A Strong Welfare State Produces More Entrepeneurs

6128ipUSFPLSo much of our recent his­tory (the past 100 years, or even the past 60) clearly shows that when one’s expenses are low and when one receives some kind of stipend that is secure, soci­eties flour­ish. Most if not all of the musi­cians from the UK in the 60s and beyond into the 80s (i.e., from The Bea­t­les to the Sex Pis­tols to the Cure) were liv­ing on the dole while cre­at­ing their unique, world-changing music. This is but one small exam­ple out of many, many, many.

The work-hard-so-that-you-have-no-time-for-anything-but-working-hard meme that is so pre­v­e­lant in Amer­i­can soci­ety is a recipe for fail­ure, because it stunts the society’s abil­ity to inno­vate. Inno­va­tion depends on incubation.

Here’s more on this:

A 2010 study by RAND found a sim­i­lar effect with Medicare. Amer­i­can men were more likely to start a busi­ness just after turn­ing 65 and qual­i­fy­ing for Medicare than just before. Here again, gov­ern­ment can make entre­pre­neur­ship more appeal­ing by mak­ing it less risky. By this logic, Oba­macare dou­bles as entre­pre­neur­ship pol­icy by mak­ing it eas­ier for indi­vid­u­als to gain health insur­ance with­out rely­ing on an employer.

via A Strong Wel­fare State Pro­duces More Entre­peneurs — The Atlantic.

First They Came for…

imagesUnfor­tu­nately, what most peo­ple don’t under­stand is that once you accept that sex offend­ers don’t deserve the same rights as you do (cause you are “nor­mal”), then you open the door so wide you really can’t then close it later for your own rights to be cur­tailed.  It’s some­thing that the Founders of the United States under­stoood. But that was so long ago.…

This essay, writ­ten by one of the most acer­bic spokes­women out there, helps to explain this, very obvi­ous, fact:

As I’ve writ­ten many times, tyranny always starts with unpop­u­lar minori­ties, but it absolutely never stops with them.  Every time a new kind of law, legal pro­ce­dure or police tac­tic is dreamed up by those with the sick need to con­trol oth­ers, it is invari­ably tested first on some group that the “author­i­ties” know few oth­ers will defend; then by the time it’s expanded to the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, it’s much too late to do any­thing about it.

via Guinea Pigs | The Hon­est Cour­te­san.

Global Warming Reset: Time for Science

global-warmingFabius Max­imus’ site is provoca­tive in almost every topic he addresses. I find his well-resourced essays on global warming/climate insta­bil­ity eye opening.

I have been look­ing with a new eye at news sources from both left and right on this issue. It appears that rep­utable sci­en­tists deeply involved in cli­mate sci­ence see things dif­fer­ently than the deniers and the non-deniers, and are say­ing so.

And are being ignored. Time for a reset:

Both Left and Right have adopted sci­ence denial as their pre­ferred tac­tic, using selec­tive cita­tion and exag­ger­a­tion of sci­ence — fil­tered through activists instead of sci­en­tists (Full doom­ster­ism isn’t work­ing for the Left. Why do they con­tinue this?). We have time to act if we can break free of the ide­o­logues that sur­round us and find com­mon ground for action. Likely can­di­dates are devel­op­ment of new energy sources, reduced pol­lu­tion, and more research.

via Cli­mate news poorly reported in the news, about things you should know | The Fabius Max­imus web­site.

The Future #233: Soil Replenishment

cover cropsI have recently posted a sis­ter to this arti­cle on my social media. It bears a spe­cial post­ing on this blog. It looks to me like we are going to need to learn the now-well-established, per­fected prin­ci­ples of per­ma­cul­ture and urban farm­ing in order to sur­vive in the 21st century.

Soil replen­ish­ment is just another of the pow­er­ful tools we have to sal­vage our planet and our­selves and other liv­ing things:

As a plant-lover I’ve always appre­ci­ated healthy soil, but it wasn’t until I heard a rancher named Richard King explain how rebuild­ing the organic mat­ter in soils has the poten­tial to store tons of atmos­pheric car­bon that I got true reli­gion. “You should do a TED Talk,” I gushed after his work­shop at the Cal­i­for­nia Cli­mate & Agri­cul­ture (Cal­CAN) sum­mit a few years ago. Since first meet­ing King, I’ve been preach­ing the mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits of increas­ing soil’s capac­ity to store much of our excess car­bon to any­one who will lis­ten. And I’m not alone.

