Keynsianism manufactures its own truth

Nigel asks:

A problem is over-reliance on foreign work to produce goods. The jobs that are left here are service jobs and managerial jobs. …

Did we get this way by free trade or by government intervention?

In “Death of the Doctor”, the virtue of a character is proved by that character having traveled around protesting:

…he’s picketing an oil rig…

…you’re fighting oil barons and factories…

Fighting factories. Not any specific kind of factory – just, factories, as if it were proof enough of a person’s virtue that he was fighting factories – any factories.

This is the same worldview as encapsulated in “sweatshop” – that capital formation, savings and investment, harms people.

The regulatory state is overwhelmingly dominated by people who have internalized that worldview – thus regulation is in practice applied to halt capital formation by businesses, to prevent savings from being put to productive use, in particular and especially to prevent them from being applied to factories.  Regulators see it as a simple wrong, to be stopped on any vaguely plausible grounds.

This regulation produces the Keynesian paradox – that saving is harmful and has to be offset by state dissaving.

19 Responses to “Keynsianism manufactures its own truth”

  1. Discipline says:

    It’s very challenging to communicate this to the best ‘educated’ minds in America. They simply refuse to understand precisely why the industrial labor mysteriously de-materialized here and re-appeared in Asia, piecemeal.

    That this happened following the creation of the EPA, the growth of the environmental movement, and the end of the international gold standard seems to provoke no moment of understanding for these people. I’ve tried to make the case in a calm, measured, and well-documented fashion many times already. The ‘a-ha’ moment never occurs for them.

    For many of them, there are few contradictory ideas: manufacturing jobs are good (because they make constituents happy), environmental regulations are holy, ‘polluting’ industries are evil. Bhopal, Love Canal, Mother Earth. The factories left because of financiers (who must be regulated) and the evil destruction of the unions at the hands of evil Reaganites.

    This narrative is so hard-set into their minds. I think it’s because many, particular boomers, watched as their home communities were destroyed by this degenerative ratchet. It would shake their world view too badly to understand who destroyed whom, and for what purpose.

    • jim says:

      It is similar to their stereotype of the evil financier and evil derivatives, who oppress Hispanics by lending them money they cannot possibly repay.

      • Discipline says:

        Yes. The existence of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the entire departments dedicated to housing seem to escape much of the press, much less the understanding of what perverse incentives they create.

        The strange thing about it to me is that there isn’t… even… an… inkling… of understanding among them about why mass manufacturing exists elsewhere. This is incredibly difficult, it seems, in particular, for Republicans of the economically illiterate variety to perceive. Understanding the most basic arguments against the minimum wage seems to escape people who almost certainly at least heard the arguments in basic economics courses, because the idiots who vote believe that higher fixed wages means mo’ better.

        The causes and the effects are readily comprehensible. I suppose this is what you get in a society in which even the leadership reads maybe a book a year (by Malcolm Gladwell) and gets most information from the daily press. It’s the national version of the ‘dipshit explosion’ that can occur in a company with poor hiring practices, writ through generations of such explosions.

  2. “And was Jerusalem builded here,
    Among those dark Satanic mills?”

    • Scharlach says:

      I have a soft spot for Blake, but NBS is absolutely right to locate the origin of contemporary Leftism, in its most crystal-clear and recognizable form, in the poetry of Blake.

      • Thrasymachus says:

        Germany is a top manufacturing country, and so is Italy, in high-quality goods. The mention of Blake points to it being an English thing, as these things often are deep down. There is a peculiarly English revulsion for any kind of work that gets your hands dirty, and a corresponding strong desire for office work and a belief it brings status.

        • fnn says:

          Yeah, the Green mentality is even greater in Germany than it is in the US.
          It even survived the “Nazi” taint:

          http://www.amazon.com/How-Green-Were-Nazis-Environment/dp/0821416472

        • spandrell says:

          Revulsion to working is by no means an English thing. Think of the Roman patricians, the Spanish hidalgos, the Chinese mandarins. Work being demeaning is a universal aristocratic meme.

          • jim says:

            It is normal, indeed almost universal, for the elite to look down upon those who work with their hands. What is, however, unusual, is a righteous desire to protect the masses from work that requires the use of their hands.

            Observing the usage of the word “sweatshop”, we notice that slave laborers being worked to death by totalitarian terror regimes are not working in “sweatshops”. This is perhaps unsurprising. What is more surprising is that people growing crops in the tropical sun and sweating a great deal are not working in “sweatshops” either. (Not that the elite approve of them working on “plantations” either, but their outrage is directed more violently at “sweatshops”.) A place where rednecks get their necks red is not a “sweatshop”.

