affirmative action in general should be viewed as akin to a nuisance tax, probably less than 5% of our GDP.

To be sure, affirmative action at elite universities is only one of today's nostrums to quell potential large scale race-related violence. Other tactics include guaranteeing blacks elected offices, even if this requires turning a blind eye toward election fraud, and quickly surrendering to blacks who demand awards and honors on the basis of skin color. Perhaps a generous welfare system could be added to this keep-the-peace list. Nevertheless, when all added up, the costs would be far lowers than dealing with widespread 1960s style urban violence.

This peace-keeping aspect of affirmative action understood, perhaps we ought to view those smart Asians unfairly rejected from Ivy League schools as sacrificial lambs. Now, given all the billions that have been saved, maybe a totally free ride at lesser schools would be a small price to pay for their dissatisfaction (and they would also be academic stars at such schools). Of course this "Asian only" compensatory scholarship might be illegal under the color blind requirements of 1964 Civil Right Act, but fear not, devious admission officers will figure out a way around the law.

Carlton Meyer > , Website August 16, 2017 at 4:21 am GMT

This 18 second video clip is a great real world summary:

Thomm > , August 16, 2017 at 4:56 am GMT

Interesting take. But risky because :

1) Asians will grow in power, and either force more fairness towards themselves, or return to Asia.
2) WN idiots happy about Asians returning to Asia fail to see that Asians will return only when they control enough of America to manage large parts of it from afar (like the tech industry).
3) 2-3 million top caliber white male Western Expats might just move to Asia, since they may like Asian women more, and want to be free of SJW idiocy. This is all it takes to fill the alleged gap Asia has in creativity, marketing, and sales expertise. Asia effectively decapitates the white West by taking in their best young men and giving them a great life in Asia.
4) America becomes like Brazil with all economic value colonized by Asians and the white expats in Asia with mixed-race children. White trashionalists left behind are swiftly exterminated by blacks, and white women mix with the blacks. America becomes a Brazil minus the fun culture, good weather, and attractive women.

Thomm > , August 16, 2017 at 5:03 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer At first, I was surprised that they listened to him.

After a while, I realized that many negros are stupid enough to think that Hispanics and Asians would like to be in some anti-white alliance with blacks as a senior partner. In reality, they have an even lower opinion of blacks than whites do. US blacks have zero knowledge of the world outside America, so this reality just doesn't register with them.

Diversity Heretic > , August 16, 2017 at 5:12 am GMT

John Derbyshire has made similar arguments–racial preferences are the price for social peace. But, as Steve Sailer has pointed out, we're running out of white and Asian children to buffer black dysfunction and Asians are going to get less and less willing to be "sacrificial lambs" for a black underclass that they did nothing to create and that they despise.

There are other ways to control the black underclass. You can force the talented ones to remain in their community and provide what leadership they can. Black violence can be met with instant retributive counter-violence. (Prior to the 1960s most race riots were white on black.) Whites can enforce white norms on the black community, who will sort-of conform to them as best they are able.

Finally, Rudyard Kipling had a commentary on Danegeld. It applies to paying off dysfunctional domestic minorities just as much to invading enemies.

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!"

War for Blair Mountain > , August 16, 2017 at 5:26 am GMT

Robert Weissberg

Could care less about your smart Asians The smart Asians are enthusiastivally voting Whitey into a racial minority on Nov 3 2020 They don't belong on Native Born White American Living and Breeding Space

jim jones > , August 16, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer This 18 second video clip is a great real world summary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHhy2Gk_xik You can just hears someone shouting at the end "Go back to Beijing"

Wally > , August 16, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT

Once you give in, they will keep demanding more & more.

There's always a manufactured excuse.

It's time to say no.

Bro Methylene > , August 16, 2017 at 5:34 am GMT

Please stop trying to confuse Orientals with Indians and other subcontinentals. They are quite distinct.

This reminds me of the sinister (but largely successful) campaign to conflate San Francisco with "Silicon Valley." The two are separate in every way.

Priss Factor > , Website August 16, 2017 at 5:55 am GMT

Hell with those 'smart Asians'. They are among the biggest Proglob a-holes.

Asians have servile genes that seek approval from the power. They are status-freaks.

They make perfect collaborators with the Glob.

Under communism, they made the most conformist commies.

Under Japanese militarism, they made the most mindless military goons who did Nanking.

Under Khmer Rouge, they were biggest looney killers.

Under PC, they make such goody good PC dogs.

If the prevailing culture of US was patriotic and conservatives, Asians would try to conform to that, and that wouldn't be so bad.

But since the prevailing culture is PC, these yellow dogs are among the biggest homomaniacal PC tards.

Hell with them. Yellow dogs voted for Obama and Hillary in high numbers. They despise, hate, and feel contempt for white masses and working class. They are servitors of the empire as Darrell Hamamoto said. He's one of the few good guys.

Just look at that Francis Fukuyama, that slavish dog of Soros. He's so disgusting. And then, you got that brown Asian tard Fareed Zakaria. What a vile lowlife. And that fat Jeer Heet who ran from dirty browns shi ** ing all over the place outdoors to live with white people but bitches about 'white supremacy'. Well, the fact that he ran from his own kind to live with whites must mean his own choice prefers white folks. His immigration choice was 'white supremacism'. After all, he could have moved to black Africa. Why didn't he?

PS. The best way of Affirmative Action is to limit it only to American Indians and Blacks of slave ancestry. That's it.

Also, institutions should OPENLY ADMIT that they do indeed discriminate to better represent the broader population. Fair or not, honesty is a virtue. What is most galling about AA is the lies that says 'we are colorblind and meritocratic but ' No more buts. Yes, there is discrimination but to represent larger population. Okay, just be honest.

Thomm > , August 16, 2017 at 6:21 am GMT

@Bro Methylene

Please stop trying to confuse Orientals with Indians and other subcontinentals. They are quite distinct.

In their original countries they are, but in America they are almost identical in all ways except appearance and diet.

Plus, since SE Asia has always had influence from both, there is a smooth continuum in the US across all of these groups by the time the 2nd generation rolls around.

Thomm > , August 16, 2017 at 6:28 am GMT

@War for Blair Mountain

They don't belong on Native Born White American Living and Breeding Space

Three things wrong with this sentence.

1) I don't think you know that Native Americans (i.e. Siberians) were here first.
2) I will bet anything that all 128 of your GGGGG-GPs are not English settlers who were here in 1776. You are probably some 2nd gen Polack or something who still worries that WASPs look down on you.
3) There is very high variance among whites, and white trashionalists are SOOOO far below the quality threshold of any moderately successful white that they can't claim to speak for all whites. White Trashionalists represent the waste matter that nature wants to purge (which is the process that enables exceptional whites to emerge on the other end of the scale). That is why white women are absolutely doing what nature wants, which is to cut off the White Trashionalists from reproduction. If you care about the white race, you should be glad that white women want nothing to do with you and allow you to complete you wastebasket role.

There.

helena > , August 16, 2017 at 6:33 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer That's hilarious. Anti-ma should replace their flags with placards saying, "Hey, Hey, this is Library!" at all counter-anti-fa demos.

Priss Factor > , Website August 16, 2017 at 6:36 am GMT

Will this really keep the peace?

Obama was one of the beneficiaries of AA along with his wife and their kids. Did that prevent Baltimore and Chicago and etc from blowing up?

In a way, AA and Civil Rights made black communities more volatile. When blacks were more stringently segregated, even smart and sensible blacks lived among blacks and played some kind of 'role model'. They ran businesses and kept in close contact with black folks.

It's like white communities in small towns used to be much better when the George Baileys stayed in them or returned to them and ran things.

But as more and more George Bailies left for the big cities, small towns had fewer top notch role models and leaders and enterprisers. Also, the filth of pop culture and youth degeneracy via TV corrupted the dummies. And then, when globalism took away the industries, there were just people on opioids. At least old timers grew up with family and church. The new generation grew up on Idiocracy.

Anyway, AA will just taken more black talent from black community and mix them with whites, Asians, and etc. Will some of these blacks use their power and privilege to incite black mobs to violence? Some do go radical. But most will just get their goodies and forget the underclass except in some symbolic way. It's like Obama didn't do crap as 'community organizer'. He just stuck close to rich Jews in Hyde Park, and as president, he was serving globo-wars, Wall Street, and homos.
When he finally threw a bone at the blacks in his second term, it lit cities on fire.

Did the black underclass change for the better because they saw Obama as president? No. If anything, it just made them bolder as flashmobs. The way blacks saw it, a bunch of fa ** ogty wussy white people voted for a black guy created by a black man sexually conquering a white woman. They felt contempt for cucky whites, especially as rap culture and sports feature blacks as master race lording over whites. To most underclass blacks, the only culture they know is sports and rap and junk they see on TV. And they are told blacks are magical, sacred, badass, and cool. And whites are either 'evil' if they have any pride or cucky-wucky wussy if they are PC.

The Murrayian Coming-Apart of whites took place already with blacks before. And more AA that takes in smarter blacks will NOT make things better for black underclass. And MORE blacks in elite colleges will just lead to MORE anger issues, esp as they cannot keep up with other students.

Even so, I can understand the logic of trying to win over black cream of crop. Maybe if they are treated nice and feel 'included', they won't become rabble-rousers like Al Sharpton and act more like Obama. Obama's race-baiting with Ferguson was bad but could have been worse with someone like Sharpton.

The Power can try to control a people in two ways. Crush everyone OR give carrots to comprador elites so that sticks can be used on masses. Clinton did this. He brought over black elites, and they worked with him to lock up record number of Negroes to make cities safer. As Clinton was surrounded by Negroes and was called 'first black president' by Toni Morrison, many blacks didn't realize that he was really working to lock up lots of black thugs and restore order.

Smart overlords play divide-and-conquer by offering carrots to collaborator elites and using sticks on masses.
British Imperialists did that. Gandhi would likely have collaborated with Brits if not for the fact that he was called a 'wog' in South Africa and kicked off a train. Suddenly, he found himself as ONE with the poor and powerless 'wogs' in the station. He was made equal with his own kind.

Consider Jews in the 30s and even during WWII. Many Western European Jews became rich and privileged and felt special and put on airs. Many felt closer to gentile elites and felt contempt and disdain for many 'dirty' and 'low' Eastern European Jews. If Hitler had been cleverer and offered carrots to rich Jews, there's a good chance that many of them would have collaborated and worked with the Power to suppress or control lower Jews, esp. of Eastern European background.

But Hitler didn't class-discriminate among Jews. He went after ALL of them. Richest Jew, poorest Jew, it didn't matter. So, even many rich Jews were left destitute if not dead after WWII. And this wakened them up. They once had so much, but they found themselves with NOTHING. And as they made their way to Palestine with poor Eastern European Jewish survivors, they felt a strong sense of ethnic identity. Oppression and Tragedy were the great equalizer. Having lost everything, they found what it really means to be Jewish. WWII and Holocaust had a great traumatic equalizing effect on Jews, something they never forgot since the war, which is why very rich Jews try to do much for even poor Jews in Israel and which is why secular Jews feel a bond with funny-dressed Jewish of religious sects.

For this reason, it would be great for white identity if the New Power were to attack ALL whites and dispossess all of them. Suppose globalism went after not only Deplorables but Clintons, Bushes, Kaineses, Kerrys, Kennedys, and etc. Suppose all of them were dispossessed and humiliated and called 'honkers'. Then, like Gandhi at the train station, they would regain their white identity and identify with white hoi polloi who've lost so much to globalism. They would become leaders of white folks.
But as long as carrots are offered to the white elites, they go with Glob and dump on whites. They join with the GLOB to use sticks on white folks like in Charlottesville where sticks were literally used against patriots who were also demeaned as 'neo-nazis' when most of them weren't.

So, I'm wishing Ivy Leagues will have total NO WHITEY POLICY. It is when the whites elites feel rejected and humiliated by the Glob that they will return to the masses.

Consider current Vietnam. Because Glob offers them bribes and goodies, these Viet-cuck elites are selling their nation to the Glob and even allowing homo 'pride' parades.

White Genocide that attacks ALL whites will have a unifying effect on white elites and white masses. It is when gentiles targeted ALL Jews that all Jews, rich and poor, felt as one.

But the Glob is sneaky. Instead of going for White Genocide that targets top, middle, and bottom, it goes for White Democide while forgoing white aristocide. So, white elites or neo-aristocrats are rewarded with lots of goodies IF they go along like the Romneys, Clintons, Kaines, Bidens, and all those quisling weasels.

jilles dykstra > , August 16, 2017 at 7:00 am GMT

" Now to the question at hand: what is to be done regarding American blacks, a group notable for its penchant for violence whose economic advancement over the last half-century has largely stalled despite tens of billions and countless government uplift programs. "

I read an article, making a learned impression, that on average USA blacks have a lower IQ.
I do suppose that IQ has a cultural component, nevertheless, those in western cultures with a lower IQ can be expected to have less economic success.
A black woman who did seem to understand all this was quoted in the article as that 'blacks should be compensated for this lower IQ'.
One can discuss this morally endless, but even if the principle was accepted, how is it executed, and where is the end ?
For example, people with less than average length are also less successful, are we going to compensate them too ?

Simon in London > , August 16, 2017 at 7:18 am GMT

"economic advancement over the last half-century has largely stalled despite tens of billions and countless government uplift programs"

It only stalled when the Great Society and the uplift programs started. According to The Bell Curve there was basically an instant collapse when LBJ started to wreaking his havoc. Go back to pre-1964 norms and no late-60s riots.

Kyle McKenna > , August 16, 2017 at 7:45 am GMT

We have sacrificed smart white students for three generations to keep the hebraic component around 30% at our highest-ranked colleges and universities, and no one (except the jewish Ron Unz himself) made so much as a peep. And as he copiously documented, whites have suffered far more discrimination than asians have. The difference is, whites are more brainwashed into accepting it.

I hope this doesn't need linking here, but wth

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/

Realist > , August 16, 2017 at 8:04 am GMT

"Sacrificing Smart Asians to Keep the Racial Peace"

It is the sacrificing of smart white students that is the problem. Of all the races whites, on average are more innovative and ambitious.

Tom Welsh > , August 16, 2017 at 9:11 am GMT

"The argument is that admitting academically unqualified blacks to elite schools is, at core, a policy to protect the racial peace "

In simpler language, appeasement.

Tom Welsh > , August 16, 2017 at 9:16 am GMT

@War for Blair Mountain "They don't belong on Native Born White American Living and Breeding Space "

Your statement would be perfectly correct if it read, "White people of European origin don't belong on Native American Living and Breeding Space "

Yet there they are, in immense, pullulating numbers. And now they have the gall to complain that other people – some of whom resemble the few surviving Native Americans far more closely than Whites do – are coming to "their" continent.

Honestly, what is the world coming to when you spend centuries and millions of bullets, bottles of whisky and plague-ridden blankets getting rid of tens of millions of people so you can steal their land – and then more people like you come along and want to settle peaceably alongside you? That's downright un-American.

Maybe you'd be more comfortable if the Asian immigrants behaved more like the European settlers – with fire, sword, malnutrition and pestilence.

Tom Welsh > , August 16, 2017 at 9:24 am GMT

@Diversity Heretic The Kipling quote is stirring and thought-provoking (like most Kipling quotes). But it is not entirely correct.

Consider the kings of France in the 10th century, who were confronted by the apparently insoluble problem of periodic attacks by bands of vicious, warlike, and apparently irresistible Vikings. One king had the bright idea of buying the Northmen off by granting them a very large piece of land in the West of France – right where the invading ships used to start up the Seine towards Paris.

The Northmen settled there, became known as Normans, and held Normandy for the rest of the Middle Ages – in the process absolutely preventing any further attacks eastward towards Paris. The dukes of Normandy held it as a fief from the king, and thus did homage to him as his feudal subordinates.

They did conquer England, Sicily, and a few other places subsequently – but the key fact is that they left the tiny, feeble kingdom of France alone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normans#Settling_of_Normandy

Wizard of Oz > , August 16, 2017 at 9:27 am GMT

Ratioal cost benefit arguments could be applied much more widely to the benefit of America and other First World countries. If otherwise illegal drugs were legalised, whether to be prescribed by doctors or not, it would save enormous amounts of money on law enforcement and, subject to what I proffer next, incarceration.

What is the downside? The advocates of Prohibition weren't wrong about the connection of alcohol and lower productivity. That was then. If, say, 10 per cent of the population were now disqualified from the workforce what would it matter. The potential STEM wizards amongst them (not many) would mostly be nurtured so that it was only the underclass which life in a daze. And a law which made it an offence, effectively one for which the penalty was to be locked up or otherwise deprived of freedom to be a nuisance, to render oneself unfit to perform the expected duties of citizenship would have collateral benefits in locking up the right underclass males.

Logan > , August 16, 2017 at 9:45 am GMT

@Bro Methylene "Orientals," east Asians, or just Asians in American parlance are indeed quite different from south Asians, called "Asians" in the UK,. These are quite different groups.

But the groups of east and south Asians include widely differing peoples. A Korean doesn't have much in common with a Malay, nor a Pathan with a Tamil. Probably not much more than either has in common with the other group or with white Americans.

That they "all look alike" to use does not really mean the do, it just means we aren't used to them.

Was recently watching an interesting Chinese movie and had enormous difficulty keeping the characters straight, because they did indeed all look alike to me. I wonder if Chinese people in China have similar trouble watching old American movies.

Colleen Pater > , August 16, 2017 at 10:19 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer yeah and hispanics are natural conservatives. dont be a cuck once that slant is here long enough he will tumble to the game and get on the anti white bandwagon. and sure asians will eventually out jew the jews just what we need another overlord, only this one a huge percentage or world pop. .

Colleen Pater > , August 16, 2017 at 10:28 am GMT

You know weisberg youre not fooling anyone here peddle that cuck crap elsewhere affirmative action leads to nothing but more affirmative action at this point everyone but white males gets it, and you my jew friend know this so selling it to sucker cucks as the cost of doing business is just more jew shenanigans. There is a much better solution to the problem peoples deport them back where they belong israel africa asia central america.

joeshittheragman > , Website August 16, 2017 at 11:12 am GMT

This is all about nothing now. The only thing White people have to learn anymore is controlled breathing, good position, taking up trigger slack, letting the round go at exactly the right moment – one round, one hit.

Jake > , August 16, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

When your child tosses a tantrum and tears up his bedroom, and you tell him his mean-spirited, selfish cousins caused it and then you reward him with a trip to Disneyland and extra allowance: then you guarantee more and worse tantrums.

That is what America and America's Liberals, the Elites, have done with blacks and violence.

Astuteobservor II > , August 16, 2017 at 11:58 am GMT

ha, there is another group that is preying on the asian group and it is omitted.

TG > , August 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm GMT

A very interesting post. Really a unique perspective – who cares if it's not fair, if it is necessary to keep the peace?

I do however disagree with one of your points. " whose economic advancement over the last half-century has largely stalled despite tens of billions and countless government uplift programs."

I think you have missed the main event. Over the last half-century the elites of this nation have waged ruthless economic warfare AGAINST poor blacks in this country, to an extent that far dwarfs the benefits of affirmative action (for a typically small number of already privileged blacks).

Up through the 1960′s, blacks were starting to do not so bad. Yes they were in a lot of menial jobs, but many of these were unionized and the pay was pretty good. I mean, if nobody else wants to sweep your floors, and the only guy willing to do it i s black, well, he can ask for a decent deal.

Then our elites fired black workers en masse, replacing them with Mexican immigrants and outsourcing to low-wage countries. Blacks have had their legs cut off with a chainsaw, and the benefits of affirmative action (which nowadays mostly go to Mexicans etc.!) little more than a bandaid.

And before we are too hard on blacks, let me note that whites are also being swept up in the poverty of neoliberal globalization, and they too are starting to show social pathology.

Because in terms of keeping the social peace, there is one fundamental truth more important than all others: there must be some measure of broadly shared prosperity. Without it, even ethnically homogeneous and smart and hard working people like the Japanese or Chinese will tear themselves apart.

Anonymouse > , August 16, 2017 at 12:58 pm GMT

Not New York. Wife & I were living there then and Mayor Lindsay went to Harlem and NYC negroes did not riot after MLK Jr was assassinated.

Jake > , August 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Note that there is not a word in this article about what this does to the white working class and how it can be given something in return for allowing Elites to bribe blacks with trillions and trillions of dollars in goodies. Nor is there is there any indication that this process eventually will explode, with too many blacks demanding so much it cannot be paid.

George Weinbaum > , August 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT

Was this written tongue in cheek?
Affirmative action will never end. The bribes will never end. The US made a mistake in the 1960s. We should have contained the riots then let the people in those areas sleep in the burned out rubble. Instead through poverty programs we rewarded bad black behavior.
By filling the Ivy League with blacks we create a new class of Cornell West's for white people to listen to. We enhance the "ethos" of these people.
Eventually, certainly in no more than 40 years, we will run out of sacrifices. What then when whites constitute only 40% of the American population? Look at South Africa today.
We have black college graduates with IQs in the 80s! They want to be listened to. After all, they're college graduates.
I do not believe you have found "a cost-effective solution to potential domestic violence".
You mix in this "top 10%" and they get greater acceptance by whites who are turned left in college.

dearieme > , August 16, 2017 at 1:05 pm GMT

"The argument is that admitting academically unqualified blacks to elite schools is, at core, a policy to protect the racial peace "

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: –
"We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: –
"Though we know we should defeat you,
we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: –

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

whose economic advancement over the last half-century has largely stalled despite tens of billions and countless government uplift programs.

The reality of this is become a huge stumbling block. In fact this group has actually been mostly regressing into violence and stupidity, going their own separate way as exemplified by their anti-social music which celebrates values repugnant to the majority. Look at the absurd level of shootings in cities like Chicago. That's not changing anytime soon. They're by far overrepresented in Special Ed, juvenile delinquency, prisons and all other indicators of dysfunction. Their talented tenth isn't very impressive as compared to whites or Asians. Their entire middle class is mostly an artificial creation of affirmative action. The point is that they can only be promoted so far based on their capability. The cost of the subsidy gets greater every year and at some point it'll become too heavy a burden and then it'll be crunch time. After the insanity of the Cultural Revolution the Chinese had to come to their senses. It's time to curtail our own version of it.

Truth > , August 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm GMT

It really is terrible and unfair that an Asian needs to score so much higher than you white oppressors to get into the Ivy league

A Princeton study found that students who identify as Asian need to score 140 points higher on the SAT than whites to have the same chance of admission to private colleges, a difference some have called "the Asian tax."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/us/affirmative-action-battle-has-a-new-focus-asian-americans.html

You All Look Like Ants > , August 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm GMT

I think this is brilliant satire.
It is actually an argument that is logically sound. Doesn't mean that it's good or sensible or even workable over the long run.
It's just logically sound. It holds together if one accepts the not-crazy parts its made out of.
I don't believe it's meant to be taken literally, because both the beneficiaries and those who get screwed will grow in their resentment and the system would melt down.
New fields with the word "studies' in them would get added and everyone would know – deep down – why that is so, and Asians would continue to dominate the hard sciences, math and engineering.
Still, as satire, it's so close to the bone that it works beautifully.

helena > , August 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh "Yet there they are, in immense, pullulating numbers. And now they have the gall to complain that other people – some of whom resemble the few surviving Native Americans far more closely than Whites do – are coming to "their" continent."

Agree. The country should be returned to pre-1700 conditions and given over to anyone who wants it.

Rich > , August 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

@Anonymouse I guess one man's riot is another man's peaceful night. There was a bit of rioting in Brooklyn that night, businesses burned and looted, and a handful of businesses were looted in Harlem. There was a very heavy police presence with Mayor Lindsey that night and blacks were still very segregated in 1968, so I'd guess it was more that show of force that prevented the kind of riots we'd seen earlier and in other cities at that time. Still, there was looting and burning, so New York's blacks don't get off the hook. As a personal note. my older brother and his friends were attacked by a roving band of blacks that night in Queens, but managed to chase them out of our neighborhood.

Thorfinnsson > , August 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

The costs of BRA may be lower than the costs of 1960s urban riots, though an accurate accounting would be difficult as many costs are not easily tabulated.

Consider, for instance, the costs of excluding higher performing whites and Asians from elite universities. Does this result in permanently lower salaries from them as a result of greater difficulty in joining an elite career track?

What costs do affirmative action impose upon corporations, especially those with offices in metropolitan areas with a lot of blacks? FedEx is famously centralized in Memphis. What's the cost to me as a shipper in having to deal with sluggish black customer service personnel?

The blacks are 15% of the population, so I doubt "garrison state" costs would be terribly high. I am certain that segregation was cheaper than BRA is. The costs of segregation were overlooking some black talent (negligible) and duplication of certain facilities (I suspect this cost is lower than the cost of white flight).

War for Blair Mountain > , August 16, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMT

How did America ever manage to survive when there hardly any Chinese Hindus..Sihks .Koreans in OUR America?

Answer:Very well thank you!!!! ..America 1969=90 percent Native Born White American .places two Alpha Native Born White American Males on the Moon 10 more after this Who the F would be opposed to this?

Answer:Chinese "Americans" Korean "Americans" Hindu "Americans" .Sihk "Americans" .Pakistani "Americans"

Jason Liu > , August 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

There would still be racial peace if affirmative action was abolished. They'll bitch for a while, but they'll get used it and the dust will settle.

Side note: Affirmation action also disproportionately helps white women into college, and they're the largest group fueling radical leftist identity politics/feminism on campus. In other words, affirmative action is a large contributor to SJWism, the media-academia complex, and the resulting current political climate.

anarchyst > , August 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra The statement "blacks should be compensated for this lower IQ" is no different than the descendents of the so-called jewish "holocaust ™" being compensated in perpetuity by the German government. Now, there are calls by the jewish "holocaust ™" lobby to extend the financial compensation to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these so-called "holocaust ™ survivors, stating the fake concept of "holocaust ™" transference" just another "holocaust ™" scam
Same thing.

bjondo > , August 16, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

Smart means what?

More Monsanto, DuPont cancers and degraded foods.
New diseases from medical, biological, genetic research
More spying and censorship and stealing by Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, high IQ thieves.
All jobs overseas, domestic unemployment, endless wars, by the best and brightest.
Toxic pollution, mental pollution that dwarfs the back yard pollution of tires and old refrigs by "low IQ deplorables (white and black and brown".
Degraded, degrading entertainment and fake news to match fake histories by Phds.
Tech devices that are "wonderful" but life is actually better more meaningful without.

Poupon Marx > , August 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT

[Blacks] "whose economic advancement over the last half-century has largely stalled despite tens of billions and countless government uplift programs." No, Professor, it is Trillions spend over the last 50 years and millions before that. Countless Whites and other non-Negroid people have had to step aside in education, military, government, private industry, to let the lesser person advance and leap frog the accepted virtue-merit path to advancement. AND IT STILL IS NOT ENOUGN FOR BLECKS.

The obvious solution is to separate into uni-racial/ethnic states. For Whites, this would include a separate autocephalous, independent state of Caucasians, Asians, and Hindu. This is the Proto-IndoEuropean Family, related by genes and languages.

jim jones > , August 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

@Logan I have the same trouble with Korean movies, all the women look the same:

Rdm > , August 16, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

@Thomm Interesting take. But risky because :

1) Asians will grow in power, and either force more fairness towards themselves, or return to Asia.
2) WN idiots happy about Asians returning to Asia fail to see that Asians will return only when they control enough of America to manage large parts of it from afar (like the tech industry).
3) 2-3 million top caliber white male Western Expats might just move to Asia, since they may like Asian women more, and want to be free of SJW idiocy. This is all it takes to fill the alleged gap Asia has in creativity, marketing, and sales expertise. Asia effectively decapitates the white West by taking in their best young men and giving them a great life in Asia.
4) America becomes like Brazil...with all economic value colonized by Asians and the white expats in Asia with mixed-race children. White trashionalists left behind are swiftly exterminated by blacks, and white women mix with the blacks. America becomes a Brazil minus the fun culture, good weather, and attractive women. Could agree 1 and 2.

2-3 millions Top caliber White males moving to Asia?

haha, Top caliber White males (American) will stay in America, screw the rest WN, devour all the resources available, not only in America, but from the rest of the world.

This is a real White so-called Top caliber White males enjoying in Philippines.

You can see the typical features of White in Asia

1. Bald
2. Obese
3. Lanky
4. Gold watch
5. Cargo pants
6. Flip flop

You can't get away those Top caliber White males features in Asia.

Greg Bacon > , Website August 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm GMT

I'm guessing the author would be screaming at the top of his lungs if it was Jewish students being told to go to some state university–instead of Harvard–since we have to make room for blacks.

BTW, your comment "..Recall our own tribulations with violent Indian tribes" needs clarification. Maybe the tribes got violent because of the 400 treaties Uncle Sam made with the various tribes, he honored NONE

Abelard Lindsey > , August 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm GMT

I would call it the Diversity Tax.

üeljang > , August 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm GMT

@jim jones A great part of that is because, well, let's say that the place where those actresses have got their work done is the same.

Whites have much greater natural variations in hair and eye color, but skin color among East Asian individuals is more naturally variable (especially when the effect of tanning is considered), and their facial features and somatotypes are also more diverse in my opinion. For example, East Asian populations contain some individuals who have what the Japanese call futae mabuta "double eyelids" and some individuals who have what they call hitoe mabuta "single eyelids," whereas White populations contain only individuals who have "double eyelids." Whether such increased physical variability is positive or negative probably depends on one's viewpoint; in the case of that eyelid polymorphism, the variant that is found in Asians but not in Whites is generally considered neutral or even positive when it occurs in male individuals, but negative when it occurs in female individuals, so plastic surgeons must be overflowing with gratitude for the single eyelid gene.

Alden > , August 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm GMT

@Thorfinnsson The separate school facilities meant a major saving in the costs of school police and security guards, resource teachers, counselors buses and bus drivers, and layers and layers of administrators trying to administer the mess.

Separate schools were a lot cheaper in that the black teachers kept the lid on the violence with physical punishment and the White teachers and students had a civilized environment.

The old sunshine laws kept blacks out of White neighborhoods after dark which greatly reduced black on White crime. In the north, informal neighborhood watches kept black on White crime to a minimum until block by block the blacks conquered the cities.

George Wallace said segregation now, segregation forever. I say sterilization now, problem solved in 80 years.

Asians??? I went to college with the White WASP American young men who were recruited and went to work in Mountain View and Cupertino and the rest of Santa Clara county and invented Silicon Valley.

Not one was Asian or even Jewish. And they invented it and their sons couldn't even get into Stanford because their sons are White American men.

I think the worst thing about affirmative action is that government jobs are about the only well paid secure jobs that still stick to the 40 hour work week. Government is the largest employer in the country. And those jobs are "no Whites need apply".

BTW I read the Protocols years before the Internet. I had to make an appointment to go into a locked section of a research library. I had to show ID. It was brought to me and I had to sit where I could be seen to read it. I had to sign an agreement that I would not copy anything from the protocols.

And there it was, the fourth protocol.
"We shall see to it brothers, that we shall see to it that they appoint only the incompetent and unfit to their government positions. And thus we shall conquer them from within"

Alden > , August 16, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

@Thomm Actually, Europeans arrived 20, to 30,000 years ago from Europe and were wiped out by the later arriving Asians.

Beckow > , August 16, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

@Thomm Only 4) is remotely possible. And Brazilian women are not that attractive, they are nice looking on postcards, but quite dumpy and weird-looking in person. But that is a matter of personal taste.

The reason 1,2,3 are nonsensical is that geography and resources matter. Asia simply doesn't have them, it is not anywhere as attractive to live in as North America or Europe and never will be. It goes beyond geographic resources, everything from architecture, infrastructure, culture is simply worse in Asia and it would take hundreds of years to change that.

So why the constant 'go to Asia' or 'Asia is the future'? It might be a temporary escape for many desperate, self-hating, white Westerners, a place to safely worship as they give up on it all. Or it could be the endless family links with the Asian women. But that misreads that most of the Asian families are way to clear-headed to exchange what the are trying to escape for the nihilistic dreams of their white partners. They are the least likely to go to Asia, they know it instinctively, they know what they have been trying to escape.

It is possible that the West is on its last legs, and many places are probably gone for good. But Asia is not going to step up and replace it. It is actually much worse that that – we are heading for a dramatic downturn and a loss of comfort and civilization. Thank you Baby Boomers – you are the true end-of-liners of history.

nickels > , August 16, 2017 at 4:52 pm GMT

Except that, of course, as with all forms of appeasement, it isn't working .

Alec Leamas (hard at work) > , August 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm GMT

Bright and talented white kids from non-elite families stuck between the Scylla and Charybdis of Cram-Schooled Study-Asians with no seeming limit to their tolerance for tedium and 90 IQ entitled blacks is 2017 in a nutshell.

Realist > , August 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

Weissberg is a nutless quisling. The proper way to handle blackmail is to stop it in it's tracks.

Peaceful demonstrations are fine, property destroying riots should be stopped by any means necessary. Blacks would soon stop their dumb shit actions

Liberty Mike > , August 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm GMT

@George Weinbaum That there Cornell West is a learned fellow. I bet his vocabulary is bigger than that of GWB and DJT – combined.

Liberty Mike > , August 16, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT

@Truth That study was slanted.

Jeff77450 > , August 16, 2017 at 5:17 pm GMT

Said in all seriousness: I genuinely feel sorry for blacks but not because of slavery & Jim Crow. Those were great evils but every group has gone through that. No, I feel sorry for them because their average IQ of 85–yes, it is–combined with their crass thug culture, which emphasizes & rewards all the wrong things, is going to keep them mired in dysfunction for decades to come. Men like Thomas Sowell & Walter Williams have all the information that blacks need to turn themselves around but they won't listen, I guess because the message is take responsibility for yourselves and your families and refuse to accept charity in all its different forms to include AA.

"Thomas Sowell vs Affirmative Action's failures" (~13 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agkye3vlG0Q

MEFOBILLS > , Website August 16, 2017 at 5:34 pm GMT

From the author:

some legally mandated homeland of the types advocated by Black Muslims.

Why not pay people to leave? A law change would convert the money supply from bank money to sovereign money.

AMI's HR2990 would convert the money supply overnight, and nobody would be the wiser.

At that point, new public money could be channeled into funding people to leave. Blacks that don't like it in the U.S. would be given X amount of dollars to settle in an African country of their choice. This public money can be formed as debt free, and could also be directed such that it can only buy American goods. In other words, it can be forced to channel, to then stimulate the American economy.

In this way, the future works, to then get rid of disruptive future elements.

It always boils down to the money system. There is plenty of economic surplus to then fund the removal of indigestible elements.

People automatically assume that the money supply must be private bank credit, as that is the way it always has been. NO IT HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY.

http://www.sovereignmoney.eu

Astuteobservor II > , August 16, 2017 at 5:41 pm GMT

@Alden source please, that I would like to read. something new.

Rdm > , August 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm GMT

@helena If Whites leave America and go back to their origin, no one, I repeat, NO ONE would complain about that. They'd be singing "God Riddance" song all along.

No one wants to migrate to Ukraine, a white country.
No one wants to migrate to Hungary, a white country.
No one wants to migrate to Austria, a white country.

Everyone wants to migrate to the place where there's an over-bloated sense of job availability. In this case, America offers an ample amount of opportunity.

Let's wait and see how universities in CA populated with merit-based Asian Americans overrule all universities in the US anytime soon.

Name any state in the US that produces more than two universities (in the Top 50 list) in the world.

No state can compete against CA. You wonder why?

segundo > , August 16, 2017 at 6:34 pm GMT

Are you utterly oblivious to the fact that well over 95% of the blacks getting AAed into universities are then being trained/indoctrinated into being future disruptive activists? Activists with credentials, more money and connections. Entirely counterproductive and much of it on the taxpayers' dime. If there is a solution, AA isn't it.

Diversity Heretic > , August 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT

@Rdm Can I count you in on the Calexit movement–followed by the purge of whites? Freed from the burden of those miserable European-origin Americans, the Asian-Negro-Mestizo marvel will be a shining light to the rest of the world!

David > , August 16, 2017 at 7:05 pm GMT

I waited to make this comment until the serious thinkers had been here. Did anyone notice the dame in the picture is giving us the finger? I did a little experiment to see if my hand could assume that position inadvertently and it couldn't. It aptly illustrates the article, either way.

Alec Leamas (hard at work) > , August 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm GMT

@Rdm

Name any state in the US that produces more than two universities (in the Top 50 list) in the world.

No state can compete against CA. You wonder why?

If you took the land mass of CA and imposed it on the U.S. East Coast between Boston and South Carolina, I don't think it'd be a problem to surpass California in any Top 50 University competition.

I'm not sure what your point is here.

The Realist > , Website August 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm GMT

Here's a simpler and more effective solution-KILL ALL NIGGERS NOW. See, not so difficult, was it? Consider it a Phoenix Program for the American Problem. Actually, here's another idea-KILL ALL LIBERALS NOW. That way, good conservative people of different races, sexes, etc., can be saved from the otherwise necessary carnage. Remember, gun control is being able to hit your target.

Mis(ter)Anthrope > , August 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm GMT

The affirmative action game may well serve the interests of the cognitive elite whites, but it has been a disaster for the rest of white America. I have a better solution.

Give the feral negroes what they have been asking for. Pull all law enforcement out of negro hellholes like Detroit and South Chicago and let nature take its course.

Send all Asians and other foreigners who not already citizens back to their homelands. End all immigration except very special cases like the whites being slaughtered in South Africa or the spouse of a white American male citizen.

Thomm > , August 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm GMT

@Rdm I am not referring to guys like in the picture.

I am referring to the very topmost career stars, moving to Asia for the expat life. Some of that is happening, and it could accelerate. Only 2-3 million are needed.

Wally > , Website August 16, 2017 at 8:31 pm GMT

@Kyle McKenna " And as he copiously documented, whites have suffered far more discrimination than asians have. The difference is, whites are more brainwashed into accepting it. "

And that's the function of the fraudulent, impossible '6M Jews, 5M others, gas chambers'.

[MORE]

"The historical mission of our world revolution is to rearrange a new culture of humanity to replace the previous social system. This conversion and re-organization of global society requires two essential steps: firstly, the destruction of the old established order, secondly, design and imposition of the new order. The first stage requires elimination of all frontier borders, nationhood and culture, public policy ethical barriers and social definitions, only then can the destroyed old system elements be replaced by the imposed system elements of our new order.

The first task of our world revolution is Destruction. All social strata and social formations created by traditional society must be annihilated, individual men and women must be uprooted from their ancestral environment, torn out of their native milieus, no tradition of any type shall be permitted to remain as sacrosanct, traditional social norms must only be viewed as a disease to be eradicated, the ruling dictum of the new order is; nothing is good so everything must be criticized and abolished, everything that was, must be gone."

from: 'The Spirit Of Militarism', by Nahum Goldmann
Goldmann was the founder & president of the World Jewish Congress

see the 'holocaust' scam debunked here:

http://codoh.com

No name calling, level playing field debate here:

http://forum.codoh.com

Liberty Mike > , August 16, 2017 at 8:31 pm GMT

@Rdm Almost all white people would rather migrate to Austria, Hungary, and the Ukraine than the following citadels of civilization:

Angola
Botswana
Burundi
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Djibouti
Ethiopia
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Gabon
Ghana
Kenya
Niger
Nigeria
South Africa
Sudan
Swaziland
Tanzania
Uganda
Zambia

You know what? I bet most blacks would as well.

Mis(ter)Anthrope > , August 16, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT

@Liberty Mike I don't know if anyone else got it, but that is pretty damn funny.

Wally > , August 16, 2017 at 8:40 pm GMT

@Rdm - 45% of California is Federal land.

- Without US taxpayers money CA would be a 3rd world country completely filled with unemployable & dumb illegal immigrants.

- Think about this brief list made possible by the US taxpayers / federal government, money CA would not get and then tens of thousands of CA people would lose their jobs (= lost CA tax revenues):

aerospace contracts, defense contracts, fed gov, software contracts, fed gov airplane orders, bases, ports, money for illegal aliens costs, federal monies for universities, 'affirmative action monies, section 8 housing money, monies for highways, monies for 'mass transportation', monies to fight crime, monies from the EPA for streams & lakes, monies from the Nat. Park Service, monies for healthcare, monies for freeloading welfare recipients, and all this is just the tip of the iceberg

- Not to mention the counties in CA which will not want to be part of the laughable 'Peoples Republic of California'.

- And imagine the 'Peoples Republic of California Army', hilarious.

CA wouldn't last a week without other peoples money.

Calexit? Please, pretty please.

Thomm > , August 16, 2017 at 8:57 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain You just want intra-white socialism so you can mooch off of productive whites.

Macumazahn > , August 16, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT

It's particularly unfortunate that Asians, who can hardly be blamed for the plight of America's Blacks, are the ones from whom the "affirmative action" #groidgeld is extracted.

Rdm > , August 16, 2017 at 9:18 pm GMT

@Diversity Heretic My impression and overall experience from interacting with White Americans is good in general. I have a very distinct view on both White Americans and Europeans. I'd come back later.

I don't recommend purging of Whites in America. Neither do I prohibit immigration of all people. But I do wish "legal" immigration from all parts of the world to this land. But I also understand why people are fed up with White America.

There is a clear distinction between Europeans and White Americans. White Americans born and bred here are usually an admixture of many European origins. They usually hide their Eastern European origin and fervently claim German, French, English whenever possible ! basically those countries that used to be colonial masters in the past.

White Americans are generally daring, optimistic and very open-minded. Usually when you bump into any White Americans born and bred here, you can sense their genuine hospitality.
Europeans, usually fresh White immigrants in this land, tend to carry over their old mentality with a bit of self-righteous attitude to patronize and condescend Americans on the ground that this is a young country.

My former boss was Swiss origin, born in England, and migrated to America. If there's an opportunity cost, he'd regale his English origin. If there's a Swiss opportunity, he'd talk about his ancestry. He'd bash loud, crazy Americans while extoling his European majesty. He became a naturalized American last year for tax purposes so that his American wife can inherit if he kicks the bucket.

Bottom line is, every immigrant to the US, in my honest opinion, is very innocent and genuinely hard working. They have a clear idea of how they like to achieve their dreams here and would like to work hard. It seems after staying here for a while, they all change their true selves to fit into the existing societal structure, i.e., Chris Hemsworth, an Australian purposely trained to speak American English in Red Dawn, can yell "This is our home" while 4th generation Asian Americans will be forced to speak broken English. This is how dreams are shaped in America.

Coming back to purge of Whites, I only wish those self-righteous obese, bald, bottom of the barrel, living on the alms Whites, proclaiming their White skin, will go back to their origin and do something about a coming flood of Muslim in their ancestral country if they're so worried about their heritage.

Rdm > , August 16, 2017 at 9:19 pm GMT

@Alec Leamas (hard at work) My point is, universities in CA are doing well commensurate with hard working students without AA action.

Saxon > , August 16, 2017 at 9:26 pm GMT

@Thomm No, he just wants the street-defecating hangers-on like you to go back and show how awesome you claim you are in your own country by making a success of it rather than milking all of the entitlements and affirmative action and other programs of literal racial advantage given to you by virtue of setting foot in someone else's country.

Rdm > , August 16, 2017 at 9:30 pm GMT

@Wally - 45% of California is Federal land.

- Without US taxpayers money CA would be a 3rd world country completely filled with unemployable & dumb illegal immigrants.

- Think about this brief list made possible by the US taxpayers / federal government, money CA would not get and then tens of thousands of CA people would lose their jobs (= lost CA tax revenues):

aerospace contracts, defense contracts, fed gov, software contracts, fed gov airplane orders, bases, ports, money for illegal aliens costs, federal monies for universities, 'affirmative action monies, section 8 housing money, monies for highways, monies for 'mass transportation', monies to fight crime, monies from the EPA for streams & lakes, monies from the Nat. Park Service, monies for healthcare, monies for freeloading welfare recipients, and all this is just the tip of the iceberg

- Not to mention the counties in CA which will not want to be part of the laughable 'Peoples Republic of California'.

- And imagine the 'Peoples Republic of California Army', hilarious.

CA wouldn't last a week without other peoples money.

Calexit? Please, pretty please. So you're talking about Calexit in AA action?

Let us play along.

If CA is existing solely due to Fed Alms, I can agree it's the tip of the iceberg. But we're talking about Universities, their performance and how AA is affecting well qualified students.

Following on your arguments,

UC Berkeley receives $373 Millions (Federal Sponsorship) in 2016.
Harvard University, on the other hand, receives $656 millions (Federal sponsorship) in 2012.

I'm talking about how Universities climb up in World ranking, based upon their innovations, productivity, research output, etc etc etc. Which to me, is reflective of what kind of students are admitted into the programs. That's my point.

If you want to talk about Calexit, you'd better go and refresh your reading comprehension ability.

Stan d Mute > , August 16, 2017 at 9:36 pm GMT

The thing that is forgotten is that white Americans DO NOT need the Africans in any way whatsoever. There is NOTHING in Detroit that we want – we abandoned it deliberately and have no interest in ever returning.

On the other hand, what do the Africans need from us?

Food. We own and operate all food production.
Medicine. Ditto.
Clean water. Look at Flint.
Sanitation services. Look at anywhere in Africa.
Order.

To put a stop to African behavior from Africans is an idiot's dream. They will never stop being what they are. They simply cannot. So if we cannot expel them, we must control them. When they act up, we cut off their food, medicine, water, and sewer services. Build fences around Detroit and Flint. Siege. After a month or two of the Ethiopian Diet, the Africans in Detroit will be much more compliant.

War for Blair Mountain > , August 16, 2017 at 9:36 pm GMT

@Thomm You just want intra-white socialism so you can mooch off of productive whites. Thomm=the girly boy blatherings of a White Libertarian Cuck

The benefit to the Historic Native Born White American Working Class of being voted into a White Racial Minority in California by Chinese "Americans" Korean "Americans" .Hindu "Americans" Sihk "Americans" and Iranian "Americans"?

Answer:0 . Bring back the Chinese Legal Immigrant Exclusion Act!!!

Two Great pro-White Socialist Labor Leaders:Denis Kearney and Samuel Gompers go read Denis Kearney's Rebel Rousing speeches google Samuel Gompers' Congressional Testimony in favor of the passage of The Chinese Legal Immigrant Exclusion Act

The peril of appeasement > , August 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm GMT

As some have pointed out, the trouble with appeasement is, it never ends. Those who are used to the handouts will always want more. There's the saying parents tend to strengthen the strong and weaken the weak, that's what paternalistic policies like affirmative action and welfare do to a society. It creates a cycle of dependency.

Those who think multiculturalism coupled with identity politics is a good idea need to take a good look at Malaysia, arguably the most multicultural country outside the US. The country is in Southeast Asia, with roughly 30m people, roughly 60% ethnic Malay(100% muslim), 23% Chinese(mostly buddhist or christian), brought in by the British in the 1800s to work the rubber plantations and tin mines, and 7% Indian(mostly Hindu), brought in by the British to work the plantations and civil service.

