Archive for Demographics

The Democrat’s War On African Americans

I’m back in town now, enjoying the beautiful New England weather, but still struggling a bit with jet lag. I do have a question though – Why do democrats hate African Americans? I mean why do they insist on bringing in hundreds of thousands of illegals, many of whom will do the low-skill work that many people in minority communities do today? Have they not noticed that the unemployment rate among African Americans is about twice what it is among whites? Isn’t this cruel?

Honestly, why would our first African American President be so damn hard on the African American community?

- Aggie

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The Devil’s in the Demographics

Careful readers here may recall my links to articles by Joel Kotkin. Like Mark Steyn, he’s a demographics geek, only his interest is domestic demographics.

He notes some interesting things:

Perhaps no issue looms over American politics more than worsening inequality and the stunting of the road to upward mobility.

That ought to get the liberals’ attention!

Scholars of the geography of American inequality have different theses but on certain issues there seems to be broad agreement. An extensive examination by University of Washington geographer Richard Morrill found that the worst economic inequality is largely in the country’s biggest cities, as well as in isolated rural stretches in places like Appalachia, the Rio Grande Valley and parts of the desert Southwest.

I’m going to skip the rural pockets of inequality because who’s got any money in Appalachia? But the big cities? Oh yeah, there’s still lots of money in the big cities:

Most studies agree that large urban centers, which were once meccas of upward mobility, consistently have the highest level of inequality. The modern “back to the city” movement is increasingly less about creating opportunity rather than what former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called “a luxury product” focused on tapping the trickle down from the very wealthy. Increasingly our most “successful cities” have become as journalist Simon Kuper puts it, “the vast gated communities where the one percent reproduces itself.”

The most profound level of inequality and bifurcated class structure can be found in the densest and most influential urban environment in North America — Manhattan. In 1980 Manhattan ranked 17th among the nation’s counties in income inequality; it now ranks the worst among the country’s largest counties.

The most commonly used measure of inequality is the Gini index, which ranges between 0, which would be complete equality (everyone in a community has the same income), and 1, which is complete inequality (one person has all the income, all others none). Manhattan’s Gini index stood at 0.596 in 2012, higher than that of South Africa before the Apartheid-ending 1994 election. (The U.S. average is 0.471.) If Manhattan were a country, it would rank sixth highest in income inequality in the world out of more than 130 for which the World Bank reports data. In 2009 New York’s wealthiest one percent earned a third of the entire municipality’s personal income — almost twice the proportion for the rest of the country.

You know what’s worse, libs? If Horatio Alger were writing today, he’d set his stories not in the Lower East Side, but in Fort Lee, NJ and Darien, CT!

Demographer Wendell Cox pointed out that the Harvard research found that commuting zones (similar to metropolitan areas) with less than 100,000 population average have the highest average upward income mobility.

You want to really choke on your chai? This is what else the Hahvid study reported:

[I]t actually found the highest rates of upward mobility in more sprawling, transit-oriented metropolitan areas like Salt Lake City, small cities of the Great Plains such as Bismarck, N.D.; Yankton, S.D.; Pecos, Texas; and even Bakersfield, Calif.

Salt Lake City…? Bakersfield…? Pecos, Texas…?


It would seem that all the inner city disadvantaged have to do is move out of New York and LA to Bismark, North Dakota—instant riches (not least from the energy boom)!

Just don’t move upstate:

Another example of this dichotomy — perhaps best described as the dilemma of being a “red state” economy in a blue state — can be seen in upstate New York, where by virtually all the measurements of upward mobility — job growth, median income, income growth — the region ranked below long-impoverished southern Appalachia as of the mid-2000s. The prospect of developing the area’s considerable natural gas resources was welcomed by many impoverished small landowners, but it has been stymied by a coalition of environmentalists in local university towns and plutocrats and celebrities who have retired to the area or have second homes there, including many New York City-based “progressives.”

