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Monday, February 02, 2015

Hoist by their own petard

I usually don't like to see bookstores going out of business, but in this case, even the most inveterate book-lover has to make an exception and see the black humor in the situation:
San Francisco specialty bookshop Borderlands Books is going out of business. The store will close its doors no later than March 31, 2015, but may close earlier, depending on how quickly the inventory can be sold. Owner Alan Beatts explains:

The recent change in San Francisco minimum wage law will prevent the store from being financially viable no later than July of 2018 (at which point our payroll will have increased by roughly 39%). It is quite possible that the store would lack viability before that date, as wages will increase incrementally between now and then. Rather than wait, we have chosen to close now to allow us to get the most value from the businesses. Though all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle, the minimum wage law passed in San Francisco makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to run a viable business when retail pricing is set by publishers and our main competitors are companies such as Amazon.com.
Leftists never seem to think through even the most obvious consequences of the policies they support. What percentage of the people who will be upset over the closing of their local bookstore do you suppose support both a) central banking and b) the increase in the minimum wage law in San Francisco?

The effects of ebooks, the concomitant growth of independent publishing, and the declining power of the gatekeepers to dictate what books readers are permitted to buy is going to continue to take down bookstores and publishers alike. Some of these losses will be a pity. Others are to be celebrated. But whether we like the changes or not, they are coming.

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153 Comments:

Anonymous Rolf February 02, 2015 12:05 PM  

I'm shocked, shocked, that the laws of economics apply in the worker's paradise that is San Fran!

(face-palm) isn't one definition of insanity continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result?

Blogger Alexander Thompson February 02, 2015 12:07 PM  

Not entirely sure what the Federal Reserve has to do with this...

Still sweet justice though.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 12:09 PM  

Not entirely sure what the Federal Reserve has to do with this...

In this case, inflation. Note that the median wage stopped increasing after Nixon closed the gold window.

As a general rule, when it comes to economics, the better question is what doesn't the Fed have to do with it...

Blogger Northern Hamlet February 02, 2015 12:13 PM  

Unimpressive. While I doubt Beatts is rolling like a rich man, I've known too many business owners of all sizes who cry about taxes and wages before driving off in 100k cars.

Mind you, I'm aware salaries do cut in to the bottomline in a significant way, and we all want a bit of reward for taking the risk of owning a business, but I have little sympathy after what I've seen. Good businessmen pay their people a decent wage, even if it means sacrificing on their part.

Blogger BigFire February 02, 2015 12:19 PM  

The real minimum wage has always been zero. If it makes no sense to hire someone, they won't get hired.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 12:23 PM  

Unimpressive. While I doubt Beatts is rolling like a rich man, I've known too many business owners of all sizes who cry about taxes and wages before driving off in 100k cars.

Not sure this applies in this specific case.

(at which point our payroll will have increased by roughly 39%)

Do you think he could have raised prices by 39% given the specific industry?

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 12:23 PM  

Leftists never seem to think through even the most obvious consequences of the policies they support.

Being a leftist means never having to think.

Put another way...

Being in love with leftism means never having to say you're responsible...

Anonymous Porky February 02, 2015 12:26 PM  

Good businessmen pay their people a decent wage, even if it means sacrificing on their part.

How much is "decent"?

Anonymous jay c February 02, 2015 12:26 PM  

Northern Hamlet, good businessmen don't get into business if they don't intend to profit handsomely and substantially increase their own standards of living. Anything else is charity, which is honorable, but not business.

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 12:29 PM  

How much is "decent"?

Dude, like, you know, a fair amount

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 12:30 PM  

Do you think he could have raised prices by 39% given the specific industry?

He would've gotten away with it if not for those darn kids (at Amazon)!

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 12:30 PM  

How much is "decent"?

Depends on the business and the employee.

I think there is a clear biblical mandate that the worker is worthy of his wage.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts February 02, 2015 12:31 PM  

I love people who bitch about CEO pay being outrageous. They often claim they could do it for a fraction of the pay.

Lol. Yea. And I can dunk on LeBron for a fraction of NBA salaries.

Anonymous jack February 02, 2015 12:34 PM  

As a defensive and, maybe, as a viable business model continuing on, Borderlands could do worse than learning the ebook trade and jumping right in a la Castalia and Smashwords. They probably would never do it or not do it right enough to survive but what do you have to lose?
Meanwhile, all those lower wage, probably uber liberal book mages that worked the floor at places like Borderlands are out jobs. The city of SF is out the tax revenues.
This is, in a way, a win-win. I doubt any outfit like Borderlands could really give Castalia a run for its money. But, you never know till you try.

Anonymous jay c February 02, 2015 12:34 PM  

If the worker is worth his wage, then he's worth his wage. If he isn't, pay him the wage he is worth. Except that's not an option for some workers who will now be unemployed and getting paid far more than they're worth without doing any labor and in money hijacked from people who are worth their wages.

It really is a worker's paradise!

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 12:35 PM  

I love people who bitch about CEO pay being outrageous. They often claim they could do it for a fraction of the pay.

Oh, there's a significant difference between the entrepreneurs that build companies and create value and the mercenary class of managers and consultants that occupy most boards and executive offices.

Blogger JCclimber February 02, 2015 12:36 PM  

Imagine my excitement when I went into that bookstore for the first time....they specialized in Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery....and I found some pretty great books. They had some autographed copies as well......

then I noticed that most of their SFF books were ignorable. That was before I learned about the pink SJW invasion of SFF, but I could clearly see that something was very very wrong in the world of SFF.

I never went back.

One, I really truly hate driving in SF, as they are deliberately setting policy to be anti-car. They just finished a project to paint one of the lanes a different color on the major streets, to make them exclusively for mass transit (and the hybrid only taxicabs).

Parking meters are $4 per hour. Until 9 PM. 7 days a week. If you can find an open one.

Knowing a portion of the taxes I pay for retail in that city will go to fund their LGTX health care, and other progressive agendas, I avoid going there wherever possible.

Anonymous Porky February 02, 2015 12:38 PM  

Dude, like, you know, a fair amount

So in the case of bookstore cashiers... about a dime per dozen?

Anonymous Zek February 02, 2015 12:38 PM  

N Hamlet,

You've never owned a business obviously. You pay people for the revenue they can generate or you go under, pure and simple.

Do you not understand the risks that a business owner takes? I started my 1st company at 23, and eventually had over 50 people on staff. For the first 2 years, I sunk every extra cent into the company because it was growing and I didn't want to take on debt. I paid myself minimally and I had employees making comparable sums WITH ABSOLUTELY NO RISK.

The owner takes ALL OF THE RISK, and earns the reward, or takes it on the chin if the company fails.


Blogger James Dixon February 02, 2015 12:40 PM  

> I love people who bitch about CEO pay being outrageous. They often claim they could do it for a fraction of the pay.

Well, when it comes to the CEO of GE, I strongly suspect I could.

> Knowing a portion of the taxes I pay for retail in that city will go to fund their LGTX health care, and other progressive agendas, I avoid going there wherever possible.

I keep it simpler than that, JC. I avoid going to cities whenever possible. :)

Blogger JACIII February 02, 2015 12:41 PM  

DTH - There have in recent memory been a lot of CEO's you couldn't do worse than. Bums off the street or fifth graders would be less likely to run a company off a cliff. I think this is often what drives the rationale you often hear.

Anonymous Will Best February 02, 2015 12:43 PM  

Unimpressive. While I doubt Beatts is rolling like a rich man, I've known too many business owners of all sizes who cry about taxes and wages before driving off in 100k cars.

So?

Its not just how much money they make. It is the risk associated with making that money. The baseline for 5 million dollars is to loan it to the government and get inflation plus a marginal rate. You could also buy farmland which is typically returns inflation hedge of the land plus about 2% in net rental. Or you could go with a diversified investment strategy that returns about inflation plus 3-4%

Running a bookstore might generate 5-6%, but then it is a lot more risky. If the city is going to push your labor cost up and reduce your ROI to 3-4%, then its pretty easy decision to take your money and go buy some dirt in Iowa.

Anonymous Athor Pel February 02, 2015 12:48 PM  

When I saw the name of the store I was a little surprised. I did a double take. Sooo, not related to the computer game.. Ok.

You could buy books from this guy but I wouldn't recommend it.

Blogger Bob Wallace February 02, 2015 12:53 PM  

"Note that the median wage stopped increasing after Nixon closed the gold window."

Wages stopped going up in January, 1973.

OpenID spastic0plastic February 02, 2015 12:55 PM  

The people who are now jobless will just vote socialist even harder. Defective ideas like "universal basic income" and "government creates jobs, not business" promote raidicalization

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts February 02, 2015 12:56 PM  

Oh, there's a significant difference between the entrepreneurs that build companies and create value and the mercenary class of managers and consultants that occupy most boards and executive offices.

I don't disagree. But the people who bitch about CEO pay aren't create entrepreneurs. They're shitbag politicians, parasites and pot smoking college professors.

