Category: Christopher Chantrill

Why Don't We Turn Populist?


There are two types of populism, writes Victor Davis Hanson, that go back to classical times.  There’s the populism of the mob, which wants redistribution and to tax the rich.  Then there is the populism of the small property-owners and small businessmen, little people with a retirement nest egg threatened by the ruling class.

Although it is usual to marginalize both these populisms as reactions of the simple-minded to necessary “creative destruction,” it is perhaps important to remember an underappreciated factor: the backwash of the ruling class’s wars and incompetent manipulations.

Here’s what I mean.

Sure, the French Revolution unleashed the mob, but it was the mess of French government finance that brought on the revolution and the subsequent revolutionary inflation that radicalized the whole country.  The Old Regime was incompetent; the new regime was evil.

The working-class ructions in Britain after the Napoleonic Wars are inseparable from the deflation working Brits suffered, after a generation of war, as their government returned gold to its pre-war parity.

The Jacksonian populism in the U.S. cannot be separated from Old Hickory’s demolition job on the Hamiltonian financial system, and the late 19th-century rural populism and industrial strife follows the U.S. deflation after the Civil War.

Let us say, for argument’s sake, that the 1920s boom and crash were the fault of Andrew Mellon, who woke up every morning with a new tax cut, and President Coolidge, who spent several mornings a month looking for ways to cut spending.  Still, the ruling class made a complete mess of taming the animal spirits loosed by Andy and Cal Show.  And then the ruling class mucked up on its response to the 1929 Crash and doubled the disaster with stupidities like the National Industrial Recovery Act.

We all know that the 2000s boom and crash were all about stupid Dodds and Franks putting the pedal to the metal to push mortgages out to under-collateralized and sub-prime borrowers.  And the subsequent crash was about Gentle Ben failing to do his job as lender of last resort.

Remember Harry Truman’s boast: the buck stops here?  My plan is for Congress to write a law, that the chairman of the Federal Reserve shall display upon his desk a sign, that reads: “Lender of Last Resort.  This Means You, Chump.”  I mean Champ.

Sure, whenever the ruling class screws the economy, with its wars or its financial incompetence, the little people are going to be hardest hit.  The only question is whether it will be the propertyless – the swinish multitude – or the small-time rentiers and the white working class – the deplorables.

But what about the rest of us?  Sure, we don’t end up jobless and end up on disability when the ruling class screws up, and we don’t get wiped out by the once-in-a-generation financial crash.  But why do we put up with these incompetents?

What finally put me over the top was this.  I went to a fundraiser concert over the weekend, and the M.C. for the event was a drag queen who got us all on to our feet to sing the National Anthem, which, as you all know, is “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

You will be truly shocked to read that no safe spaces were provided for the transgendered, who might have been offended and microaggressed by the drag queen appropriating their culture.

What I want to know is, why does the dig-in-our-pockets-for-charity crowd put up with this abuse?  How about we regular guys get all riled up and mad at the world and get up and say we are not going to take it anymore?

How about we sit gays down and tell them how tolerant we are to have gone along with their “gay marriage” baloney?

How about we insist that politicians bow and scrape a lot more for our checks that keep them in the game?

How about we sit the professors and the teachers down and tell ’em how we want our kids educated?  And hey, pal!  Stop pumping Our Kids full of lefty activism rubbish.

How about the FBIs and DOJs do their jobs and stop playing FISA roulette with presidential candidates?

How about the tech titans start to think they need to truckle a bit to people like us rather than the usual liberal suspects?

Here’s the point.  The only way these various members of the national Idiocracy are going to pay attention to us is if they start to fear us.  And the only way they are going to fear us is if we start acting up and causing a ruckus.

Maybe it’s time for you and me to show ’em what populism looks like when done by professionals.

It is probably the only way to get these spoiled children of liberal land to show people like us a little respect.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

There are two types of populism, writes Victor Davis Hanson, that go back to classical times.  There’s the populism of the mob, which wants redistribution and to tax the rich.  Then there is the populism of the small property-owners and small businessmen, little people with a retirement nest egg threatened by the ruling class.

Although it is usual to marginalize both these populisms as reactions of the simple-minded to necessary “creative destruction,” it is perhaps important to remember an underappreciated factor: the backwash of the ruling class’s wars and incompetent manipulations.

Here’s what I mean.

Sure, the French Revolution unleashed the mob, but it was the mess of French government finance that brought on the revolution and the subsequent revolutionary inflation that radicalized the whole country.  The Old Regime was incompetent; the new regime was evil.

The working-class ructions in Britain after the Napoleonic Wars are inseparable from the deflation working Brits suffered, after a generation of war, as their government returned gold to its pre-war parity.

The Jacksonian populism in the U.S. cannot be separated from Old Hickory’s demolition job on the Hamiltonian financial system, and the late 19th-century rural populism and industrial strife follows the U.S. deflation after the Civil War.

Let us say, for argument’s sake, that the 1920s boom and crash were the fault of Andrew Mellon, who woke up every morning with a new tax cut, and President Coolidge, who spent several mornings a month looking for ways to cut spending.  Still, the ruling class made a complete mess of taming the animal spirits loosed by Andy and Cal Show.  And then the ruling class mucked up on its response to the 1929 Crash and doubled the disaster with stupidities like the National Industrial Recovery Act.

We all know that the 2000s boom and crash were all about stupid Dodds and Franks putting the pedal to the metal to push mortgages out to under-collateralized and sub-prime borrowers.  And the subsequent crash was about Gentle Ben failing to do his job as lender of last resort.

Remember Harry Truman’s boast: the buck stops here?  My plan is for Congress to write a law, that the chairman of the Federal Reserve shall display upon his desk a sign, that reads: “Lender of Last Resort.  This Means You, Chump.”  I mean Champ.

Sure, whenever the ruling class screws the economy, with its wars or its financial incompetence, the little people are going to be hardest hit.  The only question is whether it will be the propertyless – the swinish multitude – or the small-time rentiers and the white working class – the deplorables.

But what about the rest of us?  Sure, we don’t end up jobless and end up on disability when the ruling class screws up, and we don’t get wiped out by the once-in-a-generation financial crash.  But why do we put up with these incompetents?

What finally put me over the top was this.  I went to a fundraiser concert over the weekend, and the M.C. for the event was a drag queen who got us all on to our feet to sing the National Anthem, which, as you all know, is “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

You will be truly shocked to read that no safe spaces were provided for the transgendered, who might have been offended and microaggressed by the drag queen appropriating their culture.

What I want to know is, why does the dig-in-our-pockets-for-charity crowd put up with this abuse?  How about we regular guys get all riled up and mad at the world and get up and say we are not going to take it anymore?

How about we sit gays down and tell them how tolerant we are to have gone along with their “gay marriage” baloney?

How about we insist that politicians bow and scrape a lot more for our checks that keep them in the game?

How about we sit the professors and the teachers down and tell ’em how we want our kids educated?  And hey, pal!  Stop pumping Our Kids full of lefty activism rubbish.

How about the FBIs and DOJs do their jobs and stop playing FISA roulette with presidential candidates?

How about the tech titans start to think they need to truckle a bit to people like us rather than the usual liberal suspects?

Here’s the point.  The only way these various members of the national Idiocracy are going to pay attention to us is if they start to fear us.  And the only way they are going to fear us is if we start acting up and causing a ruckus.

Maybe it’s time for you and me to show ’em what populism looks like when done by professionals.

It is probably the only way to get these spoiled children of liberal land to show people like us a little respect.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Whatever Happened to the Feminists' 'Hear Me Roar'?



What do true-believing activists do when the inevitable victory is unaccountably delayed?

 



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'I Can't Believe He Signed That Omnibus Bill!'


Come on, you conservatives and Trumpists.  Stop behaving like special snowflakes!  Because when you complain, “I can’t believe that President Trump signed that horrible omnibus bill!,” you are descending into what I call the Women’s Culture of Complaint.

Yes, you are going along with what German sociologist Georg Simmel predicted would be a public square with a pronounced “feminine sensibility.”  The whole point of Donald Trump is that he is a man’s man.  That’s why so many women dislike him; that’s why we voted for him.

Okay, so President Trump got out-Schumered on this one.  And the wall ain’t gonna be started this year.  And Chuck’s going to get his tunnel.  But do we whine about a microaggression from those mean-girl jelly-beanies on Capitol Hill, or do we suck it in and soldier on?

Hey, fellas: this was just a battle, a minor battle in the great war we are fighting against the left, the tyrannous experts, the venal politicians, and the foolish women who believe what they are taught in school.  Wanna give up already?  Or do we retreat a ways, figure out lessons learned, and regroup for the next battle?  OODA and all that?

