A Preponderance Of Evidence

New York’s new $15 minimum wage and mandatory leave benefits – dutifully parroted by Minneapolis and Saint Paul – are already having…

…well, exactly the effect conservatives predicted:

In explaining his decision to close following 28 years of high-volume business, owner Charles Milite told the New York Post, “The times have changed in our industry. The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees.”

Milite employs about 150 people at his breakfast, lunch, and dinner operation, which also puts him over the Affordable Care Act’s costly mandate that establishments with 50 or more employees provide health insurance.

The Coffee Shop is part of The Gotham City Restaurant Group, which also owns Flats Fix, the former employer of socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The 28-year-old Democratic congressional candidate recently told The New York Times that many of her fellow restaurant workers were uninsured, inspiring her to run for office.

And the inevitable end result?

Eventually, minimum wage laws and other prohibitive regulations will cause the world-renowned restaurant life in cities like New York, DC, and San Francisco to cease to exist. The staff skill levels will drop, the number of servers and bartenders will never be enough, and the only survivors will be fast-casual chains with low overhead and deep pockets.

New York’s new look will be vacant storefronts between an occasional Pret-a-Manger or the public restroom formerly known as Starbucks. But don’t worry. That charming, downtown studio apartment will still run about $5,000 per month for the privilege of proximity to all that culture.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s efforts to be little New Yorks will no doubt pay off – in all the wrong ways.

 

A Cold Caracas

Where San Francisco has gone – a hideously expensive city with plummeting quality of life – New York will soon follow:

Beautiful, hilly San Francisco has become known as the city where 20 pounds of poop were dumped on a sidewalk last week in a clear bag and remained there for hours. As The Post noted, “human waste-related complaints in San Francisco have skyrocketed 400 percent from 2008 to 2018,” and “In 2017 alone, more than 21,000 reports were received.”

What happened in San Francisco is obvious. It stopped prosecuting quality-of-life offenses and, unsurprisingly, the quality of life for the city’s residents and visitors decreased sharply.

In 2015, San Francisco courts stopped enforcing bench warrants for such offenses. Police continued writing up tickets for public drunkenness or sleeping in parks, but when the accused failed to show up to their court appearance a judge simply dismissed the outstanding warrant.

New York started following San Francisco’s lead in 2016 when Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. announced his office would no longer be prosecuting offenses such as public urination. Both cities have accepted that they’ll continue to have a large number of people living on their streets and inevitably using their sidewalks as a toilet.

Progressivism is all about leveling the world out (outside the parts where the kommissars life, anyway); logically, eventually, “leveled out” has to include “…to the level of public rest room”.

Although as Ed Driscoll notes, at least some people are getting their wish:

But as Dan Henninger of the Wall Street Journal warned in 2005, hipsters lamented the loss of the gritty Death Wish/Panic in Needle Park-era Manhattan of the 1970s — and thanks to Mayor de Blasio, they’re getting that city back once again. Good and hard, as Mencken would say.

And since Minneapolis is following the same route – obsessing over virtue-signaling while ignoring quality of life issues – how long until Minneapolis follows suit?

Demographics

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Residents are fleeing these cities.  USA Today says it’s people retiring and moving South, a trend that began decades ago, was interrupted by the Crash and now is resuming.

Really? Why are Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama on the list?  Why are Jacksonville and Fayetteville, North Carolina on the list?  Why is Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona on the list – that’s a stone’s throw from the border with Mexico, state income tax is 5%, ought to be a retiree paradise.  Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas?  Brownsville is farther south than Arizona and therefore warmer and Texas has no income tax.  Why would sun-seekers be leaving those areas?  They should be flocking there.

Notice which cities people are not fleeing but instead are the fastest-growing?  Boise, Idaho is #1 and Seattle, Washington is #2, ahead of Texas and Florida.  Portland, Oregon is #17, Colorado Springs is 18, Salt Lake City is 24.  These are not snowbird destinations.  Why are they growing?

