Monday assorted links

by on May 15, 2017 at 11:53 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. “White left” as a Chinese insult.

2. Why is Karen Carpenter so popular in the Philippines?  “To this day, the Carpenters hold the distinction of being among the few American acts to boast Philippines-only radio hits: album tracks largely unknown in other parts of the world but in heavy rotation on Filipino radio, thus elevating these lesser cuts to the prime status of the artists’ more recognizable global hits.”

3. “Fairfax Co. firetruck catches fire in station.”  The cause of fire is being investigated.

4. Joshua Rothman profile of Rod Dreher.

5. Some advantages of property taxes over land value taxes.  And homeownership turnover is declining (NYT).

6. David Beckworth’s macro podcast with Paul Krugman.

7. Felix Salmon on the Spotify direct stock exchange listing.

1 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

1. As a moderate I see that as a solid perspective, if a bit overstated.

Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment”

There are some real issues there, but the True Left sometimes seems more interested in counting coup in symbolic victories than making substantial ones.

2 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Well, the Dreher piece dovetails.

He sees orthodox Christians as powerless against the forces of liquidly modern progressivism; on his blog, he argues that “the question is not really ‘What are you conservative Christians prepared to tolerate?’ but actually ‘What are LGBTs and progressive allies prepared to tolerate?’ ” He wants them to be magnanimous in victory; to refrain from pressing their advantage. Essentially, he says to progressives: You’ve won. You wouldn’t sue Orthodox Jews or observant Muslims. Please don’t sue us, either.

3 A Black Man May 15, 2017 at 1:17 pm

In 869, the Great Heathen Army advanced on East Anglia and killed King Edmund. After he refused the Danes’ demand that he renounce Christ, the Danes beat him, shot him with arrows and then beheaded him, on the orders of Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubba. His head was then thrown into the forest.

Good luck to Mr. Dreher.

4 RobZ May 15, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Do you also believe that Edmund’s head was located in the woods after it called out “Here here here” to the searchers?

5 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Maybe he just said “here” twice. Which beheaded man has the breath to say three words?

6 Alain May 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm

It is a solid perspective. Remember these are people who have been raised out of poverty by capitalism. They will have little time for the progressive agenda. They have more important things to worry about, like further improving living standards of those not yet affected by the economic miracle, instead of virtue signaling.

7 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Again, as a moderate, virtue signalling might sometimes be a thing, but virtue always should be a foundation for the American experience. See Dreher.

8 Alain May 15, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Virtue is providing services for others. Service that they value, in other words: doing ones job.

9 msgkings May 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Or providing things for others that you don’t get paid for, so more than just your job

10 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 1:22 pm

This highlights Tyler’s public struggle. He admires Mormons, but links porn stories, prostitution and pimp economics.

To take you literally, the bondage seller or dominatrix is virtuous.

I think that is a very shallow morality, and one inconsistent with social progress and economics growth.

Part of “leaving libertarianism” is getting some values.

11 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 3:16 pm

What on earth is wrong with consensual adults engaging in BDSM play?

“Values” does not have to mean ass-backwards religiously conservative values that date back to the social mores of desert nomads.

12 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 3:17 pm

For instance “values” can mean “not being an asshole to people just because they look different”.

13 Alain May 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Anonymous I understand that you want, very badly, to control what is value. Sadly that’s not how it works. You’ve been given votes, by others saying how much value you provide and you don’t get one lick more votes, sorry.

Msgkings is they don’t pay how do you know the value of the services?

14 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 5:04 pm

What on earth is wrong with consensual adults engaging in BDSM play?

It’s a disgusting abuse of human sexuality.

15 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Once again conservatives demonstrate Johnathan Haidt’s thesis about the disgust mechanism driving conservative thought processes.

Let me make a suggestion – what you find disgusting isn’t necessarily evil or wrong.

16 asdf May 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Sexual promiscuity is correlated with all kinds of bad social outcomes. Consenting adults philosophy is rarely as harmless as its proponents advocate.

17 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm

These various answers fail in the same way. They each project a set values or goals on me. But I can step back and describe systems foreign to me (Utah Mormonism, Cambodian Buddhism, or a rigorous secular humanism) which confer benefits on their members.

I think they all serve their members better than “anything you can ‘buy’ is by definition good.”

18 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Oops, missed asdf while typing. Art is also not wrong. If physical love is for pair bonding and family making, ‘play’ violence seems an odd way to go about it.

19 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Let me make a suggestion – what you find disgusting isn’t necessarily evil or wrong.

I’ll cop to finding many of your remarks disgusting and nearly all of them wrong.

20 msgkings May 15, 2017 at 5:40 pm

@Alain: Someone who can only value something in terms of what one can earn from doing it is quite literally beneath contempt. In your world, Mother Teresa was useless. And so are all stay-at-home parents. What a sad way to go through life.

21 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm

If you read carefully, Alain did not say anything about money, or buying. He said “service”.

More generally if you go back to the Greeks and Romans “virtue” was defined by simply being good at whatever it was you did. Which seems as good a definition as any to me. Eudaimona or “happiness” was defined by achieving one’s highest potential. Self-actualization in modern terms.

22 msgkings May 15, 2017 at 6:05 pm

I’m sorry, Hazel, I interpreted “Msgkings is (sic) they don’t pay how do you know the value of the services?” as being about money. My mistake.

23 Thomas Taylor May 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

“If physical love is for pair bonding and family making, ‘play’ violence seems an odd way to go about it.”
I m pretty sure you can have pair bonding without sex, thank you, and you can make a family with BDSM pretty easily, too.

24 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Thomas, if you are going to conceive corner cases I can’t say you are “wrong.” They happen. Just as the whole LGBT gamut happens.

