wes.whitman's blog

Social democracy is an American tradition

Social democracy is an American tradition. If you hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her views, you would have hated every single one of America's Founding Fathers too!

Progressive Taxation in the US

Progressive taxation was supported by the Founding Fathers for a good reason.

Truth has a strong liberal bias

The more you are informed and educated about the facts and the evidence, the more your views will align center-left. Not with the radical left, not with marxists and anarchists, but with social democrats, German neoliberals, and proponents of the "open society." It Is a fact that conservatives and right-wingers are generally uninformed about the matters on which they have the strongest opinions.

Neoliberalsm and Communism

Neoliberalism is a lot like socialism/communism. It's a broad term that covers a lot of extremely different ideologies, some better and some worse. "A Neoliberal's Manifesto" is a lot like "The Communist Manifesto." When I read it, there's a lot that I disagree with but there's also a lot that I agree with. Overall, the ideology is flawed, but it makes many valid points.

Distributivist Political Economy and MMT

Just wanted to share an insight from John Médaille’s book on distributist political economy. In the book, he distinguishes between legitimate interest and usury and this insight becomes really interesting in light of modern money theory (MMT):

Trump's Military Disaster

Trump's decision to ignore his military advisors and withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan is a disastrous proposal. ISIS will regroup and come back in full force, Christians and Kurds in the Middle East will be slaughtered, and Islamic extremism will rule the Middle East perpetually. Trump bowed to Erdogan's will and agreed to withdraw troops. Erdogan is a supporter of Islamic terrorism and racist Arab nationalism. The only reason he wants America to withdraw from the region is so that Turkey can resume its genocide against the Kurds, which was halted when the U.S.

Distributism and the Health Care System

This is a good read. This is a more traditional conservative take on healthcare. I don't know to what extent we can turn back the clock and go back to guild and concierge approaches, although it would be best if we could do so. I sympathize with single-payer because it seems the simplest and most feasible solution...but then again, maybe something more conservative/libertarian would be easier to get support for in America.

The Historicism of Conservativsm

It's striking that conservatism has a philosophy of history that is almost dialectical materialism, but dialectical materialism with some supernatural guiding light—although, the supernatural element is inconsistent here. Conservatism is rooted in Platonism, and therefore sees all "progress" as degradation and decay. Burke's philosophy of history, Santayana's, Henry Adam's—they're all basically dialectical materialist. And they seem to agree with Marx, liberalism (capitalism) is inevitably leading us towards socialism. Of course, unlike Marx, they view this as a bad thing.

Scrapping Social Security and Medicare

Trump has laid the foundation for conservative politicians to start talking about scrapping Social Security and Medicare. Billionaires were bailed out during the Bush and Obama eras, when government borrowed from Social Security to subsidize and bail out rich folks. Trump has permanently cut taxes on the wealthy so that his rich friends don't have to pay back the money they took from Social Security.

Atlas Shirked Social Responsibility

Ayn Rand sucked at life. Her books were garbage and no one loved her, not even Rothbard. Also, "If there's one thing that will not be tolerated here, it's imprecision of language."

Harvey Beardman (Atlas in the metaphor) is the businessman with the world on his shoulders, so he decides to shrug off moral obligations and pursue "the virtue of selfishness." Atlas shrugs, ignoring the ecological impact of his actions and engages in selfish profit-seeking at the expense of the environment and the community.

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