Advice to Ignore

The worst types of people are those who pretend to have your best interests and then spread bad advice either unintentionally or mistakenly, but usually for their own profit and or self-aggrandizement.

1. “Sell your stocks! The US economy is doomed!”

Every single doom and gloom prediction since 2008 has been wrong:

-predictions of double dip recession
-predictions of bear market
-predictions of economic contagion (from Greece, Portugal, and Spain crisis)
-predictions of avian, swine, SARS, and pig flu crisis
-predictions of Ebola crisis
-predictions of Trump victory causing economic crisis (experts predicted stocks would crash if Trump won. Trump won, and stocks have surged.)
-predictions of a second housing crash
-predictions of post-Breix economic crisis
-predictions of a second financial crisis in America
-predictions of hyperinflation
-predictions of dollar collapse
-predictions of student loan crisis

All wrong

Had you listed to the doom and gloom losers, you would have missed out on the longest bull market in the history of the US stock market. Yes, although the bull market can end at any time (but I predict it has much much further to go), keep this in mind: going as far back as 100 years, even accounting for the 2008 and 1929 bear markets, stocks have historically posted 10% average annual returns (including dividends). Had you bought the S&P 500 in 2005 and not sold, you would be up 86% right now (and that includes the entire 2008 financial crisis).

The S&P 500 keeps making new highs, enriching myself and others who ignored the media and didn’t sell:

I predict the post-2009 bull market has much further to go.

Yes, QE and easy monetary policy plays a role, but not as big as many believe, as I discuss here.

Peter Schiff has been wrong about everything since 2008, whether about gold rising (gold has crashed), the dollar crashing (the US dollar has been the best performing currency since 2009), US recession (8 strait years of GDP expansion), bear market (S&P 500 at new highs, longest bull market ever), or about hyperinflation (CPI around 2%, although healthcare, rent, and tuition has far exceeded the CPI). All of his predictions, market forecasts, and investments have failed, enriching himself in the process through fees but making all his clients poorer. What a loser! SAD!!! (as Trump would say)

The whole doom and gloom business is about selling overpriced [1] gold and other bad investments to unsuspecting buyers. As everyone knows, Alex Jones ignores topics that threaten his income stream and ‘respectability’.

2. “Never go to college!”

These people are annoying. Here’s an example: Ivy League Schools Are Overrated. Send Your Kids Elsewhere, by William Deresiewicz.

When I speak of elite education, I mean prestigious institutions like Harvard or Stanford or Williams as well as the larger universe of second-tier selective schools, but I also mean everything that leads up to and away from them—the private and affluent public high schools; the ever-growing industry of tutors and consultants and test-prep courses;

It’s not like parents have to mull over sending their kids to Harvard or No-Name U. The decision is already made after the rejection letter, which 95% of Harvard applicants will receive.

If Ivy League schools are worthless, why so much demand? All those applicants must be wrong – how foolish of them for seeking the high wages and connections those schools bestow. But this author, who owes his own success to going to going to Columbia and Yale, knows the answer. Do as he says, not as he does.

I counter the anti-college folks and their arguments in more detail here. Pretty much all of these people who say to not go to college became successful due to going to college, and now are are telling young people to not go to college. Again, do as I say, not as I do.

Many of these people who say to never go to college are either retired or already successful, but what about people in their 20′s and 30′s who don’t yet have a nest egg or a good-paying job. Yes, college is full of SJW-scum and indoctrination, but the anti-college folks don’t offer much in the way of viable, realistic alternatives. For people of above-average intelligence, a degree in a STEM subject is still the best path to prosperity and entering the ‘middle class’. Even majoring in philosophy or economics is better than not going to college. Or you can install shitty WordPress templates, competing with $2/hour Bangladeshis, which is what some anti-college folk recommend as a way to make money without a degree. A $60-200k/year STEM job sounds a lot better, IMHO.

Ignoring all the alarmist student-loan-bubble-media-sensationalism, you can go on Reddit and easily find dozens of success stories of college graduates in their 20′s and 30′s making a solid income, buying a home, and paying their student loans. The truth is on Reddit and 4chan, not the doom and gloom sensationalist media that creates the narrative that college is always a scam and that every graduate is drowning in debt and unemployed. Yes, some are, but many aren’t, and your odds of success improve if you major in STEM. The media always overgeneralizes.

Also, there is tons of student load aid available, and although it adds to the total national student loan debt, it’s something to take advantage of if you’re going to major in a high-ROI field such as STEM or accounting. And also, there are tons of payment and deferral plans.

There are some other alternatives to college: Uber driving, auto repair, HVAC, and IT certification, and many people make good money with those professions. The problem is absolutism (college is always bad/good). It depends a lot on the individual.

3. “You must always rent!”

Even after accounting for the 2006 housing bubble and burst, over the long-run, buying is still better renting. Home prices in some regions, such as the Bay Area, have doubled since 2010:

Between 2013-2015, on this blog, I correctly predicted that home prices would keep rising due to scarcity, foreign demand, private equity, the somewhat improving economy, and other factors, and I keep being right as home prices make new highs month after month. Home builders suffered the most from the bursting of the housing bubble, creating a situation of too much supply, to now, of there not being enough.

