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Posts Tagged ‘SJW’

Doug Casey on Diversity Officers, Compliance Officers

Posted by M. C. on April 8, 2021

Doug Casey: Compliance results in waste, inefficiency, and less customer satisfaction. We’re becoming more like the old Soviet Union, where things weren’t done for economic reasons, but for political reasons.

SJWs are actually destroying their own companies in pursuit of political correctness and diversity. They’re not fostering harmony; they’re breeding resentment and antagonism. They’re causing people to look at themselves not as individuals—as human beings—but as members of racial groups. It’s insane and perverse.

But this is just one symptom of the malaise affecting almost every aspect of Western Civilization.

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-diversity-officers-compliance-officers-and-other-supernumeraries/

by Doug Casey

International Man: Everywhere you look, ever-increasing government regulations create a serious obstacle to economic activity. There are too many regulations today, many with severe penalties. Most companies of even modest size now have a compliance department, along with numerous compliance officers and supernumeraries. That wasn’t the case a few decades ago.

It seems the compliance industry was created not by satisfying a demand in the marketplace, but rather by satisfying some rule a politician made arbitrarily.

How and why did this happen? What does this say about the economy and society?

Doug Casey: It indicates a growing dislike and distrust of business and commerce and increasing reliance on the government. It’s a disturbing trend.

Companies have a vested interest in providing the best product at the most competitive cost to their customers. That’s how you succeed in business. Government, on the other hand, is necessarily a monopoly based on coercion. That’s bad enough, but it’s run by—no surprise—the type of people who become government employees. You can see them at the DMV and the post office. Worse, the whole apparatus has long been captured by rent-seeking cronies.

The situation is complicated by the fact outfits like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter work hand in hand with certain government agencies.

It’s unfortunate that at this point you really can’t trust either government or Big Business. On the bright side, however, the average person seems to be becoming aware of that. That’s a good thing because it’s better for the society if everybody is skeptical and questions authority.

Despite that, we’re basically becoming much more centralized. Big companies are getting bigger, merging and acquiring smaller companies. The government continues growing much faster than the economy itself. As an economy becomes more centralized, it naturally becomes less responsive. Big bureaucratic things move slower than little entrepreneurial things. They don’t react as quickly. They don’t notice what the little guy thinks or says and don’t much care about the peons in “flyover country.”

It’s bound to get worse, not just for the reasons I’ve already mentioned, but because legislatures of all sizes are constantly passing new laws. They believe that’s what they’re there for. Old laws are rarely abolished, just buried under new laws. Furthermore, most new laws and regulations are oriented toward identity politics, notions of social justice, multiculturalism, political correctness, and the like.

Government regulations are never good; they subvert the market. And there are more of them now than ever. It goes back to what Reagan very cleverly said about the government versus the economy: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

International Man: According to Reuters, 66% of companies expect the cost of senior compliance staff to increase. And nearly two thirds of companies expect their total compliance budget to be slightly or significantly more over the next 12 months.

This trend doesn’t show signs of slowing down. What does it mean when you have a whole category of busybodies looking for a hundred different reasons to say no to a client?

Doug Casey: Compliance results in waste, inefficiency, and less customer satisfaction. We’re becoming more like the old Soviet Union, where things weren’t done for economic reasons, but for political reasons.

It’s very bad for consumers and the economy overall. But little companies are hurt worse. Big companies can afford to hire a regulatory staff. They even hire lobbyists to get new regs passed, to cement themselves in place, and quash new competition. New regulations and compliance costs are very intimidating for little guys and new companies. But they’re not even a rounding error in costs for giant companies like General Motors or IBM or Google. Little companies and startups generally have to obey the same laws, but it’s a huge cost for them, sometimes an unsurmountable cost.

Regulatory compliance only helps the big get bigger. The little people can’t even get into the game to compete with them. That’s bad because it’s anti-entrepreneurial. It hurts the economy by increasing costs for all corporations of all sizes—even while it helps the big relative to the small.

