Enough Never Trump

We love Kevin Williamson, Jonah Goldberg is often entertaining, and David French writes but the NRO Never Trump Brigade needs to find a new song.  Today it is Kevin’s turn to salt the soil:

Some of the smarter right-wing talking mouths on cable news have already developed aggressive amnesia regarding their own complicity in Trump’s rise, and it is likely that many will follow. The line of argument will be: “Hey, I was a big Ted Cruz supporter, really, but, after the primary, it was Trump or Hillary.” Some people will need reminding of what they said and did.

To be fair to Kevin, he is against impeaching The Donald.  To be fair to us, we were for anyone but The Donald in the primary.  Like many, we were not a big Ted Cruz supporter but we voted for him in the primary because he was better than The Donald.  In the general election our first choice was Mitt’s second term but that wasn’t on the ballot.  The choice, and it was a binary one, was between The Donald and Herself.  We, and the country, made the right choice and voted for The Donald.

NRO deserves some credit for The Donald’s rise.  They were steadfastly against The Donald but tried to beat somebody (The Donald) with nobody for most of the primary season.  They, like many others, underestimated The Donald until it was too late and then nothing worked.

Many of The Donald’s supporters main concern was illegal immigration.  There has not been a legislative solution but there has been a change:

Illegal immigration across the southwest border is down more than 60 percent so far under President Trump, officials revealed Tuesday, even before the first new agent is hired or the first mile of his promised border wall is constructed.

Those supporters have gotten what they wanted.

It was a binary choice in November.  There were many folks that reluctantly supported The Donald.  It was the right choice.  If the Never Trump Brigade didn’t support The Donald in November then they were wrong.  They don’t need to admit it but the Never Trump Brigade needs to stop emulating The Donald.  Write less silly stuff.  Instead let us talk of serious things.

Bias By Viewpoint

James Damore, the fired Google employee, tries to identify biases by viewpoint in his email that led to his firing.

Sidebar: Part of the title of the cite above describe the email as “An Anti-Diversity Screed.”  It is not Anti-Diversity as it tries to find ways to increase diversity.  It is not a screed as in a ranting piece of writing.  Since screed also includes a lengthy discourse and the email runs ten pages then it might sneak in as a screed but it is the opposite of a rant.  It is a plea to be rational in augmenting diversity  End Sidebar.

James tries to identify biases of the left and right.  Below is his analysis of the biases of the left and right and the text that follows from the email.

Left Biases

  • Compassion for the weak
  • Disparities are due to injustices
  • Humans are inherently cooperative
  • Change is good (unstable)
  • Open
  • Idealist

Right Biases

  • Respect for the strong/authority
  • Disparities are natural and just
  • Humans are inherently competitive
  • Change is dangerous (stable)
  • Closed
  • Pragmatic

Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

You can decide if James is a man of the left or just trying to curry favor with the left as almost all the biases on the left are positive and the majority of biases on the right are negative.  Certainly compassion for the weak, change is good, open, and idealistic are positive attributes.  Whereas alleged conservative biases: Authority, change is dangerous, and closed are certainly negative.

A great book would be (please cite us but no need to send a check) to examine postulates and biases of the left and right.  We don’t have the time or inclination to write it.  Metaphysics just doesn’t interest us that much.

In the two paragraphs below the lists, James tells us he is trying to reason with the authorities at Google using evidence.  As we would expect, it didn’t work.

The nature of biases is that we don’t notice them.  Thus, both the left and the right commonly accuse the other of being impervious to facts.  The outcome with James would suggest that at least one of the groups is correct.  [Yes we are scoring points.  We agree that both sides can be guilty of ignoring the facts.]  The larger point, however, is “You’re biased!” is a good way to start a fight but a bad way to start a discussion.  Even though James said you’re biased in the kindest and gentlest way by giving the left nicer biases than the right he still started a fight that he could not win.  It is unfortunate that James was figuratively burned as a heretic.  We do need a discussion about how the means of genders and races can be different.  Otherwise, the liberals in Silicon Valley and academia will continue to bang their heads against the walls of statistics and get nothing more than a headache while the liberals in government will give folks headaches.