In 1957 the Brits left and left the power in the hands of the ethnic Malays. The Chinese soon became the most successful and prosperous group and dominated commerce and the professional ranks. In 1969 a major race riot broke out, the largely rural and poor Malays decided to "take back what's theirs", burnt, looted and slaughtered many ethnic Chinese. After the riot the government decided the only way to prevent more riots is to raise the standard of living for the Malays. And they began a massive wealth transfer program through affirmative action that heavily favors ethnic Malays. First, all civil service jobs were given to only ethnic Malays, including the police and military. Then AA was instituted in all local universities where Malays with Cs and Ds in math and science were given preference over Chinese with all A's to all the engineering, medicine and law majors. Today no one in their right mind, not even the rich Malays, want to be treated by a Malay doctor. I know people who were maimed by one of these affirmative actioned Malay "neurosurgeons" who botched a simple routine procedure, and there was no recourse, no one is allowed to sue.

Thanks to their pandering to the Malay majority and outright voting fraud, the ruling party UMNO has never lost an election and is today the longest serving ruling party in modern history. Any dissent was stifled through the sedition act where dissidents are thrown in jail, roughed up, tossed down 14th story buildings before they even go to trial. All media is strictly controlled and censored by the government, who also controls the military, and 100% of the country's oil production, with a large portion of the profit of Petronas going to the coffers of the corrupt Malay government elites, whatever's left is given to hoi polloi Malays in the form of fluff job positions created in civil service, poorly run quasi-government Malay owned companies like Petronas, full scholarships to study abroad for only ethnic Malays, tax free importation of luxury cars for ethnic Malays, and when the government decided to "privatize" any government function like the postal service or telcom, they gave it in the form of a monopoly to a Malay owned company. All government contracts e.g. for infrastructure are only given to Malay owned companies, even as they have zero expertise for the job. The clever Chinese quickly figured out they could just use a Malay partner in name only to get all government contracts.

As opposed to the US where affirmative action favors the minority, in Malaysia AA favors the majority. You know it can't last. The minority can only prop up the majority for so long. Growth today is largely propped up by oil income, and the oil reserve is dwindling. Even Mahathir the former prime minister who started the most blatant racial discrimination policy against the Chinese started chastising the Malays of late, saying they've become too lazy and dependent on government largess.

Yet despite the heavy discrimination, the Chinese continued to thrive thanks to their industriousness and ingenuity, while many rural Malays not connected with the governing elite remain poor ! classic case of strengthening the strong and weakening the weak. According to Forbes, of the top 10 richest men in Malaysia today, 9 are ethnic Chinese, only 1 is an ethnic Malay who was given everything he had. Green with envy, the ethnic Malays demanded more to keep the government in power. So a new law was made – all Chinese owned businesses have to give 30% ownership to an ethnic Malay, just like that.

Needless to say all this racial discrimination resulted in a massive brain drain for the country. many middle class Indians joined the Chinese and emigrated en masse to Australia, NZ, US, Canada, Europe, Singapore, HK, Taiwan, Japan. The ones left are often destitute and poor, heavily discriminated against due to their darker skin, and became criminals. Al Jazeera recently reported that the 7% ethnic Indians in Malaysia commit 70% of the crime.

To see how much this has cost Malaysia ! Singapore split off from Malaysia 2 years after their joint independence from Britain and was left in destitute as they have no natural resources. But Lee Kuan Yew with the help of many Malaysian Chinese who emigrated to Singapore turned it into one of the richest countries in the world in one generation with a nominal per capita GDP of $53k, while Malaysia is firmly stuck at $9.4k, despite being endowed with natural resources from oil to tin and beautiful beaches. The combination of heavy emigration among the Chinese and high birthrate among the muslim Malays encouraged by racialist Mahathir, the Chinese went from 40% of the population in 1957 to 23% today. The Indians went from 11% to 7%.

I fear that I'm seeing the same kind of problem in the US. It's supremely stupid for the whites to want to give up their majority status through open borders. Most Asians like me who immigrated here decades ago did it to get away from the corrupt, dishonest, dog-eat-dog, misogynistic culture of Asia. But when so many are now here, it defeats the purpose. The larger the immigrant group, the longer it takes to assimilate them. Multiculturalism is a failed concept, especially when coupled with identity politics. Affirmative Action does not work, it only creates a toxic cycle of dependency. The US is playing with fire. We need a 20 year moratorium on immigration and assimilate all those already here. Otherwise, I fear the US will turn into another basketcase like Malaysia.

Truth > , August 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT

@Liberty Mike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RrWfNonLDQ

Alden > , August 16, 2017 at 9:43 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh There were only about one million Indians living in what is the United States in 1500. There are now 3 million living in much better conditions than in 1500.

I would be willing to accept non White immigration if the non White immigrants and our government would end affirmative action for non Whites.

Asians are discriminated against in college admissions. But in the job market they have affirmative action aristocratic status over Whites.

Truth > , August 16, 2017 at 9:43 pm GMT

@Liberty Mike The sno percentage is much higher an Ukraine, Hungary and Austria than here.

Joe Wong > , August 16, 2017 at 9:45 pm GMT

@Diversity Heretic John Derbyshire has made similar arguments--racial preferences are the price for social peace. But, as Steve Sailer has pointed out, we're running out of white and Asian children to buffer black dysfunction and Asians are going to get less and less willing to be "sacrificial lambs" for a black underclass that they did nothing to create and that they despise.

There are other ways to control the black underclass. You can force the talented ones to remain in their community and provide what leadership they can. Black violence can be met with instant retributive counter-violence. (Prior to the 1960s most race riots were white on black.) Whites can enforce white norms on the black community, who will sort-of conform to them as best they are able.

Finally, Rudyard Kipling had a commentary on Danegeld. It applies to paying off dysfunctional domestic minorities just as much to invading enemies.

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!"

admitting academically unqualified blacks to elite schools is, at core, a policy to protect the racial peace and, as such, has nothing to do with racial justice,

The Black are protesting relentlessly and loudly verbally and thru assertive actions about the racial discrimination they have been facing. I have never seen those academically unqualified blacks admitted to the elite schools have stood up using themselves as shiny examples to refute the discrimination allegations the Black made against the White.

While the policy to protect the racial peace by admitting academically unqualified blacks to elite schools failed miserably, the restricting the smart and qualified Asians to elite schools is blatantly racial injustice practice exercised in broad day light with a straight face lie. The strategy is to cause resentment between the minorities so that the White can admitting their academically unqualified ones to elite schools without arousing scrutiny.

Thomm > , August 16, 2017 at 9:50 pm GMT

@Saxon I'm white, you stupid faggot.

I am extremely committed that you White Trashionalists fulfill your duty as wastebaskets of genetic matter.

Excellent whites exist only because the waste produced gets removed in the form of WN wiggers.

Like I said, there is a huge variance within whites. Therefore, you have no business speaking for respectable whites.

Worst of all, you Nationalist-Leftists are un-American.

Alden > , August 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm GMT

@Astuteobservor II Just google solutrean theory Europeans arrived in America 20,000 years ago. Many articles come up including from smithsonian.

The east coast Canadian Indians always had the founding myth they came over the ocean.

There's a book, Across The Atlantic Ice by Dennis Stanford on kindle, Amazon and many book stores.

Priss Factor > , Website August 16, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

Here is one 'smart Asian' who is not a Self-Righteous Addict of Proglobalism, but what a clown.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNrytSEyUoY

Dineshisms are always funny as hell.

Because KKK were Southern Democrats, Democratic Party is forever the KKK party. Never mind Democrats represented a broad swatch of people.
And Dinesh finds some parallels between Old Democrats and Nazi ideology, therefore Democrats are responsible for Nazism. I mean

Doesn't he know that parties change? Democratic Party once used to be working class party. Aint no more.
GOP used to be Party of Lincoln. It is southern party now, and most loyal GOP-ers are Southerns with respect for Confederacy. GOP now wants Southern Neo-Confed votes but don't want Confed memorials. LOL.
Things change.

Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond came over to the GOP for a reason.

Dinesh seems to be stuck in 'caste' mentality. Because Dems once had KKK on its side, Democratic Party is forever cast or 'casted' as KKK. And now, 'Democrats are real Nazis'.

Actually, the real supremacism in America at the moment seems to be AIPAC-related.

Anyway, there were leftist elements in National Socialism, but its was more right than left.

Why? Because in the hierarchy of ideological priorities, the most important core value was the 'Aryan' Tribe. Socialized medicine was NOT the highest value among Nazis. Core conviction was the ideology of racial identity and unity. Thus, it was more right than left.

Just because National Socialism had some leftist elements doesn't make it a 'leftist' ideology.

Same is true of Soviet Communism. Stalin brought back high culture and classical music. He favored traditionalist aesthetics to experimental or avant-garde ones. And Soviets promoted some degree of Russian nationalism. And even though communists eradicated certain aspects of the past, they also restored respect for classic literature and culture. So, does that mean USSR was 'conservative' or 'rightist'? No, it had some rightist elements but its core ideology was about class egalitarianism, therefore, it was essentially leftist.

Alden > , August 16, 2017 at 10:20 pm GMT

@Joe Wong All the Whites and Asians who are admitted to the top 25 schools are superbly qualified. There are so many applicants every White and Asian is superbly qualified.

The entire point of affirmative action is that Asians and Whites are discriminated against in favor of blacks and Hispanics. Harvard proudly proclaims that is now majority non White.

Don't worry, the Jews decided long ago that you Asian drones would have medicine and tech, Hispanics construction, food, trucking,and cleaning and Hispanics and blacks would share government work and public education.

Whites will gradually disappear and the 110 year old Jewish black coalition will control the Asians and Hispanics through black crime and periodic riots.

Liberty Mike > , August 16, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT

@Truth Do you think Beavis and Butthead are choosing Angola over Austria?

Alden > , August 16, 2017 at 10:31 pm GMT

@Macumazahn Affirmative action punishes Whites as well and Asians are always free to go back to wherever their parents or grandparents came from.

After 400 years, Whites can't go anywhere.

Alden > , August 16, 2017 at 10:35 pm GMT

@Thomm Do you favor affirmative action?

Joe Wong > , August 16, 2017 at 10:40 pm GMT

@Wally So you are a tough guy, and never give in anything to anyone in your life? It seems the Jews have similar view as yours, the Jews insist that if they give in an inch to those Holocaust deniers, they will keep demanding more & more, at the beginning the Holocaust deniers will demand for the evidence, then they will demand the Jews are at fault, then they will demand the Nazi to be resurrected, then they will demand they can carry out Holocaust against anyone they don't like, Pretty soon they will demand they to be treated like the pigs in the Orwellian's Animal Farm.

Liberty Mike > , August 16, 2017 at 10:44 pm GMT

@Thomm "Un-American" is descriptively flaccid. It means nada, nothing, zero. It is vapid and so empty and such a lame lexeme.

Any word that is hackneyed, lifeless, and so low energy would never be scripted by a White committed to excellence.

F the media > , August 16, 2017 at 10:46 pm GMT

@Priss Factor Hell with those 'smart Asians'. They are among the biggest Proglob a-holes.

Asians have servile genes that seek approval from the power. They are status-freaks.

They make perfect collaborators with the Glob.

Under communism, they made the most conformist commies.

Under Japanese militarism, they made the most mindless military goons who did Nanking.

Under Khmer Rouge, they were biggest looney killers.

Under PC, they make such goody good PC dogs.

If the prevailing culture of US was patriotic and conservatives, Asians would try to conform to that, and that wouldn't be so bad.

But since the prevailing culture is PC, these yellow dogs are among the biggest homomaniacal PC tards.

Hell with them. Yellow dogs voted for Obama and Hillary in high numbers. They despise, hate, and feel contempt for white masses and working class. They are servitors of the empire as Darrell Hamamoto said. He's one of the few good guys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bs_BbIBCoY

Just look at that Francis Fukuyama, that slavish dog of Soros. He's so disgusting. And then, you got that brown Asian tard Fareed Zakaria. What a vile lowlife. And that fat Jeer Heet who ran from dirty browns shi**ing all over the place outdoors to live with white people but bitches about 'white supremacy'. Well, the fact that he ran from his own kind to live with whites must mean his own choice prefers white folks. His immigration choice was 'white supremacism'. After all, he could have moved to black Africa. Why didn't he?

PS. The best way of Affirmative Action is to limit it only to American Indians and Blacks of slave ancestry. That's it.

Also, institutions should OPENLY ADMIT that they do indeed discriminate to better represent the broader population. Fair or not, honesty is a virtue. What is most galling about AA is the lies that says 'we are colorblind and meritocratic but...' No more buts. Yes, there is discrimination but to represent larger population. Okay, just be honest. Asia is a big continent and Asians of different ethnicity have very different voting patterns due to their culture and history. Japanese-Americans tend to be the most liberal ethnic group of all Asian groups because of their experience with internment during WWII. Somehow they conveniently forgot that it was a Democrat president who put them in internment, and are now putting the blames squarely on the right for what happened. These Japanese-Americans are drinking the kool-aid big time, but in the 90s I remember a Japanese prime minister got in big trouble for saying America's biggest problem is we have too many blacks and hispanics dragging us down.

Filipinos, Hmongs and other Southeast Asians tend to be poor and rely on government largess to a certain extent, and also benefit from affirmative action at least in the state of CA, they also tend to be liberal.

In this election cycle Indian-Americans have become the most vocal anti-Trumpers. From Indian politicians from WA state like Kshama Sawant, Pramila Jayapal to Indian entertainers like Aziz Ansari, Hasan Minaj, Kumail Nanjani, to Silicon Valley techies like Calexit mastermind VC Shervin Pishevar, Google CEO Sundra Pichai, all are socialist libtards. In my local election, several Indians are running for city council. All are first generation, all Democrats and champions of liberal policies. It's as if they have amnesia(or just lower IQ), not remembering that socialism was why they had to leave the shithole India to begin with. A Korean American is running as a Republican.

There are Chinese idiots like Ted Lieu and other asians who've gone to elite schools therefore drinking the kool-aid and insisted AA is good for Asian Americans, but most Koreans, Vietnamese and Chinese tend to be more conservative and lean Republican. During the Trump campaign Breitbart printed a story about a group of Chinese Americans voicing their support for Trump despite his anti-China rhetoric because they had no intention of seeing the US turned into another socialist shithole like China.

Per the NYT a major reason Asians vote Republican is because of AA. Asians revere education, esp. the Chinese and Koreans, and they see holistic admission is largely bullshit set up by Jews to protect their legacy status while throwing a few bones to under qualified blacks and hispanics. Unfortunately it didn't seem to dampen their desire to immigrate here. Given that there are 4 billion Asians and thanks to open borders, if it weren't for AA all our top 100 schools will be 100% Asian in no time. I suggest we first curtail Asian immigration, limit their number to no more than 10,000 a year, then we can discuss dismantling AA.

Anon > , Disclaimer August 16, 2017 at 10:46 pm GMT

@Wally This is false. See:

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/#main-findings

California sends far more to Washington than it sends back. Also, there is no correlation between percentage of federal land and dependence on federal funding. If there were, Delaware would be the least dependent state in the US.

Clue: It isn't.

Anon > , Disclaimer August 16, 2017 at 10:46 pm GMT

@Wally This is false. See:

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/#main-findings

California sends far more to Washington than it sends back. Also, there is no correlation between percentage of federal land and dependence on federal funding. If there were, Maine would be among the least dependent states in the US.

Clue: It isn't.

Astuteobservor II > , August 16, 2017 at 10:47 pm GMT

@Alden https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solutrean_hypothesis

if the wiki is reliable. you shouldn't be telling others like it is a cold hard fact. But still a very interesting read. thanks for bringing it up.

Astuteobservor II > , August 16, 2017 at 10:48 pm GMT

@Alden

But in the job market they have affirmative action aristocratic status over Whites.

that is another bold claim. I know of black quotas, but asian quota???

F the media > , August 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm GMT

@Astuteobservor II The Indian tribe in tech is known to favor Indians in hiring. I've read from other Indian posters elsewhere that Indian managers like to hire Indian underlings because they are easier to bully.

Indian outsourcing firms like Infosys, TCS, Wipro are like 90% Indian, mostly imported directly from India, with token whites as admin or account manager.

THe Realist > , Website August 16, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT

@Truth See #65 above. You die, too, boy.

F the media > , August 16, 2017 at 11:14 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer That's pretty funny. The guy's got balls. Probably son of some corrupt Chinese government official used to being treated like an emperor back home, ain't taking no shit from black folks.

I suppose this is what happens when universities clamor to accept foreign students because they are full pay. His tuition dollar is directly subsidizing these affirmative action hacks, who are now preventing him from studying. He has fully paid for his right to tell them to STFU.

Joe Wong > , August 16, 2017 at 11:27 pm GMT

@Beckow Romans did not think Europe was a nice place to live, full of bloodthirsty barbarians, uneducated, smelly, dirty, foul mouth and rogue manner, even nowadays a lot of them cannot use full set of tableware to finish their meal, a single fork will do, it is a litte more civilized than those use fingers only.

After a millennium of dark age of superstition, religious cult suppression, utter poverty medieval serf Europe, it followed by centuries of racial cleanses, complete destruction of war, stealing and hypocrisy on industrial scale, this time not only restricted to Europe the plague flooded the whole planet.

Even nowadays the same plague from Europe and its offshoots in the North America is threatening to exterminate the human beings with a big bang for their blinding racial obligatory. The rest of the world only can hope this plague would stay put in North America and Europe, so the rest world can live in peace and prosperity.

Joe Franklin > , August 16, 2017 at 11:33 pm GMT

Asians receive federal entitlements the same as the other protected class groups of diversity.

Diversity ideology lectures us that Asians are oppressed by Occidentals.

1. Preferential US immigration, citizenship, and asylum policies for Asian people
2. Federal 8a set-aside government contracts for Asian owned businesses
3. Affirmative Action for Asians especially toward obtaining government jobs
4. Government anti-discrimination laws for Asians
4. Government hate speech crime prosecutions in defense of Asians
5. Sanctuary cities for illegal Asians, and other protected class groups of diversity
6. Asian espionage directed at the US is common, and many times goes unprosecuted
7. American trade policy allows mass importation of cheap Asian products built with slave labor
8. Whaling allowance for some Asian ethnic groups
9. Most H1-B visas awarded to Asians

Reg Cęsar > , August 16, 2017 at 11:38 pm GMT

@Thomm

Please stop trying to confuse Orientals with Indians and other subcontinentals. They are quite distinct.

In their original countries they are, but in America they are almost identical in all ways except appearance and diet.

And odor.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 12:10 am GMT

@War for Blair Mountain Thomm=the girly boy blatherings of a White Libertarian Cuck...

The benefit to the Historic Native Born White American Working Class of being voted into a White Racial Minority in California by Chinese "Americans"...Korean "Americans"....Hindu "Americans"...Sihk "Americans"...and Iranian "Americans"?


Answer:0.... Bring back the Chinese Legal Immigrant Exclusion Act!!!


Two Great pro-White Socialist Labor Leaders:Denis Kearney and Samuel Gompers...go read Denis Kearney's Rebel Rousing speeches...google Samuel Gompers' Congressional Testimony in favor of the passage of The Chinese Legal Immigrant Exclusion Act... It is MUCH better to be a libertarian than to be a Nationalist-Leftist. You have effectively admitted that you want intra-white socialism since you can't hack it yourself.

Socialists = untalented losers.

Plus, I guarantee that your ancestors were not in America since 1776. You are just some 2nd-gen Polack or something.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 12:12 am GMT

@Alden

Do you favor affirmative action?

Absolutely not. It is one of the worst things ever devised.

Issac > , August 17, 2017 at 12:12 am GMT

@Thomm Sounds like a Jewish fantasy.

Vinteuil > , August 17, 2017 at 12:14 am GMT

@Priss Factor Here is one 'smart Asian' who is not a Self-Righteous Addict of Proglobalism, but what a clown.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNrytSEyUoY

Dineshisms are always funny as hell.

Because KKK were Southern Democrats, Democratic Party is forever the KKK party. Never mind Democrats represented a broad swatch of people.
And Dinesh finds some parallels between Old Democrats and Nazi ideology, therefore Democrats are responsible for Nazism. I mean...

Doesn't he know that parties change? Democratic Party once used to be working class party. Aint no more.
GOP used to be Party of Lincoln. It is southern party now, and most loyal GOP-ers are Southerns with respect for Confederacy. GOP now wants Southern Neo-Confed votes but don't want Confed memorials. LOL.
Things change.

Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond came over to the GOP for a reason.

Dinesh seems to be stuck in 'caste' mentality. Because Dems once had KKK on its side, Democratic Party is forever cast or 'casted' as KKK. And now, 'Democrats are real Nazis'.

Actually, the real supremacism in America at the moment seems to be AIPAC-related.

Anyway, there were leftist elements in National Socialism, but its was more right than left.

Why? Because in the hierarchy of ideological priorities, the most important core value was the 'Aryan' Tribe. Socialized medicine was NOT the highest value among Nazis. Core conviction was the ideology of racial identity and unity. Thus, it was more right than left.

Just because National Socialism had some leftist elements doesn't make it a 'leftist' ideology.

Same is true of Soviet Communism. Stalin brought back high culture and classical music. He favored traditionalist aesthetics to experimental or avant-garde ones. And Soviets promoted some degree of Russian nationalism. And even though communists eradicated certain aspects of the past, they also restored respect for classic literature and culture. So, does that mean USSR was 'conservative' or 'rightist'? No, it had some rightist elements but its core ideology was about class egalitarianism, therefore, it was essentially leftist. "Stalin brought back high culture and classical music. He favored traditionalist aesthetics to experimental or avant-garde ones."

Priss, you haven't the first clue what you're talking about, here. Stalin didn't favor "traditionalist aesthetics" – he favored vulgar pop-crap.

Issac > , August 17, 2017 at 12:15 am GMT

@Joe Wong Ah yes, the whites are well known for their bigotry. That's why they're so mono-racial and China is so diverse. Good point Chang.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 12:15 am GMT

@Joe Franklin Asians receive federal entitlements the same as the other protected class groups of diversity.

Diversity ideology lectures us that Asians are oppressed by Occidentals.


1. Preferential US immigration, citizenship, and asylum policies for Asian people
2. Federal 8a set-aside government contracts for Asian owned businesses
3. Affirmative Action for Asians especially toward obtaining government jobs
4. Government anti-discrimination laws for Asians
4. Government hate speech crime prosecutions in defense of Asians
5. Sanctuary cities for illegal Asians, and other protected class groups of diversity
6. Asian espionage directed at the US is common, and many times goes unprosecuted
7. American trade policy allows mass importation of cheap Asian products built with slave labor
8. Whaling allowance for some Asian ethnic groups
9. Most H1-B visas awarded to Asians That is completely false. You just memorized that from some bogus site.

Section 8a is used more by white women than by Asians, and Asians get excluded from it due to high income. It should be done away with altogether, of course.

Asians face discrimination in University admissions, as the main article describes.

H1-Bs are awarded to Asians because white countries don't produce enough people who qualify.

Plus, Asian SAT scores are consistently higher than whites. That proves that Asian success was not due to AA.

Joe Wong > , August 17, 2017 at 12:15 am GMT

@Alden

the 110 year old Jewish black coalition will control

I am not sure the Muslim and Indian will agree to that, they have a very strong birth rate that can match if not surpass the blacks too.

Saxon > , August 17, 2017 at 12:46 am GMT

@Thomm Green isn't a color that suits you. You're a subcontinental hanger-on who's only able to garner any success in any western country due to an anarcho-tyranny in enforcement against ethnonepotism as well as lavish handouts in the form of all sorts of party favors.

There are very few non-white groups that could do any well on a level playing field with equal enforcement against nepotism, and yours isn't one of them. Your country? Sad!

Ron Unz > , August 17, 2017 at 12:47 am GMT

@Alden

Whites will gradually disappear and the 110 year old Jewish black coalition will control the Asians and Hispanics through black crime and periodic riots.

I don't think this is correct

Since California already has (very roughly) the future demographics you're considering, I think it serves as a good test-case.

The Hispanic and Asian populations have been growing rapidly, and they tend to hold an increasing share of the political power, together with the large white population, though until very recently most of the top offices were still held by (elderly) whites. Whites would have much more political power, except that roughly half of them are still Republicans, and the Republican Party has almost none.

In most of the urban areas, there's relatively little black crime these days since so many of the blacks have been driven away or sent off to prison. I'd also say that major black riots in CA are almost unthinkable since many of the local police forces are heavily Hispanic: they don't particularly like blacks, and might easily shoot the black rioters dead while being backed up by the politicians, and many of the blacks probably recognize this. Admittedly, CA always had a relatively small black population, but that didn't prevent enormous black crime and black riots in the past due to the different demographics.

Meanwhile, Jewish-activists still possess enormous influence over CA politics, but they exert that influence through money and media, just like they do everywhere else in the country.

Astuteobservor II > , August 17, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT

@F the media that is actually true about indians. I have first hand account of a 100+ tech dept getting taken over by indians in just 3 years :/ but that is not a "quota" that is just indians abusing their power once in position of power.

Priss Factor > , August 17, 2017 at 1:26 am GMT

@Vinteuil Priss, you haven't the first clue what you're talking about, here. Stalin didn't favor "traditionalist aesthetics" – he favored vulgar pop-crap.

Right.. Ballet, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and classic literature. That's some pop crap.
Soviet Culture was about commie Lena Dunhams.

Now, most of Soviet culture was what might be called kitsch or middlebrow stuff, but it was not 'pop crap' as known in the West.

Truth > , August 17, 2017 at 1:35 am GMT

@THe Realist LOL, if you're the one holding the knife, hatchet, billy club or brick, I like my chances.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 1:58 am GMT

@Saxon Green isn't a color that suits you. You're a subcontinental hanger-on who's only able to garner any success in any western country due to an anarcho-tyranny in enforcement against ethnonepotism as well as lavish handouts in the form of all sorts of party favors.

There are very few non-white groups that could do any well on a level playing field with equal enforcement against nepotism, and yours isn't one of them. Your country? Sad! Whatever helps you sleep at night..

Yesterday I was called a Jew. Today, it is Indian. In reality, I am a white American guy.

You white trashionalists can't get your stories straight, can you? Well, WNs are known for having negro IQs.

Asians don't get affirmative action. They outscore whites in the SAT.

But even blacks outscore WNs like you.

Heh heh heh heh

Joe Franklin > , August 17, 2017 at 2:03 am GMT

@Thomm That is completely false. You just memorized that from some bogus site.

Section 8a is used more by white women than by Asians, and Asians get excluded from it due to high income. It should be done away with altogether, of course.

Asians face discrimination in University admissions, as the main article describes.

H1-Bs are awarded to Asians because white countries don't produce enough people who qualify.

Plus, Asian SAT scores are consistently higher than whites. That proves that Asian success was not due to AA. You have reading comprehension problems to have confused Federal 8A government contacts with Section 8 housing.

8A contracts are federal contracts granted to "socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s)."

https://www.sba.gov/contracting/government-contracting-programs/8a-business-development-program/eligibility-requirements/8a-requirements-overview

The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) and controlled/managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).

The individual(s) controlling and managing the firm on a full-time basis must meet the SBA requirement for disadvantage, by proving both social disadvantage and economic disadvantage.

http://sbda.com/sba_8(a) .htm

Definition of Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals

Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identities as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities. The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged:

• Black Americans;

• Hispanic Americans (persons with origins from Latin America, South America, Portugal and Spain);

• Native Americans (American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Native Hawaiians);


• Asian Pacific Americans (persons with origins from Japan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Samoa, Guam, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands [Republic of Palau], Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Laos, Cambodia [Kampuchea], Taiwan, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Macao, Hong Kong, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Nauru);

• Subcontinent Asian Americans (persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands or Nepal);

• And members of other groups designated from time to time by the SBA.

Truth > , August 17, 2017 at 2:20 am GMT

@F the media

That's pretty funny. The guy's got balls.

Nah, just some goofy nerd working on his PhD in Library Science.

THIS Kat on the other hand is my N-!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaTLgw_akhg

Beckow > , August 17, 2017 at 2:25 am GMT

@Joe Wong Romans lived in Europe, get an atlas, Rome is in Europe. I will skip over your silly summaries of European history, we all can do it to any civilization all day. Pointless. Try China. Oh, I forgot, nobody knows much Chinese up and downs because it was mostly inconsequential.

If you call others 'racist' all the time, they might just not take your seriously. Or simply say, fine, if liking one's culture is now 'racism', if it is a white culture, then count me in. The rest of the world is tripping over itself to move – literally to physically move – to Europe and North America. Why do you think that is?

Truth > , August 17, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT

@Ron Unz

I'd also say that major black riots in CA are almost unthinkable since many of the local police forces are heavily Hispanic: they don't particularly like blacks, and might easily shoot the black rioters dead

Oh, would you stop being a make-believe pundit, Ron? That is some commentary you copped from an OJ-era LA Times expose. You've had one conversation with a police officer in your life, and that was over an illegal left term outside the Loma Linda Starbucksand culminated in disturbing the peace when exited your Bentley yelling "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?!" at the top of your lungs for 4 minutes.

Whenever you've had a nudity-mandatory, eyes-wide-shut, type globalist-soiree at your palatial mansion, the only people you invited were politicians, lawyers, Ivy-league economists, Silicon Valley tech nerds and hookers.

Truth > , August 17, 2017 at 2:35 am GMT

@Priss Factor They had to be into all that tired, boring, 11-century old shit; they didn't have any black people.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 2:37 am GMT

@Joe Franklin We've been over this. 8a is not given to anyone with over $250,000 in assets, as your own link indicates. This means most Asians can't use it anyway (not that they need to).

The whole program should be done away with, of course.

What is funny is that you can't accept that Asians have higher SAT scores than whites, which pretty much proves that they can (and do) outperform without AA. You WN idiots can't come to terms with that.

But Section 8a should be removed just so that WN wiggers don't have anything to hide behind, since Asians don't need it to excel.

War for Blair Mountain > , August 17, 2017 at 2:44 am GMT

@Thomm These untalented Socialists you refer to would include the vast majority of America 1969 90 percent Native Born White America .a White Nation that placed two Alpha Native Born White American Males on the Moon .ten more after that. Seems that Socialism worked just fine.

If you prefer an Asian Majority you can always pack your bags and pick the Asian Nation of your choice.

uman > , August 17, 2017 at 3:09 am GMT

@Ron Unz hmm i don't know that will be the case nationally. Southern cities like Atlanta will not have hispanic or white govt. Same with nyc, no need for blacks in harlem or bronx to leave if government aid continues to pay for rent controlled affordable housing. Same case can be made for most large northern cities like chicago, detroit, boston, philadelphia, DC, etc.

So with future aa population of 14%, that's 60 million blacks in america in 2060 timeframe, although that will have an increasing amount of immigration from africa, which tends to be more educated (at least 1st and 2nd generation).

Asians will be about 8%, so that's a poweful community of 40 million. I see tech and wall street with increasing amount of asian representations.

What i would be interested in seeing if there will any maverick asian billionaires that could disrupt the narrative.

Ronnie > , August 17, 2017 at 3:11 am GMT

This article may tend to take your mind off the real racial injustice at Harvard. In an article "Affirmative Action Battle Has a New Focus: Asian-Americans" in the NY Times, August 3, 2017 ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS and STEPHANIE SAUL wrote ""The Harvard lawsuit likens attitudes toward Asian-Americans to attitudes toward Jews at Harvard, beginning around 1920, when Jews were a high-achieving minority. In 1918, Jews reached 20 percent of the Harvard freshman class, and the university soon proposed a quota to lower the number of Jewish students."" In my humble opinion this is a misleading statement which implies that the admission of Jews remained below 20% in the years after 1918. In fact Hillel reports that in recent years the admission of jews to Harvard has been around 25% of the class. This means that almost half of the class are white and half of this white group are Jews. That seems like an amazing over-representation of Jews who are only 2% of our population. So, at least as many Jews as Asians are admitted to Harvard. No wonder the Asians are upset. I note that this article does not point out this Jewish bias in admissions at Harvard and neither did the Asians. Is this another manifestation of political correctness? Or is it an egregious example of racism? This problem is the real elephant in the room. This is the Jewish racism that dare not speak its name. Until lately.

Joe Franklin > , August 17, 2017 at 3:38 am GMT

@Thomm Thanks for changing the subject back to 8A contracts, a subject I first brought up.

You ignorantly labeled me a liar and then prattled on about unrelated Section 8 housing.

I've never mentioned anything about SAT scores because they are irrelevant to anything whatsoever that I've posted.

SAT scores are your irrelevant preoccupation, not mine.

I'm just a person that detests government diversity schemes, group entitlements, and federal protected class groups.

Like it or not, Asians are one of many federal protected class groups entitled by law.

I'm not a WN nor did I ever claim to be a WN; just another example of your fevered and imagined conversations with me.

You are fairly stupid to claim that "most Asians" are rich.

You appear to be a grossly ignorant and arrogant dickhead.

Priss Factor > , Website August 17, 2017 at 3:41 am GMT

@Truth Truth, you is so wise and true. You's right. Them Russian dummies didn't have no vibrant black folks to make fun music that could make them wiggle their butts all their night long. So, they grew stale and bored and drank too much vodka, caught fish with penis, and wrestled with bears and didn't have the all the cool stuff like the US has.

All the world needs to be colonized by superior Negroes cuz folks will just die of boredom.
At least if you get killed by Negroes, it's exciting-like.

Ron Unz > , August 17, 2017 at 3:54 am GMT

@uman

hmm i don't know that will be the case nationally. Southern cities like Atlanta will not have hispanic or white govt. Same with nyc, no need for blacks in harlem or bronx to leave if government aid continues to pay for rent controlled affordable housing. Same case can be made for most large northern cities like chicago, detroit, boston, philadelphia, DC, etc.

Well, my California analogy was self-admittedly very rough and approximate given the considerable differences in demographics. But I strongly suspect that such considerations provide a hidden key to some contentious national policies of the last couple of decades, and I've actually written extensively on the subject:

http://www.unz.com/runz/race-and-crime-in-america/#the-hidden-motive-for-heavy-immigration

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 4:23 am GMT

@Joe Franklin

You are fairly stupid to claim that "most Asians" are rich.

They have higher household income than whites. Many do not qualify for 8a (not that they needed).

But yes, 8a should be abolished, just like ALL other affirmative action.

SAT scores are your irrelevant preoccupation, not mine.

It is relevant, because it demolishes your retarded belief that Asian success would not have happened without affirmative action.

You really are quite lacking in basic intelligence. A typical white trashionalist.

MarkinLA > , August 17, 2017 at 4:27 am GMT

@Anon I imagine it was far different before the defense wind-downs of the mid 90s. Along with the many cut-backs a lot of defense was moved out of California by the contractors as punishment for California's liberal Congressmen. Companies that merged with California based operation usually consolidated outside California such as when Raytheon swallowed up Hughes Aircraft Companies defense operations and moved R&D to Massachusetts.

dearieme > , August 17, 2017 at 11:02 am GMT

@Liberty Mike I know several white people who would rather live in Botswana than the Ukraine. They have the advantage of having visited . The rest of your list seems pretty sound with the possible exception of Swaziland.

P.S. If you deleted Austria and Hungary and replaced them by Albania and Kosovo you might make your point even stronger.

dearieme > , August 17, 2017 at 11:06 am GMT

@Joe Franklin Good God, how absolutely awful to hale from Portugal, Spain, or Singapore.

Saxon > , August 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

@Thomm You're non-white and really dumb to boot; you don't understand the ecology of a society. Even the white proles are better than your people's proles because they don't make functional civilizations impossible. If it were possible for a tiny minority to drag the lowers upwards you would be able to haul your lower castes upwards and make your own country work, then the Brahmins would have done it. They can't because the average abilities, intelligence and disposition of the masses is too low of quality in those countries to the point where tourists need to be given explicit warnings about rape and other problems which you will never need when visiting, say, some English village of completely average English people. The "white trash" you decry is probably only slightly below your midwit level of intelligence.

Asians do get affirmative action in employment and promotions in the workplace by the way, just not in education.

Truth > , August 17, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Priss Factor Alright, you're finally starting to get it.

MarkinLA > , August 17, 2017 at 2:59 pm GMT

@Thomm I seem to remember you telling everybody that Asians DON'T get affirmative action JUST GOOGLE IT without ever offering proof. Of course it never occurred to you that there could never be any documented proof of something like that. There isn't even official documented proof that white males don't get affirmative action. When people claimed and linked to articles indicating Asians are considered disadvantaged by the government, you claimed those people didn't know what they were talking about JUST GOOGLE IT.

I think you made it quite obvious who the idiot is.

Abracadabra > , August 17, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT

It's time to force our "Golden Dozen" (Ivies, Stanford, MIT, Amherst and Williams) to admit 100% black until the average black income($43k) equals that of average white income($71k).

I'm Asian and I approve of this message.

Azn_bro > , August 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm GMT

@Thomm The worst hate crimes I have personally witnessed were perpetrated by black men. I have also seen more casual racism against Asians from blacks than from whites. This might be different in other parts of the country or world.

Outside of the U.S., East Asians are the least likely to want to engage in some kind of anti-white alliance since all of the West's most embarrassing military defeats have come from East Asians. We have always relied on guns and not white guilt for racial equality.

Abracadabra > , August 17, 2017 at 4:28 pm GMT

@Ronnie In case you haven't noticed, Jews run this country. They dominate the media, academia, Wall Street, Hollywood, Capitol Hill via the DNC and lobbying firms, Silicon Valley. Per the NYT 80% of Jews are self-proclaimed liberals. They are obsessed with dismantling the WASP World Order that in their mind has oppressed them for the last 2000 years. The Ivy League is the pipeline to these 6 sectors that collectively control the country, whoever controls Harvard controls the country. Jews not only make up majority of the elite college faculty (esp. in the social sciences) but are disproportionately benefiting from legacy admission and development cases(admission of the dim witted sons and daughters of the rich and famous like Malia Obama, Jared Kushner, all of Al Gore's kids).

Asians are the next up. Practically all Asians who've gone to the Ivy League or Stanford have voiced their support for affirmative action, many are left wing nuts like the Jews. CA house representative Ted Liu is one such kool-aid drinking Asian libtard, along with the HI judge Derrick Watson and Baltimore judge Theodore Chuang, both of whom blocked Trump's temp. suspension of Muslim refugees, both went to Harvard Law. As an Asian I would be more than happy if the Ivy League simply make themselves off limits to all Asians and turn their schools 100% black. We don't need more Asians to get indoctrinated in their dumb liberal ideology and go down in history as the group next to the Jews and the blacks who destroyed America.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 4:32 pm GMT

@Saxon You're non-white and really dumb to boot; you don't understand the ecology of a society. Even the white proles are better than your people's proles because they don't make functional civilizations impossible. If it were possible for a tiny minority to drag the lowers upwards you would be able to haul your lower castes upwards and make your own country work, then the Brahmins would have done it. They can't because the average abilities, intelligence and disposition of the masses is too low of quality in those countries to the point where tourists need to be given explicit warnings about rape and other problems which you will never need when visiting, say, some English village of completely average English people. The "white trash" you decry is probably only slightly below your midwit level of intelligence.

Asians do get affirmative action in employment and promotions in the workplace by the way, just not in education.

Asians do get affirmative action in employment and promotions in the workplace by the way, just not in education.

No they don't, as this very article explains. Could you BE more of a retard?

Plus, the fact that Asians get higher SAT scores than whites proves that they don't need it. There is a left-wing conspiracy to hide Asian success.

Now, regarding an underachieving WN faggot like you :

Remember that white variance is very high. Excellent whites (like me) exist only because genetic waste master has to be removed from the other end of the process. You and other WNs represent that genetic waste matter, and that is why white women are doing a heroic duty of cutting you off (at least the minority of WNs that are straight. Most are gay, as Jack Donovan has explained). Nature wants the waste matter you comprise of to be expelled.

If you cared about the white race, you would be extremely glad that white women are cutting you off, as that is necessary to get rid of the pollution that you represent.

Heh heh heh heh . it is so much fun to put a WN faggot in its place.

Heh heh heh heh

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 4:33 pm GMT

@Azn_bro Yes, what you say is true.

Any real American would be proud of Asian success, as that represents the American Dream that our country was founded on.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

@MarkinLA No, I talked about 8a even two weeks ago. Good god, you WN really do have negro IQs.

8a benefits Asians the least, and THE WHOLE THING SHOULD BE ABOLISHED ANYWAY. There should be no AA, ever.

8a harms Asians as it taints their otherwise pristine claim to having succeeded without AA. They don't need 8a, most don't qualify for it as they exceed the $250,000 cutoff, and it lets WN faggots claim that 'all of Asian success is due to AA', which is demonstrably false.

Read this slowly, 10 times, so that even a wigger like you can get it.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm GMT

@Abracadabra Heh.. good one.

Don't let these WN faggots get away with claiming all of Asian success is merely due to affirmative action. In reality, Asians don't get affirmative action (other than wrongly being included in the Section 8a code form the 1980s, which ultimately was used by barely 2% of the Asian community).

Remember that among us whites, variance is extremely high. The prettiest woman alongside pretty of ugly fat feminists (who the WN losers still worship). The smartest men, and then these loserish WNs with low IQs and no social skills. White variance is very high.

That is why WNs are so frustrated. They can't get other whites to give them the time of day, and white women are super-committed to shutting out WN loser males from respectable society.

Don't let them claim that Asian success is solely due to affirmative action. Remember, respectable whites hate these WN faggots.

Saxon > , August 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@Thomm You're not white, though. You're a rentseeker hanging onto someone else's country and the fact that you write barely literate garbage posts with no substance to them tells all about your intellect and your "high achievement." You're not high quality. You're mediocre at best and probably not even that since your writing is so bad.

Do you even do statistics, though? Whites make up about 70% of the national merit scholars in the US yet aren't in the Ivies at that rate. Harvard for example is maybe only 25% white. Asians are over-represented compared to their merit and jews way over-represented over any merit. Now how does that happen without nepotism? The whole system of any racial favoritism should be scrapped but of course that wouldn't benefit people like you, Thomm.

George Orwell > , August 17, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT

Whites aren't more innovative and ambitious than Chinese people. You only have to look at the chinless Unite the Right idiots in Charlottesville to dispel any idea that whites are the superior race. The

üeljang > , August 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

This Thomm character is obviously of East Asian origin. His tedious, repetitive blather about Asians, white women, and "white nationalist faggots" is a telltale sign. One of his type characteristically sounds like he would be so much less distressed if those white males were not white nationalist faggots.

Diversity Heretic > , August 17, 2017 at 7:06 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh An interesting historical argument My reply Land isn't money Arguably the Normans came back in the form of the Plantagenets to contest the French throne in the 100 Years War. But by that time France wasn't nearly so feeble

Giving Negroes land in the form of a North American homeland appeals to me (provided whites get one too) although I know the geography is agonizing Blacks tend not to like this suggestion–they realize how depedent they are on whites That wasn't true of the Normans–quite self-reliant fellows!

Abracadabra > , August 17, 2017 at 7:54 pm GMT

@Thomm I'm not sure what it was that I said that made you think I think all Asian success is due to AA. In fact I think the opposite is true, that Asians succeed in spite of AA, which is set up solely to hinder Asians from joining the club, and as far as I'm concern, it's a club of sell-out globalist libtards that I wouldn't want more Asians to join.

I've worked in tech long enough to know that in tech, no one gives a fudge where you went to school. I am surrounded by deca-millionaires who went to state schools, many aren't even flagship, some didn't even study STEM. Some didn't even go to college or graduate. The only people I know who still care about the Ivy League are 1st generation often FOB China/India trash, and a small number of Jewish kids looking to benefit from legacy admission, most are gay and/or serious libtards.

Abracadabra > , August 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm GMT

You can tell that Jewish achievement has fallen off a cliff as Ron Unz asserted by looking at a certain popular college website. The longest running thread that's been up there for nearly a decade with over a thousand pages and over 18,000 posts is called "Colleges for the Jewish "B" student". The site is crawling with uber liberal Jewish mothers and monitored by a gang of Ivy graduated SJWs who strictly enforce their "safe space", posters who post anything at all that might offend anyone (affirmative action is always a sensitive topic) are either thrown in "jail" i.e. ban from posting for a month, or kicked off altogether. The SJW forum monitors even directly edit user comments as they see fit, first amendment rights be damned. This is the future of all online forums if the left have their way, the kind of censorship that Piers Morgan advocates.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT

@Abracadabra Not *you* , them.

There are plenty of KKK losers on here claiming that Asian success is due to AA. I am saying you should join me in fighting them.

Note the comments above from Saxon, MarkinLA, etc. They are alll White Trashionalists.

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 8:55 pm GMT

@Saxon

Asians are over-represented compared to their merit

False. The main article here alone proves otherwise, plus dozens of other research articles.

You just can't stand that Asian success is due to merit. But you have bigger problems, since as a WN, you can't even compete with blacks.

What bugs you the most is that successful white people like me never give WN faggots the time of day. Most tune you idiots out, but I like to remind you that you are waste matter that is being expunged through the natural evolutionary process.

Vinteuil > , August 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT

@Priss Factor Priss, please, please, please try to get this right:

Stalin DID NOT favor Prokofiev, or Shostakovich. He treated them exactly the same way he treated everybody else – like dirt under his feet.

Shostakovich's (admittedly disputed) memoirs are essential reading, here. Please check them out before you say anything more.

Vinteuil > , August 17, 2017 at 9:57 pm GMT

@Thomm " successful white people like me never give WN faggots the time of day "

So you've got a problem with "faggots?"

Thomm > , August 17, 2017 at 11:04 pm GMT

@Vinteuil

So you've got a problem with "faggots?"

Yes, more so if they are leftists (including Nationalist-Leftists like WNs are). But the fact that WNs are disproportionately gay (as Jack Donovan points out) also explains why they tend to look grotesque, and it supports the scientific rationale that they are wastebaskets designed to expedite the removal of genetic waste matter.

White variance in talent/looks/intelligence is high. WN loser males and fat, ugly feminists represent the bottom. In the old days, these two would be married to each other since even the lowest tiers were paired up. Today, thankfully, both are being weeded out.

Astuteobservor II > , August 17, 2017 at 11:12 pm GMT

I just realized something. a commenter like thomm is the perfect counter to some of the others. hahaha.

Pachyderm Pachyderma > , August 17, 2017 at 11:35 pm GMT

@Saxon God! you are stupid, Saxon he isn't a Paki, he is a Chinaman. No wonder the Normans put you guys in thrall!

Pachyderm Pachyderma > , August 18, 2017 at 1:00 am GMT

@Alden Sure you can why not go back to Europe to replace the growing number of Muslims? It can kill two birds with a single shor!

Thomm > , August 18, 2017 at 1:27 am GMT

@Pachyderm Pachyderma Not just that, but some of these 'white nationalists' are just recent immigrants from Poland and Ukraine. They are desperate to take credit for Western Civilization that they did nothing to create. Deep down, they know that during the Cold War, they were not considered 'white' in America.

400 years? i.e. when most of what is now the lower-48 was controlled by a Spanish-speaking government? Yeah Many of these WNs have been here only 30-70 years. That is one category (the domestic WN wiggers are the other)

Both are equally underachieving and loserish.

