Saturday, February 25, 2017

NPR's Pet "Conservative" Doesn't Understand Supply And Demand

David Brooks is what NPR and establishment media types on the coasts think a conservative should be, namely someone who doesn't actually hold to any conservative values and exists mostly to be a polite but mild skeptic of what his liberal betters are saying. When you look at people like David Brooks and George Will, coastal cocktail party "conservatives" and then compare them to people like Steve Bannon, it is pretty clear that if anyone to the right of George H.W. Bush was listening to them, they aren't anymore. The rank and file of conservatives are sick to death of being hectored and scolded by white wine sipping elites telling them what to think and how to vote. That was on full display with the interview at CPAC with Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon. Priebus represented the old guard, genteel Republican establishment and Bannon the populist, nationalist viewpoint that elected Trump, a viewpoint that I think is way stronger than anyone imagines and is probably quietly getting stronger all the time. The media might be fixated on little protests of professional perpetually aggrieved deviants and social justice warriors but the rest of America is probably a lot more OK with what Trump is doing than the media thinks. After all, if you based the election strictly on what the experts were saying on election day, Hillary Clinton would be President and First Dude Bill would be in charge of White House intern vetting. But just as the insufferable smirk slowly disappeared into shock and then anger on the face of Rachel Maddow, I am pretty certain that the real political climate is much different than what media thinks or tries to convince us of.

Anyway, Brooks posted an essay at the New York Times (All the leftist slanted news that's fit to print!) in which he repeated the pro-unlimited immigration and turn-a-blind-eye-to-illegals nonsense that we hear all the time, that we just gotta have lots of immigrants, legal or otherwise, because no one else will do the hard work. His essay is titled The National Death Wish and it is about the dumbest thing you will ever read.

A few weeks ago, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, Republican senators from Arkansas and Georgia, introduced an immigration bill that would cut the number of legal immigrants to this country each year in half, from about a million to about 500,000. 

In a press conference, Cotton offered a rationale for his bill. “There’s no denying this generation-long surge in low-skilled immigration has hurt blue-collar wages,” he said. If we can reduce the number of low-skill immigrants coming into the country, that will reduce the pool of labor, put upward pressure on wages and bring more Americans back into the labor force. 

It seems like a plausible argument. That is, until you actually get out in the real world.

Irony alert! Has David Brooks ever been "out in the real world"? Or perhaps he thinks that his vantage point living in the cosmopolitan cities of America gives him a crucial insight into the "real world". You see, in the real world it is insane to bring in 1,000,000 immigrants every year to fill jobs when we already have millions of Americans who choose not to work, tens of millions on government assistance and millions more doing service economy jobs that are disappearing as places like J.C. Penney slowly collapse and close stores. He argues that America is like a river, not a lake, and that we just need to "go with the flow". The problem is, continuing his metaphor, that our waterways are already full of fish. He continues:

Nationwide, there are now about 200,000 unfilled construction jobs, according to the National Association of Home Builders. If America were as simple as a lake, builders would just raise wages, incomes would rise and the problem would be over.

But that hasn’t happened. Builders have gone recruiting in high schools and elsewhere, looking for people willing to learn building skills, but they’re not having much luck.

Construction is hard, many families demean physical labor and construction is highly cyclical. Hundreds of thousands of people lost construction jobs during the financial crisis and don’t want to come back. They want steadier work even at a lower salary.

Employers have apparently decided raising wages won’t work. Adjusting for inflation, wages are roughly where they were, at about $27 an hour on average in a place like Colorado. Instead, employers have had to cut back on output. One builder told Reuters that he could take on 10 percent more projects per year if he could find the crews.

What exactly are the "steadier" jobs he is talking about? Meaningless retail jobs or jobs pushing paper around a desk? For someone without technical skills of some sort and without the obligatory 4 year degree, the job market is absolutely brutal for most workers so a lot of them are just not working at all. But, but construction is hard! Heaven forbid we do work that is hard! Construction absolutely is cyclical but if you think it is impossible to make a living doing construction, let me drive you around the area where we live and you can see the brand new brick homes and $20,000 horses that the Amish own, paid for by cyclical, seasonal construction jobs. 

