Madness November 12, 2015

Republicans lay out insane proposals

  1. Eat the poor by cutting their already low wages
  2. Babble incoherently about trying to provoke a war with Russia and China over Syria, taking Iraq oil fields, and not learning a damn thing from the last decade
  3. Appeal to Operation Wetback as model for a not-at-all racist or crazy plan to deport a massive 11 million people and cripple the economy into which they are completely integrated

I will take seriously the “prudential judgments” of the anti-abortion-but-not-prolife Party of Crazy when they give the slightest indication they would recognize Prudence if it walked up and punched them in the nose.

God forbid these guys get anywhere near the levers of power.


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  • Mike@MCA

    Learn something about economics and American history before you judge others, Mark.

    • Bill

      Powerful rebuttal!

      • MarylandBill

        I assume that is sarcasm since nothing in this “rebuttal” actually demonstrates Mark’s errors or a superior mastery over the material at hand.

        The basic problem with economics is that you can pretty much find an economist who will argue any position you want if you look hard enough.

        • Dave G.

          Technically, nowadays, that’s a basic problem with more subjects than just economics.

    • Mark’s problem is not lack of information, but a refusal to accept certain facts and their consequences.

      There is definitely room for improvement in the GOP policy on economics. I think it’s utterly detached from the reality of the IT revolution, for instance and also tries to refight the 80s way too much and learn from Reagan’s approach way too little. They’re still the best major party alternative.

      • Mike@MCA

        TM, I see nothing detached from any particular part of the economy. I see Democrats swimming in Silicon Valley and Hollwood $$$ while saying nothing about their huge overseas cash hoards or the $$$ they make at the top.

        • I think you might have your indent wrong. Did you mean to address me?

  • Dave G.

    The problem with the GOP is that they’ve helped feed the modern tendency to think we’re above belonging. After all, you either have what the GOP is becoming, or what the Democrats have long been.

    • Mike@MCA

      Most of the fallacies in the voting populace are the result of misinformation by the liberal media elite. For instance, the Democratic Party is actually the party of the super-rich but you’d never know that from their reporting. For obvious reasons………

  • Scott

    I agree with Mike.

  • Dodger Dickens

    Arguing politics in this day and age is like picking a fight with gravity. It can’t be reasoned with anymore because it’s filled with unreasonable people across the spectrum all going in generally the same direction. The Party of Crazy on one side, the Party of Satan on the other. And the Party of Crazy is becoming its own iteration of the Party of Satan. Remember when all we had to worry about was nuclear annihilation and affirmative action?

    • Yet if we don’t argue politics and relearn to do so more constructively, we’re on the road to a civil war. The fear of that war is what keeps me doing it.

      • Joseph

        Those days are long past… look at Yale. The internet has made everyone stoopid.

        • foulweatherfan

          I don’t think the Internet has made everyone stupid so much as it has made a lot of folks arrogant. The Internet is a tremendous vehicle for accessing information, and a large subset of Americans have become much better informed. But many of those same folks not only access only information that reinforces their own prejudices but also access lousy or unreliable information. Yet, they freely post confident opinions on Internet blogs, ridiculing all those who disagree with them as either agents of Crazy or friends of Satan.

        • Then learn to shoot. You’ll need it.

          Is that contempt dripping between the lines? Why yes, yes it is.

        • Newp Ort

          No YOUR stoopid.

      • Sue Korlan

        I’m much more afraid of a war between nations which we will lose because our leaders are too blind to see it coming and God is not going to bless us while we continue to slaughter our children. Prayer is about all there is left to do. And vote.

        • I am too, yet the economic maneuvers that we are trying to sustain feed into that worry. This very week a new sagebrush rebellion started.

    • Mike@MCA

      We still have to worry about affirmative action, aka Employment Apartheid.

  • Pete the Greek

    Not agreeing to push an artificial hike in the federal minimum wage is ‘cutting their wages’? There isn’t a federal $15 minimum wage right now. How is not pushing it ‘cutting’ wages? I would point out that pushing it is also pushing for cutting wages, just for the entire middle class.

    “If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine.”
    – Like Rubio or not (I personally do not favor him), this point is valid.

