November 6, 2010

An Uncle Tim


Perhaps the best-written response to Tuesday's election -- frank, clear, logical, and pithy -- is by professional anti-racist Tim Wise.

First, though, who is Tim? TimWise.org says:
Tim Wise is among the most respected anti-racist writers & educators in the U.S., having spoken in 48 states and on over 400 college campuses. He has trained teachers as well as corporate, government, media and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling institutional racism, and has served as an consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State. Wise has contributed essays to fifteen books, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows worldwide to discuss race and racism.

His Wikipedia page says he's now up to 600 college campuses. He has an appearance scheduled at the University of the South in Tennessee next Tuesday and at Cal State LA on Wednesday. (That's not a particularly easy trip. The man works hard to make a living.) I was under the impression that he had a gig at Georgia Tech as well, but that now seems to be off his schedule. 

Now, you might think that this kind of career would be reserved for blacks, but that just shows how you aren't aware of White Privilege. Tim is a white man of Scottish and Jewish heritage.

Of all the Uncle Tims, he's the Uncle Timmiest.

It's important to understand that Tim is neither controversial nor a controversialist. The colleges that pay him his lecture fee view him as a public-spirited citizen, no more controversial than was, say, a doctor in the 1920s who traveled the country lecturing on the dangers of venereal disease. Tim is not "controversial" -- a term that has shifted in the 40 or so years I've been reading newspapers from one of praise (often, back then, with Ron Burgundyish hubba-hubba connotations: "Masters & Johnson Reveal their Controversial Report on the Female Orgasm!") to one of sniffy warning. Today, Charles Murray is "controversial." Tim Wise is, oh, "outspoken."

And Tim is not a controversialist. He is no more expected to engage in debate with those he denounces than that VD doctor was expected to debate the spirochaetes he warned against.

Keep in mind, that Tim is not a major newsmaker in American public life. The last time he was cited in the New York Times, for example, appears to have been 2006 and before that in 1992. Is that because he's kind of a junior varsity player or because what he has to say is not terribly controversial?

And that raises a key question about his recent essay, An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum. Something this lucid seem hardly like an idiosyncratic effusion. Instead, it's the product of a clear worldview. I don't think most of Tim's political allies have thought this through as fully as he has, but I think the emotions and basic logic are, indeed, widespread. We've heard endlessly about Republican anger and hatred, but Freud's concept of "projection" remains a highly useful one to keep in mind when reading the newspaper. 

Tim writes:
For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.

And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, ...

Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this . . .

You need to drink up.

And quickly.

And heavily.

Because your time is limited.

Real damned limited.

So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.

The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.

Not much more now.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

Tick.

Tock. ...
Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so.

It is coming, and soon.

This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking.

It is math.

Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math.

The kind of math that proves how your kind—mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like—are dying. ...


And in the pantheon of American history, old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.

Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter.

Because you’re on the endangered list.

And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving. ...

By then, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Nothing, Senõr Tancredo.

Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck.

Loy tiene muy mal, hijo de Puta. ...


We just have to be patient.

And wait for your hearts to stop beating.

And stop they will.

And for some of you, real damned soon, truth be told.

Do you hear it?

The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently?

Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful.

So know this.

If you thought this election was payback for 2008, remember . . .

Payback, thy name is . . .

Temporary.

It's important to note that Tim isn't calling here for, say, mass murder, just as when Khrushchev said "We'll bury you," he didn't mean "Under rubble and fallout," but more like, "We'll dance at your funeral."

But, the emotions are clear. And they're common.

November 4, 2010

My Election Overview

From my new column in VDARE:
Let’s recap what happened:

Governors: As of my writing this, some 36 hours after all the polls had closed, Republicans had won 23 gubernatorial races, Democrats nine, independents one, and four were still up in the air.

State legislatures: Numbers are hazy at present, but Republicans supposedly took 500 legislative seats from Democrats. That will be important in the upcoming redistricting based on 2010 Census numbers, and in furnishing bench strength for future races.

Senators: Republicans won 23, Democrats 12, with Alaska still not called.

House: Republicans have won 239 races, Democrats 186, with ten yet to be decided.

"House Democrats lost more than half of the land mass they once held."
 
In other words, the historic Republican House advances of 2010 occurred largely in the less densely populated parts of the country. This was as predicted by my theory of Affordable Family Formation. Back in the 1750s, Benjamin Franklin pointed out that the less crowded the country, the lower the land prices and the higher the wages. That means that more people can afford, and at younger ages, to get married and have children. The 21st Century partisan corollary to Franklin’s insight: "The party of family values" thrives most where and when family formation is most affordable. The political implication: urbanizing more and more of the country through mass immigration is bad for Republicans. But Republican politicians have been remarkably slow to grasp that concept.