Anonymous Edjamacator February 02, 2015 12:57 PM  

Though all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle, the minimum wage law passed in San Francisco makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to run a viable business when retail pricing is set by publishers and our main competitors are companies such as Amazon.com.

The solution is simple: Eliminate competition! Duh. Competition is too unfair and discriminatory, so it should be banned. What's the problem?

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 12:58 PM  

I don't disagree. But the people who bitch about CEO pay aren't create entrepreneurs. They're shitbag politicians, parasites and pot smoking college professors.

If Obama says 2+2=4, that doesn't mean 2+2 suddenly becomes 5 because Obama said 4.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts February 02, 2015 1:00 PM  

DTH - There have in recent memory been a lot of CEO's you couldn't do worse than. Bums off the street or fifth graders would be less likely to run a company off a cliff. I think this is often what drives the rationale you often hear.

And yet these companies whose sole purpose is to make money for the shareholders fail to hire regular joes. Kind of like how if women were actually paid less than men, companies still hire men.

It's because these high paid CEO types work out more often than than not.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 1:02 PM  

Wages stopped going up in January, 1973.

What's your point?

Nixon ended convertability in 1971 but Bretton Woods didn't fully collapse until 1973.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts February 02, 2015 1:02 PM  

@ James Dixon

With big government crony capitalism, GE (among many other dinosaurs) would have gone extinct decades ago.

They could have a ham sandwich for CEO with the kind of regulatory favoritism they receive.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 1:03 PM  

It's because these high paid CEO types work out more often than than not.

You're going to need to back up your assertion with some data.

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 1:04 PM  

And yet these companies whose sole purpose is to make money for the shareholders

Well, that's their ostensible purpose. Pournelle's Iron Law applies to corporate bureaucracies as well.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts February 02, 2015 1:06 PM  

If Obama says 2+2=4, that doesn't mean 2+2 suddenly becomes 5 because Obama said 4.

The fact that some people would do ok running large companies as a CEO for fractional pay is like saying some 5th graders would do ok driving a tank through a parking lot.

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 1:08 PM  


The fact that some people would do ok running large companies as a CEO for fractional pay is like saying some 5th graders would do ok driving a tank through a parking lot.


Because CEO's have electrolytes and shit?

Anonymous Porky February 02, 2015 1:09 PM  

I think there is a clear biblical mandate that the worker is worthy of his wage.

'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'

Anonymous p-dawg February 02, 2015 1:10 PM  

@Alexander Thompson: The Federal Reserve is a non-profit religious organization, an eleemosynary trust, which exists as an end run around Article 1, Section 10. It's not Federal, there's no Reserve, and it exists to foil this language: "No state shall make anything other than gold or silver a tender in payment of debt."

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 1:11 PM  

'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'

For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

...

And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 1:14 PM  

@Alexander Thompson: The Federal Reserve is a non-profit religious organization, an eleemosynary trust, which exists as an end run around Article 1, Section 10. It's not Federal, there's no Reserve, and it exists to foil this language: "No state shall make anything other than gold or silver a tender in payment of debt."

They certainly don't pay state/county/municipal property taxes (you can look up the Cincinnati Fed property tax records if you're interested (Hamilton Cty, Ohio) which are conveniently online). I haven't researched it, but I expect the Fed is treated as exempt from federal taxes as well.

Anonymous Porky February 02, 2015 1:18 PM  

Josh, the mandate you speak of is about prompt payment for work. IOW, don't withhold the pay when you have it with you.

The parable I quoted makes it clear that wages are A) negotiable, and B) at the sole discretion of the owner.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts February 02, 2015 1:18 PM  

Because CEO's have electrolytes and shit?

I love that movie.

You're going to need to back up your assertion with some data.

I don't have a study or proof showing that safe bet CEOs work out more often than not. So I withdraw my assertion. I know you guys are sticklers for the rules. I respect that.

Blogger Nate February 02, 2015 1:19 PM  

"Though all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle, the minimum wage law passed in San Francisco makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to run a viable business when retail pricing is set by publishers and our main competitors are companies such as Amazon.com."


LULZ

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 1:20 PM  

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/06/16/the-highest-paid-ceos-are-the-worst-performers-new-study-says/

“The more CEOs are paid, the worse the firm does over the next three years, as far as stock performance and even accounting performance,” says one of the authors of the study, Michael Cooper of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.

Link to study:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1572085

Abstract:
We find evidence that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) pay is negatively related to future stock returns for periods up to three years after sorting on pay. For example, firms that pay their CEOs in the top ten percent of excess pay earn negative abnormal returns over the next three years of approximately -8%. The effect is stronger for CEOs who receive higher incentive pay relative to their peers and stronger for CEOs with greater tenure. Our results appear to be driven by high-pay related CEO overconfidence that leads to shareholder wealth losses from activities such as overinvestment and value-destroying mergers and acquisitions.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 1:21 PM  

I don't have a study or proof showing that safe bet CEOs work out more often than not. So I withdraw my assertion. I know you guys are sticklers for the rules. I respect that.

I appreciate that. You've conducted yourself in an honorable fashion.

Blogger Northern Hamlet February 02, 2015 1:26 PM  

A decent wage is not a simple formula.

I prefer to keep my business ventures private.

And the 39%: I haven't yet parsed the numbers to see how that falls given the new wage law; so I can't fully comment, especially without knowing other aspects of that specific business' bottomline.

Unfortunately, can't play much today, guys.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper February 02, 2015 1:29 PM  

Owning a business is risky and difficult and I have compassion for anyone caught in a regulatory or wage cost dilemma.

However in a broader sense unless we do find some way to increase wages and employment, we will have to live with a much smaller population with the only growth areas being in mostly R selected types with a smattering of the highly religious.

There are reasons that Europe has such low birth rates and the non R selected Americans and Asians and others that have joined them. Despite conventional wisdom its not social change , though that plays a part but the entirely natural processes of urbanization and of technology. More than 1/3 of the young people 15-29 in Europe lack full time employment of employment. Its fine for younger people who don't need or want it but its not good after I dunno 22 or 23. This doesn't take into account people who have full time employment with no social mobility and wages below the ability to afford housing

The three usual nostroms, just have them move , more religion or if we cut regulation they'll hire more simply don't work.

The 1st is certainly creating a diaspora but when people moves its destroys history, communities and society . It does no good for say Poland to have millions of Poles living somewhere else nor for the UK to accept those Poles or to have its own diaspora. Its great for the globalists though,

The 2nd more religion might work but poor people living faithful lives in some modern favella are little better of than just human biomass for the consumer state or fodder for global religious movements but aren't going to produce the high caliber offspring required to keep modernity functioning. Also if whatever religious strain doesn't work well with the culture, c.f Islam you have massive problems. Again great for globalists, bad for society.

and the 3rd well no. Almost everything requested by businesses its an attempt to cut the cost of labor or of actually maintaining society

This is good for the bottom line of that business in the short run but do to material limits (only so much stuff to go around) and open markets which just push everyone down to the lowest common denominator and a lower standard of of living suppresses fertility . This is what we are getting now, For example if you allow Chinese imports and you compete with Chinese labor (cheap to slave) Chinese material costs (low quality) and Chinese ecological overhead (negligible) not good.

The solution is to adjust the incentives to favor broad based wealth distribution and trade between equals instead of relentless efficiency and a welfare/warfare state.

Anonymous map February 02, 2015 1:33 PM  

The problem is that you are taking the stated intent of the minimum wage law seriously. TPTB in San Francisco know what they are doing. They are using the higher minimum wage laws to get rid of the kind of people and businesses that are not viable below a certain wage rate. in effect, they know that a high minimum wage rate will make the kind of marginal people the city wants to get rid of unemployable by driving out the businesses that would otherwise survive.

This means you, unemployable hipsters with your ridiculous non-tech degrees.

Blogger Da_Truth_Hurts February 02, 2015 1:36 PM  

Let us not forget the link between union contracts and the minimum wage:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324048904578318541000422454

"The Center for Union Facts analyzed collective-bargaining agreements obtained from the Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards. The data indicate that a number of unions in the service, retail and hospitality industries peg their base-line wages to the minimum wage."

Blogger Northern Hamlet February 02, 2015 1:37 PM  

Oh, and anyone who starts a business is entitled to a reward for the large risk and all the work... But they're not entitled to my respect for acting like a poor leader if that's the case.

Jesus sacrificed for us, and I carry this into my sense of buissness leadership as I strive to do right for those below me who are also stakeholders in the organization. If I'm in error here, please point it out.

Anonymous jay c February 02, 2015 1:40 PM  

Mostly OT: Speaking of books & businesses, I need a full-service editor to help me with the intro to a prayer book. I thought Vox had a list of freelance editors around, but I don't see it now. Does anyone know where I can find that list?

