Beyond the Cusp

August 16, 2017

Wrong Answer to Google Political Correctness

 

The new Kurt Schlichter article in Townhall titled Conservatives Must Regulate Google And All of Silicon Valley Into Submission was just wrong on so many levels and we just had to have our say. We just could not see how any honest conservative would call for government to correct what is a problem in a business situation. We are supposed to believe that competition and profit motive takes care of any such situation. The real solution is to compete using our own better business and fair practice openly competing to rectify any such problems. Using the sledgehammer of government to rectify the slide leftwards by Google, the Facebooks, the Twitters and presumably much of Silicon Valley would be exactly the kind of acts by progressives which we have spent much of our time fighting and complaining over. His first sentence states, “Google’s fascist witch-burning of an honest engineer for refusing to bow down at the altar of politically correct lies was the final straw, an unequivocal warning to conservatives that there’s a new set of rules, and that we need to play by them.” Nope, that is not the answer. The answer is for conservatives to enter this market investing capital and establish a competing company which either provides a right leaning response in that market, or better to provide a truly neutral centered market response where people can find straight answers to their queries or have honest discussions without censorship by the company providing the platform. That is the conservative answer.

 

Kurt Schlichter stated the conservative approach was to allow profits, and competition would take care of such problems. His claim then that, “For businesses, one obligation was to generally stay out of the cultural and political octagon,” may have been an old rule but political neutrality has not been true in many businesses for quite some time without people demanding a political solution. One prime example is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream who have been extremely left supporting with their actions but there has been no demand for any government intervention as there are many other ice cream vendors where conservatives can buy such products thus avoiding adding to the profits Ben and Jerry’s owners can use on leftist campaigns and causes. His next paragraph gives the crux of his argument stating, “But the Woke Weenies of Silicon Valley, flush with cash, power, and unearned smugness, decided that they just couldn’t keep on the sidelines and make their money. No, they had to make change, as in, changing us. They violated the most important of the old rules – they chose a side.” So they decided to choose a side and work to minimize the conservative message which supposedly cripples the conservative message. The answer, let us state it again, is for conservatives or another entrepreneur to enter the market and compete by providing a better and more honest or a conservative effort, thus providing options for consumers. Yes, granted that competing against Google, Facebook, Twitter and let us even add in YouTube, would be a difficult and challenging prospect and would require finding some means of advertising campaign to get a leg up and then allow competition lead them to gain popularity and a reputation. Complaining that these companies are flush with cash and have the advantage of an established consumer base and in order to level the playing field, government intervention should be used to force these companies to play in a manner conservatives would find appropriate. Let us look at some history in the same arena of the Internet when a company called America On-Line, better known as AOL, had a near monopoly on e-mails, gaming, chat rooms and dial-up modem connections which might have appeared to be overwhelming. AOL did run into competition which eventually led to Google taking over many of these areas and then came numerous free e-mail providers and Twitter and ICQ took over chat with a better system and before you know it, within a couple of years and AOL was fighting for its survival. Why would this be any different? Yes, these companies have everything going for them but as Kurt Schlichter points out, they are making a business decision which might be a shaky and problematic decision. This should indicate an opening for new competition which could establish a foothold and then work into direct competition by offering a better and more equal product. That would be the answer.

 

Kurt Schlichter even pointed to another area where the vast majority of those within this area have taken a leftward position, the media and entertainment industry. He also pointed out that the conservatives managed to make entries and had some established companies which grew their audiences as a response to the leftward lunge by especially the news media and opinion in print media through talk radio and establishing conservative competition. That was the correct message he should have used for this situation as well. There was a time when all there was in news media on the air television were ABC, NBC, CBS and a few scattered media systems as well as local stations. Then came cable television and ninety-nine channels and even then the vast majority of news and opinion remained left leaning. As cable became more affordable, the demand increased for variety and even international news broadcasts became available and we soon had five hundred channels and an array of choices which was unbelievable when compared to what we used to have just a decade or so earlier. Today there are cable companies and satellite television where there are a thousand channels and when adding Internet television the number of channels will soon be virtually uncountable. There will be thousands of channels and while you surf there will be nothing worth watching, or so we will often still complain there is nothing worth watching. Again, technology and advancements produced an environment which permitted sufficient room for competition making the playing field even and everybody had their opportunity to try and be heard. If they offered what people enjoyed, they succeeded.