US home prices hit new peak, up 5.5% in September: S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller

…average home price for September was 0.1% above the July 2006 peak in nominal terms. The National index reported a 5.5% annual gain in September, up from 5.1% last month. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.3% annual increase, up from 4.2% the previous month. The 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.1%, unchanged from August.

Building long-term wealth through real estate seems better than pissing away your money every month to landlords who will keep jacking your rent at a rate that far exceeds inflation.

Here is an excellent info-graphic about why buying is better than renting. After 1-2 years, buying becomes cheaper than renting. If you look at Reddit, there are hundreds of examples of people making a lot of money with real estate either by renting-out properties and or from the price appreciation.

4. “Check your privilege!”

The only proper response is ‘Fuck You’ unless you’re are in some sort of professional setting where your paycheck or diploma is dependent upon your cooperation, in which case you unfortunately have no choice…which is also why self-sufficiency, investing, and minimalism are so important, even it if means ‘downgrading’ your lifestyle, in order to minimize’s one’s exposure to corporate-culture-PC-bullshit.

5. “You Must Self-Publish a Book!”

I have long been a critic of self-publishing. In short, it sucks as a way to make money. Success at Amazon self-publishing is primarily a function of personal branding, not literary merit. The average book sells zero copies and the average author makes little to no money. Traditionally-published books, on average, sell more copies than self-punished ones. It’s also expensive and time consuming writing, editing, designing, and formatting the book on your own. Yeah, if you just want to publish a book for the sake of having a book, go for it, but don’t expect to make much money from it unless you already have a large brand.

6. “Quit Your Job!”

Every few months, James Altucher writes the same article on why you should quit your job, and every time it’s still bad advice. 85-95% of small businesses fail within 10 years. Despite stock prices at record highs, the labor market still sucks for most people, so if you quit your job, you may find it nearly impossible to get re-hired. It’s much easier to get rich by keeping your job, living a minimalist lifestyle, and investing the saved moeny in the S&P 500 and or in real estate. That’s how wealth is created.

[1] Dealers who advertise on sites such as Info Wars typically sell gold at a huge markup. If the gold spot price is, for example, $1,300 an ounce, they may charge $1,600 to the unwitting buyer. Usually it’s in the form of a ‘collector coin’ to justify the huge markup. After including shipping and handling, it gets even worse.

Whether it’s bid/ask spreads, exorbitant mutual fund fees for piss-poor performance, or overpriced precious metals sold by unscrupulous dealers, much of the financial service industry exists because of ‘asymmetric information’ in which unsuspecting buyers overpay and firms pocket the difference between the actual price and the executed price (what the customer pays). That’s why low-cost index funds and liquid ETFs like SPY (a proxy for the S&P 500), GLD (a gold ETF), are ideal, because this ‘difference’ is tiny.

NRx Concepts: A Review

Here is an summary of NRx, from the comments of arnoldkling.com:

neo-reaction is in opposition to the Cathedral.

possibly it is against the decay of what Walter Russell Mead calls “The Blue Model.”

One workable stab at defining the commonalities of neo-reaction is that it is opposed to “The Cathedral,” whatever that is.

I think the Cathedral is generally understood as a progressive, idealistic, blank-slatist view of the world that shifts the “Overton Window” always further to the Left. The Cathedral is maintained by left leaning, well-meaning, virtue signaling intellectuals who say things that may not hold up to careful inspection. But think twice about saying “That’s not true!” if the Cathedral priests assert something.

The Cathedral has a certain outlook.

1. It is Blank Slatist (what Steven Pinker called SSM, if I recall correctly). It believes human nature is mostly fluid and can be changed for the better. It lacks what Thomas Sowell called the “Tragic Vision.”

2. The Cathedral is leveling–it dislikes hierarchies of merit (for some reason, pop stars and athletes are allowed to be rich, as Thilo Sarrazin noted).

3. An annoying aspect of the Cathedral is that It is sanctimonious, always seeking enemies on the Right and bad-thinkers within the left–people who don’t think right and who need to be isolated or re-educated. This is a niche for the so-called Social Justice Warriors. As Steven Pinker said, “Man is a sanctimonious animal.”

(Members of designated victim groups are, as a tendency, allowed to be more outspoken when voicing correctly incorrect thoughts.)

4. The Cathedral (or the community of its adherents) is cosmopolitan in the way that suburban liberals and childless urbanites are cosmopolitan–it likes the Other, it gets a frisson of delight from proximity with a wide variety of people–but only if it doesn’t have to send its kids to failing urban public schools.

As an expansion of 4, it thinks that ethnically heterogeneous societies work as well as more-or-less uniform nation states. It thinks that inside every Lebanon is a Switzerland waiting to get out. The Cathedral thinks that the Habsburg Monarchy would have been better off without the military, the Church, and the dynasty (the very things that probably held it together).