The climate explanation doesn’t make sense.  Try this one instead:  the cities people flee are decaying because leftists in charge have destroyed them by pandering to residents who lack the old-fashioned values that were required to take care of a community.  Refugees.  Illegals.  Homeless.  Welfare mindset regardless of welfare status – people who expect everything provided for free without lifting a finger.

When your city intentionally sets out to replace the 1950’s nuclear family post-war community with an Obama-era refugee/illegal/welfare community, don’t act all surprised when the 1950’s people move out.  Nobody wants to move from safe, clean Roseville to narco-terrorist infested Brownsville or poop-on-the-streets San Francisco, regardless of the year-round climate.

Joe Doakes

If we just give sclerotic big-city liberal adminstrations enough time, it’ll all work out…

It’s Almost, But Not Quite, A Berg’s Law

It probably doesn’t qualify as a “Berg’s Law” because it may not be absolute and universal – but for the most part, if you scratch the surface of an American “Democratic Socialist”, you’ll find a rich kid with daddy issues.

So, it seems, with current socialist wunderkind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Last week’s big primary winner in a Congressional district that includes parts of the Bronx and Queens highlighted the 29 year old “community organizer”, who will likely be going to Congress, and her “Jenny from the Block” story.  Listening to her before the election, I caught myself humming “It’s A Hard Knock Life” more than a few times.

So was it baked wind?

What do you think?  Remember – it’s almost a Berg’s Law:

Around the age of five, Alexandria’s architect father Sergio Ocasio moved the family from the “planned community” of Parkchester in the Bronx to a home in Yorktown Heights, a wealthy suburb in Westchester County. The New York Times describes her childhood home as “a modest two-bedroom house on a quiet street.” In a 1999 profile of the area, when Ocasio-Cortez would have been ten years old, the Times lauded Yorktown Heights’ “diversity of housing in a scenic setting” – complete with two golf courses.

Westchester County – which the Washington Post, in a glowing profile on Ocasio-Cortez, describes as only “middle class” – ranks #8 in the nation for the counties with the “highest average incomes among the wealthiest one percent of residents.” According to the Economic Policy Institute, the county’s average annual income of the top one percent is a staggering $4,326,049.

Yorktown Heights, specifically, offers a sharp contrast from Bronx living. According to USA.com, the town’s population is 81 percent white, and median household income is $96,413 – nearly double the average for both New York state and the nation, according to data from 2010-2014.

I interviewed for a job in Westchester County thirty years ago; the program director basically told me there was no way I could live in the area on what they could payme (here was the story).

Not that there’s anything wrong with doing well; but not only didn’t Ocasio-Cortez earn it, she wants to make it harder for others to do it.

(Even as she, beyond a doubt, gets ready to make a couple million in honoraria from liberals with deep pockets over the next few years, much like the Bern she no doubt felt).

Open Letter To Tim Walz

To:  Represenative Tim Walz
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:  Sell Sell Sell

Rep. Walz,

You’re running in a primary this fall against a dog’s breakfast of people who, notwithstanding your attempt to re-paint yourself as a “progressive”, are far, far to your left.

To your credit, you’ve taken that “re-painting” pretty seriously:

Rep. Walz, burning whatever cred he may have had with gun owners by french-kissing “Moms Want Action” in 2016.

But your fellow DFLers prefer their “Democratic Socialism” neat.  No ice.

And apparently, with a little communist chaser.

For years, I’ve heard my Democrat friends chanting “Ronald Reagan wouldn’t get endorsed by today’s GOP” – with the premise being Reagan was “too centrist” for today’s GOP . It’s a perfectly plausible claim, if you have no idea about the history of the GOP; go and google “A Time For Choosing”, the full hour-long speech, if you need proof; it’d fit in at any Tea Party meeting in the past decade. If anything, Reagan would still scare the DC establishment; George Will was deeply unhappy with Reagan’s performance, and we know what George has been up to lately.

