Red pills for Ferd

I enjoy Ferdinand’s writing (here and here), but a few of his recent posts are badly mistaken, IMHO.

First, in this post, he argues that we need a guaranteed minimum income. Here’s the meat of his argument:

A guaranteed minimum income, funded by radically progressive income and wealth taxes, and replacing all other existing government entitlement programs, is the only way to keep the economy from collapsing. It will also be more efficient and more fair than the existing welfare state, which is why that well-known Marxist radical Milton Friedman was a proponent of it. Production without consumption is as worthless as a mouth without an anus, and with automation destroying more jobs than are being created, options for maintaining balance are running out.

Production without consumption may or may not be worthless, but my money is on Kipling:

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;

But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don’t work you die."

Anyway, there are two theories about the effects of massive welfare programs, and they are as follows:

Blue Pill: Welfare programs help the poor and reduce social strife.

Red Pill: Welfare programs keep the poor in poverty and purchase the political support of the poor and allow the elites to use the poor to ensure the elite’s policies are implemented.

While Ferdinand makes fun of libertarians, conservatives and liberals, it’s worth pointing out that all mainstream members of each group believe in the blue pill version of the effects of welfare. Only fringe elements of conservatism and libertarianism (both descendents of the Old Right) believe that welfare is specifically designed to purchase political support from and impoverish it’s recipients. These elements have been completely marginalized for the last 50+ years.

In addition, if you understand HBD, you understand that such a massive welfare program in a diverse country, is a recipe for increased strife, not less strife. A guaranteed income program in a diverse nation is a program under which certain racial groups will – for all intents and purposes – be guaranteeing the incomes of people in other racial groups. This is not a recipe for stability.

This point brings us to Ferd’s other piece that I have a problem with. Here’s the meat of this post:

The fact of the matter is is that if you really, truly have accepted the reality of human biodiversity and IQ, you have to support some kind of welfare state. How big a welfare state is debatable, but if you aren’t simply parroting hereditarian viewpoints because you want to be edgy and shock your parents, you have to think about this carefully. An effective government is the only tool capable of keeping morons from doing moronic things and impacting the lives of us non-morons.

Again, as I just wrote, this is nearly perfectly wrong. In a diverse society, stability is not achieved by taking money from one racial group and transferring it to another – which, if you accept HBD, is the likely outcome of Ferd’s policy. Here’s another dose of reality:

Blue Pill: in a diverse society, stability is achieved by programs designed to promote equality

Red Pill: in a diverse society, efforts to promote equality will backfire due to innate differences across groups, thus stability can only be achieved through strong but small government

A strong government and free-markets are not incompatible. In fact, a non-welfare state, a strong government, and mostly free markets may be the only way to achieve stable government in a diverse society:

The state’s attitude can be simply put: being poor here is your own fault. Citizens are obliged to save for the future, rely on their families and not expect any handouts from the government unless they hit rock bottom. The emphasis on family extends into old age: retired parents can sue children who fail to support them. In government circles “welfare” remains a dirty word, cousin to sloth and waste. Singapore may be a nanny state, but it is by no means an indulgent nanny.

Do read the whole article. In Singapore, if the Chinese had to subsidize the Malays on an ongoing basis, the results would not be pretty.

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34 Responses to Red pills for Ferd

  1. fdsa says:

    There’s nothing about any sane view of HBD that says black people can’t even feed themselves without transfer payments. Yeah, they’ll generate a lot fewer physicists per capita than Koreans will, but they are capable of doing productive work. For many decades in this country, before there was anything resembling a welfare state, they fed themselves. Not terribly well, but then again they had Jim Crow to contend with.

    Black dysfunction as we now know it did not reach its full flower until the welfare state made it possible. Ferdinand imagines the welfare state can somehow be “done right this time” — even though it has performed identically everywhere it’s been tried. If genetics is 50% of IQ, that still leaves 50% to the tutelage of the hereditarily unemployed losers in the ‘hood, by my count.

    This is why I don’t read Ferdinand. He’s led by his emotions. Whatever the Gods of the Marketplace are selling tonight on the Home Shopping Network, he’s reaching for the phone even as we speak, looking at the TV with a wild surmise.

