“Speaking To A Rally With 30,000 People About Hayek”

I always liked the idea of Argentina’s libertarian-conservative President, Javier Milei.

But after seeing this interview, I am actively wondering a bunch of things:

Does the US need to bottom out, as Argentina’s been doing for most of my life – before being ready to, as he says, “put on our long pants?” and embrace the freedom that used to be this nation’s reason to exist?

And where can we get one of him to run for governor in 2026?

Feeling So 1938

History doesn’t repeat – but it rhymes.

The world’s major powers are rattling their sabers as they spar in secondary theaters.

The economies are in the hands of people who love to tinker with the levers and buttons of the Big State.

And young intellectually over-stimulated but underendowed bobbleheads are romping and playing:

Everything old is new again.

Poorer Minnesota

Minnesota used to significantly outperform the rest of the US in germs of gross and per capita GDP growth.

Today?

[Since] 2019 — the last pre-COVID year — Minnesota’s real GDP growth has ranked 36th out of the fifty states, coming in at 4.0%, less than half the national rate of 8.1%.

The gross GDP growth comparison is bad. The per capita numbers, even worse:

Minnesota’s recent performance is relatively poor. As Figure 2 shows, between 2019 and 2023, Minnesota’s real, per capita GDP growth ranked 39th out of the fifty states. Again, with growth of 3.1%, Minnesota’s real, per capita GDP growth was less than half that of the United States, 6.6%.

The Walz regime will respond, no doubt, as it always does; with a selfie of “Lieutenant” Governor Flanagan feeding Governor Klink a pronto pup.

Capital, productive citizens and the college kids who are the productive citizens of the future are fleeing. Businesses have been moving their non-white-collar operations out of MInnesota for decades.

Reality Always Wins

You may not win along with it, but that’s your fault for denying reality.

Speaking of denying reality: we warned MInneapolis about the inevitable end results of rent control, high taxes and onerous regulations (aka “everything the Met Council does re housing and transit policy”).

And yet every $%#$%$@# time their chickens come home to roost, they act surprised and angry:

The comments in that thread are lit, by the way; every metro housing advocate’s inner Lenin is showing.

Theory

A significant chunk of the far-left clacque that runs politics in the metro are Marxists, either overtly or under the hood.

And an amazing number of them subscribe to the “Labor Theory of Value” – the idea that labor, as opposed to the other three factors (Capitol, Management and Land) is the dispositive factor of production.

I have been challenging adherents for years – test the theory by taking a group of fast food workers, plopping them on a vacant lot, and seeing if a Hardee’s springs up around them.

It’s an absurd test – exactly the one the theory deserves.

I used to say nobody had taken the challenge.

But it appears that, at least indirectly, someone just might.

A Cold Detroit

Hennepin County’s population – which is mostly Minneapolis – is down. And while that is not the only factor depressing home values for the first time since the 2008 recession.

This is affecting the funding of (what we will still refer to as) public services in Minnesota’s largest county and city.

In fact, the demographics of Minnesota as a whole are a little troublesome.

The annual “natural change” in Minnesota’s population (births minus deaths) is not enough to compensate for the number of people moving out of the state. In the little over three years from the last census (April 1, 2020) to July 1, 2023, Minnesota saw a natural increase in residents of about 40,400. These gains were wiped out by the net domestic outmigration (people leaving Minnesota for other states) of 46,000. If not for the net “international migration” of 34,600, Minnesota’s overall population would have fallen over this period.

Young people are leaving the state – which is a huge change from when I first moved here, when the Twin Cities were a destination to a lot of recent grads stepping out into adult live.

But hey, maybe protecting criminals while jamming people into ticky-tack multi unit boxes will fix the problem:

That’s the problem with progressive politics. Reality always wins.

Where’s The Money?

The Minneapolis City Council’s vote on minimum wages for independent contractor drivers has driven Lyft out of Minneapolis, and Uber out of both cities.