Anonymous jay c February 02, 2015 1:46 PM  

NH, I think you're only error is in assuming that a businessman is in the wrong if he's laying people off, paying minimum wage, or complaining about taxes while he's driving a $100k car. You should do what your conscience dictates in your own business, but without knowing that other businessman and all of the details of his private life, family and labor force, there's no way you can know whether he is in the wrong or right. In most cases, you won't even have any good indications. Consider David & Solomon, both of whom were made staggeringly wealthy by God's own hand, but ruled over a nation that undoubtedly had many poverty stricken people in it. If it's not necessarily wrong for a king to live an extremely lavish lifestyle while some of his people live in grass huts, what makes it wrong for a businessman to live a moderately lavish lifestyle while some of his people don't have nice cars or the latest gadgets?

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 1:46 PM  

“The more CEOs are paid, the worse the firm does over the next three years, as far as stock performance and even accounting performance,” says one of the authors of the study, Michael Cooper of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.

Could be a reflection of the consequences of the Iron Law: as the bureaucracy succeeds in subverting the purpose of the organization towards expanding its own power, the performance of the organization in accomplishing its erstwhile goals suffers in proportion to the bureaucratic success.

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 02, 2015 1:46 PM  

"Good businessmen pay their people a decent wage, even if it means sacrificing on their part."

This is, at best, a short term strategy in extreme emergencies like - some customer's payment just bounced and you might not make payroll. If the owners starve, everybody walks in one day and finds themselves unemployed, and then there is a bigger mess. You have to make payroll. You do not have to make the next payroll provided you terminate the employees. It's better for an employee to know he is getting his final pay than that he got his final pay some time ago.

Anonymous Difster February 02, 2015 1:49 PM  

I think you mean open source editors jay c.

Anonymous jay c February 02, 2015 1:52 PM  

If you mean open source as in open source software, then no, I mean editors for hire by freelance writers.

Anonymous MrGreenMan February 02, 2015 1:54 PM  

"Jesus sacrificed for us, and I carry this into my sense of buissness leadership as I strive to do right for those below me who are also stakeholders in the organization. If I'm in error here, please point it out."

You must comport yourself honorably so as not to dishonor your Lord, but this can be taken too far if it becomes a personal masochistic martyrdom.

Jesus certainly understood how business worked. He did not command us to go borrow large sums of money to disperse those to the poor. In many of his parables, he acknowledges that a worker is owed the prevailing wage for that type of worker - e.g., everyone gets a shekel for the day working the field - but there is no example I can find of the vineyard owner being told to sell his things to employ those people tomorrow. Debt is discouraged, but debt is often that first thing the business owner who thinks he's doing right by his people reaches toward, and, if you're doing like the guy in the only Ghostbusters and getting a third mortgage to do right by your business, you have to stop.

The real problem is always a lack of honesty and too much lying. Be totally straight with people, including the employees. If the organization is so big that they aren't tied to the success of the business mission, it is too big and it will fail. I've known start up guys who write the bank account balance on the whiteboard, or at least the number of days until they are out of money. People will either be in the boat and rowing the right direction to make more money, or self-selected out of the boat with fear of the risk.

Anonymous EG February 02, 2015 1:58 PM  

@ Difster:
"I think you mean open source editors jay c."

No, I believe he's correct here. A full-service editor is a particular occupation in the pub/lit world, and has little to do with software.

Anonymous EG February 02, 2015 2:01 PM  

Edit:

Ninja'd. Jay c can speak for himself, it seems.

Anonymous p-dawg February 02, 2015 2:20 PM  

@Stilicho: Here's the definition of eleemosynary: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/eleemosynary

They are indeed completely tax-exempt because they are ostensibly a charitable organization. Apologies if I wasn't clear.

Anonymous Daniel February 02, 2015 2:25 PM  

A book store that is large enough for paper book reading areas, with stations of fully browseable e-books that you can add to your checkout list for when you go up and pay should do well. Getting people in - even a few to hog the e-book monitor and pay nothing - is the key to growing sales.

Being a place where people can seamlessly blend their ebook and print book buying would be tough to implement, but would be good business. Also, offering assistant rate services to customers would be the way to pay staff more: your senior staff would be promoted to assistant rate, and the customers would pay them premiums for professional search, retrieval, publishing and other services.

Less staff, higher quality, better pay, lower overhead, more service.

It could work.

Anonymous Daniel February 02, 2015 2:26 PM  

I support a dying wage. As in - if it's killing you, find another job.

Anonymous Anubis February 02, 2015 2:29 PM  

"Bums off the street or fifth graders would be less likely to run a company off a cliff. I think this is often what drives the rationale you often hear."
Those who gouge companies and raid pensions do so on purpose, not by accident. If this company got into ebook sales they would be better off moving somewhere cheaper.

"Because CEO's have electrolytes and shit?I love that movie."
That's one of the scariest movies I ever saw, yet they managed to do it in a politically correct way.

The path to success in silicon valley
1. Get some Asian/White guys together with ideas
2. Spend 60-80 hour weeks with low/no pay to turn ideas into products people are willing to buy
3. Make money
4. Realize you made it when hiring an illiterate crack addict that counts as female, black,& Hispanic is a cost saving measure.

Anonymous Salt February 02, 2015 2:34 PM  

Wait one damn minute! Does this bookstore mean to unequivocally state that Pink, in all its varieties, isn't enough to support it? In San Francisco?

Blogger John Wright February 02, 2015 2:37 PM  

"Leftists never seem to think through even the most obvious consequences of the policies they support. "

Ayn Rand thought this was because non-Leftists (what she called 'Men of the Mind') routinely and predictably deflect the consequences of Leftwing policies from coming to pass, so that the Leftists are habituated, like a lab rat trained to push a button to get a pellet, to a behavior and a world view where their words and deeds are utterly disconnected from the expected outcomes.

This state of affairs lasts until the sane men collapse from the combination of overwork and underreward, and the Left takes over. Their false worldview now being so ingrained into their minds as to render them unable to compare real-world results against theoretical expectations (indeed, even the concept of making such a comparison is alien to them), they wrecked themselves rapidly, and, after each wreck, do the exact opposite of the successful behavior to prevent further wrecks.

They are addiction to counterproductive action. Rand blames the sane men to their toleration of this white blackmail, and for allowing the Left to grow.

What say you?

Anonymous jay c February 02, 2015 2:40 PM  

I wonder how cost-effective print-on-demand has gotten and if that could be added to standard bookstore services.

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 2:44 PM  


They are indeed completely tax-exempt because they are ostensibly a charitable organization. Apologies if I wasn't clear.


Apparently it was I who was unclear--I agree with you and provided the example in support. As for their charitable purpose, one can only surmise that it exists to "Provide liquidity to drowning banksters and hot air to over-heated politicians".

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 2:47 PM  


They are addiction to counterproductive action. Rand blames the sane men to their toleration of this white blackmail, and for allowing the Left to grow.

What say you?


I say it explains how they can avoid the natural consequences of their actions for so long, but it does not explain why they engage in them in the first place.

Blogger John Wright February 02, 2015 2:47 PM  

"Good businessmen pay their people a decent wage, even if it means sacrificing on their part. "

This is the type of false to facts belief on which Leftists rest for their false world view. Only businesses protected by some special circumstances, such as being the only shop in a remote location, or, far more likely, being the only shop allowed to operate due to friendly regulations hindering competition, can return on investment be generous. Most business operate on razor thin margins of profit, and nine out of ten fail in the first two years of business.

Leftist known nothing about real-world economics. They have a visceral hatred of Capitalists, whom they imagined to look and act like Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly Game by Parker Brothers crossed with Boss Hogg from DUKES OF HAZARD, and they never look to see if any real businessmen look or act like that.

Blogger hank.jim February 02, 2015 2:49 PM  

"Though all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle"

They should be proud of their surrender. They are unwilling to fight it instead. How many more companies will close? Is it better to not work than to work for a lower amount of money? Ponder that in their unemployment.

Anonymous p-dawg February 02, 2015 2:49 PM  

"Provide liquidity to drowning banksters and hot air to over-heated politicians".

That's excellent. Terrific turn of phrase.

Anonymous p-dawg February 02, 2015 2:52 PM  

@hank.jim: "Is it better to not work than to work for a lower amount of money?"

That's always been the central issue at the heart of "minimum wage" disputes.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 2:56 PM  

Only businesses protected by some special circumstances, such as being the only shop in a remote location, or, far more likely, being the only shop allowed to operate due to friendly regulations hindering competition, can return on investment be generous. Most business operate on razor thin margins of profit, and nine out of ten fail in the first two years of business.

Depends on how one defines generous and razor thin.

Blogger Krul February 02, 2015 2:56 PM  

Re: John Wright,

Speaking of Rand, I found something interesting today. It's this article from the Guardian: Stealing beauty about how Pablo Picasso was influenced by African tribal art.

I bring it up because it contains a quote from Picasso that is so blatant a confirmation of everything Rand said about the motives and methods of modern art, that if it had been written by her I wouldn't have believed it genuine.

[quote]
Picasso went to the Trocadero Museum of Ethnology (now the Musée de l'Homme) with another artist friend, André Derain. That visit, Picasso later claimed, was pivotal to his art.