But I think the prescription should be based on the median prospect for success.

25 Gerber Baby May 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm

The problem with BDSM is that it sends the message that a desire for sexual violence(on the part of men) and an attraction to violent men(on the part of the women) are perfectly acceptable desires to have. When you send the message that those desires are acceptable, there will be people who decide to act them out and don’t care about having “muh consent.”

The above is an example of the ideological Turing test, an attempt to express a view I don’t hold. As Hazel Meade and msgkings could tell you, holding such views is the exclusive domain of the rubes, BDSM is obviously worth whatever negative effects it may have and anybody who disagrees is probably a loser who no woman would ever want to be spanked by.

26 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 7:09 pm

“He admires Mormons, but links porn stories, prostitution and pimp economics.”
Those heathens don’t even believe in the Trinity and they are bound to Hell. How can they have moral values?

27 Thomas Taylor May 15, 2017 at 7:28 pm

I am not sure moral rules are about median whatever. Jews and Muslims don’t avoid pork because it is bad for the health of the median Semite eater. Mainstream Christians do not avoid extramarital sex while tolerate drinking and Mormons do not avoid coffee because it helps the success for the mediam whomever.
Again, sex is not necessary for “bonding” (whatever it may mean in less ambiguous terms) and one can conceive a child pretty well through BDSM (which is what “family making” means – as we are always reminded, Adam and Steve couldn’t a family make).

28 john May 16, 2017 at 6:51 am

@Alain — even when paid you don’t really know the value of the service you rendered — only some lower bound and even their not clear unless you claim value is cardinal and completely measured by the monetary price.

It’s true that people can express their valuation of something you’ve done that they benefit from but never paid you to do and you will have as much a sense of that value they derived as if they had paid you — largely assuming a generally voluntary relationship between you and the other.

29 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:28 am

asdf: Sexual promiscuity is correlated with all kinds of bad social outcomes.

It pains me to have to point this out, but BDSM does not necessarily imply sexual promiscuity. I would wager that 95%+ of all adults who are into BDSM are in monogamous relationships, most of them married. The people in the BDSM “scene” are a small number of people – because to be into a public “scene” you kinda also have to be an exhibitionist, and not many people have BOTH exhibitionist AND BDSM kinks.

30 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:33 am

The problem with BDSM is that it sends the message that a desire for sexual violence(on the part of men) and an attraction to violent men(on the part of the women) are perfectly acceptable desires to have.

I think it’s fair to say that for most people the rules in the bedroom are different from the rules outside of it. For most people, this is all fantasy role-play. There are a few “lifestylers” who go around wearing collars and shit but again, tiny fraction of all people who have some sort of BDSM fetish/kink. Also worth noting that people who are into B&D aren’t necessarily into S&M and vice versa, even though they get grouped together.

31 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Except that Trump is much more about the culture war than about economics.
Trump is NOT a “capitalist”. He’s solidly in bed with labor unions and domestic labor interests on both trade and immigration. He’s against modifying social security or medicare, both pillars of the welfare state. He’s a big government guy. he just happens to be a nationalist and a cultural conservative who rejects “progressive” ideas about social inclusion.

32 Milo Fan May 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Capitalism is not the same thing as libertardianism.

33 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Most of the left would beg to differ.

34 Milo Fan May 15, 2017 at 3:18 pm

I expect strawman arguments from the left.

35 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm

If you want to do libertarianism a favor and demonstrate how libertarianism is distinct from the strawman that the left has erected and called “capitalism” please go forth and preach. I would love to have the alt-right loudly declaring that they’re not libertarian for everyone to hear.

36 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Trump is none of those things. He is 1/4 inch deep. He is about how he feels in the current moment, and that is it.

37 The Anti-Gnostic May 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I’ll add “shallow” to the list of things insisted upon by his critics that Trump is not, along with lazy, stupid, and the hand-picked sock puppet of the Russian Tsar.

The man has been found wanting in all estimations by all the respectable people ever since he announced his candidacy. And on January 20, guess who got to take the oath of office.

Surely even his most unhinged critics will figure things out at some point.

38 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I won’t belabor this, but remember this bit from 2015?

It never got better, more coherent, than that.

39 msgkings May 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

“I won’t belabor this” LOL

Ok that was a good one.

40 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 5:57 pm

“the hand-picked sock puppet of the Russian Tsar.”

I feel for you, man. It was a bad day to go there.

41 The Centrist May 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Good. So we finally have a word to describe Nathan (Troll Me): “white left”.

42 Potato May 15, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Nah, the Chinese already have a word for Nathan.


43 Gerber Baby May 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm

1. “However, Chinese netizens’ fierce attacks against the ‘white left’ seem curiously devoid of experiential motivation, since all these problems that conservatives in the west are concerned about – immigration, multiculturalism, minority rights, and affirmative actions – are largely unknown to Chinese society.”

It sure was strange how many Americans in 1980 were fiercely opposed to communism even though they never had any experience with it. It’s not like they could have seen what it was doing to countries abroad and said “not here.”

44 RohanV May 15, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Learning from other people’s experiences is cultural appropriation.

45 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Well, they can always be China, I guess.

46 The Centrist May 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm

The idea that many in the West were opposed to communism without exposure to its deleterious and horrendous effects is incorrect. There were many who travelled to the East Bloc. I was able to go as a young man, and my supervisor went too (independently of me). He was a Marxist who came back from East Germany very chastened. He then converted to a left of centre social democrat, railing against the “market” but faintly aware that he possessed nothing to put in its place as a coordinator of exchange and producer of wealth. (I, on the other hand, became a pro market centre right democrat, with an anti-crony capitalist bent. FWIW.)

