Turkiye Delenda Est

War! War! War!

A few weeks ago, I called for nuking Turkey. Today, I make this announcement ever louder. Turkey is the largest obstacle to the elimination of the Islamic State in the entire Middle East. Turkey today is Nazi Germany in WW II, but if Nazi Germany was a democracy and the Nazi leadership denied its support for the perpetrators of the (very public) Holocaust, while being adamant that “Stalin Must Go” and both in rhetoric and in fact backing anti-Semitic local nationalist groups against Stalin (while launching some fake airstrikes against the worst of them and allowing some Jewish groups to take control of parts of its border to distract attention). Also, if two-thirds of the population supported Hitler, with support being strongest among the lowest-educated. In such a case, the people of Nazi Germany would have deserved a lot worse than what they actually got (and what they got was pretty bad). And today, Turkey has, contrary to its response to every other trespassing of its airspace by every other country, shot down a plane bombing various rebel positions in a crucial (and I mean this) corner of Northern Syria near the border of Antioch, Latakia, and Idlib provinces. Now, if you look at a map of this area, you would not wonder why the Russian plane took its route -it’s extremely convenient and next to impossible to avoid. In a just world, where Turkey did not foment civil war as one of the foremost arms of the Great Satan, the province of Antioch would belong to Syria, and would have never been Turkified. Sadly, Antioch is surely safer now under Turkish control than if Turkey had committed to its same policies with Antioch belonging to Syria.

Were I Putin today, I would have said nothing. Instead, I would have launched a retaliatory nuclear first strike on Ankara, either preceding or succeeding the announcement of an ultimatum.

War! War! War!

Real Manufacturing Wages in the First World


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The Great Stagnation reaches everywhere

The Great Stagnation reaches everywhere


As usual for international comparisons I couldn’t find good PPP numbers for, the peaks are set the same for each country.

As everybody knows, U.S. real average hourly wages have been stagnant for approximately forty years. The influx of women into the labor force has corresponded to women moving into higher-paying occupations, thus having little net effect on real average hourly wages, as well as real average hourly wages for males. As real manufacturing wages have been recorded longer and are the best proxy for real wages in the U.S. as a whole, I’ve used real manufacturing wages here to illustrate their rise and stagnation across the First World. As the U.S. is the richest of the major economies, and has been for a long time, it is to be expected that it has had the slowest rate of real wage growth, and, consequently, longest real wage stagnation.

The major exceptions to the trend of stagnating real wages over the past decade or two I could find are Sweden and especially Finland, which have had strong real manufacturing wage increases in the past couple decades, but these are not known as major manufacturing countries, so I’ve excluded them. Mexico’s real manufacturing wages have been stagnant since 1980 and have been surprisingly stable since the start of the century, and don’t expect any miracles coming out of there. Korea’s real manufacturing wages have doubled since 1990, with the post-Great Recession recovery being much slower than the post-1997 one. Mexico is excluded here because it is not first-world, and Korea is excluded here because it is not all caught up (though it certainly mostly is).

Germany, Italy, and France all have peak real manufacturing wages in the latest period recorded, presumably due to stronger union power than in the U.S. and Canada leading employers to share their income with employees. In the case of Germany, this has coincided with exceptionally low unemployment due to Germany not taking on many unsustainable debt obligations during the 2000-2007 boom. In the cases of Italy and France, real manufacturing wage hikes have coincided with high unemployment. Japan has had falling real manufacturing wages since 2007, and also has also had decently falling unemployment. The U.S. (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Canada) have seen very strong wage stagnation since the late 1970s. The Axis Powers and France (which also had a real GDP/worker peak relative to the U.S. in the 1990s-early 2000s) have a basically similar history of rapid real wage catch-up from the 1950s to the first half of the 1980s, then slower catch-up (though no U.S./Canadian level stagnation) thereafter. Maybe that’s because they were all roughly equally strongly affected by the war, with France a little less so and Japan a little more so, and all recovered from it at the same time.