So no – Reagan would *not* have trouble in today’s GOP, or at least the part of the party that swept the elections in 2010 and 2014.

But Paul Wellstone and Hubert Humphrey would get laughed out of today’s Democratic Party. Of that, there can be no doubt.

That is all.

Yes, In Your Back Yard

A friend of the blog writes:

Saw this on Twitter. Tweeted from someone living in San Francisco. But, retweeted by someone living in St Paul.


Funny thing- I think both cities have most of those things.
I doubt either the original poster or the retweeter choose to live near those places.  Just like public transit, this list seems like a Yes in somebody else’s backyard.

That’s the thing about creeping socialilsm; it’s always inflicted on someone else.

The $15 Minimum Wage Fights Poverty…

…in exactly the same was as gun control addresses crime.

Not at all, but for the sinecure-mongering and virtue-trumpeting:

The study, led by the University of California, Irvine economist David Neumark and published by the business-backed Employment Policies Institute, finds that, over the course of decades, higher minimum wages don’t reduce poverty in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Rather, the analysis finds that a $1 increase in the minimum wage raises poverty rates and government dependency by about 3 percent.

The report also finds evidence that cash welfare fails to lower poverty.

To be fair, none of them were intended to do any such thing.

If you look at the effects of minimum wage hikes on communities of color and low income, you’d almost think they were intended to be racist.

And it’d be hard to prove you wrong:

Take, for instance, the minimum wage. The founding fathers of progressivism at the University of Wisconsin, but also such figures as Sidney Webb, saw the discriminatory aspects of the minimum wage as among its chief selling points. “Of all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites,” Webb said of the “unemployables,” “the most ruinous to the community is to allow them unrestrainedly to compete as wage earners.” E. A. Ross, the extremely influential progressive intellectual and author of the “race suicide” thesis (who was particularly bigoted against Chinese labor), explained the benefits of a minimum wage pithily: “The Coolie cannot outdo the American, but he can underlive him.” In other words, if you force employers to only pay a white man’s wages, he will only employ white men. Royal Meeker, a Princeton economist and adviser to Woodrow Wilson, explained: “Better that the state should support the inefficient wholly and prevent the multiplication of the breed than subsidize incompetence and unthrift, enabling them to bring forth more of their kind.”

Coates doesn’t mention the words “liberal” or “progressive” or “conservative. His indictment is aimed squarely at “America.” And as a collective matter, America surely deserves blame for the mistreatment of African Americans in the past. But it’s also worth noting that the more immediate authors of the “half-assed social contract” Coates rightly denounces are today counted as champions of the progressive movement.

As in all other things progressive – it’s better to appear to be doing good than to actually do good.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Not enough houses. We need to build more. And people can’t afford them because they have too much student loan debt from worthless college degrees. We need to subsidize mortgages again, just like before the last real estate crash.
The answer to social engineering failures is never to stop social engineering. The failures only prove that the agenda was not implemented sufficiently. This time, it will be different.
Wondering if the Narrative may be flawed doesn’t make you intelligent, it makes you a hater. Why is that?
Joe doakes

The problem with Narratives is, eventually you have to prop ’em up with bread and circuses.

Danger, Wisconsin

Democrats are fleeing the hellholes they and their policy created

…but bringing the politics that caused the problem with them:

According to the latest United Van Lines year-end list, the top five states people are leaving is made up mostly of liberal, Democrat infested states. Of the top five worst states, only the last, Kansas, has a GOP dominated government. The other four Illinois (a state that usually tops nearly every metric that marks a failed state), New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut are all hopelessly Democrat.

Another liberal state that is losing citizens faster than it is gaining replacements is the failed state of California. A recent Mises Institute report showed that California, New York, and Illinois were losing more citizens to other U.S. states far faster than the rest of the country.

