Three essays came to my attention today and they all make the same point from completely different angles. They tie in with my rants from the last couple of years claiming that the Elites don't know how anything works.
As much as I love Marjorie Taylor Greene, I took her to task here for suggesting there was some kind of conspiracy behind the bad things.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is no plan. There is no plan. Of plans, there are none. The box of plans is empty and the cupboard wherein plans are kept is similarly barren of plans.
There's no plan.
The Elites don't know how anything works and have consequently lost the ability to think strategically. These are the same imbeciles who abandoned Bagram air base in the middle of the night, only to have to send 5,000+ soldiers to secure Freaking Kabul Airport in a disorganized panic. This has led to a 10 point or more drop in Biden's poll numbers. They live and die on poll numbers, these priests of politics, so that hits them where it hurts the most. That wasn't planned, it was simply a consequence of their fantasies about social justice, the right side of history and all the rest.
These are the same people who are stunned to find that inflation is returning after having printed trillions of dollars while at the same time locking down the economy so there were fewer goods and services to buy.
These are the same people who were shocked to find that chasing the cops out of black neighborhoods led to more murdered blacks.
And so on and so forth.
To start with the essays, this one is a must-read discussing how academia's wishful thinking decades ago turned our education system into the train wreck it is today.
The adage “no good deed goes unpunished” captures this culpability. In a nutshell—and here I will speak only for myself and those I knew personally from the late 1960s onward—I am referring to lowering academic standards for black students and faculty in order to promote racial progress, a Weltanschauung in which the path to racial equality lay through education and, ultimately, the act of recruiting as many black students as possible and ensuring that they graduated...
Nor was there any need for bureaucratic heavy-handedness or incentives. Everything was voluntary, and since I taught American politics, a favorite among black students and an obvious place to attract more minority faculty, I was at the forefront of the campaign. That our efforts might be injurious to racial progress or create cures worse than the disease was unthinkable. Even today, it’s difficult to accept that our good intentions helped undermine the university’s commitment to intellectual excellence. Nevertheless, our fingerprints are all over the crime scene...
In a particularly bizarre case, a colleague received a clearly plagiarized paper and, rather than bring expulsion proceedings, offered to forget the matter if the student would submit an original one. The student again plagiarized, and my colleague took the case to the dean of students. He explained that this was the sixth such episode involving the student, but the incidents were ignored since the dean believed that confronting the student might cause him to drop out.
It's all well and good to retain and promote people out of a sense of charity, but it falls apart when you need something done. That is, you need a plumber to repair plumbing. A person who shows you plumber's credentials isn't going to help if they aren't really a plumber.
Did we really need academics to be, well, academic? I guess we did, given the HR and marketing horrors being inflicted on us from recent college graduates.
That the rot goes way back is exhibited by the Land O' Lakes Statement which, oddly enough, doesn't have anything to do with removing an American Indian from a butter company logo.
In hindsight, what they did was appalling.
But when several Catholic university leaders gathered in the summer of 1967 at a remote retreat in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin, did they fully anticipate the consequences of their vision for “modern” Catholic education? Hopefully not.
It was 50 years ago, on July 20-23, when Notre Dame’s Father Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., gathered his peers to draft and sign the “Land O’ Lakes Statement,” a declaration of the independence of Catholic universities from “authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community itself.”
Religion is a description of the world as it exists. It's not therapy or self-help. It's more like physics or chemistry. It answers the supernatural questions about the meaning of life, the source of the Universe as well as ethics and morality. A good one will derive those things from a set of first principles.
What's the difference between watering down academic standards for racial reasons and watering down theological standards in religious universities for the sake of "freedom?"
And freedom from what? The Truth? Yes, as it turned out, they ended up with freedom from Truth. Hooray.
Finally, we get to the chickens coming home to roost.
But let’s take a careful look at the strangest anomaly of all: the unemployment rate. It is historically low right now, at 3.6 percent. That is far lower than it has ever been during any impending recession. In fact, it is as low as any period since the end of World War II.
And yet, everyone knows that this is not a reason for hope: the labor participation rate is about where it was forty years ago, as if the whole experience of a more inclusive workforce never happened. It is also currently falling. There are reasons both demographic and cultural for this but it is impossible to understand without reference to the egregious and devastating effects of lockdowns...
This time, we face something completely different. There is a huge shortage of workers willing to earn relatively lower incomes, show up to the office, earn wages, and actually work with their hands, drive the trucks, move the boxes, and make the food. There is, on the other hand, a huge surplus of workers demanding huge salaries to stare at screens, stay home, gossip on Slack, and otherwise deploy their generous benefits packages to their maximum extent.
Emphasis in the original.
In other words, as Kipling said in another way, in the end, you need things to get done. If your ideas don't work, things fall apart.
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
Dig what's happening in Seattle.
Mayor Bruce Harrell’s plan to bolster the Seattle Police Department by 500 officers by 2027 is embarrassing. It’s not really even a plan and the numbers make no sense...
So far this year, the SPD has lost 103 officers. Harrell says that if we hire 500 new officers by 2027, we’ll have a force of roughly 1,450. Does the mayor think, all of a sudden, cops won’t continue to leave the department?
In the unlikely event the mayor is successful, the city will see 500 new officers over a five-year span. Perhaps the Mayor isn’t getting the updates, but we’re in the middle of a violent crime surge. With 30 homicides year-to-date, the city is on pace to exceed last year’s 43. We’ve already surpassed the ten-year average of 28.8...
While the Mayor says we have 954 deployable officers, it obfuscates a vital stat. The SPD only has 839 officers (as of mid-June), with sergeants, captains, assistant chiefs, and chief making up the rest. We need more officers, and 500 won’t cut it.
Incentive bonuses won't bring in cops when the cops know you hate them.
These ideas don't work and we're watching them fail in real time.