    The reasons our economy is not doing well are legion. Some of them are major problems that are going to take years and a lot of pain to fix, if they ever will. (I personally don’t think they will) ANY politician (or blogger) who pontificates ‘All we need to do is simply…’ is full of $hit, on either side.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Am I the only one who has noticed that of our current crop of candidates, the most consistently pro-life guy in the bunch is Democrat John Kasich? Why hath Catholic radio and TV been so silent on that this election season?

    • Dave G

      Kasich is republican.

  • MarylandBill

    I personally oppose a national minimum wage, not because I don’t believe a minimum wage shouldn’t exist, but because the cost of living varies dramatically across this country. $15 an hour in Nebraska is going to go a heck of a lot further than $15 or even $20 an hour in New York City.

    • Mike@MCA

      Let’s just make the minimum wage $100,000 a year and let’s see what happens.

      Ever notice how the politicians who favor minimum wage laws have no experience in economics OR running a business ? All lawyers or ‘community activists.’

      • foulweatherfan

        Not just politicians. Blog warriors too.

        • Mike@MCA

          I have run a business and I know economics/finance.

          Most of the Democrats in public office are lawyers or social welfare activists. Hence their lack of knowledge.

          • foulweatherfan

            Yes, and they can be oddly addicted to a certain measure of self-righteousness. Leaving aside the practical experiences to which you refer, one would think that these folks would at least try to embrace some level of critical thinking.

            • Mike@MCA

              LIKE WHAT ? Like how the Great Society worked wonders in the black community ?

              They don’t care about their lives, just their votes. Same with the black Left.

              I used to wonder how black liberals could keep voting for and ignoring the same programs that led to socioeconomic rot. Then I realized they had created the Gold Standard of Politics: a perpetual underclass that is a race-conscious voting bloc that will vote 10:1 or 20:1 for the Democratic Party, ensuring the Black Left political power in perpetuity.

              It doesn’t matter if the black family, neighborhoods, schools, or crime situation fall apart. The vast majority are unfortunately not smart enough to realize who is responsible for their plight.

              Remember the old plantation owners who realized even if the slaves were freed that they couldn’t leave if they were uneducated and illiterate because they would starve ?

              Meet the new boss (Democratic Party), same as the old boss (plantation owner).

  • It really is getting tiresome providing the same accurate information on economics when you keep swallowing emotional laden economic snake oil.

    1. China and India will continue to depress wages globally for the foreseeable future, though things are starting to get better. Two billion plus people don’t get absorbed into the labor pool at the snap of one’s fingers and they’re still coming with technology every year enabling more of them to work at jobs that used to need geographic proximity to handle.
    2. Automation continues to destroy labor jobs at lower and lower costs. Burger flipping jobs are now being challenged by machine, for example. The cross-over wage where it’s worth buying the robot is now $15 an hour for that task.
    3. We have no apprenticeship system other than go out and get a minimum wage job, which is why most of these jobs are part time things for the young living at home who need to learn and prove they have basic job skills and people who have other income but have time on their hands.

    You have (by accident, I’m quite sure) just endorsed the 19.8% black jobless rate for teens as well as endorsing trapping people unnecessarily in poverty. Eating the poor? The left is gorging on them and when you endorse their economic narrative uncritically, you’re munching down on them as well.

    As for Ben Carson, he was never going to be a foreign policy president and he shows why I am still undecided about his candidacy. Since he seems to be something of a moderate in terms of use of force, he should get qualified praise, but you seem to have decided consistancy is not a virtue today.

    A lot of people pretend that the GOP has gone rogue lately and if only they were like the Eisenhower GOP, then they’d be great. “Operation Wetback” was an Eisenhower administration program that successfully deported 1.5M illegal immigrants. So much for the idea that it’s resistance to a recent brand of GOP radicalism that’s being criticized.

    We have fifty thousand or thereabouts irish illegals in the US, usually visa overstays. People could settle the issue of whether Trump or other immigration restrictionists are racist by asking about those guys. Watching them say that they should be treated the same as everybody else would settle the issue immediately. But the question isn’t asked because clarity is the last thing the media wants.

    I know illegal immigrants. Many are here on a strict cost/benefit basis. If they find jobs drying up with e-verify more widely used, they’ll self-deport just like they self-deported when the economy went deep in the tank. Eleven million departures is only impractical if you don’t know any illegal immigrants, don’t know people who have self deported, and are deluded enough to buy the left’s spin that every departure is going to be due to an expensive law enforcement action and court case.