Indeed, a recent report by San Francisco’s CBS affiliate noted that people are leaving the Bay area in droves because no one who isn’t a billionaire can afford to live there due to high taxes and exorbitant property costs.

On the other hand, another study showed that the top five states Americans are moving into were nearly all Republican states. with Idaho, Washington State, Nevada, Tennessee, and Alaska topping the list — Washington being the only Democrat-dominated state on that list.

It’s nothing new; it’s how Vermont, Colorado, and Edina Minnesota all went from solid conservative holdouts to Democrat cesspools.

I do love Glenn Reynold’s idea:

GOP donors need to set up a sort of “weclome wagon” to target blue state emigrants and epxlain why the Red States they’re moving to are better than the places they left”

I’d worry that the MNGOP has some trouble with new arrivals – but I don’t think we’re one of the states that’s gaining.

Maybe all you folks in CD3?

Let’s Keep This Quiet…

…because if the Met Council hears about this, it’ll be part of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul building codes ASAP.

A Hong Kong architect has invented what he believed to be the solution of overcrowded cities by turning concrete water pipes into tiny homes.

The OPod Tube Housing system aims to re-purpose concrete tubes measuring just over eight feet in diameter, and turn them into ‘micro-homes’ with 100 square feet of living space.

Artists conception. But you know it’s coming soon to a former warehouse block along the Blue Line, don’t you?

It is the brainchild of architect James Law of James Law Cybertecture who designed the build as a possible solution to the lack of both space and affordable housing in Hong Kong.

it’ll give urban hipsters a way to virtue-signal against those wasteful slobs in their tiny houses.

Charity

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A colleague predicts charitable giving will plummet next year.  Charitable contributions will not be deductible under the new tax law, but your personal exemption will increase to $10,000 per person.  No net effect on most people’s income taxes; but if you are effectively getting the charitable deduction without actually making a charitable contribution, why contribute?  Who’d be foolish enough to throw money away like that?

This is how Liberals view the world.  Liberals make charitable contributions to get tax breaks.  No tax break – no charitable contribution.

That is not how Conservatives view the world.  We make charitable contributions to help others and we consistently give more than our Liberal brethren.  The tax break is nice but even if we don’t get it, we’re still going to make our same contributions.

Charitable giving is not for the tax break, it’s for the soul.  Liberals failing to understand that, explains much of what’s gone wrong in America since they rammed through The Great Society.

Joe Doakes

Joe’s outlook is sunnier than mine.  The left at its core detests charity.  They want it socialized.

Cell Neutrality

SCENE:  Walll Street, – 1983.  A group of protesters – young activists from Slough Fnakes, Vermont – chant slogans in front of the Motorola headquasrters building, wielding protest signs; “Keep Cell Phones Democratic!”, “What do we want?  Cell Neutrality.  When do we want it?  Now!” and “Car Phones are a Public Utility”.   After a few moments, Ashton LIBRELLE climbs up on the soapbox.  

LIBRELLE:  What we seek is car phone neutrality.   We demand that the government treat car phones and suitcase phones as the public utility they truly are.   That way, in thirty years, your children will be able to buy a mobile phone like this (LIBRELLE holds up a 1984 Motoirola cell phone – the size of at World War II walkie talkie, that cost $10,000 in 2017 dollars plus $1,000 a month and $4 a minute for talk times) – and their children, and their children’s children, as long as Motorola remains unchallenged atop the car phone industry.  Nobody will be able, using just more money, to buy a better phone!

(Hank MERG chimes in):  But if you treat the budding cellular communiations industry like a utility, there’ll be no impetus for someone like, say, Steve Jobs or Victor Droid, to respond to the market demand and build device that, before long, will not only do everything the phone your holding does thousands of times better, but do it for about one percent of the inllation adjusted cost.  Indeed, in 24 years, I predict that non-profits will be giving away phones that are millions of times more powerful per dollar, and criminals will buy them to use once and throw away!.