More regulations are also an excuse for government to hire more employees to enforce them. So you’ve got higher costs for business and higher costs for government. It’s actually worse than a total waste. It would be better to pay these people to dig ditches during the day and fill them up at night. That would be better than having them enforce regulations that actively damage the economy. Everybody loses.

There are no good consequences to regulations except for the cronies who get them passed and whom the regulations help at the expense of the economy as a whole.

International Man: How has overregulation created such a massive disincentive to producing products in the marketplace? How is it stifling economic development?

Doug Casey: Well, let me answer that question by looking at an industry that I’m involved in: the mining industry. It’s never been an easy business, but today it’s actually one of the worst businesses in the world because of regulation and government action in general.

It used to be that if you were lucky enough to find a viable deposit, the only thing that stopped you from putting it into production was raising capital and getting the machinery and miners on site to start digging.

Today, from the time that you figure out it’s a viable deposit, it probably is going to take you another 10 years of jumping through various legal and environmental hoops. Regulations have practically killed the mining industry by raising its costs immensely.

Regulations don’t just stifle general economic development. If you violate them you’re subject to legal prosecution, possibly of a criminal nature. This is a huge disincentive to do anything. It’s why Americans are disinclined to open factories and employ people. Every employee is a potential liability, a walking potential lawsuit. It’s one more reason industry has left the US for other countries

International Man: The banking industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the burdens of government regulations. It’s well known this has made dealing with banks and brokers a nightmare. Financial institutions often treat their own customers like they’re criminals or terrorists.

Will banks regulate their way out of existence? Is the same kind of frustration coming to other industries?

Doug Casey: Essentially banking should be—and once was—a business like any other business. There were two totally different types of accounts: demand and time. With demand deposits, you charge people to store their money securely and write checks against it. With time deposits a customer had to leave his money with the bank for a fixed amount of time, for a fixed interest rate. The bank might give them 3% and lend it out at 6%. In those days, bankers competed based on their liquidity and solvency—nobody thinks of these things today. Everyone figures the government will bail out any bank that needs it.

Today banking is a highly regulated, quasi-government monopoly business. Classical banking was based on 100% reserves. Today it’s all fractional reserves, perhaps 10%. This is a subject few people have any familiarity with today. Perhaps we should talk about it in detail sometime.

Disregard their ads: Most banks today are zombies; they’re walking dead men. They’re all on the edge of bankruptcy because they’re no longer run according to classical rules of banking. Fractional reserve banking makes every bank in the world liable to a run. Few will prove solvent in a major economic downturn. Absolutely none of them are liquid. The system relies on the Fed to print money to paper over an excess of bad loans.

But it’s not just that the basic system is unsound. It’s become highly bureaucratized. When I was a kid it was possible to walk into a bank—as a kid with no identification—and open an account. It was easy. That’s impossible today.

And forget about transferring any meaningful amount of money without filing numerous forms. “Where did the money come from?”, “Where is the money going?”, “Who exactly is the recipient?”, and “Why are you sending it?” are standard questions now. Anybody can be accused of the artificial and made-up crime of money laundering today. Banks have become almost an arm of the State.

It’s no wonder nobody trusts banks and everybody hates banks today. And they should.

The silver lining to this, however, is that as time goes on, people will increasingly use cryptocurrencies to obviate banks. With cryptos you can send money anywhere privately—which is impossible with banks—and instantly—which is impossible with banks—and at almost no cost—which is also impossible with banks today. Cryptos like Bitcoin check a lot of boxes.

The banking industry in its present form is a dinosaur. The only hope for the banking industry is for it to return to its roots. That would include the segregation of demand and time deposits, a return to banking secrecy, and the abolition of the Federal Reserve, among other things. But none of that is going to happen in today’s world.

International Man: The compliance industry represents a degradation of society and the economy. But today it’s gone much farther than that. There is another new supernumerary at many companies these days… diversity officers.

Where did these people come from and what are the consequences for business and society as a whole?