    • Joseph

      When the couple of bouts of amnesty happened, there were classes of immigrants that were given it before the illegal Irish in America. I happen to know of quite a few in Boston who couldn’t get amnesty while others of different nationalities could. I’m not arguing against any of the points you made… just illustrating that using the Irish illegals as an example is not very honest. They’re discriminated against when it comes to how the US government treats them over *other* illegals.

      • Please name your preferred non-brown illegal immigrant class. I’ll be glad to adopt it instead of the irish. The point I made would still stand.

        • Mike@MCA

          The Immigration Act of 1924 cut LEGAL immigration by 50%. Italians got cut by 98%.

          Yes, 98%.

          My grandfather just beat the deadline and then brought my grandmother over from Italy. They got married, had 2 kids including my father, my non-English speaking Grandfather had to go to Virginia (from Brooklyn) to get work during the Depression while his wife and kid(s) stayed in NYC.

          So I know PLENTY about non-English speaking, darker-skinned immigrants (legal) feeling like they are getting picked on.

          But my grandparents weren’t picked on. And neither are the ILLEGAL immigrants who everybody is looking to protect, including the sanctuary city crooks and the Democratic Party.

    • Mike@MCA

      China’s labor force is now SHRINKING and wages have risen 10% a year for a decade. Their days as the cheap labor supply is over.

      • Is it your contention that the labor supply/demand curve is in balance and that we’ve run out of cheap workers? If not, then just substitute your preferred nations instead of China. The implications for US workers are exactly the same.

        I agree that a great deal of China’s initial wave has already been absorbed. There’s a second wave coming. The majority of their labor force is still in underperforming state companies that operate on the same principles they did in Mao’s time and those companies are likely not long for this earth as China runs out of the ability to subsidize them enough to keep them viable.

        update: SOE enterprises are about 40-50% of the PRC industrial sector. I realized a rough magnitude number would probably help get the point across. I’m actually encouraged it’s that small.

        • Mike@MCA

          Vietnam and some other SE Asians are now the New Tigers. Africa is the last hope.

          Read Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s columns the last few weeks at the UK Telegraph. Fascinating stuff.

    • Pete the Greek

      “If you want to see a reasonable immigration policy, look to Mexico. You automatically
      get a ninety-day tourist visa when you land. No border Nazis. To get residency
      papers, you need two things (apart from photographs, passport, etc.) First,
      a valid tourist visa to show that you entered the country legally. Mexico
      doesn’t do illegal aliens. Second, a demonstrable income of $1000 a
      month. You are welcome to live in Mexico, but you are going to pay your own
      way. Sounds reasonable to me.”
      From here

      I never understood why people think the choice is between rounding up millions of people by force and… do nothing. If there aren’t jobs, they’ll leave. That’s what happened to the illegals (no, I didn’t check their status when they applied. I don’t care) who were apartment tenants. When the housing boom slowed and construction slacked off in my area, they just… left.

      • But if we allow for reasonable middle ground options, we can’t rend our clothes and make a big scene. How dare you take that option away from our nation’s cry bullies.

      • foulweatherfan

        The current emphatic opposition to immigration is grounded in three things: (1) fear of falling wages for unskilled and semi-skilled labor, (2) fear of higher taxes necessary to pay for social benefits, and (3) nativism based on conscious or unconscious bigotry.

        (1) is a somewhat legitimate concern for many Americans. (3) is certainly seriously wrong and should be condemned, (2) could be addressed via the Mexican approach of not offering social benefits. The last option would be anathema to the very people who are the most vocally supportive of illegal immigrants.

        • Pete the Greek

          3 is more of a caricature in general.

          There are quite a few people who don’t mind immigrants. I’m one of those people, as I’ve point out before. (hey, there my favored customers!)

          What people, myself included, DO worry about is non integration or, when integration happens at all, it is integration into the welfare state. While a country is wealthy and has enormous amounts of money to blow on welfare statism, things are fine, as money, like caulk for a painter, fixes a lot of problems. The issue comes when there is no longer enough money for generous social welfare. That’s when the violence starts.

          Where I’ve seen your 3rd point most explicitly is with blacks and Hispanic immigrants, at least in my area. Blacks loathe the immigrants because they move into their lower value neighborhoods, work like fiends, raise the values on properties and eventually force blacks into worse and worse sections of the city. Hispanics don’t like blacks as they see them as violent layabouts. Hey, not my words, just the general outlook I get from them after having so many of them as customers for years.

