Playing the Indian Card

Monday, May 07, 2018

Some Ideas Are Just Bad Ideas

Antifa debating their position.

Good news seems to be coming thick and fast. The day before yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince reportedly made an agreement with the Vatican to allow the building of Christian churches.

With that, and now that women can drive, it almost makes me want to be back in the Kingdom.

Except that the money is no longer there. The price of oil is still way down. The US is now on track to be the world’s top exporter of oil. Aside from prompting KSA to open to the world, this chokes off funding to radical Islamic movements. It also cuts the funding that has enabled Vladimir Putin to engage in his foreign adventures in Syria and the Ukraine.

Before he was elected, Trump promised that, if they chose him, Americans would win so much, they would get tired of winning. Big talking blowhard, right?

Incredibly, he actually seems on track with that promise.

It is not just foreign affairs—although, in foreign affairs, we also have North Korea just recently calling suddenly for denuclearization and reunification. That’s quite a shift. And ISIS is now all but gone in Syria and Iraq.

Everyone has been worrying about traditional jobs all disappearing; it looks inevitable, giving the emerging technologies. Yet US unemployment just dropped to 3.9%, lowest since 2000. The biggest drop was among blacks and Hispanics.

Can Trump really be that good? It seems more likely that, in fact, Obama was that bad.

In her day Margaret Thatcher boldly said that the ideas of the left are “simply wrong.” On the evidence, it looks as though she was right, and is still right. The positions of the left are almost systematically wrong, naive, or unrealistic. For example, to take a recent example, believing that carbon taxes, by raising the cost of carbon, would mean we use less of it. Yet raising the minimum wage could have no effect on levels of employment. Or believing that one’s “gender” is purely a matter of choice, yet gender discrimination is real and a serious problem. After all, nobody chooses his or her gender...

It doesn’t seem just a matter of opinion, on which reasonable, moral, and sharp minds can differ. It seems to be logical nonsense and objectively demonstrable.

For thirty years, Ontario was run by a Tory provincial government, and Ontario government bonds were blue chip. In those days, we would grumble about blue laws, rent controls, and unnecessary government regulation; but there was no question at least that the place was well run from a managerial perspective. The provincial finances were always in blue chip territory. Then the Liberals got in, followed a cycle later by the NDP, and the provincial finances rapidly went sour. Now Ontario is a have-not province, with a staggering public debt.

The same phenomenon is seen across the US: there is a reason why the rust belt is in decline, and industries have all been moving to the sun belt. Check which party has been in power at the city and state level in either case for the past forty years.

Or look what happened to New York City when they finally, after many years, elected a relatively right-wing Republican mayor in Rudy Guiliani. The turnaround seemed almost miraculous―like Trump.

I offer an illustration that effected me personally. I was in Ontario, doing quite well as a technical writer and editor, running my own business, when, in 1990, the NDP government came in. They passed a law requiring that any company in the province with more than 50 employees must employ a certain percentage of women. This in an economy that was, due to other NDP policies, already contracting.

This made Ontario businesses in general less efficient and less competitive—employees could no longer be hired on merit. But it was especially devastating in my profession and in my industry. As everyone probably knows, qualified and talented female programmers, engineers, and technologists are thin on the ground. Yet high-tech firms had to somehow meet these quotas without getting wiped out by competition from elsewhere in the fast-moving, intensely competitive high-tech market.

The solution was obvious: take all technical writing in-house, and hire only women to do it. Given that women have, on average, better verbal skills than men, this was the one area where they were least likely to put the firm at a critical competitive disadvantage.

As a result, overnight, by government fiat, the field of technical writing in Ontario became open only to women.

I had to either change career or move. As it happened, I did both.

A terrible financial and personal loss for me; but also, a terrible loss of talent, competitiveness, and expertise to the provincial economy.

This largely explains political correctness. If you have good arguments, you welcome public debate. When you know your arguments and your policies cannot withstand scrutiny, you want to avoid any public debate.

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