Never Forget

With the mitigated joy of having The Donald as president, it is good to remind ourselves of the horror of his predecessor.  David Horowitz does just that for foreign policy at the PowerLine.  His opening salvo:

During the eight years of the Obama administration, half a million Christians, Yazidis and Muslims were slaughtered in the Middle East by ISIS and other Islamic jihadists, in a genocidal campaign waged in the name of Islam and its God. Twenty million others were driven into exile by these same jihadist forces. Libya and Yemen became terrorist states. America – once the dominant foreign power and anti-jihadist presence in the region – was replaced by Russia, an ally of the monster regimes in Syria and Iran, and their terrorist proxies. Under the patronage of the Obama administration, Iran – the largest and most dangerous terrorist state, with the blood of thousands of Americans on its hands – emerged from its isolation as a pariah state to re-enter the community of nations and become the region’s dominant power, arming and directing its terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Yemen.

Do read the whole thing.  It is quite a powerful reminder.  We don’t love The Donald but he is an improvement and he is a better choice than the Secretary of State that implemented these disasters.  It does mean that The Donald has a big job.  We hope he is up to it.

 

Oh Canada!

Kyle Smith discusses the left’s infatuation with Canada and Justin Trudeau at NRO. As part of the suggestion that these folks take up permanent residence there he says:

It’s not as if there’s no room. Canada is a land of 36 million people spread out over 3.9 million square miles. Among the 100 largest countries on earth, it ranks 99th in population density. Canada is empty.

Unlike Kyle, we are unwilling to start or donate to a Kickstarter campaign to send these folks north.

Sidebar: Well not necessarily north.  One of them lived in Detroit and if you go south from Detroit the first country you enter is?  Yep, Canada.  End Sidebar.

We agree that Canada has lots of room to welcome folks but we wondered about the data.  Our first question is: What country is number 100?  Our second question is: How did Kyle determine the largest 100 countries?

It is hard to answer the first question without answering the second although it seems likely that Kyle has Australia at 100.  It is much like Canada: Big and with a lot of people but very low population density.

It sounds like Kyle means area when he says the 100 largest countries on earth.  If that is correct then he is mistaken and there are some interesting definitional problems.  Canada is number 230 in population density on this list and second in area on this list.   Botswana (231/47), Mauritania (232/29), Nambia (236/34), and Mongolia (239/19) (in addition to Australia (235?/6) are all below Canada and it the top 100 of area.  The Aussies get a question mark because they are listed as 236 but they should be 232 by the data presented.

But the results work for population,  See this list.  It takes a bit of work but Canada is 99 and Australia 100.

The definitional problems are Greenland and Western Sahara.  Greenland is:

Greenland is a Danish-occupied territory of Denmark, but Greenland is not a member of the European Union. It is part of the North American continent, and Greenland is the largest island in the world, excluding Australia and Antarctica, which are continents. The prime minister of Greenland is Kim Kielsen.

It is large and if you think it is a country it is by far the one with the lowest population density and it would be the 12th largest country.

Western Sahara:

has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since the 1960s when it was a Spanish colony.[7] The Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front independence movement, with its Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) government, both want control of the territory.

If you think it is a country it is 238/78.  That makes it less dense than Canada and still in the top 100 in area.

Three lessons: First, be careful with wording.  The 100 largest counties will be interpreted as area. Second, cite your source.  Third, it is easy to dispute data and lead to confusion about the point.  Whether Kyle’s data is exactly right or not, his point that Canada has lots of space is right.  Sensitivity is important.

 

Punctuation

We can’t resist.  We saw a Nancy Pelosi tweet.

Too many Americans are struggling with a rigged economy. Democrats are committed to giving them [hashtag]

We think the correct punctuation moves the period:

Too many Americans are struggling with a rigged economy Democrats are committed to giving them.

Our excuse is that it was fun.  We doubt 2018 will be fun with the old, dismal Democrats versus grumbling GOP.  It is possible the choices in 2018 will be even less inspiring than the presidential ones in 2016.  The good news is that the stakes are lower without a president to elect.

 

E.G., The Hamburger Problem

Kyle Smith discusses the Left’s Hamburger Problem (HP) at NRO.  Kyle explains the phrase, coined by Josh Barro,  and why it is a problem for progressives as follows:

They ladle unto every decision, even the most mundane and trifling one, an unattractive glop of gooey political significance. They can’t resist warning the rest of us that we’re abetting the destruction of the planet every time we, say, tuck into a Quarter Pounder.

