For lovers of irony

You don’t often find Glenn Beck quoting Pravda, or me either for that matter, but there you are.

Pravda made a bold statement over the weekend: the communists have won in America with Barack Obama. Why? Because, much like Russia’s past communist leaders, Americans re-elected him for a second term without so much as a stated economic strategy for success. Not even Glenn could disagree with the Russian ‘news’ outlet.

‘This is Pravda. And they are saying Obama is bringing America old‑style Soviet Communist practices. And Putin is perfect and he has learned. Again it’s only spin. They are only trying to make us look bad, but what they’re saying about what we’re doing is 100% accurate,’ Glenn said. ‘And I love this: Obama was recently reelected for a second term by an illiterate society, and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya, and Syria. He plans his next war with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.’

TheBlaze reported that the majority of the article contrasts Obama and Putin, portraying Putin as a traditional American conservative interested in lowering taxes and shrinking government in order to grow the economy. As Glenn noted above, most of this is just spin for Putin. But much of what Pravda says about Obama following many of the old school communist tactics are also true.

Pravda writer Xavier Lermer said, ‘Christianity in the U.S. is under attack as it was during the early period of the Soviet Union when religious symbols were against the law.’

He also wrote of Obama, ‘He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Obama’s fools and Stalin’s fools share the same drink of illusion.’

More news from the front

Here are some interesting facts and stats. As the article “The War on Women” says, more women wish to get married but there are fewer men interested.

The battle of the sexes is alive and well. According to Pew Research Center, the share of women ages eighteen to thirty-four that say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives rose nine percentage points since 1997 – from 28 percent to 37 percent. For men, the opposite occurred. The share voicing this opinion dropped, from 35 percent to 29 percent.

Believe it or not, modern women want to get married. Trouble is, men don’t.

But that’s not what I find especially interesting. What really stands out is how small the percentage of women and men looking for a happy marriage is. For women it is 37% and men 29%. The vast majority are not interested or at the minimum is for them a low priority. The author of this study is a woman, and this to me was the most interesting aspect of what she wrote:

In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.

Now the men have nowhere to go.

It is precisely this dynamic – women good/men bad – that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry. Heck, men have been to blame since feminists first took to the streets in the 1970s.

Indeed, this, according to the article, is the final outcome for the feminist movement:

Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.

But if that’s what women want, what more is there to say? Things change as discussed in a previous post. And there is also this from the Sydney Morning Herald which comes under the title, “Sexual economics: the price of sex has fallen to record lows”. And the article certainly seems to show it:

According to a study on the matter reported in the New York Post, women are giving it up more easily, readily and eagerly than ever before, without expectations of commitment, dinners, relationships or even a second date.

‘No wooing, dating, goofy text messaging,’ reported the Post in response to the new study on the price of sex, carried out by the University of Minnesota.

The original article from which this one was taken at The New York Post also tells the same story.

O tempora, o mores.


Although not mentioned, this stuff reacts extremely well with Keynesium.

The heaviest chemical element yet known to science. Governmentium (Gv) has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Governmentium has a normal half-life of three years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium–an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

What happens to I when there is an increase in C etc?

I was sitting with a bunch of economists the other day when I mentioned something that had occurred to me in writing my Defending the History of Economic Thought. I said that one of the main differences between the way we teach economics “today” (since about the 1930s) in comparison with previous eras is that we today depend on diagrams rather than logic and reasoning. We therefore manipulate these diagrams up and down, back and forth without every learning the economic logic that lies behind. It is therefore easier but superficial and usually indefensible if someone tried to explain the actual economic logic and relationships, which no one does. Micro, macro – all the same. Everything of importance is explained using some kind of diagram. Keynesian economics was to me the most obvious case in point. It is impossible to tell a coherent story about how the goods and services materialise from an increase in the mere spending of more money. The Y=C+I+G+(X-M) diagram did not even attempt to explain the economics. It just showed the result in a kind of before and after way without really explaining what went on underneath.

So, I was asked, don’t you think that those chaps who did all the work on the national accounts were right? Yes, of course, the national accounts are exactly right since the equation is then an identity, Y≡C+I+G+X-M, true by definition. But with Keynesian economics you cannot simply raise C and assume that Y goes up by the same amount since the elements, C,I,G,X and M are not independent of each other. If you raise C there may well be an increase in M so then where are you, same with the increase in any of these? And you know what, the conversation died right then and there, instantly. My point proved in two different directions, that using diagrams stops people from understanding the logic of the economics and that Keynesian economics cannot be defended and explained in words.

