Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

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Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:46 am

I do not watch Fox News and have not really been exposed to Tucker Carlson, although I am aware of who he is in the broadest sense. Anyway, I bumped into this piece, but it struck me as disorientingly level-headed, and it actually got me to go read the Romney editorial. Check it out...

Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump’s character and leadership. Romney’s attack and Trump’s response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It’s even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We’ll see.

But for now, Romney’s piece is fascinating on its own terms. It’s well-worth reading. It’s a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney’s main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That’s true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn’t explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn’t appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That’s not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It’s how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the “mainstream Republican” view. And he’s right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world — France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others — voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you’re watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they’re less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven’t so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It’s happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They’re what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don’t care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They’re day traders. Substitute teachers. They’re just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can’t solve our problems. They don’t even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don’t care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don’t see a connection between people’s personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country’s ability to pay its bills. As far as they’re concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you’ll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can’t separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn’t even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a “culture of poverty” that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn’t the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn’t seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You’d think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they’re not. They don’t have to be interested. It’s easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here’s a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don’t want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don’t. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn’t speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It’s social science. We know it’s true. Rich people know it best of all. That’s why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here’s the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men’s wages in Dayton or Detroit? That’s crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it’s still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it’s more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America’s biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They’re day traders. Substitute teachers. They’re just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What’s remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn’t question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn’t laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can’t possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We’re OK with that? We shouldn’t be. Libertarians tell us that’s how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it’s also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it’s happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it’s everywhere.

And that’s not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. “Oh, but it’s better for you than alcohol,” they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who’s been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don’t care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don’t even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There’s nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who’s living off inherited money and doesn’t work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It’s a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it’s infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It’s based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don’t hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It’s happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don’t accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you’re old.

A country that listens to young people who don’t live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There’s no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You’d have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They’ll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They’ll likely lose donors in the process. They’ll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That’s a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn’t work. It’s what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we’re going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you’ve got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker- ... nfuriating
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:50 am

It reminds me of G.K. Chesterton's Three Foes of the Family:

"It cannot be too often repeated that what destroyed the Family in the modern world was Capitalism. No doubt it might have been Communism, if Communism had ever had a chance, outside that semi-Mongolian wilderness where it actually flourishes. But, so far as we are concerned, what has broken up households and encouraged divorces, and treated the old domestic virtues with more and more open contempt, is the epoch and Power of Capitalism.

It is Capitalism that has forced a moral feud and a commercial competition between the sexes; that has destroyed the influence of the parent in favour of the influence of the employer; that has driven men from their homes to look for jobs; that has forced them to live near their factories or their firms instead of near their families; and, above all, that has encouraged, for commercial reasons, a parade of publicity and garish novelty, which is in its nature the death of all that was called dignity and modesty by our mothers and fathers."
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by powerlifter54 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:47 am

Interesting opinion. Not sure I agree with it all but mulling it over.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Turdacious » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:35 am

Every time I see Tucker Carlson, I can't help but think of Little Lord Fauntleroy.

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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:36 pm

powerlifter54 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:47 am
Interesting opinion. Not sure I agree with it all but mulling it over.
I think both you and I are proponents of free markets as the best way to meet people's economic needs, but there's no point in fetishizing it. The economic system of a nation should serve the people of that nation, not the other way around. Personally, I have worked in the private sector all my life, and in a family business at that, so I am sensitive both to the rewards of running a business and the power of family to shape positive lives across generations. That said, I don't think it's a stretch to say that both democrats and republicans are oriented towards the interests of big capital and not the American family or the small businesses they run. Of course, there's also an element of pearl-clutching, "think of the children!" hyperventilation here which is priggish and gay.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:04 am

“The system offends the moral sensibilities even of people who are benefiting from it”

https://www.vox.com/2019/1/2/18130630/a ... pearlstein
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by nafod » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:41 pm

My data point, both of my parents came from poverty and broken homes without fathers. Not so much the good old days. When you read history books, you find the typical nuclear family was pretty untypical, with parents dying, losing all their money, kids getting sent away, raised by uncles and grandparents, etc.

They’ve been married 60 years. Their kids have done alright.

My dad’s father worked the coal mines, and so had to live in a company house and shop in a company store. Lived in 5 different houses in the same town. The unions/dems addressed that problem, not the repubs. I’ve never felt an affinity for dems, but also never forgot that fact.