MarkinLA > , August 18, 2017 at 3:02 am GMT

@Thomm It's too late, everybody knows what I wrote is true and that you are some pathetic millennial libertarian pajama boy. The sad fact is that you can't even man up and admit that you wrote that BS about "Asians don't get affirmative action just google it". See that would have at least have been a sign of maturity, admitting you were wrong.

There is no point reading anything, even once, from a pathetic pajama boy like you.

Thomm > , August 18, 2017 at 3:50 am GMT

@MarkinLA I openly said that I am proud to be libertarian. Remember, talented people can hack in on their own, so they are libertarians.

Untalented losers (like you) want socialism so that you can mooch off of others.

Plus, Asians don't get affirmative action outside of one obscure place (Section 8a) which they often don't qualify for ($250K asset cutoff), don't need, and was never used by more than 2% of the Asian-American community. The fact that Asian SAT scores are higher than whites explains why Asians outperform without AA.

Plus, this very article says that Asians are being held back. A WN faggot like you cannot grasp that even though you are commenting in the comments of this article. Could you be any dumber?

I realize you are not smart enough to grasp these basic concepts, but that is why we all know that white trashionalists have negro IQs.

Now begone; you are getting in the way of your betters.

Heh heh heh heh

Thomm > , August 18, 2017 at 4:03 am GMT

Remember that White variance in brains/looks/talent/character is extremely high. Hence, whites occupy both extremities of human quality.

Hence, the hierarchy of economic productivity is :

Talented whites (including Jews)
Asians (East and South)
Hispanics
Blacks
Untalented whites (aka these WN wastebaskets, and fat femtwats).

That is why :

1) WNs are never given a platform by respectable whites.
2) Bernie Sanders supporters are lily-white, despite his far-left views.
3) WN is a left-wing ideology, as their economic views are left-wing.
4) WNs are unable to even get any white women, as white women have no reason to pollute themselves with this waste matter. Mid-tier white women thus prefer nonwhite men over these WNs, which makes sense based on the hierarchy above.
5) WNs have the IQ of Negros, the poor social skills of an Asian spazoid, etc. They truly combine the worst of all worlds.
6) This is why white unity is impossible; there is no reason for respectable whites to have anything to do with white trashionalists.
7) Genetically, the very fact that superb whites even exists necessitates the production of individuals to act as wastebaskets for removal of genetic waste. WNs are these wastebaskets.
8) The 80s movie 'Twins' was in effect a way to make these wastebaskets feel good, as eventually, the Arnold Schwarzenegger character bonded with the Danny DeVito character. But these two twins effectively represent the sharp bimodal distribution of white quality. Successful whites are personified by the Schwarzenegger character, while WNs by the DeVito character. In reality, these two would never be on friendly terms, as nature produces waste for a reason.

This pretty much all there is to what White Trashionalists really are.

TWS > , August 18, 2017 at 4:38 pm GMT

@Thomm Tiny Duck? You decided to larp under a different handle?

Incontrovertible > , August 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

Elite colleges are a prime example of left wing hypocrisy. The same people who are constantly calling for an equal society are at the same time perpetuating the most unequal society by clamoring to send their kids to a few elite schools that will ensure their entry to or retain their ranks among the elites. Equality for everyone else, elitism for me and my kids. David Brook's nausea inducing self-hating pablum "How we are ruining America" is a prime example of this hypocrisy.

Another good example of left wing hypocrisy is on "school integration". The same people who condemn "bad schools" for the urban poor and call for more integration are always the first to move into the whitest possible neighborhoods as soon as they have kids. They aren't willing to sacrifice their own kids, they just want other people to sacrifice their children by sending them to bad schools.

If the left didn't have double standards, they'd have no standards at all.

Tradecraft46 > , August 18, 2017 at 10:00 pm GMT

Look, the world is short handed: we need good help or we pay dues.

Affirmative action and the EEOC are not the answer.

When you need help you get help and don't care if they are green [in the color sense or have supernumerary digits.

I don't need agreement with my whimsy, I just need people who will turn to.

Gene Su > , August 19, 2017 at 1:46 am GMT

When I first saw the title of this article, I, being an Asian, was a tad insulted. It smelled like Dr. Weissberg was attempting to create (or at least escalate) racial strife between Asians and blacks. I then read through the article and evaluated the bad and the good.

First the bad: Dr. Weissberg's assertion that Asians are being hurt by the Affirmative Action promotion of blacks is a bit exaggerated. This is because most Asians go into rigorous difficult programs such as engineering, science, and medicine. Most black affirmative action babies go into soft programs such as Black Studies (and whatever else the humanities have degenerated into).

Now the good: I think this is the most true portion of the essay.

Better to have the handsomely paid Cornel West pontificating about white racism at Princeton where he is a full professor than fulminating at some Ghetto street corner. This status driven divide just reflects human nature. Why would a black Yalie on Wall Street socialize with the bro's left behind in the Hood? This is the strategy of preventing a large-scale, organized rebellion by decapitating its potential leadership.

I have once wrote that whites stopped sneering at MLK when Malcolm X and the Black Panthers began taking center stage. They sure became more accommodating of "moderate" blacks. With all of the terrorist attacks going on and with blacks converting to Islam, I don't think we're going to get rid of affirmative action any time soon.

Nicholas Stix > , Website August 19, 2017 at 2:42 am GMT

This is a politically plausible but morally craven plan, if we're in 1960.

Oops.

Priss Factor > , Website August 19, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

@Vinteuil Stalin alternated between favoritism and intimidation. The truth is he did have an eye and ear for culture unlike Mao who was a total philistine.

If Stalin really hated artists, he would have killed all of them.

He appreciated them but kept a close eye.

He loved the first IVAN THE TERRIBLE by Eisenstein, but he sensed that the second one was a criticism of him, and Eisenstein came under great stress.

Vinteuil > , August 19, 2017 at 6:31 pm GMT

OK, well, Stalin loved the movies, and may have had an eye for effective cinema. But when it came to music he was, precisely, a total philistine. On this point, I again recommend Shostakovich's disputed *Testimony,* a work unique in its combination of hilarity and horror, both of which come to a head in his account of the competition to write a new national anthem to replace the internationale – pp. 256-64. A must read.

DB Cooper > , August 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm GMT

@Thomm Can you explain why if South Asians has such high economic productivity India is such a sh*thole?

Stebbing Heuer > , Website August 19, 2017 at 8:33 pm GMT

@Rdm That's the second comment here picking on bald guys.

What do you have against the bald?

You do realise that it's not possible to control baldness? It's an outcome of genetics, yes?

You do also realise that there is zero correlation between baldness and the quality of one's character?

Are you really as stupid as you appear to be?

MarkinLA > , August 19, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT

Is this the Onion?

http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/usc-mascot-traveler-comes-under-fire-having-name-similar-robt-e-lees-horse

I wonder how a Bruin is going to be a symbol of racism?

Thomm > , August 20, 2017 at 3:04 am GMT

@DB Cooper For the same reason North Korea is poorer than South Korea, despite being the same people.
For the same reason the GDR was so much poorer than the FRG, despite the same people.

You probably never even thought about that.

A bad political system takes decades to recover from. Remember that the British also strip-mined India for 200 years..

Come on, these are novice questions

If you think the success of Asian-Americans in general (and Indian-Americans in particular) does not jive with your beliefs, then the burden of explaining what that is, is on you.

Indians happen to be the highest-income group in the US. Also very high are Filipinos and Taiwanese.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income

Most WNs are far, far below the intellectual level where they can grasp the complexities of issues like this.

Thomm > , August 20, 2017 at 3:11 am GMT

BTW, the economic center of gravity of the world has always been near Asia, except for a 200-year period from 1820-2020.

That the West would cede to Asia is really just a reversion to the historical norm.

WNs are not smart enough to understand maps/charts like this one, but others will find this interesting.

Russ Nieli > , August 20, 2017 at 8:11 am GMT

Bob,

Racial preferences were ended at California public institutions ! including the elite public universities Berkley and UCLA ! by ballot initiative. No black violence ensued. There is little reason to think the black response would be different if the 8 Ivy League universities ended their policies of racial preferences. Blacks would adjust their expectations. Fear of black rioting and the desire to jumpstart the creation of a large and peaceful black middle class may have been important motives for the initial development of racial preference policies in the late 1960s; they are not major reasons for their retention and continued support from white administrators today. Other reasons and motives are operative (including what I call R-word dread).
PS: Cornel West has moved from Princeton to Harvard Divinity School.

Avalanche > , August 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm GMT

"Nevertheless, when all added up, the costs would be far lowers than dealing with widespread 1960s style urban violence."

Except back in the '60′s; the White, Euro-derived people were unwilling to fight back. They felt guilty and half-blamed themselves. Not. Any. More! The costs ! social, mental, emotional, physical; pick your metric! ! have now exceeded the patience of WAY more Americans than the media is letting on.

Did you not see 20- and 30-THOUSAND, mostly White Euro-derived, Americans rallying to candidate ! and now President ! Trump's side? (No, the media carefully clipped the videos to hide those numbers, but there they (we!) were! We're done! We're fed up! "FEEDING" these destructive vermin to keep them from destroying our houses and families (and nation and country!) is no longer acceptable! You "don't let Gremlins eat after midnight"? Well, we did ! and now we're in a war against them.

You think this capitulating in education is preventing 'widespread 1960s-style urban violence? Have you not watched the news? We pretty much already are: ask NYC how many "sliced with a knife" attacks they have there! In JUST Jan. and Feb., there were well more than 500! (Seriously vicious attacks with knives and razor blades ! media mentioned it once for a few days, and then shut up.) Look at the fair in Indianapolis; count up rape statistics; investigate the "knock-out game" ("polar bear hunting" ! guess who's the polar bear?!). (Oh yeah, and: Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago; look at ANY black-filled ruin of a city ) If (when!) we finally have to (CHOOSE to) deal with this low-grade war ! WHO is better armed, better prepared, SMARTER, and fed up?

"This peace-keeping aspect of affirmative action understood, perhaps we ought to view those smart Asians unfairly rejected from Ivy League schools as sacrificial lambs."

Wait, wait ! these are White schools, built by White Americans FOR White Americans! "Oh, the poor Asians are not getting their 'fair share' cause the blacks are getting way more than their 'fair share'?! The Asians' 'fair share' is GO HOME!! The Asians don't have a 'fair share' in White AMERICAN universities; we LET them come here and study ! and that is a KINDNESS: they don't have a 'fair share' of OUR country! How about: stop giving preferences to every damned race and nationality other than the one that BUILT this country and these universities!

Check your premises!

Avalanche > , August 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

@War for Blair Mountain Call them what they are: "paperwork Americans"! Having the paperwork does NOT make them Americans, and nothing ever will!

Imagine a virgin land with no inhabitants: if you took all the Chinese "Americans" or all the Pakistani "Americans" or Black "Americans" or Mexican "Americans" (funny, why did you leave those last two out?! Way more of them than the others ) and moved them there, would they ! COULD they ever ! create another America? No, they would create another China, or another Pakistan ! or their own version of the hellholes their forebears (or they themselves) came from. ONLY White, ONLY Euro-derived Americans could recreate an America.

And this goes, also, to answer the grumbling "Native" Americans who were also NOT native, yes? Siberia, Bering land bridge, ever heard of those? Do you not even know your own pre-history?! What "America" was here when it was a sparse population of warring tribes of variously related Indian groups? What did your forebears make of this continent?

Nothing. There would be no "America" where everyone wants to come and benefit by taking; because ONLY the White settlers (not immigrants: SETTLERS!) were able to create America! And as all you non-Americans (AND paperwork "Americans") continue to swamp and change America for your own benefit ! you will be losing the very thing you came here to take (unfair!) advantage of!

Avalanche > , August 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT

@MEFOBILLS

At that point, new public money could be channeled into funding people to leave. Blacks that don't like it in the U.S. would be given X amount of dollars to settle in an African country of their choice.

Chip 'em and ship 'em! Microchip where they CAN'T 'dig it out' to prevent them from ever ever ever returning! And ship 'em out! I'd pay a LOT to have this done!

Avalanche > , August 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm GMT

@Mis(ter)Anthrope

Give the feral negroes what they have been asking for. Pull all law enforcement out of negro hellholes like Detroit and South Chicago and let nature take its course.

They (we!) tried that years ago. The BLACK COPS SUED because they were working in the shittiest places with the shittiest, most violent people ! and "the White cops had it easy."

NOT EVEN the blacks want to be with the blacks ! hence them chasing down every last White person, to inflict their Dis-Verse-City on us!

Avalanche > , August 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm GMT

@The peril of appeasement

The larger the immigrant group, the longer it takes to assimilate them.

Alas, typical "paperwork American" lack of understanding! I wrote this to a (White) American who wants to keep importing everyone ("save the children!") ! and, she insisted, they "could" assimilate. However, here's what 'assimilate" means:

Suppose you and your family decided to move to, say, Cambodia. You go there intending to "get your part of the Cambodian dream," you go there to become Cambodian citizens, to assimilate and join them, not to invade and change them. You want to adopt their ways, to *assimilate.* Yes? This is how you describe legal immigrants to OUR country (The United States.)

How long would it take for you and your children to be (or even just feel) "assimilated"? How long would it take for you to see your descendants as "assimilated" ! AS Cambodians? Years? Decades? Generations? Would you be trying to fit in ! and "become" Cambodians; or would you be trying to not forget your heritage? ("Heritage"?! Like, Cinco de Mayo, which they don't even celebrate IN Mexico? Or Kwanza ! a CIA-invented completely fake holiday!)

More important: since it's their country ! how long until THEY see you as "Cambodians" and not foreigners. I know a man and family who have lived in Italy for over 20 years. To the Italians in the village where they live, they are still "stranieri": strangers. After this long, to the local Italians, they're not just "the Americans who moved here" ! they're " our Americans" ! but they are still seen as 100% not Italian, not local: not "assimilated"!

Would you and your children and grandchildren learn to speak, read, and write Cambodian ! and stop trying to use English for anything much in your new homeland? Would you join their clubs ! would you join their NATIONAL RELIGION!? Does "becoming Cambodian" ! does "assimilating" ! not actually include (trying to) become Cambodian (and, thus, ceasing to be American)? (If that were even possible; and it's not.) "Assimilation" is a stupid hope, not a possible reality.

That is where my friend balked. She said: she and her family are very Christian, and no way at all ever would they drop Christianity and pick up Cambodian Buddhism. So ! how can they EVER "assimilate" when they (quite rightly) REFUSE to assimilate?!

Please stop buying into the lies the destroyers of OUR nation keep selling. There is no such thing as "assimilation"; only economic parasitism, jihadi invasion, and benefiting from the systems set up by OUR forebears for THEIR posterity!

Avalanche > , August 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm GMT

@Priss Factor

Just because National Socialism had some leftist elements doesn't make it a 'leftist' ideology.

Yes. Yes it does. Go watch/listen to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roMLmYnjslc

The official topic being debated is: "Are National Socialists a legitimate element of the Alt-Right?"
Greg Johnson argues, Yes.
Vox Day argues, No.

rec1man > , August 20, 2017 at 9:08 pm GMT

@DB Cooper Socialism and Affirmative Action

In my origin state of Tamil Nadu, the effective anti-brahmin quota is 100% ( de-jure is just 69% )

Sundar Pichai or Indira Nooyi or Vish Anand ( former Chess champ ) or Ramanujam ( late math whiz ), cant get a Tamil Nadu State Gov , Math school teacher job

Also, the US gets a biased selection of Indians in terms of caste, class and education

Of Tamil Speakers in USA, about 50% are Tamil Brahmins, vs just 2% in India

The bottom 40% in terms of IQ, such as Muslims, Untouchables and Forest Tribals, are no more than 10% in the US Indian diaspora

For comparison, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis ( muslim ), perform much much lower

Thomm > , August 20, 2017 at 10:01 pm GMT

@rec1man

For comparison, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis ( muslim ), perform much much lower

This is interesting, as it puts paid to the obsession that WN idiots have with 'whiteness'.

Pakistan is obviously much more Caucasoid than India and certainly Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan is whiter still. Many in Afghanistan would pass for bona-fide white in the US.

Yet Sri Lanka is richer than India, which is richer than Pakistan, which is richer than Afghanistan.

Either Islam is a negative factor that nullifies everything else including genetics, or something else is going on.

What there is no doubt of is that Asia has been the largest economic region of the world by far except for the brief 200-year deviation (1820-2020), as per that map I posted.

UtherWhys > , August 20, 2017 at 10:50 pm GMT

@Thomm Weissberg asks, "Why would a black Yalie on Wall Street socialize with the bro's left behind in the Hood?"

Why focus on the LEFT buttock? His point would be as relevant were he to ask, "Why would a black Yalie on Wall Street socialize with the bro's RIGHT behind in the Hood?" Either way, I smell kinkyness deep within Weissberg's question.

Saintonge235 > , August 21, 2017 at 12:34 am GMT

Not protection money. Imperialism.

"Divide and Rule" said the Romans. Incorporate the potential leaders of those you intend to rule into your hereditary upper class, and the vast majority will stay inert at the least. And many will actively support you. See this post by a black woman: Black Americans: The Organized Left's Expendable Shock Troops .

People like Cornel West are not only NOT rabble-rousing in the 'hood, they're telling blacks to support the people who actively keep them poor. "Affirmative Action" is designed to sabotage its alleged goals. Almost all who 'benefit' from it end up among people whose performance is clearly superior to their own, thus fostering feelings of inferiority, subtly communicating that it doesn't matter what the 'beneficiary' of AA does, they'll always fail. This is no accident.

Without AA, there might still be separation, (consider "ultra-orthodox" Jews), but the separate groups would have to be treated with some respect. Really, viewed amorally, it's a marvelous system for oppressing whites and minorities.

rec1man > , August 21, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT

@Thomm Islam is a negative factor, and the higher IQ castes did not convert to Islam

I have data from California National Merit list, IQ-140 bar

Among Indian Punjabis ;
Jat Sikh peasants = 3 winners ( 75% of Punjabis in USA )
Khatri merchants = 18 winners ( 25% of Punjabis in USA )

Both are extremely caucasoid, both appear heavily among Indian bollywood stars ; genetically very similar, just the evolutionary effect of caste selection for merchant niche vs peasant niche

MarkinLA > , August 21, 2017 at 1:06 am GMT

@Russ Nieli Racial preferences were ended at California public institutions ! including the elite public universities Berkley and UCLA ! by ballot initiative.

But the admissions people immediately started using other dodges like "holistic" admissions policies where they try and figure out if your are a minority from other inferences such as your essay where you indicate "how you have overcome". They also wanted to get rid of the SAT or institute a top X% at each school policy.

Thomm > , August 21, 2017 at 3:19 am GMT

@rec1man I don't know . a lot of the richest Indians in the US are Gujratis who own motels and gas stations. Patels and such..

They were not of some 'high caste' in India; far from it.

Plus, a Tamil who is of 'high caste' is not Caucasoid in the least. Caste does not seem to correlate to economic talent, since business people are the #3 caste out of 4. The richest people in India today are not 'Brahmins'..

Islam is a negative factor, and the higher IQ castes did not convert to Islam

I disagree. Pakistan is 99% Islam, so all castes converted to Islam and/or many of the lighter-skined Pakistanis are Persians and Turks who migrated there..

Afghanistan's religion prior to Islam was Buddhism, not Hinduism

rec1man > , August 21, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT

@Thomm I don't know.... a lot of the richest Indians in the US are Gujratis who own motels and gas stations. Patels and such..

They were not of some 'high caste' in India; far from it.

Plus, a Tamil who is of 'high caste' is not Caucasoid in the least. Caste does not seem to correlate to economic talent, since business people are the #3 caste out of 4. The richest people in India today are not 'Brahmins'..


Islam is a negative factor, and the higher IQ castes did not convert to Islam
I disagree. Pakistan is 99% Islam, so all castes converted to Islam and/or many of the lighter-skined Pakistanis are Persians and Turks who migrated there..

Afghanistan's religion prior to Islam was Buddhism, not Hinduism... Afghanistan was 33% Hindu, 66% buddhist before islam, but in actual practise lots of overlap between Hinduism and Buddhism, and many families had mixed Indic religions

Pakistan was 22% non-muslim in 1947, these 22% were higher caste Hindus and Sikhs – all got driven out in 1947 ; Pakistan is low IQ islamic sludge residue of Punjabi society

I am Tamil speaking, 80% of Tamil brahmins ( 2% ) can be visually distinguished from the 98% Tamil Dravidians ;

vs

Tamil dravidian

Fotosynthesis > , August 21, 2017 at 10:43 am GMT

Thomm you take up too much oxygen in the room insisting on the importance your opinions, the whole conversation is much more interesting when i skip past your stupid WN focused city boy sheltered viewpoint. Big words and that retarded hehehe thing you do would get you wrastled to the ground and your face rubbed in the dirt

Truth > , August 21, 2017 at 2:39 pm GMT

@Fotosynthesis hehehehe

Truth > , August 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT

@rec1man Does anyone want to fill in my comment here in "Miss" Lakshimi?

Thomm > , August 21, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

@Fotosynthesis By you and what army?

Remember, WNs represent the absolute bottom of every desirable trait.

Heh heh heh heh

Bill the Kid > , August 21, 2017 at 10:17 pm GMT

@jim jones They look the same because they are all clones of the same body.

Not Another Unz Commenter > , August 21, 2017 at 10:30 pm GMT

@Thomm Why would 'idiot WNs' be happy about the fact that blacks successfully chased asians out of the country, though? That would be a sign that they are gaining a scary degree of power, would it not? Moreover how are white males who want to escape SJW idiocy going to like a country that still actively enforces all sorts of thought control policies of its own? You wannabe libertardian analysts always say silly things like this and it just sounds dumber every time.

Thomm > , August 21, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT

@Not Another Unz Commenter

Why would 'idiot WNs' be happy about the fact that blacks successfully chased asians out of the country, though? That would be a sign that they are gaining a scary degree of power, would it not?

It would be, but WN retards don't think that far.

You wannabe libertardian analysts always say silly things like this and it just sounds dumber every time.

This is what WNs want, not want I want. It is easy to predict WN opinions.

Plus, being a libertarian is much more desirable than being a WN socialist. Talented people thrive in a libertarian society. WN losers just want to mooch off of successful whites.

JohnMc > , August 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm GMT

"Better to have the handsomely paid Cornel West pontificating about white racism at Princeton where he is a full professor than fulminating at some Ghetto street corner."

Really? All that does is give the man a bigger sanctioned soap box. In the ghetto he might affect a couple of hundred people. Siting in academia he gets a lever than can affect tens of thousands. Not a good trade.

S. B. Woo > , August 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT

Dear Mr. Weissberg.

Truth is often stranger than fictions. The real reason for discriminating against Asian Ams is not to help make the other minority happy. It is to benefit the whites. The Ivy League schools are using the diversity to give the white applicants an advantage of 140 pst in SAT points. Please see below:

In Table 3.5 on p 92 of Princeton Prof. Espenshade's famous book, "No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal", the following shocking fact was revealed:

Table 3.5 (emphasis added)
Race Admission Preferences at Public & Private Institutions
Measured in ACT & SAT Points, Fall 1997
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-
Public Institutions Private Institutions
ACT-Point Equivalents SAT-Point Equivalents
Item (out of 36) (out of 1600)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-
Race
(White) ! –
Black 3.8 310
Hispanics 0.3 130
Asian -3.4 -140

Why are 140 SAT pts. taken away from AsAm applicants? To give the white applicants an advantage of 140 SAT pts. over the historically disadvantaged AsAms by using the nobility of diversity as a cover? This is the reverse of affirmative action. This is a gross abuse of affirmation action. This is outrageous discrimination. If
the purpose is to give the blacks an advantages, why not add more SAT points to blacks and hispanics?

S.B. Woo

Incontrovertible > , August 23, 2017 at 4:30 am GMT

@Avalanche That's an interesting point you brought up, whether anyone can ever really be "assimilated". Even after hundreds of years, blacks and Jews in this country remain very distinct groups. I think for blacks the reason is skin color and culture, while for Jews it is the religion. Both groups have had low out marriage rate until maybe the last couple of decades.

Assimilation is most successful when there's a high intermarriage rate, but intermarriage rate and immigration rate tend to go in opposite directions. The higher the immigration rate, the lower the intermarriage rate.

Hispanics and Asians have been in this country since the 1800s yet you rarely ever meet a hispanic or Asian person who's been here for more than 3 or 4 generations. Why is that? I think it's because many of these earlier groups, due to their small number at the time relative to the population, had intermarried, blended in and disappeared. I would say these earlier immigrants have fully assimilated. The ones who are unassimilated are the new arrivals, those who arrived in large numbers since 2000.

But for some peculiar reason blacks who are mixed with whites often continue to identify as blacks. We see this in Obama, Halle Barry, Vanessa Williams and many other black/white mixes. Black identity is so strong even Indian-black mixed race people call themselves black, like Kamala Harris.

My theory is that most white-hispanic and white-asian marriages are white males with hispanic/asian females. In most cases the white males who married hispanic/asian women are conservatives who prefer women in cultures that are perceived to be more traditional compared to white females who are often selfish and want a divorce at the first sign of personal unhappiness. Many of them then raise their children in full white traditions including as Christians and encourage them to identify themselves as whites.

OTOH, many white-black mix marriages are white female with black male, in many instances these women marry black men because they are liberal nuts who want to raise black children. Jewish women for instance marry black men at a high rate. Many of these women then raise their children as black or biracial children and encourage their children to identify themselves as black.

Education used to be the biggest tool for assimilation, but these days thanks to libtards running amok, our schools are where racial identity is amplified rather than de-emphasized. Now all minority groups are encouraged to take pride in their own cultural identity and eschew mainstream (white) culture. Lured by affirmative action, more and more mixed race hispanic kids are beginning to identify themselves as latino. Thankfully mixed race Asian kids are running in the opposite direction and now mostly identify themselves as white so they are not disadvantaged by AA.

I think assimilation can occur when you have low immigration rate coupled with high intermarriage rate and a smart education system that discourages racial and individual identity and focuses on a single national identity. The biggest reason assimilation is failing now is a combination of high immigration rate, and a failed education system that promotes identity politics and victimhood narrative. The internet and easy air travels back to the homeland also make it much harder to assimilate newcomers. For these reasons I'm in favor of a moratorium on immigration for the next 20 years. All those not yet citizens should be encouraged to return to their home countries. No more green cards, work visas or even student visas should be issued.

Incontrovertible > , August 23, 2017 at 4:36 am GMT

@S. B. Woo That's the argument of mindless Asian SJWs who've been fed the libtard kool-aid. Just look at the numbers you yourself provided. Whites who were turned down still vastly outperformed blacks and hispanics who were given admission, to the tune of 340 points and 130 points respectively. Libtards who came up with AA want everyone to turn against whites, and mindless Asian SJWs like you are parroting them without thinking things through.

So much for "smart Asians".

Truth > , August 24, 2017 at 12:02 am GMT

@Incontrovertible

OTOH, many white-black mix marriages are white female with black male, in many instances these women marry black men because they are liberal nuts who want to raise black children. Jewish women for instance marry black men at a high rate. Many of these women then raise their children as black or biracial children and encourage their children to identify themselves as black.

Yeah, and the rest of them wanted the SCHLONG!

Truth > , August 24, 2017 at 12:03 am GMT

@Incontrovertible That's the argument of mindless Asian SJWs who've been fed the libtard kool-aid. Just look at the numbers you yourself provided. Whites who were turned down still vastly outperformed blacks and hispanics who were given admission, to the tune of 340 points and 130 points respectively. Libtards who came up with AA want everyone to turn against whites, and mindless Asian SJWs like you are parroting them without thinking things through.

So much for "smart Asians". But they still needed a lower score for admittance than Asians

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[Aug 10, 2017] Critical thinking either not taught or discouraged.

Notable quotes:
"... John Gatto has traced the roots of western education back to the Hindu schools in India; teaching docility and obedience. His book, The Underground History of American Education, is superb. ..."
Aug 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bolt | Aug 5, 2017 1:40:54 AM | 50

Only two continents for this one; and yes, critical thinking either not taught or discouraged.

I have found Usaian's particularly lacking in this skill; especially the last 50+ years.

John Gatto has traced the roots of western education back to the Hindu schools in India; teaching docility and obedience. His book, The Underground History of American Education, is superb.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 5, 2017 4:28:14 AM | 53

[Jul 17, 2017] The dumbing down of America is going full steam

What is bunch of moron those modern educators are
Notable quotes:
"... Common core math is indeed an abomination. It nearly destroyed my son's interest in math. I'm teaching him old school math. Of course, I am also supplementing his history lessons with alternative analyses and with a more comprehensive range of topics. ..."
"... Another thing – most teachers of common core math at my son's public school do not understand it themselves. I noted errors in homework assignments which only compounded the confusion among the students. ..."
"... One more thing – they are expected to learn from online videos and sloppily prepared study sheets – not a real math book. The school system is trying to make education paperless. This, to me, stunts the critical skills of eye-hand coordination, the ability to express abstract concept visually (e.g. making good sketches of ideas), etc. For example, mechanical drafting skills with the associated ability to visualize have been replaced by learning how to manipulate software. ..."
"... Perhaps these are cost-cutting measures but the results is that the US public education system, from my experience, is in free fall. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

kirill , July 16, 2017 at 6:05 am

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-15/3-examples-show-how-common-core-destroying-math-education-america

The dumbing down of America is going full steam. This "Rube Goldberg math" is something else.

Patient Observer , July 16, 2017 at 7:08 am
Common core math is indeed an abomination. It nearly destroyed my son's interest in math. I'm teaching him old school math. Of course, I am also supplementing his history lessons with alternative analyses and with a more comprehensive range of topics.

Another thing – most teachers of common core math at my son's public school do not understand it themselves. I noted errors in homework assignments which only compounded the confusion among the students.

One more thing – they are expected to learn from online videos and sloppily prepared study sheets – not a real math book. The school system is trying to make education paperless. This, to me, stunts the critical skills of eye-hand coordination, the ability to express abstract concept visually (e.g. making good sketches of ideas), etc. For example, mechanical drafting skills with the associated ability to visualize have been replaced by learning how to manipulate software.

Perhaps these are cost-cutting measures but the results is that the US public education system, from my experience, is in free fall.

Here is a tin-foil hat theory based on the linked article. If Bill Gates is promoting a method of education that stunts learning among the masses while sending his own kids to private school that does not use the same method, could this be a way help to create a society of dysfunctional masses ruled by a well-trained elites?

yalensis , July 16, 2017 at 8:11 am
When it comes to Math, I think the traditional textbook approach is the best. For History and the social sciences, though, I would recommend replacing big textbooks with individual monographs and other study materials focusing on specialized themes.

Reason being: For Math, there is a standard (finite) set of facts and techniques that need to be mastered at the school level; whereas there is no such thing as a "standard" or finite sets of historical facts.

marknesop , July 16, 2017 at 9:57 am
A commenter to the article suggested Microsoft was setting itself up to step seamlessly into public education when the IT bubble bursts.
yalensis , July 16, 2017 at 10:53 am
Somebody else suggested they are trying to prepare kids to become programmers of digital computers (like Bill Gates started out). But that doesn't make any sense either, because digital computers do not use this method to subtract. Instead, they use a method called "2's complement addition".

This YouTube video explains quite clearly how it is done in binary computer registers: https://youtu.be/vfY7bN_3VKw

Matt , July 16, 2017 at 11:16 am
Computers do use binary arithmetic, but for a human to do so, it involves converting from base 10 to base 2 and then subtracting. In order to convert from base 10 to base 2, you have to follow a step-by-step procedure which involves the remainder.

Compare converting from base 10 to 2:

https://mathbits.com/MathBits/CompSci/Introduction/frombase10.htm

to the image given in the ZH article of the new subtraction method being taught:

You can see there is some similarity in the thought process, "carrying" the remainder forward is the main lesson being taught.

https://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=156204

marknesop says: July 16, 2017 at 9:55 am
That is just bizarre. One commenter suggested the methods might be geared toward more complex problems where numbers do not represent real things, but concepts; but I just can't see that, either. But then, I've never been good at math and was always afraid of it. Whatever the case, I would have dropped out of school in Grade Three if I'd had to learn this way. It makes math problems ten times more complicated than they need to be, and every time you introduce another step you introduce another possibility of making a mistake.
likbez says:
July 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm Very true ! I am pretty good in math but this is still too much artificially introduced complexity for me too. Still it would be a perfect way to work with roman numbers. And that's BTW why Arabic notation is so much superior.

What a bunch of morons !!!

[Jul 17, 2017] Hallucinating Banks Believe They Are Technology Start-Ups

Notable quotes:
"... And this begs an obvious question: if customers complain about how banks let them down, why are the banks not concentrating on what customers are telling them is wrong with the products and services the banks provide already – rather than spending time and money on creating new supposedly innovative ones? The answer is, of course, that it generates profits for the banks to do things which customers find annoying (high fees, obscure product features and even bank errors which cause the customer to lose and the bank to win). Or else it costs money, such as to train staff and then retain that knowledge in their workforces or to have sufficient numbers of staff available in the first place, to fix the problem. ..."
"... In a digital world filled with choice ..."
"... choice, empathy and ease of use designed into every interaction they have with the bank ..."
"... For one thing, which may not be obvious to those outside the industry, working in finance is usually incredibly boring, frustrating, tedious and slow. While the outsized pay can and does attract intelligent and talented people, some of whom are quite creative, it is just about the worst place for those sorts of people to work. Systems and operations are convoluted and difficult to change because of their complexity. Banks are large bureaucracies with fiefdoms, turf wars, massive egos and driven by the need – in the cause of maximising shareholder value, the alter upon which many business have to sacrifice themselves – to implement the lowest cost solutions. ..."
"... It is not uncommon for the graduates and those recruited from the top performers in science and technology to join banks. They are lured by high pay and the promise of joining the Masters of the Universe. Sadly, they often find that the reality is form-filling, battles with nickel-and-diming accountants and internecine warfare. Boredom, for want of a better word, drives many of them to seek out vanity projects or resume-burnishing novelties such as fintech. ..."
"... There is no greater trojan horse to change an organization than design thinking,¯ said Stephen Gates, head of Citi Design. " Especially with something where there are lawyers, regulators Part of what we had to do was change thinking, not behavior. If it's new behavior on old thinking, we didn't really change anything.¯" ..."
"... lawyers, regulators "¯ ..."
"... Perhaps banking has killed off its most appealing aspects and left its minions filthy rich but with nothing stimulating to do. ..."
"... Automated decisioning has removed a lot of the skill and judgement for banks' credit officers. It has also removed a lot of credit officers! There's virtually no discretion available in retail credit policy and no-one empowered to override standard-model largely FICO derived lending decisions. As you say, a lot of local market knowledge helped banks and their lending teams make credit decisioning much more flexible in the past. ..."
"... It fascinates me how fascinated banks are with big data now. When banks were the first and ultimate big data company – just the data processors were people, not machines. Then they used the machines to streamline processes, seemingly w/o realisation that streamlining processes gets you commoditised (as its eminently copiable). So now banks are struggling to avoid a commoditization while working very very hard at it. ..."
"... I agree with Doctor Duck: the idea that because it's programmed, it's a better bureaucracy has really turned out to be a false promise. Just look at the financial crisis and reverse redlining (ie, predatory loans) was used as a financial weapon against minorities. ..."
"... Aside from racial injustices, it's pretty obvious that "the programming" is there to reify existing class divisions. There's no bureaucratic computer program that seeks to free people from the crushing bonds of class. Max Weber would have a field day. Bureaucratic technology ensures that there's no charisma appearing in the system. ..."
"... "On average", a college degree is an order acceptance and an endurance performance index within that order,thus, it is a cost efficient recruiting tool to exclude online non degree applicants from the very outset ..."
"... If you really want to get disgusted, look up "Learning Analytics". Venture capital is streaming into these startups that are aggressively data mining students. None of it ever passes through an ethics board and much of it violates FERPA, but the Department of Education seems to shrug their collective shoulders about it. Probably because many Dept of Ed personnel end up at those companies as advisors. ..."
"... And don't get me started on those tablets. Google hands out Chromebooks and swears up and down that they don't collect usage data. ..."
"... Well, see, arithmetic and maths and English and composition and Physics and Chemistry change so often that using paper textbooks would leave paper textbook students hopelessly behind students using tablets. OK, tablets cost on the order of 3 times what paper textbooks cost for the same usable time-span. But, hey! It's new! It's now! It's happening! (And also, too, rents.) /s ..."
"... One aspect you didn't cover, that I think may be more important than fighting off regulations (although that plays a role, I'm sure) is that I think execs are looking to get a piece of the silicon valley, techland infinite money-pile. They see Tesla worth more than Ford and they dream of where their stock price (and their stock options!) might go if they were thought of as tech companies instead of boring old banks. ..."
"... And part of it is fear. They are afraid of being the next Sears or local taxi company or whoever getting disrupted by the infinite silicon valley money-pile, either by the startups that can burn billions of dollars buying market share or by the big players who can leverage their entrenched monopoly positions in their core markets to spend billions trying to take over any market they feel like. ..."
"... The issue is that the banks have no incentive to address the 5 issues that you raised. They are a rent seeking cartel that does not care about the well being of the general populace at all. They certainly are not tech start-ups. I get the impression that most people think that tech startups are God, but in reality there are many bad start-ups too. ..."
"... Basically, their money is made screwing the general public over at this point. That's sad to say, but it is not far from the truth. What we need is a public bank and/or larger credit unions that can offer all the financial services of a big bank. ..."
Jul 17, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The first paragraph states what may be obvious to those outside the finance industry bubble. Namely that users of financial services mostly do not want or need so-called innovative financial products or any new ways of using finance in their lives. Rather, they want banks to provide simple, easy-to-understand basic financial products that work. According to the copious data available from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which I've analysed, retail bank customers' top five sources of complaint are:

  1. Fees.
  2. Poor customer service.
  3. Unpaid checks or other bounced payments.
  4. "Gotcha's" hidden in product Terms and Conditions small print.
  5. Bank errors (which were either not corrected, took a lot of effort to get corrected or the corrections caused other knock-on issues).

I've worked in finance for nearly 30 years. The very first list I ever saw for complaints looked exactly the same as this.

And this begs an obvious question: if customers complain about how banks let them down, why are the banks not concentrating on what customers are telling them is wrong with the products and services the banks provide already – rather than spending time and money on creating new supposedly innovative ones? The answer is, of course, that it generates profits for the banks to do things which customers find annoying (high fees, obscure product features and even bank errors which cause the customer to lose and the bank to win). Or else it costs money, such as to train staff and then retain that knowledge in their workforces or to have sufficient numbers of staff available in the first place, to fix the problem.

Customers, even if we are supposed to be " In a digital world filled with choice " don't need " choice, empathy and ease of use designed into every interaction they have with the bank "¯. We want to not be ripped off and for the banks to act competently in our dealings with them.

It is too much of a stretch to expect that the banks, unprompted or without being cajoled by regulators, will address structural issues around their business culture, executive conduct and outlandish profitability ratio expectations. However, we should expect continued wailing and gnashing of teeth from the banks about "innovation"¯ and the need to be "competitive"¯ in "the marketplace"¯. The latter is a complete and immediately disprovable canard though, because the top 5 banks control nearly half of the market .

So why, then, do the banks keep going, broken-record like, with their claims about the need to innovate?

For one thing, which may not be obvious to those outside the industry, working in finance is usually incredibly boring, frustrating, tedious and slow. While the outsized pay can and does attract intelligent and talented people, some of whom are quite creative, it is just about the worst place for those sorts of people to work. Systems and operations are convoluted and difficult to change because of their complexity. Banks are large bureaucracies with fiefdoms, turf wars, massive egos and driven by the need – in the cause of maximising shareholder value, the alter upon which many business have to sacrifice themselves – to implement the lowest cost solutions.

It is not uncommon for the graduates and those recruited from the top performers in science and technology to join banks. They are lured by high pay and the promise of joining the Masters of the Universe. Sadly, they often find that the reality is form-filling, battles with nickel-and-diming accountants and internecine warfare. Boredom, for want of a better word, drives many of them to seek out vanity projects or resume-burnishing novelties such as fintech.

Lining up alongside a desire to do anything to relieve the monotony push, bank C-level leaderships then adds a pull all of their own. A preoccupation with trying to escape regulatory and legal constraints. For evidence, let's return to the Tearsheet post:

There is no greater trojan horse to change an organization than design thinking,¯ said Stephen Gates, head of Citi Design. " Especially with something where there are lawyers, regulators Part of what we had to do was change thinking, not behavior. If it's new behavior on old thinking, we didn't really change anything.¯" ( emphasis mine)

Superficially, this doesn't sound especially problematic. It could even be construed as plodding old legacy businesses like banks trying to adapt themselves to the modern knowledge economy era. Such superficial analysis would be wrong. Firstly, repeating a cliché of innovation and relying on invisible hands that ceaselessly drive any and all businesses to discard everything they've done historically and start afresh is just that, clichéd.

The notion that everything a business has learned and any intellectual property it possesses has suddenly, somehow, been rendered obsolete by some vague notion of an immense technological development is repeated so often that it's become part of our prevailing culture. But aside from a very small number of breakout products, such as the personal computer, the internet and the smartphone, most products you buy or services you use are only ever incremental improvements on what has preceded them.

The same applies to banking. Without getting too bogged down in the technicalities, a bank's only functions are to intermediate maturities and interest rates on deposits taken and loans made, plus to offer some money transmission services. Within financial services, the only two true innovations in the past 50 years or more which stand up to a scrutinizing of that term are the ATM and the credit card. Changes to how customers are serviced such as the migration from the branch channel to the telephone or the internet have shifted the "where"¯ and the "how"¯ banks interact with their customers, but not the "what"¯ of those interactions.

The line I highlighted in the Tearsheet article gave the game away. The participants who's thinking purportedly needs to change are not the accountants picking through expense reports stripping out costs (which usually means reducing headcount). Nor is it the thinking of executives to reduce their outsized compensation packages. Nor is it in boards who will only look at changes through the lens of a 5-year business case which must pay back within the shortest of short-term timeframes and satisfy outlandish Return on Investment (ROI) targets. These ways of thinking have been with us for at least 20 years or more, but apparently aren't in any danger of approaching a sell-by date.

No, the thinking that needs to change is that of " lawyers, regulators "¯ who are being exhorted to change to embrace the latest design trends and technological innovations. But regulators and lawyers are not and cannot be creative types who spend their time considering new colors for logos and typefaces for websites. Their jobs are to enforce or provide advice and guidance on the laws governing a corporation's products and services or to interpret regulatory frameworks which have been enacted by regulators and lawmakers. Creativity, design thinking and behavior doesn't come into it. Just because a bank wants to label a change as being innovative doesn't ! or shouldn't ! lessen the obligations on a bank's legal team or the regulators to comply with laws or existing regulations.

Gutting regulatory compliance and trying to side-step legal obligations aren't "design thinking". They're the same connivances which would have killed the entire banking industry 10 years ago, had we not all been coerced into bailing it out.

You can't blame the banks for trying it on. They are what they are and will continue to be so until they are forced to change. You can, however, fairly and squarely blame regulators and lawmakers for not pouring a lot of cold water on this craving for technological fervour. Making the banks tackle their long-standing issues as evident in the CFPB's complaint data before they can try anything fancy like fintech would be a start.

Banking industry , Guest Post , Ridiculously obvious scams , Technology and innovation on July 12, 2017 by Clive . About Clive

Survivor of nearly 30 years in a TBTF bank. Also had the privilege of working in Japan, which was great, selling real estate, which was an experience bordering on the psychedelic.

timotheus , July 12, 2017 at 7:09 am

A question from a total outsider: if modern banking is tedious and frustrating, could this be related to the (often-mentioned here) move away from servicing credit needs to algorithm-driven mechanics? If I think of the banker who sat in a front window of his bank on the main square of my home town, he was surely engaged in figuring out who was mortgage-worthy, what businesses might be good bets for loans, etc. It might have had its routine aspects, but it was engaged, integrated into the town's life, and required complex skills including how to say no to the guy who would sit next to your family at church. Perhaps banking has killed off its most appealing aspects and left its minions filthy rich but with nothing stimulating to do.

Clive Post author , July 12, 2017 at 7:42 am

Automated decisioning has removed a lot of the skill and judgement for banks' credit officers. It has also removed a lot of credit officers! There's virtually no discretion available in retail credit policy and no-one empowered to override standard-model largely FICO derived lending decisions. As you say, a lot of local market knowledge helped banks and their lending teams make credit decisioning much more flexible in the past.

I was though more referring here to the technology side of banks ! they are the antithesis of what many attracted to enter the sector think it will be like. There's so many internal bureaucracy hurdles, complexity constraints and cost-focussed management to work with, the people who unwisely buy into the hype the recruitment consultants proffer end up frustrated and disappointed. It is almost inevitable they go looking for glamour projects ! however unworkable they may be like a lot of fintech ! to try to latch onto.

Jim A , July 12, 2017 at 8:20 am

Of course the bad mortgages that were a big part of the RE bubble were approved by poorly thought out algorithms. As were the ratings on the bonds created from them. Algorithms are really only as good as the data that they are based on and the knowledge of the people who write them. And when it is profitable in the short term to ignore the long term, rest assured that somebody will figure out a way to make the algorithms do that.

EricT , July 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

Not algorithms, fraud. Mears, Countrywide and Goldman come to my mind.

Vatch , July 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

Who or what is Mears?

Tinky , July 12, 2017 at 10:20 am

Probably meant "MERS", aka "Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc."

Though "Mears" is an anagram of "reams", so

Vatch , July 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Oh, okay, that makes sense. Thank you.

MERS is the source of much trouble.

vlade , July 12, 2017 at 8:29 am

Amen.

That said, it's an interesting world out there, as banks do vary from country to country (having had experience in a number of them, on both sides of the fence).

Say in NZ, I had a bank manager, and he had some (reasonably) ability to vary the interest rate on my mortgage when I came asking. He could also offer special rates on deposits (over a certain amount).

In the UK, I also had a bank manager. Who wasn't even told by the bank's credit card department my CC application was rejected as I wasn't in the country for long enough, so he kep submitting it in the belief it got lost.. To modify an interest rate on anything was impossible. And, most recently it's even impossible to override the automated lending decision. Hurrah for automation!

It fascinates me how fascinated banks are with big data now. When banks were the first and ultimate big data company – just the data processors were people, not machines. Then they used the machines to streamline processes, seemingly w/o realisation that streamlining processes gets you commoditised (as its eminently copiable). So now banks are struggling to avoid a commoditization while working very very hard at it.

notabanker , July 12, 2017 at 8:50 am

Screams Utility, doesn't it?

programmer3 , July 12, 2017 at 8:43 am

On the flipside, removing personal discretion from credit judgement calls also makes the process more fair – less "redlining," and no denying credit based on personal prejudices (or approving loans for friends and family)

Clive Post author , July 12, 2017 at 8:54 am

That's a valid point ! it was too easy for a friends-and-family bias and even bribery to creep in to human decisions before model-based credit decisions became the norm. The happy-medium was when predefined scoring criteria were used as the foundation for a loan but you could appeal to head/regional offices for an over-ride if you had good extenuating circumstances or other reliable evidence to back you up.

The latter option is now no longer available, for the most part.

