Simple Answers

9 Dec

So … yet another article (from July) popped up in my Facebook today (ok, you may now all groan at leisure.) This one suggested, not to put too fine a point on it, that Donald Trump’s surge was based on ‘less-educated Americans,’ with Trump’s support coming from those in direct competition with illegal immigrants for jobs. American doctors, for example, don’t compete with immigrants, but McDonalds workers do. This isn’t actually a bad point, but I think there’s another aspect to it that has gone unremarked.

Now, I’m going to start by talking about three different social classes. Social class itself, despite what certain people tell you, is surprisingly fluid – and it is nowhere near as simple as the ‘right-left’ or ‘high-middle-low’ structure. A person can easily belong to one or more social classes or move between them during the course of his life. The specific classes I intend to talk about are the ‘Hard-Educated,’ the ‘Soft-Educated’ and the ‘Working Poor.’

-The Hard-Educated generally go to university/college to study the hard sciences, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects, or medicine and its related subjects. What these all have in common is that they’re based on hard science. If you want to design a bridge, for example, your load-bearing calculations must be exact and based on objective reasoning. Trying to guess is not allowed. Hard-Educated tend to be aware of the limits of their own knowledge.

-The Soft-Educated generally go to university/college to study the soft-sciences; economics, social sciences (women’s studies, black studies, etc) and other related categories. These subjects are largely based on subjective reasoning, to the point that there may be a number of correct answers and the ‘right’ one is whatever the tutor happens to think it is. (Jerry Pournelle called these the Voodoo Sciences and he’s right.) Soft-Educated are rarely aware of the limits of their own knowledge; indeed, they have a nasty habit of mistaking expertise in one area for expertise in another.

[I separated hard-educated from soft-educated because the latter is what, I believe, the article meant.]

-The Working Poor consist of low-income households, rarely earning more than £1500 a month if they’re lucky. The parents may hold down two low-paying jobs, working from 7am to 8pm to provide for their children. They probably have a mortgage; they certainly have debts they need to service. There’s no chance of improving their lot because they’re already working themselves to death. They’re proud; they don’t like the thought of claiming benefits, or humiliating themselves in front of those jerks at the Job Centre, but they have no choice. The merest stroke of bad luck can prove disastrous. (For example, they may need a car to get from one job to another, but losing the car could cost them one of their jobs.) This article should give you an idea of what life can be like at the lower end of the scale.

All right, you may ask. What do these three social classes have to do with Donald Trump?

As a writer, I do my best to be a keen observer of human nature. One think I’ve noticed about the Soft-Educated is that they are far too intellectual for their own good. Their experience of the real world is often very limited. Therefore, they have a nasty tendency to come up with excuses for evil, provided ‘evil’ fits neatly into their preconceived worldview. They argue that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was justified because the attackers were ‘punching up,’ while the attack on the American Embassy in Libya was justified because of an anti-Islam video from America. This leads to all kinds of irrational behaviour, including strange alliances between feminists, homosexuals and radical Islamists, even though they should be natural enemies.

This happens, at least in part, because of the lack of objectivity in the social sciences. It’s easy to say that all the problems of the world are caused by rich white men, at least partly because rich white men don’t have a habit of shooting up newspapers when they’re insulted. There is, for example, no suggestion that the problems facing the black community in America are at least partly of its own making, or that the problems facing the Middle East owe their origins to religious strife rather than outside interference. Indeed, debating with a soft-educated student requires you to start by accepting their worldview. Or, in other words, to surrender before the debate even begins. (And then the debate itself consists of you being buried in buzzwords, rather than hard facts.)

The soft-educated dismiss the idea of simple answers. Everything is to be as complex as possible. A criminal is not evil, he’s the victim of forces beyond his control. Given enough time, and a complete lack of objective thinking, you can rationalise almost anything. Therefore, a student may genuinely believe that he or she is doing the right thing by shutting down free speech on campus, even though this is an absurd concept. The soft-educated are isolated from reality.

[As an aside, the soft-educated do see a simple answer, but only for when they are criticised. Anyone who disagrees with them is a racist, bigot, idiot, etc.]

This is not true, of course, of the working poor.

The principle difference between the working poor and the soft-educated is that the working poor are not isolated from reality. They cannot, for example, defer their debts endlessly. Nor can they find the time to get more qualifications when they have to work hard just to keep their heads above water. They are the ones who suffer when the minimum wage is raised because they’re the most easily replaceable in the workplace. Their jobs, at worst, can be handled by automated systems.

They tend to be conservative. Not Conservative (in the sense they’re members of the Tory Party, or Republicans in the US), but conservative. They are tough on crime because they’re its principle victims. There are no gated communities for the working poor. They are the ones who support harsh sentencing because it gets criminals off the streets (otherwise the criminals come back after they’ve completed their sentences, assuming they even do, and take revenge.) And they’re the victims of over-educated morons who believe that criminals are nice people who just need some love. The working poor know very well that criminals are bad people.

The working poor have no time for complex answers. Have you ever tried to tell your bank manager that the reason you missed your mortgage repayment date was because someone didn’t pay you last week, or because of economic factors beyond your control? Try – you’ll be laughed out of the office and your home will be repossessed. The working poor understand that there is nothing to be gained from deluding oneself. Four pounds does not magically become five pounds no matter how desperately you need it to be so.

And yet, they crave stability and certainty in their lives. They are at the bottom of the heap, or believe themselves to be at the bottom of the heap; they need, desperately, to understand the rules because their lives won’t survive a brush with the wrong side of the law. They understand, at a very basic level, that the world is not fair and it is rarely (if ever) unfair in their favour. The idea that there are different rules for different people is anthemia to them.

Because of all this, they want simple answers – they need simple answers. They feel themselves to be in competition with immigrants (and they are, as the article says) so they are strongly against immigration. They feel themselves to be threatened by crime, so they are strongly in favour of tougher sentences for serious criminals. They feel helpless against faceless government bureaucrats, so they are in favour of reducing the power of unelected officials.

And they want to be taken seriously.

The soft-educated do not take them seriously. Their basic picture of the working poor is, at best, Homer Simpson. A stupid buffoon who would be better off dead, someone who can be led by his betters. Guess who they think the betters to be? Whenever you hear someone talking about the need for a revolutionary vanguard to direct the uprising, they mean they see themselves in the leadership role. And, because they have a low opinion of the working poor, they don’t hesitate to smear anyone who steps out of line.

Accordingly, they are attacked mercilessly when they do. If someone raises a concern about immigrants, or non-white populations, they are accused of being racists. If someone asks why mosques connected to terrorism cannot be shut down, they are accused of being racists. And so on, and so on. The concept that there might be real reasons to worry, particularly if someone is already on the edge, is beyond the soft-educated. They already think they know the answers.

