Sultan Knish: The Price of Privilege

Source: Sultan Knish: The Price of Privilege

A proposal has been making its way through the social justice sewer system to have white people pay a 5% privilege tax.

How do you calculate the income losses for a white student shut out of college by affirmative action or a white business owner’s income losses due to preferential business programs aimed at minorities?

The white student would happily pay that 5% to be allowed to go to college instead of being told that more diverse students with worse grades will cut ahead of him in line because they are “disadvantaged”. It would be easier for the white business owner to calculate in a fixed privilege tax for an otherwise competitive market than the intangible forms of diversity discrimination that rig the game.

A 5% white privilege tax would be far too honest. The real tax is hidden and much higher.

But the white privilege tax does raise all sorts of fascinating questions. How do you calculate it? It can’t be by appearing or identifying as a minority. Such an unfair performative system would allow Rachel Dolezal, aka Nkechi Diallo, to escape paying her white privilege tax after unfairly exploiting her white privilege to head the NAACP.

If white people can just braid their hair in dreadlocks and spend a week in a tanning salon before renaming themselves Mkesi Daluboo or Willami Clintonoo, what good is a white privilege tax?

The only fair way to do it is with a DNA test.

Commercially available DNA tests make it easy to calculate the percentage of European and more diversely non-European ancestry. Every taxpayer could establish the exact diversity of his ancestry and determine his privilege tax that way.

The results would be interesting.

The average African-American is around a quarter European. That means he would be required to pay a 1.25% white privilege tax. Obama’s white privilege tax would be at least 2.5%. It would have been higher, but Africans have less European ancestry, with its accompanying white privilege, than African-Americans, even though they were never actually enslaved in the United States.

Henry Louis Gates Jr, the Obama pal who blamed racism for his confrontation with police, has 50% European ancestry. That will be a 2.5% white privilege tax. Please.

Latinos in this country average around 70 percent European ancestry. That’s a 3.5% white privilege tax.

The minority taxpayer likely to end up with the lowest white privilege tax would be Asian-American. Asian-Americans have some of the highest economic performance around, but they are also untainted by the evil curse of white privilege having no European ancestry whatsoever.

But Asian-Americans do have high intermarriage rates so before long their children, like much of the population of the United States, will end up with European ancestry and white privilege.

We could make the white privilege tax performative so that Rachel Dolezal would pay zero white privilege tax while Clarence Thomas would pay 5 percent.

The wealthy white boy in dreadlocks who lights up at Bob Marley tribute concerts and denounces our “unjust, racist society” would be free of his white privilege tax while his fellow African-American student who is poor, works hard and speaks like William F. Buckley would be hit with the full privilege tax bill.

If race is just a social construct then we might as well be honest about rewarding obnoxious behavior.

Rachel Dolezal can run the NAACP, teach a useless identity politics course, sell hideous identity politics art, then go on food stamps after her fraud is exposed, and write a book blaming racism. The social construct we’re rewarding here is not race, but obnoxious and exploitative behavior.

And anyone can be obnoxious.

We can punish white privilege based on DNA tests or based on behavior.

So why not levy a 5% white privilege tax? Every racist movement blames its abuses on its victims. It calls its greed, justice and its hatred, love of its own people. It makes up for its insecurity with anger.

That is all the social justice movements of the left have to offer us. They campaign against racism with more racism. A toxic mix of narcissistic self-pity, angry insecurity and entitled greed lurks under their pseudointellectual identity politics. The men who founded this nation were not perfect, but they believed in being better than they were. The leftists riding the nuclear bomb of identity politics down through the clouds to a radioactive utopia of utter misery believe only in making it worse.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder was right. We are a nation of cowards on race. And that is what he, and the other racists and radicals, are counting on. We are too afraid to defy those who divide us.

Too afraid to stand up to him and to all those like him who have been passing off racism as progress, too afraid of false accusations of racism by racists like him and too afraid to rebuild this country as a united nation rather than a collection of intersectional tribes allied against the idea of a common racial enemy.

We can be one nation. Or we can start charging racial taxes. The choice is ours.

Educational Sabotage – Walter E. Williams

Source: Educational Sabotage – Walter E. Williams

White teachers and administrators discriminate against white students!

Nationally, black junior high and high school students are suspended at a rate more than three times as often as their white peers, twice as often as their Latino peers and more than 10 times as often as their Asian peers.