The interesting story here is the Canadian catch-up. Canada wasn’t affected much by the war, so how did it fall behind the U.S. before the late 1960s, and catch up during the late 1960s-late 1970s? Canada also disproves the leftist implication that U.S.-style real wage stagnation is unique to the U.S. It also seems that the strong European real wage hikes during the period 1973-1983 explain at least some of the rise of European unemployment and (in some countries; not Germany) uncontrolled European inflation, as unions demanded strong late 1960s-style nominal wage hikes and monetary policy makers proceeded to accommodate their demands. Maybe most 1970s-1990s Eurosclerosis can be attributed to European unions expecting the 1960s to go on forever, no matter the changing real economic conditions. Old Krugman once blamed Eurosclerosis on European institutions attempting to enforce equality in a time of universal first-world-wide economic forces (not related to trade) yielding so-called “superstar effects” and other such greater inequality. Perhaps that is the case, with unions keeping real wages high in a time of extraordinary inflation being a large part of this half-failed response to rising equilibrium free-market inequality.

What Makes a Real Country?


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In the study of international economics, one must always exclude unreal countries, as the lessons learned from them do not apply to real countries. But what makes a real country? Generally, size, population, and lack of dependence on finance, tourism, and natural resource rents, production, and exports are the leading factors under consideration. Not all countries can be tourist spots, offshore tax shelters, or oil kingdoms, and this applies doubly so to very large and populous countries.

The least real country on Earth is Qatar. Other unreal countries include Singapore, Luxembourg, Monaco, and Lichtenstein (not large enough territory), and, in a great exception, Saudi Arabia, despite its realistic size and population. Norway, despite its small population (smaller than that of Singapore) and high oil production per capita, is generally considered a real country as only a small fraction of its GDP is dependent on natural resource rents and its territory is of a reasonable size.

The most real country on Earth is China. It has the largest population and the second-largest land area of any country in the world and is by no means dependent on natural resource exports. India and the U.S. are also very real, as is Indonesia. Brazil is less real due to the fact half their exports are of primary industry, but it is still very much a real country.

Russia and Chile, despite their dependence on natural resource exports for maintaining the strength of their currencies, are also generally considered real countries due to their decent population and territory size and the vast majority of their economic activity not being related to natural resources.

Greece, despite its curiously high GDP per capita for its institutions, is also considered a real country due to the vast majority of its economic activity not being related to tourism.

Of the Four Asian Tigers, Singapore and Hong Kong are generally considered unreal countries due to the small size of their territories. Korea is universally considered to be real. Taiwan has over 20 million people, but it also has quite a small territory. As it is near the most real of the world’s countries, it is easy to see it as unreal, but if the Netherlands is to be counted as a real country, then why should Taiwan not be? Taiwan is not a tax shelter, nor is it particularly dependent on finance.

Some of the Caribbean islands have large tinges of unreality due to their strong reliance on finance and tourism, but as only one of these nations is first-world, it is difficult to see how they can be considered excessively unreal.

Switzerland is a half-real country. Its strong dependence on finance and small territory makes it difficult to consider it fully real.

Of all the countries in Africa, Equatorial Guinea, a small oil dictatorship, is by far the least real, with the Seychelles being the second-least real, due to its excessive dependence on tourism.

Despite their suspiciously strong dependence on primary industry, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada are generally considered pretty real, as primary industry forms only a small part of their economies.

There’s Something Rotten About Leftist Rhetoric Regarding the State of Kansas


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To those in the distant future: at the time I’m writing this the present Leftist rhetoric regarding the State of Kansas is composed of crap like this:

Two years later, in 2014, the promised economic benefits hadn’t arrived – in fact, Kansas was lagging badly in job growth, bleeding money and slashing spending to try to make up for the losses.

Point being, the woeful employment numbers in Kansas are now a horrible long-term trend.

The governor promised his “pro-growth tax policy” would act “like a shot of adrenaline in the heart of the Kansas economy,” but, instead, state revenues plummeted by nearly $700 million in a single fiscal year, both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s downgraded the state’s credit rating, and job growth sagged behind all four of Kansas’ neighbors.