I could just stop here and dance my celebratory sand-in-the-face dance, but that would be dishonest. Or at least incomplete:

There is also a very clear correlation between high numbers of certain groups — notably African Americans but also Hispanics — and extreme inequality. Morrill’s analysis shows a huge confluence between states with the largest income gaps, largely in the South and Southwest, with the highest concentrations of these historically disadvantaged ethnic groups.

In contrast, Morrill suggests, areas that are heavily homogeneous, notably the “Nordic belt” that cuts across the northern Great Lakes all the way to the Seattle area, have the least degree of poverty and inequality. Morrill suggests that those areas dominated by certain ethnic backgrounds — German, Scandinavian, Asian — may enjoy far more upward mobility and less poverty than others.

Some, such as UC Davis’ Gregory Clark even suggest that parentage determines success more than anyone suspects — what the Economist has labeled “genetic determinism.” None of this is particularly pleasant but we need to understand the geography of inequality if we want to understand the root causes of why so many Americans remain stuck at the lower ends of the economic order.

This feels tacked on at the end, but it still raises an important—vital—issue. If people are still interested in having “conversations on race” (really more like conversations on “ra-a-a-acism!”), we should address this fundamental question. Did rich white folk put the black man in the ghetto, or is he unwilling or unable get out?

“None of this is particularly pleasant.” That’s putting it mildly.


Turning Japanese

I’m turning Japanese
I think I’m turning Japanese
I really think so

This insipid song from the 80s makes more sense than this stupid story

The announcement that Japan’s population fell by almost a quarter of a million in 2013 – the fifth consecutive annual fall – brought warnings that the country may be in terminal decline.

Japan has the world’s oldest population, with a median age of 46 years, an average lifespan of 84, and a quarter of the population over 65. But this doesn’t have to mean a gloomy future. What happens in the coming years might even point the way for other countries.

Japanese longevity can’t compensate for its ultra-low fertility rate – just 1.4 children per woman. Hard-working Japanese society has “embraced voluntary mass childlessness”, says Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC. One in four don’t have children. Some European countries also have low fertility rates, but top up with migrants. Insular Japan does not.

Not only do Japanese not have immigrants and not have children, they don’t have sex.

Who needs kids?

The conventional view is that this is bad news: shrinking numbers hobble economic growth and the ageing population is a major financial burden. But Eberstadt says there is another side. The proportion of Japan’s population that is dependent on those of working age isn’t unusual, he says, it’s just that it has almost twice as many over-65s as children. Consequently Japan spends less on education. And because the Japanese are the world’s healthiest, care bills are also lower than in other nations.

Thanks to the falling population, individual income has been rising strongly – outperforming most US citizens’.

With 127 million people, Japan is hardly empty. But fewer people in future will mean it has more living space, more arable land per head, and a higher quality of life, says Eberstadt. Its demands on the planet for food and other resources will also lessen.

There you go. It’s about human vermin crawling all over the lovely planet. Were Japanese people starving from a shortage of arable land? Are their 127 million people seriously straining “the planet”?

It’s not just Japanese who are “vermin”: we’re all vermin now!

Japan isn’t alone in demographic contraction: Russia, Romania and Hungary all follow the trend. For many more, it is being delayed by immigration. But the global population bomb is slowly being defused. As Swedish statistician Hans Rosling first noted, the world recently reached “peak child” – the point where the number of children aged 0 to 14 around the globe levels off. Global fertility rates have halved in 40 years – they are now below 2.5 children per woman – and global population may peak soon.

So, far from being a demographic outlier, Japan is “the world leader in demographic change”, says Aoki.

As Japan goes, so goes Romania! What a selling point. And if immigration is supposed to be a savior of childless societies, look at Malmo and the banlieues of Paris to see how Swedish and French their immigrant communities are.

[O]thers believe that peak population is a necessary first step to reducing our assault on the planet’s life-support systems. In that case, following Japan’s example may be just the ticket.

I really don’t care how many people there are on the planet. I’m already here, and so are my offspring. The rest of humanity can go screw (or not, if Japanese). But don’t sell me chicken[bleep] and call it chicken salad. The “planet’s resources” are fine; societies that have their acts together (a small minority, granted, though including Japan) can feed, clothe, house their citizens with relative ease. You want to save humanity (they don’t) and save the planet (they do), implement free market reforms.