Doctor Duck , July 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

Your nick is 'programmer' and you think an algorithm couldn't be written to include a few "red lines"? Hmmm

Harry , July 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Exactly what I was thinking

Thuto , July 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Exactly, see my comment below

cocomaan , July 12, 2017 at 9:42 am

I agree with Doctor Duck: the idea that because it's programmed, it's a better bureaucracy has really turned out to be a false promise. Just look at the financial crisis and reverse redlining (ie, predatory loans) was used as a financial weapon against minorities.

Aside from racial injustices, it's pretty obvious that "the programming" is there to reify existing class divisions. There's no bureaucratic computer program that seeks to free people from the crushing bonds of class. Max Weber would have a field day. Bureaucratic technology ensures that there's no charisma appearing in the system.

We've created machines in our image, with all our prejudices and all of our assumptions in place, preserved in silicon forever.

Sue , July 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

cocomaan,
very good points!

Mel , July 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Process more objective. The red lines are the ones written into the algorithms. I recall a Ted Rall post about Dayton OH that described them demolishing empty historic buildings to get their occupancy rate up. Banks algos wouldn't grand mortgage funds in areas with high un-occupancy rates. This is death to Jane Jacobs' recommended city environment, where a range of available rents, low-to-high, nourished every kind of development. A new-scale developer, blogging as Granola Shotgun has a lot to say about this ! the linked posts and a lot before.

Scott F , July 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Actually, a recent study took a classic psychology evaluation used on humans to detect bias and modified them to apply to so-called Artificial Intelligence and found that the same biases pop-up. The authors conjectured that the training data – compiled by humans – introduced the humans' biases into the system.

https://www.princeton.edu/news/2017/04/18/biased-bots-artificial-intelligence-systems-echo-human-prejudices

David Barrera , July 12, 2017 at 3:43 pm

This reminds me of the statistical gender discrimination algorithms used in the past. Some subindustries considered cost efficient to screen out women for employment because of the probability of maternity leave-apparently there were other "average gender biased considerations too"-. This excluded first, women who did not want to have any kids, and secondly-and independently from that- diverse, able, capable and willing labor participants. Have you ever asked yourself why some jobs which would not require a college degree by any stretch of the imagination screen out electronically the non-college degree applicants? "On average", a college degree is an order acceptance and an endurance performance index within that order,thus, it is a cost efficient recruiting tool to exclude online non degree applicants from the very outset. This way the enterprise leaves out that which the average does not include and which in certain cases could bring terribly needed different approaches to a job .Yet, no one ever said enterprises were democratic, truly inclusive and open to certain changes.

In regards to the financial theme, programmer 3 commented "removing personal discretion approving loans from friends and family". Anyone who worked for a lending company in the past knows it was a matter of policy that no employee could make loans to relatives or friends.

Remember that personal discretion-as opposed to personal arbitrariness-acts within written and unwritten guidelines and rules too. Also, what your stand alone algorithmic dictatorship does to how delinquencies are currently managed by the mortgage industry it just simply has no name.

HotFlash , July 13, 2017 at 2:09 am

"On average", a college degree is an order acceptance and an endurance performance index within that order,thus, it is a cost efficient recruiting tool to exclude online non degree applicants from the very outset

.

These days, a college degree is also a prime indicator of life-controlling debt.

Thuto , July 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Not in South Africa, where race is big factor in determining the risk profile of the client. As you can probably guess, the machines have been programmed to grant punitive interest rates to black people

Mrs Smith , July 12, 2017 at 7:49 am

Someone just sent me this link, and it's a perfect example of the above.

Don't miss the "native negroni" complete with "chilled vibes" and "bonus badassness."

[A "nope" gif isn't nearly strong enough to constrain my gag reflex for this stuff.]

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/time-something-new-james-haycock?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BT57ItR8S3HRsqyVGECS1vw%3D%3D

Clive Post author , July 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

That is the worst example of this kind of thing I've ever seen! And we've seen plenty here it deserves some kind of award, in the same vein as the anti-Academy Award "Golden Raspberries" does for motion pictures. It might, Clive says hoping, be some sort of parody. Unfortunately, I think it is for real.

Arizona Slim , July 12, 2017 at 8:35 am

And it's all too typical of the bovine manure that gets posted on LinkedIn Pulse. Consider the source.

Stephen Gardner , July 12, 2017 at 9:30 am

But was the gin in the negroni curated by a hipster in tight pants and an ironic mustache? If not I just am not interested. LOL.

John Wright , July 12, 2017 at 9:42 am

To show my disconnect from the modern world, the linkedin article closes with "PI-shaped people"

I had to search for that, first suspecting it meant a person who levers their abilities by 3.14159xxxx

From what I found, there are T-shaped, PI-shaped and Comb-shaped people and the symbol's shape is a sort of expertise indicator.

A T-shaped person has one area of expertise under their generalist/broad knowledge top hat, a PI shaped person has TWO areas of expertise under their generalist/ broad knowledge top, while a comb-shaped person has MULTIPLE expertise areas under their generalist/broad knowledge top.

Do people make a living coming up with this stuff?

NotTimothyGeithner , July 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

"Do people make a living coming up with this stuff?"

Delta shaped people do.

cocomaan , July 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Is this satire? I know if I have to ask that I'm the negative negroni, but this can't be real.

Bill Smith , July 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

From the list, the first one, fees, aren't going away given that the interest margins are so narrow.

I've seen a number of banks partner with one of the non bank fintech's (even pre IPO fintech's) to make the bank fintech savvy. To get their computer driven credit system? It will take a while to see how that works out.

notabanker , July 12, 2017 at 8:37 am

The agile design led stuff reminds me a lot of the TQM programs I went through in the 80's / 90's. Independent thinking within the group, commitment to the group to do the work, rolled out in large scale. We're even moving away from the cube farm to the factory floor, with foosball, xbox's and (sometimes free) coffee for all.

Likewise, the whole spinoff/startup thing was in vogue back in the early 90's when banks were faced with e-commerce, this is just the 2017 version.

Legacy is, and in some ways should be, their issue. Systems of record for fin transactions should have a long shelf life. With that comes people, process, costs and profits, all major drags on change. They won't be able to have it both ways.

fajensen , July 12, 2017 at 9:18 am

Me thinks that this kind of hype reaching banks and even politicians (the Danish government has created a "Disruption-council") is a sign that things are not going so well inside the engine room on the mother ship of the technopocalypse. Governments and Banks are kinda the very last people on earth to discover anything. At All. When they are suddenly "getting the vibe" whatever "the vibe" was about, is absolutely over :).

I think that Silicon Valley is leaking flim-flam merchants and "evangelists" because the money is getting thinner, the sell is becoming harder, easy consulting opportunities are diminishing and fewer are being procured by the real operators (Apple, Google, Facebook, CISCO .) to provide their stunning insights and bold visions for the future. The accountants are ascending, ROI is being scrutinised, exponential growth is levelling off so now there is time to do that.

The visionaries and evangelists still like to be paid (and the travel), so instead of canvassing Silicon Valley harder with work better suited to the actual future, they spread out and seek new markets for the same old stuff, kinda like what happened when Monsanto poured PCB into everything plasticky when the market for oil-filled capacitors was tapped out.

I'd say, in only one-two years, there will be good "SPLAT!" in the .unicorn market.

HotFlash , July 13, 2017 at 2:17 am

Thanks, fajensen, I think you are quite right. Totally looking forward to the Big Splat!

SoCal Rhino , July 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

Keeping score from recent battles among local demi deities, currently turf beats innovation, and in a stunning reversal that may not last, cost cutting prevailed over turf. These battlefields rather than the PowerPoint campaigns being where I observe corporate culture.

vlade , July 12, 2017 at 9:14 am

I'd add one innovation to the list though – smart sweep systems. That is, something that optimises the costs of an account/accounts for a client. That could be just sweeps between saving/checking accounts (not talking US here), to queuing transactions as to minimize costs etc.

But the banks that implemented this found very quickly that it led to a significant drop in client profitability (namely overdraft fees collapsed, interest paid went up), so quietly canned it.

But the story doesnt' end there – the smart ones figured out that optimization doesn't care whether you do max or min, so used the technology to optimise the profit from the client – hence things like applying debits before credits (to take you into overdraft) etc. Forunately, this "innovation" went out too, but it took regulators to get it done.

Clive Post author , July 12, 2017 at 9:22 am

Yes indeedey. My TBTF stopped allowing new sweeps / pooling arrangements which was a great service for customers who wanted to keep money on deposit or even in a market-linked account but didn't want to have to worry about constantly keeping an eye on what was in their current (checking) account to make sure they weren't going to go overdrawn.

Simple to understand, easy to set up for both customers and the bank, worked flawlessly because it was just a nightly batch job with easy-peasy logic ! what was there not to like? Erm unfortunately for the customers, the hit on bank profitability.

flora , July 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

Gaaa. Let me fix a bit of the Tearsheet intro:
"In a digital world filled with choice, banks' customers need choice, empathy and ease of use need sound information, good customer service and accurate accounting designed into every interaction they have with the bank."

I use my bank as a utility, not as an exciting "experience."

Great post.

cocomaan , July 12, 2017 at 9:48 am

Hey Clive, loved this piece. This really caught my attention:

For one thing, which may not be obvious to those outside the industry, working in finance is usually incredibly boring, frustrating, tedious and slow. While the outsized pay can and does attract intelligent and talented people, some of whom are quite creative, it is just about the worst place for those sorts of people to work. Systems and operations are convoluted and difficult to change because of their complexity.

I've worked in higher education and you see the same thing going on right now. Education, to me, is a social process of imparting knowledge. Simple solutions to perennial problems in education are: (1)Smaller class sizes (2) Better pay/benefits for teachers (3) Support systems for parents to help them help their children do well.

But what happens in education? Well the same thing you mention above: technology is thrown at these kids a mile a minute. Suddenly, the solution to problems in the classroom is monitoring grades through centralized systems with their databanks on the cloud, where student's every move is considered and they are flagged technologically for not living up to expectations. There's a huge complex of technological charlatan/consultants infesting higher and primary education at the moment.

Before long, the "boring" solutions are impossible. Why? As you say above, the technology becomes ensnared in itself, taking on its own inertia. Before you know it, you can't afford to change anything for the better because you have several legacy systems running simultaneously and weighing down budgets.

Clive , July 12, 2017 at 12:24 pm

It takes a lot to shock me, nowadays, but I was genuinely taken aback when an educator friend of mine (in our equivalent of K-12) told me she'd been given a tablet with ! from what I could tell, I didn't see it in action ! proprietary software used by the chain academy (charter school as it would be called in the US) where she works which prompted her during lessons to capture certain metrics (numbers of students voluntarily putting their hands up when asked certain previously defined questions in class, time spent on a particular PowerPoint slide ! a PowerPoint slide I thought for cryin' out loud ! which had been similarly predefined and "tagged for follow up" versus the estimated "best practice" time slot for this classroom content, a teacher-subjective "score" for student "engagement" and similar).

As a bit of a data nerd, I was appalled not just by the intrusion into territory where, surely, experienced educators knew best what to do, how to pace lessons, how to make best use of classroom time and so on but ! more importantly ! by the risible quality of the data being gathered. It was what I call pseudo facts, things which sound like they might be telling you something worth knowing but don't actually prove anything.

It all reminded me of those animal behaviour studies, the ones which come to conclusions like "when a cat comes towards you and it has its tail upright, it is engaged with you and wants you to interact with it". Sufficed to say when I tried out the theories on my mother-in-law's cat, I got a scratched top of my hand for my trouble.

cocomaan , July 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Love the cat analogy. Glad, or rather not glad, to know that it's reached across the pond.

If you really want to get disgusted, look up "Learning Analytics". Venture capital is streaming into these startups that are aggressively data mining students. None of it ever passes through an ethics board and much of it violates FERPA, but the Department of Education seems to shrug their collective shoulders about it. Probably because many Dept of Ed personnel end up at those companies as advisors.

And don't get me started on those tablets. Google hands out Chromebooks and swears up and down that they don't collect usage data.

flora , July 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

an aside, and off topic (apologies):

Well, see, arithmetic and maths and English and composition and Physics and Chemistry change so often that using paper textbooks would leave paper textbook students hopelessly behind students using tablets. OK, tablets cost on the order of 3 times what paper textbooks cost for the same usable time-span. But, hey! It's new! It's now! It's happening! (And also, too, rents.) /s

Clive Post author , July 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Yeah, it's not like those old fashioned printed text books wouldn't go out of date (unless there was a lot of needless curriculum churn) and not have a useable economic life, even allowing for students' not-too-careful handling, of 5 to 10 years or so. Oh wait a minute

PKMKII , July 12, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Example of what I like to the call the "If you want faster-than-light-speed travel tomorrow, you have to let us commit fraud today" argument. Question is, whose eyes are they trying to pull the wool over? Investors to be wooed by web 2.0 jibberish? The top brass, to justify their continued employment and/or promotions? The public, as a horse and pony show to distract us from the bezzle? Regulators, hoping that the innovation and tech talk will intimidate them from paying attention to the man behind the curtain?

Some Guy , July 12, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Good post Clive, as someone who's been in banking for a few decades now, the current moment is very reminiscent of the late 90's, even down to some of the details.

Was on a call with some senior folks a while back rhapsodizing about how cutting edge neural network models would revolutionize our business, and I turned to a colleague who also been around the block and said, 'yeah we tried all that in the 90's, it didn't really make a difference' (vs. the standard approach of using multiple regression for credit scoring), and he said to me, 'yeah we tried that at my bank too, same result'

One aspect you didn't cover, that I think may be more important than fighting off regulations (although that plays a role, I'm sure) is that I think execs are looking to get a piece of the silicon valley, techland infinite money-pile. They see Tesla worth more than Ford and they dream of where their stock price (and their stock options!) might go if they were thought of as tech companies instead of boring old banks.

And part of it is fear. They are afraid of being the next Sears or local taxi company or whoever getting disrupted by the infinite silicon valley money-pile, either by the startups that can burn billions of dollars buying market share or by the big players who can leverage their entrenched monopoly positions in their core markets to spend billions trying to take over any market they feel like.

DH , July 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Wells Fargo tried that where they made account creation essentially click-bait for their workers. It worked for a while until it didn't. It turned out that their account creation approach was just a retread of the 1999 dot.com model, so they really were a tech start-up after all.

Altandmain , July 12, 2017 at 6:29 pm

The issue is that the banks have no incentive to address the 5 issues that you raised. They are a rent seeking cartel that does not care about the well being of the general populace at all. They certainly are not tech start-ups. I get the impression that most people think that tech startups are God, but in reality there are many bad start-ups too.

Basically, their money is made screwing the general public over at this point. That's sad to say, but it is not far from the truth. What we need is a public bank and/or larger credit unions that can offer all the financial services of a big bank.

ScottS , July 12, 2017 at 7:09 pm

From http://m.builtinla.com/2017/06/30/4-la-startups-named-prestigious-fintech-list :

Manhattan Beach-based PeerStreet closed out 2016 with a bang, raising a $15 million Series A anchored by strong growth over the course of the year. The company developed a crowdfunding platform that gives real estate investors access to high-yielding loans, with individual investments starting from as low as $1,000.

What could go wrong?

Colonel Smithers , July 13, 2017 at 6:49 am

Thank you for this post and reader contributions.

Many of the examples cited apply (equally) to my former employer, Barclays. Having been shafted by shysters from Wall Street, the bank jumped into the frying pan of (pseudo-)techies (often from a particular part of the world). My current employer, the German twin of Barclays, is just the same as the blue eagle.

Clive , July 13, 2017 at 6:58 am

Mine too, they must be putting something in the water.

[Jul 16, 2017] There is an older abomination, known as outcomes based education, which was a scheme to destroy the syllabus, while keeping teachers too busy with paperwork (recording outcomes ) to preserve copies of the syllabus or properly teach.

Jul 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

saskydisc , July 16, 2017 at 7:41 am

There is an older abomination, known as outcomes based education, which was a scheme to destroy the syllabus, while keeping teachers too busy with paperwork (recording "outcomes") to preserve copies of the syllabus or properly teach.

It started in USA, was rejected there, got foisted on South Africa and Australia, got rejected by 2008 in RSA, not sure when in Australia, then got foisted on Canada, although opposition is building.

Seeing that high school teachers can see through it and opposition precedes it, the OBE clowns changed tack!

Now Engineering colleges in North America must follow this tomfoolery if they want to retain accreditation.

[Jul 16, 2017] The dumbing down of America is going full steam

What is bunch of moron those modern educators are
Notable quotes:
"... Common core math is indeed an abomination. It nearly destroyed my son's interest in math. I'm teaching him old school math. Of course, I am also supplementing his history lessons with alternative analyses and with a more comprehensive range of topics. ..."
"... Another thing – most teachers of common core math at my son's public school do not understand it themselves. I noted errors in homework assignments which only compounded the confusion among the students. ..."
"... One more thing – they are expected to learn from online videos and sloppily prepared study sheets – not a real math book. The school system is trying to make education paperless. This, to me, stunts the critical skills of eye-hand coordination, the ability to express abstract concept visually (e.g. making good sketches of ideas), etc. For example, mechanical drafting skills with the associated ability to visualize have been replaced by learning how to manipulate software. ..."
"... Perhaps these are cost-cutting measures but the results is that the US public education system, from my experience, is in free fall. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

kirill , July 16, 2017 at 6:05 am

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-15/3-examples-show-how-common-core-destroying-math-education-america

The dumbing down of America is going full steam. This "Rube Goldberg math" is something else.

Patient Observer , July 16, 2017 at 7:08 am
Common core math is indeed an abomination. It nearly destroyed my son's interest in math. I'm teaching him old school math. Of course, I am also supplementing his history lessons with alternative analyses and with a more comprehensive range of topics.

Another thing – most teachers of common core math at my son's public school do not understand it themselves. I noted errors in homework assignments which only compounded the confusion among the students.

One more thing – they are expected to learn from online videos and sloppily prepared study sheets – not a real math book. The school system is trying to make education paperless. This, to me, stunts the critical skills of eye-hand coordination, the ability to express abstract concept visually (e.g. making good sketches of ideas), etc. For example, mechanical drafting skills with the associated ability to visualize have been replaced by learning how to manipulate software.

Perhaps these are cost-cutting measures but the results is that the US public education system, from my experience, is in free fall.

Here is a tin-foil hat theory based on the linked article. If Bill Gates is promoting a method of education that stunts learning among the masses while sending his own kids to private school that does not use the same method, could this be a way help to create a society of dysfunctional masses ruled by a well-trained elites?

yalensis , July 16, 2017 at 8:11 am
When it comes to Math, I think the traditional textbook approach is the best. For History and the social sciences, though, I would recommend replacing big textbooks with individual monographs and other study materials focusing on specialized themes.

Reason being: For Math, there is a standard (finite) set of facts and techniques that need to be mastered at the school level; whereas there is no such thing as a "standard" or finite sets of historical facts.

marknesop , July 16, 2017 at 9:57 am
A commenter to the article suggested Microsoft was setting itself up to step seamlessly into public education when the IT bubble bursts.
yalensis , July 16, 2017 at 10:53 am
Somebody else suggested they are trying to prepare kids to become programmers of digital computers (like Bill Gates started out). But that doesn't make any sense either, because digital computers do not use this method to subtract. Instead, they use a method called "2's complement addition".

This YouTube video explains quite clearly how it is done in binary computer registers: https://youtu.be/vfY7bN_3VKw

Matt , July 16, 2017 at 11:16 am
Computers do use binary arithmetic, but for a human to do so, it involves converting from base 10 to base 2 and then subtracting. In order to convert from base 10 to base 2, you have to follow a step-by-step procedure which involves the remainder.

Compare converting from base 10 to 2:

https://mathbits.com/MathBits/CompSci/Introduction/frombase10.htm

to the image given in the ZH article of the new subtraction method being taught:

You can see there is some similarity in the thought process, "carrying" the remainder forward is the main lesson being taught.

    • marknesop says: July 16, 2017 at 9:55 am That is just bizarre. One commenter suggested the methods might be geared toward more complex problems where numbers do not represent real things, but concepts; but I just can't see that, either. But then, I've never been good at math and was always afraid of it. Whatever the case, I would have dropped out of school in Grade Three if I'd had to learn this way. It makes math problems ten times more complicated than they need to be, and every time you introduce another step you introduce another possibility of making a mistake. Reply
      • likbez says: July 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm Very true ! I am pretty good in math but this is still too much artificially introduced complexity for me too. Still it would be a perfect way to work with roman numbers. And that's BTW why Arabic notation is so much superior.

        What a bunch of morons !!!

[Jun 21, 2017] Neoliberalism and opioids abuse

Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova, June 21, 2017 at 07:25 PM

Over 33K people in US died of opiates overdoses in 2015 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Not only unemployed abuse opioids, but more and more college students and recent graduates are abusing the opioids as well, according to a survey of 1200 college aged adults commissioned the same year by Christie foundation.

Federal law does not require colleges to report drug death unless they are deemed criminal. But fatal overdoses have been rising at schools nationwide underscoring and horrifying reality of for administrators: in addition to binge drinking and marijuana, they have another crisis firmly entrenched on campus.

Now losing 30K people in one year is like small scale civil war (like the one they have in Ukraine) and in a way it is: war of wealthy and medical industrial complex against those in difficult circumstances, with dreams crashed and, especially, unemployed.

https://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2016-06-14/opioids-linked-with-deaths-other-than-overdoses-study-says

== quote ==

CHICAGO (AP) - Accidental overdoses aren't the only deadly risk from using powerful prescription painkillers - the drugs may also contribute to heart-related deaths and other fatalities, new research suggests.

Among more than 45,000 patients in the study, those using opioid painkillers had a 64 percent higher risk of dying within six months of starting treatment compared to patients taking other prescription pain medicine. Unintentional overdoses accounted for about 18 percent of the deaths among opioid users, versus 8 percent of the other patients.

"As bad as people think the problem of opioid use is, it's probably worse," said Wayne Ray, the lead author and a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University's medical school. "They should be a last resort and particular care should be exercised for patients who are at cardiovascular risk."

His caution echoes recent advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trying to stem the nation's opioid epidemic. The problem includes abuse of street drugs like heroin and overuse of prescription opioids such as hydrocodone, codeine and morphine.

The drugs can slow breathing and can worsen disrupted breathing that occurs with sleep apnea, potentially leading to irregular heartbeats, heart attacks or sudden death, the study authors said.

In 2014, there were more than 14,000 fatal overdoses linked with the painkillers in the U.S. The study suggests even more have died from causes linked with the drugs, and bolster evidence in previous research linking them with heart problems.

The study involved more than 45,000 adult Medicaid patients in Tennessee from 1999 to 2012. They were prescribed drugs for chronic pain not caused by cancer but from other ailments including persistent backaches and arthritis.

Half received long-acting opioids including controlled-release oxycodone, methadone and fentanyl skin patches. Fentanyl has been implicated in the April death of Prince, although whether the singer was using a fentanyl patch, pills or other form of the drug hasn't been publicly revealed.

Long-acting opioids remain in the body longer. The study authors noted that the body's prolonged exposure to the drugs may increase risks for toxic reactions.

The remaining study patients had prescriptions for non-opioid drugs sometimes used to treat nerve pain, including gabapentin; or certain antidepressants also used for pain.

There were 185 deaths among opioid users, versus 87 among other patients. The researchers calculated that for every 145 patients on an opioid drug, there was one excess death versus deaths among those on other painkillers.

The two groups were similar in age, medical conditions, risks for heart problems and other characteristics that could have contributed to the outcomes.

The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association .

The study involved only Medicaid patients, who include low-income and disabled adults and who are among groups disproportionately affected by opioid abuse.

Ray noted that the study excluded the sickest patients and those with any evidence of drug abuse. He said similar results would likely be found in other groups.

Dr. Chad Brummett, director of pain research at the University of Michigan Health System, said the study highlights risks from the drugs in a novel way and underscores why their use should be limited.

[Jun 17, 2017] The Collapsing Social Contract by Gaius Publius

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it. ..."
"... Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur. ..."
"... But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.) ..."
"... American Psycho ..."
"... The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America. ..."
"... unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do. ..."
"... our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture. ..."
"... That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us. ..."
"... Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal. ..."
"... "Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability. ..."
"... Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? ..."
"... JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed. ..."
"... Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets. ..."
"... Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away. ..."
"... My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. ..."
"... The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean. ..."
"... The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. ..."
"... There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation. ..."
"... The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. ..."
"... "Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." ..."
"... "Four Futures" ..."
"... Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good". ..."
"... Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster. ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. I have been saying for some years that I did not think we would see a revolution, but more and more individuals acting out violently. That's partly the result of how community and social bonds have weakened as a result of neoliberalism but also because the officialdom has effective ways of blocking protests. With the overwhelming majority of people using smartphones, they are constantly surveilled. And the coordinated 17-city paramilitary crackdown on Occupy Wall Street shows how the officialdom moved against non-violent protests. Police have gotten only more military surplus toys since then, and crowd-dispersion technology like sound cannons only continues to advance. The only way a rebellion could succeed would be for it to be truly mass scale (as in over a million people in a single city) or by targeting crucial infrastructure.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

"[T]he super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of June 8, 2017 , the world's richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people."
-Paul Buchheit, Alternet

"Congressman Steve Scalise, Three Others Shot at Alexandria, Virginia, Baseball Field"
-NBC News, June 14, 2017

"4 killed, including gunman, in shooting at UPS facility in San Francisco"
-ABC7News, June 14, 2017

"Seriously? Another multiple shooting? So many guns. So many nut-bars. So many angry nut-bars with guns."
-MarianneW via Twitter

"We live in a world where "multiple dead" in San Francisco shooting can't cut through the news of another shooting in the same day."
-SamT via Twitter

"If the rich are determined to extract the last drop of blood, expect the victims to put up a fuss. And don't expect that fuss to be pretty. I'm not arguing for social war; I'm arguing for justice and peace."
- Yours truly

When the social contract breaks from above, it breaks from below as well.

Until elites stand down and stop the brutal squeeze , expect more after painful more of this. It's what happens when societies come apart. Unless elites (of both parties) stop the push for "profit before people," policies that dominate the whole of the Neoliberal Era , there are only two outcomes for a nation on this track, each worse than the other. There are only two directions for an increasingly chaotic state to go, chaotic collapse or sufficiently militarized "order" to entirely suppress it.

As with the climate, I'm concerned about the short term for sure - the storm that kills this year, the hurricane that kills the next - but I'm also concerned about the longer term as well. If the beatings from "our betters" won't stop until our acceptance of their "serve the rich" policies improves, the beatings will never stop, and both sides will take up the cudgel.

Then where will we be?

America's Most Abundant Manufactured Product May Be Pain

I look out the window and see more and more homeless people, noticeably more than last year and the year before. And they're noticeably scruffier, less "kemp,"​ if that makes sense to you (it does if you live, as I do, in a community that includes a number of them as neighbors).

The squeeze hasn't let up, and those getting squeezed out of society have nowhere to drain to but down - physically, economically, emotionally. The Case-Deaton study speaks volumes to this point. The less fortunate economically are already dying of drugs and despair. If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?

The pot isn't boiling yet - these shootings are random, individualized - but they seem to be piling on top of each other. A hard-boiling, over-flowing pot may not be far behind. That's concerning as well, much moreso than even the random horrid events we recoil at today.

Many More Ways Than One to Be a Denier

My comparison above to the climate problem was deliberate. It's not just the occasional storms we see that matter. It's also that, seen over time, those storms are increasing, marking a trend that matters even more. As with climate, the whole can indeed be greater than its parts. There's more than one way in which to be a denier of change.

These are not just metaphors. The country is already in a pre-revolutionary state ; that's one huge reason people chose Trump over Clinton, and would have chosen Sanders over Trump. The Big Squeeze has to stop, or this will be just the beginning of a long and painful path. We're on a track that nations we have watched - tightly "ordered" states, highly chaotic ones - have trod already. While we look at them in pity, their example stares back at us.

Mes petits sous, mon petit cri de coeur.

elstprof , June 16, 2017 at 3:03 am

But the elite aren't going to stand down, whatever that might mean. The elite aren't really the "elite", they are owners and controllers of certain flows of economic activity. We need to call it what it is and actively organize against it. Publius's essay seems too passive at points, too passive voice. (Yes, it's a cry from the heart in a prophetic mode, and on that level, I'm with it.)

"If people are killing themselves in increasing numbers, isn't it just remotely maybe possible they'll also aim their anger out as well?"

Not necessarily. What Lacan called the "Big Other" is quite powerful. We internalize a lot of socio-economic junk from our cultural inheritance, especially as it's been configured over the last 40 years - our values, our body images, our criteria for judgment, our sense of what material well-being consists, etc. Ellis's American Psycho is the great satire of our time, and this time is not quite over yet. Dismemberment reigns.

The college students I deal with have internalized a lot of this. In their minds, TINA is reality. Everything balances for the individual on a razor's edge of failure of will or knowledge or hacktivity. It's all personal, almost never collective - it's a failure toward parents or peers or, even more grandly, what success means in America.

The idea that agency could be a collective action of a union for a strike isn't even on the horizon. And at the same time, these same students don't bat an eye at socialism. They're willing to listen.

But unions don't matter in our TINA. Corporations do.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

Most of the elite do not understand the money system. They do not understand how different sectors have benefitted from policies and/or subsidies that increased the money flows into these. So they think they deserve their money more than those who toiled in sectors with less support.

Furthermore, our system promotes specialists and disregards generalists this leads to a population of individualists who can't see the big picture.

jefemt , June 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

BAU, TINA, BAU!! BOHICA!!!

Dead Dog , June 16, 2017 at 3:09 am

Thank you Gaius, a thoughtful post. That social contract is hard to pin down and define – probably has different meanings to all of us, but you are right, it is breaking down. We no longer feel that our governments are working for us.

Of tangential interest, Turnbull has just announced another gun amnesty targeting guns that people no longer need and a tightening of some of the ownership laws.

RWood , June 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

So this inheritance matures: http://www.nature.com/news/fight-the-silencing-of-gun-research-1.22139

willem , June 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

One problem is the use of the term "social contract", implying that there is some kind of agreement ( = consensus) on what that is. I don't remember signing any "contract".

Fiery Hunt , June 16, 2017 at 3:17 am

I fear for my friends, I fear for my family. They do not know how ravenous the hounds behind nor ahead are. For myself? I imagine myself the same in a Mad Max world. It will be more clear, and perception shattering, to most whose lives allow the ignoring of gradual chokeholds, be them political or economic, but those of us who struggle daily, yearly, decadely with both, will only say Welcome to the party, pals.

Disturbed Voter , June 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

Increasing population, decreasing resources, increasingly expensive remaining resources on a per unit basis, unresolved trashing of the environment and an political economy that forces people to do more with less all the time (productivity improvement is mandatory, not optional, to handle the exponential function) much pain will happen even if everyone is equal.

Each person does what is right in their own eyes, but the net effect is impoverishment and destruction. Life is unfair, indeed. A social contract is a mutual suicide pact, whether you renegotiate it or not. This is Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club, is we don't speak of Fight Club. Go to the gym, toughen up, while you still can.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 6:44 am

"Social contract:" nice Enlightment construct, out of University by City. Not a real thing, just a very incomplete shorthand to attempt to fiddle the masses and give a name to meta-livability.

Always with the "contract" meme, as if there are no more durable and substantive notions of how humans in small and large groups might organize and interact Or maybe the notion is the best that can be achieved? Recalling that as my Contracts professor in law school emphasized over and over, in "contracts" there are no rights in the absence of effective remedies. It being a Boston law school, the notion was echoed in Torts, and in Commercial Paper and Sales and, tellingly, in Constitutional Law and Federal Jurisdiction, and even in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. No remedy, no right. What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?

When honest "remedies under law" become nugatory, there's always the recourse to direct action of course with zero guarantee of redress

sierra7 , June 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

"What remedies are there in "the system," for the "other halves" of the "social contract," the "have-naught" halves?" Ah yes the ultimate remedy is outright rebellion against the highest authorities .with as you say, " zero guarantee of redress."

But, history teaches us that that path will be taken ..the streets. It doesn't (didn't) take a genius to see what was coming back in the late 1960's on .regarding the beginnings of the revolt(s) by big money against organized labor. Having been very involved in observing, studying and actually active in certain groups back then, the US was acting out in other countries particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, against any social progression, repressing, arresting (thru its surrogates) torturing, killing any individuals or groups that opposed that infamous theory of "free market capitalism". It had a very definite "creep" effect, northwards to the mainstream US because so many of our major corporations were deeply involved with our covert intelligence operatives and objectives (along with USAID and NED). I used to tell my friends about what was happening and they would look at me as if I was a lunatic. The agency for change would be "organized labor", but now, today that agency has been trashed enough where so many of the young have no clue as to what it all means. The ultimate agenda along with "globalization" is the complete repression of any opposition to the " spread of money markets" around the world". The US intends to lead; whether the US citizenry does is another matter. Hence the streets.

Kuhio Kane , June 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

JTMcFee, you have provided the most important aspect to this mirage of 'social contract'. The "remedies" clearly available to lawless legislation rest outside the realm of a contract which has never existed.

bdy , June 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

The Social Contract, ephemeral, reflects perfectly what contracts have become. Older rulings frequently labeled clauses unconscionable - a tacit recognition that so few of the darn things are actually agreed upon. Rather, a party with resources, options and security imposes the agreement on a party in some form of crisis (nowadays the ever present crisis of paycheck to paycheck living – or worse). Never mind informational asymmetries, necessity drives us into crappy rental agreements and debt promises with eyes wide open. And suddenly we're all agents of the state.

Unconscionable clauses are now separately initialed in an "I dare you to sue me" shaming gambit. Meanwhile the mythical Social Contract has been atomized into 7 1/2 billion personal contracts with unstated, shifting remedies wholly tied to the depths of pockets.

Solidarity, of course. Hard when Identity politics lubricate a labor market that insists on specialization, and talented children of privilege somehow manage to navigate the new entrepreneurism while talented others look on in frustration. The resistance insists on being leaderless (fueled in part IMHO by the uncomfortable fact that effective leaders are regularly killed or co-opted). And the overriding message of resistance is negative: "Stop it!"

But that's where we are. Again, just my opinion: but the pivotal step away from the jackpot is to convince or coerce our wealthiest not to cash in. Stop making and saving so much stinking money, y'all.

Moneta , June 16, 2017 at 6:54 am

The pension system is based on profits. Nothing will change until the profits disappear and the top quintile starts falling off the treadmill.

Susan the other , June 16, 2017 at 1:01 pm

and there's the Karma bec. even now we see a private banking system synthesizing an economy to maintain asset values and profits and they have the nerve to blame it on social spending. I think Giaus's term 'Denier' is perfect for all those vested practitioners of profit-capitalism at any cost. They've already failed miserably. For the most part they're just too proud to admit it and, naturally, they wanna hang on to "their" money. I don't think it will take a revolution – in fact it would be better if no chaos ensued – just let these arrogant goofballs stew in their own juice a while longer. They are killing themselves.

roadrider , June 16, 2017 at 8:33 am

There's a social contract? Who knew?

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

When I hear so much impatient and irritable complaint, so much readiness to replace what we have by guardians for us all, those supermen, evoked somewhere from the clouds, whom none have seen and none are ready to name, I lapse into a dream, as it were. I see children playing on the grass; their voices are shrill and discordant as children's are; they are restive and quarrelsome; they cannot agree to any common plan; their play annoys them; it goes poorly. And one says, let us make Jack the master; Jack knows all about it; Jack will tell us what each is to do and we shall all agree. But Jack is like all the rest; Helen is discontented with her part and Henry with his, and soon they fall again into their old state. No, the children must learn to play by themselves; there is no Jack the master. And in the end slowly and with infinite disappointment they do learn a little; they learn to forbear, to reckon with another, accept a little where they wanted much, to live and let live, to yield when they must yield; perhaps, we may hope, not to take all they can. But the condition is that they shall be willing at least to listen to one another, to get the habit of pooling their wishes. Somehow or other they must do this, if the play is to go on; maybe it will not, but there is no Jack, in or out of the box, who can come to straighten the game. -Learned Hand

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

Here in oh-so-individualistic Chicago, I have been noting the fraying for some time: It isn't just the massacres in the highly segregated black neighborhoods, some of which are now in terminal decline as the inhabitants, justifiably, flee. The typical Chicagoan wanders the streets connected to a phone, so as to avoid eye contact, all the while dressed in what look like castoffs. Meanwhile, Midwesterners, who tend to be heavy, are advertisements for the obesity epidemic: Yet obesity has a metaphorical meaning as the coat of lipids that a person wears to keep the world away.

My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Meanwhile, I just got a message from my car-share service: They are cutting back on the number of cars on offer. Too much vandalism.

Are these things caused by pressure from above? Yes, in part: The class war continues, and the upper class has won. As commenter relstprof notes, any kind of concerted action is now nearly impossible. Instead of the term "social contract," I might substitute "solidarity." Is there solidarity? No, solidarity was destroyed as a policy of the Reagan administration, as well as by fantasies that Americans are individualistic, and here we are, 40 years later, dealing with the rubble of the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

JEHR , June 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

DJG: My middle / upper-middle neighborhood is covered with a layer of upper-middle trash: Think Starbucks cups and artisanal beer bottles. Some trash is carefully posed: Cups with straws on windsills, awaiting the Paris Agreement Pixie, who will clean up after these oh-so-earnest environmentalists.

Yes, the trash bit is hard to understand. What does it stand for? Does it mean, We can infinitely disregard our surroundings by throwing away plastic, cardboard, metal and paper and nothing will happen? Does it mean, There is more where that came from! Does it mean, I don't care a fig for the earth? Does it mean, Human beings are stupid and, unlike pigs, mess up their immediate environment and move on? Does it mean, Nothing–that we are just nihilists waiting to die? I am so fed up with the garbage strewn on the roads and in the woods where I live; I used to pick it up and could collect as much as 9 garbage bags of junk in 9 days during a 4 kilometer walk. I don't pick up any more because I am 77 and cannot keep doing it.

However, I am certain that strewn garbage will surely be the last national flag waving in the breeze as the anthem plays junk music and we all succumb to our terrible future.

jrs , June 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Related to this, I thought one day of who probably NEVER gets any appreciation but strives to make things nicer, anyone planning or planting the highway strips (government workers maybe although it could be convicts also unfortunately, I'm not sure). Yes highways are ugly, yes they will destroy the world, but some of the planting strips are sometimes genuinely nice. So they add some niceness to the ugly and people still litter of course.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good. Thus, streets, parks and public space might be soiled by litter that nobody cares to put away in trash bins properly, while simultaneously the interior of houses/apartments, and attached gardens if any, are kept meticulously clean.

Basically, the world people care about stops outside their dwellings, because they do not feel it is "theirs" or that they participate in its possession in a genuine way. It belongs to the "town administration", or to a "private corporation", or to the "government" - and if they feel they have no say in the ownership, management, regulation and benefits thereof, why should they care? Let the town administration/government/corporation do the clean-up - we already pay enough taxes/fees/tolls, and "they" are always putting up more restrictions on how to use everything, so

In conclusion: the phenomenon of litter/trash is another manifestation of a fraying social contract.

Big River Bandido , June 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

The trash bit has been linked in other countries to how much the general population views the public space/environment as a shared, common good.

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

I live in NYC, and just yesterday as I attempted to refill my MetroCard, the machine told me it was expired and I had to replace it. The replacement card doesn't look at all like a MetroCard with the familiar yellow and black graphic saying "MetroCard". Instead? It's an ad. For a fucking insurance company. And so now, every single time that I go somewhere on the subway, I have to see an ad from Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

visitor , June 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

There *is* no public space anymore. Every public good, every public space is now fair game for commercial exploitation.

And as a result, people no longer care about it - they do not feel it is their commonwealth any longer.

Did you notice whether the NYC subway got increasingly dirty/littered as the tentacles of privatization reached everywhere? Just curious.

DJG , June 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

The importance of the end of solidarity – that is, of the almost-murderous impulses by the upper classes to destroy any kind of solidarity. From Yves's posting of Yanis Varoufakis's analysis of the newest terms of the continuing destruction of Greece:

With regard to labour market reforms, the Eurogroup welcomes the adopted legislation safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining and bringing collective dismissals in line with best EU practices.

I see! "Safeguarding previous reforms on collective bargaining" refers, of course, to the 2012 removal of the right to collective bargaining and the end to trades union representation for each and every Greek worker. Our government was elected in January 2015 with an express mandate to restore these workers' and trades unions' rights. Prime Minister Tsipras has repeatedly pledged to do so, even after our falling out and my resignation in July 2015. Now, yesterday, his government consented to this piece of Eurogroup triumphalism that celebrates the 'safeguarding' of the 2012 'reforms'. In short, the SYRIZA government has capitulated on this issue too: Workers' and trades' unions' rights will not be restored. And, as if that were not bad enough, "collective dismissals" will be brought "in line with best EU practices". What this means is that the last remaining constraints on corporations, i.e. a restriction on what percentage of workers can be fired each month, is relaxed. Make no mistake: The Eurogroup is telling us that, now that employers are guaranteed the absence of trades unions, and the right to fire more workers, growth enhancement will follow suit! Let's not hold our breath!

Daniel F. , June 16, 2017 at 10:44 am

The so-called "Elites"? Stand down? Right. Every year I look up the cardinal topics discussed at the larger economic forums and conferences (mainly Davos and G8), and some variation of "The consequences of rising inequality" is a recurring one. Despite this, nothing ever comes out if them. I imagine they go something like this:

A wet dream come true, both for an AnCap and a communist conspiracy theorist. I'm by no means either. However, I think capitalism has already failed and can't go on for much longer. Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief.

I'd very much like to be proven wrong.

Bobby Gladd , June 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

"Conditions will only deteriorate for anyone not in the "1%", with no sight of improvement or relief." Frase's Quadrant Four. Hierarchy + Scarcity = Exterminism (From "Four Futures" )

Archangel , June 16, 2017 at 11:33 am

Reminds me of that one quip I saw from a guy who, why he always had to have two pigs to eat up his garbage, said that if he had only one pig, it will eat only when it wants to, but if there were two pigs, each one would eat so the other pig won't get to it first. Our current economic system in a nutshell – pigs eating crap so deny it to others first. "Greed is good".

oh , June 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Our country is rife with rent seeking pigs who will stoop lower and lower to feed their greed.

Vatch , June 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

In today's Links section there's this: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/14/tax-evaders-exposed-why-super-rich-are-even-richer-than-we-thought which has relevance for the discussion of the collapsing social contract.

Chauncey Gardiner , June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Don't know that the two avenues Gaius mentioned are the only two roads our society can travel. In support of this view, I recall a visit to a secondary city in Russia for a few weeks in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Those were difficult times economically and psychologically for ordinary citizens of that country. Alcoholism was rampant, emotional illness and suicide rates among men of working age were high, mortality rates generally were rising sharply, and birth rates were falling. Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks. There was also adequate food, and critical public infrastructure was maintained, keeping in mind this was shortly after the Chernobyl disaster.

Here in the US the New Deal and other legislation helped preserve social order in the 1930s. Yves also raises an important point in her preface that can provide support for the center by those who are able to do so under the current economic framework. That glue is to participate in one's community; whether it is volunteering at a school, the local food bank, community-oriented social clubs, or in a multitude of other ways; regardless of whether your community is a small town or a large city.

JTMcPhee , June 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm

" Yet the glue of common culture, sovereign currency, language, community, and thoughtful and educated citizens held despite corrupt political leadership, the rise of an oligarchic class, and the related emergence of organized criminal networks."

None of which applies to the Imperium, of course. There's glue, all right, but it's the kind that is used for flooring in Roach Motels (TM), and those horrific rat and mouse traps that stick the rodent to a large rectangle of plastic, where they die eventually of exhaustion and dehydration and starvation The rat can gnaw off a leg that's glued down, but then it tips over and gets glued down by the chest or face or butt

I have to note that several people I know are fastidious about picking up trash other people "throw away." I do it, when I'm up to bending over. I used to be rude about it - one young attractive woman dumped a McDonald's bag and her ashtray out the window of her car at one of our very long Florida traffic lights. I got out of my car, used the mouth of the McDonald's bag to scoop up most of the lipsticked butts, and threw them back into her car. Speaking of mouths, that woman with the artfully painted lips sure had one on her

[Jun 13, 2017] Education Failure is the New Success

Jun 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Happily, an alternative exists to the billion dollar "don't blame kids" approach, one that has historically proven itself and will cost far less than $16,000 per pupil to impart adequate academic skills. It is simple: pressure laggards to shape up and punish those who disrupt the learning of classmates. Just return to an earlier era when students themselves were held responsible for learning their lessons.

Junk the Rousseauian fantasy that children naturally have a thirst for acquiring knowledge so "educators" need only let nature take its course. Yes, Homo sapiens relish learning, but youngsters are not innately disposed to sit quietly for long periods and dutifully suffer failure. Learning may be natural; schooling is not. The corollary is that school for the cognitively weak will be the most painful. Thus, for many African Americans cultivating self-esteem is anathema to academic achievement.

Fortunately, the repertoire to impose this necessary discipline is well-known and requires only modest skill to implement. High-priced rocket science it is not. This is almost forgotten educational world of shame, stigma, humiliation, dunce caps, browbeating even corporal punishment where teachers forcefully exert authority over the little savages who refuse to learn while impeding the progress of others. Further require teachers to impose clear, grammatically correct English to those with slurred speech and reflexively use profanity. If the teacher's efforts fail, the little miscreants can immediately be sent out for discipline to be monitored by a wicked witch. Conceivably, some retired discipline-skilled Nuns from Catholic schools or a retired Marine drill sergeant could offer three-day workshops on how to manage the classroom

Students can practice sitting still and being quiet for longer and longer times, marching in step when changing classes, mastering polite conversation when addressing authority figures ("Thank you Mr. Smith" not 'hey teach'") memorizing famous orations, and build the habits of punctuality, restraint and patience.

Anonymous June 13, 2017 at 9:06 am GMT

Cheapest offer of "Bad Students, Not Bad Schools "
by Robert Weissberg, used,
is $ 46.00 + $ 3.99 S&H, is

https://www.amazon.com/dp/141281345X/?tag=unco037-20

AngloBerserkerJew , June 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm GMT

I run a large AP program in a what is euphemistically called a "priority" neighbourhood in a major Canadian city. Although most of our students are East Asian and South Asian and come from outside our catchment area, the majority of the local community is black.

After twenty years of our program offering completely subsidized AP exams, after-class tutorials, and massive promotion efforts emphasizing the advantages of taking AP directed to our black students, still less that 5% of the population of our AP classes consists of blacks.

And we have never had a black AP National Scholar. Not one. The local school board would LOVE to see such an event, and I can't imagine it ever happening

Dr. X , June 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm GMT

Are you suggesting that our alien, Third-World, clan-based minority populations adopt the values of discipline, accountability, punctuality, and rule-following typical of the majority's beyond-kin, altruistic-based culture from northern Europe in the hope of achieving similar social, academic, technical, and economic outcomes?

There's an extent to which this does work. Parochial schools with strict discipline policies have always gotten more out of black students than public schools. African students, who do not typically have a race card to play and are products of Euro-colonial school systems, in my experience are nearly always better students than black Americans.