LIBRELLE:  (Scoffing as the young people fromSlough Fnakes laugh uproariously)  Oh, it is to laugh!  The idea that phones will be a commodity, like Pet Rocks, or that technology will ever surpass what we see in front of us!   No, indeed; let us regulate car and suitcase phones like utilities, that they may ever be as successful as the public education system!

(The crowd erupts)_.

A Mile Wide And An Inch Deep

A report from the Cult of Personality front: Millennials love President Trump’s tax cut plan…

when they think it’s Bernie Sanders’ plan:

That’s the bad news.

There’s good news? Well, maybe; it seems that as people grow up and learn more, they do, in fact, get more conservative; at the  moment, both red and blue states are getting redder in terms of voter registrations (although urban areas are still solidly blue)

 

The State Full Of Sun-Baked “Progressive” Bobbleheads That Doesn’t Learn From History…

Half of Californians say housing prices are making them think about leaving the state, and an awful lot of them think rent control is the answer:

About half of the state’s voters – 48 percent – said they consider the problem of housing affordability “extremely serious.” Concerns are more prevalent in areas seen as ground zero for the crisis, including the Bay Area, where 65 percent of voters described the problem that way.

The issue has led to an intensifying debate over rent control in California. In Los Angeles County, 68 percent of voters said they support stronger limits on rent increases, while 63 percent in the Bay Area said so.

The majority of support for rent control is among renters, who have seen prices grow nearly 4 percent since last year, according to data compiled by the real estate listing service Apartment List. California’s median rent for a one-bedroom is now at $1,750, while a two-bedroom is $2,110, Apartment List found. Among the most expensive cities are San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento.

Of course, being progressives, they don’t bother with history – and I doubt the history of rent-control in places like New York City is covered in the textbooks progressives are allowed to read.

But in New York, it worked a little like this:

  1. Rent controls were established
  2. Their incomes constricted by rent control, landlords fell behind on the little things, like routine repairs.
  3. City officials leaned on the landlords to make the repairs, prices and income be damned, and threw on fines to make the whole mess even less affordable.
  4. Sick to death of being stuck between a regulatory rock and a cost hard place, the landlords tried to sell out.
  5. Local regulations – like the ones Ray Dehn proposes in Minneapolis – make selling a rental property a daunting prospect.   Landlords unloaded properties at firesale prices or, if the neighborhood was bad enough and the debt intractable enough, walked away – creating either gentrification-ready areas of cheap buildings or, for less desirable locations, acres of vacant buildings ready to be turned into crack dens.
  6. Alarmed by the decline in “affordable housing” caused by their own policies, the city’s government ratcheted up the regulations even more; as the saying goes, the beatings will continue until morale improves…

Given the mindless “progressivism” of California government, this will hasten the state’s decline.  The bad news?  It’ll also increase the number of Californians bringing their bobble-headed politics to sane states.

Foreman Said “These Jobs Are Going, Boys, And They Ain’t Coming Back…”

Coopers Super Valu, the longtime West Seventh / Highland Park anchor, is closing.

And while the city’s establishment will do its darnedest to suppress any mention of it, city “social justice” policy is at least in part the culprit:

“Sales here have been shrinking,” said Cooper, who noted that difficult union negotiations, record-keeping related to the city’s new sick-leave mandate, the decline in strip mall tenancies and the store’s pension liabilities were of no help.

Strip malls come and go – and Sibley Plaza seems to be on the “..and go” side of the equation – but as the city pours money into Lowertown and upper West Seventh, it’s orgy of regulations is  causing problems in parts of town where prosperity is a little more strained.

The Slip That Reveals

After a 14 hour convention that descended at one point into fisticuffs, the Minneapolis City DFL Convention reached no endorsement – but  Ray “The Kommissar” Dehn had a lead in the delegate count for mayor.

Further proof that the Minneapolis DFL is pushing too far left even for Betsy Hodges?  Sure.