    • Jim the Scott

      Get rid of all the illegals using e-verify or let some of them stay as permanent alien residents who cannot vote.

      Like Sandra Burnheart on a Saturday night I could go either way…..

      It is not hard.

      PS remember EVERYBODY who is for raising the minimum wage just hates the poor wither they realize it or not.;-)

      • There’s a problem with creating a permanent population without political rights.

        There are plenty of people who are for raising the minimum wage who don’t hate the poor. They just tend not to be very economically literate.

        • Jim the Scott

          >There’s a problem with creating a permanent population without political rights.

          Nonsense they would have the same rights as any other resident alien. Also their children would become citizens.
          They came here illegally so why should they be allowed to vote or hold public office? There has to be a price.

          >There are plenty of people who are for raising the minimum wage who don’t hate the poor. They just tend not to be very economically literate.

          You are assuming I want to treat people who disagree with me on matters regarding the minimum wage as persons acting with good will & good intention?

          I simply don’t wish to do that.

          I would rather follow the Shea man’s example and assume all those who disagree with me on politics are just stupid and evil.

          I like it.

          It makes me feel like a man. 😉

  • Jim the Scott

    Anyone who is for “raising the minimum wage” truly hates the poor and wants to starve them.

    Since everyone with an IQ larger than 3 knows raising the minimum wage causes more job losses, lay-offs and freezes job hirelings.

    TMLutas is right BTW. Listen to him and don’t bore me with this neo-Socialist nonsense that dooms people to live in poverty forever.

    I won’t hear you.

  • Elmwood

    Yep, the GOP are crazy stupid. But somehow most white church going catholics don’t realize it. The GOP are so bad, you can almost make a compelling moral argument to vote for Sanders.

    • foulweatherfan

      I’m a lawyer. I can “almost make a compelling moral argument” for anything. But I’d need a big retainer for that one.

    • Dave G.

      I can certainly understand why a person, a Christian especially, wouldn’t vote for a major GOP candidate at this time. For the life of me, I can’t imagine a case in which a person, especially a Christian, could vote for a major Democratic candidate at this time.

    • Mike@MCA

      Yeah, a brain-dead Red Diaper baby Socialist. Just what we need.

      Maybe white ethnic Catholics are fed up being used as an ATM machine for the Bishop’s transfers of $$$ to the Congressional Black Caucus.

      • Heather

        There is no such thing as an “ethnic Catholic.” Catholic is not an ethnic group, it’s a word that means universal. If you have a problem with black people, then you’ve got a problem with the Church, because Africa and the Caribbean are full of Catholics.

        • foulweatherfan

          Huh? Are you saying there are no ethnic groups? Or are you saying that no members of those ethnic groups are Catholic? Or perhaps you are saying that the Catholic bishops have not been sending money to African-American advocacy groups that have been publicly exposed as corrupt? If not, then your perfectly valid points about “catholic” meaning universal and the existence of Black Catholics are entirely irrelevant to the post to which you were responding.

          • Heather

            No, I meant exactly what I said. The commentor mentioned something called “white ethnic Catholics.” An “ethnic XYZ” is someone who belongs to the ethnic group XYZ. There may be “ethnically white” Catholics, or rather ethnically British, German, Danish, etc. Catholics, but “ethnic Catholic” is a contradiction in terms because the very name Catholic rejects ethnic specialization.

            If the US Bishops have been continuing to fund an organization that has been proven to be corrupt (and I have no idea if they have, it’s not something I’ve looked into and is not relevant to me since I am not American), then I can see why there would be people that would be “fed up” but I fail to see a sensible non-racist reason for this to be particularly objectionable to white Catholics specifically. The remark about the demographics of the global Church was simply noting that if “Mike@MCA” thinks that the Church is primarily a non-black institution he is woefully out of touch with reality.

            • Pete the Greek

              To be totally honest, I’m not really sure what point Mike@MCA was trying to make.

              ON EDIT: Oops, read that wrong. I mean ‘Jim The Scott’.

              • chezami

                I believe the point was “Screw Mark Shea! *Now* let’s see if he kicks me out of his comboxes! Look at me! Being brave!”