I think it needs to be “free and fair” markets. A company too big to fail is getting free bailout insurance (not fair) and should be broken up.

I agree that Romney’s business was a parasite on companies that actually make stuff. Sacrifice the long term for the short.

Producing value is what it is all about, by digging it up, growing it, or taking things and adding value to them. I respect that. The whole entire rest of the financial world? Needed to grease the wheels of commerce, but second place on the respect scale. When the best and brightest go to those jobs, the system is tilted wrong.

Elizabeth Warren is the best bet for free and fair markets. She won’t be President, she’d make a good secretary of treasury. Or stay where she is and keep bringing the heat to Wall Street.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Gene » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:17 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:46 am
Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian.
Our combined Federal Register grows each year, often benefiting entrenched interests. Calling the attitudes of the backbone of the Democratic Party "functionally libertarian" is like calling a hamlet bombed with napalm functionally liberated.

Definition of Mayonnaise.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/ ... fr=169.140

The definition for Ketchup...

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/ ... fr=155.194

Canned Vegetables...

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/ ... 5&showFR=1

We need this kind of micromanagement?
Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:46 am
That’s a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn’t work. It’s what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we’re going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you’ve got to put its families first.
Which is done how? Through a managed economy? Unions?

Who decides what constitutes a "family"? If I move in with someone else can we call ourselves a Family? Do we get special privileges?

What built the middle class were labor saving devices and the birth control pill. Women could devote more time to raising smaller families, and then later to careers. Double income families are the norm today, they earn enough to give people fantastic lifestyles.


Unions might have ended the Company Store, the Truck System. Since the 1970s they and the rest of the Progressive movement veered into Identity Politics. They're fucked.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Gene » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:24 pm

nafod wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:41 pm
I think it needs to be “free and fair” markets. A company too big to fail is getting free bailout insurance (not fair) and should be broken up.

I agree that Romney’s business was a parasite on companies that actually make stuff. Sacrifice the long term for the short.

Producing value is what it is all about, by digging it up, growing it, or taking things and adding value to them. I respect that. The whole entire rest of the financial world? Needed to grease the wheels of commerce, but second place on the respect scale. When the best and brightest go to those jobs, the system is tilted wrong.
Consumers determine value. Period. Most are fickle. They're heartless. Most don't care what it took to make something. A robot or a little child with bleeding fingers sewing in some sweatshop somewhere. "What's in it for me?"

Our job along the value chain is to appeal to them, to give them what they consider good value. To hope that we can make a good run of this idea, this service, this product, so that we recoup the investments needed to make it. When we're good we get good ROI. When we're shit we get replaced, cause Stock Holders are also consumers.

Gordon Gecko and George Soros were considered "heartless". Nope, the consumer is heartless. Always will be.

Those of us who will pay a premium for fair trade? We pay a little more. We don't need Bureaucracy to enforce that upon us.


I sometimes think that Bain Group's main job was as "roof" to borrow Russian Mafiya terms. Bain's hand on things insured that politicians would keep their bureaucratic friends off of the backs of the investment. Such insurance is worth something.

What does it means when you have to have a team of Lawyers or politicians on your side to do business? Doesn't sound like a Free Market to me.


Anyone who likes regulation needs to acquaint themselves with regulatory capture. Best example today is the revolving door between the FDA middle management and executives from Big Pharma and Big Agra.

Today's current example of regulatory capture? Vaping. The FDA is going after vaping. Why? Vaping pipes do not deliver drug dosages any more than a cup of tea or coffee delivers a "drug". They're not food either. Is it in the FDA's mission or do they have managers with ties to companies that make cigarettes? Both maybe?

Regulatory Capture - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Gene » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:43 pm

nafod wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:41 pm
I think it needs to be “free and fair” markets. A company too big to fail is getting free bailout insurance (not fair) and should be broken up.
Heads I win, tails you lose? Fair complaint.

Preston Tucker's misery is proof that we don't have free markets, haven't in many years. Won't be coming back any time soon.

I've been told that most of the bailouts from the 2008 crash went offshore because of the bundling foolishness. The US Fedgov needed to retain confidence in US Treasury bonds. Otherwise they would have to bid up ROIs on those bonds. TARP was probably a lot cheaper than paying more to service the debt.


