How The Left Discriminates Against Those It Professes To Champion

I thought of the following Thomas Sowell excerpt via a Facebook discussion regarding illegal immigrants/immigration. Stephanie C. said the following:

  • Does anyone here know how many undocumented people live in SCV? [JUMP TO MORE DIRECT ANSWER] Seems like many people are assuming that if your Hispanic they must be undocumented. I hope people know that’s not the case.

California has the highest illegal immigrant population comparing states. And so the assumption of calling into question one’s “status” may be a logical leap in assumption. Which is why I thought of this Sowell portion of a book I just finished. Here is my Facebook response, followed by an excerpt from the aforementioned book (with a quick set-up for it):

I guess that would be another side-effect [harm] done by the open-borders people. Small companies wanting to hire legal aliens but not having the training or knowledge to know the difference, and so they stay away from them entirely. I just finished a Thomas Sowell book entitled, “Discrimination and Disparities,” and this short/concise book really opened up the consequences of actions.

For instance, businesses is black communities are apprehensive in hiring young black men. Businesses that do background checks hire more young black men than the national average. Businesses that do not do background checks stay away from this demographic.

The Democrats in many of these impoverished areas start campaigns or the largely Democrat city council say that doing background checks is bigoted and targets black workers. Racist in other words, the card overused as of late.

So they force these companies to cease-and-desist. And so these companies offering work experience, communication skills, a sense of pride in ones work, etc., are all thrown to the wayside….. these companies that would and did hire large quantities of young black men stay away from the demographic.

I will forego the posting of what Discrimination 1 and Discrimination 2 are, but the main point easily extracted herein is that Leftist Democrats (“Progressives”) stop background checks in employment due to a [wrongly] perceived targeting of black youth. And so this is yet another example of a problem CREATED through Leftist legislation and then used (black unemployment) to keep said demographic in a state of anger and voting for who will give hand-out and not who will allow the market to create opportunity. I believe the leadership of the Democrat Party has this in mind when doing stuff like this, the general Left leaning population just wants to feel good about their position (SEE QUOTE A).


Another example of a problem CREATED by Democrats and then used in a political manner to rile up it’s base against Trump and the GOP is the immigration battle in sanctuary states is this:


Here is the Sowell excerpt as promised…. FINALLY:

To take an extreme example of Discrimination 1b, for the sake of illustration, if 40 percent of the people in Group X are alcoholics and 1 percent of the people in Group Y are alcoholics, an employer may well prefer to hire only people from Group Y for work where an alcoholic would be not only ineffective but dangerous. This would mean that a majority of the people in Group X— 60 percent in this case— would be denied employment, even though they are not alcoholics.

What matters, crucially, to the employer is the cost of determining which individual is or is not an alcoholic, when job applicants all show up sober on the day when they are seeking employment.

This also matters to the customers who buy the employer’s products and to society as a whole. If alcoholics produce a higher proportion of products that turn out to be defective, that is a cost to customers, and that cost may take different forms. For example, the customer could buy the product and then discover that it is defective. Alternatively, defects in the product might be discovered at the factory and discarded. In this case, the customers will be charged higher prices for the products that are sold, since the costs of defective products that are discovered and discarded at the factory must be covered by the prices charged for the reliable products that pass the screening test and are sold.

To the extent that alcoholics are not only less competent but dangerous, the costs of those dangers are paid by either fellow employees who face those dangers on the job or by customers who buy dangerously defective products, or both. In short, there are serious costs inherent in the situation, so that either 60 percent of the people in Group X or employers or customers— or all three groups— end up paying the costs of the alcoholism of 40 percent of the people in Group X

This is certainly not judging each job applicant as an individual, so it is not Discrimination I in the purest sense of Discrimination Ia. On the other hand, it is also not Discrimination II, in the sense of decisions based on a personal bias or antipathy toward that group. The employer might well have personal friends from Group X, based on far more knowledge of those particular individuals than it is possible to get about job applicants, without prohibitive costs.

The point here is neither to justify nor condemn the employer but to classify different decision-making processes, so that their implications and consequences can be analyzed separately. If judging each person as an individual is Discrimination 1a, we can classify as Discrimination 1b basing decisions about groups on information that is correct for that group, though not necessarily correct for every individual in that group, nor necessarily even correct for a majority of the individuals in that group.

A real-life example of the effect of the cost of knowledge in this context is a study which showed that, despite the reluctance of many employers to hire young black males, because a significant proportion of them have criminal records (Discrimination 1b), those particular employers who automatically did criminal background checks on all their employees (Discrimination 1a) tended to hire more young black males than did other employers.1

In other words, where the nature of the work made criminal background checks worth the cost for all employees, it was no longer necessary to use group information to assess whether individual young black job applicants had a criminal background. This made young black job applicants without a criminal background more employable than before.

More is involved here than simply a question of nomenclature. It has implications for practical policies in the real world. Many observers, hoping to help young black males have more employment opportunities, have advocated prohibiting employers from asking job applicants questions about a criminal record. Moreover, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued employers who do criminal background checks on job applicants, on grounds that this was racial discrimination, even when it was applied to all job applicants, regardless of race.2 Empirically, however, criminal background checks provided more employment opportunities for young black males.

[1] Harry J. Holzer, Steven Raphael, and Michael A. Stoll, “Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers,” Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 49, No. 2 (October 2006), pp. 452, 473.

[2] Jason L. Riley, “Jobless Blacks Should Cheer Background Checks,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2013, p. All; Paul Sperry, “Background Checks Are Racist?Investor’s Business Daily, March 28, 2014, p. Al.

Thomas Sowell, Discrimination and Disparities (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2018), 23-25 (added references).