Imagine a Venn diagram, in which one circle represents cognitive ability (IQ) and the other circle represents discipline and culture. The overlapping area represents "educational achievement." The overall black cognitive ability circle, by itself, will always be smaller than a corresponding white circle, but it is possible to gain more achievement with more structure and discipline. There is a limit to how far you can go with this approach, but you can make some gains.

Of course, public schools and colleges practically kiss blacks on the ass for misbehavior rather than discipline them. Blacks are fully aware that the black teachers and administrators are incompetent frauds, that liberal whites are easily pushed around or manipulated, that they can always play the "racism" card, and that Afrocentric curricula is pure bullshit and that it was the white man who invented their iPhones, space flight, etc.

One aspect of the black personality is that blacks respond to, and generally respect, a show a force. You see this in sports, for instance, in prison, and the military. Some of the most competent and useful blacks you will encounter are in the military, where there is a set of expectations, a white chain of command, and punishment for failure.

Blacks wouldn't necessarily become geniuses if you applied a military structure to education, but you'd see some improvement.

Agent76 , June 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

Jan 23, 2017 Why Good Teachers Want School Choice

Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

https://youtu.be/PnQu8iRiVYU

Diversity Heretic , June 13, 2017 at 1:22 pm GMT

@Njguy73 There's no need to racially segregate schools. The solution has already been implemented. It's called having a school district where the housing prices do the discrimination, so the schools don't have to. An awfully expensive solution that consigns white working class children to the tender mercies of the snarling black underclass.

anon , June 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm GMT

The plight of black students in black schools became especially dire when the education establishment and the media pulled a slight of hand and started labeling lazy ( a personal fault) students as unmotivated (and therefore the fault of society not motivating them.)

What hasn't been pointed out is while public schools in poor areas have been failing for decades, Catholic schools located in the same areas have continued to turn out hundred of thousands of literate, well behaved black students.

The real tragedy is that these very productive ghetto Catholics schools have been closing at an increasing rate despite their successes because of economic problems. Vouchers would help them to stay open,

THE ACLU however, would make sure that they wouldn't get them.

Simon in London , June 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

I'm always impressed by the quality of my black African postgrad students, who mostly come from lower middle/upper working class backgrounds in cities like Laos. They are clearly decently educated, by methods the exact opposite of what is advocated in the USA – strict discipline, uniforms, regulation, a decent amount of rote memorisation (but not the passivity of the Middle East/South Asia).

US educationists could learn a lot from Nigeria, or even Jamaica, but are clearly far too arrogant to do so.

Greg Schofield , June 14, 2017 at 12:13 am GMT

I am an old Australian teacher, run out of my profession by managers embracing the American system of de-education.

Your understanding of education is deplorable, and the results of it are horrific, here are a few points that should be carefully considered together.

[Hide MORE]

IQ tests are nonsense.

Testing and teaching are incompatible to one another, less tests and more teaching.

Primary school is NOT the most important time, a few essential skills, a wide and rambling exposure to general knowledge, and some actual fun will do.

Primary school should produce a student capable of writing coherent sentences, reading 80-120 words per minute (well written texts only with unusual words), general knowledge of science, the general framework of modern world history, and enough maths to do simple algebra - anything more is a bonus, but not essential to secondary school.

Secondary school is the secondary level of knowledge - it has nothing much in common with Primary education.

Secondary school is about the development of concepts in different subjects - and the study of literature (a self-contained concept), is foundational to all the other higher subjects.

Literature is about concepts, not morals, slogans, good behaviour or anything else. They are complete, honest works supremely well written world view of the author. The quality of literature is it most important feature - the best and only the best.

The conceptual integrity of literature, not a particular style of language is critical. Literature should not be chosen because it is reverent, but because it is good and great. Confession I hate reading Jane Austin, a girly book of all girly books, but when I finish her work I understand the world were being good is not just a virtue, but an aspiration. For many reasons she was one of the most read authors in the trenches of World War I.

The quality of text books (books of text not pictures) is ESSENTIAL there is no choice in this, no leeway. They must be coherent, the work of the best minds in the subject, comprehensive, and clearly written - only a true expert can make things simple without also making it stupid.

Text books of quality do not have to be up-to-date, but they have to be conceptually complete and clear - a good textbook is not necessarily a recent one.

Textbooks are the last resort, which is the reason they have to be good - it is where the student goes to understand what they do not understand - that is always hard and they need a reliable source material - only the best textbooks will do.

Textbooks are not teaching material, they are reference material.

Standard tests are rubbish, written examinations twice a year are best - this is why text books are important - hitting the books is not easy, I say it again, they therefore need to be the very best - not the normal US textbook - which is CRAP.

The best mark of a substantial work should be the grade, not the average mark - students who learn have to be brave and need to push things - a good student tries and fails long before they try and succeed (the order is sometimes in the reverse).

A student's progress is marked by their best mark, their highest achievement that counts, all the rest are run-offs. A student can be lazy, a student might rest on their laurels, that does not matter, what they achieved, not how they went about it is what examination should do.

It does not matter what a teacher is called by students, but that teacher actually knows their area, is enthusiastic about their knowledge, is supported by the school, encouraged to do more and occasionally make mistakes in trying.

Micro-management, in fact management in general, and good teaching are incompatible.

School discipline is simple and only breaks down because of mismanagement.

Heads and deputies are not there to attend meetings, they must be seen, patrol the halls, greet the students and be known.

Teachers need only have a disruptive student leave the class room and stand in the hall. The deputies need to take them to detention where they sit and do nothing until the next lesson.

Do not trap students behind files of bad behaviour. Boys especially do stupid things, often and repeatedly, only the mean acts should be recorded in detail.

Stop trying to get kids to apologise, girls will do it, and the better boys won't.

Make sure the kids get food, and have fun exercise (competitive sport should be an elective).

Running education is not hard, the fundamentals have been known for hundreds of years. What exists now has been made, it is a policy of de-education and it is working all too well.

[Jun 12, 2017] 5 Questions Universities Must Answer after the Duke Divinity Controversy

If diversity represents sort of "reverse racial discrimination", academic achievements be damned?
Notable quotes:
"... is the notion of "diversity" that is being aimed at supposed to replicate among faculty the current demographic breakdown of our country as a whole? ..."
"... Conversely, if the goal of diversity is compensatory, i.e., seeks to make up for past social injustices and the demographic disequilibrium they have produced, then here too we must be explicit about the point of reference that is to guide our remedial efforts. ..."
"... is diversity pursued under that principle to amount to a retroactive balancing of sorts, an open-ended institutional "reparation" for past injustices and inequities? ..."
"... Leaving aside logistical difficulties, to which one may certainly be sympathetic, why exclude any number of other descriptors from our conception of diversity, such as social class, ethnic background, veteran status, political views, religious belief, childhood trauma, aesthetic preferences, dietary philosophy, dance and gardening skills, past struggles with mental disability, etc.? ..."
"... 'Diversity' was always at best a racket and at worst a knowing stage – a mere stage – in the war to replace Western Civilization. ..."
Jun 12, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The recent controversy surrounding my colleague and friend, Paul Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Theology in the Duke Divinity School (DDS), has been widely covered. Countless op-ed pieces, fueled by Rod Dreher's online publication of internal memos and public emails at The American Conservative , as well as prominent editorials in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times , have reached many readers.

... ... ...

Unfortunately, that dialogue remains more elusive than ever. Instead, for quite some time now, the word "diversity" has served two distinct and equally problematic purposes: the magical and the litigious. Some university administrators, particularly those less loyal to the job they have than to the one they covet next, have embraced "diversity" as a professional talisman of sorts, a term that, if wielded frequently and with conspicuous reverence, will magically unlock doors higher up on the professional ladder. Conversely, to faculty members craving moral ascendancy over colleagues whose superior achievements they may regard with a mix of dread, inadequacy and envy, there is no more powerful weapon than to charge the target of their resentment with opposition to diversity, which in the present order of opportune allegations ranks just below that of the child molester. To put it in Platonic terms, contemporary academia has been mirroring our country's deteriorating civic discourse by supplanting knowledge with opinion, and by weaponizing our opinions, rather than understanding them as something for which we bear great responsibility.

1) Is the notion of "diversity" to be understood as a mimetic or compensatory endeavor? That is, is the notion of "diversity" that is being aimed at supposed to replicate among faculty the current demographic breakdown of our country as a whole? Or is the objective to compensate for the extreme dominance of a certain type of faculty-white, Caucasian, male, and (putatively) heterosexual-as it undeniably prevailed well into the 1990s at many institutions of higher learning?

2) Supposing, then, that higher education understands itself to be committed to a mimetic conception of diversity, then what is to serve as our point of reference? Is diversity, as currently affirmed by institutions of higher education, to be modeled on the overall demographic breakdown of the population in the United States-say, as captured by the most recent national census? Or is the university's conception of diversity aimed at some other norm of proportionate representation of minorities, say, one prevalent in academia as a whole or as endemic to specific disciplines?

3) Conversely, if the goal of diversity is compensatory, i.e., seeks to make up for past social injustices and the demographic disequilibrium they have produced, then here too we must be explicit about the point of reference that is to guide our remedial efforts. Is the objective to compensate for a historical lack of diversity that for many decades prevailed inside the academy? And, if so, is diversity pursued under that principle to amount to a retroactive balancing of sorts, an open-ended institutional "reparation" for past injustices and inequities? Here it ought to be kept in mind that, to cast the matter in sacramental terms, there can be no atonement without forgiveness. Hence, if diversity is understood as compensation, then not only must past wrongs in this regard be clearly identified, but any institutional acknowledgment of past injustice must also be met by, and conclude with, an act of comprehensive forgiveness. Otherwise, institutions would remain forever caught up in a downward spiral of moral recrimination and self-abasement, respectively.

4) Assuming that these questions can be openly deliberated and satisfactorily answered (which in the present climate is to assume a great deal indeed), more intractable issues yet will arise. For regardless of whether the modern research university opts for a mimetic or compensatory approach to diversity, it is by definition an inherently selective, elite institution. Thus, one must wonder whether institutions of higher education can balance their highly selective practices of faculty recruitment-practices directly related to the goal of the university as such, viz., advancing knowledge-with a demographically representative notion of "diversity" such as it exists outside of academia?

5) Finally, we should ask why currently prevailing assumptions and practices concerning "diversity" are conceived in such peculiarly narrow, not to say non-diverse ways. We know that empirical demographic studies, including the national census conducted by the U.S. government every decade or so, rely on many categories and descriptors and, consequently, yield a far more inflected and robust conception of our society's diverse composition. That being so, what justifies higher education's conception of "faculty diversity" being mainly restricted to the categories of race and gender? Leaving aside logistical difficulties, to which one may certainly be sympathetic, why exclude any number of other descriptors from our conception of diversity, such as social class, ethnic background, veteran status, political views, religious belief, childhood trauma, aesthetic preferences, dietary philosophy, dance and gardening skills, past struggles with mental disability, etc.?


connecticut farmer, says: June 12, 2017 at 8:18 am

Notwithstanding my agreement with the author, this article is very poorly written and filled with academic jargon, each sentence representing the very antithesis of Churchill's observation that there is nothing more powerful in the English language than a simple, objective sentence.

G Harvey , says: June 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

"'Diversity' is turning into idolatrous worship of empty notions"

The above statement is false because the verb tense is wrong. This is not something new. 'Diversity' was always at best a racket and at worst a knowing stage – a mere stage – in the war to replace Western Civilization.

Professor Pfau: Did you stand up and defend the Duke lacrosse team and its head coach? Did you condemn colleagues such as Leftist Houston Baker.

[Jun 09, 2017] A big reason Corbyn's a commie is because he wants to abolish tuition to bring the UK back to its communist past of 1997 and give young people the same deal all the people in charge had

Notable quotes:
"... Tutition used to be free in the UK. Then they decided that those lazy students needed to have some skin in the game and suddenly tuition was 1000 pounds. Then a few years later it was 9000 pounds and all the college grads there now have US-level student debt. ..."
"... A big reason Corbyn's a commie is because he wants to abolish tuition to bring the UK back to its communist past of 1997 and give young people the same deal all the people in charge had. ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Christopher H., June 09, 2017 at 01:35 PM
Oh look, Atrios blogged something. I guess he didn't get the memo from PGL and the establishment Democrats.

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/06/the-kids-are-alright.html

FRIDAY, JUNE 09, 2017

The Kids Are Alright

No actual figures, but presumably there was big yute turnout in the UK Everyone will now claim that a non-commie Labour leader like that nice Ed Miliband would OF COURSE have done as well as Joseph Stalin Lenin Marx Corbyn, and in fact BETTER, but that's bullshit.

That nice Ed Miliband couldn't do in 2015, and I'm not sure who the "unnamed generic normal Labour candidate" would otherwise be. Theresa May's incompetent evil helped, but Corbyn staved off what was supposed to have been a Labour extinction election and while there will still likely be a Tory-led government, it will be pretty fragile. A coalition with a bunch of bigoted religious nutters from Northern Ireland who aren't on board with May's Brexit plans.

Labour went after The Kids Today and got them to the polls. Wasn't enough to win, but the polling outfit predicting a likely hung parliament was considered to be "insane" even just a few days ago.

Tutition used to be free in the UK. Then they decided that those lazy students needed to have some skin in the game and suddenly tuition was 1000 pounds. Then a few years later it was 9000 pounds and all the college grads there now have US-level student debt.

A big reason Corbyn's a commie is because he wants to abolish tuition to bring the UK back to its communist past of 1997 and give young people the same deal all the people in charge had.

In 2015, Miliband said he'd cut them. To just SIX THOUSAND POUNDS. Maybe if he'd gone all the way...

by Atrios at 08:30

[May 24, 2017] Universities serve as finishing schools for the ruling class by Rob Montz

May 23, 2017

Originally from: Why Colleges Fold to Students' Anti-Intellectual Hysterics The American Conservative

Middlebury College just completed its final round of disciplinary hearings for students involved in March's violent disruption of a lecture by Charles Murray, the influential but controversial social scientist.

The punishments to date have been laughably lax. Guilty students have been presented with non-official "probation" letters that'll vanish upon graduation .

This toothless response reflects a deeper rot. Middlebury, like many prestigious colleges, has steadily gravitated away from its core educational mission and now serves primarily as a sort of finishing school for the ruling class. Professors and administrators alike are simply expected to shower students with affirmation-and then hand over a degree securing smooth entry into America's elite. College has become four years of expensive fun. This is what parents and students now demand.

This change-from institutions of learning to institutions of affirming-threatens the nation's future as colleges foster a vicious strain of anti-intellectualism.

At over $60,000 a year, Middlebury's tuition buys much more than books, lodging, and classes. Students also get a campus-wide square dance , dining halls that host culinary " world tours ," lavish fitness facilities, and an annual winter carnival complete with fireworks, a hot chocolate bar, and snow sculptures.

The student body is ultra-affluent. Middlebury is among a small handful of schools with more students from the top one percent of the income distribution than those from the bottom 60 percent . And on graduation, newly christened alums are typically funneled right back into their elite enclaves, taking jobs at places like Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, and Amazon .

... ... ...

Rob Montz is a fellow at the Moving Picture Institute. Find his work at: RobMontz.com. Check out his interview with TAC executive editor Pratik Chougule at Fearless Parent Radio: http://fearlessparent.org/free-speech-controversy-us-elite-universities-episode-104/

[May 12, 2017] How Financialization and the New Economy Hurt Science and Engineering Grads

Notable quotes:
"... Weinstein argues that the GUI agenda (inspired by Reaganomics) sought to prevent these salary increases. He contends that the legislation that enabled this oversupply was the Immigration Act of 1990 that expanded the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and instituted employment-based immigration preferences. ..."
"... As I show in my book Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? , the beginning of the end of CWOC was the transformation of IBM, the world's leading computer company, from OEBM to NEBM from 1990 to 1994. In 1990, with 374,000 employees, IBM still bragged about its adherence to the CWOC norm (calling it "lifelong employment"), claiming that the company had not laid off anyone involuntarily since 1921. By 1994 IBM had 220,000 employees, and, with senior executives under CEO Louis Gerstner themselves getting fired for not laying off employees fast enough, CWOC was history. Over the course of the 1990s and into the 2000s, other major Old Economy companies followed IBM's example, throwing out of work older employees, many of them highly educated and with accumulated experience that had previously been highly valued by the companies. ..."
"... The salaries of S&E employees tended to increase with years of experience with the company, with a defined-benefit pension (based on years of service and highest salary levels) in retirement. These types of secure employment relations, and the high and rising pay levels associated with them, were the norm among established high-tech companies in the mid-1980s, but, as exemplified by IBM's transformation, started to become undone in the early 1990s, and were virtually extinct a decade later, as Old Economy companies either made the transition to the NEBM, or disappeared.8 The culprit in the weakening in the demand for, and earnings of, S&E PhDs from the early 1990s was the demise of CWOC-a phenomenon that Weinstein (and Teitelbaum) entirely ignore. ..."
"... As exemplified by IBM in the 1990s and beyond, a company's stock price could be raised by laying off expensive older workers and using the resultant "free" cash flow (as the purveyors of MSV called it) to do stock buybacks. 12 ..."
"... "But the company is "returning" capital to shareholders who never gave the company anything in the first place; the only time in its history that Apple has ever raised funds on the public stock market was $97 million in its 1980 IPO." ..."
"... During that period, the only job market for native PhD STEM students became the American Defense and Intelligence agencies, because they required security clearances and US Citizenship. I found myself driven in those directions too. ..."
"... Technology for the most part is just increasing complexity and increasing complexity has diminishing returns. With energy becoming less available, we probably need a lot less complexity. ..."
"... I wouldn't say that there is a lack of R&D - it just isn't done in-house any more. Gone are the Bell Labs and the Xerox PARCs; welcome to the brave new world of university partnerships and non-profit R&D shops (most famous: the Southwest Research Institute). ..."
"... Basically the rich are waging class war. That's the problem no matter how you slice and dice this one. This whole "New Economy" has been one big war on wages. I mean look at the collusion too between Google, Apple, and Intel to keep wages low. ..."
"... Basically it comes down to, the rich are really greedy. The issue right now for the rich is that they are desperate to keep the looting from happening, while people are increasingly aware that the system is against them. Bernie Sanders got a lot of support in the Valley and while it is a very Democratic leaning area, I cannot imagine that Trump's anti-H1B and L1B stance would have been opposed by the average employee. I think that the rich are not going to concede anything and that there needs to be some sort of solidarity union amongst all workers. ..."
"... Is there a single person here who has worked on Wall Street (writ large) who can convince us that his job or his company had an overall positive effect on the US and/or world economy over five years, ten years, or twenty-five years? ..."
"... Its not just PhDs. I know several Engineers who advise their children to do something else. It's just not worth the amount of effort that is required to be put into it and there is no future hope of a turn around. As bad as it is for graduates today, it's only going to get worse. ..."
"... They're catching up with us arts and humanities majors. Sad! ..."
"... I am a civil engineer and one of my daughters is studying to become a structural engineer. I would not have advised her to go into engineering because of the problem with the H-1B visas. ..."
"... But who am I to advise? Who can know the future? The world is just changing too fast now to really be able to advise our children on what careers to take. Besides, one of the advantages of studying engineering as you can work anywhere in the world. ..."
"... Post WWII labor overplayed its hand by the 1970's. Corporations and their decided they had had it. Corps and management proceeded to change the rules of the game on everything -- courts, trade, taxation and regulation. These countermeasures have had disastrous long term consequences. Corporations now run the country in a fascist manner. Government capture has created myriad problems beyond financialization, only one tool in the corporate quiver. Oligopolies across most to all industries comes to mind. Rail, air, health insurance, banking, defense, telecom, entertainment . ..."
"... Not sure about the labor part overplaying their hand. They just wanted an even wage and productivity rise. It is capital IMO that has overplayed its hand and the rise of neoliberal economics which has led to declines in public R&D spending. There isn't anything like the Space Race anymore. ..."
"... Frankly, labour underplayed its hand. At one point it had capital by the throat, and should have finished it off then. If peace is not an option, you should utterly and permanently destroy your enemy. ..."
"... Labor did NOT overplay its hand after WW2 - Taft-Hartley was a HUGE smack-down to labor after the privations of the Depression followed by the war effort. The decent wages during the post-war period were part of a concerted effort to convince workers that they didn't need unions and to be complacent. ..."
"... Labor leadership certainly became corrupt from all the money sloshing around without global competition due to war devastation of Europe and Japan, the Cold War, and the death throes of colonialism, but this was not due to "overplaying" their hand. ..."
"... Contrary to popular belief, in aggregate U.S. corporations fund the stock market, not vice versa. Note that almost all of the buybacks in the decade 1976-1985 occurred in 1984 and 1985 after in November 1982 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Rule 10b-18 that gave license to massive buybacks, in essence legalizing systemic stock-price manipulation and the looting of the U.S. business corporation. ..."
"... Actually though, watching the train wreck that is the outlook for the youngest generation today, provides some grim amusement. For instance noting that the "bubble-driven" economy composed of companies desperate to prevent their stock becoming "badly diluted" by having fire sales on capitol and expertise that probably took their predecessors decades to build can really only have one outcome. Depression, misery, socialism. Maybe we skip the Mao route this time, maybe not. ..."
"... Gregory Peck: "The Robber Barons of old at least left something tangible in their wake - a coal mine, a railroad, banks. THIS MAN LEAVES NOTHING. HE CREATES NOTHING. HE BUILDS NOTHING. HE RUNS NOTHING. And in his wake lies nothing but a blizzard of paper to cover the pain. Oh, if he said, "I know how to run your business better than you," that would be something worth talking about. But he's not saying that. He's saying, "I'm going to kill you because at this particular moment in time, you're worth more dead than alive." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJRhrow3Jws ..."
"... IBM. Poster child of everything wrong at the executive-level and the shareholder-level. ..."
"... Yes, the IBM reference is interesting.The author gives an ordinal lead to IBM as a mover from the OEBM to NEBM. I ask myself if, from a mere one large corporation managing perspective, this was IBM's 11th hour response to the by then devastating rise of its competitors like Apple & Microsoft. ..."
"... Also the irony that it did not help IBM at least in the midterm. So, IBM was the prime mover to initiate some aspects of a model change -change which every major player adhered to- in response to a new technological disadvantage vs. competitors, and in turned did not seem to do much for IBM in the immediate years. Although, if I recall well, IBM was immersed in many political battles and internal problems, legal and otherwise. Nevertheless, I doubt there was a historic inevitability on IBM's ordinal force. Outstanding work by Lazonick ..."
"... "IBM is the poster child for shenanigans. Last month, IBM reported its 20th quarter in a row of declining year over year revenues .. a 13% drop in earnings, profit margins that declined in every business segment ( much worse than expected ), free cash flow that plummeted over 50% year over year and an earnings "beat" of 3 cents per share. How could this "beat" happen? .. a negative tax rate of -23% . This is why they pay the CEO Rometti the big bucks ( estimated at $50 to $65 million last year)." ..."
"... And this is one of the Bluest of the Blue Chip companies in the world. ..."
"... Amazon has lost money every fucking quarter for the last 20 fucking years, and that Bezos motherfucker is the king. ..."
"... In addition, the rise of 401(k) based investing, in which workers are tax-incentivized to buy in to the corporate stock scheming, but lack the normal shareholder voice in corporate governance, has taken the chains off the looters as well. ..."
"... The impact on the Grads was secondary a byproduct of a larger agenda which included the transfer offshore and consolidation of "IP" of the entire American, EU and Asian industrial economies along with the withdrawl of capital, while at the same time intentionally sabotaging future innovations with the handicap of diversity. Who got the loot and capital? Usual suspects. ..."
May 12, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... By William Lazonick, professor of economics at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

How the U.S. New Economy Business Model has devalued science & engineering PhDs This note comments on Eric Weinstein's, " How and Why Government, Universities, and Industries Create Domestic Labor Shortages of Scientists and High-Tech Workers ," posted recently on INET's website.

At the outset of his paper, Weinstein argues that:

Long term labor shortages do not happen naturally in market economies. That is not to say that they don't exist. They are created when employers or government agencies tamper with the natural functioning of the wage mechanism.

The contention, written from the perspective of the late 1990s, is that in the first half of the 1990s an oversupply ("a glut") of science and engineering (S&E) labor that depressed the wages of PhD scientists and engineers was primarily the result of the promotion of a government-university-industry (GUI) agenda, coordinated by the National Science Foundation under the leadership of Erich Bloch, head of the NSF from 1984 to 1990. Beginning in 1985, the NSF predicted a shortfall of 675,000 S&E personnel in the U.S. economy over the next two decades. According to a study by the NSF's Policy Research and Analysis (PRA) division, quoted by Weinstein, salary data show that real PhD-level pay began to rise after 1982, moving from $52,000 to $64,000 in 1987 (measured in 1984 dollars). One set of salary projections show that real pay will reach $75,000 in 1996 and approach $100,000 shortly beyond the year 2000.

Weinstein argues that the GUI agenda (inspired by Reaganomics) sought to prevent these salary increases. He contends that the legislation that enabled this oversupply was the Immigration Act of 1990 that expanded the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and instituted employment-based immigration preferences. Given that most of these foreigners came from lower-wage (Asian) nations, it is assumed that they were attracted to work in the United States by what for them were high wages, whereas Americans with S&E PhDs began to shun S&E careers as the salaries became less attractive.1

There is a lot missing from Weinstein's perspective, which is also the perspective of demographer Michael Teitelbaum, who Weinstein cites extensively and who was at the Sloan Foundation from 1983 to 2013, rising to Vice-President in 2006. Weinstein and Teitelbaum view the salaries of scientists and engineers as being determined by supply and demand on the labor market ("the natural wage rate" and "the natural functioning of the labor market"). From this (neoclassical) perspective, they completely ignore the "marketization" of employment relations for S&E workers that occurred in the U.S. business sector from the mid-1980s as well as the concomitant "financialization" of the U.S. business corporation that remains, in my view, the most damaging economic problem facing the United States. This transformation of employment relations put out of work large numbers of PhD scientists and engineers who previously had secure employment and who enjoyed high incomes and benefits as well as creative corporate careers. The marketization of employment relations brought to an end of the norm of a career with one company (CWOC)-an employment norm that was pervasive in U.S. business corporations from the 1950s to the 1980s, but that has since disappeared. 2 The "financialization" of the corporation, manifested by massive distributions to shareholders in the forms of cash dividends and stock buybacks, undermined the opportunities for business-sector S&E careers.

The major cause of marketization was the rise of the "New Economy business model" (NEBM) in which high-tech startups, primarily in information-and-communication technology (ICT) and biotechnology, lured S&E personnel away from established companies, which offered CWOC under the "Old Economy business model" (OEBM). As startups with uncertain futures, the New Economy companies could not realistically offer CWOC, but instead enticed S&E personnel away from CWOC at Old Economy companies by offering these employees stock options on top of their salaries (which were typically lower than those at the Old Economy companies). The stock options could become extremely valuable if and when the startup did an initial public offering (IPO) or a merger-and-acquisition (M&A) deal with an established publicly-listed company.

The rise in S&E PhD salaries from 1982 to 1987, identified in the NSF study that Weinstein quotes, was the result of increased demand for S&E personnel by New Economy companies, with some of the increase taking the form of stock-based pay, which in the Census data drawn from tax returns is lumped in with salaries.3 Competing with companies for S&E personnel, the rise of the NEBM in turn put pressure on salaries at Old Economy companies as they tried to use CWOC to attract and retain S&E labor in the face of the stock-based alternative. By the last half of the 1980s, this New Economy competition for talent was eroding the learning capabilities of the corporate research labs that, in many cases from the early twentieth century, had been a characteristic feature of Old Economy companies in a wide range of knowledge-intensive industries. 4

The CWOC norm under OEBM had provided employment security and rising wages from years-of-service with the company and internal promotion of S&E personnel (significant proportions of whom in science- based companies had PhDs). As I show in my book Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? , the beginning of the end of CWOC was the transformation of IBM, the world's leading computer company, from OEBM to NEBM from 1990 to 1994. In 1990, with 374,000 employees, IBM still bragged about its adherence to the CWOC norm (calling it "lifelong employment"), claiming that the company had not laid off anyone involuntarily since 1921. By 1994 IBM had 220,000 employees, and, with senior executives under CEO Louis Gerstner themselves getting fired for not laying off employees fast enough, CWOC was history. Over the course of the 1990s and into the 2000s, other major Old Economy companies followed IBM's example, throwing out of work older employees, many of them highly educated and with accumulated experience that had previously been highly valued by the companies.

Already in the early 1990s, the marketization of employment relations was responsible for a precipitous decline of employment at the corporate research labs that had underpinned the twentieth-century growth of Old Economy high-tech companies, of which IBM was an exemplar. In 1993, a conference held at Harvard Business School decried the "end of an era" in industrial research, with papers from the conference appearing in a volume Engines of Innovation , published in 1996.5 In the introductory chapter, entitled "Technology's Vanishing Wellspring," conference organizers and volume editors Richard Rosenbloom and William Spencer argued that industrial research (as distinct from product development) of the type that had been carried out by corporate labs in the "golden era" of the post- World War II decades "expands the base of knowledge on which existing industries depend and generates new knowledge that leads to new technologies and the birth of new industries." In the more competitive environment of the 1980s and 1990s, however, in the new industries of "biotechnology, exotic materials, and information products (and services based on them)", Rosenbloom and Spencer observed that it was more difficult for companies "to keep new technologies fully proprietary", and hence "research activities have been downsized, redirected, and restructured in recent years within most of the firms that once were among the largest sponsors of industrial research." 6

There is little doubt that S&E PhDs were major victims of this transformation. But the problem that they, along with most other members of the U.S. labor force, have faced is not simply the marketization of employment relations. For reasons that I have fully described in my publications cited above, the transition from OEBM to NEBM was accompanied by the "financialization" of the U.S. business corporation as, from the last half of the 1980s, U.S. boardrooms and business schools embraced the ideology that, for the sake of superior economic performance, a business enterprise should be run to "maximize shareholder value" (MSV). Instead of retaining employees and reinvesting in their productive capabilities, as had been the case when CWOC had prevailed, MSV advocated and legitimized the downsizing of the company's labor force and the distribution of corporate revenues to shareholders in the forms of both cash dividends and stock repurchases. 7

With the demise of CWOC, older employees were the most vulnerable, not only because they tended to have the highest salaries, but also because the shift from OEBM to NEBM was a shift from proprietary technology systems, in which employees with long years of experience were highly valued, to open technology systems that favored younger workers with the latest computer-related skills (often acquired by working at other companies). Under CWOC, older employees were more expensive not because of a "natural wage rate" that was the result of supply and demand on the S&E labor market, but because of the internal job ladders that are integral to a "retain-and-reinvest" resource-allocation regime. The salaries of S&E employees tended to increase with years of experience with the company, with a defined-benefit pension (based on years of service and highest salary levels) in retirement. These types of secure employment relations, and the high and rising pay levels associated with them, were the norm among established high-tech companies in the mid-1980s, but, as exemplified by IBM's transformation, started to become undone in the early 1990s, and were virtually extinct a decade later, as Old Economy companies either made the transition to the NEBM, or disappeared.8 The culprit in the weakening in the demand for, and earnings of, S&E PhDs from the early 1990s was the demise of CWOC-a phenomenon that Weinstein (and Teitelbaum) entirely ignore.

With the rise of NEBM, companies wanted employees who were younger and cheaper , and that was the major reason why at the end of the 1980s the ICT industry pushed for an expansion of H-1B nonimmigrant visas and employment-based immigration visas. It is not at all clear that an influx of PhDs from foreign countries via these programs was undermining the earnings of S&E PhDs in the early 1990s. Most H-1B visa holders had Bachelor's degrees when they entered the United States. At the same time, large numbers of non-immigrant visa holders entered the United States on student visas to do Master's and PhD degrees, and then looked to employment on H-1B visas to enable them to stay in the United States for extended periods (up to seven years).9 It was in response to the availability of advanced- degree graduates of U.S. universities that in 2005 an additional 20,000 H-1B visas were added to the normal cap of 65,000. Without the influx of foreign students into U.S. S&E Master's and PhD programs, many of these programs would not have survived. Through this route, the H-1B visa program has made more foreign-born PhDs available to corporations for employment in the United States. But I posit that it has been the demise of OEBM and rise of the NEBM, not an increased supply of foreign-born PhDs, that has placed downward pressure on the career earnings of the most highly educated members of the U.S. labor force.

Besides giving employers access to an expanded supply of younger and cheaper high-tech labor in the United States, the H-1B visa along with the L-1 visa for people who had previously worked for the employer for at least one year outside the United States have another valuable attribute for employers: the person on the visa is immobile on the labor market-he or she can't change jobs-whereas under NEBM the most valued high-tech workers are those who are highly mobile. This mobility of labor can boost the worker's pay package but is highly problematic for a company that needs these employees to be engaged in the collective and cumulative learning processes that are the essence of generating competitive products. Under OEBM, CWOC was the central employment institution for college-educated workers precisely because of the need for collective and cumulative learning. But it was the rise of NEBM, not the Immigration Act of 1990, that undermined CWOC. The growing dominance of NEBM with its open systems architectures then led employers to make increased use of H-1 and L-1 visas in the 1980s, prompting them to get behind an expanded cap for H-1B visas in the Immigration Act of 1990. 10

Once OEBM was attacked by NEBM, with its offer of stock-based pay, these corporations became fertile territory for the adoption of the ideology that a company should be run to "maximize shareholder value" (MSV). This momentous transformation in U.S. corporate governance occurred from the late 1980s, legitimizing the transition from a "retain-and-reinvest" to a "downsize-and-distribute" corporate- governance regime. In the 1990s and beyond, this corporate-governance transformation laid waste to CWOC across corporate America, knowledge-intensive companies included. 11 With corporate research eroding as high-tech personnel responded to the lure of stock-based pay from NEBM companies- including not only startups but also those such as Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Cisco Systems that during the 1990s grew to employ tens of thousands of people, most of them with stock- based pay-senior executives at the Old Economy high-tech companies began to see their company's stock price as not only key to the size of their own stock-based pay packages but also as an instrument to compete for a broad-based of high-tech personnel. As exemplified by IBM in the 1990s and beyond, a company's stock price could be raised by laying off expensive older workers and using the resultant "free" cash flow (as the purveyors of MSV called it) to do stock buybacks. 12

As I have documented in detail, over the past three decades this legalized looting of the U.S. business corporation has only gotten worse. As shown Table 1, driven by stock buybacks, net equity issues by U.S. nonfinancial corporations were, in 2015 dollars, minus $4.5 trillion over the decade 2006-2015. In 2016 net equity issues were minus $586 billion. Net equity issues are new stock issues by companies (in this case nonfinancial corporations) minus stock retired from the market as the result of stock repurchases and M&A deals. The massively negative numbers in recent decades are the result of stock buybacks. I have calculated net equity issues as a percent of GDP by decade to provide a measure of the value of buybacks done relative to the size of the U.S. economy. In both absolute inflation-adjusted dollars and as a percent of GDP, buybacks have become a prime mode of corporate resource allocation in the U.S. economy. Contrary to popular belief, in aggregate U.S. corporations fund the stock market, not vice versa. Note that almost all of the buybacks in the decade 1976-1985 occurred in 1984 and 1985 after in November 1982 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Rule 10b-18 that gave license to massive buybacks, in essence legalizing systemic stock-price manipulation and the looting of the U.S. business corporation.

Table 1: Net equity issues of nonfinancial corporations in the United States, 1946-2015, by decade, in 2015 dollars, and as a percent of GDP

Decade Net Equity Issues,

2015$ billions

Net Equity Issues

as % of GDP

1946-1955 143.2 0.56
1956-1965 110.9 0.30
1966-1975 316.0 0.58
1976-1985 -290.9 -0.40
1986-1995 -1,002.5 -1.00
1996-2005 -1,524.4 -1.09
2006-2015 -4,466.6 -2.65

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Reserve Statistical Release Z.1, "Financial Accounts of the United States: Flow of Funds, Balance Sheets, and Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts," Table F-223: Corporate Equities, March 9, 2017, at https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/current/ .

Over the years 2006-2015, the 459 companies in the S&P 500 Index in January 2016 that were publicly listed over the ten-year period expended $3.9 trillion on stock buybacks, representing 53.6 percent of net income, plus another 36.7 percent of net income on dividends. Much of the remaining 9.7 percent of profits was held abroad, sheltered from U.S. taxes. Mean buybacks for these 459 companies ranged from $291 million in 2009, when the stock markets had collapsed, to $1,205 million in 2007, when the stock market peaked before the Great Financial Crisis. In 2015, with the stock market booming, mean buybacks for these companies were $1,173 million. Meanwhile, dividends declined moderately in 2009, but over the period 2006-2015 they trended up in real terms.

Among the largest repurchasers are America's premier high-tech companies. Table 2 shows the top 25 repurchasers over the decade 2006-2015. Among the companies that one would expect to employ large numbers of S&E PhDs are Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, Pfizer, Oracle, Intel, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips. We do not know the historical numbers of S&E PhDs at these companies, but I hypothesize that numbers would be much higher than they are if the companies were not financialized. Many of America's largest corporations

routinely distribute more than 100 percent of net income to shareholders, generating the extra cash by reducing cash reserves, selling off assets, taking on debt, or laying off employees.13 As I have shown, the only logical explanation for this buyback activity is that the stock-based pay that represents the vast majority of the remuneration of senior corporate executives incentivizes them to manipulate their companies' stock prices, leaving most Americans worse off. 14

Table 2: The 25 largest stock repurchasers among U.S.-based corporations, 2006-2015, showing net income (NI) stock buybacks (BB), and cash dividends (DV)

Source: Calculated from data downloaded from Standard & Poor's Compustat database.

The Weinstein-Teitelbaum focus on a GUI design to expand the supply of S&E PhDs ignores the transformations of corporate governance and employment relations that have decimated career employment for this group of workers over the past three decades. At the same time, the channeling of trillions of dollars of value created in U.S. nonfinancial corporations to the financial sector has opened up jobs on Wall Street that can provide quick income bonanzas for highly-educated members of the U.S. labor force, many of whom might have otherwise pursued S&E careers. Among the wealthiest of these Wall Street players are corporate predators-euphemistically known as "hedge-fund activists"-who have billions of dollars in assets under management with which they can attack companies to pump up their stock prices through the implementation of "downsize-and-distribute" allocation regimes and, even if it takes a few years, dump the stock for huge gains.15

In the case of Apple, we have shown how Carl Icahn used his wealth, visibility, hype, and influence to take $2 billion in stock-market gains by buying $3.6 billion of Apple shares in the summer of 2013 and selling them in the winter of 2016, even though he contributed absolutely nothing of any kind to Apple as a value-creating company.16 Apple CEO Tim Cook and his board (which includes former U.S. Vice President Al Gore) helped Icahn turn his accumulated fortune into an even bigger one by having Apple repurchase $45 billion in shares in 2014 and $36 billion in 2015-by far the two largest one-year stock buybacks of any company in history. Imagine the corporate research capabilities in which Apple could have invested, and the S&E PhDs the company could have employed, had it looked for productive ways to use even a fraction of the almost unimaginable sums that it wasted on buybacks.17 From 2011 through the first quarter of 2017, Apple spent $144 billion on buybacks and $51 billion on dividends under what it calls its "Capital Return" program. But the company is "returning" capital to shareholders who never gave the company anything in the first place; the only time in its history that Apple has ever raised funds on the public stock market was $97 million in its 1980 IPO. 18

A number of "hedge-fund activists"-Nelson Peltz of Trian, Daniel Loeb of Third Point, and William Ackman of Pershing Square are among the most prominent-have been able to put up one or two billion dollars to purchase small stakes in major high-tech companies, and, with the proxy votes of pension funds, mutual funds and endowments, have been able put pressure on companies, often by placing their representatives on the boards of directors, to implement "downsize-and-distribute" regimes for the sake of "maximizing shareholder value."19 In the summer of 2013, Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management bought DuPont stock worth $1.3 billion, representing 2.2% of shares outstanding. In May 2015 Peltz lost a proxy fight to put four of his nominees on the DuPont board, but in October 2015 DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman, who had opposed Peltz, resigned, and the new management began to implement Peltz's plans to cut costs and hit financial targets, to be done in the context of a merger with Dow Chemical, which had fallen into the hands of another corporate predator Daniel Loeb. Meanwhile, in October 2015, Peltz bought 0.8 percent of the shares of General Electric (GE), and began to pressure another iconic high-tech company to cut costs and increase its stock price. GE was already a financialized company that had done $52 billion in buybacks in the decade 2006-2015 (see Table 2)-a massive amount of money for the purpose of manipulating its stock price. Undoubtedly responding to additional pressure from Peltz, during 2016, GE, with profits of $8.0 billion, paid out $8.5 billion in dividends and spent another $22.0 billion on buybacks. This financialization of U.S. high-tech corporations undermines, among other things, the employment of S&E PhDs.

We need research on this subject to quantify its impacts. I submit, however, that such a research agenda must focus on transformations of regimes of corporate governance and employment relations. Relying on the neoclassical economist's notion of a "natural wage rate" determined by the interaction of supply and demand, Weinstein, a mathematician, and Teitelbaum, a demographer, missed the transformations in corporate governance and employment relations that marked the late 1980s and early 1990s-and beyond-and as result, in my view, failed to understand the changing fortunes of S&E PhDs in the marketized, globalized, and financialized New Economy. Given the dominance of what I have called "the myth of the market economy"20 in the thought processes of economists, Weinstein and Teitelbaum were by no means alone in erroneously focusing on supply and demand on the PhD labor market while failing to recognize the centrality of corporate governance and employment relations in determining the earnings and career prospects of S&E PhDs. It is time for new economic thinking on these critical questions.

Footnotes

Tom_Doak , May 12, 2017 at 10:08 am

It was indeed a tough article to read to the end, but this nugget near the end was worth it:

"But the company is "returning" capital to shareholders who never gave the company anything in the first place; the only time in its history that Apple has ever raised funds on the public stock market was $97 million in its 1980 IPO."

Wow!

David McClain , May 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

As one who actually lived this process, I can tell you that the premise of this article must be basically true.

Back in the early '90s I set out to fill in the gaps of my own computer science background (I'm actually an astrophysicist). And my classes were filled entirely by people from Asia, except for myself and one other Anglo. Job ads in the journals were already beginning to ask for PhD level CompSci with emphasis on, e.g., voice recognition, for a pay rate of $26K (1992 !). That was definitely appealing to the foreign students and unappealing to American STEM students.

During that period, the only job market for native PhD STEM students became the American Defense and Intelligence agencies, because they required security clearances and US Citizenship. I found myself driven in those directions too.

Now, after many years doing my own thing, I look around at the STEM marketplace and I am shocked to find large numbers of compatriots being pressured into the GIG Economy, and pay rates are appalling by former standards. There is a serious lack of expenditure on research and development today.

tony , May 12, 2017 at 10:44 am

There is a serious lack of expenditure on research and development today.

From another perspective this is just over investment in education. Technology for the most part is just increasing complexity and increasing complexity has diminishing returns. With energy becoming less available, we probably need a lot less complexity.

flora , May 12, 2017 at 10:49 am

"American Defense". hmmm, wonder if sending the jobs and know-how to China and India in the belief both will always be the US's willing subcontractors is such a good idea (from a US national defense point of view).

Ranger Rick , May 12, 2017 at 1:14 pm

I wouldn't say that there is a lack of R&D - it just isn't done in-house any more. Gone are the Bell Labs and the Xerox PARCs; welcome to the brave new world of university partnerships and non-profit R&D shops (most famous: the Southwest Research Institute).

Altandmain , May 12, 2017 at 10:21 am

Basically the rich are waging class war. That's the problem no matter how you slice and dice this one. This whole "New Economy" has been one big war on wages. I mean look at the collusion too between Google, Apple, and Intel to keep wages low.

https://www.wired.com/2015/01/apple-google-tech-giants-reach-415m-settlement-poaching-suit/

Considering how slap on the wrist this was, what incentive is there to not do it again? They know they can get away with this. Not to mention, this H1B and L1B program has become a way to keep wages low in the technology sector. In many sectors, there really isn't a "shortage" of Americans. Oh and for all the talk of these companies being "innovative", if they are prioritizing money on stock buybacks over R&D, that's not really innovative as much as it is trying to boost salaries by capitalizing on the huge cash reserves they get for being the dominant companies in their sector. Same could be said about Exxon. Not much being spent on R&D means that they are more about rent seeking rather than innovation. Perhaps not yet as blatant as those patent trolls, which are little more than shell companies that sue other companies over patents, but that is their ideal business model.

I think that at the end of the day, even though many engineers in the tech companies are in the top 10% in terms of income percentile, their interests are closer aligned with working class people. The other issue is that I bet when many of these engineers turn into their 40s, they are going to witness first hand the very real age discrimination that exists in the technology industry.

Basically it comes down to, the rich are really greedy. The issue right now for the rich is that they are desperate to keep the looting from happening, while people are increasingly aware that the system is against them. Bernie Sanders got a lot of support in the Valley and while it is a very Democratic leaning area, I cannot imagine that Trump's anti-H1B and L1B stance would have been opposed by the average employee. I think that the rich are not going to concede anything and that there needs to be some sort of solidarity union amongst all workers.

Expat , May 12, 2017 at 10:39 am

Is there a single person here who has worked on Wall Street (writ large) who can convince us that his job or his company had an overall positive effect on the US and/or world economy over five years, ten years, or twenty-five years?

I'll go first: three investment banks under my belt and one was a giant financial and moral sucking machine called Citi. The other two were wannabe's but certainly did not add value.

Sluggeaux , May 12, 2017 at 11:12 am

While "maximizing shareholder value" is the huge problem wrecking our economy, having watched the genesis of New Economic Paradigm through the experiences my wife and most of my friends going through the Silicon Valley start-up Tulip-mania from the mid-'80's through the first decade of th e 2000's, the author is hitting important points while over-simplifying and missing other equally important points, such as the role of the "Peace Dividend" in the collapse of aerospace and research funding, and the role of the Reagan and Clinton "tax reforms" in driving stock-based compensation systems.

Early on, the use of stock-based compensation drove down wage-based compensation and increased the role of financial speculators. Today, the speculators get the stock, but wages remain suppressed and only foreign workers will accept them. The author is correct: the causes are complicated, but the result drove down wages and job security for STEM workers.

mary , May 12, 2017 at 11:30 am

I got my Ph.D. in biology in 2000. It was absolutely the worst decision in my life. In fact, it actually destroyed my life, reducing me to near homelessness and starvation because-GASP--regular employers (like office jobs, retail etc.) will not hire Ph.D.s. There there is the lovely student debt that has grown exponentially, as my wages could not make the smallest dent. Convicted felons make more that I do. So to make a long story short, I started a small on-line business 9 years ago and got the FFFFF OUT of the rotten POS United States and moved to Ecuador, one of the most progressive countries in the world. I cannot believe how the US abuses its national treasures-is is truly a POS and I do not miss it for one day. I hope the US crashes and rots in hell.

