Debunking Minimum Wage Myths — Radical Capitalist

In the United States, I have noticed increasing amounts of local municipalities instituting minimum wage laws. This is happening in many states across America, with many people supporting it in the hopes of bettering workers’ wages. Unfortunately, minimum wage is economically dysfunctional and unethical, yet so many people who lack economic or ethical knowledge are […]

via Debunking Minimum Wage Myths — Radical Capitalist

Why People Still Support Trump – Bloomberg

A lot of support for Trump is based in bigotry. However, it’s the bigotry on the part of Trump opponents which is driving people into the Trump camp.

I’ve said before, a lot of Trump’s support is grounded in “I’ll give you something to cry about!” (Or, similarly, “Oh yeah? Well deplore this!”)

Source: Why People Still Support Trump – Bloomberg

There are two main theories of Trump’s support. One is that a large minority of Americans — 40 percent, give or take — are racist idiots. This theory is at least tacitly endorsed by the Democratic Party and the mainstream liberal media. The other is that a large majority of this large minority are good citizens with intelligible and legitimate opinions, who so resent being regarded as racist idiots that they’ll back Trump almost regardless. They may not admire the man, but he’s on their side, he vents their frustration, he afflicts the people who think so little of them — and that’s good enough.

It’s disappointing that Charlottesville hasn’t changed their minds — but then it hasn’t changed my mind either. I still think the first theory is absurd and the second theory basically correct.

The first theory, if it were true, would be an argument against democracy. If tens of millions of Americans are racist idiots, how do you defend the popular franchise? That isn’t a sliver of reprehensible people who’ll be safely overwhelmed when elections come around. And there’s plainly nothing, according to the first theory, you can say to change their minds. Why even go through the motions of talking and listening to those people?

This sense that democratic politics is futile if not downright dangerous now infuses the worldview of the country’s cultural and intellectual establishment. Trump is routinely accused of being authoritarian and anti-democratic, despite the fact that he won the election and, so far, has been checked at every point and has achieved almost nothing in policy terms. (He might wish he were an authoritarian, but he sure hasn’t been allowed to function as one.) Many of his critics, on the other hand, are anti-democratic in a deeper sense: They appear to believe that a little less than half the country doesn’t deserve the vote.

The second theory — the correct theory — is a terrible indictment of the Democratic Party and much of the media. Why aren’t the intelligible and legitimate opinions of that large minority given a hearing? Why must their views be bundled reflexively into packages labelled “bigotry” and “stupidity”? Why can’t this large minority of the American people be accorded something other than pity or scorn?

Those who scorn Trump’s supporters might argue that none of their opinions are in fact intelligible or legitimate. After all, don’t their views on immigration boil down to racism and white supremacy? What about their idea that the Charlottesville protesters and counter-protesters were morally the same? Or their morbid fear of change? Or the hypocrisy of their opposition to “big government,” when everybody knows that Trump-voting states such as West Virginia are the biggest net recipients of federal money? If you read the New York Times, you know they have an endless supply of stupid, evil opinions.

In fact, this automatic attribution of stupidity and bad faith is just another kind of bigotry.

 

 

Twelve Economic Concepts Everyone Should Know – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

Source: Twelve Economic Concepts Everyone Should Know – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

1. Gains from trade: In any economic exchange, freely chosen, both parties benefit–at least in their own minds.

2. Subjective value: The value of any good or service is determined by the individual human mind.

3. Opportunity cost: Nothing is free, and the cost of anything is what you give up to get it.

4. Spontaneous order: Society emerges not from top-down intention or planning but from individuals’ actions that result in unplanned outcomes for the whole.

5. Incentives: Individuals act to maximize their own reward.

6. Comparative advantage: Cooperation between individuals creates value when a seller can produce a given item or service at a lower cost than the buyer would spend to produce it himself.

7. Knowledge problem: No one person or group knows enough to plan (and force) social outcomes, because information necessary for social order is distributed among its members and revealed only in human choice.

8. Seen and Unseen: In addition to the tangible and quantifiable effects, there are quite often invisible costs and unmet opportunities to any action or policy.

9. Rules matter: Institutions influence the decisions individuals make. For example, property rights extend from the reality of scarcity which demands that ownership must be vested in individuals and not a collective.

10. Action is purposeful: Each person makes choices with the intention of improving his or her condition.

11. Civil society: Voluntary association permits people of all backgrounds to interact peaceably, create value, cultivate personal character, and build mutual trust.

12. Entrepreneurship: Acting on an opportunity to gather underused, misused, or undiscovered resources and ideas to create value for others.