Let’s get clarity on who we are, what we want, and why we won’t give up.

We are the people who are not wedded to the big state.  That means we are not the educated, who vote big government because it means jobs for educated people: doing research the government wants, working up new programs the government wants, attacking the government’s opponents.  That means we are not single women, who expect the government to fill in for the absent husband.  And it means we are not the poor, who, since time immemorial, have looked to a powerful patron to provide for them.  We think society should be based on the principle of voluntary cooperation, not on a neo-feudalism of sucking up to the Big Man.

We think human society should be founded upon a moral and cultural story that promotes order but that every moment worries about order sliding toward tyranny.  We think the current political order is profoundly unjust and that, as the Chinese might say, its mandarin class has lost the Mandate of Heaven.  We think it is unjust because it is too big; unjust because it does things like education and relief of the poor that we should really do for ourselves; unjust because it has encouraged a socially destructive culture, from abortion to the sexual revolution to divorce on demand, that appeals to the worst instincts in men and is profoundly soul-destroying for women.

The most wonderful thing is that our current liberal ruling class has no notion of the injustice of its rule.  They think their “activism” is revolution from below rather than regime hate squads doing the bidding of the ruling class from above.  The people they have determined to subjugate and humiliate with their political power are men: ordinary, unexceptional men who follow the rules, go to work, and obey the laws.

Obviously, it matters not whether President Trump gets hornswoggled by a cabal of Deep State creatures, or indeed whether the Democrats manage to catch him in a perjury trap and dispatch him to Outer Slobbovia.  What matters is to continue the head of rebellion against a cruel and unjust ruling class that on the one hand allows itself every privilege and every sinecure dreamed up by the courtiers of the absolute monarchs and, on the other hand, deploys its regime hate squads throughout the land to humiliate and degrade ordinary people with the vile accusation of “white privilege.”

In a recent piece, Joel Kotkin decrees the end of the neoliberal world order and proposes that its successor will be an autocratic order, made in Beijing.  But that assumes that a ruler is ruling a nation of robots moronically following orders.

On the contrary, whatever comes next will be drenched in the moral drama of good versus evil, just like the moral drama of the monotheistic religions and the modern totalitarian religions of Marx and Gramsci.

The problem of 19th-century capitalism and 20th-century conservatism is that they failed to present a moral drama that could inspire and motivate ordinary people while the left put everything in an absolutist moral frame: each of us “is either all good, or all bad” in Zman’s formulation.  If you are not a woke activist, then you must be a fascist.

It is scandalous that Donald Trump, a flawed businessman, should have been the one to speak to the people in mythological terms as a national drama of good versus evil and make the ordinary American the hero and the swamp creatures the villains.

But because Trump isn’t perfect, you want to give up on the whole thing?

For shame!

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Come on, you conservatives and Trumpists.  Stop behaving like special snowflakes!  Because when you complain, “I can’t believe that President Trump signed that horrible omnibus bill!,” you are descending into what I call the Women’s Culture of Complaint.

Yes, you are going along with what German sociologist Georg Simmel predicted would be a public square with a pronounced “feminine sensibility.”  The whole point of Donald Trump is that he is a man’s man.  That’s why so many women dislike him; that’s why we voted for him.

Okay, so President Trump got out-Schumered on this one.  And the wall ain’t gonna be started this year.  And Chuck’s going to get his tunnel.  But do we whine about a microaggression from those mean-girl jelly-beanies on Capitol Hill, or do we suck it in and soldier on?

Hey, fellas: this was just a battle, a minor battle in the great war we are fighting against the left, the tyrannous experts, the venal politicians, and the foolish women who believe what they are taught in school.  Wanna give up already?  Or do we retreat a ways, figure out lessons learned, and regroup for the next battle?  OODA and all that?

Let’s get clarity on who we are, what we want, and why we won’t give up.

We are the people who are not wedded to the big state.  That means we are not the educated, who vote big government because it means jobs for educated people: doing research the government wants, working up new programs the government wants, attacking the government’s opponents.  That means we are not single women, who expect the government to fill in for the absent husband.  And it means we are not the poor, who, since time immemorial, have looked to a powerful patron to provide for them.  We think society should be based on the principle of voluntary cooperation, not on a neo-feudalism of sucking up to the Big Man.

We think human society should be founded upon a moral and cultural story that promotes order but that every moment worries about order sliding toward tyranny.  We think the current political order is profoundly unjust and that, as the Chinese might say, its mandarin class has lost the Mandate of Heaven.  We think it is unjust because it is too big; unjust because it does things like education and relief of the poor that we should really do for ourselves; unjust because it has encouraged a socially destructive culture, from abortion to the sexual revolution to divorce on demand, that appeals to the worst instincts in men and is profoundly soul-destroying for women.

The most wonderful thing is that our current liberal ruling class has no notion of the injustice of its rule.  They think their “activism” is revolution from below rather than regime hate squads doing the bidding of the ruling class from above.  The people they have determined to subjugate and humiliate with their political power are men: ordinary, unexceptional men who follow the rules, go to work, and obey the laws.

Obviously, it matters not whether President Trump gets hornswoggled by a cabal of Deep State creatures, or indeed whether the Democrats manage to catch him in a perjury trap and dispatch him to Outer Slobbovia.  What matters is to continue the head of rebellion against a cruel and unjust ruling class that on the one hand allows itself every privilege and every sinecure dreamed up by the courtiers of the absolute monarchs and, on the other hand, deploys its regime hate squads throughout the land to humiliate and degrade ordinary people with the vile accusation of “white privilege.”

In a recent piece, Joel Kotkin decrees the end of the neoliberal world order and proposes that its successor will be an autocratic order, made in Beijing.  But that assumes that a ruler is ruling a nation of robots moronically following orders.

On the contrary, whatever comes next will be drenched in the moral drama of good versus evil, just like the moral drama of the monotheistic religions and the modern totalitarian religions of Marx and Gramsci.

The problem of 19th-century capitalism and 20th-century conservatism is that they failed to present a moral drama that could inspire and motivate ordinary people while the left put everything in an absolutist moral frame: each of us “is either all good, or all bad” in Zman’s formulation.  If you are not a woke activist, then you must be a fascist.

It is scandalous that Donald Trump, a flawed businessman, should have been the one to speak to the people in mythological terms as a national drama of good versus evil and make the ordinary American the hero and the swamp creatures the villains.

But because Trump isn’t perfect, you want to give up on the whole thing?

For shame!

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Let's Call Liberal Activists 'Regime Hate Squads'


Remember the good old days of the Latin American “death squads”?  Every liberal chanted with one voice to end these extrajudicial paramilitaries used by right-wing Latin American dictators to do the dirty work that they didn’t want the regular armed forces, police, and justice system to do.

Liberals invented the term to differentiate between noble lefty revolutionary guerrillas who were good and evil right-wing regime thugs who were bad.  As any child could tell.

I strongly feel that our liberal friends’ devotion to activism, the notion of the marginalized and the oppressed rising up in righteous rage against the ruling class, has gone sadly awry.  That is because the whole point of riots and rebellions and protests is that people outside the system are demanding to be included in the political division of spoils.  Our modern culture of voting and elected governments and universal franchise was created precisely to provide that every adult (except illegal aliens) was inside the system and represented by someone in the councils of power and therefore did not need to riot, rebel, or protest to get his cut.

On this notion, the idea of blacks and women and gays and transgenders needing to do activism and peaceful protest in the year 2018 is baloney.  As signed and sealed liberal “little darlings,” these formerly marginalized groups are now fully represented in the system.  Therefore, there is no warrant for them to flood into the streets.  That’s what the history of 19th-century Britain teaches us, too.  By the 1890s in England, the violence of the early to mid-19th century – the rick-burnings, the riots, the Chartism – had all died down.  The workers now had the vote, and their grievances were being addressed in the councils of power, and so they stopped rioting.

But liberals are attached to “activism” as to a religion.  Activism is what gives their lives meaning, so each graduate of a selective college must find a marginalized group, somewhere, somehow, and organize them and lead their “mostly peaceful protests” along the arc of history toward justice.  That is why liberal activism now features illegal aliens and Muslims.  They are outside the system and can be represented only by Soros money and well born activists from selective colleges.