  2. I’ve been a fan of Singapore ever since a post by Mencius Moldbug had a link to a speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong. The speech wasn’t important, and was even boring. But the tone! Imagine, a country treating its citizens like adults…

  3. Five Daarstens says:

    Foseti:

    I very much agree with your post. I have been thinking alot about these issues lately. Sometimes there are “ideas in the air”.

  4. Jehu says:

    Murray’s citizen’s dividend is, however, greatly preferable to the welfare state we have right now. I recognize this is a very low bar to clear, but such a proposal might be within the realm of the possible (the usual proposal along those lines eliminates the income and corporate tax, replaces everything with a consumption tax, and gives each citizen a 10k or so citizen’s dividend per year).

  5. Gian says:

    Race while biologically meaningful is not entirely objective as far as human social concerns pertain.

    Race is subjective. In Europe, Germans and Poles consider themselves to belong to different races but not in America.

    So in America even the blacks and whites may come to understand themselves to belong to a single entity.
    In fact, multi-racial and multi-cultural empires have been the norm worldwide. All the great empires of the Past were a fine mosaic of races and cultures–Roman, Persian, Russian, Habsburg, et al.

    England was exceptional in being mono-racial and largely mono-cultural, being a small island country but you can not expect Continental USA to conform to the standards of a small island.

  6. Spandrell says:

    Hey, its a start. Abolition of welfare is not realistic. NAMs would starve.

    Singapore doesn’t work as an example. Europe has always had a tradition of charity, while wealthy Chinese let their poor starve while they took their women as concubines.

    The corollary of HBD is not self-reliance. Its eugenics.

  7. rightsaidfred says:

    The corollary of HBD is not self-reliance. Its eugenics.

    Only on one end of the scale. The main corollary is borders and separation.

    But speaking of such, if we are going to boldly enshrine giving money to the unproductive as public policy, I would say the Public should have a say in how many kids that cohort could spawn. And how many immigrants we let into such a program.

    • spandrell9 says:

      Controlling the breeding of the unproductive = eugenics.

      I’m not using it as a scare word. Just stating the facts. I’m all for eugenics.

      • Steve Johnson says:

        No, paying the worst, most savage elements of society to breed is dysgenics.

        Ending this process is no more eugenics than ceasing breeding dogs for aggressiveness is responsible husbandry – it’s a minimum needed for society to continue. Our democratic government has at this point cost us any kind of mass civil society – too many people have been bred and imported who are quite frankly, savage.

      • spandrell9 says:

        ok somebody tell me when we figure out that stopping dysgenics causes so much good, what will make us stop there? It makes no sense.

        Let me repeat, I’m not against eugenics. I just think we should be aware that if HBD comes mainstream, it will happen. It has to.

  8. josh says:

    The only thing I disagree with is your statement that programs designed to increase equality will “backfire”. Are theses programs not also *designed* to further inequality and purchase political support?

  9. Eugenick says:

    I can think of 2 ways to argue for minimum wage based on what I’ve read:

    1) The labor market is inelastic, see
    http://www.halfsigma.com/2010/10/minimum-wage-follow-up-post.html

    2) Big organizations have more bargaining power than individuals looking for work, so the wages are artificially lower than they should be.

  10. Frost says:

    @Spandrell

    Not true at all. Your mistake, and Ferd’s, is assuming that if the government doesn’t step in to help the poor, no one will. Private charities had been taking care of the poor for a long time before our status quo developed, and they would do so in the event that USG stopped.

    The difference is that charities would make charity contingent on good life decisions, and so would actually improve the lot of the poor rather than just subsidizing their lifestyles. Personally, I’m find with letting starve anyone who both 1) Needs money to eat, and 2) Refuses to give up the crack pipe, but I think the number who do will be very small.

  11. Hugo says:

    “Welfare programs keep the poor in poverty”

    A minimum income does not do that, because it is designed to completely eliminate the poverty trap. It gets rid of the high marginal tax rates that disincentivise work.