Furthermore, some of the resistance to the far left (identified not wholly inaccurately with communism) stemmed from resistance to the academics who pushed a far left agenda in universities and colleges at the time.

Finally, literate and thinking types were easily able to avail themselves of many books in the Solzhenitsyn genre: i.e., those that revealed the truth about life under communism.

It was right to be opposed to communism! Morally, intellectually, politically and practically (economically).

47 Gerber Baby May 15, 2017 at 6:29 pm

I thought my sarcasm would be obvious. Apparently not.

48 The Centrist May 15, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Dang! Sorry.

49 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm

5b has a horrible, horrible, framing for its time series.

Home owning tenure contracted with early 2000 flipping and the hit a wall with the housing crash and millions of underwater homes.


50 rayward May 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm

4. It Takes a Village. Of course, Dreher’s Village may not be your Village, or my Village. Sectarianism has been a big part of Christianity since, well, the Gospel of John and the three Letters of John (the Letters make clear that if you are in the wrong Village, you won’t find salvation). And you thought sectarianism was only an issue with Muslims. I’m a cradle Episcopalean, which means I was taught that all baptized Christians are not only invited to partake of communion but can look forward to salvation. My Village is not Dreher’s Village. In many ways I’m sympathetic to Dreher. After all, wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have be around sinners, not to mention mean-spirited conservatives and self-righteous liberals. In the early days of Christianity being in the wrong Village could be a threat to one’s health. The threat today, at least for us Episcopalians, is for the people from the other Village to try and steal the stained glass windows for which my Village is known. Get your own stained glass windows!

51 rayward May 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm

6. I very much enjoy Beckworth’s podcasts. He has interesting guests and I’ve learned a lot from them. I suppose being famous like Paul Krugman carries with it certain burdens, among them what’s left for him to say that he hasn’t already said and I haven’t already heard. Beckworth might get Krugman to say something I haven’t heard him say before. Unlikely, but it’s possible. If Cowen listened to the podcast, I request that he let us know if he heard Krugman say something he hasn’t heard Krugman say before. Is there such a thing as speed listening?

52 Dick the Butcher May 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Is Dr. Dreher bat-shit stupid like Krugman?

53 asdfG May 16, 2017 at 6:16 pm

And I’m sure your a genius. Just misunderstood or an underachiever or something like that, right?

54 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm

#1. Seems to a certain extent a cultural misunderstanding of what “left” means in the Western lexicon. Chinese communists are actually “leftist”, but Western liberal PC culture is only part of the overall leftist ideology. The economics part is vastly more important to serious leftists. The PC parts are what they use to rope in useful idiots.
Besides the fact that Trump’s opposition to free trade and support for the welfare state amounts to effectively a capitulation on significant aspects of leftist economic ideology, which the Chinese seem to have not noticed. They think Trump is anti-welfare-state because he’s a Team Red player, but he’s not anti-welfare state in any meaningful way. They see the tribal culture war and not the policies he’s actually advocating.

55 Dain May 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm

+ 1

56 Ricardo May 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Trump’s campaign rhetoric was populist but, when it comes to economic issues, he is governing well within the Republican mainstream. He won’t support cutting SS and Medicare but many politicians in his party won’t either because they know too many of their voters or their voters’ parents depend on these. He does support Paul Ryan’s cuts to Medicaid and income-contingent premium subsidies because these are targeted more toward low-income people who, as a whole, tend to vote for the other party. His most recent budget largely adheres to the blueprint of cutting programs and agencies that tend to benefit low-income people in order to increase defense spending and preserve SS and Medicare.

57 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Trump is governing? Got a link on that?

His central achievement has been a loyalty demand of the House, to pass the AHCA against their own interests (they suffer the aftermath at town halls and even being run off roads). The Senate sees that shitshow on one side and the Comey affair on the other.

Not much governing going on.

58 Ricardo May 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm

I figured I might get push-back on the word “governing” but whatever you want to call his actions since occupying the office of President of the United States, they cannot be described as a robust defense of the welfare state or labor unions. Much like many of his Republican colleagues, he supports SS and Medicare because the demographics of the Republican base at the national level as well as in many states and House districts demand it. For those of us who were paying close attention to the Tea Party 8 years, this is all very familiar and not at all surprising.

59 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm

His stance on trade is the polar opposite of the standard Republican position for the last 30 years.
His stance on immigration is extreme right compared to the mainstream Republican position (which was quietly pushing for more liberal immigration laws).
Killing the “cadillac tax” in the AHCA is a gift to labor unions.
His base is working class guys in the rust-belt.

60 Sam Haysom May 15, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Why do you oppose Lincoln’s trade polices Hazel? The scent of latent racism I detect wafting from thee.

This is how you argue Hazel like a child. In fact that is a better argument than anything you manage because at least its historically accurate.

61 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Lincoln is fully capable of being right about slavery and wrong about trade.

This is the problem with tribalism in politics. Everyone assumes that if you agree with X about Y, they must be right about everything else they advocate too.

62 TMC May 15, 2017 at 5:42 pm

After 8 long years, it’s understandable some wouldn’t recognize ‘doing something’.

63 Gerber Baby May 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm

“His stance on trade is the polar opposite of the standard Republican lobbyist position for the last 30 years. His stance on immigration is extreme right compared to the mainstream Republican lobbyist position (which was quietly pushing for more liberal immigration laws).”

Fixed it for you.

64 Ricardo May 16, 2017 at 3:43 am

“His stance on trade is the polar opposite of the standard Republican position for the last 30 years.”