Here is an excerpt from Jason Riley’s piece mentioned in footnote #2 above, via HOT AIR:

On the contrary, an October 2006 study in the Journal of Law and Economics, “Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers,” found that “employers that check criminal backgrounds are in general more likely to hire African Americans,” according to Harry Holzer of Georgetown University and his two co-authors. “[T]he adverse consequence of employer-initiated background checks on the likelihood of hiring African Americans is more than offset by the positive effect of eliminating statistical discrimination.” These researchers surmise that employers who can screen for prison records are less likely to rely on prejudice when hiring.

Blacks aren’t the only beneficiaries. Analyzing “employer willingness to hire other stigmatized groups of workers (such as workers with gaps in their employment history),” they found the same pattern. The results, they wrote, “suggest that in the absence of background checks, employers use race, gaps in employment history, and other perceived correlates of criminal activity to assess the likelihood of an applicant’s previous felony convictions and factor such assessments into the hiring decision.”

Watch Jason Riley  discuss one of his books on C-SPAN’s Book TV interview.


CALIFORNIA UNDOCUMENTED POPULATION


This is with thanks to BLACK PIGEON SPEAKS! Using the numbers below and the idea (fact really) that the largest population of illegal immigrants live in California, I would say California illegal population is at least 13% of Cali’s population. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say, then, that it could be as high as 20% (so 2-of-every-10 residents). Here are some other factoids:

  • Most undocumented immigrants are from Latin America. Nationwide, 78% of undocumented immigrants are from Latin America—a slight majority (52%) come from Mexico alone. Most of the others (13%) are from Asia, although Africa and Europe also account for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the US. The Pew Research Center (PRC) estimates that as of 2014, 71% of California’s undocumented population was Mexican-born.

Yale Professor: There Are “22.8 Million Undocumented Immigrants” In America, Double Official Estimates

A working paper by Dr. Mohammad Fazel Zarandi from the Yale School of Management, coauthored by two other Yale professors, estimates that there are 22.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

This is over double estimates compiled by the Department of Homeland Security, which claims 11.1 million illegal aliens live in the US.

The paper’s abstract outlines some of the reasons why their estimate is both higher, and better than the current government statistics:

We apply standard operational principles of inflows and outflows to estimate the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States, using the best available data, including some that has only recently become available. We generate a lower bound for the number of undocumented immigrants using conservative parameter values that underestimate inflows and overestimate outflows.

Our lower bound is close to 17 million, 50% higher than the most prominent current estimate of 11.3 million, which is based on survey data and thus different sources and methods. Standard parameter values generate an estimate of 22.8 million undocumented immigrants, twice as large as the current estimate.

Conservatives have argued for well over a decade that the number of illegal immigrants is widely underestimated by the government, and think tanks which base their calculations on government data—finally academics are beginning to take an independent look at the problem.

But the fact that the paper needed to be written at all highlights an insidious problem: we really don’t know how many illegal immigrants live in the US.  With that in mind, I think it’s worth surveying the research on the topic—at the very least I’ll be able to give you some context for the broader debate….

The Cultural Roots of Campus Rage ~ Jonathan Haidt

Comments by Dennis Prager are at the bottom.

This is a great article via the WALL STREET JOURNAL. I clipped the base of the article as it might not be viewable at WSJ’s website. A great and insightful read (h-t to Dennis Prager):

When a mob at Vermont’s Middlebury College shut down a speech by social scientist Charles Murray a few weeks ago, most of us saw it as another instance of campus illiberalism. Jonathan Haidt saw something more—a ritual carried out by adherents of what he calls a “new religion,” an auto-da-fé against a heretic for a violation of orthodoxy.

“The great majority of college students want to learn. They’re perfectly reasonable, and they’re uncomfortable with a lot of what’s going on,” Mr. Haidt, a psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, tells me during a recent visit to his office. “But on each campus there are some true believers who have reoriented their lives around the fight against evil.”

THESE BELIEVERS ARE TRANSFORMING THE CAMPUS FROM A CITADEL OF INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM INTO A HOLY SPACE—WHERE WHITE PRIVILEGE HAS REPLACED ORIGINAL SIN, THE TRANSGRESSIONS OF CLASS AND RACE AND GENDER ARE CONFESSED NOT TO PRIESTS BUT TO “THE COMMUNITY,” VICTIM GROUPS ARE WORSHIPED LIKE GODS, AND THE SINNED-AGAINST ARE SUPPLICATED WITH “SAFE SPACES” AND “TRIGGER WARNINGS.”

The fundamentalists may be few, Mr. Haidt says, but they are “very intimidating” since they wield the threat of public shame. On some campuses, “they’ve been given the heckler’s veto, and are often granted it by an administration who won’t stand up to them either.”

ALL THIS HAS BECOME SOMETHING OF A PREOCCUPATION FOR THE 53-YEAR-OLD MR. HAIDT. A LONGTIME LIBERAL—HE RAN A GUN-CONTROL GROUP AS AN UNDERGRADUATE AT YALE—HE ADMITS HE “HAD NEVER ENCOUNTERED CONSERVATIVE IDEAS” UNTIL HIS MID-40S.

[…..]

“What we’re beginning to see now at Berkeley and at Middlebury hints that this [campus] religion has the potential to turn violent,” Mr. Haidt says. “The attack on the professor at Middlebury really frightened people,” he adds, referring to political scientist Allison Stanger, who wound up in a neck brace after protesters assaulted her as she left the venue.

