novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

It is said that racism is learned. (Of course, others say Whites are born racist.) If something is learned, then it must be taught, either directly or by personal experience.

Direct teaching occurs when one person teaches another, as in a parent-child relationship or a teacher-student relationship. We could expect racist parents to produce racist children.

Personal experience is altogether different. If one watches the news, and sees that people of one race are over-represented in positions of authority, and that people of another race are over-represented in prison, one might, consciously or unconsciously, develop a racist mindset. If one is in school, and sees one race outperform the others, while another under-performs the others, one might develop a racist mindset.

But what is a “racist mindset”? Is it racist to note that Blacks commit crime at much higher rates than other races? Is it racist to note the under-performance of Blacks in school? Is it racist to note that Blacks are disproportionately likely to be on the dole? Is it racist to note that Blacks are more likely to have children out of wedlock? Is it racist to note that “the black–white disparity in debt is greatest at the highest levels of parents’ net worth”? [^]

No, these are facts. Facts are not racist. The problem comes in using facts about groups to pre-judge individuals in those groups. And that happens. Two identical resumes, one from DeMayne Johnson and the other from Alexander Weinstein, will not be treated the same. Neither will two such mortgage applications.

Affirmative Action just exacerbates the problem. If lesser-qualified Blacks are as likely as more-qualified Whites to be admitted to a particular college, and if that college gives extra help to the Black student to get him through, then equivalent resumes do not really reflect equivalent ability and achievement. If companies promote lesser-qualified Blacks over more qualified White to meet racial quotas, then equivalent resumes do not reflect equivalent ability and achievement.

Affirmative Action in mortgage lending doesn’t help either. Lenders are not in the business of losing money, so are more likely to give sub-prime mortgages to those people who are more likely to default. Research in the industry indicates that “Black households have higher marginal default rates, controlling for differences in borrower and property characteristics.” In this case, as in others, “White Privilege” is the result of White behavior, taken in the aggregate. When controlling for other factors, Whites are less likely to default, so Whites get the privilege of better loan terms.

Is charging Blacks more for loans racist? You betcha! But what is to be done? Lenders make a lot of loans, and the aggregate actions of the borrowers affect the lenders’ returns. If you make it illegal to charge Blacks more, then lenders will find ways to make fewer loans to Blacks.

Black men, even when adjusting for income and other factors, have higher mortality rates than do White men. Should they pay more for life insurance? Of course! It is racist? You betcha! But what is to be done? If charging different rates for life insurance is illegal, then insurers will find ways to write fewer policies for Blacks. (Similarly, women between the ages of twenty and fifty cost health insurers more, and cost car insurers less. The prices of health insurance and car insurance should reflect those facts. Is that sexist? You betcha!)

Now, having higher mortality, do Blacks get more Social Security? No! Is that racist? Do Blacks get better returns on annuities? No! Is that racist?

Racism is, unfortunately, a reality. There are racial gaps in educational attainment, crime rates, life-spans, and loan default rates. The problem is not really racism, but prejudice. PRE-judging people based on race (or sex) is wrong.

Idiots waving Nazi flags probably have no idea that the same prog policies they oppose were policies of the National Socialist Party eighty years ago. Those calling the Nazi-flag-wavers fascists probably have no idea that many of the policies of the Democrat Party are those of the National Socialist Party eighty years ago.

Both are ignorant of history.

Some people blame the police for the violence, because the police did not separate two groups of fascists. Balderdash. People are responsible for their own actions, whether the police are there or not. The police cannot be blamed for not closing roads. The counter-protesters did not have a permit to be on those roads, or they would have been closed. The driver is responsible for driving his car into the crowd, and the crowd is responsible for their illegally blocking the road. All should face charges accordingly.

An article on Intellectual Takeout, Mothers Are Not Widgets, points to an IMF working paper that states that, “if the gender [participation] gap were to be closed…, the level GDP [in Canada] would be higher by 4 percent.”

There are multiple flaws in their arguments. Primarily, there is the assumption that it is the participation of women, particularly well-educated women, in the workforce that increases productivity. More likely, it is the increased productivity that attracts well-educated women to participate.

The IMF paper also does not examine what sort of education those “well-educated” women actually got. Over the years, more and more women have gotten degrees in STEM fields, which are in demand by employers, rather than getting M.R.S. and pre-Wed degrees. Perhaps it is not that there are more educated women in the workforce, but that there are more usefully-educated people in the workforce. Adding more uselessly-educated women to the workforce would be of no benefit.

One striking point of the IMP paper comes in their discussion of demographics:

Why is gender equality an especially important economic issue now? The Canadian economy, like other advanced economies, is expected to face growth headwinds, arising from unfavorable demographic pressure. The Bank of Canada has assessed that labor input growth could be almost halved (from 0.7 percent a year in 2015 to 0.4 percent in 2020) due to the slowdown in the growth rate of the working age population (Bank of Canada 2016). But female labor resources have not been fully tapped, and policy reform to bring more females to the workplace could effectively counterbalance the demographic pressure that is predicted to rise in the future.

So their “solution” to the population collapse is for more women to be working, which would just accelerate the collapse of the population! Brilliant.

Liberalism and Feminism are literally killing off Western Civilization, and their solution is more Liberalism and Feminism.

But wait, they want more government-paid child care. So, leave your kids with a stranger to go to work so you can pay the taxes that pay the stranger to raise your kids.