            What makes a sweatshop a sweatshop is capital, hard physical work, and entrepreneurship. Omit any one of those, and it is no longer a sweatshop.

            It is never a “sweatshop” merely because people work long hours in the burning sun barefoot on dirt infested with human parasites and drink water contaminated with human shit, even if evil capitalists own the dirt. It is only a “sweatshop”, when people work in a clean air conditioned factory and are paid wages that enable them to not only afford shoes, but also some kind of petrol powered transport.

            It is not a sweatshop merely because people are working with their hands. It is not a sweatshop merely because conditions are not as good as the pious progressive would wish them to be. To be a sweatshop, it has to have equipment that required considerable skill, money, and effort to create.

            To be a “sweatshop” a facility has to be somewhat capital intensive, and therefore usually air conditioned, with nice toilets, and relatively high wages. The outrage is conditional on being capital intensive.

    • VXXC says:

      Nick that’s brilliant.

      you should get a blog or something.

  3. VXXC says:

    >Dey.Gotta.Go.

    Now if restoration as part of gainful employment requires protectionism and it probably does, fine. I give a damn if we’re fair to other nations. I care about Americans. Frankly no government has justification if it does not protect, our actual government and elites see their sacred duty as PREDATION. We are governed under the Morgenthau plan. If they weren’t cowards it would be the Konigsberg plan.

    All other questions > see step 1.

  4. SOBL says:

    Once the middle class has econ security and unions peaked only to drift down and the New Left won the Dem party’s heart between ’68-’72, the shift of working class and middle class labor voters tot he GOP had to be destroyed. Not by policy changes but by regulating their industries to death.

    I’m partial to forestry due to my home state but I watched 1st hand as federal and then state laws choked the forestry industry. Even something as mild as Dr. Seuss’ Lorax book was a complete lie about the state of America’s forests in ’71. America’s forests had been growing since the mid ’40s, but the propaganda was that they were dying and shrinking. All the regulation did was move jobs and export our tree cutting. Deforestation moved to nations with less knowledge of forest management as well as cut down precious rainforest.

    In America, it destroyed the forestry, logging and paper industry, nudging toss up states like Oregon, Maine and Washington to safe Dem states. Sorry to focus on forestry, but the numbers of jobs lost is large for those three states as is the political power. Those job losses turned workers into white welfare cases, creating more Dem voters and more dysfunctional needy for Dem govt programs.

  5. VXXC says:

    Until you understand our elites are common criminals except for degrees and birth they will continue to mystify you.

    By common criminals I mean chaotic, undisciplined, given utterly over to emotion and impulse. You may think of either Weiner or the IRS agents giving vent to envy and the untrammeled abuse of power. Our elites wield power as criminals high on the drug of power.

    Organized Crime requires discipline and a businessmans approach. This is not to romanticize the bastards at all, but there is a huge Sigma difference between Organized Crime and the street criminal. Honor [your word] is held up both by peer values and lethal sanction. As is judicial restraint in the use of power.

    Our elites are street criminals in outlook with degrees from the academic priesthood instead of violence as their tools.

  6. jim says:

    Theoretically academy filters for high conscientiousness and long time preference. However, anything that filters for these, filters out women and blacks.

    I observe that in computer science, they are not only affirmative actioning women into computer science, but systematically dropping stuff that is hard for women, with the result that a computer science degree is not very indicative of the ability to program. Presumably the same thing is happening more generally, with the result that an academic degree is less indicative of conscientiousness and long term thinking.

    • Thrasymachus says:

      Boeing is apparently hiring lots of women engineers. Just because. The fact they have a gay HR guy who looks up the names of people who signed anti-gay marriage petitions and writes them asking them why they are bad people shows the state of the company. Maybe with real engineers the planes wouldn’t be catching on fire.

      • jim says:

        Similarly with Google. They originally had a policy of hiring only smart people, and were disturbed to find that all the people they hired were white males. So they set about hiring women, and were disturbed to find that all the women they hired were idiots (actually they were very smart women compared to the average person, but they were idiots in the Google context in that they were unable to function at all, because everything was just way above their comprehension) So Google HR constructed a whole new system for assessing ability, on which assessment women performed wonderfully well, and all those sexist white males were underperforming. Some of those underperforming males were fired, especially if they had a bad attitude. Shortly afterwards, search engine optimizers started to report that the way to get high rankings was no longer to write good articles or get good quality incoming links, but just scam the mindlessly stupid ranking algorithm, much as Boeing’s planes started to catch fire.

  7. […] Keynsianism manufactures its own truth « Jim’s Blog […]

  8. VXXC says:

    The American Regulatory State is the Arsenal of Corruption.

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