 

The Internet should be the place where this would be true for any service and if the current Silicon Valley companies desire to take a leftward lunge, then perhaps it is time for some group of startups to build a wonderful area where the weather is nice and start employing those programming engineers and technicians and mathematicians and other related fields required to build competing companies perhaps in or around the Myrtle Beach area (see image below). This could start just what will obviously be required to remedy this situation, not government regulations. Kurt Schlichter wrote, “Yet they still expect the same laissez-faire treatment as any other business even as they try to gut us politically. They discriminate against conservatives,” and they should get exactly that, as should their competitors. He adds, “See, what leftists do not get is that principles are part of systems,” which is why they should be easily competed against as they offer a less and less diverse product.

 

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

 

Kurt Schlichter then uses the argument of, “the period after feminism demanded total female social equality with men, but men still generally picked up the check. That imbalance cannot persist forever; eventually the people on the other side feel like suckers, so they stop playing by the old rules. That’s when the new rules arise,” which is exactly the solution here. The new rules need to be social and in competition and not in rules put in place by government. Then Kurt Schlichter takes a sharp turn back to having the government intervene with, “And that’s why conservatives now need to savagely regulate companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. We need to use our political power in Congress and red state legislatures to incentivize Silicon Valley to return to a system where its companies embrace political and cultural neutrality, or suffer crippling consequences.” That is wrong, wrong, and so very wrong. Then he admits the problem with his argument but stands on it again, with, “Yeah, I know that heavily regulating private businesses is not “free enterprise,” but I don’t care.” Additionally, I just feel like letting him make the argument and then refuse to demand we simply compete stating, “they didn’t keep their part of it, and I see no moral obligation for us to be played for saps and forgo using our political power to protect our interests in the face of them using theirs to disembowel us. I liked the old rules better – a free enterprise system confers huge benefits – but it was the left that chose to nuke them.” And then we get, “Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell. Let’s apply the antitrust laws that were made for taming just these types of octopod monopolies.” Ma Bell is a false flag as there were companies attempting to compete with them but the government granted Bell a virtual monopoly. While despite the government using the Silicon Valley services, they are not granted a monopoly and there is no prevention of competitors to step up to the plate and go for the big one, the home run of toppling one of these companies with a better product.

 

Closing, Kurt Schlichter makes recommendations including, “So how about the Algorithm Transparency Act, a law that bans these big Internet companies from putting their fingers on the scale of discourse and requires them to make available online all of their operating algorithms? Yep, that would give competitors a peek at their intellectual property, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for transparency.” I do agree with his last line which reads, “Like I always say, you’re going to hate the new rules.” True, we would hate any new rules as we would rather there be less rules. Our argument for such things will always be competition, competition, competition. As far as making their algorithm opened up to competitors, no. Once there are competitors who come up with competing algorithms such a law would become a double bladed sword and counterproductive as their algorithm would be their advantage. We are sorry Kurt Schlichter but we have to claim that the proper answer is to out compete by giving the people an honestly fair and even product which simply provides the best answers regardless of the political slant and allow Silicon Valley to go as far left as the Democrats and become unusable by the average American or the people of the world, we need remember that competition on the Internet are international so really the competitors could set up on the Riviera or even in Israel where the talent for such a start-up is plentiful.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 22, 2017

What Should be Included as the New Western Ethic?

 

There is an obvious pushback against President Trump throughout the Western World. Many areas of Europe, Canada, Australia and especially the United States in complete authentic meltdown over the prospect that Trump might succeed. This criticism of anything outside of the new ethic being modeled for the past seventy years or so has reached the point where accepting a speaking engagement could cost you your health if not your life should anyone start a rumor that your beliefs are unacceptably conservative or old fashioned. Take the reception Charles Murray received as he was almost lynched at the liberal college of Middlebury College in the state whose motto is “Live Free or Die,” Vermont. What was his crime? Well, he wrote the controversial book “The Bell Curve” which made claims that some people were more gifted than others and that there was a distribution of intelligence with a large median area and a slope downward from there in both directions. How absolutely horrid and insulting not recognizing that we are all equally gifted, just each of us differently. Nobody is smarter or faster or better at anything and we all deserve a trophy because we were there whether we engaged or just sat in the corner dreaming, we get a trophy. Our new age does not believe in competition, keeping score, recognizing winners or shaming losers to try harder, we just accept everybody and whatever efforts they feel they need to contribute today.