It’s important to remember: this fairly strong Republican performance in the 2010 mid-term elections wasn’t supposed to be demographically possible anymore. After 2008, the whole country was supposed to have become like California—where, indeed, Republicans were mostly thrashed on Tuesday. (One commenter has suggested Republicans could now label Democrats "the Party of California.")

The question was repeatedly asked after 2008: How could the GOP ever win again when the population becomes less white each year?

Well, the answer is obvious, but only semi-mentionable in polite society: the GOP needs to do two things—get white people to turn out; and get them to vote Republican. This is the “Sailer Strategy”.

That’s how Republicans have long won in the South, where the white share of the population is already lower than California. (Outside of Florida, GOP candidates won all but a handful of Southern Congressional districts that weren’t specifically gerrymandered to be majority minority.)

You’d prefer not to live in a country where whites vote like a minority bloc? Me too! But maybe we should have thought about that before putting whites on the long path to minority status through mass immigration.

In the GOP’s 2002 and 2004 victories, whites turned out in large numbers and voted Republican by sizable margins—basically as a patriotic response to 9/11 and the subsequent Bush wars.

With the war going sour in 2006, however, the Republicans failed to hold their share of whites: Republican House candidates only won the white vote 51-47 and thus lost the House.

In 2008, McCain beat Obama by a mediocre 55-43 among whites. That’s not awful, but McCain also didn’t inspire whites to turn out to vote in large numbers, while Obama excited minorities and the callow. (In 2008, 11 percent of voters said it was their first time ever in a polling booth, compared to only three percent in 2010.)

As David Paul Kuhn, author of The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Party, pointed out in RealClearPolitics, the MainStream Media rewrote the history of 2008 in line with their worship of Obama. The forgotten truth: after picking Saran Palin as his veep, McCain led Obama in the Gallup Poll for the nine days preceding the epochal bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. on September 15, 2008, after which Obama regained the lead. But the Crash of 2008 didn’t so much convert whites into Obama voters as depress them.

In 2010, in contrast, GOP House candidates crushed Democratic House candidates 60-37 among white voters. And minorities had a hard time getting interested in a non-Presidential contest lacking in personalities and Will.I.Am videos.

The GOP picked up 91 percent of its votes among whites—in contrast to the Democrats’ 65 percent.

The two biggest governor’s races—California and Texas—illustrate how it works. In California, Hispanics and blacks together accounted for 31 percent of the voters—compared to 30 percent in Texas. In California, Democrat Jerry Brown won Latinos 64-30. Democrat Bill White carried them 61-38 in Texas.

(Interesting side note: as Hispanics become more dominant in California’s Democratic Party, blacks have been trending slightly more Republican. Among blacks, Meg Whitman lost only 77-21, while Rick Perry lost 88-11. As I’ve argued, immigration will cause problems for the Democrats too)

Adding blacks and Hispanics together, Rick Perry did slightly worse with the Non-Asian Minority vote in Texas, losing it 73-26, than Meg Whitman did in California, where she lost 68-27.

Why, then, did Perry cruise to a 55-42 victory in Texas, while Whitman failed 41-54 in California?

Answer: because Perry won the Texas white vote 69-28. In contrast, Whitman only edged out Brown 50-46 among California whites.

Moral: If a Republican candidate can’t win a majority of whites, he or she can’t win the election.

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it below.
 

November 3, 2010

Quantitative Easing II

The Fed wants to concoct some more money: "Quantitative Easing II."

I don't get it. To avoid a recession, the Fed dreamed up more money followed the bursting of the subprime bubble in the summer of 2007. The biggest effect of printing more money was, apparently, to drive up the price of gasoline to almost $5 per gallon in June 2008. (I recall with a shudder putting $87 worth of gas into my minivan -- very stressful). In turn, high gas prices just killed home prices in long-commute exurbs, like Palmdale / Lancaster and the Inland Empire of California. It permanently changed the psychology of homebuyers, which had been, well, sure, gas costs $3 per gallon now, but it might well go back to $1.10 per gallon like it was a few years ago. In 2008, the psychology changed to: Uh, oh, $10 per gallon is going to happen one of these days, so I'd better not get stuck way out in the exurbs.

(By the way, I have a suspicion that the Peking Olympics had something to do with the spike in oil prices. Remember how diesel got much more expensive than gasoline? Were the Chinese stockpiling diesel for some reason? Anyway, it's odd that trying to find an explanation for this bit of traumatic recent history has largely been forgotten.)

And that collapse of exurban home prices is what set in motion the collapse of Fannie/Freddie and Lehman in September 2008.

So, how is Quantitative Easing II going to make people want to buy all the foreclosed homes in the exurbs? I mean, I could see how high gas prices could do inner suburbs some good by making them more desirable than exurbs, but I can't see how printing money solves the main housing problem: the exurbs. Maybe printing more money won't inflate oil prices this time, but it sure seemed to last time.