The working poor sees the soft-educated as having long since lost its collective mind. A man cannot turn into a woman (or vice versa), yet the soft-educated insist that everyone has to buy into something the working poor must see as a delusion. The soft-educated believes that Black Lives Matter is composed of heroes, valiantly fighting the scourge of racism; the working poor wonders why racism can only work one way, why intimidation, violence and property damage is a cause for celebration instead of mass arrests. The soft-educated believes that immigration is good for America; the working poor sees it as a deadly threat. The soft-educated change when the political winds shift; the working poor want the rules to be clearly defined and as un-intrusive as possible. The soft-educated believe they have a right to offer unwanted solutions to the problems of the world, the working poor wish the soft-educated would leave them alone.

But the problem is actually worse than an increasingly nasty war between the soft-educated elites and everyone else. The working poor believes, with reason, that the political class has lost its grip on reality, thus its credibility. Barrack Obama’s attempts to classify the Fort Hood shooting as workplace violence (and his pathetic response to the more recent atrocity), to say nothing of his willingness to play racial politics and spread disharmony, has cost him all of his credibility. Hilary Clinton’s increasingly desperate attempts to evade punishment for something that has cost many good careers, in the past, has cost her all of her credibility. Bernie Sanders, a socialist, has lost his credibility because the victims of socialism are the poor. Jeb Bush has no credibility because he has no identity outside his family. The political class, as a whole, simply has no credibility left.

Trump is successful for the very simple reason he is appealing to a social class that considers itself to be largely marginalised by changes over the last three decades, a social class that no longer believes the politicians in Washington mean well. Furthermore, he does not cower before the fury of the PC police, unlike so many other Republicans. The Republican Party is unable to provide a counter to Trump, or a more reasonable alternative, because it’s leadership is more interested in playing the political game in Washington than attending to the needs of its constituents.

But I doubt the Republican elite can find such a candidate. There is a strong difference between being uneducated and being stupid. The working poor are perfectly capable of seeing their true enemies and voting accordingly. It is the elites, I think, that have forgotten the difference between education and reality.


55 Responses to “Simple Answers”

  1. duncancairncross December 9, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

    I agree
    The “soft educated” are the Republicans and Tories – hanging frantically to failed economic theories
    Too many of our “Leaders” are of this class
    You can easily tell they follow idiots like Rand and have obviously never actually made anything in their lives

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm #


    • Dennis the Menace December 9, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

      You are totally clueless.

      • duncancairncross December 9, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

        No I’m a chartered engineer/manager with over 30 years of experience in industry,
        I also built and made road legal the electric racer in my icon

        I’m not one of Chis’s “soft educated”

      • Dustin December 12, 2015 at 7:14 am #

        Your response here kind of proves that you’re clueless duncan. Chris made a generalization. In my experience it does seem to hold true for a good portion of people. That doesn’t mean that all of the soft-educated people fall into that category. It also doesn’t mean that all of the hard-educated people look at things in a logical sense and use critical-thinking, as evidenced by yourself.

  2. Dennis the Menace December 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

    Chris —

    Leftists engage in such non-logical ideological circumambulations whenever their world view directly confronts reality that even they can not ignore. Otherwise if they didn’t, they would suffer cognitive dissonance and it isn’t pretty when a lefty gets gob smacked with that, trust me. I’ve seen that happen up close and in person here in the San Francisco Bay Area Libtard Bubble many, many times.

    And basically, the main difference between the ‘educated’ and ‘non-educated’ – not necessarily working poor as so many overly ‘educated’ Starbucks baristas with Masters in Gender Studies attest to — is one of INDOCTRINATION.

    That is what everything you just expounded upon can be summed up as.

    So, if you replaced ‘working poor’ with ‘non-college educated’ in your list of observations in the above, you’d see that swap is rather seamless. At least as it regards the US. The Brits are the ones with the class distinction hangups going back centuries involving the world view of ‘working poor’ than Americans are. Even Americans who fall into that definition as some demographic economic term almost overwhelmingly consider themselves ‘middle class’, not ‘working poor’. It is a big difference in mindset driven by our respective historical differences. The last time we were British ‘working poor’ we said ‘fuck that’, rose up, successfully rebelled and haven’t looked back since, after all.

    What Trump is doing is smashing the Overton Window [American Version], which is a good thing given the traditional stranglehold the Dems and their ‘unbiased’ media whores have had on it for over 60 years. The very same Overton Window that elitist RINO sellouts like John McCain, all the Bushies, even FoxNews and the GOP Congress are most comfortable with as well. As you say, the credibility of the GOP elites is in the shitter and it will only get worse going forward.

    Thus as a Conservative with a capital ‘C’, I don’t like Trump much at all. He’s been for single payer health care and a wealth assets tax levied on the rich to pay off the national debt, for example. But I do like what he’s been doing to the Overton Window and what that means for eventual Tea Party victory in the current GOP civil war, followed by some real Conservative change once they gain power at the national level that they alreayd have seized at the state level (another concept — federalism — that is alien to Brit mindsets). For the GOP nomination, I personally am hoping Cruz – whom I ideologically support — benefits from this.

    • CJ December 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      Yes, people’s cognitive dissonance is quite amazing. These radical leftists lack a basic understanding of human nature, economics, politics, and policy. Many assume that because they don’t understand things that people like Ben Carson say, he is a genius and above their feeble comprehension. The reality however is that Ben Carson makes absolutely no sense with his proposed policys and appears to misunderstand the very nature of national and international politics, and the economics they operate on.

      • Dennis the Menace December 11, 2015 at 1:35 am #

        Nothing you said disproves what I said whatsoever. Hence why you tried to go for a tactic that would hopefully diminish it. That didn’t work, either.

    • CJ December 11, 2015 at 3:33 am #

      My bad did I say radical leftists? I meant radical right wingers.

  3. Walt Dunn December 9, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    Good thoughts, Chris! There are a plethora of the “soft educated” in far too many branches of academia from publicly funded primary systems to intermediate and postgraduate educators who carefully tread the course prescribed for them. I’m glad you’re aware of the situation.

  4. Joel Li December 10, 2015 at 12:45 am #

    Chirs love your analysis. Could you also expend on the hard educated. Where do they fit in?

    I for one think the soft-educated are found on all sides of the all parties.

    Coming from a country that values survival and pragmatism before ideology, I find the American system very big on talk and low on concrete results. But that is my own perception based on my upbringing.

    For example, I will not care if my government is tough on certain things that I do not agree with or are ideas I do not agree with, as long as they continue to deliver results like my security, my income and my ability to live my life relatively well as long as I do not disagree with them.

    I know, for many Americans that thinking is super wrong, but to me, results and what affects me matters more then ideologies.

    I know that Americans are brought up to think as the most important thing. But many others in the world are brought up differently.

  5. Veraenderer December 10, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    I think it is more the soft educated one answere to any question and than explain everything with this answere and the poor do follow them (if there theorys sound interesting for them).
    With other words established politicians/ideologists are mostly soft educated and the coming (extreme) politicians/ideologists are mostly soft educated too.

    I mean Trump is soft educated, Hitler was soft educated (artist), Lenin (jurist), Karl Marx (jurist), Bismarck (jurist).

