Monday, November 1, 2010

Where do lost jobs actually go?

Below is a lift of 3 related Belmont Club comments. They are off topic for the post and they pretty much stand alone.

Read ... and consider the possible economic futures for humanity.


54. Tarnsman

Re: China and our “lost” jobs. Bottomline money flows to the lowest costs. If it is less cost to manufacture a widget in China when all the costs are added up then guess what? There are going to be factories manufacturing widgets in China. Seems to me the focus should be on “how do we lower the costs of making widgets in the USA”. Might take relaxing regulations and taxes on said activities. Might take labor realizing it can’t command $20 an hour to make a widget and stay competitive with the Chinese who are willing to do for less. Might take all of things. But more importantly we as American have to come to grips that we are not entitled to or owed our jobs and industry. That we have to earn them every single day. We taught the world how to build automobiles and now they school us on quality and cost. We taught the world many things and took it for granted that somehow we would always be first forgetting that the only reason we became first was because of the sacrifices our grandfathers and fathers to achieve that. We have as a nation have forgotten that prosperity is build on hard work and sacrifice. Instead we have is “Where’s mine?” attitude. Perhaps we need a good long depression where over 25% of the people are out of work and rest worry about the jobs. Maybe only then we will wake up that to fact that there is no easy way, no givens in life.
Re: Tuesday. Pray for an epic blow-out. Only way the Establishment will wake up.
October 30, 2010 - 9:19 pm
61. blert

Tarnsman @ 54…
Our lost jobs disappeared into the integrated circuit.
Pop open your PC — if it’s not a laptop — and see how 45 chips have become ONE.
That’s where Silicon Valley high tech jobs went.
Once done: forever done.
As if that dynamic could go on and on and on….
That vicious inhuman efficiency is ever with us.
The BIG PICTURE is hard to see when you’re in it’s frame.
Digital/logical control ultimately leads to MASS replacement of human labor.
Our polity has NOT come to grips with that.
Mass labor replacement means that not only ditch digging is lost as the bottom rung on the ladder, ( I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, 1932 ) but that our very humanity as an economic lynch-pin is gone: an ‘intelligent’ device has ruined our economic merit even if we are willing to work at slave incomes.
Robotics means that that day really is at hand.
There are millions of humans supporting their families from efforts MUCH more easily provided by intelligent machines.
This reality will ONLY expand with time.
We ALREADY have dark factories that only turn the lights on for the programmers and repair crews! I’m NOT making that up.
HOW does our society deal with the REALITY of major segments of society being too dumb to economically have any merit?
This is the challenge of our era.
October 30, 2010 - 11:09 pm
62. stoicheion

#61 Blert.There it is.My oldest is a veterinarian. Cows more then poodles. He is not going to be replaced by a computer, although he uses a laptop. He isn’t going to get rich but he’ll never have to worry about making the mortgage or eating.Those 35$hr. factory jobs are history. They have been replaced by 50$ hr computer related jobs. The problem for the unions is that it wasn’t a 1 to 1 replacement. Now you have 5 techs replacing 100 non-skilled labor jobs. So those 95 unskilled workers either get re-trained or flip burgers. Just how many burgers does a modern economy need?Some think that unemployment is a by-product of the industrial age, based on the fact that back when everybody was either a farm worker or artificer unemployment was zero, or so close as to be unmeasurable. I don’t agree and I sure don’t agree that high unemployment is a by-product of the Information age.I think that the free market just hasn’t found a way to put the unskilled to work. It will.The RPV (remote piloted vehicle) campaign in Afghanistan will help a lot. In theory there isn’t that much difference between some teenager hunting terrs with a remote controlled robot and some teenager mining ore with a remote controlled robot. It will certainly be easier on the miners when the inevitable cave-in occurs.I can see the manager at McDonalds controlling a robot wait staff. AS minimum wage goes up, it becomes inevitable. There go the burger flipping jobs.How do you say “Super size that?” in binary?


If this doesnt lead to the welfare state (and I don't believe it does) then where does it go?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Democide: Murder by Government

Here are some excerpts from an article on that was linked in a belmont comment* that really caught my attention.

It may seem a little over heated at first, but suffice it to say the point he is making, though perhaps too forcefully, is basically this: sociopaths exist (and you gotta admit he is not wrong on that).

Here are some excerpts [all emphasis is from the original].

