URLs du Jour

2019-02-26

[Amazon Link]

  • Today's winner of our "Headline Implying Longest Article Ever" award is Mr. Jim Geraghty of National Review: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Lies, Controversies, and Allegations.

    Last night, while discussing the Green New Deal and climate change, her stream of consciousness comments seemed to argue that the threat of climate change made parenthood morally unjustifiable, or at least morally troubling:

    There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know, is it okay to still have children? And I mean, not only just financially, because people are graduating with twenty, thirty, a hundred thousand dollars worth of student loan debt, and they can’t even afford to have kids in the house, but also just this basic moral question, what do we do? And even if you don’t have kids, there are still children here who are in the world, and we have a moral obligation to them, to leave a better world for them. This idea that if we just, you know, I’ve been working on this for X amount of years [sic] it’s like, not good enough. We need a universal sense of urgency. And people are trying to, like introduce watered-down proposals that are frankly going to kill us. A lack of urgency is going to kill us. It doesn’t matter if you agree that climate change is an important issue. At this point it doesn’t matter. If you believe climate change is a problem, that’s not even the issue. The issue is, how urgently you feel the need to fix it.

    Any lawmaker with any familiarity with the One Child Policy in China would be wary about floating these kinds of arguments. We don’t want government officials going anywhere near the argument that one size of a family is moral and a different size is immoral. It’s funny how quickly the argument “my body, my choice,” disappears outside of its most prominent context.

    Jim also reveals why non-lefties find AOC so fascinating: "she says out loud what plenty of her fellow believers think but hesitate to state publicly because they fear the reaction from others."


  • But the winner of today's "Most Accurate Headline" award goes to James Pethokoukis of AEI. Because: Basically, the Green New Deal costs all the money. He links to a research paper by Douglas Holtz-Eakin et. al. at the American Action Forum that attempts to price out the GND's promises. A quote from the study goes to the GND's coherence:

    [T]he GND is curiously redundant. For example, a costly retrofitting of every structure in the United States seems considerably less environmentally beneficial once the electricity grid is completely transformed to use 100 percent clean energy than it would be if undertaken with today’s energy mix. Such a retrofit would have no impact on emissions. Similarly, the GND promises to ensure that every person has a guaranteed job, a family-sustaining rate of pay, and benefits such as paid leave and paid vacations. If everyone has good pay with good benefits, why is it simultaneously necessary to provide targeted programs for food, housing, and health care? Some of these objectives appear to be redundant. Nevertheless, we incorporate them into our analysis in an effort to reflect the GND’s intent.

    Yes, it doesn't make sense as policy. But it's not meant to. It's a marketing tool for the acquisition and maintenance of commanding political power over American life and culture.


  • At Quillette, Lee Jussim (professor of social psychology at Rutgers) offers My Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement. (It's a growing practice to "ask" faculty members to include such "DEI" statements in hiring, promotion, and tenure documentation.) Prof Jussim is not a fan:

    DEIs and the toxic, punitive forms of social justice activism warrant fear. I do not want my colleagues to give in to this fear. Recognizing the danger is the first step to preventing it; to not giving in to fear.

    The rise of DEI statements is a symptom of a rising tide among institutions of higher education to endorse de facto political discrimination in the name of social justice. Fears about not getting the job, the invitation to a panel, or the promotion are well-justified. For individual academics, it will take extraordinary courage to risk and resist the vindictive punishment of one’s colleagues.

    However, it is possible that this rising tide of political intolerance and litmus tests can be stemmed, not by individuals, but by institutions. Perhaps some will step up to create an alternative: “At Our University, we value truth, reason, evidence, and accomplishments. We don’t care about your politics or demographics. We realize that ‘justice’ means different things to different people, so we reject declarations of loyalty to any ideology.” My guess is that people would flock to such a place.

    The rest, however, are complicit in creating a climate of fear, regardless of whether or not I personally have to write a statement about how I advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    Except I have just published mine.

    Good luck and best wishes to Professor Jussim.


  • At Reason, J.D. Tuccille welcomes our new silicon-based workers: Minimum Wage Boosts Are Great—For Robots.

    In recent weeks, Illinois mandated a huge increase in the state minimum wage, Pennsylvania's governor proposed to double his state's minimum wage, and New Mexico lawmakers moved forward with a plan to raise the minimum wage there, too. Hiking the cost of labor is a popular cause once again—even among people who've demonstrated in the past that they know perfectly well this is a recipe for limiting opportunity and trapping people in poverty.

    It's tempting to say that people are actually getting stupider about economics. But maybe, instead, it's all part of a conspiracy by robots who are poised to be the big beneficiaries of an artificially crippled job market.

    J.D. links (and so will I) the wonderful NYTimes editorial from 1987: The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00. Unfortunately, I can't credit the great robot conspiracy: the Times really has gotten stupider about economics.


Last Modified 2019-02-26 9:57 AM EST