    It still disincentivises work simply by giving someone an income which reduces the incentive for additional work, but this is nowhere near as strong as the traditional welfare disincentive of high marginal tax rates. And it’s hard to believe that the disincentive to work created by having an income will “keep the poor in poverty”. They do have an income after all, so they are not poor as long as it is not insignificant. I cannot see how it could increase long-term poverty compared with no welfare at all.

  12. Leonard says:

    Foseti, I’m a fringe element but I don’t agree “that welfare is specifically designed to … impoverish [its] recipients.” I do agree that it is evolved to do that. The difference between specifically designed and evolved is intent. To prove intent, you’d have to look back into the debate surrounding, i.e., the food stamp program, and see if the men who created it said anything to effect that they supported it because it would impoverish people. I doubt you can find such a thing, even in a minority. Rather I expect you’d find that its proponents thought it would help.

    Other than that, great post.

    I would point out to Ferd and the other blue pill addicts, that blacks and whites have lived together in America for a long time, and much of that time, with essentially no welfare, and also, much more amicably than they do now. (This is a low bar.) In particular, the highest achievements of blacks were attained in the 50s, when blacks were arguably in the fairest position they’ve occupied vis-a-vis the state: neither legally second-class nor privileged.

    A strong state can easily weed out the wolves from the sheep, and shoot the wolves.

    I like the idea of creating a legal duty to support aging parents. I’d bet a neocameral state would go with it.

    • Alrenous says:

      I find it not too hard to prove intent. Sure, nobody talks about it…but what happens if you bring up the fact that welfare is counter-productive? Can you get any welfare supporter, anywhere, on your side?

      Some of them are signalling – they care about appearing compassionate. But there are people in charge of the program, they can’t possibly not know welfare causes harm, and they never, ever speak out about it.

    • If you read Flynn’s account of FDR, he argues strongly that FDR viewed various welfare and public spending as essentially whole sale vote buying. Certainly other members of the FDR administration, and most contemporary liberals, are true believers.

      • Foseti says:

        That’s spot on. FDR didn’t even pretend otherwise and there are plenty of first hand accounts to back that up.

      • Handle says:

        This is actually a good description of a wide variety of ideological phenomena which marked various generational splits and high-tension transitions including the one from the Old to the New Left. The Pendulum seems to swing from the nearly perfectly Nihilistically Cynical Power-Strategy player to the Sincere True Believer.

        It would be like L. Ron Hubbard using his WWII Navy debriefing-under-polygraph experience to invent the ridiculous stories and creepy procedures of Scientology as a way to get rich and not anticipating that the future leaders of his “religion” would not be equally mendacious and exploitatively extortionate but actually genuine adherents to his new “faith”.

        One wonders how much of the current obviously-false elements of the Blue Orthodoxy really were just phony seductive counterfeit arguments to cover a broader agenda, but which eventually became the agenda when the youngsters who weren’t in on the joke actually took it seriously.

  13. Jon says:

    Ferd has let his audience go to his head. You should submit this for publication on IMF!!

  14. I tend to be a fan of some kind of national dividend (as I proposed in my King of Philadelphia piece). I’m curious where exactly the disagreement lies.

    From the point of view of “what kind of world would like to be randomly born into?” rank your preferences:

    a) a flat property tax that takes in around 40% of GDP, the surplus revenues are distributed to private, for-profit shareholders

    b) 40% of GDP property tax, surplus revenues distributed on a equal share per person (around $11k for every person, child through senior citizen, children’s money goes to the parents).

    c) 40% of GDP property tax, surplus distributed in a way weighted more towards older people who are passed their prime working years ($28k for those over age 55, $5k per person under 55)

    d) 40% of GDP property tax, surplus distributed as an income supplement to all workers, $5 per hour worked ( $10 an hour for a father who is supporting a stay-at-home mom).

    e) 5% of GDP property tax, no surplus revenue after paying for basic infrastructure and defense.

    For my number one preference, I’m debating between c) and d). The appeal of d) is that it rewards working more. The appeal of c) is that it’s simpler and less difficult to gain, and doesn’t require the government to monitor everyone’s work hours.