An example of this craving for the crunch of beef and the bray of the bullhorn is Vanity Fair’s excited piece on the 17-minute silence on Wednesday, March 14 at Parkland, Florida.  It was so wonderful that the kids wanted something more than the official 17-minute silence approved by the ruling class, so they transformed themselves into a mob and had a bit of a rumble.  Mostly peaceful, of course, but almost orgasmic for the Vanity Fair writer.

But this is only half of the story.  Our liberal friends, following the advice of Herbert Marcuse, have determined that only they are allowed to organize and protest, and anyone organizing against the ruling class is a hate group and not to be allowed to protest, and anyone speaking against the beliefs of the ruling class is guilty of hate speech and not to be endured.

Suppose you are a student preparing your application to a selective college like Yale, and you know that the key to acceptance is activism in ruling class-approved protest.  How do you know what kind of protest is approved by the ruling class and what is utterly beyond the pale as fascistic hate speech?  For instance, is it okay to protest against the Parkland massacre?  Don’t worry, kids: as Walter Olsen explains in the Wall Street Journal, you eager progressive beavers have your young Millennial senior assistant director of admissions, Hannah Mendlowitz, who has kindly written a blog post to assure all applicants that protesting gun violence is A-OK.

“For those students who come to Yale, we expect them to be versed in issues of social justice,” Ms. Mendlowitz writes.  “I have the pleasure of reading applications from San Francisco, where activism is very much a part of the culture.  Essays ring of social justice issues.”

The message couldn’t be clearer.  Social justice activism is a Good Thing, as long as it aligns with the trendy progressivism of your average San Francisco resident.  But hey, don’t get caught doing peaceful protest in the waiting room of an abortion facility.  Different strokes for different folks.

This liberal activism stuff stinks.  Activism approved by the ruling class is not real activism, which would be representing the folks outside the system, beyond the pale of ruling class approval.  In fact, today’s activists are nothing but ruling class toadies, as the nice young lady at Yale admissions makes clear.  So it is time to name and shame all lefty think-tanks, protest groups, activist organizations, and ambitious young activists-in-training as “regime hate squads.”

Because that is what they are.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Remember the good old days of the Latin American “death squads”?  Every liberal chanted with one voice to end these extrajudicial paramilitaries used by right-wing Latin American dictators to do the dirty work that they didn’t want the regular armed forces, police, and justice system to do.

Liberals invented the term to differentiate between noble lefty revolutionary guerrillas who were good and evil right-wing regime thugs who were bad.  As any child could tell.

I strongly feel that our liberal friends’ devotion to activism, the notion of the marginalized and the oppressed rising up in righteous rage against the ruling class, has gone sadly awry.  That is because the whole point of riots and rebellions and protests is that people outside the system are demanding to be included in the political division of spoils.  Our modern culture of voting and elected governments and universal franchise was created precisely to provide that every adult (except illegal aliens) was inside the system and represented by someone in the councils of power and therefore did not need to riot, rebel, or protest to get his cut.

On this notion, the idea of blacks and women and gays and transgenders needing to do activism and peaceful protest in the year 2018 is baloney.  As signed and sealed liberal “little darlings,” these formerly marginalized groups are now fully represented in the system.  Therefore, there is no warrant for them to flood into the streets.  That’s what the history of 19th-century Britain teaches us, too.  By the 1890s in England, the violence of the early to mid-19th century – the rick-burnings, the riots, the Chartism – had all died down.  The workers now had the vote, and their grievances were being addressed in the councils of power, and so they stopped rioting.

But liberals are attached to “activism” as to a religion.  Activism is what gives their lives meaning, so each graduate of a selective college must find a marginalized group, somewhere, somehow, and organize them and lead their “mostly peaceful protests” along the arc of history toward justice.  That is why liberal activism now features illegal aliens and Muslims.  They are outside the system and can be represented only by Soros money and well born activists from selective colleges.

An example of this craving for the crunch of beef and the bray of the bullhorn is Vanity Fair’s excited piece on the 17-minute silence on Wednesday, March 14 at Parkland, Florida.  It was so wonderful that the kids wanted something more than the official 17-minute silence approved by the ruling class, so they transformed themselves into a mob and had a bit of a rumble.  Mostly peaceful, of course, but almost orgasmic for the Vanity Fair writer.

But this is only half of the story.  Our liberal friends, following the advice of Herbert Marcuse, have determined that only they are allowed to organize and protest, and anyone organizing against the ruling class is a hate group and not to be allowed to protest, and anyone speaking against the beliefs of the ruling class is guilty of hate speech and not to be endured.

Suppose you are a student preparing your application to a selective college like Yale, and you know that the key to acceptance is activism in ruling class-approved protest.  How do you know what kind of protest is approved by the ruling class and what is utterly beyond the pale as fascistic hate speech?  For instance, is it okay to protest against the Parkland massacre?  Don’t worry, kids: as Walter Olsen explains in the Wall Street Journal, you eager progressive beavers have your young Millennial senior assistant director of admissions, Hannah Mendlowitz, who has kindly written a blog post to assure all applicants that protesting gun violence is A-OK.

“For those students who come to Yale, we expect them to be versed in issues of social justice,” Ms. Mendlowitz writes.  “I have the pleasure of reading applications from San Francisco, where activism is very much a part of the culture.  Essays ring of social justice issues.”

The message couldn’t be clearer.  Social justice activism is a Good Thing, as long as it aligns with the trendy progressivism of your average San Francisco resident.  But hey, don’t get caught doing peaceful protest in the waiting room of an abortion facility.  Different strokes for different folks.

This liberal activism stuff stinks.  Activism approved by the ruling class is not real activism, which would be representing the folks outside the system, beyond the pale of ruling class approval.  In fact, today’s activists are nothing but ruling class toadies, as the nice young lady at Yale admissions makes clear.  So it is time to name and shame all lefty think-tanks, protest groups, activist organizations, and ambitious young activists-in-training as “regime hate squads.”

Because that is what they are.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Real Inclusion Means Everyone Feels Included


Up in Canada, some lefties are holding an “It’s Okay to Be (against) White(ness)” event, and they seemed shocked that anyone should find this problematic.  Lindsay Yates, an event organizer, had this to say:

This event is about recognizing privilege that is granted based on racial identity and helping students who do have access to white privilege think more about how to be allies to racialized communities[.] … The event is focused on diversity, inclusion and conversations about how we can all work together to help achieve racial justice.

Yes, but just you try going to the event and suggesting that lefties like Lindsay Yates are going about helping to “achieve racial justice” all wrong.  Speaking for myself, I’d say I don’t get to have access to “white privilege” because that’s available only to white liberals: conservatives need not apply.  Conversations?  In a year when all across the world, lefties are de-platforming anyone who disagrees with them?

Hey, lefties!  Sometimes you should listen to people who disagree with you.  You might learn something!

Still, I get the point about white privilege and the dirge of multiculturalism.  It really is too bad that northwestern European white guys got to invent science and capitalism and democracy and central banking and global commerce and got to take all the credit while most of the rest of us were serfs on some lord’s estate.  But I suggest that a better approach involves not conferences about whiteness and fantasies of “racial justice,” but whimsical cultural appropriations like Robert Colescott’s “George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware.”  Yes, even I can enjoy a painting of black guys in revolutionary uniforms rollicking about in a boat on the storm-tossed waters of the mighty Delaware River in 1776, just as it is good fun to interpret Hamilton as rap.  It’s a lot more fun than the dull recitations of postmodernist pedantry.

But really, has anything changed?  Many of Shakespeare’s comedies were set in Italy.  What was that about, Will?  Weren’t there enough rich, careless Brit youngsters for you to satirize back in the day?  I can’t believe that the only shrews that needed taming lived in far off Padua.

I was dining with an older Jewish couple recently.  She had been reading Parallel Lives, about five British Victorian marriages.  I thought about the limited cultural residue of Jewish life in eastern Europe, which in the popular narrative does not extend too much beyond Fiddler on the Roof, Barbara Streisand’s Yentl, and the harrowing narratives of the Holocaust.  Meanwhile, I, as a transplanted Brit, can happily own the entire Anglo-Saxon cultural narrative, everything from Shakespeare to Dickens to Disraeli, and happily weave it in with my man Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, John D. Rockefeller, and the Wright Brothers while humming “What a Wonderful World” to myself.

Life is hard.  If you came to America directly from a tribal or agricultural world, you don’t have a big civilized cultural narrative to help make you feel important.  And no amount of liberal shenanigans about all cultures being equal is going to change that.  You are going to have to appropriate the Western cultural canon, so why not get on with it?