Of course, as the good Scott Sumner pointed out, if all this was true, the great mystery was why Sam Brownback was re-elected in 2014.

Needless to say, the above are, to a great extent, leftist lies:

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I notice nothing important happening since Brownback’s election. Nothing at all. And this graph by Kevin Drum should be a textbook example of how to nakedly lie with statistics. Of course, don’t expect Krugman not to have joined in on the fun.

Also, as the good Scott Sumner says, this shows that, for leftists, the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus depends >100% on how it is named.

More Neo-Nazi Neoconnery


Summary of Cotton’s remarks:

1. Putin is Hitler! We need to be more like Hitler and start an unprovoked attack on Russia*

1.1 Munich! Munich! Munich!

2. Russia is an enemy.

3. Ukraine is under occupation.

4. Estonia and Latvia are worth conducting military operations against!

5. There are still 100s of thousands of refugees left to be made homeless!

6. Appeasement everywhere! Georgia didn’t attack first with its tanks!

7. I can’t pronounce Russian names while spouting on about the country!

8. Krim was invaded! It totally wasn’t the will of the Crimean people to join Russia.

9. I am the new Hitler! Operation Barbarossa 2.0 now!

10. No American arms have been sent to Ukraine!

11. No, seriously, when I said Operation Barbarossa 2.0, I meant it.

12. Also, destroy the Syrian gov’t, and make up phony excuses to prevent the removal of Iranian sanctions.

13. Operation Barbarossa 2.0! Literally! In Eastern Ukraine!

*The alternative to Munich was… what? An unprovoked invasion of Germany.

I want the guy who said you don’t have to pass an IQ test to be a Senator back!!!




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It’s one thing to call for nuclear war against Turkey and the Turkish people (as I do). It is quite another to call for conventional war against the second-longest established nuclear power, as well as the only country with a nuclear stockpile even remotely close to the size and capability of that of the U.S.

Obviously, I cannot say the neocons are totally equivalent to neo-Nazis. The neocons are philosemitic (if not actually Semitic); the neo-Nazis are antisemitic. The neocons descend from Trotsky and his concept of world revolution; neo-Naziism descends from German racialism and militarism, as well as from local racial tensions. The neocons promote dildocracy; the neo-Nazis are generally against it. But in at least one instance, they are peas in a pod.

Obvious Point

The national government deficit is 14% of GDP. Inflation is 14%. The rate of Real GDP growth is 0%. What is the national debt-GDP ratio doing?*

The national government deficit is 5% of GDP. Inflation is 2%. The rate of Real GDP growth is 1% per year. What is the national debt-GDP ratio doing?**

*Staying flat.
**Increasing by 2 percentage points per year.

This is why looking at the national debt-GDP ratios of the US and UK in the 1970s and 1980s and making conclusions about fiscal conservatism is hopelessly misleading. Doubly so, in fact, due to the close relationship between unemployment and the national government deficit combined with the Phillips Curve. Complaining about “soaring deficits” in the 1980s due to the “soaring” debt-GDP ratios may be outright lying.

I’m looking at you, Noah Smith.

BTW, the first four sentences of the above-linked-to post are utter falsehoods, on the level of claiming North Vietnam lost the Vietnam War.

Good Minds Think Alike

Pretty much my plan for Syria. Let’s hope this video gets half a million views, at least.

Obviously, mine would also involve either nuking Turkey if it doesn’t cooperate, or, in the remote case it does, at least temporarily totally closing, and, preferably, temporarily totally evacuating the entire length of the Syro-Turkish border, and permanently expelling Turkey from NATO, as well as removing Erdogan from power and trying him for crimes against humanity. Also, Obama. I’d also consider settling the refugees in southern Turkey permanently, as compensation, if they absolutely refuse to return to Assad-land (for understandable reasons). Obviously, no First-World country should be accepting Syrian refugees. Forcing Turkey to pay reparations, no matter how tempting, is inadvisable -taxed men revolt, dead men stay dead. This is why it is better to nuke Turkey than to force it to pay reparations.