"A smell of mould and neglect caught me by the throat. I was so depressed that I would have chosen to leave immediately," Picasso said of the museum. "But I forced myself to stay, to examine these masks, all these objects that people had created with a sacred, magical purpose, to serve as intermediaries between them and the unknown, hostile forces surrounding them, attempting in that way to overcome their fears by giving them colour and form. And then I understood what painting really meant. It's not an aesthetic process; it's a form of magic that interposes itself between us and the hostile universe, a means of seizing power by imposing a form on our terrors as well as on our desires. The day I understood that, I had found my path."
[end quote]

Anonymous Difster February 02, 2015 3:06 PM  

Most business operate on razor thin margins of profit, and nine out of ten fail in the first two years of business.

I believe you're referring to venture funded start-ups, not standard business start-up such as sole proprietorships, small retail, etc.

As far as razor thin margins, that's a generalization that seems difficult to back up. A lot of small businesses get by just fine even if they're not getting rich but not every small businessman works 15 hour days and lives on ramen noodles. A good product or service at an agreeable price is still pretty profitable.

I say, by way of observation, rather than statistics, most small businesses that fail, are more inclined to do so because of mismanagement than anything else. Fatal mistakes rather than lack of customers or profit potential.

Blogger rycamor February 02, 2015 3:10 PM  

Stilicho February 02, 2015 2:47 PM

They are addiction to counterproductive action. Rand blames the sane men to their toleration of this white blackmail, and for allowing the Left to grow.

What say you?

I say it explains how they can avoid the natural consequences of their actions for so long, but it does not explain why they engage in them in the first place.


I believe John has answered that question elsewhere, but the simple answer is: hate.

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 3:25 PM  

I believe John has answered that question elsewhere, but the simple answer is: hate.

Sure. When the Autumn People achieve a certain mass, they are no longer content to celebrate the dying of the light; instead they needs run about extinguishing any light they find.

Blogger RobertT February 02, 2015 3:42 PM  

This attitude is par for the course among people in the wider Silicon Valley."Though you kill me, I love you anyway." (A twist on Dee Dee Sharp.)

Blogger Northern Hamlet February 02, 2015 3:42 PM  

John,

Since you were responding to my quote, let me assure you that you're incorrect if you're referring to me not understanding real world finances. My experience had also been that mismanagement plays a big part in business failure. I'm not saying openning a business is easy or that one should go hungry doing so, but I choose to skip 100k cars.

OpenID easilyangered February 02, 2015 3:43 PM  

You know, this is my first time posting here, but I had a thought this morning:

to those that say people deserve a living wage, I feel the need to point out that just because you're able and willing to do something for 40 hours a week doesn't mean it's something valuable. No one's paying me 30k a year to play video games or surf the web for 40 hours, so why is it that people think sweeping a floor should automatically be worth that? Since when does the seller get to arbitrarily set the price of something (his time) and the buyer is forced to buy it? Any other product outside of labor and command economies doesn't work that way, you charge what the market will bear. I'm sorry if you're an unskilled worker, in this particular case, you're being paid to put books on a shelf alphabetically and count change. My 3 year old knows his alphabet and can count, so how is it worth much money for an adult who just does that? You are responsible for making yourself more valuable, no one else should be able to set your worth buy you.

Anonymous Culture War Draftee February 02, 2015 3:44 PM  

I thought we only did that in Austin. Lulz.

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/02/liberal-austin-homeowners-surprised-to-find-they-have-to-pay-all-the-taxes-they-voted-for/comment-page-1/

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 3:46 PM  

You are responsible for making yourself more valuable, no one else should be able to set your worth buy you.

A serious question:

What do you do with those people who do not have the mental ability to make themselves more valuable?

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 02, 2015 3:51 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

OpenID easilyangered February 02, 2015 3:55 PM  

What do you do with those people who do not have the mental ability to make themselves more valuable?


Call me a horrible person, but if you're working for minimum wage as an adult, you've failed spectacularly in your life somewhere, and I'm not responsible for your failures. What did those people do in the 1800's before all the social programs to force me to subsidize their stupidity? society has never bailed me out when I made a mistake. There are plenty of jobs that don't require education and pay well, garbage collectors make about $15 an hour here in western PA, there are all sorts of unpleasant yet high paying because no one wants to do them jobs available, pretty sure there's a show on discovery channel about it.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 02, 2015 4:00 PM  

NH,

I'm not saying openning a business is easy or that one should go hungry doing so, but I choose to skip 100k cars.

So cars aren't motivating to you. Something is or you would do something else. Are you just filled with greed toward what others do? Why is an owner not allowed to drive a nice car? Exactly what wage must they pay their lowest employees to earn that right in your eyes?

You have envy, though of a different sort. I want business owners to do well as that will give me more options of what to do and buy.

Those low level employees could work a bit harder in self improvement and do better in the long run, if they had any motivation. Many (most?) do not. A few that really are stuck could be dealt with by charities, if the government wasn't siphoning off so much itself.

Josh,

You abuse Scripture in your open-ended interpretation. A workman is certainly worthy of his hire, but nothing specifies what that exact amount is. Are you really arguing that a believer in the Biblical principle must pay according to the law SF passed?

Blogger Brad Andrews February 02, 2015 4:02 PM  

easilyangered,

That is a good point. Most of us are where we are because of active choices we took in the past. Bad things may have hit us along the way, or not, but our response to those is what is almost always the most significant factor in our success.

How many people worked really hard, studied to improve their mind and still failed?

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:06 PM  

You abuse Scripture in your open-ended interpretation. A workman is certainly worthy of his hire, but nothing specifies what that exact amount is.

What exactly was my interpretation?

Are you really arguing that a believer in the Biblical principle must pay according to the law SF passed?

Of course not.

Anonymous 11B February 02, 2015 4:08 PM  

Though all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle,

So they were not paying a livable wage up through now. You'll note Walmart is always the target of protests and even boycotts because they don't pay a livable wage. I've noticed that liberals will shop at Costco and boycott Sam's Club because the latter does not pay a livable wage. Did anyone protest this bookstore? I doubt it.

Makes one think that the protests against Walmart/Sam's has little to do with their wages and more to do with their perceived politics.

Anonymous Noah B. February 02, 2015 4:09 PM  

"You abuse Scripture in your open-ended interpretation."

Hey, don't assume that he abuses Scripture just because he abuses math.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:11 PM  

Hey, don't assume that he abuses Scripture just because he abuses math.

Wait, what?

OpenID easilyangered February 02, 2015 4:13 PM  

How many people worked really hard, studied to improve their mind and still failed?

I'm not talking about those people. Someone who works hard and has ambition will be able to support themselves. I've worked 3 jobs at a time before, those who are working at let's say McDonald's and continue to for an extended period of time, are obviously not worth more than that, or they'd be able to find something paying more. Again, there are many physical or less savory jobs available that pay well, but maybe you think you're above doing them.

I read an article about the burger slingers whining about a $15 an hour minimum, and they quoted some guy who worked at McDonald's for may years and was making minimum wage. The question no one asked him I guess ie WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE, IDIOT? No other job is going to be able to pay you less, and almost everywhere gives you a performance review at 6 months or a year, why are you still here? My guess is either laziness, or lack of ambition.

I am not against a safety net for people who are put out of work, but a year is plenty of time to minimize your expenses and find something to pay the bills. I can't wait until fast food is at $15 an hour minimum, and Mcdonald's goes to the touch screen ordering with 1 or 2 people in the back reloading an automated burger grill, but then, I'm sure that will be evil greedy corporation's fault too.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:14 PM  

Call me a horrible person, but if you're working for minimum wage as an adult, you've failed spectacularly in your life somewhere, and I'm not responsible for your failures.

25%, maybe more, of the population has an IQ below 90.

That suggests there is a limit to their ability to improve themselves.

OpenID easilyangered February 02, 2015 4:17 PM  

Call me a horrible person, but if you're working for minimum wage as an adult, you've failed spectacularly in your life somewhere, and I'm not responsible for your failures.

25%, maybe more, of the population has an IQ below 90.

That suggests there is a limit to their ability to improve themselves.

Again, however did those people survive in the olden days before all the programs I pay for?

Blogger Brad Andrews February 02, 2015 4:19 PM  

easilyangered,

I was agreeing with your point. I have seen far too many people not do something, anything, to improve themselves. Some may be in a school, but they do little beyond that and don't show any inclination to go farther.

Josh,

The context of your post was to agree with owners not paying their employees enough. What exactly did you mean then? What specific behavior or individuals were covered by your use of the Scriptural idea?

Blogger Brad Andrews February 02, 2015 4:21 PM  

25%, maybe more, of the population has an IQ below 90.

So? Over half the people are below average too.

Anyone has the capability to improve themselves. It may involve taking on jobs they don't like, but they should also be able to succeed. Many government programs do stand in the way, including housing and minimum wage laws, but I will only accept "couldn't make it" as an excuse when I see an attempt to try. Are you really arguing most give a solid effort to truly succeed?

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:23 PM  

Again, however did those people survive in the olden days before all the programs I pay for?

1) more unskilled jobs.

2) sound money meant they didn't see prices outpacing wages.

Anonymous Porky February 02, 2015 4:23 PM  

25%, maybe more, of the population has an IQ below 90. That suggests there is a limit to their ability to improve themselves.