(as pointed out here: https://20committee.com/2012/12/18/why-the-european-union-is-not-the-habsburg-monarchy-2-0/ )

Those who worship at the Cathedral think that wars are mistakes, that democracy is the natural state of of any political community, and that we all have many rights but very few duties. Cathedral adherents promote the multiplication of “duty-less rights.”

Many social problems arise from people being denied their rights–such as the right to housing, health care, a free education.

The Cathedral believes in “radical egalitarianism,” defined here:

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/08/radical_egalitarianism_is_the_real_threat_.html

The Cathedral dislikes Robert Conquest, Thomas Sowell, Edmund Burke, and Adam Smith. and Charles Murray. And Roger Scruton. And Aristotle. but not Rousseau.

neo-reaction is basically everyone who would listen politely to Thilo Sarrizin when he says this

http://www.unz.com/isteve/thilo-sarrazin-on-the-limits-of-free-speech-in-germany/?highlight=germany+does+away

further reading:

1. Pinker’s _The Blank Slate_

2. E. O. Wilson’s works, including both Consilience and On Human Nature

3. Peter Frost on the difference between guilt and shame based societies. at unz.com. A great challenge is preserving civilized order from barbarism. Neo-reaction thinks this is hard. The Cathedral thinks it happens easily, and all immigrants can be assimilated easily–it is a forgone conclusion.

4. Suicide of the West

5. blogs at West Hunter, Psychological Comments, and Bruce Charlton.

P.S.: neo-reaction knows that we are in what Bruce Charlton calls “Thought Prison.” And it’s trying to get out.

————-

Recommend NRx Compendium as starting point of basic NRx terminology and concepts.

Philosophy:

Idealism vs. Materialism (related: Understanding Marx

Postmodernism vs. Structuralism (The term ‘postmodernism’ is often confused and does not mean ‘modern’ as in new. Rather it means rejection of reductionist narratives as applies to social sciences. More detail: The Postmodern Condition. Pretty much, like the Frankfurt School, it rejects materialism. Also related to post-structuralism.)

Nihilism, Free Will, Fatalism, Determinism, and the ‘Black Pill’

Nihilism and the Black Pill
The Black Pill « Amerika

Neo Masculinity and Christianity, Darwinian Conservatism, Free Will, Biological Reality

Free Will – Welfare Liberals vs. Neo Liberals and HBD-Conservatives

NRx Concepts:

Order vs. Chaos…This has many interpretations…here is mine, from a Social Darwinistic standpoint. Economics, culture, and biology are ‘sorting mechanisms’ that the egalitarian left seeks to undo.

Pine tree analogy

NRx trichotomy (techno-commercialists tend to subscribe to a materialist view of the world; traditionalists and theonomists: idealists)

NRx ‘Map’

‘The Cathedral’ (see compendium)

Gnon, Moloch (see http://www.socialmatter.net/the-compendium/)

Pacifism vs. Activism (related: Alt Right & NRx: End Game and Action Plans

Some pertinent posts I have written:

The NRx ‘Trichotomy’ Becomes a Dichotomy
Social Hierarchies and Techno Libertarianism are Compatible
How NRx has Evolved
NRx vs. HRx
Against the Ubermensch

Political Science and Government:

Divine rights of kings vs. natural law (Locke vs. Hobbes)

Revolution vs. restoration (restoration of monarchy)

Why democracy does not work (anti-majoritarianism), and how democracy is the problem instead of the solution, and how voters are irrational and misinformed.

The Myth of the Rational Voter
Anti-democratic thought
Anti-Democracy Sentiment Going Mainstream

Equal outcomes vs. equal opportunity (welfare liberals vs. classical liberals)

Related: Minarchism, libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism, ‘algorithmic governments’, fusionism, reactionary modernism, and neocamerialism

Why I am not a libertarian
Moldbug on Libertarianism, Neocameralism

Social Theory:

India’s caste system (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras) as analogous to the hierarchy of power and influence in contemporary American society

Poseidon Awoke: Is Neoreaction Right-Brahmin Signaling?

Noble Savage vs. Civilization (the far-left believes civilization corrupts man, or that white men are inherently evil and its the job of the ‘state’ to purify them or to create equal outcomes)

Signaling, status, ingroup vs. outgroup, meta narratives, observations about culture and society

Holiness spirals, virtue signaling, or how SJWs are modern equivalents of the Puritans (Puritan hypothesis)

History:

16-18th century European history (concepts include: Whigs, French Revolution, English Civil War, Cromwell, Royalists vs. Parliamentarians (Roundheads), Protestants Vs. Catholics, Reformation, Restoration, Glorious Revolution)

Tangentially related to NRx:

Economics concepts such as basic income, post-scarcity, post-capitalism, automation, and wealth inequity

Rationalism (rationalism emphasizes empiricism and a ‘realist’ view of the world and human nature, in agreement with with Pinker)

Transhumanism, singularity, AI

HBD:

IQ differences between groups, IQ and socioeconomic outcomes, persistence of achievement gaps (possibly the stuff that is most likely to ‘trigger’ people)

People:

Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Hans Hermann Hoppe, Julius Evola, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler

For more information, check out The Best of Neo Reaction, a comprehensive list of important articles pertaining to NRx published between 2012-2015: an invaluable resource.