    I’m less keen on b) because I think too many young people would dedicated themselves to lives of sloth and never develop any sound work habits.

    The worst are e) and especially a). I do not share the progressive obsession with the levels of inequality in America at this moment. Eliminating inequality is not my primary goal. But I think under system a) there would be truly dystopian levels of inequality that I think many reactionaries do not properly appreciate. It would be much, much worse than the inequality of the late 1800’s (which was not that bad IMO), because there are no frontiers and because manufacturing is already so productive (making labor much less valuable compared to resources). We live in a technology and a resource bound economy – not a labor bound economy. Best case for scenario A is that everyone scrapes by in sales and marketing jobs, trying desperately to convince someone else to give them a share of the pie, worst case is wide scale destitution.

  15. anon says:

    If the Chinese had to subsidize the Malays on an ongoing basis… see Malaysia.

  16. tenkev says:

    The problem with a guaranteed minimum income specifically and welfare generally is not that it provides disincentives to work, which it does, it is that it does not address the root of the problem.

    The root problem is that some people (not just NAMs) do not have enough sense, self-discipline, or physical capability to take care of themselves and run their own lives. In a democratic society where every man is equal and each person is sovereign over their own lives this fact of life will always lead to problems. The solution to this problem is an old one. Feudalism. Hiearchy. A level of sovereignty commensurate with the level of sense/discipline/capability that person has shown.

  17. asdf@asdf.com says:

    Green pill: the solution is to get the hell out of Dodge, head to Shenzen, and leave the NAMs behind in the former USSA.

    Ferdinand is utterly wrong on economics. He fundamentally doesn’t understand that productive people (net tax payers) can exist without NAMs/tax-recipients, but not vice versa. It’s not unique to him, most people (left and right) don’t understand the distinction between money and wealth.

    Relatedly, the following videos should be watched with headphones:


    This gives you a sense of the kind of people Ferdinand thinks we should subsidize. Money = fertility. Giving money to these people reduces our fertility and increases theirs. In the long term, they will die too as they outbreed and attack the productive class for providing. See: Zimbabwe, South Africa, the Roman Empire, the post-collapse, post-food stamps USSA.

    • rightsaidfred says:

      Yes, the fecundity issue. And the group fights over the spoils in a declining economy. We’ll devolve into one big inheritance battle. Save us Skynet!

  18. Alrenous says:

    Insufficient Mencius Moldbug.
    The goal of welfare is to alleviate the suffering of the poor. Swell, I can get behind that.
    Clearly, giving them money or guaranteed wages causes more harm than good. Stop trying to fix that – it’s probably not fixable. Changing incomes is attempting to redistribute status – it’s a corrupt endeavour from the start. You’ll never alleviate the pain caused by status poverty.

    Conversely, material poverty is easy to fix…but you have to make them dependants. Children, basically. Put them up in dorms. Provide food, not food stamps. Have supervisors, because normally they can’t be trusted. They can either accept their de-facto imprisonment, or they can work to earn they way out of it. Making them dependants but lying to them about it, for some reason, doesn’t work out so hot.
    I found this out when I talked to a bum. He clearly didn’t have self-responsibility. Your choices are to let him impose on all the other citizens or to effectively lock him up. (Also, try googling million-dollar Murray.) No amount or kind of deterrence can work – the threat of being a bum didn’t work, after all.

    For completeness:
    Remember that in leftese, ‘human dignity’ == status. Note that progressives have successfully changed the status of certain groups. While being poor is inherently low status, there are certain common associations with poverty that make it unnecessarily worse. Progressives like to imply that the choice is, “Every pauper is filth,” or “Paupers are all people too,” but actually it is, “What does a respectable person, hard working and trustworthy, look like when they happen to be poor?”

    • red says:

      Why would you want the poor to suffer less? Suffering is to the human condition as what pain is to the human body. Pain is meant to warn you and get you to change your actions. Suffering is meant to warn you and get you to change your behavior. As a man removes his hand from a burning stove so he can get a job and work hard instead instead of suffering as lazy poor man.