But there is a problem.  The American national narrative, all the stuff about the Free and the Brave, Manifest Destiny, Go West Young Man, Morning in America, Make America Great Again, has no place for liberals.  You can’t create a post-national politics all about the creative compassion of progressives and their glorious vision of diversity, inclusion, and racial justice until you have divided the nation-state into a dozen petty identities ruled by the conceit of a wise global elite.

Then there is another problem.  The world that liberals want to build has starring roles only for liberals: a wise Latina here, a community organizer there, the world of well educated creatives and organizers of progressive “conversations.”  What has that to do with ordinary people, from the immigrants working hard to find a foothold in the modern economy to the ordinary deplorables navigating the permanent revolution of the workplace, people just looking for a way to get a decent job, buy a home, raise a family, and save something for retirement?

The point of a great cultural narrative is to give everyone a role, to make it broad enough that everyone can find meaning in it.  That is the genius of Make America Great Again.  It is a vision of America open for everyone who calls himself American.

The liberals from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. know nothing but their own miserable arc of history.  There is even this guy profiled in the New York Times who has cut himself off from all media since the dreadful day of November 9, 2016.  He puts on noise-canceling headphones to make sure he doesn’t hear the news.

And these are the people who believe in inclusion and diversity?

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Up in Canada, some lefties are holding an “It’s Okay to Be (against) White(ness)” event, and they seemed shocked that anyone should find this problematic.  Lindsay Yates, an event organizer, had this to say:

This event is about recognizing privilege that is granted based on racial identity and helping students who do have access to white privilege think more about how to be allies to racialized communities[.] … The event is focused on diversity, inclusion and conversations about how we can all work together to help achieve racial justice.

Yes, but just you try going to the event and suggesting that lefties like Lindsay Yates are going about helping to “achieve racial justice” all wrong.  Speaking for myself, I’d say I don’t get to have access to “white privilege” because that’s available only to white liberals: conservatives need not apply.  Conversations?  In a year when all across the world, lefties are de-platforming anyone who disagrees with them?

Hey, lefties!  Sometimes you should listen to people who disagree with you.  You might learn something!

Still, I get the point about white privilege and the dirge of multiculturalism.  It really is too bad that northwestern European white guys got to invent science and capitalism and democracy and central banking and global commerce and got to take all the credit while most of the rest of us were serfs on some lord’s estate.  But I suggest that a better approach involves not conferences about whiteness and fantasies of “racial justice,” but whimsical cultural appropriations like Robert Colescott’s “George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware.”  Yes, even I can enjoy a painting of black guys in revolutionary uniforms rollicking about in a boat on the storm-tossed waters of the mighty Delaware River in 1776, just as it is good fun to interpret Hamilton as rap.  It’s a lot more fun than the dull recitations of postmodernist pedantry.

But really, has anything changed?  Many of Shakespeare’s comedies were set in Italy.  What was that about, Will?  Weren’t there enough rich, careless Brit youngsters for you to satirize back in the day?  I can’t believe that the only shrews that needed taming lived in far off Padua.

I was dining with an older Jewish couple recently.  She had been reading Parallel Lives, about five British Victorian marriages.  I thought about the limited cultural residue of Jewish life in eastern Europe, which in the popular narrative does not extend too much beyond Fiddler on the Roof, Barbara Streisand’s Yentl, and the harrowing narratives of the Holocaust.  Meanwhile, I, as a transplanted Brit, can happily own the entire Anglo-Saxon cultural narrative, everything from Shakespeare to Dickens to Disraeli, and happily weave it in with my man Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, John D. Rockefeller, and the Wright Brothers while humming “What a Wonderful World” to myself.

Life is hard.  If you came to America directly from a tribal or agricultural world, you don’t have a big civilized cultural narrative to help make you feel important.  And no amount of liberal shenanigans about all cultures being equal is going to change that.  You are going to have to appropriate the Western cultural canon, so why not get on with it?

But there is a problem.  The American national narrative, all the stuff about the Free and the Brave, Manifest Destiny, Go West Young Man, Morning in America, Make America Great Again, has no place for liberals.  You can’t create a post-national politics all about the creative compassion of progressives and their glorious vision of diversity, inclusion, and racial justice until you have divided the nation-state into a dozen petty identities ruled by the conceit of a wise global elite.

Then there is another problem.  The world that liberals want to build has starring roles only for liberals: a wise Latina here, a community organizer there, the world of well educated creatives and organizers of progressive “conversations.”  What has that to do with ordinary people, from the immigrants working hard to find a foothold in the modern economy to the ordinary deplorables navigating the permanent revolution of the workplace, people just looking for a way to get a decent job, buy a home, raise a family, and save something for retirement?

The point of a great cultural narrative is to give everyone a role, to make it broad enough that everyone can find meaning in it.  That is the genius of Make America Great Again.  It is a vision of America open for everyone who calls himself American.

The liberals from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. know nothing but their own miserable arc of history.  There is even this guy profiled in the New York Times who has cut himself off from all media since the dreadful day of November 9, 2016.  He puts on noise-canceling headphones to make sure he doesn’t hear the news.

And these are the people who believe in inclusion and diversity?

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Pity a Poor Liberal Activist


If you haven’t noticed in the last week or so, our liberal friends seem to have taught just about every young head full of mush how to do “protest.”  In the liberal universe, activism and protest are the highest forms of human social interaction.  When liberals enact a day of marches, or a town hall full of baying students, this is seen by all as a triumph of the progressive will and faithfully recorded by our modern Leni Riefenstahls.

But is it really such a good idea?  Is all this activism really going to lead to fundamental transformation?  Suppose it leads to a backlash.

“Backlash,” by the way, is a term liberals invented back in the ’60s to stigmatize average Americans who really didn’t like what the Kids and their Movement and their Protests were doing to America.  When you go to Wikipedia, you find that they are a bit vague about it all.  I wonder why.

Over at American Greatness, Mytheos Holt notes that there is a gaping hole at the middle of the current liberal #Resistance.  The Resistance is all about complaint; there is no attempt to paint a glorious picture of what the #Resistance will bring to America.  Yes, I wonder why.

Could it be that the left really doesn’t have vision of paradise – only a mechanical notion of doing activism, any activism, in the blind faith that the arc of history will bend toward justice?  It wouldn’t be the first time that a religion regressed into mindless ritual without thinking about what it all means.

How should we understand the quandary of our liberal and progressive friends?  I’d say their problem is that, according to them, nothing has changed.

The left has spent 150 years advocating for the workers, and guess what: a job is still a job.  Moreover, it doesn’t do to look too carefully at the results of all that pro-labor legislation.  It priced workers in heavy industry out of a job, and now it is bankrupting state and local government.

The left has spent 70 years advocating for women and minorities, and guess what: women and minorities are still hardest hit, even though the landmark legislation banning racial and sexual discrimination was passed 50 years ago.  How could this be?  What kind of vile cisgendered white male conspiracy could make women less happy than they were in the 1950s and make minorities eternally outraged that the cops were cracking down on their home-grown thugs and murderers?  This is all supposed to be the fault of white supremacists.  But if we are all gap-toothed Alt-Right über-fascistic neo-Nazis, how could we possibly succeed in our evil plan against the evolved, educated, activist, woke progressives and their willing kiddies?

The answer is staring us in the face.  It is that the leftist movement is a Great Reaction back to the past, with its identity politics a neo-tribalism and its welfare state a neo-feudalism.  No wonder everything the left has focused on has turned to stone.  Its ideas and its methods are a return to the grueling days of top-down agricultural hegemony, the era of misery and recurring famines that the ruling-class priesthood thoughtfully attributed to acts of God.

These days, our secular priests in the media blame ruling class failures on the National Rifle Association and modern trends in the design of hunting rifles.

Well, I wish the diviners would look up from their tea leaves and divine this.  How come after all the activism that was put into the working class over the last century, it is dying of despair in the United States?

How come after all the activism in favor of women, they are miserable, and how come blacks are angry, and falling behind other minorities like the Mexicans, who seem to be the only guys building condos and apartments here in Seattle, and the South and East Asians, who are racing to the top of tech?

How could this be?  How could all the activism and all the protest and all the comprehensive and mandatory legislation require the activists to escalate their non-negotiable demands and encourage their willing accomplices in social media to de-platform anyone who doesn’t agree with them?

How come all the administrative state entitlement programs designed and administered by experts and academics are broke, and the educational programs are buried under a bramble of administrative incompetence?

No wonder our progressive friends are switching into witch-hunting mode, lashing out at individual citizens and voluntary associations of patriotic citizens.  It cannot be true, it must not be true that the politics and the activism of the global educated elite are an utter failure.