And if you seriously think we can afford decades of retired oldsters because we’ll be spending less on pre-K, I have some vintage sushi for sale. Mark Steyn is laughing has ass off.


Obama To Middle Class: See ‘Ya! Wouldn’t Wanna Be ‘Ya!

Obamacare has caused loss of roughly 146,000 full-time jobs per month over past year

A major provision of ObamaCare requires companies to provide health insurance to any employee who works more than 30 hours a week or pay a $2,000 per-person fine. Not surprisingly, the number of hourly employees working 30-34 hours a week dropped by an average of 146,500 a month over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number working 25-29 hours rose by 119,000 a month.

Consider individual workers such as single working mothers who need at least 35 hours waiting tables plus tips to make ends meet. If they are cut to under 30 hours, they will have to look for second jobs. If these moms can find a second job, they’ll still have to juggle schedules, child care and transportation. Overall, even if 1% of the workforce is thus affected by this squeeze, that’s nearly 1.4 million Americans.

Yes, but didn’t you watch The Life of Julia videos made by the Obama reelection team during the campaign? He’ll take care of all the single moms for their whole lives!!

Then there are younger workers, many of whom will start their careers by stringing together several part-time jobs, perhaps for years. Their predicament may delay when they start families, buy homes, pay off student loans and become independent.

Again, who did they vote for?

Oh well. Elections have consequences.

- Aggie


Another Useful Idiot Passes

Is this the first American death caused by our naive policy to remove Hosni Mubarak?

Guess what reeling (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) this kid was… and did he study at a conservative institution or at a “progressive” institution?

OK, the second question is easy, since there are so few conservative colleges, but what religion? Who would be trusting enough to send a kid into the middle of Egypt during the “Arab Spring” hoping to “teach peace”?

Still stumped?

An American student fatally stabbed in Egypt was so fascinated with the region, he read poems about it to his girlfriend, his mother said.
Andrew Pochter of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was stabbed Friday in the port city of Alexandria. He was in the country teaching English to elementary school children.
“As we understand it, he was witnessing the protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester,” his family said in a statement. “He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding.”

Egyptian state media reported that he was stabbed in the chest while filming the protests.

The 21-year-old went to Egypt this year after spending time in Morocco and falling in love with the region.

Before the trip, he interned for AMIDEAST, an American nonprofit that focuses on the Middle East and North Africa. He also took a class in regional politics.
While enrolled in the class, he read poems about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to his girlfriend, said his mother, Elizabeth Pochter.

“The class wasn’t just about some detached war to him, but a struggle that he passionately wanted to resolve,” she said, according to a statement by Kenyon College, where he had just completed his sophomore year.

“Andrew was a person who didn’t see the world as separate nations, but a collection of vibrant cultures.”

His goal was to understand the political and religious dynamics in the region, sharpen his Arabic skills and learn the different dialects, according to his family.
“He was one of the rare kids who lived what he believed,” said Marc Bragin, a chaplain at Kenyon. “His belief was that everyone should be included, everyone had a voice, and no one should be left out because what they think is different than what others think.”

A religious studies major, Pochter was raised in a Christian and Jewish household, and was a member of the Middle Eastern Students Association. He was headed into his junior year in college.

I read elsewhere that he was also very involved in Hillel. So, we have a great kid who loves people and sincerely wants to help. He loves poetry. He might have thought that the power of poetry would help. And we have the River of DeNile, not just in Egypt, but in Ohio, in feel-good philosophies which have pushed aside reality in suburbs and cities, churches and synagogues, all across the United States. And this young man, who grew up in that happy bubble, paid for the refusal to understand that not everyone is good and decent at heart – with his life. My heart goes out to his parents and sister, because they, too, are embedded in this stew of nonsense. Andrew was stabbed because the stabber had a knife and could. That’s all. We send our sweet, hapless kids into war zones (created by this administration, also deluded), and we expect the warriors to love us. We are nuts.