But it’s the ephemera that tell us how far to the left.  This was one of Dehn’s congrats on Twitter:

“Comrade”.

This is Minneapolis today.

 

Todays’ Business Model, Fifteen Years Ago

Media companies switching to unpaid student labor.

As head editor for the local chapter of an online food-culture publication, Brogan Dearinger spent most mornings last fall coming up with story ideas, editing submissions and checking the performance of articles.

But there was no money in it—at least not for her.

Ms. Dearinger, then a senior at Indiana University Bloomington, was among about 8,000 unpaid college students working for local chapters of Spoon University Inc., a for-profit media company.

“They are always pushing us to publish more,” Ms. Dearinger said. “Since writers don’t get paid for their articles, sometimes it’s hard to motivate them to write more articles.”

That’s one way around those $15/hour minimum wage laws!

This is, of course, the model that Shot In The Dark and the NARN have used from Day 1.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Illinois may very well go bankrupt.

What do to?

It’s time to break up Illinois:

…let’s finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, Illinois has finally run out of other people’s money.

Not a bad plan – although I’m not sure what Wisconsin did to deserve Chicago. Give Chicago to Massachusetts.

Those “other people” include taxpayers who’ve abandoned the state. And now Illinois faces doomsday.

So as the politicians meet in Springfield this week for another round of posturing and gesturing and blaming, we need a plan.

We just disappear. With no pain. That’s right. You heard me.

The whole satirical (?) thing is worth a read.

 

Laws, And Facts, Are For Little People

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Senator Franken sent me his newsletter, which included the announcement that he would vote against President Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court.  The reason: the nominee’s ideology favors big business over ordinary Americans.

The press release explains:  “One of Sen. Franken’s main concerns that he said came out of the confirmation hearings is that Judge Gorsuch has a pattern of putting powerful interests, big business, and giant corporations over the safety and rights of average Americans. In one noteworthy ruling, Judge Gorsuch sided with a trucking business over an imperiled driver. In that case, the driver was stuck in below zero weather with frozen brakes and no heat. Forced to choose between freezing to death or driving an unsafe vehicle and risking public safety, he unhitched his trailer and left it behind in order to get warm. And as a result, his company fired him. When Judge Gorsuch ruled on that case, he sided with the trucking company.”

This quote either displays a shocking depth of ignorance about the American legal system, or a disgusting level of contempt for the intellectual abilities of his constituents.  I’m not sure which is worse.

The point of an impartial judiciary is that it does NOT base rulings on the people involved in the case, but on the law as written by the legislative branch of government.  To do it the other way throws us back to feudal times, when people weren’t treated equally under the law because certain favored groups had special privileges.  When the Declaration says “all men are created equal” it doesn’t mean literally equal – obviously we’re not all the same height or wear the same shoe size – it means they’ll be treated as equals for all legal purposes.  We don’t have a nobility that is exempt from the rules. 

If the law says “it’s okay to fire someone who disobeys a lawful order,” and the company gave him a lawful order to stay with the truck, then his decision to abandon the truck was a firing offense and the company was in the right.  What Senator Franken wants the court to do is re-write the law to add a section that the legislature did not include.  He wants the judge to add a section saying “unless the employee has a good reason not to obey the lawful order.” 

That is NOT the judge’s job.  The judge’s job is to say “Based on these facts and this law, this is the result.”  It might be a stupid law and therefore renders a stupid result, but that’s the legislature’s problem to fix.  The judiciary is not a super-legislature.

I will give him this: adopting Franken’s idea would cut down on a lot of litigation.  When the facts and law don’t matter, only the identity of the parties, there’s no need for a trial and witnesses.  If a property management company brought an eviction action against a single mother based on non-payment of rent, the court could immediately dismiss the case and allow her to live there for free, forever, because in Franken’s world, ordinary American trumps business.   If anybody filed a claim against an insurance company for any reason whatsoever, the claimant automatically would win because in Franken’s world, ordinary American trumps business.  Things would get trickier if a Black lesbian single mother sued a left-handed transgendered illegal immigrant because the victim ranking is constantly shifting:  who is the more victimized person and therefore the more worthy winner? 