They can always get into politics.

Anonymous Noah B. February 02, 2015 4:24 PM  

"Wait, what?"

I couldn't resist.

"Again, however did those people survive in the olden days before all the programs I pay for? "

We had a less complex world where the relative value of intelligence was much less, and the value of physical labor was much greater. As society gets more complex, more and more of the less intelligent people are being marginalized.

Anonymous Difster February 02, 2015 4:25 PM  

So? Over half the people are below average too.

hmmmm... I'll just let that one sit there.

Blogger Eric February 02, 2015 4:28 PM  

Though all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle...

... we expected someone to make an exception for our business, because when we talk about greedy corporations we mean, you know, oil companies which pay way more than we do.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 02, 2015 4:33 PM  

Still it's kind of sad.

I remember my college days science fiction bookstore. The Merchant of Venus, smelled of musty pages, old leather and pipe tobacco.

The owner had an extensive used, as well new section. Given how much he scowled whenever you bought something rare out of his used section, he clearly viewed his bookstore as a kind of for profit library. Though without the profit.

I still have my complete collection of Ace Books DESTINIES anthologies.

I vividly recall how the owner nearly cried when I found the copy of the Collected Works of Stanley Weinbaum he had hidden behind the Jack Williamson shelf.

UPDATE: Errors corrected.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:33 PM  

The context of your post was to agree with owners not paying their employees enough. What exactly did you mean then? What specific behavior or individuals were covered by your use of the Scriptural idea?

Broadly speaking, employers should treat employees fairly and not look at them as a resource to exploit.

OpenID easilyangered February 02, 2015 4:33 PM  

Brad, I didn't mean You specifically, in my post, I'm just speaking in generalities here. the thing is, there is something internal holding people back, to paraphrase pee wee herman: everyone says they want to do all these things, and they all have a big but. Most people don't want to admit that what is holding them down is themselves. They' find it easier to blame and be jealous of those who have been successful in life. And some people act as if schooling is going to magically make people throw 100k a year jobs at them. Schools sadly don't teach skills to get a job, market yourself and negotiate salaries.

Your physical / mental abilities aren't always what's holding you back, it's your drive and determination. I like to look to the motto of the first ship I was stationed on : tenacity is the foundation of victory. Notice, it's not "superior firepower", many times the matter of winning is just being the last one to give up.

Blogger bob k. mando February 02, 2015 4:36 PM  

Josh February 02, 2015 1:20 PM
“The more CEOs are paid, the worse the firm does over the next three years,



this has been known for a long time. it's the subject of one of the essays in 'The Stupidity Problem' ... published in 1964. and 'The Stupidity Problem' is just a collection of Fischer's essays from his stint as EiC at Harper's magazine over the previous 20 years.
http://www.amazon.com/Stupidity-Problem-Other-Harassments/dp/B000P9SPEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422911334&sr=8-1&keywords=the+stupidity+problem

i think Fischer defined it as something like firms start to underperform once the CEO was getting paid more than 15x the lowest paid employee. don't hold me too that, though.

i should think the specific multiplier has gone up in the intervening years, simply due to the explosion in CEO pay to the sociopaths driving up the market for wages to people who actually do a good job.



John Wright February 02, 2015 2:37 PM
What say you?


i say she has a bit of a point.

but the larger issue is that the sane men allowed their children to be indoctrinated in the first place. which raises questions about their sanity.

if you're going to use public schooling, you've still got to be as heavily involved in your children's education as if you were home schooling.

simply to critique the idiocy that they're going to get taught.

i've been told by several different people from Fla to Ind that "Socialism is the best of all possible ways to organize human society ... except that people are imperfect."

*facepalm*

the Marxist motto is:
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

which is the perfect inverse of how a market actually functions:
'From each according to his need ( demand ), to each according to his ability ( supply ).'

do you think Marx made that inversion on accident?

do you think Marx didn't understand that he was inverting morality?

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:43 PM  

http://www.fredoneverything.net/Commentators.shtml

As is often the case, Fred says it better than I can:

The commentators don’t realize that not everybody is like them. Those with IQs of 140 and up (130 gets you into Mensa, I think) unconsciously believe that anything is possible. Denizens of this class know that if they decided to learn, say, classical Greek, they could. You get the book and go at it. It would take work, yes, and time, but the outcome would be certain.

They don’t understand that the waitress has an IQ of 85 and can’t learn much of anything.

Conservatives think in terms of merciless abstractions and liberals insist that everyone is equal. Not even close. Further, people with barely a high-school education and low-voltage minds regard any intellectual task with utter discouragement.

Blogger Danby February 02, 2015 4:45 PM  

Makes one think that the protests against Walmart/Sam's has little to do with their wages and more to do with their perceived politics."

No, it's about class markers. Suburban professionals and small business owners shop at Costco. Walmart is for welfare recipients and working class folks. Since welfare recipients and working class people are 1) scary, 2) stupid, and 3) racist, they must be being exploited by the massive corporation. Macy's is upscale, so they are obviously better even though they pay less than Walmart.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:46 PM  

Hey now, Costco rocks.

They also have a completely different business model than Wal-Mart, so anyone who says Wal-Mart should just do what Costco does is an idiot...

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 4:49 PM  


1) more unskilled jobs.

2) sound money meant they didn't see prices outpacing wages.


Sound money also meant that the middle class had money sufficient to make them willing to employ the less skilled to do work that helped free the middle class to earn their incomes or improve their standard of living. When inflation outpaces wage growth in real terms, the middle class is disappearing and those that remain tend to do those tasks themselves or leave them undone where they aren't essential.

Anonymous Noah B. February 02, 2015 4:50 PM  

"simply to critique the idiocy that they're going to get taught."

I would suppose that it's even harder to correct the nonsense that kids will learn in public school than to just teach them yourself, although I have never done either. It seems like the main problem with correcting a public school education day-to-day would be figuring out what your child was told that day in the first place. Ask a kid what they did or learned and school that day, and they're quite likely to say, "Nothing." If the reality is instead that teacher went on a diatribe about how outdated the Constitution is because it was written by racist sexist wealthy homophobic Islamophobic white men, you're not necessarily going to know.

Anonymous Stilicho February 02, 2015 4:51 PM  

Hey now, Costco rocks.

"Welcome to Costco. I love you."

Costco also contributes heavily to leftist politicians and causes. Thus, it is a "good" company per the left.

Blogger Josh February 02, 2015 4:51 PM  

Sound money also meant that the middle class had money sufficient to make them willing to employ the less skilled to do work that helped free the middle class to earn their incomes or improve their standard of living. When inflation outpaces wage growth in real terms, the middle class is disappearing and those that remain tend to do those tasks themselves or leave them undone where they aren't essential.

And also you have the financialization of the economy and the explosion of debt and monthly payments, which further limits people's ability to save or hire others.

Anonymous Noah B. February 02, 2015 4:55 PM  

And just in case the debt, monthly payments, and property taxes don't finish you off, there's a huge mess of regulations that impede free enterprise. Look at all the hoops someone has to jump through just to cut hair or do practically anything else.

Anonymous WaterBoy February 02, 2015 5:12 PM  

Brad Andrews: "So? Over half the people are below average too."

Difster: "hmmmm... I'll just let that one sit there."

An example:

10 people have IQ of 90, 5 people have IQ of 120.

Average IQ: 100
More than half (10/15) are below average.

Don't know if this actually represents the current US IQ distribution or not, but it's mathematically feasible.

OpenID cailcorishev February 02, 2015 5:15 PM  

Again, however did those people survive in the olden days before all the programs I pay for?

They dug, lifted, carried, loaded, unloaded, assembled, fed, herded, planted, picked, harvested, chopped, rowed, gutted.... They labored, and most of the time they made enough to keep a family fed. Machines eliminated some of their jobs, and now cheap foreign labor has eliminated many more.

So now we get cheaper lettuce and bicycles, so we can pay higher taxes to feed and house the people who no longer pick lettuce or assemble bicycles.

Blogger rycamor February 02, 2015 5:41 PM  

Josh raises an excellent point for libertarians, Christians and right-wingers to consider. Thinking about it holistically, one observation I have is that our elite's decision to force the Federal Reserve and government intervention in general fueled the need to seek out automation of any and all means of production, as that was the only way to get an edge up in life. Debt-fueled spending and inflation assist in that, keeping entrepreneurs always hungry, and always worried they'll get left behind.

The classic American concept of the homestead, of growing one's wealth organically was left far behind. As was also the concept of the skilled craftsman. The common laborer who worked for these people was also left far behind. It was OK as long as factories provided an outlet for the lower-IQ workers, and as long as a man could make enough money for his wife to stay home and raise children. But that ship sailed sometime in the 1970s.

What outlet is there in the new economy for that giant mass with low IQs? Not much. Certainly not enough to account for their huge population. In another few decades when robots encroach into semi-skilled labor everywhere, what then? The hard-edged secular realists are already telling us just to get ready for a permanent welfare class, who we will pay to just stay at home, eat, play video games, sleep and of course make babies. Then comes the inevitable question of whether we aren't better off just gradually starving that class out of existence via forced sterilization.