    The only politician who come to my mind who isn’t soft educated is Angel Merkel (physician)

    • Duncan Cairncross December 10, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      What about Jimmy Carter
      He was an engineering officer on a submarine – and trained on the reactor for the Seawolf

      • Dennis the Menace December 11, 2015 at 1:36 am #

        Jimmy Carter is an idiot. Soft education had nothing to do with that.

  6. CJ December 10, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    I think that the reason the uneducated masses are called bigots and labeled as racist is because they are. But the reason they are is that in their minds, they are indeed at the bottom of the ladder, but they feel that if they degrade others…. Namely minorities, they will not be at the very bottom but above those they so vehemently hate.

  7. Rob Montgomery December 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    This is brilliant and correct!

  8. Martin Conway December 10, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    So am I soft educated or working poor? I’m going to university and spend a lot of time on the internet, and am on track to inherent several properties. But my father is a fireman and I’ve been taught in a style which fits your definition of working poor.

  9. Lindsay December 10, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

    Spot on assessment Chris. Once universities were places that challenged students and exposed them to new ideas and differing points of view. Now it seems that any idea that strays from the accepted PC orthodoxy is an anathema to be rooted out at all costs. No wonder that these graduates think an arts degree automatically makes them an expert in everything with a divine right to lecture the rest of us.

  10. Andreas December 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    I don’t know, I’m from Germany and maybe it is differnt in the US or GB, but here it is so, that most people, who attack the science (soft and hard science) are just batshit crazy, religious nuts or nazi-like traditionalists.

    In the soft science, there are some extreme positions (like Alice Schwarzer on the Feminist Side, who uses Feminism as a racist Weapon against moslems).
    But mostly its the people who attack the soft science, who are just wrong and stupid, like people who fight against sex-eduaction (is this the right word in English?), and see it as gay propaganda to tell kids, that there is more than relationships between boys and girls.

    But also, from an european point of view (or maybe just my german point of view) the whole USA is crazy! Even Obama and the whole democratic party is right wing in comparison to the most rightwing party we have in parliament and Bernie Sanders would be the only person, whos position would have a chance to get him elected in Germany.

    The whole bunch of republican candidates is just, for me and my subjective point of view, impossible to imagine, how anybody could vote for them.
    And it is not the problem how they behave, but their positions. Trumps tactic maybe good to get the poll results, he gets at the moment, but his positions are batshit crazy.

    Okay, I know there are people, who thinkt the earth is flat and that climate change is a lie and that women should under no circumstances be allowed to get an abortion, or vote, or work, but it is hard for me to understand such people.

    But you are right in what you say about the working poor and their reasons to go into politcal extremism (voting for Trump is politcal extremism, I know that, I work for a political party who is considerd an extremist party 😉 ). But they follow the wrong guy.
    In Germany we have the same problem. A new party in Germany is on the rise, which really parallels the rise of the NSDAP: The AfD.
    They are racist, they are extreme conservative, they hate muslims and europe and want to “protect germany and its cultural heritage”, which means, they want everybody in Germany to be like them and anybody who isn’t like them and disagrees with them, is a Left-fascist. They are against women rights, they are against gay-rights, they are against anything, that is not german enough for them (bad luck, if you have the wrong skin color).
    They attack reporters, they attack refugee camps in germany (burn them to the ground), their children attack refugee children in school and there is no excuse for such a behaviour.
    And the thing is, the poor, who vote for the AfD, vote for a party, that is against them. The AfD wants, that people who get welfare don’t get the right to vote, the same for anybody who works for the state (because they get money from the state), the are extrem right wing economical (maybe moderate in the US republican view), they are against the social welfare-state, but the people who vote for them profit from the welfare-state.

    They vote for a political party who despites them, but why do they vote for them? Because the party is against muslims and against the EU. And that is, what I call stupid.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 12, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      And of course, the Muslims are all peaceful people who would never kill people. [Sarcasm]

      • Andreas December 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

        And who says that? The people in the refugee camps are the ones who are fleeing from the violent islamist, they flee from terror and are now attacked by Nazis.
        In 2014 in Germany, they were ~15 000 violent crimes by right wing extremists, ~4 500 violent crimes by left wing extremist and only 2 000 violent crimes from foreign extremisn (and the germany bureocracy is very strict, their must be really hard proof to consider something right wing extremism crime). And in foreign extremisn is more than islamist violence, althoug for example kurdish violence (in Germany there are a lot of kurdish people, the ones who fight against IS and Turkey) and so there is sometimes fights between turks and kurdish people in Germany because of bullshit nationalism.
        Oh, and for comparism: Viloent crimes by football fans in 2014: ~2 000.

        These are the hard facts.
        I’m not afraid of muslims, but If I would have a darker skin color or black hear and beard, I must be afraid to live in some parts of Germany.

        I see no difference between Muslim extremist in Paris or Right wing extremist who shoot up abortion clinics.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

        Yep, fear of Muslims is just bigotry. [Sarcasm]

        Oh, I’ve heard plenty of nonsense from American Liberals about Conservatives being Fascists especially when they don’t seem to know what Fascism actually is.

        So I’m very skeptical about your talk about German Right-Wingers.

        As for people who attack abortion clinics, I’ve heard plenty of nonsense from American Liberals on that subject so I’m just seeing you as repeating that nonsense.

      • Andreas December 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

        Yeah, If you really fear all Muslims, even your neighbor, you are helping islamistic extremists.
        Fear is stupid and irrational.
        It is more likely to get killed by a car accident, Tabacco, Alcohol, Drugs, Mugging, Flying with a plane … , than by any terrorist attack in Europe or the US.

        The best weapon against the IS and other extremist Muslims is, what my Chancelor Angel Merkel does (and I say that with a grain of salt, because she is the politcal enemy for my party), welcome the refugees without looking at their religion, holding up our liberal achievments, despite the threat of terror. Why? Because the Terror needs its enemies, the IS wants to be the holy country for Islam. Its an PR desaster, that Germany opens its borders and allows moslem refugees to flee to Germany, a secular, more or less liberal state.

        Germany is for many muslims more attractive than the IS and that stinks for the IS.

        What the IS wants is, that the right wing nuts take the power and throw all the muslims out of the country. Why? Because that would be the best propaganda for the IS. They could they: Look, we are right, the are the Enemies of Islam!
        Fear of Moslems is, what the IS needs to gets its recruits.

        By fearing Moslems you help islamistic extremists.

        By helping the moderate moslems, who want to live in peace, like so many other people want, you give the hardest blow someone can give to islamistic extremists.

        Fear never leads to any good politic, that will work in the long term.

        It is right to fight extremist, but you shouldn’t fear the extremists. I mean, I don’t want to go all Star Wars on you, but Fear leads to the dark side. Fear is a bad advisor.
        I live in a german city with 250 000 Muslims and I don’t fear any of them (despite being someone who is completly godless, which makes me in the eyes of islamistic extremists not even a human).