For example Democracy and the Intellectuals discusses the failings of ‘natural law’, ‘the blank slate’, the ‘noble savage’, and why the ‘state of nature’ is not ideal.

The Trump ‘Coming Together’ Moment

Ann Coulter tweeted a link to Scott’s hugely viral article YOU ARE STILL CRYING WOLF about how the left’s fears and suppositions of Trump being an extremist with KKK-ties, are unfounded.

There are a few things to unpack:

It’s remarkable how Scott, a liberal, wrote the ultimate pro-Trump article that all the hundreds of pundits on the ‘right’ wish they had written but didn’t, and was so good Ann Coulter tweeted it. That’s a testament to his perceptiveness.

Scott Adams and Scott Alexander have more creative and intellectual freedom than most pundits, by successfully branding themselves omnipotent observers who criticize both sides without being too partial to either. Ann Coulter has to toe the ‘party line’ at all times – that’s what is expected of her and when she defects, people get angry as we saw a few days ago when she criticized Trump. But also, both Scotts are not immune to rebuke: Scott Adam – for being ambivalent about the veracity of pizza gate, which angered some of his more ardent pro-Trump readers, and Scott Alexander – for being too close to the ‘right’, peeving some of his more liberal readers. By always being provisional, that makes them anti-pundits of sorts, and is a reason for their success in the post-pundit era we find ourselves in, in which readers have stopped trusting pundits as much as they did in the past.

Scott’s blog Slate Star Codex, which caters to a high-IQ audience, gets a jaw-dropping amount of traffic – way more than your typical fitness or ‘weight loss’ blog, that’s for sure. As evidenced by the huge success of Wait But Why, Priceonomics, and similar ‘smart’, data-driven sites, there is significant demand online for deep intellectual content. The fastest growth is not ‘popular’ topics such a sports, cooking, celebrity gossip, or fitness – all of which have plateaued, are saturated, and have huge advertising budgets behind them – but rather in smart, esoteric topics like physics, ‘social theory’, and coding, all of which are seeing rapid organic growth and have large, loyal audiences who are interested in this sort of technical stuff.

Ann Coulter favorably tweeting his blog despite Scott being a liberal is further evidence of the ‘intellectualism passport‘ idea (Scott, a left-leaning intellectual who doesn’t even like Trump, gaining ‘entry’ to Ann’s right-wing ‘tribe’), as well as the ‘showing not telling’ style of online journalism as described here and here. Scott’s article is chock-full of links and data – to read all the links embedded within it would probably take an entire day of my undivided attention, and although few will actually read all the links, having them, arranged one after another like a brick wall that enforces itself, conveys authority and credibility – and is part of the ‘showing’ method of post-2013 online journalism and a major reason why the article was so viral and successful.

Overall, it’s a brilliant piece, and one need not be a Trump supporter (as Scott goes to great pains to show he isn’t one, calling Trump’s election a ‘disaster’) to see how the liberal media has created a false narrative that fits with their pre-existing beliefs (that Trump has close ties with ‘racists’ or is one), not reality. Here is a passage that stood out, that shows how media sensationalism of a supposed Trump-KKK connection vastly outsizes the actual membership of the KKK, which is very small:

If you Google “trump KKK”, you get 14.8 million results. I know that Google’s list of results numbers isn’t very accurate. Yet even if they’re inflating the numbers by 1000x, and there were only about 14,000 news articles about the supposed Trump-KKK connection this election, there are still two to three articles about a Trump-KKK connection for every single Klansman in the world.

But regardless of whether you voted for Trump or not, the aftermath of his win has seen the greatest ‘coming together’ movement in decades, as millions of people take to Reddit and social media to debate and discuss how and why their ‘side’ won/lost. And these debates are productive and civil. Many Hillary voters are conceding that, yes, their candidate wasn’t very good and that the media’s tendency to paint all alt-right and Trump supporters as ‘racist’ and ‘extremist’ was not only an abdication of journalistic integrity, but may have also backfired. Not even in office yet, Trump has brought both sides to the table to at least see eye to eye, which Obama in all his eight years couldn’t do. Hell, it even made Ann Coulter favorably tweet a liberal.

Carrier Deal and Govt. Boeing Contracts are Not the Same Thing

Mike recently put out a Periscope defending Trump’s Carrier deal and equating the Carrier deal with govt. Boeing contracts, both as being ‘cronyism’, and that it’s hypocritical of National Review to attack Carrier and Trump but defend Boeing.

Mike’s argument initially seemed convincing, but then I thought about it deeper.

As I explained a few days ago, the Carrier deal didn’t live up to the hype. Both conservatives and liberals attacked it because it pretty much amounted to Trump bribing Carrier, not because Carrier felt any sort of moral impetus to not move the jobs.