There is supposed to be about $1.45 Quadrillion dollars in margins out there. Being held by a handful of big banks. If we brought back Glass-Steagal all of these could get called. So that's out.

Do we abolish FDIC insurance? That's going to hit the banks from the other side.


We all got on the tiger's back. What now?

One thing for sure, Elizabeth Warren isn't going to fix it. No one can.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by johno » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:54 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:46 am
Carlson: "If you want to put America first, you’ve got to put its families first."

Carlson partially blames big government for the decline of the black family, then pivots to blame capitalism for the decline of white families. It does not follow - white single moms get the same benefits that black moms do. Poor families will continue to disintegrate so long as women can substitute (poorly) Uncle Sam for their men.

And more well-to-do families will outsource childrearing to nannies and preschools, so long as the culture devalues mothers and families in favor of "careers."

I don't know how this can be undone. But I shudder to imagine the damage that government could do in the name of "putting families first."

*****

From the Wall St. Journal:

The birthrate in America has been declining, but some places are more fertile than others, according to a new look at federal data that reveals significant variation in fertility rates around the country. Only South Dakota’s and Utah’s fertility rates reached the level needed to sustain the current population.

The number of babies born in 2017, around 3.85 million, was the lowest since 1987. In order for the country’s population to essentially replace itself, researchers say that 2,100 babies should be born for every 1,000 women. In 2017, the total fertility rate—an estimate of the total number of children a woman will eventually have in her lifetime—was 1,765 births per 1,000 women, well below what is known as the replacement level.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-fertil ... ding_now_1
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:34 pm

Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics

https://www.vox.com/2019/1/10/18171912/ ... -trump-gop
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:46 pm

johno wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:54 am
Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:46 am
Carlson: "If you want to put America first, you’ve got to put its families first."

Carlson partially blames big government for the decline of the black family, then pivots to blame capitalism for the decline of white families. It does not follow - white single moms get the same benefits that black moms do. Poor families will continue to disintegrate so long as women can substitute (poorly) Uncle Sam for their men.

And more well-to-do families will outsource childrearing to nannies and preschools, so long as the culture devalues mothers and families in favor of "careers."

I don't know how this can be undone. But I shudder to imagine the damage that government could do in the name of "putting families first."

*****

From the Wall St. Journal:

The birthrate in America has been declining, but some places are more fertile than others, according to a new look at federal data that reveals significant variation in fertility rates around the country. Only South Dakota’s and Utah’s fertility rates reached the level needed to sustain the current population.

The number of babies born in 2017, around 3.85 million, was the lowest since 1987. In order for the country’s population to essentially replace itself, researchers say that 2,100 babies should be born for every 1,000 women. In 2017, the total fertility rate—an estimate of the total number of children a woman will eventually have in her lifetime—was 1,765 births per 1,000 women, well below what is known as the replacement level.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-fertil ... ding_now_1
I don't really think he's making the argument that you are responding to. Set aside black families for a second, as that community has its own set of problems particular to it, but they also don't represent a very large slice of America (~12.3%). The argument he is making, as I understand it, is that while capitalism has outshone all other economic systems it is still just a tool, and that like any tool it should be applied judiciously and with care, and when misapplied, it can be dangerous. An example is NAFTA; while totally in line with the so-called conservative mantras of free trade, was a disaster for a large number of Americans while benefiting--wildly--a small elite.

Now, about that elite, they operate in a sphere that has its own rules, but which also has implications that trickle down to regular American families. Here is Alain Soral talking about the effects which rampant market forces have had on families, and in particular women, through the blunt instrument of "feminism":

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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by johno » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:49 am

Why set aside the destruction of black families as a separate case? Certainly there are more single white Moms on welfare than single black Moms. And Uncle Sam has made low income white Dads just as disposable as single black Dads. The federal hand in this has been massive and tragic...it may have precipitated or accelerated the culture shift toward single families.

I'd be more receptive if he expressed greater humility and caution about the role of government. Putting Families First sounds good, but can easily be bungled or gamed.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by ccrow » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:53 pm

Usually I dismiss anyone wearing a bow tie, but this was well worth a read, glad you posted it.
Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:46 am
I do not watch Fox News and have not really been exposed to Tucker Carlson, although I am aware of who he is in the broadest sense. Anyway, I bumped into this piece, but it struck me as disorientingly level-headed, and it actually got me to go read the Romney editorial. Check it out...

Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating
But when I stand in front of the mirror and really look, I wonder: What the fuck happened here? Jesus Christ. What a beating!

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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Gene » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:58 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:46 pm

I don't really think he's making the argument that you are responding to. Set aside black families for a second, as that community has its own set of problems particular to it, but they also don't represent a very large slice of America (~12.3%). The argument he is making, as I understand it, is that while capitalism has outshone all other economic systems it is still just a tool, and that like any tool it should be applied judiciously and with care, and when misapplied, it can be dangerous.
A tool requires a tool user. I ask - who controls the tool?

My concern is that we don't have capitalism in its purest form. As time goes by we have more fascism - partnerships between government and business. Calling it capitalism only partially true.

The US has not had anything like Laissez Faire Capitalism since the late 1800s. The Progressives began to regulate the economy, in some cases reducing fraud, in other cases entrenching old money and economic interests.

Our money is managed by a Government/Private Industry partnership known as the Federal Reserve. This system was and still is dominated by New York banking interests, the same persons who were accused of running the country. They went into business with the government in 1913.

Part of this Progressive takeover was the Income tax, which old money protected its legacies by using Estates. More income, more money for mischief, especially war.

We got the War Economy during WW1, and then the New Deal. Voters don't want wage and price controls during peace but since that time it's been a gradual expansion of State power.

Wickard vs Filburn justified Congress doing what it pleased under the Interstate Commerce Clause. Before that time all Congress could do was tax things - Marijuana, automatic firearms, and so on.

Sen Coburn asks Elena Kagan about the limits of Congressional power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSoWGlyugTo

They don't show her response. The Voters call the shots. I think we need to restore the commerce clause. Federalism is a good idea. Let's try it.

Examples of this market rigging.

The American Medical Association has been managing who can and cannot practice medicine for decades. Our Doctors have the equivalent of a post Doc PhD in terms of schooling. Such persons are entitled by State law to practice Medicine. Our FDA and DEA give them power to prescribe medicine. How does this benefit consumers? Do we need doctors for things that Nurses already do?

Some European nations have a four year program plus some residency for Doctors. In many places drugs are available across the counter. They don't have Ambulance Chasers like John Edwards suing doctors. Medical services will be cheaper. Better? To hear the Social Democrats here, Europe has better "outcomes", and with cheaper doctors.

Lawyers.... a whole body of Tort Law that punishes innovation and risk. Buckminster Fuller called this system "Lawyer Capitalism". Preston Tucker had many innovations in Automobile design. He was buried by his competitors. I suspect that the US automobile industry was forced to raise quality and innovation due to Asian competition, mainly from Japan. No Japanese courts would take their lawsuits. They tried through quotas to restrict imports but that failed. Consumers benefited from greater quality and innovation. We could have had that much earlier were it not for Lawyer Capitalism.

Atop of Lawyer Capitalism we have make work crap. War on Drugs. Rampant environmentalism. Even climate "models" to justify a "Green New Deal".

We have Regulatory Capture. Big Business influences Regulators through Lobbyists, exchanging execs and other means. I mentioned Vaping. Who does Vaping hurt? Big Tobacco, which wants to keep its cigarette market strong. How many big tobacco execs work for the FDA?



The hard part is that regulation can make damn good sense. Other times it's just market rigging. One does not excuse the other.

I think before we discuss capitalism we need to decide how much of it we need, how risk takers will be rewarded and how much of our regulation is just a protection racket for the Elites.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Gene » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:46 pm
An example is NAFTA; while totally in line with the so-called conservative mantras of free trade, was a disaster for a large number of Americans while benefiting--wildly--a small elite.
Was NAFTA "free trade"? There are 1,700 pages of regulations in that agreement. Sounds to me more like managed trade. Who would that trade benefit the most? Old money and established Corporate interests. The negotiators in all three countries will protect their sponsor's business interests.

Us common folk? We are nothing to them.
Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:46 pm
Now, about that elite, they operate in a sphere that has its own rules, but which also has implications that trickle down to regular American families. Here is Alain Soral talking about the effects which rampant market forces have had on families, and in particular women, through the blunt instrument of "feminism":
The Elites tend to manipulate the market through special laws, Regulatory Capture and other mechanisms.