A friend of the blog emails with an initial reaction very close to my own:

The Minneapolis City Council doesn’t actually understand a lot. They want affordable options, but they want people to be paid high wages. It doesn’t always work that way.http://apnews.com/article/minneapolis-uber-lyft-ridehailing-minimum-wage-d60db6a2e2580dc1d93c438a8cffa5ee

That being said, Uber and Lyft were never affordable here in the Twin Cities like they are elsewhere. That is likely because the market here doesn’t support it like it might in cities with higher density populations. 

This article mentions that “Seattle and New York City have passed similar policies in recent years that increase wages for ride-hailing drivers, and Uber and Lyft still operate in those cities.”

Yes, well, the cost to use those services was lower to start with because they actually could make money there. So, they are likely still making money even if passengers are paying more to ride. I would bet those services were barely making it here as it was. It’s not hard to drive most places, it’s not even particularly expensive. The downtowns of MSP are mostly dead anyway, so who is using Lyft and Uber at this stage anymore? As far as I can tell, the council’s stupid ordinance just gave them the excuse to pull out. 

That was pretty much what I thought; it was yet another case of a prog city council demanding the world violate the laws of economics to give them what they want.

But wait. There’s more.

It’s the current DFL – so one must always check to see if there’s an ulterior motive involving transferring wealth from taxpayers to the DFL’s non-profit/government complex.

And of course there is:

There you go – Soviet-style ride sharing.

Because the DSA needs to make sure they get a cut of all that ride-share money.

A Hell “We” Can Make Happen

I came across this tweet last week.

At first blush, I thought it was parody, and not especially good.

I moved from there to Assumption B – a chuckleheaded sophomore political science major from Austin, or Seattle, or maybe the University of Saint Thomas. It can be hard to tell parody from reality with them, sometimes.

That’s what I thought. Or, let’s be honest, that’s what I hoped. Parody, or young lefty dolt.

But no. Mr. Lee is a California state assemblyman, detailing the world he and most of Big Left hold out as their idea.

No mention of that social credit score you gotta pass to get into your “public bank account”. No mention of who’s going to be teaching at those “awesome public schools” or building, maintaining and operating that “green transit”, or even why either would exist if people get Universal Basic Income. No mention of how in a world without the generation of value and wealth, the “UBI” will pretty much inevitably devolve into ration tickets, to buy…what? Who’s doing the producing, the farming? Robotic cricket mills creating insect paste is about the only logical option.

I’m Curious

Is there someone out there, anywhere, who read this:

…and thought “Hmmm – government is clearly not working for my family, and the “Inflation Reduction Act is clearly a turd that will raise prices…

but he ended it with the word “Period”.

Hmmm.

He must be onto something”?

Think “Walz Checks”, Only Gassy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Modern Monetary Theory says the government can borrow and spend as much as it likes without consequences. If we can afford a gas tax holiday, why not an income tax holiday, a social security tax holiday, a liquor tax holiday?

Or is MMT a lie and the gas tax holiday simply at attempt at buying votes with taxpayer money?

Joe Doakes

It is, of course, a purely academic exercise, like so much of the policy big left has been foisting on this country for the past hundred years and change.

Resetting The Reset

Green, “sustainable” energy policies that make middle class live unsustainable.

Transitioning from houses to apartments, from cars to mass transit.

Moving from meat to vegetables, with maybe some insect thrown in as a treat.

Hyperinflation, which serves mainly to make common savings and investment worthless, but does wonders for the wealth of the plutocrats, “futurists” and pols – who will give up no cars, houses, yachts ,warmth or food.

Seems like the “new world order” looks a lot like the old, pre-1776 world order, doesn’t it?

Victor Davis Hanson – perhaps more optimistic than I feel at the moment – in a piece you should read. Pull quote:

So a reset reckoning is coming—in reaction to the “new orders” championed by Biden and the Davos set. 

In the November 2022 midterms, we are likely to see a historic “No!” to the orthodox left-wing agenda that has resulted in unsustainable inflation, unaffordable energy, war, and humiliation abroad, spiraling crime, racial hostility—and arrogant defiance from those who deliberately enacted these disastrous policies. 

