No Recession In Technology As Apple Reports Blowout Earnigns

With over 74 million iphones sold in a single quarter, Apple reports it’s biggest earnings ever, proving once and for all that there is no recession or crisis in large cap technology.

The people who are buying iPhones, uploading pictures to Facebook, tweeting, and take selfies with Snapchat are not only creating economic value, but they don’t care about Greece. They don’t care about soft Caterpillar earnings or about weak durable goods numbers. They don’t care too much about the national debt, about QE creating artificial asset bubbles, or about wealth inequality being too high. Economically, in the grand scheme, those things aren’t important, despite all the attention the left devotes to those subjects. The whole web 2.0/Silicon Valley technology space is pretty much impervious to everything. As the homebuilding and energy markets are mired in a perpetual funk, STEM is not only booming, but taking over the world. Now more than ever, Silicon Valley is the center of the universe, followed by the financial capital of the world, Manhattan. And it’s got much further to go – stocks will keep going up and web 2.0 valuations will keep rising – and as hard as the left tries to dig in their feet, technological innovation is unstoppable, culminating in transhumanism, the singularity, a unified theory of everything, and the transition to a type 1 civilization. The future of America and the world isn’t of war and despair, but unending prosperity – if only for a few.

Carl Jung and the Post-2008 Era

From La Times Why we need to address population growth’s effects on global warming

Few of them can forget the backlash after then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in 2009 that it was strange to talk about climate change without mentioning population and family planning. Critics immediately suggested that she was calling for eugenics, thus shutting down the conversation and pushing the issue back into the shadows.

That echoes how Larry Summers, a liberal, also got into hot water by the welfare left for suggesting that biology, not white male privilege, is the cause of a social problem (lack of women in STEM). Same for Steven Levitt, who was censured by the left for positing a link between abortion (a biological solution) and the reduction of crime (a social problem).

It seems like INTP & INTJ people are wired for success in the super-competitive post-2008 economy. In our new era of Social Darwinism 2.0 where coding is the new literacy, they, the INTP & INTJ people, have a biological advantage in an economy and society that increasingly rewards creativity, authenticity, introspectiveness, wealth, financial independence and analytical skill versus the obsolete, old-economy liberal ideal of collectivism, social skills, and equality.

INTP & INTJ people, being that they tend to be smarter than everyone else, are more likely to make a lot of money and therefore own stocks and expensive real estate, neither of which is a bubble, sorry libs.

On the other hand, Myers-Briggs personality types have a lot of overlap and some of these qualities are hard to quantify. That’s why IQ is a much more accurate/objective measure of potential individual success than personality tests.

Too Much Whining on the Blogs About the GOP ‘Establishment’

Don’t Count Out the Anti-Establishment Republicans

Bush and Romney are marquee names in U.S. politics and the Republicans haven’t nominated an anti-establishment candidate since Barry Goldwater more than a half century ago.

Yet there is an equally interesting, and perhaps as important, struggle for the movement-conservative or non-establishment crown. There is a sizable segment of Republican voters who believe it’s time to break that 50-year run.

There’s no shortage of liberal whining about how the GOP always nominates ‘establishment candidates’, notable examples being Romney, McCain, or George W. Bush. But contrary to popular leftist myth, there is no secret ‘cabal’ that convenes before a pyre to anoint the chosen one; we do – though the nomination process. No candidate was suppressed, either. Ron Paul got to debate along with Mr. Moneybags Mitt Romney, and everyone got to answer questions. Although Romney did get more face time during the New Hampshire debate, how much of an impact this made on the nomination process is hard to ascertain. It could be because Romney gave longer answers and interceded more often.

The nomination process for GOP candidates does a good job of weeding out the candidates that aren’t viable and or are unqualified, leaving only the ‘establishment’ candidates. There is nothing wrong with this; why do we want the inept in the world’s most important position of power? As we said before, most of the 2012 candidates were awful, and it was a miracle many of them got as far as they did. For example:

Herman Cain: No policy experience whatsoever and entirely reliant on advisers to formulate his economic and foreign policy. Palin in 2008, to her credit, showed initiative but Herman Cain seemed lackadaisical, and then there was the whole sex scandal that put the nail in the coffin.