But people don't wanna do hard jobs, they are demeaning! Who is to blame for that mindset? Maybe people like David Brooks and his buddies at the Times who have been denigrating blue collar work and insisting that anyone who doesn't go to college is pond scum. Instead of calling Betsy DeVos a Nazi, maybe we should really start to reevaluate the "education" system and ask whether the output is what we really need, especially given the obscene amounts of money we spend on public schools and universities. I am willing to bet that if people were given the choice between working at a "hard" job and having no money, they would choose the "hard" job 99 times out of 100. But if you give a lot of people the choice between a "hard" job and "free" money via welfare, guess which one they will choose?

Brooks then takes a quick excursion to the land where everyone gets a unicorn and rivers flow with chocolate.

A comprehensive study of non-European Union immigrants into Denmark between 1991 and 2008 found that immigrants did not push down wages, but rather freed natives to do more pleasant work. 
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The way to help working families is not to cut immigration. It’s to help everybody flow to the job he or she wants to take.

Again, what is this "more pleasant work"? Being a clerk at Wal-Mart? What sort of fantasy world does he live in where all of these awesome, pleasant jobs are just sitting around waiting for someone to choose them? Praytell David, where does one go to apply for these pleasant, business cycle proof jobs? I also am a little confused about "flowing to the job" I want to take. I seem to recall that I had to take jobs that were available, to work hard and gain experience, and then to actively seek out positions to get jobs I want. Brooks makes it sound like you can just float along and the flow will take you right to the job you "want to take". How about the jobs you take because you need to or even have to? We can't all write flowery prose from New York about the realities of the "real world", the vast majority of us who actually live in the real world have to work for a living, and no David, passively allowing E.J. Dionne to rant his leftist propaganda for five minutes on a Friday isn't really work.

Finally we come to his closing argument and this is even more infuriating than the rest of the essay because it exposes something rather ugly in his mindset and the mindset of a lot of our "elites". Brooks pondered:

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many Republicans prefer a dying white America to a place like, say, Houston.

Paging Bill "Let's Replace Whites With Mexicans" Kristol. I am sure David Brooks really doesn't understand but then again he lives in New York. I am also sure he has no idea and probably doesn't care in the slightest that to people like me that sounds an awful like a complete dismissal of my family and my culture. Brooks is a Jew, although apparently not an observant one. I wonder what he would say to a statement that suggested that replacing the Jews in Israel with a multicultural cornucopia was preferable to clinging to a "dying Jewish Israel"? When you use language that appears to commoditize and summarily dismiss as irredeemable an entire race of people, especially when the people in question are in the majority of this nation and are, if we can be completely honest and painfully politically incorrect, the same race of people who built this nation and made it a country that people from around the world want to come to, it suggests a complete lack of empathy and the sort of thinking that led to David Brooks being so grumpy on PBS the evening of the election.

We are not just widgets. an interchangeable set of economic units that can be swapped out for some other units to keep the coffers of global corporations full. Not White people and not anyone for that matter. If Brooks thinks we can engage in a wholesale replacement of the historically dominant race and culture of America and end up with something that is equivalent, he is sorely mistaken.

David Brooks only sees two possible futures. Either a dying White America or a multicultural utopia. There are no other paths. Demographic destiny is fixed and our economic future demands the sacrifice of "white America". The death of White America is inevitable and if you read between the lines it is not all that lamentable. I reject that. We have spent decades and trillions of dollars trying to right past racial injustices, many real but many not and as the years pass the balance of real versus perceived injustices is shifting quickly. Now the people who founded this nation, created a Republic that is the envy of the world, tamed the vast North American wilderness, defeated both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, invented so much of what we take for granted in modern life, who feed the world, those people are in some distress and David Brooks and Bill Kristol and others (like Jennifer Rubin who thinks we should essentially force Whites to move from the Midwest and into the idyllic urban centers, like Chicago and Baltimore and New Orleans, to be re-educated on how "diversity" is our real strength), seem to think that they should be cast aside in favor of "new" Americans who get to inherit what the prior Americans built.