The Berkeley episode Mr. Haidt mentions illustrates the Orwellian aspect of campus orthodoxy. A scheduled February appearance by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos prompted masked agitators to throw Molotov cocktails, smash windows, hurl rocks at police, and ultimately cause $100,000 worth of damage. The student newspaper ran an op-ed justifying the rioting under the headline “Violence helped ensure safety of students.” Read that twice.

Mr. Haidt can explain. Students like the op-ed author “are armed with a set of concepts and words that do not mean what you think they mean,” he says. “People older than 30 think that ‘violence’ generally involves some sort of physical threat or harm. But as students are using the word today, ‘violence’ is words that have a negative effect on members of the sacred victim groups. And so even silence can be violence.” It follows that if offensive speech is “violence,” then actual violence can be a form of self-defense.

Down the hall from Mr. Haidt’s office, I noticed a poster advertising a “bias response hotline” students can call “to report an experience of bias, discrimination or harassment.” I joke that NYU seems to have its own version of the morality police in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia. “It’s like East Germany,” Mr. Haidt replies—with students, at least some of them, playing the part of the Stasi.

How did we get here, and what can be done? On the first question, Mr. Haidt points to a braided set of causes. There’s the rise in political polarization, which is related to the relatively recent “political purification of the universities.” While the academy has leaned left since at least the 1920s, Mr. Haidt says “it was always just a lean.” Beginning in the early 1990s, as the professors of the Greatest Generation retired, it became a full-on tilt.

“Now there are no more conservative voices on the faculty or administration,” he says, exaggerating only a little. Heterodox Academy cites research showing that the ratio of left to right professors in 1995 was 2 to 1. Now it is 5 to 1.

The left, meanwhile, has undergone an ideological transformation. A generation ago, social justice was understood as equality of treatment and opportunity: “If gay people don’t have to right to marry and you organize a protest to apply pressure to get them that right, that’s justice,” Mr. Haidt says. “If black people are getting discriminated against in hiring and you fight that, that’s justice.”

Today justice means equal outcomes. “There are two ideas now in the academic left that weren’t there 10 years ago,” he says. “One is that everyone is racist because of unconscious bias, and the other is that everything is racist because of systemic racism.” That makes justice impossible to achieve: “When you cross that line into insisting if there’s not equal outcomes then some people and some institutions and some systems are racist, sexist, then you’re setting yourself up for eternal conflict and injustice.”

Perhaps most troubling, Mr. Haidt cites the new protectiveness in child-rearing over the past few decades. Historically, American children were left to their own devices and had to learn to deal with bullies. Today’s parents, out of compassion, handle it for them. “By the time students get to college they have much, much less experience with unpleasant social encounters, or even being insulted, excluded or marginalized,” Mr. Haidt says. “They expect there will be some adult, some authority, to rectify things.”

Combine that with the universities’ shift to a “customer is always right” mind-set. Add in social media. Suddenly it’s “very, very easy to bring mobs together,” Mr. Haidt says, and make “people very afraid to stand out or stand up for what they think is right.” Students and professors know, he adds, that “if you step out of line at all, you will be called a racist, sexist or homophobe. In fact it’s gotten so bad out there that there’s a new term—‘ophobophobia,’ which is the fear of being called x-ophobic.”

That fear runs deep—including in Mr. Haidt. When I ask him about how political homogeneity on campus informs the understanding of so-called rape culture, he clams up: “I can’t talk about that.” The topic of sexual assault—along with Islam—is too sensitive.

It’s a painfully ironic answer from a man dedicating his career to free thought and speech. But choosing his battles doesn’t mean Mr. Haidt is unwilling to fight. And he’s finding allies across the political spectrum.

[….]

Following the Middlebury incident, the unlikely duo of Democratic Socialist Cornel West and conservative Robert P. George published a statement denouncing “campus illiberalism” and calling for “truth seeking, democracy and freedom of thought and expression.” More than 2,500 scholars and other intellectuals have signed it. At Northwestern the student government became the first in the country to pass a resolution calling for academic freedom and viewpoint diversity.

[….]

He offers this real-world example: “I think that the ‘deplorables’ comment could well have changed the course of human history.”

Barbershop Fined $750 For Refusing To Cut Woman’s Hair

Dennis Prager comments on a case where a disgruntled woman has to ruin it for everyone else. And yet… people still vote Democratic.
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For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to visit: http://www.dennisprager.com/ ~ see also: http://www.prageruniversity.com/

Deafness and Egalitarianism

The relavent part is emboldened:

…One argument holds that we can reject what we consider outdated because we already reject a host of other Torah laws, such as capital punishment for violating the Sabbath or for cursing one’s parents.

But this argument is not compelling. It is one thing not to put a Torah punishment into practice and quite another to declare that a Torah sin is no longer a sin. I am unaware of any Jewish precedent for declaring that an act that the Torah condemns in its strongest terms is now completely acceptable.

Another argument holds that if the Torah knew what we “know” today, e.g., that homosexuality is genetic, the Torah would never have condemned it.

This argument is emotionally compelling – how can we oppose a condition that isn’t chosen? But it is not logically compelling.

First, no one – certainly not the Torah – opposes a condition; it is only behavior that is opposed. To cite a heterosexual example, virtually all people, especially men, are genetically programmed to be adulterers. Monogamy is not nature’s plan. Thus, the Torah only bans adultery, not an adulterous nature.

Second, we have only scant evidence that homosexuality is genetically inherited, and even that scant evidence is related only to male homosexuals, not to lesbians. Most lesbians acknowledge that their homosexuality is not genetic, and most evidence suggests that most lesbians became homosexual because of psychological conditioning, e.g., poor relations with her parent(s) or abuse by a man.