Santorum: Too religious. The most successful GOP candidates aren’t too obsequious to the religious right. Voters care more about policy than religion. unless you’re the anti-Christ, being thr GOP front-runner pretty much guarantees the religious right voting bloc; there’s no need to waste too much time and money on them.

Newt Gingrich: Doomed by baggage, prevaricating on Fannie and Freddie consulting fees, weak debate performance.

Rick Perry: Naive on important issues, suffered a catastrophic brain freeze on a nationally televised debate, threatened a public official (Bernanke) with violence.

Michele Bachmann: Too religious, not enough policy experience, like Ron Paul seemed to subscribe to weird conspiracy theories, weak performance during debates.

Ron Paul: Endorses economic policy that would plunge the economy into a recession, destroying trillions of dollars of wealth. Endorses foreign policy that emboldens and appeases our enemies.

So what does that leave us with? Establishment candidates. If the establishment is as patently awful as the whiners on the blogs insist it is, voters would have given a non-establishment candidate enough delegates to win the nomination, but they didn’t.

But what about Obama? He was an ‘establishment’ candidate, and he is incompetent. He’s an outlier, a product of the convergence of extreme political and economic events of the likes never seen before. You had Bush leaving office with the lowest outgoing approval rating of any president in Gallup’s polling history, combined with the worst financial problem since 1929, combined with Obama being the most charismatic democratic candidate ever. Brainwashing millions of youth didn’t hurt, as well as the liberal media’s bias against the more qualified Hillary, and the media over-hyping the overblown financial problem to get Obama in office. Hillary did get the hard-working white vote, but that wasn’t enough to compensate for Obama getting the ignorant, low-information youth vote and the ‘white guilt’ vote. Fast forward to 2016, the strategy that worked so well for Obama in 2008 won’t work again, especially given the disillusionment many young people feel with Obama (and the democrats in general), the fact that Obama cannot run again, and that there is no financial crisis to blame republicans for. Therefore, to the disappointment of the far-left, Hillary, another establishment candidate, will get the nomination. And as bad as Hillary is, she can’t possibly be worse than Obama.

The Daily View: QE vs. Fiscal Stimulus, The Rise of the Economists, America’s New Aristocracy, SAT

We’re living in crazy, weird, more unequal times. Theoretical physics, IQ, coding, finance and economics is more important than ever. The left said Instagram was a bubble when Facebook acquired it in 2013 for $1 billion; now Instagram is worth $30 billion. But web 2.0 valuations, the stock market, and Silicon Valley real estate are not in a bubble and have much more upside.

The fact stocks surge on QE announcements should lend some hint as to the efficacy of QE versus ineffective Keynesianism. QE is helping, even if we cannot exactly quantify how. Fed policy works, in contrast to fiscal policy (except tax cuts), because it directly (in contrast to fiscal stimulus, that is indirect) stops the deflation of asset prices. A major compliant is that QE contributes to wealth inequality because most people don’t have boatloads of stock or expensive real estate. If some people get left behind in the recovery, tough luck. Sometimes in a recovery not everyone participates at once, or even at all. That’s why you need to major in STEM or at least learn marketable skills. The Obama stimulus didn’t work because it was only artificial; instead, you have to create economic environments that are conducive to the long-term creation of wealth and the creation of jobs. Stimulus and other gimmicks don’t work. Businesses can’t make long-term capital investments when they know that within a year the stimulus spigot will be turned off. And because the stimulus projects themselves are not appropriated by market forces but by politics, they are inefficient.

The Rise of the Economists

The rise of economics coincides with the rise of HBD, as part of a broader post-2008 American Intellectual Renaissance. Compared to sociologists, psychologists, historians and anthropologists, economists won the debate because economists (except for far-left ones) use cold hard facts, logic and reason to construct policy that helps the economy, and ultimately all the individuals that comprise it (although there are some sociologists, psychologists, historians and anthropologists who don’t fit into the leftist mold). The social sciences, with the exception of economics, tend to have a decidedly liberal bias, are wishy-washy (subjective) and advocate haphazard policy that, if implemented, would cause society to regress, not advance. Economists (except the far-left ones) know that wealth inequality is a byproduct of an economy that rewards talent and merit and, therefore, while wealth inequality is possibly undesirable, trying to force more equality and egalitarianism would hurt the economy and lower living standards for everyone. As one of the squares of the quadrantsphere, many economists are at least receptive to the un-PC idea that maybe IQ is correlated with socioeconomic success (biological determinism) or that perhaps we can abort our crime and entitlement spending problem. Economists give empirical, data-driven answers to the stubborn problems facing society, formulate policy – while unpopular with large portions of the population – that is necessary (bank bailouts, Reaganomics), and overall improve our understanding of the world and the rational actors that participate in it.