  11. Joel Li December 15, 2015 at 12:39 am #

    Why many fear Muslims is 3 factors:
    1. The extremist are many and people are scared of them. By allowing the moderates in, you also get the extremist. Easiest way to ensure you are not affected is to bar all Muslims. Not to say I agree, but that is really just the easiest way.
    2. Muslims and the Islamic faith is by definition of it’s core principles does not integrate well with other cultures and religions. And are very strict on how things are supposed to be. Also unlike other religions, they tend to push these ideologies onto others more so then other religions. Many do not, but many more do. Especially those from the Middle East.
    3. The Middle East has been the West play ground for too long. People as a rule tend, in the Middle East, then to dislike Westerners and Americans in particular. This is not only the Muslims but every other faith.

    • CJ December 15, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Christianity seems to have integration issues too. And radical terrorists who proclaim to use christ as a motivator. Why don’t we fear christians too?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

        Oh, that old game. Sorry CJ, but you’re repeating nonsense that has no basis in fact.

      • Joel Li December 16, 2015 at 12:45 am #

        Christians has not at a global level done any extreme terrorist things for some time. Some do rant alot but violence on a global level, not for some time.

        Yes there are some rare fringe one or two people but nothing compared.

        Also in many countries they integrate much better in that society. Of cause speaking as the rest of the world, I have NO COMMENTS about American Christians.

  12. Matthew December 17, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    Here is what I don’t get:

    [The principle difference between the working poor and the soft-educated is that the working poor are not isolated from reality. They cannot, for example, defer their debts endlessly. Nor can they find the time to get more qualifications when they have to work hard just to keep their heads above water. They are the ones who suffer when the minimum wage is raised because they’re the most easily replaceable in the workplace. Their jobs, at worst, can be handled by automated systems.]

    Yet they support the people who want to remove worker protections, to “free up” businesses to treat people like disposable cogs. They support the people who want to make sure the only affordable way to get health care is through your employer… meaning that keeping the boss happy can mean the difference between life and death.

    You say they suffer when the minimum wage is raised (maybe, maybe not- I suspect it varies a lot). But at least the liberals want to do something. The conservative plan is always to do nothing, to remove restrictions, to let the market sort it out.

    [The working poor have no time for complex answers. Have you ever tried to tell your bank manager that the reason you missed your mortgage repayment date was because someone didn’t pay you last week, or because of economic factors beyond your control? Try – you’ll be laughed out of the office and your home will be repossessed.]

    And yet… it’s the liberals who want to put in laws that maker it harder to repossess those homes. The conservatives side with the bank manager every time.

    [Because of all this, they want simple answers – they need simple answers. They feel themselves to be in competition with immigrants (and they are, as the article says) so they are strongly against immigration. They feel themselves to be threatened by crime, so they are strongly in favour of tougher sentences for serious criminals. They feel helpless against faceless government bureaucrats, so they are in favour of reducing the power of unelected officials.]

    But a lot of problems don’t have simple answers. You can want simple answers. That doesn’t mean that there are simple answers.

    [Accordingly, they are attacked mercilessly when they do. If someone raises a concern about immigrants, or non-white populations, they are accused of being racists. If someone asks why mosques connected to terrorism cannot be shut down, they are accused of being racists. And so on, and so on. The concept that there might be real reasons to worry, particularly if someone is already on the edge, is beyond the soft-educated. They already think they know the answers.]

    That seems like an incredibly ungenerous view. I mean, you say “they already think they know the answers” but in my experience it’s more that they don’t believe in simple answers. I don’t think the soft-educated think they know how to solve terrorism.

    [ The soft-educated believe they have a right to offer unwanted solutions to the problems of the world, the working poor wish the soft-educated would leave them alone.]

    So the working poor don’t want to solve the problems of the world? If the problems are indeed problems, then shouldn’t we look for the solutions? If the solutions are unwanted, let’s try to find some that work.

    [Barrack Obama’s attempts to classify the Fort Hood shooting as workplace violence (and his pathetic response to the more recent atrocity), to say nothing of his willingness to play racial politics and spread disharmony, has cost him all of his credibility.]

    I see that criticism of Barack Obama a lot, and it always seems so strange. Like, the REAL PROBLEM is that he isn’t saying the right things. Using the right words. How much would him calling Fort Hood terrorism improve the life of the working poor? How much would him calling for a war on radical Islamic terrorism improve the life of the working poor? Would it make their life one jot better? Would it make them safer?

    Would it just make them feel safer?

    Obama’s problem is that he’s already doing everything on terrorism he thinks is a good idea to be doing. So something like San Bernadino happens and everybody demands, “Do something!” But if he thought something was a good idea to be doing to stop terrorism, he’d already be doing it.

    The sad truth is, in America you can’t do anything to stop that sort of terrorism, the sort where a couple of people get ahold of guns and go shoot up an office. We have freedom. We have open internal borders, we have freedom of speech, we have freedom to procure firearms. Those are good things… but there is a price to be paid. And the price is that sometimes people get it into their head to do something crazy and shoot a place up. You can’t stop that. You can’t. The working poor should get that. They know that when seconds count, the police are minutes away. They know criminals can only be put away after the fact. Why are terrorists somehow different, where we think it’s a failure if the government can’t stop them before they happen?

    Okay, bottom line. Here is what I don’t get. What I REALLY don’t get. Why the hell can every major Republican candidate, including Donald Trump, get away with proposing mass tax cuts? How is that fiscally responsible? How does that make sense to the working poor, who know that wishful thinking can’t make 4 dollars into 5? Rubio, Bush, Cruz, Trump…. all off them. All of them believe they can massively cut taxes and then a miracle occurs, and somehow they haven’t massively increased the deficit (or massively cut a lot of social programs that the working poor benefit from). They wave their hands and say “savings” or “it’ll increase economic growth” like the growth fairy is going to fly down and save everything. And then they accuse the democrats of soft headed thinking. That completely baffles me.

    • duncancairncross December 17, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

      Hi Matthew
      I agree completely
      And I would add
      Why in hell do people think that the Republicans are any good on protecting from terrorism?
      The biggest attack on America happened when their man was asleep at the switch.!

      He then completely failed to catch the perpetrator – that was left to his Democrat successor.

    • chrishanger December 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm #


      The point is that there are trade-offs throughout society. If you raise the minimum wage, for example, there are fewer unskilled jobs and lower tips (for waiters.) Therefore, a member of the ‘working poor’ has good reason not to want higher minimum wages, even though on the face of it higher wages work in their favour. Likewise for mortgages and so on – if you tighten the requirements, the working poor will be locked out of access to money they may desperately need in an emergency. (If you need to go through a complex process to repossess a house, there’s less incentive to grant the mortgage.) Therefore, people who are trying to help are actually doing anything but.

      Voting for a candidate is a little like buying a car. Number One may have seven seats, but consume lots of petrol; number two has only five seats, but it’s very fuel-efficient. The candidate who pledges to keep criminals off the streets may still get millions of votes, even though he’s against the minimum wage.

      Maybe I am being ungenerous, but it’s my observation that you can rationalise anything if you try hard enough.