African-Americans need a Great Awakening to repair their broken culture

Source: African-Americans need a Great Awakening to repair their broken culture

Based upon the above premises, I’ve concluded to my own satisfaction that whites cannot save blacks; that pulling down offensive statutes cannot save blacks; that castigating everyone in the world as the “root cause” of black suffering (even if we accept this as true for argument’s sake) cannot save blacks; that politicians cannot save blacks; and that Democrats cannot save blacks (and, indeed, will continue to inflict practical and spiritual damage on them). Only blacks can save blacks.

To have this cultural salvation, however, one that can relieve them of their self-inflicted woes, blacks must first have a Great Awakening that makes spiritual and moral demands upon them. This Great Awakening, I hasten to add, cannot be a black Muslim kind of awakening, one that sees blacks simply add the word “Allah” to their outer-directed anger and demands. Instead, they need to have a deep, inner, spiritual change that gives them a hand up in freeing themselves from the moral abyss in which too many of them are trapped.

Incidentally, I write all of the above as a person who, while suspecting there might be a God, but isn’t sure; as a pragmatist who doesn’t have a spiritual bone in her body; and as a Jew who has a deep respect for the humanist strain of Christianity that’s been a part of America since the First Great Awakening in the middle of the 18th Century.

How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one. But first it has to want to change.

The Magic Mirror Trick

Robert Ringer made his name decades ago with his book, Winning Through Intimidation, followed by Looking Out for Number One. For years, I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him, but it seems he’s still writing. The latest piece in his blog addresses the downside of being what Larry Elder terms a “victicrat” — someone who is determined to overdraw his victim card to the maximum possible level.

Focusing on the Real Enemy — You

in this article I’m going to focus on the most foundational aspect of overcoming what appears to be a hopeless situation, something I’ve always used as the first step toward getting back on my feet whenever I’ve been down. I call it the Magic Mirror Solution.

As an example, let’s say you’re feeling down because some malevolent miscreant screwed you out of your commission or your share of the profits in a big deal. As a result, you’re furious about what he did to you, which is quite natural — natural, but not good for you.

The problem is that so long as you’re focused on what the other guy did to you, your mind is frozen in the past. And if that’s the case, you shouldn’t even attempt to do anything constructive until you first thaw out your gray matter.

There’s an old adage that warns, “You’ll never smell like a rose if you roll in a dunghill.” Trust me, it’s true. No one in this galaxy has dealt with more certified members of the Dastardly Dunghill Gang than I have, so I’m in a position to speak from firsthand experience.

What the Magic Mirror Solution teaches us is that it’s not the dunghill guys’ responsibility to warn you ahead of time that you shouldn’t trust him. It’s your responsibility to open your eyes and your brain, and not only learn to spot these villainous vermin, but keep them out of your life.

Starting today, make it a habit to forget about what anyone else did to you. Forget about the bad breaks that foiled your best-laid plans. Forget about all the guys who are landing the good jobs and the good deals even though you know, in your heart of hearts, they aren’t good enough to carry your lunch pail.

If you insist on thinking of yourself as the victim, you’re using energy that could be better spent elsewhere, and it’s your own fault if it isn’t.

Now, you may actually be a victim. In that case, you will probably be very angry. But at whom should you be angry?

But let’s be optimistic here and assume that you’ve dispensed with the time-wasting exercise of projecting your missteps onto others. What’s next? Simple: Get mad at yourself. That’s right, yourself. Get really mad.

I cannot tell you how cathartic and powerful this exercise is. The reason it’s so liberating is because it frees you from wasting time and effort thinking about things over which you have no control, such as changing others.

This may be painful to hear, but the guy who screwed you in that big deal doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. He really doesn’t. Even if he robbed you blind, he long ago rationalized that you deserved it because of something you did to him — even if you didn’t do it!

I don’t know you or him, but I can tell you this much, sight unseen: You will never get him to admit he did anything wrong. Which is good, because once you understand and accept this reality, you can spend your time focusing on the real enemy in the mirror, which is you.

This is a very easy exercise to practice, so let me spell it out in the simplest way possible: Just look in the mirror and ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the dumbest one of all?” If the mirror comes up with any answer other than you, get another mirror.

But if it answers back, “It’s you, you idiot!” then you’ve just taken the first step toward turning things around. Trust your mirror’s judgment, get mad at yourself, and vow to become smarter.

Whenever I’ve put myself through this drill — focusing on my own ignorance, my own bad judgment, my own delusions, my own dumb investment decisions, my own irresponsible behavior, my own naïveté — my own everything — it has never failed me. And once I worked up a white heat of anger toward myself, that’s when I knew I was in a position to start turning things around.

“Never again” is not a hope, or a polite request. It’s a demand, backed by anger, both at those who oppressed, and at those who let the oppression happen.