Doug Casey: This was one of the more insane consequences of accepting the tenets of political correctness. Diversity officers require or at least encourage companies to have quotas of blacks, Hispanics, gays, the disabled, females, and so forth. I don’t know how many different classifications of politically favoured people there are. But there are quite a few and more every day.

Companies are pushed to hire people based upon accidental characteristics like gender, skin color, religion, and God knows what else. Not what they can do or the quality of their work. It’s absolutely insane on every single level. Among other faults, it perversely works against the very people it’s supposed to help… smart customers will tend to avoid them because they might be an incompetent diversity-hire.

The fact that these things are accepted without protest is a sign of how degraded and irrational society has become. Nobody dares protest this nonsense for fear of being called out as an evil person.

It’s a boon only for ambulance-chasing lawyers and malingerers. Diversity and political correctness act as causes for frivolous lawsuits. Anybody can use arbitrary reasons based on accidental characteristics to sue and in effect shake down their employer.

Diversity officers help only race-hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and people who see themselves as professional blacks or professional Hispanics or professional gender aberrants.

International Man: Many companies and institutions in America today value political correctness over merit. What will this trend do to productivity?

Doug Casey: It’s devastating.

And it goes farther than just altering who is hired and why. Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) are trying and succeeding in influencing how people think. Through TV commercials, among other things. Some commercials are much more interested in promoting diversity than selling products. It should be a cause for shareholder suits against management. Take the infamous Gillette commercial that was so antagonistic and hateful against white males.

In the past, I just bought any razor that seemed to work. Including Gillette, which has a good product. But now I go out of my way as a matter of principle to not buy any Gillette product, because I’d feel I was supporting cultural Marxism and enemies of civilization. Not that the few dollars I spend on shaving equipment every year will make any difference, but I suspect there are millions of people who feel the same way.

SJWs are actually destroying their own companies in pursuit of political correctness and diversity. They’re not fostering harmony; they’re breeding resentment and antagonism. They’re causing people to look at themselves not as individuals—as human beings—but as members of racial groups. It’s insane and perverse.

But this is just one symptom of the malaise affecting almost every aspect of Western Civilization.

Editor’s Note: All signs point to this trend accelerating until it reaches a crisis… one unlike anything we’ve seen before. That’s exactly why Doug Casey and his team just released this urgent video. Click here to watch it now.

Be seeing you

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My Corner by Boyd Cathey – Woke Rebellion

Posted by M. C. on September 14, 2020

http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/

Boyd Cathey

Friends, 

The noted English professor and philosopher, John N. Gray, is controversial for his views expressed in a number of highly-touted books. If I can summarize one of his main contentions it is this: the experiment in universalist “democratic liberalism,” unleashed by the 18th century Enlightenment (and partially fulfilled by the American Revolution in conservative fashion, but by the Socialists and Marxists in a more radical fashion), is coming to a gagging and sputtering end. In a certain—if remote—sense, what Gray is saying is what the traditionalist Christian poet and author T. S. Eliot once famously wrote in his epic poem “The Hollow Men” (1925), written in the disastrous aftermath of the devastation, both intellectual and material, after World War I: “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.”

In the following essay, Gray examines the current woke rebellion in the streets, but also in the ivory halls of academe and among our elite government and cultural classes. The Age of Enlightenment Liberalism, he asserts, is ending.

And in reading and thinking about it, his short piece seems to go hand-in-hand with something I published recently both at The Abbeville Institute and LewRockwell.com. My essay titled, “Cancel Culture Comes South,” in a different version, was first issued in the MY CORNER series on September 6, as “Cancel Culture and the Religious Origins of the Revolution in the Streets.” I rewrote it to give it more emphasis on the effects of “cancel culture” in the South, and in that new version it was published…and it is that version that I offer today, immediately after Gray’s essay.