And let's not even begin to deal with the racial realities of the above.

Now, all this is assuming we don't have a major Civilization Go Boom event. That might just change up the whole scenario.

Anonymous Will Best February 02, 2015 5:56 PM  

Low IQ people really can't handle much more than no skill manual labor. What did they do in the 1800s?

Many non-functioning individuals didn't survive childhood. There was also wasn't much in the way of retirement. Major trauma usually killed you off due to secondary infection. So a lot of the less useful people were on the death expressway. That doesn't really happen in the first world today.


But then lets go into the standard of living of your typical low IQ laborer. Your house had no water, sanitation, electric, gas, was generally a single room. Or you shared a common space with others. Your mode of transport was foot. Your diet was exceptionally bland, as were your clothes. You generally had no non functional possessions.

Sounds not too far off how the illegal Mexicans in the US live with about 1 person per 80 sq ft. And those guys are better off because it comes with heat/water/electric/plumbing, and they have a bunch of money left over to send back to their families.

Its not so much that you can't support yourself on $8/hr its that people don't want to live on what that salary generally implies.

Anonymous Anubis February 02, 2015 6:33 PM  

"Again, however did those people survive in the olden days before all the programs I pay for? "

When people didn't pay almost 1/2 their earnings in taxes they could be more charitable. People who received charity where grateful not entitled and those that gave to charity felt good about it. The dollar lost over 25% of its value in Obama's 1st term. People that couldn't spell their name couldn't get loans like todays payday loans which some minority majority cities are trying to ban new loan places from forming. Leftists cheer at the thought of whites being a minority in their homelands but 3rd worlders will never be as productive as them, NASA already went from walking on the moon to not being able to put satellites in orbit, where will the 3rd worlders go when there are no more 1st world nations to flee to?

BTW California has several clinics that are disability factories for illegal aliens. They round out mestizos and fake document disability.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper February 02, 2015 6:35 PM  

Economic Liberalism and submission to the market is how the current so called "Conservatives" engage in the same intellectual tomfoolery and social posturing as Leftists. Heck I'm nearly ready to argue economic systems others than Distributism or Economic Nationalism are anti-Conservative even Leftist in some ways since in effect they create chaos for the sake of pleasing a few.

Its also amazingly destructive to human social well being as illustrated nicely by this article on Dennis Mangan's page

http://mangans.blogspot.com/2015/02/what-price-wealth.html

As for Will and the others who would prefer to wrote off the Low IQ laborer, I remind them that they make up an increasing part of the population. A great many jobs that in the past required 110-120 IQ's are being automated away, entire economic segments in sales, bookkeeping and more are replaced with software solutions. You can't write off everybody and maintain a complex society with any population and highly unequal societies are highly unpleasant in these modern times. Throw in the higher IQ types into that mix and well, it won't go well.

The job loss would not be not a big deal if jobs were being replaced but they aren't being replaced by anything and expecting your higher IQ types to just suck it when there is a world of better out there isn't going to work. You don't have religious pressure to control them with and while you can use lots of force the net effect of turning people into prisoners (c.f Singapore etc) is that fertility drops. It drops too low and you'll end up like the Parsis in the article I linked to.

Also if you've written them off, they also have no reciprocal obligation to you and most people do not accept that morals exist non reciprocally. Its all give and take and if your neighbors think you are taking too much, you probably are.

So unless you really want chaos or even more Marxism , the smart play is stopping downward wage arbitrage, pushing wages up and doing whatever is required even when its not efficient and the workers don't deserve it to grow the middle.

Anonymous Hoss February 02, 2015 6:42 PM  

"Costco also contributes heavily to leftist politicians and causes."

Don't forget, it's also a union shop.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper February 02, 2015 7:24 PM  

Anubis, private charity worked only so well as the widespread suffering of the past showed. Its also has a tendency to decline when its most needed. The State whoever can ramp up spending if necessary to buffer economic hardship if private charity falls off, Had private charity been the be-all end-all of succor, we'd have never had Roosevelt

Also the reason we have things like unemployment insurance and social security is to reduce savings, I'm no Kenysian but I have read enough about the economic consequences of overly high savings rates to see the need to reduce them a bit.,. Eventually relentless drive to save and export most production comes to a halt and you get what Japan has today, an economic collapse resulting in extinction level fertility. If the economy runs on production, someone has to by that production after all.

I always describe it this way, robots make goods, robots load goods onto self driving vehicles where other robots offload them into stores with automated-self checkout. Who buys the goods ? Its not the guy selling .mobi books for most of us, it ends up the State.

Europe is a great example, it has huge unemployment rates and underemployment rates and what do you know, not enough babies,

The Lefts love affair with Cultural Marxism is well known but the Right is doing this too, largely because they are also liberals. The same selfish drive that makes the Left all about me is manifested in the Rights lack of economic loyalty to people and its drive for cheaper labor. They want to be wealthy aristocrats but do everything to avoid the boatload of responsibilities that go with them

Business see people as parts which they are not, They aren't equal and hierarchy is not wrong but a king has duties more than most men, not less. Its like those people who worry about the future being feudal. No, we won't be that lucky feudalism is a reciprocal arrangement, not always honored of course what we'll get is being chattel either of the state or of the rich, if one or more group doesn't engineer a genocide instead.

To stem this off we need is more honor and reciprocation and building economic units based on kinship and frith models optionally we can build a state that enforces reciprocation instead, Or do both.

As to what Hoss said, most issues with unions ought to be directed at public sector unions. If private employees want to unionize its on them and up to customers who dislike unions to not do business with them. Not all unions are useful or ethical of course but someone has to work to push wages up not down and right now the union is the only tool labor has.

Blogger James Dixon February 02, 2015 7:28 PM  

> The fact that some people would do ok running large companies as a CEO for fractional pay is like saying some 5th graders would do ok driving a tank through a parking lot.

You do realize that Bill Gates was paid less than $1 million when he was CEO of Microsoft, don't you?

Pay does not equate to performance.

Anonymous Will Best February 02, 2015 8:13 PM  

You do realize that Bill Gates was paid less than $1 million when he was CEO of Microsoft, don't you?

Pay does not equate to performance.


You do realize that Bill Gates owned 60% of company, and his "salary" was an irrelevant portion of his total compensation.

Anonymous map February 02, 2015 8:29 PM  

Guys, I do not believe that automation is having the impact that you claim it is. Automation is extraordinarily difficult to implement and very expensive. It works for limited number of very specific tasks.

Look the heading on Drudge Report. 18 million foreign workers were added since 2009. You can't add that many people and not wreak havoc on the market. It is impossible.

The talk of automation is distracting from the real problem.

Blogger Harold February 02, 2015 8:34 PM  

And the good businessmen that pay their people a decent wage, such as, for example, the owners of "Hobby Lobby", are attacked by the SJWs.

Blogger Eric February 02, 2015 8:58 PM  

Anubis, private charity worked only so well as the widespread suffering of the past showed. Its also has a tendency to decline when its most needed. The State whoever can ramp up spending if necessary to buffer economic hardship if private charity falls off, Had private charity been the be-all end-all of succor, we'd have never had Roosevelt

That just means they thought government run charity would be better, not that it actually is. People are thinking the same thing about medical care, probably incorrectly as well.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper February 02, 2015 9:31 PM  

Map, I agree on the immigration issue. Any is too many.

However a lot of software is functionally a kind of automation. If I say do my travel planning on-line instead of a travel agent for most practical purposes, that is automation. Same with say buying downloaded music, no need for a CD case, shipping, storing, making an album cover or a host of middlemen. This is amazingly more efficient but all those people whose livelihood was predicated on the physical products or location model are now out of work.

The problem is that the jobs aren't being replaced with other jobs at the same or better pay.

That said deporting a lot of people and keeping the borders shut would buy us some time to figure out alternatives and would allow a higher level of social homogeneity to implement those alternatives if so desired.

As to your point Eric, food stamps/E.B.T is pretty seamless and highly efficient. It works very well as does WIC and other programs. Its not perfect, there is some abuse, some misuse and a little fraud but it is in general a good program that is more efficient than a soup kitchen or a food box.

Welfare or social credit like the Alaska State Fund or Social Security also work, money in, money spent. From what I could figure out Social Security overhead is really low as well, about 3%.

Government healthcare can be mediocre of course but if you have no healthcare, having so-so healthcare can be pretty good and a society that controls immigration, has a modest military and is homogeneous enough to support fairly stiff taxes can manage to ensure that the entire population is shielded from destitution and still function . Private charity cannot do this,

However the State cannot do anything more than a mediocre floor and having that also creates a nasty R selected population bloom.However if you don't have it, you create other problems as well and those people might just decide the system is no longer legitimate or if contained stop reproducing,

I suppose one option would be to pay people off to not vote or reproduce if they are poor combined with closed borders, it might work but I can't imagine any religion body regarding that as anything short of pure evil and the large number of business that depend on cheap labor and poor consumers would go ballistic as well.