      Tax cuts make sense to the working poor because they have a better grasp of economics than their detractors. If you raise taxes on [whatever], corporations are going to raise their prices so they can pay the taxes and still make a profit. Small businesses, by contrast, go out of business, which limits competition in the market place. And what money is collected goes to government, rather than to the people. The working poor has no interest in funding the lifestyles of politicians or hiring more government officials to administrate programs – they want, they need, economic growth and the only way to get that is to allow people the use of more of their earnings.

      Say I earn $1000. If I pay 20% tax, I lose $200, leaving me with $800. Assuming my living costs are $400, I have $400 to spend on whatever I want. But if taxes are raised to 40%, I end up with only $200 to spend. That makes me more careful about spending money on everything that isn’t living costs.


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      • Matthew December 18, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

        But it’s not that simple.

        Government spending can provide a lot of benefit to economic growth as well. A strong social safety net encourages labor mobility- people aren’t afraid to quit their jobs and look for ones that fit them better. This increases efficiency because people are doing jobs that they’re better at and it prevents corporations from simply taking all the profits to themselves. A well educated populace also increases economic growth, as does a strong infrastructure and strong regulatory agencies that can make sure companies operate on an even playing field.

        Taxes don’t just fly into the air and disappear. They provide public goods that you won’t get any other way.

        As for minimum wage laws, we don’t have to blindly theorize about hypotheticals. This is an experiment that has been conducted in many places throughout the United States, often at different wage levels (as state minimum wages can outpace federal ones). The evidence isn’t always clearcut, but we can at least say with confidence that minimum wages (and wage increase) don’t inevitable lead to massive unemployment. Those unskilled jobs that still exist simply aren’t that easy to eliminate, and it turns out there is money available in business profits to pay them.

        There is a point on the curve where higher taxes stifle economic growth. There is a point on the curve where a higher minimum wages costs jobs. But… there are also points on the curve where it doesn’t.

        [Say I earn $1000. If I pay 20% tax, I lose $200, leaving me with $800. Assuming my living costs are $400, I have $400 to spend on whatever I want. But if taxes are raised to 40%, I end up with only $200 to spend. That makes me more careful about spending money on everything that isn’t living costs.]

        Now let’s suppose that instead taxes are cut to 10%. This is pretty great. Except we have figure out what you were cutting for that $100 that you now aren’t getting because everybody’s taxes were cut 10%.

      • Duncan Cairncross December 18, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

        Hi Mathew
        Excellent answer
        There will be an optimum value for taxes
        Such that taxing above that value will slow the economy
        Historically we have evidence for the effects of a lot of tax rates
        The actual evidence seems to show that a top tax rate of over 90% has no adverse effect!!

        The same with minimum wages
        Above a certain level they will do exactly what Chris says and reduce employment
        The question is “what is that level”
        And again the actual experiments performed in the real world would say that it is well above the levels that are being talked about in the USA
        Here (NZ) it is about $15/hr

      • chrishanger December 19, 2015 at 10:53 am #

        The problem is that certain effects don’t always appear at once.

        Let us assume that a corporation makes £1000 and its total non-tax expenses are £500. (Yes, I know these are silly figures, but they’re easy to calculate.) That gives the corporation £500 profits which can be invested into the corporation itself – developing new products, for example, or purchasing new equipment, as well as a cushion against a sudden drop in profits. Now, if you say the corporation has to pay £300 in tax, the sum profits are only £200. This limits the amount of expansion a corporation can do.

        There are also quite a few other unintended consequences created by legislation meant to help the ‘working poor.’


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      • Duncan Cairncross December 19, 2015 at 11:29 am #

        Hi Chris

        Very true – certain effects don’t happen at once –
        BUT the very high tax rates I mentioned were in place for decades! – and a decade is an eternity in business
        Also the much higher minimum wage has also been in place for decades
        So we do have the data about the adverse effects (minimal)

        Your corporation
        You have $500 – as “profits”
        Back in the old days (60’s and 70’s) that would have been rolled back into the company to avoid paying the taxes
        Nowadays that $500 is paid as a “rent” to the shareholders or even used to buy back company shares – that used to be illegal!
        Because it jacks up the share price and the CEO’s bonus

        At present we have a different situation – a lot of (most?) companies are not investing in more production because society is demand limited
        So we have a huge number of companies sitting on huge funds because if they increase production they won’t be able to sell
        The main reason we are demand limited is because the “normal” guy is living from paycheque to paycheque – he would love to buy more stuff but he hasn’t got the money!

        Up until about 1970 the increase in productivity was shared out in society
        (not fairly – even then the 1% took a lot more than their fair share)
        After that the 1% managed to hoover up almost all of the productivity improvement
        As a mechanical engineer who has spent decades improving manufacturing processes I can say that the answers I applied came from the 99% – there were damn all useful ideas from senior management

        If the middle classes had kept the old share of the productivity then the median salary in the USA would be double its present value
        AND the economy would NOT be demand limited

      • chrishanger December 19, 2015 at 10:47 am #

        A lot depends, I suspect, on what the government spends the money on. For example, the Obama family vacations are a major expense (or at least they seem that way) while parliamentary expenses are a constant niggle in the UK. Social safety nets look like good ideas, but they can also turn into problems – you have to spend time filling in forms and suchlike (and, in the UK, you can be denied benefits on petty grounds.)

        More to the point, each new government project requires a new bureaucracy to administer it. This bureaucracy then starts working to come up with excuses to justify its existence, which turn into problems for the working poor.

        All jokes aside, if you proposed cutting the number of federal employees by at least half I suspect it would get some pretty strong approval.


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      • Duncan Cairncross December 19, 2015 at 11:49 am #

        “All jokes aside, if you proposed cutting the number of federal employees by at least half I suspect it would get some pretty strong approval.”

        You would – Until you started identifying who to cut
        Obama has actually shrunk the Federal Government by quite a bit

        But who to cut?
        IMHO there are a horde of senior managers and the like who could go – but in my experience these people are the very last to go

        So Police, Fire, Environmental, Science, Transport, Energy, Food
        Who are you gonna cut??

        Take the IRS for example
        For every $1 spent on tax inspection they get $20 in extra taxes – and congress keeps cutting them!!
        IMHO they should increase the manning until an extra $1 spent on inspection gets less than $1 back in extra taxes

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

        Obama has shrunk the Federal Government?

        I really doubt he’s shrunk it a bit.

        It’s possible he’s reduced some areas but on the whole I’d say he’s expanded it.

      • Duncan Cairncross December 19, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

        Hi Paul
        Here is link

        “while government payrolls (federal, state and local) have contracted by a combined 634,000 jobs”

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 19, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

        Very very big Nit. Obama has no control over State and Local governments. He could, in theory, cut Federal government jobs but not State & Local government jobs.

      • Duncan Cairncross December 19, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

        Hi Paul
        You are right
        Obama did reduce jobs – but only by a small amount
        The main reduction was State and Local

        I was mainly showing this because “everybody knows” that Obama has massively increased the size of the Federal Government

        In truth that is exactly what he SHOULD have done – when private industry is shedding jobs governments SHOULD simply do more and employ more people

        Historically the Federal Government grows under the “Party of small government” and is trimmed back under the Democrats
        – Its not what “everybody knows” – but that is propaganda for you

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 19, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

        Anymore, I wonder how much being said *good* about Obama is “just” propaganda.