May I rant on further? This is a way to illustrate my point. I am assuming (possibly incorrectly) that if you watch Fox News or CNN on cable, you see the same ads no matter where you live in the country. So, try flipping back and forth for not just news coverage, but for the advertisements. We know that the news coverage is reality-based for the most part and CNN is bubble-based, but pay attention to ads. Fox runs a lot of ads for hearing aids, reverse mortgages, weight loss programs, cheap restaurants and fast cars. Old demographic for sure, not going to be voting much longer. CNN runs these ridiculous feel-good ads. How you can feel terrible about the children in the developing world, and how, by purchasing a certain insurance product, you can feel better. Or giving money to the “girl’s fund”, to help girls in third world countries avoid rape. Moonbat demographic, and they will be voting for decades.

In short, we’re screwed. Here’s a question about “the children” for, Mr. and Ms. Moonbat. How many more American kids must we feed into this region without any military training or support whatsoever? Why not encourage your kids to teach English in Los Angeles or NY where they might survive the experience?

- Aggie

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Go South, Young Men and Women

O-o-o-o-o-klahoma, where the jobs come sweepin’ down the plain!

These trends point to a U.S. economic future dominated by four growth corridors that are generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Third Coast (spanning the Gulf states from Texas to Florida), and the Southeastern industrial belt.

Overall, these corridors account for 45% of the nation’s land mass and 30% of its population. Between 2001 and 2011, job growth in the Great Plains, the Intermountain West and the Third Coast was between 7% and 8%—nearly 10 times the job growth rate for the rest of the country. Only the Southeastern industrial belt tracked close to the national average.

Historically, these regions were little more than resource colonies or low-wage labor sites for richer, more technically advanced areas. By promoting policies that encourage enterprise and spark economic growth, they’re catching up.

Such policies have been pursued not only by Republicans but also by Democrats who don’t share their national party’s notion that business should serve as a cash cow to fund ever more expensive social-welfare, cultural or environmental programs. While California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota have either enacted or pursued higher income taxes, many corridor states have no income taxes or are planning, like Kansas and Louisiana, to lower or even eliminate them.

The result is that corridor states took 11 of the top 15 spots in Chief Executive magazine’s 2012 review of best state business climates. California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts were at the bottom.

The author explores the economic and sociological implications of this development, but one thing stuck in my mind. As Massachusetts, California, New York, Illinois, etc. are left behind—drifting away like an eskimo elder on an ice floe—maybe that, and only that, will shock the corrupt and sclerotic liberal political establishment to change. Nothing else has.

But the prospect of complete irrelevance—economic, because all the activity will be elsewhere; and political, because so will the population, hence electoral college votes—might be enough to shame our reprehensible leaders to behave more responsibly.

But what am I smokin’, and why so early in the day?

Still, nothing has made me feel more hopeful for the country in months.

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Hello? Anyone There?

As usual, liberal orthodoxy gets it completely wrong:

The world’s seemingly relentless march toward overpopulation achieved a notable milestone in 2012: Somewhere on the planet, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the 7 billionth living person came into existence.

Lucky No. 7,000,000,000 probably celebrated his or her birthday sometime in March and added to a population that’s already stressing the planet’s limited supplies of food, energy, and clean water. Should this trend continue, as the Los Angeles Times noted in a five-part series marking the occasion, by midcentury, “living conditions are likely to be bleak for much of humanity.”
A somewhat more arcane milestone, meanwhile, generated no media coverage at all: It took humankind 13 years to add its 7 billionth. That’s longer than the 12 years it took to add the 6 billionth—the first time in human history that interval had grown. (The 2 billionth, 3 billionth, 4 billionth, and 5 billionth took 123, 33, 14, and 13 years, respectively.) In other words, the rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.

And then it will fall.

First, I dispute that a rising population necessarily stresses resources beyond what they can provide. While it certainly happens in some places (the poorer parts of Africa, for example), wealthier, more politically stable countries and regions have managed to handle population increases with no adverse side effects. America’s water and air are cleaner today than they were when our population was a hundred million smaller.