Yet the U.S. has just signed a trade deal with China and a lot of the tough talk on NAFTA may turn out to be exactly that. Republicans have never been doctrinaire free traders — both Reagan and George W. Bush imposed tariffs when they thought there was a political advantage to doing so. In fact, George W. Bush’s steel tariffs were targeted at exactly the same rust belt swing states that gave Trump his victory this time. So far, I haven’t seen Trump take concrete steps on trade that would place him outside the norm of the Republican Party.

65 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:37 am

Fair enough, and I hope it doesn’t happen. Although it appeared that he DID almost sign an order abrogating NAFTA last week. Given what he did with the Muslim travel ban, that came shockingly close to coming to his desk and getting a signiature. I’m guessing that he got screaming phone calls telling him to stop. So I’m not ready to assume that he’s not going to roll back free trade.

66 Dick the Butcher May 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm

You are justifying political violence. And, you call us deplorable.

67 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm

I do not condone running anyone off the road. I guess have enough cynical sense of humor to think it’s funny.

Where did she think she was, Berkeley?

Tennessee! She was definitely lost.

68 Massimo Heitor May 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

The better example of the left-right political spectrum being inverted is Marine Le Pen. Le Pen’s economic advocacy is overwhelmingly very far left, but her views on pumping the brakes on foreign immigration is completely apocalyptic to the left have gotten her labeled as a radical “far right” extremist.

The left-right political spectrum doesn’t have a fixed absolute meaning. It changes over time and by issues. Economically, left is larger more authoritative government, right is laissez faire free markets. On immigration, the left is obsessed with mass immigration to white nations like US and the nations of Europe and the right wing extremists want to moderate that.

69 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Well, fascists always have been creatures of the left. The Nazi party called it’self “National Socialist” for a reason, and it wasn’t because they thought it was funny and ironic.

70 The Anti-Gnostic May 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm

My political views are evolving. I’m becoming fiscally liberal but socially conservative.

71 Hazel Meade May 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Yes, let’s blow all our money on social welfare programs for whites only.

72 Milo Fan May 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Social welfare programs for Whites only will be cheaper than providing them to everyone….

73 Milo Fan May 15, 2017 at 3:32 pm

But to be serious, I support a basic income, universal to all adult citizens.

74 Sam Haysom May 15, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Hazel’s contempt for white people is legendary. Remarkably that hated hasn’t dented her overweening sense of worth at all.

75 Massimo Heitor May 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm

“Fascist” doesn’t seem to have a consistent meaning. To some it implies the type of mass murder used by the actual Nazis of early 20th century Germany. More often, it’s anything that the left doesn’t like. Even completely rational, reasonable ideas are labeled fascist if the left doesn’t like them. Charles Murray, for example, is widely labeled a fascist Nazi even though he’s a pretty serious, polite, reasonable, totally non-violent guy.

I don’t know Marine Le Pen that well, I apologized if she’s worse than I think, but if she merely suggests basic limits on immigration to France, that will definitely justify her being called a fascist and nazi.

76 Axa May 16, 2017 at 5:45 am

Just a conversation with French expats…

Some people in France is worried about Le Pen because they feel immigrants are just temporary scapegoats. The worry is that immigrants are just used to foster am specific type of nationalism and the next targets are the autonomism in Alsace, Corsica, Brittany, Savoy, etc. Perhaps the discourse on France’s Republican values, cultural diversity has a practical goal: keep what we know as France together. It’s not only “progressive left” stupid discourse but a policy against separatism.

Remember Chesterton’s fence and bulls? Before removing a fence, ponder why someone built a fence. Being tolerant of differences may not be optimal when dealing with Islam fundamentalists but it works fine with Alsace. Indeed, 1 week before the election the media played with an interesting question: if Le Pen wants France out the European Union, can Alsace stay?

So, France is a paradox: if they want today’s territorial extension they should follow the cultural diversity path. They can retreat and embark on the quest of “what does it means to be French?”, but that quest will be on a smaller country. Terrorism is an important issue, but not as important as losing Alsace.

77 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

For the actual definition of fascist you merely need to closely examine what the words “National Socialist” literally mean.
Fascism was actually an actual political philosophy at one point and not merely a perjorative term.

78 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

And just as surrly, the oppressive American regime will fall like an overripe jackfruit. The frightened, terrorized masses of the American populave will rise up against their masters and reclaim their birthright.

79 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Stop impersonating me.

80 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 1:59 pm

I am being serious, if you do not stop this I will be forced to take drastic action.

81 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Apparently, the five-cents party has come to the aid of the Communists murderers. Predictable.

82 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

We Brazilians would never submit to the arrogance of the Cpmmunists or the amoral terrorism of the American regime. As the Prophet Bandarra has written, we will rise like a lion and crush the serpent with our heel.

83 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm

It is sad to see that the Communist tyrants ahve no arguments and must resort to the actions of their paid running lapdogs.

84 Thiago Ribeiro May 15, 2017 at 5:54 pm

But make no mistake, the Communists will fall soon or late, their days are numbered as the proud forces of freedom will rise to crush them and theie paid enablers.

85 WC Varones May 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

5b. As the article said, the interest rate effect has barely gotten started. If rates go much higher, I predict we’ll see creative rent-to-own agreements so that properties can be sold while leaving the seller’s original low-cost financing in place.

Secondly, in California Prop 13 is a huge disincentive to trade. I’ve bought one house in my life and I ain’t buying any more in California.

86 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm

More people should think that way. Then the 2 bedroom condos we look at wouldn’t be running $700K.

87 Anon May 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Quite the contrary

88 danby May 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

“Prop 13 is a huge disincentive to trade.”

100% wrong. Oppressive California property taxes are the disincentive.

Prop 13 is but a small defense against government extortion.

89 WC Varones May 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm

It’s both.

Once you have a long-time Prop 13’d property, you’d be crazy to sell it.

