We’re still in the eye of the storm of the slowest news cycle ever, in agreement of earlier predictions that 2015, like 2014, will go down as yet another uneventful but prosperous year for America, web 2.0, Silicon Valley and the overall economy. There are the usual things going on – Greece, ISIS, Ukraine.. stuff like that – but it’s pretty predictable and slow moving. It’s not the kind of news that has you on the edge of your seat or glued to the TV. Still got a decent sized backlog of posts
As stated in the inro WHY GREY ENLIGHTENMENT?, I care more about bearing witness to reality than being enconsed in an ideologically motivated make-believe world. Second, I strive for self-consistency. For example, the Republican party is supposed to be the party of free markets, but some on the right join the left in griping about America’s super-rich, creating conspiracy thoeries about how the wealthy are buying up American and enslaving us. But these fears are not logically consistent with being a republican, because a free market should not be limited by size; to impose some arbitrary size restriction based on an irrational fear contradicts the very idea of a free market. And what evidence is there that anyone is enslaved? At a personal level, we all have choices (to watch TV (to watch a specific channel), to read a book (to read a specific book), to surf the web (to surf a specific website)), and capitalism through the free market – if anything – gives us more choices, not fewer. Another complaint is that the rich want to outsource jobs, but what is overlooked is that the wealthy also create millions of jobs in America, both directly and indirectly. This may seem oversimplified and reductionist, but you can thwart the most elaborate conspiracy theories with just some elementary facts and common sense.
As part of the libertarian-right, I’m among a minority who, in going against the prevailing doom and gloomism, is not bearish on America.I like to think of America as being, to some extent, an HBD success story, where the meritocracy allows the best and the brightest to thrive. Assortive mating among the high-IQ subset is having a positive eugenic effect, and in few contries is this more pronounced than in America. America has an academic environment (7 of the top 10 most prestigious research universities in the world, with generous financial aid and the National Merit Scholarship) conducive to intellectual flourishing; an economic environment ideal for the establishment of rapidly growing and innovative companies like Facebook, Uber, Snapchat and Tesla; and an ethos of individualism that engenders the creation of great personal wealth through hard work and IQ. Whether it’s stocks and bay area real estate prices surging, a new physics discovery or theory that captivates the public, or a start-up being valued at billions of dollars, America is a place that rewards and acknowledges individual exceptionalism and talent, despite the leftist forces of collectivism and egalitarianism. Look at the web 2.0 scene, for example, where anyone with a good idea and some coding can become a millionaire overnight; where a programmer can make a solid six figure income and retire early, and some can even become billionaires – all because of merit and raw talent. And that’s one reason, aside from strong consumer spending, the fed, exports and geopolitical stability, why I would never bet against America.
The welfare left insists we’re doomed because wealth inequality is too high, their shrill cries for crisis unanswered as stocks keep going up. Some on the left say America isn’t growing fast enough or that its best days are behind it. It’s all about perspectives, not absolute numbers. A 4% growth rate is unrealistic for an economy as large as the US. And then there is all of Europe and Japan, both of which are growing much slower, so compared to the rest of the world we’re doing pretty well. The economy is not growing slowly though. GDP growth is back to the 1995-2007 range of around 2-4% a year.
The reason why so many rich and smart foreigners can’t get enough of America and its institutions of higher learning, its tech companies and its real estate – despite the left insisting America is in decline – is because our free market, strong economy, and geopolitical stability is an ideal environment for the best and the brightest who immigrate here. America rewards individual talent and exceptionalism like so few countries can: through the free market and a business-friendly environment, it showers great wealth upon the smart and hard-working; through the universities and a culture that rewards intellectualism, bestows great recognition and prestige for those who are cognitively superior.
This talk of gentrification and the poor being ‘priced out’ is just more whining by the left and another reason why it pays to be smart. Real estate in high-IQ areas, just like high-IQ jobs, have retained and gained more value than low IQ jobs and real estate in low-IQ regions. Gentrification is fine by me. I would rather have private equity and rich buying homes than have to live among the losers of society, with the crime that goes with it. There is no solution that will please everyone, but for folks who own their own home, they don’t want to see more supply dilute the value of the market, and understandably so.