The piece goes on to speculate what the world will look like in 100-200 years’ time. But in Japan, China, Russia, and other countries that have done away with procreation, we won’t have to wait that long. I have two children, but I think it was unpatriotic not to have had six. (On that, and that alone, I side with the Kennedys.)


ObamAmerica: US Birthrate Lowest Since 1920

Who needs a family? We have the government!

The U.S. birthrate plunged last year to a record low, with the decline being led by immigrant women hit hard by the recession, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

The overall birthrate decreased by 8?percent between 2007 and 2010, with a much bigger drop of 14?percent among foreign-born women. The overall birthrate is at its lowest since 1920, the earliest year with reliable records.

The decline could have far-reaching implications for U.S. economic and social policy. A continuing decrease could challenge long-held assumptions that births to immigrants will help maintain the U.S. population and create the taxpaying workforce needed to support the aging baby-boom generation.

The U.S. birthrate — 63.2 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age — has fallen to a little more than half of its peak, which was in 1957.

Isn’t there some leftist groups which believes that the best thing we can do for the planet is to go extinct? Japan is working on it; Western Europe is working on it. And apparently we are working on it.

What a legacy the Obama administration will have.

- Aggie

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Warren Piece

It’s the job of an experienced blogger to cut, pare, and slice the pieces to which he links to their bare essence.

Yeah, but this ain’t my job. And a Howie Carr column on Elizabeth Warren is like potato chips: you can’t eat just one.

Not so many moons ago, Elizabeth Warren was the toast of the national Democratic Party, a perfect vessel for so many of its various constituencies embodied in one 62-year-old US Senate candidate.

A respected scholar at Harvard Law, a woman who claimed to have pulled herself up by the bootstraps from grinding Dust Bowl poverty, an outspoken populist foe of the foreclosures and real-estate flipping that have devastated the middle classes.

Hollywood swooned. Cher tweeted her, “Love U E.” Now “never mind,” as Saturday Night Live’s Emily Litella used to say.

Warren remains the Democrats’ candidate against Sen. Scott Brown. She’s still a prodigious fund-raiser (especially on Wall Street, which she continues to relentlessly attack). The latest statewide poll showed her tied with Brown, 46-46.

Yet that’s down from a five-point lead in March. And Brown extended his lead among independents, the majority in the Bay State, to 57-33.

At this point, Warren is little more than the machine candidate, recruited in DC by, among others, Sen. Chuck Schumer (who has sent at least one of his staffers to Boston for the duration).

Most important: Warren’s campaign biography, so craftily constructed over so many years, lies in ruins. Not only did she drive an MG in high school, she only traded in her BMW 528i for a Ford hybrid last year, just before the campaign began.

Her academic bona fides have been savaged in the blogs, and opposition researchers have shown that she was a prodigious house-flipper and home-foreclosure speculator in her old hometown of Oklahoma City.

Her campaign literature still denounces the deregulated credit industry that “squeezed families harder, hawking dangerous mortgages.” Dangerous for many, but profitable for Liz Warren.

In one 1993 transaction, she bought a house for $30,000, then flipped it five months later for $145,000 — a 383 percent gain. Not bad for the woman who less than a year ago bragged of crafting the “intellectual foundations” for Occupy Wall Street.

But Warren’s real downfall was the total unraveling of her alleged Native American heritage. No one still believes she’s even 1/32 Cherokee, and her refusal to release her Ivy League employment records only seems to confirm that the blue-eyed, blonde-haired white woman “checked the box” to jump-start her sputtering academic career in the mid-1980s.

In the spring, when Warren was still clinging to her flimsy stories of “family lore,” she said she identified herself as Indian only because she “wanted to meet people like myself.” She also cited her Aunt Bee as pointing out that her father, Warren’s grandfather, had high cheekbones, “like all the Indians do.”