Third, even if homosexuality were genetic, this would have little impact on how we should view it. We have come to believe that there are genetic markers for alcoholism, yet we continue to regard it as a disease. Likewise, as painful as it is to say, the inability of a man to enjoy sex with a woman must be regarded as a flaw in what may otherwise be a superb human being. To understand this, a better analogy may be to deafness. It is better to be born with hearing than to be born deaf, yet no one considers deafness a moral flaw. So, too, heterosexuality is better than homosexuality, but homosexuality is not a moral flaw – a homosexual is as likely to be a kind and decent person as anyone else. The analogy is even more precise because there are many leaders of the deaf community who are offended by any suggestion that hearing is better than deafness – so much so that they oppose the cochlear implant, a surgical procedure that can give hearing to deaf children, on the grounds that it implies that hearing is superior to deafness.

We live in a time of radical egalitarianism – everything is equal, nothing may be regarded as superior to anything else. But Judaism is radically non-egalitarian – it constantly declares that some things are better than other things. One such declaration is that it is far better for men and women to sexually bond than for men and men or women and women to do so. Yet, to teach this basic tenet of Judaism – that society should hold opposite-sex love as its ideal – is to be labeled intolerant, bigoted, closed-minded, and homophobic….

(more)

 

Jason Riley on Good Intentions ~ “Stop Helping Us” (Stossel)

Jason Riley, author of “Please Stop Helping Us,” joins John to explain how well-intended government program have damaged blacks in America.

“If we are to be mothered, mother must know best…. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in.’ It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science…. Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others…. The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.”

[….]

 “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severley, because we have deserved it, because ‘ought to have known better,’ is to be treated as a human persons in God’s image.”  

C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2002), 292 (Full text).

 

Deadly Altruism Marks the Left ~ Illiberal Egalitarianism and the NYFD

This comes by way of HotAir and makes clear that whatever the left touches, it destroys:

This promises to turn into a sticky wicket for the New York City Fire Department. One of their upcoming graduates is going to be accepted into the ranks and go to work as a firefighter despite having failed a grueling physical test multiple times. This comes as a result of recent changes to the city’s criteria for how graduates are scored.

Rebecca Wax, 33, is set to graduate Tuesday from the Fire Academy without passing the Functional Skills Training test, a grueling obstacle course of job-related tasks performed in full gear with a limited air supply, an insider has revealed.

“They’re going to allow the first person to graduate without passing because this administration has lowered the standard,” said the insider, who is familiar with the training.

Upon graduation, Wax would be assigned to a firehouse and tasked with the full duties of a firefighter. Some FDNY members are angry.

“We’re being asked to go into a fire with someone who isn’t 100 percent qualified,” the source said. “Our job is a team effort. If there’s a weak link in the chain, either civilians or our members can die.”

…..[she] failed to complete… climbing in full gear while carrying heavy equipment, rescuing victims in zero visibility, breaking down doors, and doing it all while breathing oxygen from a tank on a limited timer….

…read more…

This brings to memory two quotes that bring the point home, a point that a reader on my FaceBook blog pointed out:

  • “Hopefully the first person she has to LIFT out of a burning building will be a feminist…because obviously it will not matter, that she is unqualified.”

If there is indeed a social revolution under way, it shouldn’t stop with women’s choice to honor their [own] nature. It must also include a newfound respect for men. It was New York City’s firemen who dared to charge up the stairs of the burning Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The death tally of New York City’s firefighters was: men 343, women 0. Can anyone honestly say you would have wanted a woman coming to your rescue on that fateful day?

Suzanne Venker & Phyllis Schlafly, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2011), 181-182.

Here is the “CS LEWIS” of politics:

There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)

The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government.

We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.

But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….

….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….

….”Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immediately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….

…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government pro-grams, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a program, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the proprietor a bad business decision.)*

Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority contracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men.


* No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”

As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will necessarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.

David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 12

And here is some good commentary by Julie Borowski:

…The young woman couldn’t complete the job-related obstacle course in that allotted amount of time. She only completed the course once after multiple attempts and it took her 22 minutes.

She failed and she shouldn’t be graduating.

This shouldn’t be about sparing feelings.

Look, nothing against her personally. Being a firefighter clearly isn’t for everyone. It’s physically demanding work. A firefighter who doesn’t meet the stringent physical standards could put other firefighters and civilians in harm’s way.

This comes at a time when the fire department is under pressure by Mayor de Blasio to hire more women. They have even gone so far as making the FST test easier to avoid sex discrimination lawsuits.

Unbelievable….

….It doesn’t help them that the FDNY is hiring women who, frankly, aren’t capable of performing the job because they didn’t pass the test. I’m sure the 44 female firefighters in New York City aren’t too pleased about their work being devalued.

Physical fitness tests are not sexist. It is sexist to hire someone based on their gender, though.

…read it all…

Liberal Egalitarianism Fights the Important Battles of Our Day ~ NOT! (Libs vs. Washington Redskins)

~UPDATED with MSNBC and Prager article ~

(video is via HotAir)

Via Townhall.com:

“The word redskin has a relatively innocent history. As Smithsonian linguist Ives Goddard has shown, European settlers in the 18th century seem to have adopted the term from Native Americans, who used ‘red skin’ to describe themselves, and it was generally a descriptor, not an insult.”

So, then, what’s so bad about the name Redskins?

Slate Argument One: “Here’s a quick thought experiment: Would any team, naming itself today, choose “Redskins” or adopt the team’s Indian-head logo? Of course it wouldn’t.”

Response: There are many teams with names that wouldn’t be adopted today. Who would name a team the “Red Sox,” “White Sox,” “Packers,” “Dodgers,” “Forty-Niners,” “Steelers,” or, for that matter, “Yankees?”