True, there would be an economic impact as businesses went bankrupt from meritless lawsuits.  But a lot of lawyers would be freed up from litigation to engage in other worthy efforts, perhaps lobbying for stricter environmental regulations to take farmland out of production or stop the importation of oil and natural gas, things that would help save the planet so future generations of Americans could starve in the dark.

Joe Doakes

It’s good to have goals…

Rationality

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’ve been bewildered that Democrats don’t care about Obamacare and Social Security running in the red. Nobody acts irrationally in their own minds. Whatever they’re doing, it makes sense to them. But how can the government run in the red forever? How will Democrats repay the debt racked up to cover it? What’s their plan?
I figured it out. They have no plan; at least, no plan beyond today. They’re like teenagers looking at the newest iPhone. “I want that, I can afford the monthly payment, I’m buying it.” They know making the minimum monthly payment doesn’t pay down the principal but they assume something will come up, maybe Daddy will give them money for their birthday. As long as the teenager can make the monthly payments, there is no problem so they need no plan.
Now that Democrats are the government, they continue to make the minimum payment on the national debt and raise the debt limit to run up more. They won’t have a problem until the minimum payment required to service the national debt cannot be covered by additional borrowing. And since the government borrows from the people it appoints to print the money (the federal reserve), there is effectively no limit to additional borrowing and therefore no problem, now, or ever.
It’s genius, really. It’s a wonder nobody in history ever thought of that plan before.
Joe Doakes

Some conservatives describe liberal economics as “governing as if unicorns will descend from the heavents to un-screw things”.  And to be honest, the unicorns make more sense.

The Warm Flint, The Cold Baltimore

What’s the only thing worse than politics?

No politics.  Or, rather, no need for politics, since someone is making all the decisions without any need for all that pesky “compromise” and “discussion”.

History is full of the big examples – the USSR, East Germany, Germany itself, Communist China, India under Indira Gandhi, and on and on – places where politics was essentially a one-party exercise in internal spoils division.

The examples come closer to home, of course; places like Baltimore, DC, Newark, Camden, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Oakland, Stockton and Sacramento – all one-party cities where “politics” is a matter of internal Democrat party power utilization.

And of course, there’s California, where even some liberals are figuring it out:

We’re a case study in what a political community looks like when Republicans wield little or no power — and an ongoing refutation of the conceit that but for the GOP, the United States would be free of dysfunction.

Sure, the Golden State gets a lot right. It’s the sixth-largest economy in the world.

But California ranks in the lowest fifth of states in education. Housing costs are out of control. Our major cities face a crisis of homelessness. Our police officers kill citizens at rates comparable to the rest of the country. Our infrastructure is severely overstressed due to underinvestment. The bullet train project meant to connect L.A. to the Bay Area is a national joke. Our counties, cities and schools are being crushed by an unsustainable pension burden. Our taxes are already among the nation’s highest.

And it is no longer plausible to blame any of this on Republicans. For the foreseeable future, Democrats own every Golden State success and failure.

That particular article, written by the LaTimes’ token moderate-lefty (moderate = he hasn’t called for any violent overthrows laterly) Conor Friedersdorf, is mere acknowledgement that California Democrats had best be alert, since they’ve got no other parties to pass the buck to.  Victor Davis Hanson is more forthright.

Closer to home?  Horowitz’s Frontpage says what nobody in Minnesota dares say; Minneapolis is burning, whether you admit it or not.  After “only” forty years of one-party DFL rule (challenged, briefly, from the left by the Green Party in the nineties and early 2000s), Minneapolis’ decay has accelerated with DFL hegemony:

The result has been disastrous. As of 2015, the poverty rate in Minneapolis was 25.3%, nearly twice the 14% statewide rate for Minnesota and the 14.3% rate for the United States as a whole. In 2010, a study of 142 metro areas in Minnesota found that only 15 bore a heavier property-tax burden than Minneapolis, and that was before the city raised its property taxes by 4.7% in 2011.