From the Economist: America’s new aristocracy – As the importance of intellectual capital grows, privilege has become increasingly heritable

Heredity of intelligence doesn’t preclude the possibility of poor families having smart children and those children succeeding, but assortative mating means that high IQ tends to be clustered among certain families. The economist article isn’t an attack on the poor, it’s simply describing how biology, especially as it pertains to the heredibility of IQ, seems to have an inextricable role in American society, especially in the post-2008 hyper-competitive winner-take-all economy.

To help the gifted poor escape poverty, the best standardized test would one that measures academic readiness, but where preparation has a minimal impact on scores. Analogies satisfy both, being both a predictor of learnedness and are hard to ‘game’. There are thousands of words to choose from and each word has a specific meaning unlike math concepts, which tend to be fungible and interchangeable, of which there are fewer total math concepts to learn than number of words to memorize.

In the purist of equality over the meritocracy, the left is trying to make the SAT less like an IQ test and more like a knowledge assessment test, for example by removing the notoriously hard analogies section, which benefits those who have the most money for tutors and special classes. The analogies section, unlike the math section, it harder to study for because the pool of words to choose from is seemingly limitless, and the only way one can score exceptionally well is to do a lot of extracurricular reading over many years; but not only read a lot, but be smart enough to read difficult books and infer and retain the definitions of the more rarefied words as they arise. Not surprisingly, vocabulary, not math, has the the highest correlation with IQ “of any individual measure of intelligence.”

The Left Wants Housing to Be a Bubble

Economic and demographic factors are blame for the chronic sluggishness of Europe and Japan. America has the huge baby boomer and millennial population whereas Japan has shrinking population and poor demographics. Americans consume more. American monetary policy more proactive and aggressive. America has much less regulation regarding how business can fire employees, resulting in a more dynamic business environment. It’s cheaper and easier to start a business in America. America has lower income taxes. America pioneered QE and because of its success, now everyone is copying us. This is more evidence of American exceptionalism and having the best and the brightest policy makers. Smart people save the world, again.

From BloombergView: Housing Weak Even With Government Programs and Big Bank Interest

Housing bashers, like college bashers, are so pathetic. Yeah, I love making the landlord rich with nosebleed prices, month after month to no end. Homes in many neighborhoods are up 300% or more in the past 15-20 years, debunking the left’s belief that housing is a always poor investment.

Just like the stock market being a bubble, the left also wants to believe housing is a bubble because they want the rich, smart, successful people who own expensive homes to lose money. Real estate is all about location. Housing is weak in the crappy areas that were overbuilt in the 90′s and 2000′s, while housing is booming in the expensive, scarce areas that have economic activity such as the Bay Area, Washington DC, Long Beach, Orange County, Aspen, Seattle, Manhattan, etc. We can’t let facts and counterexamples get in the way of the liberal ‘we are doomed/everything sucks because of rich people’ narrative. According to the left’s logic, if housing is weak in some crappy, overbuilt area, it must be weak for the entire country. Just like, according to the left, the entire economy must be weak and it’s rich people’s fault if some people cannot find jobs.

Home prices in 94705 (Berkeley) for example keep going up despite the insistence by the left that the housing market is weak:

From the article:

Don’t blame the Chinese, who are showing an abundance of interest. Their share of foreign purchases leaped to 16 percent in the year ending March 2014, from 5 percent in 2007. They paid a median price of $523,148, higher than any other nationality and more than double the $199,575 median price of all houses sold.

The value of home sales to all foreigners rose 35 percent last year to $92 billion, up more than 50 percent since 2007 and accounting for 7 percent of all existing home sales. Foreigners view U.S. homes as safe investments and U.S. schools as good places to teach their children English.