A couple of weeks ago, several Cherokee who had been most critical of Warren’s scam arrived in Massachusetts to confront her. A perfect opportunity for Liz to meet people like her! But she snubbed the real Indians, claiming they were part of a vast right-wing Cherokee conspiracy. The Native Americans couldn’t even arrange a powwow with one of Warren’s whitebread campaign staffers.

Finally they returned home, and Twila Barnes, an indefatigable Cherokee genealogist, went back to her digging — and came up with the 1999 death certificate of Aunt Bee Veneck, who imparted the “family lore” to young Lizzy about her proud high-cheekbone heritage. The form offered as choices for race: Native American, white and black — and the family member who supplied that information listed Aunt Bee as white.

That family member was Elizabeth Warren.

This latest debunking barely rated a mention in Massachusetts. Everybody had long since figured out that Warren speaks with forked tongue.

Her new identity is middle-class, “Okie to her toes,” as she puts it. On Father’s Day, she tweeted a photo of her husband, Bruce Mann, another Harvard Law professor. Her campaign operatives even equipped the Yale man with a working-class prop — a longneck beer, a “brew,” as Scott Brown might call it.

It looked perfect, except that no one had told Prof. Mann that before you sit down with the bottle in your hand, it’s customary to take what’s called a “church key” and remove the cap from the bottle. It’s easier to drink from that way.

We reported the story about Aunt Bee (seriously?) being listed as white on the death certificate, but I’ll be damned if it made the news. Howie’s right: the lie has already been processed, internalized. It’s just become part of who she is, like her high Indian cheekbones and Indian blue eyes—and being the first lactating Amerind to sit for the bar in New Jersey, or whatever cockeyed claim she made along those lines.

Oh, by the way—did you know that Elizabeth Warren’s children are even more Cherokee than she is (if being twice nothing is any greater than nothing)?

While it’s been noted that Warren’s husband, Bruce Mann, submitted recipes to the Pow Wow Chow cookbook, no one has focused on the fact that Mann claimed to be Cherokee in the book.

Somehow a white guy who submits a recipe for Oriental Beef Stir Fry (“Oriental”? Hasn’t that word been tossed on the ash-heap of history?) gets classified as Cherokee. Maybe he drove one.

And who can be surprised to learn…?

Warren herself was accused of plagiarizing her own recipes. Per commenter Boss Jim, it looks like Mann’s recipe appeared previously — word for word — in the Oswego (NY) Palladium Times on January 24, 1983, the year before Pow Wow Chow was published. Presumably the recipe circulated in other newspapers and magazines as well.

As Howie described her above, she’s a machine candidate. The machine doesn’t care. As long as its primed with money, it’ll keep running, and so will she.

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Self Evident Truths

I don’t know why I bother—I can’t tell you that you should.

But as this piece was deemed worthy of publication in the New York Times on Independence Day, it carries some significance:

THIS spring I was on a panel at the Woodstock Writers Festival. An audience member asked a question: Why had the revolution dreamed up in the late 1960s mostly been won on the social and cultural fronts — women’s rights, gay rights, black president, ecology, sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll — but lost in the economic realm, with old-school free-market ideas gaining traction all the time?

There was a long pause. People shrugged and sighed.

Because they thought the question was imbecilic, I hope (but doubt).

While I can accept that the 60s saw advancement in women’s rights and gay rights, what—civil rights movement notwithstanding—do the 60s have to do with Obama in 2008? The 60s also saw the rise of the muscle car—the Mustang, the Firebird. the Torino, the Camaro. Today we have the Prius and the Mini Cooper. Connection, anyone? Advancement?

And where has the 60s ethos “won” on sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll—all of which predate the 60s, and miraculously survive the era? “Free love” is fine if you can afford the antibiotics for the STDs and the protease inhibitors for the HIV. And aren’t we all better for the crack epidemic of the 80s, followed and joined by epidemics of amphetamines, glue, crystal meth, oxy, even bath salts?

But most of all, what is wrong with “old-school free-market ideas”? Talk about sexy! Talk about a high!