Really, if our rulers and their supporters were not such a threat to our lives and our jobs and our sacred honor, we could just sit back and laugh at their pathetic antics.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

If you haven’t noticed in the last week or so, our liberal friends seem to have taught just about every young head full of mush how to do “protest.”  In the liberal universe, activism and protest are the highest forms of human social interaction.  When liberals enact a day of marches, or a town hall full of baying students, this is seen by all as a triumph of the progressive will and faithfully recorded by our modern Leni Riefenstahls.

But is it really such a good idea?  Is all this activism really going to lead to fundamental transformation?  Suppose it leads to a backlash.

“Backlash,” by the way, is a term liberals invented back in the ’60s to stigmatize average Americans who really didn’t like what the Kids and their Movement and their Protests were doing to America.  When you go to Wikipedia, you find that they are a bit vague about it all.  I wonder why.

Over at American Greatness, Mytheos Holt notes that there is a gaping hole at the middle of the current liberal #Resistance.  The Resistance is all about complaint; there is no attempt to paint a glorious picture of what the #Resistance will bring to America.  Yes, I wonder why.

Could it be that the left really doesn’t have vision of paradise – only a mechanical notion of doing activism, any activism, in the blind faith that the arc of history will bend toward justice?  It wouldn’t be the first time that a religion regressed into mindless ritual without thinking about what it all means.

How should we understand the quandary of our liberal and progressive friends?  I’d say their problem is that, according to them, nothing has changed.

The left has spent 150 years advocating for the workers, and guess what: a job is still a job.  Moreover, it doesn’t do to look too carefully at the results of all that pro-labor legislation.  It priced workers in heavy industry out of a job, and now it is bankrupting state and local government.

The left has spent 70 years advocating for women and minorities, and guess what: women and minorities are still hardest hit, even though the landmark legislation banning racial and sexual discrimination was passed 50 years ago.  How could this be?  What kind of vile cisgendered white male conspiracy could make women less happy than they were in the 1950s and make minorities eternally outraged that the cops were cracking down on their home-grown thugs and murderers?  This is all supposed to be the fault of white supremacists.  But if we are all gap-toothed Alt-Right über-fascistic neo-Nazis, how could we possibly succeed in our evil plan against the evolved, educated, activist, woke progressives and their willing kiddies?

The answer is staring us in the face.  It is that the leftist movement is a Great Reaction back to the past, with its identity politics a neo-tribalism and its welfare state a neo-feudalism.  No wonder everything the left has focused on has turned to stone.  Its ideas and its methods are a return to the grueling days of top-down agricultural hegemony, the era of misery and recurring famines that the ruling-class priesthood thoughtfully attributed to acts of God.

These days, our secular priests in the media blame ruling class failures on the National Rifle Association and modern trends in the design of hunting rifles.

Well, I wish the diviners would look up from their tea leaves and divine this.  How come after all the activism that was put into the working class over the last century, it is dying of despair in the United States?

How come after all the activism in favor of women, they are miserable, and how come blacks are angry, and falling behind other minorities like the Mexicans, who seem to be the only guys building condos and apartments here in Seattle, and the South and East Asians, who are racing to the top of tech?

How could this be?  How could all the activism and all the protest and all the comprehensive and mandatory legislation require the activists to escalate their non-negotiable demands and encourage their willing accomplices in social media to de-platform anyone who doesn’t agree with them?

How come all the administrative state entitlement programs designed and administered by experts and academics are broke, and the educational programs are buried under a bramble of administrative incompetence?

No wonder our progressive friends are switching into witch-hunting mode, lashing out at individual citizens and voluntary associations of patriotic citizens.  It cannot be true, it must not be true that the politics and the activism of the global educated elite are an utter failure.

Really, if our rulers and their supporters were not such a threat to our lives and our jobs and our sacred honor, we could just sit back and laugh at their pathetic antics.

Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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The Left Is Going for Broke This Year. Good.


Just up the street, my liberal neighbors still have their #WeBelieve yard signs out front from a year ago that declare that “Kindness is Everything.”  And the lesbians at the top of the hill still have their “Hate Has No Home Here” yard sign displayed.  So I suppose the liberal anti-NRA hate-fest after the Parkland school shooting had nothing to do with them.  Just a few yahoos at CNN going for ratings gold.

Yes, liberals, we just need to give the administrative state yet more power, wave our hands, and declare guns illegal, and that will end the plague of young men aching to become “professional school shooters.”  Pay no attention to the fact that the administrative state is utterly useless and, as the Brits say, “not fit for purpose” and is not even that good at siccing the intelligence community on the opposition party.

I thought conventional liberal wisdom was that their efforts to politicize gun control really had not delivered at the polls.  I thought liberals were sadder and wiser now after failing to bury the NRA in previous massacre panics.  And I thought it was conventional wisdom that you did not want to wake the gun nuts up from their slumber at election time.  Yet here is Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) telling us that the panic is on, as the Tommy Dorsey song has it.

The debate over guns, the “me too” movement against sexual misconduct and the federal government’s handling of hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico will give Florida Democrats victories up and down the November ballot, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson predicted Thursday.

No doubt he’ll be right, unless the left’s gun control and #MeToo rhetoric bring out the Trump voters in their millions, the kind of people who think Trump “cares about people like me.”

See, I think the Republican Party has the inside track right now because it is the unapologetic party of the nation.  The party of the nation gets to say the U.S. is the best country in the world, that we are going to Make America Great Again, and we are all Americans here, love it or leave it, and jobs, jobs, jobs.  But the Democrats really don’t believe in America.  They believe in America’s Original Sin of slavery, followed by the Trail of Tears, lynchings, back of the bus, racism, sexism, homophobia, and their politics depends on dividing America.  The liberal elite is too good for America, and the rank and file are the helpless victims of America.

So my man Kevin D. Williamson is wrong when he tut-tuts that “An Enemies List Is Not a Philosophy.”  It doesn’t work, Kevin, to suggest at a CNN town hall that we should cool the rhetoric and have a serious discussion of the issues.  You need a take-no-prisoners advocate like Dana Loesch at such events and then have her raise the stakes by accusing the “legacy media” of whoring after white mothers mourning their dead children and ignoring black mothers in Chicago.  You need someone to fight for “people like me.”  You need a party whose only concern is to Make America Great Again.

It really is about time that the legacy conservative media get the Trump effect.  Trump won the presidential nomination because he is a fighter, as Bush II and Romney clearly were not.  Then he won the rust belt states because he persuaded the white working class that he cares about average Americans, people like them, as Bush and Romney had not.

And now, a year after his inauguration, Trump’s record is about as conservative as you can get, with a staggering corporate tax cut that seems to have jolted corporate America out of its overtaxed slumber and a search-and-destroy deregulation effort that makes Ronald Reagan look like a piker.

Conservatism should be about ideas, not enemies lists, writes Williamson.  But hey, how about both?  If the left is deciding to put all its chips on guns and #MeToo and firing people who don’t have the liberal-approved ideas on guns and gays and affirmative consent, I say bring it on.

Yeah.  Trump fights for people like me.  You can call it enemies-list politics.  But I reckon that when you find yourself in a knife fight, you should at least bring a knife.

The lesson of my adult life is simple.  The only reason the Democrats gave up on sixties leftism was that they lost four of the five presidential elections after 1968.  We are New Democrats, moderates, Bill Clinton told us in 1992, and then he sicced his wife on the health care system in 1993.

The only reason the Democrats will give up on the Obama lurch to the left will be a similar experience: two terms of Trump followed by you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Then all your liberal friends will swear they are nice, kind moderates.  Until next time.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Just up the street, my liberal neighbors still have their #WeBelieve yard signs out front from a year ago that declare that “Kindness is Everything.”  And the lesbians at the top of the hill still have their “Hate Has No Home Here” yard sign displayed.  So I suppose the liberal anti-NRA hate-fest after the Parkland school shooting had nothing to do with them.  Just a few yahoos at CNN going for ratings gold.

Yes, liberals, we just need to give the administrative state yet more power, wave our hands, and declare guns illegal, and that will end the plague of young men aching to become “professional school shooters.”  Pay no attention to the fact that the administrative state is utterly useless and, as the Brits say, “not fit for purpose” and is not even that good at siccing the intelligence community on the opposition party.

I thought conventional liberal wisdom was that their efforts to politicize gun control really had not delivered at the polls.  I thought liberals were sadder and wiser now after failing to bury the NRA in previous massacre panics.  And I thought it was conventional wisdom that you did not want to wake the gun nuts up from their slumber at election time.  Yet here is Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) telling us that the panic is on, as the Tommy Dorsey song has it.