This is why the left wishes China’s economy were a bubble, and is why the libs keep predicting China’s doom, to no avail. Just like failed liberal predictions of a college bubble/crisis, a Google search yields thousands of failed leftist predictions of a China crisis/crash landing, going as far back as 2004. The left wants China to be a failed state like Zimbabwe. The left resents how China’s millionaires and billionaires aren’t buying into the leftist ‘we are doomed/America is in decline’ screeds and how the Chinese, in buying up American real estate and treasuries, have faith in American exceptionalism. The wealthy Chinese, unlike the libs who comment on the NYT, don’t subscribe to the left’s ‘let’s spread the wealth’ or ‘IQ is not important’ message, and this makes the left livid.

The Great College Debate

American Exceptionalism: The US Dollar Still Flying:

We have some degree of equality under the rule of law, but that’s as far as it goes and should go. As another blow to equality ,for things such as socioeconomic status, biological determinism means some people will be better than others. The left cannot come to terms with this reality, so they create bogus narratives about how IQ is not important or they try to soak the successful with wealth redistribution. The left seeks equality of outcomes, even if that makes everyone worse off, not equality of opportunity. We live in a society that increasingly rewards wealth and status for those in the top 5% or so of intelligence, with not that much for everyone else.

From Taki Magazine: The Tyranny of the Bookish

This article is really going viral compared to Derb’s other ones. Education is always a hot button issue, as the comment volume on the NYT on such matters would suggest. Pretty much everyone in American has attended school and can lend their own experiences or their children’s experiences to the discussion, and there’s no shortage of opinions from lay people and experts alike, unlike, say, topics like quantum physics or philosophy that require more requisite knowledge before one can lend their opinion.

Not being bookish is fine if you enjoy working a crappy job the rest of your life or you have the connection to join a guild. The evidence is clear: those who read more books (which I guess could include technical books) tend to make more money and without the need for as many connections. In Britain (and the rest of the world) during the years Derb’s youth there was an abundance of good-paying factory jobs that didn’t require much book learning; nowadays, not so much. In the post-2008 economy, cognitive capital translates into financial capital, and this leftist yearning for an earlier era when this wasn’t so won’t change reality. Republicans understand this, it’s the left, in their lack of understanding of economics, who wants to bring back the obsolete, overpaid factory jobs.

Regarding the recent spate of college bashing, the diploma helps get your foot in the door. It’s not a measure of the totality of your knowledge or a guarantee of success; it’s just an expensive piece of paper that signifies you are competent enough to complete college, the possession of which improves your odds of at least entering the middle class. People are getting worked up about this, like on the NYT and Huffington Post you see a similar us (the proletariat) vs. them (the ivy tower elite) trend trend of liberals saying that college grads lack street smarts, that college is a scam, or that college is useless. If you major in good-paying stuff like STEM and don’t take on too much debt, it’s a good deal. The average debt per student is around $20-30k, or about the same as a new car – except the college degree doesn’t lose 1/2 its value after your drive it off the lot.

The issue of expensive tuition and credentialism can be ameliorated to some degree by ending disparate impact lawsuits and expanding the use cognitive tests to replace costly diplomas, but of course this will run into much opposition from the left, who insist that such tests are racist because the wrong people score well.

The Daily View: IQ and Political Affiliation, Small Business, Obama, Healthcare, Women in STEM

Are conservatives smarter than liberals?

If low IQs are linked to poverty and, as shown below, poorer people vote liberal, one can surmise that liberalism is more highly represented among those with low IQs than conservatism. Look at Communism, a collection far-left ideologies specifically designed to appeal to poor, uneducated people.

Decline in small business formation not a big deal

According to the left, one reason why the economy is weak is becase the rate of new business formation is falling.

In a landmark 2014 paper, economists Ryan Decker, John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin and Javier Miranda showed that there has been a serious decline in business dynamism in the U.S. Simply put, fewer and fewer Americans are starting new businesses.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 60-90% of small business fail within the first five years, and the 2008 financial problem was exacerbated by small business failures and easy credit (CIT bankruptcy). Many people are wising up to the fact they can make more money with much less effort with stocks, web 2.0, and real estate than taking a gamble on an endeavor that has such a high failure rate.