  13. The Deposed King December 19, 2015 at 4:49 am #

    First. I would like to talk about fear as it relates to pain in a general sense.

    We know that people who do not feel pain have to be excessively careful with everything they do and monitor themselves visually, especially with their feet. Because they literally don’t feel it when they hurt themselves and when they say, get a resulting infection. Being without pain might sound like a very great idea until you put it into practice.

    Now that we know that being unable to feel pain is not necessarily a good thing. Let us talk about fear.

    A person without fear will not be scared of the big lion he/she/it wants to pet. A person without fear will look at the cars streaming across the road and think that they have the timing right and not being afraid of the law tries to run across the street. Most likely turning themselves into a meat patty over the course of time.

    I would say by the same token that a person without fear when it comes to social and/or politics would have to be like the pain free person, excessively cautious in everything he/she/it did because they won’t feel it when they stub their toe and end up with a septic infection until its close to too late.

    Should no one fear violent islam? Would things have been better in germany is more people had feared the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party? Or perhaps they should have been fearless and as soon as they heard something they didn’t like they stood up to be executed? Same thing if you happened to advocate racial equality, the right to vote and abolishion of slavery in a southern state containing a lot of ku-clux clam members during a certain period time in america. Should you be fearless or fearful? Be cautious because of fear or fearlessly speak out, not worry about your personal safety and maybe get drug behind a truck? Followed by strung up by the neck on a lamp pole.

    Sometimes you have to fear things and yet also be brave enough to act in order to get rid of them, like the Clan. Or in this case like ‘dare I say it?’ radical islam. Or at least reduce them to a managable level.

    I fear genocide in africa, predominantly perpetrated by muslim populations against christian populations. I fear the muslim rebels in mindanao philippines and wont’ willingly go to the southern half of the island. If I lived in germany in the 1940’s I’d fear the nazi party. If I lived in the racist hot bed of the south I’d fear white people or else I’d fear having non-white friends if white. If I lived in the gang banging black populated portions of america’s inner cities I’d fear if I was any race other than african-american. If I lived in a muslim country in the middle east in the general population I’d be deathly afraid if I was any religion other than muslim. If I lived in europe during the protestant revolution period I’d be afraid of being burnt at the stake no matter which religion I had. (in addition to fear of sicknesses, plagues and starvation) Because both sides were in the burning the ‘other/opposition’ business. If I was a woman in I think its sweden (one of those old nordic former viking countries) where they are big on multiculturalism and refuse to report or gather data on racially motivated crimes, to the point that they will even throw in jail a victim of gang rape who says her rapists were muslim immigrents for hate speech, I would be afraid to say if my attacker was muslim, christian, white, black or orange.

    In conclusion there are real things to fear in this world, both in the present and in the past historically speaking. And right now its a sad fact that radical islam is one of those many things that should be feared and again sadly, its a much bigger problem than a society currently working very hard for tolerance on all levels wants to willingly admit. And as we can see with the sweden problem, the desire not to have to judge others arbitrarily because of their group identity, can lead to some of the worst forms of victim blaming I’ve ever heard of. Let’s strive not to be like those who inprison the rape victims for calling their attackers the muslim immagrents that they were.

    If a group does something bad then everyone who identifies themselves as a member of that group needs to be monitored and censured, be they Southern Clansmen, Nazis or Islamic Extremists. And blaming the victims for speaking out against their attackers should be cut off at the knees double quick.

    The Deposed King

    • Andreas December 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      That would only work, if the pain is real. But most of the fear is imaginary.
      Like, most people who really fear muslems never have met any muslims. In Germany, there are studies that show, that in areas with the least amount of foreigners, people are most afraid of them. In areas were they are a lot of foreigners, nobody is afraid of them.
      The fear of the foreigner is irrational und imaginary. They fear something, that doesn’t even exist.

      All politics should be based on rationality and never ever on fear.
      Yes, you have to carefully look at the problems, the causes of the fear. But most causes of fear are not the thing, people fear, but mostly ignorance, stupidity, racism and so on. Fear is most of the time a sympthone.

      Lets take Chris example:
      The lower class maybe more racist, because they fear the muslim or in the US case the mexicans, who would steal their jobs.

      The fear is real. If you are an unskilled labor, every other person could steal your job.

      The problem is not the foreigner, the problem is a society, were people, who are unskilled have no perspective.
      People need 3 minimum wage jobs just to survive, while big company doesn’t pay tax at all. CEOs pay less tax than their cleaning ladies.
      The US is a state without a functioning social welfare system, you must be afraid of anything, that can make you loose your job.
      At the same time, while having 3 minimum wage jobs, you have no chance to improve yourself and study or do other things, were you can improve yourself to get better jobs.
      At the same time, the amount of labor is limited and Jobs are outsourced to china, where they have, if you put it simple, slave workers.
      Nobody in the US or the EU can compete with the prices of chinese slave laborers.
      That is a reason for mass unemployment and for social instability (their is a good theory, that the roman empire destroyed itself by having to many slaves so that the free man of rome couldn’t get any jobs, because they were done by slaves).

      I mean, look, the problem for the (working) poor are many and they use with their racism and easy target. They think, they can’t fight the corporations and the political elite who are at fault for their misery, so they fight against other poor groups, like foreigners for the crumbs that are left for them.

      Everyone, who is afraid of an foreigner stealing his job will not fight the system, that keeps him poor. He is fighting the one, who should be his ally in the fight against social injustice.

  14. The Deposed King December 19, 2015 at 4:54 am #


  15. The Deposed King December 20, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Well in point of fact while i’ll concede that on some level if you are an unskilled laborer yes anyone could take your job is true. The sad fact is that in general foreign/mexican workers are willing to work more hours for less pay than native workers. I mean who would get you riled up more. The unskilled person beside you who would work the same hours for the same pay or the unskilled foreigner who would work more hours for less pay? Yes there are laws for things such as minimum wage and overtime. But who is more likely to skirt around that? The guy who came to the country illegally, is in a strange land and in dire need of cash both for himself and his family back in his native country or the native guy who knows the law, knows his rights and will be the one still standing around holding the bag if he breaks the law? A foreigner can run home, a native guy…

    So I really honestly don’t know that you have to have a single racist bone in your body to be able to stand up and say in an entirely rational and totally logical way that foreign immigrants, especially the illegal ones that make up the majority of the mexican immigrants in the USA are the worst threat to your livelihood you’ve ever encountered before.

    That said I love mexicans. I grew up playing soccer and socializing with mexicans. But come on. They under cut the american worker. They are the illegal guy that law abiding non-college educated citizens have to compete with for jobs. To simply say those poor uneducated racist people simply don’t know enough to know better is not only condescending, I don’t think its accurate. Much like saying majority of muslims are jihadists. Saying the majority of people fearful of foreign workers do so because of racist tendencies I believe is also false.

    Now if what you’re saying is that much like the people against muslims because a large minority, 20% of the population loves sharia law and supports the parts of the Koran that gives them the legal/religious right to do violently extreme things to others because they believe its god’s will. That the case is similar with the uneducted; et- Blast it 20% of the working class are against foreigners simply because they’re racists who hate those good for nothing wet backs, not for logical reasons, and thus we must condemn the whole group…. Well if you were saying that, which I’m not saying you are. I’d have to counter with there’s not a whole lot of violent action against mexicans and other foreigners who are ‘stealing’ people’s jobs. And what there is, is probably on the level of ‘hey you dick you stole my job yesterday’ versus on the other hand ethnic cleansing, terrorist attacks against people they never even met and so forth do with the jihadist groups.

    Personally I think there are a lot of lazy people out there who don’t want to work and the mexicans that come to america are the motivated segment of their population that do. Also there’s a lot of jobs out there that people from america just simply don’t want to do (unless they’re paid a lot more) and the mexicans are busy saying sign me up now. Hard to compete with that. I say let them have the jobs if they really want them. I mean I don’t want those particular jobs.

    Also I would argue that saying the unskilled have no perspective comes off on the face of it as pretty arrogant. There’s so much mass media out there. The news. The movies. Hollywood, I mean if there’s an organization that loves to champion every underdog or minority group out there and then force feed it to you via programs that previously didn’t have that sort of thing, just to make sure you are aware of it (and in many cases ruining perfectly good movies and series), to the point they’ll make straw man arguments just so they can knock them down before your very eyes and force feed ‘perspective’ down your throat whether you want it or not, I very much doubt that even the unskilled have no perspective on many of these things such as racism and such.

    Frankly people now a days are just as intelligent as they were 40 or 400 or 4000 years ago and we have never had a more educated, less tribal population in the history of mankind.

    The sad fact is that some threats are real. Now the proper response can and should be argued but that doesn’t mean that just because a person doesn’t or shouldn’t want to take action that the threat has somehow magically disappeared.

    Sadly the common denominator of violent islam is muslims. Its not limited to men or women, white or brown, country or geographic region. Unfortunately the thing these terrorists have in common is religion. And even more unfortunately a large minority of the muslim population believes in strict adherence to a book that says ‘this is the final and unalterable word of god’ and which then goes on to talk about people having the right to make chirstians your slaves, rape women who expose their hair or skin to the eyes of others outside the home, kill or mutilate homosexuals, etc. If you really believe your book is the final and unalterable word of god (which is what it says in the beginning of the Koran) and your legal code (sharia law) should be based off that religious book which again lays out specific crimes and specific punishments for specific acts or states of being (i.e. non-muslim)… then you have a large minority of people who are a fertile breeding ground for hostile actions against others who do not conform with their religious beliefs.

    The Deposed King

    • Andreas December 23, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

      So, their is a problem with you argumentation: For you it is okay, to be against the Mexican, for anybody, who would do the same job for less money.
      The problem is not the Mexican, who just wants a better life and is willing to work hard for it. The problem is a system that let companys get by unpunished, if they hire illegal immigrants, if they hire people and pay them less.
      In Germany we had a similar problem:

      There was a new company for postal services, they used a trick in the system, that allowed them to pay their workers a lot less money (like 2-3$/Hour) and the government payed the rest, so the workers could surivive with that money.
      Now, your solution would be, to be angry at the workers, who are forced to work under such conditions.
      The german solution was, that this is an unfair advantage for this company, so they closed the loophole, so that the government doesn’t subventionate the payment of the workers.

      Lets say, Trump wins and all Mexicans are deported from the US.
      Now, would the industryworker get back his job? Would the people, who hired illigal immigrants would hire for more money a US-Gardener?

      Or is it more likley, that all Jobs, that can be done elsewhere very cheap (like all industry production) get outsourced?
      You see, there is the problem, most jobs can get outsourced and they are outsourced.
      Some jobs can’t (like Gardeners), but most can.

      And this should be illegal.
      It should be illegal for a company, to outsource his production to China, where slaves do the work. It should be illegal to use ressources from the Kongo, because they were made through slave labor (the US forbids products, that use ressources from the Kongo, I think).

      At least there should be a tax, like:
      If the product is produced under similiar conditions like in the US, the tax is zero.
      Is the product produced under condition, where workers have no rights, where they are literal slaves, the tax should be as high, so the product would be cheaper, if it were produced in the US (or Europe).

      Its like a soical tax, if the product isn’t produce under certain minimum standards, this companys should be punished because the create competitive advantage by overexploitation of the workforce and enviroment.
      Not the workers, who have no choice, should be punished, but the companys.

      What choice does a Mexican have? He can stay in Mexico, get shit pay and his children are likley to get killed by drug wars and no chance of achiving something, because of corruption and so on.
      In the US, the pay is better, the security is better and the worst, that can happen is, that they get deported back to Mexico, where they will flee again to the US.

      I can’t blame a mexican for that. It is the only logical choice he has.
      So, to solve the dilemma:

      Punish companies, who employ illegal immigrants and try to better the situation in mexico, like be legalizing drugs, so the war on terror stops.

      For the muslims:

      This year, 4 US Citizens were killed be thy IS, 15 US citizen were killed by toddlers (13 shot themselves, 2 shot somebody else, while they found an unsecured gun), 19 US Citizens were killed by furniture, 88 000 people get killed through alcohol consumption, 480 000 people get killed annualy by smoking (including second hand smoke) …

      The Threadlevel is clear, the biggest enemy for the people of the united states is not the Islam, but the alcohol and tabacco industry (and that goes for every developed country).

      • The Deposed King December 24, 2015 at 1:31 am #

        Actually we didn’t have a problem with illegal immigration until the usa government passed immigration laws. Made quotas, not simply verification, and then set the quotas too low. In addition realizing this problem the government chose amnesty on multiple occasions and refused to control its own borders. To then turn around and blame USA companies for hiring people in the USA to work jobs in the USA seems to me to be ludicrous on the face of it.

        If the government first creates (the law), then allows (loose borders and catch and release of foreign immigrents caught by law-enforcement) and then condones (in the form of amnesty in previous generations) I cannot in good conscience support punitive actions against otherwise law abiding corporations and small business owners for hiring people in the usa for usa based jobs. Even if the worker has brown skin and a suspiciously hispanic accent.

        You make the mess, you clean it up, and I don’t support cleaning it up by saying I’m hands off except to whip you usa citizens and corportions with my governmental tax and hate stick to fix the problems I simply can’t be bothered to fix myself.

        So my solution is, we have laws against illegal immigration, enforce them, we have laws against allowing illegals to enter the country, enforce them. If you did that and increased green card quotas to reasonable levels (11 million unskilled workers anyone?) then you could cut off the illegal problem at the root by denying illegal access and allowing legal access via monitored and controlled route of green cards. However to me, at the point you have 11 million illegals doing jobs and filling critical low level nitche’s, mass deportation seems more than problematic, without a solution to fill those jobs.

        Because unlike what you seem to think (maybe I’m wrong), the majority of the low level jobs that the illegal mexicans are filling aren’t overseas based jobs, they are planting christmas trees in usa soil, planting and harvesting crops in usa soil and working local jobs like in lumber mills, saw mills, and other home grown operations. Thinks that are hard is not impossible to outsource. the easily outsourced jobs have already been done, in large part. Two generations ago we were the manufacturing capital of the world, now… we’re the service capital of the world.

        In part because I don’t see the USA government as serious about this problem, I for one can’t get seriously upset about illegal mexicans working jobs in the usa. I ‘can’ see how a person growing up and living in a place as highly regulated and with as many laws constraining the local citizens as the usa being outraged that illegal immigrants are taking his job. But as a person who has seen first hand how hypocritical the government is on this issue, on the other hand I can’t blame the illegals either.

        They are people just like you and me. For generations now the only way to come into american and get is job is illegally. Their predecessors get amnesty on a semi-regular basis and they can send money home to their families. In addition to the latest massive drug cartel troubles.

        As for the muslims, I think that your comparitive examples are false choices or rather false comparisons. Or at least completely irrelevant. I mean if we had a serial killer terrorizing the country with how many did the muslims kill this year? Wouldn’t we have massive man hunts, countless new media releases, millions of dollars spent in hunting him/her down?

        The difference between a serial killer and toddlers with a gun is that one is by intelligent design, its it pre-meditated, reasoned, thought out and at least compared to alcohol, it is fully intended to kill others. How many alcololics randomly go around attacking malls and gathering places for the purpose of grabbing people and forcing alcohol down their throats in an anti-liver attack?

        Further more toddlers and alcoholics and smokers, in addition to not desiring to kill other people, intentionally speaking, have not openly said they want to kill everyone they agree with. Nor do they sit around in their living rooms day dreaming about access to WMD’s with which they could smite those infidel heathen dogs! 19 attacks seems like we could just leave it to local authorities except give those same people 19 WMD’s.

        Now do we believe that these jihadists are just talking big about WMD’s while they’re cutting off non-muslim heads and raping any woman who uncovers a part of her skin that they can get their hands on? Do we say that even if they’re serious they must incompetent because no attacks so far? Or do we say that the huge defense and law enforcement budgets of Wild Bush and lack luster Obama who failed to cut those budgets combined with the mass hysteria and mono-focus on organized jihadists versus gun weilding toddlers, have so far kept them from worse attacks?

        To me whatever the answer is it doesn’t involve increased focus on toddlers and alcoholics.

        The Deposed King

  16. Gaden December 26, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    Dont shoot me on this. But a major issue I see in America is that American Politicians have turned near every important issue into issues of ideology.

    Instead of working together to fix a real problem, they fight on how the problem is one of ideology and then proceed to fight for said ideology. After awhile ignoring the problem to co-oping it into this big ideology fight. And then at the end of the day producing no real concrete solution to the problem, which goes on and on and on.

    A (hopefully non-polarizing) example is the issue of estate tax in America. I am often in awe of how Politicians turn an “issue” that affects only the REALLY rich and actually benefits the rest, into a fight against government vs citizen and the robbing the “average” American. They can make such a minor (to the average person) issue into something that all American must fight for. Into the issue of “The American Dream”…

    • The Deposed King December 26, 2015 at 2:53 am #

      I agree that politicians and both parties polarize issues for votes. Democrats see hispanics as their natural voter base to let them come in by the millions then amnesty them and get instant majorities in contested elections! They use a heart string attack to say why are we denying these people. Republicans ‘claim’ they’re on what is the more principled side of the issue and if we are a nation of laws then they are in fact correct. However just like the dem’s they go right into vote pandering on the issue.

      Its like this on a whole host of issues. Democrats ‘claim’ the principled position, Repub’s give the moral heart string attack in return and we’re left rolling around in the mud while they vote pander.

      Here’s the problem with all this it literally does attack the american dream. People like Thomas Jefferson looked around and saw the Top Down justice and power is just for us oppression of the Monarchies and top 1% that went on back in their time. Then turned around and looked at the bottom up counter oppression that was happening by pandering to the lowest classes in order to oppress the middle and upper classes, in most cases extremely violently and said no way. Everyone is or should be equal. No top down oppression, no bottom up (those rich bastards should pay their fair share or we’ll string them up!) and built a consitution that was supposed to limit control and oppression by the rich and stop the bottom for voting in ‘fair share’ taxes and regulations that would force the rich to ‘do more’ than the poor because they have more.

      That’s why we originally had things such as voting only by those invested in the new system Land Owners of whatever size the plot (remember this was time when to become a land owner all you had to do was buck up and go plant a stake in the wilderness, face the natives and wildlife and build a house of logs) and the Electoral College so that reasoned minds could moderate the hysteria of the masses (because they were giving the right to vote to massive segments of the population in ways literally never done before). That’s why american had a Constituational Republic, not a democracy. Tripartate government. Each leg equal to the others but with primacy over certain parts of the process.

      As we can see now a days we’ve in large part tossed aside equality for all in favor of ‘fair share’ taxes in which the poor pay nothing and the rich pay more than half their income. I don’t count medicare and social security because those programs are touted as you pay in when young and we pay you back when you’re older, like forced savings in the bank. While money from ‘the rich’ are used to pay for defense, roads, foreign diplomacy hand outs to sway things in favor of the entire country, etc. We’ve also tossed aside the electoral college which was ‘designed’ to stop the masses from making big mistakes. Like oh say voting for a guy who says one thing until the votes come in and then new light comes in and it turns out he’s actually another. Originally intended the elctoral college would be there ‘just in case’ but now in most states its illegal for them to vote any other way than the people. Again we originally had a ‘republic’ not a democacy for those who are outraged.

      Same thing with states rights. Originally we were a union of separate states but more and more the federal government is trying to turn them into provinces.

      I would say as an aside that the death tax is one of the same things. It chips away at freedom and equality for all by making a segment of the population ‘pay their fair share’. Is it wong? I can see lots of big problems with inherited wealth accumulating in a few hands until defacto monopolies form simply from the wealth of generations being concentrated into a few hands. On the other hand is it equality? Does it chip away at the idea that no one is treated differently from anyone else?

      Like with the title of this post implies with: Simple Answers. I believe that there are no real simple answers and that anyone who thinks so is either an ideolog, has never really sat down and thought about it. This country was founded on freedom for all (in large part freedom from european ideas) yet more and more we are embracing the european model. Yet more and more our government is focused on ‘making’ the more wealthy classes work for the betterment of the lower classes. Its not charity if you are forced to give through taxes. Its not freedom if my pay check is slashed by 50% and yours is not. It may be fair. It may be right. It may be necessary. But its not what this country was founded on.

      Maybe the founders were wrong? Maybe times have changed? (although if you look carefully Jefferson among others were speaking about exactly and directly about the same problems we are grappling with today). Maybe we should abandon the old because of the built in problems, even though we don’t have a proven model that does better?

      Not a simple answer.

      The Deposed King

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