Worse of this ends up a really low fertility rate below 2.1 sustained. That society auto-terminates anyway.

Societies as complex as ours is simply grow increasingly expensive and as such I think just as J.M Greer suggests they undergo a catabolic collapse when the complexity monster can't be fed anymore.

Reducing social complexity (limiting immigration and eschewing feminism and Cultural Marxism for examples) reducing overhead (no empire of bases for example) and encouraging disintermediation and self sufficiency will help a lot and might allow a slow lower pain decline but we've made too many bad choices and as such ugliness is probably unavoidable.

Anonymous zen0 February 02, 2015 10:06 PM  

@ bob k. mando the Marxist motto is:
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

which is the perfect inverse of how a market actually functions:
'From each according to his need ( demand ), to each according to his ability ( supply ).'

do you think Marx made that inversion on accident?

do you think Marx didn't understand that he was inverting morality?


Nicely put , bob k.

Socialism encourages people to market their need, because that is what gets paid. They are Entrepreneurs of Need.

There is a whole culture in Canada that gets jobs just long enough to collect Unemployment Insurance, (or whatever they call it now) and just consider it part of the employment compensation package.

What do farmers farm? Crop Insurance!

Brilliant.

Blogger rycamor February 02, 2015 10:07 PM  

map February 02, 2015 8:29 PM
Guys, I do not believe that automation is having the impact that you claim it is. Automation is extraordinarily difficult to implement and very expensive. It works for limited number of very specific tasks.

Look the heading on Drudge Report. 18 million foreign workers were added since 2009. You can't add that many people and not wreak havoc on the market. It is impossible.

The talk of automation is distracting from the real problem.


It is early, granted. But the cumulative effect is getting ready to take off. As A.B. Prosper notes, software is a big part of it. And the immigration is really part of the same problem. I'm willing to bet the average immigrant IQ is about 85. What are all these people to do? There's only so much "service" the middle and upper-middle-class need, and more and more the middle and upper are retreating into their technological cocoons. They don't shop in public (Amazon, Ebay), they increasingly work from home, the cars they buy are so well designed that they don't need to visit the mechanic once a month. They would rather buy technology than hire someone, especially due to the PC class shame of hiring a lower-paid worker at all. If they could buy a robot lawn mower to handle the problem so they didn't have to deal with poor Pedro and his sons, they would.

Now, I am not in the least suggesting that a massive government social program would solve this problem. In a way, I think the combination of fiat money and social programs are what *created* this problem. We have made society in to a gigantic, very complex bureacratic machine. It's no surprise that the lesser minds can't deal with it. The problem is that complexity has a way of increasing until it goes haywire, and I think we are fast approaching haywire time.

Blogger James Dixon February 02, 2015 10:07 PM  

> You do realize that Bill Gates owned 60% of company, and his "salary" was an irrelevant portion of his total compensation.

It was an irrelevant portion of his net worth. Until Microsoft starting paying a dividend (regular dividends started in 2004, per NASDAQ), it did nothing for his compensation unless he sold shares.

And most CEO's are significant shareholders in their company. In some cases it's a requirement in their contract.

Blogger Zimri February 02, 2015 10:29 PM  

Same thing happened here in Boulder. Left Hand.

Blogger bob k. mando February 02, 2015 10:31 PM  

zen0 February 02, 2015 10:06 PM
Nicely put , bob k.



i've said that before on here, just without the parentheticals.

as with most of my bon mots, it usually goes unremarked upon. maybe i need to use more parenthesis?


anyway, the HoneyBadgers ( previously have done an interview with the estimable Mr. Wright ) have a video up reviewing 'Gone Girl'. very good.

the last 10 minutes was really surprising to me. i don't hear that much empathy and repentance out of ( nominally ) Christian women.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx4zRjDQiBg

Blogger Brad Andrews February 02, 2015 11:53 PM  

The commentators don’t realize that not everybody is like them. Those with IQs of 140 and up (130 gets you into Mensa, I think) unconsciously believe that anything is possible.

I don't think "anything is possible," but I know that I have seen enough people who do little to nothing to improve themselves (outside possibly the classroom, and the minimum even there) to be convinced a lack of effort plays a huge role.

Not trying is guaranteed to see you fail.

Its not so much that you can't support yourself on $8/hr its that people don't want to live on what that salary generally implies.

This is more of a core problem than anything else. Everyone "wants" a filet mignon diet but doesn't want to do much of anything to earn enough to pay for that. They are also not content with a hamburger or lower diet and are willing to steal from others to get better. That is a serious problem, not an innate lack of ability.

So unless you really want chaos or even more Marxism , the smart play is stopping downward wage arbitrage, pushing wages up and doing whatever is required even when its not efficient and the workers don't deserve it to grow the middle.

We only had Marxism once prosperity started happening. It is not inevitable and will not remain forever.

The big flaw here is that you assume "something must be done" yet don't identify exactly what and who will manage that. "Doing something" in this case opens the door to the very Marxism you rightly decry.

Anubis, private charity worked only so well as the widespread suffering of the past showed. Its also has a tendency to decline when its most needed. The State whoever can ramp up spending if necessary to buffer economic hardship if private charity falls off, Had private charity been the be-all end-all of succor, we'd have never had Roosevelt

Private charity is not a nirvana. People want "something for nothing and the chicks for free" to quote/paraphrase a song. That is what led to Roosevelt, not some failure of private charity.

The problem today is that many (most?) of the poor don't do much of anything to improve themselves. They just demand more. My wife works at Walmart (only for a short bit longer fortunately) and is completely fed up with the entitlement she sees all the time there.

Some decent people work and shop there, but they get more than their fair share of entitled ones as well, on both sides.

The destruction of what is called the Protestant Work Ethic is a major problem, not some mythical failure that is used to justify more and more government.

People are thinking the same thing about medical care, probably incorrectly as well.

No probably about it. They will greatly harm it if we continue down this path. Free stuff is very expensive!

It was an irrelevant portion of his net worth. Until Microsoft starting paying a dividend (regular dividends started in 2004, per NASDAQ), it did nothing for his compensation unless he sold shares.

That is completely irrelevant. How much money does he need to live at any time? He could afford to live the significant portion in the company, especially since he believed in it personally. Most are not in that situation. He had no reason to maximize his income.

I have no respect for those leaders who pilfer their companies, knowingly or not, but claiming they should barely be paid ignores many key issues.

Too many factors play a role that you are completely overlooking, including government involvement and payoffs to those very same people you are holding high salaries against.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 02, 2015 11:54 PM  

Leftists never seem to think through even the most obvious consequences of the policies they support.

The assume someone else will make it work. That's the thing about Leftists, they don't think they need to think through anything. If they support the popular position, someone else will make it work. And if they support the not-popular-just-quite-yet position, it doesn't have to work because it won't be neacted.

It's the rabbitology. Or the female thought patterns. Or the pesant mentality. Whatever you want to chalk it up to, the typical leftist looks at the world as something that other people are in charge of and their only real responsibility is to make their opinions known.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 12:08 AM  

Map, I agree that immigration (and I'd add exporting jobs to that) is worse than machines/automation. For one thing, I think immigration can happen faster, while the advance of machinery is more gradual. I grew up on farms, and saw how machinery gradually replaced labor jobs like cutting out weeds and stacking hay bales. But that was pretty gradual, happening over decades as the machinery investment began to overtake labor costs, and at least some of the people who used to do the labor were needed to run the machines. Immigration can bring a whole lot of people in in a hurry and displace everyone in a particular job before anyone realizes what's happening.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 12:16 AM  

I'm willing to bet the average immigrant IQ is about 85. What are all these people to do?

Yep. I'm not sure there is a solution, really. Even without immigrants, we have millions of sub-90 natives. I don't love the idea of a TVA-style program that pays them to dig ditches. But right now we're paying a whole lot of them to do nothing, leaving them plenty of time and energy for mischief. Anyone who thinks we should stop that ought to have some kind of alternative to offer, because they're not going away. Maybe someday we'll be able to "fix" low IQ in the womb or somehow eliminate it, but for now we have to deal with them somehow.

Anonymous Will Best February 03, 2015 12:47 AM  

It was an irrelevant portion of his net worth. Until Microsoft starting paying a dividend (regular dividends started in 2004, per NASDAQ), it did nothing for his compensation unless he sold shares.

Which he did and has been doing. And he offset his taxes by donating more shares to his foundation. And he also borrowed money against his assets (how Zuckerberg get's his scratch these days).

And they prefer to get paid that way. You sell a bunch of shares that your company gives you as a bonus years ago you pay 15-20%, Your salary however gets taxed upwards of 40% just from the Federal Government alone.

---

Where did all the luddites come from? It defies the entirety of human history. This time will be different though.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 1:30 AM  

Jack Amok: "Or the pesant mentality."

Or the what?