That’s what I might have said. But they didn’t ask me:

What has happened politically, economically, culturally and socially since the sea change of the late ’60s isn’t contradictory or incongruous. It’s all of a piece. For hippies and bohemians as for businesspeople and investors, extreme individualism has been triumphant. Selfishness won.

From the beginning, the American idea embodied a tension between radical individualism and the demands of the commonweal. The document we’re celebrating today says in its second line that axiomatic human rights include “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” — individualism in a nutshell. But the Declaration’s author was not a greed-is-good guy: “Self-love,” Jefferson wrote to a friend 38 years after the Declaration, “is no part of morality. Indeed it is exactly its counterpart. It is the sole antagonist of virtue leading us constantly by our propensities to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others.”

What poppycock. The Declaration is not a Timothy-Leary-tune-in-turn-on-drop-out tract or a Joseph-Campbell-follow-your-bliss justification. Rather it is a grand vision of government, a defense of it as well as a critique of it. The very next line reads: “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” What does that have to do with individualism, let alone selfishness?

The essay is already discredited, but while we’re on the subject of sloppy, misinformed thinking:

Consider America during the two decades after World War II. Stereotypically but also in fact, the conformist pressures of bourgeois social norms were powerful. To dress or speak or live life in unorthodox, extravagantly individualist ways required real gumption. Yet just as beatniks were rare and freakish, so were proudly money-mad Ayn Randian millionaires. My conservative Republican father thought marginal income tax rates of 91 percent were unfairly high, but he and his friends never dreamed of suggesting they be reduced below, say, 50 percent.

That “say” is awfully telling, isn’t it? It means his father never actually opined on a “fair” marginal tax rate, only what the author revealingly feels is an inviolable floor. Is 57% (50/91) of an “unfair” number automatically “fair”? Someone should have told Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, and Hitler. (Comparing tax rates to genocide, BTL? Really?)

But then came the late 1960s, and over the next two decades American individualism was fully unleashed. A kind of tacit grand bargain was forged between the counterculture and the establishment, between the forever-young and the moneyed.

Going forward, the youthful masses of every age would be permitted as never before to indulge their self-expressive and hedonistic impulses. But capitalists in return would be unshackled as well, free to indulge their own animal spirits with fewer and fewer fetters in the forms of regulation, taxes or social opprobrium.

People on the political right have blamed the late ’60s for what they loathe about contemporary life — anything-goes sexuality, cultural coarseness, multiculturalism. And people on the left buy into that, seeing only the ’60s legacies of freedom that they define as progress. But what the left and right respectively love and hate are mostly flip sides of the same libertarian coin minted around 1967. Thanks to the ’60s, we are all shamelessly selfish.

In that letter from 1814, Jefferson wrote that our tendencies toward selfishness where liberty and our pursuit of happiness lead us require “correctives which are supplied by education” and by “the moralist, the preacher, and legislator.”

Show of hands—how many people want to be “corrected” by “the moralist, the preacher, and legislator”? That’s what I thought.

But if I may offer my own analysis, this guy is missing the nose in front of his face. As a tale-ender of the baby-boom generation, I am repeatedly amazed and amused at the self-absorption of my older brothers and sisters. They think they invented sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, along with just about every other style, fad, and development of their day. Generations are like the tide: they wash away what came before. And as the Boomers were a veritable tsunami (without the infant mortality rates to lessen the impact), they swamped popular culture with their adolescent narcissism.

The author, Kurt Andersen, was born in 1954, perfectly situated, as a precocious 14-year-old (you know he was), to internalize and memorialize the radical events of 1968. Just look where he was when the question was initially proposed to him: Woodstock! QE-[bleeping]-D!

Did it even occur to him to defend “old-school free-market ideas”? Doesn’t sound like it. His generation (to which I barely, yet resentfully, cling) wasn’t taught so. We are manufactured Keynesians—manufactured because the available evidence supports the “old school” over our “reformed” education, and we can’t allow that. That’s why another Boomer, Barack Obama, is running the administration he is, and why we have the economy we do.