Slate Argument Two: “While the name Redskins is only a bit offensive, it’s extremely tacky and dated — like an old aunt who still talks about ‘colored people.’ … “

Response: Since Slate dismisses the term “colored people” as “tacky and dated,” why doesn’t it call on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP), to change its name?

Slate Argument Three: “Changing how you talk changes how you think. … Replacing ‘same-sex marriage’ with ‘marriage equality’ helped make gay marriage a universal cause rather than a special pleading.”

Response: It’s nice to have at least one left-wing source acknowledge how the left changes language to promote its causes. When more and more people began to suspect that global warming was not about to bring an apocalypse, and that, at the very least, it is in a pause mode, the left changed the term to “climate change.”

The “marriage equality” substitution for “same-sex marriage” is just one more example of dishonest manipulation of English.

Orwellian manipulation of language by the left would be reason enough to oppose dropping “Redskins,” a nearly 80-year-old tradition venerated by millions.

Argument Four is the key argument, offered by the Atlantic, in its support of Slate:

Response: “Whether people ‘should’ be offended by it or not doesn’t matter; the fact that some people are offended by it does.”

This is classic modern liberalism. It is why I have dubbed our age “The Age of Feelings.”

In classic progressive fashion, the Atlantic writer commits two important errors.

First, it does matter “whether people ‘should’ feel offended.” If we ceased using all arguments or descriptions because some people feel offended, we would cease using any arguments or descriptions. We should use the “reasonable person” test to determine what is offensive, not the “some people are offended” criterion.

On a recent broadcast of my radio show, I played excerpts of winning songs from the recent Eurovision Contest. One of them was from Hungary, and after I announced the Hungarian title, I jokingly translated it as “Let’s invade Romania.”

A man called up, and in unaccented English said he was of Hungarian stock and that I should apologize for offending him and Hungarians generally. I told him that his taking offense at a harmless joke was his problem, not what I said.

Teaching people to take offense is one of the left’s black arts. Outside of sex and drugs, the left is pretty much joyless and it kills joy constantly. The war on the “Redskins” name is just the latest example.

Second, it is the left that specializes in offending: labeling the Tea Party racist, public cursing, displaying crucifixes in urine, and regularly calling Republicans evil (Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column last month, wrote that the Republican mindset “takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.” For such people to find the name “Redskins” offensive is a hoot.

[….]

The logo of the National Hockey League team, the Ottawa Senators, features a helmeted male senator of the Roman Empire. In the name of not offending the transgendered and of gender equality, the left will one day find that offensive, too; and demand that the logo feature a helmeted female as well.

…read more…

 Now for Prager’s insights… more coming today I am sure!

Some info from NewsBusters on this:

….Additionally, there’s no credible data to show Native Americans are seething over the team’s name, either. A survey done by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2003 and 2004 found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins name.

The clamor for a name change appears to be coming from a relatively small number of politically liberal Native Americans, and from white liberals in the media. It could turn into a dangerous and slippery slope. For if the Redskins are pressured to change their name, shouldn’t the Cleveland Indians change theirs as well? What about the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, and the many high schools and colleges that use Native American-themed nicknames? While we’re at it, let’s coerce Notre Dame to change its nickname as well. “Fighting Irish” is demeaning to our Irish-American brothers and sisters….

Newsmax lists some other orgs that will cease using it as well:

…In response to Slate’s announcement, New Republic editor Franklin Foer Tweeted on Thursday that his publication would follow suit.

The liberal magazine Mother Jones said on Friday it would also avoid using the name.

Other newspapers, websites and sports writers have taken similar stands, including The Washington City Paper, Washington online site DCist.com, the Kansas City Star newspaper and football writers at the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Daily News.

The National Congress of American Indians, an advocacy group, said Slate.com recognized “the derogatory origins and nature of the team’s name.”

Representatives for the team declined to comment about the decisions by Slate and the other media organizations, but team owner Daniel Snyder recently told the newspaper USA Today, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. Never. You can use all caps.”…

A Question Posed to Me By an Open-Minded Young Man About `Affirmative Action,` Via My Face Book

A young man [A childhood friend of one of my sons] who does not agree with my viewpoints on some issues (many issues in fact) still is open minded enough to ask a serious question expecting some serious input to continue his thinking on the matter. Learning should not become stagnant, but should be a lifelong adventure. This person is doing just that, in the least trying to understand the opposing viewpoint. For this I laud him.

Here is the question:

“Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on affirmative action?”

Here is my response:

Not a big fan at all. It is interesting, I just finished a book entitled, “Wrong on Race: The Democrat Party’s Buried Past,” and at the end of the book he gave some ideas that the Republicans could spearhead some ideas to end racial preferences altogether. One is (and I don’t know how much I like his ideas… but at least he is being innovative) that blacks would not have to pay Federal Income Tax for a generation or two, and then all race based programs could be ended… and we could truly be a color blind society. At least as the government is concerned. (You will never be able to change human nature and its depravity.)

A book I highly recommend (and is relatively short) that help zero in on this topic is a book by Thomas Sowell, “Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?” It is a bit dated but there are timeless ideas in it. A more academic study is his book, “Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study,” by Sowell. (Although I haven’t read the book, I trust Walter Williams input from his newest book [on my 2013 reading list]: “Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?“).

Again, two books easily digested that should be read by the serious student that are short and full of timeless wisdom:

★ “Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?” by Thomas Sowell;
★ and, “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era,” by Shelby Steele.