There will always be those who are easily seduced by the offer of wealth and unlimited power. But one of the lessons we can glean from an unflinching look at history and human nature is that power-lust inevitably trumps greed. The power to harm others – and to harm others without consequence - is irresistible to a profoundly evil subset of humanity. Real trouble begins when such people acquire power.

So here’s a bold assertion that many of you will dismiss out of hand: there are those in government - and those who seek control of your government - who simply want you dead. They would kill you if they could get away with it. Why? Because you are in their way. Failing that, they would settle for taking everything you have if they felt that they could do so without being held accountable. They would use the apparatus of the state to censor your speech, punish you for your politically incorrect thoughts, confiscate the fruits of your labor, seize your property, render you helpless and defenseless and in the end, dictate the very terms of your existence if they could do so with impunity. These are killers without conscience. We can come up with a long list of those whose outlook regard humankind as little more than chattel, but there are four individuals whose ideas connect the totalitarian dots in some interesting ways. They have a history and the ideas that animate them have a pedigree.

The auhor then gives a single paragraph summary of the contributions of four different thinkers that have been influential on totalitarian thought: Marx, Freud, B. F. Skinner and Nietzsche. It is of note that all of these men were athiests, one a suicide (Freud), and one went insane (Nietzsche).

[Nietzsche] saw God not as an invention, but as a casualty. He wrote in 1886: "The greatest event in recent times - that 'God is Dead,' that the belief in the Christian God is no longer tenable - is beginning to cast its first shadows upon Europe." The Christian God, he wrote, would no longer stand in the way of the development of the New Man who Nietzsche said would be ‘beyond good and evil’. Nietzsche knew that in Europe, the decline of religion as a guide to conscience and morality would leave a huge vacuum.

Who or what would fill that vacuum?

Nietzsche thought that the most likely candidate would be what he called the 'Will to Power,' which he felt offered a better and more persuasive explanation of human behavior than either Marx or Freud. In place of religious belief, there would be secular ideology. The very concept of good and evil would be discarded as the product of weak and inferior minds.

But above all, Nietzsche believed that the Will to Power would produce a new kind of messiah, uninhibited by religious sanctions, without moral restraint of any kind, and with an unappeasable appetite for controlling mankind.


And how did that 'will to power' express itself in our times? Jean-Francois Revel, writing over a century after Nietzsche, said of the Europeans in particular,

"It was they, after all, who made the twentieth century the darkest in history; it was they who brought about the two unprecedented cataclysms of two World Wars; and it was they who invented and put into place the two most criminal regimes ever inflicted on the human race - the pinnacles of evil and imbecility achieved in a space of less than thirty years."

If we have learned anything at all from the sad and sorry history if the previous century, it is this: whenever and wherever a government assumes the power to violate your fundamental rights to life and liberty, those who wish to strip you of your rights and claim your life as the property of the state will sooner or later gain control of the apparatus of the state. And they will use it, as I have noted above, without restraint or moral considerations of any kind. Regardless of the scope of that authority, they will exercise it to its fullest extent. If that authority encompasses the power to kill hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people, sooner or later, these killers without conscience will make the fullest and most horrible use of it. The history of the 20th century bears stark and irrefutable witness to this fact. The record is crystal clear in this regard: 'state actors' will use and abuse whatever power and authority they have, to whatever extent they can, and they will actively seek the means and the opportunity to do so.

It's really worth reading the whole thing. It's not overly long compared to some other pieces I've run across on, and the signal to noise ratio is very high. Good stuff.

Thought provoking.

Here are some great "one liners" from this piece:

Genocide: among other things, the killing of people by a government because of their indelible group membership (race, ethnicity, religion, language).

Politicide: the murder of any person or people by a government because of their politics or for political purposes.

Mass Murder: the indiscriminate killing of any person or people by a government.

Democide: The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.


No one wages war on humanity in the name of individualism - R. J. Rummel


"Deserted altars are inhabited by demons." - Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn on the effect of spiritual decline in Europe.


the evils and horrors that arise from the abuse of power far outweigh whatever good that power might achieve.


Power seldom goes unabused.


"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the 'good' of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock


"It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from their sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression." - Erik Hoffer


The time is coming when we must either begin the "long march" back through the institutions to reclaim them and to restore the principles of freedom and human dignity to their rightful place, or we must separate from the killers without conscience and those who condone them. ... We cannot co-exist in the same society with such monsters.