Gray compares the present day woke Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) to chiliastic millenarians—religious hyper-fanatics of the past—who attempted to overturn and in effect destroy the traditions of Western Christianity. Those movements, including the Cathares, Lollards, Puritans and Fifth Monarchy Men, and in particular, the Anabaptists with their supreme leader John of Leiden [AKA, Jan Bockelson], sought to either destroy those traditions, or, at the very least to completely re-invent them. And what followed was inevitably a period of social and political anarchy, and quickly the imposition of an authoritarianism more severe and brutal than anything established historic Christianity ever contemplated. They would bring on the thousand year terrestrial reign of the Deity, even if it took the massacre of every human life where they dwelt to do it.

Although there are striking parallels between those earlier millenarian movements and today’s zealots, there are also some significant differences. While both illustrate a kind of frenzied religious fanaticism, these latter day millenarians are mostly characterized by a dominant anarchism. Their religious zeal is secularized. Save for “defunding the police” and demands for total (but ill-defined) equality and reparations of some kind, much of their rhetoric betrays a lack of precision and deeper thought. And unlike earlier movements, our present SJWs are being funded and to some degree directed by our elites, ensconced many times in Silicon Valley, or Hollywood, and on Wall Street. It follows that those empowered elites wish to use the street warriors and the widely-diffused and praised Black Lives Matter campaign for their own purposes, their own well-being, and their own power. And, thus, they have literally cowed and shamed most of our political class into submission; who now dares criticize Black Lives Matter or the s0-called demands for “equality” (and some form of reparations for “white oppression” and past “injustice”) without bringing down the wrath of the entirety of the media and most political leaders? And this includes Republicans and establishment conservatives who run as fast as they can to the tall grass.

Notice one more significant characteristic: many of the street terrorists are rich white kids, children of wealth and position, educated usually (and badly) at places like Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, UNC, and Duke, and with families who can afford to live in gated communities, and who, in fact, in their insouciant and sneering liberalism, disdain and despise what the Jewish writer Philip Roth once called despectively, “fly-over country.” In other words, anyone outside of those centers of power and wealth who might possibly challenge their hegemony.  For them the SJWs are effective storm troopers…that is, as long as they don’t get out of control, or go into those posh neighborhoods where a Nancy Pelosi or Madonna live.

Or, if it seems that politically the street terrorism appears to get out of hand, maybe favoring President Trump politically. Ah, then those elites must offer their pro forma, generalized condemnations, just to be on record…despite their real encouragement of the revolution.

Never mind, Gray seems to say, the American faith in a secular universalist redemption and the myth that somehow we are a kind of New Jerusalem, that shining City of a Hill, is dying and we can hope only to pick up the pieces in the new age that is being born.

 

The woke have no vision of the future

Like medieval millenarians, today’s SJWs believe all that needs to be done to bring about a new world is to destroy the old one

Read the rest of this entry »

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Abolish the Tampon Tax, Even If It’s What SJWs Want | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2019

Remember when the progressive media was up in arms about Warren Buffets secretary paid more or had a higher tax rate (can’t remember) than Buffet?

Everyone wanted to raise Buffet’s taxes. No one mentioned lowering his secretary’s taxes.

https://mises.org/wire/abolish-tampon-tax-even-if-its-what-sjws-want?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=3044042b58-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-3044042b58-228343965

The latest evidence of the brutality of the patriarchy, we are told, is the fact that sanitary napkins are subject to sales tax. Thus, some protests have sprung up around the country decrying the fact tampons and pads are made less affordable by taxation.

Some the SJW-world’s natural enemies were quick to point to the hypocrisy of a group that tends to never meet a tax increase it doesn’t like. Laissez-faire musician Eric July, for example, quips , “Oh so nooooow it’s theft?” He means taxation.

The reasoning used by the protestors was summarized by Congresswomen Sylvia Garcia who complained “I’m convinced that if men menstruated, there would be a tampon machine in every bathroom everywhere.”

Moreover, as public radio station WBUR contends , people who menstruate (i.e., women and girls) “spend an estimated $150 million a year just on the sales tax for these items.”