 

That is the one set of ideas which must be thoroughly erased from society, the work ethic, the idea that there are winners and losers, competition as a way of improving, striving to better oneself, making money, capitalism, actually defining words and having accepted correct spelling, standards, and the belief that some ideas and societies are superior to others and that freedom is something which is not only worth defending but requires defending because there are those who would subjugate the world forcing it to be ruled under their autocratic thumb. Wait, one of those groups are the elitists who are so against the ideals and ideas of Western culture and believe that Western ethics and culture is oppressive and evil. They find it based on violence because it has defended its freedoms and ideals from those who would have subjugated and destroyed their world. They claim that Western culture and society was responsible for World War II and the Cold War and that had they simply not fought to keep their culture everything would have been so much better. Sure the Nazis were not exactly friendly but did the world really need be turned into a shooting gallery just to defeat the Nazis and the equally disturbing Imperial Japan? Of course not as the Western nations should have negotiated with them. Those claiming such forget that there was this little thing called the Munich Agreement which Neville Chamberlin signed with Adolph Hitler as well as Georges Bonnet of France and Joachim von Ribbentrop for Germany, Benito Mussolini for Italy and declared as “Peace in our time.” The main detractor was Winston Churchill who was called the crazy old man and was ostracized by the leftist pacifists of that day who just like the modern leftists saw nothing to be gained by war and saw little need to defend against the Nazi threat because a treaty had put an end to the menace and Hitler was appeased. Well, not quite as Hitler next demanded Poland and divided it with the Soviets under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. That act finally was more than the French or British were willing to permit and they went to war. Unfortunately, with the time given to the Nazis they had built a formidable war machine with which they came within a razors edge of winning World War II before the United States entered the war. Had they defeated the British and then turned against Russia successfully, the world would likely be speaking German today and there would be no Western culture to speak of and the modern leftists would have their dream, a socialist fantasyland where under the heel of dictators all would be perfect. Venezuela is one of the modern examples of where such thinking eventually leads.

 

Moneyed USA

 

Let’s imagine the United States after it has adopted the most easily recognized ideas which are favorites of the college educated elitists, not the professors, even though they are the purveyors of these concepts. We’ll use what the protesting students do, the ones who decide who is permitted to speak and what any speaker may present on their campuses. They proclaim that government must provide free education to all at all levels for as long as or at any point in time or point in their lives which people may desire, not require, simply desire. Further, all people, regardless of quality of their health, preexisting conditions, level of exercise, diet, weight or other physical, mental and psychological conditions should be granted equal coverage. The government must provide all citizens with a livable wage. Further, anybody within the borders should be granted citizenship. Everyone who desires to come to the United States should be granted entrance and citizenship because all people are equal and must be respected and given equal rights and treatment despite place of birth. The wealthy must be made to provide to pay sufficient taxes even if it means taking part of their wealth to provide government services which the people are entitled to as citizens. The people should be educated to understand and accept these concepts and the rest of the ideals of proper governance which includes freedom of gender identification, equal treatment of all sexual preferences, equal treatment of all people regardless of gender, identity, race, sexual preferences, nation of origin and a lengthy list of other identifiers as identifiers are evil and must be erased. When asked exactly how the society, actually the government, is supposed to afford these benefits and their reply will always be the same mantra, tax the rich, the wealthy will pay for it. What they refuse to understand is that in such a society there would be no wealthy as they would either leave for someplace where sanity ruled instead of feel good leftists or would have lost their wealth and joined the poor. Such a social arrangement for building a nation would result in a failed state where the average norm would be people taking courses, even if they had to take basket weaving, or simply party or enjoy long walks on the beach or through the park and collect their living wage as anything else would be punished with an unaffordable tax.

 

In order to collect sufficient funds to provide these benefits, the government would have to tax any income over the livable wage at near, if not above, 99%. Simply defined, if the living wage was set at thirty-thousand dollars a year, then with the above mention 99% tax on any income earned above that rate would have somebody earning thirty-five-thousand dollars a year would end up having a mere fifty dollars additional over those who settled for the livable wage. That begs the question, why bother working for a nominal wage when you would only receive a penny per dollar above the livable wage earned. Well, perhaps if you earned enough it would be different. What if you earned $250,000.oo? Well you would end up with $2,200.oo more than the livable wage. Now realize how much you would need to work as most people making a quarter of a million dollars put in over sixty hours a week at the office and another thirty at home and spend much of their free time thinking work. Then ask if a life of near constant working is really worth just over two thousand dollars or would the idea of taking courses or simply chilling with friends and take the livable wage be better. How bad could the livable wage life be compared to working your guts out for an additional two thousand dollars? The pull to avoid a punishing taxation and simply go with the majority would eventually result in the end of wealth as we know it. Additionally, if the livable wage proved not to provide sufficient life enjoyment and with likely the majority of the society collecting the livable wage, then it is likely that within a relatively short period of time they would vote to increase the livable wage. Politicians would place their jobs on that promise as they would not care as their salaries would either be tax exempt or sufficiently high such that their lives would be very comfortable, after all, they simply need to vote to increase the livable wage and also to raise their own salary.