For this reason, the Boeing-Carrier comparison does not hold. The govt. requests airplanes and Boeing builds and delivers them. Even if it’s cronyism, it’s still a business transaction where goods are rendered in exchange for payment, and this reflects demand for a service that Boeing provides. However, The Carrier deal gave Carrier more money then they would have saved moving the jobs, so Carrier got paid by taxpayers to effectively do nothing – no goods are exchanged or service rendered.

It’s kinda like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, in which Obama boasted about ‘saved jobs’ but the math later revealed that each saved or created job cost taxpayers $200,000 or more.

Also, others have noted that Boeing employs Americans (156,921 total). It would be a potential national security issue to have Airbus, the European equivalent, build those planes, and it would cost American jobs.

Additionally, not all off Boeing’s earnings come from government contracts. In 2013, Boeing’s revenue was $87 billion, but $58 billion came from commercial orders. In 2013, the U.S. federal government pledged $21 billion to Boeing.

The issues with govt. contracts is over-billing and no-bid contracts. But it’s probably cheaper that the government use contractors than build the planes themselves. But it’s worth noting that Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security division, which are govt. contracts, has slightly lower profit margins (9.5%) than the commercial contracts (10%). We would expect higher margins if there was over-billing.

Maybe it can be defended by invoking a consequentialist argument that enough economic value in the long-run is created by not having Carrier outsource the jobs, that taxpayer subsidies are justified – although that seems like a stretch.

A third, perhaps a libertarian philosophical one, is why the government exists in the first place, that it needs to buy these planes and the pubic has to acquiesce to it. Then the question is, is a centralized government necessary, and if so, how should tax payer dollars be allocated, and how much.

Basic Income Alternatives

It’s not that Medium.com writers are dumb or uneducated, but rather that many of them have no idea (like the post about Charles Darwin a few days ago) what they are talking about. The large web 2.0 font and portrait avatars lend a pretense of credibility, when the content itself is often poorly conceived and arguments unsubstantiated. MBAs just out of college who write on Medium are full of idealism but lacking in common sense or are unable to do even the most basic of research to try to substantiate their arguments or to anticipate obvious counterarguments.

Universal Basic Income Will Accelerate Innovation by Reducing Our Fear of Failure

After a huge rambling preamble about risk taking, evolution, and the decline of entrepreneurship, here is the crux of the author’s argument:

But the effects of basic income don’t stop with a reduction of risk. Basic income is also basic capital. It enables more people to actually afford to create a new product or service instead of just think about it, and even better, it enables people to be the consumers who purchase those new products and services, and in so doing decide what succeeds and what fails through an even more widely distributed and further decentralized free market system.

Such market effects have even been observed in universal basic income experiments in Namibia and India where local markets flourished thanks to a tripling of entrepreneurs and the enabling of everyone to be a consumer with a minimum amount of buying power.

There are obvious problems:

1. Although a basic income may create an incentive for entrepreneurship, it may also create an incentive for people to not work or to work less, thus negating any gains from the former.

2. The resulting inflation from the basic income will erode its purchasing power and cause all sorts of economic problems. A $10,000 annual basic income for 200 million Americans will cost $2 trillion, which is about the same as the total cost of the Iraq War, except imagine the $2 trillion compressed to just a single year, repeated indefinitely, instead of spread out over 14 years.

3. If the goal is to increase entrepreneurship, a basic income is the wrong solution, mainly because a $10,000 income is hardly sufficient to cover the costs of starting a business, unless, I suppose, your business is coding a simple app or something very minimalist. Just the advertising budget alone would be insufficient. It’s obvious the author didn’t think this through.

Here are some examples of how expensive it can be to start a business:

The author mentions Namibia and India as success stories, but a few thousand dollars goes much further in those countries than in America, that’s for sure.

Unlike free market purists, I am not totally opposed to intervention, but it should not be done out of altruism or indiscriminately, but to maximize economic value, an example being the funding of Tesla, as I describe here. Just as corporate welfare is better than regular welfare, a high-IQ basic income is better than a basic income for everyone. Rather than haphazardly giving everyone money, which is what proponents of a UBI advocate, let’s allocate it only to those who have the greatest biological potential to generate a positive ROI from it. Here are some ideas:

1. A high-IQ basic income (a government-funded equivalent of ‘Mensa’ that pays its members)

2. Profit sharing loans for high-IQ businesses and founders (these loans would not be fiscally profitable, but the economic value produced by the created businesses would make it worthwhile in the long-run)

3. A federal version of the MacArthur Fellows Program , which is a lump sum that pays more the the high-IQ basic income, for truly exceptional individuals and would have more recipients than the current MacArthur Fellows Program.

4. Student loan forgiveness for STEM majors, or income sharing loans (where the payment is deducted from future wages above a certain after-tax income threshold)

5. Generous government incentives for high-IQ couples to marry and procreate, creating a eugenic effect, versus the dysgenic system we have now that gives incentives for the less intelligent to have children and creating a feedback loop of welfare dependence. Also, financial incentives for the less intelligent to not have children, with possible mandatory birth control for low-scorers.