90 Harun May 15, 2017 at 4:19 pm

You can sell it to family.

91 Kevin Erdmann May 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm

5b: Twice, the article implies that brokers commissions are a boon to the economy.

I find most complaints of “financialization” to be overwrought, but if real estate brokers commissions were categorized as financial sector profits instead of residential investment, and they were derided as wasteful “financialization” it would actually be an improvement over the current treatment.

92 danby May 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm

6 percent(+) broker commissions on real estate transactions are outrageous, as are the transaction taxes/fees. The entire U.S. real estate buy/sell process is much too complicated, lengthy, and expensive — much simpler process in some other modern nations

93 Massimo Heitor May 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm

#1: This article made my day. I have suspected much of the “alt right” and the “far right” populist revolt is really basic common sense that would appeal to the Chinese.

94 derek May 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Two people were driven out of their jobs in the Canadian literary world over the last week due to their improper thoughts about cultural appropriation. Any Chinese national would recognize the smell of such things and have two thoughts.

We had to get rid of that way of thinking to advance as a country and economy.

They have thing we want, they will be so desperate for our cash that we will be able to set the terms.

95 Massimo Heitor May 15, 2017 at 10:29 pm

Who are the two people driven from their literary jobs in Canada?

96 Millian May 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Sure, the ones who don’t agree don’t speak their views because it’s an ideology perfect for dictators and dictatorships.

97 DevOps Dad May 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Regarding #1

I’m sure many of the long suffering ethnic Chinese UC Berkeley parents and friends on Saturday dwelt deeply on the ‘White left’ while listening to cultural anthropologist and departing UC Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks give a lukewarm endorsement of campus free speech.

BTW, a majority of UC Berkeley’s undergraduates are ethnic Chinese.

In 2015 commencement speaker LGBT advocate, Marc Benioff of sing the praises of World War T and the 2017 commencement speaker Iranian refugee Maz Jobrani glorified the global refugee movement and diversity in general.

98 mulp May 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm

5b. As an early boomer, I see housing turnover RETURNING TO NORMAL.

I grew up when people celebrated paying off mortgages and now having money to travel, buy boats, buy the family cabin to be passed down from generation to generation, care for parents now their kids are buying their dream homes.

And I grew up when it was business that moved to the workers looking for better jobs. Businesses were solving their labor shortage problems in the city core next to the railroads caused by people refusing to move from the country into work houses or company towns or tenement housing, plus the movement of the educated young business leaders into the countryside for their dream home they owned instead of rented. These men decided to build new factories and office in the countryside close to the workers they wanted, the educated young who served.

But that was post war when businesses needed workers at the same time the nation’s needed farm workers, but only for several months of the year, to feed the troops and industry at war. And that was possible because government planners made sure railroads were built to enable towns survive in a globalizing economy, the globalization which created the American economies. Town planners knew enough to add value, ie, saw trees into lumber in town to create jobs year round. Turn grain into flour. Or build the farm equipment near the farmer instead of exporting those jobs and money to distant cities.

Since the 80s, economists have argued it’s the individuals who must do as the corporations dictate, rather than corporations serving individuals in their dictates.

Why should workers in low living cost Ohio pay lots of money to move to Texas where living costs are higher instead of businesses moving to Ohio where the workers are already established in low cost housing they often own?

Will a house in Texas be cheaper than a house in old Cleveland with the roads, water and sewer, etc all built, bought, and paid for in previous decades? How can a house in Texas be cheaper than houses in Detroit where the prices are so low for high quality construction on fully supplied large city lots (water, sewer, power, etc)?

99 The Anti-Gnostic May 15, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Why should workers in low living cost Ohio pay lots of money to move to Texas where living costs are higher instead of businesses moving to Ohio where the workers are already established in low cost housing they often own?

Yes,it’s baffling isn’t it. I’ve often wondered why Google, NCR, Komatsu, and other businesses don’t locate in cheap, established places like Detroit, Cincinatti, Cleveland, Camden, East St. Louis, Baltimore, etc., where there are plenty of workers already established in low cost homes with existing infrastructure. Why would Paul Romer be desperately trying to broker prime Caribbean beachfront for his millionaire friends when opportunity awaits in the Rust Belt?!

100 P Burgos May 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm

I am assuming that your post is meant to be sarcastic, as it is obvious that companies do open offices in relatively low cost metros all the time when there is a large enough workforce of the right type of workers such that it makes sense from a business perspective, but not when there aren’t enough of the right types of workers? Which is why relatively low cost Columbus has tons of back office programmers but Cincinnati doesn’t, the difference being that Ohio State University has a more highly rated computer science department and churns out 1600 grads a year versus the University of Cincinnati having a total enrollment in their CS program of about 500 students (note that this doesn’t take into account CS grad from Northern Kentucky University, which doesn’t appear to have a CS degree major, only a Business Informatics major).

101 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:57 am

Have you lived in any of those places?

Two things: Corruption. High local taxes.

Here’s a telling quote from the mayor of Pittsburgh in reference to Uber: “Pittsburgh has a certain way of doing business.”

102 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:59 am
103 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

“But that was post war”

Which war are you referring to?

104 asdf May 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm

China will likely follow Singapore as it has in everything else. Race conscious public policy (no disparate impact, realistic educational policy, controls on racial agitation in public) mixed with a policy of encouraging respect and inclusiveness of those willing to subordinate their culture to the state.

This will be combined with tight immigration controls that massively favor co-ethnics (the only immigration of numerical importance to Singapore is fellow Chinese) and strict enforcement (being an illegal immigrant or employing an illegal immigrant are caneable offenses).

