Different kinds of arguments for different kinds of ideologies.

When a political argument is being made to sway you to accept a belief or a political policy, listen carefully and pay attention to how the argument is meant to appeal to you.

Are you given a rational argument? That’s how political arguments were presented to the public in the earliest period of the American founding when classical liberalism was our ideology. You can read these kinds of arguments in the Federalist Papers. Rationalism was our modus operandi back then. There were also emotional appeals but an argument had to make sense. People wanted to accept policies that would work to make politics run smoothly–like a well oiled machine. Limited government would stop tyranny, they hoped. Natural rights were valued. People also wanted the government to protect private property. Americans expected the government to have a sound monetary system. They wanted freedom and tolerance in a low tax environment before income taxation and countless regulations. It was thought then that political freedom requires economic freedom.

Perhaps you are instead provided a purely emotional appeal, one based on faith without proof. Belief without proof became a political tool of argument and persuasion after Freud wrote about the unconscious mind. Hidden processes became a new way of looking at worldly events during the modern liberal period from the Civil War until the end of WWII. Marx wrote about historical materialism and inevitable processes. Governments were thought to progress through stages of growth, change and eventually decay. Income taxation helped the North win the Civil War. New transportation and communication connected people to a larger world of talk and travel. Darwin wrote about natural selection and small changes over long time periods suggested a world changing on a scale that is longer than a person could appreciate in a single lifetime or generation, with unknown potentials in the far future. Government was presented as an expanding bureaucratic service providing jobs to caring and newly empowered individuals that hoped to combine public resources and public power to shape a bright future. Modern liberals used public monies and built museums and schools and libraries and train stations. Modern liberals wanted to borrow from the future whenever there was an economic shortfall like a recession. They wanted to manage the economy with government regulations. They stopped giving much thought to having a sound money system. Government money was supposed to be made available in the hard times. In the good times, it was hoped that debt could be paid down.

Are you instead being fed a fantasy of fear or riches or endless entertainment or infinite power? That’s the kind of appeal that you get under neoliberalism. Neoliberals put together globalization with financialization. They have imagined that you can have whatever you want with easy money and global trade. They have increased the kinds and amounts of money in circulation. They imagine no end to government’s ability to create more money with the printing press or with transnational banking, uniting the whole world’s assets in trade. Everyone is encouraged to borrow more and more money. The government is imagined as being staffed by experts that have endless strategies, knowledge and tools to keep the wheels of government and the intensively managed economy in motion. The government is so powerful that it can pick economic winners and losers. There is no need to account for failures in policies because the future is always brighter than the present and we must hurry to embrace it. Externalizing costs to the public has been the easiest way to deal with problems as can be clearly seen during the 2008 Great Recession.

If you look at arguments about the covid scare, you can see that they are fantasy based. We live in the neoliberal era and fantasy based arguments are par for the course. But there are problems with relying on these arguments to make decisions that affect public health. The pcr testing used to detect covid infection doesn’t work. The inventor of pcr says that you can’t use it the way that public health officials are using it to detect covid becuase it causes inaccuracies. Public statements about covid infections aren’t based on a reliable standard. Sick or well, alive or dead, a positive covid test means nothing consistent. More hysteria is constantly spewed at you. Public service announcements about covid are meaninglessly telling you to stay at home, to wear a mask and wash your hands. You can see that covid restrictions limit your freedoms and enhance on-line shopping.

You can see that the economy isn’t healthy. On-line shopping has grown while the brick and mortars have been shut. Was this a growth strategy for one part of the economy at the expense of millions of jobs? You hear about mandatory vaccines (“an idea so good that it’s mandatory” used to be a joke). Maybe you are without employment because of covid restrictions. Even people with jobs are worried about jobless Americans and you hope that they can get enough to eat and some worthy shelter. You wonder when economic opportunities might improve. If you get covid you wonder if you can get effective drugs to treat it soon after diagnosis. You have lost confidence in doctors and hospitals that seem to be prohibited from giving the cheapest and most effective care quickly.

You worry when you hear about a mandatory vaccine because that isn’t informed consent. And our other mandatory vaccines might be causing serious problems already, at least according to some who worry about massive increases in auto-immune disorders since 1989 when more children’s vaccines became mandatory. You may wonder why our Courts have let this kind of tyranny continue. Some courts have ruled that covid restrictions are unconstitutional while others have ruled that a state of quarantine allows for a temporary suspension of some freedoms. But a policy of quarantine is by definition completely inappropriate for an agent that can’t be contained by a quarantine. Covid can’t be contained by quarantine as the world can clearly see. You wonder when this tyranny will end.

If you want to learn more about politics and economics in America, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries, available at Amazon.com.

Worker shortage worsens.

My neighbors had a problem with their house siding. Some of it had rotted and needed to be replaced. They couldn’t find a contractor to do the work. They did it themselves even though they are senior citizens. Thank goodness they knew what to do and had the tools and time to do it. I noticed that they also took out a balcony staircase while they were at it. Perhaps it was a consideration to benefit their home security by reducing egress. I haven’t had a chance to ask them.
All the U.S. outsourcing and hiring of imported labor through Visa tricks has reduced the pay that American laborers get compensated. The pace of Mergers and Acquisitions has never let up and under the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies it is expected to continue at a steady rate. The rate of M&A erodes the job market and puts people in the U.S. out of a job pretty often. The unavailability of good jobs for college graduates has also put a dent in the pay that people who want to work can collect for doing work. And now, with people staying at home more under covid restrictions, there’s a shortage of workers who can do needed repair work in the home environment.
My neighbor and I live in Spokane which is pretty far from South Carolina. A friend of ours in South Carolina who does construction contracting told us that there’s a shortage of labor for repairs there too. Panicky people have been trying desperately to hire help him to get needed repairs or remodeling accomplished. There aren’t enough people trained in that to do the work that is needed right now. What a surprising development–construction labor shortages in this economy of 2020.
Most of the on-line complaints that I’ve heard about worker shortages have been complaints in technical fields. But when I check the Bureau of Labor Statistics for growth in computer related jobs, I see modest ups and downs routinely of about 1%. The demand for repair work must be in excess of that, I would think.
I wonder if many people will have to fix their own leaky faucets, or repair their own siding, or remodel their kitchen with DIY. How many skills do we Americans need to learn with the price of wages and labor falling in an economy that is primed for inflation?
What will you learn how to do so that you can take care of your house, your clothes, your cooking, yourself?
As our economy has become hollowed out with cheap money at low interest rates, and as money printing has harmed the actual power of currency, as people have lost trust in organizations and institutions that have become more and more desperate for money in a system where money can do less all the time, the complexity of our economy and the number of professions that are supported by money exchanges is in decline.
This is something to notice and plan for. Now instead of specializing, we all need to learn how to do whatever needs doing for ourselves by ourselves. Skill building will only help you.
If you want to learn our historical path to the place of now, if you want to learn how politics in the U.S. became as corrupt as it is, now, if you want to learn about politics and economics and how they affect your opportunities, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries, available at Amazon.com.