If we are a nation of individuals, as Andersen argues, we sure seem a bunch of stupid ones.


Questionable, But Fun Polls

Obama having trouble with the African American vote in North Carolina

President Barack Obama is rapidly losing support among African-American voters in North Carolina, a new poll out today from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows.

The poll finds that Mitt Romney would get 20 percent of the African-American vote if the election were held today, compared with 76 percent for Obama. Overall, Romney has a 48 percent to 46 percent lead on Obama in the crucial swing state.

Obama received 95 percent of the support from African-Americans in North Carolina in the 2008 election, compared with just 5 percent for Republican nominee John McCain.

In PPP’s May poll, Obama received 87 percent of the African-American vote to Romney’s 11 percent.

All of Obama’s numbers with African-Americans are sliding. His approval rating is down from 86 percent to 77 percent. Romney’s favorability, meanwhile, has doubled from 9 percent to 18 percent.

Here’s another good one:

President Obama’s support among Jewish voters in the state of New York has dropped 22 percentage points in only a month, according to the results of a just released poll.

The poll, conducted by Siena College, finds that currently President Obama has the support of 51 percent of Jewish voters, while 43 percent are opposed to him. Five percent are undecided. That means, Obama’s lead among Jewish voters is at 8 percentage points.

Previously, in Siena’s May poll, Obama had the support 62 percent of Jewish New Yorkers, while 32 percent opposed him. That means, last month, Obama’s lead among this group of voters was at a strong 30 percentage points.

Those polled were responding to this straight forward question: “If the election for President were held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were [Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Don't know]?

Additionally, Jewish voters in New York overwhelmingly believe that America is “headed in the wrong direction” as opposed to “the right track,” by a margin of 62 percent to 31 percent.

Perhaps most troubling for President Obama’s prospects with Jewish voters were these two questions. “Overall, would you say that you and your family are better off now than you were four years ago, about the same as you were four years ago, or worse off today than you were four years ago?,” the poll asked. Only 13 percent of Jewish New Yorkers said that they are better off now, under Obama, while 41 percent said that they are doing worse. (Forty-five percent said they’re doing the same.)

And this one: “And how about the country as a whole, Would you say that the United States is in better position now than it was four years ago, about the same as it was four years ago, or worse off today than it was four years ago?” Only 27 percent of Jewish New Yorkers said that the U.S. is in a better position, while 49 percent said America’s position is worse. (Twenty-two percent said the position of this country has not changed.)

I believe that in the modern era, the Republican that received the largest percentage of the Jewish vote was Ronald Reagan at 40%. I wonder if Romney can best his record?

- Aggie


You Were Saying?

Israel couldn’t possibly retain any disputed territory in Judea and Samaria—much less annex the promised Jewish homeland—the Nervous Nellies gasp. How will it remain a democracy? What about demographics?

What about them?

The dramatic Westernization of Muslim demographics contrasts conventional “wisdom.” It requires the re-thinking of economic, social and national security assumptions and the re-evaluation of related policy.

For example, the fertility rates of young Arabs in Judea and Samaria has converged – at three births per woman – with the respective fertility rates of young Israeli Arabs and Jews, while (mostly secular) Jewish fertility rate trends upwards and Arab fertility rates trend downwards.

According to How Civilizations Die by David Goldman, “Spengler” (Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2011), “as Muslim fertility shrinks at a rate demographers have never seen before, it is converging on Europe’s low fertility… Iranian women in their 20s, who grew up with five or six siblings, will bear only one or two children during their lifetimes…. By the middle of this century, the belt of Muslim countries from Morocco to Iran will become as gray as depopulating Europe (p. x)…”

“Spengler,” states that “the only advanced country [other than the USA] to sustain high fertility rates is Israel (p. 199)….”

Never mind how Israeli democracy is doing; worry about Arab democracy… when and if such a thing comes along.

PS: We’ve been wringing our hands over Eurabia—the Arabianization of Europe. What a hoot that the we missed A-rope: the Europeanization of Arabs. Yet more evidence that conventional wisdom is a drooling imbecile.


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