The Intellectual Takeout article also quotes a prog woman who says that motherhood is selfish. Here’s the opening paragraph:

I was taking a few weeks’ break from work over the summer. My family and I — my husband and my sons, then 9 and 7 — planned to spend the time at our house on the New Jersey shore. When my mother asked what we would be doing on our vacation, I told her we would be together — going to the beach and the nearby amusement park, cooking, playing in the yard.

Motherhood is not selfish. Selfishness is refusing to have enough children to continue the civilization so that you can afford a vacation home at the shore.

When tuning a radar system, the operator sets a detection threshold. It a signal does not reach that threshold, no detection event occurs. Not wanting to miss any real returns, an operator might increase the sensitivity (decrease the threshold) so that any real radar returns will exceed the threshold and show up on his screen.

The problem with that is that a lot of noise will also exceed that threshold and show up his screen too.

This is exactly the problem with oversensitive progs, who see normal differences in everyday life and their racism, sexism, and poor-poor-pitiful-me-ism detectors go off.

Black people get arrested more than Whites, so it must be racism, not the fact that Blacks commit more crimes. Black people make less money than Whites, so it must be racism, not the fact that Blacks tend to do less well in school. They see women getting paid less than men, so it must be sexism, not the fact that women are less likely to go into engineering, math, and real sciences, and are less likely to work overtime.

On the other side of the coin, I suspect my bullshit detector is too sensitive, since it seems that everything the progs say sets it off.

It’s getting a bit stale now, having been released in January of 2015, but I am sure they will come out with a new steaming pile soon. Anyway, allow me to present Who Pays? (5th Edition) A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All Fifty States. Even the title is wrong, since they include the District of Columbia, but I digress.

While complaining, as progs are wont to do, that the State tax systems are not “fair,” they never actually bother to define the word FAIR. Be that as it may, when we get down to the section on real estate taxes, we have this:

Renters do not escape property taxes. A portion of the property tax on rental property is passed through to renters in the form of higher rent — and these taxes represent a much larger share of income for poor families than for the wealthy. This adds to the regressivity of the property tax.

This is quite reasonable. If the property-owner is to make a profit, he needs to pass his tax burden on to his renters. But the authors then follow up with this:

The business tax component reduces the regressivity of the property tax as it generally falls on owners of capital….

That’s right. Somehow, one type of business (rental property) is able to pass the cost of taxes to its customers (renters), but other types, such as retailers and manufacturers, cannot. This simply makes no sense.

The authors want to emphasize their assertion that lower-income people pay a higher percentage of their income to State and local taxes than higher-income people do. To do that, they say that property taxes on rental property are passed through to the renters. However, if they admit that retail and manufacturing business can do the same, and pass their property taxes on to their customers, then they must also admit that businesses can also pass on to their customers the cost of corporate income taxes, and thus the corporate income taxes are as regressive as sales taxes are. This they cannot do.

This really is one of the dumbest articles I’ve ever seen from “The Economist”, and that includes the one where they neglected the fact that twice a year one gets THREE bi-weekly paychecks in a month!

Germany has a trade surplus, and according to “The Economist”, this is a Bad Thing:

For a large economy at full employment to run a current-account surplus in excess of 8% of GDP puts unreasonable strain on the global trading system. To offset such surpluses and sustain enough aggregate demand to keep people in work, the rest of the world must borrow and spend with equal abandon. In some countries, notably Italy, Greece and Spain, persistent deficits eventually led to crises. Their subsequent shift towards surplus came at a heavy cost. The enduring savings glut in northern Europe has made the adjustment needlessly painful.

Germany did not force Italy, Greece, and Spain to spend more than they made. Germany did not force Italy, Greece, and Spain to borrow money to buy what they could not afford. They chose to do that all on their own. If one group of people, collectively, spend more than they make, then some other group must make more than they spend.

Old (and I feel every day) ACT has been working 14 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for far longer than I can remember. I lose track of the day and month at times and the seasons are about the only thing that give me some semblance of the time. Not looking for sympathy here. Someone has to do the work and I thought when I retired 7 years ago that things would be different. Probably the reason God tells me not to make plans cause I only need to worry and live for today. What keeps me working is my circumstance, one of my grandbabies, and a tie that I just can’t seem (or don’t want to) let go of. Well now I am local for awhile so I can play here for a while. The object of the text is work.

I keep hearing that there is no work. Kids today are looking for those high paying, meaningful jobs like pro sports player, psychologist, actor, web designer and such. Whatever happened to meaningful work? My organization is staffed well but my company has had vacancies for years. Good work that takes brains and thinking on your own. For some reason we get no prior experience or those that want a paycheck without putting forward any effort. Needless to say, we have lots of vacancies. Now because I have been doing what I do for eons (I helped invent the square wheel) I am given projects to do alone, doing 3 or 4 individual jobs, only because I make things happen and organize well, including being everywhere at once. My body hates me and my mind has been playing cruel games. It is called old age. Shoot, I couldn’t remember the name of that dumb blonde that wanted to give oral gratification ( subjective at best) to any guy that voted for Hillbilly. I mean I really considered taking my gov’t money back and relaxing, contemplating my naval. Unfortunately I just can’t up and leave the company or organization without knowing my void has been taken care of. Where are those up and comers? Where are those eager beavers? Where is that next generation; anxious to take the feigns and make a mark in the world? It used to be companies wanted to dump the old for the young. Now they are looking for the old and experienced for less money and benefits because the young aren’t all they were cracked up to be. Maybe they need a new class in academia: work ethics. Novel idea. I know that some of us elders would appreciate the company and relief.