Totally destroying the Islamic State in less than three days via a three-pronged attack from Iraqi Kurdistan, the southern Euphrates, and the Tell Abyad-Raqqa road is a given. Panama fell quicker, despite a larger army and more military equipment.

Coates Refutes Himself


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Nine days ago, a dude known as Coates wrote another long-ish tirade about his race and its travails. It’s not what you think.

Unlike Coates’ earlier major Atlantic piece, The Case for Reparations, which was trite and totally unnecessary for me to have read, I found this latest piece of Coates fairly awesome. In it, he makes a stirring case for the expansion of the prison state, explaining why the vast majority of those incarcerated today basically deserve it, why Daniel Patrick Moynihan was right about everything except opposing mass incarceration, and why reparations for slavery won’t fix anything -while probably not intending to! Were the good Steve Sailer to have written it, except for some sentences and concluding sections, and, of course, the broader tone and use of examples, the piece would be largely intact.

Choice quotes (all filled with awesome!):

As the civil-rights movement wound down, Moynihan looked out and saw a black population reeling under the effects of 350 years of bondage and plunder. He believed that these effects could be addressed through state action. They were—through the mass incarceration of millions of black people.

In 1984, 70 percent of all parolees successfully completed their term without arrest and were granted full freedom. In 1996, only 44 percent did. As of 2013, 33 percent do.

The carceral state has, in effect, become a credentialing institution as significant as the military, public schools, or universities—but the credentialing that prison or jail offers is negative.

Deindustrialization had presented an employment problem for America’s poor and working class of all races.

“Roughly half of today’s prison inmates are functionally illiterate,”

Kelly Miller, who was then a leading black intellectual and a professor at Howard University, presaged the call for blacks to be “twice as good,” asserting in 1899 that it was not enough for “ninety-five out of every hundred Negroes” to be lawful. “The ninety-five must band themselves together to restrain or suppress the vicious five.”

So even as violent crime declined between 1925 and 1940, Louisiana’s incarceration rate increased by more than 50 percent.

The cure, as Nixon saw it, was not addressing criminogenic conditions, but locking up more people. “Doubling the conviction rate in this country would do far more to cure crime in America than quadrupling the funds for [the] War on Poverty,” he said in 1968.

The justification for resorting to incarceration was the same in 1996 as it was in 1896.

The argument that high crime is the predictable result of a series of oppressive racist policies does not render the victims of those policies bulletproof.

In prison, Odell has repeatedly attempted to gain his G.E.D., failing the test several times. “My previous grade school teacher noted that I should be placed in special education,” Odell wrote in a 2014 letter to his lawyer. “It is unclear what roll childhood lead poisoning played in my analytical capabilities.”

In 2006, Martin O’Malley (who’s currently vying to be the Democrats’ nominee for president in 2016) defeated Ehrlich to become governor, but he took an even stricter stance on lifers than his predecessor, failing to act on even a single recommendation of the Parole Commission.

One of my great irritants is how so much of our discussions on race and racism proceed from the notion that American history begins in the 1960s. The discussions around Detroit is the obvious example. There is a popular narrative which holds that Detroit was a glorious city and the riots ruined it. Thomas J. Sugrue’s The Origins Of the Urban Crisis does a great job at dialing back this idea and pointing to the long arc of the city’s decline.

The fires of 1967 conveniently obscured those perils. But the structural problems, along with the wave of deindustrialization, were what gifted America with the modern “Negro problem.” By the 1970s, the government institution charged with mediating these problems was, in the main, the criminal-justice system.

“African Americans in our data are distinct from both Latinos and whites,” Robert Sampson told me. “Even when we control for marital status and family history of criminality, we still see these strong differences. The compounded deprivation that African Americans experience is a challenge even independent of all the characteristics we think are protective.”

Moynihan’s observation about the insufficiency of civil-rights legislation has been proved largely correct.

“The Negro Family” is a flawed work in part because it is a fundamentally sexist document that promotes the importance not just of family but of patriarchy, arguing that black men should be empowered at the expense of black women.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with discouraging degeneracy by promoting male-headed households.

“It would be difficult to overestimate the degree to which young well educated blacks detest white America.”