  19. RS says:

    >> The corollary of HBD is not self-reliance. Its eugenics.

    > Only on one end of the scale. The main corollary is borders and separation.

    I don’t disagree, though I might put it differently. The main corollary is that you need to look at whether the whole system is decaying fairly rapidly due to things like dysgenesis, plus racial change, demographic aging, the end of ‘bonus’ countervailing influences like the Flynn effect (assuming the effect is ‘real’), etc.

    If there is a decline and you can’t halt it, your regime of redistribution, whatever it may be, will just decline along with everything else – the value transfers (in housing or whatever, obviously not in cash) will decline every decade. You’ll go from public housing to public dorms to public barrackses, basically. But people will chose favelas over barrackses.

    Brazil and Mexico are of course much closer to the brink of say, regressing to feudalism, and dysgenesis may take them there. Mass starvation and civil warfare are also possible.

  20. josh says:

    “We may depend upon it, where there is a Pauper, there is a sin; to
    make one Pauper there go many sins. Pauperism is our Social Sin grown
    manifest; developed from the state of a spiritual ignobleness, a
    practical impropriety and base oblivion of duty, to an affair of the
    ledger. Here is not now an unheeded sin against God; here is a concrete
    ugly bulk of Beggary demanding that you should buy Indian meal for it.
    Men of reflection have long looked with a horror for which there was no
    response in the idle public, upon Pauperism; but the quantity of meal it
    demands has now awakened men of no reflection to consider it. Pauperism
    is the poisonous dripping from all the sins, and putrid unveracities and
    god-forgetting greedinesses and devil-serving cants and jesuitisms, that
    exist among us. Not one idle Sham lounging about Creation upon false
    pretences, upon means which he has not earned, upon theories which he
    does not practise, but yields his share of Pauperism somewhere or
    other. His sham-work oozes down; finds at last its issue as human
    Pauperism,–in a human being that by those false pretences cannot live.
    The Idle Workhouse, now about to burst of overfilling, what is it
    but the scandalous poison-tank of drainage from the universal Stygian
    quagmire of our affairs? Workhouse Paupers; immortal sons of Adam rotted
    into that scandalous condition, subter-slavish, demanding that you would
    make slaves of them as an unattainable blessing! My friends, I perceive
    the quagmire must be drained, or we cannot live. And farther, I
    perceive, this of Pauperism is the corner where we must _begin_,–the
    levels all pointing thitherward, the possibilities lying all clearly
    there. On that Problem we shall find that innumerable things, that all
    things whatsoever hang. By courageous steadfast persistence in that, I
    can foresee Society itself regenerated. In the course of long strenuous
    centuries, I can see the State become what it is actually bound to be,
    the keystone of a most real “Organization of Labor,”–and on this Earth
    a world of some veracity, and some heroism, once more worth living in!”

  21. […] Dancing with the Stars“, “Love and Hate in Leftist Ideology”Foseti – “Red Pills for Ferd“, “It Ain’t the ’30s Anymore“, “Review of “This My […]

  22. Mr. Stricter says:

    Social Credit, as bad an idea as it is, is basically guillotine insurance. If they have nothing much to lose and few jobs to do that anyone will pay decently for (remember globalism, automation and their own dysfunction are in play here) they’ll still keep breeding and eventually decide to have a NAM spring at your expense.

    basically , yeah sure it buys votes but it more importantly it buys stability.

    And yes sure you can have a huge NAM and poor White/Asian suppression state but there is a 100% chance that will be used on you. The Elite are like most groups, only self interested, you aren’t them, you don’t matter and if possible, controlling or eliminating you is SOP. This isn’t more evil than anyone else, everybody is like this. Humans are tribal and status plus detachment breeds contempt.

    As for more eugenics based solutions, they won’t work. The NAMS rightly don’t trust Whitey one bit and just go ahead and try to make a Mexican Catholic not have a kid. He is not going to comply and we have neither will nor ability or desire to make them

    Tying benefits to no kids would be rejected violently and offering a no breed benefit would take out the smarter NAMS/Poor and not the dysgenic ones anyway.

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