Anonymous A.B. Prosper February 03, 2015 2:38 AM  

cailcorishev, the US doesn't have an idle hands caused crime epidemic. The most aggressive were aborted or are in prison the rest high on weed or video games and of course the lead is gone for the ecology. We don't need make work for them to be safe like we did in the 60's and 70's

And Brad, yes free stuff can be expensive but you have to pay one way or another for civilization. Civilization is a series of collective obligations but is always inherently unstable as human nature eschews anything larger than a tribe of 150 We can build workarounds if you think of it as a scaling problem.

Part of the civilization cost is making sure you don't have mass poverty especially in a country awash in weapons. We can keep keep crime under controlbut you are still paying for a national security state instead. We imprison more than any other nation ever in both actual and per capita terms after all. You are paying for that.

You can also choose not to pay for medical treatment, all fine till someone spread an untreated form of TB or something you can't vaccinate for . That assuming anyone trusts the desperate and corrupt authority figures enough to use the vaccines. again you will pay for that too.

As sauce on top of that the more productive and smarter members of society are dropping out of reproduction, so you pay there too. There goes the future.

Now in fairness our troubles were baked in the cake as Founding Fathers didn't want to pay the cost of civilization either, they figured the solution was treason and slavery and while the treason worked out OK. The slavery well, we are still paying for that. So not a good trade off.

Its pay pay pay all the way down or as Robert Heinlein once wrote

Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet you can't win




Anonymous Jack Amok February 03, 2015 3:48 AM  

Jack Amok: "Or the pesant mentality."

Or the what?


Peasant mentality. Buy a vowel, would ya?

Assuming you weren't criticizing my spelling...

It's the mentality of just doing what you're told and assuming the Big Men will make everything work. How things will work isn't something you worry about. So, when someone proposes a "living wage" a leftist peasant assumes the bigwigs are responsible for finding the money.

Anonymous Discard February 03, 2015 6:51 AM  

map is correct about cities establishing a local minimum wage. The point is to drive out the Mexicans by eliminating the businesses that hire them. Gentrification and big profits for real estate follow.

Anonymous Discard February 03, 2015 7:00 AM  

The dumb people will die out. If they're dependent on others to feed them, they will be cut off when they become too much of a burden. They may riot, but will be too dumb to actually defeat the self-supporting. Rioting will only be an excuse to shoot them.
The elites have had no remorse about impoverishing the middle class, they'll certainly have none about eliminating the underclass.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 03, 2015 7:07 AM  

Jack Amok: "Peasant mentality. Buy a vowel, would ya?"

Identification of a bunch of imagined attitudes incompatible with responsibility and getting real work done with mere peasants is what's wrong with the right in a nutshell.

Anonymous p-dawg February 03, 2015 7:33 AM  

@A.B. Prosper: "Part of the civilization cost is making sure you don't have mass poverty especially in a country awash in weapons."

First, what you are calling "mass poverty", most of the world (and the VAST majority of recorded history) would call incredible wealth and luxury. Very few of our "poor" people starve to death. Secondly, there are more guns in this country than cars, yet far more people are killed in car accidents than are killed with guns. Why are you attempting to insinuate that poverty and gun crime are big problems?

Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 7:50 AM  

@bob I've never seen you say it before, but it is an insightful comment on the old fraud. I also never thought of that phrase as anything more than feel-good pablum meant to give the idiots a slogan, but, as you point out, it is actually an attempt to reverse the law of supply and demand. Rather like trying to reverse the law of gravity by saying that down is up if you ask me, but it does explain why so many socialists insist on doing the economic equivalent of jumping off a rooftop and expecting to land on the moon. That alone wouldn't be so terrible, but, being socialists, they insist on pushing everyone else off of the roof as well.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 8:34 AM  

cailcorishev, the US doesn't have an idle hands caused crime epidemic.

Not currently, but I wonder how many idle hands it would take to create one, and how long to get there at the current rate of importation and reproduction. Also, by "mischief" I don't just mean crime. It also means more time to sleep around, spreading disease and producing the next generation of idle hands. It means more hours a day of watching TV and soaking up the victimology/superiority message. It means all the petty stuff that doesn't usually rise to the level of "crime" as far as an arrest, like bouncing checks and trashing rental properties.

I get the feeling not many of the commenters here have spent much time with the class we're talking about (with the generally high IQ here, that's not surprising). I have, and I can tell you, people can get up to all sorts of stuff when they literally have nowhere to go every day.

However, like I said, I'm not necessarily recommending a ditch-digging program. I'm just saying I haven't seen any better solutions, and most people don't even recognize the problem. The mainstream theory is that we just need to get everyone into college and then to a white-collar job, but that's obviously nonsense.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 10:36 AM  

I get the feeling not many of the commenters here have spent much time with the class we're talking about (with the generally high IQ here, that's not surprising). I have, and I can tell you, people can get up to all sorts of stuff when they literally have nowhere to go every day.

I concur.

OpenID easilyangered February 03, 2015 10:56 AM  

I have, and it kind of makes me want to whole heartedly agree with the mentality of wiping them out / letting them starve.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 03, 2015 11:40 AM  

Identification of a bunch of imagined attitudes incompatible with responsibility and getting real work done with mere peasants is what's wrong with the right in a nutshell.

Oh, they can get real work done, and even take responsibility for what they are expected to do. What they don't want to do is take responsibiltiy for making sure the work they are doing actually matters in the big picture or responsibility for making sure the critical work gets done. They leave thinking about that stuff to others.

Which is how they can support things like a "living wage" and be surprised when businesses close, or massive local spendng and be surprised when they can't afford their property taxes.

Blogger JCclimber February 03, 2015 12:25 PM  

my liberal (San Franciscan) carpooler provided yet another example of their mindset.

Her response to my amusement regarding these bookstore people supporting and voting for liberal policies that subsequently put them out of business?

"They're just greedy business owners who are using this as an excuse to cash out and make as much money as possible. There is no way that raising the minimum wage a little bit in 2015 is driving them out of business. They're just greedy."

The discomfort displayed with both her body language and in her voice tone revealed that she KNEW at some level that what she was saying disagreed with the facts. Or, she knew I would disagree with her and would point out the flaws in her argument with amusement. (I did).

This is their reality. By the way, she is a lawyer who works for a union.

Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 12:56 PM  


Oh, they can get real work done, and even take responsibility for what they are expected to do. What they don't want to do is take responsibiltiy for making sure the work they are doing actually matters in the big picture or responsibility for making sure the critical work gets done. They leave thinking about that stuff to others.

Which is how they can support things like a "living wage" and be surprised when businesses close, or massive local spendng and be surprised when they can't afford their property taxes.


It seems Roissy would agree:


Maxim #105: Women, and leftoids, are unhappy when they have no dominant power to whom they can submit.

Leftoids, and women, ARE the dominant power in late stage Western societies. And this makes them very unhappy. That’s because the nature of leftoids, and women, is submission. The joyous capitulation to a dominant man, or a dominant paternal culture, has the paradoxical effect of relieving women and leftoids of that gnawing feeling of unfulfilled yearning to give themselves over to a truly powerful force of nature.

When there are no dominant men, or no dominant culture, to rein in their worst excesses of mind and habit, women and leftoids become unhappy and agitated, like untethered electrons spinning out of valence, naked nuclei violently colliding. This explains why, even in the moment of their absolute victory, leftoids and women wail and ragepout like toddlers throwing temper tantrums. They really never wanted to win. They just wanted to stamp their wee feet as dad sternly admonished and sent them to their rooms.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 1:07 PM  

Why are you attempting to insinuate that poverty and gun crime are big problems?

Because it fits with his call for a strong central government to fix all the problems. That ignores the point that government caused many of the problems only a strong central government can fix....

Anonymous A Reader February 03, 2015 10:22 PM  

Its basic economics really. If a law is passed which says you must pay your employee at least X an hour, but if a person's labor is worth less than X, then that person will be unemployed.

Its really a type of price control. Economics teaches that when you have a price control, you have a shortage. We have evidence of this going back to the days of the Roman Empire.

Economics should be required in our colleges, but it isn't. When I was in college, I met no left wingers in the econ classes I took. The college lefties I knew majored in Sociology, or the liberal arts like English.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 04, 2015 12:52 AM  

When there are no dominant men, or no dominant culture, to rein in their worst excesses of mind and habit, women and leftoids become unhappy and agitated, like untethered electrons spinning out of valence,

Roissy would get a kick out of our local community Facebook discussion group. Small town that's a bedroom community for tech workers. lots of bored housewives bickering with each other in their "community service" organizations, fighting over the supidest crap...

The town is in serious need of an air-drop of Hitachi vibrators.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar February 05, 2015 1:01 PM  

This foolish fantasy of Capitalism could and can only happen in White Nations without a seedy underclass of welfare parasites. Working people like waitresses can only make a living wage in White Nations where there are enough White people working and paying for food and consumer products to make enough profit to pay living wages.
The Third World is not a Hellhole for nothing. The diverse populations from Taco Hell do not have the talent or ability to create enough value to have an economy per se. Their habit of subsistence farming and massive squalor are a cold testament to the obvious reality of I.Q.
The idea that you can replace a White population and maintain any semblance of Civilization is obvious false. Take a look at The Ruins of Detroit and see where these egalitarian fantasies are leading.

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