JDS , May 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Good for you! I wish I could do the same that is, leave the country!

visitor , May 12, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Out of curiosity: what happened to your student debt when you emigrated?

fritter , May 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

Its not just PhDs. I know several Engineers who advise their children to do something else. It's just not worth the amount of effort that is required to be put into it and there is no future hope of a turn around. As bad as it is for graduates today, it's only going to get worse.

nycTerrierist , May 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm

They're catching up with us arts and humanities majors. Sad!

B1whois , May 12, 2017 at 1:14 pm

I am a civil engineer and one of my daughters is studying to become a structural engineer. I would not have advised her to go into engineering because of the problem with the H-1B visas.

But who am I to advise? Who can know the future? The world is just changing too fast now to really be able to advise our children on what careers to take. Besides, one of the advantages of studying engineering as you can work anywhere in the world.

I bought houses for each of my children and told them if they wanted to go to college they could trade the house in for the education. I personally think they should have considered keeping the house and working minimum wage jobs that they enjoy. But both of them are pursuing educations, my son to be history teacher!

cr , May 12, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Post WWII labor overplayed its hand by the 1970's. Corporations and their decided they had had it. Corps and management proceeded to change the rules of the game on everything -- courts, trade, taxation and regulation. These countermeasures have had disastrous long term consequences. Corporations now run the country in a fascist manner. Government capture has created myriad problems beyond financialization, only one tool in the corporate quiver. Oligopolies across most to all industries comes to mind. Rail, air, health insurance, banking, defense, telecom, entertainment .

But this paper is also lamenting a lack of business capex, which is directly correlated to public investment. When you decided to offshore manufacturing and fail to invest in infrastructure you get a double whammy that hits business capex. Increasing regulation and taxation on small and midsize companies has lead to consolidation. Approximately 5000 public companies have likely been consolidated. Sarbanes-Oxley added millions to compliance costs making it highly uneconomical to be a public company with less than $300 million in revenue. Dodd-Frank has created increases in cost for financial firms that had nothing to do with the crisis. In fact, the big banks have benefited enormously from implementation of this legislation.

Vatch , May 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

For anyone else who was confused by the terminology, as I was briefly, capex = capital expenditure.

Altandmain , May 12, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Not sure about the labor part overplaying their hand. They just wanted an even wage and productivity rise. It is capital IMO that has overplayed its hand and the rise of neoliberal economics which has led to declines in public R&D spending. There isn't anything like the Space Race anymore.

tony , May 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Frankly, labour underplayed its hand. At one point it had capital by the throat, and should have finished it off then. If peace is not an option, you should utterly and permanently destroy your enemy.

Sluggeaux , May 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Labor did NOT overplay its hand after WW2 - Taft-Hartley was a HUGE smack-down to labor after the privations of the Depression followed by the war effort. The decent wages during the post-war period were part of a concerted effort to convince workers that they didn't need unions and to be complacent.

Labor leadership certainly became corrupt from all the money sloshing around without global competition due to war devastation of Europe and Japan, the Cold War, and the death throes of colonialism, but this was not due to "overplaying" their hand.

allan , May 12, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Reply to cr@May 12, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Sarbanes-Oxley Dodd-Frank

The trends described in the post predate by decades the communist tyranny [/s] imposed by those bills.
The wholesale closing or offshoring of corporate research labs already started in the 1980s,
driven in part by corporate raiders like Milken, Pickens and Icahn.
IBM, GM, Kodak, Xerox, GE they all had labs that provided jobs to STEM graduates
and a stream of discoveries and inventions to generate more jobs.
Now these are largely gone or substantially off-shored.
What has happened to corporate R&D shouldn't be used as an excuse to make life easier
for the Wall Street culture largely responsible for it.

Vatch , May 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Yes, any burdens imposed by Sarbanes Oxley are the fault of numerous unethical business executives over recent decades, and not the fault of people in government.

visitor , May 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm

When I was a student in IT, the shining stars at the firmament of industrial computer science and engineering R&D were Xerox PARC, DEC SRC, ATT Bell Labs and IBM Yorktown Heights.

They are gone or a shadow of their former selves.

Science Officer Smirnoff , May 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Contrary to popular belief, in aggregate U.S. corporations fund the stock market, not vice versa. Note that almost all of the buybacks in the decade 1976-1985 occurred in 1984 and 1985 after in November 1982 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Rule 10b-18 that gave license to massive buybacks, in essence legalizing systemic stock-price manipulation and the looting of the U.S. business corporation.

William Lazonick, "Stock Buybacks: From Retain-and-Reinvest to Downsize-and-Distribute," Center for Effective Public Management, Brookings Institution, April 2015 at http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2015/04/17-stock-buybacks-lazonick .

See Lazonick's footnoted paper for many loving particulars. Especially note the details of how Rule 10b-18 offers no protection from abuse and (no news to NC readers) is a pillar of general corporate asset-stripping .

Science Officer Smirnoff , May 12, 2017 at 12:43 pm

P. S. pages 10 and 11 of Lazonick's pdf lay out Rule 10b-18 in full.

David Barrera , May 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Thanks. Tremendous article!

Socal Rhino , May 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Engineering long-term career arc has been an issue since at least my father's generation (those born during WWI). Longer tenure (mid to late mid career) engineers were being eased out for young grads. When I was in a ChemE program in the 70s, advice was to follow the engineering degree with either law or a business degree because the odds of a long career doing engineering was not great. No one advised going for a PhD in engineering.

Arizona Slim , May 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

My father had a PhD in chemical engineering.

When I asked him why he got the degree, which didn't seem necessary for someone who spent much of his career in industrial R&D, he said, "I'm like Mallory climbing Mount Everest. I got that degree because it is there."

So, there you have it. My old man getting that degree because he wanted to. And because my mother was willing to support both of them while he worked on it.

shinola , May 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm

To me, this is the money quote (literally):

"Many of America's largest corporations routinely distribute more than 100 percent of net income to shareholders, generating the extra cash by reducing cash reserves, selling off assets, taking on debt, or laying off employees the only logical explanation for this buyback activity is that the stock-based pay that represents the vast majority of the remuneration of senior corporate executives incentivizes them to manipulate their companies' stock prices "

This not only applies to the STEM sector, but nearly every large corp. in America. "Earnings quality" (i.e stock price) takes precedence over everything else leading to the crapification of products & services and devaluation of employees.

Thank gawd this type of thinking wasn't around when Jonas Salk was working on the polio vaccine.

nowhere , May 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Which begs the question: what discoveries are we missing out on now because of this short sighted approach?

Jim Haygood , May 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

" In November 1982 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Rule 10b-18 that gave license to massive buybacks, in essence legalizing systemic stock-price manipulation and the looting of the U.S. business corporation. "

How can you have "looting" without lootees? The stockholders aren't complaining. If any party is being disadvantaged by borrowing to fund stock buybacks, it's existing bondholders. As David Swensen describes in an extended example in Pioneering Portfolio Management , managers compensated by stock options tend to treat corporate debt holders quite shabbily by piling on more debt, compromising the interest coverage ratio.

High tech companies use stock buybacks to offset their widespread granting of stock options which - absent Rule 10b-18 - would badly dilute existing stock holders over time.

Trying to paint the well-disclosed practice of stock buybacks as "looting" is histrionic ax grinding on Lazonick's part. Over-leveraged companies are going to regret it in the next recession. But that's a lamentable social phenomenon in a bubble-driven economy. Those who disagree with it are free to sell short over-leveraged stocks - perhaps a more meaningful way of expressing dissent than scribbling academic screeds.

Science Officer Smirnoff , May 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

And political dissenters are free to emigrate.

fritter , May 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Well Jim, ponzi schemes work pretty well for those at the top. I suppose we shouldn't worry about it until we start getting complaints..

Actually though, watching the train wreck that is the outlook for the youngest generation today, provides some grim amusement. For instance noting that the "bubble-driven" economy composed of companies desperate to prevent their stock becoming "badly diluted" by having fire sales on capitol and expertise that probably took their predecessors decades to build can really only have one outcome. Depression, misery, socialism. Maybe we skip the Mao route this time, maybe not.

Alejandro , May 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Here's some related "histrionics" of your channeling D.D . an excerpt of a debate about "creative destruction" (emphasis mine) from 1991(context), chronologically, roughly following the tandem of Ronnie and Maggie.

Gregory Peck: "The Robber Barons of old at least left something tangible in their wake - a coal mine, a railroad, banks. THIS MAN LEAVES NOTHING. HE CREATES NOTHING. HE BUILDS NOTHING. HE RUNS NOTHING. And in his wake lies nothing but a blizzard of paper to cover the pain. Oh, if he said, "I know how to run your business better than you," that would be something worth talking about. But he's not saying that. He's saying, "I'm going to kill you because at this particular moment in time, you're worth more dead than alive." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJRhrow3Jws

Danny Devito: "Let's have the intelligence, let's have the decency to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future "Ah, but we can't," goes the prayer. "We can't because we have responsibility, a responsibility to our employees, to our community. What will happen to them?" I got two words for that: WHO CARES? Care about them? Why? They didn't care about you. They sucked you dry. You have no responsibility to them. For the last ten years this company bled your money. Did this community ever say, "We know times are tough. We'll lower taxes, reduce water and sewer."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62kxPyNZF3Q

oho , May 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

IBM. Poster child of everything wrong at the executive-level and the shareholder-level.

David Barrera , May 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

Oho,

Yes, the IBM reference is interesting.The author gives an ordinal lead to IBM as a mover from the OEBM to NEBM. I ask myself if, from a mere one large corporation managing perspective, this was IBM's 11th hour response to the by then devastating rise of its competitors like Apple & Microsoft.

Also the irony that it did not help IBM at least in the midterm. So, IBM was the prime mover to initiate some aspects of a model change -change which every major player adhered to- in response to a new technological disadvantage vs. competitors, and in turned did not seem to do much for IBM in the immediate years. Although, if I recall well, IBM was immersed in many political battles and internal problems, legal and otherwise. Nevertheless, I doubt there was a historic inevitability on IBM's ordinal force. Outstanding work by Lazonick

Trout Creek , May 12, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Let me quote a noted tech analyst on IBM :

"IBM is the poster child for shenanigans. Last month, IBM reported its 20th quarter in a row of declining year over year revenues .. a 13% drop in earnings, profit margins that declined in every business segment ( much worse than expected ), free cash flow that plummeted over 50% year over year and an earnings "beat" of 3 cents per share. How could this "beat" happen? .. a negative tax rate of -23% . This is why they pay the CEO Rometti the big bucks ( estimated at $50 to $65 million last year)."

And this is one of the Bluest of the Blue Chip companies in the world.

Sue , May 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

I read IBM spent a fortune at that time defending itself against monopolistic claims litigation. This was happening while Microsoft and Apple were clearly consolidating their oligopolistic empires. I read reports stating Oracle initial breakthroughs were taken from IBM's research work.

Thomas Williams , May 12, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Really fine piece, thanks. Also, the quality of the readers' comments is some of the highest I've seen in years of following NC

nowhere , May 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Not sure if anyone watches "Silicon Valley", but here is a quote that seems fitting:

Season 2 – Bad Money

Richard: Once we get a few customers and start a subscription-revenue model.

Russ: What? Revenue? No, no, no, no, no. No. If you show revenue, people will ask "How much?" And it will never be enough, but if you have no revenue, you can say you're pre-revenue. You're a potential pure play. It's not about how much you earn, it's about what you're worth. And who's worth the most? Companies that lose money. Pinterest, Snap chat No revenue. Amazon has lost money every fucking quarter for the last 20 fucking years, and that Bezos motherfucker is the king.

Wisdom Seeker , May 12, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Just wanted to point out that there is one more link in the chain to be followed: the financiers would not have such an easy time playing Nero with our economy, if the banking sector were still properly constrained by a gold standard (=limited supply of printed credit), the risk of bank runs by outraged consumers, the Glass-Steagall separation of commercial from investment banking, personal rather than corporate punishment for fraud and abuse, antitrust enforcement, etc.

In addition, the rise of 401(k) based investing, in which workers are tax-incentivized to buy in to the corporate stock scheming, but lack the normal shareholder voice in corporate governance, has taken the chains off the looters as well.

It's time to end the impunity. The government has been corrupted by the corporations, so only a populist uprising will produce reform. The uprising will require sacrifices of time, income, security. It will require boycotts of products that people like, but whose producers and vendors are evil. The products will not disappear while demand persists – but the producers and vendors must be brought to heel.

Consider the following inductees into the Corporate Hall of Shame:

pick an industry, you'll find a Hall of Shame candidate. Hit them all in the wallet until they reform.

Smitty , May 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm

The impact on the Grads was secondary a byproduct of a larger agenda which included the transfer offshore and consolidation of "IP" of the entire American, EU and Asian industrial economies along with the withdrawl of capital, while at the same time intentionally sabotaging future innovations with the handicap of diversity. Who got the loot and capital? Usual suspects.

[Apr 11, 2017] Trump administration betrayed students depply in debt

Apr 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc April 11, 2017 at 04:48 PM SoE DeVos is dangerously stupid and incompetent

"DeVos's decision to reverse some of her work "with no coherent explanation or substitute" effectively means that the Trump administration is placing the welfare of loan contractors above those of student debtors"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-11/devos-undoes-obama-student-loan-protections

"DeVos Undoes Obama Student Loan Protections"

'Trump's education secretary wants to limit costs at a time when more than 1 million Americans are annually defaulting'

by Shahien Nasiripour...April 11, 2017...2:46 PM EDT

"Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday rolled back an Obama administration attempt to reform how student loan servicers collect debt.

Obama issued a pair (PDF) of memorandums (PDF) last year requiring that the government's Federal Student Aid office, which services $1.1 trillion in government-owned student loans, do more to help borrowers manage, or even discharge, their debt. But in a memorandum (PDF) to the department's student aid office, DeVos formally withdrew the Obama memos.

The previous administration's approach, DeVos said, was inconsistent and full of shortcomings. She didn't detail how the moves fell short, and her spokesmen, Jim Bradshaw and Matthew Frendewey, didn't respond to requests for comment.

DeVos's move comes a week after one of the student loan industry's main lobbies asked for Congress's help in delaying or substantially changing the Education Department's loan servicing plans. In a pair of April 4 letters to leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees, the National Council of Higher Education Resources said there were too many unanswered questions, including whether the Obama administration's approach would be unnecessarily expensive.

A recent epidemic of student loan defaults and what authorities describe as systematic mistreatment of borrowers prompted the Obama administration, in its waning days, to force the FSA office to emphasize how debtors are treated, rather than maximize the amount of cash they can stump up to meet their obligations.

Obama's team also sought to reduce the possibility that new contracts would be given to companies that mislead or otherwise harm debtors. The current round of contracts will terminate in 2019, and among three finalists for a new contract is Navient Corp. In January, state attorneys general in Illinois and Washington, along with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, sued Navient over allegations the company abused borrowers by taking shortcuts to boost its own bottom line. Navient has denied the allegations.

The withdrawal of the Obama administration guidelines could make Navient a more likely contender for that contract, government officials said. Navient shares moved higher after the government released DeVos's decision around 11:30 a.m. New York time. Navient stock ended up almost 2 percent.

The Obama administration vision for how federal loans would be serviced almost certainly meant the feds would have to increase how much they pay loan contractors to collect monthly payments from borrowers and counsel them on repayment options. Already, the government annually spends around $800 million to collect on almost $1.1 trillion of debt. DeVos, however, made clear that her department would focus on curbing costs.

"We must create a student loan servicing environment that provides the highest quality customer service and increases accountability and transparency for all borrowers, while also limiting the cost to taxpayers," DeVos said.

With her memo, DeVos has taken control of the complex and widely derided system in which the federal government collects monthly payments from tens of millions of Americans with government-owned student loans. The CFPB said in 2015 that the manner in which student loans are collected has been marred by "widespread failures."

DeVos's move "will certainly increase the likelihood of default," said David Bergeron, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with close ties to Democrats. Bergeron worked under Democratic and Republican administrations over more than 30 years at the Education Department. He retired as the head of postsecondary education.

During Obama's eight years in office, some 8.7 million Americans defaulted on their student loans, for a rate of one default roughly every 29 seconds.

Former Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin worked on student loan policy during the latter years of the Obama administration, in part over concern that borrowers' struggles were affecting the management of U.S. debt. DeVos's decision to reverse some of her work "with no coherent explanation or substitute" effectively means that the Trump administration is placing the welfare of loan contractors above those of student debtors, she said.

In a statement Tuesday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who is suing Navient, agreed: "The Department of Education has decided it does not need to protect student loan borrowers."
libezkova -> im1dc... , April 11, 2017 at 05:24 PM

Thank you ! A very good finding.

[Apr 04, 2017] In Neo-classical Economics as a Stratagem Against Henry George

Notable quotes:
"... As with any major reform movement, the corporate backlash was predictable. In Neo-classical Economics, Gaffney reveals that this backlash took two main forms. The first was the Red Scare (1919-1989), overseen by J Edgar Hoover as Assistant Attorney General and later as FBI director. ..."
"... The second was more insidious and involved the deliberate reframing of the classical economic theory developed by Adam Smith, Locke, Hume, and Ricardo as so-called neoclassical economics. ..."
Apr 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RGC , April 03, 2017 at 06:36 AM
Karl Marx vs Henry George

by Stuart Jeanne Bramhall / August 12th, 2013


Why do American children study Karl Marx, the villain we love to hate, in school? Yet Henry George, whose views on land and tax reform gave rise to the Progressive and Populist movements of the 1900s, is totally absent from US history books.

During the 1890s George, author of the 1879 bestseller Progress and Poverty, was the third most famous American, after Mark Twain and Thomas Edison. In 1896 he outpolled Teddy Roosevelt and was nearly elected mayor of New York.

In Neo-classical Economics as a Stratagem Against Henry George (2007), University of California economist Mason Gaffney argues that George and his Land Value Tax pose a far greater threat than Marx to America's corporate elite.

America's enormous concentration of wealth has always depended on the inherent right of the wealthy elite to seize and monopolize vast quantities of land and natural resources (oil, gas, forests, water, minerals, etc) for personal profit.

Adopting an LVT, which is far easier than launching a violent revolution, would essentially negate that right. What's more, every jurisdiction that has ever implemented an LVT finds it works exactly the way George predicted it would. Productivity, prosperity, and social wellbeing flourish, while inflation, wealth inequality, and boom and bust recessions and depressions virtually vanish.

When Progress and Poverty first came out in 1879, it started a worldwide reform movement that in the US manifested in the fiercely anti-corporate Populist Movement in the 1880s and later the Progressive Movement (1900-1920). Many important anti-corporate reforms came out of this period, including the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890), a constitutional amendment allowing Americans to elect the Senate by popular vote (prior to 1913 the Senate was appointed by state legislators), and the country's first state-owned bank, The Bank of North Dakota (1919).

The Corporate Elite Strikes Back

As with any major reform movement, the corporate backlash was predictable. In Neo-classical Economics, Gaffney reveals that this backlash took two main forms. The first was the Red Scare (1919-1989), overseen by J Edgar Hoover as Assistant Attorney General and later as FBI director.

The second was more insidious and involved the deliberate reframing of the classical economic theory developed by Adam Smith, Locke, Hume, and Ricardo as so-called neoclassical economics.

The latter totally negates Adam Smith's basic differentiation between "land", a limited, non-producible resource. and "capital", a reproducible result of past human production. Smith, Locke, Hume, and Ricardo all held that individuals have no right to seize and monopolize scarce natural resources, such as land, minerals, water, and forests. They believed that because these resources are both limited and essential for human survival, they should belong to the public.

Neoclassical economics, which first developed in the 1890s, was based on the premise that growth and development can only occur if a handful of rent-seekers are allowed to monopolize scarce land and natural resources for their personal profit. Henry George, who publicly debated the early pioneers of neoclassical economics, claimed the science of economics was being deliberately distorted to discredit him. Gaffney agrees. Because George's proposal to replace income and sales tax with single land value taxed is based on logical concepts of land, capital, labor, and rent advanced by Adam Smith, Locke, Hume, and Ricardo, they all had to be discredited.

Gaffney believes neoclassical economic theory undermines George's arguments for a single Land Value Tax in two basic ways: 1) by claiming that land is no different from other capital (ironically Marx made the identical argument) and 2) by portraying the science of economics as a series of hard choices and sacrifices that low and middle income people must make. Some examples:

If we want efficiency, we must sacrifice equity.

To attract business, we must lower taxes and shut libraries and defund schools.

To prevent inflation, we must keep a large number of Americans unemployed.

To create jobs, we must destroy the environment and pollute the air, water, and food chain.

To raise productivity, we must fire people.

Gaffney's book traces the phenomenal public support Georgism enjoyed before the tenets of neoclassical economics took hold in American universities. In addition to inspiring the Populist and Progressive movements, an LVT to fund irrigation projects in California's Central Valley made California the top producing farm state. In 1916 the first federal income tax law was introduced by Georgist members of Congress (Henry George Jr and Warren Bailey) and included virtually no tax on wages. In 1934 Georgist Upton Sinclair was almost elected governor of California.


Gaffney also identifies the robber barons whose fortunes financed the economics departments of the major universities who went on to substitute neooclassical economics for classical economic theory. At the top of this list were

Ezra Cornell (owner of both Western Union and Associated Press) – founder of Cornell University

John D Rockefeller – helped fund the University of Chicago and installed his cronies in its economics department.

J. P Morgan – investment banker and early funder of Columbia University

B&O Railroad – John Hopkins University

Southern Pacific Railroad – Stanford University

The final section of Gaffney's book lays out the tragic economic, political, and social consequences of allowing the Red Scare and neoclassical economics to stifle America's movement for a single Land Value Tax:

Economic Consequences

The corporate elite has privatized, or is privatizing, most of the public domain (including fisheries, the public airwaves, water, offshore oil and gas, and the right to clean air) without compensation to the public.

The rate of saving and capital formation continues to fall rapidly. This is the main reason there is no recovery.
Although profits soar, corporations have no incentive to invest in expansion and jobs. Instead they invest their profits in real estate, derivatives, and commodities speculation.

American capital is decayed and obsolete. The US has lost much of its steel and auto industries. Power plants and oil refineries are ancient and polluting. Most public capital (infrastructure) is old and crumbling.

The number of American farms has fallen from 6 million in 1920 to 1 million in 2007.

The USA, once so self-sufficient, has grown dangerously dependent on importing raw materials and foreign manufacturers.

The US financial system is a shambles, supported only by loading trillions of dollars of bad debts onto the taxpayers.

Real wage rates have continued to fall since 1975,
Unemployment has risen to chronically high levels.
Inequality in wealth and income continues to increase rapidly.

Political Consequences

The corporate elite has nullified all the Progressive Era electoral reforms by pouring money into politics and "deep lobbying," at all levels of government, including our institutions of higher learning and our public schools.

The corporate elite continue to pour ever more of our tax money into prisons.

Social Consequences

Homelessness has risen to new heights, in spite of decades of subsidies to home-building and, favorable tax treatment of owner-occupied homes

Hunger is rampant.

Street begging, once rare, is everywhere

Americans have experienced a sharp loss of community, honor, duty, loyalty and patriotism.

In the shadow world between crime and business there is now the vast, gray underground economy that includes tax evasion, tax avoidance, and drug-dealing.

The US which once led the world in nearly every endeavor, has fallen far behind in infant survival, in longevity, in literacy, in numeracy, in mental health.

American education no longer leads the world. Privatized education in the form of commercial TV has largely superseded public education.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/08/karl-marx-vs-henry-george/

[Apr 01, 2017] The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money

Apr 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , April 01, 2017 at 11:43 AM
http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/keynes/john_maynard/k44g/chapter12.html

1936

The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
By John Maynard Keynes

The State of Long-Term Expectation

[ The passage is important, but a reference is ecessary. ]

[Mar 31, 2017] Professor Thoma has the unique ability to pick up interesting links.

Mar 31, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. , March 31, 2017 at 05:42 AM
David Glasner discusses how essential Professor Thoma's blog is to the Econosphere... Funny given that the web address for Uneasy Money refuses appear in Typepad.

A Tale of Three Posts
by David Glasner

March 30, 2017

Since I started blogging in July 2011, I have published 521 posts (not including this one). A number of my posts have achieved a fair amount of popularity, as measured by the number of views, which WordPress allows me to keep track of. Many, though not all, of my most widely viewed posts were mentioned by Paul Krugman in his blog. Whenever I noticed an unusually large uptick in the number of viewers visiting the blog, I usually found Krugman had linked to my post, causing a surge of viewers to my blog.

The most visitors I ever had in one day was on August 7, 2012. It was the day after I wrote a post mocking an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Arthur Laffer ("Arthur Laffer, Anti-Enlightenment Economist") in which, based on some questionable data, and embarrassingly bad logic, Laffer maintained that countries that had adopted fiscal stimulus after the 2008-09 downturn had weaker recoveries than countries that had practiced fiscal austerity. This was not the first or last time that Krugman linked to a post of mine, but what made it special was that Krugman linked to it while he on vacation, so that for three days, everyone who visited Krugman's blog found his post linking to my post, so that on August 7 alone, my post was viewed 7885 times, with 3004 viewing the post on August 8, 1591 on August 9, and 953 on August 10. In the entire month of August, the Laffer post was viewed 15,399 times. To this day, that post remains the most viewed post that I have ever written, having been viewed a total 17,604 times.

As you can see, the post has not maintained its popular appeal, over 87 percent of all views having occurred within three and a half weeks of its having been published. And there's no reason why it should have retained its popularity. It was a well-written post, properly taking a moderately well-known right-wing economist to task for publishing a silly piece of ideological drivel in a once-great newspaper, but there was nothing especially profound or original about it. It was just the sort of post that Krugman loves to link to, and I was at the top of his blog for three days before he published his next post.

...

But over the past six months, suddenly since October, a third post ("Gold Standard or Gold Exchange Standard: What's the Difference?"), originally published on July 1, 2015, has been attracting a lot of traffic. When first published, it was moderately successful, drawing 569 visits on July 2, 2015, which is still the most visits it has received on any single day, mostly via links from Mark Toma's blog and Brad DeLong's blog. The post was not terribly original, but I think it did a nice job of describing that evolution of the gold standard from an almost accidental and peculiarly British, institution into a totem of late nineteenth-century international monetary orthodoxy, whose principal features remain till this day surprisingly obscure even to well trained and sophisticated monetary economists and financial experts.

...

The other amazing thing about the burst of traffic to this post is that most of the visitors seem to be coming from India. Over the past 30 days since February 28, this blog has been viewed 17,165 times. The most-often viewed post in that time period was my gold-exchange standard post, which was viewed 7385 times, i.e., over 40% of all views were of that one single post. In the past 30 days, my blog was viewed from India 6446 times while my blog was viewed from the United States only 4863 times. Over the entire history of this blog, about 50% of views have been from within the US. So India is clearly where it's at now.

...

PS I realized that, by identifying Paul Krugman's blog as the blog from which many of my most popular posts have received the largest number of viewers, I inadvertently slighted Mark Thoma's indispensible blog (Economistsview.typepad.com), which really is the heart and soul of the econ blogosphere. I just checked, and I see that since my blog started in 2011, over 79,000 viewers have visited my blog via Mark's blog compared to 53,000 viewers who have visited via Krugman. And I daresay that when Krugman has linked to one of my posts, it's probably only after he followed Thoma's link to my blog, so I'm doubly indebted to Mark.

Peter K. -> pgl... , March 31, 2017 at 05:57 AM
High praise from Glasner:

"Mark Thoma's indispensible blog (Economistsview.typepad.com), which really is the heart and soul of the econ blogosphere."

Too bad you and people like you are trying to ruin it with your bullying and trolling.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , March 31, 2017 at 06:09 AM
I also enjoy David Beckworth's podcasts. Funny enough Typepad doesn't like his website either.

His latest podcast with Jeffrey Frankel is good.

http://macromarketmusings blogspot com/2017/03/macro-musings-podcasts-jeffrey-frankel.html

At the end they have a good discussion about NGDP targetting.

I really don't understand why progressive economists don't get behind this more. The more mainstream economists seem more interested in promoting the Democrats' policy agenda and defending it from the left and from the right.

Economists could/can help social movements push policies like a higher minimum wage, UBI, guaranteed jobs, unionization/economic democracy and an NGDP target for the Fed.

Seems like Progressive [center-left] economists are more interested in defending the Federal Reserve except for DeLong who criticizes it in an indirect, oblique manner. They're in a defensive crouch all of the time.

Seems like a big blind spot to me.

paine -> Peter K.... , March 31, 2017 at 09:08 AM
The comments should never be confused
with the posts and posted links
Conjecture

We commenteers long dince lost

Large readership

Peter K. -> paine... , March 31, 2017 at 10:16 AM
"The comments should never be confused with the posts and posted links"

Did I confuse them?

libezkova -> paine... , March 31, 2017 at 10:32 AM
"The comments should never be confused with the posts and posted links"

That's wrong ! There is a strong interdependency.

Professor Thoma has the unique ability to pick up interesting links. I wonder where he finds time to read all those articles, as probably to post a dosen of links, as he often does, you need to read at least twice more articles. Probably much more the twice.

I think that this quality attracts a lot of people.

And I noticed that on average, his "Links" posts attract more comments that regular posts. Probably by the factor of two on average. Most Links posts attract over 100 comments with high number around 300.

It might also be that commenting on "Links", commenters often post their own findings and quotes, which sometimes is of high, or very high value and add to the value. Anne is one such persons.

Another interesting feature of this blog is that the "core" group of commenters is reasonably stable with many commenting for five years or more. I belong to "episodical" commenters, but I follow the blog for a long time and after a couple of years I start recognizing probably 80% of names and even now has some vague information about their personal histories.

And some of the members of the core group systematically produce a number of high quality comments almost each day. That also attracts people.

Discussions, when two commenters have opposite views of the subject to me is the most interesting part. Despite occasional shouting matches.

So it is the quality of links and posts attracts quality commenters, which in turn, further enhance the quality of the blog.

In any case: Bravo Professor Thoma !!!

Julio -> libezkova... , March 31, 2017 at 11:26 AM
Absolutely! I was originally attracted to this blog by the quality of the comments even more than the quality of Prof. Thoma's selections.

It's ironic that paine seems to be arguing that comments are relatively unimportant. His posts are always thought-provoking and foster good discussions, and one of the reasons I became a regular reader.

[Mar 31, 2017] How America's Most Prestigious Universities Bilk the U.S. Taxpayer Zero Hedge

Mar 31, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

alphasammae , Mar 30, 2017 9:30 PM

Ivy League alumni like the illuminatis Clinton and Bushes are prepared and vetted to run Goldman Sachs, the White House and the justice system etc. A merry go 'round, this for that but at the end rather than creating personal foundations they should be creating foundations for their alma mater instead of their library mausoleum. Clinton foundation raised over $1.2 billion to be run by daughter. Sick.

old_cynic , Mar 30, 2017 11:21 PM

Flawed, sensationalistic report, clickbait for jealous masses who can't make the cut into the ivy league.

Most of the $ comes from research grants. Wouldn't you expect the best schools in the country to get research grants? Look at all the top state schools, they also attract loads of federal $.

As for endowment income being non-taxable for universities, that's a good thing IMO. Would you rather have the endowment funds for all other nonprofits taxed too? Think about hospitals and churches as examples.

dvfco -> buckstopshere , Mar 30, 2017 8:58 PM

$71,000+ for incoming class at Georgetown this fall.

$0 at U.S. Naval Academy.

Hmmm.

Cardinal Fang , Mar 30, 2017 6:19 PM

It's a big club and you ain't in it.

I worked for a Billionaire who actually said this to me.

He meant it.

This is how they think.

Notice I said 'worked'...

He tried to be a man of the people but couldn't fake it at times.

No_More , Mar 30, 2017 6:35 PM

At $120K/student/year, I'd consider perpetual studenthood at an Ivy (assuming the $120K was paid direct to me).

Talk about your pricey name brand Free Shit though (as compared to SNAP or an ObamaPhone).

pitz , Mar 30, 2017 7:32 PM

The Ivy League universities are also prolific H-1B abusers, and they use tax-free "scholarship" endowment fund earnings to advance their liberal causes.

Time to tax them properly and stop the scam of 'scholarships' and H-1B abuse.

khakuda , Mar 30, 2017 7:44 PM

Harvard and Yale each have endowments on the order of $25-$35 billion, yet always have their hands out for more.

Anteater , Mar 30, 2017 7:56 PM

The US has 1,000 Generals. Count 'em. We have 33 brigade combat teams, who comprise in battalions, companies and platoons, roughly 1,000 combat platoons. Do the math. We have so many excess Generals, each General could partner with an LT leading a platoon into battle. That's FU. Let's cut that number back to 33, one per BCT, and find KP duty for the 967, until they find the $6,000,000,000,000 of our last life savings that the Pentagon 'lost track of' and is now forever MIA.

The US has 1,000 Admirals. Count 'em. We have 430 fighting ships, if you go all the way down to fuel barges, PT boats and LSTs. Do the math. We have so many excess Admirals, each Admiral could partner with an LT leading an LST onto the beach, and still have 570 Admirals to wade ashore and declare the beachhead secured. That's FU. Let's cut that number back to 7, one per fleet, and find KP duty for the 993, until they find the $6,000,000,000,000 of our last life savings that the Pentagon 'lost track of' and is now forever MIA.

Somebody knows where our savings went! There are over 1800 unnecessary Admirals and Generals who could defend America and earn their $250,000 a year salaries for life, by ferreting out the moles, rats, leeches and gribbles at the Pentagon, clean house, right-size the armed forces, re-fund yhe VA, then hang all the MIC lobbyists from the yardarms for treason.

Faeriedust -> Anteater , Mar 30, 2017 9:06 PM

It's worse. From having relatives inside the Pentagon budget process, I've been made aware for decades that at least 1/3 of our military manpower exists not because there is any rational need for those troops, OTHER than having sufficient forces to justify retaining and promoting more high-ranking (and highly-paid) Brass.

The hierarchical structure of the military assures that there are relatively few pay billets at the top. This means that officers sitting on promotion boards are constantly faced with the demand to "pass over" and thus doom to early separation/retirement fellow officers who are perfectly competent at their jobs, just not needed by the numbers.

In the immediate post WWII era, service leaders were nervous about letting good talent go and get settled in civilian life, only to need them for the Next Big One in a few years' time. Those few years have since become six decades, and the system of holding onto popular people by "creative" billeting has become institutionalized. The Armed Forces DON'T need AT LEAST 1/3 of their personnel, especially in the higher ranks. But the higher the rank, the more personal favors are owed to them, and the more likely that a new job will be created requiring even more stars, in order to assure that they stay employed at least until they can collect retirement.

The Pentagon is the world's one and and only truly functional socialist system.

[Mar 29, 2017] The reason UK economics students revolted

Notable quotes:
"... And that's the reason UK economics students revolted: "Few mainstream economists predicted the global financial crash of 2008 and academics have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the often labyrinthine financial models behind the crisis. Now a growing band of university students are plotting a quiet revolution against orthodox free-market teaching, arguing that alternative ways of thinking have been pushed to the margins. ..."
"... why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs. ..."
"... But the answer to their question is very simple. Neoliberals are in power and they dictate what is to be taught in Economics courses. They also promote and sustain "willing charlatans" like Mankiw, who poisons and indoctrinates students with neoclassical junk. ..."
Mar 29, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
JohnH -> Peter K.... , March 27, 2017 at 06:51 PM
So true; "SWL has never addressed what is happening in the real world."

And that's the reason UK economics students revolted: "Few mainstream economists predicted the global financial crash of 2008 and academics have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the often labyrinthine financial models behind the crisis. Now a growing band of university students are plotting a quiet revolution against orthodox free-market teaching, arguing that alternative ways of thinking have been pushed to the margins.

Economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society, which they hope will be copied by universities across the country. The organisers criticise university courses for doing little to explain why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs."
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/24/students-post-crash-economics

... ... ...

libezkova -> JohnH... , March 27, 2017 at 09:40 PM
"why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs."

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/24/students-post-crash-economics"

That's a very good link. Thank you !

But the answer to their question is very simple. Neoliberals are in power and they dictate what is to be taught in Economics courses. They also promote and sustain "willing charlatans" like Mankiw, who poisons and indoctrinates students with neoclassical junk.

[Mar 28, 2017] It is ironic that Krugman is cited as a voice for reform -- he represents the neo-Keynesian hell weve got stuck in

Notable quotes:
"... Ironic that Krugman is cited as a voice for reform - he represents the neo-Keynesian hell we've got stuck in. ..."
"... I'm an economics student at the University of Glasgow, in second year as part of a compulsory course we were taught about alternative economic theories in comparison to Neoclassical models. ..."
"... The course has only been running for a few years but in response students have set up a very similar society to promote alternative thinking on economics. Even just half a semester on Post-Keynesian Economic theory has really opened our eyes to the alternatives within economics. ..."
"... I studied neoclassical 'economics' (it really isn't economics, just garbage) for five years. Began to take my graduate degree in the autumn of 2008 when everything was falling apart and I had no idea why. No clue whatsoever. After my masters degree in neoclassical 'economics' I still had no clue what had happened. ..."
"... Orthodox economics: Ignore money. Hence, ignore debt. Let the overall leverage of the economy increase until Ponzi finance fails and financial crisis begins. The debt deflation that follows means money gets even more concentrated towards the financial/political elite than before the crisis. Neo-feudalism makes way - finally war. ..."
"... Orthodox economists don't understand capitalism. They can't. The long time failed axioms underlying everything else in their theories don't allow them to do that. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
Febo , 25 Oct 2013 15:16

Ironic that Krugman is cited as a voice for reform - he represents the neo-Keynesian hell we've got stuck in.

JmkSweeney, 25 Oct 2013 18:46

I'm an economics student at the University of Glasgow, in second year as part of a compulsory course we were taught about alternative economic theories in comparison to Neoclassical models.

The course has only been running for a few years but in response students have set up a very similar society to promote alternative thinking on economics. Even just half a semester on Post-Keynesian Economic theory has really opened our eyes to the alternatives within economics.

DisconnectMe -> JmkSweeney , 26 Oct 2013 13:54

I studied neoclassical 'economics' (it really isn't economics, just garbage) for five years. Began to take my graduate degree in the autumn of 2008 when everything was falling apart and I had no idea why. No clue whatsoever. After my masters degree in neoclassical 'economics' I still had no clue what had happened.

Then I stumbled across Post-Keynesian economics and it took me about six months to dismiss the neoclassical garbage. If I hadn't studied that garbage for five years it would have taken me a few days.

DisconnectMe , 26 Oct 2013 02:42

Orthodox economics: Ignore money. Hence, ignore debt. Let the overall leverage of the economy increase until Ponzi finance fails and financial crisis begins. The debt deflation that follows means money gets even more concentrated towards the financial/political elite than before the crisis. Neo-feudalism makes way - finally war.

Then the cycle starts again.

Orthodox economists don't understand capitalism. They can't. The long time failed axioms underlying everything else in their theories don't allow them to do that.

What a waste of economic thinking.

[Mar 28, 2017] Economics taught by neo-classical economics is like the Natural Sciences departments being run by creationists

Notable quotes:
"... This has echoes of a protest by students in 2011 at Harvard when a group of students walked out of the lectures by Dr Gregory Manilow. What has happened to them? ..."
"... Good for them. The economics profession has been dominated by neoliberal theoreticians for far too long. It needs bringing back to the real world. ..."
"... i went to the LSE to study maths and statistics with a sprinkling of economics (my first taste of it at the time). after a few months i was of the opinion it is based on terrible assumptions. e.g. the needs of the average consumer, which are then blown up into fantastical macroeconomical proportions which only led to flawed arguments. The subsequent financial crisis only backed this up. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
RobinS , 25 Oct 2013 5:20

What a ghastly indictment of Manchester, and other economics departments - obviously being very economic with their subject. Sounds a bit like the Natural Sciences departments being run by creationists.

ResponsibleWellbeing , 25 Oct 2013 5:23

This should be the first class for the whole students in economics.
What are the limits in ecology ecosystem? And what are the needs/capacities for human flourishing?

Adventures in New Economics 2: Donut Economics, Kate Raworth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VieEtdcmjtI

This is an open/complex map with a compass in values that I've built trying to go through both main concepts. It's valid for personal development / companies / communities / nations / whole planet.

bit.ly/1775pbV

Jed Bland , 25 Oct 2013 5:36

This has echoes of a protest by students in 2011 at Harvard when a group of students walked out of the lectures by Dr Gregory Manilow. What has happened to them?

I personally have observed in other disciplines that teaching tends to be a generation behind current thinking, Particularly when it has more to do with ideology than science.

Some ten years ago, a movement called the Post-Autistic Ecomoncs Movement had a considerable influence in Europe but has no doubt disappeared in the face of the greed which is central supporting feature of today's neoliberalism.

SteveTen , 25 Oct 2013 5:44

Good for them. The economics profession has been dominated by neoliberal theoreticians for far too long. It needs bringing back to the real world.

skyblueravo , 25 Oct 2013 5:45

i went to the LSE to study maths and statistics with a sprinkling of economics (my first taste of it at the time). after a few months i was of the opinion it is based on terrible assumptions. e.g. the needs of the average consumer, which are then blown up into fantastical macroeconomical proportions which only led to flawed arguments. The subsequent financial crisis only backed this up.

I commend this thinking by the students but if I was one of their parents forking out 27k i would probably tell them to pass the exams they need to and get out and start earning.

LSE is a godawful uni also, unless you have given spawn to gordon gekko dont bother with it.

kongshan , 25 Oct 2013 5:46

Alternative theories and models??? Well they are currently practiced by North Korea and these students will be more than welcomed by the Kim family to ply their trade there.

UnlearningEcon -> kongshan , 25 Oct 2013 7:58

Actually, "alternative theories" were practiced by South Korea, which has been quite a success story. It's not either the status quo or state communism, you know.

[Mar 28, 2017] The robber barons and their useful idiots have certainly achieved what they set out to do.

Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
radicalchange 25 Oct 2013 6:41

For an understanding of how we came to have thrust upon us the "Dismal Science" of neo-classical economics, which took shape in the 1880's - 1890's, I recommend reading "The Corruption of Economics" by Mason Gaffney.

Here is a link to some excerpts from his book,
http://www.politicaleconomy.org/gaffney.htm

Essentially, economic thinking was hijacked by the robber barons who through building and funding universities were able to subvert the teaching of economics to suit their own agenda. Classical economics with a sound basis of three factors of production was replaced by voodhoo economics which reduced the three factors of production to only two. Whereas once "land" was a factor of production in its own right alongside "capital" and "labour", it was magicked away to be incorporated as "capital" for the purpose of the land owning robber barons.

As anyone with a few braincells would know, "land" is a distinct factor of production in its own right, and not only that, it is the primary factor since neither "capital" or "labour" would exist without it. But "land" can exist without both the other two factors which makes it unique and makes it primary and yet voodhoo economics has managed to hide this fact so well through the employment of clever mathematics to create an illusion of being a solid discipline.

http://www.henrygeorge.org/pcontents.htm

Neoclassical economics is the idiom of most economic discourse today. It is the paradigm that bends the twigs of young minds. Then it confines the florescence of older ones, like chicken-wire shaping a topiary. It took form about a hundred years ago, when Henry George and his reform proposals were a clear and present political danger and challenge to the landed and intellectual establishments of the world. Few people realize to what a degree the founders of Neoclassical economics changed the discipline for the express purpose of deflecting George, discomfiting his followers, and frustrating future students seeking to follow his arguments. The stratagem was semantic: to destroy the very words in which he expressed himself.


To most modern readers, probably George seems too minor a figure to have warranted such an extreme reaction. This impression is a measure of the neo-classicals' success: it is what they sought to make of him. It took a generation, but by 1930 they had succeeded in reducing him in the public mind. In the process of succeeding, however, they emasculated the discipline, impoverished economic thought, muddled the minds of countless students, rationalized free-riding by landowners, took dignity from labor, rationalized chronic unemployment, hobbled us with today's counterproductive tax tangle, marginalized the obvious alternative system of public finance, shattered our sense of community, subverted a rising economic democracy for the benefit of rent-takers, and led us into becoming an increasingly nasty and dangerously divided plutocracy.

Not one economics graduate have I met that has heard of Henry George but yet they have all heard of Karl Marx. The robber barons and their useful idiots have certainly achieved what they set out to do.

radicalchange -> radicalchange , 25 Oct 2013 6:45

As clarification the two paragraphs in italics are excerpts from the "Corruption of Economics" by Mason Gaffney. The link to Henry George's "Progress and Poverty" is, http://www.henrygeorge.org/pcontents.htm

[Mar 28, 2017] I taught Economics for forty years and over 30 of those to Singaporean scholars destined to Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League universities; in all those years I was aware of the lies I had to teach in order to pass university entrance exams.

Notable quotes:
"... Then Economic History was virtually withdrawn from university Economics and other courses so that only the"lies" would be taught backed up by unquestioned (i.e. purely deductive) Mathematics. It is an academic crime ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | profile.theguardian.com
ptah , 25 Oct 2013 7:55

If a viable economic solution emerged from the universities - one which remedied the classical models and trumped the broken neo-liberal systems, how would we recognise it?

To provide some context - and I am in no way qualified to discuss this topic really but, the first machines to produce logic emerging from Bletchley park were not fully recognised for their potential - the computer revolution took place elsewhere. The UK is absolute rubbish at recognising innovation!

Good luck to the students. I hope many more get involved in this debate.

ID2322670 , 25 Oct 2013 8:24

I taught Economics for forty years and over 30 of those to Singaporean scholars destined to Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League universities; in all those years I was aware of the lies I had to teach in order to pass university entrance exams.

I attempted to follow the thesis that every economic theory however old or new was attempting to answer a unique contemporary economic problem and therefore only Economic History was of relevance in understanding a theory be Adam Smith or Keynes or even (unacademically) Thatcherism.

My students found all such information useless to passing Economics exams but interesting for "life".

Then Economic History was virtually withdrawn from university Economics and other courses so that only the"lies" would be taught backed up by unquestioned (i.e. purely deductive) Mathematics. It is an academic crime.

[Mar 28, 2017] Zombie theories continue on their path of destruction.

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberal economics not only led to the crash of 2007/8 it is continuing to wreak havoc. A good current example is pension schemes - something we will depend on one day. They are valued using the purest form of free market thinking: the efficient markets hypothesis - the idea that asset markets always perfectly embody all relevant information. It is akin to belief in magic. ..."
"... It is amazing to read how narrow economics education is in modern Britain. It is not only intellectually unenlightened and literally dangerous, given the power many economics graduates can wield, amplified by the extraordinary sums and resources they manage, it also does a great disservice to people who are entitled to a proper education which, clearly, they are not receiving in this monotheistic model. ..."
"... It reminds me precisely of the so-called "religious education" I received in Ireland which was nothing of the sort. All I got was instruction in Catholic doctrine and ethics; there was no instruction in the beliefs of any other Christian sects, let alone what goes on in the other major world religions such as Hinduism, Judaism, or Islam. What I know about them I taught myself in later life. ..."
"... It seems that the same shameful parochial narrowness, intellectual provincialism, and "one true religion" ethic prevails in British economic so-called "education". ..."
"... On another matter, the revelation that economists "ignore empirical evidence that contradicts mainstream theories" destroys any notion that economics is a science, a silly claim I have always opposed. All that it reveals is that economists have no idea what science is. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
harrybuttle, 26 Oct 2013 7:25

Neoliberal economics not only led to the crash of 2007/8 it is continuing to wreak havoc. A good current example is pension schemes - something we will depend on one day. They are valued using the purest form of free market thinking: the efficient markets hypothesis - the idea that asset markets always perfectly embody all relevant information. It is akin to belief in magic.