Those who feel they have the right to dictate the terms of existence to everyone else are on a deadly collision course with those of us who understand that no such 'right' exists. The history of the 20th century stands in mute witness to the brutal tragedy of appeasement and the folly of compromise with totalitarian monsters.


At the most fundamental level, [a] war is being waged ... for the hearts and minds of our children. The battlefields are: popular culture, our public schools, our institutions of higher learning, our churches and even our homes. The casualties are your kids' intellectual and spiritual sovereignty - their inner life and their freedom.


... there is no reconciliation possible with those who claim that your life simply does not belong to you. You cannot make peace with those who demand not only your economic submission, but your intellectual and spiritual surrender as well. The price of surrender has been and always will be more than anyone of reason and good will can ever care to pay.


"Those who say that life is worth living at any cost have written for themselves an epitaph of infamy, for there is no cause and no person they would not betray to stay alive..." - Sidney Hook


There are many of us ... who constitute an entirely different class of humanity than these killers without conscience and their enablers. We are neither interested in power nor its abuse. We are satisfied to live our lives in peace with ourselves and with others, and we derive great satisfaction in seeing others enjoy life as we do. We believe that our lives and our minds are sovereign, and that the fruits of our labors are not forfeit to the first thug who demands them at the point of a gun. We are never the initiators of violence. We judge others solely by their competence and by their character.


"The greatness of a society does not come from its monuments but from the kind of people it produces. Justice, responsibility, and humanity - these are the qualities of greatness in a people. Only the humane can remain free, and only the free can remain humane..." - G. Warren Nutter, economist, University of Virginia

As before, all emphasis is in the original.

* here is the relevant point from BC:

reading a freeper essay last night, i was stunned by the obvious, that all the 20th century democide (death by government) has been done on the basis of identity grouping –which some malign force has been sharply re-marking in this country, after two centuries of idealizing the opposite national ethos.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Modern Gadiantons

This is a comment that really resonated with me for reasons that I think will be obvious. Its just a bit more inflamatory than I think it needs to be to make its point. But the words from the final paragraph "They create nothing and steal everything" strike a deep chord.

25. proreason

The country is engaged in a civil war, and it isn’t about republicans and democrats.

Ruling Class vs Country Class is closer but that isn’t really it either.

It’s possible to be a Harvard grad and still love the country.It’s also not strictly a civil war against marxism, although marxism is the philosophy that our domestic enemies usually use to con the rubes.

The civil war is against political criminals of all stripes, and their allies in the unions, the welfare state, lawyers and bureaucrats…all of the remora-fish classes that feed off the work and genius of people willing to work. For 60 years they have undermined the country, our families, our institutions and our communication networks. They create nothing and steal everything. They won’t go away on their own because they don’t know how to survive withough stealing from others. They have to be crushed. Whatever it takes.

Good stuff.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Europe: I'm sorry ... can you repeat the question.

Here is a comment by the man himself, Wrechard, that if true really gives me hope that the US may pull through.

... In a discussion I had with someone who had just been influenced one of [Nial] Ferguson’s apocalyptic “America is dead” lectures my answer was “and who shall live? Europe? Australia? China?” They are all in the same case and further along the feckless path.

What distinguishes American crisis and marks its particular character is that the millions of people are considering answers to questions that are only now being understood by Europeans. It has gone so far in the understanding of the disease that it is at the point of contemplating cures. And because the possible cures are so basic, and so much at odds with the current of the last hundred years they boggle the mind. My guess is that when the answers are finally supplied and if they are successful they will reorganize the world. Not just the United States.

While this sounds hopelessly vague, let’s consider this: can the current political memes now rising in America remain exclusively American? If Washington is diminished by grassroots reassertiveness can the EU be far behind? I think the PC brigade understand things better than the Tea Party Movement. If PC cannot survive in America it is threatened everywhere. The Left has supplied the prototype of the Global Meme. Is there any way of not paying it back in its own coin?

But it is too early to fill in the details. All that can safely be said is that the old order is in crisis. What will replace it — for good or ill — has not yet shown its “external facts”. We do not see its face yet. And it is also likely that we are in the midst what Adams called the “revolution in the minds of the people”. That is the task at hand. What follows, well, we shall see

I think he is right that americans have, at least partially, awoken and begun to consider solutions to the problems that the europeans have not even acknowledged (and they are clearly further down the path).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Wealth, New Power.