"The political economy of the subprime mortgage credit expansion"

Here's a 2010 article by economists Atif Mian, Amir Sufi, and Francesco Trebbi on how Congresscritters voted in 2002-2007 on Housing Bubble-related bills:
The global financial crisis has its origins in the failings of the US housing market – and, some believe, those of the US government. ... Indeed, government intervention is often well intentioned and justified by economic theory. But once governments are involved in the financial sector, the incentives for individuals to try to manipulate government policy and politicians’ votes can be irresistible. The results can be disastrous. ...

The expansion of subprime lending coincided with key US government policies, often with cross-party backing, that reduced regulation of subprime lenders and increased mortgage support for low-income households.

Among the most prominent was the affordable housing mandate imposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The mandate required that mortgage providers and guarantors Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae purchase a larger fraction of mortgages that serve low- and moderate-income borrowers....

Beginning in 2002, mortgage industry campaign contributions increasingly targeted US representatives from districts with a large fraction of subprime borrowers. To measure constituent interest we use zip code level data on consumer credit. Combining this with electoral data, we then compare this with campaign contributions, lobbying expenditure, and eventually congressional voting data.

During the expansion years, we find that both mortgage industry campaign contributions and the share of subprime borrowers in a congressional district increasingly predicted congressional voting behaviour on housing-related legislation. In 1997 and 1998, the fraction of subprime borrowers in a representative’s district significantly predicts the representative’s votes on only 30% of roll calls. By 2003 the fraction increases to 70%.

As the solid line in Figure 2 shows, beginning with the 107th Congress in 2002, there is a sharp relative increase in mortgage campaign contributions to high subprime share districts, while there is no such pattern for non-mortgage contributions. Our results suggest that a one standard deviation increase in the subprime share as of 1998 – before the expansion – leads to a relative increase in the growth rate of mortgage industry campaign contributions of 81%.

Taken together, our results suggest that constituent interests, measured with the fraction of subprime borrowers in a given Congressional district before the subprime mortgage expansion, and special interests, measured with campaign contributions from the mortgage industry, both helped to shape government policies that encouraged the rapid growth of subprime mortgage credit.

In the final section of the study, we examine voting and co-sponsorship patterns on six bills for which competing interests are well defined, these are:
  • The American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003, which aimed to increase homeownership among low-income communities by providing downpayment and closing cost assistance;
  • the Ney-Kanjorski Responsible Lending Act of 2005, which would have preempted state regulations on predatory lending;
  • the Prohibit Predatory Lending Act of 2005, which would have placed more stringent controls on subprime lenders;
  • the Mortgage Reform and Predatory Lending Act of 2007, which was a revised version of the Prohibit Predatory Lending Act that eventually passed the House (but failed in the Senate);
  • and the Federal Housing Finance Reform Acts of 2005 and 2007, which sought to tighten regulation of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
...  Focusing on the trade-off between ideology and economic incentives, we find that conservative politicians are less responsive to both constituent and special interests. This suggests that politicians, through ideology, might be able to commit against intervention even during severe crises.

This suggests that, say, Senator Rand Paul will be less likely to go along to get along on the next trillion dollar scam.

November 2, 2010

Ward Connerly's ballot initiative cruises in Arizona

Proposition 107, banning affirmative action in government operations, won easily in Arizona 60-40 (with 92% of precincts reporting), carrying every county in the state except the Four Corners Indian reservation county.

Election night open thread

Since I don't have anything interesting to say yet, I'll rely upon you to comment upon the proceedings. I've got to write a VDARE piece on Wednesday, so please help me sound like I know what I'm talking about.

LINK FIXED: "Second generation immigrants in Europe are de-assimilating"

Here's an important post by Tino at Super-Economy on a new study giving employment rates in three big European countries. For example:
Germany

Native Men: 75.3%
First generation non-European immigrant Men: 68.5%
Second generation non-European immigrant Men: 53.9%

Much of the immigration to Europe can be characterized as welfare fraud.

"Twilight" for elderly Jewish couples

Last Saturday, I went to the Laemmle art-house theatre in Encino to see the documentary Inside Job. The Laemmle in Encino is a pretty low-key old multiplex built in the 1970s that mostly shows European feature films about Nazis, American documentaries about Nazis, and Iranian movies*.  Most of the audience is retirees from the Valley and Beverly Hills who can go any time, so it's seldom All Sold Out.

Last weekend, however, the parking lot was jammed. It was jammed with old people driving and walking very slowly. There were old people lined up outside the theatre to get in. Inside, the restroom lines of old people were very long.

What was going on?  This was the busiest I had seen any theatre since the latest Twilight movie debuted. Except, then, it was all young people lined up. This time, the swarming mob was age 65 to 90.