What will replace it is a return to what until recently had worked. 

I hope he’s right. The boundless stupidity of the “send me more stimmies” set – whose votes count just as much as those of smart people – serves as the counterexhibit.

Decisions

A friend of the blog emails:

Neil Young’s Unknown Legend, one of my all time favorite songs, came up on my playlist.

It’s been, geez, two or three weeks now. I’m not sure if I’m not supposed to listen to Neil or not.

(Name Redacted)

One of the greatest aphorisms about music Dash art, really – Asia “ love the art, ignore the artist”. And I figure, once the song goes out into the world, it belongs to us (subject to copyright and intellectual property), not them.

But it is getting to the point where it’s hard to tell what you are, and are not, supposed to support if you want your dollar to stop working for the enemy.

For example, a certain brand of razor blades (which shall remain unnamed for purposes of this post) was a revelation to me when I first discovered it; I actually enjoyed shaving for the first time in my adult life.

Now, I happen to like this particular brand of razors every bit as much as I like Michael Knowles (who is an excellent writer, but kind of ok as a talkradio host) – so I was relieved to see that this particular brand of razor still sponsors other conservative talk radio, and I wasn’t going to have to go out into a razor market dominated by “woke “brands like Gillette to try and find a new brand of blades.

Stuck On Stupid

With Denmark and Sweden tripling down on the free market and abandoning draconian Covid regulations, the longing eyes of the world’s “Social Democrat” noodlers have turned to New Zealand’s. Jacinda Ardern.

She ran a very hawkish “Lockdown” regime in 2020, drawing the admiration of a lot of Mascists – as if they could replicate the lockdown of a country with a population 20% smaller than Minnesota’s, with land area 25% larger, isolated from all other land by a thousand miles, able to cut itself off from the world by closing a couple ports and a few gates at the Wellington airport.

Has it worked? Time’ll tell.

But she’s got more government gigantism in mind:

So – if you’re a smuggler, run an organized crime syndicate, or just like making money off of government-induced shortages?

Opportunity is knocking!

I’d respond “these people never learn from history”, but assuming they would would paradoxically mean I haven’t learned from history.

This Is What “Building Back Better” Looks Like

Black unemployment, after hitting historic lows under “the most racist president ever”, is bouncing back up under Corn Pop’s pal:

Of course, the last jobs report produced about 1/3 the jobs expected. l

But at least things are going swimmingly along the Mexico border and in Afghanistan…

Hope I Die Before I Get…Young

Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who for the past 57 years or so, tees off on the “Woke” generation:

“The woke generation — it’s terrifying, the miserable world they’re going to create for themselves,” the rocker said in a recent interview with DJ Zane Lowe on Apple Music.

“I mean, anyone who’s lived a life — and you see what they’re doing — you just know that it’s a route to nowhere, especially when you’ve lived through the periods of a life that we’ve had the privilege to,” Daltrey added. “I mean, we’ve had the golden era. There’s no doubt about that.”

The English rock legend went on to point out the differences between “the woke generation” and generations of the past, noting, “we came out of a war,” and have actually “seen the communist system fail” firsthand.

“But we came out of a war, we came out of a leveled society, completely flattened bomb sites and everything,” Daltrey said. “And we’ve been through socialist governments. We’ve seen the communist system fail in the Soviet Union. I’ve been in those communist countries while they were communist.”

“I’ve seen how ‘wonderful’ — really? — it was,” the rocker added, sarcastically.

People today forget, or never knew, that after UK went full-bore Labour at the end of World War 2, it subsequently took them nine years to end war-time food rationing. And while the food situation gradually improved, once “rebuilding” ended, the rest of the economy went in the tank.