An emerg­ing com­mu­nity of soil-carbon enthu­si­asts is work­ing dili­gently to bring thought-leaders, policy-makers, and con­cerned cit­i­zens into our fold by offer­ing a prac­ti­cal, empow­er­ing, and ulti­mately hope­ful — albeit under-recognized — tool to address the cli­mate cri­sis: rebuild­ing soil carbon.

via An Awe­some, Under-Recognized Oppor­tu­nity to Act on Cli­mate | Diana Don­lon.

The Nicey Nicey of the Left Destroys Iteself Throughout the World

noose-e1373940949538This is what you get, when you decide to be nicey instead of deci­sive and strong. You get a right-wing extrem­ist back­lash. Why? Because the peo­ple who voted for you when you said you were going to insti­tute hope and change? They see you as weak and, uh, weak.

In bad times, peo­ple look for strong lead­er­ship. If the left says that they will put through mea­sures that help the peo­ple, and then, when voted in, they don’t do so?

What hap­pens? The peo­ple turn to those who say that they will.

This is a slam dunk. And all the Obama apol­o­gists and the Hillary apol­o­gists (because she’s already so sul­lied by her his­tor­i­cal polit­i­cal actions)? Why are you apol­o­giz­ing? Why you ‘xplain­ing, Lucy?

The weak are con­signed to the dust­bin. Only the strong, no mat­ter how wrong, no mat­ter how right, sur­vive. Remem­ber that bumper sticker? Well-behaved women never made his­tory, or some­thing like that? It’s the same with pol­i­tics and governance.

If the left isn’t strong, then a strong­man (or woman) will be.

The rise and rapid decay of left-wing gov­ern­ments in France, Greece and Brazil is not the result of a mil­i­tary coup, nor is it due to the machi­na­tions of the CIA. The deba­cle of left gov­ern­ments is a result of delib­er­ate polit­i­cal deci­sions, which break deci­sively with the pro­gres­sive pro­grams, promises and com­mit­ments that polit­i­cal lead­ers had made to the great mass of work­ing and mid­dle class vot­ers who elected them.Increasingly, the elec­torate views the left­ist rulers as trai­tors, who betrayed their sup­port­ers at the beck and call of their most egre­gious class ene­mies: the bankers, the cap­i­tal­ists and the neo-liberal ideologues.”

via The Offi­cial James Petras web­site » Lies and Decep­tions on the Left: The Pol­i­tics of Self Destruc­tion.

The Cart Before the Horse Backasswards

russia-wants-warAt time, a chart (or 3) is all one needs in order to make things clear, to see through the fog of com­ing war.

Proof that Rus­sia and Iran Want War: Look How Close They Put Their Coun­tries To Our Mil­i­tary Bases! Washington’s Blog.

Chris Hedges is a Stupid Puritan

chris_hedges_occupy_harvardThere is a prob­lem with Chris Hedges. He’s con­stantly talk­ing about rev­o­lu­tion and Marx­ist the­ory on cap­i­tal­ism, and his point–that cap­i­tal­ism unfet­tered will destroy not only itself, but the rest of the world with it–looks to be pretty accurate.

But Hedges keeps going off the reser­va­tion with his moral­is­tic bull­shit regard­ing pornog­ra­phy, pros­ti­tu­tion, and anythng out­side of Puri­tan moral­ity tropes in general.

He den­i­grates him­self and every­thing else he says with this rank igno­rance and stupidity.

This ele­gant essay addresses Hedges’ utter non­sense far bet­ter than I could:

Hedges puts you there with him, cruis­ing the sex work­ers, and then imag­ines you, and him, as the ones being cruised and vio­lated. This is sup­posed to be empa­thy, but it feels more like queasy desire, fas­ci­na­tion, and disavowal.”

via For Anti-Sex Work Writ­ers, Sex Sells | Rav­ishly.