I am sure the garbage being sold by Brooks, Kristol and Rubin get approving nods from people in Boston and New York and L.A.. For the Americans who dwell in the distasteful Midwest and West, for Americans who live outside of the big cities in the South and the West, it feels a lot like ingratitude and suspiciously like being spit on. Maybe instead of dismissing us to the dustbin of history, we can find ways to remove barriers for White people to learn skills, start businesses and farms and raise families? I fear that Hillbilly Elegy, which was a great book and a sober warning, is misinterpreted by a lot of elites who read it like they read the 50 Shades books. Hillbilly Elegy seems like a book that could be the equivalent of poverty porn for cosmopolitan elites, a book that reinforces the stereotypes that they hold about the "deplorables" in fly-over country who "cling to the guns and religion" in-between smacking around their girlfriends and cooking meth.

That brings me to the alt-right, a shadowy group lots of people love to reference and very few people know anything about. If I hear one more liberal ignoramus telling me how much they know about the alt-right and explaining that Breitbart is the main media source for them or that Milo is the epitome of the alt-right, I am going to puke. A lot of more mainstream conservatives are terrified of the alt-right. Rod Dreher at the American Conservative recently suggested (based on an anonymous email allegedly from a high school student) that the alt-right is infiltrating Christian schools. The Executive Director of the American Conservative Union which puts on the recent CPAC conference took the time to denounce the alt-right at CPAC and alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer was stripped of his CPAC credentials, which ironically enough gave him yet another opportunity to be interviewed by the media and gain exposure. Hillary Clinton invoked the alt-right bogeyman and my buddy David Brooks suggested that they were controlling Trump behind the scenes back in August.

Do you want to know why the alt-right is gaining so much traction and why people like Richard Spencer get so much press? It is not because deep down so many Whites are racists, which is what the media and the political Left and apparently a lot of "conservatives" would like you believe. It is not even that most or many Whites agree in substance with the alt-right on very much. The reason is that virtually no one on the political right except the alt-right is willing to talk about issues of race without constant apologizing, stammering and virtue signaling. You might not like what they are saying and in fact you may hate it with a passion but when "conservatism" is mostly stammering and staring at your polished wingtip shoes, the reality is that most conservatives have ceded the entire discussion of race from the Right to the alt-right. Many regular White Americans on the right, and even many who are fairly apolitical, and who don't get invited to cocktail parties in Manhattan are sick of being told "Well Whites have had a good run but your time is over. Just go back to your meth lab in the trailer park and wait to die, the sooner the better so we can replace you with a foreigner who is willing to work hard.". They are sick of being blamed for every ill and they are especially sick of being told they enjoy "White privilege" when they are working two jobs and still struggling to make the mortgage payment. When they look for some sort of perspective from the mainline GOP, they find that the average establishment Republican is far more concerned about being thought insufficiently dedicated to diversity than they are about Islamic terrorism, abortion or a $20 trillion national debt.

The Democratic National Committee just elected their new chairman, Tom Perez, the Hispanic former Secretary of Labor who defeated Muslim congressman Keith Ellison but then appointed Ellison as his deputy. Ellison was formerly associated with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam and wrote in law school in favor of a separate black state, to be formed from southern states. As an aside, a racially based separate state is one of the key goals of the alt-right and that is something with some real support in the black community. Ironic, no? With the selection of a Latino chairman and a black Muslim deputy chair, the Democrats made clear that they are still sold on running based on identity politics. Cosmopolitan Republicans like Bill Kristol and "conservatives" like David Brooks advocate the wholesale jettisoning of Whites or their semi-forced relocation. To paraphrase the saying, any port in a storm, when no one else seems to care about your interests, you go with the one that does no matter how much you dislike them.

That wasn't really where I meant to go with this post and the whole thing is pretty angry but then again so am I. I have a lot more to say on this subject but I probably stepped on enough toes, violated enough shibboleths and earned enough disapproving harrumphs for one day.
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