Moynihan ominously cited a “rather pronounced revival—in impeccably respectable circles—of the proposition that there is a difference in genetic potential” between the two races.

Crime really did begin to rise during the early 1970s. But by this point, Moynihan had changed. According to the Moynihan of the Nixon era, middle-class blacks were not hardworking Americans attempting to get ahead—they were mobsters demanding protection money in exchange for the safety of America’s cities. And the “unusually self-damaging” black poor were hapless tools, the knife at the throat of blameless white America.

One does not build a safety net for a race of predators. One builds a cage.

In 1900, the black-white incarceration disparity in the North was seven to one —roughly the same disparity that exists today on a national scale.

This statement links to a really interesting article, of which the choice graphs are these:

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In 1972, the U.S. incarceration rate was 161 per 100,000—slightly higher than the English and Welsh incarceration rate today (148 per 100,000). To return to that 1972 level, America would have to cut its prison and jail population by some 80 percent. The popular notion that this can largely be accomplished by releasing nonviolent drug offenders is false—as of 2012, 54 percent of all inmates in state prisons had been sentenced for violent offenses.

One 2004 study found that the proportion of “unambiguously low-level drug offenders” could be less than 6 percent in state prisons and less than 2 percent in federal ones.

There is no reason to assume that a smaller correctional system inevitably means a more equitable correctional system. Examining Minnesota’s system, Richard S. Frase, a professor of criminal law at the University of Minnesota, found a state whose relatively sane justice policies give it one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country—and yet whose economic disparities give it one of the worst black-white incarceration ratios in the country.

And so it is not possible to truly reform our justice system without reforming the institutional structures, the communities, and the politics that surround it.

And should crime rates rise again, there is no reason to believe that black people, black communities, black families will not be fed into the great maw again.

The graphs are also informative, and help illustrate Coates’ case, as I’ve put it, well.

There are obviously problematic parts to Coates’ piece -he’s still considers “an autocratic Vladimir Putin” to be the same as Russia’s entire criminal justice system (which is obviously much worse than America’s). Believe me, Russia’s criminal justice system was bad before Putin, is bad today, and will continue to be bad after Putin. Coates’ use of international comparisons is likely specious. According to Coates, Canada’s incarceration rate never strongly changed from 1960 to today. The statistics seem to back him up on this fact.

Canada’s total crime rate seems to have fallen at pretty much the same rate in the 1990s and the 2000s, while the U.S.’s fell faster during the 1990s, when the U.S.’s incarceration rate was still skyrocketing. The sources I’ve found for Canadian violent crime are contradictory.  Either Canada’s violent crime rate was always much higher than that of the U.S. and never really fell since its early 1990s peak, and also rose much faster than that in the U.S. during the late 1980s (even while Canada experienced a much milder crack pandemic and decline), when the U.S. incarceration rate was still skyrocketing, or something entirely different happened- Canada’s violent crime rate was always lower than that of the U.S. and experienced pretty much the same trends as that of the U.S., only on a milder scale. I have no clue which to judge as more believable.

Meanwhile, Canada’s homicide rate did not decline as much as in the U.S. during the 1990s and 2000s, while it stayed stable during the 1980s, as in the U.S. Canada offers a useful test case for lack of mass incarceration, leading me to take the claim that increased incarceration is of only minimal importance in explaining the rise and fall of North American crime much more seriously, but it hardly refutes the general point that incarceration reduces crime by taking criminals off the streets.

But perhaps the worst part of it is this ludicrous piece of bullshit:
“There’s very little evidence that it brought down crime—and abundant evidence that it hindered employment for black men, and accelerated the kind of family breakdown that Clinton and Moynihan both lamented.”