So white students are 300% more likely to be suspended for misbehavior as Asian students are.

According to former Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the “huge disparity is not caused by differences in children; it’s caused by differences in training, professional development, and discipline policies. It is adult behavior that needs to change.” In other words, the Education Department sees no difference between the behavior of black students and white, Latino and Asian students. It’s just that black students are singled out for discriminatory discipline. Driven by Obama administration pressures, school districts revised their discipline procedures by cutting the number of black student suspensions.

The result of imposing the “behavior change” on teachers and administrators is predictable:

The results of this new policy are: increased violence, drug use and gang activity. Max Eden examines the NYC School Survey of teachers and students and finds that violence increased in 50 percent of schools and decreased in 14 percent. Gang activity increased in 39 percent of schools and decreased in 11 percent. For drug and alcohol use, there was a 37 percent increase while only 7 percent of schools improved.

It’s not just New York City where discipline is worse under the Obama administration’s policy. Max Eden reports: “One Chicago teacher told the Chicago Tribune that her district’s new discipline policy led to ‘a totally lawless few months’ at her school. One Denver teacher told Chalkbeat that, under the new discipline policy, students had threatened to harm or kill teachers, ‘with no meaningful consequences.’ … After Oklahoma City Public Schools revised its discipline policies in response to federal pressure, one teacher told the Oklahoman that ‘[w]e were told that referrals would not require suspension unless there was blood.'”

Socialism Requires a Dictator – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

Source: Socialism Requires a Dictator – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

We begin with what Thomas Sowell calls the battle between the “constrained” and the “unconstrained” vision of humanity.

This highlights a fundamental difference in the conception of man in the classical liberal versus socialist worldviews. Does man have a basic and invariant human nature that may be multi-sided and complex, but no less fixed in certain qualities and characteristics? Or is human nature a malleable substance that can be remolded like clay in the sculptor’s hands by placing human beings into radically different social arrangements and settings?

Classical liberals have argued for the former, that human beings are basically what they are: fairly reasonable, self-interested beings, guided by goals of personal improvement and betterment as the individual comes to define those for himself. The social dilemma for a humane, just, and widely prosperous society is how to foster a political and economic institutional order to harness that invariant quality in human nature so that it advances human betterment in general rather than becoming a tool of plunder. The classical liberal answer is basically Adam Smith’s system of natural liberty with its open, competitive, free market order.

Members of what was emerging as the socialist movement in the late eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century argued the opposite. They insisted that if men were selfish, greedy, uncaring and insensitive to the circumstances of their fellow men it was due to the institution of private property and its related market-based system of human association. Change the institutional order in which human beings live and work and you will create a “new man.”

Indeed, they raised to the ultimate human societal ideal, a world in which the individual would live and work for the collective, the society as a whole, rather than only for his own bettered circumstances, presumably at the expense of others in society. Socialism heralded the ethics of altruism.

Socialism argues for the “unconstrained” vision: human nature is infinitely malleable, and all you need to do is tweak it to get the society you want. Classical liberalism argues that human nature is constrained by traits that are “hard-wired” in to the design of the human being, and that will not be changed no matter what you do.

The dilemma, Marx explains, is that even after the overthrow of the capitalist system, residues of the previous system would permeate the new socialist society. First, there would be the human remnants of the now discarded capitalist system. Among them would be those who want to restore the system of worker exploitation for their own ill-gotten profit gains. Equally a problem would be the fact that the “working class,” although freed from the “false consciousness” that the capitalist system under which they had been exploited was just, would still bear the mark of the capitalist psychology of self-interest and personal gain.

Thus, there had to be in place and in power a “revolutionary vanguard” of dedicated and clear seeing socialists who would lead “the masses” into the bright, beautiful future of communism. The institutional means of doing this, said Marx, is the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

In other words, until the masses, the workers, are freed from the individualist and capitalist mindset that they had been born into and mentally made to act within, they needed to be “reeducated” by a self-appointed political elite that has liberated their minds, already, from the capitalist false consciousness of the past. In the name of the new socialist-era freedom-to-come, there must the reign of a dictatorship made up of those who know how humanity should think, act, and associate in preparation for the full communism awaiting mankind.