The odds this stuff will happen are about zero, which are the same odds of a basic income ever happening in America, but assuming deficits don’t matter and we want to maximize potential ROI (and we’re only talking hypotheticals here), this is how it should be done.

Corporatism with Nationalism

The Carrier deal shows a big problem with Trump’s approach to the presidency

As noted by Vox, there are several problems:

It doesn’t save many jobs relative to the total that may be lost due to outsourcing.

Because the president is directly intervening, it has elements of crony capitalism.

It requires large taxpayer-funded incentives to make it work, costing more than would have been saved by allowing the jobs to go Mexico.

The biggest criticism is it creates a perverse incentive for companies to threaten to outsource jobs and then, upon working with Trump, collect large tax-payer funded benefits to only outsource some of them. A company may threaten to move 4,000 jobs when only planning to move 2,000 and then work out a deal to only move the 2,000 in exchange for a large tax benefit. This is a ‘bug’ that probably needs fixing…or maybe that was the intent all along. You never know with these things.

The larger issue, though, is that governing through a series of deals creates serious perverse incentives. If Trump starts giving corporate welfare to companies that promise not to move jobs to Mexico, we’ll see a flood of companies threatening to move to Mexico in hopes of getting a handout. Taxpayers would wind up paying to save a lot of jobs that weren’t actually in danger in the first place.

The Vox article says Trump has no interest in policy, but he does: corporatism with nationalism. The biggest irony here is that Trump is making everyone guess, throwing everyone for a loop, when the media during the campaign just assumed he was a simpleton. Trump is taking advantage of America’s reserve currency status and low bond yields to pretty much inflate everything. Corporatism is not new, but when you add nationalism to it, it tends to create inflation since it’s considered Pareto Inefficient in the short-run, producing a deadweight loss. Technically, in the long-run, it can work if the allocation proves to be more optimal than would have otherwise occurred in a free market. An example is the funding of Tesla, in which the government’s $465 million dollar loan helped create a company presently worth $40 billion, and Tesla has long since paid-off the loan. Nor surprisingly, the sore loser left is a vocal critic of Tesla, attacking one of America’s great entrepreneurial success stories at every opportunity…the left wants government spending not for high-ROI endeavors like Tesla – but rather for low-IQ stuff that creates negative ROI…stuff like like social security (which is mathematically doomed to insolvency), disability (paying people who produce no economic value), dept. of education (more spending for flat test scores), and food stamps (again, paying for parasitism). I call it reverse Darwinism.

Although Warren Buffet criticized Trump during the campaign, he has come around upon seeing his Berkshire Hathaway holdings surge in the weeks following the election.

Trump’s Foreign Policy Milestone

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A few weeks before the 2016 US presidential election, I made two predictions: Trump becoming president would not hurt the US economy and stock market much, contrary to the research ‘reports’ disseminated by the liberal media that predicted a major and immediate recession and possible bear market as a consequence of a Trump victory. I was right.

Second, in my Trump as Nixon article, contrary to the liberal media that warned Trump would hurt foreign relations and diplomatic ties, I predicted that Trump would actually strengthen ties, because foreign leaders actually respect Trump and the masculinity and authority he exudes, whereas they perceive Obama to be an effete pushover, and rightfully so. With the exception of Merkel, who is a bigger leftist than even Obama, any reciprocity between Obama and foreign leaders is staged – the respect isn’t mutual. Obama has to always initiate the dialogue and outreach, not receive it. In the Nioxn article I predicted Trump would not only be more respected than Obama but also open new trade deals and alliances, similar to how Nixon, a republican, was able to break trade barriers with the Communist Party of China.

So far, my second prediction is also coming true, although it’s still early. Trump’s Mexico and China bashing during the campaign was mostly empty threats, like trash talk or a staged wrestling match, and leaders from both sides – after the inauguration and the hype cools down – will get to business working on deals. Contrary to the liberal media, the leadership of China actually supports Trump, and Trump supports China. This is why some pundits like Ann Coulter, perceiving softness on Trump’s part, are already accusing Trump of defecting on his campaign promises. [1]

For example, despite the anti-China rhetoric during the campaign, president Xi Jinping immediately called Trump to congratulate him on his win: Despite fiery campaign rhetoric, Trump reports cordial call with China’s Xi:

“During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another, and President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward,” Trump’s transition team said in a statement.

Notably, Xi initiated the exchange whereas in 2008 Obama had to make the call.

Speaking of Nixon, in another diplomatic milestone, the president of Taiwan called Trump to wish him congratulations, breaking decades of silence between leadership of the two countries.

Trump’s transition team said Friday that the President-elect had chatted with Tsai, who passed along her congratulations.

“During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties (existing) between Taiwan and the United States. President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”

The chat marks the first publicly reported call between a US President or President-elect and the leader of Taiwan since Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979, said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Again, Trump received the call instead of initiating it. The sensationalist liberal media, not surprisingly, is calling it a foreign policy crisis. Scott Adams is right that this is nothing to worry about. They are trying to deprive Trump of everything Obama cannot take credit for.

