Thursday, February 11, 2016

Who is destroying Western civilization?

It's not Mohammedans*, it's Keynesians:


There's a lot of chatter among the #AltRight these days about Game and saving Western Civilization therewith.  But one question that is seldom asked is what it is, specifically, that constitutes Western Civilization.  What are we trying to save?  Cell phones and Interstates? The nuclear family?  Social Security? The Designated Hitter Rule? The fact that the definition is never addressed is one indication that it is too large, or contains too many pieces, to discuss intelligently.**

However, arguably the most important single idea that caused Western Civilization to evolve into the rich and prosperous place it has been for about 400 years now is what was once known as the Protestant Work Ethic.

While there are Calvinistic theological underpinnings behind it, the Protestant Work Ethic plays out primarily in the world of economics. And specifically in how the capitalist societies of England, Germany and other non-Catholic areas of Europe, and in the United States, grew so prosperous.

It's amazingly simple.  The Protestant Work Ethic has three main precepts, applied both to the individual and to society:
  • Hard, productive work
  • Frugality
  • Savings
It is not difficult to see how any society that practices those things will over time grow rich.  It's not "White privilege" and it's not colonial exploitation; it's math.  It's capital accumulation and production and longer time preferences. The society that produces more than it consumes will own more at the end of the day than one that consumes more than it produces.  As we did, long ago when we practiced those things. Today, we have more stuff. But we owe someone $200 trillion or so for it and stand on the edge of a deflationary abyss that threatens to wipe out most of our 'wealth.'.

Since Keynes and especially neo-Keynesians fell in love with the idea of measuring activity no matter its worth, we have finally come to the point where no eyebrows are raised when a Keynesian says that the solution to the economy's current funk*** involves:
instead of making [negative interest rates] punitive on the banks, ...make them punitive to savers... Cash should be charged interest -- put the micro chip in large denomination notes/tax cash withdrawals.. encourage spending not saving. 
Encourage spending, not saving.  There, in four words, is the pulling of one of the lynchpins of Western civilization.  It is the epitome of short-term thinking****.

It is also the path to poverty. Our entire economy, which in the past 100 years has been converted into one that celebrates profligacy and living in the now - has been a lot of fun, but it is the end of the road for Western Civilization. Those in charge are purposely unmaking what made us into us. and we are loving every minute of it.

* this is not an argument to let any of them into the West, it's merely pointing out that the primary problem goes a little deeper.
** Perhaps one more reason why some of the more important insights into human behavior are primarily applied toward plowing college girls. Which activity is not itself very supportive of Western civilization, all things considered.
*** besides destroying the currency, natch.
**** There is no one with a shorter time preference than a Keynesian economist.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dead armadillo chronicles

It's the shot that counts
So anyway, for about the last week there's been an armadillo living under the guest cabin in the back yard.  Now, I'm generally live and let live when it comes to wildlife, as the dog keeps most of the big critters away while the smaller ones feed the cats.  And I don't mind stuff that comes out at night, as I don't really need all those cats anyway.

But there are times when such a laissez-faire attitude borders on foolishness, such as when a normally-nocturnal animal spends all day digging up the yard. Every day for a week.  The girls are terrified of said animal, which is fine, because I don't want them playing with it anyway. And apparently armadillos are invisible to dogs, or so my own would have me believe. But wild animals that act oddly are too often sick, and I don't want critters passing anything to my critters, two-legged or four.

So as is my habit, I tried to convince him to leave in a non-lethal manner first:  I threw a trash can at him.  That seemed to keep him away for about a day.  Then I hit him with a stick.  That was good for two days.  But when he wandered out early this afternoon I figured it was time to bring out the hardware.  The hardware in this case being my new Springfield XDS in 45ACP.

Now, I don't know if you've seen an armadillo in real life*, but they have really tiny heads.  And the Lovely and Gracious sent me an article this week about a guy who was injured when his bullet ricocheted off an armadillo's mithril armor.  So maybe I was a little bit intimated by the idea of doing him in with a handgun. But still, I should have been able to kill him with 5 shots, and I thought I hit him at least twice. When he scurried back under the cabin and I figured I'd seen** the last of him.

So imagine my surprise when the girls and I came in from fishing to find said armadillo walking in circles in the driveway.  While they screamed and ran into the house, I set the crappie bucket down and went for the old standby - the 22 Hornet.

Two lessons learned:
  • Despite what you might have read, an armadillo's hide is not tough enough to stop a high-powered 224.
  • I need to get to the range in a bad way, since the XDS is my "carry" gun.

On a totally unrelated note, Good Hater will be free tomorrow thru Tuesday, so if you haven't read it and want to, here's your chance. 

* I had never seen a live one before this guy showed up.
** But not smelled.  There's no way to get the carcass out from under there.