Yet many professionals who run pension schemes and the government regulator all support it's use because it suits them - it deflects responsibility from them while they continue to be paid. It's effects on society are disastrous as it leads us to believe are insolvent. The government and actuarial profession accepted all this and enshrined it in law.

A topical example is the universities pension scheme the USS which BBC Newsnight and Radio 4 have just told us has a 'black hole' of a deficit.

Many of us thought that the EMH would ditched after its spectacular failure but no. Zombie theories continue on their path of destruction.

Josifer , 27 Oct 2013 01:00
It is amazing to read how narrow economics education is in modern Britain. It is not only intellectually unenlightened and literally dangerous, given the power many economics graduates can wield, amplified by the extraordinary sums and resources they manage, it also does a great disservice to people who are entitled to a proper education which, clearly, they are not receiving in this monotheistic model.

It reminds me precisely of the so-called "religious education" I received in Ireland which was nothing of the sort. All I got was instruction in Catholic doctrine and ethics; there was no instruction in the beliefs of any other Christian sects, let alone what goes on in the other major world religions such as Hinduism, Judaism, or Islam. What I know about them I taught myself in later life.

It seems that the same shameful parochial narrowness, intellectual provincialism, and "one true religion" ethic prevails in British economic so-called "education". Intellectuals ought to be utterly ashamed to propagate such blinkered views. Anyone who has never heard of Keynes is culturally illiterate; that an economics student, in particular, has never heard of Keynes is a disgrace.

On another matter, the revelation that economists "ignore empirical evidence that contradicts mainstream theories" destroys any notion that economics is a science, a silly claim I have always opposed. All that it reveals is that economists have no idea what science is.

[Mar 28, 2017] Priests of neoliberal economics need to recognize that they operate in a political environment in which their work will be seized upon by financial oligarchy, and will have real influnce of justifing thier often destrcutive for the majoroity of population policies

Delong is a typical neoliberal stooge, not that different from Mankiw, or Summers
Note that the terms "neoliberalism", "neo-classical economics" and "financial oligarchy" were never used...
Notable quotes:
"... "DeLong's takeaway is that economists do need to recognize that they operate in a political environment (the sewers of Romulus) in which their work will be seized upon by interested groups, with real practical outcomes. " ..."
"... UE's conclusion is that mainstream economics needs to be taken down several notches, which would open more space for alternative approaches to economics and, indeed, alternative approaches to policy that place more weight on human outcomes, broadly understood, than the formalistic criteria of efficiency, etc. ..."
"... Simon-Wren Lewis (SWL) and Chris Dillow have both recently argued that criticising economics for the 2008 financial crisis distracts from the real source of the blame, which is banks, and therefore undermines the progressive cause. While I don't disagree that the banks deserve blame, I want to push back a bit on their argument that economics as a discipline has little to do with regressive ideas. ..."
"... Consider the case of monopoly. The economics textbooks may be against monopoly, but this is largely on the grounds that it reduces consumer welfare by increasing prices. Building on this logic, the Chicago School of anti-trust regulation has shifted the focus of anti-trust law to lowering prices for consumers. As this recent article on Amazon details, this has hidden other forms of monopoly abuse such as predatory pricing, market dominance and reduced bargaining power for workers, consumers and smaller companies. ..."
"... Or consider Reinhart and Rogoff's famous '90% debt threshold', where their statistics purportedly showed that after a country reaches 90% of sovereign debt, its growth would stall. This was used by many politicians, including George Osborne, to justify austerity - until it was revealed to be based on 'statistical errors'. Sure, R & R received a fair amount of flak for this, but they have been incredibly stubborn about the result. Where was the formal, institutional denunciation of such a glaring error from the economics profession, and of the politicians who used it to justify their regressive policies? Why are R & R still allowed to comment on the matter with even an ounce of credibility? The case for austerity undoubtedly didn't hinge on this research alone, but imagine if a politician cited faulty medical research to approve their policies - would institutions like the BMA not feel a responsibility to condemn it? (Answer: yes, even when the politician was in another country). ..."
"... There are many more examples like this, such as Andrei Shleifer, who despite being prosecuted for fraud in post-Soviet Russia was awarded the John Bates Clark medal, probably the second most prestigious prize in the discipline, was subsequently allowed to publish papers in respected journals about how well privatisation went in Russia, and was eventually bailed out of the case by his incredibly wealthy university to the tune of $26 million. This is not to mention the disastrous Russian privatisation as a whole and the role of certain economists/economic ideas in it. ..."
"... Even worse were the Chicago boys, who advised Augusto Pinochet's horrific economic policies (and no, they were not just humble advisors, they were knee deep in the absolute worst excesses of the regime.) Without any substantive ethical code and without procedures for weeding out corrupt, dishonest or discredited work, the profession creates an environment where people can act like this and get away with it, all under the banner of the intellectual credibility 'economics' seems to confer on people. ..."
"... Mainstream economists have used mathematics to hide ideology. ..."
"... They have cherry-picked mathematical constructions with highly restrictive, idealized properties and then wedged-in economic parameters to fit their purposes. That is the case with the neoclassical production function and with the Arrow-Debreu general equilibrium model. The objective was to "prove" that economies free from government control were "natural" and best. They have been sophists from their first emergence. ..."
"... Science is not capable of devising a theory that adequately explains all the human elements and serendipitous effects of an economy - and may never be capable. However, humans are capable of organizing a society according to their needs and wants. They do it on a corporate scale all the time. It isn't perfect but it works pretty well. ..."
"... Mainstream economists have fought against a managed economy because it would reduce the influence of themselves and their plutocrat sponsors. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. -> pgl... March 27, 2017 at 07:25 AM
Peter Dorman:

"DeLong's takeaway is that economists do need to recognize that they operate in a political environment (the sewers of Romulus) in which their work will be seized upon by interested groups, with real practical outcomes. "

.... ... ...

Peter K. , March 27, 2017 at 07:20 AM
... ... ...

http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2017/03/economics-part-of-rot-part-of-treatment.html

SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 2017

Economics: Part of the Rot, Part of the Treatment, or Some of Each?

Is mainstream economics, with its false certitudes and ideological biases, one of the reasons for the dismal state of policy debate in countries like the UK and the US, or are its rigorous methods an important antidote to the ruling political foggery? That's being debated right now, live online.

Our starting point is a post on Unlearning Economics, dated March 5, which argues that the flaws of mainstream economics contribute to lousy policy on several fronts: downplaying the role of monopoly, cheerleading for the shareholder value imperative in the corporate world, knee-jerk support for trade agreements under the banner of comparative advantage, and regressive macroeconomic policy, among others. A particularly pointed paragraph brought up the Reinhart-Rogoff 90% affair and accused the economics profession of dereliction of duty by not taking action to rebuke the wrongdoers:

Where was the formal, institutional denunciation of such a glaring error from the economics profession, and of the politicians who used it to justify their regressive policies?

UE's conclusion is that mainstream economics needs to be taken down several notches, which would open more space for alternative approaches to economics and, indeed, alternative approaches to policy that place more weight on human outcomes, broadly understood, than the formalistic criteria of efficiency, etc.

Simon Wren-Lewis responded by arguing that UE has it exactly backwards. Restricting himself to UE's critique of macroeconomics, SWL says, yes, reactionary politicians have invoked "economics" to support austerity, but "real" economists for the most part have not gone along. True, there were a few, like Reinhart and Rogoff and those in the employ of the British financial sector ("City economists") who took a public stand against sensible Keynesian policies in the wake of the financial crisis, but they were a minority, and, in any case, what would you want to do about them? Economists, like professionals in any field, will disagree sometimes, and having a centralized agency to enforce a false consensus would ultimately work against progressives and dissenters, not for them. Let's put the blame where it really belongs, says SWL-on the politicians and pundits who have brushed aside decades of theoretical and empirical work to promulgate a reactionary, fact-free discourse on economic policy.

Yes-but, adds Brad DeLong. He largely agrees with SWL, but delves more deeply into the Reinhart-Rogoff affair. He shows that, even without the famed Excel glitch, a cursory look would reveal that R-R were trumpeting nonexistent results:

So the R-R claim that fiscal consolidation was necessary and urgent was unfounded from the get-go, and these two were both respected mainstream economists, so what can we infer? DeLong's takeaway is that economists do need to recognize that they operate in a political environment (the sewers of Romulus) in which their work will be seized upon by interested groups, with real practical outcomes. In this situation, the profession as a whole has a responsibility to assess high profile but dubious work. Although he isn't explicit, my reading is that DeLong wants some sort of professional quality control, but not institutionalized in the way UE seems to call for.

...

pgl -> Peter K.... , March 27, 2017 at 07:44 AM
Yep - try reading this portion:

"reactionary politicians have invoked "economics" to support austerity, but "real" economists for the most part have not gone along. True, there were a few, like Reinhart and Rogoff and those in the employ of the British financial sector ("City economists") who took a public stand against sensible Keynesian policies in the wake of the financial crisis, but they were a minority, and, in any case, what would you want to do about them? Economists, like professionals in any field, will disagree sometimes, and having a centralized agency to enforce a false consensus would ultimately work against progressives and dissenters, not for them. Let's put the blame where it really belongs, says SWL-on the politicians and pundits who have brushed aside decades of theoretical and empirical work to promulgate a reactionary, fact-free discourse on economic policy."

Peter K. , March 27, 2017 at 07:27 AM
https://medium.com/@UnlearningEcon/no-criticising-economics-is-not-regressive-43e114777429#.gihe5thlj

Unlearning EconomicsFollow
Mar 5

No, Criticising Economics is not Regressive

Simon-Wren Lewis (SWL) and Chris Dillow have both recently argued that criticising economics for the 2008 financial crisis distracts from the real source of the blame, which is banks, and therefore undermines the progressive cause. While I don't disagree that the banks deserve blame, I want to push back a bit on their argument that economics as a discipline has little to do with regressive ideas.

But firstly, it is my view that criticising economics needn't have an ideological motivation. Many critics, myself included, simply believe that neoclassical economics has severe shortcomings and that in order to understand the economic system properly we need better ideas. In many cases criticisms of neoclassical economics are so abstract that it's not even clear to me what the political implications of either side would be (e.g. the fact that Arrow-Debreu equilibrium might be unstable has no bearing on my view of whether capitalism itself is). I respect both SWL and Dillow immensely, but taken alone I consider this line of argument a rather feeble attempt to shut down an important scientific and philosophical debate.

Despite this, the point has some force to it: why devote so much intellectual effort to criticising economics when we could be devoting it to getting the big banks and other corporate wrongdoers? And here I think SWL and Dillow both paper over the extent to which economics has served those in power, as I will try to illustrate with a number of examples. To be clear, I'm not 'blaming' economists for all of these occurrences, but I do think the discipline seems to eschew responsibility for them, and that progressive economists have a blind spot when it comes to the practical consequences of their discipline.

Economics in Practice

I've always acknowledged that economists themselves are probably more progressive than they're usually given credit for. Nevertheless, the absence of things like power, exploitation, poverty, inequality, conflict, and disaster in most mainstream models - centred as they are around a norm of well-functioning markets, and focused on banal criteria like prices, output and efficiency - tends to anodise the subject matter. In practice, this vision of the economy detracts attention from important social issues and can even serve to conceal outright abuses. The result is that in practice, the influence of economics has often been more regressive than progressive.

Consider the case of monopoly. The economics textbooks may be against monopoly, but this is largely on the grounds that it reduces consumer welfare by increasing prices. Building on this logic, the Chicago School of anti-trust regulation has shifted the focus of anti-trust law to lowering prices for consumers. As this recent article on Amazon details, this has hidden other forms of monopoly abuse such as predatory pricing, market dominance and reduced bargaining power for workers, consumers and smaller companies.

Similarly, textbook ideas about profit maximisation and rational agents responding to incentives featured prominently in the promotion of shareholder value by Milton Friedman and other economists, which has been dominant over the past few decades and has been instrumental in increasing inequality and corporate short-termism. The potential macroeconomic impacts of corporate concentration have also been ignored by discipline until very recently - a consequence, perhaps, of the narrowing of particular subfields and the neglection of more critical systemic analysis (something similar could perhaps be said for the 2016 Prize in contract theory, though I am no expert in this area).

One type of institution which is dominated by economic ideas is central banks, yet many of their policies have had regressive elements. For instance, SWL praises economists at the Bank of England for implementing Quantitative Easing, but forgets that the Bank itself admitted that this has disproportionately benefited the wealthy. This problem goes even deeper: as J W Mason has argued, inflation targeting - a key central bank policy across the world - in practice results in workers' wages being kept down and their jobs being made more insecure in the name of combating inflation. In both cases what is painted as a relatively benign process - reducing interest rates and managing inflation, respectively - actually has quite serious social consequences, which generally aren't discussed in class or by policymakers.

In the realm of international trade, economists have been all too inclined to support trade deals - often quite vociferously - on the basis of simple ideas like comparative advantage, while ignoring (a) the actual details of the trade deals, which as Dean Baker frequently points out, tend to favour the rich and corporations and (b) their own more complex economic models, which as Dani Rodrik frequently points out, do imply that trade will harm some people while benefitting others. Uneven and unfair international trade has been a key element of the harm to workers over the past few decades, and was undoubtedly a factor in the election of Trump.

Global trade institutions like the IMF and World Bank have been dominated by economics since their inception, and using economics they inflicted massive pain through their free market 'structural adjustment' policies, which can only be described as regressive but which were fundamentally based on context-free neoclassical ideas about markets. True, these institutions may have softened somewhat in recent years, but that doesn't undo the harm they have caused. In fact, even their more recent 'bottom up' policies such as microcredit and Randomised Control Trials - both inspired by economic ideas - often seem to have benefited global and local elites at the expensive of the poorest. As Jamie Galbraith once noted in the context of the financial crisis, the discipline just has a blind spot for how ideas interact with power to produce unfair outcomes, sometimes taking the form of outright abuse and fraud. Which leads me nicely to my next argument.

Abusing Economics

Economists may complain that economic ideas have been misused by vested interests, and that this isn't their responsibility. But a huge problem with the discipline of economics is that it has virtually no institutional shields against mistakes and wrongdoing. Merton and Scholes won the biggest prize in the profession for their model of financial markets - which had become commonly adopted in options trading - in 1997. A year later those same economists required a hefty bailout when the use of their model was implicated in the collapse of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, where they were both partners. Was the prize revoked? No. Were they discredited? No. Actually, even the model is still widely used, despite massively underestimating fat tails and therefore being implicated in a number of other financial crises, including 2008.

Or consider Reinhart and Rogoff's famous '90% debt threshold', where their statistics purportedly showed that after a country reaches 90% of sovereign debt, its growth would stall. This was used by many politicians, including George Osborne, to justify austerity - until it was revealed to be based on 'statistical errors'. Sure, R & R received a fair amount of flak for this, but they have been incredibly stubborn about the result. Where was the formal, institutional denunciation of such a glaring error from the economics profession, and of the politicians who used it to justify their regressive policies? Why are R & R still allowed to comment on the matter with even an ounce of credibility? The case for austerity undoubtedly didn't hinge on this research alone, but imagine if a politician cited faulty medical research to approve their policies - would institutions like the BMA not feel a responsibility to condemn it? (Answer: yes, even when the politician was in another country).

There are many more examples like this, such as Andrei Shleifer, who despite being prosecuted for fraud in post-Soviet Russia was awarded the John Bates Clark medal, probably the second most prestigious prize in the discipline, was subsequently allowed to publish papers in respected journals about how well privatisation went in Russia, and was eventually bailed out of the case by his incredibly wealthy university to the tune of $26 million. This is not to mention the disastrous Russian privatisation as a whole and the role of certain economists/economic ideas in it.

Even worse were the Chicago boys, who advised Augusto Pinochet's horrific economic policies (and no, they were not just humble advisors, they were knee deep in the absolute worst excesses of the regime.) Without any substantive ethical code and without procedures for weeding out corrupt, dishonest or discredited work, the profession creates an environment where people can act like this and get away with it, all under the banner of the intellectual credibility 'economics' seems to confer on people.

And this leads me to my last point, which is the rhetorical power that invoking 'economics' has in contemporary politics. 'You don't understand economics' is - rightly or wrongly - a common refrain of those attacking progressive policies such as Ed Miliband's proposed energy price freeze, the minimum wage, or fiscal expansion. As with the above abuses of economics, those such as SWL complain (perhaps correctly) that these are inaccurate representations of the field.

But these same economists then invoke 'economics' in a similar way to justify their own policies. In my opinion, this only reinforces the dominance of economics and narrows the debate, a process which is inherently regressive. The case against austerity does not depend on whether it is 'good economics', but on its human impact. Nor does the case for combating climate change depend on the present discounted value of future costs to GDP. Reclaiming political debate from the grip of economics will make the human side of politics more central, and so can only serve a progressive purpose.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , March 27, 2017 at 07:29 AM
Think about how Republicans use "Science" and scientists fight back against their misuse. In recent decades Republicans have left the field and now "scientist" has become a bad word for them.

Same thing needs to happen with Economics.

RGC -> Peter K.... , March 27, 2017 at 09:25 AM
Mainstream economists have used mathematics to hide ideology.

They have cherry-picked mathematical constructions with highly restrictive, idealized properties and then wedged-in economic parameters to fit their purposes. That is the case with the neoclassical production function and with the Arrow-Debreu general equilibrium model. The objective was to "prove" that economies free from government control were "natural" and best. They have been sophists from their first emergence.

RGC -> RGC... , March 27, 2017 at 09:33 AM
Consider the Arrow-Debreu model:

In the 1950s, Arrow and others proved a theorem that, many economists believe, put a rigorous mathematical foundation beneath Adam Smith's idea of the invisible hand. The theorem shows -- in a highly abstract model -- that producers and consumers can match their desires perfectly, given a particular set of prices.

In this rarified atmosphere of "general equilibrium," economic activity might take place efficiently without any central coordination, simply as a result of people pursuing their self-interest.

It's an insight that economists have used to argue for de-unionization, globalization and financial deregulation, all in the name of removing various frictions or distortions that prevent markets from achieving the elusive equilibrium.

Yet the theorem trails a dense cloud of caveats, which Arrow himself recognized could be more important than the proof itself. For one, it worked only in a perfect world, far removed from the one humans actually inhabit.

Equilibrium is merely one of many conceivable states of that world; there's no particular reason to believe that the economy would naturally tend toward it. Beautiful as the math may be, actual experience suggests that its magical efficiency is purely theoretical, and a poor guide to reality.

Remarkably, academic macroeconomists have largely ignored these limitations, and continue to teach the general equilibrium model -- and more modern variants with same fatal weaknesses -- as a decent approximation of reality.

Economists routinely use the framework to form their views on everything from taxation to global trade -- portraying it as a value-free, scientific approach, when in fact it carries a hidden ideology that casts completely free markets as the ideal.

Thus, when markets break down, the solution inevitably entails removing barriers to their proper functioning: privatize healthcare, education or social security, keep working to free up trade, or make labor markets more "flexible."

Those prescriptions have all too often failed, as the 2008 financial crisis eloquently demonstrated. The result is widespread distrust of economic experts and rejection of globalization.

In his recent book "Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality," James Kwak credits conservative think tanks funded by corporations and the wealthy for spreading the oversimplified belief in markets as wise machines for producing optimal social outcomes. He certainly has a point, yet such propaganda stemmed from an intellectual model that had been lurking at the center of economics all along -- and remains there now, still widely revered.

This perversion isn't Arrow's fault. He merely helped to prove a mathematical theorem, and was no blind advocate for markets. Indeed, he actually thought the theorem illustrated the limitations of capitalism, and he was prescient in understanding how economic inequality might come to impair the workings of democratic government.

Perhaps it would be best to use his own words: "In a system where virtually all resources are available for a price, economic power can be translated into political power by channels too obvious for mention. In a capitalist society, economic power is very unequally distributed, and hence democratic government is inevitably something of a sham."

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-09/the-misunderstanding-at-the-core-of-economics

RGC -> RGC... , March 27, 2017 at 09:47 AM
Note that neo-classical(mainstream) economists did NOT do what scientists do.

They did not observe phenomena and then try to construct a theory to explain the phenomena.

Rather, they constructed a theory that supported their ideology and then tried to argue that the theory was representative of the real world.

anne -> RGC... , March 27, 2017 at 02:55 PM
I do appreciate this essay.
Egmont Kakarot-Handtke , March 27, 2017 at 07:50 AM
The non-existence of economics

Comment on Simon Wren-Lewis on 'On criticizing the existence of mainstream economics'

There is no such thing as economics, there are FOUR economixes and they are constantly played against each other. First, there is theoretical and political economics. The crucial distinction within theoretical economics is true/false, the crucial distinction within political economics good/bad. Economics exhausts itself since 200+ years in crossover discussion, that is, by NOT keeping science and politics properly apart. As a result, it got neither science nor politics right.

Heterodox economists say that orthodox economics is false and in this very general sense they are right. Heterodox economists have debunked much of Orthodoxy but this has not enabled them to work out a superior alternative. The proper task of Heterodoxy is not the repetitive critique of Orthodoxy but to fully replace it, that is, to perform a paradigm shift: "The problem is not just to say that something might be wrong, but to replace it by something ― and that is not so easy." (Feynman)

Because Heterodoxy has never developed a valid alternative it advocates pluralism, more precisely, the pluralism of false theories. The argument boils down to: if Orthodoxy is allowed to sell their rubbish in the curriculum, Heterodoxy must also be allowed to sell their rubbish. Economics is not so much a heroic struggle about scientific truth but about a better place at the academic trough.

The fact of the matter is that neither Orthodoxy nor Heterodoxy has the true theory and that, by consequence, the political arguments of BOTH sides have NO sound scientific foundation.

Traditional Heterodoxy knows quite well that it has nothing to offer in the way of progressive science and therefore argues for dumping scientific standards altogether and to focus on politics pure and simple: "The case against austerity does not depend on whether it is 'good economics', but on its human impact. Nor does the case for combating climate change depend on the present discounted value of future costs to GDP. Reclaiming political debate from the grip of economics will make the human side of politics more central, and so can only serve a progressive purpose."

This is a good idea, economists should no longer pretend to do science but openly push their respective political agendas, after all, this is what they have actually done the past 200+ years. Neither Orthodoxy nor traditional Heterodoxy satisfies the scientific criteria of material and formal consistency. So, both, orthodox and heterodox economists have to get out of science because of incurable incompetence.

It was John Stuart Mill who told economists that they must decide themselves between science and politics: "A scientific observer or reasoner, merely as such, is not an adviser for practice. His part is only to show that certain consequences follow from certain causes, and that to obtain certain ends, certain means are the most effectual. Whether the ends themselves are such as ought to be pursued, and if so, in what cases and to how great a length, it is no part of his business as a cultivator of science to decide, and science alone will never qualify him for the decision."

Both, orthodox and heterodox economists violate the principle of the separation of science and politics on a daily basis. Economics is what Feynman famously called cargo cult science and neither right wing nor left wing economic policy guidance has a sound scientific foundation since Adam Smith/Karl Marx. It is high time that economics frees itself from the corrupting grip of politics.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

RGC -> Egmont Kakarot-Handtke ... , March 27, 2017 at 11:33 AM
Science is not capable of devising a theory that adequately explains all the human elements and serendipitous effects of an economy - and may never be capable. However, humans are capable of organizing a society according to their needs and wants. They do it on a corporate scale all the time. It isn't perfect but it works pretty well.

Mainstream economists have fought against a managed economy because it would reduce the influence of themselves and their plutocrat sponsors.

Peter K. , March 27, 2017 at 08:22 AM
I like that Thoma is linking to Campbell who has some interesting blog posts, like in today's links:

http://douglaslcampbell.blogspot.com/2017/03/corporations-in-age-of-inequality.html

"The story of inequality they tell is also one which is essentially technology based (IT and outsourcing), as they find that inequality is almost entirely driven by changes in between firm inequality. They deserve credit for presenting an interesting set of facts.

However, while intriguing, I'm not yet totally convinced this is the key to understanding inequality. Macromon [sic] also had an excellent discussion of this research awhile back...

...

I took issue with this comment "Since 1980, income inequality has risen sharply in most developed economies". As my blog readers know, income inequality has not risen dramatically in Germany, France, Japan, or Sweden according to Alvaredo et al.. Thus, this comment threw me: "This means that the rising gap in pay between firms accounts for the large majority of the increase in income inequality in the United States. It also accounts for at least a substantial part in other countries, as research conducted in the UK, Germany, and Sweden demonstrates." Right, but the increases in inequality in Germany and Sweden have been quite minor relative to the US, and are also associated with changes in top marginal tax rates. So, between firm inequality isn't actually explaining much is what I'm hearing.

..."

Peter K. , March 27, 2017 at 08:22 AM
pgl -> Peter K....
Try this single line:

"the profession as a whole has a responsibility to assess high profile but dubious work."

As in that awful paper by Gerald Friedman. Peter Dorman ripped it. I ripped. And yes the Romers ripped it.

That is what economists are suppose to do. But you have whined about this for the last 14 months.

Reply Monday, March 27, 2017 at 07:47 AM

Yes it was a priority to demonize Friedman b/c he was coming from the left and was supposedly supporting Bernie Sanders. It was a way for the center-left to discredit Bernie Sanders and call him "unPresidential" and "unserious" as Hillary did.

Meawhile PGL continuously name-drops Mankiw as if he has a man crush on him.

[Mar 28, 2017] The neoliberals also have strong views on the kind of society they would like to create, but they prefer to hide it because very few people would vote for it

Notable quotes:
"... You don't need to look very far to see the neoliberal ideal; it is all around us: everything a commodity, including human beings; massive differentials in life chances; sweat shops for producers juxtaposed with unimaginable wealth for the owners of capital; everybody on their own, the rolling back of collective provision and no such thing as society. ..."
"... Instead, the neoliberals talk of freedom and choice, but in reality it is freedom for the few to exploit the many and the choice to take whatever crumbs are offered to you or starve. ..."
"... Agree, but it's not that they don't talk about it. The use mathematics as a way to underscore what is essentially an ideological position. It gives them an aura of objectivity, impartiality and scientific truth which, given their prepositions about utility maximization and unbounded growth, they frankly don't have. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
archeeros , 25 Oct 2013 3:50

Keynes viewed economics as a branch of philosophy. At its heart are two questions - What is the nature of man? and What sort of society should we create? The focus on mathematical models, based upon free-market theories, has long been a victory for ivory towers over reality. Sure, they have an important role to play, but when they are at the centre of what is taught at universities something has gone wrong.

SteveTen -> archeeros , 25 Oct 2013 5:57

The neoliberals also have strong views on the kind of society they would like to create, but they don't talk about it often, because very few people would vote for it.

You don't need to look very far to see the neoliberal ideal; it is all around us: everything a commodity, including human beings; massive differentials in life chances; sweat shops for producers juxtaposed with unimaginable wealth for the owners of capital; everybody on their own, the rolling back of collective provision and no such thing as society.

Instead, the neoliberals talk of freedom and choice, but in reality it is freedom for the few to exploit the many and the choice to take whatever crumbs are offered to you or starve.

Usignolo -> SteveTen , 25 Oct 2013 6:18

Agree, but it's not that they don't talk about it. The use mathematics as a way to underscore what is essentially an ideological position. It gives them an aura of objectivity, impartiality and scientific truth which, given their prepositions about utility maximization and unbounded growth, they frankly don't have.

[Mar 28, 2017] Mainstream economics, with its false certitudes and ideological biases, is one of the reasons for the dismal state of policy debate in countries like the UK and the US, sustaining the ruling neoliberals political foggery?

Notable quotes:
"... Few mainstream economists predicted the global financial crash of 2008 and academics have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the often labyrinthine financial models behind the crisis. Now a growing band of university students are plotting a quiet revolution against orthodox free-market teaching, arguing that alternative ways of thinking have been pushed to the margins. ..."
"... Our starting point is a post on Unlearning Economics, dated March 5, which argues that the flaws of mainstream economics contribute to lousy policy on several fronts: downplaying the role of monopoly, cheerleading for the shareholder value imperative in the corporate world, knee-jerk support for trade agreements under the banner of comparative advantage, and regressive macroeconomic policy, among others. A particularly pointed paragraph brought up the Reinhart-Rogoff 90% affair and accused the economics profession of dereliction of duty by not taking action to rebuke the wrongdoers: ..."
"... Simon Wren-Lewis responded by arguing that UE has it exactly backwards. Restricting himself to UE's critique of macroeconomics, SWL says, yes, reactionary politicians have invoked "economics" to support austerity, but "real" economists for the most part have not gone along. True, there were a few, like Reinhart and Rogoff and those in the employ of the British financial sector ("City economists") who took a public stand against sensible Keynesian policies in the wake of the financial crisis, but they were a minority, and, in any case, what would you want to do about them? Economists, like professionals in any field, will disagree sometimes, and having a centralized agency to enforce a false consensus would ultimately work against progressives and dissenters, not for them. Let's put the blame where it really belongs, says SWL-on the politicians and pundits who have brushed aside decades of theoretical and empirical work to promulgate a reactionary, fact-free discourse on economic policy. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
JohnH -> Peter K.... March 27, 2017 at 06:51 PM

So true; "SWL has never addressed what is happening in the real world."

And that's the reason UK economics students revolted: "Few mainstream economists predicted the global financial crash of 2008 and academics have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the often labyrinthine financial models behind the crisis. Now a growing band of university students are plotting a quiet revolution against orthodox free-market teaching, arguing that alternative ways of thinking have been pushed to the margins.

Economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society, which they hope will be copied by universities across the country. The organisers criticise university courses for doing little to explain why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs."
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/24/students-post-crash-economics

pgl is a classic example. He regularly preaches what theory says but is clueless to explain what's really happening.

Peter K. , March 27, 2017 at 07:20 AM
I like Peter Dorman much, much better than PGL. He always has interesting things to say. Here he stays on topic, unlike PGL.

http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2017/03/economics-part-of-rot-part-of-treatment.html

SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 2017

Economics: Part of the Rot, Part of the Treatment, or Some of Each?

Is mainstream economics, with its false certitudes and ideological biases, one of the reasons for the dismal state of policy debate in countries like the UK and the US, or are its rigorous methods an important antidote to the ruling political foggery? That's being debated right now, live online.

Our starting point is a post on Unlearning Economics, dated March 5, which argues that the flaws of mainstream economics contribute to lousy policy on several fronts: downplaying the role of monopoly, cheerleading for the shareholder value imperative in the corporate world, knee-jerk support for trade agreements under the banner of comparative advantage, and regressive macroeconomic policy, among others. A particularly pointed paragraph brought up the Reinhart-Rogoff 90% affair and accused the economics profession of dereliction of duty by not taking action to rebuke the wrongdoers:

Where was the formal, institutional denunciation of such a glaring error from the economics profession, and of the politicians who used it to justify their regressive policies?

UE's conclusion is that mainstream economics needs to be taken down several notches, which would open more space for alternative approaches to economics and, indeed, alternative approaches to policy that place more weight on human outcomes, broadly understood, than the formalistic criteria of efficiency, etc.

Simon Wren-Lewis responded by arguing that UE has it exactly backwards. Restricting himself to UE's critique of macroeconomics, SWL says, yes, reactionary politicians have invoked "economics" to support austerity, but "real" economists for the most part have not gone along. True, there were a few, like Reinhart and Rogoff and those in the employ of the British financial sector ("City economists") who took a public stand against sensible Keynesian policies in the wake of the financial crisis, but they were a minority, and, in any case, what would you want to do about them? Economists, like professionals in any field, will disagree sometimes, and having a centralized agency to enforce a false consensus would ultimately work against progressives and dissenters, not for them. Let's put the blame where it really belongs, says SWL-on the politicians and pundits who have brushed aside decades of theoretical and empirical work to promulgate a reactionary, fact-free discourse on economic policy.

Yes-but, adds Brad DeLong. He largely agrees with SWL, but delves more deeply into the Reinhart-Rogoff affair. He shows that, even without the famed Excel glitch, a cursory look would reveal that R-R were trumpeting nonexistent results:

So the R-R claim that fiscal consolidation was necessary and urgent was unfounded from the get-go, and these two were both respected mainstream economists, so what can we infer? DeLong's takeaway is that economists do need to recognize that they operate in a political environment (the sewers of Romulus) in which their work will be seized upon by interested groups, with real practical outcomes. In this situation, the profession as a whole has a responsibility to assess high profile but dubious work. Although he isn't explicit, my reading is that DeLong wants some sort of professional quality control, but not institutionalized in the way UE seems to call for.

...

[Mar 28, 2017] Economics students aim to tear up free-market syllabus

Notable quotes:
"... It was an eye opener that Universities are teaching only the neo-liberal model as the core syllabus. This is not education but indoctrination. Fair play to the group then who were passionate about the need for change and realise that it is up to them to effect that change. Good luck to them, I hope that they are successful in re-claiming education as a means of furthering understanding through questioning prevailing orthodoxy. ..."
"... Good luck. You may need it. You will be surprised at how much opposition you encounter and how remorseless and relentless it is. Look up the book "Political economy now!", about the experience at the University of Sydney. ..."
"... Economics is so discredited a subject that even students who have barley started studying realise that - with a few exceptions like Stiglitz or Schiller - it is total fabricated bullshit paid for by people with enough money to benefit from the lies it spreads. ..."
"... One of the biggest lies ever told the free market, as its never ever been a reality. ..."
"... Economists, like scientists and the rest of us, are always employed by someone and therein lies the problem: the conflict between what we believe to be the truth and what we are paid to do (or teach) to keep our job. Many economists (like investors & politicians) knew the crash would burst at some point but only those who enjoyed a seat outside the system would benefit from its prediction. ..."
Oct 24, 2013 | www.theguardian.com
Few mainstream economists predicted the global financial crash of 2008 and academics have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the often labyrinthine financial models behind the crisis. Now a growing band of university students are plotting a quiet revolution against orthodox free-market teaching, arguing that alternative ways of thinking have been pushed to the margins.

Economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society , which they hope will be copied by universities across the country. The organisers criticise university courses for doing little to explain why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs.

A growing number of top economists, such as Ha-Joon Chang, who teaches economics at Cambridge University, are backing the students.

Next month the society plans to publish a manifesto proposing sweeping reforms to the University of Manchester's curriculum, with the hope that other institutions will follow suit.

Joe Earle, a spokesman for the Post-Crash Economics Society and a final-year undergraduate, said academic departments were "ignoring the crisis" and that, by neglecting global developments and critics of the free market such as Keynes and Marx, the study of economics was "in danger of losing its broader relevance".

Chang, who is a reader in the political economy of development at Cambridge, said he agreed with the society's premise. The teaching of economics was increasingly confined to arcane mathematical models, he said. "Students are not even prepared for the commercial world. Few [students] know what is going on in China and how it influences the global economic situation. Even worse, I've met American students who have never heard of Keynes."

In June a network of young economics students, thinkers and writers set up Rethinking Economics , a campaign group to challenge what they say is the predominant narrative in the subject.

Earle said students across Britain were being taught neoclassical economics "as if it was the only theory".

He said: "It is given such a dominant position in our modules that many students aren't even aware that there are other distinct theories out there that question the assumptions, methodologies and conclusions of the economics we are taught."

Multiple-choice and maths questions dominate the first two years of economics degrees, which Earle said meant most students stayed away from modules that required reading and essay-writing, such as history of economic thought. "They think they just don't have the skills required for those sorts of modules and they don't want to jeopardise their degree," he said. "As a consequence, economics students never develop the faculties necessary to critically question, evaluate and compare economic theories, and enter the working world with a false belief about what economics is and a knowledge base limited to neoclassical theory."

In the decade before the 2008 crash, many economists dismissed warnings that property and stock markets were overvalued. They argued that markets were correctly pricing shares, property and exotic derivatives in line with economic models of behaviour. It was only when the US sub-prime mortgage market unravelled that banks realised a collective failure to spot the bubble had wrecked their finances.

In his 2010 documentary Inside Job, Charles Ferguson highlighted how US academics had produced hundreds of reports in support of the types of high-risk trading and debt-fuelled consumption that triggered the crash.

Some leading economists have criticised university economics teaching, among them Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize winner and professor at Princeton university who has attacked the complacency of economics education in the US.

In an article for the New York Times in 2009, Krugman wrote : "As I see it, the economics profession went astray because economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth."

Adam Posen, head of the Washington-based thinktank the Peterson Institute, said universities ignore empirical evidence that contradicts mainstream theories in favour of "overly technical nonsense".

City economists attacked Joseph Stiglitz, the former World Bank chief economist, and Olivier Blanchard, the current International Monetary Fund chief economist, when they criticised western governments for cutting investment in the wake of the crash.

A Manchester University spokeman said that, as at other university courses around the world, economics teaching at Manchester "focuses on mainstream approaches, reflecting the current state of the discipline". He added: "It is also important for students' career prospects that they have an effective grounding in the core elements of the subject.

"Many students at Manchester study economics in an interdisciplinary context alongside other social sciences, especially philosophy, politics and sociology. Such students gain knowledge of different kinds of approaches to examining social phenomena many modules taught by the department centre on the use of quantitative techniques. These could just as easily be deployed in mainstream or non-mainstream contexts." Since you're here

we've got a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever, but far fewer are paying for it. Advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can . So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

SmashtheGates , 25 Oct 2013 00:07

Good luck to this group. They are on the right lines.

Post-Autistic Economics has been around for quite a while, now, and has developed into the World Economics Association. Take a look ...........

http://www.worldeconomicsassociation.org/ Reply Share

GreatGrandDad SmashtheGates , 25 Oct 2013 04:02
Good luck to this group. They are on the right lines.
Post-Autistic Economics has been around for quite a while....

and so has CASSE.

I hope these students can insist on For the Common Good (Daly and Cobb 1992) becoming a central text for their course.

The quotations from the 'grand-daddy' of Heterodox (as opposed to Orthodox) Economics, Kenneth Goulding,
will give them plenty of ammunition.

I particularly like: Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. and
Economists are like computers. They need to have facts punched into them.

But my favourite is Mathematics brought rigor to Economics. Unfortunately, it also brought mortis.

littlepump SmashtheGates , 25 Oct 2013 09:42
@ SmashtheGates 25 October 2013 12:07am . Get cifFix for Firefox .

Good luck to this group. They are on the right lines.

Agreed, but they are fighting an uphill battle. Just look at how few (accademic) heterodox economists actually work in economics departments. I think almost every heterdox economist I know works in an non-economics school/faculty (i.e. schools/facultues of the environment, sustainability, sociology, land use etc).
GreatGrandDad Conrad33 , 25 Oct 2013 04:33
Again the Economists have their heads buried in stats rather than in the trenches.

Nice one, and a neat summary of what the economists had to tell the Queen in answer to her question as to why there was not forewarning of the crash.

Chrisk79 , 25 Oct 2013 00:36
I spoke with some of the Post Crash group at a Peoples Assembly meeting recently. It was an eye opener that Universities are teaching only the neo-liberal model as the core syllabus. This is not education but indoctrination. Fair play to the group then who were passionate about the need for change and realise that it is up to them to effect that change. Good luck to them, I hope that they are successful in re-claiming education as a means of furthering understanding through questioning prevailing orthodoxy.
hamstrung Chrisk79 , 25 Oct 2013 01:53
Well said that man. Very well said. Unquestioning indoctrination has led us (all countries in the world be they active participants or 'victims) to this sorry pass.

Basic economics should include the very basic idea that money is no more and no less than a tool. If you strip money / the tool away from folk then they will either try and take your tool from you or, if life becomes savage enough, they will fall by the wayside.

Does this generation and successive ones really want to walk over the bodies of others?

Without a profound readjustment and realignment of economic thinking, that is precisely what is in store. Indeed, it is what has been set in motion already. Time for an urgent re-think before more bodies litter the highways.

GreatGrandDad hamstrung , 25 Oct 2013 04:40
Time for an urgent re-think...

I heard recently about one man who had had such a re-think.

He was an American financial executive who was asked why he was taking early retirement and going off to live in a little valley in the hills.

He replied: "Well, it is a lovely property with great scenery, fertile land and its own microhydroelectricity-----but the really big attraction is that it puts 300 miles of armed hillbillies between me and the nearest city"!!.

callaspodeaspode GreatGrandDad , 25 Oct 2013 11:28
I do hope the chap in question doesn't end up regretting that he has deliberately placed himself into a situation where there are 300 miles of armed hillbillies between himself and the nearest city.

These things can cut both ways. Reply Share

GazInOz , 25 Oct 2013 02:27
Good luck. You may need it. You will be surprised at how much opposition you encounter and how remorseless and relentless it is. Look up the book "Political economy now!", about the experience at the University of Sydney.

http://purl.library.usyd.edu.au/sup/9781921364051

marukun GazInOz , 25 Oct 2013 05:22
Exactly - the clue is in this statement from the University authorities...

It is also important for students' career prospects that they have an effective grounding in the core elements of the subject.

Or in other words...

Students should be familar with the free market fair tales thrown up by rich, greedy bankers and the right wing in order to earn money pandering the "correct" line

Economics is so discredited a subject that even students who have barley started studying realise that - with a few exceptions like Stiglitz or Schiller - it is total fabricated bullshit paid for by people with enough money to benefit from the lies it spreads.

Paul Flanagan , 25 Oct 2013 02:34
One of the biggest lies ever told the free market, as its never ever been a reality.

Restrictions or prejudices ensure this, so such a philosophy deserves tearing up just like their supporters who believe community and care are bad ideals. They call it socialism but it is far from being a dirty word as it is about looking after all people on a more equal level, so as to ensure the most vulnerable people in society are not left in a helpless and hopeless position.

GreatGrandDad hamstrung , 25 Oct 2013 04:40
Time for an urgent re-think...

I heard recently about one man who had had such a re-think.
He was an American financial executive who was asked why he was taking early retirement and going off to live in a little valley in the hills.
He replied: "Well, it is a lovely property with great scenery, fertile land and its own microhydroelectricity-----but the really big attraction is that it puts 300 miles of armed hillbillies between me and the nearest city"!!.

Squiff811 , 25 Oct 2013 07:28
Thatcherist 'Reaganomics' was their response to the hissy fit Maggie threw at the 'grubby little terrorist' Nelson Mandela when he started to put the kibosh on the elites cash cow of South African apartheid, 4 decades of 'starving the beast' and media complicity in pushing the benefits of supply side while pruning demand to the core by cutting back public investment which is the only source of high velocity currency in a debt based economy where cash is simply printed to commission public gods, services and infrastructure for a civilised society and withdrawn through tax to mitigate inflation.

Only as we approach their ideology of fiscal apartheid do the courtiers perceive that without demand a bleak future awaits everyone but the very few already excessively wealthy.

Nicoise , 25 Oct 2013 07:41
Economists, like scientists and the rest of us, are always employed by someone and therein lies the problem: the conflict between what we believe to be the truth and what we are paid to do (or teach) to keep our job. Many economists (like investors & politicians) knew the crash would burst at some point but only those who enjoyed a seat outside the system would benefit from its prediction.

[Mar 28, 2017] Outragious speaker fees at US universities events are a sign of corruption

Notable quotes:
"... $32K to hear Snooki speak at the Rutgers commencement? Are the administrators nuts? ..."
"... the Post and the legislator have certain attitudes, ideological biases if you will, towards public universities in general, and college students and the terms of their crushing college debt. ..."
"... And there was some thought that some elements in the legislature were perturbed that Rutgers did invite author Toni Morrison to speak at commencement, and did pay her $30,000 for it. And God knows what they payed Mr. Obama. ..."
"... Thank God they did not invite Hillary. ..."
"... For my son's Rutgers graduating class of 2014, the University had engaged Miss Condoleezza Rice, of Bush Administration State Department fame, to speak at that their commencement. For a $35,000 by the way. ..."
"... The professional class tends to defend the prerogatives of their own, sticking to their 'no consequences' principle for themselves and the acts of their peers, including the financiers. ..."
"... In the case of Secretary Rice, the students and faculty thought that it was hypocrisy to award an honorary law degree to someone who had consciously worked to circumvent the law, encouraged an aggressive war on contrived evidence, and helped permit the use of torture in violation of our nation's long standing principles. ..."
"... Rice signed off to give the CIA authority to conduct their torture tactics for gathering information from detainees as well. These are clearly human rights issues. By inviting her to speak and awarding her an honorary degree, we are encouraging and perpetuating a world that justifies torture and debases humanity ..."
"... I found it highly hypocritical of the Republican legislator and the arch-conservative Post to phrase their own stand against high commencement fees in such an incorrect manner, and dare I say false news . The Post and the politician knew better. They just did not give a damn in making their point. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
From Jeri-Lynn Scofield over at Naked Capitalism who picked up this piece in the NY post:
Snooki inspires legislation to limit state university speaker fees NY Post. Moi: Speaking as a born and bred Jersey girl, I applaud the state legislature's action. Nice to see the state of my birth lead the way in something other than corruption or toxic waste. And about time– $32K to hear Snooki speak at the Rutgers commencement? Are the administrators nuts? And the proposed $10k cap is too high. Why should any speaker receive more than expenses and a modest honorarium, e.g., $1K– which incidentally, anyone with any class would immediately donate back to the university.
I don't normally read the Post, except perhaps for financial pieces by John Crudele, so I was glad to see this at a site where I do read on occasion.

This is no knock on Jeri-Lynn whose major point remains intact, that commencement fees may be far too generous.

And as an old fogey, it seems to me to be a correct sentiment about paying far too much money and attention to these reality tv stars, our current President notwithstanding.

Except that this even with Snooki never happened, at least not in the way that the NY Post and the state legislator Republican Assemblyman John DiMaio portray.

And I suspect strongly that they carelessly framed the story the way in which they did, because the Post and the legislator have certain attitudes, ideological biases if you will, towards public universities in general, and college students and the terms of their crushing college debt.

Miss Nicole Snooki Polizzi, of Jersey Shore fame, never spoke at the Rutgers commencement, or any commencement that I could find. And she was not paid any money by the University administration for anything. Period.

She was paid $32,000 for two evening's 'performances' of a reality show nature for student audiences by the student run entertainment committee, which is an autonomous organization controlled by students. They book over 140 events per year. While the University does collect the money which in this case amounted to roughly 90 cents per student from a pool of general fees at the very large New Brunswick campus.

In other words, Snooki, who back in 2011 apparently had a following amongst the younger set, was a hired entertainer engaged by the students themselves without active involvement of University officials. And unless we wish to try and legislate the entertainment which college students may employ with their own money, and not allow it to be an issue for student government, I don't think that the esteemed GOP legislator's and the Post's points apply.

Here is a contemperaneous article , in which the University set the record straight.

Rutgers University officials made no apologies today for Snooki's $32,000 appearance at a pair of student-run events on the Piscataway campus. The "Jersey Shore" reality TV star was invited and paid by students, who are allowed to select their own entertainment, a campus spokesman said.