Feminism started with a good idea - women are not the property of their fathers or husbands. They would be free to work if they wished to do so. The theology of feminism tried to bully them all to be workers.

I suspect that Elites wanted more tax money. Housewives don't generate tax revenue, working Moms do.

Thank you for the video. He spells out the decline of feminism. More workers, more wage competition. What effect does this have on children? How do our children behave today?
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:58 pm

johno wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:49 am
Why set aside the destruction of black families as a separate case? Certainly there are more single white Moms on welfare than single black Moms. And Uncle Sam has made low income white Dads just as disposable as single black Dads. The federal hand in this has been massive and tragic...it may have precipitated or accelerated the culture shift toward single families.

I'd be more receptive if he expressed greater humility and caution about the role of government. Putting Families First sounds good, but can easily be bungled or gamed.
I suggested putting aside black families because much of the damage done is by internal forces, as opposed to external ones. A culture of thuggishness, lack of personal accountability, and low expectations has done more damage to the black community in the United States than any combination of governmental neglect and maliciousness could ever hope to.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Turdacious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:23 pm

double post
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Turdacious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:27 pm

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it’s infuriating.
Did Bernie Sanders ghostwrite this for Carlson? I've seen nothing suggesting that either Tucker Carlson or Trump support raising taxes on unearned income, everything I've seen suggests that they both supported the recent tax cuts which disproportionately favored people who have higher earned and unearned incomes (NTTAWTT). Is Carlson really suggesting that raising taxes on the rich is the way to fix our problems?
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by unochamp1 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:28 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:58 pm
johno wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:49 am
Why set aside the destruction of black families as a separate case? Certainly there are more single white Moms on welfare than single black Moms. And Uncle Sam has made low income white Dads just as disposable as single black Dads. The federal hand in this has been massive and tragic...it may have precipitated or accelerated the culture shift toward single families.

I'd be more receptive if he expressed greater humility and caution about the role of government. Putting Families First sounds good, but can easily be bungled or gamed.
I suggested putting aside black families because much of the damage done is by internal forces, as opposed to external ones. A culture of thuggishness, lack of personal accountability, and low expectations has done more damage to the black community in the United States than any combination of governmental neglect and maliciousness could ever hope to.

You may want to take a peek at "Hillbilly Elegy" before you relegate the so-called "internal forces" to the domain of the blacks.

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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Turdacious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:38 pm

unochamp1 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:28 pm
Fat Cat wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:58 pm
johno wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:49 am
Why set aside the destruction of black families as a separate case? Certainly there are more single white Moms on welfare than single black Moms. And Uncle Sam has made low income white Dads just as disposable as single black Dads. The federal hand in this has been massive and tragic...it may have precipitated or accelerated the culture shift toward single families.

I'd be more receptive if he expressed greater humility and caution about the role of government. Putting Families First sounds good, but can easily be bungled or gamed.
I suggested putting aside black families because much of the damage done is by internal forces, as opposed to external ones. A culture of thuggishness, lack of personal accountability, and low expectations has done more damage to the black community in the United States than any combination of governmental neglect and maliciousness could ever hope to.

You may want to take a peek at "Hillbilly Elegy" before you relegate the so-called "internal forces" to the domain of the blacks.
Or take a drive through West Virginia and the eastern part of Ohio and see it in person.
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Re: Interesting Editorial by Tucker Carlson: Mitt Romney and America

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:32 pm

unochamp1 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:28 pm
Fat Cat wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:58 pm
johno wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:49 am
Why set aside the destruction of black families as a separate case? Certainly there are more single white Moms on welfare than single black Moms. And Uncle Sam has made low income white Dads just as disposable as single black Dads. The federal hand in this has been massive and tragic...it may have precipitated or accelerated the culture shift toward single families.

I'd be more receptive if he expressed greater humility and caution about the role of government. Putting Families First sounds good, but can easily be bungled or gamed.
I suggested putting aside black families because much of the damage done is by internal forces, as opposed to external ones. A culture of thuggishness, lack of personal accountability, and low expectations has done more damage to the black community in the United States than any combination of governmental neglect and maliciousness could ever hope to.

You may want to take a peek at "Hillbilly Elegy" before you relegate the so-called "internal forces" to the domain of the blacks.
It's a fair point, so let me just say that the basic idea of what I'm saying is true whether or not you include black Americans.
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