                Happy to oblige, Jim. When you are are able to conduct a conversation without being rude, lemme know.

            • Mike Petrik

              No. In US usage the term “white ethnic Catholics” refers to those white Americans who self-identify by as Italian-American Catholics, Polish-American Catholics. Irish-American Catholics, etc. He was suggesting neither that Catholicity was an ethnicity nor that the Church is predominately “white ethnic.”

  • Peggy

    I wonder why I am going to cause myself Jane Jetson fingers by typing how tiresome your lack of economic understanding is. TM Lutas has done much work here. I will limit my exertions to correct.

  • Marthe Lépine

    One thing strikes me about most of the comments made here (and here I am talking as a person who has done post-graduate studies in economics, and has obtained good results, even if it was 50 years ago): Mark is talking about economic issues from a point of view based on morals and justice, while most of his objectors insist on keeping the focus on the popular economic theories of our time. These are two valid points of view, but for Catholics, one cannot be totally separated from the other, no matter how much one would like to do it. For example, it is and remains an unjust situation that many people have to work for salaries that don’t meet their needs and those of their families, and I for one cannot accept the objection that, if the minimum wage was increased, everybody else will follow their inclination towards envy, (yes, envy!) and claim that their wages too must be raised in order to keep them feeling superior to “that other class of workers”, and, therefore, those at the bottom of the economic ladder will, or even should, always remain poor and nobody should ever talk about improving their lot as being a matter of justice, even if the teaching of the Catholic church has been saying it for over a century. Economic theories are mostly based on observations of what usually happens in certain situations, but they are not laws, that have to be followed or else… Yes, maybe other wages will go up and nothing will improve for the poor. But it is not a valid reason to dismiss the arguments for a more just treatment of workers. And, on the other hand, it is quite possible that higher wages will increase the purchasing ability of the poor and that, in that way, that additional money will be spread among the rest of the population because of additional demand – a long time ago it has been estimated that there is a multiplier effect of increasing the supply of money available to people that can reach about 2 1/2 times the amount of money originally distributed. But that idea, for some reason, has fallen out of favour and been replaced by that “trickle down effect” that is so popular. And this is only one argument among others, I would have a lot more to say, but I don’t have time to write a full treaty about it just now… since it is now 4:30 in the morning and if I want to be able to get up on time to get to mass tomorrow Sunday, I need to go to bed!

    • I revisited the thread because of someone else’s resurrection and find I can’t let this pass by. The special nature of the USA leads to certain conversational conventions. Mark does not follow them. That is certainly his right as an american, and Lord knows the man harbors no political ambitions so he does himself little damage by the negative coalition building effects of his chosen writing style. It does not follow that those who chose to write more conventionally are not interested in the moral case of their positions or could not adopt such a case at need.

      The largest economic fact is that we used to have a multi-century phenomenon where India, China, and Africa were effectively out of the global economy. Or said with a little less hyperbole, they were in such economic bondage that they were effectively not part of the game. They radically underperformed their potential.

      The GOP, born an anti-slavery party, agitated for and successfully influenced the reduction of economic slavery via Nixon’s opening to China and supporting Dengism and its follow on developments. The GOP also quietly applauded at the dismantling of India’s Permit Raj and is encouraged at signs of economic life coming on line in Africa. As moral matters, these are all undeniably good things, much like the end of slavery was during the US Civil War. However, such good news in all these cases came with a downside, a massive increase in available labor and massive economic dislocation.

      Our christian charity does not end when we free somebody from slavery, or we save an unborn from abortion. What do we do with all those people with hardly any work opportunities? You shift work opportunities to them as a matter of justice and also a matter of practicality and you work as hard as you can to expand the labor needed so that the global economy adjusts to a multi-billion influx of new labor. The predictable result is that economic opportunity will be reduced for the people who suddenly get new competition in their fields. This is the outsourcing, deindustrialization, and labor politics of the capitalist world in a nutshell, largely done as a moral argument.

      I don’t think that Mark has ever intentionally made a pro-slavery argument in his life. He frequently unintentionally has made them though because he is ignorant of economics and the implications of what he writes. He has admitted that he doesn’t understand economics and wouldn’t understand a sophisticated pro-slavery argument if it reached up and bit him on the butt so he also doesn’t know how to avoid making them by accident either.