What does a journalist know about anything?

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that a typical journalist has about the same level of knowledge and education as someone who teaches Grade VII. Their specialty is listening, summarising and writing down what others have said or done. There is no in depth knowledge of anything required yet not only do we filter our news through these people we actual pay attention to their views.

This cannot end well.

Sexual economics

A great article by Bettina Arndt the other day about the changing nature of sexual relations. She is summarising an academic piece titled, “Sexual Economics, Culture, Men and Modern Sexual Trends“. The central point:

Back in the 1960s, it was difficult to get sex without being married so men married early. Yet to qualify as good husband material, men had to have a job, or at least the prospect of getting one, had to show they were willing to work hard and be willing to commit to family life. So a man’s overarching goal of getting sex motivated him to become a respectable stakeholder contributing to society, suggest the psychologists.

‘The fact that men became useful members of society as a result of their efforts to obtain sex is not trivial,’ declare Baumeister and Vohs, pointing out how much that has changed. Many young men nowadays can ‘skip the wearying detour of getting education and career prospects to qualify for sex’. They have easy access to abundant sexual satisfaction, facing an early sex life that, according to Baumeister, probably would have exceeded the most optimistic imagination of most men throughout history. So men learn early that they don’t need to buy the cow to get milk.

So how has sexual liberation worked out for men. Sounds pretty disappointing:

Baumeister and Vohs point out that the traditional notion of a sexually accommodating wife ‘has been eroded if not demolished by feminist ideology that has encouraged wives to expect husbands to wait patiently until the wife actually desires sex, with the result that marriage is a prolonged episode of sexual starvation for the husband’.

The result is marriage offers grim prospects for hot-blooded young men: ‘To sustain a marriage across multiple decades, most husbands must accommodate to the reality of having to contribute work and other resources to a wife whose contribution of sex dwindles sharply in both quantity and quality – and who also may disapprove sharply of him seeking satisfaction in alternative outlets such as prostitution, pornography and extramarital dalliance,’ say the psychologists.

It even seems that men are no longer as interested in finding success at work since it is so easy to find accommodating women. As Arndt puts it:

Despite the fact men still create and run most institutions, the workplace is becoming progressively rigged against them because of anti-discrimination measures favouring women. They ask how it is that men have acquiesced so readily in giving women the upper hand in gaining access to these institutions, suggesting it may be due to the fact success isn’t as important as it once was for men, when it was a prerequisite for sex.

It’s all speculation and who can ever know the truth of any of this but it is interesting and strangely plausible. And yet another article, by Margaret Wente in The Globe and Mail, discussing the same piece of research. The key para:

A lot of women are in no hurry to get married, either. But it might not work out so well for them. They’ve watched too much Sex in the City. They think they’ll still have the same choices at 35 and 40 that they had at 25. They have no idea that men’s choices will get better with age (especially if they’re successful), but theirs will get worse. Believe me, this sucks. But it’s the truth.

What’s that about we get old too soon and smart too late?

If only white men had voted


In contrast:

It’s one thing for a Democratic presidential candidate to dominate a Democratic city like Philadelphia, but check out this head-spinning figure: In 59 voting divisions in the city, Mitt Romney received not one vote. . . .

The unanimous support for Obama in these Philadelphia neighborhoods – clustered in almost exclusively black sections of West and North Philadelphia – fertilizes fears of fraud, despite little hard evidence.

Same in 37 precincts in Chicago.

A multitude of fools

There is some dispute over the origins but the sentiment is exactly right:

The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.

Giving thanks for the invisible hand

This is the conclusion:

It is commonplace to speak of seeing God’s signature in the intricacy of a spider’s web or the animation of a beehive. But they pale in comparison to the kaleidoscopic energy and productivity of the free market. If it is a blessing from Heaven when seeds are transformed into grain, how much more of a blessing is it when our private, voluntary exchanges are transformed – without our ever intending it – into prosperity, innovation, and growth?

The social order of freedom, like the wealth and the progress it makes possible, is an extraordinary gift from above. On this Thanksgiving Day and every day, may we be grateful.

Now read the rest.

What the left now thinks is far to the right

These are the sorts of things you have to believe to be considered by the left in the United States at the moment to be part of the far right:

. that governments should not spend more money than they receive

. deficits are a bad thing

. welfare should not be a way of life but should be a form of temporary assistance to those who are in need

. immigration should be regulated by the government which controls the flow of new migrants and ensures that they will be able to make a productive contribution to society

. free enterprise is the best way to manage an economy