It will also be combined with a no nonsense attitude toward public order and crime, minorities won’t be allowed to get away with making inner cities war zones.

Just about every NE Asian I’ve met is more or less on board with all the above.

105 EmanuelNoriega May 15, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Tiny island that is a historic center of finance =/= China.

106 FG May 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm

+1. “Singapore is a special case” is maybe a rebuttal too often, but I agree with it here.

107 asdf May 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Sure, but in what way does Singapore’s attitude toward race not scale?

Japan is similar to Singapore on these issues, and its not a city state. Same with Korea, etc.

108 Sam Haysom May 15, 2017 at 4:28 pm

That would if anything temper their anti-immigrationism.

109 Ricardo May 16, 2017 at 3:55 am

“This will be combined with tight immigration controls that massively favor co-ethnics (the only immigration of numerical importance to Singapore is fellow Chinese) and strict enforcement (being an illegal immigrant or employing an illegal immigrant are caneable offenses).”

Singapore has strict enforcement combined with a liberal visa policy. About 30% of the country’s population consists of work visa holders and their families and those who earn above a certain amount and who stay long enough are allowed to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship, regardless of race or national origin.

110 ohwilleke May 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm

5.a. More arguments for a property tax rather than a land value tax: (1) A property tax is at least based on real transactions; a land value tax involves mathematical manipulation heavily influenced by rare vacant land transactions and so is less accurate and robust; (2) Land value, in practice, is largely derivative of how much development has taken place and could take place in the neighborhood – it can’t really be divorced from improvements; (3) Many people wrongly assume that land value is finite because land is finite, but this isn’t true. The argument that property tax is a tax on imputed rental income is also sound and not emphasized enough.

111 Cole May 15, 2017 at 2:22 pm

It’s sad that Rod Dreher’s dad and family were such awful people.

112 Jeff R May 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

“The thing that I dreamed of and hoped for didn’t work out,” he said. “They just wouldn’t accept me—not my sister’s kids, and not my dad and mom. They just could not accept that I was so different from them. I worshipped my dad—he was the strongest and wisest man I knew—but he was a country man, a Southern country man, and I just wasn’t. All that mattered was that I wasn’t like them. It just broke me.”

I’d reserve “awful” for people who are a real detriment to their communities, but that quote certainly doesn’t paint his family in a flattering light. Small-minded? Excessively provincial? Plain old Jerks?

Then again, I don’t know what Dreher is really like, either. Maybe if you knew him in real life, you would understand why his family wasn’t thrilled that he moved back home.

113 Cole May 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Well, hopefully he has a gay or trans child so we can really put this to the test. Something tells me he might be found lacking.

114 Milo Fan May 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Let’s wish mental illness on somebody’s child because we don’t like him. How virtuous of us.

115 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 4:57 pm

His oldest is on the autism spectrum.

116 Sam Haysom May 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Don’t know him personally but his writing paints him as an almost insufferable person. He’s the type of guy who takes eight months to get over mono and sends his wife out to do the heavy lifting house work all the while pretending to not understand why his family can’t stand the guy who can barely contain his contempt towards them.

I imagine his family just kind of thought “you went to LSU dude not Harvard get over yourself.”

117 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm

His father attended LSU. So did his sister. He’s admitted his sister got better grades (and thought the bull sessions he participated in were, well, bull).

118 Ali Choudhury May 15, 2017 at 5:42 pm

That is the first sensible thing you have posted here. Kudos.

119 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm

If you’ve read his columns, you have some idea of what he’s really like.

120 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Here’s a suggestion: there’s not one important thing wrong with his relatives. He just gets under their skin, something he does with a long list of people, online and in meat world. You don’t think his departure from the Templeton Foundation was voluntary, do you?

121 Sam Haysom May 15, 2017 at 4:33 pm

In fact Dreher is the awful person who feels like he should be able to enjoy unconditional acceptance at the same time he barely conceals his contempt towards them.

122 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Read J. Bottum on his dealings with Dreher over the years. It’s not that he’s an awful person. He is an embarrassing and abrasive person who seems to have little conception of how people perceive and evaluate him and also a curious deficit of a sense of honor. (He’s a big admirer of Damon Linker and brooks no criticism of Linker on his site. No ordinary person would want Damon Linker anywhere near him, but Dreher’s dead to the man’s grossness).

123 Believe it! May 15, 2017 at 4:57 pm

These guys

Do much better profiles of Rod Dreher

124 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm

His father was married to the same woman from 1964 until his recent death. His sister married her high school bf in 1991 and remained married to him until her death. Neither his father nor his sister were compelled to change jobs during decades of employment: she worked for the school district, he for the county health department. Her funeral was packed to the rafters. This is not a schematic description of terrible people.

125 Art Deco May 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm

I’d like to note, for posterity, that last night I paid $500 cash to a strapping young lad with rippling muscles. I had him dress up in a Pope costume while he tied me up and spanked me until I found my satisfaction.

126 Mrs. Alex Tabarrok May 16, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I need to ask Alex which of the kids he hired uses the handle ‘msgkings’.

127 asdfG May 16, 2017 at 6:20 pm

This by the way is creepy, in case you weren’t aware.

128 Art Deco May 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

What’s creepy? Staying married, having a life-long vocation in your home town, or having a large group of people who value you enough to pay their respects?

129 asdfG May 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

Posting detailed information about peoples’ families’ lives. Why do you even know these things? Why do you think anyone would care?

130 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ May 15, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Or he was correct and Dreher is a (sometimes insightful) sissy.

Introspection and social commentary are all well and good, but sometimes going to the supermarket is as important as butchering a deer barefoot.