A great observation by a belmont commenter.

77. Whitehall

The creation of wealth is the cretion [sic] of new power, power that threatens the existing power of political actors.

Those citizens who create new wealth are therefore, rightly, seen as a threat to those who hold power, especially if [those in power] acquired [it] in ways other than through wealth creation.

[Durring] This [latest political] cycle, the political activists have grabbed a huge handful of power and seem to be working hard to prevent future challengers by shutting off the routes to new wealth creation through capital supply restrictions, new regulations, and higher taxes.

Maybe when the Republicans regain power, we could return the favor by closing all university departments of political science, ethnic, gay, and womyn studies and restricting political activities by those with government grants and welfare payments.

[bracketed text mine]

the 4th paragraph is of course tongue in cheek, but the lead in is profound.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How the left uses Christianity against the west.

This incredible statement is taken from the coments on the Prop8 thread at Belmont Club.

...WOW! ... Just wow!

The West has inherited from Christianity an empathy for victims which is exploited by the Left. Every misfit of whatever stripe is presented as a victim whose pains society is required to assuage. The world is an imperfect place inhabited by variously imperfect people, there is nothing that can be done to make everyone’s sense of inadequacy about their flaws disappear. Yet this is the impossible task to which the Left is attempting to force society to commit itself.

This is from a comenter (Tamquam) that I dont recall having ever taken particular notice of before, but wow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Free market ≠ Open borders

Here is a nice, clear explanation of why support for free markets does not require support for open borders. In fact quie the opposite,

31. bogie wheel

The ruling class is open borders. This is NOT necessarily the same thing as being a hard-core principled believer in free markets. It could be that. OR it could be (1) the progressive tactic of trying to “get a new people” (ie Dem voters) via massive waves of immigrants looking for social programs and government handouts, or (2) businesses looking for ridiculously cheap labor, nevermind the nation’s immigration laws or the social or political consequences of massive waves of immigrants driving down labor prices and destroying the ability of the marginally skilled to get entry-level jobs to improve their skills (not to mention pay the rent, eat, etc).

Related to what I mentioned in the last thread, a free market is not an anarchic market, is not a lawless market. Just because the government shouldn’t intrude into, say, minimum wage practices is not the same thing as saying the government shouldn’t enforce our border laws. Limiting immigration to manageable (assimilate-able) levels, and especially stopping the tide of illegal immigration, is (1) a duty of the federal government, which is charged with maintaining national sovereignty via our borders and stop us from being invaded, (2) a matter of national security these days, and (3) a socio-political issue, preserving order also being a governmental duty.

To say that a staunch believer in the free market is therefore obliged, out of intellectual consistency’s sake, to advocate open borders, is balderdash. There are three very good and important reasons to control the borders and restrict immigration. All three are related to primary duties of the government. All three involve one of the few things that the government is Constitutionally charged with actually DOING, as opposed to keeping its grubby paws off of.

Only when, and not until, the nation’s workforce is composed of American citizens and legal residents, does the actual free market of domstic labor negotiations begin. When the government fails to stop illegal immigration and/or bungles legal immigration levels, and most especially when government does this intentionally, it is in essence putting its thumb on the scale of the domestic labor market. And it is weighting the scale AGAINST several subsets of American workers.

As far as NAFTA and free trade agreements are concerned, once again you have to check definitions. Is it *really* “free trade” if American businesses are, from the outset, smothered in costly regulations that drive the unit price of producing a widget up to five or ten times what less regulated (and frequently subsidized) Chinese or Mexican widgets cost? IOW the issue of the government’s role in whether free trade is genuinely free or not begins loooooong before Congress deliberates a tariff bill on Chinese & Mexican widgets. It begins with the laws Congress drafts regarding environmental impact statements, the permitting process for the American widget factory, the umpteen czars and their bureacracies and the myriad regulations they impose on the American business owner.

Clinton signed NAFTA but he’s not a principled free marketeer. He had/has other reasons for wanting Chinese & Mexican widgets to flood American store shelves (actually, the flooding of American store shelves is incidental to his real aims), and those reasons have virtually nothing to do with Adam Smith’s invisible hand.