Nigel Farage and Putin support Trump, as many already know.

And recently, Trump offered outreach to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. So much for Trump being a ‘racist’. Liberal media wrong again.

[1] Although some politicians are better than others, what has to be understood is that politics is a game. Campaign promises are not binding legal agreements. And therein lies the difference between the reactionary and the activist – the reactionary knows this, but the activist still clings to the idealism of the ‘democratic political process’ as a means of affecting meaningful change – that if only the ‘right guy’ is elected, everything will be fixed. The activist doesn’t realize that democracy and politics, in and of itself, is the problem, not the the solution. The activist goes on the media circuit and sucks-up in the hope of gaining access to ‘the Beltway’.

NRx: What it is and Isn’t

There has been a lot of downtime for the past 24 hours…sorry for inconvenience

On developing political theory and organisations, or how to get shot in the head and chucked in a canal like Rosa Luxemberg

It’s evident RF believes Nick land is inimical to NRx, probably as part of the long-standing schism between techno-commercialism and traditionalism (or in broader philosophical terms, materialism vs. idealism), as I have discussed in the past here.

But RF’s anger possibly stems from a misunderstanding of what NRx (and its Social Mater and Hestia subsidiaries) is and isn’t.

Both fascists and communists had very clear organisations through which intellectual developments were veted, checked against theory and kept within a clear party line. They thus had organisation and were able to develop coherent (if crazy due to inhereted liberal theory) theory. Neoreaction was conceived as a laissez faire crab bucket where everything and everyone could throw in their own opinions and spontaneous order was

RH wants NRx to be a political movement – something with a ‘common cause’ that everyone rallies behind, with a formal top-down power structure and delineated set of instructions that everyone adheres to. NRx was never conceived to be a ’cause’, a political movement, or a political party but rather as a ‘think tank’ of sorts whereby contributors form a constellation united by ‘shared beliefs’. Fascism and communism are not political parties but rather are ideologies. The Frankfurt School is an example of decentralized communism. Each node represents different perspective, under the constellation of NRx. Spandrel’s perspective is different than Jim’s but are both reactionary writers.

As a think tank, the goal is to influence/nudge policy and cultural sentiment, both by providing intellectual food for thought and through cultural subversion, not by direct political activism and politics. Good ideas can be promoted and expounded up; less-right ideas can discarded, rebutted, or ignored. If someone is really off the mark, they can be excommunicated, but that is pretty much all that can be done within reason. A libertarian think tank, for example, may publish a research report advocating lower taxes, in the hope policy makers will implement it upon seeing the merits of the report. Supply-side economics was conceived in the 70′s by the Chicago School and Neo-Classical School as an alternative to Keynesianism, and then later implemented by Reagan. Or Alan Greenspan, arguably during his long tenure the most powerful policy maker alive second only to the President, was influenced by the philosophical writings of Ayn Rand.

An example of subversion is the use of ‘memetic warfare’ on sites like 4chan, which upon being picked up by the media may have help foster a generation of ‘right wing’ voters, and may have even played a major role in getting Trump elected.

But also, part of the problem and a source of frustration may be the the election of Trump, which may have made NRx too chummy with pro-Trump, pro-democracy political activists.

I discuss this in more detail in Alt Right & NRx: End Game and Action Plans

In this respect, NRx acts a ‘think tank’, influencing policy makers without having to engage in actual politics. The ‘Frankfurt School’, which gave birth to Cultural Marxism, was successfully able to subvert American culture and politics even though hardly anyone knows what the ‘Frankfurt School’ is, but its propaganda infiltrated and permeated virtually all facets of post-WW2 American culture and society, for the worse. Optimistically, NRx could act a right-wing version of this, to counteract the forces of decay from left.

Alt-Right War of Words

Not two weeks after Trump’s historic victory, which should have emboldened the alt-right, does pettiness, virtue signaling, and ego threaten to tear it apart.

It all began with some Roman salutes at an NPI conference, which got picked up by major media outlets like Huffington Post and The Atlantic.

And then began the in-fighting. Info Wars’ Paul Joseph Watson put out a widely-watched video Is The Alt-Right Dead distancing himself and Info Wars from Spencer and the alt-right, and a few others followed suit.

So now the alt-right is divided between Spencer and the ‘moderates’. Judging by comments on PJW’s YouTube video, the majority (probably 70%) side with Spencer, seeing Info War’s about-face as a sign of perfidy, and rightfully so. It would seem Info Wars was only in it for the money, riding the alt-right momentum for as long as they could profit from it and then exiting after it became ‘too extreme’ as to render further support ‘bad for bushiness’. Despite supporting Spencer, the majority also agree Nazi-larping should be avoided. The alt-Right is not Neo-Nazism, never was, nor should aspire to be. The alt-right is more about promoting nationalism and white identity, as well as raising awareness about important issues (such as immigration), than white supremacy. Others define the alt-right as any version of ‘the right’ that isn’t mainstream.

