Thursday, December 10, 2015

Oh Yeah. Things Are So Great in Scandinavia

I danced around the issues with a good solid liberal yesterday, and he was still doing the "Scandinavians seem to like it" two-step.

Oh yeah. Things are just great as the Scandis are beside themselves as Muslims come in and just sit there in their no-go areas on welfare.  How great is that!

So let's rehearse the reasons why the social-democratic state does not work.

First of all, if you smother the workers in rigid government benefits and lifetime employment there is a problem. Suppose the economy changes, and steady lifetime-employment wage work isn't available any more. You've just spent a century teaching the workers that they don't need to do anything but just show up for work and get in line for their government benefits. Where are they going to find the enterprise and the resilience to adapt to the new workplace? How are they going to learn how to look after their own welfare rather than just let the government do it for them? How good is that promise that you pay in now to collect your benefits later? Because politicians are in the business of making promises to get elected now. They don't really care if there is any money to pay benefits 30 years from now.

In other words, the very culture of social insurance makes people unprepared for change. The ideologues and the politicians tell people that they are owed, that all they need to do is vote for the right party and stand in line for their benefits. But that is a lie. Nobody knows what is coming in the future; nobody knows what workplace skills will be needed in the future. As they say about forecasting Hollywood blockbusters. Nobody knows anything.

Well we now know what happens after a century of social protection. The white working class drinks and drugs itself to death and "Asians" rape their underage daughters and nobody does anything about it.

Then there is what I call my "little darlings" theory of politics. It's a lovely thing to become the little darlings of the ruling class, as the workers used to be. Hey, the politicians said, you workers are the finest people in the world. It is your sweat and your strength that makes the economy go. So we are going to take care of you. Yeah! The woikers are the salt of the earth!

But then comes a Pharaoh that knew not Joseph. Then comes a day when the ruling class falls out of love with their little darlings, the workers. The workers are not the salt of the earth, not at all, the fashionables say. In fact they are racist, sexist bigots, just like Archie Bunker. So what do the workers do then, poor things, as the firemen jobs go to African Americans, as factory jobs dry up and move to China?

Well, it takes them 40 years, but eventually the workers get a clue and fall in love with Donald Trump.

The thing is that rank-and-file liberals are clueless about all this. They believe in their shibboleths, they really do, and they get daily booster shots from NPR and The New York Times. They still believe in their top-down administrative one-size-fits-all government programs, even as the wheels are coming off Obamacare, even as the wheels are coming off Obama's foreign policy, even as the economy struggles against the headwinds of the regulatory state.

And it's not as if the science isn't settled on all this. We know the administrative state doesn't work. We know that the benefit state is running out of money. We know that the economy changes all the time and the government cannot make guarantees about 40 years in the future. We know that the whole western imperialist/colonialist dogma is a crock.

Actually, I believe that liberals are in the position of soldiers retreating from Moscow in 1812. Should they stay in their ranks in the army? Or is it sauve qui peut, every man for himself? The point is, I think, that soldiers tend to stay in their ranks until it is way too late. It's like they say: when the Jews leave, it is time to go. When the Portuguese leave, it is too late.

People are making all kinds of predictions about the future and the elections next year. But I think that the only thing to be sure about is that nobody knows nothing. Liberals are going to get louder and louder pushing their cruel and unjust narrative, and you won't be able to hear a thing over the noise. But the foundations are shaking, and the liberals know it in their bones, if not in their minds.

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