I suspect the average supporter of Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks that socialism is big government with lots of handouts financed by class warfare taxation. Since that’s the common perception, is that the definition we should use?
The technical definition of socialism, though, is government ownership of the means of production, which entails central planning, price controls, and other forms of intervention. So, at the risk of being pedantic, is that how the term should be defined?
People get told over and over again that “Socialism means…” followed by things like fairness, providing for the poor, “social justice”, and what have you. And, as a result, when those outcomes don’t happen, of course it wasn’t “real socialism” because it didn’t provide the desired outcomes.
The catch to all that is that you don’t implement outcomes. You implement processes. And if the processes don’t lead to the outcome (as, time and again we have seen with socialism) then all the definitional objections in the world aren’t going to change that.Writer in Black
Presidential candidates and the media keep telling people “it’s immoral” that a few rich people have so much more money than everyone else. They talk as if it doesn’t matter what the rich did to get the money. Instead, the fact that they are rich is itself immoral.
Capitalism’s critics imply that rich industrialists “took” money from others—as if the world’s wealth is one pie. If Amazon founder Jeff Bezos takes a big piece, then the rest of us have less.
But that’s not how life works. Bezos got rich by baking thousands of new pies. He created new wealth.
Source: The Case for Capitalism
If you torture data enough, it will tell you whatever you want.
I’ve been writing on the social turmoil surrounding rape, and outlandish campus accusations of rape, for some time. I dealt with the issue most recently in Rape: The Consequences Of Bad Choices in June of 2016, and before that, Campus Rape And Social Justice: All Men Are Rapists in March of 2016 Perhaps most relevant to this article is Rape Investigation: Reality v. Narrative from March of 2015.
Contemporary urban conventional knowledge holds that 20-25% of all women attending college are rape victims. As Mark Twain wrote:
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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You (that’s you personally, whoever you might be) have access to far more in the way of medical treatment and medications because companies like Dow and Lilly were allowed to make money than if we had followed some ivory tower “good of society” model.
At my age, I take quite a few medications. More than half of them are “$4 generics” at my local Kroger, that’s $4 flat without insurance, and that’s medicines that didn’t even exist when I was a boy, medicines that only exist because companies like Lilly and Dow have been profitable places for people to invest money, have paid high salaries to attract some scary smart researchers and technicians to develop these new medicines and treatments.
Without these newer medicines I would be limited to the medicines my parents and grandparents had, medicines that were less effective, or with more and more severe side effects. Thanks, but no.
Companies, with a profit motive developed smaller and less expensive X-Ray units. Because of this my doctor has one in his office. When I have an impact or joint injury I can get an X-Ray right there–immediately–without needing to go to the ER or scheduling an appointment with a hospital radiology department. Less expensive and quicker diagnosis.
The same profit motive led to the development of portable EKG machines which my doctor also keeps in his office. My annual exam includes an EKG every time. Should I start to develop heart problems early diagnosis means early treatment with much better chances for my continued breathing. (I’m in favor of breathing and would like to continue doing it.) [Edit, 2017: As of my last exam that had changed. New regulation. Ne government regulations, had required the insurance to no longer cover EKG’s as part of the annual exam. Now they’re only covered after some heart problem is indicated. Thus, thanks to the interference of government “helping” with health care, I am at more risk and the use of diagnostic tools that might save my life is delayed.]
The same profit motive led to the CAT scan unit being right there in my local hospital after my last auto accident. (Rear ended by a Tahoe while I was leaning forward to change stations on the radio putting me at about the worst possible posture for a whiplash injury.) They’re everywhere. They’re everywhere because people with profit motive made them available.
The same profit motive led to improvements in glucometers so I can quickly and reliably check my blood sugar with less pain and fuss than my mother did a scant two decades ago.
I could go on and on.
And if I can’t afford the latest and greatest? Well, I didn’t have it before either so I can’t really complain that much. And if only the latest and greatest can save my life and I don’t have it? Well, sucks to be me in that case, I guess. But although I may not have it, my daughter will. After all, yesterday’s “latest and greatest” is today’s “cheap and ubiquitous”. But hamstring the Lillys and Dows of the world by undercutting profit and going to some Marxist “according to his need” (which is what that “they are necessities” amounts to) and she won’t.Writer in Black: Profit Motive vs Socialized Medicine
The arming of school staff is not a panacea. It cannot replace competent, practical identification and intervention programs–which include intelligent, aware teachers simply keeping their eyes and ears open–which might help to prevent–or interdict–some school shootings before they begin. It is, rather, a very low or no cost protective measure for worst-case scenarios that has the great benefit of providing credible deterrence if properly publicized.
Arming willing staff is like providing fire extinguishers.Most teachers will complete an entire career without needing a fire extinguisher, but when they do need one, they need it immediately, badly, and nothing else will do. So it is with firearms.