-Never mind the dubious claim (which I have not yet researched in depth) that there’s very little evidence mass incarceration brought down crime- Coates cites zero evidence that it has in any way affected “the kind of family breakdown that Clinton and Moynihan both lamented”, much less accelerated it. Most of the collapse of the American Black family took place before American mass incarceration. Most of the collapse of the American White family took place after its beginning. The correct comparison is not between incarcerated men and non-incarcerated men, but incarcerated and non-incarcerated men of similar age and criminal background. In fact, it was during the period 1982-1988 (you have to choose your years wisely here; the 1980-1982 recessions hurt Blacks far more than Whites) that the Black and White male employment/non-incarcerated-population ratios converged most strongly. The most reasonable explanation for the collapse of the Black (and later White) family is contraception and abortion. Yeah, I know, the Catholic Church is right on this one, as is Roissy!

There are, of course, other errors:
“Even in the booming ’90s, when nearly every American demographic group improved its economic position, black men were left out.”
-The common opinion at the time was pleasure that black men (at least, the non-incarcerated ones) weren’t left out during the 1990s. And, indeed, they weren’t:


From 2012books.lardbucket.org/books/microeconomics-principles-v1.0/section_22/09d7330a38081520dc990b7d48d86982.jpg

The claim that “This might well have been true as a description of drug enforcement policies, but it was not true of actual drug abuse: Surveys have repeatedly shown that blacks and whites use drugs at remarkably comparable rates.” is also ridiculous, as anyone who has any basic intuition knows. “Surveys” are unreliable (i.e., they lead to wrong results) and misleading (they ignore the length and pattern of drug use). See the link above in this paragraph!

The claim of “persistent racism” in Detroit (an 80+%-Black city!) and in the rest of America is utter crap, but fairly ignorable tripe. If anything, the problem in Detroit is “persistent racism” against Whites, which has, quite fortunately, been alleviated to some extent in the past few years. Referencing “Jim Crow” in the context of Detroit is also nonsensical, as Jim Crow never existed there. Blaming mass incarceration for “ensuring that the peril continues” is also nuts. Mass incarceration is a response to peril; it is not a net contributor to it. Incarceration, as Coates has already pointed out, is a signalling mechanism. And there’s nothing wrong with reducing the noise-signal ratio. Bruce Western’s claims are total nonsense. If Blacks were Chinese (or at least Vietnamese), they wouldn’t be disproportionately incarcerated. The idea wages for Black men have remained stagnant “largely due to our correctional policy” is the opposite of the truth, as basic supply-and-demand would easily illustrate. A scarcity of labor results in an increase in wages, not a decrease, as the Medieval Plague showed.

Indeed, the vast majority of U.S. Blacks do not see themselves as treated unfairly by the police, and this variable remains near an all-time high:

Look at all the racism!

Combined with Ryan Faulk’s new and true demonstration that Black-White school funding differences in the Jim Crow South had, if anything, a slight equalizing impact on the present-day Black-White school test score gap, Coates’ piece powerfully shows that the end of Jim Crow really didn’t change much for the vast majority of anyone except those Black Americans in the right-most third of the Black American IQ bell curve. Indeed, Black optimism regarding the future of Black-White relations peaked during the Civil Rights era and fell behind that of Whites during the 1990s:

This suggests two things:
1. Obstacles to Black advancement are few.
2. There’s most likely never going to be a solution to Black-White relations in America. Not in five years, not in fifty years, and probably not in five hundred years.

Jim Crow is dead. Equal treatment (and, occasionally, preferential treatment in favor of Blacks) is the law. Convergence is nowhere in sight.

There is no evidence Blacks can build first-world countries when not under White supervision.* There is no evidence of any consistent trend of convergence between White and Black American social outcomes since a generation ago. There is no evidence anything outside eugenics can change that**. Reparations are a farce. Systemic change is a farce. Ending mass incarceration is a danger (see quotes on the composition of the prison population above).

*The Bahamas, the only Black-majority first-world country, became independent in 1973 and had a higher Real GDP per capita in 1969 than today.

**Yes, moving to opportunity had some success in improving individual poor Black social outcomes, probably due mostly to the effects of the beneficiaries getting a better preparation for High School and a Bachelor’s Degree. But even if the fallacy of composition does not apply in this case (a highly dubious assumption), and education is not largely a pure signaling competition (also a highly dubious assumption), a one-time level change a consistent trend of convergence does not make.