The debate over guns, the “me too” movement against sexual misconduct and the federal government’s handling of hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico will give Florida Democrats victories up and down the November ballot, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson predicted Thursday.

No doubt he’ll be right, unless the left’s gun control and #MeToo rhetoric bring out the Trump voters in their millions, the kind of people who think Trump “cares about people like me.”

See, I think the Republican Party has the inside track right now because it is the unapologetic party of the nation.  The party of the nation gets to say the U.S. is the best country in the world, that we are going to Make America Great Again, and we are all Americans here, love it or leave it, and jobs, jobs, jobs.  But the Democrats really don’t believe in America.  They believe in America’s Original Sin of slavery, followed by the Trail of Tears, lynchings, back of the bus, racism, sexism, homophobia, and their politics depends on dividing America.  The liberal elite is too good for America, and the rank and file are the helpless victims of America.

So my man Kevin D. Williamson is wrong when he tut-tuts that “An Enemies List Is Not a Philosophy.”  It doesn’t work, Kevin, to suggest at a CNN town hall that we should cool the rhetoric and have a serious discussion of the issues.  You need a take-no-prisoners advocate like Dana Loesch at such events and then have her raise the stakes by accusing the “legacy media” of whoring after white mothers mourning their dead children and ignoring black mothers in Chicago.  You need someone to fight for “people like me.”  You need a party whose only concern is to Make America Great Again.

It really is about time that the legacy conservative media get the Trump effect.  Trump won the presidential nomination because he is a fighter, as Bush II and Romney clearly were not.  Then he won the rust belt states because he persuaded the white working class that he cares about average Americans, people like them, as Bush and Romney had not.

And now, a year after his inauguration, Trump’s record is about as conservative as you can get, with a staggering corporate tax cut that seems to have jolted corporate America out of its overtaxed slumber and a search-and-destroy deregulation effort that makes Ronald Reagan look like a piker.

Conservatism should be about ideas, not enemies lists, writes Williamson.  But hey, how about both?  If the left is deciding to put all its chips on guns and #MeToo and firing people who don’t have the liberal-approved ideas on guns and gays and affirmative consent, I say bring it on.

Yeah.  Trump fights for people like me.  You can call it enemies-list politics.  But I reckon that when you find yourself in a knife fight, you should at least bring a knife.

The lesson of my adult life is simple.  The only reason the Democrats gave up on sixties leftism was that they lost four of the five presidential elections after 1968.  We are New Democrats, moderates, Bill Clinton told us in 1992, and then he sicced his wife on the health care system in 1993.

The only reason the Democrats will give up on the Obama lurch to the left will be a similar experience: two terms of Trump followed by you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Then all your liberal friends will swear they are nice, kind moderates.  Until next time.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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The Russian Collusion Investigation as Therapy


Now that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted the Russians for meddling in “our election,” let us think about what it all means.

The answer is obvious.  This is neo-McCarthyism, straight up.  After all, when was the last time that the nation was all in a tizzy about underhanded Russian meddling in U.S. politics?  It was back in the immediate post-WWII era, when Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy and other Republican worthies made their bones with accusations that the Russians were Up to Something.

But why?  Why McCarthyism then, and why the neo-McCarthyite Russia collusion narrative now?

It really is pretty simple.  Back in 1948, the Republicans lost a presidential election they had expected to win, as in the famous picture of President Truman displaying the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman.”  The Truman win meant that the Republicans had lost five presidential elections in a row.  We humans have a thoughtful way of processing such an event, which suddenly and catastrophically destroys all our hopes and expectations.  We yell, at the top of our voices: “We was robbed!  It’s a conspiracy!”

The same is true about the supporters of Hillary Clinton on the fateful day of November 9, 2016.  It could not be – it was impossible that the American people had elected an orange-haired ape from Queens.  All the right people, all the intelligent people had agreed that Clinton had it in the bag, and that the queen’s vulgarian didn’t have a hope of winning.  Besides, First Female President!

So it had to be a conspiracy.

Now, if the United States were still a rough, tough, manly democracy, we would have tied the Russian internet up in knots to teach Putin a lesson and told the loser Democrats to go put it where the sun don’t shine.  But that was then; this is now.  Millions of voters were in tears after the Trump win.  Social science professionals were reporting another outbreak of Post-Election Stress Disorder, similar in virulence to the outbreak of November 2000.  Well born women from all over the United States cashed in their airline miles and rallied to protest the inauguration of the vulgar Trump.  It was obvious; the Hillary loss had to be handled more gently than in olden times.  Because women.

Years ago, I read German sociologist Georg Simmel and his prediction, a century ago, about the consequence of women coming into the public square.  I wrote:

Obviously, Simmel wrote, the public sphere, the world outside the home, in the short term would still be defined by men for men, but in the long term women would transform the public square to suit “a more feminine sensibility.”

Now, I don’t know what your experience may be, but my experience is that you do not tell a woman to “suck it up” after a setback.  That is not what a feminine sensibility expects when something has gone wrong.  Instead, the proper thing to do is to endlessly rehearse and “share” her feelings about the traumatic event, and soften its sharp edges with a spot of chardonnay until the tears fade away.

And so now we have the Russian indictments.  Oh, no!  I can’t believe it!  The Russians were trying to disrupt “our democracy” and were backing the comb-over guy right through the election cycle!  We must expose these toxic abusers and bring them to justice!

Okay, I get it.  The way we resolve political disputes from here on out in the United States is to “share” the distress of the helpless victims of the Trumpocracy using a nice, kind special prosecutor therapist who will kindly ruin the lives of half a dozen second-tier political operatives but will help us all get to closure.

Of course, in this brave new world, only the liberal mean-girls clique get the special snowflake treatment.  If you are outside the liberal bubble – a man, a Christian, a pro-life woman, a gun-owner, an alt-right white supremacist – or if you are a former “little darling” of the liberals now cast aside like the white working class — if you are one of those, then suck it up, pal.

But don’t forget, liberals, that there is no such thing as justice – only injustice.

You see, liberals, when you spend your lives giving you and yours special privileges and free special prosecutor therapy to ease the pain of post-election stress disorder, it may all seem like the right and sensitive thing to do.  But other folks may think that all this special therapy for liberals spells I-N-J-U-S-T-I-C-E.  And there is nothing like injustice to get people out to the polls.

Anyway, shouldn’t the proper response to nefarious Russian election interference be to sic the fabled FBI Counterintelligence Division on the Russkies?

Maybe after we all get to closure.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Now that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted the Russians for meddling in “our election,” let us think about what it all means.

The answer is obvious.  This is neo-McCarthyism, straight up.  After all, when was the last time that the nation was all in a tizzy about underhanded Russian meddling in U.S. politics?  It was back in the immediate post-WWII era, when Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy and other Republican worthies made their bones with accusations that the Russians were Up to Something.

But why?  Why McCarthyism then, and why the neo-McCarthyite Russia collusion narrative now?

It really is pretty simple.  Back in 1948, the Republicans lost a presidential election they had expected to win, as in the famous picture of President Truman displaying the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman.”  The Truman win meant that the Republicans had lost five presidential elections in a row.  We humans have a thoughtful way of processing such an event, which suddenly and catastrophically destroys all our hopes and expectations.  We yell, at the top of our voices: “We was robbed!  It’s a conspiracy!”

The same is true about the supporters of Hillary Clinton on the fateful day of November 9, 2016.  It could not be – it was impossible that the American people had elected an orange-haired ape from Queens.  All the right people, all the intelligent people had agreed that Clinton had it in the bag, and that the queen’s vulgarian didn’t have a hope of winning.  Besides, First Female President!

So it had to be a conspiracy.

Now, if the United States were still a rough, tough, manly democracy, we would have tied the Russian internet up in knots to teach Putin a lesson and told the loser Democrats to go put it where the sun don’t shine.  But that was then; this is now.  Millions of voters were in tears after the Trump win.  Social science professionals were reporting another outbreak of Post-Election Stress Disorder, similar in virulence to the outbreak of November 2000.  Well born women from all over the United States cashed in their airline miles and rallied to protest the inauguration of the vulgar Trump.  It was obvious; the Hillary loss had to be handled more gently than in olden times.  Because women.

Years ago, I read German sociologist Georg Simmel and his prediction, a century ago, about the consequence of women coming into the public square.  I wrote:

Obviously, Simmel wrote, the public sphere, the world outside the home, in the short term would still be defined by men for men, but in the long term women would transform the public square to suit “a more feminine sensibility.”