At the same time, the dictatorship is necessary to suppress not only any attempts by the former capitalist exploiters to restore their power over the, now, socialized property they used to own. These voices from the capitalist past also must be prevented from speaking their self-serving lies and deceptions about why individual, self-interested liberty is morally right, or that private property serves the betterment of all in society including workers, or that freedom means those “bourgeois” liberties of freedom of the press, or speech or religion or democratic voting. The masses must be brought to, and indoctrinated in, the “true” consciousness that freedom means the collective ownership and direction of the means of production and the selfless serving of society that the socialist revolutionary vanguard in charge knows to be true.

This also explains why the socialist phase of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” could never end in any of the Marxist-inspired revolutionary regimes over the last one hundred years. Human nature is not waiting to be remolded like wax into a new human form and content. Human beings seem generally not be hardwired to be altruistic, selfless eunuchs. Thus, self-interest always rises to the surface in people’s conduct, and if it is to be ethically denied, there must be political force to keep repressing it and trying to constantly extinguish it.

In addition, as long as there were capitalist enemies anywhere in the world, the dictatorship of the proletariat had to be preserved in the socialist countries to assure that the reeducated minds of the workers already lucky enough to live under socialism were not re-infected by capitalist ideas coming in from outside the people’s collectivist paradise. Hence, the “iron curtain” of censorship and thought control in the Marxist parts of the world, in the name of the people over whom the revolutionary vanguard ruled.

Socialist Economic Planning Equals Commanding People

Also, once private enterprise was abolished through the socialization of the means of production and brought under the control and direction of the socialist government, a central economic plan was now essential. If not the profit-motived individual entrepreneurs in directing the private enterprises under their ownership to satisfy consumer demands guided by the competitive price system, then someone must determine what gets produced, where, when and for which purpose and use.

The direction of “the people’s” collectivized means of production requires a centralized plan concerned with designing, implementing and imposing it on everyone for the good of the society as a whole. This means not only lumber and steel must be assigned a use in a particular place in the socialist society, but so must people. Hence, in the communist economies of the twentieth century the state’s central planning agencies determined who would be educated for what skills or expertise, where they would be employed and the work they would do.

Since the state educated you, assigned you work and served as your only employer in that job, the state also determined where you would live; not only in what city, town or village, but what apartment in which government-owned residential building would be made your abode. Recreational facilities, places for rest and vacations, the types of consumer goods to be produced and distributed where and for whom: these, too, were all centrally determined by the socialist planning agencies following the orders of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Not one corner of everyday life – its form, content, quality, or characteristics – was free from the control and determination of the all powerful and all-encompassing socialist state. Its design and attempted implementation was truly “totalitarian.” It may have been Benito Mussolini, the father of fascism, who coined the term, “totalitarianism” as meaning “everything in the State, nothing against the State, nothing outside the State.” But nowhere over the last century was this more insistently, pervasively, and coercively imposed than in the communist countries molded on the model of the Soviet Union as created by Vladimir Lenin and horrifyingly institutionalized by Josef Stalin and their successors.

Statement of Lawrence B. Solum: Hearings on the Nomination of the Honorable Neil M. Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by Lawrence B. Solum :: SSRN

Source: Statement of Lawrence B. Solum: Hearings on the Nomination of the Honorable Neil M. Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by Lawrence B. Solum :: SSRN

What is this “originalism” people keep talking about?

Patterico’s Pontifications » What Should Be the Next Step on Repealing ObamaCare? Ted Cruz Has the Answer

Source: Patterico’s Pontifications » What Should Be the Next Step on Repealing ObamaCare? Ted Cruz Has the Answer

The TrumpCare bill (AHCA) was a disaster. It was not a vote to repeal ObamaCare, but rather a vote to keep it, and tweak it. That’s not what Republicans promised to do, and it’s not good enough. We should not mourn its passing, but celebrate it. The defeat of the bill was glorious, and the members of the Freedom Caucus who opposed it are heroes.

The reason fans of the free market are angry is not because TrumpCare failed — but because of the statements by Paul Ryan and Donald Trump that they are done with trying to repeal ObamaCare. Those statements are wrong and dangerous. As Ted Cruz once said:

First principle: Honor our promise. When you spend six years promising, “If only we get elected, we’ll repeal Obamacare,” you cannot renege on that promise. Failure is not an option. Breaking our word would be catastrophe. The voters would, quite rightly, never again trust Republicans to deliver on anything.

Amen.

The response to the defeat of TrumpCare is not to pick up the ball and go home. It must be to draft a bill that actually does what Republicans promised, and drives down costs through market-based mechanisms.