131 Dwight G May 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Re: the Carpenters in the Philippines
This reminded me of the movie “Paul Williams Still Alive,” about the famous songwriter. Part of the movie follows him to the Philippines, where he is a huge star, for some concerts. The similarity in status makes sense, I guess, since he wrote several of their songs.

132 A Definite Beta Guy May 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Homeownership turnover is incredible. I don’t understand how the average household could have ever moved every 3 years. My parents live in a home originally owned by my grandparents, bought as new construction. I had the same teachers as my uncles.

I can only imagine such quick turnover encouraging shoddy designs.

133 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 4:42 pm

#4: I gather Dreher’s now estranged from his proximate relatives. Having observed the man for 15 years and having had exchanges with him online, I’m not buying one word of his assessment of his problems. (Start with his contentions about his sister’s household income. As we speak, middle school teachers in Louisiana are paid $48,000 per year on average, and firefighters $33,000 a year, which sums to of $81,000; given the changes in nominal compensation per worker since 2001 in the Baton Rouge commuter belt, a contextually similar sum at that time would have been north of $47,000 a year. So, he wants me to believe that the New York Post in 2001 was paying him $95,000 a year plus fringes to write unremarkable (but abrasive) newspaper columns?). His ‘urbanity’? He isn’t any more extensively educated than his sister or his father, just more bibliophilic. He’s also excitable, exhibitionistic, and given to making erratic and ill-considered judgments (which commonly are accusatory to boot). Here’s a pro-tip Rod: what’s ‘different’ about you is that you make a jack-wagon of yourself with a frequency ordinary middle-aged adults seldom do, and that irritates people. You put pictures of your moribund father up on the internet. You made your brother-in-law’s disputes with his oldest daughter fodder for your blog. Maybe it isn’t just your cooking they don’t like, and with good reason.

134 Jeff R May 15, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Come to think of it, I do remember seeing some post he made about his father’s death and thinking “wow, I can’t believe he shared that on his blog. How crass.” I can’t recall the content of it, though.

135 Gerber Baby May 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Don’t know much about the guy, the few articles of his that I’ve read seemed pretty reasonable, though I know he has a blind spot on race, but why is it unreasonable for me to believe the New York Post was paying him 95,000$ a year? Most journalists are paid poorly, many not at all, but the really good writers are well compensated.

136 Art Deco May 15, 2017 at 7:44 pm

As we speak, reporters and editors in New York state are reputedly paid a mean of $72,000 plus benefits. That’s a weighted average of Upstate and Downstate. Incomes downstate tend to be shy of 10% higher than the statewide mean, so we’ll guess the NYC mean is $78,000. About 40% of the workforce is to be found in occupations wherein cash compensation has been stagnant or declining since 2000, among them newspaper reporters. A salary of $78,000 in current dollars translates into about $57,500 in 2000 currency units. Dreher was working for a low-rent paper that has haemorrhaged cash for decades and he was a columnist, not a reporter. He had about 12 years experience and had worked for 3 other papers, generally as a critic rather than as a reporter.

137 efim polenov May 16, 2017 at 12:23 am

Dreher is an interesting person. I disagree with him on a lot, but he takes brave stands on many issues. Without meeting him personally, I would be reluctant to criticize the things he says in public about his personal life. I appreciate his honesty, and I think he tries to be painfully honest in order to be helpful to other people who have suffered from difficult family situations. The New Yorker profile hints at that. Painful honesty can be a very admirable trait, and I would prefer to think the best of him and his family, rather then the worst. (Same thing for Knausgaard’s poor family). That being said, I did not much like the way he used a phrase I associate with Saint Therese for the title of a book about his late sister Ruth, no matter how wonderful she was (he called the book he wrote about his sister “The Little Way of Ruthie Lemming”, I think – the “Little Way” phrase was, I think, originated to describe Saint Therese Martin – daughter of the amazing Saint Zelie and the amazing Saint Louis Martin). Still, it may have been a very good book – I just refused to read it because of the title.

138 Art Deco May 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

He runs off at the mouth about his home life as a matter of course (including a feature he did for Our Sunday Visitor on natural family planning and how annoying he found it). I cannot see the source or the point of a ‘scruple’ about offering a ‘comment’ about what he publishes.

To the best of my knowledge, he’s taken two ‘stands’ in the course of his public career which would be considered outre among journalists: contra abortion and antagonistic to the gay lobby. Since 1997 or thereabouts, he’s been employed by starboard publications (The Washington Times, The New York Post, National Review), by publications which posing as starboard (The American Conservative), and by agencies open to starboard perspectives (the editorial department of the Dallas Morning News and the Templeton Foundation). Dreher has always been a man who identified with newspaperman and gave them the benefit of the doubt, something he does with regard to no one else. You won’t see an astringent critique of the gay lobby out of Dreher’s pen, just remarks on vicious crap that should embarrass rank and file poofs. He saves his venom for characters they dislike or do not care about.

139 Art Deco May 16, 2017 at 9:06 am

“they” meaning other journalists.