Also – not bad for a guy that’s gonna be eighty in the next few years.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 0

I spent a lot of time thinking about this scene last week:

I first started paying serious attention to politics in about 1980. Like a lot of high school kids, then and now, I was somewhere out on what would be called “the left”; I wrote a platform for North Dakota Boys State (a statewide mock government program put on by the decidedly conservative American Legion) that called for systematic redistribution of wealth, abolishing nuclear energy and nuclear disarmament, and a whole bunch of stuff that would be pretty mainstream among the Bernie Bros today.

Three years later, due to the good graces of my English professor, Dr. Jim Blake, I had re-evaluated most of my assumptions. I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984, and never really looked back.

And I had no reason to. None of us did. Although the history books, all being written from the perspective of the Left, will never admit it, the two decades from 1980 to 2000 were, objectively, the last American Golden Age. I’ll squeak out an optimistic coda and add “so far”, but I’ll be honest – I haven’t been feeling it, but I’m a firm believer in acting like you want to feel, and so there is is. “So far”.

I’ll come back to that.

There’s no denying it was one of the high points of American history. We led an economic surge that brought more wealth to more people than any in history. We, as a nation, led a political surge that led to the collapse of one of the most evil regimes in history (although not the other one – so far).

Maybe it’s just the perspective of one guy’s lifetime – but I suspect you’d have to look long and hard to find a place and time when it was generally better to be a human.

Not just in material terms, but in terms of the tension between freedom and order, one of the hardest things about running a self-governing society, being in relative balance – and, more importantly, the general commitment to the system and process that kept all those moving parts in balance.

And it’s been downhill from there.

The arc from Morning in America in 1980 to last week’s skirmish at the Capitol – which, loathe as I am to come even close to Democrat chanting points, was a form of coup, not against President-Elect Biden, but against the states’ constitutional power to select electors – peaked…somewhere in the late ’90s – when one of the glories of the American system, gridlocked government, combined with a Peace Dividend brought about by the end of the Cold War (thanks, President Reagan), led to an outburst of technological, entrepreneurial and market power that brought so much wealth, and security, and general well-being, to so many people that it may have been as close to a uptopia, in some ways, as humanity can get. Because of the gridlock in government.

Somewhere between 1998 and 2005, things started to turn back south again. It’d be easy to point to the polarization of American politics, starting with the various Clinton scandals, through the fiasco of the 2000 election, the near-decade of squabbling over the War on Terror and the 2008 government-caused financial meltdown, as the cause – but it went in parallel with a lot of other changes in our nation’s political, moral and social lives that have led to their…

…I was going to say “culmination” last week at the Capitol. But of course, that’s not true. Last week’s sorry episode was, like last summer’s riots, and the social back and forth that gave us Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Trump himself, and the movements that supported them all in a way that was increasingly “un-American” (I’m still claiming a meaning for that term), and if you think that was the peak, or trough, or any sort of ending to the story, you just haven’t paid attention to 20,000 years of human nature.

So let’s not call it a culmination. Let’s call it a checkpoint, on a path that may be going up, or down, but control over which We The People need to take before the phrase “We The People” is forever relegated to the museum.

How have we gotten from the peak of Western Civilization to…this, in my adult lifetime?

Let’s talk about it.

We’ll start with President Trump, next.

But we’re damn sure not going to finish with him.

“Julia”

Anyone remember “Julia”?

The Obama campaign’s infantiolization of the American voter?

This video from Kamala Harris makes “Julia” look like John Galt:

This is what Joe Biden is a delivery system for.

Orwell Was A Pollyanna, Part MCLXII

Freedom is slavery.

Truth is lies.

And, to Los Angeles Democrats – in this case, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti – homelessness is prosperity:

Babylon Bee can’t keep up anymore.

Labor Day

It’s Labor Day – a transfer of wealth in the form of about .004% of most companies’ payroll to workers, given as a sop to organized unions at the height of their powers – a transfer I happily accept, like most of you, every year.

I’ll pay homage to the date with my own sojourn through the world of organized labor; my semester teaching at a local MNSCU university.