The senior citizens were there to see the opening weekend of the Swedish film The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the third in the trilogy of adaptations of Stieg Larrson's mystery novels that began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

What's the deal, anyway? I have seen about 20 minutes of the first film, and it seemed fine (other than that people speaking Swedish are inherently comic -- like Fats Domino records played backwards, as Dave Barry said), but not galvanizing. So, why the oldsters' mania to see it Right Now?

------------
* Which is another tiny bit of data about why I have a hard time taking seriously the "Iran is an existential threat to Israel" idea that is so prevalent in the press: Iranians and Jews get along pretty good in LA. Heck, a lot of the Iranians in LA are Jews. And they seem to like Iran. I mean, the Iranian Jews prefer living in Beverly Hills to living in Iran, but , but they visit Iran all the time on long vacations. And the Muslim Persians in LA want to live as close to the Jewish neighborhoods as they can afford.

Immigration in Germany: Sarrazin v. Habermas

From my new VDARE.com column:
The continuing success of the German high wage economy relative to the Anglo-American low wage / high finance system is raising worries among the global great and good that a newly confident German public might start thinking for itself on immigration.

Particularly agitating to transnational elites is that Social Democratic central banker Thilo Sarrazin published an immigration restrictionist book, Germany Abolishes Itself. (Here’s Rafael Koski’s informative review of Sarrazin’s book in VDARE.com.) Since August, it has sold a million copies. (Trust me when I tell you that’s an astonishing total for a statistics-heavy social science work.)

Germany’s economic model requires, on average, a highly productive population with strong human capital. Germans deeply value extensive technical education or demanding apprenticeships in the skilled crafts. But high investment parenting means that, especially in a crowded country like Germany, children are expensive. Thus, the main long-term threat to Germany’s high investment / high wage model is the below-replacement birthrate among Germans.

Sarrazin advocates policies to boost the birthrate so that Germany won’t abolish itself. Yet there’s an obvious problem: incentives to reproduce would tend to appeal more to parents who don’t invest as much in their children’s human capital, especially Germany’s Muslim immigrants.

Germany is now into its third generation of Muslims.  As Sarrazin documents, they tend to lag behind in achievement, much as Mexicans do on average here in the U.S., even after four generations

What are the causes of these gaps? Genes? Culture? Or whatever?

We’ll eventually find out for sure. But meanwhile, this is the pragmatic take-home message: these disparities have been long enduring. Therefore, they can’t just be assumed away when discussing future immigration policy.

Conclusion: immigration restriction is a logical necessity.

This is especially true in welfare state Germany. There, immigration from the Muslim world since the abolition of guest worker programs in the 1970s has been more or less an elaborate form of welfare fraud carried out through marriages arranged to obtain “family reunification” visas. As Christopher Caldwell pointed out in Reflections upon the Revolution in Europe, from 1971 to 2000, the number of foreign-born people in Germany rose by 150 percent—but the number of foreign-born workers didn’t go up at all.

Neighboring Denmark, the epitome of a civilized country, has had an immigration-restrictionist party in the ruling coalition since 2001.The Danish government has actually cracked down to some extent on arranged marriage immigration scams by not accepting foreign spouses under 24.

Like American scientist James Watson in 2007, Sarrazin was quickly forced to resign his post. Here, when somebody gets fired for political incorrectness, the general assumption is that he must have had it coming. Yet the German people have responded by assuming that if the ruling elite is desperate to silence Sarrazin, he must have something important to say.

Elite efforts to dissuade anyone from listening to Sarrazin’s analysis have now spread to America.

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it here.

"Inside Job"

From my review in Taki's Magazine:
Typical documentaries, such as Waiting for “Superman” and Freakonomics, are made by people who know more about lenses and lighting than about their subjects. In contrast, Inside Job, a competent condemnation of Wall Street’s role in the recent economic unpleasantness, is the work of Charles Ferguson, a smart, rich generalist who didn’t get into the movie business until he was 50.

After obtaining a Ph.D. in political science from MIT, Ferguson cashed in on the dot-com bubble. In 1996, he sold FrontPage, a mediocre web-development program (which I, unfortunately, used for years) to Microsoft for $133 million. Not surprisingly, Inside Job contrasts Wall Street’s ethical cesspool with Silicon Valley’s supposedly shining moral high ground. (No mention is made of the options-backdating chicanery tainting Steve Jobs and other tech titans.)

Ferguson is angry that the Obama Administration hasn’t arrested any investment bankers. He helpfully outlines a hardball strategy for potential prosecutors: Round up Manhattan call girls and persuade them to roll over on their trader johns for putting hookers and blow on company expense accounts as tax-deductible “research.” Then terrify the traders into snitching on the Big Boys.

Instead, Obama has appointed numerous banksters to high office.

Read the whole thing here.

November 1, 2010

Election Open Thread

Come Wednesday, I have to discourse on the Meaning of It All, so any insights you have, please post in the comments.