Thus, the alleged fact the “tampon tax” targets only these groups — and the fact men don’t menstruate — shows we must end the tax on these items immediately.

In Fact, Lots of Men Pay This Tax

One doesn’t need to endorse the line of reasoning used by Garcia and the WBUR authors to be fine with a tax cut on these items.

After all, as a man with a wife and two daughters (among other children), I can assure my readers that “people who menstruate” are not the only people who pay taxes on feminine hygiene products.

Taxes on these items dent the household budget of every person in every household that purchases these items. That includes a lot of men. These taxes also reduce overall consumption for every shop, store, and merchant who provides these sorts of products. Which means entrepreneurs — both male and female — are also hit by the tax. Like all taxes, the “tampon tax” drains wealth from both buyers and sellers, and sends it to government bureaucrats.

Yes, the general framing of the issue by the protesters is silly. The idea that old men in charge of the machinery of government only tax tampons because they are are indifferent to the cost imposed is implausible. After all, there is no known case of a sales tax being levied specifically on sanitary napkins. They’re simply taxed at the usual sales-tax rate imposed on many, many items. Moreover, when men (mostly in local governments) were first imposing these sales taxes, the taxes were more likely to directly affect men than they are now. In the past, men were more likely to share a household with a women than is the case today. Thus, modern men, freed from the shackles of a shared household budget with women, should be clamoring for higher tampon taxes now.  No evidence suggests this is true.

Of course, the protestors have a wide variety of reasons as to why men might tax themselves more, just to spite women. As noted by Catherine Rampell , the idea here seems to be that men “one day decide[d] that periods were gross and therefore ought to be made more expensive.”

This might make sense if seventh-grade boys were setting sales-tax rates, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. After all, as the left is so fond of telling us, right wingers all worship the idea of homo economicus and are unable to refuse the prospect of monetary and material gain. Clearly, these people wouldn’t tax themselves more for such an inane reason.

Raising Taxes to Own the Libs

The tribalism encouraged by the culture war has driven some opponents of the protesters to embrace higher taxes, apparently out of spite. Writing for The Federalist, Elizabeth Bauer opposes lower taxes, so long as the tax cut happens to be for tampons and pads. Such a tax cut, she contends, is “a crazy sort of scorekeeping” and is “more about scoring points for one’s tribe” than what we really need which is “a tax code that is sensible and reasonable for everyone.”

The idea here seems to be: “higher taxes are good, so long as it means sticking it to those leftists!”

I hate to break it to Bauer, but the tax code is already rife with “a crazy sort of scorekeeping.”…

If there is perceived unfairness in the tax code, the solution is to lower taxes on the groups currently paying higher rates, until rates are equalized. Opposing tax cuts for reasons of “fairness” or sticking it to leftists just ends up ensuring tax rates never actually go down. Besides, demanding that menstruating women pay more taxes does not make for a great political cause.

Be seeing you

tax crime

 

 

 

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SJWs As Bourgeois Bolshies | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on October 23, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/social-justice-warriors-bourgeois-bolsheviks/

By Rod Dreher

I’m reading one of the best books I’ve ever seen, historian Yuri Slezkine’s The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution. It’s a massive — over 1,000 pages — history of the Bolshevik movement, focusing on the people who lived in a vast apartment building constructed across the Moskva River from the Kremlin, for party elites. In the 1930s, during the purges, it was the most dangerous address in the country. The secret police came for people there all the time.

The book has given me a breakthrough in understanding why so many people who grew up under communism are unnerved by what’s going on in the West today, even if they can’t all articulate it beyond expressing intense but inchoate anxiety about political correctness. Reading Slezkine, a UC-Berkeley historian, clarifies things immensely. Let me explain as concisely as I can. All of this is going into the book I’m working on, by the way.