 

Once again, look to Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela and the Soviet Union and the same thing becomes obvious to any discerning observer, they all have failed miserably. What makes this even more distressing is that Venezuela was a profitable nation with a capitalist economy until they elected a feel good socialist who decided that elections needed adjusting. He basically became President for life and he kept enacting more and more social safety net programs until Venezuela became a socialist utopia until the oil revenue could no longer support the social spending when the price of oil dropped as the United States discovered the means of retrieving shale oil through fracking. This led to Saudi Arabia to open up their spigots forcing the price of oil to the point where fracking was no longer profitable. This also placed pressure on Iran whose oil is of a lesser degree as it is very thick and needs more processing thus requiring more expense to process thus making their profit margin require a higher price than the result from the Saudi Arabian price pressure to a low level. Russia also has run into problems with the lowered price of oil which has proven that heavy social spending or other considerations can make a lower price for crude oil economically ruinous which has been the weapon used by the Saudis for years. The problem for Venezuela was more spending than lowered oil price; the oil price simple exacerbated their situation.

 

There is a reason why socialism will always fail while capitalism will usually work provided government spending is kept in check. The founding fathers chose an entrepreneurial based society for a reason, human instincts. There is one disposition in human behavior which can be counted upon in near all situations regardless of the governance, greed. Yes, being greedy is considered a negative personality trait but if we are honest, we will almost all admit that given no punishment for acting greedy, we will be greedy. Given a choice between a regular hamburger or a double hamburger for the same price, face it; we will most likely take the double burger. Make that three scoops of ice cream versus four scoops of ice cream for the same price? Four scoops, right? Let’s make it even easier, you are offered two jobs, both requiring you to clean up a football field which are across the street from one another with the one on the north side paying twenty dollars an hour and the one on the south side paying fifteen dollars an hour and both allowing you five hours of payment no matter how long you take, which job would you take and you can only do one or the other. Obvious, you take the north for the extra twenty-five dollars. Why these seemingly stupid questions, you ask? Well, capitalism counts on people being greedy, well, not exactly greedy but willing to work harder to gain additional wealth. Sure there are those who like me prefer a job which was interesting but when I worked on commission I worked far more diligently and faster than when I was paid simply by the hour. Perhaps that is why when department stores paid their salespeople by commission the service was so good and when they switched to hourly rate the service disappeared and, if you were fortunate, you could find a cashier to take your money. When my team of roofers were paid by the hour it took half a day to roof one townhouse but when our job paid by the length of roof we completed we managed to finish three townhomes by lunchtime, remarkable, right? That is called the capitalism effect.

 

Now let’s look at a socialist utopia where you are guaranteed a livable wage which would be relatively generous. Additionally, healthcare is free so you do not need a job to be covered. Housing is fixed at an affordable rate and there are price controls on food, vehicles, and other niceties. Entertainment is inexpensive or free. Education is free for all levels and you can remain in school taking courses all your life and even the dorm room is free as is the cafeteria. Most jobs are likely to be employing people from foreign countries as they would be willing to work for a wage as other costs in such a society make doing so easier to send money home to their families but these people work for a few years, make what their needs were back home and leave. Most of the citizens simply take the livable wage, stay in school and live a carefree life. Now let’s add one last item to the mix; anybody is permitted to enter the country and become a citizen simply by requesting such. Now how long will such a nation survive? Decades, years, months, weeks, until the first million people arrive? Face it, such a nation is doomed from the onset and there is no way around it even if there are oil wells as far as the eye can see. Even the oil sheikdoms limit their wealth and generosity to the indigenous peoples and guard citizenship for the precious fortune it is for their people who never need toil if they choose not to and foreign workers are brought in to do everything. Imagine if they allowed for open citizenship for just a week. Their ability to afford to continue their generosity would vanish and the goose that was laying the golden oil eggs would no longer be capable of supporting the expanded population as everyone who could get there, would get there and take the free income for life or for as long as it lasted. There can be no open border socialist utopia and even with a closed border it eventually will collapse, even Kuwait which has the luxury of an oil well for every ten people or something ridiculously close. Without near endless supply of wealth, the sole means of running a nation successfully is to take as much advantage of the one constant, greed. Using greed to power the country is far more successful than using the country to satisfy greed.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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