I know I should say something about Bin Laden, because it’s big news. Frankly though, I’m still confused by some of the details. So, other than being happy that he’s dead, I’m not going to say much else.
The point of thinking about the past is not to decide whether or not we’d rather live there. Since we don’t actually have time machines, we aren’t confronted with an all or nothing choice between living in the past and living in the present. Uninventing advances in coffee-making machines or lawnmowers isn’t on the table. The point is to understand the past to help us make decisions in the present to make the future better. . . .
Please note that the relevant issue for policymaking isn’t whether or not the future will be better or worse in some overall sense than the present or the past, the issue is to choose the policy now that would make the future better than alternative futures in which worse policies were chosen now. Fortunately, we have analytical tools for considering tradeoffs resulting from policies. Unfortunately, these are tools that are almost never used whenever the topic comes within a country mile of immigration.
The immigration policies that most of these pundits advocate have had tremendous effects of various kinds on the affordability of family formation, but most pundits would rather discuss side issues like coffee and lawnmowers.
Deogolwulf: "In terms of the fostering of culture and the forming of good taste and character, liberal-democratism has been so great a failure that it is believed by most to have been a great success."
Roissy: "Economists and liberatarians work to make economic theory fit human nature as they see it. What they fear most is that human nature will not bend to fit economic theory. And so they ignore human nature. Or whitewash it. Or demonize it. And they look sillier and sillier by the year…" He has more on stupid people here.
The Economist has a briefing on the employment situation for low-skilled men in the US. I’m glad they’re discussing this big problem, but they don’t even mention immigration. They spend a lot of time on the demand side – noting that demand for unskilled work is falling (more re-training!). But its intellectually dishonest (especially for economists!) to completely ignore the supply side.
Mencken was a Southern sympathizer.
Isegoria on the three kinds of people.
Ilkka is having some scotch-induced flashbacks. Those are the best.
Φ: "We’ve reached the point where the legal standard of “consent” is now lower for killing someone that for having sex with her. If a woman is non-communicative, then the law assumes that she does not consent to sex if she claims later to have not done so. But if an old person is non-communicative, then he is assumed to consent to being starved to death, and conveniently will never contest that assumption."
Richard Spencer on the royal wedding: "Though I hesitate suggesting this, as I don’t want to have trouble with the British border authorities the next time I travel there, would it not be in keeping with the monarchy’s tradition for a sovereign to dismiss parliament, establish a dictatorship, expel all foreigners, and negate all legislation of the past 60 years? (Perhaps some parliamentary-liberal elements could be re-instituted at a later date)."
Carl from Chicago has some thoughts on the declining value of the dollar. He thinks we’ll soon default to getting fifty-dollar-bills out of ATMs instead of twenties. Progress!