"The students use funds designated for student programming. The university does not censor the speakers students choose to invite to campus," said E.J. Miranda, a Rutgers spokesman.

I remembered this incident quite well, because my number one son was a student there at the time, and I kidded him about it. He pretty much shrugged it off to the liberal arts and music school crowd over the other side of the river, himself being ensconced at the Livingston and Bush campuses for engineering, business and medical/pharmaceutical students.

And there was some thought that some elements in the legislature were perturbed that Rutgers did invite author Toni Morrison to speak at commencement, and did pay her $30,000 for it. And God knows what they payed Mr. Obama.

But it seemed snarky to attack that indirectly by throwing Snooki in, albeit falsely, thinking it played better with those who think that all public projects are foolish wastes of money, and students deserved all the bad fortune they may incur.

Thank God they did not invite Hillary. Those sort of stratospheric speaking fees are the domain of private enterprise, like the boys on Wall Street, who exercise their private judgement more precisely to get the most for their hard earned dollars. And as I recall they are also paid by the for-profit private education institutions, which have been generous with fees and sinecures for certain politicians, for example.

Let's face it. A certain amount of foolishness is a part and parcel of the coming of age rite that is a college education, or the period between high school and family life, for most participants Sowing a few wild oat when one is young is hardly an alien concept.

As I recall, I spent a huge sum on foolishness in my college career. I was a commuting student who worked as an auto mechanic three or four days a week throughout. But I hate to see what my total beer tab amounted to during that four year period.

I seem to recall consuming rather heroic volumes of beer at the school student 'mixers, and local college beer dives, with quaint names like The Downunder, Agora, and Rathskeller while in pursuit of good times and companionship of the female persuasion.

For my son's Rutgers graduating class of 2014, the University had engaged Miss Condoleezza Rice, of Bush Administration State Department fame, to speak at that their commencement. For a $35,000 by the way.

But I was grateful to be spared sitting through that on a hot day because of widespread objections to her honorarium from the University community, both faculty and students. And the faculty involvement in this was notable. And it angered our NJ Republican politicians, very much.

It also disappointed Barack Obama , by the way, who in his own subsequent commencement address to take the students to task at a later commencement address but that is another story. The professional class tends to defend the prerogatives of their own, sticking to their 'no consequences' principle for themselves and the acts of their peers, including the financiers.

And granting our betters public venues where the common people are forced to listen, but not allowed to answer back, is hardly an open sharing of ideas. I think the political parities had a close and personal organizational experience that in the recent elections.

A one-way commencement address is one thing, a debate with various viewpoints is quite another. And so the University community did what people in a weaker position always tend to do when confronted with the unspeakable- they protested against it. And far too often, protests against what the public views as outrages are crushed. That is what happened to Occupy Wall Street.

And now the out of power liberal establishment asks, why are so few protesting? Duh.

In the case of Secretary Rice, the students and faculty thought that it was hypocrisy to award an honorary law degree to someone who had consciously worked to circumvent the law, encouraged an aggressive war on contrived evidence, and helped permit the use of torture in violation of our nation's long standing principles. Condoleezza Rice Declines to Speak at Rutgers after Student Protests.

" Rice signed off to give the CIA authority to conduct their torture tactics for gathering information from detainees as well. These are clearly human rights issues. By inviting her to speak and awarding her an honorary degree, we are encouraging and perpetuating a world that justifies torture and debases humanity ."
I found it highly hypocritical of the Republican legislator and the arch-conservative Post to phrase their own stand against high commencement fees in such an incorrect manner, and dare I say false news . The Post and the politician knew better. They just did not give a damn in making their point.

And it also fits their own political bias against public works, like Universities, and any thought of relief for students who are being crushed by debt at rates significantly higher than their parents just provided to Wall Street to bail those contemptible jokers out.

[Mar 28, 2017] This corrupt neoliberal stooge Brad DeLong and conversion of university economics departments into neoliberal propaganda departments

Notable quotes:
"... Lately certain unrepentant members of that disgraced profession, some of whom claim to be the consciences of the liberal establishment, have been expressing concern about the disrepute of the 'experts' and the need to allow the technocrats to take control of policy and the economy. ..."
"... Brad DeLong, by the way, banned me from his site comments noting, 'Alan Greenspan never made a decision with which I disagreed.' Since then even Alan Greenspan has admitted he does not agree with some of his decisions, in a sniveling and sneaky kind of a non-apologetic way. ..."
"... But the specific factual point from Brad's piece that got me going was this: ..."
"... "Merton and Scholes's financial math was correct, and the crash of their hedge fund did not require any public-money bailout" ..."
"... I think it is less than trivial to know where and how the B-S risk model fails as math, as illustrated so well by Benoit Mandelbrot in his book The Misbehaviour of Markets. The math fails in its selection choice of variables and assumptions. Naseem Taleb has made a cottage industry and a personal fortune understanding this error. ..."
jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
Moving along, 'liberal' economist Brad DeLong of the University of California at Berkeley history of economics penned a recent column cited over at the excellent Economist's View run by Mark Thoma. The title of Brad's column is The Need for a Reformation of Authority and Hierarchy Among Economists in the Public Sphere.

Ok I have to admit that the title alone got me into a cranky mood. Lately certain unrepentant members of that disgraced profession, some of whom claim to be the consciences of the liberal establishment, have been expressing concern about the disrepute of the 'experts' and the need to allow the technocrats to take control of policy and the economy.

Granted, they may look like the lesser of two evils in some cases, as in the current nascent administration, and in their own minds. But their policy consensus and economic recommendations of the past thirty years or so, starting with the Fed chairmanship of Alan Greenspan at least, only look good in their own selective memories. Brad DeLong, by the way, banned me from his site comments noting, 'Alan Greenspan never made a decision with which I disagreed.' Since then even Alan Greenspan has admitted he does not agree with some of his decisions, in a sniveling and sneaky kind of a non-apologetic way.

For everyone else this cycle of growing inequality, policy skews to the wealthy few, and asset bubbles and bust that serve as wealth transfer mechanisms has been particularly trying.

But the specific factual point from Brad's piece that got me going was this:

"Merton and Scholes's financial math was correct, and the crash of their hedge fund did not require any public-money bailout"
Yeah, right. Let's put aside the nicety of a Fed brokered bailout of LTCM by Wall Street money as technically not requiring public bailout money, in order to save the financial system from an epic overleveraged mispricing of risk based on that correct math.

I think it is less than trivial to know where and how the B-S risk model fails as math, as illustrated so well by Benoit Mandelbrot in his book The Misbehaviour of Markets. The math fails in its selection choice of variables and assumptions. Naseem Taleb has made a cottage industry and a personal fortune understanding this error.

And what makes it most egregious is that the error hs been known among those with mathematical minds for some time. I myself read Mandelbrot's book in 2001 and said, 'holy shit.'

Let's be clear. This was not some dumb error on the part of these fellows, or some sneaky trick. They could not resolve their math without making a certain assumption, and they did it openly and consciously. And as the write of the essay below notes, there has not been anything better produced yet to his knowledge.

It is not the theory itself that is 'bad.' It is the use and misuse to which it is put by opportunists and financial predators in misrepresenting it.

But the people who use the assumptions on risk contained in the model don't care. Like the efficient market hypothesis, it is an intellectual fig leaf that covers an epic era of looting and plundering bases on what is essentially a con game. If you assume that risk is a rare event, you can persuade the regulators and the very important people to let you run on leverage at extreme levels, especially if you can use other people's money.

Like some of the other accepted truths from the turn of the century greed is good crowd, it is a meme with which to silence the protests and permit the widespread mispricing of risk in order to reap enormous short term profits for a very few wealthy insiders. This had been going on for so long that it is almost accepted as a normal way of doing business.

Here is what an essay in Criticality had to say about the Merton-Scholes math. I suppose that the sophist would say that the math was indeed right. It was just the assumptions they used to construct the model was wrong. So 3+5 does equal 8. Its just that in the real world case there were three more factors that were tossed aside and ignored because they messed up the path to the more easily determined and reassuring result.

"This implies that rather than extreme market moves being so unlikely that they make little contribution to the overall evolution, they instead come to have a very significant contribution. In a normally distributed market, crashes and booms are vanishingly rare, in a pareto-levy one crashes occur and are a significant component of the final outcome.

It has taken years for this to be taken seriously, and in the mean time financial theory has gone on using the assumption of normally distributed returns to derive such results as the Black-Scholes option pricing equation, ultimately winning an Nobel Prize in Economics for the discoverers Scholes and Merton (Black having already died), not to mention Modern Portfolio theory (also winning Nobels). That modern finance ignored Mandelbrot's discovery and went onto honor those working under assumptions shown to be false has clearly annoyed Mandelbrot immensely and as mentioned previously he spends much of the book telling us of his prior discoveries and how he was ignored.

It is like allowing tobacco companies to widely distribute their products while a bevy of hired gun experts and media pundits and PR organizations promote the theory that tobacco is not a highly addictive substance that causes a wide range of debilitating diseases, including cancer. They know damn well that it is and it does, but they do not give a damn as long as the money is rolling in. And pity the fool who tries to stand up and tell the truth.

And so to has it been with the Banks. Indeed, the PR campaign and political donations they handled through their intermediaries during the 1990s to deregulate and overturn Glass-Steagal has to be one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the twentieth century. And the follow on campaign for the US to invade Iraq in retribution for 9/11 is not far behind it for the twenty first.

The greater point is not that the B-S model is based on faulty assumptions that greatly diminish the potential risks. Rather it is how such 'laws' of economics are so often of a dodgy, optionated and theoretical nature such that taking them as a given in forming public policy is a huge mistake in judgement.

Why? Because they may embody assumptions about what is true, and what is a priority, and what our principles and objectives may be, and propagate those assumptions (biases) into a general policy of our society that ends up causing great harm to many innocent participants. Indeed, as Obama said, there is a great need to discussion and understanding. It is just that it cannot be monopolized by a particular group of insiders who adhere to certain assumptions and professional courtesies of their own, dare I say it, class.

So there are my two corrections to the mainstream media and their writing of the public record- to suit themselves and their wealthy patrons. It seems like modern America spends an enormous amount of its intellectual capital and time on finding ways to scam the public. If we could somehow reorder the paybacks on financial corruption to even a third of what it is today we could probably cure cancer in five years or less. That is what it would take to 'make America great again,' for real and not just in the funny papers.

I would like to again stress that I am not finding fault with either of the two bloggers involved, both of whom I enjoy and admire for what they do. Mark Thoma is a class act, and even when he disagrees is very fair and open minded about it. And he keeps this site in his blogroll despite some special interests who have argued for its removal. That is more than I can say for some others.

Rather, I am trying to correct a couple of things from the broader media that seem to be factually wrong, purposely, and further, to help caution the reader that things that appear in the mainstream media written by bona fide members of the certified and qualified professional establishment cannot always be taken at face value.

The deterioration of the quality of the news is startling. I think it has a lot to do with the takeover of the media by a relatively few number of large corporations (thank you Slick Willy) Yeah, there is a lot of nutty stuff on the internet and in blogs. I spend a lot of time assessing it and avoiding it where I can. But to say that the mainstream is somehow authoritative, objective and pure is self-serving baloney at best, and a thin veneer for official propaganda when it serves the purpose at worst.

[Mar 28, 2017] Foundation - Fall Of The American Galactic Empire Zero Hedge

Mar 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Mar 27, 2017 10:40 PM Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

"The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity-a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"Any fool can tell a crisis when it arrives. The real service to the state is to detect it in embryo." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

I read Isaac Asimov's renowned award winning science fiction trilogy four decades ago as a teenager. I read them because I liked science fiction novels, not because I was trying to understand the correlation to the fall of the Roman Empire. The books that came to be called the Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation) were not written as novels; they're the collected Foundation stories Asimov wrote between 1941 and 1950. He wrote these stories during the final stages of our last Fourth Turning Crisis and the beginning stages of the next High. This was the same time frame in which Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Orwell wrote 1984 . This was not a coincidence.

The tone of foreboding, danger, dread, and impending doom, along with unending warfare, propels all of these novels because they were all written during the bloodiest and most perilous portion of the last Fourth Turning . As the linear thinking establishment continues to be blindsided by the continued deterioration of the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions in the world, we have entered the most treacherous phase of our present Fourth Turning .

That ominous mood engulfing the world is not a new dynamic, but a cyclical event arriving every 80 or so years. Eight decades ago the world was on the verge of a world war which would kill 65 million people. Eight decades prior to 1937 the country was on the verge of a Civil War which would kill almost 5% of the male population. Eight decades prior to 1857 the American Revolution had just begun and would last six more bloody years. None of this is a coincidence. The generational configuration repeats itself every eighty years, driving the mood change which leads to revolutionary change and the destruction of the existing social order.

Isaac Asimov certainly didn't foresee his Foundation stories representing the decline of an American Empire that didn't yet exist. The work that inspired Asimov was Edward Gibbon's multi-volume series, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , published between 1776 and 1789. Gibbon saw Rome's fall not as a consequence of specific, dramatic events, but as the result of the gradual decline of civic virtue, monetary debasement and rise of Christianity, which made the Romans less vested in worldly affairs.

Gibbon's tome reflects the same generational theory espoused by Strauss and Howe in The Fourth Turning . Gibbon's conclusion was human nature never changes, and mankind's penchant for division, amplified by environmental and cultural differences, is what governs the cyclical nature of history. Gibbon constructs a narrative spanning centuries as events unfold and emperors' successes and failures occur within the context of a relentless decline of empire. The specific events and behaviors of individual emperors were inconsequential within the larger framework and pattern of historical decline. History plods relentlessly onward, driven by the law of large numbers.

Asimov described his inspiration for the novels:

"I wanted to consider essentially the science of psychohistory, something I made up myself. It was, in a sense, the struggle between free will and determinism. On the other hand, I wanted to do a story on the analogy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but on the much larger scale of the galaxy. To do that, I took over the aura of the Roman Empire and wrote it very large. The social system, then, is very much like the Roman imperial system, but that was just my skeleton.

It seemed to me that if we did have a galactic empire, there would be so many human beings-quintillions of them-that perhaps you might be able to predict very accurately how societies would behave, even though you couldn't predict how individuals composing those societies would behave. So, against the background of the Roman Empire written large, I invented the science of psychohistory. Throughout the entire trilogy, then, there are the opposing forces of individual desire and that dead hand of social inevitability."

Is History Pre-Determined?

"Don't you see? It's Galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration – a stagnation!" – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

The Foundation trilogy opens on Trantor, the capital of the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire. Though the empire appears stable and powerful, it is slowly decaying in ways that parallel the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Hari Seldon, a mathematician and psychologist, has developed psychohistory, a new field of science that equates all possibilities in large societies to mathematics, allowing for the prediction of future events.

Psychohistory is a blend of crowd psychology and high-level math. An able psychohistorian can predict the long-term aggregate behavior of billions of people many years in the future. However, it only works with large groups. Psychohistory is almost useless for predicting the behavior of an individual. Also, it's no good if the group being analyzed is aware it's being analyzed - because if it's aware, the group changes its behavior.

Using psychohistory, Seldon has discovered the declining nature of the Empire, angering the aristocratic rulers of the Empire. The rulers consider Seldon's views and statements treasonous, and he is arrested. Seldon is tried by the state and defends his beliefs, explaining his theory the Empire will collapse in 300 years and enter a 30,000-year dark age.

He informs the rulers an alternative to this future is attainable, and explains to them generating an anthology of all human knowledge, the Encyclopedia Galactica, would not avert the inevitable fall of the Empire but would reduce the Dark Age to "only" 1,000 years.

The fearful state apparatchiks offer him exile to a remote world, Terminus, with other academic intellectuals who could help him create the Encyclopedia. He accepts their offer, and sets in motion his plan to set up two Foundations, one at either end of the galaxy, to preserve the accumulated knowledge of humanity and thereby shorten the Dark Age, once the Empire collapses. Seldon created the Foundation, knowing it would eventually be seen as a threat to rulers of the Empire, provoking an eventual attack. That is why he created a Second Foundation, unknown to the ruling class.

Asimov's psychohistory concept, based on the predictability of human actions in large numbers, has similarities to Strauss & Howe's generational theory. His theory didn't pretend to predict the actions of individuals, but formulated definite laws developed by mathematical analysis to predict the mass action of human groups. His novel explores the centuries old debate of whether human history proceeds in a predictable fashion, with individuals incapable of changing its course, or whether individuals can alter its progression.

The cyclical nature of history, driven by generational cohorts numbering tens of millions, has been documented over centuries by Strauss & Howe in their 1997 opus The Fourth Turning . Human beings in large numbers react in a herd-like predictable manner. I know that is disappointing to all the linear thinking individualists who erroneously believe one person can change the world and course of history.

The cyclical crisis's that occur every eighty years matches up with how every Foundation story centers on what is called a Seldon crisis, the conjunction of seemingly insoluble external and internal difficulties. The crises were all predicted by Seldon, who appears near the end of each story as a hologram to confirm the Foundation has traversed the latest one correctly.

The "Seldon Crises" take on two forms. Either events unfold in such a way there is only one clear path to take, or the forces of history conspire to determine the outcome. But, the common feature is free will doesn't matter. The heroes and adversaries believe their choices will make a difference when, in fact, the future is already written. This is a controversial viewpoint which angers many people because they feel it robs them of their individuality.

Most people don't want to be lumped together in an amalgamation of other humans because they believe admitting so would strip them of their sense of free will. Their delicate sensibilities are bruised by the unequivocal fact their individual actions are virtually meaningless to the direction of history. But, the madness of crowds can dramatically impact antiquity.

"In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first." – Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Many people argue the dynamic advancements in technology and science have changed the world in such a way to alter human nature in a positive way, thereby resulting in humans acting in a more rational manner. This alteration would result in a level of human progress not experienced previously. The falsity of this technological theory is borne out by the continuation of war, government corruption, greed, belief in economic fallacies, civic decay, cultural degradation, and global disorder sweeping across the world. Humanity is incapable of change. The same weaknesses and self- destructive traits which have plagued them throughout history are as prevalent today as they ever were.

Asimov's solution to the failure of humanity to change was to create an academic oriented benevolent ruling class who could save the human race from destroying itself. He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." – Edward Bernays – Propaganda

In Part Two of this article I will compare and contrast Donald Trump's rise to power to the rise of The Mule in Asimov's masterpiece. Unusually gifted individuals come along once in a lifetime to disrupt the plans of the existing social order.

Beam Me Up Scotty -> BaBaBouy , Mar 27, 2017 10:56 PM

" He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions."

The masses aren't the ones begging to start all of these wars. They are the ones TRYING to make a few good decisions. The Shadow Government and Deep State however, are hell bent on getting us all killed. Who exactly is the problem here??

LetThemEatRand , Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM

Asimov was a good writer and created some great fiction. That's as far as it goes.

Huxle LetThemEatRand •Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM y is the one who predicted the current state of affairs. Orwell gets honorable mention. You could also throw in some biblical passages for the mark of the beast, though the best part was clearly written about Nero.

biker Mar 27, 2017 11:06 PM
Of course its better to watch them eat themselves
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/rewriting-the-rules...

[Mar 23, 2017] I love the smell of money-greased credentialism in the morning.

Mar 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
ewmayer , March 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Received a "new academic programs" missive from my alma mater in today's mail, containing the following:

How to Make Innovation Happen in Your Organization

The Certified Professional Innovator (CPI) program is intended to develop the competency of high potential leaders in the theory and practice of innovation. It is rooted on the principle that innovation can only be learned by doing and through many short bursts of experimentation.

The certification is comprised of a 12-week curriculum with specific syllabus and assignments for each week, including videos, workbook assignments, and reports. During the program, participants, functioning as a cohort, communicate and collaborate with each other and faculty through a series of webinars and discussions. The program culminates in project pitches.

"It is rooted on [sic] the principle that innovation can only be learned by doing and through many short bursts of experimentation" - OK, fine there, but it is also rooted in the notion that such creativity can be taught in a formal academic setting, here monetized and condensed into a 12-week program. As for me, I'm gonna hold out for the following surely-in-development mini-courses:

o Certified Professional Serial Disruptor (CPD)
o Certified Professional Innovative Thought Leader (CPCTL)
o Certified Professional Smart Creative (CPSC)

I love the smell of money-greased credentialism in the morning.

Synoia , March 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm

Certified Real Accounting Professional.
Certified Real Estate Experienced Professional

[Mar 17, 2017] Orwells 1984 was not a complete work of fiction, but a successful blueprint for full statist control

Notable quotes:
"... His book Animal Farm was a satire on Stalin and Trotsky and 1984 * gave readers a glimpse into what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person's life, down to their own private thoughts. (*online bio). The battles in Europe were life and death with the goal of survival. ..."
"... We are now programed (propagandized) from pre school to the home for the elderly. We are initially taught as children, continue through college, and are forever conditioned by media such as TV, Movies, Radio, Newspapers and Advertising our entire lives. The younger generations are not taught to think independently or critically but instead indoctrinated with pre packaged knowledge 'propaganda' while older generations assess outcomes from a different perspective. There is as a result, a clash within the society which we are experiencing today. ..."
"... 1984 was about controlling the news and airwaves. Farenheit 451 was about burning history. The two go hand in hand. ..."
"... The similarity of the major networks evening "news" programs has given rise to a report that, each day, a list of ten or twelve "acceptable" news stories is prepared by British Intelligence in London for the networks, teletyped to Washington, where the CIA routinely approves it, and then delivered to the networks. ..."
"... The "selectivity" of the broadcasters has never been in doubt. Edith Efron, in "The News Twisters," (Manor Books, N.Y., 1972) cites TV Guide's interview with David Brinkley, April 11, 1964, with Brinkley's declaration that "News is what I say it is. It's something worth knowing by my standards." This was merely vainglorious boasting on Brinkley's part, as he merely reads the news stories previously selected for him. ..."
"... "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" That false flag headline is over a century old. ..."
"... Next time you are in a Best Buy.. go up to the Geek Squad guy and say... "So how does it feel to work for the CIA " ..."
"... Fuck the Washington Post. As Katherine Austin Fitts has suggested, it is essentially the CIA's Facebook wall. The same could be said of the NYT as well. ..."
"... James Rosen from Fox, he was at a state dept briefing with that little weasel Kirby, and Kirby stated that the negotiations over the Iran "deal" were all overt and "above the table." He remembered, tho, a briefing years earlier from the witch Psaki, who stated that sometimes, in interests of expedience, aspects of the negotiations are not made public. ..."
"... Rosen goes back to state dept video archives, finds out that his whole exchange with Psaki has been erased. Weasel Kirby, when asked how this happened, who did it, who ordered it, blames it on a "technical glitch." ..."
Mar 11, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

FreedomWriter -> TheWrench , Mar 11, 2017 10:12 AM

Snowflakes should also learn the depressing fact that Orwell's 1984 was not a complete work of fiction, but a successful blueprint for full statist control.

Orwell was dying of tuberculosis when he wrote "1984" and passed away after its publication in 1949. Once you have their attention and they have read the book, it is time to show snowflakes the MANY obvious parallels between Orwellian concepts and modern society.

NEWSPEAK AND THOUGHT CRIME

You can start with soft targets like Newspeak (today's examples include gems like cis-gender labels and other politically correct BS).

Now move to the "thought police" and thought crime in general.

Explain how thought and speech crime keep the globalist model alive and ticking by discouraging independent thought and discussion.

Explain how state-financed institutions seek to implant these concepts at an early age and onwards into university education.

Provide real-life newspeak and double-think examples, such as "police-action" "regime-change", "coalition of the willing" and "collateral damage". Show how these are really just PC euphemisms for "wars of aggression" and "murder". If you have a picture of a droned wedding party handy, now is the time to use it.

Also mention people who have been silenced, prosecuted or even killed for committing "hate crimes" or other political blasphemies. Explain how this often occurs while they are standing up for or using their constitutionally protected human rights.

Name some of these people: Randy and Vicki Weaver, David Koresh, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Julian Assange, William Binney, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning

Show them how this trend is ongoing both in the USA and abroad, and is primarily being deployed against populist politicians who promote more individual rights and reduced state control over citizens. Ask them whether or not they can see a pattern developing here.

Above all, d on't waste time with cheap shots at identity politics and its absurd labelling. This will just polarize the more brainwashed members of your audience. Stick to the nitty gritty and irrefutable facts.

And be very careful here, because if they have insufficient vocabulary to understand or critique what you are saying, you will lose them. Which was the whole point of Newspeak. Of course you can use this failed learning opportunity to demonstrate just how successful the Newspeak program has been.

TELESCREENS

Tell them about the real life "Telescreens" that can now listen to you, even when turned off. Name one of their known manufacturers: Samsung and users: Central Intelligence Agency

Show them how these same telescreens are used to pump out constant lies from the MSM whenever they are turned on. Name some of these organizations: CNN, BBC, MSNBC, FOX, etc.

MASS SURVEILLANCE and the "PANOPTICON"

Talk to them about the modern surveillance state and how it will always be abused by corporate globalists and corrupt elites.

Describe how mass-surveillance service providers (MSSPs) and MSM stooges have become obscenely rich and powerful as the real-life proles (who were 85% of the population in "1984") struggle to put food on the table, pay their debts, find a decent job or buy a home. Tell them to find out how much wealth is owned by 8 very wealthy people relative to the poorest half of the world, and how this trend is accelerating. Name a few of them: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim, etc.

Show how the previously enacted, totalitarian US policies, programs and laws have been extensively deployed, lobbied for, used and abused by the very Big-Brothers (Clinton and Obama) they so adored. Even George W is swooning progressives again.

Name some of these policies, programs and laws: Patriot Act, SOPA, US Telecommunications Act, FISA, Echelon, PRISM, and Umbrage

Explain why this whole surveillance system, its operators and proponents must be completely dismantled and reined in or imprisoned, unless we wish all whistle blowers, dissidents and normal citizens to end up like Winston Smith.

ETERNAL WAR AND THE BROTHERHOOD

Explain how eternal war keeps the proles from getting too restless and questioning their leaders. How it leads to modern strategic idiocies like "Osama Bin Laden and the Mujahedeen are steadfast allies against Russian totalitarianism, which is why the CIA needs to give them Stingers" (aka Operation Cyclone). Or the illegal provision of arms and funds to countries with questionable human rights records (KSA, Iran, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Israel.....)

Explain how this leads to, nay requires, state-propagated lies like WMD to justify illegal military actions against sovereign nation states like Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Show how 9/11 was used to target a former-ally Osama and his Taliban brotherhood and prepare the terrain for eternal war, even though the real criminals were actually in DC, Riyadh and other world capitals. Explain how letting Osama escape from Tora Bora was all part of this intricate plan for the PNAC, until he finally outlived his usefulness as a bogeyman. If they disagree, ask for their counter-argument and proofs.

Explain how these same criminals then made a financial killing when our real life Oceania went to war bigly with Eastasia. How this resulted in over a million civilian deaths (half of them children), around 80,000 terrorists and perhaps 10,000 uniformed soldiers/contractors. Show them videos where US officials justify this slaughter as "worth it", unimportant or irrelevant. Ask what kind of individuals could even say these things or let them happen. If they can't answer, name a few: Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

At this point, you may need to take a break as listeners will soon have trouble distinguishing between real-life events and those in Orwell's book.

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Next, explain how real, imagined or simulated terrorist outrages can be manipulated to influence electorates. This is done by creating or allowing atrocities that frighten citizens into seeking "safety". These citizens will then vote in corrupt, globalist leaders who promise to keep them safe. These same leaders can then curtail freedoms in their previously democratic, freedom-loving nation states. New terrorist threats can always be used to justify more restrictions on free movement and state-mandated invasions of personal privacy.

If your snowflakes don't agree with this, name some leaders responsible for bad laws, policies and the ensuing restrictions on civil liberties:

Tony Blair, George W Bush, Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Francois Hollande.

Name some events as well: Oklahoma City, 911, 7/7 Sandy Hook, 11-M

Also mention that the USA has not waged a single legal, constitutional, Congress-declared war since 1945. But that the USA has been involved in hot or cold wars for all but 5 of the past 71 years.

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

Tell them that Orwell's original book title was actually "1944" (already past), but that his publisher vetoed this choice saying it could hurt sales.

Then explain how 1944-45 was actually the perfect crucible for the divisive, right-left political paradigm we live in today and many of the concepts presciently described in Orwell's chilling masterpiece.

EPILOGUE

Tell them everything, until their brains hurt, their eyes water and their ears bleed.

Eventually even the iciest snowflakes will get it.

Of course, some will cry, and some will have temper tantrums and meltdowns.

But a few might just wake up, start reading real books and get a proper education.

This is when the healing can begin.

Those thinking a career in gender-diversity-issue management is still the way forward may figure it out later, God help them. Until then, we should just pity them.

dearth vader , Mar 11, 2017 5:03 AM

Ira Levin's "This Perfect Day" (1970) is from the same dystopian mold. In the late Eighties, my then teenage daughter kept reading it, till it literally fell apart.

How technology has "advanced"! People in this phantasy had to wear bracelets with which they checked in and out of buildings and areas. Reality always seems to surpass the imaginative powers of SF-writers.

Maestro Maestro , Mar 11, 2017 5:16 AM

The problem is not your government.

YOU are the problem.

Your government is not populated by reptilians from outer space. The politicians and the bankers, lawyers are YOUR sons and daughters. You gave birth to them, you educated them, you taught them their values.

YOU pull the trigger when the government says KILL! YOU vote Democrat or Republican EVERY TIME. Yet you have the temerity to blame them when you don't get what you wanted.

Scum,

Hitler didn't kill anyone as fas as we know, in WWII. People [YOU] killed people. You blame the Jews because the wars they incite you to fight result in blowback to you. Why do you blame them because YOU jumped when they said JUMP! YOU are the ones flying the fighter jets and firing the tank shells against foreign populations living 10,000 miles away from your land, and who have not attacked you. NO ONE does anything unless they wanted to, in the first place. In any case, YOU are responsible for YOUR actions. This we all know.

Even your own money the US dollar is illegal according to your own US Constitution (Article 1, Section 10) yet you commit mass murder and mass torture throughout the world in order to impose it on everyone?

Fuck you, American.

BrownCoat , Mar 11, 2017 6:59 AM

The liberals are promoting the book (Nineteen Eighty-Four). IMO, that's great! Orwell's book is a classic and accurately describes features in our current society.

The downside is that the liberals won't understand it . They are promoting the idea that Trump is a fascist. They don't see that they themselves are fascists (albeit a different brand of fascism). Ironic that the book could help them see past the indoctrinated haze of their perspective, but it won't. The future, from my perspective, is a boot stamping on a human face forever.

Robert of Ottawa -> BrownCoat , Mar 11, 2017 8:09 AM

Fascism as a style of government rather than philosophy .

RevIdahoSpud3 , Mar 11, 2017 9:07 AM

I read 1984 in 1960 as a freshman in HS. Spent the next 24 years waiting. I don't remember details but I do remember it was upsetting at the time to picture my future as depicted by Orwell. It might be more interesting to me now to go back to the publishing date and study the paradigm that Orwell lived under to get a perspective of his mindset. He wasn't a US citizen. He was born in India, moved to England with his mother, had little contact with his father, was sickly and lonely as a child and suffered from tuberculosis as an adult, served in Burma for five years as a policeman, fought Soviet backed Communsts in the Spanish Civil War, fought Facism, believed in Democratic socialism or Classless socialism.

His book Animal Farm was a satire on Stalin and Trotsky and 1984 * gave readers a glimpse into what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person's life, down to their own private thoughts. (*online bio). The battles in Europe were life and death with the goal of survival.

The European cauldron produced or nurtured, IMO, the seeds of most social evils that exist today. In Orwell's era society was changing and reacting to the Machine age which was followed by the Atomic age, the Space age and to the current Information age. He died in 1950 but in his environment, the Machine age is where he related. The forces (of evil) at work in his era still exist today with the additions of the changes brought by the later ages. We don't contend with the physical (at least not initially) conquerors such as the Genghis Khan, Mohamed, Alexander, Roman conquest etc. of the past but the compulsion of others to control our lives still exists just in different forms. We as a society react or comply and have the same forces to deal with as did Orwell but also those that resulted in the later eras. 1984 was actually the preview of the information age that Orwell didn't experience.

We are now programed (propagandized) from pre school to the home for the elderly. We are initially taught as children, continue through college, and are forever conditioned by media such as TV, Movies, Radio, Newspapers and Advertising our entire lives. The younger generations are not taught to think independently or critically but instead indoctrinated with pre packaged knowledge 'propaganda' while older generations assess outcomes from a different perspective. There is as a result, a clash within the society which we are experiencing today.

Through the modern (at least recorded) ages the underlying force no matter what era humans lived through was the conflict of...religion. In the name or names of God and whose god is the true god and which god will rule. Even in the most 'godless' societies it is the underlying force. There are many who do not believe in god or a god and by extension should or do not believe in satin. Good vs Evil? It's always there, although we are encouraged not to mention it?

Can't say I need another go at 1984 from Costco but I do need another indoor/outdoor vacuum and right now they have one with a manufacturers discount of $5. See you there!

Collectivism Killz , Mar 11, 2017 9:24 AM

1984 is really just a knock off of Evgeny Zemyatin's "We," which is frankly a better account of dystopian authoritarianism from someone who wrote shortly after the Russian Revolution.

FrankDrakman -> Collectivism Killz , Mar 11, 2017 9:39 AM

This is not true. Orwell's book touched on major points, such as the destruction of people's ability to communicate real ideas by perversion and simplification of language, that are not discussed elsewhere. It is a unique and disturbing view of totalitarian regimes.

Atomizer , Mar 11, 2017 10:22 AM

Tyler, your missing the point. 1984 was about controlling the news and airwaves. Farenheit 451 was about burning history. The two go hand in hand.

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Full Movie | Julie Christie ...

Nobodys Home , Mar 11, 2017 10:23 AM

Manipulation of the news is not new folks:

The similarity of the major networks evening "news" programs has given rise to a report that, each day, a list of ten or twelve "acceptable" news stories is prepared by British Intelligence in London for the networks, teletyped to Washington, where the CIA routinely approves it, and then delivered to the networks.

The "selectivity" of the broadcasters has never been in doubt. Edith Efron, in "The News Twisters," (Manor Books, N.Y., 1972) cites TV Guide's interview with David Brinkley, April 11, 1964, with Brinkley's declaration that "News is what I say it is. It's something worth knowing by my standards." This was merely vainglorious boasting on Brinkley's part, as he merely reads the news stories previously selected for him.

Sinophile -> Nobodys Home , Mar 11, 2017 11:33 AM

"REMEMBER THE MAINE!" That false flag headline is over a century old.

Dragon HAwk , Mar 11, 2017 10:53 AM

Next time you are in a Best Buy.. go up to the Geek Squad guy and say... "So how does it feel to work for the CIA "

Al Bondiga , Mar 11, 2017 11:13 AM

Fuck the Washington Post. As Katherine Austin Fitts has suggested, it is essentially the CIA's Facebook wall. The same could be said of the NYT as well.

SurfinUSA , Mar 11, 2017 1:37 PM

Bezos has no problem selling "1984" on Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/hdmhu75 He's collecting the sales price and sticking it in his pocket. He's not making a joke out of it. Bezos is a lunatic. The Washington Post is full of shit. End of story.

Amy G. Dala -> SurfinUSA , Mar 11, 2017 2:23 PM

James Rosen from Fox, he was at a state dept briefing with that little weasel Kirby, and Kirby stated that the negotiations over the Iran "deal" were all overt and "above the table." He remembered, tho, a briefing years earlier from the witch Psaki, who stated that sometimes, in interests of expedience, aspects of the negotiations are not made public.

Rosen goes back to state dept video archives, finds out that his whole exchange with Psaki has been erased. Weasel Kirby, when asked how this happened, who did it, who ordered it, blames it on a "technical glitch."

It's a slippery fuckin slope. Only now the progressives are finding relevance in 1984?

[Mar 17, 2017] Costco is now carrying Orwell famouns novell 1984 And this is not a joke

Mar 11, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by James Holbrooks via TheAntiMedia.org,

"Next time you're at Costco, you can pick up a jumbo bag of Cheetos and a copy of '1984.' Doubleplus good!"

That's how the Washington Post opened its quick little entry on Wednesday. Continuing, Ron Charles, editor of Book World for the Post , wrote:

"The discount store is now stocking Orwell's classic novel along with its usual selection of current bestsellers."

If the significance of the fact that a dystopian masterwork can now be purchased alongside a three-ton bag of cheese puffs instantly strikes you, it should. Strangely, though, Charles and the Post don't seem to see it.

In fact, it seemed to be a joke to them. The entry closed in the manner it opened. With humor:

"Appropriately, Costco is offering a reprint of the 2003 edition of '1984,' which has a forward by Thomas Pynchon. That reclusive satirist must love the idea of hawking Orwell's dystopian novel alongside towers of discounted toilet paper and radial tires. SHOPPING IS SAVING."

In the one and only instance Charles even approached something that could be considered commentary, he linked the surge in the book's sales to "alternative" news items :

"Last month, amid talk of 'alternative facts' from the Trump administration, Signet Classics announced that it had reprinted 500,000 copies, about twice the novel's total sales in 2016."

Note Charles was certain to use the word "alternative" when mentioning Trump. Why? Very clearly, "fake news" is the man's go-to phrase when speaking of the media. So why go with "alternative" instead? Hell, the Post itself was the driving force behind the "fake news" frenzy in the first place.

I could go on about how this is the Washington Post , corporate media juggernaut, attempting, rather pathetically, to poison the notion of "alternative" in the minds of its readers - or, I should say, what's left of them - but that's not really what this is about.

What it's really about is journalism. The fact that "1984" is being sold at Costco, the fact that demand for the classic tale has skyrocketed , is significant. It's societal. And journalists are supposed to write about things like that.

And what does the Post do? They make a joke of it.

This is an organization that, as recently as January, has been busted publishing false news stories. You would think that with its credibility among a growing division of society hanging on by a thread - at best - the Post would turn an event like this into social commentary. This was an opportunity to speak about a changing world.

But instead, the Post went for laughs.

Let it sink in, friends. George Orwell's "1984," a dystopian tale about a society being crushed under the boot of authoritarian regime, is, once again, flying off bookshelves. To the extent that you can now get it at Costco. Let the significance of that truly dig in deep.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is talking about Cheetos and toilet paper.

LetThemEatRand , Mar 10, 2017 9:56 PM

It is truly Orwellian that the sheep only take interest in Orwell when someone challenges Big Brother. If I had a Facebook account, I'd post this article straight away.

LetThemEatRand , Mar 10, 2017 9:56 PM

It is truly Orwellian that the sheep only take interest in Orwell when someone challenges Big Brother. If I had a Facebook account, I'd post this article straight away.

xythras -> Luc X. Ifer , Mar 10, 2017 11:56 PM

Well, after all the shit is going down, White House is definitely in distress. Trump gets a taste of his own medicine as he's grabbed by the pussy from all intelligence agencies directions.

And Spicer just proved it today:

White House in Distress? Sean Spicer's Upside Down Flag Pin Unleashes Twitter Frenzy

http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-03-10/white-house-in-distress-sean-s...

Luc X. Ifer -> Twee Surgeon , Mar 11, 2017 12:46 AM

Read 'Little Heroes' by Norman Spinrad. It's like the dude had a trip to the future which is our present, a completly broken society dominated by corporations exploiting the masses of hedonist mindless snowflakes. In my humble oppinion perfect companion to Orwell's 84.

[...

  • In the future the class divide between capitalist and worker will have widened to become a virtually unbridgeable chasm. In HG Wells' The Time Machine (1895) this division has become so extreme that humanity had split into two species.
  • The way to keep the underclass under control is to feed them mass-produced pseudo-culture. If - as in Orwell's 1984 (1949) - the technocratic ruling class can get some kind of computer or machine to generate this product, so much the better.
  • In the future, 20th century entertainment forms like TV and movies will have been superseded by more direct experiences that, ideally, feed directly into the brain or, at least - as with the 'feelies' in Huxley's Brave New World (1932) - stimulate more senses than simply the visual and auditory.
  • And now, here's a book that uses all these themes in one hit, and builds on these classic foundations by adding rock & roll to the mix.

    Set in the early years of the 21st century, it shows us an America decimated by devaluation, where unemployment is commonplace and rock music is firmly in the grip of accountants and electro-nerds producing synthesized superstars to keep the proles contented.

    ...]

    http://www.trashfiction.co.uk/little_heroes.html

    Latina Lover -> Luc X. Ifer , Mar 11, 2017 7:16 AM

    Washington Post = CIA produced fake news.

    peddling-fiction , Mar 10, 2017 9:59 PM

    Please read Philip K. Dick's most recent works for a more accurate description of our dystopian reality.

    RIP Philip.

    LetThemEatRand -> indygo55 , Mar 10, 2017 10:05 PM

    "Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then." P.K.D.

    Row Well Number 41 -> LetThemEatRand , Mar 10, 2017 10:09 PM

    Once they notice you, Jason realized, they never completely close the file. You can never get back your anonymity. It is vital not to be noticed in the first place. -- Philip K Dick

    PodissNM -> Row Well Number 41 , Mar 10, 2017 11:27 PM

    "The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."

    P.K.D., How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later

    AlaricBalth -> peddling-fiction , Mar 11, 2017 12:13 AM

    Philip was spot on decades before the advent of the CIA's infestation of cell phones and other electronic devices.

    "There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me'." Philip K. Dick

    AlaricBalth -> indygo55 , Mar 11, 2017 12:30 AM

    Here is a free copy of 1984.

    https://ia800201.us.archive.org/8/items/NINETEENEIGHTY-FOUR1984ByGeorgeO...

    "The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live-did live, from habit that became instinct-in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

    napples -> indygo55 , Mar 11, 2017 2:37 AM

    The irony never fails to amuse:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/18/amazon_removes_1984_from_kindle/

    bruno_the -> BeanusCountus , Mar 10, 2017 11:31 PM

    Sure. Read it again...

    As usual, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Goldstein was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had been one of the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big Brother himself, and then had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared.

    Free

    https://wikispooks.com/w/images/f/fc/1984.pdf

    Mini-Me , Mar 10, 2017 10:01 PM

    1984 was supposed to be a warning, not a user's guide.

    Twox2 -> Mini-Me , Mar 10, 2017 10:17 PM

    Too late...

    skinwalker -> Mini-Me , Mar 10, 2017 11:35 PM

    Orwell and Huxley were close to the fabians, so they knew what was coming down the pike.

    The difference is Orwell grew a conscience and tried to warn everybody.

    He probably would have titled it 2036, but 1984 was the 100th anniversary of the Fabian society.

    koan , Mar 10, 2017 10:01 PM

    WaPo is fake news, owned by a stereotypical bald headed villain. (Bezos)

    Ignorance is bliss -> aloha_snakbar , Mar 10, 2017 10:09 PM

    Maybe Orwell meant 2084. That sounds like a scary year to me...

    Anon2017 , Mar 10, 2017 10:08 PM

    You could also download "1984" for free to your computer or Kindle device. Do a Google search.

    Ms No -> Anon2017 , Mar 10, 2017 11:05 PM

    That's actually a waste of time at this point. If anything read Anthony Suttons Wall Street series for free on the internet, or stay here. You already know more than Orwell will teach you at this point. Unless your a mouth breather or blind from herpes of the eyeball. Apparently that is something contracted at birth.

    All wars are bankers wars. You can sum 1984 up to that. Actually they didn't even cover that. They just covered mechanisms. Actually they didn't even cover that, just symptoms.

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=BolshevikRev&C=4.0

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=WallStHitler

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Entity=BrzezinskiZ

    SgtShaftoe -> Wee_littte_dogee , Mar 10, 2017 10:17 PM

    You're fine. Their lists don't have enough enforcers to do jack shit. By the time the first raid occurs, all hell would break loose and they'll all die.

    Ms No -> SgtShaftoe , Mar 10, 2017 10:57 PM

    In order to break that down we have to figure who their enforcers are.

    Intelligence agencies. That's a big one.

    Some unknown number of police agency staff. Quite a few in many places, like Texas. They obviously have strategic coroners, emergency room staff, etc.

    Some unknown quantitity of narco-terrorists out of Mexico/fast and furious funded types.

    Some unknown number of our military. They have been purging for decades.

    A smaller but unknown number of funded terrorist groups/ ISIS types.

    A very large number of our congress, etc.

    Probably 2/3 of our Supreme Court

    The entire media system and publishing

    The easiest way to narrow it down is who do they not have? I give up already. Remember JFK was a long time ago.

    SgtShaftoe -> Ms No , Mar 11, 2017 9:10 AM

    The ones most relevant in my mind are the logistics and support as well as the "action" guys (using that term very loosely).

    The military, the CIA and a few other agencies have trained combat arms types that are effective. The rest are at various stages of competency. In any event, they still don't have enough competent troops by a long shot. The logistics tail is also very wide and vulnerable.

    [Mar 17, 2017] While I think primary education especially has suffered tremendously in the US, education is a terribly necessary but far from sufficient solution to the problems.

    Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    Longtooth : March 16, 2017 at 08:08 PM While I think primary education especially has suffered tremendously in the US, education is a terribly necessary but far from sufficient solution to the problems.

    The far greater problem, imo, is the distribution of incomes which create the divergences in primary & secondary education.. which is a direct outgrowth of educational funding by school districts, which is differentiated by the tax base, which of course then determines the quality of the education. Add this to poorer lower and lower middle class neighborhoods where both parents work (mostly) in low wage and low benefits jobs and the environment rubs off directly on the kids.

    Why do we promote divergence in neighborhood wealth? This is a direct result of and part of income inequality so it's not just the 1% that are the problem.. they're just a popular and clear-cut indicator of it. We create these ghetto-like islands by a political and belief system that promotes "individualism", that believes if you've got a good high paying job that it's because you "earned it" yourself and therefore "deserve it".

    Education will not solve the upward mobility issue we now have in spades and which spirals to less mobility by feed-back loops.

    [Mar 03, 2017] In praise of credentialism

    crookedtimber.org

    Crooked Timber

    That's the title of my latest piece in Inside Story. The crucial para
    The term "credentialism" is used in many different ways, some of them contradictory, but the implication is consistent: too many young people are getting too much formal education, at too high a level. This implication was spelt out recently by Dean Ashenden, who contends that "education has not just grown to meet the expanding needs of the post-industrial economy, but has exploded like an airbag." The claim that young people are getting too much education, and the supporting critique of credentialism, is pernicious and false.

    John Barker 03.01.17 at 10:44 am

    Great piece, John!

    The suffix "-ism" hits my hot button- unless it's optimism. It denotes the ossification of of an idea that may once have been dynamic.

    I tend to look at ideas through the prism (oops!) of life-cycles. There's a time, perhaps, at the "mature" stage, where codification becomes the norm. After that- particularly when organisations become corporatised in an attempt to revitalise them (eg Trumpism)- codification becomes essential for the masses, but discretionary for the bosses. Luckily, it tends to be contemporaneous with the development of new systems, as you indicate, where the activity hasn't matured sufficiently to be credential-ivied.

    I'm trying to tackle this in a book on "Concepts in Innovation