It is really worse than that because it means that progressives can’t wander off the reservation.  It is why minority conservatives are always under attack.  While Kyle was writing it a great example came up.  Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan CEO and Democrat, had a public rant about political gridlock.  Steven Hayward at PowerLine quoted it approvingly and asked, Dimon for President?

Naturally, the Left struck back because Dimon had suggested compromise.  At Vanity Fair, Bess Levin said that the Trump-Dimon Love Affair Was Getting Messy and William D Cohan explained: The Real Reason Jamie Dimon Went Berserk About America’s “Stupid Shit”. Jamie said, amongst other things:

I was just in France. I was recently in Argentina. I was in Israel. I was in Ireland. We met with the prime minister of India and China. It’s amazing to me that every single one of those countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth is good for the average citizens.”

But William concluded that it was about JP Morgan rather than average citizens.  William notes that JP Morgan is doing well lately and that Jamie is doing well.  After trying the envy route, William notes that folks are trying to repeal Dodd-Frank and that this would be good for JP Morgan.  William puts it:

Couple that with an improving economy, higher employment and wages, and the prospect that the Trump administration stands ready, willing, and able to improve the well-being of those who make money from money—by attempting to reduce corporate tax rates, say, or allowing companies a tax holiday on repatriating profits held overseas; and repealing much of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law that Wall Street has been trying to unwind ever since Barack Obamasigned it into law seven years ago—and it is hard to imagine a more favorable set of circumstances.

Sidebar: Perhaps William is the one with the crush on The Donald.  These do sound like great circumstances that we hope come to pass.  End Sidebar.

Eliminating Dodd-Frank is unlikely to help JP Morgan because Dodd-Frank is bad news for smaller banks and good news for banks like JP Morgan.  A strong economy is likely to be good for JP Morgan but will surely be good for the average citizens.

Next William goes off to complain about the Obama-era low interest rates being favorable to banks.  He says their raw materials are free.  But it also means that lending rates are low.  Bank profits are about the differences between those two rates.  William concludes:

Dimon wants Washington to end its continuous political gridlock and do things that will unleash the American economy to grow faster than the 1 percent to 2 percent annual G.D.P. growth-rate range that it has been stuck in for the past decade, what economist Larry Summers calls “secular stagnation.” Dimon rightly says that higher G.D.P. growth will help the average American, which of course will also help JPMorgan Chase (a fact he conveniently omits).

It doesn’t matter that William doesn’t make any sense.  What matters is that Jamie left the collective and needs to be reined in.  We hope he can continue to be the rarest of creatures, a serious leftist.  Otherwise, the HP will become worse.  It will be bad for Democrats but it will be bad for the country when there is only one choice.

 

Speaking Of Pro-Market

As we said recently, we are pro-market and the left is anti-market.  The Boston Globe has an example, Jeffrey D. Sachs:

Our current political travails can be traced to Reagan. In his jovial way, Reagan would quip, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” With his sneering disrespect for government, Reagan ushered in nearly four decades of tax cuts, deregulation, and rising inequality that now threaten to devour our future. Trump, Ryan, and McConnell are the scheming and vacuous politicians at the end of a long process of decline.

It would be hard to be jovial and at the same time have a sneering disrespect for government.  He did make some progress on tax cuts and deregulation (Jimmy Carter helped on deregulation) but much has been undone since he left.  Here is a recent example of the undoing.  We’re not sure about Trump but certainly Ryan and McConnell have been complicit in the regulating and taxing of the USA.

What is the left worried about an economic irrelevancy like income inequality?  Perhaps they see it as a path to power?  Envy is a common disease.  We need to fight for economic freedom and remind folks that absolute economic success is what we should pursue.  Eating the rich is not a useful way to accomplish that.

For example, in year one A earns $50,000 and B earns $50,000 and have no income inequality.  In year two A earns $100,000 and B earns $150,000 so there is income inequality as B has 60% of the income.  Both A and B should prefer year 2.

Economic freedom and the related economic growth are the solutions to our economic problems.  We need to use the effective tools like markets and see that the growth fairy lives.