I look at it like this. Let’s say you have a law firm and many of your cases are with Hollywood moguls and you have even had a couple of your lawyers argue before the Supreme Court. You need lawyers that know their law and have a record of academic achievement. You go to Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, etc. to pull from the pool new Lawyers. Walking around are future graduates with signs around their necks that say:

★ I got into ______________ because I competed and scored higher than most on my SATS and was near the top of my undergraduate classes;

★ I got into ______________ because my parents or grandparents gave millions of dollars to their alma mater;

★ I got into ______________ because I am black.

(By-the-by, I used the example of a rich privileged “white” student because I know this person views much of the world through the lenses of the liberal trinity, that is: race, class, gender. I used an example he would agree with, so if “a” is true [rich privileged kid], why isn’t “b” true [poor privileged kid].) I would be just as skeptical of the uber-rich kid who has parents building wings in the university as I would about a person getting in due to affirmative action. And if you ran a business that by nature [all] are competitive, you are looking for people who can be the best.

Not only does this hurt the workforce, but it hurts the educational system as well. To wit, I just uploaded a 5-minute blurb from Thomas Sowell. It is worth listening to:

Here is likewise a short audio with Larry Elder making some key points in a 6-minute audio. What this shows is that like with many “feelings based” policy, the people harmed are the intended target of help.

I finished off my thinking with David Mamet, an ex-progressive, explaining the idea of feelings based laws:

There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)

The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government.

We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.

But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….

….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….

….”Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immedi­ately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….

…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government pro­grams, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a pro­gram, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the pro­prietor a bad business decision.)*

Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority con­tracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men.

————————————————————–

*No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”

As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will neces­sarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.

David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.

Tammy Bruce Posts About a Man Who Was Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail for Catching Rain Water on His Own Property

AS the government grows larger, the individual becomes smaller. Via Tammy Bruce:

Obviously outrageous. Federal *and* state governments, and all their minions, are completely out of control.

Via CNS.

Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural property surrendered Wednesday morning to begin serving his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore.
“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.

Several people held signs that showed support for Harrington as he was taken inside the jail.

Harrington was found guilty two weeks ago of breaking a 1925 law for having, what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property. He was convicted of nine misdemeanors, sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined over $1500 for collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his property…Harrington says he is not diverting the state’s water — merely collecting rainwater and snow melt that falls or flows on his own property.

Harrington has vowed to continue to fight the penalty, stating that the government has become “big bullies” and that “from here on in, I’m going to fight it.”

`Socialism or Capitalism?` ~ Concepts (7-14-2012)

(As usual, you can click the article to enlarge) I do not have the time to delve into John’s latest like I would want, but simply, I wish to respond to three ideas in the article. For instance, John said:

  • Should the government never get involved in private enterprise or should it create a fair playing field for all participants? Most of the time, the latter is already the case.

Firstly, “never,” is setting up a false dichotomy, a straw-man. He is using an extreme to set up his case. secondly, this is the divide between progressives and conservatives that Dennis Prager zeroes in on so well — Prosperity or Egalitarianism:

Two Models: Prosperity or Egalitarianism from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

Johns second statement is this one, and I will again zero in on some California examples (where John lives) so the reader can understand what government involvement means. John says

  • When I buy a product from a hardware store, I am satisfied, the owner is satisfied, the government gets its share and the employees get to keep their jobs. There are many win-wins. Why do some people perceive the government as a friend, others as an enemy?

Here is the answer with a great example from a few years back, right down the road a bit from both John and I… it comes from an article I have saved from the June 26, 2002 Daily News, Editorial Section, entitled “Killing Jobs”:

Billingsley’s Restaurant at the Van Nuys Golf Course may soon fall victim to the economic illiteracy of the Los Angeles City Council [almost all liberals by the by].

Five years ago, the council pandered to organized labor by passing a measure requiring all businesses that contract with the city to pay their employees a “living wage,” an hourly salary tied to the Consumer Price Index that tends to run about three dollars more than the California minimum wage.

The measure, intended to bolster economic status of the city’s working families, was a classic example of arrogant politicians thinking they could magically legislate wealth into existence.

But grandiose schemes have consequences. Extra money for salaries has to come from somewhere. Usually from customers, workers or taxpayers who end up paying the bill.

Billingsley’s is a case in point of what’s wrong with this scheme [which Santa Monica has made policy].

Because the restaurant’s lease on the city-owned golf course is up for renewal, it will soon have to start paying the living wage, which owner Drew Billingsley says will cost him $100,00 a year [keep in mind this is not only in wages, but the time and money spent on the mountains of new paperwork to make sure he is following this new regulation]. In an effort to meet that expense, he has laid off as many employees as possible, but its not enough.

Thus Billingsley now has two choices: Either he can raise prices and alienate his loyale clientele (which consists largely of retirees on fixed incomes), or he can close up shop altogether.

Either way, the community will suffer. That’s what happens when feel-good posturing, not sound policy, governs lawmaking.

City Hall has done its best to chase away well-paying jobs, and public schools have done their worst at educating people so they aren’t qualified for well-paying jobs. Artificial living wages won’t solve real people’s problems.

Loss of jobs and customer dissatisfaction are the result of government interference. Here are more examples noted by Dennis Prager:

More Businesses Leave California from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

And any person should acknowledge why someone should “fear” government more than business. In fact, I made this point on my FB outgrowth of this blog in talking to my liberal friend:

…you see, when the government chooses winners-and-losers instead of getting contracts with private companies (like Ford, GM, etc.), they are invested to [i.e., forced to] only choose a government run business and stock their fish (so-to-speak) with GM fleets… leaving the non-government company to flounder.