Now, I don’t know what your experience may be, but my experience is that you do not tell a woman to “suck it up” after a setback.  That is not what a feminine sensibility expects when something has gone wrong.  Instead, the proper thing to do is to endlessly rehearse and “share” her feelings about the traumatic event, and soften its sharp edges with a spot of chardonnay until the tears fade away.

And so now we have the Russian indictments.  Oh, no!  I can’t believe it!  The Russians were trying to disrupt “our democracy” and were backing the comb-over guy right through the election cycle!  We must expose these toxic abusers and bring them to justice!

Okay, I get it.  The way we resolve political disputes from here on out in the United States is to “share” the distress of the helpless victims of the Trumpocracy using a nice, kind special prosecutor therapist who will kindly ruin the lives of half a dozen second-tier political operatives but will help us all get to closure.

Of course, in this brave new world, only the liberal mean-girls clique get the special snowflake treatment.  If you are outside the liberal bubble – a man, a Christian, a pro-life woman, a gun-owner, an alt-right white supremacist – or if you are a former “little darling” of the liberals now cast aside like the white working class — if you are one of those, then suck it up, pal.

But don’t forget, liberals, that there is no such thing as justice – only injustice.

You see, liberals, when you spend your lives giving you and yours special privileges and free special prosecutor therapy to ease the pain of post-election stress disorder, it may all seem like the right and sensitive thing to do.  But other folks may think that all this special therapy for liberals spells I-N-J-U-S-T-I-C-E.  And there is nothing like injustice to get people out to the polls.

Anyway, shouldn’t the proper response to nefarious Russian election interference be to sic the fabled FBI Counterintelligence Division on the Russkies?

Maybe after we all get to closure.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Forget Balancing the Budget – Let's Think Big


Okay, so our pal Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has done a budget deal with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that does not do a thing about moderating spending, let alone balancing the federal budget.

And this, we understand, is a Very Bad Thing.

But how bad is it?  Here is a chart of U.S. deficits since 1950, in percent of GDP.

The worst deficits were incurred after the Crash of 2008.  But that is a Good Thing, because after defense, the most important job for government is to be lender of last resort in a financial meltdown.  Oh, and the reason we had a crash at all is because Gentle Ben Bernanke choked in September 2008 as lender of last resort and decided that he didn’t have the authority to bail out Lehman Brothers.  Ben, oh Ben.  How could you?

Then there were the Reaganite 1980s with deficits of 4 percent of GDP.  But since Reagan was busy winning the Cold War while reviving the U.S. economy and killing inflation, who is to argue with success?

And now, with the deficit now down to about 2 percent of GDP, what’s the problem?

It’s true that the entitlements have trillions in unfunded liabilities; that many blue states are facing ruin from underfunded government employee pension programs; and that if nothing is done, we will come eventually to what Kevin Williamson calls “The Crash.”

Well, maybe.  But maybe not.

Here’s how I think we could beat the rap.  We could have the Trump economy keep going.  We could have Democrats fed to the meat-grinder in the worst U.S. government scandal since Watergate Teapot Dome.  We could have a Trump re-election in 2020 with a 55-45 landslide as ordinary Americans of all races and both sexes come to think that “Trump cares about people like me.”  We could have Supreme Court decisions rolling back the fascist totalitarians at the nation’s elite finishing schools.  We could have middle-class mothers pushing school choice and elite mothers naming and shaming other elite mothers who don’t homeschool.  We could have Steve Bannon’s The Permanent Republican Majority atop the bestseller list for 30 weeks straight in 2021.

You think that is crazy?  How about this?

In the mid-2020s, a Generation Alpha, fed up with the snowflakes and victims of Millennials and GenZ, arises to champion the principle of personal responsibility.  Gen-A will say Social Protection means nothing if it is a government program; real social protection means a web of social individuals saving their own money for all the challenges of life: college, sickness, retirement, end of life.  Of course, Gen-A wants to provide for the less fortunate, but government sucks at that, so Gen-A wants to create a true safety net of people helping people, backed up by a Billionaires Club that only the nine richest self-made men and one self-made woman in America can join; liberal trustafarians need not apply.  There won’t be many schools, except for KIPP-type schools to boost inner-city kids that need a boot camp in bourgeois values and crammers to get the children of liberal trustafarians into Harvard.  Most mothers will home-school alongside the other mothers in the neighborhood.  And we’ll do away with child labor laws, because Gen-A thinkers will insist that kids should work while they learn, and why not have employers subsidize the education of their employees as in the olden time?

Yeah.  Americans can be dreamers, too.

For sure, humans naturally want protection, because there are nasty dangers out there.

Government offers protection.  But so does insurance, and so do savings, and so do families, and so does charity, and so does billionaire philanthropy.  All these different social institutions offer protection for different things, in different ways.  And they do it well.

Government is force, so its protection should be for dangers that can be mitigated only by armies and policemen.  And the occasional regulator that does his job, Ben.

Insurance is protection against unusual dangers; savings is for protection against predictable dangers; families are for protection of those nearest and dearest.  Charity is to rescue people driven into the ditch.  Philanthropy is a good way of keeping rich men out of trouble.

The question is, how much shall we force some Americans to protect other Americans from danger?  Shall we protect American workers from Chinese workers?  Shall we protect employees from employers?  Shall we protect mature industries from startups?  From Walmarts and Amazons?  Shall we protect special snowflakes from haters?  By force?

That’s why we have a budget deficit: because a lot of people want to force the American people to help them, but not quite as many people want to pay for it.

One more thing: no pensions for government employees.  These low-risk lifers should pay for their own bloody retirement.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Okay, so our pal Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has done a budget deal with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that does not do a thing about moderating spending, let alone balancing the federal budget.

And this, we understand, is a Very Bad Thing.

But how bad is it?  Here is a chart of U.S. deficits since 1950, in percent of GDP.

The worst deficits were incurred after the Crash of 2008.  But that is a Good Thing, because after defense, the most important job for government is to be lender of last resort in a financial meltdown.  Oh, and the reason we had a crash at all is because Gentle Ben Bernanke choked in September 2008 as lender of last resort and decided that he didn’t have the authority to bail out Lehman Brothers.  Ben, oh Ben.  How could you?

Then there were the Reaganite 1980s with deficits of 4 percent of GDP.  But since Reagan was busy winning the Cold War while reviving the U.S. economy and killing inflation, who is to argue with success?

And now, with the deficit now down to about 2 percent of GDP, what’s the problem?

It’s true that the entitlements have trillions in unfunded liabilities; that many blue states are facing ruin from underfunded government employee pension programs; and that if nothing is done, we will come eventually to what Kevin Williamson calls “The Crash.”

Well, maybe.  But maybe not.

Here’s how I think we could beat the rap.  We could have the Trump economy keep going.  We could have Democrats fed to the meat-grinder in the worst U.S. government scandal since Watergate Teapot Dome.  We could have a Trump re-election in 2020 with a 55-45 landslide as ordinary Americans of all races and both sexes come to think that “Trump cares about people like me.”  We could have Supreme Court decisions rolling back the fascist totalitarians at the nation’s elite finishing schools.  We could have middle-class mothers pushing school choice and elite mothers naming and shaming other elite mothers who don’t homeschool.  We could have Steve Bannon’s The Permanent Republican Majority atop the bestseller list for 30 weeks straight in 2021.

You think that is crazy?  How about this?

In the mid-2020s, a Generation Alpha, fed up with the snowflakes and victims of Millennials and GenZ, arises to champion the principle of personal responsibility.  Gen-A will say Social Protection means nothing if it is a government program; real social protection means a web of social individuals saving their own money for all the challenges of life: college, sickness, retirement, end of life.  Of course, Gen-A wants to provide for the less fortunate, but government sucks at that, so Gen-A wants to create a true safety net of people helping people, backed up by a Billionaires Club that only the nine richest self-made men and one self-made woman in America can join; liberal trustafarians need not apply.  There won’t be many schools, except for KIPP-type schools to boost inner-city kids that need a boot camp in bourgeois values and crammers to get the children of liberal trustafarians into Harvard.  Most mothers will home-school alongside the other mothers in the neighborhood.  And we’ll do away with child labor laws, because Gen-A thinkers will insist that kids should work while they learn, and why not have employers subsidize the education of their employees as in the olden time?

Yeah.  Americans can be dreamers, too.

For sure, humans naturally want protection, because there are nasty dangers out there.

Government offers protection.  But so does insurance, and so do savings, and so do families, and so does charity, and so does billionaire philanthropy.  All these different social institutions offer protection for different things, in different ways.  And they do it well.