That’s the way you get rich in the post-2008 economy…though apps, social networking…stuff like that. Or invest in already-successful, viral start-ups like Uber, Snapchat, Tinder, etc. Why anyone would go the brick and mortar route is beyond me. I would rather invest $100k in successful web 2.0 companies (like the ones I listed) and double my money in 6 months than start a crappy regular business which has a 50% chance within five years of totally failing and taking all my money with it. Like the Dire Straits song Money for Nothing, except it’s apps and web 2.0 instead of music.

Obama recovery? Not so fast.

Obama presiding over the recovery doesn’t mean he engendered it. Thank the fed and the consumer for that. Thank STEM and web 2.0. Thank high-IQ people. Thank free market capitalism. Thank the consumer for spending. Thank bondholders for having faith in America, even though the left wants America to fail. Thank profits & earnings.

Obama (or as some call big ears, purple lips, empty suit, etc) is an effete, uxorious wealth spreader. All he can do is take the wealth from people like me and give it to those who did nothing to earn it. I hate to say it but Hillary, yes Hillary, was right about Obama in 2008…about his inexperience, his subservience, being a pushover, being soft on terror, his connections to radical anti-Americans, his tendency to irk our allies and inability to connect with working, hard-working white Americans. He tried to take credit for the killing of Bin Laten, despite the fact the Bush administration did all the work. The biggest losers after Obama leaves office will whichever company is supplying Obama with his golf equipment and Bed Bath and Beyond (for supplying Michelle’s wardrobe). The biggest winners will be America and the rest of the world (except, perhaps, our enemies).

The GOP should return to the pro-growth policies that worked for Reagan and Bush: lower taxes, less regulation, strong defense, no class warfare, and to quit whining about the debt (no more debt ceiling standoffs). Repeal and replace Obamacare with something that requires insurance (or some ability to pay) or you get no healthcare, which would require abridging or voiding the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 55% of U.S. emergency care now goes uncompensated.[12] When medical bills go unpaid, health care providers must either shift the costs onto those who can pay or go uncompensated. In the first decade of EMTALA, such cost-shifting amounted to a hidden tax levied by providers.[13] For example, it has been estimated that this cost shifting amounted to $455 per individual or $1,186 per family in California each year.[13]

However, because of the recent influence of managed care and other cost control initiatives by insurance companies, hospitals are less able to shift costs, and end up writing off more in uncompensated care. The amount of uncompensated care delivered by nonfederal community hospitals grew from $6.1 billion in 1983 to $40.7 billion in 2004, according to a 2004 report from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured,[12] but it is unclear what percentage of this was emergency care and therefore attributable to EMTALA.

Healthcare isn’t free, and many people who can afford insurance choose not to get it, expecting the tax payer to front the bill. Maybe we need some sort of eugenics program as a long-term solution to reduce healthcare spending or as they say,’An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ We’re spending too much money on costly ‘cures’ and not effort addressing the root of the problem. Wishful thinking, forcing cancellations on existing policy holders, and soaking the rich won’t fix our spiraling healthcare spending problem.

Women and STEM: an exercise in futility

Some say we can narrow the gender wage gap by encouraging more women to pursue STEM, but the problem is – as Larry Summers famously alluded to in a speech in 2005, generating much outrage from the left – the majority of women are simply not cognitively capable of succeeding in STEM, or any high-IQ profession.

Men dominate the far-right of the IQ bell curve.

For not only is the average man more intelligent than the average woman but also a clear and rather startling imbalance emerges between the sexes at the high levels of intelligence that the most demanding jobs require.

For instance, at the near-genius level (an IQ of 145), brilliant men outnumber brilliant women by 8 to one. That’s statistics, not sexism.

In almost 110 years of Nobel Prize history, only two women have ever won the Prize for physics, only four have won the Prize for chemistry and why no women at all have ever won the coveted Fields Medal for mathematics in eight decades of trying.

Cheer Up, Libs, Things Aren’t So Bad

To the left, America is always in decline – and that only more wealth redistribution from the coffers of the rich can pull us out of this imagined decline. From Braaaad DeLong, The American Economy Stumbles:

The American economy has done badly over the past generation or so. This is not to say other economies have done better: The American economy remains among the richest in the world. However, given the economic lead America had a generation ago, it really ought to still be well ahead of the North Atlantic pack, and it no longer is.