This next audio (below/left) deals with the differences of the Koch brothers, in comparison to the Left’s version of them, Soros. There are many areas that one can discuss about the two… but let us focus in on the main/foundational difference. One wants a large government that is able to legislate more than just what kind of light-bulbs one can use in the privacy of their own home. Soros wants large government able to control a large portion of the economy (see link to chart below), and he has been very vocal on this goal. The other party always mentioned are the Koch brothers. These rich conservatives want a weak government. A government that cannot effect our daily lives nearly as much (personal, business, etc) as the Soros enterprise wants. And really, if you think about it, what business can really “harm” you, when people come to my door with pistols on their hip… are they a) more likely to be from GM, or, b) from the IRS?

The possibility of them being from the IRS is even more possible with the passing of Obama-Care [i.e., larger government]. So the “fear” (audio in next comment) I think the Left has of “Big-Business” is unfounded, and the problem comes when big-business gets in bed with big-government. Here I am thinking of (like with the penalties that were found to be Constitutional in the recent SCOTUS decision) a government that can penalize you if you do not buy a Chevy Volt, or some other green car in order to save the planet. When this happens, guys coming to my door because of unpaid (hypothetical… but historical examples abound of the tax history of our nation) “fines” are likely to be IRS agents because of a personal choice made in the “free-market.”

Appendix: If the above example didn’t inspire any liberal fear (forced to go green or be penalized), maybe this one will

…First, the government needs to issue a mandate that all households must own at least one firearm. We will need a federal agency to ensure that people aren’t just buying cheap BB guns or .22 pistols, even though that may be all they need or want. It has to be 9mm or above, with .44 magnums getting a one-time tax credit on their own. Let’s pick an agency known for its aptitude on firearms and home protection to issue required annual certifications each year, without which the government will have to levy hefty fines. Which agency would do the best job? Hmmmm … I know! How about TSA? With their track record of excellence, we should have no problems implementing this mandate.

Don’t want to own a gun? Hey, no worries. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says citizens have the right to refuse to comply with mandates. The government will just seize some of your cash in fines, that’s all. Isn’t choice great? Those fines will go toward federal credits that will fund firearm purchases for the less well off, so that they can protect their homes as adequately as those who can afford guns on their own. Since they generally live in neighborhoods where police response is appreciably worse than their higher-earning fellow Americans, they need them more anyway. Besides — gun ownership is actually mentioned in the Constitution, unlike health care, which isn’t. Obviously, that means that the federal government should be funding gun ownership….

…read more…

This is why people fear government, to answer John’s question. Thirdly, John tackles charity versus government mandated “charity.”

  • Why should charity be a virtue for a person, but a sin or fault for a government? Why is it a virtue for every church, but “socialism” for a government? You might say in one situation it is voluntary; in the other, it is mandated by law. You would be right, but ask people if they can do without their mandated Social Security or without their mandated Medicare. My guess is that most would be in deep poverty.

Here are some analogies to make the point and then some comparison of the effectiveness of such ideas.

A great analogy that explains the dilemma of our “redistribution program” here in America (welfare, food stamps, or Medicaid, etc.) is one of a triplex.  I must thank Neal Boortz for this analogy (his book, The Terrible Truth About Liberals), by the by.

Our government, as our Constitution says, derives its powers “from the consent of the governed.” The idea here is that we cannot and should not ask the government to do anything for us that we cannot legally or morally do for ourselves.  Sounds logical, doesn’t it?  With that premise in mind, lets build the following scenario.

You live in a triplex.  You are in apartment No. 1, Johnson is in apartment No. 2, and Wilson lives in No. 3.  You discover that Wilson is ill and cannot work.  He never bothered to buy a health insurance policy because he just didn’t believe he would need it for quite some time.  Wilson, it seems, is not good at making rational decisions.  He has no savings because it was more important to use that money for bondo on his Camaro and a good Panama City Beach vacation every summer.

You believe that Wilson is about to starve to death.  His electricity is going to be cut off, and he can’t afford to buy his blood pressure medication.  You decide to help, charitable soul that you are.  You scrounge through your bank account and find $200 to help your neighbor out.

Good for you.  What a guy!

A month later Wilson is still in trouble.  Your $200 wasn’t enough.  It turns out that he spent $20 for a case of beer and at least another $100 or so at the horse races.  Things may not be all that desperate, though.  One of the thirty-five Lotto tickets he bought with that carton of cigarettes might pan out.

You decide to visit Johnson in apartment No. 2 to see if he can chip in.  Johnson tells you that, while he certainly understands the seriousness of Wilson’s situation, he needs his money to send his daughter to college in the fall and to pay some of his own medical bills.  Besides, he’s trying to save up some cash for a down payment on a house so he can get out of this weird apartment building.

You make the determination that it is far more important for Wilson to have some of Johnson’s money than it is for Johnson to keep it and spend it on his own daughter’s education and a new home.  So, here’s the question:

“Do you have the right to pull out a gun and point it right at the middle of Johnson’s forehead?  Can you use that gun to compel Johnson to hand over a few hundred dollars for Wilson’s care, and then tell Johnson that you’ll be back for more next month?”

Obviously, when put like this, you won’t run into too many people who will tell you that they have the right to take Johnson’s money by force and give it to Wilson.  They might say that they would try to talk Johnson into being a bit more charitable, but they don’t think that they have the right to just rob him at gunpoint.  But this is the next question:

Well, if our government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, how can you ask your government to do something for you that, if you did it for yourself, would be a crime?  Why would it not be OK for you to take that money from Johnson by force and give it to Wilson, but it would be perfectly OK with you if the government went ahead and did it?”

Last time I checked, IRS agents were armed.

Another way to put this is an example from J. Budziszewski’s book, The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man:

a. On a dark street, a man draws a knife and demands my money for drugs.

b. Instead of demanding my money for drugs, he demands it for the Church.

c. Instead of being alone, he is with a bishop of the Church who act as bagman.

d. Instead of drawing a knife, he produces a policeman who says I must do as he says.

e. Instead of meeting me on the street, he mails me his demand as an official agent of the government.