When I signed up, I was given a choice – pay $120 to the MNSCU faculty union, the “Inter-Faculty Organization” (IFO), or pay $108 for “Fair Share”, ostensibly my portion of the union’s negotiation efforts. I figured eight dollars was a worthwhile trade for a lifetime of being able to virtue-signal my DFL friends about being “a union guy”, and I paid it gladly.

As part of on-boarding, I had to attend a union orientation session.

There, the school’s shop steward – an English professor who as I recall was actually in a classroom 3-6 hours a week gave us an update on the concessions he’d wrung from the – I’m not making this up – “bosses” at MNSCU, his tone growing more impassioned, his face turning just a little bit red, a vein starting to bulge on his neck, like he was a Wobbly talking to iron miners in the 1910s about putting a safety cage on their elevator.

So – with all due respect to the union organizers who actually did make a difference with workers back when life actually was nasty, brutish and short (as opposed to some of the efforts we see today), enjoy the day.

As We Wait, And Wait, And Wait, For The “Inevitable Tsunami Or Right-Wing Violence”, Part MCMLXI

Modern Democrats, told “dial back some of the Gulag-y, Stalin-y, Black Maria-y talk”, respond…

like leftists always have:

After the New Hampshire Democratic debate on Friday night, MSNBC host Chris Matthews uttered high heresy against the Bernie Sanders movement by remembering the Cold War and the threat of socialist and communist executions. He warned that if Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the Reds had won the Cold War, “there would have been executions in Central Park, and I might have been one of the ones getting executed.” As if to demonstrate the truth of this statement, Bernie Bros got #FireChrisMatthews trending on Twitter…”A lot of this will be sorting this out if the Democratic Party runs a socialist candidate. That’s a change to the Democratic Party,” Matthews continued. He did not condemn the expansion of social programs, which he firmly distinguished from socialism. “The Democratic Party’s been to the left of the Republican Party on the issue of mixed capitalism, more social programs. They push Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, enormously popular programs. I think ACA/Obamacare, I wish they’d follow through with it, make it work. I think most Americans would be happy with … a public option” in health care.

Watch for burnings of The Gulag Archipelago and 1984 before too terribly long.

Ilhan Omar – Libertarian Heroine

Rep. Omar on Twitter yesterday:

There’s hope here!

If your healthcare, tuition and housing are “Free” (ergo, paid by me, the taxpayer who gets none of those benefits), I am your slave, and being a slaveholder is a moral burden on you as well.

I’m pretty sure Rep. Omar didn’t intend it that way, of course – as her droogs make pretty clear in the thread (and if there’s a 2020’s analogue to “never read the comment section”, it’s gotta be “never read the thread of someone with a blue checkmark).

But you never know.

Maybe Omar will finally get into trouble with Squad leadership for this gaffe…

And They Say Progs Are Illiterate About Economics…

Portland voters impose a 1% “clean energy” tax on large and big-box businesses.

And are then outraged that those businesses pass the costs on to customers.

Emphasis added:

Terry Wiesner stared down at his Safeway grocery store receipt in confusion in mid-September after he noticed being charged an extra 3 cents for buying a package of $2.99 napkins. The 3 cent charge was listed as a tax.
He called over a store attendant while still in the self-checkout line at the Southeast Woodstock Boulevard branch and asked about the charge. The worker pointed to a laminated sign nearby.
Portland instituted a voter-approved clean energy surcharge in January, imposing a 1 percent tax on paper products, wine, beer, household items and other products, the sign said. The surcharge began appearing on Safeway customers’ receipts on Sept. 9 and people should contact the City of Portland if they had any concerns, according to the notice.
“I didn’t remember voting for any kind of tax,” said Wiesner, 74. “I later learned that this was meant to be a tax on businesses, not the people. Frankly, it just made me angry. It wasn’t about the 3 cents, it’s about the spirit of this charge and how it’d been passed off to me.”

To be fair, it’s entirely possible this has been passed off as something that’d “just affect business”; Portland, like Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth and now Rochester, is run by people who’ve never worked outside public employment, non-profits or academia.