140 efim polenov May 16, 2017 at 10:55 pm

The point of a scruple about a categorically unqualified negative comment about what Dreher publishes about his family is this: I have no idea how much encouragement he gets from his family to publish about, well, the sort of things most families would not want to be published. His wife seems like a wonderful person from all the descriptions I have heard, and his father and his sister come off as extremely admirable in many ways, and I would not be surprised if each of them said, grumpily or not, publish what you want, Rod, we love you and that is what you do. I recently read a great deal in Tolstoy’s wife’s diary. She, unlike her poor husband, was fortunate enough to be, almost by nature, a good-hearted Christian, and among the least of the faults she found in him was his making public private difficulties: because she thought it helped others, outside the charmed family circle. As for Dreher’s brave stands that I mentioned, he has been both an investigative reporter and a passionate guy in defense of the defenseless on multiple occasions. Sure he is wrong when he thoughtlessly joins the collective hive , as he has done most recently with his anti-Trump hysteria, and, as you pointed out, he has in the past over-fixated on ridiculous individual scapegoat figures of fun on the opposite side of many political and sociological issues. And he obviously was clueless about the point of natural family planning. (And now that he is “Orthodox” he probably thinks he doesn’t need to think about it, which is sad for him). But he has done a lot of different things over the years as a journalist. How many journalists can anybody name who do not come off as joiners and sycophants almost all the time? There are few and I think Dreher is one of them. I guess we can agree to disagree on that. Also, he was a good movie reviewer – I used to buy the NY Post and only read 3 or 4 percent of the articles, but I would always read his reviews (Podhoretz wrote good reviews at the time, too, I remember him criticizing one movie because the director and the actors all seemed completely unaware of how real people talk to each other in the real situations of life – it does not sound like much, but it was phrased much better in the review I still remember from 20 years ago, and I had seen the director’s previous movie, and that was one of the most insightful things I had ever read in a daily newspaper).

141 Matt May 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

5 My instinct on land value taxes is that it distorts the pricing of land. It would seem that on some level, the government is setting the price of the land, or at least greatly influencing the pricing of the land.

142 Edgar May 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm

#2 explains #1 perfectly.

143 BC May 15, 2017 at 6:22 pm

#6) Nice podcast. Good to hear from Krugman the Economist again instead of Krugman the NYT political pundit.

144 Anonymous May 15, 2017 at 6:52 pm

2. When I visited Malaysia (20 years ago?) the Carpenters and the Partridge Family were big on tv. A wholesome period of American tv adopted by regimes seeking wholesomeness?

145 Humean Being May 16, 2017 at 12:45 am

1: I’m living in China now. A couple months ago, my (Chinese) girlfriend saw a video on Chinese social media and asked me to watch it, say nothing, then let her know what I thought at the end.

The video was of a young Chinese man and white woman, both in college. The Chinese guy had gone to study abroad, the white woman was his friend, and they had both learned the ways of social justice in college. They made this video as a public service announcement. The content was about ten minutes of the white woman going on an impassioned rant about the historical mistreatment of Chinese Americans and all of the different kinds of actions that could count as a micro aggression against a Chinese person. The Chinese gut translated.

I was a little afraid that my girlfriend was angry about all the bad things they do to Chinese in America. And she was a little angry, but that’s not why. It’s because she thought the whole moral framework these students were assuming was transparently ridiculous. The video was the subject of widespread mockery. The sentiment was: “Why send our kids to the US to get an education when this is what they’ll be taught?”

146 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:53 am

They send their kids to Engineering school, not Liberal Arts. The Chinese are nothing if not practical. They aren’t going to waste their time having “fun” in school taking ethnic studies courses.

147 Art Deco May 16, 2017 at 2:49 pm

About 0.5% of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in this country each year are in victimology programs. The manpower and budget devoted to black studies, women’s studies &c. is a consequence of social-signaling and principal-agent problems among the faculty and administration and you’d inconvenience very few students if the programs were eliminated.

About 61% of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in this country every year are in vocational subjects. Some of the programs of study are witless paper hoops as currently formatted (e.g. teacher-training and social work). The students following them do have a career in mind, however. Another 10% or so are awarded in natural sciences, mathematics, &c. About 5% or so are awarded in social research disciplines which are predominantly quantitative or experimental in character. Most people enrolled in college are not being dreadfully impractical.

148 Alex G May 16, 2017 at 6:46 am

#1 They have been using a similar derogatory term in Russia for many years: ‘Liberast’.

149 meets May 16, 2017 at 9:02 am

The white left is a powerful force.

It got Trump elected.

150 Hazel Meade May 16, 2017 at 9:51 am


National Socialists are still socialists.

151 Anonymous May 16, 2017 at 9:56 am

I think “meets” was going for something else. I think the idea is that “you wanted gay wedding cakes, so of course we had to make an imbecile into the most powerful man in the world.”

Or is it something else, meets?

152 meets May 16, 2017 at 10:30 am

If only it was just gay wedding cakes.

Remember, the place that was hounded out of existence was a pizza place.

How does one measure imbecility? The stock market is about 20% higher than it would have been under Hillary, and probably 50% over what a Bernie admin would have given us.

153 Anonymous May 16, 2017 at 10:36 am

Actually the stock market would be 50% higher still under HIllary. Or any other baseless claim. Sarc.

Look, I understand that SJWs get excited about stupid things, but then RWNJs get excited right back again. I would say “accomplishing nothing” but they accomplished something worse than nothing.

They (and by that I mean SJWs, RWNJs, but most fundamentally actual Trump voters) gave us the worst president in the history of the United States. News today rolls on that:

154 meets May 16, 2017 at 10:38 am

People hate the white left more though. Why?

155 Anonymous May 16, 2017 at 10:45 am

Do they?

“Nearly 60 percent of small business owners reject laws that would allow individuals or businesses to legally refuse service to LGBT people based on religious beliefs, according to a July 2015 poll.”

Or do a minority hate that this has become the majority position?

156 meets May 16, 2017 at 10:46 am

That’s not a complete summary of the white left.

157 anon May 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

you seem confused. if anything the White Left resemble Cultural Revolution era Maoists, not anything from European Fascism.

158 Art Deco May 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I have nothing constructive to add here but I really just want everyone to know that I’m a closet case and it is reasonable to speculate that I was bad-touched by Catholic priests when I was a child.

159 Mrs. Alex Tabarrok May 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

My husband really should come clean about employing interns to write s**tposts on his blog.

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