If the first is theft, it is difficult to see why the other four are not also theft.

Here is the idea as put forward by University Republicans (audio is not ideal):

From video description:

Many students believe that it is moral to confiscate money from hard-working Americans and entrepreneurs and give it to those who didn’t earn it, yet don’t support the same philosophy when it is applied to their GPA scores. Check out our website http://www.ExposingLeftists.com and follow us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ExposingLeftists

Another aspect of this is exemplified in how well private business/charities/churches can do what government cannot. In regards to Social Security, the CATO Institute explains a bit about the Chilean model that would work well here in the Stetes:

…Chile allowed every worker to choose whether to stay in the state-run, pay-as-you-go social security system or to put the whole payroll tax into an individual retirement account. For the first time in history we have allowed the common worker to benefit from one of the most powerful forces on earth: compound interest.

Some 93% of Chilean workers chose the new system. They trust the private sector and prefer market risk to political risk. If you invest money in the market, it could go up or down. Over a 40-year period, though, a diversified portfolio will have very low risk and provide a positive rate of real return. But when the government runs the pension system, it can slash benefits at any time.

The Chilean system is run completely by private companies. We now have 15 mutual funds competing for workers’ savings.

We guaranteed benefits for the elderly — we told those people who had already retired that they had nothing to fear from this reform. We also told people entering the labor force for the first time that they had to go to the new system.

Today, all workers in Chile are capitalists, because their money is invested in the stock market. And they also understand that if government tomorrow were to create the conditions for inflation, they would be damaged because some of the money is also invested in bonds — around 60%. So the whole working population of Chile has a vested interest in sound economic policies and a pro-market, pro-private-enterprise environment.

There have been enormous external benefits: the savings rate of Chile was 10% of gross national product traditionally. It has gone up to 27% of GNP. The payroll tax in Chile is zero. Of course we have an estate tax and an income tax, but not a payroll tax. With full employment and a 27% savings rate, the rate of growth of the Chilean economy has doubled….

The bottom line: Government spends about 70% of tax dollars to get 30% of tax dollars to the needy. The private sector does the opposite, spending about 30% or less to get 70% of aid to the needy.

Again, the savings rate in Chile went up from 10% to 27% of GNP. There’s no payroll tax, and with full employment and that great savings rate, the economy has blossomed. Here is the second portion I think is important, that is, private interests redistribute a higher percentage per dollar. I will end with this great question/answer post:

Question:

About ten years ago you wrote: “When help is given privately, approximately 80% of each charitable dollar gets to a worthy recipient. Only 20% of each tax welfare dollar reaches the poor.”

This is a very powerful argument for why government should leave issues of the poor and disabled to non-profits and people who care. In fact, those numbers make it sound almost cruel to support government welfare programs. What’s your source for this estimate?

Answer:

I am currently using a slightly more conservative figure, though it still makes the same point. I would now, if asked, say: “When help is given privately, 70% or more of each charitable dollar gets to a worthy recipient. But only about 30% of each tax welfare dollar reaches the needy.”

Here is a citable source for that. The Costs of Public Income Redistribution and Private Charity [pdf], by economist James Rolph Edwards, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, Number 2 (Summer 2007).

On pages one and two, Edwards cites two studies, over a seven-year period, backing up that figure. He writes:

“[Government] income redistribution agencies are estimated to absorb about two-thirds of each dollar budgeted to them in overhead costs, and in some cases as much as three-quarters of each dollar. Using government data, Robert L. Woodson (1989, p. 63) calculated that, on average, 70 cents of each dollar budgeted for government assistance goes not to the poor, but to the members of the welfare bureaucracy and others serving the poor. Michael Tanner (1996, p. 136 n. 18) cites regional studies supporting this 70/30 split.

“In contrast, administrative and other operating costs in private charities absorb, on average, only one-third or less of each dollar donated, leaving the other two-thirds (or more) to be delivered to recipients. Charity Navigator, the newest of several private sector organizations that rate charities by various criteria and supply that information to the public on their web sites, found that, as of 2004, 70 percent of charities they rated spent at least 75 percent of their budgets on the programs and services they exist to provide, and 90 percent spent at least 65 percent. The median administrative expense among all charities in their sample was only 10.3 percent.”

Later on he adds: “In fact, the average cost of private charity generally is almost certainly lower than the one-quarter to one-third estimated by Charity Navigator and other private sector charity rating services…” and tells why.

The bottom line: Government spends about 70% of tax dollars to get 30% of tax dollars to the needy. The private sector does the opposite, spending about 30% or less to get 70% of aid to the needy.

There is much more of interest in that article, including this important observation:

“[R]aising only half as much money through voluntary donations, the private agencies (and families) could deliver the same amount as the government, saving, in the process, all the costs the government imposes on the public through the compulsory taxation. Given that aiding the poor must have large support among the public for coercive government redistribution to be policy, couldn’t the supporters raise, through voluntary donations from among themselves, half the amount that would have to be raised through taxation, and avoid coercing the rest of the nonpoor public?”

That’s the promise the libertarian vision offers: more effective aid for the poor and needy than ever before, delivered voluntarily by the private sector at a far smaller cost than today’s welfare state.

I laugh sometimes at myself… because I started out the post with, “I do not have the time to delve into John’s latest like I would want.” I ended up giving a pretty thorough refutation as if I had time.

New York Ban on Sodas ~ S.E. Cupp Leads Discussion @Real News

If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in.’ It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.

[….]

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock