Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Tale of Unfathomable Triggering, Endless Tears, and the Self-induced Neutering of the Progressive Vanguard

I definitely don't support Trump. With that being said -- I most certainly prefer him over Clinton.

Why? Well, for the most part, I actually find both of their politics to ultimately be mere inches apart -- a trend of recent presidencies that show Republican and Democrat nominees for federal office (less so at the state level) have been moving closer to 'the center' from either side, with constituencies and the hoi polloi moving increasingly to the margins of progressivism and libertarianism. I actually think this recent phenomenon is due to the distillation of ideas due to the (sometimes crude, but still effective) purification process from the internet -- but that's a discussion for another time.

However, we do have some important differences between these two that are factors in my preference... 

The SCOTUS, Obviously

A big one and definitely a contender for the most important issue, is that of the next Supreme Court Justice to be appointed for life due to the recent passing of Antonin Scalia. There are a few other SCJ's getting a bit longer in the tooth, and with likely two full terms for the next president (which has been another trend for decades, now), we're looking at more than enough time for another SCJ or two to leave empty seats. SCJ's have not, in the history of the United States, broken more than 90 years of age, leaving fairly high chances for some more to be replaced within the span of the next eight years. 

Plumb-line, true-scotsmen, small-l libertarian SCJs are of course most preferable, but the least likely.  That leaves us with 'liberals' (which at this level and in this day and age seem to be more Progressive leaning as opposed to 'liberal', anyways) and Conservatives -- which really just means that leaves us with conservatives, since 'liberals' and especially Progressives are much more likely to centralize increased power to the federal government.

So imagine a Clinton Presidency, likely for the next two terms, and potentially two or three of her picks (likely during an inevitable flip of control of the legislative branch to the Democrats) bringing about an easy Progressive majority in the SCOTUS. Consider for a moment that this will thrust the SCOTUS to consistent Progressive interpretations of the Constitution and other laws for the next 30-or-so years and the long-lasting effects that will have on legislation in the past, present, and future and the entire structure of the US Government. Really, just let that sink in for a moment.

Right, I thought so. It is what it is.

Critical Mass

The other big difference is one of paramount importance and is, for me at least, a great silver lining in a Trump Presidency, unique to Trump vs the other possibilities throughout the primary season. Progressive heads will explode the world over when he wins. Actually, they've already lost. It's done. It's been done for weeks, if not months, now, and the writing is on the wall. Their ideology is completely unworkable, unrealizable, and incoherent. They're so out-of-touch with the American people that they're still nowhere near realizing it. A Trump presidency will not be a surprise to anyone but them. Their sad, washed-up vanguard is pushing a failed, desperate narrative -- and they keep pushing it and failing, regardless, even with the media above-and-beyond mostly on their side. The incessant hammering of politically correct social pressures has created some thick hides and rendered many immune to it. So many people are over the politically correct, third-wave feminist, SJW, whiny, entitled bullshit and they're not afraid, anymore -- they can't be shamed, and the shaming has completely switched directions. Progressives and their vanguard have overplayed their hand for far too long, and the final rejection of this bastardization of liberalism has finally reached critical mass with the campaign of Donald Trump.


Again -- Progressives are a bit slow on the uptake for a lot of this. Naturally, they'll be the last to know, and all this flailing about we've seen from recently is to be expected. The unbelievable arrogance of trying to spin the recent DNC email leak and make themselves (and supposedly, the American people, by extension) out to be the victims of Russian agents and hackers to control the election in favor of a Manchurian candidate? Well, okay, then. Don't at all pay attention to the fact that they were the ones blatantly exposed for lies, corruption, and hypocrisy to their own donors, activists, and constituents -- whether it was even done by the Russians or the Chinese or a DNC leaker or martians is completely besides the point .

They're really starting to reach at straws, though. The sad new spin attempt today was actually quite an impressive coordination of "Quick, run to the phones!"-style, shameless, false propaganda. Following Donald Trump's recent Press Conference on Hillary Clinton, the shilling for ole Hillary reached great heights. Within the span of minutes, I suddenly saw dozens of extremely click-baity articles (a short list of examples here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) of center to left news pages (and even many supposedly non-political technology pages!) jump on claims that he essentially engaged in treason by explicitly and publicly asking the Russian Government and Putin to hack the US to get emails on Hillary. Of course, this was taken completely out of context, words were twisted to mean something completely different, and they tried (and failed) to blow it up into a much bigger deal than it was. All he said was that if the Russians do in fact have Hillary Clinton's missing 33,000 e-mails (and he didn't know if they did, and doubted they did), then he hopes they give them to the press. He never said he wants them to hack the US or a major party. He actually stated on Twitter (hours before the statements in the conference in question) that whoever has the e-mails, if they do, that they "should share them with the FBI." It's all right in the video, embedded below.

The fact that they're now using such weak and pathetic claims to try to control the narrative so cheaply, despite how easily debunked it all is -- shows how weak and tenuous they know their position has become. They're flailing and lashing about, like a small child who hopelessly knows he is not about to get his way.

And really, you gotta hand it to the guy... The sheer cojones to take unfiltered questions from a very hostile press, who are all or mostly very clearly trying to prop up Hillary -- and happily stump them... Just totally epic. 

He truly is 'a nimble navigator' (hat-tip, the_Donald Subreddit). I suggest watching the whole thing -- he's very good at dealing with the press on his own, he doesn't hold back much, and it's really quite entertaining, to boot.

When reality finally hits them -- it will all be absolutely delectable. And it couldn't come soon enough.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Data Illustrates the Destructive Positive Feedback Loop of the Rapid, Unending Rise of College Tuituion

It's always gratifying to see the data illustrate what we've been saying is happening all along.

Also, this creates a positive feedback loop -- subsidies create artificial demand, increasing prices, and after prices increase, you need ever higher subsidies to feed the now-higher tuition prices. Naturally, the prices have been rising by insane levels over time. On top of this, loose government subsidies for college incentivize loose college considerations -- people go to college who should not be going to college, and with so many young people not even finishing the degree they started, or just as bad, if not worse -- finishing degrees they don't end up using for their career. This also creates utterly bizarre and/or useless degrees and studies that contribute little to nothing more to society and economy than the 'Triggly Puffs' of the world and their sad, intellectually dishonest, unproductive, destructive ilk.

This is all while saddling so many with absolutely crushing and lifestyle-debilitating amounts of debt. Debt that you cannot avoid, by the way -- if unsecured private debt isn't paid, it goes on your credit report. If unsecured government debt isn't paid, it still goes on your credit report, but they can also garnish your wages and/or put a levy on your bank account.

It's all a very, very miserable cycle that that hampers society and is primarily there to help wealthy colleges, universities, and academia in general to keep prices and wages at massively artificially inflated levels -- all at the expense of our youth, all while being a massive propaganda mill. The government-subsidized student loan system is a giant racket and should be abolished.

A snippet from the article (original source of the data, here)...

With all factors present, net tuition increases from $6,100 to $12,559. As column 4 demonstrates, the demand shocks — which consist mostly of changes in financial aid — account for the lion’s share of the higher tuition.

Specifically, with demand shocks alone, equilibrium tuition rises by 102%, almost fully matching the 106% from the benchmark. By contrast, with all factors present except the demand shocks (column 7), net tuition only rises by 16%.

These results accord strongly with the Bennett hypothesis, which asserts that colleges respond to expansions of financial aid by increasing tuition.

The 'Bennett Hypothesis' goes back almost three decades (by William J. Bennett, Secretary of Education in 1987) and is the theory that as long as the government ensures the bills will get paid, colleges will raise tuition. The idea that this would happen is, of course, nothing special nor original to libertarians and Austrian School economists -- but pro-regressives and special interests in academia have naturally contended it ever since by playing with the statistics, despite the data and logic showing the contrary again and again. Color me surprised.

It's good to see them eat crow on this, yet again. Let private loans manage it and all of these problems will fix themselves.