I’m about to provide a scenario based on reality. I have been there and done that, in the classroom and in the responding police car. A law enforcement agency in which I served as a SWAT officer actually responded to a juvenile shooter in a large high school. In that case, the police—as is almost always true–had no real effect, despite actually being on site and in the building. In virtually every case, the police arrive too late to make any difference. While the team was organizing and making plans (I happened to be out of town for that call-out) the absent-minded shooter became distracted by, of all things, a pizza, and put down his shotgun in the classroom where he was holding fellow students hostage. A quick thinking youngster grabbed the shotgun, ending the affair. Miraculously, no one was injured, and as in virtually every school attack, the police had no role in ending the incident–other than delivering the pizza the young terrorist demanded–which eventually distracted him.School Attacks, Saving Lives, Part 8
C Two bills that would have deeply wounded the popular schools of choice are dead…for now.
Last week, two seemingly sure-shot bills were deep-sixed in the California legislature. AB 1506 would have placed a ceiling on the number of charter schools allowed in the state – the magic number being those in existence at the end of this year. A new school could open only if another had closed. Additionally, the more draconian SB 756 would have placed a moratorium on any new schools whatsoever until Jan. 1, 2022.California Policy Center
The specter of unregulated schools was raised, but:this provokes the snark:
CTA president Eric Heins used the standard union mantra by insisting that the charter school industry in California has risen “without any accountability or transparency.” (Memo to Heins: Stop your hypocritical rant about accountability. California’s latest NAEP scores are pathetic. On the 2017 test, the state was near the bottom nationally, with 69 percent of 4th grade students not proficient in both math and reading. So maybe harping only on charter “accountability” is not a good idea.)ibid
Frankly, the data keep showing that charter schools outperform public schools in many ways. If they’re so bad, lacking accountability and everything else, what does that say about public schools?
Real Clear Investigations reports on how Mueller seems to have used bullying tactics to force confessions out of his targets.
It just so happens that two weeks ago the Census Bureau released a report on voter turnout in 2018, which climbed 11 percentage points from the last midterm election, in 2014, and surpassed 50% for the first time since 1982. Moreover, the increased turnout was largely driven by the same minority voters Democrats claim are being disenfranchised. Black turnout grew around 27%, and Hispanic turnout increased about 50%. An analysis of the census data published by the Pew Research Center found that “all major racial and ethnic groups saw historic jumps in voter turnout” last year.
None of this comes as news to anyone who pays attention to sober facts instead of inflammatory rhetoric. The black voter turnout rate for the most part has grown steadily since the 1990s. This has occurred notwithstanding an increase in state voter-ID requirements over the same period. In 2012 blacks voted at higher rates than whites nationwide, including in Georgia, which was one of the first states in the country to implement a photo-ID requirement for voting. Ms. Abrams claims that Republicans have been hard at work trying to disenfranchise black voters, but the reality is that black voter registration is outpacing white registration in the Peach State.
Nor is it at all clear that minority voters share the view of politicians and activists who have chosen to racialize a debate over ensuring the accuracy and integrity of U.S. elections. Ms. Harris may feel that identification requirements for banking and flying should not apply to voting, but most people don’t have a problem with them. In a 2016 Gallup poll, voter-ID laws were supported by 4 in 5 respondents, including 95% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats, 81% of whites and 77% of nonwhites. In a 2012 survey published by the Washington Post, approval was similarly broad and deep, with 78% of whites, 65% of blacks and 64% of Hispanics expressing support for voter ID laws. When will Democrats learn how to lose an election without playing the race card?
Of course, it’s only data. What do facts matter when you can point to a single hard case?
I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I was afraid his obviously improvised campaign, imprecise explanations concerning how he planned to achieve his policy goals, and unsettling antics presaged a disastrous one-term presidency if he somehow managed to win. Unlike Bill Kristol and his ilk, however, I never considered voting for the execrable Hillary Clinton. So, knowing that Trump would win my deep red state anyway, I voted for what’s-his-name from New Mexico. Predictably, I was surprised when Trump won. But that was nothing compared to the astonishment I experienced when it dawned on me that he’s a remarkably effective President.
Trump’s most conspicuous successes have involved the economy. Under his predecessor GDP growth was characterized by the kind of malaise that prevailed during the Carter era, and we were told that a growth rate of about 2% and an unemployment rate of about 4.5% was the new normal. Trump rejected that prognosis and took steps to energize the economy. Now, despite the somewhat inexplicable meddling with interest rates by the Fed, GDP growth is at 3.4% and the unemployment rate is 3.7%. As Investor’s Business Daily points out, much of this is directly attributable to the Trump tax cuts so often maligned by the Democrats and the media …American Spectator