In my book, I identify two main factors that make the “soft totalitarianism” we’re drifting into different from the hard totalitarianism of the communist years. One is the vastly greater capabilities of surveillance technology, and its penetration into daily life in this current stage of capitalism. The other is the pseudo-religion of Social Justice, the holy trinity of which is Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The mathematician James Lindsay last year wrote an insightful essay analyzing Social Justice ideology as a kind of postmodern religion (“faith system,” he writes). Reading Slezkine on Bolshevism illuminates this with new depth.

To be clear, Social Justice religion is not the same thing as Bolshevism, which conquered a nation and turned it into a charnel house. But the psychological dynamics are so similar that I can understand now why Soviet-bloc emigres feel in their bones that something wicked is coming, and coming fast.

I’m going to give a brief overview of the ideas in this part of Slezkine’s book. Slezkine describes the Bolsheviks as “millenarian sectarians preparing for the apocalypse.” He gives a short history of apocalyptic sects, which he said began in the Axial Age, the period between the 8th and the 3rd centuries BC that saw parallel developments in civilizations — Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Greco-Roman — that caused a fundamental shift in human consciousness. The Axial Age introduced some concepts that are still with us today, including the idea that history is linear. Religion and philosophical systems of the Axial Age developed a sense of separation from the Real (that is, what is material), and the Ideal (what is transcendent). They also introduced the idea that time would culminate in a final battle between Good and Evil that would result in the End of History and the everlasting reign of Justice. The rich will be conquered, and the poor will triumph.

Slezkine writes at some length about these themes in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), but points out that they also existed in parallel in other religions of the era. The two Abrahamic religions that emerged from Axial Age Judaism — Christianity and Islam — modified these same concepts for themselves. The Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible is the standard Western account of the Apocalypse, but not the only one.

In the 16th century, the radical Protestant theologian Thomas Müntzer, leader of an apocalyptic Reformation sect, led an armed revolt against the Catholic Church, Martin Luther, and feudal authority. He and his followers believed the Last Days were upon the world, and that revolutionary violence was necessary to prepare for them.

These movements, says Slezkine, often depend on the virtuous mutually surveilling each other to keep everyone in line. Calvin’s Geneva was like this, and had laws prescribing the death penalty for relatively minor violations of its purity code. In the 17th century, the English Puritan movement under Thomas Oliver [the mistake was mine — RD] Cromwell (the “Puritan Moses”) was in this same vein.

The Enlightenment birthed apocalyptic millenarianism without God…

Here’s another interesting difference, and an important one: SJWs may want to destroy the oppressive practices, but unlike the Bolsheviks, they don’t want to destroy the institutions of society. Rather, they want to conquer them and administer them. The religion of Social Justice has already conquered the university, as James Lindsay points out, and is moving quickly into other institutions: media (the NYT is its Pravda), law, tech, entertainment, and corporate America. The Social Justice faith system can be easily adapted by the institutions of bourgeois capitalism — a fact that conceals its radicalism.

The people who have lived in societies suffused with this kind of ideology — emigres from Soviet-bloc countries — can see through the veil. With this new book I’m working on, I’m going to do my best to help readers see through their eyes. Meanwhile, if you are really interested in the Russian Revolution, I strongly urge you to read The House Of Government — all 1,128 pages of it. Yuri Slezkine is a masterful storyteller. It reads like a novel.

Be seeing you

 

 

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Patriot’s Lament: The State will gladly protect you from Freedom of Conscience.

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2018

So what is the State to do? What States always do. Make the people fear their Liberty more than Itself.

http://patriotslament.blogspot.com/2018/05/freedom-of-conscience-will-hurt-you.html

…Today, we have access to information that only 20 years ago was other-worldly. Anyone with a cell phone can post a rant or share information to literally the whole world. Because of this information access, people take the information they get from the State influenced main stream media with a grain of salt, or immediately disbelieve it, and usually, rightfully so.
This is dangerous for the State’s propaganda machine, but the State realizes what is even more dangerous to it, would be for the State to appear to suppress it. Whether on the Left or the Right of the political spectrum, people tend to cherish what we now call, “Free Speech”, and rightfully so. Read the rest of this entry »

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