But it is. America is not just pulling ahead of the world, it’s running circles around it. I usually agree with brad on things like debunking the inflation doom and gloomers, free trade, and the efficacy of monetary policy, but he’s wrong here. Adjusted for inflation, the US economy has done better than all its peers since 2009. As Europe, Russia, Australia and South America and Teetered on either recession or hyperinflation due to falling oil prices and sluggish growth, in 2014, America, with its Goldilocks economy, is the superstar of the developed world. Look at the huge success of Facebook, Tesla, Uber other tech success stories. No shortage of innovation. Despite the whining from the left about America being in decline, US high-end real estate and most prestigious institutions of higher learning are still the envy of the world over and are inundated to no end with foreign applicants. It’s a great time to invest in America.

Regarding ‘bad schools’, remove the low IQ students and school performance shoots way up. If you compare American Koreans with Koreans in Korea, our Koreans score higher. But academic surveys lump everyone together. By ignoring the role biology plays in school performance, one may be mistaken to believe that our public schools are only churning out ignoramuses , when in fact, America has some some of the smartest and most talented students in the world; it’s just they they are mixed in with the dull ones, weighing down the average.

Yes, today Americans have remarkable access to incredibly cheap electronic toys. But those are a small part of expenditure, and the costs of securing the standard indicia of middle-class life–a home in a safe neighborhood with good schools and a short commute, college for the children, assurance that a major illness will not lead to bankruptcy, a secure and reasonably-sized pension–have all become more costly relative to incomes. This shift is astonishing: For 150 years before 1979 Americans had confidently expected that each generation would live roughly twice as well in a material sense as its predecessor, not find itself struggling against the current to stay in the same place.

Brad is also possibly alluding to bifurcated inflation, a topic this blog has covered extensively.

Entitlement spending is surging, indicating that while inflation adjusted prices may be going up, the government is fronting most of the the bills, not individuals. Hospitals, for example, cannot deny the latest, most advanced treatment to the uninsured, so that gets added to entitlement spending.

As the elite splinter form the rest of society, it doesn’t necessarily have to suck to be in the bottom 99%. Compared to generations ago, standards of living are much higher and your wages have more utility. Food expenditures fell from 18% of wages to only 10%:

In the 50′s, for example, you only had a couple channels on a blurry black and white TV, few choices at the black and white cinema, and a crackly radio with only a few stations to choose from. Now with Netflix you can theoretically watch any TV show or movie ever made, all at your command. Thanks to modern medicine, ff you get an infection there is a good likelihood you won’t die. Clean water, reliable electricity, food stores stocked with cheap, abundant food – all things that we take for granted that didn’t exist generations ago.

Maybe downward economic mobility is the new normal. We have to come to terms with the fact that biological determinism means millions of people are simply not smart enough to fully participate in the economic recovery and will have to wait their turn. They are falling between the cracks due to autonomous macroeconomic forces outside of anyone’s control, and no one can or should try pull them out.

Eliminative Materialism and Economic Misconceptions

It seems like we’re all becoming economists now. You’ve got Marc Andreessen, a technologist with no economics degrees, engaging in a credible debate with one of the greatest living economists, Larry Summers. Then there’s Peter Thiel, who received his B.A. in Philosophy from Stanford, pontificating about monopolies and the size of government. The 700-page tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century was a best-seller, a book that no one actually read in its entirety and was roundly debunked by leading economists, but at least it will have a productive future as a doorstop or paperweight.

It would seem that up until a decade or so ago, the only people who really cared about economics or had an opinion about it were economists. Now it’s everyone and everywhere. Pretty much every online discussion from subjects pertaining to things like debt, to student loans, to wages seems to bring out everyone’s inner economist, but like self-published ’5-star’ Amazon novels, some things are best kept to oneself (although Thiel and Andreessen are correct, they are in the minority).

From Wikipedia, Eliminative materialism (also called eliminativism) is a philosophy of mind that claims people’s common-sense understanding of the mind (or folk psychology) is false and that certain classes of mental states that most people believe in do not exist. Some eliminativists argue that no coherent neural basis will be found for many everyday psychological concepts such as belief or desire, since they are poorly defined. Rather, they argue that psychological concepts of behaviour and experience should be judged by how well they reduce to the biological level.