More recently, Minneapolis property taxes increased by 3.4% in 2016, and by a crippling 5.5% in 2017.

 Notwithstanding the growth in revenues generated by these taxes, the government of Minneapolis has been incapable of balancing its budget. In 2015, for example, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority’s budget included $84 million in federal subsidies and grants. In 2017, the Metropolitan Council—which describes itself as “the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region”—received $91 million in federal funding. That same year, the Minneapolis Public Schools operated with a budget deficit of nearly $17 million.

But massive deficits, coupled with ever-increasing dependency on federal assistance, have done nothing to persuade the political leaders of Minneapolis to question their zealous devotion to leftist political solutions, including an unwavering commitment to the “sanctuary” policies that prevent city employees from assisting federal immigration authorities. When President Donald Trump in 2017 announced that he planned to cut off all federal funding for sanctuary cities, for instance, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges stated defiantly: “As long as I stand as Mayor, he’s going to have to get through me.”

He probably won’t, though.  Because as Minneapolis’s decay inevitably accelerates, and Betsy Hodges cashes in her sinecure points and moves on to a non-profit that contributes to the problem, the decay and collapse of the city will do what Donald Trump can not.

That Which Can’t Be Sustained, Won’t Be

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Every year for the last 40 years, the United States has run short of money in the budget.  To fill the shortfall, the General Fund borrowed from the Social Security fund, but that still wasn’t enough.  To make ends meet, we borrowed even more.  The total accumulated debt is now $20,000,000,000,000.  That’s twenty trillion, with a T.

 That number does not include the cost of promises the government will be obligated to pay in the future such as Social Security and Medicare, the 20 trillion number is only the total of the promissory notes signed to fund government operations in the past.  Covering the cost of all government promises is closer to 100 trillion, give or take, depending on who you talk to.

 We’re not paying down the debt.  We’re making the minimum monthly payments on existing debt while running up ever more debt, month after month, with no end in sight.

 I don’t care whose fault it is.

 No, I really don’t care whose fault it is.  Finger-pointing and blaming is useless blather, at this point.

 I want to know what we’re going to do about it.

 The reason it comes up is because Republicans in Congress are talking about reforming Obama-care to make it affordable enough that the government can continue to offer the program, but Democrats are screaming the reforms will make the program unaffordable for individual citizens.  Both have fair points.  Both fail to address my point.

 Can government programs run in the red forever?  Can public debt be accumulated forever?  Is there literally no limit to how much debt we can run up?

If so, why?  That’s not true for private individuals or corporations.  If it’s true for government, there must be a reason why it’s true.  What’s the reason?

 Joe Doakes

Let’s ask Paul Krugman.

The Plan

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My boss is a liberal.  “Trump tweeted that he’s breaking his promise, Mexico won’t pay for the wall, we will.”

My response: you’re being distracted from important things by irrelevancies.  Social Security runs out of money in three years. Then what?

His idea: make the federal government repay the money they stole from it.

Seriously?  The reason the federal budget is only short $500 billion each year is that we’re borrowing money from the Social Security fund to cover it.  Where will we get the money to close that gap PLUS repay the IOUs to Social Security?

Simple: the government will just have to come up with the money. And if they don’t have it, then we can’t build the wall. And besides, it’s only temporary, until enough undocumented immigrants arrive to pay into the system again, then it’ll all work out.

Yes.  The liberal plan is to bail out Social Security with [illegal immigants], which is why we must not build the wall, so they can get in, to save us.

Joe Doakes   

Which is, of course, also why we need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; if people make more, they pay more social security taxes.  Hence solvency…