Peter Brimelow writes: I know some readers get annoyed, but I was going to block off VDARE.COM’s home page again tonight with a new fundraising appeal. After a few hopeful days, our current campaign has once again stalled. And nothing else seems to work.
But then I got this piece from Steve Sailer, which is a case study in the influence of VDARE.COM writers. Steve, in his serene way, doesn’t seem to mind that these writers have ripped him off. He thinks it’s all for the good of the cause, and he’s right. But to do the pioneering work that causes the MSM to steal their ideas, our writers need to be paid. Please give generously.
By Steve Sailer
Two young Atlantic Magazine editors, both fairly conservative, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, have written a much-discussed book, Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. They argue, sensibly, that the Republican Party should focus on policies that strengthen families, financially and morally.
"The American dream is ultimately a dream of home, of a place to call your own, earned and not inherited, and free from the petty tyranny of landlords, bureaucrats, and bankers. It's a dream of a country in which ownership is available to everyone, provided that they are willing to work for it, rather than being handed out on the basis of wealth or caste, brains or beauty."
Less poetically, they want the traditional high wage, cheap land America that Ben Franklin endorsed in his 1751 essay showing that "When Families can be easily supported, more Persons marry, and earlier in Life."
Of course, Republicans have been winning the family vote recently. In 2004, George W. Bush carried 25 of the top 26 states grouped in terms of white “total fertility rate” (number of babies per woman per lifetime), while John Kerry was victorious in the bottom 16.
But Republicans haven't actually delivered much to deserve the family vote, other than some good judicial nominees. What has the Bush Administration's policy, now endorsed by John McCain, of Invade the World/ Invite the World/ In Hock to the World done to build the human capital of average American families?
Douthat and Salam argue that the GOP's commitment to tax-cutting has hit electoral diminishing returns. It's no longer 1980, when the "animal spirits" of businessmen desperately needed to be jumpstarted by cuts in marginal tax rates.
Instead, they offer a long list of creative, if wonkish, reforms that Republican politicians might consider.
"But making credentialing dependent on four years of college sets the barriers to entry so high that it limits competition and shuts out ambitious Americans who lack the time and money to acquire a four-year degree."
And, let's be frank, it's not just time and money. Plenty of Americans are smart enough to earn a decent living at a job for which they've been well-trained who aren't ever going to be smart enough to fulfill, say, Cardinal Newman's vision of what a well-rounded university-educated gentleman should know: hence today's enormous college dropout rate.
Ross and Reihan continue:
"A far fairer system would assign credentials on the basis of examinations, either national or state-level, that evaluate students on the basis of the actual skills they'll need to do their jobs well."
A benefit they don't mention: this would reduce the amount of time Americans at impressionable ages are exposed to leftist indoctrination on college campuses.
In general, the youthful authors aren't cynical enough to note that policies don't endure just on their merits—they have to grow their own constituencies.
As a mirror image of Democratic immigration policy, Republicans should focus on programs that raise the marriage and birth rates among Republicans. As Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg noted, in 2004 when all else was held equal, being single made a voter 56 percent more likely to vote Democratic.
For example, Randall Parker has long emphasized the importance of getting competent people through the education system and into the workforce faster. "Turn kids into taxpayers sooner", Parker trenchantly suggests.
The partisan benefit to Republicans is that this gives their kind of people more years to get married and have more children.