Eliminative materialism does seem valid in countering the recent plethora of dubious pop-social science research (Gladwell,Daniel Kahneman, Ariely, Taleb, etc) that denies individual cognitive exceptionalism – a denial characteristic of liberal egalitarianism and leveling in that no one better than anyone else, and if someone is better it’s because of an unfair environmental advantage, not genes. Compare that to Pinker, Murray, and Harris and the like.

It also applies to how most people think of economics. Not surprisingly, due to the recent popularization of macroeconomics there are a lot of misconceptions being propagated such as the belief that America’s debt is unsustainable or that wealth inequality is bad for the economy. Anyone who says America’s debt is a crisis waiting to happen probably doesn’t understand modern macroeconomic principles, is in denial, or is blinded by some ideology. The libs who whine about slow growth and the debt don’t realize that slow growth lowers interest rates, creating a flight to America’s reserve currency and therefore making the debt more manageable. Second, they don’t understands that the debt can also be inflated away with high economic growth. Third, America’s $15+ trillion debt balance will never actually come due at once; instead, it is simply rolled over in perpetuity and only a small interest fee is paid. Despite the debt being at record highs, thanks to low rates and the global flight to safety, relatively speaking, the US is paying record low interest on its debt, going as far back as the 1940′s:

Other libs blame military spending, unaware or in denial that entitlement spending is the real problem:

Growth in entitlement spending far outpaces defense:

The next big misconception is wealth inequality and how, according to the left, it’s supposed to be bad for the economy.

From Oxfam: Richest 1% Will Own More Than All The Rest By 2016

The combined wealth of the world’s richest 1 percent will overtake that of everyone else by next year given the current trend of rising inequality, warned relief and development organization Oxfam America today ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

As mentioned earlier, the wealthy become wealthy for the economic value they create both directly and, most importantly, indirectly. Democracy and capitalism are not necessarily mutuality inclusive, and America was never intended to be a direct democracy. For years, the left has predicted, to no avail, the rising wealth inequality would be bad for the economy, and yet all economic data such as consumer spending, profits & earnings, and exports keeps being better than ever. Countries that have less inequality (EU nations, Japan) have had worse economic performance than the US post-2009. This is discussed in further detail including debunking austerity, which left wrongly blames for Europe’s sluggish economic performance.

More on Biological Determinism and Useless Degrees

From the New York Times: Among the Disrupted

This passage stood out:

And even as technologism, which is not the same as technology, asserts itself over more and more precincts of human life, so too does scientism, which is not the same as science. The notion that the nonmaterial dimensions of life must be explained in terms of the material dimensions, and that nonscientific understandings must be translated into scientific understandings if they are to qualify as knowledge, is increasingly popular inside and outside the university, where the humanities are disparaged as soft and impractical and insufficiently new.

He is right about the theme, but wrong to be pessimistic about it or oppose this direction society is headed. Biological determinism means millions of people are simply not smart enough to participate in the strong economic recovery. That’s just the inescapable reality of the post-2008 era we find ourselves in. As part of the post-2008 HBD insurgence or what some call social Darwinism 2.0, lay people and academics alike are perhaps becoming more receptive to biological explanations for socioeconomic problems because nurture-based explanations have fallen short. The war on poverty has failed as entitlement spending keeps growing, and that’s because politicians are trying to fix a problem that is biological in nature with a non-biological based solutions. Now millions of inquisitive people are waking up from the stupor of political correctness and asking, ‘Why are we wasting all this taxpayer money on programs that yield no results?’

Any degree from Caltech, MIT, or the Ivy League or a degree in STEM, economics, finance, literature, history or philosophy is worthy of respect, but the rest are pretty much crap. People with worthless degrees are disparaged, and rightfully so. The humanities, like millennials, are not homogeneous; there is a hierarchy with worldly subjects like philosophy, history, and literature residing at the top and detritus like ‘child development’ at the bottom.

MBA majors, not exactly being paragons of intelligence and because they use jargon like ‘results oriented’, are also frequent targets of derision by the smartest generation, who value intelligence and authenticity, as epitomized by STEM (and finance and economics), highly. But because the post-2008 era also celebrates wealth, an MBA major who makes a lot of money does gain some respect. This presents some complications that could be addressed in a future article.