Government is force, so its protection should be for dangers that can be mitigated only by armies and policemen.  And the occasional regulator that does his job, Ben.

Insurance is protection against unusual dangers; savings is for protection against predictable dangers; families are for protection of those nearest and dearest.  Charity is to rescue people driven into the ditch.  Philanthropy is a good way of keeping rich men out of trouble.

The question is, how much shall we force some Americans to protect other Americans from danger?  Shall we protect American workers from Chinese workers?  Shall we protect employees from employers?  Shall we protect mature industries from startups?  From Walmarts and Amazons?  Shall we protect special snowflakes from haters?  By force?

That’s why we have a budget deficit: because a lot of people want to force the American people to help them, but not quite as many people want to pay for it.

One more thing: no pensions for government employees.  These low-risk lifers should pay for their own bloody retirement.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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Forget Balancing the Budget – Let’s Think Big


Okay, so our pal Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has done a budget deal with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that does not do a thing about moderating spending, let alone balancing the federal budget.

And this, we understand, is a Very Bad Thing.

But how bad is it?  Here is a chart of U.S. deficits since 1950, in percent of GDP.

The worst deficits were incurred after the Crash of 2008.  But that is a Good Thing, because after defense, the most important job for government is to be lender of last resort in a financial meltdown.  Oh, and the reason we had a crash at all is because Gentle Ben Bernanke choked in September 2008 as lender of last resort and decided that he didn’t have the authority to bail out Lehman Brothers.  Ben, oh Ben.  How could you?

Then there were the Reaganite 1980s with deficits of 4 percent of GDP.  But since Reagan was busy winning the Cold War while reviving the U.S. economy and killing inflation, who is to argue with success?

And now, with the deficit now down to about 2 percent of GDP, what’s the problem?

It’s true that the entitlements have trillions in unfunded liabilities; that many blue states are facing ruin from underfunded government employee pension programs; and that if nothing is done, we will come eventually to what Kevin Williamson calls “The Crash.”

Well, maybe.  But maybe not.

Here’s how I think we could beat the rap.  We could have the Trump economy keep going.  We could have Democrats fed to the meat-grinder in the worst U.S. government scandal since Watergate Teapot Dome.  We could have a Trump re-election in 2020 with a 55-45 landslide as ordinary Americans of all races and both sexes come to think that “Trump cares about people like me.”  We could have Supreme Court decisions rolling back the fascist totalitarians at the nation’s elite finishing schools.  We could have middle-class mothers pushing school choice and elite mothers naming and shaming other elite mothers who don’t homeschool.  We could have Steve Bannon’s The Permanent Republican Majority atop the bestseller list for 30 weeks straight in 2021.

You think that is crazy?  How about this?

In the mid-2020s, a Generation Alpha, fed up with the snowflakes and victims of Millennials and GenZ, arises to champion the principle of personal responsibility.  Gen-A will say Social Protection means nothing if it is a government program; real social protection means a web of social individuals saving their own money for all the challenges of life: college, sickness, retirement, end of life.  Of course, Gen-A wants to provide for the less fortunate, but government sucks at that, so Gen-A wants to create a true safety net of people helping people, backed up by a Billionaires Club that only the nine richest self-made men and one self-made woman in America can join; liberal trustafarians need not apply.  There won’t be many schools, except for KIPP-type schools to boost inner-city kids that need a boot camp in bourgeois values and crammers to get the children of liberal trustafarians into Harvard.  Most mothers will home-school alongside the other mothers in the neighborhood.  And we’ll do away with child labor laws, because Gen-A thinkers will insist that kids should work while they learn, and why not have employers subsidize the education of their employees as in the olden time?

Yeah.  Americans can be dreamers, too.

For sure, humans naturally want protection, because there are nasty dangers out there.

Government offers protection.  But so does insurance, and so do savings, and so do families, and so does charity, and so does billionaire philanthropy.  All these different social institutions offer protection for different things, in different ways.  And they do it well.

Government is force, so its protection should be for dangers that can be mitigated only by armies and policemen.  And the occasional regulator that does his job, Ben.

Insurance is protection against unusual dangers; savings is for protection against predictable dangers; families are for protection of those nearest and dearest.  Charity is to rescue people driven into the ditch.  Philanthropy is a good way of keeping rich men out of trouble.

The question is, how much shall we force some Americans to protect other Americans from danger?  Shall we protect American workers from Chinese workers?  Shall we protect employees from employers?  Shall we protect mature industries from startups?  From Walmarts and Amazons?  Shall we protect special snowflakes from haters?  By force?

That’s why we have a budget deficit: because a lot of people want to force the American people to help them, but not quite as many people want to pay for it.

One more thing: no pensions for government employees.  These low-risk lifers should pay for their own bloody retirement.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Okay, so our pal Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has done a budget deal with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that does not do a thing about moderating spending, let alone balancing the federal budget.

And this, we understand, is a Very Bad Thing.

But how bad is it?  Here is a chart of U.S. deficits since 1950, in percent of GDP.

The worst deficits were incurred after the Crash of 2008.  But that is a Good Thing, because after defense, the most important job for government is to be lender of last resort in a financial meltdown.  Oh, and the reason we had a crash at all is because Gentle Ben Bernanke choked in September 2008 as lender of last resort and decided that he didn’t have the authority to bail out Lehman Brothers.  Ben, oh Ben.  How could you?

Then there were the Reaganite 1980s with deficits of 4 percent of GDP.  But since Reagan was busy winning the Cold War while reviving the U.S. economy and killing inflation, who is to argue with success?

And now, with the deficit now down to about 2 percent of GDP, what’s the problem?

It’s true that the entitlements have trillions in unfunded liabilities; that many blue states are facing ruin from underfunded government employee pension programs; and that if nothing is done, we will come eventually to what Kevin Williamson calls “The Crash.”

Well, maybe.  But maybe not.

Here’s how I think we could beat the rap.  We could have the Trump economy keep going.  We could have Democrats fed to the meat-grinder in the worst U.S. government scandal since Watergate Teapot Dome.  We could have a Trump re-election in 2020 with a 55-45 landslide as ordinary Americans of all races and both sexes come to think that “Trump cares about people like me.”  We could have Supreme Court decisions rolling back the fascist totalitarians at the nation’s elite finishing schools.  We could have middle-class mothers pushing school choice and elite mothers naming and shaming other elite mothers who don’t homeschool.  We could have Steve Bannon’s The Permanent Republican Majority atop the bestseller list for 30 weeks straight in 2021.

You think that is crazy?  How about this?

In the mid-2020s, a Generation Alpha, fed up with the snowflakes and victims of Millennials and GenZ, arises to champion the principle of personal responsibility.  Gen-A will say Social Protection means nothing if it is a government program; real social protection means a web of social individuals saving their own money for all the challenges of life: college, sickness, retirement, end of life.  Of course, Gen-A wants to provide for the less fortunate, but government sucks at that, so Gen-A wants to create a true safety net of people helping people, backed up by a Billionaires Club that only the nine richest self-made men and one self-made woman in America can join; liberal trustafarians need not apply.  There won’t be many schools, except for KIPP-type schools to boost inner-city kids that need a boot camp in bourgeois values and crammers to get the children of liberal trustafarians into Harvard.  Most mothers will home-school alongside the other mothers in the neighborhood.  And we’ll do away with child labor laws, because Gen-A thinkers will insist that kids should work while they learn, and why not have employers subsidize the education of their employees as in the olden time?

Yeah.  Americans can be dreamers, too.

For sure, humans naturally want protection, because there are nasty dangers out there.

Government offers protection.  But so does insurance, and so do savings, and so do families, and so does charity, and so does billionaire philanthropy.  All these different social institutions offer protection for different things, in different ways.  And they do it well.

Government is force, so its protection should be for dangers that can be mitigated only by armies and policemen.  And the occasional regulator that does his job, Ben.

Insurance is protection against unusual dangers; savings is for protection against predictable dangers; families are for protection of those nearest and dearest.  Charity is to rescue people driven into the ditch.  Philanthropy is a good way of keeping rich men out of trouble.

The question is, how much shall we force some Americans to protect other Americans from danger?  Shall we protect American workers from Chinese workers?  Shall we protect employees from employers?  Shall we protect mature industries from startups?  From Walmarts and Amazons?  Shall we protect special snowflakes from haters?  By force?

That’s why we have a budget deficit: because a lot of people want to force the American people to help them, but not quite as many people want to pay for it.

One more thing: no pensions for government employees.  These low-risk lifers should pay for their own bloody retirement.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com.  Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



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