David Stove: "We also know that the inherent tendency of the welfare state is to increase poverty; that ‘welfare’ still continues every year to absorb a greater proportion of our nations’ wealth and population; and that there is no social force in sight capable of stopping that process."
Yglesias links to some data that suggests that divorce and being unemployed make people really unhappy. He goes on to suggest that we should do whatever we can to prevent people from being unemployed (presumably he’s not including immigration restrictions here) and to say: "Having a marriage break up appears to be disastrous for your well-being, but it’s not clear to me that there’s a real policy lever here." Making it more difficult to get divorced, perhaps?
Sometimes, you get little glimpses into funny connections within the Cathedral, here’s one.
Nine signs that the US has peaked. I particularly like the entry on Farmville.
The elusive black female bike rider – I’ve yet to see one, but apparently, they exist.
Half Sigma thinks that liberals have abandoned FDR’s tradition by no longer caring about the unemployed. He should read more about FDR. FDR’s strategy was to make people dependent on government. Among the most dependent, are unemployed (who were also among the most likely to vote for . . . FDR). The modern progressive’s focus on race and equality does not free anyone from dependency on the government – in other words, it does not break from the FDR tradition.
Steve Sailer has often wondered when progressives will get around to taking black kids from their parents (as the Australians did with Aborigines). Maybe this is the first sign of that coming trend.
The U.S. system of government is designed around the institutionalized stasis of factional trench warfare. Governmental power derives from the consent of contingency, built on system of representation heavily tilted towards votes cast by catastrophe. Based on the rule of crisis, not of men, the U.S. federal government creaks limply forward only under the lash of perceived calamity. In such an environment, without a crisis (real or manufactured) at hand, strategy leans imperceptibly towards the unhappy medium of a strategy of annoyance. Reasons of state demand that strategically substantive and consequential action be taken from time to time. But the inertia of the system demands that nothing be done within the system to raise an inconvenient stir or distract the American public from its patriotic consumption. This places two constraints on strategically significant action:
- It must be small enough to escape sustained public awareness.
- It must be big enough to have real strategic effect.
The result of struggling to square these two incompatible constraints is settling by default on a strategy of annoyance. A strategy of annoyance is big enough to irritate an enemy but not big enough to produce real strategic effect. It produces increased friction for the U.S. from the enemy so irritated without the compensating strategic effects that build toward real strategic gain.