But it really doesn’t matter anyway…all of this will blow over in a few weeks. All of these sites cater to different niches, with different audiences and ideologies. Alex Jones and Info Wars will never be like Raddix, which will never be like Vox Day or Danger and Play, and so on. It’s unrealistic to expect such a diverse collection of people to agree on everything.

And however you define it, the alt-right is here to stay.

Another problem may be the tendency to ‘nitpick’ and ‘concern’ among the ‘right’, whereas on the ‘left’ there is more group-think. This is probably symptomatic of the greater intelligence, independent-mindedness, and critical thinking ability of the right compared to the conformist, low-information left. If you read comments on alt-right blogs, they are imbued with history and philosophy, as well as criticism and dissent, but left-wing comments tend to not be arguments but rather are incantations or affirmative chants such as ‘spread the wealth’, and so on [1]. Your typical berntard is way more conformist than the average alt-righter. But sometimes it can get out of hand, as I poke fun at in the post I can tolerate anything except factual inaccuracies.

Although this may be changing, slightly, as I explain in The rise of ‘concern liberalism’ and the decline of ‘identity liberalism, although thoughtful liberals on Reddit are NOT indicative of all liberals, who tend to be low-information.

Was Charles Darwin Slow-Witted?

This story went viral: The Darwinian Guide to Overachieving your IQ

Darwin, however, was not a man of pure intellect. He was not Issac Newton, or Richard Feynman, or Albert Einstein — breezing through complex mathematical physics at a young age.

Darwin and the aforementioned names were in totally different fields, Darwin being biology/anthropology and the others in physics. Whether anthropology can be considered less intellectually ‘rigorous’ than physics is subjective, because at the time both fields were quite speculative (more so than they are now). Also, it’s not like Darwin tried physics as a young adult, realized he wasn’t smart enough, and then switched to biology. Although the vast majority of physicists and mathematician have high IQs, not all high-IQ people are physicists or mathematicians. This is below logic 101…it’s just common sense. The author just pulls his reasoning out of his butt, that the intellectual worth of individual is how they measure to Einstein and Newton, disregarding intellectual accomplishments in fields as diverse as philosophy, architecture, classical composition, art, and literature, as well as other sciences and scientists.

Charlie Munger, the billionaire business partner to Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway, thinks Darwin would have been in the middle of the class. He had notoriously bad health and really only worked a few hours a day in the many years leading up to the Origin of Species.

What does his health have do with IQ? Ramanujan, one of the most brilliant mathematicians who ever lived, had poor health.

Yet Darwin’s “thinking work” outclassed almost everyone, even those who started with a higher IQ.

Darwin was born in 1809, well before IQ tests were invented and widely administered. Same for Newton and Einstein. The only recorded IQ is for Feynman, which was supposedly only 125, although this may be apocryphal. Again, you cannot hold them to the same intellectual ‘yardstick’, as they were different scientists in different fields, living in different times. Even nowadays it’s hard to find IQ records for people – it’s not like people just go around boasting about their IQ. But, again, there are surprisingly many high-IQ people who are not physicists, and many professions that may seem ‘unintelligent’ are actually full of geniuses…look at all those Hollywood ‘high IQ’ lists…it’s almost as if having a high IQ is a prerequisite to being in the entertainment industry.

Even without IQ tests, because of the standardized and factory-style of post-WW1 education (Prussian education system), one can estimate someone’s ‘general intelligence’ by the age they graduate high school and or finish college. The usual age range is 17-18 for the former and 21-22 for the latter. Early graduation may suggest superior intelligence. SAT scores are more accurate, but like IQ scores, can be hard to obtain. High school GPA however is useless due to grade inflation.

But what was Darwin’s IQ? It’s hard to know. Back in the 19th century, such standardization didn’t exist. Environmental factors tended to play a bigger role than they do now because, during the Victorian Era, wealthy parents had access to tutors, and poorer families had far fewer opportunities, whereas nowadays education is available to all socioeconomic levels (although quality may vary).

There is evidence Einstein may have been a child prodigy, and Feynman mastered advanced math at a young ago, too. Assuming math ability is a perfect proxy for IQ (ignoring verbal and all other aspects of intelligence), then, yes, it’s reasonable to assume Darwin was less intelligent than Einstein, Newton, or Feynman. But it doesn’t matter, because we’re comparing different fields of study. It would only matter if someone with a low IQ relative to his or her peers in the same field of study was able to excel, because then it would be worthwhile to learn how this less intelligent person was able to compensate, controlling for all other variables, but otherwise it’s not a valid comparison.

1. Darwin did not think he had a quick intellect or an ability to follow long, complex, or mathematical reasoning. Darwin’s life also proves how little that trait matters if you’re aware of it and counter-weight it with other methods. Primarily, that meant developing extreme objectivity, extreme diligence, and taking time to think through his ideas. He was very intellectually humble and open to being wrong.

That doesn’t mean he didn’t have the ability to grasp complicated stuff. The author is equating humbleness with being less intelligent, when the evidence suggests smarter, more competent people tend to be more humble about their abilities (Dunning-Kruger effect).