How to spot an ideologue

Source: How to spot an ideologue

So how do we recognize the language of “ideology” and distinguish it from a “principled position”? One common clue is that those who hold a principled position welcome arguments; they welcome having their position tested and possibly corrected. A principled position always has room for increased subtlety and greater complexity.

Holders of an “ideology,” on the other hand, will tend to eschew argument or any examination of the ideology’s underlying presuppositions or premises, often refusing to concede that greater subtlety may be required to apply the principles to real-life situations. Ideology disdains argument; people with principled positions embrace it warmly and engage in it gladly.

….

Ideology Makes Blanket Claims and Makes Ad Hominem Attacks

When people make blanket claims about a group (“white people are like X;” “black people never do Y”), they are expressing an ideology, not using words tailored to fit reality. Human beings are simply too diverse and complicated to fit into such universal categories. If you hear someone summing up the “state of the Russian mind” or “what the American people want” or claiming that politician X shows sure signs of a social pathology, but there is no evidence of research nor of any time spent personally examining the psychology of the individual, then you’re dealing with quackery; the person is a fake.

Such people will check their scientific methodology at the door in order to gain a place in the arena of modern media’s ideological shouting match. They are welcomed by groups that want a certain sort of “voice”—not a quiet, calm, thoughtful voice, but one that will provide pseudo-intellectual “cover” for all the prejudices that group already possesses.

If, rather than trying to glean evidence from observable reality, a person seems more intent on forcing reality into the categories of his or her system, then you’re dealing with an ideologue. If evidence supporting a theory is trumpeted loudly and repeatedly, and evidence that may refute it is ignored repeatedly, then it’s an ideology, not a principled position. If every bit of data, no matter how contrary, is taken as evidence of the truth of the theory, then it’s ideology, not science.

….

If you often find yourself dismissing your interlocutors as fools or scoundrels, and you hear the words “we need more dialogue” coming out of your mouth, at least be honest with yourself. When you complain about the need for more dialogue in this way, without showing the patience and respect needed to engage in it, your statement can mean nothing more than “more people should listen to me and people who think like me.” I assure you, everyone else feels that way—including your opponents.

How to Change My Biases on Climate Science | Scott Adams’ Blog

Source: How to Change My Biases on Climate Science | Scott Adams’ Blog

If you want to convince me that climate change is a clear and present danger, you need to change my biases on three things:

1. Convince me that complex models such as the climate science models have done good jobs in other fields in the past. And the examples have to involve human judgement in the inputs, and lots of iterations. And those models have to have succeeded in predicting the future five years out, or better. If such things exist in other fields, I can be persuaded that climate scientists can do it too. (No fair picking physics models. Those are not filled with human assumptions.)

2. Convince me that economic models of this complexity have done a good job predicting the future in other areas.

3. Erase my memory of all the times mass delusions looked totally real to smart people.

If you want to make me worry about climate change, working on my biases by changing my pattern memory has a better chance of persuading me than the current method of calling me an idiot.

What Fake Hate Crimes Reveal About the Left’s Bubble – Acculturated

Source: What Fake Hate Crimes Reveal About the Left’s Bubble – Acculturated

But we live in a society where moving away is no longer an option. We’ve been pushed into a small world, where we can either get along or create our own ecosystems, which, as many observers have noted, have come to resemble insular “bubbles.” Unable to compromise, we’ve chosen to draw into ourselves until we can no longer live in a community.

When a society starts to behave like this, people like Bass or the student at University of Michigan’s actions become plausible. They’re not crazy; they’re just protecting their self-contained world against the supposed hatred of the outside. Self-preservation becomes paramount. And if that means getting rid of their neighbors by blaming them for the poison they threw on their own plants, then so be it. In a world of one, the only integrity worth maintaining is autonomy.

The tendency for humans to build self-centered worlds is as old as pride itself. Especially since the Trump election—an unpleasant reality for many Americans—half of the country seems to be terrified of anything that might threaten their personal Xanadus. Cries of “Fake news!” and “Resist!” and “Not my president!” are oddly reassuring to those who make them, of course, giving them a sense of camaraderie and purpose, but they also highlight how displaced from each other we have become.
Dislocating ourselves won’t work in the long run—we’re made to love each other, not ourselves. As this rash of fake hate crimes shows, the more we try to double-down on identity politics and protect ourselves strictly as individuals, the less capable we will be of functioning as a society.